Thursday, May 30, 2013


In a recent interview Joss Whedon said: "If I could get my hands on absolutely anybody it would be Batman. (audience applause) He's a Marvel character in the DC universe."

That's the final straw.  I have (mostly) kept my trap shut for years on-line about despising Whedon's immature meta-driven snark-dripping characters who all speak with the same voice and his ability to make virtually any character sound like an adolescent who needs smacked.  I've never wanted to upset my friends who like his fan-pandering work and keep trying to shove it down my throat.  Yes, friends, I know you enjoy those burgers from Five Guys; but that doesn't mean that they are good food.  Whedon's work is the Five Guys of fandom, appealing to your basest tastes while clogging you literary arteries and starving your soul.

But now he's crossed a line. Saying you'd like to work on the Batman IP is one thing; who wouldn't?

But claiming that Batman


is "a Marvel character in the DC universe" shows that not only do you not understand Batman but that you don't understand the DCU.

Stay away, Whedon.  Stay in the Marvelverse where you're feel to write any character as a troubled, fractious, self-centered jerk and have people applaud you for it.  Because you are not welcome in any version of the DCU that I would recognize.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Penguin Henchmen

One of my hopes for the forthcoming Heroclix set based on the Adam West/ Burt Ward version of Batman from 1960s teevee is that it will entice some people to try Heroclix who never have before.

And no villain is more emblematic of that show as Burgess Meredith's rendition of the Penguin.  Not only was he hilarious and ingenious, but there was no question: Penguin was BOSS.  Watch the 1967 Batman movie; it's quite clear who is running the United Underworld (despite the failure of his exploding shark).  

Forget about the Penguin's rap sheet; Burgess Meredith stole every scene he was in. 

We're sure to get a figure for him in the new set, but if we're going to have the rascally Penguin, we need his fine feathered finks!

I always got the impression that the Penguin's henchmen were among the most professional of their sort and had a good gig.  They got lots of airtime because the Penguin was always up to something.  They got away with occasionally calling the boss "Pengy" and he treated them with a reasonable amount of respect (well, as much respect at the Penguin gives anyone).  He never made them wear anything ridiculous (unlike, say, the Catwoman's gang), they knew how to fence with umbrellas, and they even had their own union of sorts (the Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks).  

I always got the impression that these G.O.O.N.s managed to get by without the Penguin when he was in prison; the henchmen for the other supercriminals all looked like they just puttered around walking into walls while waiting for the boss to come back.

So, courtesy of Israeli illustrator Aviv Itzcovitz, I present to youthese Fine Feather Finks tokens to use with the new Pengy Heroclix figure when it arrives. For rules on using them see here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Coast CIty

You know who doesn't get enough love?  Hal Jordan.

That's not because not enough people love him.

 You mean flapping ridiculously and going nowhere, Carol?

Because everyone loves Hal Jordan.

They can't all look like Kairo, Hal.

Well... almost everyone.

The Batman is not a gentle lover, but he's a fun date.

It's because Hal Jordan cannot possibly get all the love he deserves, not even from Hal Jordan.

It's really best not to think about what Hal does when he's alone.

So here's a little love from me for Hal; his own Heroclix map:

We know very little visually about Coast City (Hal spends most of his time flying in space, sucking face, or staring in a mirror).  Depicted here is the view I imagine of it as Hal flies in from the Pacific Ocean.  

On the lowest level there's a little resort, with a boardwalk and beach.  On the level above it, one of those winding roads on a California cliff.  On the top level where the actually city lies off the edge of the map, I've given it a "Hollywoodland" style sign, assuming it would be as vain as he is.  Or perhaps they just put it there so Hal remembers where he lives.

And of course, I've used only the colors of Hal's costume, so he'll feel at home.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Things That Made Me Happy...

…in my comics this week.  Actually, this includes comics from last week, too.

Okay, not merely Gypsy walking barefoot through downtown Detroit but… a CLOSE-UP of her feet!  Rule 34, I assume.
Dale Gunn is…is…m-m-married?!?!  That’s…the second biggest surprise in comics this week!
Among the many mindboggling wonders of Earth-1 is that its Detroit has a library.  A functioning public library.  I’m guessing that, ironically, Earth-1 Detroit is better off than ours BECAUSE it was attacked by Darkseid, which sparked government and private investment in renovation.  But I like the implication being that getting attacked by Darkseid and his armies could only improve Detroit.
“Official” Justice League busin--?  Oh--- I get it.  Sneaky.
Aaaargh; dammit.  Fine, fine, DC; the popcorn won me over.
Someone assist me to the couch!  I just saw Gypsy buy SHOES.
“Cynnthia”. Oh, how I laughed and laughed…!
There are still file cabinets in the Batcave, just like in the Golden and Silver Ages.
WHY there are still file cabinets in the Batcave.
Elemental Woman brings new meaning to the term “headlights”.
Writing the Flash – who is a police scientist – as a detective title rather than a superhero one is both very smart and extremely refreshing.
I’ve never seen anyone haunt… himself.  Another winner from Adventures of Superman.
So, teeny tiny brains are impermeable to telepathy, eh?  Where’s Hal Jordan when you need him?
Oh, Barry, you make me laugh.  Your old routine IS gorilla invasions, rogues, and jail breaks.
Okay; Prison of War can see through his mask, has a bondage relic that can create force fields, and can summon a platoon of ghost comrades to fight other supernatural threats?  What an absurd and idiotic mishmash of ad hoc, thematic abilities.  GOD, I love the DCU.
Isn’t that pretty much the last person you’d expect to be taking the subway?
What Swamp Thing is afraid of.
I *snicker*, I just can’t *snort*-- okay, okay I’ll say it: apparently, Superman’s in Wonder Woman’s box.

LOL, 'reversed the flow of his synpases'?  Synapses do not have "flow", DC comics; who's writing this stuff... Garnder Fox, Enemy of Correct Science?!
Putting him in “the Morgue” is like throwing a pig in the mud.
Finally, an origin for Black Adam that makes a little more sense.  In a Shazam-y way, of course.
Vartox is my new favorite comedy character.  I can’t say that Channel 52 is what would want DC to do with valuable page real estate in every book every month, but at least in brings a little light touch to a literary universe that seems otherwise devoid of humor (except for Element Woman).
“Hot … and melty.”  Okay, Vartox, maybe you have some competition.
Speaking of which, the odd couple of Jonah Hex and Booster Gold is nearly enough to make me forget Blue&Gold.
Wow, he picked up Xanadu so fast you’d think she was Zatanna.  But then again, he’s good at that sort of thing.
It would not have occurred to me (but should have) that he would be the prime suspect in Marissa’s murder.  But in the New52, why would anyone suspect anyone else?
Ah, J’onn J’onnz; creepy, heartless, manipulative liar.  Welcome back, J’onn.
 “We can be exciting and practical.”  And THAT is why I love that man.
“What gave me away…?”  LMFAO, okay, more competition for Vartox.
I’m starting to warm up to The Others a bit, but I still would love to see Zeema the Breast Woman give up that magic metro card amulet she has to Arthur, who REALLY needs the ability to pop around anywhere he wants in the ocean (or elsewhere).  Because if there is a power “lamer” than “talking to fish” it’s “talking to jaguars”.
Characterizing normal speed as “real time”; interesting way of thinking of it, DC.
Ibac; heh, nice reference.  One I assume we’ll see again. 
“You two know each other?”  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHhahaa.  Indeed.
Well, well, well; look who’s actually more powerful than a locomotive.
Now that is a great Superman cover.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Catwoman Henchmen

As previously mentioned, there's a Heroclix set coming out based on the 1960s' Batman television series.  We don't know yet what's in the set (although it's easy to make some pretty safe bets), but there's little doubt that there'll be a Catwoman figure.

Or that it will be something outrageously sexy in its pose.

But Catwoman deserves those henchmen she used to have, with the adorable little kitty-cat hats.

And so with the artistic help of my favorite Israeli illustrator Aviv Itzcovitz,  I offer you these tokens to use as henchman for her (based on the rules I mentioned here). Enjoy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weird from any angle

Oh... and then there was the time that J'onn J'onnz took some pictures his for on-line profile on the hook-up site,

Hopelessly square or just impossibly weird?  It's J'onn J'onnz, who can say...?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rock, Hal's Head, Paper.

Monday we revisited one of my favorite themes (memes?), the Eyes of Hal Jordan.

It's less well known that the "Hal Jordan's Head" phenomenon, but much creepier.  Another HJ theme is that, as a function of Hal's vanity, he often winds up creating, fighting, or otherwise dealing with copies of himself.

It has been theorized that crossing the streams of these Jordanian phenomena might destroy the DCU as we know it.

Oh, wait.  Hal already did that once.

Anyway, for the curious who have been searching for that ONE panel that captures all three phenomena so they can have it blown up, framed, and put in their cubicle at work to keep everyone away (Hi, SallyP!), I give you this.  Ladies and gentlemen, the Ultimate Hal Jordan Panel:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And so it goes...

SO much has been said and written about Hal Jordan and Arisia (as that matter was back in the day).

Including this particularly ribald panel:

It's okay to nickname it, Hal, a lot of guys do; but 'the club'?  Really?  
You have have no imagination at all, do you?

But one thing that has NOT been said about it;

it's a haiku. A joint one (joined at the hips, in fact), but still a haiku.  Which I have titled:

"And so it goes..."


What haiku can YOU compose about the pre-Crisis world's favorite squicky couple?

Monday, May 13, 2013


YAAH!  It's the return of comics' most terrifying aspect:


Okay, fine: the EYE of Hal Jordan.

As previously established, Hal Jordan's real power isn't his power ring, or his indestructible noggin, or even his "waist down" power.

No, his real power is the terror that lies with in his creepy creepy eyes. So today we honor it with a caption contest:


Thursday, May 09, 2013


"Aqualad – slow and powerless dullard of the ocean, 

with inability to summon and command any creatures of the deep. 

Aqualad, who, as the teenage ally of Aquaman, 

fears and avoids all that lives in the seas 

and also the forces of evil. 

Aqualad – Feeb of the Seven Seas!"

Oh, Aqualad. I must confess I’ve missed my favorite punching bag since he was last seen in comics book several years ago.  There aren’t any big-headed, purple-eyed freaks in comics nowadays, or if there are, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and STARLabs have them buried in sealed vaults underground.

I say a paternity test here is LONG overdue.

Here’s just some of the characters who’ve been re-introduced in the New52 and are thereby evidently more important than Aqualad:

  • Dr. Gym’ll!
  • The Human Flying Fish!
  • Jim Gordon’s ex-wife!
  • Andrew Bennett!
  • Tyroc!
  • Dale Gunn!
  • Master Gunfighter!
  • Terry Thirteen!

Face it; we’ll see Benny Khiss & Marvin Fargo before we see Aqualad again.  But I have not forgotten him and neither have the folks at Wizkids who make Heroclix, including the new figure of him in the forthcoming “Teen Titans” set.

Okay, Wizkids; that head is not NEARLY large enough.  
Hire that guy who draws Family Circus to help you.

I thought I’d help you understand the ‘editorial accuracy” of his dial by illustrating his powers with selected panels from past stories (since there won’t be any future ones).

MOVE-AND-ATTACK. This character can use Hypersonic Speed if it is not adjacent to an opposing character when given the power action, but its attack value is modified by -2
This power (marked by that 'dolphin in a circle' symbol) is really more like “ATTACK-AND-MOVE”.  It’s the ability to run away after you’ve punched someone in the back. 

Also, Aqualad's Special Power grants him Super Senses when he's in the water.  That means that in the water it's nearly impossible to sneak up on him.

"Nearly" being the operative word.

That green square in the first row (Speed) indicates that Aqualad has:
CHARGE  Give this character a power action; halve its speed value for the action. Move this character up to its speed value and then it may be given a close combat action as a free action. This character ignores knock back.
Aqualad makes an unsuccessful charge against the Mad Mod.  After all, how could the Prince of the Seven Seas hope to prevail, while in the water, against a middle-aged British poofter in swim fins?

As mentioned, Aqualad is more likely to run AWAY from a foe than toward one. 

But Charge does give him the ability to blunder directly into an opponent, his arms flailing desperately like Killer Moth’s.

 Um... a powerless Frenchman just kicked you in the face, Aqualad.  When sissified villains want to pump up their egos, they take on Aqualad.  Next issue the Monocle will give him SUCH a slap!

Well, Aqualad, you're the expert.

The green squares in the second row (Attack) indicate that he has...

SUPERSTRENGTH  When this character moves due to its own action, it may either pick up an object or place an object it is holding. The object must be picked up from or placed in either a square the character occupies or an adjacent square. If this power is lost or countered while this character is holding an object, immediately place the object in the square this character occupies.
This allows Aqualad to run around for many turns looking ridiculous by holding an object over his head, like Adam West with a bomb.  Except he’d never get that close to those scary ducklings.  And now, thanks to a rules change, he can put DOWN the ridiculous object just in time to have someone else pick it up and quickly bonk him on the head with it.

After he's had sex with it first, of course. I guess when you grow up under water, old tires and ship mastheads start to look pretty good to you.

The lime-colored squares in the Attack row grant Aqualad...
QUAKE  Give this character a close combat action; this character’s damage value becomes 2 and is locked. Make a close combat attack that targets all opposing characters this character can attack with a close combat attack. Each hit character is knocked back 2 squares.

 Nobody quakes more thoroughly in comics than Aqualad (except perhaps Scooby Doo). 

In the third row (Defense), the Prince of the Seas has the grey square indicating...

INVULNERABILITY  Damage dealt to this character is reduced by 2
One of my personal favorites because it lets you give Aqualad a terrific wallop in the head without knocking him out.

And the orange ones denoting...
TOUGHNESS  Damage dealt to this character is reduced by 1.

Similarly, Toughness allows you to prolong Aqualad’s suffering.  Like a catfish with a mousefish.  And, yes, there is such a thing, look it up.

Wait... what? Only an hour? Oh, no. No, no, no.  That is not NEARLY enough suffering.

The purple square in the fourth row (Damage) is...

CLOSE COMBAT EXPERT  Give this character a power action. It makes a close combat attack against a single opposing target character; before making the attack you may modify its attack value by +2, its damage value by + 2, or both combat values by +1.

Knocked out with one push by Jimmy's Olsen's angry cousin

It’s not just Aqualad’s ability to get his ass kicked up close and personal.  It’s also the variety of ways in which he can get his ass kicked.  It’s a versatility issue.

Ladies and gentlemen, Aqualad getting Jordanized by a surfboard.  You're welcome.

And the last one, the sky blue in the Damage row is...

PROBABILITY CONTROL  Once during your turn, this character allows you to reroll one of your rolls, ignoring the original roll. A character using this power must be within range (minimum range 6) and line of fire to the character for which the original roll was made. Using the same rules, once per round during an opponent’s turn, this character allows you to force that opponent to reroll one of their rolls, ignoring the original roll.

This is just the perfect power to give Aqualad.  Because this way when you attack Aqualad and succeed (which you will, because Aqualad), he can say, "Okay, you caught me that time!  But now you have to do again! And THIS time I"m ready.  THIS time will be different". Which, of course, it won't...

Oh, I'm sure it will be different this time.

It IS different!  He caught you at different angle!

This is great because sometimes just kicking Aqualad’s ass once in a row is not enough, and Probability Control gives you a chance to kick his ass twice in a row.

And, really, who can resist that?