Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 11/12/08

Light week this week. But lots to talk about, regardless.

BATMAN: CACOPHONY #1 - No surprise - this being a Kevin Smith book - there's more dialogue than action. What is surprising - at least to those who have missed his previous work with the DC Universe in Green Arrow - is that Smith's back-and-fourth dialogues actually suit The Joker very well.

The opening scene - where Deadshot and Joker talk through a glass wall as Deadshot is getting ready to kill Joker - is classic. And while some may criticize the scene for being overly talky, Smith captures the spirit of both characters perfectly and it makes perfect sense for them to be so "business-like" regarding impending death.

If it weren't impossible given when this had to have been written, you might think Smith had based his Joker on Heath Ledger's portrayal. His Joker is a true dark comedian, seeing humor where none exists, ready to do or say anything for a laugh... including references to necrophilia, prostitution and buggery. You don't think he really WANTS to have his way with Batman's corpse - but he'll sure as hell talk about it to throw people off balance.

We don't see much of Batman apart from one scene - probably the most Kevin Smith scene in the book - involving 90's throwback Mr. Zsasz. He's running out of skin to keep tally on and... well, if he weren't a maker of orphans, I'd almost feel sorry for Mr. Zsasz making the unkindest cut of all. Shalom!

GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #14 - Fellow Arrow-Heads! Our long national nightmare is over. Judd Winick is off the book!

It's such a glorious thing, it's almost enough to make me forget that Judd Winick - as a parting shot - has destroyed Connor Hawke.

Seriously. In the span of three issues - Connor Hawke has, somehow, developed some form of selective amnesia that has literally turned him into Generic Martial Arts Guy.

Every vestige of personality that made him unique (vegetarian, Buddhist, pacifist) has been erased. He can't remember most of his past but he still remembers that Ollie abandoned him and his mother (DAMN YOU WINICK!) And he forgot how to use a bow. And - oh yeah - he has a healing factor now.

And did I mention that Dinah doesn't do a damn thing in this issue apart from look sad, hug Ollie and then talk with Ollie while pulling pin-up poses in her lingerie?

Andrew Kreisberg has his work cut out for him. Here's hoping he can salvage something from this mess.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #30 - The plots thicken. We get our first look at the home base of the all-female, Love-empowered Violet Lantern/Star Sapphire Corps. Kyle Rayner leads the charge against the child-kidnapping Sinestro Corps member Kryb. And Guy Gardner admits to having a thing for beautiful women giving him orders. Puts a lot of his encounters with Power Girl in perspective...

FABLES #78 - As everyone in my superhero RPG campaign can tell you, that is NOT Mr. Dark.

I have no idea who he is... but Baba Yaga coming back from the dead can't be a good sign.

And wow - sucks to be Boy Blue.


  1. ... wtf CONNOR??? and part II WTF STAR SAPPHIRE....? MY BRAIN OW...

  2. I can't explain the Connor thing. But I can explain the Star Sapphire thing.
    See, one of the big revelations to come out of "The Sinestro Corps War" was that The Guardians had covered up the existance of an emotional spectrum.
    The short version is that the collective emotions of the universe can be tapped into and manifest as a particular light energy. The Guardians, after their previous attempts to bring order to the universe with the robotic Manhunters, tapped into the middle of this spectrum - The balancing Green Energy of Willpower - that which keeps all other emotions under control.
    So why the yellow weakness? Well, the spectrum also gave birth to creatures who were manifest avatars of their respective emotions. In this case, The Guardians used their Power Battery - and the collective willpower of all sentient life - to create a prison for Parallax, a being composed of pure fear. This is why - when the Guardians started searching for Green Lanterns - they looked for both the fearless AND the strong of will.
    The Qwardians (the guys who made Sinestro's ring) didn't know about any of this. They just made a ring that stole energy from Green Latnern rings and generated a yellow light.
    Recently, Sinestro - who figured all this out after he was imprisoned inside the battery with Parallax and arranged events to that Parallax would be able to totally possess Hal by slowly waring down his willpower through the ring - found a way to create yellow rings that would draw off the wielder's ability to inspire fear in others. He then went around the galaxy building up an army of the scum of the universe for one purpose - destroy the Green Lanterns or - if they failed - pushing the Green Lantern's into adopting more violent behaviors in order to deal with fighting evil in the future. That's pretty much everything that happened in "The Sinestro Corps War".
    So where do the Star Sapphires come in? Well, it's a tiny retcon - but the new reason the Zamorans left The Guardians way back when they were all one race was because they disagreed with The Guardian assessment that the best way to bring about order was to use the balancing power which controled (and eliminated) emotion. They decided that "all you need is love" and went off to search the universe for a place where they could tap into the power of love.
    Eventually, they found it.. and curiously it manifested as these violet crystals - Star Sapphires. Figuring that their best chance of proving their point was to expose the Guardian's followers to their owns, the Zamorans gave their Star Sapphires to those who loved Green Lanterns.
    Unfortunately, they figured out a little too late that the further along the spectrum you go, the more mentally unbalanced the power makes you. I.E. tapping into the power of love makes you a wee bit obsessive and unhinged.
    Apparently they have the kinks out now and have found a way to more reliably mass-produce the crystals to the point of having an entire core of soldiers who are fighting In The Name of Love.
    There's also a Red Lantern Corps devoted to the power of Rage and we just saw the first Blue Lantern, who is devoted to the power of Hope.
    Clear as mud?