Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fishnets & Corsets: Designing Zatara

Zachary Zatara: crossdressing super-hero? It almost happened. Zatara made his first, full in-continuity appearance in 52: WEEK TWENTY-ONE [2006], where Beast Boy's rag-tag team of Titans - Raven, Power Boy, Little Barda, Zatara and Hotspot - meet Luthor's new Infinity, Inc. team of "heroes."

At, breakdown artist Keith Giffen offered up some observations about his 52 experience: "As a goof, in the breakdowns, I drew that new Zatara kid in Zatanna’s fishnets-and-corset getup. The penciler actually drew him that way. My pleas to let it go through like that went unheeded."

Check out some of the original sketches at Zatara's page on Stenhsif Raeppasid! (That's "Fishnets Disappear!" backwards)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

30 Things I Learned Watching Smallville

I wrote these up as they occurred to me watching SMALLVILLE
EDIT! I added 10 more:

1. Lying to your best friends is more noble than just trusting them with the truth.

2. Evil rich people like classical music.

3. Sixteen year old kids can run coffeeshops as a small business while attending high school.

4. Science labs and newsrooms have fantastic ambient lighting.

5. Evil rich people like to hammer a point with a historical metaphor.

6. Never use a simple phrase when a pop-culture metaphor can be used. Bonus points if you can utilize the word "pulled." "He pulled a Harry Houdini" vs. "He disappeared."

7. People often use computer passwords that are not only sentimental, but easily guessable.

8. Kids in high school and college have an uncanny knowledge of 1970s and 1980s pop culture. [Or, you know, their writers do.]

9. A lot of street thugs wear skull caps and brand-new leather jackets.

10. Teenagers have favorite classical authors and poets.

11. Male best friends talk an awful lot about their feelings for each other.

12. Police officers like toothpicks.

13. Major metropolitan newspapers allow teenagers to write headlines and articles.

14. If you have an incriminating object in your possession, you should regularly take it out of hiding and stare at it.

15. You can download architectual schematics of any building right off the internet, regardless of the year it was built.

16. Ancient alien technology is Mac/PC compatible.

17. If you are concealing a secret, dart your eyes wildly.

18. People who live in mansions have super-high-tech security, but tend to leave their front doors wide open.

19. When you see a farm from a distance, you will hear a cow moo. It reinforces you are looking at a farm.

20. Millionaires in huge mansions prefer to spend all their time in a single room.

21. Friends with money will always fly in the "best doctors" and "best lawyers" in the world - at a moment's notice - to help another friend in need.

22. High School and college students can afford a brand new car at least 3 times a school year.

23. It's surprisingly easy to sneak into restricted government and civic areas. Also, Crime scenes with police tape are unspoken invitations to disrupt evidence.

24. Small towns are surprisingly unalarmed by a high volume of mysterious deaths.

25. Life DOES have a reset button! If you find yourself in an impossible situation: find a cave with alien scrawls, wait for the flashing lights, and everything will be made right again. Repeat as necessary.

26. Saving a girl's life countless times will not gain you any "trust points."

27. Listening to doctors is highly optional. People like to leave hospitals without doctor's consent, and often enter rooms when they are told they are restricted.

28. Head trauma is not nearly as serious as I believed it to be.

29. Farming largely consists of moving bales of hay from one side of the barn to the other side of the barn.

30. Never trust Lana Lang to do anything important. It never ends well.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Marv & the Wilsons

Marv Wolfman met two of his creations at Supanova, the Australian convention.
Check out more pics and Marv's commentary at his blog.

One Year Later Explained... Sort of

Newsarama distills all the "One Year Later" explanations that occured in the WORLD WAR III specials: " Though some of the status quo changes have been covered in previous issues of
52, and still others will be covering in the Annuals of their home titles (as in the case of "Nightwing And the Proposal that Wasn't! - or - Hey, Everyone Says Dumb Things When The Think the World is Ending", for instance), many of these “OYL” moves occurred during an exceptionally busy week in the DC Universe: the week of World War III. We’re going to take a light-hearted look at a number of characters and see what facilitated the changes that we saw (and covered!) fifty-some weeks ago through the prism of the four WW3 specials." Check out their great summary here.

I got 'em all, but was rather underwhelmed. The 'gaps' they were supposed to 'explain'? Hardly!! The Supergirl stuff is still confusing... Donna Troy, Nightwing/Jason and Batgirl are not even explained, even though they have panel time. Terra is senselessly killed so Didio can do his 'old mask-new face' trick again. ONE YEAR LATER has been horribly, horribly executed. SECRET WARS did it better over 20 years ago.

Titans in July: TEEN TITANS #49

Looks like more DEATH for the Titans in July!


Story by Paul Dini
43 script by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray; art by David Lopez
42 script by Sean McKeever;
art by Carlos Magno
41 script by Adam Beechen;
art by Dennis Calero
40 script by Tony Bedard;
art by Manuel Garcia
Breakdowns by Keith Giffen
Covers by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
This year-long weekly series featuring a cast of hundreds kicks into high gear in its third month! Learn more about the search for Ray Palmer! Travel into the Nanoverse! All this plus appearances by the Suicide Squad, the Penguin and the Atom!
COUNTDOWN 43 on sale July 5 • COUNTDOWN 42 on sale July 11
COUNTDOWN 41 on sale July 18 • COUNTDOWN 40 on sale July 25
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Al Barrionuevo & Bit
Cover by Tony S. Daniel
Special Amazons Attack crossover! Supergirl and Wonder Girl team up, but whose side are they on?
On sale July 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tony S. Daniel & Art Thibert
Cover by Joshua Middleton
DC Comics announces the second month of a special FLASH promotion as the Fastest Man Alive’s world changes forever! Retailers: please check your the Previews order form for a special incentive designed to help you meet the demand for this story. Fans: remind your retailer early and often to order you a copy!
On sale July 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ostrander's Titans Tragedy

from The writer explains how Black Adam’s merciless vendetta deals DC’s premier teen team a devastating loss in World War III:
War is about to break loose in the DC Universe, and no one is safe—not even the junior superhero team, the Teen Titans. In a series of one-shots being released April 18 in conjunction with issue #50 of the weekly series 52, the DC Universe will feel the wrath of Black Adam. We sat down with writer John Ostrander to talk about World War III Part 3: Hell Is for Heroes, in which we’ll see one of the Teen Titans die.

So more than one of the Teen Titans will die!?

OSTRANDER: You’ve been told one is dead. What happens to some of the others? Not pretty. Everyone is going, “Oh, they’re killing another Titan!” It’s not just that we’re killing them, we’re pounding on them. And it’s meant to be horrific. You’re meant to see what happens when characters like the Teen Titans go up against characters like Black Adam. They are in way over their head. The fact they are attempting to slow him down is what marks them as heroes. But what happens when you get into something you aren’t equipped to deal with?

I’d say it’s going to be a gore fest with the Teen Titans, what do you say?

OSTRANDER: Yeah! I’d say so. What I can also say is that it’s not pretty when the Teen Titans manage to round up a quick group to go up against Black Adam and he just basically tears through them like tissue paper. I mean, they try to give a good account for themselves here because they have some pretty powerful characters, but [Black Adam] is virtually out of his mind with what he wants to do.

Read the full article here.

BRAD MELTZER: Looking at JLA #7

About Arsenal becoming Red Arrow:

BM: Yeah – Roy’s identity for better or for worse has always been tangled up in Ollie’s , and I don’t think there was an astute reader out there who didn’t say, “Why didn’t Ollie go along with them?” and that was exactly the right question. Ollie, for all his jackass moves, I think this is the only way he knows how to say, “I love you” to Roy. He also knows his “son” well enough that the very best thing he can do for him is to know when not to be there for him. I think this is the best gift that Ollie could ever give Roy. It was always the plan to be that.

NRAMA: Why the name change, then?

BM: It’s like Roy said in the issue – if you’re going to be in the family business, you should wear the family name. I don’t ever want to slight Arsenal – I believe in Arsenal as a character – I don’t think that he was just a red Green Arrow. As it said in the issue, I want it to be clear that he can do more than Ollie can do. I just feel that this is the graduation point for the character. Roy started in red, and I really did want him to end up in that full red again.

And also, I think that if Roy is paying anything back, this is the best “thank you” that he can give Ollie. It’s a graduation day, not just for the League, and not just for Roy, but for Ollie as well. All of them are finding their identities in that moment. We’re seeing Ollie being loving and responsible and caring, and that’s the only way he can close that chapter for all the bad he did to that poor boy. Only a real and total ass would just take Roy’s spot on the League.

NRAMA: With a gruff, “Beat it kid.”

BM: Exactly.

About Geo-Force getting Terra's powers:

NRAMA: Moving on character-wise, then. We’ve got Vixen, and her joining up…a nice moment there. But mixed in with the other members…Geo-Force. What’s he got going on with his powers? Those are Terra’s powers he’s talking about…

BM: Can’t tell you on that one [laughs]. But I will say that there will be more on that in issue #12.

NRAMA: For you personally, then, what was the attraction to bring Geo-Force into the mix? A Batman and the Outsiders jones that needed attention?

BM: There’s a little bit of that, but it’s also a character that has a great history that was intertwined in some great parts of the DCU’s history, not just Batman and the Outsiders, but to me, one of the best runs ever on New Teen Titans. Geo-Force and Terra were brother and sister, it was a storyline that I felt could be explored that was never really touched. Why did they have completely different powers if they got their powers from the exact same spot? It was just a lingering question to me, and something that I felt was there waiting to be done with the character that gave him a different voice than everyone else around him, so he just became interesting to me.

Read the full article here.