Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wonder Woman Should Be Tall


At work, there's a entryway on the airplane that I can't climb into without a hand up. I'm a decent height as women go, but I am just a couple inches too short to boost myself into it. Most of the men I work with get in there fine, so they can give me a hand up afterwards. This afternoon I was standing helplessly outside this entryway (as the staircase to the main cabin had not yet been set up) and contemplating Mallet's comment on the Wonder Woman/Green Lantern picture in my previous post when something occurred to me: Wonder Woman should never be in this situation.
(Yes, There's More)

And I don't mean because she can fly, or jump really high.

No, I mean because Wonder Woman should be tall. I don't care what the Secret Files profile pages say. She should be tall. Not "tall for a woman." I mean, outright tall. Divinely tall. Tall for anybody.

As I stated earlier, Wonder Woman radiates largeness.

This effect should be enhanced by her physical makeup, not despite it.

She should tower over other women, and most men.

Think about it.

What does she represent? Truth and Femininity. Perhaps even, the Truth of Femininity.

What did her creator intend originally? By nearly all accounts I've read, William Moulton Marston was a Female Supremicist who intended to show the best most outspoken parts of femininity through her, without shame or shyness.

Do you think this man intended for his creation to stand in the picture, looking normal? No, he wanted her to dazzle and delight everyone. He wanted her to attract and overpower everyone. He wanted Wonder Woman to be outstanding!

And Wonder Woman should be outstanding!

No, Wonder Woman must be outstanding!

She must stand out, to better encourage all women to stand out!

She must be also somewhat large.

And I don't mean muscular and masculine large.

I don't mean obese either (but I can't see why she shouldn't have charming fat deposits on her tummy and hips like a real woman anyway.)

I mean feminine large.

I mean tall and curvy, big hips and breasts.

She must be vital, powerful and beautiful. The Brave Little Tailor image of the small hero facing the huge beast may work for Green Lanterns but not for Wonder Woman. Diana who teaches that women can overcome any and all barriers should never look small. She should never look like a "normal woman" because Diana represents what is extraordinary about womanhood! All that's wonderful and enjoyable and admirable about femininity.

How could you want to cut that short?

Diana should never be short, because she is the Height of Womanhood. She is Femininity at its Largest. She was created during a time when women were still were encouraged to think small, act small, and repress their Largeness (their ambition, their demonstrativeness, their lust, their Loisity) because men don't like that. Diana, in her need to explore and experience, attempted this as Diana Prince. She kept her height, but she pinned down her ample bosom underneath a dark suit, slicked her bushy Greek hair back, and hid her eye makeup behind glasses.

But even she chafed under all that polyester.

Even she constantly rolled her eyes at stupidity it was taboo to point out.

Even she said "Enough is Enough! My Largeness can no longer be contained! I need to fight, drink, dance!"

So, Diana becomes Wonder Woman, and she tosses that attitude aside.

Large as life and twice as bright, as the saying goes. But she does stop there. For Diana, it is not enough to just be Large.

Diana embraces her Largeness.

She flaunts her Largeness.

Hell, she's worn her Largeness over her activewear for 63 years running now -- "Miss Femininity 1942-2005."

Remember Steve Trevor? (The early years). The very man who ignored her traditional small alter ego fell head over heels for her Large, Lusty True Self!

Why is that?

Is that because she's a normal woman who can lift cars? No, many women in the DCU can do that.

It's because she's Wonder Woman, Dammit.

She's unstoppable and overwhelming to all. She bursts off the page with all the combined energy of a single working mother rushing to get her kids to school before her meeting, a teacher who sees a child running with scissors, a shopper at a Boxing Day sale, a woman who watches pornography to heckle, a new airfield worker trying to get her lazy-ass coworkers to train her, and a female slash-fic writer who sees a male character saying his favorite pick-up line to another male character.

Diana lives to explore and conquer new territory (with loving submission, of course). She is the first woman to leave her homeland in three thousand years! Now that is a Large thought. That is the Largeness inside of every woman screaming to get out and see the world.

Diana is supposed to look on the outside how all women look on the inside.

Not a delicate frail fair maiden, but a vibrant goddess of life and beauty. And yes, a giantess! A beautiful, talented, amazing, strong giantess who can pick up any man she wants and carry them to the Temple of Aphrodite (Route 6, Exit 51) for a sweet night of physical pleasure, political philosophy, and bondage games.

And who doesn't need Joshua to give her a boost into the airplane.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Green Lantern Corps Policy

Notes from the 12-27-05 Green Lantern Corps morning briefing.

Subject: Sexual Harassment
Briefer: Kyle Rayner

Transcript Here

Good morning. I've been instructed to brief all Lanterns on the Guardians' Sexual Harassment Policy. There's a roster being passed around, please intial next to your name, or I'll have to read this to you again.

A-hem.

Romantic liasons are not restricted among Corps personnel. It is strongly enouraged that you research the mating rituals of your potential liason prior to the actual liason.




For example, violence is permitted as a response to unwelcome advances, but in a number of cultures it is simply the next step. Please know what you are getting into.

Standard Policy is that no means no, especially when the mental state of the refuser is in question.






Do not expect help from your chain of command. Any one who is unable to fend off the advances of Senior Lanterns Gardner or Jordan on their own does not deserve to be here.



Please be warned that the persons you will interact with outside of the Corps have no such restrictions on their behavior, and may have less than honorable intentions.



You have been briefed.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays

(There are numerous amusing Holiday posts throughout the Blogohedron. I'm taking a day off.)

Have a joy-filled winter religious festival of your choice!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Guy Gardner is the Scariest Person in the DC Universe

I can picture the following exchange occurring in a future issue of Green Lantern Corps:

GUY: You see my friend back there? (Indicates Kyle Rayner, too far in the background to hear, and absorbed in the multi-colored mud of this world)

HAPLESS SPACE BADDIE: Yes. (Watches Kyle draw in the mud with his finger)

GUY: That is Kyle Rayner of Oa. The Most Revered Torchbearer of the Green Lantern Corps, Holy Savior of the Guardians of the Universe, and my partner.

HSB: (Looks at Kyle, who is now finger-painting a rock with colorful mud)

GUY: And I am the luckiest son of a bitch in the universe because he likes me, and the Guardians like him. In fact, they love him. No matter how weirdly he behaves, they reward him. They will do whatever they can to make him safe and happy. I keep him safe, and I am his closest friend. So punishing me for little indiscretions like destroying your ship, and killing you, would make him unhappy, and they know this.

HSB: (Nods, slowly comprehending the gravity of the situation)

GUY: In fact, I could blow up this entire star system and get away with it. Because they'd rather see all of you dead than him sad or lonely. Understand?

HSB: (Nods)

GUY: Now, let's get on with the negotiating here.

Upon the Reading of Infinite Crisis #3

(Spoilers by Process of Elimination)

I don't care, I still think it's Parallax.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Also...

For those of you who want more thoughtful posts on female and male characters -- See Shelly and Kalinara.

Between the Panels

Due to an unreliable UPS truck, I, and much of the greater Oklahoma City Area, find myself without comics today. I went to work and enjoyed myself anyway. Got to play with diagnostic programs, test equipment, take things apart, get some fresh air, get kicked off the jet so they can tow it... These moments have been all-too rare for me recently. I discovered that as much as I dread going outside and moving all the equipment so I can work, I'm a lot happier on work days when I actually get to work than when I sit inside and tell other people to work or document their progress. Wierd, huh?

Anyway, saw the following when I visited Dave's Long Box today:

Man, what would it be like to date Big Barda? You’d be out at dinner and she’d be all, “This crème brulee is better than ripping the heart out of an ash-crawler. When I finish I will take you to my bed and you will pleasure me until I am sated.” And you’d be all, “(gulp) Okay…”

...and it got me thinking:

What must it have been like to have Big Barda, Queen Hippolyta, and the Huntress on the JLA at the same time? I mean, you know Kyle must have been as happy as Brainiac 5 at a Supergirl lookalike/wet T-shirt contest, but what about the other guys, the alpha male types and the ones who prefer healthy relationships?

I guess it's just another one of those places in comics where you know you missed something amazingly funny between the panels...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Journey to the Center of the Universe

Infinite Crisis #1 and #2, and JLA #123 Spoilers Ahead

Okay, we saw an interlude in Infinite Crisis #1 set in the middle of the Polaris system (site of the Rann-Thanagar War), in front of that huge tear in the space-time continuum. The following peopel are known to be present at this disaster:

1) Adam Strange, more than enough hero for two worlds!
2) (a) Hawkman, for you guys who thought Animal Man or Bumblebee would be The Load and (b) Hawgirl (Kendra Saunders) who is not the Load because I like her.
3) Captain Comet, Equally formidable amounts of intelligence and power
4) Vril Dox II, Even more intelligence, and the arrogance to tell people with formidable power what to do.
5) Lydea Mallor, Darkness Powers, and we've seen from the Shade (Many bios of whom contains serious Starman Spoilers and I haven't delved too deeply into this one, so click at your own risk), Obsidian, and Nightshade that they trump nearly everything in the right hands.
6) L.E.G.I.O.N is a massive agency, and contains other powered people (I'm just not up to speed on who still has powers anymore!)
7) Prince Gavyn, Starman, and his Cosmic Shepherd's Staff
8) Tigorr of the Omega Men, who can trade grooming tips with Animal Man
9) Kyle Rayner, Senior Green Lantern, who's record speaks for itself. Admittedly, it speaks of both good and bad -- "Why don't we just pump it full of energy and see what happens?" Interestingly enough, he appears to be Incident Commander. This also speaks of both good and bad possibilities.
10) Kilowog, Even More Senior Green Lantern
11) Guy Gardner, Senior Green Lantern, though not actually present, has as much as promised to bring the entire Green Lantern Corps there under his command. Again, good and bad possibilities.

Various hints dropped at the Comic-Bloc Forums indicate we will see developments out here. The following points may be touched upon:

-- Given 9 and 11, we can be very grateful for 10.
-- 3, 5, and 7 are impressively powerful
-- 9, 10, and 11 individually command massive, mind-blowing amounts of power, and are (by now) trained to work as a group.
-- 1, 3, 4, 9, and 10 are adept of thinking of ways around planet-level threats
-- 1, 3, 7, 9 and 10 are all known to be highly cooperative
-- 2 and 8 don't seem very useful at all, unless there is an all-out brawl, which is actually pretty likely, given 11's impending presence, and the number of 9's ex-girlfriends on New Cronus
-- 4, 5, and 6 will most likely cause the most infighting, though 2a is at an all-time low for teamwork ability right now.
-- 4 possesses the highest level of intelligence possible, but 2a is acting stupid enough lately to actually lower the intelligence level in a room.
-- 4 and 9 seem to be employing time-travel, or at least the ability to appear in multiple places at once. This may help.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


In addition to the above points, we have to factor in Donna Troy's team.
In JLA #123, Donna Troy told the JLA "I only need the most powerful among you."
We see in Infinite Crisis #2 that she felt a need to add Animal Man, Cyborg, Starfire, Red Tornado II, Firestorm (Jason Rusch), Bumblebee, Herald, Airwave, another Green firkin' Lantern (Alan Scott), Jade, Shift, and Supergirl to the above assemblage. All of these people are traveling on New Cronus to the New Center of the Universe -- the Immense Hold in the Space-Time Continuum Located in the Polaris System.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


Clearly, something is coming out of that hole.

And I'm sorry, but if it's the Anti-Monitor, I will be severely disappointed. If the Anti-Monitor pops out of that Rift, the rest of the series could only unravel in one way:

At the worst possible moment, the Anti-Monitor will rise out of the Gigantic Hole in the Space-Time Continuum posing like the main villain in a Korugarian Space Opera.

He will cackle maniacally.

Then his vision will clear, and he will notice the two massive armada. So far, so good.

He will smile, and survey the battleships -- my, there's quite a few of them like they're expecting him.

His smile will falter until he sees some of the colorful Earth heroes. This is what he expected.

He will begin to step out of the Rift to attack, and then....

...he will see the Green Lanterns.

And then, he will count the Green Lanterns.

And then he will tip his pillbug helmet politely to Donna Troy, apologize for bothering her, and promise to return at a more convenient time.

Cut to One Year Later.

Quick Linkblogging

Kalinara on JSA Fanfiction:
(I am completely, utterly incapable of slashing Alan. Ever. Jay either. I think if I tried, they would look up from the paper and calmly and politely ask me to stop. And I would have no choice.)

Captioning Contest at the Drudge Siren

Sleestak introduces us to Creepy Uncle Hal

Scipio offers us rationalization.

Zombie Mallet poses a question about Death.

Seasonal: Infinite Christmas

Calvin Pitt
offers DC the best of Marvel in a post addressed to Devon and Scipio.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Green Lantern Curse

(True Love, Unrequited Love, Cute teenaged crushes.... Apparently, you can't even look at a Green Lantern's butt without stumbling and breaking your ankle)

Kilowog

Arisia -- Kilowog had a crush on the adult Arisia. We all see how well that worked out.

Salakk
Iona Vane -- Erased from existence.

Arisia
Kilowog -- Died, resurrected after she died
Hal Jordan -- Possessed by Giant Yellow Bug Monster from Outer Spaaaace!

Brik
Hal Jordan -- Again, possessed by Giant Yellow Bug Monster From Outer Spaaaaace!

Katma Tui
John Stewart -- Failed to save Xanshi, worked for Controllers, paralyzed twice

Ash
Ash's Wife -- Killed by vampires

Kreon
Boodika -- Lost hand in Emerald Twilight, last seen seen strung up and insensible on Manhunter Homeworld

Boodika
Kreon -- Crap beat out of them both in Emerald Twilight, last seen strung up and insensible on Manhunter Homeworld

Alan Scott
Rose Canton -- Suicide
Molly Mayne -- Sold soul in Underworld Unleashed, apparently got it back but is cursed to age normally while her husband remains youthful.

Hal Jordan
Jennifer (College/High School Gilfriend) -- Disintegrated in Coast City
Carol Ferris -- Mind regularly taken over by Space Aliens, on and off again villainess.
Iona Vane -- Again, she was erased from existence.
Kari Limbo -- Died in Coast City disaster
Olivia Reynolds -- Last seen flirting with Icemaiden. While this is not tragic, it is pretty damned interesting.
Rose Hardin -- Ended up on the Mosaic World the night before the papers were due at the bank to prevent foreclosure on farm. Cannot return to Earth without losing farm now. Fate uncertain with Mosaic Retcon

John Stewart
Katma Tui -- Hacked to pieces in an 8-Page story where she had 5 lines, 3 of which were bitchy. Resurrection retconned away.
Rose Hardin -- Dated John after Hal, continued to be trapped on Mosaic world. Found happiness there, right after John went back with a resurrected Katma Tui. Fate uncertain with Mosaic retcon.
Merayn -- Unable to be taken seriously on Earth for all of her qualifications, apparently turned evil (or at least, bitchy)

Guy Gardner
Kari Limbo -- Died in Coast City disaster
Torah Olafsdotter -- The only proper love interest for Guy Gardner was sacrificed to make a lame villain look more dangerous, on a mission Guy wasn't even on!

Jade
Brainwave -- Went evil, got better, went evil again, got better again
Kyle Rayner -- Shall with start with the time his heart was torn out and used to house the souls of the Justice League, or when the girl stabbed him through the same heart? Or how about the worrisome number of times he's been kidnapped and tortured?
Lucas Simon -- We can only hope...

Kyle Rayner
Alex DeWitt -- Still defrosting
Adara -- One night stand, committed suicide the next morning.
Donna Troy -- Depowered. Ex-husband and son slaughtered. Totally Mindfucked. Died. Came back to life, still mindfucked. Another failed marriage.
Jade -- Lost powers, regained powers but apparently lost mind, cheated on Kyle with loser, was cheated on by loser, still dated loser afterwards
Terry Berg -- This one's pretty impressive, because Kyle never actually had a relationship with him. Terry just had a schoolboy crush on Kyle, and Kyle gently turned him down right off. And then he got the shit beat out of him. Wow. Kyle's powers of tragedy are truly impressive.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Favorite Women of DC Comics Part IV: Lois Lane

Lois Lane (Action Comics, Superman)
-- So, now you know my secret.

I'm a Lois Lane fan.

I've thought long and hard about what I can say to explain this one. It sounds like grounds for losing your Feminist card. I mean, all of those arguments that I have for killing Jade fall short in the face of this revelation, right?

Wrong.

I believe, unlike many comic book fans, that there is a great deal in the initial concept. What works for one character will not work for another, based on the very concept. Take, for example, the Damsel-in-Distress slander.

Lois Lane was the prototype for silly comic book girlfriends.
She sees trouble, she follows it, she gets into it and gets helped by the hero.
She repeats this over, and over.
She never learns.

Lois Lane is the Classic Recurring Damsel-in-Distress.

Well, obviously, someone is going to have to be in Distress. At least half the time, it should be a woman. This is okay. What is not okay is when the character is a "Hero" or a "Villain" as opposed to "Civilian", and ends up in Distress the majority of the time, and mediocre at best the rest of the time. That is bad.

Now, when a character is by nature a "Civilian" character it is more than all right for them to be in Distress.

Lois Lane is a Civilian character. She is not an incompetent female sidekick when ends up in over her head and needs to be saved by the male lead. She is a civilian news reporter who ends up in over her head and needs to be saved by the male lead. The main difference is whether or not being in over their head makes the character incompetent. Lois Lane has above-average tomboy brawling skills, but the majority of her ability is in writing, lying, and sneaking around spying on people. She has no super-powers. This is Okay. Not everyone has them. And if Lois had them (as she did quite often during the Silver Age) indications are she'd probably do a decent job of taking care of herself. Sure, she's not Hope O'Dare or Alanna Strange (able to handle herself powerless against powered people) but she does okay for herself with what she has.

My problem is when the Damsel-in-Distress situation betrays incompetence on the part of the Damsel, which, in Lois' case, it doesn't. She does a good job at her job, which is writing. Her problem is when she runs into Superman's world. Superman's world is different from the one Lois was designed to live in, bottom line.

But Lois is stupid. She didn't see past a pair of glasses for 60 years!

Well, she's not as dumb as everyone thinks. Pre-Crisis Lois figured out who Clark was a few times, and he kept using comic book physics (shapeshifters, time-travel, other wierdness) to be in two places at once and throw her off. She may have been outclassed and out-wierded, but I think galatically stupid is going too far. I mean, as I said before: she's a Civilian. Different world, normal world -- not properly equipped to deal with Superman's world.

-- Maybe the above is rationalism, but I can never hate Lois. Ever. No matter how many stupid situations she ends up in.

Because her very concept is a boon to all humanity.

She utterly destroys one of the stupidest attitudes towards romance ever conceived.

Yes, I'm talking about the dread "No man will want a woman who..." argument. "No man will want a woman who can't cook." "No man will want a woman who competes with him." "No man will want a woman who spends more time at work than at home." "No man will want a woman who is forward enough to propose to him!" "No man will want a woman who is outspoken, ambitious, strong-willed, career-oriented, nagging, or nosy!"

Wanna bet?

Not everyone is happy alone. Not everyone is totally satisfied in the company of women. It is not unfeminist to pursue a male companion. Lust is a natural drive, and it is unhealthy to deny it.

Unfortunately, traditional wisdom advises both genders to hide their undesirable aspects when choosing a mate. For many women still "undesirable aspect" means opinions, talents, dreams apart from raising a family, and overall backbone. Contemporary Wisdom now acknowledges that no Real Man wants a doormat, but what I've seen of Lois Lane's era disagrees with Contemporary Wisdom.

One thing is certain from the Superman mythos: Superman is a Real Man (and Beau Smith can just bite my ass over this one). Superman represents the Ideal Man.

I've read a lot about how Superman is a "male adolescent fantasy, where the weak exterior that is mocked by desirable females hides a godlike interior that drives such women to lust."

Now, in that description, ask yourself who the "desirable female" is.

It is so beautiful that the most idealized male in existence wanted an outspoken career woman more than anyone else. There's a damn good feminist message at the root of it, even if on the surface she's obsessed with him and spends most of her time trying to trick him into a marriage.

Lois Lane was a pushy, loudmouthed brunette reporter and Superman thought she was a Goddess.

This because Lois Lane knows something very, very important, that she wants to share with us.

Lois realizes that even if you ultimate goal is marriage and family, you don't attract the Perfect Man by hiding in the kitchen and dumbing down to protect his ego. You attract him by being brave and aggressive, going straight for your goals and not compromising for anything.

You want to be Perry White's top reporter. Go for it! You want to give that up to marry Superman and raise kids, that's fine too -- go after him! Strong-willed is beautiful. Ambitious is admirable, and he won't find it a turn-off if you ask him out.

This is not just something Lois Lane says or thinks. This is what she lives. This is what demonstrates. She tells us to be who we are, and not be ashamed. To want what we want, and go after it. Don't worry about ending up alone, because the ideal person will love you no matter what everyone else says "desirable" is.

It may not seem like much now, but the generation that gave us this it must have been one hell of a lesson to digest.

Appreciate the Lesson of Lois Lane.

After all, she did bag Superman.

Addendum to Part II

Hmm... Just realized the problem with Carol Ferris as Star Sapphire wasn't the attraction to Green Lantern. Zamarons don't seem to mind picking up Korugarians and other male aliens for a little fun. It was that she wanted to stay on Earth because of him. In fact, Anamede was being generous offering her a chance to change her mind, because Carol gave them a huge tipoff that she was not the right woman for the job.

In Green Lantern #16 Carol said: "I can't leave Earth!"

A Real Queen would have said: "Just bop him on the head and find him a cute outfit. I'll explain when we get Zamaron."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Contest

I will post Part IV sometime after Midnight tomorrow (12 AM Central Standard Time, Sunday Morning -- 12/18/05).

If anyone can correctly guess the one female featured in Part IV, I will change my signature on Comic Book Resources (where I post as Patience), and on the Comic-Bloc Forums (here I'm just plain Ragnell) to link to their blog under the words "This person is smarter than me" for one full week (Seven full days of free links from various threads -- And rumor has it that Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge, and Infinite Crisis come out this Wednesday, so I'll at least be bitching about them not coming out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

I'll also put them at the top of the Blogroll, above the "Comic Bloggers Poll" link, for the entire week, while everyone else is randomly shuffled whenever I feel like a change of scenery.

Favorite Women of DC Comics Part III: Wonder Women

Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman, JLA, JSA)
--"Wonder Woman, do you have any advice for post-menopausal women?" (JLA #16)
-- As much as I disliked John Byrne's run, the best thing to come out of it was his Hippolyta. She'd been through a low period of over-protectiveness, rigid formality, isolationism, and untrustworthy scheming. She emerged from this under Byrne's pen as a fun-loving adventuress who enjoyed the nickname "Polly" and hanging out with the guys in the JSA Headquarters.
When her daughter died, she got her resurrected through prayer. She took over as Wonder Woman while Diana was being a goddess. She took some guy's arm off on her first day. She joined the JLA and half of the new members on the team couldn't tell she wasn't her own daughter.

She went back in time and joined the JSA. There, she established herself as a powerful addition to the team, fulfilled the role of secretary (And before you bash this, the JSA was set up like a Board of Directors with specific positions like a Chairman to preside at meetings, and a Secretary to take notes at meetings -- not to answer phones and make coffee -- I only have Vol 1 & 9 of All-Star Comics Archives, but I never saw pre-Crisis Wonder Woman sitting on the sidelines) fought Nazis, spread the Amazonian message to an earlier, more traditional America, posed for pinups for GIs, and, of course, bagged Wildcat (MROW!). Not a bad run at all.

If Hippolyta were still alive during Infinite Crisis she'd have called Diana to the palace for some hot tea, sat with her on the patio and assured her beloved daughter that she was absolutely right to snap that man's neck like a twig, and that the rest of the world was just being silly and unrealistic.

It'd read like a flavored instant coffee commercial from Hell.

I know some fans thought it was ridiculous that an Queen would consent to a nickname like "Polly" and living in America like a commoner, but I think John Byrne hit on a more logical incarnation. Hippolyta was no pampered Princess from Buckingham Palace. She was the Three Thousand Year Old Warrior Queen of the Amazons.

Hippolyta may have been royalty, but she was salt-of-the-earth royalty. Old Tyme Royalty from back when Kings were Generals, Generals were front-line fighters, and Queens (Excepting Amazons Queens who were Generals) were baby-factories who helped patch up the wounded. She was created during that rough period that people expected their Monarchs to be leaders and protect them. She was the sort of person you would find at the beginning of a Dynasty. The one who actually divinely chosen, or the one earned her position. Basically, the one who was leader for a reason.

This is a Pagan Amazon Queen who worships the often childish, but always more real than ideal, Greek Pantheon. The sort of person created by goddesses like Athena, Demeter, Aphrodite, Hestia, and Artemis as a leader. These were not sanitized goddesses. These were worldly goddesses. A strategist/warrior, a Mother/farmer, a sex goddess, a Hearth-tender, and a Wild Woman of the Woods. They would create a wordly Queen. When Hippolyta essentially became the Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman, she became the Queen these goddesses would have created. She knew paradise, luxury, and leadership on Themiscyra but before that she knew that sex and blood and mud and sweat were the foundations of life. This was a woman brought alive from the Earth herself, never afraid to get her hands dirty, to laugh and joke and live and have a belching contest at Friday Night Poker with the JSA.

I miss her so much sometimes.

Phillipus (Wonder Woman)
Phillipus was Hippolyta's General, Right-Hand Amazon, and possibly her lover, though the specifics are ambiguous (But do you seriously believe that Hippolyta would go without for three thousand firkin' years? Right...). She taught Diana everything she knows about fighting. She now holds one of the top political offices on Themiscyra.

She doesn't get anywhere near enough panel time.

Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman, JLA)
-- I've always had a soft spot for Diana herself, no matter how badly she comes off. I think every writer writes her wonderfully, until I see the next writer and compare. She just seems to get stronger and more centered with each incarnation.

Plus, there's just something inherently good in her concept. It may be the Greek connection, the military background, the history, or maybe that she has so many aspects to her personality that you can see yourself in her no matter what she's doing. Maybe it's that she's unashamed of her body, but not slutty.
Or that she could be a total bitch and kick everyone's ass but loves everyone and is nice to them instead.

I suspect, thought, that the simplest explanation is the best:
She's the Fairy-Tale Princess who gets to be the Hero of the story.

She's the First Lady of Comicdom.

She's Wonder Woman, for Athena's sake! Who doesn't like her?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Favorite Women of DC Comics Part II: Green Lantern

Soranik Natu (Green Latern: Recharge #1)
-- One Issue. A great concept. She does not want to be a Green Lantern. She's happy where she is, and Green Lanterns are reviled and cursed on her homeworld, which spawned Sinestro. But, she's a Doctor, and accepts entrance in order to save a life. Now, she wants out, but it's much too late. Even though she's currently playing damsel-in-distress, I am dying to see what happens with her.


Alexandra DeWitt (Green Lantern, Volume 3)
-- I've mentioned before that I thought from his depictions of Donna and Jade that Ron Marz couldn't write women. Then I actually read "New Dawn" and saw Alex. Alex was smiling, bright, and optimistic. Pretty, fashionable, and vivacious. Strong, capable and intelligent. Alex came alive in very few pages. Alex's death was tragic and shocking not because of grotesque details, but because of her personality. She seemed to be a character who would last a long time.

That may be why I have such a problem with Kyle's other girlfriends. Alex is a tough act to follow.


The Space-Amazons of Zamaron (Green Lantern, Volume 1)
-- The all-female sister tribe of the Green Lantern's bosses, the Guardians of the Universe.
Their attitude about men becomes understandable when you realize their natural mates are the Guardians (Smurfy goodness, with none of the enthusiasm) and the Controllers (Tall, thin, cerebral, perpetual stick up the butt).

Their chosen replacement mates: Korugarians.

That's right, Sinestro's race.

Starting to get their picture of masculinity?

Then they have the extremely amusing custom of choosing an alien based on very specific physical requirements, and making her their Queen, the Star Sapphire. While this may seem unwise, consider the stagnation and isolationism of their male counterparts. This might be an extreme measure to avoid those pitfalls. And they've proven already that they won't keep an incompetent or evil Queen. The Golden-Age Flash villainess was one they'd booted for stupidity.

So, they have these very specific physical requirements, basically that each Star Sapphire look identical to the previous one (Man, would I love to see the Green Lantern story that explains how this custom came about -- probably involving a tragic death of their first Queen) but nothing else (personality, experience, planetary origin) needs to amtch up. Coincidentally, these physical requirements fit Hal Jordan's girlfriend, Carol Ferris, to a T. Wackiness ensued.

It was fun, it's always fun to see them. They are just such an awesome concept. I badly want them active again.


Anamede of Zamaron (Showcase Presents: Green Lantern)
-- I love the entire Zamaron race, but I like her (the fair-haired one on the spaceship in Green Lantern #16) best.
Why?

A) She gets the best lines: "We are aware that this Green Lantern is a hero of considerable prowess on your world! We will show you what a weakling he really is! Better yet, you will prove it to yourself!" "Her loyalty to this mere man is astonishing." "Look, she is fainting from the excitement! Such a disgrace to our sex!" "Since you were defeated by a mere man, Carol Ferris..."

B) She gets to use all of the cool looking gadgets on the Zamaron spaceship.

C) She is the only Zamaron given a name, ever.


Katma Tui (Green Lantern, Volume 2)
-- After the glory that was Katma Tui-Stewart (and the hope from her resurrection in the now retconned-away Green Lantern: Mosaic), how could any Green Lantern fan be satisfied with Jade?! How?

Case in Point: Issue 189
Katma uses her ring successfully while blinded. Katma trumps Kyle (JLA: Tower of Babel) and Guy (OMAC Project) and shows that she could beat the snot out of an OMAC and Batman.

Katma carries grace and confidence while training John, and does not once come off as a bitch.

Katma needs no Oath to teach respect for the Emerald Power.

Katma can falter and need to be rescued without seeming incompetent or evoking the damsel-in-distress slander because she is so clearly an equal to her rescuer in the preceeding circumstances (and she's just so wonderful I can forgive it).

Katma is an alien ingenue who does not look stupid.

Katma is quietly dignified.

Katma is beautiful without a trace of tramp.

Katma is the foremost Emerald Lady.

Katma is the Ultimate Female Green Lantern.

Bring Back Katma!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Favorite Women of DC Comics Part I: The DCU At Large

Some of what you've heard is true.
I have no love for Jade, Donna Troy, or Cassie Sandsmark.
I did cheer at the news of Spoiler's death.
My hatred of Jeph Loeb's Supergirl has only just slightly started to ebb.

But I do love the Women of DC Comics. So, when Spencer Carnage (Of Course, Yeah! on the sidebar) accused me of being a "double agent" or worse, Devin Grayson, I felt a need to respond.

So I present to you a Written World First:

A Positive Post About Female Characters!

Below are just some of my Favorite Women of DC Comics (along with the titles that introduced me to them):

Death (The Sandman)
-- Yes, everyone loves Death. But she loves everyone back, so its okay. Man, she was totally unexpected. A perky, pale Poppins fan. A genuinely nice person with a kind word for everyone she meets, no matter who they are. Precisely the person you want to meet on the last day of your life.

Ice (Justice League International)
-- All of the best of classic femininity in one sweet little package. Ice was everything idealized in sweet, demur, quiet modest ladies of a bygone era, but with a core of quiet strength that came out when she was needed as a protector. She dressed up to fight evil, but wore a tee-shirt over her spandex costume. She liked sweet little puppies and plush animals and thought that if she looked deep enough into Guy Gardner she'd find the ideal man underneath. I'm sure people think I should hate her, but I loved her. I want her back. I want her dating Guy again. I wouldn't object to her marrying him and settling down to cook and raise the kids, because I know if a supervillain showed up at the door he'd better be well-prepared, or at least have an electric blanket in his getaway car.

Power Girl (JSA)
-- Any feminist brazen enough to walk around with a hole in her shirt...

Hope O'Dare (Starman)
-- Next to Shade, my favorite character from this series. She's a legacy cop, standard tomboy complete with older brothers, but has a definitely refined feminine side. I know that doesn't sound like much, but you have to read the series to understand her appeal beyond that. I couldn't do her justice.

Madame Xanadu
-- I like Tarot cards. She's got this mysterious fortune-teller thing going on. She's just plain cool.

"Surprise Girl" (Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight)
-- If you read this series, you know who I mean. If you haven't read this series, read it. I love King Arthur legends. This is a young lady from a King Arthur tale who is noble, uncomplaining, and heroic. She is a quiet, simple, plodding person who moves steadily towards her goals. In a very short time, she impressed me as one the strongest teenaged girl characters at DC right now. I'd like to see her interact with Wonder Woman.

Batgirl, Cassandra Cain (Batgirl)
-- I must admit, she's contrived. But she's also highly compelling. Same appeal as the above Seven Soldiers character, but without the purity. Cassandra's past is tainted by her own actions an regret, while the above girl is pure nobility.. I sincerely hope Cassandra makes it through the One Year Gap. I've got my fingers crossed she'll be in Birds of Prey.

Crazy Jane (Doom Patrol)
-- She sprang fully formed from the twisted mind of Grant Morrison, a thousand fun female characters in one! Multiple personalities, each with a different superpower. What a concept. I was surprised Driver B actually turned out to be a female personality, I'd always pictured an older male when she took over.

Black Canary (JSA, JLA, Birds of Prey)
-- Despite her poor taste in men, or perhaps, because of it; Dinah has long been a down-to-earth relatable woman. She's the sort of person you admire even when she screws up.

Oracle, Barbara Gordon (Birds of Prey)
-- Easily the most intelligent and valuable person in the DC Universe, without ever leaving her chair.

Lady Blackhawk, Zinda Blake (Birds of Prey)
-- She calls Oracle "Skipper," throws perky salutes, and wears a cute mini-skirt uniform, but she still kicks more ass before 6 AM than most women in the DCU do all day. And there aren't nearly enough lady pilots.
I think she should hook up with Hal Jordan. Not just because of the job, but because she's a fun-loving person and he could stand to cut loose for a night.

Hawkgirl, Kendra Saunders (JSA)
-- I've just liked her since her first appearance. I don't know why. She's drowning in melodrama, but I don't really mind it. I loved that her grandpa had to talk her into doing the hero thing. I love that she freaked when she found out how she got reincarnated. I love that she didn't want to date Carter at first and ran straight into Sand's arms. I absolutely adored her being on the JLA in Obsidian Age. "Harpy."

Stargirl/Star-Spangled Kid II, Courtney Whitmore (Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.)
-- She started out the way a teenager would have. Stealing her stepdad's stuff and sneaking out. She had major attitude problems at the beginning, but I've been able to watch her grow out of them to become the emotional anchor of the JSA. Her own series was light and funny, and she carries a little bit of that with her no matter how mature she is.


Alanna Strange (JLA, Starman, Adam Strange, Rann-Thanagar War)
-- She's from a world where the men were so wussy they had to kidnap a Terran to protect them. She went straight for the one real man on the planet, even if he had to be away half the time. Every time I've seen her, her life (as the hero's wife) is threatened somehow; but she is always threatening right back. She is the first to grab a blaster in a crisis, and the first to rally the rest of Rann to fight alongside her. I have never seen an Alanna Strange appearance where I wished she hadn't been there.

Supergirl, Linda Danvers (Supergirl)
-- An impressively complex character with a sense of humor who's merits are well-documented across the Internet. She's another tough act to follow.

Big Barda (JLA, Mister Miracle)
-- She's tough. She's strong. She's gorgeous. She's perfect for any gender role-reversal joke. She loves her husband and still kicks ass. She's Big. She's Barda. How can you not love Big Barda?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Short and Sweet: Last Lines for 12/7/05

Spoiler Warning

Boneyard #20 -- Oh no, Thank you.
And Thank you, Richard Moore, for writing this series.

JSA #80 -- Take 'em as they come, Ted. One day at a time.
A refreshing sentiment from the Greatest Hero of the Golden Age. He outlines to his old friend the ideal strategy for dealing with the events of Infinite Crisis. Take them as they come. These messes are converging, and snowballing, and all of the younger heroes are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, but this sage elder just calmly walks off panel, awaiting the next mess. He doesn't panic, he doesn't argue, he doesn't bite his nails and wonder what to do. This is why the JLA has disbanded, ther headquarters in ruins, while the JSA, though scattered and battered, still remains strong and ready to fight.

Ultimates 2 #9 -- The Great Satan has just been liberated.

Big build-up to a lackluster statement. Quite fitting for this comic.

Jonah Hex #2 -- Not so poor... They're buried in silver.

Ahh... Jonah Hex, Master of Poetic Justice. Is there anything not to love about this comic?

Gotham Central #38 -- ...Help Me...
Fitting to end this comic with a plea that could have been stated by any of the characters, just as any of the three featured cops now has a good reason to become the Spectre. Each would have a different flavor to add to the Spectre -- Redemption (Not the whiny "I just want a second chance" Redemption but the Spectre's true motivation of burning away the evil inside Redemption), Justice, and pure Wrathful Vengeance -- and each are equally poised for the job (Remember, there's still another issue in this arc before the Day of Vengeance special and any one of them can bite it)

March Solicits: An Afterthought

LUCIFER #72
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross & Aaron Alexovich
Cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta
Concluding the 2-part “Evensong.” In the realm of his old enemy, Izanami, Lucifer must once again take back what is his. But this time there are no challenges or ambushes, and no traps except for one — which the Morningstar walks into with his eyes wide open.
On sale March 29 • 32 pg, FC, $2.75 US • MATURE READERS


I always hate to read stories that use biblical characters and a backdrop of Judeo-Christian Trinity culture. Now, I'm fine with parallels and parodies, but using a character direct from the Christian Bible is a surefire way to get me to lose interest.
Most of my friends take this as a blind rejection of all things Christian, and I encourage this interpretation. But it's a total lie. The truth is that I've had a problem with biblical characters since the Season of Mists storyline in the Sandman. Don't get me wrong, that is my favorite storyline, but it's always why I get a little chill whenever I see Vertigo Lucifer. Neil Gaiman wrote the ebst interpretation of Satan I ahve ever seen. He was beautiful, eerie, psychotic, selfish, and scheming. He looked absolutely divine and had this slightly oily used car salesman energy. He spoke elegantly, and cruely, and made absolute perfect sense.

It was rather traumatic.

It's not that I'm a believer. But I understand precisely what Lucifer is meant to represent. All of those little parts of me that I do not really want to be there.

Yeah, I know Tantra, Acceptance, roses grow from the mud, Spock I need my pain...

I can take the guy as an intriguing villain. I can handle him as a sympathetic bystander character. I can read (and yes, quite enjoy) the angels as villains in Hellblazer without a problem, though featuring angels is not a selling point.

But I'm just not enlightened enough to handle Lucifer as a protagonist. So I can't even crack the cover of this series.

It's the epitome of cynicism.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

March Madness!

Well, the March Solicits are out. And some, but not all of Wizard's questions have been answered. Yet, pretty much nothing about the True Plot of Infinite Crisis has been revealed. The names of several Survivors ahve been revealed, but there are a number of conspicuous bsences. Careful Marketing. (And yes, I'm greatly enjoying it!)

I've never commented on these before, but since I keep getting hits for "DC comics march solicits" (and "red hat society tv gifts for men," but not Jodie Sweeten) I figured I may as well start. Here are the DC Comics March 2006 solicits, by the way (Heavy spoilerage), and what follows is my reaction to them.

Tread carefully, Here There Be Spoilers!

Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Donna Troy, Oracle, Hawkman, and the Flash are conspicuous by their absensce. JLA's absence is not the least bit surprising. The promised Green Lantern Corps ongoing is quite noticable in its absence, but it's possible that they are going to reflect the true shipping schedule of the Green Lantern books, and give us one every two months. In March, we get Green Lantern; then in May, we get GLC, then in July, we finally get to see Kyle again in Ion, and we see Hal again in September, and so on... (Guess what's not on this week's list again, folks!)

Anyway, I'm willing to bet Cassandra Cain has joined the Birds of Prey cast, along with Barbara Gordon as a mobile superheroine. Either that, or one of them is Catwoman now. I'm definitely staying with Birds of Prey, though, because Lady Blackhawk is still there!

Teen Titans may get knocked off my list. It all depends on who those silhouettes belong to -- but I like Johns' Superboy and will miss him if he's not there.

Outsiders sounds tempting, but I think I'll pass. However, not to gloat prematurely, but I can make out most of the cover sihoulettes and I don't see Jade.

Alan Scott, on the other hand, is safe from being turned into Kyle motivation. He's on the cover of JSA: Classified (that is not Hal!) and JSA in March.

That's okay, I was wrong about plenty other things. It does indeed seem that Vandal Savage will be responsible for the death of millions. Oh well. I was so sure it would be Brainiac.

All signs point to Catwoman as the brand-new Mommy (name change, not Cawoman anymore, new cast member) but Wonder Woman and Barbara Gordon are not mentioned at all, so it's still possible. Plus, Aphrodite only knows what happened to Power Girl to position her where she is in these solicits. So, down but not out here.

If they are going by the Pre-Crisis Kandor, Supergirl has been stripped of her powers like Clark always was when he went to that city. But notice both Superman covers feature Clark Kent prominently in his street clothes. It's possible there was more than one right answer to that one.

Already, there are rumors that Nightwing is not Little Dickie. And, to be sure, nothing in the solicits confirms that Little Dickie is still Nightwing. Only that someone who looks like him is wearing the suit. Normally I say, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, odds are it's Dickie Grayson in this duck outfit but I'm going to side with the rumor-mongers here. Because it bodes very badly for Guy Gardner if Dick Grayson is still around as Nightwing after IC. And I like Guy. He's a jerk, but he's still nice enough to take Kyle model-watching to cheer him up after he's been kidnapped and tortured for like the 80th time. I sincerely hope he's not the Kyle-motivation death in the Rann-Thanagar War Special.

The only question for sure answered is the Mayoral one. Mayor Oliver Queen. Rumor has it that the Star City Stand-Up Comedy Guild held an 11-day celebration after the election. He's going to make those boys a lot of money. I'll bet in 2007 we see Lorne Michaels finance his bid for the Presidency. Green Arrow might be interesting.

Amongst all of the other solicits, Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis still looks like Aquaman. I'll pass, thank you.

Greg Rucka

Power Girl

Kandor

I haven't been a Supergirl fan since Peter David, but it looks like I will be again -- Where did I put my T-Shirt?


And finally, I don't want to say the following because a) I'm mad the spin-off is late this week, b) I'm mad the spin-off wasn't solicited for March, and c) there is a disturbing lack of opportunity to see Kyle Rayner's butt in March.

However, Green Lantern #10 was still the most interesting preview this week. Simone Bianchi draws a wonderful Hal Jordan. (I prefer him to Alex Ross as a cover artist). The beautiful pencils of Ivan Reis! The plot thread that kept me buying the book after issue #3! Sinestro!

And, of course, the intriguing comment "And why will the most unlikely of sons become one of Hal Jordan's greatest enemies?"
-- Now, the name Todd Rice has been tossed around, but the way Johns handle him he's hardly "unlikely" (especially if Jade does die somewhere in all of this) so I'm going to rule him out right away.
-- Connor Hawke would be highly unlikely, but it had better be a huge misunderstanding.
The name Kyle Rayner has come up, but the "son" connection is too symbolic there.
-- My favorite suggestion is Capt. Comet from the Comic Bloc Forums. That one is just brilliant. But he can't actually be evil. Just in opposition here.
-- Along that vein -- Superman, Last Son of Krypton, Big-time Green Lantern Antagonist. Again, can't actually be evil, just in opposition. I mean, Batman was the villain in GL: Rebirth.

I'm thinking none of the above, though. The "Grandmaster of the Manhunters" turns out to be a son of one of Hal's old friends, or Hal himself (Rumor has it he was originally going to be the father of Power Girl's Zero Hour baby). It's possible Tom Kalmaku or Carol Ferris had a son that has it out for Jordan for whatever reason. It could be one of Jim or Jack Jordan's kids. Or Airwave, Hal's uncle's kid. Hell, it could be a fourth Jordan brother!

That would be kind of freaky. Jon Jordan? Jake Jordan? Jordan Jordan?

Was Hal's Dad a rabbit?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Revisiting Seaguy

Seaguy makes sense the second time around.

first time I read this series, I read the first issue and found it totally incomprehensible. I left the second and third issues alone until the LCS clerk promised to trade it back in if I didn't like them. Well, I didn't reread the first issue, I didn't find much coherency in the plot, but there was such an utterly insane plot point in the third issue it completely redeemed the whole series. It was just plain fun, even if it didn't make sense.

So, anyway, today, remembering a promise I made a long time ago to Johnny Triangles but didn't have time to keep, I broke out the back issues and reread Seaguy #1.

And it made sense.

I found myself automatically able to incorporate the Morrison additives -- the weird throwaway ideas he adds that I love so much -- into the story as natural background (like references to Coca Cola or World War II, they're just colorful details of Seaguy's world, or unknown backstory like a reference to Emerald Twilight in the first issue you've ever read of Green Lantern) to see a clear plot.

Maybe now that I've read The Invisibles, Animal Man, and some of Doom Patrol I'm able to process comic books differently.

Scary.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Current Events

In lieu of an actual social life (made unavailable to me by my freakish work hours), I wander the Internet in search of Entertainment and Pseudo-companionship. Here's just some of what I found:

Heidi Meeley is well enough to post, so we should be getting regular updates on Comics Fairplay again. Welcome back, Heidi!

A social experiment is being conducted on The Drudge Siren and Facedown in the Gutters this week. Some of you may find it helpful.

Sleestak of Lady, That's My Skull fame points out out an unusual feature of Marvel Christmas stories.

Mark Fossen outlines the pattern in Fell.

Last month, Melchior appreciated Infinite Crisis. I am compelled to link to moreso because he has a great name for his blog. I grew up in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania, and people who know the same place names I do get major points.

Congratulate Spencer Carnage on his discovery of Starman, and applaud his compulsion to read it in order. It's very important to read that particular series in order.

Spencer is currently disagreeing about Aquaman with Scipio.

Double Articulation has turned into a Book Club.

Captain Infinity has exciting news!

The Ten Commandments of Coyote Revealed!

Johnny Triangles has thoughts on Hank Pym and Roy Harper.

Marionette posted some pages from Supergirl that I really thought I'd enjoy seeing, but the accompanying dialogue makes me feel queasy. Take a look for yourself.

Tom Foss of the Fortress of Soliloquy shares some observations about Supergirl, as well. He also provides the following Luther Primer (Heavy Spoilage if you haven't made it past Villains United yet) for those of us confused by Infinite Crisis and the unusual Lutherage during the build-up.

I think I may have inadvertantly caused a blog feud. This post appeared after I linked to this post (actually, this may be the third time I've linked to this post) in this post. This post appears to be a direct result of it. Oops. I'd like to apologize to both the Comics Asylum and So So Silver Age for my irresponsibility. I'd like to further apologize for drawing attention to it, but I just find it a fascinating chain of events and I think the respective arguments need to speak for themselves. I'd also like to add that Ron Marz is actually a pretty cool guy and Jade may indeed be salvageable.

And finally, the following people have publicly commented on the Wizard One Year Later (Heavy Infinite Crisis Spoilers included -- And here, by the way is Chris's Opinion of those Spoilers) Quiz:

Ragnell the Foul of The Written World
Shelly of Shelly's Comic Book Shelf
Captain Infinity of the Zeta-Beam
Rourke of Rourke's Reviews
Libby of the New Hampshire Joyride
Dave of The Our Oasis Blog
Jon of Facedown in the Gutters
Scipio of the Absorbascon
Jason R Wells, Esquire
Tom Foss of the Fortress of Soliloquy
The LiveJournal Community: Titans Together
The LiveJournal Community: Comic Book Lovers
The DC Comics Message Board Community
The Millarworld Community
The Comic Bloc Community
The SuperheroHype Community
The Newsarama Community

On Monday, the DC March previews come on. Some of these people will be proven wrong, some will be proven right, and I am willing to bet every question here will be answered in the previews. Because DC purposefully leaked this to Wizard as part of their marketing, and I find it hard to believe they'd hint at things they are unwilling to let everyone know early anyway. They are releasing tidbits in a calculated manner, here. Not even close to willy-nilly. I wouldn't put it past them to have purposefully been delaying books to keep a certain readign order. They want us discussing and speculating, and wondering how the hell this came about. They are using Wizard Magazine and the Internet to sell more comics. Sneaky bastards.

And, that's all for now, folks. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Man With The Screaming Brain

Well, I still haven't gotten my comics for this week yet. To alleviate boredom, I've been trolling the blogs, but avoiding reviews. Everybody and her sister seems be talking about violence against women lately.

I am nothing if not fashionable, so today I'm going to look closely at one particular instance:

Tatoya from The Man With the Screaming Brain
(I never saw the film, but there's spoilers ahead for the comic)

In one scene, Tatoya is cornered in the sewer by our protagnist. He's pretty angry, and she's out of weapons, so she falls back on an old standard.

"You would hit a woman?"

Now, I will say right off I think Tatoya's a pretty kickass villainess. When she's introduced, we see her force a sharp knife through a man's back. That's not easy to do, requires a lot of physical strength. She goes on to murder several people, violently, and show the level of reflexes and agility any marine would be proud to have.

She's a little short on common sense, though, as evidenced by the above quote.

She's asking this of a guy she's murdered (technically) twice, ran over in a car, attempted to light on fire, falsely accused of rape (I'd just like to point out that I despise this tactic in any story by any character, and move on) in order to get him beaten to death, and of course, killed his wife (also, twice).

And she has the gall to say -- "You would hit a woman?"

"You would hit a woman?"

"You would hit a woman?"!?!

!

I understand that I am an evil and bloodthirsty, and often opportunistic person. So, I should empathize with Tatoya. I should not want to see her hurt.
I further understand that violence against women is a very real problem, and is no laughing matter. I am aware that accepting it's portrayal without protest is silently condoning a very very big and disturbing problem.
I have the utmost respect for the rights of domestic violence victims, the continued secret subjugation of women in modern society, oppressed women around the world, my long-suffering foremothers, the villification of the Great Goddess, the demonization of feminity, and the difficulties still felt by women trapped in male-dominated family structures.

But, for the future of humanity, any man who would have been stopped by Tatoya's comment after this impressive demonstration of her most dangerous skills needs to be drowned in the gene pool.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Last Week's Last Lines

Well, snow on the roads kept me from the LCS today ("But, aren't you originally from Pennsylvania?" the clerk asked when I called him to pull the books, "Yes," I answered, "and I hated driving in the snow there too!" That and nobody in Oklahoma can drive on a clear day, so it's certainly not worth the risk in a snowstorm), and fear of spoilers keeps me from roaming the message boards tonight, so I figured I'd do a few reviews since I haven't done so in two months.

Naturally, I'll be basing my opinions on the most important line of the issue -- the one the writer leaves you with. So, Spoilers ahead -- but they are all for last week.

Jonah Hex #1 -- Now he wasn't so sure.
A beautiful piece of narration that captures the mood of the entire story. Also a testament to not judging a comic by the first page. I glanced at the first page in the comic book store, and put it back. Too heavy on the narration, I thought to myself, I'd better just save my three dollars. However, after the tenth positive review I saw on line, I figured I'd give the first book a shot. I'm glad I made it to the last page this time.

Plastic Man #19 -- Turn me so I can see.
If you read this book, you would understand the joke. So, if you're not laughing, shame on you for killing this title.

JLA: Classified #14 -- Ukk!
Ah, the unmistakable sound of a Green Lantern getting kicked in the face. For some reason, physical violence against Lanterns really cheers me up. I think it has something to do with the sheer amount of power they command. There's something satisfying in seeing one get knocked out by a lamp, or dropped with a single punch, or have to grapple for his life.
Of course, I'd have enjoyed it more if it hadn't taken four issues to get to this point. That's what off about this arc, it's just too slow. I was really pleased to see this lineup in JLA:Classified #10 (the best issue of the arc so far), but my nostalgic expectations were set too high. It's not the plot, the dialogue, the mood, the art (although I don't like Butch Guice's Kyle, too old), it's just the pacing. And it's not even that so much as the pacing compared to the usual hyperactive pacing associated with this lineup. The plodding speed would have been acceptable with the Detroit group, or Jones' league, or the satellite league, or even the most recent lineup -- but any version of the Justice League with Kyle Rayner in it demands faster pacing and considerably more action. I know Warren Ellis wants to hang a little cloud of Impending Doom over everyone's head here, but it just doesn't fit these people. I find myself disliking this arc through no real fault of the writer, other than a poor choice of casting. This is a shame, because I know Ellis is capable of approaching Morrison and Kelly action levels. I think if he'd written this more like Transmetropolitan or Authority and less like Planetary or Fell more people would be satisfied.

Fell #3 -- No charge for the suit.
A slight smile at the end frames an overall enjoyable read. Like the book itself, it's simple on the surface but substantial when you look into it.

Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1 -- Frankenstein Lives!
Morrison has written much snappier dialogue.

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #4 -- My stepmother's about to invade the earth. I thought of you.
Like here.

The Flash #228 -- ...I've made some progress.
No, you haven't. This current plot has done nothing to make you seem any more dangerous. You are still a cheesy villain who will get his butt kicked. The only reason you did so well is that the Flash is acting remarkably stupid right now as he coasts towards cancellation. If Wally dies this crossover, it won't be in this storyline.

Daredevil #79 -- I think you should tell them were your friend is or I do believe they will put you in jail.
I remember when I first started reading this book. I loved Bendis writing. He makes monologues sound like a real person ranting, as opposed to a prepared, scripted speech. There was something very raw and unusual about it. Of course, like most of my romantic relationships, my love affair with Bendis' writing was doomed to fade. With constant exposure, love turned slowly to mere like, then to utter annoyance. After a while I noticed every character spoke in ranting monoloques and no action ever actually occurred. This line is a perfect Brian Michael Bendies last line. Long, wordy, pretends to urgency, but falls flat after the fourth or fifth issue that ends with a similar note.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #2 -- I'm going to tap into some real power.
This final panel promise of fun ahead bodes well for the next issue. This is better than any cliffhanger. Nobody should be surprised at Capt. Atom's plan of action, but everyone should be looking forward to the results.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Candidate Embarks Upon 2008 Campaign Trail

Not to be outdone by Lex Luthor, General Zod has announced his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential elections. This announcement, though early, came at a calculated time, as Kryptonians are proving to be the fastest growing minority in the United States. A recent poll by Gallup reveals a four hundred percent increase in the Kryptonian population since 1990. When asked about the constitutional rule that only native-born citizens could assume the office of the presidency, General Zod had this to say:

"Silence, you pathetic weakling. The United States was the first country on this planet that I set foot on, which is good enough for your meaningless document. Any judicial officials who dare to disagree will be dealt with accordingly."

So far, General Zod is the only candidate to officially throw his hat in the ring this early. Former President Lex Luthor held a press conference on Thurday morning announcign his intentions to run again, despite his public falling out with Superman. Luthor withdrew from the race that very same afternoon, stating that his commitment to the murder of Superman is far too time-consuming at this point.

Darth Vader was unavailable for comment, but maintains a strong enough following to take him past the primaries, if not to the Oval Office itself.

Finally, the increase in nightmares experienced by sensitive psychics indicate Cthulu as a possible candidate again. Chthulu reputedly blames his previous running mates, Nyarlathothep and Johnny Sorrow, for his past failures. Political Analysts expect him to pick the Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young for a running mate, in order to increase his approval rating among women and parents.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

More Green Lantern Fun: Qwardian Television

BAWBB BAHRKUR (Looks like Jim Carrey): Thank you, and welcome back to "Wicked Awesome!" -- the show where real-life villians tell you their stories of their evil exploits, and you, the audience, vote for the Best of the Worst! Our next contestant is old favorite who we thought was dead, but he proves you can't keep a bad man down. And this is a man so bad, the first thing he told us when he got to Qward was that we're not evil enough!! Hailing from the positive matter universe of Drawq -- let's hear it for Sinestro!

(Cheers from the audence, as Sinestro walks onto stage,smiling and waving. He blows a few kisses before he stands next Bawbb)

BAWBB: Welcome back, Sinestro!

SINESTRO: Delighted to be back, Bawbb.

BAWBB: So, Sinestro, tell us about your evil plan to destroy the Guardians of Drawq.

SINESTRO: Well, it turns out the Guardians of the positive matter universe have more than a few skeletons in their closet so to speak. It turns out that the infamous "yellow impurity" of the Green Lantern power rings isn't so much a design flaw, as a sentient creature.

BAWBB: Oh, come on!

SINESTRO: I'm serious, Bawbb. The Central Power Battery on their homeworld of Oa was not created to power their minions. It was created as a prison! And it housed one of the worst entities of both universes -- a creature of living fear known only as Parallax!

BAWBB: Wow, can we get a picture of Parallax for everybody. (Picture appears on screen) My, he's... a big yellow bug monster.

SINESTRO: Who controls minds!

BAWBB: Well, that's somewhat impressive.

SINESTRO: Don't worry, it gets better.

BAWBB: I hope so.

SINESTRO: If you remember, my arch-nemesis in the positive-matter universe is the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, Hal Jordan. He was a pupil of mine until he turned on me at my trial. As a result, I was demonized, and shunned bymy own people. Even now, on my homeworld of Korugar, my name is used in stories to frighten small children at night, or as an insult teenagers use to their parents when they rebel.

(Audience cheers)

BAWBB (Winning Smile): Well, that's truly impressive, but you know the rules, Sinestro, prior bad acts are inadmissable! Only the scheme in question!

SINESTRO (Gives Bawb the "I'd like to freeze you in carbonite and punt you into a black hole" look): Of course. Anyway, I decided to do that same to Jordan. I awoke Parallax, who naturally looked for a Lantern to corrupt and break him loose. I pointed him in Jordan's direction. Slowly he corrupted Jordan, filled him with fear. And, when his hometown of Coast City was destroyed--

BAWBB: And how did you destroy Coast City?

SINESTRO: I didn't. Someone else disintegrated it.

(Sounds of disapproval from the audience)

SINESTRO: Again, we still haven't gotten to the best part! Bear with me (Audience quiets down) Once his hometown was destroyed, his defenses went down. Parallax lured him to Oa where he destroyed the Central Power Battery, killed his best friend, and caused all but one of the Guardians to commit suicide!

(Audience applauds and cheers)

BAWBB: A truly evil plan, Sinestro! But let's see what our audience says.

(A vote talley appears onscreen)
Gypo-Bax 88
Sinestro 92
Gny-Gryngg 52
Borbrydi 50
Karo-Thynn 44

BAWBB: 92, that puts you in the lead! And puts us at an advantage, if there are no longer any Green Lanterns. We can invade the positive matter universe without worrying about--

SINESTRO: Oh, well, there are Green Lanterns again.

BAWBB: Really? But with no Power Battery..

SINESTRO: It was rebuilt.

BAWBB: The Guardians are all dead.

SINESTRO: They've been reborn.

BAWBB (Attempts to look on the bright side): But Jordan is still under Parallax's influence...

SINESTRO (Visibly annoyed by this train of questioning): He shook it.

BAWBB: And set Parallax loose on reality?

SINESTRO (Shakes head): Back in the battery.

BAWBB (Laughs): But your arch-nemesis still killed his best friend!

SINESTRO (Deep breath): He got better.

BAWBB: Well, surely some bad still remains. Did your scheme have any lasting effect at all?

SINESTRO (Thinks it over carefully): The Guardians now have an extremely unpredictable and imaginative Senior Lantern who is especially resistant to mind control, that they likely wouldn't have even considered hiring if the last Guardian hadn't been driven to desperation by Jordan's rampage.

BAWBB: I see.

SINESTRO: But it would have all worked if he hadn't found out about Parallax. But, I suppose being the only Green Lantern at the point all the history was just attracted to him.

BAWBB: If he was the only one, why didn't you kill him?

SINESTRO (Defensively): Well, it would have attracted the attention of the last Guardian, who didn't realize Parallax was out and about.

BAWBB: I see, so you caused them to go from 3600 Lanterns, to 1, to 3600--

SINESTRO (Need to be right completely overwhelms desire to win): 7200. They're doubling in size, so that they can keep an eye on each other.

BAWBB (Stares at Sinestro, then conjures his winning smile again): Well, lets talley up the votes again!

(Numbers scroll on the on-screen vote talley, giving us a new score)
Gypo-Bax 119
Sinestro 1
Gny-Gryngg 67
Borbrydi 70
Karo-Thynn 69

BAWBB: And the final winner is: Gypo-Bax, for poisoning the water supply of mobile Ranxx City with his fiendish techno-virus! Thanks to him, all of the citizens are now part of a mechanical hive-mind, and totally evil!

(Gypo-Bax walks onstage to claim his prize money, presented to him by the beautiful and cruel Vehnha Black)

BAWBB: Well, I'd like to congratulate Gypo-Bax and the sentient City of Ranxx on their victory. I'd also like to thank all of our contestants, and our sponsors: Happy Harry Hitler's Haunted Haberdashery, The Power Posse, Ming's Worlds of Weapons, and Walt Disney Productions! I'd also like to once again welcome Sinestro back to the Universe of Qward. (Puts his arm around a sullen Sinestro) Is there anything you'd like to say, Sin?

SINESTRO (Low voice): I would have won if it weren't for that meddling kid.

BAWBB: Well, you should have killed him then. Goodnight, folks!

Friday, December 02, 2005

On Snarkification

I figured I'd wait to post until my ill-will had died down, but it hasn't.

And I should be happy. I have a cat. I have numerous comics. I have numerous comics that feature Hal Jordan getting hit on the head. I have a shift with little to no managerial inference. I have found nearly all of Morrison's JLA in trade at this point. I'm rereading Over Sea, Under Stone. I have a raise with my promotion. I have Democracy! I get along with my mother again. I have working heat. I am surrounded by humor. I'm in a good place spiritually. I am no longer living in the 90s. I gave to charity. I have nicely chilled custard. I have a Superman movie to look forward to. I have a job that allows me to actually work on the aircraft. I have cool music in the car for bad traffic. I have co-workers that I like. I have good tires. I had a Thanksgiving where I didn't fight my family -- or did I? I spent so much time drunk it's hard to tell. Anyway, something's making me spew perfectly awful, catty, cruel comments all over the net.

Why, yes, they are usually about Jade. Have you been following?

Anyway, there are three things I must do now to handle this feeling.

The first task is to accept that I am feeling bitchy lately. And I am.

For the second task, I must explore this feeling and its reasoning.

Maybe it's the the phase of the moon or the coming winter?

Maybe returning to work from vacation? No, I was pleasant and kind at work (although, in my old office I used to channel my poor attitude into customer service) today. I even found myself defending a supervisor I truly disliked before to the guy who replaced my old job.

Too much nicely chilled custard? No, you can never have too much nicely chilled custard. It's homemade!

Maybe it has something to do with Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #3 being delayed. Could Kyle Rayner be responsible for my sanity?

Most likely I'm especially vicious for lack of a true life target. In nearly every other office there has been "The Woman I Hate." I only work with one other female since I was moved across the hall to actually work again, and she's fun to be around.

So, then, if this is a necessity, but I'm happy with those that surround me, where would I aim my supply of bile? You know, the bile naturally produced by human beings because their mother didn't hug them enough, society represses them, or they are spiritual beings trapped in a painful fleshy body or whatever other bravo sierra self-help and inspirational experts feed us to explain our unhappiness?
At fictional characters is probably the safest place to aim excess vitriol. That's what could be happening's.

Or maybe it's all of the above, serving to cause a subtle pool of intoxicating toxic waste to well up from the deepest, dankest, snarkiest pit of my inner soul. And it's leaking, causing inexplicable moments of meanness, little things that just slip out and can't quite understand until the point when I explode in a shit-brown spray of curdled choler, the likes of which has not yet been seen on this Earth!

Actually, it would have been seen about 16 months ago, at the end of my first month of a customer service job.

Fat man and little boy, how I hated that job.

Maybe this is just the way I really am. In which case, my course is clear.

It leads me to my third task. I must embrace my irrascibility!

Yes, I will wallow in bitterness (or at least bad metaphors) like a maggot in dead pigeon guts, who just found his mother flew off before his birth, and that pigeon guts are a fleeting thing, and he is likely to be exterminated before he reaches flying age, never to know the sweet sensation of the wind at his wings or the gentle smell of potatoe salad wafting from the nearby Fiftieth Annual Ciezekowsky Family Renuin Picnic! I must do this to the point that it cheers me and affirms my love of humanity. Yes, I must go through snark and come out the other side!

And then maybe I can enjoy my comics again.

Sure, people will suffer, but they won't be me. When next you hear from me, I shall be a lot more cheerful.

I'll admit whether or not that will be pleasant for anyone else is hard to tell at this point.

Trust me. I know what I'm doing.