Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Flag is Ready to Bathe the Nazis! Or Something!

I realized for the first time today that the upcoming Superman / Batman movie is going to be Superman VS. Batman.  And that, folks, is a mistake.

I recently played the PS3 version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, a video game based on the Civil War crossover from some years back.  You know what really soured it for me?  I didn't like seeing heroes fight each other in a video game. 

And I think the same thing will apply to this movie.  A lot of non-comic fans who will determine whether this movie is a blockbuster or not are going to be pretty annoyed that their hero Superman has become a despot.  I just don't see people wanting to pay ticket prices to spend a couple of hours watching that.  Heck, I'm not sure I'll even inflict it on Beloved.  A minor misunderstanding where you see them trade punches for a few minutes like in the first Avengers movie is fine, but a whole film centered on that?  That's not going to fly with a huge chunk of the audience.  Time will tell, of course, but I wanted DC to come up with some decent movies and I think this will be a stumble.

Anyway, on to Our Flag Comics #2:


I guess when the title of the book is Our Flag, you probably feel like you ought to have a character called "The Flag."  Of course, he doesn't really look like an American flag.  Heck, that's not even the right color of blue.  I suppose they were worried about getting too close in appearance to Captain America, but you can't tell me you'd look at this guy and say you think he's modeled after the American Flag.

Oh, here's his incredibly stupid origin: A baby is left on the doorstep of a flag-maker.


Oh, eeesh.


Oh, double eeesh.


"Fate"?  I was going to go with "incredibly lazy writing," but who am I to argue with an elderly flag-maker?


... which turns out to be a big honking waste of time because Jim ends up getting his powers through magic.  He could have spent his entire childhood eating nacho cheese Doritos and watching television all day and ended up in the same place.



What does that mean, exactly?  If someone tells me they "selected" me to perform hard and dangerous tasks, I'd be asking why they had any say-so in how I lived my life at all, much less doing their "hard and dangerous tasks."  I've noticed in comics that these wise old men and spirits who give kids powers tend to do so with a lot strings attached.


See?  All he had to do was touch the birthmark.  Years of Doritos and TV wasted.  And wouldn't Jim have noticed this when he showered?  Or did he just never wash the birthmark?


Okay, pay attention to that: The birthmark is like a super-power on/off switch.  I'm not sure why you'd need to turn the powers off ever, but okay.

Turns out having an off/on switch for your powers so easily accessible is a design flaw:


Although I'm not sure he did touch the birthmark.  He's got a full shirt on, not to mention gloves.  The guy ain't exactly Joe Hercules.  The rules of this are pretty darn hazy and should have been clarified before you sent the kid in to fight hordes of Nazis.


And then things get really weird:




So, anyone who touches his birthmark gets powers.  But he's totally takesies-backsies about it, although it appears you're on the honor system as to whether you return them.  This really sounds like a flawed system of power delivery, but the Great American Patriots didn't ask me to do their dangerous tasks, so I guess I don't get a vote.

Anyway, the Flag can fly, he's protected by some unexplained electrical field, and he can create tidal waves:


So he's basically Superman, Captain Marvel, or any one of the other overpowered heroes of the day.  With a powers on/off switch right on his chest that is apparently pressure sensitive and is quick to give the powers indiscriminately to anyone who touches it.

Hmmmmm.... maybe I should pitch a revival of this guy to DC.

See you tomorrow!

4 comments:

Cfl Maior said...

The caption to panel #3 should be "Triple eesh", for not even Betsy Ross would approve of a calendar with 31 days in June.

Adam Barnett said...

HA! I didn't even see that! Good eye!

maw maw said...

It gets worse. Look, for example, at the calendar's first column. Monday June 2. Monday, June 10 (!) Then, Monday the 16th, 22nd and 28th. Must be an alternate universe, or something.

E. Bernhard Warg said...

Jim has to be able to turn his powers off, because when he's The Flag, he can't cut hair.