Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Who's Who In The JLA/JSA?

Last week's issue of Justice League of America (#48) had a couple of things that kinda threw me off balance when I was reading it. Hopefully long time readers know that I like to be as positive and upbeat about the comics I read as I can - Cthulhu knows there are plenty of comic blogs out there that bitch about things and I've never wanted to do that.

However (you just knew that was coming, didn't you?), like I said, Justice League... #48 had some things that I had to drag out here.

In an attempt to disrupt the Starheart taking over more heroes, Mr Terrific ropes in both Supergirl and Power Girl to help him build a device that will sort things out. It's great that Terrific recognises Power Girl is more than just a fighter - he specifically has her help because of her "scientific abilities" - and her reasoning about not really getting involved in that side of things with the Justice Society rings true. She wants to keep her Power Girl and Karen Starr personas separate. But then James Robinson has her say this:

Charles?! Who the hell is Charles?! The only Charles in the JSA was Charles McNider, the original Dr. Mid-Nite and he's been dead since Zero Hour! Was she confusing McNider with Pieter Cross, the current Dr. Mid-Nite?

Later on in the book, the good guys of both the JLA and the JSA take on Green Lantern Alan Scott who's possessed by the Starheart:

Now I'm not going to go on about the coloured and mini-icon styled caption boxes - others have done that better than I could - but I do need to pick up on something in them.

The captions at the top belong to Hourman, those below (mostly) to his wife, Jesse Quick. Here's what Jesse's say:

It's clearly Jesse's captions because she's got the Liberty Belle logo on the side . . . despite the fact that she's gone back to using the Jesse Quick name but that's almost by-the-by because she refers to her husband, Rick Tyler, as Rex.

Rex Tyler was the original Hourman and is Rick's father!

I'm not suggesting that Jesse and her father-in-law are having an affair that she can't stop thinking about when she's in the middle of a fight alongside her husband. What I am suggesting is that James Robinson (and I'm being charitable here) is obviously confused as to which heroes are currently in the JSA.

This book has three editors listed - Assistant Editor Rex Ogle, Associate Editor Adam Schlagman, and Editor Eddie Berganza. You'd think one of them would have caught these mistakes, surely.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Monday Covers #15

Punisher #20
I think Tim Bradstreet became as closely linked with the Punisher as Garth Ennis during the latter's run as writer. There were many examples of Bradstreet's covers I could have chosen but looking through them, this caught my eye.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #96

Bullseye gives a lesson in how to make a threat

  • BATTLEFIELDS #9 - good god - a Garth Ennis hero who doesn't die at the end of the story! Okay, Anna Kharkova doesn't exactly finish her tale in the happiest of places but at least she managed to get out alive.
  • GREEN ARROW #3 - it looks like Green Arrow definitely followed in his father's footsteps when it came to his lousy treatment of women while he looks set to battle his darker side.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #8 - Winick continues to surprise me with his writing on this title along with Power Girl; maybe if he stuck to this sort of thing - fun, humourous stuff - people wouldn't hate his work so much. Rocket Red is turning out to be the unexpected star so far . . . and is Fire flirting with him?
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #48 - there were a couple of things that bugged me about this issue but I plan on dealing with them in a separate post, probably on Tuesday. Story-wise, it still seems a little all over the shop, blundering from one fight to another although the Supergirl / Power Girl / Congorilla entrance was kinda cool.
  • PUNISHERMAX #9 - I missed this a couple of weeks ago, apparently, which is a shame as once more, this issue shows just how good this title is. Anyone got a magnifying glass for Bullseye's dialogue on page 7? And the "favorite color?" signs were just brilliant.
  • TEEN TITANS #86 - yet another issue skimmed over without paying any real attention. I'm simply marking time till J.T. Krul takes over.
    • Co-feature COVEN OF THREE - the three magic users are double-crossed by the Demons Three and wind up in Hell.
  • TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #2 - holy crap! Starfire's back! No, not the one from the Teen Titans that everyone knows, but this one! Couple that with Claw the Unconquered and it's like the 70's all over again!
And what made me smile:

An illegal arms dealer learns not to call the Punisher's bluff!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday Night Fights - Pride Goes Before A Throw

It's Friday once more and that means another round of fighting hosted by the inimitable Spacebooger. A few of us fighters put out a call for new victims blood particpants last week and it'd be nice to see some other fighters joining the fray.

Remember - if you like comics, if you have a scanner, if you have a blog, you're practically a fighter already! Just combine the three, head over to Spacebooger and join in.

Now, on with tonight's brawl and for once, I'm straying outside the DC Universe. A few weeks ago a friend of mine lent me the first twelve trades of Invincible and I have to say I've enjoyed them on the whole. But you're not here for a critique of the book - you want to see some violence.

In one of those dreadful mix-ups, Invincible faces off against his old team, the Guardians of The Globe. He's trying to help a werewolf accused of murder while the Guardians are trying to arrest them both. You just know that's not going to end well:

That guy Invincible grabbed by the head? That's the Immortal who's really, really tough. And arrogant.

Oh man, how embarrassed is the Immortal going to be?! He's been used to take out his own team!

And then simply tossed aside.

As always, you lovely people, we need you to head over to Spacebooger, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite.

This wonderful face-palm moment was taken from Invincible vol 11, written by Robert Kirkman with art by Jason Howard and Cliff Rathburn.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

What Are You Suggesting?

So work's begun on Armageddon 2001 over at The Annotated DC Project. It may take a little while before it's up and running mainly because I've recently order all the summer annual tie-ins that I don't already have! I was originally planning to put together some synopses of them from stuff on the net but thought, if I'm going to do it, I may as well do it right. I will, of course, let you know as and when it's done.

In the meantime, this is a request for ideas/suggestions - it can be kinda tough getting feedback from readers, whether those of this blog or the annotated sites I've done. I think the most successful way of hearing from you guys so far was the Comments/Guestbook I put in place at The Annotated Blackest Night. The only problem with that was the large amount of spam that I had to deal with - I still get the occasional entry even now.

For the ADCP I've used something else from those lovely people at Google called Moderator. It's in place at the site here and, I'm hoping, will work as a sort of message board. The bonus for me is that people need to sign in to a Google account to post anything - that means no spam. The drawback is that people need to sign in to a Google account to post anything - some people won't have one and the immediacy of their comments may be lost.

Hopefully it won't put too many people off.

Please pop over, sign in and leave some thoughts, suggestions or just say hi - I get a respectable amount of visitors each month both to the sites and the blog and it'd be nice to hear from you!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Monday Covers #14

Preacher #66
The Saint of Killers facing off against the horde of Heaven.

Just superb.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #95

Garth Ennis introduces us to the least feminine transvestite ever

  • THE BOYS: HIGHLAND LADDIE #1 - so Wee Hughie's headed back to Scotland, to meet up with his old friends (one of whom has changed more than a little) and get away from the madness of The Boys back in New York. With smugglers peddling in super-drugs in the same town, it seems likely their paths will cross. May I predict a hugely oversized adversary for Hughie, employed by the drug smugglers, who will also be quite humourous either in name and/or appearance?
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #8 - so there's another green Martian kicking around which stuns J'onn J'onzz; Hawkgirl gets a bit of a family surprise; and Hawkman begins raising an army. All told, this is rattling along at a good pace.
  • THE DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER - THE JOURNEY BEGINS #4 - for the very first time in all the Dark Tower books I've bought since the series began, I found myself thinking this is awful. Not the art, which is as gorgeous as ever, but the dreadful, stilted dialogue. Hopefully just a one-off glitch as I've been enjoying these books til now.
  • DCU LEGACIES #4 - ah, the rise of the kid sidekick and the Royal Flush Gang! It truly is the Silver Age again! One query, though, from a continuity frame of mind: the meeting of the two Flashes - isn't this contradicting the whole Central City being asleep thing from a few years back?
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #51 - Ganthet learns what it means to have emotions as he and the other Lanterns try to fight back against the Cyborg-Superman. And is there hope for the Alpha-Lanterns after all?
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #42 - still a little hit and miss with Robinson at the helm but better than the recent Justice League issues. Still, Mark Bagley's art is lovely!
  • POWER GIRL #15 - my god, am I enjoying a Judd Winick written comic? Still not a patch on Palmiotti / Gray / Conner, this books is actually holding its own with me. Winick, despite my many and public reservations, actually seems to not be ruining Power Girl, either the book or the character. Of course, it's still early days and there's plenty of time for unsubtle, ham-fisted crowbarring of relevant social issues into the pages but for now let's hope he keeps it on this tack.
And what made me smile:

"My shiny platinum tush!" Lois Lane gets put in her place by Platinum of the Metal Men.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday Night Fights - In The Air Tonight

Friday Night Fights is back, people, and this time Spacebooger has let go of the reins and taken his feet off the pedals - anything goes in this round! But first . . .


Do you -

Have comics?

Have a scanner?

Have a blog?

Did you answer yes to all three questions?

Then why aren't you taking part in
Friday Night Fights?!

It's free and it's fun - visit Spacebooger to join up!

Now that the spur-of-the-moment public service announcement is out of the way, here's my opening bout: two of the DCU's biggest hardcases, Hawkman vs Black Adam.

There aren't many bad guys who can comfortably take on Hawkman, a hero often so brutal I wonder how he manages to stay on the side of the angels for so long.

And it's not often that Hawkman takes a beating and comes off on the losing side but here, it's Black Adam that stands victorious.

And as much as I like Hawkman, I still kinda like the total disdain Adam has for him as he simply lets him fall.

You should all know the drill by now: get your behinds over to Spacebooger and vote, vote, vote!!

This mid-air melee first appeared in Black Adam #3 cover dated December 2007, written by Peter Tomasi with art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy and Rodney Ramos.

Spandex! Clad! Butt!

I've written before about how this post which contains the phrase "spandex-clad butt" is consistently at the top of my hit reports for individual posts despite being almost two years old. There are obviously a fair few people out there in the wide world who have a thing for spandex and butts and, through the wonder of the internet, they keep finding this blog. I'd like to think they stop and have a read of something else here but, if I'm honest, I have a feeling the interest lays more with butts than superheroes.

Anyhow, I mentioned this just yesterday in another post, jokingly throwing in a reference to the phrase which appeared in Justice League of Amazons, spoken by both Huntress and Power Girl.

I've been re-reading some JSA: Classified issues lately and in a wonderful burst of synchronicity came across this exchange in #19 between Roulette and her hired help:

Let's have a closer look at that third panel, shall we, where we can read Roulette's dialogue:

Well I'll be damned!

Have I stumbled across a meme within the DCU?!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

Perusing the DC solicitations over at Newsarama the other day, I came across the description of Power Girl #18:
"Going toe-to-toe with her equal. Power Girl finds out that life isn’t always divine! Meet Divine: a powerhouse of a woman gunning to become Power Girl’s replacement!"
which was accompanied by the cover art:

Looks like Power Girl gets a new enemy who's equally matched. Fair enough - I'm all for building up her rogues gallery.

Looking at Divine (which, by the way, sucks as a villain's name) I found myself thinking "Where have I seen that particular ensemble before?"

A quick rummage through my trades and voila: Fatale from Inherit The Earth wearing an almost identical outfit, minus the gloves:

Now with the judicious insertion of the phrase "spandex-clad butt" maybe I can get this post to fight it out with (still) my most popular post in terms of hits.

I swear, if I was concerned at all about getting more hits to this blog I'd throw that phrase into just about every post!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

And The Winner Is . . .

Armageddon 2001 is the next DC event that I'll be annotating over at The Annotated DC Project!

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Monday Covers #13

Ambush Bug #1
It's Ambush Bug.

Taking the piss out of a classic Superman cover.

Why wouldn't this be in my list?

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #94

Booster Gold speaks the truth.
This has to be quick - I'm not here right now! But with the magic of the internet, I can still post this:

  • BOOSTER GOLD #35 - you know, I think that's the first time I've read the word "knockers" in a DCU comic book . . .
  • GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS #1 - I'm guessing conversation's going to be limited between Red Lantern Bleez and her new friends.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #7 - as much as I've grumbled about Judd Winick in the past, I'm liking his Rocket Red. Admittedly, his characterisation of Ice is well off but on the whole this is still pretty good. Someone pass another slice of humble pie, please.
  • PROJECT SUPERPOWERS: CHAPTER TWO #11 - it all rushes to the conclusion next issue and just what the heck has happened to the Death Defying Devil?
  • ZATANNA #4 - Zatanna's in Las Vegas - where else would you find Mammon these days?
And what made me laugh:

The Devil and his Death Defying Dentures!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Ah, those two little letters thrown together which, over here in the UK, basically mean "Hey!" or "Hey, you!" or "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing, scratching hell out of the arm of the sofa?"

Admittedly that last one's more likely to be heard in houses where cats live (mine in particular) but those two little letters form an interjection, something to get someone's attention for whatever reason, and as such should always be accompanied by an exclamation mark.

What they don't do is sit at the start and end of a perfectly normal sentence, unless the speaker has a form of Tourette's.

As the Beefeater apparently does:

That sentence in the middle works a treat - even the use of "guv'nor" is spot on.

But that "Oi." at the start . . . and the "Oi." at the end . . . completely superfluous and yet another wonderful example of British dialogue written by American writers.

Don't worry - I have more to come . . .

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Strange Definition Of Normal

Reading through the report on DC's Event Horizon panel at Comic-Con the other day, I was frankly amazed at this line from Nick Spencer who's taking on the writing duties of the Jimmy Olsen co-feature in Action Comics:
"Jimmy Olsen’s always been one of my favorite characters… It’s about what it’s like to be a normal guy in the DC universe. He really is a normal man."
Normal? Really?!

I'm only the most casual of Superman readers but even I know there's nothing normal about this guy. He's the sort of guy who happily leaves his butt at the other end of a pipe laying in the middle of nowhere:

He's not averse to a bit of cross-dressing (and being confident enough to pull it off . . . at least in his mind):

We all know he used to be Turtle Boy, but who remembers GIANT Turtle Boy from the otherwise forgettable Countdown - he wrestled Darkseid himself:

Did I mention the cross-dressing?

He's been through so many changes, there's even a trade paperback collecting them!

But seriously, how could anyone describe a guy as "normal" when he looks like this:

Nick Spencer - you may wish to re-evaluate your thoughts on Jimmy.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Monday Covers #12

Starwoman & The JSA Jr. #1
Part of the Sins of Youth crossover that saw adults turned into kids and vice versa. I could have picked just about any cover from this event because, with their plain white background and focus on the characters, each of them just works.

And yes, I flipped it 90° so you don't have to crick your neck.

I'm too good to you, I really am.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #93

Negative Man speaks the truth in Doom Patrol #13
Life gets in the way sometimes, hence nothing much happening here over the last few days, but hey, look: comics!

  • BLACK TERROR #11 - I think Phil Hester's settled in to the writer's role now; Black Terror's dialogue is fun to read and, for most of this issue, he's simply not interested in navel gazing. Fighting a duplicate of himself that's meant to shake him to his core? He doesn't care, he's just having fun beating the crap out of it! On the whole, this is pretty good stuff, though there was one thing that made me laugh but that's at the bottom of this list . . .
  • THE BOYS #45 - that lovely, innocent looking cover belies at least one cat getting out of the bag in this issue: Starlight coming out as a supe to Wee Hughie. It's a sad tale that leaves the poor lad in a hell of a state, particularly when Butcher makes an apparently honest attempt to reach out to him.
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #7 - so the White Lantern finally explains to everyone it brought back why it did so. And, of course, the answers are about as enigmatic as you'd expect. Anyone thinking we were going to get straightforward reasons must be disappointed! Still, nice to see Miss Martian looking better than she did at the end of last issue.
  • CROSSED: FAMILY VALUES #3 - as brutal as this issue is, it wasn't the subject matter that left me feeling a little uneasy, rather it was the art. For some reason, this issue's artwork seemed more cartoon-like than any previous, more amateurish almost. Some of it felt just a little too gratuitous, really, a feeling that Jacen Burrows's work on the original series never induced. I hate to sound so negative (I do try to be fairly upbeat about comics on this blog) but the art just let this issue down.
  • DOOM PATROL #13 - whereas this issue that focused on Elasti-Girl was, quite possibly, the best of the run so far. An origin tale of sorts, Rita reveals her big secret to the rest of the Patrol and looks to be settling her divorce in a permanent way. This is a really nicely done issue which lets us get inside Rita's head and heart and shows that Giffen can do more than laugh out loud funny.
  • JSA ALL-STARS #9 - as Cyclone calls King Chimera on whether or not he's going to make a move, the rest of the All-Stars meet up with their old friend Brainwave who's obviously on exposition duty this month. And just in time, too, as the kids he's been looking after turn out to be Paradorian gods! Damn, I love this book!
    • Co-feature LIBERTY BELLE & HOURMAN - you know, I could see Icicle, maybe even Tigress, reforming after this storyline. They work well together with the two JSA-ers and it'd be something of a shame to have them return to villains of the month once this story wraps up.
  • MAGOG #12 - so that wraps up this series, then, although there's the forthcoming special that'll tie-up the actual storyline. An enjoyable series on the whole, mostly down to Giffen's writing again, but not, I think, one that actually had any lasting impact. Sure, Magog gets a name-check in Brightest Day this week as someone that Max Lord has to stop, but I think it likely he'll either fade away or become a JSA anti-hero/pseudo-villain as Black Adam did.
  • SECRET SIX #24 - how often to you get to enjoy an issue without knowing what the hell's going on!? The Six are in some alternate dimension/universe/dream state and it looks like Junior's behind it all. The banter between Jeanette and Deadshot was wonderful and the Punch and Judy dolls looking like Joker and Harley Quinn was just genius! Can't wait to see where this goes.
  • THE STAND: HARDCASES #3 - oh Harold Lauder, you sad, pathetic man.
And what made me laugh out loud:
The. Worst. Costume. Ever!

People moaned about Wonder Woman's new look that was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, but seriously, this has to be the most ill-conceived design for a costume I've ever seen. Two bandoliers criss-crossing her chest?! It's like something a 13 year-old boy would come up with - bullets and boobs!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Annotated What?

So here we go, folks - time for you to give me something to do over the summer.

The Annotated DC Project site has been glaring at me from my screen for a couple of months now since I finished the notes for Underworld Unleashed and it's time to feed the monster.

Up the top there you'll see poll that runs from now for two weeks. Put your votes (you can vote for more than one) in between now and the 17th August to decide which of the series shown above gets the Annotated treatment next.

I'll be adding in the votes from the last round as well.

Over to you!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Monday Covers #11

Justice League of America #62
I don't subscribe to the thought that some things (whether they be books or films or whatever) can be so bad they're good. If something's that bad, then it's bloody awful.

However, the cover above has long been one that's made me laugh because it's so bad - for years I was convinced Batman had simply opened and oven and the Leaguers were looking at the mess Wonder Woman had made of their supper . . . because in 1968, you just know Wonder Woman would have been doing the cooking.

The perspective's wrong as well - the intention may be that the heroes are looking down into the box, but because of the text and the lines coming from the sides of the cover, it looks like they're looking into it from the front . . . which means Hawkman's upside down!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #92

Hector Hammond's secret is out!
  • GREEN ARROW #2 - well what do you know, looks like I was right. Isable Rochev turns out to be Ollie's mother after all. It's nice to see Green Arrow and Green Lantern palling round again, but wasn't Jordan all fired up a couple of months ago to bring Ollie to justice? Don't me me get Justice League: Cry For Justice out to double check, please.
  • GREEN LANTERN #56 - hmm, is that cover and tag line reference John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness by any chance? Either way, Larfleeze makes a welcome return and Hector Hammond gets a makeover as all old GL villains do under Geoff Johns.
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #50 - you know, if Cyborg Superman would just stop killing people, you could almost feel sorry for the guy.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #6 - despite the over the top build up from The Source blog the other day, this was something of a holding issue I felt. The team had already decided to catch Max Lord - remember that stirring last page from #5? To have Captain Atom suddenly have another, bigger reason to stop him sounds a little redundant.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #47 - the main story's meandering a little now; a few issues ago it really felt like this series was picking up again but it really sort of a mish-mash of things. A few fight scenes, some snappy dialogue, but I'm not getting a real sense of the characters or the plot if I'm honest. The back up featuring Red Tornado left me with a question, though. Just about every time a robot goes haywire, you can almost guarantee dialogue written thus: "1101011010100100" Am I the only one who reads that as "One one zero one zero one one zero one zero one zero zero one zero zero." in the voice of Bender from Futurama?
  • TEEN TITANS #85 - seriously, I skimmed this entire issue. All I got was "Oh, where's Raven?" "Oh the Wyld's dangerous!" "Oh, where's Raven?" "Keys!" "Doorways!" "Clumsy dialogue!" I swear, if I didn't know JT Krul was coming on board soon, this title would be the first one I'd have dropped in years.
    • Co feature COVEN OF THREE - nice, snappy fun featuring three of the DCU's lower level magicians facing off against some old JLA foes. This is good.
And what made me smile:

Larfleeze finds out about Santa - brilliant!


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