Friday, June 04, 2021

All Will Be Well

 Hear me! I bring good tidings: all will yet be well.

It's a Flash Fact.

There are things in comics you are not happy with right now. There are things in comics I myself am not happy with right now.  Such as: 

  • The clearly non-sensational character find of 2021, the codename-less "Naomi".  
  • There are Wildstorm characters dirtying up the DCU.  
  • DC is celebrating Aquaman's 80th anniversary with a one-shot, but can't manage to sustain a title for him, despite his popularity being at an all-time high.  
  • Lobo wasn't enough of a cross-platform embarrassment, apparently, and now they've thrown a daughter into the mix.  
  • Bryan Michael Bendis is writing Justice League.  
  • The Teen Titans are running a Xavier Academy expy.  
  •  DC is again trying to make "Amazons in the Amazons happen", which seems childishly simplistic. 
  • Damian Wayne still exists.
  • They've replaced Barry Allen with Wally West (again). 

Try, without laughing, to imagine Wally West saying "All will be well."

It's not that there aren't many good things going in comics right now (both on paper and on screen).  But dumb things like the above still rankle.  That's why I take solace in reminding myself of an EASILY forgotten axiom of comics:

Dumb things don't last.

Let's consider some of the examples. Some you may have forgotten; some you may have never even noticed.

Remember when Alfred was dead?

The first time, I mean.

Or Barry Allen?

This is what happens when you are too busy to moisturize.

Or Supergirl?

Although in that outfit it was a mercy.

Do you remember Aztek?

Don't worry; he didn't.

And Triumph?

The Justice League didn't remember him either.

And Tomorrow Woman?

SUCH a drag queen.

Do you remember Aquaman's hook hand?

Such a drama queen.

And his water hand?

Much better for vogueing, though.

and when he was *snort* raised by dolphins?

Remember Wonder Woman's leather look?

Fine; I'll admit I liked it if you will.

And her mod look?


And when she became a goddess?

At least she's not wearing heels.

Remember the Sword of the Atom?

Nothing says "take me seriously" like barbarian cosplay ON TOP OF spandex cosplay.

The Sword of Atlantis?


The Sword of Warlord?

Sure, I read it; but only with the sound turned down.

Do you remember the hunchback who lived in the Batcave?

I'm not even going to count the car.

Or the one who was Superman's brother?

The Haneyverse.

Remember the Ten-Eyed Man?

I don't get the 'free plug' either.

Or Replicant?

At least The Suit was honest about being an empty character.

Or Tallyman?

This Spawn-BS is what happens when you let artists create characters instead of writers.

Remember Kenny Braverman?

Saying "Clarkie" automatically disqualifies you as a potentially serious character.

Or Cobalt Blue?

Ugh, of COURSE he had a sword.  And mummy boots.

or Tommy Elliott?

Shouldn't HE be the one with mummy boots?

Do you remember Tanga?

I don't.

or Garbage Man?

I just assume it was supposed to be a joke of some kind.

or Resurrection Man?

Yet he got a Heroclix figure before Killer Moth.

Do you remember the New Guardians?

Really, what MORE can I say about the New Guardians?

Or Bloodlines?

Artists. Again.

Or Armageddon 2001?

Needs more crackle.

Well, I could go on. Anyone could.  But why bother? All these dumb ideas were effaced by time, erased by apathy, negated by negative feedback.  That's why, whatever there is in (DC) comics that is bothering you, if it's truly a stupid idea, don't worry:

it will go away.

Except for Vixen, who is a punishment from God.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Heroclix Sunday: Ray Palmer's Lab

Today on Heroclix Sunday we do a little something for the little hero with a big brain, Ray "The Atom" Palmer.

I only WISH I could look this gay.

Oops; wrong guy; that's one the large hero with the little brain and nobody's favorite hero, Captain Atom, seen here crapping out the world's largest lithium atom (which apparently has an extra capacious K shell!).

I mean this guy:

The one in the costume, not the hot naked one in the bottle.

Ray Palmer, who, although very much NOT the first shrinking hero or even the first 'The Atom", is definitely the most famous one.

Doll Man is the first shrinking hero and pre-dates Ray by over 20 years.

That's the first "The Atom", an extremely short Golden Age hero whose only power was his lack of a self-preservation instinct.

Ray was (is?) an academic, a physics professor and trained gymnast; he's terribly smart and weighs exactly 180 pounds.

We know this because it's mentioned in every. single. story.

Ray's whole schtick is (un)shrinking and that doesn't translate well into Heroclix.  Figures of Ray often have or can use the Tiny Symbol.

It's an atom, in his honor.

The Tiny Symbol does give a figure some advantages; it can be carried around by larger figures and gets +1 Defense against ranged attacks.  But that's it; it's kind of crappy. It's shared by shrinking heroes, small animals, and baby groot.

While other powers shrinking heroes have try to capture the usual advantages of size-changing -- stealth, the element of surprise, focused and unavoidable attacks--it doesn't capture at all the idea the two shrinking characters can battle on a complete different level that other characters can't access, walloping at each in a train set or a petri dish.

So I made a map for Ray that does.

It kind of matches his costume.

The right side is at our normal human scale.  The bottom part with red wood floors is the hallway and waiting room to the Nanophysics Department where Ray works. The middle part with blue carpet is the lounge/study where colleagues meet and relax. The top part with grey tile is the lab where experiments are conducted.

The left size, with the atom symbols, is a much smaller (1/64) scale.  It represents a 'zoom in' on any one appropriate square from the other side of the map.  A shrinking character can move from a square on the right side of the map to the corresponding part of the left side (leaving a marker on the spot they 'traveled from' to show where they are in the bigger picture).  Another shrinking character can go where that marker is and transfer over to the left side to following the first one.  There they can do battle ... or just use the left side as a way to travel to a new place on the right, unmolested by opponents who can no longer perceive them.  

You can't make such areas in every map and there aren't that many shrinking characters to take advantage of them anyway. But I thought Ray deserves a map of his own where he can do so and what better place than his own lab?