Return of the Justice Guild of America

In the DCAU Justice League cartoon series, the two-part episode "Legends" paid tribute to the old JLA/JSA team-ups of yore when a battle with one of Lex Luthor's robots causes Green Lantern (John Stewart), the Flash (Wally West), Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter to be shunted into a parallel earth. There, they meet its resident heroes, the Justice Guild of America, analogues to the Justice Society of America (and a bit of the early Silver Age Justice League). *SPOILER ALERT* The League members, after helping the Guild thwart the schemes of the villains of this world, later discover that the real Guild was killed when this Earth's Cuban Missile Crisis escalated into a nuclear war that devastated the planet forty years prior. The lone mutate of the fallout, Ray Thompson (a pastiche of Snapper Carr and Rick Jones), used his new psionic reality-warping powers to recreate the world of his youth, including his heroes in the Guild (where he disguised himself as their 'mascot'). Both teams unite to stop him, and he dies under the strain of maintaining the illusion. The people of this earth then thank the Leaguers before they return home. This is my vision of what happened to this alternate Earth afterwards.

"Following the departure of the Justice League members, the residents of the parallel Earth once home to the Justice Guild of America--who made sure to make a record of the end of their forty-year 'purgatory'--began rebuilding their world. All across the world, within the span of three years, Earth-JGA finally managed to catch up chronologically and culturally with most of its counterparts in the multiverse. Sometimes the forces that shape the universes work in mysterious ways, and once that Earth was rebuilt, those same forces sought to restore the power balance left vacant by the JGA's demise. As a result, a new generation arose to restore the team's legacy:

-CID specialist Gary Alden, while investigating a crime scene at a chemical plant in Seaboard City during a storm, is splashed with a variety of chemical mixes that were struck by a bolt of lightning, giving him super-speed abilities. Inspired by the heroic sacrifice of The JGA, he becomes the second Streak, with a costume similar to a race car driver's.

-Stuntman Al Garman finds himself called to the resting place of Scott Mason, the Green Guardsman. There, Mason's long-dormant ring awakens and places itself on Garman's finger, turning him into the second Green Guardsman, only with a new weakness: the color violet.

-Circus acrobat Mick Damon, while taking shelter during a rainstorm, finds himself in the well-preserved lair of Catman. Deciding to bring the notion of nine lives to the mantle, Damon takes up the fight against crime by adopting the Catman persona.

-Jay Walter, an African-American engineer with a physics degree, finds a second lab belonging to the late Tom Turbine, challenges himself with rebuilding and streamlining his equipment, and creates the identity of Turbonaut.

-Martial artist Dana Nance, granddaughter of Donna Nance, the original Black Siren, takes up her mantle to honor her memory. It is then she discovers her gene-born sonic scream power.

When a large and intelligent alien slug by the name of Molor the Tyrant, with the ability to control.minds via an army of smaller copies of himself, arrives in an attempt at world conquest, these five disparate heroes band together to send him packing. Realizing that even with a world fresh from rebirth, threats still come in multiple forms, they decide to reform the Justice Guild of America, to act as a counter force.

Meanwhile, on the Earth Home to the Justice League, John Stewart learns that a new volume of the Justice Guild comic book is coming out....."


1. The new Guild members' back stories are loose pastiches to those of Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Ray Palmer, Dick Grayson, and Dinah Laurel Lance respectively.

2. The story of them joining together is a pastiche to Brave and the Bold #28, the first appearance of the Justice League, with Molor being a homage to Starro.

3. Since the original Guild's members are pastiches of Golden Age heroes, I decided to make their successors homages to Silver Agers.


"Bringing Closure": Introductory Post

In recent years, a trend in comics has emerged in the form of continuing fan-favorite TV shows as comic books, with the case of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 (and 9), Angel, and the upcoming X-Files Season 10. Then there are also comics that are designed to continue a run by a fan-favorite writer, one that would allow said writer to finish off any story ideas he or she had in the works before leaving the title for various reasons. The prominent examples of this are X-Men Forever (which told the stories Chris Claremont wanted to tell before leaving the title in 1991), G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero's current volume (continuing the Marvel run at IDW with Larry Hama at the helm), and the most recent of the three, Transformers: ReGeneration One (continuing the Marvel run at IDW with original series writer Simon Furman and artist Andrew Wildman at the helm).

In my time on this site, my favorite recurring blog postings were user cbishop's "Would U Buy It" pieces, where he proposes ideas for TPB's of various little-known story arcs in various comic books. Sadly, since the site got upgraded, he hasn't found the time to continue the series, which ended ironically enough with a guest post I did. I've decided to fill the void with my own blog series, but with a different focus. Thus, I bring you "Bringing Closure", where I take a short-lived TV series, comic book-based or not, and give good reason why it should get the finale it deserved in comic book form. I hope that those of you who read these enjoy them, and your opinions would be much obliged. As a sample, here are my first eight subjects of this blog:

#1: The 1990's Spider-Man cartoon (1994-1998)

John Semper, a writer for the show, has stated that had the show continued, we would've seen Spider-Man, with the help of Madame Web, journey to Victorian-era London, where it was believed the time-lost Mary-Jane Watson (who had fallen into an opened portal in Spidey's 'final' battle with Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin) had landed--and where Carnage has taken up residence as Jack the Ripper. I'd title this mini-series "Spider-Man: Animated".

#2: The 1998 Silver Surfer cartoon (1998-99)

The final episode of this cartoon based on the Sentinel of the Spaceways ended on a cliffhanger, where Thanos threatened the fabric of time after he figures out a way to make it flow backwards. Eight episodes had been written for a second season, which never came to be. I would make this a mini-series titled "Silver Surfer: Animated".

#3: Spider-Man Unlimited and The Avengers: United They Stand (1999-2000)

For the series finale of Unlimited, Counter-Earth is about to be overrun by a swarm of symbiotes unleashed by the one who compelled Venom and Carnage to go to Counter-Earth: the Synoptic. I would see this in a series titled "Spider-Man Unlimited: Season 2", based on the resolution of the cliffhanger and several scripts written for a second season. With the case of "United They Stand" (which was reviled by most fans), the series did end with a conclusion to the two-part episode "Earth and Fire", but there was still the question of exploring Wonder Man's ionic condition, which was acting up throughout the episodes. Additionally, according to some sources (aggregated into the show's wiki page), "tentative plans for additional episodes featured Hawkeye's return to the carnival where he grew up as well as an episode that explores how the Scarlet Witch discovered her powers. Plans also included guest appearances by the X-Men, which would have utilized the Toronto-based cast from the 1990s series since a few of them already worked on this show, and Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk) was supposed to appear to help the team when Henry Pym/Ant Man fell ill to gamma radiation exposure during a fight with the villain Egg-Head, and a two-part episode featuring Thor and his brother Loki (there was even a Thor toy made for the show's line of action figures). However, all plans were scrapped when the show did not return for a second season." I would title this series "The Avengers: United They Stand" vol 2, and would continue the tone set by the comic series that accompanied the show, which was liked more by the fans.

#4: Exo-Squad (1993-94)

The show lasted two seasons, and in the finale to the second season, it hinted at a few things: the humans and Neo-Sapiens would be fighting a new alien threat (hinted at in the episode "Call of the Unknown") and the character of Nara Burns would be undergoing a mutation caused by the mad Dr. Albrecht Ketzer (in the episode "Dark River"). The series would be titled "Exo-Squad: Season Three".

#5: Sliders (1995-2000)

In the finale to the show about traversing parallel universes, the character of Rembrandt Brown injects himself with a virus fatal to the Kromagg aliens and slides to the world he hopes is Earth Prime. The rest of the characters are left wondering what to do, a question that would never be answered due to the show's cancellation. I would title the series "Sliders: Season Six".

#6: Young Justice (2010-2012)

Everyone knows how the much-loved TV series ended--we saw Lex Luthor visit Apokolips and shake hands with Darkseid; Bart Allen take up the Kid Flash mantle; and Static join the team. But where would it have gone from there? Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti hinted that there would've been more of the New Gods in a third season, and what better way to explore that than through comics? I would title this "Young Justice: Season Three".

#7: Pryde of the X-Men (1989)

The 1989 cartoon pilot for an X-Men show that never was made, how would it have panned out? A comic, even as long as a mini-series, would be the answer, and it would be good for those who grew up playing the Konami X-Men arcade game. It would be told as a series of diary entries from Kitty Pryde, and the series would be simply titled "Pryde of the X-Men".

#8: Proto-Beast Wars Transformers (1995)

Way back in 1995, when Beast Wars came out as the third incarnation of the Robots in Disguise, no new media was created yet (the television show would come on in 1996). The closest thing to any fiction surrounding the series was a small pack-in mini-comic available in the 'Optimus Primal vs. Megatron' basic-size two-pack. I would title this series "Beast Wars Transformers: The Untold Stories".


Would U Buy It #89: DVD Edition: "Saga of the Warrior King"

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I've been a fan of user cbishop's series of blog posts, titled "Would U Buy It," where he proposes ideas for TPB's of various little-known story arcs in various comic books. Inspired by them, I decided to do a special one, this being for a DVD. BUT, since this website is dedicated to the comics medium, the good thing is, three of the TV shows I'll be mentioning has had a comic! So without further ado.....

We all have DVD collections we'd like to see. Here's one of mine:

Proposed DVD Title:Street Fighter/Savage Dragon/Mortal Kombat/Wing Commander: Saga of the Warrior King.
Alternate Title:Saga of the Warrior King.
DVD Cover:Original cover, probably featuring the title logos of each cartoon, and a shot of the Warrior King. That shot of the king would be done by Adi Granov.
Collecting 4 Episodes:see below:
  • Episode Title
  • Original Airdate
  • Warrior King's Role
The Warrior King
in Each Series
1Street Fighter: TAS
  • "The Warrior King"
  • November 16th, 1996
  • Central
No Caption Provided
2The Savage Dragon
  • "Endgame"
  • November 16th, 1996
  • Central
No Caption Provided
3MK: Defenders of the Realm
  • "Resurrection"
  • November 16th, 1996
  • Cameo
No Caption Provided
4Wing Commander Academy
  • "Recreation"
  • November 16th, 1996
  • Central
No Caption Provided

The 90's, while a mostly-terrible decade for comic books, was a good decade for both comic book television shows AND video games. More non-DC or Marvel comics got their chance to hit it big with a larger audience with many TV shows, and one of these four you see here is an example of that. Unfortunately, the majority of those shows (save for the 1997 Spawn cartoon, which lasted 3 seasons on HBO) were short-lived, between 13 and 26 episodes each. The same was true for most video-game based shows - the only one that lasted longer being Captain N: The Game Master. These same four shows above were brought together on the USA network as part of their Action Extreme Team lineup for Saturday mornings. Yeah, that's right, these shows:

What many people don't know, is that on one day, all four had a crossover, and while it did not depict the characters meeting one another, it did feature an overarching story that connected each show. That story centered around a mysterious and noble character called the Warrior King, voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation's Michael Dorn (aka Worf). The crossover began in Street Fighter, where we're introduced to the king as his world is under attack by rogue wizards. His mystic vizier tells him that he must leave with his kingdom's Orb of Power, the very artifact that keeps their kingdom alive. When a stray magical beam knocks the Orb out of his hand and into the portal the vizier created, the king goes in after it, facilitating the crossover. The Orb would land in each show's respective universe, where its power would vary, depending on both the universe and those who wielded it:

  • In the Street Fighter universe, the Orb falls into the hands of M. Bison, who uses it to hold the world hostage with its power to control the elements.
  • In the Savage Dragon universe, the Orb falls into the hands of Dragon's foe The Fiend, who uses it to increase his size and own power by absorbing those filled with great hatred.
  • In the Mortal Kombat: DOTR universe, Shao Khan gives it to the resurrected Shang Tsung, who uses its elemental control to drain Raiden's power.
  • In the Wing Commander universe, it turns the desert planet Oasis into a paradise.

After that last episode, the Warrior King was never seen again. The strangest thing about this crossover was that there was absolutely no promotion for it whatsoever, not in the respective shows' bumpers or advertisements. A weirder thing was that all the episodes were aired out of order of their respective runs so that this entire (subtle) crossover could be seen in chronological order.

While two of the episodes are in fact on DVD (the Street Fighter one on the second Region 1 box set and the Mortal Kombat one on the complete series Region 2 DVD), I thought that, if the respective license holders could put their differences aside, a standalone DVD of this entire crossover would be a fun novelty. Four episodes of four different shows (considered bad by most fans of each respective franchise), based on four different properties telling a single, interconnected story, all featuring Michael Dorn voicing the equivalent of a watered-down, Saturday morning cartoon Conan the Barbarian. I would title this DVD just "Saga of the Warrior King", but what with brand recognition and all that, it would have to be something along the lines of "Street Fighter/Savage Dragon/Mortal Kombat/Wing Commander: Saga of the Warrior King". I imagine this would be a great addition to say, the bargain DVD section of Target or the like.

All but one episode (the Wing Commander episode) are available to watch on Youtube (this playlist).

For more commentary on this unknown crossover, visit these two sites:

So, let me hear it from you, Viners--in the words of cbishop, would you buy it?.


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Thanks to Bleeding Cool (see this link, Marvel's unveiled their post AvX plans, and it includes the dreaded word RELAUNCH. But unlike the New 52, they're not doing anything to the continuity--but there will be time travel, an 18-member Avengers roster, and much, much.......too much (one guy knows what I'm talking about: The initiative: Marvel NOW! (more info here: And now, my thoughts on this, in no particular order:

REALLY, Marvel? Re-he-he-he-eally, Marvel? Are you seriously trying to get yourself (figuratively) moidered? Though the title of this implies something, let me tell you, it WILL be the final straw if anything happens to the only modern Big Two title I read: the current volume of The Defenders. I've just--I've had it to here with DC and Marvel's shenanigans:

Marvel NOW! has got to be the most BONE-HEADED, STUPIDEST, IDIOTIC, UNGRATEFUL, DOLLAR-SCENTED, PEA/HARE-BRAINED decision/get-rich-quick-scheme I have EVER heard of!!!! It only confirms one of many things I've wanted and wished would happen right now--a COUP D'TAT in mainstream comic book company management! I want Quesada, Loeb, EVEN Alonso OUTTA HERE!!!! Everything described in the Marvel NOW! details--it's not the right approach! Don't those 40% creative-minded 60% business-minded morons know ANYTHING? ANY of the things I've advocated for in my past "how-to-save-the-industry" blog posts would've worked much, much better than this! I hated the idea of The New 52, and this just makes it worse.

And yes, there is the return of Jean Grey--but I didn't want to see it like the way All-New X-Men was described!! It's just--that's nothing! Worthless!

Seriously---can't you do anything ELSE??? Is there some sort of mental block inhibiting the fine folks over at both the Distinguished and Marvelous competition? Can't they do anything OTHER than Marvel NOW!? Can't they????

Something tells me a fine-tuned, heartfelt letter is in order, and I intend for them to get it before making what may or may not be a terrible, terrible mistake. For if this affects the only Big Two title I read.....that's it. I'm done. No more modern Marvel or DC. My money will only go to their reprint division--and even then, I'll simply buy the books secondhand (HA-HA!). Something is rotten in the state of Denmark...I only hope the shlubs in what remains of the Mighty Marvel Bullpen realize it before it's too late.


Does the Jean Grey School need a class pet?

I'm just thinking-- almost every school, no matter what level of learning, has a class pet. So, why not the Jean Grey? I started thinking about this after seeing my favorite Looney Tunes short, "Punch Trunk" (1953).

No Caption Provided

For some strange reason, I think it would be pretty funny if the Jean Grey School's class pet was, yes, a five-inch tall elephant. I'd chuckle if I saw a comic where every so often, a student or a faculty member takes a moment to feed said elephant a peanut. I'd even get a laugh if the elephant's name was Ringo! But what would probably make people laugh hard is who the elephant occasionally sprays in the face--and of course, Quintin Quire is the first target. Or better yet, the water almost hits Kitty Pryde, only for her to phase...while Wolverine or Quire walks by.

So yeah, let me just ask--what kind of a class pet would you imagine the Jean Grey School would have?

While you're pondering that question and thinking of a reply, enjoy the sounds of Henry Mancini....


My Thoughts and Feelings on "Watchmen"--Now Revealed

Hoo of last Sunday evening, I have now read the entirety of Watchmen for the first time. I have stated many times that I do not like the story, when up til then I had only seen a few pages and learned about its premise. I've seen the movie. When all this "Before Watchmen" hubub started to come around, I vowed that I would, this year, read the book in its entirety and then put it down--while also seeing if I still didn't like it by the end of the story. Well, now that I have finished it, I've come to conclude...that my opinion has not changed. I still think that

BUT, I still recognize and respect its place in pop culture history, like I do with The Godfather (which I DID like). But now, let me tell you WHY, after having now read the whole book, I hate the story. I guess it all goes back to my aforementioned early encounters with the story. When I first learned about the premise--and this was around 2005 or so, I was born in 1991, so I did not have a great amount of exposure to actual comic books themselves--I was really taken aback by the idea of a world where superheroes weren't just flawed, they were flawed BEYOND CAPACITY. I know characters have their flaws, but not when they are taken to the extreme in this form. I hated the idea of a world so bleak by 1985, without even the faintest glimpse of hope. Post-my first reading, I grew to hate more things about the story: the sheer brutality of the Comedian and Rorschach, the declining humanity (and unabashed nakedness) of Dr. Manhattan, the cold and loathing demeanor of just reeked of everything I did not want to see in superheroes. Their environment is even worse--who wants to live in a world where Nixon never underwent Watergate and stayed in office well into the 80's? Where people apparently are still (occasionally) prone to violence even when progress is made in transportation, medicine, and energy? Where nuclear disarmament effectively never took place?? And, of all things, where PIRATE comics sell like hotcakes??? I guess this (well, except maybe the pirate comics part) could be attributed to Alan Moore having come to the US from Thatcher-era England, where things were at their most cynical and depressing. Then again, in all honesty, I simply can't stand the more eccentric comic writers like Moore, Warren Ellis, or Grant Morrison, who, most of the time, deconstruct EVERYTHING in most of the stories they write. Why can't they build something UP for once??? Is it so hard for these blokes to be hopeful once in a while???? All those aspects--it's utterly disgusting. I'm sorry, Mr. Moore, but for the life of me NO ONE is like the majority of people you present in your book. Were you so blinded by your own cynicism coming from a U.K. headed by an outta-her-head lady???

At the end of my reading, I realized the two most basic reasons why I hate, for the life of me, the story of Watchmen:

1. I hate deconstructionism--I believe in things being built UP, not torn down, but built up. It's why films like Blade Runner--or films I have yet to see, like The Matrix--won't make my Top 10 favorites.

2. I have read many "heavy" stories since my start of reading comics in 2008--but Watchmen, I felt, was too "heavy" for me. It's too bleak, depressing, cynical, and is stained with gray. I prefer not having everything being black and white--I like black, white and gray all in a perfect harmony, like the flavors in a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich. This book, this work--even though it did wonders for the comic book medium--was too gray for me. Humanity should not be represented in the manner Moore depicts.

So, in short--I hated Watchmen. HATED it. I hate what Alan Moore did to the ideal of the superhero. Now that I've read the book in its entirety, I've put it down, and will never look back.


My Fancasts

I'm certain many of you here at one point have visited, the site that not only covers, well, what else, comic book movie news. Their fanfic section is a showcase of people's crazy ideas for the kind of comic book/videogame film they'd like to see made--and I myself am one of them. That's why, for this entry, I'm posting here the entirety of my fancasts so far--most of them animated, some live action, some movies, some TV shows! Here they are, and please, do tell me what you think of them.

First up are all my DC Comics-based:

Manhunter: The Animated Movie (based on the Archie Goodwin/Walt Simonson classic)

Flash and Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold (based on the Mark Waid/Barry Kitson/Tom Peyer mini from 2000)

Robin/The Huntress: Benedictions (based on the story published in Showcase '94 #4-6 by Chuck Dixon)

The Last Days of Animal Man (based on the 2009 mini by Gerry Conway and Chris Batista)

Next, here come the Marvel ones:

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga--The Animated Movie (based on, what else, the classic story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne) and a reprise I did with some changes

Marvel Team-Up Presents: Wolverine (a double feature based on Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection and Wolverine and the Black Cat: Claws)

Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear (based on the 1992 prestige-format book by Howard Mackie and Lee Weeks)

Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Dark Design (a double feature based on the prestige-format books "Hearts of Darkness" (1991) and "The Dark Design" (1994)

X-Men Legends: Domino (a reworked version of the 1997 Domino miniseries by Ben Raab and David Perrin)

Third up is the non-DC/Marvel stuff, be it indie or webcomic:

Danger Girl: The Animated Movie (based on the original 1998 mini by J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell)

Gen 13: The Animated Movie (based on the original 1994 miniseries, and NOT on the never-released Disney movie)

Bill Walko's The Hero Business (an animated series based on Bill Walko's popular webcomic)

Exposure: The Animated Series (based on the comic by David Campiti and the late Al Rio)

Danger Girl: Revolver--The Animated Movie (based on the recent Danger Girl mini by Andy Hartnell and Chris Madden)

Flash Gordon: The Animated Series (based on Alex Raymond's most famous creation), my most recent one

Now comes the stuff based on famous toys:

G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes Declassified--The Animated Movie (based on the 2005 Devil's Due miniseries)

Beast Wars: The Gathering and the Ascending--The Animated Movie (a double feature based on IDW's two Beast Wars Transformers miniseries)

G.I. Joe: Operation Lady Doomsday (an animated film combining Marvel's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (1982) and the 2006 Devil's Due miniseries G.I. Joe: Declassified)

My Crossover Fancast:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold "Worlds' Finest" (my idea for the first DC/Marvel crossover on television)

And finally, the stuff based on obscure TV shows and a couple of my favorite movies:

Freakazoid: The Movie (a live-action version of the super-teen extraordinaire, AND my first fancast!)

The Critic: The Movie (based on the show starring everybody's favorite film critic, Jay Sherman)

Ghostbusters III: Hell Breaks Loose (my idea for the proposed third GB film)

The Big O: The Movie (my idea for a live-action version of the hit anime)

Spaceballs: The Movie Musical (my idea for a musical remake of the Mel Brooks sci-fi spoof)

And that's that! Make sure you read each of them VERY carefully.


Is all this 'doom and gloom' in comics really necessary????

Can I get a witness???

Lately, it seems to me that comic books, especially those of the Big Two, not counting any all-ages material they make or stuff from imprints, have been on a kick of telling every story they put out in the context of three key words: "depressed", "apocalyptic", "disheartening". Just look at the solicitations for Marvel in July: In almost every single solicit, and the same can be said of DC's, Image's, Dark Horse's and Dynamite's, there are recurring lines:

-"A team member dies!"

-"___ will fall!"

-"The end of everything!"

And so on.

I, for one, am getting very SICK OF IT.

I swear, ever since the start of the 2000's (and I know this has its roots in the 80's), the majority of comics, mostly those in-universe ones published by the Big Two, have been written by nihilists, cynics, doomsayers, and all manner of depressed poet the companies could find. What's wrong with them? Why are they so stinking depressed? Why do they insist on depressing US? And WHY do we seem to eat all this bunk up???!?!!!???

HELLO, people, entertainment, especially comics, does NOT HAVE to be all dark and down all the time!!! Where's all the optimism in comic books??? Is there ANY recent title in the shared universes of DC and Marvel where there's a happy ending??? Where a character simply saves the day??? Where they punch out a bad guy and they get knocked out, without a drop of blood shed?? I have seen many a scan of a Big Two comic from as of late, and it just bugs me how almost 90% of the current output of DC and Marvel, aside from the occasional bright issue and the all-ages titles and imprints each produces, is some of the most depressing superhero material I've ever seen. That kind of junk should belong only in, say, Batman, Wolverine, Punisher, or every Vertigo book that's out there!! Where are the comics within the shared universes that look up, have hope, and present a bright picture of tomorrow??? Graeme McMillan couldn't have expressed it better than I could:

Final question: will there ever be a rainbow??

DC and Marvel, heed this:

Come on, get happy!!!


My Recent Round at Emerald City Comic-Con 2012

Yesterday was my ninth year of attending Emerald City Comic-Con, Seattle's biggest comic convention. There were some highlights, and there were lowlights, decent cosplayers, and ones who didn't exactly work out for me. My friend entered the costume contest dressed as movie director Tommy Wiseau (only 12 people recognized him), while I wandered about the con floor as a character of my own devising: Anyschnauss, ze nose of a thousaand fay-cez. I ended up getting three decent autographs out of the entire thing--Adam Baldwin (of Firefly, Chuck, Full Metal Jacket and Justice League Unlimited fame), and Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche: Pinky and the Brain themselves. What really made my day was while I was getting LaMarche's autograph--while speaking with him of his work on the animated sitcom The Critic, I asked him if it was either he or Jon Lovitz who did the voice of Marlon Brando on the show. He revealed (while impersonating said Brando) that it was him, and I in turn OUT-BRANDO'D him. That's right, an experienced veteran VA admitted that I did a better Brando than him--but there weren't any hard feelings (I still consider him a master). Those, my friends, were the highlights. The lowlights, on the other hand....for some strange reason (due to the fact that there weren't many old toy dealers at the con this year), I couldn't find a decent Transformers/G.I. Joe bargain at all. The only bargain I did manage to find were three carded Marvel Universe figures (Astonishing Wolverine, Patriot, and Ultron) for $5 each--WAY better than retail. And of course, I was unfortunate to run into long lines or was out of time for snagging the autographs of Wil Wheaton and the other voice actor guests (Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Jess Harnell, Billy West, and John DiMaggio). High-profile actors weren't the only autographs I hounded for. At the expense of my feet (which were killing me by the time I was done), I had gotten the autographs of the following comics talent:

-Mike Allred (who convinced his wife Laura to sign too)

-Ed Brubaker (finally!)

-Alan Burnett

-Clayton Crain

-Kelly Sue DeConnick (which also resulted in my getting a second autograph from her hubby Matt Fraction and the inker both worked with)

-Mark Dos Santos (who also did a small sketch of Hellboy--his idea, not mine)

-Nathan Edmondson

-Jay Faerber

-Adi Granov

-Barry Kitson (finally!)

-Erik Larsen (who also autographed my copy of Savage Dragon #1)

-Clay Mann

-Phil Noto (who did a free head shot sketch of GI Joe's Snake Eyes)

-Michael Avon Oeming (who also included "Bruce Timm Fan")

-Ryan Ottley

-Jeff Parker

-Rick Remender (who did a little doodle next to his signature)

-Greg Rucka

-Tim Sale

-Bill Sienkiewicz (who also autographed my copy of New Mutants #18)

-Marc Silvestri

-Gail Simone

-Dan Slott

-Phillip Tan

-Jim Valentino (who also signed my copy of Guardians of the Galaxy #1)

-Dexter Vines

-Scott Wegener (who also signed the inside of my copy of Atomic Robo vol. 1, and also did a small doodle of Robo's head)

In addition to spots in my album, Paulsen signed an extra I had of the filecard of Tripwire (the GI Joe member he voiced in the old show), while LaMarche signed the inside cover of NOW's first issue of The Real Ghostbusters and a pic of Pinky and the Brain for my aunt, a huge fan of the show. I asked a couple of questions to each writer/artist as I went about this autograph hunt:

-What were their top literary/artistic influences

-If given the chance, what famous painting would they want to render in their signature style (both Sienkiewicz and Allred wanted to do the Sistine Chapel ceiling)

-If given the chance, what kind of Saturday Night Live sketch would they want to write (Valentino wanted to do one with John Belushi)

By the time I was finished with the general con walkabout, I had ended up with the following additions to my collection:

-The three aforementioned Marvel Universe figures.

-Dark Horse's Godzilla Color Special

-Hawkman (2002 series) #1 (which I swapped for Legion of Superheroes #306 from 1983)

-A copy of Avengers: Operation Galactic Storm vol. 1 (for $3.00!).

-And some custom fodder for GI Joe figures.

All and all, I had a good time--but hopefully there will be better TF/GI Joe deals next year, AND I'll get Wheaton's autograph.

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