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Snark Free Corner for 6/16

Welcome to the latest installment of your breath of snark free air!

Let’s send some good vibes DC Comics’ way with an all-DC Comics Edition of Snark Free Corner!!

Enjoy!

TEN GOOD THINGS ABOUT DC COMICS RIGHT NOW

Not counting Vertigo and Wildstorm, which would make this too easy (Scalped, Fables, Ex Machina, etc.)!!

10. Batman Confidential has had a couple of fun arcs back to back with notable creators. The current arc by Fabian Nicieza and the amazing Kevin Maguire (admittedly, Maguire does seem to like the nudity a BIT too much, but it thankfully was not a major part of the story) followed a very underrated arc by Tony Bedard and Rags Morales.

9. The Brave and the Bold is the perfect type of book for J. Michael Straczynski – allows him to do sweeping stories with characters that he enjoys – and his early choices all sound fun!

8. The pencilers on the two Green Lantern titles are quite good – Ivan Reis and Patrick Gleason are fine artists.

7. Booster Gold has been enjoyable!

6. James Robinson doing monthly comic books again!

5. I enjoy the return of the original Legion. You can certainly argue about the methods of their return, but their return, in and of itself, is cool.

4. Matthew Sturges, the new writer on Blue Beetle, made a Dylan reference in Salvation Run! You don’t get much more awesome than that! It’s good to see him getting a new steady gig.

3. Batman R.I.P has been a lot of fun, and the mystery of the Black Glove has been intriguing – I love all the Silver Age nods.

2. Final Crisis #1 was quite good – if the quality of #1 holds up, it’ll be the best company-wide crossover ever!

1. All Star Superman is still one of the best comics on the market!!

COVER THEME GAME

As always, here is the game. I show three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, locale, creator, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these comics. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond just the covers.

A cool point to the first person to figure it out!

Good luck!

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SNARK FREE CHALLENGE

Invent a new Batman rogue with a bird theme!

THE COVER GAME

This week’s game is as follows…

It’s a tough one this week!

Find me a cover featuring Black Lightning, only it can’t be an issue of his own title, the Justice League OR the Outsiders!

Here is an example (which you can’t use!)…

Remember, only one cover per commenter!

Floating heads don’t count!

WHO IS IT?

Remember, tell me who it is and what number clue gave it away!

1. This character is the offspring of a Golden Age DC character.
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2. This character gained his/her powers through science.
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3. This character has become romantically involved with his teammate.
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4. This character fought against the Ultra-Humanite.
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5. This character first appeared in Infinity Inc.

Who is it?

Well, that’s it for this installment of Snark Free Corner.

Hope you had fun!

59 Comments

You forgot teen titans year 1!

Karl Kerschl should be working on a classic lucasarts game, with that talent, but then he wouldn’t be drawing awesome comic books.

Wow, easy challenge. All three covers feature characters who are not the character they seem to be. (Everyman as Blue Beetle, The Toyman who was retconned into being a robot in recent Action Comics, and Everyman as Green Arrow.)

I am so glad that Everyman is dead.

New bird-based Bat-baddie? Easy. The Vulture!

Oh, wait.

The guessing game is hard this week. I had Damage pegged at the first clue, and every clue fits him except for #2, since he has powers.

Cover theme:

All covers have characters who have died and returned (if Blue Beetle returning in the Booster Gold arc counts)

Hector Hall, the Silver Scarab for the mystery character. GA Hawkman’s son, romantically involved with Fury, fought the Ultra Huamnite Not sure of his current status (ie i don’t know if he has any powers or not!), but hes not Doctor Fate anymore.
Oh wait, didn’t he first appear in All Star Squadron? Damn…
Stirling work from Kevin Nowlan for the cover challenge – http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=44411&zoom=4
Waxwing for a bat baddie. A hideous amalgam of Clayface and the Penguin… OK, maybe not!
Amen to the Everyman comment. Should have been called ‘Every surprise villian in a DC comic in 2006-07′ Man.

For the Who is it? my best guess would be Rick Tyler (Hourman) even though he can have powers 1/24 of the time.

Man, I loved those Roy Thomas stories from the eighties. I had to admire the way he kept trying to get the continuity/history to work out when no one else seemed to care.

The who is it is Rick Tyler (Hourman)

I’ve got nothing but snark in me right now. What a two week period for DC.

I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

As far as bird-based Bat-villains goes,
there’s none more dangerous than …
(wait for it) ….
(it’s coming) ….
(tremble in fear) ….
(cower under the bed covers) ,,,

The …..

OSTRICH!!!!!

Go and duck your heads in the sand, man!!!!!!!!

The who is it can’t be Rick Tyler. Rick has the ability to see an hour into the future. It was a gift given to him by the android Hourman. I don’t know who it could be instead.

Justice League of America #173

Remember, no Justice League covers! :)

The who is it can’t be Rick Tyler.

Correct! It is not Rick. Not a bad job of making people THINK Rick, though, eh? :)

Alas, whenever I post a comment with a link, it gets deleted. CSBG’s robot guards don’t trust me, so you’ll have to: the cover New Teen Titans #37 has BL on it.

All feature clones/robots/doubles standing in for the characters on the cover. Blue Beetle was really Everyman, the killer Toyman was recently established as a robot, and Everyman again (I think) was the psycho Green Arrow whom Dinah killed.

I think Thok has the right answer. That’s the first thing I saw.

Of the books you listed in your 10 list, I haven’t read Batman Confidential since issue 2 or 3, and haven’t read Blue Beetle since the first story arc. I was already thinking of getting Batman Confidential, so now I’m pretty sure I will. Still not sure about Blue Beetle.

By George I think I’ve got it
The second Icicle? Everyything fits apart from the powers (again…).
Son of the Golden Age Icicle, romantically involved with Tigress from Injustice Unlimited (?), fought the Ultra Humanite in a JSA arc and first appeared in Infinity Inc.
Sigh, this one’s really bugging me

Cover game: DC Comics Presents #16, which I’m not linking to because otherwise the comment system thinks I’m spamming.

Icicle II has powers, Ben, so no dice there.

I’m never any good at the challenges in Snark Free Waters, so I’m not going to offer any guesses. I’d just like to say that I’m glad this feature is back. I’d missed it.

Daniel O' Dreams

June 16, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Wow I really should know the who is it… I have a complete run of Infinity Inc and JSA since they were in All Star (the 70’s version) I just can’t get past Rick Tyler. Damn stupid precognition powers…

Oh and for the cover game. Green Arrow (current) #57. Sorry don’t know how to do the link thing.

Bird-based Bat baddie– The Kiwi.

First, some really obvious character traits to start with: He’s from New Zealand, he’s very nearly if not completely blind, and he is wingless– i.e., he has no arms.

Extrapolating from that– he would probably be a wee bit bitter about his handicap, and perhaps feel a bit dejected/rejected, in the best tradition of post-Dini romantic rogues– the Mad Hatter, Dr. Freeze, et cetera.

Or– how about this– he’s not bitter at all about his misfortune. He’s an elective amputee– he only felt whole after lopping off his arms.

Sad, twisted, and a bit freaky– perfect, psychologically, for a Bat-Villain.

Two problems, though. One, if he’s too screwed up, he’s not going to be a fun character. Not that all Bat-villains are exactly the life of the party, but there’s only so many twisted psyches one can put up with, and really screwed up characters only have a limited number of stories you can tell about them. A good addition to the Bat rogues gallery has to have his own little story engine built in.

And that’s the other problem: as of this moment, he’s a very static character. He might have a “core” that works, but without giving him something to do– what’s the point? He needs some motivation to actually commit crimes, and, more than that, he needs a very particular and identifiable crime-committing style– a theme, and one that obvious ties into his bird of choice or his various handicaps.

And, frankly, I’m having a hard time coming up with a situation where a blind man with no arms can pose a credible threat to Batman, let alone be taken seriously by the criminal element in Batman. Obviously, he’d have to be smart, but he’d have to have something else– and not something as obvious as a super-power, which kind of flies against the whole idea of a Bat-baddy– something that made him a little more capable of holding his own and giving a tussle.

And, at the moment, that I’m stuck on.

Yeah, Daniel, I’ve got all of Infinity, Inc. and I’m stumped. I’m still hung up on Hector being the one…

How about Norda? No “super-powers”, just his native abilities.

Or maybe we’re wrong thinking about the members of Infinity, Inc. Can anyone think of a legacy supervillan who fought the Ultra-Humanite?

The Guinea Fowl: Old World assassin, brought in by the family. He fights dirty.

Oh, and my wife says she wants to see Batman fight the horror of… The Tufted Titmouse!

And hasn’t he already had to deal with the Stork?

Hmm – Did Pat Dugan’s kid ever join a team?

Obsidian, maybe? Wrong time frame?

Obsidian has too many powers!

I haven’t seen the issue in a while, but there was a cross-over in the early 80s between the Outsiders and the Wolfman/Perez Titans, I *think* BL was on the cover…anyone have that issue and can confirm?

Whoops, meant to say, BL was on the cover of the Titans issue of the cross-over…

Man, I just realized I was WAAAAAAY unfair with the clues! My apologies! I made the correction – this character DOES clearly have powers – they just came about through science, which is what I wanted to differentiate (while, at the same time, making it sound like Rick, with the twist being that Rick wouldn’t count because he also has the magic precognitive abilities).

but his “magic” powers are based on science – granted, the science of the 853rd century, but science nonetheless.

I was thinking Jesse Quick (her powers are a result of math), but she didn’t appear in Infinity Inc. It could be Icicle, since he fought against Ultra Humanite, but I don’t know where his powers come from…

Icicle it is!

His powers came from his father’s gun (prolonged exposure internalized the gun’s energies).

It’s funny what we’ll call “science” in comics, isn’t it?

Hehe…darn tootin!

Goshawk. An agile woman who loves hang-gliding. She’s familiar with the city because she used to be a beat cop before the insanity of Gotham got to her. During a blackout caused by another of Batman’s Rogues, she noticed that the security system on the jewelry store nearby was out. She took some of the jewels, went a few blocks and arrested a homeless career criminal. She claimed he’d robbed the place, she chased him down and he ditched part of the loot into the sewer.

Then she’s committed a few other opportunistic crimes and in one case claimed to have seen a masked and feathered criminal. To back up her claim, she dressed up in such a costume and made a brief public appearance. She planned on hanging up the costume then, but was captured by Batman. She hadn’t committed a crime on that occasion and the police couldn’t find evidence of her former crimes, so she was released. They did kick her off the force for inappropriate conduct (dressing up in public as a masked villain), so she’s attempting to sue them for wrongful termination.

In the meantime, she’s adopted the costume again. She’s trying to set up a situation where she has an alibi when the “real” Goshawk appears to help her win her lawsuit. She also taunts the police by making a quick robbery and then escaping on foot through the alleys and rooftops. Her costume gives her the ability to glide a short distance and also contains claws on the left hand.

In future appearances, she’d use her intelligence and knowledge of the city to track down the costumed vigilantes who brought her down, or perhaps in getting vengeance against one of Batman’s more traditional villains for killing one of her few remaining friends on the police force.

I like the ideas of Ostrich and Kiwi for Batman rogues, and I’d want to throw in THE EMU as well. All this is really just to set up a villain cadre assembled and led by the Penguin, in a story arc we just had to call … Flightless!!!

Also I would like to say I find it amusing that on 6/16 – a day which always makes me think of the mainstream Marvel Universe and its numerical ID amongst the multiverse – that the entire Snark Free Corner is dedicated to DC Comics.

Black Lightning cover: Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #1 http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=32383&zoom=4

Stephane Savoie

June 17, 2008 at 7:06 am

Whew… is it the second Dr. Midnight, who died in Eclipso?

I would love to have mine at the top of this list. It is called Klok and can be found on my blog at finding a medical transcription job

The Whooping Crane!

This awkward, long-legged fop uses his awesome sonic powers and knowledge of Crane-style kung-fu to lethally take down big business in order to create a safe environment for his beloved, endangered brethren.

Though he’d probably work better as a Venture Bros. villain…

Here’s my pitch for a brand-new bird-themed Bat-villain:

BLACK VULTURE, Carrion Defiler!

I originally thought about creepy gimicks, because good Bat-villains need to be creepy AND to have solid gimmicks. And what’s creepier than a villain specialized in stealing corpses for vile ends? That led me to the sort of birds that favour feasting on dead carcasses, and the rest came naturally. In a nutshell, the Black Vulture is a voodoo master who brings back the dead as zombies. Black Vulture has an arsenal of paralyzing herbs and poisoned darts that he uses to foil the Caped Crusader, and a giant vulture called Thanatos which whom Black Vulture has a supernatural link (Black Vulture can command his bird telepathically). Black Vulture wears a black cloak over a dark-grey suit, and his trademark is ceremonial face-paint that resembles a stylized skull. Batman will later discover that Black Vulture’s ressurection formula is connected to R’as Al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits, and that R’as’ followers want the Black Vulture’s head on a platter for having “perverted” the Lazarus Pits’ mystical properties.

There are all sorts of stories that could be told with Black Vulture. For example, BV ressurects dead cops and politicians as zombies who give him privileged information that he then uses to blackmail still-living people. BV ressurects fallen superheroes and uses them as undead bodyguards, creeping the hell out of everyone. BV ressurects everyone on the morgue, building a zombie army that he then uses to wage a territorial gang-war against Gotham’s living criminals, who are forced to ask for Batman’s help against this ghoulish competition. This guy would be SO creepy that even the Joker would feel unconfortable in his presence.

Clown knives, and arrows are all appropriate toys for young children. About time you had an easy one.

Fabian Nicieza … I just can’t get into him. Ever since the time he took over X-Men and did an incredibly blatant rip on Claremont’s writing style I can’t read anything he does.

Best thing about DC? NO EFFIN’ SKRULLS!

1. all three are not who they seem to be on the cover
2. Sky Lark ( bird is Skylark)
3. Black Lightning appears on the cover of Amazon Attacks # 2 http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=354093&zoom=4
I know we all want to forget it, but he was on that cover.

also… one of the greatest thing about DC right now… is Gail Simone on Wonder Woman. (well, Gail Simone by herself is one of the best things about DC!)

All three books feature characters masquerading as other characters.
1) Everyman posing as ted Kord
2) Toyman robot posing as Toyman
3) Everyman, again, posing as Ollie.

All three books feature characters masquerading as other characters.
1) Everyman posing as ted Kord
2) Toyman robot posing as Toyman
3) Everyman, again, posing as Ollie.

damn, thok beat me to it

for the bird bat-villain how about the Spotted Owl.

Lived a peaceful existence until his or her environment was threatened by rampant development. Operates mostly at night and is very hard to see. Alter ego is very shy. Goes after envioronmental despoilers and big developers.

And because of diplomatic immunity, very difficult to convict. (closest to endangered species status I can come up with)

Oh right, sorry – meant to say “correctamundo!” to thok.

Best thing about DC? NO EFFIN’ SKRULLS!

How would you know?

Best thing about DC? New Joe Kubert. The possibility of new Ambush Bug. `

I wish someone would bring back Shrike.

That’s the Titans cover I was talking about…a very nice looking cover, and a good issue as well.

Bird based bat man baddie

I got two

The Cuckoo. He would kill robin and just show up in the bat cave like he was supposed to be here in a manner similar to the Cuckoo’s laying eggs in the nests of other birds

Or

The Road Runner who would constantly avoid batman when the gadgets from his utility belt consistently fail.

I know it’s sad but there are so many great bird names that would never be used:

A couple called “The Great Tits”
“The Blue Tit”
“The Blue-footed Booby”

there are loads like that…

How about “The Ornithologist”. .. He collects people with bird connections… names linked to latin names of birds, etc.
Kills his victims, stuffs them and puts them on display…

In a costume themed to their name!

Gets stopped by Black Canary and Robin when he goes after the Penguin…

Episode called “Bird-Watching”…

The answer for the who is it can be both Silver Scarab AND Hourman II:

Both appeared in Infinity Inc

Both are Golden Age offspring (SS is son of Hawkman I and Hawkgirl I, HM II is son of Hourman I)

Both gained powers from science ( SS was from his Nth metal suit, while HM II got his from Miraclo pills)

Both dated their teammates (SS dated Fury II, HM II dated Dr. Midnight II)

Both fought the Ultra-Humanite (SS in Generations Saga, HM II in Stealing Thunder)

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