mike sterling's progressive ruin

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Superman Versus Goku. 

YTMND link: Superman/Goku comparison - loud, loud sound.

"I created this website especially for those of you who still dought Goku's superiority over Superman. Death to Superman!" (And that's pretty much the entire content of that site.)

"Goku Vs. Superman!!!!!!!!!!!????????" - links to a 16-page Superman vs. Goku story.

Superhero Hype: Goku Vs. Superman:

"Superman can destroy the moon.

Goku can destroy a universe.

Hard to tell what's more impressive.

Goku's also faster, as he was at lightspeed in his teens.

Finally, Goku is an exponentially better fighter than Superman.

Goku wins. Quite easily."

Mister Poll: Superman or Goku:
"Me and my son were arguing over who was the stronger of the two. Anyone have any input?"

DragonWorld: DragonBall RolePlaying Game:
"Goku could handily beat the other incarnations of Superman, only Pre-Crisis Supes would be any kind of chalange."

"Even GOD has asked Son Goku for Help! It doesn't even matter if it's Pre-Crisis Superman. Son Goku is just too powerful. Superman can't beat a lot of guys in the Dragonball Universe."

"I hate both of them, but seeing that Goku could go to SS3 and fucking slaughter Superman (and Goku has a shitload of stamina), so my vote goes to Goku."

"i used to be a huge dragonball z fan, and i still like it, just not as intensely, so im gonna vote for goku, simply because superman has never done those sick fadeouts/fade back in behind the guy."

"Alright....I just got in the biggest argument over this with one of my friends. Goku would just demolish superman in every single way. Look at the facts, Superman can been hert by man made weapons and as for Goku...NO. Im talkin about Goku at his max of 1 bill, nah ...even SS2 would demolish him. And dont give me that criptonite ****, Doomsday fuked him up without it and its so obviouse that Superman has never fought someone as strong as Goku...cmon"

"DRAGONBALLZ is in a hgh league and you gotta accept that. Very Happy some idoits on the web think superman can beat goku...wel they are crazy cause goku can rip superamn in half without even powering up..why even krillin ,yamcha cn du it. tien does waste tme fighting weaklings lik superman...vegeta dnt even get me started"

"Chuck Norris could roundhouse kick Superman and Goku before they even thought about fighting him."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Internet message boards make Superman cry. 

Oh, dear:

"If superman was a black ghetto person"

"If superman was born in the hood instead of smallville, into a more outgoing, less geeky type of person do you guys think the story would be more exciteing."


"no it wouldnt...stupid thread...ur being stereotypical here.."

"Mummra beat Superman with one hit!!"

"I just read the superman/Thundercats crossover and I couldn't believe that mummra decked superman with just one hit!! Damn!! I had no clue Mummra was that powerful"

"Mummra = Uber powerful magic

Supes vulnerabilities: Kryptonite and Magic"

"Whats the problem by being beat by Mum-Ra? Pre Crisis Superman went down after one shot from Skeletor. The only reason why Lion-O even beats him its because his sword."

"WTF!?? Skeletor beat pre Crisis Superman!!! Damn, Skeletor's pretty damn awsome. I'd love to see Mumm-ra fight Skeletor."

"supes deserves that i hate em and mumra beat him with one blow yippieeee"

"DUH!!!!! Superman isn't exactly that strong and he can't fight. No wonder he went down with one hit....."

"Superman isn't exactly that strong, hu? Your being too emotional about the whole thing, talk to me when your panties dry up."

"Can Superman & Lois have a kid (you need to read this)"

"This" would be referring to the famous Larry Niven essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex," postulating just what would be entailed in Superman getting it on.

Reactions are as follows:

"Can Superman and Lois have a baby? Scientifically, no. But scientifically speaking, Superman shouldn't exist at all, so who knows?"

"Okay well I do know that Superman is far to advanced to get a norman human woman pregnant that is why in some comics WonderWoman is usually pregnant with Supermans baby."

"yeah I remember hearing that back sometime by a friend of mine who always read superman and batman comics,that that was why he could not have sex with someone like Lana or Lois Lane. [...] he convinced me Im better off not being him because i cant imiagine not being able to have sex with a girl,thats a thought I dont even want to think about."

Someone brings up post-Crisis continuity:

"Clark got his powers growing up. When the Kent's found him as a baby he had no powers. He only started to get them when he reached eight or ten. Thus the baby will have no powers until he reaches a certain age and even then its not certain since he is half human."

...Which is then countered by Superman: The Movie continuity:
"Didn't Clark lift Jonathan's truck up in the air in as a toddler, while smiling?"

And then there's the Grant Morrison continuity, from DC One Million...um, more or less, I guess:
"according to superman prime idea he busts down gates of heaven or some chit after sleeping in sun for millenia and makes lois immortal like him once he makes her like him then they can have kids....yea... end of line"

And then it gets slightly disturbing:
"Or how could a kyptonian alien fall for a human. Would that be even possible? I mean, maybe, physiologically speaking, she doesn't have the female kryptonian mannerisms that Kryptonian men may need in order to court a female of the same race. I'm sure they go by different rules genetically."

And then it...well, read on:

"Maybe he cant even get an ereectioon from an earthling woman... maybe Kryptonian women have a similar manner to Earth men... he only gets turned on by men!"

"Are you emplying that a man who wears tights and underwear outside his uniform could possible be gay???"

"If the writer puts down Clark Kent is a gay whore and then kills him off against a dum ass thug, then Clark Kent is a gay whore who got killed off against a dum ass thug! LOL"

And then someone steps in to set these suckas straight:
"Why is everybody so caught up with this stupid, if superman has sex his sperm will destroy the world idea. whoever made tat up is just ****ing retarded or is high on crack. Goku(DBZ) has had 2 sons so far and chichi is just fine, and any saiyan could rip superman in half, so quit making a big deal about what some geek said."

Yeah, so take that, geeks.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

New comics day...again. 

Inspired by folks like pal Tom "liveblogging" the Oscars, I thought I would liveblog my New Comics Day post. So, here we go:

8:45 AM - I begin to work on this post.

8:46 AM - I write the initial liveblogging entry.

8:46 AM - I write the entry noting that I just wrote my initial liveblogging entry.

Er...okay, perhaps I have a few bugs to work out. I'll get back to you.

Anyway, new funny books:

First, though, I noted last week that a number of items were missing from last Wednesday's order, including Marvel Zombies, Spider-Girl, and a third of our Infinite Crisis order, among many other items. In cases such as these, Diamond will send out an "emergency" shipment, usually two-day UPS, to get the items to us. However, some wires got crossed somewhere over at the distributor, and the only item we got shipped to us post-haste was the retailer incentive cover for Ms. Marvel, sent by itself in a cardboard box. Everything else was apparently shipped out as one of Diamond's regular orders, sent out last Monday and due, with any luck, today. So, basically, I could have not bothered insisting on the emergency shipment since we're getting them a day later than if I had said nothing at all.

Arriving in that box (hopefully) is our extra stock of Marvel's 99-cent Previews-supplement catalog. We were shorted on them the week they came out, our replacement order was shorted on the following week's shipment, and they were shorted again on last week's shipment. So by the time they arrive, I should have at least a week or so to sell them before the next issue (hopefully) arrives.

Feh. Stupid comics.

Anyway, back to the funnybooks that, by some miracle, actually did show up:

Thunderbolts #100 - Okay, I'm officially tired of these cover corner boxes already:

I'm hoping this doesn't mean we're going to be seeing that blurb on Marvel's covers for the next two months, when Identity Crisis Civil War is unleashed upon an unsuspecting comics rack.

Aside from that...Thunderbolts is probably one of my favorite Marvel comics. Just plain, old-fashioned superhero fun...it threatens to collapse under the weight of its own subplots/callbacks to ancient Marvel continuity at times, but in general it's a fun book. However, and I'm stealing this observation from pal Dorian, this extra-sized issue reprints Thunderbolts '97 which, we're guessing, most people buying issue #100 of Thunderbolts will probably already own. However, the lead story is 50 pages (including ads), which would have cost the cover price of this item ($3.99) anyway, making the reprint an extra "free" bonus. On top of that, anniversary issues do tend to get the occasional new reader, so I suppose that reprint would serve as a good intro to the characters. But, still, I would have liked to see reprints of stories from older comics, featuring members of the team.

Boy, I go on a bit. Sorry.

Doll & Creature #1 - Reprints, in color and in comic book form, the Ait/Planerlar graphic novel discussed here. I wasn't 100% thrilled with the graphic novel, but it was enjoyable enough. Like I said before, fans of The Goon and Hellboy might want to give it a glance.

Liberality for All #2 - I had wondered before if this comic was a right-winger's satire on left-wingers, or a left-winger goofing on right-wingers...and this is even brought up in the letters column of this issue. (For the record, the creator ain't sayin'.) However, in that same letters column a "Michael Moore is fat" joke is made, and for no good, logical reason I can articulate, that makes me think that, no, this comic is indeed a right-winger's satire on left-wingers. However, also in this same letters column, grief is given to one of the commenters for just standing in his comic shop and reading the comic for free ("...A quick flip through is fine, but reading a comic cover to cover, with no intention of buying it, is the mark of a cheapskate"), so good on them.

Identity Crisis Series 2 action figures - To quote pal JP : "Batman's deformed!" As for the Black Canary figure...there's redesigning, and then there's just making the character look appallingly ugly. I mean, honestly. At least they found something to do with the actual fabric fishnets from all those unsold Zatanna figures.

G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers Vol. 3: Art of War #1 - Dear God, please let there not be any more G.I. Joe versus Transformers comics. Isn't there enough blight upon the world?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This may be the stupidest thing I've ever posted. 

So at work other day, Employee Nathan asked me if Pariah could fly.

Pariah, just in case you don't remember, is this fellow, who first appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths:

I seemed to remember a shot or two of Pariah flying in the Crisis, but I did what I usually do when asked a question like this...I busted out our run of DC's Who's Who series and looked it up.

Under the "Powers & Weapons" section of Pariah's entry:

"Pariah possessed no special powers aside from an ability to be drawn to the scene of impending evil, and immortality."

So, no, flying isn't explicitly listed as one of his powers.

However, in issue #7, there are indeed a few shots of Pariah flying through space, as I recalled, leading a group of superheroes to the Anti-Monitor:

Okay, this was on some rock floating in outer space, where there would be little or no gravity, but Pariah appears to be directing his flight, rather than just floating in space. And, there is no visual indication that any of the other heroes are giving him a "flight boost" or any other kind of aid.

Plus, as far as I recall, he doesn't seem to fly in his other comic appearances...though, to be honest I didn't check 'em all. However, in this scene from DC Comics Presents #94 (June 1986), Superman is shown giving Pariah a lift:

There are a couple of scenes in the War of the Gods mini-series, his other major crossover appearance, where Pariah is floating in mid-air, but he appears to be at the mercy of your typical menacing comic book energy field/explosion/what have you, rather than levitating under his own power.

However, the explanation may simply be this. Since his powers include, as noted previously, "an ability to be drawn to the scene of impending evil," it's very possible that that "drawing" business would have been enough to help him direct his flight in weightless space (or over the near-negligible gravity of some decaying asteroid), as shown in Crisis #7. So maybe he can't normally fly, but can under certain circumstances, if it's called for, in order to get him to that source of evil.

And that is my answer to you, Employee Nathan.

While we were originally talking about this, we generalized Pariah's powers as being "drawn to scenes of impending doom" rather than just plain evil, as according to Who's Who. I wondered briefly about how doomed something had to be in order to draw Pariah there, which caused me to consider, say, a football game:

Announcer #1: "Boy, I have never seen such a one-sided game in all my life! Those guys are getting demolished!"

Announcer #2: "You ain't kidding! This is the worst blow-out I've ever had the misfortune to witn -- hey, wait a second, Bob...who's that on the field?"

Pariah (on the 50 yard line): "Doomed! The Packers are doomed!"

But since he's drawn specifically to evil, and not necessarily "doom," (which can take many non-evil forms, such as natural disasters and the like) that particular scenario doesn't work, I guess. Unless, of course, you consider the Green Bay Packers losing a football game to be evil, and I'm sure some of you do. (And I just picked that team at random, not out of malice, in case someone felt like complaining.)

Anyway, in conclusion, I'm a huge dork. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just saw the Ultimate Avengers direct-to-DVD movie over the weekend... 

...and, as far as this sort of thing usually goes, the isn't terrible. It's watchable, doesn't overstay its welcome (it's only about an hour and some change in length), and though the best bit doesn't come 'til the end, when the team battles the Hulk:

...which involves a lot of fun-to-watch destructive superhero mayhem, it remains reasonably entertaining.

Anyone expecting an exacting adaptation of the Mark Millar/Brian Hitch Ultimates series, on which this was based, is going to be disappointed. For one thing, the characterizations are much lighter...in the comic, the most sympathetic character was Thor, and he was (maybe) crazy. In the movie, the only two heroes with darker aspects to them are Hank "Giant Man" Pym (whose marriage problems and general dickatude are given special focus) and Bruce Banner (who comes across as a emotionally stunted creep). Tony Stark's drinking problem is hinted at as well.

Unsurprisingly, Stark's butler Jarvis is no longer the Bitchy Gay Jarvis of the comics...well, maybe he is, but you only really get Lightly Sardonic Jarvis from the two lines he has in the cartoon.

And certain plot points and incidents from the first Ultimate series are reproduced throughout the film, which only served to remind you (as similar circumstances did in the Constantine movie) of how those same scenes were handled better in the comic. Things are simpler, more condensed.

The movie does earn its PG-13 rating with plenty of onscreen deaths...no "falling into the water and landing safely out of harm's way" here. There is a particularly unsettling and effective scene near the beginning of the film with a space shuttle falling to Earth, its pilot shouting "We're burning up! We're burning--" just as the transmission is cut. Plus, the scenes with the recently revived Captain America reuniting with his old war buddies, both alive and dead, is genuinely affecting.

Overall, it's worth a rental...it's cheesy, harmless fun for those of you who like the guys in tights punching each other. It doesn't advance the medium, but it doesn't set it back, really, either.

The special features include a lengthy discussion of the Avengers comic books (with lots of comments from Kurt Busiek and George Perez), a collection of fan tryouts for voice work on the cartoon (couldn't finish watching it, it hurt so bad), and a text commentary for the film.

The text commentary...hoo boy. A while back I tried watching the text commentary for Kingdom of Heaven, a mindlessly-entertaining sword-em-up with Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson, but after a handful of typos and misspellings, I just gave up. It was entirely too frustrating.

Such was the case for Ultimate Avengers' similar feature. The commentary is rife with typos, misspellings, and outright grammatical errors throughout the length of the film. An example:

And that's not the worst of it...you'd think that there would be certain words that couldn't possibly be spelled incorrectly, considering what film this is. For example, Marvel:

...or Stan:

...or even Ultimates:

Yes, they misspelled "Ultimates." It's in the title of the movie. And this wasn't the only time...it's misspelled several times over the course of the commentary.

Most of the errors are clearly just typos, what with "Y" being right next to "T" on the keyboard, in the "Stan Lee" example, and I noticed a couple missing or transposed letters here and there as well ("destyoed," "emloyed," "Word War II"), not to mention several non-capitalized names ("sub-mariner," "hulk"). But, honestly, a once-over by an editor would have caught the majority of these, I'm sure. Was the DVD rushed out to market that quickly?

Well, avoid the commentary feature, I guess...hopefully the one on the promised second Ultimate Avengers DVD will be an improvement.

In other news:

Hey, longtime customer (and fledgling pro funnybook artist) Weshoyot has a new column over at The Comics Review. Go, read, tell her I sent you.

Speaking of columns, I have a new installment of BEHIND THE COUNTER up over at Comic Book Galaxy, in which I talk about selling the naughty books.

And as long as I'm on my favorite topic -- me -- let me point out a few things I just put up on the eBay. These are personal items, duplicates from my collection, which I'm not selling through the store. Bid early, bid often.

Monday, March 06, 2006

"Everyone has C.B. now." 

Popeye #138 (January 1977) - art by George Wildman

Yes, it's the special C.B. issue, and that cover lies! It lies to you, as neither Olive Oyl nor Wimpy appear in this ish. There is plenty of hot C.B. action, however.

This first page sets up the situation, with Popeye following a huge freakin' bomb that, you'd think, they'd try to disguise a little to reduce citizen panic:

And for some reason, Popeye is more concerned with Swee'pea using his real name than with Swee'pea sitting on top of said huge freakin' bomb.

Oh, and the name of the bomb as revealed in that first panel is what we call in the biz "foreshadowing."

Enemy agents are afoot, however, and Popeye proves his worth with his observational skills:

Also in the mix is Bluto and/or Brutus (details here), whose sole purpose in this story is apparently to give Popeye crap over the C.B.:

...which apparently annoys Popeye so much that he violates all manner of physical laws to deliver a punch over the radio waves and through "Big Bee's" receiver:

And yes, if only we could do that now, in this internet age. I've had a few e-mail punches I've wanted to deliver.

Anyway, the bad guys get a hold of the huge freakin' bomb, and capture Popeye in the process. It's then that Popeye learns the plan: apparently the bad guys are going to drop the bomb on King Willie's country, while informing the country that it was in fact the king himself who dropped the bomb, thus clearing the way for the chief bad guy to step in as ruler. Yeah, okay.

Popeye manages to get free momentarily, and raises King Willie on the C.B.:

Afterwards, Popeye is forced at gunpoint to haul the bomb to the plane, which he now apparently seems perfectly happy to do, much to the consternation of Swee'pea:

The plan is in action! The chief bad guy prepares to inform everyone that the king is dropping his bomb on them, and thankfully there's one guaranteed way to get a hold of everyone simultaneously:

But the joke's on them...it's inferred that, during their brief C.B. radio chat, King Willie informed Popeye of the true nature of the Happiness Bomb, thus explaining why Popeye was so willing to help out. The bomb explodes, revealing:

The bomb apparently contained an elaborate heating system for the hamburgers and hot dogs, plus a refrigeration system for the ice cream...the latter especially important given that, as seen at the beginning of the story, the big metal bomb was being hauled through a desert.

The somewhat disturbing conclusion:

Well said, Popeye, well said.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Anniversaries and conditions. 

A happy (belated) fourth anniversary to Pop Culture Gadabout, which happens to be the first site by a person I didn't know* to put up a link to mine. He has a swell site, always worth reading.

I have a question. Are people incapable of seeing whether or not something is in new condition?

As a seller of funnybooks, I regularly get folks in the shop looking to sell their old comics to us, as I may have brought up in the past, once or twice. Sometimes (well, usually) it's someone who isn't are mired in the hobby as you or I, who has a bundle of comics from when they were a kid, or they just bought at the swap meet, or some darn thing, and they're trying to unload them on us for a few bucks. And the collection is almost always introduced with "all these comics are in great shape," or "new condition," or "excellent to mint condition."

And, yeah, if you've been reading my site for any length of time, it shouldn't come as any surprise that, no, the comics are not in new condition. In fact, they usually look like they've been hit by a series of fast-moving vehicles. (See my first Comic Book Galaxy column for the Superboy Annual story.)

It came to me last night, as I was looking at a pile of comics a fellow brought it just as we were closing, in terrible condition but promised to be in "perfect shape," that people just plain can't see what condition their comics are actually in.

I'm not talking about knowing the difference between "Very Fine" and "Near Mint" -- it's bad enough I have to know that, I wouldn't expect anyone else to. I mean, looking at a comic that's stained, with the cover torn (or missing outright), waterlogged, burned, smelling of cat pee, and telling me "it's in brand new condition!"

Either they're trying to convince me through constant repetition of their claims that what they're saying is true (a common strategy in the real world, nowadays), or they think that this is what comics always look like (which is just depressing), or that they think "for the comics' age" that they're in relatively nice condition, considering.

Or they honestly can't tell. If so, would these same people, when they're buying a new car, overlook a big dent in the door? Would they buy clothes new off the rack that are torn or stained? Surely in these cases they can tell when something looks "new" and when something obviously looks "used."

And, to reiterate...I don't mean comics that are "slightly used," with minor spine creasing, or a touch of sun-fading. I mean "someone used this comic to practice their knife-stabbing technique." Or "someone was testing the effectiveness of their collection of corrosive acids." Some people just plain can't see it...or don't want to see it, perhaps.

The ultimate reason is probably that they don't care. It ain't their hobby, so why should they? Let professional nerds like "comic book store employees" worry about it. All comics are pretty much the same, right? So any old comic should be worth something. And it isn't that they don't know that condition is important in this hobby, since the first words out of their mouths is always about how great the condition is on their books.

So what say you, internet pals?

In that last section, when I tried to type the word "swap," it kept coming out as "swamp." In fact, I just did it again right now. See what my obsession with Swamp Thing has done to me?

* In case you're wondering, the first site to link to me which is by a person I do know is this one. I know I've mentioned it before, but any excuse to send a little traffic out in a pal's direction....

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