Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #108

This is the grim and gritty future; Power Girl doesn't do hugs

Delayed Cocktail this week as I was away for the weekend with a bunch of writer friends.

  • GREEN ARROW #6 - Ollie goes up against the Queen and hears some unconfortable truths about his dad. Maybe now we can move on to finding out more about that forest?
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #14 - Captain Atom gets bumped into the future and meets various future versions of current heroes, including a grim and gritty Power Girl (you can tell she's like that as she's dressed in black.) By the end of the issue, Atom's back in the present with the knowledge that Max Lord is planning to kill Wonder Woman which in turn will send the world on the road to the terrible future he's seen.
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #45 - anyone remember when this title used to be fun? Flash turns out to be sorta/kinda responsible for the villain du jour and Green Lantern Alan Scott remains paralysed. Wasn't Alan discovered to be composed entirely of the Starheart at some point and thus pretty much non-human/able to survive anything? Ah, it's all gone a bit miserable round here.
  • TEEN TITANS #89 - the introduction of the annoying Damian Wayne as the Teen Titans' new Robin seems to be a great idea; he and Ravager are quickly at each others' throats. He's brash and not used to being a team player and messes up his first time out. This should be good.
And what made me smile:

Robin's complete obliviousness!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

It Represents People

In Green Lantern: Emeral Warriors #4, Sodam Yat rebelled against the Guardians of the Universe, taking his Daxamite followers and planning to start up his own Corps . . . or take over the existing one after ousting the little blue fellas in charge.

His rebellion comes complete with a change of symbol:

Isn't that a lovely ideal? To represent "Everyone -- in every corner of this universe."

People like these:

and these:

and these:

and not forgetting these guys:

Yep, that's what you need - a symbol to represent all those that don't conform to the anthorpomorphic template of two arms, two legs and a head.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday's World Wide Web #1

Every now and then, writers slip a web-site address into their comics. Sometimes they're genuine, sometimes not. I've only found a few at the moment so this will be a fairly short series for now but first up is this one from the recent Superman: Earth One hardback:

Probably not all that surprising but that one actually works and takes you here.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #107

Because he's the Batman! Duh!

  • THE BOYS: HIGHLAND LADDIE #4 - I really like Starlight. She's honest and smart enough to realise that something's fishy with how Wee Hughie got sight of that footage. And she's willing to put them both through the wringer in an attempt to salvage their relationship. Another excellent issue.
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #14 - Deadman gets taught a lesson as we have a quick tour through his past and hey, what do you know, the resurrected Batman turns up. Oh, and Deadman and Dove get together at last - Hawk's going to be pissed!
  • DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES #7 - wait, John Stewart became Green Lantern after Armageddon 2001?! That makes no sense at all! Nice to see the highlights of the Death of Superman as well as Knightfall, though. And hey, Brian Bolland artwork on Camelot 500! Damn fine issue.
  • GREEN LANTERN #59 - "You can't erase your crimes by putting on a ring." Ummm, isn't that kinda what you did, Hal? I don't see you serving time in a Sciencell for the death of Kilowog or Sinestro. Oh and I don't know what's funnier: Larfleeze stealing Flash's wallet or the fact that somewhere in that skin tight uniform Flash finds room to keep a wallet!
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #54 - interesting bit of back story on the Weaponer and who knew that skinny Sinestro could fight so well hand-to-hand?
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #51 - heh - the Atom explaining about parallel worlds to Alan Scott; like he needs a lesson on the Multiverse! Another big fight with lots of exposition.
  • POWER GIRL #18 - you know, with the recent balls-up of Ice's origin over in Justice League: Generation Lost, I was expecting Winick to mess this title up as well. Thankfully, he's surprised me by turning in a decent story again of Power Girl vs Divine, but I'm still nervous about the long-term prospects.
  • THE STAND: HARDCASES #5 - the Free Zone Committee are in place and everything starts to gear up now.
  • ZATANNA #7 - a fill in issue is always a bit worrisome but Adam Beechen turns in a great one-shot issue. This really is a charming series!
And what made me smile:

I shall now be using this repeatedly for the Friday Night Fights!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Friday Night Fights - Prize Fight!

This is it - the big prize fight finish to the Free For All rounds and as I won a round of the qualifying twelve fights, I get to participate. So who have I called up to fight for me?

Yep, it's Green Lantern Hal Jordan up against his old foe, Goldface! This was back in the days when the GL rings couldn't affect the colour yellow due to a "necessary impurity" - there's no Parallax here, kids!

After dispatching the minions, Jordan turns his attention to Goldface himself, planning to use some aqua regia he's prepared.

But what's this?!

Goldface has improved his elixir, imbuing his "body with a super-auric energy -- giving me awsome powers over gold!" Man, you just don't get villains spouting that sort of dialogue any more, do you?

With his power ring powerless, Jordan has to rely on his fists:

and when that doesn't work . . .

Not even a wooden beam swung like Willie Mays can overcome Goldface's "awesome powers over gold!" and in moments, the fight ends with Jordan having seen better days:

Now, head over to Spacebooger by clicking on the image below, check out the other fights and then do what you know is right: vote for me!

This golden opportunity to make me the winner of Friday Night Fights first appeared in Green Lantern #48, cover dated October 1966, written by "Golden" Gardner Fox with art by Gil "Awesome Powers" Kane and Sid "Super-Auric Energy" Greene.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Green Ice!

So, you've probably all seen it by now but I for one enjoyed the Green Lantern movie trailer:

That cheered me up after a long day at work!

And it's nice to see that most of you agree with me about Ice's origins as well. I ran a little poll over the last week and you voted in the thousands . . . err . . . hundreds . . . ummm . . . dozens . . . ?

Okay, 16 of you lovely people voted anyway with most thinking that the original "Ice goddess born of a magical race of beings in the mountains" origin was the best. Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Dear Judd

Seriously, Mr Winick, if this:

leads to this:

you and I will be having words.

It seems unlikely that Blue Beetle would be held in a body bag by Power Girl with Batman looking on, I'll grant you that, but I just wanted to make it clear: do not kill Jaime Reyes!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Now This I'd Pay For

Never mind the hoopla about the Roy Lichtenstein that sold for over $40m dollars last week - this is cool:

This Star Wars poster is just one of a bunch of film posters by Tom Whalen - you can see others here and they're well worth a look.

Monday, 15 November 2010

I'll Take The Money

Edited Oct 2012 - I've amended this post as I'm sick of people searching for this bloody picture and ending up here which skews my popular posts results no end. If it keeps happening, I'm deleting this thing.

Headline at the BBC News site: Roy L i c h t e n s t e i n painting fetches $42.6m at auction.


$42.6 MILLION?! For that picture? When the original art of Page 1 of Watchmen is (currently) only $6,500?

I seriously do not understand the art world.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #106

Come on - who wouldn't?

  • BOOSTER GOLD #38 - Giffen and DeMatteis seem determind to run through the roster of their Justice League run as time travelling Booster Gold bumps into General Glory when he ends up in World War II. Yet another good, fun issue.
  • CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD: THE LAST BATTLE #5 - Blimey, I'd almost forgotten about this series! This is a cracking issue as several things come to a head and Jay makes a big sacrifice for his friend.
  • GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS #4 - Guy Gardner's Lanterns head into the Unknown Sectors (question for you - if they become known, does that mean there would then be more than 3,600 sectors?) and Sodam Yat rebels against the Corps.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #13 - So Magog, the guy that was big enough to helm his own title just a little over a year ago, has now been summarily disposed off, tossed aside and killed by Max Lord with Captain Atom being framed for the murder. That's another black mark against Judd Winick in my book because, yes, I kinda liked Magog. Sue me.
  • KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #2 - oh, I'm liking this! Let's ditch Winick from Power Girl and get Paul Cornell to write it! Yes, part of the attraction is seeming deliberate (and a little cliched) elements of British life injected into American comics but there's so much fun in this title it escapes from being a parody into genuine good humour. Would it work as an ongoing? Probably not, but a six issue mini-series seems perfect.
And there were a couple of things that made me smile this week, both from Knight And Squire #2:

That scene was simply there for that punch line but it worked a treat! And, in the same scene in the newsagents, it tickled me to check out the titles of the "top shelf" magazines:

Tucked in besides copies of Indeed, Blimey, Oops, Honestly and Strewth . . . the Joy of Sheds!

Paul Cornell, I salute you!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday Night Fights - Recap

As last week was the final round in the Free For All, Spacebooger will be reposting the winners (including my Donna Troy winning entry) tonight before having a prize fight next Friday.

I need to find something good . . .

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Off The Christmas List

I somehow doubt James Robinson will be getting a Christmas card from Dan Jurgens this year.

Here's the last page of Tangent: Superman's Reign #12:

See that? Superman thinks the assembled heroes of Earth-9 will be just fine.

Barely eighteen months later and we have this from Justice League of America #50:

Yep, Earth-9's been destroyed by the Crime Syndicate of Amerika from the Anti-matter universe.

Oh, Superman, you poor naive fool.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Ice Fan Cometh

So, ice goddess born of a magical race of beings in the mountains or daughter of the only noble man in a clan of thieving gypsies.

Which origin do you prefer? * Edit * What the heck - let's have a poll to decide! Check the poll at the top and vote!

All this discussion of Ice's new origin (as shown in Justice League: Generation Lost #12 and blogged about by me here and here) has generated that rarest of things, some comments from readers of this lowly comics blog. Much appreciated, folks!

There are two main reasons I dislike the new origin and the first is, quite simply, because editor Brian Cunningham lied to us. As I keep banging on about, the original DC Source blog article contained the line
"With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick provides Ice with a credible and tragic origin that does not negate what we already know."
As I mentioned in a previous post, that's complete B.S. The new origin completely negates what we know! As I showed, a big chunk of Justice League history simply could not have happened - it's been negated!

One of the anonymous commenters said:
"In all due respect, as you detailed what stories get screwed up in this retcon, I'm struck by what a LOUSY story it is. It’s horribly dated, and thin."
and I have to agree, the tale by Dan Vado wasn't brilliant but that doesn't detract from this new origin negating the original.

Had Brian Cunningham announced that "With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick reveals Ice's new origin for the first time since the reality altering events of Infinite Crisis!" there would have been a few grumbles but, for me at least, it would have been better than the B.S. we were served with.

The second reason I'm unhappy with the origin is, admittedly, still open with regards to the final result. Sure, the handling of the origin's reveal was awful, but - and I'm cutting Winick a lot of slack here - it may well serve some purpose. The same anonymous commenter writes:
"I think [the origin] allows the story of Ice some place better to go, to grow, and become more popular."
and I kinda hope that's what's going to happen, but I'd be really surprised if it does, mainly based on what I mentioned in one of the previous posts: Winick did the same thing to Green Lantern John Stewart.

Stewart was in a wheelchair at the time and while his physical injuries were healed by Kyle Rayner (who had the godlike powers of Ion then) he still couldn't walk. One session of therapy later and Stewart reveals memories of joyriding as a young kid and getting into a car crash. He claims to have had a puppy on the back seat of the car which turns out to be a safety net his mind created: it was actually his sister on the back seat and who died in the crash. Cue the revelation of a repressed memory and large amounts of guilt and once he's accepted that, he's not only walking but a Green Lantern once more.

After that, the repressed memory of his sister was never mentioned again.

Compare that with the guilt he felt over the destruction of Xanshi and how he's dealt with that for years and become stronger for facing up to it and the repressed memory storyline pales into insignificance.

It's too early to say how this new power/memory thing will work out for Ice, but I have a feeling - based on Stewart's experiences - that it'll get brushed under the carpet and forgotten about very quickly. If that happens, it makes the origin ret-con pointless but, again cutting Winick some slack, it's too early to tell yet.

However, I can't help but wonder why this change has happened - who gains what from it?

Ice now has a whole load of guilt to work through, she's no longer the innocent character she once was, but she has increased levels of power. Is that really all that's changed, that she's more powerful? If so, it makes the new origin even more redundant.

Straight after the adventure in the ice kingdom where she defeats her brother, she and Fire head back to the Justice League headquarters where Ice reveals something to her friend:

Yep, new powers - increased strength, flight and ice generation.

So if (and that is still a big if) all Winick wanted was to do was up her powers, why not simply make a passing reference to this and hey presto, every one wins!

With another issue of Justice League: Generation Lost out this week, I'm sure I'll be revisiting this again!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Please, Miss, Can I Have $6,500?

Holy crap - the original art for Page 1 of Watchmen, signed by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, is up for auction:

As of this moment, it's selling at $6,500 but I have no doubt it'll go for a lot more as it's got nine days left.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Better Off Dead?

A few weeks ago, the DCU Source blog gave notice that they were redoing the origin of Ice, one of the sweetest and innocent superheroes out there. That Judd Winick was behind it made a lot of people very nervous but what also ticked off a lot of people was the announcement from Justice League: Generation Lost's editor, Brian Cunningham:
"For those of us that read the Super Friends series in the 1970s where Ice was originally introduced as Ice Maiden, we all know how absurd her origin was. With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick provides Ice with a credible and tragic origin that does not negate what we already know."
Either he and/or Winick had totally confused two separate characters - Ice and Icemaiden and which I blogged about at some length here. I finished that post by saying: "I dread to think what this "credible and tragic origin" is that Winick's come up with."

Well, issue #12 of Justice League: Generation Lost landed and, it seems, my dread was well deserved.

Back in the old days of the Giffen / DeMatteis Justice League America, Ice was a mostly quiet, shy hero who somehow managed to see the good in Guy Gardner way before the rest of us and became his girlfriend, though to be honest it was a mostly on-off relationship.

Towards the end of their run on the League titles, Giffen and DeMatteis (along with Gerard Jones who was scripting the Justice League Europe title with Giffen plotting) threw together a somewhat patchy crossover between the titles called Breakdowns. Basically both teams get torn apart by a number of means, including the dreaded red tape of bureaucracy. Undergoing an efficiency review, poor old Ice ends up getting fired but not before admitting that she is "a Scandinavian ice goddess."

The story continues and various League members end up fighting against the powers that be in Bialya and it's during this fight that the inter-League title crossover meets the other DC crossover that was running at that time: the War of The Gods.

War... was a Wonder Woman-centric crossover which had various deities from mythologies world wide suddenly announcing themselves and attempting to take over the world. Needless to say, the Norse gods were no exception and we were treated to the DC versions of Loki, Thor and Baldur as they tried to conquer the Scandinavian countries. Being a goddess herself, Ice senses all this and leaves the Bialyan fight to save her people.

The actual fight with the Norse gods is all over fairly quick and the Justice League titles get back to the Breakdowns story, such as it is. The reason I mention this is that first Fire, then the rest of the League followed Ice to her homeland, fought against the gods and were told by Ice that her people were safe:

All of that tied in with her back story as given in Secret Origins #33 (which I detailed in the post linked above).

Several issues later, after the Dan Jurgens run on Justice League America and the Death of Superman storyline, new writer Dan Vado had Ice leave the League and return to the mountains and her people. It's fairly obvious from the artwork that she's entering a fantastical place:

Here she meets up with her family once more - her mother and father whom we met briefly in Secret Origins. Her mother's glad to have her back, particularly as her father's aged terribly - he's weak and feeble and, while Ice had been living in the outside world, he's moved closer to death.

We also meet for the first time Ice's brother Ewald who turns out to be something of a black sheep. As their father has weakened, Ewald has all but taken control of the ice kingdom and put out a story that Ice had died some years before.

All this takes place as a sub-plot scattered throughout issues of Justice League America while the rest of the League deal with alien fugitives and a doppleganger Guy Gardner.

With Ice's return, her father seems to rally a little and manages to face up to Ewald for the first time in years, telling him that perhaps, as his eldest child, Ice should inherit the kingdom and not Ewald.

Not surprisingly, this doesn't go over well:

Yes, he even does the whole shaking his fist thing!

Ice's mother thinks it's a great idea and attempts to convince Ice that she should stay and rule the country. Those plans are scuppered by Ewald who, while he doesn't flat out admit it, appears to have killed their father during the night and thus before he could officially name Ice as his successor.

Ewald proves he's a bad guy by imprisoning Ice and working with his secret, mysterious benefactor to turn the people's hearts and minds against his sister. The benefactor turns out to be the Overmaster who would - several issues hence - kill Ice.

Before that happens, Ice has her mother leave the ice kingdom and head outside with her JLA communicator which, when activated, results in a visit from Green Lantern and Power Girl. At the time, Power Girl was still under the impression that she was the grand-daughter of Arion of Atlantis and seemed to be changing her costume every other month, hence the blue and white outfit. Hal Jordan's arm, by the way, had very recently been broken by Mongul during the Reign of the Supermen storyline which brought Superman back from the dead.

It's not long before a message gets back to the JLA that Ice needs help and, like all good team do, they come running to help one of their own:

No one, I'm sure, will be surprised to hear that the meeting between the League and Ewald's army (which is really half a dozen magically created giants) ends up in a big fight. Ice is rescued and recovers enough to confront her wicked brother, defeating him and, again, being asked by her mother to remain and rule the kingdom:

Though she's tempted, she heads back with the League and, as mentioned above, in five or six issues time ends up being killed by the Overmaster.

So why have I just summarised a couple of years worth of stories featuring Ice? Well, it's obviously connected with the hideous ret-con of her origin that Winick has provided in Justice League: Generation Lost #12.

For those of you fortunate enough to have missed it, Ice's new origin is that she was a gypsy child in Norway, one born with power over ice and snow. The entire clan her family belong to are thieves though Ice's father is, of course, a noble sort and is planning to take them away from it all:

So that his father, Ice's grand-father, doesn't discover Ice's powers, he spends year after year telling Ice that she has to remain calm and in control. Of course, the grand-father finds out about her powers years later, after they've run away, and when he comes to take her back, Ice's father tells her to cut loose and freeze everything. This ends up with Ice causing the deaths of her grand-father, his gang of half a dozen thugs and, inadvertently, her own father who, with his dying words tells her "Always be careful. Be quiet. Be . . . be . . . calm."

Most of Justice League: Generation Lost #12 is a fight between Fire and Ice until, at the end, Ice regains some sense of self and suddenly realises what's been happening all her life:

Yep, the whole thing about being an ice goddess was a lie. She made it up to repress the memory of causing the death of her own father. That's the "credible and tragic origin" that Judd Winick has come up with, the one which, according to editor Brian Cunningham:
"does not negate what we already know."
How exactly are the Justice League's interactions with Ice and her family not negated by this ret-con? If Ice made the whole thing up then the ice kingdom never existed and a big chunk of the JLA's history is completely . . . errr . . . negated!

Seriously, what do we gain by having this new origin for Ice? As I said in the earlier post, being an ice goddess from a mythical race of ice people is no more ridiculous than being an Amazonian princess moulded from clay and being granted life by the Greek gods. These are comics, for Cthulhu's sake - why do we need a "credible and tragic origin" for a character who was, as stated in the Source blog article, a "pensive, shy flower" something which made her pretty much unique in the DCU?

All it's done is turn her into another angst ridden, angry superhero.

Utterly pointless. My only vague, tiny hope is that this'll all turn out to be a Max Lord-induced false memory so we can simply ignore this car crash of a ret-con.

Oh, and as a little post-script - when I read the issue and came across the page where Ice remembers everything, it triggered something in my own memory:

The whole causing the death of a loved one and repressing the memory thing? Winick's done that before: John Stewart in Green Lantern #147 was shown to have repressed a memory of causing not his father's but his sister's death.

It's like he's not even trying.


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