A Scanner Dorkly: Oct. 1
The voting as in favor of “A Scanner Dorkly” last week, so I’m going to try that on for size for a little while, but I still haven’t ruled out re-re-naming this feature “Brad Guigar’s Comics Reviews And Predictions.”
Comics last week were obsessed with pick-ups.
And, except for a few lucky people who weren’t forced to maim themselves by the Psycho Pirate in Blackest Night Superman #2, they weren’t the kind of pick-ups you might expect.
Spidey’s Pick-Up Line
Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy walked onto the Spider-stage last week (to tumultuous applause, no doubt), and she and her “bad luck” powers proceeded to complicate Webhead’s life. Spidey catches her in the midst of a break-in. During the ensuing banter, the ol’ silver-tongued Spider launches a little naughty talk about Hardy’s, er, assets.
Spidey: …Aren’t you sharing a litter box with the Puma? (Yes, Punber Two.)
Black Cat: I was. But Thomas had control issues… and then there was the manscaping incident after he forgot his boundaries.
Spidey: You evil, evil thing.
Cat: Comes with the claws. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m working.
Spidey: Work — are you breaking and entering?
Cat: Are you staring at my chest?
Cat: So it’s yes to both then.
Spidey: Wait? What –?
Cat: Your breathing gets choppy when you perv out. Don’t worry. I’m used to it.
Spidey: I’m talking about the felony! Not… you know… the kittens…
Later, after they stumble upon a corpse and Black Cat insists she’s not involved in the murder, Spider-Man tells her that he believes her because: “your breath gets all choppy when you tell the truth.”
In the end, Spider-Man levels with her: She dumped him because she didn’t like the man behind the mask. And she confesses that when she saw him again all of the old feelings came rushing back. And then there’s this stellar moment:
Spidey: But… your breathing’s all choppy.
Black Cat: So is yours.
Spidey: Oh boy.
Which, of course, leads directly to one heck of a smooch. Kudos to Joe Kelly for some thoroughly smart and enjoyable dialogue. I can’t wait for #607.
Power Girl Picks Up a Pick-Up (kinda)
As long as our minds are in the gutter, we might as well turn to ultra-sexy Power Girl, and yet another solid performance by the team of Paliotti, Gray and Conner. It’s also the appearance of the first of several vehicles that were thrown around last week. As a taxi comes sailing through the air, the graceful Power Girl, flying for the interception delivers this wonderfully campy line:
Power Girl: Usually, it’s impossible to catch a cab this time of day.
Another Picked Up Pick-Up
For the second picked-up pick-up, we head over to Super Friends #19, where the evil Headmaster Mind is launching a school for villains (proving that these charter schools would eventually lead to no good). One of the young wannabes tries to gain admission, but quickly learns the pitfalls of villain nomenclature when all the good names have already been taken. Of course, I’m sure “Headmaster Mind” already knew that.
Kid: You can call me Punch!
Headmaster Mind: Sorry, kid, there’s already a villain named punch.
He slams the door: SLAM!
Kid: Did I say “Punch?” I meant to say I’m the Harlequin!
Mind: There’s already a Harlequin
Kid: I’m, um… the Joker?
Kid: All right. I’m — Clown Boy.
After a brief internal monologue in which, no doubt, the phrase “glass houses” went through Headmaster Mind’s mind, the newly-named Clown Boy is granted admission to the class already in session.
…And the ubiquitous vehicle being held aloft by a super-powered baddie.
Plastic Man tries to Pick Up Doctor Light
Len Wein wrapped up his wonderful run on JLA with issue #37. Some of the dialogue was spotty, but overall, it was a nice outing for the comics legend. Along with the third hurled vehicle of the week, it featured some nice banter between Dr. Light and Eel “Plastic Man” O’Brien. Unfortunately a new team takes the reins, and sadly, that means that the presence of Plastic Man — DC’s most powerful superhero (according to Batman in Frank Miller’s “Dark Night Strikes Again”)– will soon be a thing of the past. And that’s too bad because Wein had a nice little chemistry brewing between Plas and the surly Doctor Light. Unfortunately, that’s a thread that’s unlikely to be followed-up. Meanwhile, we’ll just have to comfort ourselves with a little O’Brien Banter:
Plastic Man: Geez, does everyone around here have a stick up their butt?
Good news is, now I won’t feel bad about wiping the floor with you!
Emma to Scott: ‘I’ll Pick Up a Carton of Milk…’
Scott “Cyclops” Summers wakes up to an empty bed and a note left behind by his lover, Emma “White Queen” Frost. Take it from me, this is never a good thing. The note says that she has left early to go and kill a man.
Of course, in the circles in which Frost travels, this is usually followed by… “I’ll pick up a carton of milk on my way home.”
Turns out, she was planning to go off Norman Osborn (join the club) but decided instead to return to Summers and spend the rest of the book exchanging context-thick dialogue with the X-Man.
Ma Kent Picks Up Her Torch
Marvel DC Zombies continue to run rampant across the DCU. And in Smallville, as the Black Lantern Psycho Pirate terrorizes Smallvile (by making men kiss… each other!), BL-Superman-2 battles Superman and Conner “Superboy” Kent while BL-Lois-Lane-2 hunts Ma Kent.
If you’ve picked up any single DC book over the last, oh, three months, you’ve probably seen Black Lanterns completely obliterate some of the DCU’s top talents, including Hawkman, Hawkgirl,
AqualadGarth, and even Krypto.
Ma Kent monologues that it’s going to take more than a Black Lantern to scare “a Kansas farmer’s wife.”
Good Lord! What exactly did the Kents raise on their farm — rabid scorpions?!
Anyway… Ma’s gonna go mano-a-mano with Black-Lantern-Lois-2.
Armed with a torch.
And, you know what, I’ll actually give her good odds.
(Ever try to milk a scorpion?)
Smoothest Pick-Up Line of the Week
Finally, let’s turn to the all-time-greatest pick-up line of the week. And it started out looking like the all-time d-bag monologue. Of course, if we’re talking d-bag monologues, we’re talking about Reed Richards — who has, once again, run afoul of his sweet Sue. Over a complete breakfast (that includes, by the way, a gamma-green cereal called “Hulk Smash”), Sue excuses the entire FFamily so she can talk to her husband. Alone.
The Thing pats his pliable pal’s back: “You know, stretcho-scientist-leaderman, when you don’t keep the wife happy… it’s the whole team that suffers.”
As Sue launches into a “we have to talk” monologue, Reed interrupts to tell her that he already knows what she’s going to say. She accuses him of being dismissive. And then Reed launches into the following little speech that made husbands everywhere cringe:
Reed: Susan, when I was ten, I split my first atom.
Any by the time I was 25, I had spliced a gene and created life.
I have been to the stars in a rocket built with my own hands and I have seen the death and birth of suns with my very own eyes.
All of this — my own doing.
I’m the foremost authority in countless areas of science and technology, and when the smartest people on this planet need help, it’s me they call…
I will not apologize for knowing the things I do.
Sue: What’s your point?
And then Reed delivers the line that allowed all of us husbands to unclench…
Reed: I’m an expert in many things… but it’s you I’ve studied the most.
And then he tells her, in five words, that he knows what she’s going to ask, and he will agree to do so.
The smartest man in the universe is also a pretty smart husband.