6 Times The WWE Tried (And Failed) To Tackle Serious Issues

6 Times The WWE Tried (And Failed) To Tackle Serious Iss…

Vince McMahon apparently believes wrestling is the perfect medium through which to tackle complex societal issues, and here are six examples of him trying to do exa…
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How DID X-Pac get away with doing Blackface, anyway?

​I knew someone would send me this one as soon as I saw it on Cracked this morning.  The funny thing is that WWE played up the Billy and Chuck stuff as this lighthearted and beloved angle on the Jerry Springer deal.  ​

Triple H Ego issues

Hey Scott, the podcasts that have been released with Punk have painted Hunter in a pretty unflattering light, more so than the previous years.  There seems to be a pretty big pattern looking back at his career that paints him as a pretty insecure man that just has to insert himself as the center of some attention.  Examples include:

– Two straight WrestleMania (sub-par) matches with the Undertaker following the previous two (good) matches between Shawn and Taker

– Inserting himself in the Summer of Punk that led to a Kevin Nash feud that lit nothing on fire and led to no resolution for Punk

– Continuously being put in the same star level of Austin and the Rock (not that he wasn't good back then, but he is nowhere near their caliber)

– Pinning and burying Hurricane immediately after Helms pinned Rocky in a comedy "Feud", because Hunter

– Awarding himself a World Championship and burying various people in the process

– Wrestling Brock Lesnar in a trilogy of so-so matches, just because

– Acting like the cool guy in either heel or face mode and pretty much belittling anything during promos.

– The twenty minute promos that he made a chore to sit through for years, again because Hunter

Too many more I left out for the attention.  You can tell the insecurity in him considering that we keep hearing that no one wants to approach him backstage because of how he was more or less publicly punked out by Punk.  I think the most telling moments of ego that I can think of at the top of my head are these two.

– At the end of Thy Kingdom Come they spend the last ten minutes of the documentary saying how much of a reat person/wrestler he is.  Seriously, they spend ten minutes singing his praises, like they have to keep his ego up.

– The end of Wrestling with Shadows where he smugly says he has nothing to do with the Screwjob and gets verbally torn down by JUlie Hart.  I remember noticing HHH just sort of became quiet in a way that reminds when a kid is told off by his mom.


​This is a pretty grossly misrepresented and biased look at HHH's career.
I mean, clearly the Undertaker matches were damn good. ​

Article on NXT and potential issues

Hey Scott,

Know you're a big NXT booster, as am I, but thinking about the treatment of Emma on the main roster, I sense the NXT diehards may be alienated by the main WWE brand over time.

What say you


I'm just happy that HHH is committed to putting NEW faces on the shows now, and that they've gone dozens of guys cycling through developmental to keep fresh faces.  Bo Dallas is probably gonna bomb, but at least it's something different and he'll bomb in a totally unique and different way than other guys.  

I just wish they would have jettisoned CJ Parker with the other dead weight.  

Punk-Ryback-Axel Continuity Issues

Hey Scott,

I know this is Knit-Picking but how come the WWE never acknowledged the extensive history between Punk and Ryback and Axel? First, there's the fact that Axel used to be in the New Nexus, which Punk led, which is a minor point but could've at least led to some type of real emotion between the two, instead of Axel just saying, "I hate you 'cause Heyman said so."

More of a glaring point is the fact that  Punk, Ryback, AND Heyman have history that was concluded less than a year ago. Again, I can understand WWE never wanting to bring up McGuillicutty, but Punk/Ryback was a main event feud in 2012 and not even the announcers are bringing up the odd fact that Ryback is embracing the guy that cost him the WWE title.

Is there a reason they're, I'm assuming, actively ignoring continuity here?It's not really like there's an continuity problem; it's perfectly plausible that a heel Ryback would be cynical enough to embrace the man who cost him the title in his naive face days. But ignoring this history seems to be actively hurting an already weak feud and I can't understand why they would do that?

"Are we to believe this is some sort of…*scoff*…MAGIC xylophone?"
OK, nerd-shaming aside, I prefer to think of WWE TV as seasons that reset every Wrestlemania at this point.  Makes it easier to reconcile a lot of the stuff.  

I Have Issues 28

The 20 Greatest Superman Fights

Part 4

Superman VS. Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman 6, 2004)

In the final chapter of the President Luthor storyline, Lex finally reveals his villainous ways to America. Surprisingly there are few really great fights between Supes and his arch-nemesis.

Everything Superman throws at Lex he shrugs off in his powersuit and gives right back to the man of steel.

After trading blows and verbal barbs Superman focuses his punches on the chest piece of Luthors suit and follows it up with an uppercut that shatters the upper portion of said suit. He follows this up with a punch that sends Lex through a building.

In the building Luthor encounters Batman who informs him that Bruce Wayne has bankrupted him. Lex informs Bats that he mixed Banes venom formula with liquid kryptonite to give him strength and the two of them duke it out. Luthor stabs Bruce with a blade and Batman kicks him out of the window of the building.

Batman tries to bring the villain back from the ledge to face his crimes but Luthor decides he would rather die and lets himself go.

On the final page we see that he survived and now everyone knowing what kind of villain he is has given him permission to do whatever he wants to kill the heroes.

Superman VS. Spider-Man (Superman versus The Amazing Spider-Man, 1976)

This is one of those crossovers where the characters already know about eachother and seem to inhabit the same universe. This avoids that pesky thing called plot that can get in the way of a good fight!

Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus team up to take down each others archenemies. 

Hey don’t judge them, they were in prison.

It starts with Lex dressed up as Superman making it appear that he uses his eyebeams to make Mary Jane and Lois disappear (because remember Superman had whatever powers the writer wanted in the 70’s). In a cute moment both Peter and Clark turn to eachother and ask where the phone booths are.

Above the buildings Spider-Man encounters the real Superman who wonders if the web slinger has something to do with the imposter Superman he just saw. 

Spider-Man of course thinks that it must have been the real Superman who attacked the two ladies. Unbeknownst to Spidey, he has been blasted with red sun radiation by Lex to give him some extra power against the Man of Steel. He decks Superman who goes flying backwards but is more surprised at the power of the Wall Crawlers punch than actually hurt. 

Redirecting his flight Superman comes back and gets a a swinging kick to send him into the side of a building. Parker continues to thrash Superman with well-placed attacks until Superman has had enough and comes up with a super punch but stops mid swing as he realizes the punch will kill Spider-Man.

Just throwing the punch causes a compact hurricane force wind to knock the arachnid off the roof. 

Spidey recovers and comes back with a kick but the red sun radiation has worn off and he falls backwards. Standing up Spidey unleashes a flurry of punches, but without the extra power boost all he manages to do is break his hands.

Luckily for Spider-Man the two team up to figure out what is behind this strange turn of events.

It ends like this. Now you can sleep tonight. Your welcome.

Superman VS. Mongul (Superman Annual #11, 1985)

I just covered this entire issue back in IHI 25 so go over here I Have Issues 24 to read that. I extracted the fight from that article and pasted here if you just want to read the encounter between Superman and Mongul

Superman comes to and asks Robin who is behind this. After Jason tells him it’s a big yellow guy Kal realizes who and shouts out the villians name as he flies in a blur.

Mongul who is in mid punch of a continuing pounding on Wonder Woman’s face turns his eyes behind him and realizes the shit has hit the fan.
Robin, using Moguls gloves, struggles but ultimately gets the vines off of Batman. Superman meanwhile bust through the wall and slams Mongul headfirst into the wall. Superman commands for Mongul to stand up as he wonders aloud if the villain knows what he did to him? Perfectly responds Mongul as he backhands Clark. Superman is sent up through the floor above and lands in his alien zoo. Climbing up through the hole, Mongul explains he gave him a prison that would not let him out without giving up his heart’s desire, which must have been like tearing his own arm off to escape. Superman says one thing to the villain with a snarl!


Superman unleashes heat vision straight into Mongul. Mogul double axe handle punches Superman as he screams the Superman actually hurt him. The two charge against each other and as Mongul lifts the Kryptonian, Superman fires another heat blast that sears into Mongul’s arm. Mongul punches Superman through another wall and jumping through he stomps on top of the heroes and smashes him down through the floor of that room. As they fall Kal twists the alien in midair and slams him onto the ground as he begins to pound the yellow alien in the face with everything he has. Something catches Clarks eyes however and he stops for a split second as he sees a statue of his mother and father and is taken back to what he had and what he lost.

Mongul uses this moment of hesitation to punch Superman off of him as he notes that Superman would have killed him with one more of his punches, but now he is going to finish the man of steel of instead. 

Just then Jason drops the plant onto Mongul and it wraps him up.

In Moguls mind he sees himself disintegrating Superman with a blast from his chest ray. He then gets a pike and puts Superman’s head on it and marches out to conquer the world. In the real world Superman notes that it’s over to Robin as they both watch Mongul on the ground and in dream land.

Superman VS. Batman (The Dark Knight Returns: Book Four, 1986)

Superman has fought his buddy Batman on more than a few occasions. Everybody loves to root for an underdog and Batman Is the ultimate underdog especially in regards to fighting Superman. Batman gets the best of Superman a lot because of this reason and even though this is a Batman story it is the best fight between the Worlds Finest duo.

Batman knows Superman is coming and him and Robin (Carrie Kelley) are more than prepared. Even so, all the odds are stacked against them because well… it’s Superman!

Superman uses his x-ray vision as he descends upon Gotham, which in turn sets off missiles that Batman set up. Superman disposes the missiles fairly easily though Bruce notes that Superman is far from his top shape at this point as he barely survived a Nuclear bomb earlier in the storyline. 

Superman lands and is met with a tank mortor. Quickly recovering, Kal rips the tank open like a tin can to find Robin inside.

Superman asks her,

“Isn’t tonight a school night?”

Superman is onto Bruce next who uses a sonic gun… it gives Superman a nosebleed.

Bruce then uses the entire cities power grid on Superman and follows if up with a vicious punch. Recovering, the man of steel catches the next punch and tears the helmet of Bruce’s suit from him.  

Superman is getting the upper hand on the aging Wayne until he gets a face full of acid and almost gets shot with a kryptonite arrow from a one armed Green Arrow (I feel there is a joke in there somewhere.) 

Bruce goes full crazy old man on Clark and shows him that he could beat him as he dies from a self-induced heart attack.

They fought in the “Hush” story line.

New Frontier


Jesus I think we get the point!

The Batman VS. Superman fight in Dark Knight Returns is the best Batman fight. I however cannot place it as the best Superman fight because it really showcases Batman’s resiliency, not Superman.

Superman VS. Doomsday (Superman Man of steel 18-19, Justice League America 69, Superman 74,75 Action Comics, 684, 1992)

The whole death and return of Superman is my favorite “Superman thing” ever! I will never apologize for that. Everything from…

 the black armband

to the Super Nintendo game

Hey kids remember Pogs!

A lot of people talk trash about the storyline and I could pick it apart if I tried but I love it regardless of it’s shortcomings much in the same way I love Rocky III and IV!

Doomsday is under the ground and begins to pound his way to the surface. He’s in a suit and he only has one arm free but starts walking a slow destructive pace. Eventually after destroying trees trucks etc, the JLA attempt to stop him. When I say JLA I mean the diet coke of JLA. Lets call them the jla.


Guy Gardner
Blue Beetle
Booster Gold

Guy is the first to attack as he doesn’t wait for any kind of tactical plan. 

Gardner gets the hell pounded out of him. 

The rest of the team attacks him one by one and they fall one by one. Blue Beetle is nearly killed and Booster is punched across the sky! 

Superman arrives on the scene, we know how tough he is and we have just seen Doomsday drink the jla’s milkshake! 

Now that is what I call some solid booking! Oh he also still only has one arm free! 

At this point in the story/fight I really wish we had not known Superman was going to be killed because the fight just goes on and on and on and I can’t imagine how amazed I would have been not knowing the outcome. Even still I love this!

Superman does his “I am just going to stand here and you can’t move me!” shtick and it works… for one Doomsday punch. 

Then Dooms sends Supes through a house! 

The jla and Superman try to fire off of all their heat blasts, evil yellow rings and what have you and all it does is free Doomsday’s other hand. 

Doomsday bum rushes the entire group!

I mean no offense to any bums reading this by the way.

Doomsday then finds Booster and abuses him by smashing him all over the place and even slamming a car door on his head! 

Doomsday moves on and Superman is the only one left standing to fight.
Having to save a bunch of people from all the destruction Superman takes a beating from Doomsday but manages to push him into the soft dirt at the bottom of a lake. Kal makes the next free two minutes count as he gets the innocents rescued and the jla on stretchers. Doomsday is free and now Superman is no longer distracted.
The entrance music has ended and both the combatants are in the ring.

Doomsday jumps from the water and destroys a helicopter and Superman grabs an errant missile and throws it at Doomsday. Doomsday falls to the ground and Kal follows this with the Krypton stomp as he is clearly not fucking around anymore! 

Doomsday takes it and sends Superman flying and gets him in a death grip as they both crash into the police department. Superman “creates separation” from Dooms and goes to rescue a few more civilians as Doomsday starts destroying more helicopters and then comes in contact with the last standing jla member, Maxima.

Maxima is no slouch herself as her power levels are close to that of Superman and she tears into Doomsday. 

Superman comes in for the assist, but Maxima not being from Earth pulls a light pole from the ground and the spark sets off the gasoline that has started leaking from the destruction earlier. 

A big explosion later only Doomsday is left standing and he is on the move again.

Doomsday continues his path of destruction and after Supes recovers he follows helping people along the way. (This brings me to another gripe of the Man of Steel movie, who was helping all the people in the buildings and on the street during those crazy ass battles! The multitasking here is really cool and shows the strength of the character. ) Doomsday finds himself in a department store where an advertisement for a wrestling event called War Bash 9000 is being advertised. A wrestler named Major Mayhem is telling the viewer to come to Metropolis to witness the greatest Spectacle in Wrestling! From this Doomsday speaks his first word, well his first almost word “MHH-TRR-PLSS!!”

This is a wrestling website right? How could I not include this.

Superman knows it’s go time as far as stopping the big Grey Machine! The two pound eachother and Superman tosses Doomsday away from Metropolis to buy some time.

Doomsday lands in Tree-City made by those wacky scientists at Cadmus. The faux Ewok village is destroyed as Superman uses the support beams and his fist to drop Doomsday. 

I can’t find a picture of this scene on the web so I am putting this picture in because well… it makes me happy.

Ewoks not included.

The grey behemoth shakes it off and splinters the entire city knocking Superman below piles of rubble. Again he takes off for Metropolis.

Now were in the city and Doomsday is killing Metropolis citizens right and left. He is slaughtering people as a battered and bruised Superman tries to get control of him in the air but gets a bony elbow shoved into his side for his trouble. 

At this time Supergirl (Matrix) tries to help out but has her shape shifting face splattered into goo!

Metropolis PD is using all of their high tech weapons on Doomsday and even the Cadmus security fire everything they have at Doomsday, all to no effect. 

Superman comes back with a punch that would kill anyone else but only manages to chip Doomsday’s rocky face.

Superman’s bleeding as Dooms shoves him into the ground and tosses the dying Superman like a rag doll.

Clark recovers enough to tell Lois he loves her as he knows what he has to do.

Doomsday is shoved through a building but comes back by pushing him like a jackhammer into the concreted street. 

Punching his way back to the surface Kal fires heat vision and then manages to break one of Doomsday’s kneecaps. 

The aliens trade punches that shatter an entire blocks windows. The two are dying as they put everything they have down to one last punch and when the blows connect they fall to the ground!

Doomsday is dead and Superman asks Lois with his dying breath if Doomsday is in fact down. Lois confirms that Superman saved everyone and with that a Superman dies.

Are these all of the good Superman fights? Hell no there are tons that I wanted to choose but they just weren’t visceral enough.

Superman battles Batman (again) as well as Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern Corps, Brainiac and Luthor.

Superman fights Luthor, Solaris and Bizarro!

This is my most glaring omission and as much as I wanted to add it because all of Superman’s villains get there power levels ratcheted up, there just wasn’t that one knock down drag out. Still one of the best Superman stories ever written! 

In closing I really wanted to do this because I have been a fan of Superman for many years and so many times you hear comic fans and non comic fans alike treating Superman as if he is a cornball boring do-gooder. Now you know who Superman is.

He’s the one with the wallet that says badass motherfucker on it.

Thanks to everyone who has followed me on this journey, it’s been a blast and even though I try not to comment on my own posts because it feels like clapping for myself I have read everyone’s reactions and discussions and I appreciate all the support. I would thank someone for helping me but I did the whole thing my damn self so good job Ryan! But I will thank Mr. Kieth for providing me with a podium to present to his ready made audience. Back to writing my book, see ya’ll next time inspiration hits me!

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues 27

The 20 Greatest Superman Fights

Part 3

Superman VS. The Elite (Action Comics 775, 2001)
The Elite are are Super-group of anti Heroes modeled after the Authority. 

In a time when heroes are getting darker and more ruthless, Joe Kelly wrote this store to show everyone why everything Superman stands for is nothing to joke about or be ashamed of.

The Elite led by Manchester Black are killing villains and they butt heads with Superman every time  Finally the blue boy scout punches the Elite Member known as Hat and they challenge has been set. 
Meeting on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, Black uses his considerable telekinetic abilities to throw Superman through several rock formations. Managerie sends some of symbiotic alien creatures to attack Supes who tears through them right before she slices him across the face with her claws. 

(Menagerie is essentially a cross between Witchblade and the Darkness in terms of powers.) 

The Elite known as Hat calls a stone idol down and Superman breaks through but falls to th ground in agony and Black causes him to have a stroke. Coldcast grips the Kryptonians head and shoots electromagnetics into his skull.
The Elite stand triumphant as they believe they just vaporized Superman. Suddenly Menagerie appears to spontaneously explode.
The wind picks up around the team and causes Hat’s lungs start to collapse. Then Coldcast disappears in a streak of red yellow and blue.
Superman wasn’t vaporized he just flew away so fast that no one could see him and then started attacking the team at speeds that would make the Flash say, “fuck! Slow down!”
Leaving only Manchester Black and a pissed off Superman, Supes uses his telescopic xray heat vision to essentially lobotomize the powers out of Blacks brain.

Black cries and tells Superman that he didn’t win, after all he just became what he hated about them. Superman explains that all he did was incapacitate The Elite, they will wake up in a ton of pain but still be alive. As for Black all he really did was give him a focused concussion. He just made him think he killed his team and violated his brain. 
In the end Superman proved that murder and ugliness in heroes is the easy way and that he will never stop fighting until the world is as good as he knows it can be. 
The fight and the message behind it was so cool they made a whole cartoon movie out of it.
Superman VS. Supergirl (well sort of.)(Action Comics 644, 1989)
The first post-crisis Supergirl was a shapeshifting being from another universe known as Matrix. 
Created by the Lex Luthor of that universe her mind was modeled after Lana Lang whom Lex was in love with. 
Ending up in the primary universe, she was raised by Martha and Jonathan Kent until she became mentally unbalanced and started to believe she was Clark Kent and changed her shape to match him.
The real Clark knows he has to stop her but as he is formulating a plan she blasts him with heat vision. After Clark recovers and reaches the house he finds that Matrix has taken his parents and Lana away. Finding them in an old abandoned rock quarry.
Best Scooby Doo location name ever!
Superman flies into the ground and comes up from the floor and knocks Matrix for a loop. Supes finds himself in a strange battle against a being that is inherently good but also actually believes herself to be the real Superman. Luckily for the actual really real Superman he is stronger and he shows it by sending Matrix through the roof and into the clouds. 
No pictures of this fight on the Net unfortunately, but here  is a custom figure to let you know what Matrix/Supergirl looks like.
Clark tries to reason with her but Matrix uses her invisibility and follows that up with a diving choke into the ground. As the two beings batter the living shit out of each other Lana is knocked down and trapped underneath a large piece of rafter.  Matrix rips a large pipe out of the ground and tosses it at Superman who corkscrew flies through it and punches  Matrix into next week! 

Superman uses the few extra minutes he just bought himself to save Lana and his parents from the collapsing quarry building. Matrix returns and Clark continues to try to reason with her even as she fires a full force psychokinetic blast from her hands. As Clark continues to walk through her blast he eventually talks her down and Matrix promptly disappears as she deems herself to be too dangerous. 

Superman VS. Captain Marvel (Kingdom Come # 4, 1996)
In what is the prettiest Superman fight on the list we have the Man of Steel versus the Mightiest Mortal. 
If you haven’t read Kingdom Come then stop reading this article and go to your local comic store and pick up a copy. Captain Marvel has been brainwashed in this Future/Elseworlds tale by Lex Luthor. As Superman goes to stop a supehuman war from taking place at the Gulag prison, he is intercepted by Marvel mid-flight  Even without Kal’s weakness against magic, Captain Marvel’s strength matches up pretty well against the Kryptonian. 
The two trade blows and go into a test of strength while Superman tries to reason with Batson. Marvel responds with a two handed punch that sends Supes across the ground.
Meanwhile the government fires atomic missiles to clear all the super-humans from the Earth in one shot.
Superman comes back with searing focuses heat vision that nearly fells Marvel, but the mightiest mortal calls down the thunder with a call of SHAZAM! Normally the thunder comes down and changes Marvel to Billy Batson and vice versa but Marvel cleverly uses super speed to get out of the way of the lighting and Superman takes the full brunt of it. 
Captain Marvel continues to strike Supes with the lightning to the point where the man of steel is bleeding from his nose and ears and down on all fours. Pushing up at the last second, Superman stops Marvel from moving and grips his face to stop him from changing again. 
In this instance Superman knows he could crush the human Billy easily but he is stopped when he hears the atomic bomb coming down. 

Heat vision doesn’t work so Superman is off to take out the bomb when Billy transforms back into Captain Marvel and makes the right decision in the end as he stops the bomb with his lightning.
The two tough guys of the DC universe have fought several times before and since.
I haven’t read most of them but another that’s worth mentioning is the short fight between the two in JLA 29
In this one Captain Marvel catches Superman by surprise and with a lot of luck and that whole magic vulnerability he takes him down.
As a side note back when I was a kid in the 80’s we had a fun arcade game for Superman that was two players.

God I loved that game!

By today’s standards the game is a pretty one note affair but the second player played a red version of Superman who me and my friends always referred to as Captain Marvel even though he was clearly Superman Red from that old story-line.

This zany story-line was repeated at the end of the energy Superman saga as well.

But I digress.

Speaking of two Supermen!

Superman VS. Superman (Infinite Crisis #5, 2006)
To go through the whole background behind the story line that led to this would require a retelling of the state of the DC universe in the 70’s and early 80’s as well as the synopsis of Crisis on Infinite Earths as well as Infinite Crisis. So the quick and dirty background for the uninitiated is that there were two Supermen. One from Earth 2 who was named Kal-L and was the Superman from the 30’s that was a member of the JSA and fought in World War 2. Of course now in modern times he is much older than the counterpart from the regular universe. 
The one from Earth 1 universe is known as Kal-El and he is the Superman we all know in his late 20’s early 30’s age range. 
In Infinite Crisis the Earth 2 Superman’s version of Lois Lane is deathly ill and Superman needs to find a cure but is convinced by his Luthor that it’s the heroes of the Earth 1’s fault. In trying to heal Lois he ends up on a recreation of his Earth 2 world. At first it appears Lois will recover but then she passes away and Kal-L screams so loud that Superman of Earth 1 can hear him and takes off. (To alleviate some confusion I am going to call Earth 2 Superman Kal and Earth 1 Superman, Superman.) 
Landing on Earth 2 Superman finds Kal in his grief and before he can reason with him he gets a car shoved into him, reminiscent of the first issue of Action Comics. 
The fight is a short and extremely emotional brawl between the two that destroys an entire city block until Wonder Woman stops by and Lasso’s Kal up and stops the fight from getting further out of hand and y’know cooler.
Which brings us to…
Superman VS. Superboy Prime (Infinite Crisis 7, 2006)
Ok now remember how I explained the two Supermen in the last part? Well now I have explain that there was an Earth called Earth Prime. Earth Prime was essentially our universe, the one where you’re reading this on your phone, laptop or what have you. This was until they created a character named Clark Kent who was a fan of Superman on his/our world and dressed up as such during a Halloween party. 
Halley’s Comet passes by and triggers Clark Kent’s Kryptonian abilities and he becomes the only hero of his world. (I actually really love this concept and wish we could have gotten more stories from it. We did get the great Kurt Busiek written Secret Identity but not much else. The concept is reminiscent of Counter Earth in Marvel.) 
So just like Kal-L Superman of Earth 2 in the battle above, Superboy Prime also comes to our universe but his mind becomes twisted and unstable. 
It takes the combined might of the Green Lantern Corps and both Supermen to take the insanely powerful villain down. 
Why is he so powerful you ask? Because he was Superboy pre-crisis before the power levels of all the characters were dialed back so they couldn’t just fly back in time and other Super friend’s bullshit like that.
Hmm, what powers will I have in this episode?

The battle takes place in space and the Supermen take a hold of Prime and fly him into the remnants of Krypton that is really just floating Kryptonite rocks. Prime laughs as he points out that the Kryponite of this universe doesn’t hurt him. They then fly him through a red sun and land on the planet that is a Green Lantern itself Mogo! 
Amazingly not a Grant Morrison idea.
Superman recovers first and as he goes to check on Kal gets blasted from behind by Prime with his supercharged swinging seventies power levels. Suddenly his heat vision stops working and Kal punches him from behind. Prime realizes that they flew him through the red sun to destroy his armor that allowed him to store solar power. Still a total powerhouse, Prime takes Kal down and starts a ground and pound that turns his face into a bloody butchered mess. Superman attacks Prime from behind tossing him from Kal. Prime responds with a backhanded fist full of kryptonite to Superman’s face as he strangles the man of steel to near death. 
Recovering enough to kick Prime away from him, the two Kryptonians go punch for punch. Even with Primes enhanced power levels Superman shows him that it takes more than power to be “Super”and drops Prime. 
Though the battle is not without loss as Kal dies from the the beating.
My favorite moment from Infinite Crisis is by far both Supermen teaming up to take down Doomsday fairly easily. 
The conclusion to the 20 greatest Superman fights is coming next week!

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues 26

The 20 Greatest Superman Fights

Part 2

Superman VS. Doomsday ( Hunter/Prey #3, 1994)

Superman Doomsday Hunter/Prey was a three issue prestige format miniseries that served as the rematch between Superman and Doomsday from their first fight where they killed each other. If you’re a big Dan Jurgens fan than this series is right up your alley as he wrote and provided the art layouts. The fight in issue 3 is pretty good even if Supes is wearing this!
I AM THE 90’S!
The story also features Darkseid getting his ass handed to him by Doomsday.
I don’t hate Darkseid but it’s always entertaining to see a pompous bully get his!
Also Cyborg Superman fits prominently into the narrative as well.
Shakespeare it ain’t but for pretty non stop action you could do a lot worse. Also it’s not even close to being as dumb as most of Images comics at the time. No offense Image comics of the 90’s! You sure made lots of pretty pictures!
Supes tries to incinerate Dooms from the word go. 
The monster uses his adaption power to survive and then shoots his claws right into Superman’s shoulder. 
Superman uses a sonic Gun and a fancy energy sword and they trade blows back and forth. 
Superman has his arm broken and the fight ends when Superman uses a device from the time travel hero Waverider to send Doomsday to the end of time.
The comic didn’t exactly change my life after having read it but 14 year old me finally got that Doomsday figure I had been wanting since I was twelve! And yes I did play with toys when I was probably too old for them.
Needless to say 90’s Superman got his ass kicked a lot in my house.

Superman VS. Lobo ( The Adventures of Superman 464, 1990)

Lobo is sent to assassinate Superman and goes to find him at the Fortress of Solitude. At this time Superman is being possessed by the Eradicator device which is designed to preserve Kryptonian culture but really just makes Superman a total overconfident douche. 

And Superdouche be thy name.

While he is talking down to Lobo, he gets kicked in the face. 

Superman comes back with a punch that almost takes Lobo’s head off. Lobo goes for another kick to the Kryptonians face and then puts him in a headlock. 

Lobo pounds Superman and then shoves his head into the wall.

Supes escapes and Lobo chases him right into the Holograph room. Superman has set up a simulation of Krypton and when Lobo charges Superman ducks and Lobo smashes right into a wall that looks like the background (not unlike a certain Coyote.) 

Superman swoops down and shoves Lobo through the floor and down to the next level. Lobo pulls up the floor to use as a weapon, Superman tries to fry him with heat vision to no effect and Lobo shoves a pipe into the Kryptonians chest which breaks but probably hurts like a son of a bitch. Following that up with a vicious kick, Lobo has his opponent down and pounds Superman until he runs away with a swollen face. 

Superman comes back inside a Kryptonian Warsuit and Lobo pulls out a can of Kryptonite and fires missiles from his space-harley. Lobo sees the armor destroyed and Superman dead inside of it and leaves in victory. Superman actually used holographic projectors in the suit to make it appear he was killed.

Superman and Lobo would have a rematch where Kal was back to his regular self again and he well… I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Superman VS. an Angel (Asmodel) JLA #7 (1997)

This fight was only one page and it was during the time when Superman was in his electric blue phase. Still Kal El went toe to toe with an actual angel and if that is not impressive to you, here’s the list of Asmodel’s powers/abilities, Flight (via angelic wings),Immortality, Invulnerability  Super strength, Super speed, Devastating Sonic Cry, Acidic Blood, Heat Vision, Projection of heavenly light, Master Military Strategist, Flaming Staff. 
Asmodel had a plan to overthrow God and take control of Heaven when the Angel Zauriel escaped and found the JLA to ask for help. The whole JLA fights off a horde of fallen angels but Supes takes on the leader of them all and refuses to lay down no matter how impressive his opponent is.

Superman Vs the Incredible Hulk (Marvel Versus DC #3, 1996)
Nothing pissed me off more than this crossover where the fight winners were determined by votes from fans. With Marvel being at or near the peak of their popularity they were a lock to win. Ok I will go on record and say I agree with all the choices of the winners except for Storm over Wonder Woman and Wolverine (bone claws) over Lobo. Wonder Woman is a demi god and Lobo has gone toe to toe with Superman as we just saw earlier. it just doesn’t make sense! (Steps off soap box.) 

Hulk sucker punches Superman who comes back with a huge dose of heat vision. 

The two pound the hell out of each other until Superman proves he wants it more and takes Hulk out.
To all the Hulk fans out their Hulk certainly made a better showing here than in the 70’s.
Superman VS Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman 219, 2005)
In the story-line that leads into Infinite Crisis, Superman has his perceptions screwed up by Maxwell Lord. Thinking he’s just seen Doomsday kill Lois Lane and believing Wonder Woman is Doomsday, Kal unleashes hell against the Amazonian warrior. This is not only a good fight for Supes, it’s a great fight for WW.
Superman is usually portrayed as the most powerful super hero of all, but Diana was born and bred to be a warrior. She proves it here as the two go head to head. Superman is enraged to Hulk like levels as he tries to fly Wonder Woman into the sun. 
She escapes and uses her bracelets to hurt his super hearing and even slices Supes throat open with her tiara. 
In the end Diana has exhausted everything she can think of except one. She snaps Maxwell Lords neck and frees Kal El though he’s pretty disturbed by what she has done. 
Proving Superman fights for whats right but Wonder Woman fights to win.
Probably the best move for Wonder Woman though as pictured below is what happened in an Alternate timeline of Batman/Superman #16

Ok So I saw Man of Steel yesterday and I’m sure you all want to know what I think. I really don’t care for critics because as I have said multiple times before everyone likes what they like and who is anyone tell you your interests suck. That being said if you haven’t seen the movie, read no further!

The diplomatic answer is I need to see it again. Not because I was so blown away I want to experience it all over but because I felt like it was missing something and I am not sure what that is. My girlfriend loved it and I wanted to, because it could be the start of a franchise for my favorite character, but for lack of a better reason it just felt soulless. I didn’t hate it, but I wanted to love it. 

The fights were outstanding, my favorite being Superman versus Faroa and who I’m assuming was Non. The creators certainly took the criticisms of Superman Returns to heart. 

I like the casting, with the exception of maybe Michael Shannon as Zod, everyone was well cast, even if they didn’t get certain moments written for them like maybe they should have (I love Amy Adams and I believe she could be an awesome Lois, so why wasn’t she written that way?) 

I also liked the scenes from Krypton at the beginning and also this was the first time in a Superman story I felt like Jor-El and Lara were extremely upset/conflicted about sending their son away. 

On the other side the story didn’t flow for me and I never got that moment like in the Batman movies where I just couldn’t wait to see the villains get there asses kicked! As stated before the Cast was not used as they should have been. Also as cool as it was to see buildings get destroyed it happened so much I just wasn’t impressed anymore by the time we got to Zod versus Kal.

So I need to see it again to find out if I was missing something but at this moment the best I can say is I don’t hate it. Also on the topic of Superman Killing Zod, I can go along with it because he did it in the comic and this is a re-imagining to try to get people interested in a character many view as stale an unexciting. They are trying to make people see Superman can be a bad-ass and we will see if this works.

My recommendation is you need to watch the first hour and a half of the original Superman movie and then the last hour and a half of the Man of Steel. That way you get the proper character build and the action to satisfy the needs of the story. 

As Scott would say, Thumbs squarely in the middle.

Part 3 of the Superman fights continue next week!

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues 25

The 20 Greatest Superman Fights
Part 1

Like everyone else I saw this.

It looks like even if the movie sucks the action is finally going to be accurate for a Superman fight! Something I and many other Superman fans have been dying to see as the best current Superman live action fight is from Superman 2 and is to say the least outdated. So in a four part series I am going to be showcasing 20 great Superman fights from the comics. Unlike the last times I did fight lists I am not going to be doing them in order of greatness. One reason is because everyone has their own opinions of what are the best fights and who am I to tell anyone they are wrong. The second reason is because it just gives me a headache. Thinking what should go where is just too many brain cells wasted on something that should be fun! So without further ado lets go to the cards!

Superman VS. The Kryptonian Super-Criminals ( Action Comics 846,851 and Action Comics annual 11, 2007-08)

Yes you read that right this battle took place over two years! 

That’s just because Adam Kubert couldn’t maintain his deadlines and the story had whole arcs in the middle of it. 

The criminals heat vision the hell out of the daily planet and just as Superman is pulling the jacket apart to reveal the S he is stomped from behind by Non, the brute of the three criminals. Being shoved through three buildings and into the ground of the park he rises up and punches Non. Non simply spits out a tooth and pushes Superman into the ground, holding him there for Zod. 

After a short conversation of Zod introducing himself, he punts Clark! Non flies in but is uppercut into the atmosphere as Zod goes into the test of strength with Kal son of Jor El. Suddenly countless space pods fall from the skies releasing even more Kryptonian criminals. Zod sends Kal into the Phantom Zone. 

After a time Superman finds his way back to the real world. Superman is shocked to find Metropolis has been left like an abandoned city with a faux crystal fortress of solitude created right in the middle. In this fortress the criminals have gathered Lois, Supergirl, Batman and various other heroes. 

Out-manned and outgunned, Superman finds Lex and request his help to defeat the criminals as Luthor is the expert on trying to kill Kryptonians. Luthor corrects Superman in that the hero will be helping him, not the other way around. Luthor has formed the Superman Revenge squad with Bizarro, Metallo and Parasite. He also has created red sun rifles to weaken Kryptonians and Green K rifles to kill them.

The U.S. Army is first up as they cruise into Metropolis and the Kyptonians go wild until Zod reaches the General and asks him for the total surrender of everyone on Earth (as if he could authorize something like that!) It’s then Supes comes in Rambo style with the Luthor rifles. The Revenge squad folows with Bizarro going toe to toe with Non and Metallo using Gold Kryptonite to take away some of the criminals powers sending them falling from the sky. 

In one of the greatest Lex moments he is attacked by a Kryptonian and uses a Kryptonite dust grenade to choke him up, he then fires a rifle to set the criminal on fire and then uses a single Kryptonite bullet to kill him. He then says, “So this is what it feels like to kill a Kryptonian. Feels Good.” 

Superman releases the rest of the heroes captured and together they work together to stop the criminals. 

Of course it ends up with Superman versus Zod above the streets of Metropolis where Kal proves that one on one Zod ain’t shit compared to him. 

Superman VS. Darkseid (Action Comics 586, 1987)
This is another short but sweet one. I scoured my back issues for a proper throw down between these two and surprisingly couldn’t find one. I even reread Final Crisis! Nope I still do not understand what the hell is going on in that story. It did have pretty pictures though! Anyway I was about to give up with the thought that maybe the reason I thought the two had a great brawl other than In the cartoons is because of this game.
Remember this one?
So I came across this story which is the first confrontation between post crisis Superman and Darkseid. Darkseid brings Supes to Apokolips via his eye blasts. On Apokolips Superman gets amnesia after battling some of the denizens of the hell planet and then is seduced (and gets busy!) with the rebel leader. The rebel leader known as Amazing Grace is actually a servant of Darkseid and uses the man of steel to put down the rebels and do battle with Orion and Lightray. In the end the New Gods use a mother box to return Superman’s memory and his costume to him.

Superman awakens from his amnesia and finds Darkseid’s eye blasts tracking him. 

Weaving all through the planet Superman finds and causes the beams to strike the Dictator himself. 
Darkseid survives his own blast and then pours it onto Superman but admits he needs time to recharge to get back to full strength. 
Supes has had enough and backhands the monster. A flurry of punches later and Darkseid sends the Kryptonian back to Earth via a mother box. 
The Deus Ex Machina, getting writers out of shit for thousands of years!
Superman vs. Thor (Avengers/JLA #2, 2003)
In the crossover that put more than a few comic fans into a nerd coma, we finally got to see the battle of the premier tough guys of their respective universes. Thor, Son of Odin God of Thunder vs Superman, Son of Jor-el the Man of Steel. In what could have had an entire issue devoted to it, 
We got a short but sweet fight.  Superman avoids the first Hammer blow and comes back with a swooping punch. Thor knocks Supes through a forest and Supes comes back with blazing heat vision. At first hurt by the blast Thor shrugs it off as he comes in for a deathblow with his Hammer. 
Thor strikes but Supes stops the hammer  with his hand and knocks Thor unconscious. 
Then the Avengers dog pile Superman and bludgeon/blast him into submission. Still it was finally settled, Superman is tougher then Thor, so put away your… but if Thor was the lord of Asgard he… no! shut it! Superman wins, Kurt Busiek said so!
And speaking of that Kurt Buseik fellow…

Superman vs Khyber (Superman 657-658, 2007)

In Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s awesome story Camelot Falls, we visit an alternate future where a supervillian named Khyber organizes the world’s villains into an all-out war with the heroes. 
Superman steps up to take Khyber down himself but Khyber uses nanotech poisons that sap away Superman’s powers and then throws the Man of Steel into the center of the Earth causing a huge explosion on the Earth that kills millions. 
Years later, Superman comes back his body cracked and burnt but pissed off as well. 
He flies Khyber above the Nuclear Winter in front of the Sun and beats the supervillian to within an inch of his life.

Superman VS. Muhammad Ali (Superman VS. Muhammad Ali One Shot, 1978)
So what happens when you put the Man of Steel in a boxing ring against “The Greatest” of all time? We’ll its certainly more exciting than when you put Ali against Antonio Inoki.

The fight is set up in order to determine who will be Earths champion. The fight also took place on a planet orbiting a red sun so Superman’s powers will not give him a competitive edge. 
Ali also trains Supes how to box which seems a little like a conflict of interest if you ask me. (I guess Joe Frazier was busy training Bugs Bunny to fight Bob Backlund or something?)
As expected it goes like this.
and this!
And ends up like this.
Still a cool moment in history as Superman comes across probably his worst beating until he meets Doomsday. But that is a fight for another time.

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

Smackdown Issues

I just read a report saying how WWE was concerned about the attendance at last night's Smackdown taping.  Apparently, it was one of the lowest in the past several months and over half of the venue needed to be tarped off.

My question is whether this is something WWE should be legitimately concerned about for the future.  Since the end of the brand split (which has occurred whether WWE admits it or not), Smackdown is not even billed as an equal show to Raw.  It's a big deal when guys like Cena or Punk bother to make appearances on the show.  Should WWE move it to smaller venues to avoid looking foolish with no one in the seats on TV?  Should they go back to how it was prior to the brand splits and have everyone on the show, treating it equal to Raw?  They already run house shows on Friday nights.  Maybe they should just air one of those live.   Thoughts?

They SHOULD cancel it because it's not needed to follow the narrative of the story, but I can certainly understand why they wouldn't.   It's funny how fast things can cool down again once the Rock leaves, because they were selling out Smackdown tapings and house shows for weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, and now I can get floor seats for the house show in Regina on the 25th right now if I wanted.   I think it's just too much product and fans are getting burned out after three hours of RAW, and unfortunately Smackdown is the main victim.  Maybe they should jettison the whole concept and do an hour of Main Event and an hour of NXT for the show?  

I Have Issues (24)

“For The Man Who Has Everything”

One of the greatest Superman stories ever written and a pre-collaboration of the future Watchmen team of Moore and Gibbons!
Wow! Alan Moore only looked 100 years old in the 80’s
With the Man of Steel on its way this June 14th I thought I should showcase a few of the better Superman stories available.  
While I am not a big fan of Zack Snyder’s other films I don’t hate them either. I also am not sold on the Superman movies being dark like the Dark Knight films because I feel the Avengers showed you could make a fun action packed movie without insulting the fans. Nevertheless I do feel that the character will at least get a serious treatment and I have been waiting forever to see a Superman movie where he finally throws down with a villain and gets a proper fight scene. With the failure of Superman Returns to deliver on that front this might be our best shot to get that.
On to the comic!
Superman Annual #11
(W) Alan Moore (A) Dave Gibbons
Kal El is coming home to his wife and kids after a long day of work on Krypton.  He plans to read his kids their favorite story and then spend some quiet time with his wife. As he opens the door he is greeted by a surprise party celebrating his Firstday. Kal is happy.
In the Arctic Circle it’s February 29th and Wonder Woman is meeting Batman and Robin (Jason Todd). Wonder woman announces that she beat the Batplane in her invisible jet.  Batman introduces Diana to Jason who has just taken the mantle of Robin since Dick Grayson departed to become Nightwing. It’s unclear whether Diana kisses Jason on the cheek or is just talking closely to him but when she leaves Batman tells Jason to “think clean thoughts chum.”(I love it when writers realistically approach the reactions of the characters to the uber-hot women of comics.) 
It’s Superman’s birthday and Batman asks Diana what she got him as a present. Wonder Woman declines the answer but Bruce reveals he has a new strain of rose that he had bred special called the “Krypton”.  As the three heroes turn the corner into the Fortress of Solitudes main corridor they find Superman standing with a strange vine strapped to his chest and a catatonic faraway look in his eyes.  
As the heroes take a closer look at Superman they see that the vines are growing into his body. Fearing that removing them will hurt the Man of steel, they try to find another way. Batman notes that Superman has no reaction to anything around him. “

“He’s in a world of his own.”
Back in Superman’s head, his party is over and everyone has gone home. Kal is distressed that his father Jor-El did not come to his celebration due to the fact that his political views do not match up to the rest of the family.
The next day Kal visits his father who admits that he is in support of The Old Krypton movement (an extremist political movement). Jor-El points out all the problems of the modern Krypton and how they need to enact severe actions to help it. Kal says that he understands its been tough since he was kicked off the science counsel because he was wrong about Krypton exploding, but that this isn’t the way.
Back in the Fortress Batman realizes that the plant must have been a present from someone as discarded wrapping paper is lying just behind Superman.
Pictured: One Clever Motherfucker

The trio of heroes comes up with a narrative that possibly an alien race sent Superman a present not realizing how dangerous it would be to him.  It’s then that Mongul appears just behind them to let them know… “That’s exactly what happened… except for one or two minor details.”
Mongul reveals that the plant attached to Superman is known as “The Black Mercy” a symbiotic organism that drains the life force of whoever it attaches to. Mongul mentions it’s easy to shrug off for the individual but since it gives their mind whatever their heart desires the victim simply does not put up a fight. Mongul announces he’s the new manager around here and tells them that he understands on Earth people are separated into genders and age and asks if they could tell him who it would be polite to kill first? Diana and Bruce exchange a look and Wonder woman steps up and lands her strongest punch into Mongul’s chin. Mongul touches his chin as Diana holds her hand in pain.

“Thank you. I think that answered my question.”
Kal is in the hospital as he is visiting his cousin Kara who was just attacked and nearly killed. Kara was attacked by a group who is in support of opening the phantom zone and letting all the criminals out. The group has a personal vendetta against the house of El as Jor-el was the one who invented the extra dimensional prison.  Kal takes his son Van on a drive to get him to Atomic city and away from any danger. While driving Kal gets caught up in a demonstration by the Old Krypton movement as they march down the street.  Kal comforts his son telling him it’s just a parade even though everything on Krypton is coming to a head between the politics of New Krypton and Old Krypton.
Diana gets punched through a wall by Mongul. The villain notes that he is surprised she is lasting this long, as she grabs a large blaster mounted on the wall. Mongul critiques that she should use the plasm disruptor as it is smaller and more befitting of a female. Wonder Woman tells Mongul to go to hell and pulls the trigger. Taking the blast full on the chest, Mongul merely smiles and grabbing Wonder Woman’s head and slams it into the wall. Batman and Robin work feverishly to find out how to wake Superman up as he is the only one that can go toe to toe with Mongul.

Jor-el stands at a podium and incites his followers to riot against the New Krypton group and all hell breaks loose while Kal drives away and takes his son to Kandor crater so he can process everything. Taking his son outside he explains that he has a strange sense. Kal remembers his son’s birth and every year of his life on Krypton but for some reason he is getting the nagging feeling that none of it is real.

Batman can see a tear in Superman’s eye as he has a distinct feeling that he is fighting it. Getting the large gloves that Mongul had been wearing, Robin brings them to Bruce. Batman starts to see the vines untangle and forgoes the gloves to rip the plant off of Clark. At the sime time in his own mind, Kal is trying to reach his son to hold him one more time even as he is starting to realize he is not real. Pulling the vine off of Superman, Batman is attacked and wrapped up into it. Bruce is now back to his childhood and when Joe Chill fires his gun the bullet misses the Wayne’s as his father Thomas fights off the criminal.

Superman comes to and asks Robin who is behind this. After Jason tells him it’s a big yellow guy Kal realizes who and shouts out the villians name as he flies in a blur.

Mongul who is in mid punch of a continuing pounding on Wonder Woman’s face turns his eyes behind him and realizes the shit has hit the fan.
Robin, using Moguls gloves, struggles but ultimately gets the vines off of Batman. Superman meanwhile bust through the wall and slams Mongul headfirst into the wall. Superman commands for Mongul to stand up as he wonders aloud if the villain knows what he did to him? Perfectly responds Mongul as he backhands Clark. Superman is sent up through the floor above and lands in his alien zoo. Climbing up through the hole, Mongul explains he gave him a prison that would not let him out without giving up his heart’s desire, which must have been like tearing his own arm off to escape. Superman says one thing to the villain with a snarl!


Superman unleashes heat vision straight into Mongul. Mogul double axe handle punches Superman as he screams the Superman actually hurt him. The two charge against each other and as Mongul lifts the Kryptonian, Superman fires another heat blast that sears into Mongul’s arm. Mongul punches Superman through another wall and jumping through he stomps on top of the heroes and smashes him down through the floor of that room. As they fall Kal twists the alien in midair and slams him onto the ground as he begins to pound the yellow alien in the face with everything he has. Something catches Clarks eyes however and he stops for a split second as he sees a statue of his mother and father and is taken back to what he had and what he lost.

Mongul uses this moment of hesitation to punch Superman off of him as he notes that Superman would have killed him with one more of his punches, but now he is going to finish the man of steel of instead. 

Just then Jason drops the plant onto Mongul and it wraps him up.

In Moguls mind he sees himself disintegrating Superman with a blast from his chest ray. He then gets a pike and puts Superman’s head on it and marches out to conquer the world. In the real world Superman notes that it’s over to Robin as they both watch Mongul on the ground and in dream land.
After the heroes recover, Wonder Woman hands Superman his present and exact replica of the bottle city of Kandor. (Kandor was the capital of Krypton and was shrunk and kept by Braniac long before Krypton blew up. Superman recovered it and for many years tried to bring the city and its inhabitants back to normal. Eventually he did just that and put the Kandorians on another planet. He made a replica of the city for himself and then another group of aliens fleeing their homeworld moved into the replica! You gotta love the Silver Age! Anyway I explained that so you get the effect of what happens next.) Superman using super speed dashes away and stashes the city and is back to accept Diana’s present because y’know, he doesn’t already have a tiny city. Superman hugs Diana and they both wonder why they don’t do that more often. Then Wonder Woman states it would be too predictable. (Alan Moore gets some good wink and nods in this comic for the long time adult fans.)

On a personal note you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. A month ago I had a death in the family that kind of shook me. In addition I am trying my hand at novel writing again. After three failures I still can’t get rid of the bug to write. So while my input on the web will be less (hey stop cheering so loudly!) I am most certainly not going away.
Also as many of you know Peter David suffered a stroke recently. Every article I write is going to have a link to a page where you can help Mr. David. I hope everyone can spare at least a dollar to get one of the greatest comic writers of all time back on his feet.

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (23)

All New X-Men so far (is it worth buying?)
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

The X-Men were what got me started buying comics on a regular monthly basis. In the years since I started reading the mutants adventures I have seen many series come and go. Even now I can’t name all the X-Series or even what they do different from each other . Back in the old days you knew that X-Factor was where you got the original team, and Uncanny was where you got the newer characters. New Mutants was where all the young mutants were showcased and then the 90’s hit and the shit exploded!

You had the Gold team in Uncanny
Blue Team in X-Men
Peter David’s leftovers in X-Factor
X-Force from the New Mutants
And Excailbur that just seemed to exist on its own.
Soon those titles were joined by Generation X and then X-factor was canceled and replaced with Mutant X. Cable got his own comic and then during Age of Apocalypse he was reverted to a teenager named X-Man and then when we got back to reality he was brought with us. So X-Man was an offshoot comic from an offshoot comic that itself was an offshoot from the X-Men.

I read the Kieron Gillen run during the end of the uncanny comic and the beginning of the first reboot. Before that I read the Mike Carey run and then before that the Joss Whedon and Grant Morrison runs and on back to Chris Claremont. So give or take the odd year here or there I have continually followed an X-comic one way or another since 1991. The best to me are still the Claremont issues and the worst by far are the Chuck Austen ones, but I always look for something with an X on it to to buy. (Insert porno mag joke here.)

Now with Marvel doing what their calling NOW! that’s modeled after DC’s new 52 it has opened up the possibility for me to pick and choose which series to start reading again. While the differences between the titles still elude me, one title stood out as being something different.
All New X-Men
Is a series where the original Lee/Kirby team of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel, are brought into the present of the Marvel universe where they find that their future is gone horribly wrong.
Two things made me choose this X-title from the rest.
  1. After all the stories where the X-Men travel to horrible futures that they must prevent from happening, it’s nice to see a reversal on that tired plot.
  2. Stuart Immonen is a fantastic artist and I knew he would hit this comic out of the park as usual.
The Beast is mutating again. Only this time the mutation is killing him. Hank is resigned to his fate, but before he kicks the bucket he wants to do something that will make the world a better place, it’s then that Storm contacts him about a situation.
A young girl gets into an altercation and her mutant power manifests. The young female mutant is visited by Cyclops, Magneto and Emma Frost. Scott explains to her that he has a lot to atone for, and that he wants to start by helping her, he asks her to join him and after she accepts, the three mutants slice through the government soldiers surrounding them like a hot knife through butter.
Beast, Storm, Headmistress Kitty Pryde and Iceman watch the fighting on the news and they feel that Cyclops is completely over the edge. (Spoiler, at the end of AVX Cyclops was possessed by the Phoenix force and he killed Professor X ) Iceman makes the offhand comment that if young Scott could see himself now, he would kick his own ass. Beast excuses himself.
In the past the original five X-Men are arguing and on the brink of breaking apart when the modern Beast all blue and furry shows up to recruit them.

Plus Column
Everybody knows how good Bendis is at dialogue, even his detractors have to agree to that. I mean sure he has too many characters talking like teenagers at times, but in this case when the main stars are teenagers, it works really well. Seriously if you love the Whedon dialogue of his Astonishing X-Men run, then you will feel like you’re hearing the same voices from this comic. Character moments are at an all-time high, this is not the plot driven book of 90’s X-books.

Minus Column
Bendis’s slow build is in full display here. When reading in a trade you don’t notice it as much but in a monthly book you finish it and you get a feeling like you’re on a diet and you only got one bite of your favorite food. The book is bi-monthly at the moment which helps, but at $3.99 a pop I’m essentially paying 8 bucks plus tax for the content of most other single comics.

As the story continues the original team travel to the modern times and Wolverine attacks them and gets put down by young Iceman and Cyclops. The reaction of Bobby (Iceman) with his young and older self is hilarious and makes perfect sense for the high strung character. Beast passes out from his mutation and everybody calms down and after getting blue Hank into the infirmary they realize what he already knew, that he is dying.
Logan orders the “little X-Men” to go back to their own time and Jean Grey who has just manifested her telepathy (originally she just had telekinesis) puts Logan to sleep.  The original team take the modern Blackbird and fly off to confront modern Cyclops and his group.

Plus column
The reactions of the characters to are really well done with Logan still in awe of Jean from the days when he was in love with her. Also the original team seeing Cyclops teamed up with Magneto their sworn enemy is also a moment that you can tell from their perspective would be like seeing Winston Churchill teaming with Hitler.
In a flashback sequence we see Cyclops and Magneto rescuing Emma from captivity and realize that Scott’s powers are amped up and uncontrollable since he was possessed by the Phoenix force. His powers cause more destruction then he had planned in the rescue mission and again makes him look more and more like a villain. 
Scott claims that he did not kill Xavier, that it was all the Phoenix force, but how can he possibly explain it to everyone? Magneto points out that there are ways to fix things, though with Magneto the cure is sometimes worse than the disease.  Magik (Colossus’s sister) is a part of the team and after her encounter with the Phoenix force has complete control of her magic abilities and teleporting power. It’s mentioned that they do not know where Colossus is, but Illyana (Magik) also says that when her brother finds out what happened to Xavier, he will kill Cyclops. Scott’s team finds another mutant to rescue and as they arrive they come into direct contact with the original team.
Minus column
Bendis has yet to get Emma Frost’s voice correct. Though to be fair other than Grant Morrison who really has?

I really am less interested in modern Scott and his team then I am in the original team. In the third issue the original team is only in the last splash pages.

Issue four is the weakest installment in the series but with the coolest cover, go figure.  The Original team goes into direct conflict with Scott’s team and we get some cool action but it’s really just sampling as Magik takes her team out of the action. 
Jean lashes out like a teen girl when she gets a wave of emotion and thoughts from modern Scott.
The new mutants just brought into the fold are showcased a bit and Jean’s mind goes on overload as the team retreats back to the Mansion.
Modern Beast is dying and his young counterpart and Jean are attempting to cure his mutation. Using her telepathy, Jean links the minds of the two Beasts and sees glimmers of her future. 
Hank gives her a full look at her future and anyone who has followed X-Men knows she has had quite tumultuous existence. 
After her preview of her future, Jean takes the leadership role in her team just as young Scott is feeling shaken after meeting his future self. 
Jean decides that the team will stay in the present until they fix the problems of the mutant revolution that modern Cyclops has started.
Issue six sees Kitty Pryde, the once young teen sidekick on the group mentoring the young Jean whom was one of her mentors. (Jean picking up stray thoughts from others reactions to her compared to what they are saying is really great!) 
Cyclops runs off, not able to take the stares of the other students at the school. Exploring the modern world he encounters many things not from the past with hilarious responses.(phones that can do everything to bottled water and magazines being expensive.)
Five Dollars?! For a Magazine?! This place is a nightmare.”
Young Scott encounters Wolverine who makes it no secret that he feels Cyclops is a murderer who needs to go back to his own time. Cyclops blasts Wolverine and rides away on Logan’s bike.
Mystique watches tape of the incident and sees young Scott. Gathering an unknown group together she makes plans for an encounter.
Plus Column
The original team and Jean especially are getting the best characterization that maybe they have ever had with this series. Instead of just portraying them as your average teenagers or as the cardboard characters that Stan Lee wrote them to be they have real voices. They are smart, dumb and just real!
Minus Column
The comic follows both the original team as well as Scott’s team. The new recruits, while interesting characters, feel like added elements not necessary to the story. It’s obvious they are building to something, and the relaunch of the Uncanny X-Men series will most likely play out that story line more from that angle. For the moment it just feels like it’s too much in an already slow moving comic.

I know I stated this before but it bears repeating, I am paying 8 bucks plus tax for a story still moving extremely slow.  Young Scott would be horrified! Even $3 per issue would be easier to swallow.
In closing I feel the sixth issue was the best of series by far. We are getting teenage angst, personality clash reversals and character development on a Grand Master level. If they keep this up it could potentially become my favorite current comic.

Despite its shortcomings, I have actually become attached to these X-kids and I’m extremely captivated with what they are going to do next.

This comic is perfect for both newbies and old school fans. If you know nothing you can follow five X-Men that are almost continuity free as they react to a world they know nothing about. For old fans like me, it’s great to get all these reactions that reflect the moments from the past between the personalities. 

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (22)

Wrestling Comics! (Why they suck and how to fix them)
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

Wrestling in comics is not a new concept. For many years the two forms of entertainment with some of the most loyal fans of any have been combined in many ways. If you think about it, it really makes a lot of sense. Both wrestling and comics feature epic battles, outlandish costumes and arresting characters. So then why do the combinations fail more times then they work?

Marvel Comics tried their hand at wrestling comics in the early 90’s. The creators were given carte blanche as the entire roster was made available to them. How did the writers handle this? Let’s read the synopsis of issue 3 according to comicvine
World Championship Wrestling #3
Sting takes a trip on a cruise ship and is attacked by Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong, The Young Pistols, who have been paid to try to injure the WCW superstar.
It would not have been the bruise cruise if Scott Hall was with the company at this point.
Ok so Sting is on vacation? It’s the third issue and the creators felt it was time to leave the ring already? Why is it a crime to show in ring action? 
Um, okay I can see why they want to get away from this.

The most motion I have ever seen from El Gigante.

I have seen some pretty outlandish things in comics. This is the most outlandish as we all know that the food fight would be in full swing by this point.

Maybe it get’s better?

World Championship Wrestling #6

“When a cactus comes a calling!” What the fuck does that even mean?

World Championship Wrestling #7
Damn! What drugs is Simmons on in this picture?

World Championship Wrestling #10

They put on a show and we don’t mean fashion?… uhhh
World Championship Wrestling #12
Then Vader comes in and kills everyone, end of series.
Actually Valiant comics came out with their comic series first. A WWF liscensed comic called Battlemania. Again much like the WCW version I can’t find much in the way of story plots so we will just have to do our best with what we have.

WWF Battlemania

It’s obvious from this page that this young woman is about to be the cream in a Oreo sandwich with Paul Bearer and the Undertaker. Don’t ask about the cat.

The after effect of making the comment about a one legged man in an ass kicking contest to Kerry Von Erich.

Ok I give up. 
Chaos Comics came in during the attitude era and had several series created. And much like Russo in that era the creators were all like, “screw this wrestling shit!”
Cause when you write Shakespearean epics like this, pro wrestling is beneath you.
The headliner of these comics were the Undertaker issues. With the exception of Royal Rumble 94 nothing could have prepared us for this.

Plot Synopsis

Text from Wikipedia
“The Undertaker was revealed to be the ruler of ‘Stygian’ a plane known as Hell’s Prison Realm, where the worst and most deadly and evil of souls are remanded after Death. The Undertaker was both its ruler and its warden. According to the story, the Undertaker had ruled Stygian for untold ages, and would have continued to do so if not for the invasion of a druid named Augustus, who also called himself The Embalmer. Gaining entrance to Stygian, the Embalmer battled the Undertaker, intent on claiming three books which contained a prophecy by a being called the Death Scribe. This prophecy claimed the Undertaker would at some point consume all the power contained within these three books which were claimed to have a history of the future, as well as several unholy spells, and arcane procedures which resembled the Frankenstein monster, one of which is later used in the story, written before recorded time by the Death Scribe, in addition to the prophecy.” –Okay I’m going to stop there. That makes the plot of Lost seem a little too simple by comparison.
And really they looked at a wrestling ring and said, “nah that’s some bullshit, but how about this!”
Stone Cold also got the Chaos treatment.

Just take a wolverine plot mix it with a Popeye plot and substitute spinach for beer and you could have just printed money in the late 90’s.

Of course we also have Chaos comics to thank for this as well

And this

Because everyone knows you can’t do everything in Chyna in just one night.
In Japan they decided to showcase life imitating art with Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask is about a feared wrestler in America who comes back home to Japan. Befriending an orphan boy who came from the same orphanage that he grew up in, Tiger decides to turn face to give him a good role model.

I assure you that say’s Tiger Mask if for no other reason then that is what popped up when I googled Tiger Mask.

New Japan hired Satoru Sayama and dressed him up as the Tiger Mask character from the comic. 

At first the Japanese crowds viewed this as being too wacky of a concept for it to work.

These guys thought it was too wacky!
Everyone came around when Sayama tore the house down with the Dynamite Kid in the first of what would become a series of battles between the two.

Why didn’t any of the American wrestling companies think to do this?

Oh yeah, nevermind.
The comic companies are missing the point entirely. Instead of taking the look of the characters and doing whatever the hell they want, the publishers might want to look at the reality behind the costumes.

A young wrestler trying to break the glass ceiling of the promotion starts to perform more and more dangerous and treacherous moves. The matches bring him to the attention of the CEO of the promotion who gives him a shot at the belt. The wrestler is ecstatic that his dreams are coming true but is in so much pain from his previous matches he needs to start taking more and more pain pills to get through the matches. Eventually he becomes addicted to the drugs and they destroy him along with his career. The wrestler hits rock bottom (no pun intended) and begins to work his way back into wrestling and then back up the ladder. Nobody believes in him, everyone calls him a junkie and on some days the man doesn’t even believe in himself. However the wrestler is determined to prove that he is better then what everyone thinks and strong enough to get back to the top of the promotion without falling off the horse again. Can he?

That’s a classic redemption story that I threw together using Jeff Hardy, Eddie Guerrero and countless others that have experienced the same or similar in their lives as inspiration. I would read that and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. It’s a compelling narrative that focuses on the man beneath the costume with the action secondary to the character, just like a good superhero story! 

Will publishers ever realize that, what makes a good story with superheroes would also work with wrestling? 

Until then we are stuck with this.

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (21)

The Super Group Comic
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

In celebration of Justice League America 200 a group of creators, rivaling that of the members of the team they were writing joined together to give the team the Anniversary issue to end all issues. Combining and contrasting the original team and the new Satellite era teams this comic boasted a star studded cast, and I am not just talking about the spandex clan in the four color pages.

(W) Gerry Conway, (Overall Art direction) George Perez, (Art in the chapters) Pat Broderick, Jim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Brian Bolland and Joe Kubert!

This comic is a 72 page special with no fill in stories and no ads! I have never read it before so this will be the first time I am writing the synopsis as I am reading a comic for the first time.

Roll Call (Original Team)
J’onn J’onzz, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern(Hal Jordan), The Flash(Barry Allen), Batman, and Superman
Shit even Batman is smiling, this must be those good old days all the people refer to.

Roll Call (Satellite Team)

Firestorm, Red Tornado, Zatanna, The Atom, Elongated Man, Black Canary and Hawkman

(Special Guests)
Green Arrow, Adam Strange and Phantom Stranger
Seven glowing meteors fall from the sky. Each one of them carries an alien that plans on using Earth as a battlefield to determine the ruler of another world’s throne. Going into battle with the heroes separately, five of the aliens are defeated by J’onn, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash. Together they team up to go after the sixth and radiation turns their bodies into wood.Using teamwork the heroes beat the wooden menace and feeling pretty confident in their abilities decide to finish the Seventh meteor. The Alien from that meteor was already battling Batman and Superman and the meteor itself was made of Kryptonite (isn’t that always the way?) Again the heroes work together and finish the alien off. The Meteors are then buried all over the Earth and the Aliens are sent back to their planet Appelax. This was the first adventure and the mission that formed the Justice League of America.
Chapter 1 Firestorm The Nuclear Man versus Martian Manhunter

Fast forward to today (today being 1982 that is) and Firestorm is bored as he is on the Satellite Headquarters and watching the monitor. Suddenly a green streak shoots up from the earth and crashes into the headquarters.  J’onn angrily asks where the JLA are and who the hell is Firestorm?! Firestorm uses his powers to atomically restructure the hole that J’onn had just created in the wall. Ronnie (Firestorm) asks J’onn who he is and what he’s doing at the satellite. J’onn mentions that his JLA signal went off and it led him to the satellite. Firestorm wonders why J’onn has a JLA signal device since only members should have them. Both heroes continue to be dumbfounded by the situation and each other. The Manhunter turns invisible and flies off through the satellite claiming he needs to find the meteors before the Earth turns again upon its axis. Ronnie notices that the Manhunter is scared of the flames coming from his head and uses that information to heat up the area around the green hero. J’onn grabs a trophy case one of those huge ass trophy cases that the heroes always seem to have laying around smashes it into Firestorm! The Martian picks up another trophy case and Ronnie catches it on fire and then tries to reason with him. J’onn uses his Martian vision to blast a hole in a water pipe above Firestorm and douses the flame. He then grabs a chunk of the floor beneath his feet and throws it into Firestorm slamming him against the wall and knocking the fire headed hero out. Ronnie eventually wakes up and sends out a triple priority signal to every Leaguer on earth. 

Seven heroes answer the call and appear on the satellite to survey the damage, Red Tornado, Black Canary, Hawkman, Elongated man, Zatanna, Atom and Green Arrow. Red Tornado deduces from Ronnie’s story that the damage was done by J’onn J’onzz. Firestorm had never met the Martian before this. Everyone wonders why none of the original members answered the call. Oliver (Green Arrow) explains that he thinks he knows what’s going on as he knows the story of the seven meteors that fell from the sky and helped form the original JLA. The heroes check a map, and it shows them where the other six meteors are hidden. Green Arrow is one smart motherfucker as he figures that all seven of the original members are now searching for the meteors and have their minds controlled by something. It’s now up to the new JLA to seek out the meteors and stop the original seven from completing their task. (Can anyone say flimsy plot excuse to get the heroes fighting each other?) Another intruder alarm goes off in the satellite and out from the transporter tube steps Snapper Carr (regular Joe and one time mascot to the original big seven. He’s the DC Rick Jones.) Much to his chagrin Firestorm is left with Snapper to watch the monitors as the rest of the team goes to stop the original JLA.

Chapter 2 Aquaman versus Red Tornado

In the Indian Ocean Aquaman is searching desperately for one of the meteors. It is noted that he, as well as the original seven members have all had their minds reverted back to the time of the formation of the team. Thus, none of them remember or recognize any of the members on the new team. The volcano is erupting nearby and Aquaman steps ashore to search but is knocked aside by a powerful gust of wind. Red Tornado tries to reason with Aquaman but Aquaman simply leaps and knocks the android into the water. On land Aquaman finds the meteor and has a strong will to take it to the original JLA headquarters outside of Metropolis, though he does not know why. As Red flies out of the ocean to take Aquaman down the Phantom stranger that has been watching the fight cast a lightning bolt to take Tornado out of the fight. The Stranger states that the greater good is at stake. And as much as he hated to do it he had to side with one Leaguer over another. The Stranger then transports Red back to the satellite, which confuses the hell out of Firestorm and Snapper.

Chapter 3 Zatanna versus Wonder Woman (and no this is not slash fan fiction.)

Zatanna, using her backwards magic floats to Paradise Island, home of the Amazons. As she sets down, she finds that Diana (Wonder Woman) has beat her to the island and is in the Temple of Athena grabbing the next meteor. As Diana is just about to grab the green glowing rock Zatanna cast the spell sending it into the earth. Wonder woman much like the other Leaguers doesn’t know who Zatanna is and throws a stone slab at her, to which the magician cast a spell to crush the rock with an eruption of earth. As Zatanna recovers Diana has already gone into the earth and grabbed a meteor. Wonder Woman is just about to enter her invisible plane with meteor in hand when Zatanna cast a spell for the ocean to stop her. Diana simply Spins her Lasso and redirects the waterspout to knock Zatanna out.

Chapter 4 Green Lantern versus the Atom

Ray Palmer travels through a phone line and comes out in Zimbabwe at a military command center. Speaking with the general in charge Ray secures a jet to seek out Green Lantern. Before they see Hal, he creates a green fist that clinches the jet and tosses it aside. Unbeknownst to Jordan, Palmer leapt from the plane and comes down with a sucker punch to knock Green Lantern down.  The Atom tries to explain the situation to Jordan, but Hal simply uses the time to recover and traps Palmer in a green force field. Lantern flies away with the meteor and though Ray shrinks small enough to get out of the force field he is too late to stop Hal. Back in the satellite the beaten members of the league meet and discuss their options. Red tornado explains that the fact that the original members don’t know who they are gives them an advantage that they may not be able to overcome.

Chapter 5 The Flash versus elongated Man

In the countryside of northern Italy, the Flash speeds towards the next meteor. Barry Allen stops to ask a man for directions. The man responds that he doesn’t speak English and the flash is off again. Ralph Dibney (Elongated Man) reveals himself as being the stranger and as Barry runs off he wraps him up in his elastic arms. The surprise trips Allen and he lands face first onto a rock. Ralph checks Flash’s pulse and find’s out that his friend is okay. Barry vibrates causing a small earthquake and Ralph falls into a crevice that opened up in the ground. The Flash is off again and Ralph pissed, stretches out of the hole and attempts to wrap Barry up again. Instead, Alan vibrates and the elongated Man goes right through him. The Flash knocks Ralph from behind revealing he used an after image to trick him into grabbing someone who wasn’t there. Allen spins into the ground and grabs the meteor.

Outside of the hidden cave that used to be the JLA headquarters five of the original members that have retrieved their meteors are trying to figure out what’s going on. J’onn suggests that they work quickly to unravel the mystery.
Chapter 6 Green Arrow and Black Canary versus Batman
If God were to hire an artist to draw him, he would hire Brian Bolland.

Oliver and Dinah are slogging through the swamp land of the Carolina coast. (Brian Bolland does the art on this section and this would be the first time he’s drawn Batman. His more famous Batman story? The Killing Joke with Alan Moore.) Leaping down from a tree-top Batman tackles green arrow. Oliver manages to fire a rubber tipped arrow, but misses. The arrow bounces off a tree and nails Canary in the head. Batman leaves. Oliver handcuffed and leaps off. Dinah uses an acetylene arrow to burn the handcuffs off as Green arrow complains that these are the reasons that he quit the league in the first place.

On the beach, Batman uses a device to find the meteor and digs it up. Shortly thereafter Canary and arrow reach the shore and see Batman crouched down on the sand. Black Canary uses her sonic scream to knock him down. But as they approach the figure they find it’s not Batman at all, but a dummy left behind to confuse them.

Back on the satellite Oliver and Dinah have joined the others in defeat.

Outside of the old headquarters Batman has joined his team with another meteor added to the collection. As the meteors are joined together they began to glow.
Chapter 7 Hawkman versus Superman

Carter Hall (Hawkman) gathers an arsenal of weapons for his battle with Superman. Hawkman approaches Greenland, where the final meteor is buried and sees the familiar red and blue blur of the man of steel. Carter throws a net around Superman and nails him with the Trident to which Superman explodes revealing himself to be a robot. Hawkman then realizes that Superman must have sent one of his robot decoys because the meteor is made of kryptonite and he himself would not be able to touch it. Another Superman decoy charges Carter from the sky to which he fires a crossbow and blows this robot up as well. Hall sees another blue and red blur arcing down towards him but has a feeling there’s something different about this one. Hawkman swings his mace and it breaks on the Man of steel’s body. This time it’s the real Superman and he lays one powerful punch that knocks Hawkman into space. Superman using a lead container scoops up the meteor and flies away to join the rest of his team.

Hawkman drifts unconscious in space but is transported to the planet Rann where Adam strange finds him in the infirmary. Adam gets word to the JLA that he is transporting Hawkman back to them. (What a totally contrived appearance.) Back on the satellite, everyone knows they failed to stop whatever mission the original JLA were trying to accomplish.

The original team watches as all seven meteors begin to glow and wonder why they felt the need to gather them in the first place, then the meteors crack open and the seven aliens that the team put down all those years ago rise again. And as the villains always seemed to do in the old days they proceed to explain what’s been going on and I won’t try to explain it myself. So here word for word is the entire plan.

“We concealed seed clones of ourselves in each of our meteors programming the meteors themselves to impart a timed hypnotic suggestion in the minds of our Earth conquerors. A suggestion that would force them to gather our meteors together and thus activate our seed clones at a time when the stars had shifted into a new cosmic pattern.” (Hey, isn’t that Scientology?)

Now, the aliens will resume their battle to decide who will be the leader of The Appellax Imperium. With the illusion shattered the JLA go on offensive. The largest of the aliens is a towering stone creature. Superman streaks and to take him down but is fired upon with kryptonite eye blasts! Martian Manhunter flies in and clocks the stone creature. Green Lantern fires his ring at one of the aliens that is a towering flame creature but before his blast can reach its mark another of the aliens that is a giant yellow bird blocks it. (This was back when Green lanterns ring would not work against anything yellow.) The flame giant then shoots a blast to take J’onn out. Batman is struck and knocked out by the crystal alien with a powerful light blast. The Flash is smothered beneath the Mercury body of another. The wooden alien strangles Aquaman to take him out of the fight. With the rest of the league fallen the aliens all turn their attention to Wonder Woman. Diana deflects attacks with her bracelets and using her strength fights valiantly but in the end she can’t stand up to the combined onslaught of the aliens. 

With the heroes down the aliens decide to resume the battle with each other for ultimate supremacy of their planet.

Later Batman awakens to find a green arrow in his face. The new team has found the original team and everyone reconciles and they all join together to make a super JLA squad to face down the Aliens.
If the Aliens wore underwear, they would need to change them right about now.

Using teamwork this time they plan on putting a hurt on the invaders. The Wood–King wraps up Hawkman as he swoops in for an attack. Superman comes down and splinters the Alien to a million pieces but the pieces are tainted with Kryptonite and he has to be rescued by Wonder Woman. 

Hawkman is still being strangled but Oliver shoots an explosive arrow and blows apart the remnants of the Wood-King. Zatanna traps the Mercury Monster in a bubble of energy and continues to heat the molecules with her backwards magic until the monster is merely vapor. Black Canary dodges the crystal creatures flying shards of diamond while Batman gets in position and throws a Batarang that Shatters it to pieces. The Flash tries to take the glass fish alien out quickly but is blasted with a light blast reflected by it. Aquaman leaps from behind and pulls the glass creature down into the ocean. Further and further the creature is pulled until it is shattered from the pressure in the depths of the sea. Elongated Man twists and winds his body trying to avoid the fire breath of the flame monster. 

Red flies above the towering inferno and whips up a tornado so strong that the aerial vortex pulls all the oxygen out from around the monster and snuffs it from existence.

In New York City the last two remaining Aliens battle it out like Godzilla and Rodan. Firestorm changes the falling debris molecular structures to make them into harmless mist. Green Lantern traps the Rock-God in a force field and creates a jackhammer that crushes the alien to pieces. J’onn is fighting off the big golden bird and Hal creates a small cannon that fires the Atom like a bullet. Ray Palmer lands an unsuspecting attack that distracts the creature long enough for Manhunter to obliterate the alien with one super punch.

Later Green Lantern takes the pieces of the aliens and their meteors and carries them out to the sun where Red Tornado funnels the pieces down into the star. 

The heroes all praise each other for their teamwork and as Green Arrow is about to leave the JLA again he is talked into staying and accepts that he does not have to be loner; he has a family with the League.

The whole thing reads like the ultimate Super friends episode. I did enjoy the comic despite the silly concept; the art is like a who’s who of DC from the 70’s and early 80’s. If you’re an old school fan you should pick this up if you don’t already own it that is. A very fun book with amazing art!

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (20)

Top Ten Wolverine Fights
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

Logan is by far the toughest Canadian ever! (Although when he had bone claws it would have been close between him and GSP.) Second only to the Hulk is Wolverines willingness to accept a fight anytime anywhere and with his healing factor he can pretty much just leap in and take all the punishment his opponent can dish out and wake up fresh the next morning. Writers have fleshed his character to encompass that of a wild-man, samurai warrior, secret agent and superhero.  Logan has had fights being portrayed as all of those characters.
Disclaimer: Wolverine has appeared in so many comics that I am not sure anyone could have read them all and as such I am sure that I am missing some hidden gems. Feel free to shout out in the comments section my glaring oversights. (Not that anyone on the internet needs pushing to give opinions.) My selection is based on the following criteria.
  • Accompanying words, (seems like an obvious but sometimes the writer raises the bar for the fight)
  • Opponent (How much do you want to see the fight.)
  • Personal opinion (I can’t stop this.)
  • Epicness (What the French call jea ne se qua)   
So throw on the old school Metallica because this shit is on!
Honorable Mentions (Not good enough to make the list but not to be forgotten.)

Versus Marrow
X-Men #72

(W) Joe Kelly (A) Carlos Pacheco (one of my favorite artists)
Marrow was a short time X-women that used to be a Morlock (underground ugly mutant community because they all can’t look like Psylocke.) She had a chip on her shoulder (literally she had bones coming out of everywhere and could pull them to use as weapons!) and had to be shown some manners by Wolverine. They were having a sparring session in the danger room as Logan is telling her how the world works. After a good beating Marrow gives in and as Wolverine gives her his hand to help her back to her feet, Marrow shoves a bone into Logan’s neck! Forgetting who he is, Wolvie goes into berserker rage and throws the young upstart onto the ground and is just about to shove his claws through Marrows face when Cannonball grabs him from behind and slams him into a wall to knock him out to stop the slaughter. Marrow didn’t know who she was fucking with, but she knows now.

Versus Omega Red

X-Men 5

(W) Jim Lee, John Byrne (A) Jim Lee
Omega Red was another of Logan’s former enemies from his Weapon X days. Essentially he is the Russian version of a super soldier. Red has a death factor that negates Wolverines healing factor and he also has tendrils made of carbonadium (less durable then adamantium but still pretty fucking indestructible!) Wolverine is kidnapped and let loose just so Omega Red can beat the shit out of him, which he does. The fight is extremely short but has amazing art thanks to Lee and Omega Red is a great design.
Versus The Hellfire Club

Uncanny X-Men 132-133
(W) Chris Claremont (A) John Byrne
This is the equivalent to Stone Cold at King of the Ring ’96 as Wolverine became Wolverine! After the X-Men are handily defeated by the Hellfire Club and Wolverine is flushed down the sewers, they are all standing around congratulating each other. Last panel of issue 132 and Wolverine is ragged looking but supremely pissed. The X-Men are done at this point if Wolverine is not on the team. Wolverine claws his way back from defeat and kicks every guard’s ass on the way to helping his teammates out. He even scares a guard so much that they drop their rifle. This issue sparked popularity for the character that has never stopped. It’s a great moment but not the greatest fight and so it did not make the list. 
Versus Silver Samurai

Uncanny X-Men 173
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Paul Smith
Rogue has just joined the X-Men after having been a villain and to prove herself to Wolverine she joins him to take care of some personal business in Japan. Wolverine comes face to face with a warrior that has every bit the skill of himself (as well as an energy sword) The battle is filled with graceful moves where Samurai has his armor cut into by Logan’s claws and Samurai shoves his sword into Wolverines mid-section. Wolverine proves to be just more skilled and is about to kill the villain but is stopped by Mariko (Wolverines girlfriend who is Samurais half-sister) 

Versus Magneto
X-Men 25

(W) Fabien Nicieza  (A) Andy Kubert (My favorite artist)
Less a great fight then a great moment which is why it did not make the list. Magneto is ready to do some serious damage as he is not fucking around this time. Wolverine decides to show him what a badass truly is as he nearly guts Magneto. Then Magneto does something that every fan had wondered “why doesn’t he just…” he pulls the adamantium out of Logan’s body, leaving Wolverine with just bone claws for years to come.

And now the list!

10. Wolverine versus Captain America
Avengers Vs. X-Men #3
(W) Ed Brubaker (A)John Romita Jr.
The Avengers and the X-Men are at odds as to how to handle the mutant Hope and the Phoenix force returning and Wolverine is right in the middle of it as a member of both teams. Eventually it all comes to a head as Captain America and Wolverine fight in a Quinjet. It’s pretty good back and forth but the outcome is left to wonder as Pym punches Logan in the back of the head and Cap follows up with a shield to his face.
9. Wolverine versus Sabretooth/Hulk

Wolverine #145
(W) Erik Larsen (A) Lenil Francis Yu
Apocalypse pits a de-metaled Wolverine against his arch nemesis Sebretooth who now has adamantium. Even though Sabretooth is much stronger and tougher, Wolverine defeats him and is deemed worthy by Apocalypse. Wolverine is brainwashed, given his adamantium back and made into the horseman “Death” and sent after Hulk. Wolverine with his metal back and a sword as well as enhanced death abilities, defeats the Hulk and stops just short of killing him. Hulk punches Logan and leaps away. 
8. Wolverine versus Deadpool

Wolverine #88
(W) Larry Hama (A) Adam Kubert
Wolverine and Deadpool have tangled a few times even once where Logan cut Deadpool’s head off! But their first encounter is still my favorite. The battle is fast and brutal as Wade uses guns swords and runs his mouth the whole time as they go at it. Wolverine does not have his adamantium at this point and Deadpool’s healing factor is way better then Wolverines! Deadpool manages to leave Logan laid out. Round one to Pool.
7. Wolverine versus Shingen

Wolverine #4
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Frank Miller
Shingen has no powers but is the best swordsman in Japan. He’s also the father of Mariko who’s family is full of fucking bad guys apparently. Frank Miller know a thing or two about fight scenes and the final battle is move for move some of the best choreography of any fight. In a battle where style is more important than savagery Wolverine kills the crime boss because he has to.
6. Wolverine versus The Reavers and Lady Deathstrike

Uncanny X-Men #205
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Barry Windsor-Smith
This is one of my favorite issues of any comic ever! The Reavers are a cybernetic terrorist group led by Donald Pierce the cyborg member of the Hellfire club. Three of the members of the Reavers were three of the guards that Wolverine sliced up back in Uncanny X-Men #133. Pierce made them cyborgs as well and loaded them up with the latest weaponry to get revenge on the canucklehead. With them is Lady Deathstrike the daughter of the scientist who bonded adamantium to Wolverine against his will. Wolverine killed him as he escaped and raged through the complex. Deathstrike gave herself over to Spiral to be made a Cyborg and now the four are set to get revenge on Wolverine. (Everybody follow all that?) The issue starts with Logan all fucked up and running away as he encounters Katie Power (from Power Pack, and if you don’t know who Power Pack is than count yourself lucky.) Wolverine has been so battered that he barely knows who anyone is as his brain is healing. Logan nearly kills the little girl who uses her powers to knock him down. Katie helps the X-Man who she knows is a hero and not himself and she gets him away from the approaching Reavers. Eventually Wolverine avoids them long enough to recover and going sneaky he trashes the Reavers to then come face to face with Deathstrike. The two slash the shit out of eachother and Wolverine goes full berserker nearly tearing the Lady to pieces. Deathstrike tells Wolverine to kill her but Wolverine basically tells her that she hasn’t earned the right to die by his hand. (Man that’s cold.)

5. Wolverine versus The Gorgon

Wolverine (3rd) #30-31
(W) Mark Millar (A) John Romita Jr.
This issue is the last part of the Enemy of the State/Agent of Shield storyline that is chock full of awesome battles as Wolverine is brainwashed by Hydra and sent to kill the heroes of the Marvel universe. Eventually Logan breaks free of the control and goes after the Mutant enforcer Gorgon. The Gorgon not only is a an expert fighter and swordsman has enhanced fighting abilities and healing factor and  can read people’s minds to see their next move, he also has the ability to look at someone and turn them into stone. (Mark Millar just jammed a bunch of shit into him didn’t he?) Wolverine and Elektra team up to take him down and Elektra is out out pretty quick in the fight. Wolverine and Gorgon engage in the second most brutal fight on this list as a they are both bleeding profusely by the end. Gorgon attempts to end it with a his granite stare and Wolverine flashes claws and the power ricochets back turning the villain to Stone where Wolverine chops him to pieces!
4. Wolverine versus Banner/Hulk

Giant Size Wolverine #1
(W) Mark Millar (A) Steve McNiven
During the awesome future storyline of Old Man Logan, Logan is done fighting and is doing a favor for The Hulk gang (Hulks children) so they won’t hurt his family. After completing the mission Logan comes home to find his whole family murdered by the Hulk Gang. Logan then goes through the whole Hulk community and murders every single one of Hulks children until he comes in contact with the Old Bruce Banner who has figured out how to master his strength without changing. Banner reveals he has not had a good fight in long time and he was the one who told his kids to kill Logans family. The fight is the most brutal on the list as the two slaughter eachother and Wolverine gets the upper-hand as Banner changes into the Hulk and eats him! Hours later Hulk has a stomache ache and a fully healed Wolverine cuts himself out of the Hulk killing his green arch nemesis once and for all.
3. Wolverine versus Sabretooth final round

Wolverine (2nd) #90
(W) Larry Hama (A) Andy Kubert
In what was supposed to be the final battle between the two (because no one really dies in comics) Sabretooth is being held by the X-Men so that Xavier can rehabilitate him. Creed (Sabretooth) keeps charging the force field on his prison cell when only Wolverine is in the mansion until he doesn’t even feel the pain anymore and makes it through. Wolverine is ready for him and offers his nemesis the option to go back quietly but you knew that wasn’t going to happen. So the battle is on and Sabretooth keeps trying to get Wolverine to cut loose but he never does. Eventually Logan gets Creed pinned with the old trick of only popping two claws and threatening the middle one to go through his skull. Sabretooth warns Wolverine that his friends and teammates will be tortured and killed by him while also taunting Wolverine that he has never had the balls to do what he needs to. Finally after all the years of battles Wolverine is just like, “fuck this asshole!” and then pops his middle claw that kills the pyschopath. (It was eventually made out that Sabretooth was only lobotomized.) Wolverine would kill Sabretooth again in the 2007 issue of Wolverine #54. A death that the villain and sometimes hero would again return from.
Sabretooth’s second death

2. Wolverine versus Sabretooth Round 1

Uncanny X-Men # 212-213
(W) Chris Claremont (A)Rick Leonardi 212, Alan Davis 213
Hey look whose back already! During the Morlock Massacre where the Marauders (mutants working for Mr. Sinister who kill other mutants) go down to the sewers and clean house on the ugly mutants, Wolverine is counted on to do what he does best. Unfortunately he encounters a villain from his past who is every bit the badass as himself.  The first time they fight it is in the sewers where at this point in the comics we haven’t seen too many villains match Wolverine move for move. Logan elects to rescue a morlock and abandons the fight early. The second time, Sabretooth comes to the X-Mansion and beats on Rogue Psylocke and Storm until Wolverine appears and the two go at it! Wolverine and Sabretooth both go into full berserk mode where it is written that they are happy to try to murder eachother as the battle goes all over the grounds and to a cliff overlooking water where they fall in. Only Wolverine emerges.
1. Wolverine versus Grey Hulk

The Incredible Hulk #340
(W) Peter David (A) Todd McFarlane

Wolverine is the leader of the X-Men at this point and is constantly in battle with himself over wanting to go out and kick everyone’s ass and be a good leader and a civilized man. The Grey Hulk which is Bruce Banners slightly less strong but more cunning alter ego just knows he is going to get a good fight from the runt, but Logan apologizes for slicing him in a kneejerk reaction to Hulk surprising him. The Hulk calls him gutless and tries again and again to antagonize Logan into a fight, but the X-Man does not give in to his rage. Hulk thunderclaps with his hands and continues to punch and shout at Wolverine until finally the mutant loses it and leaps into the Hulk slicing into his chest and with the Grey behemoth down, Logan howls in berserker rage and knows he has lost the battle within himself. Logan walks away until the Hulk calls him back, he’s not down yet! Hulk and Wolverine attempt to kill one another (Peter David writes the battle so well you would think he could read Logans mind.) The fight is interrupted and Wolverine gets control of himself and realizes he has a long way to go to be a better man.

Until next week…

I Have Issues (19)

                 Superhero Fight Club
OK, so I have been working on another article to post this week but as I often do, I bit off more than I could chew and it’s taking me longer to write it then I thought it would. I don’t want to just rush it and let the quality suffer because I am having a blast writing it and it’s the first part of what I am hoping will be something I can continue writing in the future. As any writer amateur or pro can tell you, you let yourself miss one deadline and it’s extremely hard to get back on track. I plan on taking next week off to celebrate the birth of Santa and so as to not ditch the BOD for two whole weeks I’m doing a fun fight post this week.


Near Invulnerability, Keen senses, superhuman speed and strength, Godly stamina, regenerative powers using his Hammer Mjolnir, Can summon lightning, weather and rain. The hammer also enables flight and the ability to fire a “Godblast” He also has a belt that doubles his strength.
Thor is a master of hand to hand combat and adept at various other striking weapons.
Biggest weakness:  Different iterations of Thor’s have been different but most of the time if Thor is separated from his hammer (Mjolnir) for different periods of time he can transform back into his human alter ego.
Notable victories over
The Hulk
Silver Surfer
and kills more Frost Giants then Colonial Sanders kills chickens
Background: I’m pretty sure everyone knows Thor. He’s the God of thunder and the son of Odin.
Gladiator (Kallark)
Superhuman speed, agility, reflexes, and durability.
Heat vision, super/freeze breath and flight.
Biggest Weakness: All of Gladiators powers are confidence based,  meaning if he believes he can do it he will, but if he begins to doubt and is not given time to recover in some instances he can be beaten.
Notable Victories over
and the Fantastic Four (Yes! All four at once!)(That’s what she said.)
Background: Gladiator or Killark is essentially the Marvel Superman. He’s from a super powerful race known as Strontians and is the leader of the Imperial Guard for the Shi’Ar Empire.
But first a pre-lim
The Sentry (another Superman/Marvelman anologue)
Holy Shit that was fast!
Thor encountered a Gladiator from an Alternate Universe in Fantastic Four 339.
But the first time that Kallark of the 616 universe encountered the power of Thor he came up against the Avengers in the Mighty Thor 445. This was during the time that Eric Masterson who would later become Thunderstrike, had the power of Thor. Eric Masterson was a Thor who was more a regular guy then a God and he didn’t have infinite confidence in himself. Thor 445 was during the Galactic Storm crossover that was the Kree heroes versus the Shi’Ar heroes versus the Earths heroes.
(W) Tom Defalco (A) Pat Olliffe
The battle starts with Kallark floating above a destroyed settlement and as these things always go, he mistakes the Avengers as the ones responsible. Wonder Man (Simon Williams) is the first the encounter the powerful Alien. Wonder Man flies in with a jet pack and Gladiator heat visions the pack to molten slag.
As Simon’s momentum carries him forward, Kallark punches him into the ground. Williams recovers much to the surprise of Gladiator and the alien streaks in for a punch and Simon retaliates by knocking Gladiator into a mountain. Gladiator has a “didn’t hurt” look and uses freeze breath to put Wonder man in a block of ice. Simon breaks the ice and frees himself but the Imperial Guardsman decides that play time is over and rains down hammer-fists upon Wonder Man, embedding him deep into the planets core. 
Finally Eric decides he has had enough of watching and using all the power of Thor, blindsides Gladiator with a real hammer. Thor tries to talk peace to the Alien, but instead is met with a boulder thrown at him. (Gladiator formed the boulder by pulling the ground beneath his feet and forming it into one!) 
Eric crushes it with his hammer and then shoots a God-blast at the Guardsman. The blast bounces back and throws Masterson off his footing to which Gladiator charges in and lands a punch. 
The two warriors go into a test of Strength and the pressure created by them sinks them both into the ground. 
Kallark lays a punch onto Eric knocking for a ride as he himself uses superspeed to run around behind the demi-god and tackle him. Eric twists Kallark and shoves him into the ground. The Guardsman gets Eric into a hold and throws him headirst into the ground and then picking him up, he bitchslaps him. (Tom Defalco ladies and gentlemen, few writers can write a better fight scene.) 
The West Coast Avenger Living Lightning is streaking through the sky and Eric takes this chance to use Mjolnir to call the lightning bodied Avenger into a bolt strike on Gladiator. The strike stuns the Alien and pressing the advantage, Eric relentlessly assaults him into submission having to be stopped by the Avengers just short of killing him.
This is a loss for Gladiator but it took three Avengers to do it!
This time it’s Gladiator versus the real Thor!

The Mighty Thor (second serues) #34-35
(w) Dan Jurgens (A) Andy Kubert
Gladiator is in disguise as he uses searing heat vision on Jake Olsen (Thor’s alter Ego). Blake barely avoids it and Kallark reveals himself. Donald slams his fist on the ground calling the thunder and transforms into Thor.
The Odinson lays a downward hammer blow and then follows it up with an uppercut. Kallark recovers and uses super breath which Thor redirects by spinning his hammer. 
Gladiator clenches his hands together and pounds the street and like in the previous fight, pulls it up and throws it as one huge projectile. Thor swings Mjolnir and obliterates the concrete and metal but doesn’t see Gladiator following it up with super speed and flight and decks the God. 
Gladiator kicks the hammer far away and then uppercuts Thor several blocks who crashes into a building and transforms back into Jake Olsen. 

(I think we can call this a win for Gladiator. For the sake of a satisfying ending I will finish writing what happens.)

Gladiator charges in ready to finish off the frail Jake but has his cape grabbed by Thor Girl (Taylene) and is yanked backwards. (I just hate writing Thor Girl, sorry to any fans of the character reading this but I can’t stand her.) Gladiator uses heat vision to blast Taylene. The female warrior spins to extinguish the flames and throws her hammer landing a blow on Gladiators head. The Alien recovers and flies up to grab a water tank and throws down onto Taylene and combining it with freeze breath encases her in ice.
With some assistance Olsen is reunited with the hammer and transforms as Gladiator starts to push him into the Earth. Thor fires a lightning blast from Mjolnir and shoots the Alien back to the surface. 
As the battle starts to rage again a plane nearly crashes to avoid the two titans and they join forces to save everyone. Afterwards Thor fires another massive energy blast from Mjiolnir sending Gladiator burning. The Guardsman walks out of the flame like the baddest ass in Badonia and Thor has had enough! 
The Odinson begins to relentlessly bash the bajessus out of Gladiator and giving him no time to recover finally knocks him into submission. So Thor gets the final win but just like the first fight he could not do it alone.
Still a couple of well-done fights between Thor and the Superman analogue Gladiator. Till next time I hope everyone has a great Holiday!
J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (18)

Are You Ready?

Everyone seems to be under the impression that world will either end or everything will go on as normal on December 21st. However no one seems to be talking about the third possibility… Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare! If you have ever played Fallout then you might have a leg up on the competition (hope you’ve been saving those bottle caps.) but comics have been trying to prep us for some nightmare scenarios as well. I’m a firm believer in looking on the Bright side but it also pays to be realistic as well so without further ado we visit the first scenario.
Y: The Last Man
So a plague comes along and kills every man but you and now you have to disguise yourself as a woman just to make it down the street without getting attacked.
Before you start thinking that maybe this is a future you want to happen you need to remember something, the reality is going to be less like an Axe commercial and more like Black Friday and you’re a buy one get one free! 
Also there is a group known as the Daughters of the Amazon and they believe that the plague was mother Earth wiping the Earth clean so they are constantly after you but not for your skin flute, no they want you dead like the rest of your former fantasy football buddies.
Upside:  Well it’s obvious isn’t it?
Downside:  The nagging, dear God in heaven all the nagging!
The Walking Dead
Okay you don’t need to read the comic or even watch the show that it’s based on to get ready for this. I mean Hollywood has been preparing us for zombies for so fucking long it would almost be a disappointment at this point if we don’t get to use some of our survival skills.
If this happens the first thing I’m doing is finding a katana because I have always wanted to swing one of those at someone!
Upside:  Getting to finally cut loose with some cool ass weapons for realzies!
Downside: You will probably end up a zombie and people taste like chicken (or so I have heard) so if you don’t like chicken, this might be a deal breaker.
Judge Dredd
Nuclear conflicts have made the majority of the Earth completely uninhabitable. So you are either a radioactive disfigured mutant that lives in the desolate Cursed Earth very similar to the Mad Max movies or you live in a violent and overpopulated Megacity.
In the Mega city you are forced to live in a Block stacked on top of or around people. If the extremely violent criminals don’t get at you then just dropping a piece of lint on the ground can get you a life sentence from the Judges who have absolute authority.  
That’s also if a major conflict doesn’t come about such as the Dark Judges paying the city a visit and killing millions on a whim until Dredd kicks them back to their dimension. Nobody even bats an eye at the deaths because overpopulation is such a huge problem!
Upside: Finally the justice system is moving at a good pace!
Downside: Fuck up once with even something small like jaywalking and you can kiss your ass goodbye.
Days of Future Past
Speaking of mutants what about a universe where it’s illegal to even be one? With the Mutant Registration act having just passed, all mutants are now going to concentration camps. If you put up a fight then you will meet a posse of Sentinels who will either capture or kill you, depending on how much of a fight you put up.
The X-Men are mostly dead and any hope of them saving the world this time is all but dead along with them.
Upside: Only if you’re not a Mutant.
Downside: Downside? What downside? That sounds like mutant talk and you’re not a mutant… are you?
Age of Apocalypse

When Legion goes back in time to kill Magneto he accidentally kills his own father, Charles Xavier which if you know your Back to the Future science means that the universe skews into an alternate tangent reality.

In the AOA reality without Xavier to stop him, Apocalypse has triumphed in turning the world into a nightmare where only the strong mutants survive and the only ones who stand against him are the X-Men led by Magneto. Apocalypse has “culled” more than 80% of the world’s human population and carved up the United States for himself and his four horsemen.

In this reality even being a mutant isn’t safe because Apocalypse doesn’t want any pussies in his universe.

Strict no pussy policy.

Upside: The skies may be dark but look at those costumes, damn they are colorful!

Downside:  Apocalypse puts the A in asshole!

Kingdom Come

All the well-known responsible heroes have decided to hang up the tights and left the door open to a bunch of wannabe poser mall kid heroes. 

Fucking mall kids!

Also if you live in Kansas you are probably dead now thanks to this asshat.

But don’t worry because Superman is due back any day now!

Upside: Even you might end up being a superhero and responsible for the worlds safety!
Downside: The world might have to count on you? Forgive me for not feeling safe.

So the moral of this article is don’t worry about what might happen because it can always be worse… or better.
Was that a moral or a lesson?
I don’t know, I just like comics.
J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])

Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (17)

The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
(W) Garth Ennis (A) Doug Braithwaite, 1995

This little story was my first introduction to Garth Ennis
and his brand of outlaw comic writing. You would think that the guy would be a
no nonsense hard ass, but after meeting him at this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con
I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth as the man is a
completely polite gentleman.  There have
been others to successfully tackle the Punisher but no one gets the fully
rounded character the Punisher is better than Garth Ennis.  Though I really enjoyed the MAX Punisher series,
I don’t think I am ever more interested in the Punisher then when he interacts
with the other characters of the Marvel Universe. Much like Batman who is cool
in comparison to the super powered DC heroes, the Punisher definitely speaks to
the human side and portrays someone doing whatever he can to get himself on
even ground to the laser blasting brick wall destroying members of the hero
community. The Punisher is the Charles Bronson/Clint Eastwood of the Marvel
universe. The only downside of the character is for him to interact with the
good ole 616 universe, he has to be a neutered version of himself and not
actually kill anyone that matters. Not so in this story which is a from the
short lived Alterniverse label, where the Punisher is cut loose on the Marvel
universe in a very realistic way!
We start off in Hell’s Kitchen, years ago where little Matt
Murdoch (Daredevil) is getting beat up by several other kids. Grabbing the lead
bully, Frank Castle pulls him back and lays a big punch on him. The bullies all
run for it and Matt states that his father always told him not to fight. Frank tells
Matt that if he doesn’t stand up to bullies they will never leave him alone.

“You gotta get your own back.”
Now, in New York City, Central Park the Avengers and the
X-Men are teamed up to fight the combined forces of the Brood and Skrulls.
Frank Castle is speeding to the park because his wife and kids were going to
the park that day. 
Frank arrives on the
scene as the heroes have defeated the aliens and Daredevil is admonishing them
for not watching out for the innocents in the park. Captain America mentions
that the attack came upon so suddenly that they did not have time to clear the
area. As Frank runs up on the heroes he finds his family was killed in the
crossfire. The heroes are all silent as they do not know what to say. Cyclops
steps up to Frank and says he’s sorry. Frank turns on Scott Summers and shoots
him right in the face blowing his brains out.
Sweeping his gun he kills Hawkeye
and Shadowcat. (Later it’s mentioned
that he killed Jubilee. It’s very possible the creators got the two young
characters confused.) 
Wolverine attacks Frank, slicing into him and taking
him down. Before Logan can go further, Colossus holds him back, stopping him
from finishing the job.
Later Castle is in custody and meets his Lawyer, Matt
Murdoch. Matt mentions that even though the crime he committed is horrible he
may be able to get a reduced sentence, taking into account his exemplary
military record and the situation of his bereavement.
In the courtroom, the Judge gives Frank a life sentence for
his crimes despite Matt’s best efforts. The slaughter that Castle inflicted on
the heroes is just too much to overcome any defense.
The truck taking Castle to prison is detoured and the
vigilante is let out by an old man with a mangled face, one arm and walking
with a cane. The man introduces himself as Kesselring and takes Franks
handcuffs off and invites him up to his mansion. As the mangled old man walks
Castle through the halls of his compound he tells the vigilante that he has
paid substantial amount of money to have the guards bring him to his home.
Kesselring explains that he used to enjoy having money but that it all changed
when Dr. Doom through the Human Torch into his car during a fight. Leading him
into a meeting room, Castle finds a group of several others, all with severe
disfigurements. Kesselring explains what happened to them.  One had a building thrown at him by the
Thing; another was attacked by Wolverine when Wolverine mistook who he was. A
woman was run over by the Ghost Rider while another man was crippled by
Magneto.  Kesselring explains that they
were all affected by super beings one way or another and no one cares because
everyone meant well and the good supposedly outweighed the bad. (When I first read this comic it was like
an epiphany of why had no one thought of this before?)
Kesselring offers to
fund Frank to punish them all! He wants the entire super population dead, all
the heroes and all the villains, everyone who ever dared to act above the law!
Frank agrees and it’s off to the races from here.
Down in the sewers Spider-Man and Venom are fighting each
other when in the shadows behind them you can make out a white skull symbol.
Parker’s spidey sense goes crazy but he can’t react as he is still trying to
combat Venom. Next barbed Tasers lash out and shock both combatants putting
them down. 
Before Venom can recover The Punisher dispatches him with a full
clip from his machine gun. As Parker questions why he’s doing this, Frank walks
over and pops one off in Parkers face. Frank answers to the now dead
Spider-Man, “cause somebody had to be first.”
Back in the battle Van, Frank asks his new partner Micro how
he got mixed up in the job. Micro explains he was working combat systems in the
Air Force when Doc Ock broke into the base and tore his legs off. Now here he
is working the technical side for Frank’s war on the Super people.
Next we have the Hulk Rampaging and destroying everything as
per usual. Frank shoots the monster with a tracking device.  Hours later the Punisher using his GPS to
follow the signal and finds Bruce Banner asleep in an alley and just as he is
waking up, Castle caps him.
Two weeks later, Micro has disabled all of the Kingpins
security systems and Frank is cutting a swath through the criminals guards in
his Skyscraper. 
Frank makes his way into the Kingpins penthouse where he is
struck with a massive right hook. Destroying the Punisher’s rifles Kingpin explains
that he was in full support of Frank Castle’s war on the super community and
that he was even designing weapons to assist his fight. The Punisher pulls out
two handguns and just fires everything at Wilson Fisk as the giant criminal
lurches forward. The Kingpin falls dead on top of Castle and then the police
come in take the vigilante back into custody. Another trial and Castle is again
sent to prison and again let out by Kesselring. The mangled man tells Frank
that it is getting harder to keep him out of jail and the progress he has made
has not been enough. Frank explains that he has Kingpins advanced weaponry now
and he has a plan to take out more of them at once.
Micro is flying Frank to Latveria and has masked their
presence to make them appear to be the Fantastic Four in the fantasticar.
Knowing that Doom can never resist playing with the FF, he is sure they will get
really close with the ruse. 
The Punisher parachutes into the Castle and a short
time later he is shown on the ground with Doom overhead. After a short beating
where the Doctor continues to let Frank know how insignificant he is, Castle
retaliates with a magnetic mine that destroys his armored weapons. The mine
also sends a feedback that destroys all of the Doombots in the castle. The mine doesn’t finish Doom off so the Punisher simply grabs a sledgehammer off the wall and
starts pounding away at the metallic helmet of the Latverian despot until he
hears a SQUITCH!
Micro and Punisher tour Doctor Doom’s castle and through all
the weaponry they find the one thing Frank was really looking for… a nuke!
Frank explains that guns aren’t going to be enough to really make a big dent.
” It’s time to get sneaky.”
On the moon it’s the final mutant battle as Magneto,
Apocalypse, and Mister Sinister have joined all the evil mutants together to
battle the X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force. 
Each side assumes the other side was
the one to start the conflict but before either can react, the nuclear bomb
goes off and takes all the mutants out in one fell swoop! All except one.
Wolverine is drinking himself into depression as he can’t
believe all his teammates died on the moon while he was following a wild goose
chase in Japan. He can’t believe everything has gone so wrong in two years. 
Avengers fried in a transporter that was tampered with, someone flooded the
Vault and killed all the villains being held inside.  He points out that Captain America the only
surviving Avenger is investigating but he hasn’t made progress and now they
have found Mister Fantastic dead in a dumpster. The Punisher approaches Logan and
explains that he is the one who sent him to Japan while he killed all his
friends, because he had something special for him. Wolverine goes into
berserker rage but Frank slices into the mutant’s throat with a knife. For a
second Logan can’t breathe, but his neck heals and he charges the Punisher who
uses his momentum to throw the mutant through a fence. Wolverine calls Frank a
psycho for killing all of his friends. Logan slices into Frank’s hand, and
Frank grabs Wolvies arm and stabs him with his own claws and he tells him that
they killed his family and they said sorry,
“but sorry doesn’t cut it!”
then throws Wolverine into a power generator that fries him from his adamantium
Three months later and mid-battle, The Punisher unloads his machine gun to which
Captain America is blocking every bullet. As Steve Rogers moves in he knocks
the Punisher to the ground and tells Frank that he knows that all of his
weapons are out of bullets and that he needs to give up.  Cap asks Frank what happened to him. He knows
he was once a good soldier and he doesn’t understand how he could have gone
wrong.  Frank mentions Vietnam to which
Steve knows nothing about and he still doesn’t get it. Frank pulls out a gun
that he stashed at the scene, one that the brilliant strategist and leader of
the Avengers did not know was there and shoots Rogers in the head when he doesn’t see it coming.
Back in Kesselring’s compound he and the others are toasting
his success. Castle explains that nothing he does is to be cheered about; it
just needs to be done. Frank tells them that only Daredevil remains and once
that’s done he is done. Kesselring takes exception to this and tells Frank that
he belongs to them and that even after Daredevil is dead, more superheroes will
be born and he needs to be ready to kill them to. Frank ignores the man and
when Kesselring pulls a gun on him, Frank turns and shoots him down. Castle then tells all
the others to never contact him again because if one does he will find and kill
them all!
In the battle van Frank tells Micro that after Daredevil he
should get really far away and find something else to do with his brain.
Scoping out the scene of Hell’s Kitchen, Punisher doesn’t see Daredevil behind
him. Matt tells Frank that this is where it all began. Frank doesn’t know what
he means and tries to get him with an Uzi. Murdoch deftly leaps above the blast
and comes in with a flurry attacks, knocking Frank off the roof.  Frank lands on a car and Daredevil leaps down
after him. Castle charges and Matt knees him in the jaw knocking him down again
as he demands Frank give it up. Matt explains that good and bad he murdered
everyone and still his family isn’t coming back. Frank says they were all
arrogant and wanting to change the world their own way with the attitude that
it was too bad if anyone wanted anything different. Even after all the murder,
Matt explains to Frank that he knows he can’t be all that bad, he knows a good
man is somewhere in there.  He begs him
one more time to let it end and offers his hand to help him up. “Like Hell!”
the Punisher screams as he pulls Matt down and stabs him in the heart.
Daredevil pulls off his mask and Frank is shocked to see his childhood friend
and lawyer as his latest victim. Matt explains that, “there is always someone
behind the mask, but not anymore because he killed them all. 
Frank looks down
at his Skull shirt and says to himself, “just one more.” Frank then points the gun
at himself and pulls the trigger.
This comic was released in 1995 to almost no interest but was then re-released in 1999 after Garth Ennis started his Punisher reboot. 
A reboot that revived the character from the over saturated mess it had become in the 90’s. 
Yeah that happened.
No matter what your opinion on heroes killing villains this comic serves a great story that could never exist in the regular Marvel Universe but does the great character of the Punisher justice.
By. J. Ryan Buck([email protected])
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (16)

Top Ten
Batman Fights
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])

The Dark Knight Rises comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD on December 4th
and has a pretty good fight scene between Bane and Batman. The movie got me
thinking, what are the best Batman fight scenes in comics? Well several
questions came across my mind as to what makes a good fight scene.
1. Is the fight important to the story?
2. Is the opponent formidable?
3.Is it a cool well-choreographed fight?
Number three counts for a lot with me, so much so that a
good fight that means nothing can overtake a fight that means something. A
fight that has both, such as the number one choice on my list, is of course
going to reign supreme. Agree with me, disagree, think I left a good one out? You’re
probably not wrong, but you have to admit that the list has some awesome brawls
on it!
“One Hit
Justice League #1
Guy challenges the goddamn Batman to a fist fight and goes
down like a bitch. Great moment, not great enough to make the list however.
“World War 3”
JLA # 36-41
The first time Batman encountered Prometheus, the villain used
his helmet that is connected to his nervous system to copy Batman’s moves and
toppled Batman. In this rematch, Batman was prepared and interfered with
Prometheus’s helmet by giving him a copy of the nervous system of Professor
Stephen Hawking. Another great moment, but most of the fight is off page.
“The Martian
JLA #3
The White Martians in disguise take down the JLA, well
everyone except Batman that is, he is only human after all. Batman uses his
detective skill to figure out who the Martians are and then he knows the
powerful aliens major weakness. Thinking he is just a super strong flick away
from being turned into goo, the Aliens confront the Dark Knight who creates a
fire circle around all of them and then cracking his knuckles, says, “Okay, I’m
10. Batman
VS. Dracula
Batman: Red
Gotham is
being run by the Lord of Vampires and his minions. Batman does his best to
control the blood sucking menace but in the end he just can’t do it without
some help, and goes and gets himself turned. The final battle is pretty epic as
VampBat uses silver batarang’s as well as his supernatural powers to put down
the count, for the count. At the end Bruce notes that he may be dead, but
Batman will go on fighting forever.
9. Batman
VS. The Incredible Hulk
I covered
this battle way back in IHI (5) and even though it’s a wacky pairing, it’s
surprisingly well done. Batman doesn’t just swoop in and kick Hulks ass, he
uses every item in his utility belt as well as his superior fighting prowess to
fell the Hulk for a few seconds. It’s totally believable and it’s an awesome thing
to read.
8. Batman
VS. Nightwing
Batman # 600
evades most of the fight and when Dick asks for Batman to fight him, Batman
lays two face busting punches and then goes back to evading until he get his
former sidekick to crash into the case where his old Robin costume is. The
fight ends here with Nightwing a bundle of nerves and proving that Bruce taught
Dick everything he knows, but not everything Bruce knows. Batman played with
him and the only two punches he landed were the only ones he threw.
7. Batman VS. Grendel Prime
only reason this fight is not in the top three is because it is essentially an Elseworlds
tale with a character that not many are familiar with, including me. Grendel
Prime is like a cross between the Terminator, Forge(X-Men) and Jason Voorhees
and oh he has a lightsaber like weapon as well. Batman goes toe to toe with
this monster from the future no less than three separate times and gets his ass
handed to him each time. The last time he manages to take Grendel apart to
study him, and Grendel just repairs himself back from a single hand and then
travels back to the future. The whole story is almost a complete fight scene
and it is a good one.
6. Batman VS. The Reaper
Comics 575-578
This storyline takes place in year two where Batman encounters
his predecessor as the protector of Gotham. The Reaper was a killer of
criminals who didn’t feel a hero that was not willing to kill would be
successful as Gotham’s guardian. The storyline ends on a rooftop where Batman
uses the gun that murdered his parents in the battle. In the end the Reaper let’s
himself fall to his death secure in the knowledge that Batman will kill if his
back is against the wall. Even though Bruce won the fight and puts guns away
for good after-wards, he knows that the Reaper nearly made him break his own
vow to never kill.
5. Batman VS. Deathstroke The Terminator
is looking for answers and Deathstroke has them. Batman takes it easy on Deathstroke
at first but then the kid gloves come off and he’s out to bring the pain.
Deathstroke reveals, he’s also been holding back and states that Batman is just
a man, while he is an enhanced killer. Slade and Batman go fist to foot at each
other but the Terminator is just too much and beats Batman to within an inch of
his life. Batman makes a horror movie comeback but is put down again at the end
of the issue.
 4. Batman VS. Bane
now the list is getting tough. At the end of the Knightfall storyline, Bruce
had to recapture a load of villains released by Bane from Arkham. He had not
gotten any sleep or rest since the beginning and coming back to his mansion he
finds Bane waiting for him. Batman gets his ass kicked and then his back
broken, but Batman never gives up and takes the beating the whole way through
until he can no longer stand. Story wise, this fight is probably number one,
but it’s pretty one-sided and so I can’t place it any higher then number four.
3. Batman VS. Clayface/Jason Todd
the Hush storyline Batman is sent jumping through all manner of hoops and
thinks he has finally found the man behind it, Jason Todd otherwise known as
the second Robin who was murdered by the Joker! Batman doesn’t want to fight his
former ward and is beaten harshly with not only Todd’s physical attacks, but
his verbal ones as well! The guilt Bruce has always felt about Jason’s death
has haunted him for years and he figures maybe he deserves to be beaten. Using
his detective skills and putting all the elements together he realizes that he
is not fighting Jason at all but yet another red herring in the ongoing
storyline as he beats the man’s ass revealing his opponent to be Clayface. (If you read and followed Judd Winick’s
Batman run then he was actually fighting Jason Todd and during the battle Jason
switched with Clayface before the finale… whatever.)
2. Batman VS. The Mutant Gang Leader.
Dark Knight Returns: Book Two
the future and the villain’s no longer play by the rules. Batman is old and
rusty at the super hero game and while taking down mutants in the BatTank, he
encounters the monster sized mutant gang leader who pulls him out of the tank
and mops the floor with him. The mutant is younger stronger and just better
then Batman. After realizing he can’t fight like a young man anymore, Batman
goes for round two with the Mutant and uses every dirty trick in the book. The
mutant just can’t handle a man as angry as Bruce with nothing to lose and is
killed by him. This is a turning point in the story as Batman shows that if the
bad guys are taking things down to the gutter, he will join them down there, he
will stop at nothing to win!
1. Batman VS. Superman
Dark Knight Returns: Book Four
Were you expecting anything else here? This is like the Rock
versus Stone Cold at WM 17 magnitude. This fight is two men representing two
different ideologies. Superman is still the ultimate good guy and Batman has
crossed the line one too many times.  Batman fires missiles uses synthetic kryptonite
a tank and everything else in his arsenal and still Superman keeps coming. In
the end Batman wears Superman down enough to use his power suit and take him to
within an inch of his life. Superman knows by the end, that Batman beat him.
This list was a month in the making as I nearly flipped through every comic with Batman that I have. I found some great fights with others that have taken the Batman mantle, but in the end I decided to keep to just Bruce Wayne. I did go into it with an open mind as to what was the best but the number one fight has been placed on every top fight list for Batman and Superman I have read. I read it again and knew that yes, it was still the best! 
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

I Have Issues (15)

“Superman In Hell”
“What might have been.”
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Summer of 1986

DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths was a smash success with comic fans and for the first time ever there was electricity in the air with the thought of what might come next for DC.
The British invasion of comic books was in full bloom as those crazy creators from across the pond had brought there outside the box ideas over and injected them into the American characters that had become more than a little stale from the 50 plus years since they had been created. One night at the San Diego comic Con this summer several individuals gathered for Dinner. One was Jenette Kahn, President of DC comics; another was Klaus Janson, an artist who had drawn several characters, most recently that summer a story in Detective comics, with Green Arrow, that was written by Alan Moore. His other more prominent work was as inker with Frank Miller on Daredevil.  Joining them at dinner were three others, two rock stars of comics and one at this point unknown. Frank Miller had brought Daredevil from C-list hero to “must read” comic with his run; he also was working on something coming out at the end of the year called The Return of the Dark Knight or something like that. With them at dinner was Alan Moore. Alan was having a successful run on his comic Swamp Thing and he was also about to see his story with what was supposed to be the Charlton characters called Watchmen  come out in a couple months. With them was one of Alan Moore’s friends and another British creator trying to break into American comics named Neil Gaiman.
The conversation was abuzz with the excitement of DC comics, an excitement that had not been present for a long time with the company. The talk turned to the plans of Superman where Jenette Kahn was tight lipped about the legendary John Byrnes plans with the character’s revamp. Miller mentioned he had a proposal that did not go anywhere with all three of the DC “big guns named Metroplis. Alan Moore pointed out that he had written the Superman story that would end the previous comics before the revamp. 
It was at this time all of the guests at the table began giving their ideas for the ultimate Superman story. The ideas flew fast from everyone except Gaiman who did not even have his series Black Orchid published yet and held back.
Eventually everyone grew silent as the two rock stars Miller and Moore dropped ideas like poker players slapping cards on the table, until Alan Moore laid out the royal straight flush of ideas, “Superman in Hell!” to which all fell silent at the table while Neil took mental notes.

Fast forward to 1988 and Neil Gaiman is getting a call from Mark Waid, a young staff editor for DC comics, explaining that they need a final story for Action Comics Weekly. Waid even offered Gaiman the chance to use Gaiman’s favorite character, Hal Jordan, and Neil accepted. Neil was excited to get his first offer to not only write one of the major DC characters but his favorite character, Green Lantern! Neil had often daydreamed how he would fix the mess that was the Green Lantern universe at the time, and maybe… just maybe a good story here could land him that gig! Neil’s thoughts drifted back to that dinner and he knew exactly what he would write. After a quick call to Alan Moore to go along with the story that had hatched from the masters brain, he was all systems go to get his foot in the door of DC comics!

Green Lantern/Superman
Legend of the Green Flame
(W) Neal Gaiman, (A) Michael Allred, Terry Austin, Mark Buckingham, John Totleben, Matt Wagner, Eric Shanower, Arthur Adams, Jim Aparo, Kevin Nowlan, Jason Little
Prologue 1949
Two members of the Blackhawk squadron are exploring ruins in Berlin Germany looking for a Nazi secret weapon. 
While looking they find bodies of a man in a gas mask which is not totally unusual but they also find feathers lying around, which is very unusual. Another strange outfit even has an hour glass attached to it. (No one knows who these obvious references to the Justice Society are? Some with more time on their hands then I have, have said it’s the Justice Society from an alternate reality that appears in “The Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1.)
The Blackhawks find a Green Lantern Battery in the wreckage as the possible weapon they heard rumors about and take it with them for further study.
In the present, Clark Kent can sense his friend Hal Jordan coming from his heartbeat as he exits the elevator into the newsroom. As the two meet, Hal asks if Clark has some time to talk about some stuff. 
Clark agrees and states that they can go back to his place because he can grill a mean burger. (Superman became a vegetarian in the 2000’s because why not, he doesn’t need to eat! I’ll tell you why not, because meat tastes good!) On the way out the door Lois stops the duo and asks Clark if he can do a feature for her, at a museum in the evening. Clark is at first resistant, but in the end he agrees, because it’s Lois.
The two travel through the park at night as Hal talks about how the Guardians have left and the master power battery was destroyed. Now there are still Green Lanterns, but they aren’t a collective force any longer. All the G.L.’s are just kind of doing their own thing and Hal is not sure how to handle not having this huge interstellar backup that he has always had. Hal Jordan feels alone. 
As Hall continues his diatribe, Clark mentions in a very matter of fact calm way, that they are being mugged.  The gang demands their wallets as Hal and Clark offer up the chance to take care of the gang to each other, “It’s your city.” “No, I insist.” They eventually decide to make a team effort of it. Clark whirlwinds them into a green cage that Hal makes to put them in. Next to the cage he leaves a flashing neon sign that says, “Stop police, muggers here!”
At the Museum the theme for the night is mysterious objects and artifacts. Wine is offered to all guests and of course Clark asks if they have any orange juice? Hal chats up and strikes out with a Selina Kyle who was at the Museum to see an item called the Pearl that mysteriously vanished before it arrived.  Clark uses his press pass and he and Hal walk to the exhibit to see the items before the general public. Hal rhetorically asks, “I wonder how many people are out there?” to which Clark replies, “eight hundred and thirty two including museum staff.” As they walk this wing of the museum they find a Green Lantern battery. Hal asks Clark to use his super-vision to see if he can figure out what it is. Clark does and nearly passes out, as he explains to Hal that it is like looking into forever. Hal points out that the battery looks like Alan Scott’s but that he has his battery and this one was found in 1949 and has not been used since. Hal decides it’s time to act without thinking and turning into Green Lantern he sets about doing his oath and charging his ring back up with this strange battery. 
As he finishes his oath, green energy feedback’s upon them and on the next page they are face down in a grey ghostly realm.
The Deadman(Boston Brand) appears and the heroes are full of questions, chief among them, where they are and what happened?  Boston lets them know that he could tell them, but they are not going to like the answer. Their dead! 
Deadman lets them know that it’s only official when they walk into the light and he doesn’t know where they go from there as he has never stepped into the light. Clark and Hal aren’t ready to give up yet and Hal says he will just command his ring to take them both back to their bodies because it can’t get worse than this. Boston says those are famous last words, much like his own, “Gee from up here it almost looks like that guy with the Hook’s got a Rifle!” (Deadman is a lame character with most writers writing him, but Gaiman works him like a master puppeteer.) GL uses his ring and a green flash explodes from it.
Elsewhere, the Phantom Stranger senses a shift in the way things should be and leaves his place of solitude.
Tears cannot blur Superman’s vision. He hears a woman cry that what she did was not a sin because she loved him, then her throat is cut and she continues to scream her blood bubbling the sound of her voice. Her throat heals itself and it all happens over again. Superman smells skin burning, crisping and the scent of blood and urine all around. His eyes can see people being drowned in ice and fire and totally eviscerated only for it to happen again and again. There are millions of millions of millions of victims, so many that even he cannot count them all! All around him the realm stretches forever, and Superman cries. Hal is holding on to Superman and freaking out as Superman is nearly catatonic and floating above the burning brimstone.  
A demon the shape of a giant slobbering Hawk approaches and tells them that they are in the pit stygian at the end of all hope. Hal mentions that he doesn’t believe in Hell, to which the demon simply instructs him to click his ruby slipper so he can go home then.  The Hawks fellow demons travel in a floating boat as they all argue over the eyes and the fingers of the two heroes, fighting the whole way. Superman is still out of it as he is horrified by the fact that he cannot help them and that even if he could, he could not help all of them. Hal Jordan cries for Clark to snap out of it and help him because he is afraid to use the ring again at this point. Clark simply hears GL’s cries as yet another in the infinite amount of others crying for him. The demon bird bites into Superman’s calf which causes him to scream out and Hal to let go and fall to the pits below. Hal commands his ring to get them out of there, as he has run out of options and just as he finishes the order, the boat of demons throws a grappling hook through his torso, nearly tearing him apart, and the heroes vanish.
The Phantom Stranger arrives at the museum and he passes everyone, entering the wing where the power battery is.
Superman and Green Lantern are on the ground as a green flame repairs their bodies. Hal helps Clark up and Clark mentions that the worst part of Hell is that those people were creating it themselves, he could not help them, and only they could help themselves as they were the source of the punishment. Clark asks where they are now, to which Hal says, he doesn’t care anymore. 
A giant green flame begins to speak and explain that the Guardians of OA created the lanterns with science and magic, but they found the magic to be too wild and so they banished it. The Green Flame is the magic that was banished taking a sentient form. The Flame then orders Hal to drop his OAN power ring and take a new one with magic as its power source and then become a servant of the Flame! It’s then that the Phantom Stranger shows up and tells Hal that the Power Battery he used has tainted his ring with wild magic and that is why  it is sending him to all these crazy realms. 
He explains to Hal that eventually the magic power could be controlled and used but that he was not ready for it yet.  Hal uses Alan Scott’s Oath to dispel the magic from the ring as Alan was the only one who could control the green flame.

(It’s neat to see the direction Gaiman was taking the Green Lanterns had he continued to reboot the franchise. This was definitely a precursor to Green Lantern becoming a magic based hero, instead of a science based one.) The Stranger takes the battery away until it is ready to be used, and Jordan commands his ring to return him to their bodies once more.
Back in the real world and in their bodies, Hal asks Clark if it all really happened, to which Clark replies solemnly that it did. Hal wonders what Clark saw in Hell, but then decides that it is better if he does not know.
Later on Superman is asking Hal about his problems again to which Hal replies that his perspective has definitely changed. There is a whole universe of things out there and he is far from alone. (This is again, another reference to the fact that this was leading to a Gaiman Reboot of the GL comic.)
So now the script is written and Mark Waid loves it! The only problem is that Superman was rebooted and now Clark and Hal no longer know each other outside of their superhero identities. The powers that be at DC tried desperately to save the story, but Neil had just gotten his first taste of editorial interference and he did not like it. He was not about to rewrite a story he had worked so hard on and poured himself into.  DC would not budge and neither would Gaiman, so the story died right there. Gaiman would then move on to write characters that no one cared about or were forgotten and realized how rewarding it was to build his own universe to do with the characters as he wished.
In 2000 the whole story was reprinted in a prestige format issue as an Elseworlds style tale much to the delight of this fan writing this post right here. (My favorite writer writing one of my favorite top three characters!) This story is not only a decent fast read; it also represents what could have been. Neal Gaiman has even said that this story is from an alternate dimension where he went on to write all of DC’s big guns and reboot Green Lantern making the characters universe his own.

(If you’re wondering I culled the dinner scene and the various happenings surrounding the comic script from both the Legend of The Green Flame comic and the TPB DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore, as well as scouring of the interwebs.) 

Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/
Also I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and to Scott and the other Canadians, just a really good day, since your Thanksgiving was like what a month ago? You guys are silly.