Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Dissector #196.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


02/09 "Lightning guns! I shoot those all the time. Sometimes they don't even explode." Atomic Robo, Atomic Robo And The Deadly Art of Science #3.

02/16 "The real John Constantine is a stranger to me. He's a shadow at the end of the street, a pale face at the window. The real John Constantine scares the fucking shit out of me because I've seen what he's capable of." John Constantine, Hellblazer #276.

02/23 "Genius is often little more than the ability to see connections no one else can." Nikola Tesla, Atomic Robo And The Deadly Art of Science #4.

Yeah, I'm late, and still behind. Move along. Still time to vote on the Autopsy Awards, and you can become a fan of the column in the Facebook page. Last column's DT! was cracked by JohnnyDoe, who correctly pointed out that the TARDIS' exterior was too large. One more badge and you make Captain!

The Dissector's Picks Of Week 02/09 are the following: Best Book Of The Week was Atomic Robo And The Deadly Art of Science #3; whenever there's an Atomic Robo book out, it's hard not to choose it as the best book. It's fun, it's witty, it's well written... and it's pulp! Worst Book Of The Week was Superman #708. The art by Eddy Barrows (inks by Mater and Ferreira), and colors by Rod Reis weren’t as bad as previous installment... but the story, man, the story... Chris Roberson does his best to script the JMS train wreck that wastes one issue of the already boring "Superman walks around the USA" arc ramming new/old/different Wonder Woman down our throats. Gawd... Cover Of The Week, by Bill Sienkiewicz, was the only redeeming feature of DC Universe: Legacies #9.

Week 02/16's Best Book was Hellblazer #276. It's no surprise that Peter Milligan understands Hellblazer, and while it's no old school mid-to-late 90s Constantine, it's still good old British blue-collar magic entertainment. Simon Bisley's art, with Brian Buccellato's colors, gives us that make me think of New Wave and Punk album covers and posters. Worst Book was Superman/Batman #81. Remember when this book was good? Cover Of The Week is by Gerald Parel and Dustin Weaver, from S.H.I.E.L.D. #6. The book might be a weird science, revisionist history, look-there-is-Tesla-and-Newton-and-Leonardo-and-Galileo orgy, and it's just a tad short of being unreadable, plot-wise... but it's quite nice, visually.

On week 02/23, I couldn't pick Atomic Robo as best book, because Detective Comics #874 was very good. Scott Snyder wrote an actual detective story (starring Commissioner Gordon), and Francesco Francavilla's full art is just perfect for the tale. Namor: The First Mutant #7 was the Worst Book this week... wake me up when the wandering-through-a-hell-dimension snorefest ends, yes? I want to see underwater battles. Cover Of The Week is from Detective Comics #874, also by Francesco Francavilla. And The Rundown is too long, so it was posted previously. Click on that link to see it; if I included it here it would take up too much space.

TITLE: Black Terror (Dynamite).

ISSUE: 11-13.

CULPRIT: Adriano Lucas and Vinicius Andrade (colorists).

DISSECTION: Sidney tells us that a character in Black Terror was miscolored for several issues; in "(...) Black Terror #14, it was shown that the lower part of her face, below the line, was colored red, which means that she had been miscolored before."

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars, and a badge for Sidney; who's one badge away from making Commander.

TITLE: Blockbusters Of The Marvel Universe (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen and Mike O'Sullivan (head writers/coordinators), unspecified writers, one colorist.

DISSECTION: Too many errors to list (ten in total), not as bad as usual, but still... a Marvel handbook. I wasn't even going to give this an entry, it was going to be part of the Rundown; but Sidney sent in two of them, so he gets two badges. Congratulations, Sidney, you've been promoted to Commander!

DISSECT-O-METER: Blanket rating of 7 Bazzars.

TITLE: The Dissector (Studio Robota).

ISSUE: 195.

CULPRIT: MaGnUs (writer).

DISSECTION: JohnnyDoe was busy, and gets another badge for pointing out that I had credited John Ridgway as a colorist, and he's a penciller. Congratulations, Captain JohnnyDoe.

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. it's made worse because it was a DT!, not a regular dissection.

TITLE: The Flash V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 09.

CULPRIT: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza (editors).

DISSECTION: Sidney gets another badge by telling us the following "The second mistake comes from Flash #9. Richard Zajac did the inking for the issue, but the book switched editors in the middle of production, and the new editor, Adam Schlagman, forgot to credit him. I know this because Richard works at the local comic store."

Sidney, tell Richard I say hi.


TITLE: Green Lantern V4 (DC).

ISSUE: 62.

CULPRIT: Geoff Johns (writer).

DISSECTION: Let's not talk about how the badges and rings are the wrong shape, or even change shapes within the same issue. So... remember how I've complained about the "ring... charge... low..." plot device being used too often? How they make a point of showing how when they're in a fight, Green Lanterns don't have their power battery handy to recharge... even though recharging takes a second (they don't actually have to say the oath)?

Traditionally, Green Lanterns have carried their power battery stored inside their ring; since there was always a pocket dimension inside it. Since the Corps came back in force, lead by Geoff Johns creative-wise, they complain about not being able to recharge every now and then. And guess what? In this issue, they talk about the pocket dimension all lantern corps use, and Krona says he discovered it.

You can't keep using the not-able-to-recharge plot device, Geoff and team.

DISSECT-O-METER: N/A, since this is the correct usage. There are, however, numerous art dissections.

TITLE: Ides Of Blood (DC/Wildstorm).

ISSUE: 06 of 06.

CULPRIT: Stuart C. Paul (writer).

DISSECTION: "Proscribing" is forbidding, not mandating.


TITLE: Iron Man 2.0 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: Nick Spencer (writer).

DISSECTION: Iron Man 2.0? Oh, yes, because it's not enough to be "the black Iron Man", now War Machine doesn't even have a book to his name? Now, on to the dissections... the plot goes like this: a scientist/engineer in a top level US military think-tank dies, and suddenly, his inventions show up in the hands of terrorists. But he could have never gotten his designs out of the think-tank because it's got very tight security, and no communications to the outside are allowed.

His scant personal belongings are in a box, and a team of analysts is going through them... but they find no clue. Prominent in a panel is his organ donor card... and nobody thought of checking where his organs went... and how in places where they ended up in transplant recipients, large quantities of materials needed to build his projects are being purchased. Come on, Spencer, in the Marvel Universe, one of several important things you'd look for would be some sort of DNA/organic computer storage in his organs! COME ON!!!


TITLE: Iron Man 2.0 (Marvel).

ISSUE: 01.

CULPRIT: Nick Spencer (writer).

DISSECTION: Oh, it doesn't end there. War Machine is going through the case with the analysts, and asks if the guy could have been a mutant. Of course he couldn't, the analysts answer, because the Feds seize Cerebro four times a year and do a sweep". Yes, right. The X-Men will allow the government to walk in and do a mutant search four times a year. As if. Haven't you read the countless stories where this exact kind of thing is opposed by the X-Men? Strongly opposed?

DISSECT-O-METER: 6 Bazzars. And to boot, pulling a badly-written-Batman, War Machine asks if there was a chance of the guy becoming a ghost, and says he's asking something stupid. Really, when you've fought side by side with Thor, are in a team with Valkyrie, and have faced the supernatural every other week? Please. On top of that, the "War Machine Saga" section at the end of the book refers to "Stark's recent decision" to stop manufacturing weapons. Yeah, recent as of his most earliest appearances as a comic book character...

TITLE: Iron Man Legacy (Marvel).

ISSUE: 11.

CULPRIT: Damien Lucchese (production), and/or Ralph Macchio (editor) & Charlie Beckerman (assistant editor), and web content employees.

DISSECTION: Marvel Comics includes no creator credits in this issue, except for last name of writer, artist, inker and colorist on the cover... and to make it worse, on the Marvel website credits Tim Bradstreet as writer, penciller, inker, colorist and letterer (Make sure you click on Stories/Iron Man Legacy on the middle of the webpage to see the Bradstreet credits). Tim, you're pulling full duty, and people like Fred Van Lente take the credit! :) (J/K, BTW)

DISSECT-O-METER: 7 Bazzars. Also, Tony Stark's eyes are colored brown, and there's an accented letter that's smaller than it should.

TITLE: Justice League Of America/The 99 (DC/Teshkeel).

ISSUE: 05 of 06.

CULPRIT: Fabian Nicieza & Stuart Moore (writers) and/or Tom Derenick (penciller).

DISSECTION: Check this scene out, tell me what you can find... keep in mind that it's something that might be blamed on both writers and penciller, or either... so it's not a badly drawn character, or a spelling error, to name a couple of options that are out.

DISSECT-O-METER: 9 Bazzars. Wonder Woman's costume is drawn with some weird shoulder pads, on another note.

TITLE: Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe A To Z Update (Marvel).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen and/or Mike O'Sullivan (head writers/coordinators).

DISSECTION: I know this happens in other types of fiction, and in similar ways, but I'm "worried" about it superhero comics, and in a specific kind of situation. I'm not talking about how the characters themselves will perceive these relations, but more from a detached point of view. What am I talking about? Genetically-engineered "siblings".

I'm not talking about clones (an exact copy of a person), but of similar creations. In particular, this question arose from the Marvel character Lyra, who was created by splicing DNA from Thundra and Hulk. While the final result might be similar to what is achieved through in-vitro fertilization; she's not precisely created by fertilizing one of Thundra's eggs with one of Hulk's sperm.

However, Marvel's character profile handbooks, in the usual "known relatives" or "relatives" section lists Hulk as her "father", and Hulk's children Skaar and Hiro-Kala (which he conceived naturally with Caiera) as her "half-brothers", and so on.

Now, I understand the biological reasoning behind considering those relations the same as the ones in a "traditional" family, or even considering people conceived by artificial insemination (if my father donated sperm and I found out I have a sibling from a woman he never even met)... but shouldn't an character profile (which is supposed to be informative) list those relatives with terms such as "genetic father" or "genetic half-brother"? They do list other characters in her extended family with terms such as "step-mother", and in other profiles they use specific designations for adoptive siblings and parents... why not for these relations?

So, while I can't consider branding these characters as "sister" or brother", I can consider an error to make distinctions when it comes to step relations or adoptive relations, but not for this kind of relations.


TITLE: Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe A To Z Update (Marvel).

ISSUE: 05.

CULPRIT: Jeff Christiansen and/or Mike O'Sullivan (head writers/coordinators).

DISSECTION: Mesmero's said to occasionally smoke tobacco, which is something that apparently, needs to be listed in the "abilities/accessories" section of his profile... ???


TITLE: Power Girl V2 (DC).

ISSUE: 21.

CULPRIT: Judd Winick (writer).

DISSECTION: The search for missing Kryptonite from before Infinite Crisis called by Ted Kord is shown as "years ago, many crises yet to be faced"... given the kind of timeline in DC comics, even taking into account the "52" year; it can't be that many years ago, it could be as much as three, four stretching it. Yes, they don't use the word "many", but that kind of sentence is meant to be used for something that was a long time ago; and the "many crises" is also a hyperbole.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars. Also, the new Rocket Red's hair should be blond, but it's colored brown, and Bruce Wayne's Batman belt is wrong.
One hundred and three dissections, with an average of 7.7 Bazzars. Wow. Our last high rating was a 7.6 a couple of years ago, and our highest one was 8.1 in column #20. Let's get the Moments Of The Week(s) done with and end this column. From 02/09, Atomic Robo gets his first kiss (back in 1930):

Hmm... metallic tasting! Of course, after learning that his little robot is having a romantic dalliance, Tesla wants to have "the talk" with him:

I laughed out loud. Now, one Moment from 02/16... what will rise in Darwking Duck?

DUCKTHULU!!! And now a few from 02/23, first, Hogun the grim hails a train:

... stops it, more like it. Then, more Robo romantic moments:

That's what happens when you date a robot. Next, what's a good outfit to wear to a funeral? Let's ask Storm, shall we?

Wow, in perfect taste! And from Star Wars: Legacy: Wars...

IT'S TRAP!!! OR MORE THAN ONE!!! And last, what does Dazzler do best?

DISCO, BABY, DISCO! That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...