Friday, April 27, 2007

All-Out Living with The Viking Commando


It's the moment you've ALL been waiting for....

"All-Out Living! with The Viking Commando!!!!!!"

Scipio asks:

Dear Viking Commando,

The man I'm in unconsummated love with lives in Miami; the man I'm forni-dating lives here.

What should I do?

Signed,
Torn Between Two Covers

Dear Scipio,

Treat them as I would the enemy, The Hun.

Put each in a catapult.

Launch.

If one survives, that is the one you're meant to be with.




Allan asks:

Dear Mr. Commando

I recently took part in the pillaging of a nearby village. As is the custom during such an event, I burned downed many homes and slaughtered many people. Near the end of the day, I came upon the final hut to remain untouched by my people's savage hands and, knowing it would serve as poor precedent if I allowed it to remain standing, went inside to see if there was anyone left for me to slaughter.

There I found a young married couple who sat terrified and weeping in each others arms. I promptly decapitated them, only to hear the sound of a child whimpering nearby. After some investigation I found a young girl hidden underneath a pile of loose furs. I was about to do to her what I did to her parents when I--in the darkness of the hut--noticed that she had red hair and green eyes.

Seeing this caused me to hold my blade, as my father used to always say that a pillager should never slaughter a red-headed, green-eyed child or else they risked a lifetime of bad luck. Knowing he was the wisest man I ever knew, I threw the welp out of the hut and sent her on her orphaned way, just before I burned down the only home she ever knew.

Since then I have been bothered by two concerns for which I would appreciated your vaunted advice. The first is that as I let the child escape from me unharmed, my fellow pillager, Barry, appeared from out of nowhere and saw it happen. Since then he won't stop calling me Lil' Miss Wussypanties and Susie McSissybottom, and I was wondering just how violently I should make him suffer to get him to stop without killing him. Would severing one of his limbs be enough?

My second concern is what I should do 20 years from now when the red-headed, green-eyed girl has grown into a fierce large-breasted warrior woman who has spent her entire life training with a sword and learning how to survive in the coldest conditions with the smallest possible amount of clothing, just so that she can find me and exact a terrible revenge for what I did to her and her parents? Should I accept my fate with honour? Run like a coward? Try to get some of that? I'm sure you can appreciate my dilemma and I would appreciate any advice you would have to give me.

Allan

P.S. Meltzer rules


Dear Allan,

I can identify with your dilemma. I, too, once showed mercy . To a young Cimmerian slave boy. I gave him the day off and he never came back. In the ultimate bit of irony, he later slew my entire village. What can you do?

The approval of one's peers has become increasingly more important in today's world. I have no use for it, personally. I am without peer. I am simply the epitome of what a Viking Commando can and should be.

What you must do is defeat this woman in battle and make her yours and let her never again mistake mercy for weakness. Should this fail... flowers.

As for Barry, cut out his tongue.



Doctor Polaris states:

Dear Viking Commando Fool,


Why would you be foolish enough to try to steal my advice column schtick just like the late "Professor" Expert?

Those who tread on Polaris's ground invite their doom.

Sincerely,

Doctor Polaris

Dear Doctor Polaris,

May I ask you a question?

Do magnets prevent you from letting it go?


Bobby Flashpants asks:

Dear Viking Commando,

All Out War is obviously the most radical condition to be under. If, however, one must choose between the two evils of confined, unmanly limited war or no war at all, which would you choose?

Thanks,

Addled Aggressor in Atlanta


Dear Bobby Flashpants,

This is a hard question for me to answer. When it is quiet, I question the necessity of my very being. I am a Viking Commando. I will always be a Viking. Yet, if there were no wars, there would be no reason for my being a commando. Thus, war is necessary.


Googum asks:

Dear Viking Commando,
I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or name names, but sometimes when I read a comic I'm pretty sure I could do a better job than whatever retarded chimpanzee is 'editing' the book. I'm not sure if that's mere bravado on my part, or if most of today's editors are lazy, weak-willed, or both. My question is, how do I make a kickass battleax like yours?

Thanks heaps,
googum

This reminds of a story:

Once Loki, the Prince of Lies and Mischief, visited my village upon hearing of a girl who had never laughed in her whole life. Loki came to her and nothing he did made the young girl smile, much less, laugh. Loki, at the end of his rope, spotted a goat. Loki proceeded to drop his pants and took up a length of rope, tying one end to the goat, the other to his testicles. With a crooked grin upon his already twisted face, Loki winked at the girl and slapped the goat's hindquarters. The goat took off, dragging the young prince's testicles behind him. Laughter roared throughout the village!


Bloodied and spent, The Lord of Lies untied himself from the goat and made his through the masses. In the middle of all, stood the little girl, laughing just as hard and as hysterically as anyone. His job done, Loki Odinson, bowed deep at the waist and left knowing he'd brought laughter to a place where there was none before.


.....what was your question again?

Harvey Jerwater writes:

Hail, Viking Commando.

As I myself am also a time-displaced Scandinavian with a mighty beard, I live a life not unlike that of your own. However, this has presented difficulties.

In the modern world, cleaving in twain the skulls of German men with a battle axe is no longer considered proper. (There's some nonsense about "the war is over.") What do you recommend?

Should I perhaps choose a different nationality of men to slaughter?

Or is the problem the axe? Given the tenor of these degenerate times, would I be justified in setting down the weapon of my ancestors and switching to a chainsaw or aluminum baseball bat?

Or should I embrace my inner Norseman, ignore the consequences, and continue chopping Teutonic skulls, a chopping that will only end in a hail of gunfire from German police and my own bitter laughter at the treacheries of fate?

Also, how much killing is "too much killing?" A friend recently insisted that I was killing "too much." I replied that such a thing was impossible, and stove in his brainpan with an axe. But perhaps he had a point. If one killed everyone in the world, there would be no one left to kill. Which would be sad.

Any thoughts?

Hail, kinsman!


The taking up of an axe, as you know, is a Norseman's right, not a privilege. Somehow, our fellow Norsemen have abandoned this most sacred of acts, choosing instead, to focus on things such as socialized healthcare and equal opportunity.


In my time, "equal opportunity" meant everyone had just as many chances of an axe to the head as the next . I miss those times.


Alas, we cannot kill everyone or else there would be no one left to clutch at our tunics, begging for mercy. Which you and I know both is what being a Viking is truly, truly all about.



Mike Neilsen writes:

Dear Viking Commando

One of my friends claims that Vikings are really wussies and that a whole dragon-ship full of them could be wiped out by one ninja. He even claims that Vikings make even Pirates look cool, which is very hard to do.

Is there any truth to this?

Mike Nielsen

Hmmm... ninja.

They are the ones who hide in darkness, waiting to slay you in your sleep? Where is the glory in killing and silently slipping into the night? No, the Viking way is best. It allows one's enemy to, in their last moments, look upon you and know they are about to die at the hands of a true man. The look on your enemy's face, alone, makes it all worthwhile.
Until you know this feeling of pride in one's vocation, never again speak to me of this... ninja.

I would pray for your ninja but you will find no "ninja" in Valhalla.


Benhatt writes:

Dear VC,

So I have this...um friend. Yeah - a friend. He has recently started to experience male lactation. What can you tell me - I mean, him... about this issue.

Wet Chested in Washington

Dear Benhatt,

Clearly, you have been ensorcelled.

This happens often in my line of work. Raid the wrong village, sleep with someone's betrothed and some grief-stricken king/princess/prince/washer woman inevitably brings in a witch to curse your person.
My ensorcellment later required my having something called a "Q-Tip" run up my shaft but I digress...

Simply ask yourself who would do such a thing to you, set your mind on their demise, slay those who would impede your quest and have the magician remove the curse set upon you.

Let me know how it all works out.


Signed,

Viking Commando



Big Mike asks:

Dear Viking Commando,

Recently, I've been crying when I watch Oprah. Is it just hormones or has Meltzer's run on Justice League turned me into an emotional pansy?

Weeping in Washington

"Whore moans" let a man know that he is doing it right. It is the other.

...and thus ends another edition of "All-Out Living with The Viking Commando!!!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

19 Questions & One Statement


1. Was it me or was Nightwing Annual #2 good because it was a Dick Grayson story?

2. Will we ever see John Stewart in the Green Lantern Corps comic?

3. Where's my Stargirl DC Direct action figure, braces and all?

4. Is there any kind of mission statement behind Superman: Confidential or Batman: Confidential?

5. Did you hate the fate of Sub Diego in 52: World War Three as much as I did? (The upcoming subject for a "Greatest Missed Opportunities.")

6. Why did Batgirl give Deathstroke an audience in 52: World War Three with the knowledge of what he did to his own daughter, Ravager in the pages of her own title?

7. Was it drugs?

8. Can we declare Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series & Justice League Unlimited, a national treasure?

9. Did you know she was the voice of Mercy Graves in Superman: The Animated Series?

10. How excited am I that Holly of Catwoman fame will have a major role in Countdown?

11. When "fill-in issues" on the flagship titles become the norm and regular creative teams become the exception, can't someone address this before it before it becomes the norm?

12. Does anyone remember how much fun Young Justice used to be?

13. Geo-Force?!?

14. When did Flash villain Pied Piper become evil again?

15. How funny was artist Ethan Van Sciver's exhibiting how evil Heatwave's become by showing him burning Flash's boot?

16. Adrian Alphona (of Runaways fame) should do some work for DC Comics someday.

17. *ahem* When's Chief Warner coming back to the page of The All New Atom?

18. How great was this week's Blue Beetle?

19. Does your calling yourself "The Third Smartest Man In The World" also make you one of the most humble?

20. Bart Allen's gonna die, ain't he?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

All In!

We all need a little help & comfort, sometimes. Some find help in prayer. Some find comfort in the counsel of a trusted friend, loved one or colleague.

Sometimes, this just isn't enough.

"Seven Hells!" is here to help.

Next week, "Seven Hells!" provides a place for the lost, the lovelorn. People who want answers...

"Seven Hells!" has the one man who'll give them to you in a manner in which only he can...

ALL OUT!!!!

The Viking Commando
returns to "Seven Hells!" in an advice column we could only call...

"ALL-OUT LIVING! with The Viking Commando!!!!!"

Please, leave all of your questions pertaining to life, love, business, looting/pillaging, etc. in the "Comments" section of this post and The Viking Commando will answer as many as he possibly can at week's end.

"ALL-OUT LIVING! with The Viking Commando!!!!!"


Help is within an axe-handle's reach.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hawkman On Diplomacy

Ladies and gentlemen, may I show you something?

Thank you.

First, a warning: you are about to witness greatness in action. You are about to bear witness to...

THE SINGLE GREATEST HAWKMAN PANEL OF ALL TIME!!!

Ladies, a disclaimer: Upon viewing the upcoming panel, I, the staff of "Seven Hells!" cannot be held responsible for the catching of vapors of any sort, any sudden appearance of hair upon the feminine bosom or any sudden, unintended pregnancies.

Gentlemen, a disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for your becoming "gay" for Hawkman. If your parents truly love you, they will understand.

Everything you need to know about Hawkman is about to be shown to you in one single panel. With that said, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you...

THE SINGLE GREATEST HAWKMAN PANEL OF ALL TIME!!!

Hawkman, shirtless, except for chainmail, swinging a flail, a mace and a sword, dangling from each hip, running fullbore right at you, screaming the three words that epitomize his every action, "I DON'T HESITATE!"

"I DON'T HESITATE!"


This is Hawkman distilled down to his essence in one single panel.

"I DON'T HESITATE!"


There's truth and beauty in those three words. Perhaps, together, the three greatest words ever written.

If you'll excuse, I have to go wrestle a bull to the ground now.

Ladies, feel free to do the same.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hawkman On Sensitivity/Proper Etiquette


Like most good men, Hawkman enjoys himself a good sandwich...

...difference between Hawkman and most men, he orders them in Thanagarian and English.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hawkman On Due Process


"Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy." William Shakespeare

In Hawkman's world, mercy wears a mini-skirt and sits behind the wheel of a stretch limo.

Thusly, Hawkman is cool.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hawkman On Civil Liberties

Things that fly in Gotham City, literally, don't in Hawkman's world. To Hawkman, your rights come as fast as he can throw them.

If Hawkman were to visit the Marvel Universe, Civil War would have been over in one panel.

Thusly, Hawkman is cool.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

19 Questions And One Statement


1. Whatever happened to Impulse's dog, Dox?

2. Was there ever a better designer of super-hero outfits than Dave Cockrum?

3. Didn't the ending of Ion #12 just break your heart?

4. If Marvel doesn't want Captain America anymore, can DC have him?

5. Was it me but didn't that silhouette in Stormwatch: PHD #5 look really familiar? Someone should monitor that.

6. Why can't Keith Champagne write Green Lantern Corps full-time?

7. Where's Nubia?

8. Is it me or is Circe pretty much doing in Wonder Woman #7 what she was doing in Wonder Woman #4?

9. Did anyone else feel like Black Canary's appearance in this week's Green Arrow felt like a demotion?

10. Is the name "Citizen Steel" the greatest name in comics, or what?

11. We need more Prez. That's just fact.

12. Can we get a trade of just the Dr. 13 stories from "Tales of The Unexpected?"

13. When'd WB "The Batman" cartoon series get so good?

14. Will Hawkman ever appear in his own title again?

15. Should DC collect Chase, Hourman, Major Bummer & Aztek under the banner of "Showcase Presents: Cancelled Comics Cavalcade?"

16. If you're anything like me, was Starman the book that made you appreciate DC Comics as an adult?

17. Why does everyone think Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is so much better than Batman: Year One?

18. Geo-Force?

19. Why aren't you reading Catwoman?

20. Isn't it only a matter of time before someone tries to sell Will Magnus on the idea of Metal Men teeth fronts?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2 Years And Counting Of This Sh*t

Y'know, I was prepared to treat today like any other day, smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes, take the tigers for a walk around the compound and let the second anniversary "Seven Hells!" go by with nary a word.

Instead, I just wanted to thank you all for putting up with two years of this sh*t.

For checking in everyday, even when I couldn't, wouldn't or didn't.

For helping me continually find sublime silliness in this hobby we've all come to love.

For being hilarious, yet thoughtful, in your comments and considerations.

I hope you found just as much enjoyment in the reading as I did in the writing.

Best,
Devon

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Haircare With Black Lightning Day

If your teeny-weeny Afro is just a bit "in-between-y," there's an Afro wig out there for you with your name on it.*

And when your hair starts falling out after Judd Winick creates a neice for you, has her sleep with Green Arrow, kills her, has you kill kill her killer, creates a daughter you never knew about, has her drop out of med school, fake becoming the concubine of an evil dictator and then start sleeping with a promiscuous seven foot tall, super-strong, bi-sexual Amazon who slept with Roy Harper...

...you smile a big smile, shave your dome and don't worry about it because you know what?... no matter what people say Black men, like myself, look good with shaved heads.

It's our superpower.

*Mask sold seperately.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Greatest Missed Opportunities: Torque (Dudley Soames)

When one thinks of missed opportunities, one (namely, me) may think of that one time Halle Berry stopped by Devon-Cave with her supermodel/cheerleader entourage to help them test out their new "neck massagers." I was, fortunately or unfortunately, out adopting babies from Sweden to bring back to America in order to replenish America's underburdened trailer parks.

I won't reflect on the loss of actress/supermodel/cheerleader fun I missed out on. Instead, I choose to be secure in the knowledge that I was doing good works.

Comics' missed opportunities rarely come back.

Halle always does.

At least to me.

Anyway, back to comics... I've been called "ornery." Like Yosemite Sam. It was a compliment.

In 1996, I learned the true meaning of the word. In the pages of Nightwing #1, I was introduced to Dudley Soames and created by Chuck Dixon was the most crooked cop in the whole of Bludhaven. The only thing more depraved than being the most crooked cop in The 'Haven would be The Red Skull's taking on Archie Andrews as a sidekick, naming him "The Li'l Panzer" and dropping him off at Black Adam's front gate.

I'm just sayin'.

Anyways, while serving in the Bludhaven PD, Soames receives the notice of Bludhaven's crime boss, joining his criminal organization while also becoming an informant for Nightwing.

Soames' ambitions ultimately proved too much for Blockbuster and he attempted to have him killed. Soames proved too much to handle even for Blockbuster and in a shocking turn of events took the crime boss' ailing mother hostage. Nightwing attempted a rescue but Blockbuster got there first. Blockbuster, enraged at Soames' hubris, grabbed the crooked cop by the neck and twisted his head around A FULL 180 DEGREES!!!

That wasn't enough to stop Soames. Evil like this doesn't just roll over and die.

Soames miraculously survived having his head turned around backwards and re-trained himself to see "forward" through the use of special glasses and mirrors. Re-naming himself Torque, Soames went about the business of regaining the city he once held in terror.

Now, how dedicated to being an asshole do you have to be to re-learn everything just so you can start more sh*t?

Very.

If he wasn't so damned evil, he'd be walking out to standing ovations on Oprah, like every week.

Ratings sagging? Bring back Dudley.

Blind kid learns piano with his feet, have Dudley escort him to the piano bench, watch the ratings double.

Instead, Soames chooses this to be the last thing you see before you die.

Scarface is a b*tch next to this guy.

Soames went about the business of taking over Bludhaven, striking while Blockbuster lie bed-ridden from the heart transplant from a gorilla donor. Yes. You read that right. He chose to hit his man up while he recovered from a gorilla heart transplant. Nothing says DC Comics like "gorilla heart transplant."

Torque was eventually taken down by Nightwing and sent to jail but again, Soames won't roll over and die. Instead, he marks his time until he can plan his escape by... well, effin' with gen pop just because it brings a smile to his face.



And, what a smile it is.

Soames, ever the manipulator, found a way to break out of prison using the superstrong prison guard formerly known as the Batman villain, Amygdala. From there, things rapidly went downhill for Torque.

He got a new writer.

One so shockingly involved in the story they wanted to tell and seemingly lacking any desire to tie up plotlines they didn't feel like dealing with, simply... killed off... Nightwing's only arch-nemesis of note... and proceeded to take one of comics' more interesting titles down through the use of some of the most awkward storytelling paths ever conceived.

Soames was the perfect counter to Nightwing. Where Nightwing was brilliant and valiant, Soames was brilliantly vile.

Soames, if allowed to live, could have graduated to Batman villain status. On look alone, he had everything you look for in a Batman villain. He was utterly without morals and in the ultimate bit of irony, it lead to his becoming utterly twisted.

It all ended and for no good reason, at all. Damned, damned shame.

Just a total f*cking waste of a great, great character.

He deserved better.

I can't do much about changing the past but if I could ask for anything for Dudley (Torque) Soames, I'd give him exactly what he deserves...

All the love in world to ya, Dudley.

You had me at, "I want this city on its knees to me!", you magnificently ornery bastard.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Throwing Stones At Glass Cases

Does this character who died due to Spoiler's over eagerness to get back in Batman's good graces deserve a glass case in the Batcave any less than Stephanie Brown?

Was he any less of a plotpoint than Spoiler?

Should I write an angry letter demanding what I want?

Discuss.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Many Deaths of Supergirl

At the age of 8, I was charged with bringing Supergirl back to life.

It only made sense since I was the one who'd made the decision to kill her in the first place. At the time, no one seemed to care much and I was pretty much given free reign over the character's fate. I threw a little Mxyzptlk in there for fun and at one point, even had Mxy turn Supergirl into a mannequin. Oh, how I laughed and laughed. I could do anything and DC editorial was powerless to stop me.

After a while, I found I'd taken Supergirl as far as I could and I made the fateful decision to kill her. She was not given a heroic death. Her death was one caused by overconfidence in her own fledgling abilities. A death by Kryptonite, if I recall correctly. There was no funeral for Supergirl. She just died. I liked it that way.

I was OK with the fact that I was the boy who killed Supergirl.

At the age of eight, I also knew that if I waited long enough, someone else would pick up her story and figure out a way to bring her back but in the meantime...

Somewhere, along the line, like the next day, I, heroically and with little fanfare, brought her back to life. She got the heroic ending I thought she deserved.

A few years later, DC went and killed her again in the pages of Crisis On Infinite Earths #7. No one asked me how I felt about the character's death after I'd went through all the trouble years before to bring her back to life. Again, I was OK with her death. Again, I knew that all one had to do was wait long enough and someone else would bring her back to life.

A few years later, someone did. Like four times, already.

What I'm trying to say is that I've learned certain truths about comic book characters. They will endure longer than any of us. As long as there's a new story to tell and new storytellers to tell them, they will live. They will die. They will live, die and outlive us all, re-starting at almost the same place in which we left them.

Just as surely as any James Bond or Pinocchio.

We are as powerless to these characters' short term fates as they are.

I am OK with that.

That's what characters do.

At the age of eight, I learned more about superhero comics in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book than I could from the internet.

Thank God, there was no internet back then.