Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Who Loves You Babsy?

Barbara Gordon? She's awesome.

She's always been awesome. Back when she was a plucky teen dressing up in that purple and yellow version of the batsuit that inspired a million slutty halloween costumes? She was awesome. After being shot in the spine by the Joker and consigned to a wheelchair and a life of the super-heroic version of the Microsoft helpdesk? She was still awesome. From her days as the cutest of Bat-sidekicks, to her badass re-appearance in John Ostrander's fantastic Suicide Squad to getting into hijinks with her gal-pals in Birds Of Prey one thing about Babs has been constant....you guessed it - - being awesome!

You know who else is awesome? The Joker.

He's Gotham's clown prince of crime, thoroughly insane, wildly unpredictable, he makes up funny nicknames for people like 'Batsy' and sometimes...just sometimes...he has the voice of Luke frickin' Skywalker. With a resume like that, dude can't help but be awesome. Plus this one time he shot Barbara Gordon in the spine - which while sad and tragic was still totally awesome.

Put them together and what have you got?

No, not bippety boppety boo smart-ass you've got Birds Or Prey #124 (you also get Alan Moore's the Killing Joke but I couldn't think of as many funny things to say about it so we're talking about this one). Might this issue, by any chance, be awesome? You betcha!

We join this issue with all the Birds busy fighting a bunch of dodgy new villains called things like Visionary and Gizmo except Babs. She, as ever, is monitoring things back in their Platinum Flats HQ. Then an old friend she hasn't seen since getting crippled in her daddy's living room pays a visit.

At first I thought this long anticipated rematch was going to be a bit of a let down. You had the Joker throwing knives and trying to pop a cap in her ass while Babs bobbed and weaved with her patented wheelchair-fu.That's cool and all but this is the rematch of the century. We want something more than your standard super-hero throwdown. We want some fireworks! We want squirty flowers and explosive whoopee cushions! We want something unexpected, something unpredictable, something surprising that will knock our socks off.

Weren't you listening earlier people? This is Babs 'Batgirl' Gordon we're talking about. Being shot in the spine doesn't stop this girl from being awesome. You think she's going to let her loyal fans down when it comes to kicking some purple-suited clown ass? I don't think so. Observe:
Four out of five dentists agree that Trident isn't gonna do shit to help that.

That's right folks. There's only one way to get your righteous revenge on the jerk who shot you in the spine consigning you to a wheelchair for life and making you pass on your foxy Batgirl suit to a string of angsty young hoes who insist on leathering it up like they're Suzi freaking Quatro. You gotta bust up that dude's smile.

In all seriousness though if you're the Joker your pearly whites are your bread and butter. Without them you're just some dude in a purple suit in dire need of a sunbed. Brand recognition is very important in the super-villain business. You don't want to commit the criminal masterstroke of your career and have it mistakenly credited to the Rainbow Raider of the B'wana Beast!

Besides which, dude is the Joker. He can't go back to his super-villain buddies and tell him he went out like a punk in a fight with a chick in a wheelchair. He's got a rep to protect. He's got to do something horrible and unpredictable to reestablish his cred as top dog among the villain set:
Watch out for that first step

Hitting a chick in a wheelchair with a plant then flinging her down a flight of stairs will do the job nicely. Smile or no smile that is about as Jokery as you get. I mean not even Lex Luthor has the balls to sling the disabled down some stairs.

It's just so good. It's an excellent battle (and that's high praise considering this issue also boasts Misfit and Huntress throwing down with a giant robot named Killg%re). Both characters get some measure of satisfaction and come out the other side with their awesome intact.

Poor Birds Of Prey got canned by those boneheads at DC a scant three issues later. No more Oracle, no more Misfit, no more Lady Blackhawk, no more clown-improvised stairlifts. Where will all the fishnetted super-heroines find a home now?

It sucks so bad it makes us sad.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Embarrassing Moments In Super-Villainy #3

Need I say more?

(This big ball of cringe was served up by the smorgasborg of comedy that was Amazing Spider-man #611 wherein Deadpool discusses with the scantily clad angels and devils of his better/baser nature the ethical ramifications of taking Spider-man out with a Napalm Enema.)

Come Back Hoppy....

So there I was, innocently catching up one the whole Countdown thing that DC had going on a while back. I had made it all the way to Countdown 41 and I was thoroughly enjoying Jimmy Olsen being a loser, Flash's rogues re-enacting that scene in the diner from Reservoir Dogs...

...then BAM!

Mary Marvel fighting a dude whose made entirely out of dead babies!No DC! No! Mary Marvel is the super-hero equivalent of the Marsha Brady! She's used to hang out with Hoppy the Marvel Bunny for crying out loud.

Ick!! This scene even made Alice Cooper cry.

(This moment of abject depravity was brought to you by Countdown #41 by the usually usually delightful Paul Dini, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jesus Saiz. Although this issue was saved by the fact the Mirror Master used the phrase 'That's it yeh poof!'. Oh those crazy Scots and their rampant homaphobia!)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Power Girl Should So Totally Change Her Name To That....

I'm been loving the current Power Girl series coming out from DC. Power Girl has always been a favorite character of mine but it always seemed like no two writers that used her could ever agree on how she should be. Finally I think Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have hit on the perfect characterisation. If you're not reading this book you really should be. The guys are churning out fantastic tales every month and the gorgeous Amanda Conner art is just the cherry on top of an already delicious comic book sundae.

The thing I think that puts this book a head and shoulders above most of the rest of what's coming out from DC is the beautiful little character moments that Gray and Palmiotti have managed to work into every issue so far.

Sure seeing PeeGee. burn off the Ultra-Humanite's face in issue 3 was awesome and all but it was topped by the opening of Issue 4 where PeeGee and the new Terra (created by the same team, she had a thoroughly awesome mini-series of her own a little while back) go on a girl's night out to the movies. Sure it's quiet, unassuming and doesn't involve explosions or super-intelligent gorillas but when that little weener guy tried to hit on them and PeeGee shut him down - total awesomeness shone brilliantly through:
Also 60s Ringo Starr called, he wants his hair back

Or what about the scene where shit has just started to hit the fan and PeeGee and Terra duck into an alley to change into their super-hero duds only to discover that Terra, who is new to the whole super-hero thing, hasn't got her costume on under her clothes. It's a pretty funny scene - I especially love the little drunk guy in the background who is tipping a buckfast salute to the super-hero striptease going on before his very eyes:
So that's why mom always told you to have clean underwear on when leaving the house.

This one's the joke that keeps on giving too as Terra has to spend the rest of the issue fighting monsters with no pants on and her ladybug undies on display! It's great stuff.

For the hardcore YouAreComic explosion and super-intelligent monkey fans in the audience who are now moaning about all this touchy-feely crap that I'm yakking on about - don't worry, Power Girl #4 loves you too.

Sure it doesn't boast the explosion to super-monkey ratio of the first few issues but it more than makes up for it by having Power Girl headbutt Godzilla.

No you didn't mishear me people in this issue PeeGee 'sinks the head' into a giant city-gobbling super-lizard. Observe:
Even on far away Krypton, the Glasgow Kiss is still the height of pugilistic prowess

Beyond that this issue also includes trolls & giant ogres, a surly teen eco-terrorist with a magic book, apartment shopping, evil vines and the phrase 'busty airborne lass'. All in all it's just another really great issue from an already totally awesome series.

Everybody should be reading it and loving it every month, because if I have to break out my 'Angry Arthur - Damn You DC' picture because this one got cancelled (like Manhunter, Catwoman and all those other DC books that should still be kicking around but aren't) I'll be a very sad man.

So if you want to make me (and yourself)very happy, toddle out and pick up a copy of the latest issue of 'Busty Airborne Lass' - I mean Power Girl. Trust me you won't regret it.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Cyrus Hates When You Call Him During X Factor...

Dammit! Now I can't vote for those evil Irish pixies to win!

(Today's desperation-reeking audition was brought to you by Faces Of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1 wherein Solomon Grundy gets hit by mack truck but then still manages to kick the hell out of Killer Croc. That guy should just hang up his scales already.)