Friday, July 31, 2009

My 1000-Word Review Of Green Lantern First Flight

Friday Night Fights--Countdown Preview Style!!

Today for Friday Night Fights, we're going to look at a brain-bruising dust-up between two former heroes...accompanied by one of those sweet sounding songs from the 1960s that turns out to be a roiling epic of psychosis and sadomasochism when you actually listen to the lyrics.

Our combatants?

Mary Marvel and Captain Atom, of course!! You see, they've been hypnotized by Roulette to fight each other in her little underground super-hero Fight Club...

Time out. I just want to break in and say that I'm really, really tired of this particular type of story. Yes, I'm talking to you, Gail Simone. The soil is depleted on this plot; it needs to lie fallow while we rotate in some other story device for a few seasons. End of agricultural metaphor.

Anyway, Mary Marvel and Captain Atom have to fight each other...

Time out. This story is from 2003. Just coincidentally, both these characters turned evil a few years later in the execrable Countdown To Final Crisis. Or was it just a coincidence? Anyway, I note that, despite transforming himself (for no given reason) into the Monarch, murdering hundreds of heroes across the multiverse, conquering dozens of worlds and killing millions, and wiping the entire population of Earth-51's universe (not just the Earth--THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE), Captain Atom is now apparently back. As a good guy. With no explanation, no punishment, no guilt or remorse. Once again DC would have it that one of their heroes can be a genocidal monster, but it's OK if they had their fingers crossed. DC--where the only difference between good and ultimate evil apparently is just how you feel when you roll out of bed that day. End of rant.

So anyway, to the rollickin' rock of The Association, Captain Atom gets in the first blow..

Every time I think that I'm the only one who's lonely
Someone calls on me
And every now and then I spend my time in rhyme and verse
And curse those faults in me

And then along comes Mary

And does she want to give me kicks , and be my steady chick
And give me pick of memories

And then along comes Mary
And does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pains
She left the night before
Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies, and make them
Realize their urgent cry for sight no more

When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

Sweet as the punch

Sweet as the punch

Sweet as the punch indeed. But not as sweet as Spacebooger...

Panels from Formerly Known As The Justice League #3 (2003), by (duh) Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein. Bwahahahahahaha....

Lyrics and video for Along Comes Mary below. WARNING: This was the 1960s...

Lyrics | Association lyrics - Along Comes Mary lyrics

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well, If They Can Buy T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents...

So, while under the anesthesia Tuesday, I had a dream/vision/insert your own interpretation of the ultimate team-up:

Somebody make this happen, please.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Once More Unto The Breach

More surgery today...just minor follow up stuff. Still, I'll likely be down the next day or so. Peace Out.

Neither Woodward Nor Bernstein

Ben Urich is the worst reporter ever.

See, he agrees with me.

In Hulk #600 (as if), he sits on a major story for at least the fourth time in his career.

Of course, we all know that he uncovered Daredevil's secret identity, but decided not to run the story. It should be noted, though, that given how many others managed to figure out Daredevil's identity, finding Matt Murdock's secret wasn't exactly a stunning journalistic coup.

Urich discovered that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, and did nothing with the info. That one's kinda moot now, thanks to Mephisto.

Then, in Civil War: Frontlines #11 (a.k.a. The Worst Comic Book Ever Published), Urich and and Sally Floyd reveal that hey know about the crimes Tony Stark committed during the Civil War, but are going to bury the information because they agree with Stark's agenda (and, apparently, because Captain America didn't have a MySpace page...).

Finally, in Rulk #600, he uncovers a busload of vital information:

Yup...major story, Pulitzer stuff. Stuff you'd think the public might want to know. But oh, sorry, Rulk threatened people, so this story gets buried, too.

(It's unclear if Urich actually uncovers Red Hulk's identity, or what this puzzle he's rambling about is, because Hulk #600 is possibly the worst written and drawn comic or the year. Terrible storytelling...)

So, Marvel editors and writers, if you're going to continue to use Ben Urich as your shining example of an intrepid investigative journalist, well, maybe you want to have him actually publish something he discovers once in awhile...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Manic Monday--Who Of The What Now?!?

From Marvel's October solicitations:

Really? Are you sure about that?

Yeah, I guess they're sure.

I guess I don't have a big problem with changing "Brother Voodoo" to "Doctor Voodoo," although I can't help but wonder why. Is it required that the Sorcerer Supreme have the "Doctor" title? I don't remember anybody calling out "Doctor Ancient One."

(Maybe they're doing it so Bendis can't give us more of the "Brudder Voodoo" crap...I'm just sayin'.)

But do we need to make the title of the mag ridiculously long by adding on "Avenger of the Supernatural"??!!

Does that mean he's going to be an Avenger? Does it mean if you're not supernatural, he's not going to help you? Does he not prevent supernatural crises, but only avenges them?

I know, I know, it's probably just put of Marvel's marketing strategy to make Avenger as big a brand name as X-Men. But still, it's unwieldy, ungraceful, and silly.

By the way, the Billy Tan cover really rocks...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Whither The Legion?

OK, so Legion Of 3 Worlds has finally wrapped up. What's next?

From the solicits, not a lot. The Legion is going to be the "co-feature" (i.e., back-up) in Adventure Comics, and the first several issues look like they're basically going to be solo stories of various Legionnaires.

Still, there are vague hints that maybe they're building themselves up to something. So, not that Geoff Johns needs my advice, but here's what I think we need to see--and not see--in any new Legion.

Enough with the Brainy: Look, I love Brainiac 5. And obviously, so does Johns. But he's gone on to dominate Legion proceedings, especially under Johns. Brainy sends teams to the past on secret missions without letting them know what they're doing (what is that, 5 times already, Geoff?), Brainy concocts the magic device to save the day. In recent stories the Legion is 100% dependent on Brainiac 5 for direction and effectiveness. That's rapidly becoming boring, Geoff (especially since Vril Dox II is running the same act in R.E.B.E.L.s right now). You need to put Brainiac on the back burner for a while, instead of making him the constant brainy ex machina. Let the other Legionnaires shine.

Besides, after all those issues of 3 Brainiacs arguing with each other, I think we're all a little burned out on the jerk.

Enough with the 21st Century: Under Johns, the Legion has been all time-travel, all the time. Let's send Legionnaires on missions back then, let's invite 21st century heroes to come help us out, let's revive dead 21st century heroes, let's have a surviving 21st century Green Lantern save our bacon, the big threat for Lo3W was from the 21st century...I'm all for hooking up with current DC continuity, but man o man, Johns is overdoing it. Now that Legion has its own feature, can we please just focus on the 31st century for awhile? That was always one of the joys of the Legion, seeing their version of life in the future. It's not a franchise that should be constantly backward looking.

This is the Legion, dammit: Twice now Johns has had the Legion had to send back in time to Superman for help. Then they had to summon two whole alternate Legions for help. Then they had to revive 2 dead Teen Titans for help. And then they needed a Green Lantern.

Guest stars are nice, but it would also be nice to see a Legion that's actually able to deal with a crisis without having to outsource. So far in Johns' stories, the Legion has been about as effective as the Legion of Substitute Heroes, and had to rely on "real" DC heroes to bail them out. Mr. Johns, this is The Legion of Freakin' Super-Heroes--they shouldn't need to be rescued every story.

Don't Make It Civil War/Initiative/Dark Reign: Mark Waid had his Legion at constant odds with the United Planets. Jim Shooter dedicated thousands of pages to Lightening Lad arguing with bureaucrats who wanted to shut the Legion down. Johns had the Legion discredited and disbanded, and the first issue of Lo3W had the U.P. debating whether or not they actually needed a Legion.

Enough. We don't need to have constant happy relations between the Legion and Earthgov and the U.P. But, but the same reasoning, we don't need constantly bad relations, either. We've now had 6 years of the Legion being treated like a red-headed Durlan stepchild, and it's old. It's a lazy way to ratchet up tension in your stories by now. And besides, that's Marvel's bag these days. How about just letting the Legion do their job, instead of constantly fighting bureaucrats?

Tyroc: Look, if you're going to insist on restoring the "original" Legion, fine. Then you damned well better give my Tyroc.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Number By Any Other Name Would Still Be #600

Marvel foolishly restarted most of their big titles with new #1 issues back in the 1990s (several times, in the case of some of their titles).

Recently, though, Marvel has decided to re-renumber most of the titles, not too coincidentally just as they approach #600.

Or are they really approaching #600? Here, just to pick a month at random, are the numbers for some Marvel titles cover-dated April, 1989:

Fantastic Four #325
Amazing Spider-Man #314
Incredible Hulk #354
Captain America #352
Thor #402

OK, how about some September 2009 cover date issue numbers?

Fantastic Four #568
Amazing Spider-Man #600
Incredible Hulk #600
Captain America #601
Thor #602

Hmmm...Pretty odd how all those books that were so far away in issue numbers 10 years ago all just happened to hit #600 within 2 months of each other, eh? And kind of funny how the Fantastic Four, which has had its own title longer than any of those others, has been lapped and left in the dust. (Amazing Spider-Man has been publishing thrice monthly for over a year now, so there's a partial excuse in that case).

Marvel's been cooking the books, is all I'm sayin'.

So when does Iron Man, whose series has been going longer than Cap's, get the 600 treatment?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Night Fights--Legacy Style!!

Here at Slay Monstrobot, we feel there's nothing more charming then a father and son reunion, lyrics courtesy of Harry Chapin:

A child arrived just the other day,
came to the world in the usual way,
But there were planes to catch
and bills to pay, he learned to walk while I wasaway
He was talking before I knew it and as he grew
he said I'm going to be like you Dad,
you know I'm going to be like you.

My son turned 10 just the other day,
Said thanks for the ball now c'mon let's play
Will you teach me to throw, I said not today,
I've got a lot to do, he said that's ok
And he walked away and he smiled and he said
You know I'm going to be like you, Dad,
you know I'm going to be like you.

He came from college just the other day,
so much like a man I just had to say,
I'm proud of you, won't you sit for a while
He shook his head and said with a smile,
What I'm feeling like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later can I have them please.

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me, my boy was just like

Oh, how touching. Even Spacebooger has a tear forming...

Captain Marvel Sr. and Captain Marvel Jr whale on each other in Captain Marvel #11 (2000), by Peter David, Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom.

Lyrics and video below:

Lyrics | Harry Chapin lyrics - Cat's In The Cradle lyrics

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Golden Age Idol--#711!!

As we continue to scour the Golden Age for public domain heroes to revive, sometimes you stumble upon a no-brainer--a hero so cool and unique that you don't even have to go to the judges for a verdict, and just automatically advance 'em to the next round.

Let's bop back to 1941, when two friends are having a little crisis meeting:

Daniel, on the other-hand, is just plain old weak-minded, no criminality necessary
Dyce needs better friendsDon't ask, Dan...please don't ask.

Seriously, who's that good a friend??D'oh!!

This guy is so trustworthyYes, and there's absolutely no way that plan could possibly go wrong, is there?

What, this state has only had 710 previous convicts?!?Two days later?!? Two days?? Man, justice was swift back then.

By the way, don't you think they'd at least check a guy's ID or something before they chuck him in the can for life?!? Fingerprints? Anything?!

Still, absolutely nothing could go wrong with this plan, could it?!?

C'mon, dude,  you know that he so faked it!

So what's a wrongfully convicted (albeit due to his own idiocy) guy to do? That's right, tunnel!

Hey, with only 711 prisoners, they haven't had a chance to improve security yet!But once stupid, always stupid, as...

Stockholm syndromeSo now what? Well, and this is admittedly really really cool, Dyce picks up on all the underworld scuttlebutt from within the prison, and then uses his tunnel to sneak out at night and thwart crime!!

Where'd he get the costume?!?
Very, very brownAnd his nom de guerre? Why, his prisoner number, of course!!

Should've been 771, then it would have been 'ill' upside down...Now admittedly, we do have pronunciation problems to deal with: do we call him "Seven hundred eleven?" Or "Seven Eleven?" Or "Seven One One?"

But man, what a cool concept. Prisoner by day, crime fighter by night...and with obvious commercial endorsement possibilities (just picture him drinking a Slurpee before kicking the crap out of some thug!!).

Yup, I declare that there's nothing that can keep 711 from being the next big thing!! We have our Golden Age Idol winner!!

Just a temporary setback...Uhh....look, no problem. Like you're really going to believe some gangster when he declares that he's killed a mask? As if...

If it's on a scroll, it must be official!Uhhh....hmmmm...OK...look, that's just last-panel hyperbole, right? 711 will come roaring back to life next issue, right?

Shit.Oh, dear...anybody got a spare Black Lantern ring?


Panels from Police Comics #1 & 14-16 (1941-42). Yes, George Brenner did kill off his own creation in #15. Must have blown the kiddies' little minds back then, eh?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Give Me Your Pardon, Sir

One of the most astonishing things I've ever seen in a mainstream comic book, chapter 27:

Let's set the scene: Avengers #92 (1971). At this point the team consists of the Vision, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and Clint Barton-Goliath.

It's the early days of the Kree-Skrull War, the public is turning on the Avengers, and Neal Adams drops this cover on us:

Now, let me emphasize that this is not a symbolic cover. The scene depicted actually happens in the issue (albeit not until the last page):

So, just for review: we get an accurate Neal Adams cover, depicting events that actually happen in the issue.

So what does Marvel do? They apologize!!!!!

And they don't apologize in a months-later letter column, after having received fan complaints. Nope, in that very issue they print the apology.

Even though the cover is accurate, Stan or Roy felt the scene inside the comic should have been bigger, and more badass, to justify a cover. So unprompted, they apologize.


Leaving aside the lack of letter columns today, the odds of this happening these days (from either company)? Just about zero...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Alive!! ALIVE!!!

Well, I'm back, more or less.

So, what fun, inspiring, life-affirming comics did I miss last week?

Oh, Geoff Johns, you sick bastard...

Anyway, I am indeed back. Thanks to one and all for messages and prayers and yadda.

Long story short: I somehow ended up with a fairly huge and gross MRSA staph abscess in my hand, which required surgery and a short hospital stay. (And let's here it for the American health care industry, as my insurance company demanded I be discharged days earlier than my doctors recommended, and with drugs far less effective than they recommended! Hey, but it's all worth it to avoid rationing and bureaucrats...)

But I'm fine, I'm relatively pain-free, and with the bonus of some doctor-mandated time off of work. So it's back on the posting pony.

I effectively have one hand for awhile, so they'll probably be shorter posts (with more typos!) and fewer pretty pictures. But soon, we'll ramp up to full-blooded obnoxiousness, silliness, and total kewlness.

Seriously, was there anything really cool I missed last week?

Ahhhh, that's more like it...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Don't Nurses Wear These Uniforms Anymore?

This is how my Thursday went...

Except for the good and exciting parts. I'm laid up in the hospital for a yet to be determined period. Posting will resume sometime next week. Sorry, dudes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Day Of Liberation Is At Hand, My Sinister Friends

In Avengers #92 (1971), some jerk is whipping up a big anti-alien furor, and trying to get the Avengers to turn over Mar-Vell, who's been hanging with them for awhile.

Hawke...I mean Goliath is ready to turn Captain Trademark Protection over, just to cool the uproar for awhile. But the Vision lays out why that would be pretty uncool:

Well said. Now...hey, what was that last part again?!?

Sounds good to me!! Finally, an even battle with the right-handed oppressors? Let me get my gun.

Oh, what do you mean it was just a rhetorical flourish? Grumble grumble....get my hopes up for nothing...

Special note to Dwayne McDuffie: You know, instead of complaining publicly about having to have the Avengers consist of "Cap's Kooky Quartet--without Cap," Roy Thomas just went and wrote the bleedin' Kree-Skrull War. I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Prior Commitment

Too busy to post tonight:

It's the All-Star Game!!

Go amuse yourselves.

Go, National League!!


Damn you, American League...

Damn you to hell!!