I will try to point out the new and notable items that I think might interest you. And for those of you lamenting the ending of Descender , Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen will be releasing Ascender 1 in April, set ten years after the conclusion of Descender. To become the super hero monster hunter she always wanted to be, illustrated by Corin X-Files Howell. Peter J. Now that G. Craig Russell. The contenders this time are plentiful. Wishing you all the best in the New Year and sending buckets of gratitude for your support and friendship. Gaiman and Pratchett did it with their Antichrist, Gaiman and Mike Carey have done it with Lucifer, Ennis did it with God, and everything leading up to the end of this story showed us that Millar might do it with Jodie Christianson.
Even the adult Jodie's comment that he once thought he and Jesus would be on opposite sides in the coming battle seemed to suggest to me, anyway that he found out he was the Antichrist and instead joined with the forces of good so he and Christ would ultimately find themselves on the same side as opposed to opposite sides. Curse those words with multiple meanings! Alas, what looks like novelty ends up being normality, and a good idea gets wasted on a bad plot. Much like Millar, it appears I don't know how to end this post.
I guess I'll just tell you to come back next time for more of Jesus and comic books! If this were a sociopoliticoreligiophilosophical blog, maybe, but not in a comics blog. What I mean by that term is the series of stories and concepts and mythologies that have grown up around Christianity and become part of the Christian cultural landscape, things like Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost and pictures of Jesus as a white guy with long hair and a beard and pictures of Satan as a hooved red demon with horns and such.
Things that ain't from the Bible, but are still assimilated into Christianity in one form or another. Hey, look, my first footnote! Posted by Tom Foss at PM 1 comment:. I really liked "All-Star Superman. Decent idea. Too bad they had a nearsighted chimpanzee with three fingers do the touch-ups. Honestly, I've never seen the shield look more out of place, poorly-drawn, and inconsistent as it does in "A-SS. And Quitely, what the hell? You can render everything in exquisite detail, but the most recognizable symbol in comics baffles you? Update : From Lying in the Gutters , here's a side-by-side comparison of the redrawn S-shield top and the Quitely aSs-shield bottom.
I'll try to get a scan of one of the more flagrant screwed-up retouches later today. God, that's awful. Posted by Tom Foss at AM 2 comments:. Brian Cronin posted this. Which put this in my brain Damn you, Brian Cronin! Damn Beatles So I'm at work. I'm listening to "Abbey Road" on my CD player. Once it ends, I realize something: I hate listening to "Abbey Road. I scrutinized "Sgt. Damn Beatles, what with your perfect pinnacle of distilled awesome.
Monday, November 14, He ain't heavy, he's my blog er. It's finals week. Hence, the lack of posting. I hope to fix that on Wednesday. Until then, I figure if I make promises here in public, I'll feel obligated to actually follow through with them. Stay tuned! Tuesday, November 08, Power internalization. I was going to say that Power Internalization is a pretty hot topic these days , but then I could only find the Absorbascon's post on the subject. Could've sworn that Snark Free Waters did something on it recently too Okay, point: I don't totally mind power internalization, particularly in the DCU.
F'r instance, Alan Scott's internalization of the Starheart makes pretty decent sense: the magic energy had affected him enough to imprint itself on his children, and he later totally internalized it when he became Sentinel. Then, in JSA we learn that he no longer really has a physical body, and that he is keeping himself alive through sheer willpower. If ever you doubted who the most awesome Green Lantern was, doubt no more. Hal's Corps needed a special reservoir of backup power to keep the Lanterns alive in life-or-death situations, Kyle's power ran out the more he used it, but Alan Scott's body gave out before his ring did, and he still kept going.
Marvel came up with "Mutant" as an excuse for developing powers without a real origin, but DC did 'em one better.
Take the basic concept of the Marvel mutants superhuman abilities coded into the genetic structure , remove the major restrictions Mutants develop during puberty; the Metagene can become active at any time, or may remain wholly inactive and recessive , and give it a couple of disbelief-suspending twists the metagene tends to activate in times of stress or duress; the powers it bestows are typically linked to the way in which it is activated to further ease the burden of origin-building, and you've got a universe with a built-in system of developing superpowers. What's more, it's hereditary.
So I can accept that Black Lightning internalized his electrical belt: he had the metagene, and it was activated by prolonged exposure or a specific exposure to his lightning belt. I can accept that Wally West's metagene, influenced by his idolization of Barry Allen and the conditions under which it was activated, gave him a connection to the speed force in that one-in-a-trillion accident.
The mechanism of power internalization is built into the DC universe. But what about the Marvel universe? In the Marvel universe, you usually get your powers from artifacts, magic, serums, the X-gene or being a Mutant , or radiation. Or some combination of the above. Marvel doesn't have a metagene that can get activated as the plot necessitates. You don't see Falcon sprouting real wings, or Tony Stark suddenly developing the power to make his armor spontaneously appear on him.
Captain America has never internalized his shield, though he did end up with that energy shield for awhile. In fact, I'm really hard-pressed to think of any Marvel examples of power internalization. So, why begin the trend with Spider-Man? That's right, this is another rant about organic web-shooters. You know, I'll believe that irradiated spider venom will give a man spider-powers. I'll believe that a teenager can invent an advanced polymer of incredible strength, elasticity, and biodegradability, which can be stored in compressed canisters until it hardens upon hitting the air.
I'll accept that he can invent bracelets to fire that fluid in directed, variable streams. What I find hard to accept is that some weird spider-serum would give him conveniently spinnerets exactly where the nozzles on his shooters were, shooting webbing that has the exact same properties as the stuff he developed himself.
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In the DCU, I might be able to accept that. I'd find it overly convenient and dumb, but I could accept it. But in the Marvel universe? No, that supersaturates my suspension of disbelief. And then, in "Spider-Man: House of M," Peter is demonstrating for his son how he shoots his organic web-shooters which he has for some reason in this universe, despite the fact that he never became a superhero and should never have fought the Queen who gave him the mutative serum thing , which is by tapping his palm twice, the same way he activated the original web-shooter mechanism.
Even the mechanism for activating the spinnerets is the same? Come on! This is worse than Wolverine's bone claws; at least that was a semi-plausible retcon!
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This is just an overly convenient way to get Spider-Man more like his celluloid counterpart, and take away the most readily apparent sign of his intellect. Oh, and to give him Aquaman's powers, but with insects despite the fact that he's an arachnid. Details, details Someday, when I'm a bigshot comic writer, I'm going to write Spider-Man, and the first story I'm going to tell when they give me carte blanche with the Spider-verse is the one that gets rid of these ridiculous changes and brings Spidey back down to something that resembles earth.
No more weird mysticism, no more New Avengers, no more cosmic threats, just Peter Parker as schoolteacher and freelance photographer, with a superheroic secret identity, a killer rogues gallery, and a host of problems both in and out of costume. I'd get him out after street crimes and normal human criminals and helping children and civilians and trying to get the city to respect him, all while working at a New York Public School, trying to help students get through the same problems that he had in High School.
Maybe he'd even realize how far removed he is from the problems that plagued his teenage life, being a genius married to a supermodel these days. But that's a ways off. Today, I guess I just get to grouse about how moronic these changes are, and how they really oughtn't work in the Marvel universe. Power internalization ain't a bad thing. I think it has fairly simplified Black Lightning and has made Alan Scott a more compelling, interesting character. When power internalization makes sense within the context of the character and the universe, when it adds to the character, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
If handled poorly, sure, you end up with the Red Bee firing killer bees out of his fingertips or something. But when the internalization is unnecessary, implausible, overly confusing, or damaging to the character, then you end up with short-lived Flash villain Replicant or Spider-Man's organic web-shooters.
DC has given its characters an automatic plausibility quotient with the metagene, but Marvel has no such mechanism, leaving them with an extra hurdle to overcome. Marvel also seems to have fewer internalizations, and it appears that that, without the metagene, that hurdle is nigh-insurmountable. If this is what passes for power internalization at Marvel, then I hope they continue the trend of not internalizing their characters' powers. Posted by Tom Foss at PM 2 comments:. So, what's the other half of the battle?
When did real life start taking after episodes of G. Next week: evil terrorist organization forms hypnotic rock band! Monday, November 07, Meme-ries, of the way we were Or something. I tracked it way back, but didn't bother to pay attention to who originally had it. Favorite solo song by a former Beatle: John Lennon's "Imagine," one of my favorite songs ever, if not at the top of my list.
Favorite Bob Dylan song: Sung by Dylan? Favorite Metallica song: The one where the singer sounds like he's chewing on beef jerky and using lyrics that were written while at his first kegger in 8th grade. Favorite Cure song: "Just Like Heaven. There are far better punk bands than the Pistols. I like that they innovated the genre, if only because it led to Green Day and Bad Religion.
Favorite Weird Al song: Oh, come on. Favorite cover song: "Gin and Juice" by the Gourds. Favorite U2 song: The one that doesn't sound like all the others. Oh, wait. Well, then "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting. I just think it's more fun than "London Calling. Because then it's "Boyz N Tha Hood. Favorite R. Actually, it's "Losing My Religion. At least I didn't say "Blinded By the Light.
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Favorite Elvis Costello song: "Veronica" is the only one I really know. Favorite Tracy Chapman song: Who? Line dancing: "The Cha-Cha Slide," because it's a terrible song, but it's awesome to watch people try to figure out what the hell "Charlie Brown" and "go to work" and "reverse" mean in the middle of a dance. If we're talking slow dances, then it's "Wonderful Tonight," and if we're talking 'favorite song to dane to,' it's "Build Me Up, Buttercup," by the Foundations. If you think I can distinguish techno from other techno or house or whatever the hell that all is, then you're mistaken.
Except "Dragostea Din Tei. Favorite Squeeze song: "Tempted," I guess. With a passion. And I've given them several chances for non-hateage. Yet, somehow I really like "Busted Stuff," the whole album. Can't stand any Dave song but the ones on that disc. Weird, huh? Anyway, off that, it's "Big-Eyed Fish. Like me, here. Coming soon: actual content! Saturday, November 05, It's still Superman's fault. Green Lantern went nuts, killed a bunch of Green Lanterns, all the Guardians, and became Parallax or got possessed by some sort of bug thing, whatever, it's all the same.
He then tried to rewrite the universe, make it better, bring back the alternate Earths, etc. His reason for all this? Oh, but you say that's not Superman's fault, it was Cyborg and Mongul. Hank Henshaw was poisoned by radiation and died, hating Superman for not being able to save him. His consciousness lived on, able to inhabit machines, including Kal-El's rocketship, which Superman had stashed in orbit for safe keeping.
From this, he took Kryptonian metal samples and Superman's DNA, and fashioned a body, claiming to be the true Superman after his Death. Mongul was the deposed ruler of Warworld. Deposed by Superman, who escaped his gladiatorial games and stripped him of his position. He vowed revenge and wanted to create a new Warworld, preferrably out of Earth. Teaming up with Cyborg, they chose to start with Coast City.
Two Superman villains blow up Green Lantern's hometown because they've got a beef with the Man of Steel, and because he just left stuff lying around the rocket, Mongul , unguarded and disregarded. Real careless, Kal-El. This means that Zero Hour was Superman's fault, too. If you're going to be ashamed about a Crisis event, be ashamed about that one. And "War of the Gods. Of course, there's also Superboy, who got taken over by Luthor and went berserk. Being taken over? Going berserk? It's in Superman's DNA!
Like original, like clone, I guess. Posted by Tom Foss at PM 3 comments:. Friday, November 04, My blog challenge See, I'm a little of a narcissist. Honestly, I think everyone who blogs is to some degree. You write for a number of reasons, but primarily to satisfy a love of writing, and to be read and recognized by others. I know I go all a-flutter when blog celebrities like Scipio and Brian Cronin respond to my posts on their blog, and on those occasions when someone--anyone! Not the in-crowd that shunned me in high school, but a much cooler in-crowd that debates important issues like Power Girl's cup size and the Avengers' Halloween habits.
So, my challenge to you, bloggers and blogees, is to go out this week, and post something on a blog that you visit regularly, but never or very rarely comment on. Maybe even find a random blog that you've never been to before, and give them some kind of comment, whether it's on the posted topic, or just telling them what you like about their blog, or asking them to visit your site about penis enlargement. Feed the narcissism that fuels the blogohedron!
Posted by Tom Foss at PM 5 comments:. Thursday, November 03, Quick reviews. Bulleteer 1 : Fantastic start for this miniseries. I really like this angle on the reluctant superhero, and Grant Morrison delves into the world of superhero porn, which has only really been touched upon before in little bits She-Hulk and Jade spring to mind , playing with the 'superhero as celebrity' angle that he used a bit in New X-Men. Of the remaining Seven Soldiers miniseries, right now, this one has me the most psyched.
Firestorm 19 : Yep, that's definitely Professor Stein out there in space. Anyway, is it bad that I feel like I've never seen the soul patch best friend kid before? I like that Lorraine Reilly decided to drop by again, and I really liked Jason's apparent schizophrenia, and his friend's comments about DC's buxom super-babes. I do hope this all goes someplace soon, though, because this issue still felt too much like filler, and this series remains the least memorable issue-to-issue series I buy. Maybe I just have a mental blind spot against Jason. A mediocre issue of an otherwise above average series.
I'm not entirely sure what the symbolism is of having an Eastwood look-alike kill a James Dean look-alike in the opening scene of the book, but I'm sure it's saying something. The art's top-notch, and the story's interesting, gruesome, tragic, and generally moving. Off to a nice start for a book I wasn't planning on picking up. JSA 79 : Wait, this storyline isn't over yet?
Just as they got the plot headed to what I thought was a conclusion, the book ended.
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It was a good issue though I still don't understand why Jakeem went nuts, or what happened to Johnny Thunder's spirit , but way too short. Spider-Man: House of M 5 : Aside from showing just how ridiculously awful and moronic the organic web-shooters are more on those in a day or two , this was a pretty good issue.
Actually, the fact that it showed just how stupid those things are was pretty good, maybe Mark Waid hates them as much as I do. A good wrap-up to an interesting story. Spider-Man Unlimited 12 : The only thing that could have made this issue better is if Tom Beland had done his own art. Christos N. Gage's opening story is a Dan Slott-esque romp which introduces "Vil-Anon," the supervillain rehabilitation step program. That's awesome. Then Beland gives us a touching story about the Marvel universe's many orphans.
Top-notch on both counts. Pick of the week: A lot of good stuff this week, but I have to put Spider-Man Unlimited at the top, for being such a great Spider-Man story in the middle of this "Other" storyline. Erik Larsen, please stop talking. You know, Erik Larsen's column, One Fan's Opinion has been a hotbed of controversy, mainly due to his "other creators should do original work and not whore themselves out to established corporate properties" rant from a few weeks back. This week, he's ranting about how comic characters don't have consistent faces, and characters like Superman and Bruce Wayne don't have any specific features.
The point is that making these characters distinctive and iconic makes them easier to recognize. Batman's shadow cast over a villain makes an effective cover-- Superman's shadow doesn't. If Bruce Wayne had a distinctive, specific face, readers would immediately recognize him when he appeared in a panel or entered a room. In a crowd scene you can pick out Commissioner Gordon, but not Bruce Wayne, and that's messed up! I guess that all depends on whether it's a panel full of dark-haired tall guys, or a panel of white-haired mustachioed men in trenchcoats, doesn't it?
Larsen compares characters like Bruce Wayne to Dick Tracy, suggesting that you would painstakingly recreate Dick Tracy from his creator's artwork, but would have no real model for Bruce Wayne or Superman. Does anyone see the difference there? I certainly do. Dick Tracy is the product of a single, long-running comic strip, which was done in a very specific, very distinctive style for many years, a style which has been emulated by the other artists who have taken the strip since the creator passed away.
Characters like Batman and Superman branched out into other media fairly quickly, appearing in multiple comic titles, radio shows, movie serials, and television. That alone gave people multiple images of the characters.
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Furthermore, throughout the Batman and Superman stories drawn by the original artists, the style was evolving and changing. Joe Shuster's art in is quite a bit different from his art in later years. Many of the changes to Superman's costume came while he was the sole artist.