Jun 30, 2011

Easter Eggs in Comics: A Tribute to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in INFINITE CRISIS, Part 2

Welcome to another installment of Easter Eggs in Comics! Click here for the archive!

Last week, I posted the first part of a tribute to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in INFINITE CRISIS, and I asked you guys to spot another! Well, in the second issue, Phil Jimenez has Clark Kent change into Superman.


Look familiar?


That's right, it's a trademark Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez sequence! This pose is so iconic that a guy in my office was actually wearing it on his shirt a week ago!

For more Easter Eggs in Comics, click here.

Jun 27, 2011

An ABC Retrospective

On July 4–9, 2011, I did a week-long retrospective series of America's Best Comics, known more casually as ABC.


In 1999, Alan Moore was working for Rob Liefeld's Awesome Entertainment, writing titles such as SUPREME ( a Superman homage) with Joe Bennett, Rick Veitch, and Chris Sprouse on art duties; GLORY (a Wonder Woman homage) with Brandon Peterson and Melinda Gebbie; and YOUNGBLOOD (not exactly a Teen Titans homage, but certainly based on that template) with Steve Skroce. With a couple of exceptions, that's a very elite group of artists, so when Awesome Entertainment folded, it didn't take long for Jim Lee to make Alan Moore an offer to start his own imprint under Wildstorm Productions.

Scott Dunbier, Jim Lee, and Alan Moore
Legend has it that Moore thought about it for a while, wandered around his house, looked through his work notebooks, and then saw a list of names that he'd just come up with one night. They were just names that had no ideas attached to them whatsoever, but they were the names that Moore pitched to Jim Lee when he accepted the offer. Moore brought the same stable of artists he had from Awesome, and when a Peterson, Skroce, and Bennett left, Jim Lee happily replaced them (with suggestions from Alex Ross) with  Kevin Nowlan, Kevin O'Neill, a young Gene Ha, Zander Cannon, and an unknown JH Williams III. When Jim Lee sold Wildstorm to DC Comics, Moore agreed to continue the imprint lest everyone lost their gigs, under the condition that DC would never tamper with his material, that Wildstorm would be the middleman, and that the DC bullet would never show up on the covers. It didn't quite work out that way, and that's partly why the ABC line didn't last more than seven years under Moore. But those seven years were a true marvel of writing, storytelling, and artwork. They were comics at their best.

The basic starting point of the ABC books was "What if Superman never showed up?", therefore changing the evolution of comics so that superheroes didn't have a monopoly on the market (although they would still be there on some level or another). None of the books were connected at first, and with the exception of one, they would all be connected at the end.

The titles are:
  • TOM STRONG, ABC's flagship character, who takes his inspiration mainly from Doc Savage
  • TOP 10, a police precinct of superpowered beings in a city full of superpowered beings
  • THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, a tale set in the late 19th Century, where literary figures Mina Murray (Dracula), Alan Quatermain (King Solomon's Mines), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (uh, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and, the Invisible Man (...The Invisible Man...) are brought together to carry out missions for the British government
  • TOMORROW STORIES, an anthology that featured Greyshirt (an homage to The Spirit), Jack B. Quick (somewhat an homage to Herbie), Splash Brannigan (a tribute to Harvey Kurtzman), The First American (a tribute to Joe Simon and Jack Kirby), and Cobweb (an experimental strip about a woman who didn't wear underwear)
  • PROMETHEA, a tale about myth, imagination, story, and magic. And also, the comic that means the most to me, personally.
  • A final word about America's Best Comics (In Which We Thank Alex and Todd)
The ABC books were very personal to me, and I hope you'll join me for the ride. If you've never read any of them, I hope you have fun discovering them. If you have, come with me next week, for a trip down memory lane, and to wander around with some old friends.

Jun 24, 2011

Rest in Peace, Gene Colan

Mark Evanier is reporting that The Dean, Gene Colan, has passed away. Mark's written up an excellent tribute to Gene on his website, and it'd be foolhardy of me to try to write one up myself. So I'll tell you what Gene means to me.



When I was younger, my mom got me MARVEL: FIVE FABULOUS DECADES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMICS, and in it was a little retrospective on "The Dean of Light and Dark," so named for his ability to really highlight contrasts between light and shadow, starting from his work on DAREDEVIL. In particular, his pencil work on this cover was eye-opening.



Keep in mind that throughout the book so far, I was being shown the artwork of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Johnny Romita, and other greats of the 1960s. All greats, but not exactly the most detailed or most dependent on the use of light and shadow. Gene's stood out among that crowd as looking modern, and that's a testament to his ability and influence. You wouldn't have your Frank Millers and Mike Mignolas without him. And he stood out to me then and there, and I'd forever be happy and grateful for his work.

Gene's final work was CAPTAIN AMERICA #601, a story written by Ed Brubaker, and from the original art, he had lost none of his ability to contrast light and shadow.



Gene made his mark on titles like DAREDEVIL — I've actually heard it said over and over that if he had been on that book since the beginning, it would have been an instant hit — TOMB OF DRACULA, HOWARD THE DUCK,  and CAPTAIN AMERICA. He co-created the Falcon, the first African-American superhero in Marvel and DC. He was one of the landmarks of comic book excellence, one of its stalwarts, one of its true artists.


What happened to Gene Colan in the end — his wife, his illness — is none of our business, and I'm sure you'll read about it in another places. But I will tell you this: Gene Colan is severely, severely underacknowledged in the comics industry and was severely undercompensated. He deserved more for what he did than what he got, and deserves every bit of recognition he gets.

A few days ago, at Book Sale, I spotted NIGHT FORCE #5 and instantly bought it.



I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I think I will now. Rest in peace, Mr. Colan. And thank you.

For a more personal tribute, I suggest reading this account by Clifford Meth. Furthermore, Meth writes here:

Following my earlier discussions with Gene, and one this morning with his daughter Nanci, I am setting up the Gene Colan Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School.

In lieu of flowers and such, if you would like to contribute to this scholarship in Gene’s memory, please make your check payable to “Joe Kubert School” and mail it to my attention:

Gene Colan Scholarship
c/o Clifford Meth
179-9 Rt. 46 West
Rockaway, NJ 07866

All checks will be delivered to Mike Chen, the school’s coordinator.

Jun 23, 2011

Easter Eggs in Comics: A Tribute to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in INFINITE CRISIS, Part 1

Welcome to another installment of Easter Eggs in Comics! Click here for the archive!

My article about Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez managed to grab a lot of attention, with both fans and pros coming to proclaim their love for the man's work. So it seemed fitting to me to showcase some tributes to him from one of DC Comics' (relatively) recent events, INFINITE CRISIS.



Garcia-Lopez loves to use a particular pose when he's coming up with the iconic shots that he's known for. Specifically, it's the one Captain Marvel is doing here.


Here's Wonder Woman doing it.


And, most importantly, here's Superman doing it for the Taito video game.


Here's the same exact Superman pose for his old letter column in either ACTION COMICS or SUPERMAN.


And here's a DC SUPER POWERS calendar, where both Wonder Woman and Superman are doing it.



INFINITE CRISIS, a sequel to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS twenty years after, utilized two alternate versions of Superman: the Golden Age "old" version from Earth-2, and the young Superboy from Earth-Prime, who were both whisked away at the end of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.




To signal their return, artist Phil Jimenez had Kal-L, the "original" Man of Steel adopt a familiar pose.


Later on, when Superboy-Prime goes insane, he's banished to the Speed Force. And when he comes back, Ivan Reis has him assume the same iconic pose.


Those are nice tributes to Jose Luis. And there's one more in INFINITE CRISIS! Can you spot it? Check back here next week for the answer!

For more Easter Eggs in Comics, click here.

Easter Eggs in Comics

Greetings, loyal Cubers, and welcome to the index for Easter Eggs in Comics, the feature in which I spotlight homages, hidden treats, and tributes within certain comics stories! Here, you'll find the list of Easter Eggs catalogued on the Cube so far, certain to entertain readers all over!

1. Tintin in TEEN TITANS SPOTLIGHT #11

2. A bunch of comics-related ads on the first page of TOP TEN #1

3. Popeye in MARVELS #1


4. Daredevil and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

5. Roy Lichtenstein and Irv Novick in GREYSHIRT: INDIGO SUNSET

6. The cast of Smallville in TEEN TITANS #1

7. A young Bruce Wayne and family in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #411

8. Stan Lee in DOUBLE DRAGON

9. Snoopy's novel in DETECTIVE COMICS #500

10. A bunch of comic strip characters in FANTASTIC FOUR #276

11. The Joker and Lex Luthor a la Calvin and Hobbes

Source is here!

12. Captain Strong: Superman's Version of Popeye

13. Elvis Presley as Captain Marvel Jr. in KINGDOM COME

14. Hawkeye insults the Justice League in JLA/AVENGERS

15. The Human Torch (and the Invisible Woman, possibly) in TRESE

16. Man-Thing in SWAMP THING #47

17. Grandma Ben (from BONE) in SANDMAN #75


18. The Real Ghostbusters in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #589

19. A LOT of Easter Eggs in one panel of TOP 10: THE 49ERS

20. Comic Book Models from the 40s and 50s in THE PUNISHER MEETS ARCHIE

21. The Mighty Thor meets Superman, and Doesn't Know It.

22. TRESE (and Its Creator) in ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS: UNDERCITY

23. The Fighting American and the Creator of PRINCE VALIANT in Free Comic Book Day's CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THOR: THE MIGHTY FIGHTING AVENGERS

24. Tributes to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in INFINITE CRISIS, Part 1 



25. Tributes to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in INFINITE CRISIS, Part 2

26. Tintin in FANTASTIC FOUR (v3) #1

27. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE LEGEND

28. A Bunch of Magic Characters in MYSTIC #15

29. Ms. Captain Marvel in UNCANNY X-MEN #153

30. Casper the Friendly Ghost, Harry Potter, and others in SMAX

31. The Flash in QUASAR #17



32. Where's Wally/Waldo in HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT?

33. Phoney Bone in DONALD DUCK

34. Two-Face reads the Daily Bugle

35. Marvel's CIVIL WAR in DC's FINAL CRISIS and INFINITE CRISIS

36. Daffy Duck dresses up as Donald Duck

37. Thanos of Titan meets Death of the Endless?

38. Clark Kent visits the Daily Bugle

39. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 — extra-long Easter Egg special, featuring The Simpsons, Stan Lee, and more!

40. Mogo Predicted!

41. Little Nemo in Batman!

42. The Filipino Heroes League in Skyworld!

43. Alan Moore in Swamp Thing!

44. Desolation Jones in Batwoman!

45. JLA/AVENGERS homages... JLA/AVENGERS!

46. Future Imperfect name game!

47. Mr. Mxyzptlk...IS the Impossible Man!

48. The Rescue of Howard the Duck! (Spider-Man, the Savage Dragon, Howard, and Destroyer Duck)

49. Captain Marvel Tries Courting Lois Lane!

50. Homages to Amazing Spider-Man #33!

51. Netflix's DAREDEVIL!

Comics Techniques and Tricks

Greetings, loyal Cubers, and welcome to the index for Comics Techniques and Tricks, the feature in which I spotlight effects that only comics can do! Here, you'll find the list for Techniques and Tricks catalogued on the Cube so far. I hope it'll be interesting to you readers and helpful to aspiring comics artists!

You may notice some repeating names, but I assure you, none of these features are repeated.

1. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez: Superman vs. Wonder Woman

2. Gustave Verbeek: The Upside-Downs of Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo

3. Frank King: Gasoline Alley

4. Art Spiegelman: A Day at the Circuits


5. Alan Moore and Bill Sienkewicz: Big Numbers

6. Chris Ware: Quimby the Mouse


7. Frank Miller: The Dark Knight Returns

8.Rick Veitch: Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset

9. Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III: Promethea

10. Craig Thompson: Good-bye Chunky Rice

11. Neal Adams: Ben Casey

12. Frank King: Gasoline Alley


13. Steve Ditko: Beware the Creeper (featuring Marcos Martin and Andy Kubert)

14. Will Eisner: The Spirit

15. George Perez: Infinity Gauntlet

16. Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy: Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu

17. J.H. Williams III: Promethea



18. Winsor McCay: Little Nemo in Slumberland

19. Harvey Kurtzman and Bill Elder: Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD 

20. Ben Oda and Marshall Rogers: Detective Comics "The Laughing Fish"

21. Marcos Martin: Amazing Spider-Man

22. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez: The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

23. Brian Crane: Pickles

24. Tony Harris: Starman 

25. Jim Steranko: Tower of Shadows


26. Art Spiegelman: In the Shadow of No Towers

27. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez: Batman: King Tut's Tomb

28. Archie Comics: Revealing Word Balloons

29. What Not to Do

30. Windows and Doors as Panels

31. Thor: Worldengine by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato

32. The Foreground Polyptych

33. Timejumping in Fantastic Four #352

34. Looking at Pages from Little Nemo, Sailor Moon, Starjammers, Uncle Sam, and Avengers Unplugged

35. The Trick Ending

Check back frequently for more Comics Techniques and Tricks, only from The Comics Cube!

Asterios Polyp on The Comics Cube!

Hello and welcome to the Comics Cube!'s section for David Mazzucchelli's ASTERIOS POLYP. I've devoted a good amount of time to this comic here, and I figured that it would be helpful to have an index of the features about this masterpiece.


Congratulating ASTERIOS POLYP for almost sweeping The 2010 Eisner Awards

The Comics Cube! Reviews ASTERIOS POLYP

ASTERIOS POLYP Annotations


Any articles dealing with this masterpiece in the future will also be indexed here, so if you're a fan, make sure you have this page bookmarked!

Jun 19, 2011

The First Komik: The Monkey and the Tortoise

Today is the 150th birthday of the Philippines' National Hero, Jose Rizal. 40% of my readership won't need an introduction to this man, but for the other 60%, you just need to know that Rizal was a polymath and a hero. He was a doctor, a poet, a linguist, a sculptor, a translator, and most importantly, a reformist. He was rather small and frail, and so he fought with his novels and his words, and was so instrumental in getting Filipinos to demand independence from Spain that he was imprisoned and shot because of it.

But for the purposes of this post, because this is The Comics Cube! (or today, Ang Kahong Komiks), we're going to talk about Jose Rizal, the komikero.



In 1884, Jose Rizal was asked by Trubner's Record, a magazine about Eastern Literature, to contribute a couple of fables. Rizal happily obliged, turning in "Ang Matsing at ang Pagong," which means "The Monkey and the Turtle." Or is it tortoise? I dunno; I can never tell the difference between the two.

Rizal didn't put speech balloons in the "panels," rather putting the narration and the dialogue underneath the pictures, but much like Rudolphe Topffer's MR. OBADIAH OLDBUCK, the story is very much dependent on both words and pictures, mostly evident in panel 1 of page 6.

See for yourself:







 The words are a little illegible, but it wouldn't really matter — they're written in the 19th century way of speaking Tagalog, which incorporates a lot of elements of Spanish.  Even for a Filipino, it'd be hard to read. The translation, found here, goes as follows:

The tortoise and the monkey came upon a well-grown banana plant. Both wanted to have the plant to himself. "Wait a minute," the monkey said. "Let’s be fair. Let’s divide the plant into two, and then assign halves for the both of us."

"Yes, that’s fair," the tortoise said at once.

"And since I thought of it, I get to choose which half shall be mine!" the monkey declared, and immediately he set to work cutting the banana plant. He kept the top part, the part which was golden with fruit, and left the ugly stump to the tortoise.

The tortoise did not complain. He only went up to the monkey and said "We’re good friends. Will you let me have some of your fruit?"

"No!" the monkey snapped. "We’d agreed to stick to our halves of the plant. I get to keep whatever comes of my half and you get to keep whatever comes of yours."

After finishing off all the bananas, the monkey planted the top part of the plant with the hope of growing some more fruit. The tortoise did not have to do anything with his half of the plant at all, as it was still rooted to the ground as a stump. But the top part of the banana plant could not grow roots, and thus it shriveled up and died. The tortoise’s stump, on the other hand, grew to be another beautiful banana plant, and soon enough it made the monkey drool by having twice as many bananas as he had been able to extract from what had been his half.

The tortoise would not let the monkey come anywhere near his full-grown banana plant. "We’d agreed to stick to our halves of the plant," he said wryly. The monkey went home and plotted.

The monkey decided to sneak into the tortoise’s yard one night and steal the bananas straight from the plant. But the tortoise had been prepared for such a breach of friendship. He waited until the monkey had climbed too high up to be aware of anything going on at the ground, and then he laid sharp pebbles all around the roots of the plant. It was so that the monkey jumped down from the plant after having eaten as many bananas as he could, and was stung in so many places all at once!

The monkey was furious. He hunted all around for the tortoise. And when he did find the tortoise, he grabbed the slow-paced creature by the shell so that it could not get away, and said at once that he would be killed.

"But, as we had been good friends, I will let you choose," said the monkey. "I am thinking of grinding you and your difficult shell in a mortar and scattering your ashes. I am also thinking of throwing you into the sea. In which manner would you like to die?"

"Grind me to ashes," cried the tortoise, "for I cannot bear the touch of saltwater!"

"Aha! So you hate saltwater!" The monkey raced off down to the seashore and flung the screaming, flailing tortoise into the water, as far away as his strong arms could manage. "Good riddance," the monkey said, thinking that he had dealt the tortoise the ultimate revenge for spiting his cleverness.

But then, just as the monkey was leaving the shore, he heard familiar laughter drifting in the sea-breeze. He turned around and saw the tortoise only too near the shore, chuckling merrily.

"I’d fooled you, monkey!" he was shouting. "The sea is the tortoise’s home!"

The monkey gave a howl of rage and bounded back to where the sand met the surf, but the tortoise had already gone back, still laughing, into the ocean’s heart.

"Ang Matsing at ang Pagong" is believed to be the first time words and pictures were merged to tell a concrete story, and so Rizal is considered as the first ever komikero, paving the way for people like Mars Ravelo, Nestor Redondo, Pol Medina, Alfredo Alcala, Jess Jodloman, Gerry Alanguilan, Philip Tan, Francis Manapul, Ace Enriquez, and many more.


Learn more about Jose Rizal here and his komiks here.

Jun 18, 2011

Superman to Break Up with Lois Lane; People Think Spider-Man and Superman Are the Same Guy for Some Reason.

It's pretty much all but confirmed at this point. The DC Comics Reboot is making it so not only is Superman not married to Lois Lane, but they were never married at all to begin with.

I'm a fan of the Lois Lane/Clark Kent marriage, for many reasons. But I can't say I'm really surprised — writers have been trying to break them up pretty much since the marriage happened, the most prominent example of which is featured in the much lamented SUPERMAN 2000 proposal by Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer, Mark Waid, and Mark Millar. The basic argument is that the Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle is an essential part of the Superman mythos and that Lois being a wife is too limiting to storytelling. I don't personally agree with either, and I could talk about why, but in the end, it's a matter of taste, and I certainly respect the decision the writers come to. Whatever helps them tell better stories, I say.

What I do take issue with is the argument bandied around (even on websites such as Newsarama [see reason number 4 here]) that Superman and Lois Lane are breaking up, and it's because of the fact that back in 2008, Marvel broke up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson in the story "One More Day." For fans of the breakups, they're also adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "worked" and "helped sales." For haters of the break-ups, they're adding in the fact that the dissolution of the Spider-Man marriage "divided fans" and "hurt sales."

I take issue with this argument, even though I myself prefer Spider-Man single (as explained here), because it gets some facts wrong, and its foundations are shaky.

First of all, Spider-Man sales were not helped, nor were they hurt, by "One More Day." You can see it just by looking at the sales charts. This past May, the highest-selling issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 10 on the charts (see here). AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is Marvel's best-selling solo superhero and is also the best-selling title of anything that's gone over 100 issues.

Five years ago, in May 2006, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN came in at number 14 on the charts (see here). If you count all of DC's weekly series 52 as one book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would have come in at number 11. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was Marvel's best-selling solo superhero (he was outsold by WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, a Wolverine special, but sold better than Wolverine's actual main title).

ICv2's numbers are flawed estimates, as they only take into account preorders. And of course, the comics industry has massively declined since 2006, so we can't really take the reported numbers as gospel. What we can do is just look at their positions on the charts, and what do their May 2006 and 2011 positions tell us? It tells us that we cannot, as outside spectators here, say that Spider-Man is selling any better now than he was when he was married. Only Marvel can tell us for sure. And even then, so much has changed in the market that it's actually impossible and ridiculous to credit it with the dissolution of the marriage.

And remember — I say this as a fan of a single Spider-Man.

Second of all, fans are always divided. Some people preferred a single Spider-Man when the married one was around; it's just that they didn't troll the message boards bitching about it, and now that Superman is breaking up with Lois, you have defenders of that particular stance coming out and saying they support it. It didn't divide fans; it just made them more vocal.

My other big problem with this whole piece of logic is very simple. It assumes that what works for Spider-Man will work for Superman.

No. No, it doesn't. Pay attention here, guys. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME GUY.



For one thing, the argument is that it makes Spider-Man more relatable, so it makes Superman more relatable, too, for younger readers.

Superman is not meant to be relatable. He was never conceived as such. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to be pure escapism — to see the evils in the world and do something about it, no questions asked. The only thing relatable about him is the aspect of Clark Kent, a weakling who takes off his glasses and then turns into the power fantasy known as Superman. And even that is not "relatable"; it is an escape.

The whole point of Spider-Man is that he was "the superhero who could be you." He has an ailing aunt, he can't go on dates without them getting ruined, and his boss hates a part of him that he can't really reveal — basically, his problems are things we can relate to. This is not true with Superman, as originally conceived. Superman's biggest problem is not letting anyone find out he's Clark Kent. That's it. Spider-Man is meant to be a relatable superhero. Superman, of all the superheroes ever created, is the ultimate escape.

If Spider-Man is "the superhero who could be you," Superman is "the superhero you want to be."

Nor are they the same in their characters and personalities. With the exception of being orphaned white males who do good in red and blue spandex, they're almost nothing alike. Spider-Man is motivated by guilt and tragedy, and Superman, while having undergone a tragedy, just does good because it is the right thing to do.

Perhaps most importantly though, is that entrenched in this disparity between the two characters is the gigantic difference between their significant others. Lois Lane and Mary Jane Watson are not the same characters. They are not even the same property. They are the two most successful supporting significant others in comics, but they are just not the same.


Lois Lane is an icon. She has been in four big Hollywood movies, and has been in every single incarnation of Superman. Ever. There was a TV show in the 90s named after her. It was called Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Let me emphasize that — in a show with Superman, it's Lois Lane that got top billing.

Granted, I probably wouldn't give Dean Cain top billing.

She's been in every Superman cartoon, and even in the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoons, she was the sole recurring character from the Superman and Batman universes. (Alfred showed up all of once.) Even in the Smallville TV show, when people were being teased with the possibility of Clark Kent ending up with Lana Lang, everyone knew it was a star-crossed romance, and wondered when Lois would show up. Lois eventually did show up in the show's fourth season, and the series ended recently with Lois and Clark getting married.

In addition, Lois Lane has had her own comic book series, which lasted 20 years.


Perhaps more importantly, Lois Lane's first appearance was in ACTION COMICS #1. In other words, she was made to be with Superman.

Mary Jane Watson, while not a slouch, doesn't really compare. She wasn't in any of the Spider-Man cartoons (all three of them) until 1994, where she played Peter Parker's main (not only) love interest. She was in three Spider-Man movies, all of which really blended her more with Gwen Stacy than depicted her as an actual adaptation of Mary Jane. And perhaps more importantly, she wasn't in the Japanese TV show where Spider-Man had a robot.



Just kidding. Perhaps more importantly, she first fully appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #42, by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. She wasn't even co-created by the co-creator of Spider-Man.



Mary Jane wasn't created to be Spider-Man's one true love, and you'll get a whole lot of debate from people when you actually ask who fits that role. You don't get that debate with Lois Lane. Everyone knows who Superman ends up with. And that's actually part of the whole thing — Spider-Man and Mary Jane were broken up because the writers wanted Spider-Man and Mary Jane to take on different roles; part of which is seeing other people. Currently, they are friends. They started out as friends. There is the possibility of Peter Parker meeting other people and staying that way.

Superman and Lois Lane, on the other hand, are being broken up because they are "re-examining their relationship," which is "essential to the mythos." Even if DC pairs up Superman with Wonder Woman, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, or anyone else, everyone knows who he's ending up with. And that's one of the big differences between the two situations. Lois Lane and Clark Kent are romantically intertwined, and have been since day 1. You cannot say the same thing about Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker. And that's actually one of my problems with breaking up the Super-marriage - while I can see the additional value of breaking up Spider-Man and Mary Jane, which is the possibility of them seeing other people and all the drama involved with that, I don't really see Superman and Lois Lane seeing other people and not ending up together. It reeks of false drama to me, by which I mean drama that's being put in that you can't really buy because you know how it ends.

So let me reiterate this: Spider-Man and Superman are not the same characters. Nor are Mary Jane Watson and Lois Lane. What works for Character A will not necessarily work for Character B, not even if they're Selina Kyle and Felicia Hardy.

So please, folks, if you're going to argue for or against this move by DC, take it by DC's standards and use what would be DC's logic, which I highly doubt is "Marvel did it." If DC actually is doing something to their main character based on what happened with Marvel's main character, it would betray the fact that they had no idea what to do with their main character. And as much as I've been skeptical of DC lately, I still give them too much credit to actually say that.

As for who would win in a fight, Lois Lane or Mary Jane, I place my money on the reporter.


Jun 16, 2011

Matt's Mentionables: The Top 10 Lantern Corps Oaths!

Howdy there, folks. The Green Lantern movie is coming this Friday, so I figured it'd be good to do a Green Lantern feature. I was going to do this myself, but knowing my penchant for unwittingly and unintentionally bashing Green Lanterns (as explained in the first paragraph here), I figured it was a bad idea to do so, and thus I turned to my old buddy and author of Matt's Mentionables, Matt, to help me out here. So without further ado, here you go. The Top 10 Lantern Oaths!


Matt's Mentionables is a column written by Matt for The Comics Cube! See his archives here.

Jun 15, 2011

Comics Cube Lists: The Index

Welcome to the index for The Comics Cube's Lists! I figured that just having all the lists on one page with the titles and the creative teams is more useful than having all the list show up in a bunch on one page.

1. The Top 5 Joker Moments Ever

2. The Top 5 Comic Book Movies I'd Love to See Made

3. The Top 5 Properties I'd Love to Write Comics For

4. Top 5 Characters I Don't Get the Popularity of At All

5. Top 10 Most Influential Comics Artists of All Time!



6. Top 5 Most Important Spider-Man Artists of All Time

7. 5 Spider-Man Stories You Should Take the Time to Read

8. Top 5 Spider-Man Artists Who Don't Get Enough Credit

9. The 5 Most Important Spider-Man Moments

10. Top 5 Most Important Spider-Man Writers of All Time

11. Top 5 Spider-Man Villains of All Time



12. Top 5 Most Important Comic Book Superhero Icons Who Aren't from Marvel or DC Post-1938!

13. Top 10 Superhero Costumes, Comics Cube Style!

14. Top 5 Most Influential Superheroes That Didn't Originate in Comics!

15. Top 5 Most Important Pre-1938 Comics Superheroes!



16. Top 5 (Actually, 6) Most Important Funny Animals in Comics

17. Top 5 Most Prolific Comic Book Artistic Creators!

18. The Top 10 Most Influential Comics Writers



19. Five Things I Would Love to Not See for At Least Five Years in Comics

20. Ranking the 10 DCU LEGACIES "Snapshots"

21. My Top Ten Favorite Green Lanterns!

22. Presented by Matt: The Top 10 Lantern Corps Oaths!

23. Five Things the Siegels and Shusters Can Do With a New Superman!

24. Top Five Frank Miller Parodies!

25. Top Ten Superman Origins!

26. Top 25 Spider-Man Stories!

27. Top 10 Archie Artists!

28. Movies Week!
29. Costume Week!

30. Ten Techniques in John Byrne's Alpha Flight!

31. Five Non Comic Book TV Shows that Comic Book Fans Love!

32. Signs of a Bad Reader!

33. Things to Try as a Reader!

34. Modern Comics Could Use These More!

35. Six Thor Character That Should Show Up in the Movies

36. Fan-Dumb and How to Avoid It

37. Six Comics Characters that Used to Be Huge and You've Forgotten About

38. Protagonists People Think Are Heroes (Wrongly)

39. Spider-Man Complaints That Need to Stop

40. Seven Things That People Need to Stop Saying

41. Ten Awards for Preacher

42. Challenging Preconceptions

43. Reference-Heavy Light Reading

44. Ben's Top 6 Favorite Usagi Yojimbo Characters


Jun 14, 2011

Reviews and Retrospectives: The Index

Welcome to the index for The Comics Cube's Reviews and Retrospectives! I figured that just having all the reviews on one page with the titles and the creative teams is more useful than having all the reviews show up five at a time.

This index covers Great Back Issues, single issues, and hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Basically, if it's a review, it's here.

1. Great Back Issues: WONDER WOMAN #46 "Chalk Drawings" by George Perez and Jill Thompson

2. SACHS AND VIOLENS by Peter David and George Perez

3. CAMELOT 3000 by Mike W. Barr and Brian Bolland

4. SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL by Jeff Smith

5. THE ESCAPISTS by Brian K. Vaughan, Jason Shawn Alexander, Steve Rolston, and Eduardo Barretto



6. MOBY DICK by Campfire Graphic Novels

7. MOUSE GUARD: FALL 1152 by David Petersen


8. ASTERIOS POLYP by David Mazzucchelli

9. SUPERMAN: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW? by Alan Moore, Curt Swan, George Perez, Kurt Schaffenberger, Dave Gibbons, and Rick Veitch

10. BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS #1 by David Hontiveros and Ace Enriquez

11. TRESE by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo

12. FRACTURED FABLES by various creators



13. CAPTAIN AMERICA: PATRIOT #1–2 by Karl Kesel and Mitch and Bettie Brettweiser

14. LIFE WITH ARCHIE #1–2 by Michael Uslan, Paul Kupperberg, and Norm Breyfogle

14. Great Back Issues: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #153 "The Longest Hundred Yards" by Len Wein and Ross Andru

15. ACTION COMICS #894 "Death Meets Lex Luthor" by Paul Cornell and Pete Woods

16. LITTLE MOUSE GETS READY by Jeff Smith

17. 12 by Manix Abrera

18. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648 "BIG TIME!" by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos

19. DC COMICS PRESENTS CHASE #1 by Dan Curtis Johnson, JH Williams III, and Mick Gray

20. BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS #2 by David Hontiveros and Ace Enriquez


21. BATWOMAN #0 by JH Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder

22. LEGEND: THE LABORS OF HERACLES by Campfire Graphic Novels

23. KIRBY: GENESIS #0 by Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Jack Herbert

24. ELMER by Gerry Alanguilan


25. KINDS OF BLUE by Karen Beilharz and company

26. PRINCELESS  by Jeremy Whitley, M. Goodwin, and D.E. Belton

27. WILD GIRL by Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shawn McManus, and J.H. Williams III

28. ZOMBIE OUTLAW #1 by Brian Apodaca and B. Paul Jordan

29. BATWOMAN #1 by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman

30. NIGHTWING #1 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, and J.P. Mayer

31. SUPERMAN #1 by George Perez and Jesus Merino

32. FLASH #1 by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato (review by the Resident Kid)

33. SUPERMAN #1 (review by the Resident Kid)

34. SPIDER-ISLAND by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos

35. DONALD DUCK: LOST IN THE ANDES by Carl Barks

34. CABLE & DEADPOOL by Fabian Nicieza and Patrick Zircher (review by She Is Screaming in the Shower)

35. FELL by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith (review by She Is Screaming in the Shower)

36. Great Back Issues: DETECTIVE COMICS #572 "The Doomsday Book" by Mike W. Barr, Alan Davis, Terry Beatty, Dick Giordano, Carmine Infantino, Al Vey, and ER Cruz

37. ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS (review by She Is Screaming in the Shower)

38. DAMAGED (review by She Is Screaming in the Shower)

39. Retrospective: Alan Moore's AMERICA'S BEST COMICS!

40. Retrospective: JLA/AVENGERS by Kurt Busiek and George Perez

41. NEIL YOUNG'S GREENDALE by Joshua Dysart, Cliff Chiang, and Dave Stewart

42. Retrospective: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

43. LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN CENTURY: 2009 by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

44. UNCLE SCROOGE: ONLY A POOR OLD MAN by Carl Barks

45. Great Back Issues: SUPERMAN/BATMAN: WORLD'S FUNNEST by Evan Dorkin and a host of artists

46. HABIBI by Craig Thompson

47. Retrospective: STARMAN by James Robinson, Tony Harris, Peter Snejberg, and other artists

48. Jim Henson's TALE OF SAND by Ramon K. Perez

49. DONALD DUCK: A CHRISTMAS FOR SHACKTOWN by Carl Barks

50. Great Back Issues: DAILY BUGLE #1–3 by Paul Grist and Karl Kerschl

51. THE SILVER SURFER by Ron Marz, Ron Lim, and other artists

52. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY by Jim Valentino

53. THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO by Joe R. Lansdale and Timothy Truman

54. DONALD DUCK: THE OLD CASTLE'S SECRET by Carl Barks

55. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK by Don Rosa

56. THOR by Walter Simonson

57. THE JUDAS COIN by Walter Simonson

58. THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee

59. DONALD DUCK: CHRISTMAS ON BEAR MOUNTAIN by Carl Barks

60. DONALD DUCK: TRAIL OF THE UNICORN by Carl Barks

61. RAGNAROK #1 by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin

62. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #1 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

63. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #2 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

63. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #3 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

64. GEORGE PEREZ'S SIRENS #1 by George Perez

65. EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2 (Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman) by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez

66. WOLF CHILDREN by Mamoru Hosoda

67. RAGNAROK #2 by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin

68. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #4 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

69. DESPERADOES OMNIBUS by Jeff Mariotte, John Cassaday, John Severin, and other artists

70. JUDGE by Yoshiki Tonogai

71. Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun by Don Rosa

72. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE PROMISE and THE SEARCH by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

73. AMALGAM

74. UNICO  by Osamu Tezuka

75. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #5-6 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

76. RAGNAROK #3 by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin

77. SIRENS #2 by George Perez

78. UNCLE SCROOGE: THE SEVEN CITIES OF GOLD by Carl Barks

79. UNCLE SCROOGE AND DONALD DUCK: RETURN TO PLAIN AWFUL by Don Rosa

80. SPIDER-GWEN #1 by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez

81. SILK #1 by Robbie Thompson and Stacy Lee

82. THE BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr

83. SPIDER-GWEN #2 by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez

84. SUPREME: BLUE ROSE #7 by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

85. SIRENS #3 by George Perez

86. RAGNAROK #4 by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin

87. BATWOMAN by Greg Rucka and JH Williams III

88. BANDETTE by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

89. THIS ONE SUMMER by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

90. DONALD DUCK: THE PIXILATED PARROT by Carl Barks

91. UNCLE SCROOGE AND DONALD DUCK: TREASURE UNDER GLASS by Don Rosa

92. DONALD DUCK: TRICK OR TREAT by Carl Barks
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