Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Sensational Character Find of 2006

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"Mother of Champions, who can give birth to a litter of 25 super-soldiers about every three days."
Has anyone asked her if she wants to? What if the Mother of Champions is pro-choice?

A litter? Of 25 full-grown men? Oh, there's got to be more to this.

I guess this is a good balance of characters: On the one hand, the new "lipstick lesbian" Batwoman, on the other, this feminist nightmare. They killed Superboy (praise be the Rolling Head of Pantha) to make room for her.

Yeah, this has Grant Morrison written all over it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Batwoman Beyond

Image from Infinite Crisis 7, Hosted by ImageShack.usSo. It's in the New York Times, so it must be true. Batwoman, as you kids say, is teh gay. A "lipstick lesbian", they call her, meaning she's not one of Those Butch Women, I guess. Meaning they don't have to draw her any differently than any other female character.

Kate (nee Kathy, presumably short for Katherine) Kane. (Not "DuQuesne", one of the animated Batman's really clever moves). Not to be confused with near-lookalike Kate Spencer, Manhunter. (Wouldn't it be interesting if they were the same person? Is it a coincidence that Manhunter is being cancelled about the same time as the new Batwoman makes her first official appearance?)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usNewsarama is all over the story. In an interview, Dan Didio says:
Her sexuality is not the main thrust of the character; it’s just another aspect of her personality, one that helps her to determine her choices that she makes as she’s fighting crime in Gotham City.
To which Newsarama asks this, which is never really answered:
When you flip that, it doesn’t really apply to say, Batman. You can’t say, “Because he’s heterosexual, Batman’s adventures are thus and so.”
Well, that's not really fair to say. For well over fifty years, the default comic book point of view was heterosexual male. The primary role of the women in their lives was to be suspicious that they never see Clark and Superman together. It may be significant that not long after the introduction of "the spectacular character find of 1956", the first Batwoman, she was being made jealous by a cardboard cutout of Bruce kissing another woman. (Of course, had she not stormed off in a huff, she would have observed that Bruce had been transformed into Bat-Baby, about which the less said the better.)

And for a decade or two, Batman's heterosexuality was an issue in the comics, if only because DC felt it necessary to disprove Frederic Wertham's contention that Bruce and Dick's relationship was a "gay man's fantasy". Not that they ever really did disprove it. From Julie Madison to Selina Kyle to Vicki Vale to Kathy Kane to Talia al Ghul to Silver St. Cloud, there always seemed to be a darned good reason why Bruce Wayne couldn't or wouldn't Love A Woman As She Deserved To Be Loved. He always seems to choose to surround himself with unattainable women, no mean feat for one of the richest men in the DC universe.

Hey, Didio? You want to impress me with how courageous your storytellers are? Make "Kate" Kane straight and have Bruce Wayne come out of the closet. That might explain once and for all why Dick Grayson and Koriand'r couldn't make it work. There's an idea: A "new" character revelation that actually answers as many questions as it creates.

Alex Toth

From the Justice Society to the Super Friends, Johnny Thunder to Space Ghost, his pencil kept it moving. Until now.

Thank you, sir.

Alex Toth's Official Site. The Comics Reporter's Collective Memory entry.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Name game

Is Connor (or is it Conner?) such a common name that two of our second-generation JLAers should have it? Conner (Green Arrow) Hawke and Connor (Superboy) Kent?

What about Cassie? Are we talking about Batgirl (Cassie Cain) or Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)?

I never have been good at telling the difference between Deathstroke and Deadshot. Putting them both in Villains United was endlessly confusing.

Of course, there hasn't been much reason to be confused about Linda Park (Mrs Flash) and Linda Danvers (Supergirl), or Jason Bard (P.I.), Jason Todd (Robin II), Jason Blood (the Demon), Jason Burr (Kobra's twin brother) and Jason Rusch (Firestorm II). Still, I have to wonder if the phone book in the DC offices just isn't very big.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"Can someone explain to me the point of Doll Man?" asks Tom of the Fortress of Soliloquy.

I feel a need to create one of those acronyms that we fans love to use. Perhaps I'll patent it. In this case, it's IWASTAP, and it stands for "It Was A Simpler Time and Place". It's my best shot at explaining Doll Man.

At least, some combination of that and the likelihood that the men who created those comics really didn't understand why some characters caught on and some didn't, and so pitched anything and everything they had just to see if anyone bought it. For every Spirit there must also be a Bouncer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Also Hawkman

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Chris' Invincible Super-Blog presents Infinite Crisis in Thirty Seconds, in case you missed it.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Tarukor? I didn't even see her

Does this pose say 'streetwalker' to you?So Supergirl is dreaming the Legion of Super Heroes. You know, that makes as much sense as a lot of things in the Legion's history. She must have eaten some bad pizza to have come up with Bouncing Boy.

But wait. She's blaming it on tarukor - a Kryptonian dreamstate that occurs before adulthood.

Izzat so? Really? Funny how Kal-El never experienced that. Maybe it's a girl thing. Or maybe he did experience it, and imagined he had a Superboy period when he actually never did. Or maybe he actually did have a Superboy period during tarukor, and thought he was dreaming. Or maybe Kal-El is going to wake up any issue now, when his mom Lara calls him down to supper, and discover that he dreamed us.

I have a headache. Damn that Bobby Ewing.

Maybe the writer of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes forgot to talk to the writer of Superman: Birthright. Yeah, that must be it.

No, wait, Mark Waid wrote both of 'em.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Phantom Lady has no idea

Phantom Lady has no idea
Ragnell of the Written World performs a Phantom Lady Breastospective. If nothing else, it proves that since being acquired by DC, Phantom Lady has had a long run of illustrators who don't know how to draw women.

EDIT: The art is by Chris Jones and Keith Champagne, from All Star Comics 80 Page Giant #1, 1999. The word balloon is in the original (though I've made it larger for readability), and is a response to Wonder Woman's accusation that "Your costume blatantly invites the dark stares of men."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Basic questions

To think it took Ask Yahoo to answer the burning question, Why does Superman wear his underwear on top of his clothes?