Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #121

My co-bloggers have both been confirmed as Black Lanterns! Gotta hurry with... Thursday Night Thinking!

There are actually a couple of good thoughts in there. And I've got to say: Jimmy Olsen can be pretty sly sometimes.

Now I've got to get out of here! Run awaaaay!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blackest Night #4

I think it's safe to say that Blackest Night #4 was my favorite comic of the entire year. If you've read it, I probably don't have to tell you about the two incredibly awesome pages that were right next to each other. It's as if Geoff Johns has been reading this blog and decided to write those pages just for me.

Have you been reading this blog, Geoff? Did you write those pages just for me?

Well, he probably hasn't and didn't. But they sure as hell made me happy just the same. I started laughing with a combination of giddiness and maniacalness when I read those two pages. They were awesome.

And I'm sure I won't be the only one who has something to say about them in the days to come...

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Quick Prediction

Y'know, I loves me most of what Geoff Johns writes. But that doesn't mean he isn't sometimes incredibly predictable.

That link is to the first four pages of Superman: Secret Origin #2. And with those four pages and what I know from issue one I already know exactly why -- in this new continuity -- Lex Luthor hates Superboy (and by extension Superman) so much.

Here's what we know: in the first issue young Lex runs out of his father's house and the clearly abusive man yells after him. It is also implied that Lex has a sister (who we never know we won't see at all down the road). In the preview Lex's father nearly slips off a cliff while drunk when his brakes mysteriously fail.

See where I'm going with this? Superboy saves Lex's father's life. And I bet you before that issue is up Lex's father kills his daughter in a drunken rage. If Superboy hadn't saved him from that "accident" then Lex's sister wouldn't have died. And that is going to be the reason why Lex Luthor hates Superboy.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

There is a Certain Irony Here

The next issue of The Flash: Rebirth isn't coming out until the middle of November.

I'm usually pretty laid back when it comes to delays. A week here, a week there. These things happen. The problem here is that I really want to read that book. And so out of pure self-centeredness I'm more than a little steamed that it keeps getting put off.

Here's my question: what else do these artists (and I assume it's an artist issue and not a writer issue) have to do? Isn't drawing comic books their job? Isn't that one of the first things they should be putting their energy toward?

My job is being a graduate student. I get everything done on time and -- if I can be a little self-congratulatory -- I do it well. I also have time to write this blog, play board games once a week, and occasionally see a movie.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable towards Mr. Van Sciver. There could very well be a good reason why The Flash: Rebirth is taking so long to finish. Or, again, it could have nothing to do with it all.

But whoever is at fault, hurry up! We can't get the new Flash series until Rebirth finishes. And I really want to see Wally's new costume...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #120

Tonight: Thursday Night Thinking!

And a special Thursday Night Thinking no less! For this evening's entertainment I'm digging into the archives to find one of my favorite thoughts from the past. Here for you, from the distant past of, uh... 2008 (I haven't been doing this that long):

God I love the Silver Age.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blue Jay 1971 - 2009

Forever in our hearts.

Okay, enough of that. Now if I may be serious for a moment:
this whole thing is starting to get ridiculous.

Now, I've said before that I have no problem with characters dying. And that hasn't changed at all. But there must be a better way to kick off a new story than simply killing off another also-ran.

I guess what I'm saying is this: I wouldn't have a problem with killing off character left and right if it hadn't been done anymore. It doesn't seem to shock anymore; now it's just lazy writing.

That said... I enjoyed most of the rest of this issue pretty well. And though the death makes me go "meh" the mystery really entices me. I love a good mystery and that's what Robinson and Bagley seem intent on whipping up for at least the first couple of issues of their run.

Who is the mysterious murder? Why did he take Despero? What is his connection to the Justice League?

And where did he get those awesome shoes?

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is This Really Happening?

Well, the new Azrael series starts tomorrow. I'm still having trouble coming to terms with this. I know that I should be over the whole thing, but...

It gets kind of difficult when they start mentioning me in the previews. It makes me want to keep watching to see if they say anything else. I know the writer said we wouldn't be seeing or hearing from me... But how much do you want to bet that they'll do a Blackest Night tie in to try and increase what will probably be really low sales? And who do you think will be the starring Black Lantern?

I have no idea how I'm going to fit one of those rings over my crazy three-finger gauntlets...

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Monday, October 19, 2009

January Solicits, Part 2

Full solicits for January are up. Let's have a look see at what we haven't seen yet.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Variant cover by Jim Lee
Sketch Variant cover by Doug Mahnke
BLACKEST NIGHT spreads with an oversized anniversary issue! Surrounded by friends and enemies, Hal Jordan goes into battle with a being he will never defeat – the Black Lantern Spectre! Can Saint Walker, Sinestro and the others put a stop to this bizarre Spectre rebirth?
Plus, Atrocitus reveals a tie to a power that may make him the most unbeatable of all the Lanterns!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with three covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Jim Lee). For every 100 copies of the Standard Edition, retailers may order one copy of the Sketch Variant Edition (with a cover by Doug Mahnke). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale January 27 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
So many Blackest Night tie-ins this month! And so many more damn variant covers.

Really, I've come to expect this variant cover crap. But it just seems to get excessive. Does anybody really buy multiple covers of the same comic? I mean, if you really like the cover I can see it. Is there any other good reason? It's not like any of these comics are ever going to be worth anything...
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ramon Bachs & John Stanisci
Cover by Francesco Mattina
Guest-starring Batman! A murder weapon that could shatter Michael Lane's life. Azrael's sword of justice turned against the woman he loves. A Dark Knight forced to protect a murderer. If the truth is a lie, what do Batman and Azrael do when justice demands a killer go unpunished?
On sale January 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Wow. I'm still on the fence about this new Azrael series, but I'll say this for this issue at least: it's got one of the prettiest covers of the month. Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet you should take a peek. If it's true that covers can sell a comic this one ought to fly off the shelves.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Francis Manapul
Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul say goodbye (for now) to Superboy with a spectacular 30-page issue! Ever since Superboy returned from the grave, he has been obsessed with Lex Luthor, believing that there must be some good in the master villain somewhere. So for Luthor, it’s time to put up or shut up. With Superman off planet, it’s time to do some good for the planet earth. Superboy is willing to do what it takes to make Lex’s dreams come true, but what Superboy will discover is that one man’s dreams, are another man’s nightmares.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul and renamed and renumbered ADVENTURE COMICS #509). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale January 13 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I like dinosaurs.

And that's all I've got to say. It's been a somewhat rough day for me, so I can't really muster up the strength for much more tonight. Hopefully Az or Doctor P can pick up some of the slack for me tomorrow...

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

January Solicits, Part 1

What manner of madness is this? A post on Saturday? Well, I've found myself with some unexpected free time here betwixt this thing and that thing. So I figured I'd throw one up. I can't always take the weekend off, now can I?

A few of the January solicitations
are up already.Seeing as they are there I don't see any good reason why I should wait for Monday and the full solicits before I start talking about them.
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea
Cover by Tony Daniel

The unthinkable happens when Batman and the Penguin join forces to thwart the mass murder and mayhem of their common foe, the Black Mask. Plus, Batman confronts an adversary from days past who has a score to settle with The Dark Knight.
On sale January 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
"An adversary from days past"? Looking at that cover I can only assume that this is a reimagining of... The Reaper! (Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that the Reaper was the inspiration for the Phantasm in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm but I don't have any concrete evidence to back it up. Still, it would make sense, no?)
Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli

After a shocking loss, Prometheus reveals an even greater threat to the team than they thought possible! How will this new crisis change the face of the DC Universe? Find out in the penultimate chapter of this groundbreaking miniseries event!
On sale January 27 • 6 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Wait, he's throwing CDs? Seriously? C'mon Prometheus. This is the 21st century. It's all digital. But I guess you can't whack guys in the face with an iPod...
Written by James Robinson
Art and covers by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter

Be here for the start of a new Justice League era! The JLA have been getting a pounding in the last couple of months, but NO MORE! The team regroups with a new roster that will transcend time and space! Make way for the World’s Greatest Heroes – Batman, Green Lantern, the Atom, Green Arrow, Donna Troy, the Guardian, Cyborg, Mon-El, Starfire, Dr. Light and, yes, Congorilla!

This issue features two covers by Mark Bagley which are seperately orderable. Cover A features Green Lantern and Green Arrow; Cover B features Batman and Mon-El. The cover images will be revealed online before the issue’s Final Order Cutoff date.
On sale January 20 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Despite what we've been getting from Cry For Justice I'm actually really excited about this. Even though it doesn't make any sense, I actually blame the art for a lot of the problem with Cry for Justice.

Really, though, I'm just excited to see the Guardian and Mon-El in the frickin' Justice League. I love what Robinson has done with them, and I'm really excited to see what he'll do with them and all the rest of the team.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #119

It's been a long week. And it's still not quite over. I'm so tired I can barely move... But I can still think! This is Thursday Night Thinking!

Oh, if only the ship itself were a color other than yellow. Like, for instance orange with little red things sticking off it.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Progress of a Sort

Well, the introductory annuals are finished. Next week the new Azrael series starts.

I've said a lot of things about it -- mostly things that haven't been particularly complimentary. Know that I regret some of those things. And I want to make one thing clear going forward: I don't have a problem with the fact that the new Azrael is black.

In fact, I think it's probably a good thing. After all, when they introduced me I was just another blond-haired blue-eyed replacement hero. Saint Dumas knows most replacement heroes have fit that mold on at least one count. Kyle Rayner has black hair and blue eyes. Not like we needed any more of those when you consider that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman fit the bill.

So it's good that we're seeing more diversity among replacement heroes. I can tell you that the DCU is not a lily-white place. I've beaten up white guys, black guys, Asian guys, Hispanic guys, really short guys, and guys in drag. If henching is equal opportunity then heroing should be too. My successor is a step in the right direction.

But then they did replace Cassandra Cain with blonde-haired, blue-eyed Stephanine Brown. One step forward, two steps back...

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Difficult Decision

I'm still not sure if I want to be buying Batgirl.

I haven't added it to my pull list yet. But I did pick up the first two issues to give them a try. I liked them. I didn't love them, but I liked them. And I'm not sure what I should do next.

Chances are I'll end up picking up issue three as well. But if I keep doing this I'll start to lose out on the savings I could be getting by pre-ordering.

But I'm still not sure I want to do that. I can't really explain what my problem with the series is. I like the character, I like the art, and I like the direction they're going. I just don't know what it is...

Maybe I'll let issue three be the tie-breaker...


Monday, October 12, 2009

Rise From Your Graves

Well well well. I'll be if this isn't some interesting news. The return of dead titles? That's a clever bit of trickery. A great idea, really. If they have to skip a month (and I'm going to cut Ivan Reis some slack because it looks like he's actually going to finish this big event without any help) this is certainly a clever way to do it. Let us exam each resurrected title in turn:

The Power of Shazam! #48: Black Lantern Osiris? Yes please. But could that really be all? Do the members of the Marvel Family have any other serious dead adversaries? I can't think of any... But there's always Billy and Mary's parents...

The Question #37: Ah, I've been waiting for this since Blackest Night was announced. No one else could write it but Greg Rucka. I'm wondering how exactly they'll do the Black Lantern Question. Most of the Black Lanters are distinguished by their gruesome faces. That won't work with the Question...

Suicide Squad #67: Booyah! More John Ostrander Suicide Squad is always good. And there are a lot of dead guys on that team...

Phantom Stranger #42: I loves me the Phantom Stranger. And Peter Tomasi does good work. This is a definite buy.

Catwoman #83: Black Lantern Black Mask, eh? I suppose it was inevitable... But I didn't see it coming. Sometimes my prognostication skills are better than other times.

The Atom and Hawkman #46: Oh, this oughta be fun. The Atom stuck up against three Black Lanterns? One his loopy, loony, murdering ex-wife? Craazy.

Weird Western Tales #71: Black Lantern Jonah Hex will be worth the price of admission alone.

Starman #81: This is the biggest surprise, I;d say. I never thought James Robinson would ever return to Jack Knight. But there you have it. I hope it lives up to the standards of the original series.

Which one are you looking forward to the most?

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Friday, October 09, 2009

An Awkward Encounter

I had a very awkward encounter yesterday.

It happened while I was walking to class in the morning. This is usually uneventful, and I'd say that yesterday more or less follows along with that. It's important as well for you to know how I dressed. As is occasionally the case, my clothes were largely comic inspired. I was wearing my Flash t-shirt and my Superman stocking cap. So I was rocking it DC hard.

As I walked I noticed another fellow coming at me from the opposite direction. He was also dressed in comic attire, namely and Avengers hooded sweatshirt. Now, this presented a conundrum. Obviously the pair of us were kindred spirits of a sort. After all, he was dressed in comic attire and he most certainly was not you typical average non-comic reading person who sometimes wears a Batman or Spider-Man shirt.

But as already mentioned, he was wearing a Marvel shirt. It would be like a Cubs fan and Cardinals fan passing each other on the street (actually, that's happened to me before too). We sort of glanced at each other but didn't say anything. We both seemed to be trying to avoid eye contact. It was obvious that something tied us together. But as much as that might have sparked a friendship there was something else -- something even more important -- that kept us a part.

We passed each other and I imagine I will never see that fellow again. What a weird experience.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #118

Welcome one and all to another exciting edition of Thursday Night Thinking!

Tonight: what thoughts lurk inside the head of the robot creations of Doctor Will Magnus? Could those thought's possibly be as mundane as they appear? See for yourself!

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Newer Krypton

I neither feel like posting nor have much to say today. It's just been... Well, it's been one of those days. I'm sure I don't have to explain to y'all what I'm talking about.

Still, World of New Krypton was fun this week, wasn't it? I was especially keen on that last page. I'm not entirely sure where the whole New Krypton mess is going to end up... But things just seem to be getting worse and worse for those Kryptonians.

But then, as the "assholes of space" some of them do deserve it...

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

More on Black Lanterns

Apologies to all as this is another post about Blackest Night. I'm really busy these days and when you discount stuff like the print culture of the city of Edo during the 17th through 19th centuries Blackest Night is pretty high up there in my mind.

Anyway, I realized that the revelation of what was at the heart of the violet power battery tells us more than we might think. In short, it proves the hypothesis that the Black Lanterns are not the people they appear to be; they are lacking in souls.

Now, I'm sure most of you gathered that already, but it's still nice to have it proved. And here's how I figure it works: Hawkman and Hawkgirl are already Black Lanterns. That can't be disputed. But it should also be noted that Hawkman and Hawkgirl were the reincarnations of Khufu and Chay-Ara. That means they share the same souls. And since Khufu and Chay-Ara are also Black Lanterns that means Black Lanterns have no souls.

If you needed a soul in a Black Lantern then the Hawks and the antecedents couldn't possibly coexist as Black Lanterns. Unless, of course, I"m missing something. Am I?

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Power Sources

I've realized something about Geoff Johns' Green Lantern mythos that is a tad bit disturbing. Well, I guess it's no less disturbing than anything else Johns has done. But it's certainly interesting.

If you read Green Lantern #46 (and who isn't reading Green Lantern these days?) you know that the power sources at the heart of the Star Sapphires' central power battery are (or rather were) the petrified bodies of Khufu and Chay-Ara.

Don't know who those people are? They were the original incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl way back in Ancient Egypt. I don't know how or when the Zamarons got their hands on the bodies of those two lovers, but their position at the heart of the central violet battery makes a twisted sort of sense. They are a classic love story, and Johns did say that Hawkman and Hawkgirl would play an important role in Blackest Night.

Needless to say, none of this is what I found slightly disturbing. As weird as it is to have a couple of dead bodies serving as a power battery, it's not the first time. That's what kind of creeps me out. Do recall that the black battery is powered by the corpse of the Anti-Monitor. And it's not just that one, either. Atrocitus made the red power battery out of the corpse of Qull (the member of the Five Inversions that told the Blackest Night prophecy to Abin Sur).

Count that up: that's three out of eight batteries powered by dead bodies. This, of course, begs the question: are there corpses in the other batteries too? It's never been clear what was in the green battery, and of course the yellow, blue, indigo, and orange batteries are all mysteries.

So do they have dead bodies inside? Is the corpse of some hopeful chap whose luck finally ran out floating in the blue battery? Is the body of the most avaricious being in history locked inside Larfleeze's little lamp? Or are these bodies we've seen laying around just coincidences? I'd imagine not; Geoff Johns doesn't do coincidence...

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Re: DiDio on Outsiders

Good Lord, the way people on the Internet are reacting to this news you'd think DC had hired Satan to write a comic book starring Hitler.

I wish people would chill out a little bit. I get it. A lot of people really hate Dan DiDio. I don't get that but it is what it is. But you know what? It's not like he's seized control of Green Lantern or kicked Morrison off of Batman and Robin so he can write it himself. He's going to be writing Outsiders which is a book full of C-listers at best.

Sure, I'm kind of bummed that Tomasi and Pasarin aren't going to be sticking around. But they've probably got other stuff on deck. DiDio didn't have them removed so he could take over.

I think everybody who's having a hissy fit over Dan DiDio writing Outsiders really needs to get some perspective...


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #117

Once again we bring you Thursday Night Thinking!

Tonight's thinker: the usually chatty Zachary Zatara. Let's take a look and see what he's thinking about:

Those... Are actually very good questions. Tell you what, Z. Why don't you think on those. I'm going to take a step back, away from the giant green guys...

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