Saturday, October 06, 2007

Why We Hate Adam Strange and Rannies

So, a giant gun appears on your planet and floats about your capital city for several days.

Do you...

A. Send scientists to analyze the gun?

B. Evacuate the city?

C. Attempt to move or destroy the gun?

D. Wait until it starts shooting then hope that Adam Strange shows up to save your sorry ass, while you're dodging debris and the hurtling corpses of your loved ones?

GODS, how I hate the Rannies. I swear, it's like they evolved from cows or something.

Friday, October 05, 2007

JLA 13: Let's rap!


How interested are you in reading about:

A. Pollution

B. Black People

C. Gorillas

D. National Problems

E. Classic heroes portrayed as models of moral, physical, and mental fitness

F. Rape

G. Anorexic supermodels who shouldn't be in the JLA

H. Romance

I. The environment

Send in your answers today. Cut on the dotted line! Fold it! Send it to...
P.O. 393

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Comics Teach You Heroclix: JLA 13!

Some people seemed to enjoy my last exegesis of a JLA fight scene as a Heroclix battle, so I thought I would do it again using my Book of the Week, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 13. Let's look at the scene where a subteam of JLAers arrive to check out Firestorm's hospital (which is apparently gigantic, skylighted, and astonishingly empty of furniture, I might add).

Team One:
the Heroes

Green Lantern 98 points

Red Tornardo 67 points

Hawkgirl 51 points

That's 216 points. Ordinarily, when you make Heroclix teams, you compose them toward multiples of 100. In a "300 point game", for example, each player puts together a team whose total does not exceed 300 points. For each 100 points of game, each player gets an action per turn. In a 300 point game, each player gets three actions per turn; in a 400 point, it's four per turn. This team is too light for a 300 point game. No wonder the villains kick their butts.

Team Two:
The Villains

Killer Frost 76 points
Shadow Thief 65 points
Fatality 92 points
Poison Ivy 49 points

This team is 282 points. A nearly 70 point advantage is quite a lot in a 300 point game! But having more points and more figures doesn't necessary make a team superior; it depends on their powers, the map environment, and the players.

Sometimes, if you put too many figures on your team, you might find they are each too weak to overcome their foes. An army of 64 Snapper Carrs might be more points than one 251 point Superman, but guess who's gonna win that fight at the end of a very long game?

You know, stupid as it might be, watching Superman kill Snapper Carr 64 times would not be the worst afternoon I've ever had.

Heroes, First Turn, Three
Actions (all Moves).
Red Tornado, Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl arrive on the scene.

Fliers can carry one other figure who moves with them "for free", but they can't carry other fliers. Clearly, each of these characters is arriving under its own power, so each figure gets an action token for moving. That's a total of three actions, the number of actions alloted to each team in turn in this, a 300-point game.

Villains, First Turn, First Action (an attack to Incapacitate).
Killer Frost makes a successful Incapacit
ation on Red Tornado.
Why go for Red Tornado first instead of Green Lantern, especially since GL is obviously more powerful? Two possible reasons...

(1) Red Tornado has the highest defense of the three heroes, so he's first priority because if you don't make him vulnerable right away, you might not get a second chance.

(2) Red Tornado has Willpower when he starts out. We've discussed before that there's a price to pay for using the same figure twice in a row, called "pushing damage". A figure that acts two turns in a row is "pushing itself" and so takes a click of damage. But some figures have "Willpower", the ability to ignore pushing damage; it represents
qualities such as gumption, orneriness, or doggedness that have made the character "practiced" at pushing themselves, and therefore immune to its immediate effects.

Because all the heroes just moved, they all have action tokens on them, and ordinarily, they would hurt themselves
by pushing if they tried to retaliate next turn. But Red Tornado is immune to pushing damage because of Willpower. That means he's the most likely opponent to attack you first; so, you Incapacitate him, which adds another action token to him. Now, he cannot attack you, because no figure may move or attack of its own volition when it has two action tokens. This is why Killer Frost goes first; she can Incapacitate other figures, not just attack them.

Villains, First Turn, Second Action (failed Attack).
Shadow Thief attacks Hawkgirl
, but misses.

Shadow Thief and Hawkgirl don't have ranged attacks but they are adjacent to each other and can engage in "close combat".
Most basic "combat values" of a Heroclix figure are found on the dial within its base, and those values changes as the figure takes "clicks" of damage. But "range"-- the distance in "squares away" that a figure can make an attack-- is printed on top of the base and doesn't change as the dial gets clicked down. Each figure has range (anywhere from 0 to 12 squares, although a figure with a range of zero is also said to "have no range").

Figures with zero range have to be beside an opponent in adjacent square to attack. As you can imagine, it is very important to know the ranges of your team's figures and play them accordingly! Remember, when in
Identity Crisis when Kyle Rayner very stupidly tried to punch Deathstroke in the face? He made the mistake of coming within Deathstroke's range (six) when he should have attacked from eight or ten squares away (which is within Kyle's range but outside of Deathstroke's). Kyle just buys Heroclix because they're pretty sculptures; Deathstroke actually plays the game.
Hey, Hawkgirl, has Willpower! Well, of course, she does. She needs it simply to wear that hat in public. Shadow Thief needs to attack Hawkgirl right away, because she is definitely going to come out swinging next turn. But he misses! Uh-oh! I wouldn't want to be Shadow Thief!
We don't talk about rolling the dice much here but almost all attacks depend on a dice roll, and sometimes you just don't roll what you need to. It's good to have a back up plan, in case you miss making your attack roll. Shadow Thief's back up plan is to get face-maced.

Heroes, Second Turn, First Action (double attack).
Green Lantern hits both Shadow Thief and Killer Frost with the same attack.

Yeah, that's gotta hurt, no matter how fabulous your hair is. In addition to telling you a figure's range, a base also tells you a figure's "targeting" (represented by a number of cute little lightning bolts). Most figures just have one bolt; they can attack one opponent at a time. Some figures have two (even three!) bolts, and can target more than one opponent with a single attack. Multiple targeting is usually reserved for characters who have multiple weapons (Deadshot, Green Arrow, Batfamily members, Capt. Boomerang), use energy powers they can split up or fire from each hand (Obsidian, Green Lantern, Sinestro, Wildfire, Captain Atom), or make attacks based on psychology or perception (Dr. Psycho, Scarecrow, Mirror Master, Queen Bee). When you make such an attack you have to split the damage up between any figures against whom the attacks succeeds. Green Lantern does four clicks of damage, and here I'm guessing Shadow Thief takes one click and Killer Frost takes three.

Since GL just moved, he's pushing to do this and takes a click of damage, but it's probably worth it, because he's doing four clicks of damage to his foes.

Heroes, Second Turn, Second Action (successful attack).
Hawkgirl attacks Shadow Thief. She doesn't miss.

Hawkgirl, with Willpower, ignores the 'push', and clobbers Shadow Thief. I'm going to say Hawkgirl arrived on the scene on her second or third click; I mean, her arm's in sling, right? So she's only doing one or two clicks of damage at this point. She does hurt Shadow Thief, but she's probably clicked him on to one of the slots where he has Invulnerability or Toughness as his Defense power. Those are "Damage Reducing" powers, like we mentioned last time; they will reduce by one click (if he has Toughness) or two clicks (if he has Invulnerability) the amount of damage that he'll take the next time a foe successfully attacks him. In the case of the Shadow Thief, this represents that he's gone into more defensive, durable versions of his shadow form. Lots of really durable characters get these two powers (e.g., Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Krypto, Mary Marvel, Robotman, Steel).

Villains, Second Turn, Only Action (successful attack)
Fatality sneaks up and kayoes Hawkgirl!

Killer Frost and Shadow Thief probably don't want to push this turn; they've already taken a beating. So they rest, and Fatality attacks. Hey, who put her on the team? One of the differences between comic book battles and Heroclix battles is that in a comic book, you can use the element of surprise. That's hard to do when the person you're playing against can see everything on the board just as you can!

Anyway, Hawkgirl, with her lower defenses was an easy target and Fatality does four clicks of damage, and that's enough to reach the point on Hawkgirl's dial that has nothing but little red
KOs on it. Hawkgirl is out of the game.

Next turns; everyone "rests".

Oh, in the comic they do some posturing to give the artist something to draw and trade barbs so the letterers can pay the rent. But this is just a holding pattern. In Heroclix, you don't have to make actions every turn; when you "rest" a character by not giving it an action during its turn, you can remove the action tokens it has accumulated, thus freeing it to act on your next turn.

In an actual Heroclix game, this is the point at which Red Tornado would thaw out and start making wind at people. But apparently Dwayne McDuffie has no more respect for him than I do, so he will remain as a Tornadoscicle, essentially kayoed from the game. For our purposes, we can imagine that Killer Frost wasn't really kayoed by Green Lantern's boxing glove and that she continues to attack Red Tornado until he's out.

Heroes, Fourth Turn, Only Action
Green Lantern moves to "base" Fatality

Hawkgirl's out of it. Reddy's being/has been Killer Frosted. It's all up to Green Lantern. Instead of a boxing glove attack, he moves in close to Fatality and bottles her up. Why? Because Fatality's Damage power is Ranged Combat Expert; this increases the damage of any successful ranged attack she makes by two clicks. If you move adjacent to a figure, it can only make a close combat attack against you (that is, any attack of zero range) not a ranged attack (an attack from a non-adjacent square). [Actually, those of you who play lots of Heroclix will notice that I am not telling the entire truth at this point, but I think you'll understand why and forgive me.] So by moving adjacent to Fatality (which is often called "basing" someone), he reduces her effectiveness.
Some figures are designed best for distance combat, with powers like Running Shot (move up to half your top movement, then make a ranged attack), Ranged Combat Expert (increase damage by 2 clicks for ranged attacks) and Deflection (increase defense value against ranged attacks by 2). Such "ranged fighters" include the likes of Adam Strange, Capt. Boomerang, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, The Ray, Starman, and Dr. Polaris.

Some figures are designed best for close combat and have powers like
Charge (move up to half your top movement, then make a close attack), Close Combat Expert (increase damage by 2 clicks for close attacks) and Combat Reflexes (increase defense value against close attacks by 2). Such "hand to hand fighters" include the likes of Batman, Cat-Man, Wonder Girl, Timber Wolf, Hawkman, Bronze Tiger, Captain Marvel, and Animal Man.
Anyway, basing Fatality ties up Green Lantern, too. If you are based with an opponent, you're pretty much stuck fighting them until one of you is kayoed or runs away. Or until something else weird happens that separates you, like a teammate carrying one of you away (which, remember, fliers can do) or someone getting knocked away by the force of an attack (which happens when you roll doubles on a successful attack). That means Green Lantern can't attack the weakened Shadow Thief unless Shadow Thief moves adjacent to him, so GL taunts...John Stewart plays Heroclix. Probably with Dwayne McDuffie.

Villains, Fourth Turn, Only Action.
Poison Ivy incapacitates Green Lantern.

Oops. When GL moved next to Fatality he didn't see Poison Ivy right there, and she successfully Incapacitates him.

Don't be suprised GL didn't see Ivy; she has "
Stealth"! When a figure with Stealth is in or behind what's called "hindering terrain" (squares marked on the game board to represent areas where there's stuff to hide behind, like trees or furniture or smoke), other figures can't "see" it to attack. This is a very very nifty power, particularly if the figure is good at close combat and is facing distance fighters. Batman family figures often have Stealth (or the nearly identical 'Batman Ally Team Ability'), and are always sneaking around the board. Lots of Batman Enemies have Stealth on their first click, just so they can deal with Batman, really. Plus it lets them make those dramatic entrances they do, like in Jim Lee full-page splashes where they just stand there, waiting to get printed on a poster.

This is very bad for Green Lantern. He's taken two clicks of damage from pushing/being pushed by incapacitation. That puts him on his third click, where his defense against a close combat attack is only 14. Poison Ivy will push to attack next turn and probably succeed, which takes him down another notch, and puts her on her second click which has the "Poison" power.

Poison is like a free attack every turn; all she has to do is sit beside him and each turn he takes another click of damage.

Even if he manages to hit her once or twice, he'll be kayoed before she is. Poison is one of those powers that either works really well or not at all. Durable characters with powers like Toughness or Invulnerability just ignore it, and swat the poisoner like a bug. That's why you hold your poisoner in reserve, waiting until your heavy hitters have made the opponents vulnerable. Then you bring them out to finish them off.

Which is exactly what happened in this scene from Justice League 13.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

JLA 13: Unlimited License

Along with fixing the problems of the previous writer, Dwayne McDuffie has begun his run on Justice League of America by moving it squarely in the direction of Justice League Unlimited, the animated series he used to write for.

Thank GOD. More power to him.

The Justice League is an amazing concept. But its first 9 years? Crap. I know; I own the Archive Volumes that cover those years. Remember the Super-Duper? I do.

Then the Silver Age JLA ended at the hands of the Joker, who struck at the weakness at its core, the detested Snapper Carr.

The next 14 years were also painfully bad, just in a different, Bronze-y way. I bought lots of those stories when they were first published. Remember Starbreaker? Remember when Young Gerry Conway had Two-Face become the mediary for a trio of statues of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson that had been animated by the alien Dronndarians? I do.

Then there were the Justice League Detroit and Justice League International. They had their dubious virtues (Vibe and the Martian Manhunter, respectively), but we all knew they were impostor groups. Morrison's JLA had the players, but plot-wise it was muddled gibberish (it was the usual Morrison: all concept, with haphazard execution). Then we spent the next few years watching the JLA be eroded from within to suit the demands of universal crossover, only to be followed the Meltzer run, which was a decompressed Avengers novella written on Superfriends stationery.

In short, the Justice League has pretty much ALWAYS been bad, and gotten away with it because the Justice Leaguers themselves are so popular. Basically, the only time the Justice League has ever been a good story was on Justice League Unlimited, where some people had the crazy idea that DC's best characters deserved good stories. It was literally the best thing to happen to the Justice League in 30 years, and helped point the way toward a new, revived DCU.

So if McDuffie wants to bring it closer to the only bright spot in Justice League history over the last thirty years, I say more power to him, and, frankly, any who says otherwise might just be an idiot.

A Partial List of JLUifications in JLA No. 13 (Can you spot any others?)

1. Replacing Hal Jordan with John Stewart.
Fine on its face: GLs are pretty darned interchangeable. John's a better team player than Hal, anyway.

2. Make a connection between John Stewart and Hawkgirl.
Hey, it did wonders fleshing them out as characters on TV, and face it, they could both use it right now. The Hawkgirl/Hawkman thing is tedious and goes nowhere, our collective barf buckets are still unemptied from the horrid Red Arrow/Hawkgirl thing. I give my personal blessing to John and Kendra.

3. Clobbering Geo-Force out of the picture and off panel.
Really, shouldn't that alone inspire you with confidence in McDuffie, even if you've never seen a JLU episode? For the record, an enormous number of DC heroes, many of them quite obscure, were shown to be part of the JLU; Geo-Force wasn't one of them.

4. Assembling an Injustice League under Lex Luthor.
For all those people bitching, "It's been done before"-- yeah, ya think? Heroes fight villains. Groups of heroes fight groups of villains. That's kind of how that works. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should be reading Blankets instead.

5. Actual fight scenes.
Not just a big splash page that's a picture of whole bunch of heroes & villains in mid-fight. You can get away with that in a "timeless" medium like comics, but on tv you need to see a sequence of events. So I mean a battle like you used to see on JLU (and in the tradition of the original JLA stories), where one person attacks using his power, and then another one counterattacks with his powers, and there's a clear winner. More on that tomorrow. MUCH MUCH more on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

JLA 13: Black Canary, still not the leader of the JLA

One of the complaints readers had about Brad Meltzer's run on Justice League was that he wasn't able to show effectively why Black Canary was chosen as leader of the team, or show her leading it effectively afterwards.

But, you know what? McDuffie has been fixing many of Meltzer's gaffs, one by one, but this one has gotten even worse. In JLA 13, it seems almost that McDuffie has gone out of his way to show that Black Canary isn't leading, or certain not leading well.

1. While Black Canary is still recovering from kissing off Ollie, Green Lantern has already begun the meeting and briefed everyone on the situation.

2. Superman, Black Lightning, and Green Lantern debate Hawkgirl's fitness for duty. Black Canary has no say in the matter.

3. Black Canary mentions that one team has been out of contact for a while, Superman and Green Lantern decide what that means and that something needs to be done.

4. When Red Tornado asks for a battle plan, Black Canary does come up with one. But "Split into two groups and retrace their steps, okay?" isn't the single greatest example of clear and decisive leadership I've ever read. Can you imagine Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, or Aquaman saying, "Split into two groups and retrace their steps, okay?" They would say, "You, you, and you, do this; you, you, and you, do that. Let's go, troops; stay close to one another and be careful."

5. Then Superman decides he's leading one of the subteams, and decides who he's taking. THEN, when they let Canary pretend she's picking the other team (it's everyone who's left, natch!), Green Lantern questions, then countermands the decision, points out a huge flaw in the decision, and changes the team. Far as I can tell, Green Lantern is leading the JLA.

6. Black Canary is utterly unaware that anything is amiss with Vixen's powers. Superman has to figure it out and confront Vixen. Then, neither of them say anything to Canary about it. Can you imagine him not telling Batman, Wonder Woman, or Aquaman? Can you imagine them not knowing already?

7. Then, when the villains show up, Black Canary shows that she's not a very good leader or, for that matter, Heroclix player. Canary; you're a Secondary Attacker. Use your Primary Attacker, Superman, first. Then, once they are softened up, your own attacks will be more effective. If you'd attacked with Superman and/or Vixen first, then you would have been free to tie up Parasite.

8. Black Canary shows that, not only is she a bad leader, she's a bad team member, and a crappy Heroclix player. When faced with three villains all of whom would be sensitive to her superpower, she decides instead to kick one in the face. Why? Mostly because she's indulging a delayed emotional reaction to something he did, oh, maybe 7 years ago. Yes, I can forgive BC for being emotional about rape in general, and the rape of her friend in particular. But if she can't do her job because of it, then she shouldn't be leading the JLA, or even in it. Can you imagine Aquaman or Wonder Woman doing what she did? I can't.

9. Once the villains have retreated, who retrenches and starts to make plans for their next move? Superman and Black Lightning.

Now, you could make the case that this portrayal of Black Canary is sexist. In fact, I'll wager there are about 147 blogs, livejournals, and podcasts that already have done so this week. And maybe it is. But there's another possibility:

Maybe McDuffie isn't to blame here.
Maybe this isn't the way Black Canary is being written.
Maybe it's the way she is.
Now, a good number of you will immediately dismiss me as insane or sexist for writing that. But I've come to believe these characters, having been around a long time, develop quite a lot of "inertia of characterization". Big ships turn neither quickly nor sharply. It's hard for anyone (at least, anyone who knows enough about them to become their writer), to change dramatically who they are, or even to write them too far out of character (except for, you know, Frank Miller).

For example: Geo-Force is a pompous, callous, ass. Recent attempts to refresh him in the public eye have led to a re-evaluation of the character in a new era, with new writers, and new readers, who seem to have reached a new consensus: Geo-Force is a pompous, callous, ass. I happen to think that's simply because... he is. The frog should not blame the scorpion for stinging, folks.

Blame it on Julius Schwartz, for inculcating me with the tenet that everything the writers here on "Earth Prime" write is merely a "reverberation" in their brains of what's happening on the "other Earths". Blame it on collective fandom memory, for whom each story of a character is merely an instantiation of the unalterable Platonic idea of that character. Blame it on me, for being a pompous, callous ass. But don't necessarily blame it all on McDuffie.

Some may object that Black Canary proved her leadership under a different writer (the glorious Gail Simone), who is the principal architect of the modern day grooviness of Black Canary. Perhaps. But (1) Black Canary was more of an MVP in Birds of Prey; Oracle was, and is, the leader. (2) Birds of Prey was, and is, a great team. But they are a great B Team, and Black Canary was the big fish in that smaller (but still rather large!) pond. The JLA is the A Team, folks, and Black Canary is surrounded by fish that are larger than she. And it's showing.

Don't get me wrong; I like Black Canary. I like her now more than I ever have. But, I like lots of characters, without thinking they are the appropriate ones to be leading the JLA. I don't think it's just because she's a woman or isn't the strongest member. After all, two of the greatest leaders in comic team history were Saturn Girl and Dream Girl of the Legion, neither of whom is exactly a powerhouse. I wouldn't buy Superman as the leader of the JLA, either; no matter how many times writers try to foist leadership onto Superman (usually in crossovers) it's always extremely ill-fitting. Superman is a fullback, not a quarterback. Aquaman is a quarterback; John Stewart is a running back; Flash, a wide receiver. Black Canary? Tight end.

It's exactly because I like Black Canary that I don't like seeing her lead the JLA; frankly, it's making her look bad. Brad Meltzer "promoted" her out of some misguided sense of Affirmative Action when the previous characterization to support it hadn't yet been built. Now JLA reads like a theater group where a weak director is being gently back-led by her company of strong actors.

When do Aquaman and Martian Manhunter get back?

Monday, October 01, 2007

JLA 13: Damage Control

I'm not sure that everyone gets everything they deserve out of the comics they buy (myself included). So this entire week, I'm going to focus on one single issue of one single, current comic book: Justice League of America No. 13, the beginning of Dwayne McDuffie's run.

While it's the beginning of his run on JLA the series, it's not the beginning of his run of JLA the group, which was the juggernaut that was JLA Wedding Special #1. So, I'm going to 'cheat" and count that as backstory to JLA No. 13, and therefore within the purview of this week.

McDuffie's first order of business? Repudiating the problems of the previous run. Here are just a few examples.

Fanfic is Replaced by Fiction for Fans

It begins with a deliciously wicked parody of the much-maligned Trinity at the Table scenes from Meltzer's run, in which the "Anti-Trinity" do in five pages what their enemies weren't able to do in five months: put together a team.

Already we know that McDuffie knows the difference between what's ridiculous (the previous JLA run) and what's funny (the new one). Already we know that McDuffie knows that readers want to see heroes fighting villains, not other heroes. Or playing chess. Or capture the flag.

Mensacentric Inactivity Minimized

In the previous run, there was lots of sitting around talking, and precious little doing. The JLA do have a meeting in JLA No. 13, but it is short, and consists entirely of necessary recap and battle plans. Now let's go kick some villain tail!

The Name Game

One of the most jarring features of the previous run was JLAers using their personal names constantly, even in battle. In JLA No. 13, members are still not using their codenames all the time. But neither are they using their real names all the time. They seem to be choosing which to use based on the situation, or as a signal to the readers of other things. For example, when Black Canary reassures Green Arrow, she calls him Ollie, which is understandable since the subject is the well-being of Red Arrow (who is always called "Roy", I note, by everyone). Superman calls Vixen "Mari", when he's having a heart to heart with her, and "Vixen" when they get to work. Green Lantern almost always calls people by their codenames, but the exceptions are noticeable. He calls Roy "Roy", because he doesn't want to say "Red Arrow" anymore than we do. He calls Hawkgirl "Kendra" most of the time; I'll let you figure that one out for yourself. And he always calls "Black Lightning" Jeff, probably because he relates more familiarly with him as a fellow black crimefighter with whom he seems to have a previous friendship (according to McDuffie, at least) and because he can't say "Black Lightning" without sniggering.

What the Heck Was THAT All About?

The plot (such as it was) in the previous run (which was really just one really really long story) wasn't very clear and relied enormously on outside and previous knowledge of the DCU. Frankly, I still am not sure what happened or why. McDuffie fixes this by explaining everything he can: Vixen's power problem, Dr. Light's history, the events of the Wedding Special, even how some of the characters are using their powers. Meltzer seemed to be trying to get away with explaining as little as possible, and McDuffie takes the opposite approach.

This is a big improvement over the previous run, where characters only finished their sentences about two thirds of th-- , and we were left to fill in the blanks. And even though Brad Meltzer had the guts to bring back the Hall of Justice (for which I applaud him loudly), he never had the guts to actually CALL it that, always calling it simply "the Hall", as it he were writing the Elk Lodge of America. McDuffie has no squeamishness (or "cuteness", whichever it was).

Bald Lightning
  1. Having someone question (like every fan did) why Black Lightning would shave his head?
  2. Coming up with a reasonable explanation?
  3. Making fun of it for being dated?
  4. Having John Stewart be the mechanism for exposing all this?
  5. Topping it all with an in-joke for JLU fans?
That, folks is a Five-Star Fix of a Bad Decision By Previous Writer. Dwayne McDuffie did more to flesh out those characters for me in one conversation than the rest of DC's writers combined over the last ten years. You rock, McD.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Monkey Business

The Washington Post has a lovely little article on the Big Monkey Comics Women's Group today, courtesy of our friend, Jen Girdish. If I had my way, every comic book store would have a women's group. Of course, if I had my way, every comic book store would be a Big Monkey... !

The Women's Group, by the way, meets this Wednesday night at Big Monkey. Through absolutely no coincidence at all, that is also the Biago chocolate tasting at Big Monkey, with free samples offered and explained by our friends at our local chocolate shoppe, Biago Chocolate. Yes, folks; dark chocolate, shiny comics, and bright fans of both!

Come on in Wednesday night and enjoy a bar or two!

If you can't wait until Wednesday to visit us, you're in luck. Tomorrow evening Big Monkey is hosting the Monthly Monday Mixer for Washington's Mid-City Business Association. If you'd like you can show up, schmooze with all the business owners in Mid-City, and tell them how fabulous we are. it will be catered by our wonderful friends from Rice. You'll even be able to meet Lance the Blogger there in person!

Last Saturday, there were 13 participants in the second leg of our "Starro Attacks!" Heroclix tournament series. And that's without counting Ben "Whiten THIS!" Hatton, Devon "I'm not turtling, I'm holding my forces in reserve" Sanders, and Tom "Tell Santa what you'd like for Clixmas" Price.

The tournament series has five legs (duh... it's a starfish, people!), with participation prizes for each contestant in each leg. On the first week, the prize was a Starro-Slave Aquaman (with glorious special powers like "King of the Sea"); last week it was the Starro-Slave Flash (the first clix of Barry Allen!).

Join us this coming Saturday (either to play or just kibbitz) at 1PM, where the participation prize will be the awesome Green Arrow with a Starrophyte Covering His Stupid Face! Rumor has it the entire World Association of Green Arrow Fans may show up to participate, which would break our attendance records if both of them decide to come!

Heroclix Pog: the Running Dog

Sunday is custom Heroclix pog day, and today's is The Running Dog, starring the Credited Andrew Carl.

Don't you hate those craven hirelings who run at the little sign of trouble, such as the advent of a punishing alien that fires beams of energy from its hands or eyes that can level buildings? Spineless pansies!

Then you need to hire the Running Dog.

He's quiet and you can pay him in Sunny Surplus coupons.

He's armed for bear and actually looking for one.

He's determined, as represented by Willpower on his dial.

And he's a pitiless, stone cold killer, the kind who listens to opera in his headphones while aiming at your opponent's pesky Lian Harper.

How can you not love this man?

By the way, we are still looking for suitable submissions of personal photos for the following pogs:

  1. The Scrapper*(he's fast in a fight)
  2. The Gunsel (look weaselly; gunsels are always weaselly. The Gunsel has Stealth).
  3. "Two-Gun" (I don't care if you're a grandmother of four, if you can get two real pistols in your hands in the pic, then you are Two-Gun)
  4. The Gunwoman (in a pantsuit, I should think)
  5. The Gunslinger (he watches the Country/Western channel)
  6. The Punk Kid (if you're a bit long in the tooth, I'll just take off the 'kid' part)
  7. The Enforcer (this guy looks he'll hurt you, for money)
  8. The Bruiser (this guy is big but slow)
  9. The Tough Guy (this one has Toughness, so please look you could actually take a punch to the face without falling over)
  10. Judo Guy ("I paid Joon Rhee good money for those classes and now is my chance to show off for the boss!)
  11. Judo Gal ("I am totally going to show up that jackass, Judo Guy!")
Should be pictured with gun.