One Year of 4l! or Weapons of Mass Destruction + 112

November 29th, 2006 Posted by david brothers


Today marks the one year anniversary of 4thletter! Technically, we had a Blogger blog before then, but 4l! is what it is now, not what it was then. 365 days, 112 posts and 31,476 visitors later (as of this moment!) and we’re still here. We’ll be here for some time to come, if all goes well!

One year. It’s crazy, huh? One full year of completely questionable taste in comics, Gavok-style lists, brief appearances by the Spotted Wanderer, and hopefully bellies full of laughter. I was going to call 4l! Year Two “Questionable Taste In Comics Harder!” but focus groups decided that that was too clunky. Maybe “Where’s My Money, Honey?” U DECIDE.

Just FYI, 4l! Year One was “Is it time… or hypertime?” I don’t think I actually told anyone that, though, so don’t stress it. It won’t be on the test.

Muchas gracias to my blogmates Gavin and Thomas. The Big Gavoktus is consistently funnier than I am, but the site is named after me technically so it’s cool. We have spent enough time on IRC talking about A) What we would do if we had gigs at Marvel or DC and B) hilarious What If?/Elseworlds ideas that I am confident that if we ever did manage to con/blackmail our way into a position at Marvel or DC, the world would be a better and funnier place for it. Thomas brings a razor sharp critical analysis to the table and lets me bug him on AIM with ridiculous comics questions. He has a Tricky Brain, did you know that? He also has a sick mind for comics trivia, particularly in the X-Men and Spider-Man arenas.

Basically, though, we all love comics. Wait, scratch that. We all love good comics. Bad ones can go hang.

In the past year, I’ve learned that the comics blogospherohedron is kind of shockingly DC-slanted. (That may be just my inner Marvel Zombie speaking, though.) Tons of people have fond memories of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which I only recently got into with the Waid/Kitson reboot, and no one likes Identity Crisis. Feminism in comics is pretty big, too. A couple comics blogs have gone mainstream and ended up attached to Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, and I think that the comics media is better for it. I learned… you know what? This is slightly less profound than I expected. Let me cut to the chase.

I learned that a lot of cool cats like comics and want to talk about the effects of comics just as much as who would win in a fight, Big Barda or Wonder Woman (Big Barda, see below).

I would like to give a special shout-out to the people who let me blab on their blogs comment lines. The crew at Comics Should Be Good and Blog@Newsarma are all good people (and I really need to add B@N to my links there on the right). Kalinara @ Pretty Fizzy Paradise, Ragnell @ Written World, Johanna @ Comics Worth Reading, and Carla (I think?) @ Snap Judgements are all cool peoples. I should probably give special notice to my livejournalin’ buddies Lynxara and JLG. Fun times! Dwayne McDuffie’s forum is also a cool place to hang out, not to mention Batman’s Shameful Secret over at Something Awful’s forums. Best comics forum out, I will tell you what.

Also, my mom apparently reads the blog, so– Top of the world, ma!

One year down, hopefully many more to go. More questionable taste, more inexplicable love for ’90s comics, more stuff you never wanted to know about comics but now you do so you can’t un-know it, sucker!

I’m hoping to get some cool articles from all three of us up to celebrate the anniversary of this blah-blah-blog. Thanks for reading. Stick around, you might learn something!

As promised, here is why Big Barda trumps Wonder Woman:
jla1mpg10.jpg jla1mpg11.jpg jla1mpg19.jpg jla1mpg20.jpg
Yes, it’s future Wonder Woman, but you can’t argue with five tons per square inch. Big Barda is the truth.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 16

October 10th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

The What If issue where Storm became the Phoenix was a piece of crap, but I still respect it for one reason. It’s the only What If appearance I can recall of this guy:

Though considering his series started around the same time What If ended, it’s not so surprising.


Issue: Volume 2, #78
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Enrique Alcatena
Spider-Man death: No
Background: Early in the 90’s, a fake Invisible Woman convinced Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Hulk and Ghost Rider that the Fantastic Four had died and that they needed to fill in for a bit. This led to a story involving Skrulls, monsters and Moleman that ended with the revelation that the real Fantastic Four were really alive. The fake Invisible Woman, a Skrull with limited psychic powers, tried to blast the Fantastic Four with some kind of power ring, but nothing happened. Reed had stolen the ring before she could use it. In this reality, the Skrull lady fires a second before Reed can successfully make the steal.

We begin with Wolverine, Spider-Man and Hulk mourning at the funeral and discussing how badly they screwed up. Ghost Rider appears (which Logan appreciates, since he needs to light his cigar) and says that the loss of the Fantastic Four creates a void. They should stay a team and try and fill that void in order to redeem their failure.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 14

September 26th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

The new Marvel solicitations have been released, detailing the new What Ifs. One is based on Deadly Genesis, which doesn’t interest me since I haven’t read that yet. The other, which looks to be awesome, is Age of Apocalypse. This time, Legion did kill Magneto… but he also killed Xavier. Judging from the cover, this could be very interesting.


Issue: Volume 1, #20
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Alan Kupperberg
Spider-Man death: No
Background: I myself haven’t read the Kree-Skrull War arc, but I get the gist of it from Wikipedia and the Watcher’s introduction. It doesn’t sound very good, all in all. The important parts to note are that the Super-Skrull had captured Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver with Captain America, Goliath (Pym), Iron Man, Thor and Vision off to save them. Rick Jones somehow got captured by some Kree guys as the Kree’s fleet prepared to invade Earth. In the end, Rick met with the Supreme Intelligence, who betrayed the Kree. He stimulated Rick’s mind so that he mentally projected memories of his childhood heroes (ie. the Invaders and the like) to beat up the Kree fleet. Sounds retarded, but it was the 70’s. This version of the story is far better. There’s a part of the original story where Rick Jones was brought before Ronan the Accuser. Rick stole a guard’s staff and attacked Ronan, only to do no damage. Ronan noted Rick’s courage and figured he’d make a good slave. In the Tom DeFalco version, Ronan is more pissed than amused and kills the boy with his cosmic hammer dealy. He calls for the fleet to make way to Earth and decimate it.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 12

September 18th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

This is a longer one than usual. I just had to rank two two-parters so closely together, didn’t I.


Issue: Volume 2, #20-21
Writer: Danny Fingeroth
Artist: Jim Valentino
Spider-Man death: No
Background: Peter Parker had proposed to Mary Jane. It was a battle with a Spider Slayer involving them both that convinced Mary Jane to say yes. That’s all well and good for her, but how would things have turned out if that adventure didn’t go so smoothly? In this reality, the Spider Slayer strangles Mary Jane a bit longer than normal and although she’s rescued, she is still injured. Peter keeps having flashbacks to Gwen’s death and can’t bear to see the same thing happen to someone like Mary Jane. For her own protection, he leaves her at the alter.

Look at that last panel. Man. I will never, ever forgive John Byrne for turning Sandman evil again. But enough of that.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 7

August 31st, 2006 Posted by Gavok

What if I just got straight to the article itself for once?


Issue: Volume 2, #54
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Geoff Senior
Spider-Man death: No
Background: Oh, boy. Where to begin?

There’s a good chance you’re scratching your head, wondering who the hell Death’s Head I is and why he would deserve his own What If issue. First off, stop scratching your head. It’s a disgusting habit. Death’s Head I was a character from the 80’s created by Simon Furman and integrated into the Marvel UK Transformer comics. Death’s Head I was a charismatic and likeable bounty hunter, striking some of the same chords that Deadpool would years later. A robot from the future, Death’s Head I spoke through a voice box on his face, usually turning his statements into questions, like a French guy trying to speak English. Like for instance, he’d likely tell you, “Refer to me a freelance peacekeeping agent, yes?” He was weird like that. It was neat.

Death’s Head I mainly hung out in the year 2020, but had a tendency to time travel, usually leading to crossovers with guys like the Fantastic Four and She-Hulk. During the 90’s, Marvel decided to reboot his image. AIM had created Minion, a powerful robot with the ability to absorb the instincts, skills and knowledge of whoever he destroyed. He’s like an evil Megaman, except he looks like a blatant Predator rip-off. Minion was mainly created to destroy a mysterious threat named Charnal. I’m not savvy on the details here, but Minion ended up going up against Death’s Head I and Mr. Fantastic in our present. He killed Death’s Head I and absorbed his mental workings. It was too much for Minion to handle and parts of Death’s Head I’s personality caused Minion to override into something new. Now calling himself Death’s Head II, he and Marvel’s heroes fought the merging of villain Baron Strucker’s soul and the remains of Death’s Head I’s body. In other words, Charnal. Death’s Head II was victorious and went on to have some extreme 90’s adventures. Yay?

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It’s a (Bruce) Banner Day

August 17th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

New headers are up! I’m going to direct link them to save some time. If you made one of these, let me know! If you want to make one, just give me a 700×200 jpg of cool art with the word “4thletter!” somewhere on it. Make it cool, funny, whatever, but also pretty much worksafe, okay?

Man. I need to check and see my bandwidth usage just to be sure that I don’t go over.

This is from Big Ass Comics 01. This one is by Elfbot.
This is from a Madman comic, but I dunno which. Also by Elfbot.
Another by Elfbot, this time from Kill Your Boyfriend. Words by Grant Morrison, art by Philip Bond.
The rest of these are by me or Gavok as far as I know. A few of them have the fonts way too small, but oh well. The art is good. Enjoy!
Daughters of the Dragon Part 1
Daughters of the Dragon Part 2
Daughters of the Dragon Part 3
Daughters of the Dragon Part 4 (can you guess what I was reading when I was doing these new headers?)
99% sure that this is from a Justice League Unlimited Comic.
From the Waid/Kitson Legion of Super-Heroes comic.
Spaaaaace Ghooooost
Ultimate Extinction
Loveless, by Azzarello and Frusin, colors by Trish Mulvihill.
From an early issue of 52.
LoSH once again.
Brainy at work.
Ultimate Cap vs Ultimate Moondragon-clone.

This one isn’t new, but I love it anyway. Kara Zor-El laying down the law. More content later, kids!

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Comics vs. Cartoons: A Look at Diniverse Designs

February 14th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Next Monday seemingly marks the end of one of the greatest eras in animation. For fourteen years, we’ve been given what people call the “Diniverse” (named after a guy who barely writes actual episodes anymore). It started back in 1992 with a primetime showing of Batman: the Animated Series and after all these years, it’s going to die out with the finale for the fifty-eighth spin-off, Justice League Unlimited.

Lord knows the Diniverse made its stamp on both the world of animation and the world of comics. Characters like Harley Quinn were introduced… as well as more forgettable folk like Livewire and Lockdown. The comic version of Supergirl started wearing the white t-shirt and tight skirt made popular by Superman: the Animated Series. John Stewart took Kyle Rayner’s place as the token Green Lantern on the Justice League roster. Batman Beyond showed up in the pages of Superman/Batman for no reason whatsoever.

There are obviously changes here and there over how certain characters are portrayed. Many consider the Kevin Conroy-voiced Batman to be the defining version of the character, compared to the close-minded, paranoid caricature he’s become in the comics. Sure, the Joker kills people here and there on the cartoons, but at no point would they ever have him cripple Batgirl and strip her naked in order to drive her father insane on Cartoon Network. In the comics, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl have never been an item, nor has a big chunk of the JLU roster been members of any Justice League roster. Hawk and Dove sucked in both mediums, so there is that. Read the rest of this entry �

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Fanboy Masturbation: A proposal to Marvel Comics to retell Rom: Spaceknight.

January 25th, 2006 Posted by guest article

Little known fact– we take guest articles here at 4l. So, if you got something you want to harp on, explain, or just pimp out, fire off an email to 4thletter/at/gmail.com and we can get you hooked up.

Speaking of guest articles (how’s that for a segue?), we’ve got one from a guy we’ve known for a while, one A.o.D. He’s here to tell you that Rom the Spaceknight is still a viable character. Read on.
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