Saturday, April 4, 2015

Episode 6: New Boots

Reviewing three issues from Black Canary's '93 ongoing series, issues #4 through #6. These issues feature the new villains: Blynde, Klik, Severance, and Jakob Whorrsman, as well as cameo appearances from Oliver Queen and Gan Nguyen.

Flowers & Fishnets is available for download on iTunes by clicking here, or you can check out the show's RSS feed by clicking right here.

Sample pages from Black Canary #4, #5, and #6.

Music this episode:
"If I Had No Loot"
Tony! Toni! Tone!
Polygram, 1993.

"The Last Living Rose"
PJ Harvey
Island Records, 2011.



  1. This issues sound more engaging and less head-scratching than the first 3, but man, there are still plot holes big enough to float an aircraft carrier through. The art...there are momentary flashes of the old Von Eden in the pages you posted, particularly the Ollie on page 1 of issue #5. Dinah's proportions on that page are pretty extreme, but this is comics, and she does look rather fetching. Von Eden continues to give her shoulders like a linebacker, though.

    And then there's the splash of issue #6. weren't kidding. I can't decide if Dinah is suffering from a shellfish allergy and is excessively bloated, or she's a 10 year old boy in an inflated, female body stocking. In that pose, where is the cleavage? Looking at it again, she looks like a hefty cosplayer, bound into a tiny, TINY corset. We've all seen those at cons. Not a pretty sight.

    I hate to comment on others' comments, but I have to call foul on Frank's assessment that Chuck Dixon torpedoed Dick Grayson, and didn't get Nightwing. Ryan, I know we disagree on Dick as cop, and I'll give Frank that. But to my mind, Dixon made Nightwing a viable character on his own, for the very first time. Not Batman AND Robin. Not NIghtwing AND the Teen Titans...just NIGHTWING. Devin Grayson and those who followed wrecked the character and his world, but I feel Chuck Dixon rebuilt him from the ground up, and set him up long term for any writer who wanted to play in that sandbox. Unfortunately, the cats found it, and you know what cats do to sandboxes...


    1. Even in the first page of issue #5 with Dinah and Ollie, her left arm is incorrectly placed. The angle of her left arm would suggest that her left shoulder is in the same place as her right shoulder, but that is not possible if she's standing at an angle.

    2. Yep, you're right. It's the best looking page you've posted from this series by far, but it's still wonky.


  2. I don't have these issues so I am glad you are doing indepth coverage so I can follow along mentally. The story seemsbetter composed and with a better rogue than the opening arc. But that might be damning with faint praise. This seems pretty pedestrian.

    The thing that strikes me so much is the art. I was listening to this in the car so had to wait to look at this site to see the pages. I wonder just what Von Eeden was trying here. The covers seem hellbent on not being eye-catching. Whether the main characters are in silhouette, or covered by a big flower, they are jarring ... and not in a good way.

    And then the splash pages. Your reaction to #6's is right on. She looks like someone in those inflatable sumo suits you see at fairs now. Her head is too small, the body too weird.

    The splash for #6 is better, but this is the beefiest we have seen Dinah. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but it looks more like something from Harvey Crumb.

    I seriously think Von Eeden is trying to mirror Frank Miller in this series. I just bought Thriller #1 out of the $1box and there he looks like he is trying to ape Bill Sienkiewitcz.

    1. Inflatable sumo suit sounds about right for that page.

  3. I tried to comment earlier in the week, but my tablet sometimes interacts poorly with Blogger comment forms, and I suspect I’m not alone in this based on the popularity of WordPress forums. Then again, as a blogger, I hate drafting in WordPress, but it’s a breeze on Blogger. This porridge is too hot, this one is too cold.

    I’d cut Trevor Von Eeden more slack for producing 24 pages a month throughout 1993 where today’s artists can’t manage 20 pages across two months, but who cares about the portion size of scheiße on a shingle? It makes me wonder if Thriller was as experimental as people thought, or if the artist was just so unintelligible in his interpretation of Robert Loren Fleming’s script that it was mistaken as avant garde.

    I get the feeling Tony’s granddaughter was really into “Jurassitol” by Filter.

    Why does the P.J. Harvey of a few years ago sound so much like Liz Phair around the time these comics came out?

    I quite like Dinah’s “big fleshy thigh” on the splash page, and in general during this series. Besides the sex appeal, those gams look like they could really do some damage when she makes like a Rockette across some mope’s mug.

    You know what I’m already super duper sick of in comics? Hipster dipsticks and their “practical” hoodies and sneakers. I’m starting to think they’re all just lazy unimaginative deferred cosplayers. I’m cool with the Batgirl revision and Spider-Gwen (as far as I’m ever cool with parallel universe versions of popular characters in core continuity) but The Matrix Spider-Woman hurts my eyes/brain and it’s kind of the new insta-tired priest collars + busy piping. Nothing says paranormal acrobat like superfluous strapless sunglasses and a leather zipper vest, but I guess the artist who can render her extremities as solid black silhouettes would be very committed to the design. What are they going to do in Portland when this goes the way of buckles & bomber jackets?

    Blynd is some kind of 1993, huh? Still, it sounds like you need to feed the Jailbirds with an eye dropper, so she’ll serve. Even in the radical New 52 revision of Black Canary I’ve started writing in my brain because of your damned podcast, she still works. Much less impressed by Severance. Was it Enter the Dragon or its extended parody in Kentucky Fried Movie where the main villain had a variety of tricked out prosthetic hands (including a claw, flamethrower and marital aid?)

    I grew to like Eddie Fyers during the Chuck Dixon run of Green Arrow, where I suspect he served as a mild writer proxy and excellent contrast to the naive, principled Connor Hawke. Reminds me to work them both into that New 52 Black Canary revision that keeps me up at night. Ollie’s not inclined to use them, and they’re better than he deserves anyway.

    Didn’t catch the rhyme of Canary’s Adversaries until you enunciated it, but you’re 100% right that Jailbirds is freakin' brilliant and you should use that.

    The Calculator certainly stepped up after Identity Crisis, but it doesn’t seem as though he made the transition to the Oracle-less New 52 very well. Even if Monty Moran had gotten that particular nod, it would have just made him less of a Martian Manhunter meanie and more of a generic DCU villain, as happened to the Human Flame around Final Crisis. They’re not mutually exclusive anyway, as Calculator is an information broker/contract negotiator and The Getaway King a gadgeteer and extraction expert. If anything they should team up and clean up.

    Geoff Johns was hot for a Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle show to replace Smallville on the CW, and it got as far as a few minutes of test footage with special effects.

  4. John Stewart is demonstrably the best Green Lantern corpsman, but is hampered by being the non-white, sometimes exasperatingly competent Hal Jordan in a world that prefers charmingly crapheaded Caucasians. Mosaic did a fine job of differentiating John from Hal, except it did so by making him the art film take when again, the masses want Han Solo with a magic ring. Mosaic wasn’t the most accessible book, but when it was good it was very good, and I was on board as soon as they ran over C’hp with a delivery truck. I’m not sorry Black Lighting nor Stewart served as first African-descent Justice Leaguer though, since it makes the heroine Vixen that much more special.

    New Jack Swing holds up so well, and should have had longstanding broad appeal, but it came out at the exact wrong time to compete with po’faced grunge and gangster rap during the great fracturing of the music market into niches.

    Chris, Nightwing is one of my all time favorite super-heroes, yet I own very little of his solo run, the lion's share of those written by Devin Grayson. This is due to Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel mangling the character to suit their interests (Dick driving a conventional "undercover" car and listening to Christian pop while battling low key leftovers in a whitebread quasi-St.Louis? WTF?) that left him a poor man's Daredevil instead of the realization of the globally famous heir apparent to Batman. Marv Wolfman is to be celebrated for co-constructing Nightwing, and cursed for then suffocating his potential by restricting his solo usage for a decade, but I give Dixon the majority of the blame for setting Dick on the path to relative obscurity in relation to his once being among the most iconic and popular super-heroes. Under Wolfman he graduated from castaway first ward who'd outgrown but still wore his short pants into the leader of a premier super-team and fan favorite. Today Dick is only the first and least interesting of many vestigial Robins.

  5. Do you think Sarah Lance was named after Sarah Byams? I just had a look on Facebook, and you're not in her favourite links....