"Star Wars" Minor Players Reflect on a Galaxy Not So Far Away in "Elstree 1976"
Much like a delicious turkey, today’s post is moist, delicious, and has a stranger’s hand up its arse. Much like the vegan option, tofurkey, it tastes like whatever you cook it with and is beloved by hipsters everywhere. Yes, we’re well past Thanksgiving by now, but that’s okay, because this column is always comprised of leftovers.
Now that I’ve alienated all six of my readers, we can move on.
BRAVE AND THE BOLD DEPT: “Darkseid Descending!” Written by Paul Giacoppo
Yep, that’s right, it’s JLI: Brave and the Bold style, and in an episode not written by J.M DeMatteis! There’s a lot less bwa-ha-ha, but still a lot of infighting, in the form of actual fistfights from the male members of the cast. J’onn J’onzz finally appears on the show, but spends the entire episode trying to fix the JL watchtower’s air conditioning instead of repelling the evil invasion, and eating chocolate chip cookies, to boot (blasphemy! J’onn eats Oreos!) Ice, however, is adorable, with her over-the-top Scandinavian accent.
The plot feels a bit rushed– if Starro gets two parts, Darkseid should as well, but the episode serves up a few epic sequences to keep fanboys happy. The Kirbiest spaceship ever appears, bringing Darkseid down to Earth at last; it’s here that the animation appears inked by Mike Royer. Darkseid takes the full brunt of the Justice League’s might without even wincing, until only Batman stands against him, first outrunning the Omega Beams, and then engaging ol’ granite-dome in a fistfight. It’s all thoroughly exciting, but over too soon as the ending comes about out of nowhere. Still, the characters are as we remember them– and they threw in Aquaman for the hell of it, which is always the right decision to make!
TOSSED-OFF COMMENT! You know, as much as I love and support Conan O’Brien, I secretly prefer Craig Ferguson as a late night host. I rarely get around to watching his show (though I made it a point to catch that Doctor Who special!), but he does everything right, and with an apparent budget of twenty bucks an episode. His monologues work as narratives instead of an unconnected series of jokes, he’s constantly funny and easygoing, his interviews seem like comfortable conversations between pals rather than enforced hype, and he’s got a Scottish accent. I like Scottish accents. Plus, robot skeletons.
FOLLOW-UP COGITATION! I have a secret, misguided fantasy about being a
stand-up comedian private detective kicker for the Cleveland Browns kept man chimp wrangler late-night talk show host. (Heck, if I could get this damn beard to grow in, I’d be a dead ringer for Conan O’Brien.)
SO I WATCHED the Jonah Hex movie this week. No, it wasn’t as terrible as I was secretly hoping it would be. Yes, it clearly is half a movie stitched together into something releasable (well, in the sense that they actually released it) in the editing room, complete with an alternate editing shoehorned in as a dream sequence and the same shot of Hex on horseback used three or four times. A lot of elements don’t make any sense (like, there’s a random bit with a vampire acrobat or something), the climactic sequence is confusing, and everything explodes. However, the most intriguing thing about the movie, thought I, was that it seemed like a half-assed remake of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. It’s about an Old West bounty hunter, his tightass “handler,” his sultry lady-of-the-evening love interest, his quirky black pal (amalgamated with his quirky inventor pal), his faithful horse, and his grudge match with his family-killin’ archnemesis. Heck, there are even mysterious glowing orbs! Throw in a little facial scarring and some Pushing Daisies bits where he chats with dead people, and you’ve got Jonah Hex.
I ALSO WATCHED Brenda Starr, the lowest-grossing comic-based movie of all time, which is out of print (but streamed on Netflix! Until the other day), starring Brooke Shields, Timothy Dalton, and one of Gregory Peck’s kids. The plot summary made it sound ridiculous and awesome, but it turns out it’s just okay, a throwback movie in the style of Romancing the Stone. Dick Tracy would end up doing this kinda thing a lot better.
ITEM! My pal (and Friend of CSBG) Bry Kotyk has formally launched his webcomic, Welcome to Hereafter, which follows God as he runs his heavenly corporation. Go, read:
I give it two weeks. (I kid! I kid! … three weeks.)
ITEM! James Stokoe tosses up over 100 pages of an unfinished/upcoming graphic novel called Murderbullets online. Why? Because he’s awesome:
ITEM(S)! Matt Seneca’s defense of Rob Liefeld’s art is quite stirring, and ballsy:
…Liefeld has bled into the substance of the medium itself, his mannerisms and tendencies as inextricable from the look of the average modern hero comic as Kirby action blocking was in the ’70s or Caniff spotted blacks were in the pre-Code era. Like those two, Liefeld’s greatest impact on his field didn’t come as an artist but as a stylist, an abstract collection of tics that a whole generation followed. What makes Liefeld’s art so interesting as compared to that of Lee and McFarlane, who both shared the lininess and anatomic hiccups, is the same thing that keeps him from getting the fan appreciation those two guys get despite their having done much poorer, uglier work than Liefeld was ever guilty of.
He’s also got a neat piece up on Absolute All Star Superman:
At pamphlet size the detail of his backgrounds just kind of knocks you back with all the minutiae, but blown up big you can go into it and lose yourself, really feel the texture and sprawl of the spaces. These comics aren’t set on the flat, two-dimensional stage so many action books fall back onto. The adventures are grounded in their setting so deeply, and it does wonders for the story: you can really understand why things happen in the radiant, technicolor way they do in this book when you’ve got your feet firmly planted in the concrete caricature of the alternate world Quitely creates.
ITEM! The Mindless Ones talk about the recent Bat-relaunch, portraying Bruce Wayne as the Alpha-Adapter:
Health, as I mentioned above, is a key ingredient here. How does it manifest? Well, to begin with there’s the weightless, breakneck pacing of these two books, utterly unencumbered by the baggage of the last five years worth of bat-comics, then there’s the sex, then there’s the playfulness and humour, then there’s the inventiveness and energy – Internet 3.0, jet-suits, everything – and new locations galore, suggestive of a completely new, expansive bat-paradigm. If these comics were a person, they’d be at their peak. Batman Inc is Batman Ink, limited only to what can be drawn on a page.
ABHAY DEPT: So Abhay’s writing a Jimmy Olsen story for February’s Superman 80-Page Giant. That makes it a must-buy. Meanwhile, at the link, Abhay turns self-promotion into performance art, and raves about Jimmy Olsen:
And unlike most DC characters, [Jimmy Olsen]’s not locked into any single theme. A comic about Batman should probably be about crime being a bitter fruit that grows weeds, or whatever that expression is; a story about Wonder Woman should be about Man’s World; a story about Black Canary should be about fishnet stockings; a story about Zatanna, I don’t know, I guess should also be about fishnet stockings.
I feel like every comics blogger wants to write a Jimmy Olsen comic (call me, DC).
ITEM! Bully takes us into the world of superhero business cards!
ITEM! Dan McDaid and CSBG Contributor and Friend Dean Trippe bring us the greatest image of all time:
Dean’s also got a lovely Terriers tribute wallpaper at his site. I know you all love Terriers. Except T., whose heart is two sizes too small.
ITEM! Kate Beaton, you guys:
And that’s the fortnight! Now do me a favor– be nice to each other out there, and email FX (firstname.lastname@example.org) and demand– or better yet, ask nicely– nah, demand– the renewal of Terriers. Even if you don’t watch it. Because I’d do it for you!
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