Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday Morning Macking: World-Wide Edition

Sorry about last week. We're back on track today.

So, if you're going to get your mack on, there are some universal guidelines you should follow. And to help me demonstrate those rules, I've enlisted the aid of someone who's actually seen the universe, Ego, the Living Planet!

... what was that? ...Oh.

I mean, Ego, the Loving Planet.

Let's get to work:

Step One: Introduce Yourself

This is undoubtedly the hardest step, but also the most important, so take notes.

First, notice that Ego doesn't launch right into the introduction. He starts by explaining himself, slipping in a flattering compliment for planet Earth.

Second, Ego keeps it simple, right to the point. No games, no reservations, doesn't hold anything back. Just a "I'm attracted to you" and a "get to know me."

Step Two: Sell Yourself

For the more modest among you, this might seem difficult. You know you have good qualities but you don't want to brag or look vain.

Again, Ego shows the way. He leads with a supposed criticism of himself, that he's a "playa", but it's strawman, there only to justify his boast of commitment. "I would never just tell you how great I am," he seems to say, "but because of those people attacking me, I need to defend myself."

Step Three: Bad Mouth the Competition

DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! You are not the only fish in the sea. Your intended has many choices out there, and you can stand out by making yourself look good, or making them look bad. Do BOTH, because, believe me my friend, they are!

Step Four: Be Understanding

Nobody you meet is going to be perfect. There's going to be some flaw. Don't let that stop you or you'll never get anywhere! If there's baggage, history, issues, or any static, just let it ride, and roll off you. It ain't no thing!

So, class, I hope you learned something, and have something to share as well.

Peace Out!

You ugly? Don't let that stop you! Even half a kisser is enough!

Know why? Because there's more to lovin' than just looks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mom's Not Going to Like This

Sometimes, you just have to smack a dentist in the head:

All in service to Bahlactus

Justice Society of Degrassi

And now a scene from Justice Society of America #7, with added Thought Balloons!

POWER GIRL: Mmm, mmm, unbreakable man meat!

MR. TERRIFIC: God, Power Girl, it's "the National anthem." "National." What planet are you from, anyway?

DR. MID-NITE: Must... touch... mustNOTtouch... must... touch... mustNOTtouch...

CITIZEN STEEL: A fin? Why'd they have to give me a fin? I'm such a dork.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"It's Wednesday, After All!"

I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed Justice Society #7, but I guess I shouldn't have been.

Justice Society has always been Geoff Johns's best book, and this, the first issue that wasn't the kick-off "Let's get the band back together!" storyline, or the good parts of the otherwise unreadable "Lightning Saga" crossover, shows off his greatest strength, action scenes with emotional payoffs.

In this stand alone story, Johns creates the anti-Penance in the new Citizen Steel, taking an overly melodramatic character and turning him into something uplifting.

First, Johns gave Steel the absolute worst, most emo origin ever: Nate Heywood was a crippled former football star who watched his family slaughtered by Nazis and was puked on by one, which is why he is now a metal man incapable of feeling. Yowza, if you're going to go that way, why not listen to Death Cab and get a MySpace Haircut while you're at it?

But by the end of the issue, Nate is a reluctant superhero and the protector of orphaned children, something a lot closer to Jack Kirby and Joe Simon's great shield slinging hero, The Guardian.* That's a hero I can get behind, that's a man I can root for.

And it doesn't hurt that his journey from whiney loser to father figure is a fun adventure involving Power Girl actually acting like a team leader (making the plan, taking lead, watching out for her team, offering encouragement when needed, Black Canary take notes), some fantastic lines ("Fists are nature's problem solvers"), and the JSA beating the crap out of a ton of Nazis ("Boo to Nazis").

However, this is almost outshone by the utterly charming Starman/Superman sequence, which just is a perfect demonstration of why we love the Big Blue. Starman's been talking up his sanitarium's Sloppy Joes since issue #1, but Superman is the first person to actually sit down and share one with him. Add to that a mental health facility shown as an actual hospital and not a 19th Century insane asylum/prison, plus hints that the Zero Hour Legion of Superheroes (and XS) are still in continuity, and you've got a sequence that just left me all smiles.

Dale Eaglesham's art is also amazing. It's easy to talk about the "acting" he puts into the characters' faces and postures, or the earth shattering fight, but I loved just the little stuff he threw in: Hawkman wearing his helmet under a welding mask, Superman quietly drinking his milk after Starman tells him it'll make his bones stronger, the way Dr. Mid-Nite's owl watches Steel at all times, even when the Doctor himself is distracted. I also love how Eaglesham models Superman on his namesake, Clark Gable (most noticeable on page 8).

It was just a fun comic, a story in and of itself, that nonetheless got me interested in reading the next issue. How cool is that?All I need to do now is wait for Rachelle "Irate Canadian Lass" Goguen to post the "It's Wednesday, After All!" panel, if only to steal it for future reviews!

*What other guy?

... And Out the Other Side

What a long strange trip that was...

Sorry about that. One long week in DC and suddenly out of posts, meaning I missed a few news stories and a few memes, including my own Monday Morning Macking (for those of you who posted in understandable expectation, I'll link to you next Monday).

For now, I'd like to talk about Action Comics #851, the Phantom Zone issue, in glorious 3-D!

Now, I'm a comics reader, not a collector, so usually gimmicks don't do it for me. But there's something about 3-D, with the goofy cardboard glasses and promises of action leaping off the page, that has a nostalgic charm for me, like something out of the '50s.

And for Action #851, it worked. It worked because they limited it to the Phantom Zone, where the disorienting effect of 3-D glasses reflected Superman's own altered state, as if we ourselves were drawn into another, twilight world. It worked because Richard Donner's phantom zone is full of planes rotating towards the reader, flat people turning in a three dimensional space, which is exactly the effect of 3-D. And it worked because after so long a wait, it was nice that the payoff had a little extra goose to it.

As for the story itself, I side with those that say, if only this book had come out on time, it would considered a Superman storyline to remember. I reread the issues leading up to this and the Annual (but not the fill-ins) and the story really moves and surprises.

Annual #10, LOTS of exposition and beautiful art, some of which ties directly into this storyline...

Issue #844, Kryptonian kid lands on Earth and Superman kidnaps him to save him from the government!

Issue #845, Superman tries to work with the government, but some underhanded dealings and a Bizarro rampage convince him to adopt the kid himself. Except he's actually the son of General Zod and Ursa!

Issue #846, Zod attacks, releasing an entire army of criminal Kryptonians and trapping Superman in the Phantom Zone!

Issue #851, While Zod's army runs roughshod over the Justice League and the kid starts fighting back, Superman has a heartbreaking encounter with a childhood friend, escapes from the Phantom Zone barely, and teams up with his deadliest enemies to take down over a thousand supermen!

That's some fun, exciting stuff. However, instead of coming out over the course of four months, it instead took almost nine. And that the next part won't be out until October at the earliest!

That's just frustrating! That's the kind of thing that drives people to the trades, where you know you're getting the end of the story the day you bought the beginning.

(For the most part.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gone the American Way

I'm off to our nation's capital for Independence Day.

I just wanted to wish all a happy Fourth of July! Light a roman candle for me, and remember to never give up the never-ending battle for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Morning Macking: Queer Eye Edition

First up, a big ole' shout out to those of you who helped out with the first Monday Morning Macking! You guys are P. I. M. P.

Secondly, those of you who didn't get your shwerve on last week needs to get in the game! Maybe it's because you're happy just punching people:

But let's face it, if you're only joy in life is smacking around the elderly, someday things are just not going to go well and you're going to end up hurting your friends and family:

What you need is a good man in your life; someone to keep you sane, keep you sober:

And then you can be happy just being yourself:

So if you want to really make the world a better place, why don't you let your readers know how to put a little love in their lives.

oh, and get. It. ON.

The Fortress Keeper teaches that love may be blind, but romancin' is right on target!