Archive for June, 2010

Comic Book Sexual Innuendo – Part 9


Apparently, Power Girl enjoys collecting snow globes and maintains quite an impressive collection in her alter ego Karen Starr‘s office. She also doesn’t appreciate interviewees violating her personal space by touching them:

"Would you rather I play with my own snow globes instead of yours?"

This lesson in office etiquette courtesy of Power Girl #1 (July 2009) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner.

Particle Wave Ray Guns, Bipolar Disorder, and Proper Medication


There are things in life that should never be brought together because nothing good can possibly come of it. Liver and chocolate. Kittens and radioactivity. Dan DiDio and DC Comics. But Dr. Will Magnus has discovered the ultimate unholy union: mental illness and high-tech weaponry.

From "Egg Fu" to "Omelette" in one easy step.

This public service message on the importance of proper medication has been sponsored by 52: Week Forty-Nine (April 11, 2007) by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Keith Giffen, Eddy Barrows, Dan Green, and Rodney Ramos.

Comic Book Sexual Innuendo – Part 8


I’m not sure why I’ve been picking on Luornu Durgo so much lately. Maybe because she makes it so damn easy for me.

I wonder if the poor guy ever gets any sleep at all.

This example of unintentionally hilarious back-to-back panels taken from Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (September 2009) by Geoff Johns, George Pérez, Nei Ruffino, and Scott Koblish.

“The Last Supper” in Comic Books – Part 1


After reading way too many comic books, I’ve noticed that artists seem to really enjoy doing their own renditions of Leonardo da Vinci‘s famous painting, The Last Supper. Just for fun, I’m going to post these images as I find them and also specify which comic book character is standing in for which biblical figure.

For the record, this is the original painting…

"The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci (1495-1498)

…and here’s a panel from Countdown #36 (August 22, 2007) by artist Jim Calafiore:

Somehow, Batman doesn't seem like the forgiving type to me.

The character-by-character breakdown:

  • Andrew: Red Tornado
  • Judas: Green Lantern (Ouch…that’s harsh. Looks like someone hasn’t forgiven Hal Jordan for the whole Parallax thing just yet.)
  • Peter: Black Canary
  • John: Wonder Woman (The DaVinci Code fans are going to have a field day with this one, especially when you factor in recent continuity and the identity of the “Son of God” in this illustration.)
  • Jesus: Batman (Like this is a surprise.)
  • Thomas: Vixen
  • James the Greater: Black Lightning
  • Philip: Hawkgirl
  • Matthew: Red Arrow

Comic Book Foreplay – Part 2


Imagine for a moment that you’re Gerard Shugel. Your brilliant mind is trapped inside of a body that’s slowly wasting away due to a genetic defect. In desperation, you travel into the heart of Africa, where your brilliant co-researcher, Satanna, transplants your brain into the body of a gigantic albino gorilla, thus transforming you into the second Ultra-Humanite. And then you’re forced to slaughter members of the Congolese army when they attempt to kill you and your compatriots, leaving you literally drenched in human blood. One would think that any one of these factors – to say nothing of all of them combined – would ensure that your sex life is as dead as your human body.

One would think.

"C'mon, Gerard, let's give the term 'spank the monkey' a whole new meaning."

This new chapter in interspecies romance ripped from the pages of Power Girl #2 (August 2009) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner.

The Pattern of Madness


In Batman #700 (August 2010) by Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel, David Finch, Andy Kubert, Frank Quitely, and Scott Colins, we catch a glimpse of the possible near future of the DC Universe and one of the most unusual legacy supervillains ever: Two-Face-Two,  an adonis with a bizarre Kuato-like entity growing out of the left side of his head:

"Quaid...Quaid...start the Mars..."

Now, while a lot of people might just dismiss this as the latest manifestation of Grant Morrison’s insanity, what really ups the ante in the crazy department is the fact that this character was mentioned in passing by the 853rd century Batman way back in DC One Million #3 (November 1998):

Grant Morrison is so hardcore he set this story up 12 years ago...BEFORE HE KNEW HE WAS GOING TO WRITE IT.

There’s admittedly a slight inconsistency here: it’s stated that the Batman in this near future is Bruce Wayne’s son Damian Wayne, which would make him the third bearer of that title, not the second. This leaves us with three possible explanations:

  • The 853rd century Batman needs to brush up on his history lessons (assuming, of course, that accurate records from the 21st century about the Bat-Line of Succession survived until then and that sketchy recordkeeping isn’t responsible for this misconception).
  • Dick Grayson’s tenure as the Caped Crusader won’t count (much like Stephanie Brown’s stint as Robin, if the Powers That Be at DC are to be believed) and Damian Wayne will eventually succeed in rehabilitating Two-Face-Two on his own as the “official” second Batman.
  • Dick Grayson’s time wearing the cape and cowl counted (meaning that he does go down in history as the second Batman), he’s still alive when the mantle of the Dark Knight is passed on to Damian Wayne, and he will be responsible for eventually curing Two-Face-Two, regardless of the superhero identity he’s going by at the time (if any). He may even eventually (temporarily) reclaim the mantle from Damian to do so for all we know.

Regardless of the actual reason, it’s amusing to discover that someone at DC plans ahead. Way ahead.

Too bad that person just doesn’t happen to be Dan DiDio.

The Planet Zwen: United Kingdom Protectorate?


In Action Comics #862 (April 2008), the Legion of Substitute Heroes stage a daring raid on the Justice League of Earth’s satellite quarters in the unlikeliest of spacefaring vehicles: a 31st century school bus:

I'll say this for the Subs: they know how to make an entrance.

What makes this scene even more hilarious is the position that Stone Boy was frozen in when he entered hibernation mode and crashed through the windshield:

"Suck on this in STEREO, biyotchs!"

The hand gesture he’s making – known as the two-fingered salute – is considered offensive in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, where it is interpreted as a sign of derision, contempt, or defiance of authority: the equivalent of giving someone the finger. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will doubtlessly recognize this as the same gesture that Spike made in the Season 4 episode Hush when Xander Harris accused him of being responsible for his sudden loss of voice, a clip of which managed to sneak its way into the opening credits:

"I said I'd like two sugars with my tea, please."

Given that the artist for the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes story arc, Gary Frank, is British himself, I think we can safely say that this was done on purpose.

Robosexuality – Part 1


While Cliff Steele, the second Robotman, no longer has a plug to insert into a socket, so to speak, Saturn Girl discovers that he apparently still appreciates the view:

That's not just ass. It's futuristic, jailbait ass.

This lesson on telepathic etiquette courtesy of The Brave and the Bold #34 (July 2010) by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz.

The Universal Translator – The Brave and the Bold #9 (February 2008)


Sometime during World War II, the Boy Commandos are assigned with the task of preventing the Nazis from getting their hands on the mystical artifact known as the Orb of Ra. Though greatly outnumbered by their adversaries, the timely arrival of the Blackhawks manages to turn the tide of the battle, and, together, they successfully drive off the German troops. Little do any of them realize, however, that the alchemist Megistus has brought the mummies resting in the nearby pyramid back to life in order to help him secure the Orb of Ra until one of the Boy Commandos, Dan “Brooklyn” Turpin, suddenly goes missing.

"How the hell did his overbearing mother track him all the way to Egypt?"

While comic book readers who don’t speak French will doubtlessly realize that English is neither Boy Commando André Chavard nor Blackhawk André Blanc Dumont‘s first language, those who do will come to the inevitable conclusion that French doesn’t seem to be their first language either. Or at least they would, if they could only stop laughing about the following translation error long enough to realize it:

There IS a difference, people.

To be fair, the punctuation and accent placement (acute, grave, and circumflex) are surprisingly impeccable and several of the other issues aren’t exactly beginner’s mistakes. While my French is apparently better than that of the two Andrés, it’s not exactly my first language either. This being the case, I decided to initiate a combo breaker by enlisting the aid of my friend, the lovely and talented Magali Lachapelle, to make sure that I don’t make a gigantic fool of myself by providing translations that are equally, if not more, questionable than the originals.

French: Une maman a Brooklyn!
English: A mommy has Brooklyn!

The French translation is too literal and doesn’t convey the original English meaning well at all. It would’ve been better to translate the first two times this is said as “Une momie l’a attrapé!” (“A mummy caught him!”) and then as “Une momie a attrapé Brooklyn!” (“A mummy caught Brooklyn!”) when Dumont asks Chavard for a clarification. Magali mentions that “Une momie a capturé Brooklyn!” (“A mummy captured Brooklyn!”) is a perfectly viable alternative depending on what the mummy’s (perceived) intentions may be.

French: Petit André, ce qui s’est produit?
English: Little André, what happened.

This one’s tricky to explain. “Ce qui s’est produit” would only be a valid translation of “what happened” if it were part of a declarative sentence or statement (“This is what happened.”) or was immediately followed by an explanation or clarification (“What happened was…”). Since we’re dealing with a question here, you’d have to translate this as “André, qu’est qui s’est produit?” or “André, qu’est qui s’est passé?” (Incidentally, Magali prefers the latter since the former sounds way too academic.) While we’re at it, I’d also drop the “petit” like a bad habit since, while it’s not blatantly incorrect, there’s pretty much no context in which it doesn’t come off sounding weird. Its literal meaning (“little”) has no real business being applied to a freakin’ child soldier and using it as a term of endearment suggests a level of familiarity, affection, and intimacy that simply doesn’t exist between Chavard and Dumont since it’s established during the course of the story that this is the first time they’ve ever met.

French: Une pierre s’est ouverte comme une porte et elle l’a traîné dedans!
English: A stone opened like a door and it dragged him inside!

Passable, though Magali suggests tweaking it slightly to “Une pierre s’est ouverte comme une porte et la momie l’a entraîné à l’intérieur.” (“A stone opened like a door and the mummy dragged him inside (of the pyramid).”). This has the added benefit of both clarifying where Brooklyn is being dragged to as well as to specify who is doing the dragging since the French words for “stone” and “mummy” (“pierre” and “momie”, respectively) both carry the feminine article. Within the context of the story, though, it’s pretty clear what’s going on even without this change.

French: Cette pierre…ou celui-là…
English: That stone…or that one…

French: Ou celui-là…
English: Or that one…

Today’s lesson has been brought to you by The Brave and the Bold #9 (February 2008) by Mark Waid, George Pérez, Bob Wiacek, and Scott Koblish. And extra special thanks to professional linguist and English-French translator Magali Lachapelle for her assistance. 🙂

Nitpicking 101 – The Legion That Never Was


In Action Comics #858 (December 2007), during Brainiac 5’s attempt to use technological means to restore Superman’s memories of his days in the Legion of Super-Heroes, readers were treated to the following splash page illustration of the classic incarnation of the team:

So much for racial diversity in the 30th century.

When it comes to Gary Frank’s artistic prowess, Jon Sibal’s inking skills, and the use of a period appropriate wardrobe, this piece is beyond reproach. As far as historical accuracy goes…not so much, as a version of the team with this particular lineup never existed in the first place.

Central to the problem is the appearance of Ferro Lad in this group shot, whose tenure as a Legionnaire was brief: he first appeared in Adventure Comics #346 (July 1966) and died in Adventure Comics #353 (February 1967). If you take this fact into account, several anachronisms should quickly become apparent to veteran fans:

  • Shadow Lass first appeared in Adventure Comics #365 (February 1968), one year after his death.
  • One of Triplicate Girl‘s bodies was killed by Computo the Conqueror in Adventure Comics #340 (January 1966). She’d started going by the codename of Duo Damsel in Adventure Comics #341 (February 1966), one year before he even joined the Legion.
  • While Timber Wolf first appeared in Adventure Comics #327 (December 1964) as Lone Wolf, he was officially a Legion Trainee at the time of Ferro Lad’s demise and didn’t officially join the team until Adventure Comics #372 (September 1968).

Special thanks to Chip Nanco of the Facebook group Interlac: The Legion Online for pointing out that there were more problems with this illustration than I initially thought.

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