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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Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 7

October 18th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

For any new readers, here’s the deal. I used to read a lot of DC comics. Then over the years, they lost me to the point that I was only reading about six a month. Over the first six months of their big reboot, I want to see how strongly they can hold onto my interest. Week-by-week, I’m looking at what I want to keep, what I don’t and what I’m on the edge about. As it is right now, I’m still reading 37 of their new titles, but it likely won’t last.

More DC books hit their #2 issue this week. Of the stuff that came out, I’ve already done away with Batgirl, Legion Lost and Mr. Terrific. That leaves ten books.

First is Batman & Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. The main story of the issue is Bruce’s attempt to be a supportive dad to Damian and Alfred noticing that he absolutely sucks at it. While Damian is able to hold back his bloodlust in Bruce’s company, he emotionlessly takes it out on a bat. I think this is awesome. This is how it should be. It isn’t regressing for the sake of regressing. Why did Damian chill out in the first time? Because of who was mentoring him. Dick Grayson was such a loving, supportive and emotionally genuine partner that Damian was able to let him into his heart and change him. Bruce doesn’t stack up and Damian is starting to have a hard time figuring out why Bruce is worth following more than his mother.

It’s great because after having to put up with years of Dick trying to live up to Bruce’s example, Bruce is now in a spot where he has to live up to Dick’s example. Batman needs a Robin, but Damian is just another Batman. Batman doesn’t need another Batman. Neither has the crutch of a cheery partner to keep them stable, so dysfunction is in their future.

Gleason’s art is fantastic when it comes to action. Really enjoying his stuff, especially this page from after a criminal announces, “What the hell?”

I’m going to stick on this one.

Also in Gotham is Batwoman by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman. Despite what I said about Gleason, it’s Williams who is the true king of art these days. Good God! The opening scene especially, where not only is he doing the cool x-ray box to show bones being shattered upon punching impact, but Batwoman is colored differently from Flamebird. Flamebird is flatter and more simplified, while Batwoman has a more realistic sheen that makes her step out of the page like a 3D image.

The story is more coherent than last month’s intro, though the threat appears to be just as much a mystery as it ever was. The Cameron Chase part does include something I really wish we’d see more often in comics. I like when people try to figure out a superhero’s secret identity and get it wrong in a way that makes sense. Like how Jameson used to think that his son was Spider-Man or how Gordon once believed Harvey Dent to be Batman. It always makes it easier to accept that the public hasn’t figured out what appears so simple to readers such as us. While the story isn’t setting my world on fire, the art is and the narrative is worthy enough. I’m going to stick.

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This Week in Panels: Week 39

June 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Almost running a little too late on this one, but work and Toy Story 3 kept me busy today. If I could give any warning about this week’s comics, it’s this: don’t check out Age of Heroes if you have any interest in the Young Masters whatsoever. Even though they take up 2/3 of the cover, they do even less than the Dark Reign miniseries that created them. Seriously, two pages of aimless dialogue. That’s it.

Age of Heroes #2
Brian Reed, Chad Hardin, Victor Olazaba and various others

Atlas #2
Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman and Ramon Rosanas

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Fourcast! 39: Harley & Ivy

March 29th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-A little ditty courtesy of one of the subjects of our show opens this one!
-Four Girlcasts in a row! Eat your heart out, Gloria Steinem!
-This is theoretically a Continuity Off about everyone’s favorite Dynamic Duo, the Femmes Fatale, those Titans of Terror, Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy.
-Really, we’re just reminiscing and talking about how great those two are.
-(Or at least how great Harley is, and how being near Harley makes Ivy also great.)
-I said I’d upload some youtubes, but who knew that Warners would scrub most of Batman TAS off the face of Youtube? I’ll put a couple I found after the jump, anyway.
-If you want legit ones, watch online here or start with Batman – The Animated Series, Volume One.
Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes is 13 bucks new on Amazon, or 10 bucks from third-party types. I’d suggest it– it’s really very good.
-See you, space cowgirl!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
Podcast Alley feed!
RSS feed via Feedburner
iTunes Store

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‘Sexy’ is Performance Art

May 17th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I’d like to start by thanking everyone for their responses to my post last week about how sexiness is used in the comics industry.

Believe it or not, that post was going to be longer.  I was going to add an extraneous bit about how Batman or the Joker would never be shown in the poses that Harley Quinn or Catwoman were in on the covers of those books, and how that was an example of sexism.

Now I can’t decide whether it is or not.  Not because I think that Batman would be posed the way that Oracle was on any of the covers of her comic, but because the artists, when drawing female characters one way and male characters another, are simply following the rules of society in general.

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Harley Quinn & Humor?

May 15th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

MARCH OF GUILLEM’S DC SIRENS – COMICON.com Panels | Comic Book, Graphic Novel and Cartooning Discussions

GUILLEM MARCH: I like drawing females, but there were a risk of doing a silly series about boobs and butts jumping over the buildings. Once I knew Paul Dini was the writer, I couldn’t be happier. Also I was a little worried, because previous stories with Harley Quinn had a humorous tone that wouldn’t fit with what I’d like to draw, but Dini’s ideas for the story are great, the characters are treated very seriously, and I’m very excited working on this project.

Naw, son.

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Jubes, Harl, and Diz

February 14th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Jubes, Harl, and Diz

I commissioned this piece from a friend of mine, Adam Rosenlund. I commissioned it because I dig his art and mainly because I was curious. I just told him I wanted Jim Lee-era Jubilee, Harley Quinn, and late-era Dizzy from 100 Bullets in a mall food court and let him go wild.

It’s pretty awesome.

One accidental thing about this– these are basically three of my favorite characters at different points of my life. Jubilee is pre/early teens, Harley is late teens, and Diz is adulthood. Weird, totally unintentional.

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I ain’t no joke, like Rakim or a 2nd heart attack

November 18th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

I don’t “get” the Joker. I know he’s Batman’s greatest villain, but I don’t exactly understand why. I find Riddler infinitely more interesting, and think that he’d be a great foil for a man who honed his mind and body into the peak of human condition or whatever.

Anyway, the Joker is the epitome of my problem with Batman’s villains. He’s ca-razy, coocoogococonuts, and insane. He does what he does because he hates Batman, or loves him, depending on your interpretation. That’s basically my least favorite motivation for a villain. At least Lex Luthor believes in the inherent superiority of mankind (Luthorkind). Joker just wants to be crazy.

Luckily, this is comics and there are a number of different Jokers I can pick from. The Joker Alan Davis wrote in The Nail was singularly spiteful, and the end point of where I see the “regular” Joker going.

She's rock, rock, rock, rockin' it.I really, really like Dandy Joker, as played by Cesar Romero in Batman or my good friend Emily Stackhouse of Writer’s Old Fashioned. You can actually see everything I love about Dandy Joker in her pose. It’s relaxed, fun, and most of all, funny. This Joker does things because it is hilarious. Acid in the face? Joker fish? It is all good, it is all in fun, and if a few dozen people die during it… that’s even funnier. Man falls down and sprains his ankle? Sad. Man falls down a manhole? Funny. Man falls down a manhole into a sewer full of grinning crocodiles painted like clowns and dressed like the Daughters of the American Revolution?

That’s amore.

This brings me around to Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Joker. I’m not really here to review it, other than to say that I enjoyed it like I’ve enjoyed Azz’s other work, but the Joker they portrayed was really interesting to me.

Instead of being the invincible super crazy clown prince of crime, Azz’s Joker is a broken man. He refers to his years in Arkham as the time he was “gone,” and seems hesitant to say that he is crazy. Other people believe he’s crazy, but the only ones that knows the truth are the narrator of the book and Joker’s silent Gal Friday, Harley Quinn.

There’s a scene in the book that solidified my feelings about the Joker in general. The narrator is walking past the Joker’s room, and he sees Joker collapsed on the ground, hugging Harley Quinn, and just going to pieces. This is a Joker I like. He isn’t superhuman. He knows exactly what he’s doing. But, he’s trapped in a prison of his own design.

My idea about this is that the Joker got stuck in his own gimmick. At first, he’d do something crazy to get someone off his back. It was so outlandish and insane that he had to keep it up, or else people would know he was soft. And when you’ve made a living out of being the hardest man around… you can’t afford that.

So, he’s trapped. He can never escape, because escaping means it’s game over. At the same time, Batman is the only one who can save him. The Joker does all this stuff to get Batman’s attention to be put back into jail and away from a place where he has to keep up the facade.

I kind of like a pathetic Joker. It isn’t something I’d like to see always, but it’s a very human and believeable take.

As far as silent moll Harley Quinn goes… wow! I didn’t think I’d dig the take, but it worked out really, really well. In a way, she was one of the most threatening people in the book, and I think it’s because she never spoke. She’s that Stand By Your Man girl. She’s there for support, and sometimes support means machinegunning a dozen people and skinning a man alive. It’s a little scary, and the silence means we get no insight into her character. We just know she likes luxury and stands by the Joker, no matter what. I’m such a stan for Harley, though.

Like I said, nothing I want to see constantly, but a fun little peek into an alternate take. Frank Miller’s not-funny Joker in ASBAR was another one I liked, because it made super murderous Joker into something inhuman, interesting, and actually kind of scary, if more than a little overwrought.

I’d love it if Genocidal Kills a Thousand People a Day Joker retired forever. It’s by far my least favorite Joker, and the least original take on the character I can think of. I like a Joker that goes deeper than just “Waheyhey CRAZY! BY THE WAY I JUST KILLED A MILLION PEOPLE BATMAN WHATCHA GONNA DO HUH?”

At that point, Batman should just take one for the team and give Joker accidentally beat Joker until nothing’s left but a puddle of blood. That Joker isn’t doing anything but hurting Batman as a character. Someone break his neck or toss him down a deep hole or just shoot him in the face, seriously.

And let the Riddler take his place.

(what kind of world is it where i’m the guy wanting less murders in comics?)

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Join Batman’s Book Club

October 29th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell
Because to read makes his speaking English good.

Because to read makes his speaking English good.

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50 Things I Like, with a twist.

August 19th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

The Hembeck Challenge, which I found via blake-reitz.livejournal.com. I think that ADD and some others did this a few years back, too, only those had panels. Here’s mine. Just for fun, each group has a theme. Some are obvious, others are not. Guess them and win a no-prize.

1.) Harley Quinn
2.) Isabel “Dizzy” Cordova
3.) Brubaker/Stewart/Cooke-era Catwoman
4.) 355
5.) Mary Jane Watson
6.) Misty Knight
7.) Colleen Wing
8.) JLA/Superman-era Natasha Irons
9.) Aunt May
10.) Cassandra Cain/Batgirl

11.) Moses Magnum
12.) Brother Voodoo
13.) Princess Zanda
14.) Blade
15.) Glory Grant
16.) Shades & Comanche
17.) Hannibal King
18.) DW Griffifth

19.) Luke Cage
20.) Spider-Man
21.) Black Panther
22.) Hawkeye
23.) Captain America

24.) Captain Marvel
25.) Captan Marvel
26.) Captan Marvel
27.) Mary Marvel
28.) Quasar

29.) Jubilee
30.) Cyclops
31.) Wolverine
32.) Beast
33.) Rogue
34.) Gambit
35.) Psylocke

36.) John Blaze
37.) X-Man
38.) David Banner
39.) Tony Stark

40.) Nat Turner
41.) Percy Carey

42.) Ed Brubaker
43.) Brian Michael Bendis
44.) Frank Miller
45.) Ann Nocenti

46.) Thinkin’ Lincoln
47.) Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
48.) Dr. McNinja
49.) Dinosaur Comics
50.) Kate Beaton

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