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."