Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just Because...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lying in the Gutters in a Pool of Your Own Blood

JOHNSTON! You fool!

Of course I am referring to Rich Johnston, author of "Lying in the Gutters" -- Comic Book Resources' pathetic gossip column. Every week Johnston partakes in his speculation and -- dare I say? -- tomfoolery.

But this week, he has crossed a line! In the column Johnston attempts to pass of the discovery of the humor on this page from Justice Society of America #1 as a "scoop."


Anyone with even the tiniest atom of intelligence must know that Diamondrock -- this blog's proprietor and my friend and protege -- posted about that page two weeks ago!

And since no credit was given or solicited I will do what supervillians do: destroy Rich Johnston.

I declare myself to be the new arbiter of comic book rumors. All tips and tidbits will now be direct to Doctor Polaris. Fail in this and the consequences will be dire.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The First Annual Title Undetermined Blogoversary Spectacular

Welcome, friends, to the First Annual Title Undetermined Blogoversary Spectacular. Yes, it was one year ago today that I made my first post here on the blog. But it wasn't until a few months later that all the awesome powers were unleashed when Doctor Polaris and Azrael joined the team.

And they're here with me today to celebrate this momentous occasion. So continue on, my friends and allies. Here's what you have to look forward to:
Are you ready?

The End of the Beginning

Last night I put my plan into action. It was a desperate attempt to solve the mystery of both the toppled trash cans and my neighbor's missing cat. I knew I had to draw the villain out; so I set bait that I knew he would never be able to resist: a trash can full of cats.

They made a lot of noise, of course. Cats don't like being trapped in enclosed spaces. But that was all part of the plan. The cats would draw him out, and when he toppled this can I'd be ready.

On the evening in question it was nearing midnight -- the cats in the can had finally settled down. And yet, there remained no sign of my elusive nemesis. But I knew he would come, and at 11:53 I was proved right

A shadowy figure emerged from the shadows just as a heavy rain began to fall. In retrospect, I should have recognized the obvious dramatic significance of that. But at the time, I was too focused on trying to discover who it was. It was dark in that alleyway, and I don't get free nightvision lenses for my mask anymore...

The figure approached the trash can, and I knew my time to strike had come! I leapt from my hiding place, flaming sword blazing with the fury of the righteous! The villain seemed undeterred.

"We meet at last, Azrael," he whispered through the pounding rain. His voice was cold and his features were hidden by a heavy black raincoat.

"You know who I am?" I replied with incredulity.

"Oh, we certainly do," the villain replied. I could detect a slight smile in his voice. I'd had enough, and moved to strike. But then...


From everywhere around me there appeared ninjas! Clad in black and wielding deadly blades, they surrounded me! I narrowed my eyes at the villain, but he only laughed -- as villains do.

"If you survive, Azrael, we will meet again," he said as he vanished from sight. But I had no time to deal with him. There were ninjas everywhere!

And so, battle was joined in the freezing rain of Gotham City. Ninjas rushed all about me, but it didn't matter... My battle skills are nearly without equal. (I was Batman for awhile, remember?)

And when the last ninja fell upon the wet pavement, I leaned against the building's facade ot catch my breath. As I steadied myself, my eyes fell upon the trash can I had placed as bait. It had been toppled... And it was empty.

It's not over.


Glorious Vengeance

Another day... Another shattered dream.

Yes, the villainous force facing off with the latest version of the Justice League has been revealed. And it is... Solomon Grundy?!




Forgive me, forgive me. It's just that... Well... I've worked with Solomon before. He's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer... Even when he's smart.

And yes, I'm well aware that Solomon Grundy is endowed with a new personality each time he dies. Don't insult me. My point is... Well, it's that Solomon has had his role to play. And now he's going against type. And that's not going to make many of us happy.

You see, there's always been a division of labor in the world of supervillainy. You've got your brilliant geniuses endowed with fabulous powers and even more fabulous fashion sense (such as myself). And then you've got the dumb muscle. Like dear Solomon Grundy.

Yes, some have made the crossover... See my dear departed colleague Blockbuster. And then see what happened to him.

These divisions exist for a reason. Those of us who know how to pose and shout off one-liners... We're the ones who should be instituting grand plans to destroy the Justice League of America. We often fail, yes. But we do so with style. And judging from Solomon's attire, it's clear doesn't doesn't have the chops for it.

It's taken what? Four, five issues for him to finally reveal his role? Fool! That's not how it's done! If you want to get the League attention you assault a major city with some sort of Doomsday Device! Then you'll get on television.

But I digress. My point is that it should have been my moment. My time to shine! And instead it's gone to another pasty faced thug in a bad suit.

I will have my revenge.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Arion in the House

I'm absolutely loving Kurt Busiek's work on Superman. It's got everything I would've asked for. But it's also got something I didn't ask for:


You may be asking: who is Arion? Well, I'll admit that I didn't really know until he woke up in a bed with two naked women in seventeenth century France and got annoyed at twenty-first century Superman. And he had me when he called the fact that he was dead in the future "absurdly inconvenient."

So we've got a cranky, immortal sorcerer who dresses like a 1650's French nobleman. That's hot. And he calls people names and acts like an ass... But you still know he's right. Because he may be a bitter bastard... But he's still frickin' Arion.

My big hope is that Kurt Busiek's "secret mystery project" (the one he left Sword of Atlantis for) is actually an Arion ongoing/mini. Busiek did say that after seeing how Carlos Pacheco draws Arion that he "wouldn't be surprised if he gets his own series again."

Bitter, angry protagonists are in vogue these days. Look at the show House. I can see parallels between them here already. House is a total ass... But he's almost always right. And Arion? We've seen him be an ass. Let's see if he's right.

They could send Arion out to solve magical mysteries that no one else can deal with. He could have a diverse set of apprentices who are in awe of his brilliance and struggle with his personality "quirks." It'd be brilliant!

Regardless, I hope this version of Arion sticks around. As long as he keeps the outfit, that is...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Cannot Abide the Prattling of Fools

Why am I constantly surrounded by fools? At the coffee shop, at the grocery store, at the bank (my bank, not one I'm robbing). Everywhere I go I am surrounded by fools.

They continue to jabber on, day in and day out. And such pedestrian concerns! I remember the good old days... The days when things people said were important. Even vital. And when they always ended with an exclamation point.

But today such things are hidden away. Inside foolish caption boxes, more often than not. Fools! The moment we stop saying what we feel (and by "saying what we feel" I don't mean whining like someone) is the moment we become less than human. Or whatever kind of alien you may happen to be.

Declare your villainous plans! Do not hide in the shadows like Brad Meltzer's mystery villain. Three issues and he hasn't even gotten the JLA out of whatever damn cave they're hiding in. The fool. If it were me plotting against the League?

Page 2, Panel 4 and we'd already be throwing it down in the middle of Metropolis. I might still lose... But dammit, I'd lose with style.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Unexpectedly Fantastic

Wow... So It's been awhile, eh? So what's been happening lately in the world of comics... Justice Society of America was rock solid. Atom continues to break new ground in the realms of "Hell Yes!" And Paul Dini shows that he's the best man out there for writing the Joker. Meanwhile, I'm feeling unexpectedly fantastic.

I guess I'm just on one of those tremendous highs that people sometimes get. Real life has actually forced the blog to take a back seat for a few days (though I guess it's almost been a week, hasn't it?) But I think I'm back in the swing of things. Maybe...

I see that this post is going to be very light on the comics commentary. That's okay, though. Sometimes we need to step back and look at things from a greater distance.

Lately I've been working on some of my personal comic projects (I've got a few). I've been sketching out character designs and writing up scripts. It goes as it goes... And though my art skills aren't quite up to snuff, I do feel that some things are finally coming together.

It's funny... It seems that a great many people who read comics want to write/draw them as well. And I do; I definitely do. But it astonishes me how little desire I have to write for characters I love like Batman and Superman. Maybe it's because then I wouldn't be able to enjoy them as much. Or maybe it's because I know that someone else can do a better job.

Regardless, I only really want to do the things that are wholly original. And I've got a million and one ideas bouncing around in my head -- they multiply daily -- that I need to get out on paper. And so it goes.

Expect one of these days for me to link to a sketch or a finished project. Just don't expect it any time soon. Do expect more craziness and less introspection when normal posting resumes tomorrow.

Keep hope alive.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Everything Must Go!

A page from this week's eagerly anticipated Justice Society of America #1:Check out that sign. Somebody at DC has got a sense of humor.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Evil Strikes Again

The mystery villain has returned. And now he's not just striking against me... He's striking those close to me.

Though in this case "close" is relatively literal... The elderly woman who lives in the apartment next to me, to be exact. Sometimes I help her carry her groceries. Her cat has gone missing.

The only logical assumption is that the same criminal who knocked over the garbage cans -- thus depriving me of CSI's denouement -- has struck against my neighbor's cat. She has not been seen for two days. And I know that this is an attempt to get at me.

But I will not let it weaken my resolve. I will find the cat -- and the criminal -- no matter what it takes. I may no longer be welcome as the ruthless defender of Gotham City, but that doesn't mean I won't strike back when evil comes to my door.

I'm going to set a trap. I'll catch him... Whoever he is...

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Have No Idea Where I Am

I have got the mother of all hangovers right now. Or something.

Don't talk to me. My head hurts.

Anyway, I hooked up with my old college buddy Doctor Domino last night. At least I think it was night... I'm not even sure what time it is now.

Right. So we started drinking. Drinking a lot and talking about old times. About all the nights spent playing Dungeons & Dragons and all the days spent destroying our enemies. Those were good times.

Christ, my head hurts. I need some asprin or something.

Yeah, so the dean of the university didn't like us much. We were too smart for him. We were too smart for all of them. The fools. They couldn't appreciate our genius.

Yes, I know that sounds cliched. But it's the truth, dammit. Once Doctor Domino (he wasn't a doctor yet, of course) built a bunch of giant dominos and destroyed one of the science labs. He was trying to prove to me that pure wooden dominos were superior to ones including metal components. Fool.

But I'm rambling again. I think I need to get to sleep. Or something. Just let me say one more thing: my alma mater used to have one of the nation's largest fraternity systems.

Not anymore.