Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coming 'Round Again

Let me start by apologizing not only to my loyal readers, but to the Thursday Night Thinkers who have been joining me these weeks. I have been lax in my responsibilities.

Add Doctor Polaris vacationing on an isolated island in the South Pacific and the fact that Azrael has mysteriously disappeared to the equation and you get little or no posting this past week. What can I say? Sometimes I'm bad at this blogging thing.

But I am back for the foreseeable future and -- with your permission -- I will make a few remarks regarding the news that came out of last weekend's Comic Con.

Grant Morrison & J. G. Jones on Final Crisis: Bring on the crazy. Pretty crazy.

Judd Winick & Ian Churchill on Titans East: Son of Vulcan is back! Am I the only person psyched about that? Loved that mini...

Bill Willingham & Sean Chen on Salvation Run: I love Willingham's work, and this has the potential to be very interesting. I can't wait to see the Joker's city...

See y'all tomorrow... Same untitled time, same untitled channel...

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking the Eighth

I've done a poor job living up to my blogging duties these past few days.

I'll admit, much of it is due to the fact that the changing of the seasons here in Japan always wipes me out. When summer hits, it hits. Like Batman taking out a C-list thug. Add that to the fact that here in Bizarro World (Japan) summer vacation means more work for teachers and you can probably understand why I'm so lethargic.

But lethargy doesn't mean I stop thinking. Thus: Thursday Night Thinking:

You thoughts, friends?


Monday, July 23, 2007


It's not secret that I like to write. At the moment I've got half a dozen comic scripts and a like number of novels in the works. I've got so many ideas (though they may not be good ideas) flowing through my head that I don't know what to do with them all.

But interestingly enough, I find that there aren't many characters at DC that I'd really like a chance to write (needless to say, I have no interest in any Marvel characters). I love characters like Batman, Superman, and Aquaman, but I don't really want to write about them. I want to read about them.

Most of the characters DC has that I'd like to write are forgotten characters. Characters that have been sitting around in limbo for years and years. Even characters that have been forgotten by continuity. I once thought up a way of bringing them all back into a series for amazing adventures through the Multiverse.

Yeah, I said Multiverse. I know I've made it very clear that I'm not a fan of the Multiverse as it existed in the pre-Crisis days. But I always felt that it never really went away. There were still alternate worlds and things, they were just really hard to get to and rarely bore much resemblance to the main DCU. And that's the way I liked it.

So I've always wanted to write a story about a team of Elseworlds and retconned out misfits that travel the Multiverse righting wrongs and in some cases, trying to find a place to belong. These travelers are led by a powerful character searching for a lost loved one. Said powerful character is later revealed to be a major DCU character who once headlined his/her own series. What can I say? I love to play with continuity.

So that's my dream project at DC. Unfortunately, the return of the Multiverse as it is in some ways wipes it out. Though I still think I could pull it off. Maybe some day I'll get a shot...

(And before you say anything, yes, I have been told that this may in some way resemble Marvel's Exiles series. But when I conceived my idea I'd never heard of Exiles. And obviously I've never read it. So there.)

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Night Fights... Yet Again!

As Balahctus demands!

Sometimes you just gotta shut up and fight!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking the Seventh

Once again... Thursday Night Thinking! This week, the inestimable Jimmy Olsen provides the thoughts:

Jimmy knows that sometimes a succinct thought is all you need! Now that's thinking!

How about you? How do you structure your thoughts?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Betrayal and Vengeance

Imagine if you will discovering that you have been replaced. It matters not if you imagine it as a relationship or a job. You had something you love to do, and someone new has taken it from you.

Now imagine you find out through an Internet comic preview of Justice League of America #11:

What matter of doom would you rain upon your betrayers?

I am filled with rage... And morbid curiosity. For though I am enraged that Brad Meltzer would have the audacity to replace me with someone younger, I am also curious about this young upstart I will soon be meeting.

Whoever he is, he has the audacity to call himself Doctor Polaris. But I wonder if he is in fact a doctor, medical or otherwise. It is clear that Meltzer's "Doctor" Impossible is not. So it is unlikely that this "Doctor Polaris" is a doctor either.

I am a doctor. And I am also The Master of Magnetism. And The Man Who Mastered Magnetism. What mastery of nature's primal forces does this young fool possess? Likely, none. But whatever he does possess, it will pale compare to the might of the true Polaris!

Soon I will have the comic in my hands. I will not pay for it, but I will possess it nonetheless. And I will find out who dares to take my name and sully my reputation. And regardless of how well he holds the position, he will be annihilated.

Oh, and Meltzer... Watch your back. Polaris comes for you.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Ah... Nothing like a three day weekend to recharge the ol' batteries. Thank God for Japan an its wacky national holidays. I mean, Marine Day? C'mon!

Anyway, my first day of work this week also turned out to be the day that DC released their October solicitations. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, from Captain Carrot (C'mon! Try and say that DC doesn't like fun now! I dare ya!) to the Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul.

But that's not the resurrection I care about. I care about the one in the DC INFINITE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL #1. Do read the solicit:

Don’t miss this collection of 13 stories of tricks and treats by some of comics’ top creators, including writers Steve Niles, Mark Waid, Steve Seagal, Dan DiDio, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Peter Johnson (TV’s Supernatural), David Arquette (Scream), Cliff Dorfman (Entourage) and many more with art by Ian Churchill, Dean Ormston, Dustin Nguyen , Bernard Chang and others! The inmates of Arkham horrify each other with terrifying tales involving Superman and zombies, Batman and vampires, Robin and werewolves, Aquaman and witches, Flash and the dead, and more! Plus, the return of Resurrection Man!

Oh yes. Yes indeed. You did read that correctly. It's the Return of Ressurection Man. It's no secret that I really loved the Resurrection Man comic. And even if it's for just a short while, I'm happy that Resurrection Man is coming back.

Ra's al Ghul, not so much...

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Night Fights...

As Bahlactus demands... Friday Night Fights!

This week I'm breaking into the new comics... And Citizen Steel is breaking something else!

Heroes aren't born... They're made...

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking the Sixth

Once again... Thursday Night Thinking!

And with the search for Ray Palmer on, let's not forget why we need the man:

He's a spectacular thinker.

Johnny Bacardi
proves that thinking thought before is thinking nonetheless!

Walking Through Destiny's Garden reveals that even the Devil thinks!

Cheetah Master
shows us why nobody thinks like Luthor!

Tom Bondurant
again proves that sometimes quality thinking is short and to the point!

Erich shows us that sometimes thinking is the most obvious thing in the world!

Lurker without reveals that thinking about the past can make for excellent thinking!

The Fortress Keeper shows us how some thinking hides horrible truths!

The Comic Treadmill
proves that existential thinking is thinking nonetheless!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Night Out

I'm not feeling so great tonight. I'm tired, and irritable, and I want to go to be (even though it's only nine o'clock). That being said, I don't think I really want to do a post tonight. So I think I'll take the night off... Again.

What do you think about that idea, Wild Dog?

You heard the Midwest's nuttiest vigilante: I'm out of here! See you all tomorrow for Thursday Night Thinking!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Read, fools! Read!

Long has Polaris been absent from this place. But I return! As I always do.

I was exploring the nether regions of "comic book message-boards" wherein I stumbled upon an intriguing thread. I will not bore you with the details, other than to say that it consisted of questions directed toward one Tad Williams current scribe of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis.

There was much of interest to be found there regarding that particular title. None of which was particularly interesting to me. But lo: Tad Williams was asked to share a proposal that he had once submitted to DC. And here is where Tad Williams' brilliance shines as bright as a thousand suns! I will share the only relevant portion:

Palmer and his grad student assistant, SIMON YEE, do not realize at first that the attack by the supercriminal (ICICLE, perhaps, or DOCTOR POLARIS or REVERSE-FLASH) is anything other than a standard attempt at technology-robbery by a super-villain.

Brilliance! Unmitigated brilliance! Tad Williams knows what the rest of the charlatans at DC do not: Polaris sells! So, it is with great pride -- and smug satisfaction -- that I name Tad Williams Doctor Polaris' Writer of the Month.

Support him by reading Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis or be crushed beneath my iron fist. So swears Polaris!

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Zuda Comics

This fall, DC enters into the world of online comics publishing. And they're doing it in a way that I think is innovative, interesting, and potentially ground-breaking. To my knowledge, no one has tried to do exactly what Zuda Comics is trying to do.

A publisher accepting any and all submissions sent to them is nothing new. But when the publisher soliciting those submissions is one of the Big Two, it seems to me that is is a big deal.

I'm don't know much about the publishing industry -- or webcomics beyond the ones I read -- but to me Zuda Comics feels exciting. It feels to me like there's a lot of potential for growth there. And a lot of potential for creators with good ideas to break into the spotlight where their work can be seen by an audience.

I'm going to to start working on my submission today. Will any of the rest of you out there give it a try?


Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Night Fights... Again!

I missed it last week, but this week I'm on my game! As Bahlactus demands:

Captain Atom lays the smackdown on Majestic, and shows him how we do it on Earth-52!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking the Fifth

It's that time again. Yes, it's... Thursday Night Thinking! A place where lovers, dreamers, and plotters come together for thoughtful action!

And how typical of Hawkman to think about hitting... And hitting hard!

Remember... You can join in at any time! Thinkers love company!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Fourth

Not much of a post today. I was too busy out celebrating!

It's hard to find a good time on the 4th of July in Japan. Here they treat it like it's just any other day. But it's not just any other day.

Happy 231st birthday you fabulous, infuriating, amazing, confusing, astonishing, fantastic, incomparable nation. I don't know where I'd be without you....

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Last Crisis?

The big news for DC fans today is the latest Countdown teaser. It's certainly an intriguing image. I spent a lot of time today staring at it, trying to pick out clues and what they mean. But the more I looked at it, the more I felt that there was something familiar about the composition. The characters aren't holding themselves the way comic book characters usually do. There was something... Odd about it all.

I wracked my brain trying to come up with where I'd see the posing. The Trickster's stance was particularly familiar to me. It took me awhile, but finally it dawned on me. And it's both mind-boggling and potentially revealing. You see, the newest Countdown teaser shares certain similarities with Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper.

Yeah, I know... That's far fetched even for me. But the parallels are certainly there. And as a public service I will try to dissect exactly how these two pieces of art seem to converge.

Let us begin by examining the composition as a whole. Each picture contains thirteen figures. Of the thirteen, one is positioned in the very center of the image. That is where the viewer's attention is immediately drawn (we'll come back to those guys later). The other twelve figures are arrayed on either side of the central figure. Six on each side, clustered together in groups of three. Let's examine the various groupings, beginning on the right side where the convergence between the two images is the most obvious.

The similarities are as obvious as they are uncanny. In The Last Supper Matthew (on the left) gestures towards the central figure while the Trickster does the same in the Countdown teaser. Though Matthew holds nothing in his left hand, the Trickster is carrying the Pied Piper's flute.

In the center of The Last Supper grouping is Simon the Zealot, and his Countdown teaser counterpart is Darkseid's torturer Desaad.

On the far right of the images are Jude Thaddeus and the Penguin. Each holds their hands out towards the middle figure as if seeking counsel or the answer to a question. Matthew and the Trickster seem to be doing the same. What are they seeking from Desaad?

Moving left to the next grouping reveals considerably less in common between the two images. Nonetheless, there are some parallels. Like Thomas in The Last Supper, Kingdom Come Superman is holding up his right hand. But rather than a pointed finger, Superman's hand is a mysterious glowing fist.

The center figure of each grouping -- James the Greater and Cyborg Superman respectively -- seems detached from what is going on around him. Indeed, in both images the central figure seems to be ignoring the rightmost figure, even as that figure (be it Phillip or Black Suit Superman) requests information from the central figure.

The third group from the right is the most complex -- and possibly the most important. The rightmost figure in this grouping in The Last Supper is John, who was the youngest of the apostles. This would make it likely that the Catwoman featured in the Countdown teaser is Holly Robinson, also a young protege.

Things get trickier when it comes to the two leftmost figures. In The Last Supper, the two figures are Judas Iscariot (foreground, holding a moneybag) and Peter (background, holding a knife). Depending on whether one goes by head or body, either Judas or Peter could be considered the central figure in the grouping.

This causes considerable difficulties when we consider the grouping in the Countdown teaser. Though the Joker is posed like Peter, Martian Manhunter holds a knife like Peter. This is very important, as Judas and Peter are their leader's betrayer and right hand man, respectively. It would not be a stretch to say that the same might apply to the characters in the Countdown teaser and their central figure. The question is: which one's the traitor?

The last grouping is in some ways the hardest to pick apart. In The Last Supper we have Bartholomew, James the Lesser, and Andrew. All three men bear expressions of surprise. This is in stark contrast to Granny Goodness, Mary Marvel, and Eclipso in the Countdown teaser. Those three appear to be happy or excited about something.

There are no immediately apparent similarities between the two groupings, but some become apparent if the order in either The Last Supper or the Countdown teaser is changed. In that case, both James and Eclipso are reaching an arm around another figure in the grouping, while Andrew and Granny Goodness are both holding their hands in front of themselves.

Finally, we come to the central figure in each image. In The Last Supper, that figure is obviously Jesus. The figure in the Countdown teaser is just as obviously Lex Luthor.

In both images the central figure is arrayed in a roughly triangular shaped pattern and holds his hands out and to his sides. Both wear distressed expressions. But a major difference is that Luthor's palms are bloody. Whether that is someone else's blood or his own, it seems to be meant as a sick parallel to Jesus' crucifixion wounds.

Well, there you have it, friends. My insane compare and contrast of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper and Ethan van Sciver's Countdown teaser. Though I do not know what these similarities mean, I'm certain that they are not merely a coincidence. Only time will tell what lies behind the symbols...

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Monday, July 02, 2007

More Monarch

Yeah, I'm back with another post about Monarch. But it's important. Plus, I got so caught up with the history of Monarch yesterday that I couldn't go into some of my theories about the character. So here goes...

I was reading a few of those weekly Countdown columns you see on websites like Newsarama earlier today. I found myself coming away unimpressed. They need to check their facts (Grayle Gardner? Puh-leeze). But the thing I noticed is that they all made the assumption that Monarch is a villain.

This isn't necessarily untrue, of course. Monarch may very well turn out to be a villain. He does act quite ominously, after all. But consider this: Monarch is a character assumed to be a villain who is sending his Forerunner through the Multiverse to collect people from various worlds to fight for him in a coming war.

In 1985 a character called the Monitor was widely assumed to be a villain. He sent his Harbinger through the Multiverse to collect people from various worlds to fight for him in a coming war.

So I think it's a mistake to assume that this Monarch is a villain just because the first one was. Just like it's a mistake to assume that the new Monitors are virtuous just because the original one was...

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Trial of the Monarch

More happened this past week than the Sinestro Corps Special. In fact, I think that something with huge ramifications occured this week in Countdown. There were a lot of characters with a lot of stories, but the one that stands out is the tale of Forerunner... And her meeting of the Monarch.

For those of you out there who lack my nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the Post-Crisis DC Universe, I'll do a quick rundown of who the Monarch is (he is many) and why he is important.

Monarch's story begins in the early 90's with DC's Armageddon 2001 event. Running through DC's annuals in 1991, the core of the story was simple: by the year 2001 one of the heroes of the DCU will turned against the other heroes and made himself undisputed ruler of the world. He would become the Monarch.

The gimmick of the event was one of the most famous parts of Armageddon 2001. Throughout the story there were various clues left that were meant to help the reader guess for themselves which hero would become the Monarch. But when the identity of Monarch was leaked -- it was supposed to be Captain Atom -- DC presumably went into a panic.

Rather than simply continue the story as planned, DC decided to try and pull a fast one. Rather than have Captain Atom turn out to be the villainous Monarch, DC instead changed the ending so that it was Hank Hall -- Hawk of Hawk and Dove -- who would become the Monarch.

It could charitably be said that this was not a good idea. Largely because it made very little sense. For example, during the Hawk and Dove annual that was a part of the Armageddon 2001 crossover, Hawk and Dove were shown fighting the Monarch in the future. Additionally, one of the key clues to the Monarch's identity was the color of his eyes. Monarch's eyes were blue, like Captain Atom. Hawk's eyes were brown.

Nonetheless, Hawk became Monarch, killed dove, tried to take over the world, and then eventually became the time traveling Extant. As Extant, he played a role in another DC crossover, Zero Hour. He was later killed during a story arc in JSA. He's been safely dead ever since.

But the Monarch would not die. A version of Monarch claiming to be the real Nathanial Adam (Captain Atom's secret identity) made an appearance in Extreme Justice in 1995. This was likely a nod to the Armageddon 2001 controversy. But like everything else connected with Extreme Justice, that version of Monarch hasn't been seen or heard from since.

It would be a decade before the next appearance of the Monarch. The events leading up to his appearance begin with the curiously named Captain Atom: Armageddon miniseries. In that series, Captain Atom is transported to the Wildstorm Universe (now known to some as Earth-50). After a series of adventures, he is flung back into the DC Universe in the ruins of Bludhaven.

The unconscious Captain Atom -- whose containment suit has been ruptured and is leaking radiation -- is held captive by SHADE. He is then rescued by the Atomic Knights, who supply him with a suit of very familiar armor to contain his leaking radiation. No dressed in the Monarch armor, Captain Atom escapes from the Atomic Knights' facility, seemingly kills Major Force, and obliterates the city of Bludhaven.

Captain Atom -- as the Monarch -- is next seen in Ion. After doing battle with the Tangent Universe characters, Kyle Rayner is thrown into the Bleed, a space between dimensions. There he is rescued from ferocious monsters by a super-powered being in the Monarch armor. This Monarch reveals himself to be Captain Atom, and explains that he has been "traveling" (presumably the Multiverse) and avoiding the gaze of the Monitors.

Which brings us full circle to this week's Countdown, the first appearance of the Monarch since Ion. Monarch recruits Forerunner to his cause -- whatever it may be -- and ominously tells her that he will show her a war "the likes of which no god or man has ever seen." And then, with Forerunner at his side, the Monarch disappears into the darkness.

The mystery of this Monarch has just begun, but it it is clear that his goals -- whatever they are -- will play a big part of Countdown and whatever it leads to. All that we know is that Monarch (presumably Captain Atom, though not explicitly stated) is gathering an army. Forerunner's backups in the upcoming Countdown to Adventure feature her traveling the Multiverse recruiting beings for something. It is very likely she is doing this at the behest of the Monarch.

Monarch has made it clear that he is no friend of the Monitors. And it seems that he is now taking steps to strike out at them. His travels through the Multiverse seem to have made him aware of the nature of whatever is coming. And he wants to be prepared. The only question really remaining is this: is this Monarch virtuous like Captain Atom? Or is he a villain, like the original Monarch?

Time will tell...

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