Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Buy the Green Arrow anniversary book

 I encourage you to buy the new 100-page giant celebrating the 80th anniversary of Green Arrow, because it's an absolute delight.

Only one of the (all original) stories is a clunker (Jeff Lemire's) and while the Denny O'Neil tribute isn't a "Green Arrow" story per se, it's a fitting tribute to the man who so thoroughly re-created Green Arrow for his time that most modern readers aren't even aware of any other version.

I appreciate tidy tables of contents.

The first one is a lovely and characteristically weird Golden Age GA tale, that makes no sense at the end... just as it should!

I approve of an Oliver Queen who likes Kandinsky.

The second is the backstory to one of Ollie's most famous tools.

And an amusing précis of his relationship with Batman.

The third is a story set in Ollie's "satellite era" days, which also riffs on his Silver Age battle with

a mechanical octopus.

Not to be confused with the Non-mechanical Octopus.

The third one is a mild sociological scene by Mike Grell.

The fourth is overview of the whole of Green Arrow's evolution, using the flight of arrow as a metaphor.

If they'd used the Arrowcar's catapult, it could have been literal.

The fifth is a wry collection of "wise advice" from Ollie.

The sixth is a pitch perfect tale of Connor Hawke trying to live up to his father's reputation.

Oh; sorry, Connor.

The seventh, and perhaps my favorite, is Speedy's origin told in the manner of a Navajo legend.

I have always felt strongly that the Green Arrow mythos has mostly wasted its organic connection to native American culture.

I don't want to spoil the eighth story, but suffice it to say it's about Ollie's empathy as one of his best "weapons".

Any story that spotlights how stupid and pointless Onomatopoeia is is okay by me.

The ninth is a great look at the effective synergy between Green Arrow and Black Canary.

Any story where Deathstroke gets the snot beat out of him is okay by me.

The tenth is a lovely meditation on the ecology of forests as a metaphor for Ollie's understanding of being part of team.

Look, I would NOT recommend a story by Benjamin Percy unless I really felt I had to.

The next is the clunker I mentioned (it's aiming for some sort of mythic weight that Green Arrow simply cannot bear) followed by the (artfully wordless) tribute to Denny O'Neil.  Oh and the book ALSO contains Ollie's CHILI RECIPE!

Try spinning, J'onn.

So.... buy it. It's a fun look at many different takes and aspects of Green Arrow that will help you appreciate the character more.

Really, I can only imagine one thing that could have made it better.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Heroclix Sunday: Porter Pogs

Actor Scott Porter is a faithful fan of Heroclix and has been doing their unboxing videos for years now, and, as a way of honoring him, Wizkids is coming out with a Scott Porter bystander token (basically, a sculpt-less pog that functions as a one-click figure).

Clearly, they wanted to do right by Scott, as his stats and powers are great:

A triple-targeting, incapacitating, sidestepping wildcard with a very helpful special power that can vastly increase his teammate's chances of making a successful attack, for only 20 points! Sure, he can be taken out with one shot, but you are meant to protect him accordingly.

Now, I like Scott Porter, but I like even more all the characters I can re-label this token as.

Such as...


whom, you'll remember, are the bigwigs in the Hawkfoe organization CAW (the Criminal Alliance of the World)

Or the Flash's PATTY SPIVOT

whom you'll remember as the person Barry Allen should have married instead of that hateful witch, Iris.

Or the Atom's HOWARD CRANE

whom I hope you will remember IS NOT WIZARDO.

Or Wonder Woman's BRENDA

who does not have a last name but I called her "Major" because she's a drum major.

Or Aquaman's playful water-sprite QUISP

whom you'll remember Grant Morrison turning into a murderous Fifth Dimensional imp, because Morrison is not at ALL as original as you think he is.

Or deeply unloved Martian Manhunter foe, PROF. ARNOLD HUGO

whom you won't remember at all, because no one does, but who be hilarious when pimp-slapped by J'onn out the game in one swat.

Anyway, as these are cheap and easy to make, I intend to make "Chris Porter" tokens to join the friends and foes of each of the icon heroes for whom I have Heroclix.  Any suggestions as to whom the Porter Pogs could represent in the Green Lantern and Green Arrow mythos are welcome!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Doll Man AT WAR

 I was going to tell you about when (The) Doll Man joined the army.

"Managed to get your shirt off, I see?

How he was drafted and how important and unique that was among comic book heroes of the time.

Lines are for the little people. Or people not little ENOUGH.

That he was trained in a one-panel surrealistic montage.

Who He Is and How He Came To Be

When he decides to investigate a secret because he's bored and curious.

Your own 'time to become the Doll Man' may vary.

About how he assesses its function immediately. 

Like Batman, Doll Man is a scientist.

then watches as things go awry;

Sadly, not Doll Man.

very awry.

Army regulations require all buildings be plainly labeled for our soldiers, but with camouflaged signs so that the enemy can't read them from a distance.

And so decides to investigate further,

Doll Man Fact: due to his tiny size, Doll Man can breathe underwater if he damned well wants to.

piggybacking on an enemy sub to its undersea lair,

But then gets bored again,

and while enemies try to take control of the radio-torpedo to kill the President,

"Someone drag Henry Wallace off the tennis court, pronto!"

Doll Man goes temporarily insane again (as does at least once a story)

The real crazy starts when the eyes disappear.

decides to live out his Bulletman fantasy

Can't comment on periscope-bending;
too focused on Doll Man's awesome "but".

then rides and (somehow) redirects the radio-torpedo

Doll Man Fact: due to his tiny size, Doll Man is immune to vertigo.

saving the president's life and destroying the enemy sub, just in time...

Reminder: the last person who came back to 'face the music' in a Doll Man story got shot to death.

to get back for KP duty.

Surely there must be some faster way to peel potatoes at six-inches high.

And how this became the template for his famous war-time adventures.  But...

I desperately want that parrot to bite him in half like a cracker.

in the next issue all this was completely forgotten, never to be referred to again, as Doll Man worked with a monkey and a parrot to solve a case.

So, instead of any of that, I will simply remind you that if you think today's comics recklessly disregard continuity...

NEVER buy a pet as a gift; ever.

it could be a lot worse.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Eye or Nay

 You know what's even more terrifying than

the eyes




I do.



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Rationalizing My Non-Selections this Week:


If the Composite Huntress were actually in this, I'd be very on board.

Pretty sure it's not.

Eyeroll; Racer X. I mean, "Red X".  The Titans really only have three or four stories, so they just keep repeating them.

"Naomi".  Yeah, I can wait until the Non-Sensational Character Find of 2021 is gone.  And Bendis, too.

Can I just skip to the end where the universe will never be the same again? Although I suppose the point of I-F is that the universe will ALWAYS be the same again.

Uh-huh.  Wake me up when we reach the 30th Century.

Oh, once was quite enough, thank you.

Gosh, all the Conner-heads will be thrilled!

I can't even.

I thought this title had already been put out of our misery...?

Midnighter? Oh, THAT'll help.

You know, for immortals, Wonder Woman's gods die A LOT.

I really DO appreciate DC getting its act together on branding enough for:

this new style of branding that they are consistently using on all their books, as well as the clear (if inconsistently placed) age-ratings.  While I may not be moved enough by any of these titles to break down and buy them, the branding changes signal a more holistic and integrated approach to its universe than I've seen from DC since they gave all the Justice Leaguers tab collared uniforms.