Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wonder Girl versus Air Force One...

The sheer volume of 'big event' mini-series/crossovers coming from Marvel and DC recently has meant that I've had to choose between the stuff I really want to read and the stuff I let fall by the wayside. One of the things I took a pass on was the whole 'Amazons Attack' hoopla. As it turns out a lot of people didn't care for it much anyway which is surprising considering it's by Will Pfeifer the writer of the never less than awesome (and recently cancelled - damn you DC!) Catwoman series.

Anyway recently I saw Amazons Attack issue 4 in the bargain bin of my local comic shop and I thought what the hell. So I bought it and read it completely out of context. Luckily my crazy twenty five pence gamble paid off - the issue was pretty damn good, a lot better than I was expecting. I had been misled! Out of all of the reviews of the series I read, a grand total of none bothered to mention that issue 4 features a titantic, never-seen-before battle of epic proportions: Wonder Girl versus Air Force One!

Check it out:
I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to step out of the vehicle sir

So Queen Hippolyta and her Amazons have invaded the US toasting the capitol and a few other major cities. Sensibly the powers-that-be have decided the president should get the hell out of dodge aboard Air Force One.

Unfortunately, somewhere over the Cheese State, they run across Cassie getting her inner-traffic-cop on.

Surely Cassie, like the rest of us, has watched enough Kevin Costner and Michael Douglas movies to know that when somebody threatens the President the folks assigned to protect him tend to get a little crazy. They're willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their boss.

Like say shooting an unarmed teenage girl in jeans and a belly top with an anti-aircraft missle for example:
Look out for that....Never mind

Why-oh-why the military of the DCU still think shooting at a chick wearing any variation of a Wonder Woman costume with a missle will do them any good at all is beyond me. These guys live in the same world as a guy who can juggle tanks and swallow grenades for crying out loud!

Anyway it's mere second before Cassie shrugs off being hit by a missle, trades her inner-traffic-cop for her inner-Kofi-Annan, and brokers a peace-deal using an unorthodox but highly effective negotiation technique.

Let us all bask in the joy of Amazonian diplomacy in action:
Peanuts? In-Flight Magazine? An Asskicking?

Take note world leaders! If you want to bring peace to a war-trn nation simply shoot their leader's plane with an angsty teenage girl and have her threaten him with a savage beating.

Cassie's foreign policy expertise might have ended the whole Amazonian invasion right then if not for the ill-timed Amazonian war-party who show up armed to the teeth and decide to take on a jumbo jet and it's military escort on their flying horses. Kind of a one-sided battle. The cutting edge weapons of the president's elite US Air Force planes versus a bunch of chicks dressed in armour, riding flying horses, toting swords and spears.
Chicks on Flying Horses 1, US Air Force 0

This was a great issue, it was a blast to read. I enjoyed it so much that I'm tempted to go out and hunt down the rest of the series bad reviews be damned! At the very least it's bound to deliver more Supergirl plane-catching, more Wonder Girl aging-world-leader-intimidation, lots of scantily clad chicks on horseback and all the Amazonian girl-on-girl action a growing boy will ever need.

Plus if I know Mr Pfiefer, the man who had Silver Age fop Angle Man stab Catwoman in the brain with a set square, he's bound to have some surprises in store along the way.

Perhaps even the long overdue, modern-age reimagining of the most awesome Wonder Woman related character who ever lived: Wonder-Tot!

Although probably not.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Who's Badass...

If you are, like myself, someone who frequents the plethora of comic blogs floating around on the internet these days then you undoubtedly already know the 'Super-hero-badass-quotient' equation.

For the laymen out there that don't know the equation basically states that a super-hero's badass-quotient (that being just how badass said super-hero actually is) is directly proportional to the size, viciousness and dangerousness of the wild animals that he or she has punched.

Take for example Marvel's favorite gun-toting vigilante: The Punisher. Unfortunately being an urban vigilante means your chances to improve your quotient are few and far between. However, pragmatic Frank is not above putting on his winter woolies going down to the zoo and getting his badass on.

That's pretty badass sure, but it's not a patch on the star-spangled Avenger, Captain America. He made Frank look like a pantywaist by giving a knuckle sandwich to the sea's and the Brody family's deadliest predator.

Over at DC, despite their impressive powers and legendary status, their superheroes just can't seem to compete with the kind of badassedness coming from even Marvel's non-powered heroes. I mean Daredevil fought the Mandrill DC, I don't think Captain Marvel pounding on a wizened, old chimp in hot pants is going to cut it, criminal or otherwise.

Don't even get me started on Superman.

As impressive as bear-fighting and shark-socking might be I'm afraid the most impressive super-hero-badass quotient goes to the Avenging Son himself. That's right forget your Supermen and your Sentinels of Liberty - Namor the Prince of Atlantis is the most badass super-hero walking the earth. No-one can top him simply because...
Dude punched a freaking elephant!!

You can't argue with science folks.

(all my links today come courtesy of the internet's number one authority on hero-vs-wildlife action Chris Sims and his Invincible Super-Blog. Namor's pachyderm-punch is from Marvel's Super-Villan Team-Up issue 8 wherein we learn that the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime like to vacation in Latveria during the hot months.)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A Synthezoid Fashion Faux Pas...

The Vision does NOT like it when you borrow his clothes without asking

(for more cape-theivery-come-uppance read Avengers v1 issue 156 wherein the Avengers, Doctor Doom, Namor and the Whizzer all team up to battle the wardrobe-raiding fiend Attuma.)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Who Dares Challenge Doom?

I have a general rule of thumb. Any comic that prominently features Doctor Doom is 90% of the time going to be awesome. So as you can imagine I'm a sucker for those solo Doom stories in the early issues of Astonishing Tales. Old Larry Lieber (Stan's brother no less) doesn't disappoint, giving us tales of Doom being ruthless, evil and thoroughly cool. However with Doctor Doom as your protagonist you inevitably face a dilemma 'who is tough enough to cross swords with the Marvel Universe's number one bad guy'? It can't be the Fantastic Four or the Avengers again and again, but a face-off against Rhino or The Shocker just isn't gonna cut it. I mean once you have him summon up the devil and yell 'I AM DOOM!' in his face (which is just what he did in Astonishing Tales #8) where is there left to go?

Who is bad ass enough to take on Doctor Doom?

It's got to be someone who has the charisma to convince the Latverian peasants to strap on their jet-packs take up their ray guns and throw off the shackles of oppression. It's got to be someone with the balls to meddle in the creation of Doctor Doom's most unstoppable android ever - the Doomsman. It's got to be someone with the fashion sense to steal 'the-goldfish-bowl-for-a-head' look made so very popular by super-villain fashion diva Mysterio.

In Astonishing Tales #8 Larry give us the answer. It's got to be the Faceless One!!

Never heard of him eh? Don't worry about it, just take it from me that he's bad to the bone. Look at this picture (rendered in sumptuous Wally Wood art) of the Faceless One trying to wrest mental control of the Doomsman away from his master:
Okay, you call the Doomsman, then I'll call the Doomsman and we'll see who he comes to.

Obviously in order to be a worthy foe to Doctor Doom you can't just cause an uprising amongst his subjects, you can't just steal his best toy,you can't be just like all those millions of other goldfish bowl wearing Mysterio knock-offs that are wandering around out there. You have to have a secret weapon.

A secret weapon that is so shocking it will amaze and disturb not just Doctor Doom, not just his Doomsman but all of the cynical jaded fanboys of Marveldom Assembled.

A secret such as:
Oh My God! He's just a goldfish bowl with legs!!

Okay, okay, I know you're freaking out, but everything's okay, calm down. It all works out in the end. Doctor Doom exiles the rebellious Doomsman to another dimension and sticks it to the jetpack touting malcontents invading his castle reaffirming his iron grip on Latveria. All is well. Doom is supreme.

Oh No, wait! He forgot about the Faceless One!:
Geez, you'd think Castle Doom would have an elevator

Take note all would be dictators out there in the audience. If your arch-enemy reveals himself to be a goldfish bowl with legs don't leave him to scuttle about your lair unattended while you go to put down a filthy peasant uprising and banish your evil android lackey to another dimension. That's just going to give him the precious seconds he needs to find your master control room!

Or maybe he'd just go looking for the little goldfish bowl's room. Whatever.