Friday, April 13, 2007


I mean ... really, now!

Sub Diego: The Heroclix Map!

Today my extremely deep thanks go out to regular Absorbascommenter Kyle-Latino, who has done me the great kindness of creating an all-underwater map for Heroclix. This is something I've wanted for years now, but no one was able to help me; Kyle was and he did!

Finally, we have a Heroclix map for Aquaman, the fishclix, and other aquatic figures (standard and customized). Behold!


Some of the detail might be a bit hard to see on this picture (which does not do the original justice); you can download the full-size pdf image from this location.

As mentioned before, in an underwater map, hindering terrain affects only line of sight/targeting, not movement; that's because you can just swim over stuff like that. Thus, the collapsed brick walls are simply edged in green rather than being completely outlined.

Note also the fallen highway sign, amended to say "Sub Diego"!

At last, any customs of Aquaman related characters you may have had made, the fishclix pogs, the aquatic objects, all have a home of their own (instead of having to rely on the ersatz "Atlantis Rising" Battle Field Condition Card). I am prevailing upon the good folks at Xion Studios to make this map available for public purchase from them so that as many of you can enjoy it as possible; I'll let you know if they do.

Sub Diego has won its rightful place in the Heroclix world ... at the bottom of the ocean!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Friendless Wonder

Wonder Woman doesn't really have any friends, does she?

I don't mean supporting cast member type friends, though Zeus knows, she doesn't really have any of those either. Poor Diana is a victim (along with other notable figures like the post-Crisis Flashes and Aquaman) of a phenomenon I call "supporting castastrophe", the complete turnover of her entire supporting cast whenever she gets a new writer. Hippolyta, Etta Candy, Steve Trevor, Julia Kapatelis, Mindi Mayer, Ed that Detective Guy from Boston, the Gang from Taco Whiz, whoever the heck was in the Byrne run, Ferdinand the Minotaur and Rucka's Embassy Gang -- the Legion of Substituted Zeroes has an enormous battalion of Wonder Woman's castmembers.

But I'm not talking them; I'm talking about, well, "superfriends", for lack of a better term.

Batman and Superman are friends. Shovel all you want your Milleresque hooey about their being "naturally at odds with each" and "they could never be friends". Whether they're chummily selling war bonds together or bickering like an old married couple, the fact remains that they are socially paired.

Green Lantern and Flash, the Silver Age Duo, were also socially paired. Of course, in the Bronze Age, there was more of a Green Lantern / Green Arrow thing, but one thing was sure: none of the three hung out with Wonder Woman, sharing a six pack of ambrosia.

The JLA's Weirdo-in-Residence, the Martian Manhunter, has usually been associated with the other odd man out, Aquaman; they were "the Backup Boys". After the classical era of the JLA, their social pairing was reinforced by their work together in the Detroit League, and J'onn's repeated appearances in Arthur's (many many) titles.

Wonder Woman? The only woman in the original JLA was, de facto, a loner. Now, there have been so mighty efforts in the last few years to shore up her role in "DC's Trinity", and great strides have been made in making her a distinct personality with definite relationships with Batman and Superman.

But friends? Despite Brad Meltzer's insistence that the JLAers are all really really REALLY chummy, most other people I know think of them primarily as colleagues of hers. Batman and Superman are, historically and conceptually, paired with each other. "Batman & Wonder Woman" or "Wonder Woman & Superman" is never going to sound as natural as "Superman & Batman".

JLU, the animated series, made some steps in the right direction by pairing Wonder Woman with Hawkgirl. It was rather contentious, so I'm not certain it was a friendship, exactly, but it was certainly a social pairing, regardless of what their attitudes were toward each other at any particular point in the series.

Now that Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl are both in the JLA, will this pairing be reiterated? Perhaps it would be better if Wonder Woman were strongly paired with Black Canary, who like Wonder Woman is a hero with a strong Golden Age pedigree. It might help in the never-ending battle to have Black Canary taken seriously (because that'll have another serious setback when they have marry that loser, Green Arrow, whom she should have dumped permanently about 10,000 times ago).

Of course, since someone at DC seems insistent to marry Canary and Arrow, those two are, unavoidably, going to be a social pairing; so, maybe Wonder Woman should be best friends with Hawkgirl. Hawkgirl could certainly use the boost after DC fumbled her own title.

Regardless, Wonder Woman, of ALL female characters in the DCU, should have at least one female superfriend!

And, NO, it can't be Vixen. Ick.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


(A). An umbrella with sixteen ribs?
(B). Evening gloves in the day? I mean, really, dear!
(C). That's a dachshund obeying its owner.
(D). It's against the law to own two chia pets.
(E). That's Wonder Woman's car.
(F). There's no car parked temporarily in front of it.
(G). Not even Vic Sage wore a tie to chemotherapy.
(H). He's an American citizen.
(I). The plane is on time.
(J). In violation of the Clean Air Act of 1970 (as amended 1990).
(K). Factories have paneled wood doors?
(L) A grey hat with a brown suit and red tie? Catch me before I faint.
(M). Policemen must be over 18 years of age.
(N). Looks fien to me.
(O). Dr. Seuss was not an architect.
(P) Asian rent boys won't do that unless you pay them first.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

300: The Real Story

Friends, bloggers, commenters; lend me your ears!

Though I am a classical scholar, trained for years and dedicated to preserving and disseminating the truth of our glorious ancient past, yet have I held my tongue about the deceptions of 300.

With untold talents of silver having flowed through the box office from legions of ticket-buyers, I have cowered in fear at its numberless fans, lest they advance upon me, overwhelming just as the Persian horde did the defenders of Thermopylae. But, by Zeus, no longer!

Compatriots of the internet, the heart within me forbids my tongue rest. Too long have I remained silent on this mockery of history, this 300, while my fellow citizens flock to drink at the poison well of its lies!

Thus I shall now tell ye the true story of the battle of Thermopylae and its real hero:

The Golden Age Starman!

During the Persian War, Starman, his faith in the human spirit unbreakable, advocated to the Athenians that slaves be armed and trained to help the defense of Greece and, thus, of western civilization.

"As you treat men," he argued, "so shall they behave! Let us treat our slaves as fellow citizens and, in their eagerness to prove themselves worthy, they shall out-do us in their bravery at arms in protecting our nations."

But the Athenians, scoffing at his faith in mere slaves, rejected his proposal. Defiant, Starman
armed and trained his own slaves, preparing them to join him in battle against the Persian hordes.

Meanwhile, across the Aegean Sea, Xerxes organized the greatest army the world had ever seen, ready to launch his attack with his unfailing 'Immortals' and crush the Greeks forever. As the caption confirms.

But the genius of Starman being equal to the emergency, he crafted a plan. He and his followers would delay the Persian onslaught by occupying the narrow pass at Thermopylae.

This would Starman and his band of slave-warriors do, while the cowardly Leonidas and his weak-willed Spartans fled.

Inspiring his army of slaves with his unparalleled oratory, Starman led his troops to fight for the freedom of the very society that had denied them theirs.

Moved by this comic book irony, the tergiversatory Spartans finally found their backbones, and rallied to support the brave slaves.

Meanwhile Starman used his cosmic rod to hold back the Persian hordes. No, really. The contemporary sources all agree on that point.

The Spartans having relieved them of defending the pass, Starman and his brave slaves returned to Athens, having both saved Western civilization and taught it the error of its ways.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Torpedo Man

A lot of people seem not to know who the Awesome Threesome are; several people have asked whether it's one of those movies I keep locked in the den. No.

Well, actually that is the name of a movie locked in my den, but that's beside the point. The Awesome Threesome to whom I am referring herein are robotic enemies of Aquaman, who had a total of two appearances, one on the Filmation cartoon and one in the Aquaman comic book.

Now, two appearances may not seem like enough to warrant clixification, even custom-clixification. But remember, this is Aquaman we're talking about...

Remember, a villain is automatically an "old foe" of Aquaman the very first time he fights them; just ask Cutlass Charlie, Sea Thief, and Shark Norton. That's because, as previously discussed, almost no one ever fights Aquaman twice. The few who do automatically become Top Aquaman Villains (along with Black Manta, Ocean Master, Pomoxis, the Human Flying Fish, and the CW Network).

You might still be surprised that in my poll on "Of which characters should I have custom Heroclix made?", I listed the Awesome Threesome as a choice. Well, there are three reasons:
1. They are "Awesome". Duh.
2. There are three of them. Aquaman needs all the enemies he can get.
3. The leader of the Awesome Threesome is the Torpedo, who is awesomeness squared.

Before we get to The Glory That Is The Torpedo, let's pick up our copies of Aquaman 36 (DEC '67) and take a look at the other two people--
okay, then...
of the Awesome Threesome: Magneto and Claw.
I assume, by the way, that that's pronounced "Magnetto" as in "rhymes with Armaghetto". I mean, how else would you say it: "Magneeto"? Jeez, how stupid would that sound?

As far anyone knows, Magnet(t)o and Claw are robots. Since neither of them has ever gotten any speaking lines (let alone something like, "You know, it's kind of hot in this suit!"), I assume they are robots. Judge for yourself:

"Bizz buzz"? "Klik klang"? Okay, you just know these two were inseparable at Robot School. I can picture them now, dipping VICI's pigtails in the grease well, then blaming it on some poor sap, like Tin or Lead, until that little brown-noser, Twiki, ratted on them.

Magneto and Claw are your basic brainless bullies, but Torpedo... well! He's something else.

What exactly he is, I don't know; it's not certain whether he's a robot or not. He's described once or twice as Torpedo-Man. Man or not, the first time I saw this guy it was love at first sight...

Just something about his look I find ... irresistible.

Sometimes, when a guy as attractive as the Torpedo starts talking, it ruins everything. But Torpedo is even more eloquent than he is attractive!

Yeah, that's how I felt about Peter David's run, too.

Gee, Torpedo; based on that first word balloon,
you're already in the middle of the exposition, if ya know what I mean.

I swear by Neptune, if I ever hear a man seriously say,
"Slice and rend it!"
in my presence,
I shall declare him my soulmate for life.

So, what's the most annoying thing about fighting Aquaman? The dang fish, of course. Whenever a picture needs hung or a light bulb changed, Aquaman calls out the Hammerhead Shark and the Octopus. Oh, and the Whale; just on principle, there's always a whale.

Occasionally, there are bit parts for swordfish or flying fish (which are strangely ubiquitous in Aquaman's ocean), but usually it's the darned Whale, Octopus, and Shark. Most villians never get to touch Aquaman, because they're getting their butts handed to them by the Whale, the Octopus, and the Shark.

In Aquaman 36, what's the first thing Torpedo does?

Very smart guy. Robot? Six-foot marital aid? Whatever he is.

Not only is he smart, he's efficient and goal-oriented; that's always very hot in a guy (or, for that matter, in a robot or six-foot martial aid).

And you know darned well that any being who can say, "Continue to enjoy your weightless state -- or be destroyed!", could improvise the most beautiful love poetry!

Torpedo has four slaves in his thrall:
Magneto, Claw, the English language, and me.

But wait, what's this? Oh, no! Say it isn't so! It turns out that Torpedo has a fatal flaw:

Darn! Oh, well. Neither Aqualad nor I should be surprised, I guess;
guys like that are always on the bottom.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Risen!

He is Risen (397 pts)

  • Veteran Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) (165 pts)
  • Veteran Green Arrow (50 pts) + TRICK SHOT (20 pts) and RUNNING START (5 pts)
  • Veteran Animal Man (75 pts) + MOVETHROUGH (8 pts)
  • Veteran Wildcat (74 pts)

For a 300 pt version subtract TRICKSHOT, MOVETHROUGH, and either Animal Man or Wildcat