Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXI

As always, we find ourselves in the midst of Thursday Night Thinking! Tonight, we have one of our most consistent thinkers: Superman!

Super-thinking means quality thinking. But what happens when Superman loses his powers? Can his thinking possibly compare?

Man, you do not disappoint. Thank you, Superman. Thank you.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trinity #13

A few thoughts on this week's Trinity. Here goes:
  • I've suspected since the beginning that the mysterious "Enigma" is who he seems to be. But I'm wondering how the character got from what he was originally portrayed as -- a great hero -- to the villain he seems to have become.
  • I absolutely loved Superman's explanation as to why he's capable of taking on the entire Anti-Trinity single-handedly. Just one more piece of evidence that Superman is the best there is at what he does.
  • Oh, how great is the talisman the baddies are taking to represent Wonder Woman's enemy? I hope somebody does drop it and makes a complete and total mess of the contents. I hated that guy.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Round and Round We Go

It seems that people still can't stop whining about the "revolving door of death" or simply death itself in superhero comics. Every few months there's another article somewhere about the topic. I'll admit that I myself was once against some of that. But now I am older and wiser and I can tell you: deaths and resurrections are a part of superhero comics. And they always have been.

People act as though violent death and unlikely resurrection are something new to comics. But that's just ridiculous. Since the advent of superheroes slaughter and that "revolving door" have been a part of the medium.

Consider the Ultra-Humanite, Superman's first true supervillainous opponent. Death and resurrection are a part of the character. Dying and coming back to life are what the Humanite does.

Take Hugo Strange, arguably Batman's first real adversary. How many times has the good professor seemingly died since his first appearance in the 40's only to return fit and ready to come up with a new, twisted scheme? I certainly couldn't count them all off the top of my head.

Now some of you may be saying: "Wait it's not about that! Deaths these days are far more violent! Carnage for carnage's sake!" To that I ask: have you ever actually read a Golden Age comic? Have you seen the way characters died in the good old days? Comics in the 1940's could be incredibly violent. In some ways, comics in the modern age are pretty tame in comparison (perhaps too tame).

Now I'll admit that the resurrections have gotten a bit more fanciful. But the classic "Oh, I wasn't actually dead even though you all saw me die" is still in use. Just look at Stephanie Brown -- she's a classic example of that sort of resurrection. The term "retcon" may be relatively new, but the concept certainly isn't.

My point is this: violent death and unlikely resurrections are not something tacked onto comics in recent years. They are central part of a medium that has a history going back nearly eight decades. They are as much a part of superhero comics as capes and tights. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love eBay

I have, since returning to America, fallen in love with eBay. There is a wide variety of comic book related merchandise available, you see. Things that I never even knew existed. I went there searching for a Doctor Polaris Heroclix. I have returned with treasures beyond imagination.

Take this item, which I found accidentally and immediately purchased. It arrived in the mail today, and is glorious:

That, my friends, is a 1995 trading card. What it also is is totally awesome. Additionally, it is concrete proof that Doctor Polaris can (and has) kicked Magneto's sorry ass. Thank you, eBay.

But this card is not the only thing I got off eBay. There were a few more things, which I'm sure I'll be sharing with you when the time is right... Will you find them to be as kickass as I have? Yes. Yes you will.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

What Could I Be Doing?

Hey there everyone. Know that I've been very busy lately -- not a lot of time to post here.

The only thing is, I'm not sure what I've been doing. Still, I don't think that's necessarily anything to worry about. I'm just adding your typical blackouts to my usual psychotic religious delusions. Nothing I can't handle.

The only thing I worry about is if I'm spending my time constructively. I hope I'm learning a new trade, or at least engaging in additional brutal vigilantism. I wonder if I could be wandering around Gotham City in a new guise during You-Know-Who's mysterious absence, fighting injustice and protecting the innocent? Perhaps I'm still fighting the good fight -- just under a moniker I've never used before. Who knows?

Now I'm going to lay down for a while. My head hurts...


Friday, August 22, 2008

This is My Time

It seems that every four years around this time the feeble minded fools in the media work themselves into a froth. "Who will be the vice presidential nominee?" they whine impotently. Tonight, the question on everyone's mind is of course: who will Barack Obama choose as his vice presidential nominee?

Know this: I will end the speculation now. It is I, Doctor Polaris.

That is right, you mindless media dogs! Senator Obama has chosen the mighty Polaris as his running mate! Together we will crush all opposition. No one can stand in my way. I will destroy all who attempt to derail my path to the United States Naval Observatory! From there, I shall observe the heavens and plot my domination over all!


Fools! Did you really think it was me? I have tricked you all! You ran to your "Black Berries" and your "I Phones" to alert your editors... And you have been shamed. Pathetic dupes! I would never accept such a worthless post as Vice President! I am Doctor Polaris... And I will settle for nothing less than Secretary of State.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LX

And... We're back! With Thursday Night Thinking!

Tonight: a comic from this very week featuring humor, adventure, and thought balloons:

That's what thinking is all about. Thanks, Superman.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Revenge of Superboy-Prime

Legion of 3 Worlds #1. This could be the beginning of the greatest comic story I have ever read. I say that with absolutely no irony.

What we have here is both Geoff Johns and George Perez at their very best. At the top of their games. That's what Legion of 3 Worlds looks like to me. From the very first page I found myself completely enthralled. The art, of course, is beautiful. And the story is everything I could possibly hope it would be.

True, this is only the first issue. But from the moment Superboy-Prime arrives in the 31st century to the moment Superman does the same, all the pieces fall into place. It's clear that each and every panel is of the utmost importance.

Legion of 3 Worlds isn't just going to be another Final Crisis tie in. It's clear that it's much bigger than that. It's going to have consequences across the Multiverse. And for each and every Legion of Super-Heroes.

This is the revenge of Superboy-Prime. But maybe -- just maybe -- it'll be his redemption too.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gen Con Report

Hello everybody; I'm back. As you all know I spent most of last week and weekend in Indianapolis at this year's Gen Con. Gen Con's primarily a gaming convention, but there was enough comic goodness going on to warrant a post here.

For starters, my very presence there was thanks to a comic connection. I wasn't supposed to go at all; I was in Japan when pre-registration went on, and I didn't know anyone who was going (or so I thought).

But fate has a way of intervening in these things. And it seems that I was meant to attend Gen Con '08. I got a message from a college friend who works for Devil's Due Publishing. He needed someone to help him at DDP's Gen Con booth and I needed something constructive to do with myself. And all were pleased with the results.

This wasn't my first Gen Con by any means. Before I moved to Japan I used to go often. I attended every Gen Con from 1999 to 2003. That was when the convention was still in Milwaukee. So this was my first time attending the con in Indianapolis. It wasn't that different -- the convention center is a lot bigger, that's all.

We arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday and went right to the exhibit hall to set up. Devil's Due publishes a lot of good stuff, but we'd brought mostly comic adaptations of the work's of fantasy author R. A. Salvatore. This year is the twentieth anniversary of Drizzt, so you can imagine how big that all was.

Or maybe you can't. You may know as little about Drizzt Do'Urden as my friend does. Which was one of the ways I was able to contribute at the booth. I'm a comic fan and a gaming fan. I'm pretty much half and half. So I got to do a lot of "translating" back and forth from gamer speak. The average gamer doesn't know what a trade paperback is and the average comic fan doesn't know who Artemis Entreri is. So I was useful for something.

I didn't spend my entire time at the con at the booth, though. I took some time off to go around the exhibit hall. One of the first places I hit up was the Wizkids booth. I'd seen huge pyramidal stacks of a certain convention exclusive Heroclix figure. Before long it was mine:

MWAHAHA! It's a pretty sweet figure, and there was an unexpected bonus... Something I'd completely forgotten. Since I spent over $50 at the Wizkids booth I received a second con exclusive figure: Azrael! As Batman!

Watch me dance a happy jig. I'd been told that it was a con exclusive this year, but It had slipped my mind entirely. It was a very welcome surprise.

With such luck on the Heroclix front, I decided to browse the various booths selling Heroclix singles to see if I could find a specific figure. As I'm sure you've already guessed, I was looking for Doctor Polaris. Unfortunately, I didn't find him. Not a single booth at the show had him. And I checked them all. Twice.

But that's the way the ball rolls, sometimes. I wasn't too disappointed, all things considered. I'll find one of them eventually.

Back at the booth, I had the exceptional luck of being able to meet James Lowder, the author of one of my favorite D&D novels. That was a great treat. Mr. Lowder is a amazingly cool guy, and it was great having a chance to talk with him for a bit. He edits some of DDP's collected editions, so he came by the booth a few times. It was awesome.

I also had the chance to meet a fellow comic blogger, Tom Foss. It was great meeting Tom, who is also an amazingly cool guy. I feel like I know so many comic bloggers simply from posting and commenting and reading their blogs... It was nice to be able to meet one of those people in person.

So that's basically the rundown of my Gen Con experience. Most of my time was spent at the booth, so I don't have any awesome gaming related stories to tell. At least not this year. Next year I hope to actually play some Heroclix...

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ready to Go

Okay people. I made it to Chicago. Tomorrow my friend and I are heading down to Indianapolis for Gen Con. As such, don't expect a whole lot of posting. And if I do post it'll probably end up leaning more towards the gaming side of my interests.

Then again, my friend does work for a comic book company and I will be working at his booth. So who knows? Maybe I will have something comic related to say...


Saturday, August 09, 2008

I Hate Marvel

This is the blog's 600th post. I think that's pretty good. Though I'm surprised I've made it this far. To celebrate, I think I'll talk a little about something that I've talked about before: how much I hate Marvel.

But this isn't my usual Marvel hating. In truth, I don't really hate Marvel at all. After all, yesterday I went to see Iron Man and today I saw Incredible Hulk. And it is these movies that have stoked the flames of my hatred. These excellent, enjoyable superhero movies with brilliantly intertwined plots. I hate them because I'm jealous.

I hate them because they're doing -- brilliantly -- what DC's corporate owners have never even tried to do. They're exploiting their properties in ways that both make awesome movies and tons of money. Sure, DC has had tremendous success with their resurgent Batman franchise. But that's it. Marvel's done probably dozens of movies in the same time frame. And when they falter (like Hulk) they turn around and do it again (see: Incredible Hulk).

But its not just that they're making so many of these movies. It's that they're now tying them together. Dark Knight was a phenomenal film. There's no question of that. But it exists in its own universe. Marvel seems to have done the impossible: they've not just brought Marvel characters and properties to the big screen -- they've brought the entire frickin' Marvel Universe to the big screen. And I hate them for it.

I hate them for it because every time I enjoy one of those MU movies I think that in some alternate reality I might be watching a DCU movie instead. I'd be watching awesome films about characters I like rather than awesome films about characters I merely tolerate.

Instead of seeing Tony Stark be an ass on screen, I could be watching Hal Jordan do the same. Instead of watching the Hulk tear up the streets of New York I could be watching the Flash tear up the streets of Central City. Instead of hints for an Avengers film we would be seeing hints of the Justice League of America.

But then, maybe it's not Marvel that deserves my ire. After all, can I really fault them for managing their properties well? Perhaps I should reserve my anger for Warner Bros. After all; they're the ones who are mismanaging some of the greatest fictional characters ever conceived. And thanks to them, we're all losing out.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Weekend

Well, I'm writing this from a computer in Kalinara's secret underground lair. I made it safely here and thusfar I'm enjoying myself. I needed to get back among people I know. And with a few exceptions, most of those people are in Japan.

So we went to see Iron Man today. I know, I don't usually write about Marvel (except in a derogatory fashion). But I will go to see them in the movies. Because that's a different matter. All I'll say about Iron Man: Tony Stark's final pre-credits line made that movie.

We're going to see Incredible Hulk tomorrow...

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LIX

This is Thursday Night Thinking. And this is what you came here to see: Jimmy Olsen in a time traveling bubble.

All is right in the world.

I'll try to post tomorrow, but I'm going to visit Kalinara tomorrow. So if I do post it'll be from the computer in her secret lair, not mine.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Final Crisis #3

Okay, I'm going to try to keep this spoiler free... As some of you probably haven't read this yet. But what the hell happened in Final Crisis #3? Holy crap, that was insane.

There were about a billion things in that comic that I'm not sure I understood. That is, I understood them. But not necessarily their significance. Do y'all know what I mean? There's clearly more going on than there seems to be on the surface.

And despite that cover, I wasn't really expecting that last page. I mean, sure, they told us this was going to happen. But it still seems unreal when you're staring it in the face. The big question is: where do we go from here?

Oh, and also: Aquaman! That is all.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Dark Ages

Okay. So I said I was going to be posting a lot more now that I'm home. And I specifically said I'd be posting about comics. But you know, sometimes things don't work out quite the way you expect them.

I'm still... Adjusting. Even though I should be out of the jet lag zone, I find myself exhausted at the strangest time. And well, there really isn't a whole heck of a lot to do around here.

Today I went to buy a new cell phone. And jeeze... Is this the stone age? The phone I got three years ago in Japan was more advanced than these things. 1.3 megapixels? Are you kidding? And it can't even travel through time?

Hopefully things will be looking up -- and by that I mean less boring. You all heard about my going up to Gen Con next week. And I'll be visiting Kalinara this weekend. So that should be fun. But what I really need is a job, I fear. And that's the one thing I don't want right now...

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Well Lookee Here

Okay, has everybody else seen the trailer for this Wonder Woman movie? I imagine so. It's not the sort of thing that we comic fans tend to miss. Especially something that -- to me at least -- looks as good as this thing does.

There's not much to see, admittedly. But what there is seems very enticing to me. It looks like there's going to be quite a lot of hitting. Sword fights. Probably some explosions. The only thing that might make me more excited would be if the hitting was hitting nazis.

But minotaurs work, too...


Friday, August 01, 2008

Gen Con

Now that I'm back in America, I can once again start doing all the things I did before I went to Japan (and by extension started this blog). One of the things that I did almost every summer for several years was attend Gen Con in Milwaukee , Wisconsin. Some things change, and now Gen Con is in Indianapolis.

But that doesn't mean I won't be there. Indeed, I will be at Gen Con, and it'll be my first time at the con in Indianapolis. Now I know that Gen Con is a gaming convention, but I'm sure none of you are surprised that the comics and gaming often intersect. Such is the case of this.

So, if any of you will be in Indianapolis at Gen Con from August 14th to August 17th, let me know. Drop a comment below or send me an email at diamondrock AT gmail DOT com. I'd love to hook with some people. I'll be browsing the floor and helping a friend out at his booth. I hope I'll see some of you there.

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