Monday, August 30, 2010


I had no classes last Friday. As such, I thought last Thursday was Friday. The result?

I missed the Thursday Night Thinking.

That's pretty unacceptable, and I have to make sure it never happens again. In the meantime, here's a picture of Black Condor punching a Confederate Nazi in the face:

Oh yeah. I can't wait for the new Freedom Fighters.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

New JLA vs. Old Crime Syndicate

I'm looking forward to seeing the currently motley Justice League go up against the Crime Syndicate. As others have said, we've seen the Big Seven JLA go up against them many times. But this will be the first time that a replacement League has faced off against them (as far as I know).

It should make for some interesting match-ups. Chief amongst them would be Jesse Quick vs. Johnny Quick. After all, the characters have nothing in common, but happen to share a name. That should bring about some delightful conflict, if nothing else.

I do notice that the caucasian Power Ring has returned and it makes me wonder... Is the membership of the Crime Syndicate still affected by the membership of the main Earth Justice League? That's the sort of thing I'd imagine James Robinson pulling out and using in a story...


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prepare Yourself!

Why have you ceased commenting?!

Yes, it is true: I -- Doctor Polaris -- have been gone for a very long time. When you have mastered magnetism you become very busy. And I am not surprised that in my absence many of you have grown bored with my subordinate bloggers.

But still... You should have known that I would return. And you should have prepared yourselves for that eventuality. Now I have indeed returned. If I find that you continue to lurk away without commenting then there may be grave consequences.

I know that many of you value your personal computers. You may have valuable information -- such as images -- stored upon them. With my awesome magnetic powers I could very well wipe all the information clean -- setting you back to the level of a Caveman-Batman.

But if I see you using your personal computers responsibly -- by say, expressing your admiration for Doctor Polaris -- such drastic measures need never be taken.

Still, the choice is left to you, as always. Though I may be a brilliant scientist and dashing supervillain, mind control is not my forte. Except that one time.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Outside and Inside

Good Lord the Outsiders look to be a mess.

I stopped buying the book shortly after DiDio took over, but I still see the previews from time to time. It's a fascinating window into a world that that I never get to see. It's like gazing into an alternate DCU where everything is completely ridiculous -- but not in a good way.

Absurd characters (see: Freight Train), ridiculous plots (see: Simon Stagg and Java), and hackneyed melodrama (see: the death of Sapphire Stagg). I really don't know what DiDio is trying to do here. I do like Tan's art, but it feels like he's being wasted here on Outsiders.

It's really a shame, too. This book has been all over the map since it was relaunched. When it started it looked like it was going to be pretty good. Then Batman got killed and there was a creative change (plus Cassandra Cain got jettisoned, natch). It started to suck again and then Tomasi and Pasarin took over and turned things around again.

But that didn't last long, transitioning into the current era. And I imagine the only thing that keeps this book from being canceled is the fact that Dan DiDio is writing.

They should let me write Outsiders. I could do better.


Monday, August 23, 2010

More on Brightest Day

I'm going to be straight with you: ever since I first started seeing them these Brightest Day variant covers have been creeping the hell out of me.

I can't really explain what it is. But they give me the same feeling that I get from seeing real old works of European sculpture. There's the unsettling feeling inside that... I just can't explain.

Brightest Day has had that feeling all along. Like something just isn't quite right. Behind all the different stories there seems to be something else going on. I don't really know what it is, but I've got a few guesses.

First and foremost: the ring's been telling Boston Brand to live. Now, some of it surely means to live his life now that he's got it back. But I think there's something more going on. I think the returnees are still dead.

Sure, they're alive. But I don't think it's quite alive in the way we usually think. There's clearly something wrong. Black Lantern Firestorm lurking in the matrix. Martian Manhunter's psychic feedback. Aquaman's powers. They've been brought back to life and yet... They haven't.

I think that what we're seeing here is a false resurrection. They look alive and they seem alive. They think they're alive. But I believe that beneath the surface they are all still dead. And that finding their way back to true life is their real mission.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Crazy Eyes

Nobody draws crazy eyes quite like Gary Frank:

And nobody has crazy eyes quite like Lex Luthor...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #153

Ugh. I'm so tired I can barely think. So I'll have to let Thursday Night Thinking do the thinking for me!

I'm of the opinion that the Strange Adventures covers are among the best of the Silver Age.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still Going... Somehow

Is anybody still reading my successor's books? I only ask because legacy heroes usually do some sort of callback to those that came before. This happens even if there isn't a direct connection (like with the most recent Blue Beetle).

But since I don't read the current Azrael book I don't really know what's going on. It could be that they've been talking about me nonstop for the last three months. Know that I am interested in this.

Unfortunately, I imagine most of you haven't really been following it either. Maybe you could ask your friends? Or their friends? Since it hasn't been canceled yet that means somebody is still reading it.

I wonder if the sales would spike if I showed up in the book. Would any of you out there pick it up if I showed? Or maybe I could guest write and issue or two. I think I'd enjoy that.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Martian Manhunter, Detective

I'm particularly enjoying Martian Manhunter's story in Brightest Day. Part of that is the art; Patrick Gleason has done most of it I've seen and he's one of the more unique artists around these days.

But as with most comics it's the story that draws me to it. Martian Manhunter has never been able to hold a series for long, but he's a really intriguing character to look at as an individual. So I'm glad to see that they're taking advantage of a book like Brightest Day to give him some of the coverage he deserves.

I also like that Martian Manhunter is getting to flex his classic detective muscles. He's always been a fine detective (and until Bruce Wayne comes back he's probably the best detective currently active in the DCU) but too often it's his super-powers that get all the play. He does have a lot of them.

But Johns and Tomasi are using those powers in support of Martian Manhunter's detective abilities rather than in place of them. By doing this I think they're moving him to a unique place. It feels like they're moving him towards a character who works in the behind the scenes. As one of my one-shots put it -- paraphrasing here -- "Superman saves the world in the sun, Martian Manhunter saves it in the shadows." That's where J'onn J'onzz belongs.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Greatest Cover in the History of Covers

Bane didn't use to be cool; Gail Simone made him cool. Bane was a one note character designed to serve a single story. Like Doomsday. Or (dare I say it?) Azrael. It just goes to show you that it's true what they say: any character can be good with the right writer.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Absolutely Necessary

I've already talked about my problem with the story side of Batman, Inc. But did you know I also have a problem with the art?

You've all seen the new Batman costume by now. You know that they're bringing the yellow oval back. I have no issue with that. What I do have a problem with is Batman's... Lower regions. Namely, they've done away with the black trunks.

I'm sure many of you may think that this is long overdue; the "underwear on the outside" is seen as ridiculous by a great number of people. But for me (and for others as well I imagine) it appears jarring and wrong.

Comics are largely a visual medium. But not like photography. Color and shadow don't exist from the beginning; they must be created. Contrast is vital. That's why most characters are given brightly colored (or darkly contrasting) costumes. It's important for them to stand out. The yellow oval has the potential to add that. The loss of the black trunks does the opposite.

When I look at the new costume I see that they have done away with that color contrast. In its place they've added seam lines and whatnot. This takes away from another key aspect of a super-hero costume: simplicity. The fewer extraneous lines you have the better and clearer you'll be. That's one of the things that has been so successful the DC animated shows. Simplicity. Contrast.

The new Batman costume has sacrificed these in the name of "progress" or "modernity." Too many people think the black trunks are not needed. But me? I say they are absolutely necessary.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #152

It's Thursday Night Thinking, the triumphant return! As I always prefer a good Superman thought, I leave you with this:

I like a good suit and tie as much as the next guy. But I don't think his outer garments are as equally dynamic as his inner...

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Power of the People!!

I was never a part of the "Justice League International" era. It was not something I ever had a stake it. But I'm still enjoying Justice League: Generation Lost.

It's a pretty decent super-hero story, and I have come to like Booster Gold a lot in recent years. And I'm a long time fan of Jaime Reyes as well. But the character I'm loving the most? The new Rocket Red, of all people. I mean, how can you not love a guy who says things like this:

"Ha! I am on Justice League! Bump fist!"


"Yes! It is how they say in decadent Hollywood: showing time!"

The new Rocket Red is hilariously awesome stereotype of a Cold War-era Soviet hero. And in a world where the Soviet Union hasn't existed for almost twenty years he fits in real well.

I have no idea how he compares to the original Rocket Red, however. That guy actually existed during the Soviet-era. Now that it's over a Soviet super-hero is entertaining, if slightly quaint. I wonder how it played back in the day?

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Batman

I'm finding Grant Morrison's plans for Batman more than a little bit... Odd. I mean, I get where he's coming from in some ways. There's no doubt that Batman is more than simply a thug. He always has been that citizen of the world. And I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that being Batman keeps Bruce Wayne sane.

But the very idea of Batman, Inc. still bugs me. It's not the idea that Batman would have an international reach -- he's done that before with the Outsiders. It's certainly not the fact that Batman would train other heroes -- he's got a long history of doing that. It's the idea of branding that bothers me. In my eyes "Batman, Inc." cheapens the entire idea of "Batman."

Batman has always been a singular hero. It's true that he surrounds himself with allies and assistants, but they've never been a part of Batman. This thing Morrison is going to do will change that. For the first time (at least as far as I'm concerned) there is going to be more than one Batman.

For me, one of the things that always made Batman so interesting was his uniqueness. He can fit into a host of different genres and media. But at the heart of it all he was still Bruce Wayne. Dick Grayson taking over as Batman were the first cracks in that (and we all know that I haven't been all that pleased with Dick as Batman).

I guess what I'm getting at is this: when you dilute something it loses its potency. When you dilute Batman you remove a lot of what makes him special. When Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman he was the Batman. But you can't have the Batman if you have more than one.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Back Again

Well, I arrived home from Japan three hours before I left (that's always a little surreal). I've been awake for over twenty hours now so I'm about to hit the hay pretty hard. But I just wanted anyone still reading this to know that I'm start posting again tomorrow.

See you soon.