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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Brief Comic Review: Salvation Run

I know I said Countdown: Arena was like Secret Wars, but Salvation Run is like Secret Wars too. Only with less plot.

Arena was lots of heroes fighting each other for some all-powerful overlord whose name I've already forgotten. It didn't make any sense, because his whole point was to build an army to fight someone else in a different comic, and keeping all of them would have been far more effective than having them fight to the death and take whoever was left, but that would have made for a much shorter story, and we wouldn't have had the excuse to see different versions of the same character kill each other.

Salvation Run is a bit like that except that nobody is making anyone kill anyone else; they are doing it because they don't like each other.

It's more than halfway through now, and the entire plot up to this point has been: villains get dumped on a strange planet. Villains fight each other.

It has some nice art, though.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yellow Peril

One of the things you have to understand about yellow is that it is a colour. Colour is not a quality possessed by things you cannot see. In fact one might say that an invisible object could be defined by it's complete lack of colour.

Not so for Green Lantern, where I've encountered at least three occasions in GL Showcase volume #2 where our dumb hero is laid low by things that are both invisible and yet at the same time also yellow.

It's a neat trick if you can pull it off.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

A Dictionary for Dan

Interviewed about one of the upcoming projects from DC, Dan Didio was asked if it would be new-reader friendly compared to something like Final Crisis.

His response? "It’s certainly new reader friendly, whatever that means,"

Dan, if you don't know what it means, I don't think you can claim it applies.

Of course the fact that you don't understand the term probably explains a lot about the state of the company you are in charge of.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Legion of Bland

I've been reading the second volume of Green Lantern Showcase, and I'm enjoying it a lot more than the first. John Broome seems to have picked up some of the nuttiness of his colleagues, and the stories are a lot more entertaining for it.

They are also full of howlingly dumb moments, which are often funny for all the wrong reasons, but at least they're not boring. The stories written by Gardner Fox are still dull, though. And when he adds a level of the fantastic, he then goes and spoils it by spending way too much time on leaden explanation that doesn't actually work anyway.

At some point I'd like to get on to the peculiar qualities of the colour yellow, as defined in this volume, but I'm about half way through now and I just reached Green Lantern #32, which introduces a group of heroes so generic that it stopped me in my tracks.

While Jack Kirby might imbue a character with a distinctive look and hint at a fascinating backstory, even when they are only intended to appear for two pages, like Gnorda, normal size queen of the giants, Broome gives us a super group composed of Energiman, Golden Blade, Strong Girl, and Magicko.

Nothing tells you how how important a character is than giving them a name like Strong Girl.

The budget for this issue must have been very low, as they don't even get to do a team up, spending the entire story imprisoned for GL to save them. So we never do get to find out what powers Strong Girl and Magicko might have. The assault on the villain's fortress also occurs off-panel to the extent that we have GL shooting off rays in one panel, and in the next it's so destroyed that there isn't even any rubble. A rare example of Gil Kane phoning it in.

On the plus side (depending on what you consider a plus) this story does include GL fighting a giant sentient oxygen atom with electrons that look and behave a lot like basketballs.

And how much of a dick is Hal Jordan at the end of the story, telling the released heroes he'll have the Guardians assign a Green Lantern to this sector, since they obviously can't handle it on their own?

Have these guys ever turned up again?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A metric f*ckload of deck chairs

In Detective Comics #673 Batman imagines a case for Stephanie's costume in the Batcave. It may not even be real, but it does suggest that deep down Bats thinks she deserves one, and in a wider context acknowledges the same fact, despite Dan Didio's rather poor editorial joke about her not getting one: this presumably being a hint about the current rash of appearances by Spoiler in several Bat-titles.

This was an entirely arbitary goal set by girl-wonder when it was first formed. Only an idiot would assume that this means the battle is over. But it gives the guys at g-w a reason to celebrate.

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