"Wow, 32…that’s old."

§ January 15th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "Wow, 32…that’s old."

Issues 3 and 4 of the relaunched Flash comic (Aug-Sept 1987) involve Wally’s battle with an extraterrestrial machine intelligence called the Kilg%re. It’s exciting, it’s creepy, and its conclusion stretched credulity (20-year-old SPOILER: they had to shut down every power grid IN THE WORLD in order to stop this thing). A few other notes about these issues:

1. The correct pronunciation of “Kilg%re” was quite the topic in the Flash letter columns, as I recall. In my head, I always pronounced it “Kilgolore,” making the percent sign into two Os and an L for no real good reason. However, this had the added benefit of sounding like “Kill Galore,” and how cool is that? I suppose most people just called it “Kilgore,” which was probably easier. I don’t know if an actual pronunciation ever popped up anyway, but I’m sure one of you folks will let me know.

2. President Reagan makes an appearance. Hi, Ronnie!

You know, comic books sure took to the Gipper…he was always popping up in some superhero book or other, and I’m not even talking about Reagan’s Raiders. He would just turn up, sometimes being turned into a giant snake creature to fight Captain America, sometimes just doing something presidential (good or ill), but for a while there it seemed like he was in every other comic. Other recent presidents haven’t had nearly the funnybook facetime as ol’ Ron…not either Bush, not Carter, not Clinton…well, maybe Nixon. Those other presidents had their moments, but for about eight years, the comics loved featuring Reagan.

3. The Kilg%re storyline was the one that introduced Dr. Tina McGee as a love interest for Wally, which was notable for two reasons. One, Dr. McGee was 32, twelve years older than 20-year-old Wally. I’m sure the 18-year-old Mikester at the time thought “wow, 32…that’s old,” which makes the 38-year-old Mikester I am now want to go back in time and slap him.

And two…oh, did I mention she was married? Separated, yes, but still married. That caused a stir among the fans, as you might imagine. Granted, it caused some difficulty and guilt with Wally in-story…not enough to keep him from her, sure. And it played into the next storyline, when her estranged husband shows up and, oh, it turns out he has super-speed powers, too, and he’s deranged. Wouldn’t you know it.

4. And the Kilg%re is defeated, though it pops up now and again in the Flash comic, and apparently it has something to do with Maxwell Lord becoming a robot or some damned thing, which doesn’t matter because that’s all been retconned away anyway.

By the way, I’m going to be slowly rereading my Flash run, in those brief lulls when I’m not overwhelmed with lots of other reading to catch up on. Hopefully you won’t mind my occasional commentary on the issues I’ve just read popping up here over the next few weeks or months…I’m not planning on turning this into Progressive Ruin’s All-Flash Fansite or anything.

Also by the way, I do intend on responding to some of your good and/or witty comments on my posts from the last few days. Just haven’t had much time to do so, and I apologize. I am reading them, rest assured!

I finally received that Cinematic Titanic DVD I ordered a couple of weeks ago…and yes, I’ve watched it all the way through already. It feels like classic Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (which it should, since MST creator Joel Hodgson is responsible), and they picked a real stinker of a movie (The Oozing Skull) to kick off the series, and it’s perfect for the format. Not every joke works, but with the number they throw at you, that’s only to be expected.

Some notes:

1. The eventual plan of Cinematic Titanic is to offer their films either via download for your own burning pleasure, or via an actual DVD which would be mailed to you. This first movie isn’t yet available for download, due to some distribution right issues with the film’s owner, but when both options are available, if it’ll make your decision any easier, the DVD they mail you comes with NO extra packing material or goodies. It’s just a DVD (with an affixed label), in a mailing envelope. You’re not going to miss out on any neat DVD covers or anything if you just download the film and burn it yourself.

Also, the DVD I received had some minor scuffing on the playable side…enough to make me concerned prior to playing the film, but it appeared to play okay on my machine.

2. The format of the program is a little different from MST3K or the other spin-off project The Film Crew, in that there’s no preamble, no set-up for why this particular group of folks are watching this movie, who’s inflicting this film on them, and so on. You hit “play,” the cast’s silhouettes walk in from the sides of the screen and take their positions, and the movie and riffing immediately begin.

And the entire program takes place in this “theatre.” Unlike MST3K and Film Crew, there’s no leaving the film to go perform skits. Instead, one of the CT cast will say, “whoa, hold on” or something similar, and the film is paused while the cast goofs on the frozen image, or brings in silhouetted props (like the chandelier thing I mentioned), and otherwise performs bits, still related to the film, but otherwise outside the normal riffing.

3. Just so this is tangentially related to comic books, there is a joke about Todd McFarlane’s Spawn during the film’s opening credits.

3a. Come to think of it, McFarlane himself is only tangentially related to comic books, nowadays.

Big bad Kevin Church‘s mini-series Cover Girl is back, in that trade paperback format you kids go wild for, so go out and buy it. It’s a fun and witty adventure/comedy that Ringwood Ken Lowery liked, and since Ken is right about all things, you know you can trust that review.

Also, Kevin has posted commentary for the first two chapters, so when you buy your copy of Cover Girl and read it, you can read it again with Kevin looking over your shoulder, metaphorically speaking, telling you neat stuff about it.

Also also, Kevin used my name and pal Dorian‘s for a couple of minor characters in the book, which probably means some of you will think this recommendation is biased, which is probably is, but I never promised you nuthin’, pal, so back off. And, believe it or not, somehow I missed our names in that book when I was reading it on the installment plan, which annoyed Kevin slightly. I don’t know how I missed them, considering I was scouring the pages waiting for my and Dor’s names to pop up. Must’ve missed that panel, somehow, or I was distracted (“Ooh, new All Star Batman!”) or something. Hey, I’m not perfect. Just close.

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