Monday, June 30, 2008

Real Quick

Still pretty busy... Lot's of stuff to do. But I just wanted to say real quick my thoughts about Final Crisis #2 I was a little leery about the first one, but the second one has really gotten things going. And the Japanese characters?

Well done, Mr. Morrison. Well done.

"So says Most Excellent... Superbat..."

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LIV

I may be busy, but that doesn't mean there's no time for Thursday Night Thinking!

Last week? Super-weaving. This week? Super-friction.

Is there anything that man can't do?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ask Doctor Polaris #5

I have returned from my vacation. I can assure you that I am well rested and invigorated. I spent my time in sunny Apex City, Florida... A city that recently found itself without a super-powered champion and ripe for villainous vacationing. The banks are hideous, but easy to rob.

Now that I have returned, I intend to bring back from the icy grip of death my well received and much beloved advice column. Attend! I shall dispense to you my mighty wisdom.

Dear Dr. Polaris,

My boss, who is ordinarily rather cool, has suddenly gone all dark and angsty, and on top of that, has relocated our whole operation to a different city. A city where they look upon our normal procedures with a great deal of disdain and derision, no less.

On the other hand, my new room has a secret tunnel and a slide. Whee!
*ahem* Is my boss secretly under mind control, or just consorting with criminals? Should I be putting out feelers for another job?

Very Truly Yours,


Dear "Z,"

It seems to me, Z, that this situation has presented you with a golden opportunity, if only you have the wherewithal to take advantage of it!

Now -- while your mentor is distracted -- is your chance to overthrow him or her and seize his or her exalted position and make it your own! If your boss is acting as out of character as you say, he or she will not be able to stand against you! Infinite riches and power will be at your command!


Doctor Polaris

Dr. Polaris:

When lacking a total mastery of magnetism, which makes for the better (if lesser than magnetism of course) plan for destroying them all? Invisible robots or biological mash-up monsters?

Lurker Without

Dear Lurker Without,

You pose an intriguing question. You are right to say "when lacking a total mastery of magnetism," as few are possessed of my awesome powers. That being said, I would recommend the "biological mash-up monsters." Invisible robots, though good for a lark, cannot be seen by your opponents. And if your enemies cannot see their doom, how can they come to fear it?

Monsters, however, are not only highly visible targets but also offer up great opportunities for you to express your creativity. When using mad science to engineer unstoppable killing machines, your imagination is truly your only limitation.

You can even add additional menace by giving your monstrosities the faces of your enemy's loved ones! Truly he or she will be horrified, unable to bring his or her powers to bear against an abomination bearing the countenance of his or her dearest friend or lost loved one!

Besides, even invisible robots are subject to the unstoppable forces of magnetism!


Doctor Polaris

Dear Dr. Polaris,

What's your favorite Paula Abdul song?

Justin Garrett Blum

Dear Justin,

I'm afraid, Justin, that I must profess a complete and total ignorance regarding the music of Ms. Abdul. My tastes in music have always tended more toward the classical. I also have a fondness for certain varieties of "rock and roll."


Doctor Polaris

Dear Dr Polaris,

In a fit of rage my so called friend recently punched a hole in my wall. Force him to pay for repairs or bloody revenge?


Dear bbsr,

If you wreak terrible vengeance upon your "friend" at this point, you are likely to never receive recompense for the damage done to your home. My advice is to forgive this friend and politely ask that he provide you with the money needed for repairs.

Once the currency is safely in your possession, that is the time to strike! Put your insidious plan into action and bring bloody vengeance down upon your foolish "friend's" head! After your earlier graciousness he will not be expecting it and thereby be unprepared to defend himself!


Doctor Polaris

And that, as they say, Is that. For those of you who have thus far been denied my wisdom, you may email me -- doctorpolaris (at) gmail (dot) com -- or you may leave your query in a comment.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Moving Along...

Apologies, friends, for the dearth of quality posting these past few weeks. As many of you know I'm preparing for my move away from the romantic, mysterious archipelago of Japan and back to the vast, empty plains of the Midwest. I leave in less than a month.

As such, I find myself with less free time with all the shipping and packing and freaking out that I need to do. And trust me, I really need that last one.

That said, I'll try to keep posting things when I've got something pertinent to say about comics. Or anything else, maybe. And I'm sure Azrael and the Doc will be around. Because they just won't go away.

Besides, when this is all over -- and I'm back on my home terra firma -- I'll probably be posting a lot more. And a lot more substantially because I'm not going to have anything else to do...

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LIII

Thursday Night Thinking is eternal!

Super-weaving, huh? And a wedding gown. That's just great.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Return From the Depths

Doctor Polaris has been on vacation these past few days. I think he's spending time in some woe-begotten land where Internet access is unavailable. Possibly Florida, but I don't really know.

Anyway, the good Doctor has asked me to deliver a message: he's getting bored. Now that he's "retired" he hasn't had nearly enough to do with himself. Which is why he's asked me to bring back one of this blog's earliest features: he wants you to ask Doctor Polaris.

So, in order the keep the Doctor busy and off my back, please (I'm begging you) send him some questions.

Anything is all right. Magnetism, science, relationships... Whatever you want. Either leave it in a comment or email him at doctor polaris (at) gmail (dot) com. You know the drill.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An Offer

Know that I have been mentioned on Newsarama. That doesn't happen very often. In the article Troy Brownfield remarks that I am likely not the replacement for You-Know-Who in the R. I. P. storyline.

Still, just in case the replacement has not been decided on, I hereby offer my services as an experienced vigilante. I think I should be the replacement. I think I have all the necessary qualifications.

"But Jean Paul!" you may be saying. "Your stint as Batman was a miserable failure!" Know that I am aware of that fact. I have come to terms with it. But who better to be the replacement now than someone who's done it all before -- and knows all the troubles that can result?

After all, what are the chances that I will again spiral into a dark madness, haunted by religious demons (possibly of my own imagining) while becoming increasingly more violent and gaudily dressed? I think that the chances of that happening twice are pretty slim.

But if someone like Nightwing or Robin takes over as Batman they'll have to struggle with all those crazy demons without benefit of experience. Tell me how they'll deal with constant, maddening taunting delivered by a vengeful, long dead pseudo-Saint. I know how I'd deal with it. Because I'm dealing with it right now.

What I'm saying is that I'm the only one other than You-Know-Who who really knows what it's like to be... Well, you know. Besides, the second time's the charm, right?

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Returning... Now!

Well, my mother is safely back in American (hi, Mom!) which I means I can safely resume blogging. And so that is exactly what I will do. Quick! A roundup of what happened last week in comics!
  • Okay, despite my initial lukewarm feelings towards Batwoman, I find myself suddenly excited by her new miniseries based solely on this art.
  • Did you read Gotham Underground? No Azrael there... But man, Tieri seems to have a handle on the Penguin. Which is saying something, because he hasn't been written right in ages.
  • I wonder if he'll do as well with Batman and the Outsiders. Assuming he is in fact taking over that book following Chuck Dixon's mysteeeeeerious departure...
  • Regarding Booster Gold: nooooooooooo! Mister Miiiiiiiiiind!!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LII

Welcome, one and all, to the fifty-second edition of Thursday Night Thinking! Fifty-two, my friends. There's symbolism there. I'm sure of it.

Also, I love how in the DC Universe when someone sees a gorilla they just sort of naturally assume it's Gorilla Grodd. Must be a great place to live...

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Filler Post

No post tonight, as I don't have the time. My mother is visiting from the United States and tomorrow we're taking a day trip to Hiroshima.

Still, to celebrate Azrael's upcoming "brief mention," here's a pretty picture of him from days of yore:

Always with the fire. Good times, those. Good times...

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Monday, June 09, 2008


Last Thursday over at the Absorbascon Scipio asked the following regarding a villainous Anti-Trinity: "Whom do you choose and why?" I had an answer, but seeing as I was busy thinking, I didn't share it here. I will do so now.

For my Anti-Trinity I allowed the standard caveats to apply: each member of the Anti-Trinity must also be members of the actual Trinity's rogues galleries. Additionally, I followed with the idea one should be a crime boss (to represent the common Batman foe), one should be a science fiction villain (to represent the common Superman foe), and one should be supernatural/mythological (to represent the common Wonder Woman foe).

That being said, I did decide to turn things a bit to the side. Rather than having each of those common foe types fit exactly to the characters they are opposing, I decided to mix things up. Thus, my Anti-Trinity:

From Superman's rogues gallery I chose the Atomic Skull. In this, I chose the once seen Kurt Busiek version. That version of the Atomic Skull is the far cry from the mentally deranged villain seen in the recent issue of Manhunter. On the contrary, he is articulate, wealthy, and a schemer. He is a crime boss, and as such, fits the mold of a Batman villian.

From Wonder Woman's rogues gallery I chose Doctor Cyber. Though she hasn't often been seen, when she has appeared she has been portrayed as a brilliant scientist who employs high technology. She is quite clearly a science fiction villain, fitting the mold of your typical Superman nemesis.

Finally, from Batman's rogues gallery I chose The Monk. For those unfamiliar with this character, I point you back Detective Comics #31 in the year 1939. As one of Batman's oldest foes, the Monk is an insidious vampire -- a supernatural entity, which fits the mold of your usual Wonder Woman enemy.

Thus, my Anti-Trinity is revealed: The Atomic Skull, Doctor Cyber, and The Monk. That's who I'd use if I were writing Trinity...

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

St. Dumas Be Praised!

Loyal reader Patrick C has directed my attention to the recently posted preview for Booster Gold #10.

Know that I have been pleasantly surprised! As you can see, the board makes it very clear that "Jean Paul Valley Lives!" Seeing as I am Jean Paul Valley, I take great comfort in that.

Know that I am very excited by this turn of events. I have been hoping for quite a while that I might be resurrected in comics. I was horribly disappointed by the Gotham Underground bait and switch. (Though I'll admit that my ghostly image reflected in a broken window isn't exactly conclusive)

Rip Hunter's chalkboard, however, is far more reliable. Or at least I pray to St. Dumas that it is. If that chalkboard is right -- even half right -- then I'm not dead. I mean, it's obvious that I'm not dead. But maybe this means some acknowledgment of that fact, at the very least.

I will patiently await my return to comics, but I'll try to not get my hopes up to high. When I do that, I'm always disappointed.

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Friday, June 06, 2008


Further proof that Trinity is going to be the rockingest thing since sliced bread: next week's issue is titled "A Personal Best At Giant Robot Smashing."

It's gonna be a fun year...

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LI

As always: Thursday Night Thinking!

Tonight: a dastardly duo conspires to keep Superman out of his Fortress of Solitude!

Fun fact: Supergirl and that horse used to date. No joke.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Okay, so Trinity starts tomorrow (or today, depending on how you look at it; the time zone change always befuddles me). I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Trinity will be better than 52. Way better. I did not make a similar prediction about Countdown. Thank Highfather I didn't!

Anyway, here's why Trinity will be better than 52 (and by extension Countdown): Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley.

Now what exactly do I mean by that? Am I saying that Mr. Busiek and Mr. Bagley are better at what they do than the people who worked on 52 and Countdown? Not all all. The reason why Trinity is going to be so good is continuity. And not the kind that tells us the history of the DC Universe.

Week in, week out, we're going to get a comic written and drawn by the same two storytellers. Every single week. That's like getting a monthly comic weekly. That's going to have a very different feel to me than 52 and Countdown -- both of which were primarily "events."

Everything points to Trinity being different. All the signs say that this comic is not going to be about events. It's going to be about one solid story. It's not going to have crossovers. It's not leading up to anything. It's just going to be solid, beautiful superhero storytelling starring three of the greatest fictional characters ever conceived.

What more could we ask for?

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


You know, I think I actually remember that. Well maybe. A lot of my early crime-fighting days are kind of hazy. What with the mind altering "System" and the constant visits from from the disembodied spirit of a vengeful pseudo-Saint.

Still, I may have ridden in a Volkswagen convertible at one point. That wasn't the time I took that trip to Florida with Catwoman, was it? I don't really remember that being much fun. I hope it wasn't that time.

Or was it the time during that epidemic in Gotham when I breached the quarantine by driving a car (a convertible?) from the hood and then steering it off a bridge? I've ridden in so many different cars over the years (there's no "Azraelmobile") that I really can't recall...


Monday, June 02, 2008


One thing that really annoys me is when television shows do "comic book episodes." It's usually crime shows that do these kinds of episodes... In the episode, there is almost always a comic book fan who is either a murderer or a murder victim. It's not that that bothers me that much. Or even the fact that they almost always mock comic culture in the process. My beef is that they always get that culture wrong.

Whenever I see a show like that, it betrays the writers' woeful ignorance of comic book fans and the comic culture that we all are a part of. Take for instance a show I saw recently. The characters in the show went to great efforts to refer to the comics as "graphic novels." It was as if they were saying: "Look at us, comic fans! Look how hip we are, down with the lingo you people use!"

But still, they don't seem to have any idea that just because something has words and pictures it's not necessarily a graphic novel. No one outside of comics seems to have any idea what the difference is between a comic book, a trade paperback, and an honest-to-God graphic novel.

And yes, as I said before, there's always the obligatory mocking of comic fans. "Look at the geeks in their costumes! They so silly!" And yes, we often are. But I don't see how my comic book hobby is any different from, say, someone obsessed with football. But if someone gets murdered on a football field rather than a comic convention, the shows rarely see fit to poke fun of that fandom.

I guess we just need to get more comic fans (many of whom are aspiring writers) out there writing television. Get moving, people! Because I want to write prose...


Sunday, June 01, 2008


It's been a long time since I last talked about Cassandra Cain and Batgirl here on the blog. Seems like that was all I talked about back in the day. I guess part of the problem is that she's been so gone from anywhere but Outsiders But hey, there's been a lot of news about her lately!

There's news about Adam Beechen and Jim Calafiore's Batgirl miniserieshere. I also stumbled onto an older interview with Beechen here I read the interview with a skeptical eye, but well... I've got to say that I'm actually excited.

Yes, I know. Coming from me that sounds mighty strange. But in all honesty, I've liked most of Adam Beechen's work. And I always put more of the blame for the "Evil Cass" era on editorial. Adam Beechen genuinely seems to like the character, and a lot of what he's got planned for the miniseries sounds exciting to me.

I may be about Cassandra's "Redemption Road," but I think Adam Beechen's trying to redeem himself in the eyes of Batgirl fans as well. I for one am willing to give him a chance.