Sunday, January 29, 2012

Warning: SOPA, Canadian-Style!

Aw crap, here we go again. Just when you thought open internet was safe...

I found out about this from Ragnell's tumblr:


Here's the attached letter if you're Canadian. Reblog this if you're an American.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Hostess Fruit Pie Ad That Proved Greg Pak Wrong (And Brian Snell Right)

There are two schools of thought regarding civilian casualties in the Hulk's rampages:

1. Former Hulk writer Greg Pak contends that Bruce Banner's mind influences the Hulk sufficiently that he subconsciously calculates the contingencies and guides the Hulk to avoid civilian casualties. Consequently, according to Pak, unless the Hulk has been controlled by outside forces, or Banner's mind has been removed, no one has ever died from any of the Hulk's rampages.


2. Fellow comics blogger Brian Snell contends that Pak's contention is complete horse hockey.

Which one is right? Well, in the course of my quarter bin diving, I may have at long last resolved this argument by unearthing a crucial piece of evidence, with the help of.....Hostess Fruit Pies!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

These guys are terrorizing the town? Seriously??? They look like they could be taken out by two guys with a really long rope.

People, there are plenty of neighborhoods here in Chicago where we WISH this was the extent of the gang problem.

They can't buy Hostess Fruit Pies? The horror! THE HORROR!

"You punks stay off Hulk's lawn!"

Ok, now let's watch how Bruce Banner's brilliant subconscious mind works to calculate the complex mathematics and spare human lives... rolling them up inside a ton of asphalt, thus either killing them by crushing their bodies and/or suffocating them, or crippling them for life. (And I don't even want to think about Yellow Shirt's spine there!)

Not only that, but in the next panel he's also sitting on the Asphalt Ding-Dong Roll Of Death (clever product placement there, Hostess!), thereby adding another 1,040 pounds (look it up!) to its already-crushing weight.

Not that it matters to the little pie junkies over there...

"Now we can get all the Hostess Fruit Pies we want!" Another victory for Type 2 Diabetes! Yay!

"Why can't humans be nice", Jade-Jaws? Dude, you just stone-cold killed and crippled a bunch of guys just for playing their radios too loud!

Sorry, Greg Pak, but I'm afraid I have to side with Snell on this one.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Marvelous - Round 10: Why Tony Stark DOESN'T Like Ike!

For tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Marvelous, I'm showcasing a battle royale between Iron Man and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


This unlikely presidential pounding comes courtesy of Strange Tales#2, in a story written and drawn by Tony Millionaire.

I picked a special fight song tonight in honor of one of the Presidents of the United States of America pounding lumps on our Armored Avenger. (Hint, hint!)

For more inaugural ass-kickings, click here. And don't forget to exercise your right to vote!

Ike wouldn't like that!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Marvelous - Round 9: Puck You!

Tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Marvelous will teach you an important lesson: It's the little guys you've gotta watch out for.

In this case, the little guy in question is Eugene Judd aka Puck from the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight.

Synopsis: It's a typical afternoon at Corky's Tavern and Mary, the waitress, has her hands full dealing with some obnoxious and "grabby" customers.

Unfortunately for the Gropey Hand Gang there, the bouncer at Corky's also happens to be the aforementioned Puck.

Mr. Judd intervenes, but the punks don't exactly take him seriously.

BIG mistake!

Grabby Guy#2 doesn't take the hint from what happened to Grabby Guy#1, and....


The above barroom brawl comes from 1983's Alpha Flight#1, written and drawn by Puck's equally feisty fellow Canadian, John Byrne. In honor of the valuable lesson Puck taught those two doofuses, tonight's fight song is this classic by The Georgia Satellites.

For more scaled-down smackdowns, click here. And don't forget to vote.

Now get the Puck out of here!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Special SOPA/PIPA "Public Announcements"


Please take the time to read this post from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the dangers the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) pose to internet freedom.

This bill may be the greatest threat to internet freedom that you've never heard of. That's because all the major television networks have come out in favor of SOPA and PIPA and have all but blacked out coverage and discussion. Even MSNBC supports this bill, and as far as I know, Chris Hayes' show is the only MSNBC program I've seen even discuss it.

How could this affect your internet viewing? Look no further than this very blog. Take "Friday Night Fights", for example. My posts and those of the other "Fighters" are predominantly based on DC and Marvel scans, and DC and Marvel both support SOPA/PIPA. If they pass, they could potentially block all our sites for posting scans of their books.

Granted, I understand the online piracy problem and the need to fight it. But these bills are the legislative equivalent of bringing armed 50-megaton atomic bombs to a gunfight. They're like blowing up an entire neighborhood to stop a rash of burglaries in that neighborhood.

Support for this bill hasn't lined up along the usual partisan divides, either. Al Franken (D), for example, is in favor of SOPA, while Darrell Issa (R) is fighting vigorously against it. This time I'm actually on Issa's side.

At present, the Senate is going full speed ahead with PIPA, while the House is temporary shelving SOPA. However, without our vigilance, either of these bills could quietly pass in the dead of night. The White House has come out against both SOPA and PIPA. On the other hand, they also originally came out against the NDAA, and we know how THAT turned out.

It's up to us.

Read the info provided in the link above. Then call your Congresspeople and let them know you will not stand for it.

Constant vigilance is the price we pay for freedom. That goes for the internet, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Special Captain America "Public Announcements"

I was a little late in hearing about this, but after reading about this on David Brothers' blog (via Kalinara's and Ragnell's blogs), my blood is boiling so much that I NEED to address this.


 Judging by the scene in last week's Secret Avengers#21......

...and especially this panel....'s very clear that you are operating under some serious misconceptions about Captain America, heroes, torture, and, well, a lot of things.

So let me enlighten you:

1. Captain America does not condone torture. Torture is one of the most brutal and barbaric crimes in our society. We're not talking mere "Batman dangling a crook from a roof" interrogation; we're talking actual torture. And there's no way in hell Captain America would just stand by and let it happen, let alone order it.

2. Steve Rogers is STILL Captain America, even without his costume. The most common defense of this scene was that Steve wasn't officially Captain America here. Bullshit. It doesn't matter if he's wearing a SHIELD outfit, or a Punisher costume, or even a goddamn clown suit. Steve IS Captain America.

3. Captain America is supposed to represent what America SHOULD BE, not what America IS.
Yes, I know that torture has been one of our country's dirty little secrets that's just been more exposed in recent years. But that doesn't make it right, or what America should stand for. And the whole idea of Captain America is to represent America's ideals, not its dirty reality.

4. Torture isn't as glamorous or effective as you think. Blame the "24" TV show for this common misconception, with all those scenes of Jack Bauer torturing the bad guys to get the vital info he needs to save L.A. from blowing up, or whatever dire catastrophe it is. That's fiction. The reality is that much of the info gained from torture is bad info. Reports showed that the finding of Osama bin Laden may have actually been delayed because of the garbage information gained from using "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Even James Robinson's awful "Cry For Justice" showed the heroes essentially getting nowhere after torturing bad guys for 3 issues. Torture is much more effective in getting the target to give you bad info that you may want to hear just to fulfill your agenda (i.e. "The Iraquis are enriching Uranium").

4. If you say you don't condone torture and then let someone else torture without lifting a hand to stop them, you're STILL CONDONING TORTURE. You can say you're not condoning it until your voice gives out, but if you're content to sit back and let it happen, even if you leave the room, you're fucking condoning it. It's just that simple.

5. Captain America is NOT a fucking coward. Even if he were resigned to the fact that torture was the only solution, he would NOT leave the room and let others do it in his absence. He would force himself to watch it and oversee it, even if for no other reason than to reinforce that it must not happen again.

He doesn't do this:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In Mild, Half-Assed Defense Of Tim Tebow

It's Tebow Time. For this blog, that is.

Since Tim Tebow and his in-your-face style of Christianity holy-rolled their way into the national spotlight, he's been been a lightning rod for both great praise and great criticism.

I certainly don't get the "praise" part. Frankly, Tebow just isn't all that as a quarterback. Sure, he's had some great last-quarter saves, and he fared particularly well against quarterback/douchebag Ben Roethlisberger and his Steelers, but let's face it: He's nowhere near the same class as someone like Tom Brady or Drew Brees. If and when Brady and his New England Patriots beat Tebow and his Broncos this weekend, it may be a shock to the system of Tebow's more evangelical followers, but it'll be about as traumatic and faith-shattering to me as the sun rising in the morning.

 As far as Tebow's style of expressing his faith is concerned, I understand all the complaints and even agree with many of them. First and foremost among them are two points touched upon here by Bill Press.

Here's the first point Press makes:

Jesus said a lot of strong things. But one of the strongest things he ever said was: When you pray, don’t be like those hypocrites who like to stand on a street corner and pray, so everybody can see them.

Somebody ought to tell that to Tim Tebow.

Fair point. He follows that up with an even fairer one:

Now, if you’re one of the silly millions of Americans who loves Tebow’s in-your-face kind of Christianity, consider this. What if he were a devout Muslim, who bowed to Mecca after every touchdown and shouted “Allahu Akbar?”

Somehow, I don’t think we’d be celebrating him as a national hero.

Both of Press's points are right on the mark. While I'm a practicing Christian, all that evangelizing just isn't my thing. That "hypocrites" quote is one of Jesus' signature lines. I've heard that one so often at my church services I've all but memorized it. And I agree wholeheartedly with it. And I've already ranted recently about the double-standards Muslim-Americans face when expressing and practicing their faith, or even existing, for that matter. If Tebow did frequently praise Allah and Mohammed in lieu of God and Jesus, or if he put Quran passage numbers on his face instead of ones from the Bible, would these same evangelical supporters still idolize him...or run him out of town on a rail?

Also, attributing his success to divine intervention because of his faith is troublesome on many levels. It ignores the contributions of the other Broncos, for starters. It also ignores players on the other side of the scrimmage line who may be just as devout. Worst of all, it reduces God (or Allah, or whomever) to an entity petty enough to exert undue influence over sports outcomes. It was bad enough when they revealed the Cigarette-Smoking Man doing that on "X-Files"!

And one final complaint: It's not "Tebowing". It's GENUFLECTING, dammit!

But while I can't get behind all the mountains of praise his supporters throw his way, I can't generate too much emnity toward him, either.

For starters, if you're looking at sports figures to idolize and emulate, you could do much, MUCH worse than Tebow. Like Roethlisberger. Or Joe "Mr. Follow-Through" Paterno. Or Sam Hurd.

Also, it's true that all the in-your-face evangelizing, both from Tebow and his rabid fanbase, gets downright annoying. On the other hand, the "religion has done nothing but harm and if you follow any organized religion, you're a complete fucking moron" talk espoused by the likes of Bill Maher, the late Christopher Hitchens, and many commenters on the internet? Just as annoying. And no, I'm not being some thin-skinned Christian who can't take any criticism of his faith -- one of my favorite comedians is John Fugelsang, who levels criticism at it all the time. Frankly, it NEEDS some criticism sometimes. It's just that Fugelsang, unlike Maher, doesn't stoop to condescension and sometimes even outright bigotry when doing so. Maher's also one of my favorite comedians-- except when he talks religion.

It's also important not to fall prey to the temptation to lay all frustration with the collective sins of evangelical Christianity, Christianity in general, and even religion in general on Tebow's doorstep. Even the rampant "Tebow-Mania" is primarily a product of the media and his rabid legion of fans, not Tebow himself. And let's just say that Christianity doesn't always put its best foot forward. Have you seen the GOP presidential field? It's filled with so-called Christians like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum (Google him!) who profess their love of Jesus but somehow manage to completely ignore "whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me", which was ANOTHER of Jesus' signature phrases. Let's face it: Too many people in the world use their religious beliefs as carte blanche to mistreat their fellow human beings, especially women and members of the LGBT community. But it's not fair to lay that all on Tebow. He's just an NFL quarterback, and an average one at that.

Whether you're a Tebow supporter or a detractor, the best advice I can suggest is to look past your pro- or anti- religious beliefs and biases and just see Tebow for what he is:

A second-rate Bobby Douglass.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Marvelous - Round 8: A Helpful Legion Etiquette Tip!

I won last week's round of Friday Night Fights: Marvelous with my Wild West Secret Six entry, so per tradition I'm posting a Legion of Super-Heroes entry for tonight's round.

Tonight, with the help of Colossal Boy and Element Lad, I'd like to present a helpful Legion Etiquette Tip:

If you find out bad news about Colossal Boy....

...DON'T let him be the last to know!

This special public service announcement was brought to you courtesy of Legion Of Super-Heroes#305 by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, and Kurt Schaffenberger. Fight music brought to you by Del Amitri.

For more etiquette lessons, click here. And don't forget to vote!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Marvelous - Round 7: Gail Simone's Revenge!

For tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Marvelous, I'm introducing a new potential recurring theme. In past bouts I've introduced recurring themes such as "The Bigger They Are" and "Green On Green" in which the given theme appears more than once in a bout. Tonight's potential recurring theme is called "Gail Simone's Revenge".

Why that name? Here's a little backstory: Back in 2010, DC published a book called "Titans: Villains For Hire" in which Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson killed Ryan "The Atom" Choi, whom Gail Simone had co-created and written years earlier. If that wasn't bad enough, the story, not written by Simone, had Deathstroke kill Ryan by stabbing him through the heart in a double-page spread. Worse, The story had Deathstroke present Ryan's dead body to the man who hired him, Dwarfstar, concluding with a graphic splash page of Ryan lying dead in a matchbox.

This pissed off many of Ryan's fans, leading them to coin the internet term "Minorities In Matchboxes". It also evidently pissed off Simone. But unlike everyone else, she was able to get creative revenge through her writing, specifically through her Secret Six stories.

Tonight's Simonean Schadenfraude comes from one of those stories, Secret Six#24, a single-issue tale illustrated by J. Calafiore, in which the team is recast Elseworlds-style in the 19th Century Old West. Here, Alexandra "Junior" Merkel has sent a team of marauders led by Slade Wilson to kill everybody in the town, including various members of the Six residing there.

Here, Slade encounters Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton.

Floyd draws. It doesn't go well.

Floyd's toast, right?



So Wild West Elseworlds Slade is now blinded. That's the entire extent of Simone's creative revenge on him for Ryan, right?


Now it's Bane's turn.

Here it comes.....

Ooh, that had to hurt!

I wish it had been the regular Deathstroke, but it's the next best thing.

You're probably asking yourself: Why did I refer to "Gail Simone's Revenge" as a potential recurring theme? Simple: Because I haven't found the other issue in my comics stash yet.

Tonight's fight music is by ELO.

For more revenge fantasies, click here. And don't forget to vote!

Peaks And Valleys: 2011's Comics

Another year just bit the dust, so now it's time to recap my favorite and least favorite things about the comics I read in 2011.

I have to warn you: I'm not a professional comic critic, so this list is far from perfect. It's based solely on my limited comic-reading experiences this year. (Otherwise the Ayn Rand comic would be in my "worst" section solely on principle.) It's rather short on indie comics, for one thing. I haven't read Haibibi, a favorite among critics, and, so help me, I still haven't decided which of Mark Waid's "I-Adjective" books I'm going to start reading yet. Another thing about my list is that many really good books will still be excluded in the interest of brevity. Also? My list contains more expletives.

With that in mind, here are the peaks and valleys of my comic-reading experiences in 2011:


Animal Man - One of the DCnU's best books. Hard to believe I'd never heard of Jeff Lemire until a little more than a year ago, and now he's one of my favorite current comic writers. Here he steps up the horror aspect of Buddy Baker and family's story, with amazing results. And Travel Foreman's art and Lovern Kindzierski's colors make a winning combination.

Avengers Academy - Perhaps the greatest gift Ragnell gave me in 2011 was to get me interested in this Christos Gage-written story of these young would-be heroes and their teachers. I have fallen in love with this book and its characters, and I have yet to fall out. Equally amazing is the consistency of style in the art, considering that the book has had three different regular pencillers (Mike McKone, Sean Chen, and Tom Raney) this year. Incoming penciller Tom Grummett will likely continue this trend. If you read one Avengers book, make it this one.

Batwoman - I swear to God, if J.H. Williams' art in this comic gets any more beautiful, people will drop dead from reading it.

Criminal: Last Of The Innocent - This mini from the regular "Criminal" team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillps was essentially Archie Comics as crime noir. And freaking awesome!

Daredevil - Mark Waid gives Matt Murdock a much-needed lightening up and shaking up with this new series. Waid's Matt Murdock is a man who's been through it all, and is consequently not afraid to face life and live it to the fullest. He's kind of a thinking man's Hal Jordan. Waid puts DD through some truly interesting situations, like having him face off against Klaw, the Master of Sound. He also remembers that Matt is a lawyer, and a damn good one, utilizing his litigation skills even in his costumed alter ego. A truly fresh take on a character who had gotten stale. The beautiful art by of Paulo Rivera and Marcos Martin, which channels Jim Steranko in places, also makes this book a must-read.

Detective Comics: Black Mirror - This story arc introduced me to one of Batman's most fascinating new villains, James Gordon Jr., the son of Commissioner Gordon. It also introduced me to the work of Scott Snyder, now one of my favorites.

Herc - I feel guilty about this one because I jumped on the Herc bandwagon very late. Too late, as it turns out: The book was cancelled this year. But Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente's series went out with a bang, even including an issue illustrated by the great Mike Grell.

Invincible - This book has veered from excellent to merely very good and back this year in the aftermath of "The Viltrumite War", but it has still hit some very impressive highs, particularly the issue where Atom Eve tells Mark about her abortion and the most recent issue's confrontation between Nolan and Allen The Alien.

Jimmy Olsen - This one-shot by Nick Spencer and R.B. Silva brought back Superman's previously-neglected pal with a vengeance. Rather than ignoring or wiping out the Silver Age craziness in Jimmy's daily existence, Spencer and Silva embrace it... and crank it up a few notches.

Morning Glories - Speaking of Nick Spencer: Spencer and Joe Eisma's tale of a mysterious elite prep school has been nothing but engaging. From the heroics of Casey to the no-holds-barred snark of Zoe and Ike to the sadistic instructors, This book has me addicted. Bonus points for including a scene with one of the characters singing Yeasayer's "Ambling Alp".

O.M.A.C. - Who'd have thought a comic with "Dan DiDio" in the writing credits would be in my "Best Of" list, but here you go. Keith Giffen is at his Kirbyesque best here, delivering the best homage to "The King" I've seen in quite a while, as well as some of Giffen's best art since "The Great Darkness Saga". However, I've learned that this book is among the five worst-selling "New 52" comics, which prompts me to ask a question to comics fans: What the fuck is WRONG with you people????

Secret Six - Gail Simone's long-running saga of a rag-tag team of mercenary villains had long been not only one of DC's consistently best comics, but one of the best comics ever. Their swan song in issue#36 was THE best comic of the year.

Star Trek/Legion Of Super-Heroes - This could make my "Best" list on principle alone, but writer Chris Roberson and artists Jeff and Phil Moy are delivering an equally engaging story so far as well.

Superman#714 - No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: I'm actually putting the conclusion to "Grounded" here. At this time last year, I'd listed the "Grounded" arc as one of the worst of 2010. What happened? Chris Roberson happened. Call it "A Tale Of Two Work Ethics". Whereas original "Grounded" architect JMS looked at the transitory nature of this arc and said "Fuck it! I'm doing graphic novels instead!", Roberson used it as an opportunity to channel Elliot S! Maggin. The arc was still less than perfect (thanks in large part to DC shitcanning a vital chapter to placate Islamophobes), but the conclusion was a worthy sendoff for pre-Flushpoint Supes, right down to the Swan-style wink at the end.

Everything About DCnU Wonder Woman Except Her Parentage - Diana's been tinkered with and rebooted constantly, but this time (with the exception I'll get to further down in this post) Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang got it right.

Zatanna - This book was sheer magic.


Batman: The Dark Knight - Seriously, what supernatural entity did David Finch do a solid for that he keeps getting high-profile jobs like this on flagship characters?

Catwoman#1 - I've been a Bat-Cat shipper since the days of Adam West and Julie Newmar, but their Winick-penned porn-style "tryst" here literally made me ill. Bow-chicka-bow-BARF!

DCnU Costumes - Whose bright idea was it to put the guy who designed Bare Midriff Huntress and Gambit in charge of redesigning the entire DC line? Many of them are overly-ornate messes. Trying to fix the problem of lateness and missed deadlines by making all the costumes three times harder to draw? Good thinking! And why the hell does Superman need armor?

Flushpoint - Where do I even begin with this wretched crossover event? "Ape-Controlled Africa"? The Lois Lane mini-series that didn't actually star Lois Lane? The third-rate snuff-comics Grodd Of War and the Adam Glass-penned Legion Of Doom? The portrayal of Aquaman and Wonder Woman as two steps away from mass murder? How about the conclusion, which portrays Barry Allen as a complete fucking irresponsible idiot and focuses on Barry's relationship with his soon-to-be-deceased mother while completely blowing off his relationship with his wife Iris? This event came off like a bad cross between House Of M and One More Day.

Frank Miller's "Holy Terror" - Riddle me this: What's black and white and made entirely of shit? Answer: This racist, Islam-hating Frank Miller graphic novel. I've grown progressively less fond of Miller's writing over the decades, but I've always maintained my love of his black-and-white work (see: Sin City). Until now. Hard to believe Miller originally intended this as a Batman story. This story features two characters I'll call Not Batman and Not Catwoman hunting down Al Qaeda agents in the aftermath of terrorist bombings, engaging in torture and Islamophobic stereotypes in the process. Even the B&W art here wasn't all that. Some panels did look beautiful, but many others looked like Miller just scribbled diagonally with an ink brush and called it a night. DC and the Bat-Franchise didn't just dodge a bullet by passing on this. They dodged a fucking mortar shell.

Kevin Smith's Bionic Man - Steve doesn't even go under the knife until Issue#4. No, seriously. The dog in "National Lampoon's Vacation" wasn't this dragged out.

"One More Day" Redux: DCnU Edition - Brace yourselves. I've got a lot to say on this one:

Most people looked at Spider-Man's "OMD" and thought it was one of the worst things in comics. Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns, and Jim Lee looked at it and thought "Hmmmm...". Not only did they repeat it, but they cranked it up to extremes.

The worst thing about DC's reboot is how they thoroughly wiped out not only most of the marriages in the DCU (Buh-bye, Clark/Lois and Barry/Iris! See ya in Limbo, Wally and Linda!), but also most of the romantic relationships as well. Now Guy and Tora only had "a few dates", and Barbara and Dick were just a "mutual crush". And Dick and Kory? Forget it. She evidently did.

Exit committed relationships, enter hookups and "friends with benefits" (aka fuck-buddies). Gee, that's just the right message you want to send to a predominantly male readership about the value of women in society, isn't it? And just the right way to attract much-needed female readers, right?

This purging even extended to friendships. Gone were the well-established bonds like the one between Dinah, Barbara, Helena, and Zinda in Simone's Birds Of Prey. The classic Teen Titans, which was like a family, apparently never formed. Even the bromances have been largely erased from DC history. What happened to Ted and Booster or Conner and Tim? Or Clark and Bruce, for that matter?

The effect: As the personal histories of these established characters has been erased, so has much of my emotional connection to them. Justice League and Justice League International have lost their zip for me. The revised history of the latter has been stripped clean of things like Guy's "One Punch" and the Giffen Embassy League in general.

This detachment even blunts my enjoyment of a quality book like the new Birds Of Prey. Whereas I watched the bond between the original Birds grow and evolve over the years, seeing Dinah and new character Starling interact as old friends doesn't have the same effect. It makes me feel like I have to start over. The book is a worthy successor to Simone's version in both story and art, but it just doesn't feel the same to me.

And don't get me started on Superman. True, Grant Morrison's Action Comics and the young Superman in the home-made outfit have grown on me, but even that gets ruined by the title book showing Supes as he is today: a broody loner who sulks in his fortress and pines in an unrequited fashion for Lois, who seems to be doing fine without him. Lois is awesome, but she was before the reboot. Honestly, what did we readers miss out on in the last 16 years by not having Clark single? New and innovative ways for him to mope? I just read a Ma & Pa Kent story in Action Comics#5 that made me want to fight back tears while reading it because it was so deeply personal to me. But it was a story that could have just as easily been told in the old DCU.

And that's the problem with the reboot. Many of the best stories the DCnU's produced could have easily been done without it. Can you tell me with a straight face that the reversal of Barry and Iris' marriage is the reason the new Flash series is so good? I don't think so. The new Flash book works despite Barry's "OMD'ing", not because of it.

It's not a coincidence that most of my favorite DCnU books are either a) largely unaffected by the reboot (see: Batman, Nightwing, Green Lantern, Animal Man, Swamp Thing) or b) starring less familiar or more previously obscure characters (see: Demon Knights, Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE). Batgirl and Wonder Woman are the only exceptions to that rule I can think of.

Maybe it's just that I'm a comic-reading vet, but this reboot seems to have been seriously ill-conceived overall, despite my enjoyment of some of the new books. Proof positive that DC needs more women and/or more Mark Waids at the top.

Red Hood And The Outlaws - In which Scott Lobdell downgrades Starfire from a vibrant three-dimensional character to a douchey-male fantasy. Kenneth Roccafort's "Escher Girls"-worthy rendering of her only made things worse.

Suicide Squad - Just as 2011 gave me new favorite writers in Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire, it also gave me a new least favorite: Adam Glass. Here, Glass manages to do what should have been impossible: fuck up Suicide Squad beyond recognition. Between the torture scenes that only Dick Cheney could love, the newly-sexed-up Amanda Waller, and Harley comparing her vagina to a clown car, this book was bad enough to drive old-time Suicide Squad fans TO suicide.

The Extras in DCnU's Justice League and Action Comics - The JL extras have included an ad for a fake book as well as some needless sketch outtakes and fictitious personnel dossiers. But that was nothing compared to Action's 8-page Super-Creator Mass Circle-Jerk. Yeah, THOSE were worth the extra buck. "Holding The Line", my ass!

Voodoo#1 - Half of this issue was spent on a lap dance. No, REALLY!

Wonder Woman's Parentage - Bad enough that Diana, whose clay origins were meant to symbolize pure female power, is now given a father, but the father was also Zeus. How. Original. As Ragnell pointed out, Hermes would have made more sense. As I pointed out, Dionysus would not only have been more fun, it would have been more...Azzarello. The one black mark on an otherwise-enjoyable comic.