Friday, October 31, 2008


Today is Halloween. Know that I'm not a big fan of All Hallow's Eve. After all, it's hard to get excited about a night of spooks and specters when you're constantly haunted by the vengeful ghost of an angry Crusader Saint. That's life, I guess.

Still, I was pleased to see this year's DC Universe Halloween Special. It warmed my heart in a way no "Holiday Special" could. You see, kids still remember me:

Happy Halloween.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXX

Yes indeed. This is Thursday. That, of course, means Thursday Night Thinking! Who is the most common Thursday Night Thinker? Why, that would be Superman!


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Huh. It looks like Checkmate did get canceled without me noticing. Oh well. That last story was awful anyway. They probably should have ended the series as soon as Rucka left anyway. Checkmate was his baby.

Luckily, he's coming back for some more Checkmate next week with Final Crisis: Resist. Goody. I really liked what Rucka did with Checkmate (even if I still hate the Great Ten). It looks like we're going to get a lot of the same fun stuff we got in "classic" Checkmate, too. Plus, Snapper Carr.

But here's the particularly fun bit to me: the Resist solicit says that Checkmate must "awaken an evil from a Crisis past." Assuming that it's not from the original Crisis, I take it that means Infinite Crisis. And since this is Greg Rucka I take it that means Brother Eye!

At least, that's my guess. So the question becomes: what happens when you've got a populace enslaved to Anti-Life, half of them are infected with the OMAC virus, and then Brother Eye turns it on?


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Go Sleepy Bye

So yeah. Today has been one of those days... One of those days when I don't get any done but feel exhausted by 9:15. One of those days where I very well might be coming down with something. Now, before I take evenings like this off I like to ask my closest adviser what he thinks about the idea.

And what do you think of that idea, Wild Dog?

That's all I needed to hear. G'night everybody.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A Hazardous Thought

Who all is going to end up as Black Lanterns? Is it just going to be dead super-heroes? Or is it going to be anyone who's dead in the DCU?

I ask because there are clearly a lot of dead characters running around in the DC Universe. Sure, characters like Blue Beetle and The Rolling Head of Pantha seem to be givens. But are we going to see Thomas and Martha Wayne flying around with black rings? How about Pa Kent? That would be pretty tasteless...

What about real historical figures? There are a lot of dead people in a lot of places on the world. And heck, other worlds as well. But really, I'm mostly worried about our world. Specifically, politicians. I mean, can you imagine anything more terrifying that Richard Nixon, Black Lantern?

Me neither...


Friday, October 24, 2008

M. B. A.?!

I am incensed. I am enraged. Until a few short days ago I was not entirely sure whether or not I -- Doctor Polaris -- had been replaced. But Blue Beetle #32 has revealed a shameful truth: I have been replaced... By an M. B. A.

It was shameful to discover that one with no medical degree -- nor PhD -- has deigned to christen himself "Doctor Polaris." Know this John Nichol. I may be insane, but never have I been weak. Perhaps I did not spend my time at the "frat" performing "keg-stands" with the other "business" majors. I was too busy earning my M. D. and learning the awesome secrets of magnetism!

Where would you be, Mister Polaris, had you not purchased my best-selling The Law of Attraction or attended my award-winning seminar Health Via Magnetism? You would still be nothing. A pathetic boardroom lackey sniveling to his corporate bosses.

I am no kindred spirit of yours! I am your better in every way. One does not pursue magnetism for profit. One does not engage in crime to make money. Super-villainy is about far, far more than simply taking people's money and hitting Hal Jordan over the head. It is about panache. It is about style.

And from what I've seen of your beard, you are sorely lacking it that.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXIX

It's been a dreary Thursday here at the ol' homestead. Not much to do. Rainclouds in the sky. The only thing that could make me feel better is a little Thursday Night Thinking!

Ah, that's the stuff. Blissful thinking.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gotta Love That Power Girl

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is This Progress?

This caused me to raise an eyebrow. Not that I read Marvel. Or even care what they're doing. But it seems to be part of a minor trend. Not only are they switching up for a female Black Panther but I see to recall there being a "Lady Bullseye" recently.

It's not just Marvel, either. Lord knows that DC's been guilty of this before. I seem to recall Wildcat II and Doctor Mid-Nite II both being female versions of the original characters. And not long ago we had a Lady Chronos.

Now don't get me wrong; I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. I'm all for diversity in comics. But sometimes I wonder if this sort of thing is being done for the right reason. Are female versions of established male characters appearing because it's an organic story? Or are they appearing because the almost exclusively male editorial staffs at the companies want excuses to put -- if I may be so blunt -- hot chicks the costumes?

Is it really about telling good stories? Or is it just a way to to appeal to the lowest common denominator: the "typical" comic fan who reads comics to ogle at attractive women that he can't get in real life?

Now I know as well as the rest of you that that is not really what the typical comic fan is like. There isn't any typical comic fan. We're as varied as comics are. But Marvel (and surely DC to an extent) still seems to think that most of their fans are that media-borne stereotype. And surely some of them are. Is that why they're giving us "Black Pantheress" and "Lady Chronos"?

And if that's the reason, is that really a good reason. Like I said, I want more female characters in comics. And I want more female headliners. But is a stunt like this (and forgive me if I assume something Joe Quesada calls "a very cool idea" a stunt) really the way we want to bring more women into headliner status as comics? Maybe so. Maybe it's the only way you can get a still overwhelming male comic audience to accept it.

Or maybe not. And maybe I'm completely wrong. Maybe Hudlin and Marvel have crafted a brilliant, clever story about why an established male hero is replaced with a female version wearing a skintight black outfit. But then, I don't hold much hope. Because, after all, It's Marvel.


Monday, October 20, 2008

January Solicitations

January solicitations are up! Looks like it'll be an interesting month. The last issue of Final Crisis finally hits, but more importantly it's DC's "Faces of Evil" month. Lots of villains running around there. These are the key ones for me:

Prometheus: I wrote long ago about Prometheus -- a guy who beat up the JLA -- somehow got turned into "Hush's dancing monkey." Here's hoping he gets back his stride.

Hush: Speaking of that one note villain... How amazing is Paul Dini? He somehow managed to make Jeph Loeb's trainwreck of a character into a deep, interesting villain. If I knew how he did it I'd be richer than Santa Claus.

Kobra: Hey, that reminds me... Did Checkmate get canceled or what? I don't remember it being canceled, but it must've been. How very odd.

Parasite: Looks like Geoff Johns his taking his villain upscaling from Flash and Green Lantern rogues to Superman villains. I'll buy that.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Krypton

Well, I spent the weekend up in Madison, Wisconsin at my college roommate's wedding. I enjoyed myself, but boy is it awkward to be the only single person in a room full of the married, the engaged, and the attached...

Anyway, COMICS! I'm sure everyone knows by now about the upcoming "New Krypton" story arc that's going to be running through the Superman books. Is anyone else not looking forward to it as much as I'm not looking forward to it?

See, I've always liked the whole "Last Son of Krypton" thing. I can abide a Supergirl and I'll admit that Krypto has really grown on me (being back in America and having a dog again has been good for me). But really, I hate all the other Kryptonians. As I've said before, they're alternately arrogant bumblers and the "Assholes of Space." So you can imagine that I'm not too pleased about a whole city of those jerks showing up.

But then, I know as well as anyone that it surely won't last beyond the nine (does it have to be nine?) part story that they're kicking off soon. Chances are before it's all over Kandor will be back in a bottle and safely in the Fortress of Solitude. But I have another idea.

I've made no secret my fondness for a lot of the horrible, horrible characters and concepts that arrived at DC in the 1990's. I'm talking about Azrael, Bane, and yes, Doomsday. So, my dream ending to "New Krypton"? Doomsday wrecking up and killing like half of Kandor. How great would that be?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXVIII

Some things never change. The sun rises in the east, Ted Kord is dead, and Thursday means Thursday Night Thinking!

Those Controllers... Always thinking. I guess that's what it's like when you're telepathic...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Are all Hollywood types evil robots from the future bent on the destruction of humankind's happiness? Are they vindictive artificial intelligences that power themselves on the disappointment of children? It seems that that may be so.

I was reading this little article about who Richard Donner thinks should do the next Superman movie. Now, my feelings on the Richard Donner Superman: The Movie I have made abundantly clear. I think that it's a mediocre, somewhat dated film treatment of the character that is held in far too much esteem by people today.

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) Donner's choice for who should do the next Superman movie is one of those people -- his old assistant Geoff Johns. Now I like Geoff Johns as much as the next guy (and probably more). And he's done quite a few bang up things in his current Action run. That said, he's still far too beholden to his old boss's vision of Superman.

Back to my first point: evil movie executrons from the future. Superman may be a tricky character to get a handle on. But it should not be tricky to figure out what to do with him on the big screen. This is the era of big, blockbuster action films full of startling special effects. Look at the success of Iron Man and similar films. Why hasn't one of the executrons turned to another and said: "why don't we just make a movie that features Superman flying around and punching bad guys for an hour and a half?"

Because they are evil robots from the future. And it's not in their interest to see Braniac get his ass kicked on the silver screen. Plus, they run on the shattered dreams of children... And comic fans.

Good night.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

A Declaration

DiDio! To you I level the following ultimatum: If my next appearance in comics is not written by Gail Simone you will be destroyed.

It is very simple, really. I have watched with increasing delight as the delightful Ms. Simone crafts exciting adventures for some of the most underused of my villainous compatriots. I myself know the terrible sting of being underused. And if Ms. Simone can do wonders with the likes of Catman and the always unintentionally hilarious Bane, imagine what she could do with me.

Just picture an appearance by yours truly in Secret Six. Imagine the scenarios possible when someone of my wit and charm is written by someone with the reputation of Ms. Simone. I will admit that even my powerful imagination is limited in this capacity. But I do know that it would be good.

So, Dan DiDio. Accede to my demands or be destroyed. If I do not appear in Secret Six by issue seven, you will regret the day you were born.

And to Ms. Simone: if you put me in the book I will send you flowers. Expensive ones. I am not above bribery...

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXVII

Thursday Night Thinking returns... And let me apologize for the poor quality scan. My normal scanner is currently impaired. But the thinking isn't:

Batman wrestles shark, thinks. Film at eleven.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

An Open Letter

To: Geoff Johns

Re: Action Comics #870

Dear Mr. Johns,

Was that really necessary? Did it serve any purpose other than to continue the obsession people at DC seem to have with the decidedly mediocre Richard Donner Superman: The Movie?

I question the decision as it doesn't really seem to bring anything but unneeded pathos to the character of Superman. I mean, that story has already been done. Probably a half dozen times, maybe more. The Braniac elements of this Action arc have been very inventive. Your little surprise was not.

And I use the term "surprise" loosely. Did you think anybody was going to be surprised or shocked? Everybody who looked at the last few Action covers knew this was coming. I hoped it was a fakeout, but no, it seems that it wasn't. Nor was it particularly clever or genuinely shocking. There was nothing there.

Basicially, I'm a little bit disappointed. Sure, you sometimes telegraph your moves, but never this blatantly. I usually find myself at least somewhat surprised by your patented twists. Maybe I still will be.

But I doubt it.



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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vixen: Return of the Lion

There was a bit of a surprise in my stack of comics last week. It wasn't something that I thought I would read. In fact, I'm still not sure why I read it. Maybe it's because the art was pretty. I don't know. But I did read Vixen: Return of the Lion. And I really liked it.

Let's forget that the comic totally ignored Vixen's "power problems" that have consumed a lot of Justice League of America over the past year. It's better that it did ignore them. Because instead we got a really interesting story about a character that I've never really known that much about.

Vixen has never been a character on my radar. I never read the Detroit League and only caught her briefly in Suicide Squad. She's always felt kind of tacked on in Justice League of America. But in Return of the Lion she felt like a real character. Like someone with a personality, a life, and character. For the first time the character of Vixen seems a bit more real to me.

I thought that Return of the Lion did a good job of showing that Vixen isn't really an African American character (as she often seems portrayed). She's really an African character. And the comic gives the continent that is all to shamefully ignored by people in the Western World a little bit of the attention that it so richly deserves.

I felt that Vixen's motivations were pretty real in this story. It's your typical comic hero struggle: find the villain responsible for the death of your parent/family member/significant other/best friend. But for some reason it felt a little less cliched to me here. Maybe it's because strongmen like Return of the Lion's villain are all too real in the world portrayed on the page.

In another common comic convention, the villain (formerly thought to be a normal mortal man) is revealed to have super-powers. Again, I should have expected that. But for some reason I didn't, and I was surprised to see it happen.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the artwork. I've never seen this artist's work before, but I sure hope I see more of his or her work (with a name like "Cafu" it's hard to tell). The characters looked good and the action was really stellar. I was impressed.

Over all, I'm pretty glad I took a chance on Vixen: Return of the Lion. I don't usually pick up mini-series based on characters I don't know well. Maybe you don't either. But you should give this one a chance. It feels like one of those solid comics that all too often slips through the cracks...


Monday, October 06, 2008

Getting It Right

Well, my weekend sucked. But I'm not going to talk about that. Instead, I'm going to talk about Supergirl!

I've never liked this new/old Supergirl. I was a big fan of Linda Danvers, but I understood the desire to bring the Supergirl character back to her roots. But I never felt like they did that. Even with all the successive writers, constantly cycling in and out. They never seemed to hit the sweet spot for me with the book and the character.

I think that might be changing. For me, one of the important things about super-heroes are secret identities. Don't give me any of that Marvel claptrap about how secret identities are outdated. Heck, even Marvel finally figured out they'd screwed up and retconned Spider-Man's secret identity back (following on the heels of Geoff Johns brilliant retcon of Wally's secret identity).

But nobody seemed to think that Supergirl needed a secret identity. Why couldn't she just be Supergirl all the time? Well, I think Sterling Gates is finally pointing out why that just doesn't work. Either for Kara or for the readers. I think comic readers need to see super-heroes in down to earth civilian identities.

Sure, not many of us can understand what it's like to be a multimillionaire or a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper or a test pilot or a police scientist. But But those people still have to deal with things in a very different way from super-heroes. And it provides perspective.

So let me again congratulate DC, Sterling Gates, Jamal Igle, and Keith Champagne. It took thirty-four issues, but you're finally starting to get Supergirl right. And you got me to start buying the book.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXVI

Thursday Night Thinking! Is this the final thought of Jimmy Olsen?

Probably not.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Hey, do you remember that billionaire industrialist? You know the one I mean. One of the world's richest men? A genius to boot. He built himself a super-suit. This guy was convinced that he knew best. He could run the world in a way that nobody else could. He got into a big fight with a guy in red and blue over it. Is this ringing any bells?

Am I talking about Lex Luthor?

Or am I talking about Tony Stark?

You've got to admit: there are some striking parallels between the Tony Stark of (and post) Civil War with our good friend Lex Luthor, the world's most dangerous man. Each is completely convinced that what he is doing is for the good of humanity. Even if that's not really his goal.

Still, one can't really compare the two side by side. By any measure, poor Tony Stark doesn't measure up. He may be a genius, but that doesn't make him smart. Not the way Lex Luthor is smart.

Tony Stark won his big fight. He became the big guy, and gained a chance to put his plans into action. But he only got there because his foe in the "Civil War" ended up folding.

Lex Luthor's opponent never gives up. He never gives in. And he's the most powerful man anywhere. And despite being beaten at every turn, Lex Luthor keeps going. He manages to compete. He's still Superman's greatest foe.

So what would happen if Tony Stark and Lex Luthor had lived side by side in the same universe? My guess: by the end of a work week Stark Enterprises is a wholly owned subsidiary of LexCorp. And Tony Stark ends up in a ditch somewhere. And not even drunk...

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