Because I couldn’t take it anymore..

This portrait was seen in the recent episode of Smallville.

And because I can,

The 15 heroes in the portrait, left to right, are: Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat, the Atom, Sandman, the Spectre, the Flash (Jay Gerrick), Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hourman (Kent Nelson), Dr. Mid-Nite (with Hootie the owl), the original Black Canary, and Mr. Terrific

There… got THAT off my chest


Rein in the Fanboys

Smallville used to be a guilty pleasure of mine.

The plotlines were incredibly contrived, the lines – painfully cheesy, the acting – decidedly atrocious and the CGI… not exactly top notch.

But if anything, Smallville had one great thing going for it…   Lana Lang. Haha, I kid. The show was rife with awesome fan references to obscure characters and storylines from the DCU – some of which actually involves Lana Lang!

I was lulled back to the show by the much advertised Geoff Johns (lead creator of Blackest Night)  penned episode of Smallville which will feature *gasp* The Justice Society!

The Justice Society is a big thing on my comics shopping list, especially the Geoff Johns penned ones. The JSA is different from most superhero teams. With the motto of “The world need better good guys”, the JSA went about “collecting” the heirs of superheroes past and go through the 101 of “How to be a Superhero” with them…. Kinda like the X-Men, but cooler. You cannot go wrong with a bunch of old fogies like Wild Cat, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and the Flash (Jay Gerrick) leading the team.

Because of its premise, the recent roster of the JSA has more than 20 members (or about 1% when compared to the cast of the X-Men) , but Geoff managed to create a personal touch for each of them. He made me care about B-Listers like (these are real superhero code names) the Atom Smasher, Power Girl, Mr Terrific, Citizen Steel, Sandy, etc…. but more importantly, he made it seemed like they care for each other too. There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling I get when reading them.

The original creators of Smallville had a strict “No Tights No Flights” policy. Think it worked in favor of the series as it kept a measure of suspense to the series. It explored possible “influences” that made Clark Kent Superman and hints at the possible future of Clark. There was an aura of suspense in the show… much like the “is it there/is it not” relationship of Agent Mulder and Scully in the X Files.

Besides this, there was another huge factor that made this code works – Tights just look ridiculous on normal human beings… eeeesh…

Anyway, a lot has apparently happened since Kristin Kreuk left the series. Besides using star writers like Geoff Johns to continue to lull fanboys in, the creators of Smallville  had been using lots of guest stars and super heroes appearances to boost ratings.

They were apparently so desperate, they recently resorted to the use of… The Wonder Twins…. ooooooh….

Back to this episode of Clark Kent….  to summarize it in 2 words – IT SUCKS!

It seems even Geoff Johns cannot make comic book dialogue work in real life. Some decidedly witty one liners just does not come across right… Perhaps it’s the comic book to video conversion, or maybe… just maybe, the producers should channel their funding to acting classes for the cast.  The plot for the episode was ok, but the acting made the show a pain to watch.

Actual lines from the show include such gems as:

Jo’hn Jonzz (aka: Martian Manhunter): I hope it’s not too late to say, “We come in peace.”

Green Arrow: Drop the mace, Conan.
Hawkman: I will… on your head.
Green Arrow: Bring it, big bird. Just for the record, you started it.
Hawkman: I’ll finish it

Oliver: What are you–my chaperone?
Hawkman: Think of me as your parole officer but with a mace.

Green Arrow: I’m thinking we should regroup with the others before we go after Icicle Junior.
Hawkman: You go back to Sherwood, Robin Hood. I’ll turn the Icicle into slush myself.

TOTAL Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin” Deja vu.

Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t be that hard on the actors… It seems impossible to deliver lines like these with a straight face… unless you’re Kristin.

Black as Night and Sweet as Sin

The blockbuster event of this summer.

2 years in the making and featuring a cast numbering in the thousands.

It’s darker. It’s more mature. It’s edgier.

It’s not Harry Potter and the half blood prince.

It is way cooler than HP for the pure and simple reason that it contains zombies!

At least that’s what I think they are…

For a storyline that’s been set up for 2 years and 2 books into the saga, I honestly still can’t tell you exactly what a Black Lantern is.

All I know is that they scare the hell outta me and they are cool as hell.

Black Lanterns RISE, green lantern, blackest night, black lanterns

Geoff Johns is a VERY strong writer for character comics. He single-handedly sparked my interest in the Justice Society of America, a team comprising of relatively old, silver age heroes which should have no business in today’s world whatsoever. They represent a generation of values that just does not make sense anymore. Somehow, he managed to make these old foggies relevant and develop these characters into ones that the reader can care about. No mean feat, considering the membership of the Society is dynamic (at best) and said membership consists of anything from 5 to 50 characters.

He is also really good at rejuvenating old concepts and retelling the mythos of  over powered, over exposed characters like Superman and Green Lantern to make them interesting again. He lifted these characters  from the “fight with the monster of the month” monotonous storylines to something else altogether. Cue the Sinestro Corp War, the War of the Light and New Krypton.

One genre which he never really touched so far is that of Horror and Gore, normally more the niche of writers like Garth Ennis and Jason Aaron.

Geoff Johns’ tales till now might be a little dark and slightly angsty, but they normally end with a message of hope. He’ll even try to show the more humane side of “evil” characters such as Black Adam and even Brainiac, which adds another dimension to their characterization and make them more compelling characters. I don’t think he really believes in Evil for Evil’s sake. Green Lantern #43 and Blackest Night #1 seemed to be proving me wrong as he shows he can out evil and out gore the best of them. Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis was supposed to depict a scenario where evil won and all hope is lost. But seriously, the final scenes of Blackest Night #1 were one of the most “f%& me blind” scenes I’ve seen in a comic for a very long time. It shows how absolute the Black Lanterns’ potential for mischief could be, and Johns is milking it for all that it is worth.

He paints a scenario that seems totally hopeless for the heroes to overcome. Case in point: the scene below.

Which I should probably mention: Spoiler Alert!

Elongated Man, Sue, ralph dibny, hawkman, black lanterns, blackest night

Sidenote: Is it me? Or is this Dark/Black theme the “in” thing for the moment? I mean… Marvel is having their Dark Reign event going on too… Certainly makes one wonder about the ideas are coming from…