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Comics Riot

An occasionally queer take on comics by a transfeminist nerdgirl.
Apr 15 '14

Superman #202, January 1968, cover by Curt Swan

I ship Bizarro and Frankenstein.


Superman #202, January 1968, cover by Curt Swan

I ship Bizarro and Frankenstein.

Apr 15 '14


Here’s An Idea I Had About Batman 

So as you may already be aware, I like Batman a lot, which means I think about Batman all the time, and ever since I started writing comics, I’ve been thinking about what I would do if I could do a Batman story. That’s pretty common, right? I mean, surely everyone has a Batman pitch in their back pocket just in case it ever comes up. One of mine, the one that I think could actually work really well, was The Batman of the 30th Century.

The basic idea comes from two things: One, that the Legion of Superheroes is founded as a Superman spinoff, which means there’s a lot of Superman legacy stuff that shows up over the years, and there’s a lot of Flash stuff that shows up from XS, Impulse and the Tornado Twins, but there’s nothing in the Legion’s future that indicates a legacy for Batman. (There’s also nothing involving the Wonder Woman legacy, but, you know, that’s a discussion for another time.) And yet, if you skip ahead to the 853rd Century of DC One Million, the Batman legacy is definitely alive and well.

Second, and the reason it’s so weird that there’s no Batman tie-in for the Legion, is that there actually was a “Batman of the 30th Century.” His name’s Brane Taylor, and he appears in a one-shot story in 1954. It’s not all that obscure among people who read a lot of comics, and with creators’ love of tying things together, it seems mystifying to me that there was never a reintroduction of that character as part of the Legion’s future. Maybe it was the name? “Brane” is, to be honest, kind of awful. But it’s all there, and looking at it as a fan, it seemed natural that you could tie it together. The only thing that you’d really need would be to tweak Brane so that he’d fit in with the teenagers of the Legion, and when I saw (and bought the original art for) Cliff Chiang’s Gatchaman-inspired “Science Ninja Hero Batman,” it all seemed to fall into place. I really wanted it to have a strange feeling of the retrofuturism of the original Legion and its Silver Age roots along with Batman’s darker, more modern aesthetic (there’s a lot of the Morrison run in this, for instance).

So I thought about this for years, and I ended up mentioning it to J. Gonzo, the artist of La Mano Del Destino, and he really loved it and wanted to draw it, and came up with a few ideas his own along the way — Robin and Bat-Mite were his ideas, and I love ‘em. We ended up making a full pitch document with character designs and summaries that I think is really cool, but at the same time, I know that there’s a roughly zero percent chance that it will ever actually happen. So we showed it around to a few people, and now I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy!

I am so on board for this.

Apr 15 '14

the-postmodern-prometheus asked:

Okay, so I'm pretty fond of Wolverine and the X-Men, but that's at odds with my frustration over Quentin's characterization in it. I've been trying for the last forty minutes to think of a way to ask your opinion on this that isn't rude, accusatory, or presumptive, and I've got nothing. So may I ask for your thoughts on Quentin's post-Morrison arc?


I think he’s become—at least superficially—a radically different character, but I also 100% support that choice. Here’s why:

Dude’s a teenager. Developmentally, he’s at an age where his identity is going to be in massive flux no matter what—a lot of adolescence is about literally trying on people you might want to be, and committing headfirst to each permutation. In Morrison’s run, Quire starts out as someone who carefully avoided questioning who he was—or much of anything, really—and then, when something pulled a block out of that tower, it sent everything he’d though of as defining him crashing down. His response was to explode—to blindly push back as hard as he could.

So, in Wolverine &, yes, he’s pretty different, but he’s different in a way that makes sense in a logical arc. He’s made a series of grand, dramatic gestures, but ones that were pretty much doomed to failure from the start. He reacted like anyone does when the borders of their world disappear: threw himself outward, hard, to try to find the new ones. If there’s one thing that’s come up again and again and again about Quire—originally, and in the new version—it’s that dude desperately craves security. He’s attached to the bombastic enfant-terrible persona, but he’s happiest in situations like the Jean Grey school, where he can push back as hard as he wants and be reasonably confident that he’s not going to seriously hurt anyone.

In those respects, for what it’s worth, one of the reasons I buy QQ’s character arc from Morrison to Aaron is that—at least superficially—it reminds me a lot of myself as a teenager.

Also, bear in mind: No one really knows how the fuck Quire’s powers work, or what their limits are. He literally stopped existing in the material universe for a while. He’s gonna grow up to be host to a functionally omnipotent cosmic force.

That is some crazy shit to deal with when you are still figuring out how to be a person.

TL;DR - Quentin Quire’s characterization follows a pretty believable arc, because adolescent psychology.

I agree with all of this. Also, the part about him growing up to be a cosmic force makes me want to see a story set in the future in which Quentin Quire and Franklin Richards are frenemies bitchily competing for who gets to be God.

Apr 15 '14

ununnilium asked:

I believe that the Age of Apocalypse changed was explained as something to do with the M'Krann Crystal? M-maybe?

Sounds likely. I admit, I still haven’t caught up with a lot of the Marvel books that came out during my “All I read are Starman, Madman, and Vertigo titles” phase.

Apr 15 '14

whimsyandbrimstone asked:

How DOES time travel work in the Marvel Universe?

Basically, every time someone time travels, an alternate universe is created. I mean, according to What If, an alternate universe is created every time anyone does anything, but the effects are more pronounced when time travel is involved.

So, under this model of time travel, you can’t change your present by changing your past. Reed Richards explained it in Marvel Two-In-One #50, which is the first time it was presented this way, as far as I know.

It does make some previous stories make more sense, though. For example, it’s easier to believe that when Doctor Doom sent Reed, Ben, and Johnny back in time it created an alternate reality in which the Thing was Blackbeard, as opposed to believing that the Thing was always Blackbeard.

So this means that when Vance Astro from the future changes his younger self’s destiny, it leads to two vastly different characters who can coexist: a millennium-old space traveler who lives in the 30th Century, and a 20-something superhero who lives in the 21st.

Similarly, when Rachel Summers comes back from the “Days of Future Past” future, it doesn’t affect her existence when that future is obviated by the X-Men’s actions in the present.

Learning she’s not going to be born is understandably upsetting, but it doesn’t cause her to fade away like Marty McFly during his guitar solo. Then of course, the same basic thing happens four or five more times: Cable, Bishop, those future X-Men who stuck around after “Battle of the Atom.” You come back from the future, you keep your timeline from happening, and then you just go on living in the present.

These same basic rules also allow for the tangled mess that is Kang the Conqueror (aka Immortus, aka Rama Tut, aka Iron Lad). When you time travel as much as that guy, it’s inevitable that there will be a lot of different versions of you running around bumping into each other.

Of course, there have been a lot of Marvel time travel stories by a lot of writers since Marvel Two-In-One #50, and naturally not all of them subscribe to these rules. “Age of Apocalypse” is one of the biggest exceptions, since it does the more traditional “someone changed the past, and now the present is different” science fiction plot. Since that story ended, though, that timeline has been treated as just another part of the multiverse.

So this brings us to All-New X-Men. As I’ve said before, the common Marvel time travel theory is what will allow the book to go on indefinitely, with the younger X-Men finding places to coexist with their modern day counterparts. However, during “Battle of the Atom,” things go the other way:

So that’s disappointing. But in that same story, the spacetime continuum somehow won’t allow the young X-Men to be sent back to the past. So it’s clear that something else is going on. And whatever it is, I guarantee it will allow them to stay in the present for as long as Bendis and other writers can come up with stories to tell about them (and probably long after that). Also, I still kind of think that young Iceman is doomed.

So that’s time travel in the Marvel Universe. It’s a good system when the writers get it, because it allows for maximum storytelling potential and minimal fretting about the butterfly effect. But it can also be confusing as hell.

Apr 15 '14
Apr 15 '14
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Apr 11 '14