Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stormwatch #4 (February, 2012)



" Projectionist, this is the Midnighter. I hope you're listening in on my cowl mike-- because that monster that was sent from the moon--? It just absorbed all your teammates. The ground here is still erupting-- and the creature's using your team's powers-- including... the Manhunter's telepathy... trying to make me throw myself into that thing."

At the Eye of the Storm, the Projectionist offered to send a door to teleport Midnighter away. "--You're not one of us. You don't deserve this." Midnight argued that the scale was too big to walk away from, or leave to super-team "amateurs." As it happened, Apollo was falling like a meteor into the vicinity of the monster, which worked with the vigilante's plan.

Inside the monster, Adam One acknowledged his poor leadership had killed his team, the Engineer conducted futile analysis, Jenny Quantum wondered if a better self-understanding would have helped her save the day, Jack Hawksmoor prepared to die, and Harry Tanner remained an enigma. Martian Manhunter observed, "I cannot probe its diffuse mind. I must stop it using my mental powers-- even if that kills me."

Midnighter had the Projectionist hack his cowl sensors so that she could show him how Stormwatch's satellite headquarters worked, without either having actual knowledge. "I have an intuitive understanding of control systems. I think I know what I'm looking at." Midnighter sweet talked Apollo into trusting him (complete with cheek stroking,) then had the Eye fire a massive beam of collected sunlight at him.



Apollo felt more powerful than ever, blasting through the monster and freeing its undigested Stormwatch members. Manhunter went straight to checking on young Jenny. Somehow, Tanner knew that the ancient hidden city Hawkmoor had been trying to contact was named Alba Umbra, which allowed "the God of Cities" to finally established benign contact with its eternal spirit. The aged lady asked, "Are... the beasts back? They... killed all my people. I had to use the alchemy in me to... hide." Alba Umbra was convinced to unearth itself, sending the moon monster reeling.

Adam recognized the city, but couldn't recall details with the holes in his memory. Jack surmised that it had been attacked first because of its alchemical abilities, "changing the nature of stuff..." The Engineer dismissed Adam as leader, then sent Jack and Midnighter to find the city's power source. She would join Apollo and Harry in fighting off the monster, to which Midnighter replied, "Good. Finally! That's how I'd have called it." She didn't enjoy the mutiny, but "I'm an engineer. I fix things. And this was so not working... But I remember when we were a team. We could still be a good team"

Martian Manhunter followed Jack and Midnighter, then did something with his hands to analyze "this transformative crucible." He couldn't see its use, but Midnighter could, and had the also present Jenny activate it... explosively... knocking J'Onn for a loop. Harry pleaded ignorance about the moon menace as he watched Alba Umbra transform it into glass. Engineer noted "Once our team might have put all these jigsaw pieces together. But Adam just seems to like staring at what this chaos is producing."



The team marveled at their mess, then were suddenly whisked away by an emergency teleport door. A cosmic being was on the bridge of the Eye, stating "I represent the Stormwatch Shadow Cabinet. I'm here for Adam. He's failed as your leader. So it's time for him to die." Projectionist added, "He keeps saying that!"

"The Dark Side: Part Four" was by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda. Paul Cornell kept telling everybody that all the wack-a-doo b.s. going on in this book would amount to something. Apparently, that something was the readership's collective sigh that the dude bails after #6. Not one-- not two-- but three gods pop out of boxes to tell plotlines from the first three issues to talk to the hand. "Those sixty pages you read earlier? That 'plot?' Nope. Stops right here." They're really tired contrivances too, like "Let's fill the energy guy up with enough energy to shoot super-energy that'll wipe out the bad guys in one fell swoop" and "Our secret bosses show up to fix everything." GTFO. Midnighter coming on to Apollo was less like all those cynical, sarcastic British techno-thrillers they're known for and more like the sorts of panels from '60s Young Romance comics Roy Lichtenstein would have swiped from. The rest of the paper doll version of the Authority just goes through the motions of a post-Morrison team book as written by an incompetent acolyte. Also, artist Miguel Sepulveda shows a Rob Liefeldian hatred of feet. Lacking the common courtesy to offer spontaneous manifestations of fog or smoke or dust clouds, Sepulveda just draws toes like Charles Schultz drew Charlie Brown's hair. At least we're 2/3rds to completely done.

New 52's Day

Monday, January 30, 2012

2011 Yashuntafun Miss Martian "Casual Outfit" Cosplay Gallery

Click To Enlarge


Megan says "Hellloooo Megan! I’m a big fan of comics and love the show Young Justice! A friend of mine suggested I make this costume since I love the show anyway and I’m also named Megan. I was hesitant at first because of the need for green body paint, but then I decided why not? It was a great idea and I had a lot of fun with this costume, and it wouldn’t have happened without his support!"

In case you were wondering, "my alias Yashuntafun comes from the name of the road I grew up on. It’s a weird name, I know, but I’ve had to spell it out for people from as early as I can remember and its uniqueness has stuck with me. Luckily it’s pronounced exactly as it looks: Ya-shun-ta-fun."

See more photos from this shoot, including some with special effects, right here. It's a nice set, and it'll give bishōjo Trekkies an aneurysm.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Superboy #200 (January-February, 1974)



Here's one I've been meaning to get around to for years, but a more current spark was lit by Jim Shooter in September, although it took a December Dork Review to finally get me to blow it out. I'm not going to go deep into details, as the book has already been thoroughly mocked by Steve Does Comics and Comics Bronze Age.

The gist is that in the 30th Century, lame Legionnaires Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy got married, becoming the Reed and Sue of their era (complete with super-villainous gatecrasher.) Since the wedding took place on Mars, the artist thought it would be funny to have J'onn J'onzz in attendance. What sets this apart from most amusing non-canonical cameos is that a character legend identifying all the attendees explicitly names "J'ONN J'ONZZ, MANHUNTER FROM MARS." Of course, the Edgar Rice Burroughs character Tars Tarkas also showed up, "who has apparently hidden two of his four arms." A couple of decades later, Tom and Mary Bierbaum were inspired by this throwaway moment to insert the Martian Manhunter into legitimate continuity as part of a Mordru arc, and other creators have drawn connections between the properties since. Given J'Onn's tendency to be an extant Superman Family member by virtue of his similarities to the Man of Steel, it feels appropriate.

"The Legionnaire Bride of Starfinger" was by Cary Bates & Dave Cockrum. As I understand it, DC's refusal to return the art for this two page spread led to Cockrum's quitting the title and co-creating the All-New, All-Different X-Men. Hope it was worth it to whoever at DC made off with it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Tom Mandrake

Click To Expand & Enlarge


Tom Mandrake is still the only ever ongoing artist on the only ever ongoing Martian Manhunter series, and it seems like he never got sick of drawing Darkseid, either. He's also arguably the best (and certainly the most devoted) Spectre artist, another understandable inclusion. To better cover the JLA base, and because he's likely a big fan with brief brushes of work in the past, there's also the Batman.

By the way, evoking the Ostrander/Mandrake era, Scott Kolins may have offered Darkseid as an official Martian Manhunter villainous parallel to the JLA, alongside Lex Luthor, the Joker, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Sinestro, and Ocean Master. Alternately/more likely, he also just felt like throwing in a portrait of the Lord of Apokolips on the back cover.

JLA 100 Project

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Friday, January 27, 2012

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Fred Hembeck

Click To Expand & Enlarge


Hembeck! kicks it Maguire style with an old school twist. The entire founding Justice League of America, including early inductees Green Arrow and Hawkman, plus Snapper Carr. "Remember us?" Well, I kind of remember the Atom joining between Ollie and Carter. How about that, Fred?

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Legion Lost #5 (March, 2012)



I never read the original 2000 Legion Lost mini-series, using it instead as a jumping-off point from five and a half years of buying two LOSH titles. I also haven't picked up an issue of the DCnÜ Lost series, since the only Legion of Super-Heroes stories I've enjoyed in the past eleven years were during Jim Shooter's truncated run. However, I will probably buy the sixth issue, since it will feature an unannounced guest appearance by Stormwatch. I was alerted to this fact by friend of the blog Anj of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary. As I understand it, a bunch of the Bronze Age Legionnaires are stranded on modern day Earth and are trying to contain a virus from the 30th Century called "Hypertaxis."

Most of the team fought a battle against the villainous Alastor in this issue, while the proto-Wolverine Timber Wolf got stuck carrying the virus victim Chameleon Girl around on his back. Off on their own, Timber Wolf caught the scent of a new aggressor, and snarled as the figure hovered over his head...

"Your presence here is extremely dangerous. And the Martian Manhunter intends to get answers."

"Under Pressure" was by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods. The "Martian Manhunter" part of that speech incorporated his 1988 logo, which I've seen more than once amidst the New 52. It amuses me that while every other hero got a new logo this year, J'Onn finally returns to what works after several years with his blah 2006 one. If you'd like a more in depth look at the issue, Anj will provide, and I'll thank him again for offering the above scan!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Duffy



Alter Ego: Duffy
Occupation: Former police officer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Unnamed father
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Denver, CO
First Appearance: Showcase '96 #9 (October, 1996)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Strawberry blond

History:
The Duffy Family formed a "glorious blue line," as they "proudly served the Denver citizenry for two hundred years..." That was, until the latest generation of police officer was stripped of his uniform in disgrace. Duffy was convicted of an unnamed crime by jury trial thanks to the testimony of fellow officers. Abandoned by his own family, Duffy conceived a revenge plot involving murdering the "traitorous witnesses" against him and stealing their eyeballs. Eight officers had been beaten to death and mutilated before drawing the attention of former Denver Police Detective John Jones, including his old friend Thomas Lappas. Uniformed officer Sergeant Phillips had been assigned the case, so Jones established a telepathic link with him. Jones then used his shapeshifting powers as the Martian Manhunter to assume the role of a local beat cop, hoping to serve as bait for the serial killer.

A technique Duffy employed was to play a tape recording of a "victim's" screams in an abandoned apartment to attract officers' attention, blind them temporarily with a bright light, then permanently by gouging out their eyes. This was what he used against Sergeant Phillips, who managed to defend himself despite his traumatic injury. Duffy escaped Phillips' gunfire by running up a fire escape, but dropped one of the sergeant's eyeballs while running across rooftops.

Alerted by his telepathic link, the Martian Manhunter arrived to help Phillips. Pulling a latent image from the officer's amputated eye, Jones identified Duffy. After taking Phillips to the hospital, the Manhunter confronted Duffy in his home. Duffy was unable to resist as Jones dunked his head into a fish tank of severed eyeballs he had been collecting, and was soon carted off to jail.

Powers & Weapons:
Duffy wore a Denver Police uniform while committing his crimes, and had a substantial collection of firearms. Through unknown means, Duffy came into possession of an intricate device which could remove an eyeball whole with surgical precision.

Quote: "That sniveling coward got blood on my uniform! But that's all right, father, I fixed him-- I fixed him good."

Created by Peter J. Tomasi and Eduardo Barreto

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2011 Martian ManHunter art by Timothy Green II

Click To Enlarge

"Such a cool character, I might do another one."

To date, he hasn't. It occurs to me that it's ironic how few artists named "Green" have drawn the Martian Manhunter in comics-- or the Hulk, or Green Arrow, or Green Lantern. Think it's an editorial mandate against puns or something?

Timothy Green II

Monday, January 23, 2012

R'ell



First Appearance: Detective Comics #311 (January, 1963)
Height: Approx. 7'0"
Eyes: White
Hair: Black

History:
R'ell is in some way involved with law enforcement on a parallel world from Earth in another dimension. R'ell pursued a pair of criminals who had stolen plans for a powerful weapon to a remote lab. R'ell learned from an injured scientist that the fugitives had fled through a temporary space warp that he had accidentally opened. R'ell feared that with the plans in their possession, the criminals could end up controlling whichever planet they had escaped into. Taking the chance that he could end up trapped forever in an alien land, R'ell followed the crooks. Unarmed, R'ell's pursuit quickly turned against him, as the twin hoodlums fired on him with their energy rifles, driving him into hiding.

R'ell was spotted in a forest by the Manhunter from Mars, who had already encountered and arrested the fugitive aliens. R'ell cleared his own name by explaining his circumstances, then warned that no simple jail could contain his fellow aliens. R'ell's assumption was correct, so he joined the Martian Manhunter in relocating and confronting the escapees. With the assistance of the mischievous animal Zook, another exile from R'ell's dimension, the criminals were apprehended. J'onn J'onzz flew R'ell and the captives through the space warp before it closed. R'ell thanked the hero, and bid him farewell.

Powers & Weapons:
Although R'ell carried a holster on his belt, he exhibited neither the weapons nor the powers displayed by his fellow visitors from the space warp.

Distinguishing Features:
R'ell has red skin and large eyes which appear to spiral. Though his hands are humanoid, his large, webbed feet have only three toes each. These features appear to be racial, as they were shared by the criminals and scientist R'ell encountered.

Quote: "...There is no time to lose! I must find those criminals and get back before the warp closes!"

Created by Jack Miller and Joe Certa

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #3 (November, 1992)



Dr. McNider proceeded to tell Detective Jones that there were no Lizard-Men, and that his group were victims "of the strangest mass hallucinations of our very strange times." McNider and Director Hoover agreed, "that we 'heroes' had somehow sprung from and embodied a spirit of national terror... and summoned up a dark side, in the bodies of our foes, that enabled us to exorcise a nation's terror through bizarre and repetitive combat... And the Director's wisdom was borne out by what happened when we chose to continue after the war. Hysteria. Suddenly Americans were seeing flying saucers. Fearing the breakdown of this magnificent society. Imagining a 'mafia.' Director Hoover is very explicit about that: There is no 'mafia.' Just as there are no 'communist conspiracies' in our government. That's the fear that our enemies want us to suffer." Detective Jones was incredulous. "I just met an agent of the F.B.I. He turned into a lizard... What enemies?" McNider responded, "The Communists."

"But you just said..." noted an increasingly irritated Jones. "That's the point! 'Red Scare' hysteria is a Communist ploy! And demagogues like Senator McCarthy were communist dupes!" Jones sat silently for a moment, staring daggers at the former Dr. Mid-Nite before scowling and leaping from his chair. "This is insane! You come here promising explanations and you talk in circles! Our fears are false, created by the people we fear so we won't fear what we should fear-- which is them? This is hog-wash! You just don't want us to trust what we see!"



"No detective! I just want you to serve the right side. Your government needs you. It needs all the Martians it can get." McNider's enhanced vision could see through J'Onzz's human form, as he claimed the JSA's "retirement" in protest of congressional red-baiting was a cover for their enlistment in the F.B.I., a role they wanted Jones to share. "That was a calculated little blow against the Red Scare. In truth, we've all been serving our country in quiet, invisible ways. The way every good American should. Beating our super-powers into tract homes, as it were. Why, heck, if the government couldn't find a use for powers like ours, they'd probably have to kill us! Ha ha... The F.B.I. is on its way, Jones. If you don't help them, they'll do what they have to do. Do you understand? Well then... ZOPRBETIE!" Jones seized McNider at that, demanding the meaning of his parting word. A little joke phrase old pal Melvin Keene used to toss around, someone that now had to be protected from trouble at times because of "that silly magazine of his."

McNider left, and Detective Jones considered his words. "Lies. But lies so big and ugly that he had to know I'd spot them. 'No mafia.' The kind of lies only a government could try to pull off... I thought I could trick them, negotiate something with them. But their negotiations could make prisoners of us-- slaves of us!" Perkins Preston believed McNider, to which Jones angrily protested, "You believed your A&R man. You believed in Leavitzville. Both nearly got you killed!"



The F.B.I., Whitey Bright in tow, came calling. Perkins Preston let them in over Jones' continued objection. "They won't hurt us, Patty Marie! They're the government." Patty Marie hugged Jones around the waist. Inspector Anole quickly led Preston into the outside hall, promising, "we'll discuss what you can do for your F.B.I." With the entertainer out of sight, the feds circled the resistant pair remaining. The returning Inspector Anole drew his flame pistol, but Jones snatched up Patty Marie and headed for the window. Whitey "Skeeter" Bright lunged for the girl's feet. "I've got plans for this little girl!" They likely did not include his losing his grip and being tossed through the window to his death. The fugitives followed after to make their escape. Inspector Anole declared, "No more subtle gestures."

Edwards Air Force Base scrambled an assault against the flying Martian. J'Onzz took evasive maneuvers, riding alongside a fighter as a means of cover. Another pilot was ordered to fire on his fellow, in order to "hit the target at any cost." The explosion that followed set Patty Marie afire while separating her from J'Onn J'Onzz. "Help me! Catch me!" she cried. "Fire. Even this far from her, it burns me. Closer it could kill me." Closer he came, cradling the child in his arms as his powers failed him. The pair landed on the desert floor with a heavy thud, lying all too still until the sun rose. J'Onn J'Onzz reverted to his human guise. Patty Marie could no longer do anything at all.



"I have been here before. Somewhere before I've seen children killed and been left alone on a dead world. Seen children devoured on a funeral pyre and learned to fear the flames. Again I'm a speck in the desert. Blood on the snow. With the fiery eye of the world looking down on me. Is there anywhere to run? With all their eyes trained on me? Their eyes see everything. And ours? They see lizards. Is this your 'prize-to-be,' Patty? You might have been better off with the lizards. I'm sorry, Hon. Maybe this is just what comes for the ones like us. The ones who can see... Do we see what the rest don't? Or are the others just happier with their mouths shut?"

Checking the corpse of a downed pilot, John Jones found documents regarding himself and several JSAers. Further, he discovered an extra-terrestrial fungus wrapped along the pilot's nervous system. "Why? So he won't see? Or so he'll catch fire if he tries to talk?" Using the pilot's knife, Jones performed an autopsy on Patty Marie, and found her body to be fungus free. Going over the new and old information, J'Onzz realized where all the clues were pointing. Prize To Be. Beto EZ Rip. Zoprbetie. All letters found in "PTO. Iberez" in Cuba.



"A long drift down the Colorado River, then flight through the hills of Mexico and a stint as a Cuban sailor across the Gulf. Where I find the strength to keep going I don't know, unless it's the rum and the conga." Making his way to Havana, Jones learned about the American gangsters' stranglehold on Cuba. "I ask questions. Not too direct to bring the lizard-dogs sniffing, but direct enough to get quick answers... There are rebels in the hills, between here and Puerto Iberez... Mr. Gioconda's men are running weapons for the government troops. 'Strange weapons,' I'm told."

Jones met a poet who's book of verse was identical to the one he heard at the start of this all in New York. "The truth is written by many people in many places... Poetry be easy. But it's as near as we can get." The fungus held the poet's tongue, so he spoke cryptically at first of Latin America and "people who crossed a vast gulf, came like gods to colonize, to plant... to shape... Cuba is an island, isolated and alone. So we reach to cross our ninety miles of aloneness. Agriculture and horticulture link Cuba to the world. In her dark interior valleys the horticulture is rich." Jones noted, "You're all islands on this planet." Less one, as the poet reckoned, "And now, I'm afraid I've talked to much. It's time for me to burn for that ancient communion with the night!" His eyes bled, his face bubbled, and then he combusted. Jones fled the scene invisibly.



"I am with you in Cuba, and on the roads of America and the streets of New York. I am with you, and Melvin Keene, and all of you who see the truth but cannot speak it because of that terrible horticulture of your conquerors, that fungus in your brain. I am with every one of you who has been burned alive, and every one who risked that burning by sending coded messages of the truth. The truth of the shape-shifting conquerors who came to Earth during the terror of war, who used that terror to infiltrate governments and communications cartels, to spring the sleep of sameness over this boiling, fertile world. The truth bent into strange new shapes by profiteers and power-handlers, willing to lie down with lizards whether they could see them or not. I am with you, the defenders and the victims of the truth. I am with the murdered, and the frightened and the fooled."

J'Onn J'Onzz was with Perkins Preston, who happened to be playing at the Club Mona Lisa for Mr. Giaconda, who alerted the Master Gardener. Most notably, he was with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who he spurred into a raid on Puerto Iberez against the invading aliens. Perkins Preston was in turn with J'Onn J'Onzz, after learning the aliens had been using his songs to distribute subliminal messages, but he still had reservations. "These folks... they're not communists, are they, Detective Jones?"

"Communists. And what are they? Beings who live through the group-- and not themselves? Is this baseball playing warrior, this self-assigned savior a communist? There are no communists on this world. There were on mine. They're all dead now."



Perkins Preston confronted a lizard horticulturist in his garden of domination with what he had learned. "If you know this much, you must be one of the chosen. And that means I don't dare kill you. What do I do with you? What would the Master Gardener want?" The concern was taken out of the lizard's hands by the Manhunter's own, in the form of a fist. The Martian then assumed the horticulturist's likeness, and led Preston past troops with saurian-dogs. "But I am something they can't see inside. Why? Why have they failed to catch me... even now? Even here?"

The pair walked into the cavernous den of those engaged in "the cultivation of human culture." Strange organic television monitors displayed various aspects of media currently in circulation, their hidden messages made clearer as they overlapped. The concealed Martian tried to use Perkins Preston to access the Master Gardener when his vizier appeared. "The Master Gardener knows of this human, as he knows of everything. You will follow me, horticulturist... along the canal." This river teemed with the organisms that spawn the fungus. "It calls to me, strangely. Like these dark, cool chambers of sentient fungus call to me. Like an echo of my lost life."



The pair were presented to the Master Gardener in his throne room. "The human... He should show me his gratitude... that I crossed the starry gulf to bring his competitive, conflict-ridden world together... in perfect peace, serenity, equality, and order. I've given you Leavitzville! I've given you Skeeter! I've shown you how to keep your children! All I ask in return is that you give me a place to end my lonely wanderings through the stars... a place to call home."

The still incognito J'Onzz responded, "...we undermine their faith in the truth! Our quiz shows reduce truth to bits of entertaining information! We teach them to memorize rather than think!" The Master Gardener responded, "... you know how easy it is to train the masses. The artists are harder. And the heroes. They had to be manipulated. Deals had to be made, with subversives like Keene... But heroes can be tamed! ...And you can serve better than any!" The horticulturist asked, confusedly, "Me?"

Perkins had previously proven himself able to see even an invisible Martian Manhunter, and this held true when he become conscious of the fact that the Master Gardener was not what he appeared to be. Before the duo's eyes, it changed into a natural form Martian! "Haven't you wondered why my people have been reluctant to kill you? I was the Master Gardener of Mars!" He explained how he came to power among the Lizard Men, then offered J'Onzz the chance to join him in resurrecting Mars on Earth. "Join me, brother! I don't know how you came across space and time to find yourself here-- but it can't be accident! Destiny brought you! Destiny placed you among Earthlings, so that you could understand their souls better than I! Help me save our new children! From themselves! Help me give birth-- to a Mars regained!"



"I know your pain, brother. But I won't pervert a world to ease it."
"You believe what they believe! Forget what Earth taught you! Remember MARS!"
"Mars is dead."

Attacking the Gardener both with ideology and fists, it wasn't long before J'Onzz attracted lizard guardsmen. Firing their flame projectors, the lizards scored a direct hit against their ruler. "But master...the fire doesn't hurt us!" The Master Gardener chuckled as he fell to an immolation-induced apparent death; "Do you hear that...brother? The fire...doesn't hurt...'us.'" J'Onzz swept the lizard guard off its feet, then ordered the Lizard forces to bomb the valley using the Gardener's communications equipment. He next succumbed to another blast of flame.

"I hear through the flames the wailing of my family. Then not that, but a deeper sound. The thunder of bombs. I am lifted and carried away. By the Fire-God, I think, to his Parlor of Red Death. But it's the canal I feel. So cool. So dark. It calls me strangely." J'Onzz was seemingly carried into the safety of the canal by Perkins Preston.



Back in the States, John Jones read a newspaper announcing Preston's death in a plane crash over Cuba. At his side was Charles McNider, who noted, "I suppose we won't be able to discuss the truth behind recent events for a long time. So long as our nervous systems are bearing our little... 'guests'..." Jones promised to finish apprehending the loose bands of directionless Lizard Men, affirming, "...eventually, this world may pour forth its 'great individuals' again." The former Dr. Mid-Nite asked if John was tempted by the Gardener's offer. "I might have been, McNider. Until that moment in the desert. When I was truly alone. And I could finally see the truth. By the time I met him, McNider, he and I were strangers to each other.
You see, he was a Martian. I'm a beatnik."

Book three of three was by writer Gerard Jones, artist Eduardo Barreto, colorist Steve Oliff, letter Pat Brosseau, and editor Brian Augustyn.

Back to American Secrets #2 Forward to Martian Manhunter: American Secrets Review

Friday, January 20, 2012

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Ken Lashley

Click To Expand & Enlarge


Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman and Martian Manhunter with the Flash running underneath. Whenever Ivan Reis leaves Aquaman, Lashley would be an ideal replacement,

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Empty-Head of SOPA

If you're like me, you spent a lot of your time Wednesday visiting websites that were blacked out in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Wikipedia's participation being especially frustrating.) If you stopped to read any of them before groaning and clicking the "back" button, you probably caught a lot of high minded speechifying and pleas to sign some hippie granola petition that probably won't do much good. Still, I wanted to take a moment to discuss how SOPA could effect a blog like The Idol-Head of Diabolu.

As a fan of comics in general and the Martian Manhunter specifically, I've spent well over four years writing daily blog posts, many rather long and filled with strong opinions. I've also featured a lot of artwork on those 1600 or so posts. Currently, my taking a panel here and there to illustrate my words falls pretty squarely under "fair use," a limited exception to copyright law for the purposes of "commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship." A lot of that ties into stuff folks feel rather passionately about, like free speech rights. The problem is that I'm a human being who can express himself verbally until I'm blue in the face, but my blog is not. Despite fair use laws, under SOPA, some pencil-pushing weenie at a corporation somewhere could take exception to my making a crack about Dan Didio or lambasting an issue of Stormwatch and my entire blog could go blank forever. If I died tomorrow, there might not be very many updates in the future, but at least the blog would still be here. Under SOPA though, years of thought and work could vanish without my being notified in advance, without receiving any semblance of due process, and without my even legitimately infringing on anyone's copyright. The blog is about the Martian Manhunter, which is the property of DC Comics. That alone could be the end of our little clubhouse here.

Personally, I am strongly opposed to piracy and favor the rights of copyright holders. Hell, I hewed so closely to fair use laws that for years my readers suffered through lengthy posts with only a solitary image breaking up reams of text. Other blogs will reprint half a comic and hide behind "low resolution" or some such. None of that matters though, because we're all in the same boat. The worst part of course is that while we all live under the specter of censorship and corporate bullying thanks to poorly written legislation, SOPA won't do a bit of good against piracy.

For starters, what part of "pirates" is not understood? Pirates are already breaking clearly defined laws with substantial associated penalties and getting away with it because they operate outside legal jurisdictions using computer skills greater than those who would pursue them. The people who take advantage of stuff like bit torrents also tend to be pretty computer savvy, so this won't impede their ability to take advantage of the pirates' services. All SOPA ends up doing is inconveniencing law-abiding citizens while allowing a meaty power grab for copyright holders. Maybe if you're not reading my blog you'll buy some crappy comic I'd have warned you off of, or maybe a lack of YouTube videos will get you to watch broadcast television again.

I believe the real problem is an outmoded business plan. I used to work at a video store, and I was always being asked to rent out movies that were still playing in the theaters. Movie studios wanted those people to go to a cinema and pay individual inflated admission prices. The smart money would cut out video rental altogether and offer simultaneous VOD for homebound families while daters and cinephiles like myself continued visiting the silver screen. Instead, some guy at work knows a guy who'll burn the family copies of a new release torrented off the internet and sold for the same $1-3 a months old release would cost at Blockbuster or Redbox. I used to visit a fried chicken franchise that routinely played newly bootlegged movies on their in-store TV. Who profits from that?

I remember paying nearly twenty bucks for catalog CDs fifteen years ago, but I wised up quick and switched to $5-10 used copies. Then DVDs of multi-hour long feature films with a plethora of special features started selling new out of $5 discount bins. Why should I pay that or more for a half hour of audio? What is wrong with the recording industry that this disparity is still prevalent all these years later? Why would I pay the same price for a Lady Gaga CD as a full season DVD set of a TV show? If I could be bothered, and not feel guilty, the album could be downloaded in minutes for free.

Anyway, the good news is that SOPA and its little sister PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are already losing steam thanks to all that internet grandstanding. Still, I wanted to take a day to open up a dialogue about this business. These bits of bad legislation are still out there, so maybe you could take a minute to turn to a family member or co-worker and discuss why they're a bad idea. Petitions are nice, but a stubborn constituency bucking against corporate dollars jacking with their interwebs is better. Also, the truth is, a lot of people are guilty of taking advantage of piracy. That really is stealing money out of the pockets of creative people who would like to continue earning a living by entertaining you. It isn't enough to keep crumby legislation off the books-- we have to also figure out a way to keep the entertainment industry alive so that their desperation doesn't drive them to such politicking, not to mention killing outlets for artistic expression. Entertainment is not an entitlement, after all, so maybe we need to figure out a better way to keep speech free without shortchanging the business of show (not that they couldn't stand to at least meet their public halfway sometime?)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Martian Sightings for April, 2012



DC Comics have had Martian Manhunter making a bunch of unannounced guest appearances, so we'll start off with some retroactive alerts:

JANUARY:
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #5
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by FERNANDO PASARIN and SCOTT HANNA
Cover by ANDY KUBERT
On sale JANUARY 18
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
RATED T
Guy Gardner must assemble a strike force to invade the genocidal Keeper’s dimension and rescue his imprisoned teammates, John Stewart and Vandor! And Guy’s recruits are the nastiest Green Lanterns to ever put on a ring! Don’t miss the spectacular art by rising star Fernando Pasarin!
J'Onn J'Onzz introduced himself to Guy Gardner during a telepathic interrogation in #4, and will presumably return for the follow-up.

FEBRUARY:
LEGION LOST #6
Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art and cover by PETE WOODS
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Since the first issue, this time-lost band of Legionnaires has been operating in the shadows out of fear of corrupting the timestream. Now, their secret is out! Timber Wolf is captured and interrogated by a shadowy organization! Will he be able to maintain the team’s cover? Or is their future doomed?
That "shadowy organization" appears to be Stormwatch, based on the Alien Atlas catching Timber Wolf at the end of #5. Maybe Nicieza's run ends with a SW/Legion throwdown?

APRIL:
STORMWATCH #8
Written by PAUL JENKINS
Art by IGNACIO CALERO
Cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
1:25 B&W Variant cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.

Apollo has fallen – and the invasion of the gravity miners rages on! As the Earth ruptures from within, Stormwatch must scramble to unravel the mystery of the unstoppable gravity miners, creatures so alien they defy the laws of science! In Stormwatch’s most desperate moment, what secret from Martian Manhunter’s past offers the first ray of hope in this war?
So let me get this straight-- the Superman analogue gets jobbed, and the Manhunter from Mars saves the day? Um, why don't you stick around a while longer, Mr. Jenkins? You can make J'Onn secretly black, give him a corny surname like "Redman," and you can insert him into as much retroactive continuity as you like. On J'Onn, it works.

GRIFTER #8
Written by NATHAN EDMONDSON
Art and cover by SCOTT CLARK and DAVE BEATY
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

The Daemonites have taken everything from Cole Cash, and now the world’s greatest con artist will find himself the victim of an absolutely alien grift, forcing him to make a choice: die at their blue hands, or kill his own brother. Cole will fight his way to his own finish line in the streets of Paris, amid the fires of burning alien bodies.
Is this one of the books Liefeld's doing? I would pay money to see Rob Liefeld draw Martian Manhunter. Not good money, mind, or I could have talked to him about it at Comicpalooza 2010 when I was getting that commission from Marat Mychaels. Maybe a c-note for a full body, but preferably $2.99 for an issue of Grifter.

SUPERMAN #8
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and DAN JURGENS
Art by DAN JURGENS and JESUS MERINO
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
1:25 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.

Superman, agent of the Daemonites?! How has Helspont bent The Man of Steel to his will?
That cover is sick. Imagine Starro doing that. It would be a way better revamp than turning him into a Frazetta barbarian.

STORMWATCH VOL. 1: THE DARK SIDE TP
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Art by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA and AL BARRIONUEVO
Cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
On sale MAY 23 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Stormwatch returns in this DC Comics – The New 52 title collecting the first six issues of the team’s new series! Jack Hawksmoor, Midnighter, Apollo, The Engineer and Martian Manhunter comprise a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world. This covert team of sci-fi super heroes must battle the Earth’s moon itself and find a way to hide its monstrous metamorphosis from the rest of the Earth! Featuring writing from Doctor Who and SUPERMAN: THE BLACK RING scribe Paul Cornell, and art from rising star Miguel Sepulveda.
That last issue will really need to kick butt to make this worthwhile. Same cover as #1, so those Chris Burnham covers continue to go to waste.

THE INFINITE CRISIS OMNIBUS HC
Written by BILL WILLINGHAM, DAVE GIBBONS, GEOFF JOHNS, GREG RUCKA and JUDD WINICK
Art by JUSTINIANO, RON WAGNER, IVAN REIS, MARCO CAMPOS, JOE PRADO, MICHAEL BAIR, JACK JADSON, JOE BENNETT, RAGS MORALES, JESUS SAIZ, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, PHIL JIMENEZ, ANDY LANNING, CLIFF RICHARDS, DAVID LOPEZ, TOM DERENICK, KARL KERSCHL and others
Cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
On sale JUNE 27 • 1,152 pg, FC, $150.00 US

This incredible omnibus hardcover collects the many titles from the 2005 event that rocked the DC Universe, including DAY OF VENGEANCE #1-6, the DAY OF VENGEANCE INFINITE CRISIS SPECIAL #1, RANN/THANAGAR WAR #1-6, RANN/THANAGAR WAR INFINITE CRISIS SPECIAL #1, THE OMAC PROJECT #1-5, DC COUNTDOWN #1 and WONDER WOMAN #219.
OMAC robots are rampaging, magic is dying, villains are uniting, and a war is raging in space. And in the middle of it all, a critical moment has divided Earth’s three greatest heroes: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It’s the DCU’s darkest day, and long-lost heroes from the past have returned to make things right in the universe...at any cost
This was the Crisis event where they took J'Onn out of the action in a prelude issue of JLA that isn't reprinted here, as opposed to the one where they actually killed him in the first issue. In retrospect, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time was comparatively good to him by way of a token cameo.

BRIGHTEST DAY VOL. 2 TP
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and PETER J. TOMASI
Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK and JOE PRADO
Cover by DAVID FINCH and SCOTT WILLIAMS
On sale MAY 9 • 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Once dead, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light from deep within the earth. Now, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman, Jade, Osiris, Hawk, Captain Boomerang and Zoom must discover the mysterious reason behind their return and uncover the secret that binds them all.
In this second volume, collecting issues #8-16 of the series, learn whether Deadman is truly destined to wield the White Lantern and who the new Aqualad is. Plus, Firestorm’s dueling alter egos take a bizarre journey, while Martian Manhunter returns to Mars to learn about the strange creature that is stalking him.
The meat of the D'Kay story is here, but it's Carl Budding, and it's from the dollar store. The tacked-on ending and the d.u.m.b. Elemental League won't come until the next trade.

DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES TP
Written by LEN WEIN • Art by SCOTT KOLINS, ANDY KUBERT, JOE KUBERT, GEORGE PEREZ, J.H. WILLIAMS III and others
Cover by ANDY KUBERT and JOE KUBERT
On sale MAY 9 • 336 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Acclaimed writer Len Wein chronicles the DC Universe’s epic history in this title spanning five generations of heroes starring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Justice League of America, The Teen Titans and more. Collecting the ten-issue miniseries!
It's that bland mini-series that mildly revised a continuity that has now ceased to exist! It's way less irrelevant than those Flashpoint tie-ins!

Miss Martian
YOUNG JUSTICE #15
Written by KEVIN HOPPS and GREG WEISMAN
Art and cover by CHRISTOPHER JONES
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
Ocean-Master’s plan to purify Atlantis brings Aqualad to death’s door and forces his former schoolmates to choose sides. Can even Superboy and Ms. Martian help him?
Ms? Does this have something to do with the tail?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #2 (October, 1992)



Upon arrival, the runaways took in the sight of the suburban "heaven." Preston informed John, "The comic book man told me all about Leavitzville. This is where he wants to come--after the reckoning... He used to come out here to visit with his old boss-- the 'Nuts' man!" Intruding on this revelation was the Anderson family, a nuclear bunch complete with both parents, a child of each gender, and a loyal pet dog. "Can we give you folks a hand?" The teenage daughter was already swooning over Perkins Preston, and Mom recognized Patty Marie. "Whatever brings you here so late at night?"

Jones bought himself a few minutes to come up with an excuse for his group's late night arrival into the Anderson home, involving a well-known mobster. "These extortion gangs threaten popular personalities to bleed the producers. I was about to move Perkins and Patty to a safe-house in the Rockies when someone tried to hit them...You heard of a man called Mr. Gioconda?"

"He's one of those Las Vegas gangsters, isn't he?" Jones was pleased to glean that bit of information, then asked about their suburban habitat, while Mrs. Anderson blathered the equivalent of product endorsements in the background (predating "The Truman Show.") Mr. Anderson affirmed, "People of all types, all backgrounds, and all creeds are welcome in Leavitzville. As long as they fit in."



Meanwhile, Sissy shared her secret stash of "Pink Passion" lipstick with Patty Marie. Sissy whispered, "Is your mom strict about things, too?" Patty replied, "She tried to give me to the lizards. Usually she only hurts me when she's drunk, or when one of my uncles is over and I interrupt them. But this time all I did was say the wrong thing on television. A man called me on the telephone and said I should say the words 'Prize-To-Be' on the program. And I said them...and she whipped me with the hose and said she was going to give me to the-- to the-- NO! NO! NO!"

Jones arrived to console Patty Marie. "Your mother's made milk shakes, Sissy. Wipe the Pink Passion off your mouth and join her." In the next room, Buddy showed off his collection of movie monster magazines. A hungry Preston was more interested in the kid's candy. "Have all you want. It tastes crummy. That weird Mr. Keene gives it out to all the kids. It's made from sugar-beets...Bleccchhh!" Perkins read the wrapper, "Beto," then mentioned black friends back home in Mississippi who share-cropped the sugar-beets. "Colored people? You've seen colored people? What are they like?"



Jones slept on the couch. "That night I dream strange dreams. Dreams of my other self. Misty dreams of Mars, and great airships over Earthly cities. Of little girls and their prizes, and boys and their candy. Dreams of endless grids. Straight rows of lights, or houses, of humanity, stretching endlessly away." The next morning, Jones perused the morning newspaper, noting the suicide death of singer Eddie Lowe. "Prize-To-Be... The tumblers roll through my brain but can't click into place. Eddie Lowe fights with Phil Jerry about jukebox orders from Mr. Gioconda. From Cuba. Las Vegas. The Big Question. And a parody..."

Jones decided to investigate further, by invisibly trekking to the home of the former employer of the proselytizing lizard-obsessed artist, Mr. Keene. Jazz music blared from his home, while Jones noted a sign above his door reading "POETRIE B E-Z --KOMMEDIE B HARD".



A pudgy, goateed, bespectacled man answered the door, and was surprised to be questioned by a Denver police officer. On his floor was an unpublished art board from "Nuts" depicting child personality "Skeeter" as a murderous alien invader. "There was a murder on 'The Big Question.' 'Nuts' magazine satirized that...Your parody used the category 'horticulture' the day of the murder." Keene, an obvious analog for Bill Gaines, joked around Jones' questions before settling into a confessional funk. "Once I was serious. About science-fiction stories, crime stories. They took me to a senate committee for such serious. They dragged me through the mud. They cut off my head. Their pink-tinted head-shrinkers called me a capitalist pimp... and their flag-flying preachers called me a Red. They wanted me quiet. And they got it."
"Who? Who wanted you quiet, Keene?"
"My neighbors, maybe..."

Suddenly, a dragon-hound burst through the door, attacking the Manhunter. Mr. Anderson pulled up in his station wagon shortly after, walking up to Keene's door with briefcase in hand. Just as J'Onzz snapped the beast's neck, Anderson whipped out a hi-tech handgun, firing streams of flame at the Martian. Perkins and Patty thankfully arrived in their pink Cadillac, saving Jones by running Anderson down. "Oh my Lord! I killed him!" Keene consoled, "It's okay, kid. He wasn't human anyway... Insurance salesman." Keene fetched some fresh clothes for the singed John Jones, and a batch of All-Star Comics for Patty Marie. The girl protested, "But I don't read comic books! They're not educational." Keene retorted, "That's what you think."



A panicked Perkins Preston shouted, "Detective Jones? Sir? They're coming, sir. Station Wagons!" Loading up the Caddie, Jones reverted to Manhunter form, and flew away with the car. Keene looked on. "I didn't think there were any of your kind left."

Jones and company made the long trip across country to Nevada. On a night drive, Preston asked, "Are they after us, sir?"
"Yes."
"Then what do we do?"
"We learn who they are. And we go after them."
"Sir?"
"Mm."
"What are you, sir."
"Don't ask me that. Just drive."

In a Vegas hotel room, child actor Whitey Bright, nationally famous star of the hit series "It Must Be Skeeter," talked up a couple of working girls while smoking and boozing. Watching an episode of his show, the boy noted "We shot this baby in three days, dolls. No thanks to (co-star) Hubert. What a bender he was on!" The broadcast was interrupted by a special bulletin. "The F.B.I. requests all citizens be on the lookout for the murderer of a Leavitzville insurance agent. He has been identified as Denver Detective John Jones, and he appears to be holding as hostages Hillbilly singer Perkins Preston and child actress Patty Marie."



Arriving at a casino lobby, the Martian arranged a meeting with Mr. Gioconda by posing as Preston's manager, an elderly southern fried colonel. "The Colonel" claimed to want Perkins to perform for the mobster's patrons, but Preston quietly protested, "With all these drunken old people here, sir? I'll never sing in a place like this."
"Without cooperation, young man, you may not live to wrestle with that dilemma!"

The Colonel was more concerned with meeting the management than booking Perkins, so he had his charges shuffled off to separate rooms. He claimed the "abduction" of his talent was part of a publicity stunt he'd engineered, until things got out of hand with John Jones. He also slipped mentions of Cuba and the jukebox business, which grabbed Mr. G's attention firmly.

In her room, Patty Marie was visited by Whitey "Skeeter" Bright, who let himself in with his own key. Still smoking, Whitey pressed himself ever closer to the crying girl. "They call Skeeter a 'message show.' They don't know the half of it. I sell big messages on that show, baby. Stick with me, and maybe I'll let you in on a few. Or maybe you got a few secret messages of your own, huh, Sad-Eyes? What makes another child-star shed such big, juicy tears?" Whitey's hand rested on Patty Marie's prepubescent thigh, as he kept leaning in closer. "Who'd ever want to hurt a sweet little thing like you?"



"My mother! And my uncles! All the uncles she brings home! She lets them hurt me! She always let them hurt me!" Whitey's hand crept ever higher, under the child's skirt, another creep with a perverse agenda. "Tell Uncle Whitey what the bad men did to you... Come on. We've all got secrets. The world runs on secrets. Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine. Come on honey... tell me everything those terrible uncles did to you."

In his own room, Perkins Preston read, with occasional difficulty, some of Keene's comics. In an adventure of the Justice Society of America, Perkins was surprised to find the team battling "Lizard Men."

Exiting his meeting, "the Colonel" was confronted by Inspector Anole of the F.B.I in the hotel hallway. At first he seemed to be enlisting the Colonel's help investigating the "subversive" Gioconda, until his features began to take on a decidedly reptilian appearance. "... nobody's what they seem to be these days. Before the war, you knew the lefties. You knew the thugs. Then it all changed. Gangsters pose as businessmen. Commies work in the state department. Homosexuals pass for school teachers. And that client of yours. Perkins Preston. He has a white man's face but a Negro's soul. Just to seduce our American girls into popping open their little coin-purses. You just can't tell about anybody anymore." Anole knew the Colonel was green in his own heart, and wanted to enlist his services to keep up the "land of the free." That is, "Free for those who are advanced enough to appreciate it."



At that moment, Patty Marie burst out of her room into the hall, crying for Officer Jones to "Make him stop!" Whitey Bright strolled out after, affecting innocence and claiming he was only doing his duty as a "Junior G-Man," plying the poor girl for information. Inspector Anole congratulated the fresh-faced youth as they strolled off together, leaving Jones alone with his shaken charge. "He... he changed, Officer Jones!"
"Yeah. Who hasn't?"

Back in Perkins' room, Patty and Jones learned about the four color Lizard-Men with crops that controlled racketeers' minds. "This is what we need, Sir! Heroes-- like Flash and Green Lantern and Doctor--" John Jones cut him off with, "It'd be nice, if they were real." Perkins assured Jones they were, pointing out the indicia of the comics informing, "Published by arrangement with the Justice Society of America. Melvin Keene, licensing representative." With another item tying Keene to the conspiracy, Jones begins looking for other common bonds. The "Beto E-Z Rip" candy wrapper, "Prize-To-Be," and other clues all contained the same combination of letters, but what did they spell? Before Jones could come to an answer, yet another visitor darkened the refugees' door. "Forgive me, Detective. An inclination to cheap suspense comes naturally to my sort after a while. I'm Charles McNider. Physician, retired. But they used to call me Dr. Midnight!"

Book two of three was by writer Gerard Jones, artist Eduardo Barreto, colorist Steve Oliff, letter Pat Brosseau, and editor Brian Augustyn.

Back to American Secrets #1 Forward to American Secrets #3

Monday, January 16, 2012

2010 "Miss Martian Manhunter" art by Matthew S. Armstrong

Click To Enlarge


"I don't want you hurting any more Earth people. That wouldn't be nice." ~ Miss Martian

Megan aka M'gann M'orzz is pretty cool character. I'm intrigued by the mystery surrounding her origin. Ancient Mars history being of great interest to me whenever it shows up in stories.
I didn't know about her till recently. I was just thinking it might be cool if Martian Manhunter had a kid sister or something... a quick google search and BAM! the DC geniuses already had one. I've been reading some Teen Titan stories with where she shows up, she seems to be a minor guest star who definitely deserves more screen time.

Just a reminder we are moving to: www.matthewart.com if you get a sec please redirect your reader :) thank you.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 "It Even Rains in Space" Martian Manhunter color art by Michael Walsh and Adam Metcalfe

Click To Enlarge


"I love the man Martian J'onn J'onzz. He has such a cool simple design, I especially liked him in Grant Mo's Earth 2 when he completely dominated the alternate Superman. He always seemed like such a forlorn, lonely martian so I tried to capture a bit of that.

Also, shout out to Neils' gal who absolutely loves this character, and with good reason."

Be sure to check out the stark, "rainless" black and white original art at Speedballin' Comics, who devoted a whole week in December to J'Onn J'Onzz art for me to steal and repost. Huzzah!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #1 (September, 1992)



"He reached for me as the bullet broke his breastbone. Who else could he reach for? He's a stranger. I'm a stranger. Not just strangers to each other, but even bigger strangers to the cold stone eyes of the city. He's a beatnik. I'm a Martian." The scene was a street corner on a cold winter's night in New York, 1959. Denver Police Detective John Jones was in town for a forensics convention. The bleeding beatnik told Jones "It's the dogs. The dogs who...see inside," before dying in the incognito alien's arms.

Police soon arrived, as a witness informed Jones that the beatnik had been chased out of a nearby cafe. "Procedure would be to let the local cops check the story. But I feel something in this. Something that no procedure can cover." After asking a few questions, Jones decided to sit and observe the goings on at this bohemian establishment. Open-mic poets rambled apparent nonsense, while he noted an older gentleman at a table jotting lines on paper. A folk singer preached resistance as Jones departed, wondering about seemingly casual mentions of a supposedly omnipresent game show called "The Big Question."



Returning to his hotel room, Jones deflected a bellhop's attempts to solicit "companionship" for him, preferring a glass of milk and the boob tube. "This is what the cold brings. Companions on order... Contests so they can cheer for the meaningless victories of strangers. Manufactured families. Staged communication. It's a cold world for a stranger. I'll look for my own warmth. My way. The Martian way. I remember little of my world, of my past life. But in moments of peace I remember a warmth. I remember a silent companionship. But peace is short here. And suddenly I can't even remember the warmth." The cold and warmth are a concern for Jones' questing mind throughout the story, referring less to the snow falling outside than that of the heart. He watched the television; visited bars; glanced at pornography; trying to understand the nature of these temporary respites from loneliness men cleave to.

Exploring the 50's game show scandals two years before the much-lauded film "Quiz Show," Jones continued his investigation invisibly at the filming of "The Big Question." The show was rigged, but one obstinate contestant refused to request the question category, "horticulture" that had been fed to her. Before a live studio audience in a heated booth, her head exploded. As the mess was quickly cleaned up and attributed to technical difficulties, an invisible Manhunter spied a woman threatening her pig-tailed daughter. "She said the wrong thing, Patty Marie. You won't say the wrong thing, will you, darling?" The contestant's identical duplicate then entered stage left, pushed the corpse aside, and picked up where the original left off. Into her session, however, the duplicate spotted the incognito John Jones through unknown senses. "Him! He isn't one of them! He sees!" Racing from the scene, John Jones noted to himself, "And she sees... what no human can see." He also noted the reappearance of the older gentleman from the beat club in a station hallway, and followed that lead out.



The gentleman led Jones to a diner, where he met and turned out fading pop singer Eddie Lowe. "These kids don't know music. You give them a Negro beat and they think it's all they need. Now you know I have nothing against the Negroes, Phil. Our people, we have a spiritual kinship with the Negro. We're all exiled people, Phil." The gentleman replied, "You're exiled...Exiled from the Hit Parade, you are." As the singer stormed out, Detective Jones materialized to step up to the gentleman. "Didn't mean to eavesdrop...but you're in the music business, aren't you? I need to ask some questions." The older man, Phil Jerry, was less than helpful. However, the arrival of hot new music sensation Perkins Preston, an Elvis analogue, was illuminating. In the midst of listening to the country boy ramble about writing to his mama regarding the sinful big city, the mention of "lizards" caught Jones' attention. Pulling out a religious comic strip pamphlet given to him by a "holy man" in the New York streets, Preston stated, "He knows the end in store for us all."



On finding the aged zealot, the detective was informed, "Satan is a lizard! I can see him, that's why he torments me. That's why he had me thrown out of Nuts." This "Nuts" was revealed to be the Mad Magazine-type humor publication of one Melvin Keene, complete with gap-toothed mascot. "I put the lizards into all my pictures," said the former cartoonist, "to warn people. But Satan made them fire me." Perusing a copy of "Nuts" at a newsstand, Jones noted a parody called, "The Big Kvetch-tion" where a contestant fervently asked for the horticulture category. Jones also noted a conspicuous zeppelin above the caricature's head reading, "ZOPRBETIE".

On his way back to the hotel, Jones stopped at a corner store for some Oreos, but they only had Hydrox. "Tell me. Why are there two of everything here? Or more. Hydrox and Oreo. Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler."

"Competition, buddy. The American way."

At the forensics convention, Jones talked a bit about his odd case, to general derision as a misguided yokel from Denver. "I've been following a trail... but not an evidence trail. A trail of references and hunches. Game-shows, lizard-headed devils, comic books..." That line got the attention of a lean, mustachioed, plainclothes officer named Jim Swift, who insisted on knowing where Jones was staying while in town.



That night, the Martian sat in his hotel room, watching a detective show on television, while in his natural form. "This is why I became a cop. Stranded on this world, I wanted to be among its heroes. These were the heroes the culture showed me. There were other heroes before, I've heard. During Earth's last Great War. But like all war heroes, they've faded. Except the ones who chose to become something other than heroes. There is so much they don't tell. Is that why I became a cop? To learn what they don't tell?"

A knock came on the door from Swift, offering information on Jones' case. From behind the door, J'Onzz repeatedly refused Swift for the night, at which point the officer announced, "I'm coming in, Jones." A lizard-like version of Swift joined two reptilian uniformed officers in bursting through the door. The policemen released twin saurian hounds from their leashes to seize the lanky Martian's arms.

"What are you?"
"No, John. I'm the local cop. I ask the questions. So what the hell are--What?"
The Martian transformed from his natural form to the familiar Manhunter visage, tossing the hounds into their masters. "I am a police officer." In the struggle that followed, a smashed television set the hotel room ablaze, revealing J'Onzz's weakness. The Manhunter flew through the roof to make his escape, then did some digging to find Phil Jerry at Royal Records. That same night, J'Onzz overheard mafia thugs commanding Jerry in his office, "Need another Preston Platter... for the jukes... Word's come down... All the way from Cuba... We'll tell Mr. Gioconda you're working on it."



When the thugs left, Detective Jones entered to grill Jerry. Apparently, he did too good a job, as Jerry spontaneously combusted once he began leaking information. As Jones backed away from the flaming corpse, he bumped into an excited Perkins Preston. "The lizards! They--Oh Lord! They did it to Mr. Jerry!" Detective Jones hauled the young rocker out of the building by his arm, asking questions the whole way. Suspecting a police dragnet in the works, the pair needed a discreet way out of town. What they got was Preston's pink Cadillac, complete with "The Big Question's" Patty Marie hiding in the back seat. While narrowly evading a pursuing car and lizard-police gunfire, Patty confessed, "Mother was going to give me to the lizards! I ran out of the booth! I had to hide!"

Hours later, Patty Marie had cried herself to sleep, and Jones contemplated the group's future course. "Strange. The first thought that crosses my mind is the trouble I can get into by taking a runaway minor across state lines. Maybe I've learned my police codes too well." Preston noted a freeway exit to Leavitzville, and took it. "My mama talks about the suburbs all the time! Like a small town--Only new and improved! Nothing'll hurt us there."

Book one of three was by writer Gerard Jones, artist Eduardo Barreto, colorist Steve Oliff, letter Pat Brosseau, and editor Brian Augustyn.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Ramon Fernandez Bachs

Click To Expand & Enlarge


The was already a good drawing of the Magnificent Seven, but highlighting my two favorites (oh... and Batman... I guess...) makes it that much better


In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Marat Mychaels

Click To Expand & Enlarge


Blogspot once again failed to publish the regularly scheduled midnight post, so I will offer a second JLA 100 Project post beyond the usual Friday offering. Besides, the next auction is the following Friday, so a little extra attention couldn't hurt the cause. Still, stupid Blogspot.

As much as I try to offer a comprehensive Martian Manhunter fan blog, some of his appearances in this art project barely register, and I can't really bring myself to bother. For instance, this is just a lousy head shot with the popped collar and obscuring everything else. However, this was the guy who did my esteemed 2010 Commander Blanx Comicpalooza Commission, so he gets a free pass.

On the other hand, unless I get some righteous Vile Menagerie art from Andy Smith in the future, his Martian light bonus piece will remain only a link.

In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.


ALL 104 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ORIGINALS…NOW ON DISPLAY!

Please enjoy this gallery of ALL 104 original Justice League of America #50 Hero Initiative covers!

Hardcover and softcover versions of a book collecting all the covers will be available in December, 2011. AND all the originals will be auctioned off according to the following schedule:

• December 3, 2011, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles, CA: Display of all 104 covers and auction of first one-third
• Jan. 20-22, 2012, Tate's Comics, Lauderhill, FL (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area): Display of remaining covers and auction of second one-third.
• Feb. 17-19, 2012: Orlando MegaCon, Orlando, FL: Display and auction of final one-third.

All covers will be sold via LIVE AUCTION on-site at the venues above. If you cannot attend but wish to bid, proxy bidding is available.
Contact Joe Davidson at: yensid4disney@gmail.com
Deadlines for each grouping are below, and each cover carries a minimum bid of $100.

Special thanks to Firestorm Fan for the notice!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 "Martian Manhunter and Beta Ray Bill ...The Lost Issue!"

Click For More!


I hadn't checked in with ...The Lost Issues! in a while; certainly not since it made it's way through a faux Brave and the Bold run to an ersatz Marvel Two-In-One, back again, and on to its most perfect incarnation, Super-Team Family. I figure that obscure 1970s title is the best umbrella for Ross' unauthorized pairings of comic book characters through the magic of MS Paint. The Aquaman Shrine recently returned there though, and taking a peek myself, found J'Onn J'Onzz was once again cast into the multiverse...

"I thought I would do a cover that featured two of my favorite alien heroes. This one also gave me a chance to do an all-Walt Simonson cover. Simonson's art is so effective on larger than life characters because he has the ability to convey energy that just leaps off of the page. His career has lasted decades and he seems to keep getting better and better. I got a kick out of his cameo during the banquet scene at the end of Thor. Walt fit right in with the Asgardian elite!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mars-Two?



I started reading comics before Crisis On Infinite Earths, and I remembers guys complaining afterward that there was nothing so confusing about the multiverse that it needed to be streamlined into oblivion. Those guys were full of crap. I hated the multiple Earths concept as a kid, and decided that the X-Men soap opera was more penetrable than DC playing with which characters on what Earth.



Earth-One was where most heroes were, but the Justice Society of America and the doppelgangers of many mainstream heroes like Superman were on Earth-Two, where World War II had only ended twenty or so years earlier. However, some characters like Black Canary were from Earth-Two and had no Earth-One counterpart but decided to live on Earth-One later on (and get retroactively replaced by their adult daughter because that wasn't complicated enough.) Then there was the Marvel Family on Earth-S who sometimes got involved in World War II stuff but usually were in the present and sometimes on Earth-One. The Freedom Fighters were from Earth-X, where the Nazis won World War II, so the bums moved to 1970s Earth-One. They were all Quality Comics characters like Plastic Man, except Plas was on Earth-One and Earth-Two, but not Earth-X (I don't think.) There were dozens of others, including Earths for various alternate futures. There was even Earth-Prime, which was supposed to be our real world, except it still had a few super-heroes and people spoke like Eliot S! Maggin dialogue.

About the only Earth I halfway liked was Earth-Three, which was like that Star Trek episode where the crew of the Enterprise were all evil. Earth-Three couldn't even get that right though, because instead of giving Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman pointy goatees, their analogues were inexact with different names, powers and costumes. About the only multiverse comic I enjoyed was Ambush Bug, since it spent a lot of time pointing out how insanely moronic all that stuff was.



Like a lot of people, I jumped on the Post-Crisis, one-Earth bandwagon wholeheartedly. It was a once in a lifetime chance to read a Superman comic from the very beginning of his journey. However, the new creators were so busy throwing out all those hoary old trappings, I felt they didn't leave enough to make the characters special. I couldn't get excited about Superman breaking a sweat while having street-level brawls with Bloodsport, Rampage, the Host, Sleeze or Skyhook. Rogue could fly around punching c-listers, too.

The Flash is one of my favorite examples of this. Barry Allen was a forensic scientist with the police force who had a colorful array of personal rogues. Loads of places you can go with that. Wally West was an unemployed dude who picked up cash with his powers and after making friends with the old Flash's foes fought villains like That Really Fat Guy and Whatsisname With The %-Symbol. You can play with that for a while, but outside straight comedy, there's only so much steam there. Aside from true innovators like Giffen & DeMatteis in Justice League International, a lot of the new DC barely sizzled passed the initial appeal of the stakes.



I came back a few years later, and what sucked me in this time was the sense of history and continuity in the universe. The Crimson Avenger was a Shadow knock-off, and the first masked DC hero. From there the JSA members started springing up, and the ranks of superherodom ballooned during World War II. McCarthy ran off the heroes going into the '50s in a parallel to the Wertham crusade, so when J'Onn J'Onzz arrived on Earth in 1955, he had to operate in secret. Eventually, Superman sparked a new super-heroic age, and was joined by the children of the JSA in Infinity Inc. There were heroes before the 20th Century, and there would be more in the 30th, all weaving a grand tapestry. I loved that DC Universe, and if anything, I wanted to see more history laid down to fill the gaps. The newly acquired T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents could have been the super-team of the '60s, and by integrating Wildstorm, operations like Team One and Stormwatch could have guarded the '70s & '80s. Instead of having an excess of corny heroes involved in present day adventures, dated concepts like the Hawk and the Dove could be fixed in time, making them the heroes of an era.



Due to my interest in finding a place for all DC history, I've always struggled to find a way to reconcile the shiny utopian Mars of the Silver Age with the primitives in pyramids revealed Post-Crisis. DC's answer had been that all those early stories were a fantasy in J'Onn J'Onzz's mind, but I found it both disrespectful and wasteful to ignore over thirty years of published adventures. When the multiverse returned following 2005's Infinite Crisis, it occurred to me that one possibility was that all those Silver Age Martian Manhunter adventures could have simply occurred on "Mars-Two." I mean, if there was a second Earth in a parallel universe, why not a divergent copy of Earth's neighbor world? Maybe reveal the Mars-Two Martian Manhunter had been killed off in the Crisis. That way, on Mars-One, every Martian is dead besides J'Onn J'Onzz, while on Mars-Two, they're all alive except J'onn J'onzz. When Coneheadhunter was killed off in Final Crisis, it would have been neat to see him replaced by a Darwyn Cooke-style Alien Atlas from another Earth, right? Now that would have been cosmically delicious!



Given the distasteful treatment of the multiverse concept by travesties like Countdown, I was surprised DC retained it going into the DCnÜ. Some characters, like the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, never really recovered from massively reworked origins for the gestalt Post-Crisis Earth. Giving that back to Huntress on a restored Earth-Two would elevate the character, but I'm not sure that's where DC is going. I doubt they're in a hurry to saddle their sexy new continuity with that kind of history, and wouldn't be surprised if Alan Scott and Jay Garrick were fit young men born well after the days of disco, much less the Great Depression. It seems likely that they'll just be more variations on Green Lantern and the Flash in universes crowded with them. To me, that means the DCnÜ is something like the worst of both worlds-- the confusing Pre-Crisis Multiverse, and a bland Image style line-up marked by an illusory history dating back to only a few years worth of untold tales. Every one of their characters are available to creators in the now, but with hardly any of them having any cultural relevancy, in our day or times past.



The Martian Manhunter benefited massively from the Post-Crisis Earth. He went from an off-brand Superman to the first major hero of the 1950s, and a keeper of the flame active between the eras of the Justice Society and the Justice League. Perhaps he will still have that personal longevity and significance in the DCnÜ, but so much is in flux that it is difficult to see that far ahead or behind. I think it's essential to the character's resonance, but DC might feel he needs to have shown up 4½ years ago (so as not to step on Wonder Woman's debut, which somehow now follows Green Lantern and Flash's. Ugh.)

Recent issues of Stormwatch insinuate that J'Onn J'Onzz's being the sole survivor of Mars is a lie, reversing the narrative of his Post-1988 continuity. One of my pet theories for years has been that all those Bronze Age Martians are still on Mars II somewhere, hidden away, perhaps from J'Onn J'Onzz himself. Another possibility would be that the Mars of Earth-1.2 is a dead world, but J'Onn J'Onzz came there from a living Mars-Two. This could reestablish J'Onzz's bridging of two eras of heroes and two worlds. Unlikely, but imagine the possibilities of playing with all that lore without hewing to the enforced "reality" of the DCnÜ Justice League. In my fantasy, Bel Juz is plotting, the Marshal is scowling, B'rett is stealing, and R'es Eda is just waiting for his moment of betrayal in the computer colored current continuity I'd like to see re-embrace its heritage, while forging something new...