Monday, April 28, 2008

The Stupidest Thing I've Seen In A While

I know it's hardly news that Hal Jordan isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Hell, making fun of Hal for getting bonked on the head is practically a cottage industry in and of itself. And with good reason! Super-hero comics are supposed to be wish-fulfillment on at least some level, right? What can be more frustrating than seeing a character with what is quite literally the most wonderful means of magical wish-fulfillment in all of comics getting knocked out by lamps? I mean, seriously, people. It's enough to make you think that the Guardians are purposefully looking for morons.

But this... this takes the cake. Posting stupid Green Lantern panels is, I know, the most obvious tool in the comic bloggers' repertoire. But still. I think this speaks for itself:

Just a couple issues later Hal saves an exploding planet by inserting giant carbon rods into the core to dampen a nuclear reaction. Uh-huh. From the looks of things they probably had to child-proof the Jordan household to ensure he didn't drink Drain-O with his lunch.

(Admittedly, I am not that big on obscure Green Lantern villains - is the Shark's "invisible yellow aura" a holdover from the Silver Age?)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love The Rhino Reissue Of
The Replacements' Let It Be

10. You can actually hear the snapping fingers on "We're Coming Out", and not simply vague percussive slaps that could be either cowbells or postalveolar clicks in Zulu.

9. Hey, wait a minute, you mean the Replacements actually have a rhythm section, not just a dull drone in the back of the tinny mix? Wow, Tommy Stinson's actually good.

8. "Androgynous" was supposed to sound like a cavernous nightclub? I could never tell because the previous CD sounded like it was mixed in an airport hanger.

7. There's absolutely nothing ironic in their cover of KISS' "Black Diamond", and it points to the fact that the 'Mats could very well have been arena rock legends if they had chosen to do so. But then again, they had Bob Stinson playing lead guitar like a crush fetishist loose in a pet store, so that's debatable.

6. Is Let It Be the last great 12" release? Look at the side "A" and side "B". I'm hardly a vinyl fetishist - I don't even own a turntable anymore - but even I think it's something of a shame that you don't have to turn the record (or cassette tape!) over between "Black Diamond" and "Unsatisfied".

5. "Seen Your Video" - best music industry kiss-off ever? And right before they signed on the dotted line with Warner Brothers, no less.

4. Every genius album has a real head-scratcher on it that you don't really like but you learn to love anyway - Life's Rich Pageant has "Underneath the Bunker", The Queen Is Dead has "Vicar in a Tutu", and Let It Be has "Gary's Got A Boner". I guess the fact that these bands were still willing to put a song on their album just because it was fuckin' stupid and they got a kick out of playing it says something, because once groups get big heads they lose their sense of humor entirely. The 'Mats never got big, so their sense of humor stayed sharp through until the end.

3. Exile on Main Street my ass - Liz Phair owes Paul Westerberg royalties for the way that half the songs on Exile on Guyville are just "Answering Machine" with different words and worse guitar playing.

2. I've always said that Tim was my favorite 'Mats album - I know, I know - but listening to this new disc raises the distinct possibility that I undervalued Let It Be simply because every CD copy I've ever had of the album has sounded like shit. They say remastered editions of the WB era albums are coming soon - so we shall soon be able to judge for ourselves.

1. Bonus tracks, you say? You've been caught in that boondoggle before? Well, I can live without the "20th Century Boy" cover - just can't warm to Marc Bolan - but there's no good reason why "Perfectly Lethal" couldn't have made the album itself, and their cover of The Grass Roots' "Temptation Eyes", while definitely a little ragged, has the same swagger as their cover of "Black Diamond". (I can see, with that in mind, why it didn't make the album itself.) But Westerberg's solo home demo of "Answering Machine" - that's the real gold. If they had put the demo version on the album, they could have kick-started lo-fi half a decade early, and essentially mooted the entire Sebadoh discography.

Judge for yourself.

Behold, The Uber-Lolz

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Has it Come To This?

So I did one of these. I'm not entirely sold on the format this website uses, but I have to admit it is a nifty gadget all the same. I've been wanting to do something like this for the blog for a while, the only thing standing in the way being my laziness - I know, quelle surprise! If you like it or not, please tell me in the comments: whether I get any good feedback will dictate whether or not I do another one.

Dave Campbell closed up shop. Raise a glass to the man who coined the phrase "Boob War" - something that certainly started as a joke but which actually is the best definition we have for a very real and persistently querulous aspect of the modern comics industry. (I got that last link here, if you're worried - I especially like the one of Harley Quinn giving Batman a lap dance. Classy! Remember: No sex in the champagne room, even if you're Batman.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

If I Ran The BBC

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

That scraping sound you hear...

Which is worse?

Ultimate Salem's Seven?


Hellblazer Presents: Chaz???

Let's see - the Ultimate version of probably the lamest Fantastic Four villains ever, or a mini-series spin-off devoted to John Constantine's cab driver. Hmmm.

Still: getting new Damage Control and Ambush Bug series in the same calender year must signify some sort of once-in-a-lifetime planetary conjunction.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Doctor Doom’s Mailbag

Doom takes pride in answering all of his personal correspondence.

Dear Doctor Doom,

Here in the States everyone has been quite upset over some recent nasty comments attributed to you, spoken against Ms. Marvel during the Avengers' recent unsanctioned invasion of your sovereign soil. Considering the undue attention this matter has received, I was wondering if you would care to comment further.

All the best,

Doom is loathe to acknowledge mistakes of any kind - and those looking for him to err will have to look far and wide before finding an instance in which he was not, in fact, stymied by the cursed interference of his inferiors. Indeed, this occasion offers a perfect example: the only reason these ersatz Avengers were ever given pretence to invade the sovereign soil of Latveria was that a weapons system developed by Latveria for her own lawful defense was accidentally triggered due to a bungling misadventure on the part of those self-same Avengers. The incident is a regrettable example of the imperialistic American government's expansive disregard of international mores. It is certain that if an American weapons system had malfunctioned on foreign soil, the incident would be dismissed with a strained apology and crocodile tears on the part of a low-level diplomat. More than certain: we see this every time an American missile utilized in the so-called "War on Terror" "accidentally" levels an innocent wedding party in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Given the belligerent nature of the American military-industrial complex, headed as it is by a cabal of messianic war-mongers, it is not surprising that only the slimmest pretext was required before an attack on Latverian soil could be authorized. This is not even the first time this has happened in recent memory, although the most recent previous incident went unreported in the Western media, no doubt due to the pervasive anti-Latverian bias: there is the matter of former SHIELD head - and Bush administration catspaw - Nick Fury's unauthorized and unsanctioned recent invasion of this country. This occurred as the climax of his so-called "Secret War" against the interim government that rose to power during the time of my brief banishment to Hell by the cursed Reed Richards. It was indeed regrettable that this interim government entered the illegal arms market by supplying proprietary Latverian technology to American "super-villains": but those responsible for this lapse in decorum have been punished accordingly. More to the point, the actions of rogue factions in our government were taken as pretence for outright invasion, just as the regrettable incident of the so-called "Venom bomb" explosion in New York City was also seen as pretence for another unlawful invasion. It should be obvious to all that the current American government will stop at nothing to interfere with the internal affairs of sovereign nations with whom they disagree.

Point of fact: the original "Venom" organism was brought to the planet Earth through the actions of an American national, the vigilante Spider-Man. Point of fact: the Latverian weapons system malfunctioned as a result of hostile actions on the part of the latest iteration of Ultron, a malevolent android created by a founding member of the Avengers who has personally been responsible for the death of millions of innocent lives, including the entire country of Slorenia. Given the American's own propensity to set into motion such massively destructive events, is it any wonder that Latveria would act to insulate herself? How many deaths can directly be tied to Spider-Man's unwitting adoption of the original Venom symbiote, both on the part of Venom himself and his "children", a group which includes the mass-murderer and international terrorist Carnage? Why has Spider-Man never been held accountable for these deaths? Why has Henry Pym never been held accountable for Ultron's many atrocities? Given the American government's inability to deal with even these most basic violations of international law and common decency, is it any wonder Latveria would take aggressive steps to ensure her own safety and territorial integrity?

Although, as I have observed, Doom is loathe to acknowledge error or weakness, it must be noted that my words against Ms. Marvel were unnecessarily harsh and personal. Doom is many things, but he is no mere schoolyard bully. It does not take the proverbial "rocket scientist" (to use the degraded American vernacular) to see that any contemporary American woman, especially one whose costume consists of a one-piece bathing suit and thigh-high leather-boots - would be unduly sensitive in regards to her weight. There are no points given for hitting the easy target. But it was a long day, and Doom had not eaten in many hours: sometimes Doom is mildly hypoglycemic.

I tire of this endless barrage of idiocy.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008