Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Kind of a slow news day, and I'm too tired to create anything new, so I think I'll clean out my junk drawer of some leftovers.

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I've been hearing some very disturbing rumors about one of my least favorite writers, Judd Winick. There's a news outlet claiming that Judd Winick Has Been Named DC Comics Editor-in-Chief, and that the announcement was timed to coincide with Brightest Day. Like hell. With the death of Coneheadhunter, we just got done with the second coming of Denny O'Neil-style angry, prejudiced Martian Manhunter. I'm still getting into Ray Palmer Atom blogging after his great showing in Blackest Night, and now I'm hearing he might be getting killed. DC Comics just keep getting worse and worse, and this may be the final straw! You may recall that I once recontextualized actual dialogue written by Winick into a Martian Manhunter parody page. Wasn't that just awful?

Speed Force (blogging about the Flash since 2008) and Arroba Silver (maker of sterling silver Flash and other Justice League rings) have teamed up to sponsor a contest: Design and win your own Flash Ring. The winner will get a free copy of the ring they designed and the chance for it to be produced as a limited edition.

Open through April 26. Full details at Speed Force

Dick Giordano 1932-2010

Until I added up the dates in my head, I had no idea Dick Giordano was old enough to shock me with a death notice. He still seemed so vibrant in interviews, even after all these years away from regular publishing (six years since Future Comics closed shop.) Besides his voluminous artwork, he was the voice of DC Comics throughout my childhood with his Meanwhile... editorial columns. DC never did recover from his departure, and the industry as a whole is lesser for the loss of another one of the greats.


I found this interesting chart online that I thought I'd share:

Length of Time in Months Between Death & Resurrection of Justice League Members

Superman: January - June 1993
Batman: January - March 2009
Wonder Woman: October - November 1997
Flash (Barry Allen): November 1985 - August 2008
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): November 1996 - March 2005
Aquaman: May 2007 - May 2010
Green Arrow: October 1995 - April 2001
Hawkman: July 1996 - June 2001
Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond): December 2004 - May 2010
Martian Manhunter: July 2008 - May 2010

Funny that this came up the last Wednesday before Easter. You'd think it was planned that way.


Diabolu Frank said...

I love the folded down collar. The clasps are pretty cool, but I'd prefer more of a nod to the "pie" symbol. The clasp between the straps is dubious ornamentation for a no-frills character, and it reminds me an awful lot of the Blood Gem. I like the belt integrated into the straps (ala Alan Davis,) by he needs a more interesting buckle. Can't fault the cavalier boots, and I'm cool with the decision to go with simple black tights instead of the often unnerving shorts J'Onn wore a bit too proudly for a half century.

Looks like the Martian Manhunter may get to square off with Maxwell Lord yet. Good show!

Hawk? Really? Why?

Nice to see Jade again.

I dig Boomer's new hybrid look, especially the hat.

Firestorm looks good. Also, Caucasian. Sorry Jason. Oh, and Ronnie-- not so close with the "hair."

Do please situate Aquaman right by good buddy J'Onn J'Onzz, and despite losing his distinctive collar, has the Sea King ever dressed better?

Hawkwoman! Yay!

The two spanners are also intriguing, especially the big surprise. As for the other guy, is anyone from that family going to stay dead?

mathematicscore said...

Yeah, I miss the pie symbol. You nailed it on the No frills aspect. Otherwise, his character beats all felt right and I rather like Superman being the one to make first contact... I would credit Morrison with the loving respect two confident, self assured megapowerful aliens would have for eachother. Am I right? The silver age JLA superbuddy characterizations don't count.

And what's with that Judd Winick link? EIC? I just read the first story in the Barry Ween Anthology before being sensibly poor and not buying it. I understand the hate, I just don't feel it.

Something I did buy today was Madame Xanadu. Were you aware that 60's John Jones has been guest starring for a while now?

Anyway, soooo glad he's back.

LissBirds said...

"Looks like the Martian Manhunter may get to square off with Maxwell Lord yet. Good show!" Wait, what? Is this in Brightest Day? I hope it's the JLI Max...

I've seen Arroba Silver's website before, and their work is gorgeous but they don't carry my size...grrr. AND who's conspicuously missing from their JLA ring collection. Hmmm? Even Aquaman gets a ring. Come on!!

Judd Winick...I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. I'm guessing that page will go live with something soon...I'm guessing this is about Generation Lost.

m.c.: really?! I know Phantom Stranger made some appearances, but I'm not sure Madame Xanadu is my speed. Perhaps I'll reconsider.

Anj said...

Congrats on having J'Onn come back!

I thought his return was well handled.

Can't wait to see what's in store with him.

mathematicscore said...

Re: Madame Xanadu; I just read the latest issue, and while I haven't read anything else, it's cool to see John Jones in full period glory. Plus, written by Matt Wagner...I'm totally tracking down the back issues.

mathematicscore said...

Oh, and in my excitement, I forgot to offer my voice to the chorus of Giordano love. There is little he touched that wasn't gold.

mathematicscore said...

P.S. I forgot what day it is. EIC indeed.

Diabolu Frank said...

M.C.: Whaaat? Madame Xanadu? I didn't even know John Jones was allowed at Vertigo. Thank you very much for the heads-up! I'll have to his GCD and see which issues I'll be picking up.

Winick is just a really lousy super-hero writer. I've never read his humor stuff.

I won't get to read Blackest Night #8 until next week, but there's a long-standing connection between Superman and Martian Manhunter I appreciate being honored, especially in a respectful Morrisonesque fashion (see anti-O'Neil comments.)

Anj: Thanks!

Liss: It's in BN #8, and likely continuing in JLI, but it's Checkmate Evil Max.

LissBirds said...

Ahhhh, okay. This is what happens when I don't get my comics till Saturday. Perpetually dazed and confused. :)

"...connection between Superman and Martian Manhunter I appreciate being honored, especially in a respectful Morrisonesque fashion (see anti-O'Neil comments.)" Interesting. I hope I understand this when I get to read BN #8.

LissBirds said...

"and now I'm hearing he might be getting killed."

What? What what WHAT?!?! Come ON.

Is there an actual reason, e.g. "Make Ray the Barry Allen/martyr of the 2010's" or just plain "we don't know what to do with this character?"

Poor, poor Ray Palmer. He never gets a break.

Diabolu Frank said...

My sly chart gets no notice?

Anyway, Liss, no offense intended, but I'm hoping it's a bad day to be a Chinama-- er, of Asian descent:

On sale MAY 12 • 56 pg, FC, $4.99 US
Written by ERIC WALLACE • Art and cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
1:25 Variant cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
It’s a new team and direction for the Titans! Deathstroke and his mercenary team including Cheshire, Tattooed Man and other surprise members burst out of BRIGHTEST DAY #0! Get in on the ground floor here as the team is hired to assassinate The Atom! And for this team, failure is not an option!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

LissBirds said...

I was going to ask you where you got that chart, but then I thought it was from some famous well-known source and I didn't want to look like a dope.

"Get in on the ground floor here as the team is hired to assassinate The Atom!" Ohhhh, that doesn't really mean he's dying. At least it better not.

And I just saw the splash page over at the Source so I can finally join the conversation. I don't know about the black pants..they're okay, I guess, but everyone's wearing leggings...variety, much? I'd like the folded collar to be higher. I miss the little chain connecting the two medallions. And the gem? Lose it. It's so generic. Give him a SYMBOL, for goodness' sake. Aquaman has one. Bring back the little pie belt buckle...that's the closest he ever got to a symbol. Not that I'm picky or anything.

"despite losing his distinctive collar" I miss that, too! It doesn't make sense for it to go up the back of his neck like that.

Osiris. Really?

mathematicscore said...

Sorry, I'd assumed most (including Frank) had read it.

Ryan Choi is delightful. I'm all for multiple Atom's, not unlike the current multi Flashes.

LissBirds said...

No need to apologize, m.c.

Ehhh....for some reason The Atom is one instance where I don't want multiple heroes. I like the multiple Flashes and of course the quadrillion GL's, but I think it steals Ray's thunder a little bit, and he needs more notoriety, not less. Plus, Ryan just seems like a bland clone of his predecessor to me, like Nightwing. Maybe it's just because I didn't like the trade of The All New Atom...perhaps there's some other portrayal out there that I'd like better.

mathematicscore said...

Ryan Choi was the less adult Atom. He could have Giganta as a girlfriend and always be in a Peter Parker style crisis. Ray is more adult, been married and divorced, and had a couple of midlife crises. I think they're two great tastes that could taste great together.

And yes, that chart is pretty sweet. While he can't compete with the "Trinity," he and Aquaman had the shortest deathspan's, and MM gets the edge because he has never been replaced. In fact, he's the only one to not have a successor. Food for thought.

Anj said...

Hey Frank,

As promised, in honor of J'onn's return, I will review the Kara?J'onn story from Adventure Comics #450 tomorrow over at the Comic Box.


Diabolu Frank said...

Anj: Awsome! Links forthcoming.


On sale JUNE 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by ERIC WALLACE • Art and cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO
The TITANS ongoing series returns with a new direction that ties into BRIGHTEST DAY! We saw what Deathstroke and his team of mercenaries did in the TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE SPECIAL #1, and it was a dark day for the Justice League of America. Hopefully their next target fares better. Good luck, Lex Luthor!

M.C. I don't like the multiple Flashes, and I especially dislike additional Atoms. I really believe DC needs more diversity, and feel that can best be achieve through new incarnations that prove superior to their predecessors (Mr. Terrific,) or by elevating sidelined quality heroes of color (Vixen, Black Lightning.) In the case of Ryan Choi, speaking as someone who did not read his series, he just felt like a watered down retread. He didn't reinvent the Atom identity or powers, like the Silver Age inheritors did, nor did he earn the mantle as a sidekick. He's just a scientist who had Ray Palmer-style adventures in Ray's town with Ray's powers against Ray's enemies. Plus, an Asian who shrinks? Man, the only thing more dubious than that specific ethnic rebranding was his hideous costume.

Curious though it may be, given who my main blogging subject is, I'd have an easier time with replacing J'Onn than Ray. There's been a lot less consistency in characterization/continuity/lore developed for J'Onn J'Onzz specifically than for Ray. You could easily have a female/minority claim the general Martian mythos and go from there.

mathematicscore said...

But Ray seems to quit/retire/just be a professor as often as not (this is 90's JLA reader talking)...wouldn't it make sense for him to have a protoge/ partner?

While I like him, Ray has never been indispensible the way Speedsters, Lanterns and Super's(and their knock-offs) are, and I liked the idea of him hand picking someone to pick up his slack while he's on sabbatical in the multiverse during the wonder that was Countdown.

Obviously, I don't have a ton of baggage when it comes to Atom, and I bought in for the most recent ongoing, so I'm not on the same page. I just figure it's such a big world, why wouldn't most heroes have a franchise. Heck, in the Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman had a strike force of Batmen. Why not a team of subatomic researchers/adventurers? Or a superspeed police force. I think the multiple team JLA could be done really well right now with all the different generations/iterations of the various members available thanks to ressurrections galore. They already built a Hall and a Satellite. Throw in a couple of UN embassies, it's like Dan Didio never happened.

Diabolu Frank said...

M.C., you've kind of hit the nail on the head. The universe needs a Green Lantern Corps. You must have a speedster on your Grand Old Super-Team, and it has to be a Flash. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are the holy trinity of DC super-heroes, so how can we get along without them?

Yet, does the JSA or JLA really require an Atom legacy to feel "right?" Has anyone ever really "sold" a shrinking man series, or did Doll Man move units because of Lou Fine, the Atom due to Gil Kane, and Ant-Man because of Jack Kirby?

Isn't the only reason anyone cares about Ray Palmer because of his particular personality, wacky history, and most importantly, his relationships with other DC characters? At both Marvel and DC, the powers and identities of Hank Pym and Ray Palmer have been passed around again and again, but nobody cares about that. What matters is who they married, how those marriages went off the tracks, who they buddied up with, what gonzo curve balls they were served, and so on. You can't just plug a new guy into the role and expect it to work, because the Atom name is pretty meaningless.

Ryan Choi would have to do all the heavy lifting, and as a guy who just strapped on a leftover belt, he doesn't even have a compelling origin to work with. He's just the fill-in for a guy who only matters in relation to other people, not on his own. Ray needs to be the Atom because he's the one with the psycho murderess wife, the title-sharing friendship with Hawkman, the time-traveling mentor, the barbarian empire, the alternate universe-- Ryan Choi's just another guy who shrinks and rides coattails.

Some guys really go for the Dynastic Centerpiece, and I feel it works on certain concepts (GLC, DC Trinity familes,) while others amount to a mass of redundant characters (the Flashes.) Generally speaking, I prefer my heroes to be unique, which is why I gravitate toward Martian Manhunter, Atom, and Aquaman. It also means I'm out of step with the DC (and increasingly Marvel) universe, since legacies and families are so in vogue today. I'm not digging it, but building an Atom dynasty probably is the the way to go commercially (shame about Damage, then.)

mathematicscore said...

Norm Breyfogle has mentioned on his site that he pitched an Atom series for a while, and there's some pretty cool artwork from it. He didn't really have a story, but the perspective and alien worlds within us aspect is always cool in my book.

Diabolu Frank said...

Ooo! M.C.! Links, please! Breyfogle did a great Atom!

Oh, and dude, I don't mean to always be on the other side of arguments with you. I respect your opinions, and enjoy hashing stuff out with you.

mathematicscore said...

Crap, I can't find it. I might have it a confused with a Flash/Atom as one character elseworlds pitch he mentions on his message board ( is his site). That said, I'd swear he talked about it somewhere, so I'll keep digging. He definitely had an Atom-esque story in his solo showcase from Eclipse Metaphysique (not to be confused with the Malibu/Bravura series, which is a sort of not really sequel).

And don't sweat it, I live for vigorous debate! I've never felt disrespected, but thank you for making it clear, it means a lot.

Discourse is a thing of beauty. :)