Saturday, March 31, 2012

Self-Awareness Saturday--Pot, Meet Kettle

In the Bendis-scripted portion of Avengers Vs. X-Men #0, the Scarlet Witch confronts a particularly yakkity villain, and...

You know, if you're gonna make my job this easy, Slay Monstrobot Inc may fire me and replace me with a robot...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Night Fights--M-I-C-K-E-Y Style!!

Well, we still don't have our computer back, but we here at Slay Monstrobot are a tenacious lot. So with spit, bailing wire, some very useful phone apps, and a heckuva lot of patience, we're back for this week's installment of Friday Night Fights!

And while we're pretty quick to revel in the fact that we're the #1 website in the galaxy for "man-on-animal action," it's high time we shed some light on the seamier side of things: animal-on-animal action!!

Our good friend Mickey Mouse has been trapped on a desert island. And his hunt for food is about to get dangerous:


This is usually where I say something clever about Spacebooger, but that's Just too darn hard while working with the equivalent of stone knives and bearskins...

Mickey's island getaway comes courtesy of the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip in 1930, by Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks and Win Smith, as reprinted in Fantagraphics' Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race To Death Valley.

So now is time for you to go and vote for me. Why? Because putting this post together took far longer than it should have. Yeah, I'm not above the pity vote...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

At Last, My Seal Of Approval

Look, I know I've said some unkind things about Bendis' run on the Avengers. But if he had done a little more of this...

...things woulda been a lot better.

Yes, M.O.D.O.K. has a flying dinosaur head...

From Avengers Vs. X-Men #0

The Island Of Annoying Sidekicks

The dedication inside the front cover of this week's Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred ...

Oh, Doctor is, of course, a mark of my age that I frequently wander around work moaning, "Oh, William, the pain," and none of the young punks know what the hell I'm talking about.

Of course, Zachary Smith was an incredibly obnoxious whiney useless pain in the ass--even child snell saw that, and wondered why they didn't throw the schlub out the airlock. (The real answer, of course, is that the lazy writers had no other way to generate action/conflict when all of the other characters were the noble do-gooders that the Robinsons were...)

Of course, Smith was hardly the only useless character who existed only to get the level-headed leads into trouble (there's never a shortage of lazy writers...) In my more masochistic moments, I like to imagine a series where Dr. Smith, C-3PO, Angel from the Rockford Files, and Gilligan are trapped on a deserted planetoid. Just picture the whining...

You are, of course, allowed to make further nominations to populate this sad, sad moon...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Comics

In the far future (or is it the distant past?)...

DANNISS: Well, all of the other Districts have been absorbed--Fawcett, Charlton, Quality, Wildstorm...

GEOFFNISS: But how will we keep them from rebelling? How will we keep the unruly fans in line?

JIMMITCH: Simple. At regular intervals we shall demand "tributes" from them. The captive universes shall have to offer up their best and brightest characters to culling events!

DANNISS: I love it! "Worlds will live, worlds will die!"

GEOFFNISS: But won't the fans rebel? Won't they be upset that their favorite tributes are being wiped away?

JIMMITCH: That's the beauty part! Everyone will read anyway! No matted how much they complain, they will keep reading, as if they're forced! Indeed, the more they claim to hate it, the more controversial, the MORE they shall read! The more hated we are, the more they will read...because we will always leave them hope...

DANNISS: I love it!! We can repeat it indefinitely! The Crisis Games! The Infinite Crisis Games! The Final Crisis Games! The...

GEOFFNISS: But won't we end up doing damage to our own characters? So many games, so much death so many lies and "retcons ", so much abuse of the Tributes...

JIMMITCH: That's all right...we can always replace them with Tributes from MY District. People are much more interested in Grifter and Voodoo than they are Wally West or Donna Troy, anyway...

DANNISS: I love it! And one year we can have 52 Tributes! 52!!! God, I love that number!!!

GEOFFNISS: But won't one of his own books be one of the first culled...?

JIMMITCH: Sshh, let him have his fun. Now, let's talk about finding work for my friend Robbniss...

DANNISS. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Archie Andrews--

--proudly upholding the stereotype of male slovenliness for 70+ years. (This example is from 1989...

95¢?!? Hold that line, Archie...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Manic Monday--In Which I Reccomend A Comic Book

Well, since repairing my computer apparently means they have to walk the components over from China or wherever, I'm still on minimalist mode. So, in lieu of scanning panels of comedy hijinks, I'll just recommend a new book:

Smoke And Mirrors didn't get as much publicity as some of the other recent new titles from Image or Vertigo, but based on the first issue, this is a pretty darned good book.

Premise: we're on a modern day world where "science" is magic. Appliances are powered by spells, cars are powered my "charged talismans," iPads are scrying devices whose "apps" are really remote viewing spells...all of their "technology" is magic. (Best bit...their "Steve Jobs" making a presentation over the development of a new type of spell control that will "revolutionize everything.")

Enter a troubled teen, who encounters a street magician doing tricks that aren't physically possible by their laws of magic. How? Let's just say that he's using "magic" more akin to what we're used to in this world...

It's a good read, and a great set-up, and there is an actual real-world magic trick in each issue, and doggone it, it's fun! There are certainly still copies sitting on the shelf from last week at your local comics shoppe (or, you can get in online, because that's what you kids do these days....). So go read it.

Obviously, Too Much Alfredo Before Bedtime...

It's too bad that DC doesn't do Elsewhere stories anymore (unless, of course, you consider the whole nu52 an Elseworlds story...) Because I dreamed a doozy last night...

It opens with a big splash of Superman awakening in the Martian desert, and John Carter yelling from across the red sands, "Kaor, Kal-El!!"

This is why they don't let me write comics...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Forget The Flying Cars--Where The Hell Is My Computer?!?

Sorry, kiddies, apparently they had to get a time machine, travel back into the past, and bribe some corrupt government official to invent new technology for the enslaved Mayans to build in order to find an "impossible to find' part for my 3 year old computer.

Fortunately, my schedule clears up considerably next week, so the increased time (along with the benevolence of friends and their machines) should see an increase to something resembling normal posting. Sigh....where's H.E.R.B.I.E. when you need him??

Friday, March 23, 2012

If It Please The Court

It's going to be a couple of weeks until my computer is fixed, as apparently we are living in Flintstones times. So low content mode will continue for awhile. Today? Let's take on contemporary issues!!

Well, you all know by now, starting Monday the U.S. Supreme Court will begin a record three days of argument on the most important constitutional issue to confront our nation in some time:


Hmm, I'm betting they vote "no"...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Damn You, Ultron!!

Well, the good old computer has bricked, so posting is going to be pretty minimal here the next few days as I get this resolved.

Keep reading comics until I get back....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Is Why Amtrak Is Bankrupt

Little Archie and office boy/aspiring cub reporter Jimmy Olsen Jimmy Lee have been trying to track down reclusive billionaire/adventurer Caleb Warfield. Warfield has been turning Riverdale upside down looking for some treasure maps left by a pirate ancestor. But our heroes track him down, and...

OK, Riverdale has an express train to New York City? Riverdale??

Now, Riverdale's "true location" has always been shadowed in mystery and riddle. Clearly, continuity's not Archie's bag, but "canonical" sources have placed it anywhere from Massachusetts to Mississippi to Iowa to California. For what it's worth, one story has Riverdale High taking a field trip to the Gulf Of Mexico. Once an editor, when asked where Riverdale was, opined,
Riverdale is more of a state of mind than an actual physical location. It could be anywhere that kind people live and just have fun, like Archie and his friends. It could be in the Midwest, or along the Eastern Seaboard, or even a town in Canada, Mexico, or England.

Yeah, right. Me, I think it's just sent inside a holodeck, part of some Marvelman-like psychological experiment on a bunch of kidnapped teens (who are now doubtless in the 90s...)

Still, we can't say for certain that Riverdale isn't somewhat close to the Big Apple, justifying an express train.

I'm still doubting, though...

From Archie Annual Digest #29 (1976-1977). Yes, I spent time scanning and uploading a whole lotta panels that weren't really relevant just so I could discuss the hypothetical geography of a fictional comic book universe, and make a lame joke about Amtrak. My life--whatta waste...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Well, the big announcement out of WonderCon (at least for me) was that Dynamite has picked up the rights to do a Judge Dredd ongoing and reprints of the classics.

So congratulations to Dynamite on...

Wait, what??

Oh, geez, I'm sorry. That was an old item, from 2008!! Silly me!!

The Dynamite deal never went anywhere, was never even mentioned again for 4 years....4 looooong Dreddless years.

But of course, that is no reason to doubt this brand-spanking new announcement!!

Yup, just like Neville Chamberlain returning from Berlin waving his piece of paper, IDW insists that they have achieved Judge Dredd in our time.

Just like Dynamite's premature celebration 4 years ago, we have the promise of an all-new ongoing and reprints of the British stuff. Unlike Dynamite's announcement, IDW has even less specifics--no creators announced, no time frame, no real details at all (not that those details helped Dynamite at all in 2008...)

Hey, don't get me wrong. No one wants a Judge Dredd series over here more than I do. So I'm rooting for this to actually happen. And if IDW does succeed in actually getting the project launched, well, how far away can a Judge Dredd/Godzilla crossover be? And that, my friends, is a consummation devoutly to be wished!!

And it should be noted that the forthcoming Dredd movie may--may--provide enough incentive to get the project going in time to ride those coattails.

Still, given the recent track record, we probably want to avoid jubilation--at least until we actually get something more concrete. So let's meet back here in 2016 and see if anything's been published yet...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Manic Monday--What's In A Name?

A couple of brief notes for those casting Marvel as the villain in the whole "Captain Marvel/Shazam" trademark imbroglio:

A) It was DC who sued Captain Marvel out of existence in the first place.

B) Marvel Comics didn't introduce their Captain Marvel until 15 years after the original folded, and 10 years after the trademark had lapsed, during which time DC had shown no interest in reviving the original. It's not as if Marvel were sneaky vultures, leaping on the name ten seconds after the trademark lapsed, or as soon as they renamed themselves Marvel. Other than M. F. Enterprises brief flirtation with the name in 1966, no one else wanted the name.

C) DC didn't decide to licence the characters and relaunch them until 5 years after Marvel's Marvel, so they went in knowing this was the situation.

D) Maybe no one has thought this out, but if Marvel relinquished the rights to DC, they'd be in a ROM/Master Of Kung Fu situation, unable to reprint any of their Captain Marvel material without rebranding it (Hala! ??). Say goodbye to forthcoming The Essential Captain Marvel Volume 2, with all those Jim Starlin stories...

E) Yes, in Happy Fluffy Bunny World, Marvel would relent and, in a measure of astonishing good faith, give up their completely legal and justified claim to the trademark for little or no recompense, just because that's what fans want. Hey, I'd love to see that, too.

Sadly, it's not Happy Fluffy Bunny World, and that's not how businesses--especially Disney-owned businesses--operate. I also can't help but wonder whether, if it wasn't a corporate monolith but an independent or creator-owned book that had snagged the trademark, we'd still be so eager for that person to just smilingly hand the name back to DC for $1 or whatever.

And, as DC caused this mess in the first place, so it's pretty hard for me to see them as victims here. Not to put too blunt a metaphor on it, but they murdered Captain Marvel, and after letting the corpse lie fallow for years, they act like they're the victim because they don't get to freely play with all the departed's toys.

F) And does anybody really believe that the reason a Billy Batson book can't thrive is because DC can do everything except throw the Captain Marvel logo on the cover? Would DC have done one iota better with the comic over the past 40 years, had they had the trademark? I somehow doubt it...

So, yeah, I wish they they could call him Captain Marvel, too. But I'm not shedding any tears for DC.

Manic Monday--Perhaps They Didn't Get The Memo

So, correct me if the company line has changed yet again, but DC Comics is renaming Captain Marvel as Shazam because "everyone already thinks that's his name," and they don't want to confuse new readers.

And yet...

And we've been told that Wally West had to go because Barry was more "iconic," and that having multiple Flashes around might be bewildering to the alleged new readers DC would be drawing in.

And yet...

And Donna Troy? Well, now, don't get us started. Too young for our new continuity, we can't seem to pay our writers enough to come up with an actual origin that sticks, and, once again, gotta make things clean and simple for those who might be checking into DC for the first time.

And yet...

And yet...

Two weeks ago, the Young Justice cartoon prominently featured Billy Batson, as Captain Marvel. No, not as SHAZAM (although he said SHAZAM an awful lot), He, and everybody else, referred to him as Captain Marvel.

DC Animated, it seems, is blithely unconcerned that their (presumably younger) audience will find the name confusing, or that they think he's called Shazam. Odd...

One week ago, Young Justice featured a Kid Flash solo story, starring Wally West. Yep, Wally.

DC Animated, it seems, doesn't think that the presence of Wally West takes anything away from the "main" Flash. Or that you need to completely wipe one out of the continuity in order to make the other work. Hmmm...

This weekend, the DC Nation shorts starred Donna Troy and, once again, Captain Marvel (and, once again, he was referred to as Captain Marvel).

DC Animated, it seems, is on a different page than DC Comics when it comes to how to deal with these characters.

DC Comics seems to believe that potential new readers (and remember, their coveted new demo is males 18-35) are dullards who can't comprehend the same comics stories we (and they) read whilst growing up. DC Animated, catering to a younger demo, trusts their viewers to be able to follow along, and indeed expects them to be interested enough to want more.

DC Comics wants to run away screaming from their back catalog. DC Animated respects DC's rich and glorious history, and even wallows in it.

DC Comics dodges questions, or gives coy non-answers, or insults the questioner, when asked about beloved character X. DC Animated respects the long-time fan, and seemingly isn't satisfied unless they're putting 5.3 references to fan favorites per episode (Rita Farr!!!)

It's as if DC's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, as if they're two completely different companies.

Then again, given the long lag time in cartoon production, maybe DC Animated just hadn't received the memo yet...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mombo Dogface To The Banana Patch?

Then again, there are toys that I'm glad my parents never got me...


You know, I can just picture the meeting deep inside the bowels of Kenner HQ...

JONES: Sir, there's a problem with our new doll, Nice Nancy!!

SMITH: What's the problem, Jones?

JONES: Well, we gave her a voicebox, just like you wanted...but someone screwed up!! Half the time, she just strings random nonsense phrases together! We'll have to junk the entire run!!

SMITH: Not so fast, Jones, I'm having a brainstorm. Hmmm....It's not a bug, it's a design feature!! We market the doll as if we deliberately wanted her to talk nonsense!!

JONES: You're a genius, sir!!

Ad from Mod Wheels #15 (1975).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Bad Day For Sivana

And Luthor thinks that he has it tough...

From Captain Marvel Adventures #100 (1949)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Night Fights--Dreaded Deadline Doom Style!!

Well, this Friday Night Fight is going to take some explainin'.

You see, back in 1977, Steve Gerber found himself running way behind on a lot of things. So far behind, that he didn't get the synopsis for Howard The Duck #16 (1977) to Gene Colan in time for the issue to finished by deadline.

And back then, Marvel did NOT miss ship dates. EVER. If the creators didn't have the book done in time, there was no delay, no slippage on the dates--they just put in a reprint and sent that puppy to the printers.

So, it looked as if Howard #16 was going to be a rerun. Until, at the eleventh hour, Gerber had the "inspiration." Instead of a lousy stinking rerun, he would craft a book length essay--yes, an essay. As Gerber described it, "all about the relationship between a boy and his Duck. And comics in general. And living at the precipice, playing the Balance Game over the cosmic chasm filled with lime jello."

Yeah, it sounds crazy, but in his defense, he had just finished having KISS fight Doctor Doom, so a lot of odd things make sense once you've done that.

Somehow, Marvel went along with this, and Gerber managed to get a bunch of Bullpenners to produce, with zero time to spare, a series of double-page spreads, over which appeared Gerber's typewritten--typewritten!!--essay/conversation with his character/stream of consciousness/critique of the medium/public display of a mental breakdown. He included, at the end, a faux letter to the editor from himself, criticizing the issue.

It was, unquestionably, the oddest comic book ever published by the Big Two up to that point, and pretty darned controversial. And little 13 year old snell had his mind completely blown. Which explains an awful lot about me today.

But back to our Friday Night raison d'etre. Chock in the middle of this, this, this thing that was Howard The Duck #16, was this:

Yes, really.

And how did this fight end up?

And there's your fight!

FYI, here's what the entire page looked like:

Poor Spacebooger is pulling his hair out trying to figure out how to describe this fight on the ballot this week...

Steve Gerber and Tom Palmer presented this CLASH OF THE TITANS, this BRAIN-BLASTING BATTLE SCENE of an ostrich and a Las Vegas Chorus girl against a killer lampshade. In case you were wondering who was responsible for my turning out the way I am.

So, now has come the time for you to go and vote for this fight. Why mine? Well, I can fairly safely assert that no one else has a fight quite like this one this week (or any week, for that matter). So vote.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quote Of The Week

Oh, Jeff Lemire, why are you leaving Frankenstein? You're breaking my heart!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Golden Age Of Womanhood

Oh, to be a woman in Fox Comics back in the 1940s!!

So many career opportunities were available!!

For example, you could be a clerk at a pawn shop!

Of course, that just gets you kidnapped by crooks and tortured. Still a little hair-pulling isn't that bad, eh?

OK, that is a downer...but Blue Beetle saved her, so everything's good!

So maybe pawn shop clerk is out. How about spaceship captain? When you're Rex Dexter's girlfriend Cynde, there are plenty of opportunities!

See, boldly standing up for space ship captain equality!! Take that, Janice Lester!!

Of course, in addition to being equal, a female space ship captain gets the unbelievable bonus of posing for futuristic upskirt shots...

...being hijacked by goons because you're a girl...

...and being rescued by your man!!

What's not to love??

Worried about space sickness? OK, how about trying life as a big-city debutante? That's a winning lifestyle!!

Of course, 11 other debs have been murdered and "cut to pieces." So maybe there's a slight drawback...

For the record, this "doctor" is never named, never given any back story, no motivation or explanation whatsoever--he just likes to carve up young women, I guess.

Hey, Green Mask saved her, so really, how could she have been in any real danger?!?

Don't worry, we have plenty of career options left for you gals. How about secretary to a powerful oil executive?


Yes, being kidnapped by stereotypical Chinese masterminds who are "carrying on a vendetta against the white race" is part of the job is:

Again, no worries...the handsome white hero saved her!!

Wow, you dames are pretty picky. Oh, one last try. You can be the inventor of a new secret Navy airplane, and a crack pilot!!

...and they still show you in your undies.

Still, if that's the worst that could happen...

Oh, yeah, well, being snatched (while in your unmentionables) by Russkie spies is all part of the job when you're a famous inventor, right? Right...?

Oh, dear...
Not to worry. Because you're so important, Lt. Drake Of The U.S. Naval Intelligence is on the job, and rescues you!

See...a career that leads to personal happiness!!!

All of these panels are from Mystery Men Comics #13 (1940). You've come a long way, baby!