Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Dissector #103.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"You have to get out of here! Your vagina is haunted!" Jon Webb, Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose #53.

Man, that is one funny quote... Welcome to the column for comics released on 11/26; last week of November (although many of the dissections are older); we still have four columns from December to go through before I launch the second ever Autopsy Awards. Some of you already read the previous ones, and even voted in the categories that were vote in; but for those of you new to the Autopsy Awards, here's how they work. There's categories that are based on the amount of dissections perpetrated by an author, for example; then there's categories where I choose nominees (best art dissection; best writing dissection; best quote of the week, etc) and then you vote; and then there's special awards I give based on... my fancy. This year, however, I won't write up a ceremony; I think once was enough, and it would take a long time to write, too.

Now, on to the column itself; nobody tried to guess the DT! for last time, so I'll come out and say it: Batman's cowl wasn't colored in his neck. Simple, yet noticeable, at least to me. Now, The Dissector's Picks Of The Week: Best Book Of The Week goes to Blue Beetle #33; just pure superhero fun. Worst Book Of The Week went to Hulk #8. Huh? I'm getting bored of this book. Now, the dissections:

TITLE: JLA: Classified (DC).

ISSUE: 28.

CULPRIT: Howard Chaykin (writer).

DISSECTION: The continuity of this issue, from October 2006; is all messed up. I'll let J. Caleb Mozzocco, formerly of Shotgun Reviews, and currently of his own blog "Every Day Is Like Wednesday" explain it better, from a review back in the day at Best Shots@Newsarama:

"There are times where I feel like the wild-eyed scientist predicting some unlikely cataclysm in a disaster movie whom everyone dismisses until it’s too late to do anything but run away from the special effects. That is, I feel like the only person freaking out about something that is just so damn obvious to me, yet the powers that be just don’t seem to notice the problem, let alone give a damn about it.

Case in point: The Howard Chaykin-written “Secret History, Sacred Trust” arc in JLA: Classified, and where it fits in Justice League continuity (See! You’re doing it too! Rolling your eyes, thinking I’ve lost my mind!).

There are a few easy to spot “tells” among the League’s line-up to tell where a particular story featuring them may fall on their fictional timeline—The length of Aquaman’s hair, who’s wearing the Green Lantern ring, whether Batman has an oval on his chest or not. But the tells all conflict here.

For example, this is the Big Seven, so we know we’re talking somewhere between the Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare and “The Obsidian Age,” right?

But Aquaman’s wearing his post-“Obsidian Age” duds, the shark tooth necklace and water hand he sported when Rick Vietch was at the helm of his solo title. This Aquaman wasn’t on the Justice League. Maybe he came back to help out, like in JLA Classified: Cold Steel, you say. Yeah, maybe.

But how do you explain Kyle Rayner being there instead of deep in space, where he headed to after asking John Stewart to take over as the League’s GL right after “Obsidian Age.” Maybe Kyle’s just visiting earth and decided to guest star? Maybe. I suppose J’onn J’onnz, who was on a leave of absence at the time, could also be just visiting, too, huh?

Okay, well if all of that’s true—and it isn’t, because Aquaman’s in the ocean commanding sea life in this story, even though he was unable to do so during the time he wore this costume—there’s one final damning detail. Lex Luthor isn’t President of the United States in this story, the guy who came after Luthor and Pete Ross is president. You know, the guy who looks like he might be Mr. Fantastic’s dad, President Jonathan Horne. But he wasn’t president until after “Identity Crisis,” when the “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” started ramping up, when Kyle was in space, John Stewart was the League’s Lantern, Aquaman wore a shirt and the Trinity was barely speaking.

Put it all together, and this story can’t possibly have happened! Not like this! It’s impossible I tell you, impossible! Don’t look at me like that! I’m not crazy! I’m not! It’s you! You’re all crazy! You’re all crazy but me! (...)"

I had noticed that something didn't quite jive about the JLA's line-up in this storyline; and I was intending to do the research back in the day... then I noticed Caleb had already done it for me. Thanks, man!

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: JSA Classified (DC).

ISSUE: 18.

CULPRIT: Tony Bedard (writer) and/or Ken Lopez (letterer).

DISSECTION: From the same month comes this issue of JSA: Classified, where Bane's birthplace is called "Pena Duro" instead of "Peña Duro".


TITLE: Legion Of Super-Heroes V5 (DC).

ISSUE: 48.

CULPRIT: Francis Manapul (artist).

DISSECTION: Look at the image below; on the left there's Gazelle, as she was introduced in issue #37, and then on the right, as she's presented by Manapul eleven issues later:

Am I the only one who sees the difference? She had been reintroduced in issue #41; as part of the UP's Young Heroes team; and by then she was already changed; but in fact, Manapul's sketches for her as a UPYH member show her closer to her original appearance.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, on issue #41 (I was checking for this dissection) the United Planet's Young Heroes are referred to as the "UPYA". One more for Shooter or the letterer.

TITLE: Secret Invasion: Inhumans (Marvel).

ISSUE: 04 of 04.

CULPRIT: Guru eFX (colorist).

DISSECTION: One more time, Black Bolt's hair color is wrong.


TITLE: She-Hulk V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 35.

CULPRIT: Peter David (writer).

DISSECTION: Russian supersoldiers the Winter Guard face She-Hulk and her friends; comprised classic ruskies Ursa Major, Red Guardian, Crimson Dynamo, and Darkstar (although the latter three in newer incarnations). Ursa Major's first name has always been Mikhail; and on page seventeen, he's called Mikhail; and the current Crimson Dynamo's name is given as Vadim. Yet, on pages 19 and 20, the Dynamo is called Mikhail... first by the Red Guardian, who, granted, could be making a mistake in the heat of a tense moment (even if Dynamo answers to the wrong name); but then by Ursa Major himself, in the unmistakably differently patterned speech bubbles his ursine form has.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. On a side note... apart from all the stars featured in the Winter Guard's costumes (even though the current Russian flag nor their coat of arms has stars; although the red in the costumes do come from the coat of arms)... am I the only one who's curious as to why the Red Guardian has a hammer and sickle on his belt buckle? Moreover, coat of arms apart, why does he sport such a communist codename?

TITLE: Superman/Batman (DC).

ISSUE: 29.

CULPRIT: Ethan Van Sciver (penciller).

DISSECTION: Lois Lane's chest; shown in Power Girl proportions in one panel, shrinks to almost flat in the next. Wha?

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Oh, this is another book from my Vault.

TITLE: Thor: Man Of War (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Clay Mann (penciller).

DISSECTION: Check Odin out, and tell me what's out of place:


TITLE: The War That Time Forgot (DC).

ISSUE: 07 of 12.

CULPRIT: Sal Cipriano (letterer).

DISSECTION: The dialogues for the Golden Gladiator and Tomahawk are switched around on one page.


TITLE: What If? Avengers Disassembled (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Aaron Lopresti (penciller) and/or (but not likely) Chris Sotomayor (colorist).

DISSECTION: Digging into the Vault once more, here's one from January 2007. There's a couple of more dissections; one for the colorist, and one for the writer, but the one I've chosen to focus on is the following: Rogue absorbs the Scarlet Witch's powers by touching her... while still wearing her gloves...

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.
One more column to go; finished the month of November, so that's something. We had a 7.1 Bazzars average, on twelve dissections; pretty good... or bad, I need to decide that one of these days. Before you leave, please take a look at the Moments Of The Week. For the hors d'œuvre we have:

PAYBACK! Good one, Babs... Then, for the main course:

Ninja skills FTW!!! That's the best print advertisement I've seen in a long time. And finally, for desert, we will enjoy:

Manhattan Crunch, which was actually the second MOT, but we couldn't have cereals as a main course... That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...



The Guvnor Paul C said...

Dissect This: Is it that Odin's left eye is meant to be funny/missing, not his right as depicted?

MaGnUs said...

Basically, you got it. He should be missing an eye and he's not. He hadn't regained it at this point, as he did, later in Marvel continuity. Badge for you, and happy new year.

Jordan said...

Vale la pena agregar que ese ojo lo perdio porque queria beber de la fuente del conocimiento.
O al menos esa es la parte mitologica.

MaGnUs said...

So true. :)