Thursday, September 28, 2006

Eerie Comics #1, 1947

What terrors lurk behind...

Yes friends, it is the least imaginatively named horror comics story ever: THE EYES OF THE TIGER. It has tigers.

Our story begins on a typical rainy horror comics afternoon. Here, we are introduced to our strapping elderly protagonist, Doctor Manton.

It seems that Doc Manton has been called to check the health of a particularly "queer bird." One obsessed with...


A shocking revelation to be found in a story called The Eyes of the Tiger, I'm sure.

But we find that not all is happy in the manor of the eccentric millionaire who we will call Kenny Cattler (even though his name is Carl). Doctor Manton refuses to write Kenny off as an acceptable insurance risk. It seems that Kenny has a bad heart (this is a very, very common theme in horror comics). But that doesn't sit too well with Kenny. Though he has no family, he needs that insurance policy. It has to go to...


And so Kenny sends Flame, his pet tiger who who claims has never tasted meat after the poor, elderly Doctor Manton. And since this is a horror comic, Manton promptly faints.

My hero.

Kenny celebrates his apparent victory by... Well, I don't know. It's not really a victory at all. But he does gloat in an evilish fashion, thus assuring us that he will most certainly survive the tale.

But things go awry in the dead of night as Flame apparently tastes blood that oozed from nowhere out of Kenny's foot. And this turns him from a harmless pussycat into a stone cold killer.

A chase ensues, as Kenny fires off shot after shot. He kills the cat. And yet...

The cat continues to pursue him!

How utterly eerie. Kenny flees from the manor and comes face to face with...

Did I mention that Kenny keeps a stuffed tiger on his lawn? I thought for sure I did...

Anyway, Doctor Manton awakens after a blissful night sleep and wonders...

What would cause a man to flee from a cat that was already dead?

The answer of course is... Well... I'm not sure. These stories usually have some contrite ending, but I'm not seeing it here.

Don't try to domesticate tigers? Don't send tigers after elderly doctors? Patience is its own reward? Hell if I know.

Stay tuned next time for more...


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To...

There are times when I find myself with access to the oddest things. One of those things is undoubtedly 1947's EERIE COMICS #1:

Damn, they really don't make 'em like that anymore, do they? Sure, we're getting Tales of the Unexpected soon, but I don't buy the Spectre with a goatee.

No, what we need is books with covers featuring the scantily clad being menaced by horrifying creatures from beyond the grave (and yes, I know that opinion may make me unpopular, but horror comics are something special).

Tomorrow, I just might feature a full review of one of the eerie tales to be found within this tome. Here's a panel to whet your appetite:

How's that for eerie?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Redemption of Superboy-Prime

Now that's certainly a title I never thought I'd be typing. And yet, Geoff Johns teases the possibility of just that in a recent inverview. He believes that it's "split" and that there's a chance that Prime could return to the side of the angels.

But I just don't buy it. There are certain lines that once crossed cannot be stepped back over. And Prime doesn't have the convenient "giant yellow space bug made me do it excuse."

And yet, we do see a Superboy-Prime engaged in what seems to be thoughful intropsection. He's considering his place in this universe that is not his own. Could he find a way back to righteousness? (assuming he was ever there to begin with...) Can Superboy-Prime follow the Hal Jordan path and become a force for truth and justice?

I don't think so.

Prime is beyond redemption. We're talking about someone who engaged in mass murder and attempted... Universocide? Is there even a word for attempting to wipe out the entire universe? Regardless, Prime tried. And he had the power to back it up.

Besides, if being trapped in the Speed Force (where he at least had the Flashes to talk to) drove him a little nutty, then imagine what being cooped up in a green box with Guy Gardner staring at him has done.

Superboy-Prime may seem introspective, but mark my words: he's just biding his time. He said he'd get out, and he will. And when he does, we're all in trouble...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Who is Supernova?

I've been enjoying 52 a lot -- that is, some parts of it. Interestingly enough, I seem to be enjoying the bits and pieces that others are enjoying... Not so much.

But by far the thing I'm enjoying the most is the constant wondering: "who is Supernova?" I love mysteries, you see. And I thought 52 was going to be chock full of them. We were promised that The Question and Montoya would have a mystery to solve. But that hasn't exactly materialized. We haven't seen any of Ralph Dibny's vaunted "detective skills," either. The mystery charcters aren't delivering.

But that doesn't mean there aren't any mysteries. As I said, there is the question: "who is Supernova?" There are a few candidates that have been topping a lot of lists.

Superboy: Superboy seems to be a popular choice (though I'd mostly chalk that up to wishful thinking among Conner fans). Wonder Girl certainly thinks it's Superboy, returned from the dead. But if that were the case, he wouldn't still be dead OYL. Superboy is not Supernova.

Mon-El: Good old Mon-El (or M'onel, or Valor, or whatever) is another popular choice. This one certainly seems a lot more likely.

Over at Newsarama, Steven Wacker mentions that characters and concept from 52 will begin showing up in books written by the authors of said weekly series. He specifically mentions Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and oh! take a look at the solicit for issue twenty-five.

And yet, I remain skeptical. In the above mentioned Newsarama interview, Wacker also says that Supernova's identity will be (or already was) revealed in a mysterious "Issue #1." That doesn't prove or disprove the idea that he's Mon-El (Wacker said it would be revealed in that #1, not that that would be his first appearance in his "civilian" identity). So I'm holding off on saying for certain that he's Mon-El. There are other clues. Let us examine them.

In that same Newsarama article (a lot of Supernova teasing this week for some reason) Wacker mentions that Supernova is "really, really good" and that the full extent of his powers haven't been revealed. The fact that he's "good" would seem to indicate that this is not his first venture into the world of superheroics (or supervillainy, as the case may be).

He's clearly experienced with his powers, which seem to manipulate light to some degree, but also involve teleportation. Despite my nigh-encyclopedic knowledge of DC's characters (and an actual copy of the Encyclopedia of the DC Universe) I'm drawing a blank.

The other big clue from Week 20 is why Supernova's in the Batcave. He seems to be there for Luthor's kryptonite-studded gauntlet. At first glance, this would seem to indicated a connection with Superman (or possibly Lex Luthor). To a degree, this seems to support the Mon-El theory.

Another interesting thing about Supernova is that he seems to be a little touchy about his personal space. Not long ago Wonder Girl was getting up in his face and he verrry subtlely freaked out. What could possibly cause him to react that way? A lead allergy doesn't seem likely. I suppose it could support the "Superboy is Supernova" theory, but I think I already debunked that one.

One final note. Though I have used the masculine pronoun exclusively to refer to Supernova (check out the torso on that guy!) it does not preclude the possibility that Supernova might be a woman. Wacker is very careful to not refer to Supernova as he or she. Though I believe that is simply to feed speculation such as this.

In the end, this has been largely pointless, uninformative speculation. Speculation, rhetorical questions, and very few answers. Because I don't really have them. And none of us really do. Your guess is as good as mine. Besides, in the end I'll probably be disappointed when I find out who Supernova really is. Because it's the mystery that has me. It's always about the mystery.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Well, that week sucked.

You may or may not have noticed that I've been largely absent the past week. That can be attributed to the fact that a certain contributor to this blog thought he could do a better job of stewardship than I.

So he kidnapped me (he has a propensity for that) and locked me in the bottom of a decomissioned Soviet submarine somewhere off the eastern coast of Russia. I survived for five days on canned beans and vodka. It was not pleasant.

But this week's comic offerings certain were! (Nice segue, eh?) Keep an eye out for the last page of the latest issue of Catwoman. Therein Will Pfiefer shows that he really understands the sort of things that make the DCU great.

Thank you, Will. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Welcome back to my continuing reign of terror here at the blog. Today I wish to discuss something that is important to many of us: family.

You may or may not be aware that Grant Emerson -- otherwise known as Damage -- is my nephew. He had a rough go of it during that infamous battle when I *ahem* retired.

But I'm not here to feel sorry for my pathetic nephew. I'm here to scold him. There he was, breaking in -- unnanounced, mind you -- to one of the Society's secret laboratories. What were we supposed to do? Of course we had to massacre them brutally.

But that's not the real issue. The real issue is that that was the first time I'd seen the lad in years. Ever since he showed up at that "facility" where I was being "held" for "observation." Ha! And why did he show up then? Was it to see how his uncle was doing? No. It was to whine for my help.

I understand that the boy has mended -- mostly, anyway -- and is now joining the Justice Society of America. He'll be running around with people like the only Green Lantern I won't try to kill on sight.

I hope that this provides my nephew with some important character building. Because if it doesn't take and he drops out (like he dropped out of the Titans) he is not staying with me. I'm not a pathetic softy like someone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Much Needed Tidying

Greetings, fools! I have returned from my latest vacation. I am well rested and ready to resume villainy.

But upon my return I found that this blog's owner has been more than lax in his upkeep of Title Undetermined. He has not been posting! He has been wasting his time doing who knows what. And I see that the blogroll has not been updated in many months.

I hereby take it upon myself to bring this blog into the greatness that it so deserves. We will begin with an update to the sidebar. Behold! Three additions!

First, I wish to spotlight The Fortress of Fortitude. The self-described "Fortress Keeper" has a healthy respect for both the villanous and the underappreciated. I will allow him to live.

A further addition is Random Panels. Little more needs to be said beyond the fact that the proprietor, Brandon, is spending the week discussing armed gorillas (many of which also talk). This is highly acceptable.

And last (but certainly not least) we have The Roar of Comics. I stumbled upon this fine bit of work while doing my nightly Google search for my own name. Carry on, Steven. Carry on.

Friday, September 15, 2006

No Words Necessary

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Comics Burn

I was fired last night. Allow me to explain.

Most of you know that I've been working part time at a comic book store. Until last night things had been going well. I'd been able to keep my vigilantism separate from my work.

But that all changed when one of my crappy "rogues" (and I use that term loosely) followed me to the shop after a patrol. I'm trying to remember the guy's name, but for the life of me I can't. I only fought him once for St. Dumas' sake. He wears a bowler hat and a gas mask. That ringing bells for anyone?

Anyway, I'd stored my costume in the back and was heading to the register when he crashed through the window, scattering a display of Legion of Super-Heroes action figures (the door was unlocked, of course, but we costume types don't roll that way).

His timing was was actually quite fortuitous, as two of the regulars were caught up in that tired "Hulk vs. Superman" drivel and I was about to punish them. They quickly scattered when Gas Mask arrived, though.

I made a dash for my costume and quickly retrieved my gauntlets. I knew what to do. I'd deal with the maniac the way I deal with everything: fire. I should have considered that comics are highly flammable.

Before I knew it a stack of unsold variant covers for Spider-Man: The Other had caught fire. As you can imagine, that started a sizable blaze. Realizing that things had gone a little too far, Gas Mask grabbed some limited edition Kingdom Come statues and got the heck out of there. Leaving me holding the ball, as it were.

Long story short, the shop burned down and the owner fired me. So once again I'm left without a source of income. And I've still got a houseguest.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Day Late, A Dollar Short

I'll go ahead and say it: Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters is one of the most relevant books currently on the stands.

Now, seeing as I don't know the political tenor of the comic blogosphere, I may get myself it trouble for some of the things I'm about to say. But I don't really care.

The American political landscape is filthy. It's astonishing how clear the view gets when you're looking from afar (though some who are a lot closer -- you know who you are -- may disagree). The Democrats are spineless and the Republicans are so damn corrupt.

And that's the world we see in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. The nation's foundations are crumbling. The corrupt and the cruel are seizing control -- and no one is willing to stop them. Until...

Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam is not America. Rather, he is the spirit of what America could be. What it should be. He is the freedom that tyrants fear. The tolerance that bigots despise. He is the dream that anything can be.

And that is so incredibly powerful. Because dreams are what drive us. A few words from the personification of that idea is all the Freedom Fighters need to turn against their cruel masters.

And even as that map of the United States of America turns red with the blood of those who will suffer under the hand of a wicked mechanical automaton...

There is hope.

Monday, September 11, 2006

That's the Stuff

So, what is distracting Patricia?

Why, it seems that she's been distracted by thoughts of a nearly naked Cassandra Cain. Just like me.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It was not that long ago that I made a bold assertion. Many maligned my claims. But 52 has vindicated me.

And there you have it, friends. Incontrovertable proof that Black Adam is indeed losing his hair. I like to think that one of the many writers of 52 stumbled upon my blog and said to himself: "You know, that Diamondrock fella's right. But we need to make sure everybody knows."

Such dreams I have...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Boredom Does Strange Things...

Like cause me to insert random words into empty balloons in last week's 52:

I think it makes for a much more interesting story than what we're getting. I mean, c'mon! Space Cabbie and Lobo visiting Lexor! It'd be great!

I guess it's a good thing I don't work for DC. I hope this doesn't become a meme...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Just Won't Let Go

Wow, it certainly seems that things are gee golly swell for Batgirl. Every Batgirl except the one I like.

There's a mysterious new Batgirl in the pages of Birds of Prey and it's made clear that it's not Cassandra Cain. And don't forget the astonishing (and seemingly unexpected) news that Geoff Johns and J. G. Jones will be doing an All-Star Batgirl. Didn't see that thing coming.

As for my girl, she's apparently shacking up (not literally, of course) with Deathstroke and his merry band of loser Titans.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Well, that was completely and totally unexpected. I'm talking about Trials of Shazam which was nothing I could have forseen. And that's a good thing.

A lot of people have a hate/hate relationship with the work of Judd Winick. I am not one of those people. I've enjoyed pretty much everything he's done (with the exception of some of the more recent Green Arrow stuff). But Trials of Shazam seems to be on a whole 'nother level (though the traditional Winick "bad dialogue" is present and in attendance).

Anyway, Trials of Shazam has taken every element of the Captain Marvel mythos (and several elements of the DCU as a whole) and turned them upside down. The Wizard is gone, Billy's having some seriously identity issues, and who even knows what's up with Freddy and Mary? (don't you kill her, Winick!)

But this is all a good thing, I feel. Captain Marvel has been stagnant for too long. He hasn't worked. He needed something more. Now I don't know if Trials is it... But it's a step in the right direction...