Thursday, February 23, 2006

Everytime I begin to forget just what a great band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were, all I have to do is listen to Live From the Middle East.

"In his favorite pub, in his favorite seat,
I saw the Devil, wingtip shoes on his feat,
Porkpie hat on his head, he was digging the beat,
And the band ripped like demons when he said
'Turn up the heat!'"
--The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Devil's Night Out" from Devil's Night Out

Monday, February 20, 2006

Of Death and Dying
I have a lingering fondness for the codename The Suicider, even though I know it's not very cool. Thus, the new two finalists for the creepy suicide murderer are Hemlock and The Suicide King. At present, I'm leaning toward The Suicide King, though care must be taken to avoid comparions to goofball villains like the Clock King and the playing card-themed Royal Flush Gang.

And now to devote some thought to another enemy more suited to The Question than to Captain Marvel, Propaganda, a Marxist (not to be confused with Marxist-Leninist), anti-globalization terrorist/supervillain.

Happy Birthday
Oh, and because I'm a terrible friend, happy birthday to Daddy Dylweed, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday, February 16. Happy birthday, buddy!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Justice League International
Maxwell Lord, Proprietor

Justice League America
Martian Manhunter - field leader
Green Lantern (Guy Gardner)
Blue Beetle
Booster Gold
Mr. Miracle
Batman (part-time member)
Black Canary (quit early)
Captain Marvel (quit early)
Dr. Fate (quit early)
Dr. Light (quit early)
* * *

Justice League Europe
Captain Atom - field leader
The Flash
Elongated Man
Power Girl
Rocket Red
Crimson Fox
Animal Man (quit early)
* * *
Sue Dibny
Catherine Cobert

Justice League Antarctica
Major Disaster - field leader
Clock King
Big Sir
Green Lantern (G'Nort)
Scarlet Skier
The Mighty Bruce
Opinion Poll!
Garfield Logan is a superhero with the power to shapeshift into any kind of animal (excluding humans; to my knowledge, he can't shapeshift to look like a girl or a basketball player). Gar has been a member of both the original Doom Patrol and several incarnations of the Teen Titans. (You may have seen him as one of the mains on Cartoon Network's Teen Titans.) He has green skin and hair in both his human and animal forms. Where does the mass go when he changes his volume from that of a rhinocerus to that of a hummingbird? No one knows. (Aren't comics great?) In his career of derring-do, Gar has been known by two different codenames. Which of them is goofier and which of them is, even if goofier, better: Beast Boy or Changeling?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Goldbrickin' in '06
He's at it again. In the name of all that's dark and profane, why won't he just admit that he's lazy and wants to take a few days off work? He's worked for AC/Delphi for over thirty years and has earned the right to his five weeks of paid vacation per annum. It's fine to take a day off work just for the hell of it! Why pretend that you're sick when you're clearly as healthy as ever? I can't believe my beloved brother and magnificent sister were sired by that wretch.

Be My Anti-Valentine
The title is borrowed from a news article I read this morning about the relatively booming traffic in anti-Valentine's Day merchandise directed at single folk. The celebration of the feast day of Saint Valentine as a celebration of corporately-sponsored love strieks me as being as vapid as ever, but on this day of scorn let us not forget that love in indeed a many splendored thing. I hope that each of you finds your one true love sooner rather than later.

And for those of you who, like me, are lifetime members of Team Bachelor, hey, fuck love. Love can't hold a candle to a frozen pizza, a cold can of Dr Pepper, and back-to-back episodes of MythBusters.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I saw Brokeback Mountain this weekend and I have to say the guiltless marital infidelity really bothered me. I understand the society of fear Ennis and Jack lived in, but if you are going to be unfaithful to your wife, even if she is just a smokescreen, at least be man enough to get a divorce first.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Of Death and Dying
There have been at least two Law & Order episodes, one each of Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, about suicide advice/discussion websites and murders associated with the sites in question. Additionally, I am a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's multi-chaptered short story "The Suicide Club" (so-called short story, since it is as long as the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Inspired by these sources, I'm developing a villain, a murderer who prowls the suicide subculture looking for suicidal individuals on the verge of committing the act and killing them before they can go through with it. His justification is probably rooted in Catholicism, proceeding from the assumption that he is saving the souls of his victims by murdering them before they can commit the mortal sin of suicide. I'm thinking of him as an enemy of The Question, whom I desperately want to return to his Objectivist beginnings, but really my suicide murderer could be tailored to suit any mystery man.

Anyway, I've made up a whole list of names and I was wondering which of them best strikes the fancy of you, the loyal audience. I've narrowed it down to two, though I would have happy to entertain any suggestions left in the comment box:

Hemlock the Confessor
The Suicider

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The Rock Show
It doesn't matter if you are a ska fan or not (though if you aren't, what is wrong with you?), go see Less Than Jake in concert. They are the most relentless band in rock 'n' roll, interrupting the perpetual tour otherwise known as their lives only long enough to record new, incredibly awesome albums. You've never felt anything like the energy at an LTJ show; it is palpable as soon as they take the stage. I have attended scores of rock shows in my life, but I have never seen aany other crowd erupt like last night's did when they started playing "Jen Doesn't Like Me Anymore." Astounding, amazing, awe inspiring, all are apt adjectives.

Less Than Jake: coming relatively soon to a venue near you. It's just a matter of time. Go to the show.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Sooper Bowl XL
Having seen their slipshod play last night, it is hard to believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the best team in the NFL, but hey, to the victor go the spoils. And who doesn't love Bill Cowher's glower power?

Hail to the Losers
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, Terry Malone won't be Michigan's offensive offensive coordinator next season. Woot! Admittedly, he was hired away by the New Orleans Saints of San Antonio, not summarily fired by Coach Carr as he should have been, but of paramount importance is Malone's departure. Great day in the morning, that's fan-fucking-tastic! Homer Simpson's oft-lauded co-worker, the inanimate carbon rod, would have been a better offensive coordinator than Malone was. Wow, he was bad. Now, all is not yet well and we're still saddled with Henne at quarterback, but we found a way to win with Navarre as QB; so, overcoming the Henne handicap should be comparatively easy. It's far too early to predict next season's win-loss record, but already things are looking up. Go Blue!

With the Super-duper Bowl now past, there is no more football until September. I'd say that now is the winter of our discontent, except that if you actually read Richard III, Shakespeare intended the phrase to be intensely positive. If now is the winter of our discontent, spring must be just around the corner; when Richard speaks of the winter, he means England's fortune are on the cusp of substantial improvement. Still, seven months until the return of football... oy. Thank Bog we have the NHL this year.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Opinion Poll!
Which is the goofer superhero/supervillain codename: Marvel's U.S.Agent (a hero) or DC's K.G.Beast (a villain)? Comment, true believers, I'm genuinely curious.

The Magic of Shazam!
An argument can be made that a hero is defined by the villainy he thwarts. Below is a list of villains I hope to use in The Magic of Shazam! The first catagory are those villains created by others and presently galavanting about the DC Universe making mischief; the second is composed of foes used in the Golden Age Fawcett Comics adventures of the Marvel Family whom I intend to modify/modernize and introduce into the DCU; the third group are T.L.A.M. originals. My only hope for this last group is that they don't suck.

Existing Evil
Dr. Thaddeus Sivana
Black Adam (Teth-Adam/Theo Adam)
Mr. Mind
Captain Nazi (Katrina Krueger; previously: Madame Libertine)
Mr. Atom
Ibac ("Stinky" Printwhistle)
Arson Fiend (George Tweedle)
Chain Lightning (Amy, surname unknown)
Binary (Patty and Patty, surnames unknown; previously: Patty-Patty-Bang-Bang)
Vandal Savage (Vandar Adg)
Sabbac (Ishmael Gregor)*

Waiting in the Wings
Ivan Derook
Crocodile Mob (Herkimer, Sylvester, Casimir, Balthezar, Jorrk, Conrad, Ambrose, & Theodore; previously: the Crocodile-Men)
The Ghoul (Grelf; previously: the Space Ghoul)
King Kull
The Mummy (some variation of Nefertiti; previously: The Mad Mummy [male])
Levram Niatpac
Samurai Spy (Tsutomu Hirota; previously: Nippo)
Dr. Phoul - ODESSA
Baron Blitzkrieg (name pending, not the original Baron Blitzkrieg) - ODESSA

My Malcontents
Xenophon (Costas Papadelias)
Red Oni (Junichiro Hirota)
Erlkonig (name pending)
The Perfect (Percival Pringle)
Scion of Shazam (Xia Timur)
The Aryan Racer (name pending) - ODESSA
Kriegmaschine - ODESSA
V.5 (name pending) - ODESSA
The Clockwork Gang (Fielding Field; Marshall Field; Penny Penney; "Monty" Ward; Trevor Roebuck [female]; Sears, given name pending)
The Dread Pirate (Petra, surname pending)
The May Queen (name pending)
Lightning Rod (Rodney Ampere)
The Maze (Daedalus Broadstreet)
Spring Heeled Jack (name pending)
Diamondhead (name pending)

The previously discussed codenames Hotspur, Asunder, Dandelion, and Vexillum, as well as newcomers Propaganda, Vox Populi, and The Trojan, are still in play, but aren't yet ready to be listed. Why list Diamondhead but not Asunder? I don't yet know Diamondhead's real name, but I have a good idea what he looks like, what his powers are, and the broad strokes of his origin/motivation; so, he's actually much farther along than Asunder, who right now is basically just a visually and aurally pleasing word.

I've got a couple ideas for independent enemies of Spy Smasher (Aleph and the Zealots, The Amalekite) and Mr. Scarlet (Green Mamba, the Red Death), but for no adequately explored reason I've elected to keep them off the list. Go figure.

*Sabbac is a current adversary of Captain Marvel Jr. (Kid Marvel in MOS!) and the Outsiders in Judd Winick's Outsiders. I am not a fan of Winick's work; so, I cannot imagine the circumstances in which I would ever choose to use one of his characters.
Lousy Smarch Weather
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle, the world beyond my windows is blanketed in snowy goodness. I love being wrong about these things. Woot!

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Idiocy and Islam
The current protests in the Muslim world are completely nonsensical and massively hypocritical. They would be funny were not the threat of violence so great.

{a} The Danish paper that ran the two offending political cartoons did so five months ago. If these images are so inherently disrespectful to the Prophet Mohammed, why did the protests and boycotts only begin this week?

{b} While not defending the cartoons, which are at best insensitive, much worse images run in Muslim newspapers, specifically in the Arab countries, every single day of the week. Cartoons portraying Jews as drinking the blood of Muslim children are a common sight in Arabic-language periodicals. You shouldn't dish it out if you can't take it.

{c} In a London protest of the images, one man held up a sign labelling Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the U.N., as an international terrorist. Was the sign-wielder not aware that Annan has denounced the Anglo-American-Australian invasion of Iraq as "illegal"? And even if not, what the hell does a Ghanan career diplomat have to do with editorial cartoons published in a Danish newspaper?

I feel so sorry for the rational, peaceful Muslim masses. As if it wasn't bad enough that the name of Islam has been hyjacked by genocidal murderers, now it has been hyjacked to serve the twin causes of idiocy and ignorance, as well. How did the once great Islamic civilization ever sink to this?

Superbowl XL and Lousy Smarch Weather
Detroit is supposed to be buried in five to eight inches of snow overnight and we here in Genesee County to the north are supposed to get our fair share, too. Yeah, we were supposed to get two to four inches last night, as well, yet when I woke up this morning the lawn was as green as an April morn. Snow? During the worst winter ever? I'll believe it when I see it. We haven't had a snowfall leading to accumulation since before Christmas. There are not words in the English language to accurately describe how disappointing this "winter" has been.

This winter has been the Matt Millen of the seasons: a huge stinking pile of bullshit.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Number 25 in a Series
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction No.1
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction No.2
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction No.3
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction No.4
Hellboy: The Wolves of Saint August
Hellboy: Wake the Devil No.1
Hellboy: Wake the Devil No.2
Hellboy: Wake the Devil No.3
Hellboy: Wake the Devil No.4
Hellboy: Wake the Devil No.5
Hellboy: The Corpse and the Iron Shoes
Hellboy: Almost Colossus No.1
Hellboy: Almost Colossus No.2
Hellboy: Box Full of Evil No.1
Hellboy: Box Full of Evil No.2
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm No.1
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm No.2
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm No.3
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm No.4
Hellboy: Conqueror Worm No.5
Hellboy: The Third Wish No.1
Hellboy: The Third Wish No.2
Hellboy: The Island No.1
Hellboy: The Island No.2
Hellboy: Makoma or, A Tale Told By a Mummy in the New York Explorers' Club on August 16, 1993 No.1 (of 2)

I have everything through the end of Conqueror Worm in trade paperback collections and the individual issues of The Island and Makoma. The individual issues of The Third Wish have thus far eluded my grasp; so, I think I'll just have to duplicate the material I already own from The Island when it and The Third Wish are collected in the soon-to-be published trade Hellboy: Strange Places. All of these issues were written and drawn by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, except Makoma, which features art by both Mignola and Richard Corben. The twenty-five issue numbering does not include the eight-issues anthology series Hellboy: Weird Tales (I have Nos.1-4 in trade form and the individual issues Nos.5-8), written and drawn exclusively by non-Mignolas.

Next up after the second issue of Makoma is a new six-issue miniseries Hellboy: Darkness Calls, written by Mignola with art by Duncan Fegredo.

Number 23 in a Series
B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth No.1
B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth No.2
B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth No.3
B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice
B.P.R.D.: Dark Waters
B.P.R.D.: There's Something Under My Bed
B.P.R.D.: Night Train
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs No.1
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs No.2
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs No.3
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs No.4
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs No.5
B.P.R.D.: The Dead No.1
B.P.R.D.: The Dead No.2
B.P.R.D.: The Dead No.3
B.P.R.D.: The Dead No.4
B.P.R.D.: The Dead No.5
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.1
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.2
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.3
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.4
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.5
B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame No.6

All of the B.P.R.D. miniseries have been co-authored by Mignola, though he has done none of the interior art (he did the covers for both the issues of both Hollow Earth and The Black Flame). Interestingly, and unlike the Hellboy numbering's exclusion of Weird Tales, the one-shots are included in the B.P.R.D. numbering, even though Mignola neither wrote nor drew those issues. I have all the individual isses except for Hollow Earth and The Soul of Venice, both of which I have in trade form. Included along with Hollow Earth is the uncounted one-shot Abe Sapien: Drums of the Dead.

Plague of Frogs, The Dead, and the just-concluded The Black Flame are all chapters of the same massive story, soon to be continued in B.P.R.D.: The Universal Machine, by the usual suspects of co-writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi and artist Guy Davis.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Consistency is All I Ask
In the interest of full disclosure, I must mention that I really fucking hate the Olympics. HATE. And not just because former IOC president Juan Antonio Samarach said the Olympic "movement" (whatever the hell that is) is, "bigger than the Catholic Church," though that asinine remark certainly didn't help. I like to see Americans win gold medals the same way I would like to see the Detroit Tigers win the World Series: I want both athletic contests fade into the the mists of history, but as long as they are around I like to see "my" guys do well. I hate the Olympic Games.

My beef here, though, is with the many, many advertisements I have been seeing for the upcoming XXth Winter Games in "Torino, Italy." Torino is the Italian word for an Italian town, rendered as Turin in English (as in, Shroud of). Italy is the English word for a country in Europe, rendered as Italia in Italian. Why use the Italian word for Turin and the English word for Italy? This is, in short, fucking bullshit. If you want to seem worldly by calling Turin "Torino," please feel free to do so. But don't betray yourself as a parochial hick the very next word by using "Italy" instead of Italia. Torino, Italia or Turin, Italy. Not Torino, Italy or Turin, Italia. Jumpin Jehosaphat!

As is repeated ad nauseum in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, consistency is all I ask.

Vote For Kodos: State o' the Union
My favorite quote from last night was, "hindsight is not wisdom and second-guessing is not a strategy." Hee hee hee. Also, the use of the word "defeatist." I like President Bush best when he's got that swagger in his step.