This Week in Panels: Week 126

February 19th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

This week I’m helped out by Was Taters, Space Jawa and luis. Small week in total and I’m a little too out of it to come up with any pre-panel banter.

Batman #6
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Captain Atom #6
J.T. Krul and Freddie Williams II

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Bloody Flags and Lifeless Rodents

January 16th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

“All right. It’s conceivable you could beat me, Avenger. But it would take you a very long time. Tell me this, though – do you want to?”

“No. You’re not the enemy. We’re all just pawns, in a larger scheme.”

“Then we might be better off letting the others play out the events according to the desires of whoever’s pulling the strings – while the two of us try to find some real answers.”

“You’re on. Let’s go.”

— Batman and Captain America from JLA/Avengers #2

I remember back when Marvel and DC had their Marvel vs. DC back in the mid-90’s, it was my first real introduction to Captain America. Sure, I had seen him pop up in Maximum Carnage (wow, I read some shitty stuff when I was that age), but I didn’t understand what a big deal he was supposed to be until they said that he’s supposed to be Batman’s counterpart.

It was weird, since they didn’t seem to have much in common. When they did that Amalgam event and they merged Batman and Wolverine, it seemed to make some sense more based on the two of them being scowling badasses with kid sidekicks and psycho killer (qu’est que c’est… fa-fa-fa-fa fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better) bad guys. Even the idea of Batman being the counterpart of Iron Man worked out better, since their secret identities were virtually the same guy.

Yet Marvel and DC, despite all their differences, has written in stone that these two are not only counterparts, but equals. They’ve gone far enough to show Superman beating up the Hulk and Thor, but even when the fans vote on it, they refuse to show an actual winner in Batman vs. Captain America. I always found that interesting.

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Something Light For Friday: Who Would Win In a Fight?

November 21st, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

We’ve all done Batman vs Superman, and Batman vs Captain America.

How about Original Bucky vs Original Dick Grayson?

It seems like an uneven fight, since Original Bucky fought Nazis while Original Dick Grayson just ran around in a futile effort to make Batman seem less gay, but I’ll be buried deep in the cold, cold ground before I admit a Marvel anything trumps a DC anything, so I’m going to call it for Dick Grayson.

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Changing Things Up and Going From There

August 24th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A few months back, I suppose inspired by the internet anger at One More Day, Tom Brevoort made mention on his blog how puzzled he was about part of the reaction. Back when The Other happened, people were annoyed as hell that Spider-Man had those crazy new powers, like his newfound wrist spikes. Now that they’ve gone back to webshooters and removed his new powers from the table, people are angry again. Why is that?

It brought me to realize that change in comics has two parts. One is the change itself. The other is the use of that change. Why was everyone annoyed? Because even though The Other was over-hyped and boring, it’s amplified when you realize that they hadn’t done anything with it. Peter David tried to use the spikes here and there in his Friendly Neighborhood run, but that was pretty much it. Not only did The Other make his powers seem stupid, Marvel made no effort to make us believe otherwise. They just shrugged and gave up on it.

It makes me think of how some people generalize The Death of Superman. Some say that any real comic reader knew that Superman would be back in a short time and that the whole thing was rather pointless. In that over-simplification, you ignore how that entire story (maybe without all the mourning issues) brought so much to the Superman mythos. First, it gave us a villain who, while used badly over the years, is still considered an iconic monster. One Superman villain was redesigned into a more fearsome and recognizable form, while another was redesigned into an interesting tweener character. Then we got two new superheroes with staying power and the groundwork for Hal Jordan’s descent into madness.

Hell, look at Hal Jordan! I mean he’s so handsome and dreamy and—sorry. Look at how many people frothed at the mouth at Green Lantern: Rebirth and the first few issues of his series. Without the return of Jordan, there wouldn’t be Sinestro Corps and the two Green Lantern series wouldn’t be nearly as fantastic. It paid off in the end.

I’m going to take a moment to look at four changes in comics, each an example of one of the four possibilities. A good change that worked out, a bad change that didn’t, a bad change that paid off and a good change where the ball was dropped. Maybe this will be a series. I don’t know.

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Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Av to Be

December 10th, 2006 Posted by Gavok


Uncanny X-Men #141 (1981)

Here we go with Avalanche’s first appearance, fighting alongside Mystique and her mutant terrorist squad. He had a scene earlier out of costume where he looked completely generic. It was one of those scenes that makes me wonder if it’s a law that whenever a supervillain team is introduced, all the members need to fight each other over something petty while showing off their powers.

“Nobody calls me that! Now I’m going to hypnotize you into thinking you’re a chicken!”

“Hey, leave him alone, ya creep! Eat heat rays!”

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 19

November 8th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Jesus, we’re actually at the top ten. And some of you haven’t even lost interest yet. I’m proud.

What If: Avengers Disassembled came out the other day. You might be wondering if I would have placed it on this list if it came out several months back. The answer is no. No, I can’t really get behind an issue that tries to retcon a major story into something that makes even less sense. Having written this paragraph, I realize the John Byrne jokes write themselves.

Before I start this, one more call for anyone interested in drawing fake covers for the countdown finale. Come on, you know you want to.


Issue: Volume 2, #30
Writer: Jim Valentino, Ron Marz
Artist: Dale Eaglesham, Rurik Tyler
Spider-Man death: No
Background: In-between having Franklin and Valeria, there was another time Sue was pregnant with Reed’s kid. Unfortunately, there were radiation-related complications due to the team’s recent venture into the Negative Zone. Reed went to Doctor Otto Octavius – supervillain Doc Ock and the biggest expert on radiation – for help. Ock went berserk for a bit and the two had it out on the rooftops of New York City. Reed calmed Ock down and he agreed to help out. Unfortunately, they were half an hour late. Sue had a miscarriage. So let’s say Ock didn’t freak out and made it just in time? We have two stories here on two different sides of the spectrum.

The first story is best described as a horror story. Franklin wakes up from a horrible vision of the future where his father is dead. His parents just think he had a simple nightmare and leave it at that, but Franklin already knows that there’s a monster living inside his mother. Over time, Sue’s pregnancy takes a horrible toll on her. She gets weaker by the day and almost skeletal, soon losing her invisibility powers. When she gives birth to her child, she dies in the process. Reed names the baby Sue in order to deal with the loss of his wife.

As experience has taught us throughout this countdown, this isn’t going to end well at all.

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