Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Utterly Awesome News

I probably haven't mentioned it before but I'm a real big fan of comic book writer and novelist Peter David. So I was pleased that he was co-writing a book called "Year of the Black Rainbow", a prequel to the Armory Wars fantasy series.
To clarify why this is totalyl awsome, I must tell you about the Armory Series itrself. It is a series that boasts a complex narrative about -- Well , it involves aliens, the end of the universe, and a Godlike entity called the Writer who is implied to be the author of the story, visting misery on the protagonists in his work because his personal life sucks. As you can imagine the whole story is kind of --- complicated.
What make is all the more amazing is that the Armory Wars is not a series of novels. Instead, it is a series of conept albums by the band Coheed & Cambria telling an orginal epic fantsy story. The albums that tell the story include The Second Stage Turbine Blade, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, and The Three Happy Bunneys go to Smiletown. (One of those albums may exist only in my head).
The reason that this is so cool is that the band is really embracing the idea of a multi-media expereince. There story is told both in the albums and though side-projcts like the afforementioned novelization. It is a truly unique way to write a fantasy story for the twenty-first century. Add one of my favorite wristers to the mix and there's absolutely nothing about this that I don't love.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Super Short Reviews: Hero Alliance

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, independent publishing was having a minor boom. One of the products of this boom was Hero Alliance. The idea was a sound one. What if instead of banding together as a traditional super-hero team, the heroes instead worked together as an informal union, helping and training each other as needed. There would still be team ups and battles but the series would have more of a focus on the personal lives of the central heroes.
This was fine in theory. Unfortunately, none of the characters were all that interesting. The team a was led by Victor, the book's main star, a pretty bland Superman pastiche. The only real twist brought to the character was that he had a secret identity the made Clark Kent look comparatively discreet. For God's sakes, the man's real name was Vic Torrance, everyone kept commenting about how he never seemed to age, and he ran a gym that catered to superheroes. Yet every single person would be surprised when they found out that he was really Victor. Keep in mind that this comic was supposed to be more realistic then its mainstream counterparts.
Then there was the Sentry. He was the team's version of Batman. I would talk more about him but that would imply that the character was in any way distinguishable from Batman.
Then there was the Golden Guard, Victor's girlfriend and daughter of the world's first superhero. Of course, she was a fully developed character and not an excuse for gratuitous T&A. Yeah, right.
This is all especially frustrating when you realize that the series had good ideas . For example, the Guardsmen, the worlds foremost hero team is murdered by the super villain, Sepulcher. The twist is that Sepulcher is not their arch-enemy but a third-rate villain who wears a rubber zombie mask. Instead of engaging the heroes in fight he knows he'll lose, he simply blows up their big ostentatious public headquarters. No one even know it was him until he boasts about it after the heroes make fun of him when he gets captured during a convenience store robbery. Remember, kids, if a supervillain robs a convenience store, it means that he's not very good at his job.
If this sounds like an enjoyable read, keep in mind that none of the events I just described are shown to us. No, since comic books are a visual medium, the writer decided that it would be a good idea to never show the death of the Guardsmen on panel. Instead, we get other characters talking about it and captions filling in the details. Keep in mind this event leads to the formation of the titular super team. So you know, it's a great idea that we never see it. We wouldn't want the audience that something into get the mistaken idea that interesting things happen in this comic.
Because, with rare exceptions, they really don't. Most of the characters just sit around talking in expository dialog. The comic has great ideas but fails to put them forth in an interesting way. This is, by far, Hero Alliance's unforgivable sin.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How Not to Name a Dog

This post will telly you why it is to name your pet dog after a religious figure. Especially when the dog is an aggressive Pit Bull like dog. Otherwise, when the police have to put it down when it attacks some one we get real-life headlines like this one.

Rockville Police Shoot Jesus.

It's just embarssing.

Monday, November 30, 2009


All right, I'm back from Thanksgiving break and ready to share opinions no one cares about.
In my web-surfing today, I ran across an article on science-fiction writer, Harlan Ellison. This goes me thinking about why I like Ellison so much. It occurred to me that I would be a fan even if his writing was terrible.
This is not to say that Ellison's writing is terrible. In fact, its quite good. Even his more bizarre works are great reads. I feel less like Ellison is being incomprehensible for the sake of being incomprehensible and more that his works simply require further reading and analysis. That's a rarity I find only in really engaging writers.
However, the reason I would like Harlan Ellison, even if he was a bad writer, is because he is such a larger than life character. His public persona as angry, curmudgeonly man has taken on mythic proportions. Loads of stories revolve around the man, many of them apocryphal. For example, there are allegations of his throwing a fan down an elevator shaft or setting a rude smoker's purse on fire. His disputes with Hollywood personalities like Gene Roddenberry and James Cameron are legendary.
These stories have taken on such a life of their own that they will endure long after the man himself has gone. Any random anecdote about Harlan Ellison is guaranteed to be at least as interesting as some of his lesser writing. Ellison is a talented writer and I am the first to sing his praises. However, in a lot of ways, Harlan Ellison's greatest and most enduring creation is Harlan Ellison.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tom Wait's Thursday: Spacious Thoughts with Kool Keith

I was going to make a joke about how Tom Waits looks like he sounds. but Boingboing.con beet me to it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Film Reviews I Should've Done Last Month Part 2

Tonight's review: Morgue Story: Blood, Blowfish and Comics
Quick confession time. When I saw this movie, it was midnight, I was very tired, and I was coming down with a cold. As a result, large portions of this movie may have taken place entirely in my head. It's strange enough that you wouldn't notice.
The best way to describe this film is as Crash meets The Serpent and the Rainbow. The plot is essentally this. A mad coroner runs around poising young girls with blowfish venom , turning them into old-school voodoo style zombies before disposing of them. And "zombies" I mean sex slaves.
The heroine, Ana Argento, a comic book writer, is the doctor's next target. In fact, the mad doctor does get her in his clutches within the first half hour. Unfortunately, his attempts to get some hot zombie loving in the local morgue are inadvertently thwarted by Tom, a cataleptic who wasn't quite as dead as he seemed when they dropped him of at the morgue. Tom manages to frustrate the doctor's sexual ambitions through sheer obnoxiousness, despite having no clue that anything unseemly is going on. As the movie progresses, the bizarre ways that all three characters have unknowingly impacted on one another's life, despite never having met before, are revealed in flashback.
I wound up enjoying this movie quite a bit. If you ignore some lame in jokes (Ana shares a last name in common with a famous horror director) and forced references to real comic books, it's a fun little film. However, it is overly ambitious and does tend to drag a bit in the middle. In addition, for the squeamish, there are a few gratuitous rape scenes. However, it makes up for this with one of the best bittersweet endings to a horror movie that I can remember. If it doesn't make you cry a little, you don't have a heart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Film Reviews I Should've Done Last Month Part 1

In September, I managed to get down to Erie, Pennsylvania for the Eerie Horror Film Festival. I intended to write a review of the films I saw for the blog but instead I procrastinated.Finally, I realized that if I don't write it now, I never will. So without further ado, I present a guide to some of the movies I had the unique pleasure of seeing.
Tonight's review: STORAGE
The first movie I saw also had the unique honor of being the best. The premise revolves around a ordinary kid named Frances who is walking home from the movies with his father when they get mugged. Needless to say, Frances father gets stabbed. Naturally, Frances vows to fight crime as Batman. No. Sorry. He actually goes to work at his Uncle Larry's storage facility.
Things start going bad really quick. Francis stumbles upon one of the renters at the facility crying over a bloody dress. He becomes convinced that the renter has murdered his wife but no one will believe him. As the movie goes on, he finally manages to convince Larry and they go off to bring vigilante justice to the  renter.
Which is unfortunate because he's completely innocent.  On the other hand, Uncle Larry is completely off his gourd, murdering so-called criminals and hiding their corpses in barrels.  At this point, the movie changes from a straightforward suspense thriller to a deconstruction of revenge films, particularly the Death Wish films. This is the rare movie where the ends don't justify the means and violence is ultimately as dehumanizing to the perpetrator then it is to the victim. If you like you're suspense thrillers to make you think, I give Storage two thumbs up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Top Ten things I Learned at College

1. When the teacher asks you a question you weren't prepared for, clutching your chest and dropping to the floor is not an acceptable response.
2. Nor is pleading the Fifth.
3. If you're thoughts at this point are "With any luck, he doesn't speak Klingon either", you really should have done the assigned reading.
4. A bathrobe is not appropriate classrooms attire.
5. Nor is S&M gear.
6. While debate is encouraged, "Burn him! He a witch" is not an accepted rhetorical technique.
7. There is no appropriate time for a spontaneous musical number.
8. When the teacher if there is a nickname you prefer, do not say "I go by Lord Melchior Awesomesauce, Grand Master of all I survey but you may call me Your Greatness."
9. A blank test with a $20 bill stapled to it will get you an incomplete.
10. However, a blank test with a $100 bill stapled to it is the key to maintaining that 4.0 GPA.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tom Wait's Thursday: What's He Building in There?

I don't know what's scarier. The idea that you're neighbor may be up to something sinister or that Tom Waits is waiting outside you house. Gathering information about you life. Watching you. Always WATCHING you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fanboy Reasoning

I see this line of argument in comic book debates more and more these days.
"Creator X hates the fans because he put out work that I don't like and he puts out work that I don't like because he hates the fans."
No one ever seem to call anyone out on this. Am I the only person who notices this? I mean people are making sweeping generalizations about people they don't know based on circular reasoning. This is why poeple think comic fans are fat losers who live in their mothers basement.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Realy Bad Pun

What do you call a rapping Transformer?

MC Hummer!

In related news, I have writer's block.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

If I Ran the Zoo;: the Hangman

Instead of Tom Waits' Thursday, this week were going to do another installment of If I Ran the Zoo. where I suggest reinterpretation of existing comic book characters. This week, we're going to focus on the Hangman, one the Archie characters that DC Comics recently revived.
The problem with the recent Hangman revival is that it's basically a retread of the old vengeful ghost story. The twist is that, though he is a murdering ghost by night, the Hangman is a doctor be day. Thus, he must work to heal the people who suvive his nightly attacks. If this premise sounds familiar, it's because it is basically the plot of the web comic Dr. McNinja, except not funny or interesting.
My reinterperetaion of the character goes back to his ogininal Archie comics origin with a darker twist . In the orginal comics, the Hangaman was actually Bob Dickering, the younger brother of the superhero, the Comet. When the Comet gets shot by mobsters, Bob becomes the Hangman to get revenge on the criminals who did it.
My take on the character is that the Comet's death was the major turning point in Bob's life. It was the event that gave him direction. Befre that, his life was on autoplilot. Being the Hangman gave him a purpose and, for the first time, he was truly happy.
The only problem is that the Comet, like all good superheroes, gets better. (I'm talking about the 1940's Comet. The less that it said about the 60's version of the character, the better.) Suddenly, Bob's whole motivation is gone. His brother's presence reduces him to just a man in a slly outfit. After all, what's scarier to criminals, a hero who has no superpowers or the man who can and will disentigrate you by looking at you funny?
After all, death is not the worst thing that can happen to a superhero. The worst thing is being made irelevant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Adventures in Bad Marketing

So if anyone's following the new Captain America: Reborn miniseries, Marvel is extending it by one issue which will be released in January. In other news,there also doing a special epilogue which will be released -- in December. They're actually releasing the epilogue before the last issue. I repeat: They're releasing the epilogue before the last issue. You have to wonder who signs off on stuff like this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Comic I Liked This Week

The new Batman Annnual is an unessential murder mystery. Its only purpose is to serve as pilot for the new Azrael series. (He's Batman, only crazy and murderous). It features probably one of the silliest looking new villains in ages. And I loved every minute of it. People have no idea how refreshing it is just to read a superhero comic that is content with what it is. The superheo element is not treated as a distraction so that we can get to the real story. The superhero action is the real story. Its nice to know that there are still superhero comics that haven't forgotten how to have fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tom Waits Thursdays

Wow. It's been a while since I've done one of these.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Been a While Since You Got Some Actual Content

---And you're not getting any now. Instead you get to listen to They Might Be Giants.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Truth Reveald at Last


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If I Ran the Zoo 1; More on the Web

If you've ever read a comic book blog, every one has a column on characters they don't like and want to get rid of. Well, I've decided to do something different. I would like to discuss how the lame characters can be improved.
So this brings me to the recent revamp of Archie hero, the Web. As it turns out, I like the revamp more than I though I would. Unfortunately, I got the idea for this before I read the comic so you're all going to read about it.
My take on the character is an expansion of his 1960s status quo. Basically, the Web was a henpecked husband who would go out and fight crime despite the protestations of his nagging wife.
This premise could easily be updated for the twenty-first century. Here's my idea. The Web is really John Raymond, who spent a brief career as a super-hero in his youth. He was never any thing more than a C-lister, fighting crimes with his fists and getting beaten up more often then not. As he grew up, he settled down, got a real job, and married the love of his life.
It was all downhill from there. As the years went by, John and his wife, Rose, began to drift apart. Their marriage has become monotonous. The romance is gone and they constantly fight with one another. One night, John storms out after a particularly bad argument and, to vent some steam, he puta on his old costume one last time. This time, though, John stumbles on to the headquarters of an actual super villain and, through sheer luck, beats him. Now John has possession of the villain's relatively advanced technology and, after that big fight, it would be a shame to let it go to waste. The more his John Raymond's marriage worsens, the more the Web shows up to fight crime. Worse, his wife has developed a fixation on his alter ego.
And that's when things start getting complicated.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Super Short Review: The Web Issue 1

So, I started reading the Web, DC's new revival of the Archie hero. I have to say it's incredibly generic. The story continues on from the J. Michael Stransinski penned one shot that re-introduced the character. Unfortunately, it has lost the touches that made the revamped character interesting.
The JMS one-shot was about a celebrity obsessed super hero who screws up and gets his brother killed. At the end, the Web had decided to make the effort to become a real hero despite the fact that he is not a very good person. The idea is that he is not quite a hero but he's working at it. In addition, he has a unique viral marketing approach to fighting crime; he advertises his services on the Internet and, according to the writers, will be franchising out his super-hero identity to other people.
Unfortunately, none of this comes through in the first issue. Indeed, the Web spend most of the issue searching for his brother's killer. While this is an important plot arc, it dominates the issues to the point of squeezing out any of the character's more interesting facets. In the end, the Web comes off as less of his own character and more like an imprudently dressed Batman.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tom Wait's Thursday: Good Day

I've had a good day so here's some (relatively) upbeat Tom Waits.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marvel's New Legal Troubles

I've been hearing a lot in the news about Marvel's legal trouble with the Kirby estate. I'm also hearing a lot of comparison to the current lawsuit over the rights to Superman.
However, in this situation, Marvel doesn't have as much to lose as DC does. The Seagal and Schuster heirs could, if they win, take Superman over to another company. This doesn't hold for Marvel Comics.
This is primarily because the Kirby estate has a higher burden of proof then the Seagal and Schuster heirs do. In order to fully regain the copyright to the Marvel characters, the Kirby estate must prove their contention that Stan Lee had nothing to do with the development of these characters.
If they can't do this, and I'm aware of no evidence to back up their claim, Stan Lee still has a copyright interest in the characters. At lest, he did until he waived those rights to Marvel. My guess is that the Kirby estate will have to share ownership of the characters with Marvel Comics. Hell, they can only lay claim to one-third of the Spider-Man copyrights.
So, comic book fans likely don't have to worry at their fictional universe being torn apart. For the moment, we should sit back, relax, and enjoy our funny books.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tom Wait's Thursday: God's Away on Business

Tom Wait's foray into gospel music:

Can't you just feel his love for all mankind?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Misplaced Agression

I'm wondering if comic book nerds (heck, nerds of any kind) are actually as bad as people say we are. If no one's heard about the recent Spider-Man storyline, Sprider-Man's old enemy, the Chameleon, disguised himself as Peter Parker. When he did that, he then proceeded to seduce and (allegedly) sleep with Spider-Man's roommate, Michelle Gonzales.
This controversial scene immediately set the internet ablaze . The fan community insisted that this scene constituted rape as Michelle was tricked into believing that she was sleeping with Peter. The writer and editorial disagreed, pointing out that the Chameleon did not force Michelle to sleep with him. I will not comment on who was right because, at the moment, I am not entirely sure on which side I fall.
What does matter is some of the horrible invective I saw from the fan community. They disparaged and made horrible personal attacks on the editorial and editorial. Entirely for writing about a fictional character.
I don't care what you think about Marvel's editorial decision regarding the Spider-Man franchise. I've read forum discussions where fans fans (in particular, some jerk calling himself Box_in_the_Box) saying that the writer, Fred van Lente, deserves to be , and I quote, "sodomized with a tree." No one who posts on that forum called him out on this.
The logic is baffling. What Box_in_the_Box is saying, and the people who did not call him ou on this are implicitly agreeing with, is "The writer disagreed with my interpretation of his story.. Therefore, he deserves to be brutalized in a horrifying degrading fashion in real life."
That's a horrible thing to say about another human being in any circumstance. There's a difference between a storyline direction you don't like and wishing ill on another human being. Would it kill comic book fans to actually have some perspective?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ah! Nostalgia

I was wandering through TV Tropes today when I saw a reference to So Weird!, a TV show I was fond of in my youth. It was a pretty good show that built a compelling mythology that involved the main character's father, evil supernatural forces, and aliens. Everything was hinting that the main character was going to have final battle with forces of evil. It was pretty dark stuff for a children's show.
--And the in the third season, the main character was written out and all of her subplots dropped to be replaced by the adventures of a more conventionally attractive actress and her magic panther. It is heartening to know that i am not the only person annoyed by this.
I really, really hated that panther.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Video Game Review Review

So it turns out it was bad idea to put David Lynch in charge of the Funky Winkerbean video game---

Seriously, this video game is called Mondo Medicals. Since there is no way in Hell that I am actually goning to play this game, I have linked to Madame Luna's playthrough.
This seems to be a game eniriely based on hurting the user as much as possible. The game developer, "Cactus", is Sweedish so there is a chance the grammatical errors in the game are an accident. This is, however, unlikely.
The object of the game is to solve the various puzzels on each level for the reward with having a man with a television for a head shout at you about cancer. Sorory, I mean cancers. What's more is that the game can not actually be won. After completing all the levels, you get to have a battle with TV-head man. This battle consits of him pulling out a gun and shooting you, which leads to a game over. There is aboslutely nothing you can do to stop him in any way shape or form.
Amazingly enough,they made a sequal to this game called Mondo Agents. It is not unwinable like Mondo Medicals. However, while Mondo Medicals has it's own warped story logic, Mondo Agents actually makes no sense at all. I will not post any links to Mondo Agents because the game is actually a health hazard with its flashing red villains. Quite frankly I don't need to be sued for causing a seizure.
Intrigued by all this, I did a bit more research into Cactus's work. Their only game I found information on is called Clean Asia! The premise of that game is that everyone's eyeballs go rougue and try to take over the world. And after that little bombshell, there isn't really much more I can say about that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Short Review: Don MacGregor's Sabre

So, I found a copy of Don Mac Gregor's independent comic Sabre at my local library. If my memory serves me right, it was a fairly popular independent comic in it's time. The comic is set in the future and chronicles the adventures of resistance fighter, Saber, as he batlles the standard evil dystopian government.
There are two things that are interesting about the series. One, it has art by Paul Gulacey better known to me as the guy who draws everyone with really long faces . I had no idea that he had been in the industry this long. In fact, I had no idea he did anything before last year's True Believers series for Marvel. The art in Sabre, may be less technically polished than his later work but at least the quirks of his particular are muted. (NOTE: This is not say Gulacy's work is bad. It is quite good but the way he draw's faces can be distracting.)
The second thing is the copious nudity-- I mean the dialogue. Yeah! The dialogue! The problem with Sabre is that the characters tend to give long-winded speeches. Every time someone opens their mouth, they say everything they are thinking. Motivation is not revealed through subtle storytelling techniques but by characters out right telling us.
This , by the way, is an indicator of the best way to read Sabre. Simply imagine William Shatner voicing every single character. Trust me! The comic is much more fun that way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sorry I've Been Away

I haven't updated at all this week. Sorry about that. Tomorrow I'll have something more substantial but for now, here's some Tom Waits singing Bertoldt Breckt.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More on Fletcher Hanks

So after reading more Flatcher Hanks, I've realised that one of his characters get's short shrift. Although Hanks is more famous for the twisted adventures of Stardust the Super-Wizard, it's his jungle heroine, Fantomah, who is far more disturbing.
Both Fantomah and Stardust's adventures follow the same pattern. The villain does something evil and the hero doles out a sadistic punishment. The difference is that Stardust actualy tries to rescue people. His villains usually rack up a high body-count but this is justified because Stardust doesn't live on Earth and takes a while getting here. On the other hand, Fantomah, who can best be described as Ghost Rider in drag, tends to stand around and watch the villain's commit their crimes. She shows up and warns them not to commit their horrible crimes but she never actually stops them. Yes, I know the bad guys get what they deserve in the end, but the time for action was before they started using biological weapons! (Especailly when said weapon is called a GREEN DEATH INJECTOR!)
I mean, the villains are actualy are offten more likable than Fantomah. In one story, she turns a pair of criminals into what can be best be described as celery people with no apparent genitals. Their reaction to the horrifying loss of their humanity is as follows---
CROOK 1: Crime sure doesn't seem to pay.
CROOK 2: You're right!
If thats not good sportsmanship, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Don't Know About the Marvel/Disney Merger---

But if he's against it, I'm all for it.

Video courtesy of Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TV Disasters

I just watch the new Spike TV show "Surviving Disaster." I just want to say that I find it hilarious that a show thats supposed to teach people how to survive high-stress situations comes with a disclaimer that says "We are not responsible if using any of these techniques lead to your horrible demise."

Monday, August 31, 2009

News of the Day

I suppose I should comment on the big news for today. In the extremely unlikely event that you haven't heard, Marvel Comics has been acquired by Disney. What this means exactly is uncertain. I've heard speculation that ranges from absolutely nothing changing to Marvel Comics ceasing publication all together.
I figure I might as well add my own speculation to the mix. I think Marvel will continue publishing for the time being. However, it would be foolish to assume that there will be no changes in content. For Spider-Man fans, I suspect it will be largely good news. I sincerely doubt that the company that refused to release Dogma will want one of the more popular Marvel heroes to make deals with Mephisto. I fully expect "One More Day" to be undone. As for any other changes, only time will tell.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


If this works, I can now embed videos. Please enjoy this hilarious video of man being maimed by a cat. Ah! Schadenfreude never gets old.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stardut the Super-Wizard

For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I have started reading Golden Age reprints of Stardust the Super-Wizard. What's interesting is how much most people who know the character talk about how creepy he is. However, if one actually reads the stories he's a pretty standard super hero for the time. Sure, he kills his enemies in bizarre and degrading ways but so did a lot of super-heroes at the time. (Good examples are the Specter, Sampson, and the Quality Comics Ms. America). I think what a lot of creeps people out about the character is Fletcher Hank's distinctive art style. The villains are hideously ugly and the heroes proportions are all slightly off. This contributes to a sense of unease that permeates the story.
The second thing that creeps people out about Stardust is Fletcher Hank's tendency to introduce bizarre monsters into his story without any explanation whatsoever. I means at least the way the Specter dealt with his enemies made ironic sense. Stardust (and Hank's other creation, Fantomah) had a tendency to feed their enemies to creatures the literally came out of nowhere.

Stardust: I will turn you into a giant head and feed you to the Headless Headhunter, on of the most deadly creatures in the galaxy.
DeStructo: Wait, it this comic actually going to bother to explain that thing--?
Starburst: SILENCE, FOOL!

Without Hank's penchant for the bizarre, Stardust is just like any other Golden Age superhero: powerful and sadistic. However, Hank's truly put in the extra effort to make the adventures of Stardust that special brand of nightmare fuel that we all know and love.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Today's Resolution

I vow to learn how to use a scanner. Also, to go back and put pictures up on my old posts as soon as humanly possible.
For now, just sit tight, nonexistent fan base.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comics Characters Who Are Hard to Use

1) Mad Jim Jaspers from Captain Britain

I'm going to confess here. This character is one of my favorites. He's basically a lot like the Joker. Strange costume. Twisted sense of humor. Deranged smile. He would be exactly like the Joker if not for one thing: Mad Jim Jaspers is essentially God.

In his first appearance, he's just an oddly-dressed criminal from that old comic standby the parallel universe. But when Allan Moore took over the character, he turns out to be an insane god-like mutant who killed all the suerheroes in his universe. He's so crazy turns his entire universe into a Salvitore Dali painting for shits and giggles.

And what's worse is that the main character,our hero, Captain Britain fails to stop him twice. The first time Jasper's is taken out it's because an outside agency destroys his universe while he's in it. The second time, Jaspers (actually his Marvel universe counterpart. It's complicated.) is taken out by the story arcs other major villain, The Fury. The heroes are more or less powerless against him. (Captain Britain's role in his defeat is literally consists of serving as bait).

Unfortunately, the character took a downturn the moment Allan Moore stopped writing him. When Chris Claremont brought the character back it was for "Die By the Sword" a crossover between the Exiles and Excalibur. The problem is that Jaspers doesn't work very well as a recurring villain. In order for him to work in the mainstream Marvel Universe, you have to power him down to the point where the character's have a chance of beating him. And that misses the point of the character.

Any Jim Jasper's story where the heroes aren't simply destroyed in the blink of an eye should have them turned into various horrible things while Jasper's toys with them. He's the one villain they can't beat. He's the guy against whom the only possible recourse is hoping that someone much more powerful take him out for you. (And I'm talking Eternity level power here). This means that he should used sparingly and only for stories where you want to kill off a whole bunch of major characters. (And you can't outside of What If?. Because I'm talking characters like Wolverine and Spider-Man). Otherwise, he's just another dime -a-dozen villain and he's much to good a character for that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Unspeakable horrors

There is an old saying that the journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. In my experience, I have discovered that absolutely no one knows who said this. The only agreement that I have been able to find is that the person in question was Chinese. For several years I believed that Chinese philosopher, Lao Tsu, gave us this pearl of wisdom. By the same token, my father believed that the man who came up with this quotation was Chinese dictator Mao Tse Tung. I could do research to find out exactly who said it but quite frankly I am lazy and don't feel like it.

The reason for this long rambling digression that I have decided to start my own journey of 1,000 miles. (I can hear your eyes rolling). I have decided that I have opinions about things and that they must be shared with the world. This is, of course, a great honor for everyone else. On this blog, I shall deal with a multitude of subjects, such as comic books, movies, comic books, television and, of course, comic books. I am going to talk about such things as the difference between criticism and online psychosis, why I hate legacy superheroes (i.e Flash, Green Lantern), why horror movies aren't any good, the five things John Byrne is right about, and why downloading comics is morally wrong. (Oh boy, I'm going to get into trouble. Wait. No one reads this blog so I should be safe. )

See you soon.
(Note to self: Come up with a better way to end a post.)