Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Dissector #195.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)



Here we are with a very short column for the week of 02/02, and only a few days late! Last week's DT! was cracked by JohnnyDoe who noticed that if Steel is talking about the four Super-shield wielding characters from "Reign Of The Supermen", one can't say that the Cyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw) signed up for "fighting the good fight". Quite the opposite, really. Badge for you, JD.

The Dissector's Picks Of The Week are these: Best Book Of The Week was Legion Of Super-Heroes V6 Annual #1... classic Legion fun with Paul Levitz writing, and Keith Giffen dipping in the Kirby-inkwell. A must for any Legion fans. Worst Book Of The Week was, as it was once last month, Batman Confidential, this time issue #53. Boring, slow, yawn. Cover Of The Week, there wasn't anything that stood out much, but this cover for Freedom Fighters #6, by Dave Johnson, was pretty nice, and slightly Sterankoesque.

By the way, the three things I had to say last week still stand, so I'll just quote myself:

First, that I built a Facebook fan page for the column... Here it is. Please go click "like"; and promote it. Second, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU HAVEN'T VOTED IN THE 2010 AUTOPSY AWARDS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Seriously, go check out the nominations and vote. If you already voted, please disregard this outburst. Also, while you're at it, there's a design-your-own-superhero contest at Talenthouse, sponsored by The Stan Lee Foundation... would you mind going to this page and click on the right to vote with your Facebook account? Thanks!

The Rundown: Batman Confidential (Hal's badge), JSA All-Stars ("acult" instead of "a cult"), Secret Six V3 (Rita Farr's eyes, and "American's sweetheart"), Time Masters: Vanishing Point (Hal's badge, Rip Hunter's eyes and hair). Yeah, short like that.

TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel).

ISSUE: 653.

CULPRIT: Stefano Caselli (penciller).

DISSECTION: For some reason, both on the cover and inside, Luke Cage has blank eyes. Why? Isn't it enough to look at one reference image of the character and see he has normal looking eyes? That besides bullets bouncing off his skin and him lifting trucks there are no visible manifestation of his powers? I understand giving Magneto or the Molecule Man blank eyes when they're using their powers at a high level (even if it's not standard design for them, as it is with Storm), but Luke Cage? You're working on pre-existing characters, shared creations, being a good artist is not enough, you have to respect character designs.

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars. Jessica Jones' eyes are colored wrong, and Squirrel Girl is missing the markings around her eyes.

TITLE: Doctor Who Classics: The Seventh Doctor (IDW).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: John Ridgway (penciller).

DISSECTION: This one is for Whovians, but anyone who's seen a bit of the show should be able to notice it.


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

ISSUE: Annual 01.

CULPRIT: Paul Levitz (writer).

DISSECTION: Cosmic Boy wonders if any of the Legion's fast responders are able to get to Orando (a planet reportedly far away from Earth and from regular space routes) for an emergency, and mentions Wildfire and Dawnstar... now, they can travel through space, but they've never exhibited super-speed. In fact, not even characters with super-speed and flight, like Mon-El and Ultra Boy should have enough speed to get there in time. Ultra Boy, now that I mention him, probably wouldn't be able to fly as fast as Mon-El even, since he has to use one power at a time; and I doubt his super-speed would be able to affect the speed his flight ring propels him.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. As usual, Dawnstar's powers are incomplete, and we also have Sensor Girl's eyes colored incorrectly.

TITLE: Superman 80-Page Giant V3 (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Neil Kleid (writer).

DISSECTION: Let's assume Perry White is what, 70-73 years old? That's as far as I'm willing to go with him... then during the 40s, when the JSA, particularly Wildcat, who he shares this story with, and the Guardian (Jim Harper, though not a JSA member) were active, he was... not even born? Three years old in 1940? If we stretch his age to 80, he was ten in 1941? Sorry, but the timelines for him to have been a cub reporter back then don't make sense, particularly when he's recently been shown befriending Lex Luthor when they were both young men (in their 20s, perhaps Perry in his 30s and Lex in his 20s); and Lex is shown to be not that much older than Clark Kent.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Both Perry and Wildcat's eyes are colored wrong, and Wildcat and the Guardian shouldn't have public identities back in the 40s.
This week had nineteen total dissections, and a 6.2 Bazzars average. Normal. Moments Of The Week are all (except one) from the Legion Annual that was best book of the week. First up, Violet defeats the Emerald Eye:

... but not without some consequences:

Emerald Vi again? And in case you wanna learn the Legion's history quickly and in a fun way? The Legion History Boardgame!

Yeah, it's a large image, but I decided not to resize it so you could enjoy it. No mention of what happened between The Magic Wars and the recent return of the original LSH... And last, what shouldn't you feed to giant monsters?

MODOK BRAINS!!! That's gonna end up badly... That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Dissector #194.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


01/05-"It's true. Reading superhero comics leads to loneliness and virginity. (...) Reading off-kilter books like "The Goon" and "Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities" makes you seem manly and interesting and leads to loads of vagina. Loads." Franky, Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities And The Ghastly Fiend Of London #4 (The Goon backup story).

01/12-"I want a secret weapon with which I can shatter the false consciousness of the masses and overturn social order. And more realistic porn." Buddy, Vision Machine #1.

01/19-"(...) nowadays with all the clowns running around Gotham, you'd be nuts to go into an abandoned amusement park by yourself." Anthony Marchetti, Batman: Streets Of Gotham #19.

01/19-"Find a hole and climb into it. Or else find a really tall tower and plant a flag on the top. Either way, they're gonna find you. Just depends on how you want to go out." The Basilisk, Age Of X: Alpha.

Yes, I know. I'm horribly late. But I had vacations from work the second half of January, and I was already behind, and... well, here's a column for THE ENTIRE MONTH OF JANUARY!!! Before we go into the column itself, let me remind you of two things: First, that I built a Facebook fan page for the column... Here it is. Please go click "like"; and promote it. Second, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU HAVEN'T VOTED IN THE 2010 AUTOPSY AWARDS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Seriously, go check out the nominations and vote. If you already voted, please disregard this outburst. Also, while you're at it, there's a design-your-own-superhero contest at Talenthouse, sponsored by The Stan Lee Foundation... would you mind going to this page and click on the right to vote with your Facebook account? Thanks!

Last column's DT! was cracked by JohnnyDoe, who noticed that Atlanteans in DC (and Marvel, for that part) naturally breathe oxygen from the water they inhabit, not air; and Waid wrote they suffocate for lack of "oxygenated air". DC Atlanteans, by the way, can breathe outside water too; while Marvel Atlanteans can't (unless they're mutants like Namor and others). Badge for Commander JohnnyDoe!

Let's get The Dissector's Picks Of Each Week out of the way as fast as possible. Best Book Of The Week for 01/05 was Iron Man Legacy #10... Van Lente's writing is engaging, the art is good, and the use of The Pride is a good bonus to those of us who enjoyed the original Runaways run. Worst Book of that week was Batman Confidential #52... it's not bad per-se, but if you're going to write stories that are set in continuity but are current-continuity-light, Iron Man Legacy is the way to go; not Batman Confidential. Incidentally, Batman Confidential is the only survivor of the "Confidential" line at DC, remember we had Superman/JLA/JSA Confidential books? And I question Marvel's naming of book... Iron Man Legacy is a flashback book, but X-Men Legacy is just one of the regular X-Men books... and it's not even the original one (which is now Uncanny X-Men)... what gives? Cover Of The Week for 01/05, to your right, is the Module Edition cover for Dark Sun #1, by Wayne Reynolds. Good art that shows you what Dark Sun feels like, and you know I like the module variant idea.

Best Book Of The Week for 01/12 was Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #514. Great pulp feel from David Liss' writing and Francesco Francavilla's art. Worst Book Of The Week was Red Robin #19, an awful and tired "computer mindscape adventure" story. While Marcus To's art with Guy Major's colors make for clean, cartoony but not ridiculous visuals; but Fabian Nicieza's a much better writer than this, that much I know. Best Cover, to your left, is one of DC's iconic covers of lately, by Aaron Lopresti, for Justice League: Generation Lost #17. Simple and pretty.

Week 01/19 brought us Best Book Legion Of Super-Heroes V6 #9. Just good Legion adventures with Paul Levitz writing; and while I prefer all the art was Yildiray Cinar's, his team up with Wayne Faucher is not bad. Worst Book was Brightest Day #18... was it badly written or drawn? No, but this book hardly does anything to me, it's not engaging, I can't find it in myself to care for it... and there was nothing that struck me as actually bad this week. To your right, Cover Of The Week is from LSH #9 too; and another iconic cover by the same art team as the interior art... it just tells you what the Legion is off the bat. I would have preferred to have Quislet on it, but I can't have everything, now can I?

Best Book Of The Week for 01/26 was The Sixth Gun #8, as this voodoo western by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt continues to be a great read. Worst Book Of The Week was Chaos War: X-Men #2, as pointless as tie-in minis are these days, this one is one of the most pointless... And the last Cover Of The Week for this month, to your left, is one the variant covers for X-Men V3 #7, celebrating the Fantastic Four's 50th anniversary. Paolo Rivera (credited inside the book as "Paulo", even though HE WROTE HIS FRICKIN NAME ON THE PIECE HE SUBMITTED AS A COVER) really captured FF #1's look in his painted style.

The Rundown: Action Comics (Joker's face is not like it should be), Adventure Comics V1 (Dawnstar's powers are incomplete), American Vampire ("gothca" instead of "gotcha"), The Avengers V4 (inconsistent credit lettering), Avengers: The Children's Crusade (inconsistent credit and next issue lettering), Avengers Prime (inconsistent lettering), B.P.R.D.-Hell On Earth: Gods (inconsistent series numbering), Batman Confidential (Hal Jordan's badge is right, then wrong), Batman (Enigma's eyes are colored wrong, Riddler's hair is colored wrong, accented letters), Birds Of Prey V3 (Dove's powers are incomplete, a speech balloon points to the wrong character), Booster Gold V2 (accented letters, Rip Hunter's eyes and hair are colored wrong), Brightest Day ("darkenss"), Captain America V2 (Black Widow's eyes are colored incorrectly), Chaos War: Dead Avengers (Beast looks nothing like he should, and his eyes are blank in an old painting), Chaos War: X-Men (the story mentions Banshee dying before Moira, but it was the other way around), Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers ("San Paolo" instead of "Sao Paulo"), Doom Patrol V5 (Rita Farr's eyes are colored incorrectly, as are Scandal Savage's), Fantastic Four V1 (Leech's speech patterns are wrong), Freedom Fighters (a sword is referred to as a "staff"), Fringe: Tales From The Fringe (accented letters and eñes), Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (Guy's badge and ring are wrong), I Am An Avenger (inconsistent credit lettering), Klaws Of The Panther (Black Widow's eyes are colored incorrectly), The New Avengers V2 (baby Cage is too young looking, ñ, inconsistent credit lettering), Red Robin (Riddler's hair is colored incorrectly, several accented letters), Supergirl V5 (the Kryptonite's Man eyebeams should be green, not heat vision red), T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents ("negligience"), Uncanny X-Force (Deadpool's skin looks too smooth and healthy), Vision Machine ("Sao Paolo", "managment"), X-Factor V3 (Madrox's eyes are colored incorrectly), X-Men V3 (cover artist Paolo Rivera is credited as "Paulo", and WTF are Dum Dum Dugan and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents doing in the X-Men's command center?), X-Men (Taco Bell Promo) (accented letters, and Nightcrawler's boots are colored incorrectly in a panel), X-Men Forever 2 (Mystique changes shape and the effect looks like a hologram fading; not her usual morphing; weird dialogue, "runic" is not a language you speak but a way of writing several different languages, Storm's eyes shouldn't be all white unless she's using her powers), X-Men Legacy (accented letters), X-Men: To Serve And Protect (Reed Richard's eyes are colored incorrectly).

TITLE: Age Of X: Alpha (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Mike Carey (writer).

DISSECTION: Cannonball says his family is from Caldecott County (which, while unsaid, is a fictitious Mississippi county), when they're actually from Cumberland County (a real Kentucky county). Yes, I suppose that this being an alternate reality, it could be different... except Caldecott County is where Rogue is from.

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. Wolverine's eyes are brown in another story.

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

ISSUE: 652.

CULPRIT: Dan Slott (writer).

DISSECTION: Peter slowly walks into a closed door... and it gives him a bloody, bruised nose. Really? Spider-Man's that much of a wimp?

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Also, there's an accented letter that's not smaller... but a lower-case letter in the midst of a whole page of upper-case dialogue...

TITLE: Batman: Streets Of Gotham (DC).

ISSUE: 19.

CULPRIT: Paul Dini (writer).

DISSECTION: No, and a thousand times no. Bruce Wayne's parents couldn't have been in their 20s when heroes like Alan Scott and Jay Garrick were part of the All-Star Squadron or JSA and invited Zatara to join them... that's like the 1940s!


TITLE: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (IDW).

ISSUE: 162.

CULPRIT: Larry Hama (writer) and SL Gallant (penciller).

DISSECTION: Cobra is on the run! G.I. Joe sends two agents to spy on them, and when they see the Baroness going her own way in an unmarked sedan, they decide to tail her through Jersey Shore roads... in full military gear, in a green military jeep with a double-barrel laser turret mounted in the back...

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars. Come on! Also, they mention the Baroness walking around in full black leather outfit when it's clearly Cobra-blue; not even "comic-book-black-with-blue-shades", but straight up blue.

TITLE: Heroic Age: X-Men (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator), various writers not specifically credited.

DISSECTION: It's the X-Men's turn at this; a few small mistakes; but nowhere near the level of previous Heroic Age handbooks:

  • Steve Rogers didn't award Cyclops the Presidential Medal Of Freedom; while he asked the President of the USA to do it, it's awarded by... yes, you guessed it... the President of the USA.

  • Karma's back history can't have communist Vietnam in it anymore, it's 2011.

  • Magma's ancestry is described as "the daughter of one of the ancestors of an original citizen of Nova Roma"... what?

  • Renascence, the former Wind Dancer (Sofia Mantega) was born in Venezuela, not Argentina.

  • Alternate reality Steve Rogers dubbed "Captain Mexica" was not an agent of the Mexican government, since Mexico does not actually exist as a nation in his reality. He's an Aztec Empire agent.


TITLE: The Invincible Iron Man V2 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 33.

CULPRIT: Jamie McKelvie (penciller).

DISSECTION: Tony Stark shaves in the morning, then goes to bed and falls asleep clean shaven (except for his perfectly trimmed 'stache and beard, of course)... and wakes up to look in the mirror at his five o' clock shadow stubble? How macho is the man to grow that much beard overnight?!

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Also, colorist Matt Wilson decided Tony has green eyes, instead of blue ones.

TITLE: Justice League Of America V2 (DC).

ISSUE: 53.

CULPRIT: Mark Bagley (penciller) and James Robinson (writer) in some.

DISSECTION: Is this the same Bagley that used to do Ultimate Spider-Man? Because he seems to be phoning it in here... both in terms of quality and accuracy. He draws the Doom Patrol looking like they did back in the 1960s, Geo-Force flying in the background when he wouldn't be there due to events in Outsiders... and the JSA shows up with Damage, who's dead?

DISSECT-O-METER: 8 Bazzars each, as well as Hal Jordan's badge being wrong, and an accented letter.

TITLE: Namor: The First Mutant (Marvel)

ISSUE: 06.

CULPRIT: Ariel Olivetti (artist).

DISSECTION: Atlantean street signs in English, a Caucasian-skinned logomancer, Namor's eyes incorrectly colored, Doctor Doom's too, as well as Dr. Nemesis's hair... but what puzzles me the most is the fact that random Atlanteans have red glowing eyes. Why?


TITLE: Steel V2 (DC).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Steve Lyons (writer).

DISSECTION: Come on, dissect his one as Steel prepares to face Doomsday:


TITLE: The Thanos Imperative: Devastation (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers).

DISSECTION: The "Knowhere/Nowhere" joke should not work in Shi'ar language.

So the first month of the year had ninety-four dissections, with an average of 6.7 Bazzars... on the high end of the usual spectrum. Moments Of The Week... Month! Quite a few, obviously, let's start with Dale shows he's just not the Rescue Rangers' clown:

Or rather, he's a clown with a purpose. Next, look's who's part of the Superman Family in the future:

Barry Obama! And you know what I didn't see coming, speaking of time travel?

That! Next, from the D&D comic, something I or one of my players would do:

I laughed out loud, honestly. What looks like a fairy tale story end, but is not bound to be "forever and ever"?

Yeah, that. Next, who Hercules gets real:

Or mortal. That should be interesting. Now, remember what I said about Cobra being very subtle? And the Jersey Shore?

... I wasn't lying. FIST PUMP! And from KODT, two beasts meet..

... and don't clash! And last, to kick-off Age Of X, Magneto does one of those nice stunts he tends to pull:

Something like lifting most of Manhattan in the air and transporting it away for use as a mutant fortress. That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...


Friday, February 04, 2011

So, I built a Facebook fan page for the column... Here it is. Please go click "like"; and promote it. On this topic, you'll notice a Facebook page widget at the top of the right sidebar here on the blog... I know the font colors are all wrong, I'm working on that.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What the #$!#$@#$% is going on? Why haven't you voted in the 2010 Autopsy Awards? I was on vacation; the column should be back shortly, but vote, come on!!!