Thursday, June 30, 2011

And how fares J'onn J'onzz?

When I heard they were first revising the JLA to include basically the "Magnificent Seven" I thought, "Ahhh.  Finally.  Some JLA stories that involve my favorite Martian."

Wait, what?  He's not on the team?  They put all Silver Age heroes on the team, but decided that the seventh slot should go to....Cyborg?  He wasn't even around in the Silver Age.  He has no history whatsoever with this team.  He's a Titan.

Ahhh, okay.  I guess they're saving J'onn for the new Justice League International title.

What?  He's not on that, either?!

Then where is he?

He's on some Wildstorm title, with characters I never knew existed.  My only (heavily-biased, bitter) guess is that the conversation went something like this:

Comic Editor #1: Okay, so we've got to integrate Wildstorm into the DCU somehow.  We need some C-list DC hero to bridge the gap.  Hey, Dan?  Who's a pathetic, loser character that no one cares about with copius amounts of untapped story potential that we keep throwing under the bus?

Dan: Martian Manhunter.

Comic Editor #1:  Thanks, buddy!  You're the greatest!

Then they all go out for coffee and burn down an orphanage on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And now let's talk about Barbara Gordon

Well, I didn't see this one coming.

I remember a few years ago when Gail Simone mentioned in passing on her Twitter account about how she was fighting to keep Barbara Gordon as Oracle.  I had assumed it was that whole "Death of Oracle" event that was in question, but maybe it was this.

Letting Barbara Gordon go back to being Batgirl opens up a huge, gigantic can of worms, the least of which is getting rid of Stephanie Brown, the current Batgirl.  Stephanie's book was kind of a sleeper that wasn't ultra-popular, perhaps becuase it was in the shadow of all the other Bat-books.  (In fact, I don't think Batman ever showed up in her book.)  I came to like Stephanie Brown.  I really hate replacement characters, so coming from me this means a LOT.  Like Miss Martian, she grew on me very slowly, and I came to really enjoy her ditzy antics, sarcastic commentary, and enthusiasm for crime-fighting.  She almost reminds me of Miss Martian in a way, perhaps because they are both naive, un-ironic female characters.  Her book was light-hearted, easy-to-follow, and most importantly, fun.

Barbara Gordon, as Oracle, played a supporting role in Stephanie's book, until she stopped showing up and was replaced by Firewall, whose real name I forget.  Babs had to be there to pass the torch to Stephanie and give her her blessing, which is what the first arc was basically about.

Now I guess time is going to be rewound or erased or whatever, and Babs is going to be able to walk again.  Sigh.  It was nice seeing a character deal with a major, life-altering disability as gracefully and honestly as Babs did.  It was nice seeing a disabled character be a superhero.  I agree with pretty much everything Jill Pantozzi said on the subject, much more eloquently than I ever could.

While it was fun to read Batgirl: Year One (which is pretty awesome by the way) and see a Batgirl who was the daughter of the police commissioner fighting crime alongside Batman, I can't help but wonder if the trade-off is worth it.

And while we're at it, how exactly is this reboot going to work?  I mean, if we're going to erase time and have the JLA only have been around for five years, then Damian-Robin wouldn't even be born.  Jaime Reyes would probably be like thirteen, so how can he have his own book while Barbara Gordon is back being Batgirl?  I'm confused, and DC is supposed to be using this non-reboot to make things less-confusing.  And shouldn't Ted Kord not be dead, but back to being alive?

Yeah, I'm never letting that one go, DC.  Ever.

You can't pick and choose your time-rewinding without it seeming obvious that you're just picking the books that sell well as opposed to the ones that don't.  That's just marketing driving story, and I don't like that kind of "story-telling."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wither Harley

Oh, Harley!

What have they done to you?

Besides the fact that this outfit is ridiculous just from the sake of physics.  (I mean, we're talking about a character who does a lot of cartwheels as part of her schtick.  Flipping upside-down + half a bustier held together with dental floss = well, you might as well just get it overwith and run around topless, why don't you?)

Skimpy outfit aside (I'm starting to get numb to them by now...or at least not so surprised anymore) this outfit throws away one major part of the character: her association with the Joker.  Harley Quinn was a character who was indirectly created by the mind of the Joker.  She dressed as, well, a harlequin to go along with the clown theme.  Added to the mix was that she had a background in gymnastics, and basically her suit was a unitard.  Makes sense, right?  I've always been a stickler for a character's outfit being a representation of his or her motive or identity.

Now what does the above costume represent?  I really have no idea.  It just looks like a cosplay outfit to me, reminiscent of the Arkham Asylum video game.  So what kind of statement does that make?

I got nothing.  A lot of fans complained about the skimpy outfit, but no one has really said anything about her lack of association with the Joker.  (I'm basing this on pure assumption, taking the next logical step from Gotham City Sirens.)

Somewhere along the line, it was decided that Harley Quinn should break free of the Joker, and I never quite understood why.  Do fans want to see her on her own instead of playing second giant mallet to the Joker?  (If that is the case, then Gotham City Sirens shouldn't be ending.)  Do fans want to see her as an anti-hero?  (Having Poison Ivy in the Birds of Prey aligns with this.)

Her relationship to the Joker was such a complex and deliciously twisted one that I was sad to see it go.  The Joker was her main source of motivation: she did anything to please him, much to hilarious or tragic results.  Cutting her off from the Joker completely leaves her drifting in thin air as a nothing but an motive-less psycho in a skimpy outfit.  Though she had broken ties from the Joker in Gotham City Sirens, he was still a looming shadow of her past that still held some sway over her psychologically.  She was still motivated in some way by him, however tenuous.

So what is it you're trying to say now, DC?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Young Justice to continue

I'm way behind on my cartoon-watching, and I take my cartoon seriously.  I finally caught up with the last episode of Young Justice which aired in March.

Though Cartoon Network has a screwy kind of schedule (shows just seem to come and go at random times of the year), it looks like Young Justice has been picked up for a second season.  Who-hoo!  It took me a little while to warm up to the show, but I've since started to enjoy it.

The last installment didn't feel like an end to the series, and a check on Wikipedia shows that one episode still has yet to air.  (Though when, it does not say.)  Which is unfortunate.

But the latest episode, "Bereft," was cute and fun like most of the other episodes this season.  Due to the magical plot wonders of amnesia, we finally got to hear Artemis make fun of her own outfit.  (Which I personally find rather ugly.)  All of the action took place in Bialya, and I love it when obscure fictional places are used.  On top of all that there was a "Seinfeld" reference.  (Which is really all I need to make me happy.)

Also refreshing (and maybe becuase it's for the younger set,) the show does a good job of explaining potential plotholes by having the characters ask questions of each other or narrate explanations.  (Though they did not explain why they would take Aqualad, a character dependent on water, into the middle of the desert, where of course he got dehydrated.)

Each of these characters has come into their own quite well.  Artemis is the cool, sarcastic foil to M'gann's bubbly air-headed cuteness.  Robin is the waifish, precocious imp.  Wally the hormonal, wise-cracking wannabe-lady's man, Aqualad the distant and noble leader, and Superboy is the angst-ridden awkward outsider.  It's not an easy job to create that many personalities in a group and have them work together and off of each other and still leave the audience with the ability to get to know each one.  So I applaud the writers for that.  (Plus the voice acting is pretty darn good.)  A lot of the dynamics come from who has a crush on each other and who can't stand so-and-so, but with a show aimed at tweens and teens, it's to be expected.

All in all, I like the show, which is saying a lot, because I really don't like sidekicks.

(Which of course means it's going to get cancelled sometime soon.)

But they are running re-runs every Friday night at 6 p.m., so if you haven't had a chance to watch the show or need some catching up, summer is a great time for it!

Oh, and this episode's best line:

"Artemis, to Wally: Stop touching yourself!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Flag Day!

Flag Day is one of those holidays you just kinda don't think about.  Well, I like me some obscure holidays.

Plus I wanted an excuse to post this Adam Hughes cover from Krypton to Earth.  Becuase I like Adam Hughes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Green Lantern by "lerms"

From lerms, on DeviantArt:

An entry in the SD CCI Souvenir Book.  It's unknown whether or not it made it into the book.

But I think it's pretty cool!  I love how easily Hal Jordan lends himself to cartoonification.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hitler Reacts to Flashpoint

Wow, it's been a busy week.

And I've been cranky comics-wise.

So in lieu of an actual post, I gve you this.  You may have seen this oft-used scene to rail against everything from stolen cars to XBox to vuvuzelas.  Now Hitler's mad at DC.

Apparently Hitler is also a Grant Morrison fan.

No comment.