Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Posted by Rafa Rivas at 2:01 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Nope. Nothing to do with the Elongated Man. (Although it would have been slightly better in my boo).
To Morrison's dismay, understanding some of his works to the same degree of some by other geniuses like Alan Moore, Moore Gaiman or Darwyn Cooke, can be a lot work. For my two cents, all these comic book writes can be about as brilliant, the only difference is that Morrison is the ikea version of the rest.
Morrison's stories often require putting together a lot of pieces, resorcing to numerous rereads, internet consulting, getting kicked out of an online forum or club reading. Some fans go as far as organizing extensive an even ludicrous rereading lists of his past works every time he's about to publish new material.
Why is Morrison doing that to us? What is his purpose? Is he an evil psycho-sadistic? Is he a sloppy storyteller? Does he think he looks smarter by making ikea-stories? ... Yes and no. He does want ust to work on his stories like puzzles, he might want us to nderrate him and might be teasing us to look like a genius. I'll prove all of that by linking his work to Borges and his hipertext.
Ok, hyperwhat? To understand Morrison's story strctures, the first thing we need to understand is the concept of hypertext. In normal narratives or texts, everything is linear. The reader is meant to read from start to finish with no major effort than eye movement to follow words and flipping pages. Sometimes, when an index is available, we can navegate through it and avoid a bit of the linear reading, going straight to the body of text that we want or need. As computers were introduced, text started to feature links to other texts, images and multimedia, making networks of information known as hypertext. With hypertext, the reader doesn't have to read in a linear way, he can navigate in any order as he jumps from node to node of media through the links. The two basic elements of hypertext are links and nodes.
A number of authors have used this technology to create hypertext fition and hypertext comics or "hypercomics":
Well, that's where it gets tricky. Hypertext doesn't have to use digital media. It can be done in regular media. For instance, an artist could paint this one on your wall. Boom. You have low a lowtech hypercomic right there. It could even be a painting or a drawing in your favorite gas station toilet. Hypertext could also be done in a book. Just by indicating that chapters 3 and 4 happen at the same time, the reader has a forking point at the end of chapter 2. Things could get more complicated if chapter six followed both 3 and 5, but you only needed 4 to understand 5. Or the writer could rearrange a series of consecutive events so that you have to figure out the order as some sort of puzzle. Another way would be giving incomplete, but complementary descriptions of the same subject in different scenes so that the reader goes back and forth, making a mental map to reconstruct things.
Well, writers already did that. They started on early XX century with James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and peaked with Argentinean Jorge Luis Borges's The Garden of the Forking Paths.
On Borges and Morrison
So far, I’ve just read 5 of Borges works, and I find the themes and what he does with his stories, strikingly similar to the ones of Morrison, who admits his influence and makes clear nods within his stories. The Scissormen in Doom Patrol are just one step ahead of what the secret society of writers did in Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. The Book of the Library of Limbo are nods to The Library of Babel and Ts’ui Pên book-labyrinth.
“The Garden of the Forking Paths” is a printed hypertext short story about a hypertext book (yeah, and way before postmodernism and deconstruction were thing). Final Crisis is a printed hypertext comic about a time-space collapse in which the time-space (or the panel sequence that represents time) collapses. Like, TGOTFP, Final Crisis also features, “the book of the Library of Limbo” a fictional hypertext book (“infinite number of pages, all occupying the same space”). Both books are about time, space and represent the universe itself. The difference being that the one from TGOTFP features the Universe as conceived by the author of the book, while the Book of the Library of Limbo is some sort of perfect natural thing (I don’t think so, but The Book of Destiny, perhaps?). The Library of Limbo might as well be a reference to Borges’ Library of Babel.
Ts’ui Pên, the fictional author of TGOTFP, parallels Morrison himself in that they are brilliant men dedicating their times to make labyrinths in a medium that is underrated in their respective contexts; trying to elevate it through the complexity of their work.
I could explain how TGOTFP, I mean, the short story written by Borges, is printed hypertext fiction… But I think it’s better to leave that for the experts. There’s plenty of literature about that. This one is pretty good. Now, Final Crisis is another case...
On Hypertext in Final Crisis
There’s not enough information on how does it constitute an example of printed hypertext fiction. Firstly, it doesn’t take much, as I pointed out since the beginning, the simple fact that Morrison has us constantly flipping panels, pages, books or even series back is enough; not even TGOTFP is as forked as some of his works. Yes, this would mean that a lot of other books and comics books and comic book events might be considered hypertext in the degree that they have us flipping and flipping. I’d consider Lord of the Rings an example of the opposite, as long as it is, I rarely flipped (maybe if I forgot a name). In Conan Doyle’s stuff and mystery fiction it happens a bit more often (keep in mind that Borges influenced the generation of the golden age of mystery fiction through the Ellery Queen mag). Borges has us doing that from the first two paragraphs (which are often the most intense), Morrison usually does the opposite, starting very simple and making things very complex as they reach climax. Final Crisis is an example of this, #1 is simple, and street level, with each issue being progressively more complex, until we have the fragmented and cosmic #6. The page flipping starts on #3, and it goes crazy on #7. The first half of #7 have the reader (pp. 4 – 18) flipping within those pages and the rest between that and mostly Superman Beyond. In addition to the flipping, Final Crisis has hypertext structures (something that not even TGOTFP has) on two levels: its format as a series, and fragmented and shuffled storytelling in #7.
Firstly, it constitutes a “hyper series” of sorts (yeah, I’m pretty much making up that term, although somebody online has thought about it first). There’s the main linear structure, issues 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7, and the 3 indispensable structural tie-ins: Superman Beyond, Final Crisis: Submit, and Batman: Last Rites (Batman #682 – 3). There are other tie-ins, but they are not necessary to understand the story (in fact, if read as part of the “hyper series”, they would only wear thin the reader’s attention). By contrast, it’s impossible to understand the ending of FC #7 without Superman Beyond. Likewise, Batman: Last Rites, takes place after Batman is kidnapped in FC #2 and before he returs in FC #6, about which it explains a lot. It also conciliates the ending of FC #6 with the contradictory ending of FC #7. In one ending we see Batman’s corpse, in the next we see him alive, living in the past; Last Rites, is the key. It’s interesting, but by doing this Morrison draws yet another couple of parallels between him and Ts’ui Pên from TGOTFP:
1. Both authors wrote a labyrinth book (FC and fictional-TGOTFP) about his version of the [DC] Universe.
2. Along with many other apparent contradictions, in both books a character appears death in one chapter and alive in the other; Morrison also pulled this on Seven Soldiers.
Back to the “hyper series” ( ™ ) structure, each of the 3 tie-ins (a.k.a. “hypertext nodes”) branch out of the main structure at 3 forking points to converge in 3 different ones, each tie-in has progressively less flexibility. The readers’ first forking point would be Batman’s kidnapping in #2, and they have until mid #6 to read it. Then, the second forking point Superman Beyond, is a fraction of a second within the story that branches out of the middle of #3, but could be easily red at any point before #6. Submit it rather an interruption, since it happens after the first pages of #4 and ends before the rest of it. There is how it looks:
Then, we have the other big hypertext structure of #7. I initially thought it was the smallest since I only identified it by the odd panels in p. 16.
|Panels present time going backwards and forward in a loop.|
1. The fight final fight against Darkseid and then, against his “Justifiers” (hypnotized minions, who were half the World’s population by then).
2. The events after the final fight and before Lois Lane starts narrating.
3. Lois Lane’s narration, continued by the final moments with Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
All the 3 develop in parallel. The narration in the caption voices of all of them happens from the third, and what is told and showed alternates between the 3. The reader can choose to read in the order provided by the panel sequence and the narration of Lois Lane or go try to read the events in chronological order. Which creates forking points pretty often.
This is how it would look in a regular, linear narrative (SPOILER ALERT!!):
|Flash, the magic bullet and the Black Racer.|
Back to what dragged my attention to this last structure, in p. 16 of #7, in the 4th panel, we have a character catching another that is thrown to her from the 7th panel. Pretty much like the story of the man MacGuffin of the story, which presents yet another hypertext structure…
The story begins with the investigation Orion, of a God who was murdered with a bullet that didn’t seem to be in the crime scene. Green Lantern discovers that the bullet is actually under the floor, and that it has been there for ages. This leads Batman to speculate that the bullet was shot in the future and traveled backwards through time until it hit Orion and then the floor. The Flashes use their speed power to try to stop the bullet and death itself (personified by the Black Racer figure) from hitting Orion in the past but fail. Meanwhile, Batman has the old bullet. He’s captured by Darkseid, but escapes and shoots him. That’s where the bullet ends. It has its origin after that. Wounded and slowly dying, with the old bullet, Darkseid shoots Superman; however, the Flashes have been tracking the bullet, now to its source and not its destiny; so, the time vortex that they opened is what takes the bullet to the past. However, the Black Racer, who has been following them, goes straight to Darkseid, taking his soul away from his body. So, as pointed by Superman, Darkseid lead the bullet right back to himself. Whenever the bullet or the Black Racer appear in the story, the structure forks in 3 paths; the reader can a, just keep reading in regular order, b, go back to the last bullet scene, or c, go forth to the next bullet scene. He story progresses, but the bullet is going backwards in time, pretty much like the panel loop in #7, p. 16.
My verdict? It's awesome. Well, if for some reason I was his writing workshop teacher (I don’t know, maybe he got into a really lousy school), and keeping in mind that workshop teachers are supposed to be jerks, I’d give in an A and I’d tell him how to get an A+ in my book. Firstly, the hyperseries structure needs to be clearer and get a bit more character. Turning Batman #682 – 3 into “Final Crisis: Last Rites” or “Final Crisis: Batman Forever” is a must; Requiem and Resist should be redoe by him and integrated into the structure, a 4th Wonder Woman tie would be seal the deal. All that would make it clearer that it’s a hyperseries that consists of a main storyline in the title book and 6 more nodes. All of it should have the same the same format, slightly different from the other tie-ins. Some parts need captions, particularly #7 and Superman Beyond. The back of each issue needs annotations. A bit more Aquaman, Hawkman and Zatanna wouldn’t hurt. And for Grodd’s sake, he should have done something with the Elongated man.
Posted by Rafa Rivas at 8:47 AM
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
The video (I cannot paste it here, you'll have to go to the article ) is about the amazing fact that back in 1995 the creators of that cult hit show created a character that incarnates what internet is today: a collection of memes, nostalgic pop cult references and utter nonsense (porn aside, of course).
On a side note a bit of nostalgic Freakazoid! googling lead me to find --
I interrupt this article to make the following announcement: I'm your computer, and I'm in love you. Also, your fingers ticke me.
-- some relly cool concept art by Bruce W. Timm, of Batman: The Animated Series fame:
I really love the first one. That's Kid Carrion, he actually made it to the show, mostly with crowds of villains in the first season. Too bad there was no episode about it. Bombshell and Major Danger, can be seen only in The Lobe short. I don't believe Witch Girl, Ben Franklinstain or the Nunchucks were ever used, even in the backgrounds.
I did no know this, but they come from the special features of the season 1 DVD set. Along with other desigs. Some can be seen in this fan made retrospective from youtube by :
And now, for something completely different:
I plan to say Candle Jack without disap--
Saturday, September 29, 2012
They are set in the pre-Flashpoint continuity, picking up after Identity Crisis and 52. I think I'll eventually do a new one set in the DCnU. For some reason I named the Dibnys dog Cho, even though I knew about Frazier.
1. "The Incredible tale of the death and return of Rallph dibny, the World-Famous Elongated man and Sue, his wonderful wife (or something like that)".
Continuing from 52, Ralph goes on an afterlife Odyssey to get Sue, who didn't really go to heaven in order to try to return to Earth. Aware of that, he avoids heaven too, so he tries to get clues from Death herself, Boston Brand, Charon. He goes to limbo, hell and then, once he realizes that afterlife is too big to find a lost sould, he goes to purgatory and heaven to ask God (who looks a bit like Uatu the Watcher, only his face changes every panel according to the conversation; every time his face is that of a DC writer, editor or artist, but mostly Jack Kirby, John Broome and for some reason, Don Rickles).
God explains that his tragedy (along with many) was not supposed to happen, but silly humans had to mess with his multiverse (he explains that even Alex and Superemo were not supposed to be evil). God is depressed because every time he intervened, people got into more fights. Ralph convinces God to fix Earth-0 and the Dibnys (the 3 of them) are resend in a way that they are aware that their souls are connected to the souls of their multivese versions. Like Green Arrow forgot Longbow Hunters, their rape traumas were erased by God, who thinks that it doesn't go along with his original plans for them. They return as the only characters in the DCU aware of their conceptual essence and multiversity (which they "lived" while being in the afterlife).
2. "Elongating the Dibnys"When the Dibnys jump to life again, their life story is retold. First we see limbo with vaguely chornological panels that show Ralph and Sue's background. He is a genius that frew up in a family and town (the rural Waymoere, Nebraska) that didn't really appreciated his talents as much as the athletic skills of his ever popular brother, so he also becomes a class clown too (a good deal of his jokes involving slapstick and conservationism). In parallel Sue is born in the Dearborn family, one of the oldest fortunes of Manhattan. She was daddy's girl as he took her to many of his adventures, he always told her to look for brain and heart above anything else. We go back to Ralph for the rest of the issue.
At age 14, Ralph left town and at age 20 he was already a criminologist a chemist and decided to travel the world aiding local authorities to solve popular mysteries and making comedy performance. Contortionism was always one of his passions, he noted that a number of "India men" drink Gingold which main ingredient is gingo (from the Mayan word Cin-koh, or something like that, I have to research a more convincing word), so he isolated the active ingredient and became a very flexible contortionist himself. Wanting even more, he traveled to Yucatan (that's coincidentally my state! Go, Yucatan, Go!) to further his Cin-koh studies. He first seeks directions at the airport tourist shop, the owner, don Eduardo, turns out to be quite knowledgeable and turns out to have bed and breakfast service at his house. There, at supper time, he met mentally enhanced telepath pet dog named Frazier. Don Eduardo explains that the dog got his powers from falling into a contaminated cenote (a type of sinkhole) located 20 km south to Merida, in an hacienda that belonged to the evil hacendado Maximo Puerto Molina. He also mentions that many people that live there develop abnormal abilities (unknown to most people, most of the regional superhero community obtained his powers there), most of them trigger their powers by eating certain food. The most notorious Yucatecan hero, Ignacio "Speedy" Gonzalez Uk, is a speedster who became Ralph's immediate friend. The cenote turns out to be connected to the ancient lab of the evil alien-God that started Mayan civilization. As a result of trying to stop Maximo from waking up the alien Ralph is trown into the cenote with cement shoes, when the lab was activated the water was mixed with chemicals that mutated Ralph, who was able to stretch out of the 25m long water hole and then get out. The alien granted Maximo mind over matter powers and left; but under Ralph's coordination the Yucatecan hero comunity were able to stop and impression him.
In the second issue we go back to Sue, who as a teenager with a platonic crush, follows Ralphs adventures. At her 18, after Grodd tries to take over Manhattan (or some shit like that), she pulls her strings to make a party to celebrate the Flash triumphant and invites the Elongated man to give the speech; however, it was all a trick to get his attention. With her physical atributes, sharp mind and quick wit, it was an easy task. Sudenly, the Rogues gallery break into the celebration and freeze the Flash, but the duo was able to set them a trap, making their first of many headlines together. We see some other tabloid, magazine cover and newspaper front pages, including some crimes solved by them (there are first glances of Spectra, Murdoch and the Clinton boys, the character I listed before in this thread), their popular romance, their wedding, her graduation as an archeologist, etc. With her an the Dearborns Ralph is finally surounded by the lifestyle and recognicion he always wanted.
At the end we get a bit of a sight of their current life in the Dearborn Building at Manhattan's UES, where they settle due to Sue's pregnancy. Their apartment neighbors the Dearborns (Sue's parents) and Jeeves, their buttler, former Gotham radio celebrity and art critic Vincent B. "the Egghead" Barrows and his secretary (who just happen to live with him, in the same room), the Tolkiens, the Blooms, Lipman and other characters (I posted their descriptions before in this thread). We get a first clue that there's an ungerground figure funning all the crime of NY.
3. "The World Famous Elongated man Vs. the NY garbage collecting system". Ralph starts investigating a series of hi-tech robberies in Manhattan. As he gets himself familiarized with the big apple though his investigative diligences, he starts shenanigans homeless people he finds after some diligences (they are sort of a novelty for him, since he's not used to deal with their kind with the NYC frequency. He gets into a fight with one who never remembers him or whatever they talked their previous encounter. The Robberies continue and neither the police, nor Power Girl or Ralph seem to have a clue about the perpetrators; however, it does become clear to Ralph that the robberies echo those of the Prometheus in Cry for Justice with the only difference that they seem to be done by highly efficient pros rather than murderous and idiotic super-criminals. Ralph concludes that someone is creating an improved version of the doomsday machine, so he collaborates with the police to set up the next possible target. They seemingly apprehend the thieves, but Ralph doesn't believe they are the real ones, so he stays to watch the building for the rest of the night, as the police interrogate them. Suddenly, his hunch becomes true as he sees one of the hobos entering the building and stealing the piece and throwing it into the dumpster, he reports to Power Girl and follows the garbage truck, which goes to a warehouse. PG arrives (she was busy with stuff from her own book) and to against Ralph's insistence, they break into the warehouse, the hobos and garbage men surrender immediately and their apparent chief asks how the heroes how they found out their identity. After Ralph elaborates on his clues he reveals, he knows the guy he's talking to is not the real mastermind, since all the thieves are being telepathically controlled. The real criminal comes from out of the curtains, it turns out to be Frazier, the same dog he met in Yucatan! Both superheroes are shown shocked and Ralph exclaims "You?!".
As a sub plot, Sue just hired a cleaning lady. When she asks "Lupe" to "call her Sue", since she consider "everyone is equal in the Dea--Dibny apartment", the maid replies "a-ha", which develops into an obsession to Sue, who keeps trying to prove she's progressive (despite her husband breaking in to rant about the hobos in NY). The situation will elevate and end up with the two women spending 5 de Mayo in Guatemala, (which doesn't make sense, since that's a Mexican thing). Subplots will normally show how imperfect are the Dibnys in fact, an imperfection that actually makes them perfect. Sue will be absent one or two issues so that she won't met the dog as a supervillain.
4. "Ralph and Sue's Eggcentric Neighbor". Frazier (the megalomaniac telepath dog of the Dibnys) develops and obsessive habit with peeing in front ofEgghead's door (he lives in the Dearborn Building as the Dibny's floor neighbor), who's trying to hide the fact that he's the NY mastermind Ralph is looking for, while trying to keep the status and image of his appartment.
Sue is willing to pay for the for the cleaning, but Vincent (Egghead) demands that she neuters the dog and cleans it personally. When she refuses, instead of clinning himself (or have his secretary do it) he tries to make his hen poo in front of the Dibny's door. Ralph passes by and indifferently asks him is he's the new NY mastermind and remarks that he'll get him. When Ralph tells Sue, he insist him to walk Frazier, believing he will mark Vincent's door again. As he passes by the dog feels he has to save "gold" for unmarked spots. After Sue learns that her plan didn't work as she expecter, she decides to take Frazier and estimulate him to pee in front of Vincent's door. So you have both idiots trying to make their respective mascots soil each other's entrance.
The problem elevates as both try different legal but infantile ways to bother each other. At the climax both will fight in a Dearborn Building neighbor assembly.
Although Egghead would never admit his criminal activities, Ralph is pretty laid back and knows who his annal retentive neighbor is. It's a matter of the ultimate bluffer mastermind vs. the ultimate detective. Batman makes a cameo to share his Egghead files and welcomes his fellow detective back to life.
5. "The sitcom fanatic". Kenny Kramer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Kramer) is running for mayor once again (his, slogan: No, seriously), for most Newyorkers that sounds preddy normal; however, the K-man gets some serious headlines after an attempt on his life is filmed. As Ralph starts investigating the funny guy, Larry David is attacked too, which draws all the attention to Seinfeld. However, Ralph is not sure this is about characters that inspired the show. One failed murder assault is pretty common, but two?
As a sub plot we get to know a bit more about the rivalry of JJ Dearborn (Sue's dad) and JJ Tolkien (a parody of George Jefferson).
6. "The One in which Frazier get's this close to getting the world" Frazier gets the Green Bell of Uthool and the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath from E-Bay (wait until Ralph checks his Mastercard balance). Thinks he's keeping them hidden from Ralph by burying them near by in Central Park. Now he only needs the Red Jar of Calythos(chech Demons Three in Wikipedia if you don't know what those items are) to get his wold domination wish. The only problem: it's located at Felix Faust'sKnittlingen summer residence. To get past the pentacle force field that surrounds it, he has to steal Dr. Fate's Helmet or the fake one... which is stored at JSA's headquarters.
7. "<Apocalypse... not now!> (Apopcalipsis... ¡Ahora no!)" . In a catholic monastery in Merida, Yucatan, a couple of kids fooling around find a secret doorway to a cenote, and open a secret chamber which as the hieroglyphs show, somehow unleashes doomsday plagues upon the city (which would have to be big enough for the city, but not for the JLA). The teaser ends when the kids are scared away by a reanimated the corpse (which will turn out to be that of the fray Diego de Landa, the paranoid historic figure who destroyed most of the key Mayan knowledge along with the city of T'ho). In a city hall meeting with experts, nobody knows what to do until mysterious don Eduardo is suddenly shown only to mention "he knows someone". Meanwhile, Ron is pulling some shenanigans at Ralph apartment, right before the little bastard is about to be punished, Sue gets the call and the Dybnys go once again to Yucatan.
Now, the story can either just have the Dibnys and Landa pull something to cancel doomsday, or going with the logic of the b'ac'tun, have the plot twist of Landa being evil and the doomsday a natural benign process.
As a sub plot, Frazier (the megalomaniac telepath dog of the Dibnys) is trying to escape.
8. "Our little sociopath with the heart of gold". Frazier (the megalomaniac telepath dog of the Dibnys) escapes and meets in Central Park the kid of some millionaire from whom he plans to steal to start over a new plot. Meanwhile, Sue asks EM to track him. The Flash II makes a cameo helping to search for clues. By the time Ralph finds him, the dog is conflicted between saving the family from a villain or stealing from them and running off.
9. "Honeymooners". The Moon Watchtower has been bought and restored as a base by the UN, but during his inauguration speech the space commander is warped out of existence, so King Faraday decides the Secretary-General should call the second best man to solve the mystery: Ralph Dibny.
For some nonsensical reason Sue and Frazier get to go as well. The dog will form a love triangle with the super intelligent dog couple of the station (I think they might be involved in the incident).
10. "A Not So Eggcellent Takeover". Egghead tries to take over Dearborn Industries (Sue's dad conglomerate) by convincing its board to merge with E(gg)xcellent Enterprises, another corporation that mysteriously made Egghead its CEO 2 weeks ago. It's up to Ralph, J. J. (Sue's dad) and his incompetent lawyer to convince them he's a criminal.
11. "A Mayan God in New York". J. J. (Sue's dad) decides to set a lab in Yucatan to try to discover the gingo while cleaning the environment (tax purposes), which accidentally leads to the Return of Kukulk'caan. Who takes over his mind and starts using his resources to take over Manhattan.
12. Part I.
"When I'm with you (Oh-o, it's magic)". Opener: Frazier exposes himself as a telepath to Sue and the rest of the worl as he reveal on every network airwave his masterplan to take over... it would have probably would have worked if he didn't brag about it on Facebook. Zatanna is in town only to find herself victim of the NY cybertabloids, did her daddy issues and self sabotage tendencies finally got the worst out of her or maybe her there's something more of it? Ralph wants to know, but I don't think Sue will be happy to have her husband near an... er..."boundary-challenged" bomb-shell with exhibitionist tendencies.
"Every Dog Has Its Day". The Warlock of Ys reveals he has been manipulating Zatanna's insecurities and fears in order to bend her will and use her as an instrument to magnify his own powers. However, Frazier won't waste time trying to get a wish granted from the magic-induced drunk heroine. How do you think the world will appreciate being massively marked as "Frazier's territory"? As a literally pissed of Batman will put it: "It's gotta have something to do with Dibny".
13. "Frenchmen love The Elongated Man"Proving Norm McDonald's second biggest theory right, the city of Paris decide to celebrate their favorite American hero's resurrection by granting him the key to the city. The ceremony takes place at a bridge of Seine and as Ralph gives his speach the crowd starts screaming and a horribly stretched dead body flows in the river. It is holding a board with a message written in blood: Congratulations Mr. Dibny, you get to die again. (the murdered will be someone from the past adventures of the Dibnys in France, probably Bradford Smolz, or since he had an interesting personality, probably someone I'll just make up ant retcon into being friend of the Dibnys).
So Ralph has to revisit his past French enemies (from Detective Comics # 344 and 355, Elongated man #1 and verious JLE issues), including Rajah and the Perfume thieves, L'Escargot (seriously, there's such villain), Sonar, Warp, etc... I'm really tempted to make L'Escargot the villain, but then again Rajah had such potential, the guy freaking switched Sue's mind with that of his criminal boss.
The issue would feature JLA cameos (sending him files) and the help of Det. Anton Legere, the Hunchback of Notre Dame (both from Batman: Gotham Adventures #8).
14. "Elementary, my Dearborn" Once in Europe, Ralph convinces Sue to pay Thomas and Mary Moriarty a visit (the descendants of Watson and Moriarty seen inDetective Comics #572), so he can get a shot at trying to solve his favorite Holmes cold case in London, which is not a hard case to make, since Sue has not done any shopping in Harrods for over a year. As he gets some developments, his contact is murdered and he survives an attack. To Ralph, this has Professor Edgar Moriaty's stench all over, so he'll have to pay him a visit at Basement 101 (this, of course, means a Beefeater, Pearly King and Old Coal King cameos). As this seems to get bigger and bigger Ralph enlist Knight and Squire to help him.
At the end, the Dibny's and the Moriartys decide to catch Zatanna's London performance, but her disappearing act turns out to be just too good.
15. "gnisahC segneH" After the last story cliffhanger Elongated man, Squire and the very incompetent Lord Bravery track Zatanna through a series of Henges starting in Stonehenge and ending in Brodgar (Scotland). But do out heroes have what it takes to face the Druid*?
*One of the 2 original archenemies of Zatanna from the 60s.
Epilogue: At the London City Airport, ready to leave to the US, after talking over the case, the Dibny's catch a news report about a viral youtube video of knight ghost destroying wind turbines near La Mancha . Needless to say Ralph's nose went crazy.
16. "Chasing Wind--turbines?" It's almost don Quixote day in La Mancha and as the date approaches more and more incidents involving what seems to be the ghost of don Quixote. Wind turbines are a recurring theme, but it also targets several private and government properties. Yeah, this ghost means trouble, but there seems to be more to this case.
This story introduces don Quijote (and at the end Sancho Panza), ghosts that got eternal life on earth thanks to the work of Miguel de Cervantes and become almost solid as they embody the Spanish spirit of justice.
And yes, they finally leave Europe after this adventure... to visit Africa!! Nah, just kidding, they do go back to the US this time.
17. The villain team-up issue. Back in USA, a crowd of mildly revengeful Elongated man enemies (tentatively Captain Boomerang, the Phantom General, L'Escargot, Brainstorm and Rajah) hired by Maximo in a Blackberry message group, awaits him. One by one they are defeated. Only one manages to evade apprehension. Maximo manages to free them from jail for a final attack as a group, but they are defeated once again, the twist, the Martian and Ralph were posing as the one who evaded apprehension.
NOTE: The 3 previous posts about this "series" were updated with titles and a couple of new plots and bold text for key words to keep a distinctive format.
18. Paging Dr. Quest. After Jonny Quest returns a date from a date in the "bubble jet", he receives a video message from Dr. Quest asking for help before disappearing in an explosion. The World-Famous Elongated Man is hired by the Army as an outside consultant to solve the case. Ralph seems to suspect everyone from the now College freshman Jonny to Race Bannon and the doctor's archenemy, Dr. Zin.
19. WHO SHOT LEX LUTHOR?. Lex comes to New York to control a series of projects, including a private super-Vigilance Service (using technology developed by Starr Enterprises), a NY-based media group (he hires NT Times and Post employees behind their backs), and a new real state project for Alphabet City (Southeast Manhattan). On top of that, he buys a chunk of the Central Park to use the Belvedere Castle as his residence. Obviously, this has a lot of New Yorkers pissed off, so when he's shot to a coma status, Ralph has a lot of suspects. Power Girl (hero and Starr Enterprises CEO), Egghead (bald genius rival, frienemy, media mogul and Alphabet town druglord), the Penguin (who recently lost the SSoSV Chairman position to him), the major (cohered into selling the castle), Mercy Graves (a henchgirl tired of his excesses), Otis (a bittered ex-henchman), Miss itty Kowalski (bittered ex-lover)... Is he still under a threat? However, all evidence seems to point to one person: Superman.
This story would be an obvious homage to Who Shot J.R.? and Who Shot Mr. Burns? with obvious Citizen Kane references. Lex will be a little more Gene Hackman/Kevin Spacey than ever, falling into excesses due to a won trial and probably cancer. As big as it is, it will be of little consequence to the DCU. The end might be that EM discovers that Superman or Power Girl performed a cancer lobotomy on Luthor's head (you know how much he resents Superman saving him).
20. The Elongated Man vs. the IRS. Don Giuseppe Pelagatti, a goofier than evil mob boss / supervillain, enter a lower Manhattan bar with a couple of his guys and start mocking Egghead who is there with his boys rushing to get his taxes done. After a couple of silly jokes he brags about how he has the Weasel McFingers to do his taxes, to which Egghead replies that so did he -- until the guy disappeared with all his files.
Ralph returns from solving a Flash case with Frazier (the dog) in Central City. As he gets in the limo to find don Giuseppe waiting in the dark. The henchmen take his cell and break it and tell him that they have dinappd sue and that he won't see her again until he helps them find out what happened to McFinger and files. After half a day of search they split and don Giuseppe goes to hi audit and struggles through an it trying to justify stupid evil expenses to the IRS.
Ralph discovers that Egghead paid McFingers a fortune to disappear in order to get Pelagatti in jail for tax evasion. Although he doesn't find clear evidence, he recovers the files. Pelagatti reveals that Sue was never in trouble, and Ralph replies that he knew, since no evidence of such kidnapping was shown, Pelagatti got clean after remarrying his wife and joining N/A and that he wouldn't risk hiring the world's greatest detective if he wasn't clean in the first place.
21. Beyond Batman Beyond. An aged Veronica Vreeland enters the Wayne Manor to "remember old times" only to find a shadowy "Bruce Wayne" pointing a gun and shooting her.
Terry Finishes a case and talks to Bruce. When he returns home, he finds Bruce in the floor of a living room with a bullet wound near the dead body, they see each other, Bruce says "get Ralph Dibny" and falls unconscious.
At his UES apartment, after fighting over food with Cho IV, an old Ralph he gets a JLU signal, he gets his old costume, kisses Sue good bye and gets on the case. As Terry suggests, they check a couple of Batman villains who knew his secret identity: Catwoman, the Riddler and Egghead, who points out that they are just waiting time with retired and sedentary former criminals. Ralph points out that the person who wants Bruce Wayne out of his way the most doesn't necessarily knows or cares about his Batman persona. Which leads them to Derek Powers. Terry agrees that evidence points out that way, but Blight has been dead for 6 months, to which Ralph replies that he shouldn't assume, pointing that most JLUers and members of the Secret Society have died at least once (by then he has died twice and Sue one more time).
On the to do list:
22. The Elongated Man Show. During a discussion with a thug, a guy who looks like Egghead but is called "Eggman" is shot between the eyes. Then the room is lighted to reveal that it is a Hollywood set but that the "Eggman" actor (Chelsea Grammer) is truly dead. Consequently, the producers of the Elongated man Show (a popular sitcom starring Jack van Dyke and Shirley Tylor O'More), have to call their inspiration to clear the case.
As a subplot, Cho (the semi-evil psychic West Highland White Terrier that Ralph was forced to adopt) developed moderated mental powers, so that he can briefly impulse people to follow their invasive thoughts. So that we have Ralph, in Hollywood doing funny stuff like touching a dude's junk and being paparazzi-ed into tabloids.
NOTE: It would be interesting to have the actor to be Kelsey Grammer, but he would only be shot somewhere funny. Another option would be naming him Vincent Rice, in honor of the actor who portrayed Egghead (we're having a Jack van Dyke anyway).
23. (Fat) Rat Race J. J. (Sue's dad) competes in his annual treasure hunt against many of his Millionaire frienemies: including Ted Turner, Carlos Slim, Bill Gates (these three will have stereotypical frat boy personalities), Morgan Edge and mainly, his archnemesis Murdoch Pennypacker (Bruce Wayne mises it to "close a deal", they call to tease him: "Yo, Brucie!... Whazaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!"... and he has to reciprocate in front of Robin at a crime scene). When Edge and Pennypacker disappear the group call Ralph and Sue to solve the mystery.
The rules of the competition state that the competition doesn't stop if something happens to any participant.
Tycoons behaving like frat boys, a couple of them getting lost on a rat race and lots of fart jokes... This gotta be awesome!
24. Elongated man vs. the Colbert Nation. Ralph and Sue rarely miss the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, when Ralph hears that the show is being broad-casted live and that Stephen is giving code signals, he deduces that something is wrong and runs to the studio (this means that he has to jump rooftops in 5 min from UES to Hell's Kitchen's 54th near10th... maybe he'll catapult himself to fly across the park). As he arrives, he finds out that the building is magically blocked and Sue informs him y radio that the guest is an alias for Mistress Sinestra, whose big plan is to get the Colbert Bump!
NOTE: Mistress Sinestra is a rip off of Magica DeSpell + Lady Gaga + Elvira with a thick Queens accent. She's a witch obsessed with luck. On her, the Colbert Bump would have exponentially stronger effects.
All panels are shaped as contemporary TV screens.
The Colbert Report set. Stephen is clearly hiding under his desk.
Colbert pops up from under his desk
Colbert (pops up from under his desk): Tonight! I take a look at the Thorne's Cartel drug war in Gotham.
Colbert (desperated): Before screaming that I didn't see anything!
Colbert: My guest, Horror Movie hostess, Mistress Adora Sinistra, says horror is the best release. I agree, nothing releases the #2 out of me like a good scare.
Stephen is sweating and he knocks his desk with his finger making a weird pattern.
Colbert: Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. He's going to have to wash my pants after the release!
Stephen is still sweating and he repeats the pattern.
A diferently shaped panels. At their living room, the Dibny's look at each other repeating the pattern with their fingers.
Ralph and Sue: "Aide moi!": "Help me!"
Frazier (their semi-evil telepathic Westie dog): Ha, ha. He said #2.
24. Elongated man vs. the Elongated Evildoer (This time is for real, though). Cold opener: We see an Upper West Side building of Gotham city we hear a Midwestern 3o-something woman talk with her mother over her laptop's webcam. We get a shot of her, she's a knockout covering herself with a towel. A nice looking Germanic type: really tall, blond, curvy with slightly broad of shoulders; a bit like Sarah Essen. She mentions that she just moved from Nebraska as we get a shot of the apartment; it's nice, but there a re lots of boxes. She finishes talking, and goes to the bathroom. Before she enters we see the shadowy figure of a man there, but once she turns on the lights, there's nothing there. We see that she dropped the towel and has opened the shower. Then, the water stops, she checks the shower. As she looks black putty comes out through a hole and wraps her as she screams. We don't get to see exactly what it is, but it quickly covers her mouth and we see a shot at the things mouth, which seems to be human, and it says "don't worry, it's not about you". We see a shot at a mirror as we hear a horrible series of snappings. Then we see the exact same panel with a blood message in the mirror: "This is the luck of the Elongated Man's friends".
We have the title. Then we move on tho the point of this comment:
We see WGBS screen panels. Tana Moon reports:
"I'm at the Hypersector's plaza where the stock market is going back to normal after Ralph Dibny [the panels start showing scenes of the final fight], the World-Famous Elongated Man, along with his wife, Sue Dibny, helped that the Dibnys just helped Superman discover that the hyperdimensional being known as Mr. Mxyzptlk was the behind the manipulations that almost lead to a World-wide health and insurance crisis. After the heroes were forced to fight the the Global Trade Centre building itself, Sue, the multi-faceted socialite celebrity known for The Fashion E-xaminer, her role coordinating the Justice League Europe and the Harvey Porter mystery novel series, tricked the imp into reading his name backwards, which conjured him out of our dimension". Anchor Angela Chen: "Seven days ago, the Dibnys miraculously returned from death, which seems to be a common ability for JLA members and metahumans. This is their first case, since they returned, correct?". Tana: "Yes, Angela; after their surprising revelation in The Oprah Show [we see a panel showing Oprah introducing the Dibnys to Fire, Ice, Power Girl, both Flashes, Hal and Superman], this is their first known case. According to our sources, they resumed their traveling in search for mysteries, and Sue is already working on a new Harvey Porter mystery book". Angela: Thank you, Tana. And hopefully we'll hear a new Dibny mystery soon" The TV is turned off.
And so easily we have the Dibnys back. How? Who cares? We didn't see a lot of key Elongated Man moments (wedding, giving away his secret identity, his actual first case) anyway! There have been over 60 resurrections in the DCU, who knows how many ave been in the other comics, do we really need to know the details of this one?
Just like that we move to the Dibnys packing in their hotel room and getting ready to travel to Rio with Frazier.
Sue:"Pfff, don't wait up, Angela, the only mystery I'm solving during the next 3 months is the--- ".
Sue: "The only mystery we'll be solving is how to get you to learn lambada".
Ralph: [dropping his martini in shock] "the forbidden dance".
Sue: [closing Ralph's jaw]That's the one.
Ralph: Oh, boy. Not even the JLA could get me to wo-- [he get's a call to his signal device]
Sue: Had to jinx it, didn't you?
Batman: Jennifer Schmidt. Is that name familiar to you?
Ralph: Sure, she's one of the ones before Sue, from my high school y--
Batman: She was murdered Ralph. You got to come here.
At the Batcave. Looking at the picture of a
Ralph: Yes, that's Lloyd Powell, he and his gang pretended to be what the local authorities called "the Elongated Evildoer", and committed a series of crimes in Sun Mountain Lodge in Sky County, Nevada; pretending to be a super villain with stretching powers. However, they only committed petty robberies, nothing like the psycho we're looking for.
Batman: Ralph. I know this is not your type of case, I'll --
Ralph: No. This guy already has something personal with me, and the safety of my family and friends is at risk, we have to act fast. I have to take care of this... Let's see the next suspect. [...] Yes, that'd be Sherman "Skizzle" Shanks, who called himself "the Malleable Man", he faced me along with Superman, the Elastic Lad and Plastic Man. He's way more likely to do this kind of atrocity, but his vendetta was clearly against Eel.
Batman: Insane people are irrational by definition.
Here's a link to the original stuff http://dwaynemcduffie.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1587&start=70
Posted by Rafa Rivas at 10:42 AM