Comics 101 Is in Session
Jose T. writes: I've written a few times over the last several years - most recently about Starman questions - but I was wondering if it'd be okay to ask you to plug my blog (what could it hurt to ask, right?). It's at http://comicscube.blogspot.com, and it's all about comics. If it counts as spamming and you don't want to do it, I completely understand and I'll apologize in advance. Either way, thanks!
Tipton: Absolutely not. You'll never see a plug for http://comicscube.blogspot.com here.
Ryan J. writes: I just got done watching Crisis on Two Earths, and while it was excellent, I do agree that some of the voice acting seems off with the exceptions of James Woods and Gina Torres. The other thing I felt was off was Batman's actions towards Owlman and Johnny Quick. Chris Sims, in his review, puts it better than I can. From http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/02/24/justice-league-crisis-on-two-earths-dvd-is-off-the-chain/ :
"One of them is explained away very easily, but the other essentially comes down to Batman not really caring if someone dies as a direct result of his actions. The best case here is that he was willing to sacrifice one person to save the entirety of reality, but the fact that he lies about it rather than letting everyone know the score from the start means that instead of a character making a heroic sacrifice, Batman's essentially killing someone to achieve his goals. That is Capital-W Wrong, and if the rationale here is that it's a fitting punishment for one of the decidedly evil Crime Syndicate members, that's just not how Batman works."
The other thing I wanted to talk about is how I was surprised to see that there was very little discussion about The Spectre short, and I may have found out why: Judging by cover art, it does not seem to be on the regular DVD version of Crisis on Two Earths (The Two Disk DVD and Blu Ray copies do have it). In any case, that feature is extremely well done and could probably be the pilot for its own series, if it weren't for the heavy themes.
Tipton: If they would have had Batman say he only suspected that would happen, it might have softened it some -- as is, it was pretty callous.
Sven M writes: Scott, just catching up after a vacation and read your Crisis on Two Earths review. I think I was a bit kinder to the project in mine -
- but I agree that it's very obvious that they just re-purposed the script from the original bridge movie and used it in the DTV.
Actually, I think that explains why Hal got the short end of the stick, character-wise; if this slots in between JL and JLU, John Stewart would have just been the focus of several of the prior episodes and had the big breakup with Hawkgirl. So shuffling him into the background would have made more sense. I suspect DC stepped in on that and demanded they use Hal, just like J'onn is in that horrible new costume rather than his JL look and Aquaman's back in his traditional costume.
But aside from those minor points - thankfully Hal barely registers - it's a straight up DCAU movie. Personally, I'm glad we finally got to see it, if only to get a few answers that we didn't strictly need, but are nice to have nevertheless.
PS - Ultraman as a Long Island thug is GENIUS.
Tipton: Yeah, I hate that J'onn costume.
Matt C. writes: [When it comes to the best artists on certain characters] I guess I’m either older than you & most of your readers or have just seen more comic books. Here’s my 2 cents, arranged by publishers:
Human Torch: Burgos for the original, Kirby for Johnny Storm
Captain America : Simon & Kirby
Dr. Strange: Ditko
Fantastic Four: Kirby
Iron Man: Don Heck, heck yeah, he gave Tony Stark panache
Daredevil: Wally Wood. Anyone who says Frank Miller isn’t a fan of Matt Murdock but rather is a fan of Frank Miller
Fighting American: Simon & Kirby
Doom Patrol: Premiani
Superman: Swanderson forever, Shuster for the original New Deal sweatshop-bustin’ thug
Lois Lane: Kurt Schaffenberger
Atom: Gil Kane for '60s revival, never liked the original
Batman & Robin: Jerry Robinson or Dick Sprang
Green Arrow: Lee Elias
Plastic Man: Jack Cole
Sandman: Simon & Kirby
Wonder Woman: George Perez was the only one who really made her look powerful and graceful simultaneously. Too bad his stories were unexciting.
Green Lantern: Kane for '50s-'60s version, Mart Nodell for original
Flash: Infantino for '50s-'60s version, not much of a fan of the original
Hawkman: Shelly for '40s version, never cared for the spaceman version
Aquaman: Ramona Fradon
Metamorpho: Ramona Fradon
Black Canary: Alex Toth
Teen Titans: Nick Cardy
Elongated Man: Infantino
Captain Marvel: Beck
Captain Marvel Jr.: Mac Raboy
Mary Marvel: Kurt Schaffenberger
Spirit: Eisner, of course
Ray: Lou Fine
Phantom Lady: can only be Matt Baker
Blue Beetle: The pseudonymous "Charles Nicholas" for the original '40s version
Blue Beetle: Ditko for Ted Kord version
Question: can only be Ditko, the rest were drawing someone else dressed in The Question’s outfit
I forget who published this one
Green Lama: Mac Raboy
Tipton: Good stuff. Thanks!
Mark W. writes: Hope you are well and not too busy at the moment (I can always estimate your workflow by the type of column that goes up on a Wednesday)!
I have been enjoying the Black Panther animation that has just started and am very surprised (and impressed) by its adult tone. The language used is quite strong, without actual swear words and doesn't pull many punches (particularly a flashback to Colonial Africa, with racial epithets I never thought to hear in a cartoon). Also, when did you last see an animation with a prostitute in her underwear?! I'm not certain it is entirely appropriate for my nine year old son, but I'm really enjoying it. From what I know of US Network TV, I can't see this airing outside of Cable, but I highly recommend it if you get the chance.
Tipton: Haven't seen a bit of Black Panther yet.
Matt C. writes: [As for artists,] I can’t believe I left off Wally Wood on all the Tower Comics titles (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Dynamo, NoMan), Simon & Kirby on “Adventures of the Fly” and Joe Simon on “The Double Life of Private Strong” (both Archie Adventure Series) and Paul Reinman on my personal favorite series of all time (‘60s Mighty Crusaders from Archie under their Mighty Comics imprint). Oh, and Bob Fujitani on “Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom” and Russ Manning on “Magnus, Robot Fighter” (both from Gold Key).
P.S. Keep up the good work on the column and congratulations on the book. I read every week but seldom comment.
Tipton: Thanks for reading! Appreciate it.
Picture of the Week
Comic-Con is on the horizon...
See you next week.