Friday, March 31, 2006

What Would (Blank) Do?

I don't know if you know this or not but I'm a Washington D.C. native. There are many drawbacks to living in D.C., chief among them is that forty-five minutes away is Baltimore, Md. Baltimore is like this little sovereign state in hell with team sports.

GO 'SKINS!

One of the other drawbacks to living in DC is that we're subjected to other cities' local advertising. Just awful, awful stuff. We have this guy dressed like a judge, marking down things. His name? Mark Down.

They're wacky across that river.

So, imagine my surprise when I actually saw a clever commercial advertising Colonial Williamsburg. It starts with a Revolutionary War soldier sitting in a food court with a kid on either side, eating a corn dog. Suddenly, a bunch of young toughs surround him, telling him to get up. The soldier stands up, towering over the kids, leans into the kid, telling him something to the effect of, "I would think twice before laying claim to property that doesn't belong to you."

The kid backs down and leaves. On the next shot, the soldier is replaced with a smallish 12 year old boy chomping on a corn dog, his friends looking on in disbelief. Finally, one kid breaks the silence with a well-placed "Dude, that was awesome."

Who knew Virginia had it in 'em?


My question to you "Seven Hellions!" is this: which DC character would you become and what signature line of dialogue would you utter if faced with a similar situation?

I would be the guy on the left. The other guy is Baltimore.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT!

For this week's installment of Kyle Rayner:ADULT!, please pick up your hymnals and turn to "The cRazY Book of Peyer."

Hourman #1, to be exact...

You know what the greatest part of this page is? Is it the look on Kyle's face as he reacts to Hourman's accusations?

This is the look of a guy caught putting a firecracker in a cat's butt.

Is it the Kyle's child-like discourse of "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA! I'm not listening to you!"


No, my friends, it is the looks on the faces of Kyle's fellow Justice Leaguers, anticipating Kyle's ass-kicking at the hands of a trained killer, The Huntress.

Zauriel (thinking) : I have been absolutely praying for this day to come.

Flash (thinking) : Hey, Huntress, "Got milk?" *huh-huh*

There's very little that you can count on in the future. Stock may rise, it may fall. Love may fade. My friends, may we all take comfort in knowing that even in the future, Kyle will still be a bit of an idiot.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Happy Anniversary!


He won't make a big deal out of it so someone should. Today is The Absorbascon's first anniversary. Well, the first anniversary of The Absorbacon as you know it, for you see, I was a charter member when Scip started it as an informal e-mail collective of DC area DC Comics fans nearly four years ago. There were maybe five of us when it initially started and in our humble beginnings, we counted this guy as one of our members.

He wasn't writing comics back then but we loved him, anyway.

Over the years, The Absorbascon's membership grew to a nearly a whopping dozen. Members came and went, but the one constant you could count on was Scip's e-mails being... well... entertaining. We knew we couldn't keep the kid on the farm much longer. So, after some thought, Scip formally shut The Absorbascon down... as we knew it.

Now, one year and nearly 200, 000 Absorbascommenters later, I'd say we're all the better for it.

I can, in all honesty, say that I consider The Asbsorbascon to be some of comics' best writing... period.

The Absorbascon's existence everyday validates our love for this medium, honoring it while sometimes taking the piss out of it. In short, Scip treats our comics exactly as they should be be treated... like old friends. Because of that, we love inviting him into our own "house" everyday.

Scip had to go and find himself a bigger house in which to throw the party. To use a Scip-ism, "That is a very high quality problem," and one Scip is very deserving to have.

Long Live The Absorbascon!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

As If Superman Needed Your Permission...






...cuz, baby, wherever Superman goes, it becomes "The Wild Area"...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Kyle Rayner: Adult!: The "Lost" Girlfriend



Wait for it. WAIT FOR IT!!!!!!

Welcome to any day in the life of Kyle Rayner: Adult.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Intellectual Property

Should I be ashamed that, for a very long time, I've known that DC & Marvel actually own the trademark on the term "superhero?" Should I be ashamed that I consider this such a non-story?

Should I be ashamed that I know that publishers actually can use the term "superhero" within their comic books, it just has to be used in a "proper" context. To the civilians out there, don't name your comic something like "The Superhero" and you should be alright.

Should I be ashamed that I can look at a headline and instantly start feeling like this guy?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

Last week, I was lurking in my cave and came across many finds. I ran across two comics written by one of my customers, a long-thought-lost She-Hulk graphic novel and something we'd all lost nearly twenty years ago...

Rob Liefeld's potential.

I did not, in fact, come to bury the man but to praise him. Imagine a 16-year old kid's surprise as he went to his local drugstore and seeing Hawk & Dove #1 on the rack. I was practically floored! How could this be? How could there be a Hawk & Dove comic! I'd seen Dove die in the pages of "Crisis On Infinite Earths" just two years earlier! I paid my dollar, went home and waited to have my mind blown...

I wasn't disappointed.

More important to what I'm now writing, I wanted more from this artist. He wasn't drawing "classically." His anatomy was a bit off but man, you could see that this guy had "it." He could do it all.
His panel-to-panel work conveyed a real sense of pacing.

Heck, he could even draw "quiet" scenes pretty well.

Liefeld looked to be the future of comics but somewhere along the line...

...the future developed strangely. Liefeld began relying on distortion and glamours in order to distract from his lack of artistic development.

The future never quite lived up to the promise a sixteen boy invested into it. Over the years, he simply learned to accept whatever was handed his way. In 1988, the future looked very bright, indeed.

In 2005, we learned the future ain't what it once was.

I'm OK with that. I still have those five issues of Hawk & Dove to look back on, though.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kyle Rayner: Adult!

It's Wednesday, kiddies, so you know what time it is...

It's time for...
KYLE RAYNER: ADULT!

Some day's you you run across something so sublime in its' intensity and beauty that it speaks towards its' existence...


This is that panel.

Way to show everyone your "Oh." face, Kyle.


Steel yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for this is a portent of what is to come on the morrow.

Be afraid.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Typical Conversation Between Scip And I


Devon: Hey, Scip! We got a 13" Hal Jordan in.

Scip: Heh.

(pause)

Scip: Does it come with a yellow ceiling tile?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Three Is A Magic Number...


I've added three new blogs to the sidebar. Welcome them! They are:

Pretty, Fizzy Paradise
: Shows more love to DC Comics sidekicks & Green Lanterns than Carol Ferris, Cheshire & Donna Troy smashed on tequila at a Great Frog concert.

Blockade Boy
: Remember Mr. Blackwell? Well, Blockade Boy is actually funny... on purpose.

...and finally, Those Wednesdays from teacher turned professional knifefighter, Ben Hatton.

Give them an internet hug, please...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Old Justice

It happened. I don't know exactly when it happened but it did.

I got older than most of the characters I read about.

Years ago, I became older than Spider-Man and I was OK with that as Spidey's inability to make the rent for the month simply reminded me that I couldn't either, so I started saving money by not reading Spidey. (That was over four years ago and my money's good but dammit... Marvel if you stop with the "legacy of spiders" crap, The "Gwen Stacy/Norman Osbourne mutant babies" and "The Other" crap and learn to tell fun stories again, I might come back. One can have their senses shattered by story only so many times!)

I became older than Kyle Rayner and you know what? I really started seeing him for what he is. "That Neighbor Boy." Y'know, that one kid in the neighborhood who you tried to hate but just couldn't invest yourself 100% into doing so. One minute he'd choose to take a whiz in his front yard and the next day, would just as inexplicably be helping an old lady carry home her groceries. He was a bit "off" but dammit, he had a good heart so you knew was gonna be alright in the long run.

Getting older hurt the most when I realized I'd become older than Batman. In the Batman: Death and The Maidens TPB, writer Greg Rucka states The Waynes were killed when Bruce was eight. He further goes on to say that Bruce has been living with the pain twenty-five years. As of last month, Bruce Wayne is officially younger than I am.

I could live with it if I were still able to do a backflip.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Greatest JLA/JSA Crossover Never Told

In the year 2000, we were all a bit less than satisfied with what we got. I didn't get to come to work via jetpack. I live with it to this day. Overall, much was expected and very little actually lived up to the promise of the future.

Except for the criminally under-rated 2000 release of DC 2000. I will put money on the line and say that DC 2000 is THE MOST UNDER-RATED COMIC OF ALL TIME.

Why? In a year where the future was king, leave it to writer "Crazy" Tom Peyer to show us that yes, in order to know where you're headed, you've gotta go back.

A quick note, please, before we begin... the term "crazy" is not a term we toss about loosely. "Crazy" is a badge of honor only bestowed upon men of vision. Men who see comics and see possibilities ordinary men never could. "Crazy" Bob Haney is the patron saint of "Seven Hells!" "Crazy" Robert Kahnigher The Absorbascon's. Today, I proudly add "Crazy" to the Tom Peyer handle.

Scip Garling cites this as "the greatest comics panel of all-time."

Colored people rioting in the streets! Atomic bombs being dropped on Japan! "Queer" plastics! Sex! Bullets that can pierce through even the helmet of Jay Garrick, The Golden Age Flash! This is the future The Golden Age JSA cannot allow to come to pass, a future set in motion by villain T.O. Morrow.


I could go on and on about how great this comic is on premise alone but what I'd like to focus on is Peyer's writing. It's simply f*cking brilliant. After reading, DC 2000, you will never be able to see The JSA in the same light ever again. Jay Garrick is, of course, played as the voice of reason siding with The JLA who are forced by the actions of T.O. Morrow to come to the past in order for Earth to have a future.

DC 2000 is, alone, worth its' weight in gold for Peyer's portrayal of The Spectre...

How could you not love a comic where The Spectre supplicates himself before a laptop?

The Spectre is portrayed as every bit "The Spirit of Judgement" and Peyer is the only writer who I've ever seen give the reader a sense of what working with him must be like...

Doctor Fate: Heathen!!!

Could you imagine having to work with a guy like that?!? Well... actually, yeah.

DC 2000 is the greatest JLA/JSA crossover of all-time and I'd love to tell you how it all ends but it isn't in trade paperback. If you love reading good comics, do yourself a favor and find this one. We should all hunt down "Crazy" Tom Peyer and thank him for it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kyle Rayner: Adult!





Gun plus Fish plus Barrel equals...

KYLE RAYNER: ADULT!

Let's look in on another day in the life our boy Kyle...

...and he appears to be questioning authority, again...

...and then it all comes out.

"Well, let me tell you something, DAD..."

Kyle Rayner: Adult! has "daddy" issues?!? Who'd've thunk it. Between his "dead" mother and an absentee father, it's a miracle this guy hasn't sucked his thumb down to the bone.


We love you, Kyle Rayner: Adult!

(Please don't kill us.)


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Era of B.S.


Again, we are living in a Golden Age, ladies and gentlemen.

We live in this beautiful Golden Age where everything matters. Jonah Hex matters. The Blue Beetle matters. For the first time in a very long time, Superman matters.

In the "B.S. Era" (Before Scip), when hiring someone, in order to weed out the riff-raff, I used to joke. "Anyone knows who all Seven Soldiers of Victory are, has a job for life."

I am proud and perplexed to say that because of Justice League Unlimited cartoon, my 5-year old nephew could work in a comic book store. A twelve year old girl can read Grant Morrison's "7 Soldiers" and work here for life. Because of The DC Encyclopedia, I could be fired from my own job. Last year, I learned that there was an all-new Seven Soldiers of Victory comprised of Batgirl, Mento, Metamorpho, Adam Strange, Blackhawk, The Atomic Knight and Deadman!

My question to you, readers of "Seven Hells!" is this...

"When and more importantly, why did this happen?" Please help keep me from firing myself.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Good Walk...

Before working at Big Monkey Comics, I used to manage bookstores and while working at one, I came across a book on golfing titled "A Good Walk Spoiled." Honestly, I could care less about golf but I can appreciate a good book title. Soon after, I allowed myself to be drug out onto a golf course and after taking a nice, long stroll along lush greens while having to carry what felt like one-hundered pounds of metal and leather, I truly came to appreciate the book's title.

Fast forward 10 years later, I'm reading the final issue of Wonder Woman, issue 226, to be exact. Greg Rucka's words and artist Cliff Richards' horribly under-appreciated art are building up towards a beautiful ending to Rucka's final say-so's on Superman and Wonder Woman. I am floating on air...

...until Wonder Woman spoke to the rat.


Who knew there were" good" rats?

Now a "good walk" wasn't necessarily spoiled but you know, it was made kinda weird.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another Reason To Love The DC Universe

Humor me...


Probable spoilers ahead...




But this is my absolute favorite panel of Infinite Crisis #5.

Why?

Not to disregard the test pilot (Hal Jordan), the florist (Black Canary), the janitor (Booster Gold), a mercenary (Metamorpho), high school student (Blue Beetle) or the two billionaire playboys (Batman & Green Arrow) but I love the fact that a teacher (Black Lightning), an architect (John Stewart) and a scientist (Mr. Terrific) are there, as well...

and no one blinked.

You see, in The DCU, Black men can simply be. Whereas, in The Marvel Universe, you're either one of two things: A king (Black Panther) or a reformed criminal (Cage). There's honestly very little in-between.

I read DC Comics because I can't remember who said it and I'm paraphrasing here, "John Henry Irons (Steel) is the only one out there who besides Superman, deserves to wear The "S" Shield."

Why? Because he goes out there and earns it everyday with nothing more than the mind that was gifted unto him and the creations he builds with his own two hands.

That's why I am so looking forward to the upcoming mini-series, 52. John Henry Irons just may be poised to become the most powerful character to appear in its' pages...and he might not have to swing a hammer in order to do so.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kyle Rayner: Adult!

It's Wednesday, kids!!! You know what time it is!!!!

It's time for Kyle Rayner: Adult!

Imagine you're Kyle Rayner: It's your day off and what does your girlfriend Donna Troy do to you? She sticks you with her only son! Says something about having to go down to a courthouse so that she can get more visitation with her son, y'know, her wanting to be a good mother and all.

The Britney & Kevin of Comics. PopoZao!

So, now you're in charge of the apple of your girlfriend's eye and all you have to do is keep him occupied, so you take him to the zoo, but then your patented Kyle Rayner: Adult! "super-sense of self" kicks in and...

...you lose a child...

... somehow ending up in Vegas, protecting him from a deathtrap designed by Siegfried & Roy.

In the game of life, when Kyle Rayner: Adult! meets Siegfried meets Roy meets Darwin, sadly the children must suffer.