Special guest star: THE DOOM BUTTON.

§ October 10th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Special guest star: THE DOOM BUTTON.

from The Incredible Hulk #220 (Feb 1978) by Roger Stern, Sal Buscema & Ernie Chan

I wasn’t going to post this panel, but it made me laugh, and it made pal Dorian laugh, and if it doesn’t make you laugh, that just means you’re afflicted with good taste.

Yesterday, at work, discussing the impending Infinite Crisis series with New Coworker Nathan:

M: “You know who I think is behind it all? Bat-Mite, that’s who.”

N: “Who?”

M: “Bat-Mite.”

N: “I have no idea who that is.”

M: “Wha–?

N: “Really, I don’t.”

M: “Wha–?

N: “Please stop making that noise.”

I can’t believe we hired a guy who doesn’t know who Bat-Mite is. We’re gonna have to work on the screening process a little more.

(Please note, in regards to the Infinite Crisis thing, that I’ve blamed Bat-Mite for a major DC event before. I have it in for Bat-Mite, apparently.)

Speaking of the forthcoming Infinite Crisis (due in funnybook stores this coming Wednesday), Nathan came up with an alternative to the “Golden Age Supes is behind it all” theory that pal Corey throwing around at the shop a while back (and, coincidentally, expounded upon by Devon at Seven Hells).

Basically, what if it is a character from one of the parallel universes discarded during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, but not the Golden Age Superman?

What if it’s the pre-Crisis Superboy? Either that “Earth-Prime” Superboy that went off to a “better place” with G.A. Supes ‘n’ Lois at the end of Crisis, or the Pocket Universe Superboy that was created to explain the discrepancies between the Legion of Super-Heroes and the post-Crisis Superman (and is also dead, but when’s that stopped anybody in comics). Either one would probably be more…well, I guess the word is “expendable”…than the G.A. Superman, since making Golden Age Supes a villain may be too much for even DC (“he said unironically”). (Though Devon has a way around that, too.)

Ah, who knows. This sort of thing makes my brain go explody if I think about it too long. We’ll all find out in a few days, anyway. Presumably.

Someone disagreed with my Blue Beetle prediction (in which current Beetle-mania would drive initial big sales on a theoretical new series’ first issue, which would dissipate as soon as everyone remembered they really didn’t like Blue Beetle all that much in the first place) by stating that this didn’t happen for Firestorm (another old character that had been replaced by a new version).

Well, that comparison doesn’t really scan.

First, Blue Beetle was killed off in a high-visibility big whoop-de-whoop one-shot special kicking off the big DC crossover event. Firestorm wasn’t killed off, and his book reached the end of its lifespan, getting cancelled because it didn’t have enough readers to justify sales.

Second, the death of Blue Beetle set off a huge wave of “grief,” “disgust,” “annoyance,” what have you, with a lot of “but he was such a great character with so much potential”-type talk, mostly from people whose only exposure to BB was in decade-old Justice League comics, if that.

The cancellation of Firestorm, on the other hand, was met with a big…well, a big nothing, really. I’m sure somebody somewhere was really ticked off about it, but it was hardly a fandom cause célèbre like the current BB brouhaha is. (And yes, I realize the internet is a big factor in making the current outcry more visible than any potential outcry at the time over Firestorm…but trust me, there was no big outcry over Firestorm).

Third, my theoretical new Blue Beetle title would start up while the fan-guish over the previous BB’s death was still on everyone’s minds…i.e. “free advertising for DC.”

The new Firestorm series launched about fourteen years after the previous series was cancelled, and Firestorm had only the occasional appearance in random comics (like Extreme Justice or Power Company) from then until now.

And, lastly, the new Firestorm series is selling well, considering 1) it’s a different character as Firestorm and 2) it didn’t have the benefit of a huge event book leading into it (aside from the extremely-tangential Identity Crisis tie-in). It’s no record breaker, but it’s a solid mid-ranger, and given the lifespan of most new books from Marvel or DC, that’s success enough, I think.

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to reorder the new Overstreet Price Guide with the Little Lulu cover, but the only one that seems to be available from Diamond Comics is the Iron Man cover. Maybe I’m just checking at the wrong times, but I guess I should be glad I got the Lulu-covered one for myself when I did. So, was the Lulu cover an incredibly hot seller, and thus always in short supply for reorders, or was it drastically underordered and underprinted, thus leaving little or no copies for later reorders? (Just a rhetorical question, actually.)

So, this cover:

Green Lantern #94 (April/May 1977) – art by Mike Grell

Okay, while the beardless Green Arrow is…intriguing, that’s not the reason I’m highlighting this cover.

It’s this:

Who among us couldn’t find a use for a Doom Button? I mean, aside from doing grievous harm to pretty girls in leotards tied to giant gears.

“Hi! I’d like to return a comic I may or may not have bought from you two years ago for a full refund, I don’t have a receipt, and I accidentally tore the cover off.”


“What do you mean, you won’t take my out-of-state non-prepreprinted starter check even though I don’t have any I.D. whatsoever?”


“I’d like to describe to you, in excruciating detail, every single hand of my last Magic: The Gathering match, even though you don’t sell Magic: The Gathering cards and shouldn’t be expected to have any interest in anything I’m saying.”


See, it’s a natural for store use. I can use one for my car, too.

(Of course, the tables could be turned: “I’m a weblogger that treats comic books and the comic book industry with about all the seriousness it deserves!” “DOOM BUTTON!”)

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