Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Nitpicker #1

Well, I decided to pad out this blog with my older columns, so you can enjoy them (since the web archive I used to have is gone).

Here's column #1, complete with spelling mistakes, originally published in CBEM #549 (11/12/05). It had an average of 5 Bazzars, but apparently I hadn't decided to do averages and final comments back then.
Hello, welcome to The Nitpicker's Column, where in a (hopefully) weekly basis I'll bring to your attention bring some mistakes, goofs, mix-ups and the like, that I find on the comics I read that week. Usually, I'll focus on books just released, but now and then, I'll feature a back issue or two, mostly because I just read it late.

I'd like to thank David for accepting my humble column in the magazine, and all the readers for wasting their time checking out what I wrote. What follows is an example of the format I'll present the "nits" (as we'll call them) I've found:

TITLE: This would be the comic book title in question, such as "Action Comics" or "Uncanny X-Men".

ISSUE: Obviously, the issue number of the title in question.

CULPRIT: Whoever the main responsible for the mistake is, usually the writer, sometimes the artist, and, rarely, somebody else, like a letterer or colorist. Editors, of course, are ALWAYS to blame, so we won't waste our time mentioning them.

NIT-TO-PICK: The description of the nit I found.

NIT-O-METER: I just love rating stuff, so I'll give each nit a rating on a 10 points scale called The Bazzar Scale, in honor of a writer I completely loathe. I don't loathe him because of his nit-proneness, but because of his all-around shoddy writing. You figure out who he is, it's easy.

And now, to this weeks nits!

TITLE: Star Wars X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader (Dark Horse).

ISSUE: 2 of 5.

CULPRIT: Haden Blackman (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Showing a complete disregard for the overall development of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (that is, all that happens outside the movies, in books, comics and other media), the narration boxes on page 2 say "Since the Emperor's death, Coronet has transformed itself -almost overnight- from a suppressed Imperial holding into a free-thinking metropolis. Now, the city is being punished by the remnant of Palpatine's Empire."

During the duration of Palpatine's Empire, and for many years afterwards, Coronet City, as all of Corellia is ruled by a dictatorship called The Diktat, which is brutal and oppressive, and a puppet regime for the Empire. Also, the Empire remained strong for at least half a decade more, particulary in the region of the galaxy Corellia is situated in. I feel robbed, I got hooked onto this series because not only I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but also a Rogue Squadron enthusiast... it might be naivet,, but I'll keep on reading to see if the story gets better, at least good enough to ignore this of nit.

NIT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars, because this mistake was easily avoidable. From what I've seen from the first two issues, the action could have been set on any other planet, far from the core of the galaxy (which remained Imperial for about 4-5 years after the Battle of Endor, and this story takes place right after that battle). The fact that Corellia remained under Imperial tutelage for years after the death of Palpatine could be gathered by reading the previous X-Wing comic series, Rogue Squadron, or any novel with Wedge Antilles in it, who, as a native Corellian complains all the time that he can't visit his home planet.

TITLE: JLA Classified (DC).

ISSUE: 13.

CULPRIT: Warren Elis (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Ah, this whole story arc has been weak, uncharacteristically so for Mr. Ellis, who's a great writer. In this case, he has Wonder Woman say to the Martian Manhunter: "No military force can cope with an invisible man." What, the creatures they were facing (some goons created by the Martian god of Fear, I think) can't detect motion or heat? Cheapskate evil deity.

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars, just a minor glitch in the overall story... which is already bad.

TITLE: Queen & Country: Declassified V2 (Oni Press).

ISSUE: 2 of 3.

CULPRIT: Greg Rucka (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Again, I have to pound on one of my favorite writers! Rucka is a master of the spy genre, but this time, he goofed up on police procedure. There's a homicide in Hong Kong (just prior to the handover of the island back to China), and after the Hong Kong Metropolitan police surveys the crime scene (an apartment), they just slap a "POLICE LINE-DO NOT CROSS" tape on the door and leave it like that, WITH NO POLICE GUARD. Of course, the day after, when a detective comes to do a new sweep of the crime scene for evidence that might have been missed, the place is completely wrecked, any potential clues destroyed.

NIT-O-METER: Highest thus far, with 8 Bazzars. I'm a desk cop, never on crime scenes myself, and still I know that, even in my Third World country, when there's clues to be preserved, at least one policeman is left in place to guard a crime scene.

TITLE: House Of M (Marvel).

ISSUE: 8 of 8.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: *sigh* Bendis, another of my favorite writers (hey, I pick nits on stuff I read because I like them, or find them interesting, I'm not going to read stuff that doesn't appeal to me just so I can look for errors) is usually good with dialogues. Then, why in page 9 does Nightcrawler speak with a HORRIBLE German accent when he says "Vhat is going on?" How are ve here when ve ver just dere?"??!!?!?!?! He goes at it again in page 15, saying "Vhat is going, Kitty?".

I mean, he's never had that accent, his dialogues are, to the extent of my memory, always in perfect english, with the ocassional "meine freund", "unglaublich" or "herr professor" thrown in for a little ethnic color. Why does he lapse into this fake sounding accent, and why, if he has to use it, does he say "ve", "vhat", and "ver", but not "vhen" instead of "when". Brian, if you're going to make him talk like he's Rammstein's vocalist doing Depeche Mode's "Stripped", then be consistent. And Colossus doesn't have any kind of accent, and I believe a Russian accent is just harder to conceal when speaking in English than a German one, since English and German are related languages.

NIT-O-METER: A measly 3 Bazzars, it's just a minor thing. No, wait, anyone who has read an comic with Nightcrawler in it could avoid this... I give it a 6....

TITLE: House Of M (Marvel).

ISSUE: 8 of 8.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 23, Wolverine says to Magneto "Lost your power over metal, have yuh?"; even ignoring Logan saying "yuh" (Bendis JUST couldn't write accents this issue), Wolverine's smart enough to know that Magneto's power is over the whole magnetic spectrum, and not just metal. I'm sick of seeing people mistaking Magneto's powers being mistaken as just ability to control metals. His power is over the entire magnetic spectrum, that includes control over light, airwaves, etc... like that stupid cartoon where they sent ceramic and plastic Sentinels to fight Magneto, and they beat him. Even if he couldn't affect the non-metallic robots (which he can), the fight takes place in a HARBOR full of YATCHS he could THROW at them.

NIT-O-METER: Despite my tantrum over misuse of Magneto's powers by writers, this nit gets just 4 Bazzzars, because Wolvie could be talking "easy".

TITLE: Infinite Crisis (DC).

ISSUE: 2 of 7.

CULPRIT: Jeremy Cox & Guy Major (colorists).

NIT-TO-PICK: In the leftmost lower corner panel of page 20, Power Girl's boots and gloves are colored red, instead of blue, as they actually are.

NIT-O-METER: Only 2 Bazzars, since this is just a honest-to-God mistake.

TITLE: Infinite Crisis (DC).

ISSUE: 2 of 7.

CULPRIT: Phil Jimenez (artist) and/or Nick J. Napolitano (letterer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Page 22, the Joker laughs out a "HA HA HA HA (...)" with his mouth closed. Hey Mr. J, the Ventriloquist is another villain.

NIT-O-METER: Merely 3 Bazzars, not a very important thing.

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