Posts Tagged ‘Dan Abnett


Classic EBI #110: Second Stringers

In today’s new Everything But Imaginary, I think about the nature of superpowers. Sure, it’d be cool to be able to lift tanks or fly through outer space, but let’s be honest. Some minor-league powers could come in pretty handy too.

Everything But Imaginary #422: Practical Superpowers

And in today’s classic EBI, I head back to April 2005. We all know the a-list superheroes… Superman, Batman, the X-Men and so forth. But just because a hero may not be in the top tier doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth telling. Today, we look at the second string.

Everything But Imaginary #110: Second Stringers

With the thousands of comic book characters that have been created since the artform was invented, it’s only natural that some will be more popular than others. For every Superman, there are a dozen Gladiators, for every Batman a Moon Knight, for every Richie Rich a Royal Roy. But does that mean these characters are actually bad, or does it mean that they just missed the train to stardom? The fact is, there are a ton of really good b-list characters out there, and it always puts a smile on my face to see some of them get the respect they deserve.

I’ve always believed that there are very few genuinely bad characters, that almost any character can be entertaining in the hands of a good enough writer. Fabian Nicieza proved that way back in the early 90s with the first incarnation of the New Warriors. He picked up a bunch of characters that nobody cared about in solo adventures and decided to throw them all into a book together – Nova, Namorita, Firestar, Marvel Boy and Speedball. A bunch of B-listers if ever there was one. (Actually, calling Speedball “B-list” at that period was probably being generous.)

But somehow, he mixed in a magic touch that made those characters that nobody liked… likable. And interesting. And one of the best superhero books on the market. Unfortunately, no other writer managed to bring that same magic to the book. It was cancelled 25 issues after his departure, and a relaunch a few years later only lasted 10 issues. A new miniseries is scheduled for this summer, but time will tell if Zeb Wells has what it takes to make us care about these guys again. [2011 Note: He didn’t.]

A lot of writers see these second-string characters as a challenge, as real fodder for bizarre or unusual tales that they simply wouldn’t be allowed to tell with Superman or Captain America. Look at what happened when Grant Morrison took over Animal Man. A lame character with a lame power (he could duplicate the abilities of any animal in the vicinity) and managed to tell some of the most intelligent, thought-provoking comics ever published at the time. He found new, intelligent uses for the power, and beyond that, made the comic a bizarre, metafictional hit. Writing this comic pushed Morrison on his way to becoming one of the most respected writers in comics.

Now he’s doing it again with his Seven Soldiers series. He’s taken a B-list team and reimagined it with seven B-list superheroes: Shining Knight, Guardian, Zatanna, Klarion, Frankenstein, Mr. Miracle and Bulleteer (actually, I’d consider Zatanna A-list, but clearly Morrison doesn’t) and he’s again having some fun experimenting with seven independent stories that will theoretically weave together to create a larger whole. And people, for the most part, seem to be enjoying them.

Keith Giffen also had a lot of fun with the b-list, rounding up forgotten or cast-off characters like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Rocket Red and third-string Green Lantern Guy Gardner and making them the Justice League. He made clever, hysterical comics, too, so much that even now, over a decade later, people are lining up for new material from this creative team (including J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire) with these characters.

And come on, folks – you’ve all read Countdown to Infinite Crisis by now, right? Were it not for the respect and notoriety Giffen gave the characters all that time ago, the events of this book would have been meaningless. Instead, although the title somewhat dampens a great deal of what he created back then, it makes for a powerful, heartbreaking story about a true hero – the Blue Beetle, trying to put things right when the “A-team” has completely abandoned him. There’s a moment in that book where Maxwell Lord tells the Beetle “You were never second-string.” And the events of that issue, to many readers, proved that Max was right.

And how about characters that are created, not just as second-stringers, but as nigh knock-offs of the A-list characters? Let’s look at Mr. Majestic. An alien comes to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Gee. Where have I heard this before? I was never interested in him, because I didn’t see the point in reading about a faux Superman when I could read about the real thing.

Then last year, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning took that ”fake” Superman and temporarily made him the real one, when Big Blue went missing in the timestream. All of a sudden… this guy was interesting. DnA (as they are sometimes collectively called) didn’t focus on what made Majestic similar to Superman, they focused on the differences, and how those differences made it difficult for him to truly replace the man of steel. He was an alien, yes, with similar powers, but he was raised on his homeworld and came to Earth as an adult, with different ideas and values than the Kansas-raised Superman. It wasn’t then that I saw the potential – Majestic isn’t a fake Superman, he’s what Superman could have been under other circumstances. Filtered through that perception, he’s a much more intriguing character. I followed that character, then, into his own miniseries and now into his ongoing, which I am enjoying quite a bit.

The same goes for Dan Slott’s new reimagining of the Great Lakes Avengers. I’m not sure what John Byrne was thinking when he created this team in the pages of West Coast Avengers, but they were never exactly played for the jokes that they really were. They wanted to take themselves seriously. It was the readers who couldn’t. Goofy characters like Mr. Immortal, Big Bertha and Flatman just didn’t have a place alongside Captain America and the She-Hulk. So what does Slott do in the new GLA miniseries? He plays it for laughs. Dark laughs, to be sure, but laughs nonetheless, and he tells the best story these characters have ever had. And in case the original team wasn’t lame enough, he’s decided to add even more loser superheroes, like Squirrel Girl, to the team.

Even a company like Archie Comics recognizes their second-string. They’ve just launched the new Tales From Riverdale Digest, which gives a spotlight to characters other than those who headline their own books – Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. In this digest, their writers can have a little fun playing with Dilton or Moose or even Ms. Beazley, the Riverdale High Cafeteria Lady, should they be so inclined. (Look, you can’t rule it out. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I began writing this column, it’s that every character is somebody’s favorite).

I think it’s good – even important – to have a “second string” of characters in any attempt to create a shared universe. First of all – it only makes logical sense. If you’re going to have people like Superman leaping tall buildings in your hometown, it’s natural to imagine that there will be lesser characters hoping to snag some of that glory for themselves. As goofy as many of the B-list characters are, their very existence tends to add a small degree of realism to comics. Second, it helps flesh out a universe and make it more full. There are tiers of superheroes, just as there are tiers of actors, or politics, or authors or musicians. And everyone, no doubt, has their own opinions as to who belongs on each tier.

And third, this is where future characters are going to come from. It’s virtually impossible, at this point, for a new character to burst onto the scene and become the new Superman or Batman. Any character who isn’t currently A-list, almost by definition, will be B-list when he’s introduced. But that B-list isn’t really that bad a place to be. You can pick up fans slowly, experiment, gain in popularity. And if the character and writer are good enough, that B-lister can eventually graduate to the A-team.

Just ask Ted Kord.


As nervous as I was about the whole premise behind Green Lantern: Rebirth, Geoff Johns has totally turned me around. Issue #5, out last week after something of a hiatus, was a total home-run, not just for the great writing and fantastic art (of which both fully met my expectations), but because in this issue, Johns did something that needed to be done. And I’m going to spoil the issue a bit here, so if you haven’t read it, jump to the italicized bit at the end of the column.

My biggest concern about this comic was that DC, in catering to the Hal Jordan fans, would dismiss all the fans of Kyle Rayner. This issue proved to me that this isn’t the case. As a resurrected Hal faces off against Sinestro, ol’ purple-puss makes a crack about how he’s going to kill the remaining Green Lanterns, leaving Kyle for last.

Hal’s response is what sealed the deal. “Kyle held the torch when no one else would. When no one else could,” he said. “You will respect him.”

Somehow, that’s all I needed to hear. That the people writing the comic know and understand that’s how the Kyle fans feel about the whole thing. That was the last niggling bit that was bothering me about this whole project, and now that it’s been dealt with, I’m ready to sit back and enjoy the finish.

Man – and what a last page, huh?

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at


Classic EBI# 135: Halloween Happenings

In this week’s Everything But Imaginary, I take a look at the recent announcement that DC and Marvel Comics, finally deciding they’ve got enough of my money, are going to be lowering the prices of many of their comics in the coming months. And may I say: wah-hoo.

Everything But Imaginary #370: Another Price Point

But in this week’s Classic EBI, we’re going back to Oct. 26, 2005, a time when I (and all of the Gulf Coast) were still suffering from the recent shock of Hurricane Katrina, and we needed a little Halloween to get our minds off it. This is also the reason, by the way, that you’ll find no “favorite of the week” in this column. At the time, I had no shop from which to get my comics weekly, and thus couldn’t make regular picks…

Everything But Imaginary #135: Halloween Happenings

Well gang, here it is, October 26, just five scant days before Halloween. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that Halloween is one of my three favorite times of the year (the other two times being Thanksgiving and Christmas – January through September are basically just the months I have to slag through to get to the good stuff), and I enjoy it for many reasons: the opportunity to dress up as some outlandish character, the chance to embrace my dark side even just for a little while, and of course, the fact that you can eat enough candy to choke a camel and nobody looks at you funny.

Another major reason I like Halloween (and Thanksgiving and Christmas) is the surfeit of holiday-themed storytelling you get this time of year. In the case of Halloween, it’s scary stories, monster movies and cartoons about kids waiting up all night in a pumpkin patch hoping to see an enormous gourd that never quite materializes. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere, but if I brought it up I’m liable to invite a whole plethora of armchair analysis, so I think I’ll leave that alone.

As comic book geeks, of course, we don’t just look to the television or the silver screen for our holiday offerings. We look to comic books as well. In past years, we’ve had lots of comics to choose from. This year, not so many. I’ve only come across three specifically Halloween-themed comics so far this year. Would you like a rundown? Heck, I knew you would.

First and foremost, we’ve got to mention the Donald Duck Halloween Ashcan from Gemstone Comics. This was a stroke of brilliance on Gemstone Comics’ part – a comic book, a trick-or-treat giveaway, a promotional item. Sold in bundles of 25 copies for a really cheap price, this comic reprints “Hobblin’ Goblins” by the immortal Carl Barks, and is intended to be given away on Halloween night to trick-or-treaters. Personally, I want this to be a huge thing. I love Gemstone comics and getting them into the hands of their core audience – kids – is a great thing. We all trick-or-treated as kids. The point of the night, admittedly, was to get as much candy as humanly possible. But we always thought it was cool if we got one or two little trinkets that had a little more permanence – toys, trading cards or comics.

The Donald Duck ashcan, of course, isn’t the first comic ever printed as a Halloween goodie. In the late 80s, Marvel comics put out a set of ashcans reprinting issues of Captain America, Spider-Man and Heathcliff (part of their STAR Comics line for younger readers). These comics enjoyed a pretty healthy life and were circulated for several years. I, of course, got them all. Comic books make a great giveaway, although they’re far too expensive to give out in their full-sized editions. Kind of like Snickers bars. So I’m really glad to see Gemstone putting out this special. I hope some of the kids lucky enough to get it in their treat bags will look for more of their titles.

Next up is Bongo’s annual offering, Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror. This year we get issue #11, which begs the question, what’s harder to believe? That the Simpsons TV show is in its seventeenth season, or that the Simpsons comics have been around for over a decade?

Just as each year’s Treehouse of Horror TV episode is an anthology of cartoons (usually spoofing popular horror movies and the like), the Treehouse comic is an anthology of Halloween stories, typically done by the biggest name comic creators (or other celebrities) they can get. In the past, Treehouse has featured the works of Chuck Dixon, Gail Simone, Sergio Aragones, Gene Simmons and – I’m not making this up, folks – Pat Boone. This year’s crop includes a vampire story by Blade co-creators Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, a Swamp Thing parody by Len Wein and the inimitable Bernie Wrightson, and a great parody of classic EC comics written by Chris Bonahm and Steve Ringgenberg, with art by James Lloyd, Angelo Torres, John Severin and Mark Schulz. It’s definitely one of the better offerings, and a lot of fun.

The only other specific Halloween-themed comic I’ve seen this year was Action Comics #832. It’s tradition for one of the Superman comics to offer up a Christmas story every December, but a Halloween offering isn’t unheard of either, and this one (although it isn’t marked as a tie-in) links up with the Day of Vengeance miniseries. The Spectre, on a crusade to eradicate all magic from the universe, has set his sights on Metropolis, where a Machiavellian demon called Satannus has been hiding for years. And I mean years in real time – in the early-to-mid 90s he was a fairly major villain in Superman’s universe, but he sort of faded away, with his major plotline (the fact that he was disguised as Newstime magazine’s publisher, Colin Thornton), left dangling. I’m not really sure why DC (or writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) decided to bring him back at this time, new readers certainly won’t know the history there, but it’s a nice nod to some unanswered history for longtime fans.

What makes this more of a Halloween story, however, is the Lois Lane subplot in this issue. As ghosts swarm Metropolis, she finds herself coming face-to-face with a very personal ghost. It’s a really strong story for her, and one that sets up a couple of good plotlines for the future as well.

Although I haven’t seen Marvel put out any specific Halloween-themed comics, they have taken advantage of the season with other projects. They’ve launched a new version of Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos starring some monstrous soldiers and put out a “Horror” edition of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. They’ve also got a Marvel Zombies series coming up soon by Robert Kirkman – would that they could have squeezed that out in time for Halloween.

My favorite Marvel Monster project, though, are the four “Marvel Monsters” comics – a set of four one-shots spoofing the classic monster titles they put out back in the 50s and early 60s, before the superhero genre took over with Fantastic Four #1. They wisely decided not to play the genre seriously, doing a Fanastic Four spoof with Fin Fang Foom and having the Hulk tussle with Devil Dinosaur.

The only one of the specials I’ve been able to get my hands on so far is actually the one with the weakest ties to the current Marvel Universe, Where Monsters Dwell. The theme of this issue is to bring back some of those goofy monsters from the past in new stories. The prize of this issue is Bring on the Bombu, by Keith Giffen with excellent finishes by Mike Allred. This tells of Bombu’s second attempt to invade Earth (the first having taken place way back in Journey Into Mystery #60), which comes across with very comical results. Peter David and Arnold Pander supply a new Monstrollo story and Jeff Parker, Russell Braun and Jimmy Palmiotti give us a surprisingly strong tale of the monstrous Manoo. There’s also a reprint of another classic tale, I Was Trapped By Titano (not the super-ape with Kryptonite vision from DC comics), which is actually my only beef with this issue – not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I wish Marvel had provided us with credits for the story, or at least noted where it had been originally printed. (I eventually located that information in the text page that, presumably, is running in all four Monster specials.)

So you do have some choices for Halloween this year, friends, but you know what? It’s not enough! I want to see more Halloween offerings next year. I’d love to see a new Batman Halloween special (although with Jeph Loeb exclusive to Marvel now, it wouldn’t be the same). I want to see Halloween editions of Looney Tunes and Marvel Adventures. I have no idea who currently owns the reprint rights, but I want to see some nice archival editions of the old Tales From the Crypt comics in the vein of the DC Archives or Marvel Masterworks. (2010 Note: This was later achieved by copyright owner Gemstone Publishing.)

There’s lots more that could be done, folks, and the comic book industry has a whole year to get ready for it.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


Classic EBI #65: The Supergirls From Krypton

In this week’s Everything But Imaginary, the characters from the long-defunct Atlas Comics will soon be returning to a comic shop near you! Is this a good idea? Well… it’s not unprescedented, at least.

Everything But Imaginary #367: Back From the Dead-Ish

But in this week’s Classic EBI, we’re headed back to the mysterious days of 2004, when there was no Supergirl, but rumor had it one was about to turn up in the pages of a little comic called Superman/Batman

May 2, 2004

Everything But Imaginary #65: The Supergirls From Krypton

One of the things I like about our little Comixtreme home is how people can ask just about any question about any comic and, chances are, there’ll be somebody around who knows the answer. Where’s a good spot to start reading Aquaman? When did Triathalon quit the Avengers? Is that Lady Gaga’s real hair color?

But one thing that seems to come up over and over, especially since the current arc in Superman/Batman started, is how to reconcile the various incarnations of Supergirl. There have been, after all, several young ladies who’ve used that name, and some of ‘em just don’t jive with each other. So for this week’s course in Comic Book Minutia 101, I’m gonna walk you guys through the Supergirls so that even a new reader can get into the new storyline with little difficulty. Now keep in mind, I’m only talking about characters that were (at one point or another) official DC canon — no Elseworlds (Superman and Batman: Generations), crossovers (Superman/Aliens) or potential futures (DC One Million) will be covered, because nobody likes a migrane headache.

Now everybody knows the first Supergirl was Kara Zor-El, right? Wrong. Ha-ha. I love tricking you guys. Several months prior to Kara’s debut, Jimmy Olsen came into possession of a magic totem that would grant him three wishes. Pal that he was, he decided to use all three to help his buddy Superman, who immediately wished Jimmy had just wished for a cool car or something like a normal teenager, because all of the wishes turned into disasters. One of them was for a “Supergirl” who could be a suitable mate for the ol’ Man of Steel. A girl appeared, clad in a costume similar to Superman’s, and went on to cause lots of well-intentioned trouble before sacrificing herself in a valiant effort to wrap up the story so they could get on to the second wish.

The story proved popular, though, and in Action Comics #252, the new Supergirl debuted. Superman found a spaceship that crashed to Earth containing a girl wearing a variation of his costume (who looked eerily similar to the very woman Jimmy had tried to fix him up with earlier, adding a Freudian aspect to the whole thing) and who claimed to be his cousin. She escaped the destruction of Krypton when her whole city was blown away under a plastic dome. Her father sent her to Earth when a meteor shower killed everyone in Argo City by exposing them to Kryptonite, which makes you wonder why they didn’t try building a few more spaceships all those years they were drifting in the void.

Superman, displaying the sort of foresight that makes airport screenings in America such a rousing success, accepted Kara’s story and helped her build a life for herself by dropping her off at an orphanage. Fulfilling the contractual obligation to introduce one new Superman character with the initials “LL” every five years, she took the human name “Linda Lee,” later “Danvers” when she was adopted. She went on to be a beloved hero and part-time member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, where she had an on-again, off-again romance with Brainiac 5, allowing female fans to swoon over a green-skilled superhero years before males got She-Hulk to satisfy that urge.

It should be noted that, at the time, there were two DC Universes – Earth-1, which was the home of every character we read about regularly, and Earth-2, which was the home of the Golden Age versions of the characters. (Why didn’t the original characters get to be from Earth-1? Because no one at DC could count.) Anyway, someone decided that since Superman of Earth-1 had a cousin, so should his Earth-2 counterpart. Kara Zor-El’s origin was more or less duplicated on Earth-2, but for some reason she decided to call herself Power Girl instead of Supergirl, showing that she was definitely already more liberated and independent than her Earth-1 doppleganger.

All joking aside, this Supergirl is the one most fans remember, love, and rabidly salivate over in bizarre fan fiction that has no place on a family website like this. Interestingly though, like Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation, it took her death to make people appreciate her. Kara gave her life to save the universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, creating the most parodied comic book cover since Action Comics #1 and the biggest shocker of the series right up until the next issue when Barry Allen, the second Flash, died.

The big change of Crisis, of course, was merging Earths 1 and 2 and eliminating redundant characters. But with Supergirl dead, what was to become of Power Girl? Well, someone at DC decided to say that, rather than Kryptonian, she was Atlantean, which makes perfect sense when you think of all the times we’ve seen Aquaman flying around using his heat vision. That origin was also later abandoned, and currently Power Girl’s origin is so screwed up that even Power Girl doesn’t know what it is, and the only hope we have of straightening it out is for Geoff Johns to step in, so let’s stop discussing it before I get a migrane.

After the Crisis was over, John Byrne revamped Superman’s history from the ground up, wiping away his years as Superboy and making him, in fact, the sole survivor of Krypton — which meant that Kara, in the new universe, never existed, except for a cameo in a great Deadman Christmas story a few years later.

Not long into the new continuity, though, Byrne introduced a new Supergirl. With Superboy gone, Byrne explained the fact that the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th Century modeled themselves after him by saying a Superboy existed in a “pocket universe” created by their old foe, the Time Trapper. In that universe, a heroic scientist named Lex Luthor created a synthetic being with shapeshifting powers to fight a trio of Kryptonian villains that were destryoing the world. Christening her Supergirl, he sent her to our universe to bring Superman to help. When the smoke cleared, the new Supergirl was the only survivor of her world. Superman brought her back to his Earth where she roamed, got hooked up with Lex Luthor II (actually Lex in a cloned body), joined the Titans and was generally ignored until Peter David said, “Let me have a crack.”

In his new Supergirl series, Supergirl saved the life of a hopeless reprobate named — wait for it — Linda Danvers. In David’s theology, though, when a being of pure good sacrifices her life to save someone beyond redemption, the two souls are merged into one “Earth Born Angel.” He told some great comics about this new merged Supergirl until, fighting some demons, they were separated. Supergirl went missing and Linda was left with a fraction of her powers. She put on a wig and a costume based on the Supergirl of the Superman cartoon (which we’re not talking about since that’s an alternate continuity, blast it!) and set off to find her. Eventually she rescued Supergirl and set her spirit free with the help of Mary Marvel and a mysterious angelic being named — wait for it — Kara.

Unfortunately, no one could save the book from cancellation. David’s last storyline involved Linda finding the old Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El transported to our dimension. David has said that, if he’d been allowed to continue the series Linda would have become a new Superwoman, Kara would have remained Supergirl and Power Girl would have joined the cast, making the book a Superman-family equivalent of the popular Birds of Prey. Unfortunately, the book was cancelled, Kara was sent back in time to die in the Crisis and Linda, consumed with guilt, left Superman a note asking him not to look for her and vanished, prompting many fans to speculate she is the mysterious protagonist of David’s new Fallen Angel series. (2010 note: She was not.)

Now what I’m about to say next I don’t know for sure, this is pure speculation, but with Supergirl sales on the rise at the time of her cancellation, it seemed to me that DC was just clearing that character out of the way to make a path for the biggest mistake in Supergirl history (and yes, I include Streaky, the Super-Cat in that)…

Cir-El. A mysterious girl appeared in Metropolis claiming to be the daughter of Superman and Lois Lane from the future, or possibly from last month’s X-Men, considering the backstory. She wasn’t. She was a pawn in a scheme of villains called the Futuresmiths and lasted about a year before Superman stopped them, then she either died or lost her powers or joined the circus or something. At that point the story was so messed up I didn’t even care anymore.

Then came Jeph Loeb. Dear, sweet Jeph Loeb, who at this point could generate buzz by writing a fortune cookie. In Superman/Batman #8, the World’s Finest duo found a lifeboat inside a Kryptonite meteor that fell to earth in issue #6 of the same title, and inside that capsule was a blonde girl with all of Superman’s powers. After a brief conversation in Kryptonese Superman, proving that he hasn’t learned anything about checking a passport in the past 50 years, proudly introduced her to Batman as Kara, his cousin from Krypton

The great thing about this story is that we readers have the same scepticism as Batman. Is she really from Krypton? Is she a threat? A Trojan horse? Or is this really a permanant return to the character, bringing us back where we were nearly 20 years ago when she died in the Crisis? Three issues left to find out that answer.

So to come back to the original question, “What’s the deal with Supergirl?” my reply would be, “This is why retcons suck.”


Speaking of Legion my “Favorite of the Week” trophy goes to the end of the five-year run of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with the preiminent heroes of the 31st century. In Legion #33, Live Wire, still trapped in the body of the late Element Lad, must save his team from revenge-crazed band of villains seeking retribution for the crimes of the Progenitor (Element Lad after he went crazy) back in the Legion Lost miniseries. For five years, now, this has been a great title, and I hate to see DnA leave. But things are bright — the future holds an arc by Gail Simone, a crossover with Teen Titans (explaining why Superboy is in both books) and a relaunch by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson — so I can smile, secure in the knowledge that the Legion of Super-Heroes is in great hands.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


Everything But Imaginary #345: Throwing a Mighty Shield

The new Captain America may be the old Human Torch. What does Blake think about this casting decision? And does — or should — one have anything to do with the other?

Everything But Imaginary #345: Throwing a Mighty Shield
Inside This Column:
Chris Evans as the Human Torch


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 95: Best of 2008 Nomination Special

The year is almost over, friends, so it’s time for Blake and Chase to make their nominations for the best in comics for 2008! Listen to the guys discuss their choices, and then e-mail your votes to One randomly-chosen voter will recieve a prize package. Votes must be received by December 26, 2008, to be counted in time for their announcement in our end-of-the-year spectacular!

Episode 95: Best of 2008 Nomination Special

The nominees are:Best Ongoing Series:
Action Comics
Green Lantern
The Walking Dead


Best Miniseries or One-Shot:
Franklin Richards: Sons of Geniuses
Justice Society of America Kingdom Special: Superman
Secret Invasion
Superman: New Krypton Special

Best Storyline:
Action Comics: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
Batman Confidential: The Bat and the Cat
Fables: War and Pieces
The Lone Ranger: Scorched Earth

Best New Series:
Flash Gordon
Guardians of the Galaxy
Incredible Hercules
Secret Six

Best Writer or Writing Team:
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Ed Brubaker
Geoff Johns
Greg Pak

Best Artist or Art Team:
Mark Buckingham
Gary Frank
Mike McKone
Nicola Scott

Title Deserving of Wider Recognition:
PS 238
Uncle Scrooge

Best Genre TV Series:
Battlestar Galactica
Stargate: Atlantis

Best Genre Motion Picture:
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Quantum of Solace

The Next Big Thing:
Blue Lanterns
The Legion of Super-Heroes
Marvel Illustrated: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Star Trek

Favorite Geek:
Mike Bellamy
Chase Bouzigard
Kenny Fanguy
Blake Petit

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