Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 8/27/08

AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE #2 - Should I even bother trying to review this title? I mean, you either hate Ambush Bug or you love it. Trying to describe the plot is pointless - there isn't one. And some of the items covered here - such as The Amber Butane Corps - are so obscure you can't even find articles about them! And it wouldn't be much fun for me to just run down a list of obscure references. Must leave Jess Nevins some work, after all. Anyway... this is a very silly book. If you like silly books, you will probably like it.

FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES REVENGE #2 - The thing I like best about Geoff Johns writing is the way he can take some of the sillier or more confusing aspects of the DCU and explain them away, simply and easily, with a throwaway sentence.

Case in point: even by the standards of super-villains, The Rogues dress funny. What's even more maddening is that they have a professional tailor who caters exclusively to the villain crowds. With just a few quick notes and one page of action, Johns explains that The Rogues go to Paul Gambi - not for his sense of style - but his practicality in design.

Yes, a blue fur eskimo suit with skier-sunglasses doesn't look very menacing... but when you're like Captain Cold and your powers involve generating Absolute Zero levels of cold and enough snow to cause permanent snow-blindness... well, suddenly a fur suit and eye-protection make a whole lot of sense. So does an insulated, water-proof costume for a weather manipulator. And so does Heatwave's bulky, ugly fire-proof suit - which proves to be the deciding factor in his battle against another fire-starter who didn't think to protect himself form his own flames.

We also get an explanation for why arch-baddie Libra should care about The Flash villains not wanting to join his gang. It's not the usual "no one refuses Doom!" shtick. No, he practically notes that The Flashes - with their ability to strike unseen and time-travel - are the biggest threat to his plans and that it is very important that he have people with extensive experience fighting Speedsters and winning most of the time on his team.

A very entertaining read. If you like stories told from the bad guys' point of view, this is a good book to pick-up.

JACK OF FABLES #25 - The 4th Wall as a narrator. Babe the Blue Ox as a friendly pirate. Jack actually proving to be every bit the ladies' man and hero he thinks he is. All this, and more hot librarian sex! It's everything you could want in a comedic Vertigo title. Well, everything I could want anyway...

Commentary on HEROES: Season 2 DVD Extra

Part of the extras included a Sneak Peek at Season 3 as well as the alternate ending (i.e. original ending before the WGA strike made them step things up to end the season early) and a discussion of what would have happened had they had a whole season to work with instead of a mere eleven episodes, along with footage of what they had shot "just in case".

Good news - even though it's all but been confirmed at this point, I still feel it worth noting that Niki is still on the show.

Bad news - though there's no reason for her not to be other than The Producers listening to fan demand, Maya is still on the show.

Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet) says that some of the "good" characters we've seen so far are going to go bad. As they were interviewing him, low, inhuman groans could be heard from a stage behind him where they were filming and he intentionally got quiet so we could hear it better.

The guy who plays Bennet is even scarier when he's grinning like a school boy and trying not to laugh.

Coleman also promises that the story for Season 3 will involve time-travel as well as "alliances between characters you never thought would join forces".

We see Peter, with the scarred face, as he appeared in "Five Years Past". We know at least one episode is set in an alternate future... same one as before, but slightly different?

Ali Larter says that Season 3 is going to see her paired with a regular who she hasn't worked with much on the show, but who she really wanted to work with. She also says her role this season is "undercover".

First episode will open almost where the last one ended, with Matt and Peter chasing down the person they think shot Nathan.

Bennet will start out trapped in Level 5 - The Company's prison for the biggest threats.

Mohinder and Maya are going to start out partnered, with Molly having been hidden away "somewhere". Probably with Matt, since this scene is supposed to take place 3 days after Sylar escapes.

Hmm. Molly, Matt, Mohinder, Maya. Lot of M names there in that arc.

Speaking of Matt... he will further deal with the morality of his increasing powers and his new-found abilities to mind-control as well as mind-read. No word on if he will go over the line yet, but his actor hopes he will get to go bad.

Well, the short version is that The Virus gets released. Peter doesn't catch the vial after Adam drops it when Hiro teleports them both.

Peter, Matt and Nathan leave The Company bunker under Primatech Paper and find several civilians bleeding at the pores and lying in a near-dead state. After trying to do what they can to help the two infected people they find, Nathan says that the only hope they have is to quarantine the city.

Naturally, the cops are skeptical about the story of a pandemic man-made disease, even with reports coming in of multi-car pile-ups and a student passing out for no obvious reason. Nathan sends Peter off to try and warn the local doctors, figuring that it's best for the person with medical training to try and be there to help them figure things out. Matt uses his powers and gives himself a nosebleed, mind-controlling all the cops into listening to Nathan.

Unfilmed, but shown in storyboard, is a very kick-ass scene where Peter uses his telekinesis to cause a controlled landslide, blocking one of the major bridges out of Odessa.

The reporters show up, wanting to know what is going on as the mayor seems completely clueless. Nathan tells them to look for a city official or whoever is supposed to be in charge. The reporter sarcastically tells Nathan to look around "because it's you".

A press conference is thrown together and Nathan tells the world about the virus being released and talking about the brave people of Odessa who are sealing themselves off to save the world. Another great speech. Another great performance.

The season ends pretty much the same way except that instead of Nathan getting shot, Nathan visibly weakens during the speech and finally passes out, with Peter and Matt trying to push back the crowd. And this time, Claire, Hiro, Ando, Mohinder, Molly and Maya are all watching the news at that moment and learn about the disaster they were trying to prevent happening anyway.

Odessa would have been successfully sealed off. Natural people tried to flee and naturally they get gunned down by the National Guard. Peter, Nathan and Matt get trapped there. Mohinder goes down to Odessa, being the expert on the virus that he is. Claire goes there, looking for Nathan and Peter.

Maya's "plague" power was supposed to expand to being able to absorb viruses as well as expelling them. She was either going to die after saving the world or survive and become Mohinder's love interest.

( Slight pause while I wretch at the thought of the idiots those two will breed. )

The man we saw explaining everything to Peter in the alternate future where the Virus was released would be revealed - in the present - to be a CDC official AND a double-agent for The Company. The CDC actually managed to get everything under control thanks to Matt, Peter and Nathan... but The Company wants the whole of Odessa destroyed to cover up everything.

Elle continues to track down Sylar, who killed one unidentified person.

We see Sylar go after a man who survived a sky-diving accident unscathed, who apparently has unbreakable skin. Good news: Sylar can't cut him telekinetically. Bad news: that makes Sylar get creative, apparently pulling the brain out through the nose. Elle finds him but he is somehow able to vanish before she can corner him.

Elle asks Bob why she got this job instead of another agent. Bob says he did it because she was the best he had. Would be rather touching if he didn't slam the door on her after she said "I love you."

Sylar kills a woman with a Chameleon power (i.e. blending into backgrounds). Hmm... guess that DOESN'T explain how he's getting away if he wants that one.

Elle goes to a locked-up Bennet, saying that Sylar has killed four people now and asking why her dad is sending her after Sylar alone. Bennet points out that standard procedure is for agents to work in pairs and that her dad is very anal about "the rules". Basically, Bob is using Elle as bait for Sylar so that her "partner" can take him down. Naturally, Elle isn't too thrilled by this accusation and splits in a huff.

Hiro, convinced that no good can come of his using his powers... having failed to save Charlie AND his father and having created the threat that was Adam "Kensei" Monroe and being indirectly responsible for the virus being released... vows never to time-travel or even stop time again. Not even to save Ando from throwing himself into traffic. Of course, he does save Hiro without his powers... and then chews Ando out for being foolish.

And then... the shocking opener of what would have been episode 13.

The Company Office in New York, trashed.

Hiro lies in the hallway, impaled on his own sword. Monica and Micah lie dead in the hallway, next to one another... both with wounds to the chest. Matt is propped up in a swivel chair, his throat slit. Peter's body falls through the broken window he was stuck in, his body bruised, bloody and slashed across the chest. And then we see a masked man... strangling Clair with one hand as he lifts her up off the ground as she kicks helplessly.

The figure throws her to the ground and closes in as we cut away to a dead Noah Bennet, his glasses broken on the ground.

We cut back to the masked man as he drags Claire's body away, her severed head lying on the ground looking up.

Angela Petrelli walks down the hallway, looking shocked. And then four figures rise up before her. They are all dressed in black. Adam Monroe. Niki Saunders. Maury Parkman and an African American man who I don't think we've seen before. And then suddenly, Sylar is behind her and puts his hands on her shoulders....

And then Angela wakes up in the back of her car... obviously disturbed.

(Hmm... looks like we know where Peter's weird dream vision at the end of Season One came from...)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Writer's Block: Your Favorite Series: One Last Go Round

Night Court.

They had the perfect ending set up at Season 8 and filmed a final episode. Then NBC decided they didn't want to cancel the show after all. Season 9 started with a sudden reversal of everything that happened at the end of Season 8, restored the status quo in a haphazard two-part episode and then set about putting everything back where it was... at least until the end of Season 9, when things changed once again and the ended the show with...

*Harry getting numerous job offers and declining them all because he decided he was doing the most possible good where he was.

*Christine getting elected to Congress.

*Dan quitting his job so he could devote himself to proving that he was a good man to Christine.

*Mac quitting his job and law school to become a filmmaker, after his video of Bull's wedding was accidentally released to a local Independent theater and became a Rocky Horror style camp classic.

*Bull leaves with two aliens from Jupiter, who need a tall guy to reach the things on their high shelves.

*Roz... umm... reassuring Harry that she'll still be there even as everyone else is moving on.

Somebody needs to resolve all of that. If nothing else, they need to bring Bull back to tell his wife what happened. I picture Bull having become, not only the "reacher of high things" but complete warlord of Jupiter!

I admit this would be silly. But would it honestly be any sillier than most of the things that happened on Night Court?

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 8/20/08

Since I'm on kind of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 buzz this morning, I'm going to do a good thing and a bad thing about each comic I read this week.

GOOD THING: The picture-perfect scenes with The Joker.
BAD THING: The Birds are almost completely ignored in favor of letting Tony Bedard write a Sweet Valley High fanfic as Misfit adjusts to public school.

GOOD THING: This month's cover, while ludicrous, is not as bad as last month's cover.
BAD THING: We're still listening to a story about Conan's grandfather instead of seeing Conan himself in action.

GOOD THING: Art by Eisner-Award winner Pia Guerra!
BAD THING: The story is nothing we haven't seen before, with a fairly obvious villain behind it all and the plot itself seemingly borrowed, in broad concept, from The Eight Doctors.

GOOD THING: Everybody gets to contribute to the fight against Amazo and gets a good lick in, including Black Canary literally blowing the head off of Amazo.
BAD THING: The cover has nothing to do with this issue. Seriously. While the last pages seem to set up a battle with some spider-related creature, nobody called Anansi is in this book.

Comics and D&D Alignment

Since the subject has been brought up again both here and here, and since I made more than a few of these posters myself on RPG.NET... I thought perhaps it fitting that I weigh in on the subject, being a gamer and comics expert of some note. Here now are my posters, with actual quotes from the character and my justification for why that character is that alignment.

WHY IS CAPTAIN AMERICA LAWFUL GOOD? Because as many times as Steve Rogers has been declared an outlaw, it has never stopped him from trying to work within the rules and laws of his country for the greatest possible good. Even in Civil War, he was fighting for the higher law of The United States Bill of Rights even as he was fighting against the laws regarding superhero registration.

WHY IS BATMAN NEUTRAL GOOD? Much as I know everyone would like to peg Batman as Lawful Good so he's a polar opposite of Joker and as many arguments as I've heard that Batman is a deep believer in order, despite working outside the law... sorry, Bruce has too much going against him to be Lawful. Not only because Bruce breaks countless laws on a nightly basis (breaking-in-and-entering, assault, driving an unregistered, uninsured and decidedly not street-legal vehicle... and the bit in The Dark Knight where he illegally violated millions of peoples' right to privacy to give himself radar powers) but because Bruce's concern for achieving Good is more important than the ideal of Law and Order.

Superman himself put it best in Kingdom Come - "When you take everything else away from Batman, you have a person who doesn't want to see people die." That's about as good a definition of Neutral Good as I've ever seen.

WHY IS GREEN ARROW CHAOTIC GOOD? Fights Evil? Check. Works outside the law? Check. Issues with anyone who thinks you need a badge or a uniform to do good? BIG OL' CHECK. Plus, he's basically Robin Hood. Everyone knows Robin Hood = Textbook Chaotic Good.

WHY ARE THE GUARDIANS LAWFUL NEUTRAL? While they were always supposed to be an organization concerned with keeping order and preserving life, the "Keeping Order" part of the equation has always been the greater of the two. You can see in numerous stories how they tolerate individual Lanterns breaking their rules and defying their direct commands about as well as a three-year-old who has been told they can't have a cookie. And with the new Alpha Lanterns (cyborg Green Lanterns created by combining Manhunter technology with live Green Lanterns) in Green Lantern right now, it looks like the New Earth Guardians are back in the habit of trading freedom for security.

WHY IS CONAN NEUTRAL? Aren't barbarians chaotic by their very nature? Not necessarily and certainly not by the D&D Rules, which only required a barbarian be non-Lawful. As many issues as Conan has with city men and their pointless rules, he has always been willing to put aside his dislike of people telling him what to do for steady pay. Chaotic types don't generally thrive in the military and Conan certainly did thrive while in the employ of various armies. He played the soldier just as much as he played bandit, suggesting he had no strong feelings on law or chaos, one way or the other. And he certainly made an honest attempt at doing the job well once he became a King, despite being totally unsuited toward the life of royalty.

WHY IS JOHN CONSTANTINE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL? I've seen several people argue that John should be Chaotic Good because he honestly does try to do the right thing, more often than not. This is true. But John generally does a lot of evil things to accomplish that good, including intentionally sacrificing other people and trafficking with demons. The fact that John tries to do the right thing on occasion is the only thing keeping him from being Chaotic Evil. But even ignoring the means John uses to bring about individual ends, John's personality is geared toward doing things without considering the eventual result. Even without his magic, the demons around him and the angels behind him, it is John's nature to lash out against the world and Authority with a capital A. He was a rotten kid who disrespected his father. He was a punk singer. And he once arranged for a paranoid anarchist friend to wind up on the mailing list of a conservative Church group, just because he knew he'd be freaked out by their pamphlet describing the evils of rock and roll, Ouija boards and video games. Why? Because he could.

WHY IS DOCTOR DOOM LAWFUL EVIL? Doom is a man of his word. He respects the rule of law, even when the law isn't his own. At least, when written properly he does. He's a member of the United Nations and takes his position as a world leader seriously. He honestly does seem to make an effort at providing for his people and trying to better the world, even if the inspiration behind his acts is to show how amazing he is. And for all the tricky-dicks who want to point out the laws he violates going after The Fantastic Four... well, guess what, by our rules he doesn't have to follow our rules! Diplomatic Immunity for the win!

WHY IS DEADSHOT NEUTRAL EVIL? Amoral mercenary who will take any job to kill anyone, no questions asked. Sure, he has a wife and a kid now... but his first response in dealing with the people threatening their lives is to shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

WHY IS THE JOKER CHAOTIC EVIL? Oh, come on! Do I REALLY need to explain this one? Go see The Dark Knight again...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Good News, Everyone!

I don't know how I somehow missed two of these factoids until today, when the third factoid was announced. I can only conclude that it was the will of a just and loving deity who wanted to give me some good news to perk me up in the wake of what has been a pretty lousy week.

Still... Every little bit helps.

1. Judd Winick is off Green Arrow/Black Canary as of Issue #15!

2.Mike Grell returns to DC to revive Warlord!

3.Kevin Smith returns to DC to write Batman vs. Onomatopoeia!

My comments?

1. Apparently someone at DC finally noticed that the only active discussions on the Green Arrow boards on their own forums involved discussions of plot-holes in the current GA/BC storyline, complaints about how Dinah and Ollie were secondary characters in their own book with Batman doing most of the work and speculation on how much better anyone else would be at writing the book. Not to mention the series lost whatever new readers it picked up from The Wedding stunt and is back at it's end-of the-GA-solo-series numbers (Sales figures taken from )

1. 52,128
2. 42,811
3. 40,297
4. 35,011
5. 36,639
6. 32,611
7. 32,027
8. 30,855
9. 30,319

And on a side tangent... why is it still the Green Arrow boards, huh? It's been a year since Green Arrow/Black Canary put out issue #1 folks. Let's snap to it, huh?

Obviously, I'm happy. I'll admit to being somewhat wary that the new writer is new to DC Comics. Still, he did write one of the best episodes of the Justice League cartoon and his Helen Killer book is much greatness. He's also making a living doing television writing which is just as difficult to find steady professional work in as comics. And he did say all the right things in the above interview - i.e. focus on Ollie and Dinah in their city with their family, no more globe-trotting with Batman.

2. Well, he's not writing Green Arrow... but he's in the perfect position to do a guest spot. Writing or artwork would be cool.

And of course the return of Warlord is a good thing, as well. And that's even ignoring the chance of a revival of the Ollie Queen/Travis Morgan running-gag. Much as I want to see Ollie get back to basics at home, I do love the idea of the Arrow Family getting stranded in Skartaris.

3. Give DC credit. This time they made sure all the scripts were done before they even announced the book. Seriously, I love Smith's writing but the man can't keep a monthly deadline schedule AND keep being one of the best director/producer/writers of his generation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Because It Needs To Be Said

Cross posted from The ISB

Overheard at San Diego Comic-Con while I was having lunch on the balcony of the Convention Center on Sunday July 27: a bunch of guys looking at the digital photos on the camera of another, while he narrated: “These were the Ghostbusters girls. That one, I grabbed her ass, ’cause I wanted to see what her reaction was.” This was only one example of several instance of harassment, stalking or assault that I saw at San Diego this time.

1. One of my friends was working at a con booth selling books. She was stalked by a man who came to her booth several times, pestering her to get together for a date that night. One of her co-workers chased him off the final time.

2. On Friday, just before the show closed, this same woman was closing up her tables when a group of four men came to her booth, started taking photographs of her, telling her she was the “prettiest girl at the con.” They they entered the booth, started hugging and kissing her and taking photographs of themselves doing so. She was confused and scared, but they left quickly after doing that.

3. Another friend of mine, a woman running her own booth: on Friday a man came to her booth and openly criticized her drawing ability and sense of design. Reports from others in the same section of the floor confirmed he’d targeted several women with the same sort of abuse and criticism.

Quite simply, this behavior has got to stop at Comic-Con. It should never be a sort of place where anyone, man or woman, feels unsafe or attacked either verbally or physically in any shape or form. There are those, sadly, who get off on this sort of behavior and assault, whether it’s to professional booth models, cosplayers or costumed women, or women who are just there to work. This is not acceptable behavior under any circumstance, no matter what you look like or how you’re dressed, whether you are in a Princess Leia slave girl outfit or business casual for running your booth.

On Saturday, the day after the second event I described above, Ipulled out my convention book to investigate what you can do and who you can speak to after such an occurrence. On page two of the book there is a large grey box outlining “Convention Policies,” which contain rules against smoking, live animals, wheeled handcarts, recording at video presentations, drawing or aiming your replica weapon, and giving your badge to others. There is nothing about attendee-to-attendee personal behavior.

Page three of the book contains a “Where Is It?” guide to specific Comic-Con events and services. There’s no general information room or desk listed, nor is there a contact location for security, so I go to the Guest Relations Desk. I speak to a volunteer manning the desk; she’s sympathetic to the situation but who doesn’t have a clear answer to my question: “What’s Comic-Con’s policy and method of dealing with complaints about harassment?” She directs me to the nearest security guard, who is also sympathetic listening to my reports, but short of the women wanting to report the incidents with the names of their harassers, there’s little that can be done.

“I understand that,” I tell them both, “but what I’m asking is more hypothetical and informational: if there is a set Comic-Con policy on harassment and physical and verbal abuse on Con attendees and exhibitors, and if so, what’s the specific procedure by which someone should report it, and specifically where should they go?” But this wasn’t a question either could answer.

So, according to published con policy, there is no tolerance for smoking, drawn weapons, personal pages or selling bootleg videos on the floor, and these rules are written down in black and white in the con booklet. There is not a word in the written rules about harassment or the like. I would like to see something like “Comic-Con has zero tolerance for harassment or violence against any of our attendees or exhibitors. Please report instances to a security guard or the Con Office in room XXX.”

The first step to preventing such harassment is giving its victims the knowledge that they can safely and swiftly report such instances to someone in authority. Having no published guideline, and indeed being unable to give a clear answer to questions about it, gives harassment and violence one more red-tape loophole to hide behind.

I enjoyed Comic-Con. I’m looking forward to coming back next year. So, in fact, are the two women whose experiences I’ve retold above. Aside from those instances, they had a good time at the show. But those instances of harassment shouldn’t have happened at all, and that they did under no clear-cut instructions about what to do sadly invites the continuation of such behavior, or even worse.

I don’t understand why there’s no such written policy about what is not tolerated and what to do when this happens. Is there anyone at Comic-Con able to explain this? Does a similar written policy exist in the booklets for other conventions (SF, comics or otherwise) that could be used as a model? Can it be adapted or adapted, and enforced, for Comic-Con? As the leading event of the comics and pop culture world, Comic-Con should work to make everyone who attends feel comfortable and safe.

–John DiBello

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 8/13/08

DOCTOR WHO #6 - Much as I am looking forward to the upcoming multi-Doctor story The Forgotten, my patience with this regular monthly book is about worn out.

Why? Because when you spend the better part of the final issue explaining everything that happened in the story so far as a character writes a mental letter home, it is merely a bad story. But when you end a Doctor Who story with The Doctor holding a BFG - even if he does complain about the necessity of using the sonic screwdriver to power a sonic cannon - as Martha grips his waist like a Conan heroine as The Doctor shouts that he needs a group of god-like aliens to channel the fear-filled thoughts of a billion terrified souls to further power said sonic cannon... you have a truly bad Doctor Who story that entirely misses the point of the character.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #27 - Lots to like here. From Guy Gardner's attempts to open an American bar-and-grill on Oa and the complications that ensue ("What's a hamburger?") to the buddy-buddy scenes with Guy and Kyle talking about Guy's distance relationship with Ice to the sheer sci-fi coolness of a Green Lantern who has the power to talk to the dead in addition to his usual powers, there's a lot of nice ideas and nice character moments here.

Shame that Mongul The 2nd's death didn't even last one issue... but the idea of a serial killer attacking the family members of rookie Green Lanterns holds some promise.

WONDER WOMAN #23 - Up until reading Gail Simone's comments at scans_daily, I had no idea that this take on Beowulf came from a 1970's sword-and-sorcery comic, as did soulless baddie Stalker. I may have to track those books down.

As for this issue itself... well, Diana brings on the smack to The Devil himself, Donna Troy gives Nemesis her approval re: dating Diana and Sarge Steel is shown to either be possessed by the some malevolent woman-hating force or has become a writer for Wizard Magazine.

(Well, the Dave Sims and Frank Miller jokes have already been done to death and I had to say something!)

Great book. You should be reading it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just in case you missed it...

Chris Bird has a new redubbed comic up: Hawkman Special #1.

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 8/6/08

JACK OF FABLES #24 - And so ends the ballad of The Jack Candle gang. Not with a bang, but a whisper. The last page is priceless and so is the description of next month's new storyline. This book should be required reading for any comics fan.

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE SPECIAL - A special worthy of the name, this "nothing but the comics" issue of KODT Magazine picks up on some hints dropped in recent issues regarding an Urban Assassin LARP game while building upon the recent issues set at the KODT equivalent of Gen-Con. If you've never been exposed to the wonderful world of Knights of the Dinner Table, this is a good issue to start with. No big story lines to worry about. No cumbersome continuity. Just a bunch of quickly defined characters and a lad of paintball guns...

RED SONJA #36 - Brian Reed has one more issue to make me start caring about this new Sonja... who may be the old Sonja. Even with the revelation that the old warrior we saw last issue is an aged Osin and the question as to who the "old man" tormenting Osin is still there... the tone here is a radical shift from what has come before and the scripts reek of padding with too many pages being devoted to Sonja's shipwreck and her splash-page decorated breakdown. I fear this may be decompressed to an insane degree - something which is disastrous in most superhero books but may be suicidal in a sword-and-sorcery epic like Red Sonja.

SUPER STUPOR #1 - My friend Patrick was kind enough to pick this up for me at the San Diego Comic Con from another friend - Something Positive author R.K. Milholland.

I've plugged Randy's work before and he hardly needs my help to sell it. Still, I'll refrain from a full review and limit my comments to saying that I enjoyed this book. You'll probably enjoy it yourself if you're a fan of the Giffen/DeMatthias Justice Leauge or The Tick.

Check out the on-line comic for yourself before you decide if it's worth $4.95 American to see a story centered around a superhero convention (It totally is though!)

Thoughts On Final Crisis: Final Crisis #3

Cover - I know you shouldn't judge a book by them. but MAN that is a lousy Supergirl picture. Can anyone give me a non-pornographic reason she is pointing to her mouth like that?

p.1-4 - No idea what is going on here or who these people are. The presence of The Next Question also rids me of most of my curiosity in finding out. Ubergirl is interesting, though the presence of a Nazi Supergirl is disturbing in and of itself.

p. 5 - Monitor Man is fired and... nothing much happens.

p. 6-9 - Ah okay. So it seems that Barry Allen isn't really dead but has been out-running Death for the better part of a decade. That's almost cool enough to make up for the fact that they are undoing one of the few heroic deaths that still means anything.

p. 10-11 - And Libra suddenly loses 50 million cool points when it is revealed that he's working with The New Gods and the idiots behind The Church of Crime. Don't care, don't care, don't care.

p.12-13 - Wow. The first honest-to-New-God conversation in this whole issue I care about. But how did a Centauri dignitary find out Clark Kent is Superman?

p.14-15 - Huh. I just realized that someone took control of an Alpha Lantern from Apokolips to seal off Earth from the rest of the universe. Nice. Also nice to see Alan Scott taking charge... which totally makes sense given his position with Checkmate, The JSA and his being an old, powerful superhero who survived damn near everything.

p. 16 - I don't know what shocks me more - That Oracle has a dolphin contact just for the purpose of contacting Aquaman or that Tawny Tiger is back in the Mainstream DCU.

p. 17 - I don't know what makes me happier - Supergirl being shown to have a life outside of superheroing again, Dinah actually being shown to wear a bra under her costume or Ollie's ranting about the evils of a superhero draft.

p. 18 - Not that it stops Ollie from showing up, along with half the other superheroes, mind you. :)

p. 19-21 - Norman Shilo forming a set of new New Gods among humanity? Gathering old good ones disguised as humans as the bad ones were? Curious.

p. 22-27 - Okay. Anybody who actually read Countdown and knows what the hell is going on with Mary, raise your hands.

*chirp chirp*

Any of you who can justify why Donna never told Diana about Mary going evil or why Captain Marvel Junior hasn't been trying to find Mary over the last year?

*chirp chirp*

p. 28 - And after much bragging and boasting of Marvel, it turns out that DC Comics really did break the Internet.

p. 29 - Okay... so Barry Allen was dead, but now he isn't. I guess this means that Quiver is still in continuity after all...

p. 30 - This photo has already had pornographic fan-fics based on it. I guarantee it.

Henry, We Knew Ye Hardly: Part Three

Part Three of "Henry, We Knew Ye Hardly" is up.

Feel free to post comments here, but please cross-post them to Deranged Comics blog, as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Part Two of "Henry, We Knew Ye Hardly" is up.

Part Two of "Henry, We Knew Ye Hardly" is up now.

Feel free to post comments here, but please cross-post them to Deranged Comics blog, as well.