Friday, December 24, 2010

The Amazing Screw-On Head

Screw-On Head worked for President Lincoln, who wants him to stop Emperor Zombie (undead occultist) and his goons (Dr. Snap & the vampire, Madam). The terror trio stole a manuscript that allows the owner to acess the temple of Gung. Gung was a warlord, who gained supernatural powers from a "melon-sized jewel". Screw-On (with of his manservant Mr. Groin and his dog, Mr. Dog) hunted down Zombie, but Zombie found the treasure of the temple: it wasn't a jewel, but "a small parallel universe" inside a turnip. So, Zombie freed the demigod inside, only to have SH defeated it in combat.
  • Screw-On Head- He is a robot that is literally a screw head. His head can be removed and place into other bodies somewith superpowers. He is Lincoln's top agent in occult matters.
  • Emperor Zombie- He is a highly intellgent zombie with a lust for power. He turned himself undead using forbidden knowledge.
  • Mr. Groin- Screw-On's ninth manservant.
  • Madam- Vampire lover of Emperor Zombie.
The Wikipedia Page

Friday, December 17, 2010


A superhero is a stock character that battles crime and injustice. However, despite the name, by most people's definitions, to be a superhero you don't need actual powers. Sometimes these heroes are referred to as costumed crime fighters. A female hero is often called superheroine.
Common Traits
  • Extraordinary Powers and Abilities- Almost all superheroes possess an extraordinary power / abilities. This range from “normal powers” like kung fu skills to super powers like heat-ray vision.
  • Strong Moral Code- Usually includes a willingness to risk one's life for others and an unwillingness to kill.
  • Motivation- Superhero motivations range from a sense of responsibility (Spider Man) to desire for vengeance against crime (Batman).
  • Secret Identity- Used to protect the hero's friend and family. It has decreased in popularity due to the Fantastic Four.
  • Distinctive Costume- See Common Costume Features
  • Supporting Cast
  • A Job with Minimal Supervision or Being Insanely Rich
  • An HQ
  • Origin
  • Weakness- The Achilles' heel of the hero.
Although most heroes like to be solo, sometimes heroes will form a team. Also, sidekicks have decreased in popularity.
Common Costume Features
  • Mask- Hide's the heroes' face hence protect their identity. Some heroes wear helmets instead.
  • Symbol- A visual icon for the character (ex: Superman's S, the Fantastic Four's 4)
  • Form-Fitting Clothes- Often referred to as spandex, but some heroes predate it's creation.
  • Some times the costume has functional use (Batman's utility belt)

Despite being closely associated with superheroes, few heroes wear capes and a majority don't.
Usually, superhero HQs have several common traits:

  • A safehouse to protect themselves
  • Laboratory
  • Research library
  • Armory
  • Communication Center
  • Garage / Dock/ Hangar
  • Defenses for the HQ
  • Trophy room
  • Medical Center
  • Common Area to hang out

Trademark Status
Despite the fact the term “super hero” is used generically, DC Comics and Marvel Comics jointly join the copy right to the term. However, some people argue that it does not met the legal status to be copy righted, and as such, it is a “misuse of trademark law to chill competition”.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Captain Ultra

Fictional Character Biography
An elderly psychologist couldn't pay the plumber Griffin Gogol. So, he offered to cure Griffin of his smoking problem. We discover the psychologist is actually an alien. His treatment activated Griffin's previously unknown powers. He became Captain Ultra and donned colorful and clashing costume. However, the treatment gave him pyrophobia. At first, he tried to be a villain and join Frightful Four. At first, they accepted (due to his wide range of powers). However, when one of them lit a cigarette, Ultra fainted and was rejected. He decided to become a hero. Moving to Chicago, he began a minor solo superhero career and battled minor villains. Doc Samson helped the Cap to get over his fear and he became a stand-up comedian and fought with Ekl'r, the Demon Without Humor. He went on an across-country comedy career, but his superhero career made this difficult. Griffin joined the Nebraska team part of the Initiative program (a government superhero program). He once battle Iron Man to protect his team.
Powers and Abilities
The Captain's main powers are super strength, endurance, durability, reflexes and flight. Apparently, his "ultra-potential" allows him to get a wide variety of powers. As such, he has also displayed intangibility (he can pass through objects), super breathe, X-Ray vision and once told an "ultra-joke" (the reader is left to fathom the meaning of that).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Earth Prime (DC Comics)

In the originally, Earth Prime was the real universe that you and I come from. In Flash #179, while hunting a monster called the Nok, he got stuck in Earth Prime. He met his editor, Julius Schwartz, and the duo somehow created a new cosmic treadmill to get Flash home. It was stated that the writers of Earth Prime based their comics on actual people and events (just in alternate universes). In Flash # 228, Earth Prime's Cary Bates discovered he could effect the events in Earth One and went on a rampage there, only to be stopped by Elliot S. Maggin. Earth Prime began to differ from our reality and it had two heroes: Ultraa and Superboy-Prime. Earth Prime was destroyed in Crisis of Infinite Earths # 10. In Infinite Crisis # 6, Superboy-Prime conviced Alexander Luthor to draw inspiration for his new "Earth" from Earth Prime (he calls it an "ideal world"). He went looking for it and (in a nod to the original Earth Prime) looked at readers and reached out for our reality. In 52, Earth Prime was restored.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Inferior Five

In Megalopolis, a mad scientist was on the loose. Myron Victor (the son of Patriot and Lady Liberty, members of the Freedom Brigade) told his parents they were too old to be heroes again. They agreed... but forced him to become a hero! Any way, he gathered the sons and daughter of various members of FB and (due to their incompetence) dubbed themselves the Inferior Five. The team first appeared in Showcase #62, 63, and 65 and then got their own series, which lasted 12 issues (however the final two issues were titled the Inferior 5 not the Inferior Five). The team met various parodies of Marvel heroes (such as a jab at Fantastic Four called the "Kookie Four").
--Current Status --
The team has made several cameos in the modern continuity. Dumb Bunny is a supporting character in the 1st Angel and the Ape miniseries. Merryman and Dumb Bunny appear in a crowd in Superboy. In Bulleter, Dumb Bunny appears at a superhero convention. In 52 week 18, the Blimp was at Booster Gold's funeral. In Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, Merryman is the king of Limbo. Dumb Bunny played a important part in Ambush Bug: Year None issue 3. In The Brave and The Bold #35, the Legion of Substitute Heroes team up with them. Here, the 5 were from 1972, but got stuck in 2010.
  • Merryman-Myron Victor is an intelligent weakling and the leader. He is the only member aware of their disadvantages. He dresses like a jester, because he thinks he's making a fool of himself and should "look the part". In Final Crisis, he helps fight off Mandrakk "the dark Monitor".
  • Awkwardman-Leander Brent has super strength and can live underwater. However, he is clusmy (hence his name) and needs to be exposed to water a lot.
  • The Blimp- Herman Cramer is overweight hero with the power to fly... but without speed.
  • White Feather- He is a great archer, but is easily scared.
  • Dumb Bunny- Athena Tremor is "strong as an ox and almost as intelligent."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Roach

He has also has been called the Cockroach... and Moon Roach... and Captain Cockroach... and Wolveroach, Purel Platonic Priest Roach, the Sacred Secret War Roach, the Super Secret Wars Wolveroach, normalroach, Sgt. Preston Roach, Punisheroach,Venomroach -- should I go on? This is mainly due to his multiple personality disorder. We first meet the Roach using the alias of the Cockroach (a parody of Robin Hood and of Batman), who tried to hunt down the criminals that killed his parents (due to his mental instability it's unknown if his parents were actually killed), but usually he beat up some poor sap and took his money and hid it in his chimney. He also had the alter ego of a merchant who doesn't like magical items, because he thought they were bad for businesses. Cerebus stole his already-stolen money. Months later, the Roach reappeared as the patriotic Captain Cockroach (a parody of Captain America) and got an albino sidekick called "Bunky" (a parody of Bucky), who was also nuts. His 86ed this and became Moon Roach (Moon Knight), who used darts shaped like crescents. This identity lasted a long time. During this time, he sometimes slipped into the Roach-Hulk persona and gained a weakness to frostinite: normal ice and snow. Since then, he has also become normalroach (normalman?); Punisheroach (Punisher), who hunted a drug dealer with cross- bows; Wolveroach (Wolverine) and Swoon (Neil Giaman's Sandman). He haunts the Earth Pig (Cerebus) when he least expects it.
He has super strength and is resistant to damage. Over time, he has gained some telepathic powers.

Monday, November 29, 2010


In "The Doll House" story arch, he deserted the Dreaming and went to the waking world. He decided to become a serial killer that had a taste for eyes, but this was not what Sandman wanted (he wanted the Corinthian to show humanity it's own dark nature). After 40 years, Sandman destroyed him. In "The Kindly Ones", Dream created a new Corinthian with some of the memories of the previous one. He was sent to find and protect Daniel, where he battled Loki and Puck and ate their eyes.
The Sandman Presents: The Corinthian
This 3-issue mini-series we learn how the Corinthian I entered the waking world and learned to kill people. Here he displayed the ability to possess people.
The Dreaming
In The Dreaming spin off, the Corinthian II returns to Earth in the "Souvenirs" story arch. He later hunts down Echo, but accidentally killed Matthew. So, he punished with becoming human and begins to understand human nature better and then is let back in the Dreaming.
Despite the fact he lacks eyes and has mouths instead, he doesn't appear to have any trouble with sight. When he eats people's eye, he can see what happen in their life. He can possess people, but his victim 's eye are replaced with mouths and gain white hair. The second Corinthian is skilled at hand-to-hand combat. He was seen snapping the neck of a supernatural wolf with out much effort. He is also resistant to damage and is fearless.
In "The Kindly Ones", Puck refused to tell Corinthian if his name is derived from "the letters, the pillars, the leather, the place, or the mode of behavior." This is likely a reference to the Letter to the Corinthians (which has phrase "Dark Mirror", which Dream use to describe the Corinthain), Corinthian style of pillars, Corinthian leather and Corinthian behavior (" indulging in luxury and licentiousness"). Neil Gaiman (the writer of The Sandman) revealed the name came from the mode of behavior.
The Sandman: The Doll House and The Kindly Ones

Thursday, November 25, 2010


During a conversation of Batman's creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Bill was bugged by the fact "that Batman didn't have anyone to talk to" and decided to make Robin Batman's "Watson". Despite popular belief, Robin is named after Robin Hood not the bird (although some recent appearances of Robin contradict this).
Dick Grayson
Dick was the first Robin and has proven to be the most popular. Dick was the son of a family of acrobats, but Boss Zucco kill them for not paying him money (he sabotaged the ropes). Batman adopted the boy and trained him to be his ward. They took down Zucco. In the 1980's, Robin flew the nest and became Nightwing. More recently after the apparent death of Batman, Dick has become the newest version of Batman.
Jason Todd
Jason was an overly-cheery carbon copy of the first Robin right down to his origin (although Todd's parents were killed by Killer Croc). After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jason's origin was rewritten so he was an orphan that Batman met when he trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile. After helping stop bank robbers, Batman took him under his wing. However, this version was unpopular. The fans got to decide if Jason lived or died! By a slim amount of votes, Jason died. In A Death in the Family, he was beaten to death by a crowbar. However, he somehow survived and became the Red Hood II. After Infinite Crisis, Jason became Nightwing, but later 86ed it for the alias Red Robin. As Red Hood (again), he tried (and failed) to ruin Batman's rep.
Tim Drake
Tim was a Batman and Robin fan boy, who managed to put 2 and 2 together and figured out who Batman and Robin really were. He managed to convince Batman to make him the 3rd Robin. He was better received than Jason. He joined Young Justice and later reformed the Teen Titans. After the events of Final Crisis and Battle For The Cowl, Tim became Red Robin.
Stephanie Brown
So far, she is the only cannon female Robin. She was Tim's girlfriends, who first used the alias the Spoiler. However, she took up the mantle of Robin, when Tim resigned. She was fired by Batman for disobeying him. She tried to prove her worth, but accidentally caused a gang war, that she seemly died in (it turned out Dr. Leslie Thompkins faked it). Stephanie is now the newest Batgirl.
Damian Wayne
He was illegitimate son of Talia al Ghul and Batman. Batman didn't know about Damian, until Talia gave him to Bats to take care of. Having been trained by the League of Assassins, Damian is violent and lacks morality and discipline. He was very murderous, leading him to clash with his father (who swore to never take a life). In Battle for the Cowl, Alfred made him Robin and got him to save Tim. Now, Damian is Dick's (who is the new Batman) sidekick and Dick thinks he still needs training.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Stuart "Stu" Moseley is the co-owner of Eats, a diner in the ghetto side of Delta City. However, he also fights injustice with sarcastic wit and a bright and colorful costume as the Heckler. The origin and motivation of the Heckler is unknown. He might simply be a glutton for punishment. It seems he doesn't get respect as a hero or as Stu. Notably, Stu appears to be "slightly anal, frustrated and awkward", but when he is the Heckler, he seems to be a completely different person.
Powers and Abilities
The Heckler relies on his wit to make insults to make his enemies madder and sloppier, which he takes advantage of. He can "annoy the hell outta of nearly anyone", which may not be limited to the animal kingdom.
Despite only average strength and agility, he seems to have above average durability. He has been seen recovering from falling from staggering heights and being eaten by a monster. His durability teeters on the edge of superhuman.
Supporting Cast
Ledge- A mentally challenged friend of Stu. Despite being illiterate, he somehow can use computers. He gives the Heckler info. He is the only person who knows about Stu's alter ego.
The Minx- She is a gun-toting vigilante. However, all the criminals she hunts seemed to have gone on awkward dates with her.
François- He is the obsessive head chef at Eats.
Mr. Dude- He is a costumer of Eats, who sometimes give the Heckler criminal info.
X-Ms - She protects a Christmas-themed part of Delta City named " Tinseltown".
Boss Glitter- He is a very dainty mob boss.
P.C. Rabid- A celebrity, who wants to boost his rep by destroying the Heckler's.
Bushwack'r- A parody of Wild E. Coyote. He is a bad luck bounty hunter that wants the Heckler.
El Gusano- He is an assassin that works for Boss Glitter.
John Doe, The Generic Man- A blank slate, who is able to remove the individual characteristics of an environment. He tries to take over Delta City.
The Cosmic Clown- He is android killer clown from space. He thinks Earth circuses are bent on murder.
C'est Hay- He is a killer made out of straw and / or hay. He has delusions of being an actor causing him to act oddly.
The Four Mopeds of the Apocalypse- They are sidekicks to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The FMA includes Famine Lass, Kid Pestilence, Plague Boy and Skippy (Death).

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Pre-Alan Moore
Supreme first appeared in Youngblood # 3, but as a flip book. In his spin-off series, the character was portrayed inconsistently. At one point, he was an angel of vengeance, who used the Scriptures to justify what he's doing. At other times, he claimed to be a god to the point he beat up Thor and stole his hammer. Another time, it was claimed that he was a criminal that the government experimented on him, turning him superhuman and the priest Father Beam turned him good.
Alan Moore
In the “The Story of the Year” story, Alan added a touch of metafiction to the story. He also used this to explain why Supreme was portrayed inconsistently. The newest version of Supreme is Ethan Crane, a “mild manner” artist for Dazzle Comics, who gained Superman-like powers from a meteor made out of Supremium. Alan's Supreme discovered that he is in a reality that is an ever-changing story and he was simply the newest version of Supreme. We discovered that the “retired” versions of Supreme are in an alternate reality called “Supremacy”. At first, Alan's Supreme was an amnesic, but regained his “memories”, only to discovered this was a merely a background story being filled in for him. We are also introduced to Supreme's Lex Luthor-based enemy Darius Dax, who (after possessing Judy Jordan (a friend of Supreme)) transferred his mind into a Supremium-robot and became the Supremium Man, an obvious homage to the Kryptonite Man. Due to the time-altering effects of Supremium, he fell back in time and paradoxically became the meteor that gave Crane his powers in the first place.
Alan's work continued until the series ended with issue 56.
Supreme got a mini-series called Supreme: The Return that wasn't actually finished. What did happen was the following: Judy's mind is transferred into a “Suprematon android”. She falls in love with a living Suprematon android and they get married. Supreme is not having such an easy time with his romance. Diana Dane (Lois Lane) was getting annoyed by how Ethan “gets all weird and runs away”. But, Crane manages to fix the relationship by revealing to her his alter ego. Dax was sent to Daxia (similar to Supremacy), where he met other versions of himself and used their combined intelligent to escape. Then, he caused Billy Friday (Jimmy Olsen) and Master Meteor to fuse into a composite being.
Supreme is one of the most powerful beings in the Image Universe. He has superhuman strength; molecular adaptation to any threat; speed, stamina, durability, breath and vision. He has been seen defeating the Youngblood team single handily. But, he is vulnerable to effects of Supremium.
Supremium is a homage to Kryptonite. Although it the source of Supreme's power, he can also kill him. Supremium (similar to Kryptonite) comes in different colors (with different effects), which include:

  • White- It's fatal to Supreme. It's similar to Green Kryptonite
  • Amber- Warps time
  • Onyx- Erases time
  • Sapphire- Effects probability
  • Ruby- “Transmutes matter”
  • Violet- Has random effects. It's similar to Red Kryptonite.
  • Darius Dax- He is archenemy of Supreme. Like Supreme, he has numerous incarnations. These have ranged from being a mean business tycoon to a Nazi.
  • Emerpus- He is alternate reality version of Supreme from the Backward Zone, where time turns backwards, who “unaverts” disasters.
  • Gorrl- A living galaxy.
  • Korgo- He is warlord from space. He battled Bill Clinton under the Cosmic Dictators Guild rules and wins. But he faked being defeated by Supreme, so he could escape Hillary Clinton and returned to the Hell of Mirrors (a prison that Supreme uses to store super villains). .
  • Master Meteor- He battled Supreme, when he was Kid Supreme. Due to a time travel accident, he fused with Billy Friday and the composite being blamed Supreme.
  • Optilux- He is a religious alien that transformed into a being of pure light (with a messiah complex). He turns cities into light that he holds in captivity.
  • Televillain- Former TV repairman Reuben Tube can teleport via televisions and enter the fictional worlds.
  • The End- He is a powerful villain that is the unofficial leader (everyone else is scared to oppose him) of the Hell of Mirrors. He is never seen save his shadow.
  • Shadow Supreme- He is an evil clone of Supreme created by Dax (who Double S is completely loyal to). He looks like Supreme, except for a dark color scheme.
  • Slaver Ant- She is a humanoid ant-like creature, who ejects altering chemicals. She once escaped Supreme's mirror prison and tried to build an ant-lair.
  • Vor-Em- He is lion-like humanoid warrior.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?

Publication HistoryThis story was mainly a way for DC Comic to answer to the critics of Superman's methods in the age of anti-heroes. The title is a play on the song (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? by Nick Lowe and Superman's catchphrase "Truth, Justice and the American Way".Plot

Superman was going to Libya to stop a terrorist attack. Superman was surprised to find that something else stopped the terrorists: something with more power than a King Kong-sized cyborg gorilla. We discover that the gorilla and 2,000 Libyan soldiers were killed by a superhero team called the Elite... in 4 minutes. President Lex Luthor doesn't care about the Elite unless the heroes attack Americans. The Elite sent a message to every computer saying basically they'll kill anyone they think is "part of the problem". Superman was worried about both the message and the possibly of him being outdated. Superman flied to Japan to stop a group of Japanese villains. The villains seem to have gotten the upper hand... only to be murdered by the Elite in gruesome ways. The Elite took our hero to their base. We discover the team is somewhat arrogant and are unwilling to stop using their lethal methods. After talking to his dad, Superman discovered (despite a few critics) the Elite is becoming very popular. Later, Superman battled a group of aliens and an evil pair of Men In Black copycats. After defeating them, the Elite come and Manchester Black (the leader) told the Hat (a member) to kill the villains and their families. To which, Superman KO ed Hat. To which, the Elite decide Superman is now their enemy and decide to fight and kill him. But, on Superman's request, they teleport Jupiter Moon's Io, so no bystanders will get hurt (but the battle is being recorded live). Despite trying to reason with them, the Elite attack him. After seemly killing Superman, they hear him say "I finally get it now...", much to the team's confusion. Then, Superman seemly killed all the members (except Manchester, who is seemly lobotomized hence not being able to use his powers). We discover Superman faked this to show the Elite how it feels to be the victim of their form of lethal justice. The Justice League arrested the team.
The Elite
The Elite is a group of antiheroes that based on Wildstorm's Authority (whose members constantly use lethal force). Members were:
  • Manchester Black- Based on Jenny Sparks, but he has telepathy and telekinesis as opposed to Jenny's electric-based abilities. He is the leader.
  • Menagerie- Based on Engineer. She has a symbiosis with a mysterious green substance on her body that make her a living weapon.
  • The Hat- Based on the Doctor (not Doctor Who). He uses a magic hat (hence the name).
  • Coldcast- He is only member not based on an Authority character. He can manipulate electromagnetic power.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Squadron Supreme

In Avengers # 69, the cosmic-powered Grandmaster created the Squadron Sinister (Roy Thomas' villainous jab at the Justice League) to battle the Avengers. The Sinister guys consisted of Doctor Spectrum (Green Lantern homage), Hyperion (Superman), Nighthawk (Batman) and the Whizzer (Flash).
In Avengers #85 – 86, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, Vision and Goliath (members of the titular team) accidentally got sent to Earth-712. The team was confused upon meeting the Squadron Supreme. The team is identical (except for being good) to the Squadron Sinister. After a fight, the two teams teamed up to fight the evil mutant Brain-Child (no connection to the similarly named animated Tick series character).
In Defenders, Over-Mind and Null the Living Darkness mind controlled the Squadron Supreme. Despite aid from the titular team, Earth-712 was left in a post-apocalyptic state.
In the Squad's self-titled mini-series, it's reveal the Squadron Sinister (who the Supreme guys are a revamp of) were actually evil copies of the Supreme guys. The Supreme team (on Earth-712) voted on whether or not to do the “Utopia Program” (which was a plan to make the world or at least America a Utopia, but involves taking it over). Everyone (but Nighthawk, who thinks they “should serve and not rule”) voted for it. The team (minus Nighthawk) took over America. They revealed their secret identities, added strict gun control laws, invented a way to resurrect the dead and set up behavior modification centers in prisons. However, things went bad. Golden Archer (Green Arrow) tried use the behavior modifications to make Lady Lark (Black Canary) love him (she refused to marry him), leading him to be booted off the team. Amphibian (Aquaman homage) became disgusted with the team's methods to the point of abandoning the surface world altogether. Nuke (Firestorm) went mad upon discovering he was releasing unnoticed radiation, which killed his parents and went on a rampage resulting in Doctor Spectrum killing him. Tom Thumb (loosely based on the Atom) died due to cancer, that he foolishly didn't tell anyone about. Despite trying to get Earth-616's (the main reality) Avengers to help, Nighthawk was forced to get 3 of his former enemies (including Golden Archer, now using the alias Black Archer) to help him stop the Squadron Supreme. In the battle, members from both teams (including Nighthawk) were killed. Hyperion realized that despite their good intentions they had become dictators. The team (or whats was left of it) decided to return power to the government.
In the graphic novel Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe, the Squad (now Hyperion, Lady Lark [using the alias Skylark], Power Princess (Wonder Woman), Whizzer, Arcanna [using the alias Moonglow] (Zatanna) and non-homage members Haywire and Shape) got stuck in the main reality. Only to be returned in an Avenger storyline.
In Squadron Supreme: New World Order, we discovered big corporations were using the Squadron's tech to run the government. With the help of the Exiles, the Squadron tries to set up a fair system of government.
The Marvel's Marvel MAX imprint created a comic called Supreme Power, which focuses on a completely redesigned version of the team that exist on Earth-31916.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Publication History
Peter Milligan and Mike Allred revamped the X-Force comic. However, the series took a very odd turn. They turned the team into celebrities in the hero business for fame and fortune. Also, there was a new satirical tone towards the superhero genre added. The team would constantly lose members. In the first issue of this revamp, almost every member died. This was not universally accepted. Many fans wanted “their X-Force back”. Later, the team 86ed the name "X-Force" and became the "X-Statix" (complete with a new comic series). Then came the greatest controversy of the comic! Peter wanted Princess Diana to appear as a undead superhero. This was leaked and greatly objected to (most notable of the objectors was the Daily Mail). So, she was replaced by Henrietta Hunter (a fictional pop star). Sales bombed, so in one last jab at the superhero genre, the entire team died. The comic got a spin-off called X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl, which starred a minor member called Dead Girl and parodied comic book deaths.
Fictional History
During a mission trying to save the Boys R Us boy band, the X-Force was massacred. Only Doop (the cameraman), U-Go Girl and the Anarchist survived. Later, Guy Smith (a.k.a. the Orphan and Mr. Sensitive) joined and became leader. The team tried to save Paco Perez, a mutant whose chest might have cures to diseases, from a dictatorship. But in the process, Saint Anna and Bloke (two new members) were killed. Guy refused to let Paco be “stripped mined” and hid him. This angered the Coach, who tried to kill Guy, only to have U-Go Girl (Guy's girlfriend) kill him. The streetwise Spike (no connects to the similarly named X-Men: Evolution character) joined. After going into Doop's mind, the team discovered they had to change their name for legal reasons. U-Go Girl died and gave the team their new name on her last breathe: the X-Statix. Venus Dee Milo joined the team and they battle a reality warping fan boy of U-Go Girl, who was holding a town hostage. They let him join, but he was later poisoned by Lacuna (a time-controlling ally of the team). Guy passed leadership on to the Anarchist. Henrietta Hunter (a zombie pop star) joined the team. Lacuna revealed the truth of the then-current owner of the team's, Spike Freeman, shady deals. Spike attacked Lacuna, only to be killed by Guy. But, Lacuna was killed by Spike and the team's public image was destroyed. The X-Statix (in an attempt to reclaim their image) battled Mr. Code and the Random Killers, but Phat (a new member) and Hunter were killed. Russian terrorists kidnapped Doop, only to have the X-Statix and the Avengers to save him. Despite disbanding, all of the team was killed on one last mission.

  • Anarchist- He is African Canadian, who is the team's self-proclaimed token. He can fire energy bolts via his acid-like sweat.
  • Bloke- He could change color (some of which increased his strength). He revealed himself to be gay, shortly before he was killed.
  • Dead Girl- She is an undead hero able to reform her body, control her limbs (even if they are detached) and has telepathy with the dead.
  • Doop- He is a bizarre pickle-shaped creature that speaks in what is seemly gibberish, but the other characters can understand him. He is the cameraman.
  • El Guapo- He is attractive mutant with a sentient skate board.
  • Henrietta Hunter- She is an undead pop star with enhanced psychical and mental powers.
  • Mysterious Fan Boy- He is a super powerful fan boy of U-Go Girl. He has reality warping powers.
  • Orphan (a.k.a. Mister Sensitive)- He is the team's unofficial leader. He is a suicidal mutant with antennas and superhuman sense, speed and levitation.
  • Phat- He is parody of Vanilla Ice or Eminem, who (eventually) is openly gay and able to soften / increase the size of any of his body via expanding his fat tissues.
  • Saint Anna- She is an Irish-American mutant able to levitate / control of motions of objects and heal people.
  • Spike- He is a controversial African American character, who makes fun of the Anarchist.
  • U-Go Girl- She is a blue-skinned teleporter. She has been emotionally linked with Zeitgeist and then Orphan.
  • Venus Dee Milo- Her body is made out red energy. This allows her to teleport, fire energy blasts and heal minor wounds.
  • Vivisector- He is a bookish werewolf-like mutant with enchanced senses, agility, speed and razor claws and fangs. Like Phat, he is homosexual.


  • Coach- He is the mentor for the X-Statix, but he was very manipulative. It's revealed he caused the Boys R Us disaster. He tried to sell Paco to medical companies, only for Paco to be saved by Orphan. He tried to kill Orphan, but this ironically led to his own death.
  • Spike Freeman- He is an amoral billionaire, who funded the team. He is (obviously) addicted to thrills (he play Russian Roulette voluntarily). He was killed by the Orphan when he was trying to help defend the murders of innocent people.


  • Lacuna- She is an on / off ally of the X-Statix and a talk show host.
  • Professor X- He help build Orphan and Venus Dee Milo's special suits.
  • Wolverine- He is old friend of Doop.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plastic Man

This is my 150th post!

Fictional Character Biography
Patrick "Eel" O'Brian was a crook that specialized in safe cracking. During a heist at Crawford Chemical Works, Patrick and his gang were confronted with by a night watchman. During their attempt to escape, Patrick was both shot and doused with an unknown acid. While fleeing, he passed out because of the gun wound. He was tended by a monk, who turned Pat's life around. During which Patrick discovered the acid somehow gave him rubber-abilities. He decided to use his powers for good and became Plastic Man. Plas (as he is nicknamed) retained his identity of Patrick to get info about the criminal underworld. Plas got himself a comedic sidekick Woozy Winks, who originally protected from harm by the forces of nature, but he simply became Plas' bumbling, loyal friend. Plas later became a member of the FBI and almost completely ditched his identity as Patrick. In the Silver Age of Comics, we meet a new Plastic Man, who was the son of the original. It was later revealed this guy was from Earth-Twelve (not the main reality).

Plastic Man's origin story was rewritten. Here his name is Eel O'Brian. In this version, he reformed, but was oblivious to his power and accidentally scared people. After realizing he was the monster everyone was scared of, he decided to jump off a bridge! However, Woozy Winks (who now is a mental patient that was ejected from the institute due to lack of funding) stopped him. Woozy convinced him to use his powers for profit. But, neither of them were sure if they should be criminals or heroes. So they flipped a coin. Hero won. After the public accidentally dubbed him "Plastic Man" (Eel wanted to be "Elastic Man"), the duo set up shop in New York. He also became a JLA member and played roles in several storylines. In “Tower of Babel”, several JLA members are sent 3,000 years in the past. Plastic Man was frozen and then shattered. The JLA couldn't find all the pieces, due to the lack of suitable technology. Back in the present, we discover he is still alive! He was reassembled and he reveals he lost his nerve and wanted to live a normal life. He quit the JLA. It's revealed his desire to become normal was mainly caused by his belief that his son needed a normal father. Batman convinced Plas to become a hero again.

One Year Later and Countdown
In One Year Later, we meet Offspring, Plastic Man's son, who has similar powers and costume to him. In Countdown To Mystery #1, Plastic feels that people having treating him as a joke. So, Eclipso mind controls him into being evil. But, Bruce Gordon managed to free Plas. Green Arrow/Black Canary #8, Green Arrow freed Plas from Dr. Sivana, who was trying to use Plas' DNA to give the amnesiac Connor Hawke superhuman healing and make Connor his pawn. In Justice League of America vol. 2, he is member of the titular team. However, Doctor Light II (Kimiyo Hoshi) questioned his effectiveness causing them to fight. But, this ends when the duo stops the Royal Flush Gang. In Justice League: Cry for Justice, he has a not-so-friendly encounter with Prometheus. In Blackest Night, a zombie Vibe tore his heart out, but Plas' powers saved him. In Justice League: Generation Lost, he (and several other heroes) tried (and failed) to find Maxwell Lord.

Powers and abilities

  • Malleable Physiology- Due to existing in a fluid-like state, Plas can reshape his body at will.
  • Malleability- He can stretch his body to superhuman lengths. No limits have been given.
  • Size Alteration- Plas has been seen becoming inches tall and the size of skyscraper.
  • Shape-Shifting- He can alter his body to look like other objects.
  • Color Change- A rarely used ability. Plas can change color, but it needs intense concentration. So he doesn't like using this power.
  • Invulnerability- He can withstand things that would kill a normal person.
  • Regeneration- He can regenerate / recreate damaged tissues. Although this takes a long time, it's faster than a normal human's.
  • Telepathic Immunity?- Batman claimed Plas is immune to telepathy. This appears to not be ture.
  • Immortality- As seen in “Tower of Babel”, he seems to not age or at least does so extremely slowly.

Due to his fluid-like state, too much heat can “melt” him and too much cold can freeze him. In some versions, chemicals like acetone destabilizes his body, but he'll become normal when the chemicals are gone. In most versions, he cannot change his color, but his son can.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LGBT Themes in American Comics

To my support for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights, I am writing this post on LGBT themes in comics.
Comic Strips
Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury was the first comic strip to directly talk about homosexuals, where it introduced Andy Lippincott, who was gay. This character later died due to an AID-related death. This storyline led Garry to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. However, three newspapers (out of the 900 carrying the strip) refused to publish this. Mark Slackmeyer, a long time supporting character, was revealed to be gay, which got some people mad. In Bloom Country, two of the main characters met a gay couple. However, not all coming out of characters have being well received. Lynn Johnston's For Better or For Worse decided to make one of the characters gay, which lead to him receive death threats by people who oppose homosexuals. The widely circulated strips Candorville and The Boondocks have gay characters appear time to time. Several webcomic creators are openly gay / lesbian and some their work features gay and lesbian characters. Heavy Metal touches on many issue involving sexuality.
Mainstream American comic books

Historically, mainstream comics excluded LGBT characters. This was mainly because of the homophobic Comic Code of Authority. However, recently, comic book creators have added LGBT characters to make their fictional world more realistic. For example, Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic has included transgender characters.
DC Comics
Batman and Robin have been accused of being a gay couple. So, female characters (such as Batgirl and Batwoman) were added. Despite this, the duo have continued being associated with being gay. The Nightmaster might have been gay, but this was unclear. The New Guardian member Extraño (whose name means “Strange”) was the first obvious homosexual comic book character. But, some people thought he was too stereotypical. In Hellblazer #6 and 7 and Swamp Thing #74, John Constantine fought with gay bashers. The Sandman: A Game of You story (1991) and a 1992 Legion of Super-Heroes storyline explored transgender themes. In The Authority, two of the members, Apollo and Midnighter (seen above), were a gay couple to the point of being married. Recently, the newest version of Batwoman is lesbian and characters (such as Icemaiden, Sarah Rainmaker and the reformed Pied Piper) turned out to bisexual.
Marvel Comics
Sadly, Marvel has had a less favorable history in this matter than DC, mainly due to Jim Shooter, who banned LGBT people from Marvel Universe. However, several gay characters got their own titles, but with warning labels on them, to avoid angry conservative protests. But this was later ditched and there has been same-gender sex scenes. Northstar of the Alpha-Flight was the first major gay character in Marvel Comics. Other LGBT mutants include fan-favorite Mystique and Destiny. Phat, Vivisector, and Bloke (until they died), of the X-Statix, were all gay. X-Factor's Rictor and Shatterstar (both males) turned out to bisexual (they had an on-panel kiss). In Witches, Brian Patrick Walsh, the bad girl, sleeps with other women. In the 2002 revamp of Rawhide Kid, the titular character became one of the first openly gay characters. In Young Avengers, Hulkling and Wiccan were revealed to homosexual.
Archie Comics
In Veronica # 202, we meet Kevin Keller, a new kid in town. The titular character fell in love with him. However, Kevin reveals to Jughead, he is not interested in Veronica and is closeted homosexual. He asks Jughead to not reveal his sexuality, which he agrees (he was mad at Veronica). Most of the story focused on Veronica's cluelessness.
Other publishers
In the 1990s, there were several comic book companies that decided to ditch the Comic Code of Authority. These included Malibu, Image and Dark Horse comics. Due to not being bound by the CCA, they had greater artistic freedom and created several LGBT characters. These include Malibu Comic's Spectral and Turbo Charge, Gen13's Sarah Rainmaker (created by Wildstorm, which DC later bought). In Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, we meet lesbian characters like Willow, Tara and Kennedy; and Andrew (who is a closeted homosexual).

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Minicomics are a way for making comic books on a small budget. They are usually hand made. Creators usually use photocopy to make the panels fit on the small pages. The term has a bit of a complex history.
You're probably thinking a minicomic is a small comic -- what is so complex about that? Well there is more to the tale. Originally, there was a standard size. Digest Comics were 5.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall, while a minicomic was 5.5 inches by 4.25 inches. But, nowadays there is no standard size. Sizes can range from slightly smaller than a "normal" comic to the size of a U.S. stamp. Most of them have unusual sizes and graphic designs. Minicomics are usually photocopied, but in larger amounts, offset printing might be used. Currently, the term "minicomic" emphasizes the handmade aspect, rather than the actual size. So, by loose definition, one could say a single photocopied page could be a minicomic. Also, it important to know that most creators directly sell these comics (as opposed to getting a comicbook store to do it). They can be sold through the mail, ordered on websites or even sold by small bookstores and publishers that sell zines(in this context it means that is a small circulation publication). Usually, minicomics have no editors, giving the creators more freedom. The United Kingdom has a similar concept, but their version is called "British small press comics".
Alternate Meaning
The term minicomic has also been used to refer to small comics given away with toys, such as the Masters of the Universe and two of the Transformers toylines.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Too Much Coffee Man

One of this adventures
Publication history"Too Much Coffee Man" can refer to a comic strip by Shannon Wheeler or the main character of the latter. Too Much Coffee Man started TMCM had 300 copies, then it went up to 12,000 copies. During the first run, to save money, Shannon stapled all the issues by hand. He swore (publicly) he would never do this again. Shannon and three friends formed Adhesive Comics, but Shannon became the sole owner when his friends decided to quit. From 1994 to 1996, Dark Horse Comic (they published Hellboy and various Star Wars comics) published the strip in Dark Horse Presents # 92-95. Several issues of TMCM were also publish by Wheeler. The comic was renamed How to Be Happy, with Too Much Coffee Man with the Jan. 23, 2006 issue. The name was simplified to How to Be Happy and TMCM didn't appear again until Jan. 21, 2008.
Too Much Coffee Man (the character) is an everyman who spends most of his time at his apartment or a coffee shop talking / debating about politics or exchanging thoughts. He has also been in a U.S. prison and outer space. Due to excessive amounts of caffeine, his nerves are shot, so he very rarely sleeps. He wears a spandex version of red long johns (referencing how superheroes are sometime called "long-underwear characters"), with a flap for restroom purposes. He has a mug on his head (although it's unclear if this just part of the costume or not).
Other Characters
  • Too Much Espresso Guy- He is a cold-hearted and cynical friend of TMCM. Their friendship seem to be based on a shared pessimism and mutual loneliness. He has an espresso cup strapped to his head.
  • Too Much German White Chocolate Woman With Almonds- She is a mutual friend of TMCM. She worries a lot. She has pale skin and large almonds on her face.
  • Underwater Guy- A parody of Aquaman. He is another friend of TMCM. He has the ability of staying underwater for indefinite amounts of time. However, he wears a wetsuit and diving snorkel and mask.
  • Mystery Woman- She is TMCM's secret love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Fictional History
Something of an Origin
Prez Rickard was the son of Martha Rickard. She named him that because she thought he was going to president. They lived in a town called Steadfast, where the clocks were all out of sync... until Prez fixed them. A shady business man called Boss Smiley (whose head looks likes his namesake) hired him to run for senator (but Smiley wanted this to be a front), when the age limit for senators was lowered. Prez, who was an idealist, rebelled against Smiley, earning his ire. 45% of Congress (who were under the age of 30) voted to have the president ial age limit lowered as well. Prez was elected president of the United States. His mom became the vice-president. His sister was his secretary. Eagle Free (a native American with deep understanding of animals and friend of Prez) became the head of the FBI.
Prez: First Teen President
Prez in his series had to face very strange enemies. These included legless vampires, led by George Washington's great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew; the political boss, Boss Smiley; and evil chess players. He also was attacked due to his feelings about gun control. He his series was cut short by the DC Implosion (for more info, check the post about that).
Later Appearances
  • Supergirl (1970 series) # 10 (1974): This issues implies Prez is president of the America on Earth-One. The titular character saved Prez from an evil politician and a witch, who looked like the DC horror host Eve.
  • The Sandman # 54 (1993): In here a darker version of the Prez mythos appears. Here his watchmaking skills are emphasised. Here, he became president without Boss Smiley's help (although it's implied he might have pulled a few strings). Prez managed to do miraculous things, like solving the energy crisis. He later meets Smiley again at party, where Prez reveals nothing but rumors is known about Smiley. In response Smiley threatens him if runs again. Prez does run again and his girlfriend is killed by woman obsessed with Ted Knight and did this to get his attention (à la John Hinckley, Jr). After being confronted by Smiley and the end of his term, he vanishes from the public. He died (sources differ on how this happen) and ends up in Smiley's domain. The titular character (the Sandman) saved Prez from Smiley and let Prez go the "other" Americas (in other dimensions) and help them.
  • In the one-shot Prez: Smells Like Teen President, a generation X teen looked for Prez, who according to his mom is his father. Here it's reported Prez died of a brain tumor that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush's dishonstey aggravated.
  • In Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Lex Luthor created a computer program that took on a human form. Then, it became the Commander in Chief. Its name was "Rick Rickard" and looked like an older version of Prez
The Sandman: World's End

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Megaton Man

Tiny wrists!
Trent Phloog has a job as a hero in Megatropolis as Megaton Man. He is a overly-muscular, dim-witted hero. He has super strength, durability, flight, "Megaton-Vision" (X-Ray Vision), and self-detonation, the last power is activated when he says "Overkill". How he got these powers are unknown, two possibilities of how he gained these abilities were given:
  1. He was bitten by a radioactive frog (reference to Spider Man)
  2. His powers were the result of a military megasoldier program (reference to Captain America)
He was originally Megaton Lad (likely a reference to Superboy) and had a dog sidekick Plutonium Pup (Krytpo parody). After the death of PP and his 21st birthday, he actually called himself Megaton Man. He is a member of the VM gang. Due to an error in his bureaucratic paperwork, MM has to re-take his high-school exams. During his first time in high school, he played the clarinet. Trent is married to Stella Starlight (the alter ego of a superheroine Mother Earth) and the two had a child. Recently, Megaton discovered alternate versions of himself: the Golden Age Megaton Man, the Silver Age Megaton Man and the Russian Megaton Man (likely a reference to the Russian Zod).
Supporting Cast
  • X-Ray Boy- Larry Barton is the sidekick of Megaton Man. He ordered fake x-ray goggles from an ad, but by mistake got real ones released by the Pentagon. The power burned off his left arm (don't worry he replaced it with a robotic one) and fused into his eyes, turning them green. The Pentagon asked for the goggles back, and because the power remained with him, he gave them back. The goggles killed the people at the Pentagon. Now, Larry's friends aquired the goggles. He is a member of the VM Gang. He is not to be confused with a villain of the same name.
  • Yarn Man- Bing Gloom is called the latter, because his body is completely made out of yarn. He was a member of the Megatropolis Quartet, but is now a member of the VM Gang. Kozmik Kat is his sidekick.
  • Phantom Jungle Girl- Donna Blank is an activist and also a superheroine (although has no actual powers). She is an ally of Megaton Man.
  • Cowboy Gorilla- He is a talking gorilla from Texas. He was a member of the Megatropolis Quartet and now is an on / off member of the VM Gang.
  • Kozmik Kat- He is laid-back, anthropomorphic feline version of Megaton Man. He will attack people within reason and doesn't believe in violence againist women. He is possibly a parody of Streaky the Super-Cat. He is a mascot for the VM Gang.
  • Gower Goose- He is a cowardly anthropomorphic goose and a heavy drinker. He helps the VM Gang by doing odd jobs. He is a good friend of X-Ray Boy and has a crush on Moonstone of the Tomb Team. He runs a radio station and is presenter for WUCK radio station.
  • Kickstand Kid- He is the first villian Megaton Man fought as Megaton Man. KK is a young boy with a robotic body with guns built into every part of it. Due to the fact MM is bulletproof, KK was easily defeated.
  • Dr. Software- He was an enemy of the Megatropolis Quartet (which is now disbanded). He plagues Megaton and his old enemies.
  • Bad Guy & Bulky Guy- They are two clumsy behemoths. They caused chaos for various incarnations of Megaton Man. They have been defeated by the current Megaton Man, Miss Megaton Man, Golden Age Megaton Man and Anti-Matter Woman.
  • Irving the Living Cactus- He is an enemy of Yarn Man. Irving can use his spikes to rip Yarn Man apart. He was seemly killed by an electric shock at the hands of X-Ray Boy, but he was merely dehydrated. He was thrown into a river populated with chemicals as such he gained a new anthropomorphic form and became an enemy of VM Gang.
  • Tomb Team- They a group of supernatural beings living in catacombs of Ypsilanti Cemetery, Michigan. The team only speaks German. Megaton Man, Yarn Man and Cowboy fought them and the TT seemly perish in battle. But, Count Dracula brought the Frankenstein Monsters back to life and is trying to do the same with his daughter. Members of the Tomb Team were:

    • Forbidden Frankenstein- He is a “purple behemoth”.
    • The Bride of Frankenstein- The wife of the the guy above. She speaks both English and German.
    • Dracula's Daughter- A green-skinned vampire that isn't affected by sunlight. She pesters her dad a lot. She bit Cowboy Gorilla and put him out of action for a long time.
    • An unnamed now deceased werewolf
    • The Mooncat- She is a spoiled nurse turned demoness

Sunday, October 10, 2010

King Tut

Batman (TV Series)
First appearing in “The Curse of Tut”, Professor William Omaha McElroy (played by Victor Buono) was an overweight egyptologist working at Yale University. During a student riot, he was hit on the head and got amnesia. Then, he thought he was King Tut reincarnated. He tried to take over Gotham, but the titular character and his sidekick defeated him. In the process, he was hit on the head and returned to normal. His next appearances would follow the same pattern: he would get hit on the head. Thinking he was Tut, he would go on a crime spree, only to have Batman and Robin stop him. Then, somehow he would get hit on the head and returned to normal. He couldn't get jailed, because of what he did (see insanity defense). In a notable episode, he created a drug like potion called “abu raubu simbu tu”, which he could use to “subdue the human will”. Despite being tricked in taking the drug, Batman (who was unaffected due to the fact he coated his stomach with buttermilk) got him to take the drug and he became Batman's slave and was taken to the police station, where his real self came out. In Tut's final appearance, when digging for valuable minerals near the Wayne Manor, he dug into the Batcave and discovered Batman's alter ego. Batman used a spray to mind-swipe the henchmen, but Tut escape. He was going to reveal Bats' identity, but when Batman was provoked to raise his voice, a rock hit Tut and turned him back and forgot Bat's secret. Adam West (who played Batman) said in Back to the Batcave that Tut was the only villain made for the series that was a success.
Batman Confidential # 26
Recently, a very different version of Tut appeared in Batman Confidential # 26. Now, Tut is Victor Goodman (homage to the actor Victor Buono). Vic is an evil Egyptologist, who kills rich people and leaves clues, akin to the Riddle of the Sphinx. Batman teamed up with the Riddler, who was mad at Tut for stealing his trademark habit. The duo took down Tut.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Tut appears several times in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon. But, he only appeared in jailbreak scenes. In “Day of the Dark Knight!”, he appears (in a jailbreak scene) with other Adam West Batman villains: the Archer, Shame, Louie The Lilac and Egghead. Due to copyright reason with FOX, he is referred to as Pharaoh in the synopsis.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Terrific Whatzit

No one would think Merton McSnurtle, a "funny animal" turtle, would be a superhero. But, he was given super powers by Prince Highness (entity of good) and Prince Lowness (entity of evil). They gave him these power to settle to bet: if a completely honest person had super powers, would the power corrupt him? McSnurtle was the only person that they could find that fit the bill (he was too lazy to be evil). With these powers, he decided to become a superhero. When duty called, he would remove his shell and don a costume similar to the Golden Age Flash's. Then, he would fight crime as the Terrific Whatzit (he was called this because it was hard to tell what animal he was without the shell). He fought crime for 17 issues in Funny Stuff. Later he appeared in Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew # 9, he was retcon so now he was the uncle of Fastback a member from the titular team.
Powers and Abilities
His main ability was super speed. However, there was variation in the power, but speed was emphasised the most. He had a "Automatic Conscience", which was an annoying voice in his head that wouldn't shut up, until he solved the crisis at hand. His shell was also removable, which is odd for a turtle.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ultra the Multi-Alien

Ace Arn was from an unspecific time in the future were space travel was common. One day, he crashed on an alien planet. Four aliens from four other planets shot him with ray guns that were supposed to turn him into one of them. But, they all fired at the same time. As a result, each quarter of his body was transformed to be like that of one of the aliens, giving him a very Metamorpho appearance (and a combo of their super powers). Combining the first letters of the home planets the alien and the first one of his name, he got U-L-T-R-A, and dubbed himself "Ultra". He discovered a device that could turn him back to Arn and vise versa. He had several adventures in Mystery in Space, till the comic got axed.
Wizard Magazine featured Ultra as the "Mort of the Month", a featurette showcasing low-quality characters. Grant Morrison used the character in Animal Man (as a denizen of Limbo) and in the Aztek mini-series. In Starman # 55, he, with the aid of Space Ranger, looked for the fourth Starman's cosmic staff. In the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. storyline, Young Justice, Star-Spangled Kid and S.T.R.I.P.E. tried to stop a group of Larroo (one of the aliens that attacked Ace and turned him into Ultra), who plotted to turn everyone in Blue Valley into Larroo. It was also mention while the Larroo invented the ray they sold it to other races. In Infinite Crisis, Ultra (somehow) traveled back in time to the present and (with other space-themed heroes) aided Donna Troy in the fallout caused by the Rann-Thanagar War. In Superman/Batman # 31, he was among the alien heroes being overwhelmed by an alien force and went on a rampage. In issue 33, he (with the mind-controled alien heroes) tried to destroy the titular characters, but his mind was released from the mind control and Despero (who did the mind control) was defeated. In Action Comics # 867, Brainiac attacked the planet Larroo. Superman could do nothing as Brainiac capture (and shrunk) a city, containing the four races that were involved with Ultra's origins, that was trapped in a force field created by Ultra. The aliens' sun was destoryed. In the same storyline, Ultra appeared as one of the heroes fighting Brainiac on his ship. Although he hasn't appeared recently, Vixen (half-jokingly) says he is a potential Justice League member.
Each quarter of his body (and it's limb) has a different power. They were:
  • The upper right of his body was super strong.
  • The upper left has magnetic powers.
  • His right leg gave him flight.
  • His left leg is a bolt of lightning.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Wow. It took him an entire page for Logan to look left and right.
What is it?
In comics, decompression refers to a type of story-telling that has strong emphasis on art and character interaction. However, this tends to make the plots longer. Decompression is often used in widescreen comics (a type of comic where the panels are usually very wide for a cinematic effect).
Decompression had a strong effect on mainstream comics in the 1990s and 2000s. Traditionally, comics have several (sometimes unrelated) stories in one issue. However with the rise of decompression, usually comics only have one story. It is often claimed the influence of Manga caused decompression. Manga, which is usually less costly to print, uses decompression extensively. The 1974 manga Shin Takarajima (by Osamu Tezuka) popularized the technique. The "cinematic style" became very popular and was used a lot by other Japanese artists. Akira (by Katsuhiro Otomo) was one of the first manga to use this style and become popular among comic fans. The Authority (by by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch) was one of the first of commercially successful Americans comic to use decompression (the dominant style for the first twelve issues). Due to the success of that comic, the style had been adopted by comic creators across the US.
Of course, like many things, decompression had it's share of critics and has been a subject of debate. Critics have accused the style of over-stretching the length of the plots, hence thinning out the pages' content for more sales and money, despite a limited amount of work. Defenders claims that the style doesn't over-stretch the plot, but makes the characterization more rich. Some see the style being driven by trade paperbacks' popularity. Said paperbacks, usually collect six comics and the style (with stories lasting several issues) would give a desirable length to the stories.
Due to the criticism involving decompression, comic creators Warren Ellis, Dan Slott, and Brian Wood decided to experiment with a new style, which they dubbed "Compression". In Warren's Fell, Global Frequency, and Planetary, the stories only last one issue and Nextwave only has two issue story lines. Slott's story archs involving the She-Hulk and the Thing usually last from 1-3 issues. Wood's Demo and Local are all single-issue comics, where sometimes there are no recurring characters so the stories can be self-contained "short stories".

Friday, October 1, 2010

Forbush Man

Not Brand Echh
Forbush Man was a revamp for Irving Forbush, the mascot for a Mad-like comic called Snafu. Like his predecessor, he was a mascot for a comic. In FM's case, it was Not Brand Echh, Marvel's silver age parody comic. Although appearing on the cover of issue one, he doesn't get a story 'till issue five. In The Origin of Forbush-Man, it's revealed he was Irving Forbush, a fictional gofer for Marble Comics. His Auntie Mayhem was responsible (albeit indirectly) for his costume. She slammed a pot on his head (when she was mad at him) and gave him the disguise he wanted so he could be a hero. He later cut two holes in it and put on red long johns (with the letter F on the front). Numerous in-jokes imply Forbush might be Jewish. When he went to fight crime, (having no powers) his dumb luck was necessary to defeat his foes (such as the Juggernut (Juggernaut)). In his next appearance, he tried (and failed) to join the Revengers (Avengers), S.H.E.E.S.H. (S.H.I.E.L.D.) and the Echhs-Men (X-Men). However, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band invited him, but he decided to "quit while I'm still behind". In issue 13, in a loose parody of Silver Surfer # 5, he battled the Strangie (the Stranger). There was more Jewish references and superhero parodies (Spidey-Man (Spider-Man), The Thung (The Thing), The Human Scorch (The Human Torch) and The Simple Surfer (Silver Surfer)) appear.
What The--?!
He became one of the staple characters of What The--?!, which poked fun at the Marvel Universe and beyond. He died in a parody of the Death of Superman at the hands of Dumsday (Doomsday).
Please note the Nextwave series may or not be part of the Marvel main continuity. He is a member of the New Paramounts (funded by the Beyond Corporation©, yes the "©" is part of the name), whose members are former Not Brand Echh characters. Here, he has an illusion casting ability called Forbush-Vision and is a villain (and possibly a Broccoli Man robot). Tabitha Smith (who was unaffected because apparently she has no mind) managed to kill him.

In Not Brand Echh and What The--?!, he had no powers, but lots of dumb luck. In the Nextwave, he has Forbush Vision, where the victims are exposed to hallucinations that make them think they're in a hellish (from their point of view) reality and slowly die, while trying to resist. Despite claiming he is "the greatest power in human history", he is easily defeated by Tabitha Smith.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Super Friends

This is one of the most hated comic-related topics ever: The Super Friends!
Television Shows
Super Friends
The Super Friends was a stupid kiddie version of the Justice League created by Hanna-Barbera. The name of the series made no sense, since the team was referred to as the Justice League. The line-up included Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman and three new characters: Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog (who were non-powered kids and their dog that were complete rip-offs of Scooby Doo). Despite being super heroes, the team almost never used force against their foes. The battles were limited to lassoing people and battling "non-living threats" (ex: robot). Their "enemies" were misguided individuals that were doing bad things for good reasons and the SF had to talk them into changing their ways. They had Ted Knight as a superfluous narrator. Also, in between the segment were shorts showing kids health tips and how to make crafts, that I think were superfluous as well. This show did not last long.
All New Super Friends Hour
This version had been split into four segments. The second segment would feature the alien teen duo: the Wonder Twins (Jayna able to turn into any animal and Zan able to turn into any form of water (ice, gas, liquid)). The duo had an annoying space monkey called Gleek. Also, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog got kicked out of the roster (the Wonder Twins were intended to be their replacements). To diversify the team, several new characters were added: Black Vulcan (a rip off of Black Lightning), an African American with electric abilities; the Asian Samurai, who could use magic-like abilities via saying a Japanese phrase for each power; the Native American Apache Chief (the most well-known), able to increase his size via saying "Inyuk-chuk"; and the Tarzan-esque Rima the Jungle Girl. These new characters were all somewhat stereotypical.
Challenge of the Super Friends
The Super Friends (sadly) lived on. Despite this actually being part of a revamped All New Super Friend Hour, due to the fact it had it's own title sequence, people mistook it for an all new show. Finally, the Super Friends actually fought villains, but the violence was still toned down. Also, the Legion of Doom became the arch-enemies of the Super Friends. The members were Lex Luthor (leader), the super smart Brainiac (who was pantless) and the imperfect Bizzaro (enemies of Superman); the zombie Solomon Grundyand yellow power-ring wielding Sinestro (Green Lantern foes); Black Manta (enemy of Aquaman); the riddle-obsessed Riddler and the fear-obsessed Scarecrow (enemies of Batman); Captain Cold and the super-genius Gorilla Grodd (enemies of the Flash); the size-increasing Giganta and the beautiful-but-deadly Cheetah (Wonder Woman foes and the only female members) and Toyman (enemy of both Superman and Batman). They were based in a hidden swamp base (that looked somewhat like Darth Vader's helmet). Also, they always had an escape plan, so they could come back next Saturday and try (and fail) to kill the SF.
The World's Greatest Super Friends
The show was revamped again (ugh...). This show was lame even to the Super Friends' expectations. The Legion of Doom and most of the extra characters (except the Wonder Twins) were sent to the unemployment line. This series simply ripped off of any popular fiction at the time. The most notable example was The Lord of Middle Earth episode (Lord of the Rings rip off), where the Super Friends go to Middle Earth. Due to the complete lack of originality, the show sunk.
Super Friends II
The show's creators decided to revamp the show and call it Super Friends again. Here, the writer actually came up with their own stories and introduced a Latino hero, El Dorado (who was somewhat stereotypical). The show was canceled due to a writer's strike (maybe they though it was too hard to actually be original for once).
Super Friends: The Legendary Power Show
Despite the strike, this came into a nightmarish reality. The many of the abandoned ethic heroes came back and the pre-existing, molecule controlling Firestorm joined. Darkseid (the main antagonist of the Fourth World saga) became the main villain. The show was renamed Super Power Team: Galactic Guardians and reluctant superhero Cyborg (well known for being a member of the Teen Titans), who on the show was a friend of Firestorm, became a member. This would be the final chapter of the Super Friends... Woo Hoo!
Most people found the Super Friends more annoying and stupid than entertaining (especially the Wonder Twins) and (as such) the team has been a target for parody. The parodying is also supported by the team's oddities and seemingly uselessness. Fans of Aquaman were especially mad, because although in the first series he displayed super strenght and various other power, but, in the other series he only displayed his underwater breathing and sea-life telepathy, enforcing the weak image of the character. So, they accused the Super Friends of making Aquaman a laughable and unpopular character (which is not completely off).