Saturday, July 25, 2009


"Are you planning on bringing back some of the '40s heroes who have died, like Sandman or Starman?" Johns: "Yes."

"Even Vibe is going to come back." Johns said.


Thanks, Ryan!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Black Hand Week 2

Part Two of Black Hand Week, where I show that the creepiest villain around today was originally the biggest goober in comics.

"I hear Death calling my name. I have for as long as I can remember."

Really? Well, Black Hand, then your memory is not as long or as good as mine...! Because I remember that your original obsession wasn't death but...


Oh, you younguns probably don't believe me, eh? Well, you know what they say, seeing is believing.

See? I told you.

You may believe in seeing; but Black Hand believes in the wisdom of cliches.

So, basically, if your grandmother were a supervillain, she'd be Black Hand.

Making a costume out of a body bag is odd. Making a supervillain costume of whatever you have lying around from representing the Mid-Atlantic Leather Convention at the last Gay Pride Parade is even odder. Oh, wait; darn those black and white Showcase Volumes; let me fix that for you:
Anyway, before being revamped by Johns, Black Hand didn't get his "power absorber" from an alien; he invented himself. That's what villain used to do. They used to invent inventions that would have made them millionaires if they had patented them. But villains have no patience for the plodding patent process, so they use these inventions to rob jewelry stores.

So, while the original Black Hand was a goober, he was a brilliantly inventive goober, one who was both forewarned and forearmed.

Uh... what? Did Black Hand just talk to ... me? What the==?! More on that little eccentricity in the next segment of Black Hand Week.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Hand Week 1

OOOOooo, Black Hand is SO creepy!

But that's a credit to Geoff Johns and what he does best (the reinvention and revitalization of characters). Since most of you have probably never read a Black Hand story before his recent reappearance, you may not realize what a staggeringly impressive accomplishment this is.

Why? Well, it's one thing to make Hal Jordan cool again. Okay... cool for the first time. Hal was
never cool. Hal was always a moron. But he did have a rockhard Ryan Reynolds body, a hotshot job as a pilot, and a nearly omnipotent power ring that could do or make anything his tiny little mind could come up with. Even young Scipio liked Hal "Rockhead" Jordan. I can remember being a lad and pretending to be Green Lantern in my little green Garanimals suit, pretending the swing set was a rocket ship. My parents put a stop to that after the third trip to Children's Hospital to patch up the head injuries.

But Black Hand...?

Black Hand was a total goober.

His shtick was perfecting the art of crime. He was the Crook Who Couldn't Fail. Why?

Because he wrote down everything he learned in a little notebook.
I bet you think I'm making that up. I'm not... .

One wonders how many mistakes and trips up the river Black Hand had to take before he filled his Criminal Trapper Keeper with enough hard-won info to dodge the bulls. I'm guessing he's at least a ninety-seven time loser.

Hey, Black Hand, newsflash: real supervillains don't use Cliff Notes. Real supervillains commit crimes that spell out their names or form some kind of a pattern on a map of the city. Real supervillains have cars with their faces on them and thematic weaponry. Real supervillains rob trains on the fly using nothing but a paper clip, stolen chopsticks, and some Teaberry gum. You're a squinty-eyed, Gil-Kane-uglified accountant with a terrible barber. You're just a supervillain manque, a poseur, and a total tool.

See? I told you it was a Trapper Keeper.

So, what's with the "penny saved" nonsense? Where did he get that pointless costume?

Why is he going on about his family? And who on Earth-1 is he talking to...?

You'll soon find out, in part 2 of Black Hand Week!

Pep 28: The Very Talky Quiet Revolution

Revolution is not a pretty thing and the cover of Pep 28 is no exception to the rule.

We've already seen hints of what Pep scholars call the 'Quiet Revolution', that is, the Shield's slow loss of dominance over the comic book he made famous. But issue 28 is a watershed... .

It is the first time the Shield does not appear on the cover of Pep. At least, not in the main illustration. The Shield is relegated to the circular ghetto of a character imprimatur in upper right hand corner, displacing the usual promise of Pep's unique brand of Action Detective Adventure.

And indeed the symbolism is accurate, for instead of classic Pep-brand Action Detective Adventure, we are served schoolyard posturing and bluster. Talking?!?! Why is there talking on a Pep cover? When there's talking on a Pep cover, people, the terrorists win.

Responsible is none other than that odious poseur, Hangman, and *snicker* 'Captain Swastika', a villain so lame he wears chinos, sketchers, and a timex into battle.

Well, not battle, really. More like two dogs barking at each other through a fence. Two snitty, horribly dressed partisans, squatting like bears in the woods, hurling weak invectives in the form of failed haiku that appear to have been translated from Japanese, vying for position on a novelty sumo mat shaped like the contiguous U.S. Less focused on Action Detective Adventure than on his own appearance, Hangman made sure to bribe the lighting crew to get his signature silhouette on the backdrop of, um, well, space, or whatever that would be.

Oh, and for those who are wondering whether "Hangman can stop America's greatest menace?", the answer is clearly "NO"....

because Archie is still being published today.