Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
AllÂ right, comicÂ nerds everywhere, it’s time to answer the questions from my contest.Â I got 12 entries, which seems to be about the norm for my contests.Â Maybe someday I’ll have 12 prizes, and then everyone will win!
First, if you like, review the questions.Â It’s up to you.Â Then, peruse the answers.Â Obviously, SPOILERS abound, so don’t tread where you might not want to!Â
1. The Joker attempted to copyright smiling fish in DetectiveÂ Comics #475.Â IÂ wrote “patent,” and for that IÂ apologize.Â It didn’t seem to botherÂ anyone.Â This story, of course, is part of the six issues of the classic Englehart/Rogers/Austin run in the late 1970s.Â If you haven’t read it, seek out the trade!
2.Â Christine Spar is the daughter of Hunter Rose’s adopted daughter, Stacey Palumbo.Â That puts her in the exact same situation as my wife.Â Hunter Rose, of course, was the original Grendel, and Christine later became Grendel to save her kidnapped son.Â Spar also wrote a book about Rose.
3.Â Jen and Gabe appeared in a cameo in Justice LeagueÂ AmericaÂ #34, one of the Kooey Kooey Kooey issues.Â Â The twoÂ are the stars of The Maze Agency, which Adam Hughes drew.Â So when Hughes was on JLA for his all-too-brief run, he (or Giffen and DeMatteis) put them into the lobby of Booster and Beetle’s hotel.
4. Okay, John Constantine’s age is a bit of a thorny issue, although it didn’t affect the answerers, most of whom answered comprehensively.Â John’s birthday is 10 May 1953, making him 54 right now, because he ages in real time.Â I had heard that before, but I wasn’t sure if DC was still claiming that he ages in real time.Â The last time it was mentioned in the comics was Hellblazer #63, when Garth Ennis threw him a 40th birthday party.Â I gave credit for either answer.Â Does he age in real time but not actually, you know, “age”?Â What’s DC going to do in twenty years, if they’re still publishing Hellblazer?
5. John first appeared in Swamp Thing #37.Â However, it’s a general consensus among comics people that he showed up in one panel in Swamp Thing #25, when he looks more like Sting than he ever would again:
6. Here’s another tricky one that didn’t cause too much controversy.Â Tommy, aka Monolith of the Elementals, was molested when he was young by a kid named David.Â This is revealed in Elementals Special #1, which is about child abuse.Â I read that story probably 17 years ago and promptly forgot about it.Â I was thinking of Mary Lo, the government liaison who seduces him in Elementals Sex Special #1.Â I gave credit for either answer.Â Hardly anyone got this one, so it doesn’t really matter that much.
7. Warren White faked an insanity plea to avoid jail time, and turned into a creepy character who called himself the Great White Shark.Â Actually, that was his nickname when he wasÂ a free man, too, because of his business practices.Â Â This information is from Arkham Asylum: Living Hell by Dan Slott, Ryan Sook, and Wade von Grawbadger.Â Man, that’s a cool comic.
8. In Amazing Spider-Man #289, Ned Leeds is killed by the Foreigner’s men.Â Why?Â Because he’s the Hobgoblin!Â Some people answered Jason MacEndale, but I couldn’t accept that, sorry.Â MacEndale hired the Foreigner to kill Ned Leeds, but it was the Foreigner’s men who actually did the killing.
9. In Fantastic Four #1, Sue Storm calls Ben Grimm a coward and asks him if he wants the Commies to get to the cosmic rays first.Â This is, of course, one of the great panels in history:
10. Maggie Jordan is the victim in Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Scene of the Crime, a very good crime drama from 1999.Â Maggie was killed, somewhat accidentally, by her sister, Alex Jordan.Â One of the contestants claimed she was not killed at all, but I’ve looked at the damned book three times since that answer came in, and I can’t see any evidence that she’s still alive.Â Sorry!
11. SirÂ Jim Jaspers made his first, andÂ only, appearance in theÂ “American” MarvelÂ Universe inÂ Uncanny X-Men #200, when he showed up at the trial of Magneto.Â This is a puzzling answer, because Jaspers appeared in the old Captain Britain strip written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan Davis, and he was in the normal Marvel U., as in Earth-616.Â Everybody else from that time is in regular continuity, but not Jaspers, it appears, because the Jaspers who is in UXM #200 doesn’t appear to be the same person.Â Only Chris Claremont knows for sure, I guess.
12. More people than I thought know about Scurvy Dogs, which is a freakin’ hilarious comic, because the oldest Portuguese leper trick in the book is, indeed, hiding “shillings in the belly.”
13. Only one person got this right, which means most people don’t own John Byrne’s hilarious run on She-Hulk.Â At one point, Shulkie tears through the pages of the comic itself and runs across two pages made to look like those price guides that used to appear in comic books back in the day.Â Except Byrne makes up all the prices, and although it takes a while to read them, they’re very funny.Â Amazing Spider-Man #1, for instance, is worth “indentured servitude for a period of not less than 15 years.”
14. In My Greatest Adventure #80, the first appearance of the Doom Patrol, we learn that Rita Farr, who was filming a movie in Africa, inhaled some vapors and turned into a giant.Â Just like in real life!
15. In Centravian, the northern hemisphere spells out “Dean Fusk is embezzling the canteen fund.”Â The southern hemisphere spells out “And Mrs. Fusk is a convicted shoplifter and their horribly ugly son Mark is a known snitch.”Â What the hell is this about, you ask?Â This is from D. R. & Quinch, a strip from 2000 AD back in the day, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan Davis, featuring the adventures of two alien juvenile delinquents.Â It’s very funny.Â I have the collection, which was published by FleetwayÂ back in 1991, but it’s probably out of print.Â If you find it, snatch it up.Â Moore can be very humorous,Â if he wants to be.Â
16. At the end of “Born Again,” Frank Miller’s story about Daredevil’s fall and rise, our blind hero takes the man sent to destroy him, Nuke, to The Daily Bugle office, in order to show that the government was involved.Â Mass arrests and suicides follow!
17. Here’s another pain in the butt answer.Â William Gravel is the protagonist of Warren Ellis’ fine series of mini-series from Avatar, Strange Kiss/Stranger Kisses/Strange Killings.Â Technically, he’s a sergeant major in the S. A. S.Â He’s also been described as a “combat magician,” which is what I wanted.Â But I gave credit for either answer.
18. Mary Jane, so distraught by Peter’s proposal, flees to … Pittsburgh.Â Ah, the Iron City!Â Home of the Pisces!Â Peter follows her, and hilarity ensues: the Spider-Slayer is on his trail!Â That Smythe guy is always good for a few laughs.
19. “Scenes from a Night’s Dream” is based on Little Nemo in Slumberland.Â It’s on the album …And Then There Were Three, which is quite a good album.
20. In the second Captain Britain trade (even though it was released first), we learn that a strange African ruler, Doctor Crocodile, captured and tortured Jamie Braddock, the older brother of Brian and Elisabeth Braddock (otherwise known as Captain Britain and Psylocke).Â Jamie totally deserved it, though – he was a scumbag.
21. Rot Lop Fan is the Green Lantern who couldn’t see, as he lived in the Obsidian Deeps.Â One of the contestants answered Katma Tui, but she was, of course, the GL who gave Rot Lop Fan his ring.
22. At the beginning of their current ongoing series, we learn that the Shadowpact has been trapped in Riverrock, Wyoming, for a year.Â Sucks to be them, I guess.
23. Kylun, who disappeared as a child into a weird portal in Excalibur #1 and showed up as an adult forty-some issues later, could replicate any sound he heard.Â Some people might think this is a pretty lame mutant power, but I love it.Â Just like Doug Ramsey’s, mutant powers shouldn’t always be something that aids in fighting.
24. John Cumberland, otherwise known as the High,Â flew into the force field (the Storm Door) around StormWatch headquarters, Skywatch, in StormWatch #50.Â He then went splat.
25. Vanity, the city that drives people crazy, was introduced in Grant Morrison’s and Mark Millar’s sadly short-lived series Aztek: The Ultimate Man.Â I guess in the horrific World War III series from earlier this year, it was pegged in Oregon, which is implied in Aztek, but the region is definitely the Northwestern United States.Â A few people just answered Oregon, and I’m sorry, but I asked for the region, not the state.Â No soup for you, unfortunately.
26. The day before I posted this, but long after I came up with this question, Bill Reed gave away the answer to Beta Ray Bill’s ship, which was called Skuttlebutt.Â Stupid Bill Reed and his excellent series about reasons to love comics!Â I thought about changing the question, but I stubbornly kept it.Â I wrote it down before Bill posted, after all!
27. Way back in Avengers #92 (reprinted in an Essentials volume and The Kree-Skrull War trade), we met H. Warren Craddock, who hated superheroes and led a public charge against them (and he would have gotten away with it, too, if not for those lousy kids!).Â It later turned out that he was the fourth Skrull from the original Skrull story back in Fantastic Four #Whatever-it-was – the one who wasn’t turned into a cow.
28. Chris Grahame is the protagonist of Kingdom of the Wicked, an excellent comic by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli.Â He suffers from headaches and blackouts, so if you answered that, I gave you partial credit, even though those are only symptoms.Â His real problem is that he has a twin brother, but one who was never actually born.Â His brother’s tiny bodyÂ is lodged at the base ofÂ Chris’s spine, causing all sorts of trauma to Mr. Grahame.
29. The woman who wrote Riverrun is named Anna.Â She first appeared inÂ Swamp Thing #151.Â She and Alec Holland had some bizarre adventures over the course of the story arc.Â This is all part of the brilliant Mark Millar/Phil Hester run that ended the first Swamp Thing series.Â Yes, I wrote “brilliant,” and I mean it.
30. In the sadly underread Major Bummer #1 by John Arcudi, Doug Mahnke, and Tom Nguyen, Lou Martin receivesÂ a box in the mail.Â Â When he opened it, it exploded in his face, making him muscular and invulnerable.Â We then find out that aliens sent him the package, which contained an “Extreme Enhancement Module,” by mistake.
31. Peter Sands attempted to write a biography ofÂ Metropolis’ most famous citizen.Â This, as you might expect, didn’t work out too well.Â The full story can be found in Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography by James Hudnall and Eduardo Barreto, a pretty good one-shot in that old Deluxe format DC used to use.
32. The purple Infinity Gem gives its user complete power over space.Â It’s a bit more complicated than that, but basically, space.
33. Kyle Rayner makes his first appearance in Green Lantern #48 by Ron Marz, Bill Willingham, Romeo Tanghal, and Robert Campanella.Â He shows up on the last page, watching Hal Jordan fly off on his mission of revenge.Â He’s with his girlfriend, whose fate is, well, unpleasant.
34. Namor started a new company called Oracle, Inc., in the solo series that was written and drawn byÂ John Byrne.Â Later Byrne wrote it and Jae Lee drew it.Â I think it’s Lee’s first comics work, but I’m not sure.Â Does anyone know?
35. Joshua Jones is otherwise known as Captain Gravity, star of two mini-series from Penny-Farthing Press.Â He discovered something called Element 115 in an ancient Mayan temple, and this allowed him to manipulate gravity.Â I haven’t read the first mini-series yet, but the second, by Joshua Dysart and Sal Velluto, is pretty neat.
36. This is another question that raised some issues, and it’s my fault.Â The original Jihad was made up of Rustam, Djinn, Manticore, Jaculi, Chimera, Ravan, as we found out in Suicide Squad #1.Â However, I gave people credit for answering Colonel Mushtaq as well, because Ravan didn’t really have a superpower.Â I should have worded the question differently – maybe something about the field team?Â Anyway, it didn’t matter that much – people who knew the six members usually gave me the colonel anyway.Â And no, it doesn’t matter that Chimera was really Nightshade.Â She was still in the Jihad!
37. Finally, another one with some controversy.Â I wrote “person,” which should preclude the stupid leprechaun in X-Men #103 (before they became “uncanny”), but the truth isÂ I simply forgot about the little turd.Â His name was Padraic, in case you’re wondering, and he called Wolverine Mr. Logan.Â I was looking forÂ Heather MacDonald in Uncanny X-Men #139, when Wolverine and Nightcrawler hooked up with Alpha Flight.Â I gave credit to either answer.Â More than one person guessed Mariko, but that ain’t it.
So those are the answers.Â Sorry if I went on a bit – you know how I am.Â The winner, with 171 points (out of 200), was Stergios Botzakis.Â He would have gotten a higher score, but I ruled against his answer of Jason MacEndale for the person who killed Ned Leeds and the fact that the High was trying to “bring down” a “United Nations space platform.”Â Those answers just weren’t specific enough.Â Yes, I am a hard taskmaster.Â Brice Dare finished in second place with 166 points.Â Brice answered “Oregon” for where Vanity is, but even if I had given credit for that, it still wouldn’t have won it, as that question was only worth 4 points.Â If you want to know the rest of the point totals, you can clamor for it in the comments, and I’ll oblige.
Thanks for entering, everyone.Â It’s always fun for me, because I get to give away comics.Â We’ll see how long it takes for me to accumulate some more and have another giveaway.Â I’ll have to figure out what kind of contest to run!
I should point out that there’s something wrong with my computer, so I may not be posting much for a while.Â It gets overheated very quickly and I can’tÂ keep it turned on for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.Â This post, for instance, took me four days to type because I kept having to turn the machine off, wait a while, and then turn it back on.Â I’ve tinkered with it a bit, but fear to do anything more because of my ineptitude with machines.Â So we’ll see – maybe I’ll get it fixed in a day and be back soon with more opinions about crappy comics that everyone but me hates!Â Or it could be a while.Â Only my PC knows for sure!
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