Friday, July 29, 2005

Character Donations #56-58


In 1941, Gregory Sanders, a singing cowboy in the tradition of Roy Rogers, wrapped a hankerchief around his face and fought crime as The Vigilante. Sixty-four years later, the concept was deemed strong enough that he was selected as a member of Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited." How sweet is The DC Universe that it can still find room for a cowboy...and unlike Marvel, they didn't have to inexplicably "make him gay" to get your attention. I love this character even sans his little Asian sidekick, Stuff.

"Seven Hells!" in cooperation with The Absorbascon has been offering characters up for "donation" to Marvel based on the character'(s) strengths and weaknesses or simply their inability to "fit" into The DCU.

Well, "Seven Hells!" would like to donate Vigilante(s) II, III & IV.

Vigilante II, Judge Adrian Chase never sang anyone a damned song and put a bullet in his own damned head upon realizing he'd never be as good as a singing cowboy...and that his name was Adrian.



Vigilante III was a former Gotham detective framed for murder, later becoming a...you guessed it...Vigilante. She was last seen as a member of DC's SECOND group of Forgotten Heroes. (Now, how f****d up is it that there's not one but two groups of Forgotten Heroes?)

Vigilante IV will be unveiled by DC Comics in October.

I plan to scratch my sack in October.



DC, abandon the grim, the gritty. Stick to singing cowboys.

SPOILERS AHEAD!


Wanna know what precipitated the events of Wonder Woman #219?

Taken from "Fark," by the way. (See "Links" section)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Character Donation #50


I'm sorry you just cannot make me like this guy. Look at him! He getting guano all over the Bat-Signal! I just never "got" him. Yes, he's was a member of "The Batman Family" at one point.

So was Azrael.

He's Man-Bat!

Yeah, he's tragic. Yeah, he's tortured. He's a scientist. Somehow, he doesn't read "clever" like most of Batman's Rogues Gallery.

He reads like a Marvel "Rogue." Why? He's sorta "redeemable." I don't like that in a "Rogue."

MAN-BAT?!?!

It sounds like the type of character I would have concocted at the age of six.

"Hey, Mommy! I just got done reading this Batman comic! I like Batman and Robin. I created a new friend for them. His name is Man-Bat."

"That's nice, baby. You're clever."

He sounds like the type of character Marvel would have created in an effort to be clever. Oddly enough, DC beat 'em to it. Not "clever."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Character Donation #48


Contrary to what the cover may say, it was actually the beginning of the end.

Gunfire, The Sensational Character Find of 1993!

I know. I know. I can hardly believe he exists within The DC Universe, either.

Whatever you hate the most, you shall become. With DC Comics routinely getting handed its' ass on a monthly basis in The 90's, they decided to try and beat Marvel at their own game. Hence....

Gunfire!

Introduced in Deathstroke, The Terminator Annual #2 (1993), after receiving the bite of an alien, Gunfire gained the abiliity to "charge" whatever he touches, turning it into an explosive weapon.

What a brave, brave GAMBIT, DC Comics. So very brave.



Gunfire or better yet, his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson was last in Hitman #1,000,000 touching his own ass, blowing it to smithereens.

Fitting.

Since Marvel already has something like this dork, we at "Seven Hells!" would like to bypass the obvious and banish...I mean, donate him to...

Image Comics.

C'mon, you know I'm right.

Thor's Comic Column


New review for "CHUD: Thor's Comic Column." going up tonight. (See "Links" section) What is it? Well, here's the first paragraph:

Rocketed to Earth as a teenager, Power Girl seemed tailor-made to believe she could be Superman’s cousin. She could fly at super-speeds, possesses invulnerability, eventually adopting a similarly evocative codename. The Justice League accepted her, The Justice Society gave her a life, a new name, Karen Starr. More importantly, Superman accepted her. She had all she’d ever wanted and then…The Batman. The World’s Greatest Detective found her story to be a lie. As much as she and everyone wanted to believe, she wasn’t Kryptonian and this would be the first of many heartbreaks for this young hero. She’d later come to believe she’d found her heritage in Atlantis only to find out that that too was a lie. She pretty much let Karen Starr die, choosing to become Power Girl full-time, bouncing about The DC Universe looking for someplace to belong. She joins Justice League: Europe, later joining a loose team of heroes named The Sovereign 7. Left with nowhere else to go, she returns to The JSA. Then, that’s where things get weird again…


JSA: Classified #1, is what it is. Besides, letting you know let's me post the most beautiful image in the world to the right.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Character Donation #46


Marvel, I present to you...The KGBeast!

No, seriously! Hear me out! You can use this "End Of Cold War" beauty to better effect than DC Comics ever could. "Seven Hells!" is here to help.

Created in Batman #417 (1989), Anatoli Knyazev was employed as a...wait for it...a KGB assassin. Going "rogue," he attempted over ten nights, ten assassinations. In a fateful rooftop showdown with Batman, this man chose to cut off his own hand rather than face capture! Why? He had to finish the mission.

You gotta admire his "stick-to-it-iveness." I honestly do but I've gotta call it like I see it. DC doesn't. Admittedly, this character's a little outdated but you know what so's Marvel's Black Widow, a Marvel former KGB operative. Marvel, I honestly respect how you've managed to use that to the character's advantage. Insert KGBeast in The Marvel Universe and "poof" The Widow has an instant arch-nemesis!

Can you imagine the epic rooftop knife-fights these two could have?!?

*shiver*

I can.

Again, Marvel, I present to you...

The KGBeast!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Batman's Rogues Gallery: Remixed!

This is all done tongue-in-cheek. If you don't get it...well...@%*#!

...............................................................

I can find parallels in everything. It's a gift...and my curse.

One of the games we play at work is The Beyond Comics Casting Game. Which actor can bring about the intensity of Devon Sanders. Maybe a young Mekhi Phifer.

Now if you ask me who I would cast using the best of hip-hop, past and present, to portray Batman's Rogues Gallery....

Well...

Tupac Shakur as Two-Face: Tupac, like Harvey Dent was a handsome man with an acute sense of how the law works. Tupac much like Two-Face possessed two sides, one side possessing a silver-tongue he used to uplift his community, the other side was used to self-destructive behavior. Much like Dent, we wish he could have saved himself from himself.

The Notorious B.I.G as The Penguin: Big, much like The Pengun, realized you didn't have to be the prettiest dude in order to get love from the streets. You simply have to be talented, supply the people with what they want. No matter how "Dead Wrong" it may be. If you're real, the streets will feel and elevate you.



L'il Kim as Catwoman: Much like Catwoman, Kimmy has a taste for the finer things. A woman wants what she wants.



Snoop Dogg as The Joker: Just look at him how could he not be The Joker. Don't let the bright suits and laconic nature fool you, Snoop's gangsta. Straight gangsta. Blink and the last thing you'll feel is your heart dropping out of your chest. The last you'll see is "Slim with the tilted grin." (An actual Snoop line.)



Jay-Z as The Riddler: Using complex clues and numerous aliases, this man lays down a "blueprint" for changing the game either on his own turf or through guest appearances (Green Arrow, anyone?) Jay, like the Riddler, built alliances, quietly consolidating power, holding the world in the palm of his hands. All done while wearing a tailored suit, without firing one shot. (See "Hush")

Jay just may be the smartest "Rogue" in the game.

Character Donation #44


Pack up the cats, yo! It's ORCA, THE WHALE-WOMAN!

Who the f**k let her in?!?! Go somewhere and deliver me a candygram!

Oddly enough, someone thought a frickin' WHALEWOMAN was what Batman's Rogues Gallery was missing. Can you imagine the conversation?

"Joker? CHECK!"
"Riddler? CHECK!"
"Poison Ivy? CHECK!"

"Wait a minute...where's our Whalewoman to fill out this classic ensemble?"

Judging by the look on Batman's face, he can hardly wait to bash Orca in the head with his mother's ruby necklace.

This Frankenstein's Monster did exactly what any good monster does: it destroyed its' creator.

Rumors abound that her creator, former Wolverine and G.I. Joe scribe, Larry Hama was relieved of his Batman writing duties due to overwhelmingly negative fan reaction. Oh, that wacky Internet!

Any character that forces a man to lose his mind and not only create but wear this Hasbro-esque monstrosity...



...needs to be immediately shipped off to Marvel.

I hear The Sub-Mariner's single again.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Lest We Forget... Jim Aparo


After hearing about the passing of comics great, Jim Aparo, I just wanted say a little something...

Not many artists can say that their job was to draw The DC Universe.

Jim Aparo could.

For over a decade, Mr. Aparo was charged with drawing DC Comics' best and brightest of heroes & villains in the pages of their premiere team-up book, "The Brave & The Bold." For many a young fan, his pen helped introduced them to The DCU on a monthly basis. He later went on to co-create one of the more influential and different of 80's series, Batman & The Outsiders, a title to this day, many of my comics shop customers cite as their "gateway" into comics. A title that, fittingly, lives on today featuring the son (Nightwing) of founding Outsider, Batman & Thunder, the daughter of Black Lightning.

Mr. Aparo and his talent will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Character Donation #38


In cooperation with The Absorbacon (see the "Links" section), "Seven Hells!" would like to nominate Firestorm, The Nuclear Man!

Created by longtime Marvel writer, Gerry (Catman Wrecker) Conway and former Marvel editor and artist Al Milgrom, this character was DC Comics' 38th Marvel character.

In a very Marvel-like fashion, teen dumbass Ronnie Raymond stumbled into his powers via stupidity and radioactivity. Ronnie eventualy went on to become a male underwear model.

That's what The DCU needs, another Ashton Kutcher with a nuclear reactor in his chest.

"BLEKK!!!"


Marvel, take him back...

but we're keeping the Black one. I kinda like him.

So, check out "The Absorbascon" tomorrow to see who draws "lucky" 39 in the "Character Donations."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Number One of "DC Comics' Influential Five!"


What else could it be but...

"Who's Who?"

While the four previously mentioned comics were kickin my head in, "Who's Who" was was the donkey kick that flattened me out and set me straight. DC clued us into a character's importance using something as simple as page count. Minor character's got half-a-page, "B" characters (Adam Strange) a full page, major characters like Superman, a full two pages. Even sweeter was DC brilliantly matching each character's entry with art from either its' creator, current illustrator or an artist best known for their work on the character. For example, who could forget George Perez's beautiful two-page Wonder Woman spread. No character seemd too insignificant for entry into "Who's Who." Heck, even "Capt. Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew's" Little Cheese got a half-page entry drawn by his creator Scott Shaw! How very cool was that? Who could forget the sheer randomness of the art entries of one of Marvel's then up-and-coming illustrators, Art Adams? Why the hell was he doing the entries for "Catman" and "Punch and Jewelee" of all things?!? I wanted to know more about these characters. "Who's Who" simply made me give a damn.

You have to love a universe where Amethyst matters just as much to one person as Superman does to hundreds.

"Who's Who" was the book that showed me how to adore this improbable universe. A universe where heroes like Plastic Man & Captain Marvel still mattered despite not having been "born of this world."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Number Two of "DC Comics' Influential Five!"


...and number two is...


CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS!

I remember reading Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 and thinking this is SO much better than "Secret Wars." Why? Because this one had permanence. C'mon, the book starts out with the death of a WORLD. The much-feared Crime Syndicate's. Not with a bunch of heroes and villains getting sucked into a metal donut, then being forced to fight each other like in "Secret Wars." No, a world died and we were forced to watch as it did so. That leaves a mark. Now, I'll be the first to admit the story doesn't hold up twenty years later but man, was it good for what it was. A chance to look at, quite possibly, artist George Perez finest work.

Gorgeous is an understatement when it come to the Perez-pencilled/ Jerry Ordway-inked "Crisis" pages. In any given panel, these two slather on as much attention to detail to say...a generic Cave Carson cave as they would to The Batcave. Whenever some snot-nosed "artboy" comes at me, waving his anatomically incorrect, over-rendered pages at me, this is the comic I break out to show 'em how it's done. It's just THAT gorgeous.



This book had consequences. Heroes went into the fray, ready to die so that others might live. Barry Allen died a hero's death saving the universe, thinking not of himself but of those he loved. Supergirl drew her last for her adopted homeworld. Wildcat found himself crippled saving a young boy's life. Who could forget the image of The Spectre growing big enough to, literally, hold back Earths 1 and 2 in a desperate attempt to stop their fateful collision. Wally West donned Barry Allen's Flash costume for the first time in its' final pages. Villains united for a greater cause. Who could forget the introduction of The Blue Beetle to The DC Universe. Watching him represent his world alongside such DC luminaries as Superman, Captain Marvel and Uncle Sam. Little did we know it wouldn't be this character's finest moment.

DC Comics changed its' world and changed mine in the process. I can't tell you how many hours I've wasted talking about how much folded-over paper and ink have come to mean to me but with each flip through this book, I realize it was time well spent.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Number Three of "DC Comics' Influential Five!"


I don't think I'll have ANY trouble defending this pick.

The All-Star Squadron.

Set during World War 2, reading this book was like getting a monthly lesson in comics history. A history I couldn't wait to learn. Sporting one of the most iconic covers in comics, All-Star Squadron #1 was a welcome mat to new DC fans everywhere and a "Thank You" note to those who stuck around. History oozed from every page of this book, introducing this then very young reader to the concept of "Earth 2," a world populated with the original Golden Age versions of Superman, Batman, Hawkman, etc.

Above all, this comic taught me legacy. Legacy is what makes Geoff Johns' JSA and Hawkman runs "sing" to many a fan. Without Roy Thomas' writing on All-Star Squadron, I seriously doubt we'd take so much delight in Johns' work today.



I swear, I learned more about WW II in the pages of All-Star Squadron than any kid, pre-History Channel, probably had a right to. I learned of The O.S.S. Hitler's mad quest for The Spear of Destiny. America, pre-Civil Rights Movement. Oh, yeah! I learned some comics history, as well, while reading All-Star Squadron. Did you know The Red Bee sucks? I learned THAT in All-Star Squadron. This book gave these once-perfect heroes a learning curve. It was so cool watching the original Hawkman and Hawkwoman flirt with each other, not knowing that someday they'd have a son Hector (Better known today as Dr. Fate) who'd fall in love with Fury, the then-daughter of The Golden Age Wonder Woman and husband, Steve Trevor. We were in on their future, watching these wonderful characters rise towards greatness and that makes for good comics reading.

Tune in tomorrow for "The Final Two" of "DC'S Comics' Influential Five!"

Number Four of "DC Comics' Influential Five!"


Yes, what you're looking at to the right IS an image of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!

I will make NO apologies for liking this book at the time it was introduced. I was like, eleven or sumthin'! Just...just...let me explain....

This book taught me things. Things that make books like "Astro City" just that much more palatable. A little something called "homage." Until this book came along, I'd never even heard the word much less knew what it meant but just looking at Captain Carrot, my brain instantly connected him to Superman. Fastback, the speedster turtle was The Flash! Yankee Poodle kinda looks like Wonder Woman! You get the picture. The fact that The Zoo Crew and Superman were both recognized bits of the same DC Universe made their comics just that much mystifying to me. I mean, the possibilities just became amazing! If they were sorta in the same universe as Changeling (now known as Beast Boy), couldn't they meet?

It took a few issues but they did. From there, my little mind was officially blown.

Besides, how could you not love a book where DC Comics dusts off former 40's-50's "funny animal" staple, Peter Porkchops. After twenty years of limbo, Peter was re-branded as the alter-ego of Pig Iron, The Porcine Powerhouse. At DC Comics, they truly leave no part of the pig to go to waste.


(Are those crickets I hear chirping out there?)

DC Comics' Influential Five!


The Masters of The Universe. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Thundercats. G.I. Joe. Puberty. Junior and Senior High School. Video games. Drug Wars. The Three Michaels: Jordan, Jackson and Tyson. Girls. Three younger brothers, all born within 7 years of each other. There was SO many distractions, so many things for a young boy to deal with in the 80's.

How'd I even come to comic books, much less, become such a huge DC Comics fan?

It's simple, really. Comics were and still are designed to make them your own. I tried dunking a basketball once, it didn't work out. I tried puberty, it worked too well. Comics, for me, allowed the world to go away for as long as it took to read them. I needed that back then. I still can't dunk a basketball but I've always been able to read the heck out of a comic book. I desperately wanted something that made sense, amidst men of steel and dark knights, DC Comics did that for me.

In the worlds of DC, I found out about ideals, overcoming obstacles, sacrifice. To a teenager wrestling with his idea of what the world should be, DC Comics came around at just the right time.

So, with that said, here's NUMBER FIVE of The Five Comics That Made Me A DC Comics Fan:

The Blue Devil.

That's right, The Blue Devil. Yes, the writing was never stellar. The art, at times, was just plain weird but dang it, it was made with me in mind, the teenager. Stuntman Dan Cassidy turned superhero introduces me to idea of "the reluctant hero," further introducing me to the concept of "the weirdness magnet." Something I still reference to this day.

The thing that made this comic even more intriguing was the art of then newcomer Paris Cullins. Cullins, I believe, was the first American artist to use a "Manga" influence in a mainstream superhero comic. It was revolutionary then and to this day, after looking at it with fresh eyes some twenty years later, it still looks fresher than most of the "Manga" inflected nonsense clogging the shelves today. Cullins' version of Zatanna in Blue Devil #4, in my opinion, is still the sexiest of Zatanna images and he managed to pull it off without her trademarks, the top hat and the fishnets.

Blue Devil was a fun comic aimed straight at my head. Every once in a while, I break The Devil out of the long boxes for fun and it almost never fails to deliver in the details.

*A-HEM!*


At San Diego Comicon yesterday, DC Comics announced Mark Waid as writer of a new "The Brave & The Bold" series.

The next two paragraphs are from "Seven Hells'!" July 4th post, "Too Bad DC Comics Doesn't Have Something Like This."

"With the relative success of Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited" proving that comics fans can love more than just seven superheroes, it made me ask, "Why doesn't DC have a comic book equivalent?"

I don't know, maybe... a comic where Batman could team up with...I don't know...The Question? A comic where a top-tier character like say Wonder Woman could team-up with...I dunno...The Creeper, maybe even Vixen. I'd pay to read that book. Especially if you got a top shelf writer like a, I dunno, a Mark Waid or somethin' and maybe a kick-ass artist like a, I dunno...J.G. Jones?"

.....................................................................................................

We at "Seven Hells!" "called" it nearly TWO WEEKS ago....

"Seven Hells!" can even see what color underwear you're wearing.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Cross-Company Draft

Hello, gang, Scipio of the Absorbascon here, following suit on Devon's idea that we suggest some "swaps" of characters between DC and Marvel.

I nominate: Mysterio!

What is this man doing wasting away in the Marvelverse? His mastery of illusion and effects goes unappreciated in a world where on every block villains named "CompoundNoun" shoot undefined "energy blasts" from clenched fists.

A failed special effects artist? That's how Firefly started, too, before he got retconned as a flying pyromaniac (yawn). The costume? Finally, someone to go shopping with Black Manta at the Giant Hat Store. DC's special effects guys, Dr. Tzin-Tzin and the Spook, they don't shine too bright; haven't seen them lately, have ya? Mysterio would be a great successor.

Like the Mad Hatter and the Mirror Master, he fools with your sense of reality, making him an opponent for, say, the Question. He'd be an amusing foil for Green Arrow, who desperately needs some rogues (I mean, c'mon, the Duke of Oil, for pity's sake?!), and is outclassed by the Riddler.

Oh, yes. Give us Mysterio; we know what to do with him.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

All-Star: Batman & Robin #1

*sigh*

You ever hear the expression, "They were alright until they opened up their mouths?"

I read All-Star: Batman and Robin #1 yesterday. That wasn't the worst part of the day. I had to open the store soon afterwards, knowing full well the biggest question of the day would be, "What'd you think of it?" I swear, I know I lie on a daily basis but NEVER to a customer.

Never.

I've worked very hard to earn their trust, they work very hard for their money. All-Star: Batman and Robin #1 should be a no-brainer. Batman. Robin. Frank Miller. Jim Lee.

Frank Miller, the man who wrote my two all-time favorite comics, Batman: Year One and Daredevil: Born Again.

Jim Lee, quite possibly, the best illustrator in comics.

As a retailer, I should just be happy and watch the dough roll in, right?

I can't. I'm just not wired that way.

All-Star: Batman & Robin #1 just isn't very good. I can't recommend it. I was under the impression that this book was supposed to be an "all-ages" title but after reading five embarassingly bad pages of dialogued with Vicki Vale in her drawers, I saw the bar lowering before my very eyes. Miller falls back into "Sin City" mode, adding "salt" into already wounded dialogue, it seems, simply because he can. I'd love to see All-Star: Batman & Robin or anything else Miller writes for that matter, actually be edited. Not censored, edited. Frank Miller used to be one comics' strongest writers. What this title seems to lack is a strong editor willing to help direct Miller's vision. Someone who would have been strong enough to have said to Miller, "No, you can't have Batman kill. EVER."

Jim Lee's art is, as always, beautiful. It's just not enough to save what should have been the event of 2005.

I wanted a comic I could bookend with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns & Batman: Year One, with All-Star: Batman & Robin #1 we see Miller return to The Batman Strikes Again! form. Read it with those expectations and you'll be alright.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Yesterday, I Became A Man.


Yesterday was "Seven Hells!" three-month anniversary. Three months to the day, I saw this blog come full-circle. Three months to the day of my blog's creation, it was added into the links section of what I believe is one the greatest comic blogs out there, (postmodernbarney.com). You have to understand how cool I think this is.

(postmodernbarney.com) was the FIRST comic blog I ever saw and when I went in search of others, it was the standard I held the others to. I still read it everyday over a year later. Now, in a small way, I am a part of it. I was happy yesterday.

Just wanted to guve you all a heads-up on what's coming up on the "Seven Hells!" horizon...

A look into the mind of a crazy Black man! (For once, it ain't me.)

A look at the FIVE influential comics that made me a DC Comics fan!

A dual Absorbacon/"Seven Hells!" public acceptance of Rann's unconditional surrender (tendered by Robby Reed of Dial "B" For Blog, we hope.) and so, so much more!

Bookmark this blog, man! I promise you, I'll help you waste time...constructively.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hey, What're You Doing With That Tongue?

*PHEWWW!*

My Internet still isn't cracked! What Al Gore createth, JQ tries to crack in half. Well, maybe, it'll crack over the weekend with the announcements coming out of San Diego Comicon.

A few weeks ago while speaking to Scip of "The Absorbascon" fame, the following dawned on me: The DC Universe is very much like a complicated language. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to those listening in while we click our tongues and flail our arms about, expressing why this week's batch of glossy paper and vibrant inks meant something to us. To those who don't understand it, we MUST look and sound absolutely nuts.

The way I feel watching people speak a foreign language. I feel a little left out when I watch my friends speak in a foreign tongue. I feel left behind while they speak in a shared memory. I imagine this is how many feel as they walk into my shop. I wince as I hear people make jokes about Aquaman, wishing they see him as I see him. I think that if they knew him as the outcast dealing with the loss of his only son, his kingdom, his wife, while trying to bring hope and some kind of normalcy to thousands of displaced Americans, they might see him differently. I could try to change their opinion but their sounds make no sense to me.

They can't see why we see the utter nobility in a wounded man reaching out to a young boy in need. It's just a part of our lexicon. Because of this, we've allowed it to become so ingrained within us, we, maybe, take it all for granted. I speak the language everyday, keeping it alive within my store while kids mill about with Robin action figures in hand, not knowing how powerful the idea of "Batman & Robin" can be. I exchange this language with the same people everyday and as enlightened as we are, we don't pass on the little nuances, the clicks and flails, on to the next generation.

I never expect to truly master this beautiful, ever-changing "language" of The DCU in my lifetime. I do know that in order for it to be heard, it needs to be understood. As a retailer, I need to work on that.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Random Thought #3

Ah! My spiritual "Baby Mama," Fiona Apple. *sigh*

How could anyone be so flawed and yet so perfect, all at once?

Besides, I just wanted to post SOMETHING today.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Joe Quesada Cracks The Internet In Half And All You Get Are Lousy Reviews

First up, I'd like to thank everyone who's even bothered with reading this blog. Your support and interest have been greatly appreciated.

What I read this week:

Aquaman #32: The beginnings of a new story featuring Aquaman and the marine biologist (Black Manta) who hates him. Writer John Arcudi wisely skips over the Rick Veitch-introduced "Black Manta has autism" angle like so much dog crap and returns one of comics' most sinister of villains to former glory. Plus, in this issue, Aquaman wears a baseball cap! 3 and a half out of five stars.

JSA #75: A "Day of Vengeance" tie-in. The JSA are in the Black Adam ruled nation of Kahndaq. Why? Simple, really. They have to stop the nearly omnipotent Spectre along with a possessed crazy-ass post-Identity Crisis Jean Loring Eclipso. Plus, in this issue, Eclipso sports a spear in her eye! 3 and a half out of five stars.

Superman #219: Brainiac's back and messing with Superman's head!The results will send shockwaves across The DC Universe. Plus, in this issue, Lois Lane wears underwear while Superman wears blood on his hands. 3 out of five stars.

Pick Of The Week: Villains United #3: The Secret Six in the clutches of The Society with The Crime Doctor administering their "medicine." With issue 3, writer Gail Simone has The Secret Six fulfill the promise we all saw in The Suicide Squad while further cementing herself as one of my favorite of writers. Plus, in this issue, The Crime Doctor raids Elton John's closet! 5 out of five stars!

Thank God, the internet didn't crack so that I could blog this...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Wait Is Over!


Previews
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Fanboys and girls, rejoice!

After nearly two years in the making, DC Comics has released a teaser image to NEWSARAMA.com for the seven issue mini-series, Infinite Crisis #1.

NEWSARAMA.com also reports on the future opening of a Jack Kirby Museum. Scipio Garling of "The Absorbascon" (See the "Links" section) was last seen headed somewhere with a stick, a rag and a can of gasoline.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Dark Stars


Vixen
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
I was asked a question the other day, "Why doesn't DC Comics have an all-Black superteam?" My immediate answer really surprised me. I said, "I hope THAT doesn't happen." I truly didn't mean for my reply to come across in a snarky manner, but as soon as I thought of an all-Black superhero team, I shuddered thinking of the awful randomness of the 70's superhero team, "The Champions of Los Angeles."

Think DC Comics' "Primal Force" but with even less purpose.

For the uninitiated, "The Champions of Los Angeles" were a Marvel team composed of Black Widow, Hercules, Ghost Rider, Iceman and The Angel. Why were they together seeing as there wasn't much of a common thread running between these characters? Well, I guess Marvel didn't quite know what to do with these charcaters, individually, so they just threw on a team.

I don't want this to happen DC Comics' few Black characters. They've come to mean something to me.

For years, DC Comics has one of current comics' smallest albeit more dignified Black superhero rosters: Black Lightning, Jakeem Thunder, Cyborg, Thunder, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Vixen, Mr. Terrific, Crimson Avenger II.

Mr. Terrific leads The JSA, a group nearly seventy years ago he couldn't have joined, much less lead.

Cyborg, nearly a quarter century after his creation, is now leader of The Teen Titans.

To many kids, nowadays, John Stewart is THEIR Green Lantern. To put them in one "room," I think, would diminish them to some degree. I'm not totally against the idea, just as long as it comes with purpose. If something like this were to happen, I'd like to see it just...happen. Something could simply happen to bring about an assemblage of some of comics' brightest (and darkest) stars. If it ever happens, so be it. I'd even support it if it's done right but I do keep this in mind as I run into other Black people on the streets everyday. It just happens. No one's ever called for us to team-up and fight crime or anything. Although, if the need were there, I'd like to think that we would.

With that thought, I warm to the idea of the all-Black superhero team just a little bit more.

Thor's Comic Column


Solo #5
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Wrote a review of Solo #5 for CHUD: Thor's Comic Column yesterday. Wanna read the opening paragraphs? Well, here you go:

To this day, I can’t quite recall the bulk of what I learned in elementary school. Like most kids my age, I assume I learned what they learned. Some math, some ABC’s, the difference between red and blue, how to hang my coat on a hook. I do recall being able to do my work faster than most. Not because I was some kind of “genius child.” No, I think I was more interested in getting the work over so I could daydream of adventures contained within my school’s playground. I wasn’t a wordy child. The greatest compliment I ever received as a kid was, “You can give him a box and he’ll be fine all day long.” Boxes were nice but in the school’s playground I saw all kinds of possibilities. In the jungle gym, I could see my friends, swinging across Gotham, Batman-like, watching from above for danger below, while I on the sliding board, by diving down head first, arms outstretched, I became a Superman. In those brief seconds of “flight and fancy,” we kept story alive within the confines of the playground.

DC Comic’s anthology, Solo is designed to do so, as well. The premise of Solo is an intriguing one to creator and reader, alike. Take a creator and let them loose upon DC’s vast “playground,” so to speak. The creator is charged with 48 pages to keep story alive within the confines of the playground. Writer/artist Darwyn (DC: The New Frontier) Cooke is the creator-of-note for Solo #5.

To read the rest of the review, go to the "Links" section and click on "Thor's Comic Column."

Monday, July 04, 2005

Too Bad DC Comics Doesn't Have Something Like This.


The Brave & The Bold
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Last week, I focused on "B" list characters and the fanboys who love them.

With the relative success of Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited" proving that comics fans can love more than just seven superheroes, it made me ask, "Why doesn't DC have a comic book equivalent?"

I don't know, maybe... a comic where Batman could team up with...I don't know...The Question? A comic where a top-tier character like say Wonder Woman could team-up with...I dunno...The Creeper, maybe even Vixen. I'd pay to read that book. Especially if you got a top shelf writer like a, I dunno, a Mark Waid or somethin' and maybe a kick-ass artist like a, I dunno...J.G. Jones.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

DC Comics used to have a comic book like that! I think it was called "The Brave and The Bold" or something like that.

Wouldn't be great if we had something like that? Wouldn't it be cool if it came out sometime in late '05 or early 2006?

Wouldn't that be great?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Sensational Character Find Of 1940: 65 Years Later.


Robin!
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Last Wednesday, I raised this question to my customers: "Behind DC Comics' "Big Three" of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, who's comics' fourth most recognizable character?" Many of the answers weren't surprising and many were kind of enlightening.

Most said Spider-Man and up until a few days ago, that would have been my answer, as well. Others chimed in with The Flash, Capt. America or Aquaman. Many mentioned The Fantastic Four but I sort of discount this with Fox Pictures rightly spending millions in order to keep these characters on people's lips throughout the summer.

With some consideration, my answer is without a doubt, The Sensatonal Character Find of 1940, Robin, The Boy Wonder.

This comes about as the most-asked question by civilians (non-comic readers) who come into my store after seeing "Batman Begins" is, "Where's Robin?"

This answer comes about after watching "Superfriends Vol. 2," realizing the teenaged Robin was a full "Superfriend" while the equally teenaged Zan and Jayna, The Wonder Twins, were left behind to monitor "The Trouble Alert."

It comes as I watch the monthly subscription numbers on the comics, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go! and Robin comics steadily rise over the past months.

It comes as more kids (like my four year old nephew) recognize Robin more from the cartoon, "Teen Titans" than from as I did, the 60's TV series.

It comes as I lwatch civilians and subscribers alike, eagerly await the July 13th release of "All-Star Batman & Robin." Not just because of "All-Star's" creators-of-note, Jim Lee and Frank Miller but because after 65 years were finally getting a true Batman & Robin comic.

Robin, The Boy Wonder has time and time again, lived up to the proclamation made some 65 years ago.

Superman. Wonder Woman. Batman. Robin.

Now, there's a fantastic four.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Deja Vu....


Deja Vu....
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
Once upon a time, someone asked, "Is there anything new under the sun...?"

Friday, July 1st, Devon answers this age-old question...

All Over Again.


Lois Lane #128
Originally uploaded by Devon Sanders.
"Nah, kid. There ain't. It's all been done before. By the way, is your mom single yet? "