Friday, January 31, 2014

Superman 64

Box Art
Officially called both Superman and The New Superman Aventures (that's how its spelled), "Superman 64" is a video game staring the famous superhero of its namesake (hence why I am talking about). It is also infamous for being one of the worst games ever. The game is based on animated series more than the comics.
Lex Luthor captured by Jimmy Olsen, Doctor Emil Hamilton (this was before he was revealed to be part of Project Cadmus) and Lois Lane. The trio are placed in a "virtual" version of Metropolis. Superman enters the game to save them. During the game, he has to fight Metallo, Parasite, Brainiac, Darkseid and Mala (who is oddly without her boss Jax-Ur). If the player wins the game, the game tells you that Lex Luthor is still on the loose.
A "Ride Level"
Superman starts off with flight and super strength. He can gain ice breathe, x-ray vision and super speed via power ups. The explanation for Superman's lack of powers is that "kryptonite fog" (which is actually uses to hide the poor draw distance) is weakening his powers.
The actual game levels are separated in two types: ride and maze levels. The ride levels have Superman flying through color rings. After completing this, they have a timed object to complete (such as protecting a woman from goons or throwing a car). If the player misses three rings, runs out time or fails the time objective, the player has to restart the ring segment. The "Maze levels" have Superman travel through one of Luthor's outposts. After doing some task, Superman has to fight a boss.
The game engine is known for its terribleness. It has many glitches. These include (but are not limited to) walking through walls and floor, causing objects to fly, dying in cut scenes and characters disappearing (including some bosses).
YouTuber ProtonJon interviewed the producer of Superman 64. He claims that (after producing a beta game) DC Comics and Warner Bros interfered with the game's production. They forced the virtual reality plot onto the game (since they didn't want Superman killing "real" people) and messed with the game in various ways. As such, the final result wasn't even 10% of their original plan (although he admitted that he may have been too ambitious).
Reception of the game was extremely negative. GameSpot's Joe Fielder gave it 1.3 out of 10. YouTube star ProtoJon claimed he liked the game for its so bad, its good quality. GameRankings gave it an overall score of 22.9 out of 100.
ProtoJon's multi-part Let's Play of game

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Particle Man is about Watchmen

The cast of Watchmen
Something that I have rarely mentioned on this blog are fan theories. Most fan theories tend to be nonsensical and worthless. However, I have heard one theory I believe is worthy enough for this blog: They Might Be Giant's famous song Particle Man is actually about Alan Moore's magnum opus Watchmen. I will both state arguments made by the source I heard this from and ones I thought of. Warning, this will have spoilers for Watchmen.
Universe Man is Doctor Manhattan. In Particle Man, Universe Man is called "size of the entire universe man". This could be saying Doctor Manhattan has powers that can operate on the level on the universe or he is the most powerful man in the universe. This seem supported by Doctor Manhattan repeated godlike acts such as ending the Vietnam War single handily, creating matter out of nothing and surviving being killed several times. Universe Man's "watch with a minute hand, millennium hand and an eon hand" might be a metaphor for Doctor Manhattan losing his humanity and becoming  apathetic to human suffering.
Triangle Man is Ozymandias. Triangle Man is constantly described as winning in the song. Ozymandias ultimately wins in the end. He is also described as beating Particle Man and Person Man, but I'll get to that later on.
Particle Man is the Comedian. In the song, narrator (when referring to Particle Man) says "What's he like? It's not important". This could being referring to the government ignoring the fact the Comedian is a ruthless psychopath since he gets the job done. Also the song, asks "When he's underwater, does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead?" In the context of the theory, this question asks if the society made the Comedian worse or did the Comedian make society worse? Finally, it is mentioned in Particle Man "Triangle man hates Particle Man. They have a fight, Triangle wins." and the Comedian is revealed to have been killed by Ozymandias.
Person Man is Rorschach. The song asks if Person Man "is ... depressed or ... a mess?" referencing his mental illness. Person Man is called "degraded man" and Rorschach is repeatedly contempt and disrespect by others (especially Sally Jupiter). Triangle Man is described as defeating Person Man. Ozymandias defeats Rorschach two times: in an actual fight and in the fact Rorschach is killed to help Ozymandias' plans.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


His ice form
For years, comics had these infamous Hostess ads. These tended to be melodramatic, one-page superhero stories where a Hostess product somehow saved the day (or at least important to the story). Most villains that originally appear in these stories never appeared again. Icemaster is an exception.
Icemaster (whose real name is "Bradley Kroon") originally appeared in an advertisement for Hostess pies in Avengers issue 191. Icemaster froze most of New York. The Human Torch gave him Hostess pies. This caused him to instantly unfreeze the city and surrender.
For some reason, Marvel Comic decided to bring him back. He was among of the twenty five villains in Crimson Cowl II's version of the Masters of Evil. The Masters attempted to use weather-controlling technology to get billions from various nations. The Thunderbolts stopped them. Icemaster stole a craft (with Whirwind, Living Laser, Ember and Aftershock) to cause some chaos. The group attacked Stamford, CT. Speedball forced them to flee. Living Laser mockingly suggested Icemaster ate too many fruit pies. Icemaster, Ember and Aftershock attacked the Avengers Academy and a handful of other heroes. However, Jeremy Briggs stopped them. He melted Icemaster's ice thus revealing his true form. Icemaster was seen being transported to an Upstate New York prision. Icemaster (aided by other villains) attempted a jailbreak, but was foiled as Guardsman, Mimic and Rogue.
Icemaster has ice powers. He can create coldness and ice. He can reshape the ice covering him into weapons. However, he is vulnerable to enough heat.

Planet of AT4W Live

An ad for Helio-Con
So recently, I went to the Flower Mound / Dallas comic convention Helio-Con. There, I saw Lewis Lovhaug preform an AT4W live show. This is where is a live version of his show. Lewis dubbed the event "Planet of AT4W Live". The show was hilarious. He made fun of the first issue of DC Comics' Star Trek: The Next Generation series and then answered some Q&A. I enjoyed the event and wanted to record this event. To make up for how short this post is, I will post another today, which I don't normal do.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Doctor Bob Doom

Bob clad in his supervillain costume
Bob Doom is the fifth cousin of Doctor Doom, who is a dentist. No, I am not making this up.
As mentioned before, Robert Doom is Doctor Doom's fifth cousin. Unlike Doom, Bob lives in America and has a job as a dentist. He resented and envied Doctor Doom. So, he hatched his own evil plan: after studying weapon technology, robotics and mechanics, he created "neuro-transcivers", miniature devices that allow him to control the nervous system of the victim. He placed them in his wealthy clients' fillings. However, one of the clients accidentally damaged his neuro-transceiver and turned into a radio receiver. Thinking this was simply malpractice, the client sued Bob with Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) as his lawyer. However, Jennifer found out the truth. She-Hulk easily defeated him even biting his adamantium drill. He is seen later having gone straight and wished She-Hulk a happy birthday.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Zibarro talking to Superman
What would a Bizarro Bizarro be like? Superman! But, I am going talk about Zibarro.
Zibarro is a native of the All-Star Superman universe. He is the only person on the Bizarro World that has proper mental abilities. Zibarro encountered Superman and helped him escape the Bizarro World. In doing so, Zibarro gave up his chance to escape himself. Superman promised to save him later. However by end of All-Star Superman, Superman went into the sun and been seen since. So, Zibarro is probably still stuck on the Bizarro World.
Powers and Abilities
Zibarro has no superhuman powers. However, he has intelligence of a normal human while other Bizarros don't. He has normal color skin, which the other Bizarros also lack. Despite this, his speech balloons have the same inverse colors as the other Bizarros.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vault of Obscurity 4

I have done several anthology posts that talk about multiple subjects that couldn't support a post by themselves. Here's another one. The last two had themes. This one will have theme too: characters I heard from Mr. Kitty's Stupid Comics website (go here for the site).
Astroman whining (which is good at)
Astroman is a superhero that lives in alternate universe. In this universe, America became a totalitarian government. Astroman was a superhero that works for the government. He basically buckled to whatever the government says despite his dislike of them. His ward is the woman Tami, who secretly the leader of the rebels. A terrorist, Orapa, attacked "President" Kenman. While Astroman stopped the terrorist, he secretly allied himself with Orapa. The last page of the story said to get answers to various questions (such as who Tami and Astroman are) will be answered in comics that were never produced. Oddly, the last page called them "the most controversial couple in comics" despite nothing in the comic to really support this. 
Astroman's powers are poorly defined. He has flight (which he displays multiple times). Astroman claims to be over 40,000 years old. If this is true, this would seem to imply he is either an immortal or long-lived.
Crack Buster / Crackbuster
His first appearance in the comic
The issue starts with some jocks are smoking crack when the hero Crack Buster suddenly appears. Later, a shady guy is trying to push drugs, but Crack Buster beat him up. This of course attracts the attentions of some drug lords led by a cloaked man. The cloaked man sends a hit man to kill Crackbuster (the comic spells it both ways). Crackbuster defeats him with what looks like shovel mixed with dust scoop. The cloaked man thinks to himself "These losses are becoming more than annoying".
I should probably talk about the titular character. He is a darkly-clad superhero. He seems to have no powers instead he uses his fighting skills and occasionally a weapon. I should point out the cover shows multiple Crack Busters so "Crack Buster" might be an identity used by multiple people.
Thor, God of thunder and rock and roll
The comics starts off with the musician Jon Thor is practicing with his band, Thor (how egoistical). Suddenly, a cosmic entity appears and tells the band they are going to the universe. The entity gives them vaguely He-Man-like clothes before the comic ends. No explanation is given on how the band is suppose to save the world. The comic is actually based on the musician, bodybuilder, actor, historian and writer Jon Mikl Thor (who is probably best known for being in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie Zombie Nightmare). However, the Mr. Kitty site incorrectly calls him "Jon 'Thor' Mikl".

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, a doctor claims the Joker is not insane and has "Super-Sanity".
Explanation in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
The doctor elaborates on the condition. The Joker supposedly finds that modern life too overpowering and stressful. To deal with this, he restructure his mind and personality. As such, one day he could be a harmless goofball and a murder the next.
Why This Make No Sense
"Super-Sanity" is a good example of when a writer is writing about something he has no clue about. I know what you are thinking: "Grant Morrison, the comic's writer, intentionally made this incorrect to paint the doctors at Arkham as having no idea what they are talking about". However, in Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin, Joker says he is "just different sane" (referring to super-sanity) and Robin confirms this.
While "sanity" lacks an universal definition, it is generally defined as something along the lines of a person's ability correctly function in everyday life thus the Joker cannot be "super"-sane. Super-Sanity seems to actually be a case of extreme dissociation. Caused by an inability to deal with life's stresses or trauma, dissociation is a psychotic detachment from one's surroundings.
Alternate Versions
Later writers used the term. However, they altered its meaning. It now seems to mean that he is partly aware he is a comic book character. If Joker knows he is comic character, his psychotic behavior might his warped attempt to entertain his readers and reinvents his personality to meet up the current taste of readers.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Manly Comics

Their star character
In the preface for the Flex Mentallo, Grant Morrison gave the history of the fictional publisher Manly Comics.
The company was founded by Ashley DuBois, the son of a wealthy landlord. The company produced comics based on Atlas, Hercules, Samson and Caligula. Ashley published the comics as an outlet for his homosexual desires (for example, a typical cover had Hercules whipping Atlas' butt with a flail). Much to his surprise, the comics were popular among soldiers and children, who missed the homo erotic subtext. Chuck Fiasco, an employee for Manly Comics, got the idea for Flex Mentallo from a neon sign he saw that said "Flex Mentallo". Flex Mentallo did decently after being introduced in Rasin' Men # 35. However, the introduction of his archenemy, Lars Lotus, led to "the Golden Age of Flex Mentallo". During World War II, Manly introduced patriotic characters such as Jap-Smasher, Yankee Poodle Andy and Lady Liberty. Towards the end of the war, Ashley thought the Axis power would win and published a comic where Jap-Smasher joined them. Naturally, they got lots of people angry. The company was forced to claim it was satire to avoid being accused on treason. During the 1950s, they introduced several non-superhero comics such as Web of Misery, Spurious Love Stories and Our Violent Fathers. A long lasting comic of that era was My Greenest Adventure, which had a gimmick where each story had something to do with the color of green. However in 1959, Flex Mentallo was reintroduced in My Greenest Adventure. This ushered the Silver Age of Comic Books. Wallace Sage became the writer of series. He introduced new villains (such as the TreeMen of Walzur, Mentallium Man, the Ism and revamped Lars Lotus) and wrote iconic stories such as "I, Lotus", where Lars falls in love with a woman only to be heart-broken when it turned out be Flex Mentallo turned into a woman via Mentallium. However, Flex's renaissance was ended with the story "Who Stole the President's Face?" (Flex Mentallo # 127), which was about JFK and was made right before the Kennedy Assassination. After introduced some sub-par characters, Wally Sage disappeared. Flex remained in comic book limbo until 1990. Grant Morrison reintroduced Flex Mentallo in his run of Doom Patrol for DC Comics. This led to Flex copycats such as Brute Brains the Psychic Weightlifter and Stress Psycho the Mindwrestler.
Flex Mentallo TPB

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Agent X

Agent X is an example of a character based on a character owned by the same company. Agent X was based on Deadpool with a similar sense of slapstick and cynical humor. Why would Marvel Comics do this? Brian Cronin (in his Comic Book Resources post "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #5!") theorized he was created in attempt to give more publicity to the creative team of Deadpool (whose comic had dipping sales at the time).
Nijo (his full name is unknown) was helping Black Swan attempt to kill Deadpool. However, Swan killed him for attempting to kill Sandi (Deadpool's assistant). However, Swan lost control of her powers and mixed the traits and abilities of Swan, Deadpool and Agent X. She accidentally resurrected Agent X and gave him a healing factor. Having lost his memories and gained a patchwork memory from Deadpool and Swan, Agent X became a mercenary and took the name "Alex Hayden". Swan took in Agent X and had Taskmaster and Outlaw trained Agent X. Swan and Alex formed the mercenary force Agency X. He went on various adventures. Deadpool confronted Agency X and attempted to restore the three (including Agent X) of them back to normal. Swan stole Agent X and Deadpool's powers. However, Agent X and Deadpool (aided by Outlaw, Taskmaster and several hired guns) managed to kill Swan. Agent X reformed Agency X and had them go on vacation. Agent X was later hired to stop Deadpool helping Cable, but failed.
Powers and Abilities
Agent X has regenerative healing. He is trained in weapons (especially related to marksmanship) and unarmed combat. His patchwork memory protects him from telepathy. He has above-average strength, decterity and speed.
Due to his fractured memory, he has attention deficit disorder. He has Deadpool's humor and the fine taste of Black Swan. He enjoys corn dogs (and related condiments) and shooting things.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Centipede Comic

The cover to the comic book
DC Comics made several comics based on Atari games. One of them was Centipede. This one gave a plot to the popular video game of the same name.
Oliver, a young Elf, is seen playing with his bug friends. However, he decides to go  home when a bird says lunch time is over. An unnamed evil wizard (who looks like a mix of the Seven Dwarves and Gargamel) uses his wand to rot the elves' mushroom crop for no explained reason. The elves (somehow figuring out the wizard did it) form a lynch mob to kill the wizard. However, Oliver is told to stay behind. The wizard, being a powerful magic-user, easily turns the mob into toadstools with his wand. Oliver attempts to chop the toadstool (not knowing they are people), but the wizard spots him. The wizard grows bat-wings and chases Oliver. The wizard crashes into a building thus allowing Oliver to get the wand. Oliver learns how to use the wand. Nearly powerless, the wizard hypnotizes Oliver's bug friends. Since the centipede is multiple parts, a not-hypnotized segment warns Oliver. Oliver uses the wand to turn his friends to mushrooms. When it seems like the centipede is about to win, the wizard boasts. However, Oliver uses the wand to levitate the wizard near him and threatens the wizard into freeing the centipede. The wizard does so. Oliver learns how to turn the mushrooms back to normal people. Oliver does so to his friends and the other elves. It seems that Oliver uses the wand to mind wipe the wizard into becoming a good guy (its unclear what happen but the wizard suddenly becomes a good guy).
References: takes to the first page of the comic click on the image to see the next page

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ace of Spades

Here is one of the most obscure characters I've found. Like Holo-Man, he made one appearance. Unlike like Holo-Man, there is almost no information on the Internet about Ace of Spades. However, Bill Schelly's book The Best of Star Studded Comics claimed Mickey Schwaberow and Steve Kelez created the Ace of Spades for the fan comic Magnum Ops. Only one issue was produced.
"Blueprints for Banditry!"
Ace of Spades' first and only appearance was in the story "Blueprints for Banditry". Mr. Chance (the owner of a casino) chews out his employees Steve Spade and Billy Balgrove for disappearing. Steve and Billy turn out to be the superheroes Ace of Spades and Joker. Billy overhears the plans of some thugs and rob his workplace. He tells Ace and they (as superheroes) follow the thugs. Joker finds a dying man and a notepad. Ace blacken the notepad via a pencil and finds an address. They went to the address and fight some thugs. Despite being captured, they manage to escape and capture the mastermind of criminals (creatively named "Mastermind"). The next day, Mr. Chance chews out Steve and Billy for disappearing and does not fire them like he threatened to at the start of the story.
  • Ace of Spade- He is secretly Steve Spade. Steve Spade is an employee at the Royal Casino. He looks like Batman without the ears and has a spade logo instead of a bat. He uses unarmed combat and seems to lack any powers.
  • Joker- He is secretly Billy Balgrove. Joker is the younger sidekick to Ace. He looks like Robin in an altered costume. He uses unarmed combat like Ace.
  • Mr. Chance- He runs the Royal Casino. He is a grouch who is vaguely similar to J. Jonah Jameson.
  • Mastermind- He is the vaguely defined mastermind behind the villains.  
The Best of Star Studded Comics

Friday, January 3, 2014


What an example of how a character's history can be needlessly complicated? The Marvel Comic Venus is a prime example.
Golden Age
Golden Age Version
The originally Roman goddess Venus lived on the planet Venus. Bored by their life there, she ventured to Earth. She took the identity of Victoria Nutley Starr, who worked for Beauty magazine as an editor and journalist. However, she was also a superhero that fought supernatural threats like "Loki" (its unclear if this really is the actual Marvel Comics Loki or not). Her love interest was Whitney Hammond. Whitney and Della Mason (his secretary) doubted her claims that she is a god.
Agents of Atlas
Modern Age Incarnation
The character of Venus was unused until 2006 series Agent of Atlas. Instead of this simply being a continuation of the character, Venus' history was radically rewritten. The Golden Age Venus was revealed to be Aphrodite.
The modern "Venus" was actually a siren. The Ancient One was on a ship she attacked. He made "her soul as beautiful as her physical form" thus making her good. Upset by what she did, he went to a monastery until she accidentally used her powers and made the clergy lustful and was thus expelled. During years of wondering, she became convinced she was the goddess Venus and forgot the truth. Later, she joined Jimmy Woo's team of superhero G-Men, but the team only lasted six months before the government disbanded them. She took the human identity Vicki Starr. In the 1980s, she helped end a conflict between African tribes. In the 2000s, she joined the Agents of Atlas. Namora revealed the truth to Venus causing Venus to become depressed. However, Woo managed to help her regain her confidence and regain her forgotten powers. During Dark Reign, Venus helped fight against Norman Osborn. Despite Aphrodite originally wanting to punish her for "blasphemy", Venus managed to get Aphrodite to give her the title of the "goddess of love" via the beauty of her songs. Venus was a member of God Squad and helped stop the villain Amatsu-Mikaboshi.
Powers and Abilities
Being the daughter of the Phorcys (god of the deep seas), she has immortality and powers that allow her to function under water (such as super durability to withstand the pressure, breathing underwater, superhumanly fast swimming and so on). She is a skilled at learning new languages. Her "siren song" allows her to gain empathetic control of others. She can use for a variety of effect ranging from healing a broken spirit to manipulating the affected.
Due to being declared the goddess of love, she gained new powers. She has the powers of Olympians: super strength, agility and speed; dense body tissue, high speed flight, teleporting, empathy, turn invisible to humans, shape shifting and so on. She gained Aphrodite's girdle, which allows her make others nearby feel passion and lover and turn weapons into other objects that are not weapons.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Aries (top), Apollo and Hercules
The Cheetahmen were characters from the infamous Action 52 and Cheetahmen II ("Cheetahmen" is a game in Action 52) games. The back story of the characters was explained in a comic book. This comic was given away with Action 52. So, lets talk about it.
The mad scientist Doctor Moribus and his cyborg henchman Cygore find a female cheetah and its three cubs. Moribus shoots the cheetah in a surprisingly gory scene. He take the cubs and mutates them into the Cheetahmen as part of his Sub-Species project (which revolves around him creating human-animal hybirds called "Sub-Species"). Moribus attempts to get them to be his goon. They naturally turn on him since he killed their mother. When the attempt to capture him, he sicks three other Sub-Species on them. No one explanation is given on how he acquired by these goons. They dispatch the goons and attempt to do so the same to Morbis. He and Cygore escapes via a deus ex machina force field. The trio decide to team up to fight Moribus and evil Sub-Species.
Titular Character
The people that never read the comic may want to know more about the main character. Text boxes explain what personalities the Cheetahmen are suppose to have. Despite this, they are written with little to no personality. As such, they tend to be define by their combat skills, weapons and appearance. The members are:
  • Hercules- He is the biggest of all of them. The text claims he is "gentle as a lamb" and only fight as a last resort. However, he seems to be one (the panel was close-up and the Cheetahmen's faces look similar) that suggested to fight Moribus. He has no weapon.
  • Apollo- He is the oldest member and (according to the text) is the leader (although he never actually leads them). The text claims he is an intelligentual and likes to read. He uses a crossbow and is a skilled archer. 
  • Aries- He is the smallest of all of them. However, he is most agile. The text claims he is a fan of martial art films and learned martial arts from them. He has wooden clubs that the text claims he made himself. (where I read the comic although for some reason the pages are in the reverse order)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


The Kingdom
Offspring originally appeared in the out-of-continuity comic The Kingdom. Luke O'Brian is Plastic Man's son and had his father powers and sense of humor. He took the name "Offspring" and became a superhero.  Micheline, Luke's girlfriend, became frustrated with Plastic Man's spying and playing jokes on them. She also didn't like how no one took Luke seriously as a superhero (due to his humorous nature). She voiced some of her concerns to Plastic Man posing as Offspring. Offspring attempted to stop Brainiac, but his friends gave up since they didn't see the point since the end of the world was coming. Offspring met with his dad. Plastic Man apologized for being a terrible dad only for Offspring tell he wasn't. The duo chose to help Nightstar fight the destruction of reality. He was among the heroes that fought Gog at the climax.
DC Universe
Luke was introduced in the main DC universe. When Lex Luthor deactivated the powers of his "Everyman" heroes, Offspring saved several that were falling since they were flying before their powers were turned off. Oddly, he is called "Ernie" here (even though his name is still Luke). He later helped Steel fight Lex Corp (who kidnapped Steel's daughter Natasha) and fight Black Adam in World War III. During the latter, he displayed a humorous personality similar to his father. During Countdown to Mystery, Offspring's middle name was revealed to be "Ernie" hence the weird misnaming. Later, Ernie was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Terror Titans to fighting in a tournament for the Dark Side Club. When he lost, he worked for Martyr Militia until Miss Martian freed him. He helped the Teen Titans fight the Terror Titans, but refused to join the team.
He has powers similar to his father. He can alter his size, density and shape. He is also able to stretch his body endlessly. He is immune to telepathy. Unlike his father, he can change color, is immune to extreme temperature and acids.