Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Geez, why am I reading this?

Mike Sterling at Progressive Ruin (Hi, Mikefans!) recently allowed as how the recent reboot of the Flash has prompted him to give up on a character he's been following for two decades. This realization has, in turn, inspired him to consider what makes us follow a particular title. What characters or titles did we follow for years, then ultimately, reluctantly drop, and why? What characters, if any, would we continue to follow no matter what?

There was a time I felt obligated to follow everything I could. Oddly, this period matched the period in which my parents were subsidizing my buying habits. Once it became my money I was spending, I cut back significantly, often discarding the hobby completely for months or years at a time.

I used to be a huge Spider-Man fan, but the clone saga was too much for me. It was Straczynski who brought me back to Spider-Man, and then started nudging me away with the Spider-totem. He finished the job by having had Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn bump uglies, a character decision that still doesn't feel right to me. Norman would do it, just so he could tell Peter all about it later if for no other reason. (And, after all, it was Gwen flippin' Stacy.) But I can't think of any good reason on Stan's green earth for Gwen to have done it.

That is, I think what happens is that I'm attracted to a character for the writing (that is, how the character is handled and developed over time), and I drop a book when either (a) I cease to care how the stories resolve, or (b) the character begins to act in ways that appear to be OUT OF character (as I define it). The Clone Saga ran me away from Spider-Man for reason (a): JMS brought me back when he made Pete a teacher and let Aunt May discover The Secret: Sins Past ran me away again for reason (b).

Civil War is making me interested again, but so far not interested enough to actually buy it.

I was a big DC fan back in the middle and late Silver age, but when Vince Colletta became their art director, everything began to look like Vince Colletta. Crisis was a opeful sign, but I always felt like they kept the wrong earth. Identity Crisis, of all things, brought me back, and the ongoing drive to use every character they own is fascinating to watch. (Detective Chimp? Cat-Man? Dr. Thirteen? Captain Comet? Command-D?)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Not so fast, Jimmy


Didn't Hitchhiker's Guide start this way?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Welcome back to the Silver Age

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usWell, teh Internets is all a-twitter over the current issue of Supergirl. Say what you will about DC Comics these days, they certainly do know how to generate buzz.*

Let's see. Kara Zor-El, check. Kandor, check. Nightwing and Flamebird, check (although they insist on reversing the billing, probably to avoid confusion with those other three (!) Nightwings in Gotham City New York). Superman double, check (I'll be so happy if his real name turns out to be Van-Zee). Everything old is new again. All we need now is Comet the Super-Horse and we're all set.

It doesn't quite look the same.

I can't believe you Silver Age fanboys don't recognize the last-page Big Reveal. I mean, c'mon, it's a huge gimmie. You just saw her. It's Saturn Queen.

See also Seven Hells, Strange Visitor, Pretty, Fizzy Paradise, Fortress of Fortitude.

* Now if only they could do it for Manhunter. Getting Todd out of the closet didn't do it. Maybe the readers are waiting for some hot Kate-on-Cam action.

Armor in the shower? Ooh, look, the tattoo moved!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Let's play "Guess the New JLA"!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usLet's get the easy ones out of the way first.

Forward center, a Green Lantern: Oh, you know it's Hal.

Two o'clock, a Green Arrow: I'd love to see Arsenal, but it's far more likely to be Connor.

Top, a Hawkperson: Look at that headpiece. It's Hawkgirl.

Top left: Given his vapor trail, that almost has to be Red Tornado.

Top right: Bulleteer.

Right center, behind Superman: Zatanna. Second thoughts: Vixen.

Above Zatanna, to the right of Batman: That silhouette is so generic it could be almost anybody, but given all the talk about a Teen Titan "graduating" into the JLA, I'm thinking it has to be Cyborg.

Biggest surprise: No J'onn J'onzz.

Biggest disappointment: No Flash. Second thoughts: I was really hoping for Jessie Quick.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tail vs Dog

Something about seeing Superman Returns'* $21M first-day ticket sales described as "only the eighth best mid-week debut in Hollywood history" struck me as funny. I mean, first funny-ha-ha, but then funny-odd, too. So, of course, I did what anyone would do when in need of a good laugh: I turned to Excel.

I totalled the most recent month's estimated circulation figures for each of the four monthly* titles starring Superman. Then, working with a arbitrarily-assigned average of $2.95 per issue, I calculated how many months of sales it would take to produce the same gross as one day's ticket sales.

That would be 19.6 months of all four titles.

That didn't seem like quite enough hilarity for one day, so I took it in the other direction. According to Box Office Mojo, the average movie ticket price is $6.40.*That means about 3.3M tickets sold*.

Of whom no more than 130,000 had actually bought a Superman comic in the preceding month.*

*I haven't seen it: We're not talking about the movie's quality or lack thereof here.
*Yeah, I laughed out loud again at the idea that All-Star Superman and Superman/Batman are still considered "monthly" titles, but I decided to be as generous as possible.
* First-day sales for Superman Returns might not conform to that average, but having no reason or basis to change it, I went with it.
* Possibly some multiples to fans who saw it more than once, but again, with no data I'm not going to over-complicate this parlor game.
* Probably fewer, since Superman and Action are continuing the same storyline at the moment, and presumably a few people bought both. Neither All-Star nor Sup/Bat had a release in the most recent month listed by ICv2, so I didn't count them.


Mike Parobeck, 1965-1996: I miss him too.

The Kendra Monologues: So, I wasn't the only one creeped out by Hawkgirl #53.

So who HASN’t been attached to the role of Wonder Woman?: I don't know what's worse, the people who say "fandom won't accept an Asian in the role" or those who say "I won't accept an Asian in the role unless it's part of the character" (that is, unless a Big Honkin' Story Point is made of the fact that Wonder Woman is an Indian).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

You know, you coulda phrased that better

NRAMA: Noticeably absent (and for some time) is a female creator in that group. Big picture wise, why hasn't a women creator made it into the tight circle of Marvel creators?

Joe Quesada: Because currently there aren’t any female writers working on any of our major titles. That said there are female editors at the summit.
Joe, feel free to glance around the split-in-half Interwebnet and see just how well that insight went over. Or don't.


Oliver Queen is an idiot. No, really, he is. I mean, more so than usual.

Sweet Fifteen

Cousin Buzzin'tm

Don't mince words, Evil Robby Reed, what do you really think of Superman Returns?