Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dissector #183.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"You can see why he gives us so much pleasure. All that arcane knowledge in the hands of a self-destructive fuck-up. It makes for wonderful viewing." Nergal, about John Constantine, Hellblazer #272.

Hello all! This is the fifth anniversary column of The Dissector!!! Formerly known as The Nitpicker's Column, it was first published in issue #549 of the Comic Book Electronic Network Magazine, on 11/11/05. It's been five years in which a lot has happened to me, including a new job (not long after starting the column); my son was already a year old back then, but he's obviously grown up a lot. I'm older, my hair's greyer, and I'm fatter... I might be wiser too, but I doubt it.

Culprits in that first column were Haden Blackman (writer of a Rogue Squadron mini), Warren Elis (writer for JLA Declassified), Greg Rucka (writer, for Queen & Country), Brian Michael Bendis (writer for Hous Of M), Jeromy Cox & Guy Major (colorists, for Infinite Crisis), Phil Jimenez (artist, for Infinite Crisis), and Nick J. Napolitano (letterer, for Infinite Crisis). Jimenez and Napolitano don't come around much, and Blackman hasn't been on the column again, basically because he's mostly written Clone Wars Adventures, Jango Fett, and other Star Wars stuff from characters and eras I don't care about... however, he did write the comic for The Force Unleashed, in which, apart from considering it lame, I didn't find any errors in... and I have The Force Unleashed II in a reading pile... so... you never know.

Bendis has come back regularly, but rarely for anything too big, and Rucka has been around less, but no horrible mistakes either. Major is one of the most prolific colorists around, so he obviously pops up here and there; like anyone else who publishes that much work. Jeromy Cox, however... well, he's responsible for the Robin cape-debacle, one of my favorite dissections of all time, as early as column #2, and he's often featured in the column for getting like, not one eye color in an issue right.

Funny thing? I quote myself from that column when explaining the layout and working of the column "(...) the main responsible for the mistake is, usually the writer, sometimes the artist, and, rarely, somebody else, like a letterer or colorist (...)". Yeah, rarely the letterer or colorist... boy, was I naive of what? Read that first column, and tell me if you see some improvement on my writing. I've said on other anniversaries that I did notice a difference, but now... I really don't.

On another personal note, I just made contact with a fellow comic blogger by the name of Martin Gray, and he reviewed "Teenagers From The Future", the book about the Legion Of Super-Heroes I wrote an essay for. Not only that, he wrote the following:

"My favourite essay is Martin A Perez's Fashion from the future, or 'I swear, Computo Forced Me To Wear This'. It's written at the level of a great fanzine article - light, entertaining and insightful."

Ego boosts are good for the soul, my friends. I'd like to also invite you to "like" the Facebook page for Teenagers From The Future.

Let's get on with the actual column, shall we? This is for comics released on 10/20; as usual, with some older stuff thrown in when I read it after publishing date. Here are The Dissector's Picks Of The Week: Best Book Of The Week was The Sixth Gun #5; a pretty interesting (if not necessarily groundbreaking) script by Cullen Bunn; good art (and lettering) by Brian Hurtt... and I'm assuming acceptable colors are by Hurtt as well, for lack of any other credit. A supernatural western adventure with magic guns? Win. Worst Book Of The Week was Soldier Zero #1... first of all, the whole "STAN LEE'S..." shtick gets tiresome, I love Stan, but he hasn't done anything worth getting excited about than play "Stan Lee" in numerous media outlets... his writing days are long away from his heyday. And if I open the book and find he's not even credited as creator or plotter, but just as "Grand Poobah", it gets even more difficult to take this seriously. Paul Cornell's writing is not close to his usual level, Javier Pina's art is not bad, but it's not enough to turn this into a book that's worth anything beyond a quick flip in the comic shop. As I tweeted after reading it: "Soldier Zero = Captain Marvel (Batson) + Blue Beetle (Reyes) + Green Lantern (Jordan) + Hulk/4 = Bland. Sorry Stan."

The Rundown: Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne (Tim Drake says he was Batman's partner longer than anyone, and I don't think that adds up, he went solo pretty early in his career, I don't think it nets him more time partnering with Batman than it does Dick Grayson), Bruce Wayne: The Road Home - Commissioner Gordon (accented letter), DC Universe Halloween Special 2010 (Spanish dialogue from Blue Beetle is within translation brackets, but untranslated), Hellblazer (the plural of succubus is "succubi", not "succubae"), Hulk V3 (the designation of the comets changes from one story to the other), Ides Of Blood ("pleaures" instead of "pleasures"), Justice League Of America V2 (Batman's chest emblem is wrong, and it changes a few times throughout the issue), Power Girl V2 (Batman's belt, glove and chest emblem are wrong), Shadowland: Power Man (characters "refresh browser history" to see what another one was looking at on his computer... but you don't "refresh browser history"... you refresh a page you have on your browser, or you check the browser history...), Star Trek: Captains Log: Jellico (a science officer's uniform changes color to a security/engineering uniform between pages), Supergirl V6 ("supplicants", again... dictionaries don't bite), X-Factor V3 (Wolfsbane and Rictor's eyes are colored incorrectly... buy Jeromy Cox!).

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: #182

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: I wrote "R'as" instead of "Ra's", and JohnnyDoe called me on it, getting a badge. As a Commander, JohnnyDoe is the highest active member of the Honorary Dissector Scout Corps, after myself (I might be the Grand Admiral, but I'm there on the frontlines with you, guys). High Admiral Nysie holds an honorary rank for designing my logo; and ViceAdmiral Snakebyte is not among my regular readers lately. Keep at it, JD, you need ten more badges to make Captain.


TITLE: Green Lantern Corps V2 (DC).

ISSUE: 53.

CULPRIT: Tyler Kirkham (penciller) and Nei Rufino (colorist)

DISSECTION: What? Bystanders on Korugar are colored like humans, some lighter, others darker, and it's not a trick of the light or anything, because in the same light as Kyle Rayner, many share his skin color. But that's not the worst thing... they're dressed, unequivocally, in Earth clothes: jackets, baseball caps, hoodies. People from Korugar have pink or red skin, and they certainly shouldn't be wearing normal Earth garments.

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars, double. Also, Sinestro's ring is colored like his skin in a panel (that's where all the pink ink went!).

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

ISSUE: 06.

CULPRIT: Paul Levitz (writer).

DISSECTION: Cosmic Boy goes to the Legion Academy, and while he's reviewing the students, a fire breaks out nearby and they are the closest ones to respond. They go to the scene, and one student that has variable powers (Variable Lad), in this case uses them to become super smart and learn what the best way of putting out the fire is: using the powers of another student who can control chemical reactions (Chemical Kid), because fire is an oxidation. Uhm... and they needed a super intelligent being to figure that out?

Regardless of him being a student and not a battle-hardened Legionnaire, a guy whose powers are to control chemical reactions should think of that first, particularly in the 30th century, with the kind of education they have, plus any further education someone with chemical controlling powers should get on the subject. Controlling the oxidation should be a gut response from Chemical Kid, the same as Bataranging or punching a bank robber is Batman's!

Not to mention the fact that there's two veteran Legionnaires there (Cosmic Boy and Duplicate Girl), and a handful of other students, most of whom should have a pretty advanced science education when compared to today's teenagers or young adults. Anyone today with a barely decent education should know that a fire is a chemical reaction.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, there a couple of smaller accented letters, missing powers on Timber Wolf's description, and Gravity Kid (complete with a skin-showing costume a la Cosmic Boy at one point, but not that revealing, as he has pants) becomes super-heavy and uses "his mass" to create a firebreak (a crater, actually)... when it should be his weight. In the election "ad", Tenzil Kem's eyes are colored incorrectly. Still, despite some dissections, this book remains a great read.

TITLE: The Nitpicker (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer without a moustache).

DISSECTION: Yup... the first column. I re-read it for this anniversary, and noticed I billed Jeromy Cox as "Jeremy". Good thing I didn't spell his last "Cocks".


TITLE: Spider-Man Saga V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: One Shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen (handbook section overseer).

DISSECTION: The credits on one of the Kraven family profiles say "Art by Barry Kitson with Phillipe Briones (inset)", but there is no inset picture in the entry. Sidney spotted this one, and he gets a badge.


TITLE: Superman/Batman (DC).

ISSUE: 77.

CULPRIT: Joshua Williamson (writer).

DISSECTION: What's wrong here? You must be up with current (six months to a year) comics for this one.

So, an average of 6.1 Bazzars in thirty-two dissections. Cover Of The Week is Jim Lee's variant for Legion Of Super-Heroes #6:

Great "Brainy as the Thinker" cover. Simple, yet effective. Now, Moments Of The Week... first up, from an old issue of Knights Of The Dinner table, what happens when you trick players at a convention into joining a live action game of D-Day?

In the KODTverse, that... Next, curious as to why the Legion's newest "recruit" has been behaving heroically?

Uh-oh... this CAN'T backfire... Back to the present, the Insider is impressed that Oracle seems to know who he is:


*sigh* What's next? Oh, I know, the solution to all problems:

LASERS! And for the end, another KODT moment:

I don't know, I've played with some people I'm not sure what step of the evolutionary ladder they were on... That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...



Jordan said...

Hi Dissctor!!!

I don't really get what team is he referring to on "different Team same story".

Wasn't Tim looking for a list of criminals by his own?

See you!!

MaGnUs said...

Which doesn't mean he can't be helping the Teen Titans in that moment. That's not it.

Donald313 said...

Happy birthday. You can blow the candles and make a wish.

Well, I don´t even know if and how Bruce Wayne is back again, I don´t think I´ve read any of the Batman comics from this year. I guess it´s not that it would be Damian under the hood? Is Damian still around? Not that I care about that character.

But apart from not knowing much I´m here to nitpick. Just read the first few paragraphs, but I have to rub it in that Bendis didn´t write the Hous of M but the House of M. Ha!

I will now resume reading further on, mayhaps I´ll find another little mistake. Probably not, though.

Have a nice day, another year and you can send the column to school.

Donald313 said...

Got another one. In the rundown, last item. Colored buy Jeromy Cox? You want to buy something for Cox?
Woohoo, another silly mistake. Everything for promotion. Need more badges.

Donald313 said...

On a run here, sorry to post so many comments.
In the LoSH-dissection you forgot a word in the phrase "there a couple of smaller accented letters". The "are" is missing.
And, finally, and then I´ll leave you alone, in your Old School dissection you are glad that you didn´t spell his last "Cocks". I sure hope you meant his last name, not some anatomical feature.

Darryn said...

Let me have a stab at this...
Supergirl and Batman (Grayson) are both current members of the Justice League (and dont get me started on how bad that book has become).
So why would she bounce around Gotham's sewers on the off chance she could run into him? Wouldn't she just use the JL communicator?
Or even, if for some comic-booky reason, the communicator wasn't working - wouldn't she just do that thing where she sits up on the edge of the atmosphere using her super senses? Kal does that all the time.

JohnnyDoe said...

Happy Anniversary!

Let's hope for (at least) 5 more years :-)

Oh and you forgot to mention who cracked the DT! last column. Poor Darryn ;-)

MaGnUs said...

Donald: Thanks for the anniversary wishes, and you got all the right to find fuck ups on my part.

I'm two columns behind (I was three behind before) so I'm prone to rushing things.

Darryn: You're close enough... both Supergirl and Batman are on the League currently, and she'd either be with him, or able contact him, if it really was League business. Of course, now I just thought that maybe he's on a superstealthybatmany League thing and he's on radio silence; but yeah, she could do that super sense thing... perhaps she doesn't find him, but... it all smells of lazy writing, though.

JD: Thanks! And yeah, poor Darryn, sorry man, you cracked last column's DT and I didn't mention it. That's why I just added some pointers to my column template. :)