Showing posts with label Darkseid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darkseid. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quien Es Mas Macho?

Wherein I once again waste everyone's time by nitpicking 32 year old answers from a column giving quickie answers to quickie questions sent in mainly by kids.

From Bob Rozakis' Answer Man column in Flash #273 (1979):

Hmmm. This one will require some thought.

Remember, this is 1979, so we're pre-Mongul, pre-Doomsday, pre-Anti-Monitor.

Much also hinges on how you're defining "strongest." The Composite Superman has all of the combined powers of the Legion Of Super-Heroes, so that's pretty powerful. And because, at least in the initial version, he had the combined strength and invulnerability of Supergirl, Mon-El and Ultra Boy, he was theoretically 3 times as strong as Superman.

As to the Parasite, it was a DC Science fact (at that time) that he couldn't ever absorb 100% of Superman's powers, because his cells couldn't handle it and he would inconveniently explode. So that would seem to leave him substantially behind the Composite Superman, who could be as powerful as 3 Supermen plus a whole heap of other powers. Plus, Parasite's power boosts were temporary.

Other candidates? Assuming you're excluding magic makers like Mxyzptlk, we could try Amazo--there have been a lot of inconsistencies in which powers he has over the years, but at the very least he has the combined powers of Wonder Woman, J'onn J'onzz, Aquaman, Flash and Green Lantern. So, depending on how you read it, he's near the Composite's level (plus, sometime he throws Superman's powers on there...).

You who else Rozakis ignored?


That's not a huge surprise, though, as until the JSA/JLA/New Gods story in 1980, the New Gods post-Kirby had very little interaction with the rest of the DC Universe--Darkseid was mainly the "house villain" for the first attempted New Gods revival, not the universal threat he would later become. So at that point, he probably wasn't firmly established in everyone's mind as being that dang strong and powerful.

So, let's put it to you, peanut gallery--who was the "strongest villain" in DC circa 1979??

Thursday, December 23, 2010

At Least It Wasn't Sharon Stone?

Dear Len Wein, and Frank Quitely:

Never, never, never, never, NEVER....

...give us a buffalo shot of Darkseid again.

Oh, my eyes!! My eyes!!!

From DC Universe Legacies #8

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Apokolips

Just to make sure that I'm clear on the concept...

Maxwell Lord manage to (temporarily, at least) ramp up his powers so much that he wiped out any memory of himself from every person on Earth...

But, given this:

If Max's plan is to work, he must also have somehow gone in and wiped out every news broadcast; every single pixel on all of the cameras at that press conference, all of the film of people talking about Max Lord; every internet reference; every record of Wonder Woman's murder trial; every History Channel special on the post-Crisis JLA (and by the way, the History Channel must really rock in the DC Universe); every Daily Show reference (and, yes, the Daily Show too must rock in the DC Universe); the time Maxwell Lord hosted SNL must be somehow wiped off of every DVD (oh, c'mon, you know JLI era Max would have hosted SNL); every email and Twitter mentioning Max...well, you get the idea. And wouldn't everybody wonder what the hell they were doing at that press conference.

But even if that mysterious energy explosion with Captain Atom somehow magically wiped out every record of Max (and only records of Max, and "fixed" those records so there were no Max-sized holes in the record, if you take my meaning)...even if that was so, there is still every physical back copy of every newspaper and magazine that ever mentioned Max, every gossip column, every unauthorized biography and National Enquirer expose, every piece of paper that Max ever signed while heading up JLI or Checkmate, etc...

In other words, if we're to believe this scenario, Max Lord is more powerful than Darkseid. After all, even with the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid couldn't control the minds of every person on Earth, couldn't destroy of manipulate all of the data on Earth to that degree, couldn't impose such a total mind-frak. For the scenario to make any sense, Max Lord must be so ridiculously powerful, you wonder why the hell he's dicking around like this.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The REAL Anti-Life Equation

We all know that Grant Morrison came up with a really, really lame explanation of what the famous "Anti-Life Equation" is (your mileage, of course, may vary).

Fortunately, I have stumbled across the real Anti-Life Equation, and it's far, far deadlier:

Uncle Sam battles whatsit, now?

Careful, don't say it aloud...

You see, prior to Pearl Harbor, the biggest threat our shores faced was, apparently, evil poets bent on taking over the country:

Now, read this, and tell me it doesn't behave exactly like the Anti-Life Equation:

OK, Will Eisner's poetry isn't going to win any awards, I'll grant you. But the net effect...well, it's even more effective than Darkseid sending out evil emails:

Even the president is afflicted, with FDR giving one of the more chilling Fire(Dark)side Chats ever:

So, it's that easy: come up with a nonsense phrase (or Anti-Life Equation), and you've taken over the country.

But our mad poet must learn a devastating lesson: you don't #$%^ with Uncle Sam!!

The good news is, the cure is relatively simple, as Uncle Sam just has to pull a Zatanna and read the bloody phrase backwards over the radio to save everybody. Really, it's that easy:

And the final fate of our villain:

Sam locked him in a room with a parrot trained to repeat the phrase ad infinitum (hopefully, they trained the parrot one word at a time)...and the poet kills himself. Again, do not #$%^ with Uncle Sam.

Final Crisis, done in only 4 pages, by Will Eisner (script, & art on the splash page) and
Dave Berg (yes, the Mad Magazine Dave Berg) in Uncle Sam Quarterly #1 (1941).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Customer Service

To the person who found this site with a search for "Darkseid/Galactus slash fanfiction":

1) Sorry, can't help you.

2) Eeeewwwwwwww.

To the person who found this site with a search for "Wonder Woman porn":

1) Sorry, can't help you.

2) Really? That's the best you can do?

To the person who found this site with a search for "mad libs about King Arthur":

1) Dude, welcome. You're a true geek.

2) King Arthur (Verb, past tense) Lancelot in the (Noun).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

Thank you, Greg Rucka, for using issue #2 of Final Crisis: Revelations to remind us that Grant Morrison actually told us, back in the Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle mini-series, what the Anti-Life Equation was.

That's right, the mystical MacGuffin that Darkseid spent centuries looking for goes:

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

Yup, after all the decades of hullabaloo, after all those comics where Darkseid just couldn't ferret out the intricacies of the Anti-Life Equation, it turns out to be just some lyrics from a Morrissey album, or a word salad from a depressed 7th grader's journal (probably accompanied by drawing of heavy metal skateboarders fighting tanks, or some such).

Some writers need to be reminded that they're really not doing Jack Kirby's work any favors with lame attempts to take mystery out of what was meant to be inherently undefined and, well, mysterious. Next thing you know, they'll try to destroy whatever subtlety was left from his Fourth World by doing something stupid like, oh, I don't know, renaming Darkseid "Dark Side" or something.

Oh, wait...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

10 Questions... provide your own answers. You won't be graded. Except maybe in heaven.

1) We were assured again and again that Final Crisis wouldn't be crossing over into any ongoing series.

Pay no attention to the people named exactly the same as the evil New Gods...So what, exactly, do you call all those books with the "Dark Side Club" banner at the top, featuring pointless appearances by the evil New New Gods?

2) How stupid, exactly, are all the inhabitants of the DC Universe, when characters named Dark Side and Granny Goodness show up, and they don't have an inkling that something is up?

3) Issue #1 of the Fantastic Four was set in Central City. Yes, Central City.

Summon call the Justice League!!Did the Flash drive them out, or did the FF decide that they were movin' on up to the big city?

4) If you're a super-powered villain, why the hell are you robbing banks in cities with heroes?? Why not knock off a bank in Kalamazoo, or Hoboken, or Springfield??

5) Spoiler if you haven't seen Hulk yet--At the end of the movie, Tony Stark tells General Ross that "the super soldier program was put on ice for a reason." "ON ICE." Get it?!?!? GET IT?!?!

Stopp--collaborate and listen...Given that Stark has the shield in his lab...hmmm...

6) OK, spoilers done. What is the likelihood that the Thor movie is going to come over fire for promoting paganism?

7) Scene we need to see filmed: General Ross and J. Jonah Jameson getting massively drunk in a bar and arguing over who's got the worse menace...OK, that's not a question. But still...

8) Whatever happened to Lobo? "The Main Man" just sorta dropped off the face of the DC Universe. Don't get me wrong, I HATED Lobo, so I'm glad, but for a while the guy was as hot as Wolverine. Wha happened?

9) Since the DC Universe has all of the "real" American cities in addition to all their fictional ones, does that mean they have really, really big sports leagues?

10) Why don't people talk more about Jonathan Hickman's books??

Monday, April 28, 2008

51 Issues and Nothing On

Well, then, here we are: 52 (strike that, 51) weeks later, we've had our "greatest phase of change" and "every major event and and nearly every character spinning in and out of the story." (So sayeth Dan DiDio) So, never minding the sheer editorial incompetence I discussed yesterday, what, exactly, did we learn about the DC Universe? What was the story about, and how was it told? Did Countdown matter, even if ineptly executed?

In terms of the story, at least, we learned virtually nothing. The climax of the storyline, in issue #2 (because most countdowns climax at two, you see) was just the wrap up-up of the storyline from Death of the New Gods. That's right, the the 8-issue limited series DoNG didn't even wrap up on it's own, but was to-be-continued in Countdown. Unfortunately, issue #8 of DoNG appeared AFTER Countdown #2, so we got the story's ultimate chapter before it's penultimate chapter...way to go, guys.

Seriously, that was about it...the entire point of Countdown was to show the outcome of some other mini-series. It turns out the whole reason we were on board for 52 (ahem, 51) issues was to watch Orion kill Darkseid. So why not make DoNG a 9 issue mini-series? Good question, padawan...

What else did we learn? We learned that we were severely misled, as the series premiered with a cover promising this:

Almost none of these heroes had meaningful appearences in Countdownand delivered us a series starring this:

Seriously? These guys??Not a good way to start a relationship, lying to us like that (probably a wise marketing decision, though).

We also learned that the emperor has no clothes...Paul Dini, that is. Sure, he's pretty good at Batman, and he wrote some decent cartoons (okay, some really good cartoons), but this series showed that he's not good at plotting something epic length, and that he's not at all good in keeping continuity in a fully shared universe. He has little feel or regard for how characters were portrayed before he took them up, and showed a total inability to explain anyone's motivations. And the number of loose ends left untied, even after 52 (ahem, 51) padded and rambling issues, is stunning.

Let me say one thing before we continue on: I'm tired of hearing "it was mandated by editorial" as an excuse for a crappily written story. Sadly, that's become a convenient excuse to let writers that we like off the hook for piss-poor execution. And frankly, it's self-serving: as we saw with JMS's Spider-Man comments over the years, he's always been quick to publicly declare that every story fans hated was the editors' fault, and everything fans liked was all his doing. Conveniet, eh?

Yes, there are a TON of sins that can be laid at the feet of Mike Carlin and Dan DiDio; but at some point Dini himself is the one who put plot and words to paper, and he has to take his (ample) share of the blame. (And yes, we can always blame some of the "co-writers" and "creative consultants," but Dini was "head writer" throughout this mess, and that means nothing if we keep shifting the blame off to others).

Examples? How about Pied Piper?

Piper has amnesia, it would seemExcuse me, Paul Dini, but Piper ALREADY was on the side of the angels. He had reformed, remember? He and Trickster were just infiltrating the Rogues to get the dope on their plans, remember? You ought to remember, because that's exactly what you wrote in #51! So for the big climax to the arcs of one of your main characters, you forgot whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. Smooth.

Example: Captain Atom/Monarch. You know, I won't say Captain Atom is one of the top guns of the DC Universe, but he's hardly insignificant, either. And when someone like him goes off-the-deep-end rogue you really need to have SOME discussion in the series he's "starring" in about WHY he's gone bad, don't you? (Unless, of course, he was possessed by the color chartreuse or some such nonsense) However, we had no such discussion, no characterization, nothing. Hell, we hardly had any mention that he used to be a hero.

Example: Monarch & Superboy-Prime: They were both prime movers in this silliness. They faced off in issue #13, and theoretically killed each other: Prime ripped open Monarch's suit, and the resulting explosion destroyed THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE of Earth-51 (don't worry--it got better. Really). But Captain Atom has survived things like that before, either being thrown about in space/time or into another dimension. And Superboy-Prime survives (he's one of the villains in the upcoming Legion of 3 Worlds, so he was most likely just thrown forward in time). Yet despite the fact we've been beat over the head with how dangerous, how huge a threat to the multiverse these two are, there's not even a single inquiry into their final fate. Not a word balloon, not a thought balloon, not a caption, nit an asterisk, nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Example: The Challengers of the Unknown (what are they challenging? It's unknown!!). We've been shown REPEATEDLY through Countdown that these guys were no match for a single Monitor...but somehow we end up with this:

These guys couldn't take down Lord Havok and his Extremists...yet now they're going to boss around ALL the Monitors? Really? Does that make a lick of sense?

Example: The Morticoccus. OK, those of you who haven't read this series aren't going to believe me on this. The sole point of having Karate Kid in this series (the SOLE point!) was that he was infected with the Morticoccus, a sentient super-virus that can exist in multiple dimensions and is essentially death on wheels. KK's version was especially deadly because it came from the future, and so was already assimilated to 31st century medical technology, and laughed at our medicine. (Note to Brainiac-5: exiling people to the past with extinction-level diseases can't be good for the timeline...) Earth-51's universe is destroyed (the second time) by the Morticoccus...yet despite the contention that it was now airborne and that their immunizations were temporary, the Challengers traipsed back to Earth-1 with no ill effect, and Morticoccus was never mentioned again. At all. The whole "threat to all universes" bit was completely forgotten. The fact that Ray Palmer had to go around spreading his immunity to other universe was never mentioned again. Karate Kid was in this series just so we could spend 3 entire issues showing the origin of the Kamandi universe (which Kirby could have done in 3 pages, or even 3 panels...).

I could go on, with the pointlessness of it all. Jimmy Olsen: got superpowers, lost superpowers, absolutely no character growth. Why was he in this series? Jason Todd: still a vicious killer and torturer of criminals. Why was he in this series? Holly and Harley: were Amazons for 5 minutes, had gods-granted powers for 5 minutes, now they don't have them and are back in Gotham (with no mention of WHY they left Gotham in the first place, or any particular character arc whatsoever). Why were they in this series? Kyle Rayner: well, he was in this because...well, I don't have any idea whatsoever. Now he gets to moonlight by Monitoring the Monitors (get it? GET IT?!?!), with absolutely no mention of whether he gets to keep his day job in the Oan Honor Guard.

Hey, you want a fun drinking game? Check and see how many unexplained events and unexplained characterizations had to be covered by Carlin & Co. in the Newsarama re-caps each week, and drink for each one that is NEVER covered in the 52 (ahem 51) issues. Just don't plan on making it to work the next day.

I used to complain that there wasn't enough story here for 52 (ahem, 51) issues, so all we were getting was padding and repetition. The sad truth, as it turns out, is that there was no story, period. The climax to another (shorter and better) mini-series, the creation of a new group that I guarantee will have less impact (and not last as long) as the "New Guardians" spun out of Millennium, and Mary Marvel being completely destroyed as a character. Seriously, that was it. Anyone care to wager on how much of this gets followed up in Final Crisis? Any of it?

A 52 (ahem 51) issue series with no plot, no characterization, and no reason for being? I'd like a refund, please.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Meet The New Gods--Same As The Old Gods??

I am Orion, and man, am I boringSince everyone else is weighing in on the Death of the New Gods (DONG...huh huh, huhh huhh), I guess it's time I threw my two cents into the ring.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me state right up front that I'm no fan of the New Gods. I've always found Jack Kirby's DC work, while visually arresting, to be boring and flat. The characters are, at best, one-note two-dimensional archetypes, with little personality, who never seem to do anything remotely interesting.

Before the deluge of comments calling me an idiot starts, let me loudly acknowledge that I'm only stating my personal opinion, and that I freely admit that many many people out there love the Fourth World. Then again, there have never been enough who've loved them to actually support any series featuring them, so maybe I'm more representative of the majority than I think.

Also, before you deluge me with examples of various New Gods stories that were thrilling and great, let me say, don't bring up Cosmic Odyssey, because DC did its level best to pretend that it never happened, and most of the good parts involved the "regular" DC universe characters, not the New Gods. And none of the New Gods stories I have read, no matter the creator, have ever spurred me to pick up another.

As to the future, we're all just speculating now. No one knows what is going to happen as a result of DONG and Final Crisis. Dan DiDio revealed last week that the Fourth World is indeed ending and we will be getting the Fifth World. This is hardly a new idea. Grant Morrison was hinting at that way back in his JLA run (you remember, the one where Orion and Barda were members and didn't actually do anything...) . And Jack Kirby himself said that the whole New God/4th World was part of a continuing cycle of destruction and rebirth. Himon et al arose from the Ragnarokian ashes of the Old Gods. So it seems odd to me to decry the "destruction of Kirby's characters" when he himself based them on a cycle of rebirth and destruction.

That being said, the question is over exactly WHAT is being done with the NG. Some suggest that they won't really die, that DC will revive them when copyright time rears its head. Perhaps--although, seriously, aside from Darkseid and Mister Miracle, who among the New Gods has any merchandising potential? The general public's awareness of ANY of the New Gods, even those two, is zero. And frankly, killing them and then resurrecting the same gods as part of Fifth World goes more counter to Kirby's conception of their universe than killing them.

Some have suggested that the current crop of DC elder heroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al) will be elevated into New Goodhood, with the youngsters now taking the limelight in the DC universe. That may tie in with the rumor of Bruce Wayne's forthcoming death.

But it's all so much woolgathering until we get some more information. So instead of speculating, let me offer some suggestions as to what the Fifth World should be like, with the understanding that they come from someone who wasn't enamored of the Fourth.

1) No Mother Box!!! PING PING Lordy, I hate this never-ending deus ex machina. PING PING. The idea of a "living computer" PING PING that is "linked to the Source" PING PING isn't necessarily a bad idea, but as used, it was noting but an ongoing plot cheat by lazy writers. Here's a partial list of Mother Box's abilities. PING PING. You might as well give each of your characters a Cosmic Cube. PING PING. And then cross it with R2-D2 for those riveting conversations the audience can only understand one side of. PING PING. If a New God is really a god, he shouldn't need this magic wand. Which leads me to...

2) Make them Gods. Why, exactly, are they gods? I ask this not just as part of some semantic quibble, but for a serious purpose. What is their role in the DC universe??

They don't seem to have worshippers (unless you count the Foragers). They don't seem to have godly duties, like Asgardians. So, what is it, then, that makes them gods?

They don't seem more appreciably powerful than, say, the Oans. Or even the Monitors, for heaven's sake. Superman can go toe-to-toe with them, even Darkseid, and he's no god. They depend on technological marvels like Mother Boxes for many of their greatest feats.

For once, I'm not being snarky. But if we're going to continue these characters or concepts, one thing they really have to deal with is, what does it mean to be a "god" in the DC universe? What is their purpose, what are their responsibilities, what is their position in the balance of power in the universe? I don't think anyone who's handled them, even Kirby, has bothered to do anything more than assert their godhood, with zero examination of the meaning or implications of that title. If we want the Fifth World to work in a 21st Century comic book universe, we need something more than "they're really old and kinda powerful."

3) GIVE THEM BETTER FREAKIN' NAMES. Whatever you think of Kirby's work, naming characters wasn't one of them. Beating the reader of the head with punny "allusions" was, though. Darkseid...get it, Luke? Get it? Apokolips...see, it's evil!! See, he's named Desaad, and he likes to torture people!! Hey, she's called Stompa, and she stomps her foot!! And don't get me started with Virman Vundabar...fix this, DC.

4) ENOUGH WITH THE DARKSEID ALREADY. It's probably way too late for this suggestion. Is it possible for DC writers to make it through an epic storyline without making Darkseid the mastermind? Does EVERY arc in Superman/Batman have to feature Darkseid's villainy? It was cute when he only appeared once in awhile, like in the Legion or JLA. But now he's everywhere, and I, for one, am sick of him. When Darkseid appears more often than the Joker, you know you've got a problem.

It's devalued him tremendously. I mean, we've gone from requiring the ENTIRE Legion of Super-Heroes, or the combined forces of the JLA/JSA/New Gods to (barely) stop him; these days he's rather easily thwarted (or at least stalemated) by pretty much anyone. Next week: Blue Beetle throws a monkey wrench into Darkseid's plans.

Worst of all, no one ever does anything all that interesting with him. He's always manipulating, always seeking some piece of the latest conception of the "anti-life equation," whatever the hell that is. No new goals, no new companions, no new methods. Just a jaunty "you may have won today, but soon you and the rest of the universe shall pay" as he fades away.

I know they'll never actually get rid of him, because DC writers need the crutch. But could we at least ease off the use of him? Let's make it an event again, something to fear, something special, not just an easy answer to "whose a big villain we can use in this fill-in arc??"

Hmmm, for a concept I've never really cared for, I've sure ranted on awhile, haven't I? OK, bedtime.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bold Fashion Choices--Apokolips Edition

I'm too sexy for this hellhole, too sexy... A cape, Darkseid? Really?? Isn't that a bit too...Thanos for you???

Darkseid's catwalk takes place in Death of the New Gods #1