splash-panel

It’s interesting to note that Ms. Marvel and Strong Female Protagonist’s Mega Girl, the two millennial-female buzzheroes of the moment, can both seem a bit Mary Sue-ish especially in combat.  Mega Girl is THE single most physically powerful known entity in her universe, and while her comic revolves around the insufficiencies of this power (as many other capes’ have) it’s a status that the most powerful male capes in the DC and Marvel universes rarely lay explicit claim to for fear of ruining their series’ suspense.  Ms. Marvel just seems to have plot armour and win fights with inexplicable ease; she gets “trapped” in a forcefield that doesn’t block her from reaching its own projector, by a villain who knows full well her stretching powers; she inexplicably sorta beats Loki; there was at least one unintentionally funny passage where she threw some tiny object that couldn’t conceivably hurt anybody at I don’t remember who and it lands like a punch in a big splash panel; her love-interest-turned-miniboss Kamran is a weakling who doesn’t know how to make a fist properly

I feel like this subtly removes some agency from these characters (perhaps along lines demonstrated more clearly with black buzzhero Miles Morales, whose overpowered stinger lets him win fights in one hit that otherwise give the artists an excuse to depict one-sided, pornographic abuses of his body) but I’ll leave the in-depth theorizing of this to someone who can speak more informedly on this like an actual woman hopefully, because I can’t be assed.  Instead I’ll return to the Kamran thing because I think of all these instances of Ms. Marvel enemies being nerfed, his is the only one that actually makes sense in context, and can actually tell us something important within the story.  for what appears to be a second-in-command in an underground rebellious faction of Inhumans in New Attilan, he has really conspicuously no combat skills.  why is this?  why, for that matter, does he seem to have no knowledge of his Inhuman heritage whatsoever (despite working for a guy called Lineage)?  unlike the other inhabitants of New Attilan we’ve seen, he still goes by his human name.  He dresses like an ordinary human, even in the compound.  And he clearly has no clue how to fight other Inhumans.

His utter lack of fighting technique could make sense given all he’s ever done or even been trained to do is pick on humans, taking for granted that his powers will do everything for him.  Being able to turn into energy or whatever it was probably amps your constitution enough that you don’t need to worry about your thumb being on the inside of your first provided you’re essentially punching paper.  But among other Inhumans, there have to be quite a few with constitution boosts of their own that would make this a hazard.  So what does this tell us about Lineage and his guys?  It means for all their Inhuman superiority dogma, they’re less like the Brotherhood of Mutants and more like, considering the subtext, highly Westernized second generation Muslim extremists.  It’s maybe one of the only astute bits of political commentary I’ve seen in a current-generation cape comic: these guys were radicalized by being cut off from their culture.  There’s no indication they’ve even seen much of New Attilan beyond their own hideout, which is kind of like being the devout Islamist who doesn’t go to the neighbourhood mosque because your annoying relatives are there, but spends hours watching Youtube preachers.

Unrelated, I wish I could appreciate the fact that Kamran turning out to be a bad guy is one of the first non-wish-fulfilment things to happen in this comic so far, but I’m too sick of the unspoken rule according to which the Perfect Guy is the only wish-fulfilment that seems off-limits to women in non-segregated (i.e. not “chick lit” or Twilight knockoffs) media.  Like, any time a heterosexual male appears who is the embodiment of a heterosexual female protagonist’s fantasies you can bet he is going to be Too Perfect somehow; whereas when this happens with the genders reversed,

Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Debuts with Trendy Blacked-Out Appearance

In conjunction with its sponsorship of the annual Black Entertainment Television (BET) Experience at the L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles, Nissan has unveiled a special edition of the redesigned 2016 Maxima called the SR Midnight.

Based on the Maxima SR, the sportiest version of the automaker’s new flagship sedan, the Midnight variant features Super Black exterior paint, black 19-in. aluminum wheels, and a body kit including rocker panel extensions, splash guards, rear bumper diffuser panel, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the Maxima SR Midnight is equipped with Charcoal premium leather seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara suede inserts. The price tag is $41,230, including the $825 destination charge.

An enhancement of the standard Maxima SR, the SR Midnight features a sport-tuned suspension, front performance chassis damper, and an Integrated Dynamics-control Module that equips the car with Active Trace Control, Active Engine Braking, and Active Ride Control technologies. A Drive Mode Selector provides access to Sport and Manual driving modes, and the Maxima SR Midnight features transmission paddle shifters.

Illuminating the path forward after dark, LED headlights are standard. Inside, the SR Midnight has heated and ventilated front seats, premium leather steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, aluminum pedals, and Liquid Chrome interior trim.

Nissan reports that the Maxima SR Midnight is already on sale at dealerships nationwide.

Additional Research:

B'wana Beast - Weak Are Meat, Strong Will Eat - Grant McLaughlin

Splash page (panel 2) with three inset panels (1, 3, and 4).  1 is towards the top of the page, while 3 and 4 are at the bottom.

1 - B'wana Beast looks at the sight before him in shock and horror.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (1): The strong will always prey on the weak to survive.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (2): But this…

2 - Pull back to reveal that B'wana Beast is standing in something of a clearing that is littered with the desecrated corpses of African animals of all type and variety.  It is a scene of death and destruction.  Perhaps the animals are arranged in something of a circle of death.  But perhaps the true depravity of the scene is not visible, either due to panel layout or shadow.  Up to you to decide how much to show / hide.  That said, B'wana is overwhelmed by it all, horrified by it.  The final touch should be “WEAK ARE MEAT, STRONG WILL EAT” written over and over again in blood throughout the scene.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (1): This has nothing to do with survival.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (2): This is slaughter for slaughter’s sake.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (3): A message written in the guts and viscera of stolen lives.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (4): I can’t yet grasp its meaning.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (5): But the intent is clear.

3 - Close-up of B'wana Beast’s face again.  He looks down, saddened at the sight before him.  His exact expression could (should?) be covered in shadow.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST): A darkness has descended on this land.

4 - Close-up of B'wana Beast’s fist clenched in determination.  This could also be shadowed (if not fully silhouetted).

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST): And it must be stopped.

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Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Debuts with Trendy Blacked-Out Appearance

In conjunction with its sponsorship of the annual Black Entertainment Television (BET) Experience at the L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles, Nissan has unveiled a special edition of the redesigned 2016 Maxima called the SR Midnight.

Based on the Maxima SR, the sportiest version of the automaker’s new flagship sedan, the Midnight variant features Super Black exterior paint, black 19-in. aluminum wheels, and a body kit including rocker panel extensions, splash guards, rear bumper diffuser panel, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the Maxima SR Midnight is equipped with Charcoal premium leather seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara suede inserts. The price tag is $41,230, including the $825 destination charge.

An enhancement of the standard Maxima SR, the SR Midnight features a sport-tuned suspension, front performance chassis damper, and an Integrated Dynamics-control Module that equips the car with Active Trace Control, Active Engine Braking, and Active Ride Control technologies. A Drive Mode Selector provides access to Sport and Manual driving modes, and the Maxima SR Midnight features transmission paddle shifters.

Illuminating the path forward after dark, LED headlights are standard. Inside, the SR Midnight has heated and ventilated front seats, premium leather steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, aluminum pedals, and Liquid Chrome interior trim.

Nissan reports that the Maxima SR Midnight is already on sale at dealerships nationwide.

Additional Research:

(via EC Weird Science #6 “Sinking of the Titanic!” Complete | Lot #12742 | Heritage Auctions)

EC Weird Science #6 “Sinking of the Titanic!” Complete Story Silverprint Proof Group (EC, 1951). Wally Wood handled the art chores for this EC version of that fateful night in 1912, and the time traveler who attempts to change history. This set of original 1951 Silverprint proofs includes all six story pages, with each page hand-colored by Marie Severin. Overall condition is Very Good, with penciled notations on every page, and tanning/staining on a few…