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Idiot's Guide Weekly: The Rise and Fall of An American Icon

Written by Christian Hoffer on Saturday, January 22 2011 and posted in Columns

Idiot's Guide talks about Stretchy People, announces The First Idiot's Guide Contest and reviews I Kill Giants!  Plus news, comics, and more!

Welcome to a weekly column summarizing the good, the bad and the ugly that occurred throughout the week in comics. With fifty billion websites covering all the minutia of the comic industry and dozens of comics hitting the shelves, it's about time that someone has the stones to take it all in and regurgitate it like a mother bird to her chicks. Idiot's Guide Weekly will cover pertinent news, the best and worst comics of the week, and anything else worth mentioning in a jovial and mocking manner. So enjoy it while it's fresh: Idiot's Guide Weekly aims to please.

The News:

Top News Story of the Week: Anne Hathaway will be Catwoman in the upcoming Dark Knight Rises film. Here's the formula for jokes on the subject:

Anne Hathaway + Rises + (Pants, Christian Bale, Two Thumbs Up, anything else involved with the Nolan Batman trilogy) = Easy hilarious comment*

*A caveat to the above formula: Saying that Anne Hathaway's casting will make Heath Ledger rise from the dead is an unfortunate option in the above formula, thus proving its imperfection. Making that comment in conversation will only lead to awkward stares, a head shake or two, and the bartender cutting you off saying that you've had too much to drink. You've been warned.

We have X-Men: First Class photos ! Unlike last week's images of the three other Marvel movies coming out in the near future, this was so bad, the director, Matthew Vaughan threw a hissy fit and released two more stills this time featuring young Magneto threatening to bitchslap a young Xavier if he doesn't stop looking like a grade A tool .

Marvel and DC both released monthly solicitations for the month of April. Surprises include Nick Spencer writing Secret Avengers 12.1 and the realization that Cullen Bunn (the best writer you've probably never heard of) is writing a four-part arc for Superman/Batman, the third of which comes out in April. Also, what's not to love about nuns with guns?

Idiot's Guide Reviews...I Kill Giants:

I was hoping that my copy of Blacksad would come in by today, but alas it didn't. Instead, I got my long awaited copy of I Kill Giants. So here we go!

I Kill Giants is everything you could want in a comic. Touching, funny, serious and compelling all at the same time, I Kill Giants is easily one of the finest miniseries I have ever read. Upon reading this book, I built a time machine to 2008 and punched my past self for not picking up this book sooner.

An Idiot's (Short) Comparison of Stretchy People in Comics:

With Fantastic Four #587 coming on next week and promising death and destruction on one of the members of the Fantastic Four, I figured it'd be a good idea to quickly rundown the various stretchy folks running around in the Marvel and DC universes.

Mr. Fantastic: Reed Richards is the dumbest person in the Marvel Universe. Super-smart, he convinced his best friend, his girlfriend and her brother to join him on a little trip to space in a space rocket insufficiently shielded for space radiation. Shockingly, the trip didn't go well. Reed Richards claims to be one of the smartest people in the universe, yet he's allowed a being that has tried to munch on Earth multiple times to go free, decided that it was good idea to build a prison in an alternate dimension that he knows to be hostile AND hoards countless technologies in his lab to keep society in a backwater age. No wonder his wife goes behind his back to bang a fish man and his children look nothing like him.

Plastic Man: Patrick O'Brian is one of the dumbest people in the DC Universe. He felt into a vat of plastic and came out all stretchy. He can change his shape to just about anything, meaning he'd be half useful if not for the fact he's so freakin' annoying. How annoying is he? Batman probably started his database of how to kill his fellow superheroes just to find a way to shut him up. This character basically exists so that writers can pen the Stretch Armstrong stories they came up with as kids

Elongated Man: Ralph Dibny was one smart dude. He figured out that drinking a soda could make him stretchy. He was a detective who even Batman respected. He used his superhero status to pick up a smart, funny, and rich wife. He was likable enough to be friends with most of the Justice League and managed to get his non-powered wife a JLA membership too. Dibny was basically the Dick Van Dyke of the DC Universe. The only thing Ralph Dibny ever did wrong was that he was so popular with the heroes, DC decided to off him and his wife to usher in an age of gritty, dark "real" comics. This age of realism in comics has included separate invasions of earth by an evil god and the embodiment of Death invade Earth which resulted in a drastic decline in the population and a drastic increase in insurance premiums.

So to summarize:  Plastic Man: Annoying yet alive. Elongated Man: Cool but dead. Mr. Fantastic: Douche and hopefully dead as of Next Tuesday

Idiot's Guide Contest: Count and Catalog the Ducks

Announcing the first in a monthly series of contests designed to test the skills and knowledge of the readers.  The winner (or winners) will be named next week and be entered into the First Idiot's Guide Trade Giveaway, with the winner to be announced in March.

Below is a image from this week's Darkwing Duck #8.  Can you figure out how many Darkwing Ducks are on page and what comic characters or TV shows they spoof? Points will be given out for correctly guessing the number as well as naming the characters the Darkwings were based off of. A larger picture of the page will be made available in the forum thread.


The Comics:

Moment of the Week: Striker, Hazmat, and Veil beat the tar out of the depowered Hood and make him apologize on camera (Avengers Academy #8). Looks like we have three more successful graduates from the Hank Pym School of Superheroism.

Comic of the Week: Scarlet #4. Scarlet has been one of Bendis' better offerings in years. Maleev's art is phenomenal and Bendis' little narrative tricks haven't gotten old yet.

Peter Parker is already gunning for a replacement spot in the Fantastic Four.

Surprise of the Week: Dungeons and Dragons #3
. For a licensed comic book (which I usually despise), this has been quite a fun read. I'm sure it'd be even more enjoyable had I actually ever played a real live game of D&D.

Best Character of the Week: Puck (in Wolverine #5). The midget Canadian is now in charge of Hell. America, you're officially on notice.

Worst Character of the Week: Jade (in JLA #53). The White Entity didn't bring you back to life so you could be a bitch to all your friends. Just sayin'.

Other comics of note:
Supergirl #60: While the plot concept is cool, the writing just fails. Too much going on in one issue to really get what's going on.

Invincible Iron Man #500: The douchebaginess of Tony Stark continues. Weaponizing your children under any circumstance is just wrong.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9: I just really don't care anymore about what's going on in the book. I look forward to Gates moving to the Justice League in a few years.

Amazing Spider-Man #652: Best issue of Big Time yet. The back-up was particularly hilarious.

X-Factor #214 and X-Men: Legacy #244: Was there an editorial mandate to make all X-books this week impossible to figure out? Congrats, Marvel. You succeeded.

Darkwing Duck #8: Bowling Ball Darkwing is an expert at reverse-engineering dimensional travel. Good to know.

Hello... (New Characters)

Howard and Ginny Stark (Invincible Iron Man #500): Tony Stark's future son and granddaughter in a future ruled by the Mandarin. Too bad we will probably never hear of them again.

Julie Haye (Morning Glories #6): Not sure what Nick Spencer has in store for her, but it will probably be something awesome.

Goodbye... (Dead Characters)

Hawkman and Hawkgirl (in Brightest Day #18): Deadman dissolved them into white dust. Sure, they'll be back in two weeks, but let's enjoy their fiftieth death while we still can.

Quote of the Week: "I will teach you that it is not the weapon that matters, but the man who weilds it!" Sinestro in Green Latnern Corps #56, giving Kyle Rayner advice on how to properly date his daughter.

Everything Else (Musings and whatnot):

Talk@Newsarama, the first of the comic book forums,quietly died this week. A moment of silence for the forum that spawned us all.

The third episode of Young Justice came out this week. Watching it last night while intoxicated, I will say that I enjoyed the bulk of it but thought that the opening credits were very weak.

It was announced that the upcoming Captain America movie would be released as "The First Avenger" in certain countries, dropping the America part out of the title. Perhaps the A really does stand for France?

Next Week: Idiot's Guide waits patiently for Blacksad to arrive, interviews Wally West and announces the Idiot Guide's Book of the Month!

Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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