Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Dissector #50.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)

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

"A bazillion bucks in C.G.I. and he still looks like Shrek." Anonymous moviegoer about a Hulk movie, She-Hulk V2 #23. I knew I wasn't alone.

Yes, I'm late, I know it. Let's get this show started, then. That quote up there is exactly what I think about the Hulk movie by Ang Lee... thank Stan another one is coming. Welcome to the 50th column! Last week we had a creator sighting, as Scott Wegener, talented artist for Atomic Robo admits to certain Mignola similarities, all in good humor, in the comments section of the last column (in the blog).

Plus, and probably Scott's doing, Red 5 Comics published a listing of good reviews for their books, and they loved that I picked it as best book of the week, even linking back to us. Thank you, even if it highlighted an error on my part (see below)!

Speaking of The Dissector's Picks Of The Week, this week's (11/21) best book was Action Comics #859, which despite several misgivings on my part gave us a good Legion Of Superheroes story. What misgivings? Well, at first I was scared of what Geoff Johns could do to the LSH, after what he did with that Bizarro story; he could have turned this into another Silver Age rehash.

I was surprised to see that he didn't do that, he actually took Silver Age elements and spun them into a great story. Gary Frank's costume designs, as well as his buildings and other non-living elements are excellent, greatly enhanced by Joe Sibal's inks and Dave McCaig's colors, with adequate lettering by Rob Leigh. My only problem with Frank's art is that, as someone said, he makes everyone look like raving lunatics, with teeth-showing forced grins and grimaces, and wide open eyes. But a good comic, and I'm looking forward to the next installment... you know how I loves me some Legion.

The worst book of the week, on the other hand, was one of the books I was looking forward to the most. Countdown Presents: The Search For Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight, as much as I love Victorian settings (and as much as I loved the original Gotham By Gaslight book, also written by Brian Augustyn), I find that Augustyn's plot is flat, and contains what is one of the most stupid plot points in recent years (see the Moments Of The Week at the end of this column).

Greg Tocchini's art (with inks by Jesse Delperdang, Derek Fridoffs and Paul Neary, and colors by Rod Reis) is passable, but nothing to write home about. I did enjoy seeing Victorian Blue Beetle, though. Is it me, or do these Search For Ray Palmer books are getting more and more pointless with every installment.

Now as to last week's Dissect This!, Batman says that berkelium and californium have no useful applications, and while the former has no known uses outside of basic research and plays no biological role; californium has several uses (although not the point of, say, uranium). Among its uses, it can be employed in neutron startup source for some nuclear reactors, treatment of certain cervical and brain cancers where other radiation therapy is ineffective, and airport detectors of explosives.

Yes, the urban legend about pocket nukes using Cf isn't true, but you can't say it has no uses. What else can I say? Let's get on with the nits!
<-------------------------------->
"ACSHUN COMICS."

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

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

DISSECTION: On page one Lightning Lad says "make due" instead of "make do"; yes, it's between quotation marks in the comic too, so it could be a
pun...

DISSECT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S NOT REALLY HIM."

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Superman's powers are defined as "flight, super strength, super sensory powers." No invulnerability, heat vision, super speed, etc?

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"OH, THOSE AREN'T THANAGARIAN?"

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Dawnstar is defined by Earth-Man as human, when she's an alien. He'd know better, I mean, he considers the Legion founders (who look completely human) aliens, and Dawnstar has wings.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"DID WE CAPTURE THE REAL ULTRA BOY?"

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: No mention is made, on page 20, of Ultra Boy's Penetra Vision or Flash Vision.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"ULTRA THIS, ULTRA THAT."

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Ultra Boy did not have "Ultra Vision", he had "Penetra Vision" and "Flash Vision".

DISSECT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"DIDN'T I HAVE SOME EXTRA POWERS?"

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 859.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Invisible Kid's powers, on that same page, don't mention his ability to teleport.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"FIGURE IT OUT ON YOURSELF, IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUR WEBSITE."

TITLE: Army@Love (DC/Vertigo).

ISSUE: 09.

CULPRIT: Most likely Travis Lanham (letterer).

DISSECTION: The website for the recaps is given as "army@love.com", when the correct one is "armyatlove.com", and of course, you can't have a "@" in a website url.

DISSECT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars, I don't know if it's been done in previous issues, and I'm too lazy to check.
<-------------------------------->
"IT'S TIME TO BE RIGHT."

TITLE: Army@Love (DC/Vertigo).

ISSUE: 09.

CULPRIT: Rick Veitch (writer/penciller) and/or Travis Lanham (letterer).

DISSECTION: Switzer uses military time to say she's got to be up at 5 in the morning, but the balloon says "0:500", when the correct written notation is "05:00"; if she's speaking it, as she is, it should read "oh five hundred".

DISSECT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WHO ARE YOU, IN THE MR. MIRACLE UNIFORM? AND IS THAT A DEAD STRIPPER?"

TITLE: Birds Of Prey (DC).

ISSUE: 112.

CULPRIT: Tony Bedard (writer).

DISSECTION: A memorial is held for Big Barda, with both the presence of her body, and Mr. Miracle's attendance. It's been show in Death Of The New Gods that immediately after the other heroes helped him process the crime scene, Miracle and Superman took her body to New Genesis where a funeral was held, and her body was even "cremated".

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I LEFT IN MY JEWELRY BOX."

TITLE: Birds Of Prey (DC).

ISSUE: 112.

CULPRIT: David Cole (penciller).

DISSECTION: Vixen is not wearing her Tantu Totem.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"A-HA, SO YOU'RE NOT MR. MIRACLE! ARE YOU A MALE STRIPPER?"

TITLE: Birds Of Prey (DC).

ISSUE: 112.

CULPRIT: Hi-Fi (colorist).

DISSECTION: Mr. Miracle's costume is colored in his traditional red, yellow and green, instead of the darker tones he's adopted after Barda's Death. At least Barda's gloves are yellow.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WELCOME TO EDWARDS AIR BASE, WHERE THE FLOORS ARE CUSHY."

TITLE: Birds Of Prey (DC).

ISSUE: 112.

CULPRIT: David Cole (penciller).

DISSECTION: On page 21, Zinda Blake lands a helicopter in what's supposed to be an abrupt way... and the floor seems to react as if it is a mattress or canvas.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I'M DOING THAT EARTH-SOMETHING EYE SWITCHEROO, LIKE DAD USED TO."

TITLE: Brave And The Bold V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Tom Smith (colorist).

DISSECTION: Jai West's eyes are colored green, when they're actually dark (black or brown) in Flash's own book.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"... AND WITH THE HAIR TOO."

TITLE: Brave And The Bold V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Tom Smith (colorist).

DISSECTION: Jai's hair is distinctly colored brown instead of black.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"PARDON MY FRENCH."

TITLE: Brave And The Bold V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Mark Waid (writer) and/or Rob Leigh (letterer).

DISSECTION: Metamorpho greets Flash's wife in French, but the word "recountrer" should be spelled "recontrer". Plus, the construction of the phrase is weird, but I won't count that since Rex is not a native speaker of the language.

DISSECT-O-METER: 2 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"USELESS INFORMATION."

TITLE: Various Marvel titles published the week of 11/21 (Marvel).

ISSUE: N/A

CULPRIT: Unknown.

DISSECTION: This time it's the Avengers' turn to be featured in "Fury's Files", and again there's information that, contrary to what it says in the intro, could not be used as leverage either because of its irrelevancy (such as Hawkeye throwing barbeques to celebrate victories) or out of character (Firestar having been originally created for "Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends").

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars, double (counts as two dissections).
<-------------------------------->
"BRUCE, DUDE, WE GOTTA STOP CHASING THE DRAGON."

TITLE: Countdown Presents: The Search For Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Steve Wands (letterer).

DISSECTION: On page 9, a speech balloon for Bruce Wayne is actually coming from Dan Garrett.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"A GIANT WEREBAT? NO CLUE."

TITLE: Countdown Presents: The Search For Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Brian Augustyn (writer).

DISSECTION: Apart from what I think of this story, when pursuing a giant werebat, any hero from the DC Universe would know about Man-Bat. Plus, Jason Todd would at least know about Kirk Langström, and suspect that, if Bruce Wayne is Batman in this Earth, then the same can apply for Man-Bat (even if eventually the actual identity of the monster is much lamer).

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"THISH EARTH HASH THE BESHT BOOZSHE!"

TITLE: Countdown Presents: The Search For Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Brian Augustyn (writer).

DISSECTION: Kyle Rayner mentions on page 23 that he might see this Earth's Blue Beetle again "right after the next 131 worlds."; to which "Bob" answers "There are only fifty-two worlds, Jason (...)" Jason? Uhm, Bob, so you weren't actually "recording data" and "learning" while you were apart from the rest, were you? You were drinking absinth!

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!"

TITLE: Countdown To Final Crisis (DC).

ISSUE: 23.

CULPRIT: Paul Dini (writer) and/or Keith Giffen (story consultant).

DISSECTION: Superman Prime claims to be the only superhero (no dash, yes) of his world, but Ultraa was also from Earth Prime, originally.

DISSECT-O-METER: 1 Bazzar, this could just TWP's pride speaking, or just his ignorance.
<-------------------------------->
"WE'RE NOT REAL DOMINATORS..."

TITLE: Countdown To Final Crisis (DC).

ISSUE: 23.

CULPRIT: Tom Derenick (penciller).

DISSECTION: The Dominators on page 17 have forehead disks that are a bit too large for simple military officers (a Captain and a lower-ranked officer), plus the Captain has a smaller disk than his subordinate does.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"OH NO, HE STOLE MY MOJO!"

TITLE: Countdown To Final Crisis (DC).

ISSUE: 23.

CULPRIT: Scott Beatty (writer for backup origin tale).

DISSECTION: In the backup origin story for Mr. Myxyzptlk, Mxy himself says that his dimension's science is "so sophisticated it looks like sorcery" to us people of the third dimension. This seemingly settles a long debate in the comics fan community as to whether his powers came from magic or technology. At one point in the origin story, he refers to his abilities at "magical mojo", but that's just him being euphemistic.

However, the "Powers And Weapons" section at the end of the backup feature says he has "magical powers" and creates "magical mischief", with no reference to the fact his powers are actually technological in nature.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars, he could be lying.
<-------------------------------->
"DISSECTIVE COMICS."

TITLE: Detective Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 838.

CULPRIT: Ryan Benjamin (penciller).

DISSECTION: Tell me what you see wrong in this panel (besides the not so nice art).

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"ALFRED, BUTLER OF THE BAT."

TITLE: Detective Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 838.

CULPRIT: Paul Dini (writer).

DISSECTION: Alright, so Alfred is not only capable of inhuman computer building feats (Batman Confidential), sneaking up on Damian as a ninja, but he's also capable of besting Ubu (or whatever his name/title is), a professional killer trained by the League of Assasins? Please...

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"ATOMIC DISSECTION."

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 49.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: Soooooo, as mentioned, Red 5 Comics referenced my picking of Atomic Robo #2 as book of the week last column... but when I read what they quoted from my column, I noticed that I had made a mistake. The sentence "(...) but also touching moments that show that in a very effective way make you care (...)" doesn't make sense; that "that show" shouldn't be there. Embarrassing, but I had started writing a different thing and changed my mind, but didn't backspace enough.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"AGENT, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO EXAMINE THAT WOUND... VERY CLOSELY."

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

ISSUE: 02.

CULPRIT: Harvey Tolibao (penciller/inker).

DISSECTION: An interesting tale by Christos Gage, as expected from such a writer, and nice (if lacking in life) art by Tolibao. It's Tolibao, incidentally, who doesn't seem to have read Gage's script. One of Tony's S.H.I.E.L.D. agents is wounded by Bloodscream, and he leaves a hand-shaped mark on her sternum (and part of her boobs).

She's told that until she gets plastic surgery, she'll have to stop wearing low-cut gowns, and she answers "Good. I don't have the rack for 'em anyway". Problem is, she IS wearing a dress with a revealing cleavage, and appears to be at least large C-cup or small D-cup (I might be getting the measures wrong, just check out the pic below).

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars, Tolibao should read the script instead of drawing generic bimbos.
<-------------------------------->
"COSTUMER!"

TITLE: New X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: David Finch ("A" cover penciller).

DISSECTION: Finch makes several mistakes in this cover. The first is that the costumes of the New X-Men squad don't match the ones they wear inside the book (which we'll call the definitive version, since this is their book and Ramos is their official penciller now). As said, Ramos' version of the uniform is the one I'll guide myself by, and even if they're different to what we saw last issue of this book, they could have personalized them, so Scot Eaton's error in X-Factor #25 still stands.

Differences include the shape of the gauntlets and boots (not the size, as Ramos' manga-influenced style makes those things ginormous), and what skin individual costumes cover, not to mention the actual pattern of the black/yellow colors (Ramos' version has Surge's costume with a huge yellow "X" all over across the bodice, while Finch only gives her a central yellow band, a la old New Mutant costumes).

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WEREN'T YOU WORKING OUT?"

TITLE: New X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: David Finch ("A" cover penciller).

DISSECTION: More on Finch's cover, he draws Anole with a regular-sized right arm, when it's now about twice as big (or, if you believe Ramos, as big as his torso).

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"CHICKS LIKE IT WHEN I PRETEND TO BE BEN GRIMM III."

TITLE: New X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: David Finch ("A" cover penciller).

DISSECTION: We keep on going; Finch draws Rockslide in his first body, the "grey Thing" look, when he's gone through a few different shapes, now a different look than his original one (a more rock golem kind of thing).

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I'VE BEEN PRACTICING CONTROL..."

TITLE: New X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: David Finch ("A" cover penciller).

DISSECTION: Three down, two more to go; Surge, as anyone who's read the character knows, wears very clunky gauntlets to control her power; yet on the cover, she wears gauntlets that look basically the same as what the rest of the team wears.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"I'M WEARING EXTENSIONS."

TITLE: New X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 44.

CULPRIT: David Finch ("A" cover penciller).

DISSECTION: Last one, Hellion's hair is slightly longer, and in completely different style than inside the book. Speaking of this issue, Armor appears in it, and her hair hasn't been dyed purple. So that was indeed Djurdjevic's mistake.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"IF YOU CAN BE A SUPERHERO..."

TITLE: The Flash V2 (DC).

ISSUE: 234.

CULPRIT: Mark Waid & John Rogers (writers).

DISSECTION: In the backup story, Iris says that she's a combat photographer. I had never heard of her being that, as far as I remember, she was a reporter... and all accounts I could find in the intarwebz only confirm that, no mention of her being a photographer, much less a combat one.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"WE ARE FAMILY!"

TITLE: X-Men: Emperor Vulcan (Marvel).

ISSUE: 03 of 05.

CULPRIT: Christopher Yost (writer). I wonder why he's credited as "Chris" in New X-Men and "Christopher" here. Is this because this is a grown-up book, with adult X-Men?

DISSECTION: Havok says to Marvel Girl that she is his family "now". NOW? JUST NOW, YOU UNCARING PRICK?

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars.
<-------------------------------->
"A MATTER OF GRAVITY."

TITLE: X-Men: Emperor Vulcan (Marvel).

ISSUE: 03 of 05.

CULPRIT: Christopher Yost (writer).

DISSECTION: The Scy'ar Tal, an alien race from which the Shi'ar stole the M'Kraan crystal (in fact, their name used to be M'Kran) have a weapon with which they drop "baby stars" through Shi'ar stargates, and used it to destroy the planet Feather's Edge by dropping one into their orbit. Ooook.... using stars as ammo... I'll let that one pass... But in this issue the X-Men, Starjammers, and Shi'ar find the Scy'ar Tal's "ammo depot", and it's a "solar nursery", with "dosenz of stars (...) all in one place"; and starships and space stations can just cruise around, without being pulled into a star or torn apart. Right-y-o.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, I don't care what your technology level is, these are STARS, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the Starjammer's ship being stopped by a tractor beam, so there's no way they could navigate through a maze of stars!
<-------------------------------->
Well, that's it for now. We had a very modest 5.7 Bazzars average, and it's time for the Moments Of The Week. The first one comes from the best book of the week (according to me), and it's a very inspirational scene, as it's usual with a team like the Legion:

You see what I mean about Gary Frank making people look like maniacs? Colossal Boy here is supposed be inspired, hopeful, but Frank makes him look like he's planning on killing old ladies!

Angel: After The Fall was a good start for the continuation of the show, and better quality than IDW's Star Trek books. Also, it had a moment that made me go whoa:

Gunn is a vampire! And now, the lamest moment in recent comic book history:

You mean to say that a piece of technology (because that is what a Green Lantern ring is) was infected by vampirism, because one of them bloodsuckers bit an energy shield projected by the ring? Please... even if Kyle does retain some of Starheart energy Jade gave him (which is mystical), and unconsciously manifests it, I don't believe that a vampire could infect it by biting a shield.

Well, I just noticed, not a single HDSC badge this week! Also, I've extended the voting period for the Autopsy Awards until next column. That's it for now, until next week, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...

THE DISSECTOR!

2 comments:

Dragon Comics said...

I'm baaaack
Dissect of the week: The gloves don't have the "bat-spikes"

Also, about the misscolored Mister Miracle, I saw it in various issues. Maybe there is two of them...

Roy

MaGnUs said...

BOOM! He shoots, he scores! That's it, the scallops in the gloves are missing. Badge for you, m'man. Have you voted on the Autopsy Awards yet?

And I highly doubt there's another Mr. Miracle running around.... but it could be.