Friday, May 29, 2009

Post #800

Behold: Title Undetermined's 800th post. I still don't have a title.

What a long, strange road it's been. This little blog started out with just me talking about comics and trying to be funny. I'm still not funny, but at least I've got co-bloggers who can pick up the slack.

I've learned new things, I've met (in a manner of speaking) interesting people, and I've had fleeting brushes with fame.

But the one thing that never changes is how much fun I have doing this. I know some bloggers who find blogging to be a chore. It's never been that way for me. I like doing this. And I'm going to like doing it for another 800 posts.

Thanks for tuning in!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #100

This is it... The astonishing, unbelievable one hundredth edition of Thursday Night Thinking!

It's a been a long strange road. With crazy thoughts, scary thoughts, and poignant thoughts. Tonight, for this special occasion we have one of the purest types of thoughts:

This, my friends, is what it's all about. Here we celebrate the schemer, the plotter, and the common man with the uncommon plan. Truly, we celebrate them all. From the highest Superman to the lowest Jimmy Olsen. All are equal in their thinking.

Will this be the final Thursday Night Thinking? I don't think so!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Incredibly Off-Topic

Originally I had hoped to talk about the final issue of Trinity today and my thoughts on the series as a whole. But I forgot that new comics don't come until Thursday this week. Oops.

Instead, I will tell you the story of who I am and how I came to be. Or rather where I am going. Be forewarned: this is not about comics in any way.

Many of you know that when I started this blog I was living in Japan. I lived there for a good three years. I loved my time there but by the end of my last year I felt like I needed a change. I came back to the United States last summer. But I had no plans and no job lined up. I didn't know where I was going to go or what I was going to do.

In the end, a series of occurences led me to apply to various institutions of higher learning. I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted at first, but as time went on it started to seem more and more like the path for me. It wasn't long before I found myself in a place I hadn't expected: going back to school.

That's right, friends: come August I'll be a graduate student. I'll be able to change that little "currently unemployed" tag. I will be attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. I'll be there for at least the next two years, and possibly as many as seven (if I decide to work towards a PhD).

What does all this mean for the blog? I have no idea. Initially I had thought I might have to cut down on my comics. But financial aid has been surprisingly generous, so that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

I intend to make every effort to continue here. I can't imagine that graduate school will take up so much of my time that I can't dash off a few poorly considered thoughts about the latest comic event.

Anyway, that's where things stand with me. I'm pretty happy about where I'm going, even if I don't know exactly where it will lead. Back to Japan? Almost certainly at some point. To Korea, Taiwan, or China? I wouldn't rule it out.

Regardless of where I'm going I just wanted to let all my friends out there (and you are all my friends) know how things are going. I don't usually talk about myself, but some things... Well, some things you need to share.

Tomorrow: Thursday Night Thinking One Hundred!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Some have asked me why I do not plan to return as a "Black Lantern." After all, I am a prime Green Lantern villain. Shouldn't I play a role in the biggest Green Lantern story in years?

Such foolishness. It is not about being involved in events. If I were to appear in Blackest Night I would be relegated to a bit part as a slavering zombie. That is beneath me.

Additionally, I would be forced to play second fiddle to Black Hand. Not only that, I would probably have to talk to him. Really, there are only two options when it comes to Blackest Night. They are thus:

#1: Join in and interact socially with the disturbing and foul smelling Black Hand.


#2 - Sit out the big event and wile away my time drinking fine wine and enjoying the company of lovely ladies on a beach in sunny California.

Which would you choose?

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

The word is that there will be a new Azrael series coming this fall. You might expect me to be upset by that. Know that I'm actually not.

Why not? Here's my reasoning: I didn't show up in Death's Dark Knight. I didn't expect to. It was a three issue mini-series and the point of it was to introduce a new character with my name. They had neither the time nor the inclination to talk about me.

But in a series. That's one comic a month. That is -- at least in theory -- infinite stories. And if there's one thing that DC Comics legacy heroes can't avoid, it's mentioning their predecessors.

Here's what I think: the first few stories will probably establish the character, set up a supporting cast, and introduce some villains. Assuming the book does't get cancelled, they'll have to delve into some other things after that. How better to do that than talk about the former Azrael?

And if I'm really lucky the book will flounder and they'll try to gin up sales by actually bringing me back...


Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Coming Week

Well well well. Things are looking to be pretty interesting in the coming week. If my calculations are correct then this week will see not only our 100th Thursday Night Thinking but also our 800th post. Plus, the final issue of Trinity

I don't really have anything special planned, but who knows what'll happen between now and the end of the week...


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Battle for the Cowl

Battle for the Cowl has -- somewhat unsurprisingly -- left us with more questions that answers. To top it off, the answers it gave us were pretty much expected. Dick Grayson will be Batman, Damien will be Robin, and Jason will be completely insane.

But if the answers are a bit predictable, the questions are far more intriguing. There aren't many of them, but that doesn't stop them from being somewhat important. Let us consider them each in turn.

#1 - Jason's Mysterious Past? Uh oh. Looks like Jason's been retconned a particularly trouble past. And I'm talking one beyond even his delinquent life on the street. Batman's message clearly insinuates that Jason's insanity isn't just the result of a botched resurrection. Something bad happened to him before he came under Batman's care.

What was it? Abuse is probably the most likely. Was Jason abused physically? Sexually? Whether it was abuse or something else it drove Jason to act out violently in later years. There's no question that this will be addressed down the line.

#2 - Where is Batman? This is a question that has a halfway answer. We know that Batman's in the past. But how far, exactly? Where? Though we readers are the only ones who definitively know that Batman's alive clearly Tim suspects. It'll drive him to be Red Robin.

I for one would like to see a miniseries about Batman's adventures in the past. I want to him team up with Anthro and fight Vandal Savage in the Ice Age. How awesome would that be?

#3 - Whose Body? This one goes along with the previous question. If Batman is alive -- and we know he is -- then whose body is that in Bruce Wayne's grave? It's not a construct or an imaginary story. It's a real corpse in a Batman costume. It belonged to somebody.

#4 - Who is Black Mask? This is the most interesting question to me. Some of that has to do with my macabre fascination with Black Mask. But some of it has to do with the fact that it's the one real mystery we got in Battle for the Cowl. The other mysteries were either irrelevant or predictable. Not this one.

So who is the new Black Mask? We know that it's not Roman Sionis. It's made clear that Catwoman killed him, and he hasn't come back. It was indicated that Jason knows. There's even some hint that Jason could be Black Mask. But I think that unlikely. Jason wanted to be Batman. He would have gained nothing from the dual roles.

Whoever Black Mask is, he (or even she!) is someone with the requisite knowledge of Gotham City to engineer a takeover after everything falls apart (that seems to have become Black Mask's modus operandi as a Bat-villain). It's someone who benefits from the chaos of it all. It'll probably be obvious in the end, but right now... I have no idea.

So those are the questions I took away from Battle for the Cowl Do you have any of the answers?

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Mmm... Refreshing...

It was quite a week for comics, what with Battle for the Cowl and Supergirl. I may talk about Battle for the Cowl tomorrow, but I want to talk about Supergirl right now.

The whole of New Krypton has been a bit unexpected to me. I didn't really expect any of it to work. Surprisingly, it does seem to be working. Even more shockingly, Supergirl is managing to keep pace with the quality of the other Super-books. After all the missteps and false starts for the book and character over the past few years, it's a breath of fresh air.

Even more refreshing is the fact that Supergirl has managed to shock me. Precious few comics are able to shock me these days. Battle for the Cowl had some interesting revelations, but nothing particularly shocking. But the last few pages of this week's Supergirl had me staring at the book with my jaw dropped. Characters die in comics all the time. But rarely do we see deaths that play out like that.

The events of the Superwoman storyline will undoubtedly have far reaching consequences for Supergirl. Fortunately, I have absolutely no idea what those will be. And that's a nice change of pace...

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking XCIX

This is the ninety-ninth edition of Thursday Night Thinking! It's astonishing that I've kept it going this long. Especially considering the fact that Mon-El seems to be the only person doing any thinking these days:

Oh, Mon-El. Pick one and stick with it!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It's been a strange day for comics. Between things like Supergirl and Battle for the Cowl I'm confused out of my mind. As such, I can't really talk about them until I've had time to ruminate.

So consider this a rare non-weekend day off. We all deserve them every once in a while...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Near Present

It seems that either I or my no-PhD-no-MD-doppelganger will be appearing in Justice Society of America.

Based on the garish colors, misuse of metallics, and truly atrocious hair, I can only assume that it is not I but rather that insipid MBA. I am truly disappointed to find that he survived his last encounter with the Blue Beetle.

I had hoped he might suffer some sort of debilitating injury or accident that would lead to his demise or abandonment of the moniker that is rightfully mine.

Still, I am not terribly concerned. As long as there is a Mister Polaris running around the stage is set for a classic comic cliffhanger. Consider:

The scene: a city street. A pathetic MBA does battle with the JSA. Without a medical degree is is outmatched by Doctor Mid-Nite. He is defeated. The Flash ties him up and the rest of the team prepares to retire to their mansion for "egg-creams." Someone says something intended to be witty such as "well, that ties up Doctor Polaris." To the team's surprise the foolish MBA is then crushed by two tons of steel.

Splash page: Doctor Polaris appears. "Fools!" he says. "I am Doctor Polaris!"

To be continued.

Wouldn't you rather read that?

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Monday, May 18, 2009

August Solicitations/Mortal Terror

August Solicitations for DC Comics are out. And I am scared witless.

Sometimes people have irrational fears and phobias. I am one such person. My irrational fear is somewhat inconvenient for someone living in the modern world. You see, I am deathly afraid of zombies.

I won't watch zombie movies. As a rule, I avoid pretty much anything with zombies in it. Now, I'm no fool: I know zombies don't exist. But that doesn't keep me from being paralyzed with fear at the very thought of them.

I'm sure you can see my predicament.

As a loyal DC Comics fan I can ill afford to miss what may be the comic event of the decade. A comic event awash in zombies. Just look at all the Blackest Night tie-ins. Look at all the horrible covers. I'm terrified, but I can't afford to look away.

I've known this was coming, but I've put it out of my mind. With the solicitations before me I can no longer avoid it. Perhaps this is the time to face my fear.

After all, isn't that what Green Lantern is all about?

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Cure #3

I read Oracle: The Cure #3 with some eagerness this past week. I'd enjoyed the first two issues and I was really looking forward to finding out what was going to happen in the third issue.

Imagine my disappointment.

Everything was going quite well until the last few scenes. Then everything seemed to fall apart. Suddenly nothing made sense. I had to reread the last couple pages because I felt somewhat confused.

But I don't think it was the writer's fault. It really felt as though he had to go back and quickly change around the ending of his story. I don't know if there's any truth to that, but it felt as though DC up and changed their plans for Wendy, Orcale, and/or Batgirl and thus the writer hand to move things around.

Or maybe that's just me being overly generous. What do those of you out there who also read the comic think?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking XCVII

Thursday Night Thinking returns, with a preview of Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance!

Poor Big Atomic Lantern Boy. Will he ever find true love?


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Know that I'm not happy with Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #3.

And it's not just the fact that I'm not in the book. I'm okay with that. Saint Dumas knows I've tried to make peace with that! I'd like to believe I've succeeded.

No, my problem comes with the guy who is in the book. Have you seen the things he's done? Terribly, immoral things. Also, he's chopped off legs and hands! Now, I know I carried a flaming sword around a lot. In fact, I had two flaming blades in my gauntlets.

But really, how many times did you see me actually use them? I don't think I ever chopped off the body parts of anyone. Even those that probably deserved it. I was more of a beating vigilante. I'd thrash you to within an inch of your life, probably knock out some teeth and break your arms. But in the end you'd still have hands on those arms.

I just don't know. I don't feel like this is the kind of guy we want running around in Gotham. And I'm certain that You-Know-Who would not approve...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If I -- Doctor Polaris -- cannot be one of Power Girl's villains, then what about the Doom Patrol?

Leave aside Keith Giffen's claims that he will be creating new villains. That is balderdash. How often do writers really create new villains? They merely dust off old, well-worn concepts and reinvigorate them.

And doesn't the DCU need a sinister, devilishly handsome Master of Magnetism? Indeed it does. And I would be happy to face off against the Doom Patrol in order to take back that position.

Yes, it is a slight step down from my position as a preeminent adversary of the Justice League. After all, there are only three members of the team. But remember that one of those members is Rita Farr. And she is both beautiful and very tall...

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Monday, May 11, 2009


The writer of the upcoming Batgirl series appears to be some guy named Bryan Q. Miller. Sounds like a pseudonym to me, but hey.

I often wonder exactly how the major companies seize upon new writers. A lot of it seems to come via television. A great many of the current stock of writers on both sides of the street got their start in television. Or even the movies. You've got a smaller group that seem to have come via prose, but other than that...

I imagine a lot of it comes down to who you know. We know that the current writer of Supergirl, Sterling Gates more or less got a shot at writing comics because he knew Geoff Johns. And Geoff Johns got a start because he was working for Richard Donner. At least that's how I remember it.

It's all about the networking. That's true in pretty much every field an occupation. I know that part of the reason why I've got what I've got for the fall (more on that at a later date) because of who I know.

So what hope is there for those who aren't "connected"? What about those people who want to write comics for the Big Two but don't know anybody? Well, I don't know. And luckily I'm eccentric and don't want to work for them. But I imagine it's like anything else: hard work, practice, and a lotta luck.

Hmm, this post was supposed to be about Batgirl. Let me just say that I'll definitely pick it up for a few issues. I'm willing to give this "B. Q. Miller" a chance. After all, another unknown with an obviously fake name has worked out pretty well on another "girl" title...

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Strange Searches

From time to time I check the statistics for this blog. I find it interesting, especially the search terms that end up directing people to the various pages in my archives.

Not surprisingly, I sometimes find that people looking for one thing end up finding another. For example, I'm always getting hits from people searching for information on Prometheus, the character out of myth. I'd love to see the look on their faces when they find an in depth history of Prometheus, the JLA villain.

But then, sometimes the searchers get exactly what they're looking for. Right now a significant plurality of searches that lead to my blog are "I hate Wolverine."

I imagine they'll be pleasantly surprised...

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Blackest Night Teasers

The Source has been putting up Blackest Night teaser ads since they've been up and running. They're dark and a little scary... But because of the inverted nature of the images it's kind of hard to make out all the details.

Since I have far too much time on my hands I went through and deinverted all the teasers so that the Black Lanterns can be seen in all their glory. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking XCVI

We return again to Thursday Night Thinking! What shall we think on today? Well, it's been an awfully long time since we had a Super-Silver Age thought!

Yeah... Goes down smooth.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Secret Six #9

There's a Secret Six #9 preview over at The Source. Have I said how much I love Gail Simone?

I really love what she's done with Bane. He's a far more interesting character than we've seen in years. And Catman ain't no slouch either.

Remember a while back when there was a pathetic video making the rounds of some police officers tasering some guy? He was saying something along the lines of "Don't taze me, bro!"

In that last preview page I am inexplicably imagining that guy Bane is holding above his head pleading exactly like that.

"Don't crack my spine, bro!"

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I Am Available

It was with intense interest that I read the Comic Book Resources interview about the Power Girl series that premieres tomorrow.

I was particularly intrigued by the reference to Power Girl's villains. It seems that she has none. Though she will be facing off against that smelly genius the Ultra-Humanite, beyond that there are no plans for established villains to clash with Power Girl.

In this, I wish to offer my services. It would certainly be in Power Girl's interest to do battle with villains who have name recognition. None can deny the pure star power of Doctor Polaris.

She knows how to contact me. Though I fully intend to do my best in the first act, I will be happy to take a fall and allow her to tie me up in the final. We all must make sacrifices...

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Monday, May 04, 2009

The Next Batgirl

The big comic news today is the official announcement of the long rumored Batgirl series. The Source says it's starting in August and they've posted the first cover:

It's a gorgeous image, but it raises a lot of questions. If I'm not mistaken, Dan DiDio mentioned not long ago that Cassandra Cain was being separated from the Bat Family of comics. And yet here we see a Batgirl wearing Cassandra's costume -- down to the stitches on the mask.

What does it mean? Did DiDio lie? He's certainly done it before and it wouldn't bother me if he did again. I'm in favor of misdirection by the guys in charge so that some surprises will be preserved.

On the other hand we've got Oracle: The Cure with it's very suggestive title. I've mentioned my before my distaste with the idea of Barbara Gordon returning to being Batgirl. But my opinion on that matter doesn't carry any weight, and DC will do what DC will do.

Still, that image could be anyone. Cover images can't be taken literally. The torn out front of the mask could be Cassandra changing her attitude and outlook or it might be someone different making Cassie's costume her own.

Whoever it is, that's another book for my pull list...


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Back Again

I did not see the Wolverine film this past weekend. I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions as to why.

I was out of town for the weekend, however. That should explain why I didn't post on Friday or Saturday (as opposed to the weeks when I don't post on Friday and Saturday for no reason).

Anyway, I'd rather make a quick mention about my excitement regarding the upcoming Adventure Comics. Originally I had planned not to buy it (I thought I was going to have to trim my pull list substantially for the coming year). But unexpected occurences seems to have left me in a better financial situation that expected. Expect to see my "occupation" label on the sidebar officially changing soon enough...