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Goat Rider

A pitch for something that will never happen but I want to share it anyway. I mean if someone wants to pay me to write this for Marvel, I 100% will…

Beatrice Albinson saw something she shouldn’t have. The robots came for her, at night. They didn’t want her to tell anyone. No one could know about The Plan. So Beatrice ran. She hid. She ran some more. Beatrice hid in the dark spaces. She ran and hid and hid and ran until there was no where else she could think of. The robots were tireless, but Beatrice was only human.

And then she came across the stable. There shouldn’t have been a stable near the West Side Highway. Beatrice had always thought it was a bagel shop, truth be told. But no, a stable for sure. Big door, smelled of animal, bits of hay strewn about outside. Big old A logo on the door. A didn’t stand for stable, Beatrice was mighty sure about that.

Inside the stable (hey it seemed a good dark place to hide and horses didn’t bother Beatrice), she found a chariot. Big thing: old wood, carvings covering it all around, gold inlay and silver runs filling in the spaces. Nearby the chariot she spotted the horses. Wait. No. Those were horse-sized but they were giant goats. Goats with glowing red eyes and flaming lashes. Goats who didn’t want to be disturbed.

The robots found her, of course. They’re robots, they have an app for that. They came in shooting. Robots and horses (they assumed the goats were horses as well, because come on, who wouldn’t?) never did get along.

Turns out robots and giant goats get along rather less well. The goats shrugged off the lasers and small arms fire, breathing fire that melted the robots into slag. Beatrice wasn’t as lucky. She lay on the floor, hay soaking up her blood, as the fire raged around her. It covered her, danced over her body, but did not consume her form.

Instead she found herself feeling better. She sat up, ran a hand through her hair and noticed that her hand came back covered in fire. That, she told herself, was new. Abnormally calm or in the full flush of shock, either way, Beatrice stood and looked around.

She knew, as she walked, that the chariot was hers. For a time, at least. As her feet touched it, the wheels burst into flame. A flame that didn’t harm the ancient wood. The goats willing walked over and, in a process Beatrice couldn’t quite figure out, harnessed themselves. As they did their beards and tails burst into raging fire as well, Flames licked up from their hooves. And then they turned, dragging the chariot, and took to the sky leaving fire in their wake.

The Goat Rider was born. The spirit of Vengeance merged with… well, let’s just say that Thor was mighty pissed someone stole his goats. But that’s another tale for another time…

Easter 2014

That time of year, once more, as happens every year since 2004, to post the annual Easter comic! Enjoy!

Wonder Woman: The Movie

Wonder Woman: The Movie

A while back I got asked to contribute to an article full of people with ideas of how to do a Wonder Woman movie. The article didn’t happen though so I thought “Well why not just post it here?” so I am. Here’s the Wonder Woman movie I would write:

A Wonder Woman movie should be the simplest thing around. She’s a character who strives for peace, and is also the greatest warrior the world has ever known. Her own internal struggle to reconcile that, and to help all of humanity toward peace, through strength and compassion, is a huge host of interesting information just waiting to be explored. Then you add in Greek mythology, a mythology that not only a number of recent blockbusters have found themselves digging into again, but a mythology that has survived and thrived in the consciousness of the world for thousands of years.

How can this suck, if done with attention and love? It can’t.

How would I do it? Well I’d start by casting Claudia Black, and then add Brad Bird directing. But that’s me. I’d want to open with an older Diana. Not a young woman, but a seasoned warrior. Leaving a U.N. meeting, put some info dump there – Themyscira, Amazons, her job as Ambassador. Then break it up with an attack. A race of aliens, claiming to be the inspiration for the Greek Gods. Here to destroy us all.

Diana must fight back, but also learn the truth. Remember that – Diana searching for truth is a key element. As is her attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully, if at all possible. When it isn’t, then she will strike as hard and fast as needed, but she will give them a chance.

Anyway, she has to go back to Themyscira, touch base with Olympus, all of that, to find out the Aliens are fakers (of course they are) and now Diana must lead the charge of Amazons and Gods and the World Army to save the Earth. This will also solve the crisis from the start of the U.N. and her place in it and so on. It brings the Earth into deeper understanding from a place of mistrust. She has to be crucial to each army, and lead all as much as possible. She is the Over Commander. And while Zeus doesn’t like it, she has the backing of other Gods, the skills and the spine to shut him down and make him fall in line. Same with the Amazons. Her mother is deeply proud, but still chafes under taking orders from her daughter. The World Army leader, Steve Trevor, has his own command and doesn’t want to be seen as weak, but Diana helps show him that it isn’t weak to follow a commander when it is the right choice.
In the end the Aliens are defeated. The Gods and the Amazons have started to reconcile (Though the Amazons worship the Gods they didn’t exactly LIKE them, ya know?) and the World Army accepts Diana, and her people.

You get to show Diana, why she herself is important, what her culture is and how she strives for peace and is also willing to go to war. You can show her stretched too thin and set up sequels where the threat doesn’t have to be bigger – it can now be far more personal (Gods vs. World Army / talks breaking down / Amazon rebellion / Bring in Atlantis! / whatever) and make the world expand, instead of simply raise.

My Ship Will Punch You

My Ship Will Punch You

The Supermobile. The name doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of men, does it? Super. Mobile. It just kinda sits there, really. The first question that pops to mind is “Why the fuck does Superman need a jet plane?” He can fly, he’s invulnerable, and he’s super-strong. You don’t need a car at that point, do you?

Not really, no.

Still, when you have to deal with falling kryptonite, you improvise. Superman improvised by creating the Supermobile. It was blue. It was all nifty shaped. But then came the problem: Superman can’t use guns or missiles, so how can he do anything but fly around in his protective spaceship? Simple answer: We’ll give it big metallic fists so he can punch the rocks out of the sky! Of course, eventually he also used it to punch out bad guys. Because when you have a freaky-shaped spaceship equipped with punchin’ arms, you fucking well use it!

When it was invented, the rundown went a little something like this:
Action_Comics_481
The time—Action Comics #481

The place—Earth

The events—A red sun explodes in deep space, and eventually waves of Red Sun energy hit the Earth, causing Superman to lose his powers when he’s outside. Which makes no real sense, since the sun is still yellow and pumping out rays too and… oh forget it. Anyway, he gets progressively weaker as the wave gets closer, right? Which is when Amazo attacks.

Now, a quick word about Amazo. Sure he’s a robot who has all the powers of the Justice League. Sure he’s mean and tough. He also has pointy ears and wears a green striped vest with matching arm and leg cuffs. Yeah. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, Amazo comes by, traps the Justice League in their satellite in space, and decides to kill Superman. I know that’s what I do when I have a free Tuesday.

So Supes works with a professor (comic book scientists—gotta love ’em) and builds the Supermobile. But what the hell is it made out of that can withstand the mighty blows of Amazo? Let me quote the comic for a second…

Wonder Woman: Somehow the vehicle shields Superman from the red radiation that’s been sapping his powers!

Batman: …which leads me to deduce it is constructed of Supermanium!

Wonder Woman: Supermanium—?

Batman: The strongest metal ever created—so strong in fact, only Superman’s heat vision can soften the surface and only his super-strength is mighty enough to mold it! He had to build his car in a radiation-shielded room of the Fortress!

Green Lantern: The Supermobile’s as invulnerable as its driver is!

Leaving aside the rampant yelling the Justice League does (Let’s have pie! I want some cheese! My socks are yellow!) let’s just tweeze out the key point here: Supermanium. This was the first time it was ever referenced in a comic, and the last. Where does it come from? What does it want? The world may never know. All we do know is that it is an element that could be incredibly useful… Why doesn’t Superman make the Batmobile out of Supermanium so that Batman’s ride can be indestructible, too? Why isn’t the Justice League satellite made out of it?

Who knows. The only thing ever made out of Supermanium was the Supermobile. That wacky, pimped-out ride of stupidity.

Now, to be fair, I have always loved the Supermobile. It was one of those ships, quite unlike the Spider-Buggy, that just looked so wrong it came out right. It was a space ship/jet plane that had punching metal fists attached. Fuck, you can’t get cooler than that.

Well, Corgi agreed. They had been supermobilemaking die-cast toys for years by then (for the James Bond line, a Beatles band tie-in or two, and so on), and around 1979 they landed a deal to make vehicles for DC Comics super-heroes.

Wonder Woman got a crappyass car. Shazam got a Porsche Can-Am racer. Superman got a panel van (I never understood why he wanted a panel van unless he was pretending to be a member of the A-Team), a Daily Planet Helicopter, a Metropolis Police car, a Daily Planet van (in addition to the plain panel van with his logo on it!), and the Supermobile. The only hero who did better was Batman, since he got a boat and a bike and the Batmobile (and that was only for that particular year).

All was right with the world. Superman’s jet had punching arms and Shazam rode around in something that looked like a CHiPs villain-reject’s getaway car. I had a Supermobile toy and I fucking adored it. The arms would punch out with a little spring-loaded switch. It had tiny wheels, just in case, and it looked so very cool.

And then it all went wrong. Kenner had a DC Comics toy license in the 80s. They were doing the oddball Super Powers line of toys. Some good toys came from that line, but Kenner wasn’t known for quality, really. The blow came, though, when they decided they needed vehicles.

Yeah. Kenner made a Supermobile of its own. They reused the name Supermobile but made it big enough for Superman to fit in. Sounds good so far, right?

But no. Because the new Supermobile didn’t have fists! It had a “Krypton Action Ram” and “Villain Captivators.” Let’s be honest here: The action ram? A little silver bumper that would spring out a centimeter or two and look like the dumbest low rider ever. The Villain Captivators? A hinged trunk. Yup! Superman went from punching people with his ship to ramming them face first and sticking them in the trunk.

Needless to say, there hasn’t been a Supermobile since. Thanks a fucking lot, Kenner.

Now, personally? I want a new Supermobile. An old Corgi one, the U.S. version with the silver fists (for some reason in the U.K. they had red fists). These things are either Very Pricey or badly worn and used. That’s OK, though. Because somewhere, Superman is still punching out bad guys, in space, with a spaceship.

(This article appears in my book I SLEPT WITH YOUR IMAGINARY FRIEND right nnow only 2 bucks in print on amazon. Go buy it.)

MANSTER!

MANSTER!

When Squeebles the hamster and ordinary citizen Mark Burrvino end up caught in the same mystical energy wave they merge! Now Mark and Squeebles share a brain, and a body: ostensibly a normal human, possessed of bigger teeth and admittedly furry. And so Mark decides that despite gaining no super powers what-so-ever (though to be fair he has the proportional everything of a hamster – they’re just, you know, hamsters) he will fight crime as:

MANSTER!

Using his emergency MANSTER BALL for both protection and transport, MANSTER will fight crime no matter where it lurks, so long as it doesn’t lurk somewhere too narrow for the MANSTER BALL, really.

Mark is beset by problems:

– Squeebles offers constant advice. In hamster squeaks. Which make no sense to Mark as he doesn’t speak hamster.

– Where did that mystical energy wave come from and has it affected other citizens? (spoiler alert: it has and eventually Mark will meet E-Lizard-Beth and the Pelican’t as well as the evil Steve-anha.)

– He now poops in pellets. That’s just odd.

– He really isn’t great at crime fighting.

MANSTER! A new comic coming never!

And the amazing Lar DeSouza has drawn the MANSTER cover:
manster

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