Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Four, By Johnathan

Only three days behind! I was going to write this last night, but I was distracted by enchiladas and wine. Who could resist that, I ask you?

Back to that super-hero party from Adventure Comics No. 289 (I can't stop plugging Super Future Friends! Go there!) - remember, the whole reason that Supergirl hauled her cousin 1010 years into the future was to get him some future bootie (booty?), and where better to look for a quick hook-up than the super equivalent of a drunken office Christmas party. Hell, there are probably four or five different sets of super-butt prints on the hyperspatial image duplication assembly already. All Supergirl really has to do is point Clarkie in someone's direction and let fly.

So who does she choose?

Saturn Girl! Saturn Woman! Whoever!

Superman has been holding out for a woman with a lot of plaques! Turns out that he only values qualities that have been commemorated by brass plate screwed to wood, which is why to this day he's convinced that Green Arrow is indeed the World's Greatest Sex Machine.

The most important question raised by this panel, though, is just who the hell gave her that plaque? Her mom? Her stalker? Is there a shadowy group of future trophy-makers dedicated to making the folks of the 30th Century feel okay about themselves? Should I expect a tasteful brass-and-mahogany number commemorating my exceptional capacity for beer and nachos?

"Holy poo! You look basically the same as you used to, only somewhat taller! I honestly figured that ten years would have rendered you into a total pooch! Look, I made you a joke dog-collar flight belt and everything!"

I'm pretty glad that 'darts + mistletoe' isn't a cliched holiday recipe for making people kiss. I can basically guarantee that I'd have had a few accidental trepannations by now, knowing my friends. Also, I don't trust their judgement on who I should kiss.

What is the etiquette on this kind of thing? Can you keep kissing someone as long as there's mistletoe around? Do they have any say in the matter or do they have to run and/or start spritzing some Agent Orange ceilingward? I haven't ever actually seen the stuff - anyone from a mistletoe-using part of the world care to weigh in?

It's been said before (though I seem not to be able to find an example): Supergirl watching Superman kiss people is creepy. And happens a lot.

"Holiday Spirit", eh? That smacks of euphemism. Is Superman drunk, do you reckon? Is there a reason that he hasn't seen these people in ten years?

"Hey, where's Superboy? We could really use his help with these Rigellian Spore-Monkeys."

"Uh, we had to leave him back at the Clubhouse. He's a bit too full of the old 'holiday spirit'. I think that we might need to have an intervention."

See? He's fleeing the party rather than admit his problem. Adventure Comics No. 290 is entirely concerned with his subsequent shame-based bender. Actually, much of Superman's Silver-Age behavior makes a lot of sense if you assume that he's smashed out of his gourd half the time ("Whee! Time to dig another tunnel! And then maybe get Batman to help me prank Lois!").

Finally: harsh, Supergirl. What did Phantom Woman ever do to you?

I have a new theory about how being shot through space at a young age promotes social awkwardness.


"nine Police sciencing,"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Three, By Johnathan

Harvey Bullock, are you the best Santa ever?

Yes you are!


"ten Stone Boys standing,"

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Two, By Johnathan

Dammit, I’m writing this on Calling Birds but I’m only up to Turtledoves (Augh! I was away from the internet again! It's Golden Rings!). Have to pick up the pace, Johnathan, or those Lords’ll be a-leaping sometime in February.

Continuing with Adventure Comics No. 289, today we answer the pressing question: what do super-heroes get each other for Christmas? (tangential observation: Red Tornado giving Batman a “World’s Greatest Detective” mug in the latest episode of The Brave and the Bold? Utterly adorable. That series is nothing but JOHN APPROVED)

Man, I don’t know how I feel about those pictures. I have some experience with that type of gift, and it is a super thoughtful/heart-warming thing to receive, but… there is absolutely no doubt that the implications of that time scope are profoundly creepy. I mean, think about what you did this morning. Now, think about a good friend of yours watching you do what you did this morning, with you all unaware. Gives me the shivers.


So what do the Super-Cousins come up with to top that eerily thoughtful gift? Time-scope images of each Legionnaire’s death, maybe? Drawings of what they think everyone looks like in the shower, perhaps?

Flight belts! This is a good gift! So good, in fact, that it travels back in time - the teen Legion are using them in their next appearance and the poor Substitute Heroes have to make do with them for about twenty years after everyone else gets fancy-pants flight rings.


Still, I wish that the “glowing crotch” aspect of the flight belt had remained a part of Legion canon. It’s just so… festive.

"eleven Tyrocs shouting,"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part One, By Johnathan

Hallo hallo! It's me, Johnathan, back from the far-away land of Offline and fat with turkey and buttered vegetables. As promised, I'm going to rock the twelve days of Christmas with twelve reviews highlighting various modes of holiday celebration in the comical booklets that I so love. And since we're already on Day 3 (French hens!) I'm going to be playing catchup.

What are we going to look at for Partridge/Pear Tree Day? Who else but the Legion! From Adventure Comics No. 289, as recently looked at over at Super Future Friends, we have this:

Supergirl has a plot to get a little action for her cousin, so she hauls him into the 30th Century to hang with the adult Legion for Christmas. More on the action-getting plot later - today we're looking at the Legion's decorations.

Not too sure why there isn't ever any snow around the Legion Clubhouse, as it's located just outside of either Smallville or Metropolis and I'm pretty sure that at this point those estimable towns are both located in Kansas. Isn't Kansas snowy? Maybe the poles flipped in 2567 or something like that. No matter. I'm sure it's Brainiac 5's doing.

I sure do like the Santa dummy in the space ship. Some of my favourite things about the Legion's future are its intersections with our past - rather than playing some crazy game where you simulate nuclear fusion with electronic beans they play holographic Dungeons and Dragons or Spaceopoly (which I hope is all about capturing the Boardwalk Nebula early in the game). Likewise, rather than having a robot out front with a special time portal that loops images of history's greatest Nativity scenes, including the original, they have a crappy Santa dummy that someone thought would look cute in their rocket car. My Dad's neighbours would do that!


As for their tree: fantastic! This is the solution for my irrational aversion to even the most convincing fake Christmas tree - make 'em weird abstract treeoid forms. I haven't had a tree in my own place for upwards of ten years but I sure would set up that cone-stack. Especially if I could arrange to have planets revolving around it. Or possibly something else, I don't know. Towns I've lived in? Snack foods I have known and loved (oh, Punkys. I miss ye). The important thing is the revolution.


"Twelve beasts of lightning,"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Okay, By Johnathan

I've gotten all of the presents and now I just have to wrap them. There may in fact be enough time to do some holiday reviewing before I head into the Internet-free wilderness from whence I was spawned. If I don't, I'll have a Twelve Days of Christmas Special, just for you guys. 

The compliments of the season to all y'all!

- johnathan

December 24 edit: I totally squandered the evening and spent the morning recycling some Free Comic Book Day comics as wrapping paper. Twelve Days of Christmas Special it is!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Review of Phraseology, by Johnathan

A quick'un. The best Christmastime-specific bit 'o wordplay? 

"The compliments of the season."

What those particular compliments are, I have no idea. Possibly something about how nice the fur trim on one's jacket looks? Regardless, it's a nice, semi-archaic-sounding bit of wordage.


Monday, December 15, 2008

New Christmas Tradition!

No reviewing today (or for like, three weeks - what the hell?) 'm just going to formally state my official Comic Nerd Christmas Wish so that whatever holiday spirit looks after my people will know what to get me.

All I want for Christmas is a 6-12 issue miniseries about the Frankenstein featured in Seven Soldiers and written by Grant Morrison. Just that, Grampy Tanglebeard.