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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Cheers and Jeers for 6/21

Has it really been a MONTH since the last one of these things? Dang…I guess I ought to give myself a JEER for that! Okay, here are a bunch of cheers and jeers from me, mostly having to do with recent comics!

There will most likely be some spoilers…otherwise, enjoy!

CHEERS to Wally West returning

JEERS to Bart Allen being killed by basically being kicked to death (after catching a blast of cold, fire and lightning, granted, but still!). That was awfully lame.

Double JEERS to the systematic ruination of a good character in Bart Allen. Forget killing him. Killing him is one of the NICER things they’ve done to the character since Impulse’s title ended.

“A fun character? Let’s shoot him in the kneecaps!” “Now let’s make him super-serious.” “Now let’s age him and take away any vestige of a personality!” “Now let’s give him a good writer, just in time to KILL him!”

Wow, that’s pretty messed up, huh?

CHEERS MAJOR cheers to Christos Gage and John Paul Leon for one of the best “done in one” issues I’ve read in awhile from Marvel and DC, Midnighter #8, which is about Midnighter trying to find a little girl’s lost cat. SOOO awesome. Buy it, people!!! Probably the best issue Gage has written so far in comics.

JEERS to the whole “just inventing new personalities” tact of New Warriors #1. Why not just create new characters?

CHEERS to Don MacPherson on his continued excellent annotations for the JLA/JSA crossover.

JEERS to Countdown, just in general.

CHEERS to Jason Pearson on all the personality he puts into the faces of the characters on his Loners covers for Marvel.

As an example, just check out his drawings of the face of one character, Turbo, on each of the covers…

Loners001_edited.jpg
Loners_3-copy_edited.jpg
Copy of Loners4_edited.jpg
LONERS_edited.jpg
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Naturalistic and cartoony at the SAME time! Impressive work by Pearson. We need to see more interior work from him!

JEERS to the fact that the last time Pearson did interior work, it was for Body Bags. Why, Mr. Pearson, why?!?!?!

CHEERS to Andy Diggle’s Hellblazer run (so far). It is a great look at John Constantine’s skills as a con man/magician. Especially his quick thinking. Very enjoyable stuff, with the usual great artwork from Manco.

JEERS to the latest issue of Iron Man, for basically being the same story as World War Hulk #1, only from Iron Man’s perspective. LAME!! Way to make the book worthwhile there!

CHEERS to Gail Simone bringing Ice back, thereby correcting one of Mark Waid’s biggest mistakes (he already corrected the other one, bringing the Rogues back from the dead)!

JEERS to Rusty Noble being acquitted in Noble Causes. Rarely will you see a more open and shut case than that! I mean, I can think of some clever defenses (maybe “a villain took over Rusty’s robot body”), but the book didn’t show us HOW he was acquitted, and I do not like that.

CHEERS to Brian Azzarello for the little people soldiers in Deathblow pretending to be his children. So wrong…but so right.

JEERS to Star Wars Legacy, slightly, for the sheer amount of new characters they keep introducing. It is a bit difficult to keep them all straight, as it seems like the book is written like we know these characters already, ya know?

CHEERS to Steven Butler for his redesign of the male characters of Riverdale. A huge improvement over the female characters from the first issue (who still look weird).

JEERS, though, to the storyline with the redesigned characters. Holy crap, Melanie J. Morgan’s story is just awful! The dialogue is ridiculously poor, the plot is entirely unbelievable (the “bad boy” is the worst cliche of a bad boy, and it just makes Veronica look like a complete idiot for not thinking otherwise). Really, it’s not THAT hard to make this exact storyline, only make it make sense. It’s like Morgan has just simply decided to not put the slightest bit of effort into the story. It’s really that bad.

CHEERS to Re-Gifters. Such a great book. I’ll try to have a review up soon.

JEERS to Gen13 actually re-doing the original Rainmaker/Fairchild “Rainmaker coming on to Fairchild” thing, this time with an almost full-page kiss! Total Cousin Larry trick.

CHEERS to Gen13, though, for getting a nice “Executioner during Simonson’s Thor” moment with Lynch and Roxy’s “mother.” Very nice bit.

JEERS to Amanda Waller being such an antagonist in Checkmate. Making Amanda Waller a bad guy is just so lazy.

CHEERS to Ed Brubaker for having Matt’s new partner apologize for getting Matt into the Gladiator mess. It was a minor detail, but one that I think is very nice to have addressed. Not many writers would have thought to include it.

JEERS to Slaymaster still being around in Exiles.

So lame.

CHEERS to Marc Sumerak for thinking up the whole “Energizer soaking up Hulk’s gamma radiation.” Clever AND cute.

JEERS to the latest Ghost Rider only tying into World War Hulk on, like, the last couple of pages. It was a good issue on its own, but fake tie-ins are annoying. What is the term for them? “Red sky” crossovers, right? LAME!

CHEERS to PS238 #23 for finally coming out with an issue of PS238 that is new reader friendly! Folks, if you have any interest in a school for superhero children, give PS238 #23 a shot!

JEERS to the whole Skrull thing in Avengers.

CHEERS to Tania Del Rio for having Sabrina reveal her witch nature to Harvey in the latest issue. It’s a good idea, and I don’t think it really runs the risk of ruining their relationship, even if they end up not together.

JEERS to the X-Men: Endangered Species one-shot. It was like the well-written first part of a comic book, where people talk before something happens…only nothing happened!!! There’s more plot advancement in the Curtis comic strip!

CHEERS to the last issue of Nova, which so nicely summarized why Robbie Baldwin as Penance makes, well, little to no sense.

JEERS to the people who are freaking out about Lynn Johnston’s decision to pair Elizabeth with Anthony. Yeah, the match-up IS a bit odd, but what the heck, people!!

CHEERS My pal Jake wants to give this JEERS, but I say CHEERS to the editor’s notes in the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man.

JEERS, ever so slightly, to Faryl Dalrymple’s story in Superior Showcase #2. It was basically just a standard superhero comic, only with a goofy-looking guy. I was hoping for something a little more clever than a Batman story, just with a goofy-looking guy instead of Batman.

CHEERS to Greg Pak’s reasoning for Angel siding with Hulk. Having him basically be forced into doing it was very clever on Pak’s part.

That’s all I gots!

49 Comments

Do people really spend their free time thinking about For Better or For Worse? Really?

A surprising number of people, yes.

And Brian, I respectfully disagree with you on Endangered Species.

I agree with you about Endangered Species, plus you got in a shot at Curtis, which is just awful. Good job!

I’m not entirely sure the Wall is a bad guy. She’s been doing some things that aren’t entirely kosher, but I’m curious about where Rucka is going with it, and I’m willing to see what he does. If she does turn out to be eeeeeevvvvilllll, then, yeah, that’s stupid.

Jason Pearson had some interiors on the first few issues of “Blue Beetle,” right? And before that the three issue “Red” miniseries with Warren Ellis.

Not that I’m in any way saying I couldn’t stand to see a lot MORE interior work…

Andrew Collins

June 21, 2007 at 7:50 am

Was it Mark Waid who killed Ice? Wow, I must have done a better job than I thought of blocking that mistake out of my mind. But yes, BIG cheers to have her back. I’m already looking forward to seeing Guy’s and Fire’s reactions to that.

And having just read Flash #13, yes, that was extraordinarily LAME. DC seems to think any character that they don’t feel like using right now only serves one purpose- cannon fodder. Bart was never my favorite, but to kill him like that? Disrespectful to the character AND his fans.

Not a surprise, but still very happy to have Wally and the family back. Though it looks like, for better or worse, we’re going to get the kids aged a few years past where we last saw them (as infants). I liked the buildup to their return in JLA, with the false hints at Barry’s return. Even Batman’s reaction, “I thought it was going to be somebody else” was priceless. Then again, the ominous moment at the end with Brainiac and whoever is trapped in that wand portends that we may not have seen the last of the Barry Allen situation…possibly…

Andrew Collins

June 21, 2007 at 7:50 am

“Jason Pearson had some interiors on the first few issues of “Blue Beetle,” right?”

That was Cully Hamner

Why Jeers to Jason Pearson for not doing interiors but on his creative owned property? If Marvel or DC would give him a book, I imagine he’d do the art in it.

Why Jeers to New Warriors? 1) it’s the first issue, so it’s hard to say what is truly different and not and 2) for the New Mutant girl…given it’s x amount of time since she’s last been seen, dealing with the death of her friends and loss of her powers and being kicked out of school for some done Quesada alone knows reason, plus that whole “growing up thing” and again..issue 1…is it new, or is it evolved?

I agree 100% with the cheers for bringing Wally (and family) back, and for the double jeers about ruining Bart (though I didn’t especially like him, I didn’t dislike him either). Yet while I don’t think they should’ve killed him — it’s a waste of a character with all sorts of future story potential — I don’t have too much of a problem with the way they handled his death. He was de-powered, after all, when he got hit by the blasts from Wizard, Cold and Heat Wave, and then beaten by the rest. So I didn’t think that was lame. And I thought the wordless pages with Tim Drake, Jesse Quick (Liberty Belle) and Jay Garrick all learning the news were really nicely done. I felt sad, and I like I said, I didn’t even care much about Bart. (Only started buying the comic because I’d heard such good buzz about Guggenheim.)

What I did find very disturbing was that Trickster and, especially, Piper were in on the mob scene. I would’ve much preferred if they tried somehow to stop it. (Earlier in the issue, it suggests as much, that Piper’s quiety working against the Rogues.) I liked them both so much better as reformed villains, and it’s an interesting twist if they’re working undercover. But how do you redeem two guys who just beat a hero to death?

And also, yes, jeers to Countdown in general. I’m not reading it and don’t intend to, but damn, if DC thinks I’m gonna pick it up to find out what happens to the Rogues now, when they should be telling us in the pages of Flash — that’s really lame. No matter what you thought of 52, it was a self-contained story, not some super-mega-crossover bullshit. And if a bunch of villains really ganged up to murder a hero — especially one with such close ties to the JLA, JSA and the Titans — they’d be hunted down immediately. That’s what should be happening right away: The aftermath. (When does All-Flash come out now?)

Do people really still care about Ice? It was like 15 years ago. And it was even longer than that since she was written well. Did they make it a special issue to bring her back? Weird.

I’m going to disagree with your Jeers on Iron Man #19. Yes, it did retell much of World War Hulk #1, with a large portion of it being the fight between Hulk and Iron Man. However, it did also give a lot of the buildup that wasn’t seen before, especially with the involvement of SHIELD and Iron Man’s contingency plans (including the new Hulkbuster armor). I thought it was a great issue and infinitely better than the H4H and Ghost Rider tie-ins!

I didn’t read the new New Warriors #1, but I remember that the original. New Warriors #1 brought in all the old preexisting characters with brand new personalities, so its kinda keeping with the tradition of the old book. Seriously, look at the pre-New Warriors characterizations of Nova and Speedball (esp. Speedball) and the difference is jarring.

>>JEERS to the latest issue of Iron Man, for basically being the same story as World War Hulk #1, only from Iron Man’s perspective. LAME!! Way to make the book worthwhile there!

Disagree. “Iron Man” #19 saved me from having to drop any cash on “World War Hulk” #1. And that’s a benefit in my book.

Norton Zenger

June 21, 2007 at 9:57 am

Anthony: Have you ever seen joshreads.com?

Oh jeez, yeah, I’ve been thinking Cully Hamner. Thanks, Andrew. Well then…MORE JASON PEARSON!

As for the whole Flash thing, it’s funny to read Mark Waid when talking about taking on new projects. In discussing both the post-Impulse Bart and the upcoming Wally return, it sounds a lot like he’s saying he took on the project to avoid seeing anything get screwed up further (this is on the Wizard site).

I don’t mind – his Impulse and Flash runs are in my all-time favorites list (and with the end of his JLA run, the last time I enjoyed a DC comic).

Why Jeers to Jason Pearson for not doing interiors but on his creative owned property? If Marvel or DC would give him a book, I imagine he’d do the art in it.

Because the creaor-owned work he did was Body Bags! I have no problem with him doing creator-owned work, I’d just prefer something other than Body Bags, a book that is notable for the really good Jason Pearson artwork and….well….

Thank you for summing up the Bart Allen issue so well. Impulse was probably my favourite character at DC Comics, and the way his character has been treated over the past few years is deeply upsetting. First his kneecaps get shot out, he gets angsty, then his youth is stolen from him (as well as his spirit), and then he literally gets beaten to death on the ground. What an utter waste.

I remember that “Young Justice” came out when I was starting my second year of high school, and how the book and its characters instantly struck a chord with me. Robin, Impulse and Superboy were fun, interesting characters who, to me, represented a bright future. I really ‘clicked’ with their personalities, and following them helped get me back into comic books. Now, years later, two of them have been nastily killed off, and Robin has had the majority of his friends and family systematically murdered in a very short period of time. It’s like there’s an editorial mandate that says all characters must be in a permanent state of suffering.

Andrew Collins

June 21, 2007 at 10:48 am

Paul said:
“Do people really still care about Ice? It was like 15 years ago. And it was even longer than that since she was written well. Did they make it a special issue to bring her back? Weird.”

I’m not sure about DC readership as a whole, but I know I’m personally excited. I always thought her death seemed pointless. I am a BIG fan of the Giffen/DeMatteis JL series, and Fire And Ice were always two of my favorites during that era. That’s why it’s been hard watching how Didio (who I otherwise like) has been so dismissive of the characters and stories from that period in history. And all the deaths hasn’t helped either. I’m half-convinced Ice was brought back so that Didio could say to all the fans, “Look, I don’t hate ALL the JLI members!” :)

Is it okay if I believe that Bart can and will be brought back to life? I mean, it’s not denial when there’s a revolving door in comic character heaven, and that one of Bart’s cocreators is back on The Flash…right? Right?

While I’m thinking of it…didn’t Bart only get a bulet in one knee? And I would’ve had one scene with Bart and a resurrected Jericho. That ranks rank in “meetings that need to happen” right after Question and Spectre. “What have you been up to?” “Dead. You?” “Lost my face.”

I’m going to disagree with the JEER to “turning Amanda Waller into a villain”, because they really haven’t changed her at all. She essentially got her start as a character running the Suicide Squad, a team formed by taking convicted super-villains, dangling a carrot of a “pardon” in front of them if they take suicide missions, and threatening to blow them up if they don’t obey orders. It’s a definite situation of someone with the attitude that the “ends justify the means”, and this is consistent with what she is doing in Checkmate.

Waller does not believe she is doing wrong, because she believes her ultimate goals are noble and justify her actions. It is more unbelievable to think that she would just sit quietly on the sidelines than to think she’d go along with the mandate to stay out of the black ops. Covertly setting up another Suicide Squad, blackmailing Fire, subverting Checkmate mandates to further her own agenda… none of this is inconsistent with what she did to begin with.

And none of it is more or less justifiable than what she has done in the past. Some people would agree with Waller’s past actions and her current ones as being hard but necessary. Some people would object to both. This isn’t turning her into “the bad guy”, it’s just showing a different perspective on a character who, at best, has never been “squeaky-clean”, and it’s delivering consequences for her actions when found out — and not for the first time, I might add.

The way I read that page of Flash, because it was a little confusing, was that Heat Wave, Captain Cold, and Weather Wizard zapped Bart… while Trickster, Mirror Master, and Pied Piper beat down -Inertia- to keep him from going anywhere either, out of sheer spite/desire to ruin his plan.

It certainly looks to me like they’re pounding on Inertia, which may be wishful thinking since I can’t see Piper or Trickster being part of the beating.

Meh.

“I’m not sure about DC readership as a whole, but I know I’m personally excited. I always thought her death seemed pointless. I am a BIG fan of the Giffen/DeMatteis JL series, and Fire And Ice were always two of my favorites during that era.”

Yes, her death was pointless, and yes I, too, was a big fan of both that era and the characters as Giffen/DeMatteis wrote them.

But it was 15 years ago. It didn’t sting to me when she died because she’d been written horribly for a couple of years by that point. This kind of strikes me as bringing her back just to bring her back. There’s no evidence that any current writers are going to do anything with her, and even less evidence that it would be any good if they did.

I dunno. It’s just weird to me. It would be like bringing back Kole for no reason.

The Kirbydotter

June 21, 2007 at 11:42 am

So they killed Bart Allen too hey?
I haven’t read Flash in a great while, but, I’m not surprised. I know that the the Flash readers didn’t like him. I loved him as the obviously Bart Simpson inspired kid in Impulse.

He must have been another one of Dan Didio’s pet peeve.

DC had become such a dark and violent place where FUN characters have no place anymore. They killed most of Giffen/DeMatteis main characters of their fun Justice League run (Ralph and Sue Dibny, Ted Kord/Blue Beetle, Maxwell Lord, Fire and Ice, etc.). They spoiled Mary Marvel and Impulse.

You know DC? Fun can be cool too!

On Jason Pearson, I have to agree with Brian: Body Bags is pretty abysmal. If that’s the best Pearson can offer as a creator-owned property, he’s probably better off sticking to art duties.

Although I am going to have to disagree with you on Iron Man #19 and to a lesser extent, Endangered Species. Iron Man for all the aforementioned reasons given by other commentors, and while admittedly not plot was advanced in Endangered Species, given that it’s part 1 of a 17-part storyline that’s directly leading into another 13-part storyline I didn’t really have too much of a problem with that. Besides, it had by far the best-written Wolverine/Cyclops interaction since Morrison left.

Andrew Collins

June 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Paul said:
“There’s no evidence that any current writers are going to do anything with her”

That’s my one worry too. Now that she’s back…now what? I was hoping somebody would ask at one of the recent DC Nation convention panels, but I didn’t see anything in any of the convention reports I read online. I don’t see her fitting into a book like Checkmate alongside Fire or even the current Justice League. If anything, she can stay in Birds Of Prey for my money.

Body Bags, a book that is notable for the really good Jason Pearson artwork and….well….

And an underage cheerleader with guns! duh

Elizabeth and Anthony really makes perfect sense, though of course it would never happen in reality. I always root for the underdog to get the girl of his dreams, but when he actually achieves his goal, the story tends to be lame. Spike/Buffy, for instance.

Anthony’s current ‘stache-less design makes him look almost exactly like me, which is spooky.

Kirby Dotter says {They spoiled Mary Marvel } (Can somone tell me how quotes work?)

How have they spoiled Mary Marvel?

They haven’t, that’s how.

I’m not saying they’re not going to, but it hasn’t happened yet. An unless you’re complaining about Doctor Strange’s upcoming magicing away Peter & MJ’s wedding, I think you should give them a chance to tell the story before you bitch about it!

DC had become such a dark and violent place where FUN characters have no place anymore.

Wasn’t the point of IC that DC was going to be fun again?

Ice was recently featured in FKATJL mini (or was it hte JLA classified?) and the appeal to ice is that she can find good things in people, even Guy Gardner!

Definitely agree on the Cheers for Ice’s return. It’s only June, but I don’t care what happens in the remaining six months, nothing this year will top the return of Tora. It was sorely overdue (although it’s really easy to argue she never should have needed resurrection in the first place), and wherever she ends up will be a better book for it (unless it’s Countdown, which I’m pretty much convinced is beyond redemption).

I also agree on the Flash points. Wally’s return is more than welcome, and Bart’s decline over the last few years is pretty sad (his feet were even normal sized before he died). I’d also like to add a Cheer to DC for keeping everything so tightly under wraps: the finite nature of Bart’s Flash title, the return of Wally and Mark Waid, Flash’s title going back to its old numbering, etc. The campaign of secrecy and misdirection that kept this all hidden up until last weekend was really impressive. Kudos, DC.

Wasn’t the point of IC that DC was going to be fun again?

Everyone keeps saying this. It’s simply not true. It never was true. No one at DC promised this. The closest they came is that Mark Waid said Batman would be less of a dick, which he is. But if anything, Infinite Crisis was an affirmation of the darkness. Reread it, and you’ll see what I mean. They are indicted by Alexander Luthor, Earth-2 Supes and Superboy Prime for being too dark now. For not being heroic anymore. But slowly E2 Superman realizes that he was being played for a fool and that these new heroes ARE heroic. And who turns out to be the real villains? The two people influencing him and trying to convince him that the darkness was bad. And the final proof appears in the death of Connor Kent issue, where the narration captions basically tell us that this world, warts and all, is heroic after all.

I took all that to mean that DC was saying “Look, we may be more dark, we may be grim, gritty violent and rapeariffic, but dammit we are just as heroic as ever and screw anyone who says otherwise.” They brought up the point of modern comics being too dark not to criticize themselves but rather to address the point and shoot it down as the wrongheaded assertations of raving lunatics stuck in the past (like Alexander Luthor and Superboy Prime, hypocritical lunatics driven insane by their nostalgic need to return things to how they were).

SO yeah, the point was not to decry the modern darkness of DC but to proudly proclaim it shamelessly.

I picked up the last few issues of TF:TFMA to see what the fuss was about, and I found the death of Bart Allen quite moving; he’d lost his powers and died a brutal, ‘human’ death.

Will definitely read on now that Mark Waid’s back; his first run was one of the greatest on a mainstream superhero comic, IMHO.

I agree Brian on Midnighter #8, I thought it was excellent. I wish Leon was doing stuff more regularly, he’s a very good artist.

>>SO yeah, the point was not to decry the modern darkness of DC but to proudly proclaim it shamelessly>>

Until they decide to hit the reset button (again) and go another way (Crisis, Zero Hour, IC…in ten years or so, we’ll get another one).

I used to be a huge DC cheerleader, and I understand that for some insane reason writers/editors believe that they somehow can’t sell a story to the public unless everything is “dark” because they need to sell books, but really, it’s overdone. Hero books in both companies used to be fun, but lately it seems to me to be a marathon to see who can violently out-grim who.

Here’s an idea: start with the character. Tell us what is unique and interesting about the character and why I should care to drop $3 a month on your book. Then write stories about the character that are interesting and not exercises in “how much violent crap can I put them through? Look, I found another layer…”

Waid’s Flash, Giffen’s JLI, Busiek’s Astro City, Willingham’s Fables, etc. I’ll assume that anybody reading this can point to great runs on series, and what makes them great? Not a lot of violent acts, but rather character development and a sense that we know who and what these characters are…not having that sense distorted because some violence needs to mark them.

Violence is a one way to alter a character significantly, but it isn’t the only way. Someone writing these books should realize that.

JEERS to the X-Men: Endangered Species one-shot. It was like the well-written first part of a comic book, where people talk before something happens…only nothing happened!!! There’s more plot advancement in the Curtis comic strip!

Thank you for that.

Also jeers to the the whole Endangered Species crossover format. I must be the only person on the planet that’s really upset about it, but it’s about a far away from the Progressive X-men Era as we could possibly be.

(Hey, I totally just used the Comic Book Dictionary.)

Totally agreeing that we need to see Jason Pearson do more interiors.

I have five pieces of original comic book art. Four of them are Jason Pearson’s Legion of Super-Heroes work. Wonderful stuff.

Also jeers to the the whole Endangered Species crossover format. I must be the only person on the planet that’s really upset about it, but it’s about a far away from the Progressive X-men Era as we could possibly be.

I am looking forward to getting it just to see that Silvestri art though. Should be some of the best X-Men art in a while, I really dig that guy’s evolution as an artist.

I really miss Kole.

Oh, well, anyway…count me in on the crowd who could have sworn that Dan Dideo, when asked about all the grimmness in the DCU at the time, insinuated that it was the “darkness before the dawn” and that things were supposed to get a little happier.

Granted, some would argue it did, just not as much as you might expect.

If Didio ever said that, please find the link. Personally, I think that rumor got started because people saw how Identity Crisis started and misinterpreted it as an indictment of the darkness. If you reread it from beginning to end though, I think they only questioned the darkness in the beginning of the mini so that they could address it and reaffirm once and for all to critics “You’re wrong. Look at Superboy’s death. Look at Earth 2 Superman regretting his judgments. They are heroic after all!”

Think about it, our Superman and Batman didn’t change their views about our world, the OTHER side did. Earth 2 Superman realized he was duped and wrong about our Earth and the heroes here are just as heroic, despite their dark exteriors. I’d argue the opposite of course, but that’s not the point. Also, the other two critics of the darkness, Superboy and Alexander Luthor, were shown to be hypocrites, manipulators, and insane villains.

Hit “reply” to early.

Anyway, the impression I got from Identity Crisis in light of all that was that DC stood by its depressing darkness, had made peace with it and was going full steam ahead, with the sole exception of making Batman more likeable because even they admit they went a little too far on that one.

I don’t think they’re completely backing away from the darkness, but you’re incorrect in your statement that the heroes of this Earth didn’t change their views. Superman agreed that he was not being enough of an inspiration, and took that lesson from Batman’s initial indictment, and from his encounter with Superman of Earth-2. Batman backed away from his paranoia. Wonder Woman stopped Batman from killing Alexander Luthor, saying that it wouldn’t lead anywhere good — effectively renouncing her killing of Maxwell Lord. The Big Three all changed their positions on the things that were viewed to be their key “errors” in bringing about the darkness.

Wasn’t Bart Allen billed as the future greatest Flash of all times (or some such time warped title)? Is that future now defunct or is it a sign he’ll be back someday?

Morgan, I honestly think that you mentioned was just to give the story SOME type of illusion of growth so that it didn’t look like a total waste of time. I mean, let’s really look at those resolutions:

WOnder Woman gives up killing and renounces her murder of Max Lord. Wonder Woman was Wolverine for what, about 6 months real time? And out of the blue? They made her Ms. Wolverine just as a plot device for the story, it wasn’t any major character change like it would be if say the Punisher stopped killing. Wonder Woman not killing is not some big reversal of modern DC characterization, it’s always been the status quo of Wonder Woman even in the darkest of the modern eras.

Batman doesn’t kill Alexander Luthor in issue #7. Well how many times has Batman had a gun to the Joker or his hands around his neck and realized (again) that it wasn’t worth it and killing was wrong? Repeatedly, as recently as Hush. So doing it again is not a symbol of backing away from the modern status quo in favor of light stories, since Batman backing away from murder at the last minute is actually a staple of grim modern Batman stories.

And Superman being more inspirational was just tacked on I believe because they needed something for Superman to “conquer” too for the sake of story symmetry and when they couldn’t think of anything they just made up something vague: “Batman, be less of an asshole.” “Wonder Woman, stop being such a cold-blooded killer, even though you only became one a few months ago out of the blue.” “And Superman…uh…(crap, what should Superman’s issue be?)…uh, inspire!”

Anyway, the problem with DC recently has never been that the superheroes were murderous, it’s more that they remain detached, superior and stubbornly anti-murder almost to a fault while the villains and the world around them get depicted as more and more psychotic, gory and graphically disgusting and depraved at the same time. Now look at Infinite Crisis #7 with the sheer cannon fodder and the bloody beating of Earth 2 Superman combined with Batman once again being on the verge of killing a villain (yet again) until being talked off the ledge (yet again) and you’ll see that it’s all an illusion of change. All of the “changes” in Infinite Crisis #7 at best only serve to return the characters right back to the ineffective, elitist nonkillers in the face of bleak carnage that they were before the whole miniseries started.

One of the worst segments was the first Mage series where Edsel gets killed off in Issue #13. The good news was Kevin accepted The Excalibur Bat & took out the bad guys in the final issue of the first series. However Mr. Wagner never gave us Edsel’s true name or how she found the magical bat in the first place. In the past I’ve been a member of two car clubs that are all-Edsel vechiles and from 1962 to the present met Edsel’s real life counterparts. So if Mr. Wagner looks at me as a fanantic on his character, Edsel. It’s okay. I met her kind from 1962 to the present & sometimes they drive vintage vechiles of the 1950s. The “EW” scenes with Kevin & Edsel were done for various reasons. Among them Edsel was supposed to be “The Lady of The Lake” And I had some done my crew of artists from 1988 to 1998. The reasons was simple: Another good reason why Kev accepted his Excalibur Bat & when he confronts Piet & The Faerie Mistress as Sean & Edsel & when The Faerie Mistress tries her best to get him. He’ll know she’s a phony, because Edsel gets mushy in the aquatic center & did it for a special reason to make sure The Faerie Mistress doesn’t try to get him impersonating her. So that’s the reason why I did the EW Projects.
Markie Brainard, Ex-Child Actor.

I don’t get it. What’s the connection to Mage in all of this?

Dear Brian,
Markie’s Back! And believe it for not there was supposed to be a movie about Matt Wagner’s epic for Comico in 2003 & somehow it didn’t come to The Chilton Theatre or any movie house or palace. If you are a Mage fan there are lots of things that were missing: Among this is this? What was Edsel’s real name and how did she find this enchanted bat? And I did meet Mr. Wagner on 3/28/1992 at Dearborn, Michigan & gave him a few material & revealed what might be her real name: CAROLYN ESTHER WILLIAMS, b. 9/4/1968, d. 9/15/1986. However The movie never came out and there is no record of it selling it in home DVD format. However, Mr. Wagner gave us a clue the girl in the stairwell was not Edsel, because Edsel wore a 4 teeth necklace. And the real Edsel would not put out on the staircase at The Styx Hotel Casino. The Faerie Mistress tried to get Kevin in her form & failed. That’s one for The Good Guys. However there is one terrible thought. Did you ever see the classic movie “Duel”? That’s where the late Dennis Weaver goes up against an unseen truck driver in a Peterbilt Tanker. How about Matt Wagner in a story face a silmar scene & this Peterbilt Tanker is a black shiny one with a silver tanker & the driver looks like Edsel, but goes under the name of BILLIE EARNHARDT, The name comes from BILLIE Holiday & Dale EARNHARDT, Sr. who was a 7 time Winston Cup Champion. The lady trucker has 7 teeth on her necklace & Edsel had 4 teeth on her necklace. The story is the same as the one Dennis Weaver went thru. The car Mr. Wagner would have would be a souped up, 1971 Plymouth Duster that is red & black & has bumper guards for the school bus scene. The outcome would be the same & what Mr. Wagner finds out that the driver was a robot. And the big question is who created the robot & why the she-robot was after Mr. Wagner? The screen writer who wrote “Duel” had a silmar event that went down on the day Kennedy was history. That would be something to talk about on the form. I hope my material don’t shock you Brian. I hate to be in the same league as Lenny Bruce & The Smother Brothers. Well that’s it for now. And pray that you don’t pass a black & silver Peterbilt Tanker on the highway.
Markie Brainard, ex-child actor.

In 1967, 40 years ago there was The Hanna-Barbera verison of The Fantastic Four & they did a good job on doing the episode called “Demon of The Deep” some parts of it was based on the FF #4: The Return of The Sub-Mariner where Namor comes out of his amniesa and finds out part of his kingdom has been destoryed by radation & wants a payback on humans & the FF. But the writers used a mad genius named Professor Beto Gamma & his Island that has all kinds of nasty weapons silmar to what Mr. Hussein supposed to have in Iraq. The FF destorys his island & when Professor Gamma returns he ends up getting out of his submarine & the radation of his weapons transforms into an undersea creature known as The Gamma Ray & Gamma Ray is a stand-in for Namor. In the FF#4, Johnny Storm leaves the group because of a dispute with The Thing & hides out in a shabby hotel where they find a bearded bum that turns out to be Namor & Johnny brings his memory back. However the TV adaption has sailors who encountered The Gamma Ray & Johnny goes out and faces the altered, Professor Gamma aka The Gamma Ray & defeats him. The Gamma Ray finds a prehistoric whale known as Gianto wreck NYC with him. In The FF #4, Namor uses the same giant whale with a horn to bring the whale monster to NYC. Ben Grimm aka The Thing finishes off the sleeping whale with a bomb & it destorys the creature in both FF#4 and the TV adapation of the story, Johnny Storm creates a whirlwind to send Namor out to sea in FF#4 and in the Demon of The Deep, The Gamma Ray is done the same scene & when he goes back to the depths, he boasts that he’s beaten but not broken & he’ll be back & somehow it’s guys like The Gamma Ray that keeps the FF together. In the story adaption, Johnny had some radation illness from the effects & he didn’t like to be treated like a kid & for a while, however a force like The Gamma Ray brought him back. They couldn’t use the Sub-Mariner character for the story, but had a good stand-in for him called The Gamma Ray. If you have read The Fantastic Four Issue #4 and have seen “Demon of The Deep” of the 1967 TV Series The Fantastic Four. Let me know & what did you think of the adaption of the story.
Markie Brainard

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 17, 2007 at 2:15 am

In the Ning-Nang-Nong all the cows go ‘bong’, and the tea pots jibber-jabber-joo!

M. Titan Brainard

December 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

At The Mid-Ohio Con on 11/6/2010, I did meet Matt Wagner and updated him on subjects and gave me a good autograph with Edsel with it. I’m the guy who met real life variations of Edsel and some of them had vintage cars and muscle cars. But Aaron McGruder did a good story about Stinkmeaner’s old crew coming to get Robert Freeman for killing Stinkmeaner (Which sounds like the surname, Starkweather). Let’s say before Edsel was Edsel she used to be known as “Curley” and had a crew of mean, black teenagers which went under the names of LORD REGIS CRABMISER, LADY ESTELLA GRIPENASTY & MR. GEORGE TICKEDOFFMANN. And they took on various popular students and jerky teachers from the TV Series, “Square Pegs” and got kicked out of Weemauwee High & brought more punishment in various high schools. Then Curley became Edsel & then The Eliminators decided to come back and seek revenge on Matt Wagner & his family. Adamda, Brendon & Matt Wagner faced Edsel’s old crew and did get a female martial artist as a body guard & then The Eliminators faced Pauline Austin & one of them had a device called, “The Flying Guillotine” and beheaded Ms. Austin & Barbara Wagner pleads The Eliminators not to kill her family because of Edsel’s demise in the series. And there sore because Matt Wagner did not show scenes where Kevin & Edsel went to a ballroom to dance to various classic tunes & their visit to the indoor aquatic center to show Edsel’s status as The Lady of The Lake and good and it was business and not pleasure, make sure Kevin accepts his role, expose the poser & the best one is to break him for Magda, his future wife. The Eliminators wanted Wagner to start Mage 3, The Hero Denied. The police picks up Edsel’s crew for the death of Pauline Austin & hauled away. Edsel does narrates the story and states this line: THE MORAL OF THE STORIES, MY CHILTON BOYS & GIRLS THAT SOME PEOPLE NEED TO GO TO JAIL. I MAY BE IN A COMIC BOOK LIMBO, BUT AT LEAST I’M NOT IN JAIL, MY CHILTON BOYS & GIRLS.” So that would be a good story for Matt Wagner & his family to meet Edsel’s old crew before she joined The Mage Heroes in Wagner’s graphic novel.
M. Titan Brainard

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