Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Madness, 2nd Semifinal--Those Wonderful Toys!!

It's the second semifinal of The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society!!

Last time was pretty easy for....

Will they work up a bigger sweat against a lot of analysts' sleeper pick?

As the action begins, Batman pulls a device out of his belt, presses a button, and...and...

Oh dear heavens, Red Tornado has just turned into on OMAC!! Batman, who invented OMACs, has found a way to weaponize it to take over Red Tornado!!

Oh, god, the humanity!!! OMAC is just pummeling the living hell out of Zatanna and Flash!! This is brutal!! Team Batman is just sitting around watching....!!

And that's it!! Officials have called the fight!! Once again, Team Batman got maximum beatdown for minimum effort!!

Remember, we did warn you earlier the Red Tornado was potentially this team's Achilles heel--and we were right!!

Will tricks like that work against Team Superman, though? Turn in tomorrow morning for the riveting final!!

April Madness, 1st Semifinal--SHOCKER!!

It's time for the first semifinal of The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society!!

Can...

...defeat...

It should be trickier for team Superman this time around, as they have to face a true major league magic user!

And indeed, that's how it starts off, as Kal-El takes one of Dr. Fate's bolts of eldritch energy right to the face, and goes down!! Big trouble for the #1 seed!!

Ralph Dibny's nose starts smelling a mystery, which means he's helpless when he gets a snoutful of sleep gas from Sandman!!

Metamorpho turns into a super-dense mesh, temporarily trapping the Atom. So this battle may come down to Dr. Fate vs. Sandman!

But wait!! Sandman unleashes a punch so powerful, he actually dents Fate's helmet!! What the?!?! Team Superman wins--but how?!?

LOOK!! Sandman is taking off his gas mask--and he's really Superman!! INCREDIBLE!! It was the classic Silver Age tactic of switching identities before the fight, so Wesley Dodds would take the brunt of Doctor Fate's attack, leaving Superman free to take the sorcerer by surprise!!

What a classic!! Tune in later this morning for the second semifinal!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Madness Round IV--The Weakest Link!!

It's the final preliminary battle in The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!! Which grouping of heroes will reign supreme?!?

This is the most fascinating battle of all the first rounders, featuring

vs.

Now, Flash and Zatanna are pretty powerful. I toyed with making them a higher seed, but...well, there's Red Tornado.

You know with all your being that, at some point, Red Tornado is going to start crying, or self-destruct, or get taken over by someone. Everyone knows this:

It's just a question of whether it happens during one of our battles our not. So our third seed has a significant handicap.

Then again, so does the other team.

More than one of you suggested that the Thunderbolt is so powerful, his team should just win automatically. As commentator Mista Whiskas put it, "The Thunderbolt could just will all the teams out of existence, right?"

Well, yes...except for one thing. The Thunderbolt can't operate independently. He has to wait from order from Johnny Thunder, who is, well, as stupid as a bag of stupid hammers:

I mean come on, you're saying plenty of two and three syllable words, but the hiccups mean you can't get out "Cei-U"?!?!?

It's an illustration of snell's Third Law Of Comic writing: The more powerful your character, the STUPIDER the obstacles you have to create to keep him from solving the dilemma in one panel. So, Thunderbolt is powerful, yes. But wielded by a moron.

Which means this battle goes about as you'd expect. Zatanna immediately shuts Johnny up ("!htuom s'ynnhoJ no raeppa gaG"). Flash creates a speed vacuum so no one can hear Canary's scream. And hey, Red Tornado doesn't malfunction this time around, deflecting all of Ollie's arrows with his wind while Flash gives him a love tap.

Team Flash/Zatanna/Red Tornado is pretty powerful...but can they take on Batman's group? Find out tomorrow, as we head for the semi-finals!!

April Madness Round III--No, Seriously!!

It's time to continue our meaningless contest, The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!! Heroes fighting for no reason than my childish whim!! Bwahahahaha!!!

Ahem.

Anyway, this morning features the "__Man" group...

vs.

Seriously. They put Hal Jordan and Aquaman in the same group...against Batman?

This isn't much of a contest. Batman sits reading the Gotham Gazette while Hal trips and hits his head on a rock. Oh, Hal...

Meanwhile, while Aquaman desperately looks around for a fish to command, Starman zaps him with his Cosmic Rod. And as tough as Wildcat is, he can't take both Batman and Hourman. Battle's over.

Tune in later this morning for a much more interesting battle...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Madness Round II--A Mild Upset!

Welcome to Round 2 of The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society, our meaningless exercise is random fighting!!

This bout features...

(That's Earth-2 Wonder Woman...)

vs.

(That's Earth-1 Atom, just to be clear).

This would be a pretty tight bout, as you'd expect from the 4th and 5th seeds. And in a bit of a surprise, I see Dr. Fate's group eking out a victory.

Dr. Fate could likely nullify Diana's mystic strength, at least temporarily, allowing Atom to use her lasso to bind Dr. Mid-Nite as he shrinks small enough to slip between the particles of darkness of his blackout bomb (Hey, I can use DC Science, too!!). Meanwhile, Hawkman's ancient weaponry wouldn't do too much against a body that can wrap around any impact. By that point he'd be the last man standing, and no way could he stand against all three of them.

So our winner is...

Think I'm wrong? Get your own blog!!

Dr. Fate's team will face Superman's later this week. Tune in tomorrow four our other first round bouts!!

April Madness Round I--No Surprises!

Welcome to the first round of The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society, our insane little tournament that exists for no reason whatsoever!!

Our first round features:
vs.

That's Earth-2 Green Lantern, Earth-2 Robin/Batman in the most godawful costume ever, and Mr. Terrific.

It's no surprise, or at least it shouldn't be, that Kal-El's team is the top seed--any team that has a Kryptonian and a guy who turn turn his body into any shape and virtually any element is going to be pretty tough.

The other team? In the biggest pre-Crisis gathering of heroes ever, our creators couldn't even find a spot for these guys--they showed up late, and didn't even take part in any of the quests. Sad!!

In my completely arbitrary (and totally unappealable) view on how this fight would go, it's not too much of a contest. Alan Scott could perhaps give Superman a moment of trouble, as some tellings have his ring being magical in nature. But a quick spritz of sleep gas from Sandman would break his concentration, and Superman would smack him with a tree. Meanwhile, between bouts of laughter at Robin/Batman's costume, Metamorpho would make pretty quick work of the Man Wonder, leaving Mr. Terrific to cry about "FAIR PLAY" as he gets pummeled.

Our winner:

Can anyone stop the Superman group?

Tune in later today for another match!!

April Madness--The Bracket!!

Last week, I announced The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society contest.

Long story short, I took the grouping of heroes sent on various missions from the greatest JLA/JSA crossover ever, and I've pitted them against each other in a tournament...just because.

Anyway, the first step in any such tournament is seeding the teams and assigning them into brackets. So, using the power invested in me by no one in particular, here's our bracket (click to embiggen):

Stay tuned...the first round is later this morning!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Can You Hear Me Now?

I really don't understand why Gorilla City hasn't conquered the business world yet, and become richer than Steve Jobs or Verizon.

Back in 1959, Solivar had to get in touch with the Flash, who had been to Gorilla City once before.

Not a problem!










See--who the hell needs cell phones? Everyone has their own personal "vibration-frequency," and you can just send an "energy burst" "in the beat of an atom pulse" there and talk to them!! No wires, no cell towers, no data plans--just start yakking!!

All I'm saying is, Solivar should patent that shit and become a trillionaire...

From Flash #107 (1959)

Manic Monday Bonus--Science Vs. Entropy!!

Some scientists are driving through the Everglades, looking to set up an alternative energy research station.

Unfortunately, not everyone is down with modern, new-fangled science:





And these guys don't just talk the talk--they walk the walk!!


I think that most of these guys got jumps in the current administration...

From Giant-Size Man-Thing #1 (1974)

Manic Monday--Not-So-Secret

Faith is hangin' with a couple of friends who know her super-hero identity:

Testify, sister.

I've seen some folks praise the CW approach as "doing away" with the cliche of secret identities, which were an "obstacle" to good writing.

The problem, of course, is that those shows haven't had the courage to actually do away with secret identities. The public at large doesn't know that Barry is the Flash, or that Kara is Supergirl. They still jump through the same hoops keeping their bosses and other folks in the dark about their civilian identities.

Nope, instead they've just created a comfort peer group, 5-12 people every episode who just hang around HQ chillin' with our heroes, like some millennial Friends for super-heroes. Sure, there's no way a circle that big could ever keep a secret like that too long from a determined villain--but just relax, we're all bros, here!

When the Flash pulls off his mask in public and everyone knows that he's Barry Allen, then you can give CW credit for doing away with the cliche. Until then, not so much.

From Faith #10 (2017)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Death O'Clock!!!

The next time someone asks you what time it is...tell them:

That will make you look oh so Goth and cool and rebellious!!

Oh, you want some context first?

Frankenstein has befriended Koro, the hunchback who is the town bell-ringer in the clock tower. But the village "half-wit" wants the job for himself, so he sneaks over in the middle of the night to kill Koro.

Of course, the problem with that is when Koro has a new friend...

...who's not shy about killing in defense of friends:

Death O'Clock, man!!

From Frankenstein #33 (1954)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April Madness--The Seven Justice Soldiers of The Victory League Society!!

Of course, the greatest of all of the Justice League/Justice Society team-ups took place in Justice League of America #100-103 (1972):



I will accept no opposing opinions on this. Earth-2 is about to be destroyed by a giant "nebular" space hand, and the JLAers & JSAers must traipse through time and space to recover the long-lost members of the Seven Soldiers Of Victory, who had the secret of stopping the hand.

Comics, brother.

(Those covers are by Nick Cardy, BTW. Awesome)

Anyway, as was the style in those days, the heroes broke into mixed teams to track down the Soldiers, and it got me thinking...if these temporary mini-teams had to fight each other, who would win?

Yes, I'm an idiot.

Anyway, presenting your teams:

Earth-1 Atom, if there's any question.

Earth-1 Superman, and gas-mask wearing Sandman.

Earth-1 Hawkman, Earth-2 Wonder Woman. And who knew that Doc Mid-Nite had a little "Rx" in his logo? "My prescription for you...is JAIL!!!"

Earth-1 Batman.

Earth-1 Green Arrow.

Hal Jordan Green Lantern.

Earth-1 Flash.

That's seven...let's use these guys, who showed up late, to make it an even 8:

That's Earth-2 Green Lantern, Robin/Batman of Earth-2, and Mr. Terrific.

So pick your team--who would win?

Next week, we'll break them into brackets, and begin the April madness that is The Seven Justice Soldiers Of The Victory League Society!!