Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Let's Glorify Guy Week!

Created by the esteemed SallyP over at Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER! I bring you my contribution to Let's Glorify Guy Week.
I was quite pleased when this was announced as I have a lot of Guy Gardner scans to hand, due to having just read the JLA/JLE/JLI runs, and this allows me to separate out the posts, so yay for good timing!

Now, I haven't read a whole lot of Green Lantern stuff, in fact, I don't think I've ever read their solo titles, but I do appreciate them when they pop up in other books. However it has always been clear to me that Guy Gardner is by far and away the best GL. When he's a stroppy violent obnoxious prick he's entertaining, when he's involved with Ice he matures a bit and we see some compassionate depths to him. I like him. he's the most appealing of the Lanterns I've come across, and it's a relief to see a hero who's also a jerk. Henceforth, I present to you the following examples of why he's ace (and also include some Tora-Guy scenes too, because I'm like that):

From the pages of Justice League America number 38, this is a simply gorgeous piece of artwork depicting Guy at his angriest:

From Justice League America number 53. If I remember correctly, in the previous issue Guy had beaten up Blue Beetle pretty bad, in a seemingly unprovoked attack. Unprovoked to the other guys on the team, my reading of it is that when Guy realised he was bleeding (from the legal and planned boxing match he was having with Ted Kord) it triggered a memory from his past and something in him snapped, so he went apeshit on Kord. The other members voted to kick Guy out, but only Max can actually fire him. Guy's status becomes a problem because later on in the issue, we find out Max has been shot, apparently fatally.
Despite the fact Guy has been kicked out by his teammates, despite the fact he feels pretty bad about beating up Beetle, despite his hard guy don't give a shit exterior, Guy still transports his teammates around and still goes to the hospital to see Max. This cover shows him in the foreground, grieving for Max:

Now for comedy relief.
The issue: Justice League annual number 5
The scene: 10 years in the future, Guy has a cult following, complete with fans who copy his (terrible) haircut. He's due to speak at a very important public event, publicising him. Then he gets a bump on the noggin. The crowd goes wild.

From Justice League America number 82. Arggh the legs the legs! It looks like he's been crossed with a frog.

Away from the comedy and back to the tragedy (my favourite sort of story telling).
From Justice League America number 101. Ice is dead. Guy is a new warrior (is that correct?) complete with daft body paint. No one told Guy Ice was dead, no one told him about her funeral. When faced with the League's sympathy and the new Icemaiden this is how he reacts:

Oh Guy. My heart breaks for you.

And finally, also from the Annual number 5, also 10 years in the future, I think this scene supports Kalinara's recent post and comments about Tora being a fixer of people:

This scene takes place after the Daily Planet headlines, above.

It was great to read about Guy's early years on Sally's blog and to find out how he became a GL.
So, I put to you my fellow GL fans, what trades would you recommend to a budding GL fan who wants to find out more about the mythology of the corps and the individual heroes, and would be mightily pleased if said volumes included appearances by Guy at his best?
I already know about Green Lantern: Rebirth. That one is on my list.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scenes that make you go brrr

So a while ago I was bleating on about uploading some scans. I finally managed to get the content of a pdf into a jpg - it turns out to be a surprisingly simple matter of cutting and pasting into paint. So I bring you what I conisder to be the best scene out of the Final Crisis books. Yes, possibly better than Bart coming back. Because I prefer the artist on this one. So, to put it in context, I first present the preceding page, from Final Crisis: Revelations.
(click to enlarge)

It is in itself fairly nifty. But it pales when compared ot the next page. Here is the scene which still gives me chills when I look at it:

Oh my. BAD ASS POWER WALK! That page is a thing of beauty. I hereby declare Renee the coolest most bad ass person in the DC Universe.

For my next pictures I present something a bit more cuddly and cheeky. They are two pages form the Terra mini, art by Amanda Connor, and feature Power Girl and Terra getting all slashy:

Cute, very cute. And very slashy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Batwoman and The Question in one book!

See sample art and script on Greg Rucka's blog. I think it looks beautiful. Doesn't she look tuff? The Question will be the back up story, which is making me *really* happy.
This now means I will be regularly buying a Bat title though. Hmm. Never thought I'd do that.

Ooh, The Question: the 5 books of blood trade is out in June. Ace.

Ooh and Power Girl number one will be out in May.

Speaking of future titles, I really really hope Tim isn't made into the new Batman, He's too good to have that done to him.

Supergirl # 39 and thoughts on Superwoman’s identity

Blimey this was a small week - only 1 book. That one book being Supergirl# 39 of course. I tend to read some of each week’s new releases at work in my lunchbreak, but unfortunately that leads to me being rather rushed and not taking it all in. As this was just the one book out this week I decided I had time to reread it before reviewing.

I’m glad I did, as I like being able to take the time to savour the panels. Anyway, onwards.

I was *really* hoping that this issue would reveal who Superwoman is, but no such luck, we have to wait till next issue to find out. Gaaah the suspense is killing me. Now we know Thara is Flamebird, and presumably she can’t be both Flamebird and Superwoman, I half think that Linda Danvers is with a chance. Bearing in mind I haven’t read Reign in Hell, my reasoning goes thus:
  • She’s had a few years to grow up and so must be in her 20s now – Superwoman looks to me to be an adult.
  • She has been murderous before – when Buzz first met her she was involved with a cult doing pretty bad stuff.
  • I know she redeemed herself with the earth born angel thing, but towards the end of that run wasn’t she slipping back into darkness?
  • She spent a long time in a parallel universe where she married that universe’s Superman and had a child. A life she was forced to give up when she came back to this universe. That would make anyone unhinged.
  • Due to her time living in the parallel universe she could easily have learnt Kryptonian from Kal.
  • Her powers may have mutated, hence the new ‘zzztt’ sound of her laser eye beams.
  • If this Superwoman is a robot I can’t see how the suit holding up against kryptonite blasts is an issue. If she isn’t a robot and is Linda, then maybe something else has happened to her which means that kryptonite could harm her. Maybe it’s the close range of the blasts that were a problem, and not the fact that they were kryptonite?
  • Linda’s time with alternate universe Superman does make her part of the El family.
  • I don’t think Superwoman has x-ray vision (if she did why is she flying around Metropolis looking for Kara? Why can’t she just stand on a rooftop and look?) and neither does Linda.
  • I want Linda back dammit.
I admit that the last point may be the most pertinent one. Any arguments or theories I’ve put forward about the identity of Superwoman have been largely based around who I want her to be. A clone or robot is really really boring. With Chris Kent as Nightwing, Thara Ak-Var as Flamebird, Mon-El as protector of Metropolis, and Zod/Ursa/the big lump back, it looks like they are trying to tie up and involve all otherwise sidelined Superman characters. Which would make Linda a good choice to be Superwoman.

Heck, even if Linda is evil now she’d still be more interesting and have more depth than a bleeding robot. I cannot see how Superwoman is any version of Kara and I loathe Alura so much I really do not want two of her running about. Anyway, with Alura being a crazy dictator what would be the point in having a second evil Alura running about as Superwoman? Unless dictator Alura and Superwoman Alura teamed up. That would be great….
But I’d still prefer Linda.

As to the content of this issue, well there weren’t really any more clues about Superwoman’s identity. Kara spoke to her mother via red crystal about how the mission was going, and Alura revealed herself to be even more loathsome than before. She’s got a very commanding presence, even in holographic form, and she’s causing her daughter no end of pain. Kara expressed a wish that Alura had died rather than her father, and at this point I don’t blame her. Poor kid. She’s got this shit to deal with from her mother, the entire world is now baying for Kryptonian blood and she’s having to deal with guilt for wishing her mother dead.

On the plus side she’s got Lana there to support her and be like a mother and friend to her, which is really what she needs. Lana has demonstrated how protective she is of Kara by threatening to sack one of her employees for making lewd comments about her ‘neice’.
I’m so glad this secret identity is being used, I was very fearful of it being dropped and I think it makes a much stronger book for using it.

The art in this issue changed halfway through which was really jarring. Jamal Igle’s art is really human and I’ve been loving it. This new guy’s pencils is much more of a caricature and when placed slap bang in the middle of Igle’s work it sits very oddly. One panel showed Kara with blown up porn lips, I hope that was a one off. On the whole I think I will like the new guy’s work, it reminds me of Ale Garza’s stuff, but I definitely prefer Igle’s.

The continuing development of Kara’s relationship with the police force if also pleasing. However I believe ripping off your trenchcoat in the middle of a police station when you area wanted alien might not be the brightest thing in the world to do. Ok so 3 of them already knew she was there, but if you’re going to have to fly off and fight the bad guys you don’t want police officers making a fuss and trying to prevent you getting away.

Roll on next month when I will be jubilant or disgusted.


The Wonder Woman animated movie is only available on import from the US. Which make sit expensive and risks import tax. Pah. Not impressed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

60 years of Woman's Hour

Some choice quotes and observations from the Woman’s Hour book (my version doesn't have such a crappy cover, although it is still pink. Why does everything for women have to be pink?!):

John Merrett – 19th December 1946
In 1947 Merrett and his wife co-presented a talk on the thorny subject: should women keep their jobs after they are married?

“What jobs in running a home can a man do best?.......For heaven’s sake don’t bring the question of whether its ‘a man’s job’ or not into it! That phrase died out with Queen Victoria……..The first thing that men discover is how badly women have been treated concerning their working conditions…..a woman spends a large part of her life in her kitchen. It therefore follows that the kitchen should be one of the best rooms in the house – bright, sunny and cheery….
Now you’re going to ask how I help my wife… I usually buy the vegetables for her….[lists heavy vegetables] – it all makes up quite as tidy weight – too much for a woman to have to carry [the grocers is half a mile away] if there’s a man who can do it for her…..
There’s one other job I’ll tell you about. Sometimes I clean the silver and brass as I sit listening to the wireless.”

Interestingly enough, throughout the collection of interviews (1940s through to 1970s so far) there is a recurring description of housework and bringing up the kids as being an actual full time job.

Vera Brittain, 4th November 1953
A writer, pacifist and feminist. Talking about conversations as a college student:

[Upon meeting a male married friend in the street]
He said: ‘Have you heard of our fiasco? Our baby arrived yesterday - and it’s a girl!’ Only a girl! How often did you hear that when you were young?......[Quoting from Lady Stephen] ‘probably only women who have laboured under it can understand the weight of discouragement produced by being perpetually told that, as women, nothing much is ever expected of them.’

Nancy Astor, 7th October 1956
The first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons, as Conservative MP for Plymouth South, in 1919.
[Recounting a conversation with Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during WW2]….
Churchill: It’s a very remarkable performance
Astor: What?
Churchill: You staying where you are
Astor: Well Winston, why on earth didn’t you speak to me?
Churchill: We hoped to freeze you out. When you entered the House of Commons I felt as if a woman had entered my bathroom and I’d nothing to protect myself with except a sponge
Astor: Had it never occurred to you that your appalling appearance might have been protection enough?’

Shirley Chisholm, 29 December 1971
Chisholm was the first African American women elected to congress. During her first term she employed an all-female staff. She ran for Democratic nomination for President in 1972.

Interviewer: If you became President of America, what would be the greatest achievement: what would be the greatest achievement, that you had got there as a woman, or as a black person?
Chisholm: I think it would have to be looked at in terms of two in one, because at this moment in America black people are saying, ‘Why not a black president?’ and women are saying, ‘Why not a woman President?’ I happen to be black and I happen to be a woman, so actually I would be killing to birds with one stone.

That's intersectionality at work folks. Now, since she ran for Presidential nomination in 1972 why the hell did I not hear about this last year? Nothing in the media coverage, that I saw, talked about her. I thought that Obama was the first black person to run for Presidential nomination and Clinton the first woman.

I would also like to add to this quote from a post made by Yuki Onna and found via Seeking Avalon:
"And when we see story after story that has no one like us in it, a book entirely without women, a TV show where white people speak Chinese but there are no Asians visible, a movie set in California without Hispanics, image after image of a world where everyone is straight, and when we are told that it's no big deal, really, there is no race in future societies, that it's not anyone's fault if all the characters are white, that's just how they are, in the pure authorial mind, that we have no sense of humor, that we are ganging up on people because we speak our minds, this is what we hear:

You do not have a right to live. There are no stories for you, to teach you how to survive, because the world would prefer you didn't. You don't get to be human, to understand your suffering or move beyond it. In the perfect future society, you do not exist. We who are colorblind, genderblind, sexualityblind would prefer not to see you even now. In the world we make in our heads, you have been obliterated--even better, you never were. You are incapable of transcendance. You are not worthy of the most essential of human behavior. If you are lucky, we will let you into our stories, and you can learn to be a whore, or someone's mother, or someone's slave, or someone's prey. That is all you are, so pay attention: this is what we want to teach you to be."

She explains so clearly what I have found very hard to articulate. I have been banging on about this issue over and over but I feel that she has got it in a nutshell.
I heartily recommend you read the rest of the post.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dan Jurgens run on Justice League America

This run was pretty bad. Writing issues 61 to 77 Jurgens did some really odd things. It’s not the plots in particular that are bad, it’s the characterization and the art. When read immediately after the glorious Keith Giffen run (issues 26 to 60) the plots look staid, boring and very run of the mill. The humour went. Jurgens writes dark serious stories and takes all the jokes, lightness and a lot of the warmth out of the characters.

For instance, from issue 63 Fire is suddenly saying ‘like’ in every other sentence. What the fuck? She’s always spoken well in the past, did not use slang and isn’t a vapid American valley girl. Sure she’s vain, and conceited and wants to me a model, but she never ever acted dumb. She’s an ex spy from Brazil, she’s got a good command of English. Ugh, the near constant use of ‘like’ was horrible.

Secondly, Blue Beetle suddenly starts imitating an insect. Check these panels out:
(click to enlarge)
(Both from issue 63)

(Issue 66)

Since when does Beetle crawl on all fours? I don’t know much about his origin, I assume he has a link to the scarab, but i’ve never seen him having any affinity for insects before.

Lastly, I can only assume Ted is doing some sort of crazy jive thriller dance here (bottom left panel):

(Issue 76)

Superman turns up in this run and becomes the unofficial/official leader of the group. The effect is somewhat ruined by Supes being so angry, rude and just downright short tempered. I am very much aware that Superman gets angry, I know he’s not always polite, but he is usually written as having patience and grace, and not as if he thinks he’s morally superior. This Kal appears to find a lot of anger in everything – he’s lost a lot of the humanity.

Maybe I was just tainted by my bad feelings on the previous issues, maybe he’s not so inhuman after all. He does display a massive amount of deliberate superdickery though. For example, he apparently believes he can dictate how women on earth should dress:
In all credit to Maxima though she doesn’t take too kindly to this and chooses a suit more to her tastes and more in line with previous outfits:

Good for her! Check out the length of that skirt and the extra cleavage :D (Issue 66)

Guy Gardner is given unfair treatment as he suddenly develops murderous impulses, threatening Ted with a yellow (he’s been kicked out of the corps by this point) drill at one point (also issue 66). Guy may be angry, he may be violent, he may like fighting but up until this point I wouldn’t have said he was murderous. Has something happened in another comic to make him this way? If there was it would have been helpful to have a recap box somewhere. [EDIT – Now I’ve got to issue 85 I see that it was some sort of clone of Guy. Whew.]

To be fair, I should point out that there are good things about this run. Blue Beetle’s investigative and curious nature is brought to the forefront – he invents new gadgets to track all members of the JLA and is trying to work out who Bloodwynd is. He’s working in his lab a lot and being far more of a scientist. I also like the Martian Manhunter as Bloodwynd sub plot, and the Pawns of the Weaponsmaster story – the first time Beetle really starts to use his brains in this volume of the JLA. The Destiny’s Hand arc was also good and it was nice to see what the Atom can do. And some of the covers were absolutely gorgeous, but I shall include those in a later post consisting entirely of notably art from this volume.

Overall though, the negative parts outweigh the positives for me. While the overall themes and ideas worked, the inclusion of some odd (and quite obviously odd) character quirks did ruin it for me. I expected better things from the current writer of Booster Gold, but evidently 20 years ago he still had a lot to learn.

*SEE! I have no problem with cleavage and sexiness so long as it’s done in context with the story and in line with characters’ personalities.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comics review part 2 – the vintage edition

Covering a bunch of comics from the 80s to last month. Specifically:
Justice League America (Keith Giffen run)
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 worlds, # 2 and 3
JLA - The Hypothetical Woman (tpb)
Titans # 10
Wonder Woman # 29
Hammer and Locke #3
The Trials of Shazam #7
Deadshot #2
Legion of Superheroes #43
Infinity Inc #28
Dragon Slippers – This is what an abusive relationship looks like by Rosalind B Penfold

Justice League America, issues 26 to 60
Sod JLE, JLA is where it’s at. Beautiful art from a range of pencillers, including but not limited to Ty Templeton (so expressive!), Bill Willingham and Adam Hughes.
The introduction of the cat rocked (# 37), not as much as when it arrived in JLE, but still, pretty good.

What has really made this run for me though is Guy Gardner.
Guy and Tora have their first date (# 28) - Guy shows a really repugnant side of himself (thigh cheese!) but later redeems himself (in my eyes) by getting overly protective about Ice and displaying some hidden depths when General Glory arrives on the scene (#46). Guy actually starts saying Sorry and Sir. And after the JLA has been disbanded, he admits he misses the rest of the League.
I think we also get hints of his past crappy life and why he’s such an arrogant macho jerk all the time – he was quite clearly very happy reading his comic books as a kid, and it’s hinted that they constituted an escape from the rest of his life. That doesn’t quite justify tearing up some 8 year old's JLA comic just because he doesn’t like the cover, but still. The issue where he has a boxing fight with Ted Kord was also interesting, to see him go from normal aggressiveness to completely flipping out because ted made him bleed.
Aside from all the intense character exploration this run is just damn funny, and so self referential. The introduction of General Glory also heralded the arrival of the Uberbot – a giant Nazi robot from WW2. This was quickly followed by J’onn just about giving up on the ridiculousness of his life.

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold decide to set up a casino on the island of KooeyKooeyKooey. This being a very specific incarnation of the JLA, of course it goes wrong. Major Disaster arrives and with the help of Big Sir cleans the casino out of all cash. Then a very gnarley Aquaman arrives just in time for the island to decide to uproot itself and move to a new area of the globe. Where does it elect to settle down? (By elect I really mean manipulated by Aquaman). Why, it wedges into the top of a live volcano. Of course.

This run is now being collected in trade format. I believe vol 4 has just been published, I would urge everyone to go buy it.

JLA - The Hypothetical Woman (tpb)
Written by Gail Simone. I usually find her far too wordy, but not in this. Maybe it was because it’s a trade and I can read the whole arc at once. Nah that doesn’t make the sense. Whatever the reason, this was damn good. Wonder Woman takes on an army. By herself. And wins, effortlessly and easily. Now that’s the Diana I want to read about.
The art is wonderful – Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Diana looks fantastic, adult and textured. When she challenges the army to a fight, she’s in battle armour – leather pleated skirt, shield, axe, sword, dagger in her boot, breastplate - with shoulder straps! I really want a battle armour Diana doll. And Diana has been drawn with pants that cover her arse. Amazing.
There were other characters in the book, but Wonder Woman impressed me the most. Also, she baked. And the rest of the JLA didn’t know what to do with themselves.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 worlds, # 2 and 3
I haven’t been able to locate # 1 yet. This was far better than I anticipated, mostly the stupid names didn’t put me off. Lightning Lass? Cosmic Boy? Whatever the hell their names are they come across as infantile and shoddy. I know the titles are a product of their times, but they’re usually so cringeworthy.
But not in this run. I fully expect that this Is because they BROUGHT BACK BART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes yes old news now, but I’m still chuffed to pieces about it. Issue # 3 made my week.

Titans # 10
Bought for the Origins and Omens story. This turned out to be a rather good issue. I think it’s because the art got a lot better – no pornface or impossible spines. I’m considering buying the trades of this now. Or, as it looks like Terra is gonna jump on Beast Boy, maybe I’ll start buying it regularly.

Wonder Woman # 29
Wordy. But more Diana in battle armour, this time with the gold wings, oh how I love those. The origins and omens back up was good – seeing Hippolyta make Diana was lovely. Not enough to make me buy it monthly though.

Hammer and Locke #3
The most interesting thing about this was the inside cover had an advert for the Dr Giggles movie.

The Trials of Shazam #7
Loved the art, loved the story, gonna buy the trade. Wonderful.

Deadshot #2
Heavy, creepy, threats of child sexual abuse, probably unnecessarily dark but pretty well done overall. The art and the plot fit well together.

Legion of Superheroes #43
On first read I wasn’t too impressed, but something is preventing me from getting rid of the book. Mysa Nal, Drusa Sept and random red headed woman were an absolute pleasure to read. The fight with Mordru however was painful and obvious. I think my path may be to track down more of these 1993 issues and give them a go.

Infinity Inc #28
A pre the first crisis story. It’s odd to read of other versions of the characters, pre crisis. This book is commendable mostly for the layout, using the theme of bones to frame the panels and having the page backgrounds consist of the characters posing. If I had a working scanner and could establish how to convert pdfs to jpgs I’d post some examples. But I don’t. Can anyone help?

Dragon Slippers – This is what an abusive relationship looks like by Rosalind B Penfold
Definitely a graphic novel and not a book. Does what it says on the tin. Painful to read and will be triggering for people who have survived domestic violence.
The art isn’t very sophisticated but it doesn’t have to be. It does the trick.
One of my main reasons for buying this was to read it and consider if suitable to give to some friends, possibly as a wake up call. Now however, after reading it, I feel better about one of my friends, and am still concerned about the other one – who is currently in a shitty argumentative relationship, but hey, it hasn’t got physical yet, so that’s something right?*
But you can’t drag someone away, you can’t make them see sense and you can’t make them see that they’re a good person who deserves better. They need to see that themselves. And thankfully this particular friend has had a lightbulb moment and I think she’ll be ok.
More info about domestic violence on Friends-of-Rosalind.com.
In the UK there are also organisations, google women’s aid or women’s refuge and your area. Sadly, there are not enough for women and I know of none for men who experience domestic violence, and that’s something that should be fixed.
To anyone who’s reading and in an abusive relationship:
Get the hell out. You deserve better than what you are experiencing. You deserve to be loved and treated well. Get out and leave. They very rarely change and even if they do, can you guarantee you will survive that long?

*no not really.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

End costume result

Not with me in it. I was trying to get as close to current Kara as possible, without having the actual for real accurate as anything costume. For example, I'm not about to start locating and wearing a midriff bearing top. Torso of steel I don't have. I also wanted something that would look a bit more real life. Y'know, if comic books were real would anyone start wearing had to toe spandex to fight crime? I think not. They'd use normal clothes and make them a bit distinctive,

So I made do with clothes I already had and included a few accessories. The colour on the photos is shit, my camera phone is awful. In real life the reds and blues are proper vivid primary colours.
Here is the costume laid flat on the floor, y'all just pretend that there's someone inside them:

The blue S t-shirt came from Thailand - a friend brought it back for me when she'd gone travelling. the dark blue long top is from H and M and I've had it for months. The blue skirt is also from H and M and used to be pleated, then a certain boyfriend tried to be helpful and put it in the washing machine, when it said hand wash only. Sigh. Bye bye pleats. I've also had the skirt a long time. The shrug is in lieu of an actual cape - see below. The shoes I found from a charity shop last year and are great.
I was considering wearing a different pair of shoes that are all over red, but they area mary jane style, and I can't see current Kara liking them.

I did want red knee highs but a) can't afford them, b) that would throw my no buying unnecessary crap out of the window and c), if I were to buy red boots for a Kara costume they would have to be red cowboy boots. Think about it, this Kara would love red cowboy boots.

The head band, the gold bangles and the knee high socks were bought specially for the outfit. I was trying to channel that Ale Garza drawn Kara look. The yellow scarf I bought looked ridiculous so I didn't include it, and as I said before, it proved impossible to find a gold thin belt on Friday lunchtime.

Closer look without the leg/foot wear:

As warned, due to me completely lacking any fabric skills the attempt to make a cape was a disaster. So I bought an S badge and pinned it to the back of the shrug.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with it.

One thing I learned is that people don't know the difference between Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Apparently female superheroes are interchangeable.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You neutral?

A short video demonstrating the communication barriers for deaf people. if you're at all interested in disability rights, or deafness, check it out. The video is subtitled, and I think the signers are using Auslan, or maybe American sign.

Comics Reviews part 1: The March 2009 edition

Spoilers ahead for:
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade # 4
Action Comics # 875
Superman: World of New Krypton #1
Superman/Batman #56
Booster Gold # 18
Terror Titans #6
Green Arrow/Black Canary #18
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23
Here we go, in no particular order…

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade # 4
This issue was written by a cat lover J - Streaky arrives! A somewhat demonic Streaky, judging by the first shadowy glimpse we get. This incarnation reminds me of Power Girl’s cat from Justice League America and Justice League Europe. This is a good thing.
In this issue Kara shows her scientific prowess, we get to see more of Moon Supergirl, her best mate Lena finds out her secret then conveniently gets her mind wiped (how Smallville esque), but that’s OK because it turns out the cat did it, we get this universe’s version of Lex’s battle armour, and Streaky attacks Kara’s arch nemesis, on the face.
See? I told you it’s similar to Power Girl’s cat. Down to planning and manipulating events in a sly and unobtrusive manner. Kara is Streaky’s pet after all.

Great issue. Only 2 more to go though. :(

Action Comics # 875
We find out Nightwing and Flamebird’s identities! And it’s not Linda Danvers and Kon-El :(
But first, a ramble. I first came across Nightwing and Flamebird proper in the pages of Supergirl, when Kara and Power Girl were transported to Kandor after Infinite Crisis.

Say, what happened to that version of Kandor? Because the new enlarged Kandor bears no resemblance to that city. Honest question - does anyone have an answer?

Anyway, I loved those two as Kandor’s protectors and I loved their suits – I’ve even got the action figures and I think they’re beautiful, wonderful designs. These 2 new heroes have different designs, and to be honest, the suits do nothing for me. This issue reveals that the two heroes are Kryptonians, and they have to have the suits to disguise this fact, because of the embargo against Kryptonians. But still, these are not visually appealing costumes. They look like robots, or normal humans dressed up in fancy tech gear. Yes yes I know that is the point. I still don't like it.

Anyway, it turns out that Thara is Flamebird and Christopher Kent is Nightwing! Although I’m pleased that Thara is not Superwoman and so not evil, and that this means we are gonna get to see lots of her, I’m not so fussed about Christopher Kent. I think I was just really hoping to get Linda and Kon back. :(

Zod, Ursa and the big dumb lump are set up as direct enemies, which should be interesting. I particularly liked the panel demonstrating Zod’s dickishness – the one where he walks away from Ursa’s intimate moment. Her facial expression and her body language is portrayed brilliantly.

Alura shows a surprising amount of naivety and by extension, humanity, as regards her conversation with Zod about Thara. I’d like to see this mirrored in the other Super titles, please.

I’m not too convinced about the inside art in this – Thara looks like a teenager. The cover is beautiful though.

Chris Kent is experiencing inexplicable growth spurts - how convenient - he now looks about 17. I’m sure they’ll find some contrived way to stop his growing older and dying though.

This comic, especially Zod and Ursa’s behaviour, ties in well with…
Superman: World of New Krypton #1
Superman moves to New Krypton, finds out more about his home planet’s culture and gets conscripted into the military guild, where he is to work under Zod. Ooh-err. He does look rather fetching in that black and grey uniform though.

God Alura is arrogant. Knowing what she knows, knowing Kal and seeing his previous actions, she accepts his defection to New Krypton and his breaking of all earth ties rather too easily for my tastes.

I adored the panels showing the Kryptonians getting used to their powers – mostly their inability to fly. Tyr falling off the building was ve-ry funny.

All in all I’m now very much looking forward to this mini. Only one criticism of the book….

…These Flash Re-birth splash ads are really getting to me and ruining the momentum of the stories. Although it looks like they’ll work as I’m sure not to forget to order the books. *sigh*

Superman/Batman #56
Last super title of the week. It admits that Bruce’s megalomaniac tendencies were there all along, and that his desire to save the world was what he truly wanted. Hah, I feel vindicated. Of course, I don’t think Bruce’s obsessiveness is a surprise to anyone.

Creating illusions of Bruce’s dead parents is a mean, dirty, rotten trick. Had Bruce not already been driven half nuts by the amulet I doubt that the trick would have worked, and I doubt that Bruce would have reacted the way he did – which was to basically have a mini breakdown.

I don’t like Rags Morales art, he draws a lousy Zatanna.

Booster Gold # 18
Ack, this all got a bit emo. Michelle found out she was meant to have died and is now having a melt down. I can’t quite work out why – the timeline has obviously been changed so that in this reality, although a year ago she was dead, Rip Hunter plucked her out of the timestream and now she’s alive. This means that the reality in which she died is now an alternate reality. You’d think that with her dancing about the timestream with Booster, Rip and Skeets she’d have got the hang of this by now.
Michelle was fun and lovely and now she’s going to angst. I do not approve.

Terror Titans #6
I do not see the point of this mini, at all. It hasn’t helped any character development or greater plotline outside of the series and we haven’t learned anything new. The only thing to come out of it is that Clock King is (probably) dead. Miss Martian turned up in the middle, so I guess now we know why she left the Teen Titans, but she could easily have been elsewhere doing something useful.
Well we got to see lots of my beloved Rose I guess. Hey, she’s gonna have her own back up story in the pages of Teen Titans soon! Hurrah!

Green Arrow/Black Canary #18
A return to the days of the arrow signal! Dinah calls Ollie out on his methods, at last. Shooting arrows in every criminal’s leg or arm is an ethically dubious way to carry on. I would have liked to see how Ollie managed to pin Vertigo upside down, halfway up a wall, with arrows. Did he glue him up there first?

It was nice to see Ollie pointing out that he’s not Batman, the growing relationship with the cop, and Brick back in the picture. I can’t believe that Ollie just electrocuted Dinah. You don’t do that to your other half. Maybe it’s because I’ve just read a domestic violence themed comic, but that plot development makes me nervy.

Crazy lady is still crazy, and thanks to her Ollie appears to be ready to murder. Who thinks he’s gonna do it? I don‘t. Apart from the whole morals aspect of Ollie's character, Dinah will have his guts for garters if he does.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23
In this issue, Buffy fights Pink. The depiction of Buffy on the cover is accurate, yet different. It looks like exactly like Buffy, had Sarah Michelle Gellar had a different life path. It’s got aspects of maturity, which Gellar is lacking, and that inner poise visible on the faces of women like Sarah Connor in the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I do have a soft spot for Andrew so it was nice to see him being formally accepted as part of the family. I am somewhat ashamed to say I don’t get all the geek references. What do the following relate to:
Vanity Smurf
Dualla/Billy/Fat Lee
A story written on toilet paper from a prison cell (this seems really familiar but I just can’t quite place it)
Don Draper

??? Can anyone tell me?

Buffy should have taken lessons from Kara – don’t make promises to children you can’t keep. It will all end in tears.

Friday, March 13, 2009


My attempt to make a cape was dismal. So I am improvising and going for accessories instead, gold bracelets, gold sash for a belt (they don't sell thin gold ones anywhere!) and a badge to go on the back of my red shrug.

It's gonna be awesome or absolutely rubbish! And no one's gonna get it cos they don't read comics :(

Wish me luck guys.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen? (spoilers)

Well, me for a start. Along with many other people.

Har Har.

Lame ass joke I know. The boyfriend wanted me to title this post Who Watchted the Watchmen, but I thought that was wanky. Unlike my idea.

Anyway. So yes, I did see this movie, and it was after a long weekend boozing in honour of my sister getting married. Dear god did I feel ill on Monday when it was all over. But that’s another story, not really suitable for here.

Not that precious young eyes can read this blog; my teacher friend tells me how his school’s servers block access to here! It must be all the swearing and references to sex and porn.

Onto the movie. Please bear in mind that I haven’t read the book and until I saw the movie I knew 3 things about the plotline:
  • Who Watches the Watchmen? is the tagline
  • The smiley face with blood
  • Alan Moore wrote it
Other than that, nada. So I have no idea how it compares with the book and anything written in this post, unless stated directly will not be a criticism of Alan Moore.

My initial thoughts on seeing the movie posters were that those costumes look bloody ridiculous. Unlike say, Hawkman’s, Captain Marvel’s or Terra’s (ha!).
About 30 minutes into it I thought the costumes were wonderful, with the exception of 1 (take a guess as to whose I didn’t like).

Also bear in mind I may get some character’s names wrong, I’ve never been good at keeping track of them.

Overall, I was only half impressed. It’s definitely not a superhero film though is it? They are more like hired mercenaries, what with the gleeful murder and all (this isn’t a complaint against the film).

The good things about the film:
  • The 1940s style sequences at the start were glorious.
  • All the costumes were really well done and looked very slick.
  • Owlman in civilian clothes as a bespeckled 40 something? Great.
  • Dr Manhattan. Wow. I thought in the movie poster he looked really stupid, but when watching it, wow. Really well done. Really good examination of his separateness from humanity, very well portrayed
And naked! In the first shot of naked him we saw down to the top of the pubic bone, I assumed that was all we’d see. But no, he’s naked for 3/4s of the movie and we get to see his knob and everything! It’s not an exciting knob, and from my vantage point he appeared to be nutless, although I admit I’m half blind, but still, naked knob!
  • The cinematography – I hasten to add looking pretty does not make a good film.
  • Rorschach. And his mask, the moving mask. The actual actor when not in the mask was very arresting. He reminded me of a young Johnny Rotten – he had a similar intenseness in the eyes. Not what I expected from the masked Rorschach.
  • The unmasked Watchman with the lazy accent. He was goooood.
  • Mars. Mars was fabulous.
  • The Comedian. Skanky horrible man. Good acting.
  • They had a lesbian in the original team. And she was out, and brave and in control.

The bad things about the film:
  • It was very violent and it revelled in it’s violence. This could just be a sign of me getting older – as a teenager I would have loved this and wouldn’t have been remotely squeamish. Now, at the ripe old age of 28, I wonder if it’s really necessary.
  • The culmination of the unmasked guy’s plotting and machinations. I think that destroying millions of people in order to save the world from it’s own divisions/politics is a tired, contrived and overly simplistic idea. As one of my friends commented, it won’t work – the world is now living in fear that Dr Manhattan will strike again, how will that permanently make the Commies and the Capitalist pigs work together?
  • It clocks in at 2 hours and 40 minutes. That’s too long.
The obligatory feminist criticisms:
Not very diverse is it? OK, so yay they had a lesbian! About 10 minutes into the film she was killed, for being a ‘lesbian whore’. Not so yay. This left one woman on the team – the Silk Spectre, real name Laurie.

One woman whose role boiled down to being the obligatory love interest. I know she was also a superhero, but she did fuck all. She starts off as Dr Manhattan’s love interest, later when Manhattan unwittingly spurns her she ends up with Owlman. During this brief fling with Owlman she did indulge in some ass kicking but this turned out to make him hot for her and so they shagged.
Even her relationship with her mum (the original Silk Spectre) was shown through the lens of the menz – it was all about her father (the Comedian) and his attempted rape of her mother (oh joy, yet another rape scene where the woman is saved by men, gee I don’t get tired of those, ever) and then how the original Silk Spectre later slept with the Comedian and conceived Laurie.
And oh yes, Laurie found this out b/c Dr Manhattan did his crazy hand/thought thing.

So, everything is seen through the lens of men, every interaction/discovery of her life seems to be related to men.

I’m not really stating that it’s bad that a man showed how she was conceived, that was just a convenient way to move the plot along.
Maybe if there were more women in the movie Laurie may have been more interesting, maybe she would have been allowed a life outside of her love interests. As it stands, the men were all allowed to display interests, desires and goals outside of their personal relationships, but the women weren’t. There really was no point in Silk Spectre 2 being on the team.

They could have further explored why she became a superhero – there was one throwaway line about how she donned the costume because of her mum. It could have been really interesting to look at that more in depth, and it’s a shame they didn’t.

And the costume is fucking stupid – she’s in bloody fetish gear for gods sake, for no apparent reason. Latex and suspenders. Interestingly enough, I believe that the promo posters don’t show the suspenders.

The other significant woman in the film was Dr Manhattan’s first girlfriend, and all we saw of her was her status as girlfriend.

This film fails the Bechdel test. Yes so there is more than 1 women in the film, but only 2 of them talk to each other and I’m fairly certain it’s not about anything other than a man. Is it too much to ask for fair 3 dimensional representations? Because 2D shit like this seriously impairs my enjoyment of the movie.

There were fuck all ethnic minorities as well. In this alternate universe did they shoot all the Blacks and Asians? Possibly.

I will read the book, and I hope that it is somewhat better than the movie.

Currently listening to: The Pillows

Monday, March 09, 2009

Quote and a picture

I like this:
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)

I feel like this.

Watchmen and comics thoughts coming later on in the week. Now please excuse me while I go and fester on the sofa, waiting for the boyfriend to come home.

Things I has bought has come round again

A little late, as it was last month. I'm rubbish at not buying items, I keep forgetting about my vow to myself and just buying whatever. I'm a little hungover and feeling rough from the weekend away so bear with me here please.

I did actually receive the Buffy seasons 1 - 7 box set, about 4 weeks after I'd paid for it mind, but I did get it. Hurrah. The lady selling it on ebay had received it as an unwanted Christmas gift. Once received I promptly gave all my videos to a friend. I can justify this purchase by arguing about the higher quality of the picture when it's on DVD, and because now I have freed up so much shelf space.

A book from a charity shop called Linger Awhile (the book, not the shop), by Russell Hoban. Not as good as I'd expected but entertaining, in a way.

I went to London for a day out, bought food/beer/teas etc as well as gifty things from the V and A museum for the boyfriend and one other friend who couldn't make it to the exhibit on. the exhibition was displaying Russian imperial court clothes from a 200 year period. There was a little telescope and it was gorgeous.

Lots of comics - new and second hand!

Socks and tights. I'm not sure who the socks were for, but tights have been cropping up fairly regularly due to my instant destruction of any that I may wear. I view these as a vital product and so don't feel bad buying them.

31 pounds on 4 books...from a chain store... I went in looking to get one specific book on offer and came out with 4!:
Cities in Flight - James Blish (From the first 3 stories, it looks like there is no place for women in his future, at least not in the running of the cities, and I suspect the few women characters that are included are mostly there to provide romantic tension)
The Forever war - Joe Haldeman (Much better than Blish, but some very dubious sexual relations and I cannot quite make up my mind if he is anti homosexuality or anti 70s era bigotry re homosexuality. Other than that, the book is utterly gripping, but the underlying gender/sexuality currents are leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. I have about 50 pages left to go)
Dream Songs, A RRetrospective Book 2 - George R R Martin (Haven't started reading yet)
Powers - Ursula Le Guin (Third in a series. I've read book 1, but not 2. Rats. I spy another purchase)

March's list of purchases are gonna look really decadent and needless. :/

Friday, March 06, 2009

Out of internet range for the weekend

Don't know how I'll cope. I've got my sister's hen do till Sunday (which I've had to organise, eeek, hope it all goes well) and then am staying with a friend on Sunday night, and seeing Watchmen. I've missed out on being able to get this weeks comics on standing order, due to being in London yesterday so I can't get to my shop, so bought other ones instead.
This means I shall be back next week with lots of comics to talk about and possibly some thoughts on the Watchmen film.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Supergirl costume question

Quick question hopefully someone can answer.

Does the current Kara have the red and yellow S logo on her cape? Did Linda Danvers have the logo on her cape? I've tried searching lots of images and there's very few showing the back of the cape, where the logo would be. One shows a yellow logo with thin red outlines for the current Kara, but i'm wondering if that's correct or a colouring error?

I'm making myself a Supergirl costume, a bastardized-mix-of-several-costumes version admittedly, but I'd kind of like some bits to be vaguely correct. I've ordered a transfer and am planning to make myself a short cape.

Monday, March 02, 2009


If I wasn't on my work lunch break I'd be doing a happy dance right about now.

THAT has made my month! :D Bought the comic at lunch today, skipped to the back, squeeed like a ridiculously happy thing and am going to sit and grin for whole days now :-)

(Image found here. I shouldn't have waited so long before looking for Bart fans).

Sunday, March 01, 2009

How did no one tell me?!

They brought Bart back?! In Legion of 3 worlds? Is this honest to goodness true?

I'm hanging out in the wrong places, clearly! Internet, you fail me.

Of course now I'm super happy :D Great way to end a great weekend.

(Am I far too involved in my comics?)

Comic Reviews, GL quiz, Scans Daily, and the BBF

This week was a light week for comics, I only got 2, Teen Titans 68 and Superman 685. Onto the reviews:

(Spoilers ahead)
. Teen Titans 68
My first read through of this occurred whilst drunk so my memories were hazy, but I had a distinct feeling of pleasure. On a second sober read through I confirmed that it's a pretty good issue. the focus was all on Eddie, now back to being human, with Kid Eternity at his side. we learn more about Eddie's contract with Neron, specifically that it is unsigned and so void,a dn that all neron did was unlock Eddie's own metagene.

This then begs the questions of why Eddie was temtped by a second devil, Blaze. If the power is within him it would make more sense for him to go to STAR labs and get tested to find out a way to activate the metagene again, rather than get powers back via a soul selling contract.

I was rather dissapointed with Eddie's civilian clothes. Baggy skater shorts and an oversize vest makes him look like a right pillock. And that baseball cap, ugh. Get him back to demon form asap, please.

It's good to see Bombshell is joining the team. They've really been through hell over the last year or so haven't they? I really liked the panels showing 3 different incarnations of the Teen Titans, and the reference and lead in to the Dark Side Club is way overdue. Hopefully that will get sorted next issue.

The future peeks look interesting. I see Ravager still has a beef with Cassie. It appears that Cassie and Jaime are gonna have a moment - I wonder how long it will be before the internet or her mates start accusing her of sleeping round the team? We see Eddie as a dessicated corpse - my guess is this is showing him leaving his human body behind to become a full fledged devil.
And we see Bart's costume!!! :D :D :D :D :D

Superman 685
Fabulous cover:

Mon El is saved. Ace. I've been looking forward to reading more about him, and now he's gonna be looking after Metropolis is Supes' absence. He's also drawn pretty engagingly. I like his new identity of Jonathan Kent, but am wondering how many cousins Clark is going to claim. Kara, Connor and now Jonathan? Won't people start to wonder why they haven't heard of any of these before? And how did they explain away Christopher Kent? Was that a 'foster' arrangement?

My only complaint about this issue is how Lois reacted to Clark saying he was going to New Krypton. I know he has a job to do, I know she knows it, but I cannot believe that someone so deeply in love with another would let him go so easily.

Onto other stories.
Scans Daily has been taken down. Bastards. So a bunch of users have moved to Insane Journal. I say pshaw to copyright infringement. Sites such as SD promote comics and I do not believe lead to the creators or the companies losing out on cash.

For the GL fans out there, a quiz: What Lantern Corps are you? I'm a Green Lantern :D Surprisingly enough, that news pleases me.

I found this interesting article about Hollywood and the Black Best Friend role in moves. I don't think it's progressive, I think it's typecasting, but typecasting of a race not of an individual. Rubbish.

Quick edit: Have a gander at this post about Fan delusion. I'm loving the Fandelusion Pony! (And I get to feel slightly smug because I get the joke, oh the benefits of being a horsey youngster)