Saturday, June 30, 2007

In Defense of Hank Pym

I was going to post about the books that came this week, especially the amazingly mindblowing Green Lantern Sinestro Corps Special Prologue-whew!-but something's been on my mind since last night while posing my brother's Marvel Legends. Yes, I have my own, but I loan out my services.

Anyway, it just gets to me how Hank Pym is portrayed now. When I was growing up, Hank was a jumpsuit wearing adventure scientist, with miniaturized weapons, devices and Quinjets in his pockets and the ability to release his Pym particles to shrink and grow things. I knew from back issues that he had something like eighteen other identities, most of which other people had commandeered throughout the years. He and the Wasp were this couple who would go back and forth between Avengers and West Coast Avengers, and they were in love, but had some bad history. I know now what that bad history is, but for nearly twenty years, Hank and Janet have been a loving couple, working and living with each other.

And now, well, he's just the guy who beat his wife. It's pretty much mentioned in every comic he appears in now.

I realize Marvel cherishes it's edgy, controversial storylines but if that story happened twenty years ago, and the characters involved spent the majority of that interlude between then and now happy in each other's arms, why dredge it up? I kind of blame Geoff Johns for this. When he was writing Avengers for that six months, he had an issue with Hank and Janet in Vegas, and Hank reproposes to Janet, wanting a second shot at married bliss. Yet, even with the weird sexcapades at the beginning, Janet declines, saying she hasn't yet forgiven him completely. Which would make sense-

If she hadn't been living with him for YEARS!

I can only hope that after all the World War Hulks and Initiatives and whatever next crossover darkens Marvel's day, Hank and Jan can finally be brought back together, without this forced strain and Hank's newly developed ineptitude. I'm not going to get into the theories and such of domestic violence and anger management, but Kurt Busiek retconned it so that Hank's breakdown came from knowing Ultron's brain patterns were Hank's own, causing him to question his own sanity and nature if Ultron could be that evil with his mindset. Jan forgave him and it shouldn't be brought up constantly as Hank's only quality.

So please, Marvel, give us back Hank & Jan.

But Hank needs to be in the jumpsuit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What The Hell Is Tagged?

First, I'd like to say damn you, Spencer Carnage, because I was perfectly happy to not post for awhile and now I got this. Apparently, there is a meme going around where people have to do the following once they've been Tagged:

- I have to post these rules before I start.
- I have to tell you eight facts about myself.
- I have to tag eight people to participate.
- I'm supposed to leave a comment telling them they're tagged and to read my blog.
- And the tagees need to write their own blog post, telling us eight things and posting the rules.
Yes, Spencer, I ripped that right off your post.

So, I'll do it and just for the record, if I get tagged again, I'll post a link back to this one. I'm lazy like that.

1) If you were to hit Shuffle on my iTunes you'd have a chance to hear Alice in Chains, Big & Rich, C-Murder, Dashboard Confessional, Eminem, Fiona Apple, GZA, Hanson, Interpol, Jem, Kelly Clarkson, Lisa Loeb, Mos Def, Nirvana, OutKast, Puddle of Mudd, Queens of the Stone Age, Ramones, Seether, Trapt, U2, Veruca Salt, Wolfmother, Xzibit, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Zero 7, among many, many others.

2) I gave the DX chop at my high school graduation. I was sitting on stage when I saw my friend William walking up the stairs giving me sign language. As soon as his name was called and he walked up close, I jumped out my seat and we did the DX chop in front of DAR Constitution Hall. Break it down!

3) I got a 1220 the first time I took my SATs. A 1350 the second.

4) My regional manager gave me $20 when I helped set up two stores in Georgetown. I was on the clock, so he didn't have to give me anything and I was happy for the distraction. As far as I know, no one else can claim this.

5) I've only had one real date in my entire life. It was my first year of college and I went out with a sophomore architecture student who worked the dorm desk. It was nice and she was great, but I didn't talk to her again. I don't know why.

6) My friend William who I mentioned earlier probably still thinks I slept with his aunt.

7) Me and my brother Brian sometimes call each other at the same time and on a few occasions he or I have picked up the phone to call the other and we had basically answered the phone before it rang. We frequently make the same jokes, observations and sometimes think about the same thing over the course of the day and learn later that we had.

8) For some reason, babies love me.

And there you go. I will be tagging people who have more a personal style blog, and maybe even a couple people I don't even know. Thanks for playing!

Monday, June 25, 2007

In Remembrance

The one thing that really stood out for me from watching WCW when Nitro was strong was the fact that every week there was one guy who would always wrestle. His entrance wasn't flashy, he basically just walked in and beatdown the guy unlucky enough to be put in his way. And when they added the Thursday promotion, he was there as well, every week.

That wrestler was Chris Benoit. I wish he would always be there every week. I will miss him.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Want To Be Depressed For $3.99?

Buy X-Men: Endangered Species.

Maybe it's me. All the characters are presented accurately, saying and doing the things you would expect them to say. Cyclops is taking the lead, and dealing with his emotions in the background. Wolverine's the guy who's seen death a lot, and knows there's no end till yours. Beast is thinking about the problems ahead and Maddrox is a little off. It's just, how do I say this?

What the hell are they talking about!?

Breeding programs? This wasn't a natural occurrence. Scarlet Witch's powers are preventing new mutants from being born. So why are people trying to find a 'cure' or some crap like that when there are like eight other reality-altering mutants out there with powers intact. Hell, Franklin Richards could fix this faster than he created that freakin' planet on the other side of the sun. No amount of sex is going to restart the mutant gene when you only deal with the effect and not the cause.

And when did the X-Men become about protecting future generations' chances to become mutated freaks? Unless mutants start dying in the street for no reason, I can't see why this is having such a profound effect on everyone else. Xavier's dream is about peaceful coexistence, and if there will be no more mutants (at least, that's the way it is for now) shouldn't they focus on helping those left control their powers and function in society? Why are they so concerned about making sure more mutants come into existence? So those left don't feel alone? That's selfish.

And god, Sebastian Shaw condescending to Xavier? The guy who funded the Sentinels and a S&M society club cannot compare himself to either Xavier or Magneto. Shaw doesn't stand for anything besides himself and money, and all of a sudden, he's a visionary? He was supposed to change the world? Please! It's like Carey pick Shaw because he was the only long standing mutant villain the X-Men have who wouldn't try to kill them on sight or wasn't missing for dramatic reveal purposes. It was inane.

There was just too much talk of death and dying out, like it was immediate. I don't find myself in anyway enthusiastic about reading Endangered Species. Not if this one-shot is an example of what's going to be happening.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Countdown to Rom Spaceknight

I wasn't going to pick up Annihilation: Conquest. True, Annihilation didn't disappoint in any way and I had developed a fondness for the characters, but still. It would be the start of another series of mini-series and Keith Giffen wouldn't be at the helm. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning would be, though, and I loved The Legion. So I picked up the prologue. And you know what?

It is awesome! And it just might herald the return of the original spaceknight: Rom. And that ain't half-bad.

I used to read all these old Rom issues from the back issue bins of a comic book store I used to go to when I was like nine or ten, and I loved them. He wore the most usual armor I had even seen, and his hands looked like mittens, but damn if everybody didn't differ to Rom, and he knew how to take care of business. So I am girding myself for war (and destitution) yet again, and seeing who's handling the mini-series I feel confident my money won't be wasted.

Meanwhile, over in The Brave and the Bold...

I recommended people read Showcase Presents Challengers of the Unknown in the third Big Monkey Podcast, and suddenly, they're relevant again.

Just sayin'.
Is it weird that Waid's Legion's Fatal Five looks exactly like the 80's Fatal Five?

And why does Chameleon have wings?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why DC Bugs Me

When I started this blog (well, not this one, but the first one), I wanted to give the internets a Marvel-tinted blog to balance out the more DC-centric ones out there. Even when I decided to talk about anything, I thought I'd talk about the big two evenly, because, well, they both have excellent comics or maddening practices.

Yet, every week, I'm here talking about the latest reason DC is destroying my brain.

The latest thing that really is getting to me is this. It's not Countdown to Mystery or Countdown to Adventure that's bugging me. It's Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer. Why the hell is this a miniseries? Fifty-two freaking issues isn't enough to tell this story? Isn't the Monitors story and the whole bit with Jason, Donna and Kyle supposed to be a storyarc in Countdown?

This new trend, having multiple mini-series to coincide with a miniseries, is happening in both DC and Marvel. But you know what makes them different? You don't have to read any of the extra Marvel series to understand the main story.

Think about it. Were any of the Civil War mini-series necessary for the series? But Infinite Crisis was the culmination of four previous mini-series, plus a mini-series that led into one of the four. Would IC make any sense if you had no clue what an OMAC was, when someone was pretending to be Luthor, or why the hell was Rann & Thanagar was at war? And then, they had specials to "end" the mini-series, but they only led back to IC.

And 52? Well, World War III just plain sucked. Yet, the majority of the year long gap plots were stuffed into those four issues, thus making them essential to the point of 52.

This may be an over-reaction, but to have a mini-series devoted to what's been so far established as one of the main points of Countdown is superfluous, and just a way to squeeze money out of the comic fans who are completists at heart. And it seems to be DC's new standard.

Just To Clarify

If you have stopped by The Absorbascon lately, you'll know he has a new survey up about Black Canary and bachelorette parties. To insure accurate opinions, here is what Grimbor looks like:

Vote away!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm Bored, Time For Who's Who

So, it's Catch-up On Sleep Sunday and I went to sleep early on Saturday, so I'm wide awake. It sucks and the only prescription is my collection of Who's Who. Which is impressive. Here are some things I found and would just like to share.

Team I would like to join by groupshot alone:

Found a new pic for the many times to come when I talk about Jimmy Olsen:

Is it weird this team transversed the Multiverse and established a world they named "New Earth":



These guys are still around (and drinking beer, apparently):

When are these guys coming back:

Take a look at this Outsiders shot:
He's actually throwing black lightning!
And Geo-Force still sucks, I don't care how many foregrounds you put him in.

And I leave you with this:
Make of it what you will.

Friday, June 15, 2007

2 + 2 = RACISM!

So I just read something disturbing over at Living Between Wednesdays. And it got me to thinking.

This very badly planned survey was scheduled to end on September 30, 1970. Now, taking into account the time needed to manually process all those surveys, think of a character who could address the issues the kids were most interested in, and have a creative team create the comic for this new character to appear, only one character could have been a product of this civil rights tragedy.

John Stewart
Debuted January 1972 (Five years before Black Lightning)

When His Tax Problems Clear Up...

Wesley "Blade" Snipes can play...


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

232, 285, 312, 362...Dammit 405!

So, Saturday I played for the first time and to say I got spanked would be greatly unfair. Due to time constraints, I was prevented from being spanked. So what was I doing most of Sunday?
Trying to build a better 400-point team. Which is hard when you barely have a mid-level comprehension of the rules.
Anyway, without getting into the deep levels of points and powers, I put together this team (by the way, HeroClix comes in four levels: Rookie, Experienced, Veteran, & Unique):
Rookie Supergirl from the Unleashed line
Rookie Lobster Johnson from Indy
Rookie Intergang Agent from Hypertime
Rookie Two-Face from Unleashed
Experienced Doctor Octopus from Ultimates
Experienced Venom from Critical Mass
Veteran Cosmic Boy from Cosmic Justice
Even though I collect the Clix (because I thought they looked cool), I was hesitant to actually play the game because, well, it reek of D&D geekness. And I just couldn't go there. But, apparently, most of the guys at Big Monkey play the game (4 out of 5) and a bunch of other cats walked in looking for sport. Plus, I made friends with a soon to be Marine D&D player, so I just went in and had some fun.
Thanks to everyone who put up with my ignorance of the rules and I hope to get better, and KO more than Robotman.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Avatars

I don't fit in very well. Anywhere.

Not at my job where a coworker actually called me "House."

Not with my family, because they're really outgoing people who make others comfortable, and well, someone told my brother I have a way of making others feel stupid. I was shocked at this, mainly because I rarely talked to that person.

And with my friends, I still feel like the odd man out. I'm with them, but...

I started thinking about this, and as with most other things I think about, I started to think about comics, and what kind of character that would make me. I would have similar goals as all the other heroes, but something about my nature or my methods would make me an outsider.

In Marvel, Punisher would come to mind first but Punisher doesn't have the same goals as the heroes, he wants all criminals dead. And Hulk doesn't count, he wants to be left alone.

Only this guy fits the bill: Known by all, but people keep their distance. And he couldn't care one way or another.

In DC, it's harder. There's a place for everyone. It was racking my brain to think of a DC character who wanted to help but was ostracized by the hero community at large. I thought I would have to refine my parameters to just someone though with a team occasionally, never truly connected with others.

My mind grazed Phantom Stranger, but I know myself well enough to realize I'm not as cool as he is. The only person I could think of was a guy who was sent to the Titans on work release, had to take a leave of absence for emotional problems and joined the Justice Society because he had no other place to go. I'm: People try to make me feel accepted, but I'm not there. And while I haven't experienced the same level of crap as Grant has been through, sometimes I feel as though everyone is better adjusted than I am, like every JSA member must seem to Grant.
I invite you all to think about yourselves and which comic character you relate to.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Mmmm, That's Good Metatextual!

Ms. Marvel: "Some days, the rug just gets yanked right out from under you...and it seems like there's nothing you can do to set the world right again.
"I call those days "Wednesday."

Also, we just wrapped the second Big Monkey Podcast and I must say, I probably come off as a complete jackass, so it should be fun for all. Once Ben and Brian the Tech Guy get done editing and polishing, they'll be posting and you can be listening.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Countdown to Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen '08

Despite my many concerns with Countdown, the one thing that keeps me coming back every week is the fact that the main character of the series, the one tied into the two main plot lines is

The Goddamned Jimmy Olsen!

I don't know when Jimmy stepped up as one of my favorite characters. I wasn't into Superman books growing up, just occasionally picking up Bryne's Action back issues and anything that looked cool. And back then (just around the 80's I should say), Jimmy was a furniture piece, a prop to need Superman's help or say how cool Superman is.

I think it was in the 90's that Jimmy started to get some of his Silver Age moxy back. He would be working with Cadmus, being targeted by mad scientists and wearing science suits. It was great. Especially when rendered by Tom Grummet.

Then came Metropolis , a miniseries dealing with the Brainiac 13 tech that had taken over Metropolis. Lots of shenanigans were going on, people coming back from the dead and supervillains being bonded together and such, and investigating the story was Our Hero, James Bartholomew Olsen. His signal watch used as transceiver for the intelligence in the tech (Lex Luthor's daughter Lena, to be exact), Jimmy went through harrowing ordeals while keeping his laid back cool and making time with the cyber-Lena.
Then Gail Simone was writing Action Comics, and Jimmy was rushing headon to take pictures and save people. And it was shortly thereafter that I found blog posts about Silver Age Jimmy and his antics, while very weird, cemented Jimmy's position as one of my top favorite DC characters. And he's in august company with the likes of Tempest, Brainiac 5 and Lar Gand.
Just something I wanted to share.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Countdown To Challengers Of The Unknown & Other Theories

I read Countdown #48 today and some thoughts are congealing in my head and I just wanted to get them down and see what everyone thinks.

As far as where Countdown is heading, what it will mean long term for the DCU, I think they are setting up the New Earth Universe as the 'meeting spot' for all the other universes. It's long been the general opinion that Crisis On Infinite Earths came about when too many alternate universes were mixing together and in the exit interviews from the writers of 52, the universes of the new Megaverse are supposed to be independent of each other.

But New Earth is riddled with apparently extraneous characters from the multiverse, characters who were here from before the Megaverse was created. I think when all is said and done, The Monitors will designate New Earth to take the brunt of any mutiversal instability, with the new Challengers of the Unknown (Jason Todd, Donna Troy, Ion and some other displaced characters, probably) to deal with any problems that arise. From the promos for the new Booster Gold series, Hunter and the Carter Boys will be handling the Megaverse and time, and it kind of makes sense that a team in the present deals with threats rooted in one universe.

As for the events in Justice League and Justice Society, namely the scene from Justice League of America #0, I think that is New Earth's Justice League. In the picture, the Big Tree are looking at the computer display of the two Earths, the picture of the JLA and JSA is in the background. Batman says they have seen alternate universes and a full-on multiverse, and only one Earth has seen a full-on multiverse: New Earth. In the last issue of Infinite Crisis, the JSA make note that they not only remember their New Earth past, but remember a time when Batman and Superman were members of the JSA. Since the Megaverse is new, those universes haven't been in contact each other yet, making New Earth the only possible place for a Justice League with that photo in their base.

As for the "Legion Lost", a friend from the comic store has pointed out to me that Sensor Girl could not exist alongside Karate Kid, at least if they went out on a mission at the same time. Sensor Girl was Princess Projectra after she returned from sabbatical. Why was she on sabbatical? Because her husband, Karate Kid, was killed by Nemesis Kid. What I don't get is, if the Legion already know about the parallel Earths, why do they keep talking as if New Earth is their past? I get that Superman's Legion past was written back in during IC, but Waid's Legion is clearly the Legion of New Earth's future.

Speaking of Meltzer's missteps, this aside is about Amazons Attack! #2. I appreciate Pfeifer's commitment to continuity, but if I have to read one more series with the Justice League standing around calling each other by their first names, I'm going Dark Horse for the rest of my life.

Back to Countdown...Jimmy's encounter with Lightray makes me think the Infinity Man may make a reappearance. He was this super-powerful being that the Forever People could summon with their Mother Box. If Devon is correct, and this Jimmy is displaced, he and the other Challengers may summon him to take on Darkseid, whenever the Kilted Menace makes his play. Or it could be this guy , who was an honorary Legion of Super-Heroes member that gained power of space and time, but lost them during the original Crisis. Maybe he's the "last Legionnaire" Dawnstar and the others are looking for, because Lightning Lad is still in the future, apparently. Then again, Scip has a point about this, too.

I can't wait till the week of Aqua-Jimmy, to tell you the truth. Olsen has been exposed to more powers than Peter Petrelli.