Thursday, January 05, 2017

Briefly on The Atom's glasses and Ohio's Avenger (plus a few links)

I reluctantly started wearing glasses around the time I turned 30, when I finally realized that my eyesight was getting bad. It was a pretty big adjustment, and it took me a long while to get used to the way I looked in them (on the positive side, I feel they made me a lot easier to draw). It also took some getting used to the fact that I had to keep track of them at all times and that, once you take them off and absently set them somewhere, they could be really, really hard to find, given that you need to be wearing them to successfully accomplish many eye-related activities, like, say, looking for your glasses.

That said, I never considered getting Lasik or any kind of eye surgery, because Jesus, shooting lasers into your eyes? Contacts were also out, because the idea of touching my eyeballs a few times a day seemed incredibly unappealing to me.

You know what else sounds unappealing to me? Using cutting-edge, experimental technology in order to shrink down to a few inches high, or even down to a microscopic level, and having extremely dangerous adventures. In fact, I would get contacts or even have a doctor should me directly in the eye with a laser beam in order to burn it in such a way to improve my vision than shrink.

What I'm trying to here is I just can't figure out why The Atom Ryan Choi is wearing glasses on that cover. What if he loses his glasses when he's fighting a bug or an amoeba? Can you imagine how hard it will be to find your glasses if you need a microscope (in addition to your glasses), in order to see them? If you're going to be a shrinking super-hero and you don't have 20/20 vision, for God's sake, you gotta get contacts or have surgery!

Now, you may be looking at that picture above and thinking, "But Caleb, he's wearing his glasses under his dumb-looking astronaut helmet, which they are apparently making him wear because Bryan Routh wears a similar dumb-looking get-up on the CW shows, so even though the Silver Age Atom costume is one of, like, three perfect superhero costumes, he has to wear that for corporate synergy, wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah! He's wearing his glasses under his mask, so if they fall off, they will at least be contained within his helmet."

To which I would respond, "Wow, you talk just like I write! Oh, and also, how annoying would that be if you were fighting a bug or an amoeba and your glasses fell off and then they were rattling around your helmet? You'd have to open your face plate up and stick your hand in to put them back on your face and by that time you could be bug or amoeba food!"

Anyway, I hate that costume. And as much as I like The Atom Ray Palmer and The Atom Ryan Choi, The New 52 all but destroyed those guys. I mean, can you make sense of The Atom history now? (Remember, his Earth-3 doppelganger existed before him and was on the Justice League and OH MY GOD I JUST REMEMBERED FUTURES END!)

Hey, remember in 2013 when DC launched a new Justice League of America "ongoing" monthly series (that they canceled after 14 issues, consisting entirely of a "Trinity War" lead-in story, a few chapters of a "Trinity War" crossover story and a Forever Evil tie-in story)...? Remember they had some 50-ish variant covers, in which a handful of these new Justice Leaguers were depicted raising a flag, -style on the cover, and there was a different cover for each of the 50 state flags?

Man, that was dumb.*

Marvel made fun of DC at the time, publishing a Deadpool variant cover featuring all 50 state birds...and a lot of bird poop.

Well now a few years later, Marvel is launching a new Avengers book entitled U.S.Avengers, for which they are publishing over 50 variant covers, 50 of them being state-specific images featuring an Avenger character over a background including an image of the state.

Ohio got Black Knight. Why? I don't know. I asked my local comics shop, and was informed they are, for the most part, completely random. Which, of course, they would almost half to be, as, what, 95% of the Marvel superheroes you can think of are based either in New York City or some fictional setting, like Atlantis or Wakanda or wherever?

There are a few that certainly make sense, of course, like Ms. Marvel repping New Jersey, or the current Ant-Man getting Florida. Some heroes are attached to states that make some historical sense, like, say, Thor (Odinson flavor) on an Okalahoma cover, and I don't know who is on the cover for California, but Daredevil, or Iron Man or Lady Hawkguy or any of the West Coast Avengers or Champions would work.

But man, imagine how deep they would have to dig to match an Avenger--or just a superhero of any kind--to a every single state.

I'm a little disappointed they didn't do that digging though; I remember being pretty bummed out after (the first) Civil War ended and Tony Stark unveiled his "Fifty State Initiative" in which every single state was said to have been assigned its own team of Avengers, and we never, ever got to see what the make-up of many of those teams actually was. Like, I really wanted to know who was on The Ohio Avengers, and never found out.

Anyway, giving us The (a?) Black Knight at random is pretty weak. Why not Howard The Duck, who was a long-time Clevelander? Or that new Inhuman character Ulysses from (the second) Civil War, who I understand was going to school at Ohio State Universeity when he became...Inhumanized...? Or...wait, that's all I can think of. Ohio has an entry in Marvel's own wikia, but it doesn't really mention any heroes who live here or were born here. Maybe a Great Lakes Avenger?

As long as I'm just typing a few random bits of nonsense, here are links to some comics I reviewed elsewhere recently: Steven Weissman's Looking For America's Dog, Box Brown's Tetris and Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones and Sandu Florea's Supergirl: Being Super.

*Not that I didn't buy the Ohio state flag variant though, because of course I did.


Brian J said...

Wisconsin got the Wendall Vaughn Quasar, which I assume makes sense because of his connection too Mark Grunewald, who based everything he could out of Wisconsin.

Steve said...

I didn't fall for either of these tricks, but as a Cincinnatian, I did buy the issue of JMS's Superman where Superman visits Cincinnati. Only a whole three pages take place there; then he goes off to Cleveland! Bah.

Also if you've had glasses your whole life, it's hard to not wear them sometimes.