Saturday, April 7, 2012


insanity defense [in-san-i-tee-dih-fens]
1. Legal. In criminal trials, the defense which a defendant claims that he or she was not responsible for his or her actions due to mental health problems, such as a psychiatric illness or mental handicap. The exemption of the insane from full criminal punishment dates back to, at least, the Code of Hammurabi. In the United States, use of the defense is, despite how it has been displayed in the media, quite rare, and offenders of heinous crimes are least likely to see any leniency.

EX. The Gotham justice system's Achilles Heel is the insanity defense and, contrary to reality, defendants use it successfully to have themselves committed to Arkham Asylum, time and time again, rather than be sent to an actual prison. In the real world, most of these psycho- and sociopaths would've sent to prison for their first offenses and, most certainly, would get life or the death penalty for repeat offenses.

But, in the world of DC, and in comics in general, every super hero needs his super villain and every Batman needs his rogue's gallery.

So, to top of Batman Week 2012, I presents the top 12 Batman villains. I've tried my best to rank them from the 11th to 1st, but it is difficult to pick out winners. I am trying to rank them by how likely they would kill Batman. Also, fun stuff, one of the villains is relatively new.


Friday, April 6, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/6/12.

immortality syndrome [im-awr-tal-i-tee-sin-drohm]
1. A pathological and universal theme of various media, in which an individual character, or characters, are practically untouchable, and/or come back from the dead periodically (they don't stay dead), and/or don't age/show signs of injury for long, and/or they are re-imagined or rebooted rather than deal with the convoluted revival.


Typical response to hero suffering from immortality syndrome, "Why won't you die?!" "What does it take to kill you?!" "How many times do I have to kill you?!" and "Why won't you stay dead!?"

Today's term of the day, immortality syndrome, is a fictional convention that I would like to show some examples of. It is present in all mediums, but no more so than in the medium of comic book characters. After all, the best selling comic of all time? The Death of Superman.

You can usually find copies of this for a buck.
It was an epic success in terms of comic sales, but an epic fail that typifies the kinds of stunts that nearly killed comics for good in the "Dark Age". The story that involved the death of the Man of Steel was a convoluted, coke-fueled, crazy mix of fan's wanting to see Superman fight the Hulk. The story that involved his revival? It involves a dozen fake or wannabe Superman, including a robot Superman, and then finally, a mullet-wearing Superman returned from the grave in a perdy black uniform to retake his place.

Superman's Braniac butlers love watching his nudity for hours. Just saying.
But today's subject is Superman's best friend, Batman. The problem with Batman, that makes him especially difficult to kill-off, is that he is so awesome, legendary, and cool, that no death feels quite big enough for Batman. Grant Morrison (one of the best writers in the business) gave it his best try when he offed Batman in Final Crisis.

Final Crisis is a story with an equally mixed balance of insanity and melodrama. There are some extremely high highs, some low lows, and a lot of WTFs to be had. But lets ignore the commendable attempt at Morrison to save a story that started out with the incredible 52 series and then was mutilated into a dumb, deaf, and limbless beast that eats poop in Countdown to Final Crisis, until, upon getting it, no matter what he did, there was no way to fix all the plot holes and destruction of character. We're here to talk about Batman.
It all begins with Batman having his memory erased of five minutes by his own friends. Batman discovered the deceit and, from that moment on, became more paranoid and withdrawn from his friends than ever. During 52 and Countdown, Bruce Wayne was almost off the radar, trying to deal with all of the insane things happening. In Final Crisis, Batman went deep into trying to uncover a secret alien invasion, planned by Darkseid, to basically murder everything that makes Earth good and rebuild it as "New Apokolips"

Apokolips, Darkseid's home planet, had been destroyed by The Piper and all of the New Gods were dead by the end of the story, including Darkseid. For those of you who don't know, Darkseid is basically the embodiment of evil amongst a race of immortal beings. His plan to conquer Earth basically involved himself and his minions possessing people, manipulating the right pawns, and activating the "Anti-Life Equation". This formula allows Darkseid to eliminate the free will of almost all people that experience it and create his new hellish empire on Earth.

Meanwhile, Batman tracked down the plot and tried to stop it. Unfortunately, his mistrust allowed him to get in a position where he was so deep undercover that, when caught, he was captured without anyone's knowledge. Darkseid's minions torture and interrogate Batman for months until, finally, Batman breaks free and completes his mission. He corners Darkseid, sitting in the possessed body of a cop, and awaiting Earth's fall. Batman does the unexpected, pulling a gun, with a literal "God Bullet" and shoots Darkseid.

There is an immediate and brutal retaliation...

Batman is killed by Darkseid's omega beams. Darkseid is mortally wounded and dies soon after. Batman's burned corpse is discovered by Superman who gives him a proper burial and swears to continue to fight for justice in his friend's absence.

Except for one problem. Batman didn't die. Well, at least not for long. He was, in fact, sent back in time, and has to time travel is way back to the present. During his death, we discover Batman had a son, as the result of a date rape from Raza Gul's daughter...yes, really. Oh, and did I mention the fact that, upon returning, Batman is just back in time for the DC reboot to try and create so many Batman comics that no one could possibly read them all. At least we got to see a pirate Batman.

"I am Justice... I am the Night... I am BATBEARD! "

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/5/12.

major-domo [mey-jer-doh-moh]
1. A man in charge of a great household, as that of a sovereign; a chief steward.
2. A steward or butler.
3. A person who makes arrangements for another.

Ex. Batman doesn't use guns. Alfred shot the Predator with a goddamn blunderbuss.

Alfred Pennyworth isn't just Bruce Wayne's butler-- he is also Bruce's best friend, his guardian, his second father figure, his spiritual adviser, his mentor; he is THE major-domo.

(You better believe that Damien'll get his turn)
Every kid wants an Alfred. He would make you breakfast, drive you to school, slip notes into your lunch, right next to your snack pack, reminding you about the Vulcan nerve pinch he taught you to deal with that bully Greg Larson, and, on the ride home, he'd give you advice on how to get that girl, the one with pig-tails, to ask you out to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Why? Because, you'd be the young master of the house and he has sworn his life to the house!

And besides Predator aliens, Alfred has to put up with a lot of insane bulls***. He has been kidnapped by maniac clowns, had to hide Bruce's nightly hobbies from the public, dealt with meta-humans, took Batman's calls from the Justice League, stay up all night sowing kevlar and chainmail into tights, take care of Ace the Batdog, and so much more. Oh and he cleans up Batman's cave lair (all the bat guano!). Alfred doesn't all for Master Bruce with a reliable and unwavering expression that can only be tempered by the occasional smirk at his own sense of humor.

Alfred is the butler. And the butler always did it. It, in this case, being "everything".

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WTF WEDNDESDAY! Western Show on Super Mario World?!


If you love Mario or Japanese insanity, first click the link above, watch the video, and then either thank me or hate me. This week WTF Wednesday is based on a video that went viral around 2008 via Japan's Nico Nico Douga forums (this is where 2ch comes from, btw). The video catches my eye for its amusing and slightly disturbing distortions of popular Super Mario Bros. characters and the use of a Super Mario World remix.

 You can learn more about this insane meme and its rise by checking out the link below.


WORD OF THE DAY! 4/4/12.

gumshoe [gumh-shoo]
1. Slang. A detective.
2. A shoe made of gum elastic or India; a show with a rubber bottom.
3. To work as a detective.
4. To tread softly, as if snooping or walking stealthily.

EX. James Gordon, most commonly known as Commissioner Gordon, debuted in the first panel of Detective Comics #27, making him the first supporting character in Batman's life. Gordon actually predates Aflred Pennyworth by several years and is almost as important in the greater scheme of Bruce Wayne's story. Like any character in comics, Gordon has a lot of incarnations and plays different roles in the various comics. Here is my personal impression of Gordon's life and his role as the goody gumshoe that reminds Batman that there ARE good cops.

DISCLAIMER: This is pretty much based on the story I have in my head of how Gordon should be interpreted.

James Gordon was just a rookie cop on the night Thomas and Martha Wayne were shot dead. In his mind, that day was the last in a golden age of Gotham. The Waynes brought prosperity and charity to Gotham. For over a decade, he watched his city decay into a shadow of what it once was, corrupted by politicians and police alike and picked apart by vulture predators. Gordon stood apart from the average Gotham cop- honest, incorruptible, and immovable in his stance against crime. Also, immovable in his position as a Lieutenant. Since he wouldn't take bribes and wouldn't bend, he was stuck in a dead-position.

Then, Batman arrived. He saw Batman as a criminal vigilante, as an obstacle to real justice, and, on some level, he projected his frustrations onto the Dark Knight. At first, Gordon was the most dangerous opponent of Batman.

Batman was powerless to stop Gordon. After all, Gordon represents everything that Batman aspires to protect. The personal connection they have to Bruce Wayne's defining moment make things even more complicated for Bruce. All Batman could do is play a game of cat-and-mouse game; until Gordon realized they should work together.

They two came to recognize that they were both on the same side and, together, they could work for a better future in Gotham. Gordon deputized the Dark Knight and created the Bat Signal so that he could summon the latter for impromptu meetings. As Batman became a more trusted symbol, fighting crime and corruption alike, with the help of some generous donations to the police by Bruce Wayne, Gordon finally ascended up the ranks to become Commissioner.

Over the years, their relationship is forced to change and evolve as Batman becomes victim to the sways of the people. One day, Gordon can be Batman's best friend and the next...his biggest nightmare.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

WEEKLY ROUND-UP! 3/26-4/1. High-Fashion Week


7. WORD OF THE DAY. 3/28/12. Coign of Vantage.

I found this amusing as both a humorous jab at the mishaps of drawing comics and the mishaps of people posting weird facebook pictures. I really miss reading manga and watching anime, but, between my plethora of other hobbies and school, this hobby has taken the greatest hit. Any recommendations of anime/manga to get me out of my funk?


I decided to put up another detailed decklist of my wurmwood deck. The deck is really coming together to muster a Green-Blue Self-mill graveyard deck and my goal is to make it work with just cards from Innistrad block. If you have any comments or pointers, feel free to leave a comment.

I really have enjoyed the Innistrad block and am highly anticipating the release of Avacyn Restored.
5. WORD OF THE DAY. 3/27/12. Haute Couture.

"Check out the artist, Fab Ciraolo's blog, if you interested in seeing more nostalgic starscapes and patterned pastiches pulled across the veneer of childhoods abandoned."

"When you kiss, 200 million germs are spread between the two mouths in a second." -Mameshiba

So, apparently I think I'm a political satirist or something? Or maybe I just realized that I need at least one pokemon reference in every five articles or a house will fall on me? The latter would be quite unfortunate for me, the house, and the Kansas girl who would come out of it and steel my shoes. What? they were a gift from my mother?

2. WORD OF THE DAY.  4/1/12. Part. 1. Werewolf.

"The werewolf meeting came to a head, with the leader, Fido White-Wind making adorable "Berf brof ruff" noises and then another larger canine making an aggressively whiny, "whimper whine hmmm hmmm..." noise. Teenage girls can't even hold back their laughter at the ineptitude of the event."

1. WORD OF THE DAY.  4/1/12. Part. 1. Vampire.

" Edward bumped his stupid vampire head against the window at the side of the science classroom. Bella looked up, gormlessly, and sighed,"Damn, I want to have his half-demon baby." "

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/3/12.

vengeance [ven-juhns]
1. Infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person; violent revenge.
2. An act or opportunity of inflicting such trouble.
3. The desire for revenge.
4. Obsolete. hurt; injury.
5.Obsolete. curse; imprecation.

6. With a vengeance,

a. With force or violence.
b. Greatly; extremely.
c. To an unreasonable, excessive, or surprising degree: He attacked the job with a vengeance.
 EX. Batman is all about vengeance. To quote the dramatic declaration of Kevin Conroy's Batman, " I am Vengeance...I am the Night... I AM BATMAN!"

At his core, Batman is a vigilante. If you didn't already know (what do you live under a rock?), Bruce Wayne took on the mantle of Batman after years of dealing with his parents' murder at the hands of a crook in an alley. He wanted justice at just about any cost. This alone would make him like any other number of characters. What separates Batman from his predecessor the Phantom and thugs like the Punisher, is Batman's code; Batman doesn't kill. He doesn't use guns.

Well, except all those times over the years that Batman has brutally murdered people when written by troglodytes or pushed too far. Pictured below? Is a few panels from his early years, in which Batman punches a bad guy into a vat of acid and then quips, "A fitting end for his kind."

"A fitting end for his kind."
Batman sure has changed a lot over the years and I bet you're wondering, especially considered that Batman used to murder people with an almost gleeful joy and often carried a gun (just in case), has changed his credo and become renowned for casting off the weapon of a murderer. Whitney Ellsworth, a noteworthy comic book writer, artist, but mostly editor, declared that Batman shouldn't kill or use guns after watching the character shoot holes in a bunch of giants. And honestly?

It makes sense. Batman is a sociopath. The moment you forget that is the moment you forget who Batman is supposed to be. But, Batman is no hard killer. In fact, Batman is almost insanely pushed toward never breaking the rule of using a gun, after all his parents were killed by a gun, and never murdering, after all, he does not make himself judge, jury, and executioner.

Batman's job is to capture criminals, to save lives, and to do what he can to get criminals prosecuted and put away. This sometimes leads to the irrational and, more than a few times, has led to himself or others getting injured. 

For example, in the Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, after an incredible chase scene, the Joker's night of revelry is spoiled. He only has one less trump card. He walks out into the middle of the road and eggs Batman to run him over. In a game of insane moral chicken, Batman turns at the last second and wrecks his bike, rather than kill his enemy.

The only time Batman shoots a gun, post him shooting up those giants, are situations where he is pushed to the absolute edge and the only way to save someone is to fire a gun. That or apparently to sell war bonds to the kiddies.

Monday, April 2, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/2/12.

cowl [koul]
1. A hooded garment, typically worn by monks.
2. The hood of such a garment.
3. Part of a garment that is draped to resemble a hood.

EX. The most iconic part of Batman's costume, which in itself is an ever-evolving classic that has a special place in popular art, is the cowl. Constructed of a hood, with two pointed ears on top, and a mask that hangs down over his face to his nose. Typically, at least in more recent comics and adaptation, the Dark Knight had smeared the same kind of eye-black that football players wear under their eyes to cut down on reflection of the sun. This helps to make his eyes pop out of the mask. In other version of the mask, Batman's eyes are completely obscured, or they are drawn as white space in the eyes holes.

Much like Superman's identity, which is covered by several different explanations that can be read in the link below, Batman's identity is protected by a small suspension of reality. It would make sense that a billionaire playboy would be easily recognizable...

WORD OF THE DAY! 12/9/11. Facade.



Is there any character more romantic than Batman? Well, actually there are probably at least a dozen characters more romantic, but that's not the point. The point I want to make is that Batman has got this sociopathic bad boy charm to him that just lends itself to music so well. I mean, all that angst, all that rage, all that leather! Batman is so cool that, if he were to acknowledge his own coolness, all the world's coolness would cease to have any sort of meaning.

The man is a Rock Star...well, he would be if he didn't hate music.

"PUNK is nothing but DEATH....and CRIME...and THE RAGE OF THE BEAST!"
And today's subject is a healthy dose of batty music ranging from the classics to the would-be classics.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/1/12. Part. 2

werewolf [wair-woolf]
1. Shape-shifters who change from the shape of a disgustingly oiled up muscle fetishist to an overgrown German Shepherd, these lycanthropes or "Children of the Moon", are alpha predators and are, like, totally more awesome than vampires. They are obviously archenemies both eat like meat and stuff and you can't have two alpha predators nope. You can't have panthers, crocodiles, boas and humans running about in the same environment! They'd become ARCHENEMIES!

These fuzzy form shifting critters pass their curse through biting other humans after taking them out on a date to Arby's. Sure, they didn't pay for the meal, but you know they'll get back later or at least be able to get the newspaper for you or dig up your yard.

These sweaty duwopping creatures have a variety of useful powers in their ever-growing quest to eject vampires from their territories in the proverbial cat-fight between them:

The ability to turn into an overgrown dog.

The ability to make cute barky noises when communicating with each other.

The ability to chase their own tail, lick their own junk, and shake paws.

Wolf-senses. Like spider-senses but more wolfy.

The ability to imprint themselves onto humans, including infants, aka mark them for mating, in a bizarre pre-rape act that is totally legit and not some bizarre cop out on the author's part.

Foreheads that protect their small Brock-like eyes from the rains of Washington state.

The ability to summon a failed boy-band at will. (Pictured Below).

Their only weakness? Vacuum cleaners.

EX. The werewolf meeting came to a head, with the leader, Fido White-Wind making adorable "Berf brof ruff" noises and then another larger canine making an aggressively whiny, "whimper whine hmmm hmmm..." noise. Teenage girls can't even hold back their laughter at the ineptitude of the event.

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/1/12. Part 1.

vampire [vam-pahyr]
1. An undead creature that sucks the blood of humans; unless you're a Cullenses, in which case deer is on the menu.Vampires begin their lives as humans, unless they're horrible half-demon-baby-bella monsters named after the island where you boinked, and are turned by another vampire who injects them with a venom (which is totally not a metaphor for sex or stealing virginity).

These fierce beings are far more feral than they appear and are known to hiss and pose like supermodels to intimidate their foes.When they sense danger, they will instinctively crouch like they're going to poop, and use their spider senses to find the root of the danger.The fight with a series of slaps and bites that would make Chris Brown proud.

They have no souls.

Supernatural powers of vampires include but are not limited to:

The super speed and agility of a poorly choreographed matrix effect

Superhuman dullness

The ability to sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight

The ability to put on contact lenses

Being fabulous

Superhuman stalking abilities.

Mouth breathing.

The ability to perform a c-section with teeth. Yes, really.

The ability to sense when they're catatonic human pet is in danger.

Did I mention the sparkling?

They can only be killed by being ripped apart and burned. No garlic, holy water, or sun does the trick. Or raptors. Those get the job done.

EX. Edward bumped his stupid vampire head against the window at the side of the science classroom. Bella looked up, gormlessly, and sighed,"Damn, I want to have his half-demon baby."

Drawn in Drawception.