Sunday, November 26, 2017


I Saw The Justice League

Finally saw Justice League and I liked it just fine.

And that is the problem.

Didn't love it. I liked it.

After 40-plus years of watching Super Friends/Justice League cartoons movie and over thirty years of comics reading, I liked it.

I just liked it.

There were many reasons to like it; Gal Gadot and all of the good will and faith she built as Wonder Woman is, once again, on screen. Ben Affleck and his padded spacesuit Batman are back and more than willing to play with others. Ezra Miller's Flash is a funny, unsure guy and there to provide moments of levity. Jason Mamoa's Aquaman is a bit of a bro, doing all the things that makes you think that Aquaman isn't lame like drinking, walking in slow-mo and surfing a Parademon. And Cyborg, who is there, is Siri with angst.

And SPOILER (eye roll)...

And Superman. Superman is back and leaning harder on the "Man" in his name, leaving me hopeful for his cinematic future.

All of that and I walked away from the Justice League movie not in a rush to see them again and that makes me a bit sad.

Wonder Woman, I saw it three times in theatres. Captain America: Civil War? Four, in theatres and few on DVD and Netflix.

I loved those movies because they had consequences and gravity. In Justice League, I felt and heard nothing more than the mechanisms clicking into place to have these characters come together. The threat that brought them together just felt flimsy and unworthy of this gathering of heroes.

Steppenwolf was a poorly rendered CGI non-threat that never did more than promise threat. He may as well have been a cardboard cut-out with lasers stapled to its side. Sadly, the threat was never given any weight and is one only those with a passing knowledge of comics would know.

As the movie wrapped, I was happy we got a shot of The Justice League standing triumphant but it just didn't feel earned. I had no sense, nor did The Justice League or humanity, of just how epic this moment was or should've been. They simply look at one another, exchange glances and leave their final statement to a hollow voiceover.

I so wanted that one moment for them.

A moment to realize just how momentous a gathering of Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman and yes, Cyborg should be. I wanted them to express how humanity dodged a bullet and all they should know is that there will be a Justice League there for them should the need arise again.

I simply wanted them to know.

Know what they could mean to humanity and what they could mean to each other.

As a movie, I wish this movie knew what it meant to folks who never thought they'd be in this moment: sitting in a movie theatre watching a hope become real before their eyes.

All I could think was that the filmmakers didn't know.

They didn't know.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Elongated Man, Oh Man!!!

I've never been a huge fan of the Flash tv show but the news that Ralph Dibny, The Elongated Man is in Season 4 has me watching.

I am a HUGE Elongated Man fan; have been since I first saw him in Justice League of America #190. His ability to crack wise in the face of world conquering starfish just did something for me. Only later, through DC's Who's Who series did I learn that he was originally a Flash character rooted in the art of detection.

His relationship with his wife, Sue was a joy to watch throughout the Justice League's Satellite, Detroit and BWAH-HA-HA eras. It was loving, supportive and equal. The exact opposite of so many of the relationships we were given in comics.

And then, Infinite Crisis came along and destroyed them.

Their treatment over the past decade has been abysmal but man, just seeing this one screenshot reminds me of the fun I used to have whenever he was on the comics page.

Sue and Ralph were returned to comics in post-New 52 Secret Six but haven't been seen in DC's newly minted DC Rebirth continuity. I hope to see more of these two in comics.

Solving mysteries, nose twitching. Smiling and most of all, happy together, again.

Until then, seeing Ralph find a new, wider audience brings me immense joy.

And kudos to the Flash's casting director and actor Hartley Sawyer for just nailing Ralph Dibny.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and The Bold... with Detective Chimp!

When I was a kid, the randomness of 70's syndicated TV was in so many ways, the very best thing.

Back then, television wasn't so much curated as it was available. Episodes of shows would routinely be shown out of order. One day you'd be watching an episode of Batman from 1966 with Julie Newmar chewing up the scenery and the next, one with Eartha Kitt's Catwoman just owning every damned inch of the screen.

Back then I I didn't know why my Catwoman kept changing but when a pair of cat ears would appear, I was a happy little guy.

I pretty much had the same experience with The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the roulette wheel that was afterschool syndicated TV, you were just as likely to see Scooby and the gang team up with awesome TV mainstays as The Addams Family as you would as you would Sandy Duncan.

Yup. Sandy Duncan.

When I was a kid, one episode of The Scooby-Doo Movies was super special. Each day, I'd sit in from my tv and hope with all of my little heart that that day's episode would feature Batman and Robin as voiced by Super Friends voice actors Olan Soule and Casey Kasem.

The days that it did were some of my favorite days in front of the tv.

That's why today, when I saw the above preview, I became a kid again. Batman and Robin and The Scooby Gang.

And Batman brought friends along: Black Canary. Plastic Man. Martian Manhunter and yes, Detective Chimp.

My love for DC Comics and it's vastness was rekindled with the Batman: The Brave and The Bold cartoon series and it only becomes better with Scooby.

I'm going to get this. I don't need it to be good. Just know that right now, I'm be as happy as a kid.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


The New Mythology, Revisited

A few years back, after shuttering Seven Hells!, I, along with some of my favorite bloggers and writers, went off and formed a new collective blog, "Second Printing." It lasted for a good while and while there I did a lot of work I'm proud of. What I thought I'd do is revisit some of the work I did there and update some of the ideas for where comics are at this very moment in time.

First up, The New Mythology, Revisited:

The old god lay broken and battered. The hammer of the god lay silent, in need of a champion.

“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

The man from another planet reaches down, grasping for the power of a god. He is found worthy.

With that, the war is won.

With that, a war we had no idea was being waged had been won. Superman, the champion of our new mythology, won.

The superhero, won. It took up the mantle of mythology and won.

That was my first thought upon reading the final issue of JLA/Avengers, issue 4. Comics are the new mythology.

In this mythology, men like Maxie Zeus, with his delusions of godhood, ultimately defers to the guise of one of America’s greatest contributions to the new mythology, the gangster.

In our medium gods are secondary. In the case of SHAZAM!, the gods grant power and get out of the way. Hercules gifts a young boy with his strength leading to the youth's becoming known as "The World's Mightiest Mortal." 

In Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente's Incredible Hercules run, he has to side with The Hulk to remind everyone of how incredible he is. In the pages of Captain Britain and MI:13, Excalibur, sword of King Arthur, is now in the hands of a daughter of immigrants.

The new mythology is Jack Hawksmoor of The Authority, born and bred to master the urban settings of glass and steel, making him the first truly new superhero creation of The 21st Century.

In the Wonder Woman movie she is given the name, "The Godkiller."

The new mythology is Jane Foster taking up the mantle of Thor while dealing with breast cancer because The Odinson is found unworthy, again.

Sometimes, we forget we’re the keepers of this new mythology.

Mythology, new and old, is forever and right now.

The new mythology is yours and more so than ever, comics are the new mythology.

How we keep it is up to us.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


CBR's Brian Cronin Answers My Question: Was Huntress Going To Be The Queen of Checkmate?

Buddy Brian Cronin of CBR answered a question that's been bugging me for over a decade, "Was Huntress going to be the Queen of Checkmate?"

The answer has finally been told!

Be sure to follow Brian at CBR as his stuff is some of my favorite in comics fandom.

Thanks, Brian!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


My New Bleeding Cool Article: The DC Universe And The Rebirth Of Finding Joy In Comics

My latest article is up!

Rounding out a trilogy of articles I wrote about the state of DC's comic universes. Find out what's making my comics fun again.

Monday, August 07, 2017


Books You Deserve To Be Reading: Sugar & Spike: Metahuman Investigations

After nearly thirty years, why is there not a KeithGiffen-verse of DC Comics?

Keith Giffen, revitalizer of Justice Leagues and Blue Beetles. Creator of Ambush Bug, Lobo and The Heckler. This man gets to do things at DC that most would never dream of. He largely gets to make enjoyable, largely standalone comics. This go-round, he's tasked with bringing a bright and sunny and lesser known DC Comics humor property into the, at the time, dark and fairly disjointed New 52 and it's soft reboot, DC You.

They're not investigators of the goofy and charged with saying the charms of DC's Silver Age of comics are canon and the results are pretty wonderful.

From an appearance to Batman villain Killer Moth and the existence of zebra striped Batman uniforms to a forgotten island terraformed into the shape of Superman, every page makes you wonder, "Why did any of this happen before?!?"

Giffen is given the chance to go wild and every page gives you the feeling he's asking this question as much for himself as he is for us and of The DC Universe, itself.

And man, Bilquis Evely, one look at her art and you just knew they weren't going to keep her on a niche book like this one for too long. (And, she wasn't as her next assignment was Wonder Woman.)

There's a charm in her line that just shines especially when she gets to illustrate the Silver Age Legion of Superheroes. Whatever she does next will definitely go into my "BUY" pile.

So, if you miss the ridiculous fun of DC 's yesteryears, SUGAR AND SPIKE: METAHUMAN INVESTIGATIONS is a book you deserve to be reading.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Metal #1

With this one page from DC Comics' upcoming Metal #1 featuring The Blackhawks, Starman, T.O. Morrow, Will Magnus, The Metal Men, The Challengers of The Unknown and yes, I see Red Tornado, I'm feeling pretty good about where DC Comics is headed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Thank you, Old Chum.

He was my first and in so many ways, best Batman.

His Batman/Bruce Wayne was one of the first things I remember bringing a smile to my young face.

He was my first and favorite babysitter.

Last year, I got a chance to meet Adam West along with Burt Ward and was able to tell him just how much joy his performances meant to me.

He made me want to be one of the good guys.

Thank you so much, Adam West.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Kyle To The Corps

Ion. White Lantern, The Green Man.

Green Lantern.

After nearly a decade of downgrading, Kyle Rayner looks to be back where he belongs: in a crab mask and in The Green Lantern Corps and I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

Yes, Kyle, initially, sucked at being a Lantern but that's because he was us.

He was us as a Green Lantern.

He wasn't meant for the ring but accepted the responsibility behind it. All the while doing so with no Corps or Guardians of The Universe to guide him.

He was us. He was the ultimate witness. He was meant to help us see The DC Universe with new and fresh eyes. He did the things we would do if we had good hearts and zero experience. He was doing the best with the tools he possessed. Kyle Rayner had impostor syndrome and I suspect many of us felt empathy.

Along with Wally West, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Conner Hawke and others, he made the DC Universe feel new again. It felt young again.

And with the return of Hal Jordan he was diminished. He was set aside and made other (Ion) in an attempt to make Hal Jordan THE Green Lantern.

He was diminished again and again and cast further and further away from the thing that defined him best until finally, his death seemed almost humane. If it weren't for Kyle holding the line by himself, there would be nothing for a Hal to come back to. More than any other, Kyle deserves the ring.

And now, he is back. Weird mask and stupid gauntlets and smiling in the green. It may not last but it's good to have him back.