Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Assassin - Round 5: Crazy Horses!

On past rounds of Friday Night Fights, we've seen various superheroes, most often Batman, fight against and beat up large animals like tigers or grizzly bears or sharks into submission. Well, for tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Assassin, I'm going to turn the tables a bit.

Tonight's animal-on-man turnabout comes from a backup tale in Marvel Tales #100 written by Scott Edelman and illustrated by Mike Nasser and Terry Austin.

Synopsis: Matt Hawk, aka the Two-Gun Kid, is a 19th century gunfighter who came to the modern world during an Avengers/Kang battle. At the time of this story, he is traveling across America having various adventures with Hawkeye. Meanwhile, Zebediah Killgrave, aka the mind-controlling Purple Man, is in his underground headquarters plotting his revenge against Daredevil. Said headquarters just happens to be underneath the area in the desert where Hawkeye and Two-Gun just happen to be riding their horses.

So, of course, that means that they accidentally fall through a weak point in Purple Man's HQ's ceiling.

Because that's just how 70's Marvel rolled.

Purple Man's response? Ordering Hawkeye and Two-Gun to kill each other.

But what can Two-Gun's horse Nancy do?



That's what the Purple Man gets for lacking horse sense.

Tonight's fight music is this bit of musical horseplay by The Osmonds:

For more horsing around, click here. And don't forget to vote!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Which I Let Saga's The Will Explain How I Felt About Justice League Of America#1

Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples let The Will do my comic critiquing for me in Saga#10, which also came out this week.

And wasn't a timesuck.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Imagine: Why I WON'T Be Supporting An Orson Scott Card Superman

From Animal Man#26, by Grant Morrison, Chaz Truog, and Mark Farmer

I've been recently immersing myself in the controversy surrounding DC Comics hiring Orson Scott Card to kick off their new Adventures Of Superman digital comic. (Card's only writing the first two issues; this non-continuity comic will have rotating teams of creators working on different arcs.) A lot of readers are boycotting Card's issues of the comic, and many have even petitioned for Card's dismissal from the book.

Myself among them.

Some of Card's defenders, including DC Comics, accuse the Card attackers of punishing Card for his opinions, but the real problem isn't with Card's opinions, but with his actions. Having bigoted opinions is one thing, but working to inflict those bigoted opinions on the entire population as laws restricting the rights of a particular demographic you don't like? That's another. And the latter is precisely what Card has been doing, especially in his position as board member of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which, in true Orwellian fashion, actually works to prevent members of the LGBT community from marrying the people they love.

As a lifelong Superman fan, I have a big problem with someone like this writing one of my favorite fictional heroes, a character intended to inspire people to reach for the goodness within themselves, and a character whom I and my wife should be able to use to teach my son about values like truth, kindness, and justice. It galls me that DC would allow their leading champion of justice for all to be written by a man who champions injustice for some, especially in light of how DC has been wrecking Superman and his supporting cast, particularly the now-marginalized Lois Lane, in the last 18 months.

But let's face it: My complaints, valid as they are, are petty and trivial compared to those of anyone who can define their sexuality or gender identity alignment by the letters "L", "G", "B", or "T". Why? Let's put it this way: I may worry about how suitable an example Superman will be for my spouse and I to provide for our child, but at least I'm allowed to HAVE a spouse and child. Many LGBT American couples have neither of those rights, thanks in no small part to the work of Card, NOM, and their ilk. Did I mention that NOM also opposes same-sex adoptions as well as marriages?

No matter how much NOM and organizations like it succeed, it won't directly affect me. But LGBT Americans won't be so lucky.

If you're heterosexual and cis-gendered, as I am, and you're reading this, I'd like you to do one thing: Just imagine.

Just imagine being the minority sexuality or gender identity alignment in America.

Just imagine being ostracizedpersecuted, beaten up, and even killed or driven to suicide for the "crime" of having the wrong sexual preference or gender identity alignment. (Or even the crime of using the wrong bathroom if you're trans.)

Just imagine having to keep your sexuality or gender identity alignment a secret for fear of being ostracized, persecuted, beaten up, or worse.

Just imagine being disowned by your own parents for loving the wrong sex.

Just imagine not being allowed to marry the person you love because he or she is the wrong gender.

Just imagine listening to two major-party Presidential candidatesMichele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, each respond to questions about your right to marry with the insipid and cruel non-answer "OF COURSE gay people can get married. A gay WOMAN can marry a MAN, and a gay MAN can marry a WOMAN."

Just imagine listening to yet another major-party Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, dismiss your struggles for the same rights everyone else has already enjoyed for decades, if not centuries, as seeking "special privileges".

Just imagine not being allowed to work with or babysit children, let alone adopt any, because too many people mistakenly conflate LGBT with pedophilia. (Something Card himself does in his recent Hamlet rewrite.)

Just imagine.

The problem is that people who aren't heterosexual and cis-gendered don't have to imagine those above scenarios. In too many cases, that's their REALITY.

That's the thing us straight folks, even those of us opposed to Card's actions, really need to understand: To us, Card and NOM are either heroic champions of good old-fashioned values at best or just more narrow-minded homophobic morons at worst. But to the LGBT community, they're something more: They're a threat. An obstacle. A hurdle.


And when somebody's actively working against you like that, you're not going to give a damn whether or not he can write a great Superman story. Card could write the next "For The Man Who Has Everything" or "Sandman Saga" or "Birthright" or "What's So Funny...?". His take on Superman could be the perfect fusion of Siegel, Bates, Maggin, O'Neil, Pasko, Wolfman, Moore, Jurgens, Waid, Morrison, Simone, Roberson, and Rucka. But if he's an active part of an organization hell-bent on denying you your rights, I can guarantee that NONE of that will matter to you.

No one will ever say "I can't marry the person I love, but it's so worth it because now we've got this amazing Superman story." No one.

I can't pretend to hope that boycotting these Superman issues will make a difference in Card's and NOM's thinking.

But maybe it will change DC's.

Just imagine.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Assassin - Round 4: How Bizarre!

Tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Assassin salutes the fun but recently-cancelled Superman Family Adventures comic by Art Baltazar and Franco. I'm barely meeting the "fight must be at least 6 months old" requirement set by our gracious host Spacebooger, as this issue comes from Superman Family Adventures#2, dated August 2012 (but hitting the stands slightly earlier). Tonight's Super-scuffle focuses on the Man Of Steel's encounter with....

How many times do you get to see Superman get slapped straight back to Smallville?

Tonight's fight music? What else but this bizarre number by 90's one-hit wonder OMC?

For more duplicate donnybrooks, click here. And don't forget to vote!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Assassin - Round 3: The Tao Of Steve!

Tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Assassin teaches us an important lesson:

Decades before DC's New 52 brought him back to be part of one of its multitude of covert government organizations (and be involved in a brief romantic relationship with Wonder Woman that readers never got to see because, hey, eugenics!)...

.....Steve Trevor was still a badass.

SPOILER#1: He doesn't get it.

SPOILER#2: He doesn't NEED it.

THAT'S what she sees in him, Batman!

Tonight's Trevorrific tussle is courtesy of William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter and was first published in Amazing World Of DC Comics#2, after never making it into the pages of Sensation Comics as originally intended. (Special thanks to The Groovy Agent.)

And what better fight music for tonight than this M83 song named after another cool action hero named Steve?

For more Steve-doring, click here. And don't forget to vote!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Assassin - Round 2: Men (And Women) In Tights!

With all the unpleasantness from Injustice: Gods Among Us this week, I figured we all needed a little palate cleanser, and my latest round of Friday Night Fights: Assassin will fill the bill, as it features a team of fighters who have never worked together before in any medium (as far as I know).

Tonight's fight comes from the IDW comic Memorial#4 by Chris Roberson and Rich Ellis. Synopsis: Hook's men (yes, it's that Hook, looking radically different from his traditional appearance) have captured series heroine Em and her mysterious little girl companion and are guiding them through the Everlands.

Hook's men turn and are confronted by....

.....Robin Hood, Hua Mulan, Sinbad, and Scathach!

Score one for our fantasy supergroup!

Tonight's fight song is by another supergroup, this time from CanadaThe New Pornographers.

To see more fabled fighters, click here. And don't forget to vote!