Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ho Ho Hoaaaargh

Merry Christmas, y'all. Sorry I'm a couple days late, but you know I had planned to do a Thursday Night Thinking post for Christmas Day. I had a fantastic panel of Batman thinking about Christmas all ready to go.

But then in the wee early morning hours of Christmas Santa Claus did arrive. With him he brought me something I haven't had since I was a child:

Yes, Virginia, I did have the flu.

I'm still not completely recovered. I won't go into the gruesome details (though I will say that festive red and green were on the reverse menu). But I just wanted you all to know that I'm alive (if barely) and will resume posting here sometime in the next few days.

Now I'm going to lay back down...

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and the holiday is right around the corner. This will be my first proper Christmas in three years. Sure, there will be presents and feasting. But let's not forget what this season is really about:

God bless you, Superman. Merry Christmas, all.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Treatise on "Greatness"

I weary of the debate. I speak, of course, of the debate that raged across the pages of a well-known blog. The question of who could be called the "greatest" of the "Green Lanterns." My expertise in this matter has been requested; I shall oblige.

Let it be known that I have, on multiple occasions, had cause to face down the various Earth Green Lanterns in combat. Indeed, my first foray into supervillainy saw me arrayed against the bumbling ineptitude of the Green Lantern known as "Hal Jordan." So I am uniquely qualified to weigh in on which of the Lanterns is the "greatest."

But first, we must consider the meaning of the word "great." In one context, the word has a positive meaning. For example "Alexander was the greatest general of the ancient world." But in another context the word can have a very different meaning. Consider the following: "Hal Jordan is the greatest fool I've ever known." In this case the word carries a negative connotation.

Since we are speaking of Green Lanterns, it is the latter context that I shall employ. So know this: Hal Jordan is the greatest fool I've ever known. It is a fact that his intelligence shines only in comparison to the dimmest of primates. Among the great apes he would be consider quite the dullard.

But more than that, Hal Jordan's skull serves as the greatest magnet for head trauma the world has ever seen. In battle, I would not even have to work hard in order to cause Jordan to smack his skull into a girder, buttress, or similarly exposed object.

The other Green Lanterns are skilled in many ways. But as I have said before, their skulls lack a certain je ne sais quoi when struck by heavy objects. It is indescribable, that. But what I do know is that Hal Jordan has it. This alone is enough to make him not only my "greatest" enemy, but the "greatest" of the "Green Lanterns."

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Blast From the Past

Hey all. It's been a tough couple days here at Diamondrock Manor. Severe ice and snowstorms knocked out the power for a considerable period of time. And with no power, that means no heat, light, or Internet. The last was unbearable.

Still, we persevered and here I am once again to deliver to you cutting insights about the current world of comics. I still read the blog over at Newsarama even though my favorite contributor has left. (you know who you are!) And what did I see when I went there before the power went down?

A post about why Kyle Rayner is better than Hal Jordan. Oh boy.

I thought we were over this. Hal's back, Kyle's still around, and John and Guy are doing well too. Why can't we all get along? Why can't we all just agree to disagree about which Green Lantern we may or may not like on a given day? I myself tend to fluctuate between favorite Lanterns. Sometimes I like Kyle, because he's the guy I grew up with. Sometimes I like Guy because he's awesome.

But regardless, I don't really care if X person thinks that Y Lantern is objectively the best. Because I've got my own ideas, and more important battles to fight. Like making sure DC fixes Cassandra Cain...

Oh, wait.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

March Solicits

Well, there certainly is a lot going on in DC's March solicitations. Things are especially heady in the Batman section. And of course, the big news around these parts is the upcoming Azrael: Death's Dark Knight miniseries.

There's not a lot the be gleaned from that solicitation, however. It seems pretty clear that the Azrael we all know and love will not be taking on the role in this mini. That doesn't mean Jean Paul won't be showing, up, but he's not the "Azrael" mentioned in the title.

That fellow is described thusly: "He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight." That's pretty vague, but I imagine that it's probably a reference to one of the "Three Ghosts of Batman" that we've seen in Grant Morrison's Batman run. But that's only speculation.

What we need is one of those all too common Newsarama/CBR interviews with the writer of an upcoming project where he or she teases us with cryptic hints regarding the comic. So c'mon, Fabian Nicieza. Give us a little something. If the newsies won't interview you, I will. Lord knows I've got questions...

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXXVII

This is Thursday. This is Thursday Night Thinking!

I'll admit that I've had Batman in my thoughts a lot in recent days. So what better to express that than a classic cover to a classic story: "Robin Dies at Dawn!"

What does Grant Morrison think?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Bat History Lesson

During the time of the Crusades there was forged a suit of armor known as the Suit of Sorrows. This suit was given to Geoffrey de Cantonna, a knight supposedly "Pure of Heart."

He was not.

Geoffrey de Cantonna was driven insane by the Suit of Sorrows. He slaughtered three hundred people. To hide this shameful secret the massacre was blamed on Moors. After Geoffrey de Cantonna's death, the Suit of Sorrows was retrieved by those who created it: The Order of Purity, a splinter sect of The Order of St. Dumas.

But The Order of Purity did not hold it long. The Suit of Sorrows was seized by Ra's al Ghul. He possessed the suit for centuries. It would next appear when given by Talia Head to Batman as chronicled in Detective Comics #842.

Batman wore the Suit of Sorrows and found that he was stronger and faster than normal. But he also felt a great rage. Batman sought the origins of the Suit of Sorrows, and discovered the shameful secret of Geoffrey de Cantonna.

Batman decided not to wear the Suit of Sorrows. But he found that he could not destroy it. He placed it in the trophy room of the Batcave where it might serve as a warning and remind him of the need for vigilance.

It did not stay there long.

The next appearance -- or rather disappearance -- of the Suit of Sorrows is chronicled in the pages of Batman and the Outsiders #11. Batman is dead, and all seems lost. The Batcave has been ransacked and destroyed. The trophy case of the Suit of Sorrows is found empty.

The Suit of Sorrows does not stay hidden for long, however. The pages of Batman and the Outsiders #14 tell the story of its reappearance. The Suit of Sorrows is worn by an unknown man -- an "Angel of Death" -- who serves St. Dumas

He is Azrael, Death's Dark Knight. His story is yet untold.

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Monday, December 15, 2008


DC's new March solicitations have become available. Know that I check them every month to see if I'm coming back. I'm usually disappointed.

But not this time! If you will, please take a look at this "Battle for the Cowl" solicitation:

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Frazer Irving
Cover by Guillem March
He was a husband and a father. A brother and a friend. A cop and a dark knight. But he had all that taken away. And in return, he was given a suit of sorrows, a quest for redemption and a new name. He is Azrael, avenging angel for the Order of Purity and a new protector for Gotham City's troubled times. But who will protect the citizens from him?
Guest-starring Robin, Nightwing, Talia and the League of Assassins, this miniseries runs alongside BATTLE FOR THE COWL and features the dramatic presence of a strangely familiar, troubled hero with two things on his mind: crazed vengeance for the wrongs he has suffered and salvation for the sins he continues to commit!
On sale March 18 • 1 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I am excited and humbled to find that DC has given me the chance to star in my very own miniseries! And it seems they've got me down. After all, "crazed vengeance"? That's me all the way!

Still, I just want to correct some minor mistake DC seems to have made regarding my history. It's not a surprise, considering I've been gone for a long time. But you should know that I'm not a father. And I've never been a husband or a cop, either. And as for being a brother, I did meet my jar-grown brother briefly during my solo series. But then I broke the jar.

Still, it just must be a typo. Some sloppy editing. I mean, what other possible explanation could there be?

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Saturday, December 13, 2008


Well, it's December 13. That means I've been doing this blog thing for three whole years. A lot has changed in my life recently, but one thing that has remained largely constant -- and hopefully will for a long time -- is my comic blogging at Title Undetermined.

I never came up with a title, but I think I've developed an interesting style over the past three years. I've got my normal posts, and my co-bloggers who help keep things from getting stale. It's never a dull moment with those guys.

I want to thank everybody who reads regularly or just stops by on occasion. It means a lot to me, knowing that somebody out there is reading something I write.

There are going to be more changes in store for me soon -- I'm going back to school next year, and who knows where that'll take me. But one place It won't take me is away from here. Here's hoping I can keep this going for another year or three...

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Coming Soon

Well, Secret Six came out this week. As usual, it was really good. Lot's of hints for interesting things to come.

But what was also interesting was the Gail Simone interview on Newsarama. She had a lot of teases there. A lot of exciting things are on the way.

But for me, the most important by far was this:

"After that, we have a story where the Six have to face the consequences of "Unhinged," and I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s got meat-human trafficking, the return of a great DC anti-hero, the split-up of the original team, nudity, eggs, claws, and jeez, just a ton more things I’m completely ashamed of."

Okay, now read that again:

"After that, we have a story where the Six have to face the consequences of "Unhinged," and I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s got meat-human trafficking, the return of a great DC anti-hero, the split-up of the original team, nudity, eggs, claws, and jeez, just a ton more things I’m completely ashamed of."

Well, well, well... You know, DC doesn't have many anti-heroes. Maybe..?

Wild Dog returns?

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXXVI

Welcome, once again, to Thursday Night Thinking! You should know that this is not an easy job. Alas, in this day an age a character's thoughts are too often confined to pitiful caption boxes. There, the speaker's identity is masked -- or indicated only by confusing color coding.

Thank God for Ambush Bug.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I don't get why people are all up in a huff about anything related to "Batman R. I. P." It's just another story. And nobody really thinks that Batman's dead. After all, Morrison put it front and center in the beginning of the story:

That, my friends, is Truth.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Secret Invasion

I did not read Secret Invasion.

That should come as no surprise to you. After all, my lack of interest in Marvel Comics is well documented. Still, I read the spoilers and got myself a look at the last few pages of Secret Invasion's final issue. And it confirms something that I have long believed true:

The Marvel Universe is full of idiots.

I've talked before about how the average populace of the Marvel U seems incapable of telling the difference between good guys and bad guys. They can't seem to understand that man dressed like flag is good while mand who throws pumpkins and drops girls off bridges is bad. I mean, they arrested the flag guy and put pumpkin guy in charge of super-heroes. How does that work?

I'm serious here: how does this stuff happen? Why is the average person (and the not so average judging by that president there) so completely dimwitted? How can they be so utterly clueless? I've said it before and I'll say it again: by and large, the people in the DCU don't have this problem. Sure, they elected Luthor president. But when he went crazy and tried to kill Superman on national television they kicked him out.

Now to be fair, the average person in the Marvel U may not know Norman Osborne spends a good portion of his time wearing a green mask and trying to kill Spider-Man. But I'd imagine that the president probably does. But he still puts the guy in charge of whatever passes for a super-hero organization in the Marvel U.

It's like they want things to go bad. They keep choosing progressively worse people to put in charge of things.

"Well, we put the fascist guy in charge and he mucked it up. Let's try putting the murderous supervillain in charge. After all, how could that possibly go wrong?"



Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Triumphant Return

Rejoice, my loyal allies! For Polaris has truly returned!

Consider: the most recent issue of the weekly series Trinity. There, we see the Anti-Trinity summon a cadre that consists of the most fearsome villains of all time. And who, you may ask, is front and center? It is I, Doctor Polaris.

Now, it is easy to assume that that is not me. After all, the coloring is shoddy and some pieces of the costume are just not quite right. But consider this: in a world where there is no Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman would Infinite Crisis have happened?

Seeing as that particular Crisis was precipitated in part by the Supermen of Earths 2 and Prime, I say no. And if Infinite Crisis never happened then I was never blown up by the Human Bomb (Human Bomb!) and therefore never replaced by an M. B. A.!

I approve, Mr. Busiek. I heartily approve.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking LXXV

Welcome once again to Thursday Night Thinking!

Tonight: a man many consider vain sends a giant statue of himself to do his job. Do you think that's vain?

Yeah... That's not vain at all...

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What Ever Happened... Oh, Wait...

Long, long ago I wrote about Prometheus. He was one of those wacky Grant Morrison inventions that did everything advertised. I mean, the guy beat up the JLA. Then he somehow ended up as "Hush's dancing monkey." The mighty fell, and it disappointed me.

But along comes the mysterious Sterling Gates (surely that must be a pseudonym). He says he's going to make Prometheus awesome again. He's a strange fellow, this Sterling Gates (if that is his real name). He came out of nowhere and so far everything he's done has bee really good. He seems to specialize in revitalizing hard luck characters...

Wait a second...

Is it possible that "Sterling Gates" is really Geoff Johns, Super Writer?

I think I just cracked this case wide open...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008


So we all know that Static is joining the Teen Titans. That's been confirmed. And it looks like Kid Eternity will be joining the team as well. And if there really is a God then Miss Martian will be back as well. But who else is going to be on the team?

It looks like Bombshell may actually be joining. But other than that, well... I'm having a hard time thinking of many other teen heroes. Sure, there's Zatara. But beyond him, didn't all those interim Titans during the OYL gap get killed and blowed up and stuff?

Maybe Aquagirl will come back...


Monday, December 01, 2008

Pick Me

Well, You-Know-Who is dead. It looks like he's out of the picture for a while. I welcome him to the club.

But the big question is: who's taking over? We've got this whole "Battle for the Cowl" thing going on. And I want in. I should at least be given the chance to audition. After all, I have far more experience wearing that cowl than any of the other possible contenders. Heck, Hugo Strange has more experience wearing that cowl than the others do.

And look: I'm getting better. I barely ever have those blackouts anymore. And the number of pseudo-religious hallucinations I experience on a regular basis have sharply declined. I'm in as good of shape as I've ever been, and I can still beat a mugger within an inch of his life without breaking a sweat.

So come on; give me the chance. I've got the drive and the experience to be Batman. I've done it before. And not many people can say that.

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