Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blast from the past

Apparently someone at DC has (a) a long memory and (b) the same taste as I. How else to explain this:

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This is an upcoming action figure of the Composite Superman, a villain who first appeared in World's Finest #142, and then again in #168. Yep. Twice. I'm guessing he was as difficult to write as Superman himself sometimes became, simply because there wasn't much he couldn't do: He possessed the combined powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes, including Superman himself. (Well, Supergirl.)

How did our heroes defeat a threat so powerful? Well... They didn't. They got their rear ends handed to them. Really. Will Pfeifer has the details. Or you could just read the original here. (Note: The previous/next links at the bottom of some pages are miscoded: Use the individual page links at the top.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Wednesday funnies

At least I'm not alone. Some think it's outrageous, some think it's just a dumb idea, but nobody seems to like the turn of this plot.
Howling Curmudgeons | So, about Amazing Spider-Man 512...
Okay, uhm... Is this for real? These guys seem to think this is for real. Are they right? Jeff Lester over at The Savage Critic is treating it like this is real and not a gigantic hoax. Is this an actual, honest to God J. Michael Straczynski storyline in Amazing Spider-Man?

...I've always wondered that Norman Osborn got anyone to sleep with him in the first place in order to create Harry: if the story was really about how Harry was in fact an artificially-aged clone of Norman that came out messed up because the cloning process didn't work right, I could believe that a lot more readily than the idea that a middle-aged Norman Osborn could get someone to have sex with him without rohypnol or some Goblin version of it. Add in some teenaged kids born from the illicit union between Gwen and Norman and we're in full-bore lunacy land.

Part of me is thinking this has to be some kind of clone scam. It has to be J. Michael Straczynski poking fun at the Clone Saga in some sly fashion by having Norman have spent his time in Europe raising clones made with his DNA and that of Gwen. Maybe he even teamed up with the Jackal... he knows how to make clones and fast-age them, that might make some kind of insane sense.

What does it say about this comic book that I find the idea I just postulated as more plausible than the one supposedly being introduced in the book?
Hey, JMS just got through telling us that it wasn't the radioactive spider after all, that Peter got his powers from the Great Spider-Totem. No, really. (See Amazing Spider-Man #506-508.)
Brian Hibbs' Savage Critic | Spoiler, Spoiler, Spoiler / I Made You Out Of Clay...
I really, really, really hate what JMS has done here. Retconning things so that Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn and then produced genetically shaky offspring obsessed with killing off perceived shitty parent Peter Parker is just ass, plain and simple. I can understand the hook's allure for Straczynski, and don't think it's simply cynical gamesmanship on his part. The idea deepens and justifies the emnity between Pete and Osborn; it makes Osborn much more of an evil calculating prick; it makes for a high stake story; and it closes up any question that Mary Jane isn't the best woman in the world for Pete, destroys the perfect gleaming image of Gwen Stacy that makes the marriage between Mary Jane and Peter seem a little off or wrong or second-best. From the point of view of a writer with a wicked hook and a checklist of story objectives, the idea makes sense.

From every other point of view, however, it is an awful and shitty decision that makes absolutely no sense.
And, so far, we still don't know who raised these kids. But Gwen didn't seem too worried about them a couple of months later, when she was running around Antarctica in a bikini. No, really. (See Amazing Spider-Man #103-104.)
postmodernbarney | Thank You Marvel
I really enjoy having to tell parents that they may want to inspect a Spider-Man comic for content before buying it for their four year old. I don't want to have to be the one having to explain to a little kid what the Green Goblin is doing to Spider-Man's girl-friend in that panel, do you?
I thought we'd established that kids don't read these things any more. Funny what a movie tie-in will do.

For the record, I was getting a little tired of Saint Gwen, too, and it wasn't fair to Mary Jane to have her memory haunting her relationship with Peter, but Gwen boffing the Goblin wasn't what I had in mind.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Do they lunch together, or what?

Proving once again that in comic books no idea ever strikes only once: Two months ago in Identity Crisis #2 it was revealed that Sue Dibny was raped by Dr Light, and Saint Barry (er, I mean, the Flash) cast the deciding vote to mess with his mind. Now, in Amazing Spider-Man #512, we learn that the father of the children of the silver age's other saint, Gwen Stacy, was Norman (the Green Goblin) Osborn. (Well, okay, it wasn't really a comparable situation. Gwen wasn't raped, she was seduced by the sheer power of Osborn's personality. Something else I really didn't need to see happen on-panel.)