Thursday, December 29, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 7


Fishnets! (2)
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Women.

No where, I dare say, will you find stronger female characters than in DC's universe. This is a universe where, for the most part, women rule.

This is a universe where a sideways glance from Ma Kent can stop the most powerful man in the universe, cold.

Where a character can lose the use of her legs and through using her wits and mind, become more powerful than before.

A woman can lead a team of female superheroes from a wheelchair in The DCU.

A woman can be defined not by her gender but by her abilities to join a trinity of comics' greatest heroes.

In The DC Universe, the ability to pull off wearing fishnet stockings is a superpower.

This is a universe where mothers and fathers are proud of their daughters.


Read comics!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas...Or Else!


I'm sitting here in my apartment and I just noticed something. I am still. I am calm.

I am happy.

To those reading this, you've helped contribute to that in ways you could never, ever imagine.

I wish you all the best the day has to offer.

Thank you.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Character Donation #114


Is that The Green Lantern Corps: Recharged I just read and actually enjoyed? Why, yes! It was!

Well, it was no Darkstars, that was fer shure! Remember The Darkstars? They were designed to sorta be like the Green Lantern Corps but kinda more space cop-py. They were cop-ies!

Get it?

Long story short, The Darkstars after a while became a dumping ground for DC characters at a creative crossroads. Donna Troy was a Darkstar after losing her powers as was current JLA Green Lantern John Stewart, post-Cosmic Odyssey yellow death machine explosion.

With The Corps back and better than ever, do we need this cosmic copycat squad. Do you really think The Manhunters would fear these guys?

No.

Send them to Marvel where they can fight Nova and his amazing friends to see who sucks the most cosmos.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Seven Reason To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 6


"No."
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
In the pages of Infinite Crisis #3, after being propositoned by Superman for a chance at a better world for himself and Gotham, Batman asks the question any good father would basically ask, "Would my child be a better person for it?"

When Superman tells him the answer is "No.", there was never even a deal to be made.

Batman...not an a-hole, just a damned good man.

Read comics!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why I Hate Saturn, Rann and Space Cabby


What do Swamp Thing, Starman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) and Superman all have in common? *

OK, besides that. That’s too obvious.

You’ll never get it….

Give up? The one common thread they all share is space.

Space.

It isn’t some bias that I’ve suddenly developed. It’s something I’ve discovered that I do. Sort of like sticking one’s hands down one’s pants while watching television. If you want me to continue reading a comic, don’t send your character into space. I will drop your book. That is not a threat. It is just the truth.

When a writer needs to explore a character’s humanity, they have some sick need to have that character bounce their humanity off an alien’s. We all know how these comics turn out, with our hero, hair blowing in some alien wind and framed by an alien sunset saying something dumb like, “Why did I have to go so far away just to appreciate what I have on Earth? Thanks you, aliens.” After witnessing the alien equivalent of a Mexican donkey show, I’d probably have the same feelings about America and Jade. (Hi, Kyle!)

Jack Knight’s father never visited the stars in order to become a better Starman. Ted Knight was Starman and dammit, that’s all we needed to know. Ted Knight didn’t need Space Cabby to show him the way home. Superman should know that whatever problems he had on Earth would still be there when he got back. For Pete’s sake, that’s the type of thing that in another time, Superman would have had to explain to Jimmy Olsen. “Wonder Woman In Space” did nothing for Wonder Woman other than expose the fact that she had no city or supporting cast worth defending.

The main thread that these space stories share is that the characters all went off to space in order to “find their way home” after some kind of soul-shaking personal event in their lives. I don’t know about you but I don’t read Superman for a monthly dose of super-heroic self-doubt. I read comics to reconnect with my humanity, not have it questioned. I know it may sound silly and cold but let’s be honest, we are not there for the superhero, we want the superhero to be there for us. If you wanna see me run away from a hero, all you’ve gotta do is have them whine. The space adventure has become the superhero equivalent of the therapist couch and we, the readers, are left to decide on whether or not we want to pay for the journey.

Space just leaves me cold.

* The author of this blog is the pround recipient of two "F's" in two sciences he never used anyway and one "D+" in Earth Sciences with which if he throws a rock at your head, he'll know if it's igneous or somesuch. Do not listen to him.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Lame!


"Seven Hells!"
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Listen, I know I've been lame this week. I've contributed nothing to the blogosphere.

The short reason? I got sick. The Bird Flu. The media told me I'd catch it but did I listen? No! Like man idiot, I just kept living my life.

Now, you can tell everyone that you know somebody who knows someone who got The Bird Flu.*

Anyway, here's what I've got cooking for the coming days:

The final two of "Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan."

"Why I Hate Saturn, Rann And Space Cabby."

Another Character Donation!

The Red Bee: 2006! and...

"Seven Hells!": The Year-End Issue!

"Seven Hells!": Making comics ashamed all over again!

*I don't have The Bird Flu. I have the scurvy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This Just In...


Gradually..
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Arthur Curry responds to the impending release of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Turkey-Filled A-Holes


One of my favorite stories to tell is how at Thanksgiving a few years ago, my cousin stood up in front of a bunch of turkey-filled a-holes (Us, her boy cousins) and proclaimed:

"I have an announcement to make. I no longer want to be called (*). I don't feel like that girl anymore. From now on, I hope that you all will take to calling me "Nova Sunshower.*"

* Names were changed to protect her silly ass.

Reactions ranged from:

"**** that ****!" to "Girl, you bumped your head. Sit your ass down!" to "I got five on what she's smokin'."

Well, I, Devon Sanders, have an announcement. I no longer want this blog to just be "Seven Hells!".

It no longer feels like that blog.

From here on out, I'd like for you all to refer to this blog as "Seven Hells!": Sword of Atlantis."

Continue with your meal.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 5


It's happened four times now and I couldn't be happier.

I've had to re-order copies of Jonah Hex #1 and yesterday I put in a re-order for Jonah Hex #2.

Why, you may ask, is that reason to make this one of the seven reasons to become a DC Comics fan?

DC Comics has brought back variety in their DC Comics line. Last year, DC brought back space adventure in a big way with the Adam Strange mini-series. (Collected in the Adam Strange: Plane Heist trade paperback, on sale now.)

This year, they reinvigorated the Western with the release of the excellent Jonah Hex ongoing series.

Next year, war comics return with comics great Joe Kubert and Sgt. Rock in tow. (On sale January 18th.)

I don't know about you but just knowing that these characters are back out there on The DC Universe's front lines and on the comics rack assures a bit that the industry is as strong as it's been in a good while. Sometimes the best ideas continue to be the simplest ideas. What could be simpler than men who go out there, fighting the good fight with nothing but their given names and earned respect.

Read comics!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 4


Alfred
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.

This story can be found in the Superman/Batman Volume One: Public Enemies trade paperback.


Where other companies...


SPOILER WARNING!!!!


shoot their highly unlikable Ultimate butlers in the forehead for the sake of shock value...

please believe that in The DC Universe if you even so much as threaten a butler, he will not hesitate to put a cap in your ass.

DC Comics where the help are just as tough as the superheroes.

Read comics.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 3


"None Of You Are Safe."
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.

This story can be found in the Batman: Year One hardcover.

Corruption has eaten Gotham alive. A message needs to be sent. Explosives break down walls allowing access to the those who thought they were untouchable...

Where other publishers put irony above everything else, symbolism is king in The DC Universe.

Read comics.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 2


"Cotton-picking"
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Reason Number Two:

This scene can be found in Legends: The Collection trade paperback.

In The DC Universe, being a Black woman, in and of itself, is practically a superpower.

Read comics.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Seven Reasons To Become A DC Comics Fan No. 1


Never!
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Reason Number One:

This story can be found in JLA Volume Two: American Dreams.

A rogue faction of militaristic angels invades Earth while the forces of Hell pull down The Moon from out of the sky.

Standing between them: The JLA.

Heaven invades, riding down on a (un)holy burning ark. Should it touch down, all that is unholy will burn.

In the heavens, Superman wrests The Moon from Hell. On the ground, The JLA fights back angels. In the air, Wonder Woman tries to stop the ark's flaming descent.

Burned and spent from the touch of Heaven, The Manhunter stands alone against Heaven's general, Asmodel. Nearly felled, his resolve remains steady.

"You...shall not...pass...Asmodel," falls from burnt and searing lips. Then, when the day seems darkest, a familiar hand meets The Manhunter's shoulder.

"You've done enough, old friend. Stand down. I'll take over now."

Superman has joined the battle. With no others available to reach the skies to halt the ark, The Martian Manhunter, whose sole weakness is flame, comes to her aid.

Rogue angels fall. Hell stands defeated and the former Kid Flash utters these words:

"We are The Justice League...and The Bad Guys have left the building."

Read comics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Touch The Monkey



Rapper cliches:

We did it Brooklyn!

"Seven Hells!" is proud to announce that the store at which I manage has a website.

BIGMONKEYCOMICS.COM

Having everything a comics afficianado could want, it offers the following:

RSS feeds from comic book newsites.

"The Big Blog" to which I, Scip and others contribute.

Comic book reviews by myself and some of our amazing friends

Store info and sales (A pimp's gotta pimp, y'know!)

"New Arrivals" Updates (Comics, trades, toys, etc.)

Ta-da! The Astounding Stupid Quote Balloon!

Big Monkey Comics Radio (formerly SuperHero Radio)

Links to Big Monkey's Ebay store and on-line Monkey Merchandise store

My "Pick of the Week" and Recommend Readings

Two fan forums (FanFatale for women readers and Comic Book Issues for general topics)

Wow! Was that the ground beneath you shaking? It was. Bigmonkeycomics.com has landed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Character Donation #113


I do not do this thing easily but DC refuses to get off the pot, so to speak...

Nubia has to go. It's for her own good as no one in DC Comics knows what to do with her anymore. Created in the 70's, Nubia was, I'll say it because I
can, a bit of an affirmative action baby and DC retconning gone wild. While sculpting the clay that would go onto become Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta also found the time to sculpt another baby from brown clay...

*snicker*

So, then, like Mars comes in and snatches the Black one and Wonder Woman was short like, one sister.

No pun intended.

Well, since that story was published not much has been done with her pre or post-Crisis and that's kind of a shame. Get past all of the crazy Seventies pontification and you could have had another strong enduring female character the likes of Vixen or Power Girl.

Hell, you'd have thought Nubia would have been more of a lock for the title of Wonder Woman than this feeb but in typical Nineties DC fashion, they went and created something synthetic instead of using something cut from cloth.

Look, I think Nubia still has a ton of potential but dammit...

at Marvel she'd have a better chance of making it. At Marvel, she'd be running The Avengers in something like two weeks. Storm would finally have a girlfriend to go shopping with. It must be lonely being Marvel's only Black female. Luke Cage and Black Panther would just have to date her because every Black character at Marvel has knows one another.

That's just the way it is over there.

Nubia, I'll miss you but DC won't even know you're missing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"Seven Hells'! Soldiers" Re-Cap


Here they are and here they were:

7. Wildcat
6. Power Girl
5. Nightwing
4. Hawkman
3. Superman
2. Batman
1. Wonder Woman

Someone said I should, like, draw them together or sumthin'...

I ain't no drawer like that. Why these seven? Amy said it best:

"I realize my favorite DC characters are the sort of fellas (and ladies) I wouldn't mind buying a beer."

Good enough.

Happy Thanksgiving!


May you find yourselves with a plump breast or meaty thigh in your mouth.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Number One Of "Seven Hells'! Soldiers"


Wonder Woman
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
It's pretty simple really. She was my first crush. Let me amend that. Lynda Carter was my first crush. She set me straight in more ways than one. Nearly 25 years later, it finally hit me. I am a comics fan beacuse of Wonder Woman. I love women because of Wonder Woman.

Let me amend that.

Wonder Woman has always been full of contradictions. All at once relating an idyll, yet one that refused to be put on some kind of pedestal. I've learned through trial and many an error that all women are Wonder Woman.

I simply love this character and the above picture from Countdown To Infinite Crisis crystallized the feeling even more. Superman literally looked down on The Blue Beetle as he relayed his suspicions. The Martian Manhunter dismissed him. When everyone thought him beneath notice, she stopped and showed him something no other character could...

Respect. Kindness. Consideration.

She validated him.

That's all he needed and he got it, from Wonder Woman. As long as she's around, The DC Universe will stay a bit more, I guess, humane.

I like that.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Character Donation #112


I'll freely admit I didn't know what it was. When they announced in one of DC Heroclix's, the addition of The Human Defense Corps, I just kinda shrugged and thought, "Well, I never use 'em."

I still don't know what they are. I still don't care. Judging from the name they shoot the monsters and villains superheroes are too busy to deal with.

They're no Checkmate. Cameron Chase and The D.E.O. point and giggle at these poor bastards.

Something like The Human Defense Corps would work elsewhere, like say...?

Marvel.

They call it S.H.I.E.L.D. over there. Send them to Marvel where they can fight it out with these guys.

Supremacy of sucking must be established.

If they go to Marvel some HeroClixer may actually use them. Self-respecting DC HeroClixers never will.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Way Out Western Tales

Jonah Hex, bounty hunter, gigolo or pimp?

You decide!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Waaay Out Of Your League


Lot of news in this Newsarama article but the thing that struck me the most was this:

Plastic Man [is ending] with #20, Flash with #230, Superman #226 is the last issue for that numbering, Wonder Woman #226 is the last issue of that run, Gotham Knights #74, Gotham Central #40, JLA #125, and Batgirl #73.

JLA is ending with its' 125th issue. Any takers on it becoming more like the animated Justice League Unlimited series upon its' return?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

This Is Gonna Leave A Mark. (Updated)



This cover of Infinite Crisis #5 is, no pun intended, one of the most striking I've ever seen.

It works on so many levels. Level One, symbolism. It's just overflowing with it, explaining for the uninitiated, the significance of Infinite Crisis #1. As a kid, I remember sitting in art classes, drawing characters who, when they fought, knocked over many a building while doing so. I should also mention that all I ever read were Marvel Comics. It wasn't until I became a devout DC Comics convert with The Crisis On Infinite Earths that I realized that when DC characters fought, worlds shatter.

The Superman at the end of Infinite Crisis #1 is pre-Crisis Superman. The Superman of cartoons and thousands of comics who changes the course of mighty rivers with his bare hands. I call this one "Earthmoving Superman." This is the guy who'd when Earth was threaten, he'd simply ignore physics and move The Earth to a safer place so he could fight the aliens in peace. One punch from this guy and Richter scales became irrelevant. The Green Lantern Corps breaks out "Superman Protocols."

On this cover, post-Crisis Superman is taking on a man who's realized he hasn't lived up to his potential. This Superman was a has-been before he ever was. For nearly twenty years, he's been plagued by the demons of self-doubt. As we can see, truth hurts. The denizens of The DC Universe will hurt, as well. The Superman we've been living with for twenty years isn't the man for the job of saving a world. He is not a leader. This man lets Batman dictate how The Justice League should be run. Pre-Crisis Superman would never have allowed for that.

This cover tells a story. I want to know what's behind it, its' symbolism. Will our Superman see a return to greatness? Will he rise to the call for action.

Let's hope so. From this cover image, we can tell there's a lot at stake.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Adam Beechen Hates Me.


Taken from February's DC solicitations:

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #18
Written by Adam Beechen
Art and cover by Ethen Beavers

In the deep reaches of outer space, Superman lies injured
and powerless on a remote planet under a red sun. And the
only one who can save the Man of Steel is…Space Cabby?


Oh, now....!

What th...

Adam Beechen hates me! First, Vibe and now...

Space Cabby?

Adam Beechen is on my "Enemies List."

He is an Absorbascon sympathizer.

Adam Beechen hates me.

Crisis Counseling


Let me tell you whippersnappers a story.

When I was a kid, we had to trek seven miles in the snow to get our comic books from the drug store.

Yes! The drugstore!

Not some cutsie little comics boutique like the one I break my neck to run but a drugstore, dammit. That's right. In order to buy comics, I had to fight off syphilitic disco dancers and tuberculosis tykes to get that elusive issue of Millenium #1 or any of the connecting DC Universe crossovers.

Back in those halcyon days, a boy wanted every single crappy thing associated with a crossover. As bad as they were, I wanted every issue so that I could feel connected to every corner of The DC Universe. If Lana Lang was gonna be a Manhunter, dammit, I wanted to be the first on the block to know that Millenium was crap!

Nowadays...

I don't see this type of behavior much. Don't get me wrong, with Infinite Crisis having arrived, people still do come and buy many of its' crossover issues. All Of "Infinite Crisis" JLA issues have had repeated sell-outs at my store but the others...

not so much.

Gotham Central's doing OK. Superman, as well but titles like Outsiders and Firestorm aren't exactly setting the town on fire. Why is this? Is it because after nearly two years of living with Identity Crisis, Counntdown To Infinite Crisis, The OMAC Project, The Rann/Thanagar War, Day Of Vengeance and Villains United, we just may be a bit burned out. Are we holding back because of the way the internet has changed our reading habits. I mean, we don't have to actually buy the comics to know what's going on anymore, do we? The fellas on the internet will tell you every word of what they've just read. Are we "waiting for the trade" in a post-Millenium landscape?

I don't know anymore. What do you think?

R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero


*sigh*

My heart's a bit broken today. I just read of the death of easily my favorite wrestler, Eddie Guerrero, a few minutes ago. I don't follow wrestling like I used to but man, when I did, it was to see Eddie.

Why? Every performance, every show, the man was there to entertain and he did, every single time. "Win" or "lose," you could never say that Eddie didn't deliver. To see this man overcome the obstacles of drug and alcohol abuse, the stigma of being labeled "too small" to compete in a "sport" dominated by big men (He was 5'8") and rise to the top, was a rare privilege to see. To see Eddie operate at the top of his game was a privilege. A privilege I will sorely miss. I'll miss the man even more.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Memetic Force Of A Hammer


Everyone loves Adam Hughes. You will not believe the extents people will go to get a sketch from this man. I have seen one of my customers lined up at a convention six hours or more before a convention opens to get a sketch from him. Internet groups swoon at the announcement of a con appearance, plans formulate months in advance in hopes of securing the coveted Hughes sketch. Once procured, they instantly are posted with tales to rival The Odyssey. Once one's posted, they're everywhere. A Hughes sketch has become the comics art collector's version of a meme.

Hughes' beautiful images graced the covers of Wonder Woman for, correct me if I'm wrong, six years. Often, the stories inside stank on ice while I kept buying. Why?

Strictly for the covers.

...and DC hasn't quite realized this. Why there's no collected version of this man's DC Comics covers is totally beyond me. From Justice League International to Legionnaires to Wonder Woman to Rose & Thorn to his current work on Catwoman, his work has always been exceptional. Exceptional to the point where I would gladly plop down whatever amount of money DC Comics needed in order to presnt his work his work on glossy paper with running commentary from Hughes on each cover's composition.

I'm not asking for much. Just what I want.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Number Two Of "Seven Hells'! Soldiers"


Growing up, I never knew how to reconcile it. On the TV show, he was decoding clues found in alphabet soup. In the cartoons, he startled easily, shouting "Great Gotham!" at anything that moved. I remember having trouble with this guy. He smiled... alot. In the comics, he didn't smile much. He was all business. If he came across a clue, he went about the work of solving it. Clues would be carefully stored in a vial from his belt to be later analyzed. I liked this guy the most but...

that guy on the TV show was kinda funny with his shark repellent and excitable little boy.

The guy on the cartoon was O.K. by me, as well. He always seemed to have the answers. He was smart like a scientist or something.

I liked them all and the older I became, I realized they were all, in a unique way, right. The minute you found him in the comics, you found him. That true man. The one who lost so much and gave himself over to justice. The idea that some writer could take from that horror, the idea of making this character leap across a typewriter or do The Batusi is utterly fascinating.

Batman is the Swiss Army Knife of comic books. Put him next to Guy Gardner and he becomes a straight man. Put him in a room with a dead body, he becomes The World's Greatest Detective. Yes, Batman is MacGuyver, Abbott and Sherlock Holmes, all-in-one. I love him for that.

At the end of the day, what I like most is his compassion. That, he would forego everything at night to bring a better day is to me, what he's all about. The days are simply better with The Batman in them.

Plus, I hear he's a good dancer.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thor's Comic Column


I'm back and buzzin', cousin, reviewing for CHUD: Thor's Comic Column. What sort of comic could pull me out of semi-retirement?

Why that comic would be Jonah Hex #1. Wanna read the first paragraph? Well, her it is:

In the future, a rocket containing a child will crash-land in Kansas, changing everything. In the future, a child will weep softly, kneeling in a pool of his parents’ blood. In the future, a woman will whisper a plea and receive the greatest of the gods’ gifts. A man of science will become one with the lightning.

Wanna read the rest? Well, you've gotta go here.

Tell 'em Devon sent ya.

Monday, November 07, 2005

(Re) Cap


Assist me to the couch. I think I may faint! This Newsarama article contains many and varied things but the thing that caused my vapors was this:

"As mentioned by Geoff Johns in his Newsarama Q&A, Captain Carrot is also slated to appear in Titans."

Some buy me a couch so I can faint on it, dammit!

How's this going to happen? Will Krypto get into Starfire's Tamaranian peyote garden, conjuring up The Zoo Crew whilest feasting upon the entrails of a green cat?

Consider me very intrigued.

Have You Seen Me?


Dr. Jenet Klyburn
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Hello, my name is Dr. Jenet Klyburn and I used to be important in The DC Universe. I was the head of research at S.T.A.R. Labs' Metropolis branch. Before The Crisis On Infinite Earths, heroes from all over used to come to me for my expertise in...well...just about everything.

I mean, I used to be somebody. Now, post-Crisis, I've been relegated to a guest appearance in Power Company #5.

My last app...*choke* *sob* appearance was in The Power Company. Dammit, a dog deserves better than that. Did they find that cocaine? It wasn't mine! I have a doctorate, for God's sake! *choke*

*sigh*

I'll need a moment to adjust one of the many mini-skirts I wear while doing lab work. You know, one of the ones I wear which allows me to show off just how damned good Jose' Luis Garcia-Lopez is at drawing long legs like mine.

You don't understand. I used to work with the greats. Wherever there was a crisis, there I was, side-by-side, chin-stroking with the likes of Doc Magnus, Cave Carson. I was The DCU's resident expert of physics and... spelunking and...stuff.

In the 80's, they all used to come see me for whatever ailed them. Firestorm used to fly in all of the time, crying about how he just couldn't "transmute" like all of the other guys. I'd sit there, nodding my head, praying he'd learn how to "transmute" a "Shut the *uck up!"

Who taught Blue Devil to love being tall and horny?

Me.

Cyborg used to drop by all the time looking for some "tweakin'" That bit got tired real quick. He was no Black Lightning, let me tell you.

Superman, for some reason, used to stop by all the time. Asking for a full work-up. Funny thing, I could never find a single thing wrong with him. To this day, I cannot figure out why everytime he'd leave he'd wink and say something like "Blue" or "Pink" or "Cuffs and Collars." I just don't get that guy's Kryptonian sense of humor.

Understand this: They used to come see me. Not T.O. Morrow's crazy "make-a-crazy-ass robot" robot makin' ass.

Me. Dr. Jenet "Big Red" Klyburn.

Not Doc Magnus. Big ol' queen, by the way. I mean, that girl robot of his has practically been throwin' her mechanical ***** at him for forty years and all he does is puff harder on that pipe of his. You don't need a scientist to know what's up with that.

Doc Magnus, come out, you're gaeeeeyay! (Said to the tune of "Warriors! Come out and playeeeyay.)

Come on! There're worlds dyin' out there and where am I? Motherlovin' limbo, hair done, wearing my mini, dammit, that's where!

*sigh*

Can I come home?

Can I?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Justice League: (Old) West


After reading Jonah Hex #1, this question was posed to me:

"If The Justice League were composed of DC Comics' Western Heroes, who would be on the team?"

Instantly, I thought that Jonah Hex would fill the Batman role perfectly. Next, I thought, "Who would be The Flash?" This fella came to mind almost immediately.

Nighthawk and Cinnamon would be a natural lock for Hawkman and Hawkwoman with "Pow-Wow" Smith acting as The Martian Manhunter. You know, the whole "trapped between two worlds" thing and all...

or I have to ask, "By lumping them all together, do we diminish these heroes by trying to make them what we need them to be?"

Superheroes?

Before there were Wonder Women and Supermen to take care of The DC Universe, ordinary men and women took up arms it upon themselves to make a hard world better.

Either way I think they're pretty damned special. What do you all think?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Number Three Of "Seven Hells'!" Soldiers"


I've often said that if I have any sort of morality about me it came from my family and comic books.

I've always believed in certain and absolute truths.

Somehow, after the things I've had to bear witness to, I still believe in justice.

I believe that in order for an American Way to exist, truth and justice must take precedence.

I believe in helping those in need. I believe in the ability to overcome impossible odds in the pursuit of something better.

After all these years, I still believe that a towel tied around a child's shoulders is one of the most beautiful, most purest of things.

After more than 30 years, I still believe in Superman.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Logo


I'm trying. I'm trying really hard.

Nothardenough.

I just don't like this logo!

The more I see it on product outside of comics, the more ridiculous it looks to me. It's distracting me. The moment I saw it on the image to the right, my first and only thought was, "Wow! That would be so much cooler if it were the old logo."

The old logo is classic. It does nothing to impede. It only was there to enhance whatever it was placed on. It holds up well under less "comic-booky" conditions and well...it looks like it wouldn't have to be replaced once every five years.

I know DC won't bring it back but dang, how I already miss it on my box of Justice League Mac & Cheese.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Character Donation #106

Vibration much like mistakes CAN be manmade.



VIBE is one of the hugest EVER to infect The DC Universe. No amount of convincing will convince me otherwise.

I do not send Vibe off to Marvel easily. Do you know how much it costs to ship a coffin?

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

The "BWAHAHAHAHA's" didn't come into effect until after Vibe's unfortunate demise. Let's face it, in order for them to come, sacrifices had to to be made. Vibe was a very good place to start.

We all needed to laugh again. Vibe's death showed us the way.

With Vibe's death, the way was opened up for any one of these guys to tickle our ribs.



The way was opened up for The Martian Manhunter to take his rightful place as a member of "The Magnificent 7."



Vibe's death was a necessary evil, one needed to help usher in a new Golden Age. Vibe, with his obsessive pop-locking and constant cries for attention by exhibiting "attitude" came down to nothing more than time-wasting filler much like these guys...

who aren't Iron Man, Captain America, Thor or Hawkeye seem to be doing elsewhere.



In that sense, Vibe is a member of a truly elite squad. They're coming to take Daddy home, Scip.

TRICK OR TREAT!!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I Love Mondays!


I say this with no hyperbole:

October 31st, a posting assured to cause controversy.

Worlds will shatter. Friendships tested. Tears shed.

Consider your internet already broken in half.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Number Four of "Seven Hells' Soldiers"

B.S. is reserved for those who actually care about the daily goings-on of Paris Hilton. We're creating a new place in "Seven Hells!" specifically for them. The older I get, the more I crave substance. I want things that make sense, wanting more situations and opportunities I can just reach out and grab. I need tangibility, order.

When I don't get it, I just want to bop someone over the head and just fly away from it all. That is why I want to be this man, this truest of men. The fourth of "Seven Hells'! Soldiers"...

HAWKMAN!!!!

What makes him so special, you ask? The fact that he is a superhero? All superheroes are special!

No. What makes Hawkman special is that he really ain't. When you get to the heart of Hawkman or better yet, Katar Hol (Carter Hall), he's just a cop.

Katar Hol was a Thanagarian police officer who came to Earth hunting an escaped convict and decided to stick around for a little while.

An alien cop but nonetheless, a cop. There're hundreds of this guy back home!

How cool do you have to be come from another planet, have no superpowers and then be asked to become a member of The Justice League?

Damned cool.

Apparently, in The DC Universe the ability to swing a mace while sporting a hairy chest truly, truly counts for something. It means something here, as well.

What truly strikes me is Hawkman's sense of self. When you're his friend, you become a friend for life. Your fight will become his. His sword will become yours. His mace, yours. Ask The Atom, Wildcat, anyone. Hawkman is someone you want by your side in any sort of fight.

What else do I like about Hawkman? He is, easily, the most romantic character ever created in the pages of comics, literally hundreds of deaths in the hopes of someday being reunited with his eternal beloved, Shayera (Hawkgirl). Somedays, I won't cross a street to be reunited with mine. (I keed.)

Who couldn't love a guy who's first living words are, "A hundred other lifetimes I've known. I remember them all--- but most of all, I remember you..."

Assist me to the couch! I think I'm going to faint! There's just too much man going on there.

Could he be romantic? Look no further than Green Arrow #12, upon hearing that his favorite target, The Green Arrow is also back from the dead and courting Black Canary, Hawkman tells him to, "Treat her with care and caution. Respect her boundaries. Do not rush her into a relationship just yet."

I strive to be this guy. I want to be secure enough in my manliness to walk around shirtless, dispensing justice and cautionary tales of love. The DCU is simply a better place because Hawkman is within it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Lone And Level Sands


Geoff Johns was once a nobody. Brian Michael Bendis used to write porn comics!

A. David Lewis is a former customer of mine. He also happens to be a writer. His current work, The Lone And Level Sands, is being previewed over at Newsarama.

Dave's a hell of a guy with a deep, deep love of comics and it shows on every written page. So, g'wan! Haul yourself over to Newsarama to check out The Lone And Level Sands, available soon.

Do it because you love comics. Do it so he doesn't have to write porn comics on his way to fame.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Number Five Of "Seven Hells!" Soldiers"

During the '80's, I really didn't like Dick....

Grayson.

Better yet, I didn't care for Dick Grayson as Robin.

He was always crying, gritting his teeth while screaming about his wanting independence from Batman. While doing so, he was sleeping with a big-breasted, alien warrior princess from a race descended from cats.

That The Batman allowed him get away with this sh*t without disowning him was not only a testimony to tolerance and good parenting. I will live if my child is not what I expected him or her to be. Boy or girl. Straight or gay. I'll deal. Only one thing, one thing could cause me to disown my child: his or her becoming a furry.

Dick Grayson is something of a furry.

*shudder*

Through the years, Dick lived up to his name, while changing his other name, bringing along a rather dubious change of costume. He also went on to grow a mullet and then a ponytail eventually realizing how low he'd sunk, he left The Teen Titans.

Then, something good happened. With one issue, writer Chuck Dixon got to him and finally.... let Dick's balls drop.

The first thing did was establish him in his own city, just outside of Gotham. The second? He cut off the ponytail. Third, he had him doing what he was born to do: kick ass!

Keep in mind, up to this point, I was still only liking "the kid." He was still the original Robin. You had to like him. Loving the character of Batman is kinda like falling for a woman with kids. You've gotta learn to love those kids if you truly wanna be with that woman, no matter how knotheaded the kid may be. Even if the kid's Azrael.

It was with issue 19 that I finally got Nightwing.

Gotham City, the city that adopted Dick as one of its' own, has been hit hard by an earthquake. Fatalities haven't yet been tallied. They cannot even be guessed at. Emergency services are stretched to their limits with no relief in sight.

In Bludhaven, a TV screen screams of the horrors witnessed and those to come. While everyone talks and assesses the damage, Dick Grayson has already left Bludhaven to go home.



The only access to Gotham is by boat and upon his arrival, he's stopped cold by the sight of the unrecognizable thing trying to pass itself off as Gotham. He allows himself this moment, to let his mind linger. He asks, "How...?," but knowing it's the wrong question, he asks, "Where?" He knows there are others who need him. Something catches on the the boat's police band radio...

A bus with eleven on board has fallen into an earthquake-created sinkhole. Water from broken water mains fills the bus, threating to drown everyone on board. Emergency services are already overwhelmed. If these people are to live, they'll need help now. With nothing but himself and a rope, he descends taking command of the situation, calming fears, enabling those who moments ago were near death. A mother asks that her child be taken first. Scared, not for himself but for his mother, the child asks "Batman" if he'll save his mommy.



No hesitation. No being taken aback by Kenny's "error." In this time of uncertainty,if this child needs Batman, tonight Nightwing will be whoever this child needs him to be.

Nine more trips, hand over fists to the top with Kenny's mom staying below to help the injured.

Gotham shudders. An aftershock. Ground gives and metal twists as the city threatens to swallow whole one of her children. It won't happen. Not this day. Nightwing made a promise to save this child's mother. In the coming days, he will need her more than the city ever will. The bus floods. The fissure closes. A child screams. A promise is kept.



Before the night is done, more will be made...

and that is why I love Nightwing. He won't quit. He simply doesn't know how not to. In that, he's more like his "father" than he'll ever realize.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Number Six Of "Seven Hells!" Soldiers"

It was Justice League: Europe #1, that first time I truly paid any attention to her...and them, those sun-kissed orbs. Oh, I'd seen her before but she for some reason she just never registered. Then, JLE artist Bart Sears just kinda put her out there on the cover for everyone to see. Somehow this...girl...was more woman than Wonder Woman! Upon reading, I registered more than just the obvious. Right there, in all her glory, putting the skids on The Fastest Man-Child Alive's clumsy advances, exhibiting something many DC characters seemed to lack in The 80's:

Genuine, honest-to-goodness brass ones.

Where Wildcat had to hide his in a sack, she wore hers out for the world to see, daring anyone to disrespect her right to do so. Where Wonder Woman politely asked for equality, this character demanded it. She embodied everything Wonder Woman envisioned, just yesterday. She was the first female character I'd ever read who knew it was OK to not always be willing to "smile pretty for the camera."

Number Six? Who else could it be but...?


POWER GIRL!!!

Whether kicking The Psycho-Pirate's ass, running her own software company or taking the piss out of Wildcat, you know what you're going to get from Power Girl: one woman launching all-torpedoes, hammering whatever's in the way, whether it be a wall, a bad guy or a boilermaker, looking fabulous in the doing so.

Where I admire Wildcat for being a guy, I LOVE Power Girl for simply being a bit of...well..a broad. She wants whatever the day brings, making no apologies on how she went about getting what she could out of it. She is a character in all ways possible and positive.

Since that fateful day, I haven't looked back, only forward. It is simply the best way of appreciating her.

Pirate, you have no idea how many characters would love to be where you are right now, basking in the glow of those sun-kissed orbs.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Number Seven of "Seven Hells!" Soldiers"

Everyone has a favorite comic book character. Some have seven. I am one of those. The DC Universe is a full and vast place where characters like Catman can go from "ashy to classy" in the space it takes to tell six issues worth of story. A place where an announcement of an Ambush Bug Heroclix makes grown men and women all squishy with anticipation.

Because no one asked, happily answers the question, "Devon? Who are your favorite DC characters?"

No one asks and dammit, I always deliver!

Number Seven?



In the 40's, up-and-coming heavyweight boxer, Ted Grant was tricked into killing an opponent by shady promoters. Y'know, by using the ol' "Place-a-poison- needle-in-the-boxing-glove" trick. It happens to the best of us. Grant, knowing the promoters would kill him before the truth got out, overheard some kids talking about their favorite superhero, The Green Lantern. Inspired by his future comrade-in-arms, Grant went onto create the persona of Wildcat. Upon clearing his name, Grant realized he could use his fists to do more than smash opponents. He could smash...wait for it....

EVIL!!!!

He's been doing so solo and as a founding member of the premiere superhero team, JSA since 1942.

Current retconning has revealed Wildcat as the man who taught self-defense to some of DC's greatest martial artists: Batman, Catwoman and his god-daughter, The Black Canary.

That, in and of itself, should make him cool but it ain't. What sets Wildcat apart from the rest of The DCU? In a universe of gods and monsters, Wildcat goes out with nothing but his fists. No super-intellect. No Power Ring. No super-strength. Just Ted "Wildcat" Grant. Ted Grant is his own f*****' gimmick and Ted Grant ain't no f*****' gimmick! He lives the life 24/7. How cool is he?!

For God's sake! His nickname is "The Big Cat!" That's the type of nickname you earn.

Well, he's just...he's just...just such a f*****' guy. He smokes his smokes, drinks his drink while staying out way too late. He LOVES big t*ts, grabs too much ass, apologizes later and still finds the time to be a role model to Stargirl.

Ted Grant is the man I suspect many of us wish we could have been.

Did I mention that in JSA #10, he single-handedly defeated a seven-man Injustice Society team, clad in nothing but a wet towel with a cast on his broken right arm, only after having phone sex with Catwoman?

What'd he do afterwards? Beer in hand, he, literally, picked his teeth clean with Blackbriar Thorn.

In the words of King Polybus, "That's my m*****f*****!"

Wildcat is a Bill Finger creation.

What more reason do you need to love "The Big Cat?"

Name a character revealed as being the only person "man enough" to "keep up" with Hippolyta, Queen of MILF's and Amazons?

The man said it best...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Legends: That Other Crossover


Is everyone still breaking their necks to either deify or vilify last week's release of Infinite Crisis #1? Somehow, simultaneously, everyone seems to have suddenly realized their either love or dislike of Crisis On Infinite Earths.

All well and good. It keeps the mind off of sex, drugs and Armageddon 2001, I guess.

Last week, in the LCS that I run I found myself inexplicably drawn to the trade paperback racks and sitting there, lonely and forgotten, was a copy of Legends. I read it and upon finishing it, I realized something. Legends, unlike Crisis, had impact. It holds up.

Where Crisis failed to cohesively reinvent The DC Universe, Legends pretty much accomplished what it set out to do: re-introduce and re-establish the icons of The DC Universe.

Superman

Batman

Wonder Woman

The Flash

Captain Marvel


and...

The Martian Manhunter

Post-Crisis, The DCU was a very fractured place with its' icons jockeying for some kind of identity other than the ones they'd had for some fifty years before. Gone was the Superman who built nuclear reactors while Lana and Lois clapped approving, unknowgly cheering for their own oblivion. That Superman was replaced with one who was like "us." He was burdened with human frailties, self-dou...

This one was a p****.

He was constantly explaining why he couldn't do the things he used to do. Why? The Crisis had made him more "man" than "super" and I was becoming very bored very quickly. I wanted to like this guy. He was always telling me why I shouldn't.

Post-Crisis, Wonder Woman hadn't yet made her grand superhero entrance. She was to busy learning English, looking at everything with wide-eyes and praying butt naked to Zeus while he looked on approvingly, thinking, "Daddy's trying to tap that ass."

We had a Batman. One not particulary interested in being seen with other superheroes. Thanks to Frank Miller, his head just wasn't there anymore. We had a Superman. A metrosexual Superman but a Superman, nonetheless. When would we ever have a Wonder Woman could join this crazy fray?

Legends established The DCU as it stands today. Legends re-ignited The DCU.

Where Crisis destroyed, Legends re-built. The Martian Manhunter, then languishing as a member of Justice League: Detroit is placed next to icons with a forward eye towards establishing him as the very conscience of The Justice League.

Where did the former Kid Flash, Wally West take his first steps in becoming The Flash for a whole new generation of readers?

Legends.

Captain Marvel, once seen as nothing other than a lesser Superman is re-inserted into the DC mythos as simply what he should be: A young boy who with one magic word becomes enabled in conquering his fears.

When the evil Darkseid unleashes a scheme to turn public opinion against the world's superheroes, it's left to them to save the world that no longer wants but needs them and they did it. That's what heroes get together and do.

Legends hold up because it did what it needed to do, establish and get out of the way. Legends was the book that gave recent DCU inductee, The Blue Beetle, the light-hearted personality we came to love. Before, in Crisis, he'd been portrayed as a short tempered science guy. Without Legends, you wouldn't have liked The Blue Beetle so much.

Legends established The Justice League as something other than "Superman, Batman Wonder Woman and Everyone Else." Gone were The Big Three, replaced with lesser known yet just as capable characters like Black Canary, Dr. Fate and Guy Gardner.

Legends gave us Guy Gardner.

We'll forgive them.

Legends gave us The Suicide Squad, as well.

We'll love it for that.

Did I mention that John Ostrander wrote Legends?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Comics I Need To See In My Lifetime, Part 2

STEVE SAVAGE, BALLON BUSTER meets....




THE MIGHTY ENDOWED!!!!





(Apologies to the floating hot dog.)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Foreshadowing of The Bat

What do we have here, hm?



Is this page 15 of Infinite Crisis #1? Some would call it that. Some would simply call it a nice visual. I, Devon Sanders, would suppose it to be...

FORSHADOWING!

The Spectre does not just show up in Gotham with The Bat-Signal on his chest for nothing!

What could this mean, this Spectre of things-to-come hovering over Gotham?

Could Jim Corrigan, with his intermittent Gotham Central appearances, be nothig but a barrell of red herring?

Could it be that DC's greatest force of justice could soon become The Spectre, its' greatest force of vengeance?

Discuss amongst yourselves.