comics: image

Paklis #1

STORY/ ART / COVER: Dustin Weaver
May 31 / 56 PAGES / FC / T+ / $5.99


Do you accept the life you’ve been handed, or do you step into the unknown, even as it leads you into the shadows? In this new anthology series from writer/artist Dustin Weaver, the characters in three mind-bending stories find themselves faced with this question. 

In Mushroom Bodies, Greg struggles with knowing what’s real and fears becoming complacent in a world of human insects.

In the first installment of Sagittarius A*, war hero Linus Rad is on a mission to the center of the galaxy to learn the dark secrets of his dead father’s scientific experiments. 

In the first chapter of Amnia Cycle, Tara, a young Jet-Wing pilot, goes AWOL in the war against the Nuriel in order to help Amnia, a mysterious alien with no memory of where she came from and a desperate need to stop a terrible disaster! When Amnia disappears, it sends Tara on an adventure into the Shadow Zone. 

Step into the unknown. Journey into the shadows. There you’ll find Paklis. 

Top Ten Characters Who Could Kick Saitama’s Ass

Ooh boy. Not going to make any friends with this post.

Full disclosure, I hardly ever watch anime anymore. Seems like everything new these days is either an ecchi, a harem, or both. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with ecchis or harems, but when that’s all anybody wants to produce these days it gets old fast. And all the newest stuff that everyone says I should watch I just can’t get into. Attack on Titan feels like something that was never proof-read before production began, I find Kill la Kill obnoxious, and Monster Musume would actually be enjoyable if it didn’t milk tired roommate and girlfriend tropes for everything they were worth and if the male lead wasn’t such a terminally unlikable dumbass. Seriously, if Kimihito is supposed to represent the typical Japanese every-man then it’s no wonder Japan’s birth rate has dropped like a brick.

Having said all that, I fucking LOVE One Punch Man. It’s funny, action packed, and you can tell that everyone making it is just having the time of their lives. It has good animation, memorable characters, and the majority of the jokes land which is always a plus. The best way I can describe OPM would be if the people behind the Cornetto Trilogy made a superhero thing, and it’s every bit as enjoyable as it sounds. Seriously, check it out if you haven’t already.

What am I building up to? Well, when something gets popular it gains a fanbase, and that fanbase always gets more than its’ share of loudmouth assholes that not only make the rest of the fanbase look bad but also deter new fans from ever wanting to check it out. One Punch Man is no exception, and loudest and most vocal of these fans have decided to constantly get up in other people’s faces about how Saitama beats everyone because…one punch. Others say that Saitama is a parody and ergo typical rules about “Who would win in a fight?” type of discussions don’t apply to him. All the while stating again, again, and again that he’s completely unbeatable and nobody can even scratch him because he’s not meant to lose and one punch. But the most annoying of these fans are those who wave the banner that Saitama’s creator said that his power trumps the Big Bang and would win against characters like Goku or Superman easily.

No. Sorry, but no on all of those points. First of all, Saitama is awesome and a great and fun character, but he’s not unbeatable and he certainly isn’t invincible. In fact, both the anime and the web-comic repeatably make points that Saitama is still only human, and that despite his power he still needs to eat food, drink water, and breathe oxygen in order to survive. Sure, he has no specific weaknesses (other than the fact that he’s not the brightest guy around) but he’s still mortal.

Second, One Punch Man isn’t a parody. No, it really isn’t. Sure, it has plenty of funny bits and there’s plenty of superhero deconstruction to be found, but it’s not a parody. Freakazoid is a parody. Squirrel Girl is a parody. Captain Hero from Drawn Together is a parody. Duck Dodgers is a parody. One Punch Man is not. See, I compared it to the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy for a reason. Like those movies OPM is a comedy up-front, sure, but it takes the genre seriously. There are real stakes and risks taken, people do get hurt, and if somebody dies then they stay dead. It doesn’t rely on cartoon physics and real-world physics do still apply, hence there being no shortage of collateral damage.

Third, “The creator said Saitama is stronger than the big bang and can beat *insert powerful character here* so ha!” Yeah, the creator never said such a thing. For a while it was believed that it was a producer of the anime who said that, but while I could be wrong as far as I can tell nobody said such a thing and was something the fanbase made up and said it enough times that people started believing it. But here’s the thing. Even if the creator said so live on every major news outlet that Saitama can beat anyone ever, it doesn’t matter. Why? Because talk is cheap. “Because X said so” is not a valid argument and it damn sure doesn’t hold any water. What does hold water are documented feats of strength and power. Saitama has an impressive record to be sure…but he’s not number one. Hell, he’s probably not even in the top 20.

Now let me be crystal clear here. I’m not making this post as a disparaging or discrediting of Saitama or the anime One Punch Man. I think Saitama’s a great character and the show’s a ton of fun, and I’m not trying to make him look dumb or incompetent or whatever. This also isn’t a list of ‘fights to the death’ or anything like that, hence the title being “Kick his ass” and not “Kill him.” I’m making this post as both a form of catharsis AND a big middle finger from me to all misinformed fanboys about their caped bald godchild.

So, without further adieu, here are the top ten characters who could kick Saitama’s ass.

Sorry baldy. =P

10.) Doomsday

Doomsday is a character that’s every bit as iconic as he is one-note and boring, but while his usefulness never ventures beyond a plot device when the Justice League need a big scary monster to fight nobody can deny his sheer, raw power. The fact that he can go toe-to-toe with the likes of powerhouses like Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Darkseid is nothing to sneeze at, and short of destroying every single cell in his body there’s really no permanent way to keep him down. While I have no doubt in my mind that Saitama would ultimately win the fight, this is a case where it’s going to take WAY more than just one punch. Looking for a challenge? The monster that killed Superman will certainly provide it.

9.) Spawn

Icon or relic? Legend or has-been? The jury is still out on whether or not Spawn earned his popularity and cultural omnipresence in the early to mid 90′s or if the writers and artists at Image simply got lucky, but as far as power goes he’s still a god damned beast. Fueled by sin and Hell itself, Spawn’s powers go from crazy all the way to absurd. I don’t exaggerate in the slightest when I say that Spawn can use his hellish to do pretty much whatever the hell he wants. Slow down time to a crawl while he can move about freely? He can do that. Increase Saitama’s molecular density to such an extent that he becomes so heavy he plummets straight into the center of the Earth or so light he rockets into orbit? He can do that. Alter Saitama’s mind so that he believes he’s a sea urchin? He can do that. Look, the guy defeated both Satan AND God and reshaped the universe in his own image (heh heh…) so there’s really very little Saitama can actually do to hurt him. At best he can punch Spawn’s head off, but doing that would just Spawn back to Hell where he can recharge his batteries and come back with a vengeance. Seriously, Spawn’s literally walked out of Hell so many times it’s comical. Facing off against Spawn would be one hell of a fight for Saitama.

8.) The Juggernaut

Nothing can stop the Juggernaut. He’s completely and utterly invulnerable to all forms of both might and magic. Curses? Forget about it. Spells? They bounce right off him. Weapons? Please! You could drop a hundred nukes right on his head and he’d just laugh it off. He’s bested the Hulk multiple times, trashed Thor, manhandled the Sentry AND Hyperion, and let’s not get into the kind of grief and misery he’s brought upon the X-Men over the years. The only thing ol’ Juggy is weak to is telekinetic attacks, which is not only something that Saitama doesn’t possess but even then they can only hinder him, not kill him. The one thing you can do against the Juggernaut is find a way to use his own momentum against him and send him running the other way…but Saitama likes a challenge, so we know he won’t do that even if he does figure it out.

7.) The Flash

Saitama’s speed clocks out at supersonic, right on par with the world’s fastest fighter jets. The Flash’s speed puts the world’s fastest fighter jets to sad shame, capable of moving over a million times faster than the speed of light and can vibrate his molecules to phase through attacks and even turn invisible. Not only does the Flash have the speed advantage, saying nothing of the Speed Force, he can hit plenty hard as well. By vibrating his molecular structure to just under light speed, the Flash can use the Infinite Mass Punch, an attack with the same destructive force as a 100 megaton nuclear bomb. In the time it would take for Saitama to charge and unleash a Special or Serious Punch, the Flash can hit him in the face (and all over the rest of his body) with a thousand Infinite Mass Punches. Defeating someone in one punch is less impressive when you can’t hit your opponent.

6.) Yang Xiao Long

What happens when you pit a guy who can defeat anyone in one punch against a gal who can absorb attacks and kinetic energy and send them back to her opponent tenfold as if she were composed of living vibranium? You get a caped bald guy skipping across the Pacific Ocean like a stone and getting stuck up George Washington’s nose on Mt. Rushmore with a wavy-haired blonde laughing her tits off from the sight.

5.) Lobo

They don’t call him “The Main Man” for nothing. This fucking guy could very well be the most vicious character in comic book history, which is saying something in a medium where characters like Wolverine and Vegeta exist. Not only is Lobo meaner than a horny rattlesnake, he’s strong enough to match blows with Superman and has beaten him twice, he escaped the pull of a black hole, he shrugged off Darkseid’s Omega Beam, he can survive in space, and his healing factor is nothing short of completely absurd. Lobo can regenerate, I shit you not, from a single drop of blood. Basically nothing short of throwing him into the sun is going to stop Lobo for good, and he’s every bit as stubborn as he is ferocious. Remember; he single handedly wiped out his entire race except for himself when he was an infant. More to the point, of all the characters on this list so far, he’s the one who makes the most sense for WHY he’d fight Saitama. You don’t think someone would want Saitama dead and wouldn’t hire Lobo to do it?

4.) The Silver Surfer.

Power. Cosmic.
‘Nuff said.

3.) The Incredible Hulk

Contrary to what Death Battle claimed, if you tore off the Hulk’s head he’d just grow a new body in a matter of minutes with the off-chance of his headless body being taken over by one of Banner’s many, many different Hulks that inhabit his psyche…….comic books are weird, okay? Point is the Hulk is one of the strongest beings in all of fiction. He’s picked up a 150 billion ton mountain, held two tectonic plates together, destroyed a planet while fighting another world breaker, and while his healing factor can be overtaxed what everyone always leaves out is that anybody who does manage to punch the Hulk back into Banner always leaves Banner alone. Why? Well, remember that scene in the Avengers?

That wasn’t just a cool quote, stuff like that actually happened in the comics. You could walk up to an unconscious Bruce Banner and drop a thermite bomb right on his head, and before your brain can register that’s shit’s on fire the Hulk will be standing with his hand around your throat and scotched purple pants. Not only that, but with Banner no longer in the back seat, it’s a Hulk that’s completely unhinged and unrelenting, not to mention no longer vulnerable to puny human factors like fatigue. Loki once employed the Enchantress (no, not that one) to use her magic to separate Banner and the Hulk into two different beings in a petty plan to kill Thor, and in doing so the Hulk not only effortlessly plowed through Asgard and all of its’ armies and defenders, including Thor, he then did the same thing when he was sent to Hell. Yeah, you read that right. Not even Hela, who like Mephisto is basically Satan, could tame the Hulk, and in the end only putting Hulk and Banner back together was what calmed the Hulk down and stopped his rampage.

That’s not even the craziest part. Given enough time, the Hulk can recover from just about anything. One day the Maestro, a possible future version of the Hulk, was sent back in time and vaporized by the very gamma bomb that created the Hulk……and he fully recovered! Yes, the Hulk can fully recover after being turned into fucking ashes! Seriously, look it up! …did I mention comic books are weird?

2.) Son Goku

I’ve made it no secret over the years that I don’t care for DragonBall anything. Look, I’m 31. I’m a 90′s kid, I was there when DragonBall really blew up in the US and became such a cultural phenomenon that you couldn’t get away from it, and I was sick to death of it long before shows like GT were even a thing. Still, franchise fatigue aside, I can’t deny Goku’s incredible skills and power, especially recently with DragonBall Super. Oh, I still don’t watch it, but this being the Internet you can’t get away from DragonBall anymore than you can get away from cat videos. Lists, paragraphs, and videos of Goku’s feats are easier to find than white bread so me listing them here would be all but redundant.

What I will talk about is that if Saitama wants a challenge then Goku is right up his alley. Who is and isn’t more powerful is a crapshoot because we don’t have a definitive measure of what either of them are fully capable of as far as raw power goes, but we do know that Goku is faster and his skills and finesse outweigh Saitama’s by a wide margin. While Saitama can track people moving at supersonic speeds, Goku can move much faster and the whole “lol, takes forever to charge his power” thing has been vastly improved on. Now it only takes a few seconds to charge up instead of three and a half episodes, spirit bomb not withstanding. Even if we do buy into the narrative of “Saitama beats everyone and anyone in one punch because ONE PUNCH”…well, death never stopped Goku before. He’s bested cosmic entities and gods that make the biggest, baddest villains in One Punch Man look like puny peons and is so tenacious that he always keeps fighting even if the odds are hopelessly against him; that’s kind of his whole thing. He goes up against people he’s clearly no match for, gets the Super Saiyan-snot beaten out of him, yet he still manages to come out on top. And given that Saitama is always seeking a challenge, a clash between these two titans would be inevitable. Maybe Goku will emerge the winner, maybe he won’t. What’s certain is that it’s going to take a lot more than one punch to put down the Super Saiyan.

But as strong, fast, skilled, and tenacious as Goku is, neither he nor Saitama can hold a candle to…

1.) Superman

While the whole “Goku vs Superman” thing is still going strong despite overwhelming evidence the odds are hopelessly against Goku, a new fanboy/fangirl and geek-culture kerfuffle riding shotgun to that is Saitama vs Superman and it’s every been as asinine. Not helped by the fact Superman has been in a bit of a rut on a cultural level whereas OPM is at the height of its’ popularity, meaning that the latter is going to win pretty much every popularity contest by default and thus fuel the fanboy fire on both sides. For whatever reason, anime fans seem to have a big hate-boner for Superman that they just can’t rub off.

So, to each and everyone reading this who think Saitama can beat Superman.

No. No he can’t. Oh sure, Caped Baldy is going to make the Man of Steel work for his victory, but fact of the matter is that anything Saitama can do, Superman can do better. Has done better, in fact. Again, I’m not knocking Saitama or trying to discredit his feats. We’ve seen Saitama destroy a meteor as big as a mountain, crush kaiju-sized monsters and machines, survive being punched to the Moon, and parted a mass of clouds as big as a continent with one punch. All very impressive feats that nobody in his league is going to top any time soon.

And that’s just it. Superman isn’t in Saitama’s league; he’s up, up, and a WAY above it. His feats of strength, speed, and durability put those of Saitama to shame. Seriously, the differences between Saitama and Superman is like the difference between a high school track star and Usain Bolt. Superman has held a black hole, spent a week straight bench-pressing the weight of the planet and only broke a single sweat while out of direct sunlight, cleared 20 light years worth of distance (each single light year consisting of trillions of miles) in a matter of minutes, can survive in space, survived being tossed from orbit to Earth with such force that his impact devastated the planet and caused nuclear winter, flew through a red sun, survived multiple supernovas including one that made Kepler’s Supernova (the only supernova that could be seen from Earth by the naked human eye despite being 25 THOUSAND light years away) look like a sparkler, tanked a Source Wall explosion (basically the Big Bang,) split a moon in half, atomized a planet in a single punch, vaporized another with his heat vision, fought demons in Valhalla alongside Wonder Woman and Thor for a thousand years (yes, I know, this is starting to sound like a story the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From the Future would tell, but bear with me,) lifted both eternity personified and a book of infinite pages, was sandwitched between two colliding planets, and bested the likes of Samson, Atlas, Hercules, and even Zeus himself in strength and power. Superman has a genius-level intellect with a super brain that can process information thousands of times faster than normal humans, having read the entire contents of the Library of Congress within an hour. He’s only just SLIGHTLY slower than the Flash in terms of speed and agility.

And that’s not even the craziest thing.

One day, the forces of nature themselves, Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind personified, decided that they didn’t like humans anymore and sought to exterminate them and every other living thing with hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes, and erupting every volcano on the planet, taunting the Man of Steel that not even he could save the human race from such a calamity. Superman threatened that if they did that, he’d vaporize the ocean, burn every plant, freeze the Earth’s core, and finally destroy the Earth utterly and completely so that there wouldn’t be an Earth for nature to rule…and Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind folded.

No, I’m not making that up. Nature was going to destroy the human race and Superman told them to fuck off…and Nature fucked off! Look it up, I’m not kidding! And all that stuff I described? None of it was pre-Crisis. Pre-Crisis/Silver Age Superman would beat Saitama even faster. Not only was he strong enough to effortlessly carry a bunch of planets daisy-chained together, wipe out whole galaxies with a sneeze, blow out the sun like you and me would blow out a candle, travel through time by flying backwards (fucking really) and could make up brand new super powers right on the fly.

A battle between Saitama and Superman would be an epic spectacle without question, but in the end Superman would come out on top. Not only do his feats and accomplishments fly circles around that of Saitama, but even if the “Saitama beats everyone because he’s unbeatable” thing did apply and he truly was impossible to defeat…well, that’s what Superman is all about. He makes the impossible possible. He’s as strong as he needs to be. Superman isn’t meant to lose. Why? Because his story isn’t about being the best, being a hero for fun or profit, or even about whether or not he’ll win or lose a fight. Superman’s story is that he’ll always do the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t the easy thing, the smart thing, or the popular thing. If doing the right thing means taking on a caped bald guy looking for kicks causing untold amounts property damage because of his reckless if well-intended behavior and then putting him in his place, then Superman will do just that.

One more thing. To all of you arguing “Well Saitama is a parody, so he wins because of that!” Again, he’s not a parody, but even if he was the whole “Well he’s a parody” is exactly why Superman would win. Think about it. Who do you think would win in a fight?

The walking punchline…

Originally posted by wrestlingsmarkmatty

…or the real deal?

Originally posted by w-r-e-s-t-l-i-n-g

So that’s my list. Again, not taking anything away from Saitama, I love OPM to pieces, but this whole “He beats everyone ever” is like telling a Chuck Norris joke without even the barest hint of irony. It does nobody any favors, it pisses people off, and it makes the entire OPM fandom look like assholes. Other than that, what did you think of my list? Anyone else you think can take on Caped Baldy? Let me know.

10

New Comic Book Day! My Pull List this week.

  • ‘Monstress’ #10 (Image Comics)
  • 'Descender’ #19 (Image Comics)
  • ‘Rat Queens’ Web Comics (Image Comics)
  • 'Serenity: No Power In The Verse’ #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
  • 'Pathfinder: Worldscape’ #5 (Dynamite Comics)
  • ‘Clean Room’ #16 (Vertigo Comics)
  • 'The Hellblazer’ #7 (DC Comics)
A Brief History of Superhero Comics

Golden Age Comics Creator: I created a hero who can fly!

Silver Age Comics Creator: I created a hero who can fly who has real life problems and personal flaws. Oh and there’s  also a talking gorilla! Excelsior! 

70s Comics Creator: I’m going to take an established character, give him a diverse supporting cast and deal with real world issues.  Oh and there’s also kung-fu magic werewolves.

80s Comics Creator: I’m going to take an established character and deconstruct genre tropes while taking a nuanced exploration of dark, sometimes disturbing issues.

90s Comics Creator: Duuuuuude! I made a guy with a robot arm and a giant gun and he’s going to talk about how dark and tortured he is while punching people.  Oh and there’s going to be 8 number one chrome covered holographic foil chocolate dipped covers.  We are going to be so rich!

2000s Comics Creator: All previously established characters are mine to destroy just to show how edgy and groundbreaking my work is.  Any B and C list characters you like are now cannon fodder to be killed and dismembered in gruesome fashion.  The A-list characters will undergo a never-ending cavalcade of suffering until the point they are unlikable psychopaths.  Oh and if you complain about it we’ll just reboot continuity to make things even darker. 

2010s Comics Creator: I made a hero who can fly that’s also a black gay teenager!