Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Random Thoughts about Recent Comics:

Today I'm going to post some random thoughts about recent comics and the current solicitations. There may be spoilers.

Force of July is a really dumb name but Freedom's Ring is worse. I think someone lost a bet. Or got really drunk.
-At least they're pretty. Lady Liberty's costume is neat and I bet she gives a mean headbutt. And Major Victory's hot. I like 'em uptight.
-Gardner Grayle's kind of hot too.
-But the floating fetus in the tank is kind of scary.
--But not as much as the Phantom Lady's breasts.

The fact that Hal Jordan's callsign is "Highball" never stops amusing the hell out of me.
-Bet Guy never lets Hal hear the end of it. Dude. It's *highball*. *Highball*.

I still think Conner'll be back soon enough. Too many parallels to "The Death of Superman".
-It'd be funny if he came back to find a clone of *himself* running around and wreaking havoc.
--Reminds me of how my mother used to curse me with "I hope you have three little girls just like you."
---Hmm, I might want to get my tubes tied just in case...

Still no sign of my favorite JSA-er...this is getting irksome.
-He better be in the new SMT damnit. The only person who should inherit Wes Dodds's mantle is the one he ended up turning into a monster and keeping in suspended animation for fifty years.
--That's called paying dues damnit. Or something.

I really want to see how they incorporate the Earth-2 stuff into New Earth. If they *are* going to, that is. Are they really ballsy enough to have the main Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne *not* be the first Superman and Batman?

Cosmic Boy kicks more ass than Magneto. Seriously. In pre-reboot Legion, there's a point where he just loses it and starts flinging people around by their blood. Magneto needed to inject more iron in.
-Magneto's a pansy.
--And he so doesn't have the figure for a corset.

I've mentioned this before, but the most terrifying fact in the entire DC Universe is that Guy Gardner has degrees in psychology and education.
-*Guy Gardner* knows how you *think*.

Kyle vs Hal has the potential to be a really kickass fight.
-or at least an incredibly homoerotic fight.
--I'm buying three copies.

I would read an entire issue of just Kate Spencer and Todd Rice bantering.
-I wonder how he got his powers back anyway.
--And would Damon convince him to...experiment? *cough*
--Superpowers must make for one heck of a sex life.
---Now I want to read the DCU version of Cosmo. Heh.

Blood of the Demon's gonna get cancelled. Rats. Even if I was the one of three people who actually liked it.
-I read it for the gratuitous nudity. Demonic transformations are hell on the clothes.
--I'm *never* gonna find out how Harry became not-a-pillow am I...

I don't know about Sue but I'd choose Reed Richards over Namor anyday.
-I want to eat his big sexy brain. Rar.


  • At April 19, 2006 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So,whatever happened to Project Cadmus?

  • At April 19, 2006 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Of course you know Magneto's played by Sir Ian which makes your statement funny as hell!
    disclaimer: I have gay friends & respect all people...Well not Tom Cruise or bin Laden :)

  • At April 19, 2006 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If Only more hot women appreciated men with the impressive brain in their UPPER head! Thanks Kal:)

  • At April 19, 2006 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    According to Seven Soldiers: Guardian, IIRC, Project Cadmus is out of business. But they probably sold their technology to someone, just as they sold the Guardian trademark to the big-headed Jack Kirby baby. I think it would be nice if we got a clone of Kon-El who was like the old, YJ era Kon-El who was fun and didn't constantly whine.

    Robert Kirkman in Marvel Team-Up is about to introduce a superhero called Freedom Ring. Can you believe that? Marvel and DC both came up with the same lame name at the same time!

  • At April 19, 2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Argh, I don't know what I was thinking Re: Freedom's Ring. Of course only Marvel is doing it. Both DC and Marvel do stupid things now, but only Marvel could be THAT stupid. I guess Infinite Crisis squished my brain. Now to read Nextwave and make it all better!

  • At April 19, 2006 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Apparently, based on another blog, I wasn't hallucinating after all and DC actually did use the name "Freedom's Ring." Is there something in the water in New York, or what?

  • At April 19, 2006 10:05 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    anon and adrian: I was actually thinking of the end of the most recent Teen Titans...but heh, Project Cadmus closing sale was probably where it all comes from.

    green: Sir Ian is far awesomer an actor than Magneto deserves. But he still doesn't have the figure for a corset.

    Adrian: Yep, the Force of July is now calling itself Freedom's Ring. I don't get it either. :-)

  • At April 19, 2006 10:05 AM, Blogger simon said…

    Worse still, the July soicits indicate that JSA #87 will be the last ever issue, and Sand (along with Dr. Mid-Nite, another favorite of mine) is conspicuously missing from the cover. Even though Checkmate-rs Alan Scott and Michael Holt are there, and even though the remnants of the society are standing in the ruins of Sandy's own brownstone. Ingrates.

  • At April 19, 2006 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    adrian: alligators didn't you knoy?:)

    Simon& Kal: reason for a JSA epic tribute graphic novel if I ever heard one! Are you listening DC?!

  • At April 19, 2006 12:10 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    simon: to be fair, though, the solicit also indicates that there will be a "next chapter" involving the JSA. So it's more likely doing a parallel relaunch with the new JLA.

    I do think the symbolism of the cover is interesting what with the Earth 2 pictures getting buried, with the image of the Post-Crisis original JSA up top. I think one way or another the Earth 2 stuff'll be put to rest.

    I actually think that Sand might end up as some sort of surprise character somewhere, which means he's laying low now, because his absence is *very* conspicuous. Perhaps he'll be doing something in 52, I've heard rumors that characters heavily featured in 52 won't be seen for a while OYL.

    I'm pretty sure they'll bring him back eventually, especially since I don't think he *can* be killed off...if dispersal through the Earth didn't do it. I just don't wanna wait. :-P

    ...if SMT: Edge of Reason is being made though, and he *is* the main character in it, all will be forgiven though. :-)

    green: Hee, more JSA tributes are good.

  • At April 19, 2006 12:21 PM, Blogger simon said…

    One interesting thing about "Sleep of Reason" is that the title derives from a Goya etching that bore the motto "The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters." Given Sandy's history as the sleeping creature in the velvet cage, the title seems particularly apropos for his character. And given the destruction of his home in NYC depicted on the cover of JSA #87, his ties to that particular locale have been substantially diminshed, opening up the options for transplanting him to somewhere else, like the mideast setting the new SMT is rumored to use.

  • At April 19, 2006 1:08 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    Where did "Freedom's Ring" come from:

    "My country,' tis of thee,
    sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
    land where my fathers died,
    land of the pilgrims' pride,
    from every mountainside let freedom ring!"

    word verification: lsftsrh, which is the Legion of Super Fantastic Transvestite Sexually Revealing Heroes.

  • At April 19, 2006 1:56 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Ooh *is* it "Sleep of Reason"? I'd heard/remembered it as "Edge of..."

    Now *that* is reassuring. Now it doesn't seem thematically like it could be anyone else! :-)

    A middle east setting could make for an interesting challenge mystery solving-wise. It'd be a bit harder for him to blend in with a crowd. I'm definitely looking forward to this now. :-)

    Of course, if it's someone else, I'll be crushed. :-)

    Michael: *nod* It still makes for a stupid superhero thing, though it works marginally better as a group name than as a single hero name.

    Heh, I *never* get cool word verifications.

  • At April 19, 2006 2:06 PM, Blogger Steven said…

    First off,

    Conner already has a clone. Match is still out there, I think, as is Cadmus (last seen going underground during Our Worlds at War). And the Agenda might still be active. I seriously don't know what's taking Tim so long.

    I think it'd be funny if Kon-El came back to find FOUR clones running around, each representing a different cliched version of what's popular right now.

    So that would be what, exactly? A zombie, a mind-wiping rapist, an ultimate, younger version that stands around and talks most of the time...

  • At April 19, 2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Derek B. Haas said…

    Cosmic Boy kicks more ass than Magneto. Seriously. In pre-reboot Legion, there's a point where he just loses it and starts flinging people around by their blood. Magneto needed to inject more iron in.

    PET PEEVE! The iron in blood is in mineral form--not especially ferromagnetic. This is why MRIs don't turn people into slurry. Magneto (Dr. Polaris, Magenta, Cosmic Boy, et al.) should not be able to exert that much control over hemoglobin with their magnetic powers.

  • At April 19, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Steven: Heh, four versions of himself...

    Well, that'd make the Death of Superman parallels even more fun.


    Derek: I'll take your word for that. I have the advantage of being absolutely incompetent in any form of applied physics or biology, so it doesn't bother me.

    But don't get me started on the godawful Japan/China cliches. :-)

    Comic book science (especially pre-Crisis science) tends to be iffy anyway. It's best to just decide that the laws of the physical/natural world don't apply exactly right there. :-)

    But by the laws of the comic world? Cosmic Boy could still kick Magneto's ass. And look pretty in a corset while doing it.

  • At April 19, 2006 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Even in his worst outfits, Magneto has had a better fashion sense than Cosmic Boy (current costume aside).
    -Seriously, what was with that flesh T? I know male strippers who would be embarrassed to wear that. It made the pink look almost masculine.
    -Magneto never wore his name on his shirt.
    -Magneto never had "magnetic eyes".
    -Comic Magneto could control people's blood just fine.
    -Magneto is Jewish.
    -Magneto's getting his own movie.
    -Magneto was played by a knight. Cosmic Boy was voiced by Rob Lowe's lesser-known brother.
    -Was Chad Lowe ever nominated for an Oscar? Sir Ian McKellan was.
    -Basically, Magneto rules.

  • At April 19, 2006 6:17 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Honestly, if I'd *ever* seen Magneto use someone's blood that way successfully, I'd think differently. But honestly, if he had, he'd have long since *won*. There was literally no way to fight it. :-) The only moment I've seen in X-Men that compared was when he ripped out Wolverine's skeleton.

    Cosmic Boy was flinging these guys around like they *all* had metal skeletons. It was pretty fucked up. :-) (To be fair it really was the sort of moment that only works with a hero though, because a hero is permitted/expected to hold back sometimes. With Magneto, I think if he'd ever shown the ability to do that, there would be constant "Well, why hasn't he been doing *that* the whole damn time?")

    But yes, Magneto has the better fashion sense. I've never denied that.

    But you can't deny that it takes real...*something* to wear those kind of outfits. Especially the corset in space. That had to be f-in' cold man. And as stupid as his clothes are, no one *ever* mocks them in the comic. And he's on a team with *Querl Dox*! He's just that awesome. :-P

    And besides, he's only what, 16-17? Some of that dignity comes with age. :-)

    Oh and Erik might be Jewish, but Rokk is from a planet that appears to have weird gender reversal customs (the bride can't see the *groom* before the wedding). And that's just neat.

    On choice of actors, I concede though. But then it's hard to find someone of Sir Ian McKellan's caliber willing and able to play a teenager.

    In conclusion: Cosmic Boy rules *more*. :-P

    Though I'd so read a crossover in which he's his descendent somehow. I'd like to see them interact. It'd promise to be interesting. :-)

  • At April 19, 2006 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, Magneto's done the blood trick. I recall the Age of Apocalypse version showing no problems suspending people by their blood, and he was at half-power at the time. He can usually create anti-gravity fields, though, so using blood iron usually isn't necessary.

    My favorite trick of his, though, actually does involve blood iron. He once managed to control the bloodflow in the brain of a cow-woman so precisely that she couldn't tell a lie. She could talk fine -- just not lie. That's pretty slick.

    Magneto's more successful romantically, too. Night Girl's cool, but Magneto's sheer studliness has won over the likes of Rogue and the Wasp, not to mention Magda and whoever Polaris's mother is.

    Anyway, that's my take. Despite the generally terrible writing of the X-Books as of late, Magneto was once a great character, and I've never seen Cosmic Boy approach the depth of a well-written Magneto. Sometimes being the Time Trapper is not nearly as interesting as a righteously angry Holocaust survivor.

    I'll agree as to Querl Dox's awesomeness, though. Brainy rules.

  • At April 19, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I don't think it's really a fair comparison to make, with regards to character history and depth.

    I mean, of *course* an alien athlete with a strong core of honor and slight machiavellian tendancies is not going to resonate as strongly or as deeply as a holocaust survivor. It's not going to happen.

    And Legion tends to be a relatively light-hearted book in every incarnation.

    That said, I actually think Rokk's been handled better than Erik for a very long time. While there are some really great writers who've written Magneto, there were others that just tend to screw him up totally. His portrayal tends to be incredibly uneven. Is he a monster? Is he sympathetic? I don't think even the writers know what they want to do with him anymore.

    As well when done right, villains (and anti-heroes) tend to have a lot more fascinating complexity than the heroes. That's how it's supposed to be because you have to have a character willing to do some awful things and still be vaguely sympathetic.

    Where as in the past two reboots, the writers have always had a very clear idea of where they wanted to take Rokk, and they've been doing it. Sure on the surface he looks substance free, but they really paint a full and strong image of an idealistic kid who's trying to help make things better and occasionally screwing up royally along the way. He's stiff, arrogant, uptight, machiavellian, scheming, but he's also a basically sweet tempered kid who in one version, after being accidently *violated* mentally by his best friend simply put all his heart and soul into reuniting her with the person she actually loved. While in the most recent version, when his machiavellian scheming ended up backfiring, causing his own overthrowing, still worked to rally the people behind the Legion...addressing specific crowd people by name and why they were there. And *now*, after regaining his leadership, he wants a *vote*.

    It's a quieter sort of depth than a holocaust survivor. But in a sense making a deep and emotionally resonant character from such a background is *easy*. We all have very strong emotions about the holocaust after all. And it's dramatically very powerful. And I admit, making the survivor a *villain* was a creative and interesting choice.

    But it's been a very long time since Erik Lensherr was handled with the humanity and subtlety that really makes him work. And that lack really makes the character suffer.

    It might have taken a few decades to really give Rokk any depth, and his origins are admittedly much more emotionally mundane, and the setting is not as grimly serious...

    But I'd say currently, Rokk's definitely the stronger written and more interesting Magnetism user. YMMV. :-)

    And Magneto might have the more complicated romantic history, but he's also like sixty something years old. Rokk's only 16-17. He's got time to catch up. :-P

  • At April 19, 2006 11:58 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    Well, spiritglyph beat me to it, but I was going to say that Magneto has used the iron in blood to shut down Xavier's brain, preventing the use of telepathy, but not killing or brain-damaging him (just prior to Morrison coming on X-Men).

    Also he once used the magnetic salts in Spidey's body to stick him to one of those junkyard magnets, for picking up cars. Then have it swing towards the ground.

    Fortunately Spidey had cosmic powers, and was able to turn the entire crane to glass (Amazing Spider-Man #329)

  • At April 20, 2006 12:01 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I have to admit. That *is* pretty cool. :-) He still can't pull off the corset though. :-)

  • At April 20, 2006 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's not really fair to compare how they're currently being written. Cosmic Boy is being written by Mark Waid, one of the most reliable writers in the business. Magneto was turned into crossover fodder for Bendis's latest big event. Right now he's powerless, whiny, and wandering around a barren island. It's his Time Trapper arc.

    Magneto is so compelling because he's ultimately an inversion of the Spider-Man archetype. He suffered great tragedy, losing his family in Auschwitz, and later losing wife and daughter. He has great power, and feels a great responsibility to save others from his same tragedy.

    But where Peter Parker lost Uncle Ben to crime, Magneto lost his loved ones to hatred. The burgler was a single man, an exception to a the rule of a generally good humanity. Magneto lost both his families to hordes. The Nazis numbered in the millions. Even when he turned the other cheek, built a new family, he was attacked by a murderous human mob after revealing his powers. Why did Magnus use his powers in public? Why, to save his daughter, and she died anyway because the mob. It's no wonder he decided humanity would always be the enemy.

    Magneto is compelling because ultimately, he's trying to do the right thing. He wants save his people from humanity's pattern of hate, from their pogroms and their concentration camps. His goals are laudable, but his methods are not. After a lifetime of seeing nothing but the worst of our natures, he's given up on humanity. That's what makes Magneto such a tragic character.

  • At April 20, 2006 6:53 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I won't deny that in the right hands, Magneto is a very compelling, tragic character. But he's also *very* easy to write very badly. And this isn't due to the writers completely, a part of this is because of a deep flaw in the design of the character.

    As I see it, this flaw is the holocaust background.

    Not because it's not compelling or viscerally horrifying. Because it is, of course. But that's really the problem. It's impossible for any of us who've grown up after 1945 and the revelations about Auschwitz and Dachau and other horrible places to NOT have very strong reactions to the mention of the holocaust.

    As a victim, Magneto's motivations become instantly sympathetic and largely understandable. We know what he fears happening again.

    The problem is though that this visceral sympathy tends to bring about laziness on the part of even otherwise good writers. Because the background is so automatically provocative, many don't see the need to imbue his actual actions with the balance and depth to really make the character work. Thus he comes across sometimes, well, as he had at Illyana's funeral way back when.

    It's like the use of rape in a female character's background in a sense. It's a lazy way to provide character sympathy. It is admittedly more dramatic and historically relevant. But it's only as good as the follow-up, and the immediate emotional reaction masks the need for that follow up.

    The other problem is that while a time-specific thing like a holocaust experience works in DC, where the JSA for example have memories of the 40s, and have been artificially youthened as the other generations continue on. Marvel works on the basis of stretching time. Scott Summers is 30 years old, when he was 15 in the 60s. This skews character relations. Especially since Xavier and Magneto are supposed to be the same age. Where initially Xavier's crush on Jean for example was only marginally icky, him being only 10-15 years older, becomes really freaking creepy now that he's had to age and they haven't. Where something like Robert Drake's dad fighting in WWII can be retroactively updated to Vietnam or the Gulf. Magneto's *can't*. And pretty soon it's going to be a *big* problem. And if they can't rectify can the character exist without the Holocaust backstory?

    It's a problem, I think, and one that'll need solving soon.

  • At April 20, 2006 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Magneto coud also heal others via induced coagulation


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