Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Redirect Redirect Redirect!

Whelp, that's kind of a wrap for Paul and John Review. Kind of. I've joined up with the rest of Halifax's cool comics bloggers at the new home of Living Between Wednesdays to bring totally incredible fun and super good times into the world roughly seven times per week.

It's likely that there will be new posts here from time to time, but nothing especially comicy. Also, it'll probably turn into "John and anybody who feels like it Review", so god knows what you'll see if you choose to hang around here.

Thanks for the good times - see you around!



Friday, March 27, 2009

Review of Medicine, by Johnathan

Just this past Tuesday, I went to the hospital and had two wisdom teeth removed. Several aspects of this process seemed worth mentioning:

Firstly, I was willfully paying several hundred dollars to a man so that he would remove some of my teeth. This seems strange to me now that I look back on it. On a related note, I said "Thanks" to toe tiny radiologist once she had finished x-raying my mouth. This translates to "Thanks for bathing my head with radiation.", which is honestly something I never thought I'd say outside of certain types of RPG.

Secondly, my doctor (who did a fine job) was named Dr Goodday. Not strange in and of itself, but when I signed in I noticed that two of his colleagues were named Dr Precious and Dr Lovely. I have two main theories on this matter:

a) When I used to work at a call centre we heard of another call centre where you were allowed to make up a name to use instead of having to tell random strangers who you were. We were not allowed to do this, which is why Zoltan Hammertooth is not feared to this day among the wireless -clueless of the Deep South
(this is a lie. A friend of mine and a man named Zoltan are currently simulating sex using a series of Facebook applications and roundly disturbing me, and so the name is naturally enough on my mind. I would have been known as Aristotle Conundrum)
b) The Oral/Maxiofacial surgery field has been infiltrated by the Fair Folk. Remember how I mentioned that the woman who blasted my skull with radiation was very small? It is just possible that she was a pixie. Also, Dr Goodday was very tall, which is not in and of itself telling, but it is possible that he had the hooves of a goat instead of feet, and we all know what that means.

The third interesting aspect of the whole experience came after I woke up two teeth lighter. Here's the situation: my girlfriend is out of town and has left me her keys. She lives directly across the street from the hospital. I have brought my friend Yeldarb along as per hospital instructions. Our plan is for him to escort me across the street and into the apartment, where I will spend some time recovering from the Wowie Gas that they gave me. The hospital folk will not hear of this and call me a cab. I feel compelled to apologise to the cabbie and tip him five dollars. He assures us that this is not the shortest distance he has ever been called upon to drive somebody.

Still, I appear to have done pretty well: no bleeding from the mouth, no blinding pain, no (shudder) "dry socket". As far as getting parts of your body removed, the whole thing was JOHN APPROVED.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Part two of that last thing! A long time later! By Johnathan!

I may seem to be in the grip of some sort of late-Winter/early-Spring frenzy of procrastination frenzy but I am totally working on really cool things! With Paul! Also, I'm procrastinating a lot. But with a girl! Which isn't as bad, I think?


Mr Terrific
- Would there even be a Mr Terrific in the Thirtieth Century? Terry Sloane started crime-fighting because he was the very best at everything and was super-duper suicidally bored by it all. But was he smarter than Brainiac 5? A better fighter than Karate Kid? More rolly-polly than Bouncing Boy? No, no and no. I figure that a Mr Terrific somehow thrust into a legion audition would find himself feeling suicidally inferior. He'd probably end up living in the sewers underneath the Clubhouse, eating future-vermin (astro-snakes! cosmic sand fleas! plasma eels!) and writing bad poetry about rejection. And everyone would forget about him until Five Years Later, when he shows up in two panels before getting shot by the Dominion. Poor guy.

Sandman - In contrast, Golden Age Wesley Dodds is just too damn hard to stop for him *not* to get into the Legion. Seriously, I don't know about his solo adventures but in the old All-Star Comics days he was easily the most bad-assed of the normal JSAers. As far as I can figure it, Lightning Lad or someone would have a scary dream about Sandman (and possibly also Sandy, the Golden Boy) punching him in the head and then he'd wake up and go to get a cup of coffee to steady his nerves and then Sandman would bust through the door and punch him in the head. He wouldn't even have a vote - no one would. they'd all wake up one day and Sandman would be just finishing screwing his name-plate onto that big horseshoe-shaped mass podium they have and that would be that.

Spectre - Well, he's got the power, but I don't know if his methods are in line with standard Legion non-homicidal practice. Also - and I know I made a very similar joke about Dr Fate - I think that "as old as time" is a bit too far past the age of eighteen to be ignored.

Starman - Let's ignore the fact that he wouldn't get in in a million years because he gains his power from a Cosmic Rod (and that thing really never did work too well, to tell the truth. It seemed like he lost it or found that it was completely useless about every other adventure) and think about how much more interestingly confusing the Legion would be if he got in. Star Boy! Starman! Together at last! Oh no, here comes Starfinger and Pulsar Stargrave! Aiee!

Wildcat - If his "nine lives" power was in effect, Wildcat would totally get in, but even if it wasn't I think that he would be a valuable addition to the Legion lineup for one simple reason: costume diversity. Essentially, most of the Legion (and a decent percentage of the JSA, actually) are wearing spaceman clothes with some sort of fancy-pants logo on the front. Whither the themed costumes of yore, super-teens? Wildcat, with his right-down-to-the-jowls attention to detail (okay, I haven't actually seen a jowled cat, but there must be some reason for those little flaps) could show those young punks a thing or two about looking good while cracking skulls. Picture brainiac 5 wearing a hat shaped like a brain. Are you delighted? The answer is yes.

Wonder Woman - The Justice Society's secretary, which is kind of heinous, yes. It's not quite as bad in the context of the stories ("We can only have eight members for some dumb reason, but we think that you're cool! Want to be our secretary?") but yeah: stupid. Despite (because of?) all of the bondage, Golden Age Wonder Woman actually kicked a fair amount of ass, and her own comic was delightfully weird. I can't really think of any powers that she has that aren't duplicated by half of the legion membership, though. Maybe having Etta Candy around could count (Etta Candy is the most delightful Golden Age sidekick since Slam Bradley's pal Shorty. So I have decreed). If not, I'm sure that she could get into the Wanderers, no problem.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thinking Hypothetically: The JSA, by Johnathan:

I went to see The Watchmen last night (for the nerd-record: I liked it and think it was a good adaptation but of course have a small voice inside of me crying about how my favourite scene was messed up. All in all, though: JOHN APPROVED) and it got me thinking: which members of the classic Justice Society of America would have gotten into the Legion of Superheroes?

Uh, I said that it got me thinking, not that it got me thinking in a particularly linear fashion. Still, good idea for a not-really-a-review, hey?

So, to set the stage, it's Legion Tryout day, some time after the "one boy and one girl per year" thing was phased out, and this motley crew shows up on the rocket doorstep:

For the purposes of this little thought-experiment we will be considering members of the JSA during their original run, but ignoring Batman and Superman because they were hardly ever in the comic and have had plenty of legion face-time anyway. Just for fun, if someone seems doomed for rejection of a shoo-in for acceptance we might try to think up a situation wherein the obvious might not occur. In roughly alphabetical order:

The Atom: Poor old Al Pratt got to be a super-hero by working out and practicing and never saying die. Despite his short stature he was one of the most effective members of the JSA in a fight. The Legion would've turfed him out on his ear in no time flat. Best Case Scenario: The Atom saves the world while the Legion is busy fighting Doctor Mayavale again and ends up palling around with Pete Ross in the Legion Reserve.

Black Canary: I haven't actually read any of the Black Canary's Golden Age adventures but I'm pretty sure that she was another in the "regular person with a solid right hook" school of crimefighting and that the Canary Cry came later. Still, let's say that she has it for the sake of this not turning into a series of identical paragraphs. Man, sh'd be in there like no one's business. As risque as the bustier-and-fishnets look might have been at some point in the past, it's practically a hoop skirt and bustle by the standards of the 70s Legion. The unbridled lust of Sun Boy alone would propel a flight ring onto her finger.

Dr Fate: Now, I've read maybe the first twenty issues of All-Star Comics, where the JSA made their home in the 40s and, as far as I can tell, the Dr Fate that appeared in those comics was less the magic-wielding champion of Order that we all know and love and more... something else? He seems to talk about being composed of "pure energy" a lot. He still uses magic, though, so whether he could get in is basically a matter of whether the White Witch is already a member, I suppose. Worst Case Scenario: the Legion find out that Kent Nelson is just a regular dude without the Helmet of Fate and have Triplicate Girl toss him out on his ear for gaining his powers from a device. Also, technically, Nelson and Dr Fate are two different guys, and isn't Fate thousands of years old? Not that most of the JSA aren't breaking the "nobody over the age of eighteen" rule, but still.

Dr Mid-Nite
: Okay, I guess the fact that Mid-Nite really is a medical doctor is a cue-off to the fact that he's likely at least in his late twenties. Ignoring that, though, I think that he's got a pretty decent shot. A few judiciously-placed blackout bombs in the Legion tryout chamber, then a demonstration of the ol' patented Charles McNider "seeing in the dark" trick and he would be on easy street. Imagine Dr Mid-Nite, Shadow Lass and Night Girl teaming up to form... the Legion Shadow Squad! Who would dare call that a bad idea?

The Flash: I can't see why the Flash wouldn't get in, given his super-cool super-speed. Time for a Worst Case Scenario: "We're sorry, Flash. While your amazing speed powers might prove useful in a combat situation, we feel that there is a very real chance that if you stopped suddenly your hat might fly off like a discus and decapitate somebody, probably Bouncing Boy. REJECTED!"

Green Lantern: On the face of it, this one's easy, since having to wear and recharge a ring to keep yourself all powered up kind of breaks that one rule about having to have your own powers. Golden Age Green Lantern wasn't so much about firing green boxing gloves or can-can dancers or whatever out of the ring, though, so he might have had a chance. He could fly and was immune to metal (but famously not to wood, which could trip him up if anyone was in a pissy mood). I'd say he has a fifty-fifty chance based on how observant everyone was that day and whether he got to test-fight Ferro Lad or Chlorophyll Kid as his initiation feat.

Hawkman: Not in a million years. Everyone in the Legion can fly and their flying devices are a lot smaller than his and they already have Dawnstar. Best Case Scenario: He manages to convince them that he's a Thanagarian ambassador and gets a tour of the building.

Hourman: One of my favourite super-heroes ever (seriously, I was so sad about him seemingly dying in New Frontier that it took Darwyn Cooke himself to console me and say it wasn't so), so it pains me to admit that he wouldn't have much of a chance of getting into the Legion. Popping a yellow-and-red-striped pill every hour is a bit of a giveaway that you weren't born with super-strength (though making your super-pill match your cape is a pretty classy move, by my estimation). Still, Rex Tyler would make a pretty snazzy addition to the Legion of Substitute Heroes, especially as he would automatically be its most competent (and stylish) member.

Johnny Thunder: If anyone on this list would royally screw up the tryout process it would be Johnny. He'd say "Say, you fellows are tops in my book." and the Thunderbolt would misinterpret that as an order to make everyone spin around until Brainiac 5 vomits Coluan nutrient paste and that would be the end of that. However, Johnny Thunder would have made a fantastic supporting character in the Silver Age Legion adventures. Unlike the competent-but-not-confident Substitute legion, he could follow the Legionnaires around in various attempts to impress them and then fail spectacularly. Big laffs!

It's been a long day! I'm exercising my right to finish this tomorrow!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Sorry about the lack of posting, folks. It's not because I've lost interest - far from it. Big things are in the works, my friends, and the ground is starting to rumble.

Hopefully this'll all be a lot less cryptic in a couple of weeks.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Super-Human Detritus of the Thirtieth Century: Review of the Molecular Master, By Johnathan

Ha ha! I have returned, overcoming a month's worth of illness, romance and computer failure to bring you the tale of a plucky little guy by the name of Molecular Master! Here, look at him sitting around in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes No. 201:

Such a good-looking era in Legion art - check out the lovely Infectious Lass and the homely-as-sin Porcupine Pete, as well as those way-cool chairs! I want those chairs, but maybe not in orange.

Molecular master gets to try out third, after Infectious Lass has made Star Boy barf and Porcupine Pete has studded the whole damn place with quills - note their abundant presence above. Which, actually, is kind of gross. I know a few people who would have to leave that room pretty quick-like after they realized that it would be like being in a big pile of toenail clippings or used hair or whatnot.

I don't know how I feel about the Molecular master's power:

That's a pretty old conception of what an atom looks like, MM. I do like the Kirby dots, though.

Also, i think that that might be a carbon atom, which is kind of boring. I just don't know...why does making an atom really big make it all crackly and energy-tastic? are all of my atoms doing that right now? And what does he do with the really big atom, anyway? Split it?

And just why the hell isn't he called the Atom Master, anyway? Gosh darn it, I want scientific accuracy fro my minor Seventies Legion characters! Isn't this the magazine that brought us the Chlorophyll Kid, causing literally dozens of youngsters to know that chlorophyll has something to do with plants? Oh, the shame.

So anyway, Molecular Master makes it through the first portion of the Legion application without anyone bellowing "REJECTED!" at him. Meanwhile, ERG-1 (you know, Wildfire) is roaming the Legion clubhouse in my favourite form, that of a blobby little pink cloud of antimatter. This is his second appearance after seemingly killing himself while saving Colossal Boy a year earlier and he's trying to get back to his uniform so that he can have some limbs again. Sadly, all of the Legion's technology seems designed to make life difficult for blobby pink guys and so:

He tries to possess the one person on the premises who isn't covered in Legion tech. But what horrible secret does the Molecular Master conceal?

By the way, I love the Molecular Master's costume. It's A-1.

No mind! But why?

Dang. That is one creepy android. I appreciate all the work that went into making all of those robotic facial features (check out the massive power supply going into that eyebrow! I'll bet he could make Mr. Spock run and cry with one hydraulically-augmented raising of that little number) but hawk-nosed tube-men with wildly staring eyes might just be a new phobia of mine.

Robot nose! Robot cheeks! Robot Adam's apple! Oh my god, terrifying robot ears!

ERG-1/Wildfire is upset about the other aspect of the Molecular Master's power: the highly poisonous breath. I like that at this point there no longer seems to be the need for someone to shout "There must be kryptonite in the gas!", though I would think that any gas potent enough to have an effect on Superboy might not require such a roundabout method of delivery. Just heave it through the front door in grenade form and he'd kill himself by sucking it up for easy disposal. Super-villains, huh? Always over-thinking.

So: evil android filled with poison gas and after the Legion's very own deus ex machina. Can he be stopped in time?

Oops - guess not.

Ah, the Miracle Machine, as recently featured in Final Crisis (and eventually featured in Matter-Eater Lad's bowel). The Legion really shouldn't be surprised that folks try to kill them for this thing. Perhaps they should at least hide it behind something opaque - you know, give the homicidal maniacs a bit of a challenge.

Don't worry, though. ERGfire has used the Machine to restore himself to his suit (and certainly not to fashion himself as new human body, no sir), thus sparing the Molecular Master the embarrassment of standing there dramatically while that big atom completely failed to do anything to the inertron. Psh. Big atoms...

Undaunted, the Molecular Master tries again! He makes the biggest damn atom ever!

ERG-1 eats the super-atom! The Molecular Master's super-power officially sucks. ERG, on the other hand...

... has the Antimatter Kick! I don't even care that Wildfire never really did any kicking in later years - blasting this one android in the face with his foot makes him just incredibly great.

That's not quite the end of the future's best-dressed android, though. A few years later, in Legion of Super-Heroes No. 281, a bunch of Legionnaires are trapped in the past and run into the little scamp. It's a weird issue: Roy Thomas and Paul Levitz team up to produce a weird script, while Steve Ditko and Bruce Patterson compliment it with some weird art.

That costume still looks good, though. Note that in this second appearance everyone thinks that his name is Molecule Master, which is lame. I won't be a party to such a renaming, damn it.

In this issue, the Molecular Master no longer has the awesome power of the Big Atom. Instead, he can sort of generically control molecules, causing things to fly around and warp out of shape and so forth. I think at one point that he turns some air into rocks. Surprisingly, this is not an improvement. The absence of the big atoms has made me miss them.

Superboy, by the way, thinks that he's Ultra Boy, who is at this point possibly dead.

Molecular Master still has a robot nose but its not as terrifying. Thanks for showing me that, Superboy. I'll sleep easier tonight!

So it turns out that MM was working for *yawn* the Time Trapper, who really wanted that Miracle Machine, darn it. I can't remember if the thing was still uneaten at this point - if it wasn't what the Time Trapper was after here then I don't have a sweet clue what's going on. Oh, the perils of writing that hooded buffoon into your stories: I will never remember what the hell is up.

Hey, I just noticed - Saturn Girl is giving him the guns!

See? Lousy power.

Flying machine gun-attack is better than jeep-attack, but still.

Eventually, Molecular Master resorts to throwing rocks at the Legionnaires. Snazzy costume or not, that's pretty lame. Also, this version of the Master exploded when too many people attacked him at once. Were I more fond of the original version of the character, I might have concealed the existence of this one but the big atoms and the horrible robot nose and the Time Trapper connection all come together to spell NOT APPROVED.

There we go. Two hundredth post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Review Review Review, A passel of excuses, by Johnathan

Actually, no excuses here. I just got really lazy after doing all of those holiday-style posts. The next post, though, is my Two Hundredth! Rest assured that I will either do something special or nothing special. We shall see. In the meantime, check out Superboy's giant head!

That is one enormous cranium, SB.


Uptade: was going to write a super-cool review tonight but fell deleriously sick. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. You people are too good to e.

Monday, January 05, 2009

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

Holy Hannah. I did it!

I mean *ahem* of course I did. And look: I planned things out ahead of time. After starting on the Legion Christmas tale in Adventure Comics No. 289 we wrap up with the Legion yarn from the Super-Star Holiday Special, which is very likely to make an appearance here next year as well.

The setup: Superboy is visiting the future yet again and it's Christmastime. He's oddly upset that the world of the one thousand years in the future is not full of familiar 1950s (or 1940s, or 60s or whenever Superboy was from at that point) holiday traditions. Saturn Girl tries to cheer him up with some old-fashioned invasion of privacy:

"To be shared only by close friends and whoever happens to be spying on them from the Clubhouse."

Karate Kid's tree isn't as nice as that one from the Adventure story. It's still cool and all, but there's just something about concentric rings...

Also, who here thinks that Sun Boy invited himself along to this thing? I for one would not take my main squeeze home for a "private tea ceremony" and also bring along my womanizing pal. Unless there's more to the KK/PP relationship than we were told... or less, I suppose.

Fireworks trees! Terrific, improbable, hazardous!

Forcing your friend to work because he doesn't celebrate the holiday that you're all taking off? Not cool.

I think that this might be the first time that we learn that Colossal Boy is Jewish, which was always a nice touch, especially as all of the black characters kept getting shuffled off to other dimensions or weren't black at all and then were killed. Colossal Boy is the face of Legion diversity, folks!

Not sure if it's necessary for him to be so big, though, even if the Allons do have a gigantic dining room. My brother is in the army, and we discourage him from showing up at dinnertime in full camouflage and armed. This seems similar to me - "Look everyone! I'm a super-hero!"

Here's something for you to think about, Superboy: you flew to the future under your own power. You could very easily jaunt off to Smallville for Christmas, or go back to watch the invention of the first piece of tinsel (and then take the inventor Hans Tinsel to the moon to fight 17th Century Dominators or something). The future is, after all, another country - you're acting like someone who goes to France and complains about the lack of English and Coors.

Now just calm down and...

... go completely over the top. Say one thing about Superboy, folks: he doesn't mess around. No candlelight service for him, no sir. No going to Bethlehem to check out possible manger sites or trying to summon the ghosts of the Wise Men or feeding Tenzil gold, frankincense and myrrh until he pukes Christmas spirit. No, it's time to fly to the Christmas star. Basically the only way to top that would be to travel back to watch Mary giving birth, but that's too obvious.

The rest of the story is concerned with the legion haring off on Superboy's mad quest and helping a planet full of fairly dumb aliens ("The ocean's freezing, huh? Well, I guess I'll just sit here and die.") It's okay, but the real attraction is the sheer scale that Superboy thinks on. And his super-demented facial expression.


All together now!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve beasts of lightning,
Eleven Tyrocs shouting,
Ten Stone Boys standing,
Nine Police sciencing,
Eight Trappers timing,
Seven boys a-bouncing,
Six Tenzils snacking,


Four head-shaped worlds,
Three Luornus,
Two Turtle Boys,
And a Brainy, out of his tree.

A retroactive happy whatever if you choose to celebrate something at this time of year, a good time anyway if you don't and may your smugness be extra satisfying if you're one of those types.

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

Two of the many things that I'm a sucker for: a well-executed wordless comic story and Christmas sentiment.

This series of posts is basically turning into a guidebook on how to tug at my heartstrings, isn't it? Look at that! Bruce cares but he's too much of a (Bat)manly (Bat)man to tell Alfred to his face! Alfred is surprised and touched! I might have to go hug a puppy here!


This is from the DC Universe Holiday Bash. It and the Infinite Holiday Special are heartily recommended Christmas reading - the latter contains possibly the greatest Elseworlds yarn ever. I haven't gotten a chance to pick up this years holiday special yet (there was one, right?) but given DC's prior track record with anthology comics it should be great (tangent: and how great was it that there was a Tales From the Beanworld comic on the shelf this year? I've had Volume 1 sitting on my shelf for about a decade. Hearing that they're going t be reprinting these things was one of my many Christmas miracles this year).

"two Turtle Boys,"

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

DC Comics Presents No. 67! Superman and Santa Claus vs. the Toyman!

The story is nothing extraordinary (read: I couldn't find anything especially worth making fun of) - basically, Toyman starts hypnotizing children to steal from street corner Santas and the like and the real Santa Claus ends up getting in on the act. The part that got me (because I'm a sentimental fool, see?) is when Superman gets home, thinking that it was all just a dream or possibly an imaginary story, and ends up finding his beloved childhood toy in his cape pocket.

I'm tearing up!

I do like that it wasn't a toy wooden thought-beast or anything. No, Kryptonian children wouldn't play with anything so primitive. They get thought-powered illusion machines which sounds fun until you remember some of the things that you imagined as a child. man, I was fairly convinced that there were horrible creatures (wizened, gnomish creatures) literally around every corner for a while. I probably would have had a tiny heart attack if I'd have been able to see them.

Still, JOHN APPROVED. Nice one, Santa.

"three Luornus,"

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

One last panel from The Batman Adventures Holiday Special:

Included here because I read it two or three times before I realized that Batman was handing the present to that little girl. I kind of thought that he was just standing there glaring at her for calling him an angel. After all, six year-olds are a cowardly, superstitious lot. And Batman is real grumpy.


"Four head-shaped planets,"

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

This one's from 1997's DC Universe Holiday Bash, back when there were still New Gods:

Now I know that I've already declared the title of Best Santa Ever, but I think that Highfather definitely comes in at a strong number two. Also, "moth-eaten hippie Abe Lincoln."

The story: a mall manager or owner or something sees Highfather and Orion wandering around and thinks that they're his Santa crew, based on ambient beard-magnificence, I guess. Highfather being, like, eight feet tall doesn't seem to be a problem for the guy until the costume doesn't fit.

Don't worry, though - Christmas isn't ruined. Tallpop uses his amazing power to make everything portentous and:

... ends up looking pretty cool! Not to be outdone, Orion puts his mind/Mother Box to things and becomes...

Actually, he becomes a pretty terrifying elf.

The rest of the story plays out kind of like that scene in Hogfather (by Terry Pratchett, natch) where Death is doing the mall Santa thing, though just the heartwarming stuff - no pig urine jokes. Check this out:


Dude, Highsanta is huge.

Such a great Christmas story. Right up there with the Justice League where Plastic Man claims that Santa has heat vision (that one's for next year, I'm afraid).



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

Ag! It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas, kids! And the last day of my vacation! Do I have the discipline and mental fortitude necessary to finish these posts within my own Very Important Time Limit, or will you be reading this stuff until Groundhog Day? Stay tuned!

Today's lesson, from The Batman Adventures Holiday Special:

If ever you find yourself a grim avenger of the night with a semi-pathological fear of women and also a billionaire playboy with "eligible bachelor" status, Christmastime is a time for looking up.

Also, that lady with the blue hair is doing a great job of foiling two of her rivals.

Also also, the rest of this story features Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy on a shopping spree on Bruce's dime. It's well worth a read. In fact, it's JOHN APPROVED.

"six Tenzils snacking,"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

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

I don't touch on Hellboy a lot on this blog, because I mostly like writing about things that I like but that are also demonstrably flawed in some way (not a bad thing, I swear) and to me at least Mike Mignola's extended Hellboy family of books is just pure fun. But it's the Twelve Days of Christmas Special, for heaven's sake! So here's something from "A Christmas Underground", collected in The Chained Coffin and Others:

Hellboy's on a case to help an old lady - No more details for you! Buy the book! - at Christmastime. But who does she think he is, other than a giant red detective?

That's a super panel-to-panel change. I really should have left them side by side but it would have spoiled the suspense (the incredible suspense!).

There's some stuff in the middle (still not going to tell you, nyah) and then Hellboy offers up some Christmas sentiment:

Man, I love that - the guy has great dialogue out the wazoo. This is one of my favourite short Hellboy yarns, not the least because of that little postscript. In a very weird way, this is one of the more heartwarming Christmas comics I know.


"seven boys a-bouncing,"

Friday, January 02, 2009

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

From the DCU Infinite Holiday Special:

It's always a hoot to see the ol' Phantom Stranger step out of character for a bit, possibly because it's easy to believe that he has a sense of humour and the absurd in him somewhere. Unlike, say, the Batman of the last 10-15 years. This ranks up there with him showing up with groceries in Seven Soldiers for my favourite Stranger moments.


Happy New Year, folks! So far, 2009 is highly JOHN APPROVED!

"eight Trappers timing,"