Sunday, July 31, 2011


Wow - I guess the advertising wizards at NBC back then decided against the whole "wrapped in gauze" look for THE INVISIBLE MAN. Nice turtleneck, though...and talk about your lazy taglines - "You're Gonna Like It A Lot!". Oh, thanks NBC, what are you reading my mind now, too?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Turn Us On, We'll Turn YOU on..with Popeye dressed as a sheriff - while Olive and Bluto disco dance in the background. I don't know about you, but I'm REALLY turned on now...

Friday, July 29, 2011


The year is 1984 and CBS airs this provocatively-titled TV-movie. Having never seen it (or actually heard of it until I came across this tawdry TV Guide ad) - I can only assume that the three actors pictured here never actually take part in a "three-way". In fact, I'm willing to bet my TV Guide collection that the concept of them all sleeping together doesn't even come up. Of course this should not be confused with THREESOME, Andrew Fleming's 1994 amusing theatrical film where Lara Flynn Boyle and Josh Charles DO have a three-way...with pre-Born Again Christian Stephen Baldwin. Praise Jesus!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - King Kong vs. Charles Manson

What a bizarre pairing of films in one TV GUIDE ad. The cinematic classic and the concluding part of the Charles Manson TV-movie. The only thing that could make this better is if there was a headline referring to them both as animals.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - Political Science Fiction Double Feature

Nothing goes better with a shaggy dog story than political satire. In fact, this ABC FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE DOUBLE FEATURE could be more timely in 2011 than anyone ever thought. First up, FOR THE LOVE ON BENJI - in which America's favorite stray somehow gets lost in Athens, Greece! That's right - Benji is forced to live on the streets in poverty in the ruins of the Acropolis! With Greece in the news these days because of a bankrupt government and rampant poverty, looks like Benji should have took a holiday elsewhere. Meanwhile back in the states, Uncle Sam has also run out of money - and the government decides to hold a telethon to raise cash in AMERICATHON. In addition to the US becoming in debt over our heads  to foreign leaders, this 1979 feature also predicted: Nike becoming an international conglomerate, China embracing capitalism, Vietnam becoming a tourist destination, the collapse of the USSR and other trends like reality TV and smoking bans. This forgotten all-star gem is now available on DVD via the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION. So there you go, an ABC Double Feature that predicted the future!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This show had everything going for it. It was based on a popular blockbuster miniseries, it had an all-star cast (that included GENERAL HOSPITAL sensation Genie Francis, lovely film actress Jennifer O'Neill, YOUNG & THE RESTLESS diva JAMIE LYN BAUER and the always wonderful Jessica Walter) and a plum time slot on NBC's spring schedule following the Top 10 hit THE A TEAM and before the critically acclaimed ST. ELSEWHERE. Unfortunately after a few weeks NBC moved the show to Fridays, which was then ruled by CBS's line-up of DUKES OF HAZZARD, DALLAS and FALCON CREST. With FC on hiatus, NBC expected soap fans to switch over from Texas oil to the scandalous perfume industry. The show was gone in less than 12 weeks. On a side note, Genie Francis has just signed on to be a guest star in the third season of PRETTY, the web series which I am a producer of! I will be sure to ask her about BARE ESSENCE. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yesterday I mentioned the Broadway revival of Neil Simon's THE ODD COUPLE with Rita Moreno and Sally Struthers. On the small screen, THE ODD COUPLE was revived as well - with an an almost all African-American cast. Demond (SANFORD & SON) Wilson is Oscar and Ron (BARNEY MILLER) Glass is Felix. THE NEW ODD COUPLE could have been a descent show if they didn't decide to recycle scripts from the original series that were already considered classics by fans of the show. Ironically another black version of a Neil Simon play, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK only lasted 12 episodes on ABC in 1970, also airing on Thursday evenings. I'm holding out for a new version of THE SUNSHINE BOYS with James Earl Jones and Sherman Helmsly.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse 1983-2011

Great album. Amazing singer. Fucked up life. Tragic death. RIP, Amy.

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - 9 to 5

Just got home from seeing the great Dolly Parton at the Hollywood Bowl. Her final (before the encore) number for the evening was the theme from 9 TO 5 - one of funniest movies ever made. The movie was later adapted into a TV series for ABC starring Rita Moreno (in the Lily Tomlin role), Valerie Curtain (in the Jane Fonda role) and Dolly's own lookalike sister Rachel Dennison as Doralee. After ABC axed the show it lived on in syndication with Sally Struthers replacing Moreno (oddly, I had seen Struthers & Moreno on Broadway in a version of THE ODD COUPLE). Jeffrey Tambor originated the Dabney Coleman role, only to be replaced by BOB NEWHART's Peter Bonerz and UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS legend Jean Marsh took over the supporting role of Roz. Other actors who came and went during the six-year run included Edward Winter, Leah Ayres, Herb Edelman and Nicholas Coster. The show was rarely repeated and has never been released on VHS or DVD. Wonder if Rita Moreno actually wears a Wonder Woman costume in this episode.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - AMANDA'S

Between MAUDE (1972-78) and GOLDEN GIRLS (185-92), the always brilliant Beatrice Arthur starred in AMANDA'S, a short-lived US 1983 version of the classic 12-episode Britcom FAWLTY TOWERS. Bea played the Amanda Cartwright, the American female version of Basil Fawlty - who ran a small seaside inn. While not awful, AMANDA'S was savaged by critics and ignored by viewers. I, of course, watched it religiously and even had each and every of the 13 episodes on VHS tape at one point. This was actually the second of three attempts to adapt FAWLTY for an American audience. The first was a 1978 pilot for ABC called SNAVELY and starred Harvey Korman in the John Cleese role. His wife Gladys was played by none other than Bea's future co-star and nemesis, Betty White. The third version was called PAYNE and ran for 9 episodes in 1999 on CBS. John Larroquette, JoBeth Williams and Julie Benz starred. I would love to revisit AMANDA'S one day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


No, this isn't the true story of Dixie Carter's conversion from a Democrat to a Republican, but a wacky TV movie about nuns and hookers - two of my favorite things starring two of my MTM favorites the late Suzanne (BOB NEWHART SHOW) Pleshette and the amazingly ageless Cloris (MARY TYLER MOORE, PHYLLIS) Leachman. This is one that I'm gonna have to hunt down because what's funnier than a whore in a convent? NOTHING! Why this wasn't turned into a weekly series, I just don't know. If I ran CBS this would have been the cornerstone of an entire line-up built around both nuns and prostitutes. They could private eyes, crime scene investigators, roommates - every tired cliche could be turned on its proverbial head with a little injection of DIXIE. All "heaven" could have broke loose indead!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - Bush Doctor

KOOL-TV presents A Liberty Mutual Special, BUSH DOCTOR starring Hugh (WYATT EARP) O'Brian, Katherine (FALCON CREST) Justice and Jack (British Guy) Hedley. No, its not the story of an elderly gynecologist - it's a heart wrenching tale of redemption and inner strength brought to you by a global insurance company. This 1982 oddity is the second of three BUSH DOCTORs listed on IMDB. The first is a 1954 short and the last is a 2011 feature film currently in pre-production. I guess a great title like this screams to be used again and again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - Bonnie and the Franklins

In the grand tradition of the Lennon Sisters, the King Family and Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters - TV's Bonnie Franklin and her family starred in this hour-long variety special. Other non-Franklin guests included KNOTS LANDING'S Michelle Lee and former football icon Joe Namath. This NEW special (FIRST TIME ON TELEVISION!) never led to any kind of a follow-up or weekly variety hour for Bonnie, forcing her to deal with life's "hard knocks" ONE DAY A TIME.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Random TV GUIDE Ads - Kids Who Use Computers

Newscenter 10 really had their finger on the pulse of BIG NEWS - shockingly kids were using computers as toys! Imagine what cutting edge reporter Elyse Wolfman would say if she could peek into the future of laptops computers, the internet, YouTube, Facebook, twitter, smart phones and sexting. Her head would explode. A quick Google search finds that Ms. Wolfman hasn't really worked since 1989. Arizona station KTSP became a FOX affiliate and changed it's call letters to KSAZ in 1995.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The HARRY POTTER Experiment - Part 3

I concluded my foray into the world of Hogwarts, Muggles and other obnoxiously silly words by watching the 5th and 6th films in the HARRY POTTER series.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX welcomed new director David Yates aboard and is a vast improvement over the previous installment. The kids are growing like it's going out of style and the stakes are raised as The Ministry of Magic attempts a takeover of Hogwart's. The wonderful Imelda Staunton comes aboard as my favorite villain so far, Dolores Umbridge. Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter also show up in fun roles. It's all about Dementors, Death Eaters and deception as characters introduced in earlier segments begin to reveal their true colors. This thrilling episode is my second favorite in the series so far.
Yates thankfully returned for HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE in which supporting character Draco Malfoy is elevated to super villain, joining forces with other malevolent menaces such as Severus Snape and Bellatrix LeStrange in their attempts to eliminate Harry and his friends from existence. Harry begins a mission to collect seven objects that must be destroyed to put an end to Lord Voldemort's immortal reign of terror - but things don't go as planned.  An exciting outing overall, this sixth film serves a a pre-able to the final installment(s) ot the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART ONE of which I subsequently watched on Blu-ray and PART TWO which arrives in theaters tonight at midnight (I already saw it and it's a pretty wild ride). This
"experiment" was a fun way to spend six consecutive evenings - something I've never did before. I'm glad I've seen the films and now I can answer questions posed to me by my youthful coworkers. I guess I've drank the Kool-Aid.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The HARRY POTTER Experiment - Part 2

I continue the daunting task of watching all of the HARRY POTTER movies in sequence with the third film in the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN.
This time around, the dashing trio of Harry, Hermione and Ron are joined by more great British actors: Michael Gambon (replacing the late Richard Harris), Gary Oldman, David Thewlis and Emma Thompson for a darker tale as director Alfonso Cuaron (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) takes over from Chris Columbus, who directed the first two. The difference is noticeable as the film almost can stand on its own with fine performances and unique and arresting visuals. This episode is by far my favorite in the series so far, as it builds upon what has come before and sets things up for future adventures. There is a cool time-travel plot that is pretty awesome and great turns by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as our three leads. At 142 minutes, surprisingly this one does not drag.
Next up is HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (disjointedly directed by Mike Newell), which almost can be called HARRY POTTER JUMPS THE SHARK. This one starts off badly with an ultra-cheesy Quidditch World Cup sequence - followed by the torturous Triwizard Tournament which introduces us to handsome TWILIGHT actor Robert Pattison as Cedric Diggory and super sexy Quidditch champ Viktor Krum (played by newcomer Stanislav Ianevski). 
You see, Harry is chosen by the Golbet of Fire to complete with wizards from two other schools in deadly stunts that endanger not only his life but the lives of his friends as well. Cedric is already representing Hogwarts, so Harry is kinda a fourth wheel. Things get worse when Hogwarts goes all DEGRASSI for an embarrassing subplot about the school dance which includes a jarring music performance that reminds me of the awful Prince music in the first BATMAN film. The only thing that saves this sequence is the beautiful Christmas decorations. In fact I should probably point out that each of the first four films has a chunk that takes places at Christmas proving that wizardry is secular. Things improve later on in the tournament when the enemies are revealed and Ralph Fiennes shows up as the dreaded Lord Voldemort. Also joining the fray this time out is Miranda Richardson in an entertaining comic role. I have to say this edition was pretty tough going and my least favorite in the series so far. Let's hope things improve with the next chapter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sherwood Schwartz 1916-2011

The HARRY POTTER Experiment - Part 1

Last December, after working at Warner Bros. for well over a year I decided it was time to give in and watch the HARRY POTTER films that more or less put food on my table. Having acquired the Blu-rayTM boxset, I started watching the films in order. Having just seen the final film in the series HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2 last night, I've decided to revisit my recaps.

First up was HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE which introduced us to Harry, his family and his friends (and enemies) at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I consider this the "pilot" for the series since it seems to set up the basic premise of Harry vs. Lord Voldemort which I expect will carry through the rest of the series. The film moves along pretty well, though the overly long Quidditch sequence begins to feel like I'm watching a video game. What I do like about the films (so far) is that even though they take place in "current day" they have a timeless feeling about them. There are very little references to the outside world: no product placement, nobody uses a cell phone, etc. I also like seeing some of my favorite British actors taking home a paycheck. Maggie Smith, the late Richard Harris, John Hurt, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Alan Rickman and Julie Walters just to name a few.

The second film, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS or THE SNAKE IN THE TOILET picks up a year later and revisits some themes introduced in the first film while layering a whole new batch of subplots and characters that I expect will be built upon further in the series. The great Kenneth Branagh is a welcome addition to the cast in a comic role. So far my only real complaint about the films is the running times. Jeez - how do little kids stay put for two and a half hours? I can't imagine that they understand everything that is happening on screen since the plots are almost as labyrinthine as the production design, which is gorgeous. I can't help wonder what Disney would have done differently if they hadn't passed on the rights to the series. Two down...5 to go. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CRISIS at the Comic Shop

With the DC Comics universe about to come to an end (and the controversial "relaunch" on the horizon) in late August, I've decided to repost (with updates) my look back at the many "crises" that have plagued the DC Universe over the past few decades.  So here's a quick look at most of the major DC Crossovers of the Modern (post-Crisis) Age. For non-comic readers (why would you even bother?), I'll try to explain as I go along.1985 - CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS - by Marv Wolfman & George Perez. 12 issues, various tie-ins. The grandaddy of them all. The object of this series was to merge all of DC's various Earths and relaunch the universe with a easy-to-follow continuity. Earth-1 Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Flash (Barry Allen) all perish, as do many Golden Age Earth-2 heroes and some second string villains.  Afterwards, DC's long-existing parallel worlds are all gone, with only one united Earth remaining. (So we thought at the time.) Introduces the Charlton Comics heroes (Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, et al) to the DCU. Plus recurring characters like The Monitor, The Anti-Monitor, Harbinger, Pariah and Lady Quark debut here.1986 - LEGENDS - by John Ostander and John Byrne. 6 issues plus various tie-ins. Jack Kirby's New God Darkseid (supposedly the inspiration for Darth Vader) takes on the new DC Universe and we meet the NEW Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Justice League and Suicide Squad. Continuity glitches begin. Darkseid's goal is to eliminate all free will from the universe and reshape it into his own image. He does not succeed.1988 - MILLENNIUM - by Steve Enlgelehart and Joe Staton. 8 weekly issues plus 37 various tie-ins! Introduces THE NEW GUARDIANS (See my entry on Extrano). Interestingly, one of the new DCU titles debuting in September 2011 is called GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS.1988 - THE WEIRD - by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson. 4 issues. The Justice League in a sci-fi adventure that plants seeds of what Starlin would revisit 20 years later. Introduces The Weird, who returns in 2006's MYSTERY IN SPACE.1988 - INVASION! - Written by Keith Giffen and Bill Mantlo with art by a various. 3 issues. The DC alien races decide to invade Earth at the same time.  Recently reprinted in trade paperback for the first time!1988 - COSMIC ODYSSEY by Jim Starlin and Mike Mignola. 4 issues. Darkseid (him again!) returns in an epic space saga spanning the DC Universe and involving a variety of major characters including Superman, Batman, Starfire, the Demon and the you guessed it - The New Gods!1989 - THE JANUS DIRECTIVE - By various - 9 issues. Begins in CHECKMATE 15 and then continues through SUICIDE SQUAD 27-29, CHECKMATE 16-18, MANHUNTER 14, FIRESTORM 86. Makes my head spin! Both SUICIDE SQUAD and FURY OF FIRESTORM get "rebooted" in September 2011 as part of DC Comic's 52 new titles.1990 - TIME MASTERS - by Bob Wayne and Lewis Shiner. 8 issues. Silver Age time traveller Rip Hunter returns and meets various DC historical characters. While not a crossover per se, it sets the stage for some later series, including the current run of BOOSTER GOLD (when ends next month). FYI it has been recently revealed that Rip is Booster's son.1991 - ARMAGEDDON 2001 - by Archie Goodwin and Dan Jurgens - 2 issues plus a crossover that runs through DC’s annuals.  Supposed to reveal at the climax that Captain Atom was the villain named Monarch, but it was changed at the last minute to be Hawk of Hawk & Dove. Also introduces Waverider - possibly one of the worst designed characters ever. HAWK & DOVE, recently part of the big DC event BRIGHTEST DAY and the soon-to-end BIRDS OF PREY are about to get "rebooted" in September in their own title.1991 - TWILIGHT - by Howard Chaykin - 3 issues. DC’s science fiction characters in a "Mature Readers" crossover. Can't recall why. Must have been dirty.1991 - WAR OF THE GODS - by George Perez. 4 issues plus various tie-ins. This Wonder Woman-centered crossover series dealt with the Greeks vs. the Romans vs. everyone else. Universally disliked due to sloppy editorial decisions. Great cover art, though.

1992 - ARMAGEDDON: INFERNO and ARMAGEDDON: THE ALIEN AGENDA - by various. 4 issues each. All that I can recall about these two is that the Justice Society of America (missing since shortly after the first CRISIS) were finally freed from limbo in ARMAGEDDON: INFERNO #4. Ironically they will return to limbo in September 2011.1992 - SUPERMAN: PANIC IN THE SKY - by various. 8 issues of the various Superman titles. Brainiac takes over "Warworld" and begins piloting the massive planet-sized satellite towards Earth on a mission of annihilation. Guest starring everyone.
1992 - ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN - by various - 2 issues plus DC annuals. Silver Age menace Eclipso possesses various heroes. the first printing came with an actual gem glued to the cover! This led to a monthly ECLIPSO series in which many cool DC characters perished. Eclipso recently returned for the final storyline in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (Volume 2).1993 - BLOODLINES - 2 issues plus DC annuals. Introduced a buttload of new throwaway characters, who resurfaced in 1995 as BLOOD PACK then disappeared again.1993 - TRINITY - 2 issues plus some issues of GREEN LANTERN, DARKSTARS and L.E.G.I.O.N.. The first of three totally unrelated series with the title TRINITY.1993 - THE GOLDEN AGE - by James Robinson and - 4 issues. "Elseworlds" story set in the post-war era, while not part of DCU, it is a springboard for Robinson’s later work on STARMAN and JSA. This is a must-read. Up there with WATCHMEN and NEW FRONTIER (more on that later).1994 - WORLDS COLLIDE - By Robert Washington II and John Paul Leon. - A bunch of issues. The very white DC Universe meets the multi-culturally diverse characters of the Milestone Universe. One cover is done like Colorforms, where you can place the characters wherever you want. These two universe finally merged in the recent JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series, and some will appear in the rebooted DCU in September.
1994 - ZERO HOUR: A CRISIS IN TIME - by Dan Jurgens - Five issues running backwards from 4 to 0 plus various tie-ins. Another attempt to straighten out DC’s already confused "post-Crisis" continuity. Silver Age Batgirl plays a major role. Monarch becomes Extant. Green Lantern Hal Jordan becomes Parrallax. Several heroes are killed, series are cancelled and new ones lanuched, including Robinson’s acclaimed STARMAN.1995- UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED - by Mark Waid and Howard Porter. 4 issues plus tie-in specials. This series introduced Neron, the DCU's version of Satan. They use a "fifth color" (very bright green) throughout, which is kinda cool.1996 - KINGDOM COME - by Mark Waid and Alex Ross - 4 issues. A dark dystopian future for the super-heroes of Earth and their battle to make things right again. A classic. This was set outside the DCU proper, but threads have shown up through the years. Also available as a cool book-on-tape. No lie. Two sequels follow.1996 - THE FINAL NIGHT - by Karl Kessel and Stuart Immonen - 4-Issue weekly with various tie-ins. Resolving the Hal Jordan/Parallax saga started in ZERO HOUR. Great art.
1997 - GENESIS - by John Byrne - A bunch of weekly issues and tie-ins. Once again mining Jack Kirby’s New Gods, now revealing that they are somehow related to the Greek gods seen in WONDER WOMAN and POWER OF SHAZAM! Not a good read.1997 - MILLENNIUM GIANTS - by various. 13 issues of various titles. Not to be confused with MILLENNIUM or TV's LAND OF THE GIANTS, this crossover series centered around the Superman titles, but also crossed over to AQUAMAN and THE TEEN TITANS. It concerned a trio of ancient behemoths who plan to erase all traces of the last thousand years of humanity's presence on Earth. Okay? Covers fit together like a puzzle (or do they?).1998 - GHOSTS - by various - 8 Justice League annuals, offered weekly, concluding in the JLA Annual. Villain Felix Faust cause ghosts of the various Leaguers' dead loved ones to plague them before the League combined forces to stop Faust. Boo! This concept is later revisited in BLACKEST NIGHT with zombies instead of ghosts.1998 - DC ONE MILLION - Created by Grant Morrision - Countless issues, possibly a million. A disappointing and needlessly complex time-trip to the rather boring 853rd Century. DC One Million's month of tie-ins were all numbered #1,000,000. In my opinion, Grant Morrison's only major failure.1998 - JLA/TITANS - by Devin Grayson and Phil Jimenez - 3 issues. A cast of thousands as DC relaunches THE TITANS once again. Fun for Titans fans who wondered whatever became of characters like Duela Dent (The Joker's Daughter).1999 - JLAPE - by various - Justice Leaguers not only battle gorillas but also transform into them. I love the DCU and I love monkeys, I'm just not a fan of mixing the two.1999 - DAY OF JUDGMENT by Geoff Johns and Matthew Dow Smith. 5 issues. Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern who had become Parallax only to die during THE FINAL NIGHT is reborn as The Spectre. This would not last.1999 - THE KINGDOM - by Mark Waid and various. 2 issues plus various "specials". This very disappoiting sequel/prequel to KINGDOM COME introduces the concept of "Hypertime" to the DC universe. It is quickly forgotten. A much better sequel occurs in the pages of the monthly JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA in 2008.2000 - SINS OF YOUTH - by Peter David and various. 11 issues.  THE YOUNG JUSTICE characters become adults while the JLA become teen agers. Just awful and embarrassing, if you ask me.2000 - THE SILVER AGE - by Mark Waid and various - approx. 13 issues. Set in the early days of the modern super-hero era, the Justice League battles a villain called Agamemno. Silly, but well-intended throw back to the 1960s. DC's upcoming RETRO-ACTIVE event harkens back to this idea.2000 - PLANET DC - by various - approx. 10 issues. The DC Annuals revisit the BLOODLINES concept and introduce a diverse group of new heroes. They all shortly vanish.2000 - DC 2000 - by Tom Peyer and Val Semeiks. 2 issues. An old-fashioned JLA/JSA crossover just like they used to do before CRISIS. Not bad, except for the confusing title, which I guess was a play on DC ONE MILLION.2001 - OUR WORLDS AT WAR - by various. Too many issues. Poorly-timed 3 month long event embroiling most DC titles into a war with Imperiex, Brainiac, Luthor and Darkseid. Wonder Woman's mother Hippolyta dies here. Depressing, violent and uncalled for. Much like the real war which started at the same time...only sadly, one is still going.2001 - THE LAST LAUGH - by various. 7 issues plus tie-ins. The Joker vs. President Luthor vs. the DCU. A universally despised event by readers and critics. Should have been called THE FINAL INSULT.2003 - GRADUATION DAY - by Judd Winick and Ale Garza. 3 issues and a few tie-ins. Young Justice and The Titans disband after much-loved Titans Donna Troy and Lilith are killed by a Superman robot. Pretty dismal. Lousy art doesn't help. Donna Troy will return...for a while.2003 - JLA/AVENGERS - by Kurt Busiek and George Perez - 4 issues. A fan boy's wet dream come true. Every JLA character and every Avenger ever - together in one huge story. Though it takes place outside of regular DC continuity, this one had threads that were carried over into many of Busiek's DC stories - including the his year-long megaseries TRINITY.
2004 - THE NEW FRONTIER - by Darwyn Cooke - 4 issues. Set during the Silver Age, this beautiful- rendered "Elseworld" (not in continuity) series was an instant classic, and recently adapted into the great animated film of the same title.2004 - IDENTITY CRISIS - by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales - 7 issues. The DC Universe grows up as dirty secrets from the past of the JLA are revealed.  The storyline saw a series of attacks on heroes' loved ones, ultimately revealed as being perpetrated by one of those same loved ones. The real revelation of the plot, however, was that JLA foe Dr. Light had raped the Elongated Man's wife Sue Dibney years ago, prompting the Justice League to alter Dr. Light's mind using Zatanna's magical powers, then slightly alter Batman's memories to cover up what they had done. Highly polarizing among fans, but I loved it.2005 - SEVEN SOLDIERS - by Grant Morrison and various - 30 issues. A mega-series of related mini-series featuring mostly new characters based on names that DC already owns plus reboots of ZATANNA, MR. MIRACLE (of the New Gods) and KLARION THE WITCH BOY. DC's version of FRANKENSTEIN returns here and will be part of the September reboot.2005 - COUNTDOWN - by various. 1 issue. Blue Beetle Ted Kord is murdered by Checkmate (and former Justice League) leader Max Lord, with other events triggering four spin-off miniseries: DAY OF VENGEANCE, THE OMAC PROJECT, THE RANN/THANAGAR WAR and VILLAINS UNITED as well as plotlines that continue to effect ongoing series like MANHUNTER and BOOSTER GOLD.2005 - DAY OF VENGEANCE - by Bill Willingham - 6 issues. The Spectre, corrupted by Eclipso, sets out to destroy all magic in the DC Universe. This leads to an ongoing series starring a rag-tag group of magical characters called THE SHADOWPACT and eventually to 2008's REIGN IN HELL.2005 - THE OMAC PROJECT - by Greg Rucka and Jesus Saiz - 6 issues. Batman battles Brother Eye, a spy satellite he had created to keep track of other heroes but that had fallen under control of Maxwell Lord before it became sentient. Besides being corrupted by Maxwell Lord (see COINTDOWN above), it had been given the power to transform over a million people into powerful creatures called OMACs and that it could control. Woman Woman goes against her code and kills Maxwell Lord. This leads to a new ongoing CHECKMATE series. The OMAC concept is revisted several times after this series - and will be again in September 2011.2005 - THE RANN/THANAGAR WAR - by Dave Gibbons and Ivan Reis - 6 issues. Adam Strange, Hawkman and many others become embroiled in a war between the planets Rann and Thanagar. Ties into the monthy HAWKMAN series and eventually into 2008's sequel RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR.2005 - VILLAINS UNITED- by Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham - 6 issues. Most DC super-villains join together as The Society. Lots of fun. Spins off into the critically acclaimed SECRET SIX ongoing series and 2008's SALVATION RUN.2005 - THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY - by Phil Jimenez, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and George Perez. - 4 issues. Guess who's back? For at least 6 years that is.
2005 - INFINITE CRISIS - by Geoff Johns, Phil Jimenez and George Pérez - 7 issues and various tie-ins. A true sequel to the original CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS - The Earth-2 Superman returns, as does Superboy-Prime, who becomes the mega-villain of the DC Universe. Heroes die and change. New Earth is born, as is a new Blue Beetle.2006 - 52- by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, and Keith Giffen. Art by various. 52 issues plus tie-ins. A year-long weekly series detailing a year without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. The series introduces several new players to the DCU including Isis (yay!), the new Question and the New Batwoman, while also saying goodbye to Isis (sob!), the old Question and Ralph Dibney, the Elongated Man. 52 concludes with the restoration of the DC "multiverse" by the creation of 52 parallel worlds of which "New Earth" is only one.  2006 THE BATTLE FOR BLUDHAVEN - by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Dan Jurgens - 6 issues. Re-introduces Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to the DCU leading to two FREEDOM FIGHTS miniseries and a short-lived monthly title.
2006 WORLD WAR III - by various - 4 issues. Awful spin-off from 52 which tries to fill-in the gaps between 52 and ONE YEAR LATER. Some good stuff, but mostly a sloppy effort.2007 - AMAZONS ATTACK! - by Will Pieffer and Pete Woods. 6 issues plue tie-ins. A total mess - only worth it for it's artwork and the fact that it restores Wonder Woman's mother Hippolyta to life (though she's written poorly). Ties into COUNTDOWN and DEATH OF THE NEW GODS.2007 - COUNTDOWN (TO FINAL CRISIS) - by Paul Dini and various - 52 weekly issues and various tie-ins. Jimmy Olsen, the Pied Piper, The Trickster, Mary Marvel, Harley Quinn, CATWOMAN's Holly Robinson, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and poor Donna Troy star in universally loathed series which changed directions several times. Duela Dent dies here. The Monitors and Monarch figure into the plot as well. Plotlines tied into AMAZONS ATTACK, DEATH OF THE NEW GODS, SALVATION RUN and THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR. Continuity errors abound. All this leads to FINAL CRISIS, kind of.2007 - THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR - by Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons. Various issues. Begins in GREEN LANTERN # 21 and continuing throughout several monlthy titles and specials. Sets the stage for BLACKEST NIGHT, BRIGHTEST DAY and ultimately FLASHPOINT.2007 - DEATH OF THE NEW GODS - by Jim Starlin - 8 issues. Starlin returns to familiar territory as he tackles the mysterious deaths of the New Gods across the universe in preparation for the coming storylines for FINAL CRISIS. More unforgivable continuity errors abound.2008 - SALVATION RUN - by Bill Willingham and Shen Chen - 8 issues. Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller and Checkmate transport all of the world's most dangerous villains to their own planet. Sounds like fun! It wasn't.
2008 - REIGN IN HELL - by Keith Giffen and Tom Derenick. 8 issues. The Shadowpact and others vs. Neron and Lord Satanus. I didn't read it, but I may pick up the trade paperback one day.2008 - RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR - 8 issues - Jim Starlin and Ron Lim undo everything good about Hawkman that James Robinson and Geoff Johns established in JSA for no good reason. Plus The Weird returns! The Hawkman reboot was ignored by others, thankfully. Hawkman & Hawkgirl later perished in BLACKEST NIGHT and were revived in BRIGHTEST DAY. Looks like another Hawk reboot is coming up in September.2008 - DREAM WAR - 6 issues - The DCU and the Wildstorm Universe merge for a few issues. The Wildstorm gang will be merged wit the DCU proper as of September.2008 - THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT - by Bruce Jones and Al Barrionuevo. 8 issues. A TIME MASTERS redux. Sold poorly and was quickly forgotten.2008 - SUPERMAN'S REIGN - by Dan Jurgens. 12 issues - The Tangent universe (odd variant versions of the DCU characters that are radically different except for their names) and the DCU crossover. Wasn't needed.2008 - TRINITY by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley and others. 52 issues. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in a self-contained weekly series. I picked up the first 26 issues, but dropped it when Mark Bagley's lackluster art made it impossible to read.2008 - FINAL CRISIS - By Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. 7 issues plus various spin-offs and tie-in specials. Ah - finally. Barry Allen (The Silver Age Flash killed in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and The New Gods all return!
When FINAL CRISIS finally I proclaimed Thank Darkseid! What started out as a promising epic adventure turned out to be a convoluted, confusing, confluence of conundrums. In other words–what the fucking fuck?
As seen above, I've previously recounted all the other major DC Universe crossovers from the best to the worst-and at least I was able to explain briefly what happened in those stories.
Ask me what FINAL CRISIS was about and I can only tell you what I think happened, but I'm not really sure. But maybe I'm too stupid to understand what Grant Morrison was trying to say???
I think it was about the dead New Gods coming back to life in the form of regular folks and an Anti-Life virus infecting the human race. Along the way, Martain Manhunter gets cooked alive by an old JLA villain from the 70s named Libra (he comes back in BRIGHTEST DAY), Lois Lane gets blown to bits (she gets better), the Flash known as Barry Allen returns to the land of the living and Batman gets either killed or sent back in time to become Captain Caveman (he returns in 2010's THE RETURN OF BRIUCE WAYNE).
There's also some nonsense involving a group of obnoxious Japanese heroes called Super Young Team, a "fight club" for teen age super-heroes, some drama involving the Green and Alpha Lanterns, the introduction of a mysterious new Aquaman, an ugly punked-out makeover for Mary Marvel and poor Wonder Woman's transformation into a hideous beast along with Batwoman, Catwoman and The Doom Patrol's Elasti-Girl! Whew!
Oh yeah - Darkseid's son Kalibak gets reincarnated as a tiger and has a battle with Shazam sidekick Mr. Tawny, Superman goes on an acid trip and meets about 50 other Supermen from different worlds, the Monitors stand around talking a lot and lots of important people, places and things get blown up.
Other stuff happens too, but I'm sure you're already as confused as I am. Don't even get me started on where all the tie-ins fit in. ROGUE'S REVENGE? RESIST? SUBMIT? REVELATIONS? LEGION OF 3 WORLDS? Maybe I just need to sit down and reread everything and it will all make sense. But I feel like why should I have to work so damn hard to enjoy a comic book story? Ugh!
After BLACKEST NIGHT, BRIGHTEST DAY and the current FLASHPOINT, my event fatigue is getting even stronger.  Looking at DC's line-up of 52 new titles, I can only find 6 that even interest me. With no signs of my favorites like The Justice Society, The Marvel Family, Power Girl, Huntress and ANOTHER needless Wonder Woman reboot, it seems like the best of DC is far behind us. What will it take to make me start loving comics again???

Yeah, it would take something really special to get my fanboy mojo back - possibly the return of LADY COP?