Friday, August 27, 2010

The Dissector #174.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"Oh, Kermie! I've been thinking about how brave you are, promising to get rid of all vampires! (...) Yes, if the worst happens and you too are turned into a creature of the night, I will not spurn you! Though I must, must insist that you try not to... *gulp* ... ravish little moi. (I'll be lying on the sofa in my dressing room, if you're wondering. My window's always open. Kiss kiss." Miss Piggy, The Muppet Show: The Comic Book #8.

Yes, I'm horribly late. Around three weeks, I'd say, so I'm taking you through this first part quickly. First, I'll retract from column #167, when I said that in Captain America Fixer couldn't be working with Zemo; since it was referred to as a sort of scheme Fixer is in. My bad, one less dissection for Marvel, Captain America, and writer Brubaker.

Ensign Darryn needs a welcome into the Honorary Dissector Scout Corps, since he noticed correctly that H.A.M.M.E.R was an organ of the American government only, not an international enforcement organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. was. Best Book Of The Week? Flash #4, Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul at their best. Worst Book Of The Week was Teen Titans #85, horrible art and boring, confusing plot.

The Rundown: Age Of Heroes (Selena Gomez, not "Selina"), Artifacts (Spider-Man, not Spider-man, accented letter), The Authority: The Lost Year (accented letters), Avengers Assemble (complete lack of criteria for listing inactive and honorary members, calling Steve Rogers Captain America, saying that American Eagle joined the H.A.M.M.E.R., and calling a nickname an "alias"), Captain America: The 1940s Newspaper Strip (Captain America's pants look like shorts at one point), CBGB (the Voidoids are called the "Volvoids" at one point), Detective Comics (Batman's gloves, plus chest and belt emblems are wrong), Fantastic Four V1 (why are Reed Richards, Victor von Doom, and Ben Grimm attending college in what looks like the 50s?), G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds (the credits page is for the stories from last issue), Green Lantern V4 (Hal Jordan's badge starts out right, then changes shape), Green Lantern Corps V2 (John Stewart's badge is wrong), Green Arrow V4 (Hal's badge is wrong on the cover and inside art), Justice League: Generation Lost (there is no way Captain Atom weights 750 kilos), Justice League Of America V2 (accented letter, wrong badge on Kyle Rayner, calling Vic Stone a "doctor"), Outsiders V4 (wrong Spanish, accented letter), Secret Avengers (wrong eye color on Ant-Man), Star Trek: Burden Of Knowledge (Uhura's badge is missing), Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose ("bo" staff, not "bow" staff... and even then, saying "bo staf" is redundant), Teen Titans V3 (Beast Boy has weird action figure feet, and Kid Flash complains that his legs are trapped so he can't use them to create a whirlwind... but he can do that with his arms), Thor V1 (fifteen accented letters, Thor's eyes get colored green), World War Hulks: Captain America Vs. Wolverine (Reed Richards builds Cosmic Cubes?), World War Hulks: Spider-Man Vs. Thor (Spider-Hulk not Spider-Man), X-Campus (Wolverine's eyes and hair are miscolored in one story, a letter is missing in a word, and an accented letter is smaller than it should be), X-Factor Forever (if they're 30 minutes away from Genosha, how do they get there in the space of four or five sentences in the same conversation?), X-Men Forever 2 (Ororo's eyes are miscolored, and since when does Jean establish "flash-links" with her telepathy?)

TITLE: Batman: The Widening Gyre (DC).

ISSUE: 06 of 06.

CULPRIT: Kevin Smith (writer).

DISSECTION: I love Kevin Smith, and Widening Gyre (and the previous mini) is a fun read, but writing comics is not his forte. In particular, someone talks about having a 17th century crossbow with a 21st century firing pin. Crossbows do not have firing pins, modern firearms have firing pins. Guns, unlike crossbows, operate by setting off an explosion that propels the bullet, and that is what the firing pin is for. Crossbows, on the other hand, propel bolts by using a string.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, why is there a "SUPER HIGH HIGH VOLTAGE" sign in the Batcave's power plant?

TITLE: Peter Parker (Marvel).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Tom Peyer (writer).

DISSECTION: I understand how Peter Parker is very responsible and gets all worked up about stuff he feels is his fault... but reacting like there was no way to recover the information about the people that AIM had brainwashed was a bit too much... not when there's amazing technology in the hands of good guys, and when even with real world methods their true identities would be possible to recover.


TITLE: Spike: The Devil You Know (IDW).

ISSUE: 02 of 04.

CULPRIT: Bill Williams (writer).

DISSECTION: I know each fictitious vampire mythology or franchise has its rules... for example, a stake through the heart in Buffy means they turn to dust; while in Vampire: The Masquerade, it only sends them into a sort of mystical coma. Sunlight burns most vampires, it didn't burn Dracula, and it makes Edward sparkle... but that's not my point...

In Buffy, vampires have to be invited to enter a private residence, and it seems it even extends to places privately owned, even if they're not residences. There are a few workarounds, and specifics, of course, like not needing someone to actually own the place to invite you in as long as they live there (Buffy could invite Angel into her house despite the property being owned by her mother).

But how is it possible that Spike suggests his companion (a demon or half demon) enter a warehouse, spend a few minutes inside it, and then be able to invite him in? It makes absolutely no sense.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Superman/Batman (DC).

ISSUE: 31.

CULPRIT: Matthew Clark (penciller).

DISSECTION: Blast from the past, with a 2006 book. I complained about this a lot back in the day:


TITLE: Uncanny X-Men (Marvel).

ISSUE: 526.

CULPRIT: Whilce Portacio (penciller).

DISSECTION: Unless it's a blatant mistake in a character design, or setting, I usually leave bad art alone. In this case, I can't, not when it goes completely against the script, and not when I know the artists is capable of much, much better. Look at this:

How does this say "grief"? Did Whilce even read the script? Did he hand out random panels to his assistants? *shakes head*
DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. That's just hideous, and on top of that, it flies in the face of the script.

TITLE: Uncanny X-Men (Marvel).

ISSUE: 526.

CULPRIT: Matt Fraction (writer).

DISSECTION: I don't think there is anything like SATs in Canada. Yes, the character could be referring to taking SATs to qualify for a US college, but...

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. A few other character design and script errors.
Seventy dissections, and a 6.3 Bazzars average. Regular fare. Cover Of the week is this very nice piece by Leinil Francis Yu:

Rogue is always pretty to look at (you know, after her first appearances, anyway), and Magneto looks majestic. Moments Of The Week! From Teen Titans, was this really necessary?

Niiiiiiiceeee... Then, Larfleeze discovers Santiclaus.

Going into space, John Byrne gifts us the old "two characters played by the same actress", but in a special way:

For those of you not in the know, those are "Number One", original first officer of the Enterprise, and Christine Chapel, both of them played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. If the dates had allowed it, throwing in a Lwaxana Troi would have been heaven. Next, Jim Balent designs one of the most awesome weapons ever:

No, not the chick, the katana/gun. And last but not least... when did Tony Stark join the cast of Jersey Shore?

Good Lord, Tony has better style than that! That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...


Friday, August 06, 2010

The Dissector #173.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"I am the TERROR that flaps in the night! I am the classic rock act that NEVER retires! I AM DARKWING DUCK! And I... am talking to myself." Darkwing Duck, Darkwing Duck #2.

I'm still behind, not only on columns, but in my reading. These are the books published on 07/21 (mostly, there are one or two older books), and I haven't even finished reading the ones for last week... Not directly related with my column, you can visit my Formspring account, and ask me anything you'd like... as long as you keep it respectful.

Last week's DT! was cracked by Sidney, who earns a badge by correctly pointed out that, in traditional LSH continuity (and from what I've seen, it's been kept mostly the same), Brainiac 5 did not come to Earth to attend Science Police Academy; Saturn Girl did... so the speech balloon is pointing at the wrong character. Best Book Of The Week was Darkwing Duck #2... he finally puts on the costume, and both the script and art are a perfect evocation of the TV show. Worst Book Of The Week? Well, I didn't actually find any book really bad... but Zatanna #3 bored me. I'm dropping that book, I'm only interested in the character visually; and the art is not doing the character justice, while the plot is not very interesting; it's rather generic.

The Rundown: The Avengers V4 (inconsistent lettering in the credits, Tony Stark's eyes should be blue, his armor is not exactly as it currently is, and a sentence is missing a question mark), Brightest Day (Atlanteans without calf fins, "nearby to", Blackest Night couldn't have been "a few months back"), Ghostbusters: Con-Volution ("transfigured" is not "transfixed"), New Avengers V2 (inconsistent credit lettering, Dr. Strange's eyes are colored incorrectly), Superman/Batman (gee Supes, I wonder who built that rocket that sports A GIGANTIC PURPLE AND GREEN "L" LOGO ON IT?!?!??! And Luthor destroys ONE microchip you brought as evidence, and you complain that you have no more evidence... when you have an entire rocket and satellite?), Time Masters: Vanishing Point (Hal Jordan's badge is the wrong shape, and the setting on the uniform is wrong too, Rip Hunter's eyes and hair are miscolored, and there's an accented letter smaller than it should be).

TITLE: Action Comics (DC).

ISSUE: 890.

CULPRIT: Pete Woods (penciller).

DISSECTION: Ensign Jordan of the HDSC brought my attention to the fact that when Lex Luthor is dining with his Lois Lane android (what a stupid idea on the writer's part, by the way), the plates on the table disappear and reappear between pages. Jordan, have a badge.


TITLE: DC Universe: Legacies (DC).

ISSUE: 03 of 10.

CULPRIT: Len Wein (writer).

DISSECTION: Is this an Elseworld? Because if it is, just say so. There's no way the lead character can be a teenager when the original JSA was active (1940s) and then in his 30s or even less when Superman first appears.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Justice Society of America (DC)

ISSUE: 41.

CULPRIT: James Robinson (writer).

DISSECTION: The Starheart is driving elemental and magically powered heroes crazy, right? First, I don't get how it's affecting Supergirl and Power Girl, but I don't want to go there. But am I really supposed to believe that Donna Troy and Jesse Quick are among those who have "the least chance of being affected?

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, Alcatraz Island - and the inexistent island where Titans Tower is located- cannot be seen from the Golden Gate Bridge at that angle... and if it's the Bay Bridge, it doesn't look that way.

TITLE: Supergirl V6 (DC).

ISSUE: 54.

CULPRIT: Sterling Gates (writer).

DISSECTION: Bizarros have the opposite powers of Kryptonians? What? So Bizarro Superman is superweak? No, Bizarros might have some weird powers, but that's not how they are defined. Plus, why would the opposite of seeing through things (x-ray vision) be making things completely solid?

Suspension of disbelief is not a license for bullshit.


TITLE: Thunderbolts (Marvel).

ISSUE: 146.

CULPRIT: Jeff Parker (writer).

DISSECTION: If you dissect this, you get a few years of your prison sentence:

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. There are also another couple of small writing dissections.

TITLE: X-Factor V3 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 207.

CULPRIT: Jeromy Cox (colorist).

DISSECTION: Come on, Jeromy! Is this a joke, or what? First, M's eyes should not be blue, but that's an honest mistake. But then you have Shatterstar's eyes shift between green and blue (the right color), and then Rictor's eyes between blue and brown (right color)? Are you even paying attention to your job? Yes, I know, eye color is a minor detail... but not keeping it consistent between CONSECUTIVE PAGES OF THE SAME ISSUE you give the impression that you just don't give a fuck.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars for the changing eyes, 6 for M's mistake.
So, that's a 6.1 Bazzar in twenty-nine dissections. Cover Of The Week is a lovely piece by Dave Wilkins for the New Mutants:

Just a nice cover, and it also reminded me a tad of Sienkiewicz's covers for the original New Mutants book; but a lot more "clean"; not that either way is better. Now, Moments Of The Week. The first one is actually three separate Spider-Man moments from Avengers #3, in a little sequence I like to call "gotta love Spidey":

Say what you want about Bendis, or Romita Jr., they both know how to do a good Spider-Man. Next, Egyptian cat goddesses and Amadeus Cho... it can only go one way:

LOLSPEAK!!! Hellblazer is a fun book, and when written (as it's usually been, and as it MUST be) by Brits, it has those unequivocally British humor moments interspersed with all the weird, dark crap:

Right out of The Mighty Boosh, or Red Dwarf.... Now, back to Marvel, Ultimate Tony Stark knows what he needs to save the world:

Ah, the Ultimate Universe... where we can still make drunken Iron Man jokes! And as a finale, more Spidey:

I absolutely love it when writers remember Peter Parker has mad science skillz. Fred Van Lente (who wrote the story that scene is from) not only remembers that, but also relies on old Spidey continuity... while Dan Slott, new sole writer for the upcoming biweekly ASM, is a good writer, I fear he leans too much to the comedy side (at least when it comes to Spider-Man). Van Lente has a very good pen for humor, but also balances it perfectly with general narrative skills, and the aforementioned Spidey qualities. He would have been my choice for ASM's sole writer. That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...