Thursday, April 28, 2011

What I Bought 4/27/2011

I was talking NBA playoffs elsewhere on the Internet last night, and I saw the Spurs were losing so I typed in something about how they were about to get bounced. Naturally they came back and won in overtime. They do a very good job tormenting me it seems. Shouldn't expect anything less from a professional organization. Only one comic this week.

Power Man and Iron Fist #4 - Danny, in an attempt to KO Noir, instead punches a hole in a window. Of a building sitting at the bottom of the ocean. Good one, Fist. Meanwhile, the mask of Columbina has taken control of Joy Meachum, and we learn her (Columbina) and the rest of her troupe's tale of woe. Which involves Baron Mordo. Hey, it could have been worse. It could have involved Dr. Doom.

Danny and Victor escape, and Danny fortunately thought ahead to call Luke Cage to pick them up. They figure out a white supremacist group is connected to the Crime-Buster murder, but that gets temporarily shelved when Danny blows up at Vic for not making sure the possessed Joy (who was trying to kill Victor) reached safety. Luke tries to have a talk with Vic, but it's not clear yet whether it worked. Danny opts to pummel white supremacists instead, and perhaps learns something useful. May be too late for Vic and Tiowa, as they fall victim to Evil Corporate Guy.

I'm going to have to reread the earlier parts because the mystery isn't really coming together for me. Parts of it are, but there are still a lot of things I haven't figured out, and hopefully the answers are in the earlier chapters. Or at least some clues to the answers. The more certain everyone else becomes that Tiowa is Noir, the less sure I become. Unless it's a situation where the two identities aren't aware they share a body. Maybe Noir's nifty hat possesses people, like Columbina's mask.

Wellinton Alves draws the entire issue, which is nice, though I'd gotten used to Perez' way of drawing Joy, which gave a softer look. She is possessed by a murderous mask, so looking tougher makes sense, at least. Some of the fight scenes seem off. When Fist punches through Noir, based on where they're standing it doesn't seem like his fist would hit the glass, because it should be traveling parallel to the tunnel. The Iron Fist versus supremacists fight works better. Alves and inker Nelson Pereira's use of shadows does work very well in the ominous scenes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Struggling With My Bad Judgment

I'm posting from the library today. I needed to come to town anyway, so it works out nicely. The Internet did do a little better yesterday evening, but I think the unpleasant weather's been giving it trouble.

In the last round of solicits, Marvel listed the 'Complete Ben Reilly Epic, Volume 1', and I actually considered ordering it. I still am, though I could probably pick up all the issues pretty cheap in back issues bins (I'm not too picky about quality, as long as they're readable). In truth, the $40 price tag did more to dissuade me than the fact I bet a lot of the comics within aren't very good. Heck, I know some of them aren't good because I owned some of them back in the day.

But I've always had a soft spot for Ben Reilly, at least as the Scarlet Spider (I didn't read many of his adventures as Spider-Man, and I really didn't like his Spider-Man costume*). He kept meaning to leave New York, kept meaning to not get involved in crime-fighting, but he couldn't help himself. He had a connection to the people and places, but either they had no connection (the times when he was the clone), or he had a connection, but it had broken and someone else had taken it up (when they were telling us Ben was the original and Peter was the clone). His whole life had sort of an unrequited aspect to it. So he started to build another life, with new friends. Eventually, he and Peter even became friends, which admittedly isn't that strange for Spider-Man (we've discussed before his tendency to make friends out of former enemies, even if it doesn't always last), but considering their circumstances, it was fairly impressive. Especially with the tension about who is the real one, did Peter steal Ben's life, did Ben's presence bring Kaine into the mix, so and so on.

Plus, as far as ways to get a single Spider-Man go, having the married one retire to be a father and husband seems a little more in tune with the character than asking Mephisto to go back and slightly alter events so Pete misses his wedding and then he and MJ decide not to get hitched**.

And I liked the Scarlet Spider costume. I know people make fun of the sweatshirt over the spandex look, but I liked the makeshift feel of it. He did throw on whatever he had available when he first started being the Scarlet Spider, and he kept telling himself he wasn't going to keep it up (that Parker capacity for self-delusion), so he didn't need to bring Peter's fairly impressive ability to sew into the picture. Hey, at least it didn't have shoulder pads (though there was an unnecessary pouch around one ankle).

* Though it works for me as Spider-Girl's costume. Maybe because it's a nice tip of the cap to her Uncle Ben. I actually think of it as her costume now, not as Ben's. Or not as Spider-Man's, at least.

** I had to look that up on Wikipedia for this post, since I hadn't bothered to keep up on what One Moment in Time said when it came out. Very surprised they were able to convince Stark to help Petre reestablish the secret identity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Before I Lose Contact

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday. The internet's been kind of erratic.

I was watching Ax Men again on Sunday, and caught last week's episode, which meant I got to see Craig Rygaard get whacked in the back of the skull by the 50-ton loader. He was surprisingly OK. I thought it was pretty apt since (thanks to the magic of editing, no doubt) he'd been ripping on Dave again just prior to that. The usual stuff, that Dave's an idiot, he's useless, Craig could do Dave's job in half the time*. Then Craig goes and pulls a boner like that. Wasn't even wearing a hardhat at the time. Like he said, you can't fix stupid.

It does look like Dave's going to get himself fired. I don't quite know what his problem is. Maybe he lacks awareness, but he does seem to make some really bad decisions sometimes.

* Considering Craig has a couple of decades experience on Dave, and would n doubt say he's several times smarter than Dave, he really ought to be able to do the work faster. With those advantages, I'd be embarrassed if I couldn't.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Everyone Wins! Except The Loser

Based off this most recent issue, who do you think is the most likely of the cadets at Avengers Academy to go bad? Mettle and Hazmat both learned that it's more likely they won't find a cure for their conditions than that they will. Striker experienced death and is actively questioning whether being a hero is worth it. Veil had access to real power for a few moments and saw the appeal of it. I'm not even completely sure about Reptil anymore. He is potentially risking timeline stability to because he wants to be stronger. Sure, Carina risked it to save herself, but she's not a hero (not yet anyway), so she's probably not the best example to follow.

Finesse is actually the one I'm least worried about now. Yeah, she jammed a sai into Korvac's chest, but it isn't as though the other heroes are ostracizing people who kill these days. If Wolverine's any indication, she could still be an Avenger. Or at least the leader of a future incarnation of Cyclops' Stabbity Kill Team*. I'm more worried about Mettle, since he seem horrified that he punched through Korvac's chest like it was an everyday occurrence. Still, he and Hazmat seem more sad than bitter about their possible situations. I don't think it'll be Striker. He seems more likely to turn into some washout who tries to make an entertainment career than a criminal one. Like a second-rate version of Wonder Man, without the periodically successful heroics.

I'm leaning towards Veil or Reptil, since Veil's seen what grabbing power for herself can lead to (improving her condition). Reptil might justify his actions by figuring it makes him more useful as a fighter or a leader, but he still put his own desires first, not typically a good sign.

* I'm sure Scott will lose his mind again at some point and decide that was a good idea and they should bring it back. Then he finds out Logan kept it going without him and there'll be a big slap fight between the two of them.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What I Bought 4/22/2011

I have nothing for in the way of an intro today. Unless you'd like to discuss the weather? Didn't think so.

Avengers Academy #12 - On that cover, do the various pieces of the broken background look like they fight together? I was thinking that little chunk with the right side of Mettle's face doesn't fit with the larger piece with the other half of his face, bit I'm not prepared to chop the cover up and reassemble it to find out.

The cadets, in their possible future bodies, fight Korvac. They beat Korvac, mostly Veil and Hazmat, but everyone at least takes a shot at him. Things are mostly restored, though the cadets remember their time in their possible future bodies. This means some members of the team have to cope with the fact it's not likely their situations will be improved.

So that wasn't a bad story. Gage didn't fall into the trap of portraying the cadets as better and more awesome than all the other more established heroes. Korvac underestimated them a bit, and Veil and Hazmat happened to have powers that were extremely useful in this situation that none of the Avengers had. It's a nice way to shake things up, especially about the mystery of who will turn villain. All the cadets have seen one of their possible futures, and Carina confirmed (or didn't deny) that the odds are against a happy ending for some of them.

I didn't like Tom Raney's rendition of Korvac any more this issue than I did last issue. I'm partial to his look in the Avengers Annual from 1987, where he fought the Silver Surfer wearing casual clothes and sitting in a recliner. If you're that powerful, why not wear what you like into battle? Raney's version is too muscled, and at times his hair seems too small for his scalp, like it's supposed to be on a smaller head. Which would be pretty funny if Korvac altered his physical appearance to look more powerful, but forgot to make more hair. I did like Finesse using Mettle as a mirror on the first page (or is it the 2nd page? Do you count the recap page?)

Darkwing Duck #11 - Femme Appeal is separated from DW and Steelbeak. She tries to rescue Gosalyn and Honker from Ammonia Pine, but gets the floor mopped with her and so of the Eggmen recapture the kids anyway. Launchpad has fallen under Duckthulu's power, but Morgana's infiltrating F.O.W.L. headquarters solo. And Darkwing gets decked by Steelbeak to serve as the sacrifice to bring about Duckthulu's rising. As Steelbeak put it, who didn't see that coming? Of course, Steelbeak might have wanted to stop and consider whether humiliating Darkwing was worth destroying the world, but if he stopped to consider such thungs, he wouldn't be a bad guy.

Silvani gets to have some fun with sight gags again. The issue opens with a fight in a room that exists apparently solely to suspend things from the ceiling. And what gets hung in the air, must eventually come down - with hilarious consequences. He's always very good at foreshadowing things like that. In the ceremonial room, there are 3 dragons etched on the platforms are the sacrificial table. One is Pete's Dragon, I think one is the dragon form the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty took, and I don't recognize the other one. That's another thing Silvani does frequently, which I think is nice because they're just Easter eggs, and don't detract from the story (Pete's Dragon is a little too cheerful for such an ominous setting, though).

This Darkwing feels more like the one I remember from the cartoons. I haven't had any issue with how Brill's written him up to this point, it's more problems came so fast and furious Darkwing didn't really have time to settle into his old patterns. Now he has, and he's back to being egotistical and solitary, and it's working against him, as usual.

That's all the reviews for this week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Much Good Warning The Kid To Look Out When He Can't See

What is it with me and sight-related titles lately? I was thinking about Unforgiven recently, as I often do, and it struck me that Will Munny's advice to the Schofield Kid right before the climactic gunfight may not have been much use. Will tells the Kid 'You steer clear of folks you see. Be a lot of them out to hang you.' Except the Kid's eyesight is pretty lousy. That's why he plans to spend the money they made killing them two cowboys on fancy spectacles. Then I reminded myself of the time he opened fire on Will and Ned, which means he can distinguish the shape of a man on horseback at least, so if he assumes everyone is a likely foe, he might be OK. except it's likely they'll spot him before he sees them, and if he immediately takes off, that's bound to arouse suspicion. He must have made it safely though, since I assume Munny's part of the bounty is what facilitated his rumored move to San Francisco and subsequent prosperous dry goods business.

While we're talking about Unforgiven, I do love that final battle inside Greeley's. Not just because the whole movie had been building to the point where Will Munny takes up his old personality, there's a lot of little pieces to it. As much as I disapprove of Little Bill's strategy of beating up unarmed men while his deputies keep the person being beaten at gunpoint, I have to give him credit for how calmly he walked up to Munny and accepted he was gonna catch a shotgun blast in the chest.

I like how after Bill's been shot, he's laying on the ground, he raises his pistol again, but Munny whirls and steps on his wrist, wasting the shot. Earlier in the movie, Little Bill's found Munny in possession of a firearm inside city limits, and with his deputies keeping Munny at gunpoint, proceeds to beat the whey out of him. Unarmed, Munny drags himself up to the bar and reaches for a bottle sitting there. That's interesting enough, since Munny's resisted drinking alcohol thus far, but apparently sees no problem with using a bottle of it as a weapon. Little Bill pins his wrist against the bar with his foot before Munny can do anything with it. So a bit of symmetry there.

The one shot that always amuses me, even more than the casual way Munny shoots Ray with the Spencer rifle as he's leaving (doesn't even bother to look at him), comes right after the shotgun misfire that grants Little Bill a reprieve. As Bill snarls, 'Misfire. Kill the son of a. . .', he and his deputies draw their guns, as does Munny. There's a brief shot amongst that of two old-timers near the bar simultaneously ducking. Only lasts a heartbeat and then the killing starts. I always chuckle at that. They know what's coming, and a low profile is the way to go. And something about their movement suggests a resignation, like someone who has been through so many bombardments they only notice enough to take proper precautions, but not so much that it frightens them. They've seen it all before, and best to stay out of it.

That's one interesting things about a lot of Westerns. Even when a gunfight breaks out in a crowded saloon, it rarely seems like innocent bystanders get shot. Like how the Hulk used to be able to destroy an entire town, and nobody died (which has since been changed, which I don't think was a good move, but nobody at Marvel's asking me). It's always someone connected. Maybe they didn't draw a weapon, but they're a friend or relative of someone who is involved. It works out that way here. Everyone who died is connected to Ned's death in some way. Skinny let Little Bill set Ned up on display in front of his store, Little Bill killed Ned, the deputies all helped (plus they drew on Will with intent to kill). None of the other fellows in the store were harmed that we know of, which is pretty impressive. Especially considering how panicked the young deputy and the fat one were (witness their missing Munny repeatedly from only a few feet away). But they weren't guilty parties (though a few of them were probably involved in Ned's capture) so they survived.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Should Have Saved Yesterday's Title For A Daredevil Post

Dogwatch is over! Just in time, too. Charlie had been pretty subdued, but last night he was starting to act more like his usual self. Which means he was barking his head off everytime I brought Eddie or Joey past the kitchen. At least they pay him no mind. Still irritating. It's too bad though, I think Charlie and I were starting to get along. I'd let him walk a lot, which he seemed to like, and he's the one dog in that house I apparently can't walk into the ground*, which is impressive.

Did anyone see that Burn Notice movie, The Fall of Sam Axe, last night? I enjoyed it, and of course he wound up in the whole mess by fooling around with an Admiral's wife (he didn't know she was married!). I'm disappointed he taught those resistance fighters the prevent defense. What the hell Sam?! All right-thinking Americans know the prevent defense is crap. It prevents nothing but your own victory.

It was nice that Sam again demonstrated his ability to take a beating for a good cause**, by stalling until help arrived. At first I thought it was the U.S. military, and I was torn because here was the U.S. throwing its weight around. Then I told myself it was for a good cause, dealing with corrupt military types. Then I remembered the U.S. probably helped install those guys. Then I figured out the armed helicopters actually belonged to the police, and the whole internal debate was moot.

This is probably it for posting for at least a couple of days. Figure on posting resuming Thursday, maybe Friday.

* Eddie and Joey like to walk too, and we go pretty much as far as they want, but it's more than they can handle. After a few days of that, they were really dragging.
** You knew the bad guys were really bad because as Sam was picking himself up, the lead man rushed up and kicked him in the ribs to send him tumbling. That's a tactic favored in fiction exclusively by bad guys. Which is probably why I always think of it as a dirtier tactic than aiming for the groin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Blind Man Looking For The Bright Side

Dogwatch, Day 3: Starting to hallucinate. Hearing dogs bark while I'm trying to sleep. Still able to distinguish from reality because imaginary dogs only bark once. No real dog here exhibits that much restraint.

If you care, you may have noticed Cass Cain is going to show up in Red Robin in July. There is some concern about what role she's going to play though. Let's look take a look:

'If he's going to avoid a fight against a psycho Super-Villain, end the 7 Days of Death, win the Assassination Tournament and discover ancient knowledge over life and death, red Robin will have to survive a fight against one of the world's deadliest assassins. Her name? Cassandra Cain!'

Well, at least Nicieza's keeping Tim busy. So, it's a little concerning that they're fighting, and she's referred to as an assassin, but we here at Reporting on Marvels and Legends are all about the positivity. So let's spin this positively!

Sure, it refers to her as one of the world's deadliest assassins. But that doesn't necessarily mean she's actively killing people these days. Michael Jordan is one of the greatest baskestball players, even though he hasn't played professionally in a decade. Rembrandt didn't stop getting mentioned as a great artist just because he's dead (or Monet, or Dali, or whoever you prefer). Once you're in, you're in forever.

Also, the solicitation suggests Tim's pretty busy. Well, if he's going to handle all that, he could stand to be the best he can be. What better way to improve his skills than some intense combat training against the premier hand-to-hand fighter in the world? If the training's intense enough, he could cram a lot of progress into a little time*.

Hmm, this is pretty similar to the explanation I came up with for Cass' actions in that One Year Later story, only there I thought she was testing his convictions. We all remember how that worked out. Hopefully this one turns out a little better.


* I was rereading some of the DragonBall manga, when Goku reaches King Kai's planet to begin training, he worries there's no way he can make enough progress before the next threat reaches Earth. King Kai reassures him that even six months of training with him is equivalent to several thousand years on Earth. Course, it still wasn't really enough, since Goku wound up with most of his bone's broken, but he did a lot better than he would have otherwise.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not So Incognito As He Thought

Dogwatch, Day 2: Slept better last night. Did so by going to bed at 10:30, so I got a whole two hours before Hooch started barking for some non-apparent reason. I went to the living room to see if he needed to go out, and he was laying on a pillow, barking and wagging his tail. Did that two more times in the next 90 minutes. I think he's screwing with me.

In other matters I think I know my favorite Simpsons scene ever. I don't have anything solid to back this up, other than how often it comes to mind. The episode where we discover Marge's fear of flying starts with Homer being banned from Moe's Bar for a prank. We watch as Homer fails to find a suitable new bar (including Cheers).

As funny as I find that whole search, it's the part with Guy Incognito that's my favorite. A man that looks like Homer, except with a mustache and English accent, entering Moe's looking for a drink, and being pummeled by the rest of the patrons who think he is Homer. And of course, Homer walks by just as they toss Guy out the door, giving him the rare chance to meet his exact double. Which he passes up to chase a dog with a puffy tail.

I think it's how completely unaware Guy is of what's going to happen as he enters the bar. He's so sure he'll be able to get a drink, and received a beating instead. I'm surprised that wasn't a preexisting character name from a spy novel. Or at least a parody of a spy novel. It's perfect for that.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Will Be A Long Weekend

I'm watching my dad's dogs for him while he's away this weekend. Yes, it's Day 1 of Dogwatch Also known as, "Calvin Goes Insane In 4 Days". Anyway, I tried watching The Crazies yesterday. Upon reflection, I probably should have watched The Man From Laramie instead. I was surprised that the movie was more about the main characters trying to escape the containment established by the military than evading their former friends, now driven daffy by an accidentally released biological weapon. There is quite a bit of killing the infected types, but the threat of the military overshadowed it. When Timothy Olyphant and his deputy are fighting off attacks, I was wondering if the commotion was going to bring down the guys with machine guys and attack helicopters. Early on, when the citizens are being rounded up and moved here and there, a few folks who I guess had avoided apprehension drive a truck through the fences and start fighting back. Then several of the other civilians attack the soliders, or rush towards the feeling helis. It reminded me of one of those scenes in 28 Weeks Later where the soliders can't figure out who's infected and who isn't, except these soldiers didn't care. They just shot everyone anyway. Watching the whole thing I felt this was an important lesson in transparency by the authorities, rather than the usual "hide their culpability" dog-and-pony show. Perhaps if the official types had bothered to explain what was happening, rather than forcibily separating mothers from children and such, things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. Then it turned out the military was just killing everyone, so that fell apart. Transparency would have been kind of pointless with that objective. Timothy Olyphant doesn't work for me here. He can do the badass stuff, but when he needs to show sincerity (such as expressing his regrets for killing a man at the beginning) it rings false. I feel like he has a permanent smirk, as though he's pulling one over on somebody (the other characters? us? I don't know). It's like Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth. When he's being eerie, or possibly nuts from solitude, it worked. When he tried to show affection for his children in a flashback, it didn't.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What I Bought 4/13/2011

No time for idle chatter! Comics!

Batgirl #20 - Oracle helps Steph and Proxy figure out where all the money is going and the route it'll take. Steph hurries to the location and sure enough, Slipstream shows up to steal everything. Fortunately, Steph has developed a theory about him as a speedster (basically, the suit is fast, but his reactions aren't), and uses that - plus some nifty stuff Oracle loaded her new cave up with - to bring him down in about two pages. It's almost an anti-climax, except that Miller tells us a little something about Detective Gage, and we see this was only the beginning of whatever plan the person running the Reapers has.

Ramon Bachs handles art chores again, and at least he's credited on the cover this time. His art is still fine. I don't love it, but there's nothing wrong with it. It gets all the important information across in a clear manner, and I like the stance he gave Stephanie in the panel after Babs makes her encouraging speech. It's not quite slack-jawed, but it's funny. I wonder if Miller plans to use Steph's new ride frequently. If so, I hope he's not going to continue with it saying 'I'm sorry. I didn't catch that' to all of Batgirl's mumbles. That could get old fast. He doesn't have to give a personality, where she could argue with it, ala Nova and the Xandarian Worldmind (she already has Proxy for that), so silence would be fine.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #27 - Lobo and Smite pound each other while boasting about their great battles. Blackfire tries to fend off Starr-controlled Rannians, as Starro himself shows up to take over. Adam Strange brings back a few reinforcements, but the main tide changer seems to be Lyrl Dox has finally got Tribulus up and running again. His electric bolts are quite effective at dislodging Starro's. I'm a little surprised it can control them enough to not fry the hosts, but what the heck.

Things are slowly starting to turn against Starro, though he really only had the advantage for about one issue. I wonder if Bedard had to accelerate plans since the book ends next month? The way it's running, it feels like he always intended for this to be a brief but brutal return, but I'm not sure. St. Aubin's artwork is still fine. I like that the Starro controlled Psions don't get out of the way during Lobo and Smite's battle. They just go on about there business until one brawler punches the other into them. It's a nice touch. The drool a lot of the Starro slaves (including Dox) have is a nice touch, too. There were a couple of panels of fighting I couldn't make sense of, but other than that, everything's good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another Waste Of The Judicial System

I really wonder about the Spectre sometimes. July's Zatanna solicit says he's putting Z on trial for something, and all I can think is, "Aren't there any number of other people you should be going after?" Felix Faust is a real magical sleazebag, go take out some vengeance on him. Or Black Adam. I know he's a statue right now, but there was a lengthy stretch of time after he killed an entire country before that happened, so what happened? How does killing a couple million people not bring the Spectre down on his head?

I think the DC Universe's god is just lazy. It couldn't be bothered create a Spirit of Vengeance with a little common sense, or the ability to prioritize. Instead, it created one that operates on seemingly arbitrary terms and decided, "Eh, good enough." Or DCU god is just a jerk, and thinks it's fun to keep the mortal guessing, never knowing what might bring the Spectre down on their heads.

Maybe The Spectre's become like the Punisher to me, where he's better off operating in his own world, where he can be allowed to take vengeance upon anybody. In the DCU, they aren't likely to let a writer send the Spectre after the Joker*, which is kind of a problem when the Joker's racking up triple digit body counts. It leads to writers coming up with all sorts of hoops and loopholes for why the Spectre can't deal with this person or that one. He has no soul. His mission is holy. He had ham for lunch. OK, I made that last one up. Or did I?

Posting may be sporadic for the next week and half. I'm hoping to keep posting through Monday, but the middle of next week will be no content mode for sure.

* But he can absolutely go after Crispus Allen's son for killing the man who killed Crispus himself. Which, considering they're in Gotham, is nuts. There have to be a million people in that city who need vengeance carried out on them more than that kid, but he's the one the Spectre just had to drop the hammer on. Ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Which Way Is Bane Going To Jump?

Assuming he survives this trip to Hell, I'm curious to see what happens with Bane. He's been told his code means jack all, and he's still headed for Hell.

If he truly believes in the code he follows, he'd stick to it regardless of the potential consequences. If some demon told Batman his war on crime had consigned him to Hell (and who knows, maybe it does, considering how messed up things seem to be in the DCU), I highly doubt he'd abandon crimefighting. He might soften his tactics if he thought it was the violence that was getting him in trouble, but he wouldn't stop. There are people in trouble, and their safety comes first, so he'd keep going.

I suppose Bane could try completely revising his code to something he thinks the afterlife would find more palatable. Petting puppies, feeding the homeless, not ripping off people's limbs and beating them to death.

The other option is the one I think Simone's going to follow based on the July solicit. Bane could just say "screw it", forget the code, and just go nuts. If he's already damned, what's a few more atrocities?

It'll be interesting to see what he does and why. He's contended since the series started that he only does what is right, based on his somewhat, unique definition. Knowing that his afterlife is already determined, what's the right choice? I actually wouldn't be totally surprised if he chose to stick to his code anyway. He was, when Scandal needed him, willing to take Venom even though he believed it was immoral, because her safety was more important than his own. So I could see him opting to continue on as he has, because he believes it's the best thing for others, if not himself.

If he abandons his code, that suggests it was a facade, something he maintained to give him a sense of superiority over his teammates. He certainly believes he has that, since he contended his code makes him different from the rest, but that doesn't mean that's why he adopted it. He could have made it for some equally superficial reason, though, as a way of comparing himself to Batman (if Batman can follow a strict code, then I can). Or it could have been an attempt to elevate himself above the circumstances he grew up in, which I think make people look down upon or underestimate him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sooner Or Later, Ronan Will Plant That Hammer Upside Your Face

Four and a half years ago, I wrote a little post about Annihilation #3, mostly focused on what I considered a pretty poor showing by Ronan the Accuser. He'd been fighting Ravenous, a powerful lackey of Annihilus', and was pretty soundly trounced. I felt he should have done better based on a story from Steve Engelhart's Silver Surfer run.

I hoped that Ronan would get a rematch to show what he could do, and two issues later, he did. Things went a lot better for him. He even took my advice about remembering that it may be a Universal Weapon, but it's also a giant hammer (see the panel at the left from Annihilation #5, drawn by Andrea DiVito).

I was reminded of that scene by Annihilators #2. Ronan got kind of a raw deal in the first issue. Ikon suggesting he was the weakest member of the team, and scared because of it. He was the first one Ikon dropped when she attacked (though Quasar got decked in the most embarrassing manner). Beta Ray Bill got some digs in on him, and then Ronan chose to confront Doctor Dredd alone. Dredd had already killed several SpaceKnights. He'd managed to escape the cage Quasar surrounded him with, chop through space and time to go where he chose, and even cut the Silver Surfer, all without breaking a sweat. Even Ronan's teammates thought he was outclassed and were rushing to help. Then Ronan used the Universal Weapon (which had likely been analyzing Dredd's abilities from the start) to block the villain's powers, and then he used it like the giant hammer it is. I don't have an image of that hit. Sorry.

It makes Ronan feel very Silver Age to me. In a lot of the older comics I've read, the hero confronts a villain, and in the first go-round, the villain wins. They thump the hero convincingly, or at least escape without much difficulty. Spider-Man for example, in his first battles with the Vulture, Doc Ock, and Sandman, lost the initial encounter*. I think this was pretty common in those days, since it does establish the villain's abilities, and that they're a challenge for the hero. Of course, by the end of the issue, the hero has confronted the villain again, figured out how to cope with their skills, and triumphs.

Ronan's a lot like that. If he can't beat you the first time, he'll have the Universal Weapon figure out what you did to win, and develop a way to counter it. The next time, things won't go so well for you.

* Vulture swooped behind him, kicked him in the head, and threw him in a water tower. Ock pinned him with his metal arms, then walked up and slapped him a few times. Sandman beat him handily, tearing his mask so Spidey had to break off or risk losing his secret identity.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Following From Yesterday

What do you think the cutoff is for having a soul in the DCU? Does something need to be alive, self-aware, is it a total crapshoot? Conner Kent's a clone, and he apparently developed a soul over time. Ragdoll was born without one, and as far as we know, hasn't ever developed one.

What about Rex the Wonder Dog, or Detective Chimp? They're all sentient, but is that the key, something that makes them different from other dogs and chimpanzees?

Red Tornado has to have a soul, right? Nothing could be that whiny without one.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Let's Get Metaphysical!

If I'm going to use a play off "Let's Get Dangerous!", this really ought to be a Darkwing Duck post, it's not. The first thing I thought of when Ragdoll said he had no soul was Kevin Smith's revival of Green Arrow.

If you haven't read it, we learn that just before Parallax Hal "died" reigniting the Sun, he brought Oliver Queen back to life. Except Ollie's soul didn't want to leave Heaven, a surprisingly intelligent thought for Green Arrow. So Hal did some handwave stuff about building a new body out of whatever was left after Ollie was blown up, but cut its memory at the "Hard-Travelin' Heroes", and then left it to figure things out. Since Soul Ollie stayed in the afterlife, it was a body without a soul, which lead to fighting with Jason Blood and Etrigan, and demons attempting to take over the body, and so on.

So I'm a little curious why demons don't seem to have any interest in trying that with Ragdoll. I'm not sure how long passed between Final Night and when resurrected Ollie learned the truth about himself, but I have to imagine Ragdoll's been alive a bit longer. Surely he would have been a viable target also.

I get that he's a potential savior (or has been told he is, this is Hell we're talking about). Even if that's so, I imagine there are denizens of Hell who don't want a savior. Why wouldn't they either possess him, or trick another demon into doing so, hoping to put the kibosh on the whole thing?

Another thing occurred to me as I was typing this. Why didn't Resurrected Ollie start to develop a soul? What I mean is, there was an issue of Teen Titans where Raven showed Superboy (Conner) his recently emergent soul. I guess being a clone he hadn't had one until he overrode Luthor's control of him in the previous story. Again, I'm not clear on how long Conner had been alive/active? by that point (it was around the time of Infinite Crisis lead-up), so maybe Ollie needed more time. It didn't wind up mattering since Soul Ollie eventually left Heaven to save his son, though that could have been strange, the body having two souls, both Oliver Queen, but not the same.

That makes me wonder if perhaps Ragdoll had been possessed, by demons either guiding him towards being a savior, or away from it. Then he saw how much Alice cared for and relied on him, and that prompted a change in him, a soul coming into being. It drove the demons out - which might explain his not hearing voices anymore - and this new soul sat there and saw what the person it inhabited had been up to this point and didn't particularly like it. Rather than follow his new Jiminy Cricket's advice, he opted to flee to Hell, perhaps get back in touch with what he feels are his proper roots.

I'm trying to pull together a theory from three separate stories, by three different authors, spread out over a decade. I ought to leave that stuff to Roy Thomas.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Quick Trigger Finger, Even For Castle

Anyone find it strange that Frank Castle killed the Puppet Master so quickly in Heroes for Hire this week? It's not a surprise he killed him; this is the Punisher we're talking about. But his insistence that Puppet Master would never talk is a bit odd. Frank gets criminals to spill their guts to him all the time, and those crooks have to realize they're going to die the moment they run out of useful information. Yet they talk anyway. Who's to say Puppet Master wouldn't have done the same, just to keep himself alive until some more folks could show up to protect him from Castle? Everything he'd say could be lies, but the lies might tell them something, and there might be some truth in there as well.

It makes me wonder if Frank wasn't still under someone's control, that being Puppet Master's mysterious boss. Masters had refined and updated his controlling techniques, but that might also make them usable for someone else. Maybe he let his employer in on too many trade secrets?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

What I Bought 4/6/2011

When Jack bought the store from Ken, he continued the tradition of having a fridge stocked with drinks customers could purchase cheaply. Yesterday, he had this 12-pack of some energy drink he won in a radio station drawing. He didn't plan to be entered, he just wanted to request a song (which he missed when it played), but the DJ entered him and he won the drinks and a free sub sandwich. His problem as he saw it was the drink's called Rip It, and the particular flavor is "F Bomb". He was trying to decide what he was going to say if any kids asked what F Bomb meant. I'd made my purchase and was on the way out the door, and told him to say it means "Fun Bomb", which seemed satisfactory to Jack. It's the obvious answer, right?

Annihilators #2 - I've been waiting impatiently for this since roughly the moment I finished the last issue. Which is good. I worry sometimes I'm burned out, and things don't excite me as much.

In the first half of the book, the Annihilators travel to Galador and save it from the Dire Wraiths by blocking the light of the Black Sun. I would note that After they've done this, there are several panels where it's visible in the background, which feels like a miscommunication between the writers and Tan Eng Huat. Ronan, still smarting from Ikon saying he's the weakest member of the team takes out Doctor Dredd single-handedly. Good on him. it seems that they're a little too late as the Wraith Queen is already pretty powerful considering how she tossed them about when she appeared. Oh, and Brandy Clark, Rom's beloved and Matriarch of Galador is featured prominently, and makes more than a couple references to the Greatest of the SpaceKnights. Not by name, of course, because of those same issues about licensing that always crop up with Rom.

In the second story, Rocket rescues Groot with the help of the disgruntled Undergrowth. Then all of them save the planet from a horde of robot killer clowns. We learn Rocket doesn't remember his past, which might explain why it hasn't been brought up since his reemergence on the scene in Conquest. He and Groot travel back to Halfworld, and are about to be blown up when the issue ends. I love Timothy Green II's artwork. It's very animated, more exaggerated than his other work, maybe because he doesn't draw anything really human. It's all talking animals (and plants, and fungi) and killer clown robots. That encourages a little loose style. He's very good with the expressiveness of the characters, especially chagrin or uncertainty

Batman Beyond #4 - This issue's from Max' perspective, as we learn about what it's like being Batman's best friend, the difficulties that creates, and the responsibility she feels from it. She's trying to help Terry protect Dick Grayson, who was outed as Nightwing after Gordon let other cops stay in the room while that ex-Cadmus researcher blabbed about her work in the recent Batman Beyond mini-series. Good work there, Babs. Dick doesn't seem willing to play along. Then Max tracks down a famous hacker named Undercloud who wants to recruit her, and has some of her encrypted files about Terry being Batman. It appears Max is going to solve this problem on her own, or try to.

Nice to see Beechen is continuing to restock the rogue's gallery he depleted. I'm curious to see what Undercloud's plan is for Gotham (I almost typed it as Underclod). I like that Grayson's unwilling to let Bruce play his secret protecting games. Eduardo Pansica handles the art this month, and his style is the smoother sort I prefer, though Bruce looks too young. His faces isn't weathered enough. Pansica draws a couple of action scenes, and there's pretty good flow from one panel to the next, both in how the panels are situated, and in how the character's are placed and moving within the panels.

Heroes for Hire #5 - Misty fends off the Punisher, serving as Puppet Master's mind-controlled attack dog. Iron Fist and Paladin find the place, but Puppet Master turns Paladin and the other heroes they've used so far (except Ghost Rider and Elektra) against Danny. Fortunately, Misty uses the doohickies Stark built into her bionic arm to wreck Puppet Master's control device, which frees the heroes. Problem with that is, it also frees the Punisher, who promptly shoot Puppet Master before Misty can get anything from him, on the ground the villain won't talk. Frank's surprisingly sure of that. Misty and Danny have a talk, which seems to reaffirm they care for each other, even if they aren't together. Not sure whether Joy Meachum would have been encouraged by that conversation or not. Misty and Paladin are still going to try and make the Hero for Hire bit work.

The question of who was behind the Puppet Master remains. I guess it's going to be the spine of the book, assuming the book survives long enough. I'm surprised at the idea of Paladin actually caring for Misty. He struck me as "no strings" kind of guy, but what the heck. Robert Atkins is still the penciler this month, and I feel like a lot of the perspectives are off. Characters don't seem to be looking in the right direction, or the angle they're shown at doesn't match the angle a bullet they fired comes from, things like that. The art isn't bad, but I have this nagging feeling the whole time that something isn't right about it.

Secret Six #32 - Ragdoll doesn't have a soul. Go figure. This makes him a savior in Hell, if he wants to be. Even so, he won't give Scandal the card because hey, he might want out of Hell someday. Makes sense. Catman bails on the team so Etrigan will take him to see his father. That should be an interesting conversation. What's left of the team tries to fight an army of Ragdoll's admirers before the big reveal at the end. Back in Vermont, things are still going very badly for Liana.

Let's see. I like what drove Ragdoll to take the steps he did, though I don't know if I buy it. Maybe he was just going crazy in a different way than he was accustomed. I don't like Catman being able to kill a large, seemingly powerful demon as easily as he did. Then again, they're in Hell, so I'm sure a demon can pull itself together quickly. I like Bane's shock when he learns of his fate, and Deadshot's general indifference to the whole situation. I hope Calafiore's not going to be doing that backdrop of skulls for the remainder of the arc. It's kind of irritating more the more I look at it. Plus, when characters are drawn outside specific panels, they get this thicker black border around them which also bugs me. It gives the impression that image was pasted in there, like a kid's book where each page is a setting, and you place the stickers how you want to.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

If You Don't Want To read About A Dream I Had, Come Back Tomorrow

I figure I at least owe you a warning.

In the dream I became annoyed with these salespeople were trying to sell me something pricey and unnecessary when I came in to buy some perfume*. I ended up telling them they'd cost the store a sale, and walked out in a rather snooty fashion. I think I held my nose up in the air as I spun and left.

That's not too weird, because while I know salespeople are just doing their job, and they need those commissions, I hate the hard sell. It riles up the contrarian in me, because I know what I wanted, and here's this person trying to convince me I don't really know what I want, I should want what they tell me to want.

Anyway, the entire sales staff of the store took umbrage with that, so they opened fire as I left the store. Not unusual; Dream Me is not real great at making friends (at least not in the dreams I remember). At least Dream Me is cooler under fire. I returned fire, and actually hit the two I aimed at, which is strange, because I'm a lousy shot, whether in the dream world** or the waking one.

They gave chase, and I was actually running well. Usually it's like being in slow-motion. Or worse, I turn to look over my shoulder, and start doing these pirouettes I can't stop. It's gotten to the point some part of my mind won't let Dream Me look over his shoulder while running, because it knows that'll happen. This time, though, I was zipping along. Not super-speed, just running at a good clip, and not feeling winded or hampered. Maybe that real-world jogging is paying off.

* I think this means I've played too much Persona 3 recently, since perfume is something you can buy for a girl you're seeing, though not all the girls like perfume. That, and the dream started in a bookstore, where I was browsing the shelves with a character from the game. Well too bad subconscious, I'm not going to stop playing Persona 3!

** In dreams, this doesn't extend to people I'm observing shooting. They can be quite good shots. But if I'm the person doing the shooting, yeah, the target is more than likely got nothing to worry about.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I Will Die Waiting For Closure, Won't I?

I've been thinking about Abnett and Lanning's Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy work, and I keep thinking of all the stories that were hinted at but never came up. I don't know whether they decided not to pursue them, or if the roughly annual cosmic events kept changing things too rapidly, or if the books were canceled too soon.

In Nova, we never did find out what happened to Ko-Rel's son, who she'd been separated from since sometime in Annihilation*. Considering how guilty Richard felt about her death, I was always surprised he never tried to hunt down the kid. Heck, ask Ronan to look into it, he owes Rich plenty, that would be the least he could do.

There was the surprise appearance of Garthan Saal (who had previously held all the Nova Force, gone CrazyEvil, and supposedly died) during War of Kings. He appeared before Malik tarcel, who was briefly Nova Prime after Rich was booted, but got beat down and imprisoned by Gladiator. Considering Saal's history of conflict with Rich back during Rider's New Warriors' days, that seemed ominous, but nothing ever came of it. The book brought Monark Starslayer in, and then the Sphinx, and then it was canceled.

I don't even know what happened to Tarcel. Hopefully he wasn't on one of those Shi'ar ships that was obliterated by the T-Bomb going off, but he's another character lost in the cracks.

Over in Guardians of the Galaxy, there was the brief emergence of the Badoon in the months before War of Kings started. They're apparently regarded as a second-rate power, but there were up to enough mischief what was left of the Guardians stepped in. The Badoon had been a major foe for the earlier versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy (the ones set in the future), so there was the sense something might be building there. Especially considering the Kree/Inhuman alliance was still working out the kinks, the Skrulls were basically exterminated, and the territories Annihilus' forces held were pretty torn up from the Phalanx. The Badoon had been largely unscathed, so perhaps it was their time. Again, never came up again.

The one that really surprised me was when Starhawk told Jack Flag he was fated to die saving existence, when half the team was bouncing from reality to reality. It ended up Star-Lord and Nova (probably) died saving the universe by preventing an enraged Thanos from getting back there. Jack could still end up making the ultimate sacrifice (maybe he'll show up in Heroes for Hire), but it seems that the timeline shifted enough with Thanos' reemergence it'll never come to pass.

I really do wonder what the reasons were for not pursuing those story arcs. If nothing else, I'd get a better idea of the creative process, which I'm idly curious about.

* Then she died during Conquest, which I still think was a major misstep by Lanning and Abnett. They did sort of bring her back, since her personality is the one the Worldmind assumed after its old one was too corrupted by Ego, but it's not really the same thing. She's never shown any interest in hunting him down since then, which kind of suggests the Worldmind adopts only parts of the base's personality, and ignores things which would interfere with its work.

Monday, April 04, 2011

With All The Tension, I Expect Chainsaw Duels Soon

Any of you watch Ax Men? I wouldn't say it's a favorite show of mine, but I'll catch episodes of it when I can. Actually, considering how little television I watch these days, that might be enough to qualify as a favorite.

They were running several episodes in a row last night, so there was quite a bit of the conflict between Craig Rygaard and Dave, an employee that Craig really hates, but can't convince his son to fire. Which leads to Craig pretty much constantly riding Dave's butt, chewing him out, applauding anyone else who gives Dave a hard time, because maybe it'll drive Dave off.

It all strikes me as terribly unproductive. Sure, some of the other guys on the crew don't like Dave, but they're adults, and they're professionals, so they ought to be able to accept they aren't always gonna love everybody they work with, and suck it up. Dave deserves some of the crap he gets*, but I think things would run smoother if people didn't waste so much time pranking him, or complaining about him, or whatever. The fact that Craig clearly has an axe to grind with Dave, though, encourages all the other guys to do so as well, rather than getting over it and concentrating on work. It's like a classroom where there's one student the teacher picks on and belittles constantly, and what's more he actively encourages the other kids to do the same. So of course they're going to join in. They get to feel big, and curry favor at the same time.

I really don't like Craig. Actually, watching this show, I don't like a lot of the older guys. The guy running the Lemere operation seems petulant**, and Jimmy - who's trawling the Suwanee River for logs with his son - I don't know what his deal is. I hope he's hamming up his jerk tendencies for the camera, because if not, it's a miracle his son hasn't drowned him yet. Or at least thrown him off the boat. Jimmy never listens, never accepts blame, tries to rewrite history to make himself look better***, and of course, nothing anyone else does is ever good enough for him.

* In one of the episodes, he was asleep in his truck when the day started, and got to work 45 minutes late, which I could see pissing off all the guys who started on time.

** He needs a piece of equipment to be fixed. He arrives at the machine shop, finds the mechanic missing, and his thermos sitting on the piece of machinery. His response is to walk outside, find some piece of metal, and throw it at the guy's thermos. What purpose did that serve? He could just as easily picked up the thermos and threw it.

They're going down the river and see this massive log. He says it's pine, the guy his son hired to help correctly identifies it as cypress. Less than a minute later, Jimmy's claiming he knew it was cypress all along, knew it right from the start, while the other fellow is standing right there.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

If The Evil Opposite Won't Come To The Blog. . .

*Outside a small cafe*

Calvin: We're meeting at a cafe? Little cliche, don't you think?

UnCalvin: I like the drink selection, especially the cappuccinos.

Calvin: You and your unmanly European coffees.

*UnCalvin raises an eyebrow*

Calvin: What? It's from Hudson Hawk, a quite unjustly maligned movie. It has James Coburn in it, that's a sure mark of quality!

UnCalvin: Yes, of course, if you say so.

Calvin: What's with the Dennis Quaid look? It's a little common for your tastes? For that matter, why are we meeting in Nebraska?!

UnCalvin: We're in Nebraska because I recently opened a small travel bureau here. That's it right across the street. *Calvin turns, sees an ordinary building, with lots of bright pictures of other locales in the window* I look like this because it enables me to fit in. Cary Grant would draw too much attention.

Calvin: I'd have thought you'd set up shop somewhere like Venice.

UnCalvin: How would you make it to this meeting if it were in Venice? And where would I find the funds to "set up shop" there, as you put it?

Calvin: That 17 bucks you stole from me last April Fools didn't help so much I take it?

UnCalvin: Of course not! Buffoon.

Calvin: I'm the buffoon?! You're the one who thought robbing me was a viable way to get wealthy!

Uncalvin: Yes well, it was a minor miscalculation.

Calvin: Well, anyway, it's good to see you.

*UnCalvin punches Calvin in the jaw. Calvin falls out of his chair, and hits his head on the floor. People at the other tables glance over curiously.*

UnCalvin: *Notices glances from onlookers* Just an old greeting between college buddies, is all. *Helps Calvin up*

Calvin: Why is it, every time you're around me, I end up suffering cranial trauma?

UnCalvin: Likely because you need cranial trauma.

Calvin: Ah. So you're running a travel bureau. Helping people plan vacations to the Pacific and such?

UnCalvin: DisneyWorld is more likely, but yes.

Calvin: So you have new minions?

UnCalvin: I have subordinates, yes. I miss my Flying Castle staff. They at least remembered to refill the coffee pot. They were better about showing proper deference to their superior as well.

Calvin: Maybe you need to knock some of the new folks out of a tall building.

UnCalvin: Hmm, the local Better Business Bureau would frown upon such tactics. Ally is quite active in the PTA. She'd likely warn the other parents to take their business elsewhere. I miss Captain Androzier. She's working at a brewery in Australia now.

Calvin: It's tough being legit.

UnCalvin: Yes. At least I'm my own boss. That last time I attacked you taught me I'm not made for taking orders.

Calvin: What was that guy's problem anyway?

UnCalvin: He wanted you dead. Something about banishing him to nothingness without a thought for his well-being. He believed I shared his goals, and was rather miffed to learn I'm content to wreck your blog.

Calvin: Oh. I didn't even know I could banish someone to nothingness. And if I did, then how does he exist?

UnCalvin: Perhaps you did your usual slipshod job. Or perhaps he was insane. After his initial introduction, with the profanity, he couldn't finish a single sentence coherently. Don't you remember?

Calvin: No, I ducked out the door about the time he ripped out the wall. You know, I had a heck of a time explaining that to my bosses.

UnCalvin: Another reason not to have bosses. I wondered where you went.

Calvin: You know me. Expert at slipping away unnoticed. What do you mean, couldn't finish a sentence?

UnCalvin: Quite. He would begin to say something in an angry tone about wanting to kill, the shift to a more genial one about pancakes. Though in one case he started and finished angry, but not about the same thing. The second time he seemed to be dying.

Calvin: That's strange.

UnCalvin: Quite.

Calvin: Well, it was nice talking with you. Glad to see you've settled into a life of mediocrity.

UnCalvin: *Glares* Mediocrity? *Rises slowly from chair* Is that what you believe? Fool! This is merely my new, low-key base of operations! The feeble-mined people who will book their trips through me carry with them a time-elapsed, nano-mind control virus which they spread to everyone they meet once arriving at their destination. *Facial features shift to more closely resemble Billy Drago, circa Adventures of Brisco County Jr.* Soon, I will have control of everyone in all the world's preeminent tourist attractions! Then I can rule the world! *Spreads arms wide, cape unfurls from around his neck, billows impressively* Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! What do you say to that?

Calvin: *Smirks* I say I hope you'd already completed the "spread the virus" section of your plan, because otherwise, I don't think boldly announcing how you're using the locals as part of a world domination scheme, in front of many of those locals, was particularly bright.

*UnCalvin looks around, notices several people glaring at him*

UnCalvin: You just think you're so clever, don't you?

Calvin: I have my moments.

UnCalvin: Enjoy the pitiful few you have left! I'll have my revenge, assuming that crazy fellow doesn't get you first.

Calvin: He's not dead?

UnCalvin: He wasn't when he stumbled off into the woods. He still had Hideous Baby Penguin stuck to the underside of his shoe.

Calvin: Delightful imagery there.

UnCalvin: He killed them all. Except Deadpool.

Calvin: And the Ghost of Rutherford B. Hayes, of course.

UnCalvin: I suppose. Hayes did flee back to the netherworld, though, so he might as well be dead.

Calvin: Well, if you want someone old timey, there's always Cornelius Potfiller.

UnCalvin: No, I think not, he was - Surprise!

*UnCalvin draws a large gun, fires. The casing flies open, revealing a boxing glove. Calvin tumbles backwards out of his chair to avoid it, whacking his head on the sidewalk. Again. The boxing glove smashes through the windshield of a car driving by, causing it to swerve off the road, and smash directly into UnCalvin's office. Calvin starts laughing.*

Calvin: Completely worth the cranial trauma.

UnCalvin: Damn it all to the furnaces of Hell! How do you and your cohorts keep doing this to me?

Calvin: *Rising to his feet* I have absolutely no idea, but I love it. This has been a great visit, but it looks like you have some repair work to do. Drop me a line when you have your grand reopening. *walks to his vehicle and drives off*

UnCalvin: *Standing at roadside, shaking fist* Curse you! I'll have my revenge! Just you wait!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Safety First, Right?

Something I find more irritating in entertainment these days is characters who walk around with their finger on the trigger. Obviously they need to pull the trigger to fire the gun, but I'm talking about when they're chasing after someone, or walking, or sitting, and they have their finger resting on the trigger guard.

I've done a little target shooting in my time. Clay pigeons, paper targets, stuff like that. One of the things that was impressed upon me (among many safety tips) was to keep my the gun aimed at the ground and my finger out of the trigger guard until I was actually ready to shoot. That way there wouldn't be any accidental discharges. Considering most of the characters I see in comics, or movies, or whatever are professionals (cops, soldiers, vampire killers, etc.) I'd think they'd have been taught something similar. I mean, I never see people flick the safety off, so the gun will discharge if they pull the trigger.

I know the characters are typically trained professionals (and if they aren't, if we're talking some stupid punk crooks, then I'm not as bothered by their poor safety habits), but it isn't as though they couldn't trip, stumble, or be jostled unexpectedly. It really wouldn't take that much to accidentally depress the trigger, and then they shoot themselves in the foot, or one of their friends, or some other random person who happens to be in the way.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Is Sleuthing More An Amateur's Game At Marvel?

Hey, it's April 1st, perhaps UnCalvin will make an appearance.

*pauses, looks around*

Yeah, OK, late as usual. Maybe tomorrow.

I was thinking yesterday while making that post, the DCU really does have quite a few detectives who can also do the superhero thing. I know, what a shock considering the first title Batman took as his own was Detective Comics and all. There's the Dibnys, Detective Chimp, Sam Simeon and Angel O'Day (Angel and the Ape), Batman, obviously. I feel like Plastic Man was a private eye at some point in his history. Slam Bradley's not a cape, but definitely a detective.

I was wondering, though, how many detective characters Marvel has. I came up with Dakota North right off. It took me a surprisingly long time to come up with Jamie Madrox, considering I was buying X-Factor only a couple of years ago. Maybe Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, but I'm not sure they were detectives specifically, more some of their work occasionally involves detecting, which isn't quite the same thing. Oh, I just remembered the Black Cat had a investigative agency for a time.

There are probably others, but those were the ones that come to mind. An espionage background seems more common for Marvel characters. Possibly due to when they were being created, spies, James Bond, and Mission Impossible being more popular than detective stories in popular culture at that time. I don't know if that theory holds up, considering the characters weren't all created at the same time, but the ideas some of the earliest characters and the universe were built on could probably influence the styles of characters created later on.