Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Hero Case Files #12: Element Girl

That's her on the right.
That’s her on the right.

There’s something off about a hero who is probably best known for being forgotten and then dying.

That’s more or less what happened to Element Girl.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Hero Case Files #12: Element Girl

Pratchett’s Discworld: An Appreciation

Terry Pratchett.  1948-2015.
Terry Pratchett. 1948-2015.

Neil Gaiman recently wrote an essay about his good friend and one-time collaborator, Terry Pratchett.  Gaiman’s thesis was that, no matter how much Pratchett looked like a jolly Santa Claus in photos, and he often did, he was actually not a jolly man.  He was an angry man, and it was this anger that drove his writing.

On the surface, this does not make much sense.  Pratchett’s work was often filled with silly comedy, where ineptitude was probably the true force of the universe, and confusion the rule.  If we take his Discworld works, a series with 41 individual novels (the last one due this summer), plus numerous short stories and even an atlas, how could anyone construe anger from this man?

In retrospect, though, it makes perfect sense.  Pratchett’s work was satirical.  Satire requires holding a mirror up to humanity and society, pointing out what’s wrong with the image in the mirror, and then hoping against hope that society decides to do better as a result.  I think a certain amount of anger is highly appropriate for anyone taking up such a task.

Continue reading Pratchett’s Discworld: An Appreciation

RIP Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett. 1948-2015.
Terry Pratchett. 1948-2015.

British humor author Terry Pratchett had died.

Pratchett, best known for his widely successful Discworld series, was 66 and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  More after the break. Continue reading RIP Terry Pratchett

Slightly Misplaced Comics Hero Case File #7: Dr. Thirteen

This isn't him, but this is the person whose face pops up a lot when you do a Google Image search for "Dr. Thirteen".
This isn’t him, but this is the person whose face pops up a lot when you do a Google Image search for “Dr. Thirteen”.  I am not sure who she is, truth be told.

I’ve always thought it must be tough being an atheist superhero in one of those big superhero universes.  Think about it.  Many heroes have firsthand knowledge of the presence of gods, angels, the afterlife, and demons.  And while many superhero characters are rarely identified as belonging to any particular faith or lack thereof, the only atheist hero I can think of is the Michael Holt version of Mr. Terrific, and he was an atheist because he couldn’t believe God would let his wife die as opposed to the idea of just not believing in God.  Holt was also as a member of the Justice Society, where he spent time with the Spectre, the embodiment of the Wrath of God, and probably had some encounters with Zauriel the angel on the Justice League.

But if we really want to see how not accepting something despite it being right in front of his face works, we really need to discuss Dr. Terrance Thirteen.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comics Hero Case File #7: Dr. Thirteen

Comics Watson Actually Liked

JL

It is often said on the Gabbing Geek podcast (listen to it!) that I don’t read comics.  Well I did once.  So in talking to my buddy Phil Ray the other day, he asked me to write a post on my ten favorite Trade Paperbacks ever (“other than Watchmen, of course”). I would tell him writing for a website is not like being a DJ at da club because we don’t take requests, but he did introduce me to my ex-wife (thanks,jerk) so here we go…

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The Problems With Marvel’s Civil War

Those guys in the back probably want to back away from this right now.
Those guys in the back probably want to back away from this right now.

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were fairly excited to learn the third Captain America movie would be an adaptation of Civil War, a mini-series where the various Marvel heroes lined up on two sides over a law that required superheroes to register with the American government or go to prison.  The series dealt with issues regarding national security and the American reaction to terrorist attacks on our soil.

It also had some huge problems that almost guarantee the movie version will be better, if only by default.

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Marvel’s ANGELA Gets New Badass Costume!

Angela_6_cover_final

Hot damn! And I mean that. This is coming from a woman that appreciates femininity in comics, yet wants artists to be careful not to over sexualize their characters. And ANGELA, for the longest time, teetered toward the later….until now. Marvel’s Angela will be debuting a new costume designed by series co-artist Phil Jimenez, and I’m really stoked to show you the before and after images!

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Neil Gaiman to Release New Book In February

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Gaiman: “I’m finishing the very last short story of the next collection RIGHT NOW. Everything else has been written: the stories, the introduction, all that…It’s being published in February, and it will be called TRIGGER WARNING: Short Fictions and Disturbances.”

Continue reading Neil Gaiman to Release New Book In February