Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh, Joe Giella.

Mary Worth. Live action. Camera angles based on the actual framing of the comic, dialog based on the haunting lilt of the most boring of overheard conversations in an old folks' home.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Things I learned from comic books lately:

If you find a magic buffalo hat, you're totally qualified to join a superteam in less than fourteen days.

The Justice League Archives totally lied about how many weapons Skeets has. Within, like, the space of three pages.

I'm pretty sure I went to college with the Film Freak. Hell, strike that: I'm pretty sure we all went to college with the Film Freak.

Somebody triple-dog-dared Grant Morrison to write a boring Authority story. And you can't back out of a triple-dog-dare.

"Verwirrung" apparently means "confusion." I had to ask a German this. Thank God one lives with me.

Boy, would the Wildstorm Universe be boring were it not for Warren Ellis' run on StormWatch. Okay, I knew that before this week, but still.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh my God, he posted something.

So I watched an hour of Superfriends last night.

You know, this show kind of sucked when I was, like, three and it's just as bad now. Maybe worse. This is a comedy goldmine that's been utterly stripped of its funny for about ten years now, but I'm going to ignore the dead canary and head on in anyway. Because I am stupid.

First up, we have Space Knights of Camelon, wherein punching a comet causes a thermonuclear explosion that gives Superman amnesia, thus causing him to lead a band of rebels in overthrowing King Arthur-7 of Camelon. Yeah, that old chestnut.

After Superman fails to check in with the balance of the Justice League post-comet-punching, Wonder Woman and Aquaman decide to go looking for him. I'm telling you, Aquaman must've been a fantastic lay, because otherwise there's no excuse for Wonder Woman keeping that guy around like she did. Who the Hell thinks "I've got to go to space. I wonder if Aquaman's busy?" Initially, she refuses to take the Wonder Twins along for the ride because, frankly, fuck the Wonder Twins, but Aquaman pleads in their favor and the entire earth is left in the hands of Batman and Robin.

Upon landing on the planet Superman saved by, you know, punching the bejeezus out of a radioactive comet, the Superfriends come across a... well, it's pretty much a caveman. Earlier, they'd established that this planet was inhabited by toga-wearing honkey cavemen who hung out with, worshipped and occasionally were licked by an enormous talking lizard. I can't say he had a line and his presence served no purpose other than making me think "damn, these writers got a ton of plot in the first four minutes." It's seriously like they put words in a hat, pulled them out and put them in a random order - "'Cavemen.' 'Dinosaurs.' 'Superman.' Is the Super Password 'Fundamental Christianity?'"

Anyway, Wonder Woman ties the caveman up and explains the whole "my rope makes you tell the truth" thing to him. She then asks him where Superman is and, thankfully, the guy speaks fluent, if Grimlock-style, English. This is lucky for the team, as he was not a fish, and therefore outside Aquaman's wheelhouse. He cavetalks his way through a whole speech about "God... in sky... punch fire!" and the Superfriends make their first brilliant scientific leap of the episode, saying something about radiation and... following radiation and... science. Look, Wonder Woman's flying an invisible jet in the airless vacuum of space with a fishman and a monkey wearing people clothes riding shotgun; I'm not going to critique their pseudoscience all that hard.

MEANWHILE, ON THE STRANGE PLANET OF CAMELON, Superman's been discovered in a him-shaped crater by a band of rogues led by a guy voiced by Angelica Pickles' father from Rugrats. Yeah, he does voices in almost everything, but he'll always be Drew Pickles to me. Drew challenges an unarmed Superman to a "laser joust" after assuming Supes is a spy for the king, Superman handily dispatches him, blah blah blah they deck him out in black armor and have him lead a successful coup.

The Superfriends arrive on Camelon only to be captured about thirty seconds later because Wonder Woman's the only person they got worth a damn in a fight. Utilizing her previously unknown telekinetic control over her magic lasso, a bound WW presses a button on a transmitter affixed to her star panties to send a distress signal to Batman, who immediately hops in his Batrocket and hauls ass to Lallapolooza Camelon. This would be an opportune moment for the Legion of Doom to strike, since the world is now defended solely by, like, Hawkman. If you have both Sinestro and Bizarro handy and you can't drop Hawkman, you are a terrible legion of anything, much less one of doom.

Batman and Robin land on Camelon and break into the castle through clever subterfuge. Well, actually, Bats busts out a "laser projector" that casts a talking hologram of himself to confuse and amaze the guards at the front door, and he and Robin walk right in. The hologram seriously took a bow and said something along the lines of "hi, guys, I'm Batman, and I'm going to break entry into your castle now."

Batman witnesses Superman making a speech about how he's going to raise taxes and make the people bow to him and instantly deduces that "Superman thinks he's the Black Knight of Camelon." Such is his encyclopedic knowledge that the Dark Knight Detective knows the folktales of distant ren faire worlds. He's that good.

Robin springs the king from his cell after recognizing him as "Arthur-7," which leads me to believe that Batman chains his ward to a desk and drills the orders of succession for every inhabited world with an active monarchy into him for hours every night. Once he can list off every baroness on every backwater Rygel-system type-one world, Batman will reward him with the bottom half of his costume. He's got those pants under lock and key, I tell you.

We're treated to a ridiculously lame fight - Aquaman's strategy for dealing with a goon on horseback, by the way? Running like Hell and hoping a tree takes his enemy out for him - and Batman uses his gigantic brain to come up with a scheme to restore Superman's errant memory.

He takes chunks of the radioactive isotope that Superman accidentally blew up over Caveman World and jams them onto the tip of a laser lance and then challenges the Man of Steel to a duel. As Batman charges Superman, he explains his plan out loud to me. Just me, no one else could hear it. It seems he thinks that if he rams his lance into Superman's, a chain reaction will cause an explosion comprable to the one that blew Superman a couple trillion miles and knocked out a good chunk of his brain. Even Batman admits there's a good chance he'll be blown up by the brilliant scheme and, well, he probably should. But the only person the resulting gigantic explosion hurts is the invulnerable guy in armor, go figure. Superman's memory returns and all is set right on Camelon. Thank God.

The second episode - yeah, I'm going to do another one - was from the Superpowers Team: Galactic Guardians era. You know, when every freaking episode was about Darkseid wanting to plow Wonder Woman. Which is, admittedly, a pretty noble goal, and one I feel like I can relate to a little more easily than wanting to find a math puzzle that will wipe out all free will in the universe. I like boobs better than math, what can I say?

Darkseid, this time around, kidnaps Wonder Woman's boyfriend, Steve Trevor. He's flying a solo space shuttle mission at the time - rescuing a broken satellite or something - and he floats right through a Boom Tube to Darkseid's big giant spaceship.

By the way, they don't call Boom Tubes "Boom Tubes." They call them something stupid, like "Star Portals." Which isn't to say that "Boom Tube" is an unstupid name for something, but, seriously, it is a pretty freaking awesome name for something.

Darkseid's plan this time out is to use a molecular reconfigurer to make himself look like Steve and... well, here's where it falls apart. He goes back to earth looking all Steve-y but he's still acting like Darkseid. Which is to say "like a dick." Wonder Woman calls him on it and he Omega Effects her ass and then steals a satellite he already had in his possession and basically pisses off a bunch of guys with totally sweet powers (and also Batman and Robin).

The Superpowers team, at this point, consists of those two, Cyborg, Superman and Firestorm. I don't care who you are - you're going to get your ass good and kicked by any team that has both Superman and Firestorm on it. The show, which a few years earlier made it a point to have Wonder Woman explain her damned lasso every couple of minutes, doesn't even take a crack at explaining Firestorm's amazingly ridiculous powers - he just shoots beams at things and they turn into different things. Fire somehow becomes ice, two robots get turned into two kites, is there nothing he cannot do?

Well, have fire for hair, for one thing. His trademark flaming 'do is replaced by something that makes him look for all the world like he's fronting Powerman 5000, I guess in an effort to prevent overzealous kids from lighting their locks aflame. Though, to be fair, I never blew my body asunder in an attempt to score me some robot parts, and I watched this crap all the time as an impressionable youngster.

As it turns out, Darkseid's plan - beyond the sticking it to Wonder Woman part, anyway - is to use his molecular reconfigurer to turn everybody on earth into parademons. Which isn't a terrible scheme, really, except for the fact that Batman steals Kalibak's Star Portal generator and uses it to drop the satellite with the reconfigurer aboard onto a building behind a great big statue of Darkseid. Point: Batman.

The team restores Steve to his original form (Darkseid turned him into a caveman. I left that out, somehow), same with Wonder Woman (Darkseid turned her into a glass statue of herself. I, uh, also left that out) and heads back to earth, where Steve's all "but Darkseid has the original satellite" and Batman - voiced by Adam freaking West, for God's sake, Adam West (by the way, how bad do you think Burt Ward felt that the show called Adam in to voice Bats but figured Casey Kasem was an able replacement for him? Pretty bad, I'd wager) - is like "Darkseid would never expect us to invade his planet twice on the same day!" Cyborg then falls out of his chair and says "here we go again!" directly to the viewer because his robot eye allows him to see through the fourth wall and into my soul.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So here's the deal:

I kind of moved, see, and that threw all my posting for a loop. I know, I know, I'm bad blogger. A bad, bad blogger. But, hey, I totally live in DC now, which makes Big Monkey Comics my default shop, as it's the only one I even know of in this town, even if it's in the middle of the metro-stopless black hole men call "Georgetown." And that kind of makes me a decent blogger by association, doesn't it? I mean, I'll be buying my comics from Scipio and I can't think of much that'd make me cooler than that.

Okay, I probably could, given time. But it would be hard.

Anyway, I make an effort to update The World's An Odd Place at least five days a week, so if you're really hurting for some hot Jon word-loving, head on over there. That one got a new logo today, even!