Random Thoughts! (July 28, 2009)

It's Tuesday night at 5 pm EST, so that can only mean one thing... after finishing this post earlier in the day, it's gone up as scheduled! It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Random Thought! Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance has Joe Casey once again examining superheroes from a great metafictional perspective -- and one-ups Grant Morrison on the concept of superhero conventions in the DCU, appropriately enough on the same day that San Diego began this year.

Random Thought! Not much that came out of San Diego impressed me. I actually can't remember much more than five announcements. Marvel buying Miracleman/Marvelman has possibilities, but we'll see. Other than that, every panel report I read was exactly like those for the smaller cons where fans spend the entire time asking questions that the panelists can't answer, and you don't walk away knowing anything new. San Diego has been on this path for a while, each year having less and less information, but this year was the worst.

Random Thought! CBR winning the Eisner is very cool.

Random Thought! I am all moved in at my new place (aka my girlfriend's apartment). I have a few shelves on her bookcases for my stuff, so two are devoted to regular books, while another two are devoted to trades and hardcover collections. Very nice. I love the look of books on shelves.

Random Thought! I want to admire Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred for using the second and third pages of their "Metamorpho" strip to create a giant double-page spread, except it's a really, really stupid idea when you're telling your story at a pace of one page per week. And when that double-page spread has little advancement of the plot. Very weak.

Random Thought! The Big Show? Chris Jericho's mystery partner is the Big Show? Godawful. Just absolutely no good. That put me in a fowl mood all Sunday night. That's what happens when you value surprise over storytelling -- something that rarely works out well, as comics fans know... *cough*echoisronininsteadofdaredevil*cough*

Random Thought! Man, I just don't have a lot to say this week. With San Diego dominating comics so much -- and not much coming out of the convention that I care about, that leaves me rather depleted for content. I am looking forward to tomorrow's batch of comics. I only have one review to write (Detective Comics) and the regular Splash Page column on Wednesday Comics with Tim, so it's mostly just me enjoying my comics. Yay. And, then, a little vacation this weekend.

Random Thought! To add content, here's something from the "Random Company Ideas Archive" file. It's my Martian Manhunter idea, called "Mars."

Think of this as Ultimate Martian Manhunter if that helps, but this is really just the Martian Manhunter done right, okay?

Two years ago, the Martian Manhunter disappeared, although no one ever noticed, because he was never there. So forget him, he never was. Earth has never had any contact with any Martians. No whites, no greens, none of them. So forget them too. Everyone else has.

What they do know is there’s a new hero protecting Earth who is better than anyone else there. Imagine Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and all of the rest combined, with a billion more capabilities added on. He is a one man JLA. A one man JSA. He is the fucking man, and he’s putting the rest out of a job.

He is Mars, Hero Of Earth. (The name is changeable: it’s just a working name for now.)

What we have here is the most powerful being in the universe finally cluing into what he can do, and doing it. Two years ago, something happened that opened the door for the Martian Manhunter to realise his full capabilities and wanting to explore them. Before he left Earth, he wiped everyone’s memories of him, and his race. He then went off, travelled the universe and then came back a changed man (if man is the right word for a shapeshifter).

See, he’s a shapeshifter and can therefore do ANYTHING he wishes. Now what he wants to do is make Earth the perfect world, but we don’t know any of that either.

Mars is a mystery comic, at its heart. We’re given certain pieces of information and we have to figure out what’s going on. All we do know is that Mars is a superhero. One damn good superhero. We also know that there never was any Martian Manhunter. The rest is hinted at.

There is one snag though: there’s still one White Martian on Earth in hiding. They weren’t morons, so the last time they went up against the JLA, one stayed in hiding.

And he/she/it was just about to free his/her/its peers when J’onn wiped everyone’s memories. But like before, that wiping is starting to crack, and the memories are coming back. Through this man and Mars we see the story unfold.

This is a series about right and wrong, good and evil, and how they don’t exist. All there is power, and despite what anybody tells you, might is right. It is about how free will is an illusion. It is about how to make the world better, but not getting caught up with dealing with people. It is about how superheroes are wrong and they aren’t the absolute authority on what is right and wrong (mostly because that doesn’t exist).


Mars and Superman: A Conversation

“How utterly arrogant of you, Kal-El. Of course because I have dared to enter the minds of humanity and improve them, I must be 'evil' and need to be stopped by the likes of you. Because I am an alien with my own agenda, I cannot be trusted. You may forget something: you are an alien too, Kal-El. You are not human, even though you may feel like it sometimes. You are not one of them no matter how hard you try. But then again, maybe you are. You have the same prejudices and fears as them. You see a flying saucer and you’re only thought is to hit it until it stops working. Well, maybe after I’m done with Earth, no one will think like that. Did you ever consider that? I am here to make amends for what my people did to humanity all those eons ago. That puny race was meant to be an equal to the likes of you. You would deny that to them now because you’re just a racist at heart?”

“You’re controlling them, J’onn! What about their free will?”

“What about it? If my countryman hadn’t discovered me, would any of you have known what was transpiring? Free will is an illusion, Kal-El.”


“Here’s a delicious thought: what if I’m controlling you right now?”



“...I don’t know.”

“I would say I have work to do, but I’ve done it all already. Multi-tasking is a marvellous thing, is it not?”

It could never happen for various reasons, but I've always liked this. I've always been unimpressed with shapeshifters in fiction and that they are FAR more powerful than usually depicted.

Random Thought! It's looking like I will be doing my own little private Blogathon on GraphiContent on Saturday August 22. The real Blogathon happened this past Saturday, but I was busy moving -- and a comics-centred one would probably get more notice/readers on a non-San Diego weekend. The gist of it is: post on your blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours in the hopes that people will sponsor you by contributing to the charity of your choice. This year, I'll be blogging for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. More details to follow about that. Last time I did this, I discussed three Joe Casey runs issue-by-issue (plus posted on other topics). This time, I'll be tackling something bigger storyarc-by-storyarc, running across numerous titles, writers, and, really, far too many comics. It should be fun.

It's Batman Vs Zombies on Greg Capullo's Cover for #DCEASED #1

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