Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2011...

Hi to everybody in 1truegl-space!

Ive come across the Beta City anthology, which is looking for superhero short stories set within their own continuity but still allowing your own superheroes to feature. In fact, original heroes are encouraged.

By the way, it's the follow-up to POW!ERFUL TALES (An anthology that was featured way back when 1truegl was all spritely and not so jaded...over here).

I've got an idea for a submission already. Its funny that playing in an existing universe such as the Beta City one is NOT as restrictive to the writer in me as one would assume. No More Heroes  and its existing universe had the same effect. Strange.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Missing Link: Why there's so much superhero prose stuff on this blog...

So, why is there so much superhero prose stuff on my blog?

Well, I could go into a lengthy essay-type answer, but this missing link (from my speculative fiction blogosphere reading days) covers a big chunk of the answer and, well, I haven't done a  "missing link" post in a LOOOOOOONG while.

Remember, the missing link posts also serve to prompt you to go out and rediscover some forgotten little joys of your life. I'm all sunshine and rainbows today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who’s in the market for Superhero Prose?

As you’ve learned from previous posts, 1truegl’s alter ego’s alter ego’s short story is soon to be published in the No More Heroes anthology. This is a thrill, I admit, and has led me to the following question: Are there any publications both online and in print looking to publish your superhero prose?

To answer that question, let’s limit ourselves to short fiction and start with anthologies, because that’s 1truegl’s bag.

Powers: A superhero anthology
I picked up on this antho pretty late, but there’s still time to whip up a story and submit it before 31 October 2010 or when filled. Btw, it is non-paying anthology.

Matters Most Extraordinary
This is an anthology that spotlights historical fiction with a super-powered twist. The hero aspect of superhero fiction is a little tangential here. This too is a for-the-love anthology.

Now we can focus on the Zines:

This Mutant Life
A zine from Oz focusing on the fiction related to the daily lives of the super-powered. Also a non-paying gig.

Metahuman Press
This online venue is quite unique in that it deals almost exclusively in serialized superhero fiction, ranging from 2-to-12-part limited series to ongoing series.

iHero Entertainment
This online magazine was previously incarnated as Cyber Age Adventures (from 1999 to 2006) and is about to make its return. Based in a shared universe, rights granted by the author can get a little complicated. It pays 5 cents per word and has a 3000 word limit.

A Thousand Faces
Of course, we shouldn’t forget A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhuman Fiction, an online zine and print publication that is regularly promoted here.

My...power...is...draining...power...gone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

As previously interrogated out of me by the Purple Menace...

I confess...I've joined the other side.

A story I've spun has made it into the soon-to-be-published No More Heroes anthology, edited by Wayne Goodchild & Bill Tucker. I'm still not revealing my story's title, because self-hype is my kryptonite (although I try to encourage others to promote their talents).

Anyway, the good editors have given us an advanced look at the front and back covers. Just use your heigtened internet vision and take a gander at the late bronze agey coolness below...

You'll never take me alive, O Purple One!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Latest issue of A Thousand Faces is online!

Hello loyal reader,

Long time no post...I know...forgive me?

Issue # 12 of A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhuman Fiction, a magazine that is available to read online for free. Story-wise, this issue is double-sized. So, there lots to read or skip (if some stories don’t match your sensibilities).

I have only read one story so far, Brand X: Double Play. It’s part of a series, but it features a story so far section to catch up / remind readers of what has happened. [Hint to comics companies]

Instructions to read A Thousand Faces webzine for free:
1. Click on the cover of A Thousand Faces (They should really have “Click Here to enter” on that cover – See, it’s not our fault.) This will take you to the Editor Frank Byrns’ column called “Thinking outside the longbox” (clever name) which gives little blurbs about each story contained in the current issue.
2. Click on "New Fiction" on your left.
3. Click on the Story you want to read and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Short Fiction about Superheroes: An anthology by another name...

A while back I wrote this post about “With Great Power”, a superhero short fiction anthology edited by Lou Anders. It features stories from the keyboards of Gail Simone, Peter David, Mike Carey and other comic book writers.

Well, while I was being a bad blogger (and had my back turned on the superhero comics / prose worlds), Spider-man’s owners did what they do best and said: “Hey, that’s what Uncle Ben told Peter...Well, half of it at least...Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Mister Anders, you can’t name your anthology that...Everybody knows that Marvel owns those three words in that order. Bottom-line: You are hereby instructed to rename your anthology something else and preferably nothing starting with the uppercase letter “X” as Marvel owns that as well. Have a nice day.”

Peter and his Uncle Ben uttering copyrighted...um...utterances

Anyway, the anthology is now entitled “Masked”. Here’s a short article about it, which doubles as a great teaser (stories like “Cleansed and set in Gold” and “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Superhero Universe (Villains Too)” sound even more intriguing to me having read this write-up). I also found the comments to the article spot on with regard to the benefits / risks to superhero prose (especially those proffered by commenters 214w, Tina Sena, Lou Anders himself, and Powerful Lamp).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Random Research Question: Cool runnings from a bad blogger...

Yes. I've been a woeful blogger of late, but I have an excuse...I've been saving the world. Kind of.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd pop a trademarked 1truegl comic-related Random Research Question to the one or two UBER-PATIENT readers of this blog.

Question:
Was freerunning (which is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the city and rural landscape to perform movements through its structures, according to Wikipedia) inspired by what is sometimes known as roof-running (as practiced by Batman and the Bat family as well as several non-powered heroes across many comic book universes)?

Monday, June 21, 2010

JLA: The Movie - Notes on the soundtrack

Wow, it has been quite some time since I’ve done a JLA: The Movie post. Check out all the links here. The other musical post related the movie can be read here.

Many of the tracks you’ll see here will be rearranged (and in some cases made more symphonic) by the original artists in collaboration Hans Zimmer. I’m going to avoid making a movie where the music is playing ALL THE TIME. Basically, we’ll hear music only during montages and portions of selected super-fight scenes or when we introduce one of the characters (Booster).

Mercy by One Republic

I thought this one would be good “showing the heroes saving folks” montage that should kick off the entire trilogy.

All fall down by One Republic

As mentioned in this movie trilogy, the heroes aren’t going to have it their own way all of the time. I thought that All fall down would be appropriate during or after some of the more powerful members are defeated, leaving the less powerful leaguers (e.g. Blue Beetle, Booster, Green Arrow, etc) as the last line of defence. There will be moments of doubt intermingled with damn the torpedoes during this montage.

Welcome to the black parade by My Chemical Romance

Similarly to All fall down, this track will play when “the rest” realize that “the best” (Superman and the league) can’t just punch the bad guys really hard and actually need the rest’s help. Here, I plan to use only the first minute-long monologue-like intro, which has always reminded of a cool superhero origin story...

When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band
He said, "Son, when you grow up
Would you be the savior of the broken
The beaten and the damned??

He said, "Will you defeat them
Your demons and all the non-believers
The plans that they have made?
Because one day, I'll leave you
A phantom to lead you in the summer
To join the Black Parade"

Clocks by Coldplay

I’ve chosen this track as Booster’s introductory theme, because being a time-traveller from a future where he basically had to steal the details of the league’s demise to try and help them, there’s going to be a lot of doubts for him.

Yes, he wants to help the JLA, but has he gone about it the right way? Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t have all the details of the fall of the league. In addition, there the secret time travel aspect that he thinks he has to keep from the JLA. Booster also feels the sense of home in our era, even though he’s “accepted” only because there’s a crisis before he can get rejected...Then, there the destiny / phantom stranger aspect (mentioned in one the links above). All in all, an apt song for one of our three central POV characters (Flash and Martian Manhunter are the other two if you were wondering).

Princes of the Universe by Queen

I can think of few better songs that embody the collective feeling of superiority the Apokalips Champions feel toward our little mudball.

Carry on wayward son by Kansas

This one I swiped from Supernatural, but I thought it would be great for our Superman-Batman (World’s Finest) scenes. Both Bruce and Clark are doing things (be it a never-ending battle or an obsessive crusade) their parents would not have wished for them, but on some level they’d be proud.

Fix you by Coldplay

A plot point I haven’t mentioned is that Barda dies (or is believed to have died, again I’m not telling which is true) somewhere in the middle or near the end of the second movie.

Now, to put this into perspective you should realise that when the league realises that it’s Darkseid they’re facing, they send J’onn to recruit Scott and Barda’s help. Initially they refuse, citing how content they are in their semi-retired life in suburbia. Throughout the first movie the audience see their happy existence increasingly being intruding upon by media reports from people like Billy Batson questioning the dangerous happenings. Soon, it becomes clear to them and the audience that they’ll have to get involved.

So, flash-forward to right after Barda’s death in the second movie where we find Bats remarking that “someone as gifted as Scott, who reluctantly joined the mission in the first place and has suffered such a great loss because of joining, may be dangerous to team.”

Cue the excerpt from Fix You. We cut to Scott feverously working on a device. There is some speculation that it’s a bomb. It isn’t, but Scott is silent about its exact nature.

I saved the world today by Eurythmics

This is one of the anthems for a temporary victory where the team is pretty banged up but successful in what they’ve tried to achieve. Nobody has the energy to high five anyone else.

Grace Kelly by Mika

Can you picture Booster and Beetle singing along to anything else while flying around in the bug. Of Course, J'onn sneaks up on them in the middle of their performance...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The world's most controversial Avengers dream roster - DC fan, don't look away...

I know, I know, some of you are DC exclusive, but there are some easter eggs even for you in this post as well. In celebration of Marvel's relaunch of Avengers, I decided to reveal my current dream line-up of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

It's controversial for a number of reason. Chief among these is the fact that I have omitted these guys:
Captain America
Iron Man
Thor
Hawkeye

Some might call me a hypocrite for picking a non-classic Avengers line-up, since I’ve said that you can’t have a JLA without Supes, Bats, WW, Flash, Martian Manhunter, and a GL.

Here's my current Avengers dream roster:

Vision

My love for the synthezoid Avenger is well-known. On this roster, Vision will be the team's co-leader.

Black Panther










My pick as the other co-leader of the team: Master strategist and someone who thrives when he has to pull his team out of the fire. Where Captain America is the inspirational leader (as "we'll follow this guy to hell and back.") and Iron Man is the Charismatic leader (as in "what shellhead said really appealed to me...let's do what he says..."), the pair of Black Panther and Vision are pragmatic leaders.

Black Knight










Dane Whitman is probably the most popular under-appreciated superhero in the Marvel U. Yes, he's been an Avenger before, but the writers haven't capitalized on his awesomeness. I mean he's a scientist whose origins are locked up in Arthurian lore. That, and Black Knight genetically engineered himself a flying horse - more than once!

Spider-woman (Jessica Drew)









She's a current fan fave and pretty useful in a tight spot. Spider-woman I is actually my second favourite person to assume the identity, which brings us to my next pick...

Spider-woman (Julia Carpenter)









I knew of her before I knew of Jessica Drew, even though Jeesica is the original Spider-woman. Okay, now you realise that I've got two spider-women on my roster. Look, the characters hit different notes for me. Hey, psionic webbing is much better than Spidey's real webbing, which looks gross while it dissolves and poses a slip hazard. Spidey is going to get sued one of these days. Back to Julia: Every team needs a government operative and Spider-woman II is one of the cooler ones around (think more and less Captain Atom).

Darkhawk







Darkhawk is another underappreciated hero who fought his way onto this roster. I've always liked the character and he's always looked so menacing. Here's an extremely summarized version of his life story.

Nova













Why isn't Nova running the Marvel U? Here's a hero career summary for your conveniance. Like GL, but not. And that's a good thing. In addition, check out some snazzy Nova covers brought to us by the biggest Nova fan in the entire comics Blogosphere. By the way, Marel has just made this dude a Secret Avenger. About time, I say.

Paladin










If your name is Lissbirds, you should propose to this guy. Now. What? You mostly go for non-powered guys? Well, Paladin has superstrength and superspeed, but only slightly more than Captain America. Oh, did I mention he's detective/mercenary (weird combo, but you like weird). Paladin will flirt with any woman who moves. Any woman who moves. All comic blogger gals are mad for that type, aren't you? It gets better. He wears purple. Nuff said. Another satisfied customer of the internet's premier superhero matchmaker. No thanks needed.

Argent (of Clan Destine)

This team needs a long-lived member, but not an arrogant one like Thor. Samantha Destine is a loner and every team needs one of those as well. Then every team needs a character with family baggage. Check. And then some. Argent's also a real artisit. I dig artistic women. I think GL Kyle Rayner would dig her too. Wow. That's two in one day. The matchmaker is on fire!!!!

Intra-team relationships:

Black Knight dislikes Paladin (ever so slightly), because while team mates Paladin has been a Master cock-blocker (what with getting in the way of Black Knight hooking up with Wasp and others).

I can’t wait to see Paladin and the ladies of the team interact. Some will of course find his charm endearing while others are likely react negatively to his attentions.

Darkhawk and Nova are former teammates from The New Warriors (which was a teen superhero team that was different to the Titans in that none of its members were sidekicks. These guys built their reps on solid heroing and didn't have sidekick passports

Darkhawk and Spider-woman (Julia Carpenter) are close friends and former founding teammates of the Secret Defenders. Darkhawk has also been a reserve member of the West Coast Avengers of which Spider-woman had full membership.

Argent is a bit of an outsider here, but every team needs an outsider or at least a detached observer. In addition, her longevity gives her a unique perspective. To those of you who are anti-superteam-member-hook-up, I don’t think Argent would join the Avengers with a hook-up in mind. However, there is a built-in “hook-up that will/can never be” that I have in mind between her and Black Knight, because Dane has been burned by the magical type before in the past. Maybe I’m being a little too Elektra in my thinking with Argent’s dad being a knight and Black Knight being…well…a knight.

I’m curious to see if Argent makes any friends – she’s artistic. Is there someone she’ll be drawn to as a friend or confidant? Which Spider-woman will she like best or tolerate? My money’s on Julia Carpenter, but I could be wrong.

I'd be interested to see how Panther and Vision deal with such an unpredictable line-up. Knowing them, they could make it work.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Controversial post to follow...

Controversial...post...to...follow...in...the...next...few...days...Stay...tuned!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Young troublemakers can become explosive older troublemakers, sometimes in a good way...

Inspired by this post from The Cool Kids Table about Damage, which reminded me about Arsenal’s (Roy Harper’s) “You’re not good enough to be a hero/titan!” mentoring treatment of Damage.

Given what has happened to Roy in recent time (specifically his arm), wouldn’t it have been interesting if Damage were alive, suddenly popped up in front of Roy, pointed at his robo-arm and said, “ Haha!” (ala Nelson from the Simpsons).

[Of course, this scene could be extended to include the following: “Or that’s what I could’ve said, but I’m better than that. Remember that, old mentor. I could’ve kicked while you were down, but I chose not to…”]

Okay, I said interesting not nice or mildly appropriate.

Heck, I only mention this weird scenario, because that what I saw Damage as back in the Titans days: A young adult, ever so slightly more mature version of Nelson with the power to explode.

Compare…

This is Damage's original look:


This is Nelson:

There a few similarities. Both have explosive personalities. There’s the brown hair thing and bit about their dads not being around.

That’s seals it: DC owes Matt Groening some dough!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More DeviantArt stuff: Six different takes on the World’s Greatest Heroes...

It’s time to show the artists of DeviantArt some love. Click and enjoy!

A good line-up is featured in the artwork presented by Adamwhithers.

This piece by genesischant makes me want to say, “Those cats are cool.”

Those readers with Unlimited love, I’ll direct to this, courtesy of Apollorising. No, the ‘Unlimited love’ remark doesn’t mean that it’s slash fiction-inspired.

Laurie B give us a slightly stunned (or just a little wide-eyed) interpretation of the Justice League. Only Batman seems to be unphased by developments...as usual.

Some might say that Douglas Shuler gives the JLA more depth in this special work.

This work by DeaviantArt user JPRart is just plain beautiful, in my opinion.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Firestorm Revelation...

Okay, here goes...I’m a Firestorm fan. In fact, Firestorm may actually have been the first in-comic-book-discovered DC hero that I found awesome.

For some inexplicable reason, I’ve only mentioned Firestorm once in passing on this blog and equally as worrisome is the fact that one of my few comics-loving offline friends had no idea I was a Firestorm fan. We’re talking about friends since the early 90s here...Strange.

Firestorm and Human Torch, dynamically drawn by Adam Kubert.

This little disclosure session was brought on by Firestorm’s...er...Ronnie’s return to the ranks of living heroes. Basically, I’ve always seen Firestorm as a hero with a lot of promise and someone who should always be on the shortlist for Justice League membership.

Speaking of which, if we ever get a JLA (the big guns) and JLI (Booster and co) co-existing on a permanent basis, Firestorm should have membership on both teams (in an “inter-team liaison” capacity).

Just bear with me out for a minute while I attempt to explain my thinking.

Some of you might rightly point out that if such a situation came about, J’onn would be the natural choice for inter-team liaison since he has history with both incarnations.

Such a point has merit, but Captain Atom will likely lead the JLI and he has never seen eye to eye with J’onn on League matters. That won’t be a smooth relationship and will likely be seen by Cap as some elitist interference from on high.

Okay, so why Firestorm? Well, it has to do with Firestorm’s new status (both Jason and Ronnie being Firestorm) and the way both are being written (so far). Since Ronnie is a frat boy-ish, brash dude now and Jason is more mature, Ronnie should take control while at JLI and Jason should take the wheel at JLA. Sure, Batman didn’t exactly make Jason feel at home when he was on the team, but at least he didn’t get one-punched. Ronnie might not be so lucky. Also, Ronnie didn’t cover himself in glory when he last followed Captain Atom’s orders. Maybe Ronnie has something to prove to Cap? Of course, I’m assuming Ronnie and Jason will be able to do the “You like it there, so you drive” thing. Big assumption.

Another thing, I liked Martin Stein as the floating head, but the Jason-Ronnie combination presents a lot of possibilities in terms of commentary. Firestorm is one of the characters that can get away with saying one thing while thinking another on a continual basis and not be thought of being disingenuous, because it’s two people in there. Add to that both Ronnie and Jason are opinionated (although in different ways) and a comic writer has got Firestorm-other-interaction gold. I mean, I get the feeling that Ronnie and Jason admire or dislike or are indifferent to different leaguers.

Of course, they have a lot of fall-out to work through before any of this could happen...

Monday, April 26, 2010

I’d like to dedicate this song to Seafire...

As mentioned before, Keane is my all-time favourite band. So, I was taken aback when my local radio station featured ‘Somewhere only we know’ (incidentally Keane’s most covered song) in their Old School, New School segment (where they compare songs by the original artists with covers done by other artists and open the phone lines to listeners).

Anyway, my first reaction (before even listening to the New School version by Laura Michelle Kelly) was “Sacrilege!” (I’d never heard the two versions played back to back before)

By the way, Miss Kelly has gotten rave reviews for her role in the production of Mary Poppins on London’s West End and that’s no mean feat. So, she's not talentless...

Anyway, judge for yourselves.

First listen to the Old School version (by Keane):



Then, listen to the New School version (by Laura Michelle Kelly):



My thoughts afterwards: I still prefer the original, but I’m biased.* I liked parts of Miss Kelly’s performance, but it sounds more like the opening number of a musical than anything else. In addition, she may have had really good musicians and arrangers working with her, but Keane consists of a lead vocalist with a very distinctive voice who’s also a great songwriter (Tom Chaplin), a genius composer/songwriter on keyboard/piano (Tim Rice-Oxley), and a talented drummer who knows how to elevate a song with his contribution (Richard Hughes).

Okay, so what does this have to do with comics or Seafire for that matter?

I just realised that considering Kelly’s musical theatre background plus my opinion of the three members of Keane, it was tantamount (at least in my eyes) to taking DC’s Trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) as a collective and comparing the group with Marvel's Dazzler.


VS


Seafire, as you may or may not recall, was a commenter who really came out to defend Dazzler when I got down on her a while back nad I'd like to read seafire's blog. So, this is an attempt to say, "Seafire, dude or dudette, you defended Dazzler with such passion that I'd like to read your comics blog."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trading Card Regrets and random thought linkages

I have a few trading card sets lying around the house and one of my big regrets is that I didn’t buy more of the DC vs. Marvel collection, because (a) they were awesome, (b) they were drawn by a variety of top-notch artists, and (c) some of those two-character images might never be seen again due to respective continuities (characters dying or being replaced).

Case in point:

Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) and Spider-woman (Julia Carpenter), as drawn by Jim Calafiori.

Speaking of Spider-woman, in a post in which I referred to the Jessica Drew version of Spider-woman, I misquoted the Great Spider-man Paradox. By the way, both Spider-women exist at the same time on the same Earth with no trouble at all and there is/was even a third Spider-woman in the Marvel U – hint, hint, DC? Cough...Blue Beetle...cough...

Anyway, I went through an old file (really a big collection of pieces of paper) and discovered the Hypothesis’ original formulation. For one thing, it’s not called the Great Spider-man Paradox, but rather The Great Spider-Hawk Exception. There are extra hawk bits that I omitted.

Here is The Great Spider-Hawk Exception:

Spider-man is a great (some say iconic) spider-themed character. Hawkman is a great (some say iconic) hawk-themed character. Once a great themed character exists, it is nearly impossible to create a similarly themed character (whether related or unrelated to the original great themed character) that works at even a minimum level. However, the vast majority of spider-themed and hawk-themed superheroes (of just about every comic book universe) work exceedingly well.

Until next time, make mine multiple heroes with the same name!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Novels and Short Fiction about Superheroes: A Universe-building detour

Okay, another post about superhero novels so quickly? Yes, it’s unusual for me, but I’ve done readers a bit of a disservice by not pointing them to Michael Carroll’s Young Adult works set in his ‘The New Heroes / Quantum Prophecy’ universe.

I felt that it was important to highlight Mister Carroll’s work, because (due to the time-consuming nature of writing novels) novelists general don’t stick to building and expanding universes when it comes to superheroes. George R. R. Martin’s Wildcards is a notable exception.

The New Heroes or Quantum Prophecy series began with the novel, The Quantum Prophecy a.k.a. ‘The Awakening’ (2006). There were two follow-ups entitled Sakkara a.k.a. ‘The Gathering’ (2006) and Absolute Power a.k.a. ‘The Reckoning’ (2007). You can find abridged information about the trilogy here.

The author has also released Superhuman, a collection of short fiction focusing on untold stories taking place in the decade spanning the three novels. No reviews. pity. Here is some info on from the author's website. Strangely, this short story collection has the same name as the fourth novel in the series.

Friday, April 16, 2010

From Justice League Titans to Justice League Kinda Sorta...

So, now the JLA will be Batman (Dick Grayson), Supergirl, Donna Troy, Jade, Starman (Mikaal Thomas), Congorilla and Jesse Quick? Then, Doctor Light and Gypsy join up later? Congorilla and Starman are the new Blue and Gold, with the former getting a Scottish accent as well as some Wolverine (healing factor) and Maul (emotion-based size*) powers? Who created Congorilla and is he/she okay with these changes? Are these just retcon-later-if-don't-like-it changes? Why am I asking so many questions relating to Congorilla? Robinson didn't know he couldn't handle a large roster beforehand? Did Robinson know what he was getting into with a Didio-sanctioned league?

*Note: Those refer to Congorilla growing to King Kong's size...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Real Didio-Johns Conspiracy: Whose line is it anyway? (a.k.a. Base Pairs of Evil)

Three  or four years ago, if you googled Geoff Johns AND Green Lantern, a good third of your results would be of the ‘Johns mistreats Kyle Rayner to prop up his dreamboat Hal Jordan’ variety. While there is some merit in such assertions of conspiracy, those speculations were in reality mere misdirection.

The truth is that everything that’s happened over the last four or five years is part of a much bigger (misguided and ultimately doomed to fail) conspiracy. Call it slight of arc, if you will.

Now, I’ll keep this brief. To understand the conspiracy, you must follow these steps:

1. Close your eyes. Note: Only do this step if your Zen is strong!

2. Picture three different JLA group photos (the original line-up; the Big seven roster; and a mash-up between the original line-up and the Big seven roster). There’s considerable overlap, right? Also note: keep legacy characters “generational secret-identity neutral” (for the Big seven and Mash-up pictures).

3. Now focus on the two or three heroes at the centre of the Big Seven and Mash-up pictures.

4. Now focus on the blond guy with the green pants front and centre of the Original line-up.

5. Now focus on the two heroes just left or just right of those heroes referred to in Step 3 (in the Big Seven or Mash-up pictures).

6. Now focus on the same two heroes. Again, take note of their positions.

This is the essence of the conspiracy....drum roll please:

Medium Term: Didio and Johns want to move the heroes referred to from Step 5 and 6 (Barry Allen and Hal Jordan) to where the heroes from Step 3 (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) are standing. Basically, it involves removing those standing at the centre of all 3 photos as well as those who might organically slip into those spots or steal the show (as we see below).

Green Lantern: Rebirth (It began)
Identity Crisis (Step 1 in Ralph’s downward spiral, because the conspirators galled by the fact that he has a rather surprisingly prominent spot in the Original line-up. If you got outshined by elongated man...Well, you couldn’t come back from that)
Flash: Rebirth (It continued)
Countdown (Killing a hero who was popular, independent of Baal...er...Barry and Hal)
52 (Another Step in the removal of Elongated Man)
Final Crisis (Getting J’onn and Aquaman out of the way temporarily)
One year later (We need the Trinity! What? Out to lunch?)
New Krypton (I wonder where Supes is? He was supposed to be on monitor duty...)
Batman (gone)
Wonder Woman (not in the picture anymore – excuse the pun)
Cry for Justice (temporarily discredit the only other remaining [read: not dead or not missing/displaced] senior member – a guy who actually doesn’t feature much in as many JLA photos as you’d think...Travelling hard is for suckers, anyway.)
The New JLA line-up (Who are the only senior guys left here? Hmmm, lemme think...I give up)
Blackest Night (The Hawks out of the picture for most of it...Another opportunity for Baal...er...Barry and Hal to shine.)

Before I tell you why, here’s the low-down on my classification system:

In terms of this particular classification system, there’s a first string and then there’s second string of heroes. Nothing new here.

First string are your top heroes, your JLA and some JSA, and be divided into first line (basically DC’s Trinity) and next line and sometimes even line after next (the latter two subcategories are the rest of the first string or top heroes).

There are no subcategories under second string, because once you’re second string, your life is over :)

Okay back to the conspiracy:

Barry and Hal (or rather Flash and Green Lantern) are the next line, but the conspirators think “next line” would sound better if there were no other candidates for that subcategory.

Although the Long Term objective was never to replace the Trinity (in terms of heroic status), it was to make the “next line” (Barry and Hal) more elite in the minds of readers. That’s easier to do with no competitors for next line slots or, put differently, a greater divide between next line and the line after next.

It is doomed to fail in the long term, because three regimes down the line there may very well be people at the reigns of DC who don't worship Hal and Barry quite as much. In fact, such a scenario is extremely likely.

Transmission over.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Missing Link: Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Popularville...

I was planning on putting up this Missing Link post anytime between now and July, but then bumped it up to the front of the line when I remembered the common animal-related thread between regular commenter LissBirdsAbout Me section and the neat little description of her blog (Philosophical Inquiry and...Yes, that’s it). The final push came when I read the comments to Lissbird’s A Guide For Writing the Rebooted Martian Manhunter Part 10 and, in particular, her own comment:

You should've seen me when I tried to read an X-Men comic. That I did give up on, because even a cursory peek at Marvel's database showed that the histories of all those characters is way too complex and convoluted for me to keep straight, and there wasn't any character that I cared enough about to go through all that research.

Well, Liss, maybe you were a little hasty in giving up on mutantkind. Check out who’s mentioned last on this list. In addition, I was going to do a separate post for this link, but then I saw the character both posts have in common. So, I just had to include it. It’s funny what overlook when you’re not specifically looking for it, isn’t it? I would love to see number 6 and 9, by the way.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

J’onn, I am your...brother a.k.a. Separated at birth (a.k.a. The Battle for the Pants and the Right to wear a Chest Gem thingy)

In the blue corner, I give the Alien Atlas...now sporting long pants...J’onn J’onzz!

In the red corner, I give Majae Mauler...leader of the Primortals...Primaster!

Funny thing is I had predicted a convergence in fashion styles between these two characters years ago when Primaster first appeared in Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals form the now defunct Tekno Comics. Of course, J’onn’s green skin and blue cape appeared more than 35 years before, so he was the original.

However, I managed to call the fact that JJ would some day want Primaster’s long trousers and chest gem and that the Man-hunter from Mars would (regrettably) lose the trademark ‘pimp daddy’ collar.

It sucks to be right 15 years on. Just to be clear, I’m just sad about the collar...Now only Alan Scott has a pimp-worthy collar.

Some Post-Blackest Night observations

I’ve purposely waited a week to make any comment on the Blackest Night finale and the series as a whole. But now that I’ve gathered my thoughts, I can reveal my major peeves about the crossover:

1] Hal Jordan is the ultimate hero of this piece.

I saw it coming before Blackest Night started, but I had hoped Geoff Johns would surprise me. However, he still views Hal Jordan as the coolest guy in the universe and probably has several t-shirts to prove it. At this stage Johns needs a Hal Jordan blow-up doll really bad and I might spring for a hotel suite so he can it out of his system.

2] Deputizing Lex Luthor and co into the rainbow corps.

Disliking Lex as a Lantern isn’t surprising to me, since I hate most of the non-green ring-wielding variety of corps. There, I said it. I only like the Red and Yellow lanterns, but I think there should only one red ring and one yellow ring. Maybe red and/or yellow rings could it seek out different wearers on different occasions. The red lantern story could not only be a ‘who is the angriest hero/villain in the DCU at a specific moment in time’, but could also explore ‘why hero/villain is so angry’ and that’s already two sides of a story. Ditto the Yellow ring. Alternatively, maybe DC could make The Quest for the One True Red Lantern their next big event and then The Quest for the One True Yellow Lantern could follow that.

Back to Lex: I thought they tried to make him relevant to a story that was a bit beyond his circle.

The other deputies? The thing with Scarecrow becoming a Yellow Lantern is perhaps an interesting idea, but it could cause DC more problems than they can handle if made permanent. The Star Sapphire Wonder Woman seemed really unnecessary.

3] They didn’t resurrect Ted Kord.

This was also predictable since bringing Ted back would reverse what That Writer has done and whatever That Writer does is considered DC canon the instant he does it. Johns is smart enough to not undo anything That Writer writes or suggests to others to write, because that would be heresy and threaten to split DC in two.

Also, while alive Ted Kord was one of the heroes who spent the least amount of time on-page with Hal Jordan EVAR. Go back through your back issues. You’ll see I’m right. Now, if Ted had begged to be on Jordan’s JLE way back and sucked up to Hal, Hal would’ve talked to him more and in turn Johns might’ve liked Ted more. Since Hal is the cool kid and doesn’t talk to Ted, Ted must not be cool enough to resurrect in Geoff John’s opinion.

Although, Ted is back in some form in Booster Gold...

4] The whole Kendra-Shayera thing

I’m not going to say a lot here. I shall however say this: I love Kendra and have always sort of hated Shayera. Don’t ask me why, because Shayera isn’t anywhere as annoying as Donna Troy. Kendra's got so much spunk while (for me) Shayera is just sort of there.

Here’s hoping Brightest Day pans out well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Missing Link: A Nostalgic Look back at a Universe lost...

The year was 1994. A year or so before, the comics industry had been turned on its head by ‘greedy little punks of Image’ or ‘the second coming of comic creativity’, depending on who you asked.

The dominant player in the market, Marvel, was seeing evil shadows in every obscure corner. Smaller publishers were springing up everywhere Marvel bosses looked, but one of Marvel’s eyes was ever aimed in DC’s direction to scope out their fiercest competitor’s next move.

Fear makes even market leaders do strange things and Marvel was no exception. The Marvellous Ones found out that DC had been in negotiations to buy the Ultraverse line of superhero comics (originally started around 1993 by Malibu Comics). So, in a move motivated by the threat a combined Ultraverse-DCU would represent, Marvel scooped up the Ultraverse.

For those who don’t the Ultraverse from a bar of soap, their most recognizable character was Prime.
I'm number one 
at...body-building!

Some of you may also remember a Nightman television series, which was pretty dodgy. Well, his comic book incarnation (created by Steve Englehart) was a lot better that the minimal budget version from tv-land.

There was even a short-lived animated series based on their flagship superhero team, Ultra-Force.

Better yet, the Ultraverse created their own unique four-hero team called The Solution that was quite far removed from the Fantastic Four. Their members included Tech (their leader), Dropkick, Shadowmage, and Outrage. See, really different from Stretcho and co. It can be done.

There was also Strangers, a team or group whose premise and origin is strikingly similar to a recent hit tv show as this post explicitly suggests. It also gives us insight into why these heroes haven't graced any comic pages again.

Anyhoo, when Marvel took over, they arranged crossovers and new titles (including a new Marvelized version of Exiles).

Key to doing the REVAMPED titles was filling the Ultraverse with Marvel hero expatriates for some reason. In fact, they went really overboard in a lot of instances.

Of course, they hadn’t anticipated the collapse of the funny-book market around 1995. In typical Marvel fashion, a decision was made to euthanize the Ultraverse (even though sales were reasonable).

A while back, I came across this post, which REALLY mirrors my experiences with and sentiments about the Ultraverse. Of course, I lost the link some time ago, but now I've rediscovered it. It’s a bit of fanboy nostalgia about a universe gone too soon.

Of course, the the fact that Mickey Mouse and the gang have taken over Marvel, has some people wondering if we'll see the Ultraverse again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More DeviantArt Fun: Public Displays of Bromance

Courtesy of DeviantArt User jimmymcwicked, I present the ultimate bromance or the bromance that stood the test of time...

Output from the MFET (Masked Facial Expression Translator) - worldwide patent pending:

Not here. Not in front of everyone. I have an image to protect! I’m tough and scary. A hug is so not happening...

Using the UPM (Utterance Predictive Module) of the MFET (Masked Facial Expression Translator) - worldwide patent still pending - this is what Batman will say next:

"Who am I kidding? Despite all your super-powered buffoonery and there's been a lot of that over the years, I still love you, man. Bring it on in for a hug!"

Monday, March 29, 2010

More DeviantArt Fun: Hal is a perfect fit...

This is where Hal Jordan truly belongs. This ultimate truth is brought to us by the GL-fanclub on deviantArt.

The Missing Link: On the Origins of the Forgotten...

No, these my musings on the fossil record, but rather a quest inspired by you (the comics blogosphere at large). Sometimes discussions on the interwebs will remind me of some internet geek fare for which I no longer remember the location. The Missing Link is a sporadic (don’t expect a consistent release schedule as it’s dependent on my memory and my Google Fu) series of posts highlighting the results of my search...my continuing mission and never-ending battle to bring you the long-misplaced corners of internet awesome.

First, there’s this link that I have referenced in one or two posts but never supplied, because I lost the link. It is really on point. My only question is: Where is Dazzler?

Then, there’s this more scholarly work that I rediscovered.  I don’t agree with all the rules. In my opinion, rule 1 is merely one way to go. Rule 3 is optional (although, Pa Kent, Lucius Fox, Uncle Ben and others might beg to differ). I would amend rule 5 to say that if you do explain, make it a really short explanation (2 sentences at most) or have little bits drizzled throughout a series (if you absolutely have to). Rule 8 can be broken whenever you like, IMHO.

For more previously missing (or forgotten) links, watch this space.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solving the Hal Jordan problem, because the ladies demanded it!

I solve hero problems, a least that’s what I’d like to put on an ad. So, when the heroines of the DCU hired me to rid them off a pesky skirt-chasing Hal Jordan who, as the ladies put it, “creates to an over-sexualized DCU” and “isn’t all that, anyway.”

Now, I’m not an assassin. Nor am I a lawyer. So, I can’t kill him or get a restraining order that prohibits Hal from coming within 2000 feet of planet Earth’s female population.

What I can do is come up with a solution to the problem, which I think I’ve done.

First, I boiled the problem down to its essence: In terms of relationships with the opposite sex, Hal Jordan is somewhat of a dog. Looking at this from a Pop Psychology Perspective, commitment-phobia is the term that comes to mind.

Dog...Commitment-phobia...Dog...Commitment-phobia...How do you teach an old dog new tricks? Commitment-phobia...Dog...Why is the old dog afraid to commit? Maybe he and Carol aren’t really meant to be? Maybe, he has too much of a roving eye?

Here’s what I was thinking....

Set Hal up with someone else.

Requirements? Must love dogs! Just joking.

Okay, here I went with the suggestions of DCU heroines. Firstly, she should be a superheroine, because a lot of Hal’s flirtatious behaviour occurs while on the job. Secondly, she’s got be able to put Hal in his place when he gets out of hand. Thirdly, she should hold Hal’s attention. Lastly, they suggested that she should love drama, because Hal’s a bit of a drama queen in the “I quit!” or “This is over!” and then leaving in a huff department.

Or

MH = S + PIP +A + LD, where:
MH = Match for Hal
S = Superheroine
PIP = Ability to Put him In his Place
A = Attention-holding
LD = Loves Drama

But the formula was only half completed. It needed to be a weighted formula and I felt some of the DCU ladies lacked the objectivity with regard to Hal. For example, they wanted to give the PIP factor a weight of 60 per cent, because they wanted to see Hal put in his place constantly.

Huntress especially didn’t hide her distaste for the guy. Heck, given the rumour Hal spread her participation in a threesome with Lady Blackhawk and Hal, I didn’t blame her. I managed to calm her down by showing her the tape of who was actually involved: Some blond guy called Maser and Ralph Dibny. Yeah, that was some bottle of Grappa. I mean, Ralph?

After we finished laughing about Hal’s taped escapade and lack of creativity* in replacing the names of those involved, I managed to convince them of the following weighted formula:

MH = S(20%) + PIP (20%) +A(40%) + LD(20%),where the factor called Attention-holding (A) has the greatest weight (40%) and is thus the most important factor to consider.

*Note: Oracle did a wonderful skit on Hal’s suspected thought process (which was hysterical in more ways than one) the morning after, “OMG, did I?? Did we??? And they weren’t even Barry or Ollie! Think dammit. I have a rep to protect. I can’t just swear these guys to secrecy. No, I have to make something up that’ll make me the envy of every red-blooded straight guy...again...Think, man...Think!...That’s it! I’ll say I had a girl-girl-boy threesome. Lemme see...Maser is blonde. What woman do I know who’s also blond? Lady Blackhawk. Yes! Ralph wears Purple. What woman do I know who wears Purple? I know, Huntress! Or is it supposed to Lavender or Violet? *facepalms* OMG, maybe I am gay. I mean, I knew the names of those the colours on the gay side of the spectrum, didn’t I?” *slaps his forehead*

Who knew Babs was such a barrel of laughs (or is it venom)?

Anyway, I fed the formula into the computer and let it run.

The results indicated that I needed to look outside of the DCU. Specifically, Hal’s perfect match lives in the Marvel Universe. We’re going to need Access to help out on this one...And DC hardliners, please don’t hate the researcher or his methodology, hate the results (if you must).

Without further ado, I give to you Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s perfect match:

Jessica Drew (a.k.a. Spider-woman)!

Below, is how she did factor-wise...

Factor #1: (S or Superheroine)
Jessica is that and so much more. Her powers are superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, endurance, heightened senses, sticking to walls (useful for keeping an eye on a flirt like Hal Jordan), an immunity to poisons, drugs, and radiation. She can’t fly, but she can glide. It should also be noted that Spider-woman is so super that she is another example of what I call the Great Spiderman Paradox that states:

Spider-man is great (some say iconic character) spider-themed character. Once a great themed character exists, it is nearly impossible to create a similarly themed character (whether related or unrelated to the original great themed character) that works at even a minimum level. However, contrary to expectation, the vast majority of spider-themed superheroes (of just about every comic book universe) work exceedingly well. Sadly, this is not true for non-spider-themed heroes.

Factor #2: (PIP or The ability to Put him In his Place)
Spider-woman possesses a “venom blast” (a focussed blast of bioelectric energy that can stun or kill normal human). I can picture Jessica hitting Hal with a zap to the back of the head when he gets out of hand.

Factor #3: (A or Attention-holding)
Jessica can hold any guy’s attention, because she’s a knock-out (even with the mask that’s evident). She’s also had her own solo animated series back in the seventies, voiced by Joan van Ark. So, she’s a celebrity of sorts and Hal strikes me as the type to lose his mind around celebrities. Then there’s her title of officially having the best-looking hair in the entire Marvel Universe. That right there should make Spider-woman a match for the guy who thinks he has the best-looking hair in the DCU and acts (read: poses over-the-shoulder with hand in hair) accordingly. However, as unfair as those advantages seem, she still has an ace up her sleeve: She can secrete pheromones that make any man attracted to her. Sniff around Jessica and you might never want to sniff anyone else.

Factor #4: (LD or Loves Drama)
She lives in the Marvel Universe and those Marvel heroes really love their drama. She’s been on a Marvel Universe team or four in her time and Marvel teams are like soap operas sometimes. So, drama is inherent in her life. More specifically, she’s been on a team with Iron Man and one side to the multi-faceted Iron Man can be best described as “Drama Queen Hal Jordan with WAYYYY more follow-through.” If Iron Man were a member of the JLA and didn’t like how they were doing things (like Hal ranted about in James Robinson’s Crying Shame), he’d quit and actually create his own Justice League. In fact, he’s done this twice or thrice over the course of his Avengers career.

But why would Jessica Drew even give a guy like Hal (with his rep) the time of day?

Perhaps, it’s out of feminist solidarity? This is reaching on my part, but Jesssica is a member of the all-girl Lady Liberators (which include Sue Storm, Storm, Hellcat, Tigra, Black Widow aand others). Is there a greater act of liberation than liberating an entire universe of purportedly the biggest manwhore there is in said universe?

Maybe Hal reminds her of Nick Fury (a long time friend / boss / supporter), who in terms of looks is a more tough-looking, eye-patch-wearing, version of Mister Jordan (back when he had the white highlights)?

Maybe it’s because Jessica is a Private Investigator in civilian life and is therefore more DC than even she knows? DC Comics is really Detective Comics Comics, remember?

Okay, I really don’t know why. This is just fanboy spit-balling here, people.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Novels about Superheroes - a rare detour for me...

Novels are generally neglected by 1truegl, but there are three that are somewhat intriguing to me.

First, there’s “Black and White” co-authored by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. It features two female former BFF superheroes as its protagonists who are forced to team up. Black and White is the first in something called the Icarus Project series of superhero novels. Here’s a review from SFsignal. The next novel in the series “Shades of Gray” will be available June 2010.

The second novel I’d like to direct your attention to is “Devil’s Cape” by Rob Rogers. It’s a story about revenge with some “pastichey” characters spanning 35 years. Here’s a review from Sfsite.

The one I’m most excited about is “Ex-Heroes” by Peter Clines. It’s cross-genre novel that actually features a superteam of sorts. Here’s more information.

Throughout this post, you may have noticed my subtle reference to team-ups and superteams (it’s the subtle bolded and italized text). It’s surprisingly rare to have a team-up or superteam novel, considering all them pages that make up them novels. The non-solo aspect is probably a big part of the reason I’m intrigued by above three offerings, because I'm crazy about superteams.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yet another cut scene from JLA: The Movie (inspired by a discussion on art)

A comment I made a while back (about “fallen angel art”) at Comics Make Me Happy inspired the following scene (provisionally entitled “Underfoot”) from JLA: The Movie...Yes, sometimes I find MY OWN comments to be such a source of inspiration I feel the need to link to them.

When and where?
This is near the end of the first movie...The setting for this scene is Earth (Do we have to use NYC?)

Superman, J’onn, and Wonder Woman had just left for Apocalypse via boom tube a minute before. Booster and Beetle are relaying this fact to the rest of the league, who arrived after Supes and company had left.

The camera slowly cranes up at an angle that captures the league looking up at the sky above them.

Suddenly, there is a huge explosion in the upper atmosphere. In the wake of the explosion, we see a giant open Boom Tube and three figures falling from the sky (all fallen angel-like).

We also see an armada slowly flying out of the boom tube. Near the front, we see Darkseid standing on the deck of the main destroyer (in his typical “I shall crush this world underfoot” dead-stare-and-hands-behind-the-back manner).

“Ted, those three...It’s Supes and the other big guns,” Booster says, a shocked look in his eyes.

CUT TO:
A closer shot of Superman, Wonder Woman, and J’onn still falling from a dizzying height. It seems as if their falls are taking forever.

CUT BACK TO:
A medium shot of the ground and the rest of the JLA looking up. The camera then zooms in on Booster and Beetle.

“Superman!!!” Beetle screams.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll survive the fall,” Booster says. “You know, super-dense molecules—”

“You don’t understand,” Beetle says. “Look at his trajectory - he’s coming down right where I parked the bug!”

The Mighty Crusaders are coming back (using a series of posts by yours truly as inspiration????)

From what I’ve read here, the DC bigwigs have read my “If DC ever created the own FF” series of posts (collected here, here, and here). Please leave your “way to go 1truegl!” or “You are so awesome...” or “You truly ARE the One True GL...” in the comments, to which I will modestly reply “Why thank you, commenter, I was merely doing my blogger’s duty and you’re awesome for telling me that I’m awesome.”

This Mighty Crusaders line-up will feature The Shield, Hangman, The Web, and Inferno. Yup, that’s four. Choke on that, Marvel! You don’t own the rights to the four-hero team as concept like your propaganda says you do.

I’ve been aware of the Red Circle characters for many years and even red the backend of DC’s Impact comics back in the 90s, so I’m familiar with previous incarnations of the Crusaders that have traditionally featured larger rosters. In fact, in Final Impact (the swansong of DC’s Impact Comics imprint), there were a lot of cool developments with the The Shield (two brothers share the persona at the time).

I didn’t read the JMS one-shots, but I’ve heard that they quite different from the originals and the Impact Comics versions.

Of course, Didio has said that they were going back to the original versions or use them as strong inspiration for the new titles. So, I thought the heroes might turn out to be vastly different...

The heroes are they were and as they are now:

The Shield:
Basically, the source of his powers (his suit) was similar to Iron Man in one of his incarnations (decades before Iron Man existed) and his origin (serum experiment) was identical to Captain America (a year or so before Cap existed) in another incarnation. The Impact line of the 1990s went the suit-powered hero route. Now, he’s nanite-powered techno version of the Detroit-league Steel.

Hangman:
Hangman is creepy guy who carries a noose (not a lasso, a noose). Now, he’s more supernatural and immortal.

The Web:
Originally, Web was a criminology professor who fought crime in his spare time, all in an attempt to understand the behaviour of his bad seed bro. Now, he’s apparently a do-gooder who gets his missions from the internets.

Inferno:
I was never really into Inferno (hardly remember the character), so I can’t really make any comparison. I hear that the present day version has fire powers and a mysterious past.

Of course, 1truegl would have gone a different way in terms of reworking of the characters’ origins (and powers and motivations) as well as the roster.

The big question on my mind: Where is Blackjack and will DC keep his much adored origin?*

For those of unfamiliar with Blackjack (a non-powered vigilante) or his origin, I’ll repost my thoughts from a comment thread right here:

Blackjack has a dull origin (that I’ve tried to mentally block out, so this could be wrong): Dude gets locked up by robbers but manages to escape by using a playing card [Ace of Spades, i think]. Dude goes, “Ace of Spades saved my life...I think should become a masked hero as a tribute...” For real, I think that’s the gist of it...

Maybe I should look up Blackjack’s origin, because I might’ve been hard on him...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Short Fiction about Superheroes (Part 5)

If you haven't read them yet, here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this series.

Today, I want to divert your attention to anthology called Lords of Justice, which differs from other anthologies I have spotlighted as is comprised of four novellas. Novellas usually start at 17500 or 20000 or 25000 words, but can go up to about 40000 words. However, these word count limits aren't universally agreed upon (and any ensuing arguments are arbitrary at best).

Here’s an interview from Static Movements with three of the four authors. There is a lot more in this short interview than self-pimpage, including the revelation of each author’s favourite superhero and their take on comparing comics and prose. By the way, the other author is actor Michael Boatman (probably best known for his role in Spin City back in the late 90s).

Then there’s the upcoming anthology called Chicks in Capes, written by chi...er...women about female superheroes. Lori Gentle has more on this project here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The truth about Dan Didio...

Years ago, when a comic book writer whose writing I dislike (present tense, because I still do) became way too influential for my liking, I left the whole comic book reading thing all together. And that was just a writer.

What am I to do when I see the bloody fingerprints of The Boss of my favourite superhero comic publisher on everything I don’t like about said publisher?

I don’t know yet, but the first step in my process is to research the problem.

Question:
Who is Dan Didio?

Answer:
Dan is OBVIOUSLY a Marvel plant. A sleeper saboteur, if you will.

How do I know this?

Exhibit A:
The one thing Marvel has over DC is far less complicated continuity. Didio knows this, yet he green lit several major events that seemed to have the primary function of loading another level of complications onto DC continuity (Infinite Crisis, Countdown, and Final Crisis, I’m looking at you). And then, last I heard, Dan got the same writer I mentioned at the start of this post to pen something called Multiverse (which could be disastrous knowing how great Final Crisis turned out). Be afraid, people.

Exhibit B:
Before Didio’s reign, DC killed off about one popular character per decade. During this Didio age, characters with big, small, and medium-sized followings are getting killed off every six months. This type erosion of intellectual property and fan base is exactly what I would want if I were the Marvel bosses.

Exhibit C:
This is one is the most conclusive piece of evidence I have and that is: His name is Dan Didio. Who chooses names like that? Marvel. That’s who! Here are some examples: Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Rich Rider, Scott Summers, Matt Murdock, Warren Worthington, Victor Von Doom, Wade Wilson, and many others.

I rest my case.

Calling all prose writers who like superheroes...

I came across this yesterday:  http://nomoreheroesanthology.blogspot.com/ 

At the very least, their prologue and character profiles (running the gamut from serious to not serious) are worth reading through. I’ve come across similar non-superhero projects like this before where a story and characters have been set up for writers, but usually they restrict you to say five characters (not the sixty of superhumans available here). In addition, you may choose to create your own and have one or more their creations along for the ride, which sort of makes it more like a comic universe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

MGK raises some legit points about a crying shame....

So, I’m guessing James Robinson isn’t a Roy Harper fan. Seriously, rip off a guy’s arm and kill his daughter??? Really??

Even if you liked the first six issues of the series, the last instalment is... well, I think Mightygodking said it best here. Be warned, folks, some of his language is not for the sensitive, but given issue #7’s subject matter...

The comment that summed up ‘The Making of Cry for Justice’ and the general state of DC’s decision-making best is this one by Lister Sarge:

“I’ve known for a long time now that trusting DC editorial is like putting your sexual organs in a tiger’s mouth. Sure there’s a chance it won’t bite, but do you really want to take that risk?”

Amen to that, Lister Sarge.

Another comment that gave me something to think about was this one by Brian T:

“This stuff isn’t going to end as long as the inmates responsible for Graduation Day, Infinite Crisis, Identity Crisis, Countdown, Titans East and too many other gratuitously violent and rape-y comics are running the asylum.

Unless Jim Lee somehow manages a hostile takeover, expect crap like this to continue being the status quo.”

Yeah, the same group of peeps are responsible for all of those “masterpieces.” Jim Lee? Hmmm, well, that’s an idea isn’t it?

Another option would be to petition Warner Bros, citing how the Didio reign is seriously eroding their licensing and movie / tv feasibility of DC’s core brands by way of the overall tone of the current source material. The thing to remember is that some pretty tame movies have lost box office dollars as result of the public’s views on the more extreme source material.

Pretty soon Dan Didio will be coming out with a little self-congratulatory statement at the back of all DC’s comic books:

Kids, this is the story of how Cry for Justice mini series came to be and how I rediscovered the talent that is Mister James Robinson. Remember that name - it becomes important later on...

You know, a year ago when we first wanted to rip off Roy’s arm and kill his daughter, it didn’t quite feel appropriate at the time. In the wake of my disappointment, I found out that James Robinson (who’d just been given the writing duties on Superman) was just stoked as I was about physically and emotionally torturing Roy Harper.

Really, if you think about it, no-one wanted Roy to be the red version of Green Arrow. I didn’t. James didn’t. So, logically all of DC fandom didn’t either. That’s how in touch we are with our core fan base. Indeed, it was the fans who decided that things had to turn out this way for Roy and we’re all about the fans...

You’re welcome.

Yes, Didiot strikes again.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Short Fiction about Superheroes (Part 4)

If you haven't read them yet, here are Part 1 and Part 2 as well as Part 3 of my posts on Superhero short fiction.

In my continuing search for short fiction anthologies about those heroes with superpowers or those without powers who are just super, I’ve come across Super-Human: An Anthology by Dan Membiela.

That’s right, it’s by Dan Membiela, not edited by Dan Membiela. Yes, if we want to get technical, it should’ve been called Super-Human: A Collection, because Membiela is the sole author of all eight stories collected.

That said, it’s probably a pretty clever naming strategy, since the author is more known for penning superhero comics. In addition, the name avoids the slightly odd yet popular collection naming convention that takes the form of ‘Story X and Other tales’ that to my mind limits the market to the author’s existing audience and pins all hope on Story X. In fact, putting aside the relative fame of the author within his or her genre for a moment, the success of the collection depends on Story X being the author’s most well-known or most award-winning or best story (in his or his publisher’s opinion). Another thing that the ‘Story X and Other tales’ titles have going against them is the product info aspect of names. For example, Story X may be a superhero story called The Cat in the Mad Hatter’s Hat, which doesn’t scream capes and cowls. That’s where multi-author themed anthologies have always had the upper hand on single-author collections – the former are “theme-explicitly” named or strongly allude to a specific (sub)genre or trope. The anthology version of The Cat in the Mad Hatter’s Hat would be The Purr to Action: A Feline Superhero Anthology or Cat versus Hat: A Feline Superhero Anthology or something better. You get the idea, though.

Nuts. I just thought of a pseudo-technicality that allows Mister Membiela to call his collection an anthology. Never mind, I’m not deleting the above paragraph. No, I...am...not.

Anyway, here’s a review from the Silver Soapbox.

As previously mentioned, in terms of prose fiction, I prefer short fiction over novels. In terms of short fiction, I prefer anthologies (books) over monthly magazines. So, for the last couple of years I’ve only kept up with anthos and have neglected the (monthly and quarterly) zines.

Subsequently, I’ve only recently discovered A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhuman Fiction, a magazine that is available both for sale in print or online for free on the interwebs. I’ve already read a pretty entertaining story online involving a Mister Brass.

Instructions to read A Thousand Faces webzine for free:

1. Click on the cover of A Thousand Faces (They should really have “Click Here to enter” on that cover – See, it’s not our fault.) This will take you to the Editor Frank Byrns’ column called “Thinking outside the longbox” (clever name) which gives little blurbs about each story contained in the current issue.
2. Click on "New Fiction" on your left.
3. Click on the Story you want to read and enjoy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another cut scene or dvd extra from JLA: The Movie...

The scene opens with a steamed up bathroom mirror...

Cue this song:



The mirror gets wiped clear, revealing Hal Jordan’s bare upper body. Comb in hand, he’s lip-syncing and pointing at his reflection...He’s singing to himself about himself.

CUT TO:
The Watchtower hallway.

This is from the back shot of Hal.

Hal, now fully uniformed and sporting his Ipod, quietly sings along ("We made our connection...") while shuffling rhythmically down the hall, twirling around every half a dozen steps, on his way to transporter / teleporter room. He’s got a hot date.

"Hal!" Suddenly, J’onn ghosts through the wall a foot in front of Hal.

Hal falls over from being startled and plucks off his earphones. “Damnit, Martian. When will stop doing that??”

J’onn turns awayin the direction of the conference room, and telepathically answers, When it no longer amuses me. "Hal, It's an emergency. We're needed.”

Friday, February 26, 2010

More GL user icon fun from the Interwebs...

Here’s a user icon, courtesy of someone with a lot of time on their hands (well, more than me).

It proves that there IS good taste on the net, people.

It also reminded me of how I can reduce the special effects budget on JLA: The Movie, so I can spend it on my stellar cast and, of course, catering.

To refresh everyone’s memory, for the Green Lantern’s ring constructs I intend using a state-of-the-art special effects hardware I call Luminous Effect Geometric Objects combined with another tip I picked up from the FX masters at Industrial Light and Magic called Practical Application of Incandescent Noticeable Tint.