Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking XVII

This is my 400th post.

I know I haven't posted at all over the past week. Sometimes things just get away from you. This week was one of those weeks. A combination of work, holidays, and the fact that I haven't gotten my comics yet has kept me out of the game.

But one game that never ends... The Thinking!

I will return. Count on it.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday Night XVI

Thursday Night Thinking returns! Unable to find a suitably terrifying image of Jean Loring thinking, I had to settle for Ray Palmer:

It takes some serious chutzpah to think your way into the beard of famed French science-fictionist Jules Verne.

What say you?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not So Unknown

Kalinara brought to my attention something very important. In skimming the new DC solicitations, I failed to notice this one for Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters:

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art by Renato Arlem
Cover by Dave Johnson
The Doll Man War begins! Plus, Red Bee’s daring escape from a government lab. And if that’s not enough...the return of Neon the Unknown!
On sale December 26 • 4 of 8 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

You see it, don't you? The Return of Neon the Unknown!!

My love for the Unknown is no secret. In fact, back during the first Freedom Fighters series I practically begged Justin Gray over on a message board to put Neon in.

It seems that the fates have conspired to make at least one of my weird, twisted dreams come true. Only about 200,000 to go...

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Saturday, September 15, 2007


Every once in a while a character appears in comics that shatters everything we thought we knew about the medium. Such characters do not go unnoticed. They are usually hailed as what they are: Sensational Character Finds.

It goes without saying that Robin, the Boy Wonder was the Sensational Character Find of 1940. There are others, of course. 1975 had a Sensational Character Find. Others rightly claim that 1984 also had a Sensational Character Find.

This brings us to the obvious question... Who's the Sensational Character Find of 2007? If you've been reading Countdown, the answer should be blindingly obvious:


That's right, friends. Hassan is without a doubt the Sensational Character Find of 2007. Since his first appearance in Countdown #37 he's changed the way we look at comics. With nothing more than a few incomprehensible words and a scimitar, Hassan has reaffirmed our faith in comic books.

So let's all raise our glasses to Hassan, the mummy with a sword that stole our hearts. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking XV

Now and forever, it's Thursday Night Thinking!

This week, we've got a returning contender. He's tiny, he's blue, and... I can't think of anything that rhymes with blue. But still, that ox can think!

Nor would I, my friend. Nor would I.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ignore This Rant

So information about Titans East was released at Baltimore Comic-Con. Apparently the team is going to consist of Nightwing, Cyborg, Donna Troy, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy. In other words, the non-teens that I thought I'd finally gotten rid of.

I didn't read the Wolfman/Perez Titans. I have no interest in reading it. I don't find most of those characters particularly interesting on their own. Why would I want to see them all together?

To tell you the truth, I'd considered Titans East. Especially after seeing the cover to the one shot. Some people were turned off by the appearance of Power Boy, but I was turned on by the appearance of Vulcan. And to a lesser extent, Lagoon Boy.

I'm a rarity in this stretch of the universe: I tend to like the stuff that Judd Winick does. And to me, a team of misfits and weirdos like that seems like a perfect fit for him. He could do some interesting things with it. Plus, Vulcan.

But instead we get another attempt at bringing those same old tired Titans back into a team book together. What exactly are they going to do? Fight Deathstroke again? Fight Brother Blood again? Fight Trigon again and again and again?

I like to see new characters mixing with old characters. Sometimes I like just new characters. And yes, I do sometimes enjoy just old characters. But the funny thing about the line-up for this team is that even though there are characters decades older, they all seem awfully dated to me.

I'm just not sure they've got what it takes.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ten Character Meme

It's always good to start a week (albeit belatedly) with a nice meme. So, courtesy of Ami and Kalinara here's a "Ten Character Meme."
First, select your ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best. Then answer the questions below.
  1. Snake Eyes (G. I. Joe)
  2. Miss Martian (DC Comics)
  3. Cagalli Yula Athla (Gundam Seed)
  4. Haruka Amami (Idolmaster Xenoglossia)
  5. Horatio Caine (CSI: Miami)
  6. Heero Yuy (Gundam Wing)
  7. Alan Scott (DC Comics)
  8. Garnet Til Alexandros XVIII (Final Fantasy IX)
  9. Celes Chere (Final Fantasy VI)
  10. Jean Paul Valley (DC Comics)

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Okay, here we go:

Team A: Snake Eyes, Cagalli, Horatio Caine, Alan Scott, and Celes Chere
Team B: Miss Martian, Haruka Amami, Heero Yuy, Garnet, and Azrael

Ooh, this doesn't work out so well. Some of it's good, but the rest? Here's how I'd lay it out:

Team A

Leader: Alan Scott
Lancer: Celes Chere
Big Guy: Snake Eyes
Smart Guy: Horatio Caine
The Chick: Cagalli

Hmm... That actually worked out better than I thought. Though I'm not sure Caine qualifies as a "Smart Guy." And being "The Chick" Isn't really fair to Cagalli.

Team B

Leader: Garnet
Lancer: Haruka Amami
Big Guy: Heero Yuy
Smart Guy: Azrael
The Chick: Miss Martian

I am well aware that Azrael is definitely not the "Smart Guy." But I had to put him somewhere and there's no "Mopey One."

Team A definitely has more heavy hitters, so they have the slight edge in this competition. If I could swap any two I'd send Azrael to be "The Chick" on Team A (since we know that being "The Chick" in Power Rangers has no actual connection to gender).

2. Gender-swap 2, 8 & 10. Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

Oh boy. This one should be interesting. For Miss Martian, of course, there would be very little change. Martians barely have gender as it is.

I think Garnet would be pretty much the same, honestly. Obviously he'd need a plucky thief girl with a tail to show him the ropes. Actually, that'd be kind of cool.

Poor Azrael. He'd probably still have the same angsty personality. And instead of a string of disastrous relationships with women she'd have a string of disastrous relationships with men. And her villains wouldn't be any better, either...

3. Compare the matchups of 1 & 8 and 5 & 9. (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal's home culture?

Snake Eyes & Garnet
Horatio Caine & Celes Chere

Uh oh. The first pairing gives us a couple of dreary loners. (both of whom have been mute at one time or another!) If they had a relationship it would be very quiet.

Caine and Celes, on the other hand... If I tilt my head just right (and remove my Sunglasses of Justice) I can see it. They're both strong characters who excel in their fields. And both look for exactly that sort of person in their partners. So I think it could work.

As for acceptance in their cultures, I think Snake Eyes might have a little trouble with the fact that Garnet's sixteen. But in the Final Fantasy and CSI universes, age don't matter at all. They're good to go.

4. Your team is 3, 4 & 9. The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Oh, this one is easy. Haruka takes the social challenge, Cagalli takes the mental challenge, and Celes takes the physical challenge. They'll all be aces.

5. 7 becomes 1's boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?

Alan Scott becomes Snake Eyes's boss, huh? I can see that working. I'm guessing it happens when Alan's still a part of Checkmate.

Now, it could go two ways depending on whether this is Comic Snake Eyes or Cartoon Snake Eyes. If it's Cartoon Snake Eyes, they'll get along great. Because despite his rad ninja skills, he'll never kill anybody. And we know how Alan Feels about killing.

But if it's Comic Snake Eyes, we'll have Alan complaining about the Cobra (Kobra?) body count. Still, I think Alan will value Comic Snake Eyes's contribution. He knows a good soldier when he sees one.

6. 2 finds him/her/itself inserted into 6's continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they've always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

Miss Martian in the Gundam Wing Universe? This is not going to be pretty. I'm guessing that Miss Martian is a crashed alien who ends up befriending Heero's love interest Relena (in disguise, of course). Heero and Miss Martian will of course clash, and Heero (in his moody silence) will greatly resent Miss Martian's chipperness.

It'd be really wonky.

7. 3 and 5 get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

Cagalli and Caine have to agree on three wishes? Hmm... Well, I think the first would would be to bring their dead relatives back to life. They could agree on that easily, as they have both lost very important people in their lives.

Wish number two? I'm thinking "end the fighting" whether it's Miami gang fights or the Bloody Valentine War, they both want to protect the people who get caught in the crossfires. That's both of their primary objectives.

And number three? I think Caine could convince Cagalli that they wish for really sweet sunglasses. She's that kind of girl.

8. 1 and 2 are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4. They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 survive? How?

So Snake Eyes and Miss Martian are trying to kill Haruka Amami, are they? They are totally screwed. Because Haruka is never without Imber, her giant robot/boyfriend (it's complicated). And there's no way he's going to let anyone lay a hand on her.

9. 6, 7, 9 & 10 must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

So we've got born leader Alan Scott and three mopey angsters who are all genetically engineered to be killing machines. Alan's got his work cut out for him.

Still, Alan'll whip 'em into shape. Before you know it he'll have Azrael dressed as Santa, Celes singing Christmas carols, and Heero somehow baking cookies. And he'll do it all while relaxing with a cup of eggnog. He's that good.

10. 3 and 8 are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

Hmm, Cagalli and Garnet. Two adopted princesses (more or less) with mysterious pasts. And greater personal strength than anyone could've guessed. Those girls will make it. With weeks to spare.

Hey, that was a lot of fun! If they are so inclined I tag Tom and Calvin, two men whose levels of geekiness near my own! Make me proud, boys.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Sweet Dreams

Seeing as I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in about two weeks (and tonight is mercifully free) I'm going to bed early. Very early. I don't think anyone could be against me doing that.

Good night, everybody.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Night Thinking XIV

Welcome once again to Thursday Night Thinking! Here we celebrate the schemer, the plotter, the super-genius, and the common man with the uncommon plan!

Every genius is a thinker. But not every thinker is a genius! And Hal Jordan knows it:

What about you?


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

He Wishes I Wasn't Here

On the advice of friends I have traveled back across the country to Opal City, where I'm planning on hiding away for a while.

Know that this city perplexes me, with it's very un-Gothamlike architecture and it's mysterious lack of suburbs. It's admittedly creepy, but then, not so bad as having a vengeful crusader ghost haunt your every waking moment. (St. Dumas be praised!)

When I arrived in town I looked up the Shade, to see if he'd let me crash at his place for a few days. Like myself, he's one of those guys that straddles the line between heroism and villainy. So I figured we might have a few things in common.

Not so much.

The Shade was immediately dismissive of me, even when I explained that I was one the run from forces too terrible to comprehend. In fact, once I had the whole story out he seemed quite annoyed that I might in fact have brought those unspeakable forces along to "his city."

I knew immediately then that we weren't going to get along. I know another guy who's always going on about a certain city being "his city." Pfff, Like the rest of us can't be vigilantes there just because he is.

Anyway, the Shade told me to get out of town and then threw me out a fifth story window. Of course, I survived, and I'm currently hanging out in an abandoned bus station. Not sure where I should go next, though...


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Who is That Girl?

Those who've read this blog a bit know that I wuv Miss Martian. The only problem is that as far as we can tell she was found under a cabbage. We haven't gotten any explanation as to where she came from or how she joined the Titans.

Unless I've missed something, all we really know is that she's a White Martian. Now, White Martian's usually try to kill lots and lots of people. So right there we know she's not your typical White Martian (Drizzt's Law applies).

But who exactly is she? How did she end up on Earth? Why isn't she a scary toothy-mawed maniac? Is she really a teenager? I want to know the answers to these questions, and I want to know what (if any) connection she has to J'onn J'onzz. As far as I know, the two have never been seen together. Is she connected to him at all?

You'd think he'd take an interest in her, what with her being Miss Martian. He obviously has to know that she's not really a Green Martian (because if he doesn't, he's slacking off on the manhunting). Is he okay with that? Is he somehow responsible for her current sunny disposition and rosy outlook on life?

I demand answers to the Miss Martian conundrum. I can only hope that Sean McKeever will supply those. Because Geoff Johns -- despite creating the character -- most certainly has not.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Re: My Miniature Avatar

My good friend Scipio has just recently directed my attention to this.

I am not entirely sure how I should feel about it. It would appear that my avatar is considerably enraptured by that which is above him. But what could be there that this miniature version of my glorious self finds so fascinating?

Despite what I may feel about his stance, I am pleased that the sculptors got my boots right. However! I am less pleased that they made a grave error when it came to painting my gloves.

Know this: The gloves of Polaris keep the vital first and fourth fingers uncovered! You may ask why this is so. Fools! You could not possibly comprehend the inner workings of my genius brain!

Know that the brilliant fashion of Doctor Polaris can only be understood by the truly exceptional! Polaris has spoken!

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Off-Topic Post #732

I've been caught up in watching a lot of anime lately. I do that during the vacation times when there's not a lot else to do. Mostly I've been watching the various Gundam series. I love Gundam because, well, giant robots. Also -- like comics -- a lot of static rules tend to apply. So without further ado:

Rules for Surviving the Gundamverse:

1. Don't go to space. It never helps.

2. Someone is secretly your brother/sister. It may be your arch-foe or the person you have a crush on. It could be anyone.

3. The guy in the mask is either ridiculously noble or incredibly insane. Plan accordingly.

4. Never trust the military. For that matter, don't trust civilians, either.

5. Don't worry if you've never operated a car or so much as changed a light bulb. You'll be able to pilot a mobile suit with ease.

6. Look for the guys with a "Z" in their name. They're probably evil.

7. The guys they're fighting are most likely evil, too.

8. Someone has a giant space cannon, warship, or satellite. They will try to shoot the Earth. Keep an eye out.

9. Never turn your back on a pretty girl.

10. Don't try to fight the guy in the Gundam. You can't win.

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