Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dial H for Hell's Going On?

House of Mystery #160 experiments with the Dial H format and dishes out an atypical story in the process. It's the first time a Dialer becomes a hero he's become before, and the only time turning into an established DC hero. So Giantboy gets a second go and appears to "die" when he turns back into Robby after being gassed and almost drowning. So much for our would-be Legionnaire (see the first H Dial article). In the case of the latter, Robby becomes Plastic Man, whom he recognizes as a hero of yore. That helps answer a question I had last week about which universe Robby existed in. Since this is a 1966 story, we're far back into the pre-Crisis days, which places Plastic Man on Earth-X (with other Quality Comics heroes). So Robby might meet Uncle Sam or the Phantom Lady (YES PLEASE!), but not Superman and Batman. The future may tell.

Bottom line, only one new hero is featured in this issue. Could he have had a future?

Case 5: House of Mystery #160
Dial Holder: Robby Reed
Dial Type: The Big Dial
Dialing: For the first time, the H Dial spits out a hero for a return engagement (Giantboy). Also for the first and last time, the H Dial turns Robby into a known hero (Plastic Man). When a poisoned Giantboy dials himself back into Robby Reed, the poison goes away. Robby fears that should he turn into Giantboy again at some point, he will be poisoned again.
Name: King Kandy (sounds like a naff 60s Teen Titans villain)
Costume: A candy cane (or barber's pole) unitard, a crown made of lollipops, gumdrops all over his chest, canes on his boots... it's all bad.
Powers: King Kandy uses candy gimmicks to foil crimes. Crime-fighting candy seen here includes lollipop bombs, a licorice lasso, gunky gumdrops, and criminal-capturing taffy twists.
Sighted: At Littleville's fair, foiling the theft of the Shah's pearl necklace by the Wizard of Light, an illusionist who appeared to have killed Giantboy and must later be captured by Plastic Man.
Possibilities: The candy gimmick is better suited to a villain than a hero, but he's too silly-looking to go up against Batman, and too one-note to be part of Flash's Rogues' Gallery.
Integration Quotient: 1% (reworked as a very lame baddie, he might have scored one or two camp appearances - MIGHT)

Bonus Robby Subplot: Romance!
Robby may be a square, but girls can still get his dander up, especially the cute, curvy redhead called Suzy he's friends with.
He really wishes she'd look at him like she looks at... the Mighty Moppet? You looking for a girlfriend or a babysitter, dawg? Robby does manage to get a kiss from her, but on the cheek, and only when he's King Kandy. It's a good thing Suzy didn't go into a diabetic coma...

Star Trek 1392: Alien Spotlight: Cardassians

1392. Alien Spotlight: Cardassians

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Cardassians, IDW Comics, December 2009

CREATORS: Arne and Andy Schmidt (writers), Augustin Padilla (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (after the Dominion War)

PLOT: In the wake of the Dominion War, a fearsome Cardassian freedom fighter called Demos infiltrates the Federation detention facility where the Founder Leader is being held. As his team's mission proceeds, he recalls a mission in which he "died" and became black ops. As his assassination plans against the Founder go awry, he starts to think there's a traitor in his team, but is then surprised by former resistance colleague Garak. The two hold each other at gunpoint.

CONTINUITY: Kira considers Demos (an original character) the best resistance fighter she trained (When It Rains...). Kira and Garak appear in flashbacks taking place during their stint with Damar's resistance. The Founder Leader surrendered in What You Leave Behind.

DIVERGENCES: Demos is an "old friend" despite our never having heard of him.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Warning! Zombie wall!
REVIEW: Train wreck! And it's really too bad. There's a LOT of potential in the premise, after all. Though the DS9 II novels pick up the threads at the station, What You Leave Behind leaves Cardassia a smoking ruin. What now for that once (too) proud people? And using an elite Cardassian resistance fighter still making the Dominion offers a strong support structure on which to hang stories about that. Unfortunately, the story is divided in two, with neither coming to a clear resolution. The past thread has Demos whispering a secret in Kira's ear (apparently that he was going to fake his own death), but we never really know why. The later story has no resolution whatsoever, just a lame Mexican standoff and a question mark on the words "The End?". Sure, the question of which Cardassia will survive - vengeful or hopeful - is a good one to ask, but is Garak even the right person to represent the latter after his "My Cardassian is dead" speech? I lay much of the blame on the art, which is murky and unclear. I'm never sure who's talking to whom (Demos is said to be half-Bajoran but looks just like Garak, who incidentally, looks nothing like Garak) or where and when those characters are. The action is hard to follow and then leads the reader nowhere. Even the lettering leaves me wanting. I wouldn't mind a follow-up - the premise is worthy - but with a different artist/colorer/letterer team.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Things to Like About Strange Science Fantasy

Welcome to my first blog crossover! There's a cool, supportive community of comic book blogs out there and while I've always been happy to participate, I just haven't managed to because of that wretched "only 24 hours in the day" thing. The idea: Many of these blogs focus on a single comic book hero/series, so we thought it might be fun to off-road it for once and shill for a completely different series WE think YOU should also be reading. Now, me, I discuss a lot of different comics, admittedly mostly vintage stuff, but I suppose Star Trek comics have been a daily thing here for a while now. I am thus NOT going to be talking about IDW's Star Trek comics in this article. No, instead I'm going for a completely different IDW comic, one that doesn't even rely on licensed material (which represents most of their output).

I'm telling you that you should read Scott Morse's Strange Science Fantasy too! For at least 5 reasons...

1. Each issue is a big, groovy beat poem
There's nothing like it on the stands. It feels like Morse is doing the comic book version of a jazz set. When his surreal story is about to end, he just takes off in a different, but completely valid, direction. Only in Strange Science Fantasy would a postapocalyptic drag race turn into a war tale where tanks shoot at elephants, only to later instill you with hope for the future via a lighthouse metaphor.

2. Completely new, but retro
Though Morse is using prose over and under his images instead of more standard panel configurations, he nonetheless demonstrates a very real understanding of what makes comics awesome. SSF sits halfway between those strange short stories from the 1950s and Kirby's cosmic god oeuvre. There's something naive about these tales where anything can happen and "logic" is something that's only ever internal.

3. Those weird and wonderful characters
Headlight. The Shogunaut. Script Girl. The Projectionist. They're not only bizarre in a Doom Patrol kind of way, you also feel for them. There's something about Morse's expressive art that makes you care even though you're only with them for an issue's length (albeit one with at least 28 pages). I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

4. Art, uninterrupted
No speech bubbles. No multi-colored, icon-happy captions. No meanwhiles and laters. I've never been so happy to read narration because it doesn't cover Morse's really cool artwork.

5. A Paul Pope page in every issue
Paul Pope does an evocative piece inspired by the characters from the story at the end of every issue. Just makes me want to read more about them, and a beautiful piece of eye candy besides. When you think this comic can't groove any more, Pope proves you wrong with his bittersweet farewell.

So there you have it. If you like awesome comics like I do, and crave what I call a "pure comics experience", give Strange Science Fantasy a whirl. Issue 3 is out right now with more to come.

Interested in reading more? Good! Check out the lesser-known titles reviewed in these other blogs and "Read These Too!":
- Adam Strange at It's A Dan's World
- American Vampire at My Greatest Adventure
- Astro City at Speed Force
- Booster Gold at Red Tornado's Path
- Essential Man-Thing at Firestorm Fan
- Forgetless at Girls Gone Geek
- Franklin Richards digests at Once Upon a Geek
- Glamourpuss at Being Carter Hall
- Peter David's Hulk at Fortress of Baileytude
- Jonah Hex at Boosterrific
- Scott Pilgrim at Toyriffic
- Son of Tomahawk at Aquaman Shrine
- Spelljammer at HeroPress
- Spire Christian Comics at Mail It To Team-Up
- R.E.B.E.L.S. at Indigo Tribe
- Thor the Mighty Avenger at Aquaman Shrine
- The Unwritten at K-Squared Ramblings
- Welcome to Tranquility at Girls Gone Geek
- Zatanna at Red Tornado's Path

Plus, click on the 5 Things to Like tag below for more recommendations from yours truly!

Cat of the Geek #81: Sa-Te Kru Cat

Name: Sa-Te Kru
Stomping Grounds: Vulcan's Forge, "When Worlds Collide: Spock Confronts the Ultimate Challenge" (Wired magazine #17.05)
Side: Evil
Breed: Sa-Te Kru Cat
Cat Powers: A predator on a desert planet filled superhumanly strong people and clawed teddy bears. Drawn by Paul Pope (yes, that's a power).
Skills: Eat 8, Sleep 7, Mischief 9, Wit 7, Disturbing looks 6
Cat Weaknesses: Only one - the Vulcan nerve pinch.
Our look at Vulcan ecology continues next week...

Star Trek 1391: Alien Spotlight: Q

1391. Alien Spotlight: Q

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Q, IDW Comics, August 2009

CREATORS: Scott Tipton and David Tipton (writers), Elena Casagrande (artist)

STARDATE: 51062.7 (a month after the Enterprise-E's repairs following First Contact)

PLOT: Q has decided that the reason he doesn't understand humanity is that he's never lived as a human except when everyone knew he was Q and treated him differently. He takes Picard's place just as important negotiations are supposed to take place between two alien species on the cusp of war. Picard rides shotgun as a disembodied spirit and pokes fun at Q's blunders. Eventually, as the aliens get enraged, Q gives up and lets Picard take command of his body again. He comes up with an elegant solution and Q later wonders at how well he did.

CONTINUITY: Q and Picard have not seen each other since All Good Things...

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Q-antum Leap
REVIEW: In the running for dullest Q story on record, this story might have worked better as a television episode, where the performances and the editing would have carried the day. As a comic book story, while it has some fun-looking aliens, it's a big talk fest and far less fun than it should have been. Q comes across as simple-minded in his approach to "a day in the life of Picard", and doesn't get to learn very much about humanity when the dilemma is non-human. Picard's solution comes from a knowing things Q doesn't, so it's not playing fair with the readers. There was no way for Q to actually win, especially not as written. A big disappointment from the usually solid Tiptons.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There Are Many Things to Love About Chuck...

Yvonne Strahovski is only one of them, but definitely at the top of my list.Many girls are "leggy", but is there such a thing as being "army"? (Like I need a new reason to be attracted to women.)

Picture via Twitter

Star Trek 1390: Alien Spotlight: Romulans

1390. Alien Spotlight: Romulans

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Romulans (vol.2), IDW Comics, May 2009

CREATORS: Ian Edgington (writers), Wagner Reis (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (apparently before Minefield)

PLOT: Two days before a Senate election, the Romulan Praetor offers a political rival - the populist war hero Acastus - the gift of the very last Dreadnought-class ship and a mission to go with it. Acastus is tasked with eliminating a former friend of his branded a traitor for his unificationist views. He does so, but is immediately attacked by a new cloaked warbird that destroys his ship. The Praetor gloats that he has eliminated a rival while also associating himself with a great hero.

CONTINUITY: Features the very first Romulan cloak ship. Unificationist sects apparently operated even in those days (Unification).

DIVERGENCES: The bridge of the warbird is vastly different from that of Balance of Terror.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Last of its kind
REVIEW: Ian Edgington has always been very good at playing with Star Trek continuity. I'm not sure he succeeds as well as I'd like here. I'm not entirely sure where this fits in Romulan history, as the Praetor is a heck of a lot like Byrne's "Caligula" type, and one could think the new warbirds came into play just before Balance of Terror. Except that there are Romulan ships using cloaks in Enterprise as well, which would place this long before the Original Series. But that's all nerd stuff anyway. As a stand-alone story, the Spotlight works. We see both sides of the Romulan coin - the warrior's honor and the politician's deception - with cool battle sequences and an important historical moment (the first cloak), regardless of when it happened. Remind me never to make a name for myself on Romulus, ok?

Monday, September 27, 2010

What If... the Hulk Went Berserk?

I suppose it's natural that with my look at the original What If? series, there'd be an increase in What If-related posting. The actual reason I'm doing this one now instead of next Saturday is because I've already done it! Way back in January of 2009 in fact. But since it wasn't formatted like my other What If? posts, I've decided to do a little update.

What If Vol.1 #45 (June 1984)
Based on: Incredible Hulk #1
The true history: Bruce Banner sees Rick Jones drive into a gamma bomb testing ground and runs off to throw him in a ditch. He gets the brunt of the blast and, irradiated, soon becomes the Hulk.
Turning point: What if Bruce Banner was a little slower getting to Rick Jones?
Story type: Team Slayer
Watcher's mood: Hard-boiled... egg
Altered history: In this parallel, Banner doesn't get to Rick as quickly and fails to throw him into the ditch. Only Banner's thin body acts as a radiation shield.
What this does is link the two men telepathically. So when Banner becomes the Hulk in the hospital (and it's the Savage Hulk, not the nocturnal gray Hulk), Rick can feel him and vice-versa. General Ross soon learns about this bond, and starts torturing poor Rick... which isn't helping the Hulk calm down any.

Guess what this does to the Hulk? His only brain friend dies IN HIS MIND! Well, from them on, it's Die Ross Die! Loads of destruction ensue, with the Hulk throwing ICBMs at Ross' helicopter.
That's when ol' Thunderbolt decides to call in the super-heroes. First on the scene are the Fantastic Four. Hulk destroys the Pogo plane, but it gets worse. A brawl with the Thing ends at a missile silo where the Green Goliath decides he hasn't had enough radiation for one day.
The explosion turns both men human again, but as soon as Banner wakes up, carried by Ben Grimm and moaning about Rick, he's not far from ripping his pants some more.
Ouch. The Human Torch is next, buffetted into another state. Reed and Sue Richards realize then and there that they are the sucky half of this team and leave well enough alone. Iron Man comes to rescue, but his "delicate" armor can't stand up to the Hulk's rage and bam, just like that, Tony Stark's heart is stopped.
Which leaves it all up to the mighty Thor who breaks the Hulk's neck and burns Banner's body with a well-placed lightning bolt.
Most. Hardcore. What if. Ever.
Books canceled as a result: Let's see. No Hulk. No Fantastic Four. No Iron Man. This might even have hurt Captain Mar-Vell's chances.
These things happen: On a regular basis in fact. The Hulk's always going berserk. However, if you're looking for a storyline about the Hulk never being allowed to rest from his enraged state, may I suggest John Byrne's run on the title? In that story, Banner finds a way to split himself off from the Hulk, resulting in a weak, crippled Banner and a force of nature Hulk that cannot be stopped. Yes, it's Star Trek's "The Enemy Within", but with more green.

And Saturday: What if Spider-Man's Uncle Ben Had Lived?
My (second) guess: Responsibility? What's that?

Star Trek 1389: Alien Spotlight: Klingons

1389. Alien Spotlight: Klingons

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Klingons, IDW Comics, April 2009

CREATORS: Keith R.A. DeCandido (writer), J.K. Woodward (artist)

STARDATE: Year of Kahless 893 (soon after Errand of Mercy; flashback 7 years prior); Year of Kahless 936 (17 years after The Undiscovered Country); Year of Kahless 996 (just before Blood Oath).

PLOT: Three times in his life, Kang has occasion to reflect on the Klingon proverb about 4000 throats being cut by a running man in a single night. When the war with the Federation ended, he told his crew about how his former captain had escaped prison from allegedly Federation-backed aliens and killed 4000 before he fell. 17 year after the destruction of Praxis, Kang investigated a Klingon colony that would not accept Federation humanitarian aid because it was doing very well by raiding neighboring Klingon settlements; during the night, one warrior who despised his world's regime kills the entire population of 4000. And as Kang waits on the Albino's wife, he tells her where the proverb came from, an old tale of a daring castle raid in the days of Kahless.

CONTINUITY: The Organian Treaty was put in place in Errand of Mercy. Kang and Mara did not appear until Day of the Dove (which is the origin of the proverb). The later sequences show Kang's restored forehead and quest to find his son's killer (Blood Oath). In the later sequence, Kang meets up with Harriman and the Enterprise-B (Generations); by this time, Demora Sulu has made Commander. In the last sequence, Kang is at the deathbed of the Albino's wife and upon her death, learns of his nemesis' location (Blood Oath).

DIVERGENCES: None.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Q'onoS: A nice place to visit...
REVIEW: DeCandido takes Kang's proverb and runs with it (pun not intended). Sometimes used in a mythic context, sometimes hyperbole, and sometimes ironic, it acts as a series of markers through Kang's tragic life. Woodward's painterly art is evocative and epic, and raises the issue's quality considerably. We need more Kang in the comics. We've had more than enough Kor and Koloth. Plenty of blanks to fill in still. More Kang! Nice to see the continuing adventures of the Enterprise-B as well. I'm not big on the Kahless sequence, however, as it introduces a whole cast of characters with names full of Ks and too few pages to really get into it. Looks great, but Kangless, and that's a negative. Not a big one though. To date, Alien Spotlight vol.2 has been a joy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Week in Geek (20-26/09/10)

Buys

BBC World is pushing out the less well regarded 4th Doctor stories lately, and of course I'm getting them all. This week, it's Creature from the Pit. And God have mercy on my soul.

"Accomplishments"

DVDs: Kung Fu Friday's selection was Jet Li's The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk (AKA The Legend here in America), a delightful martial arts comedy featuring the Chinese folk hero we of course know nothing about. Though Jet obviously has some incredible fight scenes (the crowd surfing fight especially), it's his mom played by Josephine Siao who steals the show both with her kung fu and her comedy. The 1992 music is often cheesy, but I'm a big fan of Jet Li's more light-hearted early 90s work. The DVD has the usual expert commentary track by Dragon Dynasty's Bey Logan, as well as strong interviews with both the director and the writer (the latter in English). What are you waiting for, Dragon Dynasty? Release Legend II already!


I also flipped Warriors' Gate, the last 4th Doctor story in the E-Space trilogy. It's Romana's swan song and she takes K9 Mark II with her. It's also a visually interesting story, far outstripping those of the era directorially. However, it's saddled with an often incomprehensible plot. Script editor Bidmead's usual blend of opaque science and oriental mysticism never worked for me, I have to say. Romana is probably more prominent than the Doctor in this one, and that's not a complaint. The DVD includes a good commentary track, though Lalla Ward seems more crabby than usual. The documentary is strong, with cocky director Paul Joyce a highlight. The retrospective interview about Adric makes sense in the context of the boxed set, but seems out of place on a story he hardly appears in. Much more fun is the feature on Romana II's outfits. Nothing much of interest in the deleted/extended scenes however.

RPGs: We played the penultimate game of our Evernight campaign, a big set piece that sets up the final chapter. It's probably a good thing that we'll soon be ending, because the characters are getting rather unbeatable. I've had a hard time restraining Fighting and Toughness bonuses (well, I purposely didn't try to) so they feel Legendary already even if they're only Veterans. It's my feeling that I would never run a Savage Worlds campaign for years on end for this reason. Or else be very very stingy with items of power. I had the players fill out a ballot about their personal heroic destinies at the end, and I'll be tailoring encounters to try and accommodate those potential endings next week.

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
II.i. Reynaldo - Branagh '96

Star Trek 1388: Alien Spotlight: Tribbles

1388. Alien Spotlight: Tribbles

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight - Tribbles, IDW Comics, March 2009

CREATORS: Stuart Moore (writer), Mike Hawthorne (artist)

STARDATE: 1422.3 (between Where No Man Has Gone Before and The Corbomite Maneuver)

PLOT: A freighter carrying grain is invaded by Klingons and crashes on a planet overrun by tribbles. Its small human crew tries to fight its way in, but the tribbles are more effective at disrupting the Klingon line than they are. The Klingons take off, but decide to have some fun by throwing grenades at the humans through the cargo bay doors. The tribbles decide to help the "warmhands" against the "rufflefurs" by eating the grain stores aboard ship and breeding like mad inside some key piece of machinery. The ship drops back down and the Klingons flee the scene, tribbles behind them. The human crew repairs its ship and reports none of this, explaining that they lost the shipment to Klingon raiders, pure and simple.

CONTINUITY: The Tribbles first appeared in The Trouble with Tribbles.

DIVERGENCES: None, though some will arch their eyebrows at the bumpy forehead Klingons in this era. Especially with swarthy Klingons on the cover.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Just give the word.
REVIEW: Alien Spotlight returns for another go, but... tribbles? And no "name" characters to support them? Well, guess what, it works! Stuart Moore writes a really fun story with stock, but nonetheless well drawn characters, and he doesn't shy away from the goofiness of his star aliens. The tribbles have a charming, limited sentience and do what they do best - breed! - on cue! Mike Hawthorne's style is perfect for the story, at once cartoony and expressive. You will believe a tribble can move and even attack! Just a fun, fun way to start the new mini-series.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What If... Captain America Were Not Revived Until Today?

Now we're getting to the very first What If? I ever saw on the stands. I think I bought the next one first, but since this one hadn't yet been returned and pulped, I soon snatched it up. Everything else after that was scouring comic book shops in other towns for back issues. The last few issues of the original series are, for my money, some of the best What Ifs ever produced. Peter B. Gillis got into a good groove with character origins and was paired up with classic artists (here, Sal Buscema) for full-length stories about truly pivotal moments in the Marvel Universe. And did I mention the Bill Sienkiewicz covers? Well I am. They. Are. Gorgeous.

Now, you could do a What If Captain America Were Not Revived Until Today story every decade and come up with something different. There's more than one of these floating around. This is the 80s version.

What If Vol.1 #44 (April 1984)
Based on: Avengers #4
The true history: Running from the Avengers, the Sub-Mariner finds Inuit worshiping the frozen figure of Captain America and throws it in the waters where it thaws and is rescued by the pursuing superhero team. Cap is still alive and joins the team, taking it to new heights of heroism.
Turning point: What if the Sub-Mariner's course took him in a more southerly direction?
Story type: New World Order
Watcher's mood: Smoke machine-enhanced
Altered history: Namor goes south and is never caught by the Avengers and the Inuit take their idol with them to parts unknown. When the Avengers go their separate ways, Cap isn't there to rebuild the team with Hawkeye et al. so they just disband with Rick Jones looking glum. A few years later, Nixon's going to China and a nameless American sees this as the beginning of the end for America. He goes down into a secret facility and revives the men he thinks are Captain America and Bucky, but who are, in fact, the 1950s replacements of the real deal.
They still make a big splash, fight the good fight, and soon become media darlings. Not made of the same moral fiber as the real Cap and more than a little obsessed with the "red menace", this Cap doesn't trust other heroes and starts campaigning for a right wing party called the First Party.
He gets Norman Chadwick elected to the Senate and is often seen shilling for his bills, including a National Identity Card that insures illegals don't get work in the USA.
At a demonstration against the measure, the First Party's puppet masters arrange for Cap to be shot...
...igniting a race war of incredible proportions. Cap is only wounded, and from his hospital bed, shills for martial law and every fascist measure proposed by Chadwick. We now jump to 1983 (i.e. "today") and to a submarine that finds a man trapped in a block of ice. When it thaws, they're not too happy about what they see.
They think he's a "Sentinel of Liberty", Bad Cap's police force and American Nazi homologue. The boat's captain is old enough to remember the real Cap and when he sees him in action, sets things in motion to get the real Cap back to the motherland. New York's changed since we last saw it. The nice parts of town look like a prison...
...and the bad ones, behind the "Harlem Wall" are even worse.
Thankfully, there's a resistance. J.Jonah Jameson passes secret messages for it in the Daily Bugle's crossword puzzles, and their HQ is in the Harlem ghetto. It's got some famous members too: A trigger-happy Spider-Man, General Nick Fury - ex-agent of a disbanded SHIELD, and Snap Wilson - the man who in another reality became the Falcon.
As they get ready for the second American Revolution, the Bad Cap is helping the First Party with their national convention and getting a right monarchist in the Oval Office. Bad Cap still seems to think he's doing the right thing for America to protect it from Communism. At this point, I'd like to show you the First Party and ask you if Bad Cap should be redubbed Mad Cap:
Yeah, these guys really look on the up and up. At the convention, Mad Cap (I went ahead and changed it, knowing you'd be cool with it) is about to present his candidate when the Revolution begins and it's Cap vs. Cap for the spirit of America! There can only be one, and that one is Steve Rogers. America DOES need you Mad Cap, but...
The audience realizes it's the real Cap at last and start asking for their new orders. Cap won't hear of it. He makes an impassioned speech telling them they made America nothing with their racism and fascism and that they should look inside themselves to make moral decisions. Awkward silence falls, and then one guy... there's always one guy... inspires a hugely cheesy, but hugely satisfying ending.
Sorry, I've got something in my Canadian eye. Let's move on.
Books canceled as a result: They went and canceled the Avengers, but it's hard to imagine over ten years' worth of Marvel books in that environment unless they're all about rebel action. Spider-Man's got a title, certainly, but does anyone else? One expects that they do, but they're simply not based in New York City.
These things happen: We've had replacement Captain Americas who've fallen in with the wrong crowd, like the man who would become the Captain. And some moments, like the assassin's bullet, sure do seem familiar. And I suppose that with most comics' sliding timescale, Cap WAS revived in this decade and will always have been revived in this decade.

During the week: What if the Hulk Went Berserk?
My guess: Uhm...just an average day?

And next week: What if Spider-Man's Uncle Ben Had Lived?
My guess: David Letterman eventually tires of having Spidey do Stupid Super-Human Tricks.

Star Trek 1387: When Worlds Collide

1387. When Worlds Collide

PUBLICATION: Wired magazine #17.05, May 2009

CREATORS: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (writers), Paul Pope (artist)

STARDATE: Unknown (after Nero #4, before Star Trek)

PLOT: As the elder Spock waits on Delta Vega, he plays logic puzzles in his mind and remembers how he learned the Vulcan nerve pinch and the harp, and how he mastered the logic of three-dimensional chess. In the sky, an escape pod launched from the Enterprise descends...

CONTINUITY: Spock is on Delta Vega and sees Kirk's escape pod descend (Star Trek). His flashbacks include Uhura and Kirk, as well as the final battle in The Wrath of Khan.

DIVERGENCES: Though these are the memories of the original continuity's Spock, Uhura is pictured with the new continuity's hairstyle.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Did you think they were born with it?
REVIEW: Allow me to leave IDW comics for today to bring you some gorgeous Paul Pope Star Trek art. Like I need an excuse. Published as part of the Star Trek marketing juggernaut, When Worlds Collide is a simple 6-page story featured in the J.J. Abrams-edited issue of Wired, which acts as a prologue to the film. If you haven't seen the film yet, it certainly teases you with elements like Uhura's fondness for Spock (which is there in the original series, if unambiguously platonic). Though there's a reprise of Star Trek II and some stock moments, everything on Vulcan feels new. I've never seen a Vulcan learn the nerve pinch before. And if I seem over-enthusiastic about a short, reflective short story, well, didn't I say? PAUL POPE!