Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dissector #193.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"(...) a trip to the zoo? I like to watch the monkeys. Wild screaming, throwing poop... and sometimes the monkeys join in!" Rag Doll, Action Comics #896.

First column of 2011, but last column about 2010 books (barring a straggler or two that I might receive down the line), I hope everybody had a good new year celebration; this column was almost ready last week, but I had some work come up and couldn't finish it. We'll have the Autopsy Awards nominees very soon, so be ready to vote. Last column's DT! was solved by Donald313, who correctly noted that even with comic book science, ice plus fire don't make instantaneous rust.

There wasn't much worth looking at this week, cover-wise, but I had to choose one, so this piece by Jock for Detective Comics #872. Best Book Of The Week was The Flash V3 #8. It didn't blow my head off, but as usual, Geoff Johns tells a solid story, with a compelling origin for the Reverse Flash. While I'd prefer original book artist Francis Manapul in charge of the visuals, Scott Kolins does a good job. Worst Book Of The Week was Justice Society Of America V3 #46... it just reads very disjointed, and the just doesn't cut it for me either.

The Rundown: Action Comics (Catman's eyes are colored wrong), Angel (Angel does not have blue eyes), Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine (Adamantium or not, Wolverine cannot cut through a bank vault in one swipe), Batman: The Dark Knight (Croc should be in Arkham, or escaped, not able to say "you got nothing on me", Alfred's eyes should be blue, and the Penguin doesn't look like he does here), Blackest Night (Director's Cut) ("Alexandor" Luthor), Captain America V2 (Nomad's eyes are wrong, then right, and the Black Widow's are wrong), Chaos War: X-Men (Madrox never referred to his power as "cloning power", and Banshee's eyes should be blue), Detective Comics (wrong bat emblem, accented letter), Green Lantern V4 (wrong badge on Hal), Justice League Of America/The 99 (Firestorm's powers have nothing to do with "energy waves" and "isolating and tracking frequencies"), Justice Society Of America V3 (someone ask who Doctor Chaos is after receiving a note... which was anonymous... accented letter too), New Mutants V3 (Karma's eyes shouldn't be blue), Osborn (Norman's eyes shouldn't be brown; and I'll ignore the changes to green...).

TITLE: The Avengers V4 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer).

DISSECTION: There is absolutely no way that Reed Richards wouldn't know that Black Bolt is dead. Nova has been on Earth, Hank Pym and his previous Mighty Avengers team have been on Attilan, Reed and other characters have ways of knowing this stuff...


TITLE: The Avengers V4 (Marvel)

ISSUE: 08.

CULPRIT: Brian Michael Bendis (writer).

DISSECTION: why the fuck do the Illuminati go to the Himalayas as "the previous site of Attilan"??!?!?! And why didn't Black Bolt transfer his Infinity Gem to the Moon when they moved there... YEARS AGO?!?!?!?!

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: G.I. Joe (IDW).

ISSUE: 25.

CULPRIT: Chuck Dixon (writer).

DISSECTION: Dear comic book writers, "physiognomy" does not mean the same as "physiology" or "anatomy". In case you're too lazy to click on links or crack open a fucking dictionary, here are the definitions of "physiognomy":

1. the face or countenance, esp. when considered as an index to the character: a fierce physiognomy.
2. Also called anthroposcopy. the art of determining character or personal characteristics from the form or features of the body, esp. of the face.
3. the outward appearance of anything, taken as offering some insight into its character: the physiognomy of a nation.

It is not, I repeat, NOT, a word that you can use to refer to mutant physiology/anatomy (like I dissected before on an X-Men book), nor a word you can use to refer to the digitized information of a person's body for teleportation... WORDS ARE YOUR FRIENDS!!! THEY LIVE INSIDE DICTIONARIES!!! AND NOW, THEY'RE EVEN INSIDE THE INTERNET!!!!

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Also, "rojo bandidos" is not a correct expression in Spanish. Even using the Google translator would have given you the correct way to write it, Dixon.

TITLE: Heroic Age: Heroes (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator).

DISSECTION: I don't even know how to start, or rather how to quantify the dissections in this book. This is a profiles handbook, and, for some reason, perhaps due to being written in-universe by Steve Rogers, the usual Marvel Handbook power meters are not used. Instead, a power grid consisting of the following attributes is used: power, conscience, altruism, wisdom, courage, determination, free will, and vulnerability (in a scale from 1 to 10).

Apparently, Hoskin and his writers have no idea what many of these words mean... apart from some other minor dissections, look at how some characters are measured according to those attributes:

  • Beast has an altruism of 9, while Angel, Reed Richards, Mockingbird, NAMORA, COLLECTIVE MAN, RADIOACTIVE MAN, Thor, Longshot, and JIMMY WOO have 10??!?!?!?!?!?
  • Wolverine has a 5 altruism? Toro (the new bull-mutated kid, not the WWII Kid Torch) has a 7?
  • Paladin (a mercenary) has an altruism of 7, same as Northstar, and more than Moon Knight? And Elixir, a healer gets 5?
  • A-Bomb has a power of 8, while Angel has a 7, and American Eagle an 8. In what world are those characters of comparable power?

Vulnerability seems to be a mixture of physical and mental/emotional vulnerability, and even if you mix up the words "vulnerability" "invulnerability", switching the ends of the spectrum, it's still very fucked up:

  • A-Bomb and American Eagle have the same rating, 8; and Angel a 6... making Angel less vulnerable than those two? Or only two points more vulnerable?
  • Asgardians as a race have a vulnerability of 6. The same as Angel and Luke Cage.
  • Captain Britain has a vulnerability of 2... if it's a physical attribute, he's not that resistant, if it's a mental/emotional attribute, his insecurities are not reflected.
  • Despite his looks, the Thing is one of the most mentally stable characters in the whole Marvel universe, not to mention one of the most powerful, physically speaking. Then why does he get a vulnerability rating of 6?
  • Darwin, one of the most unbalancedly powerful characters in the X-teams, has a vulnerability of 5, when he's basically indestructible?

This is delicate... Normally, a detail like this wouldn't score too high; but because this is a handbook, the attributes in the power grid are a basic part of the book. Furthermore, it's done by Steve Rogers, who's one of the better judges of character and tactical minds in the Marvel universe, so these fucked up ratings make him look like an idiot. So, what I'm going to do, is register two 10 Bazzars dissections for how horrible used the "altruism" and "vulnerability" attributes are used; and a 8 Bazzars dissection for the A-Bomb/American Eagle/Angel power levels (most other power levels in the book are basically accurate). Then I will "award" several, lower-rated dissections for the internal inconsistencies of the ratings, and the other, non-power grid dissections.


TITLE: Heroic Age: Heroes (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator).

DISSECTION: Just so you know what they were, here's a detailed look at the non-power grid dissections in this book:

  • Bengal can't have his origin tied to the Vietnam war anymore, it's not the 80s.
  • "1941on" instead of "1941 on", Black Widow's profile.
  • Random "TO", like that, in capital letters, in Cyclops profile between paragraphs.
  • "Presidential Medal of Freedom" is all in lower case.
  • "Helmet" Zemo.
  • It's "The Intelligencia", not "The Intel".


TITLE: Heroic Age: Heroes (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator).

DISSECTION: This one was going to be part of the previous list, but it's too outrageous not to stand on its own. Steve Rogers, a 1941 super soldier who was frozen and lives today, fighting along high-tech armored technologists, sorcerers, gods, and super-powerful mutants and metahumans of all kinds, not to mention aliens, robots and random immortals, thinks that it "sounds impossible" that the current Dog Brother #1 was an orphan boy in 1841 Hong Kong. Yeah. Right.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. You don't even have to be an actual writer and understand the Steve Rogers character to realize that saying something like that within the context of the Marvel universe is just plain ridiculous.

TITLE: Heroic Age: Villains (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator).

DISSECTION: This book didn't have power or other ratings such as the Heroes one, so it wasn't that badly flawed. Still, there were some errors (there's a list in the next dissection), the worst one being Steve Rogers writing about Baron Zemo (Helmut, not Helmet :) that he's not sure if he's a hero or a villain. I don't care if this Zemo has done some good, how can Steve write "I can't tell whose side he is on other than he's own. (...) the humanitarian within himself (...) I've thought long and hard about which area he should be filed, be it heroic or villainous (...)"... Really? You need to ask, Steve?

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Heroic Age: Villains (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator).

DISSECTION: A list of small writing and editing mistakes:

  • The word "headache" should not start with a capital "H".
  • Cutthroat's relationship to his sister, and how much Steve respects the latter takes up most of the villain's entry, but they never mention his real name, or who his sister is (Diamondback). In fact, since these are not actual profiles but more like Steve's notes on each character or organization, unless he mentions it in the text, you don't have each character's real name. It's not something that's needed for most entries, but in this case, the text should have included who his sister is.
  • The Kingpin entry includes comments about Matt Murdock using his abilities as a lawyer to make sure he goes to jail... but the Hand entry in the same book talks about Matt being out of control as leader of the ninja cult. Lack of internal consistency...
  • Norman Osborn was not made head of S.H.I.E.L.D., that agency was disbanded and a new agency, US-only, H.A.M.M.E.R., was created.
  • Daimon "Hellstrrm".



ISSUE: 57.

CULPRIT: Mark Waid (writer).

DISSECTION: This one's too easy:

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: Namor: The First Mutant (Marvel).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Stuart Moore (writer).

DISSECTION: So, the X-Men's Loa is the grand-niece of a woman Namor dated in the 40s. It's 2010, and Loa's father seems to be, at most, in his mid-40s (and I'm being generous), while she's 15-16. Loa's father is present when Namor last visits his girl in 1947, a newborn baby... which would make him 60. Yeah... um... no. While it could be possible, the guy, a normal human, looks like he's a 20-something.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Also, Namor should have grey eyes, not blue, and he wasn't wearing that costume a couple of years ago when Loa's powers manifested.

S.H.I.E.L.D. (Marvel).


Jonathan Hickman (writer).

Nathaniel Richards (father of Reed Richards) abandons his family and Howard Stark (Tony Stark's father) fakes his death, both to better pursue their mission as members of the Brotherhood of the Shield... in 1951. So, assuming Reed and Tony are 12 and 10... they're in their sixties now? (And I'm being generous, since Tony was a teenager when he was left legally orphaned, and Reed's father disappeared only three years before the FF got their powers.)

10 Bazzars.
2010 ends with an average of 6.4 Bazzars in 58 dissections (or at least, the last week of comics ends like that). Let's go with the Moments Of The Week, shall we? First up, Norman Osborn is almost free again, and he has a new posse:

Be scared... very scared. Next, what's up with Colossus costume?

Ass cleavage, really? And watch out:

Spidey has been replaced by a Xenomorph!!! That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...



JohnnyDoe said...

The DT!: Atlanteans naturally breaths oxygenated water not air which by definition is water that has been infused with oxygen.
Air on the other hand is natural composed by part oxygen.

MaGnUs said...

It's the fact that Waid used the word "air" and not "water". Water is naturally oxygenated, since it's 2 parts Oxygen.

Jordan. said...

mmmmmm...I don't agree with that.

although water do have oxygen, oxygenated water wouldn't be H2O2??

(like in spanish Agua oxigenada)

MaGnUs said...

Water is oxygenated because it includes oxygen. If it lacks oxygen, it's liquid hydrogen. Period.

"Agua oxigenada" (hydrogen peroxid) y "el agua es oxigenada" son dos cosas distintas. The correct name for "agua oxigenada" is "peroxido de hidrogeno". "Agua oxigenada" and "dioxidano" are common names, but not the actual name of the substance.

Jordan. said...

Thanks for clarifying. :)