Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #48

Captain Action Comics #3.5
Justice League of America #39 (2009)
The Talisman: The Road of Trials #0
Vampirella: The Second Coming #2




Captain Action Comics #3.5 (Moonstone, 2009, $1.99)
According to a text piece, the publishers of this comic were unhappy with the original third issue of this series within the context of a planned trade collection, so they decided to produce a "do over." Original writer Fabian Nicieza received a plotting credit, but this "3.5" was written by Steven Grant. That tells me a lot, as does a text synopsis shabbily pasted over a third of the story's first page, which the editors failed to adequately proof. Even then, the tale is this mise-en-scène mess that makes little sense on its own, beyond a stupid fight scene and gobs of exposition. Where the zero issue from a year and a half ago was a guilty pleasure, this was a ten page Marvel Age teaser with an additional five pages of biographies for characters that mean nothing to me based on the former. The art is still pretty but stiff photo-reference-a-palooza.

Justice League of America #39 (DC, 2009, $3.99)
I recognize this is the second part of a forced company wide crossover that is swiftly becoming stale through repetition of its initially novel aspects, so it may be too soon to declare the Robinson/Bagley run as shitty as its predecessors. However, I can declare this one issue shitty on its own demerits. Like Return of the Living Dead, the breakdancing vato zombie super-hero Vibe is risen. A page is devoted to reestablishing Paco Ramone in a modern mileau, replacing parachute pants and headbands with rottweilers and tattooed tears. In other words, Vibe can now be a dated caricature of the early '90s West Coast rap scene, instead of a timely bastardization of early '80s hip-hop culture. Another two pages are devoted to Vibe's history with "Motor City Justice League*," which despite Bagley's increasing indifference toward anatomy and inappropriately over-rendered inks by Rob Hunter, are ginchy. Robinson doesn't quite have Vibe's lingo down though, avoiding the easy comedy of lifting it directly and attempting a troubling, off-key update. Too bad about that.

Cut to the remaining members of the current League, having already openly acknowledged their suckitude, walking into a trap they know they're totally unequipped to handle. There is a clear "Saturday Chiller Theater" feel to the pacing and shadowy visuals, so that would make our "heroes" the dumb twats you're rooting for the slasher to kill. An unexpected resurrection stirred things up for a bit, but swiftly descended to irritating territory**. There's then this tedious two page sequence which, in a horror movie, would be the build-up for a jump scare. Mark Bagley's inability to draw horror, as well as the metaphoric and literal bloodlessness of what follows, guarantees a fail. Things then gallop toward inevitable cliffhangers, and since this territory has been so heavily trod recently, there's no actual suspense in any of it. Another low water mark for this misbegotten series. But hey, 30 pages of lousy story and art for only an extra dollar, plus I got a "free" dime store plastic ring with it. What a bargain!


The Talisman: The Road of Trials #0 (Del Rey Comics, 2009, $1.00)
Sixteen pages of story and art, plus editorial content, under a painted cardstock cover, all for a buck. That would damned near make it critic proof right there, but then Robin Furth and Tony Shasteen's Stephen King adaptation actual looks and reads well. It's all set-up for a graphically violent dark fantasy epic, but if you're at all curious, don't hesitate to pick this up.


Vampirella: The Second Coming #2 (Harris, 2009, $1.99)
A major improvement with this issue, as the stakes spike, and the shifting tone toward gory action and soft core eroticism better suit the art and coloring. It also plays to the prejudices of "bad girl" critics, and spins its wheels a bit, but I remain cautiously optimistic.


*That's Justice League Detroit, bitches.
** I can't believe I backwards read the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Linkypeux for November 17-23rd, 2009


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

General/Entertainment

Columns:
Permanent Damage 11/18/09 by Steven Grant
5 things from the wiec? junk drawer. (when is evil cool?)

Art & Photograpy
Monster PSA: Boris Karloff (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Time Out New York: Kristen Bell (Rob Kelly Illustration)
I Criminali Della Galassia movie poster (Random Picture Day)
From The Vault: Kirk Alyn as Superman - 2006 (Rob Kelly Illustration)

Books
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez reviewed by Anhelo (Pajiba)
Under the Dome by Stephen King review by Jen K. (Pajiba)

Comedy:
Darwinian debate between Christian actor Kirk Cameron and a UCLA college student


Politics:
Fox News again accused of airing misleading video (Yahoo News)
Obama approval dips below 50 (Politico)
Beck's plan: Rally followers, sell books (Politico)
Joe Lieberman slams public option, brushes off critics (Politico)
White House Shrinks Annual Hanukkah Party (Politico)
Why the Greg Craig debacle matters (Politico)
The Sarah Palin paradoxes (Politico)
The deadliest virus: Political correctness (Politico)

TV:
V for Visas (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 11/20/09 (CHUD)
The Road review by Drew Morton (Pajiba)
New Fight Club Blu-Rays not actually defective (Onion A.V. Club)
The Howling: Reborn in the Post-Twilight World (Pajiba)
New Moon review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Ginger Snaps review by S. Pisaster with bonus interview of screenwriter Karen Walton (Pajiba)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
"The Tyranny of Realism" by Devin Faraci(CHUD)

Celebrity Gossip:
Will Ferrell Tops Most Overpaid Actors List (ICYDK)

Comic Books:
DC Comics solicitation information for February, 2010 (CBR)
Image Comics solicitation information for February, 2010 (CBR)
Marvel Comics solicitation information for February, 2010 (CBR)
Comic Book Legends Revealed #234(CBR)
Lying In The Gutters – 24th November 2009 (Bleeding Cool)
The Power of Fables: An Interview with Bill Willingham, Part 1 (Graphic Novel Reporter)
The Power of Fables: An Interview with Bill Willingham, Part 2 (Graphic Novel Reporter)
The Power of Fables: An Interview with Bill Willingham, Part 3 (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Robert Kirkman Talks (Techland)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews 11/11/09 (AICN)
Best Shots for 23-11-09(Newsarama)
The Buy Pile 11/18/09 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
CBR Reviews Last Week's New Comics
Comics Of The Weak: Break Me Off A Piece Of That Beautiful Dick (The Factual Opinion)
The Week In Ink: November 18, 2009 (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
Weekly Haul: November 18th (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
In which I check back in with a couple of series I reviewed the first issues of (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)



Comic Book Blogs:
Why James Rhodes Is Comics' Ideal Black Hero (io9)
Spaceknight Saturdays: Versus Gay Pah Ree (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Casper has a ghostly mother (Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin)
More Fun Comics #84 - Oct. 1942 (The Aquaman Shrine)
The Vision [Avengers #106] (Corner Symbols of Coolness)
Nobody’s Favorites: Dr. Druid (Armagideon Time)
Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Robin & Black Canary [Brave and the Bold #100 ] (Corner Symbols of Coolness)
Nobody’s Favorites: Ectokid (Armagideon Time)
Hawkeye [Marvel Team-Up #22!] (Corner Symbols of Coolness)
Nobody’s Favorites: Maxima (Armagideon Time)
The Beast corner symbol [from Marvel Team-Up #38] (Corner Symbols of Coolness)
Nobody’s Favorites: Orpheus (Armagideon Time)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) poses for DETAILS.com (The Superficial)
Vikki Blows Topless In "Zoo" Magazine Unknown Issue HQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Sasha Grey Nude MQ Photo Shoot For "Playboy" Magazine Dec. 2009 Part 2 (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Hayden Panettiere’s bikini photos (HQ Celebrity)
Demi Moore is Photoshopped, Naked (Superior Gossip)
Wrong Turn 3 arrow through tit (Flabber)
Rebecca Lynn Bikini Hotness (DJ Mick)
Milla Jovovich Unknown HQ Photoshoot (Lanky Bastard)
Megan Fox Goes Spread Eagle in The New York Times (Egotastic!)
Shakira Drops Some Cleavage For Rolling Stone (Popoholic)
Keeley Hazell Topless For "PETA" MQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Vanessa Hudgens Makes a Boring Comeback of the Day (Drunken Stepfather)
Coco Austin's most recent T(w)itter pics (The Superficial)
Salma Hayek - New HQ Pictures (Use My Computer)
I Can See Claire Danes' Nipples (Egotastic!)
Leighton Meester HQ Photo Shoot For "GQ" Magazine Dec. 2009 (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Lori Loughlin doing yoga on the set of "90210" (The Superficial)
Kim Kardashian in a Bikini on Twitter (Egotastic!)
Yana Kenzirovskaya Nude In "Ego" Magazine Dec. 2009 HQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celebs)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Frank Review of "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007)

The Short Version? A train ride through India to some peace of mind.
What Is It? Twee dramedy.
Who Is In It? The usuals.
Should I See It? Sure.



The Darjeeling Limited is an enjoyable movie, and the most widely accessible by director Wes Anderson. It's much lighter than The Royal Tenenbaums, and less quirky than Rushmore, with reasonably likable characters. Owen Wilson breaks out of his usual laid back dude mode to play a controlling, obsessive surrogate patriarch to his two brothers. Adrien Brody remains stuck in mopey mode, this time with an angry undercurrent. Jason Schwartzman is almost debonaire as the passive-aggressive scribe of the three, a far cry from his usual loser/slimeball role. The film is brimming with strong supporting performances, excellent soundtrack choices, lush visuals, and deft direction. It's also a rather obvious adult fable with a clear moral, and is too on-the-nose too often, but the sum of its parts make up for any deficits in the story's whole.


Extras?

  • Hotel Chevalier A short film that serves as a prequel to the feature, starring Schwartzman and Natalie Portman and her naked butt. Elevates the main movie through its cynical lead. A must see.
  • The Darjeeling Limited Walking Tour A terribly boring behind-the-scenes production featurette.
  • Various Trailers


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pepsi Maximum Challenge: Romulan Ale


While visiting relatives in Oklahoma, I was offered the opportunity to purchase a mason jar full of "authentic, home brewed moonshine" in the flavor of my choice for something like $6-9. I was concerned about the potential health hazards, as I'd never dared much past 100 proof, and envisioned anti-freeze-induced blindness, hallucinations and/or blood poisoning in my future. Still, how could I pass this up? An hour later, I was treated to heavily watered down Everclear "distilled" through supposedly having been boiled in a pot, with cheap, weak artificial flavoring. Splitting the jar, I barely brushed against a buzz.

This brings us to "Romulan Ale," the blue alien alcohol so potent that in the Star Trek future, it's outlawed by the Federation of Planets. While I've heard of more terrestrial mixed drink concoctions intended to replicate the e.t. juice, this is a studio approved energy drink available for sale wherever geeky bullshit is sold. It goes down very mild and slightly fruity, somewhat like those girly low-calorie energy shots. I've tasted far worse.

The problem is, this is supposed to be Romulan Ale, described by Webster's as "an alcoholic beverage brewed especially by rapid fermentation from an infusion of malt with the addition of hops" ... from Romulus. There are no hops here. This is without malt. This is a tepid energy drink. Further, Romulan Ale is supposed to be the gutrot of choice five-hundred years from now. That means this energy drink is further evidence that everything about Star Trek is pussy, and that Tyler Durden would shit out the Shat. We're talking Edward Norton here, and not Derek Vinyard Norton, but unnamed-narrator-who-kicks-his-own-ass Norton. Regardless of how the fight goes, if you can consider Jared Leto a worthy opponent, you're limp but manageable, and yet still more manly than the entire Star Trek universe (who creams over the Shat getting replaced by a guy whose closest contemporary would be the dude who played Human Torch in Fantastic Four.)

In summary, Romulan Ale is an energy drink for little girls and Klingons, the latter of whom I will drink under the table and draw Cardassian cocks on their cheeks in Sharpie marker while they're passed out and drooling.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Short Films of Takena Nagao

Gory and otherwise provocative claymation stop motion shorts heavily influenced by Romero, Raimi, Hooper, Zombie and Tarantino.

Chainsaw Maid:


Bloody Date:


Pussycat:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #47

Ambush Bug: Year None #7
Arkham Reborn #1 (2009)
R.E.B.E.L.S. #9 (2009)
R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual #1 (2009)


Ambush Bug: Year None #7 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
I have a vague recollection of this mini-series improving before it had a near year long delay. Issue #6 was never published, presumably because Keith Giffen finally pissed Dan DiDio off enough to get it shitcanned. Here's that issue, with half the original pages discarded, and the rest recontextualized or rewritten. Art Baltazar drew a bunch of new pages and panels, but I'm the guy who doesn't get his appeal, so that does nothing for me. The results aren't bad, but they're not particularly funny, and the whole effort is a hash. Maybe when Dan gets taught the Jim Shooter shuffle sooner than later, we can see what should have seen print through a trade collection.


Arkham Reborn #1 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane has been rebuilt about a half dozen times in my years of reading, usually by the latest nutty member of the Arkham family doomed to inevitably come to a bad end. The cliché set-up takes a few pages, but once writer David Hine delves into the creepy cast of characters now running the place, things picked up. Jeremy Haun's art seems a bit flat at first, but his clinical technique gives way to something effectively tweaked as the issue progresses. Fans of Gotham City and psychological thrillers ought to check it out.


R.E.B.E.L.S. #9 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
The main story is moving along, subplots are flowing, familiar favorites returning, and newer characters are becoming interesting. After a period where I questioned my continued support, I'm finally getting the R.E.B.E.L.S. I felt I deserved, though I still miss Tom Peyer's demented twists.


R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual #1 (DC, 2009, $4.99)
Those "Tales of the Green/Yellow/Blue/Polka Dot Lantern Corps" have gone over well, so why not apply it to the new Starro Legion? Lord knows the book could use even a quarter of that book's readership. After a shocking first chapter that sees the beheading of a longtime DC character, there's a batch of short origin stories you still won't quite care about with the requisite "what a twist" poetic injustice. Four pencilers are close enough in house style that you might not notice when they trade off, and the story is thoroughly okay. For diehards only.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1984 Hawkman Postcard by George Pérez



I've had a conflicted relationship with the Hawks. I can't recall a time when I wasn't aware of their existence, and Hawkman had one of the finest action figures in the Super Powers Collection. I salivated over the house ad for The Shadow War of Hawkman, but had to settle for guest appearances and team books to get any kind of fix. Not only were the Hawks mostly exiled from the newsstand, but when Hawkman did appear, he was portrayed as a self-righteous, pushy jerk. I don't think I got serious about the character until the early '90s, when I took a crash course in Thanagarian studies. I picked up a trade paperback of the earliest Silver Age stories from The Brave and the Bold by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, the Hawkworld collection "As Above, So Below" by Tim Truman, the Tony Isabella/Richard Howell mini-series and special, and even completed runs of Hawkworld and the 1992 series.

There was so much to like about the Hawks, but also much to hate. Pre-Crisis, Hawkman was a mild-mannered space cop, likable enough, but too milquetoast and narrow to live up to his looks. I preferred the easygoing and clever Hawkgirl/woman, as available. Hawkworld turned her into an irritating ballbuster, but if you could overlook the murder and drug addiction, at least Katar became more introspective. Hawkman eventually began to use his medieval weapons as prescribed, and Hawkwoman's temper was tempered, but any personality they had kind of fell by the wayside. The Golden Age Hawks came into the mix, and the continuity became so toxic, the whole premise went on a shelf for half a decade. I tried the most recent relaunch, and it just didn't do the job. Despite lovely Rags Morales art, an off-game from the usually reliable Geoff Johns put me off.

At this point, I have a hard time getting excited by Hawkman and Hawkwoman. Unlike most DC characters, I'm not even sure who they are. I know the history, but there's so much conflicting characterization, I'm now emotionally detached. I respect the books, but it's tough to claim fandom anymore.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Linkypeux for November 10-16th, 2009


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

General/Entertainment

Columns:
Permanent Damage 11/11/09 by Steven Grant

Art & Photograpy
1970s-style Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds Comic Book Adaptation by "Jack Kirby" (CHUD)
The Outlaw Josey Wales movie poster (Random Picture Day)
Monster PSA: Forest Ackerman (Rob Kelly Illustration)
The Death Wheelers movie poster (Random Picture Day)
Green Goddess (Rob Kelly Illustration)
The Horror of Party Beach movie poster (Random Picture Day)
Death Hunt movie poster (Random Picture Day)
The Warrior and the Sorceress movie poster (Random Picture Day)

Books:
Candy Girl by Diablo Cody review by Mimi Rickets (Pajiba)
Ask the Dust by John Fante review by Yossarian (Pajiba)

Comedy:
"Created especially for the 'TODAY' Woman or Man." (Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin)

Politics:
Palin's five book tour goals (Politico)
McCain camp: Palin account 'all fiction' (Politico)
FACT CHECK: Palin's book goes rogue on some facts (Yahoo News)
Going Rogue: Guide to who gets whacked (Politico)
Dems alarmed as Independents bolt party (Politico)
Newt Gingrich warns of 'destructive' GOP primaries (Politico)
Anita Dunn keeps up Fox News offensive (Politico)
Polls: Chris Dodd's fighting for political life (Politico)
New York terrorist trial raises stakes (Politico)
Bob Bauer's credentials challenged (Politico)

TV:
Television Of The Weak: The Best Jar Is Jargon (The Factual Opinion)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 11/13/09 (CHUD)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
2012 review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
American Beauty review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
Mister Frost review by TK (Pajiba)
Will This Be the Last We See of Jason and Friday the 13th? (Pajiba)

Celebrity Gossip:
Daniel Radcliffe caught practicing herbal magic (The Superficial)
Carrie Prejean made 8 sex tapes, 30 nude photos (The Superficial)

Comic Books:
Comic Book Legends Revealed #233(CBR)
Aquaman Shrine Interview with J. Michael Straczynski - 2009 (The Aquaman Shrine)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews 11/4/09 (AICN)
Best Shots for 11-16-09(Newsarama)
The Buy Pile 11/11/09 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
Comics Of The Weak: People Who Make Fun Of Flavored Lube Have Clearly Never Gotten The Unflavored Kind In Their Mouth (The Factual Opinion)
The Week In Ink: November 11, 2009 (CIS-B)
Weekly Haul: November 11th (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)

Comic Book Blogs:
And Then There Was the Time That Betty and Veronica Were Kidnapped For Alien Sex Experiments (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
Spaceknight Saturdays: Redemption (Ha!) (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
More Fun Comics #83 - Sept. 1942 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Aquaman (Vol.1) #57 - Sept. 1977 (The Aquaman Shrine)
#629: Unpublished Sensation Comics story printed in The Amazing World Of DC Comics #2 (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
The Son of Satan gets around (The Cool Kids Table)
Superbabygirl Outfit! (Once Upon A Geek)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Sasha Grey Nude MQ Photo Shoot For "Playboy" Magazine Dec. 2009 (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Rachel Nichols & Unknown Model "GQ" Aug. 2000 HQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Leighton Meester in lingerie for GQ Magazine Dec. 2009 (The Daily Fix)
Joanna Krupa in Playboy (The Superficial)
Vikki Blows Topless HQ Alan Strutt Photo Shoot (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
TOP 10 Esquire Covers of the Decade (Pretty Hot & Sexy)
Jessica Gomes Bikini Pictures from FHM Portugal (Egotastic!)
Courtney Love Nude Photoshoot (Daily POA)

Monday, November 16, 2009

1984 Zatanna Postcard by George Pérez



I probably saw Zatanna for the first time just like this, drawn by George Pérez in the costume he designed for a Justice League of America cover or somesuch. I didn't know then how hard DC was trying to turn her into their own Scarlet Witch at the time, but I do know it never took. I bought her two part guest appearance in early issues of Blue Devil, and like most readers before and since, was more impressed by her girl-next-door approachable quality than the Marvel character's traumatized drama queen style. Unfortunately, DC's never stopped trying to saddle poor Zee with neurosis. They killed off her father before her eyes, subjected her to a magical quasi-rape, sent her off for a time with her assailant, massively reduced her powers, dumped her at Vertigo... it just never stops. As a result, I try to follow Zee's appearances, but not compulsively, attempting to pick the gems from the junk. I don't care near as much about what she can do as how she handles what comes, but it would be nice if someone could figure out the right balance for once.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon (2008)

The Short Version? Slo-Kill w/Spoon
What Is It? Horror Comedy.
Who Is In It? Nobody.
Should I See It? Yes.



Official Release-- Enjoy!!! Please Rate! SUBSCRIBE for more to come!

COMING SOON TO DVD: The mind-shattering Horribly Slow Murderer EXTENDED CUT!!!

http://www.richard-gale.com for details.
Winner of 12 Film Festival Awards!

Produced, Written and Directed by Richard Gale

Cast:
Jack Cucchiaio........Paul Clemens
The Murderer...........Brian Rohan
The Mystic...............Fay Kato
The Girlfriend...........Melissa Paladino
The Doctor...............Mike Kacey
Narrator....................Richard Gale

Music by Christopher Brady

Special Makeup FX by Dean Jones and Paul Clemens

Details at http://www.richard-gale.com

imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1301160/

Saturday, November 14, 2009

nurghophonic jukebox: "Know Who You Are at Every Age" by Cocteau Twins

Written By: Cocteau Twins
Released: 1993
Album: Four-Calendar Café
Single?: Yes, but only in Chinese. The cover "Ji Gei Ji Bei" was released by Faye Wong in 1994.



Lyrics:

It seems things are indictive to, A distinct desire to
Observe such, Heal such
Behave such that makes this hard for me
I'm not real and I deny, I won't heal unless I cry
I can't grieve, so I won't grow, I won't heal 'til I let it go
I'm not real and I deny, I won't heal unless I cry
It seems things are indicative to, A distinct desire to
Observe such, Heal such
Behave such that makes this hard for me

I'm not real and I deny, I won't heal unless I cry
I can't grieve, so I won't grow, I won't heal 'til I let it go
(x2)

Cry, cry, cry 'til you know why, I lost myself, identify
(x2)

I'm not real and I deny, I won't heal unless I cry
I can't grieve, so I won't grow, I won't heal 'til I let it go




Friday, November 13, 2009

1984 Black Canary Postcard by George Pérez

P6199


I believe I first encountered Dinah Lance while thumbing through my visiting uncle's copy of Green Lantern/Green Arrow #84. That would have been around 1983, when he paid us a visit after having left the states to live in Hawaii. I remember our visiting a friend of his with a comic collection that filled bookshelves, and being quite envious, even if a lot of it was head comix and Howard the Duck.

This particular issue stuck with me because of the gorgeous Neal Adams/Bernie Wrightson art. Up to that point, I don't recall having seen drawings that were so lifelike, especially the lovely ladies and little details like Ollie's beard and turtleneck. I also wasn't familiar with super-heroes that came across as helpless as Green Lantern after a disguised Black Hand had slipped him a mickey. I haven't even seen a reprint of that story in over a decade, but my mind readily conjures images from the book as I recall them nearly thirty years past.

Of course, this all has little to do with the Black Canary. Like Clea in the stack of Dr. Strange comics my uncle left me, Dinah was just the girlfriend, sometimes in a costume, but rarely more than a few steps above damsel in distress. I didn't much regard Dinah before Justice League International, and even then she was just a straight for the goofier characters to bounce off of. Dinah was gone inside a year, so that she could be victimized and de-powered in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. If I had to guess, I'd say her serial in Action Comics Weekly was the first time she registered as worthy of notice, in part because she'd burnt the terrible replacement costume that reared its truly ugly head in the early-to-mid '80s. I gave her points for sheer audacity, plus the serial was drawn by Randy DuBurke, whose long forgotten style merged Paul Gulacy with Bill Sienkiewicz. This led to my buying her four-issue mini-series, and even a few issues of the ongoing that followed, but the scripts by Sarah Byam left me cold.

As I became more invested in the DC Universe after ditching Marvel in the speculator years, I learned the history of Black Canary. I respected that she was one of the longest active comic book heroines, with membership to major super-teams, and had even been retconned into a JLA founder. Still, I struggled with my respect for what Black Canary represented and the character's shoddy treatment as a hanger-on for decades.

Finally, Chuck Dixon and Gary Frank crafted the first Birds of Prey special, and even though it was Oracle who had brought me to that party, it served as a vehicle for elevating Dinah's regard. Over a hundred issues of the estrocentric team book were fueled by Black Canary, and the premise ran out of gas once she was removed. All in all, I still vastly prefer the original Batgirl and her Earth-2 counterpart the Huntress, but I've always wished Dinah the best, though she rarely gets it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Linkydeux: 11.12.09


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

General/Entertainment

Columns:
Is Porn Making Men Bad at Sex? (Zelda Lily)
"How Does Richard Kelly Get Out Of The Box" by Devin Faraci (CHUD)

Art & Photograpy
6 Obscure Drawings: Name the Movie 4 (Drawger)
Low Resolution Halloween Costume (eBaum Nation)
Hot New Face: Anna Christine Part II (This Photo Life)

Books:
Review: Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (Pajiba)
Star Trek 1059: The Starfleet Academy Entrance Exam (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
No Pictures: Begin Again, Start In The Past (The Factual Opinion)

Politics:
CNN doubles down on straight news (Politico)
We shouldn't be attacking our own (Politico)
Lou Dobbs quits to 'go beyond' CNN role (Politico)
Dems jam GOP with Al Franken vote (Politico)
Palin: Health bill should be DOA (Politico)

TV:
The Visitors Arrive Tomorrow (Once Upon a Geek)
V review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
V for Visitor (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
V for Version 2.0 (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
V - The Original Miniseries, Part 1 (MWB's World)
V - The Original Miniseries, Part 2 (MWB's World)
V Final Battle Episode 1 (MWB's World)
V Final Battle Episode 2 (MWB's World)
V Final Battle Episode 3 (MWB's World)

Movies:
2012review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire review by Brian Prisco (Pajiba)
Frauliens in Uniform movie poster. (Random Picture Day)

Celebrity Gossip:
Tom Cruise threatened to 'beat the living shit' out of wayward Scientologists (The Superficial)
Nicolas Cage Is Great With Money (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Liz Hurley’s diet: no coffee, one meal a day & vodka (cele|bitchy)
Carrie Prejean crusades against pornography (The Superficial)
Carrie Prejean admits sex tape exists (The Superficial)
Carrie Prejean asked her ex to lie about sex tape (The Superficial)

Comic Books:

Comic Book Reviews:
What I Read This Week: Monday, November 2, 2009 (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
What I Read This Week: Monday, November 9, 2009 (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
Comic Book Review: Batman #692 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
Comic Book Review: Black Widow: Deadly Origins #1 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
Comic Book Review: Captain America: Reborn #4 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
Comic Book Review: Haunt #2 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)

Comic Book Blogs:
Roasting Old Chestnuts: Our Favorite Comic Book Cliches (Comics Alliance)
Batman totally grabs a naked, greased dude's penis in Unseen. (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
The Craziest International Bootleg Superheroes (Comics Alliance)
Greg Horn's Wonder Woman (Amazon Princess)
More Fun Comics #81 - July 1942 (The Aquaman Shrine)
More Fun Comics #82 - Aug. 1942 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Mexican Painted Superman Covers #1 (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Mexican Painted Superman Covers #2 (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
#621: Whiz Comics #155 (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
A little Bogdanove appreciation. (Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin)
George Perez Firestorm Postcard (1984) (Firestorm Fan)
David Wendkos in great Aquaman costume (The Aquaman Shrine)
Revolutionary Manifesto #1: Second Features-Are They What We Thought They Would Be? (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
#622: Cave Girl #13, 1954 (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
Back Issue Box: Superboy #80 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
Aquaman (Vol.1) #48 - Dec. 1969 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Flash Comics #15 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1) (Being Carter Hall)
#625: Uncle Sam Quarterly #1, Autumn 1941 (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
Spaceknight Saturdays: Dishonor! (That's the Title, Not my Verdict) (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Superman/Aquaman Set by Ideal - 1966 (The Aquaman Shrine)
2007 Alex Ross Shazam Proposal: Martian Manhunter Redesign (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
#627: South Seas Girl (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Twilight's Christian Serratos for PETA: "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Tricia Helfer Nude in Sante D'Orazio: Barely Private (Egotastic!)
Ukrainian Model Anna Grigorenko nude in Fox Uomo Mag (November 2009) (Pretty Hot and Sexy)
Alessandra Ambrosio and Beatriz Barros Bikini Pictures from GQ UK (Egotastic!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #46

Blackest Night #4
Haunt #1 (2009)
Superman: World of New Krypton #8 (2009)
Web of Spider-Man #1 (2009)




Blackest Night #4 (DC, 2009, $3.99)
Let's see-- I was very disappointed up until the sweet second issue, then disappointed by the third, and now the fourth. Fuck.

It's not that I have a problem with Flash or Mera, and I love the Atom, but the focus on them makes the event look small, even as the stakes should be rising. There's lots of pep talk, obligatory cameos and lead-ins to spin-offs, but not much meat on its bones. Halfway through, and the whole thing still seems to be build-up to the event, instead of the actual epic. Great art, solid writing, but the side books are now packing more of a punch, not to mention focus.


Haunt #1 (Image, 2009, $2.99)
I remember reading Todd McFarlane's Spawn #1, which was all premise and no story. Haunt, co-created and inked by McFarlane, feels a bit like Spawn done "right," by which a more mainstream and accessible extended origin story along the lines of Ultimate Spider-Man #1. If you're starting to see a pattern in my comparing Haunt to a bunch of similar stuff that's come and gone, you're catching on. Haunt #1 is totally okay, but nothing new under the sun. The characters are established well and quickly, with some fun snarky dialogue by co-creator/writer Robert Kirkman. However, the art by Greg Capullo and Ryan Ottley helps to solidify Haunt as off-brand Spawn, and the concept doesn't read on paper as strong as the one-shots Kirkman is producing concurrently with fellow Image founder Marc Silvestri. Kirkman is best at the long haul, and it isn't like this isn't a solid first step, but there's nothing here to excite anyone not already down for the creative team.


Superman: World of New Krypton #8 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
I entered this story midway through, and left in the same place. A bunch of stuff involving Kryptonians and Thanagarians was happening, looked to have gotten resolved, and then some stuff started happening with some other aliens. I was totally brought up to speed along the way, but I don't find myself caring about any of it. The story and art by Robinson, Rucka and Woods is serviceable, and they're all responsible for a wrong-headed cameo at the end nobody will give a shit about. The only thing worth mentioning is the pretty Gary Frank cover, but it's foil wrap on stale crackers.


Web of Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, 2009, $3.99)
What I love about anthology titles is the opportunity to take obscure or disreputable characters and build a short story around them that clearly explains why they should have value to the readers. In this book's first story, J.M. DeMatteis and Val Semeiks take on Kaine, a disfigured and potentially irredeemable copy of Peter Parker from the reviled Clone Saga, and fail to accomplish that goal. Not for lack of trying, the creators obviously want you to care about Kaine as much as they do, and see his character arc through an upcoming crossover. Sadly, from conception, both literally and metatextually, Kaine was a damned thing that never should have come into being. If you like DeMatteis, as I do, you'll see he doesn't fall short of his usual fine form. If you dislike Semeiks, as the majority of fandom does, you'll be pleased to know he apes John Romita Jr. reasonably well here. All for naught, as Kaine is just too stupid to live, and yet he does, wasting a lot of time and effort in hopes to extricate him from his inherent shittiness. This is no peanut, my friend, just hands dirtied and good money thrown after bad.

Meanwhile, Spider-Girl gets resurrected again. I've only read a few of her comics in her decade-plus existence, and while she doesn't interest me, I respect the work done on her. A text piece brings the reader up to speed, even if the actual story is downright obtuse in its inability to remotely resemble a jumping-on point. Tom DeFalco isn't a great writer, but all these goombas and castaway concepts from his 80s/90s heyday play to both his strengths and my personal area of interest in the Spider-Man mythos. Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema are artists I always affectionately associate with this neck of the woods. It's downright nostalgic to see Peter and Mary Jane as a happily married couple, and unfairly maligned villains like Tombstone put to good use. I felt no compulsion to continue with the series, but I had fun with Spider-Girl in this one outing.

Finally, there's a short Frog-Man team-up story by Sean McKeever and legacy Stephanie Buscema. It's neat to see her paint in a style far more reminiscent of 1960s children's books than the Buscema brothers, but the weak backgrounds and angular figures also make it clear she doesn't belong here. The story also takes a clever idea and does nothing with it that would illicit laughter. It's harmless, and that is all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Frank Review of "V, Season 1.1: 'Pilot' and 1.2 'There Is No Normal Anymore'" (2009)

The Short Version? The Visitors are on Earth to be our friends...?
What Is It? Sci-Fi action drama.
Who Is In It? Joss Whedon and Scott Peters' people.
Should I See It? Maybe.



I was only vaguely aware of the original V mini-series on NBC, but I was down from The Final Battle on. Then week long syndicated rebroadcasts of both mini-series become an annual event on local stations, and I remained faithful. Unlike most other passions from my childhood, I retain a deep fondness for V, which I am still able to fully appreciate as an adult. It was a smart series with enough action and effects to hold the attention of audiences of all ages. Not only do I love V, but there's something still special for me about watching the show "live," in original broadcast. I stopped regular television viewing years ago, so ABC's "reimagined" V relaunch represents not only a chance to hook old fans and new, but to potentially shepherd lost viewers back to the boob tube itself. Besides, I'd hate to have V spoilt for me the way I've tried to avoid being with Battlestar Galactica, which I still haven't seen.

The modern V V at the opening theme is still red on black, but this looks more like it was brushed than spray-painted. It materializes as a slow moving wipe at an angle before righting itself. It's not bad, but signals a major shift between the original show's philosophy and the modern take. In the old school, you had a static graphic with ominous symphonic music lasting for several minutes. Today, the graphic comes and goes in seconds, logging an instant impact, but no lasting impression.

The ships are in the sky from the start, and the most visible Visitor, Anna, appears on a giant viewing screen to comfort everyone before the title card. There's no time for a slow build-up, no real mystery-- just nice CGI and a pop culture snub against the V derivative ID4. Hell, there isn't even time to call the aliens "Visitors" anymore. Too many syllables, I guess. Now, they're "V's," and I take that moronic spelling from their official website. "V's" make me think of vee-jay-jay, and considering the show itself acknowledges that all these aliens are "attractive," maybe that's intentional.

All the leads show up in the first fifteen minutes. Jesse Wheeler plays Brandon, but old fans will recognize him as Daniel Bernstein Jr. There's half the depth, none of the menace, but he's got "snark" and at least one (obnoxious) human friend now. Daniel Jr. isn't a social pariah, so he needs added motivation. I never saw Laura Vandervoort play Supergirl on Smallville, and at least she isn't in short-shorts here, even if she's still just the Venus flytrap for the boys (in show and out.) Daniel Junior looks to be a goy as well, so the Jewish schtick is out, and in its place is F.B.I. agent mom Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell, the bi-curious photographer from Gia.)

Morris Chestnut plays a successful professional who loves his girlfriend and wants nothing to do with his old life. We know this because all he does is tell us right up until the end of the episode, when he takes it back.

Rather than a kindly old priest in a supporting role, Joel Gretsch plays hunky Father Jack Landry, among the first individuals to openly question the aliens' motivations. This attracts the attention of a member of an underground movement, which serves to draw the leads together for the big action set piece.

Scott Wolf appears to be playing a hybrid of Michael Donovan and Kristine Walsh, the first newsperson with heightened access to the aliens. Sure, Chad Decker initially sells out to the V's under pressure, but he retains some journalistic integrity and investigative interest. A decent job is done of establishing his credentials as a real reporter forced into the role of prettyboy anchorman, so it isn't complete nonsense that the V's would put faith in him. Also, Morena (Firefly) Baccarin, like Diana before her, seems to have allowed her "V" to guide her down a dangerous path in media relations.

Fellow Firefly alum Alan Tudyk plays Erica Evans' F.B.I. partner Dale Maddox, who helps to lead the show toward one of its innovations. Space Nazis are out, terrorism in. Further, the enemy no longer wears red, nor leans right. The V's are in blue, smile nice, and manipulate the media in a decidedly Obamaesque fashion. They're all about peace and the betterment of mankind, but there's already a tea party ready to slow their commie progress. Of course, the kids are all about the V's, spreading "hope" through social organizing and tagging walls with their iconography.

While watching the V pilot, I was pleasantly surprised by the ways it stayed faithful to the original series. Its political subtext is actually a lot more relevant than the 1984 version, and obviously the effects are improved. People forget how cheesy the direction and acting were in the old show, very much a small screen mentality not far removed from the '70s. On the other hand, the new characters seem much more slight, and everything is told in a distancing shorthand. This is a retread, and some of the charm has been lost in the revisitation.

Worse, I confess I was studying for a test during about half of the V pilot's running time, so I imagine I was occupied in a way folks who complained about slow pacing were not. Also, it wasn't until the next morning I had time to think about some of the show's many inanities. It seems like a good deal of effort was put into designing the new ships in order to make them far less distinct and iconic. In fact, they now appear less advanced, even crude, than in the '80s. When the V's aren't in a generic blue Roddenberry type suit, they're in actual Earth clothes, which is plain boring. To replace the shocking reveal in the first movie, two new last minute twists were added, but not earned. The final fight wasn't bad, but it was needlessly confusing, and the lead-up to it makes some remarkably stupid mistakes.* Suddenly, given proper consideration, the show was looking like more of a dog.

I remained optimistic at the start of the second episode, titled "There Is No Normal Anymore." It started slow, heavy on recap. We learned the torture techniques of the V's are a lot more refined than Diana's inquisitions, and hint at some sort of illusion abilities. There are potentially some among the V's might believe their own hype, and indication that Daniel Jr. might end up with a bit of Robin Maxwell thrown in. Some subplots were advanced, and new characters introduced.

Who am I kidding? The second episode spun its wheels. There was so much pressure to introduce all the major concepts associated with the old series into the first episode, it was easy to miss that very little else had been sufficiently developed to stand on its own. The characters are cardboard, and what's been added to the series is obviously lifted from other sources, like the Phantasm balls, the X-Files shadow government conspiracy, and so on. I said before I loved V on television, but I now must confess I didn't stay with the short-lived ongoing spin-off for long. The original mini-series created a perfect engine to go weekly, but after The Final Battle, I couldn't see where else they had to go even as a child. The same mistake wasn't made with new V, but its basic machinery is so familiar to genre fans, I'm already feeling fatigue.

I'm going to give V the length of its initial "pod," a four week run in November before returning in March. Hell, I might even try back then, seeing as major changes were being made behind the scenes even before the pilot aired. I sincerely hope for the best, but honestly, the more I see, the less it's V.



*In a half hour, we're to believe a couple dozen people had time to be anesthetized and submitted to needless surgery without explanation, plus have an actual deep orientation, before being raided. Also, why would they wield swords, and what's with the lack of the striking laser weapons from the good old days?


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Linkypeux for November 1-9th, 2009


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

General/Entertainment

Columns:
Permanent Damage 11/4/09 by Steven Grant

Art & Photograpy
Time Out New York: Penelope Cruz (Rob Kelly Illustration)
25 Awesome Crop Circles (Holy Taco)
Outtakes: Dennis Hopper (This Photo Life)
Monster PSA: Peter Lorre (Rob Kelly Illustration)
The Gauntlet movie poster (Random Picture Day)
Behind The Scenes: Heather Graham (This Photo Life)
Monster PSA: Buster Crabbe (Rob Kelly Illustration)
The She-Creature movie poster (Random Picture Day)
"Black Leather Jacket" by Randall Slavin (This Photo Life)
Adam West Batman (Rob Kelly Illustration)



Comedy:
Photoshopped Boardgames (MightyGodKing)


Politics:
Obama's best, and worst, moves (Politico)
Sen. Joe Lieberman’s 'traitor' haters (Politico)
Sometimes the right label isn't enough (Politico)
House passes historic health bill (Politico)
Palin rallies thousands of abortion opponents (Politico)
'Created or saved' doesn't add up (Politico)
Casey 'concerned' about backlash (Politico)
Sarah Palin returns to 'death panels' (Politico)
Tears, tempers fly in Nancy Pelosi's campaign (Politico)
The GOP's women problem (Politico)

TV:
Television Of The Weak: I'd Rather Watch Television Than Eat Feces, But Danke For The Recs (The Factual Opinion)
V 1.1: "Pilot" review by David Oliver (CHUD)
V Pilot review by Mike Hale (The New York Times)
Jodie Sweetin's new biography, "Unsweetined" (I'm Bringing Blogging Back)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 11/6/09 (CHUD)
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day review by Brian Prisco (Pajiba)
Black Cat in Spider-Man 4? (CHUD)
The Box review by Daniel Carlson (Pajiba)
The Box review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
House of the Devil review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
Avatar: The Budget Battle (CHUD)
Five Movies that might encourage narrowminded assholes to vote for Samesex Marriage (Pajiba)
The Wolfman Clusterfuck (CHUD)
The Top Eight Werewolf Movies of the Last 30 Years (Pajiba)
The Devin's Advocate: My Ten Favorite Movies (CHUD)
The Top 10 Doomsday Horror Films! (Bloody Disgusting)
Jem and the Holograms Coming to the Big Screen? (Pajiba)
DVD Review: Observe and Report (CHUD)
Six Gruesome Movie Scenes (Philadelphia Weekly)
J.J. Abrams on Micronauts? (CHUD)
Kurt Russell's Star Wars Audition (Filmdrunk)
The Howling Reborn? (CHUD)
The Top 10 Superhero Movies of All Time (Unreality Magazine)
Found Footage: Clu Gulager (CHUD)
One-Flick Wonders: Writer/Director Edition (Pajiba)

Comic Books:
Comic Book Legends Revealed #232(CBR)
Lying In The Gutters –9th November 2009 (Bleeding Cool)
Preview: Chris Claremont And Milo Manara’s X-Men (Bleeding Cool)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews 10/28/09 (AICN)
Best Shots for 09 November 2009(Newsarama)
The Buy Pile 11/4/09 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
CBR Reviews Last Week's New Comics (CBR)
Comics Of The Weak: "Calling In Sick For A Drunk Person Is An Example Of This Kind Of Behavior" (The Factual Opinion)
Comics Of The Weak: Sometimes Comics Are About People Getting Shot In The Penis (The Factual Opinion)
The Week In Ink: November 4, 2009 (CIS-B)
(Later-than-usual) Weekly Haul: November 4th (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)

Comic Book Blogs:
Dire Wraiths vs. Avengers (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Jessica Alba's Ass Gets Spanked, and She Likes It (The Killer Inside Me) (Egotastic!)
Bond Girl Eva Green naked for British Tatler (The Daily Fix)
Coco Austin's Outstanding Halloween (The Superficial)
Eva Mendes Nipple Slip Pictures (Bad Lieutenant premiere) (Egotastic!)
Milla Jovovich’s US Maxim September Issue pictures reheated in Italian Maxim’s October Issue (The Daily Fix)
Kelly Rowland and Her Shitty Implants in a Bikini (Drunken Stepfather)
Beyonce at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards (The Superficial)
Kim Kardashian Wins Halloween as Disney's Jasmine (Egotastic!)
Warning: Megan Fox Ultra Sexy in 56 Mark Seliger Rolling Stone Outtakes (Glamzilla)
Jewel Kilcher in a bikini (Superior Gossip)
Rachel Bilson in the latest issue of Flaunt (The Superficial)
Marisa Miller Salutes the Troops in sexy 1940s style pin-up outfit (Egotastic!)
Denise Milani As Wonder Woman (Caveman Circus)
Christina Ricci still in a bikini (The Superficial)
Olivia Munn Bikini and Lingerie Pictures from Her New Magazine, Hey Olivia! (Egotastic!)
10 Actresses That Got Hotter With Age (Uncoached)
Shakira Index (Caveman Circus)
Classic Jessica Alba @ The 2005 "MTV" Movie Awards In A See-Thru Dress Sans Bra HQ Candids (Nebula's Nude Celebs)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

1984 The Elongated Man Postcard by George Pérez



I believe one of the first times I ever saw the Elongated Man, not to mention the whole of the Justice League (as opposed to "Super Friends,") was on George Pérez's magnificent cover to 1983's Justice League of America #217. I noticed this stretchy guy flinging his neck about in the background, and my response was, "oh, another one." Like most people, I never particularly liked super-heroes with that particular power set. What respect I have for Mr. Fantastic comes from his superior intellect, where I've had to unlearn decades of Plastic Man hate based on his cartoon show and lousy modern comic appearances. Turns out the Jack Cole originals are some of the best comics of the Golden Age.

Leading the discussion back to Elongated Man, I'm already fighting the urge for another tangent. Ralph Dibny was an okay guy, and I liked Sue quite a bit. That doesn't change the fact that as far as I'm concerned, the only interesting thing Elongated Man did in 2 1/2 years of Detroit League service was to pown Vibe in his final outing. His time with Justice League Europe was similarly misspent-- the hero most obviously suited to be in a "funny" League that never pulled any laughs. When your non-powered, unadventurous wife outshines you simply by providing decent supporting work to other characters, you should have your hero card revoked. The only time Elongated Man ever worked for me was as a straight detective, but he was rarely shown in that light, and that was Plastic Man's original territory to boot!

Poor Elongated Man. So little love for you. Many heroes gain a soul with their passing, but even in death, Sue Dibny upstaged him.

Sorry for the lack of flavor text and other details. I don't actually own this postcard, nor DC Comics Classic Library: Justice League of America by George Perez, a recent hardcover that reprints the art from this postcard set. However, I found a pair of pictures on eBay, and doctored them up to preserve here. I understand it's numbered P6197, and was part of a 14 card set, plus a promotional Batman piece. I bothered so that I could offer them up to my other super-hero blog, Justice League Detroit.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

1984 The Martian Manhunter Postcard by George Pérez



I'm not 100% sure how I was introduced to J'Onn J'Onzz. I suspect it was either DC Comics house ads circa 1984, or my having bought a heavily discounted Super Powers Collection action figure. I loved that toy, and was given a more thorough feel for the character through his appearance in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. A saleswoman at Waldenbooks thought I was just too cute in my raggedy Houston Oilers jacket, and gave me the comic for free just before I went on a trip to Colorado Springs. Not only did the Martian Manhunter come off well in the double-sized issue, but in my mind he would always be at his coolest when drawn by the master himself, George Pérez. Also, Supergirl died, but that stuff never takes.

There must be something about the nomadic Martian, because a dinged copy of
Justice League International #8 was one of the last comics I read in Texas, and a guest appearance in Action Comics #595 was among the first comics I bought when I arrived in Nevada. I'd tried Martian Manhunter#1 in 1988, and was not amused, so I tended to discount any further J'Onn J'Onzz solo reading. I followed the Martian Manhunter's appearance irregularly for years after that, mostly as a result of being a Justice League fan. Alternately, I started buying Justice League Task Force for its Nightwing appearances, and the post-Zero Hour J.L.A. for Wonder Woman and Hawkman. Despite lots of good stories and nostalgia for my action figure, I didn't truly become a diehard fan until 1996, through Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Darick Robertson & Jeff Johnson's Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare mini-series. It was like a therapy session had unearth repressed memories. Something about the moment where J'Onzz's family is taken from him again hit me with a tidal wave of emotions related to years of accumulated stories. I was an old lady sitting on the bus sucking humbugs, finally realizing I was a Rider on the Storm. I was a J'Onzz Fan, man!

JLA and my introduction to the information superhighway soon followed, and upon learning there were no Martian Manhunter fan sites on the internet, I resolved to one day build the first. It took me a couple of years to get started, by which time a few sites had emerged, but they're long gone now. My Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA lasted a couple or three years, and was a major learning experience. A little over two years ago, inspired by Rob Kelly's The Aquaman Shrine, I decided I would reconstitute my old site material into a daily blog. The Idol-Head of Diabolu has, to this day, barely touched any of the old material. This is one part because I'm a dimwit masochist, another part due to my becoming a better writer, and yet another part due to the format freeing me to both deeper and broader exploration of the character than I would have otherwise considered.

Above is one of my favorite images of the Manhunter from Mars, a lovely postcard I picked up on eBay about a decade ago. I used to feature it prominently on my old site, along with the two articles Who is the Martian Manhunter? and J'Onn & Me, neither of which have been restored to the net.

George Pérez produced 16 postcards for the unnumbered JLA set. Also featured were the Sword of the Atom (Ray Palmer,) Aquaman, Batman, Black Canary, Elongated Man (& Sue Dibny,) the Flash (Barry Allen,) Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond,) Green Arrow, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan,) Hawkman (and Hawkgirl, of Thanagar,) the new Justice League of America (Detroit Era members Steel II, Gypsy, Vibe and Vixen,) Red Tornado, Superman, Wonder Woman and Zatanna. You can view signed versions of all the cards here.

Card Back Text:
THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Brought to earth by the ill-fated Professor Erdel and unable to return to Mars, J'onn J'onzz adopted human form. His powers include telepathy, super-strength, flight, and invisibility. His only weakness: vulnerability to fire.

...nurghophiles...

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