Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lead Pipe Alert!

Last year, I posted something celebrating when Kyle whacked Hal with a lead pipe.

As I said then, I love these sorts of scenes. When everything else failed, and the hero doesn't really have a prayer of winning but still tries one last bit of defiance. Usually through whacking.

Well Diamondrock told me about All-Star Squadron #35, which has a scene that actually makes the Red Bee cool to me:

He hit Baron Blitzkrieg with a 2x4.

The RED BEE hit BARON BLITZKRIEG with a 2x4.

And it has a comedic sound effect! "Whomp!"

Dude! I instantly love this character.

...shame about what happens next. But at least he goes out being the guy who awesomely whomped Blitzkrieg with a 2x4.

There are worse legacies. :-)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Second Wind?

I've been thinking about Jason Todd. Specifically why I'm so "meh" about his resurrection, especially in contrast with Marvel counterpart Bucky. I was really excited by his initial pre-OYL unveiling as the Red Hood, but ever since, I've found him somewhat disappointing.

I liked the initial idea of Jason-as-Red-Hood because it seemed like they were going beyond a simple raving villain antagonist, to someone very ends-justifies-the-means. I've always found that sort of villain interesting. The ones with the goals that may not be all that bad. "Clean up the streets", or the Glasses-Man from Heroes's single minded protectiveness over his daughter. Of course, the fun is that they still go to questionable and extreme methods to get what they want.

I thought it'd be interesting in particular to have a character like that tied so closely with the Batclan. Batman would never be able to ignore the Red Hood's actions now that he knows the truth and it'd make for some awesome interaction.

Unfortunately, OYL, I kind of felt like the potential fell a bit short.

Especially since Jason didn't really seem the same in any book he was in. Though I suppose ignoring Bruce Jones's Nightwing is probably the best notion in general there. Creative ideas, I suppose, but a very poor fit for the series/characters in question.

The Red Hood as written by Winick is still pretty interesting. But he seems a lot more cartoony as a villain to me now. I suppose I was hoping he'd end up a bit more "amoral" rather than "immoral" if that makes sense.

Actually my favorite Jason Todd, I'm not even sure counts as Jason Todd (I've not read it in a while) but it was Nightwing in Outsiders. I'd heard rumors that the initial plan was for that Nightwing to be Jason in disguise, but the actual survival of Dick threw it through the loop. Really though, it's impossible to imagine Dick Grayson condoning the sorts of means that the Outsiders used.

However Jason Todd...makes perfect sense. I admit, sadly, I haven't read Outsiders in ages...I had to trim my pull list for financial reasons and that one, fence-sitter that it was, went pretty quick. So I don't know if he was ever revealed to be Dick or not.

It'd be cool if he isn't. That gives lots of potential for later conflict. And as far as I remember, the only guy who knew Dick beneath the mask on that team is now busy with bigger things.

I don't think Jason's a bad character right now. Certainly it wouldn't take much to make him cool. Hey. If BUCKY can be cool... :-)

Monday, January 29, 2007


You know, I've pretty much decided this arbitrarily, right now, but I'd really like to see another wedding in a superhero comic.

I don't know why this is. I just like weddings. Whether they're like Catwoman's bizarre dream where she marries Batman. Or the real thing, like when Lois and Clark FINALLY tied the damn knot. (That was a great wedding by the way.

I even liked the Black Panther/Storm wedding. (Whatever my problems with the execution of the couple, that was one pretty wedding.)

So come on! How about a crazy wedding Hank and Jan's?

It doesn't even have to end with an actual marriage. Something in the world could explode or something and interrupt it.

It could even be a fake wedding! Though I admit. I'd prefer a real one. I may have a teeny bit of a romantic inside me after all. (Because I ate her.)

I guess, I just think that while I have no problem with dark and/or sad comics, a little bit of brightness would be a nice refresher. And what's brighter than a wedding?

I am slightly depressed that I can't really think of a couple that really seem close enough to tie the knot seriously though. Maybe Todd and Damon. They have apparently weathered a whole year together by this point, and had apparently been living together before hand. They've also made it through what had to be a rough time when Jade died.

And they'd both look hot in tuxes.

We know gay marriage is legal in Star City at least. :-) So yeah! I want 'em to get married!

Kate could be Damon's best man! Alan could give Todd away! Ollie could officiate! (heh. It's funny in my head...)

It'd be perfect!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hal Jordan Appreciation Week:

Okay, so someone says it's Hal Jordan Appreciation Week.

So today I'm going to appreciate Hal's dedication to helping out his friends when they're in trouble.

Take that time that Speedy got himself addicted to drugs...

Hal's so dedicated to helping Roy that he takes off his clothes to transform!


Yeah, I'm not sure why he did that either.

Gotta appreciate the fanservice, though?

(image from Green Lantern v2, #86)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

On Negativity:

This is by far one of my least coherent posts (this month anyway). You are warned. :-)

My mind is in a strange place today. I was reminded again of a comment from my post on Cassandra Cain:

"You have an awful lot to say about a character you aren't interested in. It's okay to just not like a comic, you know. You could just say "it wasn't to my taste" and move on to Green Lantern butts or something, so I'm wondering why you feel the need to rant at length on the subject.

It's a fair comment of course, but it's one that gave me pause nonetheless. Not to mention, more than a little bemusement. After all, if I limited myself to only talking about things that I enjoy or agree with, well, I definitely wouldn't make my "one post a day" resolution.

Besides, it's my blog. And if I want to spend an entry ranting about things that I don't particularly like, that's my prerogative. :-)

I do think people react oddly to negativity sometimes. I mean, sure, no one wants to be around someone who's only complaining about the bad things all the time. But there's nothing wrong with the occasional piece of criticism. Or even "I don't like this because of..." sorts of posts. They can make for good discussion. (See my Cassandra Cain post, if I say so myself. There are a lot of great comments from people who are fans of the character, and while I may not agree with them, they've definitely got some great things to say.)

And then there are people who can make criticism funny. I've never really mastered the knack for that.

I am reminded of an email I'd gotten once, from someone who compared me "favorably" as a feminist to another feminist comics blogger, who he'd felt had become too much of a "hardliner" on the issues and had lost her sense of humor. Now I put "favorably" in quotes, because the truth is, the blogger in question actually posts a great many humorous/light-hearted posts. As many or more than I do. The big difference though is that she also has a knack for critical essays and tends to post them more often than I do.

(The fact that she had called this person out in one of the essays may have had something to do with that assessment as well.)

I simply couldn't and still can't understand this mindset. Either someone is enjoyable to read or they're not. It shouldn't matter whether they're raving about something good or ranting about something bad (and no one says everyone else has to AGREE anyway).

And sometimes criticism and rants are important. Sure, I can dismiss my own opinion with "Well, it wasn't to my taste." But why should I? Ranting helps me organize my thoughts. When I can pinpoint what exactly it is that I don't like about a particular subject, I can narrow down what exactly I do like, which is very useful to me. I've already mentioned the discussion potential.

It can be really important when it comes to issues regarding racism, sexism or homophobia. Because, well, honestly human beings tend to have a very narrow perspective. It can be hard to think outside our boxes. I'm a white American with all of my privilege intact. And that means sometimes I miss things that are racist or offensive to other people, because it doesn't affect me. A good example of this is with Eli in Young Avengers. It took a rant from The 4th Letter for me to pick up on the unfortunate overtones regarding the character's actions. It never occurred to me that Eli's actions could be read like that. I still like the comic, and Eli's still my favorite Young Avenger, but David's post really made me sit down and think.

Just saying "It wasn't to my taste" does absolutely nothing for anyone. It doesn't offer any insight. It doesn't invite any discussion. It's pointless and meaningless. We might as well not say anything at all

And finally for the record, though I am a very big Green Lantern fan, butts are not to my taste. I leave that to other notables.

I on the other hand write Mogo slash fiction and essays on how Guy Gardner is a woman.

It's an easy mistake to make. :-)

Friday, January 26, 2007


Okay, so there's this image going around. Pretty neat looking honestly. I haven't been a comics fan long enough to be jaded by yet another crossover, I suppose.

Anyway, Ragnell's got the image here. (Well, pieces of the image at least. Caution for spoilers though). As well as her thoughts.

I have to say, my own reaction is stuck somewhere around: "Egads. Must Donna Troy wear that??"

I know it's a classic. But honestly, that jumpsuit is pretty much indicative of everything wrong with seventies/eighties fashion.

It's positively hideous!

That said. Kyle's costume...really growing on me...but it might just be the comparison.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kalinara Likes Cartoons

Well, the search for awful Captain Planet episodes is thus fruitless, but my roomate managed something almost as good:

She borrowed the 1990s Fantastic Four animated series. I have vague memories of watching this on tv back then. It's great.

-For some reason I never get tired of Johnny Storm heating a grilled cheese sandwich on himself.

-My roommate and I have taken to singing the theme song at the drop of a hat. Any hat. Reed Richards is elastic...Sue can fade from sight...

-It's so weird to see a version of Reed that actually pays attention to his wife. And is amorous.

-Stan Lee's intros are great. I think it's because he seems so genuinely excited when he describes the events of the episode. It's like...he doesn't love it in spite of the cheese. But because of it.

-"Primrose Popinjay" is the best insult ever.

-That said. Daredevil's hair? Really fucking dumb.

-I don't like the landlady. She's tedious. I want the damn Baxter Building.

-Alicia is pretty funny though.

-Ben, in human form, kind of resembles Guy Gardner to me. In the Warrior non-bowl cut years.

-Ben's dialogue really only works if you imagine Stan Lee saying it.

-Sue needs to kick more things in the face.

-Skrulls = Still funny

-Doom's backstory was entertainingly incoherent. He'd be all going on about his poverty then: "I took shelter in my armored sports car"

-I love comics in that mastery of "old gypsy knowledge" includes robot spiders.

-You'd think villains would realize though. If the heroine is expressing undue interest in your backstory when you've got her boyfriend and her brother imprisoned. She may be trying to stall...

-Reed's ego is intensely amusing.

-The Silver Surfer. Still a tool.

-Galactus doing the equivalent of bitchslapping Doom though. Priceless.

-Needs more aliens.

-And Reed isn't allowed to name things. "Fantasticar."

-Ben needs to stop whining. He's rocky, orange. And dating a hot redhead who doesn't care. Sheesh.

-Though it was kind of WTF when he bought her the elephant.

-He bought the blind girl an elephant.

-Seriously. That just seems wrong.

-What the hell do you do with an elephant in New York anyway?

-Best part of the themesong is "That's ungrammatical"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No Post Here.

No post today. None. Zip. Nada.

Have instead been on a hunt for episodes of "Captain Planet and the Planeteers".

May well have lost mind.

End of Message.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pointless Musings

I ended up catching the Star Trek episode "The Menagerie" the other day and I got to thinking. I'd always found the female first officer in the Enterprise's "original crew" (or rather, the crew of the pilot) pretty intriguing. I always thought it was a shame that Roddenberry was apparently given the option of keeping either her or Spock instead of both. (For the record, I would have chosen Spock too, but it's a shame we couldn't have her too.)

I remember, when I was a kid, reading one of the Star Trek novels that expanded quite a bit on the character's past. It was a pretty interesting idea, as I recall. The Majel Roddenberry character had apparently been one of many genetically engineered "perfect women", (the scientist who created them was male, of course) who apparently decided "screw this" and left, joining Starfleet instead.

I mean. That's pretty damn cool. All sorts of nifty feminist interpretations available there.

It strikes me that with a bit of judicious tweaking, that could be a really nifty backstory for a comic book superheroine. Pygmalion and Galatea with a much more satisfying ending.

And punching things.

Well it's cool in my head at any rate. :-)

Monday, January 22, 2007

An Open Letter....

Dear DC,

So I finally got myself caught up with Checkmate, and I just have to say:

Thomas Jagger is really hot.

And gay.

I like this combination.

Can we have more of that?

Thank you!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Is That A Batarang In Your Pocket...?

I was talking with Diamondrock about the new Smallville episode. (He's a fan of the show, I'm not so much.)

It was highly entertaining, I have to admit. (And I've always liked the Smallville Lois...of all the TV and Movie Loises I've seen, I think she may be the closest to the actual, current comic version...or at least a teenage version).

It's occurred to me. Smallville's Green Arrow. Is absolutely nothing like the comic book Oliver Queen.

There are no speeches or politics. This guy doesn't seem very least not outside of fighting crime.

Ollie could never keep faithful but his devotion to his love interests was unmistakable. This man appears to be faithful to Lois, but to ultimately see his relationship to her as more of a pleasant distraction with its uses than an actual love relationship.

Ollie was a rebel. This man is a leader, managing the Justice League through resources, experience, competence and force of personality. He's a voice of responsibility and authority.

This man has also spent the past plot arc being set up as an equal but opposite to Clark. Someone with no powers but more skill, a bit more morally ambiguous/shades of grey, but still with his own code of ethics and honor.

And for all the archer motif, his costume's more leather-freak than Robin Hood.

He's definitely one of DC Comics' millionaire playboys. But he's not Oliver Queen.

I'm not sure why Bruce got a bleach job and traded his Batarangs for arrows. But I'm sure he has his reasons...

(So where the hell is Alfred? That's what I want to know...)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reason #996 to Love Guy Gardner

I decided I haven't shown enough love to Guy Gardner lately. He is after all my other favorite character. So I decided to post this bit from JSA #2...

Context: Some poor newbie hero is forced to fight to the death in Roulette's arena:

Because while most other heroes have bigger things on their minds, Guy notices the little guy.

Because Guy is awesome that way.

Friday, January 19, 2007

In lieu of a real post...

These were my last ten search queries according to Statcounter (My comments in italics):

2 20.00% kalinara

I always feel an egotistical sort of gratification when I find out people have searched for my name. Wee! Famous!

1 10.00% man crushers fetish

Err. Okay. To each their own.

1 10.00% greek goddess sluts

Honestly, Ragnell's where you want to go for that sort of stuff.

1 10.00% buxom

I've always appreciated well-rounded search terms. And horrible stupid puns

1 10.00% how many fs are in catastrophe


1 10.00% robin and batgirl fanfiction barbara and dick

Heheh. Sorry. Barking up the wrong tree here. I still say she deserves better. :-P

1 10.00% hawkman

Is a dick. Sorry. :-) I couldn't resist.

1 10.00% types of comics

Apple, Cherry or Lemon Meringue? Sorry. Makes sense in my head.

1 10.00% eva braun halloween

...I have no idea how this one ended up getting here. I don't even remember mentioning Eva Braun. And I'm not sure what she'd have to do with Halloween anyway. That's a little weird. Just sayin'...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Of course she is...", My Problem With Cassandra Cain

I have a confession to make. One that will likely alienate me from much of the comic blogosphere...

I don't like Cassandra Cain/Batgirl.

I've tried. Believe me. I've read most of the issues, thanks to a friend who's a big fan. But I can't bring myself to like her.

It's just...she's so cliched in concept. And I know that now that I've said that, I'll probably get a few people going on about the "originality" of a fighter who can't speak and communicates through/perceives body language as an actual language.

And that is original, I suppose. But honestly my reaction to hearing that, even listening to the character being described was: "...Of course she does."

Let me explain that. I've mentioned before that one of my biggest problems with Kitty Pryde as a character is how she seems to be more of a collection of traits that the writers thought were cool than an actual character. Of course she's a ninja, ballerina, world-class chess player, et cetera.

I will give Cass a bit more credit. I think she's got a very distinct personality (um, barring recent OYL events), it's just...yet another "of course" for me.

I have no problem with martial artists with unique abilities, I have no problem with children of pre-established characters, I have no problem with traumatizing pasts or moral decision or really any trait that Cass possesses individually. It's just...somehow together, they become eye-rolling to me.

Let's take the basic for a start. She's David Cain's daughter. Okay, cool. And she's Asian. Now I have no problem with Asian heroes. I love seeing more non-white heroes. But she's introduced as the daughter of an enemy/trainer of Batman, and that person is white. On one hand, I'm glad to see more evidence of mixed race relationships in comics. They're always good. But in this case, it doesn't seem like a genuine attempt at portraying someone mixed race. I've never seen a single instance where her mixed-race aspect comes up in the story or even out of the story. She's always described, even by the people that created her, as "the Asian Batgirl".

Honestly, it always seemed to me, like the decision to make her Asian was mostly because "everyone loves hot asian martial artist chicks" rather than any sincere desire to portray a mixed race character.

Now really, regardless of the reason for it, it's good to see more color in the DCU. Especially the almost chalk white Bat-family. This reason on its own is not enough to make me dislike her or even pause much. (For the record, I love when relatives of pre-established characters are introduced.) It is, however, the beginning of a trend.

Because she's also trained to be an uber-assassin. Possibly a better fighter than Batman. Which on it's own, I have no problem with also. I've liked, actually, how she's portrayed as a brilliant fighter but incapable/inexperienced in basically any other area. She's brilliant at fighting but then, really, that's all she can do.

Her past is tremendously angsty. Okay, I can dig that. She was trained as an uber-assassin by a villain. Makes sense. He was abusive and scary and raised her without the capacity for speech. It's a bit over the top for my taste, but it's original at least. And ties into a particularly neat ability to read people's body language like a book.

And naturally, she's not really a killer! After all that, she only killed someone once! When she was too young to know what she was doing! And she ran away immediately afterwards! At the age of 8. And she lived alone, incapable of speech until she hooked up with the Batclan at age 16/17 or so. we're getting to things that I start to find hard to swallow. It's such a cliche. Someone raised to be a killer, but somehow managing to be so pure that she only did it once. When she couldn't possibly be blamed? And then immediately left? Because she was so good at heart, she couldn't take it? Oh, brother.

And of course, she's pure of heart! She's genuine, and good, and completely without artifice. She is haunted by that one horrible incident for years and even has something of a death wish because of it. She's tragic! She's so pure that she rescues a man from the death penalty because she's so against killing! She's the one character with the deepest and most sincere idea about what Bruce's mission is all about! Because of what happened to her. She feels it. Of course she does.

She's socially awkward and completely illiterate. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, it'd be pretty interesting. Except, oh, she's really not the first. And she might as well not be the second, for the amount of storyline focus her illiteracy has actually had. Not like Bruce or Barbara couldn't possibly have figured out a way or called specialists to help her learn. And for someone "socially awkward", she certainly seemed poised enough at any social event she's attended. She's well-mannered and polite. She's a good-hearted, kind person. She's physically attractive and knows how to wear clothes in a way that showcases that. She's really only isolated because of her inexperience. She's a debutante.

Let's not get into the male fantasy of a girlfriend that's completely inexperienced and socially innocent, but is also beautiful, poised, intelligent and kind. Leading to a combination that very likely dates "ordinary guys" like them.

She's got her flaws as a character. But they're, honestly, what I call "cheap flaws". As in they're personality flaws that really aren't. "Too kind" is not a character flaw. It's a shame because the world will take advantage of you. But it's not a flaw in you. "Too driven" isn't either. Not unless you have people (like a spouse or children) that might genuinely suffer for your lack of presence in their lives. "Inexperienced" is considered by many people to be a plus, and if not...well, it's curable.

I'm not saying she should be Guy Gardner. But hell, everyone needs a few flaws. A few genuinely dislikable, mockable qualities in their personality. We all have them. I, for example, am stubborn, obnoxious, oblivious, lazy and quite convinced that I'm right, you're wrong, and we're only one good old fashioned verbal brawl away from you realizing that.

I think the fairest comparison to make to Cassandra would probably be Kyle Rayner. Kyle is, in a lot of ways, probably the purest character in the DCU. When given absolute power, he erred on the side of trying to help too much, and when this was brought to his attention, he gave it up in one big flashy bring-light-back-into-the-universe move. He was the one character selfless enough to try to save his enemy in Obsidian Age, proving to the Manitou wizard that he, and by extension the team, were on the side of good. He constantly forgave unfair treatment by the hands of everyone who resented him for Hal's fate. He's even forgiven and become friends with the man who literally ripped out his heart.

But Kyle also has some very real flaws. He's extremely self-centered. He's occasionally whiny. He's incredibly vain, (the first thing he did with absolute power, and the one moment that made the whole story work for me, was cut his hair), he can be catty. In the fights with Ollie, for example, he was equally as childish and petty. He's insecure and clingy. He's immature. Constantly fights with his mother, and at one point hadn't seen her for years. And sometimes he's a damned idiot.

But these flaws make what would otherwise be a far too saccharine character human and fun. When has the Batgirl comic ever really allowed you to laugh at her? Even Batman's flaws have been poked at a little. Definitely Robin's tiny control freak tendencies. Barbara? Maniacal machiavelli behind the computer screen, you betcha.

And not to mention her complete reliance on a male role-model whose philosophy she adopts religiously. The one part of her admittedly-well-written comic that really struck me was that point with Shiva looking through all of Cassandra's bat toys and wondering which if any she herself invented. Because Cassandra doesn't use them and doesn't need them. (This in itself is an interesting story though, and why I was actually really happy and intrigued by the end of Batgirl and Cass going to find her own path.)

It's the combination that gets me. She's an Asian-because-Asians-are-cool daughter of a pre-established evil character with ties to Batman, trained as a killer-but-the-only-time-she's-actually-killed-it-wasn't-her-fault, pure hearted, virtual saint, with no real flaws...

Of course she is.

That said, I'm not particularly happy with the direction OYL has taken her either. If only because, I was perfectly fine just staying away from her comic (though I have to admit, the first and ONLY time I ever found her interesting was in Shiva's coat at the very end of Batgirl, when she seemed to be finding her own path.) I found the character change inconsistent and cartoonish. Like there was no real way to turn her evil without completely shredding her character in the process. (Bullshit, there are dozens of ways to turn a character evil without resorting to that. OR to mind control. Even a saint has a breaking point.) Besides, I sympathize with Cass fans. It has to suck to see your favorite character completely unrecognizable.

I might actually find it interesting if she is undercover and working for Deathstroke as an agent of Bruce's. It'd be a nice way to get her hands just a teensy bit dirty and jade her purity just a teeny bit. I don't want her unrecognizable either, but a tiny bit of tarnish really does make the silver brighter in comparison. A bit more human as opposed to tragic romantic figure would go a long way.

(Edit from the future: I may have reconsidered my opinion of Cassandra here.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Okay, reading the Marvel solicits now...

This new sexy female Ultron...promises to be the single awesomest stupid thing Marvel may have ever done.

There are such priceless opportunities here. Runaway's Victor's Dad is now his mom! How will the Vision react?

And we know this will screw with Hank's head something good. His evil robot son, built on his own brainwaves, is now an evil robot daughter. That combined with Ultron's considerable daddy issues promises that this will be messy.

And best of all, it now gives me the chance to make tasteless and offensive jokes about how deep down inside, Hank just wants to feel pretty!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Solicit Stuff

Back to solicits...

I honestly am surprised to say this, but World War Three looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I wonder if they're all really going to come out at once though, because that's going to be hell on my pocket book.

That Wonder Woman tying up Nemesis cover is hot. They both look so amused. If I can't have Steve Trevor back, I want them to get together. They have a lot of chemistry.

I don't hate Blue Beetle, but it's one of those give or take books for me. Depends on the niftiness of the cover and how much money I have at the time. Guy's on this one though, so I'll splurge.

I'm sad about Manhunter ending, but at least it was a lot of fun. And with Kate in BoP and Todd in JSA (on the caveat that he actually gets to do something soon, I know there's a lot of stuff to be packed into an intro storyarc so I'm not kvetching yet...but I'd really like to see him get a speaking line) I know they'll still be around.

The crossover between JLA and JSA looks interesting. And Sand gets a cover! <3

I'm looking forward to reading the just-post IC Dick/Babs fallout thing. But not so much to the fan-entitlement shrieks of certain members of the couple's fanbase. I get that you like the couple. Me: Not so much. (Babs deserves better.) But the story didn't go your way (yet. This is comics we're talking about...). Deal and write fanfiction.

It seems so weird that 52 is ending. I have to admit, for all my complaints about the series, I've been following along pretty loyally. It's been a fun ride and I'd never have predicted at the beginning where a lot of the storylines were going to go.

I might be liking the Nightwing comic (and character) more now than I did for a long time. But you'll never convince me "Bride and Groom" aren't stupid names for villains.

I know he's lame, but I'm still glad to see Tempest back. He's oddly endearing for all his loser qualities. :-)

I'm so easy. Even if I weren't a regular Birds reader I would so pick it up just to see who the "very cool character" is. That's the sort of thing that gets me every time.

I like Checkmate but I'm not sure it meshes well tone-wise with Outsiders. Still. Could be interesting.

GASP! GLC's solicit spoils the fact that Guy is alive! I'd never have guessed! Wait. No. Heh. At least they're not trying to pretend they've fooled anyone.

Now this month has a Star Sapphire cover I like. She looks stunning there.

And Sand has a cover! (It's utterly pitiful how happy that *still* makes me!) :-)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hawkgirl is kind of a bitch...

I've been rereading JSA and I realized something. Sand and Hawkgirl in a relationship is a really creepy idea.

And not for the obvious reasons.

Well, okay for them too.

And Carter would make an absolute ass of himself anyway.

But still.

The NEW reason it's creepy is because well, she's awfully violent...

Take this panel from JSA 21:

and these from JSA 22:

I mean. Sure, she was under a lot of stress at the time, but you know, it's not a terribly good precedent to establish...

Just sayin'...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kalinara is Happy!

Newsarama's put some of the DC solicits up!


Sand's got a cover! Yay! Maybe that means he'll actually get to be IN the comic!

That's a damn pretty cover.

Is it April yet? :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

IDing Identity Crisis

I really wish feminist critics of superhero comics, many of whom I admire and respect greatly, would stop describing Identity Crisis as a comic book "about rape".

I'm not saying that the rape of Sue Dibny wasn't a very significant storytelling decision that revealed a lot about the way rape, maturity, and the roles of women (particularly significant others) are viewed by the editorial staff of DC Comics.

I'm not saying that the rape isn't the plot point that is most memorable about the comic. I'm not saying that it isn't extremely annoying that it's being used essentially to give a half-assed lame villain some evil credibility.

But I get a little annoyed by all the descriptions of "Identity Crisis" as a comic about rape (and in particular, the implication that the rape made the comic sell), because it isn't. That's not the selling point of the comic.

Identity Crisis was about a murder. It was a whodunnit. I'm not saying it was a particularly skilled "whodunnit", but that was the selling point of the comic. "Who killed Sue Dibny?" was the draw. Not "Watch Sue Dibny get raped".

Beyond that, Identity Crisis was about the grey area between good and evil, and the lines that good people can cross when they get pushed too far. And yes, the rape was a particular motivating tool here. It is something visceral, scary and human (as opposed to say, the notion of being disintegrated by a death ray), a trigger that makes the heroes' actions immediately comprehensible to the average person, while still not excusing it.

But the story was about what came afterwards. What the heroes did, not the act itself. And it's honestly debatable as to the real significance of the rape in that sense, as it was established that the heroes had been inching toward that line even before then. The rape was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I was never particularly bothered by the use of rape here, but I do sympathize with those who were. Which is another reason I get annoyed at the blanket summary of "Identity Crisis is about rape" hogwash.

Because the reason that a lot of the readers found it so offensive WAS that the rape was secondary. We never got the incident from Sue's own perspective. We never really got a glimpse of its true effect on her. We've never seen her recovery and her strength to move past this horrible experience as she so obviously had done off panel. She never got to face her attacker or have any say in his fate. The attention was solely on the reactions of the hero characters around her.

And it was a complete red-herring anyway! As it turns out, the rape had nothing to do with the murder, and aside from the brief horrified reaction from youngsters like Kyle and Wally at their colleagues' actions and some brooding from Batman, it vanished from the story.

The rape was ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of the storyline, as just a place-holding "last straw" to set the heroes moving in a direction that they weren't supposed to go.

It's the fact that Identity Crisis was NOT about the rape that made the inclusion so damned offensive.

And ultimately I get annoyed by that argument, because I am over-sensitive. You see, I liked Identity Crisis. It had its flaws. There were certain parts that irritated me and that I wished had been done differently. But in the end, I liked it. And the fact that I liked it and was not (and am not) terribly offended by the use of rape as a minor plot point was actually used to imply that I didn't comprehend the seriousness of rape.

I admit, I doubt those who've made the "Identity Crisis is about rape" statements ever meant to give that sort of impression. As I said, I'm over-sensitive. But I do think such blanket statements do a disservice to people who did find something to enjoy about the series. I didn't enjoy the story or buy the comic because of the rape, even if it didn't particularly bother me either (now the pregnancy test did, but that's a rant for another occasion) but that sort of statement would seem to imply otherwise.

It's just a bit irritating.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Ferrous Buller is an awesome guy who sent me the link to this.

It is awesome. Go look!

And I want ice cream too!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

National Delurking Week

Okay. So according to Ragnell, it's National Delurking Week.

I don't have a pretty graphic, but go see hers. It's neat!

Anyway, um, so that's it really. If you're a regular reader of my blog, please say hi! And maybe something about yourself! That'd be cool.

Or not. If you don't want to. :-) No pressure. But it'd be nice to "meet" you!

So yeah. Um. That's it really. :-) Carry on!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Random Ridiculous Realization #G

I just realized something bizarre.

My two favorite DC characters: Guy Gardner and Sanderson Hawkins

My two favorite Marvel characters: Hank Pym and Bucky Barnes.

So that means my favorite characters in both companies include an entertainingly crazy jerk and a re-envisioned, slightly traumatized ex-sidekick from the 1940s.

I really do have a "type". Egads.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Best Idiot Moments in Comics...

In honor of the joyous occasion of my roommate and I somehow managing to lock ourselves out of the apartment after hours (we ended up staying with friends :-)), I decided to ask everyone this question:

What is your favorite idiotic moment in comics?

My favorite has been posted before here but I'll post it again because it makes me laugh:

Wesley Dodds headbutting the God of Thunder's chest!

(edited: And that is what I get for making fun of other people's silliness. :-P Now the picture should be up!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Favorite Page (Captain America v5, #18)

Okay. After rereading the Brubaker run of Captain America, I have to say that the Winter Soldier is my new favorite Marvel character.

I'm sure that it shocks any regular readers of my blog that I actually like the guilt-ridden and angsty, yet oddly pragmatic, tortured side-kick from the 1940s.

It's not like there's a precedent. Really. :-)

Anyway in honor of my newly declared love, I decided to post this page from Captain America #18.

This is cool for three reasons.

1. He clotheslined the purse snatcher. Clotheslining purse-snatchers is always cool. And oddly apropos.

2. He looks so charmingly sheepish in the last panel. I like my heroes/anti-heroes wry.

3. Even though the previous page had featured him brooding quite fetchingly, he does not actually let his considerable angst interfere with kicking ass, Nightwing.

That is all.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winter Ramblings:

I've finally got around to reading the "Winter Soldier" one-shot (I seriously forgot that I bought it. How dumb is that?) I've always thought, rabid DC-fan that I am, Bucky's return as the Winter Soldier was miles beyond Jason Todd's return as the Red Hood.

I've been iffy about the Winter Soldier as a character though. I liked him as a concept and as a villain for Captain America (and he had probably my favorite voice acting in Ultimate Alliance, and I'm not entirely sure why I think that), but I had no idea what they'd be doing with him after the resolution of that storyline.

Now I really, really want a Winter Soldier ongoing. Seriously. I like Bucky as an anti-hero. He's very gray but not conscienceless, and there's a nice sense of dry humor.

That and it was frickin' awesome when he plucked one of Hawkeye's arrows and threw it into the terrorist's throat. I'm not one for heroes killing in general, but a stylish anti-hero...I can go for that.

I really liked his interaction with Young Avengers. And a part of me really really wants him to become their mentor now. Because it'd be awesome. And will probably have a lot of 40s-modern day culture incongruities that make me smile. And there'd be all the moralistic conflict between a slightly homicidal mentor and kids with a lot more of a traditional heroic moral scale.

It'd be generation gap, culture shock, and moral discontinuity all in one!

Besides, he's kind of hot.

Pun unintended.

And I still love Namor. Because he's got the same personality as my cat. And this makes me happy.

Saturday, January 06, 2007



Heh. Sorry about that. That's what I get for posting when tired.

That WAS a WFA post. Oops. Anyway, Ragnell transferred it over. So yay.

I'm actually surprised that's the first time that happened. :-)

On Dixon and Politics...

This is an interesting interview and well worth reading. Both Steven and Mary have interesting responses to it.

I know personally I like Dixon's work. Usually, at any rate. I don't agree with his politics, but in general I think he's got a good knack for character work.

I am however leery about his work once politics come into play though. I am thinking specifically about his work on the pregnant Spoiler storyline. In general that was a very good storyline, a very powerful story. But one scene forever stands out in my head when I remember it.

Steph Brown is basically "shopping around", visiting different clinics and adoption agencies to examine her options for dealing with her baby. One of the places she visits is an abortion clinic.

The abortion clinic's representative is portrayed as very pushy. She's trying to convince Steph that abortion is a good idea. She's this close to emotionally railroading her, until Steph gets pissed off and tells the woman off, declaring loudly her intention to give birth.

I have no problem with Steph's decision. It was a decision that was right for the character. I don't have problems, even, with her revulsion toward the idea of abortion. It's a very real reaction shared by many people, after all. Even many people who are pro-choice on principle would not make that decision for themselves.

My problem is in the portrayal of the abortion clinic personnel. Now, I will freely admit that I have no personal experience with abortion clinics, but the attitude of the woman as portrayed makes no sense. She's portrayed like some sort of salesperson, selling the idea of abortion to an uninterested person like she'll recieve some sort of commission for every person that signs up.

Abortion clinics are not hurting for business. One only needs to look at the statistics on abortion before Roe v. Wade to realize that. There are countless horror stories of women undergoing very dangerous and risky procedures (of varying quality and sanitation) in order to rid themselves of pregnancy. The demand for this service is very high. There is absolutely no reason for an employee of an abortion clinic (a job that usually requires a great deal of empathy and gentleness on behalf of the patients) to behave in such a manner.

I remember being disappointed by this part of the comic. I don't begrudge Mr. Dixon his politics, but I'd felt that he'd cheated his own message. By making the abortion clinic employee so cartoonishly callous, he essentially made "the right choice" unmistakably obvious. There was no real decision or soul-searching here. Stephanie could immediately see that this person was insensitive and a bully and thus this choice was clearly the wrong one.

How much more powerful would Steph's declaration have been if the abortion clinic person had been portrayed quietly and with empathy? If instead of emotional railroading, the woman had merely explained what it is that they do for the women who seek their services? If Steph had been able to make that decision without ANY sort of external influence revealing any one choice as the obvious "right one"?

A shame Dixon resorted to the sloppy cheap trick instead.

Friday, January 05, 2007


My roommate actually managed to netflix "Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers" and so I've been watching that instead of, you know, actually thinking up a blog post.

It's a campy cheesy 80s cartoon with appalling anime-esque character designs and pretty awful voice acting. So you know I love it.

The only way it could be better is if they had one of those public service morals at the end.

I like the characters. Even if the token female character follows the 80s formula to a T as a fainting psychic. She does actually get to do stuff.

Besides. It has Jerry Orbach playing the leader! (And there are certain shots, where I'd say the character's design was totally based on him. Especially the eyebrows!)

And it's a gratuitous space western with robot horses. Anything with robot horses...TALKING robot horses, is damn cool.

Not to mention, a very special "Battle of the Bands" sort of episode where the characters have to go on stage for NO APPARENT REASON. (I think I love the 80s)

And the tough guy kind of looks like a very tall Sand (by way of Clint Eastwood)...except with poofy eighties hair.

And the main villain is basically the evil queen from Snow White. In SPACE!

I'm still not entirely sure how the powers work. And the DVDs are totally not in order. (We can tell because there's actual continuity!)

Now if only the psychic girl could stop fainting, it'd be a show.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

30 Second Recap! "Revenge of the Green Lanterns"

Here we go! My finished masterpiece! For Chris Sims's contest!

My thirty second recap of "Revenge of the Green Lanterns" (written by Geoff Johns)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sneak Peek:

I'm not blogging today either. Nope. Too busy trying to finish my panels for a certain someone's recap contest.

But since it'd be against my New Year's Resolution to not post anything, I'm going to cheat and give you a sneak peek of my recap of Green Lantern v4 10-13.

The full recap should be up by Friday. :-)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reaction to 52 #34 (contains spoilers)

Okay, today there is no blog post. None. Zip. Nil. Nada.

I was going to type one, but I stumbled across a livejournal reaction to what happened with Osiris in #52 which can be paraphrased as "It's what happened with Max Lord all over again."

This naturally caused every logic-comprehending cell in my brain to overload in a simultaneous conbustion that amounted to a supernova in my cerebrum.

I like Osiris. I like him a lot. But dude...NOT THE SAME.

(The following contains spoilers!)


1. Max Lord was a pre-established character. Osiris is a newbie. This is notable because while what happened to Max could debatably be categorized as "character assassination", we haven't had enough time to really get to know what kind of character Osiris IS.

2. Max Lord was portrayed as conscience-less and immoral before getting the old snapola. Osiris is a kid who went a little too far defending his sister.

3. Max Lord, while occasionally morally ambiguous, has shown enough of a difference in personality to make the change...startling, to say the least. Osiris has, thus far, been portrayed as an exciteable teenager very attached to his sister and not used to his powers.

4. Max Lord wasn't portrayed as redeemable. Osiris, very clearly, seems to be. It was, for all intents and purposes, an accident.

5. Max Lord was the mastermind of his own downfall. While 52 clearly indicates someone else orchestrating events. Thus Osiris is more of a victim than anything else.

6. Max Lord's evil revelation occurred at the end of Countdown. We've still got a good 16 issues to go for 52. That's more than enough time to make reparations. (He's still gotta be a Titan after all.)

Honestly, I think what happened in 52 should have very interesting consequences and could very well be ultimately a GOOD thing for the Osiris character. The Black Marvel Family hasn't particularly been known for their restraint. Osiris however has just slammed headfirst into the need for it. He seems like a good kid, really, and as we have reason to believe he doesn't just quit being a hero, he's clearly going to learn from this situation.

Besides, considering teenage impulsiveness combined with superpowers, I'm surprised this sort of thing hasn't happened more often.

It's actually really promising too. Osiris as he was before could never truly be more than an enthusiastic anti-hero type in the vein of Adam himself. A largely moral character but not one that follows conventional heroic mores and is willing to occasionally step over the line as needed. The trauma from this experience could set Osiris up as a truly heroic character though. One who understands that the ends NEVER justify the means.

Besides, if any comparison is valid, it isn't to Max Lord. It's to Superboy Prime. Both were portrayed as largely innocent kids before getting caught up in the heat of battle, underestimating their own power with tragic consequences.

The contrast is what's key though. Superboy Prime's first kill was accidental but he didn't stop. He kept killing and maiming and blaming everyone else for his failure. Osiris, on the other hand, made a tragic mistake and STOPPED. He's clearly horrified by what happened. He's not trying to blame someone else.

I think this was a necessary point in the poor kid's evolution. And it's the first time I've ever had an inkling of hope that the character might be allowed to survive and remain active after 52. I found him amusing before hand, but this is the very first time I've truly found him intriguing. He's finally being tested.

I want the next issue of 52. I want it NOW. I want to see the fall-out from this. I want to see what he does next. Besides. He has a crocodile. And that's just cool!

(Besides. Anyone who didn't see some sort of fall headed for a character named Osiris really ought to have their heads examined. Just sayin'. :-))

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years Resolutions for PFP

Well! It's the new year! Which means it's time for blog-related resolutions! I didn't do it last year, because, to be honest, I wasn't sure how long I'd keep up with it before I'd run out of crap to say.

Apparently I've got a LOT of crap to say.

So anyway, as it looks like I'm in for the long haul...resolutions ho!


1. Post at least once every day (barring unforeseen circumstances).

I actually managed this last year, so I'm pretty confident I can keep up with it. I'm not promising quality though.

2. Post more critical/analytical essays.

I think I've been slipping lately. I'm hoping that now that work has calmed down again I'll be able to get my ass in gear.

I do have a Kilowog and Guy post floating somewhere in my head that I'd really like to yank out.

3. Learn to tell a joke.

This is an embarrassing thing to admit, but I can NOT be intentionally funny. Seriously. Or rather, sometimes I can, but it's something like shooting darts with my eyes closed. The jokes hit sporadically.

4. Post more creative works.

Excerpts maybe. I don't know. I'm terribly shy when it comes to unfinished stuff. Still, I got to build up courage somewhere, huh?

At least Sims's thirty-second recap contest is good motivation to try! I've already got two panels!

5. Read more older comic series.

I like reading older series when I can track down issues, so this shouldn't be too hard. Just because I'm a relative newbie comic fan doesn't mean I have to blog like one. :-P

6. Read at least one indy comic.

And any sent to me for review probably shouldn't count. This is going to be harder actually. I'm very picky about comics and genres that I like. Still, I probably should branch out from standard superhero fare once in a while.

7. Blog more about manga.

I'm not a huge manga fan NOW, but for a good decade, I was hunting tankoban and those phone book-type catalogues with the best of them. There are a lot of series I still enjoy and could have fun talking about. And ranting is always fun too.

8. Make a complete one-eighty on a character I hate.

Hey, it worked for Nightwing and Jade this past year. I like being able to suddenly appreciate characters I initially couldn't stand. I always feel like I've gained a new perspective.

9. I will finally sit down and watch that damned Nick Fury movie! And blog!

Because it must be done.

10. I will finally FINISH TAGGING MY DAMN POSTS. And reply to all the comments I've been neglecting.

...eventually. :-)