Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spoiler Sunday--Whither Kon-El?!?

WARNING: this post contains SPOILERS for this week's Flash #21 and Action Comics #978. If you haven't read 'em yet, come on back later!!

Poor DC. They never, ever know how to pull the band-aid off quickly.

It's been 11 months since the Rebirth special, and almost everywhere we're still treading water, as if they're waiting for some more cocktail napkin scribblings from Geoff Johns before they dare proceed because they really have no idea what's actually happening in this "story." Even double-publishing their big titles every month, a year later we're no closer to understanding what the hell is going on

Hell, we haven't even had the reveal of who our "villains" are yet, which makes this even more dragged out than the pre-Crisis Monitor cameos. Yes, yes, we know who they are...which makes the whole "gee, who is behind all this" even more frustrating.

At this rate, this whole Rebirth project--whose sole purpose is to (re)(de)(un)boot the fiasco of Flushpoint/nu52--is going to take 3 years. Check back in 2020 to see if I'm wrong.

Still, this last week's comics have made clear that the prime motivation of DC is indeed to largely reinstall the continuity of post-Crisis DC...yet somehow keep the stuff they like about the nu52.

Man, that's going to be messy and awful.

Flash #21, for example, pretty firmly reestablishes that the Justice League was formed in the way we had always known, and that you wasted your time and money reading the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee version:

Oh, and that also told us that Identity Crisis is back in continuity, because who didn't miss that charming tale of rape, brainwashing, jealous ex-spouses walking in people's brains, and heroes no longer being heroic?

But the biggest actual confirmed changes are in Superman's life story, as Action Comics very firmly says that the five year timeline of the nu52 is to be forgotten, and that virtually everything post Byrne-reboot is back as official history. But most (some?) of the nu52 happened, too!

His first meeting with Lois, for example:

Note that this confirms that Kal-El did, at one point, wear the red trunks!! So there's really no reason they can't go back to it...

But note--this also means that the Grant Morrison/young Superman in blue jeans and a home-made cape stories from nu52 Action never happened!! Poor Grant--flushed from continuity again!

And Superman's own memories--and the data crystals at the Fortress of Solitude--confirm that pretty much everything post-Crisis did indeed happen in the current Superman's history:

But he still adopted the terrible nu52 costume at some point...

And all of the nu52 stories happened--except for the ones that didn't, like the dalliance with Wonder Woman, or Clark quitting the Daily Planet to be a blogger, or....well, hold on, we'll have to wait for Geoff Johns to tell us what's what.

Oh, but not everything post-Crisis is back on the table. Take this discussion of the Death Of Superman (which definitely occurred):, two, three...somebody's missing...

Oh, yeah, that guy!!

So, really...Conner Kent/Kon-El Kent, clone created from DNA of both Superman and Lex Luthor, the best incarnation of Superboy, isn't coming back with everyone else??

Others have pointed out, they didn't definitively say he wasn't part of the new history--they just didn't list him. Even though they had plenty of room. Maybe. But dude, they made room to show Space Gladiator Kal-El, so you'd think they squeeze in a guy whose own series lasted 102 issues and was a member of Titans and the Legion, if they wanted to,

And as still others have noted, DC is releasing reprint trades of Superboy's series later this year, and that must mean they have plans for him, right? Sorry, I can't agree there--DC is also releasing reprints of Night Force, and I'll wager they're not coming back. No, DC is in a position where they have to keep releasing reprint collections, so they'll have as many as previous years, or their sales will go down versus previous years and someone will be canned, so everything they can tidy up is being reprinted, whether it's relevant to current plans or not.

It seems that DC is so intent on building up their current Superboy, Jon Kent, that they don't want to reestablish the clone Superboy, despite his being a pretty vital part that era of DC history (Legion! Young Justice! Titans! Ravers! The Superman Family!). So much for Rebirth restoring legacy to the DCU!

Of course, this could all be resolved when Geoff Johns mumbles something in his sleep that the listening device in his quarters passes on to DC as holy writ. But for now, it sure likes DC is restoring post-Crisis continuity, but going out of their way to exclude the best incarnation of Superboy. What a shame.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bold Fashion Choices--Millie Goes Swimming!!

A day at the beach for MMMMillie The Model:

Oh, Millie!! Oh, 1968!! Oh, lifeguard enforcing a dress code!! Oh, dress that looks like something Mike Grell would design for Saturn Girl in a few years!!

Now, usually with these "Archie"-type books, the cover gag has no relation to anything on the inside of the comics.

But this time--perhaps by sheer coincidence?--we get a pin-up of Millie's beach wear:

Geez, Millie was right--her swimsuits are all more modest than that dress she was wearing on the boardwalk!!

From Millie The Model #162 (1968)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Night Fights--MADBOMB Style!!

Look, there's no kind of prologue I can give this Friday Night Fight that will anywhere as good as the fight itself, so let's just get down to it, shall we?

Captain America is leading an army team in an invasion of the enemy stronghold on the Bicentennial (MADBOMB!! MADBOMB!!). But he's way outnumbered!

No problem for Cap...


Spacebooger is very impressed that one blow needed two sound effects to convey its power.

Maximum kickage from Captain America #200 (1976), by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia

Now is the time for you to go and vote for me! Why?? Cap & Kirby!! So go and vote!!

April Madness--The Final Round!!

It's been a long, strange road to get here...

But we're finally at the Final Round of The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!! And, probably to no one's surprise, it is Team Superman...

...vs. Team Batman!!

Fair warning--there are no coincidental "Martha's" in this fight to cause an unlikely truce.

Superman makes the first move, grabbing Hourman and dropping him 61 minutes in the past, so his Miraclo will be worn off by the time the fight starts!!

And as Batman pulls out the inevitable piece of kryptonite, Metamorpho turns himself into a lead suit of armor encasing Kal-El, and together they show Batman that he's not quite ready to "defeat anyone if he has enough time" yet.

Sandman cold-cocks a powerless Hourman, and Metamorpho sneakily grabs Starman's Cosmic Rod, ending this little slugfest!!

So, our grand champion is...

...Team Superman!!

And it's all proven with irrefutable comic book logic!!

Thanks for putting up with this all week...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Madness, 2nd Semifinal--Those Wonderful Toys!!

It's the second semifinal of The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society!!

Last time was pretty easy for....

Will they work up a bigger sweat against a lot of analysts' sleeper pick?

As the action begins, Batman pulls a device out of his belt, presses a button, and...and...

Oh dear heavens, Red Tornado has just turned into on OMAC!! Batman, who invented OMACs, has found a way to weaponize it to take over Red Tornado!!

Oh, god, the humanity!!! OMAC is just pummeling the living hell out of Zatanna and Flash!! This is brutal!! Team Batman is just sitting around watching....!!

And that's it!! Officials have called the fight!! Once again, Team Batman got maximum beatdown for minimum effort!!

Remember, we did warn you earlier the Red Tornado was potentially this team's Achilles heel--and we were right!!

Will tricks like that work against Team Superman, though? Turn in tomorrow morning for the riveting final!!

April Madness, 1st Semifinal--SHOCKER!!

It's time for the first semifinal of The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society!!



It should be trickier for team Superman this time around, as they have to face a true major league magic user!

And indeed, that's how it starts off, as Kal-El takes one of Dr. Fate's bolts of eldritch energy right to the face, and goes down!! Big trouble for the #1 seed!!

Ralph Dibny's nose starts smelling a mystery, which means he's helpless when he gets a snoutful of sleep gas from Sandman!!

Metamorpho turns into a super-dense mesh, temporarily trapping the Atom. So this battle may come down to Dr. Fate vs. Sandman!

But wait!! Sandman unleashes a punch so powerful, he actually dents Fate's helmet!! What the?!?! Team Superman wins--but how?!?

LOOK!! Sandman is taking off his gas mask--and he's really Superman!! INCREDIBLE!! It was the classic Silver Age tactic of switching identities before the fight, so Wesley Dodds would take the brunt of Doctor Fate's attack, leaving Superman free to take the sorcerer by surprise!!

What a classic!! Tune in later this morning for the second semifinal!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Madness Round IV--The Weakest Link!!

It's the final preliminary battle in The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!! Which grouping of heroes will reign supreme?!?

This is the most fascinating battle of all the first rounders, featuring


Now, Flash and Zatanna are pretty powerful. I toyed with making them a higher seed, but...well, there's Red Tornado.

You know with all your being that, at some point, Red Tornado is going to start crying, or self-destruct, or get taken over by someone. Everyone knows this:

It's just a question of whether it happens during one of our battles our not. So our third seed has a significant handicap.

Then again, so does the other team.

More than one of you suggested that the Thunderbolt is so powerful, his team should just win automatically. As commentator Mista Whiskas put it, "The Thunderbolt could just will all the teams out of existence, right?"

Well, yes...except for one thing. The Thunderbolt can't operate independently. He has to wait from order from Johnny Thunder, who is, well, as stupid as a bag of stupid hammers:

I mean come on, you're saying plenty of two and three syllable words, but the hiccups mean you can't get out "Cei-U"?!?!?

It's an illustration of snell's Third Law Of Comic writing: The more powerful your character, the STUPIDER the obstacles you have to create to keep him from solving the dilemma in one panel. So, Thunderbolt is powerful, yes. But wielded by a moron.

Which means this battle goes about as you'd expect. Zatanna immediately shuts Johnny up ("!htuom s'ynnhoJ no raeppa gaG"). Flash creates a speed vacuum so no one can hear Canary's scream. And hey, Red Tornado doesn't malfunction this time around, deflecting all of Ollie's arrows with his wind while Flash gives him a love tap.

Team Flash/Zatanna/Red Tornado is pretty powerful...but can they take on Batman's group? Find out tomorrow, as we head for the semi-finals!!

April Madness Round III--No, Seriously!!

It's time to continue our meaningless contest, The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!! Heroes fighting for no reason than my childish whim!! Bwahahahaha!!!


Anyway, this morning features the "__Man" group...


Seriously. They put Hal Jordan and Aquaman in the same group...against Batman?

This isn't much of a contest. Batman sits reading the Gotham Gazette while Hal trips and hits his head on a rock. Oh, Hal...

Meanwhile, while Aquaman desperately looks around for a fish to command, Starman zaps him with his Cosmic Rod. And as tough as Wildcat is, he can't take both Batman and Hourman. Battle's over.

Tune in later this morning for a much more interesting battle...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Madness Round II--A Mild Upset!

Welcome to Round 2 of The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society, our meaningless exercise is random fighting!!

This bout features...

(That's Earth-2 Wonder Woman...)


(That's Earth-1 Atom, just to be clear).

This would be a pretty tight bout, as you'd expect from the 4th and 5th seeds. And in a bit of a surprise, I see Dr. Fate's group eking out a victory.

Dr. Fate could likely nullify Diana's mystic strength, at least temporarily, allowing Atom to use her lasso to bind Dr. Mid-Nite as he shrinks small enough to slip between the particles of darkness of his blackout bomb (Hey, I can use DC Science, too!!). Meanwhile, Hawkman's ancient weaponry wouldn't do too much against a body that can wrap around any impact. By that point he'd be the last man standing, and no way could he stand against all three of them.

So our winner is...

Think I'm wrong? Get your own blog!!

Dr. Fate's team will face Superman's later this week. Tune in tomorrow four our other first round bouts!!

April Madness Round I--No Surprises!

Welcome to the first round of The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society, our insane little tournament that exists for no reason whatsoever!!

Our first round features:

That's Earth-2 Green Lantern, Earth-2 Robin/Batman in the most godawful costume ever, and Mr. Terrific.

It's no surprise, or at least it shouldn't be, that Kal-El's team is the top seed--any team that has a Kryptonian and a guy who turn turn his body into any shape and virtually any element is going to be pretty tough.

The other team? In the biggest pre-Crisis gathering of heroes ever, our creators couldn't even find a spot for these guys--they showed up late, and didn't even take part in any of the quests. Sad!!

In my completely arbitrary (and totally unappealable) view on how this fight would go, it's not too much of a contest. Alan Scott could perhaps give Superman a moment of trouble, as some tellings have his ring being magical in nature. But a quick spritz of sleep gas from Sandman would break his concentration, and Superman would smack him with a tree. Meanwhile, between bouts of laughter at Robin/Batman's costume, Metamorpho would make pretty quick work of the Man Wonder, leaving Mr. Terrific to cry about "FAIR PLAY" as he gets pummeled.

Our winner:

Can anyone stop the Superman group?

Tune in later today for another match!!

April Madness--The Bracket!!

Last week, I announced The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society contest.

Long story short, I took the grouping of heroes sent on various missions from the greatest JLA/JSA crossover ever, and I've pitted them against each other in a tournament...just because.

Anyway, the first step in any such tournament is seeding the teams and assigning them into brackets. So, using the power invested in me by no one in particular, here's our bracket (click to embiggen):

Stay tuned...the first round is later this morning!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Can You Hear Me Now?

I really don't understand why Gorilla City hasn't conquered the business world yet, and become richer than Steve Jobs or Verizon.

Back in 1959, Solivar had to get in touch with the Flash, who had been to Gorilla City once before.

Not a problem!

See--who the hell needs cell phones? Everyone has their own personal "vibration-frequency," and you can just send an "energy burst" "in the beat of an atom pulse" there and talk to them!! No wires, no cell towers, no data plans--just start yakking!!

All I'm saying is, Solivar should patent that shit and become a trillionaire...

From Flash #107 (1959)

Manic Monday Bonus--Science Vs. Entropy!!

Some scientists are driving through the Everglades, looking to set up an alternative energy research station.

Unfortunately, not everyone is down with modern, new-fangled science:

And these guys don't just talk the talk--they walk the walk!!

I think that most of these guys got jumps in the current administration...

From Giant-Size Man-Thing #1 (1974)