Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Let us take a moment to remember those who have been lost.

Regular posting resumes tomorrow.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #149

You know, when it comes to Thursday Night Thinking, there's one thing I can never resist. And that's the Silver Age wackiness of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen. Behold:

Yep, this cover has it all. Superman using his secret identity to toy with others, Jimmy threatening to kill Superman, and a sensational caption box. All that plus a yellow thought balloon with giant red letters.

Truly, those were the greatest of days.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Smallvill Season 9

Now that school is over I've finally caught up on this past season's Smallville. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the way it ended. That, of course, is excepting the cliffhanger.

I know that cliffhangers and whatnot are the rage, but sometimes I just want to see a solid ending. That's what drove me away from Lost way back when it started. I never looked back.

That said, I think that season nine was all around a good one for Smallville. They got to introduce a lot of interesting characters from the DCU as well as use Zod in a way that I thought was pretty fresh and interesting.

The hints of what is to come seem to indicate that season ten (the final season, incidentally) will be a big one. I've never found the sight of an elderly woman knitting quite so chilling...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I know this isn't very Christian of me, but I feel a twinge of satisfaction in seeing that Magog has been canceled.

St. Dumas knows we've all be waiting for it. But I think for me it's just the fact that Magog has been canceled but my successor's Azrael series is still going on.

Now, like I said last time I have a hard time understanding how they're keeping it going. I'm not really sure who the audience for the book is. But I'm just happy to know that when readers want a brutal, violent vigilante with no respect for authority they're going to be forced to go the book with my name on the cover rather than one sporting a demon from the Revelation to St. John.

No offense to Magog, but he's not really my kind of hero. Sure, I like the beating and the blood and everything. But where's the fire? Where's the righteous recriminations? I mean, he doesn't really talk about how he's doing the work of the Lord. What's really driving that guy anyway?

I just don't think we'd get along. He'll probably be sticking around, but I'm just glad he won't have the chance to do it from the cover of his own comic. If you want an anti-hero who lops of people's limbs you're going to have to go to Azrael.

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Monday, May 24, 2010


I came down with a nasty cold last night. As a consequence, I ended up sleeping for ten hours. When you sleep that long you tend to have weird dreams.

I dreamed I was in a toy store. As I always do, I checked out the DCU action figures, hoping for someone I would really be willing to spend money on. I rarely find anything in the real world. But in the dream?

Doctor Polaris! Everyone, filling the shelves! The DCU line and Brave and the Bold! I could finally get a proper Doctor Polaris! It was a dream come true!

Except... It was no more than a dream. Alas.


Friday, May 21, 2010


I am a huge history geek.

That shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you, really. Consider that my current position is as a graduate student. I'm so into history that I actually went back to school so I could study it.

My specialty is Japanese history, but I also love Chinese history and American history and British history. And Ancient Rome. And the Aztecs and the Mayans. But if I had my choice -- if I could really study any history I wanted -- I would study the history of the DC Universe.

Knowing that, you can imagine how much I enjoyed DC Universe Legacies #1. It's one of those books that seems to have been tailor made for me. It's got anything and everything a person like me could want out of a comic. History's grandeur. The birth of the super-hero. The awed eyes of those watching it happen.

I think this sense of history is what draws me to DC Comics more than anything else. That may also be part of the reason why I don't have much of an interest in Marvel Comics. Now, I'm not denying that Marvel Comics has some serious history. No on can doubt the importance of Golden Age characters like Captain America and Namor.

But most of Marvel's popular characters had their genesis not in the 1930's and 40's but in the 60's. There is almost fifty years of history there for most of them... But the big problem is that -- with a few exceptions -- there isn't really a sense of legacy in Marvel Comics. I don't get the feeling that there is a heroic tradition handed down from one generation to the next.

Now I maybe be wrong about that... But it doesn't really matter, does it? All I know is that DC does have those legacies. It may have begun with Superman and the Crimson Avenger, but it continued with Sandman, the Atom, Green Lantern, and others. And despite some of DC's recent decisions, I feel that the sense of legacy continues.

With every generation new heroes take up the cape and the mask. A young Paul Lincoln asked why they would put on masks and fight crime. Is it not self-evident? There was a need. And when such a need arises and all feels lost, there are always those men and women who will step forward. That's what Legacies is. It's the story of that tradition and the answer to the question. It's history.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #148

Behold: another edition of Thursday Night Thinking! Tonight we have our good friend Commissioner Gordon on panel for the thought. What do you think, Comish?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who Will Save Metropolis?

Has the answer to that question ever really been in doubt? Who will save Metropolis? Who else?

The New Krypton Saga has been a long one. It's been building and building but here... Here we have the end of it. Has it been a satisfying story? That's hard to say. But I think everyone has been waiting for this confrontation. This will be the last battle between Superman and Zod for the foreseeable future.

Though the specifics may be in doubt, the ending of this story isn't. Because when it comes to the question of "who will save Metropolis?" the answer is almost always the same. Superman will save Metropolis. That's what he does.

Though there have been ups and downs, I've mostly enjoyed this story. I'm sure I'll have some new thoughts after next week's finale. But right now I'm just glad to see SUperman back where he belongs and doing what he does best.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Miss Batman

I miss Batman.

I know that there's a comic called Batman. Hell, there's a comic called Batman and Robin. But they aren't really Batman. Because I miss Bruce Wayne as Batman.

I've been rereading some old Legends of the Dark Knight comics. Denny O'Neil stuff. I miss that Batman. Bruce Wayne doing what he did best. Stopping criminals, solving cases, the works. I don't really get that vibe from Dick Grayson Batman.

I have been enjoying Dick's run as Batman. But I can't get behind the people who don't want him to give up the role. Because as Dick would readily admit, he's not Batman. He's playing the part of Batman. And all good roles eventually have to give way.

We need to have Bruce Wayne as Batman again. Until that happens there will be a hole in the DC Universe. Nothing can fill it. I hope that by the time we hit the fall we'll get there.

Still, I may be the only person who really wants him back (but I don't think so). What do the rest of you think? Do you want Bruce Wayne back... As Batman?


Monday, May 17, 2010

August Solicitations

Not much to talk about for the August solicits. I mean, only half a dozen of these DCU titles haven't already been "previewed." Interesting to note that Magog has been canceled at issue #12. I think we all saw that one coming. I give Azrael until the end of its current story arc.

But then, this is just me being cranky because I'm tried. I'm trying to rush this post of so I can get to bed. I'm taking a two week Chinese language class here at the beginning of the summer and I have to get up early for it. Spoiler: for an English speaker Chinese is really hard. I think it's the hardest language I've dealt with yet.

Anyway, Guy Gardner's new series starts this month. I think that's probably the thing I'm most excited about. I used to not like Guy. Then I started to realize that the brain-damaged sycophant that was in the JLI wasn't really Guy Gardner. And that the real guy was actually pretty freakin' awesome. Thanks for that, Kalinara.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #147

This, of course, is most certainly... Thursday Night Thinking!

Tiny Supermen? Really? Sounds like something Grant Morrison would come up with...

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Birds of Prey #1 and Guess Who

If you're a long time reader of this blog you can probably guess what I'm going to talk about tonight.

Birds of Prey #1 was really good. Gail Simone delivers (as always) and Ed Benes's work looks better than it ever has. He may be getting better or he may have a new inking/coloring team. Whatever it is, it looks great.

The action is as high octane as expected, it's great to have the team back together (I still think Lady Blackhawk is one of the coolest characters ever), and I'm intrigued to see how Hawk and Dove fit in with the team.

But you know all this. And you know that I'm only here to talk about those last few pages of the book. I'm here to talk about the "White Canary" and the chance that she might be Cassandra Cain.

If White Canary is Cassandra then it looks like all the work that Geoff Johns and Adam Beechen (yes, Adam Beechen) did to rehabilitate here will have been for naught. And I have a hard time believing that Gail Simone--who has always been one of the creators most receptive to fans--would do that to Cassie.

I cannot imagine that DC would try to make her a villain again after the disaster it was the first time. The Internet (this blog included) absolutely erupted after the Robin "One Year Later" story. Some people liked it (I thought it was good except for Cassie's villainous turn) but a lot more seemed to be very angry.

There was a lot of undeserved anger directed at Adam Beechen. I know, because I was among those doing it. That was wrong, because Cassie's heel turn was editorially mandated. The people at the top clearly didn't get how attached the fans were to her. They hadn't learned all the lessons from "Emerald Twilight."

So what exactly am I saying here? I guess I'm trying to convince myself that White Canary isn't Cassandra Cain. I'm trying to convince myself that it's Cassie's long lost twin, raised in secret by Shiva to be her successor. I keep telling myself that Cassie will show up at the end of the arc, defeat her evil sister and join the Birds of Prey.

I keep telling myself these things. But they never seem to come true. My favorite character in comics is still in undefined limbo. Still, I have hope; Gail Simone has always been good at giving me that. She's a great writer and since she's a fan, I'm sure she gets where I'm coming from. With anybody else I'd be pretty angry right now. With her? I'm going to wait and see.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Battle for Mars

This week's edition of War of the Supermen is billed as "The Battle for Mars." I'm not sure why they've gone out to Mars (though it looks like Superman may have forced Supergirl there at the end of issue #1). Whatever the reason, I imagine that means we're going to have some serious fighting in the skies over the red planet. Here's the one thing I want from War of the Supermen #2:

Martian Manhunter.

He's back and has set up shop on Mars. These Kryptonians (as always, the "assholes of space") think they are really tough. They don't think anyone can stand against them. So I want to see J'onn J'onzz absolutely devastate them.

We saw during Blackest Night how incredibly powerful Martian Manhunter is. So I want to see one Martian up against, oh, ten or twelve Kryptonians. And I want to see that Martian just take them apart without breaking a sweat. It's one of those "holy shit that's awesome" scenes that I just really want to see.

Now, it's probably not going to happen. Martian Manhunter hasn't shown up on any covers, of course. Still, that could be DC's attempt to keep his resurrection from being spoiled (after all, he was still dead when Return of the Supermen #2 was solicited). Even though he's probably staying confined to Brightest Day, I can still dream...

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: Iron Man 2

Over the weekend I visited the cinema with a lady friend. As is customary for these sorts of outings, I allowed her the choose the evening's entertainment.

Imagine my surprise when she chose Iron Man 2. I knew it to be an adaptation of some sort of Marvel drivel. I had not seen Iron Man 1. But I assented to her choice.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. There was a fine quantity of action and some degree of "shenanigans" on the part of one Tony Stark. The special effects were quite good and I did enjoy the pleasing "clang" sound that Mr. Stark's head made every time it hit something. It reminded me of the skull of one Hal Jordan.

I was, however, disappointed in the villain. He seemed a bit petty and foolish. Why did he not simply use his awesome magnetic powers to crush the "Iron Man" like a bug? Why did he insist on going through a complicated, unnecessary plan to get reven...

Ah, I see that I have answered my own question. Complicated, unnecessary plans for revenge justify their own existence. Still, Russians as villains are passé...

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #146

Thursday Night Thinking! Go!

Okay, everybody. Place your bets as to who "Astounding Man" is. Jimmy Olsen? Lois Lane's kid in the future? Yet another survivor of Krypton? Could be anybody...

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

In Praise of Red Robin

The last year of Red Robin has been a hell of a ride. And I think it's safe to say that in the smarts department Tim Drake is the one true successor to the Batman.

I've always liked Tim as a character; I thought he was a good fit as Robin and had a good synergy with Batman. But as time went on something seemed to change. Even though he was still Robin, Tim didn't really feel like Batman's sidekick anymore. Even when he was wearing the red and green (and later red and black) Tim felt like Batman's partner and even equal.

DC must have thought so too, considering the route they decided to go with him. It's true that Tim has had plenty of time solo. A hundred and eight plus issues of his own series was enough to tell us that. But the Red Robin experiment was a real departure from that. The "death" of Batman gave them the break they needed to make Tim his own man.

And I'd say it worked. I don't know how many people out there are reading Red Robin, but I can say that it is one of the books I enjoy the most every month. And it's funny, because I almost didn't end up reading it.

Like a lot of people I thought the whole "Red Robin" thing was kind of silly. Why would they drag out that old costume again? But a funny thing happened as the book went along. Christopher Yost's scripts were unconventional, but really exciting. There is so much action, so much planning, so much superheroing. It's been everything someone could want from a Bat-family book. And once Marcus To joined as the artist the book really began to sing. I'd never heard of the guy before, but his Tim Drake is perfect. Slim and and not overly muscular, he looks exactly as Tim should.

I can safely say that Red Robin really is one of my favorite books on the stands. I look forward to it every month. In some ways it hearkens back to another age of the Bat-books. A time before Final Crisis and Battle for the Cowl. A time when Batman was Batman and Gotham City was the ultimate battleground.

We'll see those days again.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Brightest Day #1 Cover

Well, I'm finally finished with classes for the semester. As a consequence, I am really wiped out. So don't expect a long (or coherent) post tonight. All the good comics come out tomorrow anyway.

Behold: the Aquaman cover for Brightest Day #1. Go take a look at it and come back here; I'm too tired to actually post a copy of it here on the blog.

That's a really nice cover, don't you think? Aquaman looks like he's supposed to (green gloves, orange shirt). There are sharks (which is always good when you're talking about Aquaman). Here's the problem, though: why are those apparently zombie sharks? The fact that they appear to be the swimming dead unnerves me.

Remember Aquaman gazing at his reflection in the water in Brightest Day #0? He saw an image of himself as a Black Lantern. I worry... Are these resurrections really as complete as they seem? Or are there lingering side effects?

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Welcome Back

Because I'm really jazzed about the new Gail Simone run on the new Birds of Prey I went back last night and started rereading her first run on the first Birds of Prey from the beginning.

This is why I did not post last night.

I forgot how much I enjoyed those comics. I don't remember what it was that got me reading that comic in the first place. Honestly, it was probably the cover (I'm a sucker for the fishnets). The art is still kind of funky (I think Ed Benes goes overboard sometimes) and the writing was a bit rocky compared to what Gail Simone writes now.

But good Lord... Those comics were fun. So much damn fun. They are just bursting with energy and crazy things and cool fights. It has me really excited for the new series. Honestly, I haven't been looking forward to a new comic like I have this one in a long time.

If the new Birds of Prey is anything like the old Birds of Prey it will be great. But I think it will be better than great... Because both Gail Simone and Ed Benes have gotten a lot better over the years. And they were good to begin with.

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