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I haven’t been posting.  I know that.  Life throws you curves, you know?

Now, you may be thinking that the title should read solicits.  But you’d be wrong.  I merely want to point out one.

The text:

Written by PAUL TOBIN
ALL NEW TALES!!! You’ve gotta ask yourself: If Doctor Doom’s the most evil guy ever, how much more evil’s it gonna get when he puts a whole TEAM of VILLAINS to work? It’s the series where the bad guys get their say, and the Sinister Six are saying they aren’t sinister enough! So, what’s the solution? How about Kraven stealing a vibranium staff from the Louvre? Sweet! And how about Electro designs a new suit to better channel his powers? Great idea! And how about ramping up Mysterio’s powers by breaking into Stark Industries to steal a miniaturized super-component, battling both Iron Man and Dr. Strange in the process?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Masters of Evil?  Really?  No, just call them the Sinister Seven and be done with it.


A short while ago, I came up with a theory regarding the nature of the Multiverse and big events in DC.  In Crisis of Infinite Earths, worlds were eradicated by a giant wall, called an antimatter wave.  It ate through realities across time and space and the Anti-Monitor fed on the energies leaked therein.  Eventually, five Earths were protected and the heroes of those five Earths tried to stop the Anti-Monitor.  The result was that those five Earths were merged into a single Earth.  The Multiverse collapsed and a single universe was born.

Post-Crisis, to account for how heroes could travel to alternate worlds or that alternate worlds could interact with DC’s Earth, the concept of Hypertime was introduced.  Hypertime was this stream of timelines.  Sometimes the timelines went off in their own directions.  Sometimes they fed back into each other (leading to crossovers, for example).  But Hypertime only existed postCrisis.  Why wasn’t it there before?  I theorize that Hypertime is made up of all the timelines the antimatter wave gobbled up.  The wave, a giant white thing much like Hypertime, condensed itself after the Anti-Monitor lost control of it.

And that brings up to Infinite Crisis.  There, Alexander Luthor, in a largely unexplained way, brought back the various worlds of the Multiverse and then some.  (Doing so in search of the perfect Earth.)  My explanation here is that, by using the corpse of the Anti-Monitor and a construct much one of Anti-Monitor’s tuning forks, Alex was able to tap into Hypertime and pull Earths from it.  He basically unleashed Hypertime into DC space.  And then the device was destroyed.  Ripples were sent through time as some things changed.  But Hypertime had been unleashed.  So, in the wake of the device being destroyed, the Multiverse returned, since Hypertime had been destroyed for Alex to do his work.

So, Crisis caused Hypertime.  Hypertime was destroyed in Infinite Crisis.  Now DC has a Multiverse.  But is it just limited to 52 Earths?  Hmm…

Above is a page from Tangent: Superman’s Reign #5. I’ll let two of the panels on that speak for themselves.

Great job, Steve Wands! Kudos, Nachie Castro! Keep up the good work!

A while back, I listed by top ten favorite Marvel characters. I later did a follow-up to explain where those characters were at that time. (I would link to those entries, but it’s early, I’m lazy, and I’m going to give the important part anyway.) Dane Whitman, aka the Black Knight, was my #9. I really like this character. As such, it bothers me when people start talking about him online and use the following image.

I honestly don’t know who that is. The comic itself is a story involving the first Black Knight, Sir Percy of Camelot. But Sir Percy does not look like that, even in the comic.

So, since the story isn’t about Dane, the cover can’t be of him. But since it doesn’t look like Percy, it can’t be him either.  Perhaps there is an in-story explanation, but I haven’t read the story to know.

Quite simply, even if the cover is depicting the Black Knight, it can’t be Dane.  Unless Marvel editorial is far more asleep than I think they are or marketing has too much power.

When looking at my comics this week, I noticed that DC currently has the US and Canadian price of the comic as the same thing.  I looked back a few weeks and realize that this is not a new development, but still a recent one.  Check out two sequential issues of The Brave and the Bold (the prices are under the bar code).

So, the change from two prices to one seems to have occurred somewhere within the May ’08 cover date month.

For a while now, I’ve wondered why the Canadian price was always higher, since the Canadian dollar had become more valuable than the US dollar.  Now, according to this recent Reuters article, the Canadian dollar is only slightly more valuable, by a little over two cents.  So I think DC’s in the right here to charge the same price for both sides, as the difference is so slight.

However, other companies do not do the same.  Marvel, for example, is charging Canadians six cents more than Americans.  In the scheme of things, it’s not that much of a difference, but it adds up over time.  Since the Canadian dollar is two cents more valuable, shouldn’t it, at the very least, be the other way around?  Ah, but perhaps there is some other reason than the value of currency.  Maybe mass appeal, maybe something in production.  I don’t have that kind of insight.  But considering DC titles haven’t seen a noticeable drop in sales since changing pricing, I imagine something is afoot.

In any case, kudos to DC.  I may not like many of your titles, but this seems like a smart business decision.

Compared to many comic readers, I’m likely considered a newcomer of sorts.  I grew up with comics and was interested in them from an early age, largely due to reading through my dad’s stuff and the influence of the various animated programs.  I know I’ve been reading comics for at least over a decade, but only actually ordering some for myself for a little less than that (I started in 1999).

I tell you that to tell you this.  One of the highlights of my reading in the late 90s was Chuck Dixon’s run on Nightwing.  I could go on about what makes that run great, but that isn’t the point of this entry.  Suffice to say, I looked forward to that title every month and enjoyed it every time it arrived.

Now, Chuck Dixon may have defined Nightwing for me, but, little did I know it at the time, but he had also essentially created the Tim Drake (Robin III) character I’d come to enjoy as well.  I learned by reading some of my dad’s Robin issues.  I was reminded every time I would return to the first comic I ever owned, Detective Comics #649.

So, when it was announced that he would be returning to Robin, I knew it was something I wanted to try.  At first, the solicitations for upcoming events did not grab me.  Finally, though, issue #177 promised a solo issue involving Robin, the newly resurfaced Spoiler, and Cluemaster.  Considering all three are featured in my first comic, such stories hold a special interest.

Unfortunately, a few days after submitting the pre-order for August (the month in which #177 will ship), I learned the Dixon was no longer working at DC and, a few days after that, that #177 would no longer be the story previously shown.  I’m a bit heartbroken, a little sad, and, more than anything, angry.  I don’t order anything from DC, really.  I only look forward to two of their title a month, Justice Society of America and The Legion of Super-Heroes, and I read them because a family member orders them (meaning I don’t have to).  I was willing to order an issue of Robin.  I was willing to continue ordering issues of Robin.  The Powers That Be at DC have now taken that away from me.

Fabian Nicieza has been announced as the new writer.  I like Nicieza and probably could not ask for a better choice, but I can’t support the title now.  What I wanted is gone and supporting what comes next feels like supporting DC’s decision to get rid of Dixon.

As those who frequent this blog are no doubt aware, I am a big fan of Dynamo 5.

To those of you who have been and plan to get the series in trade paperback form, the second volume comes out tomorrow.

…and it will look like that.  If you are interested, this article by Wizard includes five preview pages.

I thought I would remind people, in case it slipped by unnoticed.

Every so often, I take the comics I read in a given week and sort them into two stacks. In one stack are those that have a cover decently expressive of the interior. In the other are those that say little to nothing or are misleading.

The Amazing Spider-Girl #20–In a clever bit of business, this cover has a few panels and throws in blurbs that reference other facets of comicdom. The bottom three panels include titles of older comics and the banner across the top “Brand New May” is, of course, a reference to Spider-Man’s current story in his own title. Amidst that cleverness, the cover manages to provide essential parts of the issue. May considering being a cheerleader, May’s current romantic relationship, and a little bit about a stalker are all included. Good job.

Batman #676–I almost want Batman to be a cape with chest, arms, and a head, as this cover indicates. That might be interesting for an issue. Really, though, it’s just an odd portrait shot. Moving on.

ClanDestine #4–A girl charges from a fiery blaze with swords drawn to attack mysterious onlookers! Well, yeah, that happens. However, this comic has much more going for it. Although I doubt a good cover could be made that touches on all the big points, and not that I would want such a thing, the scene depicted here really is not all that consequential. So, good effort, but not quite.

Green Lantern Corps #24–In this case, the cover indicates that a somewhat-mysterious alien being (actually Mongul, but an unfamiliar reader might not know that) has defeated a bunch of Green Lanterns and now he is just walking away, amidst a giant flower patch. In actuality, he only captures two Lanterns and is himself only in the comic for a few panels. The Black Mercy (the flower shown on the cover) does play an important role, but that’s not enough. The misdirection of the rest of the cover just moves this one into the second stack.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1–With the first issue comes a cover that depicts the main team. I can hardly fault them, as that’s probably a good way to market a first issue. It does need more, though, given that a fair amount happens within.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2–Iron Man and Doctor Doom face off as a demon laughs in the background. Sorry, no. That just does not happen. The demon is important, and specifically important to this issue. Unfortunately, Doom and Iron Man do not fight. Ah well.

The Last Defenders #3–Given the somewhat rotating-door nature of the team membership in this mini series, I can understand a cover depicting the stars of this issue. In fact, the issue itself hold little other important information. One key detail is missing, I think. Namely, the identity of the villainous organization they’re up against. What? You didn’t know that they face a threat? Exactly my point.

New Exiles #6–So, Morph is flying high in the sky while being shot at by an airplane as a dragon nearby gets hit and starts falling away. Okay, the details of the events inside don’t exactly match up, but that essentially happens. And Morph and the dragon are, in a way, the main focus of the issue. The fight depicted is part of the climax. This gets a pass. Only barely, though.

Project Superpowers #3–Considering the limited role either character (Masquerade or The Mighty Samson) play in the events depicted within the comic, this cover just does not work. For this article’s purpose, anyway.

Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1–Ah, yes. Secret Invasion. Flowing through Marvel’s line like blood. Now, it has struck the Fantastic Four. I suppose I should be grateful the cover sells the story better (not that I dislike Secret Invasion‘s covers). However, it does so by being misleading. A Skrull Invisible Woman does not defeat the Human Torch and Thing. There is a reality warp, so that’s a nice touch, but not enough.

Superman #676–Superman is getting drowned by a somewhat-mysterious angry attacker! At a casual glance, someone may or may not recognize that he’s being attacked by Solomon Grundy. That said, those two fighting is the focus of the issue, with the attempted drowning and Superman’s eyes glowing taking up about two panels. It’s an Alex Ross cover that does what it should do. Why couldn’t that have been the case for Batman or Project Superpowers?

Titans #2–On this cover there are a bunch of Teen Titans and the message “Trigon Returns!” Raven even gets separated from the pack, as if to imply she gets more focus. I guess that is true to a certain extent. Unfortunately, there really is more going on in this comic and Trigon pretty much returned last month.

With all that in mind, the count comes to 3:9, with honorable mentions to ClanDestine, The Last Defenders, and Titans. A bit rough, this week.

I did the DC list.  Now, what of the Marvel characters…

Box IV was dismantled, I believe.  Madison Jeffries, its pilot, went on to become a cast member of Weapon X.  In it, he ended up going insane and working for a sadistic Director.  He even had Box-like suits.  I might not have all the details right, but at the moment the Box suit is not being used and Jeffries has lost his mind.  Definite Limbo-almost-dead state there.

Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, was last seen in Excalibur.  I do not know if Dane himself was portrayed well, but he had a fake Ebony Blade (why he is using any Ebony Blade has not been explained).  Since then, he has had no place.  Luckily, he might be turning up in the new Captain Britain and M:13 title.

Thing is a mainstay.  People know how to write him (and well, generally).

Shadowcat might be dying.  That’s the rumor anyway.  Given that she was not in Messiah Complex gives some credence to that.  But at the moment, she is still appearing Astonishing.  She might be dead or end up in Limbo after that, but for now I guess I can be satisfied.

Doctor Doom is currently in Mighty Avengers, will be showing up in Fantastic Four, and gets to feature in an Iron Man mini.  The guy is getting around.   And, generally, he gets to be the same Doom I enjoy reading.  Good stuff.

If Shadowcat is not the one to die or be left stranded in space, it will assuredly be Lockheed.  Now, of the two, I would actually prefer it be Lockheed, as he is less marketable and nothing has really been done with him in quite some time, but it doesn’t really matter.  If Shadowcat goes, so does Lockheed.  If Shadowcat doesn’t go, Lockheed is the one who dies.  There will be no winning.

Morph stays in New Exiles.   He hasn’t really quite been his normal, funny self lately, but it’s not that bad.

Beta Ray Bill actually received a fair amount of recognition.  He appeared in his own mini and was part of Omega Flight.  He’s essentially in Limbo at the moment (somewhat literally, too), as the fate of Omega Flight is up in the air.

Doctor Strange got his hands crushed and had to resort to using black magic.  Oh, and he’s sleeping with Night Nurse and helping the New Avengers.  I don’t really care for that portrayal (I much prefer JMS’s version of him in Amazing Spider-Man), but at least he is being used somewhere.

Captain America is dead.  Woo.

So, if you count Captain America and Box and preemptively count Shadowcat and Lockheed, Marvel still does a little better than DC.  But it’s still somewhat tainted, I think, by the things they’ve been doing to characters I like outside the Top 10.

A while back I listed my favorite characters for DC and Marvel. Where, oh where, are these great characters now? Well, for this entry, let me run through the DC list again.


Manhunter IV or Kirk DePaul died. It happened in an issue of the most recent Manhunter title. Someone was hunting Manhunters and Kirk ended up getting decapitated on a rooftop.

Deadman is, well, dead. Aside from that consistent, obvious point, he has not been used. We came close to seeing him in Justice League of America, but that turned out to be Felix Faust in disguise. I once read that ol’ Boston was not being used because of the Deadman mini series in Vertigo. That series has come and gone, yet still no Deadman. Hmm…

During World War III, Martian Manhunter went through a transformation. He got in touch with his Martian side and, for lack of a better description, turned his back on humanity. He changed his costume and became fairly grim. J’onn stopped being the character I knew. He was going to be on the Outsiders, but that changed with the creative team. So, currently he, too, is being unused. Given where we left off, though, that might be a good thing.

Darkseid always gets use. I like how Starlin is portraying him in Death of the New Gods and I honestly feel like he will be the only god not to die.

Kilowog appears semi-regularly in the Green Lantern titles. Every so often, I still get to enjoy his presence. Plus, I learned that he is a family man. Kinda neat.

Starro just went received a fair amount of exposure. I made an entry to that effect, showcasing how it was the main antagonist in Teen Titans and Captain Carrot and the Final Ark at the same time. In one it loses (quite quickly and uninterestingly, though it does possess Sinestro rings at the time, which was cool) and in the other, it wins. Guess which one I liked more? In any case, it can wait for a few more months (or maybe a year) before doing more.

The Human Bomb died. I will not even try to be unbiased here. It was stupid and likely soiled my mindset toward Infinite Crisis in general–as the death happened in issue #1. Then DC turns around and makes another Human Bomb! Seriously, what was the point?

Tim Drake, a.k.a Robin, developed a bit after Infinite Crisis. I thought it was good. He got wrapped up in bringing back his best friend in a grief-stricken delusion. Then he became the foster son of Batman. He was developing a relationship with Wonder Girl. The guy was making progress. Now, admittedly I have failed to read his title in a while (I read his team-up with Boomerang, Jr., which was entertaining). He could have been a bumbling idiot for all I know. What I do know, though, is that apparently he is going backwards in Teen Titans (as in, still being somewhat obsessed with cloning, backing away from Wonder Girl, etc.), but that Chuck Dixon is starting to do interesting stuff over in Robin. At least Tim is being written well half of the time, right?

Quislet has been gone for quite some time. Sure, he briefly stopped in for a Waid story, but it was jsut a mythical tale. A tantalizing carrot waving in front of my face. It was cool that he got the final line in the comic, though. Still, that was several issues ago. Bring back Quislet, DC!

Wally West, better known as Flash, came back in “The Lightning Saga”. I still like the character better than any other I read, but the stories he finds himself in have not been that enjoyable. Well, save Nightwing #141. That was very well done. Anyway, here’s hoping his title and his appearances get better.

This means that half of DC’s great characters are dead, in Comic Book Limbo, or both (excluding Starro). Robin’s characterization is inconsistent and Flash’s stories are sub-par. The great characters are fading. I guess I will just have to find new greats.