Oh look, the internet is working now.

*52 Dept: For those keeping track - Ralph Dibny putting a gun to his head and later scolding Booster Gold for a solid quarter-issue? Not fun. Ralph Dibny hiding in the bushes or something to accost minors while screaming “They stole my WEDDING RING!” and ripping away collectible Superman promotional buttons that seem to spontaneously expand in circumference when touched by a human hand? Fun. The big laughs came with Ralph’s weak “…oh my god… how old are you?” excuses following the attack - c’mon Elongated Man, I know they were wearing hoodies but whichever of this issue’s four credited artists drafted the sequence did you no favors by drawing them like grade schoolers in that establishing panel. Luckily, other plot elements, like the Sue revival doll, are more consistently entertaining, if only because the whole Full Bible Church of Character Revival thing keeps reminding me of something I’d see in X-Statix.

But the real point this issue is Batwoman Begins - it takes up 15 out of 20 pages, and mostly amounts to a typical superhero introduction issue with some of the exposition ends filed off. The notion of the Question driving around a van filled with files on prominent conspiracies is a great one, but it’s kind of the only flavor we get in the sequence, unless you count Montoya’s immediate sexualization of Gotham’s new female superheroine (“…that’s a Batwoman” declares Montoya in a panel prominently displaying the new sensation’s rear-end, not to be confused with the panel displaying her rear-end and breasts at the same time), which instantly casts a ‘ha ha, lesbians!’ light on the proceedings, not that the pre-introduction hype seemed to amount to much more anyway. And regardless of the characters' sexual orientations, the cheesecake served up tastes not unlike what I've had before.

And of course, we bid a fond farewell to Donna and her History of the DCU, which seemed in the beginning to at least possess some utility in keeping newish readers filled in on the most pertinent universe-shaking shitstorms the new reality could conjure as canon, but it quickly descended into a grievous morass of summary with neither utility nor (more importantly in 40 pages of talking about other comics) enthusiasm. The ending does connect into the framing sequence of Brave New World, hinting at yet another universe quake on the horizon (hell, it might be the megaplot of 52 for all I know). And the Monitor didn’t even break anything with his entrance! He should have batted that floating orb right out of the way - 'This reality shall have its exposition handled by… the Monitors!' Cue closing theme. Fade to black.

*San Diego Dept:

- All the New Line horror titles have now been announced for Wildstorm (Snakes on a Plane is apparently part of the line, by the way). Only The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has an artist, Wesley Craig. A break from Avatar’s style is strongly implied, as editor Ben Abernathy says they’ll be getting “away from the ‘slasher-gorefest’ [the films] each became in later franchise editions.” Call me crazy, but that description only strikes me as fitting the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, since Friday the 13th was always a sort of low-rent slasher machine, and A Nightmare on Elm Street was initially quite a ‘gorefest,’ albeit an effectively disturbing one. Be sure to scan the whole article for an amusing disclaimer at the end, its very presence suggesting a much deeper story bubbling underneath.

- Sort of wish I could have seen this. It went on for an hour and a half?

- In somewhat related news - Grant Morrison: whimsical jackanapes or Scottish pride crusader? Read the comments, and ponder.

- I’ll probably look into Marvel’s planned special release of the ‘lost’ Fantastic Four #102, a Lee/Kirby story that apparently wound up shelved in the midst of the pair’s deteriorating working relationship, pieces of which later got ripped up and inserted into #108 in true Roger Corman nothing-goes-to-waste fashion. Kirby completed pencils for a full issue, though, and Marvel is now going to get some inks and colors on it and have Stan Lee dialogue it anew. Note how careful editor Tom Brevoort is in detailing the recompense paid to the Kirby Estate (and Lisa Kirby, who’s also tied up in the decidedly less appealing Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters project at the moment); clearly Marvel is aware of potential arguments, even going so far as to conceptualize the project as a sort of educational piece, complete with an essay and the complete published FF #108 included for illumination’s sake. I’m more interested in how Marvel plans to balance the old and the new in ‘completing’ the work for publication.

- Really wishing I could have seen this. I haven’t been able to find any transcripts or recordings around. Anyone?

- Oh hey, did Bandai license Hideaki Anno’s Cutey Honey live-action movie (based on the manga/anime creation of Go Nagai) for a R1 release ? I didn’t know until now.

- Joes Casey & Kelly, Steven T. Seagle, and Duncan Rouleau have all been blogging live from the floor via Active Images' Man of Action blog. Special guests also stop by for words of wisdom.

- The Eisners got handed out. It’s the usual sprinkle of neato surprises (Geof Darrow for Best Writer/Artist!) and curious puzzlers (I’d have put money on at least one of those many Warren Ellis projects getting something, and I’d have lost it all), kneaded into a doughy mass of picks that even if I hadn‘t predicted myself still somehow resonate with familiarity. Astonishing X-Men over Fell for Best Continuing Series? I guess. Solo #5 (Darwyn Cooke) over Promethea #32 for Best Single Issue? Not too knockabout. I didn't notice until now that Best Reality-Based Work managed to wrangle in single books, an open-ended series, and an unfinished closed-ended series under its purview - might have made for a few interesting considerations, though the voters' support of the Kyle Baker and the half-done Nat Turner is evident, even if not enough to bump it over another unfinished closed-ended work, Seven Soldiers, in the more constrained Best Limited Series arena.

- And finally, while I couldn't say that Oni's scoring the license to My Name Is Earl moved me too much, I'm totally up for the official comics adaptation of Stephen Colbert’s Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure. Or it might not be an adaptation at all. Not a lot of info. Still, take that, Freddy and Jason...