Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Worst Black Heroes Ever! Mal Duncan

From Banana Oil: Circa 2005

Mal Duncan Mal "MAL!" Duncan: The Forgotten Teen Titan!
Long before Cyborg, Beast Boy or even Pantha, the Teen Titans hired their first person of color. The plucky sidekicks club first encountered him in Teen Titans #26, where he was confronting a street gang all by his lonesome in the tough neighborhood of "Hell's Corner," Anytown, USA. Impressed by his blackness and streetwiseness, the Titans invited him to join the team, despite the fact that he had no powers, no costume, and no superhero name.

{above: Mal displays his power of no-self-esteem-having} Mostly, Mal (superhero name: Mal) just stood by while the Titans did things, wearing an orange jumpsuit and occasionally providing much-needed exposition. Soon afterward the Titans adopted a hippie chick and an unfrozen caveman. By then Mal's duties had shifted to watching over headquarters, and he seriously considered changing his superhero name to The Janitor. The Teen Titans briefly returned from cancellation in 1977. By this time heroes like the Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Black Lightning had gained popularity, and this led DC to conclude that maybe Mal should be more of an actual superhero and less of a token black guy in a jumpsuit.

{above: Teen Titans #44, 1977...Mal's first try at being superheroic probably led to "Identity Crisis" #1-8} It was decided that Speedy, aka Roy Harper, would now be revealed as the nephew of one of DC's third-string golden agers: Jim Harper, aka The Guardian. For the flimsiest of reasons, i.e., Speedy somehow having the Guardian's old suit in his closet, Mal Duncan decided to embark on a career as the new Guardian. This career lasted one issue, as Julie Schwartz was reported to have said "what the fuck are you guys doing?" and so the time had come for yet another identity for Mal. In Teen Titans #45, someone claiming to be the archangel Gabriel gave Mal some sort of enchanted bugle, and so began the legend of Hornblower.

{above: Teen Titans #47, and note that Mal is always credited as "Mal!" on the covers. It's like they were ashamed to call him "Hornblower" or something} For the following year, Mal switched between the guises of Hornblower (until his horn was stolen; oddly, nobody tried very hard to find it again), The Guardian (now The Golden Guardian), and "Mal!" This led to very little confusion, since nobody was reading Teen Titans anyway, and the comic mercifully ended with #53, but not before Mal's girlfriend started dressing up as a giant bee. But that's another story.

{above: Mal, seen here as Herald, the post-Crisis version of Hornblower. Yes, someone at DC actually thought "Herald" would be a less embarrassing name} These days, Mal! only gets trotted out for anniversary issues and Titan weddings or funerals. But his years of exemplary service have made him a glorious asterisk in the annals of Titans history. There have been other lame black heroes, but no one was as lame as long and in as many different ways as Mal Duncan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Star Wars Geeks: Rejoice!!!

ICv2 News - 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Movie

For those of you who really like to believe that there was no Episode 1-3 (I count myself and there was no Episode 6 either), here is a project you can get behind.

I hadn't heard anyone complaining about the Animated Clone Wars series and we all know that Jesus won't let people jack up epic cartoon anymore so this has to be a good thing.

Of course if it sucks then it means that Jesus took a day off because he's all wrapped up in Watchmen movie drama.

You guys better start prayin...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Steve Gerber R.I.P.


Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown and some pretty strange Defenders stories are what the man leaves behind. If you were a geek reading Marvel Comicsa in the 70's then you couldn't have gotten by without Steve Gerber.

There hasn't been a decent batch of villains with mix matched heads since...

Doc M

ICv2 News - Fox Sues Warners over 'Watchmen'

ICv2 News - Fox Sues Warners over 'Watchmen'

For those of you who, like Alan Moore, are terrified at the prospect of a Watchmen movie (although for the life of me, I can't figure out why the hell he even cares), Santa may have gotten your letter.

Fox wants it so bad they are willing to go to court for the right to spend 15 Million dollars and be hated by every comic book fan born after 1964 but before 1983.