Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Though I check my email obsessively, I do not often receive letters of note. More often than not, I merely receive unsolicited offers to supply me with dubious medication that I have absolutely no need of.

However, as I checked my email recently I was stunned -- stunned -- to see a familiar name in my inbox: Neal Emerson. As you know, that is the name of my sniveling alter ego. The mail contained (no subject) and read thusly:

hello imposter

As you can imagine I was filled with violent rage -- and quiet bemusement. After all, no one could be foolish enough to truly believe that such a simple message would cause me fear or trepidation. There is no doubt that I am the one true Doctor Polaris. Any fool could see that from a cursory evaluation of this email. Let us examine it, shall we?

To begin, the author is either uneducated or far too enamored with current Internet "standards" of discourse. I see that his statement (which can barely be classified as such) lacks both capitalization and punctuation. As you well know, I have several degrees from top universities. I would not make the mistake of forgetting capitals and periods!

Additionally, the author of this scandalous letter has spelled impostor "imposter." This in and of itself proves him to be an impostor. For you see, the spelling of the word employed by this impostor is not standard American spelling. Rather, it is a variant mildly preferred in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and certain parts of Canada.

As you well know, I am from California -- one of our glorious United States of America. We do not spell impostor with an "E." We're simply better than that.

Finally, let this be known: this impostor's letter features only two poorly chosen words. I am renowned as many things, but succinct is not one of them. Were I to angrily denounce a doppelganger I would do so with a great many correctly punctuated words.

With this, I believe that we can lay to rest the question of who is the true Doctor Polaris. Though I know that you, my loyal readers, never for a moment questioned it. I invite any and all of you to email this fool -- "docpolaris at gmail dot com" -- and demand that he apologize to the one true Doctor Polaris!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This is Not a Post

Today was a national holiday in Japan ("Piss Off the Rest of Asia Day," if you must know) so I haven't exactly done anything constructive. And since it has now grown late, I think I'll choose to not do an actual post here.

Tomorrow I might post. In fact, I probably will. But for the moment? Can't muster up the effort to think of anything.

Watch this space.


Monday, April 28, 2008


In a few short weeks Final Crisis will arrive. And I am... Uneasy.

Why, you ask, is the Man Who Mastered Magnetism uneasy about the arrival of Grant Morrison's superhero magnum opus? I will tell you.

Recall just a few short years ago. At that time we found ourselves faced with another crisis. A crisis of infinite proportions. As I do enjoy wanton destruction and property damage, I was well pleased to join the Society so that I might engage in some magnetism-related mayhem.

It was when we decided to ambush my pathetic nephew Damage and his friends the Freedom Fighters when everything went horribly wrong. Yes, we killed Phantom Lady. And yes Black Condor was skewered by Sinestro. But then the Human Bomb decided to blow himself up. I suppose I should have been expecting that from someone with such an appellation, but well... I was enjoying myself too much to pay attention.

You know the rest of the story. I was blown up and removed from active duty in comics. As such, I have been forced to watch from afar and comment here. Through the Internet.

But all hope was not lost! Not long ago a Doctor Polaris returned to the pages of DC comics in Justice League of America. He is not conclusively me, but I wouldn't be surprised if her were. I wouldn't necessarily know it, seeing as I accumulate new personalities the way Hal Jordan accumulates knocks on the head.

So you can see why I may be uneasy about Infinite Crisis. I was killed, and now I live. But there is always the chance that I may be slain again for cheap shock value. Know this: if Grant Morrison kills me again he will have made a powerful enemy. I allowed it once; I will not let it happen a second time.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blast Off

I had planned to write a scathing postmortem of DC's Countdown series tonight.

But I decided I didn't want to do that. There are a lot of things in comics that I don't like. Generally, I don't bother complaining about them (unless they involve Cassandra Cain). Doctor Polaris and Azrael do more than enough complaining (and whining in the latter's case) for the three of us.

By most objective metrics Countdown was a failure. But I'm not going to talk about that. As with all missteps, the only thing that can be done is to reflect, and then look to the future.

And so! To me the future of DC looks bright. I believe that they have learned from their recent failures (Countdown) as well as recent successes (Sinestro Corps War).

The two big coming things are of course Final Crisis and Trinity. With Final Crisis, DC has taken a cue from the successes of Sinestro Corps. They've made clear again and again that though there are tie-in miniseries, readers can pick and choose which ones they want to read. They won't be like the myriad of Infinite Crisis or Countdown tie-ins. Whatever else there is, Final Crisis can stand alone.

With Trinity, DC is taking a step back and looking at what worked and didn't work in 52 and Countdown. One problem with Countdown was that the stories seemed to jump all over with no clear goal in sight. Trinity will not suffer from that. Rather than different writers working on different issues, everything will be done by one core team.

Still, it's hard to say to what degree Trinity will tie-in to other projects. I have a feeling that like Sinestro Corps and Final Crisis, Trinity will be largely self-contained. I hope so.

For my part, I'm more excited right now about DC than I have been in a long time. The countdown is nearly ended. The next number is zero. Than all hell breaks loose.

It's going to be a grand time...

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking XLV

This week: a very special Thursday Night Thinking!

Right now Scipio is doing us all a favor by delving into the startling world of... The Human Flame! As we all know, the Flame plays a vital role in Final Crisis. But what does Apex City's defender Martian Manhunter think about the Human Flame?

Startling thoughts! If the Martian Manhunter is "slightly weakened" by the Human Flame, what hope do we mere mortals have?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Waiting Game

It's been seven issues of Gotham Underground and still no me.

But I'm not worried. There are still two issues of the series left. And know that next month's issue features me on the cover. Along with Spoiler (and we know what happened with her).

What does this mean? Well, it could mean that Dan DiDio is telling the truth and it's just a fake out. In that case I may burn down his house. But it's more likely that Dan DiDio is lying. He's done that in the past.

In the end, it all just comes down to waiting. Every character returns at some point in time. No one stays gone forever. If I don't come back next month it'll be next year. Or the year after that. Regardless, I'm not giving up hope.

Besides, fire can be pretty persuasive...

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Q & A

Yes, excuse me? Right, yes, me. Yes, I have some questions. If you could?
  1. Why exactly is Donna Troy the only one who doesn't have an actual code name?
  2. Why isn't the Flash in the Justice League where he belongs?
  3. Why is Raven -- who is physically sixteen -- hanging out with a bunch of people in their twenties and thirties?
  4. What's Wally doing with his arms, there?
  5. Since Nightwing's gotten good, will this be the book where he still sucks?
  6. Has Donna ever apologized for taking a bunch of non-powered people into space during Infnite Crisis and then ditching them when they all got royally screwed up while she went gallivanting across the multiverse with a couple of boytoys?
  7. Who's keeping an eye on the Teen Titans?


Monday, April 21, 2008

A Beam of Sunshine

Not much of a post tonight, as I've once again come down with a nasty cold. I *could* take the time to write something, but I don't really want to put any effort into anything.

That being said, how damn fantastic is the news that Gail Simone is going to be writing an ongoing Secret Six series? That makes me happy inside.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Interminable Folly

This time, Marvel, you have taken it a step too far. Marvel Apes? You pathetic, pathetic fools. Know this: gorilla comics belong to DC.

From the very beginning it has been a such. From green ghost gorillas to mod maniac monkeys... Primate comics are the province of DC comics! To attempt to stand against their dominance is folly of the highest degree!

Truly, Marvel. How do you think to stand against "Gorilla Wonders of the Diamond"? What hope is there for you when faced with "The Gorilla Witch"? How can you not weep when confronted with the shining glory that is "The Gorilla Reporter"?

All of these and thousands more exist, stretching back decades. And even if these thousands of comics did not exist -- were a terrifying Gorilla Crisis to sunder the history of DC Comics -- you would still be forced to contend with Angel and the Ape!

And in that, Marvel, you have no hope. No hope at all.

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Friday, April 18, 2008


Okay, I've got to admit; this really threw me for a loop.

I mean... Really? Mortal Kombat? And DC? Those don't exactly seem like the greatest fit in the world.

Still, I remember somewhat fondly how in days of yore I would travel to yonder arcade "Aladdin's Castle" in the far flung "Sandburg Mall." In those hallowed halls we fought for turns to play at Mortal Kombat II.

I wouldn't say those were my best moments.

We now come to many years later, when to me comic books have superceded games (though they still hold a place in my heart). How is a geek such as myself to react? As it is, DCU games are few and far between. So it is likely that if this game is any good I will seek it out, like a man in the desert desperate for water.

You see, they make a lot of Marvel video games. They almost all suck, but that's beside the point. There are a lot of them. So I imagine a couple of them are not so bad. But DC games are rare as can be. So a gamer/comic fan such as myself as to take what he can get...

That's assuming the whole thing isn't some sort of joke.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking XLIV

Eternal... Unrelenting... Thursday Night Thinking!

Ah. Okaaaaay.

Quite the thought, that...

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Google Me

Lacking as I do a constant medical practice or tenured position at a non-crime university, I am forced to find other ways to occupy my time. When I am not leisurely robbing banks or enjoying fine wine I like to google myself.

I do so enjoy seeing how the rest of the world views me. It is unsurprising that my the very first hit is the Wikipedia entry on me. Those self-editing jabberwocks have done a passable job of describing me.

The second hit -- my DC Database Project profile -- is a folly of colossal proportions. Not only is most of the entry simply culled from my Wikipedia entry, but there are numerous egregious errors.

The entry correctly identifies me as a Professional Criminal, Physician, and Physicist. It credits me with my undergraduate degree and my medical degree, but it shamefully neglects my PhD in physics! Those of you with PhDs know the work that one puts into that. Do I not deserve to be recognized for my accomplishments? The DCU Database Project must comply, or suffer.

My third hit on Google is yet another profile. I am pleased that the masses take such interest in me. But here, again, I am not given the full credit I deserve. This profile does not deign to grant my proper title first billing, listing "Doctor Polaris" as only an alias. Make no mistake: though I am Polaris, you may address me as Doctor.

It is not until the fifth hit that we arrive at this very blog. Those who know more of the workings of the Google: tell me how I might raise my hit ratio! Too many who live are denied the wisdom of Polaris!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

July Solicits

DC's July solicits are up. Let's see what we've got.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Covers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke
A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who’s been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying!
I really hope they don't keep Martian Manhunter dead for too long.
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Jim Calafiore & Jonathan Glapion
Cover by Andy Clarke
Fresh from appearances in BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS, the enigmatic Cassandra Cain stars in this six-issue miniseries written by Adam Beechen (COUNTDOWN, ROBIN) with pencils by Jim Calafiore (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND)!
Now that Batgirl has finally gained Batman’s trust, it’s time to conquer her inner demons and prove herself to the rest of the world. This six-issue epic will take Cassandra on an intense, personal journey involving friends, family and foes!
I'm sharpening my knife. This is either going to redeem Adam Beechen in my eyes or make me call for his head. I'm still holding out for "evil twin " (I love evil twins) but I'm not holding my breath. Still, the art should be pretty.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs
Cover by Nguyen
A “Batman: R.I.P.” issue — and part 1 of the 5-part story “The Return of Hush!”
Readers who were surprised by Catwoman’s return last month haven’t see anything yet as Hush makes a dramatic return to the life of Batman. What will this mean for Bruce Wayne? This epic story kicks off the countdown to DETECTIVE #850!
Great. Just what I wanted. The return of Hush. You know, I'll admit a certain fondness for the villains of the 90's (guys like Doomsday and Bane). But I have zero affection for most of the villains created in the early 2000's. Even if that is when I got into comics.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Julian Lopez & Bit
Cover by Doug Braithwaite
Metamorpho finally makes the trip back to Earth — only to be immediately arrested! And while Katana and Batgirl attempt to break Rex out of a Paris jail, they also manage to abduct a mysterious astronaut! Plus: don’t miss the return of the former Outsider called Looker!
Looker? Really? Chuck Dixon, you so crazy. I think I might enjoy this. When is Halo showing up?
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jerry Ordway
Cover by Alex Ross
“Welcome to Earth-2!” Power Girl has made a life for herself on our world, as a member and chairwoman of the Justice Society of America and as a hero in her own right.
But she’s never stopped dreaming of one day returning to her Earth — the parallel world where the members of the Justice Society were the only heroes. Where her best friend was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman. And where evil was a little easier to fight…wasn’t it? As her greatest wish comes true, Power Girl’s about to find herself back on Earth-2, surrounded by friends she thought she’d lost forever.
You know what? I'm not going to buy this. I still don't like the multiverse. And I like Earth-2 even less. Somebody, please, destroy the multiverse again. Monarch! We need you!


Monday, April 14, 2008

July Solicitations

Know that every month I eagerly anticipate the solicitations for DC Comics. I scour them, seeking any hint or hope that that very month may be the month that I return to the pages of comics.

This month has been no exception, and I eagerly read through the preview of DC's July solicitations over at Newsarama. When I look at solicitations I try to pay extra close attention to those featuring you-know-who -- for obvious reasons.

My heart leapt in my chest when I saw the solicitation for Batman #679. It reads:

"“Batman R.I.P.” — Part 4! Robin and Damian team up — yes, you read that right — to search for the missing Batman. Meanwhile, the Club of Villains — The Hunchback, Pierrot Lunaire, King Kraken, Charlie Caligula, Scorpiana and El Sombrero — rampage through Gotham City! This incredible fourth chapter of “Batman R.I.P.” ends with the surprising return of a character you never thought you’d see again!"

A surprising return? A character you never thought you'd see again? In Saint Dumas's name... Who else could it be? Remember, last time you-know-who was seriously out of action it was I who donned his cowl. I mean, I'm really the only logical choice.

Unless of course it turns out to be Joe Coyne. That's just the sort of thing Morrison'd pull...

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bring Me The Head of Maxwell Lord

Okay, so I'm going to engage in some crazy speculation here. I'm undoubtedly wrong, but I'm going to lay it out just in case I'm right so I can point to this post and say: "I was right!" Because I'm petty that way.

My train of thought began when I read an interview with Kurt Busiek on the upcoming Trinity. There, Mr. Busiek talks about the villains that he intends to put up against Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman:

"We wanted to build a counter-trinity on grounds other than "the most famous enemies," and use some characters that we could do striking and different things with. So our villains come from the world of myth, the world of SF adventure and the world of crime, but they're not the guys the heroes would immediately see coming, and what they appear to be up to isn't necessarily how things will turn out."

This immediately intrigued me, as Kurt Busiek is one of those writers who likes to "adopt" minor, third-string characters that have been in limbo for a while and then reimagine them. This annoys some people, but I love it when he does that. So I figured that that's what he'd do here: take some old villains of the Big Three that haven't been used in a while and reinvigorate them.

Without mentioning any specifics, he goes on to say that Luthor and the Joker will be featured. Then he says what -- to me -- is the money quote:

"I will say that the skull of Maxwell Lord plays a part..."

That certainly threw me for a loop. The skull of Maxwell Lord? How exactly could Max Lord's cranium play into things?

Then I got to thinking... What did happen to Max Lord's body after Wonder Woman killed him? For the life of me, I couldn't remember. And nobody I asked seemed to know either. So where is Max Lord's skull?

From there, my mind turned to Mr. Busiek's Superman run. I began to think about some of the other third-stringers that Mr. Busiek has adopted and modified. The one that immediately popped into my head was the Atomic Skull.

Now, I'm sure you all see where I'm going with this... But bear with me. Busiek first mentions this new Atomic Skull in his "Camelot Falls" story arc. In the dystopian future it's mentioned that various villains have seized control of huge chunks of the Earth's territory. And one of them was the Atomic Skull.

The original Atomic Skulls (there have been Pre- and Post-Crisis versions) aren't the sort that would be capable of that. Neither have been particularly impressive as villains. So it was safe to assume at the time that this was a new Atomic Skull.

This was borne out by a later Busiek penned comic, Action #852. Here, we get our first glimpse of the new Atomic Skull when an escaped Kryptonite Man contacts a group of major figures in the criminal world:

In the company of movers and shakers like Tobias Whale and the Calculator (as well as rarely used Busiek adoptee Doctor Cyber) we see the new Atomic Skull. His look bears little resemblance to the old ones, and to be in such storied company this Atomic Skull has to be much more than simply a thug with delusions of grandeur.

And the Kryptonite Man treats him as such. This new Atomic Skull is undoubtedly someone of stature and prestige in the criminal underworld. He clearly has resources as well, as the Kryptonite Man has gone to him and the others for financial backing.

So who the hell is this new Atomic Skull? He comes out of nowhere and appears right off the bat to be a major player in supervillainy. Still, when I originally read that comic I didn't give it much thought. The Atomic Skull vanished from my mind. Until I read that Trinity interview.

You see, when Kurt Busiek "adopts" characters they tend to recur in his comic books. Sometimes years later. So when I heard that Mr. Busiek was going to be using lesser villains in his "counter-trinity" the image of the Atomic Skull briefly flitted through my mind. And when I saw "the skull of Maxwell Lord" my eyes bugged out of my head.

Is it possible that the Atomic Skull will be one of the villains that opposes the Big Three in Trinity? And is it also possible that the Atomic Skull is none other than the villainous Maxwell Lord, returned from the grave?

In comics, anything is possible...

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Booster Gold #8

Okay, so Booster Gold #8 was fantastic. Seeing Wild Dog again was like a dream come true. I know some people are upset because he got killed right after he came back... But hey, that was an alternate Wild Dog. The real Wild Dog is undoubtedly still hunting terrorists through cornfields back in Illinois and Iowa.

This is the thing I love about alternate universe/time travel stories. You can do things like that. You can bring back Wild Dog without messing up current continuity. And you can bring back Pantha even though she got her head knocked off. With time travel anything is possible.

You can even get away with having characters have the wrong costume (Wild Dog has a full goalie helmet, not just mask) or have characters act out of character (Wild Dog being a little more trigger happy than he's previously been depicted). And this is all okay. Because you can explain it away by saying: OMACs!

This is the joy of comics. This is the joy of Booster Gold.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking XLIII

Tonight... A Thursday Night Thinking of epic proportions!

Support your local library.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Taking a Rest

I guess the excitement of Wild Dog's return was a bit too much for my fragile constitution. Ever since Monday I've been fighting off a nasty cold. And to make things worse, it's the one week of the year that I'm not allowed to miss school for any reason.

So every morning this week I've had to get up at six, put on a suit, and then stumble through the day. Such fun.

As such, I've been routinely going to bed about... Now. So I haven't had much time to post. There will be Thursday Night Thinking tomorrow... But beyond that... Well, we'll see how my constitution holds up...


Sunday, April 06, 2008

He Returns!

Today began as a regular day. I got up, shook the sleep from my head and turned on my computer. I checked the sites I usually do. I saw that Newsarama had some previews and among them was the preview for Booster Gold #8. So I looked at it.

And then my head exploded.

Because -- as foretold by me -- Wild Dog has returned!

Sure, they still can't get his costume right and it's only an alternate timeline. But that is indeed Wild Dog, returned from limbo for actual page time in a DC comic.

Words can't quite express the extreme level of giddiness flooding through me. Every time I look at that preview page I start to cackle a little with glee. This Wednesday can't come soon enough. I want to see what Geoff and Jeff do with the character (even if the mask is wrong).

This just goes to show: all of you who think your favorite obscure character will never see page time again... There's hope.

WILD DOG RETURNS: 4 - 9 - 2008

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Poor Zoidberg

Poor Doctor Zoidberg... Always getting picked on by somebody no matter what universe he's in. It doesn't matter if it's Bender of the Science Police... Nobody cuts Zoidberg a break.

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Thursday Night Thinking XLII

It's Thursday Night Thinking, and in honor of all the fantabulous comics and news this week regarding the Legion of Super-Heroes, how about a quick Legion thought:

A small thought, but vital. Looks like Brainy's got some serious thinking to do if he wants to fix this mess...

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Today is a day of "foolery." April foolery.

But know this! I, Doctor Polaris will make no effort to deceive you with childish tricks. Rather, I will forthrightly tell you that I will take your money. And I will crush your car with my awesome magnetic powers.

I will not pretend on this, the first day of April that I like Magneto or respect Hal Jordan. I would not insult your intelligence with such paltry parlor tricks. I will make it clear that Magneto is marked for death and that Hal Jordan is a fool every day of the year.

Doctor Polaris is not interested juvenile April foolery. Polaris cares nothing for pranks and tricks. So take your "April Fools" to the other side of the street. Because I am not amused.

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