Archive for April, 2013


Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 5

April 10th, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Alias: Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, Captain Thunder
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (1940)
Powers: The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Able to summon lightning by saying, “Shazam”
Other Media: Old-timey film adaptations, had his own live-action show in the 70’s, an animated series, was on Legend of the Superheroes, guest-starred on Justice League, Batman: the Brave and the Bold and Young Justice.

I might as well get the name thing out of the way because I’m sure it’s confusing as hell for people out of the Shazam loop. The magical wizard is Shazam. The superhero is Captain Marvel, only sometimes they call him Shazam, like in current comics and this game. It’s for silly legal reasons that I’ll get to, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m just going to call him Captain Marvel throughout this thing.

It’s a little sad that your average Joe doesn’t know who Captain Marvel is because during the 40’s, he was THE top superhero. Published by Fawcett Comics, his adventures sold more than Superman and Batman. He was the first superhero to get his own movie (which featured him taking out a bunch of enemy soldiers with a gatling gun. Times were different back then). Elvis Presley based his on-stage wardrobe on Captain Marvel’s sidekick Captain Marvel Jr. Captain Marvel was the man.

Only he really wasn’t a man, but a young boy named Billy Batson. Chosen by the wizard Shazam for his purity, orphan news reporter Billy was bestowed the power of becoming Captain Marvel upon saying the word, “Shazam!” Powered by the gods, Captain Marvel fought the likes of Dr. Sivana, Mr. Mind and many others. What made the character work was that he was just a kid. It was pure power fantasy. The idea that you could become this great superhero no matter your age.

So what made him so much better than Superman in the nation’s mind? Well, to be brutally honest about early Superman comics, Captain Marvel was interesting. Superman was a novelty act. He was in God Mode, going through the motions, taking out criminals who were no threat to him. Watching him beat up wife-beaters or throw around mobsters was fun in its own way, but even the mad scientist characters didn’t work all that well. It was usually, “Haha! Let’s see what happens when I pour molten lava over Superman! Nothing? Well, shit. What if I send my giant robot forces? Torn apart with ease? Damn it.”

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ComiXology played itself, and its audience, over Saga #12

April 10th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

We apologize to Saga creator Brian K. Vaughn and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused.

–David Steinberger, 2013 (separate context)

Unbelievable. So let me break this down. I should probably do this at length, but I’m at work so here’s some light work. Let’s hash it out in the comments, because I’m sure I’m leaving something out:

1. Brian K Vaughan releases a statement that Apple has banned Saga #12, specifically citing “two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex.” Fiona Staples cosigns it. They stand behind their comic, which is the only sane choice.
2. These statements are later cosigned by Image Comics and ComiXology via retweets, tweets, and reblogs on Tumblr.
3. People urge others to boycott Apple and to buy Saga from ComiXology or Image Comics directly. ComiXology implicitly supports these actions by spreading word that the comic will be on the website, not the app.
4. Twitter goes ham, understandably, because it looks like Apple is back rejecting gay content for vague or unstated reasons.
5. Websites follow suit, and a widespread discussion about Apple’s past practices follow.
6. This morning, 24 hours later, ComiXology CEO David Steinberger releases a statement that basically says “oh it was us ha ha sorry!”

The discussion about Apple and access is valuable, considering Apple’s place as a gatekeeper. If comics is going to hitch itself to Apple’s products, comics needs to be sure that it isn’t being handcuffed at the same time. Cape comics just escaped the Comics Code — there’s no reason to volunteer yourself to be controlled again.

1. Apple’s gatekeeper status. This specific instance is a case of someone incorrectly interpreting Apple’s rules, which is actually a big part of the problem. What’s explicit? What’s obscene? As far as I know, Apple has never clearly said, and they often contradict themselves or go “Oh wait no this one’s good. We meant this other thing.” It’s a crapshoot. If you’re going to have a code, make it public so we know what the deal is.
2. Saga is THE comic right now. More than anything else, it’s an important comic in the comics industry. It’s a high selling title from a celebrated author and a ferociously talented artist, and they own it. Saga, to a lot of people, represents a sea change in the industry. So this is important on a few different levels.
3. Who told BKV that Apple said no to the gay content? And how does that jibe with ComiXology’s statement that “We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.”? What’s true here? Either ComiXology spiked it because of the gay sex or they didn’t. Who’s lying?
4. By purchasing directly from ComiXology or one of their partner sites, ComiXology avoids having to pay Apple a 30% fee for distribution. That increases the profits for ComiXology and, I assume, the creators. Even if there’s no actual wrongdoing here, there is definitely the appearance of shadiness, thanks to ComiXology and its partners repeatedly and aggressively suggesting that you should buy Saga directly from them while claiming that it was “banned by Apple,” or rejected by Apple, or whatever the correct terminology is here.
5. The criticisms that were previously aimed at Apple should now be turned toward ComiXology — who on their staff is in charge of content approvals? What are they using as a guide? Do they have the best interests of the comics industry at heart? If no, should they?
6. ComiXology is the new Diamond. They’ve got all the big names and they call the shots with impunity. There are alternatives — I’m extremely fond of DRM-free PDFs and JPGs where I pay directly to the creators — but if you’re talking digital comics, you’re talking ComiXology.
7. It took 24 hours for ComiXology to fess up, which is utterly pathetic. Why the delay? To dodge the worst of the backlash while enjoying the benefits of it?
8. Petty, but: Steinberger didn’t even mention Fiona Staples in his apology, even though she’s co-creator of the book and just as affected by this news as BKV. Try harder. Artists matter.

This is a quagmire. What am I forgetting? What leaps out to you? Let’s conversate.

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monday mixtape edification

April 8th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape edification from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs here, which should play in random order. The list:

-Esperanza Spalding – Black Gold – Radio Music Society
-Lana Del Rey – Off to the Races – Born To Die
-Bobby Womack – Dayglo Reflection feat. Lana Del Rey – The Bravest Man In The Universe
-Otis Redding – Satisfaction – Live On The Sunset Strip
-Curtis Mayfield – Miss Black America – Curtis!
-Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM – IRM
-D’Angelo – Cruisin – Brown Sugar
-Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments – Devotion

Strictly sangers this time.

I missed out on Lana Del Rey when her hype machine was in full swing. The machine didn’t make her music sound like something I wanted to hear, I think. The sticker on the vinyl I bought said something like “’50s Hollywood style with emcee swag,” which is as repellent as it is nonsensical. Worse than that, the vast majority of the criticism I found tended to be about how she’s a faking faker with another name, and a bunch of other dumb ideas I don’t remember. I think I caught that weirdly sad SNL performance on youtube, too. So I tabled the idea of paying attention to her.

She showed up, of all places, on Bobby Womack’s album. It was my first time listening to her, as opposed to just hearing her. It was nice. Her voice is in that range that puts me in mind of other lady vocalists I dig. I poked around on Twitter and people said her album was pretty good, but I still held off.

Liz Barker wrote about digging Lana Del Rey recently, and she made her sound very cool. I like the idea of “sexy music that feels like being asleep,” so I checked out Born to Die and was pretty impressed.

Liz nailed the feel of the album. Her piece got me into the right space to appreciate it, and I copped the vinyl shortly after I listened to the album. I’m into it. I was surprised to hear “Y’out there? Louder!” on the first track, since that’s one of my favorite rap samples. I don’t usually associate that with singers, even today, so that was a nice surprise. It’s mixed way down in the track, too, which is interesting.

Now that I’m comfortable with this album, I want to know more. I want to know what’s up with her album having two separate references to Nabokov’s Lolita, assuming you include the bonus tracks. That seems like a lot, right? There’s something there. I’m on the look for more now. I liked this Jessica Hopper piece my dude Chris Randle linked me. I need to find more. I kinda wish I lived near the musically-inclined people I like online. I’d love to be able to just sit in a dark, smoky room and chew the fat over this and everything else.

I love Otis Redding’s performance on “Satisfaction,” from the intro to the outro. Curtis Mayfield’s “Miss Black America” makes me wish I had a daughter.

-This week was short on reading material. I’ve been doing research for a big project, which means reading, rereading, watching, and rewatching things that are hard to link. In the meantime:

I dig Strawberry Fields Whatever, created by Jen May, Laura Jane Faulds, and Liz Barker. They’re all really good, and I’m routinely impressed by how they approach music and the way they talk about music’s place in their life. They’ve been really helpful to me, both directly and indirectly. Even when I don’t know the nitty-gritty of what they’re talking about, I dig the way they talk about it. I learn things.

I dig Maura Magazine, edited by Maura Johnston. Johnston is a writer whose work I’ve dug for a while now, and she launched this iPad magazine earlier this year. Thirty bucks gets you a year of weekly issues, $0.99 gets you a one-shot issue. Each issue has a new roster of writers and new subjects grouped under a loose umbrella idea. The magazine, like SFWhatevs, routinely writes about things I’m ignorant of, but I eat it up. There was a piece on teenaged girl Olympic swimmers that was fascinating, and I’m not the type of guy who particularly cares about Olympics or competitive swimming.

I dig Comics of the Weak, written and organized by Tucker Stone, with regular assists from Abhay Khosla and Nathan Bulmer. Abhay absolutely murders the Rick “Hobo Piss” Remender situation this week. I have a lot of thoughts on that even still. But I hate talking about it, so I’m going to try and just leave this here and leave it alone.

I did like this read on being sober for a year by Kristina Wong, though.

I wrote about David Hine & Shaky Kane’s Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred for ComicsAlliance.

-I saw Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D this weekend. It’s not as life-changing as it was when I was a kid, but it’s still an incredibly ill movie and utterly enjoyable. Even if you can’t see it in 3D, you should probably watch it again pretty soon. The animatronic dinosaurs aged extremely well. The CG ones still look good, but not quite as good as they once did.

There’s one shot I love, when Lex is in the grates above the control room and the raptor bumps the grate she’s crawling on and then the camera cuts to an overhead shot of her falling through while the raptor recovers on the ground. Makes me smile every time I see it. It’s so immaculate.

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying?

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This Week in Panels: Week 185

April 7th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

I should probably make a new intro image to these things. Miles is getting tired.

So welcome again to another week of panels. This time I’m joined by Gajin Dan, Brobe, Was Taters, Space Jawa and Matlock.

Wrestlemania was tonight and despite being pretty close to where I live, I opted not to go this year, partially because my money’s been tighter since my car accident back in December and partially because the card just didn’t do anything for me. After watching the show, I feel vindicated in my decision. Granted, my three favorite guys (Henry, Bryan and Ambrose) all won their matches and Punk/Undertaker was a blast, but I feel like nothing of note actually happened. It was the most predictable, uneventful Wrestlemania in years.

Animal Man #19
Jeff Lemire and Steve Pugh

Batwing #19
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Eduardo Pansica

Bleach #531
Tite Kubo

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 4

April 5th, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Alias: Red Hood, Jack Napier, Joseph Kerr, Oberon Sexton
First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)
Powers: Genius in both planning and improvisation, master chemist, completely unpredictable, unmatched tolerance for pain
Other Media: Yeah, pretty much.

“Frighteningly sick in the head… yet strangely compelling company.” – Lex Luthor when asked about the Joker

Despite all those above aliases, there’s never been a true name to go with the Joker’s pale face. His origin has always been up in the air and he rather likes it that way. The most famous non-movie take on the Joker’s backstory is the classic 80’s tale Killing Joke, where Joker spent time reminiscing about being a failed stand-up comedian who in one day senselessly lost his wife and unborn child and then got knocked into a vat of chemicals by Batman. Joker later admitted to Batman and the reader that he always remembered the actions that led up to him becoming the Joker differently every time and no longer truly knew who he was. All he could tell was that – much like Batman – he had one bad day and it caused him to snap. The difference was that while Batman had dedicated himself to making sense of the world, Joker dedicated himself to knocking down the whole house of cards and reveling in it.

Joker’s appearance was based on actor Conrad Veidt’s creepy portrayal of Gwynplaine from the 1928 film the Man Who Laughs. In his initial appearances, Joker was just as creepy and violent as he was in the movies. It wasn’t until the Comics Code Authority stepped in that he became more like Cesar Romero in the 60’s Batman TV show. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that one time in the 50’s that Joker dedicated his time and energy to committing crimes based on colossal mistakes. That led to a comic where they mentioned the word “boner” like a hundred times and it STILL makes me laugh like an idiot.

“And I’m worried about the boner he’s readying for YOU!” – Commissioner Gordon to Batman

Remarkably enough, Joker appears to be the one character who was never affected by any of the DC reboots. He always just kept being the Joker and any different depictions fell into the idea that he’s just a versatile nutjob who is as likely to poison a troop of boyscouts as he is to steal a child’s straight A report card and call it a day. Even Batman scribe Grant Morrison explained that his boner crime days were just another step in the psycho’s evolution.

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 3

April 3rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Alias: Barry Allen?
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (1956)
Powers: Fastest dude ever, heals quickly, can vibrate himself through matter, can vibrate into different realities, with the assistance of the Cosmic Treadmill he can travel through time, is able to lend his powers to others
Other Media: Appeared on many cartoons, had his own live-action TV series in the 90’s, appeared on Legend of the Superheroes (a failed Justice League spinoff of the 60’s Batman show) and the live-action Justice League of America TV movie, was kind of a big deal in Daddy Day Care

Warning: the history of the Flashes involves some time travel fuckery and in a lot of these cases, I’m just as confused as you are.

The Golden Age Flash was Jay Garrick. Maybe five people care about him and they’re all mad I just said this. Moving on.

Barry Allen (you know, from Catch Me If You Can) became the Flash in the 50’s. He was a forensic scientist who got splashed with chemicals while being shocked by lightning. That gave him the powers to run super fast and he decided to be altruistic with it, naming himself the Flash after his favorite comic book hero. He garnered one of the best rogues galleries in comics, got himself a sidekick in Kid Flash (his nephew Wally West, who got his powers in a similar way) and a fiancé in Iris West.

One of his villains was Professor Zoom, who looked identical to Flash except for having a reverse color scheme. Zoom was from the future and had powers and an appearance that were just like Barry’s because he was a huge Flash fanboy who went insane. Jealous of Flash’s relationship with Iris, Zoom killed her by vibrating his hand through her head. Barry tried to move on and later got engaged to another woman, but when Zoom attempted to meddle in that, a threatened Flash ended up breaking his neck and killing him. Flash was put on trial for murder and it got really weird because it turns out Iris was really from the same future era as Zoom and she was alive there somehow, so he ran to the future and spent some time with her.

Flash returned to the present during the big Crisis on Infinite Earths event. It’s there that he faced down the villain Anti-Monitor and ran circles around his big world-destroying master weapon, destroying it via vortex. The stress on running faster than he had ever run and being unable to let up tore Flash apart and caused him to painfully decay as he powered on, screaming that he had to save the world one last time. He ruined Anti-Monitor’s plans, but at the cost of his own life. Kid Flash discovered the empty red tights – the only thing that remained of Barry – and swore that he would take up the mantle and make him proud.

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Professor X isn’t Martin Luther King, and Magneto isn’t Malcolm X, either.

April 3rd, 2013 Posted by david brothers

It’s hard to boil someone down to one position, but I think it’s fair to say that Martin Luther King wanted America to deliver on its original promise: that all men are created equal and therefore deserve the same rights, access, and opportunities. His preferred method of doing so was non-violent resistance, essentially making himself into a martyr to show exactly how unfair America truly is. I like this paragraph from his “I Have A Dream” speech:

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

“Put up or shut up.”

Of course, non-violent resistance doesn’t mean that you fold at the first sign of hate. King kept guns for protection, and many of his peers did, as well. Owning a gun is their right under the laws of America, and it’s a right that’s well worth exercising, depending on your situation. It seems weird at first blush, but think it through: non-violent resistance doesn’t mean that you let someone kill you at their leisure. Non-violent resistance is a focused tactic, something you do intentionally. Self-protection exists apart from that, right?

Malcolm X is harder to boil down, and he’s been put into competition with MLK so often that it’s hard to define him as his own thing sometimes. I like these quotes, though:

This is to warn you that I am no longer held in check from fighting white supremacists by Elijah Muhammad’s separatist Black Muslim movement, and that if your present racist agitation against our people there in Alabama causes physical harm to Reverend King or any other black Americans who are only attempting to enjoy their rights as free human beings, that you and your Ku Klux Klan friends will be met with maximum physical retaliation from those of us who are not hand-cuffed by the disarming philosophy of nonviolence, and who believe in asserting our right of self-defense — by any means necessary.

“This a hands off policy. Y’all touch him, we riding.” –Young Jeezy.

I want Dr. King to know that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job difficult. I really did come thinking I could make it easier. If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.

“You can get with this, or you can get with that.” –Black Sheep.

I like these quotes because they both show a better picture of the relationship between King and Malcolm X, later El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, than the usual narrative does. America likes to place them in conflict with each other, but the truth was much more nuanced. They didn’t see eye-to-eye, but they were both working toward the same goal, and they knew that.

Malcolm was more willing to be the devil than Martin was. He was willing to be the demon that America deserved, while Martin was able to become something different, something softer. Both approaches have their merits, and they aren’t necessarily fundamentally opposed. If America resisted Martin’s soft approach, Malcolm made it clear that he was right around the corner with a harder approach. “Deal with him or deal with me.”

Personally, I identify with Malcolm a lot more than Martin. I’ve had a copy of “The Ballot or The Bullet” in my Dropbox for years now, and it remains one of my favorite things to read. There is a directness to Malcolm’s approach that I appreciate and try to emulate. “You better give me the respect I deserve or I’ma take it by force.” Malcolm is bigger than his rep as the white-hating, bigoted side of the civil rights movement. That’s too small and too inaccurate an idea for him.

But it’s that idea that led to the idea of Martin and Malcolm in competition, which led directly to the idea that Professor Xavier of the X-Men and Magneto of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are the Martin Luther King and Malcolm X of the mutant rights movement.

It’s an easy comparison to make, considering Xavier’s position as angel and Magneto’s as demon, but it’s wrong on basically every single level. Professor X drafted children into a paramilitary unit under the guise of educating them, and then sent them out to fight other mutants. They’re essentially a self-police force for the mutant people. When you step out of line, they’ll step on you. This was later explored when X-Factor and Freedom Force became government-sponsored squads, a kind of walking, talking COINTELPRO.

Magneto is the other side of the fence. Where Xavier wants mutants to coexist with humans, Magneto is a mutant supremacist and terrorist. He murders humans, he brutalizes mutants, and anyone who stands in his way is found wanting and considered a traitor. Magneto is a murderer with ideals, when you boil it down.

Neither character bears any resemblance to Martin or Malcolm, outside of a short-sighted and frankly ignorant idea of what Martin or Malcolm represent. People have said it, but that doesn’t make it true.

Professor X uses violent methods to get what he wants and to police his people. Magneto uses violent methods to oppress another species and is an actual terrorist.

Martin & Malcolm wanted America to deliver on its promise. Professor X and Magneto are the hero and villain of an adventure comic. Any connection between the two sets of people is based on inaccurate data. Any comparison between the two has no leg to stand on.

There is no relation in tactics, approach, or personality.

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monday mixtape david

April 1st, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape david from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs here, which should play in random order. The list:

-Adina Howard – Freak Like Me – Do You Wanna Ride?
-Aesop Rock – 6b Panorama – Float
-Anthony Hamilton – Sucka For You – Back To Love
-Arrested Development – People Everyday – 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of…
-Asher Roth & Nottz – Gotta Get Up – Rawth
-Atmosphere – Good Times (Sick Pimpin) – Seven’s Travels
-Angie Martinez – Live at Jimmy’s
-Al Green – I Want To Hold Your Hand – Love Ritual

Originally, I had wanted to make this eight songs about death or dying, but then I woke up this morning and it’s gloomy out, so instead these are eight songs about enjoying your life, though some songs are more down than others. That strain runs through it, though — “life is beautiful.” It’s why we put up with all this nonsense that life throws at us. One day somebody pretty is gonna smile at us, we’re gonna see some movie we like or hear some song we love, and smile by accident.

Aesop Rock’s “6B Panorama” is one of my favorite songs. I love storytelling joints, and this one isn’t a story so much as a scene. It’s just what Aes Rock sees when he looks out of his window, and it’s so simple but deep that I can’t help but love it. I honestly love Aes’s delivery on “I saw a blind man with a dog screaming ‘someday I’ll see it all’/ and then he sat down with his hammer and saw.” It’s delivered like the stinger at the end of an episode of Peabody & Sherman on Rocky & Bullwinkle.

“6B Panorama” is about appreciation, I think, and that’s something I have a hard time with. When I’m in a bad mood and everything tastes like ashes and I hate everything I love, I wallow. I try to focus more on appreciating what I see on a day-to-day basis these days. I moved last year, and while I can’t see the sunrise or sunset, I can stand on my balcony and still enjoy the morning. There’s always something to look at and appreciate, right? I forget that sometimes.

It helps that “6B Panorama” is a killer bit of writing from one of rap’s best writers, too.

This mixtape is smiley face music, even if it’s a sheepish smile. “People Everyday” is probably the outlier, but it’s such a happy-sounding song about whipping somebody’s behind that I couldn’t resist, not to mention that flawless outro.

The instrumental version of Atmosphere’s “Good Times” was my alarm for two or three years, and it’s strange how weird it sounds to me now. I associated it with snapping awake and being late to work for so long that just hearing the opening of the song makes me physically anxious, though I know in my head that it isn’t a big deal. It’s like a spike of anxiety that slowly fades into suspicion. Basically, don’t make your favorite songs your alarms. I ruined Aesop Rock’s “None Shall Pass” that way, too.

I do a mean version of “Live At Jimmy’s.” Get at me.

Alex Pappademas interviewed DOC for Playboy, with a hat-tip to taterpie for the link. This interview? It’s fantastic. It’s wide-ranging and it put me up on things that I never even knew. I had an uncle who was into MC Breed as a kid, and finding out that DOC worked with him was a revelation. This is must-reading, but maybe not if you’re at work.

I liked Kiel Phegley interviewing Jim Rugg about his new project Supermag. Rugg is ferociously talented.

I liked Andrew Wheeler & Joe Hughes’s take on the Rick Remender Hobo Piss Avengers thing. It’s got an… academic approach, I guess is the best phrase to use, that I’m no good at. I don’t process this kind of conversation that way, which is why I rarely (a brief search says “never” on 4thletter! and mostly in jokes on twitter) talk about like, “white privilege” as a concept. It’s not what I’m good at, but Wheeler is, so give it a read. I also dig this more fan-oriented take.

Here’s a link to a transcript of the diversity-oriented panel I was on at ECCC, if’n you’re curious. I think the panel was pretty good, but I also think that I talked way too much. It was nice, though. The panel is continuing over here on Tumblr, if you’ve got questions/want to discuss things.

I reviewed Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon’s BPRD Vampire, which is very pretty but thin. I wrote about a scene I like a lot though. It’ll be a good book, I think, but weak first issue.

I wrote about… me? Kind of. It’s about learning to trust my taste and accepting the connections my brain draws between otherwise disparate projects. My brain’s smarter than I am. Next week’s I’m David will focus on a similar subject, but with a bulletproof twist.

I saw GI Joe Retaliation. Here’s the first trailer I found on youtube:

I still love that reaction to the North Korea joke. “Bro! What?! C’mon! I just GOT this job!”

I loved it. I’m sure people are gonna say it’s stupid or “turn off your brain” or whatever, but trust me: stay engaged, especially if you’re into the Joes. It’s a treat, and it’s exactly what a toy/comic movie should be. Is delightful a weird word to describe a movie? ’cause GI Joe was a delight on par with Fast Five or Dredd/The Raid. It’s a proper action movie, basically, with some devastatingly good jokes, shockingly solid casting (keep an eye out for dude who played Dick Casablancas in Veronica Mars, for instance), and some well put-together action scenes. A few fights were a little too blurry for my tastes, but by and large? Utterly, completely enjoyable. I saw it in Imax 3D and had a time.

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying?

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 2

April 1st, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Alias: Teth Adam, Theo Adam
First Appearance: Marvel Family #1 (1945)
Powers: The stamina of Shu, the swiftness of Heru, the strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the power of Aton and the courage of Mehen. Can also summon lightning by shouting his trigger word
Other Media: Appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, the Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam and Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam.

I’m not sure if Black Adam is the very first “dark shadow of an existing hero” supervillain in comics, but he’s got to be up there. Thousands of years ago, the wizard Shazam decided on empowering a champion to do acts of heroism. He saw a prince who he deemed pure-hearted and granted him the powers of the gods upon speaking the wizard’s name. Teth/Mighty Adam was an unbeatable force for good, but the power soon corrupted him and he felt the need to rule the world. Shazam couldn’t depower him, so he just banished him across the universe.

It took 5,000 years of non-stop, pissed-off flying for Black Adam to reach Earth (referenced in his Injustice intro) and by that time, he had been replaced with the team of Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. He fought them to a standstill until being tricked into saying “Shazam”. The years caught up to him at once and he decayed into a skeleton in an instance. He wasn’t brought back for another 30 years, resurrected by mad scientist Dr. Sivana. During the rest of the pre-Crisis years, he just showed up every now and then to be Evil Captain Marvel.

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