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?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Whatever Happened to...?

Courtesy of everyone's favorite fitness nut, Lance the Blogger.

VH1's Whatever Happened to ... The Dazzler?

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Outsiders

As unlikely as it may seem, I spent the majority of the weekend in an elf costume. Why is not important, but it has made me focus on How To Make the Best of A Non-Ideal Task... .

Actually, as a comic book fan, that's something I do anyway. Sometimes, as an intellectual exercise, I try to imagine what I would do if DC assigned me to do something I really, really hated. Because any writer can write a character they love (well, anyone but Phil Jimenez), but it's a true test of a writer to write a character they hate.

It's an illustrative exercise. Not only does it help you identify and label what precisely you don't like about such characters or concepts, it helps you to realize that they might not be irremediable after all.

Take, for example, the Outsiders. Please. Badump dump. There are very few things in DC I hate more than the Outsiders. So what would I do if I had to write the Outsiders?

The question asked, I suddenly realize I don't hate all the individual Outsiders, just the ones created specifically for the team. Well, of course; they are brain(dead)-children of Enemy of Society Mike W. Barr, from whom, like abhorred Strife, no good can come (see Hesiod's Theogony, lines 226 - 232). How could it be otherwise?

Nor do I hate the concept of the Outsiders; a team created by gathering characters on the periphery of the established DC "families" and groups. Linking otherwise "free radical" characters into some core is consistent with the thesis of my pet concept, the Dynastic Centerpiece Model: that characters become greater when they are framed by their relationships with a larger group of characters. This is a recurring tack at DC, and has often revived moribund characters (Shadowpact, Suicide Squad, Secret Six, Dr. Thirteen's Limbo Squadron).

If my one arm were twisted to write the Outsiders but my other arms free to do so as I wished, I would start with gathering some of the real "outsiders", characters who've been pushed out of regular Dynasties and groups. Then I realized: I actually did that once, tongue in cheek.

If I wrote the Outsiders, here's roughly who might be in it.

  • Metamorpho
  • NOT Black Lighting (who has graduated to "insider" in my mind, and should remain in the JLA)
  • Huntress
  • The Question
  • Batwoman
  • Man-of-Bats and Little Raven
  • Red Tornado (who should not now be, or ever have been, in the JLA)
  • Reverb, renamed as Vibe II (end of subject)
  • Zatanna
  • Ralph Dibny (yeah; you heard me)
  • Vixen (I really can't believe I just wrote that)
  • Gypsy
  • Ice
  • Tempest
  • Owlwoman
  • Bloodwynd
  • Tasmanian Devil
  • Phantom Stranger (in his way)
  • Dr. Thirteen
  • Blue Jay
  • Little Mermaid
  • Baron Winter (an idea so dumb I figure it has to work)
  • Bulleteer
  • Belphegor
  • Super Chief (dead or not)
  • The Creeper

(1) Yes, I'm aware of the Detroit thing in there, and the Global Guardians thing.
(2) I really do NOT like some of the characters in the list; but I'm still entranced with the idea of including them. I consider that a good sign.
(3) I imagine it more as a co-op than a "team" per se. Picture a member proposing a mission at a meeting, and then other members volunteer to participate in that mission or not. No formal "leader"; just a facilitator, probably a civilian one.

I think a book about this group of "outsider" would be a good Outsiders. What do you think?