Commentary, Reviews, and Insanity
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Becoming Wonder Woman
Occasionally I'll read a comic that -- for one reason or another -- really hits me. By that I mean that the comic gets into my head. I can't stop thinking about it. I read it over and over. Then I read it again. This week, that comic was Wonder Woman #609.
I've actually been looking forward to this issue for a month, ever since the Doctor Psycho reveal at the end. Doctor Psycho is one of those characters that once upon a time I never would have given much thought to. Then Gail Simone got hold of him during the old Villains United story and turned him into an interesting character. She has a tendency to do that.
I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting from this issue. But in my opinion Phil Hester (I don't think there's much Straczynski left) created something really special with this story. He's taken the character of Doctor Psycho to another, fascinating level. And he's done even more with Wonder Woman.
I will admit that sometimes I'm not very good at explaining what I like about a given comic. But this one has it. It has that something special that makes a comic more than just ordinary. That beautiful combination of word and image that can only be accomplished in the medium of comics.
Hopefully after this is all over Phil Hester will stay around. Because as much as I've come to enjoy it (and I'm as surprised about that as anyone) Diana's odyssey has to come to an end sometime. As Edgar says, she must become Wonder Woman.
There are other little treats hidden in Wonder Woman #609 as well. Diana Prince. "The music of a distant parade." Everything just comes together. And it reminds why I like comics. And why I love Wonder Woman.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Lois Lane Cast
The other big news from last week? Amy Adams has been cast as Lois Lane.
Now I'll level with you: I've never seen a movie with Ms. Adams in it. I don't get to see a lot of movies at the best of times and I imagine that a number of her movies came out when I was in Japan. I almost never went to the movies there.
Ms. Adams is clearly a "real" actor, however. She's been nominated for some Oscars as I understand it. Now, that may not really mean anything but it should count for something.
She also doesn't look too young -- a problem I had with Kate Bosworth (among others). In fact, at thirty-six she's actually older than twenty-eight year old Henry Cavill. This also does not bother me. Indeed, I'm of the opinion that Lois Lane should be older than Clark Kent. She's an established reporter by the time Superman shows up.
If things keep trending the way they have been this Superman movie could turn into something great. Here's hoping...
Monday, March 28, 2011
A Rising Tide
My spring break is over (though it never felt like spring) and I've got to get back into the swing of things. There were a great many comic related news events that took place over the past week. I think I'll take a look at them bit by bit over the course of this week to give me something to talk about.
The biggest story as far as I'm concerned? Geoff Johns on Aquaman.
I think Aquaman fans (among which I count myself) have been holding their breath ever since the beginning of Brightest Day. It's been clear that Geoff Johns likes Aquaman and wants to try to build something around the character. But did that mean he was going to actually write a new solo Aquaman series? Clearly the answer is yes.
This is undeniably A Very Good Thing. Aquaman has been the butt of jokes for a long time, and having a creator who was the architect behind the explosion in popularity of the Green Lantern franchise as a writer can only be positive for the character.
As far as I'm concerned the only real question is this: will Ivan Reis (who played a big role in the rise of Green Lantern as a franchise) continue on penciling Aquaman for the upcoming series? If he does, that would be doubly good for Aquaman.
All things considered, 2011-2012 is looking to be one of the best times to be an Aquaman fan since... Well... A long time. Here's hoping the King of the Seas finally gets some of the respect he deserves.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I never got around to talking about the Wonder Woman TV show costume because it premiered on a Friday. As you have all noticed, I am a terrible blogger and can rarely convince myself to post on Fridays.
Luckily, Scipio did talk about it. He's basically spot on. Every time I looked at the image I thought "that reminds me of something. And not something good." And it's exactly what Scipio says it is: one of those bad "sexy super-hero" costumes. Here are my main problems with the outfit, from top to bottom.
1. The Face: Now, this is not at all a remark about Ms. Palicki's looks She is certainly a very attractive woman. The problem is the way everything frames her face. There's something seriously off about the way her hair sits. The tiara isn't quite right, either. It's... Too insubstantial, if you know what I mean. And her lips are just a little too bright red.
2. The Bustier: Is that supposed to be metal on there? Because it looks like plastic. It should certainly look like metal. That's important because I don't think Wonder Woman is going to be running around wearing plastic. Same thing goes for the bracelets.
3. The Pants: The fact that there are pants isn't a problem. I like the pants. The issue is that they're too bright and shiny. The pants also look like they're made of plastic. That just won't do.
4. The Boots: First of all, the heels are too high. They can be a little high. But what she's wearing now is just ridiculous. Secondly: the boots must be red. This is not some slavish desperation related to the fact that Wonder Woman's boots are usually red. The problem is that there's not contrast with the pants.
Now, my opinions don't really matter. After all, I'm just one fan crying out in the wilderness. But for what it's worth, that's what I think.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Thursday Night Thinking #181
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
That's Not Terrible At All
I'm sure that many of you have seen this image before:
That is an page from 1978's now classic The Super Dictionary, a children's book. Unsurprisingly, Luthor's nefarious deed is the entry for "forty."
Luthor's cake stealing has been something of an Internet "meme" for quite a while now as I understand it. It is a delightful image and I think I've featured it here on the blog at one point in the past.
But this week's Superman #709 takes it to an entirely different level and brings the cake thievery into DCU continuity:
Truly, we live in an enlightened age.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I don't have much time for a post today, but I just want to remind everyone that the first issue of the new XOMBI series comes out tomorrow. I've talked about XOMBI before and I just want to reiterate what I said then: if this new books is half as entertaining as the original it will be really entertaining.
I know money is tight these days and it's a real stretch to consider a new comic. But I would urge you to at least give it a try. The worst thing that happens is that you're down a few bucks. But I think people will really like it if they give it a chance.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Flashpoint Futures II
A bunch of new Flashpoint minis and one-shots were revealed last Friday. I haven't had the time until now to talk about them, so here goes.
Flashpoint: Secret Seven: Peter Milligan and George Perez? What did we do to deserve this. That's definitely Milligan's Shade, the Changing Man and that looks like it might be Enchantress in the background back in her old costume. I hope her scarf is back, too. I'm really looking forward to this one.
Flashpoint: The Outsider: A lot of people have been speculating on who the "Outsider" is. Many people in the comics seem to think it's Alfred Pennyworth because he once took the name "Outsider" in an ancient Batman story. But that's absurd. Even in an alternate timeline Alfred couldn't stand on the sidelines of whatever war they're talking about. Look at the picture. The Outsider is Lex Luthor.
Flashpoint: Abin Sur - The Green Lantern: Whew, after the Flashpoint: Hal Jordan reveal I was kind of worried that we wouldn't be getting the previously announced Abin Sur mini after all. I'm glad to see I was wrong. Abin Sur is a character that has been much mythologized, but about whom we really know very little. I'm excited to learn a little more about him.
Lois Lane and the Resistance: If there's one constant it's Lois Lane. She'll always go after the truth, no matter the costs. Obviously things are rotten in the world of Flashpoint. Thankfully Lois is there to air things out.
Wonder Woman and the Furies: I'm curious as to the role Wonder Woman will play in this timeline. I one sense she seems to be standing against something for the sake of the world. But the way she's dressed makes me feel that she's going to turn out to be no different than "Emperor Aquaman." Time will tell...
Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost Starring Bart Allen: I was wondering what was going to happen to the other members of the Flash Family. Bart, of course, has his own history of time travel. In some sense Bart is from a future that doesn't even exist any longer. So it would make sense for him to be somewhat free from changes in the timeline. I expect he'll be instrumental in returning things to normal.
Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown: I'll be straight with you: I have no idea what to expect from this one. Still, I've enjoyed Jeff Lemire's work up to this point so I'll probably give it a shot.
Flashpoint: Project Superman: This, my friends, is the big one. What could be more devastating to the world and the timeline than the elimination of Superman? Very little, I'd say. Whatever the Reverse Flash is planning in his changing of time it's certainly a very bad thing that he's removed Superman from the equation. The world of Flashpoint is not a pretty place.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I don't normally post over the weekend, and I wouldn't have been able to if I'd tried. I'm currently in a state of shock and heartbreak.
Most of you who read this blog know that I lived in Japan for a number of years until recently. I'm studying Japan, and was there are recently as last July. So as you can imagine the current disaster unfolding in Japan has hit a bit close to home.
Everyone I know in Japan is safe -- most of them live in the western part of the country, far from the epicenter of the quake. But that doesn't make me feel a whole lot better. Thousands of people in a place I love are dying and I can't do anything to help them but hope and pray.
Things like this remind us of how powerless we are sometimes in the face of the world. We can't move mountains like Superman. So when the world shifts we have to shift with it.
But that doesn't mean we're without heroes. Even in the face of all the destruction there are people from all around the world doing everything they can to help. They're heroes in the truest sense of the world, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
I spent most of my time in Japan living in Kobe. In 1995 Kobe was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake. But by the time I arrived in 2005 you could barely tell. Kobe had been rebuilt, stronger and more beautiful than ever.
And so I have faith that the people of Sendai, Miyagi, and all the other places devastated by this earthquake will rise up and rebuild their homes. They won't be able to forget the pain or the people they've lost. But I know the spirit of the Japanese people. It won't be easy, but they'll make it through this.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Thursday Night Thinking #180
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
As you no doubt know, from time to time I receive emails. Often these are quite mundane and pedestrian. Some of my fellow super-villains also have a predilection for mass emails of an insipid sort. Enough with the adorable kittens, Kanjor!
I do however receive intriguing emails from time to time. It was not long ago that I received the following missive from one apparently seeking employment in these trying times:
Hello,I find this particularly curious, as I am not acquainted witha Ms. Manju. Now, it's possible that I do know her. She does indeed sound like a super-villain of some sort. But I meet so many villains that sometimes it's hard to keep track. Perhaps she was the arch-enemy of someone ridiculous like Aztek or Maxima.
Further to my telecon with Ms. Manju am attaching my resume.
I have been working with a shpping company from home as book-keeper for the past 4 years and have thorough knowledge of quickbooks.
If given this opportunity shall prove myself.
thanks and regards
Regardless, I have this to say to Ms. "Lakshmi Ramesh:" I'm not looking to hire right now. As a semi-retired super-villain I rarely find the need for flunkies, goons, or tagalongs. That said, perhaps I could point you in the direction of a villain who does need some hired help.
Having worked with a shipping company you might consider employment with our old friend Oswald Cobblepot. The Penguin generally does a brisk business in contraband. That said, he is not the easiest employer to work for, and you mus be prepared for the constant scent of fish.
Of course, as a former "book-keeper" you might be able to find work with one of the more financially oriented villains. If you're any good at hiding money and funneling it into sinister, secret projects you might look into applying with LexCorp.
Finally, I don't know what "quickbooks" is, but I can only assume it has to do with those interminable speedsters! Now, Professor Zoom usually works alone, but if you can find yourself a suitable villainous theme you might be able to hook up with the Central City Rogues.
I hope I have been of help to you in your search for employment, Lakshmi. Now, never contact me again. You may want to work for a super-villain, but you have a long way to go before you make it in the big leagues. I mean, did you really think I was going to open that pdf?
Labels: Doctor Polaris
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
I just realized that I haven't talked at all about last Friday's Flashpoint teasers. It pleases me that after I complained about the poor quality of the previous week's Flashpoint Friday that we were given eight covers from Flashpoint spinoffs. Holy crap, that's a lot of stuff! Perhaps I should go through them one by one?
Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance: Here we get nothing more than a splash of red and the word "vengeance." Here's the thing: Batman has never really been about vengeance. If that had been the case he would've stopped his fight after Joe Chill was captured. Batman -- our Batman -- fights not to avenge his parents but to see that no other child must suffer through what he did. I imagine that "Batman, Knight of Vengeance" will be motivated by other things...
Flashpoint: Citizen Cold: What would it take to turn Captain Cold from a villain to a hero? Lack of the Flash, for one. But what else? I don't know, but I'm eager to find out.
Flashpoint: Deathstroke & The Curse of the Ravager: Yaaar, pirate Deathstroke be not much of a stretch. Other than that, I don't really know what to expect from this one. The ship seems to be called the Ravager, but what treasure could he be searching for?
Flashpoint: Deadman & The Flying Graysons: It's immediately a darker DCU without a Robin. And references to "gladiator slaves" do not reassure me...
Flashpoint: Hal Jordan: I... Yaaawn. Sorry, I started to doze of there for a secondzzzzzzzz. Ahem. Hal Jordan is boring enough. But I can't imagine how boring Hal Jordan will be when he doesn't even have a Green Lantern ring. What happened to the Abin Sur mini?
Flashpoint: World of Flashpoint: We've already seen that the "World of Flashpoint" isn't necessarily a pleasant one. My guess is that this mini will give us a general overview of the world and the changes in the timeline made by the Reverse Flash.
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman: It sure looks like Aquaman will be one of the main villains of the Flashpoint timeline. That's pretty damn scary, because despite the jokes people make there is nothing funny about Aquaman. Okay, there are a few things. But not the things that people usually think of. In reality, Aquaman is quite the badass.
Flashpoint: Legion of Doom: Now we're talking! I'd been under the impression that DC didn't own the rights to the term "Legion of Doom." Now, I was either wrong or that's changed. Either way, it's good to see it: "The Society" and "The Injustice Gang" never held quite the same ring. And an apparently female Heatwave sure makes things interesting...
Monday, March 07, 2011
For All Your Security Needs
Consider: someone you care about is in serious danger. You have a series of options. Perhaps you'll call the police. Do you hire security to protect that person? There are any number of options given the circumstances. But what do people in the DC Universe use to protect their loved ones?
When you need to be sure your parent, sibling, or child is safe from villains, super-science thugs, or alien menaces only Hawkman will do.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Thursday Night Thinking #179
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
A Quick One
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Source of the Problem
Consider: the title of this post on the Source is "It's Man vs. Machine on the Cover of Action Comics #899." And here's the thing... Neither of the characters on the cover is a machine.
While certain former iterations of Braniac have been robots or androids in some form or another, this Geoff Johns' retooled "Ultimate Braniac" is not a machine at all. He's from Colu and is much flesh and blood as Luthor. Perhaps this may be some sort of reference to the fact that Braniac employs a lot of machines, but any way you slice it it's just not accurate.
It's true that I'm splitting hairs somewhat. But this all comes down to the fact that there's some pretty sloppy stuff going on at the Source from day to day. Don't get me wrong; I love the site and it's one of my most frequent destinations during the day. But things don't seem particularly tight over there these days.
I remember last week or so when a preview for an issue of Zatanna showed up. I was a bit surprised, as I was pretty sure I'd read that before. And I had. Because this was a preview from August. There's also a tendency to get the names of artists or writers wrong.
And don't get me started on "Flashpoint Fridays." When I heard about that I figured we'd be getting some tantalizing peeks at the story to close out our working weeks. But what did we get last week? As short interview with Andy Kubert. That's nice and all, but one interview does not a "Flashpoint Friday" make. The Action Preview doesn't make Tuesday "Action Comics Tuesdays" after all. You need more than a little thing to make a day of it.
I say this all out of love. I want the Source to be the best it can be. I want to get a lot out of the site regarding the characters and concepts that I love so much. Step up your game, DC web jockeys! And when it comes to "Flashpoint Fridays" at least let us see some art.