Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jumping the Shark, or Jumping the Gun?

So, everyone's blogging about this image,

Nothing is as it seems
which apparently first showed up at All the Rage. Some are speculating that it means Mary Jane will die in Civil War. After all, that would solve Joe Quesada's problem with the relationship.

But I'm not convinced. There are too many suspicious things about this image for it to be what it appears to be.
1. Joe Quesada has said that killing Mary Jane would be worse than the marriage, because it turns Spidey into Spider-Widower, making him seem even older.
2. Peter's wearing the old costume, which may be a minor detail, but seems odd for a major Civil War cover.
3. The shape's not right for the "widescreen" covers of the Civil War books.
4. A big event like that would be kept a better secret than either the unmasking or the identity of Daredevil, not revealed so far in advance.
5. After all the brouhaha about keeping the creative team constant, why would they do a cover that clearly wasn't by Steve McNiven?

My initial thought at seeing the cover was that it was clearly a Scott Kolins piece, but a lot of people have suggested that it's from Kaare Andrews' futuristic Spider-Man: Reign, and the art seems pretty close. Sure, #1 could be a lie (like Speedball), #2 could be because he switches costumes or it could be yet another cover that's solicited with one costume and changed for the release, #3 could be because it's a variant, or cropped oddly, #4 could be because it stirs up interest, and #5 could also be the signifier of a variant. Those are all possible, but for all of them to stack up? I'm going to trust the simpler answer, that this is promo art for Spider-Man: Reign, designed to drum up support both for it and CW by making the general public think MJ is going to die in the mainstream MU.

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Fear and Loathing in the DCU

I just watched the fourth season Batman episode "Never Fear," where the Scarecrow develops a gas that inhibits fear. Bruce Wayne gets hit with it, and while he claims he is able to handle it, he begins taking unnecessary risks and acting reckless.

But that's not the interesting thing. What's interesting is that he starts acting like Frank Miller's Batman. He dangles a criminal out a window and begins cutting the batrope. He tells Batman that the Scarecrow will kill him if he reveals the plan; Batman replies "death is death. Does it matter who administers it?" The line sounds unnatural coming from Kevin Conroy's voice, but it sure sounds like something you might read in a narrative caption in The Dark Knight Returns to me. Anyway, Robin catches the guy when the rope finally snaps, then confronts Batman about his behavior. The hogtied Dark Knight initially tries to trick Tim into releasing him, and when rebuffed, he sputters and shouts at his young protégé: "Untie me, you little--! Untie me!" He's about a hair's breadth from asking Tim if he's "retarded or something."

Naturally, Tim eventually gets Batman the antidote (after Bruce smacks him around a little), just in time to keep Bats from killing the Scarecrow.

So, for a brief moment (outside of the full-on Miller-homage in "Legends of the Dark Knight") the animated Batman assumes all the gruff, cold, manipulative brutality that characterize his portrayal in books like "All-Star Batman and the really long title." What's interesting about this Batman is how many mistakes he makes. When Batman lets loose and takes stupid risks, he ends up almost getting shot, almost killing several people, and almost crashing the Batplane...repeatedly. Without Robin, he'd have been dead several times over, with a string of bodies left behind him. He's not calculating, he's reckless. A Batman as violent and sadistic as Miller's generally is wouldn't be the effective, precise hero we all know and love.

This is, of course, ignoring "Year One," in which Batman acts more or less like Batman.



Okay, so we have the Green Lanterns, whose weakness is fear, right? We also have the Scarecrow, whose schtick is making people afraid. While I realize that the GLs operate on something of a different scale from Prof. Crane's usual turf, the pairing is too obvious, too perfect, to not lead to a great story. The Society provides the rationale and means for the plot, and suddenly Scarecrow (and Phobia, just for good measure) have crippled Earth's three Green Lanterns. To what purpose? Oh, I don't know, but infiltrating Oa and leaving the Corps vulnerable to a Sinestro Corps attack would be a nice start, don'cha think?


Speaking of Scarecrow, I don't think I've ever seen him portrayed better than in his brief appearance in Sandman. I'd read a freakin' series devoted to that Scarecrow. Why doesn't anyone else pick up on that characterization?


Speaking of Batman, something in the latest issue of Morrison's Batman caught me off-guard. Batman got captured. After so many years of the God-Bat, fourteen steps ahead of everyone else (much of which was Morrison's doing), it really took me by surprise to see him tied up and at Talia's mercy. Granted, I don't want to see Batman fall prey to "Oh no, I suddenly got stupid" syndrome, with every thug, goon, and henchman hogtying Bruce, but with Talia it's believable, and it's nice to see that he's fallible again.


That's it!

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Monday, August 28, 2006

The King

Long live the KingI was going to do something more elaborate, but nothing really felt right. So I decided to go simple.

Happy Birthday, Jack.

1917-1994

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Hello! I'm here in the show!"

I finally figured out how to add a favicon to the page. Check your address bar or tab or whatever. If it's not showing up, switch to Firefox.

In case you can't tell, it's Freakazoid, who as you well know, is one of the best characters ever. Case in point:

Professor Heiny: Tell me, did she happen to shoot fire out her nose?
Freakazoid: No. Why?
PH: Zat's usually a good indication. A normal person valking around can't just make fire shoot out zheir noses, but a monster...
FZ: Boy, you know your stuff.
See? Genius.

Anyway, I think I'll probably be playing with it a bit until I'm totally happy. Or maybe I'll just change it periodically. Or something. Whaddya think?

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Choose Your Own Snark!

I've been avoiding homework by watching the documentary features on the most recent two He-Man DVD sets, and I came across this gem:

"I've always liked magical characters, and too often they get to be misused as just plot-solvers."
The speaker? J. Michael Straczynski.

I'll leave the jokes to you.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Deconstruction

Hm...with a title like that, this ought to be another post about the Con. It isn't.

Too awesome for colors!It's about one of my favorite series, Action Philosophers, which is sadly ending with issue #9. As a fan of comics, philosophy, and humor, this is rather upsetting to me. I've picked up every issue of AP so far (except the latest, which ought to be in the mail to me fairly soon), and they're among the most fun, entertaining, and intellectually satisfying comics around.

So, while I'm sad to see the series end, two of the follow-up projects give me hope:

–COMIC BOOK COMICS would be the only history of comic and cartoon art that IS a comic book, and would settle such burning questions as: Who really created the Marvel Universe, Lee or Kirby? How much did American comics influence manga? And the newspaper funnies: Who cares anymore, really?

–And MEGA-MYTHOLOGY retells the world's greatest myths and legends in the irreverent gut-and-brain-busting Action Philosophers style.

Both of which sound fantastic. I kind of hope the Comic Book Comics comes out first, but I'll pick up either one. The "Office Samruai" one doesn't really interest me though.

So, while Action Philosophers may be ending, at least we'll get a nice dose of Evil Twin stuff afterward. Here's to many more years of the smartest comics around!

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

I want a dream Legion, so I don't have to dream alone

Crazy theory time!
So, Supergirl showed up in the 30th Century, looking bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and just a little bit crazy (which is several steps up from her portrayal in her own series). She claimed that the Legion, the 30th Century, and even her adventures on Earth and the destruction of Krypton, were all a dream she was having. While these ramblings were dismissed by the Legionnaires, her predictions (being accepted into the Legion, being given a flight ring) had a strange way of coming true.

Let's backtrack a bit. Nura Nal, aka Dream Girl, had the power of generally-infallible precognition. She died in battle, and Brainiac 5 placed a force-field around her body to put her in stasis. When Supergirl showed up, claiming the whole thing is her dream, she learns that there are no extra flight rings. She wishes for one, and immediately Atom Girl arrives with a flight ring, courtesy of Brainy. Other Legionnaires remark that this either means that Brainy had another ring in production before they lost their funding the previous year, or he gave her Dream Girl's ring.

And here's what I realized last night: the flight rings are keyed to their wearer's genetic signature, as established by Triplicate Girl in an earlier issue. So the only way that Supergirl could use Dream Girl's ring is if Brainy reprogrammed it, or if Supergirl and Dream Girl were somehow the same person.

Other things to consider before I get to the "hows": traditionally, Brainiac 5 has had romantic feelings toward Supergirl or her Daxamite counterpart, Andromeda. Brainiac 5 was involved romantically with Dream Girl and she said that eventually they would marry. When Supergirl went on about the "dream Legion," Shadow Lass said that maybe they should have named her Dream Girl.

Here's what I'm thinking: somehow, Dream Girl's abilities have been enhanced and altered by her current state, and these abilities have manifested themselves as a superheroine from the distant past. This Supergirl is real enough, but only as real as any of Dr. Destiny's illusions. She's not the Supergirl we know and tolerate, and when Dream Girl is resurrected, this Supergirl may very well go poof.

Don't get me wrong, I would love for this to be the 'real' Supergirl, since she's certainly not receiving characterization this good in her own title. But they just did the "character pulled from an indeterminate place in our near future to arrive in the distant future until they can be sent back" schtick with Superboy a couple of years back, and I can't imagine they'd pull the same trick twice in such a short time. Something doesn't add up.

Wandering backThe solicits for November claim that S&LSH #24 features "the return of a Legionnaire you never thought you'd see again." The cover over there on the right, what with that prominent figure in front wearing a cape fastened with two big circle things, seems to suggest that Mon-El (or M'onel) is making his way back to the fold.

This was just going to be about Dream Girl/Supergirl, but the more I write, the crazier the theory becomes.

So, I see two ways of bringing back Mon-El. In the crazy one, Brainiac goes through with his plan to use memory-altering villain Lemnos (anagram that one, kiddies) to resurrect Dream Girl. When that happens, they learn the truth about Supergirl (that she's a dream-creation), but instead of dying, Supergirl's dream essence has some strange reaction with Lemnos, wiping his memory and bestowing upon him the powers of an ancient Kryptonian. He joins the team as Mon-El, knowing little about himself, and is there mostly so that the Legion can keep an eye on him.

Option two: remember the fifdeetu? The last time the Dominators played a major role in the DCU was during Invasion, the story which introduced the Daxamites to the post-Crisis, 20th Century DCU. It would be fitting if they showed up again before our favorite Daxamite re-emerged in the 30th century. But the Dominators back in LSH #17 said "Existence is a loop. Time is a circle," before mentioning the Fifdeetu. Originally, Mon-El was placed in the Phantom Zone in the 20th century to emerge in the 30th century, where his lead allergy would be cured. How do you make a loop of that?

Send him back.

This has been another installment of "crazy theory theater." You may resume your regularly scheduled comic discussion.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Re: Tornado

Oh, hey, remember Justice League of America #1?

Have you learned your lesson?

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The Ten Percent Solution

I just started watching the Heroes screener, which I acquired through completely legal and non-Torrent-related means. Four minutes in and we already have a reference to people only using 10% of their brains. I saw a commercial for that Eureka series recently which referenced the same "fact." Why is it that sci-fi writers can keep abreast of basic concepts in advanced science, can learn actual science words and toss them about in a halfway realistic manner, but can't wrap their brains around the debunking of that idiotic myth?

Maybe it's the sci-fi writers who only use 10% of their brains.

Sigh...I know this is nitpicky, but that phrase has gotten to be like nails on a chalkboard for me. That and "it's just a theory." Ugh...sends chills down my spine just thinking about it.

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Justa Lotta Animosity

Wow, I didn't realize there was such negativity brewing over the new JLA series.

What? Oh, sorry, Justice League of America. Right.

Anyway, the criticisms I so briefly glanced at seem to come down to four:
1. The line-up sucks
2. Michael Turner's art sucks
3. Ed Benes's art also sucks
4. Brad Meltzer can't write, see also: Identity Crisis

Sigh...I know you already know it, but I'll leave some spoiler space out of common courtesy.
Ugh...my anatomy hurts just looking at itSo it looks to be Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal), Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Vixen, Black Canary, Hawkgirl, and Arsenal. Meltzer said that this league was based on all the other previous leagues, so let's see...
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: Original
Hawkgirl: JLU
Vixen: Detroit-era
Black Canary: Giffen-era
Black Lightning: Super Friends
Red Tornado: Late Silver Age?
Arsenal: I dunno, JL Task Force or something?

Okay, my knowledge of JLA history isn't quite fantastic. Even so, that's only 10 of the 11 who will be the final line-up, so people who have their boxers in a bunch over who isn't on it ought to chill. Yes, J'onn's missing. They're trying to make him relevant and angry again, when the next reboot comes along he'll have been a part of this League too.

I honestly can't see anything wrong with this line-up. It's not all a-listers, but the A-list League revamp has been done and copyrighted by Grant Morrison. It's got a healthy mix of big names and less big names, which ought to make for an interesting team dynamic. I like Hawkgirl as a nod to her place in the JLU and as a way of distinguishing her from currently missing JSA-er Hawkman. I like Vixen in general. I like seeing Black Lightning in action again, even if I don't like the bald look on him. It used to be that every black male character had an afro (see also: Luke Cage), now they're all bald (see also: Luke Cage). Is there no diversity in the realm of black hairstyling? It's as bad as when every white hero had a mullet.

I digress. Yes, I would have loved to see John Stewart in the league instead of Hal, but Hal's been out of the League loop for awhile now, and seeing him back wouldn't be so bad. I'd like Flash, Aquaman, and J'onn, but all three are facing other issues which rather preclude them from being in the League. I'm glad they didn't throw Ollie in; seeing Arsenal's fresh perspective on the team will be a lot like seeing Kyle's in Morrison's run, except less forced, I'd imagine. Plus, if you have Ollie you ought to have Hawkman too. I think that's more or less a rule nowadays.

So to complaint #1, I say wait until you read it before you damn it. Where were you schmucks when the League consisted of Wonder Woman, Metamorpho, Fire, Nuklon, Obsidian, Crimson Fox, Flash, and Continuity Nightmare Man? It could be a LOT worse. Give it a chance.

To complaint #2, I couldn't agree more. I think Michael Turner's art is generally pretty awful. Occasionally he'll churn out something that sucks less, and by comparison looks pretty good, but this is not one of those occasions. Thankfully, he's only on covers.

To complaint #3, I'm in the middle of the road. Ed Benes is not nearly so flagrantly awful as Turner, but I remember as a Supergirl reader how jarring it was to switch from Leonard Kirk's relatively downplayed, casual style to Benes's oversexed, exaggerated work. I didn't like it much then, but he's been pretty good on Birds of Prey, so it really could go either way. It won't be like having, say, Doug Mahnke or Pete Woods or someone really distinctive and cool on the book, but it might end up leagues better (pun intended) than Howard Porter.

To #4, I have to admit my biases: I liked Identity Crisis. As mysteries go, it wasn't great. As events go, it was lackluster in all the worst ways and bold in all the dumbest ways. But Meltzer's character work is not as bad as people give him credit for, and whether or not the ending is ignored by the DCU as a whole, it was actually very heartfelt and respectful. You know, after the rape and murder.
That being said, I liked Meltzer's Archer's Quest a lot more. Hell, Archer's Quest at least gives Quiver a run for it's money. It's a damn fine Green Arrow story, which has the added bonus of examining some of the unexamined facets of superhero life, death, and 'life insurance' of a sort. There's not much bad in Archer's Quest, and as long as Justice League plays closer to that than Identity Crisis (which I have to imagine it probably will--it's tough to sustain a 13-issue mystery) I can't imagine there will be much wrong with it, either.

So, before you go criticizing a series you've never read, why not give it a chance? There's no way it could be worse than "Pain of the Gods" or "World Without a Justice League." If you pick up the issue today and it meets every one of your expectations of suckiness, then you can lay on the snark. Until then, we all know you're just forcing it to jump on the "IC sucked" bandwagon.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

A brief study of college towns

In the past few years I've been to several college towns, and something that always fascinates me is the relationship between the institution and its hometown. So far, I've been able to pretty accurately divide the "college towns" into a few distinct types:
Town? What town? - I visited the University of Wisconsin at Platteville for a few days a year and a half ago. I don't think I ever saw Platteville. The college was surrounded by fields, and the only thing that didn't appear to be part of campus was the cemetery around which the campus had grown. Which, incidentally, was creepy. Unless I just missed it, there was very little "town" in the college town of Platteville, WI. So, the first type of college town is where the college pretty much is the town.
You'd be nothing without me! - In contrast, I've also paid a few visits down to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I get the feeling walking around down there that there simply would not be an Urbana-Champaign if there weren't a UIUC. Everything revolves around the college and campus, and if that were removed, nothing resembling the current town would still exist. So, the second type is where there is a town because of the college.
We're both complete individuals, we just complete each other. - Of the colleges I've never attended, I've spent more time at Northern Illinois University and in its hometown, Dekalb, Illinois, than any other. While there are a number of college-related and college-intended shops and stores and whatnot, it's clear that without NIU, there would still be a Dekalb. That Dekalb would certainly be smaller and more centered around its farming and manufacturing aspects, but it would exist nonetheless. After all, no town of the second type could claim both an annual corn festival and a hookah bar among its assets.
We have a college now? - And the college I've been at most is my own alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. I spent a large portion of my childhood in the Quad Cities, and I can say honestly that for most of my life, I was completely unaware that there was a college in Rock Island. Aside from a few restaurants and shops in the blocks directly surrounding the campus, you would never know that Rock Island was a college town. Augie is more or less quarantined, contained on its hill without much interaction with the rest of the town.

And then there's Macomb and Western Illinois University, which have a really, really odd relationship. It's like the two are separate entities connected by an umbilical cord of college-related small businesses. It's a sort of Don't stand so close to me symbiosis.

I dunno, I think it's interesting.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Oxymoronic

Heard this on the radio today:
"And up next is Kelly Clarkson with 'Walk Away' on today's best rock!"
No, no something in there simply isn't right.

Anyway, I'm settling in at school again, and I finally have my own computer! So, hopefully that means more frequent posting. We'll see how long that takes to fall through.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Painful Irony

At Wizard World, in the minutes before Kevin Smith began his Q&A session, I realized that the Christopher Reeve Theater had filled up, and was now standing room only.

I am a terrible person.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Things I want to see more of in comics

Just as the title says, these are things that I don't see enough of, or have never seen at all, which ought to be far more prominent. Let's just jump right in.

Peter Parker's feelings of inadequacy
Mary Jane Watson-Parker has issues. I've seen her as a struggling actress, a struggling supermodel, a model struggling to be recognized as an actress and to be seen as more than just a hot body, a woman struggling with addiction, a wife struggling with her husband's demanding career, a daughter struggling with abusive parents, and a victim struggling with a vague violation by Venom. In all of these cases, invariably she comes back to either a worry that Peter will not accept or understand her, or comfort in the knowledge that he loves her and will be there for her.
What I don't often see is the other side of the story. Sure, MJ's got some emotional baggage and issues with affection which cause some measure of insecurity in her relationship, but what about Peter? Peter Parker was a high school dweeb who never made it with the ladies 'til a spider bit him near the wrist (okay, okay, no more song parodies), he had a few flings, and more drama than most high school dweebs ever manage to work up, but he never really stopped being a guilt-ridden awkward wallflower. We see with decent regularity Peter musing about how lucky he is to have such a wonderful wife. What we don't see is the feelings of inadequacy he ought to have, at least once in awhile. Sure, he's a superhero, but he's a dorky high school teacher and photographer, and he's married to a moderately successful supermodel actress. Where are the thought bubbles that say "how'd I pull that off?" and "I don't deserve her" and all that?
I'm not saying that I think Peter should doubt his relationship, or that there should be unnecessary drama between the two. I'm saying as a high school dweeb that these are thoughts that float through a dweeb's mind when he's with a wonderful significant other. Spider-powers or not, you never totally get over being the guy at the dance without a date, or a dance, or dancing talent. Peter loves MJ, and MJ loves Peter, and that shouldn't change. But, as much as Peter ought to thank his lucky stars that he's with such a wonderful, beautiful woman, the natural corrolary is wondering if he's worthy enough to maintain such a relationship, if he's not dragging her down or holding her back or making her unnecessarily unhappy. I'm sure that Peter wants, above all things, to make MJ happy, and he knows that there's the possibility that accomplishing that task means setting her free.
And that's a story that can't be told with a single Peter Parker, thank you very much Joe Quesada.

Superman smiling
Strangely enough, Superman isn't Spider-Man (I know this comes as a surprise to you, Chuck Austen). Superman should, at the end of the day, enjoy his life. He has two good jobs doing things that he loves, he has a loving family, a wonderful wife, and the most super friends in the universe. He's beloved by the whole world, but he can still head out to the farm and till a field in the peace and quiet.
Despite all this, it's not often that you see Superman smiling. Thanks to Kurt Busiek and the other folks involved with the wonderful Superman comics of late, this has changed somewhat. I hope the change remains around for awhile. Sure, stern looks and angry-silhouette-with-glowing-red-eyes have their place in Superman stories too. But, when he's just flying around or saving kittens or sliding into bed at the end of the night, he ought to be grinning.
Because for Superman, life is swell.

CSI Batman
Ever notice that the World's Greatest Detective's usual idea of detective-ing involves little more than hanging some thug up from a half-constructed building by his ankles, and forcing the information out of him? Yeah, me too. While that makes for a cool visual and whatnot, used as frequently as it is, it makes Batman look fairly inept at the thing he's supposedly best at. Let's have less dangling and more detecting. You know, looking for clues, picking up trace evidence, running things though the Bat-computer, that sort of thing. It may not be visually stunning, but after awhile, neither is the same-old, same-old intimidation.
Come on, Batman, show us your mad skills.

Magneto vs. Nazis
I've got an upcoming post about Marvel villains, and this kind of spun out of that line of thinking. Magneto was held in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. His experiences there have really shaped his quest to assert Mutant superiority over the human race. He saw a group of humans, the Nazis, imprison him for being part of the "inferior" Jewish race. As an adult he seeks a child's revenge, asserting his race as superior and his former oppressors as inferior, except that he equates the Nazis with all humans, and takes "homo sapiens superior" as his race.
That being said, it's still the Nazis who imprisoned him and killed his family. And if there's one thing the Marvel Universe has in abundance, it's Nazis. One would think that, despite his desire to wipe out all of humanity, he'd have a special hatred reserved for Hitler's followers. Has Magneto really gone forty-plus years without teaming up with (off the top of my head) the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Baron Strucker, Arnim Zola, or the Hate Monger? If he has met up with Marvel's Nazis, why are any of them still alive? I want to see Magneto beating the Red Skull--not with magnetic powers, mind you, but with his bare fists, desperately pummeling him for the suffering he endured. And I want Captain America to be watching, and completely at a loss as to which one he should help.
And that's an X-Men book, or an Avengers book, I'd actually buy.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Confrontation

The con? The con was AWESOME. I'm totally going next year (and I might be working at the Stand-Up Comics booth, so make sure you drop by and buy something). I met all sorts of people and bought far too much. If I'd had another couple hundred dollars that I was willing to spend, I would have picked up a Masterpiece Optimus Prime Trailer and the 13-inch Lex Luthor figure, but I didn't. Maybe next year.

Among the cool things I saw/did/met/bought?

  • Kevin Smith forced a couple to get engaged on stage. In fact, Kevin Smith's whole presentation was pretty cool, even though he didn't exactly share my feelings for the best movie ever.

  • I picked up a HUGE amount of comics. Most of these were fifty cents or less. The most I spent on a single comic was $7.00. I'll be posting the gems soon, for real.

  • The guy in front of me in the line to see Geoff Johns talked to him about killing his "favorite Titan," Superboy. Geoff said "if it's any consolation, he was my favorite Titan too." He then mentioned how Superboy was the sacrificial lamb who saved Nightwing's life. When I approached Mr. Johns, I said "well, at least you left a backdoor, in that he was already a clone." He replied "yeah, it was a pretty big backdoor."
    My hopes for a return of Conner Kent? Much higher.

  • Keith Giffen said "I used to only sign Ambush Bug comics, and I'd always misspell my name. I stopped because no one got the joke." Fantastic.

  • I met Val Staples at the MVCreations booth. As harsh as I was on his writing, it was still great to meet in person someone I've talked to online for eight years or so. Plus, he's a nice guy and a talented colorist.

  • Paul Levitz answered my question about continuing the Bruce Timm animated DCU, and it all showed up in Newsarama. I'm not sure what's the coolest part of that.

  • They handed out Superman temporary tattoos at the DC booth on Sunday. The one I applied upside-down to my arm will probably finish coming off today, thus ending my stretch as a Conner Cultist.

  • I finally broke down and bought all the issues of Civil War and Frontline. Overall, I think I spent less than cover price on the whole bundle, which makes me feel better. I'll let you know what I think soon enough.

  • Issues of Chase were very hard to find. I only found four at the whole con, and that includes two copies of issue 3. Naturally, I now own the first 3 issues of Chase.

  • I almost completed my Manhunter run until I discovered that the issues I'd found weren't discounted at all. I think I'm still missing three. But I bought #15 for a quarter!

  • Mark Waid couldn't appear in person for the Silver Age trivia contest, which pitted him against four fans. He beat them 1000 points to 600-something, answering everything via "Mother Box," aka someone's cell phone.

  • I bought a Superman s-shield poster on the way to the con, hoping to get Superman-related celebrities to sign it. I missed out on a few (like Loeb and Immonen), but Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Noel Neill, and Peter David all left their John Hancock on it. And before you get all wise, David's there because of Supergirl. After all, it's the same symbol.

  • There are too many awesome DC Direct toys coming out in the near future. I will own Bizarro and Batzarro.

I think that's enough for now. Hopefully my next post will have pictures!

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