Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scipio is Back!

Within the first six months of starting The Idol-Head of Diabolu, I was already following and (unnecessarily) promoting the work of popular and well-regarded D.C. blogger Scipio of The Absorbascon. Scipio's observations about comic books, and especially the Martian Manhunter, are consistently insightful, humorous and provocative. While the guy has often rubbed me the wrong way (likely mutual,) Scipio is always worth reading, and can be relied upon to inspire deeper thought about any subject he chooses to broach.

Scipio mysteriously vanished from the world of blogging on September 05, 2009, leaving only a brief announcement of hiatus. Ever cheeky, he has reappeared one year and one day later, as if he'd never left. In honor of this return, I'd like to offer up links to previous Absorbascon posts related to the Manhunter from Mars, as well as point to some areas where Scipio's influence has been felt on this blog.

An obvious starting point would be Scipio's Theory of Dynastic Centerpiece, which basically states that what makes and sustains iconic super-heroes is the strength of their "super-family" and "rogues gallery." The Dynastic Centerpiece Model was soon codified, and applied to J'Onn J'Onzz in the post Are You Sleeping, Brother J'onn? That last piece was written before the release of the two volumes of Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter, so Scipio didn't appear to be especially familiar with his classic solo stories. He instead used the Alien Atlas as a rallying character for whatever oddities in the DC Universe he felt deserving of attention. Taking exception to this, I drafted The Dynastic Centerpiece of Diabolu, to more accurately reflect John Jones' supporting cast and Vile Menagerie over the decades. A good time was had by all, and Scipio eventually came around to properly rounding out the Martian Manhunter's social circle.

Scipio then reconsidered the aspect of his model originally termed the "Anti-Dynasty of Supervillainy," and came up with an separate set of criteria named The Villainous Tarot. Scipio never quite ran with the Tarot like he had the Dynastic Centerpiece, so I offered up The Vile Tarot in his stead. Scipio never took to Despero being included, but I continue to affirm him as The Fifth Most Important Martian Manhunter Adversary.

Scipio eventually devoured those Showcase Presents, listing The Hobbies of the Martian Manhunter Scipio believed he recognized J'onn J'onzz as a "sister" in I'm Not Saying He's GAY, exactly... (... but, have you ever seen the Martian Manhunter dance?) The Martian Marvel then Demonstrated Some Heroclix Powers for You. Also, this made Scipio consider Is there such a thing as too many powers?

A bone of contention sprang up when Scipio asked Where in the World is the Martian Manhunter? Scipio had his conclusions about the location of J'onn's Silver Age base of operations, and constructed Apex City: The Martian Manhunter Heroclix Map. I disagreed, offering up some prior bases of operations before seriously asking the question Do You Know The Way To Middletown?. What could have been a minor disagreement went a bit awry, and by the ended, I wanted to Burn Apex City To The Ground. That didn't stop Scipio from recording Meteorology in Apex City, a.k.a. Middletown, which suffered from a terrific amount of phenomena in the 1950s, and  continued into Weather for J'onn's Funeral Services.

Speaking of the murder of the Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis, Scipio offered The Real Reason J'onn J'onzz will Die, illustrated with flow charts, which I disputed with The Slow Steady Death of J'Onn J'Onzz. Harvey "Two-Face" Dent argued both sides in the trial for the life of the Martian Manhunter: The Case for Mr. Jones, and The Case Against Mr. Jones.

Scipio relished the ridiculous "Martian Manhunter's '50s Rogues Gallery!" He was an early advocate for The Story of the Human Flame, an hilarious, multi-part over-analysis of Detective Comics #274 that is so great, I've continued to refuse to do my own write-up on this blog. You Can Read It Here. Scipio also offered has a The Human Flame Mike Miller LE custom Heroclix figure. A gander was also taken at Final Crisis: Run! #1.

Shortly after its publication, Scioio warned Do NOT read Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter Vol. 2! When questioned, he reiterated. Indeed, there was no end to the Martian Madness! Scipio pointed out that compassion is a human emotion, and bemoaned the fact that Zook Gets No Love, even offering Haikuesday with Zook. Heck, he even did Haikuesday: JJ and the Bear. He even observed that Final Crisis was not the first Death of John Jones.

Well, J'Onn J'Onzz is back from the dead, and so is Scipio, and I expected interesting things from the both of them in the future. For now though, here's a few more random posts...

The Martian Manhunter is a Skrull.

The Justice League of Arcana, placing Dr. Occult in Manhunter's boots.

In "Argonauts of...JUSTICE!" Scipio equates heroes of the DCU to the Greek myths. He writes: "Autolycus (yeah, like the guy on Xena, *sigh*) was a master thief and infiltrator. So to me that's got to be the quiet and sneaky MARTIAN MANHUNTER."


LissBirds said...

Holy cow! Almost a year to the day, and he's back. Juuuust when I had almost forgotten about Apex City and finally got used to calling it Middletown.

Scipio's blog was the reason I went out and bought both volumes of the MM Showcase just to see if it was really as crazy as he made it seem.

The world's ugliest bank STILL makes me laugh. And the line about crooks in "Apex" viewing crime as some sort of "avant garde performance art."

I can't wait till a Martian Manhunter-themed post pops up there. I've gained a lot of perspective and information in the year since his blog went on hiatus, and I wonder if I'll see things differently now.

Scipio said...

Thank you, Frank. You're much too kind!

Scipio said...

Thanks, Frank! You're too kind!