Monday, July 28, 2008

This was a great idea.... four or five years ago.

According to Newsarama, Geoff Johns is going to be writing an episode of the 8th season of "Smallville" that will introduce the Legion of Super Heroes to the show. The episode will (naturally, in keeping with the show's one-word episode title format) be titled "Legion".

The big question is: What took them so damn long to come up with this? I mean, in a show that was based on chronicling Clark Kent's teen years, would it have killed them to guest-star some characters who were actually associated with Clark's teen years?

Look at the DC characters our young Clark has already run into over the course of this show, many of whom he didn't meet in the comics until he was Superman.

Perry White. The Flash. Aquaman (aka "A.C"). Brainiac. General Zod. A lame Mxyzptlk. Martian Manhunter. Black Canary. Cyborg(!). We've had a Lois Lane who has already been a season regular for years. A Jimmy Olsen (now the same age as or older than Clark?) who is already a regular. And now a Green Arrow who is about to become one.

We've had a Supergirl who can already fly while her older cousin Clark still can't.

But we've had no Mon-El story. And, until this upcoming season, we've had no Legion. Let me reiterate: Clark has interacted with Black Canary and Cyborg but not Mon-El or the Legion.

The thing is, bringing in the Legion now may be too little, too late.

Why? Let me put it to you this way: Remember how I kept listing what "we" have had regarding the show? Well, that may not be entirely accurate. You see, I haven't been a regular "Smallville" viewer for a season or two.

The main reason? "The Office" and "30 Rock" are on at the same time, and I'm too cheap to get Tivo.

But that's not the whole reason. Quite frankly, the quality of the show has gone downhill over the past few years.

I remember when I first started watching the show. It was far from perfect, but it had potential and improved over time where it had gotten entertaining. Then-newcomer Tom Welling was a little stiff as Clark, but he was counterbalanced by young talents like Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor and vets like Annette O'Toole and John Glover, as well as a surprisingly good John Schneider. (If you had told me back in the early 80's that the actor who played Bo Duke would provide a strong acting presence that would be sorely missed after he left a show, I would have laughed my ass off. But that's what really happened after his Pa Kent passed on in "Smallville".) And while Lionel Luthor and Chloe Sullivan were not originally part of Superman canon, Glover and Alison Mack made their characters popular with their performances.

But the show was not without flaws. Plots became increasingly Lana-centric, which took time away from the Clark-Lex story and the evolving Superman mythos. Clark was rather whiny at times, but I attributed that to growing pains involved with his destiny. Over a period of time, the "Lana-centric aspect came to dominate the show to the point where viewers were nicknaming the show "Lanaville". Also, some characters were being introduced too early in Superman history (Flash, Lois, Perry).

But those were OK initially, because I came to regard the show as an "Ultimate Superman", in the same way that "Ultimate Spider-Man" differed from mainstream Spidey but still retained the same basic elements. However, as the series went on, it became more of an Elseworlds or a "What If". Namely, "What if Clark Kent grew up to become a super whiny moron instead of becoming Superman?" The biggest problem? The show overstayed its welcome. It really should have only lasted 4 or 5 years. Clark not flying at 16 is one thing, but still not flying at 22 (with the exception of one possessed incident)? Something's wrong. It's like watching a baseball player who was a flawed-but-full-of-potential rookie grow over time to...never come close to reaching his potential.

This is the "Smallville" into which the Legion will be introduced.

It's too bad they didn't introduce the Legion back in Season 3 or 4. Back then, I had an interesting idea for an initial Legion story. It was inspired by "The Zeppo", an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". In this episode, Buffy and her crew were all preparing to fight a powerful world-threatening supernatural menace. All, that is, except Xander, who was sidelined and relegated to donut orders for his own safety. The twist was that the majority of the focus was not on Buffy's epic fight (we never got to see the world-threatening monster), but rather on the sidelined Xander, who ended up saving Sunnydale High (as well as Buffy & crew) from being blown up by a gang of beer-drinking terrorist zombies, all unbeknownst to Buffy, the "Scooby Gang", or, well, anyone.

(The Justice League Unlimited cartoon later used a similar plot in "The Greatest Story Never Told" featuring Booster Gold.)

I imagined Clark going against an average Freak of the Week, with Chloe's help, while the original Legionnaires would be going undercover at Smallville High on a different mission. At some point, Clark's mission and the Legion's would intersect. The twist would be that, while Clark would meet the Legionnaires as their undercover selves, he would have no idea of their true identities, powers, or purpose. There would be a follow-up episode, of course, where Clark would learn this information.

Ah, what could have been.

Still, there's some hope. After all, the Legion episode would be written by Geoff Johns, who has recently written some of my favorite comics (Action Comics, Booster Gold, Green Lantern, and now Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge). If anyone can produce a gem from the dirt, he can.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A show of hands...

Which would you consider more of a problem at a junior high school?

A. Students being openly flamboyant about their sexual identities and dressing up, creating a distraction to other students?



As you can tell by the lettering above, my choice is (B). The only sane choice is (B). But apparently Newsweek thinks it's (A). (Link courtesy of Ami.) Several paragraphs in this article are dedicated to the difficulties teachers, faculty, and students face when dealing with students like Larry King with gender/sexual identities that are different from the "mainstream".

The amount of space alloted to the question of how King's 14-year-old killer(!) was able to get his hands on a handgun so easily? ONE SENTENCE.

And of course students like King should know better than to expect to be themselves without fear of fatal violence. Who the hell do they think they are, human beings?

Nice priorities, Newsweek.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flash Fact: Johns + Kolins + Rogues = BUY ME!!!!

What can I say? You can't fight physics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I don't have many rules here, but.....

On my last post, I had to do something I rarely do here. I had to delete someone's comment.

To be quite frank, I rarely do it because I rarely need to. One, my blog is kind of a,shall we say, low traffic area. Among the people who post comments here, I have only one real regular, and her conduct on my blog has been beyond reproach. So has my occasional semi-regular (don't be a stranger, Ami). So, for the most part, have the non-regulars, which is the second reason I don't usually delete comments.

However, for clarification purposes, let me share the circumstances under which I will delete someone's comment:

1. It has content which I find offensive.

I'm a big boy. I can take almost any comment you can throw at me. The emphasis being "at me". Call me the foulest name imaginable , but any personal attacks on my family or girlfriend, even if you don't know their real names, is verboten. Same goes for any attacks of fellow posters that hit too far below the belt.

The other "too offensive" items would be advocating anything that would violate basic human decency. Advocating rape or child molestation, for example, or linking to any organization that does, is a good way to get banned from my blog.

So far no one has fallen under Category#1, no matter how they may disagree with me.

The same can't be said for:

2. It advertises or links to an advertisement for anything that doesn't involve comics, music, literature, or politics.

I use this "comics, music, literature, or politics" exception in the unlikely event that someone like Gail Simone or Tamora Pierce (the latter has actually commented here before) wishes to post a comment that includes a plug for a book or trade paperback of their work or someone's work they recommend. In which case, no problemo.

However, in the unlikely event that even Gail or Tamora were to post a link to someone selling Cialis (like the poster I recently deleted attempted to do), their post would be deleted like anyone else's.

So, everybody clear?

Good. Back in the pool!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Night Fights - Classic Edition - Round 12: It's Miller Time

As I've watched Bahlactus' weekly slugfest over the past few weeks, it's felt like something's been missing. And I just figured what it is:

What kind of a "Friday Night Fights Classic Black and White Edition" is it without Frank?

Miller, that is. Particularly his "Sin City" books. I've seen no sign of any residents of the Town Without Pity on any fight cards over the past few weeks.

Let's rectify that, shall we?

This scene comes from the original Sin City. Our hero, Marv, is not happy with how Kevin has been treating him. Up to that point, Kevin had beaten up and imprisoned Marv, maimed Marv's parole officer Lucille while forcing her to watch, and, worst of all, murdered Marv's "lover" Goldie while framing Marv for the deed.

Here, Marv communicates his displeasure to Kevin:

Nighty-night, Kevin. Don't let the bite.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

5 Years Ago Today

While I was against the Iraq War from the start and hated the direction he was taking the country, I didn't decide President Bush was truly irredeemable until 5 years ago today, when he made this comment about Iraqis who were attacking our forces:

''There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there,'' Mr. Bush said. ''My answer is, bring them on."

Bring them on?

Yes, that's right. He was essentially goading enemy soldiers to attack our troops by taunting them.

This would have been irresponsible enough even coming from a leader who was actually fighting alongside our troops on the battlefield. But coming from someone in the safety of an air-conditioned office thousands of miles away? It was unconscionable.

January 20, 2009 cannot possibly come fast enough.