Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Minimum Clonage - Round 3: Growing Pains!

Welcome once again to Friday Night Fights: Minimum Clonage, where the object is to not re-use a dominant fighter in any of the twelve rounds. Before we start, let's review the Used Character Board (ala Wheel of Fortune) to see who we can not use for the remainder of this bout:

Shadow Lass

Professor Zoom

Our host, Spacebooger, won last week's round with a giant bee drawn by John Byrne. So tonight my entry will feature Byrne's rendition of insects of a different variety, courtesy of Marvel Premiere#47, featuring the debut of Scott Lang as Ant-Man, with Byrne being assisted by Iron Man team supreme David Michelinie and Bob Layton.

Synopsis: Ex-con Scott Lang attempts to recruit surgeon Dr. Erica Sondheim to perform a life-saving operation on his daughter Cassie (who would later be known as Stature). Before he can do so, she is grabbed and taken to Cross Technological Enterprises to operate on its owner. While breaking into a mansion for money to finance bypassing Cross' security, he unknowingly breaks into Henry Pym's home and finds something more valuable: Pym's Ant-Man costume and size-changing gas. Lang uses both items, along with some ants, to break into Cross and find Dr. Sondheim, but is driven away by Cross' security force. Here, Scott tries again. ( Tonight's fight music is "Antmusic" by Adam and the Ants):


Spoiler: Scott rescues Dr. Sondheim and saves Cassie, only to be blown up and killed 25 years later because Brian Bendis thought destroying the Avengers team and replacing them with his pet characters would be "kewl".

As always, don't forget to vote!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What "Brightest Day" SHOULD have been called

It's kind of appropriate that "Brightest Day" should start off with a bird. Because it seemed like DC was flipping the bird at a lot of people with both "Brightest Day" and the "Blackest Night" finale which led up to it.

When you think about it, this series could have been called "Brightest Day: Fuck You!"

Let's look at some of the people DC flipped off:

Fuck you, Kendra Saunders fans! - Snell over at Slay, Monstrobot was complaining about how Ryan Choi has been shunted off to the sidelines lately. But Ryan fans should count their blessings: At least when Ray Palmer came back Ryan wasn't erased from existence.

Fuck you, Greg Rucka! - So, apparently DC's doing a JLI series where Max Lord has used his mind control so that everyone except Booster, Fire, Ice, and Captain Atom forgets he exists. Only one problem with that: Wonder Woman should still be immune to his power. Remember "Sacrifice"? Apparently DC remembers that Diana snapped Max's neck but not Diana's immunity to Max's mind control. Max could be spewing blood like Rage Kitty and it still shouldn't affect Diana.

Fuck you, Robert L. Washington III and Randy Duburke! - I know what you're thinking: "Who?" But Washington and Duburke created the story back in Showcase '96 where Ronnie Raymond struggles and finally overcomes his alcoholism. So, of course, we're treated to a scene where Ronnie blows off Jason Rusch's girlfriend Gehenna's funeral for a kegger party.

Fuck you, Dan Jurgens! - Remember how Hank Hall became a villain named Monarch and then became another villain named Extant and killed 3 members of the Justice Society and worked with Parallax to try to destroy the universe? Apparently, Geoff Johns doesn't.

Fuck you, minority superhero fans! - I remember reading an article a few years back comparing Marvel's and DC's approaches to including more minorities in their books, stating that Marvel's approach is to create brand new minority heroes flat-out i.e. Luke Cage, whereas DC's is to put minorities in their legacy hero roles, i.e. the Jason Rusch Firestorm or Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle. The only flaw with DC's approach is that some creator like, say, Dan DiDio or Geoff Johns, eventually decides that they want to give said minority legacy hero the boot because his/her white predecessor is the hero that said creator grew up with. That's why Jason Rusch, gets demoted to the Martin Stein role and Firestorm gets to look like the 1978 version again. "Brightest Day"? More like WHITEST Day!

At a time when comics are struggling to maintain their audience, DC should watch who it gives the finger.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Minimum Clonage - Round 2: Lightning Strikes Twice!

For Round 2 of Friday Night Fights: Minimum Clonage, I'm taking you back to the scene of my last victory, as I revisit Flash#79 "The Return of Barry Allen" by Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque, and Roy Richardson. Did you know, in addition to smacking down Wally West, Professor Zoom also faced off against another hero: the headmaster of head trauma himself, Hal Jordan.

Why did I not include this fight along with the Flash beatdown in my Baddest Of The Bad entry, just as insurance? Because the rules clearly state that the entry must be one consecutive fight scene, and the battle below comes from a completely different fight scene earlier in the story, and I felt the Wally fight was the stronger entry.

However, Minimum Clonage rules don't state that I can't reuse Zoom as the dominant fighter ever, but only during Minimum Clonage. So let's sit back and enjoy:

(*Editor's Note: Hal is a moron.)

I know Zoom's fast and all, but come on, how do you charge into a battle and forget your own weakness? Especially if your opponent is practically wearing it head-to-toe? Does Superman see a green glowing guy and fly right into him without wondering if maybe, just maybe, that green glow could possibly the same green glowing stuff that can kill him?

For more exciting battles, click here. And don't forget to vote!

(And special thanks to Kalinara for the use of her joke.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Minimum Clonage - Round 1: Shadowboxer!

Welcome to the latest Friday Night Fights 12-round event: Minimum Clonage!

Our host, Spacbooger has but one rule: Every entry must include an image from a comic where the featured character has not been used in a previous Minimum Clonage round by that particular participant.

What does that mean? Well, for example, if I use Dick Grayson as Robin in a round, I can't use Dick Grayson in subsequent rounds, nor can I use Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, or Stephanie Brown as Robin, since Robin is regarded as the same character (Batman's sidekick in the DC Universe) for purposes of this contest.

However, using two distinctly different characters who share the same name, like the Fawcett/DC Captain Marvel and Marvel's Kree Captain Marvel or the robot Red Tornado and the Ma Hunkel Red Tornado, is allowed.

In addition, I also have a little self-imposed rule of my own: Whenever I win a round, my next post must involve or somehow relate to the Legion of Super-Heroes. And I just won the Baddest Of The Bad round last week. Therefore, to the 30th Century we will go!

In past Legion-related rounds, I've favored the mid-to-late 70's or the early 80's. But this time I'm going a little farther back to Adventure Comics No. 366 (Mar. 1968) for "The Fight For the Championship of the Universe" by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein.

In this corner, we have the Fatal Five's own Emerald Empress, who controls a giant eyeball that uses green energy is as powerful as a Green Lantern ring's. With it, she has the power to fly, transform matter, teleport, move large objects, make herself gigantic, and generate intense energy blasts, among other things.

In the other corner, we have the Legion's Shadow Lass, who has the power to....make it dark.

Sounds like an easy victory for the Empress, right?


You can say that again, Shady!

Our fight music for tonight is none other than Fiona Apple's "Shadowboxer", for obvious reasons.

And as usual, don't forget to VOTE!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A quick thought on the Catholic Church scandal

Aren't people like William Donohue who blame the abuse in the church on homosexuality and people who blame celibacy guilty of committing the exact same fallacy?

Just a thought.

Always Remember....

Wally West...

...keeps his pimp hand strong.

*In honor of my recent victory in Friday Night Fights: Baddest of the Bad. Special thanks to artist Greg LaRocque, whose pictures are 2 for 4 in Spacebooger's FNF final contests. And special thanks to Khairul H. over at Dem's Good Readin', the first person to win with one of Greg's pics.

* Please don't let Demi Moore get mad at me...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Look Back At Justice League Of America#60

I was randomly recalling an old story I read in Justice League of America#60 called "Winged Warriors Of The Immortal Queen" from the Silver Age.

The plot was as follows: Queen Zazzala, aka the Queen Bee, has perfected and imbibed an immortality elixir, and is slowly losing her mobility as a result of said elixir. She, at least, retained her looks, unlike fellow JLA nemesis Professor Ivo, who later drank an immortality serum and began *surprise* to turn immobile. (Which could warrant a "Public Announcement" of its own: *ATTENTION, JUSTICE LEAGUE VILLAINS!* - Drinking immortality serums will slowly turn you into a statue. It just will, OK?)

Anyway, she comes up with the idea of using her special Cosmic Rod to turn the JLAers into winged but full-sized drone-slaves so they can retrieve ingredients for her antidote. She tries this on Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Aquaman, and the Atom, but only the Atom (while in his Atom form) becomes a drone as Zazzala wants - the others are merely immobilized. Zazzala concludes that the Atom's small size enabled his successful enslavement, and uses her rod to first shrink the remaining Leaguers (Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow) and then make them her drones. She succeeds and summons them to her. She gets them (and a similarly transformed Batgirl) to bring back the ingredients, whips up and drinks the antidote, and tries to double-cross the Leaguers until Atom, at "great risk" to his secret identity, turns back to Ray Palmer and turns the tables on her.

Some "random" thoughts:

1. When Ray Palmer worried about exposing his secret identity to the Queen Bee, an alien from another planet, all I could think of was that Justice League cartoon episode where Lex Luthor and Flash switched bodies, and Lex-as-Flash unmasked himself to learn Flash's secret identity, only to disappointedly exclaim "I have no idea who this is."

2. Look at Queen Bee's first picks for the mission:

J'onn - No problem here, since he has all of Superman's powers and every other big-name power you can think of. Keep him away from fire and you're good to go.

Wonder Woman - Another good pick, even the weaker pre-Crisis version.

Atom - Not a big gun like the first two, but still a valuable asset. He can get into the tight spaces they can't get into and makes a great reco person. Plus, he's at least as smart as Batman, so he can guide them. Which leaves us....

Hawkman(???) and Aquaman (!!!)- Now here you can see the logic in Zazzy's initial plan breaks down, especially considering who she passed over in favor of them. Gee, picking a guy who can only fly and a guy who talks to fish is waaay smarter than picking Superman or Green Lantern.

3. Of the first round of Leaguers, what if the only successful enslavement wasn't the Atom? What if it was.... Wonder Woman?

How would that affect how Zazzala transformed the next batch? And...better yet... what would their reactions to their ....transformation... be?

I'm sure Bruce would take it in stride, and so would Barry and Clark, after an initial shocked "Great Scott".

But what about Ollie, or better yet, Hal?

That would be priceless!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Baddest Of The Bad - Voting Extended!

A few days have passed since this final villainous showdown, and we're still locked in a dead heat. Since the rules dictate a 2-vote margin of victory, Spacebooger has asked each of us final contenders to ask our readers to vote at the website listed below.

Aw, crap! I just realized that my readership consists entirely of:

a. a fellow competitor,

b. a guy who who probably loves seeing Johnny Storm get pwned,


c. people who are even more addicted to Hal Jordan abuse than I am.

I am so screwed!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday Night Fights: Baddest Of The Bad – The Lightning Round!

Tonight’s Friday Night Fights is our special round , Baddest Of The Bad, where all previous round winners are pitted against each other in a winner-take-all grudgematch to determine the ultimate villain, with this DVD as the prize for the victor.

So what say we pick up the tempo?

In that vein, my final Victorious Villain is 25th Century resident Eobard Thawne, better known as the Flash nemesis who’s so not nice they named him twice -- Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash.

Tonight’s round comes from the "Return of Barry Allen" story arc in Flash#79 which chronicles Barry Allen’s apparent return to the living and its effect on reigning Flash Wally West and his friends. Since Barry has only returned from the dead recently and this story is set way back in 1993, it’s not a big spoiler to reveal that our returnee here is not really Barry, but rather Zoom surgically altered to look like Barry.

But wait, you say, wasn’t Zoom also resurrected only recently after being killed by Barry before Barry died? So how is he back facing Barry’s successor Wally? Well, it turns out that the Zoom in this arc is from a point in his life before he fought Barry but has arrived in the present years after Barry died. Still with me? Furthermore, it turns out he thinks he is Barry Allen due to suffering a temporary psychotic break upon learning that his hero Barry killed Zoom’s future self.

(Head…splitting! F***ing time travel!!!)

Anyway, after Zoom gets his memories back he attempts to draw Wally into a confrontation the best way he knows…. by threatening West’s future wife Linda Park on national TV.

Needless to say, it works.

Let me point out something here: Zoom's speed is at the same level as Barry's was before he died. However, this arc took place before Wally discovered and learned how to manipulate the Speed Force. In fact, at this point Wally's speed is significantly less than Barry's, due to Wally's deap-seated fear of replacing Barry by becoming his equal. Spoiler: He gets over it...

.... but not in time to help him here.

And down goes Wally!

(Story and art by Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson. Our special fight music for tonight: "Flash Delirium" by MGMT. )

Cast your vote here for the Baddest Of The Bad!

Public Announcements, 4/2/10

*ATTENTION ALL CURRENT HUNTRESS ARTISTS NOT NAMED "CULLY HAMNER"!* Please, for the love of God, banish that God-awful Jim Lee bare-midriff monstrosity of a costume back to the mothballs where it belongs. Helena is not an invulnerable Kryptonian like Supergirl or force-field-protected like a Green Lantern. Nor is she a teenager. Huntress is a normal, non-powered, flesh-and-blood, intelligent grown-ass woman. And she operates in Gotham City, which is rife with gun-toting and knife-wielding maniacs, many of whom she regularly fights singlehandedly. So unless she's dipped those abs in the River Styx, there's no way in hell she'd leave them unprotected. I'm not sure how crazy I am about the shoulderpads on Hamner's costume design, but it's way better than giving Helena an outfit that makes no goddamn sense for crimefighting just so some readers can, well, beat the bishop.

*ATTENTION JOHN MCCAIN!* So you say that you and the Republicans won't cooperate with Obama and the Democrats for the rest of the year because of the health care bill? Newsflash: You weren't cooperating before the health care vote, genius. Unless, of course, you consider refusing to give one vote, srpeading lies and disinformation, whipping up your supporters into a frenzy, and calling the other side "socialists" your idea of "cooperation", in which case you need to reread the dictionary.

*ATTENTION JOHN BOEHNER!* The passage of the health care bill isn't Armageddon, Mr. Coppertone. This is Armageddon!

*ATTENTION GREEK MYTHOLOGY LOVERS!* Here's a book that should be right up your alley: "HERALD" by N.F. Houck , who just happens to be Sea Of Green. I haven't had a chance to read the book myself, but if it's a fraction as entertaining as her blog Hoosier Journal of Inanity, it should be one hell of a read. Learn more about it here.

*ATTENTION OK GO!* After creating perhaps the greatest video of all time (eat it, Kanye!), it must be a challenge to follow it up. So let me just say: Keep up the good work!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Gnicneirepxe Lacinhcet Seitluciffid!

Yrros, t’nac klat thgir won.

Emos elttil yug htiw a ybred tah tsuj dewohs pu ni ym retupmoc moor, deppans sih sregnif, dna ylneddus lla lleh ekorb esool.

Won eht efiw dna I era gniyrt ot teg eht elttil dratsab ot evael.

Yeh, ebyam I nac yas a cigam lleps, ekil taht kcihc htiw eht stenhsif!


T’ndid krow.