Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hey, here are some links you can click on.

GOD, I HOPE THERE'S A COMIC BOOK TIE-IN: In a world where Star Wars Transformers exist, I suppose DC Universe Classics Vs. Masters of the Universe Classics two-packs shouldn’t really surprise me as much as they do, especially considering the fact that Superman and He-Man have already shared ideaspace at least once.

Even still, seeing these struck me as a little on the odd side. As someone who grew up playing with He-Man toys (and that awful, awful cartoon and even worse live-action movie) and, to a much lesser extent, the Super Powers toys (and sundry Super Friends cartoons) I felt my nostalgia muscles twitch when I did see these.

Will there be more? Wonder Woman Vs. Teela? Animal Man Vs. Beast Man? Dr. Destiny Vs. Skeletor? Red Tornado Vs. Sy-Klone? Swamp Thing Vs. Moss Man? Snapper Carr Vs. Orko? Clark Kent Vs. Prince Adam? Scarecrow Vs. Scare Glow? The Red Bee Vs. Buzz-Off?!

I don’t know. But I kinda hope so. And I hope it leads to a DCU Vs. MOTU crossover comic book that’s at least as good as the 1996 based-on-a-toy-line Total Justice series. If there are editors sitting around DC right now thinking, “Hey, we should really do a comic book miniseries based on these toys, but who on earth could we get to write it?” I would just like to state for the record that I still know and care way more about the various Masters of the Universe characters way more than I should, and I would be happy to script such a project for a salary consisting entirely of a five-dollar bill and some action figures—opened packaging is not a concern. (Via Comics Alliance, from whom I also swiped the image above).

OH HEY SPEAKING OF MOTU CROSSOVERS...: This sure looks like something everyone in America should own.

THE OTHER SUBBY: One of the many intriguing never-quite-made-it heroes included in the Fantagraphics-published 2009 book Supermen!: The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 (reviewed here) was Sub-Zero, a red and blue-garbed hero with ice powers. Well, if you read the Sub-Zero story in Supermen! and decided you’d like to read more of his adventures, Steven Thompson shares one here. The best part, I think, is the portion of a panel posted above, in which SZ and his sidekick, an Eskimo kid named Freezum who talks in a…rather unfortunate way, are just sitting on a train in their funny costumes. Unlike Batman and The Green Hornet, they apparently couldn’t afford their own ride.

This pose by the villain was somewhat amusing, too:Those old super-comics didn’t go in much for subtlety, did they? (Via Comics Reporter)

SPEAKING OF GOLDEN AGE ALSO-RANS: Here’s the origin story of the other Cat-Man, thanks to Adam Barnett, who posted it at his site. (I forget where I got this link, but I assume it was either Comics Reporter or Journalista!, so I’ll just link to ‘em both).

I'LL SECOND THAT RECOMMENDATION: Writing for Comics Should Be Good, Brian Cronin talks up 1997’s Batman Plus #1, in which Devin Grayson, Rodolfo Damaggio and Robert Campanella teamed the Dark Knight up with Arsenal.

I really liked that comic.

It was one of the first times when I thought to myself, “Hey, wait, this Devin Grayson person’s a pretty great comics writer, isn’t she?” and I think it was probably the first time I realized that Arsenal/Roy Harper had a great deal of potential as a character. Grayson used the shorthand of defining Harper by his relationships to other characters—disgruntled ex-sidekick of the (then-)deceased Green Arrow, lifelong friend and rival with Robin/Nightwing Dick Grayson, very little experience with Batman except from a distance at big superhero crises—but it was characterization, and Grayson got an awful lot done in one little one-shot.

It was what she accomplished here and, later (and perhaps to lesser extents) in Arsenal, JLA/Titans and The Titans that made more recent changes to Harper’s character under writer Brad Meltzer (in JLoA) and James Robinson (in Cry For Justice) and others so unfortunate, as lately DC has reversed many of the changes Roy Harper has experienced over the last few decades to make him distinct from Green Arrow in order to make him more like Green Arrow. (And now I guess they’re doing another 180 degrees, changing his name back to Arsenal, his costume to something less Arrow-y and reinstating his “super-aim” powers instead of just super-archery powers).

Also, this happened in a Roy Harper comic recently:I didn’t read all of the 1997 Plus books, but I really liked all of the ones I did read, as was rather enamored with the concept (a team-up between two characters that don’t team-up very often—or ever—focusing on their relationships). If you ever see any in back-issue bins, I’d recommend Robin Plus #1 (featuring Impulse, by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, John Royle and Rob Leigh, under a great Mike Wieringo/John Dell cover), Flash Plus #1 (a Nightwing team-up by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn and Eduardo Barretto), Superboy Plus #1 (a Captain Marvel Jr. team-up by Ron Marz and Andy Smith) and, to a lesser extent, Green Lantern Plus #1 (Featuring GL Kyle Rayner and The Ray II, by Ron Marz, Scott Kolins and John Lowe).

There was a second round of Plus books all written by Len Kaminsky and teaming a popular-ish DC super-character up with a member of his monster rock band cast from the short-lived Scare Tactics series, but of the couple I read, I remember them being fairly unremarkable…with the exception of the Daniel Brereton covers:
Pretty nice, huh?

THIS GUY LOOKS PRETTY COOL: I’ve mentioned before my fascination with “new” old superheroes whom I only know from a cover or an image, as they tend to exist only in one’s imagination. Well, here’s another one to add to the list. How is it that Alex Ross hasn’t painted this guy on the cover of a Dynamite Entertainment book yet…?

These are the only covers I can find on and, since I don’t know anything about this dude, maybe it's actually all of the covers featuring him...?
A cursory bit of Internet research has revealed relatively little. He was created by artist Adrian Dingle (who also created Nelvana of the Northern Lights, reportedly the first comic book superheroine)and The Penguin eventually had his named changed to The Blue Raven, in order to avoid confusion with Batman's villain.

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO CHRIS SIMS: I was planning on writing a long-ish post about the new DC superhero-themed boxes of Hostess snack cakes, but invincible super-blogger and ally of comics Chris Sims beat me to it in this great article at Comics Alliance, in which he rates “the Justice League of Snack Cakes.”

I’m glad he did; my article wouldn’t have been anywhere nearly as amusing as his was, and I now I don’t feel the need to eat a few boxes of Hostess snack cakes just for the sake of a blog post.

It’s times like these that I really miss When Fangirls Attack. I am honestly curious if there isn’t someone out there on the Internet who thinks it’s a terrible shame that Wonder Woman doesn’t have her own snack cake while traditional second-stringers The Flash and Green Lantern do. Something something Ho-Hos something.

TWO RETCONS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT: If you care about things like Spider-Man’s marital status, chances are you’ve already seen this quote from Joe Quesada (and/or the article it came from), about how the retconned “One Moment In Time” story arc he wrote in Amazing Spider-Man retconned the retconning story from the “One More Day” story arc so that it never actually happened, despite the fact that the desired results were achieved.

Tom Spurgeon responded on his blog by noting, “I've been reading comics since 1973 and I didn't understand one word of that quote.” I didn’t understand it either, but I did read through the comments section in the hopes that someone there would explain it to me, and I’m afraid it still makes no sense. Perhaps you have to read “One Moment In Time” (something I have no interest in attempting) to see how it undoes the cause of the retcon without undoing the effects, but it sure seems to just create a paradox to me.

I HAVEN'T READ JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #49 YET: But Tucker Stone’s theory on how that book got inked amused me. Actually, most of his Comics of the Weak column amused me, as it usually does. That Tucker Stone sure is an amusing son of a gun.

IF YOU CLICK ON JUST ONE LINK TO AN ANIMATED GIF OF GHOST RIDEE TODAY: Make it this one. The gang at Panel do a regular feature called “Character Wednesday” where they all draw the same comic book character, and a few Wednesdays ago it was Ghost Rider. There are some pretty swell results, but Steve Black’s three-image sequence of Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch or whoever transforming is pretty incredible. You can check out the archives for the feature here.

BY THE WAY, HAVE I MENTIONED MY NEW SELF-PUBLISHED COMIC BOOK YET? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Well, I haven’t mentioned it today yet, have I? Okay, well now I have. Well, have you ordered a copy yet? I think you should. (If you want). Remember, there are worse comics you could buy.

What? Are you still reading? Did you expect more links? Jeez, wasn't that enough? Okay, fine—more linkblogging can be found in this morning's installment of Linkarama@Newsarama, my thrice-weekly feature on Blog@Newsarama, so you can try there if you like.


Tony J said...

Re: The whole Spider-Man retcon debacle, I don't think there is an explaination that makes sense.

Apparently - bear with me here _ Mephisto somehow wrote himself out of the story by saying something along the lines of "This never happened". The fact that he got everything he wanted out of the bargain without any of the blame is purely coincidental and has no bearing on the question "Did Spider-Man just make a deal with a Devil?" The answer is that, no, he didn't, because Mephisto said so.

Spider-Man himself saved his Aunt May by the simple tactic of loving her SO VERY MUCH that the frail, gunshot old woman every single heavy hitter in the MU had already said was beyond their powers to save apparently just needed to be hit with a few more shocks from the defribrilator.

Oh, and the whole "No More Marriage" thing Mephisto wanted? Totally Mary-Jane's fault. Apparently she was okay being shacked up with Spider-Man, but she couldn't marry him, because that meant kids, and that wouldn't be safe. That was fine up until something totally non-Mephisto related - even though Mephisto caused it to happen - led Mary-Jane to end the relationship in order to protect her family.

You know what, sod it. There is a simple explaination - Joe Q wanted the marriage gone, and so took it upon himself to write the story of how that happened. Then, once it was pointed out how flawed that original story was, he took it upon himself to write another story explaining how the first story didn't actually happen, so would everyone please stop shouting at him.

Somehow, I don't think he's going to get his wish.

A Hero said...

Man, that Batman + Arsenal book was good wasn't it? I had no interest in Arsenal before the book, but afterwards I had some vague interest.

That may sound like faint praise, but considering it was a one-shot that I never intended to pick up (it was thrown in my box because it had Batman in the title), it is amazing.

Ryan Roe said...

I saw one of those Master of the Universe/DC two-packs at Toys R Us that included Lex Luthor and Skeletor. 'Cause they're both bad guys! I love the idea of Snapper/Orko.

Dan said...

MOTU vs DC would be awesome squared. I'm going to be thinking of match-ups all day now.... oh yeah and 'working'...

Dara said...

Caleb, thanks for the shout out on the Character Wednesday post. Steve did indeed rock out on that Ghost Rider, and he did it without the benefit of 9 inkers ;-)