Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another reason why Lois is great:

I love Lois Lane. I'm not going to go into why much, because Ragnell did it so much better here..

I will say I've yet to see a tv or movie portrayal that does this character justice, (the closest I think was in the 1950s tv series, sadly enough.) But I will always love comic-Lois Lane, and this quote from JLA 16 shows exactly why:

"So, like I was saying, I found one of those horrible letters teenagers write to their grown-up selves. 'Dear Lois,' it said. 'By now you're probably married with two kids to some stupid guy and you've probably forgotten that you ever wanted to write and have an exciting life like Collette or Dorothy Parker...' You know what? I wanted to write back and tell this girl about my day. 'Dear Lois, wrong kiddo! I've won a Pulitzer. I'm married to Clark Kent, who happens to be Superman, and all three of us have been invited to the moon for dinner. How far out of the atmosphere did Dorothy Parker get?'"

That is Lois Lane. She loves her life. She's happy. She never compromised. Notice the first thing she lists is her Pulitzer. She never gave up her career. Then her husband. She could find love without ever giving up any of her dreams. And she can be proud of her husband's achievements without it ever taking away from her own.

Right there, reading that, you can feel her happiness, her pride, her triumph. She's an amazing woman and a fantastic role model for young women as she has been since the 1940s. She's great and it's so very obvious why Clark loves her.

And I love anyone who can make fun of their whiny-emo-teenage selves. Because we all were obnoxious little twits back then, and it never hurts to laugh back at ourselves.

Friday, December 30, 2005

On Guy Gardner:

In contrast to my I Hate Hawkman post, I decided to post something in tribute of my favorite egotistical jackass ever: Guy Gardner.

It's hard to explain what it is about this jerk that makes him my second favorite Lantern after Kyle Rayner (whose appeal should be obvious: I like them young, sweet, strong willed and victimized).

But Guy is harder to explain.

Many people hate him because he's a jerk. And he is. There's no doubt about that. He's a complete asshole. He's so amusingly, unashamedly an asshole. He'll call Batman obnoxious nicknames and moon him in space, he'll make lewd comments to Fire, Mary Marvel and any other attractive female. He likes to annoy the hell out of his fellow Lanterns and seems even to take pride in his lack of civility. (Since after Warriors, at least, it became definitely a choice.)

But then there's JLA v2 (JLI/JL-Europe, et cetera). And there's "I Can't Believe it's Not the Justice League." And Ice. Guy with Ice is amazing to read, because she didn't make him not a jackass. He was as much a jackass when dating her as before, but because of her, he tried to tone it down (at least in her presence). He loved her so completely that he was willing to suffer through all sorts of indignities to make her happy, only making token complaints. He wasn't exactly a completely different person with her, but he was certainly more three dimensional. And I challenge anyone to read "ICBiNtJL" and not tear up when the mock-Orpheus/Eurydice scene reaches its conclusion.

Then there's the OMAC Project. Throughout JLA/JLI fewer characters got along less than Ted Kord and Guy Gardner. Their personalities and histories are designed perfectly to clash with one another. But regardless, in OMAC project we can see that Guy cares in his way, is angry. He and Ted might never have been friends, but there would be hell to pay.

And there's also GL v3, after Kyle Rayner takes over. He doesn't have the competition issues with Kyle as he did with Hal, and it shows. He's been, as Warrior, a partner against Major Force, a confidant. Even a mentor figure. Helped him tease Roy; took the kid to a street corner where the traffic of *four modelling agencies* intersected, to cheer him up after traumatic torture! In the JLA story "World War III", Guy mocks Kyle a little at first for "breaking the ring" but it's actually pretty gentle for him. And later in the book, he says, "You gotta stop taking me so seriously". From Guy, that's a freaking *apology*. (page 147 of the Trade, I don't remember the exact issue, for the skeptical.) I could go on for a while to dissect why I think Kyle gets such a different reaction from Guy than any of the other Lanterns, but honestly "why" isn't really the point. The point is that it is a very different reaction.

The thing about Guy is that he's deeper than he looks. He was a gym teacher with kids once, he was Hal Jordan's case worker in prison during Emerald Dawn, he went to University of Michigan (and as a Michigan State student, I *should* hate him for that), and even, apparently studied law.

He's actually possibly the most educated Earth-based Green Lantern. Which is mind-boggling. He's also shown himself capable of very deep emotion and feelings for others. I think, in a strange way, that Guy *feels* the most and the deepest of any of the Lanterns. And I'm including Kyle in that. Guy's all about his relationships with other characters. His loves, his rivalries, his brotherly camaraderies. He expresses it all so honestly, so without artifice, that it's...breathtaking. He shows it, for better for worse, and he doesn't really care what you or (almost) anyone else thinks about it.

Recharge so far has been really good at showing many of these aspects too. This is the guy who'll march into the Guardians lair to demand answers and protest their orders, heedless of the consequences. But he's also the same guy who when slyly teased by Kyle Rayner, merely tells him "Don't push my buttons." He's the guy who'll hit on Soranik Natu like every male chauvanistic (pardon my spelling) pig in the book, but he'll also express sincere (if gruff) concern about his kid partner risking his position in order to break the biggest rule on Oa. It's all there. And I'm ecstatic that both guys are slated for the GL:C monthly come spring. My two favorite Lanterns in Space! You know I'll be there.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Quote of the Week:

From the JLA/Witchblade story: (originally grabbed from here)

Green Lantern: "Is it just me, or does that thing remind anyone else of 'Aliens'?"
Flash: "Kyle, kitchen appliances remind you of 'Aliens.'"
Plastic Man: "I can understand that----you should see the inside of my refrigerator!"

...I've never cackled and winced at the same time before. Wally, you are such an ass.

Random Ridiculous Realization #6

Rereading JSA and my I-Hate-Carter-Hall post made me realize something.

I think Sanderson Hawkins...well to put it discreetly...falls on the Connor Hawke end of the sexual experience spectrum.

He was born in 1926 and made into a sand monster in 1945. Now naturally, in our time period a great many 19 year old boys have already...sown some wild oats shall we say. But this was the 1940s after all, and there's that line in JSA #5:

"In my day, it took a dozen dates to get a kiss. These days if you don't 'score' by the second or third, there's something wrong with you."

After being un-sand-monster-ized the poor boy had to acclimatize, and then spent a lot of time travelling in the East. And given how proper and shy he is with Kendra, he probably doesn't have much experience.

And oddly that makes me hate Carter even more (he's rivals with a tiny *virginal* kid Dick Grayson's age, that he snipes at while the kid is out-of-sorts, and he acts so poorly that the kid has to be the grownup. Wow, what a *man*. :-))

[On a related note: Sand has to be even smaller than he sounds. I mean trying to relate comic-book science to real science is a headache anyway. But, if Sand is "silicon-based" like it says, the only way I can see that working is if the carbon bases in the DNA are supplanted by silicon. Now a mole of Carbon weighs approximately 12 grams to Silicon's 28 or so. Which means that proportionally, Silicon weighs more than twice what Carbon does. So poor Sand has to be even *smaller* to weigh 162 pounds!

And I hate Carter more! He's just a mean old bully!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another thought: Kyle's dad

I was rereading the Power of Ion arc the other day and had a thought. See, apparently the creation of "Gabriel Vasquez" as Kyle's father was not the original plan, and now that Mr. Marz is writing Ion, it's become too complicated to address Kyle's dad at all.

Which is a shame, because I rather want to know what Mr. Marz intended.

However, when I was rereading the arc I realized something. One could very easily argue that "Gabriel Vasquez" never existed at all...withOUT a retcon.

See, Ion was all but omnipotent and naturally could track down his father with a thought. But what if what he found wasn't something his conscious mind was equipped to deal with, for whatever reason. We know from Circle of Fire that Kyle's subconscious can create living/sentient constructs on its own will. We also know from his discussion with Alan in 140 that by that point he could make constructs indistinguishable from normal people.

So what if Gabriel Vasquez was a creation of Kyle's subconscious to be exactly what he needed at the time. Gabe was a mostly tragic figure, a man involved in shady things in the past which became an outside force to seperate him from his wife and son. He himself was a reasonably good man, one who strongly regretted leaving and subsequently lived a solitary life. Basically he was a young man's fantasy of the kind of man that would leave his wife and infant and yet be sympathetic and understandible.

He even promises to stay in contact and as revealed after Kyle leaves to have an album with articles about both Kyle and the Lantern. Not only is his father an understandible/sympathetic man who left for the sake of his wife and son. He's a man who followed his son's progress into manhood and knows and is proud of even the secret aspect of his life.

Considering what Kyle was going through at this time: the Ion powers, Superman's rebuke on letting people live their own lives, Alan and Spectre-Hal's advice... Gabe was exactly what his son needed to see at that time.

He never shows up again (except in a script draft for Rebirth, but that's different), but is otherwise absolutely perfect.

Which means, maybe he's not real at all. Ion knew that his conscious mind wanted to find his father, but for whatever reason, the real one doesn't qualify. So the subconscious makes one that is exactly what Kyle Rayner needs before going to Oa to do what he has to do. It really works out splendidly.

Now the only problem is Kyle's conversation with his mother in 153.

One can imagine his mother was either somehow warned by Ion, is just playing along with her confused son's ramblings, or has had her memories altered. My vote is for the second, as with a son like Kyle, one is probably used to playing along with fantasy. Or I suppose, while I dislike retcons, it's better to get rid of 153, if it could make it all work. It was a bit dumb anyway. :-)

So yeah, that's my thought.

Edited to add: another advantage to the fantasy of Gabriel Vasquez is that now that his name isn't Rayner, the Zachary Rayner Kyle met during Emerald Allies has to be a fake. After all, if he really *were* Kyle's uncle, his name wouldn't be Rayner after all. I could see some part of Kyle creating that just to convince himself that he can't be related to that psycho.

On Hawkman:

This is probably going to get me in trouble, but I have to say this.

I don't like Carter Hall.

Now I'm going to disclaim this by saying I've yet to read Hawkman, so I'm solely going off of JSA at the moment.

But based on his behavior in JSA: I don't like Carter Hall.

He's arrogant and domineering and a jackass. The spirit of his wife is in his grand-niece, but she doesn't remember it and is justifiably a little freaked. This part of the situation I can sympathize with. That's not an easy situation.

So anyway, he's unintentionally freaking her out and in retaliation, she kisses Sand, hoping to start a relationship with someone who isn't her creepy great-uncle. Carter sees it through the window when he goes to apologize. Fair enough, at this moment, I'm sympathizing with all of them. Carter for seeing the woman he still thinks of as his wife kiss another man, Kendra for her confusion and general freaked-out-ness, and Sand for having to be the mature one and turn down the very attractive woman he has a crush on because he knows she's kissing him for the wrong reason.

Now if Carter had confronted them then, I would have been okay with it. But no, he has to go undermine Sand's authority (authority offered to him) at every move, and make sniping verbal attacks on the guy. The guy who, 50 years as a sand monster not withstanding, is *25* years old. That's around Dick Grayson's age.

And this bothers me. You see, I consider Carter one of the older heroes. And I don't think older heroes should be in direct rivalry with the younger ones. I mean, I was irritated by Ollie's behavior toward Kyle, and Ollie never forgot he was dealing with "a kid". In Carter's case, he's actually treating an ex-sidekick Dick Grayson's age as a full out rival. Not as a kid who happens to have won Kendra's affection, but a full blown rival.

See, that bothers me in some because of my own issues. See when I was growing up most of my friends were younger than me. And my mother would often tell me when we fought that sometimes no matter who's "right", it's the responsibility of the older person to be the grown-up of the situation. In this case, Carter continues acting like a spoiled teenager, leaving the kid to be the grown-up of the situation and try to run damage control/apologize/back down.

So it's not event that Carter has decided to see a *kid* as a full rival (won't ever see Clark or Bruce doing that...), he's also forcing said kid to act like the grownup. Not to mention acting unprofessionally when that kid is ostensibly the group leader.

Then there's the whole thing with Roulette, where she puts Sand and Carter in the event to go save Kendra and the antidote for one. We have Sand visibly affected, on his knees, clearly sweating and probably feverish. It hasn't kicked in for Carter. That's when Carter decides to snipe more at him regarding Kendra. When his "rival" (who is Dick Grayson's age, an ex-side kick I must remind again) is already somewhat incapacitated by the poison.

Not to mention, later taking the antidote. Meh, this part's unfair of me, because as far as they knew Sand's silicon form would have protected him. But you know what, I can't see a situation with say Ollie and Kyle, or Bruce and Kon, where the grown-up would have let the kid give up the antidote on the off chance their powers could protect them. (Especially if they'd already been physically affected).

And to add insult to injury, according to the JSA Secret Files and Origins, Sand's 5'11 and *162* pounds. He's tiny! No wonder the poison hit so hard. I'm not sure why this irritates me. But it just makes Carter into more of a jerk. He's not only maliciously treating a kid Dick Grayson's age as a Rival, verbally attacking when the kid is out of sorts, and making the kid act like the grownup...this kid that's his rival, could probably be carried off by a stiff breeze. He could snap him like a twig! Now he's just a bully!

And he yelled at Courtney for suggesting voting later on and was a jackass in Black Reign.

But mostly, it's the above incident. I'm irrational in my dislike. I'm glad the character exists, and I like the role he plays in JSA, but I really really love disliking him.

Edited to Add: And he looks smelly. :-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Non-Comic Post

In a very rare non-comic related post: I finally was able to see the new Doctor Who special, the Christmas Invasion. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Makes it incredibly frustrating that the new episodes won't start until the spring.

Random Ridiculous Realization #5

Check this page out, from Emerald Dawn II (sent to me by the lovely Ragnell):

Right Here

Look at that, Hal's so manly and alpha that he can run through a prison in a *towel* and be completely unconcerned.

Whereas in contrast, from JLA 34:

And Here

How unfair is that? Kyle Rayner can't go into a prison fully clothed, in uniform, ring ready, but Hal Jordan can run around in a damn towel?

(What I want to know is what genius decided to send *Kyle Rayner* into a prison to begin with, ring or not..."We don't want him thrashing around too much" indeed, egads.)

Monday, December 26, 2005


Okay, so I went to Borders today to buy the Fantastic Four DVD, which I did, when I found something that looked interesting. A hardcover Green Lantern book (Sleepers, 3).

Well, it was the third in a trilogy, but I figured it couldn't hurt to look to see if it was worth hunting down the previous ones. Even if it's not canon, it could be fun. I did after all enjoy O'Neal's Hero Quest.

Big mistake. The book is terrible. Christopher Priest was the novelist. And I would rather see Kyle Rayner permanently written by Brad Metzer until the end of fucking time than see him ever in the hands of this guy.

Hal's the hero of the book, which is fine (though the timeline's screwy, more on that in a second), but Kyle is written as an absolute ineffectual twit who is skirting a deadline in order to illustrate a fucking duck for an asshole editor named Howard.

Okay, now the book is set in a nebulous timeframe when Hal's the Spectre, but he gets temporarily re-animated in this trilogy. Kyle's dating Jade but not yet working for Feast. But honestly, there's a whole half a chapter devoted to how Kyle's the type of character who can't just sit down and draw a duck, he has to google names and types of ducks, and spend hours bitching on how the author didn't choose the right kind of duck, and is constantly late to deadlines because he's not satisfied with the duck.

Hold up a second, this is *Kyle Rayner* we're talking about. Yeah he likes revising/fixing his work and isn't completely satisfied, and he's frequently personally late. But he's the single most visually creative of the Lanterns. He's known for instantaneously constructing much more complicated designs when he needs to (and don't get me started on how he looks to the ring, tempted to just goof off and lose the deadline: Kyle's a little silly, but he doesn't go joy-riding with the fucking ring, and he takes his job seriously). We've also seen that he's pretty adamant about keeping deadlines for his work in the comic, worrying about them, and is usually on time for them.

Not to mention that at this point he's had gallery openings and published cartoons in Rena Stone's magazine that will soon get him the nice steady comic-drawing job at Feast. He's successful enough, by the time he's dating Jade, to probably not need to deal with any sort of Howards. And he's shown to be professional enough when writing for Feast anyway.

But that's nitpicky. The guy is also written as completely impossible. Hal tells him he has to do some sort of energy/matter conversion with the ring. And Kyle first is incomprehending (which is annoying as it wasn't a hard concept), and then has to *write it down*. This is the guy who on Batman's vague command *contained a SUPERNOVA in a construct that looks like a safe*. Who rebuilt computers and DNA machines based on what he thinks they'll look like. He might not understand everything it's supposed to do, but he can do it regardless.

Then apparently we're supposed to believe that somehow someone manages to switch his ring with Sinestro's sleeper ring and he couldn't tell. (Not to mention Hal is able to use the ring. Yes, he uses it in Emerald Knights...but that's because Kyle lets him. It's genetically tied to him.) Kyle couldn't TELL he had the wrong ring?!

And then he gets defeated ignobly (*grr*) and is in the infirmary for the rest of the book. Damnit, this is the guy who caught a Supernova through force of will. Who blew up Oa to stop Parallax. He was the one Lantern able to stop a full-powered Traitor! And helped Hal hand Sinestro's ass to him in the past, when Hal was in his prime, earning the respect of both Hal and the Guardians. He can be taken out, yes, but at least give him a good showing!

But it gets worse. I mean, Priest is ostensibly a Hal fan. But Hal is written just as bad. Hal constantly does stupid things in the book and is an absolute jackass. This is not the Hal I liked so much in Green Lantern volume 3 (both as Hal, as Parallax, as Spectre, and Emerald Knights!Hal), Rebirth or the new series.

And to add insult to injury, Hal spends many chapters being openly hostile to Kyle. Even having to "fight back his dislike".

His dislike. Of Kyle. His *dislike*! I would be very shocked to find out that Mr. Priest has ever read *any* Green Lantern past issue 50. Hal's *always* respected Kyle. Even as Parallax, Hal had a healthy respect for Kyle's abilities. Let alone giving the ring back to Kyle after being Lead-Piped, or when Kyle came to him for help against the Sin-Eater.

As the Spectre, Hal was often a good voice of reason/support for Kyle. And in Circle of Fire, before any of the characters even realize Hal is the Spectre, Hal's very vocal about his concern. (The pushing back of his hood and "Godspeed," bit made me snicker just a little).

Hell, even Hal-from-the-past in Emerald Knights respected and liked Kyle, without all of the past history there.

Finally at the end, after being nobly victorious, Hal goes back to the infirmary, realizes that he "shouldn't be so hard on the kid" and returns the ring to him. And I want to show *that* to any Kyle-fan who bitches that Johns patronized Kyle-fans and gave us a pittiance in Rebirth.

There is a big difference between a Hal-loving writer who loves the Green Lantern concept and likes and respects Kyle for saving/carrying on the title, who allows Kyle to have in some ways even more of a vital role in Rebirth than Hal himself...and THIS.

This book was horrible. Seriously. Alan was out of character, Guy and John were made into useless dissenting voices (think Batman in Rebirth, without the validity of his doubts), Kyle was a twit and Hal was a jackass. No character was unscathed.

I don't want this writer near *HAL* again, let alone Kyle.

Apparently Priest also wrote under the name James Owsley. And wrote that godawful storyline where Hal went on Oprah to set the record straight and somehow ended up with a fear of HEIGHTS. As a *pilot*. Let alone the stupidity of going on Oprah to "clear his reputation" to begin with. Thank god they retconned it.

Ragnell tells me he's also the guy who killed Katma Tui in an 8 page story where she was incredibly out of character.

Please Mr. Priest, I liked the Ray but put down the Lanterns and promise never to touch them again. Ever.

It's a bad sign when my first reaction just before seething anger is "Thank god this isn't canon."
On the plus side I got ahold of both Rebirth (yay) and World War III in Trade form. Yay. Much much better.

An Odd Confession

I have a confession to make. I actually liked the Fantastic Four movie. Yeah it was kind of dumb. Yeah it had plot holes and implausibilities galore. Yeah Jessica Alba has no chemistry with anything (I blame her, because while Ioan Gruffudd can come across a little...well, uninterested in women, Julian McMahon has chemistry with walls). But it had the same *feeling* as the comic to me, so I was happy.

(And you know the fiancee chick would have been on that bridge in the comic too. Yeah, it makes no logical sense that given the traffic pile up and everything that she'd be there. She'd have been there anyway.)

And Ioan Gruffudd is really pretty. I'm shallow. They should have just let Reed be Welsh though, seriously. Then we wouldn't have the battle of "Whose American accent can slip the most" in scenes with Julian McMahon and Ioan Gruffudd acting together. Reed was always my favorite of the 4 and he got to be smart (I read a review that complained he didn't deserve to be referred to as a genius, as Doom actually figured it out. Nuh-uh, Reed built the Machine, AND figured out that it needed more power. Doom just charged it. He's just a generator. Meh). And Ioan Gruffudd is pretty.

Also, I've always liked the Four because, in essence, they remind me more of DC characters than modern Marvel characters. They're public with their identities, largely enjoying it (okay, it takes a while for them to get to that point in the movie, but well, it was a bit of a shot), they work with the UN and the government to make things better as opposed to fighting against it. And they're loved for it. (Which I always thought kind of proved Xavier as an idiot. While most X-men are mutants, a few, like Shatterstar way back when, were aliens or otherwise transformed. No different from the Four. But Xavier, for all his dreams of acceptance, built a damn secret army. Yeah, that's gonna make the people like/trust you man, seriously. But then I have issues with Xavier that I'l babble about someday)

But anyway, onto the real reason I loved the movie:

--- Contains many spoilers, but I'm sure if you care you've already seen the damn movie---

And as is probably common knowledge, I dig the homoeroticism. And hoo boy was that movie homoerotic. Seriously. Screw Sue or Alicia, the movie was about Ben and Reed's happy happy man-love.

Seriously: You have Ben agreeing to this mad scheme for Reed as well as engineering the means for a reconciliation between Reed and Sue.

You have Reed feeling immeasurably guilty for Ben's condition and seeking to cure it, working himself nonstop for practically ever. (And where the hell was Sue-the-head-of-Doom's-genetic-research-department for this. He's working to collapse, and she just comes by to convince him to rest.)

And the whole scene on the bridge when the fiancee places the ring down, and Ben can't pick it up...and then Reed does and places it in his hand. I sighed, I admit it.

Doom (who is obsessed with dominating Reed from the patents at the beginning, to even his relationship with Sue) convinces Ben that Reed's having fun with his girlfriend rather than helping him, so Ben gets jealous and they have a fight. (Which seriously, I thought was unfair. The guy takes ONE break and gets slammed for it. It's not like you couldn't have helped pass test tubes or something, dude. Stop whining and help him help you for chrissake)

Reed then takes an incalculatable risk testing the machine using himself. It is really gross and awesome. (and then Doom takes the credit, overhearing that it just needed more power...and Doom's got the whole damn building monitored with hidden cameras. Cameras that he couldn't have placed in there after being afflicted. So that means, while he was dating Sue and Reed was an absolute non-issue there, he was STILL spying on him.)

When Ben's cured and Reed's captured, Ben willingly goes back in the machine to go save his boyfriend...err, friend. Yeah. Friend. (I especially liked that bit, and later, when Ben refuses the machine again, because it means that unlike the comics, Ben's accepted and even grown to like the transformation. Yay. No more angst.)

Now see, I used to read yaoi manga. If you don't know what that is, it's basically gay comic porn for girls. It's usually as bad as it sounds. But anyway, the common staple plot is:

Character A (who is more macho and manly) and Character B (who is...not) are involved. Character C (who is also manly) is obsessed with Character B and basically wants to have lots of questionably-consentual sex with Character B. This usually ends up with some kind of kidnapping, in which Character A comes to the rescue. Then Character A and B live happily ever after. (Whereupon they also have sex, but usually of a more consentual nature).

Now take out the sex part. Does it sound similar? Heh, yeah.

The entire plot of the movie is Ben and Reed doing extreme things and taking horrible risks and making huge sacrifices for one another. Add that to the fact that Ioan Gruffudd, while presumably straight in real life, tends to come across not so straight on screen (which befuddles me because otherwise, he's a brilliant actor)...


So I liked the movie. And I'm glad there's gonna be another one. And I'm buying the DVD tomorrow.

A Thought and a Query:

As I've said before, I tend to think that a lot of the gender disparity in comics has to do with the fact that there are still far more male heroes than there are female. There should be more female (or gay/bi) heroes whose lovers can thus be victimized and murdered and held hostage.

So that got me thinking...(dangerous sign)...

If you guys could make a new female hero what would she be like?

I know, me personally, I'd like to see a heroine that's a little older. Most of the female heroes I tend to see are relatively young. The oldest I can remember is Hippolyta, who's immortal anyway, and thus doesn't count. (I'd like to see more heroes that are a little older, personally. I still think it'd be hilarious if the Blue Beetle scarab had fallen into the hands of Gabriel Vasquez).

We have a few male heroes in their late thirties/forties, but very few women. And those that are older either are immortal like Hippolyta or Diana, or somehow un-aged a little like Dinah Lance. So I'd like to see a female in her late thirties or early forties.

I'd like to see a heroine that's sexually mature. I don't mean that I want scenes of her in bed with some guy, with condom wrappers on the floor. But I'm a little tired of how many heroines end up crossing that Madonna/Whore dichotomy. There's nothing wrong with a healthy sex life and an appreciation for attractive men.

She should be single and free to date. That means for some romantic hijinx in a comic, I'd imagine. Occasionally she'll have serious love interests who die tragically. She should mourn of course, but not be over-the-top with her angst. It should just drive her to push on further. Perhaps she could even be a widow or divorced with a child. I can't think of very many heroes with actual dependents. I imagine it to be a son, probably around 13 or 14 (old enough to stay home alone occasionally when mom has to do heroing stuff, and it won't seem all that weird that he stays that age for more than a decade real time.)

He should however *not* be her sidekick, though I can't imagine he doesn't know what she does. She would probably not allow him to put himself in danger. (If he still wants to be a hero at 18, *then* he can put on spandex). She probably wants him to have as much of a normal life as possible.

I'd like her to have family that's alive and that she's reasonably close to. I also would prefer that she has a relatively trauma-free past. It seems like many of the sexually active female characters (Hippolyta, Kory, Grace, Barbara, Jade) have some sort of implied or actual rape/sexual trauma in their histories. And that annoys me a little. No physical or psychological abuse from her family either, thank you. A normal upbringing is okay with me. She's a hero because she wants to be and has the power to make a difference, not as a reaction to childhood trauma.

As for powers, I'm not sure what I'd like. There are a lot of female characters already with physical-based powers, but I don't imagine her to be much of a mage. Maybe something with an ancient theme...though not greek or egyptian. Those are overdone. Maybe something based in Asian, African or South American folklore. She could be descended from whichever society as well, which would be fun. Would require some research to do well, of course, but it'd probably be a blast to do.


Hmm, I guess that's all I can think of for now for my "ideal new female hero". What about you guys? What kind of female hero would you like to see?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Well it's Christmas Day, so I've decided to post this lovely present for everyone!

Kyle Rayner looking dazed in a loincloth!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Yet another reason I don't like Jade:

Now I'm not as virulent in my dislike of Jade as some. But it is probably common knowledge that I'm not a fan of Jenny-Lynn Hayden.

Most of it has to do with the fact that she seems like the weakest Lantern-type powered person and seems to have no interest in training to improve. And a lot of it has to do with her treatment of her boyfriend. And I'm not talking about the cheating.

Here is today's example: The story is JLA: Scary Monsters, and these are pages from the second issue. Basically, Kyle and Wally run afoul of something really bad while on a trip with Linda and Jade and are catatonic. The rest of the JLA comes to the rescue, tries to figure out what's wrong, and elects to take them back to the back to the resort for treatment.

First Page

Second Page

In the first page, Superman specifically asks Jade to watch over them. Notice however in the second page, while Linda is frantically hovering over her husband's gurney, Kyle looks absolutely alone in his. Jade is nowhere to be seen.

Hmph. Bitch.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Regarding Green and Yellow

On his blog, Calvin Pitt mentions something interesting about the nature of Green and Yellow in the GL universe. Green meaning willpower, yellow meaning fear, and how green contains yellow...willpower consists partly of overcoming fear.

Which is true and got me thinking. So I'll beg your pardon for more decidedly incoherent Lantern-babble.

This is why the retcon of Parallax as a yellow space bug in Rebirth didn't bother me. Some were upset because they thought it was an attempt to excuse Hal and robbed him of the complexity of going flipping nuts. Personally I think that by giving in to Parallax, Hal still has the culpability so that complexity is still there, if a bit more indirect.

But moreover, it adds a particularly interesting twist to the Green Lantern mythos. Because it proved that the Guardians have no idea of what they're doing.

They've been picking people based on qualities such as determination and lack of fear or ability to fight/overcome fear, and they still seem to be using the same criteria in Recharge. But what Rebirth proved is that those criteria may well be completely wrong.

Look at Rebirth for a moment. Yeah, Hal was the central hero. But who really set everything in motion by discovering Parallax's true nature, who protected Hal's corpse singlehandedly until crashing back on Earth, who interfered at a pivotal time during the battle with Sinestro to turn the tide, and finally, who was it who *never* once succumbed to Parallax even a little bit when every other Lantern started acting up. Kyle Rayner.

And that's where things get fascinating. Because the Lanterns are chosen on basis of their responses to fear, yeah? And what we have is a situation where the "ideal" Lantern figure (Hal, by his lack of fear) had fallen first to Parallax's influence. Whereas the Lantern that was chosen out of sheer desperation, in the right place at the right time, who would *never* have been chosen if there had been another choice (and Guy *had* been approached first), is the one that never once fell. Because as he said, he "knew fear". And it's true, reading Green Lantern 50-181, Kyle is very open about his fears. He doesn't fight/overcome them so much as embrace and use them. There's a very subtle difference there. He does have problems repressing most of his other negative emotions: anger, pain, sorrow; but fear has always been a part of him, and he's okay with it.

I've heard that Dave Gibbons got a lot of flack for saying in an interview that he didn't think Kyle was Lantern material, and while I haven't seen the original quote, I have to say, he's right. If Hal hadn't become Parallax, Kyle would never have been chosen at all. Hell, Ganthet tried to take the ring *away* because after seeing Kyle struggle for fourteen issues, he felt that the boy wasn't suited for it. He doesn't fit *any* of the criteria really (he's certainly determined, but it's a different, quieter sort than any of the other Lanterns we see, and as I said before: he uses his fear instead of fighting it).

Kyle's so bad a Lantern that his powers don't even obey the rules! Kilowog claims that the subconscious can't activate the ring. But Kyle's does. He doesn't wear the ring when sleeping because he has nightmares that could be (and have been) actualized. Batman's scheme in Tower of Babel involved putting the ring on his finger and utilizing hypnotic suggestion to convince him that he's blind. And it works, because his subconscious uses the ring too. He's created devices he doesn't understand by just creating a construct that looks like he thinks it should. He's rebuilt a DNA-tooling device just out of sheer will without ever knowing how the hell it works. Kilowog must be getting such a headache.

But it's Kyle Rayner that restores the Corps and the Guardians, and it's Kyle Rayner who makes the resurrection of Hal Jordan and the defeat of Parallax possible.

TO me, this all indicates that there is something wrong with the way that the Guardians do things. There's something wrong with their criteria, and while they love Kyle, they really haven't learned anything at all. They're still doing things exactly the same way. And I'm hoping that this eventually gets brought up in the upcoming Green Lantern Corps series.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I am pleased! Interview with Didio!

This interview reassures me in many ways particularly: (I don't believe these count as spoilers, but the paranoid may wish not to read)

"ZN.- Now are you consciously laying down foundations for something long-lasting? Are you creating a “guide book” for the authors to come regarding what can and cannot be done or on the contrary do you believe that recreation always form part of the superheroes cycle.

DD.- The greater the story the greater the chance it has for long term ramifications, it is my hope that with INFINITE CRISIS we create the basis for the DC Universe for the foreseeable future. It is also my hope that we create a greater cohesiveness to the universe so that it truly feels like one whole universe.

ZN.- Are you going to return to the Multiverse?

DD.- Did I mention how I like the feel of one whole universe?"


"ZN.- Does Guy Gardner deserve his own series or will GL Corps be his only piece of the DCU. Any projects for Kyle Ryner?

DD.- Guy will be an important part of the new GREEN LANTERN CORPS series planned and you will be able to catch Kyle in that book and in the new ION series."

I find this fantastic news! No multiverse (though I do enjoy nifty oneshot-short storylines like the CSA) and Guy and Kyle will BOTH be in GL:C.

This makes me a very happy fangirl indeed.

The interview has other bits other fans might find interesting. Personally I think I'm starting to like Mr. Didio, even if I'm frustrated at not knowing who's behind the masks. (For example I might occasionally buy nifty looking comics, but I'd only *subscribe* to ones that involve my very favorite characters.)

But yes, Guy and Kyle in GL:C, one whole, cohesive universe. Yay.

I have comics!

On a much saner, less ridiculous note, I got a chance to read IC3, Green Lantern and Recharge.

I'm very, very reassured about Soranik. I had my doubts, but I loved her in this issue. She seems like she's going to be a very very welcome addition into the GL corps.

I won't say anything else about the comics, as I'm sure not everyone has had a chance to read them. I might post my thoughts on them this weekend.

But they were good. :-)

Random Ridiculous Realization #4

The other night, I was talking to Ragnell and she mentioned that Kilowog probably thought humans were cute little animals. Especially when asleep.

This lead my brain to think of kittens. Because kittens are cute. So if they were kittens, Guy would be the evil, pouncing kitten, John would be the calm dignified kitten, Hal would be the impetuous one that keeps falling over and bumping into walls and such, and Kyle would be the blindingly cute runt of the litter. And he'd be just like that little kitten in the cartoon.

You know, the cartoon where the bulldog comes across an obscenely cute kitten, growls at it a lot, and it just obliviously mews up at him adoringly. Then climbs up on him to go to sleep... This leads to much cuteness, the dog is hiding the kitten from the owners, while the kitten keeps wandering into danger. Completely oblivious. Yeah. Like Kyle. Anyway, the cartoon culminates in the kitty almost getting made into cookies. The bulldog is very sad, but the kitten turns out okay, and it all ends happily.

Yeah. That kitten=Kyle. I guess that makes the bulldog Kilowog, it's almost in scale to the kittens/humans, and it even rhymes. :-)

My brain is a weeeird place.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thoughts on Legacies and Recasting:

A couple of weeks back, I read a forum post regarding an interview with Keith Giffen about Blue Beetle. This poster said that he very specifically wasn't going to read the comic because he'd never liked the "new guys". Wally West, Kyle Rayner, the new Firestorm. He never liked them and thus would not like this new one, likely.

That post is what made me decide to give the series a chance. Because honestly, I'm the exact opposite. And that made me realize, I might be letting my Ted Kord love blind me to a new possiblity.

In particular, I thought replacing most of the Silver Age heroes was a really good idea. Now, I fully admit that I haven't read very much Silver Age comics, but when I did, I couldn't really get into it. I suppose it felt too...shiny, if that makes sense. These characters were too cool, too smug, you knew they were going to win without much doubt.

I had trouble caring much about these guys. Of *course* they're going to win. And it's not like flying head first into walls would actually give Hal Jordan brain damage. Though as Ragnell's pointed out, he certainly does get mind-controlled a lot.

(Oddly I love most of the Golden Age guys...but not as they're portrayed in the Silver Age crossovers. I was devastated when reading "The Creature in the Velvet Cage" because of how much of a jackass Wesley Dodds was portrayed as. But not so much the Silver Age guys.)

Hal's great, don't get me wrong, I've particularly liked him as Parallax and the Spectre in Kyle's GL run (even if it didn't turn out well in his own comic). But when it comes down to it, I'm more drawn to Kyle and his cockiness, vanity, lack of confidence, and sheer blind optimistic faith. I still enjoy Hal in Green Lantern now, and I'm glad he's back, but I definitely think the GL mythos is richer for having Kyle in it. (This also goes for John and Guy by the way).

Barry Allen is another one. In his case, aside from the handfuls of Silver Age comics I managed to force myself to read, I'm only really aware of him through flashbacks and JLA Year One. I like him though, a lot. I like his kindness and approachable rationality. But when it comes down to it, Wally West, with his conservatism and occasional jackass-ness and insensitivity, his blue collar determination and really hot wife, is the Flash that interests me the most.

In the case of Robins and Batgirls, I've always liked how in essence Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain took very, very iconic roles and made them become something incredibly different from their predecessors. Imagine for one moment, Dick Grayson's Robin as the brooding, calculating detective. Even when leading the Titans, it wasn't going to happen. Imagine, Barbara Gordon's Batgirl as the quiet, deadly fighter slinking in a faceless cowl. No way! These two characters completely changed the image of an iconic identity that's been around for decades. Meanwhile, both Dick and Barbara have ascended to their own adult roles, in which they are infinitely more fun and fascinating than their old identities.

Jason Rusch is great too. Edgier, angrier than Ronnie. Without the guiding influence. But it's fun seeing him forge his own way as Firestorm, without a professor figure guiding him. (Though I liked it best when Ronnie was in Jason's head, they had a good relationship, and we could see how much Ronnie himself had grown.)

So when I thought about that, I became a lot more optimistic. Because I like these guys a lot. Even in cases in which I like the predecessor better (Jay is the best Flash!), I like their subsequent follow-ups. And the predecessors aren't really ever completely forgotten. (I still vote for someone in the DCU, Barbara maybe, or Max as a weapon that he never got a chance to use, making an Artificial Intelligence that thinks it's Ted Kord). Regardless, most of the replacements I like.

I think there's a trick to it. The new person has to be incredibly different from the predecessor and bring something new to the table. I believe honestly that a lot of the problems regarding Jason Todd's acceptance in the DCU had to do with the fact that when he was implemented in 1983, they didn't use the background/persona he had Post-Crisis, but that they tried to make him into a carbon-copy of Dick. And that didn't work. Because Dick-fans resented him for replacing their favorite, and others who didn't like the Robin character had no reason to give him a chance.

But the ones I've listed are I think reasonably well-recieved. I mean there will always be the rabid Silver Age fan that hates Kyle or Wally for not being Barry or Hal. But the characters all have their very loyal fanbases as well. And I think this is because they are so different from what came before. There's room for both Hal and Kyle in GL, Babs, Dick, Tim and Cass are all valuable members of the Batfamily. The new characters don't take anything away from who came before, they just add a new element. Which is how it should be.
So, the new Blue Beetle. It could be very good. It's a bit different for me than replacing a Silver Age character because instead of replacing a legend with a more visibly flawed, relatable fellow, we're replacing a character that's already more "human" than a legend. Weight problems, confidence problems, immaturity, childish jokes, geekiness... Ted's not exactly a typical Silver Age hero that could only benefit from a not-as-blindly-heroic replacement.

But that doesn't mean I won't like the new guy/girl. I like the thought of following a character on a relatively traditional "Rise of a Hero" style path. It'll make a nice novelty in this day and age. (Though a part of me wonders if the whole "Rise" won't be followed by a particularly Icarian "Fall"). I don't hate the character design, and yay, they didn't kill *a specific character*!

Besides, I still say, no matter what Winick/Giffen/Didio says, Countdown's storyline structure pretty much screamed "This isn't over", they're just waiting until they can get the most out of it money/sales-wise. Ted'll be back somehow. I just hope it's entertaining. (I still say, the best resurrection-esque story would be something like Brother I having somehow copied Ted's brain-patterns on Max's order or its own initiative. Then the program takes over. So then you have a huge, scary satellite that thinks it's Ted Kord. And that would be amusing to me.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I just saw the preview for Blue Beetle #1 on DC Comics's site. It looks nifty. I'll give it a shot, much as I love Ted. (They'll have him back in some form or another, I bet. Maybe a ghost, A.I. or something else. Ooo, an Artificial Intelligence-Ted Kord would be really really neat.)

But there's someone else in that preview! Which makes me happier than a happy, happy thing. Means something I was very afraid of is probably not going to happen! Yay!

*screams with fangirl joy*

Wow, now *that* is advertisement!

In Green Lantern (Volume 3) #88, we first meet Kyle Rayner's mother.

Maura Rayner

Quite the matronly woman, wouldn't you say? Not unattractive mind you, but certainly, she could use a little work.

And apparently, over the course of 65 issues, while her son was being kidnapped, tortured, kidnapped, tied up, beaten up, and turning into a god, Mrs. Rayner decided to make a change.

And what a change.

In Green Lantern #153, we see her again:

Maura Rayner again.

Not bad at all! Jade, as audience surrogate, asks the obvious question, how did she do it? And her answer? Well...

How's that for advertizing?

(And hee, Kyle speaks Gaelic...and thus knows his name means "Chief Lantern" or "A narrow place of light"...which is funny to me.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Favorite Scene: Zero Hour #3

First meeting of Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner. And basically the reason Guy's so nice to him for the rest of their existence.

"Mr. Gardner"

Hee, Kyle's officially the cutest thing ever!

Random Ridiculous Realization #3

I think someone out there has probably written a DC/Marvel crossover story in which Reed Richards, Ralph Dibny, and Eel O'brien encounter sex pollen and have one hell of an orgy.

God willing, one day I'll find it. I'll have to bleach my eyes afterwards after reading it.

But it'd be worth it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Sex-skewed look at GL relationships

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I occasionally toy with thinking about what the DCU would be like if the principle characters were of the opposite sexes. I came to many conclusions, but one actually surprised me, so I'll post it here.

Kyle Rayner as a woman would not work. It's not his personality that's the problem, he'd probably make a charming female character with very little alteration to his personality. The problem is that the sheer amount of time he ends up tied up/tortured/gratuitously beaten in occasionally disturbingly suggestive ways would have the feminists in an uproar if he were female.

Especially in terms of his relationships.

I mean take Kyle's relationships as they are now and just switch the sexes involved:

Okay, so you start with "Kyla Rayner", a freelance artist given the ring after "Holly Jordan" went nuts and/or gets possessed by the Parallax spirit. She has a very supportive boyfriend named "Alexander DeWitt", who ends up in her fridge.

So far so good.

Now, under mind control, "Kyla" ends up attacking the Titans. She manages to expel the telepath from her mind and starts hitting it off with "Donald Troy". It goes relatively well until he catches a nude male model in her apartment posing for "Kyla's" painting. He starts to go on a rampage, where upon he brings up Alex-of-the-Fridge.

Hmm, a bit disturbing I think. It can be scary when a guy is yelling at you like that. And the jealousy's unnerving.

Okay, they reconcile, she gets to meet his son, and things are going well. But naturally circumstances intercede. Don's ex and son are killed. He also ends up breaking up with her and ultimately dating a sexy weapons specialist.

Well, that's not too bad. Reads the same either way. The jealousy's the worst part and the yelling's not as forgivable in a man as it is in a woman.

But now we have Jade"Jadeite"? "Jonny Lee Hayden", or something like that. I like to keep my naming schemes consistant. Anyway, "Jonny" begins his tenure by barging in and insisting on being allowed to stay at "Kyla's" apartment while she's still dating "Don".

Okay, already there's a few warning bells. Barging into someone's place and insisting on staying there is cheeky when you're a girl, not so much for a guy. Now anyone who's read GL knows how the relationship goes. They get together, she becomes Ion, he gets a bit freaked out by this but is reassured by a haircut. She restores his powers. Resurrects the Guardians/Oa. Yay.

But her little assistant is attacked, and that in combination with the culmination of being a god, having one's heart yanked out in 3000 years ago Atlantis, and having the JLA's souls stored inside, and other factors lead to her going out into space for a while. "Jonny" comes along at first, but eventually chooses to go back whereupon he ultimately cheats on her.

Okay, pretty hateful regardless right there.

Anyway, she comes home to find this and a fight takes place in which she says "I never thought you were such a-" And then is slapped before she can finish. She apologizes.

...See, there we're getting into troublesome territory. With sexes shifted, what was just a hateful move from a woman who couldn't wait becomes a bit more disturbing. Regardless, "Kyla" leaves, lets "Jonny" keep the apartment.

Now what's interesting to me is that if I just read the above story outline, and forget the original comic. I actually start to get worried. I mean, if I saw a female friend, after the death of her boyfriend follow that pattern, I'd be really really worried about her. "Don" isn't bad, as much of his behavior can be excused because of grief. But "Jonny" is pretty hateful as he is. And it seems like the woman has entered into a self-destructive pattern. It's only a matter of time before she dates a real abuser. She seems to be heading in that direction.

What I find absolutely fascinating about this is that the thought never occurred to me reading the comic. Everything I've described here happened in the comics. The pattern remains in the comic. But it was only when the sexes were reversed that it started to occur to me how fucked up it was.

It's interesting to me, because domestic abuse for example happens both ways. But the female-abuser is not something our society is incredibly adept at comprehending. We immediately assume that the guy is weak or emasculated which of course is not the case. But blaming the victim is even more obvious in this case. Now comics have done a lot of new, modern stories before, and I'd actually be very impressed if a good writer chose to tackle the topic of female-to-male domestic abuse. I doubt they would, but if they did, Kyle with his pattern, and his fixation on dominant women, would be a logical choice for the writers to use. If they'd decided to go that route.

I don't exactly know what I'm getting at in this post, it's more an observation of myself that I found particularly noteworthy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

DC versus Marvel: My preferences

Over on Reporting on Marvels and Legends, Calvinpitt talks about the DC dominance over the blogsphere. It's an interesting point and one I don't really have any theories/opinions on. I know why *I* primarily blog about DC, and that's simply because I like DC better.

It's a question of style and tone, I guess. I actually prefer 1960s Marvel to 1960s DC, but in modern times, I don't have much patience for most Marvel comics.

Part of it is the emphasis on characters I don't like. Wolverine for example does absolutely nothing for me. And he's *everywhere*. If I want to read about my favorite X-Man for example, I have to wade through the book and through every other character's turmoil and drama until I find a handful of scenes with Cyclops. (I am the only person I know who's favorite X-Man is actually Cyclops.)

In DC, most of my favorite characters are either in solo lines, or in team books that contain a lot fewer members. So I don't have as much frustration.

Part of it is tone. See, to me, Marvel is very revolutionary/reactionary/radical. It pushes the boundaries, it bristles against authority. DC is different. Where the X-Men for example are revolutionary and anti-authoritarian, the JLA/JSA *are* the authority. They're all about the ideals and the symbols: democracy, justice, et al. They hold up the ideals of civilization, or something like that. And me, I was never much of a rebel growing up. But the idealism, the devotion to a pure ideal even if the execution doesn't always work, that's something that resonates with me.

On a more abstract level, both series have the feeling of particular colors to me. Marvel's all bright and loud, neon orange, purple...a clashing cacophony. DC feels like black and white, with some grey, and dashes of red, blue, green. And the latter appeals to me more.

Finally I *despise* alliterative names. Clark Kent and Lois Lane are forgiveable. Beyond that. No.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Random Ridiculous Realization #2

Today, I had the strangest urge to write slash fanfiction. I'm sure that is not surprising. I'm one of those people who like that sort of thing. Anyway, though what's *very* weird is that I've got the urge to write a bizarre crossover pairing involving characters that will never meet and probably wouldn't get along well if they do.

And yet, I kind of want to write them about them in...graphic situations.

The characters in question?

Ben Grimm, the Thing and Sanderson Hawkins (in pre-cure Monster form, specifically)

(images courtesy of Fantastic Four, volume 2, #10, and JSA #69)

Apparently sex between rock monsters is something that my brain finds amusing. Because I'm a sick person.

Fortunately for us all, my creative efforts are stalled by the sheer fact that I can't figure out how it would actually work.

Thank god.

A Favorite Scene: GL v3, #64

My last entry written last night:

The full page in question is found here.

Okay, now I want to babble about my favorite GL panel. This one. See, that's Kyle. Hitting Hal. With a lead pipe. I should warn you that this has spoilers, but as it's for GL v3,#64, I doubt anyone will care.

It's not that I hate Hal. Far from it. I think he's a complex, interesting character. But see, I have this inordinate amount of love for scenes like this. "When all else fails, whack it" scenes.

It was a scene like this that made me love Liam Kincaid in Earth Final Conflict. He and another character are chased by a crappy robot thing. The uber-gun he was given turns out to be of no use. So now he's unarmed and trying to protect the other character, so what does he do? Grabs a pipe and starts whaling on it. It doesn't work of course. No one really expects it to, but he tries.

In this scene its similar of course. If you don't remember it: Hal's beaten Kyle to a pulp, beaten the Justice League too, and taken back the ring. Hal's not actually unsympathetic here, just crazy. He thinks getting the ring back will fix everything. It can't, of course. So now Kyle's powerless, the JLA is beaten, Hal's got both Parallax's power and the ring. So Kyle whacks Hal with a lead pipe.

The "when all else fails, whack it" scenes almost always immediately endear me to a character because it shows something I admire very much. Here you have someone so utterly defeated, facing someone more powerful than god, knowing that there is no way in hell he (or she) can win, but he's not just going to lay down in defeat.

The lead pipe move isn't about winning. It's about a last show of defiance. A last bit of "You may have won here, but it doesn't make you right." The lead pipe is an indicator of "You better the hell kill me you jackass, because if you don't I'll keep coming and I only need one lucky shot."

And the rest of the scene is even better, because as crazy as Hal is, he's still utterly rational, he just can't comprehend that he's not in the right. So the fact that this virtually helpless youngster that he's just beaten to a pulp is hitting him with a lead pipe is completely incomprehensible.

Kyle's speech is great too, one of the things I think about when people bitch about Ron Marz's writing, because it really sums up Kyle's character for me: he's not the bravest, nor the strongest, nor the smartest, but he does what he does because it's the right thing to do. Even if it's hard and painful, even if he was mistaken before and has now realized his error. Kyle's a little dim sometimes, easily distracted, shallow, vain, immature, lacks self-confidence and is sometimes quite envious of others, but he never falters when it counts, when it's something that needs to be done. It's a great little panel speech, and one that only he could give and mean. It's great because he's not saying it to convince Hal or anything, it's just the truth. And it's not a speech, say, Batman or Robin could give because they'd be still working on back-up plans that had a shot of working. In this case, it's not a scheme, it's not even an attempt to get through to Hal, it's just the sheer unvarnished truth. And it's powerful.

And Hal seems to think so too, because it works. It reaches him and he actually stops...the whole scene is just so incredibly, quietly powerful to me. I love it. :-)

And it has a lead pipe. And I dig the lead pipes.

My Hopes for OYL:

I don't really have any predictions for OYL (except for what I stated previously: I do not think this is going to bring back Earth-1/Earth-2). I do know what I would like to see in the comics I follow most religiously:
A Green Lantern Corps comic with both Guy and Kyle in it. Mr. Marz has indicated that Kyle will not be breaking all ties with the Corps when he's Ion, so I'm hoping that means that GLC will be something like a JLA/JSA/Titans book, which has characters that also have their own solo comic. Hell if Batman can star in Detective Comics, Batman, Gotham Knights, Legends of the Dark Knight, and guest in Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, Gotham Central, JLA...I think Kyle could manage both Ion and the GLC.

Besides Guy and Kyle are a perfect partnership, seriously, you couldn't make up a better pairing when it comes to characters that can compensate for one another's weaknesses. Guy's an ass, Kyle can get along with anyone, Kyle's sensitive and occasionally takes things too seriously, Guy can get him to lighten up. Kyle's intuitiveness is probably better, Guy's had quite a bit more formal education and experience. It's perfect, really.

Honestly, I kind of imagine them as stereotypical teachers for the young Lanterns. Kyle's the sweet, sensitive, slightly fey art teacher all the students go to when they need a confidant. Guy's the gruff gym teacher that'll work 'em hard and give the tough advice, and smack 'em over the head when they need it.

I'd also like to see Hal interact with both. I'd also like to see Hal use that pick-up line again. Because it amuses me. And I'm twelve.

I would also probably like to see Kyle whack Hal with a lead pipe again. Because that scene is my favorite ever. Sadly, Hal is sane and thus Kyle wouldn't hit him with a lead pipe. Still. It was a great scene. I might snip it and use it as my picture on here. I will probably make an entry as to why the lead pipe scene is my favorite ever. (I have complicated reasons for this, as one might have guessed wading through all the babble for this blog. Not in the least of which is a strange, joyous love of lead pipes)
Some sort of confrontation between Tim, Dick and Bruce in Batman. One in which Bruce isn't made into the immediate villain (like he was in GL: Rebirth) but is still called on the fucked-up crap he's pulled on both of them over the years.

I'd also really like to see a conversation between Dick and Tim about Blockbuster. Because seriously, reading Robin Reborn...when Tim was training to be Robin, he does almost the same thing. Except in his case, he *deliberately* leaves King Snake to Lady Shiva. When he leaves, Ducard (I think) asks him if Snake's dead, and Tim listens for a moment, *smirks* and says that it sounds like it.

Now of course, Snake did indeed live and came back. But as far as Tim knew, he'd left the guy to be killed by the world's deadliest assassin. And he *didn't* *care*.

Seriously, I can't see anyway for the conversation to go well at all. Because Dick is still the most emotional of the Bat-family, the one who *feels* things deeply. That's why he's such an ass in Outsiders after all. Because he stil feels Donna and Lilith's death. Whereas Tim, well, Tim can be a little frightening. I don't have any trouble believing that the Titans of Tomorrow scenario could actually happen. I can very easily imagine a Tim Drake, who (admittedly after some devastating world event or something) would find it both necessary and expedient to execute a criminal if there was no other way to deal with it. I think there is going to be a point where poor Dick Grayson is going to be forced to come face to face with what his "little brother" is capable of. At least, I really really hope there will be.

Hmm, now that I think about it, that's the one impediment I can imagine to Tim Drake becoming Batman. Because with Gotham the way it is: the criminals constantly escaping and killing more and more people, I'm not sure I can see a situation where Tim *wouldn't* ultimately resort to deadly force. Because the presence of Batman does sort of provoke a downward spiral, where all the criminals get worse and worse as they go. It's really inefficient and dangerous to keep locking them up in the place they keep getting out of. I think the only prayer for keeping Tim from...dealing with the problem more efficiently, would be the influence of the Titans or Dick. I wonder how long they'll be able to keep him human.
For JSA, I'm not sure. I really do want to see more with Courtney, Sand, Pieter, hell even Michael. It seemed like most of the main emotional storylines for the past twenty-some-odd issues all centered around Dr. Fate (and Lyta) and Rex and Rick Tyler, with some Jakeem Thunder thrown in. Oh and lots of Atom Smasher. But the Hourmen are largely sorted out, Hector's...not an issue anymore, and Atom-Smasher's serving his term. So maybe this finally means more emotional storyline time for the characters I really like. Sand for example hasn't gotten any really good stories since early JSA. Except for the issue where he gets brought back (revealing the strength of his crush on Kendra), and some really nice bits with Wesley in 1951, he hasn't really gotten to do much. I'm hoping that will change, because I think there's so much potential there. And Pieter hasn't gotten to do much of anything besides Sue Dibny's autopsy and examining Power Girl unclothed (admittedly, not that bad a situation).

I'd like a brief break from Obsidian-related troubles as well. And Mordru. Unless Sand gets to smack his ass down again. Because that was cool.
JLA is gone. I can't believe that it'll be gone for long though. Not with JLU still going strong in animated-verse. Heroes like gathering together. I'll be honest though, personally, I haven't really enjoyed a JLA adventure, (by enjoy I mean buy as TPB and read and reread many times) since Obsidian Age.

Which makes me sad, because Obsidian Age was awesome. We got to see Nightwing lead, we got to see Kyle, Arthur and Eel actually be individually and unexpectedly kickass. The plot was neat and involving. But after that it lost me.

I think part of my problem is that they lost Kyle. Not because Kyle's my favorite, though he was, but because Kyle provided a vital role in the group in my opinion as the "young guy." Like Flash said, he's the newbie. The other characters are just so grand and confident and unflappable that I really felt like I needed that one perspective that was just a little overwhelmed and under-confident. The human side of the JLA. John's fantastic but again, he's so confident and unflappable. All the other new folks were similar, Faith had her hidden talents, Ollie's Ollie, Manitou Raven's obscenely powerful, Hawkgirl's never lacked confidence. I don't know, I guess I just miss the one character type that I could look at and go "I feel you, man."

(JSA's nice because it has more than one. Jakeem, Courtney are the obvious youngsters. Atom-Smasher is very impressionable. Sand is quietly a bit uncertain of his place. It's nice to have so many different identifiable perspectives. And really, Jay and Alan's nice and stern daddy routine is much less imposing and grand than Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman I think.)

I guess, I hope that when they do reboot it, they either avoid the grand characters like the Trinity right away, ( JLI) or make sure that they manage to recruit a newbie too. Maybe Jason Rusch would be a good choice. I like him.

Anything but Brother Blood. Seriously. I'm up for anything. Especially if it has Robin acting competent and a little scary (throwing the R at Slade's good eye anyone?).

I want Kon to come back too. Maybe with a different name than "Superboy" though. He's getting old for that and should forge his new identity. Kon-El is the real gift-name from Clark, not Superboy. Maybe he should just use that.

I'd also like to see Cassie actually do something. She was so awesome in Young Justice. I didn't necessarily like that she became leader (I tend to go for the experienced one who I think has the best shot of keeping them alive), but I really liked how she could defer to Robin when she knew his expertise superceded hers, without ever undermining her own authority as team leader. Ultimately the decisions were hers, but she knew when it was best to listen to advisors and when it was best to follow her gut. I appreciate that, it's a leadership skill that's too often overlooked.

I'd like Gar and Vic to get to be a bit more active as members. I'd like to see more of Mia, a bit less of Kid Flash, and I'd like Raven to go far far away. Though I know that won't happen.

I don't think you're doing the OYL thing Fables. Regardless. Continue being kickass and featuring both major and minor characters in situations that highlight their individual awesomeness.

You made me think King Cole was cool. That was amazing in and of itself, keep it up.

But please bring Bigby Wolf and Snow White back soon. I miss them. And please let them get together. Because I'm a 'shipper. And they just make me giggle and squee at embarrassing fangirl levels.
Well, I guess that's all I can think of for now. Oh except I also really want to see the scene in which Connor Hawke finds out Ollie knew about him from the beginning. Because I *seriously* do not believe that'll go over well. At all. Ollie will have to run some really quick damage control. And since he's Ollie, he'll fuck it up. And that sounds like angst I could really sink my teeth into.

Crisis and Multiverse: My opinions

Because I work nights during the school semester, I've much, much time on my hands to do nothing but study for my physical anthropology final (egads, osteology), read comics and babble. So I have a good three entries lined up for this blog. Yay.
I've read lots of folks theories on what's going to happen after the crisis and OYL. They're all very interesting. Many involve the multiverse coming back in some form or another, and having Earth-2 and its characters back.

Personally, I don't think that's going to happen. My theory is that Earth-2 Superman will try to remake the world, like Parallax did in Zero Hour (which I, apparently alone among comic fans actually enjoyed for the most part, yeah, it was chaotic, but it did allow for some valuable cleaning up of the timeline) and then will be ultimately stopped in his tracks. Basically, they can't fix things to make the separate Earths exist, there's too much together here.

For example, the JSA. Many theorize some or all of the JSA will be on Earth-2 when this is all over. (Even though Earth 2 is definitely destroyed). But really, would they? I mean, okay, lets look at the JSA-ers that definitely had Earth-2 counterparts:

Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, Wildcat, Sand, Atom-Smasher (who's no longer active). Meanwhile we have Stargirl, Mr. Terrific, Dr. Mid-Nite, who are all legacy sorts who are too new to have counterparts in either world.

Okay, lets take them one at a time. Jay Garrick! A prime choice for Earth-2. Except he's raising Barry Allen's grandson. Would Bart end up Earth-1 like his grandfather? Would they really undo that connection?

Alan Scott? He's got less immediate ties, I admit. But then there's Jade, who was involved with Kyle. Alan's been close to the other GLs, especially Kyle, even if he's not a corpsman. And if Kyle does somehow internalize his power, I imagine a lot of that mentor-student bond will rekindle itself. So no, I don't think Alan would.

Sand and Wildcat have no real familial ties to this universe, but I can't really see what they'd have to gain from an Earth-2 like world. They've both settled so well in this one. I can't see Sand wanting to acclimatize to yet another place, and Wildcat seems to thrive on the chaos and darkness of this one.---

Basically, there is no room in the DCU as it is for a split multiverse as it was. AUs are okay, but limited connection to them is best. Like the CSA universe, or Elseworlds. Make them something special. There are two many characters with ties to both, and since crisis, the heavier emphasis on continuity means that these guys can't be resplit like they once were. And honestly, I can't see them going for it. Besides, it was stupid when they had the Earth-1 and Earth-2 guys crossover so often that they had fucking barbecues. This way, they can have all the guys interact because they're on the same world.

Besides, there are a number of good reasons that Mr. Didio and company won't actually want a re-multiverse. 1st, take it from a relative newbie. The multiverse is incomprehensible. It's fun, but there is no way to make it make sense to a newcomer. Not in a way that doesn't take hours of explanation, and who's going to sit through that, besides me that is?

With Batman Begins's success, and the new Superman movie coming out, not to mention Smallville's continued success, DC has to be anticipating new readers. (Smallville, JLU, Teen Titans brought in quite a few after all). New readers will not understand the multiverse. I'm sorry. They won't. I barely do, and that's with quite a few intelligent, patient people spending hours trying to explain it. They're going to want to keep the DCU relatively newbie friendly, which means one main continuity/world. One Clark Kent (with maybe one insane version from a destroyed alternate dimension, but I doubt he lasts through Crisis), one Bruce Wayne, et cetera. It'd be way too confusing for newbies to have a much older Earth-2 Dick Grayson leading the JSA. (one fan suggestion) Not going to happen.

The other reason is simply realism. Guys, the Crisis of Infinite Earths was in 1985. That's *20* years ago. I was *two* when it happened. And honestly, while I respect you old fogies (:-P) the primary comic fanbase continues to be young people in their late teens, early twenties. Which means that while there's always going to be exceptions, the primary fanbase isn't going to really remember pre-crisis comics very clearly. I'm sorry but it's true. And while undoing the Crisis might make a lot of older fans happy, it very likely would alienate a very good portion of fans my age. The fans that have a good few decades left of expected comic buying.

As valuable as we know that the old-school fans are, do you really think they're going to risk alienating people my age, their primary fanbase, with many more years of buying potential, just to "fix" something that happened twenty years ago for a very vocal minority?
Besides, there's another reason they can't make Earth 1 and 2 again. That "right" world Kal-L is talking about, those morals and values and lightness...

That won't sell comics. Modern comic readers would have no patience with that tone. I'm not saying we can't handle light, look at Formerly Known as the Justice League, we could even handle a few old-fashioned characters, as is evidenced by the popularity of Silver Age Kara in David's Supergirl or the Batsons. But the thing is, these characters are popular because of the anachronism aspect.

Even if you got what you wanted guys, you wouldn't be happy, because it would never be the same. I'm sorry, I really am. But the multiverse as you remember it represents a very specific time in American cultural history. But times have changed, it doesn't fit anymore, and even if some aspects do remain, they're going to revamp to suit today's needs and interests.
I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, and the old-schoolers are right. But I doubt it. So please, please guys, let it go. Read your lovely Silver/Golden Age trade paperbacks, get your illegal downloads or whatever, but please, please accept that the modern age is very probably going to stay as it is.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Random Ridiculous Realization #1

While talking on AIM with Diamondrock, I came to a random realization. See, we somehow had gotten to talking about Dick Grayson's love for redheads. And random DCU gendershifting in general. And that's when I had the realization.

If Ted Kord were a woman, he'd be Dick Grayson's perfect girlfriend.

Think about it:

Red hair.
Really bad fashion sense.
Intelligent and tech-y.
Probably wouldn't mind Dick getting clingy/suffocating.
Could go rooftop-vigilanty-ing with him.

And imagine the potential:

We have a usual sort of scene with Batman and Nightwing on a rooftop. Batman's all disapproving about something. "You're getting sloppy." Or something like that.

Nightwing's all: "You don't like me! WOE."

And behind Batman, you'd have female!Ted (Tess?) Kord making cowl ears with her fingers and making faces.

Tess Kord: 1 Nightwing's angst: 0

She'd probably ruin the batverse though. She'd pat Tim on the head, take Cass shopping (for hideous clothing), be all tech-y best friends with Babs, and so on. You'd have Batman being broody in the batcave, then out of the corner of his eye suddenly notice little Dalek-shaped robots shining the Batmobile tires. Or something. (Alfred probably wouldn't mind. He's cool like that, and it'd give him more time for whatever-it-is he does when he's not...being Alfred)

I bet she'd make Dick some sort of giant, oddly colored EMP device for Christmas too. Because she could. And Dick would keep it on his apartment balcony or something, having absolutely no idea what it is.
I'm not sure how exactly she gets there, maybe from a parallel universe or something. (Hey, if they do bring back the stupid multiverse, I want the world in which everyone's the opposite gender. That would entertain me.)

An Open Letter to Geoff Johns:

My open letter to Mr. Geoff Johns:

Um, sir. I really like your work overall. I've enjoyed the current Teen Titans run, JSA, and Green Lantern. Not so much love for Infinite Crisis, but that's just because I find it really quite confusing. But you made sure Captain Marvel lived, so I'm happy.

Because I like those comics so much I'm really, really, hoping that you're going somewhere unexpected with the Gar/Raven thing. Because, considering their history, well, it's more than a little weird otherwise. And creepy.

(She's not going to infect him with Seeds of Trigon or whatever-the-hell-those-were again are they?)

It seems like that sort of history should be dealt with, if they're seriously going to be involved unless of course it is build up for something interesting storywise.

Also, for the record, I'd really, really personally prefer it if it's not yet another Raven-is-Evil?!-Oh no, Trigon-Brother Blood-whatever plotline. Those were old long before the new lineup and your other stories, centering around the rest of the cast, are so much better.

At the very least, please allow Raven to interact with people who aren't Gar and Cassie, so that I can pretend to care about her fate in at least as much as I care about the emotional states of the other members of the team. These guys don't have the emotional bonds with her that the previous Titans basically, it makes me care *less*.

Thank you,

P.S. Green Lantern: Secret Files and Origins...was that really meant to be quite so homoerotic? *Is* there an innocent way of reading those events? Especially now that in GL 4, you emphasized that "You've never flown with me" is indeed Hal's favorite pick-up-line.

Sorry, I just *had* to ask, you know?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Character babble

Recharge 3 better be worth the wait, that's all I'm saying. Of course, it is Guy and Kyle in space. Breaking rules and all that. So it will. But when's it gonna get here?! (/whine)

Regardless, since I spent all that time before babbling about characters that I really really like, I thought this time I'd mention a few that everyone else seems to like but that really do nothing for me. There aren't as many, basically because for the most part, I ignore/don't read characters that don't appeal to me. So I really have to stop and think about it.

In this case, these are all characters that it seems like 95% of all comic fans seem to love except for me. So this might make me unpopular. Maybe someone else can stop in and tell me why they like them, and change my mind. I'm pretty mutable that way, and in general I prefer liking characters to disliking them. They'll probably never be my favorites but I'd definitely be interested in an opposing view.

Bart Allen/Impulse/Kid Flash (II): Sorry, I don't much like Bart. I found him incredibly irritating as Impulse. I was happy he grew up into a Kid Flash role (which I found organic and understandable for all his early reluctance: people like Cassie and Tim showed him that he could carry the same name as someone else but still prove his worth as his own person). The added thoughtfulness goes a long way in making him tolerable, but he still seems to be taking up panel space that would be better used for the more interesting characters like Tim, Kon or Cassie. (Well, Cassie *could* be interesting. She was in YJ after all. She just hasn't really been since.)

Raven: Egads, I dislike Raven, a lot. And I really want her to be off of Teen Titans. Yeah, yeah, she's like the Martian Manhunter of the Titans, on every incarnation, but for god's many times do we have to rehash the same Trigon/Brother Blood/Oh noes-evil Raven story?! She's not become a mentor-ish character like Vic or Gar (a development I tend to enjoy) or Starfire. Hell, she has no interaction with most of the others except for a protective Cassie. She's been a Titan for how long and she's got to be *protected* by Wondergirl?! It probably says something that every single one of my favorite stories in Teen Titans: A Kid's Game, Titans of Tomorrow, whatever they named the evil!Kon arc, hell, even Beast Boys and Girls, had very little to do with Raven as a character. Go away!

Donna Troy: Sorry, I just don't get it. For all the really interesting female characters in Wonder Woman, what is it about Donna that gets so much fan love. For me, personally, she suffers in the comparison. It also seems like she's a character who is designed to be the perpetual love interest. As in, writers have very little interest in developing her outside of dating Dick, Roy or Kyle. (Not to mention, I've never quite forgiven her for freaking out at Kyle painting a nude woman in his apartment. Hello! Artist! And it was a perfectly innocent scene! I was willing to dismiss that as Marz perhaps not knowing how to write her, but reading Titans and even Darkstars...and honestly, that's the most personality, she's ever *had*.) Then there's all the tragedy, culminating in all the various angsty backstories that are somehow all true at the same time and yet absolutely meaningless as they're so incomprehensible. Which is pretty much true of her character, she's a random string of character traits, which strung together make nothing resembling an actual personality. There's a reason Cassie's a much better character, even without a quarter of the angst, because she's actually got one. Angst =/= Personality.

Jade: Jenny-Lynn Hayden to me is a mass of wasted potential. Personally, I enjoy legacies and family ties, and I find many things about Jade as a concept fascinating. Like growing up and finding out your dad is a hero and your twin...has problems. I think that sort of pressure is interesting (and I've always liked long-lost family twists, especially if the characters know each other before hand. It's a bizarre story-kink of mine.) She looks nifty. Especially with the green skin, which has to feel a little isolating. She has no secret identity, which I find always interesting, because it leads to a whole different set of problems and trials.

Unfortunately, as a character, she's terrible. I admit, I've read very little Infinity, Inc, but in Green Lantern, Outsiders, and her guest spots in everything else I've seen her in, she seems spoiled, self-centered and considerably weaker than any of her counterparts. This in and of itself might not be a bad thing. See, for example, Princess Projectra in Legion of Superheroes (current). However, even in the few pages that featured her in the midst of Legion's large cast, the Princess clearly expressed how much she really wanted to be of aid to the team. And was, in the most current issue, even if she's not a fighter. I don't see that from Jade. Honestly, if you're not strong enough to be a front-line fighter, ma'am, stay in the back. The constructs and pulse power would be fine if used in a support capacity. Or train. Alan would train with you. He trained with Kyle after all.

I have to admit, I really didn't like her taking over Outsiders either. I mean yeah, Dick was having problems, so overthrowing him was probably the right idea (though really, I didn't see how he was to blame for it; splitting up in each instance is the logical path if you're looking for something specific very quickly. And as ice-bitchy as he was, he's probably still the warmest of the Batclan, which probably says something). The thing was, it might have worked better if she'd just thrown her support behind Roy. Not because Roy's a guy or any such nonsense, but Roy (and Dick for that matter) have successfully led teams before. She hasn't. I'm a firm believer in experience in a case like this. And while to be fair the Indigo<=>Brainiac thing was going on at the time but she's yet to really prove she's leadership material. And now she's in space with Donna instead of actually leading her team.

Wow, I got long in my rant against Jade. But really it's because she could have been *so* cool. But now...I'm not sure. Maybe with some soul-searching, active training, and changing of her ways. It's not really that I *hate* her but something has to be done. And please, keep her away from Kyle. That ship's sailed. Let her get her *own* issues straight before leaping in with another man.

Favorite Character lists:

Crossposted from my livejournal, but probably more suitable here; this is the list of my top *counts on fingers* 24 or so characters. And why I like them. Agree? Disagree? I'd like to hear your opinions too.
My absolute very favorite characters: (the order tends to change based on what I'm in the mood for reading, but it's always one of these three):

-Tim Drake/Robin (III): I love Tim. I've loved Tim ever since he was an adorable freaky little bat!stalker in A Lonely Place of Dying. He's brilliant (figured out Batman and Robin's identity at the age of *nine*), repressed, intense and efficient. He's a force of nature. He's also completely fucked up, but in a more subtle, more fascinating (to me) way than either Dick or Bruce. It's like...he's sixteen years old and can't really seem to relate to anyone on a natural non-Robin level. It's like in order to become the Robin that he believe Bruce needed, he's carved away everything else, so that all he really knows is his duty. (I think it's also very fitting that when Tim briefly stopped being Robin, it was only because his prior duties as Jack Drake's son ultimately trumped his duties as Robin. And I really do believe that he sees "Jack Drake's son" as a duty more than anything else.) He cares very much about people but doesn't know how to show them without playing the role that he thinks they need him to be: whether it's the scarily competent leader of YJ/Titans, Nightwing's little brother, Batman's smartass sidekick (if in a drier, subtler manner than Dick or Jason had been), junior tech-head to Oracle, and so on and so forth.

The fascinating aspect to me is that the character is portrayed so completely differently in every book I see him in, but he always feels like Tim regardless. It's like the character concept is so blindingly strong that each differing portrayal becomes a facet of the whole. Or something like that. (Ack! That's it! Like that show a few years back! Tim's a Pretender!--yay, now I know what I'll write for the next timfinity challenge!)

-Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern (V)/Ion: I'm weird, because I love all of the Green Lanterns. (Except Jade, who doesn't count. :-P) Alan, Hal, Guy, John, Kyle...which used to be very hard with all the Hal vs. Kyle mentality. Fortunately Hal's resurrection helped ease that a bit, so I can finally admit, I love them all. But I love Kyle best. :-)

Kyle's great! He's like a very strange combination of the most human of the big league superheroes and something else entirely. Some have called him the "everyman" (once I read someone refer to Hal as the hero everyone wanted to be and Kyle as the hero we'd end up being) but really, I couldn't disagree more. He's sweet and sensitive, a bit shallow sometimes, a bit dim, often lacking in confidence or attention span, but he's also the guy who out of sheer blind faith helped resurrect a guy who once tried to re-write the universe (even if Hal later redeemed himself by dying to stop the sun-eater). Kyle Rayner became a god once, and the first thing he did was cut his hair. Then he helped a lot of people, helped heal John Stewart, gave Jade her powers back, stopped meddling when Superman pointed out that people actually had to live their lives, and gave it all up without hesitation to bring back the Guardians and recharge the Central Battery. And later confessed to Hal (who was Spectre) that he thought he'd been very selfish when he had the power. (Hal's "What the hell are you talking about?!" reaction was the best thing ever.) He also once let an ancient medicine man yank his heart out of his chest in order to store the spirits of the JLA in it for thousands of years.

If nothing else, this is the guy that can get along with John Stewart, Hal Jordan (who he managed to impress, while the latter was crazy and Parallax, via hitting with a lead pipe) and Guy Gardner. This is the guy who actually got *Guy Gardner* to *apologize* to him...well, technically say "You shouldn't listen to what I say all the time", but from Guy, that's an apology. John, Guy and Hal almost never get along with each other without bickering/fighting, but they all really like him. (Hell, given the homoerotic undertones in the 2005 Secret Files and Origins, I think Hal more than likes him. Heh, my dad actually read the book and called Hal a pervert for going after someone so much younger. My dad called Hal Jordan a pervert! My dad is awesome!)

Basically I think Kyle's the idealized everyman, as that guy on the message board said: Hal's the hero we'd want to be and Kyle's the hero we would be...if we were incredibly pure of spirit and incorruptable and just that damn awesome. But he's also so very human in other ways, that it makes us believe...well, maybe we *could* be.

-Sanderson Hawkins/Sand (JSA): His name, code name and chemical constituency are all the same! How can you not like him! But really, the real genius behind Sand as a character is that he started as Sandy the Golden Boy. The single lamest Golden Age sidekick character ever. The only sidekick that was lamer was the little martian thing Hal Jordan had in the JLA cartoon in the eighties. The sidekick so lame that when the Sandman himself was post-Crisisly revived in Sandman Mystery Theater, they went out of their way to make Sandy an impossibility. (Dian Belmont is an only child, when he was supposed to be her nephew, and went out adventuring as Sandy herself in the thirties). Anyway, someone sat down with the character concept of Sandy the fucking Golden Boy...and made him absolutely kickass.

See in the 1970s, they did bring Sandy back for a while, as a monster, made that way by Wesley Dodds, the original Sandman's, failed experiment. It's an interesting story idea but really poorly done (though I'd love to see some writer now rewrite it for post-Crisis), and ultimately resulted in a cure for the poor kid and him wandering off to resume his normal life after decades of anesthesized sand-monster-dom.

But then when they started JSA, they brought him back, *really* brought him back. And made him cool and powerful, with Wesley's dreams and his own not-as-cured-as-they-thought sand monster-dom. Lately he hasn't been given as much dramatic stuff to deal with (more focus has been on Dr. Fate, Rex Tyler, and Jakeem Thunder) but he's remained a strong background presence and is naturally always good in a fight scene. He's calm, solemn, quiet and old-fashioned, with a bit of a crush on Hawkgirl (which fortunately hasn't been made into a triangle). His favorite musicians are Artie Shaw and Beck. Enough said, right there. *grin*

I think he's definitely complex and interesting enough to merit a solo book (especially if they play up the detective aspect and the dreams, which aren't really utilized enough in JSA...and they could make it really fun with lots of noir and nostalgic elements). And one of these days, maybe I'll finally get over how Johns and company actually made Sandy the-fucking-Golden Boy into my favorite damn character in the whole book.

10 Runner ups: male,

-Ted Kord/Blue Beetle (II): Insert obligatory "They killed Ted!" wail here. But honestly, it's only a matter of time before he's back somehow. Yeah, he's a relatively minor character, but the whole structure of Countdown to Infinite Crisis basically screamed "Not for long!" Besides, Ted's great: geeky, goofy, brilliant, nonsensical and heart wrenching. He immediately makes great books even better, like Birds of Prey. And he and Booster Gold have one of the best friendships ever.

-Snapper Carr: I love Snapper Carr. I'm not sure why. He's great. Made Hourman the blast it was, also balanced out Young Justice too. I like the symmetry of the JLA's first junior mascot mentoring others. (I also really liked Ronnie Raymond's Professor-like appearances in the new Firestorm for much the same reason)

-Guy Gardner: My second favorite Lantern. Rude, obnoxious, insensitive, but also really awesome. He's brave, determined and irrepressible. And while he'll never be a knight in shining armor, it really is clear when he cares about people. (like when he takes Kyle and John to go model-watching to cheer Kyle up after being tech-ized by the Manhunters). Besides, he's funny.

-Clark Kent/Superman: Yes, I like Superman. In fact, I like Superman better than Batman, even if I like the Batman comics better than Superman comics. I think Superman's very human, very relatable. For all that he's this great icon, he's occasionally arrogant, smug and condescending. He's not really perfect and sometimes falls short of his ideals. But he never stops trying. I'll take that over Batman's broody self-centered fucked-up-ness any day. I hope he kicks Earth-2 Superman's arrogant, judgemental ass.

-Kon-El/Superboy: I like Kon too. I like Kon a lot. He's obnoxious, insecure, loud, arrogant and great. He's grown a lot since his own series and Young Justice, and I'm glad for that too. I also really liked the Lex Luthor twist, and I think his experiences are really starting to mature him into someone really awesome. I hope they don't kill him off. (I particularly like his interactions with Tim Drake. Admittedly, I'm also a slasher. :P)

-John Constantine: Heh, I love John Constantine, awful movie not withstanding. Hellblazer's an awesome comic and John's always very entertaining. I have a particular fondness for the old Swamp Thing issues though. I enjoy seeing how Alec and John play off each other (and Abby's so very pretty), I'm dying to find old issues of Saga of the Swamp Thing online.

-Billy Batson/Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel! Whee! I'm so glad you didn't go splat in Day of Vengeance, please rejoin JSA and have cuteness with Stargirl again! Apologize profusely and bring flowers! And listen more to Mary as she is smarter than you! For some reason, I really really want to give Billy a great big hug and tell him it'll be all ok. I blame this on thwarted maternal issues.

-Bigby Wolf: Fables is great, Fables is awesome, Willingham is not the devil if he can make a comic so chock full of awesome male and female characters. He just really should stick to this stuff and steer clear of things like Robin. The Big Bad Wolf as a sheriff! Bigby's incapable of being anything but incredibly awesome. Though to be fair, every character in that comic is kickass in their own right, even if I'm only sticking to my favorites for this list.

-Cosmic Boy: I love Cosmic Boy. He's a bitch, but you'd be one too, if you spent an incarnation in a damn corset in outer space and got rebooted everytime someone in the DCU present sneezed. Anyway, bitch that he is, he's also got some real fascinating depth. (My favorite moment in the current Legion version is when, about to leave after being overthrown, he actually starts addressing various crowd-members by name and talks about why they joined the Legion. It was mind-blowing and completely altered the way I'd previously seen the character, which I appreciate every reread.) Also have much love for Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Braniac 5, and the Invisible Kid.

-Alfred Pennyworth: Because he's Alfred. Enough said. :-)

10 Runner ups female, (While I tend to be more interested in male characters in general, there are also female characters I love with a passion)

-Courtney Starsmore/Stargirl: I love Courtney, she and Sand are my favorite parts of JSA. (I hope she, Sand, Dr. Mid-Niter and Mr. Terrific get more emotional storyline stuff to do soon.) I particularly like her relationship with Captain Marvel. Courtney's probably one of, if not the best, "normal teenage girl" characters in comics.

-Cassandra Sandsmark/Wondergirl (II): I like Cassie too. For all of the problems of Byrne's run on Wonder Woman, he got one thing right. Cassie started as another irritating little-girl admirer of Diana (though still much better than Vanessa Kapitelis), but quickly became pretty cool in her own right. She intrigued me when she approached Zeus, and then Young Justice made her interesting. I hope she gets to do more in Titans. (Same goes for Tim and we really need another: Raven might be evil! Oh noes, it's Brother Blood! plotline?)

-Diana/Wonder Woman: I think Wonder Woman gets a lot of flack. Yes, she's not really a feminist icon. Yes, she spent most of her Golden Age incarnation in various degrees of bondage. But I like Diana. I think she's a really interesting character. I particularly like how they never really bothered with a secret identity (post-crisis) and focus on her role as ambassador as much as hero. She's kind, wise and admirable. (And when she fought along side Artemis when the latter was Wonder Woman...rowr! That straight wig was great!) Also much love for Artemis, even if her character design seemed like a total ripoff of WildC.A.T.S.'s Zealot and Hippolyta who should be brought back instead of crappy Donna Troy.

-Karen Starr/Power Girl: I love Power Girl, I love her strength and forcefulness. I love that she doesn't wear a mask because no man looks at her face. I love the fact that she's aware of her "assets" but also doesn't let that change the fact that she's an intelligent, powerful woman, and that she knows if she were a man no one would have ever criticized her attitude. I also love that she's avoided the Madonna/Whore dichotomy that most heroines straddle. She's a sexual being and it works for her.

-Barbara Gordon/Oracle: I love Barbara. Not so much when she was Batgirl, actually, but as Oracle, Barbara's awesome. She's got a totally unique identity in the hero community and I hope she doesn't lose that when she regains the ability to walk. (That said, I like Dick/Kory and Ted/Babs as couples rather than Dick/Babs. He's too needy, she's too much like Bruce).

-Dinah Lance/Black Canary: Black Canary's great too. I like her especially in her JSA run, where she had a wonderful, maternal presence. She's awesome in Birds of Prey too though. She's not always the brightest (specifically during the tail end of Dixon's run), but I love her personality and demeanor. Ollie's a very lucky man.

-Tora Olafsdotter/Ice: It's weird because Ice isn't the usual type of character I like at all. But she's great. Shy and more stereotypically "feminine", but also undeniably strong too. I love her relationship with Guy too, because she understood that he was a jerk, but he really tried to tone it down for her, and she really appreciated the effort. And she was so very pretty and femslashy with Bea. Yay.

-Lois Lane: It's very bizarre because I never liked *any* portrayal of Lois Lane in the movies or any tv shows, but I really like comics Lois. Yeah, she's often the damsel in distress, but she's also smart, strong and sassy in a way that's actually quite charming. I first realized I liked her when she was one of the first outsiders allowed on Paradise Island, then went back to Superman comics and realized that she really is great. I can totally see why Clark loves her.

-Mary Batson/Mary Marvel/Captain Marvel (II): I like Mary a lot. She's sweet and perky and polite. I like her relationship with Billy in their comic and I loved her in FKAJS. She makes a fun foil to Fire. And her costume is pretty.

-Starfire: I love Starfire too. Yeah, she's an inside joke, yeah her name is Kori'ander, and she's T&A, and such, I love her anyway. She's just so unashamedly sexual (and it's rare to see that in a non-evil female character) and pure with her feelings. She's strong and powerful and just plain neat. That said, I prefer her in Outsiders than the current Teen Titans (though her interactions with Tim always intrigued me), and I think the toon!Titans version is a travesty.