Saturday, July 7, 2018


Just discovered that I haven't been receiving email notifications about comments for quite some time, so if you've posted a comment to the blog and haven't received a reply, it's because I wasn't aware of the comment.

I'm going to dig in and try to find and answer as many comments as I can in the coming week.  Please be patient and accept my apologies.  I love interacting with the folks that post here and do my best to answer every comment posted.

Stay tuned!


  1. Well, Dematteis, I hope you noticed the issue after you thought, "I haven't seen anything from that jerk who has been bugging me since the Amazon days. I don't suppose I could be so lucky that..."

    And yes, the question HAS been answered, what would an Ingmar Bergman Flash look like:


    1. Perfection! But where's the scene where Flash plays chess with death?

    2. That is obviously sequel, that comes out after the Crisis on Infinite Earth movie.

      Come on Dematteis, isn't it obvious? I mean come on, franchise.


  2. Now Dematteis, I'm going to throw a crazy idea at you. The Marvel revolution worked for the same reason Star Trek worked. It shared the same paradigm.

    Now, I know what you are thinking, "Obviously, that goes without saying, but I have no idea what you mean by that."

    Okay, like Star Trek, early Marvel are both a larger group centered around three people.

    Marvel - Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditcko
    Star Trek - Kirk, Bones, McCoy

    Both represent the mind and whole human experience.

    Kirby and Ditko, are diametrically opposed, just like Spock and Bones. Ditko was cool and private, Kirby warm and inviting. Ditko-conservative, Kirby-liberal.

    They even match up more than that. Like Bones, Kirby is emotion. Like Spock, Ditko promoted reason.

    In the middle, Stan Lee. Kirk. He is the charisma. The face. The ham. The one who connects with people. The one who moderates, and can balance ether partner's extremes

    Lee is also the one you would most expect to find with a green woman.

    It may even go further than that.

    I once saw character examination of Kirk. It implied that in the episode where Kirk is separated into two beings, one good and one evil, it is from his own experience how they take shape.

    Evil Kirk is decisive, good Kirk struggles to make a call. According to this person, it is because when Kirk was young he saw many people starve, due to the choices of a leader. Therefore in his subconscious he views such actions as potentially corrupting.

    Lee may have had something similar. HE watched Atlas almost die, under his control. All while they just chased fads, as one selection of books among many.

    Could this be why Lee was so hard-pushing in a Marvel style? A Marvel voice? Taht he believed that lack of distinction of a recognizable personalioty would lead to ruin/

    How the Hell do I know. DOn't ask me, despite my offers Stan lee is not my best friend... yet.

    Both groups are also surrounded by talented, important people, that fall by the way side in conversation. Don Heck is Chekhov.

    Am I right about any of this? Probably not. But I managed to kill some precious, precious time writing it.


    P.S. Can't you now see Jack Kirby saying "DAMMIT! STAN! I'm an artist, not a cobbler!"

    1. I will wait patiently for your Star Trek-Marvel book of essays.

      And I'm only half-joking, because it's...uh...fascinating.

    2. Well, that will be a long wait, because that is the only one I have.

      Except, for how "Plato's Step-Children" is a parable for the fate of E.C. comics.


    3. I suppose you could also argue that there is some correlation between "Mirror, Mirror" being the most remembered Star Trek episode, and the majority of remembered supervillians being an aspect of the hero gone wrong or to an d extreme, or being the complete inverse.

      Just look at Spider-Man and Batman's rogues gallery.

      And isn't the Red Skull just patriotism placed in the wrong group, and dialed up without personal values to mediate?

      Perhaps a meditation onhow man is always his own worst enemy, and we most hate what we see or fear in ourselves.

      They say the first thing you notice and compliment or criticize of a person is what you are most insecure about in yourself.

      Lex Luthor represents both. HE is both the inverse of Superman, being that he is distrustful of other species while Superman lives among one.

      But he is also similar to Superman in that they are both powered by there natural abilities, it is just in how they shoes to use them.

      Much like how the majority of Superman elseworlds tales hinge on him being raised by someone else, Lex and Supes difference is a separation of parental environments.


    4. I think everyone is fascinated by the "road not taken" aspect of these kinds of stories, Jack, which is why they have so much resonance for us. "What if my life had taken THAT turn...?"

      Also, the most remembered episode of TOS is "City on the Edge of Forever." But I love "Mirror Mirror," too!

    5. Not sure where the "roads not taken" thing comes form.

      But is that really the most remembered episode? I will admit it is probably the best episode, even if it isn't my favorite.

      However the Mirror, Mirror episode became a cultural joke. About how a circle beard is how you know someone is the evil version.

      People who don't even watch Star Trek know that bit.

      But How is this for a Star Trek/comic book theory...

    6. This is more about the fans, culture at large, and the Star Trek episode with the computer that simulates war, but people still have to be executed.

      So, there has been this increasing question for a while, but has gained speed since 2011, "Why doesn't Batman (or any superhero) just kill the Joker (or any truly murder happy villain?"

      Now, the obvious reason is for commercial purposes.

      However, a story that is widely absorbed is a reflection of the society that creates it.

      Also, if they are going to throw in real world logic, why not indulge?

      The argument is that Batman should kill the Joker, but why?

      Yes, obviously to prevent him from killing people. But why him specifically, and why should he have to take on that responsibility?

      Batman, for all his shenanigans, is still a part of society. Specifically, American Society.

      A society that states that every person has the chance for a fair trial. Regardless of the crime. Charles Manson got a trial.

      Even the Nazis got a trial. When the architects of the Holocaust get a trial, it is a little hard to say some people go beyond a trial.

      So Joker goes to trial... every time he is caught.

      Does Gotham have the death penalty? Well, it is a East Cost city, so statistically probably not.

      However, I believe people have been shown on Death Row.

      Either way, experts weighed in. Jurors weighed in. All of whom came to the conclusion the Joker was too crazy to kill.

      Even God had a say. No, seriously, The Spectre gave Joker a pardon from his vengeance in an Ostrander issue, where he saw that if you cleared hm of his insanity he would be suicidally guilt ridden.

      But,, there are more ways to stop a criminal than death.

      Why not move some funds around? Hire better psychiatrists at Arkham, to get him properly medicated? Why not make Arkham harder to break out of? Come up with better restraints?

      Batman only stops the Joker, he doesn't in incarcerate him. And the police aren't even supposed to make the call to kill someone unless a life is in direct danger, and there is no other way.

      So, why Batman? Why do people say he should do it? Yes, again fictional, obviously. But the desire is still there.

      Because he isn't sanctioned. He is part of society, but people don't view him as such.

      They want it to be done, without having to think about it. Without the responsibility. Which I personally find gross.

      The desire for a society to keep its hands clean, but still have the dirt slung.

      And it is possibly a disturbing creeping in our society.

      And it isn't new. It pops up from time to time.

      It is like (And here comes the Star Trek part) that episode of Star Trek. People wanted the war, they just wanted it clean. And out of their hands. Without the... responsibility.


    7. Also, something about limes.


    8. So...

      My long look at how a star Trek episode shows the bizarre shift comic fans have taken with villains, didn't go through, but the light comment to delude the heaviness did.

      Great, thanks internet.

      But, why did you mention "the road less traveled?"

      That was what I asked before I got intto it. I was confused.

      Thank you.


    9. The "roads not taken" reference was related to "Mirror, Mirror." Parallel universe, different Kirks and Spocks making different choices, etc.

    10. Your solutions for the Joker remind me of my own solutions for Bruce Wayne himself: Send the guy to therapy to work through his childhood trauma and he'll eventually hang up the cape and cowl and use his billions to change the world instead of his fists. But then there'd be no Batman. And, yes, some medication would absolutely help the Joker (my first Spider-Man/Batman team-up kind of dealt with that issue and I did a Spectre issue where a crazed killer got the right medication and he stopped killing people), but then...there'd be no Joker.

      That said, I'd love to write a serious, straight-up "medicate the Joker" story. But, in a weird way, I guess that was "Going Sane"!

    11. Just to be clear, when I mentioned Scinece fiction "rots your brain," I meant mine, not yours. Mostly because I knew those two clarifications for what different alternate realities are.


    12. but of course, the most important thing we learned from "Mirror, Mirror" is obviously that teh circle beard (sometimes mislavled as a goatee) is inherintly evil.


    13. I have a (slightly) different take. I think if Bruce worked through most of his issues in therapy, he'd become a BETTER Batman.

      In the context of the fictional world Bruce Wayne inhabits, Batman is (or at least, can be) a healthy solution to the kinds of problems faced by the Gotham populace. For whatever reason, Batman is the only guy who can stop your water supply from getting poisoned! So if he up and quits people die.

      I'd even go so far as to argue that being Batman is therapeutic and is way for Bruce to work through his issues AND save lives.

      Of course, keep in mind I'm talking about a (theoretical) Batman who despises violence and uses every tool at his disposal to avoid it. He'll punch someone if that's what's needed to save lives, but really, how often would he NEED to?

      People talk about how Superman's abilities tend to make violence unnecessary in most situations. Super-speed and freeze breath would probably end most conflicts pretty fast, not to mention that he can take a lot of physical punishment so others don't have to.

      But Batman is a brilliant tactician with customized non-lethal weaponry. So while he's more likely to need fisticuffs than Superman, I'd have to imagine that he could avoid it more often than not.

      The real question becomes whether readers would be interested in that kind of Batman? I don't know. I really like versions that emphasize him as 'the world's greatest detective.' I don't mind when he punches villains, either, but I don't think he should get any joy out of hurting them, criminals or not. Nor should torture be sold as a 'necessary evil' for him to get information. (The first AVENGERS film made it a point that Black Widow tricked informants into giving up information she needed.)

      But that's just my two cents!


    14. On a completely unrelated note, what do you think of the news that Sony is working on a Kraven the Hunter solo film? Without Spider-Man?


    15. Well now I want to read your run on both Batman AND Superman, David!

      As for's so hard to make any kind of judgement about these things sight unseen. Of course if they're doing a Kraven movie as a set-up for KLH...I'm in!

    16. You speak the truth about beards, Jack. No doubt that's why I shaved mine off while I was on vacation!

    17. Okay... so apparently, my other two didn't go through.

      First, "mirror, Mirror" would not be a case of "roads not taken" because there is no point of diversion given.

      It is more in the alternate universe inline with the "nega-universe" concept. Where things are just inverted.

      As for BAtman....


    18. To say Bruce wouldn't be Batman .

      First, Bruce already uses his billions for practical ways to fight crime. Since the 70s at least they have talked about money going to combat poverty in the inner city. Among other do-gooder causes.

      So, that is important.

      Not to mention a criminal crashing a charity benefit, Bruce happened to be at, is a Batman cliche since the 40s.

      More importantly, this is the same reality where Green Arrow exists. Isn't he just Batman without the trauma... and then REALLY liberal years later?

      Not to mention, all the golden age characters who were just rich playboys who decided to be a crime fighters.

      His parents were still killed.

      That is one of the best aspects of Batman: The Animated Series. It brings in the seriousness, but Bruce never seems to be mentally battered.

      He is much more like a firefighter who chose the profession because he lost his family in a fire.


    19. The great thing about Batman is that there are so many ways to interpret the character and they all seem to work.

    20. When DC gives me a Superman or Batman book, JMD, you'll be among the first to know! Along with everyone within shouting distance in my neighborhood.


    21. So it just occurred to me today that there's a story that approaches this question from a different angle: "To Kill a Legend!" by Alan Brennert. The Phantom Stranger gives Batman and Robin a chance to save the Waynes. Robin worries that Batman and all the lives he's saved will be undone, but there's a twist. This world's Bruce Wayne models himself after his hero, the man who saved his parents. So you end up with a Batman who doesn't have the psychological baggage of his parents being killed.

      And true to form, Batman ends up being his own hero! :)


    22. I remember reading that story years ago, David. Alan Brennert is an incredible writer, primarily of television and novels, who managed to craft memorable stories every time he dipped his toe into the comic book waters. Can't tell you how much I admire him.

      A side note: Back in the 80s, Alan was a story editor for the revived TWILIGHT ZONE and he was responsible for me selling my first TV script!

  3. Replies
    1. I'd still be wondering where the comments are if not for you, Douglas!

  4. Off Subject the first issue of the new Justice League Dark came out this week. I think you'd enjoy it. The line up is Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Detective Chimp, Manbat & Wonder Woman. My biggest concern was Wonder Woman, but she works and doesn't feel shoe horned into the team. The basic premise that the origin of magic beyond The Source Wall wants their magic back feels like something you would have concocted. Tell them they owe you free copies.

    1. Sounds good, Douglas! As you know, I love JLD (as a writer and a fan), so I hope this new incarnation succeeds!