Sunday, April 01, 2012


Earlier in the week Robot 6 linked to a neat GA Voice article about Atlanta photographer Philip Bonneau's "Heroes + Villains #2" show, featuring images of dudes dressed and posed as various super-types (like The Flash above). There's a pretty neat Joker one referencing Marcel Duchamp in the Robot 6 gallery.


Don't worry, black people! Mark Millar's going to make you a very popular superhero of your very own!

(David Brothers talks in a bit more detail about Millar's latest...Millarism? Is that the right word for Millar-being-Millar? this post on his 4thletter blog)

Millar lacks credibility about...well, everything at this point in his career, but given his track record, he oughta be super-extra careful about what he tweets (and writes) about black folks, given his portrayals of them in books like Wanted and Kick-Ass.


G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Dark Knight Rises...why rising the go-to hot verb for big Hollywood action movies these days...?

Here's another one: Rise of the Guardians.

It looks a little on the stupid side, but I do like the bad-ass portrayals of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...


Ross Campbell draws Leonardo.


Is it just me, or does the JLA line-up on that Young Justice TV show seem kinda awesome? I mean, I've never seen an episode of the show—I have held DVDs of it in my hands at the library before and thought about starting watching it, but always put it back down (I think it's because the opening theme is so terrible compared to that of the last show about DC super-teens I watched regularly)—but just looking at those few seconds of it re-posted at that link, I see Martian Manhunter and Captain Marvel sitting right next to each other, and they're talking with the rest of the team about recruiting Icon?


(I remain fairly baffled by the fact that if DC was going to redesign and reboot their entire universe/history that they decided to just go with whatever Jim Lee and the 25 or 30 guys who were already making their mostly shitty comics though would be cool, instead of looking to all of their very successful, unusually high-quality animated products over the course of the last few decades to see what might be versions of their characters capable of striking a chord with a mass audience. Instead of an Every-Justice-Leaguer-Ever-Is-On-The-Team approach ala Justice League Unlimited, or the big, diverse line-up of Young Justice, we got Cyborg and the six most popular of the Big 7 fighting Darkseid, because that sorta happened on that one season of Super Friends from 1985).


Holy shit!


Here's Kelly Thompson on the developments of Wonder Woman #7, and what it says about Wonder Woman and the Amazons, something I griped a bit about only in passing when I initially reviewed the issue in a "Comic Shop Comics" column from a couple of weeks ago.

To summarize, though, here's what's wrong with Wonder Woman (and Before Watchmen!) writer Brian Azzarello's "revelation" that everything you thought you knew about the Amazons' sex lives and reproductive rituals is wrong!:

1.) It makes Wonder Woman seem like an idiot in that she didn't know anything about it

2.) It makes the Amazons seem like monsters

3.) It takes away Wonder Woman's specialness, since instead of the only child of the Amazons in pretty much forever, she would be one of many Amazon children born regularly, which in in pretty sharp conflict with all of the stories that have come before

4.) It takes away the sexual ambiguity of the Amazons. Did they all practice sapphic love? Were they totally chaste? For decades, DC was able to play it pretty coy. In this telling, they are pretty unambiguously heterosexual.

5.) One that didn't occur to me until I read Thompson's piece, this sort of undoes the whole point of Wonder Woman, if her mission is to go to Man's World/Patriarch's World as an exemplar of Amazon ideals, since instead of truth, justice and peace, the Amazons have the morality of horny praying mantises.

Thompson's is a nice piece, and one you should read if you'd like to read someone smart and good at writing talking about it at some length.

Here's a quibble though. She writes, "Quite simply, The Amazons are, in comics (and in many other mediums) one of the best examples of female empowerment and thus have become a catch all for feminism in general. The Amazons may not have been created originally to be such a thing..."

No, they were created to be such a thing. At least these Amazons, the Wonder Woman Amazons created by William Moulton Marston to be exactly that.

It's kind of irritating as a Wonder Woman fan, but then, almost everything about DC's usage of Wonder Woman is always irritating to me as a Wonder Woman fan, so this didn't make me feel like dropping the book in disgust or anything (I did think about doing so when the Before Watchmen teams were announced), since, as I said a couple of weeks ago, that element of the story, along with everything else in this Wonder Woman run (and the "New 52" books in general) seem so specific to their creative teams and this moment in time, that I suspect they will all go away soon enough. I don't think this version of Wonder Woman is going to last any longer than Brian Azzarello's run on the character, for example, and much of what he's done will simply be undone by the next writer, as Wonder Woman writers have been doing for...what, 15 years now? 20? 30?


Tom "The Comics Reporter" Spurgeon linked to Thompson's piece here and wrote, "Sometimes I think if these companies would just commit to a half-dozen comics featuring iconic, kids-friendly versions of the characters it would be easier for fans to process plot points like this as something specific to an interpretation as opposed to a new 'reality' that has the weight of being the official version."

I agree.

It's kind of crazy that if a little girl wanted to read a Wonder Woman comic now, she would have to dive into back-issue bins for c issues of the canceled Super Friends or one of the canceled based-on-the-Justice-League-cartoons books (and even those just feature Wondy as one character among a bunch of dudes), or maybe buy a $15-$20 Showcase Presents collection featuring comics created some 10-20 years before their parents were even born.


Damn, robots have been taking jobs from humans even longer than I thought! (Via CR)


Headline: "Dan DiDio Reveals His Top Ten DC Comics".

Let's see here...the "Hush" arc in Batman was pretty abysmal, and pretty much ruined the title and upset the franchise until Grant Morrison came on board because DC had no way to follow Jim Lee drawing Batman...Identity Crisiswas Identity Crisis...Green Lantern: Rebirth was fine, good job of letting Geoff Johns do whatever he wanted, Dan DiDio...the "Supergirl" arc of Superman/Batman was absolute shit, a soft reboot amid the three "hard" reboots in your ten-year-tenure...Countdown to Infinite Crisis was a good value, but it's only lasting contribution to the world of comics was probably this...Infinite Crisis was pretty bad, especially when it fell apart at the end, but Phil Jimenez got to draw a bunch of superheroes...52 was the best thing ever; you deserve a feather in your cap for that one, yo...Superman: Earth One probably earns you a slap in the face for the title alone, but I don't have anything to say about that, given that it looked so dull I never bothered to read it...Morrison's Batman and Johns' Green Lantern were both very well-planned and fairly well written, even if you guys fucked Morrison over when it came to assigning artists and then fucked up his plans with your "New 52" reboot...and, of course, number 10 is "The New 52."

I like the fact that he saved that one for last. It would be like the Speaker of the House of Representatives listing the ten pieces of legislation that he was most proud of having written and passed, and the tenth one is a law that repealed the first nine.


P.S. Dan DiDio you work for DC Comics, not Marvel Entertainment: You are not allowed to say "'Nuff said" ever.


Here's my list of top ten moments from Dan DiDio's time at DC Comics:

1.) 52

2.) Wednesday Comics

3.) Brightest Day

4.) Tiny Titans



5.) Showcase Presents! I love those things.





Oh, I guess there were only four or five things I'd consider high points, and #3 is there more as a watered-down version of #1, which nevertheless paved the way for a bunch of exciting new comics which never came to be, as they reset everything with "The New 52," rendering everything in Brightest Day and most of their own continuity null and void.


Here's DC's official announcement of their next Batman cartoon, which doesn't look nearly as awesome as Batman: The Brave and The Bold was, but then, nothing looks nearly as awesome as Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I'm not all that excited about a CGI series, either, but what I found intriguing about the announcement was the way they singled out a bunch of more obscure Batman villains that had yet to be animated.

One of them was EDILW favorite Anarky, which was surprising. Now that I stop and think about it, I don't recall ever actually seeing Anarky in a cartoon before, but it seems like he would have had to appear in one of them by now. Has he really never been animated...?


Marvel's summer event is here, and Tucker Stone is keeping track of the number of weeping robots!

The best thing about DC;s New 52boot is that their crying robot The Red Tornado is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he doesn't even exist anymore...? That's one good thing to come out of DC erasing most of its own history!


Chris Sims really enjoyed this toy commercial where little boys play-act as their favorite Avengers with Hulk hands, Thor's hammer, Cap's shield, and...Hey, how come there's no Black Widow toy...? Like a...leather top you could wear and unzip...? Never mind; answered my own question.


I'm not quite sure how I feel about colorized Scott Pilgrim yet. I suspect it might seem more shocking a move if we haven't already seen full color Scott Pilgrim in that little color portions in one of the volumes, and in the feature film adaptation, and the video game adaptations, and that Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Animation promotional short.

I am afraid I might end up buying these, depending on what the new material includes.

Bryan Lee O'Malley did a hell of a job implying color in the black and white originals though. Ramona's hair changes colors frequently, and yet we never see the different color there on the page, but the dialogue always made it easy to see those changes...and imagine a lot of the colors.


That wasn't the Scott Pilgrim announcement I most wanted to here, sadly.

That would be an announcement that they were adapting the entire series into a new animated series, starring the vocal talents of the same cast who starred in the movie.

They better announce it soon, before everyone grows up too much!


James Stokoe is going to get his own Godzilla series.

(Wait, let me do that over again)


(Yeah, that's better)


Say, if IDW can give Stokoe his own Godzilla book with its own continuity while they publish a Godzilla ongoing, then I see no reason they can't give Ross Campbell his own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle book with its own continuity while they publish a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ongoing....



Jacob T. Levy said...

I don't give DiDio any particular credit for them, but there have been other high points of the last ten years: Waid and Perez' Brave and the Bold; Simone's Birds of Prey and Villains United/ Secret Six; Brubaker's Catwoman; Andreyko's Manhunter. Plus the three that he perversely deliberately left off: New Frontier, All-Star Superman, and Seven Soldiers.

Wednesday Comics. Sigh. A brilliant experiment that really had nowhere to go once it was done.

Rose said...

I read Kelly Thompson's article about Wonder Woman. It seems to be the popular opinion, but I think Ragnell's different take on the issue is more interesting:

Caleb said...


DC definitely published a lot of great comics in those ten years DiDio was around, but some of the greatest seem to be in spite of him instead of because of least going by the things he has trumpeted publicly during that decade and the things he seemed to never mention.


I read Ragnell's piece, too...although not until after I wrote up this post. It's a way of looking at it, I suppose, but it cuts Azzarello and DC a lot of slack, slack I don't think they've necessarily earned. It boils down to "Maybe The Smith is just lying," right?

It's possible there will be a later reveal where they're like "Remember earlier when we said everything you thought you knew about Wonder Woman was wrong? Well, THAT is wrong TOO!", but I honestly don't care THAT much about it, and will wait till that gets here (although, at this point, I'm assuming every aspect of "The New 52" is going to be rebooted sooner or later anyway, just as it rebooted everything that came before).


Steven R. Stahl said...

If you're going to criticize Azzarello's handling of the Amazons, you should make a case for the "classic" portrayal of the Amazons benefiting a WONDER WOMAN writer. Lots of luck with that. They do nothing but create problems.

A writer might be better off getting rid of the mythological elements entirely, but then Wonder Woman wouldn't be Wonder Woman anymore.

If Wonder Woman being a feminist icon obligates a writer to do every story with that point a primary concern, then he might as well restrict himself to Super Friends-type stories.

Stories written for adults should feature characters with some complexity. Azzarello's treatment of the Amazons contributes to that.


Steven R. Stahl said...

I'll add that the existence of the Amazons has to be justified for their role(s) in a story to make sense. Immortality doesn't make sense, nor does non-biological reproduction. Making them creatures of any Olympian makes them the Olympian's captive servants.

What Azzarello did was certainly awkward as far as WW's heroine status was concerned, but no better option existed.

I suppose that some power-that-is might consider changing WW yet again, but that would entail treating her yet again like a toy or as existing separately from the stories, something she's never done and never will do.

If the "reboot" situation comes up again, then consider her dead.


Robottroubles said...

As far as I know Anarky has never appeared in animated form, but he did show up in B:TAS-based The Batman Adventures #31 back in 1995.