Posts Tagged ‘Black’

Wonder Woman: The New Duds Revisited

April 1, 2011

EG: Alright, folks, it isn’t that often we revisit a topic, but that is EXACTLY what we are doing today. What earthshaking developments have taken place that drive us to do so?

Wonder Woman.

That’s right, folks. Our pleas, in part have been heard. In the most recent images released from the upcoming TV tragedy of epic proportions, Wonder Woman, the costume has been changed.

I’ll say it again, slowly: The. Costume. Has. Been. Changed.

Thanks to the very comments and concerns expressed right here on this blog, the Steve Austin Book Club has convinced the Dark Forces working on this series to (at least partially) fix the costume.

OG: Huzzah!!! Er, well, that is, Partial Huzzah!!!

EG: I’m sure that some of the other bloggers out there that made some comments had a slight impact on the decision as well, but I’m hereby claiming credit for this advancement in the voice of fandom for this blog. We, OG and EG got this done for you, our people.

You are welcome.

OG: Yes, that’s right! Big shot Hollywood muckety-muck David E. Kelly and those ninnies at NBC have buckled under the mounting pressure from our rarely updated and virtually unknown blog! OUR INFLUENCE CANNOT BE DENIED ANY LONGER!!!

EG: So, let’s take a look at the updated costume!

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EG: There she is, determinedly running! First off, let me say, I know it isn’t perfect. The top is still shiny. I still wish they’d gone with a more dull, leather-like top. But, look at the improvements – the pants are darker, and no longer made of vinyl. And the boots! We got the red boots! And not the hooker-heels that the blue boots were! That right there was such a vast improvement I can almost forgive the shortcomings.

OG: Indeed, on the whole, it is a significant improvement. The only reason I wish they had held their ground on the original costume is that we could have seen shots of her running awkwardly in vinyl pants and trying to jump up on cars in stilettos. Certainly the comedy of that would have been delightful!

EG: But, I did mention shortcomings. With the replacement of just the pants material/tone, the costume now seems a bit less cohesive. As much as I didn’t like the shiny elements of the original picture released, the costume had a flow to it. Yes, a cheap Halloween-esque plastic-y flow, but a flow nonetheless. That said, I still think this is better.

OG: ‘Tis a very good point EG. It does look very much disjointed. But, with such a short span of time between the initial release of the original costume image and these new images, I think the changes they made were the only ones they could do on the quick.

On a side-note, as much as I celebrate our victory in getting them to make changes, it is clear evidence that they don’t have a firm creative vision for this show nor the confidence to stick to their guns that such a vision would give them. And, with it being NBC, it feels like Heroes all over again – Changing and modifying their show based on the whims of fandom ultimately results in an even worse product. Does that make any sense?

EG: I get what you are saying, but I think you have to consider that this is *just* a costume modification, and not necessarily an indication of any lack of vision. Frankly, I’m more inclined to believe that they released the images just early enough so that they could make modifications based on fan reaction. If you think of that as an affirmative decision, it becomes less wishy-washy and more tactical.

And, if you are paranoid like me and follow that line of thinking to a darker conclusion, maybe those initial image drops were released *just* to get the fans to react in the way they did, that these changes were always going to come down the line, but now the studio can claim they actually listened to fans…

What? Too much?

OG: Anyway, putting that aside. What else?

EG: Nitpicking, I really do wish they’d gone with the silver on the boots instead of the gold. But, that is such a minor concern, it doesn’t even need to be mentioned. Along that same line, the stars on the pants would stand out more in silver as well.

OG: Hmm, I can see what you’re saying and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to that. But, the gold does fall in line with the iconography of the character, making a revised look to the character still fall within the bounds of what we expect from a Wonder Woman costume.

EG: But, let’s take note of the other aspect of this show we are seeing in these images – Wonder Woman is running. That implies that there is actually going to be action in the TV show! As an occasional viewer of Smallville, I’m used to a superhero show that barely has any action most of the time, and this show, we are already seeing action! I’ll admit, I feared, given David Kelly’s record of doing mostly courtroom dramas, that we’d never get around to any superheroic action scenes, so I’m suddenly filled with cautious optimism for this show.

OG: Well, we probably shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves just yet. This is the Pilot after all which is generally a more action-y affair in this type of show anyway. I don’t recall the Smallville Pilot (I believe the only episode I ever watched) but I gotta think that had some promising action in it as well. Also, running? Really? I mean, isn’t this situation tailor-made for Wonder Woman to show off her lasso skills? Ah, looks like I found another nit to pick. Please, carry on.

EG: Hey, how about a clip from the filming of the show?

OG: Let’s do it!

EG: Yowch! Busted knees are never fun!

OG: I have to say, she looks 1000 times less silly in action then I thought she would. Apparently, this ain’t just gonna be Ally McBeal with tights. That said, the shiny top does look significantly goofier in action than the pants. Despite that, it’s pretty encouraging overall.

EG: It does bolster my pie-eyed optimism. I know it isn’t much, but I did expected so little.

OG: Me too. But, I have to say, though we have no context for this clip, I do get worried in any superhero project where the hero/heroine is chasing some random thug. I like my superheroes to fight dudes that are equal to or even superior to them in ability. Of course, he mounted that last car with a lot more skill then she did (she looked pretty winded, right?), so I should probably reserve judgment there.

EG: Before we finish, let’s take a look at two more images. First, this:

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EG: Now, that’s not even right. I know that Adrianne Palicki is more attractive than this bizarre shot lets on. I’m just saying – not an attractive angle.

OG: I’m going to venture to say that Ms. Palicki has probably already lodged a complaint about this angle. Yikes.

EG: And, finally, this image:

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EG: I don’t know if this photo was darkened on purpose, or if it was just the particular lighting, but, wow, this image shows the potential for awesome this costume has. The colors in this one are dead on what they should be for the live action, the shine is more easily overlooked, and the flow of the costume is much better. If this is how the costume comes across on-screen, I’ll be thrilled!

OG: And, that’s not counting the wonders (I think this leaves me with 4 or 5 more crappy puns for the year based on the strict new crappy pun policy we put into effect recently) they can do to the color and look in post production enhancement work. So, I’m thinking this aspect of the show will be the least of our worries.

EG: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m starting to actually look forward to this series. I know the potential for it stinking is huge, but, seriously, the makers listened to geekdom about the costume. They WANT this show to be successful, they WANT to please the fans. How often does that happen, people? I mean, seriously? For that reason, I’m going to watch this show. That’s right – I’m declaring right now that I’m going to watch this show, good or bad!

OG: I’m with you. But, I must reiterate my concerns about how wishy-washy they’ve proved themselves to be already. But, you are right. A certain amount of respect for the fans opinions is healthy and can lead to a better show. No doubt. I just hope that outside of the costume they have a fresh and interesting take on the world of the character and give us something worth tuning into each week. So, I’m going to go ahead and join you in some good old-fashioned “cautious optimism.”

EG: For the changes to this costume, I’m driving my rating four and a half Running Steves. If the red bodice were changed to a duller leather look, I’d make it five in a heartbeat.

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OG: I’ll bump from 3 ½ to four. They can certainly still change the top after the pilot is done and I’ll gladly revise upwards should that happen.

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EG: Alright, Mr. Kelly and NBC… you’ve got us… can you hold on to us?

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Wonder Woman: The New Duds

March 20, 2011

EG: Welcome, all, to the All-New “We’re gonna reboot this blog again” Extravaganza here at the Steve Austin Book Club. No lousy excuses here – we (OG and EG, your unreliable hosts here at the SABC) are bad people.

Not serial killer bad or kick-your-puppy bad, but easily-distracted-from-this-blog-and-not-post-anything-new-for-more-than-a-full-calendar-year bad.

Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

OG: I actually think our lack of posting is quite beautiful. Think about it – despite our numerous bionic upgrades, we are still deeply human. Just because our blogging abilities are cybernetically enhanced doesn’t mean that we aren’t also imbued with the inherent flaws of Original Sin. Also, we plainly suck.

EG: Anyway, what could POSSIBLY cause us to jump back into this? What event of geekdom would push us over the edge from our regular thoughts of “we really should bring the SABC back” to actually putting butts-to-chair and doing it?

This:

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EG: It’s… it’s so… shiny. Uh… yeah.

OG: When my browser first loaded the image I actually heard the squeaking of vinyl before I saw the costume.

EG: In case you didn’t know, David Kelly is making a new Wonder Woman TV show for NBC, and the info that has been leaked about the show, up to this point, has been… underwhelming.

OG: Yes, in defiance of everything that Marvel Studios is doing to create a seamless film universe populated by their great panoply of characters shown in contemporary and dynamic ways, Warner Brothers (not counting the Batman films) is doing it’s level best to meet the demands of the late 90’s with the filmed versions of the heroes of DC!

EG: Now we get this costume. Don’t get me wrong, as a red-blooded American male, there is an… appreciation for this costume, but…

OG: Yes, EG. The gal is truly fetching and she has “wonder”ful attributes that make her a real stand-out in the role! (I hate myself for typing that) And, to really make a statement of who this character is, I see that David E. Kelly made the effort to order a Wonder Woman costume from Target’s expansive collection.

EG: You know, it does look a lot like one of those “Deluxe Sexy Superhero Costumes” that come out for women to slut around in every Halloween.

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EG: The bad thing is… the one for Wonder Woman is actually less over-the-top than the new TV show costume.

OG: But, what they both have in common is their complete look of having been bought at a store. But, I’m being too negative here. I mean, I do want to say that I think there are things they’ve done right here. Kind of.

EG: I think I understand what is happening here. This entire thing is the nefarious plot of Jim Lee to get the public to accept, nay, CELEBRATE his redesign of the Wonder Woman costume.

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And, you know what, OG? It is working. I almost wish they had gone with this costume for this TV show.

OG: I agree completely. I actually liked his design of the character and feels like it is almost tailor made for live-action. And so, I do applaud the inclusion of some of the elements. From what I understand of the plot for the new series, it is going to be more of a street-level superhero story and to that end, they started in the right direction but apparently felt the need to split the difference by bringing in more of the shiny, dare I say cheesy parts of the iconography.

EG: OG, I know you don’t watch Smallville…
OG: It is one of the few things in life that give me true pride.
EG: …and, really, I only catch about two full episodes a season, but they actually put Lois Lane (Erica Durance) in a Wonder Woman-esque costume that I really liked:

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Now, I don’t mean to be snide (actually, yeah, I do), but when Smallville, the show that put Green Arrow in a hoodie –

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And Superman in black trench coat –

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Manages to come up with a better costume, you know you are in trouble.

OG: Not bad at all! I like the more leather look. Reminds me very much of what Marvel Studios is doing so amazingly right (at least from what I’ve seen) with the Captain America costume. I mean, in some ways Wonder Woman has a lot in common visually with Captain America. They have really in your face, bombastic, brightly colored, symbolically rich costumes that are hard to translate to film. Perhaps this is a good time for you to reach in to EG’s Treasure Trove of Superhero Costume Photo Reference and show us what Captain America looks like when done oh so very wrong…

EG: I only live to serve:
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EG: In an effort to be positive, though, let me say that the DESIGN of the costume is actually pretty good. I like that they went with pants… sorta… well, fully-covered legs, anyway. I like that they went with the recognizable and classic bustier. And, while I like the shade of red used in the costume, the blue could stand a little muting, perhaps some darkening… but it is hard to tell from the glare! I think, if they could have de-shine-ified them (yeah, I made that word up), I’d appreciate the entire costume a lot more. The costume really isn’t *that* horrible.

Except the boots. The blue boots do not work. Hey, OG, wanna see this costume become about 90% better?

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EG: There. How’s that?

OG: If you were to tie me up in your lasso of truth (please don’t) I would be forced to say that this is amazing! You almost completely fixed it. Mute the colors on the costume and then make it the more leather look we discussed earlier and you’ve got yourself a PERFECT Wonder Woman costume for the screen, which makes me a little hopeful. I mean, lit and photographed correctly, many of the more obnoxious aspects of the costume (brightness & shininess primarily) might be mitigated. Assuming they do that, the only other pitfall they’d need to avoid would be getting someone like the creator of Ally McBeal to run the show. Now that would be a travesty!

EG: Well, we can only hope! Actually… I have to admit, after looking at the costume for a while, and changing the boots, I could really see something like this working.   I’d really like the colors toned down to the tones in the Smallville version.  Let me take a try at that:

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I still hate the shiny, latex-look, but the whole thing is growing on me.

Or, maybe it is just the fact that I’ve been looking at the image of a beautiful woman dressed up in a shiny latex Wonder Woman costume long enough that I don’t really care anymore.

OG: Well, while my first reaction was 100% negative I have to say you’ve kind of won me over here. I’m not hating it. In fact, I’ll go ahead and give this costume 3 fully loaded Running Steve’s.

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And, just to go on the record, I’ll go ahead and give the show itself a presumptive ZERO Running Steves. Really predicting “Birds of Prey” levels of craptitude here man.

EG: I’ll second the three Running Steve’s, and I’m gonna say that people will be wishing Birds of Prey was still around to cleanse their palate from this doomed version of Wonder Woman.

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NBC, feel free to surprise us and produce an amazing show… but don’t expect us to be holding our breath.

It is a Mystery!

October 9, 2009

There is a mystery in Geekdom.

DC Direct has been producing some pretty neat action figures in relation to the Blackest Night mega-event that is taking place in the Green Lantern titles (and, soon, the entire DCU… my wallet is already crying).

In the first batch of toys, we were treated to a “mystery figure” in all the promotion:

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Soon enough, we learned it was Kal L, Superman of Earth 2 as a Black Lantern:

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In the next wave, we had another mystery figure:

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Turned out, it was Black Lantern Martian Manhunter:

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The next wave included Black Lantern Aquaman, but I don’t think his promo was blacked out. It might have been, but I don’t recall. The wave of figures after that, though, is where the real mystery is.

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In that image, we see the Black Lantern Firestorm, but there is another figure blacked out. The solicitation for this wave says:

“This series includes Wonder Woman, who is surprisingly transformed by the happenings of the Blackest Night (Read the comics to learn more!)”

What makes this figure so mysterious is that, unlike the previously blacked-out figures, this one hasn’t been spoiled. Kal L and Martian Manhunter were uncovered within weeks of the initial promo. This figure… it is well over two months now.

Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to NOT be spoiled… but it raises a lot of questions. All of the previous mystery figures were Black Lanterns, does this mean Wonder Woman will be a Black Lantern? But, each wave up until this one only has one Black Lantern, and this wave already has Black Lantern Firestorm.

Which leaves us to wonder (get it? wonder? ha!) if Wonder Woman will be getting a ring, and if so, which one?

A lot of folks are thinking that Wonder Woman will become a Star Sapphire. This is based on an image tucked away in the massive two page spread found in Green Lantern #25:

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See it? No? Down in the left hand corner. Still no? Okay, how about blown up a bit:

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As far as I can tell, the only thing that people are going by to connect this image and Wonder Woman is the mystery figure:

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Looking at the figure, it seems to have the same skirting that is seen in the drawing. And, thus a lot of folks seem to make a massive leap to say that the figure must be that Star Sapphire, and since the solicitation for the figure says it is Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman will be a Star Sapphire!

That… is a pretty flimsy reason to make that leap.

The whole “Power of Love” (man, I love Huey Lewis and the News) thing the Star Sapphires have going on doesn’t mesh with my idea of Wonder Woman.  Plus, the ouline of the figure doesn’t really match up with that Star Sapphire costume.

A lot of folks think Wonder Woman may become a Blue Lantern. But, as passive as those Lanterns are, I don’t see that either.

Green seems unlikely. Red? An angry Wonder Woman is a thing to behold, and might work. Yellow is possible, but less likely. Sure, she can inspire fear, but as an ambassador to the world, it seems against her nature. Orange? Nah.

Which leaves Indigo. And, while attaching an Amazon Warrior to the Indigo Tribe seems like a more natural fit, I’m not buying it either.

I’ve never seen Wonder Woman as a mercy killer.

Then what? Well… I propose that the solicit is deceiving. (That’s right, solicit! I’m calling you out!)

After all, Diana Prince isn’t the only woman ever to be Wonder Woman.

Alternate option #1: Wonder Woman of Earth 2

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She was seen again back during Infinite Crisis, so maybe she is coming back to take care of the Black Lantern Superman of Earth 2.

Alternate option #2: Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and Mother of Diana

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That’s right – for a time, Diana’s mother served as Wonder Woman. She even traveled back in time and served with the original Justice Society of America. I’m not sure if any of this has been retconned, but it is a possibility.

Alternate Option #3: Artemis

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Ah, the 90’s, when superheroines all had gravity-defying hair and broken backs! Yes, Artemis, the grim-and-gritty version of Wonder Woman! She served as Wonder Woman after Queen Hippolyta called for a new contest for the title of Wonder Woman in an effort to protect Diana. Could be her… and, she’s already dead, so she’d be able to slip into a Black Lantern costume pretty easily… which is necessary with that back condition.

Alternate Option #4: Donna Troy

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During the year that Diana took off for 52, Donna served as Wonder Woman in this far-superior costume! (Yeah, personal opinion, but, c’mon! That IS a much cooler costume!) Plus, if you are reading the Blackest Night: Titans comic, you’ll know that there is a real possibility here. Plus, she seems to be wearing the correct skirt (or possibly the sword) that is seen in the mystery figure.

Which is why Donna is my odds on favorite for this figure – a Donna Troy as Black Lantern Wonder Woman. Why as Wonder Woman? Well, her other costumes have been generally unremarkable. The Wonder Woman outfit is more distinctive, and should mess with the minds of the other heroes quite a bit, too.

To give an idea of what the figure might look like, I took this image:

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And, with a quick, not too detailed mock-up, I came up with this:

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I know – not the best, but it gives the idea. I could be completely off base here, but we’ll see!

Micro-Hero of the Week

September 14, 2009

Howdy all!  We here at the Steve Austin Book Club, in an ongoing effort to… well, produce content, really, will be introducing new features over the next little bit!  Basically, we are throwing things against the wall, seeing what sticks!

Today, we are happy to introduce the Micro-Hero of the Week!  Micro-Heroes are small pixel drawings of pretty much any person or character that you can think of.  EG has been making these simple drawings for a while now, so we figured we’d show some of them off.

EG is always open to suggestions for other characters to do, so speak up!

Without further ado, here is the first Micro-Hero of the week, starring in everyone’s favorite major event over at DC – Kal L, Superman of Earth 2, Black Lantern!

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Ain’t he a cute little psychotic zombie?

Clothes Make the Man: Wally West

September 9, 2009

The Blackest Night falls from the skies.
The darkness grows as all light dies.
We crave your hearts and your demise.
By my black hand…
The dead shall rise!

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*Shuffle, stumble, moan* Braaaaiiiinnnnnnssssss!

Huh?  Oh…

Greetings one and all, and welcome to another fun-filled entry here at the Steve Austin Book Club!

(What is that you say?  No posts in over 13 months?  Huh.  Well, looky there.  Guess you are right.  Oh, well, no dwelling on the laziness of your hosts!  Seriously – we did the “rising from the dead” bit right there at the front, okay?!?)

In case you haven’t heard, Barry Allen is back.  And, in case you are under 30, Barry Allen was the Silver Age Flash, Wally’s uncle.

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(Figured I’d go ahead and explain that, since DC is pulling a character back into the land of the living that has been dead for over two decades.  DC: Giving the fans what they never demanded!)

With Barry back, it does beg the question, what about Wally?  Wally West, former Kid Flash, has been wearing the red tights for 22 years, but now his uncle is back, and what does the DC Universe need with TWO Flashes?

Of course, there have been two Flashes for a while – first, Barry and Jay Garrick, who is the Golden Age Flash:

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Then Wally and Jay:

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And, if there are two Flashes, what’s the big deal with adding a third?

Well… it seems it is the costume.

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Wally essentially wears the same costume as his uncle Barry did… does.  (Sorry, keep forgetting.  Barry isn’t dead anymore.  No need to dwell on his emotional death, full of heroic sacrifice, or how Wally managed to be the only character to fully assume the mantle of his mentor… and is essentially being reduced to the Kyle Rayner/chamber pot holder position now that his uncle is back.)

What was I saying?  Oh, yeah, the similar costumes.  There are differences – Wally has no wings on his boots, and his belt is different – but they aren’t big enough differences.

Which is a shame, because at one point in time, Wally West was regularly wearing a costume that, while similar to Barry Allen’s costume, was distinct enough that the two could be easily told apart.

Going back in time to the Flash comic series that started in 1987, Wally West was still living under the shadow of Barry Allen and wearing the exact same costume his uncle wore. 

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He was also significantly less powerful, having a limited top speed and requiring massive amounts of food to sustain himself.  All that started to change, though, as Wally came to grips with his new role.  Eventually, he even realized it was his own feelings of inferiority to his uncle that were holding him back.  With issue #50 of that series, Wally West started wearing his own version of the Flash costume (designed/updated by Greg LaRocque).  This costume was a darker red, metallic in tone, added the angled belt, removed the boot wings, and had white lenses that covered Wally’s eyes.

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When you look at Barry’s costume and this version of Wally’s costume, it really is pretty easy to distinguish between the two.

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But, after about 80 issues or so, the suit reverted to the Barry Allen version with just the modified belt and lack of boot wings.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe the artists wanted the expression that seeing the eyes allowed.  Or, maybe they couldn’t get the metallic red to look right.

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Regardless, we have come to the point where, once again, Wally West’s suit is a near identical copy of his uncle’s suit.

At least until issue #6 of the Flash: Rebirth miniseries.

(Which is really an odd thing to call it, since all the Flashes of the DCU returned PRIOR to that mini.)

In the final issue of that miniseries, we have been told Wally West’s new costume will be revealed.

There have been no clues about what the costume will look like, but there has been a lot of fanart guessing what it might be like.

Most of them seem to assume a costume that resembles (in style, at least) Wally West’s red and yellow costume from when he was Kid Flash.

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There was also a time in the past where Wally kinda “became” the Speed Force itself, and we saw a costume that was kind of a cool variant of his Kid Flash costume.

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A lot of folks seem to think Wally will take on the colors of the original Flash, Jay Garrick.

Which gives us something like this:

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Or this:

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And, if we do see this something like that, I think it is a given that we will see Jay Garrick either retire or be killed before the end of the miniseries.  Which would be sad, for those among us that have been fans of the JSA series.

I’ve heard, though, that the new costume will not contain any blue.  Which leads me to another option, seen previously in the weekly series Trinity – where an alternate history Jay Garrick wore this little number:

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It does kinda look like a cross between Jay’s costume and Wally’s costume, doesn’t it?

Me, I’m still hoping to see Wally wear the “Dark Flash” costume worn by the alternate universe speedster, Walter West:

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Of course, I have another thought… a possibility.  We have to remember that Geoff Johns is writing this miniseries.  And, to bring this post full circle, he’s also writing a little thing called “Blackest Night.”

Given that, and the fact that you can’t really have two guys in the same costume with the same name running around the DCU (at least regularly in the same universe), what if the new costume being designed for Wally isn’t a new costume as a hero… but as a Black Lantern?

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There is a horrible prerequisite to being a Black Lantern, though, isn’t there?

Just some food for thought.

Captains, Captains Everywhere…

May 9, 2008

 

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SPOILER WARNING!!!

HEREIN, THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES AND/OR INFORMATION THAT MAY SPOIL THE FOLLOWING COMICS:  CAPTAIN AMERICA 25, CAPTAIN AMERICA 34 THROUGH 40 (WELL, ACTUALLY, JUST THE COVER FOR 40), SECRET INVASION 1, AND  AVENGERS/INVADERS 1 (AGAIN, JUST THE COVER).  SO, IF YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW, STOP AND TURN BACK.

LAST CHANCE.

DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

As most of us are aware, Steve Rogers, Captain America, was killed in March of 2007.

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And, shockingly, he stayed that way.

Months passed and there was no Captain America.  Oh, there were teases thrown out about the “new” Captain America.  Anyone remember these travesties?

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But nothing real.  In fact, much to the credit of writer Ed Brubaker, there appeared on the newstands and in the comic shops eight issues of the Captain America comic in which there was NO Captain America.

Don’t get me wrong – it was a feat.  But, as OG could testify to, I was getting antsy during that time.

See, I’m a big Captain America fan.  Loves me some Cap, you know?  Well, as good as the comics were, I was growing really tired of buying a Captain America comic and not getting to see the adventures of the Star-Spangled Avenger.

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I even contemplated dropping the title and picking it back up when a Captain America finally appeared again.

Through this time, OG held my hand (figuratively), assuring me that Cap would return.

Finally, after 10 months, word came down:  Captain America would appear again in issue 34.

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Sure, it wasn’t MY Cap, but at least it was Captain America.  Shiny, but still, there was much rejoicing for me.

Then it started.

About the same time, it was also announced that Captain America would be returning.

What?  Didn’t I already say that?

Yeah, exactly.

This next Captain America WAS my Cap… sorta.  Marvel announced the Avengers/Invaders 12 issue series, in which the original Invaders were going to be transported through time to the present day Marvel Universe.  Among those Invaders was, of course, Steve Rogers, before he was frozen and thawed out in modern times, before he was time tested, before he was an experienced leader.

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Interesting.  I was fascinated at the concept, and began looking forward to the series.  I don’t know if the new Cap and the time-transported Cap will meet in the series, but I think it would be pretty neat.

So, there I was, happily reading the monthly Captain America book and looking forward to the Avengers/Invaders series… and it happened again.

In Captain America 36, I was shocked (as, I would guess, most people were), when, at the end of the issue, a body is found in a stasis chamber of some sort… and it is the body of Steve Rogers.

And, just for fun, take a look at the cover of 40:

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Uh, yeah.  I KNOW!

Sure, I can make a bunch of guesses as to who or what this might be… but that’s for another discussion.

Just when I thought I couldn’t be further surprised, though, I read Secret Invasion 1, and near the end of the issue, we are treated to a ship openning up and seeing a familiar face:

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So, if you are keeping count, in the main Marvel Universe at the present time, there is not one, two, or even three people claiming the mantle Captain America, but FOUR.  Quite a cumulation of Caps, wouldn’t you say?

And that’s not even counting these alternate reality folks running around:

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I gotta say, this whole thing is starting to seem very familiar to me.  Death of an icon, huge amount of media attention, four coming on the scene with claims to the name… hmm… what does that remind me of…?

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Oh, well, I’m sure it’ll come to me eventually.

If this does go the way of that event from the Distinguished Competition, then I’m all for it.  It means I’ll get my Captain America back.  And, hey, He’s already got a black version of his suit that he can reappear in!

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Preview Review – Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1

May 1, 2008

Uh oh!  Looks like it is that time again – another Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.

Today, we look at Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1, from Paul Cornell (writer) and Leonard Kirk (artist), with a cover by Brian Hitch.

Wow!  Without further ado, let’s take a look at that Brian Hitch cover!

 
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Uh… yeah.  That’s Captain Britain.  Yep.  There he is.  You know, I’m not looking to be spoiled by the covers on my comics, but I would like to see something pertaining to the story contained in the book.  Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little here, but unless the story involves Captain Britain rescuing someone from a random graphics department or Brian Hitch’s sketchbook, I’m guessing the images don’t have a lot to do with the story.  Oh, wait – I do see a guy with lines on his chin.  Ah, that must be the clue to tell us that the issue will have something to do with Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens from space!  Well, that image along with a year of promotion from Marvel basically telling us that Skrulls are everywhere.  Okay, let’s move inside the book.

 
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Ah, right there!  See?  I told ya!  Skrulls.  Clearly, Captain Britain is being attacked by two Skrulls here.  One, obviously more accomplished at his shapeshifting abilities, is combining the forms of Ghost Rider, Iceman, and… uh… Hawkman.  Wait – Hawkman is from DC, not Marvel.  There you have it, True Believers.  The Skrull problem is so bad that it is even infecting and drawing from the Distinguished Competition.  The second Skrull, being less experienced, is making an attempt to look like Morbius the Living Vampire.  Poor kid.  Someone really should take him to the side and tell him that the green skin and pointy ears really work against the disguise.  But, he is trying, so we should give him credit for that.  Maybe this whole issue is about Skrulls in training, hmm?  Next page!

 
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So, Captain Britain pulls the ultimate version of every big brother’s favorite game, “Why are you hitting yourself?”  The Skrull, using his own Iceman powers freezes his Ghost Rider head.  With speed-lines… for some reason.  You know, I would think that the Skrull could adapt to that, but maybe this guy is not as good as I first thought, because in the very next panel, Captain Britain shatters his skull into a few thousand pieces.

The second Skrull, now ticked that his teacher is headless, attacks C.B. (because typing Captain Britain over and over is getting tedious) with renewed vigor!  Along with his Morbius attempts, he is also now… furry… and his arms are on fire.  Again, give him credit for trying.  Still hasn’t got that whole “head” thing down, though.  Hard to fool anyone when your head is still pretty much Skrull, you know?  I mean, say you saw what you thought were your parents, and they looked dead on like your parents in every way, but their heads were all green with pointy ears.  Do you really think you’d be fooled into believing those are your parents?  But, that’s why we have these training missions, I suppose.

Anyway, fuzzy-flaming-arm-Morbius Skrull holds hands with C.B. and then… flies away.  And, it looks as if C.B. is just as confused as I am.  Good.  I hate to be alone in these things.

With the Skrull leaving, C.B. decides to call it a day, flying off until his services are required again, when those in need cry out in desperation.

Gee, I hope all those injured people down below don’t succumb to a horrible death, engulfed by the surrounding flames and all.  Too bad there wasn’t someone around that could maybe get them to safety, perhaps a superhero with the gift of flight… and general awareness of his surroundings.  Oh well.

Hey, in that last panel, is that woman realizing she could have had a V8?

Next page!

 
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Aw, great, now I gotta turn my computer monitor on its side.  Okay.  Just a minute.  Alright, there we go.  Uh oh… here we have some real trouble.  Skrull on Skrull in-fighting.  With oodles of speed-lines!  Looks like another teacher/student thing.  The student, completely looking like a Skrull, obviously did something to deserve getting stabbed by the teacher Skrull, who has mixed the forms of Marvel’s Black Knight, and Arthur Fonzarelli, aka, Fonzie.  Oh, no – wait, I got it wrong.  This wasn’t a fight at all.  Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull must have told the other Skrull to shapeshift into a scabbard for his sword!  The student Skrull evidently couldn’t do it in time, but by the time Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull realized it, he was already slamming his sword into the supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull.  What a shame.  Looks like there is no way supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull will recieve Black Knight-Fonzie’s top grade – an “Aaaayyyy!”

I… I’m sorry.  I apologize, okay?  Even I can’t believe I typed that.  Quickly, on to the next page before my shame crushes my spirit completely.

 
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Hey, its Firestar!  I used to love watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends!  Wait… that’s not Firestar?  Well, who is it then?  Doesn’t really matter, I guess.  Anyway, Not-Firestar appears to be running really fast (thanks to the visual cue of, yes, speed-lines) while talking on a cell phone.  If she was paying attention to what is going on, she would notice that a couple of Skrulls-in-training are blasting… architecture.  Whatever.

Ooh, and its time, once again, for everyone’s favorite game of “Guess which heroes the Skrulls are imitating!”  Okay, that first one, all silver-y… I’m going out on a limb and say Silver Surfer.  Ooh, and he’s got winged ankles!  That’s Namor!  Obviously, there must be someone else, too… but I don’t know who.  Is it a cosmic character?  I’m not really familiar with cosmic characters.  Well, yeah, I mean, Silver Surfer, but EVERYONE knows Silver Surfer.  Jumping over to the other Skrull… now, THAT is a combo.  Thor, big-gold-suited Iron Man, and the Wasp.  Let me just say, though, someone really needs to sit the Skrulls down and explain that if the chin lines don’t give them away, the “mixing-up-of-heroes-body-parts” will.

Anyway, Not-Firestar leaps up to the Namor-Surfer Skrull.  I can only assume that one of the landmarks that the Skrulls destroyed must have been a cell phone tower.  She’s probably really upset about the dropped call.  Well, I can understand, I mean that is really irritat–

Great Shades of Elvis!  Not-Firestar is a vampire!!!  Wow, Namor-Surfer Skrull is even more shocked than I am!

Ooh, a silhouette!  Isn’t it amazing how a nice silhouette can tone down the violence of Vampire-Not-Firestar ripping 3/4 of Namor-Surfer Skrull’s neck out to acceptable levels for the general reading audience?  Hold on… 3/4 of the Skrulls neck is gone?  Vampire-Not-Firestar’s mouth is NOT that big.  Wait!  I get it!  It was the sharpness of Vamprie-Not-Firestar’s hair as she flung her head back that nearly decapitated the Skrull.  Wow… that must be some amazing shampoo that she uses.

Uh oh… look at Vampire-Not-Firestar’s eyes.  As an avid watcher of vampire films, I know what is coming next.  Quick, Iron-Wasp-Thor Skrull, run!  Her bloodlust has been awakened!  Don’t just stand there in shock!  Run!

Oh no.  Too late!  Here she comes, really fast… which I know, thanks to the inclusion of speed-lines!  Quick, next page!

 
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Huh?  Oh… well, I guess we’re back to C.B. and the Morbius Skrull.  Morbius Skrull begins by waving his stinky, fuzzy feet in C.B.’s face.  With speed-lines.  He follows with a punch.  And speeed-lines.  Nice combo.

Oh no!  Vampire-Not-Firestar is back!  With speed-lines!  Is there no end to her desire for liquid life?!?

Oh… and they are joined by three other… beings.  Okay, that top guy… Skrull?  Maybe.  Channeling… Man-Bat and Clayface?  I don’t know.  The other Skrull is doing a bad impression of Hyperion.  The other guy?  Uh… Keanu Reeves maybe?  Man, it is getting too crowded in this story.  Maybe it would seem less crowded if there were fewer speed-lines.  Let’s move on to the last page.
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Okay, we’ve got Keanu Reeves blasting the Skrull in the neck, surrounded by speed-lines, while Vampire-Not-Firestar dodges the blast by running in the same direction as those speed-lines.  (Don’t ask why the speed-lines are in front of her, merely accept them.)

Then Man-Bat-Clay Face Skrull (floating among speed-lines) is watching C.B. punch Hyperion Skrull.  Maybe he is wondering (like me) what happened to Morbius Skrull, who C.B. was fighting on the previous page.

Oh, and then C.B. claps his hands in front of Hyperion Skrull’s face (of course, creating speed-lines)… for… some… reason…

And the whole thing is resolved as C.B. punches the head off of Hyperion Skrull, scattering speed-lines across the page.

The next page probably shows Vampire-Not-Firestar feeding on the carcasses of the fallen Skrulls, as Keanu Reeves and Captain Britain react in horror.  And, yeah, Keanu Reeves says, “Whoa.”  And there are some speed-lines.

Hmm, this was an interesting read.  A lot of vampire stuff (Morbius Skrull, Vampire-Not-Firestar), which appeals to me, so that’s good.  I would have liked to have seen more of Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull.  Ooh, and if they could have crammed in some more speed-lines, that would have been nice.

Sadly, I can only give this issue 433 stars out of a possible 2572 stars.  Why?  I simply could not read the story fast enough to appreciate the speed-lines. 

See ya next time!