Monday, February 28, 2011

In Praise of Winick

I come here tonight to sing the praises of one Judd Winick.

Now I know this is probably not going to be a particularly popular thing to say. Judd Winick is a heated topic among comic fans. Apparently you either love him or you hate him. Unless, of course, I'm thinking of the mysterious "Judd Winnick" that I keep hearing about...

Seriously, though... Justice League: Generation Lost is a really fun book. I don't know about the other people reading it, but I find it consistently entertaining. What's more, I find that I look forward to it even more than I do Brightest Day. I think that's saying something.

Now it's true that Generation Lost has brought back the villainous Max Lord. I know that a great many people don't like that turn for the character. I can understand that; I still have some trouble seeing it myself. But at the very least Judd Winick seems to be making the best of it (through liberal use of retcons).

Speaking of retcons, you know what else is great? Power Girl. While it's true that nobody can replace the style of Palmiotti, Gray, and Conner, Judd Winick and Sami Basri have managed to make their version of Power Girl work in their own way. It's just flat out fun super-heroics.

Now, I'm sure I haven't convinced anyone one way or another. If you already liked Judd Winick then you probably agree with what I've said. And if you don't like him then nothing I say is going to change your mind. I just thought I'd share the why and how of the fact that I really dig what he's doing right now.

And to remind everyone that it's spelled "Winick."

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Night Thinking #178

It's Thursday Night Thinking, and that means another crazy cover from the depths of the Silver Age!

They say it's Lois Lane... But it feels like Jean Loring to me!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I am sick to death of the Calculator. It's true that Noah and I go back a long way. We were in the Society together and I used to look down on him when he still wore those ridiculous outfit.

Noah is undoubtedly clever. He's nowhere near the "genius" he's billed at but he's a smart guy. He knows his way around computers and whatnot. But no one who relies on computers can ever really be that much of a threat. After all, a simple electromagnetic pulse and his precious hard drives are only so much metal and plastic.

This being true, why is he showing up in so many comics? In the past few months Noah has been a featured villain in Red Robin, Teen Titans, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey. I think we can all agree that that is more than a little excessive.

There are a great many more interesting villains -- with better senses of fashion -- that wait on the sidelines for a chance to shine even against lesser super-teams. I also worry that Noah is beginning to believe his own hype. He's starting to think that he really is this genius master manipulator.

It won't work. You can't fool me Noah. To me you'll always be the geek with the LCD on his forehead that got beat up by Ralph Dibny.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie, 1962-2011

Dwayne McDuffie's influence on the modern DC Universe may not be immediately visible, but it is deep and abiding. The man was a towering talent and his loss is a great one for the comics community and an even greater one for his friends and family. I would ask only that you take a moment to keep them in your thoughts or prayers.


Monday, February 21, 2011

The New Superman Movie

Apparently all the people who make comic news take Presidents' Day off. That's not really fair. I mean, I don't get the day off. I still had to go into school and try to instill a joy for 17th century samurai culture into a bunch of kids who would rather be doing keg stands while dressed as Abraham Lincoln.

But I digress. The only remotely comic related news I can find is this article mentioning that Kevin Costner -- yes, that Kevin Costner -- has apparently been linked to a role in Zack Snyder's Superman reboot.

Let us consider this for a moment. Set aside the fact that I'm not sure that's a good idea. Consider another fact we know about this film: all rumors point to Zod being the villain.

Now before you stop me, I'm not suggesting that Kevin Costner is up for the role of Zod. I'm just saying that there seem to be some serious deficiencies in some of the things we hear about this film (setting aside the apparently excellent casting of Henry Cavill).

Here's my problem with all signs coming from this film: It seems to be making some of the same mistakes that Superman Returns (which I liked well enough) made. One of these problems is connecting it too closely to the original Superman movies. Superman Returns did this by making it an explicit sequel. This new movie almost seems to be doing the same with having Zod as the villain.

Why would they make Zod the villain? There are a lot of Superman villains (good villains) that have never made it to the big screen. Zod has had his shot. And that's exactly the problem. Zod has probably been chosen because the general public is aware of the character from Superman II. A lot of people who know nothing about the Superman mythos know the phrase "Kneel Before Zod."

That brings me back to Kevin Costner. There's a real problem in my eyes with casting actors that are better known as themselves than they are as their characters. Superman Returns had this problem. Never once while watching this movie did I ever think of Kate Bosworth as being Lois Lane. She was always just Kate Bosworth pretending to be Lois Lane. I was never able to suspend the disbelief and think she was really Lois Lane.

Kevin Costner is that same kind of actor to me. It's always "Kevin Costner as Robin Hood" or "Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness." Those characters were never simply those characters when I was watching the movies. They were always Kevin Costner playing those characters.

Now, I'm not saying this new Superman movie should have all unknowns or anything. But it needs actors that I can believe. Despite not having a great script to work with, Kevin Spacey was a believable Lex Luthor. I was able to forget that I was seeing Spacey on the screen.

And when I see the new Superman movie I don't want anyone pulling me away from the story. I want to believe that Superman and everyone around him are real for an hour and a half. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Night Thinking #177

With typical fanfare we return again to Thursday Night Thinking! Gaze upon the wonders of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen!

Yes, Jimmy... Your "good looks." I'm sure that's why they did it...

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Well, it seems that the "Guardians" of the "Universe" have finally figured out what I've known for years: Hal Jordan is seriously unstable.

If you had cause to read the little "War of the Green Lanterns" preview in the back of this week's DC comics you might have seen the little snippet. The "Guardians" wax on and on about all the serious mental deficiencies that the various Lanterns have. They finally conclude that Hal Jordan is "emotionally unstable."

I believe it is safe to say that that is the understatement of the decade.

Hal Jordan has always been unstable. And as a deranged split personality, I know unstable. That fool Jordan can't seem to figure out what he wants out of life. He's always going this way and that, never settling on any one thing. When a man doesn't know what he wants out of life he is adrift. And potentially a danger to himself and others.

This, I believe, is what we have seen in Hal Jordan all these years. The fool can't seem to decide who he loves (if he loves at all) or where his heart is. And if he doesn't figure it out soon, he may have a complete mental and emotional breakdown.

I'm looking forward to that.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I know that series get canceled. There are very few comic books that will run indefinitely. But that doesn't make me feel any better when a comic I like gets the axe.

This time around, it's Freedom Fighters. I knew Freedom Fighters wouldn't last forever, of course. But I did hope that it might last longer than nine issues. As it is, that's only one more issue than the previous two Freedom Fighter mini-series ran. And since the first (and now only) arc was an eight issue story anyway they might as well have made it another mini-series to begin with.

Still, I feel like they could have given Freedom Fighters a little longer to find its legs. The book had some great story (no surprising given the writing team) and some really stellar art. The same cannot be said of books that have lasted longer -- things like Azrael or Magog.

I'm not happy about this, but I doubt it means that the Freedom Fighters will disappear. That is one of the great things about the shared comic book universe concept. After all, I was similarly bummed when Shadowpact got canceled... And look who's showing up in Superman/Batman this week.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Some Sort of Day

As Gail Simone has said, "Valentine's Day is just a made-up day." This is true; but only on made-up days do people give me chocolate! So I suppose it's worth celebrating. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Night Thinking #176

It's Thursday and that means Thursday Night Thinking!

I've been seeing a lot of thought balloons in comics lately. That makes me more than a little happy. And Superman seems to be improving slightly too. That also makes me happy...

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Turn Off the Dark

I do so enjoy the theater, and I've found the Spider-Man Musical to be utterly delightful.

Now, do not take that the wrong way. I have neither attended nor do I intend to attend a performance of the Spider-Man Musical. No, the theater of which I speak is the theater of the plummeting disaster that is multi-million dollar excuse for art.

It should come as no surprise that I often take delight in the suffering of others. After all, before my semi-forced retirement I was an active super-villain. Super-villainy is not something you simply give up. It stays with you, like being a doctor. Which I also am.

But I digress. I have eagerly watched as the house of cards that is "Turn Off the Dark" collapsed in the stiff breeze that is reality. There is no greater pleasure for one such as myself than watching the work of conceited directors and self-important rock stars fail -- and fail spectacularly.

There is also the additional joy that is the Marvel connection. I have always despised Marvel and its pathetic attempts at villainy. There is little to be impressed with there; Marvel's villains don't seem particularly bright. I have often wondered why those excuses for "super-villains" do not simply move. After all, nearly every single one of Marvel's "heroes" are in New York).

Again I find myself drifting off-topic. My point is this: I do not like Spider-Man and am glad to see him fail. And not in a "hero" versus "villain" kind of way. Spider-Man is beneath my notice. He would not make a worthy adversary, even compared to Hal Jordan. I am simply pleased by the sheer entertainment value of seeing people I hate suffer thanks to their own hubris. Truly, are there any finer things in life?

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011


More than anything, I think I'd like to be on TV.

I'm not looking for my own show or anything like that. I'd just like to gueststar in one of Warner Bros' animated DC series. Or they could do a Knightfall direct to DVD movie. That would be okay.

Of course, that last one is pretty unlikely (even if it's no stranger than a Under the Hood movie). So I think I'd just like to be on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. We could have a whole episode where You-Know-Who and I team up against Bane or somebody.

Or they could just put me in the pre-credits opening in a non-speaking role. I'm not picky. Either or anything would be okay, really. I'd just like to be on TV. I mean, how many times has Bane been on TV anyway? And this will what, be his second big screen appearance. It's not like I'm asking to be in Dark Knight Rises.

It just doesn't seem fair that Bane -- a guy I beat gets to be in an ongoing series and a movie while I don't get to do anything at all.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Secret Six Versus...

So, you want to know which team of heroes or villains I want the Secret Six to face? Honestly, the Doom Patrol would probably have been my first choice. Luckily, I've already been given the chance to enjoy that.

Secondly? I'd like to see the Secret Six go up against the 31st century's Fatal Five. Now, I know that doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense on its face. After all, the two teams are separated by a thousand years.

But I think it's just the absurdity of it all that makes such a match-up so intriguing for me. Imagine a story where the Six get caught up in some twisted mercenary job -- maybe they're supposed to rob Rip Hunter or something. The end result is their being flung forwards in time.

This would not only give us a great and glorious fight between the Secret Six and the Fatal five, but a chance to throw the Legion into the mix. The result is culture shock at both ends.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thursday Night Thinking #175

I took the last few days off (mostly because the weather made me not feel like posting). But if there's one thing I won't miss it's Thursday Night Thinking!

There was a lot of good stuff in this week's Superman 80-Page Giant. But for my money the Jimmy Olsen story was far and away the best. It really encapsulates the madness that life must be when you're Jimmy Olsen...

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