Saturday, March 08, 2008


Super-heroes I'm Mildly Embarrassed to Have the Hots For #1

Okay, it goes without saying that I -- and anyone else who has the hots for a comic book character --
should be embarrassed about it. But, of course, we're not.

And who can blame us? Unlike celebrity crushes, our crushes (on average) don't get any older, never get fat or have bad breath, are always available, and can be ours on a weekly basis for around three bucks. Sure, they're occasionally mind-controlled into murderous rages, deformed by bizarre secondary mutations, or the victims on astonishingly unwise costume re-designs. But no one's perfect.

Even so, there are some you're supposed to have crushes on -- the Dick Graysons and Hal Jordans of the world, the ones all the comic-book-reading cheerleaders giggle about in the girl's lockerroom -- and others you aren't supposed to have crushes on, the ones we skinny girls secretly moon over in art class.

Here's one I've never admitted in public...

Cannonball (Sam Guthrie)

I'm not embarrassed because he was probably underage when I first met him in the original X-Factor in, what was it, 1986. See, cuz now that makes him 21, so it's cool. Yes; that's how that works.

I'm not embarrassed because he's a backwood hick with what is surely an earthy smell. That doesn't embarrass me. Any more. You never met my ex, Roy, whose only comment during our first visit to the National Gallery of Art was, "So, are all them the originals?" True story.

I'm not embarrassed because he's not classically handsome and has a wild, unkempt haystack of hair. I've always been more drawn to intriguing faces than generically handsome ones (it's a moody art-class girl thing).

I'm not embarrassed because he's in skin-tight black spandex and leather with a studded collar, while sporting continual face scruff and disproportionately large hands. Actually, that's really hot.

No, I embarrassed because he's.... MARVEL.

Oh, well; no one's perfect.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • "Think clean thoughts, chum." Just as funny now as it was in 1985. If you're not reading Nightwing, you're missing out, folks.
  • The All-New Atom perfectly synopsizes superhero comics, in two panels.
  • "Who are we fighting?" Slowly, but surely, I'm beginning to love Donna Troy/Wonder Girl.
  • "Holy crow!" Robin needs to say that more. We all do.
  • I hope that if the time ever comes when I see the word "UNCOOL" burning on the ground, I'll know what to do... .
  • I know that when Ray said this, it wasn't supposed to be hilarious... "The nanoverse, the multiverse, and now Apokolips. No matter how bizarre my life gets, all I can think about is ... Jean." Even for Ray, Jean represents all the crazy-bad in the world!
  • "We are the Justice League because it's the right thing to be."
  • Even mountain goats don't know what to make of Aqualad's Girly Shrieking (tm). Of course, this is the first time you can't actually blame him for screaming...!
  • Red Lantern. Holy crow, they've managed to get me hooked on the Green Lantern Corps...!
  • Remember my post where I said no one quite knows where to triangulate Wonder Woman? I was wrong. Darwin Cooke does.
  • Thank you, Jason Todd, for being the one hero conscious of the need for traffic safety.
  • Batman's empathy for Blue Beetle and Booster Gold in JLU was one of the best bits of characterization all month.
  • I think I just stared for five minutes at the beauty of the house ad in New Frontier. I hope it's for real ... .
  • Wonder Girl crying? Very funny. Aqualad, while Wonder Girl's crying? Hilarious.
  • Ryan Choi enlarging one of his killer blood cells to the size of a VW. It's just the kind of thing a good comic book scientist is supposed to do.
  • Wonder Woman's "bra burning".
  • After the Teen Titans take down Green Arrow, the Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, Batman single-handedly beats the snot out of them.
  • "Bromophobe." Schwartz help me, I almost didn't hate Panda this month...!
  • Jonah Hex looked really hot this month. Er, from the neck down, anyway.
  • Robin the Boy Wonder carries a bat-handkerchief? Of course he does!
  • Ray Palmer hiding on the Heroclix Board of Doom.
  • The Demolition Team. I never thought I'd enjoy seeing the Demolition Team.
  • "Robin's cool." Yes, Aqualad; yes, he is.
  • "Please... my kidneys." Okay, Darwin Cooke is my new favorite humorist.
  • Wait... there's a gigantic metal statue of a PISTOL at the UN? That's hilarious! Particularly when there's a knot in the barrell.
  • The answer to "why Jimmy Olsen?"; simple and elegant.
  • So Robin starts out to bust a gang of hotrodders and winds up saving the President's life? That's our Boy Wonder!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Starman Goes Shopping

Meanwhile, outside the Opal City Megamall, we find the Golden Age Starman, just done picking up his weekly order of stellar cartography supplies from Starmart, when suddenly he espies a passel of the Green Arab's men, trying to heist a shipment of Crisis Heroclix on their way to the local Big Monkey. "The Green Arab's men! Probably after the highly resalable super-rares and chase figures; well, now they'll get a chase figure they didn't expect!"

After beating them senseless with his bare firsts and wit-wielding bravado, he uses his astonishing cosmic rod to levitate the truck back toward the loading bay, while instructing a local girl scout troop to truss up the bandits handily, in expectation of the arrival of Opal's Finest.

Just another ordinarily shopping trip for the Golden Age Starman, who then searches the parking lot for the Star-car so he can head back to the observatory with his purchases...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pogs in Crisis!

The big event this week is, of course, the release of the new DC Heroclix set, Crisis. It's got lots of Crisis-y types like Monitor, Harbinger, and the Psycho-Pirate (along with other figures that a normal person might want). But if you really want to replicate the feel of comics' most important and most vastly over-rated crossover, you need the little people who made it all possible. My first idea was to make a pog for each of the victims of the white walls of anti-matter. But after the first couple billion, the process grew somewhat tedious.

So I decided instead to focus on the supporting characters of Marv Wolfman's Magnum Opus.
Unfortunately, when your main cast includes every hero, villain, and other named character who's every appeared in over 40 years of DC's history, there's not much room for anyone else. Particularly when you've stupidly reserved all your character-development space for that prickly witch, Kimiyo Hoshi.

Still, a few figures manage to sneak in and stand out, and we mean to honor them by giving them bystander tokens to use in your new Crisis-themed Heroclix games.

The Founding Father!
Who knows who this guy might be? We know he's a signer of the Declaration of the Independence. Fortunately, from the picture, we have other clues: he's an older white male, who wears a wig; that should narrow it down! Any guesses? He's too thin to be Button Gwinnett; my money's on Caesar Rodney. Regardless, as a member of the FFs, he obviously gets Leadership.

Krunch, the Microphonophagic Caveman!
As previously mentioned, I love this guy. Is he actually eating the microphone, or just attempting to? This is just one of the infinite number of stories that will never be told, Mr. Didio, if you eliminate the multiverse. Again. Why, if this were Star Wars, someone would have written a fanfic novel explaining how this guy is Vandal Savage's father, Krunch Adg, and how Vandal turned him loose in a Warp Zone brothel, to produce for him lots of half-siblings whose body parts he could harvest later, saving his relationship with his daughter Scandal and a previously unmentioned brother, Randall "Randy Sue" Savage. Don't deprive us of that experience, Mr. Didio.

Harold J. Standish!
I could prate on and on about Harold's important role in cinematic history as the primary preservator of our silent film heritage. But it's moot because poor Harold isn't a bystander pog; he's a light object. Dead, you know. Dead and upstaged by, of all people, the Boring-est Man Alive, Barry Allen. Harold deserved better.

Barbecue Joan!
In her youth, Jay Garrick's wife Joan was a bombshell. Ah, but the years are not always kind, and I suppose trying to keep up with the world's fastest man must be wearing. What was once a beauty mark is now a hopefully-benign mole. By this point Joan looks like the pack-a-day waitress who gives you grief at a roadside diner just outside of Baltimore: "Ya want this steak medium, buddy, cuz I got otha tables, you know?" I'm thinking that steak is on the menu every night at the Garrick house. And baked potatoes with cream cheese. Ya want the apple pie with that, hon?

Drunk Wildcatita!

Oh, I know I should be nicer to her, but, honestly, I just can't do it. The espag-lish frac-toorado, the third-person self-reference, the... the bare feet. I abhor her. Oh, well, it's not too long after this that she swells the ranks of the Rolling Head of Pantha Back-Up Singers, courtesy of the not-particularly respectful Eclipso. But during the Crisis, she stumbled across the rooftops and out of our hearts, the perfect symbol of How the Opportunity Presented By a Universal Reboot Was About to Be Almost Completely Wasted. For that reason alone, she should be detested. Universally, so to speak. Note that she has Leap/Climb and Toughness, so you can have her stagger her way up to a rooftop, then knock her off with Force Blast. Good times.

The Warp Zone Newsboy!
In one panel, this one person has come to symbolize the indefatigable spirit of the entire DCU and its denizens. When the world -- not just yours, but ever world, and all possible worlds -- seems to be ending, what do you do?
Sell programs.

Mrs. Gofooey!

Now that is a broad. Mrs. G. is from the wide open spaces of the Old West (very wide). Now I know why all those movies were filmed in panoramavision. For obvious reason, she merits Toughness.

David & Phyllis Gerrold of Chicago!
Sure, laugh if you want, but they got more screen-time than Starman. And
they got lines. And four panels. And what did Starman get? Two one-panel postage stamp cameos, one of which was silent. More evidence of what a bad writer Wolfman is. You wanted DRAMA in Crisis? Starman IS drama.

Imagine how much cooler Crisis would have been-- would still be! -- if it had been told entirely from the perspective of the Golden Age Starman. Literature teachers would be giving their students COIE to read, instead of penny-dreadful folderol like Great Expectations.

But instead he chose the Gerrolds and the alter-dimensional after-image of their dead hippie daughter (extra points if you remember her name without looking it up!). Sigh. Yet another wasted opportunity due to the death of the multiverse.

Mr. Didio, these pogs cry out to you like moribund Whoville-ites: Do not kill our worlds!

In any case, readers, enjoy using this pogs with your new "Warp Zone" maps and Crisis clix!