July 9th, 2009


APED: "tanstaafl"

There used to be a bounty, fabled, it is told,
for glory and delight to every man.
You found it in the barrooms -- yes, sir, even in the dives;
and it spread its gift of joy across the land.
But then came Prohibition, and its habitation died,
and extinction was the order of the day.
Repeal of prohibition came, but couldn't turn the tide,
for something had forever gone away.

The free lunch is what it was called, a thing of glory true,
a little piece of splendor in your day.
Go into the barroom and then drink a beer or two.
And the spread was there so you could eat away.
One beer alone sufficed, but the bartender would scowl,
but a second pleased him moderately well
and if you drank a third -- why, then you're a real guest, now,
so just you go ahead and eat your fill.

Pickled eggs and onions, pigs' knuckles, fresh from brine,
a tongue of cow, and bread to put it on,
and more and more and more besides -- oh, wasn't that a time!
a shame to say: for years it's all been gone.
The lunch of blessed memory, by foul temp'rance slain,
a curse on Carrie Nation and her crew.
Would that some good man's saloon would bring it back again,
but there ain't one now, alas, that's true.
cass groovy

all-female superteams

So Marvel's got MARVEL DIVAS and DC's got DC SIRENS or something, apparently. I haven't been paying attention to it, but neither of them seem to be pleasing my flist. The only one I've glanced through is MARVEL DIVAS, which is kind of tooth-grating in that there are a couple of glimmers where you say, "Oh, hey, I see how this could be a half-decent comic, if they only changed pretty much everything about it." DIVAS is a laughably transparent SEX AND THE CITY rip, and Marvel apparently thought this would appeal to the female reader. I won't deny that a lot of women apparently really like SEX AND THE CITY, but the flaw is that *the vast majority of these women do not read comics or find themselves in circumstances where they might buy one.* So, of course, Marvel's doing promotion that reaches outside traditional comic avenues for this untapped audience, right? ...


Yeah. So this makes no sense. The people who would like this don't even know it exists, and the women in comic book fandom are going to find it annoying as hell. I really wish that Marvel would just pick up that bit from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN SUMMER SPECIAL with MJ, Clea, Scarlet Witch, Millie the Model, Hellcat, Marvel Girl, and She-Hulk taking on the Enchantress. Oh, well.

So, a question: who's on your all-female comic book team? I think for DC I'd go with Power Girl, Mary Marvel, Empress, and Onyx. Mary Marvel and Empress both having magic-based powers might be a little bit eh, but I think it could work. And I liked Onyx's appearances in the Batbooks; it'd be fun seeing her as the only non-super person on a superpowered team. Maybe they could recruit Spoiler, too; get her out of the Batbooks for a while and be her own character.

Or go the other way, and have the superpowered person be the odd one out. Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but listen to this line-up: Manhunter, Mary Marvel, Onyx. Two cynical-as-hell normal people and one peppy, optimistic super. Bonus points if they all have to live together, and Onyx has to put up with Mary being chirpy at disgustingly early hours while Onyx fumbles for the coffeemaker.

Marvel, I'd go the other way. Have a team of A-list superheroines... who don't fight crime. They act as mentors and advisers for young, up-and-coming superheroines, who do. Or decide they're not cut out for it. Basically, a coffee-club organization to give advice to girls developing superpowers. The focus is on the kids, who form and dissolve various efforts at superteams, but the big heroines make guiding appearances. (To me, this organization is something that the Invisible Woman would head up.)