Monthly archives: July, 2006


The Tick: Days of Drama #6 hit comic shops this week. It was a decent end to a decent mini-series. The series certainly wasn’t the best set of Tick comics and it certainly didn’t have the best artwork (oh, how I miss The Tick in black and white), but it was fun and always filled with enough fun to merit its $3.95 price tag. But this issue isn’t newsworthy in and of itself. What is newsworthy is that hell has officially frozen over.

Tick DVD You see, DoD #6 brought with it an announcement: the first volume of the Tick animated series is being released on August 29th. Originally titled “The Tick-The Belated 10th Anniversary Edition,” the set is now called “The Tick vs. Season One,” a reference to the titles of the episodes, which were always “The Tick vs. *insert crisis of the week*.”

But it’s not all good news. Due to “creative considerations,” only 12 of the shows 13 first season episodes will be included in the set. Apparently there’s some problem with something in “The Tick vs. The Mole Men” which makes Disney uneasy, and since the only other place to catch The Tick is on Toon Disney, there’s not exactly an easy way to find out what that might be. One saving grace is that Disney is trying to work things out so it can be included with the season 2/3 releases. The price is a bit of a problem too, running a pretty steep $35 for less than 6 hours of show. Of course, that’s MSRP, so there’s a good chance places like Best Buy will sell it for quite a bit cheaper, especially the week it comes out. I really can’t imagine a price too high to pay for that amazing show (but $35 sure is pushing it).

So now that the DVD Powers That Be have deemed us fit to finally receive the gift of The Tick Animated Series, how long do we have to wait before we can start complaining that the Fox Kids X-Men cartoon isn’t out yet?

So where is Supergirl?

And I’m not going to title this post the goddamned Supergirl Problem.

Maybe my level of expectation is too high, and it’s silly for me to be asking this question. I mean, over in Marvel, Wolverine spends 10 months either dead, zombified and killing for Hydra, or on a mission to take out Hydra in his own series, yet gallavants in various X-Men books like nothing’s out of the ordinary.

But where is Supergirl?

Maybe the question should be “Where isn’t Supergirl?” In “Up, Up and Away,” she’s in Metropolis, ready to respond to the de-powered Clark Kent’s distress calls. In “Supergirl,” she’s in Kandor, apparently wanting to kill Kal El yet is in love with him? (I don’t really know what’s going on there) And in “Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes,” she’s 1000 years in the future.

Now a recent issue of “52” explained, or at least alluded to, how she ended up in the future. So I can understand that out in space, during Infinite Crisis, she was sent off into the future by some wayward beam of time warping mischief. And if one is returning from the future, one could feasibly return to any moment. So it’s entirely possible that she can come back from the 31st century in time to be Clark Kent’s personal Jesus.

But I don’t get how she’s in Kandor at the same time. For that matter, I don’t really get anything about what’s going on in “Supergirl,” because Power Girl’s in there with her, and she’s in “JSA.” And Kal El’s mom is alive. And my normal solution of just reading wikipedia for comicsland backstory is failing me on this one.

So I’m really hoping someone will stumble upon this and be able to set me straight, because I need some straight-setting. I’m fully aware of the possibility that this is just one of those things that happens when a character appears in more than one book in any comic company – they’re going to be in several places at once. But I think over the past year or so, DC has kind of conditioned me to expect tighter editorial control.

Week Nine

After hearing about Lex Luthor’s plot to create a procedure designed in order to turn regular saps into super heroes, we finally get a glimpse of what he’s capable of (other than turning John Henry Irons into actual steel). That’s right, folks, he can turn average people into a bunch of foolish looking tough guys who wear purple spandex and have big green L’s emblazoned across their chests. What are their powers? Well, I’m guessing we’ll have to wait a few weeks for the writers to figure out some good generic ones for the entire lot. Apparently, Natasha’s power is to whack people real hard and to whine like an ingrate.
52 week 9
So, what actually happens in this issue? Luthor’s Generic Six debut; Natasha beats up her uncle, eventually depositing him into the harbor (let’s hope all that steel doesn’t hinder his swimming abilities); Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Starfire escape from Devilance the Pursuer (the gods are pissed because those guys saw through the layers of Heaven during the Rann-Thanagar war, which, by the way, they shouldn’t mention that sort of thing, because it makes me think, well, shoot, why don’t they show US the 12 layers of Heaven, and I’d like to see an artist try to capture THAT!); meanwhile, the Question reveals the first of many answers to Montoya–Intergang is targeting Gotham City–and, at the very end, they show some weird Batwoman person lurking on the rooftops. That was a long sentence. Permit me to have a cigarette and catch my breath. How’s that possible? Who are you, Bill Nye? Forget about it.

With all of that out of the way, the question is, is it any good? Kinda. There’s not enough (any) Black Adam, and the Steel story is really uninteresting to me. One element of this issue that really amazes me is the interaction of the characters out in space. Imagine if you had just witnessed the events of the Infinite Crisis, and your main hope over two months later is, “I hope the world made it.” That’s such a cool idea.

Still loving “52,” I just wish they’d cut that afterward crap out so that the issues had a bit more space to, y’know, tell us stuff we haven’t seen before. Oh well. That’s all for now, folks.

See ya in seven.

Yet another Superman Returns review

After catching Superman Returns this weekend, the first movie that popped into my head to compare it to was Batman Begins. Now, I know that’s easy, just holding aloft the two new DC live-action efforts and saying they’re both good flicks. But there are plenty of similarities.

For starters, both movies are the necessary rejuvenations of a once-lively, now-moribund franchise, and each takes a fair amount of creative license to do so. Batman Begins made greater changes, of course, completely disregarding both the first two (good) Batman movies and the last two (utterly crappy) ones. Superman Returns, meanwhile, only retconned out of existence the last two (utterly crappy) movies in its franchise history.

But Bryan Singer and crew did more than just pantomime the much-loved first two Superman films. They came up with new twists – namely the Superchild – and added to the foundations that had been set up before.

Both Batman Begins and Superman Returns also delved deeply into the characters, the men behind the costume. Batman Begins did so by showing us how a child can grow into a monster of his own creation. Superman Returns did so by revealing just how difficult life can be for someone who, while universally adored, is forever an alien at arm’s length with the world.

Even the faults of each film are the same. And yes, that goes beyond miscasted female leads. Both start off terrifically, meander slightly, then sort of tremble to a halt with a shaky last third. I thought the shuttle/plane sequence in Superman Returns had everything – just a perfect show of force for Superman in a beautiful blend of CGI and live-action and a reminder of the emotional power the character has over the people he protects.

Yes, there were a few herky jerky moments. The movie would’ve benefited mightily from a good 20 minutes left on the editing room floor (my suggestion, the sequence where Lex steals the Kryptonite and Kitty nearly crashes). And since the big surprise came earlier, the end lacked a certain amount of punch.

Still, this was a Superman movie, and a good one at that. It had a great Lex Luthor who was the silly villain that Gene Hackman portrayed and the megalomaniac seeking to put the world under his fist, no matter how steep the price, that the comic books have featured. For those who say his “real estate” plan was out of character, just check out the “Up, up and away!” storyline that just wrapped up in the comics.

Most importantly, just like Batman Begins, this sets the stage for more Superman movies, and I couldn’t be more excited.