Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Niight Fights: O.P.P. - Round 10 - One Fraggin' Panel of Pain!

For Round 10 of One Panel of Pain I thought I'd bring back somebody who was responsible for several panels of pain back in the 90's. Yes, we're talking about the Main Man himself, Lobo.

Following his debut in Omega Men and his subsequent appearances in Justice League International, L.E.G.I.O.N. , and eventually his own series, Lobo went on to become one of the more popular characters in the 90's DC Universe.

He also went on to become severely overexposed.

Just don't tell him that.

The scene above comes from Lobo's Back#2, written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant and drawn in graphic detail by Simon Bisley.

To Spacebooger, that's only a scratch.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To see the problem with "Marvel Divas", you need only consult the Wiki

To see the inherent problem with the new "Marvel Divas" series, try doing what I did.

For starters, go to Wikipedia.

Now look up "Monica Rambeau".

"Monica Rambeau is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. Initially known as Captain Marvel, the character became a member of the Avengers and served for a time as their leader. She later used the codenames Photon and Pulsar after another Captain Marvel surfaced. Presently she uses no codename as the leader of Nextwave."

So far, so good. Now let's look at her Avengers career, and see some of the villains she's faced:

"As an Avenger, Monica faced foes such as Maximus, the Enclave, Annihilus, the Lava Men (who mistook her for the divine Lady-of-Light of their legends), Morgan Le Fay, the Dire Wraiths, Maelstrom, the Skrulls, Kang, Attuma, Freedom Force, an insane Quicksilver, Tyrak, and Grandmaster's Legion of the Unliving, even battling an army of Earth's major super-criminals during the Beyonder's Secret Wars alongside many of Earth's foremost heroes.[6] Two of Monica's earliest recurring enemies were super-powered psychiatrist Moonstone (Karla Sofen), who became one of Monica's bitterest foes, and Moonstone's powerful pawn Blackout (Marcus Daniels), who wielded the eerie Darkforce."

Not bad. Those are some pretty heavy hitters. But then, look at her power set:

"Due to bombardment by extra-dimensional energies, Monica can transform herself into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum. Among the many energy forms she has assumed and is able to control are cosmic rays, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, electricity, infrared radiation, microwaves, radio waves and neutrinos. She apparently accomplished this transformation by mentally shunting the matter of her body into the dimension from which she draws her energy and replacing it with a corresponding amount of energy. Her mind remains in the dimension to control the energy-parcel that has taken the place of her body. By assuming an energy-form, she gains all of that energy's properties.

She is invisible and intangible in many of her energy forms (the most frequent exception being visible light), and is capable of flight in all her energy forms (reaching velocities up to and including light speed). She also has the ability to project these energies from her body while she is in human form (only one wavelength of energy at a time), usually in the form of energy blasts from her hands. She apparently does this by creating small interfaces with the dimension from which she derives her powers, and letting the designated energy pass through. She mentally controls both type and quantity of energy she wishes to transmit. It is not known the maximum amount of energy she can transmit at a given time. Monica can also divert small amounts of various energies for employment as force beams, which have the equivalent to 300 tons of TNT of explosive force. A variation of this ability enables her to project light-based holographic illusions of herself and other than the fact they cast no shadow, they are extremely lifelike.

When she encounters a new or unfamiliar energy, Monica can often duplicate it given enough time for analysis, such as when she replicated and drained the green energies of an extra-dimensional Green Lantern.[JLA/Avengers #2] Monica tends to be physically insubstantial in her energy forms, though with concentration and effort she can sometimes perform tasks such as briefly grasping an object, either by partially solidifying or by applying some sort of force to the object in question.

Monica also had the ability to shunt any mechanical energy directed towards her through a dimensional interface surrounding her body, granting her increased strength, resistance to impact, and the ability to fly.

Monica has strong leadership skills and law enforcement experience due to both of her time as a police officer and former leader of the Avengers. She is an excellent markswoman, unarmed combatant, detective and swimmer with extensive nautical expertise. She has received Harbor Patrol training, and Avengers training in unarmed combat by Captain America."

Strong leadership and detective skills. Combat trained by Captain America. Able to transform into and manipulate any form of energy. Once drained a Green-friggin'-Lantern ring.

Monica sounds, well, awesome.

So you'd think she'd be featured in some equally awesome appearances in upcoming Marvel books, right? Maybe facing off against her old foe Moonstone a.k.a. the Dark Ms. Marvel? Or co-starring in the next Annihilation-style cosmic heroes crossover? Guest starring in Nova's book, perhaps? Or maybe fighting against cosmic foes like the Dire Wraiths or the Phalanx? Dare I even dream...M.O.D.O.K.?

Wait, it says right here in Wiki:

"Photon will return in the upcoming limited series, Marvel Divas (a parody of Sex and the City).[12] She will be one of the main characters, alongside Black Cat, Hellcat and Firestar. "


Nah, that can't be right. Better double-check Marvel's July solicits:

Written by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, art by Tonci Zonjic, cover by J. Scott Cambpell.
Diva (dee-vah), noun: An unusually glamorous and powerful woman. See: Patsy "Hellcat" Walker; Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy; Angelica "Firestar" Jones; and Monica "Photon" Rambeau. What happens when you take four of the Marvel Universe's most fabulous single girls and throw them together, adding liberal amounts of suds and drama? You get the sassiest, sexiest, soapiest series to come out of the House of Ideas since Millie the Model! Romance, action, ex-boyfriends, and a last page that changes everything!


Are you fucking kidding me? A character with Green Lantern-level powers and a former Avengers leader, and they're using her in a "Sex and the City" knockoff?

But Monica's not the only one being misused here. Look at Wiki's description of Firestar's powers:

"Firestar is a mutant possessing the ability to convert ambient electromagnetic energy in her environment into microwave energy, which she can then manipulate for various effects. As she alters the electromagnetic wavelengths they form a microwave aura around all or parts of her body, at which point she mentally "pushes" the microwaves away from herself. Doing this allows her to release heat, light, and radiation into her environment at various intensities. By focusing microwaves on a specific target she can cause it to burst into flames, explode, or melt. She can project microwave energy blasts which have a thermo-concussive effect, heating objects so that they melt, while the superheated and pressurized air created by the directed microwaves produces impact. Firestar can also sense microwave signals (such as cellular phone signals or remote-control devices) and disrupt electronics with her own microwave emissions. By superheating the air around her, Firestar can can generate enough upward thrust to fly at high speeds and lift objects as heavy as the X-Man Colossus.

On rare occasion, Firestar has demonstrated the ability to disrupt the
psionic powers of others using her own power (namely, Emma Frost, Empath, and the Darkling).

She easily produced an attack that injured Garthan Saal when he possessed the energy of the entire
Nova Corps, and also used her enhanced abilities to power a massive Shi'ar interstellar transport gate with very little effort."

But no, don't give her any cool space adventures or anything. It's not like she's a superheroine. Powers,shmowers. Let's just cut to the most important thing about Firestar: Her sex life.

Hellcat seems most at home in this milieu, but she's done better things as an Avenger and a Defender. Even the Black Cat could be better utilized. I mean, she's beaten Spider-Man, for Heaven's sake!

And just look at this gripping first-issue cover. I mean, this just screams "dramatic tension".

If, by "dramatic tension", you mean "look at our enormous gazongas".

I understand that Marvel wanted to do something to appeal to female comic readers. But they really should have tried, well, talking to some female comic readers. I'm lacking a second "X" chromosome myself, but even from my limited correspondence with people like Sally or Sky of Blue or Saranga on this blog, I can guess my wish lists above came closer to approximating what women comic readers want than "Marvel Divas" does.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Night Fights: One Panel of Pain - Round 9: Hal Jordan Gets "Nailed"

For Round 9 of One Panel of Pain , we feature JLA: The Nail by Alan Davis & Mark Farmer, which asks the question: "What would happen in the DCU if Ma and Pa Kent's truck had struck a nail and gotten a blowout that prevented them from finding baby Kal-El?"

Apparently, one of the things that would happen is that Hal Jordan would get kicked into the dirt by....Jimmy Olsen.


In fairness, I will point out that it's really Elseworlds Hal, and that Jimmy has been enhanced by artificial Kryptonian DNA.

Still counts, though.

(Special thanks to Sky of Blue.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Night Fights: O.P.P. - Round 8: Ice Cold!

Tonight's One Panel of Pain comes from Planetary#13, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by John Cassaday. The fight: Elijah Snow vs. Dracula in Sherlock Holmes' study.

What happens when the Lord of the Undead faces off against a man with freezing powers?


Spacebooger knows pain is a dish best served cold.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Some Last-Minute Glorification...

Over at Green Lantern Butt's Forever, SallyP has just wrapped up "Glorify Guy Week", and I'm hoping I can slip one more under the wire to showcase another of Guy's best moments.

This moment comes to us from Adventures of Superman Annual#4, which was part of the "Eclipso: The Darkness Within" Annuals crossover. Reader's Digest Version: Eclipso wants to gain ultimate power, and to do so he "eclipses" some of the DCU's most powerful heroes, including Green Lantern (Hal), Flash (Wally), Power Girl, Wonder Woman, and Superman, among others, placing his consciousness in their bodies and giving them half-moon faces and Spock-ears. The remaining uneclipsed heroes locate the eclipsed Supes hiding out in an active volcano and confront him before the sun goes down (the "eclipsees" were fearful of the sun as prolonged exposure to it freed the victims from Eclipso's influence).

Right before the big showdown, a golden yellow rocket shoots down from the sky headed toward the heroes. Suddenly, the rocket "unzips" to reveal Guy debuting his new (at the time) outfit and power set. This was right after he lost his power ring to Hal and had just acquired the Sinestro ring. Guy was in what I call his "not a GL, not yet a Warrior" phase, with the jeans and "G"-monogram leather jacket.

The heroes confront Eclipso Supes inside the volcano and he singlehandedly kicks the crap out of them, including Guy, with Metamorpho and Lobo getting damaged pretty badly. Worse, all their fighting activates a volcano, endangering the village. The heroes stabilize the volcano's threat, no thanks to Guy, who appears to be running off. More ass-kicking by Eclipso Superman ensues. Ice is one of the last heroes standing. Supes is about to kill her when suddenly a voice rings out: "Hey, ECREEPO!"

It's Guy, and he hasn't come back emptyhanded. He apparently hadn't run out after all, but rather travelled to the sun and brought back a big ol' vat full of solar matter, which he proceeds to dump on Eclipso Supes (making sure Ice and all other vulnerable heroes are free and clear, of course). In classic Guy fashion, he even comes in close to rub the the solar matter right in Supes' face while dragging him into the volcano. Moments later, Supes emerges from the volcano, back to his normal uneclipsed self and carrying an unconscious Guy Gardner, with a vague remembrance of Guy rescuing him.

After the JLI, Eclipso, and even Superman had underestimated him, Guy came through with flying colors.

Friday Night Fights: One Panel of Pain - Round 7: The Hat Trick

Once again it's time to bring the One Panel of Pain. Tonight I complete the final third of my Guy Gardner trifecta (who says Chris Sims has a monopoly?) with a classic Guy moment in which Guy has the guts and/or foolishness to challenge The Pointy-Eared One to a fist fight, with the following result:

(This shot of Guy in all his suicidal glory comes to us from from Justice League#5 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Al Gordon. Special thanks to Sally.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Following The Dream

"Flames to dust,

Lovers to friends,

Why do all good things come to an end?"

- Nelly Furtado

It is with great regret that I must announce that this is my last official post on the Stars And Garters blog.

It's been a great pleasure using this blog as a creative outlet where I could express myself and share my opinions on such varied subjests as comics, entertainment, music, and politics. Even better, it was a chance to interact with such wonderful bloggers as Sea of Green, Saranga, Ami Angelwings, Brian "Disco" Snell, Josh Reynolds, and, of course, the great and talented Sally P. And I'll never forget the fun I had copying and pasting all those "Friday Night Fights" scans for Bahlactus and Spacebooger.

But now I have the chance to pursue my biggest dream. Hovever, adding that pursuit to my already overburdened schediule means something has to give way. Unfortunately, that "something" is the Stars And Garters blog.

But the good news is that I'll be doing something I've been wanting to accomplish for nearly 24 years. I had put this dream aside in favor of pursuing a business career, and I had regretted it ever since. Now, however, I've decided to go back to my first love. Flo Rida's recent Billboard success with "Right Round" has inspired me to once again pursue my dream and form:


The ULTIMATE Dead or Alive Tribute Band

After all these years, I'm finally getting the chance to perform my favorite DoA hits like "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" and....that other song, and....uh...that other, other song.

I'll be living my heart's desire with all the passion of a... brand new lover.

My heart goes "Bang Bang Bang Bang!" in anticipation.