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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

THE FLASH

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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This Week in Panels: Week 176

February 3rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Okay, okay. So my writing has been a little lax lately. I’ve been a bit busy, what with jury duty, a sketch writing class at UCB, the Royal Rumble, the Superbowl and work kicking my ass. But I promise I’ll get back to actually writing about comics again real soon! Scout’s honor!

I was never a scout, but I’m pretty sure I can keep that promise.

My superfriends are, as always, Gaijin Dan, Was Taters, Jody and Space Jawa.

All-Star Western #16
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat and Phil Winslade

Aquaman #16
Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier

Avengers #4
Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert

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This Week in Panels: Week 172

January 6th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

After a week of me being sick as a dog (second time this month after about three years of pure health!), I’m back with panels. With me are Gaijin Dan, Jody, Space Jawa and Was Taters. While I did read Invincible #99, the issue is unusable due to my “no splash pages” rule. The entire issue is splash pages.

I will say that despite all the problems with that series, I’m loving the subplot of the guy I’m too lazy to look up the name for an will instead call him Eye-Patch Gigolo Turncoat from Space. He’s like Invincible’s dad — a Viltrumite on Earth with the mission of impregnating human women for the sake of his race’s megalomania who is destined to turn on his people — only the difference is that he’s been told to impregnate multiple women… and he finds himself loving each and every one of them.

All-New X-Men #5
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

All-Star Western #15
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Phil Winslade

American Vampire #34
Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerue

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This Week in Panels: Week 162

October 28th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Ahoy! In what Mother Nature will surely insist is my last post for a little while, here’s this week’s taste of comics read. I have my usual crew in Jody, Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa and Was Taters.

Interesting week in that we reached the end of many great Marvel runs due to the big Marvel NOW! changeover. Considering how fantastic the enders are for Journey Into Mystery, Incredible Hulk, Captain America and FF, I can’t help but notice how Marvel is flat-out making DC look incompetent in regards to the New 52. Everyone’s getting their own true sendoff without seeming rushed and pointless.

Though apparently Daniel Way’s final issue of Deadpool shit the bed, so we’ll ignore that one.

A-Babies vs. X-Babies (Jawa’s pick)
Skottie Young and Gurihiru

A-Babies vs. X-Babies (Jody’s pick)
Skottie Young and Gurihiru

All-Star Western #13
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Phil Winslade

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This Week in Panels: Week 145

July 1st, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Hey. My usual crew is with me, as I have Gaijin Dan on lead guitar, Jody on backup vocals, Was Taters on bass guitar, as well as Space Jawa on tamborine.

AND I’LL FORM THE HEAD!

We’re only a few weeks from Week 150, so I should probably think of something for that. In the meantime, check out that Green Lantern: New Guardians panel for the best/worst one-liner of the week.

All-Star Western #10 (Taters’ pick)
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

All-Star Western #10 (Gavin’s pick)
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Amazing Spider-Man #688
Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli

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This Week in Panels: Week 123 (4, get your woman on the floor)

January 29th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Tonight was the Royal Rumble, which means I’m in a good mood. While the show was fun as usual, I didn’t do well when it came to my friend Bob’s Royal Rumble Game. This game, which he’s been using for at least five years, goes like this: all the guests pick numbers 1-30 (40 last year) and those numbers represent us. There were ten of us tonight, so we got three each. When one of your wrestlers hits a signature move, you get one point. A finisher will get you two points. An elimination gets you three. Making the final three is worth three points, final two is four and your guy winning gets you five points. I did this last year and did a little less than average.

This year, my picks were #6, #16 and #20. That meant I got Primo, Hunico and Michael Cole. That means I was the first person in the history of the Royal Rumble Game to ever get ZERO POINTS. So I’m like the Drew McIntyre of that game. :damn:

This week I’m helped out by Was Taters, Space Jawa and luis. Let’s get it on!

All-Star Western #5 (Was Taters’ pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat and Phil Winslade

All-Star Western #5 (Gavin’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat and Phil Winslade

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Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 13

November 29th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

The third full month of DC’s New 52 experiment comes to a close and I’m going to take my last look at the lineup for a little while. Coincidentally, I don’t have much of a choice in taking a break from writing about the New 52 as this coming week has zero books from the reboot being released. I don’t mean zero books that I’m following. I mean absolutely none of the 52 titles altogether.

First of the week is All-Star Western by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat and Jordi Bernet. It’s a rather odd issue, as the Gotham Butcher storyline almost takes a bit of a break. The good guys win, almost a little too easily and once the villains get back at our heroes, Hex simply shrugs it off and leaves it behind for the next story. Obviously, the plot threads will stay in the background, ready to come back at a moment’s notice… at least, it better. I am noticing as the comic goes further that Hex is essentially Frank Castle in the DC Universe, only in a different time. Same personality, only he uses his bounty hunter persona to feed his need to kill those who need it rather than devoting himself to his own never-ending war.

The backup was so uninteresting it’s shocking. El Diablo fighting zombies turns into a brief confrontation with a Native American antagonist, some arguing between the main characters and then it simply ends. I can’t believe they pissed away all the good will from the first installment. I’m still enjoying the main story enough that I’ll endure the extra buck and check out the next backup. Just as long as Arkham isn’t completely pushed away from the story. I like him. Sticking.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis continues its strong run. It does a lot of decent world-building, while holding onto the fun gimmick that few take Aquaman seriously. Even when he proves himself a bit, the reaction is just slightly better, but still condescending. Not only are our villains given some more background, but we’re introduced to a new (?) villain of sorts in Mr. Shin, whose appearance only brings potential to upcoming stories. Will he rise as a threat or remain a bitter and sad man? What was he talking about when he brought up Aquaman’s trident? What’s that stuff going on on the side of his neck?

I think this has potential to be one of the top three best New 52 comics when all is said and done. Going to stick.

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This Week in Panels: Week 114

November 27th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Pretty small week on the Marvel front. They were sold out of Fantastic Four, so I only picked up Captain America and Bucky. I got the usual crew this time around with David Brothers, Was Taters and Space Jawa.

Kind of a small week on all fronts, now that I think about it.

All-Star Western #3
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat and Jordi Bernet

Annihilators Earthfall #3
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Tan Eng Huat

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Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 5

October 4th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

It’s the last week of #1s for the New 52 and it’s an interesting one. The last few weeks have been filled with comics that I had been genuinely looking forward to, but not so much for this week. This week it’s nothing but DC trying to win me over. Characters I don’t care for, characters I’ve never read before and a couple comics that feature heroes in new comics that already set the bar high. Let’s dive in.

First is All-Star Western by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat, which surprised me as being one of the top three of the week. Nothing says “western” like a fictional city in New Jersey, but whatever. I bet they figured that despite being a pretty awesome character, Jonah Hex’s name was too poisoned by the recent movie to carry the title. Or they’re going to be doing non-Hex stories down the line. Anyway, it’s an interesting pairing with Hex and Dr. Arkham, with the latter reminding me of the biographer character from Unforgiven, only with actual talents to keep him useful. It’s a murder mystery from the past mixed with a buddy cop movie… only the two will surely still hate each other by the story’s end.

I like that with Arkham around, we have a protagonist who could talk down at Hex to us as being something of a monster (though he’d never have the balls to do so to Hex’s face) and yet we have our cake and eat it too by being able to follow and root for Hex as the other protagonist. A prostitute gets fridged because, well, there’s nobody else to really get at someone like Hex through and even that only shakes him up verbally. With his gritty know-how and Arkham’s occasionally helpful brilliance, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before they have this wrapped up with no problem. Then the ending turns it all on its ear where even our two main characters accept that they may indeed be fucked. I’m drawn in and definitely want to see this story through. Between that and Moritat’s Tony Moore-like art, I’m sticking.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis is probably the best intro we can get that doesn’t involve turning him into the beloved Zap-Brannigan-meets-Hank-Scorpio incarnation that Batman: The Brave and the Bold gave us. I don’t know when the whole “Aquaman is worthless” thing truly came into being. I’d like to think that it was something people silently agreed on for years, especially in relation to the first season of Superfriends and didn’t fully explode until that skit on the State where Superman gives the Superfriends missions, tells Aquaman to “go talk to some fish” and everyone begins laughing relentlessly at him. Either way, the guy has been a laughing stock and DC’s been trying so hard to make him work. Personally, I loved what they did with him last time they gave him a reboot with the One Year Later underwater Conan concept where he carried a sword and hung out with King Shark. That ruled pretty hard until Busiek left the book.

It’s a strong start. Aquaman acts like a badass to the point that getting shot in the head causes him to get slightly cut open in the temple, but he’s considered to be this big joke by the police and public. After years of stories about superheroes doing the right thing only to be hated for being menaces who everyone thinks are really evil, it’s pretty great to see a different, more light-hearted take on it. Granted, no matter how Aquaman tries, he’ll still never measure up to Namor. I bet if that asshole blogger guy asked Namor about what it’s like to be nobody’s favorite superhero, he would have flown off through the wall and come back later to tell him that he’s now that blogger’s mother’s favorite superhero. Then he’d punch him in the dick for good measure.

I tend to have faith in Johns’ storytelling and I like what he’s doing so far. As long as he doesn’t draw out the “Aquaman sucks” gimmick too long, I’m sticking.

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This Week in Panels: Week 106

October 2nd, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Before I get started, I’d just like to point out that I’ve succeeded in improving Marvel’s miniseries event Fear Itself. Behold!

I’d read the hell out of that comic. Anyway, got a gigantic set of panels this week. Not only did I read way more than can be considered healthy, but I’m joined by David, Was Taters, Space Jawa and Luis. This is a week where we’ve been blessed with Venom vs. Anti-Venom, which is a great way to distract me from the unfortunate sadness that comes from Anti-Venom’s impending death/depowering.

:(

All-Star Western #1 (Gavin’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

All-Star Western #1 (Was Taters’ pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

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