It's more than a blog; it's my blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Five Reasons Why "All New Atom" Rocks Your Socks

Some of you might know Gail Simone: she founded the "Women in Refrigerators" website, which documented instances of female superheroes "who have been either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator." Well, it seems that the only way you can become a comics writer (DC only accepts submissions from artists, so we of little motor-control must only dream of working with Batman and Blue Beetle) is by running a successful or "infamous" website, because since starting "Women in Refrigerators,", Gail has written for Marvel's Deadpool, DC's Villains United mini-series, and the Wildstorm series Welcome to Tranquility. But it's really sad to think that if she had never started "Women in Refrigerators," she might not have gotten a chance to work in comics - and we would never have gotten the single best book that DC is producing today: The All-New Atom.

In case you've never read or looked at the Wikipedia entry for All-New Atom, allow me to bring you up to speed:

See, Ray Palmer, the original Atom, disappeared after his wife went crazy and killed Sue Dibny (wife of Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man) by stepping on her brain. Then she got posessed by Eclipso. Ryan Choi, erstwhile pen-pal of Palmer, takes Palmer's place at Ivy Town University, where crazy-ass shit is going down that's apparently related to something that Palmer did, and which has caused the powers of science (represented by a microscopic bug-inspired civilation that lives on Ryan Choi's adopted dog's ass, "The Waiting") to battle the powers of magic (represented by a Lovecraftian-inspired "cancer god"). Choi takes on the mantle of The Atom after finding Ray Palmer's (or is it?) bio-belt, and begins his work protecting Ivy Town from Ray Palmer's alleged screw-ups.

During the 15 issues that have chronicled Ryan Choi's efforts so far, I have objectively and scientifically determined that not only is All-New Atom the best ongoing DC comic right now, but it is also, in fact, the greatest comic book in existence. Here are five reasons why:

5 - Quotations

Quite unlike Dennis O'Neil's "reading lists" from his version of The Question, Gail Simone made learning fun in the first few issues of All-New Atom by interspersing quotes throughout the panels that conveyed how Ryan Choi was really feeling about certain situations. For example,

Why no, it's not bad at all.

4 -That Choi Is A Clever SOB

It's really quite refreshing these days to see a hero get out of a perilous situation using his wits, rather than conveniently placed deus ex machinas. Ryan Choi, up against a sadistic serial killer called Dwarfstar (who's been given his own bio-belt by Choi's secret nemesis, the dean of Ivy University) is down on his knees and appears to be begging for mercy. But that's just not how The Atom rolls:

(click to huge-ify)

Choi chooses to leave Dwarfstar stranded at the subatomic level. Me? I woulda stepped on the little bastard.

3 - Stupid Jet Pack Hitler

From All New Atom #14:

Well, now. That really just speaks for itself.

2- Head

Head is giant floating, er, head from the microscopic collective known as the "Waiting."

And ever since I started reading Gail Simone's All-New Atom, Head has been just about my favorite thing in the whole fucking world. It might be because he's a great character, or it might just be because I have very low standards when it comes to humor. It does not matter which; for it gives me pleasure either way.

Head was a servant of the Waiting who accompanied two of their grunts to Palmer's house in an effort to kill Choi. After being threatened with having a broom shoved up his (its?) nose, Head spilled the beans on the Waiting's plan to launch a sneak attack on the White House. So, in a way, Head got the assist on helping the Atom save the president. Go Head!

It's unclear whether he's a natural being, or simply a product of Waiting technology, but there is one thing that is certain: he is the finest DJ at the microscopic level.

Sometimes, though, he parties a little too hard:

1 - If I could segue for a minute before we get to why you should just put your wallet into an envelope and mail it to Gail Simone, I have a list of my Top Five All-Time Favorite Superheroes up on my Facebook profile. They are:

1 - Jack Knight as Starman
2 - Vic Sage as the Question, but only while Steve Ditko was on it
3 - Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle
4 - Batman
and 5 - Booster Gold

But that whole list has been rendered completely obsolete.

Ladies and gentlemen, my new, all-time favorite superhero: The Big, Giant, Floating, Happy-Days-Lovin' Super-Head.

In All-New Atom #15, Head has to throw down with Panda (seen here as Atom V) to try to stop two rampaging Japanese-movie monsters. When Choi returns from helping Donna Troy, Jason Todd, and Bob the Monitor on their quest to find Ray Palmer, he makes a quick comparison between one of the monsters and baboons and deduces that the creatures aren't fighting each other: they're mating. And, well, as we've seen from Reason to Love All-New Atom #2, Head knows how to set the right mood:

Needless to say, what follows is some sweet, sweet monster-lovin'. How was it, Head?

As image-heavy as this post was, I wouldn't have been troubled at all to post every single appearance of Head. This guy is just that fun to see. Actually, this post began its pathetic life entitled "The Glory of Head: Head's Greatest Hits," but after Alien Techno and Super-Head, every other appearance sees him just giving a variation on his "Death or Submission!" line. Although, when that bit has been adapted to read as "Potsie or Death!" it never stops being awesome.

Sure, there are lots of other reasons why All-New Atom is great - but why would I tell you about those? You can just read it for yourself if you're interested. And if you aren't, I'll just let you know that this is a comic that quotes James Randi. There, glad I could help you decide whether this was the greatest comic of all time or just really really awesome.

Labels: , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Special Lecture Series: Super Hero Ethics

Today's Guest Speaker: Batman

Topic: Morality

You can learn more about Batmanism in DC'sBlack Adam: The Dark Age #2.

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Night Fights: Sucka-Punch! Round 1

And this time? It's personal.

This fight is being broadcast via satellite from Toronto...

where we don't tolerate that kind of language.

From the pages of Marvel's Omega Flight, North America is united in its mission to bring the pain. Bahlactus commands it!

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Think Wholesome Thoughts, Chum

From the pages of DC's Countdown #31, Jimmy Olsen learns that abbreviation is not always convenient:

Oh, toilet humor: will you ever let me down?

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This "Television" Is Have Being the Greatest Invention of All Time

The new season of good TV finally begins this week, which means that I'm going to have a really tough time keeping up with all of my procrastination. Here's what I'll be watching this season.


Chuck,The Big Bang Theory:

Chuck begins at 8PM, while The Big Bang Theory starts at 8:30, which means I'm either going to have to be content with missing the ending of every episode of Chuck, or one show is gonna get cancelled this year. Sorry, Chuck, but I do like The Big Bang Theory more than I like the representatives of the "Nerd Herd." I blogged about the Chuck pilot here, but I've nary uttered a peep about its conflicting program, The Big Bang Theory, which I enjoyed immensely, if only because I am those guys. Well, not all fo tehm. Out of four "geeks" introduced, I loved the Sheldon character (played superbly by Jim Parsons) and all of his eccentricities. He reminded the most of what geeks actually are, as I and the friends I had in high school were: judgmental social outcasts who think you're an idiot if you don't know what we know.

The "teaser" opener for the first episode of Big Bang features Sheldon and Leonard (our protagonists) at a sperm bank, when Sheldon undergoes an "ethical dilemma" over the fact that he can't guarantee that his sperm would produce a child that was a genius. When Leonard responds that his mother would probably still love him despite not knowing whether to use an integral or a differential to solve for the area under a curve, Sheldon counters: "I wouldn't." That, my friends, is my variety of geek.

The only downside is that, in order to make the show funny in a "mainstream" way, they've had to "dumb down" some of the jokes, relying on cliches instead of the humor that arises naturally out of geeky awkwardness.


(9 PM)

When we last left our group of emerging heroes, Matt Parkman was "shot" a whole bunch of times; Peter and Nathan Petrelli were, supposedly, blown to smithereens; and Hiro found himself in feudal Japan. Oh, and there's talk about another "hero" (what do we call the super-powered in heroes? Metahumans? Mutants? Maybe we just call them "people..." hmmm...) who's even more dangerous than Sylar, who, if you'll remember, could use the powers of his mind to cut open peoples' skulls and eat their brains. If you're not watching this, I'm not talking to you anymore.


(10 PM)

Another new show for this season makes Monday night even more crowded, and, unfortunately, I call this show at getting the axe quickest. Don't get me wrong: it wouldn't be on my "watch" list if I didn't like it. There's the time-travel thing, there's interesting character developments (exactly how did Vasser end up with his current-wife, who looked like she used to be his brother's girlfriend? Why is he travelling in time in short-spurts instead of controlled periods? What connection does "Livia," his supposedly-dead fiance, have with his situation?), and there was the clever bit at the end (SPOILER: Vasser takes his wife's ring from the present and buries it in the house's yard in the past, digging it up when he returns so that his wife will believe he's actually a time traveller, and not just on drugs) that made it good TV. I just can't see this show providing many reasons to keep watching: you can only do clever time-tricks so many times before they get mind-numbingly obvious, and the "saving lives to make the future a better place" rings of "Quantum Leap," as well as bringing up many uncomfortable questions: for instance, if there's someone else who's controlling his "leaps" through time, why don't they allow him to prevent WWII? What about paradoxes? What does the existence of time travel do to the concept of morality (if a person is a criminal in the present, do you treat him as a criminal in the past, before he commits his crime? The pilot sneakily avoided this by having its "bad guy" be hit by a bus, but Vasser is going to have to encounter this crisis eventually)? There are just too many places for this show to falter.

Oh, and did I mention that Vasser's dead fiance is totally hot?


Reaper, House


Another day, another conflict. You know I've gotta go with House on this one, CW, so why do you schedule Reaper in the same timeslot? House ended with almost all of the regular cast resigned or fired, and that leaves some very interesting possibilities on the horizon for this show. I mean, there's no question that Cameron, Chase, and Foreman will return, but the interesting question to ask is going to be: How? How can they just come back to the hospital after all that was said and done? How have their characters changed since they've been gone? House isn't one to apologize, forget, or even let go of the past, so it'll be fascinating to watch how they're going to get through this.

Sorry, Reaper: all you can offer me is a fat guy with no social etiquette and a man who's gotta capture demons in a vacuum cleaner.


Bionic Woman (haha! No, no, I'm just fuckin' with you - Bionic Woman really is a terrible, terrible program. Don't watch it.)


Alright, this really shouldn't be here, since Discovery airs new episodes of Mythbusters approximately "whenever they feel like it," but it does come on in the fall (sometimes), and I like it, damn it!



Smallville is one of those shows that should serve as an example to networks: the first few seasons of this show were real stinkers, but, starting with the addition of Lois Lane, subsequent seasons proved to be stellar examples of great television. Instead of the early "freak of the week" episodes (similar to early episodes of The X-Files), the show's writers started delving into that rich mythology of the Superman universe, introducing characters like The Flash, Green Arrow, and even Aquaman. Season 7 looks like it can only get better, with the season premiere featuring Bizarro, Lex Luthor contemplating going straight again, and the arrival of "Supergirl." Actually, to be completely honest with you, the addition of Supergirl has me on edge a bit, but the show-runners have proven that they can write engaging stories with even the most unrealistic characters (The Martian Manhunter, for one), so I'm optimistic.

Plus, JIMMY!


Stargate Atlantis:


The Season 3 finale saw the City of Atlantis powering up its hyperdrive in order to leave the planet and escape from an Asuran beam weapon. Unfortunately, the city was grazed in the process, resulting in the injury of Weir, as well as forcing Atlantis to drop out of hyperspace earlier than it should have, stranding them in the middle of nowhere.

I've seen the first two episodes of Season 4 (albeit in a format which lacked music and sound effects, unless you call being able to hear the director yell "bang!" an effect), and I've gotta tell ya: this season looks like it may be the best yet for Atlantis. Shepperd was given something meaningful to do, there was more conflict, and Weir had more to do in the second episode than she ever had in all of the first three seasons. Sure, Teyla got short-changed, and Ronon was left playing the muscle (including an hilarious scene where he plays "tough guy" and tries to intimidate one of the doctors into removing a large shard of glass from his shoulder), but you can only focus on so many characters at once, one of the weakness of having as large a regular cast as Atlantis does.


Robin Hood (Oct. 6 premiere in the UK, apparently)

As tiring as this show was last year (Robin Hood has a plan, someone gets captured when the plan goes to shit, Robin Hood saves them with a big fight scene with the same music that they've used in every single other episode), I still enjoyed it immensely. They delineated between who Robin was was indeed robbin': instead of taking from the ambiguous "rich" and giving to the equally ambiguous "poor," Robin keeps his actions limited to robbing from the sheriff, taking back the tax money that was stolen from the citizens. Other Robin Hoods would merely target anyone who had more money than others, which would have created a problem once Robin had succeeded in defeating the sheriff - when the poor become the rich, and the rich are now poor, do you change tactics? This Robin Hood doesn't have to think about that, because he's clear on his principles: he's going to stop the sheriff from taking away the rights of the citizenry.

The "modernisation" may have gotten a bit ridiculous at times ("I shot the sheriff," "No, you shot the deputy"), and Guy of Gisborne needed to lighten the fuck up a little, but if you just want to watch a true hero go and kick some unjust ass, Robin Hood's your show.

(I know, I don't live in the UK, but I don't have to be in order to watch it, now do I? Thanks, INTERWEB!)

And that's my life for the next few months. Being unemployed rocks.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, September 17, 2007

Comics That Have Pissed Me Off: Issue #1 - Fantastic Four #244

We've all seen 'em - those little bits of comics that make us say "What?" immediately followed by "That's bullshit!" Whether it's something that's completely out of character (all of Marvel's Civil War); a revelation that made little sense and had little, if any, emotional impact (DC's Armageddon 2001, DC's Identity Crisis); an "event" that turned out to be a cynical ploy to boost sales ( DC's Death of Superman, DC's World War III, DC's Amazons Attack! hey, pick up a DC book and there's a 50/50 chance it'll disappoint you - stick with Marvel, their disappointment is guaranteed), or just overall giganta-levels of bad, it's a guarantee in life that a comic will one day piss you off. Gentlemen, today is that day for me.

Actually, a lot of comics piss me off, so I've decided to make this a running feature for the ol' blog. I find that I'm most motivated to write when I'm pissed off at something, so the category is a natural for me.

The inspiration for the feature came while I was reading the book Super Heroes and Philosophy (and boy, was there a lot of shit in there that pissed me off, right good!), and came across Charles Taliaferro and Craig Lindahl-Urben's essay, "The Power and the Glory." The whole thing is about Galactus and Doctor Doom, and, not giving a shit about the Fantastic Four as more than material for lame jokes, I skimmed it as Rob Liefeld once skimmed "Anatomy for Beginners." I did, however, find myself re-reading a bit of dialogue describing the so-called "personalist ethics" of The Avengers when it came to dealing with giant, pink-colored space eaters. From Fantastic Four #244,

Captain America: "... but Galactus is a living, sentient being and he does not act out of evil intent. He does what he must, simply to survive, just as we would."

Reed Richards: "We are bound to help Galactus."

Whoa, whoa, whoa... hold up der, Reed - you're not "bound" to help anyone, least of all the giant, skirt-wearing, cosmic being who already promised not to eat you back in the sixties. The only thing you're "bound" to do is kick his ass off the planet and call it a night. But Galactus gotta eat, I guess?

Oh, and Cap? Quick question: you and Hawkeye are trapped on a deserted island with no source of food and no means of escape. Who's gonna devour whom? Whose "survival" is considered paramount here, Cap? You could skin and eat Hawkeye before he even knew you'd moved - and it's all right, because you didn't have any evil intent, you were just trying to survive, like any of us would have done. Sucks to be Hawkeye.

Sure, saving Galactus might work out for a few years now that you've earned his "respect," but how long will it be before "he does what he must" again, and comes a'knockin'? You've excused his actions (the devouring of other "sentient beings") as necessary to his survival - but that survival comes at the cost of others', as well as your own. As such, you've demonstrated to Galactus what is clearly more important here: his survival, not before others, but at the expense of others.

To put things more succinctly: the motherfucker tried to eat you and your entire planet. After promising not to do it again, he came back to do it again. He, presumably, still eats other civilizations who don't have the mighty Reed Richards to watch out for them. You don't help this thing when it starts to die, you let it die.

No wonder Richards supported Iron Man's "super human registration act:" some people have to be under constant threat if the more important "sentient beings" are to be comfortable. Super-humans are to be sacrificed for regular humans, humans and other civilizations are to be sacrificed for Galactus - it really depends on who's bigger in the end, doesn't it?

Addendum: If you want to read Fantastic Four #244 for yourself, it's available in The Trial of Galactus paperback. This trade also includes "The Trial of Reed Richards," which sounds just intriguing enough for me to track down and find something within that pisses me off.

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

That Is The Question

This is one of the most well-done pieces of fan-film I've ever seen, especially considering that it only contains re-used footage from "Justice League: Unlimited." Who wouldn't kill (only in self-defense, mind you) for a "Question" series?

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yeah, Like They Weren't Going to Use That Song

Alright, I'm just gonna go ahead and call that awesome.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 08, 2007

All New, All Different

Zombies aren't funny anymore, and neither is making fun of George W. Bush by pointing out his apparent intellectual deficiencies; but, by gawd, put 'em together and you have comedy gold.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Everybody Wants to Be a Klingon

When doing business in the galaxy, it's always a good idea to be prepared:

Take Michael Dorn's patented "Power Klingon" course, and complete your Master's Degree in fake languages!

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Rob Zombie School of Filmmaking

1- Can you give your wife a prominent role?

2 - Can you make her a stripper?

3 - If not, how many strippers can be put in?

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Whale Song

The busy has kept me from writing on the blog as of late, but when the things inside of your head start to go "click-click-click," it is rather difficult to stop yourself from telling people about it.

Therefore, CLOVERFIELDS. Again.

AICN reports up there on a bunch of baseless rumors that keep flooding their inboxes, and if there's anything that Ain't It Cool News enjoys, it's meaningless speculation . Or it's desperate naivete.

Despite the utter unreliability and clear marketing arrangement that produces AICN's little tidbits of "news," I am experiencing a wave of apophenia: the mention of Whales, the sound file of the roar, the "Beast From 20,000 Fathoms," and the only officially recognized "CLOVERFIELDS" site's Japanese nature makes me keep thinking of Godzilla. Why?

Godzilla was called "Gojira" in the Japanese original, which, according to some sources, was derived from the nick-name of a worker at the studio, "Gorilla Whale." Who this worker was, or if he even existed, has never been been confirmed.

Godzilla also began life, in the pre-production phase, as an unabashed knock-off of the successful American film, "The Beast From 20,00 Fathoms." The producer even went as far as to give the film a name containing "20,000" in it's name. This, as well as the "Gorilla Whale" story, can be checked in William M. Tsutsui's "Godzilla on My Mind."

Then there's the "Japanese" site, of course.

Is it Godzilla? Could be. It could explain why the films' been kept secret like this: the last time a film depicted Godzilla attacking New York, results were... well, somewhat less than expected.

Of course, the connections that I make are rather limtied: in my life, I may have only seen a good five live-action Japanese films. Out of those, I've seen maybe three of them all the way through. The Japanese link could be much deeper than what my experiences can tell me, so if I were, you I wouldn't trust a goddamn word out of my idiot mouth. Like any good redneck-witness to a catastrophe, I just wanted to tell you what I saw, even if I'm the only one who happened to see that cow get turned inside out by the government/alien agents.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button