Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Killing...Again

So, here's the state of the ethics of superheroes, as depicted by Marvel and DC comics, in the year 2011;

At DC, the heroes are continually depicted as ineffectual idealists because they don't kill, struggling in a sea of mass-murdering psychopaths. I can think of no better example here than Hal Jordan, so-called "Greatest Green Lantern". First, he forms his "proactive Justice League" in the abominable Cry for Justice. This would be the League where Ray Palmer, a man of 'great compassion' (so Blackest Knight tells us), went kicking around other people's brains like his ex-wife did when she killed Sue Dibny to torture them. And what did he end up showing for it? I mean, other than Prometheus completely infiltrating the team and completely botch the whole thing? Then, not learning from his mistakes, he corals together the "New Guardians", which has at least three members (Atrocitus, Larfleeze, and Sinestro) who are known mass murderers with body counts equal to or exceeding that of the Joker.

Over at Marvel, it looks like there isn't a hero left standing who isn't A-OK with killing opponents, which is why Wolverine and Moon Knight are accepted on the Avengers, and I'm sure the Punisher will be getting a call any day now. The only one who isn't OK with this is...well, I want to say Spider-Man isn't OK with this, but given the frequency with which he teams up with Wolverine and the Punisher, I guess he's OK with killing so long as he's not the one doing it. For me, the most telling case of this occured in the last issue of the Fantastic Four (SPOILERS AHEAD), where we see Valeria Richards, clearly anguished over the death of her uncle, gathering the rest of the young kids, and plotting to kill the one responsible. A tight moment of plotting, but the implications are disturbing. Let us consider the following;
1) SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD, TOPS - yes, she's hyper-intelligent, but intelligence rarely translates itself to any kind of emotional maturity. Yes it clearly is the act of a child, but there's no scene to draw attention to that little fact, so either it is meant to implied that she's making a rash, immature and dangerous decision, or we're meant to take this at face value. I'd feel better about the former being the correct option if this wasn't the same company that gave us Hit-Girl.

2) THE REST OF HER GROUP ARE CHILDREN - Oh, and the group she gathers together for her little plan are (with the exception of Alex Power) untrained combatants. So, if her plan is to advance, she will be making a group of minors accomplices to a premeditated act, and that trips well into that whole 'Child Soldier' thing I talked about a year ago.

3) WHERE'S THE ADULT SUPERVISION? - No one's around during class time? No HERBIE robots? or video cameras? Or any kind of supervision? No? OK.
So there you have it; Ineffectual morons on one side, and murderous children on the other. And people wonder why comic readership is sinking.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Very Special post


Alright, I'm moving all my other posts for this week over to next week so I can leave this up for a few days, and it's for a good cause, the right cause, and I'm sure you'll do the same;

Now I turn it over to my friend, Mr. Pogue, of Pogue's Run.

Some of you know me, some don’t. My name’s Paul Pogue, Indianapolis, Indiana, lifelong nerd, father to three-year-old cancer survivor Armand Zefram Pogue.

A couple of years ago, Armand was diagnosed with just about the worst case of cancer imaginable – a stage-four neuroblastoma that put a tumor the size of a cabbage in his stomach and left him with survival odds in the low double digits.

Armand is doing great now, two years later, and is cancer-free. But recently our circle of friends was hit with the cruel hammer of irony. One of my close friends these many years is Sarah Rogers. Last week her 12-year-old daughter Patty was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma – exactly the same kind Armand had, and possibly an even worse case, with a tumor wrapped around her spine and another in her lung.

Right now she’s at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, getting the finest care available – as it happens, in one of the very same rooms in which my son spent so many days fighting for his life.

My goal is to help Patty stay a little more sane. If there’s one thing my family knows after 240 long days of inpatient treatment, it is that the days can go on endlessly. Armand got lucky – he had a DVD player and later an iPod to while away the days. And for a cancer patient who can barely even sit up, there is nothing better in the world than an iPod.

Unless, of course, it’s two years later and the world now has the iPad.

Patty Rogers doesn’t have her own computer, and even a laptop would be kind of hard to work with in the hard days ahead when she might be flat on her back for a long time. But an iPad? Perfect.

So I want to help get Patty an iPad ASAP and help her stay just a little bit more sane. But I can’t do it alone. I’m putting up $50 to start a fund, and Apple’s already agreed to give her a discount. I’d like to ask the nerds of the world to lend a hand – 50 cents, five bucks, ten bucks, anything you can give.

If we go over the limit needed, I’ll just throw in an iTunes store card to fill her up. If we go a lot more, I’m handing it straight over to the family for gas, food or whatever they need. Cancer is EXPENSIVE, and not just the medical treatment.

For convenience’s sake, we’re taking the online donations via Paypal. Send it to and put “For Patty’s iPad” or something similar in the header.

One other request: If you have a blog or anyplace online where people listen to what you have to say, please repost this and see if anyone else is up for helping. Think of it as an all-nerd alert!

I know it’s asking a lot. But I also know that my family and I wouldn’t have made it through the last two horrible years without the enormous support of everyone around us, and I want to do everything I can to help Patty Rogers get the same help.

Want to know more about her? Check out If you have any questions or want more confirmation that this is on the up-and-up, drop me a line at and we’ll talk.

Thanks a lot, everyone!

Paul F. P. Pogue
Veteran of the cancer wars


Sunday, March 06, 2011


Quick bits of catching up:

1) Hey! I won a little contest over at Progressive Ruin! Go check out the exclusive poster there!

2) Legendary comic blogger/Dr. Strange fan (and source of several Dr. Strange posters) Neilalien has decided to step away from blogging a bit. Wishing you well!

3) Updated the blogroll on the sidebar. Welcom to Pogue's Run, Beware of Geek, and the Way of the Word! Check them all out!