Saturday, December 30, 2006
Watch This Space!
Coming in two short days!
The 2006 "Seven Hells!" Year End Issue.
Like Superman, it will burn you with a cigarette.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Madame Xanadu
Scip: So.... Devon. Your "companion." She's quite.... interesting.
Me (drunk) : Yup.
Scip: Is she... ? (pointing)
Me (drunk) : Madame Xanadu. Yes.
Scip: Oh, my. Why's she wearing a blindfold?
Me (drunker, breaking a champagne bottle over the edge of table) : I think she's blind. I didn't ask.
Scip: Is she wearing a purple lame' off-the-shoulder dress?
Me (Chasing Killer Moth) : Purple, yes. Off-the-shoulder, no. Girl just can't keep her dress up.
Scip: What's she doing now?
Devon: Ummm, a card trick or a fortune. I can't tell anymore.
Scip: So, you brought a blindfold-wearing, off-the-shoulder-purple-dress-wearing, fortune teller to my party?
Me (grabbing Killer Moth my the antenna) : GIVE IT! Yup.
Scip: Thank you.
Me: Merry Christmas.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Wonder Woman, Black Canary and Red Tornado
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Mary Marvel
...and, yes, I caved. I have a Comics Space page.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Jonah Hex
It all started out innocently enough. A "Player's Ball." A gathering of "gangsta rap's" best and brightest. A gathering of pimps, wanna-be pimps, hoes and wanna-be hoes.
No one's quite sure what happened in these doors behind me but one things for sure, the undertaker will be doing a brisk busy over the next few days.
What we do know is this: There was the usual talk of pulling out "the gat" and "shootin' the club up," but reports confirm it was all pretty much talk. At some point during the night, survivors reported a blinding flash of light and one lone man, stumbling from its wake. This man, reportedly, had a gun but did not immediately shoot it. Someone resembling Superboy was reportedly seen in the area inexplicably hitting things.
Reports vary but many said he simply went to the bar, ordered something with some "fire" to it and was, for some reason, given a drink with an umbrella in it. Words were exchanged, the next, many were dead.
Drink in hand and gun smoking, the shooter, reportedly laughed and said, "There's yer "gangsta."
His one outstanding facial features is his only having half of his face. The shooter is said to be armed and spectacularly dangerous. If you see him, do not approach him, contact the local authorities.
The club has never been quite as shot up as it was on this very night. Now, back to Jack Ryder in the "You Are Wrong" studio.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Blackhawk
Imagine this conversation between Blackhawk and his creators...
Creators (Talking amongst themselves) : ...and then we'll have him wear one of those little floppy eared things like Hop Harrigan...
Blackhawk: Umm... hell no.
Creators (In unison) : Excuse us?
Blackhawk: I'm not wearing that. I'm a grown man. It's beneath me. I see myself in leather. Plush ebony leather.
Blackhawk: Black leather jodphurs with an aviator jacket. With my logo on it. (Hands Will Eisner a piece of paper) Here's a sketch of my logo.
Clean it up a bit for me, why don't you? (Slaps him on the back.)
And riding boots! Yes! I must have black riding boots! Nothing impresses the ladies like jodphurs and riding boots!
And fellas... I simply must have a silk ascot to complete the ensemble, don'cha'know?
And sidekicks! Why, every good hero needs sidekicks.
I'll take six. With matching outfits, like mine.
Make that seven sidekicks. I want a lady version of me, only blonder with a black leather mini-skirt.
Why, fellas, this is going to be just grand! Just grand!
C'mon, boys! Snap to! (Smiles broadly, arms outstretched)
Can't leave a man here all day with his pecker dangling in the wind, now can we?!?
Blackhawk looks and smells like George Clooney. Blackhawk will take your woman and make you write him a letter of apology for denying her of him.
Blackhawk is available and appropriate for every kind of gala, function, war or get-together.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Now, All We Need Is The Champagne...
Monday, December 11, 2006
Ten Heroes To Liven Up Your Holiday Party: Sargon The Sorceror
Larry in "Accounts Payable" has been dying for this day. It's the one day he justify even being in the proximity of Sheila, the leggy blonde with the "pow-pows" in "Human Resources."
There he is again, smiling in her face as she laughs, nervously, eyes darting across the room, looking for someone... anyone to save her as Larry with a plate full of garlic-y finger foods in hand, re-enacting scenes from the movie "Happy Feet."
At this moment, there are no heroes.
To Larry, this moment containing finger foods and pixelated penguins is as close to dinner and a movie he'll ever get with this woman, Sheila and dammit... he's gonna savor it.
Sheila needs a hero. Enter Sargon.
At this moment, Sargon strides into the party, smelling of lavender, handing his red crushed velvet cape to the very first Black man he sees.
Sargon carefully, slowly takes measure of the room, points at Larry. Larry, with a look of terror flees, never to be seen again.
Sargon gathers his cape from the CEO, bowing gently at the waist, cocking his head, knowingly, towards the lady and in a puff of purple haze, exits.
They have all been changed. Everyone in the room resonates with the knowing.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Pay No Attention To The Rainbow-Flavored Unicorn In The Corner
That will be changing.
I kinda got busy with other things. Something kinda cool. When and if it gets approved, you'll be the first to know.
In other news, December not only saw the return of Lady Cop to DC Comics but it also saw, after a nearly 20 years from The DCU, the return of S.T.A.R. Labs' resident expert on science, pumps and mini-skirts, Dr. Jenet Klyburn. Look for her in this month's JSA Classified #19, treating the wounds of many of many of The DCU's cast-off 90's heroes in what amounts to the DCU version of "The Island of Misfit Toys."
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, I've been reading a new-ish (To me, anyways.) blog, Comics Fairplay. If you want to find comics angst, don't go there. This lady seems to genuinely enjoy the comics medium and on days when I think I don't, I stop by to remind myself that I still do.
And then, I have a question (via Scip) :
"If Jericho's body has been regenerated whole, then shouldn't he be able to speak?"
This one's mine:
"Is anyone else having problems updating on blo.gs?"
That's it for the day. Be here next week as I've got three words for you...
Sargon The Sorcerer.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Dear Chief Warner...
Could you all leave for a moment? I need to speak in private to... I can hardly believe I'm saying this... Ivy Town Chief of Police, Liza (Lady Cop) Warner.
God, where does one start?
I knew you were coming home with me. It was at that moment that I knew my life was changed.
When I opened up FIS #4's pages and saw you valiantly struggling with other people's VD, while fending off would-be rapists and dockworkers.
I knew how special you were. Hell, it even said so in the comic's title.
And yet, no one else knew.
There you were in All-New Atom #6, wearing pants.
I've never been prouder.
God, I just cant believe how far you've come. You're the new police chief of Ivy Town!
With your experience syphillis and law enforcement and from reading the previous five issues of ANA, I just know you're going to fit in just perfectly.
Chief Warner, I... I just want you to know how proud of how far you've come. You've always been destined for greater things. All it took was someone to recognize it. You're going to be OK. You're in good hands.*
All I'll ever ask of you is this: When you find find yourself looking out across the expansive reservoirs of Ivy Town's Sewage Treatment Plant, I hope you'll remember how special you are. Remembering always that you're part of The Creator's (Bob Kahnigher) vast and wonderful plan.
Labels: Lady Cop
Saturday, December 02, 2006
and SHAME was a whole lot of fun. Now, let's cover... GLORY!
More specifically, GLORY of a comic book nature.
Did you stand in the rain, sleet and hail for a sketch for a specific artist?
You find that comic that would complete your Night Force collection?
What's your most treasured comic-related memory?
What's the pride and joy in your personal collection?
Once again, I'll start...
Thursday, November 30, 2006
We all have them. Badges. Things we wear on our sleeves to signify our pride, our accomplishments. Today, I would like to focus on the badges we hide. The ones that come wrapped in gold lame' dresses we wore to prom or the purple suits we proudly wore to that big job interview.
I speak of.... SHAME.
More specifically, COMIC BOOK SHAME. What I want to know is what is your most embarrasing comic book purchase.. EVAR?!?
How many copies of Ninjak#1 are gathering mold in your long box?
What was the most embarrasing comic book related thing that ever happened to you?
Did you ever thought the girl working behind the counter at the comic store was there for you to date? Did you find out otherwise?
I'll start... I can't bring myself to open any one of my five poly-bagged copies of Superman #75, "The Death of Superman".
Friday, November 17, 2006
Dear Mike Pellegrino...
...here is a picture of Kristen Bell channeling Veronica Lake or Black Canary, whichever one come first to your mind.
Signed, your pals at the comic shop.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Legacy Virus or Conway Is The New Black
- Catman is unceremoniously taken out of the picture by showing up and being utterly ineffective.
- The Secret Society of Super-Villains forms.
- Mind-wipes soon follow.
- The Justice League under attack by Starro.
- Black Lightning offered Justice League membership.
- Vixen and Firestorm emerge as DCU players.
Writer Gerry Conway came to DC after writing titles such as The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk for Marvel Comics. Conway immediately hit the ground running, writing many of DC's marquee comics, among them, Detective Comics, Superman and The Justice League of America. While writing Justice League, Conway flirted with the idea of Black Lightning joining The JLofA but had Lightning turn them down, as he preferred to work alone. Conway also went on to create characters for DC such as the previously mentioned Vixen and Firestorm, while also launching, in his newly minted position as writer/editor, a new title, The Secret Society of Super-Villains. In SSoSV, Catman never actually joined, he just fell off his yacht. Somewhere, a young Brad Meltzer is reading.
Fast forward twenty-plus years and New York Times bestselling author is writing Green Arrow and following up on his influences. Catman immediately gets his ass kicked by Green Arrow basically falling off the boat all over again per SSoSV. Fast forward to Identity Crisis and after a twenty-plus year absence, The Society is re-formed and in its wake Conway creation Ronny Raymond (Firestorm) is killed as Conway's other DC creation, Vixen, looks on, helplessly. Later, Meltzer plays with a thread laid down in the pages of Conway's Justice League of America run. This thread, under Meltzer, involving the mind-wiping of heroes and villains would extend another two years within the pages of Green Arrow, Teen Titans and Catwoman, amongst others.
Recently, in the pages of Justice League of America #3 (formerly JLA), Black Lightning and Vixen have both joined The League just in time to fend off a Starro invasion, one probably similar in scope to the Conway-penned JLofA #170.
So, is Brad simply riffing on the chords laid down by Conway or is he simply doing the exact same thing we all would like to do if we got the chance, taking small notes from different places in order to build a symphony?
Any way you look at it, good or bad, Gerry Conway, through Meltzer, has became an uncredited architect for DC's "New Earth." One in which, for the most part, we've all have actively enjoyed and participated in.
What do you think?
Friday, November 10, 2006
Is It Just Me?
For Infinite Crisis' seven issues, we got to look over Golden Age Superman's shoulder and the view was wonderful. It absolutely looked like possibility.
Myself and my friends, we're all of us suffering from "Post-Traumatic Infinite Crisis Disappointment Disorder." After spending two years on the Identity-DC Countdown-Infinite Crisis-52 Rollercoaster, we're all coming down from the rush and asking ourselves....
"Was that it?"
- "Alexander Luthor nearly killed comics' original sidekick Dick Grayson (Nightwing) just so he could become a male model?"
- "Superman, Wonder Woman & Batman are still sitting at that table?!?"
- "Why would you remove the fun from the DCU by turning Bart Allen into another circa mid-80's New Teen Titans brooding young adult?"
- "When are we getting a new issue of Wonder Woman or Green Lantern?"
- "Holy crud, The Outsiders could get worse."
This was not the world I envisioned. Do not get me wrong there have been many gems unearthed from the mines. Quite a few books have totally taken advantage of the "New Earth" landscape and fashioned something beautiful in its wake...
- Books such as Green Arrow, Secret Six, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters & Checkmate has totally taken advantage of the DCU's new greyscale.
- Superman is Superman all over again and in a good way.
- Batman has become a superhero again and less a force of nature.
- Despite a rocky start, Supergirl has become a comic about a displaced alien girl and in a good way.
- Shadowpact is led by Detective Chimp. No more need be said.
All great books but something's lacking, a sense of urgency that was there before. For a while now, my comics brethren have been asking the hard questions and the answers seem to neither be forthcoming or have left a little something to be desired.
"Nightwing should be dead. We're working on it."
"Trust us, there's a good reason we replaced Wally with Bart!"
"Allen Heinberg's working on Grey's Anatomy and will deliver the scripts as fast as he can."
Look, I appreciate Mr. Heinberg's work as much as anyone and it is worth the wait but dammit, I am tired of writers from other media professing a love for the comics medium and their utter disregard of one of its oldest tenets: Comics are a monthly medium.*
Somewhere along the line, momentum was gained and lost, nearly simultaneously, some good will along with it.
How to fix it? I have no idea but I do know that I'm ready for some kind of payoff so that we all can simply just move on to the next thing.
...and that, my friends, is my rant for the day.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Funniest comic book-related thing I've heard all week: "God! The next issue of _________ is gonna be excruciating. It's painful to watch a guy write a character who's smarter than him."
Any guesses who said writer may be.
Lady Cop Fact No. 3: How did Bart Allen, the current Flash, come back from the future a man? The specifics are murky but he somehow saw Lady Cop naked.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Nearly four years ago, a friend of mine by the name of Sean Fahey was writing a comics review column called "Thor's Comic Column" for the movie review site, CHUD. Sean, by himself, wrote every review...
...until, he made the mistake of asking me to write with him. The results of that unholy alliance led to this very blog.
Sean is very sorry for any hurt he's caused.
Four years later, "Thor's Comic Column" has grown into a mighty crew of nearly a dozen reviewers, myself still included.
Recently the decision was made to move "Thor's Comic Column" and try something different. The results?
With a dash of humor & a strong sense of comics history, I honestly believe the Rack Raid reviewers to be, hands down, the best anywhere. Blog. Comics news website. The best.
Friday, November 03, 2006
What's Wrong With This Picture?
Lady Cop Fact No. 2: Lady Cop is, in fact, a third cousin to Yakko, Wakko & Dot.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The Life Aquatic
Over at BIGMONKEYCOMICS.com, we scooped the big boys and broke the story that DC has decided to beat swords into ploghshares. As of issue 50, Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis will become Aquaman. How novel. It will be written by science fiction/comic scribe Tad Williams.
Feel free to read the interview as it is really good, offering major insight into many things Aquaman.
...and if you've been reading "Seven Hells!" lately you might have noticed that a certain somebody stopped by and dropped a bombshell on her way out the door.
Something "Lady Cop" may be happening in The All-New Atom #6.
Will she joining the cast? Will she be just be mentioned? I have no idea but all I can say is this:
Any Lady Cop is good Lady Cop.
So to celebrate, as of today, I'm starting the "Countdown To The All-New Atom #6." Everyday I will leave you with fabulous facts you might not have known about Liza Warner, Lady Cop.
Lady Cop Fact No. 1: Liza Warner's billy club was, at one point, The Spear of Destiny.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Dear DC Comics...
What I received in its stead was the cover below.
What I would like to see is the return of the promised breasts to the cover of Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #4.
The above cover has everything to do with the story contained within but lacks the promise of July's solicitation of a pouty, latex-clad, big breasted woman and twenty-something pages of story. The replacement of the original cover with the one of the old man in a top hat playing grab-ass with a plane is unacceptable to me.
I will be returning said cover to my local retailer in the hopes of receiving a full refund or at the very least, the borrowing of said local retailer's copy of Maxim Magazine. I will not be a victim of your last minute "Superboy-punches-a-wall" bait and switch tactics, DC.
Monday, October 30, 2006
From The Devon Archives Vol. 1
This is, perhaps, your and Lady Cop's finest moment. I ask Mike Wieringo sketches Lady Cop and we all benefit. Applying the Lady Cop jpg to your desktop is proven to protect your computer against all kinds of viruses and you against assorted V.D's.
*Please, don't believe that.
Labels: Lady Cop
Friday, October 27, 2006
Good-bye, Super Chief. It was nice having you around. For that month. Yes, you wore a smelly ol' decapitated buffalo on your shoulders but hey, you pulled it off. And that's what made you so fabulously DC.
Now, I could go all Black Goliath-y and start complaining about how DC brought back a Native American character just to kill him but I won't. Somehow, with the likes of Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Greg Rucka and Geoff Johns on board, the benefit of the doubt is a bit easier to give. Why? I truly believe it to somehow be part of some bigger plan. With those four, it just has to be.
IT JUST HAS TO BE!!!!!!
So, to Super Chief, I bid thee a fond farewell... until like... next month.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The Postman Did It.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Yup, I do. Two posts in the month of October constitutes sucking. At least in my world, anyways.
New content will, I promise, commence soon.
That being said, I propose a game, an old game. I recently finished re-reading Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and it got me thinking:
"If, let's say, an extinction level event happens within the DC Universe and it wasn't necessarily a "job" for The Justice League, what characters would I use?"
I'd like for you to wonder the same.
Difficulty: The characters must contain some iconic value within The DCU. No Superman. No Batman. No "world-gobblers" like The Spectre. No pre-existing teams. No dead characters. The team can only be five to six characters deep.
...and, yes, you can pull from The Vertigo Universe.
Other than that, have at it.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A: Wildcat's actually looking the part of a heavyweight boxing champion?
B: Jay (Flash) Garrick's actually having something resembling a runner's build?
C: Alan (Green Lantern) Scott's hair being colored grey?
D: All of the above.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Prez Rickard, Teen President is out meeting the people at a supermarket and promising to keep the price of a hot dog low.
It was the 70's, y'know. You simply had to keep the price of a hot dog low.
Can you handle Vandyre University student a hip-huggers wearing Linda Lee sneaking out of the TV room...
Apparently, Supergirl's X-Ray Vision can see through a TV screen and not just see tubes and rat droppings but can also somehow, make out a gun hidden up a guy's sleeve who happens to be miles away. The redhead can hardly believe it her damned self, either. After Supergirl saves Prez from an assassin's bullet, you know what time it is...
*Trademark DC Comics
You know after reading this and First Issue Special #4 featuring Lady Cop, I am convinced that in the 70's the appearance of a small Black child was shorthand for "Dyno-mite! That White guy's alright."
That and I'm also 100% certain that Vince Colletta inked the 70's. Did Vince ever turn down an inking assignment?
Wait, you know Supergirl can't go out like that. Like a common killer. Where's the hook?
Y'know, if I knew that my freedom were coming to an end and knowing the last thing I was going to see for a while were a jail cell's bars, I think I'd the time out to look back, reflect on the past and cop one last peek at Supergirl's boobs on the way out, too.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
No, it was something much more shocking than "Purple Death Ray" goodness. This customer looked up and saw my choice for "Pick Of The Week."
Was it Justice League of America #2? No. As much as I love Brad, we're three issues in and what does he have Superman, Wonder Woman & Batman doing? Still sitting at a table.
Was it Secret Six #4? No, but it was close. Did you read that ending? I see butt naked conflict in this comic's future.
No, it was a book that I, at one time, fully intended to drop, cold turkey. My "Pick Of The Week"... no, "Pick Of The Month" was...
No greater sea change in quality can be found in one single issue this month.
So what made me love all over this issue? Could it be that it has something for savvy Supergirl fans, old & new? Something "old" like a little orange kitty...?
Could it have been Supergirl's attempt at finding a normal teenager's life in, of all things, HIGH SCHOOL?!?
Was it that Supergirl can go from doing something as "manly" as watching "Cool Hand Luke" to putting on make-up at a "girly" sleepover?
Or maybe it was the scene where Wonder Girl fights a French gorilla while Supergirl watches on?
...and is it me but is artist Ian Churchill portraying Supergirl as less anorexic and more, dare I say, athletic. My god, I do think Supergirl went and found that basket of sandwiches and the 15 lbs. dumbell I left on her doorstep!!!
No. It was the strength of writer Joe Kelly's writing. Kelly writes Supergirl exactly as she should be an alien, an outsider... a teenager. As conflicted as she is confident, all the things a teen can be. Supergirl #10 has an ending that, at once, shocks and doesn't, leaving me with a tremendous sense of opportunity lost. In short, Joe Kelly, with issue 10, has written a DC comic that I could *gasp* recommend to a teenaged girl.*
*Not that I'm a teenaged girl or anything.
DC, you just might have found your very own "Runaways."
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Thoughts On Civil War #4
My first thought was that old awful joke, "What do you call a Black doctor?"
The answer's not that simple and I don't think, the case.
Second thought, I tried to believe that it what was best for this particular story. Then, I realized I was trying to justify gross ignorance.
Why, Marvel, would you bring back a character who'd been in limbo for twenty-plus years just to kill him again...
...by a writer who marvels at the fact that there are Black people with Down's Syndrome?*
(Do they not have Wikipedia or WebMD in Scotland?)
I've almost been rendered speechless.
I can count on two hands the Black characters of note Marvel has on their roster and they went and ignorantly killed one of them.
Just... ignorantly killed one of them.
I guess the next Bendis won't get his chance to turn Black Goliath into his Luke Cage.
I can believe Marvel characters tried to clone a god. What I can't believe is that no one at Marvel even blinked at another Black man's (character's) death.
*I do not believe this writer to have some over-arcing racist agenda, by the way. Racism encompasses hate. Ignorance is at once ingrained and without forethought. With his comments, he lay at the feet of the latter.
Friday, September 22, 2006
"Seven Hells!" New Earth Theatre Featuring: Krypto!
Superman Robot: Krypto. It's time for your feeding. (Places a dead yak in front of him)
Krypto (Head, tilted in that way that dogs do) : You're really not fooling anyone, you know.
(Why should a Superdog be color-blind?)
Krypto (Looking totally apathetic) : Are you not sensing my displeasure, piglet?
Supergirl: C'mon, Krypto! Don't you want to play? Streaky loves this game!
Krypto: (sniffs) Rao, damn you. (Walks away.)
Krypto: Maybe I could have been nicer to her. Then again, I am a dog. There really isn't a lot of middle ground for me to work with here...
Krypto: (Startled) Wait a minute?!? What's a Streaky?!? Do I know a "Streaky the Supercat?!?" How do I know a...a... cat?!?