Thursday, June 21, 2007

Backwards and in high heels

To his credit, the first thing [name recused to prevent spoilers, even though after the announcements of the past week it's not much of a secret any more] does when he appears in the new Justice League of America #10 is make sure that these three are all right. That rings true, touchingly so.

But after that moment, nobody speaks to or of them at all. The redheads are never even named. * (Don't get me wrong, I enjoy continuity porn as much as the next geek, but damn if I don't miss all that Weisinger-era exposition. These days the readers are left to put the pieces together as best they can, and if the creators don't think it's working, they say "Well, we never actually said that's who they are" and rewrite history again.)

I mean, if they are who they appear to be (and [name recused's] comments make it clear that they are), they've experienced everything [name recused] has in the last year, and should be just as disoriented and in need of hugs-all-around as he appears to be, ** not squeezed into the corner of the panel smiling beatifically. *** (Did they swap sainthood tips with Barry or Gwen while they were gone?)

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels."

* Which brings up another question. Howcome Bart had to borrow a suit to come back (leaving Saint Bartholomew the Elder streaking through the Speed Force, I presume) but Linda and the MacGuffin Twins got to hang with the same mid-thirtieth century future-pasterrific tailors the *ahem* real Legion use?

** I'm in for the next chapter, but if [name recused] does the "I think I was in heaven" Buffy-thing he looks to be heading toward, I'm going to be awfully disappointed.

*** I hate it when supporting characters know they're only supporting characters in someone else's life. Don't buy a refrigerator, Linda! It'll only lead to tragedy!

LATER: Okay, I surrender. I am apparently unable to make one particular point understood. I'm just sayin', if I get a choice between these twins...

...and those twins...

...well, I know which ones I'd want to hit with the ol' Omega Effect, you know? I mean, I like Iris' take on the Kid Flash uniform, but everything else in the Kingdom universe can go.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

That sound you hear is...

  1. Earth-616's Cosmic Reset Button being pressed.
  2. 50,000 Marvel readers saying "WTF" simultaneously.
  3. The Internet splitting in half. Again.
The picture above is from New Avengers #31, and is the dead body of the entity who, up until this moment, was believed to be Elektra. What does it mean, the characters ask, and the most likely answer is that anyone who has acted in an inconsistent, out-of-character way at any time since the beginning of the current heroic age could be a Skrull.

I've lost count of the number of times Everything We Know has been revealed to be Wrong lately. When you do that too often, and you never establish what Everything Really Is before you move on to the next revelation, you arrive at Nothing Really Matters. You run the very real risk of retconning away everything the readers liked about the characters.

I have visions of a super-team -- let's call 'em Avengers, there are so many groups of Avengers running around that the odds favor it -- discovering that nobody in the room is who they appear to be. Wong is the Chameleon, Dr Strange is Loki, Luke Cage is Brother Voodoo, Spider-Man is actually the Space Phantom, Clint Barton is another Skrull (but had forgotten that he was a Skrull), Iron Fist is really Daredevil, Spider-Woman is the Other, Echo is Mystique, the Ninjas are all Jamie Madrox, and Wolverine is actually Willie Lumpkin gone postal.

If there's anybody left that I've forgotten to account for, they're probably one of Shield's Life Model Decoys.

This week's Big Question

In light of Sleez having once forced Superman and Barda to perform in a pornographic film, what exactly is Jimmy talking about here?

And am I wrong to wonder?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Avengers vs Avengers

Strangely, in both Mighty Avengers and Marvel Adventures Avengers, one member of the team has been turned against the rest. Well, I suppose it isn't all that strange, since it's one of the time-tested tropes of the Marvel universe. Nor, with all the shape-shifters wandering around, is it all that unusual to discover that everything is not what it seems. Everything old, as they say, is new again.

But I'll bet that the average reader who hasn't been following the Avengers (difficult as that is, since there are three, or is it four, different groups traveling under that name) would never guess that the person on the cover of Mighty Avengers #2 is actually Tony Stark.

There's something that hasn't been done before.

Well, it's actually the latest iteration of Ultron, an artificial intelligence created by Hank Pym, which has taken over the body and armor of Iron Man and, through unknown / buzzword means, has transformed the organic and electronic source material into a shape of its choosing -- and since it "loves" Hank, the shape it has chosen is that of a stark (so to speak) naked Janet van Dyne. I wonder what its reaction will be when it discovers that, literally at this very same moment, Hank is in bed with Tigra the Were-Woman.

Whatever "at this same moment" means in an arc that has stretched across three issues so far with no real time having passed and no sign of a conclusion on the horizon.

But then, I guess the point of the book is to provide an excuse for Frank Cho to do what he does best: Draw women as close to naked as the market will allow. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(Kind of makes you wonder why he's not drawing Marvel's version of "Birds of Prey", Heroes for Hire, doesn't it?)

At least, in Marvel Adventures Avengers 13, I know what's going on. In this all-ages continuity, Janet is Giant-Girl, whose costume Hank designed to make it possible to communicate with ants. (She can shrink to ant-size as well, she just doesn't, because she doesn't see any point in being ant-sized.) This facility also makes it possible for the insectoid PsyClops to exploit a flaw in the suit's operating system and take mental control of her.

Hence, the Attack of the 50-Foot Superhero scene on the cover, which actually does occur in the book.

I have to say that, in my advancing age, what I want in a comic book is (a) a story, that has (b) a beginning, (c) a middle, and (d) an end. The mainstream Marvel universe (see above) is an infinite middle. The "Marvel Adventures" universe consists of mostly self-contained stories. I like that.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I think Earth-Miller and Earth-Haney must be the same place. Possibly Earth-Kanigher too.

This book is so confusing, I don't even know: Is it still the same night the Flying Graysons were killed? What happened to Vicki Vale and her underwear? Was that really Black Canary, or just a waitress dressed as her?

Will All-Star Batman meet the all-new Batwoman?

"I love being the goddamned Batman"? I'm so glad Mom and Dad were killed, now I get to spend their money on all these wonderful toys. Now if only my looney brother would show up, my life would be complete. No, wait, maybe I am the looney brother!

This is like a Batman book written by Bat-Mite.