Archive for July, 2006


Green Lanterns: Who Needs ‘Em?

July 27th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

Whatever happened to John Stewart?

Why is he the only Earth-based Green Lantern who isn’t headlining in a book?

Is Hal Jordan going to be in the big JLA relaunch and in his own title?

Think on these things.

Post coming later today/tomorrow about how DC screwed the pooch on the Batbooks!

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Space Ghostal: Old Times

July 25th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

So, funny thing. I’ve known Gavok and Thomas for probably a little over 6 years now, internet-style. I’ve met Thomas once at this year’s E3, what with us being Big Time Video Game Journalists and all. I’ve yet to meet Gavok, but I’m sure that’s going to eventually come down. Power Man and Iron Fist have to hang out sometime, right?

Anyway, six years. It all started here at Indie Madnesse. Indie Madnesse was what you call one of those “improvisational fanfiction” sites. You write one round of a story, then someone else writes another, and so on. I started writing for Reforming Evil Can Be Tricky, created by Kim Kaphwan megafan James “Multimediocre Knight” Howard, and was terrible. Ask Thomas. He delights in pointing that out, but I figure that’s one of those “He’s prettier and smarter and slightly less morally corrupt than I am, so I must break him down.” However, stupidity knows no bounds, so I kept writing. I eventually got better, then “good,” and now I’m working on “great.” I learned to deal with deadlines, with total curveballs, and with completely retarded plotlines intended to trip you up. Come to think, if I ever make it as a comics writer, this was great practice.


One of the big things back in those halcyon days of yore, and yes I went there buddy, was Space Ghost. This was back before Adult Swim was a separate channel for Nielsen purposes. This was back when Adult Swim had swimming related lead-ins and lead-outs and Space Ghost: Coast 2 Coast was the funniest thing out. I don’t know what it was, but 99% of that series was concentrated hilarium. There’s an archive of its transcripts at, if you want a refresher.

A few of these episodes went above and beyond the call of duty with the funny. Flipmode, featuring Busta Rhymes, was one. Knifin’ Around, with Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) and Bjork (of… Bjork?), was another. Batmantis? Believe it.

Bear with me, I have a point.

At Something Awful dot com, there’re these forums. These forums have a subform known as Batman’s Shameful Secret. I’m not sure if they’re currently public, but if you want to scope it out, head to and check it out. There’s a thread on this subforum about Ruining the Moment. Take a deadly serious scene from a comic… and ruin it. Often, this results in pure comedy.

So. All of this was just to basically say “This post is so in-jokey that it has its own gravitational field.” It’s got history, baby.

First came this. I’m coming down off a bad couple of weeks, and I needed a distraction. I also couldn’t get the intro to Busta Rhymes’s song “Gimme Some More” out of my mind. So I did this.

Some discussion followed on Let’s Ruin the Moment Some More. It was well received, and then I realized, holy crap! Space Ghost has his own series that was made all adult and mature and whatnot. I enjoyed it, but it was hard to reconcile the comic series and Coast 2 Coast. So… let’s ruin it.

Gavok had me covered with a quickness with two quick shots. Relevant script if you need a primer.

Oh, this is good, right? Then he hits again with these two (reference one and reference two:

What’s that? One more? Have some Knifin’ Around.

Now, he’s put out a strong showing, so how can I resist? I gotta get back in the game. Scripts: Curling Flower Space and Knifin’ Around you’ve already seen.

Sometimes, the old jokes are the best. If you’ve got any memory of the show at all, hopefully this tickled your something-or-other. If not… get with it, man. Go watch some episodes. It’s out on DVD, even.

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July 24th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

So, I just spent probably three hours futzing around with Feedburner. If all has gone well (and it hasn’t), then you shouldn’t notice anything different. Your RSS/ATOM requests should go through fine, but I’ll have a few extra bonuses on my side.

In the midst of all this upgrading, .htaccessing, and other things, I screwed up and deleted my /random/ directory, aka the folder where I put the good images, and my online backup of the old site, which I’m hoping is still on my old PC.

So, uh, yeah! Go me!

Enjoy the new feed, and click here if you haven’t already subscribed or if you want to switch over and use the ‘real’ URL. If you notice any problems, drop us a line.

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Faster Than A Speeding…

July 23rd, 2006 Posted by david brothers

I hate making posts with no visual aids, but I’m in that nebulous time period known as “after church” and “before work” trying to hit you with some content, so just imagine that I put different Superman illos throughout this thing, okay? I managed to find one image I already had uploaded, and it fits, so it’s going up!

Just so I can get this out of the way: Ed McGuinness, hands down, draws the best Superman. No contest. His Superman looks like a super-hero should look.


I’ve found that, in my experience, there are at least three different Supermen. They all share traits, but they all have enough differences to be distinct in my mind.

The first, and by far the most popular, is portraying Clark Kent as the true identity, and Superman as the uniform he puts on to go do good. I think of this one as Mild-Mannered Clark Kent as Superman. This is the one you tend to see in the comics. He’s got human parents, whose values he inherited, a human wife who means the world to him, and a human job that he’s inexplicably managed to hold onto. It’s the values of his parents that make him put on the costume. He has the ability to help, so therefore he has a responsibility to help. He does it out of what appears to be altruism, though one could say he gains some amount of pleasure from fulfilling his duty and making his parents proud. Also, he has a Kryptonian super-dog and possibly a cat. His cousin Kara has a super-horse who turns into a man who she has a crush on, but that’s so horrifically twisted we’re not even going to touch it. This Clark was also possibly Superboy, or would that be Young Superman now?

The other, and next popular (though it may technically be the most popular!) is Superman as Clark Kent, or Why Aliens Aren’t Human. Clark is his mask that he puts on so that he fits in. He’s an alien, and Jor-El’s exhortations to do right are what spur him on. He says stuff like “Great Rao!” and “Sweet Christmas!” He’s an alien masquerading as a human. Clark Kent is supposed to be him as human, blending in, but he way over does it. This Clark Kent is supposed to be down to earth, but he ends up slapstick. Knocking things over, tripping, “Whoops golly gee did I miss Superman again?,” “Hey Lois w-w-would you, ah, would you l-like to go to a movie?” and all that. He’d be a comedian if he got on Comedy Central. It’s like Superman as Jim Carrey. This is the one from the various movies. This one doesn’t have a super-dog, necessarily, but give them time.

The third, and my favorite, is the interpretation we saw in Miller’s Dark Knight Strikes Again. The Super Way or the Highway. He’s an alien with great power, and he knows it. He also knows that earth is horribly flawed, so he does what he can to fix it. Why? Well, because it’s right. Right pays no attention to laws, boundaries, or nations. He’ll cross your borders and fix your civil war himself if he has to, he just can’t let injustice stand. Toward the end of DKSA, this Superman asks his (equally awesome) daughter Kara Zor-El, “What do you want to do with our world?” He’s kind of a behind the scenes benevolent dictator. If you’re doing wrong, you’re in his sights, and let me tell you buddy, he’s got laser eyes. This is a change from the normal comics one in that he’s willing to do things for the greater good, rather than detouring around China because they don’t want him in their airspace. He’ll sling your giant robot into the sun (where it will eventually come back after hibernating, I’m certain) and then come back down and parade you in front of the people you were dictating… dictated… lording it over, just to show that the power is now theirs. He doesn’t have a superdog, and you better be thankful, because Kryptofascist (see what I did there?) will kill you for looking at him funny.

This is also the OG Superman, because he’ll come into your house and throw you up against a wall for hitting a woman. “Don’t get tough!” you’ll say. “‘Tough’ is putting mildly the treatment you’re going to get!” he’ll respond. “You’re not fighting a woman, now!”

In your face, wife beater.

So, yeah, Superfascist is the man. Have a desktop commemorating his awesomeitudinal cool factor.

What’s your favorite Superman?

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Tokyopop A Bunch Of Jerks, Film at 11

July 21st, 2006 Posted by david brothers


Tokyopop press release:
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced the company is joining forces with TOKYOPOP, the number one manga company in the U.S., to launch a series of mobile games starting with the popular manga East Coast Rising, a rollicking tale of pirates and high seas adventure. The game is expected to be available in early Fall.

“Transforming a hot manga property like East Coast Rising into a mobile game demonstrates the kind of synergy that’s now possible between traditional forms of entertainment and mobile content,” commented Joe Morris, vice president, mobile content, Konami Digital Entertainment. “As the leaders of the global manga revolution, TOKYOPOP reaches a teen audience that wants cool stuff to play on their cell phones.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Konami to move TOKYOPOP’s creative juice into the white-hot area of mobile gaming. Our two brands both stand for an East-meets-West aesthetic that really speaks out to fans worldwide, so working together is a natural fit that will truly push the envelope,” said Stu Levy, CEO TOKYOPOP.

The mobile gaming adaptation of East Coast Rising invites users to defend New York from hostile New Jersey pirates and evil monsters in an exciting new mobile game set in the compelling world of TOKYOPOP’s critically-acclaimed East Coast Rising manga. Sail the seas in the search of high adventure but beware the pirate ship Hoboken …and the Creeping Death. Visit the ragtag denizens of various destroyed and flooded East Coast cities using Map Mode. Enter Battle Mode and fight a host of enemies on every voyage. Earn gold through successful battles to buy the repairs and supplies you need for keeping your ship and crew in top fighting trim. Strategy and planning are crucial if you hope to triumph over the villains at the end of each level. Choose from several difficulty settings. Once you master the basic game, download more playable levels for new challenges in the East Coast Rising world.

Notice anything funny? Oh, like the fact that the creator of the work doesn’t get a mention in an article pimping the fact that her comic is being turned into a mobile game?

This is beyond bad form, Tokyopop.

Becky Cloonan’s site is here, and it comes with links to buy her stuff. I recommend DEMO in particular.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown… Prelude

July 15th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Back when I first started reading comics, in the 90’s (thunder noises), I was a bit too young to have any real income and was mainly relegated to read comics that had Spider-Man and/or Venom on the cover. One of said covers was for a What If about the New Fantastic Four, made up of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider. I had never heard of this team, but the concept was too rad not to look at, so I got the issue.

That, from what I recall, was the only one I ever did get back then. I remember passing on one about Cannonball’s brother Josh because, hell, I didn’t even know who Cannonball was. Didn’t he show up once during the really shitty final season of the X-Men cartoon?

Like many comic readers, spider-clones and evil, magnetic Xaviers pushed me away from the hobby for years. I can’t really remember when I got back into it again, but I know it wasn’t long into it that I remembered the What If series. With nearly 200 issues out there, I only looked at those based on characters I knew about. X-Men and Spider-Man mostly. Then, over time, as I started to understand more about guys like Iron Man and Dr. Doom, I’d read their stories. Then Dr. Strange and Captain America. Then Fantastic Four and Namor. And so on and so forth.

Until Wikipedia came around, these comics were some of the best ways to get background on characters and storylines. I didn’t know a thing about how Strange became a sorcerer until reading these. I didn’t know the story behind how the Silver Surfer became Galactus’ flunky, only to be given independence. In fact, most of Captain America’s backstory I’ve learned from his What If issues. So thanks for the help, Uatu the Watcher.

After realizing how many of these I’ve read, I knew I had to finish the series off. And so, at the time of this article, I have about 30 issues left to go through. Once I’m done with those, it will be time for me to reflect on it with my list of the best 100 issues. Read the rest of this entry �

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Pride of a Panther: Top 5 Black Men

July 10th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

Dr Sivana shol is a smart 'un!So, anyone who spends any amount of time speaking to me tends to find out that I am very, very pro-black. There’s a song by dead prez that goes, “Thirty-one years ago I would’ve been a [Black] Panther.” This is so true in my case that I have actually gone back in time and helped found a chapter of the Black Panther Party in Brooklyn. I did this when I was a little older. Time travel is tricky, all right?

I was sitting here thinking, as us intellectual types are wont to do, and I’m not feeling the love, comics. You aren’t treating your black characters right. You call Jason Rusch, the new Firestorm, a token, an affirmative action quota kid, and all kinds of other nasty names. Bishop? Bishop had a perm. What kind of self-respecting, non-pimp black man wears a perm? Virgil “Static” Hawkins and his imprintmates at Milestone went the way of the dodo, despite being some of the best comics to come out of the ’90s. Static was the first Ultimate Spider-Man, if you get me. Don’t even get me started on the reaction to Captain America: Truth – Red, White, and Black, or the kind of glaring lack of writers of color at the big two.

It’s cool, though.Captain Marvel in Blackface Blacks in comics have come a long way. Luke Cage used to be a patently offensive stereotype, though he’s been pretty well gentrified now. Stepin Fetchits abounded during the early years of comics. Comics great Will Eisner even had his own little stereotypical black kid running around. Did we have it as bad as Chop-chop and Egg-fu? Well, yeah. Stereotypes, unless played very carefully, tend to be ugly, ugly things.

Anyway, this is all introduction to the meat of the matter. A lot of black heroes are wack, but there are some gems, too. For every Black Goliath there’s a Black Panther, dig? So check the list and let me know what you think. Read the rest of this entry �

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The BEAT has a new home!

July 5th, 2006 Posted by david brothers


Heidi Mac’s THE BEAT has a new home at the Publisher’s Weekly site proper. Go and check it out.

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Crisis on Infinite 4thletters!

July 5th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

You’re reading this, so this is your favorite site, right? RIGHT?

So tell your friends. Tell your mother, your father, your baker, your barber. I’m super-successful, and work on a magazine that has more readers than there are people on earth, but that is not enough. I crave attention. I am a megalomaniac. Two steps away from getting a metal faceplate and being Hermanos de Acero, I swear on my as-yet fictional tragic radioactive accident that gives me powers.

I don’t want posts to be met with dead air. I want back and forth, I want comments, I want to get people talking or laughing or something. You know what you get with posts by me? Generally snark-free insight on comics, the likes of which you can only find on a mountain in Tibet. I still haven’t written “Dark Knight Strikes Again Doesn’t Suck So Stop Telling Me To Not Like It, STUPID” or “Batgirl Going Evil Was A Bad Idea, But Now That It’s Over, It Could Be Great” or “Top Five Black Males in Comics” or “Top Five Black Females In Comics Who Aren’t Photon Or Storm” yet, but c’mon! They’re coming.

There’s two other guys on this site who’d love some love, too. Wanderer has tons mouths to feed because he keeps adopting adorable little babies. It’s kind of weird how he’s accessorizing his clothes with his children, and I really don’t approve of the cute, but demented, “Baby Pyramid,” but help this man out!

Gavok? Eh, he’s cool. He’s got a sweet What If…? article in the works. He’s subjecting himself to some of the worst excesses of the ’90s for you. You want to know what ones to read and which will give you terminal stupid shock? Wait a few days. You’ll see. This man, this monster… he does it out of love.

So get the word out. Link to the good articles, comment on the writing, start up a blog war with us so that we can get some free publicity, rap beef style. Link us (but not our images, I pay for this site out of pocket, kids) to your busy comics message boards if we say something you hate/love/don’t care about really. Talk us up on your livejournal. We’ve got an RSS feed right here and (oh snap) a Livejournal feed here! I’m going to add these links to the sidebar later today to make them easier to find.

See those rotating banners up at the top? They’re 700×200 jpegs (though one is a gif) and you can make your own. All it requires is a funny, serious, or really just any random moment from a comic and the word “4thletter!” in an unobtrusive spot in black or white. If you’ve got a good one, send it to, okay?

C’mon, folks. Get the word out. Is you is, or is you ain’t, my baby?

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