Saturday, January 21, 2006

Green Lantern Fashion

I swear, I was writing my John Stewart post last night. But close to sunrise, I fall prey to a medical condition common among Night-shifters.

You see, my brain starts tor resemble cottage cheese.

This has prevented me from finishing my John Stewart post.

It has also further dulled my wit to the point that I cannot make a recognizable joke.

So, instead, I have a special treat that I've been saving for all of you.

That's right, it's the Green Lantern Corps dress uniform, as modeled by Kilowog!

Please note the length of the cape.

It allows an uninterrupted view of the most important body part.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Jim Lee -- Better artist than previously thought

Over at Crisis/Boring Change there's a good review of All-Star Batman and Robin up to the third issue.

It has pictures (like this one) to better comment on Jim Lee's cheesecakey art.

It's in that interview that I noticed something very important about the picture to the right.

Look around the stomach area.

Try it without distractions.

Do you see it now?

Ladies and Gentlemen, that stomach is convex.

Vicky Vale has a pooch-belly.

A small fat deposit over her abdominal cavity.

A gut.

Not just curves, actual fat. That's several notches above a lot of pinup artists. That's a few degrees away from a realistic woman. That implies Jim Lee finds pot-bellies sexy.

And he's willing to draw them.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

(She must be reading Supergirl)

I've been link-farming for When Fangirls Attack for 15 days now, and I've yet to see the panel at right in a post.

For shame, folks, for shame.

Anyway, Carnival of Feminists #7 is up here and mirrored here.

It's a big one this time. Lots of neat stuff.

The Comic-Book section has the most posts. I made it for my Bulleteer #2 review this time. Kalinara made it twice. A number of people I found while link-farming are there too.

Check it out.

Type this one into Yahoo

perpetual stick up her butt

More Kyle

There's a three-page preview of Ion #1 at Newsarama.

The biggest surprise, I think, will be if what appears to be happening in those pages is actually happening.

I'm iffy on the art, but that sequence could be distorted on purpose. And I may be unhappy because Kyle's front is tilted towards the camera the whole time.

But I must own the first issue.

I feel confident we'll get a worthwhile angle on the character once the actual series is underway.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ion Musings

The April solicitations came out before I woke up today (damn nocturnal hours) and the Internet is abuzz with a sigh of disappointment.

April is an ending month. Infinite Crisis Ends on April 19th. Seven Soldiers ends on April 5th. 52 doesn't start until May. Wonder Woman doesn't relaunch, neither does The Flash or JLA. These solicits are well into the OYL story, but they can't give much away witgout giving away these endings. I think it's fairly natural to feel a certain let down for this month's solicits.

Basically, for new stuff we have Checkmate #1 and Ion #1 on April 26th. The very next week after Infinite Crisis #7, which heavily implies that their storylines depend on events in that book.

ION #1
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Greg Tocchini
Cover by Ivan Reis
Following the events of INFINITE CRISIS and the RANN/THANAGAR WAR SPECIAL, writer Ron Marz (GREEN LANTERN) returns to the character he created, giving Kyle Rayner an entirely new lease on life in a new ongoing series with art by rising star Greg Tocchini (1602: New World, Thor: Son of Asgard)! A distraught Kyle Rayner has emerged one year later, transformed with abilities that may surpass those of any Green Lantern ever. So beware his power...because his might may not be on the side of right. For a signed edition, see Dynamic Forces section of Previews.
On sale April 26 • 1 of 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US Edited by Eddie Berganza

There's a bit been made of it on Comic-Bloc and on the Newsarama thread that the book is solicited like a maxi-series ("1 of 12") but it states its an ongoing. I'm not sure what to think about that.

As you may have learned from James, Ron Marz is already dropping hints for the nature of the Ion series. He's very careful about what he says about Kyle, but he has no problem ruining the ending of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. (To his credit, he left Citizen Kane out of this.)

"I will tell you that due to events in the Rann-Thanagar Special, Kyle finds himself with quite a bit more power as his disposal. But adjusting to all that power is ... problematic."

"When the series opens, it is indeed 'One Year Later'. Kyle's been through quite a lot, and he's trying to put his life back in order. He'd like nothing better than to have time to paint and get his head together. But events transpire that won't let him do that. Something happens that pulls him back into space."

Which all begs the question, what happened to make him still so upset a year after the event? Kyle generally recovers easily.

The first Green Lantern story I ever read was Green Lantern #91, which is a story about Kyle getting tortured by Desaad, and flashing back to the day before where Donna had up and left him. Marz had a fondness for flashbacks and dream sequences that entire run, actually. It's very possible this first storyline is set during the One Year gap, and we open with Kyle reflecting on the events of the past year, or even relating them to another character.

And there's a clearer version of the cover, but I still don't think it's the final product. You can see Guy and John in the background, though. Everybody who's ever been and Earth Lantern is standing there behind him. Fairly symbolic.

But I'm still wondering, why cover the face?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Kyle's New Costume

Nothing gets the guys at Comic-Bloc talking more than Kyle Rayner's wardrobe. This thread is jumping. It's up to 12 pages already. Ron Marz himself even got sick of the arguing, and chimed in at about Post #134. Aside from that, thread highlights are Wyldewolfe's response, this inversion of colors to outline the emblem, and James Meeley's response to Ron Marz.

There's also a redo with Kyle's classic crabmask posted there.

There's so much complaining, someone sent out a call for everyone to do their own costume redesign.

This was my shot at it.

I tried a male, I can't draw males, so I figured I'd go with Kalinara's gender-skewing and see what a female Kyle would look like.

What do you guys think?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why can't poor Kyle ever cut a break?

I mean, seriously, Kyle Rayner's dayjob is artist. He's known to be vain. He's established as exceptionally good-looking out of costume.

But instead of leaving him in a normal Green Lantern uniform, where he looks absolutely adorable, they have to give him some unique look. And he gets stuck with the worst costumes.

Case in point: Comics Continuum has a preview cover of Ion #1.

Maybe it's not as bad as it looks. Maybe we'll see the interiors and find that it's wierd lighting. Maybe we're all just disappointed not to get a Green/White color scheme again like last time he was Ion. Maybe we're disappointed the floppy hair isn't back. Or maybe there's just something off about the hands.

But there is always some glaring little thing wrong with a Kyle Rayner. First, it was the crabmask, then it was the dog collar, now its -- Well, everyone seems to see a different problem here.

Can't any of these guys design a costume?

Are we going to have to get out a Ouija board and have Gil Kane do it for them?

Reveal Thyself!

I have been informed of De-lurking Week.

And I have judged it a lovely idea. Worthy of introduction to the Comic-blogging Community. If you've been lurking here all the while in the all-concealing shadows now's the time to step out and say "Hi!"

Even if you already talk to me all the time, leave your calling card just the same, thank you.

So, whether you've come in search of Green Lantern Rumps or Shiny Metal Racks, I want to hear from you. Tell me anything. Tell me hello, tell me goodbye, tell me your name, tell me about how you picked your name, tell me about yourself, tell me about your day, tell me off, tell me why you hate/love whatever character, tell me why the panel to the left is inappropriate for this subject, tell what picture I should have used, tell me anything!

Just say something.

(Please note: This post post-dated in order to keep it at the top of the blog all week. So, check the post below before assuming I've blown off updating again)

Mild Linkblogging

After years of inactivity, T has started blogging again.

Ethan Van Sciver has finished Green Lantern #9 already. And it's still due out in the same month it was solicited for!

Geoff Johns is kind (or cruel) to entice us with preview art on Comic-Bloc. Here is a Pacheco page from Green Lantern #7 and some Ivan Reis art from Green Lantern #11. I think I may be in love. At least, until I actually see what Ivan looks like. Right now I picture him like he draws Kyle Rayner.

Another thread of interest on that board is the one speculating that Green Lantern Villains are based on Message Board Stereotypes.

Spencer Carnage points out a superhero with impeccable taste.

Deadline for the Carnival of Feminist 7 is set for 7AM EST Monday.

An excellent art blog. (Somewhere in this blog's archives is a picture of Cameron Stewart, the penciller of Manhattan Guardian, in a Firestorm costume)

Here's the Newsarama article the Reis art was snagged from. Some hints on Green Lantern, and Batman sounds good this year.

Newsarama also promises the April Solicits on Monday. They already have the cover and solicit for Infinite Crisis #7 up.

I noticed this only because he linked to me and I saw it on Technocrati, but Dan Jacobson wrote about the recent Mutant depowering at Marvel. Pretty good.

Zombie Mallet has an interesting theory about John Byrne.

This is a wierd site.

And finally, like Jon, I joined the mob and drew Batgirl. See my wretched scribblings on my rarely updated livejournal.

Shining Knight

I'd like to take you back in time to August 31st.

Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #4
My first thought upon finishing this comic was "I'd like to have Grant Morrison's baby."
Then I realized that would make me fat.
Seriously, though, this Seven Soldiers thing is that good.
Morrison throws a plot twist in there that I, as a major fan of King Arthur stories, have seen at least once (I believe more than twice, though) before, and I never saw it coming. But it makes perfect sense, and totally redefines how you consider the characters.
I liked Justin before, but was iffy if I wanted this new Shining Knight to replace the Golden Ager -- as I am not an advocate of killing off characters that were created before my parents, and killing off the Golden Age Sir Justin was likely if they had a replacement. And I liked seeing Sir Justin in Stars and STRIPE. He was pretty cool.
But after this twist is revealed, I say kill him, or freeze him in ice again, or drop him in the timestream. Push him to the sidelines again, because Morrison's revamp is the Shining Knight I want to see around.
I want to see Sir Justin in Wonder Woman! Right now! Kill Cassie or Donna (again) if you need to make room, but do so post-haste!

The above is from my first set of comic reviews. Yes, I have done them on this blog! In fact, the main reason I started this blog was to write the above review.

(I'm going to spoil the ending to Shining Knight #4 in a big way, so if you're waiting on the Trade, stop right here until you're done with Volume 2. I'm serious here. Big Warning.)

All others, Read on.Standard Seven Soldiers Spoiler Warning

The basic plot of Shining Knight is this: Newly knighted Sir Ystin participates in the last battle of Avalon in the Castle Revolving against the Sheeda (Evil Fairy) Queen. He, carrying the King's sword Caliburn, falls into a flowing stream of water who turns out to be a gateway through time. He's plunged into a Modern City. Wierdness ensues. But, unfortunately, the Sheeda Queen is still alive and knows the young knight has that sword. So, she hunts him down and sets him against a corrupt Zombie form of Sir galahad, the Knight he squired for, for her amusement. During the battle, Ystin is revealed to be a female. The Queen laughs at her, but is distracted by other news. She leaves, ordering that Ystin be enslaved. Ystin kills Galahad, escapes, and sets out to kill the Wicked Queen.

You see, after I read Shining Knight #4 I hit the internet, eager for reactions to this revelation.

I was disappointed to say the least. Nobody else seemed to love it as much as I did. I felt a need to express my feelings.

I never once wondered what the "point" of the revelation was.

It had initially seemed to me to be a skillful way of highlighting Ystin's transformation over the series. I mean, internal change has happened. As of that battle, Ystin has accepted that there is no going back to Camelot, and has chosen to do what she can to help this world. This is a major character change, and he needed to ensure that it sunk in by making sure the Audience could never look at Shining Knight the same way again. What better way to do that than to reveal in the middle of a fight scene that the character is a different gender than they'd thought? It's guaranteed to change the viewpoint of the reader.

I also thought she was one hell of a character to add to the DC stable. Here is a time-displaced teenaged girl. Her origin is actually fairly simple to relate. She's distinctive in personality and interests from the other teenaged girl cliches we keep seeing. And, she's a brunette in a time of way too many blondes, so she'll be distinctive out of the armor.

But, a lot of people missed that. So, rather than just take my own enjoyment at face value, I found myself thinking carefully about the series itself.

It only enhanced my enjoyment when I reread it.

Knowing that Ystin was a girl, I noticed several things.

In the first issue, she finds a close female friend (Olwen) in the Sheeda lair. She attempts to help Olwen get free, only to be stabbed unexpectedly. Seems this was the woman she befriended at all, but a two-faced shapeshifter. She meets a twisted dead version of King Arthur himself. And of course, she meets the vicious Queen of Terror. A leering, scantily clad woman who would seem the ideal in feminine empowerment, as she's the ultimate ruler of her kingdom, but is in reality a corrupter and an exploiter of everyone and anyone she runs across. In the second issue, she falls prey to guilt and despair. Everything that has gone wrong is her fault and there's no place in this world. We see a prophecy by Morrigu that there would be an age where "women would be shameless, men strengthless." She meets a virtuous man who gives her some minor advice and then leaves to handle his own business. In the third issue she finally meets a pure-hearted woman, but this one wants to categorize her as a time-travel anomaly, and unwittingly brings disguised destruction with her.

In the fourth issue, all hell breaks loose. Her first love turns into a violent leering monster, her greatest secret is revealed to a crowd of spectators who are staring at her breasts, and there is blood everywhere.

At this point I stopped and thought to myself -- "Hey, wait a minute... This seems familiar."

"Aw, Hell!"

Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, Grant Morrison has managed to capture the experience of puberty for a young girl.

All of your female friends seem to become two-faced bitches who stab you in the back. All of your male friends turn into lewd brainless zombies who think of nothing but breasts. Older Men dismiss you. Older Women want to fit you into a potentially harmful little boxed personality. To top it off, your body has decided to completely betray you, becoming whatever shape is the least convenient for you, and an icky, disgusting embarrassing thing for about a quarter of each month.

So, what makes this a particularly feminine coming of age tale?

Well, there's the blood.

Particularly the feeling that everyone's attention is drawn to the blood.

Oh, and everyone's attention drawn to the breasts, also.

But most of all, it's what I mentioned above. Morrison clearly wanted us to never look at Ystin the same way again. Well, once puberty sets in, the change is far more drastic for young girls. Nobody ever looks at you the same. If you develop early, there's leering and jealousy. If you don't, there's an attitude that you are not good enough. You're no longer innocent after that age. You can't play with the same friends, or even the same games anymore. All of the adults you dealt with before react very differently to you. All of the rules have changed, right underneath you.

I never liked teenaged girl characters a lot. I despised both Wonder Girls, wanted to see the Spoiler killed, only knew PAD's twenty-something Supergirl, and could care less if Secret and Arrowette were dead or evil. Empress was cool, but that's more because she had smoky teleportation than because of her age and gender. I like Stargirl and Batgirl, but I wasn't even willing to give them a chance until after I turned twenty. I still have no attachment to Speedy, or anyone but Stargirl. And all of them, save Batgirl and Empress, look identical.

But I adore Shining Knight and I know I would have as a teenager. And I would've read her for the Camelot stuff.

Maybe it's personal. I'm fuzzy about a lot of "rites of passage" but I will always remember very clearly the first time an adult pointed out my breasts and told me to wear a bra, the first time a classmate pointed out my breasts, and of course, how big a jerk my first crush actually turned out to be.

So, everybody, get your soda cans, whiskey bottles, and water glasses handy and join me in a toast. Here's to a damn good mini-series, a wonderful new teenaged girl character, sixth grade, learning the truth about my first crush just in time, blood, training bras, tactless nurses who mean well, backstabbing girls who grow out of it, and wondering how the hell Grant Morrison knows what its like to become a young women.