Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Comics Out 20 December 2006

The only thing I will be getting this week is the new issue of Testament (I can't believe how few comics I have gotten in the last three weeks); the only thing that I noticed in comics news this week was this great poster Famke Janssen did for PETA (the full article is here).

Famke Janssen - Be an Angel for Animals AdAs usual, review, recommend, and discuss this weeks comics and comics news. And just to do one more list for fun (since again this is a slow week) here are my top ten favorite comic book characters, in no particular order:

1. Fantomex
2. Tao (from Alan Moore's Wildcats)
3. Batman
4. Hellboy
5. Lex Luthor
6. Mr. Fantastic
7. Prometheus (from Morrison's JLA)
8. Jean Grey
9. The Incredible Hulk
10. The Silver Surfer

I liked everyone's contributions to lists in the last two weeks: if you are up to it try this one. I will be working on the first part of what may become my issue-by-issue analysis of Grant Morrison's New X-Men.

EDIT (added Dec 20 2006 at 12:33pm): Two things I stupidly forgot:
1. Jean Grey is out and the Maxx is in.
2. Go see the new episode of Satacracy 88 at (link on the right). The blog about it will be up tomorrow.


Patrick said...

1) Batman
2) Darkseid
3) Spider-Man
4) John Constantine
5) Anton Arcane
6) Kitty Pryde
7) Mary-Jane Watson
8) Scrooge McDuck
9) Merv Pumpkinhead
10) Deadly Little Miho

brad said...

Episode 5 of Satacracy 88 premieres today at Check it out - I'd love to hear some feedback.

The Maxx
Doctor Strange
John DiFool
Dr. Krigstein
Savage Dragon

Mitch said...

In no particular order...

1. Emma Frost (Both Morrison and Whedon's versions—Awesome. A real bitch, but still a real person.)
2. Silver Surfer (Jim Starlin and Ron Lim's version—That two page spread of him soaring in at Thanos in Infinity Gauntlet #4 is perhaps the most suspenseful sequence ever.)
3. Green Arrow (Denny O'Neil and Neil Adams' version—If you listen to O’Neil talk about the character on Word Balloon or Comic Geek Speak you’ll learn that Green Arrow IS Denny O’Neil. I love it. )
4. Bishop (not really taken from any particular point in X-Men... I've always sensed a lot of untapped potential in his character. Plus, he's super fun to play as in X-Men Legends 2.)
5. Magneto (Ian McKellen's version)
6. Tony Stark/Iron Man (from The Ultimates)
7. Black Lightning (from Meltzer's current Justice League--He's working real magic with that character)
8. Batman (from Morrison's JLA--Such a badass. He was the best part of that run for me)
9. Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle (a wonderful example of how a character can develop. When Batman ended up in a wheelchair, they had to "cure" him really quick because his character isn't adaptable enough for a permanent change like that. Barbara Gordon’s character is. Plus she's totally hot.)
10. Beast (both Morrison and Whedon’s versions—an uncomplicated, infinitely relatable character. He’s turning into a blue cat. He doesn’t want to be. And funny. )

Glad to hear about the New X-Men project, Geoff.

Also—Check out my new article “Microcosmic Awareness” at Silver Bullet:

Jason Powell said...

1. Magneto (Geoff, that was a great note in your Magneto blog post about the assymetry between him and his "arch-enemy," Professor X, in terms of their abilities. I *love* observations like that!)

2. V

3. The gay Promethea in Promethea (Bill, I think his name was? The one on the cover of issue 7.)

4. Madelyne Prior (Claremont version) (That exciting PETA poster reminds me of a question that has sometimes occurred to me. If they ever introduced Madelyne Prior into the X-Men film series, would she be played by Famke Janssen? Or would they find an actress who looks uncannily similar to Famke Jannsen?)

5. Cerebus

6. Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum version)

7. The Beast (Stan Lee/Roy Thomas version)

8. Hawley Griffin (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)

9. The Hulk (Peter David's grey version)

10. Suprema (from Alan Moore's Supreme; if for no other reason than her response to a bank robber who calls her a bitch -- "That kind of language isn't polite, it isn't clever, and it isn't funny.")

Geoff Klock said...

ACK! YES! for Christsake go see Satacracy Now -- the blog about it will be up tomorrow.

And the MAXX! Today Brad's job is to remind me about things I forgot -- I am taking Jean Grey out of my list and putting the Maxx in. How could I forget about the Maxx

Roger Whitson said...

Superman (from All-Star)
Spiderman (from Ultimate)
Starman (Jack Knight)
Lucifer Morningstar (from Vertigo)
Green Lantern
Dr. Manhattan
Adam Warlock (Jim Starlin)
Vanth Dreadstar
Jim Corrigan as the Spectre
Kent Nelson as Dr. Fate

Roger Whitson said...

btw, did you ever read this blog entry about the masterpieces of so-called comic auteurs?

its in two parts...

Geoff Klock said...

Roger: that link does not seem to be working, or I am doing something wrong.

Alexandre said...

Man, I've had quite a bit of trouble with this and it was getting muddled, was I picking best characters or my actual favorites? So in the end, I managed to limit my choices to characters I've actually followed (as opposed to Beta Ray Bill, clearly awesome, but conceptually so, as I don't own enought Thor to call him a favorite.)

1. Spider-Man
2. Iron Man
3. Green Lantern
4. Moonshadow
5. Doctor Doom
5. Silver Surfer
6. Mr. Freeze (a small fudge, I know him best from the animated series)
7. Venom
8. Death or Yotsuba (a big fudge, but they of represent the same thing. A big fuzzy hug in comics)
9. Lucifer
10. Iron Wok Jan

MItch said...

Jason- I was thinking about Madelyne Pryor on my lunch break after reading your post. She was a favorite of mine too. It really irks me that she turned out to be clone of Jean and a demon princess. I feel like that gives Cyclops too much of any easy out. I mean, dude up and left her and the kid when he found out his old girlfriend was alive again. I loved when she was kicking around with the X-Men after Scott left her.

By making her into a demonic clone, it lets Cyclops off the hook by saying, "Hey. It's alright. She was never a person with real feelings anyway." I think it would have been infinitely more interesting to see Cyclops take some responsibility and deal with it like a real person. Apparently being honest with someone is harder than fighting a demonic clone queen.

Don't I f*cking know it.

Jason Powell said...


I hear what you're sayin' about Maddie. I don't know if you know the behind-the- scenes on how that all went down -- but it was basically that Marvel editorial wanted to make a comic (which would become X-Factor) that had the original five X-Men reunited. In order to do it, the writers both had to pull the Jean-Grey ressurection out of their butts (by basically ripping off the premise of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, i.e., no, Phoenix wasn't Jean Grey, it was a collection of energy that just THOUGHT it was Jean Grey), and had to turn Cyclops into a wife-abandoning jerk.

Claremont and Simonson were apparently appalled by this. Their less than elegant solution (and they've both admitted, I believe, that it was a fudged job) was to make Cyclops good by making Maddie retroactively evil and telepathic and manipulative and bad.

Even though it all was kind of a sucky fix, I admit I actually have affection even for demon-Madelyne, basically because she had kind of a "righteous rage" motif that I thought Claremont played up really well. During Inferno, Madelyne was, it's true, an evil demonic clone queen -- but at the same time, you kind of had some sympathy for her, since all her reasons for hating Cyclops were actually really just. Or at least, that was how I always read those issues.

I think Maddie's on my list because she's a fascinating example of a character totally yanked around by forces that have nothing to do with any kind of creative or artistic vision -- but because of that she has a really bizarre, off-the-charts character arc. I guess I have a sort of perverse affection for comics characters affected by that phenomenon.

Re: Cyclops owning up to his jerkiness, there was a great interview with Claremont back when Marvel had Cyclops and Jean get married. He was talking about how he would've written Cyclops' proposal scene, and it would've gone something like:

Cyclops: Will you marry me, Jean?
Jean: Why should I?
Cyclops: Because I love you.
Jean: You loved Madelyne.
Cyclops: ... um ...
Jean: Yeeeah, boy, how you like me now?

(Or something along those lines. Would've loved to see that scene appear in an X comic.)

Or ... in the end, maybe I just like Maddie Pryor because she's named after the lead singer of Steeleye Span. I love that band!

Matt Brady said...

I could never objectively come up with a satisfying, ranked list of my favorite characters, so here's some I like in no particular order:

Spider-Man (Lee/Ditko/Romita)
The Thing (Lee/Kirby)
Lenny (from Shade the Changing Man)
Crazy Jane (from Morrison's Doom Patrol)
Groo the Wanderer
Jessica Jones (from Brian Michael Bendis' Alias)
Spider Jerusalem (from Transmetropolitan)
Mitchell Hundred (from Ex Machina)
Molly (from Runaways)

Alexandre said...

Want to pop in again to share something I just saw at The Beat, the PW comic's blog:
BK Vaughn joins the writing crew of Lost.

Dan said...

In no particular order other than the one in which they popped into my head:

Matter Eater Lad
Jack B Quick (from Tomorrow Stories)
Superman a la DC One Million (dude lives in the sun!)
Luthor, pre-Crisis
Suprema (yes! Thanks, Jason)
Joe Pi (from Top Ten)
Ambush Bug
Prometheus (Morrison's JLA)
Emma Frost

Geoff Klock said...

Alex: Beta Ray Bill is awesome but like you, I know nothing about him. Thanks for reminding me he exists.

Mitch: hilarious.

Jason: I remember vaguely that Maddy Pryor had a weird afterlife (literally) in the 25th issue of X-Man (the series that spun out of Age of Apocalypse): Nate Gray, the grown-in-a-test-tube child of the Age of Apocalypse (i.e. alternate universe) Cyclops and Phoenix -- and thus a kind of alternate universe Cable now stranded in the regular Marvel Universe (I will be dead and in the ground before I call it the 616 universe) -- was lonely. Then Maddy Pryor showed up. He fell in love. They had sex. Then it turned out he was such a powerful psychic he, in his loneliness, unconsciously resurrected her. So he was -- follow the logic if you dare -- having sex with the dead demon clone of his alternate universe mother (though he was grown in a test tube so "mother" is a loose term).

There is no other way to say how much I -- GOD! -- I love comics.

Alex: BKV on LOST. OK. Ultimately he will have so much less control in a show than in a comic so it's not like he can really screw it up or really ruin it. Let's hope he brings something good to the table.

Patrick said...

It sounds like you're rationalizing Geoff, is BKV not a favorite?

I went through a simliar phase when I heard Whedon was on Runaways (because they're not his characters any massive damage he does can be undone by other writer down the line).

hcduvall said...

Georff: See how I sneakily mentioned the Beta Ray Bill while not adding to the list? Now how can I surreptitiously mention the evil purple Green Lantern Sinestro...

Roger said...

well, here's the blog url:

and it's the April 25th and 26th 2006 postings: the title (and both of them are LONG entries) is "Comics' magna opera: Parts One and Two)

Hopefully that will help. Oh, and did you read the new Sandman Mystery Theater? I LOVED that title in the 90s.

Ping33 said...

Top 10 Characters
1) King Mob (The Invisibles)
2) Superman
3) The Joker
4) Silver Surfer (The Stan Lee jesus one)
5) Captain America
6) Jack Knight (Starman)
7) Molly (Books of Magic)
8) Susan Storm
9) U-Go-Girl (X-Statix)
10) Darkseid

Ping33 said...

Top 10 Characters from Other people's Lists:

1) Ambush Bug
2) Molly (Runaways)
3) Prometheus
4) Kremlin (Ex Machina) (A cheat I know)
5) Moonshadow (but wasn't that little furry guy even better? Where the hell is Absolute Moonshadow. I want that shit asap.)
6) Dr. Doom
7) Barbra Gordon
8) Scrooge McDuck
9) Dr. Strange
10)Dr. Manhattan

Scott said...

In no order:

1) Kevin Matchstick from Mage
2) Cerebus

Both of these characters have/had a destiny or fate that they've fought against.

3) Jenny Sparks in Ellis' Authority
4) Destruction in Sandman-- the story is built around this character that you don't see until over halfway through everything.

5) King Mob in The Invisibles
6) Horatio Hellpop in Nexus
7) Mister Miracle
8) Frankenstein in Seven Soldiers
9) Kid Flash (Wally West)when he was part of The New Teen Titans.
10) 1950's Superman (it's just too goofy.)

Jason Powell said...

Geoff, I never read anything of the resurrected Madelyne. Wow.

You know, all this talk of Madelyne Prior reminds me of a great line that Claremont had in X-Men 243, when the X-Men first see Mr. Sinister for the first time. Cyclops says "Who's that?!?!?" And Madelyne Prior replies:

"That's Mr. Sinister. His hobby's cloning redheads."

Gotta be one of the funniest lines Claremont ever wrote.

Mitch said...

Jason-- Thanks for your explanation. I knew most of it, but I didn't know that Claremont and Simonson were against her becoming Goblin Queen and you are right... that does give her a "righteous rage". It's the writers' rage. And I should stop whining. It's not like I don't own and constantly re-read Inferno(even thought its far from my favorite). My favorite Maddie line is one that encapsulates almost all of Claremont's idiosyncrasies and its from FROM THE ASHES when she says to Cyclops, "The bubbly is nice and chilled, lover. Wanna get blitzed and fool around?" haha. I love it first, because everyone in Claremont's mind calls their significant other "lover" and second because this was back in the day when mostly teenaged kids were reading X-Men and this is probably the thing they longed to hear most from a woman.

Geoff-- Yes. Peace on Earth and God bless screwy X-Men continuity.

Jason Powell said...

Mitch, I'm starting to feel a little sheepish at having wasted so much bandwith going on at length about Maddie. (I'm very sorry, Geoff -- it's just a painfully slow week at work.)

That said, my favorite Claremont idiosyncracy... Whenever one half of a couple says, "I love you." The other half, invariably, will respond with: "And I, you." If you're lucky, they'll follow it up with, "...from the moment we first met."

So corny, but I don't care, I still love it!

Pat Moler said...

I'm a lil' late but what the hell.

in no particular order.

the Joker
the Hulk
Green Arrow
Savage Dragon
Silver Surfer

Honorable mentions

Orion of the New Gods
Lex Luthor
the Maxx