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Idiot's Guide Weekly: And That's Terrible

Written by Christian on Sunday, March 20 2011 and posted in Columns

Superman writer Chris Roberson guest stars in the latest installment of IGW! Featuring Lex Luthor's cake villainry, comic reviews and all the latest news!

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: David Liss joins the Outhouse's C2E2 coverage! I know it's a blatant plug on my part, but David is an awesome guy and has been a great sport about everything we've asked of him. I wouldn't be surprised if David wasn't wearing a little press hat by the end of the weekend.  Also, look for his exclusive Convention Confessional next week.

Breaking News: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, of Inception fame, has officially signed onto the Dark Knight. My wild guess as to what role he plays? Robin/Nightwing. After all, he played a sidekick to Leo in Inception.
EDIT: Variety reports he'll be playing Alberto Falcone.

We have our first picture of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman. It was pointed out to me by my fiancée that the crotchline of her pants is far lower than the average pair of pants, but that's probably so she can actually kick people in the face (something that the original Wonder Woman series desperately lacked. I also hope they find better metallic spray paint for the belt, chest guard and bracelets as the current version looks as if they were made by a high school's art class. Other than that, it looks great!

DC has announced that Geoff Johns' Flash series will end at issue 12. They did not announce what would happen to the already solicited "unlucky" issue #13. My bet: Reverse-Flash #1

An Idiot's Guide to Comic Book History: Lex Luthor's Pastry Pilfering and Other Related Retcons (With an Exclusive Chris Roberson Interview!)

In this week's Superman #709, writer Chris Roberson referenced a unique act of villainy that Lex Luthor had committed over thirty-five years ago, finally bringing the event into official DC canon.


For those of you who missed the reference, here's an entry from The Super Dictionary, a children's dictionary released in 1978.


This Super Dictionary entry has long been a source of jokes on the internet, creating various memes, tropes, and even a bizarre Sonic comic reference. However, Superman #709 marks the first time that Lex Luthor's cake larceny came to light.

When asked why he decided to add cake stealing to Lex Luthor's rap sheet, Chris Roberson explained to me that "It really just came about because of my affection for the Super Dictionary. I was of an age to enjoy it when it was originally published, but never actually read it until I was already an adult. It seemed only natural to include a little nod to it in the issue."  He also added that he had a copy of the book on his shelf next to the rest of his Superman reference material.

This isn't the first time a writer's added a character or event from television, movies or books into proper comic continuity. In fact, due to DC's many forays into television and comics, there have been a ton of DC characters and ideas added into comic continuity after the fact. Let's take a look at a few.

1) Harley Quinn

HarleyHarley Quinn, the Joker's on-again, off again girlfriend and sidekick first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Created by Paul Dini and voiced by former soap opera star Arleen Sorkin, the character's design was actually based off of a costume that Sorkin wore in an episode of the show Days of Our Lives. Eventually, DC brought her into the comic books, first in an Elseworlds title called Thrillkiller 62, and then eventually into mainstream continuity in the Paul Dini scripted Batman: Harley Quinn #1 in 1999. Since her introduction, Harley has been a consistently popular character.  My personal belief is that it's because she reminds people of that one crazy ex-girlfriend that tried to murder you three times but you still stay in contact with because she was a firecracker in bed...

2) Isis

Isis3The Secrets of Isis was a Saturday morning television show featuring a science teacher that gained the powers of Isis via an amulet found in an archeological dig. She could grow trees and make ravens stare at the gaudy bauble on her head. The Secrets of Isis was notable for two things. It was the first weekly television show featuring a female superhero (predating Wonder Woman by about two months). It was also was the partner show to the incredibly creepy SHAZAM! Television show, which featured a teenaged Billy Batson travelling with an older man named Mentor in an RV. Isis was eventually brought into the DC universe in 2006, which she lasted about 45 weeks before being killed by vicious robot horsemen.

3) Wonder Woman Spin

This monstrosity pops up when google searching "Wonder Woman Spin"
Speaking of things from the 70's, the classic (and soon to be remade) Wonder Woman television show introduced a rather impractical way for Wonder Woman to change out of her civilian identity. By spinning around a few times while a groovy beat played in the background, Wonder Woman could vaporize her clothes in an explosion and spontaneously make her costume reappear. For years, it was decided that this was the one idea too stupid to make it into comic books, as Wonder Woman used the far more practical magic lasso costume change, to change in and out of costume. However, the recent soft reboot following Infinite Crisis finally incorporated the spin move, deciding that there were far worse things for the back straps and JMS.

4) New Aqualad

He will kill you if you mention he looks like Cisqo.
This is a rather interesting story. The newest Aqualad appeared in Brightest Day #10 in June of 2010, months before the animated version of his character appeared in the animated Young Justice series. However, it was the animation team of Young Justice who developed the character and his backstory (he's the son of Black Manta) long before Brightest Day. Johns saw the character when working with the team in his role as Chief Creative Officer at DC and decided that the character would make a fine addition to the Aquaman mythos in comics.

There's many other characters and events that showed up in TV and movies first. What characters or elements can you think of which appeared in a medium besides comics first? Feel free to share them below in the comments!

Newton Watch: Week Five

It's been two weeks since Newton's replied to IGW's emails. It's safe to presume that he's either declined my offer or has died in his mom's basement, ridding the world of one of the great plagues of mankind. Luckily, not all is lost. There is still one option left to explore before abandoning the feature entirely, featuring an Outhouser whose views are almost as ridiculous as Newton. Stay tuned.

The Comics (There Be Spoilers Below!):

Moment of the Week: Tom Taylor's power source is revealed to be the collective fictional unconscious of the readers of the Tommy Taylor novels. (Unwritten #23) It took me two readings to actually make sense of that. In hindsight, the title of the story arc, Leviathan, should have been a clear giveaway of what the Source actually was.

Comic of the Week: Casanova: Gula #3. I'll admit that nothing jumped out at me this week as a runaway favorite. However, Casanova was probably the strongest entry of the usual short list of contenders for the weekly spot of honor. I figured out the twist ending though, which takes away a little from the enjoyment.

Surprise of the Week: Ruse #1. I didn't realize what a great book this was. While the art is a little spotty at times, Waid delivers a great Victorian story that harkens back to Sherlock Holmes style stories while maintaining a unique voice.

Best Character of the Week: Anarky (Red Robin #21): Way to stick it to the man, Lonnie. The original Anarky has been the bright spot of the most recent Red Robin arc, which has slowly dipped in quality issue by issue. Hopefully, the next arc will pick up the pace a little.

Worst Character of the Week: Psylocke (X-Force 5.1) So she has a problem killing an incarnation of one of the X-Men's greatest enemies but has no problem chopping up grunts into little bits? Be consistent!

We Have Nothing to Fear but Flashpoint Itself! (A summary and commentary of the weekly tie-in to events):

Book of the Skull was not mind-blowingly awesome, no matter what this panel indicates.
Fear Itself: Book of the Skull
: Despite the cover, the Red Skull eats neither Captain America nor Namor in the book. Instead, readers are treated to a largely forgettable flashback in which the Red Skull crucifies some Atlanteans and Namor, Cap and Bucky fight a frost giant. Oh, and a hammer falls from the sky, which might be important to the plot of the book somehow.

Other comics of note:

Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #2: I really don't like the legacy aspect to the Ultimate universe nowadays. Secret First Hulk and Ultimate Other Iron Man seem kind of lame. However, the ending twist was an interesting one.

X-Factor #217: Hey, J Jonah Jameson isn't all that bad!

Amazing Spider-Man #656: Oops. Yes he is.

Avengers Academy #11: Another solid entry by Christos Gage. My only problem is that we don't get to see most of the epic battle between Korvac and the Avengers.

Artifacts #6: I'm enjoying the series but I really wish the art wasn't so sloppy in this issue.

Morning Glories #8: Another awesome issue feature failed picnics and more entrails. Spencer has been following a successful recipe of guts, teenage death and danger while continuing to lay on the intrigue and mystery.

Mice Templar Volume 3 #3: It would be remiss of me to not mention what a great comic this is. It's great. People should pick up the trades and get caught up ASAP.

Hello... (New Characters)

Femme Appeal (Darkwing Duck #10): Standard foxy female agent. Who's a fox.

Goodbye... (Dead Characters)

Professor Stein (Brightest Day #22): Death by salt. Rough.

War Machine (Iron Man 2.0 #2): The suit that is, not the guy in it. It's all just a set-up for the Iron Man 2.0 suit that will probably be revealed next issue.

How Many Characters did Wolverine (and Family) Stab This Week?

None. Wolverine went an entire freakin' book without stabbing a single person. However, he did get stabbed through the face, which almost makes it worth it.
Total Stab Count: 2 (This is getting disappointing...)

Everything Else (Musings and whatnot):

With the Fear Itself death pool underway, there may or may not be a new contest starting soon. Stay tuned.

I'm really looking forward to the new Daredevil series. The art looks fantastically gorgeous.

IGW will probably be starting a new Feature called Evisceration next week, as long as there's a comic deserving of it. It's exactly what it sounds like. I promise to balance it out by being extra nice to the other comics.

By the way, if anyone wants to redesign my logo so it doesn't look like it was done on Paint by a fourteen year old, I'd be incredibly grateful.  We could even name a price (I have no cash but can write something pretty for you in a future article).

Next Week: Words! More words! Approximately 1800 of them!

Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak

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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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