The Nitpicker #23.
[[WARNING! THIS COLUMN MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS!]]
Hey everybody, welcome to another installment of The Nitpicker's Blog! I have been stalling this column because I wanted it to have all the nits I found in the comics on my pull list for the month of April. However, some of my books for last week have not arrived yet (and some of them for March haven't either), so I decided to just post the damn thing, and then, when I eventually get those books, add the nits to the May column, if I find any.
On another topic, one thing that's not exactly a nit, but validates a nit from a previous column, is the fact that Patriot and Hawkeye, from the Young Avengers, are seen in the second issue of Fallen Son, as living with the New Avengers at Dr. Strange's house, and going out on patrol. So at least those two, and most likely the rest of the team (except for that traitorous skank, Stature), are still anti-Registration. And not working for the US government, as Civil War: Battle Damage Report told us. Shape up Marvel!!!! In fact, I am going to send this as a question for Joe Q. at Newsarama.
NOTE: I just saw the Fallen Son: "Captain America" preview on Newsarama, and Patriot and Hawkeye are shown fighting Tony Stark... the guys at Marvel.com's Universe section (see below) say that Patriot and Hawkeye are only Initiative recruits that just visit their old anti-Registration pals and don’t arrest them. And yes, if that's the case, they could be just fighting Iron Man in an outrage at who the new Cap turns out to be (it looks like a clone, or cyborg/clone like Clor, but that is probably just misdirection); but that doesn't explain why Luke Cage tries to stop them when they want to go out on patrol; as if he fears they could be arrested.
Speaking of Civil War: Battle Damage Report, some of my nits about that book got noticed (after I posted them, of course) by DragynWulf; one of the moderators of the Universe section at Marvel.com. Check it out here. DragynWulf doesn't agree with some of the nits I pointed out, but still, he's been kind enough to read over them and post the correction for the ones he agrees with.
I also would like to point out, based on some exchanges I've had with DragynWulf and Mike Fichera (see here and here), that while I hammer on creators and companies for the nits they make, I have nothing but the utmost respect for their work (except, of course, for Rob Liefield, and that guy I named the Bazzars scale after... see the brand-new disclaimer up there). The tone of this column is sarcastic, this is not Wizard magazine, and I will not only say nice things about the stuff I read. Hell, I don't even say a lot of nice things here, since this column is about mistakes. Plus, this is written semi-in character, and if that wasn’t clear enough, it’s now explained in the disclaimer.
However, when I think something's good, I say it, and even if I don't, I only report nits about books I like. Sometimes, yes, there's a nit from the first issue of a book I ever read, and then drop like a hot potato because I think it sucks; or the odd run in a monthly I collect that I won't drop for completism's sake. But 99.99% of the time, the books I report nits from are the books I like, because I'm not going to read stuff I don't like just to find mistakes.
And last, but not least, I know I have a lot of typos, but I never said I'm perfect, and I have, as older readers might remember, featured my own mistakes in the column. But, to my own defense, I don't get paid for doing this, and I do this alone, without the luxury of a team of editors and proofreaders to back me up. Sorry for the rant, don't let it overshadow my shout out to DragynWulf and Mike Fichera.
And as proof of my own fallibility, I offer an apology, since of my nits on column #21 has been proven wrong, as noticed by Spot, and then by the aforementioned Mike Fichera:
Spider-Man got some of his new powers during the Queen storyline, which happened before New Avengers. I still consider what is written in the Spider-Man profile in Civil War: Battle Damage Report somewhat nit-ey, since the phrasing makes it sound as if he got all of his new powers during that storyline, when he got new powers then, and then even more during The Other. So, while I am admitting my ignorance (after all, Spider-Man is not my area of expertise, I've only started picking up his books again a short time ago), I'm not withdrawing the nit, but downgrading it to a mere 4 Bazzars. That would make column #21's average Bazzars 6.6, just 0.2 less of what it was.
Now, on with the nits!
“HYGEINE IS TEH AWESOME!”
TITLE: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season 8.
CULPRIT: Joss Whedon (writer) and/or Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Jimmy (letterers).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 15, panel 4, Xander says "hygeine" instead of "hygiene".
NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar, it's just a typo.
“IS THE OLD ONE PISSED BECAUSE WE CONSTANTLY SPELL HIS NAME?”
TITLE: Fall Of Cthulhu.
CULPRIT: Michael Alan Nelson (writer) and/or Ed Dukeshire (letterer).
NIT-TO-PICK: Dark Gods, I don't remember reading a book as boring as this one since... well, I don't remember... I did complain in my last post about Civil War: Battle Damage Report, but that book was not boring, it was just dense.
This one's dense AND boring. But that's not the point; the point is that on page 11, the main character (I'm not gonna bother too look up his name) says "invisibile" instead of "invisible".
NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar, another typo... damn, this month better start having better nits!
“WHAT'S A PORTU GEESE?”
TITLE: Fall Of Cthulhu.
CULPRIT: Michael Alan Nelson (writer) and/or Ed Dukeshire (letterer).
NIT-TO-PICK: Now main-character's girlfriend, on page 12, panel 3, says "portugese", when it's "portuguese".
NIT-O-METER: I'm itching for something higher than a 1, I don't think this is just a typo; this is an American just writing something how he pronounces it so it's getting 5 Bazzars.
“SHH, WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT!”
CULPRIT: Garth Ennis (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: I'm profoundly disappointed with Garth Ennis; he is capable of much more. The first Midnighter arc was alright, but nothing compared to, say, Preacher. I haven't read much of his current Punisher run, or his recent Ghost Rider stuff, so I can only compare this to Preacher.
Now, for his sixth issue, he presents sort of an Elseworld tale of the Midnighter as a ronin samurai... and all throughout the story, there's an adverse reaction from all feudal Japanese people to the fact that he's gay. Has Garth Ennis read any book about samurai? Homosexuality was an accepted practice among them, as you can see in this site, this one as well, and this third one.
Yes, it is true that modern Japanese historians have chosen to overlook this part of their history, and hid it in shame. But I've only read one book about samurai, one written by a samurai himself (Hagakure: The Way Of The Samurai, by Tsunetomo Yamamoto); and learned it from there. It's a highly recommendable book; I urge you to read it if you have any interest in Samurai, and also watch the movie it inspired (Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, with a master actor like Forest Whitaker and a great director like Jim Jarmusch). it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.
I quote from one of those links: "(...) one of the fundamental aspects of samurai life was the emotional and sexual bond cultivated between an older warrior and a younger apprentice, a love for which the Japanese have many names, as many perhaps as the Eskimo have for snow."
NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, Ennis would do well to remember that not all cultures/time periods are the same as the one he lives in.
TITLE: Omega Flight.
CULPRIT: Michael Avon Oeming (writer); VC's Cory Petit (letterer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 9, panel one, U.S.Agent's name is misspelled as USAgent (all in capitals, but that's just because comics fonts are entirely in caps. Marvel spells it with the periods, see?.
NIT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars; yes, I'm a Nitpicker... I know.
“WHY THE HELL DO I SPEAK LIKE A TODDLER?”
TITLE: Runaways V2.
CULPRIT: Joss Whedon (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: Whedon is a good writer, but his first issue of Runaways did not impress me. The story's not bad, but it's not up to what BKV had us used to. Also, Whedon doesn't seem to have a solid grasp of the characters, and it shows.
Molly "Princess Powerful/Bruiser" Hayes is around 12 years of age, yet Whedon makes her talk like she's 5. For example. on page 18, panel 5, she says "(...) why doesn't she just use Invincible Woman powers (...). Come on, "Invincible"??!?! Like I said, she's 12, not 5, and the Fantastic Four are world celebrities, everybody knows their names AND codenames.
Then on page 23, panel 1, she says "Why are there 'splosions?!?"... she doesn't speak like that, never did. Same page, panel 4, she says "I got woked up." Whedon, get it in your head... SHE IS NOT 5!!!!
NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars, please familiarize yourself with the character's you're writing.
“SOONG ANDROIDS: NOW WITH BUILT-IN TELEPORTING CAPABILITIES!”
TITLE: Star Trek TNG: The Space Between.
ISSUE: 03 of 06.
CULPRIT: David Tischman (writer) and Casey Malone (penciller).
NIT-TO-PICK: The book is getting better, I grant you that. The art still sucks, but not as bad as the previous issues, and I'm even willing to overlook Data making faces that suggest he's feeling emotions we all know he's incapable of, since these tales happen before First Contact.
What I can't overlook, is the fact that on page 3, Data is sitting as his Ops console in the front part of the bridge; and then, on page 5, which does not happen more than a few moments later, he's standing behind the Tactical console, covering for Worf, instead of the two guys who were there on page 3. All of that, on top of the fact that I can't think a reason why Data would be manning the Tactical console...
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
“THE AVENGERS? NO, DOESN’T RING A BELL!”
TITLE: The (Irredeemable) Mighty Ant-Man.
CULPRIT: Robert Kirkman (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 5, Ant-Man says that he hasn't even heard of Ms. Marvel; yet she's been an Avenger, and part of Iron Man's pro-Registration team during Civil War. She may be a B-lister in the real world, but in the 616 Marvel Universe, she's a very well-known hero. He does it again on page 9... I understand Ant-Man is supossed to be an idiot, but he didn't spend the past 10 years living under a rock, did he?
NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
“KRYPTONIAN LIKE THEIR IMPORT CARS.”
TITLE: Supergirl V5.
CULPRIT: Alé Garza (penciller).
NIT-TO-PICK: Page 6 shows a scene from Supergirl's past, set on Argo... and there's a 20th/21st century Earth looking car?!???
NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars, nice sense of alien design Alé.
“THE X-MEN? WHO?”
TITLE: New X-MenV2.
CULPRIT: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 14, panel 4, Santo "Rockslide" Vaccaro says "Who's "Colossus"?" Who, living at Xavier's, at the same time Colossus lives there (and having fought alongside with him, if memory serves me right) during the latest Apocalypse storyline), cannot know who Colossus is? More to the point, Santo worships the X-Men, and wants to be one, and who would he identify more with than the team's strongman?
NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
“I QUIERO READ THE NEWSPAPERRO!”
TITLE: Punisher War Journal V2.
CULPRIT: Ariel Olivetti (artist).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 22, the Punisher picks up a newspaper at diner, supossedly a Mexican newspaper... but the paper is actually show to be published in Buenos Aires (Argentina), which is, not coincidentally, where Olivetti lives.
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Cheap Ariel, cheap.
“TO ME, MY ARMOR!”
TITLE: She Hulk V2.
CULPRIT: Rick Burchett (penciller) and/or Dan Slott (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 12, after having sex with She-Hulk, Iron Man puts on his armor by having it fly towards him in pieces... uhm... as far as I know, Tony's armor, courtesy of the Extremis virus, now resides inside of him, and he can make it "pour" out of his body and form around it.
NIT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
“WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!”
TITLE: Wonder Woman V3.
CULPRIT: Jodi Picoult (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 9, Wonder Woman rescues Nemesis, who's been tortured by Circe (he's hanging from the ceiling by his arms and there's a pool of blood under him), and when he makes a lewd joke about her, she drops him to the floor (although not from very high).
Are we supposed to believe that Wonder Woman would drop a man who might have internal injuries to the floor?
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
“I AM TOO AN AVENGERS FOUNDER, NYAH NYAH!”
TITLE: Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes II.
ISSUE: 08 of 08.
CULPRIT: Joe Casey (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 22, Captain America says about the Avengers roster "(...) this will be the first time there are no founders on the active roster." Uhm.... what? Cap, are you forgetting Avengers V1 issue #16. where the only members on the team were Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch (good choice there), Quicksilver, and yourself (and you're not a Avengers' founder, Cap!)?
NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Unforgivable.
“FASTER THAN A RAY OF LIGHT!”
TITLE: Battlestar Galactica.
CULPRIT: Greg Pak (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: This series sucks. Not only the art is horrible, but the plot is very, very, lame. On top of all that, on page 19 a ship filled with old Cylon Centurions and one number 8 jumps towards "the heart of the Cylon Empire", and arrives "Ten seconds later on the other side of the universe."
What?!?!? An FTL in the new BSG universe, not even a Cylon FTL, can't travel to the other side of the galaxy, let alone the OTHER SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE in ten seconds.
NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Come on!
“THIS IS A RETCON OF A FLASHBACK FOR AN ELSEWORLDS IMAGINARY STORY.”
CULPRIT: Mark Verheiden (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: Speaking of Galactica, here's Mark Verheiden, one of the show's writers, who's penned cool episodes like Black Market and Collaborators. Yet, his Superman/Batman sucks monkey's ass.
In this case, he has the Metal Men and Will MaGnUs (whoops, I mean, Magnus) appear, and neither Superman nor Batman knows who they are, nor do the robots and their creator know the heroes. What is this? An alternate reality story? A retcon? An imaginary story? SAY WHAT IT IS!!!!!
NIT-O-METER: I'm going to be lenient, and believe that this is not a mistake, that they just forgot to put a caption that said "years ago" or something like that, and just give it 7 Bazzars. That's me being lenient.
“BLACK ADAM SCARED MY COSTUME WHITE!”
TITLE: World War III.
ISSUE: Book Two: The Valiant.
CULPRIT: Hi-Fi (colorist).
NIT-TO-PICK: On pages 15 and 16 (and there might be a third page, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt), where Dove's costume is entirely white, with no light blue markings. She hasn't changed her costume, because she appears elsewhere correctly colored.
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
“RUN! IT’S THE SENTINALS!”
TITLE: X-Men. V2.
CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer) and/or VC's Cory Petit((lettering).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 14, panel 4, Mystique says "Sentinal", instead of "Sentinel".
NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar, just a typo.
“IMPERFECT MIRROR IMAGE.”
TITLE: Nightwing Annual.
CULPRIT: Joe Bennett (penciller), to a lesser extent Jason Wright (colorist), and maybe Mark Andreyko (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: On the last pages of this book (specifically page 38), we see Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake leaving on the journey depicted in some issues of 52. This same scene was shown in Infinite Crisis #07. Clark Kent and Diana "Prince" are there to see them off, in both depictions of the scene.
However, everybody but Bruce is wearing different clothes in the Nightwing Annual. In order of magnitude: Clark wears a blue tie in Infinite Crisis; and a black one in Nightwing. Diana is originally wearing a skirt that goes past her knees and boots that end only inches from the skirt's hem; while in the Nightwing Annual she wears a miniskirt and shoes.
Tim wears a dark blue, or maybe dark grey hoodie in Infinite Crisis; while in Nightwing he wears a regular grey hoodie. Then Dick, in Infinite crisis wears a shirt with letters on his chest (something like USC, I can't make out the last letter).
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars, you could have least check the comic you're basing this scene on. Of course, this scene could have been shown in one of the Batbooks (Nightwing included), but still, it differs from Infinite Crisis, so I'm calling it a nit!
“THE OLD TRICK OF THE FAKE ARMCAST!”
TITLE: Nightwing Annual.
CULPRIT: Joe Bennett (penciller) and maybe Mark Andreyko (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: And if what's above is not enough, the whole story of the Nightwing Annual has Dick recovering from his injuries suffered at the hands (or anti-energy blasts) of Alex Luthor, during the last battles of Infinite Crisis. Now, I don't remember this happening in Infinite Crisis or any of its minis or specials, but it might have happened in one of the crossovers with Dick's own book, or any of the Batbooks.
However, by the end of Infinite Crisis itself, Dick looks healthy, at least on the outside; he still might have some recovery to do. But on page 38 of his annual, his right arm is in a cast and sling, whereas it looks completely healthy in Infinite Crisis #07, even to the point that he's got his hand on his hip, on a very hero-ey position.
NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
CULPRIT: Chris Claremont (writer).
NIT-TO-PICK: Now, don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that Claremont is back on his feet. But he keeps on making stupid mistakes that could be avoided with a little research and attention to detail. In this issue, he confuses the word "ninja" (you know, those sneaky guys who kill people) with "gaijin" (a somewhat derogatory term Japanese use for foreigners).
NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Chris, it's NINJAS, for God's sake!
“MEET GENERAL RELTIH AND SERGEANT COOL.”
TITLE: Batman Confidential.
CULPRIT: Whilce Portacio (penciller).
NIT-TO-PICK: This comic is actually good, which is kind of surprising. I didn't expect much from it, as the first issue from its brother book, Superman Confidential, bored me to tears. In this case, the corporate (and later superhero/villain) face-off between Batman and Lex Luthor is very well written, so it was a surprise, as I said.
However, what would a book be without a nit, huh? It might have been present in the previous issue of the book, but I only noticed now, and I'm to lazy to go back and look. On page 4, and then in the rest of the book, there is a US Army Sergeant (we'll call him Sergeant Cool) who sports a goatee and mustache. The 'tash is not forbidden in the US Army, but beards are completely prohibited (unless under certain situations, that I don't think Sergeant Cool qualifies for). Also, not a nit, but the General who commands our friend Cool (we'll call him General Reltih) sports a Alfred Hitler style mustache which is probably not very recommended. Take a gander at Sergeant Cool:
As per US Army regulation 670-1, Section 1-8-a-2-(c): "Males will keep their face clean-shaven when in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty. Mustaches are permitted; if worn, males will keep mustaches neatly trimmed, tapered, and tidy. Mustaches will not present a chopped off or ushy appearance, and no portion of the mustache will cover the upper lip line or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corners of the mouth (see figure 1–1). Handlebar mustaches, goatees, and beards are not authorized. If appropriate medical authority prescribes beard growth, the length required for medical treatment must be specified. For example, “The length of the beard will not exceed 1/4 inch” (see TB MED 287). Soldiers will keep the growth trimmed to the level specified by appropriate medical authority, but they are not authorized to shape the growth into goatees, or “Fu Manchu” or handlebar mustaches.
Another section says that Special Forces troops who serve in places like Iraq and Afghanistan sometimes get permission to grow beards, so as to better blend in with the locals (not as in undercover work, but as to seem more friendly); but I don't think our man Cool there is Special Forces nor is he in the Middle East (he looks more like a tech specialist of some sort, and he's stationed smack dab in the middle of the USA). So, even if the Sergeant Cool has a medical authorization to grow a beard, he wouldn't be able to shape it into a goatee. And although there is no explicit regulation on Hitler 'tashes, General Reltih would probably be reprimanded. Take a look at General Reltih (and I’m not very sure about the good General’s rank insignia either, but I won’t look it up):
You can read the whole (316 pages long!) regulation here. My favorite part, however, is this one: "While in uniform, personnel will not place their hands in their pockets, except momentarily to place or retrieve objects.
Whew... good thing it clarifies that they can place their hands in their pockets to retrieve or store stuff. Otherwise, I could see the following scene unfolding in a base somewhere:
OFFICER: Private Jones! Come here!
PRIVATE: Sir, yes Sir!
OFFICER: Lend me a buck!
PRIVATE: Sir, I can't, Sir!
PRIVATE: Sir, my wallet is in my pocket, Sir! I cannot break regulations, Sir!
OFFICER (groans, facepalms): Just this once Private, I'll allow you to break regulations.
PRIVATE: Sir, thank you, Sir! Here's your dollar, Sir!
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars, even if you don't know US Army regulations (which I didn't), it's kind of a given....
“MR. TERRIFIC CALLS IT THE CHAMELEON TOUPEÉ”
TITLE: JSA: Classified.
CULPRIT: Dennis Calero (artist).
NIT-TO-PICK: In the story, Alan Scott's hair color is portrayed inconsistently. His hair color is blonde, but in pages 2 and 3, his hair is gray, except for the last two panels of page 3, where it's brown. It remains brown until page 8, where it changes back to gray (although it's brown on panel 2), until page 10, where it changes back to blonde.
The end? Nope, on page 20, his hair goes back to being gray, although on those last two panels it seems to be just a little on the brown side. But that's just a prelude for his hair being blonde again on page 21, and... and luckily, it ends there...
NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars, I suppose you could attribute this to lighting, if you were very kind. I'm not. Good God Calero, stick to penciling in the future, and leave colors to people who can actually do them.
“THE HYPNOTIC CASE OF THE SIZE-CHANGING FOREHEAD DISC-THINGY!”
TITLE: Supergirl And The Legion Of Superheroes.
CULPRIT: Kevin Sharpe (penciller).
NIT-TO-PICK: On page 16, the narrating lower caste Dominator's forehead disc changes size from panel to panel. The border is several inches away from his eyes in one panel, then about half an inch the next one. Also, he says his "eclipsed by the grandeur" of the disc on the Emperor's head, and yet, his own (in some panels), does not seem that much smaller than the Emperor's.
NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
Well, this column had apologies, corrections, discussions, and all sort of things. But what matters here are the nits, right? And their average this week was 6.5 Bazzars, not too shabby if you ask me. Next week-ish, prepare for the end-of-52-special (52 was a blast throughout the whole year)... which makes me wonder when I'll write up the nits for the month of May... ah well, I'll manage, and if not, I'll just pull a Marvel and reschedule the releases...
See ya around, I'll catch you on my next column. Until then, I'll be on the outlook for more nits, because (almost) nothing escapes...