Friday, September 12, 2008

If This Week Had Been a Comic Book

Recently, I talked about the occasional momentary confusion that major comic book geeks can have when they forget which earth they're on. In effort to help solve this problem, I'm trying out this new feature, "If This Week Had Been a Comic Book". ITWHBACB highlights the differences between our world and the comic book world, by noting how the week would have gone if we were living in the comic book world.

The Birds of Prey would have revealed that a female vice-presidential candidate was, indeed, a genetically altered female canine, under the control of Prof. Milo's female daughter, Monroe Milo.

There would have been no observations of 9/11, not because heroes would have prevented it, but because two such hideous and featureless buildings would never have been drawn by a self-respecting comic book artist to begin with. Except in Central City, where no one would have noticed that they were missing.

Oracle and the Calculator would have joined forces to purge the Anti-life Equation from Google Chrome.

Aquaman -- the real one-- would have used controlled bursts of sea-water to extinguish the Chunnel fire and plugged the holes with giant tortoises until permanent repairs could be made, thus thwarting Vandal Savage's scheme to take over the world by slowing down the European economy.

Hurricane Hannah and Ike would have been redirected by Weather Wizard toward Central City, as part of a plan to rob the Sundoller at the Keystone Coffee Pier, but the potentially incredibly destructive hurricanes would have been dispersed by two miraculously non-destructive counter-tornados generated by Barry "Flash" Allen and Wally "Mid-Flash" West.

The political crisis in Zimbabwe and the Zuma trial in South Africa would have been solved, somehow, by Vixen (with secret help from the Bronze Tiger) and an improbably young and sexy black international troubleshooting U.N. diplomat who was Vixen's never-before mentioned first husband when she was modeling in, oh, let's say, Paris.

Wonder Woman would have led a parade against Sanlu Milk Company.

Wayne Enterprises would have bought Lehman Brothers Holdings, not because of its intrinsic value, but to save its employees' jobs, beating out a bid by Lexcorp, which intended to sell their body parts to scientists on Apokolips and Prof. Milo's female daughter, Monroe Milo.

S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City would have activated its new Large Hadron Collector (because where else would you put something that big?). It would, in fact, have caused an unanticipated disaster such as:
  • the creation of miniature black holes, that would mostly suck in people rather than other matter, which the JLA would stop, and the people, instead of being crushed into their constituent atoms, would have been rescued by Zatanna, Vixen, and Red Arrow.
  • angering a tribe of sub-atomic warriors who use miniature black hole cannons as weapons, whom the Atom would have to defeat.
  • alchemical cascades that spread elemental changes through the surrounding area like a plague, which Firestorm would have to stop.
  • the discovery that "dark matter" is a personified force that would then threaten to consume all bioenergy in the area, which would have been defeated by the JSA, but not before critically injuring the Ray, and, unbeknownst to his teammates, turning comic's only regularly recurring openly gay hero secretly evil. Again.
  • a new color of kryptonite.
  • the re-retro-re-creation of the Multiverse.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Shield: I'm not saying he's GAY, exactly...

Ah, making old out-of-context comic book panels seem really really gay.
Too easy? Too unoriginal? Too sophomoric?


This really needs to be on a tee shirt.
On the back.

Dude, you run JUST like Wonder Woman. And don't worry, dear; I'm sure the soldiers will wait for you.

The Shield is a notorious tease, particularly toward wealthy, older men. What is he pointing at?

I've never heard it put this way before:
Hey, love ain't all roses and candy, ya know.

I mean, really; a home tanning salon, with tan accelerator. And... restraints?
I bet that "medical book" is Physique Magazine.

The Shield tells the story of this panel:"So, there I was, jaunting along the balance beam, bringing the flaming pomegranate cosmos to the party, desperately late because Timothy and Benjamin forgot they were supposed to pick me up (again!), when I suddenly notice the self-absorbed little queens speeding past me in their Fortwo Coupe, with their two Pomeranians yapping at me through the window..."

Dude, if you want to get in to the Crew Club, just show your pass. You just KNOW he's pointing that foot in the same way he runs.

Oh, god, OF COURSE he deejays. And mixes it up against his rival, "Count Zongarr", in deejay battles.

What was that, Shield?
After your dad died of internal injuries,
you were raised by *snort* J. Edgar Hoover?
Um, yes, Lieutenant, I'm sure they believe you were *snicker*
by that Brazilian soccer team.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • Looks like Kyle's got a job pencilling for IDW.
  • Wonder Woman wishes her boots had heels.
  • I need to use that buster-blocking technique myself!
  • Batgirl (the real one) is in three different books this week.
  • You did remember that Janus is the god of doorways, didn't you?
  • Gorillas with briefcases. And their contents.
  • I'm positive that those three villains have never appeared all in the same panel before; if Killer Moth had been there the world would have ended.
  • See? Without Interlac, everything falls apart. LEARN INTERLAC, YOU NASSHEADS!
  • I did not expect to see Elvis driving the Batmobile this week.
  • "Actually, I like to do my own cooking" are very odd last words.
  • Why Anti-Venom is a threat to Spider-Man. Clever.
  • Hippolyta understands the true function of men.
  • Theo? Really? I was expecting "Ocuphagor" or "Kleptoculus". Theo?
  • Gauntlets-n-rapiers is almost as cool as bullets-n-bracelets.
  • So, when did Mike Grell do a Batgirl costume?
  • Allison's secret.
  • The camera's keyed to a tracking device? That's... amazing!
  • Judd Winick's inability to use any voice except the same one the Buffy characters all speak with officially became amusing this week with his, um, "dialog" for Dr. Sivana. Or maybe Judd's just never read a Captain Marvel story before.
  • "Try ducking." Hawkman is one of the DCU's few natural comedians.
  • Norman Osborne. Love that man.
  • What Hippolyta wants from Nemesis.
  • Speaking of which, that traffic cop is the PERFECT way to stop Mordru!!
  • The Strange Costumes of Batman!
  • Wonder Woman tries to get her mother out of the picture.
  • "Why an eight-year-old boy appears to have age 9 years, we don't know." Two words: Black Arrow (or Green Canary). Or Judd Winick. Or plot contrivance.
  • It's like... like Old Spice is listening in on my dreams...!
  • "Is there no sense of accuracy in this production?"
  • I don't think I've seen someone completely covered in eyeballs before.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Shield: Who He Is, and How He Came to Be

How does it begin, the glory that is the Shield?

With the least modest intro ever.

I bet Stan Lee's kicking himself for not thinking of this first.
"I'll rewrite the National Ant'hum to inclood Spiduh-Man's name!"

Our story begins in 1916, with the Shield's dad, an army intelligence officer, Lieutenant Higgins. Lt. Higgin's own intelligence is clearly directed forward, beyond the present and into the future. Although he's foresighted enough to already be wearing the fashions of three decades into the future, he's oblivious enough not to notice that his "superior" is actually a delusional (and rather effete) member of the Salvation Army.

"Further, you will procure for me a soft pretzel, lightly salted, no mustard. Good man."

Tom Higgins, you always know what to say: "Yes". You always say yes to anyone with a badge, or a flag... .

Anyway, like most junior army officers, Tom's also a cutting-edge biochemist.

Oh, how Colonel Pince-Nez would be displeased. You know, Tom, you were supposed to go to the Jersey Shore, not make immediately for your laboratory, where it looks like you employ your underage, unsupervised son in the mixing of highly volatile chemicals, in flagrant violation of several laws that didn't yet exist in 1916.

Thus did the young Shield invent the Flaming Pomegranate Cosmo,
that would one day put the fire in "Fire Island".

Actually, this is Joe Higgins IV. Tom's previous sons are dead (Joe I died from sulphuric asphyxiation, Joe II was reduced to handful of dried chemicals caused by Hantzsch pyridine synthesis, and Joe III experienced what the coroner could only deem "spontaneous combustion").

Meanwhile, his dad works to adapt Red Bull as a personal lubricant.

"Let's see, two quarts of Altoids cut with Viagra,
dissolved in a solution of two parts Moxie to one part absinthe..."

Suddenly, the smell of absinthe reminds Tom of his assignment on the Jersey shore...

"You do that, son, because if that suspension is allowed to separate, the components will spark a plasma explosion, vaporizing the apartment and probably a good chunk of Widow Haggerty's place next door. See you soon!"

Of course, instead of going to the Jersey Shore, the easily distracted Tom makes immediately for Georgetown, where he (like every other man) is stalked by Middle Eastern clothiers...

Really. Do NOT go clothes shopping in Georgetown, if you value your life, 'cuz those Middle-Eastern clothiers mean business, and they're armed with shoe trees...

"In the back seat, we have there suits just your size,
you will love the fit, and, for you, a special deal!"

Later, at the Haberdashery of Ambush, Tom escapes out the window while they're having his jacket altered:
Now we know where the Shield gets it from: apparently, the nervous habit of bursting into song at highly inappropriate moments (formally, Ethelmermania, or, colloquially, "Broadway Tour-ette's Syndrome") is genetic. The really gay among you may recognize Tom's little ditty from Act 2 of Cy Coleman's Defenestration Follies of 1940.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Steve Niles at Big Monkey!

Steve Niles, author of such horror titles as
  • 30 Days of Night,
  • Criminal Macabre,
  • Wake the Dead,
  • Batman: Gotham County Line, and
  • Batman: Gotham After Midnight
is doing a signing with us at Big Monkey this Wednesday evening.

Steve's a local boy, and we're happy to welcome him back to his old stomping grounds here in the District. Join us, won't you!

Why Magnus is Better than You, Fanboy

Because, unlike you, Magnus is not afraid to wear his Saturn Girl costume on the way to ComicCon.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Vibe vs. Geo-Force

Today, number of fans of Vibe on Facebook?


Number of people in the Geo-Force fan group?


Really. And yet Geo-Force continues to get things like Final Crisis tie-in one-shots, while Vibe lies, waiting, in that glass container at the Secret Sanctuary...

Ollie. Hal. Barry. Arthur. And, now it's time to bring back the final missing member of the Iconic Justice League: Paco.