Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Dissector #48.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)

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

"Kid... You're fired. We get back to Earth, you're demoted to Excalisuck or some damn team." Wolverine, to Armor, Astonishing X-Men V3 #23.

Alright, so this column is actually out on time; as I'm finishing it on early Wednesday morning when it's due on Thursday. Yet, all this rushing to get on track did make me forget that... this past Sunday, November 11th (not 12th, as I said a few weeks ago), was the column's second birthday!!! Yes, two years ago The Nitpicker's Column made it's first appearance, in issue #549 of the now sadly extinct Comic Book Electronic Magazine (or CBEM, for shorts, you can check the still read-worthy archive here).

Editor David LeBlanc generously accepted my offer of writing this new column, and said in his editorial, about the first one "The Emag is also on the move, ever-changing, ever-evolving. After the recent success of COMICS OBSCURA in our pages we were offered another new column which should prove a bit interesting. Some of you may react strongly - either agree or disagree with the analysis offered. My criteria is that it is on topic and written well. Check out THE NITPICKER starting this week and see if you have an opinion."

I, myself, opened the first column with "Hello, welcome to The Nitpicker's Column, where in a (hopefully) weekly basis I'll bring to your attention bring some mistakes, goofs, mix-ups and the like, that I find on the comics I read that week.". A lot has changed, like a converted Muslim, the column has a new name; that first installment didn't have a closing comment or Bazzar average; and of course, things like the Picks Of The Week, or the Quote Of The Week weren't even a glimmer in my eye. In fact, I was usually unable to keep a weekly schedule, and that first column only has 7 nits! What was I reading? Who was featured in that first column?

Well, there were Star Wars books, Infinite Crisis, House Of M, Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, Brian Michael Bendis, and some guy name Haden Blackman, who I haven't heard of again, and frankly, I don't regret that, since I didn't like how he wrote Rogue Squadron. And on my own front? Well, let's say my writing style wasn't even half as good as the humble attempts at wordsmithing I do today, so it's kind of painful to read that column, in a sense. Thanks David, for that early shot at writing, and to Jeffery D. Sykes, editor of the Kryptonian Cybernet, where I published my first piece of comic criticism, a Silver Age Superman review.

A lot has changed in my life since that first Nitpicker, too. I've changed jobs, to a new, much better one; I've traveled to Australia, one of the places I've always wanted to visit; I've been offered to write in a couple of books; my son has grown up beautifully, and I've gained a sizeable amount of loyal readers. Enough reminiscing, I don't want to bore you all. I know I promised that this week we'd have a column with my favorite nits, but I just didn't have the time. If work is nice to me, I'll try to have the nominees to the Autopsy Awards for best dissections in each category for you, my faithful readers to vote on. Then, after a week or two of voting, by the end of the month, I'll publish a special column with the results of the Awards.

So, before going on with the column, I must admit that last week's dissection about Psylocke being in that X-Men pin-up wasn't as accurate as I'd like. Matías N., fellow writer from ICS.net pointed out that the Asian girl in that group shot is probably meant to be Armor (as evidenced by the haircut and sleeveless costume), who joined Cyclops' team in Astonishing X-Men. Still, if that's the case, Djurdjevic still goofed up when he colored her hair purple, when it's black. Furthermore, as Astonishing happens before the current storylines, Armor does not appear to be a part of the senior X-Men squads; and in fact, there have been a few indications that point to her once more being part of the younger team, the New X-Men. Badge for you, Matías.

With that out of the way, let me tell you that the Guvnor Paul C figured out (amidst several shots) that the problem with last column's Dissect This! was that Himmler's eyeballs are about the size of a human fist in one panel, then normal-sized in the following ones (and they had been normal in the pages and issues before). Good job Guvnor, here's another badge for ya! So, you want to know which are the Dissector's Picks Of The Week? Sure thing; best book of the week was without doubt All-New Atom #17, and it's about the second or third time this book is picked as best of the week; even those weeks where it wasn't, it was still of the top five reads.

Gail Simone doesn't miss a bit with her story, and when there's a fill-in, it's still entertaining and well-crafted. The same can be said about Mike Norton's art, simple but consistent, well inked by Trevor Scott, and superbly colored by Alex Bleyaert, who understands that "simple" does not mean "bland" or "insufferably bright:. This particular issue shows how human, young, and still naive (but at the same time believing in human potential) is Ryan Choi, and how jaded some of DC's older guard heroes have become. Read it, you'll like it.

The worst book is one that was already kind of bad with the first issue, and that unfortunately, doesn't show any signs of getting better. I'm talking about Infinity Inc. V2, with a confusing story by Peter Milligan, along with bad art from Max Fiumara & Travel Foreman, which makes the story even more difficult to follow, because it's hard to tell the difference between some characters. Add on top of that that Dom Regan's colors are really stomach-turning, and you've got yourself an awful comic. Alright, let's get on with this week's dissections, shall we?
<-------------------------------->
"WHO SAID THAT?"

TITLE: 2001 Maniacs Hornbook.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Uncredited letterer.

DISSECTION: This is not from a new book; or rather, it kind of is. A few months ago, Avatar published a preview book for 2001 Maniacs, with previews of the story, interviews, making of, etc. But on page ten of the book, second one of the story preview, they omitted one the character's speech balloons, and gave him another one's. See below:


DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"APOKOLIPS WILL DRESS YOU UP FOR SLAVE LABOR."

TITLE: Countdown To Final Crisis.

ISSUE: 25.

CULPRIT: Ron Lim (penciller).

DISSECTION: Well, I was beginning to fear that I would have no nits for this issue! But Matt Brady from Newsarama (another badge for him, not that he cares), for asking Adam Beechen and Mike Carlin the following: "Well, hey - there must be some labor - obviously, there must be some - he (Jimmy Olsen) was beaten out of his clothes in #26, and here he's fully dressed.", to which Beechen and Carlin responded, respectively "On Apokolips all molecules immediately become unstable." and "Ha-- or so that charlatan Professor Richards would have you believe!"

Yeah, keep sidestepping the questions guys. On a happier note, it seems, based on that same interview, that Giffen is still doing layouts. Perhaps he just missed a couple of issues of layouts (or at least complete layouts) and had to be billed only as story consultant.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"DISSECT IT... IN RED!"

TITLE: Countdown Presents The Search For Ray Palmer: Red Rain.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Kelley Jones, Eric Battle & Angel Unzueta (pencillers).

DISSECTION: I'm not familiar enough with styles of any of those pencillers to sort out who did what page (in fact, I don't think I'd ever heard of Battle before), but try to spot the pretty easy dissection in this page.


DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
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"VAMPIRES ARE NOT REAL!!!! COME, LET'S FLY THANKS MY ALMOST-MAGICALLY POWERED RING, YOU DARK AVENGER WHO CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!"

TITLE: Countdown Presents The Search For Ray Palmer: Red Rain.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Peter Johnson (writer).

DISSECTION: So, Jason Todd and Kyle Rayner, who each have more than enough experience with the supernatural, are attacked by long-fanged, point-eared, bestial-faced hobos, yet they don't believe they've found vampires? Right.

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"SO MANY CRISIS(ES)!"

TITLE: The Dissector.

ISSUE: 47.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: I just caught myself doing this mistake when I was about to save the draft for this column (as if it was finished); and corrected it. However, I wondered, have I made this mistake in last column too? Turns out that yes, when talking about the worst book of the week, I called it "Countdown to INFINITE Crisis", when it should be "Final Crisis". Say, a question... do you think I should go back and correct my mistakes (when I notice them a good time after posting), or leave them as they are?

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

TITLE: Metal Men V4.

ISSUE: 04 of 08.

CULPRIT: Pat Brosseau (letterer).

DISSECTION: Gold's speech balloon on page 8 is wrongly placed.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"SHE'S RIPPED."

TITLE: Midnighter.

ISSUE: 13.

CULPRIT: Jon Landry (penciller).

DISSECTION: On the first panel of page 19, Midnighter rips off most of the front part of Rosie's shirt, leaving her breasts exposed, which she covers with her arms. Yet by the second to last panel of that page, her shirt covers all of her midriff, when there didn't seem to be enough fabric to do that. In fact, by the following page, we can see that she's tied up her shirt, leaving her midriff exposed.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
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"I JUST QUICK-BOOM TUBED TO APOKOLIPS, AND GOT MY CLOTHES REGENERATED, LIKE JIMMY!"

TITLE: Midnighter.

ISSUE: 13.

CULPRIT: Jon Landry (penciller).

DISSECTION: Same situation as above, Rosie's shirt's been torn to shreds by Midnighter from the collar down, yet on page 20 the only area of the garment that shows that level of deterioration is the knotted-up lower-half.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"HE. IS. ALFRED."

TITLE: Robin V2.

ISSUE: 168.

CULPRIT: Peter Milligan (writer).

DISSECTION: Damian, Batman's son, is enough of a Ninja Badass (TM) to beat R'as' best guards, and to kick the snot out of Robin (twice), yet Alfred can sneak up on him AND push him?

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
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"BADGERING."

TITLE: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Vulcans.

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Josep Maria Beroy (penciller/inker).

DISSECTION: Most of the badges in the book don't have the department insignia, as it's usual for IDW's Star Trek books. I'm tired of this, as in fact, some characters are not even wearing badges at all at times. This comic was actually good, if nothing extraordinary.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"KAN'T KAUSE ME INKOVINIENCE WITH YOUR FAKE KRYPTONITE!"

TITLE: Superman V1.

ISSUE: 670.

CULPRIT: Kurt Busiek (writer).

DISSECTION: This was a better installment (and the final one) of the "Third Kryptonian" storyline, but Busiek has Superman, Supergirl, and Power Girl, all affected by synthetic Kryptonite flechettes, when Power Girl, as a denizen of Earth-2, should not be affected by this universe's Kryptonite.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. It might just be that this synth-K has less power, but a broader spectrum than real K.
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S A KITCHEN GLOVE."

TITLE: Superman V1.

ISSUE: 670.

CULPRIT: Rick Leonardi (penciller) and Alex Sinclair (colorist).

DISSECTION: Batman fights the guy hunting down Kryptonians, using the Fortress of Solitude's arsenal, and ends up wounded, and with his costume damaged, to the point of losing his left-hand glove. Yet on page 30, he's got some weird kind of red glove on his hand, but with blue "forearm spikes", when it had been show that he had lost his glove and sleeve almost up to the elbow.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. A red glove??!!?
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"PET PEEVE #1"

TITLE: Uncanny X-Men.

ISSUE: 492.

CULPRIT: Billy Tan (penciller).

DISSECTION: Beast.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
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"THIS IS OF NO USE TO S.H.I.E.L.D.."

TITLE: Several Marvel titles released the week of 11-07.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Uncredited writer.

DISSECTION: Several Marvel issues this last week included some bonus material, including a section of supposedly secret data that Nick Fury collected for use as leverage on the X-Men if he should need it. First of all, there's some information that's not "in character" data, such as X-Men references in a Weird Al song, or how Storm was originally conceived as a different character by Dave Cockrum. Those are pieces of information nick Fury could use as leverage, because to him, they're not even real.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
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"YEAH, SOME LEVERAGE."

TITLE: Several Marvel titles released the week of 11-07.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Uncredited writer.

DISSECTION: Some of the information, such as the fact that Wolverine's claws don't come out of any permanent holes but rather create wounds every time they are unsheathed, are not things that can be used as leverage of any kind.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
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"TONY, YOU DRUNK BASTARD, QUIT STEALING MY DESIGNS!"

TITLE: Several Marvel titles released the week of 11-07.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Uncredited writer.

DISSECTION: Now for a specifically factual error; the "file" says that Nightcrawler's image inducer was invented by Tony Stark, when it was actually designed by Charles Xavier (probably based on Sh'iar tech), and then built by Stark Enterprises.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHO'S THAT MORPH?"

TITLE: Several Marvel titles released the week of 11-07.

ISSUE: N/A.

CULPRIT: Tom Grummett (writer of comments on his own sketches, since he'll be artist for New Exiles).

DISSECTION: Another section of the bonus material is character sketches and descriptions for the upcoming first issue of New Exiles (did we need another #1? No, we didn't... GAHHH!!!), and it includes a description of Morph, that says, among other things "MORPH is Morph.". but no, he's NOT Morph, he's actually a version Proteus that believes he's Morph, something Claremont had been ignoring in Exiles. He finally made a passing reference to him not being Morph in the most recent issue of "X-Men: Die By The Sword".

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"ARTIE, HOW YOU'VE GROWN!"

TITLE: Infinity Inc. V2.

ISSUE: 03.

CULPRIT: Dom Regan (colorist).

DISSECTION: In addition to how bad this book's been, on page 2, the psychologist's skin is colored a bright pink. Normal humans don't have that skin color.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
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Short and sweet column that puts me up to date, and hopefully, I'll be able to spend the next days finishing the prep work for the Autopsy Awards (apart from reading this week's books, of course). The average was 6.6 Bazzars, not bad for such a short column (to be fair, there's a handful of books I haven't received yet). As mentioned before, soon (on Sunday, most likely) I'll post the nominees for the categories that are up for vote. Before I forget, here's the Moment Of The Week, which is actually kind of retro, as it comes from the Jimmy Olsen special DC released with Jack Kirby stories from Jimbo's own book. Check it out, it's a creature genetically engineered from Jimmy's DNA, some gamma rays, and the King's own eyebrow-DNA!


That's it for now, until next week, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...

THE DISSECTOR!

5 comments:

Miss Kitty Fantastico said...

Dissect This: it looks like the band around Donna's bicep is missing in the top panel.

So from last week's, Wolverine's eyes were blue? Darnit, I was misled by faulty research material - I checked eye colours, but the nearest Wolverine appearance to hand was Wolverine #48 (I think - the last proper Civil War tie-in) and his eyes were brown there, too.

Thanks for stopping by Heroine Addict - this week's reviews should be up shortly, along with the first-ever Heroine Addict cartoon :) .

The Guvnor Paul C said...

Happy birthday! Hopefully there will be many more. As for correcting yourself in previous columns, I think you should leave the errors as they are. If done the other way, say a person was to read you dissecting yourself and then look for the original, the mistake would have been fixed and it would leave them confused.

For Dissect This, I'm not sure but it looks like the girl is jumping down to land in the middle-right drawing, yet in the next panel she is zooming off into the air again.

MaGnUs said...

Yup, blue eyes, MKF. I'll stop by Heroine Addict later if I can.

Guvnor, thanks for the happy bday wishes, and I agree with you in the correcting myself.

Both guesses are wrong for Dissect This!

The Guvnor Paul C said...

Further to what MKF was saying, Wolverine's eyes are also brown on the cover to this week's New Avengers #36 and have been throughout that arc. There is definitely some inconsistency with that regards.

MaGnUs said...

Thanks for the heads up Guvnor, I hadn't noticed.