Friday, November 09, 2007

The Dissector #46.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)

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

"I'm getting lectured on CHILD SAFETY from a man who's gone through FOUR ROBINS?" Wally West (obviously to Batman), The Flash V2.

Yes, I know, this column is about a week late. My lateness is mostly due to the fact that I'm doing an earlier shift at work, which means I arrive there at a busier hour than before, thus having less free time to write. Also, I've been busy with the organization of a charity RPG event last Sunday, which turned out quite well. Check out my deviantArt gallery for pictures of the event, and of Halloween. How was everybody's Halloween? I had a blast, with a party at home a few days before, a small celebration at work, and trick or treating with my kid for the first time around the neighborhood. In fact, I hadn't trick or treated since I left the US, back in 1984 was the last time I went out for candy.

Another factor in my lateness is the fact that the increased workload generates a bit more of stress for me, and I sometimes want to unwind, just reading or posting stuff in forums or other people's blogs. It's not that I don't enjoy writing this column, but... I have to think to write it, and sometimes I just want to enjoy myself. I'm sure you can all understand. This here column is about comics released on 10-24, I'll try to catch up with the one about comics from 10-31 sometime around Monday night... and then, I'll try to be on time with the column for comics out this week.

Allow me to tell you about The Dissector's Picks Of The Week. The best book of the week was Doktor Sleepless #3, with flawless art from Ivan Rodriguez, and a great script from Warren Ellis. The book keeps getting better and better, while the plot thickens, and we get glimpses into Doktor Sleepless' and Nurse Igor's past, and we start to discover what the good Doktor (or his more mundane counterpart in jail) might be.

The worst book of the week wasn't particularly bad in its quality, but rather because of what it represents. I'm talking about Action Comics #857, with dorky kid Clark who looks like Woody Allen, Bizarro world and all that. It's just too cheesy, I can't take it, and they're destroying all that Byrne built...

On another note, while researching something for this column made me stumble upon a comment made by Peter David on the Comic Book Resources board, about readers calling the writers on their continuity mistakes. A poster complained about Titania being in a shrinked state in the first issue of Peter David's She-Hulk run, a point that was made moot by the former writer of the book, Dan Slott (and if it had been a dissection, Miss Kitty Fantastico, who's on that board, and posting on that very same thread, would have alerted me to it).

The poster complains about the writers "not keeping up with the characters, to which Peter David answers "You're being critical of the writer of this issue (namely me) because I didn't know six months ago when I wrote this story about what was happening in an issue of "Fantastic Four" that just came out. Since Marvel doesn't circulate the scripts of every single book to every single writer months ahead of time because such an endeavor would be unwieldy and impractical...what would you suggest I have done in order to "keep up" with a book that wasn't going to come out for half a year?"

Frankly Mr. David, I don't think it's the writers to blame, at least not completely. As I've said in numerous occasions, it's the editors who should pick up most of these continuity errors. I can't believe it's too difficult for the publishers to set up some sort of internal message board or mailing list for the editors and assistant editors to use to compare notes. Then, when a writer wants to use a particular character of whose current status or whereabouts the writer's not sure about, they ask their editor "Hey, Editorperson, can you check if Z-character is available for me to use in my book?"

Editorperson goes and posts a message saying "Hey, is anyone doing anything with Z-character that would bar us from using him?", and if Editorperson2 knows one of his writers has just killed Z-character or imprisoned him in a time loop, he'll tell Editorperson, so the first writer can either look for another character, or come up with a way of using Z-character without ignoring continuity.

In fact, as much as there are wikis with character and plot information available for us mere mortals (that I use extensively when I'm in doubt of something), including an official one for Marvel (publisher in question in Mr. David's statement), there could very well be a similar method of filing for editors and writers to use. Is it a bit of extra work? Yes, it might be, but when you have universes as big as Marvel and DC have (and that's one of the things I like about superhero comics), it's worth to pay a little bit of attention to this little things many fans enjoy seeing done correctly. Or else we have stories like the one Slott and Templeton had as their last for She-Hulk. Rant mode off, sorry, let's get on with this week's dissections.
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S ONE OF THOSE LITTLE WHITE LIES PARENTS TELL THEIR KIDS."

TITLE: Action Comics

ISSUE: 857.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns & Richard Donner (writers).

DISSECTION: On the first page, Clark (age ten or so) goes down the list of his powers... and he's got all of Superman's powers as an adult! Yet recently, Clark told Chris (his foster son) that his powers had developed slowly over time....

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars, I'm hating this silveragization like you don't know it. Luckily the following issue with the start of the Legion storyline is better.
<-------------------------------->
"WHO-PERMAN?"

TITLE: Action Comics

ISSUE: 857.

CULPRIT: Eric Powell (penciller/inker).

DISSECTION: Never mind the horrible art, but on page 19, there's a panel where Powell doesn't bother drawing the "S" on Superman's chest.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"52 UNIVERSES CERTAINLY ISN'T ENOUGH..."

TITLE: All DCU titles I read the week of 10/24.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Richard Bruning (DC Creative Director, writer of that week's DC Nation).

DISSECTION: Bruning talks about Zuda, and says "What in the 52 multiverses..." There's not 52 multiverses, there's one multiverse, and 52 universes.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"DISSECT YOU, DISSECT ME."

TITLE: Black Panther V4.

ISSUE: 31.

CULPRIT: Val Staples (colorist).

DISSECTION: Alright, what's wrong with this page?


DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHITEOUT."

TITLE: Black Panther V4.

ISSUE: 31.

CULPRIT: Francis Portela (penciller/inker) and possibly Val Staples (colorist) too.

DISSECTION: On page 19, Storm's eyes are completely white, yet she's not using her powers.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, just because they can never get it right.
<-------------------------------->
"MARY, MARY."

TITLE: Countdown.

ISSUE: 27.

CULPRIT: Carlos Magno (penciller).

DISSECTION: Mary Marvel's boots, on page 12, have regular heels instead of stiletto ones, as she should have.

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars, at least she has heels.
<-------------------------------->
"CYCLONE MOVE SO FAST THAT NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT HER COSTUME LOOKS LIKE!"

TITLE: Multiple DC titles.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Multiple pencillers and colorists.

DISSECTION: Another badge to Miss Kitty Fantastico for this pretty extensive bit of research: "She's definitely not wearing shorts, that much is certain just from the same issue.

What with all these Cyclone costume goofs, I got curious last night and pulled all the Cyclone appearances I have (everything except the Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime one-shot) and checked them all. You know what? I think she's some kind of jinx - out of fifteen issues she appeared in, only one managed not to get her outfit wrong somehow.

Incidentally, in JSA #1, I also noticed that Power Girl is wearing green lipstick in one panel, where she's hovering in mid-air talking to Maxine. But anyway:

JSA #1, page 24 her pants are the wrong colour, page 36 her neckline is coloured as if it's her top, which we can see from other panels is wrong. #2, page 6 onwards her shirt is tucked in, where it was loose in #1 - that could be explained as saying she tucked it in sometime prior to the final panel of #1, though. Page 12 has the lower hem of her top wrong. In #3, page 13 her tank top is the wrong colour, page 17 the tank top isn't pencilled in, and her sleeves are missing. #4 page 22 her tank top's missing. #5 page 15, her cyclone symbol has a crease in it - the sketch notes in the hardcover specify that the symbol is a solid piece attached to her top, not a design printed onto the top's fabric, and every other close-up view of it has borne that out; on page 21 her tank top is the wrong colour, and on page 22 it's gone missing again.

JSA #6, page 1, her sleeve's missing. #7 page 15 her symbol's missing, maybe concealed by a fold in her top but that's stretching credibility a bit; on page 21 her tank top looks to be missing, though it may just be the angle we see her from - again, that's not very likely, but possible. #8 page 12, her tank top's the wrong colour. #9 page 5 her tank top and drape are the wrong colour, page 13 her sleeves are the wrong colour, and page 14 her sleeves, dress, stockings, shows and symbol are all the wrong colour (bloody hell). And in #10, in addition to the three already noted, her symbol is the wrong colour on page 1.

In other titles, in JLA #8 page 23 her right shoulder strap is the wrong colour, she doesn't appear in #9, in JLA #10 page 24 her tank top is missing, in Brave and the Bold #7 her shoulders are misdrawn and/or miscoloured, and in Green Lantern #24 her tank top's the wrong colour and her sleeves are missing.

Ironically, the only issue to get her right? Countdown #38. Maybe there's some sort of conservation of goofs going on - if Cyclone and Mary Marvel appear in the same issue, only one of them gets her outfit wrong.

Omitting the Superman-Prime special - I'm working on getting a scan of her appearance in that, probably just another one-panel one - she's appeared in 15 issues, on a total of 66 pages, and has racked up 34 errors.

That's got to be worth an honorary Autopsy Award.

I'd say the only way she could escape her costume jinx would be to just ditch the costume and become DC's first nudist superhero... but with her luck, the artists would probably keep forgetting the Brazilian every couple of pages.
"

Indeed, this will be some kind of Autopsy Award.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, just out of sheer volume.
<-------------------------------->
"GANTHET, SALAKK IS GIVING ME THE FINGER!"

TITLE: Green Lantern Corps V2.

ISSUE: 17.

CULPRIT: Patrick Gleason (cover penciller).

DISSECTION: Salakk's gloves are again fingerless, this time on the cover.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"OW, MY EYES!"

TITLE: She-Hulk V2.

ISSUE: 22.

CULPRIT: Peter David (writer).

DISSECTION: So, a small-time crook with a tech-suit calls himself "Hi-Lite", and has a light-based gimmick. Lasers, night-vision goggles, the works... yet his goggles don't have compensators for when the lights are turned on. Highly unlikely on a high-tech set of duds such as the ones he's wearing.

DISSECT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"HAND ME THE GREEN."

TITLE: She-Hulk V2.

ISSUE: 22.

CULPRIT: Avalon's Rob Ro (colorist).

DISSECTION: Miss Kitty Fantastico spotted this one; on page 18, Absorbing Man catches She-Hulk's fist in his left hand, but on one panel her hand is not colored green, as it should. Badge for MKF, of course.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"HEAVY METAL."

TITLE: She-Hulk V2.

ISSUE: 22.

CULPRIT: Avalon's Rob Ro (colorist).

DISSECTION: On page 24, the Absorbing Man has absorbed the properties of the chassis of a school bus... so if he's made of metal now, why is his skin still flesh-colored?

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHY MESS WITH A CLASSIC?"

TITLE: Superman/Batman.

ISSUE: 41.

CULPRIT: Dustin Nguyen (penciller).

DISSECTION: This book is stinking slightly less as of late, and Dustin Nguyen's art is decent. However, he made the same mistake Koi Turnbull did recently on Superman Confidential, that is, drawing treaded soles and heels on Superman's boots. Again, heels might be acceptable, but comic book Superman's costume has never shown treads on the boot soles.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. It's not horrible, but it's a pretty obvious detail of Superman's costume... I've even always assumed him to wear soft boots, almost thick socks...
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S THAT DYE TREND THAT GOES AROUND."

TITLE: Superman/Batman.

ISSUE: 41.

CULPRIT: Randy Mayor (colorist).

DISSECTION: On page 20, Perry White's hair is colored completely brown, without the grey temples he has. In fact, and I'm not considering this other thing a dissection because he's seen in the background, Perry looks too youthful... he looks like Han Solo in the original trilogy.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"CALIGRAPHIC CRISIS."

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Tom Wel... er, Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Ethan Van Sciver (cover artist).

DISSECTION: I'll overlook the fact that Van Sciver makes TWP (Tom Welling Prime) look like Superman, as if he were a completely adult man... but he draws a simple "S" as his chest scar, when he "drew" an actual "S-shield" on himself.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"CANARY CRY OF FASHION."

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Pete Woods (penciller for part of the book).

DISSECTION: Black Canary's uniform (particularly her boots) are not drawn correctly.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"THAT STRIPPER SURE GETS AROUND!"

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer) and/or Pete Woods (penciller for part of the book).

DISSECTION: Starfire is in a group shot, when she's supposedly de-powered. However, by now, seeing other characters from that shot, I'm willing to accept that this might be a bit in the future, where she has already regained her powers. Still... I'll be waiting....

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"BOOSTER? OH, YOU'RE HERE FOR THE STRIPPER!"

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer) and/or Pete Woods (penciller for part of the book).

DISSECTION: Booster Gold is in that group shot, and I don't know if he should go around doing public hero stuff... still, it's possible, and with Geoff Johns being one of the writers on Booster's book, I'll give this a low rating.

DISSECT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"YOU KNOW, RICHARD BRUNING SAYS THERE'S 52 MULTIVERSES...."

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Wally West says he can't believe TWP is dumb enough to set foot on Earth again, to which "our hero" answers that "Where else am I going to go. There aren't any other Earths." You'd think he'd know about the 52 universes by now, or at least, about the anti-matter universe, from where HE JUST CAME FROM with the rest of the Sinestro Corps.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"MINE WAS IN THE LAUNDRY, SO HAL LENT ME ONE OF HIS."

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jerry Ordway (penciller for part of the book).

DISSECTION: Ordway draws (apart from the correct scar "S" on TWP's chest) John Stewart with a classic GL uniform, instead of the customized one he's worn for years. Also, I'm not sure if Ordway does only the "classic" flashback scenes here, I think he also does the more recent ones.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I LOOK BETTER IN BLUE, DON'T I?"

TITLE: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Pete Woods (penciller for part of the book) and Brad Anderson (colorist).

DISSECTION: TWP flies into the sunlight, and one moment he's wearing a Sinestro Corps costume, and the next (even if he rips it up), he has Superman colored tights, briefs, and boots. Yes, he could have ripped off his Sinestro tights and boots too (thus proving that Superman boots are thick socks rather than actual boots), but the panels clearly show him only ripping his shirt. Yes, he can do it at greater speed, but still.

DISSECT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars, for the previous reasons.
<-------------------------------->
"I BORROWED ONE OF KAL'S CAPES."

TITLE: Teen Titans V3.

ISSUE: 52.

CULPRIT: Alé Garza (cover penciller) and (Rod Reis (colorist).

DISSECTION: On the cover, Supergirl's cape is missing the yellow trim.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"BRACELETS OR CASTS?"

TITLE: Teen Titans V3.

ISSUE: 52.

CULPRIT: Alé Garza (cover penciller).

DISSECTION: Wonder Girl's bracelets go almost up to her elbow; when they should go at most to mid-forearm (as interior penciller Igle draws them).

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"EYE CAN'T SEE!!!"

TITLE: The Flash V2.

ISSUE: 233.

CULPRIT: Freddie E. Williams II (penciller) and/or Tanya & Richard Horie (colorists).

DISSECTION: On page 12, Wally's eyes are completely white when he's in costume.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I'M STEALING NORMAN'S STUFF."

TITLE: Thunderbolts.

ISSUE: 117.

CULPRIT: Mike Deodato, Jr. (penciller/inker).

DISSECTION: Doc Samson asks the guards at Thunderbolts Mountain to return his laptop bag and briefcase, yet he entered carrying no such things. Furthermore, when a guard does give him his possessions back, he returns only one item, that seems to be a briefcase (and they don't return him his hat!).

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"LIGHTNING, SO FAST, IT'S GONE."

TITLE: Velocity-Pilot Season.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Uncredited artist.

DISSECTION: In both ads for the pilot season books, Velocity's lighting tattoo is missing from her face. She also appears to be wearing a slightly different uniform, so it might be some sort of new look for her new series, if she gets enough votes. This dissection was brought to you by Miss Kitty Fantastico, who earns yet another badge.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"PEOPLE WITH SUPERPOWERS? PREPOSTEROUS!"

TITLE: Velocity-Pilot Season.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Joe Casey (writer).

DISSECTION: Some military personnel see a speeding bogey on their radar, and say that "nothing" moves that fast. I know this isn't Marvel or DC, but the Top Cow universe does have a large number of superhuman, they shouldn't be so surprised.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"PET PEEVE #1, I THINK IT WAS."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 204.

CULPRIT: Mike Choi (penciller/inker).

DISSECTION: Beast.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"JEFF'S ANATOMY."

TITLE: X-Men V2.

ISSUE: 204.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer).

DISSECTION: Mean Jeff wrote a few weeks ago, just after reading the preview pages of this issue: "Herr Dissector,

I realize this is jumping the gun by a week, but my brain is on the verge of IMPLODING beneath the weight of my Lewis Black-esque rage/frustration at more Marvel craptaculaciousness. Seriously, the title 'Editor' apparently is only that, a TITLE, as opposed to an actual job fucking description.

(...)

Put a gander on the first page, with Beast orally citing his notes. Notice he uses medical terms: maxilla, scapula, collarbone (hey, as a doctor, my colleagues and I have been known to use collarbone instead of clavicle many a time so I'll let it slide here), and then 'Upper and Lower Leg Bones'. Upper and lower leg bones? {Sound of pages swishing} No...can't seem to...huh. What d'you know? Ain't no such thing as Upper Leg Bone or Lower Leg Bone in my Marieb or Netter texts. Oh, wait, I know why...CUZ THAT'S NOT WHAT THEY'RE FUCKING CALLED!!! Especially since "lower leg bone" could be one of TWO bones (tibia and fibula, in case you were wondering). What. The. Fuck.

One panel is all it takes to make Beast go from astute egghead doctor type with a 25 cent vocabulary to carries a lunchpail and rides the short bus filler character. Seriously, they'd've done less damage if Beast reported that Cannonball broke "one of his below the waist thingees."

And if Cannonball HAD broken his upper leg bone (which is connected to the hip bone and that's connected to the....back bone and the back bone's connected to the....neck bone.....) why would his leg be supported ALOFT, in a vacuum tube like thingee that's clearly supporting the LOWER leg bone (which is connected to the ankle bone and that's connected to the....) and there's nothing splinting the upper leg--oh for fuck's sake, it's a FEMUR!! FEMUR!!!--so it's obviously NOT broken. Hell, even Joe Thiesmann's looking at this and saying it's fucking wrong.

I spell lazy: M-A-R-V-E-L.
"

Wow... my readers get very riled up sometimes... but this was the qualified opinion of a physician. Who are we to disagree. I did have to look up who Joe Theismann and Lewis Black are. I wasn't surprised not to know Theissman, with my complete obliviousness to sports in general and American football in particular; but Lewis Black seems to be a comedian who's routines I'd enjoy.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. I won't disagree, but it's possible that Sam has broken all of his leg bones; but still, it's not consistent with Beasts vocabulary in the same scene, and in general.
<-------------------------------->
I'm making another change right here and now, there won't be any DAYAMN or WTF moments anymore, just a section called "Moments Of The Week". The moments will range from the "cool!" to the "what where they thinking?", to the "that's weird..." This week we have three moments, starting with more hardcoreness from Green Lantern Corps:


Yes, Kilowog drops an aircraft carrier (which seems oddly small, but it might be a matter of perspective) on Arkillo, then tears off his finger to strip him of his power ring. Kick-ass! The second moment of the week is definitely of the "wow, that's weird" variety, with Starro the Conqueror bringing cupcakes to a bedridden Superman:


Strange things happen... And the last Moment Of The Week would have been a WTF, look at this image from Superman #669's "The Third Kryptonian":


Yes, Kryptonians used lightsabers!!! Well, that's all for this column, we had a pretty high 6.6 Bazzars, and some nice dissections. That's it for now, until next week, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...

THE DISSECTOR!

4 comments:

Miss Kitty Fantastico said...

For DT, is it Emma's pants? I don't know what she's wearing in the rest of the issue, but the mid-page panel has two lines crossing her hip, coloured white from the top one down, as if they're the belt on her pants. But she's got bare legs in the next panel - if she's going pantsless, we should be able to see skin, not white, below the waistband in the panel above. Unless she's wearing enormous panties, of course, but I'd pegged her for more of a thong/g-string kind of woman.

Or possibly it's her lips - the reference I have shows them more or less, silver/white, like her costume, not blue as here. I'm not very familiar with the X-Men and their slice of Marvel, so I'm not sure if she's got various lipstick colours, or if it's meant to be always the ice white.

Since you've got the Superman-Prime special, can I take it Cyclone's costume is done right in that one? That'd make two correct, out of sixteen appearances.

Anonymous said...

For Dissect This is it that Emma has no pupils in the final panel? Or that Storm also has no pupils in the same panel (I doubt it is this one as you would have pretty much told us the answer in the very next dissection, ha ha)?

On a completely unrelated note, your Halloween sounded as fun as mine. We went to the cinema to watch a re-release of Dracula (with Christopher Lee) and then onto a rock/indie music club that had cheap drinks. All in costume of course, good times.

The Guvnor Paul C said...

Erm...that was me. Hit the wrong button by mistake. Whoops!

MaGnUs said...

MKF is right about Emma's clothes, but I hadn't noticed that... this is a coloring error... and Emma has pupils in that panel, just weirdly drawn... and Storm COULD be using her powers in that page.

Keep on guessing, and yes, Halloween was good. As for Cyclone, I didn't notice any mistakes, but you've got a sharper eye for her costume than I do, MKF.