I believe the Singing Nun put it best when she said, “Dominique, nique nique s’en allait tout simplement routier pauvre et chantant en tous chemins, en tous lieux. Il ne parle que du bon Dieu.” which roughly translates into: “Talking about DC Comics is like spitting into the wind; it’s fun and refreshing.”
Welcome back to Réflexions Comique, this is another edition of DC Talk – with Hal! Please excuse me for quoting philosophy at the beginning of this post, but I’m trying my best to get into the spirit of the holidays. And as the grand celebration of Festivus approaches, I have begun thinking about the Airing of Grievances… I know it has only been a day since my last post (if you have a problem add it to your list of grievances), but I have quite a few grievances to air, and I thought it would be seasonally appropriate to get started right away. If you don’t like ranting complaint blogs, then you should probably go read something happier, liiiiiiiiiike this.
So, without further adieu… Let it be duly noted that I have a problem with the following things:
News Coverage of Middle-Eastern Super Heroes – Alright, so the new Ms Marvel is going to be a Muslim teenager. Hooray! I’m glad we can finally check that off the list of things that make us not racist. I’m sure it totally deserves all the media attention it garnered this week… Except that Khalid Ben-Hassin has been Dr. Fate since last March. But maybe he doesn’t count because he has never made a point of identifying himself as a member of any particular religion or ethnicity (isn’t that how it should be?) and he exists in the crazy, anything-goes world of DC’s Earth2, where the Green Lantern is gay and Lois Lane is a robot. Well, DC also made Simon Baz a Green Lantern last year, he’s a Muslim of Lebanese descent. So why is Ms Marvel such big news? Maybe it’s because she’s a girl, and Muslim women haven’t had a lot of representation in super hero comics. Maybe it’s because she carries the mantle of the publisher as part of her super moniker. I don’t know. It just gets old.
Super Heroes named Marvel – But that reminds me, why are there so many super heroes named Marvel? You don’t see armies of heroes named after other comics publishers. I know there’s no Captain D.C. I don’t even think there’s anyone named Dark Horse. There might be one named Image… Yet even DC had one named Marvel, until people couldn’t pay attention long enough to realize that the word he shouts all the time isn’t his name (nor is it the name of his favorite Shaq movie.) And while we’re on the subject of heroes…
The Justice League isn’t really Dead – So call me naïve, but I really thought (most) of the Justice League had been killed in whatever universe Forever Evil is taking place. I know that Forever Evil is a follow-on to the Trinity War arc that has been going on all Summer and that DC has been touting since Free Comic Book Day 2011, but for some reason I was convinced that this was a parallel universe and that Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash et. al. were dead, again. To be honest, I was intrigued by the prospect of another, less-bizarre universe that has to make do without DC’s major heroes. But NO. They’re all just trapped in the Firestorm matrix, with Neo and Hugo Weaving. Well, not all of them, Batman escaped, along with part of Cyborg…
Cyborg Still Has a Head – Okay, so Cyborg, he’s part man and part machine, see the picture on the left. Riddle me this, if you took that guy and removed all the metal, what would you have left? Hamburger, right? Well, apparently not, because villainous computer virus “The Grid” (not to be confused with Brainiac or Shawn Marion) infected Cyborg as part of the Crime Syndicate’s take-over (because the teams on Earth 3 are less committed to diversity so they didn’t have a token cybernetic character) and it immediately rejected any parts that it classified as “black guy” and not “cybernetic death machine.” (Why did it have to remove all the black parts? In the words of DeAndre Cole, “What’s up with that?”) Anyway, it expunged all of Cyborg’s “biological material” like a gruesome version of Playdoh’s Fun Factory. And much to my surprise, Cyborg survived. Looking at the picture, if you mentally subtract all the shiny parts, then you (or at least I) wouldn’t expect much to be left, especially in the cranial region, which tends to be rather important when it comes to being alive. But as you can clearly see in the picture on the right, taken from Forever Evil #2, he clearly still has a head. Bogus. It’s not that I’m eager for Cyborg to die, I just want some realism in my comics, man. I guess Cyborg absorbed some of Batman’s super human tenacity just by being in his proximity. That, or Batman knows some secret ninja CPR that can keep someone alive even when they’ve bled-out and are missing half of their head.
Damian Wayne – Speaking of people around Batman suffering mortal wounds, Damian Wayne died earlier this year. It was kind-of a big deal. So it only makes sense that he headlined his own title at the end of last month. Is he dead or not? OF COURSE NOT! No one ever dies in comic books, especially not the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul. He’s probably high-fiving Jason Todd right now, as you read this. Again, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with Damian. In fact, he was near the top of the list of my favorite characters that have been introduced in recent comics history. But the fact that they are bringing him back makes the whole Requiem fiasco even more stupid and unnecessary. Good job guys, not only did you completely undermine Death in the Family and make it irrelevant by forcibly synchronizing continuity with a title that was created to be a non-canonical spinoff, but now you’re going back on that… slow… clap…
But you know who isn’t coming back (at least not fast enough)?
Man of Bats – When Batman Incorporated flew out the window, it took off with a whole slew of great characters. Batman of Japan, Parkour Batman, Goucho Batman, they were all great, but none were as great as Man of Bats. Now, it seems as if we’ve seen the last of this full head-dress wearing, shut-in visiting, grocery delivering champion of justice, at least for the time being. He barely even got any page time in Batman Incorporated Special #1 back in August. He deserves his own title, with special guest appearances by August General in Iron (aka Chinese Ironman.)
No one Ever Leaves Comments – What is the deal? We go to all the trouble of setting up this nice blog site, and all you do is sit and stare at it. I feel like we never talk anymore. What should we talk about? I don’t know. Anything. How about…
LEGOs – What is the deal with LEGO videogames? LEGOs the toy are a blank slate from which limitless constructed possibilities can arise. They don’t conform to any rules, other than the rule that the little hinge blocks are more precious than gold, and you can never find that one oddly shaped brick when you need it. LEGOs are antithetical to video games. I don’t remember Lincoln Log video games ever being very popular. I had the Tinker-toy video game on my Amiga 2000 and it was terrible. But everyone loves LEGO video games because you can’t step on them in the dark. And so there has to be a LEGO video game for every popular franchise; EVERY SINGLE ONE, and usually several for each. Why can we just call them what they are? They’re not LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Avengers; they’re just Star Wars and Avengers games for kids. Now they’re making a major motion picture about LEGOs. I’m glad that Will Arnett is doing the voice of LEGO Batman, but when you have LEGO Batman hanging out with LEGO Gandalf in a movie (other than Toy Story) it’s just un-American. They’re making LEGO mini-figs of everything (“mini-fig” is an annoying term on its own; I like figs and these are nothing like figs); why isn’t there a tiny, blocky doppelgänger of me? I have a Bitstrips avatar…
Bitstrips – I believe Bitstrips are technically comics, so why have they never been mentioned on this blog? (Mostly because they’re stupid.) Well, that ends now, or uh… two sentences ago. Bitstrips may be dumb, and annoying, but Scott enjoys the ones I make. (Or at least he says he does… *squinting suspicious eyes*) Sometimes I make them on Wednesdays. So why have they never been mentioned in What Comics to Watch for on Wednesdays?
What Comics to Watch for on Wednesdays – Every week Scott starts the column by saying “we rarely suggest mid-run titles,” and then he always suggest mid-run titles. Why must you turn this blog into a house of lies?! Also, why not shorten the name to “What to Watch for Wednesday”? That way you could abbreviate it W2W4W and it would fit conveniently into a hashtag: #W2W4W , see? LOL, JK.
Lack of This Video – Speaking of things that are wrong with this blog, long time readers will know that we (mostly just me) have sort-of a weird thing with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and yet we have never posted a link to THIS VIDEO. Well, that also ends now. I’m righting so many wrongs; I’m like a wrong-writing machine. Let’s see, who’s next…
Colleague – So I have a problem with one of my associates. I prefer to address personal grievances in person, but the purpose of the Airing of Grievances is to publicly admonish others when they deserve it. So to protect this person’s identity I will refer to them as Bim Benkins, and I feel confident that they will realize who I’m talking about. Look, Bim, I’m sorry. I really didn’t know that a “ship-in-a-bottle” is a thing. If I see one on someone’s desk next to a Rubik’s cube, I am going to think it is a puzzle, and I am going to get that stupid ship out of that bottle. If, as you say, the whole purpose was for you to put the ship in the bottle in the first place, then you should be glad because I reset it for you, and now you can have the fun of putting it back in there again. I’ve already apologized twice, Bim, so let it go. I think we’ve all learned a lesson here. I learned that sometimes random objects are in bottles because people have too much free time, and those people will be mad if you get the object back out of the bottle. And you learned that if you’re going to put a ship in a bottle and leave it on your desk, then maybe you should leave a note indicating that it is supposed to be that way.
Facilities – Darn it, the light over my cube burned out. And now they are testing the fire alarms, again?! That’s the third time this month!
Brandon Graham – I recently learned from Shea, that one of my favorite comic titles will be ending in January. Prophet is so terrific that it just got a mention in a DC Talk – with Hal post, and its not even a DC Comic. And now there’s only two issues left?! And it wasn’t even cancelled; Brandon Graham just decided that he was done telling that story. (Actually I can’t blame him for ending his story where he feels it should end, rather than dragging it out to keep raking in the sweet moola, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.) First Dial H now this; what a world.
If you have a problem with anything I’ve said, just remember that you get to air your grievances too. Feel free to use our comment section below to do so. (It has to be good for something, right? you terse bunch of misanthropes.) Any way, may you have a resplendent Festivus, or whatever you celebrate. Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more thought provoking artistic criticism interspersed with the Théâtre de l’Absurde which you’ll only find here at Comical Musings. À bientôt.