Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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N. Harmonik’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Oggy and the Cockroaches Episodes

Success! I, N. Harmonik, have managed to hack into Jyger’s Rant! I mean, I’ve decided to give my dear friend a break and try my hand at reviewing and stuff. And what better way to start than by typing about my currently most-adored franchise, Oggy and the Cockroaches!

Created by Jean-Yves Raimbaud (may he rest in peace) in 1998, this slapstickery cartoon is about a cat, the titular Oggy, and his dealings with three cockroaches, Dee Dee, Marky and Joey, who live in his house. When these ornery insects aren’t stealing Oggy’s food or some other object that he covets, they’re pranking him just for fun, usually with explosives. Oggy is sometimes helped by his cousin, Jack, although more often than not, his aid and bad temper just make the situation worse. Often, their antics will end up hurting and angering Oggy’s neighbour, a dog named Bob, who will then pound them (mostly the cats) into pulp. A late addition to the cast is Olivia, a sweet cat friendly to everyone (even the roaches) and Oggy’s love interest.

As you can see, this is a spiritual successor to Tom and Jerry. Unlike Tom and Jerry though, wherein every character except the cat and the mouse can talk, no coherent words are ever spoken and written words are kept to the barest minimum. Rarely, they’ll sing public domain songs (notably “A Night at the Opera” in which the opera “Carmen” is performed) but all communication is done through gestures and gibberish. Because there is no need for dubbing, the show is able to reach a wide audience, airing in at least 150 countries at the time of writing this. The cartoon’s success has spawned clothing, accessories, dolls, comic books, magazines, board games, video games, a music album, a radio drama and even a movie!

Allow me to tell you of my 5 favourite episodes in order of airdate. Naturally, there’ll be spoilers.

#1 – Granny’s Day

Oggy’s grandmother comes over to his house to celebrate her birthday. First the audience thinks the episode will be about the cockroaches driving her up the wall…until she pummels and captures Joey and Marky. Next the audience thinks the episode will be about how the remaining roach, Dee Dee, will endeavour to rescue his buddies/brothers…until he uncovers strong evidence that they’re dead. This causes Dee Dee to collapse into a sobbing mess, much to granny’s surprise, as if she had always assumed cockroaches were heartless. When she takes a look at her captive insects, they hand her a photo album showing them having a great time from babyhood to present day. And thus, granny is touched and realizes that Joey, Marky and Dee Dee may be awful to her grandson but they’re a family through thick and thin to each other. She not only releases Marky and Joey but the three bugs go with her back to her place for a while!

#2 – Love and Kisses

Oggy’s sister, Monica, visits and Jack is instantly smitten by her, thanks in no small part to her mistakenly kissing him. Noticing that she likes sports (the more extreme, the better), Jack strives to impress her in that department. Naturally, he stinks at all the events, even without the cockroaches (whom he had infuriated earlier) messing him up. Yet throughout, he never gives up so by the end of the episode, Monica finds his efforts cute and gives Jack her number before leaving. Unsurprisingly and amusingly, Jack celebrates the only way he knows how: loud as possible!

…Yes, Jack and Monica are cousins. I don’t know, maybe cousin-on-cousin isn’t considered incest in France where the show was made. Regardless, their relationship is strangely rather adorable. A pity it won’t last…

#3 – Ugly, Dirty and Good

Have I ever stated that I’m a sucker for the old good-guy-gets-amnesia-and-gets-tricked-into-becoming- a-bad-guy shtick? Well, in this episode’s case, the inversion occurs!

After falling on his head during the usual raid on the fridge, Joey not only mentally regresses into a child and forgets who Marky and Dee Dee are but also becomes convinced that Oggy is his father! Said feline cannot bring himself to harm him after an affectionate display of adoration so he adopts the bug. Oggy even makes a blue, furry suit for Joey to wear so he’ll look like him! Throughout the episode, Oggy and Joey partake in several endearing father-and-son activities while the other two roaches do their best to land a blow on their former leader’s head in order to get him back. Ultimately, Joey gives himself a concussion that snaps him out of it. He bites Oggy while returning to his brothers’ welcoming arms yet later is seen to beam at Oggy fondly…then he promptly slaps Dee Dee and Marky when he notices them snickering at him.

#4 – Back to the Past! (Featuring Olivia)

The roaches destroy a witch’s hat by accident (for once) and pin the blame on Oggy, Jack and Bob. As punishment, the witch transforms the cats and dog into children, leaving Olivia to look after them. Olivia soon finds herself at wit’s end taking care of the cute but hyperactive rascals so she drags Joey off with her to locate and confess to the witch and makes babysitters out of Marky and Dee Dee. Meanwhile, the men are having a delightful time being boys again; pillow fighting, playing with their food and roughhousing while being as messy as they can. The one exception is school where they have to deal with bullies and human kids who think they’re dolls. In the end, the witch turns Bob, Jack and Oggy back into adults then, at Olivia’s request, changes Joey, Marky and Dee Dee into kids! The cutie pies are then given to the guys by Olivia to care for until the spell’s undone. And Oggy himself is likely going to need the practice…

#5 – Oggy is Getting Married! (Featuring Olivia)

The cats and cockroaches take a trip to Venice, Italy. Oggy reveals to Jack that he intends to propose to Olivia while Joey reveals to Dee Dee and Marky that he intends to pilfer his engagement ring to propose to Lady K, a conniving female roach living in Olivia’s house. In typical cartoony fashion, Oggy’s first attempted proposal fails; luckily, so does Joey’s first attempted theft. Oggy becomes jealously suspicious when he espies Olivia conversing with a male, grown-up human then hiding later when aforementioned human passes by. One awkward kidnapping later (with Jack as an all-too-willing accomplice), she reveals that he is a painter with whom she was transacting. With that matter mostly cleared up, Oggy pops the question and Olivia gleefully accepts…only for the roaches to swipe the ring. What follows is a madcap pursuit through the canals and roads that ultimately reduces the city to rubble. Oh well, at least they got the ring back. Later back home, it is shown that Olivia had commissioned the artist (revealed to be named after creator Jean-Yves Raimbaud) to do a portrait of her sweetheart-and-now-husband, Oggy.

Yes, you read that last part right, folks; a slapstickery cartoon actually defied the status quo of its genre and had two of its main characters tie the knot! This is the last episode produced so far yet chances are good that another season will be produced. I just hope it doesn’t take a few years again…

Those are my 5 favourite episodes and you probably noticed a theme connecting them all: love. And I hear you asking, “Why?” The thing is, I actually can’t stand franchises that are almost completely about love; I greatly prefer stories that have lots of action. Because love doesn’t come up often in this series, it seems much sweeter and cuter! Perhaps that’s why I like this franchise…

But just in case, here’s a list of more of my favourite episodes that aren’t as, ahem, lovely if you know what I mean: A Night at the Opera, The Ghost Hunter, Working Cat, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Oggy’s Double, Roachy Redneck, Inspector Dee Dee, Priceless Roaches, Let’s Party Guys, Metamorphosis, The Dictator, For Real, What a Lousy Day and From Mumbai with Love (Featuring Olivia).

So, leave any comments you might have below, and I’ll see you later…maybe. Kawoom!

…-r my 400th blog post!… … …What the hell just happened? o.O

Infinite DC – A Look At The Costume Ensembles (WARNING – SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTING AND SPOILERS AHEAD)

Real quick, before I start, I haven’t forgotten to do What I Got For Christmas. It’s just that, among the gift cards I got, two of them are for Heroes’ Beacon, so I decided to just wait until I get my week’s comics and include them, instead of doing a separate What I Bought Today. With that outta the way, let’s engage in some shameless self-promoting, shall we? For those who have been following along with my Infinite DC fanfiction line, you know that I’ve been making a number of ensembles for the characters. Basically, I’ve been taking bits and pieces of costumes worn by the characters in various medias (comics, cartoons, movies, etc.), and putting them together to form their Infinite DC costumes. This is because Infinite DC takes place in my own alternate universe, separate from the 52 universes shown in DC Comics, but is influenced by many of them (and others) in terms of characters, stories, historical events, and so on. So, with that said, let’s take a look at some of the costumes I’ve put together thus far, starting with…

Infinite Superman

First shown in the fanfic ‘The Man of Tomorrow’, Superman’s costume is largely based on his more traditional tights. However, while they are the same design in terms of colour-scheme and where everything goes and fits together, the costume is actually made out of the more armour-like material seen in most of Superman’s more recent appearances. Reasoning is simple: Superman’s body is protected by his bio-electrical field, and he himself is mostly invulnerable, but there are ways around both. If he takes too much of a beating in a fight against opponents with strength comparable to his own, his solar energy reserves can deplete and the field can fail to protect him. Also, Superman has been shown to be vulnerable to some forms of attack in the past, namely from Kryptonite and magic. Considering the number of enemies he faces that have used this to their advantage, it makes sense that he’d want something that would protect him a bit more. But, I also understand why many still miss the classic design, so I decided to go ahead and please both.

Infinite Huntress

Originally, I just gave Huntress her Year One costume, but as of late, I decided to go with the costume she more commonly wore as a member of the Birds of Prey, since she’s, y’know, a member of the Birds of Prey in my fic. Also, as pointed out in said comics, she’s actually able to stretch herself out a bit more and is nimbler in said costume, and I kind of needed her to have that edge. I actually was almost breaking the fourth wall in the chapter where she makes it, as I really felt that, with the team in its current shape, Huntress needed that something extra to work with. The colour-scheme and mask, however, remain the same, as it creates a blend of the two, and honestly, I kinda found that, as time went on, Huntress’ BoP mask was drawn to be bigger and bigger until it just got ridiculous. lol Also, in a rare case of being inspired by a non-DC character, her crossbow and quiver actually use the same tech as shown with Hawkeye in the Avengers movie.

Infinite Batman

So, initially I had Batman wear his New 52 costume tinted dark blue instead of black. Since then, I’ve decided to give a slight retcon punch to that idea, instead giving him the Batman Noel costume, recoloured and given lens to resemble the Batman: TAS costume, his Bat symbol swapped out for the one in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and and wearing the utility belt seen on Injustice: Gods Among Us‘ Insurgency Batman. So, why the dark blue colouring? Well, originally, it was to show that Batman was lightening up from his lone wolf crusade, but I’ve since come up with a bit more functional-toned reason: Batman’s a ninja. Ninjas do NOT wear black, they were dark blue. Yeah, that threw me off too, but apparently, dark blue actually blends into the darkness even better than black. In other words, and I know this is gonna piss off a lot of people, but of the costumes that appeared in the Batman movies of the past 20+ years, the one that’s actually best suited for the darkness is George Clooney’s…Yeah. Scary.

Infinite Robin

Not much to say here. It’s the Young Justice Robin costume, except with Damian’s hood and Tim Drake‘s Robin symbol. Decided it was probably best to keep it simple with him. With that in mind, I have a question: Why is it that, in modern day, Dick Grayson is always shown to be wearing green leggings? ‘Cuz originally, that was not his thing. That was a Tim Drake thing. Instead, Tim Drake is now shown dressed in the red and black costume he wore after Superboy was killed…who is apparently dead again now…Comics can be weird sometimes. o.O

Infinite Batwoman

Again, not a lot to say about Batwoman’s costume. It’s mostly the same as the one seen in the comics, with one distinct difference: She’s now wearing a Batgirl-esque cowl (though it keeps the lens from the mask), with her wig poking out the back. This is done for a few reasons, though mainly it was due to my belief that someone like Katherine Kane would likely go for a cowl instead of a mask, since a face mask probably comes off a lot easier. Also, as I mentioned before, I made it so that her wig is rigged to a device in her cowl that sends a minor shock to anyone foolish enough to try and tug on her ‘hair’.

Infinite Wonder Woman

Finally, the pièce de résistance, Infinite Wonder Woman. This was actually the first real case of me mixing and matching various pieces of costumes together. As you can see, she has her hair in a ponytail (which she can crack like a whip), like in Justice League: War, she has the tiara with nose-guard from All-Star Batman and Robin (which has a psychic connection to her invisible jet and the replica tiara worn by Queen Hippolyta), she has a Gladiator-style skirt, and she has her Injustice boots, top, chest-plate, and bullet-proof bracers (which can be removed to allow her to use the full extent of her strength and speed). Of course, she also has the indestructible golden lasso that she uses to tie people up and/or make speak the truth, and she also occasionally wields a broadsword for when things get a bit too out of hand. And, in two chapters, she wore an enchanted helm over her tiara that covered the rest of her exposed skin (save for her face) with red leather armour, bronze shoulder and knee-guards, and a red cape. Y’know, just in case she needs a little something extra for when she’s going to war with the masses of the undead.

Anyway, there’s a few more, and at least a couple I have planned for the future, but let’s save them for another time. Leave your comments below on what you think of these costumes, and ideas for new ones. In the meanwhile, next up is my 400th blog post, and boy, do I have something special planned fo-

…And he never suspected a thing. Kawoom!

Next Time: N. Harmonik’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Oggy and the Cockroaches Episodes

Contemplating Avengers Fic For Next Year – Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man?

So, as the title suggests, I’ve played with the idea of doing an Avengers fanfic. I mostly blame that on the fact that I can’t seem to get THIS song outta my frakking head…

…but I digress. The Avengers are a large group. In fact, I’m fairly certain every major superhero in the Marvel universe has been a member of at least one incarnation of it. Some have been a part of SEVERAL, *COUGH!*Iron Man*COUGH!*. As such, I can pretty much get away with having whatever Marvel heroes I want on my own Avengers team. The question is, who? Well, there’s plenty to choose from, but I think I’d want the team to be diverse and not have a lot of powers be shared by multiple members. Also, for obvious reasons, I wouldn’t want more than one character with the same alias. So, with that out of the way, I’m left with a simple question: Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man?

Now, lemme clear something up: When I say “Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man?”, what I really mean is “Peter Parker or Miles Morales?”. Now, if you’re wondering why I would even ask such a thing…Well, you probably haven’t been reading the comics as of late. Plus, as is my custom with writing superhero teams, I like a diverse team with multi-ethnical flavour, so the temptation to include Miles partly stems from that (though I will admit that I object to making a hero black JUST BECAUSE Obama was elected). There are other reasons too, but I’ll get into that in a bit. First, let’s look at why I would go with his predecessor, Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man.

First appearing in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15, Peter Benjamin Parker was the average high school bully-magnet nerd, albeit with a real talent and passion for science. However, his life changed the day he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Initially trying to cash in on his success by becoming a novelty TV star in a costume, called ‘Spider-Man’, his failure to stop a fleeing burglar, seeing it as not being his problem, resulted in the crook murdering his Uncle Ben. Realising his new powers came with a responsibility to use them wisely, Peter instead dedicated his life to fighting crime. He has since been a member of both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

Thanks to the spider bite, Peter possesses superhuman strength, enough to bench press 10 tons, enhanced speed and agility, insane levels of durability, and can crawl along walls. Using his advanced scientific mind, he also created a pair of web-shooters, which are strapped to his wrists and shoot a synthetic polymer adhesive, very similar to a spider’s webbing, used either to tie up foes or swing between buildings. The webbing is fired by placing the right amount of pressure on the trigger in his palm with his middle and ring fingers, which was designed intentionally as to avoid accidentally firing them by making a fist. He’s also created spider-tracers, which are tiny devices that send out a signal for him to track down. He even developed his own martial art, ‘The Way Of The Spider’, which uses his abilities and arsenal to their fullest potential. But the greatest asset to his abilities is his Spider-sense. To quote Wizard of ScrewAttack!, the Spider-sense “gives Peter omnipresent detection of his surroundings. This is how he’s able to swing through New York without looking where he shoots his webs.” Of course, even with such an ability, Spider-Man has to be able to react to its warnings, so if he thinks he’s not in danger or simply isn’t able to move fast enough…well, you get the idea.

For all of his abilities, both superhuman and otherwise, Spider-Man isn’t perfect. He does possess an inferiority complex, probably at least partially due to years spent being bullied for his lunch money. He’s a bit anti-social, again, probably because of being a bully magnet, has a bit of a fear of women…which is odd, seeing as how many girlfriends he’s had (gotta be the tights. Oh yeah. lol), can be somewhat accident-prone without his Spider-sense, and has apparently dealt with severe amounts of Oedipal guilt, and if you don’t know what that is, for the love of God, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. And yes, I suppose I should bring this up: Because he’s CONSTANTLY agonising over the meaning of right and wrong, and has this little irritating problem with acting like a grown-up, he once traded life with his wife for life with his repeatedly dying aunt to the devil, and not because she was dying, but because it was his fault, meaning it was less about her and more about his own pain. And for those wondering, NO, if I EVER write Amazing Spider-Man, I am not including the events of One More Day and the deal with Mephisto to his back-story. You can make whatever argument you like, IT WAS WRONG, DAMMIT.

So, there’s the arguments for and against Peter Parker. Now, let’s take a look at his arguably lesser-known successor from another universe, this is Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man.

First appearing in 2011’s Ultimate Fallout #4, Miles Morales exists in the Ultimate universe, which is usually used for modern retellings of long-time superheroes without having to reboot the entire franchise, something other comic book companies might’ve wanted to consider. Regardless, Miles is of mixed heritage, being half Mexican and half African-American, and is the nephew of the Ultimate universe’s Prowler. An Oscorp scientist was using Peter Parker’s blood to recreate the formula that turned him into Spider-Man. However, Prowler stole the formula, but one of the spiders created through it snuck into his duffel bag. It then bit Miles when he was visiting his uncle, whom he was unaware was the Prowler. At first, due to the urgings of his friend, Ganke, he engages in super-heroics, but quickly quits. However, following the death of the Ultimate universe’s Peter Parker when he saves his family and friends from the Green Goblin, Miles realises that he could’ve been there to help him, and after learning of Peter’s story from Gwen Stacy, decides to become Spider-Man, later being allowed to join the Ultimates.

Through the bite of the genetically engineered spider, Miles possesses most of Peter’s abilities, although his Spider-sense isn’t nearly as effective. He also has Peter’s web-shooters, which were given to him by Aunt May and Gwen after they accepted him as the new Spider-Man, and a similar aptitude for science. However, Miles has two abilities unique to himself. The first is that he can camouflage himself into his surroundings, including his clothes, to make himself unseen by most opponents. The other is the venom strike, an electrical touch that can be conducted through clothes, and even across certain materials like the Amazing Spider-Man’s webbing, to paralyse the target. Speaking of, it should be noted that, during a cross-over event called Spider-Men (one of the only post-One More Day stories I’m actually tempted to buy), an altercation born out of confusion between the Amazing Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man resulted in Miles actually disabling his predecessor with the venom strike, although one could argue this was simply due to a lack of understanding on Peter’s part of Miles’ unique powers.

With all of that said, however, Miles has his issues as well. For example, while mainstream Peter Parker is generally portrayed as having been bitten by the spider roughly in his mid to late teens, Miles was THIRTEEN. While quitting superhero activities as quickly as he did might seem odd, when you consider that he was 13-years-old, having to bear the weight and responsibility of being Spider-Man, and is the son and nephew of thieves, trying to determine if he really could be a good person (the whole nature vs nurture thing), it becomes a bit easier to understand. In fact, he’s arguably more sympathetic than Peter, as they both tend to deal with their problems in similar fashion, and often-times have made the same mistakes (aside from one rather big one I already mentioned), but one actually IS a teenager, while the other simply BEHAVES like one. Plus, just try not to feel at least a little sorry for a kid his age that has to fight the worst criminals and horrifying super-villains comic book New York has to offer. If he doesn’t grow up to be completely mentally unstable, it’ll either be the work of a miracle, or because he was killed in action.

So, there you go. Arguments for and against both the Amazing Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man. Who would you rather see written alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? Leave your comments below, or simply vote for your favourite. I’ll probably be doing similar polls for other heroes of the Marvel universe, so keep your eyes peeled. Either way, you can probably expect the Avengers fic to come out either Spring or Summer 2014. Ja né!

My Thoughts On The Pokémon Anime XY English Trailer (WARNING – ANGRY RANT)

…So, the new english trailer for the XY season of the Pokémon anime came out, and I was asked to watch it, that I would not regret it. I didn’t know why someone would think I would care, I thought I established a long time ago that I wouldn’t. Well, I will grant them this much: They got me to care. They just didn’t get me to like it. Suffice to say, I am rather depressed now. If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

And no, I’m not gonna do the evaluating time thing, I think most people are kinda sick of that. But yeah, I think I solved the mystery. The reason I’m supposed to care is because they brought back the old theme song with a new cover. Ooh. And y’know, this actually kinda reminds me of a similar situation with another show I loved as a kid that brought back its old theme song with a new cover. And I was informed that this and that are not the same thing…Yeah, it is. And I’ll tell you why: This is the producers of the show trying to get points with old-schoolers, like myself, and get us to give a damn, and to give the show another chance. It doesn’t work. Why? Because I would sit through the intro, and enjoy that part, and when it was over, so would my enjoyment.

Bringing back ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ does not magically fix all the problems I have with the show. If fact, it actually makes the people making this show seem all the more pathetic for trying to divert my attention away with such an obvious attempt at misdirection. There’s a reason why, when Digimon came back with Digimon Fusion, that they didn’t go back to the old song: It’s a whole new series, the show is trying to move forward in a new direction instead of giving us season after season where the second verse is the same as the first, and the third, and the fourth, and so on. Now, granted, in Season 3 of Fusion, we will be getting the old characters back for a few eps, which might actually be a great time to bust out the old themes, but not for the intro, but for the most part, this is something new, and needs to have its own identity. Pokémon XY, however, is basically the same show we’ve been watching for years now, only with the side characters swapped out.

And y’know, them going back to the old song actually fits with my problems with the show. And I’ve said this before, but the reason the show stopped entertaining me and started pissing me off was because it refused to change and to grow, to let Ash become a fucking adult, and to let someone else take over. The only time anyone ever leaves the show is when their characters and their paths are developing in a direction that deviates away from Ash, and the producers of this show are too afraid to have anyone else be the protagonist. They’ve even thrown deus ex machina obstacles in his way to keep him from achieving his goals, just so the show never leaves the status quo.

But yeah, like I’ve said, if you want to watch and enjoy the show, fine. All power to you. In fact, I’m glad that someone is. But to anyone who dares to get on my case because I bitched about this, just remember that I was asked to take a look at this trailer, and as someone who owns a blog where they bitch about stuff on a daily basis, where the title of the blog even has the word RANT in it, I’M GOING TO BITCH. The animation is okay, and like I said, the cover is decent. That’s just enough for me. Next time, try selling me on a story with an actual conclusion. Until then, have a nice day.

What I Bought Today – Red Sonja #6, Harley Quinn #1, Batman and Robin #26 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Thank goodness Mom and Dad decided to go out tonight, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you all about…

What I Bought Today

‘Cuz it was a freaking snow storm out today, the second one we’ve gotten in the past few days. Nonetheless, let’s talk about the three books I got this week (X-Men wasn’t there due to a mail order error of some sort), starting with Red Sonja #6.

The finale to Gail Simone‘s first arc on the book, this issue managed to wrap up all the plot points of the previous five issues pretty well. I don’t wanna spoil too much, since there’s one or two major twists. Suffice to say, Annisia won’t be a threat anymore, and I think the kingdom is left in decent hands. And when all was said and done, when the comic ended, and one of Red Sonja’s bodyguards asked if there was anything they could do to repay her, all that Sonja could say in response was “Re-open your taverns, dear one, because I’m going to get drunk in legendary fashion.”

Seriously, if you haven’t read this book yet, go and find it. If you can’t find all six issues of the initial run, it’s going to be collected in trade paperback in February as “Queen of Plagues”. Gail Simone and Walter Geovani more than earn your money with this one.

Harley Quinn #1 sadly did not have any fourth wall breaking, but it DID have a ton of dark humour and insanity from Harley, over-the-top violence and mayhem, roller derby (thus explaining the costume), a little stuffed beaver buddy that talks to Harley in her own mind (I’m so not kidding), and tons more. It’s still not quite Harley Quinn as I remember her, and it does go a bit too over-the-top at times, but it’s still a ton of fun. I will say this, though: If yer not a fan of dark comedy, this probably isn’t for you. Fortunately, I DO have a sick sense of humour, so I’m able to enjoy it thoroughly. ^_^ I will say that, for those complaining about the lack of plot in #0, you can relax. The plot here mostly revolves around Harley getting a new place in Coney Island, but learning that, to keep it, she needs to collect pay from the tenants in all of the other apartments, and get a job. To further complicate matters, it seems that someone has put a bounty on her head, meaning there’s gonna be assassins looking to take her out. And yet, for all her psychotic faults, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin manage to capture Harley’s more vulnerable and loveable side, so you kinda want her to make it through all of this. A good read, and I think will probably stay on my pull list from here on out.

Batman and Two-Face (really Batman and Robin #26) was great, and I love how they’re telling the tale of Erin McKillen, her sister, and their history with Harvey Dent in reverse order, where they tell what happened, and then discuss WHY it happened. My one complaint, however, is that, as great as this arc has been, this entire book has suffered a lot from changes occurring in other books, tie-ins, crossovers, etc. Here, it’s clear that the book was originally gonna lead into a story where Carrie Kelley was gonna become Robin while also telling a story about Two-Face and Erin. I’m fairly certain of that, especially considering that, since the hints started popping up that Damian was coming back, Carrie just kinda faded into the background and hasn’t been seen since. Maybe she still will become Robin and the hints are just a fake-out, but even if that is the case, it’s clear this was supposed to happen earlier and it got forced back. Still, this IS a good story that Peter Tomasi is writing. However, I really hope this book gets back to being about Batman and Robin, fast.

Anyway, that’s all for this week. Next week, I get to tell you all about What I Got For Christmas, though I may wait until I can use whatever gift cards I obtain first. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite DC Kisses

Well, the weather outside is a tad bit frightful, so I thought I’d light a fire a little more delightful to warm everybody’s hearts. Here are 5 of my favourite kisses from DC Comics, cartoons, and whatnot, be they romantic, platonic, or otherwise. (You’ll see, lol) Just a warning, there are same-sex kisses here. If you aren’t a fan of that, might wanna leave now.

#1 – Selina and Bruce, ‘Batman: Hush

Remember when a bat loving a cat was one of the most romantic things in the freaking world? I know I do. And of all the kisses, the sex, etc. between these two, I think most people can agree the single most romantic scene between the two was in Batman: Hush. They were kinda reduced to just being groin buddies in the New 52, but recent events have suggested that they’ll be growing toward a more romantic coupling soon enough. Personally, I’m COMPLETELY for this.

#2 – Kara and Pam, “Supergirl #0”

Okay, I HAD to throw in a funny one, leave me alone. lol So yeah, if you don’t know, here’s the scenario: Supergirl is breaking up a robbery by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, so Ivy decides to try out a Kryptonite lipstick and see if she can mind control Kara. Not only did it not work, but Pam wound up becoming Kara Zor-El‘s first kiss. I don’t know if they ever played up on that, by having them be awkward adversaries, but I know it would’ve made for some hilarious stories.

#3 – Maggie and Kate, “Batwoman #17″

Continuing with the lady-love theme, here’s the one that actually got me to squee. No, really, go back in my blog to before I was even officially reading Batwoman. I completely squee’d for this kiss. Sadly, DC decided to pull the plug on the marriage, but the two are still together, so perhaps the relationship can last long enough for the higher-ups to change their minds.

#4 – Harley and Bruce, “Harley’s Holiday”

…Okay, I lied, I had to have two funny ones. XD After Harley has probably one of the worst days of her life, where she was, and I quote, “Sick of everyone tryin’ to shoot me, run me over, and blow me up!”, Batman saves her life, then delivers the new dress she bought earlier to her at Arkham, at which point she kisses him not once, but twice, much to the amusement of Robin and Ivy. She then tells Batman to call her, although Batman suggests that she doesn’t push her luck, but I can’t help but wonder what ‘Mistah J’ might’ve been thinking if he’d either seen it or heard about it. XD

#5 – Lois and Clark, “All-Star Superman”

Remember how I said Batman and Catwoman’s kiss in Hush was one of the most romantic things I’d ever seen? With the glow in the moonlight? Y’know the one way you beat that? By actually being ON THE MOON! And of the many kisses Superman and Lois Lane have shared, this was easily the greatest one, at least in my opinion. And I guarantee, with the number of Lois and Clark moments they’ve been replicating with Superman and Wonder Woman in the New 52, I just know that, at some point, they will try to copy this. My advice? Don’t. In fact, I don’t get why you’re copying all the Lois and Clark moments thus far. If you want people to like the Diana and Clark relationship and stop freaking BEGGING you to bring back Lois and Clark, the LAST thing you should be doing is copying that relationship. You need to give them something new, different, and likeable, and with maybe one exception, I haven’t seen that yet.

So yeah, those are my 5 favourites. However, there are a lot of other good ones, some shared by the same people shown here, some not, and I know a lot of people probably have some favourites that aren’t seen. So, just for the hell of it, here’s a bunch more of my favs. 😀

…Man, for two people who were suggested to be gay for each other years back, Batman and Robin sure do get around a lot with the ladies. XD Anyway, lemme know if there’s a favourite of yours that isn’t present, or just talk about your favourite DC kisses in general. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Most Badass Wonder Woman Moments

So, it’s been a while since I last did a Favourite 5. What inspired this one? Well, basically, a friend of mine on Twitter@HowBatmanIAm, talking about a tweet she received by some guy saying how, and I quote, “Wonder Woman sucks at everything”…There is NO WAY that a sane person could ever make that kind of claim and even think for a moment that they could get away with it. But I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, he’s probably just some guy that just loves manly heroes that punch shit, and therefore would be detracted from superheroines”. Well, it’s true that Wonder Woman IS a feminist icon (although not so much as of late), and is the symbol of compassion and love in the DC Universe (again, not so much lately). That being said, the guy is still an idiot. Why? Because, while Wonder Woman is all of these things, she’s also a frakking badass Amazon that you NEVER, EVER WANT TO PISS OFF! So, just going solely based on the male demographic’s view of superheroes punching the crap outta stuff, here are my 5 Favourite Badass Wonder Woman Moments, be they in comics, cartoons, or movies.

#1 – Wonder Woman Fighting Mongul in ‘For The Man Who Has Everything’

Okay, despite the image I’m using, I’m actually basing this pick off of the episode of Justice League Unlimited that was based on the original comic, as I haven’t actually read the book yet (I REALLY should someday, just to write up a comparison). Also, granted, in this fight, Wonder Woman spends most of it on the defensive, since it’s clear Mongul is far more powerful than her. However, give her some credit, even when Superman comes at Mongul in a rage afterwards, the Man of Steel’s only barely got an advantage. And even then, Superman relents for a moment and gets caught off-guard, which leads to Wonder Woman having to save him and put an end to the fight. So yeah, I’m counting this as a badass moment for Wonder Woman. Oh, and while I’m generally against the idea of DC heroes using guns, I CAN be okay with it in some circumstances, and the moment where she starts blasting Mongul is just too frigging awesome, and admittedly kinda hot. lol

#2 – Pretty much ALL of “The Circle”

Kinda cheating, but let’s be fair, The Circle really DOES feature Wonder Woman going full-blown badass for the majority of it. She fights gorilla soldiers, wrestles Captain Nazi, and defeats a group of rogue Amazons that tried to kill her as a baby. Don’t know who Captain Nazi is? Well, he was Shazam’s arch nemesis for a long time, and is basically a genetically altered super soldier. And yeah, I know, sounds more than just a LITTLE familiar, let’s just move on. Point is, you don’t fuck around with this guy, and Wonder Woman beat him in a straight-up fight. AWESOME. And, for those that love the more compassionate Wonder Woman, we get plenty of that too, as we see her deciding to spare Captain Nazi, as she has empathy for him and what he was turned into.

#3 – Mind Controlled Wonder Woman vs The Justice Ladies in ‘Grudge Match’

Basic premise: Roulette of the Legion of Doom decides to open a new fighting spectacular, where mind controlled Justice League superheroines are fighting each other. As the Justice Ladies start to free themselves, however, they find themselves face-to-face with the last one still under Roulette’s control: Wonder Woman. At this point, even Hawkgirl is afraid that they’re going to die, and I’ll explain why that is a little later, but suffice to say, the ensuing fight gets outta control pretty quick. Really, the entire episode is frigging awesome, but that moment when Wonder Woman is revealed as the last opponent is where you just go…well…someone wanna help me out here?

Thank you. ^_^

#4 – Wonder Woman BLINDS Darkseid in ‘Justice League: Origin’

Y’know, at first I was gonna suggest that maybe the guy that sent the tweet was going based on the New 52, since Wonder Woman is admittedly a lot different here. But that theory is kinda blown away by THIS. Darkseid is levelling the Justice League, and they realise they need to take his Omega Beams out of the equation, so Wonder Woman decides they need to blind him. So, what does she do? She shoves her sword INTO HIS EYE SOCKET! And then, to follow that up, Aquaman, the other hero that’s supposed to be ‘useless’, stabs his trident into the other eye! How can you possibly argue against that being badass?! SWORD! DARKSEID! EYE!!! Oh, and for anyone that didn’t read Justice League: Origin, either go do so now or check out the animated movie Justice League: War when it comes out. 

#5 – “Wonder Woman Doesn’t Have A Kryptonite”, from Justice League #20

Okay, this technically isn’t really a badass moment, but it further validates my point. If you haven’t read JLA: Tower of Babel, Justice League #20 of the New 52, or watched Justice League: Doom (I’ve done all three, actually), I will explain this: In many cases and continuities, Batman has created contingency plans to neutralise other members of the Justice League, in the case that one should turn evil, be brainwashed, or replaced with a duplicate. Kinda paranoid behaviour, but considering that all three have occurred at one point or another, not irredeemable actions. In Justice League #20, he has each of these in a little box locked up in a vault in the Batcave. However, when he shows Superman Wonder Woman’s box (stop giggling, you know what I mean), it’s empty. The reason: Wonder Woman has no specific weakness. In Tower of Babel and Justice League: Doom, the contingency plans stolen from Batman and adjusted to kill the Justice League include nanomachines that make Wonder Woman think she’s in a fight she cannot win, but because she’d never surrender, she’ll just keep fighting until her heart gives out. In the New 52, the contingency plan is for Superman to disable her if necessary, and even then, you gotta wonder if that would work, considering Wonder Woman is a demi-goddess in the New 52. What does all that mean? Well, that people should be glad Wonder Woman is as good and compassionate as she is, because if you thought people were terrified of Superman when he pretended to go bad in ‘What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?’, that’s NOTHING compared to what Wonder Woman could do if she wasn’t the paragon of kindness that she is.

…Hmm, still feel like that’s kinda cheating, though…Oh, I know. Here’s an unofficial #6 to balance it out…

#6 – Wonder Woman Riding A Pegasus in Batman/Superman

Okay, the reason this is unofficial is because I haven’t read the issue this picture is featured in, a crime I plan to rectify next year, and I’m going solely based on the image itself. With that said, LOOK AT THIS! This is AWESOME! I wanna take this picture, blow it up, and put it on my fucking ceiling, so that every day can start off EPIC! XD

Anyway, if I’ve reached anyone who isn’t a big fan of Wonder Woman, and I’ve shown you how awesome she can be, I hope you’ll also give her a look based on her more compassionate side as well. I know, she can be a great fight in contrasts, but speaking as someone who is still writing a Wonder Woman fanfic, I can honestly say that it’s the contrast that makes her so much fun to write. She’s a sisterly, motherly, compassionate, and loving individual, but may God have mercy on those that anger her. As for people who DO love Wonder Woman, be it for the depths of her compassion or how badass she can be, lemme know in the comments what some of your favourite Wonder Woman moments are. Ja né!

Upcoming One-Shot Fanfic – ‘Have A Holly, Harley Christmas’

So, I’ve thought about doing a Christmas themed one-shot for my Infinite DC fanfiction line for a while now, but I wasn’t sure who to choose as the main protagonist. Today, I made the official decision, and have started writing what I plan to release for everybody sometime on the week of the 25th, so allow me to reveal said protagonist. Her name is…

Granny Goodness! Dun-Dun-DUUNNNNNNNNNN!!!

Nah, but I probably should someday, just for the lolz. No, it’s actually…

Harley Quinn

Inspired by the recent Harley Quinn #0, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, which debuted at #2 on the charts for November (beaten only by Scott Snyder‘s Batman, which is pretty amazing considering that book regularly sells around the 120k range), this one-shot fanfic on FanFiction.net will feature a fourth wall breaking Harley as she’s got the Christmas blues. Why? Well, let’s find out by reading this short preview to the story, ‘Have A Holly, Harley Christmas’…

Harley sighed, sitting alone in her apartment, feeling unusually depressed for someone as bubbly as herself. It was doubly unusual considering that Christmas Eve was tomorrow. However, try as she might, the blonde ex-psychiatrist just couldn’t seem to bring herself to get out of her current funk. She just sat in the dark and dank apartment, wearing a black and red hoodie with matching yoga pants, listening to the sounds of Gotham City‘s night life, the carollers down the street, the-

“Would you knock it off, already?!” Harley yelled, looking seemingly at no one. “I’m bummed out enough, I don’t need someone narratin’ my misery to me!”

Harleen’s shoulders slumped. Of course, she hadn’t wanted to snap at the narrator, but-

“Yes I did!” Harley cried incredulously, springing to her feet. “How am I supposed to feel happy, anyway? I’m on the run from the law, hidin’ out in this stinkin’ hole of an apartment, I barely have enough for a halfway decent dinner tomorrow, and everybody I know is either outta town or behind bars…especially the one person I wanted to spend Christmas with the most.”

The one Harley wanted to spend Christmas with the most? And just who could that be? Perhaps a secret lover? Maybe Poison Ivy?

Harley’s eyes narrowed in irritation toward the narrator. “…Mistah J, ya doofus. You haven’t even introduced Ivy to your continuity yet, remember? That’s like saying I’m gonna run into Stephanie Bro-“

Of course it was The Joker. It was ALWAYS The Joker. The one man she wanted to spend Christmas, nay, her entire life with. Sadly for Miss Quinn, though, the Clown Prince of Crime was locked away in Arkham Asylum, far out of her reach.

“Tell me about it,” Harley muttered. “I was gonna have the perfect Christmas with my puddin’. We were gonna have presents and cake, canoodle under the mistletoe, maybe even shoot up a couple o’ bums down the street that were mean to me the other day.”

Harleen groaned, turning to a corner of the room with strips of measuring tape stuck to the walls and floor. “I even measured out the perfect little space to put a Christmas tree. And I don’t even have that, ‘cuz God forbid, I piss off you-know-who…”

Suddenly, as these words passed through her lips, it was as if someone lit a firecracker in the former Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s brain. As she stared at the vacant spot for her Christmas tree, the idea in her head was finally enough to bring a smile to her face. A smile devoid of sanity, mind you, but a smile nonetheless, and perhaps if Harley Quinn could just be happy for the holidays, then all would be right in the world.

“That’s it!” Harley cheered. “I’m gonna swipe me an artificial tree!”

…Or not.

…So, as you can tell, I take more than one pot-shot at myself with this one. lol But yeah, decided Harley should be breaking the fourth wall with this story, because honestly, I think it works REALLY well for her as being similar to Deadpool in that regard. She’ll have a lot of the zaniness that she’s known for, and will be wearing a costume that pays homage to various versions and interpretations of the character throughout the years. And don’t be surprised if one or two other Gotham rogues show up for some of the fun, thought probably not the ones you’re thinking of.

So many different looks. This is gonna be tricky. lol

So, what do you think of this? Lemme know in the comments below, and we shall see what becomes of this fic around Christmas. Ja né!

My Thoughts On DC Books Getting Cancelled In March

So, with the solicitations for DC in March out for all to see, a few cancellations have been made official, one of which I already talked about, one I knew about and didn’t mention on here, and one I just found out about and is making me rather sad. So, let’s go through all three and what my thoughts are on them.

Animal Man

Not TOO depressed about this one. Why? Well, for starters, I never read it, but I have seen bits and pieces, and I can say that while Animal Man isn’t my own personal cup of tea, I can see how a LOT of people would love the crap outta it. The other reason is that the writer, Jeff Lemire, is gonna be writing adding Animal Man to the roster of one of the Justice Leagues, likely either Justice League Dark or Justice League of Canada. Either one works, honestly. My only concern the ending of the Animal Man book, the status of the Baker family by the end of it, and if they will be appearing in the League book he’ll be in.

Batman: The Dark Knight

THANK FRAKKING GOODNESS, this book is getting cancelled! If I may be allowed to adapt a quote of Roger Ebert‘s, when he was talking about the movie North, I hated Batman: The Dark Knight. Hated, hated, hated, HATED that book. HATED it. Hated every single stupid, intelligence-insulting moment of it. And it’s gonna survive until #29, not counting the #0 issue or the Villains Month issues. The ONLY reason this book made it this far, and I know this, because I WAS one of the people who bought it for a while, is the title (because The Dark Knight was still hot), and the fact that Batman was the main protagonist. If you put anyone else in these scenarios and storylines, wouldn’t have ever made it past the first arc. And the fact that writers are very generously trying to make something out of the random, idiotic stuff that happened in it, I don’t know why they bother trying, but kudos to them. In fact, memo to me, come March or April, do something that carefully analyses the idiocy of this book.

Talon

Sadly, this book, not okay with it being cancelled. Going into Talon, I was initially concerned that this was gonna be a waste of time, and on the very first issue, I knew this was gonna be awesome, and it has been. Calvin Rose has been awesome, Casey Washington has been quite possibly one of the best new characters of the New 52, the story has been a great follow-up to the Court of Owls/Night of the Owls arcs of the main Batman series by Scott Snyder, and my only hope is that these characters continue to hang around. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become regulars in the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly series. I’d LOVE it if Casey became the next Oracle type of character.

So, guess that’s one book I’ll be forced to drop. However, I’ve decided to stick with Talon until the last issue. Regardless of what happens, how it ends, and who stays or goes, I’ve stuck with it since the beginning, so I feel the need to stay with it until the end. I owe it to these characters, and I owe it to James Tynion and Scott Snyder. Still, I guess that helps me with my decision regarding what to drop for the new books in the new year, which you can still vote on, btw.

So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Comment below, and we’ll see how these books conclude in March. Ja né!