Month: November 2017

Podicus Wrecks #65 – Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Podicus Wrecks. To celebrate this time, we would like to share what we are thankful for, as well as some Thanksgiving memories.

 

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Podicus Wrecks #64 – JLA Tower of Babel

With Justice League coming out this weekend, we thought we would discuss a Justice League story.  We picked Mark Waid’s Tower of Babel.  This story appeared in JLA 43-46, with the trade including some other issues, including a weird story about sentient bacteria.  So, enjoy this story that may have cemented the calculating, distrusting Batman.

Partial doesn’t count

Here’s something that really pisses me off.

partialIn this week’s X-Men: Blue #15, writer Cullen Bunn decides to have Kitty Pryde debut a brand new power working in “partial intangibility”.  At least it’s the first time I’ve ever seen her do it.

Okay, so Kitty Pryde’s power is intangibility, or “phasing” as she likes to call it.  Basically when she uses her ability, she becomes untouchable – like trying to grab a shadow.  There’s not really a scientific explanation for it, since it’s FICTION, so creators do their best to cover the bases that may be asked.  For instance, when Kitty phases, why doesn’t she simply fall straight down?  There are little rules set for each character that gives future creators a how-to on using these powers.

But sometimes, creators decide that characters should just do something because.  Like using Cyclops’s concussive force optic blast as a heat ray, for example.  Or Wolverine healing from a charred skeleton.  They think that something would be cool, so they throw it in, and there it goes.  Unfortunately, for nerds like me, when you start to accumulate all that a character can do with their abilities, it gets a bit much.  Instead of coming up with new things for the characters to do with their powers, they come up with new powers for their characters to do.  In that case, they might as well make a new character.

So let’s look at this “partial intangibility”.  I’m going to say that there’s not really a mid-point for it.  You’re either tangible or you’re intangible.  It’s being used as a means to cause discomfort for the person as Kitty phases through them.  Kind of like the effect her power has on electronics.  You want the villain to actually feel that something is moving through them, like swimming through water.  But that doesn’t really work.  You’re not actually going through the molecules of water when you swim.

Kitty’s powers have long been explained as needing crucial focus and concentration, because if she stops phasing whilst a part of her is within a solid object, that part of her would fuse with the object.  Painfully.  And probably messily.  So I would imagine that even if she could refine her phasing to a point where you can kind of, but not really feel her, the process of moving through you would leave your bodily organs in a damaged and non-working state.  And X-Men don’t kill.  Um…I think?

So when you think you need a moment where Kitty makes a move on a villain in battle, don’t try to reinvent the wheel, man.  Just have her phase through the guy, solidify her arm and bop him in the mush.  You’d make nerds like me a lot happier.

EDIT!!!: Commenter SGCEO pointed out that if Kitty was in a partially-tangible phase and rammed into a solid being, she would be the water in my analogy.  That makes sense – she would basically just splat around the guy.  It’s a having your cake and eating it too kind of thing.  You can’t have it both ways.

Announcement

I would like to make it known that on New Comic Day 11/08/2017, Marvel managed to put out TWO separate stories that both featured Krakoa, the island that walks like a man.

Let that one sink in.

Really quick

I think my problem with the current Generation X book is that the roster is a handful of passive powers.  That pretty much means that every issue is going to be the characters standing around and talking things through.

I don’t understand how this has been missed for so long, but wouldn’t it be awesome if you just took a handful of cool mutants and let them have adventures as teenagers with super powers?  You don’t even have to make up new characters for it, so you’re not breaking the Disney/Fox “We can’t have good X-Men” edict.

But seriously.  Your cast includes a girl that has “nature powers”, a kid with eyeballs all over him, an empathic shapeshifter, and a guy that can read something’s past.  What do you do with that besides “see problem and talk it out”?

Oh, and my other problem is that the book is TERRIBLE.

Podicus Wrecks #63 – Upcoming movies

This week, Anthony and J. R. are talking about upcoming movies they are interested in, premiering between Nov. 2017 and April 2018. They start with their thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok, and continue with their thoughts heading into Justice League, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Black Panther, and others. Jacob then pops in to offer his take on the trailer for The New Mutants. Casey then has his minute recaps of the “The Damned” and “Monsters” episodes of The Walking Dead. Finally being wrapped up with some thoughts on Super Mario Odyssey and news from Blizzcon.

 

Dark Nights: Batman The Merciless

Batman the Merciless coverThe origin stories of the Batmen from the Dark Multiverse continues with Batman The Drowned.  Previously, we have had The Red Death, The Murder Machine, The Dawnbreaker, and The Drowned.  With The Merciless, Batman has gained the power of Ares, the God of War.

Generally, I love Peter Tomasi’s writing.  And let me just off the bat (ha), that this is a well written issue.  I have no problems with the story.  It all makes sense.  My problem stems from something that they decided to leave out of the issue.  In past reviews, I frequently preach that storytellers should show, and not tell.  It is something I was taught, and was an idea that stuck with me.  Sometimes, alluding to, or hinting at, works.  Here, Batman’s internal narration is used to surprise the reader, and it does not work nearly as well as if we had actually seen the scene describe.  (more…)