Saturday, March 25, 2006


I heard a rumor, through a friend, of a friend, of a friend. He owns a comic book store, and apparently got an early look at the Detective Comics #818.

There is a huge development in this issue.

And I mean massive here. One of the primary reasons to use the internet as a comic book fan will disappear forever if this is true.

You see, they bring back something which has no been seen for a long time yet. Something that, in its absence, has fundamentally affected every DC reader's enjoyment of the story at some point. Something sorely missed by nostalgic fans.

This something will make comics more accessible to new readers while it panders to the long-time fans.

I'm speaking, of course, about..

Editorial Noteboxes!

But you didn't hear it from me.

You have a better idea?

I was forming ideas for a post on Green Lantern/Green Arrow #82 when I noticed something unusual. Well, something unusual when you're used to modern DC comics. Something missing even from reprinted collections.

It was a letters page.

I couldn't resist a peek, so I glanced at a few of the letters. One letter, from a man who hated everything except for the art, stood out to me.

What really bothers me was how GL stopped the big fight by saying, "Nothing will be settled like THIS!" and then started slugging it out with Green Arrow.

There may be something wrong with me, but I honestly can't think of a better way to stop a conflict than by taking out Ollie Queen.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Dumbest Man in the DCU

In the commentary to this post, Scipio makes an interesting claim.
Oh, no question about it.
The only people in the DCU dumber than Hal are his brothers.

Scipio is wrong. There is at least one other person in the DCU dumber than Hal Jordan.


Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.

Take the Green Lantern/Green Arrow social commentary comic-book series by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, for example. This arguably defined both characters for the next 35 years, and it covered a lot of social ground in the meantime. One of the most famous stories, "Snowbirds Don't Fly" tackled drug abuse. It's set right after Hal and Ollie have gotten back from a road trip. This is the "Hard-Traveling Heroes" roadtrip, important because Oliver Queen (white male raised in upper class society) has been teaching Hal Jordan about the evils of racism, sexism, and classism. (Why yes, he does come off as an insensitive jerk even when he's right, how did you know?)

A reader who knows the characters understands that Hal can afford to take this trip. He lives alone, is a traveling salesman (who used to be a pilot, who used to be an insurance investigator...etc... Hal's jobs vary with his girlfriends, but that's another post entirely), has no one depending one him -- he can just pack up and leave. Ollie, on the other hand, has a young sidekick -- Roy Harper, also known as Speedy (and no, I have no idea why they named the archer kid Speedy and the superfast kid Kid Flash) -- that he up and leaves for this trip. The boy appears to be in his teens, and I see no evidence that he had any supervision whatsoever while Ollie was gone.

After the two adults get back, they run into Roy while investigating drugs and assume he's on the same track as them. He even rescues them after they've been knocked out and given drugs in an attempt to frame them.

The experience of being high leaves Hal asking why anyone would voluntarily undergo it. Roy gives him an eloquent, tear-jerking, and fucking transparent answer.

Now, most of us who've read DC comics know what he means already, so I may be wrong about how obvious it is. But I'd be willing to lay down my own hard-earned money that the majority of people who see that panel and have no knowledge whatsoever about the DC Universe other than the fact that the blonde bearded idiot and the redheaded kid have a hero-sidekick relationship will be able to know exactly what he's talking about.

But does Ollie?

In fact, he comes home and walks in on Roy in the act of shooting up and is absolutely shocked.

Does Hal? Well, it takes him a while, but he actually gets it.

The proof is in the panels, ladies and gentlemen. Green Lantern is seriously the smarter member of the team.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Carnival of Feminists 11/Call for Submissions for 12

Carnival of Feminists issue 11 is up at Angry for a Reason today. Check it out. Then come back and see the commentary on the below picture:

I'll be hosting the Twelfth Carnival of Feminists at this very blog on April 5th (Before I read Infinite Crisis #6 even. It'll be a slight change of pace for my regulars since this isn't normally a political blog unless it crosses into comic books, but it doesn't hurt to visit the real world every once in a while

Requirements: Any posts written to address a woman's place in the world from a feminist point of view are welcome. The optional and arbitary catergories for this issue will be Influences, Inpirations, Culture Reversal and Other. Deadline is April 3rd and I'll be accepting posts made after the last deadline of March 20th.

Please email submissions to ragnellthefoul AT gmail DOT com or attach the Technorati Tag to your post.

EDIT: Also, there's a Blog Carnival Submissions Form for your convenience.

Did he seriously quit over this?

I've been skimming the Isaac Hayes rumors that are flying around not only the blogosphere but the "Respectable" newsmedia. I found the episode YouTubed and linked on someone's livejournal.

I hadn't seen it, but was naturally curious. Was is possible that it was treated with less respect than the major organized religions? I mean, the Mormons got smoked. Maybe there's a reason to be offended. Maybe people are massively misunderstanding Scientologists. My own religion embraces some fairly kooky stuff. It has questionable origins. Who am I to judge?

So, I did try to approach this objectively. Two items did me in.

I'd forgotten what the E-meter was. I've read about the little black box before and was under the impression that it was an unreliable medical tool (In Cults of Unreason I remember reading that shortly after Hubbard began using it, the regular medical community stopped using it) for measuring body temperature and pulse. Good thing I googled it. It's really just an Ohmmeter for your flesh. Now, I must confess I do believe in a lot of New Age and mystical stuff, but I also work on electronics and I can't imagine using test equipment to try and pin down the metaphysical without learning what it's doing and what causes it to do that in the natural world. I think it comes from having to actually read up on all that stupid test equipment in case I actually do need to know how an Ohmmeter is measuring resistance to account for a bad reading. This knowledge about the E-meter threatened to melt a part of brain when I saw it.

I survived that mention, only to have my brain turned to mint jelly around the time they said "..looked like DC-8s.." You see, I've been in Aviation longer than Electronics. I couldn't handle that, and the accompanying animation didn't help.

I had a nice Green Lantern essay in mind, but am unable to complete it because of this experience. While my mind recovers from the shock, see for yourself:

The Episode

The South Park Scientology Episode.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Congratulations, Phantom Stranger!

Well, I found out from Chris of the Two Guys about the DC Press Announcements made at the last convention. One of my favorites, the Phantom Stranger (he is on my SureSell list, though I unforgiveably forgot him until I saw this news) is in line for a "Showcase issue." Now, if this means a Showcase Presents Volume (which I'm all too ready to believe for my own gigginess) I'm amazingly excited. I'm already rubbing my hands together greedily. I can just feel that weighty paperback in my hands, filled to the brim with black and white mystical goodness.

(If it's just a single issue, I still want it. Right now.)

In other news..

-- All Star Wonder Woman is vaguely hinted at, but nothing is overtly confirmed.

-- Jack Knight (Starman, retired) is promised to appear in 52.

-- As is Ambush Bug.

-- And Kyle Rayner still can't cut a break.

Asked if Kyle Rayner would get a new girlfriend, Didio joked, “First we hope he gets a new mask.”
-The next few moments were spent on jokes about the high turnover of Kyle girlfriends, with the highlight being comparisons between Kyle’s girlfriends and drummers for Spinal Tap.

(I hope that means he will actually get a new mask.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Why I Love Zamaron

The Zamarons are the best alien race in the DCU because of their skilled marriage counselors: