Thursday, February 07, 2008

Stray Thought of the Day

How much would it stink to decide to plunge into the waters of the ocean for a nice swim and accidentally land on the horn of a breaching narwhal?

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I HEART the 90's: DITMTLOD Part 2

We're back for another round of: The League loses a small part of his soul.

This will wrap up the Top 10 DITMTLOD of the 1990's. As with the last post, I've included a "special mention" of someone I identify with the 90's, but who can't be confined to the 1990's for whatever reason.

As this list covers The League from age 14-24ish, it is nowhere near definitive, and we may have a follow up list on this.

I hope you continue to enjoy my walk down memory lane with DITMTLOD, 90's Super Post Numero Dos.

6. Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne on Twin Peaks

David Lynch, known mostly for his eccentric films with unusual plots, oddball characters and dreamlike imagery also has excellent taste in the ladies. His 1990 TV series, Twin Peaks, was littered with DITMTLOD, including a pre-creepy Laura Flynn Boyle and Madchen Amick (whose IMDB record reads like a who's who of films and TV shows I've never seen).

Audrey Horne was not very much like the girls at Klein Oak from 1990-1993.

As Audrey Horne, the trouble-making teen-age daughter of millionaire hotelier Benjamin Horne, Sherilyn Fenn gave Agent Dale Cooper a foil within the Great Northern Hotel. She was clearly not a teenager, but I forgave her. As the series progressed, her storylines were a bit hinky as the character seemed to be popular, but too often occurred on the periphery of the main story-arc (she simply wasn't involved with the death of Laura Palmer). Her attempt at romance with Agent Cooper never really seemed terribly believable, but, again... whatever.

Ahhh... that unmistakable mood of Twin Peaks, where you kind of don't know what to make of it, and it might be something horrific, or it might just be something... weird.

7. Laura Dern in Jurassic Park and Wild at Heart

The daughter of character actor Bruce Dern and actress/ pin-up Diane Ladd, Laura Dern popped up in two very different movies in the 1990's, 1990's "Wild at Heart" and 1993's "Jurassic Park".

I actually own this movie, and I'm still not sure what its about.

Wild at Heart may have been director David Lynch working out some of the stuff he couldn't work into TV. It's an absolutely fascinating film, and Dern is even more fun to watch, paired with a Nic Cage who had not yet quite bought into his own hype.

As the girlfriend of Sailor Ripley and daughter of Marietta Fortune, Lula is caught between white hot love/ lust and her overbearing/ insane mother. It's... interesting, but not something I'd recommend for The Karebear and Admiral.

However, as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park, Dern managed to play an action hero with brains and a conscience. Unlike her roles in "Wild at Heart" or "Blue Velvet", Dern played Ellie Sattler as the face of the joy of scientific discovery in Jurassic Park, and, uhm... that scene where she runs as fast as she can to the bunker to turn the power back on? For my dollar, one of the most Spielbergian of Spielbergian moments of mounting tension.

Dern considers throwing children at the dinosaurs as bait.

She would later appear in Jurassic Park III, saving the day for all involved thanks to her ability to use a telephone. I have not seen, I don't think, anything else Dern put to screen. However, her IMDB page says there's a Jurassic Park IV in the offing. And while JP3 was nowhere close to Jurassic Park or even JP2, I'm still likely to go see it. Cause I like a good dinosaur movie. And Laura Dern.

8. Kim Deal, bass & vocals for The Pixies, guitar & vocals for The Breeders

Around 1989, I began listening to The Pixies. I really liked the tune "This Monkey's Gone to Heaven" off Doolittle. The Pixies would follow up with the album Bossanova only a year later. Then Trompe Le Monde in 1991.

Black Francis/ Frank Black would spin off to do his own projects, and bassist Kim Deal would find pop/rock stardom as the frontman for The Breeders. The Breeders were most famous for the songs "Cannonball" and "One Divine Hammer" from the album Last Splash. Despite my curmudgeonly ways, I was a fan of radio-friendly tunes and had the pleasure of seeing The Breeders perform at Lollapalooza in 1994 or so.

Rock music makes Kim Deal happy

Deal's bass playing isn't necessarily the craziest, and her vocals didn't carry the strength of the power-belters of R&B that saturated the airwaves in the 1990's. But her voice was distinct, and the basslines catchy. She was able to translate that talent into catchy tunes for The Breeders and ride the wave of the introduction of "alternative" music to mainstream radio from the gutter of 120 Minutes' Sunday at midnight broadcasting slot.

Plus, she was cute in a punk-rock-girl-next-door sort of manner.

This monkey's gone to heaven

Here's a kick in the crotch: I had tickets to see the Pixies during their reunion tour about four years ago and didn't end up going for one reason or another.

And I am not just saying this: she and Tina Weymouth are probably the two people most responsible for me wanting to pick up the bass.

9. Patricia Arquette as Alabama in "True Romance" and Kathy O'Hara in "Ed Wood"

I've never been someone to actually seek out a movie because it features a particular actor, and thus I've dodged watching much of Ms. Arquette's considerable portfolio of work.

And, uh... yeah.

"True Romance" was a film of the 1990's, and of my 20's, and I have a hard time believing that I'd get a 1/3rd of the enjoyment now from the movie which I got back then. Alabama is a bit of a miracle for Clarence Worley, comic shop manager and trash film enthusiast. In short, he's a stand-in for screen-writer Quentin Tarantino,a nd as such, one must assume Alabama was some fantasy character Tarantino wished would stumble into him at the Grindhouse theater, whisking him away from his video clerk job.

Alabama might not have been written to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but at the time I appreciated the weirdo-toughness of Alabama's character as she sort of bounces through the film like a pinball, managing to come out on top despite some pretty tough moments.

And I think Jamie puts up with a lot...

Arquette would bring that same ease of going-with-the-flow to her role as Kathy O'Hara in "Ed Wood", as the woman who stands by her man despite (perhaps because of) his oddities. Perhaps it was still some of Ms. Alabama Worley I had in the back of my mind, as subsequent viewings of "Ed Wood" don't particularly feature Arquette jumping off the screen.

Arquette was married for a time to Nic Cage, and is now starring in the successful sci-fi drama, "Medium". I haven't really checked it out.

10. Lynne Russell- Headline News

I've taken some flack for this one, but I used to dig the talking head on CNN's Headline News, Lynne Russell. Say what you will, but it got me watching the news on a regular basis. You can have your Katie Couric or whatever, but for my TV-news-viewing-dollar in the 1990's, there was no voice more trusted nor anyone I tolerated more speaking in 30 minute loops than Ms. Russell's evening broadcast.

Russell pre-dated the dawn of the news-bunny, and was an anchor you could actually take seriously, despite the fact that her job seemed to entail sitting at a desk and not freaking out in the third hour of her shift repeating the same headlines. She was occasionally a little snarky with the stories, but also managed to pull off gravitas when the need arose.

Ah, the glory days of cable news...

Russell is also a black belt in a Choi Kwang Do, has a website of questionable design, was a private investigator and I read somewhere that she occasionally performed police work in some capacity. I think she also carries a concealed handgun.

Today's Headline News is, in fact, awful. Once Time Warner got their hands on Turner's news empire, they ransacked the place and replaced the actual news with Glenn Beck, Showbiz Tonight, and (shudder) Nancy Grace. Good luck getting any actual news.

Lynne was not the bubbly air-head CNN began experimenting with in the late-90's (see the abysmal morning show on Headline News), and so was shown the door.

Upon departing the CNN studios, Lynne wrote her memoirs, which were entitled "How to Win Friends, Kick Ass, and Influence People". Ms. Russell, I salute thee.

She's now living in Canada. And I guess involved in a Canadian news service of some sort. Which has got to be a better gig than the embarrassment Headline News has gladly become.

We miss you Lynne.

Special Mention: Siouxsie Sioux

The UK must have been an interesting place in the 1970's. While the US was jamming to Disco Duck, they were coming up with nifty ideas like The Sex Pistols, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

When Jason saw what i was doing with the Special Mention section of these posts, his first words were "You didn't post about Siouxsie Sioux". Apparently, I am far more transparent than even I realize.

In high school I kept pictures of Siouxsie Sioux on my wall. I really remember The Admiral just staring at a poster from "Israel", starting to ask a question, and then deciding it was best to just drop it.

While Siouxsie's unique look helped get the band some attention, I'm actually a fan of the music. Unfortunately, as time has worn on, when a Siouxsie tune pops up on my iPod, I no longer can tell you exactly which song it is like I once could.

The heyday of the band was probably, really, the 80's as the popularity of the band took off. I, of course, failed to know much about them until a year after Peek-a-Boo had been released. I'd liked the single, but didn't pick up the album (Peepshow)until later.

The band continued to play well into the 1990's. I saw them at the first Lollapalooza in Dallas, but would not catch them on any subsequent tours. I believe they officially broke up around 1996/97, with Siouxsie and husband/ bandmate Budgie moving on to play with their splinter effort, The Creatures. They cited the abysmal conditions of the music industry and their desire to no longer work within that framework. They had not, of course, seen what the music industry would become.

Stylistically, the band dwelled in the land of what my former co-worker liked to call "raincoat rock". Moody, atmospheric, and defined largely by Siouxsie's unmistakable voice, for which the band was probably named. Like so many bands of the time, image was a huge part of the persona, and its tough to really gauge the effect Sioux may have had on many-a-mopey teen with her Egyptian-themed make-up and varying degrees of spikiness to her hair.

Mostly, whether accurate or not, she just seemed a heck of a lot more interesting than anything that was going on in Spring, Texas in 1992.

Siouxsie never got a huge amount of coverage in the American music press, at least while I was reading, and I never really knew a whole heck of a lot about her or the band. I'd hear bits and pieces here and there, but I suppose if I'd known much, it would have ruined the mystery, and that was half the fun.

Siouxsie performs in 2007

Siouxsie released a new album in 2007, a solo effort which I just found out about while doing some Googling. She toured the UK and the West Coast. No Austin dates as far as I can tell. It is a shame that she's not hooked up with the upcoming (June) arrival of The Cure in Austin. That would certainly be a double-bill worth checking out for a walk down high-school memory lane.

That's it for the Top 10

Please feel free to comment, reminisce, reflect, etc...

Plus, you got the bonus coverage by way of Special Mention.

Friends of Melbotis

A huge thank you to all of you who have inquired about Mel's welfare over the past week or so.

Mel's having some trouble with his stitching, so I'm bringing him back to the vet tomorrow, very early. I asked Jamie if I could not see if they could not do a quick patch job at Build-a-Bear at the mall, but she said the vet would probably do a better job.

I want to send special public thanks to a few folks:

  • The parents, who have been so supportive
  • Jason, who took Lucy off our hands during the days of surgery
  • Nicole, who has helped out a lot with Mel over the past week
  • Steven and Lauren, who came over this weekend for a quiet night in, to visit with Mel and to wrangle Lucy
  • Randy, who generously sent along some delicious looking gourmet dog treats

Mel appreciates it, and we appreciate it.

I do not mean to leave anyone off of the list here. Thanks so much to everyone.

Mel is getting better. Surgery is just tough, especially when you're a dog and have no idea what is going on.


From this site, by way of Jamie.

In a way, I feel sort of bad for the Pats and Tom Brady.
Its got to be heartbreaking to come that close and then fall short when the eyes of the world are upon you. Yes, of course, its nice to see the Pats get their comeuppance in such spectacular fashion, but, really, they were a very good team, and nobody can say they didn't work for the successes of the season.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Tuesday

Still undecided going into the primaries? How can you make it a SUPER Tuesday?

The League has selected a candidate based on his support of The Man of Steel.

Until McCain, Romney, Paul, Clinton, Huckabee or someone else shows support for the Last Son of Krypton, Obama is our man.

Of course, I can't vote until March, so all the candidates have an opportunity to pick a superhero between now and March.

Who would each of the candidates pick to represent them?

You tell me!

A Post about Mel

You can see a picture of a post-surgery Melbotis at Jason's blog.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

DITMTLOD: I Heart the 90's - Part 1

Ahhhhhh... the 1990's. No doubt a time of great change for The League as we went from high school, to college, to, uh... whatever this period is in my life. But as always, The League was there... watching TV and stuff. And while our heart will always belong to Lynda Carter, there are many other Dames in the Media the League Once Dug.

After five years or whatever of maintaining this blog, your erstwhile League occasionally runs out of material. And so when JimD suggested I do a Dames In the Media The League Once Dug 90's Super Post, I thought: Heck, why not?

But who were the DITMTLOD of the League's 1990's? In the very special post, we'll take a look at ladies of the the League's interest in the 90's, both fictional and real. I had planned on doing a top 10, but we'll see how this shakes out.

A few rules I set up: I'm focusing on things that came out in the 90's. If the media came out prior to the 1990's, but I didn't discover it until the 90's, I'm only including one per posting as a "Special Mention".

This is all so much cheaper than therapy.

1. Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully

I'm listing Dr. Dana Scully as those who knew me in the 90's should be well aware of this particular DITMTLOD.

Short, skeptical, a doctor and endlessly patient with her partner, what wasn't to like? Anderson herself interviewed just simply terribly when you would see her on shows like "Late Night", but as long as she had X-files dialog coming out of her mouth, she was smart, lovely, and would stand still for lingering close-ups.

I've never really seen Gillian Anderson in anything but X-Files. Not even the movie where she purportedly runs about topless from her pre-X-Files days. But she was good in the role, and I would probably watch her again if she ever appeared in anything close to the sorts of movies I dig.

Also, she seems to be aging very well if the interweb photos I saw when looking for an image are any indication.

The above photo is a nice image of Agent Scully, but this is the image I had on my wall in college, printed in black and white from my junky Packard Bell printer circa 1995. Because, you know, I was classy.

2. Amanda Pays as Dr. Christina McGee

Amanda Pays first came to The League's attention as News Producer Theora Jones on the program "Max Headroom" back in the 80's. The same cool, confident demeanor she brought to Max Headroom (and a knack for delivering pseudo-sciencey lines) she brought with the same verve to The Flash.

Tina McGee was a biophysicist or some such who explained Barry's powers to him, and thus, to the audience. She also looked really nice in really unflattering circa 1990 clothes. But she looked nice in a lab-coat.

A pre-interweb show that ran for only one season, there's not much on the web in the way of photos from The Flash

Pays remains a mystery to The League as she wound up marrying Corbin Bernsen. Which means Corbin Bernsen has better taste in women than I would have assumed.

3. Michelle Yeoh, Various roles

Whether as a SuperCop, in a Police Story, as part of a Heroic Trio, ensuring that Tomorrow Never Dies or, after the 90's, as either a Crouching Tiger or Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh was always a favorite of The League.

In 1993 or so, JAL and Michael would grab me and get me down to Hogg Auditorium on UT's campus where they would show Jackie Chan movies on the weekends. If you could put up with the rock-hard seating and the bats which would flit around, you could catch a pretty good movie for almost no cost.

The lovely Ms. Yeoh is now going to cripple you

Michelle Yeoh was in the Super Cop movies, and then in Heroic Trio. Later, I would be convinced to go see the 1997 Bond installment "Tomorrow Never Dies", based entirely upon the fact that Yeoh was in the movie. And, of course, 2000's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" finally showcased the actress in a light which I felt finally did her justice for a large American audience.

Since then she's been a favorite in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". Where she does not get to kick ass in quite the same way.

4. Lady Miss Kier, Deee-Lite

I invite you to remember the first time you saw Lady Miss Kier in her platform shoes, little retro dress, huge eye lashes and funky dance moves. Add in a fun song, a good voice, and imagine that in Spring, Texas circa 1990ish.

I didn't really understand what Deee-Lite was up to, but I did know The League would always pause to watch the video for "Groove is in the Heart", and not just for Bootsy Collins' awesome bass-work.

But, really watch 2:32 - 3:06 again. That is why.

Also, Bootsy is from outer space.


Lady Miss Kier is still actively performing and spinning records all over the globe. The days of Deee-Lite are now behind us, but Her Eminence keeps grooving on.

5. Marcia Gay Harden as Verna Bernbaum in "Miller's Crossing".

It's difficult to gauge what sort of impact or impression any one movie has on you as a lad, but certainly those who knew me when will recall my fascination with "Miller's Crossing" and Harden's character, Verna, which lasted for years.

Verna is a tough-talking moll, cut from the cloth of some of the tougher characters of cinema of crime movies of the 30's and 40's, and certainly the books of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Verna was the sort of role that you weren't seeing on the screen all that much in 1990 when Miller's Crossing debuted.

I was a huge fan, and continue to believe its a great performance. But the movie probably gave me some funny ideas about how to interact with the ladies.

As always, The League highly recommends Miller's Crossing. One of the greats of the past 25 years of film. Harden is no small contributor to that film's status.

Getting drunk and confronting your lady of interest = a plan that needs revision

I don't keep up with Harden's work. I think the last thing I saw her in was "Space Cowboys", but I never managed to see "Pollock" or, really, much else she's done. I still want to know what the heck she was doing in "Flubber".

Special mention: Claudia Cardinale as Jill in "Once Upon a Time in the West"

Firstly, is "Once Upon a Time in the West" a great Western? Or The Greatest Spaghetti Western?

(I have a pet theory about why the Western died out. 1) John Ford died. 2) After Leone had his run, what was the point?)

Released in 1968, but discovered on video during my "Holy smokes, Sergio Leone kicks ass" phase of film school, "Once Upon a Time in the West" is still one of my favorite Westerns, and one of my favorite movies.

In the tradition of all Sergio Leone movies, Claudia Cardinale is badly looped in "Once Upon a Time in the West". I have no idea if she actually speaks English as I've never had the opportunity to see her in anything else.

Her arrival really kicks the story into gear, and she proceeds to out-tough Charles Bronson. Let me repeat that: SHE OUT-TOUGHS @#$%^ing CHARLES BRONSON, all without ever really using a gun. Also, she out toughs Jason Robards AND an EVIL Henry Fonda.

Top that, Sigourney Weaver.

Probably not the most progressive movie ever made, but a heck of a story and full wall-to-wall with great characters, Cardinale's creation of Jill McBain turns out to be the strongest force in a lawless frontier. Also, her theme by the amazing Ennio Morricone is the sort of sweeping score today's composers could learn from.


That's it for the first installment.

I encourage you to mention your own Ladies of Interest (or Dudes of Interest, depending on how you swing). Also, this post came out of an idea from one of your fellow Leaguers, so if you have any bright ideas for The League, shoot them my way.

Awesome ending to a Superbowl

Well, we hadn't really planned to watch, but changed our minds this morning and went out and got some food.

The last quarter of the game was not the best quarter of football I've ever seen, but it was the best ending to a Superbowl I can recall. The seemingly unstoppable Patriots went down, the Giants' Eli Manning was the second Manning in two years to win a Superbowl, and the final drive by the Giants was amazing.

The first three quarters were deadly dull as the two grat defenses wailed on each team's offense, but... heck.. the Giants' season couldn't have been better if it had been written by a Hollywood scripter.

I will now quit saying "Eli's really good, but it's got to be tough having Peyton Manning for a brother."

I do want to call BS on the poll for MVP for Animal Planet's Puppybowl IV. The Golden got too little screen time, and where are the labs?

Oh no

The least fortunate part of politicking has now arrived in Texas.

I just saw my first televised campaign ad of the 2008 presidential race. God bless each and every one of you living in states where you've already slogged through a primary.

The ad was a fairly simple ad for Mike Huckabee (I'm going to nail the "out of business" sign on the IRS. Perhaps you've seen it?)

It was on during the first bit of pre-Superbowl broadcast I flipped to this morning, and I am wondering if the campaigns can actually afford Superbowl time. After all, the campigns aren't selling cheap, watery beer or powerful trucks. How much advertising can they afford?

Anyhooo.... so it begins. And will end in November, I suppose.

Hooray for my DVR and my ability to FFWD thru the commercials.

Super Cool!

My post on Captain America from the other day got picked up by Blog@Newsarama.

You can see it here.

Thanks to Jim for finding the article.

Also, the League was part of something really great this week, partaking in the 10th anniversary retrospective of the film "The Zero Effect". Visit Chronological Snobbery to read a huge amount of information about this little known, but much loved film.

heck, even star of the film Bill Pullman is reading it.

The League made a comment or two about Pullman's performance I now feel were a bit not-right. I am going to post on that later.

Mr. Pullman has a Saturday afternoon basic cable viewing of "Spaceballs" to thank for me realizing what a bizarre and wide variety of stuff he's been in, from Spaceballs to Lost Highway to ID4. And all pulled off with aplomb. Mr. Pullman, I salute you.

Comics You Should Be Reading: Action Comics

The League was reading some of his weekly stash of comics last night, and I was reminded that while one of the primary missions of The League of Melbotis is a forum for my Super-Fandom, I don't always mention the comics.

I stick with the Superman titles through thick and thin, sort of like a Cubs fan might stick with the Cubbies. And just as a Cubs fan might get very excited when they enter the play-offs, so do I get excited when the comics are on an uptic of quality.

Writer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, JSA, etc...) was once a film-school graduate working as an assistant to Richard Donner, director of Superman: The Movie. It took Johns a while to work his way through the DCU to his current position as writer of GL, Action Comics, and pretty much any other property he wants to get his hands on.

Honestly, when Donner and Johns took over on Action Comics, I was a bit skeptical. Johns' love of Superman was well-known, and I was concerned he would be too concerned about making a wrong move and begin on a forgettable run. But that wasn't the case.

The Up, Up and Away storyline ran through Superman and Action Comics in mid-2006

Johns teamed first with writer Kurt Busiek for the first One Year Later storyline "Up, up and Away", a storyline which re-set the status quo for Superman and the World of Metropolis. After that, Johns and Donner moved into telling the story "Last Son", which would introduce the triumverate of Zod, Ursa and Non to the comics for, really, the first time. (Zod and other Phantom Zone survivors had appeared in the comics during the Bronze Age, from the Weisinger and Schwartz eras of editorialship, but the trio seen in Superman: The Movie and Superman II were somewhat an amalgamation of characters seen in the comics.)

"Last Son" was a fascinating storyline, but... artist Adam Kubert ran late with his issues, winding up with fill-ins during the middle of the storyline, and culminating in the single, 3D issue of Action Comics 851 (which was cool), but the storyline broke precedent and never actually wrapped up. Apparently series artist Adam Kubert, who had been announced as coming onto the comic with huge fanfare, simply wasn't keeping up with his duties. Kubert helps run the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning, and who knows what else was going on in his private life.

A Kubert Action Comics cover

Unfortunately, despite the engaging story, the delays made the comic impossible to recommend, and shook my faith in what Johns was brining to the title. A few fill ins and an unexpected Annual issue later, and the series was back on track with Eric Powell drawn Escape from Bizarroworld.

Powell's work on the JLA of Bizzaroworld

With 52 concluded and Teen Titans no longer on his plate, Johns seems to have found focus on both Green Lantern and Action Comics. Donner is no longer on the writing team, and it may be a case of Johns slipping backward into fanboyishness... But the current storyline "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes".

Superman is asked to return to the future of the 31st Century, re-establishing continuity lost during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and with the Byrne/ Wolfman reboot of the Superman titles with Man of Steel. He learns that an "Earth First" movement has meant that the true story of Superman, now 1000 years in the past, has been co-opted by the movement and changed so that the people of Earth would believe Superman was born on Earth, denying his Kryptonian heritage. They are using this as part of an anti-alien propaganda, which is leading to war between Earth and other planets of the 31st Century.

Gary Frank's art on the cover of Action Comics

It's a good read, despite some gaps in logic that could use some explaining. The action is fast-paced, and while it's certainly rewarding to know a bit about the Legion, it's not a requirement for getting into the story. The threats are understandable and of an appropriately enormous scope for a Legion and Superman story. There's a common complaint in comics that the fanboys are now writing the comics, and that's inherently bad for comics. But in the case of Johns, his understanding of the publishing history of Superman and the Legion helps to make a textured read with a good understanding of character and character motivation.

Add in the pencils of Gary Frank, whose style one might compare to a less cartoonish Steve Dillon (sharing the love and mastery of the facial expression), mixed with detail of far more naturalistic artists, its a great look for the title. Especially as Frank has internalized Christopher Reeve for his version of Superman, and gives the reader a Superman with distinct facial characteristics.

You may still be able to pick up this storyline from the first issue at your local comic shop, or may wish to wait for the inevitable collection. Either way, now's a great time to be jumping into Action Comics.