Friday, December 30, 2005

I Can't Think of a Pithy Title

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: My name is Jon, and I have a subscription to Wizard. Like most addicts, I'm quick to blame someone else. I haven't actually paid for an issue in a little under ten years. My grandma, God bless her soul, keeps on re-upping the subscription for my birthday, and I diligently read it, usually muttering obscenities to no one in particular or resisting the urge to roll my eyes at the One Millionth Drunk Tony Stark Joke I've Read.

Point is, I think someone at my local post office has been opening the polybag, reading the magazine, and then resealing it with some sort of government trickery and/or magic, as I tend to not see hide nor hair of it for weeks after it's published. Case in point: I got #171 in the mail yesterday.

I've yet to read it (I read Mage: The Hero Discovered last night. Seemed to be a wiser move), but I did take a glance at the cover price.

Mother of God, it's six dollars. Am I wrong in thinking that's absurdly expensive? Did money become less valuable recently? Do people willingly pay that much for a tiny price guide informing them that, no, their near-mint issue of Sonic the Hedgehog isn't going to pay off their student loans? Send me six bucks, and I'll tell you that. Maybe with swears in the middle and a crude rendering of me pointing at you and laughing.

Christ, I may not be funny, but at least I'm free.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This Week's Reviews, Last Week's Reviews, and a couple of tra-la-las, that's how we work the day away in the merry old land of Oz

I apologize for the lack of updates over the last week. My grandfather died on Christmas Eve, and it's been a long few days.

Anyway, two week's worth of books today.

Robin #145: Marvel's just gotten rid of ninety percent of its mutants and DC's offed probably forty or fifty percent of their d-list, but this book's pumping out new characters at an alarming rate. You can almost see all of them getting shuffled into Comic Book Limbo, never to appear again until somebody needs to fill space in a Who's Who. Kind of a shame, because I sort of love Tapeworm. Ah, well, this run won't ever be mentioned outside of Willingham's Shadowpact book, anyway.

Runaways #10: Best thing about the issue is James Jean's cover, but the same could be said about, like, the War Games trades and Green Arrow, so I'm not really breaking new ground here. I think I'm just sick of these damn kids and their... I don't know, music. I might have to start reading this in digest form again. Or just give up on it. Whichever.

Catwoman #50: Hughes does some great freaking covers when he isn't just painting boobies, huh? I'm glad somebody finally did a story about the ramifications of all the Satellite JLA mind-wipery that isn't just a bunch of characters' that peaked in the seventies opinions about it. All we've really seen is heroes bitching about it, so it's good to see what it was like for the villains involved, beyond having them do their typical out-for-blood routines. Should be a good storyline, somehow ending in Selina getting knocked up, if all the internet prognostication holds true.

She-Hulk #3: I hate Greg Horn. I don't know why, I just do. Where the Hell's Joe Jusko? Why is Horn the only guy doing workmanlike but boring painted covers now? Anyway, solid issue. Good art by a pile of guys and a fun little look back at She-Hulk's career. And reprints of two older issues. A comparative bargain at four bucks cover, considering Runaways goes for a mere dollar less and nothing really happened there.

X-Factor #2: ...didn't the first issue of this ship, like, two weeks ago? It was way less than a month. Sook's inked by three different guys, but the art holds up throughout. I like the idea of a mutant team that does things that aren't strictly mutant-related. The X-Men, unless they're in a crossover, only fight this mutant villain or that guy what wants to kill all mutants, and damn if that doesn't get boring. A detective agency that just happens to be staffed by mutants is a good change of pace. I'd rather see more of Madrox and, having skipped all of House of M, I have no clue who Layla Miller is, so it's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good.

Justice #3: The best parts of this book have been the wacky things the villains are doing to play nice. The story ends in almost exactly the same place it left off last issue, except we've now seen Red Tornado fall victim to... well, the same thing that always happens to him. Poor guy's a walking cliche, always getting ripped into itty-bitty pieces.

Infinite Crisis #3: Whelming. Not overwhelming, not even dull enough to be underwhelming, it's just there and whelming. If you're looking for more allusions to COIE, we've got one giant yellow obvious tuning-fork-shaped one and a Hispanic character who's shaping up to take the place of a well-known hero. Here's hoping Johns makes him think in half-Spanish from here on out.

Flash #229: Savage wants an asteroid because, in his thousands of years of being alive, he hasn't noticed that pulling an asteroid at earth never, ever works. Superman lives on earth. He catches those things for sport, man. Hell, Apache Chief can just whack the bitch back into space with a telephone pole, if Harvey Birdman has taught me anything. That thing ain't sticking around long. Wally's talking like he's not making out of this alive, but it's such a lame scheme from a fairly lame villain that I just can't buy it. The timeline's a bit screwy, too. I mean, moreso than a book about a guy that can do the speed of light on foot usually is. Savage uses the Plot Point Weapon from the last couple issues and the Flashes start running really fast, as Flashes are wont to do. Bart runs across town where people are already informed that an asteroid is going to hit the city. Okay, maybe Savage had a press release handy; he's old enough to be media-savvy, I guess. Bart then runs into a grocery store where the prices have already been hiked in an effort to gouge shoppers because, apparently, Keystone City grocers are amazingly on the ball.

Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four #1: Pasqual Ferry's an amazing artist, but I can only take so many uses of the old blowing up a chunk of a prior panel to create a new panel trick, and it comes up a few times too many here. Decent set-up for a fight scene, and the Mad Thinker's a more entertaining villain in the Ultimate universe than in the MU proper, I think.

PS: Anybody else having trouble with DC books getting their pages stuck together? Flash and Robin both felt like somebody'd jerked off on them, and I got them from two different shops, so unless I know two really weird shop guys, I think this problem comes from higher up.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


A combination of persistent unemployment and overcelebrating the birth of Big Baby Jesus with rampant consumerism has left me flat Goddamned broke for the week, meaning comics will have to sit unmolested, unread and unreviewed in my pull box for a little while, until Christmas provides me with spending money again.

So I won't know about the pages upon pages of Greystroke Superman complaining about saving the wrong world or ExoSquad Luthor talking to himself or Power Girl suddenly being vaguely important for a few days.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Inertia City Blues

As previously mentioned, I do a l'il webcomic, mostly for my own entertainment. But I've just thrown a link to it over on the sidebar because I'm a whore.

Anyway, it's the story of a man who becomes a masked adventurer after a vigilante dies in his apartment. He sets out to figure out why this poor bastard was killed and opens up a whole can of worms in a city with a firmly established superhero population and a giant robot problem.

New pages up every Sunday night or Monday, depending mostly on how much I'm paying attention to football.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sure, I just posted this on the Siren...

But none of those people are going to get a fuckin' Pariah joke.

I mean, yeah, it's a ridiculously out-of-season joke, but I have my reasons.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The President is on the line as ninety-nine This Week's Reviews go by

JLA #123: I'm pretty sure the point of this storyline is to make me feel good about this book getting the axe in a couple months. Ollie Queen has his own book. Let him bitch there. Granted, I'd be a little pissy if I was just told, in no uncertain terms, that I was less powerful than Red Tornado, too. (By the way, again, I am forced to ask: What the Hell good is Red Tornado in space? The guy's main weapon is wind manipulation, for God's sake.)

For the continuity-minded, this issue takes place ahead of Infinite Crisis #2, so maybe it was a good thing that IC #3 got pushed back a couple of weeks. Could've gotten really confusing if you weren't paying attention.

For the quality-minded, God, just duck this one. It's obviously going to end in a Green Arrow/Batman fight, but it's taking a long, boring, Key and Manitou Raven-centric route to get there. Besides, unless you get off on hearing two rich white guys debate the merits of having a superteam, you've got to be getting sick of hearing either Ollie or Bruce's side of this stupid argument.

(I still don't get why Ollie isn't on Bruce's side on this one. JLU had it right: Ollie was on the League on Batman's orders, to keep the more super members "honest." He was afraid of heroes in numbers. Hell, he argued on behalf of Cadmus at one point. An aging Lefty shouldn't be arguing for all-powerful conglomerations of people who can piss lasers, God damn it.)

Teen Titans #30: Death is screwy. Raven blames Superman's return. And then she blames herself. And then she blames someone else. Superboy's been watching TV in Kansas since OMAC Project #6 came out. It's night there, the middle of the school day "sixteen miles outside of Gateway City," where Wonder Girl goes to school, and night in Los Angeles. I will blame this on the Crisis, because that's more fun than blaming Tony Daniel.

I'm glad DC isn't claiming that this crossover is a good jumping on point for new readers, because it ain't. This issue's got references to a character I can only imagine was Blue Devil's sidekick at some point and the return of characters that not only died Pre-Original-Crisis, but seriously haven't been mentioned since (Kole. KOLE!), and a bunch of cuts to a Captain Carrot story (drawn by Scott Shaw!... exclamation point his, obviously).

Seriously, though, who thought they'd ever see Captain Carrot again, much less in a book that only exists because of a cartoon? I'm barely old enough to have a vague recollection of his existence beyond the odd crappy Wizard joke.

Bulleteer #1: Not as good as any issue of Zatanna, I don't think, but that Yanick Paquette sure does love drawing boobs. Christ, it's like a classier issue of Lady Death, or something.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #3: Aw, poor Cap. He just doesn't get the OMG 3DGIN3SS of the WildStorm Universe. Not even when the President makes a whole bunch of coy references to the Authority. Hey, anybody who stuck with Authority past the first issue of the current series: What'd they do that people are scared of superheroes in general?

X-Factor #1: Welcome to the first time since Grant Morrison left Marvel that an X-book's been my favorite of the week. I'll admit I didn't read his run on X-Factor back in the day, but between this issue and the Madrox mini he did, Peter David's made Jamie Madrox one of my favorite characters. Sook's pencils look better than they did even on Zatanna. There's a bit involving Multiple Man on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire that's just priceless. I'll be sticking with this one.

Also, I've been re-reading Milligan and Allred's X-Force/X-Statix over the last couple nights, and I've gotta say I'm really excited about that Dead Girl book they're doing. There's stuff in that run that's just incredible when taken in light of, like, eighty percent of X-Men books ever published.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One Last Sweetin Post

I'm still getting hits from my blatant traffic grab from a few days back. People are still searching the web for the middle child from Full House. I still don't know why.

Many of them cannot spell her name properly. To the left is a Google search for "Jodie Sweeten," which I submit to the court as Exhibit A. Visual aids are fun!

I draw your attention to point A. "The Official Jodie Sweetin Fanlisting." Note carefully that they have misspelled the name of She Who They Love Most. I find that funny.

Point B: "Wang." Tee hee. By the way, that page? Cannot Be Displayed. I have no idea what the Hell it is.

Point C: Me. I bring no useful information to the table and my site's description is pleasantly vulgar. Like me!

Point D: Defamer. Under me. Google thinks I'm more relevant to this conundrum than the site where I saw it mentioned first. Hah.

Edit: Without the quotes, I skyrocket to number 2. And number 8, if you factor in the Siren.

DC Solicits... there's a prostitution joke in there somewhere.

Remember Wizard's bunch of stupid questions?

Of course you do, the whole freaking internet's been blathering nerdily about them for a couple weeks. I still haven't actually gotten the issue, by the way. Either my subscription was finally euthanized or some guy at the post office really wanted to ogle some cartoon cans.

Anyway, DC's solicits for March came out today, and a few of the questions are answered. By the way, spoilers abound below, and I'm in no mood to invisotext, so trod forward at your own risk.

One of these characters will be stripped of their powers: Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan

My guess: Wonder Woman.

Supergirl's clearly still using her powers (and Power Girl's still on the same Earth, which I wasn't really expecting) over in Supergirl #7.

It would seem Hal still has his ring in GL # 10.

Superman's got some kind of ludicrous eight-issue storyline going, but none of the covers show him actually doing super-anything. It's a whole bunch of Clark Kent. So maybe it's him.

No Wonder Woman issue in March, what with it being canceled. Odds look good that Superman's the right answer, but I'll stick to my guns until I'm proven utterly wrong.

One of these characters will become the mayor of a crime-riddled city: Wally West, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen

My Guess: Bats.

It's Ollie. I do like the new art team on that book. McDaniel would seem to fit drawing GA better than Robin.

One of these characters will be the only one around after "Infinite Crisis": The Flash/Wally West, Superboy/Connor Kent, Green Lantern/Guy Gardner, Nightwing/Dick Grayson

My Guess: Superboy.

Now, from the blog reading I've been doing, it seems I read this question differently than... every other person on earth. Seems they all thought this question meant that only one of those characters would be around in general. I took it to mean that they'd be the sole bearers of their particular title. You know, for Wally to be the only Flash, Jay Garrick and Kid Flash would have to die, for Superboy to be the only Super-anything, Clark and Kara would have to be gone, for Guy to be the only Lantern, Hal would have to kill everybody again and for Nightwing to be the only former Robin, Jason Todd and Tim Drake would have to be out of the picture.

If the way I read it is right, I'm probably wrong. Looks like Superboy's out of the picture. That looks to be Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Kid Flash. If Superboy's not in the Titans, that cat ain't anywhere. Though Kara's going to both Kandor and the future and Clark looks to be 'retiring,' so I still may stand a chance of correctitude.

Nightwing's on the cover of Outsiders #34 and at least his hand is on the cover of his own book, so I'm assuming Dick's still alive. He's actually the only one on the list that appears on a cover in March, as far as I can tell. So, if the correct way to read it was "everyone on this list is screwed except for one guy," I'm going to have to think the answer is Nightwing.

One of these characters will destroy an entire country and kill millions: Braniac, Sinestro, Black Adam, Vandal Savage

My Guess: Adam or Savage.

There's nothing clear either way, but JSA Classified #10 is about Vandal Savage's quest for vengeance against Green Lantern and "the worst year of his life." He's the only one of the four mentioned in any of the solicits, I think. Could he have done something absolutely ridiculous, gotten his ass kicked by Alan Scott, and then been chased about for a year? Maybe. I don't know. I'm not a magician.

Those are the only ones I could take shots at after gunning through the new solicits. The other questions are still in the dark, as near as I can tell.

Oh, hey, James Robinson gets both Batman and Detective in March. That's pretty cool.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Early Merry Christmas

Because I love you all dearly, you're getting the image I just made for a local paper that's getting repurposed as my Christmas card.

If you're Jewish, pretend Santa's a giant menorah buying crappy, last-minute gifts.

If you're celebrating Kwanzaa, I'm sorry, I got nothing.

Anyway, peace on earth and goodwill towards Supermen.

Hey! Sometimes I draw things!

I've just started running a webcomic, something I swore I'd never, ever do, but, unemployment ain't exactly funemployment, you know? Got to do something to fill those days, and that something can't just be daytime television.

Though Maury is on soon...

Anyway, Inertia City Blues over on Cloven Hand. That's me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

"Holy shite. What the fuck is that?"

"It's the new Belle and Sebastian..."

"It's a record an inexplicable new anthology from Image Comics we've been listening to reading and enjoying, Barry."

"Well, that's unfortunate, because it sucks ass."

...the Hell?

Cartoon Network, for some damned reason, is showing The Goonies right now. I mean, sure, I love The Goonies, but isn't that straying pretty far from their raison d'etre?

Nothing here is animated, no. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

To Whom It May Concern:

Hi, person who just got here by running an MSN search for "PICTURES OF SOMEBODY GETTING STABBED THROW (sic) THE HEAD." My name is Jon. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of people getting stabbed... throw... the head for you.

As for you people still searching for Jodie Sweetin, God, you're weird. But thanks for the traffic.

Oh, and to keep this on-topic, Kurt Busiek be damned, how silly does Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis sound?


Thursday, December 08, 2005

You think it's strange that there's a way of how you look and how you act and how you think; Pretend they're not This Week's Reviews

Fifty/fifty Marvel/DC split for now, as the Other Pullbox is well out of range for today. I know Ultimates 2 #9's in there, so nobody mention Jarvis getting glocked or anything.

Got Ultimates. The pull is weighted slightly more towards Marvel now.

DC goes first in my heart and first in the column.

Gotham Central #38: Jim Corrigan is a bad, bad man. The cover busts out a Spectre logo. If this is a red herring, it's the biggest red herring in ever. A red shark. Or a red, like, narwhal. You know, those polar-region small whales with giant horns? Yeah, one of those. But red. It's six- or sevenshadowing.

Anyway, not much I can say about this one that wouldn't be a spoiler. That Corrigan, though; He's a dick. Next issue should be a good one (and it better be, because, if memory serves, it's the last issue).

JSA Classified #5: Sold out last week, grabbed it on reorder today. Look, I'll admit it, anything with Solomon Grundy in it is going to make me smile. He's like Zombie Stupid Hulk, all Me Grundy Me Want Be Left Alone and punching people for silly reasons. And, no matter how many times he dies, he almost always manages to find the same doofy suit.

Anyway, the Injustice Society gets back together to spring Prometheus's Cosmic Key from the JSA Museum (the JSA don't know what it is or how it got there and haven't had the sense to call in the League, even though street cops in Metropolis have been able to assemble a makeshift League to work murder scenes despite them being all dissolved and not-Leaguey. Go figure). The Wizard's in a more AbraKadabara-ish costume than when we saw him last, Ragdoll has a superball with a face for a head and Tigress still has one of the lamest costumes ever. Gentleman Ghost makes his second cover appearance in as many months, but this time, it makes sense.

Grundy gets the best line of the issue, Ragdoll's suitably creepy and Manson-ish and nothing in the world will ever make me actually like Icicle. But it's a good issue and a more promising storyline than the last one, arguably. Granted, it won't be as "important," but I think it'll be more entertaining and way less likely to be completely summarized in one issue of Infinite Crisis somewhere down the line.

By the way, didn't Infinite Crisis #2 ship this time last month? I know I got it the same week as the last issue of Gotham Central, and they're both in my pull box. There a reason for that?

Marvel Zombies #1: Hee hee. This is like the dumbest idea for a story ever, but it's so damned cute. Granted, zombies aren't cute, really, but they banter wittily about eating people and bitch when Zombie Spider-Man (Spider-Zombie?) goes off on one of his trademark self-loathing rants. Plus, Magneto gets to brutalize a gang of characters he doesn't normally get to jam i-bars through the chests of, and that's always fun to watch.

It's like some kind of insane zombie sitcom with Luke Cage in it.

Marvel Team-Up #15: This has potential to be the best freaking thing ever. Speedball! Darkhawk! That kid that's pretty much a ripoff of Invincible! Time-traveling villains killing all the important heroes so that abject losers have to save the world and find the inevitable Cosmic Reset Button that'll undo the incredible number of deaths that take place throughout the issue! I mean, Hell, you know pretty much exactly how this one will turn out, but if you aren't mildly curious to see Sleepwalker and Terror Fucking Inc, you've got some kind of fun-killing tumor.

I like that Kirkman's introducing viable-looking new villains into the Marvel Universe. I mean, who's the last world-beater to pop up? Chuck Xavier's heretofore unknown evil twin?
Scarlet Witch?

I'm just glad to see a bad guy from the future who isn't Kang and therefore doesn't have a huge man-crush on the Avengers, I think.

Ultimates 2 #9: Holy crap. Things get bad, things get worse, Bryan Hitch bangs out some pages that look like he happened to have them sitting in a drawer somewhere, leftover from the first Authority arc. Looks pretty, stuff happened, it didn't have the silly Gold Standard for some reason, all is well here. For fear of spoiling things (further), I shall be brief and cryptic: Reverse-Cap is cool as Hell, Loki's a total dick, and Ultimate That Loser From The Soviet Super-Soldiers makes his first appearance.

And Mark Millar's political views only take up, like, half the dialog this time around.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Critical Reading Skills... Waning

Top News Article |

It's all kinds of wrong that I read a headline that said "Saddam trial hears of horror in Room 63" and thought it said "Saddam trial hears of horror in Rom 63."

After all, Rom #63 was cover-titled "Space Nightmare." Saddam could've been involved. Or maybe one of the attorneys is on some kind of crazy tangent, introducing mid-eighties toy tie-in comics as evidence. At first, the judge was confused, but after a stirring speech about the threat the Dire Wraiths posed, he said, with a slightly bemused tone, "I'll... allow it."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I've Yet to Actually Read This Month's Wizard

I don't know if that's a blessing, really, but it seems that the issue in question is full of silly little multiple choice predictions about the post-Infinite Crisis future of the DCU. They're getting disseminated to no end all about the nerdosphere, and I thought I'd throw in my two cents because, frankly, I have little else to do prior to the new episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force at 12:15.

I'm lifting the questions from Ragnell's Written World with a healthy sense of irony, as I had promised on that very blog to tear into this issue of Wizard with my mighty teeth made of wit a while back, not knowing that the postal service was going to screw me over.

I warn you that my predictions are ridiculous and based on almost nothing.

One of these characters will give birth in '06: Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Catwoman, or Oracle

They already played the Power Girl Is Pregnant During a Big Event card once and no one cared. I can't imagine they'd dust if off again. Anyway, I feel like it's probably going to be Catwoman. I say Huntress will save Bats from a tight spot, but it'll end in her death. Her last words'll be some overdramatic nonsense about finally getting his approval, and Bruce'll name his new kid after her, resulting in a brand-new, in-continuity Helena Wayne running about.

One of these characters will be stripped of their powers: Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan

I'm thinking the Powers That Be won't take Hal's ring away so soon after giving the damn thing back to him.

Mucking with Superman's powers is always a bad idea, but they did do it after Final Night, so you never know.

If Supergirl lost her powers and then, like, got hit by a truck, I'd be happy, but I don't see it happening, what with the Legion title change and Rucka ending up on her book after Loeb.

Wonder Woman seems to be a solid bet, as things are looking pretty good for Diana getting clayed solid at some point before this nonsense blows over, and if she's not even mobile, I'd say she's been stripped of her powers.

Hee hee, "getting clayed."

One of these characters will become the mayor of a crime-riddled city: Wally West, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen

Wally's a damned mechanic. Did he even finish college? Plus, he doesn't have the whole public identity thing going for him anymore, so he's just a guy who works in a police garage with a semi-famous wife and a brief stint as a murder suspect. Besides, the book would be way more interesting if Goldface ended up running Keystone somehow.

Dick doesn't have the clout or the credentials, either, so unless his entire campaign is "Hi, I'm Nightwing, This City Would've Burned Down Without Me," I think he's out.

Bats or Green Arrow would seem to be the logical choices, with Bruce being the one I'd go with.

Though GA as a mayor could lead to some vaguely interesting stories. I guess. Eh, probably not.

One of these characters will have amnesia and be unable to tell friend from foe: Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Atom, Elongated Man

Oh, good, amnesia. I can't see a way that Atom or Elongated Man having amnesia would really make a difference. The way the bit's worded, the character in question will ended up coming to blows with his former buddies, so I'd hope it'd be somebody formidable, you know? Atom's not a physical threat to anybody, really, unless he's stepping on blood vessels in their brains. I just couldn't buy an amnesia story where the confused hero is that cerebral. Works better if it's like one of the many times Wolverine's ended up fighting a hero because he's gone berserker or is getting mind controlled by Apocalypse, or other such bullshit, so your shrinking physicists and stretchy detectives are out, as far as I'm concerned.

If it's Aquaman, the "Sword of Atlantis" subtitle his book's getting leads me to believe he'd be Namor for a while, striking out against the mainlanders. Which would be interesting for maybe four issues.

I'd guess it'd have to be the Manhunter, since J'onn could pretty easily take out almost anybody in the DCU so long as they don't have a book of matches and he doesn't forget that he isn't afraid of fire anymore.

One of these characters will take the mantle as the most powerful hero in the DCU: Booster Gold, Animal Man, Kyle Rayner, Earth-2 Superman

If Booster gets the Blue Beetle scarab, he'd be pretty powerful, but there's no way he'd be outpacing, say, Firestorm.

I can't think of a way that Buddy would be the "most powerful hero in the DCU," really. Animal powers are neat and all, but I don't know of any monkeys with heat vision, you dig?

Earth-2 Supes isn't as tough as Actual Supes, if I remember correctly.

Kyle's going to be calling himself "Ion" again pretty soon, though. As Ragnell said, all "mantle" means is "name," so even if he doesn't have the full range of Ion powers, he's rocking the right name.

One of these characters will become a criminal: Hal Jordan, Superman, Flash, Captain Marvel

Not Hal. Not Superman. I could see Flash technically being a bad guy for a while in a misunderstanding or something. Somebody could play the I Am Holding Your Children Hostage card. He'd fall for that and, like, rob a bank or something.

Captain Marvel could get jumped by the Seven Deadlies and swing evil for a while, especially without Shazam to tell him what to do. He is still a kid, after all, and kids are stupid. That's why they're still kids.

So either Wally or Billy, but either way, it won't stick.

One of these characters will be the only one around after "Infinite Crisis": The Flash/Wally West, Superboy/Connor Kent, Green Lantern/Guy Gardner, Nightwing/Dick Grayson

I don't think it's Wally. They'd have to bump off Jay Garrick, which I'm certain ain't happening. Plus, there's like a billion Flashes.

Same with Green Lanterns. Just too many people to get rid of to leave any of them as the lone gun with the title.

Jason Todd and Tim Drake could somehow get shuffled off, leaving Dick as the sole former Robin wandering about, but I doubt it.

Maybe Superman ends up off-world or otherwise occupied, Supergirl heads off into the future and Conner's the only cat with an S-shield?

One of these characters becomes the military's secret weapon: Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Red Tornado, Green Lantern/John Stewart

Red Tornado is the only one that I could technically classify as a "weapon." The guy's hardware, really, and him being used as a Really Smart Bomb with wind powers seems like a decent idea. Or maybe the army's recruited TO Morrow to develop robot soldiers for them as, like, a plea bargain, and Tornado gets called in to keep an eye on his creator, or something.

One of these characters will destroy an entire country and kill millions: Braniac, Sinestro, Black Adam, Vandal Savage

Only way Adam's killing that many people is if they're invading his home country. I could see that happening, actually. Johns has spent so long making him a shades-of-gray character that there's no way they'll make him a full-on villain again, but I could see him doing something he could justify as an act of war. Maybe a country is manipulated into attacking Kahndaq by Luthor, or something?

Killing millions seems like it's out of Sinestro's league.

Vandal Savage blew up a city before (remember? Rocket Red suits? The Crappy Version of the Titans inside? Nukes? Explosions? B-Plot of One Million? Yeah), but he's just lifted some wacky weapon of great power from the Flash Museum, so maybe he's going for a repeat performance.

Brainiac's been pretty quiet since the Outsiders and Titans Starfired his ass during The Insiders, but he seems like more of a killing-a-planet kinda guy.

I'm going with Adam or Savage. Probably Savage, since he's been notably inactive for such an important villain.

I have a terrible feeling that I'm wrong on all counts.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Blatant Traffic Grab

I'm not home, nor will I be for a little while, so here's your update:


That'll guarantee like eighty hits, if the weird "everybody is searching MSN for 'Jodie Sweeten' " meme holds up for a few more hours. You should see what mentioning her yesterday has done for the traffic over on The Drudge Siren. It's freaking ridiculous. Especially since her name is spelled with an "I." So "Jodie Sweetin."

While I'm at it, "Danny Bonaduce."

And, uhm, "boobs."


Updated: 2-1-06: Finally, actual info for people sent here by Google.

Updated 6-8-06: She's hosting a stripping-based show on a channel no one watches.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pirates are the new black

A friend of mine asked me to do a sketch for some kid's college homework. Seems he'd been assigned to design a movie poster for a fictional movie. Said fictional movie is about pirates transported to the present day so as to rob trucks.

Yeah, don't ask me. I just draw pictures.

Anyway, his first effort was to totally rip off the Pirates of the Caribbean poster, and I couldn't let that stand. So, yeah, they're robbing Optimus Prime. I don't know, I like the pirate with an uzi. That's high-freaking-concept, is what it is.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Two pints of booze, tell me, are you This Week's Reviews?

JLA Classified #14: The League faces their fears, which means Wally's got no speed... on the moon... while being chased by pterodactyls... made of dark matter. But he can breathe, for whatever reason. Wonder Woman fights eels. Superman faces a giant that claims to be "everything [he] fears. All the little people who hate that [he's] special, rolled into one." Batman clevers his way out of a fight with an infinite number of Jokers. J'onn has a chat with his crazy Martian fire god. Kyle wears stupid armor for the whole issue again and is put up against a samurai, for some reason. Aquaman reads this month's Vogue while battling a sense of ennui.

It has its moments, but this story's gone on too long, unless next month's payoff is something spectacular.

Also, not to totally continuity-geek out here, but at one point, Oracle talks to herself for a while about how, since she's still here, the JLA haven't been lost. Now, Luthor was shown to be president at the time of this story, so, coupled with the fact that Kyle's wearing his lame-ass most recent costume, this story's somewhere around when Virtue and Vice happened. Which means, I guess, that Aquaman would be dead, so disregard my earlier comment about how he's kicking back in an underwater recliner while his team faces off against an ancient Martian Danger Room, but at least Plas and the Atom were semi-active Leaguers. So there's at least two other people running around with JLA credentials, one of whom is typically written as, like, the third-smartest guy in the DCU. That Oracle sure does have an inflated sense of importance, given that she's more or less a talking, slightly-more-mobile version of Google.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #25: What the Hell is the point of this "Gold Standard" thing? I could swear it was supposed to be one of those "these are good jumping on points for new readers!" deals, but this one's part two of a three-parter, and Ultimate X-Men #65 was the last part of a five-parter. Not that either book is really throwing heady concepts out there that a new reader could get lost in, or anything.

Anyway, Ultimate Namor's a pretty funny guy. Seems Atlantis was a million years more advanced than our current society, so he spends most of the issue comparing contemporary man to apes and saying we smell and such. He learns English in under an hour while feigning unconsciousness, claiming that it is as simple to him as a normal human imitating a dog's bark. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Namor, except he's younger, he doesn't have an Atlantean army to back him up, and he might be a criminal and not the prince he claims to be. Also, he has some legendarily stupid hair.

See? Looks like that the whole issue. Like he was going to see My Chemical Romance or he was posing for a MySpace picture, or something.

At one point, he refers to Johnny Storm as "[Sue's] young friend with the ridiculous hair." Pots and kettles, Sub-Mariner, pots and kettles. I mean, granted, Greg Land makes Johnny look like a total douchebag, but take a look in the mirror. You look like you're falling straight down at all times.

Oh, and those robots? HERBIES. Tee hee.

There was another installment of Ultimate Vision on the back, but, wow, who cares?

Red HoodBatman #647: The Society sends in some ringers to help Black Mask take out Red Hood. Mask is none too impressed that he's stuck with Captain Nazi, the Hyena and freaking Count Vertigo, but, then, who would be?

Bats gets, like, nine lines the whole issue, wherein he more or less reteams with Jason Todd to save the latter's life in a battle against some suddenly dangerous C-listers. When Vertigo attacks, Batman negates the effects of his (really lame) powers by "dropping down the eye shields and ear plugs" in his cowl, ostensibly put there to combat Scarecrow's fear gas, which, by his own admission, renders him blind and deaf. Which is all well and good, except he then carries on a conversation with the Red Hood. Somehow. And he also has sonar in his mask that... again, somehow... relays visual information detailed enough to show me the little bullseye on Vertigo's chest. I think maybe Doug Mahnke read "sonar" and thought "but thermal makes more sense" and drew it as such. It's certainly colored that way.

Ah, well, next issue's THE BEGINNING OF THE END, so buckle down.

I also grabbed the first five issues of Kirkman's Fantastic Four: Foes, which is a snappy little FF story. I need to find number six now, though. My local shop was out. Sad face.