Friday, September 10, 2010

The Dissector #176.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"I've run more tests than you own flimsy outfits, Miss Frost." Doctor Nemesis, X-Men-Curse Of The Mutants: Smoke And Blood.

Well, I'm back on schedule; although a lot of my books for 09/01 haven't arrived yet (and books this week came out on Thursday, not Wednesday, so that might cause a bit more of delay as well). Let's get straight to business, let me tell you that Commander JohnnyDoe of the Honorary Dissector Scout Corps noticed that the school bus in the picture was extraordinarily long, and the size of the kids' heads was the same as the vehicle's wheels.

The Dissector's Picks Of The Week are as follow: Best Book Of The Week was Iron Man Legacy... WINO TONY ADVENTURES!!! That's what Fred Van Lente calls the book, and it's a good read every week. Marvel's doing well at offering "between the raindrops" in-continuity, retro, yet not retcon tales of Iron Man. It already offers re-telling of old sagas (Spider-Man & The Secret Wars), other in continuity books that happen "before" current events (like the Astonishing ones), and even completely separate continuities (Ultimate, Marvel Adventures, etc). This book, however, is my favorite of those, because you know I'm a continuity junkie.

Worst Book Of The Week was United Free Worlds #7, published by Fantasy pr0n... err... Fantasy Prone. Beautiful digital paintings on the cover and in the first pages make you think this is going to be, at least, a visually fulfilling book; yet the actual story is drawn very amateurishly, in a horrible version of a 90s Image book, and the dialogue is not any better. Of course, I should have seen the blurb

The Rundown: Avengers: The Children's Crusade (inconsistent credit lettering), Buffy The Vampire Slayer (accented letter), Captain America: Forever Allies (Black Widow's eyes miscolored), G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (word missing in a sentence), JSA All-Stars (Czek language wrong), Secret Six V3 (Deadshot's hair should be black, not brown), Shadowland: Elektra (Elektra's eyes on the cover should be blue, not brown), Taskmaster V2 ("USAgent).

TITLE: Batman Confidential (DC).

ISSUE: 48.

CULPRIT: Kevin VanHook (writer).

DISSECTION: What does Kevin VanHook have on DC editors? Because the crap he writes is just awful... What is "denizens of the undead" supposed to be? Not only he is a poor writer, he also doesn't know what the word denizen means.


TITLE: Batman Confidential (DC).

ISSUE: 48.

CULPRIT: Kevin VanHook (writer).

DISSECTION: First Batman doesn't believe in the supernatural. Then it's Superman, and I believe Green Arrow didn't believe in it in the miniseries that preceded this arc (the in-a-stroke-of-genius-titled "Superman/Batman Vs. Vampires And Werewolves"). And now? Liv, the girl who, knowingly, IS THE GIRLFRIEND OF A VAMPIRE AND HAS BEEN TURNED INTO ONE NOW!!!!!

Really VanHook, you weren't happy ignoring decades of stories starring Batman and Superman, you had to ignore your own work? Within the same story?

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage (DC).

ISSUE: 02 of 02.

CULPRIT: Howard Chaykin (writer).

DISSECTION: Chaykin refers to the Rannians as "nature worshipers, with deeply held personal feelings about faith". Uh? What? They've always been portrayed (until the recent Lady Styx worshipping) as very science/reason based people.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Oh, right, this is old, from December, 2006, and I put it in to fill the quota of ten featured dissections for the column.

TITLE: I, Zombie (DC/Vertigo).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Laura Allred (colorist).

DISSECTION: Supernatural (if you believe in that stuff) DT!


TITLE: Iron Man Legacy (Marvel).

ISSUE: 06.

CULPRIT: Fred Van Lente (writer).

DISSECTION: WINO TONY ADVENTURES!!! I never tire of that one... Namor says Black Bolt communicates in sub vocal whispers, and while sub vocal speech might or might not produce sound; Black Bolt has always been shown to not speak, and make himself understood by body language. SOMEONE GET THE GUY A VOICE SYNTHETIZER!!! Geez...

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Stephen Strange and Reed Richards get their eyes colored incorrectly, also.

TITLE: Origins Of Marvel Comics: X-Men (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: James Asmus (writer).

DISSECTION: Colossus is, according to Marvel's current timeline, what, 25 years old? Does that sound right? Peter Parker has been Spidey for 10-12 years, according to Quesada, making him 25-27... he's supposed to be around the same age as Cyclops, Angel and Jean Grey (since Beast is supposed to be older, and Iceman younger, among the original X-Men). Colossus has usually been shown as slightly younger than them (or perhaps that's my impression), and as considerably older than Kitty. Their age difference was somewhere around Kitty being 14 and him being 19 when she was first introduced.

Bear with me, because this is important (to me, not that much for the dissection). She's been shown to have worked as a bartender in Chicago, where the minimum age for such a job is 18. Say that she was 19 then, and that a year has passed since then, she's 20. That would make Colossus 25, so the writer of this origin saying that he began his life "working in his family farm in Communist Russia" is not entirely wrong. That implies this was before 1991, making Piotr start work in the collective farm, known in Russian as "kolkhoz" (or perhaps a completely state-run "sovkhoz"), at what, age 3-4 with menial labor around the house?

We're all good there; he did work under a communist regime; but that phrase is a poor choice, as it implies this is the 1980s Colossus whose family lived in the still-existent USSR. We can let that one slide, as it is a stylistic choice... but what bothered me is the use of the expression "communist Russia". Yes, this WAS Russia, and yes, it was communist... but it's still a misnomer... it's the USSR or Soviet Union... calling it "communist Russia" is "merrikan speak", and a completely non-neutral wording for something that's not being said by a character.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Am I being nitpicky? Hell yeah I am... There are also several mistakes in this and other profiles, writing, pencilling, and coloring. The worst one, at 8 Bazzars, is showing Cable as a baby (five or six months old, with no hair, etc) first infected with the technovirus and taken to the future, instead of a 10-12 months infant with hair, etc, as he was at the time.


ISSUE: 20.

CULPRIT: Tony Bedard (writer).

DISSECTION: Brainiac, cybernetic terror of the galaxy, plugged into Colu's central datacore... needs to use a keyboard to input a password? What?


TITLE: Red Hood: The Lost Days (DC).

ISSUE: 04 of 06.

CULPRIT: Judd Winick (writer).

DISSECTION: Why does Jason Todd assume that British criminals won't be carrying weapons? Judd, you're thinking of most cops within the UK, but why wouldn't the criminals be armed, particularly when they're planning bombings?

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Tim Drake's costume in a picture Talia show's him is wrong, also.

TITLE: United Free Worlds (Fantasy Prone).

ISSUE: 07.

CULPRIT: Patrick Blaine (penciller) and Hi-Fi Design (colorist).

DISSECTION: Not only the comic is crap, but the flags outside the UN headquarters are mostly made up.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: X-Men-Curse Of The Mutants: Smoke And Blood (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Simon Spurrier (writer).

DISSECTION: This book was lucky I read United Free Worlds, because it would have been Worst Book Of The Week instead. Granted, it wasn't as full of errors, just the one (and not grave scientific errors, like Spurrier's previous X-Club book), but the dialogue and characterization is very, very weak. My problem here is Emma Frost referring to herself as not scientifically minded. Yes, she could be saying that to emphasize her next statement (that she is in charge "minded"), but not only is she very scientifically adept (at least, technologically wise, if not theoretically), but she's also arrogant enough to be prone to rub that in Dr. Nemesis' nose.

DISSECT-O-METER: 5 Bazzars. As awful as Spurrier's writing has been in the X-Men (only stuff of his I've read), I'm inclined to believe he just doesn't know that Emma is not a scientific idiot.
Bit lower than the usual, at a 6.1 Bazzars average in thirty-three (MASONIC ALERT!) dissections. Cover Of The Week is from R.E.B.E.L.S.:

David Finch really channeled Simon Bisley there! The first Moment Of The Week is actually from an older book, a back issue of KODT, but I just got a pile of issues I hadn't read:

D-Day live action roleplaying with soldiers singing Pink? I laughed... Next, Gorilla-Man channels Joey Tribbiani:

Is he coming onto the silverback? Next, Colossus shows us why he really is colossal:

Uhm... is that organic steel? And last, the return (sort of) The Pride:

It's from Iron Man Legacy, so it's in the past, but it's cool to see them. That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...



JohnnyDoe said...

DT! guess: the hand that catches the keys is colored as belonging to an African-American but the guy is actually Caucasian (as shown in the image below).

MaGnUs said...

You've done it again, JD. The black guy with a green shirt throws the keys at the other guy (who's actually Asian, IIRC), with different skin color and a purple shirt; but they show the dark-skinned, green-shirted hand/arm catching it.

Dante said...


Maybe VanHook was watching Twilight when he wrote it (?).

MaGnUs said...

Well, I'm willing to bet Twilight is better than this crap.

Donald313 said...

And now for something completely different.
My Internet was down for a few days so I had to play catch-up with your last two blogs (see what happens when you update too often?).
Since I don´t read R.E.B.E.L.S. I´m not at all current, but it seems strange to me that on 08/04 there were #19 (see quote of the week) and #20 (best book of the week)? Well, stranger things have happened.

MaGnUs said...

I didn't post too often, I posted two very close columns because I was over a month behind. :)

And yes, the 08/04 R.E.B.E.L.S. issue was #19; the #20 was a typo on my part. On the other hand, Amazing Spider-Man #641 was delayed and came out last week along with #642.

Donald313 said...

Yeah, I remember back when I was working in a comicshop during the shedule-wise disaster known as Old Man Logan, when they simply skipped an issue and produced the following number before the last one, that was not good for my program that had to manage all the pull-lists...

Ah well, them´s da breaks :)

MaGnUs said...

Well, that Wolverine issue fiasco was worse!