Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Fights: KAPOW!! - Round 12: Beware His Power - Green Lantern's Butt!!

Since Round 1 featured Hal Jordan taking a beating, it's only fair that Round 12, our final round, should feature......

....Hal dishing it out!


The preceding fight came from Green Lantern#57 by John Broome and Gil Kane. Boy, those Green Lanterns really show off their butts a lot. Somebody should really make a blog about that.

Now, here's some music to close out the festivities.

(Special thanks to snell.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Night Fights: KAPOW!! - Round 11: Super-Smackdown, Part Deux

The art of omomatopoetic combat is a skill passed from generation to generation. Just as Bruce has taught Dick in the dojo of Aparo, so has Kal taught Kara in the dojo of Swan.

Let's see how well she's learned her lessons.

The scene below comes from Superman#313, "The Only Way You'll Save The Earth Is Over My Dead Body", by Martin Pasko, Curt Swan, and Dan Adkins. Here, a Superman villain called Amalak has successfully captured Supergirl and used her as a hostage to escape Superman.

Or at least he thinks he has.

"Klik" is not a sound you want to hear when you're about to kill Supergirl with your big, bad gun. Especially if it's coming from your big, bad gun.


Because this usually comes next:


Today's lesson from Spacebooger: Don't count out your Supergirls before they're whacked.

(Special thanks to The Fortress Keeper.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Thought He'd NEVER Leave!

Today we inaugurated our new President, Barack Obama. One of the best things about this is that means we got rid of our old President, George W. Bush. I, for one would like to say:


But in fairness to Bush, I'd like to point out some positives about him and his presidency.

First, although I disagreed with much of the agenda he and his administration laid down for our country, I had to admire his and his team's ability to effectively push much of it through. True, he had his party dominating the other two branches for most of his tenure, but rare was the time when he had to back down or withdraw his positions.

Second, he and his team, at least during his first term, were superb at creating and selling propaganda to both the media and the general public.

And finally, he was able to keep a promise he made during the 2000 election: To restore honor and dignity to the White House.

Which he did.

Upon leaving it.

Warning! Warning...Aw, crap!

Bob May just passed away.

Rest in peace, you cantankerous contraption.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If You Don't Like Ridicule, Stop Being So Ridiculous


There's been some recent uproar in the comics blogosphere about Valerie D'Orazio's recent Occasional Superheroine posts, particularly a recent one about Final Crisis (Warning: link includes MAJOR SPOILER), which I found out about reading from Sally P's post and later Kalinara's.

I first started reading Valerie's website when she started posting her "Goodbye To Comics" memoir, which I found compelling if difficult to follow. Since then I've viewed her blog from time to time. But recently her blog has become increasingly annoying and even maddening to read. I've refrained from commenting on Val before, in part at the urging of bloggers like Ragnell.

But sometimes you just have to call people on their bullshit.

For those unfamiliar with Ms. D'Orazio's history, she was a former editor at DC during the start of Dan Didio's tenure, and she left there under some bad circumstances (from what I could tell, she got screwed over). Recently, she landed an assignment with Marvel to write a new Cloak and Dagger series.

So it's understandable if she wears a pro-Marvel, Anti-DC bias on her sleeve. The problem is that Val also drapes this bias across her entire ensemble.

The frustrating thing about Val's blog is that I agree with many of her criticisms of DC and Didio's regime, taken by themselves. He's made a lot of bad decisions that were disrespectful to the characters he's supposed to be stewarding, particularly some of the female ones. There was the rape and murder of Sue Dibny in IDENTITY CRISIS, as well as Stephanie Brown's "experiences" with Black Mask's power drill, and whatever the hell is going on with Mary Marvel (I exclude "Final Crisis" from this because in the end Morrison stayed true to Mary's character, in his weird way) . Not that he's been kind to DC's male characters either. Remember Ted Kord getting shot in the head? How about Marvin getting mauled by Wonder Dog? So there's some validity to some of Val's rants.

However, she seems to be under the impression that Marvel under Joe Quesada is a much brighter, more optimistic, and more female-friendly environment than the DCU.


Sally's already mentioned the "Heroes for Hentai" cover, but what about Tigra's "respectful" treatment at the hands of Brian Bendis and his "badass villain du jour", the Hood? Or the Scarlet Witch's treatment in "Avengers Disassembled" and "House of M", which took all the good work Kurt Busiek and George Perez had done with the character and flushed it down the toilet? Oh, and let's not forget this. All of these things happened under Joey the Q's watch.

And if you want to talk about a comic company taking a dump on its major character's legacy, you need look no further than the Spider-Man "One More Day" storyline, where Quesada was so literally hell-bent on ridding Spidey's marriage to Mary Jane from canon that he had Marvel's flagship character MAKE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL in order to make that happen. All of this was done to reverse the effects of another terrible decision made on Quesada's watch, namely Spidey's revealing his secret identity to the public in Civil War. In my eyes, that's waaaay more disrespectful than having Bats use a gun or get reduced to a charred corpse.

So you can see that DC and Marvel, along with their leaders, have been equally guilty of horrendous decision-making and disrespect to their characters and fans. But Val's blog suggests otherwise, painting a false picture of DC as the Evil Empire and Marvel as sweetness and light. She also paints a false picture by neglecting to equally represent the good things both companies have done recently.

Yes, Didio's DC gave us such debacles as Countdown, Death of the New Gods, Amazons Attack and the continued employment of Judd Winick, but it also gave us Green Lantern:The Sinestro Corps War, Blue Beetle, Secret Six, Peter Tomasi's Nightwing run, and Booster Gold, just to name a few. And Quesada's Marvel may have given us Civil War, but it's also blessed us with gems like Nova, The Twelve, Annihilation, World War Hulk, the Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius specials, MODOK.'s 11, and, well, any recent comic written by Ed Brubaker.

I presented the pros and cons of each company above because I want to paint a fair picture of the difference between the two companies.

Val apparently doesn't.

But that's not even my biggest problem with her. That would be her handling of posters on her blog who disagree with her. She's shown an increasing tendency to take cheap shots at the offending posters, often impugning the intelligence, taste, and even the feminism of posters who dare disagree with her or like something she doesn't. Whether they're trolls or not, she treats them like they are.

Here is a comment from a poster named Najika in the post I cited above:

Najika: Hello Val. First time poster, long time reader. I just want to say a couple things and then I'll stop bothering you.When I first discovered your blog I absolutely loved it. I was just discovering the online comic book feminism community. Your blog was definitely the best. I really liked your insider views too. But the real appeal was how you never failed to call out the big name companies on their crap.Flash forward a few months and it seemed like something had changed. Instead of calling everyone out on their errors, it seemed like you only called DC out on stuff. This confused me a little. I looked through your blog archives and saw that you used to work for DC and it wasn't pleasant for you.I can see why an unpleasant experiance with a company would make you be hard on them. After all, you have an insight into them we don't. But I'm still disappointed with the new direction you've taken. It seems to me like you've started to ignore the rest of the industry and focus on DC's mess-ups exclusively. I'm bummed that the take no prisoner feminist views seem to be gone. When Ultimate Wasp met her gory end the rest of the blogosphere called Marvel out on it. Even though people have directly asked you about it in Comments sections you haven't addressed it once. I also have to agree with other commentors when they say you aren't really being fair to DC. They have a great all-ages line and publish lots of great titles that I, as a feminist, love to read.Of course, this is your blog. If you want to talk about DC instead of feminism that is your complete right. But I'm not sure if I want to read about it. That's all I wanted to say. Thanks for your time.

Now tell me if this is a fair and appropriate response:

Val: Najika, if you support DC Comics, then personally, I really can't consider you a feminist. Sorry. It's like "yeah, I read about your bad experiences with them. that stuff about sexism. that's too bad. but can you cool it on them? I want to read about feminism, but I don't want to ruin my comic book reading experience."It's like if you had a horrible sexist thing happen to you at a certain coffee shop. And I stop by, and read the stuff you say about the coffee shop. Now, I consider myself a serious feminist. Ad I DO want to hear your opinions on sexism. But I tire of hearing about that coffee shop. Because I want to buy a fucking cappuccino there. They make good cappuccino, and I don't want to feel guilty about buying it. Now, you might feel offended that I have heard your story, yet not only have patronized the sexist coffee shop -- but had the temerity to tell YOU that YOU should stop talking about how you were hurt there. Because I want to enjoy my cappuccino.For you to tell me to stop posting about this stuff and post about "feminism" instead -- it's like you didn't read a damn thing I wrote. Go enjoy your comic books, and enjoy your "feminist" blogs. Hope you find one that hates Dave Sim -- he's such a good, soft target.


Now, I'm still unsure where I fit in on the feminist spectrum, so a comment like the one above would just roll off me. But a lot of the bloggers I link to, particularly those of the distaff variety, take great pride in their feminism and would take serious offense to it being questioned simply because it's different from Valerie D'Orazio's.

If she's not treating specific individuals like this, she's treating abstract groups the same way, pulling strawman arguments seemingly out of nowhere and accusing people of having sinister hidden agendas:

Val: Please refrain from telling me what to say on my blog, who to like, and what to feel. If you don't like this blog, if it doesn't move in lock-step with whatever agendas you have -- please pick one that does, and go to it regularly in place of this. You will not offend me. Or go start your own blog.But. Do not. Tell me. What to think, what to write, who to like, or demand that I answer to you.Who the hell are *you* to demand that I answer to you? And what are *your* real motivations? Get out from behind your computer and start living out your own dreams, and stop crying like three-year-olds about how I should stop what I'm doing and justify every decision I make to you. You are not my friend, nor my family.It isn't about about Final Crisis this or Wasp that for you, I can almost guarantee that.

For the record, I didn't see any posters who were trying to do anything of the sort. Which means either Val deleted the ones who did (which, to be fair, is very possible, since she gets more responses to one of her posts than I get to a full year's worth of mine), or she's full of beans.

Either way, I take offense to the polarizing rhetoric she's using, as well as her "either you're with me or you're bad" mentality. Because I've seen it in action before, back in 2002-2003. And what did we get as a result? The Iraq War, that's what. While it may be unfair to lay that on Val, I can't help seeing the similarity.

Look, Val, nobody's trying to tell you what to do or what to write in your blog. You can write whatever the hell you want. Even if it's complete bullshit.

It's just that we reserve the right to call you out on it, either on your blog or somewhere else.

As Sally P and Kalinara have done on their blogs.

And as I'm doing on mine.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Night Fights: KAPOW!! - Round 10: Disco Demolition*

Hey, y'all! Put on your dancin' shoes! It's time to get down and get funky!

This week we shine the mirror ball on Marvel Team-Up#75 by Chris Claremont, Ralph Macchio, John Byrne, and Al Gordon, which features Spidey and guest star Luke Cage at Studio 54, er, 13 boogeying down to the sweet sounds of ....onomatopoeia!


Looks like Spidey almost literally tossed his secret identity straight into the crapper.


And that "Rat Packer" is going to need to spend his heist money on dental work after the shot Luke gave him!

(*With apologies to the great Steve Dahl. I miss you on the air already, Stever!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another GLBF Success Story!

Yesterday, Sally P over at Green Lantern's Butts Forever unveiled her latest inspiration, the "How To" Manual for Aspiring Bloggers. We also read this stirring testimonial from Sea of Green over at Hoosier Journal of Inanity. It's designed to make successful bloggers out of even the laziest souls.

By George, it's practically whispering in my ear! Here goes nothin'!

Step 1. Find a picture of Batman that makes him look silly or foolish.

Ok, I'm going to milk this one for all it's worth:

Bats looks udderly foolish here. Check!

Step 2. Find a picture of Hal Jordan being hit in the head.

Wait a minute...a weakness for wood? I thought that was Alan's thing. Never mind. Hal bonked in the head. Check!

Ok, finally...

Step 3. Find a picture of a Green Lantern Butt.

Ok, Green Lantern Gluteus. Check!

I DID IT!! Thanks, GLBF!

The GLBF "How To" Manual For Aspiring Bloggers - So simple even Hal can do it!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Friday Night Fights: KAPOW!! - Round 9: Tigra With The Assist

Remember a time when Marvel thought of Tigra as more than just cannon fodder to make the "supervillain du jour" look more badass? More than just someone they could saddle with an asinine "alien pregnancy" storyline?

I do, and here's one of the stories from that time. It's from Fantastic Four#177 by Roy Thomas, Mike Friedrich, FNF fave George Perez, and inking legend Joe Sinnott.

Recap: The team is coming home to the Baxter Building after thwarting Galactus for the umpteenth time, and are ambushed and captured by the Wizard, the Sandman, and the Trapster, collectively known as the Frightful Four.

Yes, I know what they're thinking: They're called "The Frightful Four", but there's only three of them? Who the hell came up with their team name, Ben Folds?

The villains are, in fact, addressing this very issue:

The tryouts don't go very well. There's the Osprey, who applies without even having any powers or skills. There's the Texas Twister, who can create powerful whirlwinds but holds out for more money. There's Thundra, who just walks in and starts kicking their asses until she's subdued. And then there's Captain Ultra, who can fly and is super-strong, but has one little problem:

But then our heroine shows up:

The Wiz is so busy thinking with his "little wizard" that he gets distracted enough for Tigra to do this:

That she has, Benjamin! That she has!


And Paste Pot Pete gets pasted!

Spacebooger says, "Eat it, Quesada!"

The First Annual "Garters"

Since the year just came to a close, I'd like to honor a few worthy recipients with the first annual "Garter Awards", or "Garters" for short. Here they are:

The "Endangered Species" Award: To the Wasp, who's just had not one but two versions of herself (regular and Ultimate) killed off in the last few weeks. No wonder the Marvel Adventures Janet Van Dyne wisely insists on calling herself "Giant Girl".

The "What If They Held A Crossover And Nobody Came?" Award: To "Final Crisis". Considering the plot of this "event" is Darkseid completely dominating Earth, we've seen little or no tie-in to it from the rest of the DC books. Geez, even some of the books with "Final Crisis" in their title don't tie back to the main "Final Crisis" mini.

The "Why Do All Good Things Come To An End?" Award: To Birds of Prey, Blue Beetle, The Order, Manhunter, and Nightwing. Also, in the TV division, "Eli Stone" and "My Own Worst Enemy".

The "What Have You Done To My Childhood?" Award: To Teen Titans#62, for providing us with this tender scene between old "Superfriends" stalwarts Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog.

The "If It's Fixed, Don't Break It" Award: To Jim Starlin for "Hawkman Special#1". Here's a character whose past history was a complete clusterfuck until it was neatly tied together by Geoff Johns a few years back, and along comes Starlin to make it a clusterfuck again. What's the matter, Jim? Donna Troy wasn't available to you?

The "Law Of Diminishing Returns" Award: Comic book deaths. The "body count" this year has been astounding. In addition to the aforementioned Wasp and Marvin, we've had Martian Manhunter, Rond Vidar, RJ Brande, Jonathan Kent, Zor-El, and many other classic characters bite the dust. And that's just over the last few months. A classic character being killed off once in a blue moon for impact is one thing, but DC and Marvel have gone to this particular well so often in this past year alone that it's run dry. I should have had a bigger reaction to the death of Superman's stepdad than "Meh." In fact, if Geoff Johns really wanted to shock us at the end of the story, he should have had Jonathan get up and say "I'm OK!".

And in the "Real Life" category:

The "Last Time I Saw Balls This Big, They Were Rolling Through The Jungle Chasing Indiana Jones" Award: To Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, for having the arrogance of using the vacated Senate seat of the most high-profile man in America as his personal "Get Rich Quick" scheme. Apparently his hair has grown too big and crushed his brain.

Another Year, Another 30-Second Recap Contest

Chris Sims and his Invincible Super-Blog are celebrating another year on the internets, and you know what that means: The 2008 Annual 30-Second Recap Contest!

For my entry, I'm using a recap I originally created for my extremely short-lived Rein of Terra blog, which was dedicated to chronicling the adventures of the greatest Superman villain of all time.

With apologies to Cary Bates, Dick Dillin, and Neal Adams, here's: