Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Nitpicker #37.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)

[[WARNING! THIS COLUMN MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS!]]

"From the state of ridiculously tall and gorgeous amazons ith perfect skin. Alba-chusetts, West Jessicabiel-burg. Stupid Alba-chussets." Brenda Del Vecchio, Blue Beetle V7 #18.

"You know, I thought I'd have a lot more fun if I ever got to say this... That's no Moon..."Henry "Beast" McCoy, Astonishing X-Men V2 #22.

"Super-friction, Brainiac. Super-friction creates static electricity. Super-static-electricity creates... Shakkaboom. (...) My dream, my rules, you clockwork moron." Superman, Superman V1 #666.

Yes, the quote of the week is actually three quotes. Why? Because I say so, because they were all too cool to pass upon! Welcome to this week's Nitpicker, were I take the magnifying glass to last week's releases, and burn them like ants terrorized by a future psycho killer. With forty six nits in this issue, we've got some tasty morsels and a lot of collaborations from HNS members. I love getting reports of stuff I missed, or from books I don't normally read. So keep those e-mails and comments coming!

Speaking of HNS members, one of my most faithful readers, Miss Kitty Fantastico, is now reviewing comics and action figures in the minisite "Heroine Addict!", which should soon have a comment feature, so drop by and let MKF know what you think about the reviews. Let's get into the column proper by revealing last week's Spoooooooo... ok, I'm tired of doing that stupid TV announcer thing, let's just call it STN, ok? Last week's STN, as correctly spotted by Roy, was that the ring Black Canary's given by Green Arrow is ginormous, it looks like it would fit a large man, and when she holds it up to her eye, it's even larger, as if it was for the Hulk or the Thing! It was easy this week, so I'm glad somebody spotted it; Roy, you've earned yourself another HNS Badge!

You're probably wondering what the Nitpicker Picks Of The Week were, so I won't keep you guessing. Best book of the week was, without a doubt, Green Lantern Corps V2 #15, although this month's Blue Beetle was close. The Corps issue, part of the "Sinestro Corps War" event, was, after the special that sparked the war, the best comic so far in the story. Portraying the first part of the "Battle of Mogo"; we see Green Lanterns fight tooth and claw against the fear-wielding Sinestro Corpsmen; including face-offs between their respective drill instructors. Kilowog and Arkillo duke it out, and when the former taunts the jolly Green Lantern giant, asking "who cares about a few more dead?", Kilowog rises from under a pile of dead bodies (from both sides) and blasts the hell out of Arkillo (at least temporarily) with a resounding "I CARE!" The 'wog also verbally pwns his evil counterpart with stuff like "Before we talk about always, poozer, I'd just like 'ta see ya win once!", which almost made it to the quotes of the week.

Dave Gibbons gives this issue great pacing and dialogue, making this series more enjoyable (sometimes more than the solo Hal Jordan book) with each issue. Art-wise, Patrick Gleason and Angel Unzueta (pencillers) together with Prentis Rollins and Drew Geraci (inkers) deliver excellent work, as hard as it is to draw a gazillion Green Lanterns and still make it clear and beautiful, together with the masterful coloring of Guy Major (who probably depleted his greens... that is, if he was doing this with actual physical coloring tools). Let's not forget about Phil Balsman's lettering, who also manages to make the flow of the dialogue understandable when there are lots of characters on a page. A great issue on a wonderfully entertaining, if under-publicized and small, crossover event.

Well, now for the worst issue of the week... it's gotta be Superman #666, with that lame plot about a minor Kryptonian demon hitching a ride on Kal-El's rocket (or something like that, I refuse to read it again) to escape the planet's destruction, managing to gain the favor of some elder gods who govern a version of hell. Then, he draws Superman into some sort of dream sequence, to exploit his fear and anger, and have him rule the galaxy at his side, like his father before him... wait, no... Well, to have Superman experiment the evilness of killing people (he offs Lois, Luthor, and Brainiac, for example) to grow in power, and rule over yet-another-district-of-hell. Of course, since the Phantom Stranger had stopped by the Daily Planet earlier, and took off with Clark Kent, only to have that plot point completely dropped. At the end of the book we learn that the Stranger had created something like a shell of the real Superman, a corruptible outer layer of his being, to shield him in that hell, allowing Supes to burst out of that shell unblemished and defeat the demon (who, nevertheless, plants a seed of doubt in his mind).

Oh, and somebody please explain to me just why Aquaman and Animal Man feel the demon is coming for Superman. The plot is confusing (though I must admit to finding certain lines enjoyable, like the one above), and obviously a dream sequence, while the premise of Superman having doubts about himself is exactly the same as Busiek's story with Arion just a couple of months ago. He might be building up to something here, but this story was not enjoyable, and the art didn't help. This issue is pencilled and inked by Walt Simonson, who doesn't seem to be putting much effort into this fill-in issue. In fact, Simonson's art is actually made worse by the flat colors provided by Sinclair and Loughridge (no last names), who make a terrible attempt at being retro. Enough, let's go on to the meat and potatoes of this column, alright?
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"OHNOES, I'M A CRIMINAL NOW!"

TITLE: Amazing Spider-Man.

ISSUE: 543.

CULPRIT: J. Michael Straczynski (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Suspicion on what happened to Aunt May starts to grow, and the police starts to investigate the incident; so Peter and MJ decide to move her out of the hospital she's in. But not before Pete has to knock out a police detective and handcuff him to a door. Internal monologue kicks in, and Pete regrets that "Up to this moment, my criminality was a point of legal technicalities. I'd skirted illegality (...)" Uuuuh... Pete... let's see, you're a Federal fugitive, who's helped break out prisoners from a Federal penitentiary, among several other felonies. Then he mulls over the fact that "This... you get sent to jail for.", disregarding the fact that he already assaulted (not so violently) a police officer a few issues ago, when he wanted to check out the place from with the Kingpin’s assassin had shot Aunt May. He forges hospital records, steals an ambulance, etc, and his internal monologue goes on about "Nine felony counts. Ten-year minimum per charge--equals a ninety-year prison term. Possibly life imprisonment." Pete, Pete, Pete... you've already done tons of stuff to get you life imprisonment, not to mention removal of your powers by Federal law.

On the same page, and not technically a nit, there's something I've probably ranted about before, and that Dominik B., aka Brecht, my editor in chief at ICS does consider a nit. Peter Parker lives in the Marvel Universe, where people have superpowers and supertechnology that allows them to fly, travel through time, lift buildings, etc, and there are also people with healing powers. Top of my head, I can remember Elixir (New X-Men), Angel (X-Men, currently Renegades), Dr. Strange (via magic), and probably Talisman (Omega Flight, by magic as well). There's also at least another handful of Marvel characters with the power to heal others, not to mention the fact that Dr. Strange is Peter's teammate, and so is Wolverine, obviously connected with the first to healers I mentioned. Hell, Elixir has brought people from near death, he recently rebuilt Prodigy's (New X-Men) heart!

Even if for some contrived reason none of these characters can heal May, Iron Fist, who is also Spidey's teammate, is a millionaire, and could probably have her in a private clinic with better care and no questions asked. Hell, Mr. Fantastic, who's helped Peter with the Mr. Hyde problems over at Sensational Spider-Man even after he went anti-reg, would probably help him, and he has the money and the resources to do so. Or maybe the Black Panther, whose friends with Luke Cage, another of Pete's teammates; not to mention being the husband of Storm, who... well, you get the picture, don't you?

NIT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars, it's just a rant on inconsistent writing.
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"GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!"

TITLE: Astonishing X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 22.

CULPRIT: John Cassaday (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Page 13. Beast.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Keep raking 'em up Johnny Boy!
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"MY, MY, HOW YOU'VE GROWN!!"

TITLE: Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious.

ISSUE: 01 of 02.

CULPRIT: Sam Kieth (writer/artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Meh. That's what this book's caused in me so far, it's readable, but nothing out of the ordinary. Only one nit, but a fairly big one; on page 48, the entity that possesses women (the one Lobo and Batman are fighting) tells her current host that she's "entering another orbit" and that her "body mass will change with it." Sam, it's your weight that changes with gravity, not your mass, since weight is a product of your mass times the gravity of the place you are in. For those of you who never paid attention in junior high physics, experiencing changes in your mass would mean that you actually grow or shrink. Colloquially, we refer to mass as "weight", but I'd never seen it the other way around.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
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"OLIVER QUEEN: MAN SKANK!"

TITLE: Birds Of Prey.

ISSUE: 109.

CULPRIT: Tony Bedard (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Page 14, Oracle and Black Canary are having a conversation, and the former is going over Oliver Queen's numerous dalliances with women, she says Connor (Hawke, Green Arrow II) is Ollie's child with "that ninja woman", meaning Shado, who is not Connor's mother. In fact, Black Canary actually confirms what Babs is saying, answering that "Shado (...) drugged him". Shado does have a son with Ollie, named Robert, who is a child (around six years old), while Connor's mother is a different woman, Sandra "Moonday" Hawke. Tony Bedard had, after somebody called him on it, the magnanimous gesture of confessing this was a "good old fashioned f*ck-up" his part, and added "Sorry." Apologies accepted, Tony, in your defense, this is an error that has been made before, namely, by Wizard Magazine and Judd Winick.

NIT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars, even if Bedard admitted to the nit, you could no-prize it away with saying that Oracle was confused, and Canary didn't bother to correct her.
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"THIS SZUCKS!"

TITLE: Blue Beetle V7.

ISSUE: 18.

CULPRIT: John Rogers (writer) and/or Pat Brosseau (letterer).

NIT-TO-PICK: This one was spotted by Dominik B., aka Brecht (welcome to the HNS, Ensign Brecht, here's your first badge), and I'm surprised it got past me. On page seven, Blue Beetle tells Supergirl to "szuck on some Krypto-", instead of "suck".

NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar, just a typo.
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"THIS GUY'S AN ANIMAL."

TITLE: Blue Beetle V7.

ISSUE: 18.

CULPRIT: John Rogers (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: The scarab armor detects Lobo approaching, and Jamie wonders "... what the heck's a Lobo?", when Jamie should know "lobo" means "wolf" in Spanish, a pretty plausible name for a supervillain, particularly in Texas.

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars, it's a mild variation on my "other languages" pet peeve.
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"WELCOME, MY PUPILS."

TITLE: Blue Beetle V7.

ISSUE: 18.

CULPRIT: Rafael Albuquerque (artist, pages 5-11, 14-22)

NIT-TO-PICK: On pages 15 and 17, Lobo's eyes are drawn with irises and pupils. His eyes are technically lacking in both things, but sometimes artists draw black dot-like pupils on his eyes for comedy purposes. In this case, however, it does seem to be a nit, considering his eyes are just plain red for most of the book, and only have pupils of the aforementioned style on page sixteen. Another nit spotted by Brecht.

NIT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars.
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"BACKUP CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM."

TITLE: Cable & Deadpool.

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: Fabian Nicieza (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Woooo boy! Brecht was on a roll this week! He pointed out the following nit on this book; which I don't usually read (funny book, though not something I need to read monthly). The book starts with Wolverine having just decapitated Deadpool (don't know if he did it last issue, or between issues), and he states that the-merc-currently-without-a-head has about twelve minutes before oxygen deprivation rots his brain. I find this a bit exaggerated, even for a character like Deadpool, who has a healing factor.

NIT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
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"JUST PLAIN MARY."

TITLE: Countdown.

ISSUE: 36 of 52.

CULPRIT: Jim Calafiore (penciller) and possibly Tony Bedard (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page seven, Mary Marvel (no, it's not her boots, don't be afraid) is studying under Zatanna's tutelage, and she's de-Marveled, wearing her street clothes, and even her "civilian hairstyle", and by the next page, she transforms without saying her magic word, plus, she has her wisdom power up, as evidenced by the fact that she is "reading languages that were ancient when Atlantis was founded), which amazes Zatanna. I would also like to point out to this conversation between Matt Brady and Mike Carlin over at Newsarama:

"NRAMA: Speaking of her larger transformation, we haven’t been with her 24/7 since she got the gift from Black Adam, but has she been plain "Mary" once since she acquired Black Adam's powers?

MC: Nope. No reason to be... Her super-powered self is on a quest... Nothing else matters at this point to her.
"

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, this would qualify as a combo nit, but I'm willing to let the transformation without magic word go, because it might be a hint at how powerful Mary is becoming, but her being in a de-Marveled state will not pass, particularly after Carlin confirms that she hasn't depowered since she got Black Adam's "package" (hehe).
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"GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS?"

TITLE: Countdown.

ISSUE: 36 of 52 (The Origin Of Deathstroke The Terminator backup story).

CULPRIT: Tony Daniel (penciller).

NIT-TO-PICK: Time to STN, look at this panel, number two from page 23, what's wrong? You already know who did it, now tell me what it was!


NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
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"WHEN?"

TITLE: Green Lantern Corps V2.

ISSUE: 15.

CULPRIT: Dave Gibbons (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 2, while all Lanterns check their ring charges, the ring says their name and sector. Now, Kilowog hasn't been assigned to his home sector of 674 since the Guardians disbanded the GL Corps before Millennium, and lately, since the new Corps started, he's been training the rookies. He hasn't been patrolling or tending to his sector, and while they've never shown it, I assume there's a pair of GLs assigned to 674, since he's probably stationed permanently in Oa (and most likely, an Honor Guard member).

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars, it might just be reciting their home sectors, though why would it? There might be Lanterns assigned to a sector they're not native to.
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"WHEN?"

TITLE: The Invincible Iron Man (Director Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) V2.

ISSUE: 21.

CULPRIT: Daniel & Charles Knauff (writers).

NIT-TO-PICK: Good story, but I'd appreciate if you could put a "this story happens after/before World War Hulk" caption.

NIT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
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"I KNEW IT! THAT'S NOT THE REAL BLACK BOLT! HULK'S BEEN PSYCHING US ALL ALONG!"

TITLE: The Irredeemable Ant-Man.

ISSUE: 10.

CULPRIT: Bill Crabtree & Val Staples (colorists).

NIT-TO-PICK: Yes, this is a book published about two months ago, I am aware of that. Thing is, I had caught this nit when I read the book, but I couldn't find any evidence to support my claim, so I dropped it. Point is, on page 6 of this issue, the infamous holographic projection of the Hulk showing the world what he did to Black Bolt is shown, as it was on most WWH tie-in books that month. The difference is that the angle here allows us to see some of Black Bolt's hair coming out a hole in his mask, and it's blonde. I haven't read many comics with the Inhumans in them, except lately, and I've never seen Black Bolt without his mask, but for some reason, I was pretty sure his hair wasn't blonde. Don't ask me why, but I was positive. Except I couldn't find any picture of him without his mask, nor any profile about him indicating his hair color. Until this month, when World War Hulk: Gamma Files was published, and his profile said his hair is black. Of course, now his profile at Marvel Universe says the same, wish it'd say so before.

NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. I don't feel like giving this a 10, it's not like Crabtree and Staples (sounds like a seventies rock band!) had a lot to work on when they colored that... I just wonder what possessed Phil Hester to draw that hair coming out of the mask.
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"FAKE ARROW."

TITLE: Justice League of America V2.

ISSUE: 12.

CULPRIT: Ed Benes (penciller).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 20, Red Tornado walks into Red Arrow's quarters (too many color named heroes in this team, dammit!) only to find him in bed with Hawkgirl (no, they're not wearing their costumes, but I gotta wonder, where the hell did Roy leave Lian? Locked in the closet?). In classic fashion, you can see Roy's bare chest, but Hawkgirl's covering herself (at least it's not with one of those weird L-shaped sheets beds seem to have in movies and TV, but with Arrow's costume shirt). Problem is, there is absolutely no trace of all the scars he should have.

Red arrow suffered multiple point-blank gunshot wounds (six, to be exact) at the hands of a Brother Blood sleeper agent; plus he should have a surgical scar running down his sternum. Yes, with all the technology the JLA has at their disposal, he could've had them removed, but I really doubt it; he'd keep them as battle trophies. On top of that, as Roy (from Dragon Comics, not Red Arrow himself) pointed out to me reporting a nit for next week's column, Roy Harper has a tattoo band around his left bicep, which isn't here either.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, it was going to be an 8 if it was only the scars missing, but with the tattoo, you ranked it higher Ed!
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"AGAIN, THIS IS ONE OF MY SPARE UNIFORM SHIRTS, MY NEPHEW MADE IT IN PRESCHOOL ART CLASS."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Alex Sanchez (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Ugh, horrible art... but the particular nit bothering me in this case is the emblem on Flash I's costume. Look below, on the left, you see what Jay Garrick's costume looks like, with an upward-pointing lightning bolt that begins in his waistline. On the right, you see how Alex Sanchez (among other artists these days) have chosen to draw it:


Besides, Jay, what's Wildcat doing to Jay's ass that's got the speedster so happy? Or is that just the Speed Force in his pocket? To his credit, he's also quite happy on the other picture... even though his pants are usually portrayed as less spandex-ey than the usual superhero garb. Back to the lightning, Jay's costume started off with the free-standing, double-pointed bolt; which varied in size and exact shape, but as early as All Star Comics #30 (1946), he already had the one he sports on that image on the left. To Alex Sanchez defense, he's not the first artist to make this mistake, I did point it out a few columns back, in Justice Society of America #8; and I just noticed they did it too on the Countdown issue with Bart Allen's funeral.

NIT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars, I'll keep it at that since Sanchez probably looked at the books I mentioned for reference.
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"I'M SORRY, BUT YOUR T-SPHERES ARE OUTSIDE THE AREA OF COVERAGE..."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Arvid Nelson (writer) and/or Alex Sanchez (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Why is Mr. Terrific, on page 14, calling Wildcat on what is obviously a regular cell phone, instead of a fancy-ass JSA communicator, or better yet, his nigh-omnipotent T-Spheres?

NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
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"WE'VE GOT SOME CONTRACTORS FIXING THE DAMAGE FROM THE LAST TIME SOMEBODY CRASHED THROUGH OUR CEILING."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Arvid Nelson (writer) and/or Alex Sanchez (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Why the hell is Stargirl wearing her mask inside the JSA headquarters, particularly when she's just wearing exercise clothes, and not her uniform?

NIT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
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"DAMN, BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!"

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Pete Pantazis (colorist).

NIT-TO-PICK: From page 21 on, Mr. Terrific's mask is colored blue, when it's black.

NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars,
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"BLACKHOLE EYES."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Pete Pantazis (colorist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Same page, Stargirl's eyes are colored black (no distinguishable pupils inside the iris, it's all one black circle), instead of blue.

NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
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"FURRY OF THE WILDCAT... OR BEAR..."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Alex Sanchez (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Have you ever seen Wildcat, aka Ted Grant? Well, this is what his mask looks like:


And this is how Alex Sanchez decided Wildcat looks like:


Those are from two different pages; let me point out to begin that the mask doesn't even look the same in both images (there is no lower jaw in the second one, for example). The worst thing? The mask, especially in the leftmost picture, looks like a bear's head. And the guy's name is Wildcat.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, this is hideous.
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"YEAH, IT DOES RING A BELL..."

TITLE: JSA: Classified.

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Arvid Nelson (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Mr. Terrific is puzzled by the word "Andvarinaut"; I found it with one simple Wikipedia search. It's a ring from Norse mythology, made famous by Richard Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung", and it may have been an inspiration for The Lord Of The Rings. The third smartest man in the world, as Mr. Terrific is billed, has at least fourteen Ph. D's, and has an ability described as "a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes".This, among many other things, allows him to do perform emergency surgery for the first time, after reading about the procedure in a medical text book. Even if we can buy that he didn't know about the Andvarinaut (I'm of normal intelligence, and Andvarinaut ringed a bell), his T-Spheres could have located the information for him.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Knowing what a character can do is vital to writing a story with that character as the star.
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"BAD FORMULA."

TITLE: Justice Society Of America V3.

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer) and/or Robe Leigh (letterer)

NIT-TO-PICK: This one was spotted by the keen eyes of a long time reader, Mean Jeff (welcome to the HNS Corps, Ensign, take this, it's your first badge), and it's about a book published a couple of weeks ago. I totally missed the fact that when Johnny and Jesse Quick use the former's speed formula, they recite it incorrectly. The formula is "3X2(9YZ)4A"; while in the book they use "3X2(94Z)4A". I should have spotted this one, given how I used to repeat it some ten years ago to see if it worked... Jeff claims that this is "about as important as knowing where to put the friggin' 'S' on Superman's costume", and while I disagree, it is kind of surprising that Geoff Johns made an error like this (perhaps it was just the letterer, who knows).

NIT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars, it's a typo, but it is an important part of the character you're writing about.
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"DAYMAN! THE SUPERHERO WITH A PARENTAL CURFEW!"

TITLE: The Nitpicker.

ISSUE: 36.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Miss Kitty Fantastico (who, by the way guys, is a guy, not a lady) noticed that in the last section of our previous issue, "Dayamn" became "Dayman". Chalk it up to a typo, and then ignoring it when the spellchecker decided to call me on it. Here's another badge for ya, MKF.

NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar guys, it's just a typo.
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"WHAT DO THESE GUYS DO FOR A LIVING?"

TITLE: The Nitpicker.

ISSUE: 30.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Just noticed this while going back to check some things... I left out the explanation of what the culprits did on two nits. They were writers in both cases, and from the text of the nit you could guess that, but still, those entries were not correctly referenced.

NIT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
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"FISH UNDERWATER."

TITLE: Outsiders: Five Of A Kind.

ISSUE: 04 of 05.

CULPRIT: G. Willow Wilson (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: This issue was as good as the previous one (Thunder & Martian Manhunter), though I didn't like the art as much, but it's just a personal preference, Josh Middleton did a very good job. I am, though, kind of annoyed of seeing Batman grow dickier and dickier with each passing issue of this mini. But I think that's the whole point, and I did like him see him regret not taking Aquaman as part of the team. Now, Aquaman (the current, young version, I really don't care to explain it) gets pulled into the water on page 10, and he says "You've just done me a huge favor. People call me Aquaman. Maybe you've heard of me. I'm the one with gills."

Uuh.... Aquaman does not possess gills, he never has, he's always had lungs capable of breathing underwater. DC Atlanteans, as opposed to the Marvel ones, don't have gills. This young Aquaman who's not quite an Atlantean (a mutagenic serum was used on him when he was three months old, and it might be related to the serum used by the Atlanteans after the sinking), might have gills, but... none are showing on his neck. He could be saying it metaphorically, but on page 24 he very literally complains that his "gills are clogged", yet no gills are ever seen on his neck, not even when he's underwater.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
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"YEAH, CHECKMATE WILL HELP YOU NEGOTIATE A TRADE AGREEMENT."

TITLE: Outsiders: Five Of A Kind.

ISSUE: 04 of 05.

CULPRIT: G. Willow Wilson (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Page 29, Metamorpho says that Checkmate has agreed to step in and help Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Chad negotiate shared rights to the transboundary aquifer. What? Checkmate is an agency for policing superhumans, not for conducting peace accords and settling border disputes.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
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"UN-SECRET WEAKNESS."

TITLE: The Order.

ISSUE: 02.

CULPRIT: Matt Fraction (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: This book is getting better; the first issue was readable, and this was actually good. Problem is, on page fifteen a journalist asks what happens when one of the team members gets drunk, the Order's publicists answers that "The introduction of any number of substances to the bloodstream (...) renders their powers unusable." Geez, does that mean that if a villain happens shoot them with a Jack Daniels dart, they'll loose their powers? And you just told the world in a press conference? Good job!

NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
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"HE'S GOT DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!"

TITLE: Thunderbolts.

ISSUE: 116.

CULPRIT: Warren Ellis (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: I think I complained about this before, but I can't find it as a nit. In any case, page three shows a news report saying that American Eagle will not face charges for his activities as a unregistered superhuman, due to his status as a reservation-based Native American. I'm no expert in US law, but I wouldn't think Native American people from an Indian reservations are anything else than US citizens. From what I could find out, the reservations have limited sovereignty, and they have criminal jurisdiction over Indians committing crimes inside the reservation; but their jurisdiction over non Indians doing the same is usually disputed. This is mostly due to the Supreme Court's ruling in 1978, "Oliphant v. Suquamish Tribe of Indians", which states that tribes lack the inherent authority to arrest, try and convict non-Indians who commit crimes on their lands. Controversy apart, I am straying from the point

From all accounts I could find on the web (granted, I have no access to specialized law resources), all Indians born in the United States, or born of citizens who are outside the country at the time of birth, are American citizens, with all of the attendant rights and responsibilities; and any crime committed outside a reservation is jurisdiction of state or federal law, depending on the crime. The Registration Act, of course, is a federal law, and American Eagles crimes (including violation of the act and assault upon Federal Marshals) were committed outside a reservation. Therefore, everything points to there being no way that American Eagle wouldn't be prosecuted, unless there is a special dispensation in the Registration Act regarding Native American tribe members, which I highly doubt.

NIT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars, it's not a 10 because nowhere has it been stated that there isn't a dispensation as discussed above.
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"DON'T CALL THE POLICE, THEY'LL BE NO HELP."

TITLE: Thunderbolts.

ISSUE: 116.

CULPRIT: Mike Deodato Jr. (artist).

NIT-TO-PICK: This is another nit reported by Mean Jeff, thanks man! In the last part of the issue, an black-clad superhuman calling himself Mindwave (no hyphen) violently expresses his disagreement with the Registration Act inside a police station. Using telekinesis (he says he's a "telekine", whatever happened to "telekinetic"?), he disassembles an officer's handgun in midair, with what Jeff describes as a "decent rendering of the Beretta 9mm". So Mindwave (no hyphen) then proceeds to lay waste to the station; only to be surrounded by the cops, who open fire with handguns (possibly the same Beretta model, or a similar weapon), Stopping the bullets in midair, Mindwave (no hyphen) splits them in half, and has them drop to the ground. The problem? Problems, actually. First, the slugs appear to have been fired with casings and all; second they don't have pointed ends (meaning they're blanks); and lastly, when they fall to the ground, you see the bullets' size relative to Mindwave's (no hyphen) boots: they look like rifle casings. So, they fire blanks, their weapons shoot casings (which should remain inside the weapon until ejected from the back before the next shot), and they fire rounds that are insanely large for the kind of guns they're using. To quote Jeff, "no wonder they need superheroes to help them out".

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN, AGAIN?"

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Files.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), and/or any of the multiple writers not individually credited for the entries, and David Hine (writer for Silent War).

NIT-TO-PICK: I can see the red alert going off at OHOTMU central now... don't worry guys, I won't pick on this book as I did on Civil War: Battle Damage Report. Why do I credit David Hine in this entry as well? Because this goes back to The Nitpicker #30, where I talked about Attilan being nearly destroyed in Silent War's ending, but still being standing in World War Hulk #1. That implies that either World War Hulk is before Silent War (and Black Bolt obviously survives), or that it's so far after it, that Attilan's been completely rebuilt.

Yet, on Black Bolt's profile, in the last paragraph, it says, and I quote "Choosing Black Bolt as the first to fall, the Hulk beat him into submission, had him fitted with a Sakaarian slave disc and forced him to battle his fellow "Illuminati." (...) Black Bolt led attacks to retrieve the Mists on Earth, then fought Terrigen-enhanced humans in Attilan, an attack that led to Attilan's near destruction. Though the Mists were returned, Maximus, with the inhumans (except for Black Bolt and Luna) in his thrall, ruled Attilan once again." Not only do they write sentences as long as some of mine, but this is one hell of a continuity wreck.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"NAH, WE JUST DECOMISSIONED THEM."
TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Files.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), and/or any of the multiple writers not individually credited for the entries.

NIT-TO-PICK: The book has a section with several pages containing short descriptions of characters and creatures that were deemed not important enough for their own profiles. On page eleven, a description of the Bannermen (gamma irradiated clone automatons, with adamantium and other enhancements) neglects to say that the creatures are now being used by The Order.

NIT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"JUST LUMP 'EM ALL TOGETHER, NO ONE WILL CARE. NOT THE DOGS, THOUGH, THOSE ARE QUESADA'S FAVES."

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Files.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), and/or any of the multiple writers not individually credited for the entries.

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 12, same short descriptions section, the Rhino and Sasquatch have to share a paragraph (even though the former gets just one line), along with X-Force (a government team unrelated to the mutant teams of the same name), Spider-Hulk and Kyle Hatcher (who received a blood transfusion from Banner, and has not mutated yet... geez, thanks Bruce, you give this guy blood, but not to Jim Wilson, so he wouldn't die of AIDS?). On the other hand, creatures like some gamma charged dogs get their own paragraph.

NIT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars,
<-------------------------------->
"OH, SO HE'S SMART AND ABLE TO CONTROL HIMSELF NOW? DIDN'T KNOW THAT..."

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Files.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), and/or any of the multiple writers not individually credited for the entries.

NIT-TO-PICK: A lengthy essay about the Hulk's multiple personalities and incarnations, such as Joe Fixit, Bruce Banner, or the Professor; but absolutely no mention is made of his current state (let's call it The Green Scarr, as his Warbound do). Whether it's a new personality, or just a state of being of one of them, the heightened intelligence and rage control this Hulk displays should be worth at least a passing mention.

NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"SPOILER ALERT!"

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Files.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), and/or any of the multiple writers not individually credited for the entries.

NIT-TO-PICK: She-Hulk's profile on page thirty seven says at the end "Following the Hulk's defeat..." Please... enough with the spoilers, even if they're obvious ones!

NIT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I'M A ROBOT, YOUR TELEPATHY CAN'T AF...BZZZZT!"

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Corps.

ISSUE: 02 of 04.

CULPRIT: Frank Tieri (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: This book has been, so far, pretty much readable, if completely unessential. My first problem with this issue is that Prodigy uses his mental powers to disorient a robot, how? Perhaps the robot was not autonomous, and was controlled by a human operator, that gets it a low rating.

NIT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WE NEED TO MARK THE ROOMS, OR WE WOULDN'T KNOW WHERE TO FIND EACH PATIENT."

TITLE: World War Hulk: Gamma Corps.

ISSUE: 02 of 04.

CULPRIT: Carlos Ferreira (penciller) and/or Frank Tieri (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Page 21 shows us how Nichole Martin, aka Mess, was recruited fro the Gamma Corps. In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, her has a door with a large sign that reads "ICU Patient: NICHOLE MARTIN", as if it were announcing "WE SELL FISH BAIT" or something like that. Have the authors ever been to an ICU? Or to a hospital at all?

NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"NEED GLASSES, WARREN?"

TITLE: X-Men: First Class V2.

ISSUE: 03.

CULPRIT: Jeff Parker (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: I completely abhor this book, not only because of the inane attempts to make the original X-Men cool and modern, by having them play X-Box and have iPods; but because it should be under the Marvel Adventures banner, instead of quietly trying to pass it as a retcon. But I picked this issue because of the promising Marvel Girl & Scarlet Witch backup feature, which was fun. However, in the main story (which, granted, wasn't boring, but the aforementioned points still make me grind my teeth when I read it), on page seven, as the X-Men are attacked by some nocturnal creatures residents of Monster Island; Beast can see them, while Angel (who's supposed to have enhanced visual abilities), can't.

NIT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars, Angel's enhanced eyesight is usually described as allowing him to see at greater distances, but I wouldn't put a slight degree of night vision beyond him.
<-------------------------------->
"I HATE TO THING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN BED..."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Humberto Ramos (penciller).

NIT-TO-PICK: The cover... rarely do we have nits on the cover... but in this case, courtesy of Ramos' hypermanganized style, each of Colossus arms is the size of Shadowcat, plus they are the same length as his legs. Again, on page five, he's got arms the size of Kitty.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, and didn't Ramos use to be able to draw feet?
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S CONTACT LENSES, THEY MAKE ME LOOK LESS OF A FREAK."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Humberto Ramos (penciller).

NIT-TO-PICK: Colossus's eyes have irises and pupils on the cover, when he's in armored form, so they should be plain silver, and blank.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHAT? IF I'M GONNA WEAR CONTACTS, THEN I CAN CHOOSE THE COLOR!"

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Studio F's Edgar Delgado (colorist).

NIT-TO-PICK: If you're going to draw complete eyes on an armored Colossus, don't color them brown, when his eyes in human form are blue.

NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WE BOUGHT THE CONTACT LENSES WHOLESALE."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Studio F's Edgar Delgado (colorist).

NIT-TO-PICK: Shadowcat's eyes are again colored blue on the cover and page five, but brown on pages 21/22.

NIT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, because they can't even keep it consistent within one issue.
<-------------------------------->
"AH BEEN PRACTICIN' MAH YANKEE."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Cannonball loses his accent for a moment on page 4, saying "I", instead of his usual southern "Ah". Didn't I say Brecht was on a roll? He spotted this one as well.

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS!"

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 11, Cannonball refers to Cable as "my best friend"... what? While he's friends with Cable, and considers him a mentor and teacher as much as he does Professor X, I wouldn't say he's his best friend.

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"STANDING TALL, LIKE A COLOSSUS."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Humberto Ramos (penciller).

NIT-TO-PICK: Please Humberto, pay attention to character sizes!!! A 6'2" Rockslide, on page 27, looks about two feet shorter than a 6'6" unarmored Colossus.

NIT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S LOVE, ALL THE SAME."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer) and/or VC's Cory Petit (letterer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 29, Gambit calls Rogue "chere" instead of "chére".

NIT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar.
<-------------------------------->
"HIGH-MAINTENANCE GIRL."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 202.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer) and/or VC's Cory Petit (letterer).

NIT-TO-PICK: Gambit's use of the word chére without the word "ma" before it, makes it seems as if he's calling her "expensive" instead of "my dear". By the way, these two nits were discovered by Brecht, since he is from la Suisse (though from the Schweiz side).

NIT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
Before we finish this week's column, let's get it into our newest feature, the WTF? or DAYAMN! moment of the week... moments, this week, same as happened with the quotes. They're both DAYAMN, and the first one proves that even horrible books can have cool moments. Watch Superman kill Lex Luthor with one Silver Age-y power I'd like him to use more often, the superloogie:


Wow, the bald prick did have it coming, didn't he? After that spit, Brainiac confronts him, and the Man of Steel answers with the quote you can see at the beginning of this column. And now, watch someone whose current incarnation was introduced as a prick, but has grown on me in just a couple of issues. I'm talking about Tenzil Kem, usually known as Matter-Eater Lad, and how he deals with those who dare threaten him:


Even after you've eaten an entire silo's worth of grain (and not unloaded it anywhere), there's still space for some quick snacks. Yes, he actually chomped off Mekt Ranzz' finger, before remarking that it's "rude to point". I tell you, this Tenzil Kem is badass. You know who else is badass? I am, and that's why this column ends here, right after I tell you that this week's average was a regular 6.4 Bazzars. That's it for now, until next week, I'll be on the outlook for more nits, because (almost) nothing escapes...

THE NITPICKER!

6 comments:

Miss Kitty Fantastico said...

Thanks for the mention of Heroine Addict! :)

Okay, first up, on Spot The Nit... not that I paid particular attention to her anatomy (cough), but Starfire's nipples seem to have migrated outwards, for them not to be showing with her costume only just clinging to the outer edge of her breasts. Still, she's an alien, perhaps they do that...

Concerning the nit in The Order #2, I agree it's something to keep in mind... but unless we hear that you couldn't depower them with a Jack Daniels dart (I'm sure Hawkeye has one somewhere), it doesn't seem to be a nit. It's a bit odd that it's mentioned in a press conference, yes (although seeing as their intent was to allay fears of drunken hero rampages, it may just have been a case of putting an immediate PR save at higher priority than possible danger to the hero - it wouldn't be the first time they've got in a tiz about PR), but then again, if you can get a substance into a superhero's bloodstream, then there's plenty of more immediately lethal ones than alcohol, so I don't see this as the equivalent of someone blabbing about Superman and Kryptonite (I haven't read much Supes, but I'm guessing that's still - somehow - not common knowledge). If anything, letting villains know about the alcohol thing may help, as if someone can put a projectile into a superhero, it's better that it be a depowering dart than a good old-fashioned bullet.

MaGnUs said...

No, the STN is not Starfire's nipples, though you might have a point there. And she is certainly not sore on the eyes, is she?

As for the Jack Daniel's dart, I see your points, but still, putting a weakness like that into a hero is kind of stupid... I mean, what if they eat a bombom or take a medicine that contains alcohol, without them realising it? And Supes' vulnerability to Kryptonite does seem to be commong knowledge these days (he fights people such as the Kryptonite man in public, so...)

No problem about the Heroine Addict mention, I've left the first comments there... too bad each comment is a max of 500 words.

Miss Kitty Fantastico said...

Oh, I didn't know that. I've fixed it so (if my very limited understanding of the script is right) the character max should have gone from 500 to 5000. I'm still experimenting with all this stuff :) Thanks for the debut comments!

I still think the Order alcohol thing isn't a proven nit - I think it's logical to assume that a) there are safeguards to ensure that a truly negligible contamination won't shut down their powers, and b) much like professional athletes, the Order would be required to be aware that they have to watch what they ingest at all times. Under the circumstances (including the very stringent behaviour contract the book demonstrated in #1), everything seems fairly logical to me.

I haven't read Gamma Corps (so perhaps this theory is something the book has ruled out somewhere), but it seems to me that if this Prodigy guy can disorient someone using his mind, there's a fair chance he could do the same to a robot. If it's an autonomous robot, it's got a mechanical 'mind', however simple - it's all just little zaps of electricity buzzing around, same as our minds. If Prodigy can affect a biological mind, I'd say it's quite reasonable - given the kinds of things that happen in a superhero world - that his power could work on a mechanical one.

I'm stumped on the STN, then - either it's something requiring specific knowledge of the characters, or it's just one of those things my brain's filtering out without me realising it, like how big the ring was last column.

Parker said...

I KNEW someone was going to think I was making a boner (as the Joker would say), but I wasn't! My take on Warren's vision is that it's excellent in motion and during the day, but nothing special at night, just like most birds. He could be like an owl, but then we'd have to have his eyes all glassy and reflecting light in those dark scenes. So you can argue my reasoning, but it was on purpose.

Extra Nit: no one in the group has ever played an X-Box, we just made fun of the name once! As for the iPod, uh... Hank... made it for him? Urp!

Dragon Comics said...

Spoooot the nit!!!
I'm onfire.

Jericho didn't wear a cape and the Slade's eyepatch in the Wolfman run always was white.

Roy

MaGnUs said...

Miss Kitty Fantastico said "Thanks for the debut comments!"

No worries :P

Miss Kitty Fantastico said "I still think the Order alcohol thing isn't a proven nit"

I respect your opinion on this point... but that's it :P

Miss Kitty Fantastico said "I but it seems to me that if this Prodigy guy can disorient someone using his mind, there's a fair chance he could do the same to a robot."

They haven't said he can't, but he's supposed to have powers based on the Leader's DNA, and the Leader's powers include mind control, but not the ability to control machines. Plus, Prodigy's powers are described by his creator as superintelligence and "a degree of mental abilities such as low level telepathy and the ability to shoot mind blasts". Telepaths and mind controlers are usually shown to be unable to affect machines. I gave it a low rating because it hasn't been actually established that he doesn't have a power that allows him to control machines, but...

Miss Kitty Fantastico said " I'm stumped on the STN, then - either it's something requiring specific knowledge of the characters"

That's just it, as Roy, being a Titan fan, nailed it, as you can see above this comment, it's Jericho's cape. I'm not a Titans fan (though I do enjoy the current series a lot), but I rememembered that Jericho didn't wear a cape.

Parker said "My take on Warren's vision is that it's excellent in motion and during the day, but nothing special at night, just like most birds. (...) So you can argue my reasoning, but it was on purpose."

Jeff (can I call you Jeff?), thanks for the comment, and for the good attitude, I keep worrying about creatores hating me, but so far, Scott Tipton, Gail Simone, and you, have all been very gracious. Like I say in my column, it's my opinion in this case, and the low rating (a 3) I gave this, shows that I don't actually consider it a blunder on your part, just something I would have done differently. I do that sometimes, besides pointing out straight-up mistakes.

As I said, I don't think the book is bad, but it really gets to me that Marvel is not putting this under the Marvel Adventures banner. I understand the need for this kind of book, akin to what John Rogers does with Blue Beetle; but I'd rather it was with new characters, if they're not making it a separate continuity.

Being a long time X-Men fan (going on 23 years, I think), I really commend you for getting the characters' personalities right (down to the creepiness oozing from Professor X and all). It's just not my cup of tea, since I can't let go of those two things I say rub me the wrong way. (I did. however, enjoy the backup feature in this issue, and your Agents of Atlas mini.) You sure can write teenagers, and I would like to see you write a book with original characters, or something that was in modern continuity (like Runaways, or Teen Titans).

Besides my opinion on the matter (that Marvel quietly tries to pass this book as actual canon stories of the "first class" of X-Men); what's the official word, is it that, or they just don't want to make it part of Adventures because it's a different visual style, and aimed at teens, instead of kids?

Parker said "Extra Nit: no one in the group has ever played an X-Box, we just made fun of the name once! As for the iPod, uh... Hank... made it for him? Urp!"

You're right, I went back and checked issue #1 of the first volume, and it's just a mention of an X-Box, but a mention that implies that Bobby does play X-Box... it's just my old guard fan trying to place them in the 60s, when by this age, they would have been the original team in the early 90s... Plus, as a variation of what I mentioned, if they're not part of the Adventures line, we already have Ultimate X-Men for making them hip for the younger crowd and having Bobby actually play videogames. And no, I don't think teenaged Hank could build an iPod :P

Thanks again for stopping by, I might check out this book from time to time, and I'll definitely check out other stuff you write, because I think you're talented.

Roy from Dragon Comics "said Jericho didn't wear a cape and the Slade's eyepatch in the Wolfman run always was white."

You're right man, you're on fire. It's Jericho's cape, I think he did wear one later on at some point, but not back then. As for Deathstroke (dammit, don't call him Slade, it reeks of Titans cartoon!!!!), I hadn't noticed the eyepatch, but given the angle of his head, it could be shadowing or something like that.