Monday, November 29, 2010

The Great Calculator-Weather Wizard Rivalry Saga

I'm a (DC) fangirl who always tends to swoon for the smart ones. Which means I swoon for villains as DC has an uncanny way of killing or marginalizing their super-smart Man of Science/Knowledge heroes (Ted Kord, Ray Palmer, etc..). In particular, I adore Noah "The Calculator" Kuttler and Edward "The Riddler" Nigma, and (more the highly-intelligent passionate converse to the Man of Knowledge) Mark "Weather Wizard" Mardon.

In due time I will post some other ramblings to elaborate (i.e. the tension between Atom and doppelganger Calculator as narrative engine in Identity Crisis; the many faces of Calculator; Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler as Super Grover Worthy!; the world of the Flash as a perfect representation of Hermes; etc..), but for now let me get some previously-created Imaginary Puissance-worthy material up for your musing pleasure.

To attempt to shorten a long story, I always have to have a male muse. In elementary school from 1st grade on, I picked a boy in my class and that would be that. In my teens through early 20s, it would be a fictional character of my creation amalgamated from movie character and teen idols. In my mid to late 20s, comics characters came to the fore as I delved into the medium. And as I'll probably mention time and again, give me a new creative medium and within a month I'll be creating something in it (whether I stick with it long enough to develop my skills and make anything Good is a My Little Pony of a different color). Inexorably, this led to Calculator fanfiction, and given his nature as a hub for cross-universe going-ons this, innocently, pulled Weather Wizard into the story.

Of course, that I was so new to the DCU meant I needed to research the characters - and who doesn't love treasure-hunting for backissues and connecting the dots to gain a sense of a character's history? By winter 2007/2008 I had collected most Calculator backissues, was working on a script from his perspective, and was deciding that Weather Wizard would be my next backissue target during convention season. Working on Noah's backstory, there were some curious oubliettes in his origin story which suggested ties to, perhaps even an audition for, the Rogues, the ties later alluded to in Identity Crisis. And Weather Wizard, as a nature-based lower-class womanizing Romantic, seemed a perfect foil. To wit:

Identity Crisis #6 (DC), Writer: Brad Meltzer, Pencils: Rags Morales, Inks: Michael Bair
[He and Noah had been old rivals from way back, Noah having a bit of contempt because Mark essentially stole the weather wand, and got into the Rogues not too long before Noah built his calc-suit and was rejected. Apparently Captain Boomerang's word only counted for so much.

Mardon's side of it was that Noah was too little blue collar, too much dork, and his suit had too many abilities going on that overlapped with what the rest of the Rogues could do. One of the reasons he had stayed away from the Rogues to begin with was because he could do heat like Heat Wave and ice like Captain Cold, and he didn't want to step on any toes.] From a piece of fic I wrote not long before the original version of this post.
As my research developed, the coincidences that reinforced this perception of rivalry only added up, until one fateful night browsing a Weather Wizard chronology index, lightning struck and I discovered an issue I already had, and not in my Flash collection.

That was when I knew I had happened upon an untold secret history of the DCU, evident if you knew where to look and an ever-evolving saga from pre-COIE through to the modern day and beyond. And a chance messaging conversation with Geoff Johns of all people spurred me to write it down.***

So let me put together a factual chronology of issues here, along with some elaborations and observations, and you can decide the merits as you deem fit.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Experiment #1.1


This house sits half a mile from the nearest road, on a lake surrounded by pine woods. The next nearest property is at least two or three miles away.

You’d have to work on your yodel, provided the cabins are inhabited this early in the season - most usually wait a few more weeks until Memorial Day. And we’re having a cool spring.

So, on the very off chance you’re able to get a hand free and somehow disarm me, get the key and free your other hand, take the room key from its, heh, super secret hiding place, and toddle out on your one good leg, your best bet would be to find the car keys and hobble barefoot across the gravel drive to the car.

But then, about that point, as you’ve locked the door and are revving up the engine to flee like a bat out of hell, thanking the stars that you were shot in your left instead of right leg, you’d notice the gas meter just dipping into the red.

Now I know you don’t take me for a fool. There is a gas station in the vicinity. Been there myself many times over the years - haven’t forgotten it one bit - practically the only business for miles and miles amid all these backroads.

The question for you is, as I’ve potentially caught up to you by this point, do you turn right or left onto the road?

Because we are having a cool spring.

No telling if you’d notice without your antibiotics or not.

Her neck muscles, which had been weak but tensed along with the rest of her in reaction to his presence, gave. Regardless of the dr(how did?)ug fading from her system which numbed against the cold electricity, the eroding chasm, of her failing senses, her consciousness found itself taking refuge in her eyes and the front of her face, a pale glow adrift in sloshing blackness. She didn’t look quite at him, staring ahead at the ceiling.

Smart girl.

He sat down on the edge of the bed, taking something from the nightstand. She could hear the whisper-quiet tapping of like plastics brushing into one another, like a box of markers.

It’s a shame apparently no one’s looking for you.

With that, navy satin melted tight over her eyes like the tape inches below.

A trio of cuff adjustments later, he had her sitting up and..

That’s how it began.

[originally posted 08/13/2009 on MySpace, 11/07/09 on OkCupid]

[Experiment #1.2 debut, soon-ish]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hello World

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

-- Henry V, Act I, Prologue, Shakespeare

Welcome. :)