Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Runaways" Success

Yesterday, a customer in my comic shop looked up in complete shock. Was the ceiling caving in? Had we finally installed from the ceiling that Purple Death Ray I'd been wanting?

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...


Supergirl #10.

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...?

...and something "new" like Kitty's reaction to a certain teenaged girl.

So much for a Kara/Streaky reunion issue.

Could it have been Supergirl's attempt at finding a normal teenager's life in, of all things, HIGH SCHOOL?!?

"Claire Conners." LOOOVE it.

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

A friend of mine asked me what I thought about Black Goliath's (A Black doctor) death at the hands of Thor (A blonde, blue-eyed Norse god).

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.

Krypto (Taking a walk around The Fortress of Solitude) : Rao, it's quiet around here without that crazy "Skinny-Yellow-Pink-Thing" around.

(Why should a Superdog be color-blind?)

[Flashback]

Supergirl: (Crouched in front of Krypto, clapping hands and smiling) : C'mon, Krypto. Shake hands! Shake hands, Krypto!

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.)

[Flashback ends]

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?!?


Skeets: (Hovering outside The Fortress) : He knows.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is It Fashion Week Already?


Lois Lane, like many women of her day and age, decided that if she were ever go crazy, she would do so on her own terms: in a couture straightjacket, if at all possible.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cool It, Robin!

...and it was on this day that Robin knew the cycle of abuse had to end.

(One ticket, please.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Birds, I Pray

O.K. If the cover to Birds of Prey #101 is what I think it is, and I hope it is... then Big Barda and Manhunter are joining the team?!?

I have to go find some pearls to clutch.

(Any guesses as to who's the lady beside Oracle's reflection?)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Legion Lost


It's lost on me. The adoration. The numerous books, websites, fansites and blogs devoted to its existence.

It all just seems so quaint to me how hopped up folks get about something that hasn't even happened.

I just don't get The Legion of Super-Heroes.

Lord knows, I've tried. I've tried to follow it numerous times. The Levitz/Lightle era. The Bierbaums/Giffen years. The Waid/Peyer/Moder years. The Legion Lost/The Legion stuff. The current Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes run.

Three to five issues in and again, I'm gone. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate The Legion. I dig the camaraderie, how every member kind of has a different "thing" that contributes to the collective. I get it. It's "quaint." It's "retro." It's "futuriffic." I just don't understand the love this book receives.


So, I ask you, dear reader... please, make me understand. What makes this Legion train run? What am I missing?

(Shadow Lass/Umbra, I do "get," by the way.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good Vibes


It was another uneventful day in the comic book shop until an attractive blonde woman walked in and made things interesting.


It was a normal Thursday. The Wednesday regulars had been in 12 hours before, waving colored bits of paper, screaming unsophisticated things like "Detective Chimp" at the top of their lungs. Words that to the outside world sounded like an assignment for the Navajo but to ears attuned to the four-colour, it all resounded with knowing.

Into this environment walks a young woman, confident and striking. Y'know, comic book pretty. No doubt, she wouldn't have looked out of place on a Romita, Sr. page. She asks questions, questions that to these ears sound quite foreign. "Do you have any Firestorm toys or statues?" Sadly, I tell her that, as of yet, there is nothing on the horizon. "Awww, my father loves Firestorm. How about Spider-Man?" "Spider-Man I can help you with you."

Ten minutes later, she leaves, statue in bag. "By the way," I say to her, "please, tell your father that if he never does anything else, there's a man here in D.C. that worships the ground he walks on."

"Why? What because of Firestorm?"

No," says I.

"Vibe."

Awkward yet beautiful silence.

Ladies and gentlemen... the power of Vibe.

...and then, we hopped onto a couple of stolen Pegasus' and went to my underwater lair.

New ending courtesy of Dwayne "the canoe guy."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Free Love

There's just something very primal about this character. In his origins, he encapsulates the concept of "nature vs. nuture." In his abilities, he embodies risks inherent in "flight or fight."

He's never truly had a "definitive" story, his Justice League tenure didn't exactly set the world on fire, he has a dubious Apokalyptan origin, he's currently M.I.A. Despite all of this, his is one name that almost always comes up when asked about people's favorite comic book characters.

Mr. Miracle.

In trying to figure out why this character works, I find the one thing that makes him soar.

Despite his life, literally, being a circus, despite being born "Scott Free," he's found a home. He's found his anchor. He's found that one thing that will always lead him back home and it's his woman.

It's love.

Love for his wife, Barda Free.

Big Barda.

Big Barda is what makes Scott Free work.

Trust me, I'm no romantic but there's just something so damned cool, knowing that no matter where he is, in a universe as big as DC's, no matter what the odds, Mr. Miracle's main reason isn't simply to defy the locks someone's put upon him but to get back to the one he loves. The threat of death means nothing to him now. The thought of life with Barda Free means everything to him. He needs her. She needs him. They need each other. Death can't keep these two apart. She keeps his compass true. She is what guides him home. This is evident in their every appearance together or apart.

More so than in any one Superman/Lois appearance.

More so than in any one Black Panther/Storm appearance.

More so than in any fifty Ralph & Sue Dibny appearance.

Mr. Miracle will die when he's done loving his woman. Mr. Miracle's gonna live a very long time.

If The Frees were to ever truly be apart, that would be one of comics' greatest tragedies. All love within the DCU would die, for me, right then and there.

Did I mention this is just one of the reasons I'm not buying Ralph Dibny's over-the-top grief in 52?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Baltimore Comicon 2006


Back from Baltimore Comicon and I think I just may have had the best time I'd ever had there. The highlights...

Standing in line for a sketch from Mike Wieringo (who, by the way, is built like a strong safety), I plop down a copy of 1st Issue Special #4. He picks it up, almost incredulously, saying, "Lady Cop? DC published this?!?" It was the sound of nigh-perfect incredulity. I went on to explain Liza Warner, Lady Cop's origin, her quest to find The Killer In Boots, her quest to find a Latin girl with VD. I believe I saw bits of his brain bleed from his mouth. The sketch, a thing of beauty, by the way.

J.G. Jones was doing a Batgirl sketch near convention's end and it was gorgeous! Believe it or not, he said it was the first time he'd ever drawn her. With the upcoming release of All-Star Batgirl, the character's in good, good hands.

I was within earshot of artist Phil Noto and heard him say that we could defintely look for more Jonah Hex work from him in the future.

Stopped by the DC Comics booth and a friend of mine showed me an advance copy of Vertigo's upcomig Pride of Baghdad. It's beautifully, beautifully drawn and just may be the best thing Brian K. Vaughan has written. The book's ending still haunts me a day later.

Bill Willingham was there and was incredibly nice. I got him to do a sketch of Fables' Snow White. We talked about Fables, Robin, Shadowpact and The Elementals. For those who don't know, Willingham created the previously mentioned Elementals, an independent superhero comic, in the mid-eighties. He joked it took him only twenty years to become an overnight sensation.

Newly DC exclusive Jimmy Palmiotti was there, as well. I noted that, lately, I'd seen less inking work from him. He said he's scaling back on the inking to focus work on his writing. He'll still be inking Amanda Conner's Terra mini-series. I asked him if we'd ever see charcater like Ra's al Ghul or Vandal Savage pop up in Jonah Hex and he says DC would rather that he not use too many "DC Universe" characters. He did tell me of one story he'd proposed that DC rejected: Jonah rides into a new town and meets up with a woman whose husband blames her for not being able to conceive a male heir (her husband actually had the problem), Jonah steps in and solves the problem, giving the fella a male heir. The family eventually moved on, relocating to a new city. The family's last name?

Dent.

As in Harvey (Two-Face) Dent.

Brilliant.

Next, I stood in line, shaking in anticipation. He was here. And he was singing to me. Yes, Howard Chaykin sang me a song and I admit I was a bit put-off and flattered at the same time. Did Howard not know that he didn't have to try so hard? Howard, you had me at The Galactic Space Vagina. I was yours all along.

Thanks to Baltimore Comicon creator and coordinator Marc Nathan for consistently putting together a well-run and more importantly, fun convention.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Return Of The King

Rejoice for I have returned!

What happened? A short "vacation." Last week, I'd made plans to go to Ohio for three days and had every intention of blogging but then "The Devon Circus" came to town and well... it wasn't pretty.

Someone stole my freakin' cellphone within 5 minutes of my arrival and without my cellphone I become virtually invisible to friends and family, alike.

Next, where I was staying had virtually no internet connection (dial-up) and after watching one post after another die on the dial-up vine, I did what I'd normally never do... gave up.

So, yeah, this week was a total blogging wash-out but hey, there's always next week.