Commentary, Reviews, and Insanity
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Wherein I Take a Side Trip Through Parts Unknown
It should come as no surprise to the lot of you that I am an incredible geek. Whether its my comics or my gaming or whatever. I tend to take it pretty seriously. And though this particular blog is supposed to be about comics, I need to take a little tangent here. I'm a little bit rattled, you see.
When I say I take these things seriously, I mean it. One of the things about comics that I love is the shared universe that grows and changes as things go on. I get to know the characters, and I like them (or hate them) based on what I see. And I do it with passion.
This passion, of course, extends to other areas as well. Whether it's the death of a beloved Dungeons & Dragons character or the tear-inducing ending to Final Fantasy IX. I take it very seriously. Because it's about the characters.
So it should ccome as no surprise that I sometimes take things too seriously. I won't bore you with the story of how I couldn't sleep for days after seeing the series finale of Xena: Warrior Princess (yes, I am that big of a geek).
Anyway, I'm taking something fictional a little too seriously now, and I need to vent some of my frustration. That's what blogs are for, right? To talk about the things that you have on your mind. Heck, if Kalinara can spend a day talking about German fairytales, I can talk about the anime that's got me rattled.
Hey, I said I was a geek. Besides, I live in Japan. That sort of thing is allowed here. Just take it as an opportunity to get a glimpse into the inner workings of my twisted mind. Now, this post about nothing is getting long. Let's wrap it up.
So we've got someone trying the best to do what is right. But his dangerous power is out of his control. And because of it a good person -- a very good person -- has been made a monster against her will. And thousands have died. Because of what she did. And I'm all shook up over it. Even though I know -- I know -- that none of these people are real.
But that doesn't stop me from caring. What does that say about me?
Monday, March 26, 2007
This Isn't Working
Not long ago I asked some of the readers for relationship advice. I'm sure you can gather how well that's going from the title of this post.
As one faithful reader suggested, I tried getting in touch with Supergirl. I mean, she's a member of the Superman Family! That's like royalty in the DCU! She didn't return my call. But I did get an "arms crossed hovering outside the window looking stern" visit from a certain fellow in blue tights.
So it looks like I'm not going to be seeing Supergirl any time soon. But I'm actually happy about that. You know she's only seventeen? I'm not a sicko or anything.
Anyway, I've left several messages with Barbara (unlike some, she occasionally answers my calls). From what I've gathered she used to go to college with this "Spy Smasher." If they're still on good terms, she might be able to set us up. I'm crossing my fingers...
Friday, March 23, 2007
This is How It's Done
Okay, so I read Aquaman #50. Holy crap, that was awesome.
I don't know much about this Tad Williams guy, but he sure as hell can write. There's more stuff crammed into this one issue than most series get in their first fifty. New faces! Old faces! Villains! Mysteries! Deaths!
I could go on all day about how great this issue was. But I won't. I'll just ask that if you haven't picked it up, go give it a chance. If you aren't hooked, then, well...
You probably shouldn't be reading superhero comics...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
More On Countdown
"Unto Man Shall Come... A Great Disaster." Ominous words, indeed. And words with several layers of meaning. Especially to people obsessed with the intricacies and inner-workings of the greater DC Universe. People like myself.
You may or may not know that "Great Disaster" is more than simply a reference to a general calamitous event. Just as "Crisis" has certain connotations in the DCU, "Great Disaster" has a specific meaning. Specifically Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth.
In the early 1970's the great Jack Kirby created a number of new properties for DC Comics. Most famous of those are, of course, the New Gods. But he also created a possible apocalyptic future for the DCU. A world were mutated animals ruled ruthlessly over the few remaining humans. In this timeline, the event that led to this nightmare world was referred to as the Great Disaster.
Kamandi was the star of Last Boy on Earth (even though he wasn't really the last boy on Earth). Kamandi's name came from fallout shelter-like bunker where he was raised. That bunker was inscribed with the words "Command-D." (hence, "Kamandi.")
It was later revealed that a group known as the Atomic Knights had a part in the events leading up to the Great Disaster. As you may be aware, the Atomic Knights recently played a major role in the Battle for Bludhaven miniseries. After the destruction of the city they were seen entering their base: a bunker labeled Command-D.
None of these things are a coincidence. Nor is it a coincidence that both Kamandi and Darkseid were created by Jack Kirby. After all, it was never revealed what -- or who -- was responsible for the Great Disaster...
A Great Disaster, indeed...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Mary Mary Quite Contrary
So tell me... What do you all think of this little image? This teaser for Countdown?
Are you worried they're goint to make Mary Marvel grim and gritty? Ruin the fact that she's one of very few genuinely nice girls. in comics (or the real world, for that matter) Perhaps that concern is justified.
But I am not concerned. I believe that Mary is tough enough to come out of whatever DC throws at her intact. She'll come out of Countdown as strong as she's ever been. Without losing any of what makes her Mary Marvel.
But then, I've always been an optimist...
Monday, March 19, 2007
I Think They're Making Out Like Bandits
I find the whole "DiDio has a vendetta against the Giffen Justice League" idea a little silly. I mean, has anyone actually taken a good hard look at what most of the characters are doing now? Sure, some of them are dead. But how did the end up that way?
Sue Dibny: Was murdered by Ray Palmer's nutty ex-wife.
Ralph Dibny: Was a major player in the biggest DC event ever. Went out with one hell of a bang, outsmarting the freakin' Devil in the process. Well played, Mr. Dibny.
Blue Beete: Was shot in the head by Max Lord, which kicked off the countdown to Infinite Crisis.
Max Lord: Shot Blue Beetle in the head, then got his head twisted around by Wonder Woman.
Guy Gardner: Is currently headlining an ongoing series.
Booster God: Is a major player in the biggest DC event ever. Is slated to headline an ongoing series after that event comes to a close.
Fire: Is a major supporting character in an ongoing series.
Captain Atom: Is shaping up to be an extremely pivotal character in the things that DC has planned.
Martian Manhunter: Just wrapped up a solo miniseries.
Batman: Is still the goddamn Batman.
So yeah, it seems to me that the vast majority of the Giffen League is making out pretty well. I mean, they're getting more play now than they were before Dan DiDio started running the show.
Am I forgetting anyone?
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I Do Not Care For You, Great Ten
Am I the only one out there who doesn't particularly care for the Great Ten? I mean, they're interesting enough I suppose, but the news that they're getting a series (a mini, I assume) leaves me cold. Very cold.
The idea, I think, is superb. There need to be more than simply American super-heroes. And when there are international super-heroes they need to be better than token characters based on American stereotypes about that country. So I'm all for the idea of the Great Ten.
But there's something about them that makes me leery. It's as if they tried too hard to make them "cool." And it seems to me that they worked really hard to make them "Chinese." And for some reason it seems vaguely offensive to me. I mean, I'm not Chinese, so I've got no leg to stand on here. But they just seem a little over the top.
And of course, there's the fact that the Great Ten are a government sponsored super-team. Which is all well and good. Many countries have them, after all. But these characters are still lapdogs for a brutal authoritarian regime. And the fact that they're getting their own series makes me a little unsettles me (I don't recall any Soviet super-team ever getting themselves a mini-series).
Of course, in the end, this is just me being stupid. I'm sure all you readers out there can poke holes in what I'm saying. But like others, I sometimes hold on tightly to ideas and opinions even though I know they're insane.
And I do not like the Great Ten.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
And so it begins. Black Adam -- one of the world's most powerful meta-humans -- has gone beyond the brink. In less than two days Black Adam has destroyed an entire country. He has slain millions of innocents. And it's only going to get worse.
His next stop is Oolong Island. And though some of the inhabitants there show fear -- the man after them has the power of six gods, after all -- one of them seems to be gleefully anticipating the showdown. Indeed, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana seems to relish in the coming showdown. And though he is known for grandiose posturing, he's not stupid, either.
Bruno Mannheim doesn't seem particularly concerned, either. Which means there is more to Intergang's plans than there initially seemed. Would they really have engineered four Apokoliptian monstrosities simply for the right to pass smuggled guns through the Sinai Peninsula? No, there is more at work here…
Of course, we know how this all ends. It ends with World War III. We've already seen forces beginning to mobilize, but things haven't quite yet hit their apex. What will Black Adam do to finally set things off? What will happen next week when he directs his rage at the inhabitants of Oolong Island?
Whatever happens, it won't be pretty.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I'm So Terribly Lonely
I'm tired of spending my weekends patrolling in the rain and watching reruns of Law & Order: SVU. I need to get out more. Be around people. I need to get me a girlfriend.
I'll admit that I've never had much luck with women. I mean, I'm twenty-seven for Saint Dumas' sake. And you know how many girlfriends I've had in that time? Let's just say I can count them all on one hand. And that's when I'm wearing my three-finger gauntlets...
But I've spent enough time moping about it. I need to get out there. There are hundreds of unattached ladies in the DCU. Many of whom are super-heroines. So, in the spirit of last year's epic job hunt I'm asking my faithful readers for help.
So, who do you think I would get along well with? And more importantly, do you know of any girls in the DCU who would actually be willing to go out on a date with me? I understand that I'm not exactly Hal Jordan, but I do have some reedeming qualities...
What do you think?
Monday, March 12, 2007
The World That's Coming
Devon over at Seven Hells! pointed me to this post over at Those Wednesdays. The author did most of the work I've been meaning to do for awhile regarding the "Big Plan" that DC's had since Dan DiDio came on board. He did a very good job, so go read that and then come back here.
Done? Okay. Then let's get to the point where I try to fill in some of the blanks. Where I pull out the little strands that I've noticed and try to figure out who the real villains behind the scenes are. And if I'm right, then it is leading into the biggest thing to hit the DCU in like, forever.
We know that Darkseid and the Fourth World are involved. We know that they all are going to play a big role. But we also know that they aren't the end all be all of what's happening. In the above linked post Ben makes a reference to Superman #654 where Bruno Mannheim has been transformed. Mannheim says: "It’s not Darkseid. Not even close. You don’t know what they put me through. What they did to me. And now that I've failed them again..."
So it seems that someone bigger than Darksied -- or more precisely multiple someones -- are manipulating things behind the scenes. This is further evidenced over in Ion #10 where Kyle and Donna meet up a with a bunch of Qwardians. Apparently they've fled the Anti-Matter Universe and taken refuge in the regular universe. Seems that a group (the plural is used) of beings more powerful than the anti-matter equivalent of the Guardians of the Universe have driven the Qwardians from their home dimension.
Then there's the Sinestro Corps. Geoff Johns mentioned in an interview (I don't recall where) that there is a group fronting them the way the Guardians front the Green Lantern Corps. We know it can't be the Qwardians. They've already been chased out of their old stomping rounds.
So. Anti-Matter Universe? Beings as powerful as/more powerful than Darkseid? Who could they be? You may see where I'm going, but if not, let's examine that final (or rather the first) piece of the puzzle: Brave New World. The first DC 80 page special kicked off the first act. The second obviously kicks off the second. And in Brave New World we are introduced to a whole slew of Monitors.
Once there was the Monitor. But he did not exist alone. There also was the Anti-Monitor. Now there are Monitors. Do you really think they are alone?
Friday, March 09, 2007
This is Not What I Intended To Write
So... Ah... Right...
Did you read the latest Manhunter? I'm not really sure... I don't know how I should feel about this and all. I mean, I know I should be happy they uncancelled the book again. But there's the whole... You know... With the replacement thing...
I mean, I knew it was going to happen eventually. I couldn't possibly just wait around until someone decided to bring me back out of limbo. Right? Right? Right? I should be happy that the name is getting out there. Sure, it's not the Azrael. But it's... Ah... It's something.
Oh, who am I kidding? Know that I am royally pissed off about this whole thing. And if you think I'm going to give up my costume and name just because some other guy's taken it over, well... You've got another thing coming.
That's right! I am Azrael. I am the avenging angel of the Order of St. Dumas! And don't let anyone tell you different!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The date? October, 1970.
The comic? Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133.
The debuting writer, artist, and editor? Jack Kirby.
22 pages, 240 word balloons. 219 of which end with an exclamation point. All the rest end with a Sunday Punch:
I guess there's a reason why they call this guy "The King."
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
A Single Panel
Been a busy week... Looks like it's only going to get busier. So all you get is a single panel. Savor it.
Labels: Freedom Fighters
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I Think Something Might Be Wrong With Me
I'm going to come right out and say it: I'm really starting to like Supergirl.
I know I'm not supposed to. I'm supposed to hate what's being done. I'm supposed to rail against the injustice perpetrated against sweet, innocent pre-Crisis Kara. And I'm supposed to be pissed that Linda Danvers got the shaft.
But I can't. Joe Kelly (whose work I've always enjoyed) is taking Supergirl in unexpected, intriguing -- and most importantly weird -- directions. And I'm finding that I love it.
After all, this is the guy who did a legendary run on Deadpool, the only comic to ever make me actually like a Marvel character. And now he's taking something else I initially had no real interest in (picked the book up out of curiosity) and making me like it too.
The early issues of Supergirl had a few cool scenes, but seemed largely mired in Mary Sueish team-ups, anger issues, and confusing continuity glitches. But Joe Kelly is taking those things and sort of running with them. So yeah, Kara made out with an evil alternate universe version of her cousin. And that's weird. But you know what? Kara Zor-El is really screwed up kid.
And yes, a lot of kids are screwed up. A lot of kids are angry and confused about where they are in their lives. But there aren't a lot of screwed up kids who also have godlike powers and the world's greatest super-hero as a cousin. And that, my friends, creates drama. And drama = good. At least in my book.
Joe Kelly continues to draw me in. Here he talks about some of the things he's got planned for the book. And I must say that I'm intrigued. The crystal weirdness, the creepy revelations about her father -- even her apparent need to try and kill Superman. All of these are mysteries that I actually want to learn the answers to.
And yes, these are all things that you'd never have seen with the pre-Crisis Kara. But if we'd gotten the exact same Supergirl as before, we would've gotten the exact same stories. And that's no fun. New stories need to be told. And that's What Joe Kelly is giving us. And despite myself, I'm actually enjoying the ride.