Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It Had to Be Said #1

Batman/Robin slash fic and jokes are disturbing not because of the gay, but because of the pedophilia.

That is all.

Monday, March 27, 2006

She Wanted Out

Some people think Wonder Woman is a lesbian, just because she grew up on an island of only women. And is really strong and tough and ready to fight. And used to shout out "Suffering Sappho" when surprised.

But I don't. Oh, I'm sure she dabbled a bit in college (or the Academy as she probably called it). But look at how quick she was to get off her island, where she was a princess and had her pick of any of the immortal and impossibly beautiful Amazons that surrounded her, the moment, the second, a man washed up on her shore.

Ironically, considering that she herself was sculpted, not born, Diana was the only breeder on the island. And the thing she craved more than anything was something her sisters just didn't have to give her. Something she could only find in Man's World.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I bought four comics today (reviews to come).

While I enjoyed all four, what caught my eye the most was what I found on the back of the DC books this week:

A Ponitac Solstice ad.

A car ad. For a $20,000 car. On the back of a Batman comic book.

Someone, somewhere, thought that someone reading Batman, or Manhunter, or, (I'm guessing) Robin might be in the market for a mid-range priced car.

About time. About time someone put money down on the proposition that adults read superhero comic books. Successful adults at that.

As I was leaving the local comics store, I passed three men in business suits. There were lots of people in the store, coming from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. I'm not sure everyone in the store could afford to buy a car, but they were all old enough to drive one.

Compare that to She-Hulk. The plot is about a rape trial, which is a perfectly good plot for the book. But the ads are for candy, video games, action figures, and more candy. The ad going for the oldest demographic is The Benchwarmers, the latest Rob Schneider movie, which is capping out at 15, most. If you're young enough to want a Ring-Pop, you're not old enough to read this book.

So for all out moaning that comics aren't just for kids anymore, and haven't been for decades, nothing will really change until more people are willing to put their money where there mouth is and pony up the dough. So the Pontiac ad is a good start.

One day I honestly hope to see a comic book with ads for shaving equipment, retirement options, and Viagra pills. Maybe then I'll believe comics aren't just for kids.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Superheroes and Politics

I think superheroes should be more openly political.

Like my man GA Superman did, I want them to deal with real issues and nitty gritty problems, using fantastic powers and extra-legal means to achieve real ends.

Now, this doesn't mean I want them to have my politics. I don't need to be flattered by having Green Arrow be right all the time. I love issues where Captain Atom's conservative, pro-government stance is the correct one, or The Question's terrifying Objectivist libertarianism sounds almost convincing.

And I don't want them talking politics all the time. I came to see them hit stuff. But instead of alien slave masters, how about smacking around a sweatshop owner, or a drug dealer.

I want to see them dealing with "real world issues" is because they seem oddly detatched otherwise, particularly modern Clark Kent. The guy works for a major metropolitan newspaper and his wife is a feminist icon, in the real world and the fictional one. So the fact that he doesn't seem to have a political philosophy, let alone belong to a political party, strikes me as rather naïve.

Couldn't Batman do more to bring down the crime rate as Billionaire Bruce Wayne than a phantom of the night? And Wonder Woman's supposed to be an ambassador who seems to have no interest in international relations.

The big punch outs against mad gods and sinister secret societies are fun, and they should remain the focus of the plots. But the characters should, at least in their off time, have some interaction with the problems of the real world. Otherwise they really do look like children fighting amongst themselves while the grown-ups do all the work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Supervillain and Writers

On my other blog, I posted about how factions of the Republican Party match up pretty well with Superman villains.

But thinking about them, the villains, I though about how I would write them. And I realized that I would writer each in the style of a different writer.

For example, Lex Luthor, I would try to write him a Garth Ennis would write him. Ennis's villains are all over the map, Starr, the head of religious secret society, Ma Gnucci, the harridan head of a crime family, God, but they share certain characteristics. One, they weild an incredible amount of authority over other people. They are supremely arrogant. And though they profess to have only the highest ideals, in reality they are motivated by survival and satisfying their most basic desires. All of which fit Luthor to a T. But more than that, Ennis knows how to write a complete bastard that we really, really, want to punch in the face. If Superman isn't at least tempted to throw Luthor through a wall or two, then he's not Luthor.

Brainiac, the alien intelligence, I would try to write as Warren Ellis. Ellis writes bastards too, but his bastards tend to be the hero. Ellis's problem is that, though he pretends otherwise, he cares about people. His best villains, therefore, are monsterous intelligences, like the Four from Planetary, forget their own humanity and consider other human beings noticeable only as resources and playthings. Brainiac not only is an alien, but he moves away from his own biological original form, and away from anything Ellis or the reader could feel any sympathy for.

Mr. Mxyzptlk (which I spelled right on the first try... I am such a nerd)

Anyway, Mr. Myxzptlk is a fifth dimensional imp who not only can do anything he wants, he knows he's in a comic book and can bully and cajole the editor into shaping the story as he would like. That kind of fourth wall breaking meta-commentary is right up the alley of Grant Morrison.
Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, and as far as I know, none of these writers have not written these characters.

Are there any other characters that should be written by certain writers, but haven't been yet?

Monday, March 20, 2006


So, it seems, I need a mascot for my blog. My hero, my sure-sell.

Dorian has Wildcat.

Scipio has Vibe.

Chris has OMAC.

I'm being a greedy bastard, and I'm taking Superman.

I guess I should be more specific. I'm taking this Superman. Golden Age Superman. Doesn't fly, doesn't have super vision, or super pets, or anything, Superman. This guy is all man.

And he wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. I mean, just look at him! He sees evil and he goes right after it. He's so tough, he's scares the Iron Cross of Der Furhur!

Cause that was what this Superman did. This Superman fought for The People. He took on government corruption, unsafe mine conditions, war profiteers who reap a fortune off a senseless war. You know, things we couldn't possibly relate to in 2006.

And he did so as both Superman and Clark Kent. Because he knew that some jobs were jobs for the news media, and then his greatest power was the ability to write The Truth™.

And some jobs were jobs for Superman, and then it was time for the fists of steel!

What he didn't do, right away, was fight aliens and mad scientists, and he certainly did not come up with elaborate plots to protect his secret identity. Hell, he'd tell anyone who would listen that he was a reporter, if it would help his story. And he never, ever, ever, beat someone just because he represented goodness. It was either the typewriter or the fists. One or the other.

And I should also add that I do NOT mean this guy:

Earth-2 Superman is NOT the Golden Age Superman. He's an old version of the Silver Age Superman pretending to be from the Golden Age. And you know how I know?

For the past 20 years, E2 Superman has been watching Earth, pissed off that bad things happened to the superheroes.

GA Superman couldn't give two shits about what other superheroes were doing. Superheroes weren't The People. No, he'd be fine with that.

But if he had been Golden Age Superman, he would have broken out of there the moment the 2000 Election happened, and proceded to beat the shit out of the Supreme Court, the Bushes, the Republican Party, and the entire state of Florida.

Cause that's how he rolls.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Who Owns "Superhero"?

Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow is in a foul mood over the fact that Marvel and DC forced GeekPunk, a small, independent comics publisher, to take the word "superhero" out of the title of their flag ship title, because they copyrighted the word "superhero."

Now, I agree with Cory, and Scipio Garling at the Absorbascon, that it's a really pissy move and spurious claim, bullying by the larger companies. "Superhero Happy Hour" is unlikely to be confused with any product put out by Marvel or DC, and since neither company actually produces a product called "Superhero," I don't really see what leg they have to stand on.

However, Cory and Scipio seem terrified of Marvel and DC becoming the word Gestapo, hording the good words and ideas for themselves in a megolomaniacal attempt to control the comic book market. That somehow they are making GeekPunk stop producing their title all together and get out of the superhero comics game.

Which is just not happening. All they can attempt to claim control of is the title. The contents of the book remain entirely out of their hands. It's how DC gets away with having one of their biggest and most popular characters be named "Captain Marvel." Because Marvel can't control the word "marvel," any more than they can control the word "superhero," "hero," "flight," or "punch." They just can't.

So, boo on DC and Marvel for being mean. But also, calm down guys. In the long run, this won't change the content or the quality of the retitled "Hero Happy Hour," changing the title won't hurt sales, and all the press generated from these stories will actually help bring attention to the book. If I was a small publisher, and I knew the big companies could be appeased by changing the title in issue 4, I'd be naming my books "Spider-Hombre" and "Super-Dude," just to get sued.

Seriously, sue me.

This is Me

Hi, I'm Steven. This is from my last birthday, when I went to see Jack Black host Saturday Night Live. That's the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in the background. Mostly, I just wanted to get some posts up, and test out pop up text, like my blogger hero, Chris Sims.

It Begins

So, after blogging for two years about just about everything, I have decided to create a separate comics blog. From Warren Ellis's site, I found John Rogers's, which in turn pointed me to Kevin's, and Dorian's, and then the Comics Weblog Update-a-Tron 3000, with which I have wasted many, many hours of my time. And even though I had a blog, I wanted in.

So here I am. What are my qualifications? Well, mostly that I've been reading comics since I've been 13, starting with Adventures of Superman 500. Since that time I've filled a filing cabinet with comics, mostly DC but I do try to branch out. I wrote my senior thesis on The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. I've interned at both Marvel and DC Comics, and currently work for HarperCollins Publishers.

All of which means I know next to nothing and my opinions mean squat, but hopefully it will be at least entertaining. Here goes.