Thursday, September 13, 2012

52 Things I Wonder About

1. Is there a Starman? Was there ever? If not, how can there be a Stargirl in the JLA?
2.       There’s an Atom in the big two-page spread battle between the JL and the JLA preview.  But there’s no Atom in the previewed posing shot of the JLA. Is the Atom there, but we can’t see him/her?
3.       So with the new slenderized Amanda Waller and Etta Candy, are there essentially no fat people in the DC?
4.       Where does Supergirl live? And who does her hair?
5.       If Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner are still Green Lanterns, when and why in the last five years did that happen?  Did the Guardians just pick a replacement for Hal every time he had a major concussion?
6.       Once we’re done suffering through Wolfman’s atrocious “Rosemary’s Baby” redux in Night Force, can Baron Winter join Justice League Dark?  Not that he’s much of a joiner, mind you.
7.       How long before we see Krypto?  Because certain concepts are simply unavoidable.
8.       Do Earth-1 villains have Earth-2 counterparts?  I don’t think we’ve seen any yet.
9.       Why doesn’t the CW put the Octopus Gang on “Arrow”?  I mean, you’d watch that, right?
10.   How did the Justice League get a satellite HQ, when most of them seem to barely get by in their own lives?
11.   Will Ted Kord be the Blue Beetle of Earth-2? Does Booster remember the Ted Kord of the old Earth-1?
12.   When does Morrison leave Action Comics?  Because I’d like to start reading it.
13.   There’s a new KGBeast Heroclix figure out.  Was there still a KGBeast?  Because that character barely made any sense 30 years ago, let alone now.
14.   Will we ever see a new Rainbow Raider?  Do we want to?
15.   When on Earth-1 did Plastic Man happen, and how?
16.   Do we know how Green Arrow got off the island?  Was it Aquaman?
17.   Where’s the Riddler?
18.   Will Wally West be the Kid Flash of Earth-2?
19.   Speaking of which: has Barry ever met Bart?  Because I can’t help thinking that meeting a grandson he’s never had and almost certainly won’t would crop up somewhere in his book. And if he’s aware that there is a “Kid Flash” in the Teen Titans, don’t you think he’d do something about that?
20.   If Cyborg is going to be pushed as a JL-level icon, shouldn’t he have his own title?  He doesn’t even have a supporting cast.  Or is he truly the Replacement Martian Manhunter, with no life/activities outside the League?
21.   When is someone going to deal with the fact that Damian is too old to be Batman’s son?
22.   When did Deadman die?  And howcum the JLDark can see him?
23.   Shouldn’t the existence of Supergirl be a much bigger deal in the DCU?  At least in Superman’s books?
24.   Why doesn’t the Red Hood’s hood cover his head? I mean… that was his original thing, you know?
25.   Does Batman know who killed his parents?
26.   Wonder Woman is evidence of the existence of the Greek Gods.  Does that have some impact on the world religious landscape?  Or at least enrollment in Greek classes?
27.   If the new GL is from Dearborne and Vibe is still from Detroit, is the JLA the new Detroit League? 
28.   How old is Nightwing? Really, he can’t be more than 20, can he?
29.   What is the relationship and division of jurisdiction between DEO and ARGUS?
30.   Do we know whether there is red kryptonite yet?
31.   Were you as impressed by the backup story in Batman #0 as I was?
32.   So, when exactly did the whole “Aquaman rules Atlantis” thing happen, and why?  We pretty much know zero about Atlantis, right?  Maybe it’s in Graves’ book.
33.   Are the Trinity the only heroes whose identities are the same on both Earths?
34.   So, obviously, there was a previous generation of ‘adventurers’, since Zatanna, Sargon, and Dr Occult all precede the Justice Leaguers.  I guess they just weren’t particularly public about it.
35.   Does/did J’onn J’onnz ever have a secret identity?
36.   Is there an Eclipso?
37.   More frighteningly… is there a Jean Loring?!
38.   Will Green Arrow and Hawkman become fast friends in the JLA? Because that would be great irony.
39.   So, do people know about Power Girl?  And if so, what do they know?  I can imagine Huntress going under the radar….but not Power Girl.
40.   Are there more than two Earths now? How do we know?
41.   Why did they ruin the Phantom Stranger by giving him an origin?  Now he’s not a stranger any more.
42.   Is there still a Star City, Stupidest City in America?
43.   Why does “Grifter” get a series rather than other Wildstorm types?  He doesn’t seem any more interesting.
44.   If ARGUS isn’t military then why are they using military personnel as their representatives?
45.   So does Dollman pre-date the Atom as a shrinking hero?
46.   Will Wonder Woman’s rooftop discussion with Superman and the targeting of Steve Trevor because of their relationship lead her to adopt a secret identity?  And if so, will she become the owner of a 1960s/70s vintage boutique?
47.   Hugo Strange—villain from the past or one we’ve not yet seen?
48.   And the LAST five questions YOU get to contribute….


Monday, September 10, 2012

Octopus Week #7: Arms and the Man

Green Arrow and Shaft Lad have the Octopus cornered in his hideout, where nothing can possibly go wrong.

Ollie, next time, follow Batman's example: always led the kid go in first.

Okay, almost nothing.  Even I can't blame Ollie for walking into this one.  Who expects an octopus in the living room?

You know, if I'd lost my virginity to an octopus while my not-dad was watching, 
I might have turned to drugs, too.

Green Arrow, using the power of comic book irony, saves himself (and Arrow Boy) with his tentacular suction-cup arrow.

Bet Michaels is feeling foolish about not having a weapon on him now. 
"Eight hells!  If only I had a sock with an eight-ball in it!!!"

Octavus gives up when he recognizes that it's Green Arrow. Because Green Arrow knows Aquaman.  And Topo.  Octopuses don't have a lot of heroes to look up to, you know.

The Octopus tries to make a getaway.

The "gang boss"? 
Even the kid who works with Green Arrow is embarrassed to call him "the Octopus".

But Ollie stops him with comic book irony.

Dude; the tentacle hat isn't even shielded?!  You suck, Michaels.

 I'm not even going to pretend to understand that.

The lesson of this story?

Don't put your faith in a disturbed man with a weird hat who attempts elaborate thematic jobs, sometimes on television, armed with nothing more than delusions of grandeur and a gang of eight guys in suits.

 Trust me, I know what I'm talking about here.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Octopus Week #6: Ollie, Ollie, Octo's Free

When we last left Al "Slippery" Michaels, now known as The Octopus, his entire gang had just been captured by Green Arrow while trying to rob a game show.

See, Al?  Shoulda listened to Octavus; shoulda stuck with the Octo-Alphabet Board method.  This is what comes of thinking for yourself.  This, and the costume.

"hey michaels me and the Arkham crew saw your boys on channel 8 last night; thanks for the great show, LMFAO; love, Dent #theoctopussucks"

Imagine for a minute that you're trying to make a name for yourself as a criminal, in fact, you're trying to jump the 'big divide" between be-suited gangster and costumed villain.  Now imagine how embarrassing it would be to have your entire gang caught in one fell swoop.

By Green Arrow.


Of course, when one habitually wears a tentacle hat one tends to become endured to embarrassment.

So, what's the next logical step for Michaels, then?   Is it....?

(A) Return to regular gangster hood, his pretensions toward villainy broken
(B) Eschew crime entirely and apply for work at DARPA
(C) Give in to his smoldering sexual attraction to Octavus that he's been sublimating into his criminal cos-play as "the Octopus" and move in together somewhere in New Venice;

But they did get a new apartment together, I note. Now they can do whatever they want, without worrying that one of the boys is going to walk in on them.

I began this series with so little respect for Michaels.  But at this point he shows himself a true VILLAIN by not even considering the first three, comparatively sane choices, and embracing the fourth, villainous one with every ounce of strength in his tentacles.  

Clearly, the television gameshow debacle has only pushed him to up his game and he not only swears vengeance, he PUBLISHES it in the newspapers.  Because that shit's on-line; it's searchable.  Now, that's commitment.

Well, jacta alea octonaria est; even layabout Ollie can't help but see the Octopus's threat in the Star City papers. 

Newpapers? Who knew that many people in Star City could actually read?

Ollie and the little red-headed boy spend the next couple day obsessing about their favorite subjects -- themselves -- instead of trying to find the guy with the tentacle hat who lives with an octopus in his living room.  Finally their ruminations are interrupted by the flaming shaft of the jism-signal.

I'm guess the commissioner's GA fleshlight was broken.

One of Green Arrow's best qualities is his willingness to rush headlong toward self-destruction. Go get 'em, Ollie.

 So, I can't decide: which is weirder, wearing the Octopus outfit in front of other people or wearing it when you are all alone, in the dark, by the side of a rural route?

So, Green Arrow is dead. So is that brat.  The Octopus wins after all.

 I wept when I realized how much pain would have been spared the world had this panel been true.

Actually, Green Arrow uses a smoke bomb to trick the Octopus into thinking he blew up the Arrowcar.  Because, well, because heroes are real jackasses who love to deceive and humiliate you before they capture you.  And it takes substantial planning and effort to humiliate someone who runs around in a tentacle hat.

I don't have the heart to comment on the whole "Arrowcar has eight letters" thing; you'll have to snark that one yourself.

Wait, not 'the Octogyro'?  Sorry, Michaels; you just failed Supervillainy 201

"Thank the octo-gods I spent all that gold bullion from the salvage ship on this Octocopter!  Otherwise, I would have had to have pulled out an automatic and shot Green Arrow and Little Boy Red!"

No, really; it's totally possible to hang on to the wheels of helicopter in full flight for a couple of miles like that.  In short sleeves.  Right, Josh?

I'm sure Ollie will make short work of the Octopus when they arrive at his hideout.  After all, he's got no gang to back him up any more, and no one back at the hideout to help him, right?