Friday, November 27, 2009

The Dissector #141.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"I feel like a hung-over Frazetta painting." Lobo, Lobo: Highway To Hell #1.

Welcome to the column for comics released on 11/18, and happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. I don't, but still; it doesn't hurt to be polite. That quote up there is from a book released some weeks earlier, but since it was good, and I just got the comic recently, I chose that one. Now, the DT! from last week was cracked by Donald313, who pointed out that the word "tovarishti" is kept in Russian while the text is in English, and surrounded by translation brackets, so it should have been translated to "comrades". Donald reaches the rank of Lieutenant, and Emerre in turn noticed that the brackets in two of the balloons hadn't been closed.

Now, The Dissector's Picks Of The Week! Best Book Of The Week was The Flash: Rebirth #5; just great use by Geoff Johns of the Flash family, and a new "Impulse"! Geez, that family has a tradition of hand-me-down codenames! Worst Book Of The Week was Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts #1, because although the script by Zander Cannon (nice pulp style name) reads like a TNG episode, the art by Javier Aranda is simply atrocious. Look below, and even overlooking the large amount of errors (later in the column), I cannot help wondering why, with all the good, and even mediocre artists that probably charge cheap, must art chores be given to people with blunt crayons tied to bloody stumps?

See what I mean? What the hell is wrong with Troi's hair? Why does Picard's head keep changing shapes? Why does Beverly Crusher look like a crash test dummy with a wig? Why do people in general look like characters from a crappy fan comic? *sigh*

The Rundown! Adventure Comics (Ultra Boy's costume is wrong, the Ranzz twins hair should be red, not blonde), Air (accented letter), The Amazing Spider-Man V1 (the Black Cat's costume is wrong), Batman: Streets Of Gotham (Robin's costume is wrong, and Kate Spencer's eyes should be blue, not brown), Dark Avengers (Norman's eyes), Dark Reign - The List: Amazing Spider-Man (accented letter, Victoria Hand's eyes should be blue), Dark Reign: Zodiac (Reed Richards has brown eyes, not blue like in this comic), The Incredible Hulk V1 (Bruce Banner's eyes are colored incorrectly), Realm Of Kings: Inhumans (Maximus' eyes are wrong), Superman/Batman (the Bizarro speak is inconsistent), Thunderbolts (accented letters, and "Ñ"s), X-Men Forever V2 (translation brackets without closing). Now, dissections.

TITLE: Batman: The Unseen (DC).

ISSUE: 04 of 05.

CULPRIT: Kelley Jones (artist).

DISSECTION: Again, Batman's costume is grotesque. The Bat-ears on his cowl are a feet or a feet and a half long; the spikes on his gloves are like half a foot long; and his cape is large enough to cover his entire body around twice, reach down to the floor (and beyond), extend a meter and a half away from his body and completely engulf the upper body of a grown man... ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Black Panther V5 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 10.

CULPRIT: Will Conrad (artist).

DISSECTION: Once more, Wakandan television has writing in English, but that's not the problem... now Wakandan farmers look like black people from the southern US in 1912...


TITLE: Black Panther V5 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 10.

CULPRIT: Jonathan Maberry (writer).

DISSECTION: If Wakandan crops and soil are infected with diseases and plagues... what good would it be to have Storm cause rain to fall on them? And even then, why is her rain expected to magically make plant life sprout instantaneously, as if she had control over vegetation?

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. There's no need to show her using her powers to reveal that the crops are infected.

TITLE: The Flash: Rebirth (DC).

ISSUE: 05 of 06.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: The Flashes use a technique called a "sonic bomb" to fight Reverse Flash; as long as they can "outrun the sound waves", it won't affect them. As Thawne's feet are not touching the ground, he doesn't have any traction to run... what? How many times have they shown speedsters running on water, or basically flying because they're running fast?

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars. There are also several costuming mistakes.

TITLE: Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Matthew Sturgeon (writer).

DISSECTION: The book is rife with costuming mistakes, and for some reason, Cyclone's monkey, Frank, can fly on his own (psst, guys, the wings he wears are just a costume)... but the problem is that Mr. Terrific shows dubious scientific knowledge when he positions that "it stands to reason that a device with prophetic powers would cause gravitational rifts"... He also says that it would cause "time-like anomalies"; which is understandable, even if doubtful, since it sees the future, not actually travel in time (in fact, they specify that there's no time travel involved)... but gravitational rifts because it sees the future? What?


TITLE: Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Neil Edwards (penciller).

DISSECTION: Here's a favorite of one my readers, Miss Kitty Fantastico (who I haven't seen in a long time, I'll drop him a line), a Cyclone costuming mistake! In the first short story, Cyclone's tank top's straps appear and disappear. To be honest, there are a few more errors in her costume throughout the book.


TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 114.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: Just stumbled upon this one while checking stuff for this column. I wrote "Maxine to Spartan", when it should have been "Maxine refers to Spartan".


TITLE: Mighty Avengers (Marvel).

ISSUE: 31.

CULPRIT: Sean Chen (penciller).

DISSECTION: Stature shrinks and she and Ronin do the old "tiny person flying on an arrow" trick, but she holds on to the sharp outer edges of the arrowhead, with her bare fingers. Yeah. That'll work nicely.


TITLE: Mighty Avengers (Marvel).

ISSUE: 31.

CULPRIT: Dan Slott & Christos N. Gage (scripters).

DISSECTION: Check this out, it should be easy:

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Numerous miscellaneous errors, and although the U.S.Agent is referred to as "USAgent" on the recap page, his name is spelled correctly in the story. Almost... it's spelled U.S. Agent. Yes, there is a difference, but I'll let it slide this time.

TITLE: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts (IDW).

ISSUE: 01 of 05.

CULPRIT: Javier Aranda (artist).

DISSECTION: There are plenty of dissections in this book, so I'll just show the worst art one, and the worst writing one. Additionally, I'll say that Riker's eyes are brown instead of his correct blue, Deanna Troi's eyes are wrong, Worf's warrior sash is missing, Data has Lieutenant rank insignia, when he's a Lt. Cmdr., Picard has Commander pips at one point, and Beverly Crusher should be wearing three solid pips, since she was a Commander from the show's start, instead of one pip... or two, as she wears in this book depending on the panel.

Now, the worst art dissection was that the uniform designs don't match the real uniforms from the TV show... not only that, but the designs change from page to page, and even are mirrored; switching horizontal orientation. See below, first what a real TNG uniform looks like, then how Aranda mangles them and doesn't even keep them consistent during the issue:

For starters, there's Picard in his uniform. The shoulders and the neckline look a bit different, but that's pretty much acceptable; stuff that depends on angles and whatnot. But then there's the lower part of the jacket... there's a "spike", let's call it, pointing at Jean-Luc's right hip, and the red fabric slopes up in a twenty degree (more or less) angle towards a few inches before his left hip, then angles down to a second spike towards it. Then, from that spike, you have a line straight up towards his left armpit. Now that I look at it closely, it's basically the shape of the Star Fleet "alpha" badge.

Now look at the Picard drawn by Aranda. The line from the first spike to the second has a much sharper angle, and it's noticeably shorter, leading to a much wider second spike. Yes, he's kind of turned sideways, but still, the design is different; as the red fabric covers the zone under his armpit, something that doesn't happen in the real uniform.

Then, in the third image, Data (or a snowman dressed in his clothes... more like a blow up doll) has a uniform with a different design from the one Picard wears in the previous picture... and Riker has a different one, and it looks like Worf wears a third different design, and Picard too... then... WAIT!!! Look at that... I just realized that for ONE, and only ONE panel in the whole comic, Worf wears his sash... and it looks more like a Pancho Villa bullet belt!!!! Of course, in that picture Picard and Riker are wearing a fourth and fifth designs, and they're even mirrored...

Fantastic Aranda, fantastic. Please, IDW, quit ruining your Star Trek comics... half of them have subpar artists... and some, like this one, have people who should not be hired for professional artwork. This is no longer a dissection thing, but an actual, honest, completely objective quality appraisal. Aranda is BAD, his human(oid) figures are inconsistent, his designs don't stay the same, and everything looks UGLY. And yes, Worf appears in about fourteen panels in the whole comic, and he's only wearing his sash (which doesn't look much like his sash) in one.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars for the horrible uniform debacle. I look forward to the next issue of this book... as long as the writer e-mails me the script, or Javier Aranda is replaced by someone (yes, even Rob Liefield would do).

TITLE: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts (IDW).

ISSUE: 01 of 05.

CULPRIT: Zander Cannon (writer).

DISSECTION: Zander, I can't help but love your name... and this is coming from someone who goes by "MaGnUs von Tesla" on Facebook, an excellent name if there ever was one. Still, I have to dissect your work... The comic is stated to be happening on stardate 44751.3, which means it's the fourth season of TNG (which happens between stardates 44001.4-44995.3), year 2367. Geordi is shown and referred to as Lieutenant; but he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2366.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. We Trekkies take our continuity seriously.

TITLE: War Machine V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 11.

CULPRIT: Greg Pak (writer).

DISSECTION: Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. turn James Rhodes over to the International Criminal Court (ICC from now on). *sigh* Where do I start? First of all, H.A.M.M.E.R. is a US organization; it's not international as S.H.I.E.L.D. was, and the USA is not a member of the ICC. A little background: The United States of America, through then president Bill Clinton, signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 2000. However, Clinton stated that he would not submit it to the Senate for advice and consent for ratification until the U.S. government had a chance to assess the functioning of the court (although he supported the proposed role of the ICC and its aims). A treaty that is not ratified is not legally binding.

In 2002, the 60 requisite ratifications for the Rome Statue were reached, and US President George W. Bush's administration sent a note to the UN Secretary General suspending the US government's signature of the statute, and informing that the USA recognized no obligation towards the Court.

Additionally, the US government stated that its intention not to become a member state of the ICC be reflected in the UN documentation, specifically because signatories have an obligation not to undermine the object and purpose of a treaty.

Now, let's assume that one of the following three things is true: 1) That H.A.M.M.E.R. is a UN organization (which it's not, from all that's been shown in the comics), 2) That in the Marvel Universe, the USA is a member of the ICC (which I doubt), or 3) That the USA is making an exception and collaborating with the ICC, since many of War Machine's crimes were committed outside the US (which is believable, I guess). Assuming any of those three things to be true... judging Rhodes in the ICC is still wrong.

In broad strokes, the ICC's purpose is to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the latter). War Machine's crimes do not fall within any of those definitions; he's no different than many unregistered heroes, or rather, since he kills, no different than most supervillains, or even vigilantes like Moon Knight (at his worst) or the Punisher. At most, he's a terrorist... and the International Criminal Court does not have jurisdiction over terrorism.

Many member states wanted to add terrorism and drug trafficking to the list of crimes covered by the Rome Statute; however, the states were unable to agree on a definition for terrorism, and drug trafficking was left out because as this might overwhelm the court's limited resources.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. But, as infomercials say, this is not all! Read the next dissection for a complete screw-up, writing and art-wise.

TITLE: War Machine V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 11.

CULPRIT: Wellinton Alves (penciller).

DISSECTION: This is even worse, because if you want to justify the previous dissection, you can always claim "things are different in the Marvel Universe!". In this case, however, there is no excuse. Jim Rhodes stands before a single judge (something that never happens in the ICC as far as I was able to ascertain) in an ICC courtroom (that looks nothing like the real ones)... and there's a US flag to the side of the judge and a US seal behind her.

Why? Why the hell would you do that Alves? INTERNATIONAL. CRIMINAL. COURT. INTERNATIONAL!!!


I can understand an American, with the (no offense meant to my American readers) general sense of being the center of the world US citizens have, starting with the fact that they call themselves "Americans", as if they were the only residents of the American continent. But a Brazilian artist? Please Wellinton, use the internet, do some research... Typing three worlds and clicking on three links I found this 360º photographic virtual tour of one of the ICC. And even if you didn't HAVE an internet connection, why in the name of Khan Noonien Singh would you think of putting US symbols in the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT??!??!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Of course, there are eye color mistakes and other stuff.
There we go... a 6.7 Bazzars average in sixty-four dissections. I thought it would be a bit higher, but no. The Cover Of The Week comes from this week's Best Book; a simple but effective homage by Ethan Van Sciver to the cover of Flash V1 #123 (1961), the classic "Flash Of Two Worlds" story that introduced the concept of the multiverse to DC comics, and one of the most homaged covers in the history of comics:

Now, Moments Of The Week! Hercules just amuses me:

And he doesn't stop amusing me:

Then, something that made a bit sad...

... but then Tiny Titans writer Art Baltazar enlightened me and made me feel like an idiot... that's not a tinyverse Ralph Dibny Jr., but Jimmy Olsen... Now, despite all the flaws in War Machine #11, I liked this scene:

Pwnd! And last, still catching up with Knights Of The Dinner Table, Tuley not only leaked the horrible Heidi Jackson version of Hackmaster to the net to save the game, he also takes step to give the witch herself a good taste of fan anger.

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



JohnnyDoe said...

I'm going to try the DT! this week; is it that Pym wasn't the one who got Steve out of the water? I think it was Namor (or possible Iron Man).

MaGnUs said...

Technically, it was the Inuit... and no, Cap is just using a figure of speech there.