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.)