Happy Halloween…

… from all of us here at the L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog!

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Not Just For Kids Anymore

Peter Parker and Clark Kent are both published authors, but not many folks are in their super-identities.  And sure, Doc Ock and Curt Connors must have published or perished, but who needs that boring science-talk?  We here at the L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog have scoured comicdom and bring you this week’s LIST: Superhero Children’s Books.

  • Mr. Cobblepot’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

  • The Beast, The Scarlet Witch, and Professor X’s Wig Closet, by CS Lewis

  • Curious Grodd by H.A. and Margret Rey

  • Leapfrog and Toad are Friends, by Mortimer Toynbee

  • Ivy Town by Richard Scarry

  • The Velveteen Wolverine, by James Howlett

  • The Very Hungry Galactus by Eric Carle and Norrin Radd

  • Encyclopedia Wayne and the Laughing Man, by Donald J. Sobol

  • Jarvis Bedarvis – Peggy Parish

  • Are You There, Gods, It’s Me, Diana, by Wonder Woman

  • Arthur Curry visits the Aquarium by Mark Brown

  • Make Way for Mutants by Robert McCloskey

  • A Dayspring in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle with Cable

  • Bruce and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by The Batman

Game Tape

October finally ends so we have a fourth week of books. This is the week I look forward to the most each month. Fantastic Four, Secret Avengers, Action Comics, and a slew of other good books came out.

First, a trip in the Wayback machine to last week. Batman and Robin #15 was great. Here’s the start of the endgame. We learn some important things that start to put the pieces together, and see why Bruce is the master of the long con…wait…Bruce? DAAAAYUMN! There’s no one writing the Joker better this century than we see in the hands of Morrison. This Joker continues to be brilliant, boisterous, and a blackguard. The gallows humor is in full swing with everything he says and insinuates. I’m going to sorely miss the high quality of this title when Tomasi and co. take over. Not to knock Tomasi, because Green Lantern Corps was well written and interesting, it’s just that Morrison is an impossible act to follow.

 

Speaking of high quality and hard acts to follow: Fantastic Four #584 continued the tradition of excellence that Hickman is bringing. At its heart this issue is a buddy story. Ben and Johnny have a day on the town and a night to remember. Meanwhile, Reed investigates and hints at trouble ahead. Sue is off to do her diplomatic due while the young geniuses of America have a breakfast of champions. One of Hickman’s greatest strengths is that he takes conventional story beats and reimagines them into new and interesting ways. Who would have guess the current status of the Yancy Street Gang? Bravo, sir. Oh…and then there’s a confused and pissed off Galactus. That’s not going to be good for business.

G.I. JOE: COBRA ended the arc that gave us the new continuity’s take on Serpentor and Cobra-la: cult and cash-cow for the international terrorist organization. In spite of an ending that was a little telegraphed, this was a creepy and enjoyable arc. Costa and Gage also to a z-list JOE, Scoop, and… well he wasn’t improved, but he was given a unique and sympathetic voice. Of the JOE books, this is consistently good with short arcs and character driven stories. Mind you there’s usually less shooting, but it’s a fair trade for the quality we’re getting. I’ll take good cloak and dagger over gratuitous gun play any day.

Ummmm… I don’t know how I feel about Action Comics # 894. On the one hand, Cornell clearly understands Lex Luthor as a character. On the other hand, it was a meh philosophical debate about the afterlife and Luthor’s actions in the here and now. Dunno why Vertigo’s Death had to be his guide on this trip. Didn’t seem to fill much purpose. The Jimmy Olsen back up story was enjoyable. It’s doesn’t have a much of the small story attached to a greater whole feel that the first one did, but that’s a small complaint when it’s fun and quick to read.

Avengers #6 ended the first arc, and I still contend that it was at least two issues two long. The interaction with Ultron was interesting, but Kang/ Immortus’ rant at the end was a repeat of almost every speech/ threat given by Per Degaton and monomaniacal time travelers everywhere. I am officially done with this title.

Secret Avengers on the other hand continues to be a keeper. The mystery is still engaging and everyone has a unique voice and purpose on the team.

Whatever you end up buying, happy reading.


Doctor Octopus… Secrets!

Lots of people ask if I… pleasure myself… with my extra arms. The answer is no. Not that I ddint’ think about it.

SECRET…

One night I woke up and found myself on stage with a Who tribute band. Apparently my arms are good drummers.

SECRET…

I like Lunchables...

SECRET…

A couple of years ago, this woman at an IHOP mistook me for Elton John... I didn't tell her otherwise.

SECRET…

Aunt May or Bea Arthur...that's a tough call. Both?

SECRETS!

Would You Rather — Issue #1

Inspired by a the Comedy Death-Ray Radio podcast, I decided to try bringing to the blog a game called “Would You Rather?”. The problem?  You can’t do it with two people.  Against his better instincts Stephen — Matt’s brother and mine — has agreed to pitch in and help us out (and thank you very much for that).  He’s in the gray text.  Do you  have a question you’d like our staff of experts to discuss?  Feel free to pitch a “Would You Rather?” question in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

This week’s question:

Would you rather be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound powered by your own flatulence, or be the fastest man alive powered by killing kittens?
The floor is open.

What percentage of the kittens are deserving of being killed?

Great question.  Only 35% deserve what they get.  And 95% are cute, so there’s a fair amount of overlap there. 

Are we talking ordinary flatulence or cinnamon sprinkle flatulence?
Excellent question, and a very good strategy, letting Stephen focus on Flash-related questions. This is ordinary flatulence, but it is exceptionally loud and immediately traceable to you. Pointing at the guy next to you won’t work.

Am I only faster than the other men powered by killing kittens, or am I faster than non-kitten killers as well?

Sub-question: How much faster than them am I? 

Very, very good questions. I should clarify the premise, that was my fault. You would be the fastest man alive (as in, the only super-speedster) but your powers come from the senseless murder of innocent kittens, not the fastest of all the men who gain super-speed by killing kittens.
How often do I have to murder kittens and how many must die? Basically, what’s the duration of the charge on my speed once quantity x kittens have been obliterated?

A single kitten will immediately charge you to full capacity, but the charge wears off after 20 seconds after the last kitten has been killed. This means for most tasks one kitten will do, but for long-term speedstering you’ll need to carry around a sack of kittens, and you’ll most likely be leaving a trail of their corpses in your
wake.

Will I have the luxury of being able to pass wind without having to leap over a building, and can I still kill kittens in the flatulence reality (as a hobby)?

Great questions, I see you’re trying to catch up on the Super-side of things.  Yes, passing wind will always leap you over a building (or send you 1/8th of a mile depending on where you’re facing).  You can still kill kittens recreationally insofar as you can get away from kitten-loving mobs.
By, “leap tall buildings in a single bound,” are with sticking with the traditional GA Superman leap of 1/8th of a mile?

Great question, Matt. You will be always be able to leap 1/8th of a mile in any direction, but there is no building you will not be able to leap over. If there’s a building, regardless of it’s height, you’ll be able to jump over it.

Okay, gentlemen, this has been an excellent first round.  Answer time!

 

Would you rather be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound powered by your own flatulence, or be the fastest man alive powered by killing kittens?  And why.

I’m going to go with flatulence and leaping on this one. The benefits of 20 seconds of speed do not out weigh the logistics or ethics of killing a kitten on the zeroth and 21st seconds. While an eighth of a mile is not a considerable distance these days, the leaping and passing gas appeals to me on a practical level.
See, I’m going to have to go with being the fastest man alive. For starters, people anally methate about 12 times a day on average; that seems like an awful lot of leaping will ye or nill ye. Plus, flatulence is not limited to waking hours and I’d hate to wake up 1/8 miles away or more and then have to return home to fix the hole I unconsciously created in my roof.

As far as being a speedster goes, it’s always been a dream of mine. Twenty seconds may not seem long to someone who perceives time the way we do, but to one going at super speed it should be enough to run around the Earth a couple times and find some more kittens to murder. To those of you who haven’t tried it, kitten killing is a hoot and often tax deductible.


This Week’s Comics

We have another fairly healthy batch of comics this week. Let’s dive in.

  • AVENGERS & INFINITY GAUNTLET #3 (OF 4) – This book is a fun, light romp through the Infinity Gauntlet saga, and while I don’t know why some of the main characters were chosen (Ms. Marvel seems more like a creator pick rather than a kids’ favorite) it’s been a hoot.
  • BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME ORACLE #1 and BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME RAS AL GHUL #1 – So far I’ve only picked up one of these, and seeing as they all connect, I think I’ll wind up skipping these, too, unless they just look stellar.  At this point I’d be too lost to pick things up.
  • IMAGE FIRSTS DEAD AT 17 and HACK SLASH – More cheap intros into series that I’ve heard are great.  I’ll definitely be checking these out.
  • FANTASTIC FOUR #584 – As horrified as I was to hear that an issue of this would be polybagged (and the editorial reasons and excuses for why this time is different just ring false to me), Jonathan Hickman continues to take the team to fun and incredible places.
  • SPIDER-MAN VS VAMPIRES #1 – I’d be way more interested in this high concept if it didn’t feel like Marvel was hopping on a bandwagon years too late.  Like with Dazzler and disco.
  • THUNDERBOLTS #149 – Another great book, as it really feels like criminals are trying to walk the line and reform rather than hide in plain sight like the other iterations.  And Jeff Parker does a great job of making me like this book even though I hate the characters. (Come on, they’re villains!)

I did a great disservice forgetting where we were Batman and Robin with last week’s #15.  With the Joker holding Robin hostage and some eerie art by Irving Frasier, it didn’t take long to pick up where I left off,  Also, I finally made it to Knight and Squire #1 and absolutely loved it.  It embraced it’s British roots, and made some valuable meta-commentary about what makes British characters so different.  I can’t wait to read more.  This almost makes up for losing Captain Britain and MI-13.

That’s it for me.  What are YOU looking at?