I love that I can take these things in any direction. So many ways to dissect the weekly happenings of comics and entertainment news, but let’s start by wishing a Happy Birthday to Batman! This write-up about the history of Batman’s birthday points out a comic where Bruce’s gift is Wonder Woman and Batgirl battling it out Bachelor-style for a date with the Bat. My favorite part is the “Girls! Girls!” protest by Batman. Holy shit Batman gets into some weird shenanigans.

 

The “Week” In Zombies:

I got this email the other day:>

Do you enjoy the comforts in life? Are you a fan of hot and cold
running water? A toilet that flushes? The ability to shower whenever
you want? Is air conditioning your best friend?

If so, then you may not want to attend Zombie Con, Zombie Squad’s
annual retreat in rural Missouri. Zombie Con features five days and
four nights of camping on a rocky hill set at a 45 degree angle. Past
Zombie Cons have featured temperatures in the triple digits.
Sunburns, ticks, scorpions, and snakes are more common than rainbows
and unicorns. All of your food will taste like campfire. All of your
clothes will smell like you.

Also, you’ll learn about a little thing called ManBath.

I certainly won’t be traveling to Mizzou, but survivalist enthusiasts please hit the the Zombie Squad up and if you go feel free to let me know how crazy (smelly) it gets.

 

Couple bits of video I found that piqued my interest. First is a video for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City:

 

 

I’m a moderate fan of the series. To me Resident Evil = Terrible movies, boring mythology but gameplay that gets better with every cycle. With their impressive character roster this multiplayer focused effort looks like it hits the mark for what people want from their zombie games. Ah, zombies and video games. A natural marriage.

 

Also stumbled across this bit for a zombie musical.

Further proof of the saturation of the undead. It ain’t going away, and I’m glad.

 

The “Week” In Comics:

Basically, the biggest story of the week is that some guy found over 3 million dollars worth of comics in his Aunt’s closet. The collection belonged to his deceased uncle who apparently kept them in impeccable condition and had a knack for holding on to some of the most sought after books of all time. I literally have a hard time imagining the pure, unrivaled excitement that would dominated my skull if I found out I had Detective Comics #27.

The question then begs: would I even sell the more valuable pieces? I need a couple million in my pocket just as much as the next 99%er, but the inner collector, the inner fanboy, might have a hard time getting rid of Action Comics #1 knowing that there is a likely chance I will never see or touch another copy of it again.

I said in my last AT…N that I would wait before ripping Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith’s comic-book shop show, and I will, but it looks like the internet got to it before me. My colleagues at Comics Bulletin examine the show to it’s soft, gooey core, and really make my typing up a review pointless. Still, doesn’t stop me from posting my thoughts in the comments below their article!

“I’m frustrated because this show is preceded by one of the biggest mainstream comic-related hits of recent memory. My Twitter and Facebook blow up on Sundays for TWD by people who know next to squat about comics. And they’re subjected to goons like Steve-Dave and Mike as they ramble on about nothing of substance and then poorly insult each other. The idea needs rebuilt from the ground up. If you’re going to feature a show in a comic store talk about… comics? Not the business of buying/selling collectables in the worst age for the collectable market. Kevin Smith should be using the comic book connections I assume he has to get creators, execs and legends of the industry on TV and into the eye of the general public. Talk about hot indy comics or funny/weird/gross trends in the industry! It doesn’t have to be a dissertation on comics, but be smart, dammit! Instead they’re jawing over which superboobs to touch. Ugh. “

What is kind of the overweight, bearded cherry on the LCS sundae is Bryan “Steve-Dave” Johnson, a long-time lackey of Smith and one of the featured individuals on the show, writing a hateful message to critic Chris Sims. Reading that mad me a bit speechless. Internet hate is whatever, it’s part of the charm of having access to the web, but mildly attacking one of the, if the most, reputable comics journalist is just a dumb commercial move. Sorry, Steve-Dave. I actually don’t totally hate you in the show, but you aren’t really helping comics by  going at the neck of a critic. His job is to point out the flaws of your work, now do your job and entertain us, you little dancing money.

I will still probably spell out my exact thoughts on Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith and the concept of comic book reality T.V at another date. Probably at the end of the show’s first only season.

 

iFanboy kills it. They are part of about a half dozen excellent comic book journals that have high quality reporting and commentary on the industry. iFanboy is extremely hardworking and efficient, and every once in awhile I read a piece there, or anywhere really, that sticks with me.

I found this a little late, but Josh Flanagan’s What’s Wrong With You? column addresses old-school character Hank Pym a.k.a Ant-Man a.k.a Giant Man a.k.a Yellowjacket a.k.a Golitah. If you don’t know much about the character here is what most fans remember:

Here is what Flanagan had to say about it:

There are fans of Pym who wish this had never happened, because it ruined the character. They’re right. It did. Almost no one who has read comics for any length of time, or spent any time reading the Avengers since the smacking back in the 80s happened isn’t aware of Pym’s past. The character will never live it down. Even if the creators using the character never mentioned it again, it’s too late. The thing is, they can’t not mention it. It’s big of a ripe fruit of drama not to touch, even if just in subtext. I didn’t read the issue where this started. I don’t know how I know about it, but I do know about it, and not a thing can be done about it, because when you bring in a story element like spousal abuse, it’s way more real than alien genocide, and it sticks to our consciousness, as well it should…
And that’s why Hank Pym is done, unless you’re cool with him being labeled a wife beater. That’s why there have been at least two replacements in the Ant-Man suits. I suspect that’s why the movie never happened. I also suspect they killed off Janet Pym in some backwards and misguided, but telling, effort to cleanse Hank. I think they need to let Hank go. I think he needs to go down in a blaze of heroic glory, trying to atone for what he did, but knowing that he never fully can. Only then can he be forgiven. But Hank Pym fans need to stop being upset with other fans for bringing it up, or creators for putting it into their stories, and accept that what’s done is done, and go on to understand why, and what sort of effect these actions, even fictional ones, can have on our collective consciousness.

 

I really like this piece, and I’m glad that Pym, an important character to the Marvel mythos, is being discussed, but I disagree with his “done” status completely. Even if Marvel agrees with Flanagan, making a replacement Ant-Man Irredeemable, I don’t think the character is close to being totally fucked up. Evidence A: Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes

While a step above Super Hero Squad, the show does have some pretty awesome portrayals of the big time Avengers, and doesn’t miss many key characters, either.  Pym is a lot of fun in that show, a scientist adventurer who has a key hand in the troubles and successes of the Marvel’s marque team-up. It seems the writing staff of that show, headed by Christopher Yost, makes a pointed effort to feature Ant-Man as a major player.  While this incarnation of Pym has not harmed a wing on a single Wasp, it shows that the base character did, and still does, have appeal.

So what does that mean for 616 Pym? Dr. Henry Jonathan Pym, the creator of the Pym particle, founder of the Avengers, creator of Ultron, noted physicist and biochemist, foremost expert and scientific mind, rivaling Stark, Reed Richards, T’Challa and Dr. Doom. Now let’s get it straight, wife-beating isn’t acceptable on any level, but com’on….our heroes have done worse.

OK, OK, you’re right, it’s pretty bad. Wasp is kind of a sweetheart. Yet, even if his moment of weakness is reprehensible, it’s hard to look at his accomplishments and his relationships and not see potential for deep, and potentially enthralling stories. Writers should chomp at the bit to get their hands on a character like Pym. What makes him tick? The wife-beating moment has been covered and addressed, but there are still layers to Stark’s character we’re still discovering (see: Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man) , and we’re still peeling back the curtain on what kind of man Bruce Banner is (see: Jason Aaron’s The Incredible Hulk). Why not Ant-Man? He deserves a movie too! No way they’re putting wife-beating into it without a brilliant script, though.

There are 2-3 other great articles and features on iFanboy that posted this week that I will share here and comment on in the next month or so. I left out a pretty large zombie AND comics news item that popped up (hint: from Marvel). The reason is because it made me extremely excited, then extremely angry and frustrated. Expect a tirade soon on one of my biggest pet-peeves in all of modern fiction. Stick around for my anger!