Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Classic Cover of the Week

From the magazine that respects your intelligence, "Nothing can match the terror of Tim Boo Ba!"

Amazing Adult Fantasy #9. Not a comic I own, or have read, but it's certainly an eye catcher. There's enough going on there that you can write your own joke.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm Starbuck's Bitch

2008? At least I have Starbuck playing cards to hold me over during the 10 month wait until my questions will be either answered or plot threads get dropped with Claremontian abandon.

Remember, the Cylons have a plan.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World War Hellcow

Because you demanded it! The All-New, All-Different Sinister Six:

Dr. Bong, teleporting evil geneticist!

Hellcow, the terrifying undead cow of Dracula!

The Space Turnip, deadly symbiote with the power to kill with it's mind!

Pro-Rata, accountant of the mystic arts!

Salty Kong, The Ape Shaker! Simian engine of saline destruction!

Le Beaver, Parti Québécois member powered by his robotic beaver-themed exoskeleton!

Marvel's summer '08 blockbuster crossover starts here! A new incarnation of the Sinister Six has been brought together for a single purpose: final victory in the war between hero and villain! No more to be laughed at or mocked, Dr. Bong has revamped for the 21st century and amped up the power level on a threat to make Zemo's Master's of Evil working over Jarvis look like jaywalking. The very foundations of the 616 Marvel universe will be shaken to their core next summer, as the new Sinister Six run amok, leaving nothing but destruction in their wake.

Now heroes and villains alike will tremble with dread as Dr. Bong's Sinister Six wreak vengeance on Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D, The Avengers, The Thunderbolts, Spider-man and The Fantastic Four -- and anyone else who gets in their way. More powerful than ever, driven by a plan and determined to proclaim final victory, the Sinister Six will conquer the globe or destroy it. Some will live! Some will die! Heroes! Villains! No one will be safe! The conflict to decide the fate of the 616 Marvel universe begins here with this special double-sized issue.

It's World War Hellcow!

Who's side are you on?

Man, I am so completely behind this idea. What do I have to do to make a deadly, threatening version of Howard the Duck's rogues gallery the antagonists in Marvel's next big crossover event?

Meanwhile, in the first of many crossovers:

WWH: Frontline: While Count Macho and his street urchin army terrorize Cleveland, where is Beverly Switzler? This nine part mini-series follows Ben Urich and his side-kick, Sally Floyd's MySpace Page, as they learn the true civilian costs of World War Hellcow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Comics Mash-up Challenge

So I'm a couple days behind the curve, but in my defense I love Jameson. Especially on and around March 17th. While I was busy being drunk, Erin Palette was busy being creative and challenging with her awesome "Literary Mash-up Challenge." The idea's such a good one I had to pick up the gauntlet. So here it is:

"Ernest Hemingway's Black Panther"

We were the only two Europeans staying in the village’s tiny six roomed hotel but not the only whites. Our second floor room faced towards the mountain ridge line that bordered that most private of African nations. Outside the hotel were big leafy palms growing near the public well. The streets are packed earth. In the evening we dine with the others in the hotel and at night we drink until all the others are gone.

“The Great Hunter,” that’s what they tell me.

“I don’t like the look of those men,” Lady Ambrose says. She grips my arm a little tighter. I smell juniper berries.

“Don’t worry,” I say. “These men take travelers into Wakanda every day. We’ll be fine,” I lie to her. To myself.

“Is that what we are? Travelers,” she asks. I avoid her question by fixing my gaze on the high, straw colored grasses that line the road past the village gates and the brick colored mountains beyond them.

The boy must be no more than ten. He loads the rest of the wooden crates of ammunition into the truck. He reaches for the last crate. “Leave that one,” I say. “I’ll get it.” That one has the whiskey. I can’t chance some local dropping it or worse, hearing the clink of the glass bottles. Not this far from civilization.

The heat of the day has failed to ebb. I have to shield my eyes against the red glare. Last night’s gin wore off around mid-day and Lady Ambrose has been sleeping off and on as the road and bouncing truck allow. I took the chance to slip one of the greasy glass whiskey bottles into my own pocket but it’s not helped the heat.

Along the ridge line is where I first see the lion. I order the driver to stop the truck. With a grinding of gears and a lurch it stops. Two hundred yards away, I take aim and fire. The shot takes the big cat high in the shoulder and down it goes. That’s when the natives start shouting. “Another silhouette on the hill,” they say and they’re leaping out of the truck and running.

And I see the Panther. I see the King of the Jungle.

I leap off the open back of the truck and my boots kick up miniature clouds of dust. I drop to one knee and my fingers fumble reaching for another cartridge. I taste the dirt in my mouth and nostrils. The silhouette is charging me, crouched low as a cat and moving faster than a man. I rub the sweat and afternoon glare out of my eyes and throw the bolt on my rifle. Lady Ambrose is yelling something I can’t hear but just now I think of how she smelled under the mosquito netting, of vanilla and cigarettes. I reload the rifle and squint, taking careful aim.

The last thing I see is the sun high overhead. It hangs red and blinding and I remember what it was the villagers had said.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cheap Death Week Continues!


No, I mean, Really?

Well, I guess I don't need to take your word for it. I'll just ask Jean Grey.

Or Bucky Barnes.
Or Aunt May.
Or Hal Jordan.
Or Reed Richards.
Or The Doom Patrol.
Or Professor X.
Or Oliver Queen.
Or Clint Barton.
Or Superman.
Or Supergirl.
Or Norman Osborn.
Or Jason Todd.

Or, I don't know, whoever the hell else has died in comics.

Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny

"Mrs. Thrace I've seen your daughter's future and she's destined for something special, very special. However, it's very important that you raise her in preparation to accept and fulfill her purpose."

"Tell me, Oracle. What plan do the Gods have in store for my Kara? Is she going defend the Colonies and mankind from extinction? Will she lead her people in the hunt, striking down the enemies of Caprica? Tell me, will my daughter take up the mantle of Artemis?"

"Sadly, no. The Gods require you beat and abuse your daughter, to physically and emotionally dismantle her. She must become a broken and self destructive adult, someone who, despite all of her heart and talent, will think only of lashing out at the world around her. In humanity's greatest time of crisis, while they are being pursued by an implacable foe, she must be ready to commit suicide for no other purpose than to prove she is ready to accept death. This, this is your daughter's destiny."


Frakking religion.

This is why I don't trust oracles. The whole thing was just so pointless. I refuse to accept the rationalization that Starbuck's purpose on the show, and by extension Kara Thrace's lot in life, was to be an object lesson justifying suicide.

Suicide is the act of a coward. Weak and selfish people commit suicide.

The Kara Thrace I've known for the last three years had her problems, anyone who watched the show could see that. Those faults helped make her a great character and, at times, a brilliant extension of the original character concept. I'll admit that I loved the hard-drinking, hard-living pilot. The woman was willful and combative and all too happy to punch life square in the nose. Her flaws made her and make every other character on the show human.

Starbuck punched out Tigh. She drank and fought and defied authority. She frakked Baltar for the hell of it. She flew back to Caprica to steal the Arrow of Apollo and then she flew back to Caprica again to rescue her man. She shot or shot down countless toasters. Every time she leapt into her Viper's cockpit she did it with a reckless almost sexual abandon.

Was Starbuck's sole motivation for doing any of these things, for doing anything in life, a desire to be killed by them because she was too scared to kill herself?

Did Kara Thrace put Zak Adama behind the stick of a Viper because she hoped it would come back to kill her? And then did she frak over Lee on New Caprica because she hoped he'd kill her?

If the answer is "yes" then I wildly misread the character.

She walked out on an abusive parent and everything that's happened to her since then, from her time with the fleet to Cylons maybe stealing her ovaries to the mind games played on her by Leoben, it was all building up to Starbuck forgiving herself for hating her abusive mother so she could drive her Viper into a gas giant.

I seriously feel like Starbuck's story was stopped but it wasn't finished. Her issues with her mother may've been resolved but it boggles the mind to think that "Maelstrom" was the planned payoff for three years worth of character development.

Was the reason Starbuck was written off of the show really because the dream sequences/visions with Not!Leoben (maybe he is, maybe he isn't) resolved all the plot threads tied to Starbuck?

More importantly, will the remaining Battlestar Galactica stories be better off without the show's most engaging Viper pilot?

"All this has happened before and will happen again."

I have to imagine that we're going to see Kara Thrace again. Did Apollo really see the bogey Heavy Raider? It seemed like he did. And she did have her hand on the eject lever. Although, the podcast for this episode states that showing Kara inside the Heavy Raider after ejecting was nixed initially for budgetary reasons and then amended after the fact for story concerns.

Also, the podcasts point out that the scenes with dog fighting are incredibly expensive to shoot. It's one of the reasons why a good chunk of all the dogfights are reaction shots of the crew in CIC listening on the radio and reacting. The cost of the show was a major consideration in SciFi almost not greenlighting S4. Fewer Viper pilots equal cheaper episodes, which equals staying on the air.

And this brings up Kat's death only seven episodes ago. How's that conversation at the bar going to go?

"Hey, remember how Kat sacrificed herself to bring that ship through the solar flare and kept the people aboard from starving to death? Everyone, raise your glass and drink one for Kat!"

"Hey, remember how Starbuck committed suicide? Um... yeah."

Frakking Kat.

10% of this season's episodes were about killing off Viper Pilots. Yes, Seelix did just get promoted but the show's also lost two thirds of its interesting Viper pilot characters (I can't count Stinger after appearances in only two episodes). This leaves Hotdog, Seelix and morose Apollo to carry the load for all the dog fighting or C.A.P. scenes in season 4. That's just... meh.

Instead of a drama about an aircraft carrier we're slowly getting a drama about a submarine. The "Maelstrom" podcast even alludes to the crew of the Galactica as "living in a metal tube."

I know the story isn't over. There's more to tell. Maybe once I've see the complete story I'll understand why Kara had to go to make the show better. Maybe I'll change my mind then.

I suppose my opinion boils down to this:

Starbuck deserved a better death than "I'm not afraid anymore."