Oyez, oyez, dear readers, and welcome to the court of Tact is for the Weak, the column with the honorable Brian Graiser presiding all UP in that grill!
Recently, writer Grant Morrison whipped up a helluva plot development for DC icon Batrman: his long-lost son has returned, and it’s Bruce’s turn to baby-sit. While most fans were left scratching their heads for a month, eventually the concept was explained (y’see, Batman had this fling with the daughter of an international bioterrorist… got it?), and for the most part, the fan collective agreed to put its belief on hold and bear with Morrison to see where this was headed.
Currently, it appears that Morrison is handling the “heir apparent” angle; since Batman legally adopted Tim Drake (a.k.a. Robin), it seemed that the vacant role of “son” had been decidedly filled. However, with the emergence of Damian (the alleged son), readers will bear witness to a phenomenon not typical of a Bat-book: sibling rivalry. Still, while this is certainly an important aspect of the new cast member’s introduction, the staying power of this new development has yet to be decided. Many fans still don’t believe the veracity of Damian’s heritage; after all, this is exactly the sort of thing that ends up being a trap, a ruse, or a soon-to-be-retcon.
Even still, this new development offers the chance for comics fans to witness a new kind of story; until now, no other major icon in either of the “Big Two” comics companies has had to contend with raising their own flesh and blood from childhood (although, to be fair, Batman never had to change any diapers or spend any late nights feeding the little stinker) on top of crimefighting (Green Arrow doesn’t count; he didn’t even see his son until way after he hit puberty). And is it a good thing? Fans would be loathe to not trust the eccentric brilliance of writer Grant Morrison; however, making such a big change to the story of one of comics’ biggest icons requires an impeccable story (not to mention testicles as big as dinner plates). Will the kid end up being a clone? A fake? Or is he the real deal (and if so, whose side will he be on?)? I suppose we’ll just have to wait for this arc to conclude, and then pass judgment on the inclusion of Batman’s “son.”
Of course, this didn’t start with the Dark Knight; all of this baby-daddy fervor began with this past summer’s blockbuster movie Superman Returns. The movie, which was directed by a Richard Donner-channeling Bryan Singer, included the revelation that Lois Lane’s bright-eyed toddler was actually Superman’s son. While movie-goers will have to wait a while before finding out about this development, hints have been liberally dropped around the comics universe that a similar event could occur within the pages of Superman comics. The upcoming story arc in Action Comics, titled “Last Son,” promises large surprises and a new, young cast addition that also sports super-powers. And, to fuel the flames of rumor, the arc is being co-written by the very man who cinematically orchestrated the conception of Superman’s son, Superman director Richard Donner.
However, like a nervous sorority girl after an all-night party, we must nervously wait and see what maternity news comes our way. It may be that we’re sitting on the cusp of a new age of “Hero and Son” comics, or this may be a smokescreen for some other ingenious plotline. Regardless, it’s in all our best interests to start stocking up on apple sauce and diapers; we certainly don’t want to get caught by a pregnancy test’s positive blue stripe with our pants down (as I recall, that’s what started this mess).
Okay, it’s time to hit the road with some Tact is for the Weak features! As promised, another elimination has come, and the unfortunate victim of this latest cut is…Where Were They Then, the feature that peeks into the pasts of various comics creators. However, this wasn’t a clean break; there were voices for and against the feature. So, I’ll compromise: while the feature is, indeed, cut from the regular list of features, I won’t outright ban the feature from any future articles. So, in essence, Where Were They Then will be a feature presented on an as-needed basis.
…but enough about that loser! It’s time to get on with the features!
The War Journal of Dagoth the D&D Master
October the 18th, 6:13 in the morrow.
The two-hundredth and fifty-third day of the thirty-second year of my life. After last week’s torments, I made an oath that this week’s journey to the Comicks Shoppe would be executed to perfection! You see, today marks the release of the latest addendum to the 2006 D&D Guidebook, and if I wish to maintain any semblance of decorum among the other warriors, I must obtain a copy of this text as soon as possible! I have loaded my coin purse (with EXTRA pence, as a precaution to any situation like last week’s) and have thoroughly nourished my trusty steed (lucky, Volkswagon Rabbits require naught but Regular Unleaded vittles, or I’d have scant currency to purchase with). So excited am I, I have again decided to forgo my weekly shower in the pursuit of this necessary tome. Now, I must depart, before the morning sun shines a baleful glance my way!
October the 18th, 8:20 in the morrow.
Once again, the tenacity of Dagoth has proven its boundless strength! After arriving exactly two hours ago, I remembered that the Shoppe does not open until 9:00 in the morrow. Still, this is not a new predicament for me, and I find that I may pass the time patrolling the parking lot outside the Shoppe, guarding these sacred premises against the shifty vagrants that often haunt the grounds. Already, I have dispatched a gaggle of young hoodlums who, despite their tender age (they claimed to be eight years old, but I suspect they were no younger than eleven), were quite ferocious in their attacks. However, despite their well-placed barrage of magical and verbal atacks, they were no match for my level fourteen Protectorate Summoning spell (I called their parents and informed them that their children were trespassing; bear in mind that this was done with a MAGIC cell phone, thank you very much! I DO need to conserve my mana pool, after all). Let’s see them come back NOW, after leaving with their tails ‘twixt their legs!
October the 18th, 8:40 in the morrow.
It seems the fates have conspired against me; the young hoodlums returned in greater numbers, and for some reason, I was unable to fend them off (one of the little cretins must have secretly cast Mana Leech during our last encounter, so as to prevent my spell-casting later in). Unfortunately, their treachery was too great for the noble efforts of Dagoth the Imperturbable, and I must sadly report that I write this journal from atop my steed, which I have mounted to evade the venomous younglings. I will have to simply wait this siege out, and THEN enter the Shoppe for my quarry.
October the 18th, 6:53 after the noon.
Well, the spiteful little bastards have proven more tenacious than I had thought, and did not vacate the premises until twenty minutes ago, when their negligent guardians came to pick them up. As soon as they departed, I ran into the Shoppe, but alas, the mangy gang managed to delay me past the sale of the last copy of my quarry. Sullen, I return home to ponder the inevitable humlitiation I will suffer at the hands of my dwarven and elven compatriots tomorrow night.
Snapshot Reviews: all you need to know about this week’s comics in a nutshell!
52: The League gets sacked, Ambush Bug’s back, and Skeets attacks. The plot picks up this issue, with a lot of missing story beats getting touched upon without sacrificing too much space in he telling. The reformation and subsquent demise of the “new” Justice League is handled well and idiomatically, and various plot elements (such as the whereabouts of Ralph Dibny or the Chinese “Great Ten”) are brought seamlessly back into brief focus. Plus, the artwork of Infinite Crisis penciller Phil Jiminez doesn’t hurt, either! Overall, this issue gets an A- in both story and art.
Ten Years Later: the comics headlines of 2016…today!
- Earlier this week, a comics bombshell hit the stands as readers were introduced to the long-lost son of Marvel Comics’s Wolverine! The former X-man (who left the team in 2012, citing “creative differences”) has apparently managed to bed quite a few women in his centuries-old existence. The catch? This son is fifty-three years old, making him appear biologically younger than his father! This is expected to be the least of Logan’s worries, though; in addition to the emergence of this long-lost family member, Logan also has to contend with the hurt feelings of his sidekick “Kid Wolverine.”
- The results are in! Readers will recall that after a particularly crazy post-convention party at the DC Comics offices, fan-favorite writer Gail Simone found herself pregnant by an unknown father! Well, after some detailed genetic tracking, it has been reported that the father is…crazed Wizard editor Ben Morse! However, it appears that the two do not intend to raise the child together; it will be donated to Angelina Jolie’s next birthday party.
Okay, that’s a wrap! Now comes the hard part: deciding the final fate of these noble features! We’ve already received a decent amount of feedback, but the fight’s not over; should we stay with the remaining features, or does another elimination loom on the horizon? Write in and lemme know what you think!
But, before then, we need to hand out this week’s Tactless Book of the Week Award! This week, the award goes to DC Comics’s Omega Men #1. The Omega Men, long-time cult favorites from DC’s science fiction corner, have seen a recent surge in popularity thanks to last year’s Rann-Thanagar War and the preceding Adam Strange: Planet Heist miniseries. So, now that the Omega Men have returned to the spotlight, what does DC have in store? According to DC, the lovable band of alien vigilantes seem a bit off-kilter; DC describes the situation: “Convinced that all of creation is on the brink of cosmic apocalypse, the last remaining Omega Men begin a universe-spanning rampage of murder and destruction.” Well, it can’t be all bad; after all, Judd Winick isn’t writing it!
Okay, enough of that. Remember to write in, folks; I feed off of your emotions! Be sure to check in next week for all-new, all-more action! Ka-BLAM!