Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This Panel Made Me Laugh

And that's all I have to say on the matter.

From Action Comics #483 (1978)

Satanic Romance Comics!!

Remember when Daimon Hellstrom was "The Son Of Satan?" Before Marvel wussed out and decided that they couldn't mention the "real" Satan anymore, so Daimon became the son of some other demon pretending to Satan? Lame.

Anyway, did you ever wonder how Satan and Daimon's mom hooked up? Sure you have--and it's a tale worthy of a romance comic:


Seriously, that's how Daimon learned his true parentage--reading the diary of his deceased mom. Helluva a thing, no?

Anyhoo, we have the standard chance meeting...


OK, "handsome" in a Herb Trimpe sorta way...



Yup, pretty much the same as any romance comic!!

Crying Daimon Hellstrom is the best Daimon Hellstrom!!

Domestic bliss ensued...




Maybe there was a Girl Scout merit badge for animal sacrifice?!?!


OK, so who hasn't gotten involved with someone who later turned out to be completely evil? Hands?

I thought so.

From Marvel Spotlight #13 (1974)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--It's A Crazy Idea, But It Just Might Work!!

GBS' main competitor is none too happy about how they keep getting scooped on Superman stories:



What?!? A super-hero taking pictures of his activities and giving them to reporters and (photographers)? Well, I never!! Whoever would think such a thing was possible?

Sssh!!

There really should be a class at journalism school covering ethics and the coverage of super-heroes...

From Action Comics #458 (1976)

Manic Monday Bonus--Lest We Forget...

Just a reminder:


We're only 350 years away from the Battle Of Wolf 359. Start your preparations now.

[Before anybody complains, Voyager is there thanks to a time vortex/anomaly/rift thingy. Don't worry, they didn't change history or anything...]

From Star Trek: Voyager #10 (1997)

Manic Monday--Who Needs A Medusa Mask?!?

Psycho Pirate, you've met your match:

OK, at least when it comes to sadness.

Phil Sanders was a small-time crook who escaped from Plastic Man, and his mug...well, it was almost tear-inducing.

Sanders has been keeping to the straight-and-narrow for awhile to evade capture. But then there's an ad in the paper...
Well, mopey-faced Sanders gets the role...

...but the director thinks he can make him look even sadder!




And damn, is it effective!





And so Sanders begins a crime-spree marked by...tears!




Fortunately, the effects aren't permanent...


"The subtlest form of hold-up!"

Well, worry not, dear readers. Plas fakes his own death, because he knows Sanders had promised to laugh at his funeral. Spell broken!! And then with a little help from a feathered friend...


Of course, in 2017, one could achieve much the same effect by showing people videos of sad kittens on your phone...

From Plastic Man #20 (1949)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

Let's talk about the Wonder Woman movie, shall we?

Obviously, there be SPOILERS here. So, if you haven't seen the movie for some reason, get off your hinders and go see it now, because it's pretty damn good. You can come back and read these pathetic ramblings later.

SPOILERS commence after the 5 pictures of Diana...





I come not to praise Wonder Woman, because I don't have much to add to all the superlatives that have been (deservedly) heaped upon the film.

But it's not a perfect movie, and there are a couple of things that really bugged me.

**THE LASSO--I have to be honest, the ability of Wonder Woman's magic rope to compel honestly has always sat a bit uneasily with me. It comes just a tiny bit too close to robbing people of their free wills, not unlike the "Jedi mind tricks" that force people to act against their interests in the Star Wars movies.

But this movie goes one step farther, and makes the lasso an actual torture device.

Now, the lasso doesn't merely compel you to tell the truth--according to the film, it causes actual physical pain if you don't tell the truth. And that is the literal definition of torture.

Yeah, it's just one scene, and some clumsily-written dialogue that perhaps doesn't accurately present what the creators intended.

But when Steve Trevor was burning up because he refused to divulge classified information to the Amazons, some in the audience actually laughed. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have been so amused had a bad guy been doing the exact same thing to one to of our heroes. So we probably shouldn't be comfortable with it when the "good guys" do it.

**HIPPOLYTA--Man, she is a terrible mother, and a terrible queen.

Hippolyta joins a growing list of recent movie parents who believe that their children should hide their lights beneath a bushel. See Man Of Steel and Frozen for other examples. What the hell is going on with movie parents?

At least in those earlier movies, the children already knew about their origins and powers. But Diana did not, and was not given the choice whether or not to keep the secret herself. And Hippolyta's hiding the truth from Diana not only didn't help her (Ares found her about 5 minutes after she entered man's world), it actually endangered her! Leaving it to Ares to reveal the truth to her was pretty, well, stupid (see Empire Strikes Back for another example of how stupidly lying about true origins backfires...)

Meanwhile, the Amazons had one job, and Hippolyta pretty much refused to do it. Amazons trained hard, but she wouldn't allow their potentially greatest warrior be trained, until being forced/shamed into it. When their island was actually invaded, and they knew for certainty that the world was engulfed in war, again she refused to act, even though their mission was to protect mankind and prevent war. Hippolyta would thank the gods for their gifts, but denied the duties that the Amazons had been given in exchange for them. She's committed to sitting on the sidelines and letting the world burn.

Obviously, Hippolyta loved her daughter, and wanted to protect her. But at the price of endangering the rest of the Amazons, and the world? Almost letting Ares wipe out humanity, because she didn't want to risk sending any Amazons? A ruler has to be better than that.

In fairness, I get the feeling some stuff may have been left on the cutting room floor. During her bedtime story to Diana, Hippolyta goes from Amazons being created to rescue man to freeing themselves from slavery in the very next sentence! It sure seems something is missing there, right? Explaining how the Amazons had been enslaved, and by whom, might have gone a long way towards explaining Hippolyta's actions (or lack thereof).

Still, Hippolyta--bad ruler, bad mom.

**TOO DAMN POWERFUL--I dig the need for a big confrontation at the end. And I grok that Diana was fighting an actual god.

But at the end of the film, she's literally projecting force fields to prevent projectiles from even reaching her, moving as fast as the Flash, projecting exploding energy bubbles, and putting out enough watts to fry a god.

Which, c'mon, you have too admit, is too damn powerful. How could the Cheetah or Angle Man last even three seconds against her?

It's the same problem that we had with Batman Vs. Superman--a Bruce Wayne who can invent exo-skeletons powerful enough to take out a Kryptonian should not have to work up the tiniest sweat against Killer Croc or the Penguin. When you have your hero go to maximum impossible power in the first movie, where do you go from there? How do you make any future threat credible?

Of course, in BvS, Diana didn't show anywhere near this level of power, so maybe over the intervening century she lost some of those powers? With Ares, the last of the Olympian gods dead, maybe she's somehow cut off from the power source? Maybe staying away from Themyscira weakens her? Something else? Is she still (or even actually) a god, or not?

So next movie, they either have to explain why Diana's not that powerful anymore, or come up with someone tougher than Aries to fight. that's why you don't turn it up to 11 in the very first movie.

**WHERE THE HELL IS THE DAMN BOAT?!?--In the invasion of Themyscira, the German ship accompanied it's boats through the "cloak"--we saw it there, in sunshine and glorious color, no longer in Snyder's Diluted-Palette-Vision. There were what looked like a couple of explosions on the beach during the fight, as if the ship had been launching shells.

But at the end of the battle, the ship was nowhere to be seen.

Did it escape back through the cloak? So now everyone knows about Paradise Island? Or did the Amazons take it and scuttle it after the battle? What about the crew that had been left behind--surely the Germans didn't send every single crewman onto the shore...what happened to the engineer and cook and whatever officer was left in charge?!? Did the Amazons capture them? kill them?!?!

Yes, a tiny point, but it shows a certain carelessness in filmmaking...

**ARES WAS WHO NOW?--Wait a minute. Was there ever a real Sir Patrick? Was he replaced by Ares at some point? If so, is he dead? Or did Ares simply create an entirely fictitious personna who rose to relative power in the British government over years, knowing there would be a Great War in a few decades? That's playing the long game...How would Sir Patrick's sudden absence be explained after the war?

That's pretty much all I've got. Tiny, nitpicky things. Great movie. No, not the best super-hero movie ever. But pretty damn good.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I, For One, Welcome Our New Overlords!!

If we're to believe this cover...

...the patriarchy is going to get its ass kicked in a few years!

I blame the misuse of Pym Particles...

Cover by Robert Swanson.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Night Fights--Isn't It Ironic Style!!

It's Friday Night Fights time again, and all fights must contain "a summertime reference or imagery."

Well, it's definitely summer, as Warren Worthington chills at his summer crib...

...and Bobby Drake wants in on some of that lounging action!!

Unfortunately, when he gets there, a menacing stranger makes himself known...





KLANG!!

Ah, but you shouldn't count your chickens before they're hatched, Booby!


YOW!!



Ironic, indeed!!

Spacebooger reminds you that the Hulk took care of the Sentinel later that issue!!

Iceman beaten by ice in Incredible Hulk Annual #7 (1978), by Roger Stern (plot/script), John Byrne (plot/pencils) and Bob Layton (inks)

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why?!? I have no idea whatsoever!! Just go vote!!