Tagged: Supergirl

Martha Thomases: Don’t Try To Dig What We All Say

In my daily perusing of the Internets, I came across this post. A short post, it says (with one little snip):

“Dear Old People (and this includes me), the kids today are not hip to your cultural references. This is not a failure of education. Things change. The end.”

It’s not about comics or the movies or television. If anything it’s about Baby Boomers and how insufferable we can be. The popular art that moved us must move you, or you’re ignorant.

This is not a new attitude. My mother, for example, loved E. Nesbitt and J. D. Salinger, so she thought I should read them. My high school English teacher thought that Fitzgerald and Hemingway were the greatest writers of the 20th Century, and skewed their curricula accordingly.

None of this was as insufferable as my generation has been.

In Hollywood, my generation has minded the television shows of our youth into (for the most part) wretched movies. Car 54, Where Are You?, which was an entertaining glimpse of the 1950s Bronx, was made into a terrible movie that abused my beloved David Johansen. See also: McHale’s Navy (here and here), I Spy (here and here), and more. Exception: The Addams Family was genius, and so was equally transgressive movie.

We also made smug jokes. Do you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings? These days, if someone tells that joke, that person must explain what Wings was.

In comics, the insidious influence of the Boomers is even worse. Every attempt to reboot a character for a modern audience is eventually derailed by continuity geeks who insist that everything fall in line with the way it was when they were kids. Sometimes, I’m like this myself. I liked the Supergirl who hid her robot in a tree. I liked super pets. I think they made the world a better place.

You know what else made the world a better place? Me, being young and cute and hopeful.

We need to get over ourselves. The Flash doesn’t have to be Barry Allen (that re-reboot robbed my adult son of the Flash he grew up with). Superman doesn’t have to be in love with Lois Lane, nor Peter Parker with either Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy. Those stories exist, and we can read them whenever we like.

In the meantime, there’s lots of terrific new entertainment that us old farts could learn from. Off the top of my head, there’s Sherlock, a brilliant new way to look at a classic character. There’s Copper on BBC America, a blueprint for the way the GOP wants to rebuild American society. There’s Cosmopolis, a movie that analyzes modern life from the interior of a stretch limo. And, love him or hate him, Mark Millar is taking major risks as he creates his media empire.

Now, excuse me. I have to go and watch Nashville again.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman, Rob Liefeld, Scoot Snyder, and Burning Down The House


MARTHA THOMASES: What Would Women Worldkillers Wear?

This is not the biggest problem in the world. It’s not the biggest problem in the world of entertainment. It’s not even the worst problem in comics.

But it bugs me. And I have this space every week, and I plan to use it to raise your ire as well.

The new issue of Supergirl out this week (#7) features a new team of adversaries for the Maid of Steel. They are the Worldkillers, four creatures taken as embryos from different worlds, then grown on Krypton, enhanced with terrible, world killing abilities.

They are shown to be four very different species. One is humans, one catlike, one like a dog or bear, and one that appears to be some kind of lizard. All are female.

Because they are all female, when they are grown and fight Supergirl they wear scanty little costumes. These costumes show off their breasts. Even the dog’s, who, rather refreshingly, doesn’t seem to have any.

The lizard, however, does. Her name is Perrilus (which confused me, since the -us ending in Latin means the noun is masculine) and she wears some kind of corset which pushes up her breasts.

Breasts are used by mammals to feed their young, who are born live. Lizards are reptiles, cold-blooded creatures who lay eggs and don’t nurse their offspring. There is no reason for Perrilus to have breasts.

I suppose that the Kryptonians could have given her breasts as part of her enhancements, along with her ability to “generate viruses,” but if that’s the case, we are never shown their use in combat.

And maybe she is flat-chested and, like so many high-fashion models and drag queens, has learned how to use the plastic pads, affectionately known as “chicken cutlets,” to push up the tissue in her chestal area to resemble breasts. Again, if this is the case, we are offered no explanation,

Perhaps these breasts are to distract the enemy. They certainly distracted the letterer, who, on page 10, twice refers to the gang as “Wordkillers.”

As Mindy Newell said a few weeks ago, a lot of women got into comics as girls because we enjoyed the Supergirl stories. She was powerful but not threatening, someone we could want to be like. Someone we could believe would like us. DC wastes a real opportunity when they don’t use a title like this to attract a new generation of young girls to superhero comics.

I’m not saying that tits on a lizard is a deal-killer for girl readers. I’m not sure anybody but me (and now, I hope, you) would notice. But in a week when Katniss Everdean flexes her smarts and her abilities with a bow and arrow in The Hunger Games, it seems like even DC Comics would realize they have to be a little bit smarter to attract that kind of audience.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman



Kim Yale.

Kimberly Yale, as you know, was John Ostrander’s wife, and it was John’s beautiful tribute to her in his column WWKL? last week that has inspired me to write about her and our friendship.

Kim and I met over 20 years ago at a Chicago ComicCon when she chaired a Women In Comics panel to which I had been invited. I was a real newbie to the biz, wondering what the hell I was doing there, and completely awed to be meeting the real people behind the names on the splash pages of my favorite comics. So I was incredibly shy – yes, hard to believe, but completely true – when I went into the room where the panel was being held and walked up onto the dais. I didn’t know anyone…or at least, it felt like that. Although I do believe that it was Michael Davis  who had promised to come to the panel to cheer me on. Was it you, Michael?

This woman about my age with beautiful red-blonde hair and who just radiated confidence and energy came up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Kim Yale. You must be Mindy Newell. I am so happy to meet you.” I was flabbergasted. “How did you know that?” I said. “Oh, a little birdie told me,” she laughed. (Never did find out who that birdie was.) She introduced me to two of other panelists, Trina Robbins and Joyce Brabner – and they knew who I was, too! We stood talking as conventioneers started filling the room, and I started realizing that I wasn’t such an oddity after all. These were all bright, intelligent women who loved comics just as much as I did!

So the panel started, and we all introduced ourselves, and Kim, as chair, started the discussion with a question that I honestly don’t remember, but my answer was about how Supergirl – the original Supergirl – was such a powerful message for little girls growing up in the 50s, being Superman’s secret weapon and all. After the panel, Kim came over to me and said, “I absolutely loved what you said about Supergirl. I am so glad you’re in this business.”

That was the start of our friendship.

I lived in New Jersey, with the Big Apple outside my windows. Back then Kim and John lived in Chicago. Back before there were cell phones and calling plans, my phone bill zoomed up into the stratosphere with long distance calls to the Second City. I was going through some hard times, and Kim was always there for me, even when it was pushing towards the wee hours. (I’m pretty sure Kim’s bill went up, too.) When Mike Gold recruited Kim for an editor position at DC, she and John moved to Connecticut. Still long distance, but waaaay cheaper than calling Chicago. And, of course, I saw her in the office.

Some things I remember and hold close to my heart:

I was dating a guy who was going to Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. Kim suggested that we meet at their house for a weekend – which was pretty much at the halfway point – and she and John would vamoose.

Kim and I were doing the Sex And The City thing, just two women sharing lunch and gossip and deep-down secrets at a terrific Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from DC one afternoon when all of a sudden Kim mouthed something to me. I’m a terrible lip reader and I didn’t have a clue what she was saying. “Huh?” I said. She mouthed it again. I said, “What?” again. This time as she mouthed the words, she discretely pointed her finger over my shoulder. The restaurant was loud with lunchtime clients, and I could barely hear her. This time, I said, “Kim, I can’t hear you. What are you trying to say?” Kim was exasperated; she whispered, “Tony Bennett is right there.” I said, in a very looooouud voice, “Tony Bennett!!!! Where?” Mr. Bennett turned around and said, “Right here, ladies.” I was mortified. He was laughing, and Kim was hysterical.

Kim and John sharing the Passover Seder at my parents’ house. Kim’s clear voice reading from the Hagaddah with interest and passion.

Kim calling me to tell me about some physical things that were going on with her, and the fear in her voice, and asking if she should go to the doctor.

John calling me to tell me that the doctors had discovered a second lump in Kim’s other breast while she was on the table.

Going to see Kim at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital.

Kim telling me that she was going to beat this thing.

Kim looking so beautiful in her hats and scarves when she lost her hair from the chemo.

Kim at Morristown Memorial.

Sharing an intimate moment between John and Kim in the hospital a few days before….

Getting a call from John that I had better come right over.

Seeing Kim on the hospital bed set up in their living room, because she could no longer get upstairs to the bedroom.

Kim sick, wracked with pain, weak – dying – and yet still so beautiful and at peace.

John calling to tell me she was now truly at peace.

Kim’s memorial service, where I honored her by partaking in the bread and wine during the Mass. The minister understanding why I did it. The guests who knew I was Jewish completely shocked.

The spreading of her ashes in the garden under the flowers she had planted.

And in the present…

Sometimes, often, I know Kim is hanging around, keeping me company.

Kimberly Ann Yale.

A woman who ran with the wolves.


My friend.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis


MINDY NEWELL: Two Karas And A Buffy

…with thanks to Martha Thomases!

A long time ago – in 1959 – in a galaxy far, far away – well, actually, just over the Bayonne Bridge on Staten Island – I met Kara Zor-El.

I was six. She was 12 years old … in Earth years.

I could walk, run, ride a bike, and ride a horse. She could fly.

I was always getting numerous cuts and scrapes and bruises. She was invulnerable.

I had 20-20 vision. She had X-ray vision, telescopic vision and heat vision.

I would get in trouble for not hearing my mom or dad calling for me to come in and eat supper. She had super-hearing.

I was fast. She could break through the time barrier.

I got kicked out of Girl Scouts (remind me to tell you why – it’s not what you think). She joined the Legion of Super-Heroes.

My mom gave me money to go rent a horse for an hour so I could ride. She had her very own horse. Okay, he was actually a handsome man from another planet, but let’s not get Freudian here, okay?

I didn’t have a dog. I really wanted a dog. My parents said no. Okay, she had a cat. Not a fan of cats. Why couldn’t she have a dog?

I wasn’t Superman’s cousin. She was.

If Superman got in trouble, I couldn’t do a damn thing to help him.

She was his secret weapon. Which meant that he depended on her to pull his green-glowing ass out of the Kryptonite frying pan time and again.

No wonder I loved her.

Kara Thrace.

A long time ago – 150,000 years ago – in another galaxy far, far way, she fulfilled her destiny and led the rag-tag fleet led by the Battlestar Galactica – all that was left of the human race after its destruction by the Cylons – to a new beginning on a new Earth.

Stogie-chomping, card-sharking, Viper-jockeying, Kara Thrace.

Hard-drinking, troubled, two-timing, bitchin’ Kara Thrace.

Killed in action, resurrected, disappearing-into-thin-air Kara Thrace.

Call sign: Starbuck.

Frakkin’ Kara Thrace.

No wonder I loved her.

Buffy Anne Summers.

Not that long ago – 1992 – in still another galaxy far, far away, an apt description of California to some – a fifteen year old girl who lived in Los Angeles met her destiny while sucking on a lollipop on the steps of her high school. Soon after she burned down her high school gym. Her parents divorced and she and her mom moved to Sunnydale to start over.

Only Buffy couldn’t start over.

For “in every generation, there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”

For seven years, Buffy took on the natural and the supernatural, the unworldly and the all-too-real world, took on and stood up to and faced it all.

Vampires. Robots and a cyborg. Witches. Demons. Gods.

High School. College. Relationships. A job she hated.

The divorce of her parents.





She cried. She fought. She survived.

And she went to the mall.

No wonder I loved her.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis


MARTHA THOMASES: Superman Family Values

As we gird our collective loins for another presidential election season, we become accustomed to another iteration of praise for “family values.” It is a phrase that has different meanings to people of different political persuasions. To Democrats, it means a living wage and a financial safety net for the poor, the old and the infirm. To Republicans, it means no gay marriage, no sex outside marriage, and no abortion.

For me, neither viewpoint is adequate. I strive for Superman Family values.

As a woman of a certain age, I remember a comic book series dedicated solely to the Superman family. It had stories about Superman, of course, but also Supergirl, my favorite character, and Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane and Krypto. At 60¢ (not the standard 15¢ or 20¢), this was a big, fat comic book, good for a whole afternoon.

I learned a lot about family from those books, and not just how to get some extra change from my parents.

Superman grew up with loving, principled parents in the Kents. He lived on a farm where everyone had chores that contributed to the family fortunes. He knew he was adopted, so he knew his parents really wanted him. However, since he was Kryptonian, he had powers and abilities far beyond those of his friends and classmates. His parents taught him to value his differences, but not use them to draw attention to himself for personal gain. His gifts were best appreciated when he used then to help his community.

Years later, Superman discovered he had a teenage cousin, Supergirl. He didn’t know anything about her, yet he immediately accepted her and loved her.

When he grew up and moved on to his adult life, Superman, like the rest of us, assembled a family of sorts, of people he chose. Most of this family came from the people with whom he worked, Perry White a surrogate father, Jimmy Olsen like a little brother. Bruce Wayne was his best friend, a peer who understood what it meant to live life with secrets.

I have to believe that Superman would favor the rights of immigrants, since he is one. I have to believe that a man who has roamed the various universes and seen thousands of different societies would develop respect for people with different beliefs than his, and different ways of defining family.

As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman had good friends who were in romantic relationships that were not only not conventionally heterosexual, but often between two different species. If this bothered him, we never saw his discomfort in the comics. He accepted his friends as they presented themselves.

Is Superman political? I have always imagined him to be a New Deal Democrat, or what the GOP today calls a “socialist.” At the same time, I don’t see him as an activist, nor even all that partisan. As Clark Kent, he votes, he serves jury duty when summoned, and he pays his taxes.

To him, family is a joy and a refuge. It isn’t something for politicians to use to bludgeon each other and score points.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

MINDY NEWELL: Who’s Dead As A Doornail?

MINDY NEWELL: Who’s Dead As A Doornail?

Death aims only once, but never misses.

(Maxims: Political, Philosophical, and Moral, by Edward Counsel)

Except in comics.

I was doing a search for quotes about death when I found this one, which is so apropos. I never heard of Edward Counsel; did a Google search, but couldn’t find him?? Found a reproduction of his book on Amazon; the original was published before 1923. All I can gather is that he was an Australian who was born before 1900. Anyone who has more info is welcome to let me know in the comments section.

The reason I was looking for a quote about death – of which there seems to be milllllllllions – is because all us comic fans are buzzing about the YouTube video The Death and Return of Superman, by Max Landis (son of John Landis), who stars in The Chronicle. I was going to post it here, but Martha (Thomases) beat me to it three days ago – which amazingly points out that DC actually thought Tim Drake’s/Robin’s new costume was more of a P.R. event than Supe’s kicking of the bucket – so I won’t do that. All I can say is that, if by any chance you haven’t seen it, do so at once. You have my permission to stop reading this column, go watch it (it’s about 16:00 long) and then come back. It is bitingly hilarious, and exceptionally on the mark!!!! (Major kudos to Landis and his fellow actors btw!)

SPOILER ALERT!: Okay, I’m going to assume that you have either already seen the video or have taken the 16:00 to watch it before returning here, because I’m going to give away the ending here.

Landis concludes his short film by stating that Superman’s death and return opened the floodgates for other comic characters to die and then resurrect. In other words, said resurrection cheapened the dramatic impact of said death, and ended the ability of readers to mourn the loss of the character, because the reader knew the character would eventually return. Cynics like me will always point out that the death of a character in the comic book world is always due to (1) marketing; and (2) the dictates of Hollywood – as Martha ably points out in her column concerning Lois And Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

As a comics writer, a editor, and a reader, the “make-believe” of death in comics really pisses me off.

I’d like to point out that the ability of fiction (any fiction, from comics to television to movies) to help children understand and cope with finality of death is incredibly important. J. M. Barrie understood this, as he has Peter Pan say “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” And of course, J.K. Rowling did not flinch from the meaning of death in the Harry Potter And The novels; it was one of the themes of her “magnus opus” – beginning with the main character. Need I remind you that Harry was an orphan?

Okay, young readers of comics are scarce these days. We all know that. But they are still out there; my eleven-year old niece Isabel being one of them. And children are curious about death. About six months after my husband left me, the family was out to dinner. Right in the middle of the laughter and the eating, Isabel, six years old at the time, said to me, “Is John dead?” (That was a conversation stopper, let me tell you.) Of course her parents had explained what had happened. But obviously Isabel couldn’t grasp the concept of marital separation and divorce, so all she knew was that John was gone, which in her thoughts equaled death… because, as her mom told me later, she had just seen a movie – I don’t remember which one, it might have been one of the Harry Potter’s – in which one of the characters died. And she was trying to wrap her young mind around “death.”

Which I think is good; our society tends to put death into a dark, dusty corner where it molders and mildews and mutates into something unbearably monstrous. Remember the uproar over Terry Schiavo? How about the Republican bullshit of equating Obama’s healthcare bill with death panels? And as a registered nurse in the operating room, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen terminally ill or extremely aged patients subjected to the stress of unneeded or useless surgery or treatment because the family insists on it because they can’t deal with the impending death of their loved one.

Death can be welcomed as an end to unending pain and torment. Death can be aggressively fought against with all the tools of modern medicine. Death can be sudden, or it can be stretched out into nanoseconds.

But death is real.

I’m still reeling from the death of Kara Zor-El – Supergirl – in Crisis On Infinite Earth.  Don’t talk to me about the reboots.

The Very Short List of Comic Book Superheroes Who Have Died And Returned: Alfred Pennyworth, Aquaman, Aunt May, Big Barda, Bucky, Captain America, The Doctor, Elektra, Fahrenheit, The Flash, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, The Human Torch, Jean Grey, Moon Knight, Negative Man, Punisher, Robin, Supergirl, Superman, The Thing, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (many if not all), Wonder Man, Wonder Woman, Yellowjacket.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis. Sponsored by the Bacon Council.


The most important story of the new year is not being covered by the lame-stream media. You won’t find it on the more popular blogs. Neither Heidi MacDonald  nor Rich Johnston has the scoop.

We’re getting a new cat. You heard it here first.

In my life, I’ve only had three cats, unless you count the two on the commune where I spent 1974 and half of 1975. My first cat, Toots, came from a friend who found her on the streets of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and brought her to me in college. The second two, sisters Trixie and Midnight, were brought over from a rescue group. This time, I went to the Humane Society. They asked me what I wanted.

Using all available self-control, I did not specify a lightning-bolt marking on the right side. Neither did I specify super-strength, x-ray vision, nor the ability to fly.

Is there a more appealing concept in all of literature than the super-pet? Superman had Krypto, a super-dog, Supergirl had Streaky, a super-cat, and Comet, a super-horse. Batman had Ace, the Bat-hound. Chameleon Boy had Proty, a malleable blob.

I wanted all of them. I also wanted Beppo, the super-monkey, although I was never clear on whose pet he was.

At the time I had a dog, because at the time, I was ten years old and lived with my parents and had a yard. My dog was fairly awesome, but she couldn’t do anything Kryptonian. She couldn’t change her shape. She couldn’t even solve crimes. It seemed to me that having a pet who could take me on adventures, who could perform extraordinary feats for my amusement and, if necessary, for my protection, was the greatest thing that could happen in a person’s life.

As I said, my dog didn’t do any of those things. She did, however, love me more than anyone else. She even loved me more than my mother, who fed her.

A companion animal – a pet – is wonderful for a child. A pet won’t blab her secrets, no matter how juicy. A pet, unlike parents and teachers and even school friends, never judges her. A pet is always there, to play in the backyard or to sit in her lap watching television. A pet is always warm and soft and there when she needs a hug. For all these reasons, a pet is also wonderful for adults.

Those are pretty awesome super-powers.

Because the Humane Society has a fairly rigorous process to match animals to humans, I don’t yet have my new cat. I don’t think we’ll be naming her Streaky, because, really, I’ve never seen a cat with markings like that. I’m thinking of naming her Selina, after Selina Kyle. And also after a fairly brilliant singer-songwriter.

And I reserve the right to make her a cape.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

MARTHA THOMASES’ Halloween Fantasy

In my lifetime, Halloween has come out of the closet. When I was a kid, it was just for kids. Now, there are special pop-up shops for costumes for grown-ups. You can buy as many different kinds of home decorations for Halloween as you can for Christmas.

In my neighborhood, Manhattan’s West Village, it’s practically a national holiday.

As someone who lives where I do, and as someone who went to a boarding school where we were required to wear uniforms every day, I understand the appeal of drag. It’s fun to dress as someone you aren’t. It’s fun to dress as someone you are, if only occasionally. It’s fun to dress in a way that confuses people about your role in life, your hopes and fears, your deepest secrets.

Halloween gives everyone in our Puritan culture permission to act out our wildest fantasies – for one day.

I always wanted to go as a superhero.

Back in my day, there weren’t a lot of superhero costumes for girls. There weren’t even that many for boys. My mom graciously made me a Supergirl costume in third grade, but, when I was older, she was less interested in enabling me. I was Peter Pan once, which felt almost like a superhero. And, since then, I’ve been a ninja at least once. It’s an easy costume when you can stroll over to Chinatown for materials.

There are those who like to be frightening on Halloween. And, while I get that (and zombie is an easy costume, if you have access to stage make-up), it isn’t what appeals to me about Halloween. I suspect it’s a generational thing. In my day, girls were supposed to be sweet and supportive, damsels to be rescued, a way to motivate the male hero to act. For Halloween, anyway, I could be the major character in my story.

No wonder my mom had to make my costume.

Nerd culture is peaking these days, so there are lots more super-hero costumes. Unfortunately, these costumes, inspired by the comics, don’t do much for a little girl’s power fantasies. They continue to sexualize – even fetishize – the bodies of the female characters. It’s cruel to see a little girl in a Wonder Woman or Supergirl costume, cut up to the top of her thigh and exposing her not-yet-developed cleavage. The boys’ costumes often include built-in abs and pecs, which contribute to their fantasies of being superhumanly strong. I have yet to see a costume for a little girl with built-in cleavage. I guess I should be thankful for that.

When my mom made my costume, she made it out of corduroy – this being at a time when spandex was not readily available. It was warm, especially with my cape. She made it big enough for me to wear extra layers underneath. You can’t do that with a commercially made superheroine costume. If you go trick-or-treating, you need to wear a coat, and then no one can see who you are. In fact, if you live in a rent-controlled apartment and have crummy heat, you need to wear a coat inside.

It’s insidious, and I doubt it’s really a conspiracy. Rather, I think these ideas are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t notice. The message to little girls is that they can have fantasies, but these fantasies must still be arousing to men. Girls can be princesses and fairies and Amazons and sometimes even witches, but they have to be pretty and they have a to show some skin.

At least they aren’t making Starfire costumes. Yet.

Martha Thomases enjoys Halloween less now that no one gives her candy anymore.

MINDY NEWELL: Paging Dr. House

This past Tuesday, August 30 to be exact, the New York Times ran an article by Dave Itzkoff about the “new” DC reboot. It was called “Heroes Take Flight, Again.”

It’s an interesting article. And its tone is that of a penultimate eulogy. To quote Itzkoff, “Within the DC universe, this new status quo is the result of efforts by the fleet-footed Flash to alter the course of history. But in the real world it is a last-ditch plan to counteract years of declining sales throughout the comics business.”

It’s rather like an episode of House, isn’t it? He wants to try a risky, dangerous, could-kill-the-patient-instead-of-saving-him treatment and everybody around him either has an opinion or just wants to avoid the whole subject. Cuddy is worried about the lawyers and the reputation of Princeton-Plainsboro Medical Center. Wilson is busy psychoanalyzing his friend’s penchant for walking on the edge. Foreman objects mostly because he didn’t think of it first. Chase, having forsaken the medical principle of “first do no harm” a few seasons ago when he killed a dictator who was under his care, pretty much shrugs his shoulders. Cameron is too busy in the ER to get very involved, other than to shake her long blonde hair and hot tush in House’s face and say, “you’re just gonna do what you want anyway.” Taub is caught between his Torah – he who saves a single life, it is as if he has saved the whole world – and probably causing the patient even more suffering if the treatment is allowed, and “Thirteen,” facing eventual horrible death herself thanks to the Huntington’s Disease that stalks her, thinks House is right, because she sees herself in the patient, and she wants to live.

I remember when I first heard of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I was upset. I didn’t understand why DC had to go messing with my childhood. But under the able hands of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, it was, frankly, a thrilling story. To me, when Marv and George killed Supergirl – and I’m still mightily pissed off about that! – that was it, man, I knew this was going to be a classic.

The only trouble was, it started off a wave of “mega-reboots” over at DC that sounded like “good business” at the time. And now, after some 30 years, only seems to make me, and everybody else, yawn.

Infinite Crisis. Final Crisis. Crisis, My Ass. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me something I don’t know.

‘Cause most of these reboots, start-overs, begin-agains are so obviously an attempt to “save the life of the patient” that it’s insulting to the reader. Jim Shooter is quoted in the Times article as saying “This whole attitude of, ‘Oh, go ahead, start over, reboot,’ people get tired of that…as storytellers, I don’t know where we wandered off to.” I totally agree with him.

S-T-O-R-Y. A narrative. An account. A tale, yarn, legend, fairy-tale, chronicle. Something that stays with you. That for whatever reason strikes a resonant chord within.

Was The Lord of the Rings a business decision? Was Grapes of Wrath? A Tale of Two Cities? The Three Musketeers? Alice in Wonderland? The Man in the Iron Mask? Peter Pan? If I keep on going this will be a column about the Book-of-the-Month club.

I’m hoping this works for DC. I’m hoping the company doesn’t stay alive just to feed the licensees. I’m hoping that I’m thrilled again.

I’m hoping that Dr. Gregory House can pull another miracle out of his misanthropic hat.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis