Friday, December 28, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

Tovar the Lava King, who is the Sensational Character Find of 2007. Read Blue Beetle, people.
The Return of Bat-Mite (oh, and for those of you too young to remember: Zur En Arrh).
Animal Man is apparently so cool that he can use solar panels to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it. Amazing!
Fat Zatanna. I love you, Fat-anna.
Of course, it's always good to see Jean Loring...
Batman slapping Snapper Carr in the face. Even better is why Batman slapped Snapper Carr in the face. Brad Meltzer, look out!
The Red Bee begins her takeover of the world. Excellent.
Challenger-Lady seeing herself in print. Creepy. Meta-creepy.
Hal Jordan making whoopee in a green bubble in mid-air, while at work. And you people think he's stupid!
Hawkman and the Atom, together again for the first time.
Jaime Reyes' father staring down armed goons with nothing but his balls o' pure steel. Read Blue Beetle, people.
Uncle Sam's one-page backstory Young Jonny Reb and Billy Yank? Fascinating.
"The Arkham Institute for Emotional Disorders." Heh.
Biting a mummy? Never would have occurred to me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As New Year's Eve approaches, the television wells with Years in Review, Top 100 Programs, and other "let's consider the sequences of history" shows. In order to avoid those, I was watching an old Star Trek rerun, the City on the Edge of Forever... .

I know, I know; not exactly the way to avoid pondering history!
So I curled up with my Edith Keeler action figure (NRFB), bracing myself for when she talks about going to a Clark Gable movie, even though in 1930 (when her episode occurs), Gable had not yet been anything but an extra.

Anachronisms like that
really burn me, particularly when they are so very unnecessary. Even in the pre-internet world, it could have been easily avoided, you'd think. Oh, well, Star Trek episodes were, after all, made on $47 dollars, kitchen utensils, and whatever odd S&H Green Stamps they had lying around.

Oh, but the episode held in store for me a worst temporal slap in the face! I hadn't noticed it when I was younger, because I wasn't as familiar with old music then. As Kirk and Keeler stroll along on their first date, the radio plays the Guy Lombardo rendition of "Goodnight Sweetheart". At first, I just did a double-take; then I realized what was wrong and I winced.
Goodnight Sweetheart was written in 1931... the year after the year in which the episode was set. It got worse as they continued to use a modified version of the tune as Keeler's "theme song" throughout the episode. Oh, the pain!

Comic books, of course, have these kinds of problems with anachronisms. But comics books have a particular problem with anachronisms that are all their own. Thanks to their sliding timeline, comic books that start out with perfectly normal cultural references wind up, over time, being riddled with anachronisms. Not just the technological ones (like the glaring absence of mobile phones and the internet) that clearly set stories too far in the past. But cultural ones, too... .

Do you remember why Harvey Dent's face couldn't be fixed right away? Because the only sufficient skilled surgeon, Dr. Eckhardt, was trapped behind enemy lines in Germany. Remember how Batman & Robin escaped from the Penny Plunderer? Using
a steel penny, a type made only in 1943-1945 and readily available only in the years right after the war. I'm most familiar with such examples from Golden Age Batman stories, but I'm sure you all could list many more.

Marvel, which makes such contemporaneous pop culture references much more often, is even more susceptible to such "anachronoslides", be they major (Tony Stark's war record) or minor (characters in an issue of Dazzler are attacked at the
premier of Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Funny, how the "major" anachronoslides are easy to forgive whereas the "minor" ones seem so painful.

Similarly, when a current writer needs to write about an event in a hero's past, it can be a challenge to avoid any contemporary references that pin it in a particular time. This is usually most striking during flashbacks on early Batman & Robin stories (and, to a lesser degree, Green Arrow & Speedy). Superman and Wonder Woman were quite formally rebooted, so there are basically no flashbacks to their Golden or even Silver Age stories; we know "for a fact" that those are not the adventures of the current versions of those heroes.

But with B&R and GA, there's an unbroken continuity, and there are repeated references to their Golden Age adventures (and if you wish to debate that, read
this before you do). It creates a feeling that Batman and Green Arrow are older characters than Superman & Wonder Woman. Even with Superman and Wonder Woman, however, references to the Bronze Age (usually found in Justice League stories) are a little tricky. These pre-reboot stories seem older than the characters that are in them!

One of my personal pet peeve anachronoslides is DC's insistence on continuing to link the JSA to World War II. They've gone to great lengths to 'magic' away their ages, but it's still a patch job (don't start to think too hard about Mathilda Hunkel's timeline, now!). And it's unnecessary; the JSA didn't actually have a direct role in WWII. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, the JSA didn't really fight Hitler; they fought Fritz Klaver. Their job was to hold down the fort at home while the war was fought, and they dealt mostly with saboteurs and fifth columnists. The JSA's origins could just as easily be retconned as heroes from the 1960s or 1970s without too much heartbreak. For me, anyway.

But that's me.
What are the anachronisms and anachronoslides that bother you most in your comics, and what would you do to remedy them?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Have a crazy Christmas!

I don't know what you got for Christmas, but here's what I got (from Dale of Totaltoyz).

Yes, that is indeed




I'm going to join them on a team with the Jean Loring Eclipso and beat the pants off an all-Atom team...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Where's the Council of Nicea when you need them?

During this season, lots of people talk about the Bible more than usual (without, you know, actually reading it). And, with the Final Crisis (whatever it may be) looming, it's also a time when lots of people are wondering what will remain in DC continuity.

So I thought I'd save time by talking about both at the same time.

The Bible, you may already know, wasn't all written at the same time, was written by lots of different people, and has been subject to periodic reboots and continuity debates (sometime with almost as much fervor as those concerning comic books). In fact, it wasn't originally "The Bible singular", but "ta biblia", the books plural (in Greek). Only later, in medieval times, did it start being referred to as a Latin singular biblia. In other words, the Bible is a Showcase Edition, not a graphic novel.

Back in the early days of Christianity, it was kind of like the Silver Age, and people wrote whatever crazy colorful crap crossed their minds ("Last night, I had a revelation/ imaginary story /elseworlds!") and didn't worry much about how it all fit together. Along came a new Editor in Chief, Emperor Constantine (who was kind of like Dan Didio, only with an even bigger nose) who decided that Dogmatic Christian continuity needed a housecleaning and ordered a big writers/editors conference called the Council of Nicea (with the superstars of the day, Geoff Johns/Eusebius of Caesarea, Mark Waid/Athanasius of Alexandria, and Grant Morrison/Eustathius of Antioch).

A lot of books didn't make the cut , and for many of the same reasons stories get cut of out comic book continuity. Sometimes, it's because they were because those books were written as infracontinuity. Infracontinuity is what I call stories that are not really designed to move the main character's storyline forward, but rather, fill the storyline in, e.g., by telling stories about the character's past or beginnings (ponecontinuity), or by expanding on the details of previous told stories (microcontinuity).

One of the types of infracontinuity that usually annoys me is that which zooms in on a supporting, or even throwaway, character to become a centerpiece of their own story or mythology. This a particular bane of fanfic; why, there've probably been more stories written about Kevin Riley than Sherlock Holmes. Maybe there's a real term for it I don't know, but I (rather meanly) call it "servocontinuity", because the plot "slave" becomes the plot master. Virtually all of Sandman after Gaiman left is servocontinuity (I mean, really; Merv Pumpkinhead the Mini-series?!)

The Book of Enoch is very much in this tradition. Enoch (a seventh gen begat-ee of Adam) did next to nothing in the mainstream Bible, but somebody wrote him his own book anyway (kind of like Michael Reaves' Shadow Hunter). If Enoch were Jimmy Olsen, then the Book of Enoch is Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (with the visit to heaven part being written by Jack Kirby). The Nicean Council wisely decided not to include it because it was too wacky and would have interrupted the overall flow of the Bible's big story; judging by Countdown, Dan Didio & Co. would have re-written the Bible around it.

The Gospel of Mary is, of course, Supergirl. Neither of them made it during the Nicean Council of 1986. I mean, you know; she's a girl. We can't have her around on any sort of equal footing with boys. Let's brand her inaccurately as a prostitute or an incompetent who has to be hidden away in an orphanage as a 'secret weapon'. Then, if she still won't stay dead/in her place, we'll let Peter David and Jeff Loeb ruin her.

One of DC's most troublesome ponecontinuities is the Adventures of Superboy, or, as it was marketed outside of the U.S. to the early Christians, The Infancy Gospels of Thomas. Ah, the wacky Silver Age hijinx of the Infancy Gospels...

Jesus uses his superbreath to make the clay ravens fly away. The people of Smallville are afraid that Jesus will wish them into the cornfield. Jesus flies back through the time barrier to prove that he didn't kill Zeno Luthor. Jesus uses his heat vision to weld a child's foot back onto his leg. When Pete gets bitten by a snake on a camping trip, Jesus uses his superbreath to blow the poison out and zaps the snake with his heat vision. Oh, and when Jesus went to visit S.T.A.R. labs in Jerusalem and fooled his parents by leaving a Jesus-robot at home in his place...! What a scamp.

But, both Superboy's and Jesus's childhood adventures don't gibe very easily with the idea of their adult versions coming out later and making a splash. So, those, too, did not make the cut.

The Gospel of Nicodemus, with its story of Jesus's descent into Hell is, I suppose, The Death of Superman, and yet another example of the superior discretion and discipline of the Council of Nicea compared to the DC editorial board.

If Kingdom Come is (quite intentionally) DC's Revelation of John, then Peter's Apocalypse is The Kingdom; less dramatic, less wacky, more clinical and detailed rather than conceptual and evocative.

Leptogenesis? Hm. I guess that would be COIE/52, where the story of Krona and the Tower of Babel explains the creation of the multiverse, and the Chosen Characters realize they need to separate themselves out from the unclean Marvelish versions of themselves. And like, 52, it was a weekly! I suspect the reason it didn't make the cut is because of those crazy-stupid stories about angels "commingling" with humans, producing Giants That Walked The Earth. I mean, nobody wants the New Guardians and Millennium in continuity.

Really, it all poses interesting questions about what criteria you use to determine what becomes canon, whether the story is the Greatest One Ever Told or the Greatest One Ever Told. I have a pretty good idea what criteria the Niceans used. DC? I'm not quite sure... .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pop Quiz

Okay, usually, I confine things to pure the comic booky, but sometimes questions and observations build up inside me that, Jean Loring-like, threaten to burst forth and crush the planet in an orgy of destruction.

Many of these are, in fact, comic book related, but some are not, so please excuse them. And, who knows? There may be an as of yet undiscovered comic book connection waiting for you to share.

Superman: Wait, so ... Is Chris gonna stay around and be the new Superb--, I mean, er, "Skyboy"?

Jean Loring: Since it's pretty much known she'll no longer be Eclipso, what should she be like after that happens? Gibbering, flame-throwing lunatic, or re-sanityized, repentant lady of intelligence?

Gilligan's Island: So, the reason Gilligan and Skipper made beds for everyone else but bunk hammocks for themselves would be...? Maybe Skipper actually likes Gilligan to fall on top of him regularly?

Vibe: C'mon; am I the only person who actually has known guys like Vibe? I mean, without the powers, of course.

The Brady Bunch: If Alice the Anachronistically Live-In Maid does the cooking and cleaning, just what the heck does Carole do with her day?

Flash: Which one of those Rogues should get an Orange Lantern ring?

Degrassi TNG: In the final analysis, everything is Terri's fault, and the only person who will survive the ramifications unscathed is Heather Sinclair. And, of course, Spinner.

Green Lantern: Does the prophecy of the Rainbow Corps and the Black Lantern Corps spoil the idea of the next Crisis being a re-boot? I'm confused... .

Wonder Woman: I really want the Olympian to be a permanent addition to the Wonder Woman dynasty, as her "Male Counterpart"; who's with me on this?

Crisis: If DC reboots to right after the original Crisis, what's the one story you'd be most sorry to have disappear from continuity?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy...

... in my comics this week.

  • Superman dresses down Oracle? Ouch.
  • The Penguin versus the Whale. Smart money's on the Penguin, who's got thirty years comic book experience on Tobias, and a heck of lot higher Q rating.
  • Superman defeated by alien bug monsters on the moon? Excellent.
  • Chris Kent's burp.
  • Sun Boy sings John Denver? I bet Element Lad taught him that song.
  • Dwayne MacDuffie's swift and elegant handling of a "tangential" story.
  • Tell me I'm not the only person who laughed when Superman said, "There are some things I just can't fix, and Lana's a dramatic example of that."
  • Red Arrow's Christmas gift to Mr. Twister.
  • Brilliant new role for Red Tornado; I actually like him that way, and it certainly solves a host of problem (monitor duty not the least among them).
  • Catwoman's new haircut, and her cleverness in relying on Calculator following through with his threat.
  • Superman in a baseball jacket.
  • Oh, my god, Hippolyta's been attacked by Project Runway!
  • "While this is a worthwhile cause, there's no need to break the moon, right?"
  • "Look, shiny things!"

The Countdown Special #2: The Atom, which is so chock full of Jean Loring Mania that it practically explodes off the page, to say nothing of other loopy loveliness:

The Atom defeats an earthquake with a train.
Aquaman stops a tidal wave with octopuses.
Enrichetta Negrini, more beautiful and smarter than ever.
The Wind Pirate. I mean, really, the Wind Pirate. How long were he and Blockade Boy together, I wonder?
"Our best estimates give us three hours before the pressures within Jean Loring burst free and crush our planet in an orgy of destruction."
Bosun Beyotch.
Woman Wonder loses to Officer Clean-Up.
The utter lunacy of every panel with the Secret Society of Supervillians in it.
The phallocentric horror of Star Sapphire versus the robot plane.
"The world's most sophisticated electronic billboard."
Jean Loring proposes to Ray Palmer!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Meaninglessness of Supergirl

Judging from some of the Absorbascomments about this week's Booster Gold, some of you modern comics readers are upset by Booster Gold's inability to change certain events in history.

Oh, dear. Still unhappy?
Linda Danvers has the super-power of negative thinking.

Still clutching to the belief that you have god-given free will?

You know who we need to set our heads straight? Supergirl.

Supergirl, as I've mentioned before, is comic books' Demon of Determinism, the Devil of Inevitability, the Cuckoo in the Clockwork Universe. Supergirl is more terrifying than Swamp Thing, more bleak than Hellblazer, and more emo than Spider-Man. Master of False Hope, Supergirl invented the One-Step Program, the two-headed coin, Three-card Monte, and the four-way stop.

As we've learned, we can feel marginally better about our own lives because, despite her many abilities, Supergirl's super-self-awareness of determinism renders her powerless:
As opposed to the Danvers' summer cottage on Venus.

Only in yesterday's dreams and tomorrow's hopes have you any power, because those are illusions; here in the present, you can do nothing.
Supergirl *chokes* again.

Thus, Supergirl flees any responsibilities in the present (where all is pointless anyway), and seeks refuge in the past...
You mean, before the writer's strike?

and the future...
Where Mac McGarry is still hosting "It's Academic"!

But that safety is FALSE! Both past and future are merely other cell-blocks in the temporal penitentiary that is reality.

The future offers us no choices:
Did you vote for a new hair style for Linda (Supergirl) Lee?
It doesn't matter whether you did, because the inevitable result is that her new hairstyle is ...
the Odd Twist of Fate, by artist Jim Mooney. -- Ed.

Teach us, Supergirl, to fear the oncoming train that is the Future Express, headed straight for you on unswerving tracks to which you are inescapably bound.
Mine involves Anderson Cooper. Nuff said.

Ah, yesterday's dreams, unrealizable in the crushing future, where Hopes for Good turn to Sufferings from Evil.
As well as baldness.

Oh, Supergirl. You try to cling to the inalterable past.
I will come back to see you only if you wear those hats. From now on.

You, however, can't. You're heartbroken from so many failed attempts to change the past, which, inconceivably, holds the same dangers as the present and the future.
Maybe somebody let Roy Thomas write a Jonah Hex story?

Forget yesterday's dreams, tomorrow's hopes, and live (pointlessly) for today.

Perhaps Cousin Superman can help squelch your hopes for a future that will never be!
You will never be "Superwoman", Linda. Never. But Lois Lane will.

Fortunately, her cousin Superman is his traditional, supportive self:
Do not ask about the flying doll.

That's right, Linda, dear; you are utterly powerless to help in the present. But, for Rao's sake, don't stop hoping. If you stop hoping, then the PAIN of daily disappointment stops. Accept the hope AND the pain.
Um... you're becoming Jewish?

Thank you, Linda, for making us look backward in mourning for the past, look around at hopelessness in the present, and look forward toward dread of the future; truly it is a job for Supergirl.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy...

... in my comics this week.

  • Once again, Hal Jordan shows that he's "Special Ops" with his out of the box thinking.
  • How Wonder Woman defeats Captain Nazi.
  • Getting to see the Joker beat the snot out of Booster Gold. Repeatedly.
  • Call me "Bob", because I, too, figured out where Ray Palmer was.
  • Wonder Girl versus the Female Furies.
  • Hippolyta's haircut.
  • Sinestro, not trying to win a war-- trying to win a debate.
  • Coast City gets a backbone and a personality.
  • So THAT'S who Supernova was working for. Zowie! Leave it to Geoff to clean up Brad's mess...
  • Kudos, Gail, for the new "myth" of the Queen's Personal Guard.
  • FINALLY, someone came out and said, "Jimmy Olsen must die!"
  • How many Guardians does it take to screw an Anti-Monitor?
  • Well, now we know where he got that shirt... .
  • Now that is the Global Guardian I've been waiting for, and in the exact dynasty where he's needed!!!
  • "Turtle-boy" Olsen.
  • Kane Miohai is totally hot!
  • Yep; that's the Bizarro Yellow Lantern.
  • The Dodsons' work on WW is OUTSTANDING. That is precisely what I, at least, need her to look like.
  • Prime fulfills his very important purpose.
  • I'm not surprised Peacemaker doesn't enjoy Lucha Libre.
  • Bludhaven's extreme home makeover.
  • Nothing I enjoy more than Per Degaton shooting a baby in its crib!
  • Marshmallow man? Funny.
  • So, I assume he's using that to heal her, rather than always using it as a bedspread... .
  • When Sinestro revealed his real purpose in forming the Yellow Lantern Corps, it chilled my blood, then inspired enormous respect, then made me very, very sad.
  • Hm. Well. I guess the Trickster's not playing a trick, is he?
  • I want an Orange Lantern ring!
  • Oh, Mary! Big mistake; black diamonds are a girl's best friend.
  • "Red Dawn"? Of course; it's probably his favorite movie.
  • Poor Hank. Pity.
  • Triplicate Girl is really exceedingly clever.
  • Do you think Prime is finally going to get his wish?
  • Always good to see Rip's chalkboard, but I have no idea who "Steve" is.
  • I was ready for the rest of it, but not for... the Black Lantern.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The Dead Yet Live!"

Yesterday, I saw someone on line I hadn't seen in quite some time, so long that I thought he might have moved or some such.

Jokingly, I sent him an initial message that said only,

"The dead yet live!"

Naturally, I was certain he'd understand what I meant, that he had been "socially dead" but was in fact was still very much around.

But he didn't, and replied with a stunned "Huh?". I quickly explained what I mean, and the conversation continued from there, no harm, no foul.

Later, however, I was left wondering how he could not have gotten the reference, which is obviously some deep-seated phrase from, say, the Bible, ancient poetry, or some great work of English literature. I mean, it felt so commonplace to me that it had to come from such a universally familiar source.

It bugged me enough that I finally looked up the phrase to find out that it's apparent source wasn't quite as "universal" as I'd assumed:

*Sigh*. Detective #471. Of course.

Oh, the phrase must have surely appeared in some other book before this, but nevertheless, this was unquestionable where'd I'd gotten it, since I remember buying this book when published.

Yes, I was quoting a comic book cover (and a rather hokey one, at that), without realizing it, as if it were the Bible. Having done it knowingly might have been marginally cool; being intentionally geeky has it charms. But being so geeky as to have no idea when you're being geeky? Substantially less charming.

I might take some small comfort in knowing I'm not the only one of us who's made this kind of faux pas. Have you ever unwittingly made a comic reference that met with confused silence from the audience, and then later realized with chagrin exactly what had happened?

If so, please share with me -- with us all -- your story... .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dazzler: The Movie

The Dazzler: Kylie Minogue. Duh.

Dazzler's Dad & Mom: Tom Selleck & Caroline Rhea, because they not only look the part, they're as whiny as Dazzler is.

Doctor Doom: Let's see, Doctor Doom is a vain, preening old queen, who, like most leather queens, uses gear as an exo-skeleton for his sagging self-worth and masculinity. I guess the guy who played him in the FF movie will do just fine.

Enchantress: Shannon Dougherty is pretty much the only choice, isn't she?

Galactus: Ben Stein. If you need someone to look down on people as insects, who better? Besides, he's got the perfect voice for it. In your best Ben Stein voice, read the following and tell me I'm wrong:

"Yet, Galactus is above mere morality. Galactus is amoral. Galactus does what he must do in order to survive."

Replace the name 'Galactus' with the name 'Ben Stein', and it reads even better. Ben Stein was born to play Galactus.

The Grapplers (Titania, Poundcakes, Letha, & Screaming Mimi): The View.

Which one is which, I leave to your imaginings.

Johnny Guitar & Doctor Sax: Hm. A guy who can ruin things with his guitar and one whose sax playing makes you want to commit suicide. Kurt Cobain and Kenny G would have been the logical choices, but I can't see that happening. Let's try Steve Zahn (because he does with his performance what Johnny does with a guitar) and Morgan Freeman (because every time he opens his mouth, it makes me want to commit suicide, and besides, federal law requires him to be in all major motion pictures at this point).

P.S. YES, I know they made a Dazzler movie within the comics. If you think that will stop from Marvel Entertainment from doing it in the real world, I have just two words for you: Ghost Rider.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bedazzled Gallery

Dazzler was the most demanding aerobics instructor at Lesbianworth, the Penitentiary for Costumed Women.

Poor Dazzler. Just like the Martian Manhunter, one of the reasons she never stood a chance is because she had such a pathetic rogues gallery.

Sebastian Shaw & His *snort* Hellfire Club.

You know those snotty rich kids at suburban schools who like to pretend they're all urban and tough, while wearing expensive designer tough guy clothes, and wind up going to, say, Bowdoin? Give them superpowers and you've got the *snort* Hellfire Club.

They send some sort of goons in Mandroid armor after Dazzler. Naturally, the Dazzler kicks their butts, saying (as only a Marvel character could)...

"Chuckles, I had one dy-no-mite debut goin', till you jokers crashed the gate. Now it's ruined. And for that, sucker, you gonna pay!"

Anyone want to guess why Dazzler, of all people, talks like Luke Cage? My guess is because she's a snotty rich kid from a suburban school who likes to pretend she's all urban and tough while wearing expensive designer tough guy clothes.

Then she defeats them all over again next issue to save the X-Men. In the words of Claremont:

She creates a lightshow so intense and beautiful that the guards minds can't cope with it! In other words... they're dazzled!

Spider-Man & The Lightmaster

How easy is it to defeat perpetual loser Spider-Man? She flashes him once with her disco ball and he's overcome. Later, of course, they team to defeat the Lightmaster.
Spider-Man is one guy you really don't want to owe...
Beware, ladies, of lonely science nerds who still live at home and like to cosplay. I mean, unless you like it freaky.


Enchantress is kind of like Endorra, but without any sense of style, humor, or eloquence. In other words, Witchiepoo. She's kind of a recurring foe for Dazzler (to the degree that a character with a title as short-lived as Dazzler can have a recurring foe).
I can think of very few things I'd rather witness
less than Enchantress birthing anything through her cosmic rift.

Naturally, Dazzler kicks her patootie, both physically and in a singing contest on Asgard. Personally, I think it's her "OH!" face that won it for her (hey, maybe you really can put mirrors on benoit balls!).

Odin hath been now awaiting Satellite XM for nigh onto a fortnight!

Dr. Doom

This guy's a tin-plated dictator (literally) of some Speckostan in Europe; it's like Ruuman Havjarti and Iron Man had a baby together. Doom is kind of like Doctor Domino, but without any sense of style, humor, or eloquence. He tries to get her to fetch him some jewels, because

(1). He's a vain, preening old queen
(2). That cloaked hood combo he sports is just crying out for a decent brooch.

Anyway, the Dazzler knocks this loser six ways to Sunday more times than I can count.

On an embarrassment scale of 1 to 10, this is about a 27.

I believe Doom's butt just got dazzled.

Dazzler's your daddy, Victor Beyotch Von Doom.

If Dazzler is Batgirl, Dr. Doom is her Killer Moth. No wonder this guy never appeared anywhere else. I mean, really, with villains this lame, Dazzler never stood a chance at being popular.

The Klaw, Hulk, and She-Hulk

She kills Klaws. Literally. When your only weapon is sound, you probably don't want to fight... The Dazzler. And Dazzler defeats not one, but two victims of radiation poisoning. Go for it, Dazz! What's that? They're supposed to be heroes, not villains? For pity's sake, give me a break; this is Marvel, how am I supposed to be tell the difference?


I don't understand it either, Dazz; I mean, a can opener is useful...! Still, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks you're a tool.

Besides, given that Galactus looks like a giant bottle opener, it may be a compliment. Dazzler, by the way, doesn't actually defeat Galactus, but she certain gives him a stern talking to.

After Taking Over the Spirit Squad, Manny Confronts Emma About Her Bulemia

Dissed by the Dazz! Galactus cried for hours after this.

And The Rest!

Dazzler fights someone named, I kid you not, the Absorbing Man, who's pretty much Amazing Man, only white and really really stupid.

She spends one night -- ONE NIGHT-- in prison, where is attacked by a costumed quartet of S&M/B&D dykes (Titania, Letha, Poundcakes, & Screaming Mimi; no, really!). It's six pages of the most gratuitous "titillating prison chick-on-chick violence" imaginable.

And, yes, it's just another scene where Dazzler faces a sound-based villain (Mimi, in case you didn't know). Can you guess how that turns out?

Dazzler's only serious recurring foes are, of course, her Dad and her Mom. And many of her villains are just stand-ins for them, and battles against them become replays of Dazzler trying to win battles against her parents. Kind of like how husbands and wives are used in real life.

But it goes without saying that the real stars of Dazzler's Rogues Gallery are:

I mean, who needs any other villains when you've got them?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Alpha & Omega

So, someone asked me whether I'd buy a team-up of the Golden Age Starman, comics' greatest character, with Halo, comics' worst character, and what I thought would happen in such a story.

The answers were easy:
I already did, over 20 years ago.

They saved Peacemaker.


Courtesy of loyal Absorbacommenter Calvin Pitt and the MIGHTY MINIMARVELS!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Five Moments of Ribaldry from this Week's Comics

Jonah likes to watch.

Jeez, Constantine; her Dad, too? Well, that'll teach Zatanna to knock before barging in while her father is "working on one of his magic tricks."

Would that I, too, could speak with such equanimity at the cusp of consummation, rather than my customary, "Oh, sweet Paco in heaven!"

I'm sure it would be, Lex.

Is that saying available on a tee shirt?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy

... in my comics this week.

So, the Badass Monitor is from Earth-8? Heh; of course he is.

I don't love Jonah Hex just because he ties women up to be cannabilized alive by tongueless mutilated murders. I love him because he does it with such aplomb.

Wonder Woman confirms that Ryan Choi is, indeed, a hottie.

Like me, Desaad has a Heroclix room.

Giganta fights commando? TMI!

If you haven't been reading Countdown, it's probably time to start.

I think "The All-New Atom" is the most quotable comic book of all time.

Bob the Monitor Tivos himself?

Did you notice that the scene where Jay and Wally discover the emptiness that used to be Earth-2 is an homage to the same scene in Crisis on Infinite Earths (page 303, for those with the trade)?

Brother Eye goes mobile; now that is an Eyephone.

The secret mastermind of Ivytown may be ... Lady Cop?

Why does Wonder Woman question Black Canary's judgment? Because she doesn't really think she's running the JLA either.

Yes. Yes, Starman, I do. Thanks for asking.

Red Tornado, discussing his own uselessness.

Amazon slobber.

Granny Goodness being called a feckless harridan. Really, anyone being called a feckless harridan.

Wonder Woman and the Giant Floating Head.

Tim looked really good in Robin this month, despite being almost laughably out of character.

Oh my god, did Geo-Force actually do something ... useful?

Nix Uotan? Who names himself Nix Uotan?

Because you're a tramp, Vixen. You always have been.

Batman utterly ignores Black Canary's command decision and laughs in her face about it. Because he doesnt really think she's running the JLA either.

I gasped with shock when I saw what Wonder Woman was holding in her hand; I shouldn't have been shocked, but I am very pleased.

Thank you, Dwayne, for remembering her arm.

Do not ask Jonan Hex to supply the pinata at your birthday party.

A "Ted Grant Grease-Grabbing Grill"; priceless.

Batman's firm handshake.

Things That Annoyed Me...

... in my Wizard this week.

"Marvel: Their Biggest Year Ever!" I mean, really. Wizard already sucks face with Marvel monthly; did they really need to make it a theme?

"You like pickles?" p. 114. Am I the only person who doesn't get these?

"Hand over your corn nuts." p. 110. Okay, does anyone get these?

"rich but complex character dynamics" p. 106. Um, "rich" and "complex" are more like synonyms than antonyms, making "but" an inappropriate conjunction between them.

P. 108. If I got to ask Mark Waid any four questions I wanted, "When's the last time you had to be brave and/or bold?" would not be one of them.

P. 21. "Should Barbara Gordon be Batgirl or Oracle?" It's not the subject that bothers me; it's an interesting topic. Their debate topics usually are. It's that such potentially interesting articles are truncated at three paragraphs a side while there's an entire page with nothing but "THE BEST OF 2007" written on it (and other wastage, like a page on Cobra Commander). This is why people read blogs instead of Wizard. Well, that and wit.

P. 30. Nerdcore's "Naked Superchicks" Calendar. Sigh. The only way something this tawdry should be covered is with a large blanket.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

JLA The Movie

I have been asked to opine on the new Justice League movie. And so I shall.

Some of you may be expecting me to be snarkocritical about it and the casting. Or perhaps you're just hoping for me to be. But, on the whole, no. I don't expect-- or even want-- the studios to make perfect superhero movies for me. Sure, I'd like it, but I can make the movie I want in my head, anytime I want; we all can, and don't really need the studios to do that for us.

What we need is for the studios to help inspire another generation's interest in these iconic heroes of our common culture. If it's not exactly to your taste -- or mine-- so what? I don't care. And you know why?

Because what saved Batman was a ridiculous tongue in cheek show with some ham actors, almost none of whom were even remotely sensible choices for their parts. Yet it inspired a generation of Batman-fans, me included. You wouldn't have thought to do the show that way, and neither would I. In fact, we would have been outraged. Would you have chosen an old Latin lover matinee idol to play the Joker? Would you chosen the doughy thin-haired Adam West as Batman? No, you would not have.

Yes, the cast is young. GOOD. Sure, we usually think of our superheroes as being in the 30-35 age range, but that's in their prime with experience. When do you think they got all that experience? In their twenties. So please shut up about the cast being young. Maybe they'll be able to get more than one movie out of them before they became way too old for the roles. If I had my druthers, no one would be allowed to play any of the DC icons more than once, for a wide variety of reasons.

Arnie Hammer as Batman. Big thumbs up.

He's handsome. He's tall (REALLY tall). He's got a deep voice, blue eyes, and hair that can easily be dyed black. That's pretty much all you need, plus the suit. Besides, he can do charming but secretly creepy.

For those bitching, I have two words: shut up. No, wait, let me change that: Michael Keaton.

Scott Porter as Superman. Thumbs down.

I hate to do that, because Scott Porter is a great guy, and he loves comics. But, unlike be-suited Batman, Superman is all about The Look. Porter is handsome, of course, but it's the wrong kind of handsome. He's too ... cherubicky. He needs to look more like, well..

Jeff Pickel
Come to think of it, we ALL need to look more like Jeff Pickel. Sigh.

Okay, Pickel's a bit Italiany and unshaven here, but you know what I mean. He's dark, slightly squinty-eyed, square-headed, square-jawed with a dimpled chin and eyebrows that are an inkers dream. That's the Superman look.

Megan Gale as Wonder Woman. Big thumbs up.
Just exotic enough to be from Themyscira and she's still got that Linda Carter twinkle thing going on. I love her. All she has to do is to be able to act when not deflecting bullets.

Face it, guys, with at least five Leaguers in the movie, there's going to be lots of action and fighting and not tou much soul-searching acting. Unless, of course, they have Brad Meltzer write a screenplay for Brian Singer.

Common as Green Lantern. Thumbs up.
Looks right; can act; has street cred. In fact, more street cred than John Stewart himself, who (as written for the last 20 years) is a Big Old Oreo who conjures disco ball constructs and has all of Abba programmed into his ring.

Adam Brody as the Flash (Wally West). Thumbs up.
He's cute. He's funny. He's got a whiny voice. He''ll be a fine Wally West.

Of course, the REAL question, the crux of everything, the toughie is


Whoever puts on a batsuit is Batman. CGI will take care of Superman, GL, and the Flash. Wonder Woman is about the smile. But to play Aquaman you need not only the Look, but intelligence, humor, charm, depth. Someone like

Jeff Pickel

Although, if his schedule does not allow, they may have to go with someone else.

But who else could do justice to Aquaman, if not Pickel?