Posts Tagged ‘superman’

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Spotlight: Riddle Me-Tropolis

November 14, 2012

 

So… This happened.   Comic Book Geeks of the Internet – and particularly She-Geeks Lacking Complexity – galvanized yesterday to demonstrate how fast we can stage a Social Media Happening / Spontaneous Demonstration / Party.   Now it’s 24 hours later, and as much fun as “Cosplay Appreciation Day” was, and as many uber-cool comic book people we all may have waved at or connected with, the last thing I want to do today is dive back into the gallery and spotlight another picture.  I think we can all do with a palate cleanser, and since it is Cat-Tales and not Catwoman-Pictures-R-Us, I thought I’d focus on the actual stories for a while.

First in the spotlight, because it’s one of my personal favorites and top of the Best Comedies list picked by readers, is Cat-Tale #51 Riddle Me-Tropolis.

Cat-Tales Riddle Me-Tropolis by Chris Dee

Cat-Tales Riddle Me-Tropolis by Chris Dee

What’s it about?  After working out Batman’s identity in Strange Bedfellows, Edward Nigma became what we in CT circles call “Fate’s Bitch.”  He couldn’t seem to catch a break, and after Batman broke his legs in the previous tale, he decided he’d had enough.  Enough Batman, enough Gotham, enough disappointment, enough bullshit, enough all of it.  He was getting his act together and taking it on the road–to Metropolis!

In the Cat-Tales universe, Metropolis is Chicago, the largest and richest city close to farm country, with a history embodying the kind of can-do optimism of early industrial America that is a perfect fit for Superman and Clark alike.  I had a ball making Metropolis a character in this story as much as Gotham is in regular tales, and playing with the wonderful dynamic of Gothamites like Eddie, Bruce and Selina in another city not their own.

You can read Cat-Tales: Riddle Me-Tropolis online on the Cat-Tales website or download it to go as an ebook or in high-quality pdf for printing.

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Still Looking Back at Year 8: Kitty Ex Machina

September 22, 2011

Catwoman-Cat Tales: Lex Luthor teams up with Catwoman (or that's what he thinks) in the Superman/Batman Tale War of the Poses
“Okay. Look, boys, if what you’re after in this world is validation of your bad girl identity after a marathon fuck-over by a sleazy tabloid, then cooking up something with Lex Luthor that leaves Batman and Superman speechless is the motherlode. And I’m sure I’d be enjoying it a lot more if I knew what the hell it is. What’s so special about this three companies that Luthor being after their files turns you two into the World’s Palest?”
-Catwoman, War of the Poses

The Justice League in Cat-Tales:  War of the Poses Plastic Man didn't get the memo that it wasn't a good time to tease Batman about CatwomanWar of the Poses might just be the richest Cat-Tale in the series.  First, there’s Luthor.  In Cat-Tales as in the DCU, Lex Luthor’s ultimate ambition was fulfilled: he became President of the United States.  And in Cat-Tales as in the DCU, it ended… badly.  He lost the office, his fortune, and for a time back during the Infinite Crisis of String Theory, his sanity.  But in WoP, he was back and he had a plan.  It was a really good plan too.  That’s the kicker.  A Gotham-Metropolis alliance like the one that worked so well for Batman and Superman, joining forces with the Big Bad of Gotham City, the Boss of the Gotham Underworld… if only he wasn’t trying to join forces with Batman’s girlfriend.

Catwoman’s first meeting with Luthor is… well, it’s echt Selina and echt Luthor:

You’re an interesting creature,” he said at last. “For one of those who wears—well, why be circumspect—who wears a mask and the costume of a professional wrestler, one hears that you are remarkably sane.”

Catwoman’s lips curled slightly. Not a threatening smile, but hardly a warm one.

“And for one who wears a tie and the costume of an undertaker, one hears you’re remarkably rude, Lex.”

“Touché. My point was merely that I believe one can make a deal with you, Catwoman, and expect you to hold up your end. Not decide at the critical hour to go on a murderous rampage in a jam factory instead.”

“Not unless the jam starts it,” she said brightly. “Seriously, Lex, may I remind you that we have done business before and I was not the one who failed to hold up my end of the bargain?”

It was Luthor’s turn to smile. He did enjoy when a negotiation went according to plan. Catwoman might wear a preposterous outfit, but her thinking was rational and therefore predictable. If one could overlook the cat ears, it was quite like negotiating any other business deal.

“You refer to my declining to pay you for the Lex-Wing job,” he said magnanimously. “I recall the incident, of course. I also recall that you got paid all the same. You had the resourcefulness to get your money. In my view, that means you are entitled to it.”

“Survival of the fittest.”

“Enrichment of the fittest, Catwoman. Mere survival is for wage slaves and spotted owls.”

Catwoman burst out laughing.

“It must’ve been hell for you being president, Lex. ‘Wage slaves and spotted owls?’ This is what built up all those years having to pretend you care?”

Catwoman-Cat-Tales.  Batman and Superman, the World's Finest versus Lex Luthor in War of the PosesWhile fun, particulary Lex hears Selina’s description of his “resignation” as depicted by the Gotham Post:

“Flying out of the Oval Office in a space suit that looked like a Tylenol capsule decked out for Mardi Gras, buzzing Dupont Circle hopped up on venom and challenging Batman to a fist fight”

Things get a lot more interesting once Superman arrives on the scene, and Lex’s plans begin to unfold.  Cat-Tales is seldom as action-driven as the comics, but the Batman/Superman adventure at the World Bank would definitely give the panels a run for their money.  And the Kitty Ex Machina conclusion might just be my favorite Batman/Catwoman exchange in Book 5…

Batman’s tone and manner changed as he tapped the side of his cowl. “OraCom activate. Private channel metro-one-alpha. Do you read?”

“You can’t be serious.  It’s like Luthor stacked the entire table of elements over our heads. Even I can’t tell how much steel, lead, and who knows what is up there but—”

“Private channel metro-one-beta. Do you read? That’s why I installed a special signal booster. Private channel metro-two-alpha…”

“You planned on getting stuck down here?” Superman gaped.

“It was always a possibility.  Private channel metro-three-alpha…”

~~~~~andsom~ ~~~avri~~~~itty~~~~~~ sounded in his earpiece.

“There she is,” Batman noted.  “Lock in metro-three-alpha, shutdown all nonessential operations, enhance signal, all parameters.”

B~~m~an~~~~~ad~me~~~st met with Lex and ~~~~m the works, ke~to decrypt~~~~~lans~~~n hog heaven, it was disgus~~~ng~~~~~~sch an obnoxious troll~~~ ~~~ ~~nwa~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~pected you’d be~~~ack b~~ow.

“We were delayed.  We’re trapped in the vault.”

~~~ault?  th~~~~~one under the –~~~~ank?  Yo~~~ill there?

“Yes.  We’re going to need you to take out the time locks.”

Th~~im~~~ocks?  In Met~~~~olis?  ~~~~~ant me t~~~~~ to Me~~~~li~~~~~~~~~~~~ime locks fo~~

“Either that, or we’re stuck until the bank opens for business on Monday.”

Wel~~~ow suppo~~~~~et there?

“Transport to the Watchtower. J’onn is expecting you.  He’ll send you on to the transport station at the Daily Planet.”

“~~~”

“Selina?”

“~~~”

“Selina?”

~~~~oing~~~~claim villainess privilege and~~~ay no.

But for all that, for ALL THAT, it’s not even the main story that is best remembered from War of the Poses.  It’s a minor subplot, with Batgirl, sweet adorable Cassie, learning some new stealth techniques from Selina and getting just a little carried away trying them out at the museum until, well, I’ll let her explain…

This bad.
This bad.
This bad.

Father would give twenty lashes and lock in dark closet for day. Maybe two day.
Was first principle of sustained surveillance: mind clock. Surveillance is dead time. Must mind clock else lose track of time.
Practicing stealth in museum not like sustained surveillance. Not dead time. But still lose track of time.

This bad.
Was exciting. Lose track of time.
Lights come on.
Guard in uniform gone. New guard in blue blazer jacket take place.

New noise.
Shoes that not quiet on stone floor.
People in shoes that no need be quiet.
People that work in museum.

Museum open. Soon be people everywhere. This bad.

Isn’t she cute?  Deadly as all hell, but really cute.

Anyway, those are some of my favorite bits from War of the Poses.  You can read the complete story and download print and ebook versions from the Cat-Tales website.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

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The Dark Knight Rises meets Flashpoint

May 21, 2011

(aka The Week Outside of Cat-Tales)

Two big events in Comics Goodness this week*: The Dark Knight Rises started filming in London  and DC Comics launched their latest Crisis/Mega Event Flashpoint.

Now, one of my favorite running gags in the Robert Altman’s movie about movie-making The Player:  Every time we hear a screenwriter pitch a script, they fall back on “It’s X meets Y”  “It’s Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman”

To celebrate The Dark Knight Rises and DC Comics milestones, I submit to you a little something JLAin’t author MyklarCure whipped up at the fantastic Florida F/X school: Dave School.  I like to call it: The Dark Knight meets Flashpoint:

Best. Project. Ever. LOL – We were given a 20 second audio clip to animate. The clip: Christian Bale’s infamous rant on the set of Terminator: Salvation. LANGUAGE WARNING! (Duh).
The instructor said he couldn’t give mine a review during class because he was laughing so hard that he couldn’t concentrate on it. 😉

*3 if you count #thefirerises viral launching thedarkknightrises.com.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.

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JLAin’t/West Wing Crossover was way ahead of its time

May 17, 2011

One of the most gratifying aspects of Cat-Tales has been the readers who found inspiration in it to write their own fanfic. The first to come along was MyklarCure with JLAin’t, the story of the Justice League in the Cat-Tales universe. And a few years later, a wonderfully talented reader named Nathan Perry came along who wrote a JLAin’t/West Wing crossover called These Hallowed Halls. Like a lot of fanfic, it was never finished, but what he wrote was way ahead of its time.

Consider the current controversy about Superman’s citizenship: Superman: American patriot, illegal immigrant or both? (via Hero Complex – Los Angeles Times)

Superman: American patriot, illegal immigrant or both? Ted Anthony of the Associated Press considers the legend — and the passport  — of Superman.  There is a scene in the 2006 movie “Superman Returns” that captures the fabled Man of Steel in an extraordinary moment. Floating high above the Earth, gazing down upon America, he listens with his super-hearing for cries of help as a cacop … Read More

via Hero Complex – Los Angeles Times

And then take a look at the exchange when Clark Kent asked White House press secretary C.J. Cregg about Superman’s status an illegal alien:

“Come in and have a seat, Mister Kent.” C.J. said, leading the tall reporter into her office.

“Isn’t it usually the Senior White House correspondent that gets these follow-ups?” Clark asked as he sat down.

C.J. sat behind her desk and answered, “It is, yes, but that’s because most of these guys have stopped trying to play ‘Stump C.J.’ Today, you’re our winner.”

“If you don’t mind my saying, this is a pretty strange beat,” Clark noted.

“Well you asked a pretty strange question.”

“It was a fair question.”

“It was absolutely not a fair question. No, we don’t have Superman’s birth certificate or driver’s license on record. He wasn’t born here and he’s got other ways of getting around. This is Superman! Truth, Justice and the American Way. We don’t care if he votes or pays his taxes. I would bet you any amount of money that he does, and since you’ve interviewed him, I don’t think you’d take that bet either.”

“I’m not really much for gambling-”

“The only reason to ask that question is either to embarrass Superman or to embarrass us, but you know what? We’re not embarrassed.” She stood up, placed her palms on her desk and leaned forward, saying, “We gave the Medal of Freedom to Superman, who may or may not be a U.S. citizen. And if he’s not? We don’t care. He’s an American hero whether he’s an American or not, and you can print all of that.” She sat back down and said, “If you’ve got follow-ups, you can ask them now.”

“I think that answered the question pretty well, Miss Cregg. Thank you.” He jotted down some notes on a pad of paper while C.J. stared across the desk at him.

Any questions?

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com
cattales.yuku.com
cattales.wikispaces.com

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.

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Why Do We Fall?

January 25, 2011

Remember this moment? Remember this question? “Why
do we fall, Bruce?”

So we can lie on the floor stubbornly insisting we haven’t?

So we can sit with our aching ass on the cold terrazzo insisting that gravity is a myth?

How about repeating like a politico’s talking points that it’s not the floor at all and we are, in actuality, on Dancing With the Stars foxtrotting with Jennifer Gray?

No. Why do we fall? So we learn how to get up.

I recently saw a piece on the 10 biggest WTF moments in comics. Not surprising which company took home the trophy for the big #1.

In 1998, DC made the mother of all WTF decisions when they opted to change the character of Superman. This character that had stood for 60 years, and had just been killed off a few years prior to show his utter importance not only to comics but to the world, was out the door…

A change of costume or marriage status is one thing, but completely altering everything that established the character as an American icon in the first place is something else entirely.

Several readers marked this as the first pock of the disease which has now consumed just about all the DC characters, the first warning sign that those entrusted to write these characters have no understanding of what defines them or of their iconic significance in the greater world outside their Thursday To-Do list.

But not me. For once, I’m going to stand between DC and the ones throwing stones, because here’s the thing: as soon as they realized the ground had given way under their feet and they were falling into a deep pit with a bunch of angry bats baring their teeth and hissing bat-spittle into their faces, they changed him back. The article itself admits “the explanation to get him back to normal was quite vague, probably a result of the severe backlash of comic book fans and (DC’s) desire to fix the problem as quickly as possible.”

They didn’t tap Wizard to call it a giant step forward in comics, they didn’t embark on a PR campaign to try and convince the terminally stupid that unsweetened lemon juice tastes just like water, they didn’t figure there would be a new crop of gullible half-wits who would be coming along any minute to replace the 80% of their readership heading out the door. They didn’t think up even worse things to do to Superman to punish the fans for not accepting the fiasco. They got up. That’s why we fall. And if we can’t get our asses out of that hole on our own, we scream for help before the rest of the ground gives and we fall farther.

Remember a few weeks ago I said The Reaper is out there, and DC’s attitude that it’s okay to mess things up further/they’ll fix it (or not) next year was horrifically out of touch with the reality that there may not BE a next year? Anyone who thought I was being melodramatic, please turn and wave goodbye to Wizard. It’s gone, as of yesterday. All staff let go. If a new online magazine transpires to replace it, the focus is to be on pop culture generally and the non-comics media where these characters still thrive. Not  print comics.

Do I have your attention now, boys?

Fantastic Four is snuffing a major character today. What makes this different from past fan-inflaming stunts is that it’s the first under Disney. That means if it doesn’t work out (and by “work out” I don’t mean by the comics definition ‘everyone hate it’ but the definition of everyone else on the planet), then those responsible are going to be introduced to a concept that is new to them but familiar to everyone else who works for a living: consequences. You make a bad decision, you piss off customers, you materially damage a company’s assets, there are consequences. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s not going to be a pleasant adjustment. Growing up often isn’t. But it’s pretty much the only choice the medium has if it wants to survive.

Why do fall?  Well, eventually to learn how to get up.  For some though, there is an intermediary step: to learn to recognize the hole, and then to accept that the hole is not the place to be.

On a lighter note, it’s a big week for Cat-Tales. The Dracula spinoff Capes and Bats releases its penultimate chapter today, and there’s a plot twist that absolutely nobody saw coming–but which was right in front of us the entire time. I have to admit, I was floored when I read it. Scared the cat with my gasps of surprise. We’re also less than 48 hours from the launch of a new feature to make life easier for our mobile friends. Work is underway on the new chapter of Trophies, while reviews continue to come in on À Bon Chat, Bon Rat.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com
cattales.yuku.com
cattales.wikispaces.com

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.

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