Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Action Figure Interlude

Shelly's got a post up with pictures of figures of Power Girl and Supergirl from the Kandor storyline.

I didn't HATE the Kandor arc. Not completely anyway. There were parts that were pretty hideous pandering, what with the shower scene and evil cousin kissing, that didn't sit right with me. But, I remember being very intrigued by the beginning of it. And even sort of liking the personality Kara was beginning to show, even if it, like the rest of the storyline, quickly went downhill for me.

To be fair, I may be looking at it with rose-colored nostalgia glasses though, since I thought the comic got far far worse before it got better.

But that's all tangential to the fact that those figures are great! Seriously, I'm not much for collecting action figures but I might consider making an exception for those. Especially for the wings. I really really like those wings. :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reconsidering Shadow Hunters

Huh, scans_daily has a bit from Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter up and...

Honestly, it looks pretty good.

I think it probably says something about my internalized prejudices that I see the name "Jenna Jameson" and figure the product has to be pretty...well...tasteless. I have nothing against pornography, but I suppose I don't really have a lot of respect for it either. And when I see a name so associated with porn, I think "Oh, well, this is going to be one of those soft-core porn type comics."

I figured at best, the comic was going to be something like a possibly less inflated version of Tarot. The cover didn't help much.

For the record, I don't mean that as an insult or as a criticism of that sort of comic. I have no interest in reading it, personally, but that doesn't mean I think people don't or shouldn't enjoy it. (And heck, I'd much rather see that sort of gratuitousness in a comic like Tarot than say Birds of Prey or Wonder Woman)

Looking at the scans in scans_daily though, honestly, it looks NOTHING like what I expected. The art is pretty and the plot, what little is shown in the post anyway, looks interesting. It's very possible, I suppose, that these scans are out of context and the rest of the book is all soft-core porn, but going strictly off the sample here...

It actually looks kind of cool. It looks like something I might be interested in reading. I just wish it had a different cover, because that one'll be a bit embarrassing to be seen purchasing at the comic shop...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Amusing Link!

I have nothing to post today. Nothing. Nada. Zip. It's decidedly unnerving actually.

Fortunately Kevin Melrose linked to something funny on Blog@ that I can steer you guys toward while I recharge my creative batteries. :-)

Every Reason David Bruce Banner Hulked Out in the Classic TV Series


I think my personal favorite is:

71. Wandering into an Army dump to get the deadly canister of army nerve gas
that has blinded his friend, only to be caught by a mean MP who knocks his gas
mask off and throws him back down the hill, knocking the canister open so that
David can frantically try to put his mask back on before looking up to see that the
MP has somehow brought in a crane and is dumping two tons of garbage on him
(this is an unusually bizarre situation)

It just sounds so deliciously comic bookian! :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

More Cartoon Fun!

I mentioned yesterday how a conversation led me to wonder if I was delusioning up a Siegfried and Roy cartoon (short answer, no, I wasn't, it exists, and I bought a copy of the vhs off of amazon. :-P) well, it also led my friend to decide that my experience with 80s cartoons was incomplete, so he rented BraveStarr and made me watch it.

It's okay though, I got him back with Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. We were on a space western kick, clearly. It's the robot horses. That's what Firefly needed, damnit. Robot horses.

Anyway, for all that I'd watched FAR too many cartoons as a young kalinara, I'd actually never, to my recollection, seen BraveStarr (I do not know what's up with the extra "r"). Though the themesong did strike me as vaguely familiar.

It was fairly interesting, I mean, as 80s tv shows go. I'm still trying to figure out what Tex Hex is supposed to be. I mean, they seem to indicate he's human, but...why is he purple? Even in the flashbacks when he's not eeevil, he seems to be purple.

I'm still not sure what exactly Kerium is either. But apparently it cures blind people, which is interesting. (Speaking of, that episode's guest star, a blind girl who was basically Adora from She-Ra, was kind of kickass. I wish she'd show up again.) It's also worth a lot of money and apt to be stolen! Eeek!

Like most 80s shows, there was of course the "moral" at the end. The one with the blind girl had a fairly decent one though which summed up to the what-every-person-with-common-sense-ought-to-know message of "blind people don't want your pity, thank you, and are more than capable of having lives of their own." Well, decent until the judge-chick suddenly turns to the blind man (her father perhaps?) and saccharines at him: "I'm proud of you."

Yeesh, a "don't patronize people" message topped off with a different patronizing sentiment. Smooth.

That said, I actually did rather like it. Especially one episode where the lead character's mentor returns, having fallen considerably from grace. Much to my surprise there was no real redemption moment or anything like that. The ending was actually somewhat uncomfortable, without a lot of emotional resolution. (The moral being summed up as "sometimes people you care about will disappoint you, but try to remember the things the things they've done well, not the mistakes they've made. Which is a fairly decent moral, actually.)

I think my favorite character's probably the robot horse who turns into a robot horse man, who in my friend's words "really really needs anger management." He also carries a giant gun. And well...I approve of robot horses. I also approve of giant guns. Especially ones named "Sarah Jane".

I haven't yet seen the girl-judge do anything, but given that I've only seen three episodes, I can't judge based on that. I do like that they have a girl judge though. The lisping mole sidekick though is one that I can seriously live without. But it's interesting.

Also, the lead character is fairly interesting too. I like his character design. The powers are useful without being too much, and the (apparent) limit of being able to use only one at once allows for a bit of strategy. And the villain is amusing.

I kind of regret not seeing this when I was a kid. I think I'd have liked it a lot. :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Vagaries and Memories...

Okay, I was talking with a friend of mine about childhood cartoons yesterday, and my mind wandered to something I vaguely remember seeing when I was about nine or ten which no one else seems to remember.

It was a miniseries I think. Only a couple of episodes. Animated. And it starred Siegfried and Roy.


Okay, I admit, that's a little weird and more than enough to make me think this may well have been a delusion.

All I remember is that it was a fantasy setting. Siegfried (I think) was a blond guy dressed in green and was some sort of trickster or thief. Roy (I think) had dark hair, wore a red cloak and may have been a magician's apprentice. He may have had some sort of artifact or book he was trying to hide.

One of them had a white tiger, of course. (I don't remember if they got to be gay, I'm guessing no, simply because kids' cartoons can be somewhat conservative. Shame really. I tend to think exposure to different people would do the little brats good. I'm sure there was enough material that a silly person such as myself would have fun reading into it though.)

I only ever managed to see the first episode and remember being quite crushed by this fact since it was the sort of remarkably silly trainwreck that I'd have adored as a kid.

Scratch that, I still love that sort of ridiculousness now. I have to track this thing down.

Anyway, I'm sure I can figure out how to get my hands on it, provided it actually exists. Really, I just need to know that I'm not the ONLY person who remembers this thing existing. I'm not THAT delusional, right?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oh, Millar...

Oh man, this promises to be something else.

I'm saying this as a person who likes over-the-top dark future type stories too. So right now, I'm looking at it going "Inbred Hulk Grandchildren? Um. Okay, I can deal with that." I don't necessarily think it's a particularly inspired idea and could promise to end up decidedly stupid pretty fast. I do think there's some potential there, offensive though it may be.

But really, Millar. "Spider-bitch"? At least "Hulk's inbred grandchildren" is an offensiveness that takes some actual thought to achieve. "Spider-bitch", in contrast, is like the clumsy flailing attempts of an infant reaching tiny fists blindly toward the goal of provocation. It's not offensive as much as it is merely stupid. Worse than that, it's pitiful.

Millar's not even trying anymore, is he?

Friday, January 25, 2008


Okay, I really wish I could post something of any sort of quality today but I have like fifty million things due tomorrow and I'm beat.

But I do entertaining panels for you from Avengers #33.

Ahh, nothing like watching a half-naked Steve Rogers totally school an imposter, with dialogue that's just shy of "It's not the size that counts, it's how you use it."

Steve's probably too innocent for that sort of innuendo, but, well, *I*'m not. Heh.

Oh and as a bonus, a nice eye-candy panel of half-naked Steve!

He should fight that way more often! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reminiscing about Nightcat

Graeme McMillan's blog@ post got me thinking about how I would personally never have gotten interested in comics (that is, American superhero comics) without the Internet.

I was going to blog something long and involved about that, but then it struck me as very dry. Instead I got to thinking about the very few superhero comics that I'd read before the internet, which amounted to a handful of Fantastic Four comics picked up for a dollar at a flea market and a sublimely terrible Marvel comic called Nightcat. (Kevin's got a much better synopsis and review up.)

As a nine year old, I loved this comic, though for the life of me now, I don't know why. Except maybe because I liked singing (regardless of my actual level of talent :-P) and cats. I have no idea how I ended up with a copy at age nine, because one would imagine that sane parents would have balked at buying their child something that had a protagonist that could star in Peter Griffin's Sideboob Hour...

Seriously, how the hell is that a sane costume for anyone?

Apparently this came out in 1991, which sounds about right. I must have got it fairly close to when it first came out, since I had to be about eight at the time. I think I was still in Catholic School when I got it. Sadly, I never brought it to class even though I wanted to. It's probably for the best, but as an adult I regret that I will never see the look of abject horror on my teacher's face that that would have been likely to cause. Missed opportunities.

Now, my recollection of this is dim at best, and a lot of it is jogged specifically by the links provided. If there are inaccuracies, please correct me.

Basically the comic is gloriously awful in all the best ways. The main character, Jacqueline, wants to be a singer like mommy. Mommy however died because of her freewheeling lifestyle and drinking (I remember Mommy looking more like a librarian than anything else, which makes me really wish I had scans to show you. Oh well. Admittedly, looking like a librarian does not preclude a wild drinking lifestyle, but being nine at the time, I thought it was somewhat odd.) According to the link, she "literally" drank herself to death when the main character was ten. I do remember it allowing for a tragic hospital bedside scene and the poignant dialogue of "Why, mommy? Why?"

Of course this leads Jacqueline's hard nosed cop father to have an angsty-cop vendetta against the music business, thereby forbidding his daughter to sing. Ever.

He's blaming the wrong thing of course, since the music business hardly poured the drink down Mommy's throat (especially since, thinking back, it was LOSING the audition that led her to drink), but he's an angsty-cop sort and that's what they do. Besides, otherwise, we couldn't have a pointless high school age thing where Jaqueline sneaks out to join a band, is caught, forbidden from attending an audition after which her replacement gets famous. Which, admittedly, must be galling. Said replacement's name was "Melissa" which amused me for quite some time. Hey, at least my namesake wasn't a whiny twit.

As an adult, (apparently studying Criminology according to Kevin's review, which I totally didn't remember because it had THAT much significance to the plot), she sees that her rival is now famous, and decides to go in disguise and audition. Why she has to do this when she's clearly over the age of 18 is anyone's guess, but I guess it's really the same as Jem. You just kind of have to go with the idea that these adult women are apparently lack the balls, so to speak, to actually go out and get what they want without the use of pointless secrecy. I mean, who cares what your angsty-cop dad says? You're a fucking grown-up and unless you intend to perform masked for the rest of your life, he's probably going to figure it out eventually. Even at 9, I wondered about that. Well, okay, not so much that part, but when she miraculously ends up instantly famous and on the cover of magazines and shit, even 9 year old me was all "Cop-Daddy never looks at a newsstand?" (At nine, I was all about the newsstands. Fuck if I know why. :-))

Of course she's a fantastic singer who blows everyone away immediately, but it's comics so it's hard to bitch about that. She uses the stage name "Nightcat" which I'm hard pressed to believe would sell anything that isn't kept behind black dividers in one's local Suncoast video, but whatever. She becomes instantly famous in a way that had me confused about the record business for years. I was very disappointed to find out that you can't just sign a contract and suddenly get oodles of money instantly. Though not, I'd imagine, as disappointed as those American Idol winners.

Okay, apparently there's a big drug plotline which the heroine decides she must clean up herself despite having no training or powers. And rather than doing something sane like, I dunno, quietly gathering what evidence she can and notifying the police (or even filing a lawsuit), she decides to go brawling. That's what they teach you in Criminology school I guess. To be honest, I never even remembered this part. I do remember the main character ending up captured by the scary villainess Amanda Gideon (who, let's face it, has a freaking awesome name) who recognizes her as a popstar and decides to use her for an experiment regarding animal-DNA or some shit like that.

Because, you know, if *I* were a multimillionaire villainess masterminding a drug ring in the music business and found a famous star beating up my men, of course I wouldn't press charges for breaking and entering/assault and battery/criminal trespass or anything like that. That would make SENSE. Well, to be fair, were I Gideon, I'd also be using my evil underlings to spread rumors of mental instability and drug problems, that way if she did try to tell the cops/public, she'd have even less credibility. But I like propaganda.

Either way, I'm pretty sure tying her down and injecting her with animal serum isn't the way to go. Especially since it gives her superpowers. Somehow Dad gets in the mix, saves her, and dies from being shot like 80 billion times. Of course he clings to life long enough to tell her he's proud of her, which makes him a better man than me, because in a way, he was kind of right. He certainly wouldn't be, ya know, DEAD, if she stuck with Criminology.

To be fair though, I sympathize with the heroine for one thing. The cops don't want to arrest Amanda Gideon because there's no evidence tying her to the drug ring. Okay. But...I'm fairly certain there's still probably enough evidence to arrest her for...I dunno...assault? I mean...I'm fairly certain if I came into a police statement and said someone strapped me down and injected me with something, there'd probably be an arrest. Maybe not a conviction, but I'm fairly certain there'd be something done. Not to mention the whole dead undercover cop riddled with 80-thousand bullets while his daughter saw the whole damn thing part.

God, those cops are incompetent. I'm fairly certain Amanda Gideon could walk through the streets wearing a sandwich board saying "Free DRUGS! ILLEGAL DRUGS! FOR SALE TO YOU!!!" and they'd be all "...I wonder who's behind this drug ring..."

Anyway, she does the smart thing, for a superhero, and buys nifty toys. And also finds some scow used to smuggle in the drugs. Which of course she doesn't actually give to the police. To be fair, I'm kind of sympathetic to that just now because Cop-Daddy was apparently the only half-decent cop in the whole damn precinct.

There's a trap of course, which involves singing at some casino or something owned by Gideon. And honestly, that's kind of stupid right there. "Gee, the woman who injected me with crap, killed my dad, and who I've been thwarting for a while now wants me to sing at a function! Yay!" To be fair, for all I know, she did know it was a trap. I honestly can't remember. I do remember when her back up dancers turned out to be ninjas. Because well, that was fucking funny.

...though I think Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers did that plot better.

Anyway, the badguy is thwarted. And goes splat off a building. (See, this is what you hire goons for, lady.) While the main character devotes a song to her dead parents.

Which is kind of ironic really. "Here mom and dad. I know the music business contributed to your deaths, so let me sing to you!!!"

But the cover had a woman on a rooftop surrounded by cats, so I can't judge too much. I'd have bought it just for that. And in fact, that's probably what I did.

In the end, it's probably not a wonder that it took me another twelve years or so before I ever gave superhero comics a real chance. On the plus side, I did learn some tricks on how NOT to be an effective supervillain. And also the power of the sideboob.

I've never been so traumatized as when I found out there was a real Jacqueline Tavarez/Nightcat. At least no one will remember her name in relation to this dreck, one hopes. :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DC Solicits: Miscellaneous Thoughts

So the DC Solicits for April are up! I figured I'd jot down some of my immediate reactions in no particular order.

-I don't know what it is about Checkmate. I keep thinking I SHOULD be irritated by the whole "Let's pull out our unknown-until-now auxilliary members as secret weapons!" plot device, but instead I'm all peering intently at the picture trying to figure out who they are. I do see a cowboy hat...

-Steven managed to answer yesterday's question for me. Lance Corporal Reid huh? Well. He certainly looks interesting. And unlike certain people I quite approve of the Lance Corporal's rear end.

-I don't really get the appeal of the Tangent universe. Sorry.

-I guess the Titans 1 solicit seems to verify that everyone from Titans East is dead. Well, I suppose since Cyborg's alive, it's possible that a few others are too. I'm mostly ticked about Son of Vulcan and Hawk and Dove. I think they have a lot of potential.

-Still this should make a lot of old fans happy. Between this and Teen Titans Year One. I have to admit, aside from Wally, I've never been a big fan of anyone in the original line-up. So I'm less than enthused. But, well, I don't have to buy EVERYTHING. :-)

-I think the spotlight on Miss Martian sounds pretty interesting. I didn't think I'd like her early on, but I do.

-I like her a lot better than I like J'onn at least.

-I never liked the thought of putting Raven back at a high school age. It always seemed forced to me. Insta-teenaged hijinx with a character that ought to be much too old for it. I wonder if they'll undo it for Titans, so she can be the same age as the others.

-I heart the idea of Red Bee taking over the world. That's awesome.

-The story tying into Bruce's training in Japan could either rock or suck horribly. It's really that sort of storyline I think. If I remember the week it comes out, though, I'll probably give it a shot.
--It's pretty rare, I think, that this sort of story is written by a native (though, he might be 2nd gen, I suppose. I don't recognize the name. "American debut" would seem to imply that he's native Japanese...) Either way, it'll be interesting to see what he does with it.

-Is it just me, or does it seem like Zatanna's in Detective Comics a LOT. I never thought she was THAT interesting.

-For once, Supergirl's solicit actually looks interesting. :-) I wonder who helps out.

-Whew, it looks like Wally's family hasn't been retconned away by the new writer. I'm glad. I really like the Flashlets. They really bring something new to the table I think, and are part of what makes Flash so different from most other comics. I really REALLY like seeing Wally try to balance a STABLE home/family life with superheroics.

-More of Hal's origin story...that should be interesting. I actually like periodic retellings of that sort of thing. It allows for interesting updating. Besides, I'm just glad Emerald Dawn's wiped out for good. (Sure, EDII was decent, but if it ends up a casualty in the cause to retcon out ED? I'll happily stand the loss.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stupid Question:

I feel embarrassed about asking this, since I feel like I really ought to know, but anyway...

Some of the solicits are up for April. And I have to ask.

Who's the character in the army camoflage pants? And is he really firing pink light at the badguy?

Here, I swiped the cover image:

Anyone with a better eye for detail and a sharper memory than me able to identify this chap? I'd dearly like to know.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Always the last to hear bad news...

It's old news, but I'm always a little behind the times. Apparently there won't be a Justice League movie after all.

I'm disappointed, because I was looking forward to some nice group superhero flair that wouldn't require that much time wasted on origins, but I'm not surprised.

For one thing, I kind of thought it'd be a bad idea to have a brand new Superman and Batman so soon after the individual movies. I think a lot of us fans tend to get attached to specific faces in specific roles.

It's a shame though, because it could have been something interesting and maybe a bit lighter and less clogged with symbolism than Batman or Superman respectively. Something to remind the normal Joe why comics are fun.

Too bad, it'd probably make an entertaining tv movie at least, if they weren't confident about it surviving in theaters. How disappointing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Thought

You know what I love in comics? Dinosaurs. There's nothing more quintessential to superhero comics than the sudden appearance and thwarting of giant dinosaurs. Be the reason time travel, a long lost jungle, an animated dinosaur skeleton or anything like that.

I just <3 dinosaurs.

(No real post today, I just felt like saying that. :-))

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Enterprising Babble!

Look! The Enterprise!

Damnit, I'm really trying hard not to get excited about this. I was mildly disappointed in Voyager and dreadfully crushed by Enterprise. I've been clinging to the idea that with such a good cast, at least they'll be able to embrace the so-bad-its-good cheese factor of the show.

Now I'm starting to convince myself it may actually be GOOD!

I KNOW I'm setting myself up for disappointment but...

(Also, looking at those actors photographs, I rescind my doubts about Karl Urban as a casting choice. Suddenly I can really see it.)

I'm starting to get EXCITED!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lame Powers Query:

I have an odd appreciation for superheroes with incredibly stupid and/or useless powers. I mean seriously, the lamer, the better. Like poor Jubilee's sparklers? I mean, sure, there's useful applications for it. But on a team with guy who can heal from pretty much atoms, lady who can control weather and the like, that's pretty lame.

Or heck. Beast. You have: walking cannon, telekinetic girl, winged guy, iced guy, and...guy with really big feet?

I mean, okay, Angel's powers were pretty fucking lame too, but at least he got something ornamental out of the deal.

But still, I can't help but like that sort of thing. What's your favorite lame power?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My thoughts on the Playboy Thing.

I haven't posted about the Playboy/Wonder Woman cover controversy yet, mostly because I'm in a very strange position as I see it.

I actually don't see a problem with it. It's the usual sort of showy borderline-parody that I'd expect from Playboy. I don't necessarily think it's any different than that Sex-in-the-City chick posing nude on an Enterprise set.

At the same time, most arguments in favor of it actually tick me off a lot more than the arguments against it.

First of all, there's the "why are you mad? Have you never read a WW comic?" folks. Which, for one thing, is a very stupid question. Of COURSE the people who are mad read Wonder Woman. They wouldn't CARE otherwise.

I'm not saying all Wonder Woman fans are bothered by this, but clearly some of them are. And even if YOU don't see the difference between the output as seen in the comic with the Playboy cover/article, someone does. It doesn't take much to disagree and still show some respect to fellow fans.

Then there's the "Well, what do you expect? She's in a BATHING SUIT!" set.

A bathing suit is not body paint. A bathing suit is a piece of public apparel that a woman can wear to go to the beach, or a pool, or some other place where such a garment is appropriate. I'm fairly certain, in contrast, that body paint alone would not prevent someone from being arrested for indecent exposure.

No one's saying anyone has to like the costume, but there's still a notable difference between a woman in a bathing suit and a naked woman wearing paint in the shape of a bathing suit.

Finally there's the "Marston was a perv!" set. Which is particularly annoying. YES, Marston had a kink. YES, he was open about it. And YES, Wonder Woman did spend a lot of time tied up.

But she was tied up FULLY CLOTHED, thank you. The majority of his kinks were NOT in public view via this comic. This comic was designed for public consumption with at least an eye toward young girls reading it. The original author's private proclivities are not relevant to whether the use of the image in WW is appropriate in Playboy.

Now that said, I don't have a problem with the actual article. In my opinion, it's a fairly standard parody that probably won't have any adverse effect on young people buying the comic because young people probably will not be exposed to Playboy anyway. (And those that are will probably be worldly enough not to let it hurt their opinion of the real character.) I don't think it's a bad thing that Wonder Woman is a product that clearly appeals to men as well as women, and that straight men find the costume erotic. It's part of marketing. It's what makes a successful product. And to be honest, straight men seem to find the most bizarre things sexy anyway. :-P

I don't think it's fair to compare this cover with the poor artist that Ragnell's linked here. I think that argument makes a troublesome assumption. Well, a few actually. The first assumption is that DC gave permission for the use of the image. This may be true and I'm willing to operate under the assumption that it is. Okay. But then it's not necessarily fair to compare a body painted Wonder Woman to homoerotic Batman because we don't know the legal issues behind it.

First and foremost, did that unfortunate artist actually have permission to use the likeness? If Playboy does and that artist doesn't, then DC is perfectly justified in permitting the one use to go on while banning the other. If this is the case, it doesn't matter if we liked the art or if we think the cover is just as problematic as the art, it's a question of copyright and trademark. Now, why might DC not have given permission to the artist? I don't know. Maybe they see a difference somehow. Maybe they thought he sucked. Maybe the artist just didn't ask.

Ultimately, I don't think any of us knows enough about that situation's particular facts to make it a workable argument for either side. There are too many unknowns.

Finally, I don't have a problem with Ms. Fallon being compared with Lynda Carter. Lynda Carter was an awesome Wonder Woman, but she's not exactly Meryl Streep. I'm sure her career has it's odd points too. I don't think Ms. Fallon's quite had such a long lasting/iconic role, but I don't find the comparison a travesty. And as for Wonder Woman herself...

Well, honestly, I've always thought of Diana as the idealized inner woman. The tall, glorious, powerful goddess-type that's supposed to be the epitome of female potential within us all. And ultimately, that includes girls who are getting paid to pose nude in Playboy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ooo! WW-DVD!

Ragnell's got Good News!

I'll admit, I've always thought of Wonder Woman having a lower/richer voice than Ms. Russell, but that's more of a personal taste thing and I can't see any reason why she couldn't do a lovely job with the role.

Misspellings aside, I think this could be a lot of fun! At the very least I like that it uses a traditional Wonder Woman "villain" (I normally wouldn't buy the wanting to destroy all life, but he does apparently have a thingy to make zombies and presumably zombies fighting with each other still count). I'm hoping they'll keep Steve Trevor as a love interest too. I never much liked the post Crisis 'boot writing him away like they did.

Mostly though I'm thinking, and this may well be wishful thinking, that if the darn DVD sells well, we might well get our shot for a theatrical live-action release later on. It'd at least prove a pre-existing market!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On the Furies:

Hee, in a funny bit of coincidence given my current Fury-bot kick, Occassional Superheroine posts this interesting question: whether they'll replace Nick Fury with Ultimate Nick Fury due to the latter's prominence in toy lines and movies. She wonders if hardcore Nick Fury fans would accept it.

I don't know if I count as a hardcore Nick Fury fan or not, I love the guy but I've still got a lot of back issues to track down and read, but I'd certainly have mixed feelings about this.

I'm a fan of both 616 Nick Fury and Ultimate Nick Fury. I like the latter and his role in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, I like that he adds a bit of diversity to the cast that sorely needs it. I also like that, in all the comics I've seen him in (which admittedly isn't as many as I might like, since I'm not fond of the Ultimate universe for a lot of other reasons), he seems to be a steady voice of sanity and authority in a cast that seems to sorely need it. I also tend to think he's the best choice to use for movies and other new incarnations of the universe (i.e. Ultimate Avengers).

At the same time though, I personally prefer the chaotic, somewhat demented approach of 616's Nick Fury. (I also, admittedly, have a well documented twisted love of David Hasselhoff, who for all his faults DOES look remarkably to me like Steranko's Fury.) There's no reason, of course, that Marvel couldn't keep 616's demented personality and use a more Samuel L. Jackson likeness though.

Except...what about the Howling Commandos?

More importantly...what about Gabriel Jones?

In the Marvel 616 Universe, Gabriel Jones was a jazz trumpeter from New York City whose abilities lead to him being hand-picked to enlist in Nick Fury's Howling Commandos in WWII. Gabriel Jones became, then, the first African-American to serve in an integrated unit. (Here's some more information about Jones, though I think the picture attached is an unfortunate choice.)

In the real world, the Armed Forces weren't legally integrated until 1948, and it wasn't until 1954 that the last all-black unit was abolished. (Here's a link on the topic for people, like me, who could use some supplementary information on the subject.)

So then, it really really means something that this man got specifically handpicked for this unit. And considering that the Howling Commandos debuted in 1963, it's fairly significant that Stan Lee and company specifically wanted to include a black soldier on the team. He's also a character with staying power, who's appeared as late as in Civil War.

There is the point that, if they can alter history enough to integrate a team years before the real world, why not make even more of a statement and make the leader an African-American?

It would certainly make for interesting story ramifications.

It would be very interesting to see what a group of modern writers would do with the idea. How WOULD Nick Fury being black change the Howling Commandos? (I have to admit, considering the racial prejudice of the time period, I doubt that they'd have quite the same "hand-picked" prestige, regardless of Fury's talent. More likely, I'd imagine, they'd be more of a suicide squad that keeps inexplicably surviving due to the talent and skill of the members.) Would the team still be racially mixed? Would they be all-black? Where would they go with this idea?

But the thing is, they could have this story now. What stopped Marvel from producing this story in the Ultimate Universe? It doesn't have to be a long running series, it could be a mini-series, or a flashback in an Ultimates story-arc. If they wanted to explore this area, they can.

Besides, it's not like the Infinity Formula is any dumber of a concept than the super-soldier serum, so if one makes the transition to the Ultimate Universe, why not the other?

As I said before, I haven't read a lot of the Ultimates-verse, so all I have to go off of right now are the Marvel Universe bios and Wikipedia, and since we all know how accurate those can be, so please do correct me if I'm wrong...

But it appears as though the Ultimate Universe hasn't done anything of the sort. It looks like Nick Fury in the Ultimate Universe has a completely different backstory involving service in the Gulf War.

No Howling Commandos. No Infinity Formula.

How bizarre is it that I'm actually really offended to find this out? I mean, racial diversity is a wonderful thing and all, but why pick a historically-entrenched character like Nick Fury for the race change without planning on doing anything WITH it?

Why not pick Iron Man? Or Spider-Man? Wouldn't it be interesting to see how racial assumptions and prejudice would possibly impact a character like Tony Stark or Peter Parker? Heck, for that matter, they could have picked Captain America (using a modified version of Isaiah Bradley's backstory)! Wouldn't that be interesting?

And to me, it suddenly looks a bit cheap. The company made the (correct, in my opinion) decision to diversify the Marvel Universe in this new incarnation, but instead of taking a real risk and changing the race of one of their big name mainstays, they take a relatively secondary character, change his race, and in the process take out nearly everything that made the character significant in the main Marvel Universe!

I mean, sure, they could, I suppose, do the Howling Commandos in the Gulf War. That'd be pretty cool. But it's not exactly the same as a WWII unit, is it? There's a certain, dare I say, prestige in being involved with the big war. The "Greatest Generation" and all that. Plus, of course, the coinciding with the Golden Age of Comics.

And if they're not going to explore the story in Ultimates, where they have a fairly fresh, open, new universe to play around in, it's fairly unlikely that they'd make the attempt in 616. And I can't see 616, after forty years or so, suddenly trying to declare the Howling Commandos never existed (not with how wrapped up they are in the foundation/development of 616's SHIELD.)

So, no, I don't think it's going to happen. Moreover, unless it's done a lot better than Marvel's handled things just far, I really doubt most hardcore 616 Fury fans would like it. Because Marvel would probably make it suck.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stupid Nick Fury LMD Plot Idea #2

On the same kick as yesterday, I was thinking of the LMDs and how they're even better than the skrulls at retconning out anything that a writer feels like.

So I was thinking, I suddenly have the urge to write a comic or fanfic in which there is no Nick Fury. Every version we've ever seen is just a Furybot that thinks it's real. The real version got knocked off in WWII...if THAT one wasn't a Furybot himself.

The infinity formula? Secretly early robot fuel.

Of course that brings to mind the question about whether ALL of the Howling Commandos and everyone else who's had a nip of the old Infinity Juice are actually seekritly robots. They probably are!

And everyone else is a very confused Skrull! Hah!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Ideal Comic

You know what I want to see in a comic?

A 22 page spectacular that is JUST an all out battle between an army of Nick Fury LMDs and an army of Doombots. It'd be a robot-duplicate melee extravaganza.

The Doombots would be winning of course, until about half end up revealing themselves to be disguised Furybots in metal masks! Yay!

...well, it'd amuse me at least. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Iceberg, Glass Coffin, To-may-to, To-mah-to

I have to say, Avengers Fairytales looks awfully cute. I've got a bizarre soft spot for that sort of thing.

But for the record, I definitely think Cap would have been better associated with Snow White than Peter Pan. It's funnier for one.

And as my friend said when I shared that with her: Bucky would make an excellent Grumpy-the-Dwarf.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Review: Rogue Angel #1

How's this for nifty! I got sent a review copy of IDW's Rogue Angel! I almost never get sent review copies, so this is mildly thrilling to me. :-) I've decided thus to try my hand at a review.

I'm going to warn you ahead of time, I'm not a professional critic or reviewer, I have no aptitude for visual arts and very little knowledge of the technical aspects of comic book creating. So as reviews go, this is going to be the substantial equivalent of cotton candy. Which shouldn't shock any of my regular readers at all. :-)

I'm going to admit ahead of time that I've never read any of the Rogue Angel books. For that matter, it's probably been at least a decade since I've looked at a Mack Bolan book. So I'm not going to be able to judge on the quality of the adaptation or of the original material. I'm going to look at this as though it's a brand new franchise. Because to me it is. :-)

I have to say, I really like the design of the main character. I'm not really sure how practical all that long flowing hair is for an archeologist, but, well, that tends to be one of those things that I'll write off with an "it's comics". I admit, I tend to be annoyed when the lead female character is supposed to be some kind of fighter but looks flimsy enough that she'd break her arm lifting her sword. Annja is both remarkably tall and fairly athletic looking. I also like that she's dressed fairly normally. We get a fair bit of cleavage shots, but I think the tank-top/khaki combination seems like a natural wardrobe choice for the character.

I wasn't going to comment on the comic as an adaptation, but I've noticed it's fallen into a trap that I think is fairly common for prose-adapted-to-comics, (or prose-writers writing their first comics). We don't really learn anyone's name. Ultimately, after a few panels of conversation we get a couple of first names in conversation, but after reading through the entire issue, I still don't know what Annja or Rashmi's surnames are. It's a small detail, but I think it's fairly important to have a name.

I tend to attribute this sort of thing to the prose-to-comics shift because in prose, we get the names as soon as the narration starts. It's a non-issue and we can jump right into the story. In comics though, without the steady stream of narration, I do think it's important to establish a name, a full name, right away.

I really like the Annja's best-friend (sidekick?) character. Rashmi's cute. I like the turn-about of a character from India being interested in the "exotic West" rather than the other way around for once. I think it's fairly easy for adventure stories, especially archeology themed ones, to exoticize and inadvertantly dehumanize other cultures. I like her design as well. She's primarily dressed like any American post-grad, but the heavy hoop earrings, thick bracelet (which tends to disappear in some panels) and torq type necklace are nice, quick visual indicators of her home culture without being too "LOOK FOREIGN CHARACTER!!!" about it. She looks like a lot of young Indian students at my school. And her infatuation with Mark Twain is a nice bit of quirky individuality that doesn't cross the line into annoying obnoxiousness.

I'm posting this panel just because I really liked it, I think we all know what this is like:

Also, in a nice change from a lot of stories/series who gloss over the academic foci of the lead characters, we actually get a fairly legitimate sounding area of interest for Rashmi. Her archeological focus, the old West and how the roles of people of color have been neglected for the "mythic culture of white men on horses", sounds like something that I'd really like to read about.

I also like that there's a legitimate reason that Rashmi asked her friend for help. It seems like a lot of time in these sorts of stories, the lead character has no real reason to be in the location before the surprising violence breaks out. In this case however, Rashmi has a real quandary even before the violence breaks out.

Annja herself is an interesting character. Like a lot of adventure leads, she's more taciturn than her talkative comrade, but I think the use of captions is fairly skillful. They're not as over-saturated as I tend to expect from prose-to-comic adaptations, but instead are used fairly sparingly. I don't know how much of the narration is from the original book and how much is written just for the adaptation, but each narrative line seems to be carefully chosen for maximum evocation. We do get a fairly strong sense of the character's personality in each line and none of it feels wasted.

I'm not very good at judging action, but I found it easy to follow at least. The flow of action is fairly hard to confuse. And I really like the transparent-to-solid effect of the magic sword. I also like that Annja seems to have some skill with fighting, but isn't perfect at it. Competent but not perfect is a good thing.

As far as it goes, I think the comic is a fairly nice opening. I'm still not entirely sure what's up with the magic sword, but it sounds like the origin story's coming up in the next issue. I do think I've got a reasonable understanding right now about who Annja is, which is a plus. (Though I'd still like to know her surname.) The friendship between Annja and Rashmi is believable without the need for forced declarations. They interact like old school friends who may not be in contact as often as they like, but still genuinely like one another.

The art is cute and expressive. A bit cheesecakey in some respects but not over-the-top. I think I like this comic. I'm looking forward to the next issue.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some Thoughts on Zealot

I've been thinking about a post Kali921 made at the end of the year about Zealot of the WildCATS and why she likes her. She's got a lot of interesting reasons especially with regards to feminist interpretation of the character.

I really can't argue with any of them. I definitely think Zealot in her own way is a character that is very pleasing on a feminist level, but at the same time, I don't care for her.

It's not the same abject hatred I feel toward Voodoo, I don't hate Zealot, but she does leave me cold.

I think that it's essentially because she's the series version of Wolverine. I mean, sure, Warblade's got the more similar powers and more obvious temper, but I've always thought Zealot really occupied the Wolverine role in the series. She was always the big name in every single crossover I'd seen, the object of love-triangles and romance plots while at the same time being the "savage yet civilized warrior" with her own, albeit homicidal, sense of honor. She and Grifter were also something of the renegades of the group and she was fairly clearly the best fighter...

She's very much the token-Wolverine-type character to me and as much as I appreciate that this time the token-Wolverine character is female, it doesn't mean I actually have to like her. The same traits I don't like on Wolverine aren't any more appealing to me when they're wearing boobs and a vagina.

For the record, I also thought Grifter was remarkably overrated as well. :-P To be fair though, I was totally just reading WildCATS for the multitude of entertaining ways that Spartan got destroyed. I swear it seemed like it happened every damn issue. Like Kenny from South Park up until they got tired of killing him. Also, he made a very interesting omnipowerful benign dictator, later on, I thought. Gosh, I do enjoy the goofy robot.

But yeah, on a feminist level I appreciate Zealot for all of the reasons that Kali921 celebrates. I just don't LIKE her. Oh well. I'm glad she exists, anyway. :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Star Trek Manga??

Apparently there's a Star Trek manga, now. I did not know this. Wil Wheaton is writing it. I did not know this either.

I'm considering whether to give it a shot. I'm not sure though. I have to admit, I get kind of skeptical about the manga-fication trend. I have nothing against OEL, since I think the style of character, art, and story-telling is different enough from traditional American superhero comics to warrant a separate label and "manga" is as good as any for something clearly derived from that medium. (I hesitate to call it a genre, since it's so varied.)

But Star Trek as a manga seems very strange to me. I'm not sure how well I think the series and characters would lend itself to that particular style. But it could still be good. And heck, the art looks pretty neat.

The one thing that makes me leery is the Japanese subtitles complete with kanji. I mean, well, Star Trek's hardly a Japanese property. I don't know how popular it is over there, but the manga doesn't seem to be marketed for Japan. It looks like it's in English and meant to be released here. None of the authors involved seem to be Japanese either, though I could be wrong.

It'd be one thing, perhaps, if the story were specifically about Sulu since he, presumably, has Japanese heritage. But this doesn't seem to be.

I hate to knock something I haven't read, since it could well be very good, but I'm a bit put off by that. It seems to me to cross the line from "using the style of manga because it best suits what you want to do with the project" to "blatantly exploiting the manga craze".

I don't know, I mean, I know people just want to sell product, and this probably will draw in some more of the manga crowd (though maybe not, since I'd guess that the sort of Japanophile that would be drawn in specifically because of the use of Japanese would still recognize the name "Star Trek" as a very American property. I don't think big eyes and kanji is going to fool anyone into thinking the product's ACTUALLY Japanese.) One could still hope for a little subtlety in advertizing.

It certainly doesn't make me think they're confident in the quality of their own product...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Keyword Interlude

Someone found my blog using the search terms: spiderman crotch package

I just felt like sharing. :-)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Poor Jarvis!

You know who I feel sorry for in this whole OMD debacle (disclaimer: I don't read Spider-Man, so for all I know, it could be awesome. I doubt this, but I feel I ought to say that.)

Not Peter. Not even MJ. Not even the readers.

I feel bad for Jarvis.

He was FINALLY getting a romance, damnit! He and Aunt May were such a cute idea! And for years of putting up with Tony Stark and the rest of those costume ninnies, he deserved something!

For the record, I also think that for the years of being perpetually 90, on the brink of death, and losing her husband, and never knowing her nephew's Spider-Man, Aunt May ALSO deserved something!

It was cute!

Hmph. I was indifferent to this whole OMD thing before, but now I'm just plain annoyed. Darnit!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Was gonna post today, but I spent all my energy on this thing. Also, I'm going back up to school tomorrow.

:-P Wish me luck!

Oh and to occupy yourselves. If you're around my age, you may remember the Legend of Zelda cartoon that occasionally and sporadically showed during the silly Mario Brothers tv show. I waited religiously for it to come on every Friday and even tried to get ahold of issues of the comic book. In the end...this YouTube video comprises everything I remember of the series:

Yep. That's pretty much the only thing I remember. I wonder if it's available on DVD somewhere...

I do remember being mildly crushed when the new systems made Link a blond. :-P

(found via)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

30-Second Recap: The Creature in the Velvet Cage

Okay, here it is! My awesomely fabulous entry for Chris Sims's Second Annual Recap Contest!

I should warn you, it was all done in paint. Via a touchpad, because I don't own a mouse. :-) Here we go!

Belated Thoughts on OMD...

I have a confession to make, I haven't read OMD and I don't really intend to read OMD, all I know is from what I've seen in reviews and maybe a few snippets placed here and there online.

But um...couldn't they think of any OTHER way to split up MJ and Spider-Man? Really? I mean, okay, I vaguely understand why they can't divorce. By the same idiot logic that Peter being married removes him from the "lovable loser" he's supposed to be, I can see why divorce would do the same. It ages him. Only "grown-ups" get divorced, not perpetually relatable teens.

I'm not saying I agree, but I can see the logic.

But seriously? A deal with Mephisto? THAT's the catalyst?

I mean, why not have it be some freaky after effect from a reality warping object: like maybe a cosmic cube or one of Dr. Strange's devices, or an alien thing? Why not have it be a time travel fiasco with a butterfly effect type reaction? Why not any of the other thousand vaguely plausible comic booky plots out there?

It just seems like what amounts to a deal with Satan is a bit of an unnecessary way to go about it.

I dunno, does it make any more sense in context?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Baseless Speculation!

I've been thinking about the Black Lantern Corps. I mean, they look pretty interesting and creepy. And their intro is certainly ominous. I really like the concept of the animated dead using rings of some kind.

Especially given the timing. Now that the Lanterns have the authorization to kill as needed, there might be no end to the growth of the Black Lantern Corps.

Though it occurs to me that at least some of the members must have died before the Sinestro Corps War, since they're coming out of the ground. The war casualties wouldn't have been buried yet.

You know, it's occurred to me that there's been a lot of reference/reminders to death in the arcs right before the Sinestro Corps war. Of course, there's Jade's death leading to Kyle becoming Ion. Maura's leading to Kyle becoming Parallax. Kreon's seemingly very unnecessary death during the arc that resurrects most of the lost Lanterns. Kilowog's ghostly family dinner on Mogo.

Guy's dad popped up a lot over the past few months too, come to think of it. Between the revisitation of his death in Booster Gold, the Mogo-derived flashback in GLC, and the rather surprising one line wisecrack in Sinestro Corps.

The timing makes me wonder if we'll see some of these folks again as Black Lanterns.

Well, probably not Jade, since she seems to be haunting Alan (and honestly has quite a few built in resurrection options anyway). But Kreon actually seems like a really good choice. His death was largely unnecessary (if he wasn't supposed to be brought back, why not kill him off screen or have only Boudikka have survived for initial capture? It'd still give her a reason to hate Hal) and Boudikka seems to be quite involved in the whole Alpha Lantern thing.

And there's nothing like the angst of facing fallen family members or comrades. That ought to be fun.

Though it occurs to me that I might be just assuming they're evil. I mean, sure their introduction's pretty ominous, and the animated dead are rarely good guys, but they don't necessarily HAVE to be evil. Or at least ALL of them might not be. Batman getting offered the yellow ring would appear to show that at least in the case of being afraid/causing fear, evil is not necessarily a requirement. So it's possible to have heroes qualify for red or orange as well. (Ragnell suggests Booster Gold would probably be a good candidate for an orange ring user. I agree. He's clearly ambitious and even in his more heroic moments, he's got a specific goal/self-interest in mind. There's nothing that says greedy people can't want NICE things to happen too.)

If the Black Lanterns include dead heroes/loved ones as well as dead villains, then maybe it's possible that their role in whatever's coming up will be more complicated than it seems.

Or maybe not. Maybe it's just attack of the zombie enemies of the Green Lanterns. :-)

Either way, it's awfully fun to speculate! I can't wait to see what'll happen!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'd see it

I don't read Wizard or agree with them much, but I have to admit their casting choices for a hypothetical Young Avengers is fairly inspired.

Though I admit, I would have envisioned Eli slimmer, but then he IS super-soldiered and all, so I'm probably the one who's off. :-)

You know, I think a Young Avengers movie would be fairly awesome. The success of the Teen Titans show would indicate there's a market for young people seeing young heroes, after all. It's nice too, because, aside from Patriot, none of them really has any connection to the heroes they're emulating, so there's not really that much backstory to go through. It can be summed up as kids following in the footsteps of adult heroes, without the adult heroes even needing to appear onscreen or even be named. (Which might be a nice way to sidestep awkward licensing issues.)

Also the characters are cute and appealing. There's a nice amount of diversity too. And heck, the Hulkling/Wiccan relationship would give fanatics a reason to protest the movie and that always drums up good press. :-P

I would hope that they'd avoid the MGH plotline though. That was...not a good idea.

Hmm, it might not be big name enough to succeed in the theater, but maybe as a tv movie? It can't be worse than Generation X after all...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Since the new year's officially started, I figured I'd post my resolutions! At least the comic/blogging ones!

1) Post every single day! (Hey, I managed it thus far. Everyone needs an easy resolution to start with. :-))

2) Post more substantial and/or essay posts. (This one's much harder. :-))

3) Don't waste money on comics not to my taste. (There was no damn reason for me to have kept buying Robin for so long, I barely read the damn thing.)

4) Post more positive things about comics. (Because I do love them.)

5) Post more negative things about comics. (What are blogs if not to bitch.)

6) Comment more on other people's blogs. (Honestly, I'm really just remarkably lazy.)

7) Reply more often to comments here. (See above.)

8) Make more of an effort to buy comics ON TIME.

9) Stop whining about not being able to read comics on time. :-)

10) Read a wider variety of comics in general.

11) Write more regularly.

12) And most importantly: pass my first year of law school! :-)

We'll see if I can keep up with them!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


While collecting links for WFA, I found Johanna's recent Savage Critics post.

Johanna always gives interesting reviews but there was a bit in her She-Hulk review that made me boggle a bit:

I'm thrilled to see women with distinctive personalities lead a superhero comic, since it's rare we see more than one female talk to each other in the genre, let alone about meaningful issues, but it's just not clicking for me.

Emphasis is mine.

Honestly, while there are plenty of feminist complaints that can be found regarding superhero comics, I honestly think this one doesn't have a whole lot of basis.

Regardless of how one feels about T&A, consistent characterizations, damsel in distress syndrome, possible overuse of rape as a plot point, WiR or any of those other issues, it's fairly hard to argue that the majority of women in major/leading roles in superhero comics don't have distinctive personalities.

I mean, it's fairly hard for even a casual fan to mistake Wonder Woman for Power Girl, Lois Lane for Barbara Gordon, Storm for Jean Grey and so on. If anything, distinctive personality is the area that American Superhero comics handle better than anything else. There's a reason why so many of these characters have lasted the test of time. There's a reason why so many of us take it so seriously when their value appears reduced to their girly parts.

(I'm barely managing to avoid a complaint about the generic ditz shoujo manga heroine archetype that certain lazier mangaka seem all too ready to equip... :-))

As for interaction between female characters, that's pretty strange to argue these days. Pretty much every main or solo comic I can think of has at least some significant interactions between major female characters. And then there are franchises that like Birds of Prey or early Perez->Byrne era Wonder Woman where there are very few male characters at all. It's not like interaction between female characters is a new and alien concept to superhero comics.

Okay, admittedly, if you want to argue the Bechdel test, you probably have merit. Ever since Lois and Lana, there's been the tradition of female interaction/conversation revolving strictly around the male character. (Personally I've always thought Carol Ferris and Jillian Pearlman have more interesting things in common to discuss than just Hal), but that's not the criticism being made here.

I understand that the comment is intended to be a compliment, of sorts, to Mr. David, but it strikes me as strange in a She-Hulk review. Even assuming for a moment that particularly individual women are rare in superhero comics and that the interaction between them IS generally minimal, this IS She-Hulk we're talking about. For all my complaints about Slott's run, it's very hard to make the claim that She-Hulk rarely had interaction/conversation with other women.

I don't know, I have a lot of respect for Johanna, but I really don't understand where this particular criticism is coming from.