Saturday, March 26, 2011

For the record: "Battle of the Superheroes" on "Batman: Brave and the Bold" was the best half hour of TV I've seen in years

That's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.

Look, I know you don't spend your spare time thinking about the statues of criminals and conquerors that Lex Luthor keeps in his secret layer, but as someone who does think about these things, the non-stop Superman fandom tribute that was this week's episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold was one of the most amazing things I've seen on TV in quite some time.

And, of course, whomever worked on the episode was apparently also a fan of the Silver-Age ancillary titles like Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, as the episode imitated classic covers and incidents from those issues.  The episode also paid tribute to the classic look of the cityscapes of the 1990's-era Superman: the Animated Series and through in the Batman armor from Dark Knight Returns for good measure.

And, the episode didn't just include Krypto, they totally got the point of DC's most underrated superhero.

All in all, the only disappointing part of the episode was that it was only half and hour and a single episode.  If DC Entertainment is looking to expand its offerings, I'd love to see the Brave and the Bold team come back with a solid hour Batman/ Superman.

Berkeley Breathed art on "Mars Needs Moms"

I am a fan of cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. His strip, Bloom County, was a favorite when I was hitting an age when I was scanning the page for more than just Slylock Fox, and I still enjoy the occasional Bloom County collection.

A while back, I picked up Breathed's children's book Mars Needs Moms, and it was a fun read, if a bit off-beat for a story aimed at kids. And then I heard it was being adapted to a feature film by Robert "I Sucked the Soul Out of The Polar Express" Zemeckis.

The thing is - Breathed's character style and sentiment is distinctly Breathed's. And, somewhat shockingly, unlike Polar Express, Zemeckis didn't seem to feel any attachment to Breathed's artistic style.

Its hard to really explain that Breathed's character design is part of the story, and so abandoning that design for the movie's humanoid, motion-capture friendly designs....  missing the point.

Look, Breathed's story may be a little scary for kids: its about a kid who sees his mom getting kidnapped by aliens after he's decided his mom is mean during a typical kid/ parent spat.  But the point of the story is to teach kids about sacrifice and explain to them exactly how much their parents love them.  Frankly, its not a bad thing to share with kids, and nobody is going to walk away scarred from either a picture book or movie about the depths of a parent's love.  Its called putting a conflict into a story.

Breathed's Mars Needs Moms is a slim picturebook, light on text and full of imaginative imagery.  Simply covering that scaffolding in typical "family movie" hoo-hah is going to do little but distract from and muddle a pretty straightforward story, and the only time I've seen it truly work was with Where the Wild Things Are.    Unfortunately we all know studios have a certainly saccharine version of reality they deal with when putting together family films, and it may be that adding spunky teenage Martians or whatever the hell the movie chose to do from the Hollywood Plot-o-Tron merely diluted the film to a nonsensical mess.

I'd guess Zemeckis and Co.'s insistence on the motion-capture technology took precedence over the exaggerated and intentionally absurd visual style that's been Breathed's trademark since his days on The Academia Waltz.  Trying to make the characters move and look "lifelike" was never the intention of Breathed's style, and its hard to imagine exactly why a decision was made to stray from what would have been a pretty unique and fun adaptation of Breathed's work.

I'm hoping to read Breathed's reaction in The Hollywood Reporter, even if I have my doubts that we'd get the full story or what it feels like to watch your much-loved book turned into something completely different on the screen and then watch that movie flop.  Or... we might.

I guess if there's any point to this post, its that a massive flop of a movie shouldn't reflect poorly on the source material, especially if the source is more or less ignored in favor of whatever the heck the producers feel is more fun to play around with.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The many references in a single clip from "Batman: Brave and the Bold"

00:05 - Armor from Dark Knight Returns
00:05 - I have to assume Krypto's presence is a reference, but I'm not sure to what. Hondo?
00:12 - King Superman from Action Comics 311 - that's the throne and Superman flag from the issue
00:17 - Metropolis inspired by the designs used in the Bruce Timm-era Superman: The Animated Series
00:24 - Lois and Jimmy's look is pure 1960's Weisinger dictated. Kurt Schaffenberger and Curt Swan style!
00:37 - This is the exact same move from JLU's final episode when Superman took on Darkseid (jump to 1:13 in the clip)

And I'm likely missing something here.

Superman and Batman go Classic on "Brave and the Bold"

found by @deantrippe

I can't tell you how giddy this made me. Right down to Lex piloting a Lex-version of the Supermobile.

Today is Jamie's Birthday

Today is the birthday of the lady who lives in my house, Jamie.

Over the years, I have grown especially fond of Jamie, and, I like to think, she of me. This year Jamie's gifts on her birthday shall be somewhat meager as her big gift is the iPhone she will receive when her contract is up at the end of April. She knows this. It will not come as a surprise.

After 15.5 years of togetherness and almost 11 years of marriage-ness, we do okay. She is my better half, by far. Smarter, kinder, more loving... all those things, but I suspect I can still beat her in a foot race or in any of the events in a strong man competition.

We all have our challenges, and those who know Jamie or know her story know that she has more challenges than most.  But I think its important for people to know that she isn't just a batch of symptoms, medical records and doctor's visits. Those things happen in a 1000:1 ratio to your life, perhaps, but they also aren't who Jamie is.

Jamie is the person who loves a good football game, finding a new band, forcing hugs upon Lucy when she's sleepy, getting phone calls from friends, cracking a new book, and who sees I bought her a light-up Green Lantern ring of her own and considers that equality within a marriage.  She is a genuinely good person, and in this world, that's a rarity.

I am lucky, and I know this. 

Happy Birthday, Jamie. You're still my favorite.

Tanks for the memories

Signal Watch Watches: Gun Crazy

I first watched Gun Crazy years ago as part of a DVD Film Noir set. Honestly, aside from a few themes and Peggy Cummins in her cowgirl outfit, I really didn't remember a whole lot about the movie thanks to a 102 fever and a tough case of the flu.

best.  flirting scene.  ever.
Basically, the movie is about mixing guns, desperation and sex into one big ball of wax, and its hard to argue with the results.  John Dall plays a hard-luck case (Bart Tare) who's been obsessed with guns since childhood, and who realizes early on that the only thing he's good at is shooting.  Out of Juvie and out of the army after a stint as a weapons specialist, Tare comes home, unemployed but optimistic.  At the fair, he meets Laurie Ann Starr, the carnival sharp shooter, and what commences is a peculiar if oft-imitated flirtation as Laurie and Bart one up one another with gun tricks.

Soon enough, Bart and Laurie are jungled up and out of money, and Laurie's peculiarly devious side emerges.  Insisting on a flashy, fast lifestyle, Laurie puts the screws to Bart to either join her in a hold-up spree or forego their quicky marriage (and we're to understand quite a bit in the way of bedroom antics).

Stick-up artists don't necessarily make good protagonists, but the writers insist that Bart has a thing about killing, and so the spree has a sort of romantic vibe, until he realizes its not his own worst impulses he has to worry about. 

You have to admire them for knowing exactly what they're selling
The movie predates the far more famous Bonnie and Clyde, but its hard to believe that the producers of that movie hadn't seen Gun Crazy, right down to Faye Dunaway's sassy little beanie emulating the one worn by Cummins in the first reel. 

Its like when they're slow bringing out Jamie's french toast
There's just a whole lot at play in the movie that, while unspoken, isn't exactly glossed over when it comes to the odd-ball romance of the pair.  The movie doesn't suggest that they aren't in love, but its a strange co-dependency of two people who never, ever should have found each other in this crazy, mixed up world.  Its romance that burns hottest when bullets ar flying, and that tends not end well for anybody.

Unlike the movie's grandchildren and great-grandchildren, even the protagonists of the movie acknowledge the cowardice of pulling a gun, and that's its own theme in the movie.  Certainly not something we'd see out of Mickey and Mallory by the time Natural Born Killers hit the screen.

The movie is obviously made on the cheap (neither Cummins nor Dall were superstars) but there's a lot of spirit, right down to some interesting camera work (a backseat single camera shot during a heist) and even the final shots of the movie are imaginative.  In a lot of ways, the movie manages to successfully pull off what I can never quite figure out how studios screw-up:  if you have a limited budget, shouldn't story and characters become a major focus?  And figuring out how to do a lot with what you've got?

Anyhow, I liked this the first time I watched it while sweating through the flu, and I liked it a whole lot more when I wasn't  hallucinating my way through the plot.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Before London, A Tragic Lack of Inspiration

Next week I board a plane for my first trip abroad in a few years and my first trip to London, England.

During this time, the blog will go dark, I believe. Should Verizon and providence guide me, perhaps I will post to twitter or Facebook from my fancy-assed new iPhone. But don't count on it.

I have no expectations for London as, well... I don't get out much, so I sort of walk into every new situation as a complete and total surprise. "What do you want to do when you're in this place you've never been before and is a global center?" you may ask. "Well," I would say, "I think I saw a picture of a dinosaur skeleton in a book, so that seems like a thing to do. Plus, see a Beefeater or two. Maybe see if I can go walk around the Tate or get up close to Parliament."

I'm not a foodie, but I am game for whatever new options are put in front of me. But I'm also always happy to just eat off a cart somewhere, too, if I'm walking around.

Our only pre-planned adventure is seeing a musical of Hitchcock's "39 Steps". I have been told this was not the correct choice. And this is sort of why I am loathe to discuss my plans, which mostly involve maybe going to one museum per day, if I can get Jason and The Admiral to agree to my choice of museum. Aside from that... its a massive city with all kinds of stuff going on. I am pretty sure we'll figure something to do 24 hours per day.

Let us hope that the Brits believe in coffee, because otherwise I shall spend the time nursing a headache, hoping for naps and cursing the tea industry.

I suppose I shall also go to Forbidden Planet, if my travelling partners will humor me.

Leading up to this adventure, I'm a little stumped for content, and I apologize for that. Normally I'd just not blog, but as I'm headed away, I can't help but think two weeks away may be too long to just disappear. But maybe that's the thing to do?

Captain America Trailer Hits

don't tell me this doesn't look like Cap, because this is more or less Cap as I understand him and for the past decade, this has been pretty much exactly Cap.

Still, its a little weird to see the Hydra stuff in the middle of a WWII movie.

Elizabeth Taylor Merges with the Infinite

Kids of my generation likely think of Elizabeth Taylor as the kooky lady from the White Diamonds commercials and a friend to Michael Jackson. Or, possibly, they know of her doomed romance with Richard Burton and her starring role in Cleopatra.

I suppose folks younger than myself really don't know much about her at all.

Frankly, I haven't seen a whole lot of Ms. Taylor's work (not even Lassie Come Home), but I'd hate to not mention the passing of a screen icon, entertainment royalty and a really good looking dame.

Seems like a good week to finally watch Giant.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Post Wednesday

Was in Waco today but came back. I bought a belt and socks, then had a lovely dinner with an old friend from days of yesteryear. He's doing fine.

I'm tired, and I don't know what I'd talk about if I had the energy.

Apropos of nothing, here is the lovely Myrna Loy:

So, I think I am going to see "The Big Bang"

A lot of what folks try to pass off as modern noir seems to either really translate into "plodding detective movie" or "we've mistaken showing the sex scenes/ making an 'erotic' thriller with what they were doing in noir, but we basically ended up making something they'll show on Cinemax after 12:01 AM".

Really, aside from "The Big Lebowski", its hard to think of much in the last few years that actually pulled it off.

I don't want to vouch for the flick until I've seen it, but I'm going to give the new Antonio Banderas movie a shot.  The trailer looks...  not terribly promising, but they cast Bill "Predator" Duke and put him in the trailer, so I'm in.

Language in the trailer is NSFW

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Movies: Laura, Gojira and Predator

So the last three movies I watched were
  • the 1944 noirish classic Laura featuring Dana Andrews and the lovely Gene Tierney
  • Gojira, the original Japanese version of Godzilla (1954) from before someone decided to cut in Raymond Burr to Americanize the flick
  • Predator, the 1987 action/ alien monster flick starring two actual Governors of actual States of the US and the now-under-utilized Carl Weathers
Of late, I've felt like there's so much perfectly good stuff out there that I haven't seen yet, or that I have seen but felt it needed another watching more than, say, Gnomeo + Juliet, that I haven't been out to see very many new movies the past year.  Not to say I don't go out to the movies.  Of course, Austin likes to cater to dorks my age with $10 burning a hole in their pocket, and so if you want to see a super-rare 35mm print of Predator, this is the town to do it in.  And just as TPR runs a terrific summer cinema series of classic and unusual film, so, too, will Austin's Paramount theater.

Sure, I feel bad I didn't see The King's Speech (not really, but I know it will make you feel better if I say so),  but in my experience, if a movie is worth watching, it will be worth watching at some indeterminate point in the future, perhaps more so than had I watched it as part of a media blitz and award season rampage.

That said, I wish the only true arthouse theater left in Austin were not a hike from my house.  And that they also served delicious red pepper hummus like The Alamo.  As it is far from my home and the best I can do is popcorn or Whoppers (which: gross), I don't even really look to see what's playing at the Arbor anymore.


This was my second viewing of Laura, and I realized I actually had forgotten "whodunnit" when it came to the murder, so it was actually quite a bit of fun to watch again and see a young Vincent Price playing The Handsome but Weak Young Man.  And, of course, the mid-movie twist is more or less now a cinema classic (it was fun to watch Jamie during that part).

Add a mustache, smoking jacket, and a razor sharp pendulum of death, and there's Mr. Price!
Its almost more of a drawing room mystery than a true noir, but the obsession with the murdered Laura and the various motives of our suspects certainly makes it a candidate for the ill-defined genre.  I like to think its a precursor to Vertigo, which is a much more complicated film and takes the obsession just that little bit crazier (thanks, Jimmy Stewart!),  but its hard to argue with success or Dana Andrews' as the no-BS-cop who falls hard for a dame who is pushing up daisies.


If you've only seen the American cut of the original Godzilla (which is a perfectly good movie, by the way), I really recommend checking out the original Japanese version, Gojira.  This is the first Godzilla flick, and its where the groundwork for Godzilla as big, physical manifestation of the psychic sins of humanity gets outlined, and in this version its pretty powerful stuff.  Especially when one considers this was about 9 years after Hiroshima, etc...

Gojira just cannot figure out where he dropped his keys
There's just so much to love in a Godzilla movie, whether you're watching it as an earnest albeit metaphorical cautionary tale, as high camp of Man in Suit or just to bask in the weirdness of the sequels.  Being the first, Gojira doesn't hint at the wink-and-a-nod-ness of the more self-aware Godzilla movies, and before technology had moved beyond Man in Suit (but it has become a point of pride to keep the Godzilla movies pure with puppetry and miniatures). 

In about a week, a new Godzilla comic hits, and that was really part of why I was reviewing the movie. Also, man, Godzilla is awesome, but...

Its an odd thing to be watching a Godzilla movie and be thinking "too soon?".  So, give to the Red Cross, won't you?


And, last but not least, SimonUK and I made it out to the Alamo to see Predator.  Its funny how you learn new things all the time, such as:  Director/ Writer Shane Black is actually IN this movie as Hawkins.

These guys really know how to wipe out defenseless trees
Predator is definitely a nostalgia trip for me as its representative of the movies I was watching once we had a VCR, a membership at the local video store and evenings to kill during the summer.  The unapologetically explosive flicks of the 1980's made up my movie viewing in those years between kid's shows and figuring out movies could be a nuanced form of storytelling, which i think started when my Uncle showed me Das Boot and Godfather in the same weekend when I was 15.  But I still like these movies.

Predator also represents one of the high points of a specific sort of genre that became relegated to direct-to-video when studios just quit trying.  In many ways, Predator is sort of a high point for a genre that came out of 50's B-movies and has since become a staple of SyFy original movies.  And in that, much like John Carpenter's The Thing, I was surprised to see that  Predator is actually a pretty darn good movie.

You don't see much of him since he went off to run Howard University's RTF department, but actor/ director Bill Duke makes a serious impression as the "going quickly crazy" Mac.  And I find it surprising you didn't see more of the Elpidia Carillo after this movie.

But the movie is also notable for other names associated with the picture.  Famous creature maker Stan Winston designed the Predator, Die Hard director John McTeirnan did this pic first, Joel Silver was a producer, Alan Silvestri wrote the score...

...and Arnie appeared as the kid who gets bullied
I like the "technology vs. primitive" aspects, especially as the humans realize they don't have any technological advantage (a bit like people versus, say, deer) and the technology the humans depends on becomes useless compared to mud and sticks.  I also think you have to admire how the movie conveys the odd, wordless expression of the Predator honor system that becomes a thread in the movie.  Sure, its got some hokey lines, irresponsible use of explosives and firearms, and seems to believe Native Americans are magical, but its still a fun flick in a sort of Jack London-ish way.  Only with exploding heads, chain guns, and laser missiles.

Your reminder that TR was 10x the man of anyone alive

that @#$% is real
Thanks to RHPT for the image

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chris Onstad offers the reason for the multi-month hiatus on "Achewood"

This should probably get posted at our links sister site, but I'm posting it here.  Chris Onstad, sole creator and creative force behind the popular online strip, Achewood, has offered up a bit of an explanation as to why the series slowed to a drip and then went on hiatus, which seemed to start in earnest last October.

You can read his explanation here.

Some will say Onstad owed no explanation, but I'm not sure that's accurate. We can make a guess as to what happened and theorize, but part of having an audience does, in fact, mean that one has a responsibility to at least let people know what's happening.   Not knowing is a bit like if your waiter goes back in the kitchen and never returns (I actually did have that happen once, and its totally freaky.  I waited half an hour before flagging down another waiter and figuring out what happened.  Apparently my waiter's shift was over and he forgot he'd never closed out the tab at table 5.)

Achewood's tone and poise is not set to the same audience as that of "Marmaduke"
Onstad's response is more than adequate, but will confuse the howling masses who have been trained to expect their every whim to be catered to if they believe a penny can be made from such a whim.

His explanation is, by the way, basically:  I got burnt out.  It's been ten years, and with all the stuff associated with that sort of production, maintaining quality and challenging myself became a bit of a drag.  And the constant two-way feed of communication with the public seemed to be getting him down.

In some small way, I can relate on an infinitely smaller scale.  When I shut down League of Melbotis for several months and brought it back up under The Signal Watch, it was the best thing I could have done for myself and for my willingness to continue blogging.  Those months away retrained me that I was more than the work I did to get paid and a race each evening to post lest my readership numbers dwindle (for which I did not get paid).

Back in the blogging day, we attempted a sort of collaborative pop-culture blogging experiment called "Nanostalgia" that didn't really get off the tarmac before we settled gently back into the sea and I found myself on a metaphorical yellow rubber raft paddling back to shore and unnecessarily eating the ration packs.  But at that site I did a column about how hard it was going to be for webcomics because they aren't set up with all the niceties of the corporate structure, and its all on the shoulders of the single creator.  And that meant, man, you'd best be ready to give over your life to nigh-daily content production.

That all got a tough response from a webcomic guru, but six years later, I can see I was mostly right.  Making money and getting support is hard to begin with.  And once you do self-build that empire, its not unlike being successful at, say, owning a hardware store that becomes the size of a box store.  Suddenly you have all these new duties that aren't just "man, I have to get the new hammers out for the spring hammering season".  You got staff, deals to close, etc...  and its a much bigger thing than selling bolts or whatever reason you got into the hardware business to begin with.

And, I think, people do not get into the business of comics to feel like they're on an assembly line, cranking out comics that meet exactly the same criteria every panel, every episode lest the readership get nervous when the artist tries something new.

And, in my own small way, I wrestled a bit with the expectations of the readership, as it were.  I have enjoyed the freedom of the sandbox that I've staked out as The Signal Watch, and in many ways, its easier having a much smaller readership of friends, family, strange Canadians, etc...  who aren't much more invested than sort of checking in and do not think of the content as a product to be delivered to their RSS feed daily.  And while it had little to do with why I quit (however briefly), man...  its much easier to get the "hey, is everything okay?  You haven't posted in a while" emails than the "where are you?  what's your problem?" comments showing up because you decided to do something else for three or four days.  And I never had to deal with the entitlement of a readership that one could see in the sprawling comment sections beneath each and every strip.

I hope Onstad finds his way out of whatever creative qicksand he's been caught in.  I salute the guy.  He created a fantastic strip for about a decade, producing hundreds of times better content in that time than some strips that run 365 days a year, have hit every day for decades and have become the ugly, comfy slippers of the newspaper strip world.  I'll be sure to try to follow him wherever he goes, and I am certain that whatever he does next will be better than even Achewood die-hards would expect.

Signal Watch Reads: Superman #709


For the record:  I suspect The Flash is quite a bit faster than Superman
One of my favorite comics is the original Superman/ Flash race, and I keep a copy of that issue in a frame on my wall.  You aren't going to get an objective review out of me when you add The Flash and Superman together.  And you will then see me suggesting you check out:
In this issue, Superman's trek takes him to Colorado where we find Superman wrapping things up after an off-panel team-up with Super-Chief.  And here I'd like to digress...

I'd love to see a new Superman Family book like we had back in the day, including the B-listers, supporting casts and to give creators a chance to work on characters like the aforementioned "Super-Chief" (and I find the idea that Green Bay has a super-hero pretty awesome/ hilarious).  Why DC hasn't launched anthology books for the Super and Bat-books is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery...

But if Roberson is wondering - yes, I'd pay money to see more of Super-Chief (but will not pay to see Supertramp).


Superman enters Boulder, Colorado where the world around him begins changing to a replica of Krypton.  Squinting, Superman's supervision detects that its Barry Allen/ Flash working at super-super-speed to construct costumes and replicas of Krypton's past so quickly, the full scale changes are happening in the blink of an eye, while Barry recites Kryptonian history at super-super-speed.

I'm not really interested in spoilers or rehashing the plot, but there is a bit of a Flash/ Superman race in the story, and that is a good thing.

I've commented before how Roberson's stories seem to harken back to the Elliot S! Maggin and Cary Bates stories I've only really become familiar with in the last four years or so (thanks, back-issue bins!), and the splash on page 4 of this issue just screams "Bronze Age" to me.  And that is a good thing.  

As I grew older, had a job, etc...  something I liked about the line of DC characters was that: where Marvel's books (especially X-Men) maintained the feeling of getting jammed together like high schoolers, DC's characters had an interesting collegiality about them, especially when Morrison and Waid were handling the JLA title.  Sitting at the JLA conference table with coffee while talking about how to deal with a crisis actually made complete sense to me, and seeing them call one another by their first name was always a reminder that these characters knew and trusted one another, but that they could be honest with each other (how many other people get to call Batman "Bruce" when he's in the mask?  There's something to that.).

A civil conversation between Flash and Superman is a welcome moment in the story, just old friends having a bite - even if its at superspeed.  Even if I felt that Marvel's characters were a bit high-school-ish, Marvel always understood that unless you have those character moments, the stories don't matter.  DC definitely tilts toward plot-driven tales, but if we can't see who Superman and The Flash are...  why would anyone care?  And isn't it easier to speak in the broad terms found on message boards and comment sections if you can't point to the specifics found in these sorts of scenes?

Its refreshing to see Flash just be up-front with Superman about his recent trauma, and how he's not surprised if Clark is a bit off.  As much as the JLA can be about bringing together a strategically superior fighting force (which... okay, that's every team book) it can also be a place to acknowledge the similarities and differences of these icons as characters.*  This was something Brad Meltzer was about to do with his JLA re-launch, but, man... did people not get what he was up to. 

The issue also gets bonus points for references to Barry's awakening to his own powers (the first use of his superspeed was catching a falling tray of food in a diner), but will likely be best known for the already-famous insertion of the internet meme "Lex Luthor took 40 cakes" directly into the story.  And that is terribly awesome.

Also, this issue may go down in history as being the one who's preview featuring a Superman/ Flash race got so heated in the comment section that DC finally killed the comments on their own blog.  Slow clap, comics fans.

Roberson does what he's done remarkably well since taking over the title:  he's repurposed the Grounded storyline and actually played off the weaknesses in JMS's original plan, addressing where JMS went wrong "in story" and made it part of the narrative. 

I suspect that this issue, which drops a few hints at the "and something is very wrong with Superman" is the breather en route to the conclusion of Grounded.  We don't have all that many issues left to go, and one would suspect that with the Doomsday storyline happening in Action and other titles, we're due for a big conclusion here. 

I mentioned in a previous column (not a Superman review) that I had written DC a letter asking that they consider keeping Chris Roberson on the Superman title after the conclusion of Grounded.  I'd reiterate that sentiment here.  Roberson gets the character of Superman as well as any I've seen handed the keys to the kingdom, and it would be a shame to see DC pull the plug on he and Paul Cornell in Action Comics when those books are as strong as they've been in decades.

*which is one of my primary reasons for believing JLA should always feature a team that includes a minimum of 4 of the original 7.  Otherwise its a band touring as The Beach Boys, but without a single founding member.