Tag Archives: entertainment

Post Number #0, Earth Pi Edition

It’s kind of neat when a comic book company revisits an old gimmick. DC is offering #0 issues this month. That means all the comics that didn’t get a #0 issue (or just weren’t around to get one) in the 1990s will get their chance. Batgirl will get a #0! Batwing will get a #0! A more appealing incarnation of The Justice League will get a 2nd#0! Nightwing will get a #0! Blue Beetle will get a #0! Batman Inc. will get a #0! Green Arrow will get a 2nd#0! Superman will get a 2nd #0! OMAC – was canceled. Before Watchmen…won’t get #0s, but, gee, you would figure if they were going to screw Alan Moore, they would at least stick it all the way in there and finish the job. Enough with the foreplay.

The #0 gimmick has a lot to do with the desire to have a #1 issue of a comic that’s been around long before you were born. It’s a form of compensation. In many cases, companies would use it as a preview of the upcoming #1 issue (some #0’s were bagged with issues of Wizard Magazine – and they would come up with the Issue 1 1/2 mail-order exclusive gimmick). I used to have a #0 issue of Sonic the Hedgehog. DC used the gimmick as part of a company crossover event called Zero Hour, which was an attempt to explain away discrepancies/inconsistencies/garbage (the histories of the Legion of Super Heroes, the Justice League, Superboy, and a possible return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl) and the fallout from a previous crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths (it didn’t work). Some of the issues offered retellings of origin stories, others offered new takes on familiar events. Much of the suspense from the event was whether Barbara would return as Batgirl after being left in a wheelchair after the events of “The Killing Joke”. It would take another decade and a half before she did. A lot of fans either wish she had stayed in the chair and a lot of fans are happy to see her back in the Batgirl costume – it’s just one or the other.

One gimmick at a time, here – #0 issues ran their course as a gimmick. The next was relaunches with new #1 issues, particularly comics that never technically had a #1 issue (a lot of the Marvel comics characters – Thor, the Hulk, Ant Man, Doctor Strange, Captain America, Iron Man) appeared as feature in anthology titles that were spun off into their own series with the issue numbering continuing uninterrupted, the Hulk in particular. His new #1 by John Bryne and Ron Garney was collectible for a while, until people realized it was his 2nd. That’s another story.

And then there’s the curious phenomena regarding #2 issues. It turns out the comic shops would order more copies of #1 issues, then order a more conservative (less) number of #2 issues. To muddy the waters further, Marvel was trying a gimmick to make #2 issues of their relaunch titles more appealing by offering variant covers. This lasted through 1998. You see what happens when you order a #1, find it boring, skip out on #2, then learn that that was the hot one to own? What a mess! Oh, and 1 1/2 issues went out after a few years when Wizard stopped offering them. Those books usually offered a short comic and some sketchbook material from the artist, sometimes with a short interview. On one occasion, Wizard offered a future edition – Witchblade #500.This cynical gimmick did not catch on – partly because a lot of people questioned if most comic books would ever exist near #500, given the number of cancellations, relaunches, etc. Remember Crossgen? That was a thing.

O.K. – DC is offering #0s again. Does this mean you get to pick and choose to keep which zero issue of a title that already had a #0 issue? There’s no 2nd “0” on a calculator…

Say, if you’re bored, take two #8 issues of any recent DC Comic from the New52 relaunch, two of the new #0 issues and one #5. Line them up together a hand of cards and fan them out. Make sure the issue numbers are lying next to each other when you spell “80085“. I don’t think you need to look at them upside down to get this joke.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Brickbats!

I just felt like dropping a few bricks to make this new alternate Earth Pi universe more homey…:

I can change my mind: Back on Earth 1, I had written an entry titled, Batman Deux, in which I felt indifferent and apathetic after reading issue #2 of the relaunched Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Well, the library had the hardcover collected edition of the first six issues. I’m happy to say that while the second issue was still dull to me, I enjoyed all the other installments and look forward to following the second half when it is released in hardcover, as well as Snyder’s upcoming Joker storyline (teaser ads hint that the Joker seems to be losing face – more likely literally than figuratively). In the meantime, that Batgirl tie-in issue I read a few months back makes more sense now to me. I wish I hadn’t thrown it out.

A guilty pleasure bites the dust – hope it wasn’t my fault:  In an installment of “It’s Been a Pleasure”, in which I list my guilty pleasures in the world of pop culture, I mentioned I enjoy watching the teen comedy Victorious, mostly for Daniella Monet as the egotistical, delusional but hilarious minx-in-hot-pants Trina Vega.  Well, Nickolodeon cancelled the show this month. 15 episodes have yet to air, which makes the total number of episodes 52. Fans online seem more upset about how they won’t get regular exposure doses of their favorite cast members rather than the demise of the show itself, with Elizabeth Giles and Ariana Grande getting the most attention, though Daniella has a large fanbase on twitter (she’s campaigning to be on Dancing With The Stars in the Spring – she does have a dancer’s legs). As for the show, producer Dan Schneider has a pilot for a spinoff planned called Sam & Cat, in which Grande is paired with Jeanette MacCurdy’s character from iCarly as they form a babysitting service. Next, Schneider tweeted a cryptic tweet (is there such a thing as cryptic tweets?) in which he thought that, yeah, Daniella Monet should get a spinoff/show of her own, too! And this is a step up from comics fandom? … It’s the Christopher Lloyd effect – You see an actor give a great performance that you can’t compare with what came before it. Playing Doc Brown was Christopher Lloyd’s breakthrough performance, playing Trina was Daniella’s.

…hopefully her dancing partner will be Derek or Mark – they’re the only good male trainers..and Maksim, but he’s a lunatic.

The Joseph Adorno Adventures?:  I just got through watching most of seasons 4 and 5 of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Doctor Who spinoff in which the late Elisabeth Sladen reprised her role as Sarah Jane Smith, a freelance reporter who investigates possible alien invasions with help from her adopted son, his two friends from school, a supercomputer named Mr. Smith and (occasionally) robot dog K9. It’s not bad, but no great shakes. Here’s why I have trouble really getting into it: the most interesting characters are Sarah Jane, Mr. Smith and K9. The kids are not. They’re presented as if they are everykids, characters that the target demographic is supposed to identify with. They’re about as smart and imaginative as the intended target audience is perceived to be, they make clichéd, action movie hero-style jokes about action movie hero clichés, they have concerns about school, family, homework, etc.., real life stuff  and points of social issues and order in between investigating the latest plot by the Slitheen, the Grassk, the Trickster, the Sontarans, etc… and they eat up a lot of screen time. I wish they were more interesting. They should be. Instead, they’re Sarah’s apprentices – if they ever do anything interesting, it’s like the writers were obligated to give them something to do, as opposed to it being a matter of course. There are hints that they were just beginning to resolve this when Sladen’s death resulted in the abrupt end of the series. As it is, there was no desire expressed to follow-up on the adventures of Luke, Clyde and Rani, but then again, our  we can just go on imagining that Sarah Jane is still alive and well in the Doctor Who universe. I’m still curious about K9, a separate spin-off series starring the robot dog and using the same format, but with a different design and supporting cast. The series was aired was aired everywhere but the U.S..

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized