Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm The Best There Is At What I Do. And What I Do Best... Is SING!

I'd lift my personal ban on Marvel if Hugh Jackman was allowed to do a Wolverine musical.

Why? Because I find the tears of all you Marvel Zombies out there to be oh so sweet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

By Crom, This Looks Awesome!

SOURCE: Barack The Barbarian Comic To Be Published

As I've noted before, our President is a comic fan. And he is particularly fond of Conan The Barbarian. So it is no small wonder that someone has elected to do this; a satire depicting Obama as a warrior who would be king by his own hands, as he faces many enemies such as a wolf-skin clad amazon from the northlands and the treacherous warlord Chainknee.

I'll spare you the alternate covers depicting Sarah Palin in a fur bikini and Obama going into battle against a Valkyrie-cup clad Ann Coulter and give you this one.

You can keep your cheesecake of shrill, annoying Republican wenches. I shall have the cover depicting Dick Cheney in James Earl Jones' Thulsa Doom headdress!

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 4, Chapter 12 - An Invisible Thread

This is the end.... the end... the end of the season.

8:00 - Recap Time! Ando and Hiro go after Building 26 - Hiro hurts himself using his powers - Mohinderance gets tranked - Matt reunites with his ex-wife and son, deciding he must finish this battle so they can all have peace - Sylar is going even crazier and is now planning to replace The President - and Nathan goes off to confront Sylar alone.

8:01 - And Danko took down Sylar before he could kill Nathan... or maybe he killed Nathan first... And yay... more Mohinderance narration about everyone being special. "Perhaps there is a master plan that drives the chaos of creation..." And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

8:02 - Angela had a dream.... Nathan is in trouble. He's not the only one as Noah realizes that the Feds are moving in and arranges for Angela and Claire to run away, even though I thought we saw them all getting caught last week... Maybe that was Angela's dream?

8:04 - And here's Sylar getting stabbed in the back of the head again. And Danko realizing he's done messed up. "Shape-shifting. Gotta love, it right?" Yes, Sylar shifted the vulnerable spot in the back of his head. He pins Danko to the wall and monologues on how he needs Nathan to take his memories (using that "history-reading" power he got from that one woman Angela fed him back in Season 3) and how he's going to become Nathan so he can then go on to meet and become The President. See, THIS is the kind of stakes you should be playing for with this show.

8:05 - I guess that means Sylar CAN'T get all of a person's memories just by touching a DNA sample after all. Damnit... I was proud of that theory. Shaking hands is apparently enough, though.

8:07 - And... Danko was played like a harp, with Sylar changing into him, firing shots at the men coming up the stairs, and changing back into his "Agent Alias" in time to "take down" the crazed commander. Nice.

8:10 - Angela lecturing Claire on how it's her fault Noah keeps putting himself in danger... somehow. She tells Claire to go up and talk to Nathan while she goes to figure out where Matt Parkman is since she saw him saving Nathan's life. Which can't be helpful if they know Sylar is masquerading AS Nathan. But Angela apparently can't stop visions from happening but she can work to make them happen. Geez, that kinda sucks.

8:11 - Ah. Nathan's not dead yet. Pity.

8:12 - Wait... so The President DOESN'T know that Nathan is a mutant? Why the hell didn't Danko go and tell him that after he pushed Nathan out a window and saw him fly? And if he didn't say "Hey, the head of the mutant-hunting program is a mutant!", how the hell did he get rehired?" after Nathan got Presidential permission to fire Danko for being a genocidal fuckwad?

8:14 - And Claire is insisting she has to say with Nathan. I think she knows...

8:15 - Okay. Hiro seems to have recovered but Ando is pleading caution on trying to use his power again since it gave him a headache "AND a nosebleed!" Naturally, Hiro is ready to die to save everyone locked up in Building 26, even if using his power may kill him. Predictable but cool. I really hope he isn't the one to die.

8:16 - "Fancy meeting you here." Ooooh hell. Danko locked in a cell with Noah. I almost feel sorry for the bald bastard.

Nah, not really.

8:19 - And Nathan wakes up just in time for Peter to show up. According to the comic, Peter was delayed dodging air-fire over Washington DC. Just in case you're wondering why it took Peter so long to catch up with Nathan. He was doped up on tranquilizer and trying to recover enough to be useful.

8:21 - Oh dammit... Danko admiting Noah was right. Noah saying that if it weren't for Claire, he'd be in the same position. The two about to shake hands to agree to work together to escape and stop Sylar.... and TIME STOP!

8:22 - And now Hiro's ear is bleeding. "Holy Crap!" A lot of people doped up.

8:23 - Hiro and Ando switch all the guards and staff with the people doped up. Of course they make the mistake of freeing Mohinder.

8:24 - Of course Noah figures it (i.e. why is our door suddenly unlocked and all the guards trussed-up) out in less than a minute.

And Hiro: "Bruce Wayne only slept for two hours a day..." BWAHAHA!

8:25 - Yeah. So Mohinder gives Hiro the "One More Time" speech, insisting that what is happening now with his powers is unnatural and doing it one more time will kill him. Betcha he will have to do it one more time before episode's end and Mohinder will be wrong.

8:26 - "I thought you were right handed?" Oh, Claire SOOOOO knows.

8:28 - And Sylar knows that she knows and answers her phone AS her when Noah calls. "Oh God, this is fun...."

8:30 - It just occurred to me... isn't Matt in California? How is he going to save "Nathan" (either of them) from across the country when everyone else is in Washington DC? Unless Angela was lying...

8:33 - Sylar moving Claire around telekinetically forcing her to walk and fix him wine. I can hear the fan-fic being written already.

8:34 - And here comes the "we are not so different, you and I" speech, with Sylar... ewwwwww... hitting on Claire and offering to make her the first First Lady.

8:35 - And Nathan finally admits to what he is... at the worst possible time; in front of a bunch of trigger happy Secret Service agents.

8:36 - Ah, and here it is... the plan? Get Peter close enough to Sylar to touch him. And whammy - the Peter/Sylar fight we've been waiting for four seasons.

8:37 - Except Claire gets tossed out of the room... Sylar gets the lighting ready as the doors close as Peter and Nathan fly and charge.

8:38 - Claire runs in to find a dazed and confused Peter... she says they need to go after them (Sylar and Nathan both went out the window) and Peter... does not fly out the window. Looks like he touched Sylar and he's adjusting to the power shock... I hope.

8:39 - And... there's a dead Nathan. Throat slit by Sylar. "Oh, Claire is going to be so mad at me..." Guess that answers the questions as to who the "person around since the first episode" Sylar would be killing is.

8:41 - Commercial Time. Just realized something... Either Matt is about to become the biggest bitch ever and save Sylar "Nathan" from everyone else... or Matt is about to show up and wave away the illusion of the dead Nathan.

8:42 - Matt just getting into town. Angela is waiting for him. Matt tells her to screw off. Angela insists that her dreams can't lie and that they need Nathan alive to fix things.

8:43 - This "FREEZE" thing is getting really old. With Noah pulling a gun on Claire and Peter demanding proof they are who they are and then the SS demanding the same thing. And yeah... Claire gets bad ass moment standing in path of panicky Secret Service agents. And Peter DOES have Sylar's powers.

8:45 - So much for saving Nathan, huh Angela?

8:47 - Bad ASS! Peter disguised as The President injects Sylar with enough tranquilizer to down an elephant as Sylar is very very confused as to why he cant change into The President and why The President's skin is shimmering.

8:49 - Wait. So where is Danko in all of this?

8:51 - So they need Nathan to convince The President that this was all a mistake.... So...

1) why not have Peter - who still has all of Sylar's powers - SHAPE-SHIFT INTO NATHAN?!?!

2) why go through this crazy plan of using Matt's powers to hypnotize Sylar into becoming Nathan when this is inevitably going to come back and bite them in the ass?

3) why can't they just tell The President... the truth?!?!

8:55 - *sighs* And now The Company is reforming, but with government sponorship and deniability. And Noah, Angela and Matt are now sitting on this secret and not telling all the rest of the characters, despite how all this crap started BECAUSE of the secrets and lies they held back from one another?!?! Did nobody learn ANYTHING?!?!

8:57 - Six Weeks Later. Start of Volume 5: Redemption Man comes home to find running water all over the floor... and it changes into a soaking wet Ali Larter.

8:58 - So Tracy is now Hydro(wo)man and is killing random people... for some reason. And "Nathan" already seems to be breaking his programming, staring at clocks and noticing that they are fast.

(deadpan) Oh good lord, I am so shocked.

THE FINAL WORD: I am very pissed off right now. After all the talk this season about how the lies and secrets of The Company were responsible for causing all these problems... and what happens? Noah and Angela turn around and make the SAME DAMN MISTAKES in order to bring some semblance of The Company back. Danko just disappears from the final episode after reconciling with Bennet. Tracy is brought back for one minute so they can undo the great character moment she got earlier in the season. And the suspense over how long it would take before "Nathan" began to recover lasted a good five minutes.

And I just realized something... what about all the people Hiro and Ando freed? Aren't they going to ask questions? Talk to the press? Sue the shit out of the American Government? And why can't they just tell The President the truth about how Nathan died trying to stop Sylar? Superpowers wouldn't have to come into it - just tell the public that Senator and War Hero Nathan Petrelli gave his life to save The President from a terrorist. That's the literal truth!

Maybe I'll give the show a look-see in a few months but right now... I doubt it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

This one is for my buddy Dr. Deranged.

Wonder Woman is wielding Spider Jerusalem's Chair Leg Of Truth!

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 4, Chapter 11 - I Am Sylar

I Am Sylar.

I Am Spartacus.

I Am The Son And Heir Of Nothing In Particular.

I Am Human And I Need To Be Loved.

I Am The Terror That Flaps In The Night...

I Am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger.

I Am The Teeth In The Darkness, The Talons In The Night. Mine Is Strength... And Lust... And Power!

I am Beowulf!

I Am Done With This Joke.

8:00 - So, for those of you who need reminding... Sylar has mommy issues.. and doesn't know who his mommy was, Matt's baby son (also named Matt) has a power to turn things on and off remotely - including superpowers, Micah the Technopath is REBEL aka the leader of the superhuman resistance, Danko and Sylar have formed a partnership and Sylar now has the power to shape-shift and is masquerading as one of Danko's agents.

8:01 - And there is Sylar masquerading as Nathan.

8:02 - Sylar wakes up as his new identity...Identity crisis? Can't control his powers? And they let Janice out of prison pretty quickly, especially given that her baby was still on loose...

8:03 - Wow. Matt turned around pretty quickly on the whole "getting revenge" thing. But that's totally in-character given that becoming a dad WOULD change your priorities. But him telling Hiro and Ando to give up on stopping Danko seems a wee hypocritical given that it was Hiro and Ando's refusal to give up that lead to his son being saved. Not to mention that - Powerful as Matt is - I doubt even he can hold off the agents bound to come after him and his son forever. Especially if he doubts that he can reconcile with Janice and bring their family back together... still, I can reconcile hypocritical behavior better than I can out-of-character behavior...

8:06 - Oh, that's it! They finally came back to the whole "Sylar's altering his DNA is making him unstable in every sense of the word" idea from Season One... the shape-shifting is just making it more pronounced and accelerating things.

8:07 - And everyone thinks Peter is Emo... geez.... cool visual though, carving "I Am Sylar" in his arm with his telekinesis...

8:10 - Tom Miller? Who is Tom Miller? Wait... is that Red Foreman from That 70's Show?!?

8:12 - Snap your finger and make things break? That's nearly as lame as the melting guy from Season One!

8:13 - Yeah... so much for Sylar laying low, eh?

8:14 - I just realized... Micah's actor's name is in the credits this week. I hope Sylar doesn't get him...

8:15 - Oh gods... just what I wanted more of... More Sylar dealing with his issues and male bonding with Danko... gag me.

8:16 - "It's dangerous let... lady like." BWAHAHA! Now this is what we want... more Hiro/Ando development and comedy.

8:18 - Okay... I have no idea WHY Ando is suddenly immune to Hiro's time-stop. Neither does Hiro. But unlike Hiro, I like it. :) Probably has something to do with him touching Ando when he froze time. Seems to work like that for most of the other powers (invisibility, phasing, etc)

8:22 - Smelling your dead adopted mother's dress? Even for Sylar this is creepy and wrong.

8:23 - Oh geez... you're feeling all depressed now that you realized what a monster you are for killing the woman you thought was your mom? And now you're having an imaginary conversation with her? Cry me a river and die, Sylar. *gags*

8:25 - Aha! It's because they WERE touching.

8:26 - Ando and Hiro are Batman and Superman... that's the perfect metaphor for so many reasons.

8:27 - ...Because like Superman, Hiro is a dick.

8:28 - I asked them not to do it... and now they are doing it. Micah runs right into Sylar. Thankfully, I'm sure Micah is smart enough to have come up with a plan for this...

8:33 - Okay... he may not have had a plan. But he could sure as hell improvise... and as far as plans go, trying to convince a confused and dazed Sylar that he can be a hero and a savior to the "special" humans isn't a bad one. Wonder if Micah hacked The Company files re: Sylar and his mommy issues?

8:34 - Heh. Guard was wondering same thing as me - why is the other guard suddenly wearing glasses - and Ando winds up saving Hiro. Just like when one of Superman's plans goes wrong.

8:37 - So wait... Sylar is actually changing into people, body AND mind by touching their stuff? And he was actually changing into the woman who he thought was his mother... And Micah recognized it as what was happening to his mom... That is... actually kinda cool and explains why he is feeling so messed up. But it also kinda shoots that "Niki was merely skitzo" theory in the head... right?

If nothing else, this episode has me thinking... which is welcome.

8:42 - Still, looks like Sylar decided Micah had a good idea... and that this is how he decided to become Nathan... assuming this happened at the same time that the events of 1961. But how is Sylar doing this if Nathan is persona non grata and Danko outed him?

8:43 - Oh, now this is a nightmare... having your mom forever trapped inside your head criticizing your every move.

8:45 - And here we go... Sylar going back to the Season One idea of becoming President someday. And am I the only one who just realized that means Spock would become Worf? :)

8:46 - Who wants to bet that Janice sold Matt out to the agents and that's why she's so anxious to get him out of there?

8:47 - And... all of this was happening at the same time as 1961. Which leaves me wondering just how Matt got across the country so quickly. Then again, it does seem a few days have been passing here and there... so yeah. I'll just trust that it fits. Wouldn't be the first time they've had the exact events overlap.

8:48 - HEROES: Nowhere Man. Dammit... that was going to be the name of one of the characters in the superhero RPG I am running for my friends... :P

8:52 - Oh good... characters I actually care about.

8:53 - Yes, Pete. He started it. He can finish it. And then you can finish it when Sylar finishes him.

8:54 - Did Hiro finally give himself an aneurysm from squeezing his eyes like that all these years?

8:55 - And Matt finally found his balls again. Just in time.

8:56 - Oh wait... it wasn't a side-effect of the shape-shifting! It was the power he took from that one woman earlier in Season 3 that let him know the history of something by touching it and that applied to DNA... holy shit, that is awesome!

8:58 - Someone else we haven't missed... go away Mohinderance!

9:00 - Okay. So everyone except Peter, Hiro and Ando (and possibly Matt and his family) has been captured... Nathan is at the very least electrocuted, possibly dead. And Sylar apparently can't get hurt by something as simple as the knife in the back of the head anymore...

The Final Word: Next week can't come fast enough.

I Miss Birds Of Prey Too...

For those of you who want to see the evidence that Andrew Kreisberg has no idea what he is doing with Green Arrow/Black Canary following my review, somebody got the offending pages from the new Green Arrow/Black Canary posted along with scans from the Birds of Prey that show...

1. Dinah does have the fine control to destroy a pool ball in someone's hand without hurting the hand, using the Canary Cry.

2. Dinah does, in fact, carry lock-picks in her gloves and knows how to use them!

Read it and weep, kids.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 4/15/09

Small week this week. I picked up two books and flipped through another two out of morbid curiosity.

FABLES #83 - A bit of a place-holder, this one. Not much happens except things get set-up for Bigby to go spend some time with Jack over in his book and we get a few more indications of just how utterly screwed The Fables are re: Mister Dark AND The Literals. Still, good book.

GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY #19 - So much to dislike about this issue.

1) Andrew Kreisberg proving that he knows nothing about Black Canary's power levels, by rendering her incapable of the fine control to break a length of chain without hurting Green Arrow or breaking the train-tracks he is chained to.

2) Andrew Kreisberg saying that Dinah - unlike every other street-level hero, including Ollie - does NOT carry lock-picks upon her person. (For the record, according to Birds of Prey, Dinah does and in fact got training in how to use them from Mister Miracle.)

3) Kreisberg is rehashing the old Mike Grell storyline about Dinah growing suspicious about Ollie being around another costumed woman... except that instead of this being about Ollie going off on his own repeatedly to help a fellow archer (i.e. Shado), this is about a crazy woman (i.e. Cupid) who was actively trying to kill Ollie and several dozen other people in the process.

4) Kreisgeber is rehashing ANOTHER Mike Grell storyline about Ollie growing increasingly dark and tormented - something which scares both him and Dinah. Although instead of this being caused by Ollie breaking his rules regarding killing criminals in order to save Dinah's life, it is caused by Ollie feeling bad about not feeling bad about someone else killing and maiming his rogues gallery.

5) The fact that Mike Grell is writing for DC again (Go Buy Warlord #1!) and that if we're just going to get rehashed Grell stories, I'd rather Mike was writing them so at least the dialogue would be better.

6) Dinah threatening Ollie with serious violence being played for laughs. Again. ("If you ever tase me again, you'll either need a divorce lawyer or a coroner!") I don't recall if she punched him again but it wouldn't surprise me.

ORACLE: THE CURE #2 - More of the same problems from last month. Cheesecake cover with cleavage you could ski down. Babs out-sourcing more of her hacking duties to scrubs and idiots. Babs being totally ignorant regarding high-end VR technology AND social networking/game sites. Babs being posed suggestively in the artwork as she fights against a gang of attempted muggers/rapists. And more of this "concerned daddy" Calculator who IS trying to find a way to use the Anti-Life Equation to heal his daughter. Oh, and Babs may have paralyzed a guy intentionally while fighting the muggers.

*face palms* On the bright side, there is nothing so far to suggest that Babs will actually be "cured" of her paralysis in the next and last issue of this mini-series. The bad news is that given everything that has happened so far, such a last-second, out into left-field change wouldn't be totally unexpected.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #35 - Quite a bit here. Most of it good. Some of it hackneyed.

* One Red Lantern is all it takes to arrange a jailbreak of the imprisoned Sinestro Corps members AND their locked-up yellow rings.

* Guy and Kyle lead a charge of the light brigade into the prison area to take down the escapees.

* Sodam Yat and Arisia make it to Daxam... only to discover that Sodam's father has a solution to the enslavement of his people; kill yourselves to show them that we won't be their slaves. Sodam chews his dad AND his people out for being the xenophobic cowards they are and declares that he will teach them how to fight. Good luck with that.

* A recently escaped Sinestro arrives on Korugar and seeks out his estranged daughter... current Green Lantern of Korugar Soranik! (Ba-bum-BUUUUUUUM!)

That last revelation is a little cheeseball and we cut away from the big GL/SC prison break fight scene just as it begins. Hopefully we'll get a little more action next time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One More Reason Marvel Comics JUST DOESN'T GET IT...

I was going to forego commenting upon the mockery of all things decent that is Marvel Divas. There's a lot of bloggers on When Fangirl's Attack who have already trod the ground of how utterly sexist the concept and the advertising are.

However, what I haven't seen anyone mention yet is that the core concept behind this book is as creatively bankrupt as it is sexist.

"The pitch started as "Sex and the City" in the Marvel Universe, and there's definitely that "naughty" element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means...truly be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun." - Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Okay. Let us agree to overlook the fact that not all women like Sex In The City.

Let us forget that the idea of a "naughty" all-woman superhero team isn't all that original. (*cough* *cough* DANGERGIRL!)

And let us ignore that Sex In The City has been off the air for over five years, so this is hardly a Timely trend (pun very much intended) for them to exploit.

Even ignoring all of that, there's still one big glaring problem with this book.

''Sex In The City''with superheroines has been done . It was done nearly six years ago when ''Sex In The City'' was still on the air. And while it wasn't exactly the most enlightened book out there, it at least enough decency not to describe itself as "hot fun" or "naughty".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 4/8/09

SECRET SIX #8 - There must be something about Gail Simone stories with the title "Double Date". Such was the name of my favorite episode of Justice League Unlimited and such is the name of this book. It is easily the best issue of the series thus far, with Simone having established a perfect balance of humor, action and pathos... and that's just in the three page Tiny Titans parody which sees Lil' Ragdoll helping Batman save Gotham City, offered membership in the Green Lantern Corps and riding off into the sunset with Wonder Woman begging him to kiss her.

In all seriousness, this issue had everything.

PATHOS: Scandal runs into Liana - the lesbian stripper/escort that the rest of the team hired for her birthday a few issues ago, who is the spitting image of Scandal's deceased ex-girlfriend, the villainess Knockout. Scandal agrees to a date, despite not seeing any of Knockout's fire in Liana and despite wanting nothing more than to sink into alcoholic self-destruction because of Knockout's death. There are some geuinely touching moments here as Scandal keeps looking for something... anything... in this new woman to inspire the passion for life she has lost.

ACTION: Deadshot is forced into a date with teammate Jeanette (aka "the banshee") and is forced to promise a normal evening on the town where nobody dies. Since Liana's idea for a double date leads them to numerous encounters with a gang of skinheads with a grudge against Deadshot, this leads to numerous scenes where Floyd is challenged to fight non-lethally in a borrowed suit. And it is glorious!

HUMOR: Somewhere along the line, Scandal picked up an Apokolyptian lowlie named Insignifiucs as a personal servant, who philosophical bemoaning of his life reminds me of Zathras from Babylon 5 ("Hope is the heart of pain and only fear is eternal... On the other hand, I encourage rutting in the dirt with strangers at every available opportunity.") Between him and Ragdoll's pleading to be allowed to act as Deadshot's chaparone, it's a neck-in-neck contest as to who gets the best one-liner. ("I already have a tuxedo and some nice shoes and a bunch of pharmaceuticals and... oh and a fruitasmic rainbow of condoms! Not that I need them or anything...") Throw in Deadshot trying - honestly trying - NOT to kill people who are in desperate need of killing to keep a promise and you have comedy gold.

It's perfect. Absolutely perfect. This is not only what every issue of this comic should be; this is what every comic should be.

EDIT: Oh yeah... and Nicola Scott's art is just as awesome!

WARLORD #1 - I'm not going to lie. I was doubly disappointed. First, when I heard that Mike Grell was coming back to write and do covers for a book and some characters he was famous for working with over 20 years ago and then found out that they meant Warlord and not Green Arrow. Then I was disappointed again when I read this book.

That's not to say that this book is bad. Far from it. It just seems a lot more uneven than I am used to a Mike Grell story being.

Let me explain; this man wrote some of the best, tightest two-part action stories I've ever read without a single panel being wasted. To read a comic where there are two stories, seemingly unconnected and broken apart by a two-page flashback is like a James Robinson comic where the characters aren't having lengthy monologues about pop-culture and philosophy during their fight scenes or a Grant Morrison story where insane things aren't happening every 10 minutes. Not bad at all - just different.

The first two-thirds of the comic features a group of scientists and adventurers discovering live dinosaurs and a portal to Skartaris in Tibet, which they hurriedly enter after being trapped in a cave with said portal by the Chinese army. This cuts to a flashback of Travis Morgan crashing into Skartaris in June 1969 and a flash forward to present-day Skartaris, where Morgan fights a griffin and then receives reports of his men having fought a self-proclaimed deity, who killed from a distance using something that - judging from the wounds of the one survivor - is a gun.

It's a good start and an interesting one - certainly a lot better than Bruce Jones' attempts to reboot and restart the franchise two years ago. I'm a little anxious to see how the first part of the story is going to tie into the second, but I'm sure it will happen and will be well worth reading. Mike Grell taking his time with a story is a new experience but I'm sure it will be an adventure!

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 4, Chapter 10 - 1961

Here it comes; the answers to how exactly The Company was founded and just how many bad things Angela Petrelli may have done.

8:00 - Recap Time. Peter, Angela, Nathan, Claire and Noah are all heading to Coyote Sands where the government did something involving kids with powers. And Mohinder digs through his dad's old records, finding that his dad was at Coyote Sands when the government was doing experiments... apparently he had nightmares about it.

8:01 - "Why is she making us do this?" Because she doesn't want to get her own hands dirty, Peter. I thought that was obvious. And holy crap... Claire defending Nathan!

8:02 - "We need some answers." Thanks for voicing my own thoughts, Pete.

8:03 - Angela and Alice Shaw. Nice job finding a young actress who actually looks like Christine Rose. And Dr. Zimmerman - that's the guy who Tracy talked to about the experiments that gave her and Niki powers! Unless there's another Dr. Zimmerman... which seems a bit unlikely.

8:04 - Daniel Linderman is there. Guy with the glasses is Bob Bishop. And so is Charles Deveaux - aka Peter's first patient. This really IS where it all began!

Sorry. Just noting all the continuity here that is actually being utilized for the first time in a long while.

8:06 - "My sister, my parents... they all died here." So why dig here apart from giving us a nice physical metaphor? And who is that watching from the window?

8:10 - Ah, okay. Apparently the government found out about superpowers back during the Kennedy era and started trying to "cure" powers. Which translated into interment camps. And eventually "The Final Solution" stuff.

8:11 - And The Company was started by the survivors of Coyote Sands to keep powered people a secret and cover up the first government program... erasing people's memories and killing people in the name of protecting themselves. Which makes everything The Company has done between then and now make sense up until the part where certain elements went rogue and started planning covert world domination... although it does little to explain why they felt it was a good idea to start giving people superpowers at some point in the past.

8:12 - And there's the idealistic Peter we all know and love, refusing to have any part of any of this.

8:13 - Okay. Slight problem - cool as this is, it that it kinda conflicts with established continuity as far as the comics go for Linderman to be here, since the comics say that Linderman ran away from home as a preteen after discovering his powers and going into hiding until he joined the army as a medic, where he never used his powers until he needed to save a young Arthur Petrelli. But I guess the comics aren't necessarily canon.

8:15 - Weather control. That's a cool power, if you'll pardon the pun.

8:16 - Hmmm... looks like Angela might have been responsible for her sister's death, all this talk about wishing she had Claire's inner-strength and confidence.

8:21 - I'm with Peter on this one. Nathan is a selfish bastard and the sooner he goes into the cornfield, the better.

8:22 - Here's a line for the old-school MST3K fans. "SANDSTORM... SANDSTORM... DEEEEP HURTING!"

8:23 - Oh great... now Mohidnerance is here looking for answers. And yes... the answer is that the government tried killing everyone with powers 50 years ago.

8:26 - Yeah. Now we see where Mohinderance got his "dumb as a post, way too trusting" attitude from.

8:27 - Well, don't go flying off to look for Mom or anything, boys...

8:32 - Yes, split up... you can cover more ground. You could also cover more ground if the two guys who can fly DID it!

8:33 - It's a little late to be showing remorse for what you did last season, Mohinderance. And Peter is the last person in the world who should be ready to tell Mohinderance to stop being so hard on himself. Still, it's nice to see that they are attempting to try and have some character-building here... even if it fails to ring true coming from him.

8:34 - Love this line.

Nathan: "Peter blames me for everything."
Noah: "I can't say I entirely disagree with him."

Thank you, Noah!

8:36 - And now here comes Claire forgiving Nathan and Noah for everything they've done since they kept her from becoming even more emotionally screwed up than she should be. Well, that's all down to Noah, really. Nathan did jack and squat.

8:37 - More flashbacks. Angela is sneaking out with the boys from The Company. Alice needs to stay behind, for some reason.

8:39 - And... it turns out that person watching Angela was Alice! She's still alive. And doesn't look happy.

8:43 - They've been doing a nice job with the music lately on the show for setting mood.

8:44 - Aha! I think we know what Charles power is. Knowing Angela likes a song and that she missed prom without telling her? Telepath.

8:45 - And telling them to ignore a Black man dancing with a White woman in that time? I think that just confirmed it. :) And there's even an explanation for how Angela became obsessed with socks...

8:46 - Wait... she spent 50 years hiding in the ruins of this camp because she thought she'd be safe there?

8:47 - Oh... so the world would be safe FROM her. Did she have self-loathing of her powers beaten into her THAT badly?

8:48 - Ah. So Alice indirectly sparked off the war between the normals and the powered people. It was directly caused by Mohinderance's dad slapping Alice in front of her energy-blasting daddy after trying to euthanize her. Is anyone at all shocked that someone from the line of Mohinderance was responsible for this disaster?

Like father, like son. Think about it won't you?

8:50 - If she just killed Mohinderance, Alice just officially became the best character on the show. Of course since Angela survived the lightning strike, that's probably not likely.

8:55 - Oh, dammit! He's still alive!

8:56 - "I'm not ready to forgive myself." Good, cause neither are we. Especially since we're not getting any answers on exactly what your dad was doing and because all the evidence points toward him being a spineless, genocidal fuckhead like you.

8:57 - Most awkward family dinner ever!

8:58 - And yeah... trust Peter to finally be the one to say the line about them needing a Family, not a Company to solve the problems before them.

8:59 - Umm... Angela? Not a good time to be smiling. Really. And yeah... I can't say I'm shocked Sylar is pulling this. I'm just shocked he's doing it without Nathan being dead first.

The Final Word: The weakest of the post-Fuller episodes but still better than most of what we've been given this season. Got a lot of much-needed exposition out there, but nothing has really changed as a result of this episode. The revelation regarding the lost sister did nothing plot-wise. Still, lots of good character moments here... even if I now hate Mohinderance and his whole stupid family more than I ever have before.

Green Lantern: War of Light News Briefing.

Sorry this is so late. Busy week and I've felt too unfocused to write until this afternoon.

Right. So what's happening in the War of Light this month?

* The Controllers - a fascist off-shoot of the Guardians responsible for creating a lot of lame Green Lantern rip-off groups (The Darkstars, The Effigy Platoon and... The Beta Men...) - travel into The Vega System and wind up waking something up while searching for "the Orange power".

* The Orange Power - for those of you not keeping up - is Greed/Avarice. Which kinda makes sense for the "we wish to bring about order with an iron fist and control everything" Controllers to be looking for but still seems like a weird emotion to draw power from, compared to Wrath or Fear.

* The thing controlling The Orange Power doesn't want to share and it kills all the Controllers. For the record, these guys are born of the same elder race that created The Guardians and The Zamarons so this one guy must be pretty damn powerful.

* Hal Jordan still has a Blue Lantern ring stuck on his hand and he notes - for those who missed it last time - that Blue Lanterns are completely useless without a Green Lantern to leach off of. Saint Walker admits this is broadly true, noting that Blue Lanterns can still fly through space and shield themselves but they do need a Green Lantern to do make projections or do the other Green Lantern tricks because "Hope needs Will".

* Hal complains about all the people he knows who hope for things to improve but who never actually do anything about it. Which seems kind of whiny for Hal and unfair to the Blue Lanterns given that they ARE trying to do something and help.

* Hal bitches some more about how useless and pointless Hope is as a force and then gets dressed down by Ganthet, who notes that he never intended for Hal to get a Blue Ring OR for Hal to leave the Green Lanterns since all the "good" emotion Corps will need to work together in the end. Ganthet also notes that Hal won't be able to take the Blue Ring off until he finds something to hope in AND finds a worthy person to pass the ring on to. Hal basically says nuts to that and flies back to Oa.

* Ganthet and Sayd - in addition to running the Blue Lanterns - are now searching for the Indigo Lanterns of Compassion. Again, note the color/emotion balance theme. Hate vs. Love. Greed vs. Compassion. Fear vs. Hope.

* Elsewhere, Green Lantern Stel of sector 3009 chases a Sinestro Corps member into the Vega system - an area Green Lanterns are forbidden to enter. His ring allows it, since the Guardian's edict to kill all Yellow Lanterns on sight apparently surpasses the old law... at which point the Yellow Lantern is consumed by a giant orange head thingy and Stel calls for back-up.

* Back on Oa, the Guardians are near-killing Hal trying to pull the Blue Ring off of him. It seems they're more concerned about going after Sayd and Ganthet than dealing with the Red Lantern menace until Hal points out that the Red Rings are forcing themselves on people whereas Ganthet and Sayd are - nominally - trying to help. Then John Stewart comes in with Salaak, interpreting the meeting to tell them that Stel has seen an Orange Lantern...

* ... at which point an image of a big orange dragon thingy explodes into room and is identified by The Guardians as Larfleeze. Larfleeze, who I'm guessing is the long-awaited "Agent Orange", complains to the Guardians about The Controllers having broken their treaty to allow him control of the Vega system so long as he never left it and they and their agents never entered it. He notes that he was willing to ignore their transgressions going after the Sinestro Agents and the Spiders Guild (see Green Lantern Corps for the details of those stories!) but that The Controllers actions were the final straw. This leads the scarred Female Guardian to declare that a Fourth Law be written into the Book of Oa - Vega is no longer off-limits and The Guardians are going to start fighting alongside the Green Lanterns.

It's getting even more interesting folks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HEROES And Shakespeare

I made this statement in the blog on HEROES last night. Had some revelations further quantifying the statement that last night's episode - and the drama of late - has reached truly Shakespearean levels, with three subplots regarding revenge and romantic couples.

Let me toss this plot summary out as an example of the multi-level story we are dealing with here; Shakespeare's most critically acclaimed tragedy; Hamlet.

On the odd chance that there's anybody who is unfamiliar with Hamlet, let me sum up. The main story is about how a young prince named Hamlet is asked - by the ghost of his father - to seek vengeance upon his father's murderer. In this case, the murderer is Claudius - Hamlet's uncle - whom killed his own brother in order to marry his hot wife and, to a lesser degree, for the throne of Denmark.

Hamlet, who has a pretty heavy grudge against his uncle already, isn't entirely convinced that he's really seeing his father and elects to pretend to be crazy while waiting for a plan to present itself. After scaring his girlfriend Ophelia with his crazy behavior and worrying his mother, Hamlet finally comes up with a plan when a group of traveling actors arrive at the castle. He gets them to perform a play based upon how his father's ghost claimed to have been murdered and watches his uncle's reaction. Convinced now of his uncle's guilt. Hamlet begins to plan the opportune moment to get revenge.

Before he gets his chance, Hamlet winds up having to thwart Claudius attempts to get him out of the country where he can be assassinated, inadvertently kills his girlfriend's father Polonius, drives Ophelia to madness and possible suicide and winds up having to fight a duel with Ophelia's brother Laertes, who wants revenge on Hamlet for killing his family. Hamlet eventually does kill Claudius before bleeding to death from the wounds he received during the duel.

Enter Young Fortinbras; a young king who has been lying in wait on the borders of Denmark for most of the play, ready to seek revenge for his own father's death at the hand of Hamlet's father. The play ends with Fortinbras assuming the throne of Denmark for himself.

Basically, Hamlet is ultimately the story of three sons seeking revenge for the death of their fathers. Hamlet is after Claudius. Laertes is after Hamlet. And Fortinbras is after Denmark, now that the man who killed his father (King Hamlet) is dead.

Despite this similarity in want, the approach used by each son is totally different. Hamlet is all thought/no action; a "not to be", to quote the text of the play. He spends most of the play planning and plotting, waiting for a chance to act but never taking it. Laertes is all action/no-thought, rushing into everything and demanding blood at every turn as soon as he learns of his father's death. Fortinbras is the perfect balance between both thought and action; he plans on how best to conquer the kingdom and then takes action at the right moment.

We see a similar conflict in Turn and Face the Strange, with three men seeking revenge and four couples in play. Let us list our players.


Noah and Sandra Bennet
Matt Parkman and Daphne Milbrook
Danko and Alena
Gabriel Gray (Sylar) and Elle Bishop


1. Gabriel wants revenge on Noah for having put him on the path to becoming a killer/Sylar in the first place, for having killed him (it didn't take) and for cracking the illusion Gabriel built up during Season 3 that he had parents who loved him and that he had a shot of redeeming himself, culminating in his becoming Sylar again and killing the only woman he ever loved.

2. Noah wants revenge on Gabriel for the numerous attempts to kill him, kill Claire, kill Sandra and every other bit of hell Sylar has put him and his family through.

3. Matt wants revenge on Danko for having indirectly caused the death of his girlfriend Daphne, by denying her proper medical treatment after she was shot by men acting on Danko's orders.


1. Using his newly-acquired shape-shifting powers, Sylar goes to Noah while impersonating Sandra, whom Noah has recently become seperated from. "Sandra" claims that "she" has seen what a monster Noah is and that "she" wants a divorce. Knowing that Noah is deeply paranoid and that Noah doesn't believe Sylar is truly dead (Danko and Sylar used the "still looks like Sylar" corpse of the shape-shifting fugitive Sylar killed to fake Sylar's death), Sylar sets Noah up so that he confronts the later confronts the real Sandra after Noah uncovers proof that Sylar is still alive.

Thinking he still has the real Sylar, Noah roughs her up, accuses her of being Sylar and is on the verge of killing her when Sandra gets a call from their son on what he realizes is his wife's cel phone, asking a question regarding Mr. Muggle's medicine only his wife would know the answer too.

Abandoned by his wife, Noah puts 2 and 2 together and confronts Danko with his knowledge that he's been helping Sylar. Danko seemingly spills the beans as to who Sylar is now disguised as and leads Bennet to a team in the field. Once there, Danko denies everything when Bennet pulls a gun on the agent he identified as a disguised Sylar. Bennet shoots the agent expecting him to regenerate... and then is shocked when he fails to rise from the ground. Branded a murderer by the men he worked for, Noah makes a run for it and goes to the one ally he has left; Angela Petrelli. Naturally, the fallen agent was actually Sylar playing possum.

In this, we see that Sylar is Fortinbras - the perfect balance of plan and action who ultimately gets what he wants; to take everything that Noah Bennet holds dear and to have done so by causing Noah to trigger his own destruction.

2. Noah's plans for revenge run concurrently with Sylar's. In his case, however, Noah is so blinded by rage and his Ahab-like lust for revenge that while he is capable of pulling off several plans with his famous cunning, he does fall into two fairly obvious traps. First, attacking his own wife after being convinced she is Sylar. Then by walking into a situation with no proof of wrong-doing on Danko's part and no proof that Sylar is really alive.

In this, we see that Noah is Laertes - all action, with little thought behind his actions.

3. Matt uses his powers to cause Danko to think that the person he values most in life is in danger. Matt follows Danko to a house in the Washington D.C. suburbs, thinking that the woman he sees is Danko's girlfriend. In truth, she's an escort who - despite her occupation - does hold some feelings for Danko, who has told her that he's a married man with kids who will leave his wife for her as soon as the kids are grown.

Matt breaks into Alena's house with a loaded gun, yet he seems uncertain of what he will do once he is inside the house of the woman his enemy "loves". Using a combination of his powers and persuasion, Matt keeps Alena calm enough to talk to her before "showing" her the truth about her favorite customer.

Taking Alena to Danko's house, Matt forces both of them into the home at gunpoint. After making an impassioned speech about how he just wanted Danko to know how it felt to lose the woman he loved - and to do it by exposing the truth about what a monster Danko truly is and forcing him to admit it himself. Matt then drops his gun and tells Danko to go ahead and kill him, feeling that he has nothing left to live for and that his revenge is complete.

In this, we see that Matt is Hamlet - all thought with little action. He has plans but lacks the ability to follow-through on his dreams of revenge except through a muted plan that will do nothing but end his suffering. In this we see another parallel with Hamlet, who was himself gloomy and suicidal, soliloquizing about whether or not it would matter if he died.

We also note a rather disturbing parallel in that all three of these characters used basically the same means, to different degrees, to try and destroy the relationships of their chosen nemesis.


1. Sylar masqueraded as Sandra, to push Noah over the edge and to later reveal to Sandra just how far the man she loved had sunk into The Abyss.

2. Noah shot down Gabriel's attempts at a normal life with Elle - first by chewing Elle out for getting cold feet about the plan to push Gabriel into killing then by later mocking Sylar's attempts at redemption and another attempt at a relationship with Elle, telling them both that it was just a matter of time before Sylar lost it and tried to kill her.

3. Matt using his mind-control powers to set up Danko to confess to his real life before the "girlfriend" he'd been lying to for years as well as the numerous immoral acts he committed in the line of duty.



Monday, April 6, 2009

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 4, Chapter 9 - Turn and Face the Strange

Word from the episode summary is...

1. someone close to Danko will be putting him in danger.
2. Noah and Sandra's marriage is going to get pushed a step closer to ending
3. Hiro and Ando will introduce Matt to his Matt Jr.
4. Angela and Peter will reunite with the rest of the family, such as they are.

Best Bets?

1. It's Sylar.
2. Something happens to Lyle.
3. Matt will complain about how his powers to see the future didn't let him see this coming.
4. We're going to find out Angela's past.

8:00 - So - the recap this week; Daphne getting shot and dying, Noah going after Angela and letting her and Peter go, Angela saying they need to go find Nathan and Claire, Hiro has his powers back - kinda and he and Ando have Matt Jr. and are looking for Matt and Sylar and Danko are now working together, having faked Sylar's death.

8:01 - Noah inspecting the body... again. I knew he didn't believe it after last episode!

8:02 - Ah... glass melted in the fire. THAT'S how Sylar got out of the fire at the end of Season 3 after Claire spiked his brain with a glass shard.

8:03 - Heh! Matt Jr. can stop things as well as make them go! Betcha that's why the car stopped!

8:04 - Okay, not to nit-pic but how exactly is Mohinderance fleeing the country if he's a wanted fugitive? Technically I think he is a still a citizen of India but c'mon. Hiro and Ando I can excuse because Hiro has enough cash to get a charter plane and grease some palms... but not Mohinderance.

8:05 - So Matt is out for revenge on Danko. "You've been a really good friend, Mohinder."

What the... NO HE HASN'T! Ignoring his general whiny and cowardly personality and his second-guessing your every move all season, he's the reason you all had no warning that this whole "hunting the evolved humans" thing was coming. He also spent most of last season abducting innocent people, working for the bad guys and he's responsible for having made your foster daughter (who seems to be as forgotten at Kaitlin at this point) disappear "somewhere safe".

8:06 - Ooooh, so it's Claire being missing that has Sandra set off. Not to nit-pic again but where is their son in all of this? Alone in Costa Verde?

8:07 - As predicted, he's gotten much better at doing the shape-shifting thing. No pain at all now. And yeah - "I'm not going to kill him. I'm going to destroy him." That's our Sylar!

8:10 - Angela had a vision. Has to go to Coyote Sands? There's a name. And Noah has to be there too.

8:11 - I'll bet the baby makes the truck stop too.

8:12 - "Si!" Hee hee hee.

8:13 - Can I call them or what?

8:14 - So Matt is going after Danko... or is that Sylar? As Wily Wonka said, the suspense is killing me. I hope it lasts. :)

8:15 - Oh, Bravo Noah! You are Mister Clever.

8:16 - Okay. So it really was Danko. And he seems to have a girlfriend.

8:17 - Oh... crap. She's really serious about the divorce. Unless THAT is Sylar and this is all part of the wicked plan to destroy Noah.

8:18 - Well, they can't all be shocking surprises, I guess.

8:22 - Of course Hiro WOULD tell the truth about "the magic baby".

8:23 - Well, if the hero act ever fails, Ando can always find work with Confuse-A-Baby limited. :)

8:24 - You know, Matt... this isn't really helping the "I am not a terrorist" case. I'm just saying.

8:25 - "This was a bad idea". Oh, NOW you realize this. And yeah - go figure that she's a girlfriend-for-hire and not a real girlfriend. No surprise given how maladjusted Danko is and how serious he is about not having anything outside of his work.

8:26 - And so we have 2-and-2 together. Good man, Noah!

8:27 - And oh yeah... big shock... Danko has been lying to his "special friend". Still .. nice little mirror plot here with Matt and Sylar both trying to destroy an enemy rather than kill them, using what are basically the same means.

8:29 - And there's Claire and Nathan.

8:30 - Project Icarus? Oh, this can't be good... and the original Dr. Suresch was there? But I thought he knew nothing at all about powers!

8:31 - Oh.... SHIT! That twist I didn't see coming. But I have to wonder... did Sylar plan this as well?

8:34 - Actually, all the subplots this week - in some way - they have something to do with couples and revenge. Interesting parallel.

8:35 - Hey! There's Lyle! I guess they didn't forget about him.

8:36 - This is honestly heartbreaking... "I do believe you, but it doesn't matter." As Nietzsche said, "Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster..."

8:37 - And speaking of becoming a monster... Matt holding Danko and his lady at gun-point.

8:40 - Except Matt's plan all hinges on getting Danko to confess that he is a monster and that nothing is more important to him than killing.

8:41 - "Oooh. Close one." Yay Hiro!

8:46 - And yeah. Noah just pulled a hell of a gambit there. And the talking down to Danko for being an idiot here is just perfect.

8:47 - And yeah... Hiro gets a nice speech here telling Matt down for giving up the battle, as it were.

8:48 - I can't believe Noah didn't see this coming - Danko denying everything, I mean. There's a trick coming. Bet on it.

8:49 - Hee hee. "How would you know a thing like that?" I knew he'd have an edge going into this.

8:50 - Oh... crap. Either Noah really did just kill an innocent man... or he honestly did just kill Sylar. Either way... bloody hell.

8:55 - And yeah... looks like the perfect partnership is over.

8:56 - So... um.... I guess Mohinder is being allowed to stay in the basement. Apparently. I honestly forgot about his storyline with everything else going on.

8:57 - And two shots of two men begging their women for forgiveness.

8:58 - Okay. Looks like we'll have to wait until next time to get some answers about Angela's past. And yay - Mohinderance narration explaining the whole Icarus metaphor for those of us who slept through 10th grade English.

8:59 - Ah... did Claire talk to her mom? Does she know about what Noah nearly did to Sandra?

The Final Word: A tightly woven episode with multiple sub-plots involving the twin themes of couples and revenge. Sylar wants revenge on Noah. Noah wants revenge on Sylar. Matt wants revenge on Danko for Daphne's death and attacks Danko's relationship by exposing him as a monster to the woman he loves. Sylar exposes how much of a monster Noah has become to the woman he loves. And Matt himself, while not killing Danko, went further than he ever has before in abusing his power.

It's positively Shakespearean, complete with Hiro and Ando clowning it up with Will Kemp style antics to amuse us between the dramatic scenes. Let there be no more doubt; HEROES is back.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 4/1/09

Particularly fast this week because I only got one book apart from The Flash:Rebirth #1

FLASH: REBIRTH #1 - Well, in case you haven't read my humorous and graphic-less summary of the plot (what plot?), I was less than impressed.

Johns is one of my favorite writers but he seemed to be running on auto-pilot, no pun intended. Thrusting a dead parent and an angsty trauma into the life of Barry Allen just seems to be counter-productive, given that the apparent hook of the character (as we are told repeatedly) is how honest, decent and simple a man Barry Allen is. Turning his father into an apparent murderer who killed his own wife doesn't add anything to Barry's backstory and is - from what little I know of The Flash history Johns is supposedly a slave to - completely contradictory.

Simply put, there's very little going on here that we didn't already see in Green Lantern: Rebirth, leaving me to wonder if maybe this should have been called The Flash: Rerun

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #149 - I'm disappointed that after the major bombshell of last issue (i.e. Tuley - the heart and soul of Hard 8 since Gary Jackon's passing - decides to leak the new "improved" version of Hackmaster to the public), that we didn't see any development of this thread this issue.

That's not to say that there's not some good stuff here, with Bob successfully convincing B.A. to let him run a descendant of his famous thief character Knuckles and the Black Hand's Cattlepunk game descending into even deeper depths of depravity as a real old-wet legend enters the game. All this and a cliff-hanger that is likely the biggest fakeout in KODT history.

The Flash: Rebirth #1 - A Humorous Summary

I did think about trying to do a redub of this, in the same style as Green Arrow/Black Canary #1 Redeux... but given that The Powers That Be have been a lot stricter about slapping whole comics on-line of late, I'm not willing to chance it even with the US of A's parody laws behind me.

Besides, it's much faster for me to just write a summary. :)

SPOILERS - of a sort - Behind The Cuts!

SCENE: Central City. Police Headquarters. Forensic Lab.

CROOKED COP: Fix this evidence!

HONEST COP: But this evidence proves this man is innocent!

CROOKED COP: This is how we do things in Central City.




UNSEEN VILLAIN (V/O): Barry Allen was a simple man who saw everything in black and white. But he's wrong. This began with him and it will end with him. Because everyone is guilty. Death is not the end. Lighting always strikes twice. Haste makes waste. A stitch in time saves nine. Never trust a smiling lawyer. Great taste, less filling. Oh, and I brought Barry Allen back from the dead. To make him suffer. Somehow.

SCENE: Central City. A Big Honking Parade In Honor Of The Flash.

LINDA PARK (V/O): Everyone is overjoyed at the news that the original Flash... well, the one from Central City, not the WWII one... is alive. And everyone is also happy, although not as happy as they are about the original Flash being alive, that Kid Flash... the 2nd one, who was briefly The Flash for about a week... is also apparently alive. And apparently has gone back to being Kid Flash. How? Who knows! But everyone is happy... except maybe the super villains.

SCENE: Gorilla City. Probably.

GORILLA GRODD: I'm not happy!

SCENE: Seedy Bar in Central City. Or possibly Keystone City. A bunch of supervillains are sitting around.

MIRROR MASTER: We're going to need a bigger boat.

SCENE: A broken-down room. Probably in Central City.

ABRA KADABRA: Look. I'm holding a Flash puppet. Behold the goofy Silver-Age shot-out, fanboys!

SCENE: A different broken-down room. This one is full of books.

DOCTOR ALCHEMY: You have no idea who I am, do you?

SCENE: The Flash Museum.

TICKET LADY: Sorry about the line. Did you wait long?

UNSEEN MAN: An eternity.

TICKET LADY: Have you been to the museum before?

UNSEEN MAN: You could say that.

TICKET LADY: Then welcome back. We're open until five today.

UNSEEN MAN: Thanks, but I won't be staying that long.


UNSEEN MAN: You might say I'll be leaving quickly.

TICKET LADY: You're holding up the line, sir.

UNSEEN MAN: In fact, you could say I'd be out of here like...

TICKET LADY: Yes, we all got the hint, Mr. Allen. Now move along.

SCENE: JSA Headquarters. Everyone is getting ready for a 'Welcome Back Barry' party.

JAY GARRICK: Barry is much cooler than I am. And he made me The Flash.

STARGIRL: But... you were the original. You inspired him!

JAY GARRICK: Yeah, but Barry saved me and my hometown after a bunch of villains - including The Shade - trapped us in time...

Somewhere in The Real World

JAMES ROBINSON: Why did I suddenly get a headache?

SCENE: JSA Headquarters.

JAY GARRICK: ... so in that sense, Barry inspired me to become a hero again.

ALAN SCOTT: And that inspired me to become a hero again.

TED GRANT: Yeah. None of us old timers would have come back if it hadn't been for Barry.

Somewhere Else in The Real World

GEOFF JOHNS: Heh heh. See what I did there? Cause you know - if it hadn't been for Barry Allen back in the 1950's - hardly anyone would remember those lame Golden Age heroes at all today.

Somewhere in The Real World

JAMES ROBINSON: Urge to kill... rising.

Titans Headquarters

WALLY WEST: Barry was an awesome mentor.

ROY HARPER: Yeah. He was a lot better than Ollie, who tried to teach me to care about stuff.

DONNA TROY: And he was better than Diana, who just told me to stay away from boys and kept giving me scrolls by Sappho.

DICK GRAYSON: Wait... I thought you were her sister and she never had you as a sidekick now?

DONNA TROY: I don't know, anymore. I'm so confused...

WALLY'S KID 1: I hate you!

WALLY'S KID 2: I hate you more!

WALLY WEST: Wow, being father of two kids with superpowers is tough.

ROY HARPER: No kidding. I have to share custody with a genocidal assassin and *I* pity you.

WALLY WEST: I know. I never thought I'd miss Bart.

Teen Titans Headquarters

BART ALLEN: What the! You guys are holding a welcome back party for me?

TIM DRAKE: Well... actually, everyone else split to meet your grandfather.

BART ALLEN: Oh, that is WEAK! Doesn't anyone care that I'm alive again?

CASSIE SANDSMARK: Honestly? No. Your grandfather sacrificed himself to save the Multiverse. You got taken down like a punk by a bunch of guys in their jammies.

BART ALLEN: Yeah, well... how come he's so great if he's not really dead anymore? Kinda hard to be a universe-saving martyr if you're not actually dead, isn't it? It's kinda cheap.

Somewhere Else In Real Life.

GEOFF JOHNS: Heh-heh. See how clever I am? Making a character the voice of the fanboys who are sure to be upset about what's happening in this story?

DWAYNE MCDUFFIE: Oh yeah. That's REAL clever and original. I'm certain that will really buy you some sympathy from the fans.

Iris West-Allen's home in Central City

IRIS WEST-ALLEN: Oh, my husband's back and my grandson's back and everything is wonderful!



DETECTIVE FRYE: Hello, Iris. You probably don't remember me but neither does most of the audience. I'm Barry's former boss. I know he's back and logically I know he's The Flash. And I need his help with a murder.

The Flash Museum

BARRY ALLEN: Yes, it was me before in that line! I know you're all so surprised! And you're just as surprised as I am that I'm alive. But not as surprised I am by the people around me with cel-phones!

HAL JORDAN: You know, given that you've only been gone maybe 6 years tops in the adjusted timeline, cel-phones shouldn't shock you THAT much.

BARRY ALLEN (V/O): I didn't like Hal when we first met. He was reckless, stared at women too much and laughed whenever he was about to die. But then I found out he was a cop and that completely excused him being a misogynistic madman.

HAL JORDAN: I'm glad you missed the Dark Age.

BARRY ALLEN: Yeah. So how many more kids has Ollie lead astray?

HAL JORDAN: Just one. Well, more than that honestly but everyone seems to be trying to forget about Connor.


HAL JORDAN: Exactly. So why are you alive again?

BARRY ALLEN: You aren't interested in the How?

HAL JORDAN: Eh... I figured it just kinda happened like it did with me and Ollie. So why are you here?

BARRY ALLEN: Learning. Looking at the exhibits. Finding out what villains are out there. Because there's something specific I was supposed to come back to do though I'm not sure what it is yet. But I know I won't be staying.

HAL JORDAN: Man, YOU are back. Trust me. Once that Johns kid gets his hooks into you, you'll never be able to rest. Trust me. You are alive.

Cut To:
Fallville, Iowa.

No. we don't know where it is either. But there's a lot of corn.

BOY IN CORNFIELD: It smells like burning rubber! What is it?

OTHER BOY IN CORNFIELD: I dunno but I think it's dead.

The boys poke at a still-smoldering skeleton, which is wearing a blackened Flash costume.

We still don't know where Fallville is, but apparently they don't have TV, Newspapers or Internet access because it is home to the only two boys in the world who haven't heard of The Flash, much less the wonderful news about how The Flash is not dead!

The Flash Museum

HAL JORDAN: You're alive. We should party.

BARRY ALLEN: No I'm not. I need to run. Tell everyone I'm sorry I didn't make the parties. I can't be late.

HAL JORDAN: Why? What do you need to do that's more important?

BARRY ALLEN: Whatever the world needs me for. I can never be late again. Splash-page ahoy!

Barry Allen changes into costume and runs away very quickly.

HAL JORDAN: Man... why did I miss that dick?

BARRY ALLEN: There's only one open case I ever left behind and it didn't matter to anyone but me. I remember it like it was a flashback...

OTHER KID: You'll never outrun me, Barry! You're so slow!

YOUNG BARRY: I don't like racing!

Somewhere Else In Real Life.

GEOFF JOHNS: Oh, the irony! Aren't I just the cleverest writer ever? And you know what else would be clever and original? If we arranged a tragic death of a close family member in order to make Barry's life even more dramatically ironic!

The Flashback

Police cars swarm around the Allen household. Barry's mom is dead in a pool of blood. Barry's father is being taken away in handcuffs. Barry tries to chase after the cop car but... he is too slow.

Wherever Barry is Running at the moment.

BARRY ALLEN: I still see that cop car in front of me... and I still can't catch it.

SAVITAR: Free! Free at last!

BARRY ALLEN: Hey! I recognize you from the museum! I dunno if any of the readers do but you're that evil Speed Cultist guy my nephew beat up. Well, I'm sure I can do the same!

SAVITAR: No! Don't touch me!

Barry tries to touch Savitar, who turns into a skeleton and crumbles like Donovan at the end of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

SAVITAR: You were the beginning, Allen. And you're the end.

An electric shockwave apparently surges across the universe, zapping Wally, his kids, Bart, Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick/Liberty Belle and the smoldering corpse in Iowa.

BARRY: What the hell just happened?

Somewhere Else In Real Life.

"STARMAN" MATT MORRISON: Good bloody question. Too bad I don't care enough to buy another issue to find out.