Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dissector #192.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"Did I ever tell you the story of how I stormed the beach at Normandy? I was late by a year or so, but I stormed it solo. Then walked up a hill into a small French village. I entered a bakery and a Frenchwoman gave me a croissant. And then I left. (...) Come to think of it, I did bang her in a haystack later. Dammit, now I want a croissant." Grandpa Vork, The Guild: Vork.

Welcome to the last column of the year! Not the last column about 2010 comics (this one is for books released on 12/22), because we have the last batch of books of the year coming out today, and we'll have the Autopsy Awards next year. Let's get this one over with as quickly as possible... I'm not taking any vacations from the column, however, so I'll see you next week. Last column's DT! was cracked by JohnnyDoe, who correctly pointed out that Superboy's right hand should have been missing, since he lost it in the fight with Superboy Prime (and that's the way it was in the original panel in Infinite Crisis). Badge for JD!

I know this cover isn't very flashy, but Gilbert Hernández’s alternate cover for The Guild: Vork perfectly illustrates the sadness of Vork's life. Haven't seen The Guild? Go watch it, I find MMORPGs boring, but the show was still funny to me. The rest of The Dissector's Picks Of The Week are as follow: Best Book Of The Week was Legion Of Super-Heroes V6 #8; even with small mistakes, Paul Levitz is still a good writer (unlike other, unfortunate examples), and this time Yildiray Cinar's pencils didn't suffer as much from Daniel HDR's intrusion (when is Cinar going to pick up full pencilling of the book again?), making for a solid, if not extraordinary book... but this is one of my favorite teams, so in a week devoid of any other book that stood out, it gets best book. Worst Book Of The Week was Teen Titans: Cold Case... not horrible, but it had some subpar writing, and the art was uninspired and too cartoony for my tastes.

The Rundown: Batman: Streets Of Gotham (Bruce's chest emblem is wrong, the Penguin shouldn't have pointed ears in comics), Chaos War: Dead Avengers (wrong Spanish), DC Universe: Legacies (the fucking timeline, Batman's costume color is wrong), Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special (GL badges), Green Lantern Corps V2 (badges and masks), Justice League: Generation Lost (bad Portuguese), Justice League Of America V2 (Dick's belt and emblem, and another reference to him not being used to big cosmic battles... he fucking lead the Titans against Trigon like two thousand times...), Outsiders V4 (Katana shouldn't have blue eyes, she's Japanese... and I'm being generous on the topic of her skin color), Power Girl V2 (they don't see Max Lord in a surveillance cam, they see a random man, but they answer they don't see a man on the screen? and Dick's emblem again), Secret Avengers (inconsistent roster lettering), Star Wars: Invasion - Rescues (once more, New Jedi Order is not about Luke Skywalker's descendants, that's Legacy), Uncanny X-Men (physiognomies, again), Warlord Of Mars (am I supposed to believe that a US Civil War Captain knows about gravity and how it would affect him in Mars? there's also an incomplete sentence in the post-comic diary), X-Men V3 (Wolverine's eyes are brown, then blue; the whole Jubilee's vampirism as incurable thing is ignoring Spitfire, who's also Blade's girlfriend).

TITLE: Batman Incorporated (DC).

ISSUE: 02.

CULPRIT: Grant Morrison (writer).

DISSECTION: Atlantean crown jewels can't, according to Bruce Wayne, withstand pressures "above 1000 atmospheres", since they were obviously crafted under water, at enormous depths... don't you mean "below 1000 atmospheres", Bruce? Considering we live at one atmosphere...

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Legion Of Super-Heroes V6 (DC).

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Paul Levitz (writer).

DISSECTION: Science Police member Gigi Cusimano was Legion/SP liaison for years, plus she dated Legionnaires (at least Sun Boy, and Colossal Boy when he wasn't yet a Legionnaire), she's friends with the Legion... how could she not know Wildfire's natural state is energy?

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Also, Colossal Boy's eyes are colored correctly, then incorrectly, he shouldn't be surprised at a Durlan growing (since Cham has done it in the past, right in front of him, too), and Dawnstar's powers are still listed incompletely. Levitz is a great writer, he still has the skills, but sometimes it seems he's phoning it in...

TITLE: Teen Titans: Cold Case (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Mark Sable (writer).

DISSECTION: Check this one, tell me what you see:


TITLE: What If? Dark Reign (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jason Henderson (writer).

DISSECTION: A reporter protests on how "we bailed on registration"... but they didn't, the whole point of Dark Reign was that registration continued under Norman Osborn's watch.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Also, Norman's eyes are colored incorrectly.
So, the last column of the year ends up with a 6.3 Bazzars average in thirty-six dissections. The very definition of "standard" around these parts. Now, we only have two Moments Of The Week, and they're both complaints. Batman, Inc. is a good concept, but I believe it's stupid for Bruce Wayne to reveal he's behind Batman, particularly when he a) still runs around inside a Batman costume, b) his three closest costumed associates are his children (two adoptive and one biological), c) those three sons are the exact heights and builds as the other Batman, Red Robin, and Robin and he paraded them in front of the press even if Damian hadn't been introduced to the public, and d) half of Gotham's population might suspect him of being Batman anyway. Add on top of that the fact that he's going around the world fronting Batman, Inc. and dealing with foreign governments and police departments, behaving in ways that completely throw overboard his playboy persona, and it's like he doesn't care if his cover is blown... Wait, maybe he just gave up on hiding it altogether! Of course, he has protection, so do his friends and associates... man, what a great moment to be a random employee of Wayne Enterprises!!!

But I actually wanted to focus on the "Batmen" that will be posted around the world. Obviously, Knight will be the UK's, I guess Gaucho (appearing in next issue) will be Argentina's (and by extension, Uruguay's, since we probably don't merit Bruce's attention)... but I thought we had more than enough with two actual Batmen... Then why is Night Runner (France) wearing this after being recruited?

Ah, well, it's only a Bat emblem, and one that's radically different from the Batmen's... in fact, he's not even wearing Bat-ears, or spiked gloves. Well, at least Night Runner isn't...

... that's Batman Japan. I don't know if it's actually "Batman Japan" or "Batman" Japan; but that's the guy who'll work for Bruce in Japan. He's the former Mr. Unknown; more precisely his stand-in, since the original Mr. Unknown was too old for any combat or acrobatics and just did the detective work. A Batman Beyond approach for a city that already looks a lot like the future. But now, after Mr. Unknown's death, he's been recruited as the Japan representative of Batman, Inc.... WHICH APPARENTLY MEANS HE HAS TO WEAR A FUCKING BATMAN COSTUME AND ACTUALLY CALL HIMSELF BATMAN!!!! NO!!! NO!!!!! NOOOOO!!! MORRISON YOU LAZY MOTHERFUCKER!!! DESIGN HIM A FUCKING NEW IDENTITY, BAT-INSPIRED IF YOU WANT, BUT DON'T MAKE HIM AN ACTUAL BATMAN!!!!

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


PS: Oh, and happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Dissector #191.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"I wear pants because it's the law." Atomic Robo, Atomic Robo & The Deadly Art Of Science #2.

Second-to-last column of the year? Maybe! This is for books released on 12/15, and I might be able to finish the column for 12/22 books in time before the end of the year, but there's no way I can read all 12/29 books in time, much less write that column... but it should be out by the end of next week, and after that I'll post the Autopsy Award nominations. Speaking of Autopsy Awards, remember you can make nominations (copy/paste from a previous column:

"As you might now (and if you don't, you can read the first, second, and third editions of the awards), some awards are selected by reader votes from several nominations I select from the year's columns; such as Best Writing Dissection, Best Art Dissection, Best Quote, or Best Cover. Then there are awards that are given based solely on number of dissections, like Company With Most Dissections, Most Dissected Writer, or Single Issue With Most Dissections.

But there are also special awards, given for specific circumstances, for merit or lack of it. For example, I will probably select myself things like Breakout Book Of The Year, or Best Character Of The Year; but I will accept suggestions for awards that I might not think of myself; or even within categories used in previous years. For example, in the first awards, Cyclone (from the JSA) won an award for not having her costume depicted correctly in any of her appearances after her first one. That award has gone one to be called the "Cyclone Fashion Award To The Most Mutable Costume", and was won by Una in the second edition of the awards, and was expanded in the following edition to cover any character alteration, going to Norman Osborn's eyes, for changing contacts all the time (basically EVERY Marvel book during Secret Invasion and Dark Reign).

Then, within the same special awards, we have stuff like the "Creator That I'm Sorry I Have To Dissect Award", for people whose sheer volume of work makes it likely they slip up and I notice it, but they obviously very much care about their work, and on top of that, are nice people. Or the "Bloody Stumps With Blunt Crayolas Award", for underachievement in art; or the "Worst Character Depiction Although You Obviously Have Talent Award" for instances in which it's readily noticeable that an artist has a lot of talent, but (for example) decides to make Beast look like a humanoid goat, for example. And finally, there's the "Golden Bonesaw Award", for catastrophic underachievement, taken home in 2007 by Marvel for the many shapes of Beast, in 2008 by the Blue Beetle issue in Spanish, and in 2009 by IDW and their Zorro book for their year-long raping of the Spanish language. I will probably choose this one myself, but I welcome suggestions too."

Back to this column, last column's DT wasn't cracked. JohnnyDoe got close by saying that they have "Cerebro" and not "Cerebra", but that wasn't quite it. The X-Men's mutant locator has been called "Cerebra" for quite a while, but if Rogue wanted to refer to it, she shouldn't say "the original", because the original was "Cerebro". It's like saying "we've got the original New Coke"... Yes, it's a nuance... it's semantically correct, since they do have the first "Cerebra", but the original machine that fulfills that role is "Cerebro", and therefore, the only one that should be called "original".

Now, look at this very nice variant cover from Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513, by Francesco Francavilla... very Kirby meets Frank Miller. Speaking of The Dissector's Picks Of The Week, Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513 is Best Book Of The Week. While I don't agree with characters taking over the numbering of someone else's books (like Hercules taking over Incredible Hulk, or this, with Black Panther taking over Daredevil... are these issues going to count toward Daredevil's #600 issue?), I must admit that this was a great start for this run. David Liss, who has very little in the way of comic book credits (a Phantom Reporter special for Marvel's 70th anniversary line, and this very comic), has a considerable body of work in prose fiction, mostly historical-mystery novels... but he manages to make this "set-up issue" as enjoyable as any comic book pro's "full gear" run. Yes, his villain is kind of stereotypical, but this is a superhero comic, what do you expect? Add Francesco Francavilla's pulp-style art (pencils, inks, and colors), and you get a mixture of explosive Jack Kirby action and noir Frank Miller ambience... which is what you'd expect from a book where the Black Panther takes over Daredevil's job as protector of Hell's Kitchen. Go read it. Worst Book Of The Week was Superman #706... as much as G. Willow Wilson impressed me with "Air", her Superman issues are worthless. Stilted dialogue and mischaracterization make for bad stories... Perry White completely out of touch with the internet? Doubtful. Superman saying that he's "scared by the internet"? What?!? Add mediocre art by Amilcar Pinna and oddly phosphorescent colors by Rod Reis (who usually does good work), and you get a very bad comic which gives credence to those who say that Superman comics are boring and unattractive.

The Rundown: The Amazing Spider-Man V1 (why doesn't Peter show any wounds from his fight with Hobgoblin, only seconds after, and an accented letter), Batman (Riddler's hair should be black, Enigma's eyes should be blue), Black Panther: The Man Without Fear (bad Romanian dialogue, accented letter), Brightest Day (Mera shouldn't have flipper feet), Captain America: Man Out of Time (Rick Jones was recently shown to be a hacker and anti-authority paranoid, why does he not know what an APB is?), Green Lantern/Plastic Man: Weapons Of Mass Deception (numerous costume design and other errors), Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (Kilowog and Guy get incorrect badges), I Am An Avenger (inconsistent credit lettering), New Mutants Forever (ANDES! FUCKING ANDES!!!! Plus, Storm's eyes should not be white when she's not using her powers), Titans V2 (bad Italian and Portuguese), Velocity V2 ("replace" instead of "replaced"), What If? The Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt (small ñ), X-Factor V3 (Shatterstar's eyes should be blue, not green).

TITLE: Avengers Academy (Marvel).

ISSUE: 07.

CULPRIT: Rachel Pinnelas (assistant editor), John Denning (assistant editor), and Bill Rosemann (editor).

DISSECTION: Tom Raney pencilled this issue, but regular penciller Mike McKone gets credited for it.


TITLE: Birds Of Prey V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 07.

CULPRIT: Gail Simone (writer).

DISSECTION: Dove's powers are listed, but many of her powers (such as one of her more visually distinctive ones, her enhanced agility) are missing, in exchange of shit like "she is the consciousness of the superhero community", when most heroes don't even have contact with her...


TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 190.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: Donald313 doesn't rest, and he points out that the plural of "Glückwunsch" is "Glückwünsche".


TITLE: Outsiders V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 45.

CULPRIT: Carlo Barberi (penciller).

DISSECTION: From The Vault, this an old pet peeve of mine, old readers might remember.


TITLE: Time Masters: Vanishing Point (DC).

ISSUE: 05 Of 6.

CULPRIT: Dan Jurgens (writer).

DISSECTION: Two powerful sorcerers scour all of time to find the most powerful weapon in the universe and then decide to steal one of the first atom bombs? What? Not to mention they had a Green Lantern captive...

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Hal Jordan's badge is wrong on the cover and inside, as is his ring, and he's even missing his ring altogether in one page.
With a 6.9 Bazzars average in thirty-eight dissections, we get a "high among normal" average rating for this week. Now, Moments Of The Week... from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Cobra's sophisticated torture methods:

Amazing... and look who's back in Green Lantern:

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


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Creator sighting!

Chris Batista thanked me on Facebook for Booster Gold V2 #39 being best book of the week.
The Dissector #190.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"When I dedicated my life in service to you as Sorcerer Supreme... I remember I closed my eyes and I prayed that one day I would grow up to be a second-rate Jarvis for a second-rate pile of Avengers." Wong, New Avengers V2 #7.

Late, late, late... I know; but here we are with one of the last columns of the year (there will be possibly one more, maximum two), and one of the last before the last comics of the year are published. These, in particular, were released on 12/08. Last column's DT was cracked by Donald313, who pointed out that Aquaman is not half-human, but half-Atlantean, half-Atlantean wizard/demigod. Reader Darryn asked Dan DiDio on Facebook, and DiDio vaguely replied "roll with it". That's not really a confirmation of a retcon to pre-Crisis Aquaman (which is stupid, and makes him more of a Namor knock off); just a FB comment... in last week's issue of Brightest Day, Aquaman mentions Tom Curry as his father; but he doesn't specifically say he's his biological father... until it's explicitly mentioned in a comic, I won't consider it valid. And when it is, I'm still not retracting, because it wasn't done properly beforehand. Yeah, it's my column. Oh, Badge for Donald!

The Dissector's Picks Of The Week weren't spectacularly bad or good... Best Book Of The Week was Booster Gold V2 #39; good read, nice art, but filler. Worst Book Of The Week was Stargate: Daniel Jackson #4, last issue of a mini that had very weak art, and a story that could have been told in a one-shot. And then there's the Cover Of The Week, a nice piece by Marko Djurdjevic for one of the many (unnecessary) Chaos War tie-ins.

The Rundown: B.P.R.D. V2 (series numbering), Booster Gold V2 (eye and hair colors), Chaos War: Ares ("banish this place"?), DC Universe Holiday Special 2010 (wonky phrasing in the Anthro story at one point, John Stewart couldn't have likely patrolled Baghdad, Batman is very well known and recognized as a hero and not a mysterious vigilante like its implied in the Superman story, Supes refers to all heroes as "metahumans", in the Spectre story a speech balloon is misplaced, and in the Legion story, Abnett and Lanning mention stargates, which are not in use in the current LSH continuity), Detective Comics (Dick Grayson's costume is all wrong, emblem, gloves, and belt; in the backup story, Renee's eyes are colored incorrectly), Invaders Now! (accented letter), Justice League: Generation Lost (Fire's hair is inexplicably red in a panel), Namor: The First Mutant (Namor's ankle wings are ginormous on the cover, his eyes are miscolored inside, and the logomancer is still Caucasian colored, with no comment from any character, when they keep reminding Namor, their king, that he's a half-breed), New Avengers V2 (inconsistent lettering on credits and coming attractions page, Victoria Hand's eyes are colored incorrectly, and Danielle Cage is too young and doesn't look like she should), Northlanders (accented letter, and "Commonweath"), R.E.B.E.L.S. (Soranik Natu, John Stewart, and Ganthet have blank eyes at points, John's badge is wrong on the cover, "alternativeto", "forece", Soranik and Kyle should have green boots, not white... and not a dissection, but if John is now a Honor Guard Lantern, who's 2814.2?), Red Robin ("unlimted"), Shadowland: After The Fall ("isn't the Black Panther some sort of African hero?" Come on!!! He was until very recently king of a prominent country, had a celebrity wedding, and has been an Avenger!), What If? Wolverine: Father (Daken's mother is gutted by Wolverine to extract the baby, but there's no sign of blood or anything on the woman's clothes), Widowmaker (shinobi-zu, not zue; accented letter, and what are the Supreme Soviets doing there, and talking about Siberian work camps without anyone commenting on that?).

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 189.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: JohnnyDoe pointed out that I spelled his name incorrectly as "JhonnyDoe" last week; and he also noticed I wrote "wich" instead of "which". Two badges for Johnny. Then Donald313 noticed I used "obviously" instead of "obvious", "not" instead of "note", and "reverses" instead of "reverse". Three badges more for Don, which are more than enough to make him achieve the rank of Captain in the HDSC! Glückwunschs, Kapitän!

DISSECT-O-METER: Various ratings.

TITLE: The Flash V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 07.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Really, the boomerang was popularized in the US when Barry Allen was first active as The Flash? Barry was active in the late 60s?

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, why are guards in Iron Heights Penitentiary wearing full body riot armors... with no neck protection at all?

TITLE: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update (Marvel).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen & Mike O'Sullivan (coordinators, according to my reader).

DISSECTION: Sidney points out three errors in this issue:

* "De tainment quadrant" in the Beetle's Armor entry.

* "as wellas"in the Marvel Apes entry.

* In Boomerang's (Fred Myers) entry, he was referred to as "Mort" once instead of Myers.

DISSECT-O-METER: 3 Bazzars on each of the spacing issues, 6 Bazzars on the name issue.

TITLE: Project Superpowers X-Mas Carol (Dynamite).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Brandon Jerwa (writer) and/or Patrick Berkenkotter (penciller).

DISSECTION: Another dissection spotted by Sidney. The spirit of the Fighting Yank is talking about members of the Supremacy that are still at large, with symbolic pictures of them behind them. However, three of them, President West, Dynamic Man, and Dynamic Woman, quit the Supremacy and joined the heroes a while ago in the second volume of Project Superpowers. Then again, continuity has never been that good in the PS books.


TITLE: X-Men V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: Annual "#1" (2007).

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer).

DISSECTION: Sometimes I don't understand the numbering changes... this volume of X-Men (the one that's now X-Men Legacy, but will eventually be combined with the current X-Men when they reach a significant numbering...) had three annuals (1992, 1993, and 1994), numbered one through three... then why number this one as #1? It'd make sense if it was a different volume (as the annuals from when Uncanny was merely X-Men), but it's the same volume...

Anyway, here's a DT!


TITLE: X-Men Forever 2 (Marvel)

ISSUE: 12.

CULPRIT: Rodney Buchemi (penciller).

DISSECTION: At first I thought this was a MOT, because I thought the Uruguayan flag was among the member flags seen outside UN HQ (even though the blue is too light a shade)... but then I noticed that since the first stripe is blue; it can't be Uruguay's, which has as white for its first stripe. It might be the Greek flag, although the blue stripes should be darker too. The blue on Uruguay's flag is darker than the one on the Greek one, which in turn is a shade or two darker than the Argentinian flag; although due to the Uruguayan national football team's jersey being a light blue like the Argentinian flag has, people here insist on using a light blue shade for the flag sometimes...

Oh, sorry, that whole rant had nothing to do with the dissection... in which flags, including recognizable country ones (like Ireland, Spain or Germany) are flow in a random order by artist Buchemi, when flags outside the UN HQ are flown in English alphabetical order, north to south. Even with fictitious Marvel countries possibly there, anyone can tell it's wrong.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, Angel is said to be a Chicago native, when he's from Centerport (Long Island, New York), and an accented letter is wrong.
This leaves us with a predictably low 5.5 Bazzars average in fifty-seven dissections. Now, let's end this with the (just two) Moments Of The Week. First up, Booster tells Captain Atom how's it gonna be:

And as a finale, something that made me laugh:

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


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Dissector #189.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"Volstagg the Magnified will not suffer the claws nor yellow fangs nor crude weapons of filthy trolls! No numbers are great enough to overthrow me! Am i not the acknowledged paragon of martial virtue? Am I not the most celebrated paladin of the realm eternal? Do you know why the vast river Vaskrundr flows past the South face of Vindrbjarg Mountain in far Alfheim? Because Volstagg got tired of seeing it flow past the North face of Vindrbjarg Mountain! I barked but once and it obeyed me with fear and trembling! Now, doesn't that frost your breeches?" Volstagg The Voluminous, while slaying trolls, Warriors Three #2.

That's some quote. Get the full action in the Moments Of The Week. Let's get started, then... this is a column for books published on 12/02; as usual, there might be a few stragglers. Last week's DT! was cracked by JhonnyDoe (badge for him)... it was obviously that Hobgoblin is a very well known villain in the Marvel universe; so there's no way nobody recognized him or got a hit in metahuman databases. On another not, I need to retract from the dissections I made last week (in The Rundown) on X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook. Turns out the character I thought had been wrongly named "Bran Braddock" was actually named "Bran", and that when I saw "Corps", instead of "Captain Britain Corps", that was right, because both names are common; since not all members are codenamed Captain Britain, despite most being Brian Braddock's alternate versions, or their replacements.

Here are The Dissector's Picks Of The Week. Best Book Of The Week was Captain America: Patriot #4. Just a great end to a very good mini... that's all. Congrats to Karl Kesel, Mitch Breitweiser, Bettie Breitweiser, and all the rest of the team. Worst Book Of The Week was almost Action Comics Annual #13... the whole retcon of Lex Luthor getting where he got because he got Apokolips tech and worked for Darkseid as a young man; or studying under Ra's al Ghul, dying and getting raised in a Lazarus Pit... this is almost as bad as that retcon a few years back where Thomas Wayne visits Krypton before its destruction, and all of Wayne Enterprises success (or at least, its resurgence since it apparently was at a low point never mentioned before) comes from Thomas Wayne (who was a medical doctor) single-handledly reverses-engineering Kryptonian technology. But no, this book at least was readable, and it had good art... two things not shared by the actual Worst Book Of The Week, JSA All-Stars #13. Not only it focuses on the less interesting members of the JSA (and is one of the most shameless spin-offs ever); but while it tells a Cyclone story, it shows the rest of the team on some space mission... but it looks like there's a lot of pages missing; as the space mission progresses from battling some sort of sandworm into being captured by aliens with no explanation how it happens... not even "meanwhile, in space" note or something like that. To boot, the art looks like this, and Howard Porter inches closely to an Autopsy Award that features bloody stumps and blunt crayolas... Oh, and there's the Cover Of The Week, by Matthew Clark and Guy Major, from Doom Patrol #17... nice, isn't it? Of course, roadkill would also look nice next to Porter's art in All-Stars, but this is actually a nice cover.

The Rundown: Chaos War: God Squad (Amadeus Cho's eyes shouldn't be blue), Doom Patrol V5 (Rita Farr's eyes shouldn't be green), Generation Hope (Wolverine's eyes are brown first, then blue), Warriors Three (an accented letter is smaller than it should be, but all others are the right size, Volstagg's eyes are first brown, then the correct blue, and Reed Richards' eyes should be brown), Women Of Marvel (Valeria and Franklin Richards should not look the same age, Reed Richard's eyes should be brown, Shanna's story shouldn't be set in 1956, and she shouldn't have superstrength).

TITLE: Adventure Comics V1 (DC).

ISSUE: 520.

CULPRIT: Paul Levitz (writer).

DISSECTION: Roy, one of my loyal readers, and member of the HDSC, noticed that in October's issue, Levitz labels (in the small info boxes) Invisible Kid as Jacques Foccart, the second Invisible Kid; when this is obviously the first one, Lyle Norg (due to this being a story set in the Legion's beginnings, and the fact that Norg was white and Foccart is black).

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Badge for Lieutenant Roy.

TITLE: Adventure Comics V1 (DC).

ISSUE: 521.

CULPRIT: Hi-Fi (colorist).

DISSECTION: Dawnstar is descended from Native Americans... she is not fair-skinned like Caucasians, and she does not have blue eyes.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Twice. Get a fucking grip on the characters you are working on. Also, her powers are listed just as "long-range tracking", when she can fly and survive in space on her own. Mon-El's powers are also incomplete.

TITLE: Brightest Day (DC).

ISSUE: 15.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi (writers).

DISSECTION: This should be an easy one. Check out (old) Batman talking about getting old and his JLA friends:

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Chaos War: Alpha Flight (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Mark Paniccia (editor).

DISSECTION: Yeah.... THERE ARE NO DETAILED CREDITS IN THE WHOLE ISSUE!!! Just last names of writer, penciller, inker, and colorist on the cover... Tom Brevoort says it was a goof-up at Mark Panniccia's office; and since I don't know wich assistant editor, associated editor, or production assistant was involved, I blame solely Paniccia.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Also, Aurora is called "Jean-Marie" instead of "Jeanne-Marie".

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 188.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: I should have Donald313 read my columns before I post them. I missed a word in one dissection and a letter in a Moment. Two badges for him.

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars for the word, 1 for the letter.

TITLE: JSA All-Stars (DC).

ISSUE: 13.

CULPRIT: Matthew Sturges (writer).

DISSECTION: As mentioned before, the outer space mission team is horribly told, not just badly written, but downright missing pages.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Not to mention several art and coloring mistakes, including Cyclone's costume.
Only 7.1 Bazzars in twenty-six dissections, higher than usual, but lower than I thought with all those tens. Now, Moments Of The Week. First up, Quislet is passed up for a Green Lantern ring:

Come on, stupid Dyogene doesn't even acknowledge Quislet? Or maybe Levitz knows that if he makes Quislet a GL, I'll die of fanboyness... Who gets the ring?

Mon-El, proving that he can never run out of horrible costumes... White boots, Mon? And over at Buffy, who buys the farm?

Giles! I guess it's not going to be permanent, but still... shocking scene... if only Dark Horse had better artists working this book. Over at another licensed property, how do you ease your fears?

Well, if you're Monterey Jack, this way! And as a finale, the fight scene from where this week's quote came from:

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


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Dissector #188.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"But it's World War Two! I want to beat up Nazis!" Booster Gold, protesting the unfairness of time travel, Booster Gold V2 #38.

This should be the column for comics released on 11/24; but I haven't received many of those books yet because of Thanksgiving, and I've read some past date, but recent books, recent enough to include them in this column instead of sending them to the Vault. I also didn't want to lag too much behind, to have this column run too late; since I have gotten, and read, most of my books for the first week of December.

Before going into the column proper, I want to remind you that the 2010 Autopsy Awards are coming up; and sometime within the first two weeks of January you'll have the nominees to vote for. But I want you to send me some suggestions for special awards. As you might now (and if you don't, you can read the first, second, and third editions of the awards), some awards are selected by reader votes from several nominations I select from the year's columns; such as Best Writing Dissection, Best Art Dissection, Best Quote, or Best Cover. Then there are awards that are given based solely on number of dissections, like Company With Most Dissections, Most Dissected Writer, or Single Issue With Most Dissections.

But there are also special awards, given for specific circumstances, for merit or lack of it. For example, I will probably select myself things like Breakout Book Of The Year, or Best Character Of The Year; but I will accept suggestions for awards that I might not think of myself; or even within categories used in previous years. For example, in the first awards, Cyclone (from the JSA) won an award for not having her costume depicted correctly in any of her appearances after her first one. That award has gone one to be called the "Cyclone Fashion Award To The Most Mutable Costume", and was won by Una in the second edition of the awards, and was expanded in the following edition to cover any character alteration, going to Norman Osborn's eyes, for changing contacts all the time (basically EVERY Marvel book during Secret Invasion and Dark Reign).

Then, within the same special awards, we have stuff like the "Creator That I'm Sorry I Have To Dissect Award", for people whose sheer volume of work makes it likely they slip up and I notice it, but they obviously very much care about their work, and on top of that, are nice people. Or the "Bloody Stumps With Blunt Crayolas Award", for underachievement in art; or the "Worst Character Depiction Although You Obviously Have Talent Award" for instances in which it's readily noticeable that an artist has a lot of talent, but (for example) decides to make Beast look like a humanoid goat, for example. And finally, there's the "Golden Bonesaw Award", for catastrophic underachievement, taken home in 2007 by Marvel for the many shapes of Beast, in 2008 by the Blue Beetle issue in Spanish, and in 2009 by IDW and their Zorro book for their year-long raping of the Spanish language. I will probably choose this one myself, but I welcome suggestions too. You can e-mail me at lordmagnusen (at) gmail (dot) com, or leave comments in upcoming columns.

Okay then, let's get on with the column itself, with last column's DT!. It was solved by Donald313; who noticed (after several tries) that the editor's note referred to "Superman #84", without specifying that it was Superman V2, not V1 (which was from 1953). Badge for Donald. I'll get the Dissector's Picks Of The Week out of the way quickly... Best Book Of The Week was The Amazing Spider-Man #649. While Humberto Ramos' art is not my favorite, it fits Spider-Man, and Dan Slott has a good handle on Peter and his cast. Worst Book Of The Week was Batman And Robin #17, with Paul Cornell's writing being a poor follow-up to what was Grant Morrison's best contribution to the current Batman books; and Scott McDaniel's blocky, cartoony art not being a good fit for the look this title had up to now. While I'm at it, check out the cover of the week; is from Avengers Vs. Pet Avengers #2, and by Ig Guara and (I believe colors are his) Chris Sotomayor. I love how Lockheed is all defiant and in Fing Fang Foom's face.

The Rundown: Action Comics (Scandal Savage's eyes are colored incorrectly), Angel (Connor's eyes should be blue, not green), Chaos War: Chaos King (Reed Richard's eyes shouldn't be blue), Chaos War: Dead Avengers (Deathcry refers to people as "hairy mammals", when she's been drawn very hairy, instead of "feathery", since she is a Shi'ar; Swordsman couldn't have been in Vietnam right after the war, two cedillas are the wrong size, and Swordsman's eyes change color), G.I. Combat V2 (accented letter), G.I. Joe: Future Noir Special (accented letter), Hercules: Twilight Of A God (Galactus' original name is "Galan", not "Galen"), Ides Of Blood ("he gods" instead of "the gods"), Jurassic Park (wrong Spanish, a word balloon is cut off, there's no way a normal person can knock someone out with a piece of amber thrown at the head, and Ludlow was Hammond's nephew, not his niece's husband), Our Army At War V2 ("solider" instead of "soldier"), Secret Avengers (a small cedilla), Shadowland: Power Man (small "ñ"), Taskmaster V2 (translated German inside brackets still in German, accented letters), Uncanny X-Force (Rachel Summer's hair in one photo is colored wrong, Psylocke's eyes are wrong), Welcome To Tranquility: One Foot In The Grave ("my" instead of "by"), X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook ("Corps" instead of "Captain Britain Corps", and "Bran" Braddock).

TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man V1 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 649.

CULPRIT: Dan Slott (writer).

DISSECTION: Come on, work on this one:


TITLE: DC Universe Legacies (DC).

ISSUE: 07 of 12.

CULPRIT: Len Wein (writer).

DISSECTION: Oh, so the guy who was alive in the 1940s is about 40 when Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker? And when Superman fought Doomsday? And when Batman was broken by Bane? Yeah, sure.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Also, John Stewart's fully becoming Green Lantern and Bane breaking Batman were not at the same time; Bane did not break Batman in public; Jean-Paul Valley never wore a regular batman costume with his clawed, spike shooting gloves; and who in their sane mind would send two detectives to shoot at Doomsday when he's fighting Superman's in downtown Metropolis; after it was plain obvious that no conventional weapons affected him?

TITLE: Detective Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 871.

CULPRIT: Scott Snyder (writer) and/or Francesco Francavilla (penciller).

DISSECTION: Commissioner Gordon has his badges on a "Father's Day" display Barbara gave him; and he has (last to first) his Commissioner badge, his Captain one, his Detective Lieutenant shield, all of those from Gotham, and then his Chicago Detective and Officer badges... but he should have a GCPD badge as his first one, because he started out as a cop in Gotham, and then was transferred to Chicago because he messed with Gotham's corrupt cops. In fact, recent stories have shown that to be still in continuity.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Maybe Babs didn't want to remind him of that first part of his career.

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 186.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: Donald313 noticed I wrote "but the character is actually lawyer". Another badge for Don.


TITLE: Justice League Of America/The 99 (DC/Teshkeel).

ISSUE: 02 of 06.

CULPRIT: Fabian Nicieza & Stuart Moore (writers).

DISSECTION: Why is Doctor Light complaining about feeling useless while the Atom, Flash, and two members of The 99 are performing a medical examination on another 99 member? She's a medical doctor, among many specialties, and one of the DCU's foremost experts in metahuman biology (along with Dr. Mid-Nite); she should be leading the procedure. It gets even more ridiculous when Barry Allen starts "performing incisions"... he's a scientist, but he's not a surgeon by any stretch.

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. Also, on the first issue, during the fight with the new Madmen, a giant cork appears out of nowhere...

TITLE: Justice Society Of America V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 45.

CULPRIT: Marc Guggenheim (writer).

DISSECTION: "Scythe" is not, and will never be "German for 'Drachen'"; for a couple of reasons. First, "scythe" is not a German word, the German word for "scythe" is "Sense". Second, "Drachen" is a word in German, it is the plural for "Drache", which means "dragon". What the heck was Guggenheim trying to say here?


TITLE: New Mutants V3 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 19.

CULPRIT: Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor).

DISSECTION: The cover bills this as the conclusion to the current story arc, but there seems to be one issue more to go, and the issue ends with "to be continued". What the...?

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, there's an accented letter that's too small.

TITLE: Ultimate Spider-Man (Marvel).

ISSUE: 150.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer), many others.

DISSECTION: So, they took up the numbering from the previous volume, that's good. This celebratory issue a long original story, or rather stories, as they were vignettes joined by an overarching topic, and it was a good read. Then there's the reprint of the 60-page Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special; from 2002.

While there are a couple of minor errors in the new stories; the real problem is with the reprint. It's pointless, and its pointlessness worsens the impact of the errors it contains. Now, this is from the early years of the Ultimate line, and some things are forgivable, such as the Black Widow being considered a hero (she didn't become a traitor until much later); or the more shocking fact that Reed Richards is shown to be a middle-aged man, and married to Sue; and an image of the classic, even Kirby-esque Fantastic Four. Yes, the Ultimate Fantastic Four weren't actually introduced until later (2004), so in the original context, this was forgivable, but it's blatantly ridiculous as a reprint. Still, I cannot count these details in a reprint (despite no note beyond a title in the credit page with the name indicating it's an old story) as dissections, it wouldn't be fair. But I do question the intelligence on reprinting something as part of a current continuity book (making up most of the issue, not just a small backup story), when it flies in the face of what was later established.

What I can do is focus on all the fuck ups that were committed in that special that were wrong at the moment it was published (and I wasn't doing the column). Elektra's sai shouldn't draw blood from Peter's hand gripping the shaft (SAI DO NOT HAVE EDGES OR POINTY-POINTS), Elektra's feet are clad in red booties, and in one panel one foot is flesh colored; the Thing is given brown eyes, one portrayal of Nick Fury shows his Ultimate version but another one shows him as the 616 white man; a dialogue says "haveto", and Gwen Stacy's eyes are colored incorrectly.

But the worse fuck ups are in the framing sequence for the special's story. A teacher (a white, elderly lady) tells Peter's class (which in that scene consists of like seven students) that they have to do an oral presentation choosing a superhero or a villain, telling something about themselves as that hero, etc, etc, etc. Before that, Peter struggles with his role as a hero, and after the assignment is given, he describes what defines heroes; and different artists draw each scene (hence the two different Nick Furies, or the two different depictions of the FF).

But before Peter gives his presentation; we go back to the school (now it looks like a regular-sized class) and we see Kong (one of Ultimate Peter's classmates) giving his own presentation about the Punisher... and he's criticized by Gwen for choosing Frank Castle, who's a homicidal maniac... something the teacher supports; saying that the Punisher is not a hero. Problem is, the assignment is given as "good or bad guy"; so Kong's selection was not wrong. Oh, and you know what the other problem is? THE TEACHER IS NOW A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN!!!!!!

I'm willing to give the change of teacher a low rating, first because both scenes are done by different artists and it's not their fault (but Bendis or the editor should have made sure there was a description of the teacher on both script pages), and because maybe, just maybe, the assignment could be received by a different teacher (substitutes, etc). Still, failing Kong on his presentation because he chose the Punisher is not an acceptable plot twist, because Bendis is writing the whole story himself, and even if the teacher is different and she misunderstood the original assignment, students in the classroom or Kong himself should have said so. You know what I call this? Sloppiness. They churned out a Special in 2002 to cash in, and reprinted the piece of crap in this book to make it thicker and charge more; when it adds absolutely nothing to the current storyline or the anniversary.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars for the writing error, various lower ratings for the rest.

TITLE: Uncanny X-Men (Marvel).

ISSUE: 530.

CULPRIT: Matt Fraction (writer).

DISSECTION: A virus is affecting mutants, and Dr. Kavita Rao says that those mutants with "full body physiognomies" are the ones who are suffering the worst. You probably meant "physiologies", Matt, as in "physiology", the science that studies the functioning of a living organism; and is commonly used to refer to the living organism as a system. "Physiognomy" means "the assessment of a person's character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face". Quite different, isn't it?

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: X-Men Legacy (Marvel).

ISSUE: 242.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer) and/or Paul Davidson (penciller).

DISSECTION: Why the fuck does a baseball thrown by Anole become a flaming curveball? He doesn't have the strength for something like that, even if it made sense, and this is not a cartoony story...

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Also, Psylocke's start out wrong and change color to the right one, while Magneto's alias is written "Eric Lensherr", when it should be "Erik Lehnsherr".
Just 6.4 Bazzars as an average in fifty-eight dissections? Lower than I expected... the four 10-point dissections didn't factor as much as I expected them to, but it's logical when they're less than seven percent of the total dissections. Alright then, Moments Of The Week, the few and the proud. First up, who said scientists didn't have poetry in their souls?

You show them, Dr. Honeydew! And now, the ultimate minion:

REDSHIRT!!! Bwa-hah-hah!!! And for a finale, something that's definitely a tail to a tale; and en to a... well, see for yourself:

Dazzler is kind enough as to wear a costume that points to her... well... yeah. That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Dissector #187.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"Thirty-year-old rare Islay malt, and you chuck blocks of frozen water into it?" John Constantine, Hellblazer #273.

Now, this is called being up to date... of course, there's no guarantee that I'll get next column out in time; but anyway. This is the column for books released on 11/17. Last column's DT! wasn't cracked, but there wasn't enough time between columns I guess... wait, as I was getting ready to post this column, Donald313 did it. The problem was that Chameleon mentions committing treason, but he's a Russian citizen, which means he can't be charged with treason against the U.S., can he?

The Dissector's Picks Of The Week this time are: Best Book Of The Week is Hellboy: Double Feature Of Evil. If it wasn't for Corben's art (which is still spectacular), this would fit right in with the early Hellboy adventures. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy Hellboy, but it used to be lighter, even with all the horror and darkness... nowadays, it's become too embroiled in its own mythology, and I truly miss the "old days". Worst Book Of The Week was almost, almost, Superman #704; with its cheap shot story about domestic and child violence.. but at least that comic was passably written and drawn. No, this time it's Superman/Batman #78... first a story about "who would win" between the title characters, from the perspective of two kids; and then a very crappy angsty story about Power Girl (dealing with her already resolved "being from another universe" grief) and Huntress (rehashing her "boohoo my mafia family was killed by more mafia" sob story). This book is pointless, pull the plug on it already.

I don't have much to say about the Cover Of The Week except that it's from Darkwing Duck #6, it's by my fellow Uruguayan Diego Jourdan, and it's a homage to a great Batman cover of yesteryear. Not the first, but a good one.

The Rundown: The Authority: The Lost Year (Swift's ears are pointy again), The Avengers V4 (inconsistent credit lettering, Jarvis with a full head of hair and blond, Hawkeye doesn't know there's a red Hulk, inconsistent "next issue" lettering), Batman: The Return (Lucius Fox does not look like Morgan Freeman in the comics!), Brightest Day (accented letter), Ghost Projekt (weird dialogue), Green Lantern Corps V2 (several badges and other uniform errors), Hellblazer (the magic circle John left open last issue, the same one Gloria the succubus points to as open... is closed), I Am An Avenger (inconsistent credit lettering, Justice's current costume should expose his ears, an empathic link should not enable you to have a conversation or send images; only emotions), Justice League Of America V2 (Dick's bat emblem is wrong , Zatanna's eyes are colored purple instead of blue), Knights Of The Dinner Table (a dialogue that's pointing to Weird Pete is actually Gordo's), Legion Of Super-Heroes V6 (two incomplete power listings, and why would Gates need help from Chameleon in adapting to high humidity environments?), Osborn ("preëminent"?), Superman/Batman (Luthor's costume on the cover is wrong, "Powergirl" instead of "Power Girl" at one point), Thunderbolts (Juggernaut's eyes are colored incorrectly).

TITLE: Batman (DC).

ISSUE: 704.

CULPRIT: Jared K. Fletcher (letterer).

DISSECTION: Mister Sinister, new reader (or at least new poster, I don't remember him posting before) noticed that credits in this issue say "RITTEN" instead of "WRITTEN". Badge for you, Sinister, and welcome to the Honorary Dissector Scout Corps.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Also, Dick's chest emblem is wrong.

TITLE: The Flash V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 06.

CULPRIT: Sal Cipriano (letterer).

DISSECTION: This one bears showing:

Seems like Sal pastes the text from the script to work on the balloons and actual lettering... but in this case, he forgot to delete or hide that layer when turning in the completed pages. Once upon a time, I would have been amazed at something like this slipping by an editor, but I've been doing this column for five years now...

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. The first letter of a word is missing in another dialogue; and I'm going to blame that on Sal too this time, and Iris' eyes are colored incorrectly.

TITLE: Green Lantern V4 (DC).

ISSUE: 59.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: I'm sorry, but I won't buy that Larfleeze can steal Barry Allen's wallet... if he keeps it on his person, it's probably stored with his clothes inside his ring; because there's no space in Barry's tights (where he pats his leg after noticing Larfleeze has the wallet)...

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Hal Jordan's badge is wrong on the cover and inside.

TITLE: Spider-Girl V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: Stephen Wacker (senior editor), Nate Cosby (editor), Tom Brennan (associate editor), and Mike Horwitz (assistant editor).

DISSECTION: Cover for this first issue says it's the "most synapse-shattering super hero debut of the decade". Really? Can someone explain to me how that's possible? Araña has been around since 2004; and she changed costume and name months ago, jumping around other books with it since then... This is not a debut in any way... at least not a "super hero debut". It might be a "solo series debut" (which would be partially correct), but not what they say...


TITLE: Spider-Girl V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: Paul Tobin (writer).

DISSECTION: Let's go over this again... Anya's original codename was "Araña"... "ARAÑA"... NOT "ARANA"!!! CAN WE FUCKING REMEMBER THAT IN HER OWN FUCKING BOOK FOR FUCK'S SAKE?!!?!!?!?

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Yes, any problem with that?

TITLE: Supergirl V6 (DC).

ISSUE: 58.

CULPRIT: Wil Moss (assistant editor) and/or Matt Idelson (editor)

DISSECTION: Check this one out:

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Also, there's no way Lois Lane is going to be admitted into Star Labs while wearing a scarf covering most of her face (Muslim-style). I can see Gangbuster letting her in like that, but when she meets him, she's already inside.

TITLE: X-Factor V3 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 211.

CULPRIT: Matt Milla (colorist).

DISSECTION: It's not Jeromy Cox, but what's up with this book? First Layla's eyes are blue, then green (the right color). Then, Madrox's eyes start out brown, as they should be, then change to green, then to brown again.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars each.
This time the average was 6.1 Bazzars in forty-three dissections... I thought it'd be a bit higher. Moments Of The Week! Modern day Justice sees his past self and is distraught by what he wore (pictured right)... oh, right, because what you wear now (pictured left) is sooo much better!!!

Then, from Green Lantern Corps and Batman, two unfortunate sound effects:

And from Tiny Titans, why the hell is Jor-El in league with Zod and his cronies?

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


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Dissector #186.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"I've said it before and I'll say it again. Jarvis is an Avenger. He is as much an Avenger as any of us." Steve Rogers, Avengers Assemble, The Oral History Of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Chapter 12, The New Avengers V2 #6.

Still playing that game of "ketchup", here's the column for books released on 11/10. Last column's DT! was cracked by JohnnyDoe, who spotted that Bucky's Tommy gun ammo drum is in a ridiculous angle regarding the rest of the gun. Badge for you, Johnny.

Now, The Dissector's Picks Of The Week... Best Book Of The Week was Atomic Robo And The Deadly Art Of Science #1. Not only do we get to see "teenage" Robo having adventures with a mystery man of his universe (in what's probably the late 20s or early 30s), but we see some of his father/son dynamic with Tesla himself. You all know how much I love this book. Worst Book Of The Week was Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6, last issue of this poor miniseries. Not only Grant Morrison's plot makes no sense, mistaking chaotic storytelling for innovation, but they couldn't even have one artist do all the pages (much like the previous issue). On top of that, the release timing is bad, because it comes out after all the (also horrible) "Road Home" one-shots with the "Insider" crap...

Cover Of The Week is from Dungeons & Dragons #1 (by IDW); with art by Tyler Walpole and production work by someone uncredited, to make it look like an old school gaming module. Yeah, I admit it, I liked this because of a novelty issue; the actual cover art isn't that wonderful... but the effect they were looking for was achieved. Not only that, but the feel of the actual issue is that of a tabletop game (regardless of the fact that I do not like the D&D 4E rule system), and the actual module is included in the issue. It might not be the best cover art ever, or the best comic book of the week... but it certainly is the best issue gimmick of the week.

The Rundown: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (Doom's eyes are colored incorrectly twice, inconsistent credit lettering), Batgirl V3 (Oracle's eyes should be blue, not green), Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne (Hal Jordan's badge is wrong, it should be "déjà vu" and not "dejà vu"), Birds Of Prey V3 (weird dialogue at one point), Dungeons & Dragons (the fantastic metal is "adamantine" or, more commonly in RPGs, "adamantite", not "adamanite"), G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (wrongly sized Cyrillic letters in the art), Invaders Now! (accented letters, Namor's eyes should be grey), Knights Of The Dinner Table ("Hat Of Opulent Lodging" becomes "Hat Of Opulant Loding"), New Mutants Forever (NOVA ROMA IS NOT IN THE FUCKING ANDES, CHRIS!!! YOU CREATED IT AND PLACED IT IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE!!!), R.E.B.E.L.S. (Psion computer monitor with English text), Shadowland: Daughters Of The Shadow (Misty Knight, a black woman, gets her eyes colored blue, and then green; none of those colors are correct for her eyes), Titans V2 (Batman's gloves are wrong, Ray Palmer is not blond and brown-eyed, Tattooed Man is Mark Richards, not "Richard"), X-Men Forever 2 (Genosha, even at the height of its power, could never be considered on par with the US; Lockheed's fangs shouldn't be that large).

TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel).

ISSUE: 648.

CULPRIT: Dan Slott (writer).

DISSECTION: Check this one out:

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. Also, Reed Richard's eyes are colored incorrectly on the cover, Michele Gonzales' eyes and skin are wrong too, "skeletal crew" is used instead of "skeleton crew", and Captain America's boots are colored red when they should be black.

TITLE: The Avengers Prime (Marvel).

ISSUE: 04 of 05.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer).

DISSECTION: Why would Thor refer to Jotunheim, land of his people's mortal enemies, as "that beautiful realm"?


TITLE: Captain America V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 346.

CULPRIT: Mark Gruenwald (writer).

DISSECTION: An older one to pad out the column... Louis Hamilton, aka Stonewall is playing a lawyer in a mock trial for Quicksilver, and acts like a lumbering idiot, quoting "L.A. Law" for example... but the character is actually lawyer, something the late Gruenwald didn't bother to check.


TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: Various.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: I've referred to the current Captain America book as volume 1; but it's actually (technically) volume 2. I count volume numbers based on numbering; thus, books that have gone back to their previous numbering (like Captain America, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, etc) count as "V1". In this case, the current Cap Book continues numbering from the Captain America book that picked up numbering from Tales Of Suspense (as Thor did with Journey Into Mystery, for example).

The original book was Captain America Comics, published starting in 1941 by Timely/Atlas (and then Complete Photo Story, and Marjean Magazine), running up to issue 75 (that issue and the previous one were actually cover titled Captain America's Weird Tales). In 1954, however, Atlas published issues 76 through 78 of "Captain America", continuing the previous' book numbering, and portraying the "Commie Smasher" Captain America that was later retconned into being the crazy "Steve Roger" guy. Atlas, Timely, etc, are all effectively considered Marvel, and in any case, with Captain America I'd consider volumes from other companies as I've done with characters like Blue Beetle. So, to sum up, the current Captain America series is V2, if only because of the three 50s issues.


TITLE: Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (DC).

ISSUE: 04.

CULPRIT: Peter J. Tomasi (writer).

DISSECTION: Guy Gardner and other lanterns break into a torture (sorry, interrogation) chamber in Daxam to confront Sodam Yat's father (who's doing the interrogating), and he threatens them that he's going to submit a "GOTG-22" and "have" Guy's ring. What? The Guardians do not subject the Green Lantern Corps to complaints and overseeing by the worlds they patrol and protect; in fact, that's been a major plot point in books like L.E.G.I.O.N., R.E.B.E.L.S., Darkstars, etc, etc.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Also, GL badges on Kilowog and Guy Gardner are wrong, and Guy's is positioned too low on his jacket.
This time we returned to an average within the usual parameters, 6.4 Bazzars in thirty seven dissections. Moments Of The Week! First up, a prepared nerd is a surviving nerd:

SHAZAM! Next, some D&D characters have their priorities straight:

That sounds like something out of the mouth of some players I know... Still within D&D, you've got to have cooperation from the local law:

That's helpful! And last, don't sass Tesla!

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


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dissector #185.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"What do you mean? No more food? No more pigs and cows and other animals and vegetables of a victual nature to finish my repast? (...) How then can I demonstrate my prowess in this challenge you've set, to prove to you how much I can eat for the bounty of fourteen ninety-nine? By my word, Joe of Joe's Diner, I've barely begun to tuck in! (...) Have I failed then? Am I to be ridiculed again among you fine people as a weak slackbelly?" Volstagg The Voluminous, Warriors Three #1.

And I got another column in before the week was over! This one's for 11/03, the first week of November. Jordan cracked the DT! last column; the Wolverine clone's claws are articulated, they have knuckle joints, when they shouldn't. Badge for him. He also noticed something else that I hadn't, see more of that below.

What are The Dissector's Picks Of The Week, you might be asking yourself... well, Best Book Of The Week was Iron Man Legacy #8... it's not extraordinary, but Fred Van Lente month after month shows how you can write between-the-raindrops-of-continuity tales or flashbacks without being cheesy or lame; Steve Kurth's art certainly doesn't hurt, with a healthy mix of retro and modern. Worst Book Of The Week was JSA All-Stars #12... Matthew Sturges' scripts for this book aren't very good; but what makes this book sink are Howard Porter's pencils... everybody has misshapen heads and weird expressions on their faces. The very flat colors by The Hories don't help either...

Now, how about a change in layout? The Cover Of The Week will, from now on, appear in this part of the column. Why? Well, several reasons. First, having a picture in this first part of the column makes it look better. Second, it's more in line with the Dissector Picks than with the Moments Of The Week. And third, Facebook doesn't detect any other images in the blog post after the first one, making the thumbnail for the post on each column usually end up being the DT!, which is not necessarily (that is, never) the most attractive image in the column. So, there... this is an obvious parody cover for The Boys, by Darick Robertson. Not fantastic, but pretty funny.

The Rundown: Avengers Academy (inconsistent lettering in the credits page, bullshit theories about mass conservation in Reptil's powers, accented letter), Batman Confidential (timeline in main story doesn't jive, in the backup story Martian Manhunter comments about having problems with the English language... when he's been speaking English longer than the other characters, particularly Wonder Woman; and Aquaman comments that a mere big lab is larger than the Mariana Trench... Silver Age style doesn't have to mean ridiculous), Doom Patrol V5 (Rita's eyes colored wrong), I Am An Avenger (Jarvis's eyes should be blue), JSA All-Stars (Cyclone's eyes should be green, but start out blue, then change to green in the same page, later they're blue again, and then green once more), Namor: The First Mutant (Namor's ankle wings on the cover are too large, inside his eyes are colored incorrectly, and while the Atlantean logomancer might be half-human, I doubt it, so he should be blue), Secret Six V3 (the word "undetectable" is between quotation marks, but one quotation mark ended up on the next line), Strange Tales II (the Watcher first calls the fake Watcher guy Philip, and then Tony; Toro shouldn't be blonde, and he certainly shouldn't be called "Maestro" by Iron Man), Young Allies (inconsistent credit lettering).

TITLE: Adventure Comics V1 (DC).

ISSUE: 520.

CULPRIT: Paul Levitz (writer).

DISSECTION: Saturn Girl refers to Naltor as "that strange planet where people can predict the future". That's just dumb... what about that strange moon where people are telepaths, that strange planet where people control magnetism, that strange planet where people eat anything, that strange planet where... That's, uhm... called the Legion Of Super-Heroes' setting!

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Star Boy's hair is colored incorrectly, Ultra Boy, Superman, and Supergirl's powers are incomplete (and even Superman and Supergirl are not said to have the same powers).

TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel).

ISSUE: 647.

CULPRIT: Joe Caramagna (letterer).

DISSECTION: Joe's one of my favorite letterers, and that makes this dissection worse... he letter's what's supposed to be the word "Señor" as "Senõr". Not only that, he makes the "o" smaller because of the tilde. *sigh*

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzar's for fucking up the word, 7 for the smaller letter. Then there's eye coloring mistake galore, baby goblin's ears are wrong in one story, and Vin Gonzales gets called "Gonzalez". Twice. Also, the story "You Again?" is missing the question mark in the credits page.

TITLE: Captain America: Man Out Of Time (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: Jorge Molina (penciller).

DISSECTION: Yay, another re-telling of Cap's getting frozen and thawed! Yay, it changes stuff unnecessarily! *groan* While he was still in WWII, spot me this one:


TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 184.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (editor).

DISSECTION: Darryn noticed that instead of putting the Cover Of The Week, I repeated the DT! image. Badge for Darryn.


TITLE: X-Men Forever 2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 10.

CULPRIT: Mike Grell (penciller).

DISSECTION: Jordan also noticed that Wolverine's claws come out of his wrist instead of from in between his knuckles.


TITLE: X-Men: To Serve And Protect (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01 of 04.

CULPRIT: James Asmus (writer).

DISSECTION: Now, Emma Frost's diamond form has been shown to grant her a nebulous level of immunity to psychic powers... but pheromones are not psychic, so she shouldn't be able to resist Mandrill's powers. Then again, she might not have a sense of smell in her diamond form ,but I doubt it... it still gets a dissection, though with a low rating.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Also, an accented letter in the Batroc/Fantomex story is smaller than it should be, but then another one is the right size.
A lower than usual rating, at 5.8 Bazzars in thirty nine dissections... Now, Moments Of The Week! First, it's bad enough to be a zombie and eat brains, getting memories from the dead...

... it's worse when you eat your mom's brain! The next Moment needs some explanation as to why I found it so funny. Some years ago, my friends and I were playing a roleplaying game where we "reality hopped", and we ended up in a dimension where Mars looked a lot like the John Carter Of Mars setting. My character was a cowboy, a Texan soldier from WWII... who happened to read pulp magazines. What did he do? He stripped down to his underwear, boots, hat, and gunbelt, and that's how he went around the world (only to discover nobody actually dressed like that there, but well...)

Now, I'm reading Secret Six, and the team (or teams) is in Skartaris... and what does Ragdoll do?

Basically the same my character did. It was very nice to see Gail Simone thinking in a similar wavelength as me. Next, there are certain things you don't do in...

Such as fucking with The Wall. And the 90s come back to bite Cable:

But Spidey ends up footing the bill... Now, how would Thor fly if he didn't have his hammer?

Why, of course... The following Moment is not so much something I found cool, funny or shocking, but more something that puzzled me, but that I couldn't actually consider a dissection. Look at this cropping from the Women Of Marvel #1 cover:

The cover has several Marvel women, including the Black Cat (you can see her white hair there) and the Enchantress... and look at that woman in the middle. Now, I know it's Medusa, for several reasons: long hair, hair that's flaring up in odd ways, etc... but do you think you could have tried a bit less to make her look like Mary Jane Watson? There's no reason (except for the fact that she's not in a story inside) why MJ couldn't have been on the same cover as the Black Cat; you gave her a fringe haircut like MJ has used (but Medusa hasn't, at least not famously)... and you give her bracelets that look like web shooters. Not to mention the fact that the Medusa story inside the book is actually a story from her past; when she's a very young teen, and not the sexy seductress that you're showing in fake Moulin Rouge lingerie on the cover of a comic that is supposed to portray your publisher's female characters in a positive, non-sex object way!!!

Of course, the cover for issue #2 will be by Greg "Porntracer" Land. What, Greg doesn't trace porn? That's right, he traces ANYTHING he can find... Next Moment; how did Harry Osborn name his new baby boy?

Stanley! After his real dad, I guess! But don't worry, Norman still has young men to influence... like Vin Gonzales: