Monday Morning Commute: spacetime fabric softener

Let me tell you a story that my superiors at the Time Guild wouldn’t want you to know.

A couple of days ago, I decided that I wanted to travel to the year 195,000 BCE. Since it was the weekend, I had to use my personal time-machine, which I actually prefer to the stodgy contraption they allot me at the office. However, without the Guild’s temporal disinhibitor-ray, it was up to me to craft a suitable concoction. So after filling my gut with three liters of Pepsi Max, taking a shot of bourbon, and huffing paint thinner for the better part of an hour, I stumbled into my broom closet and passed out.

There you have it – my secret recipe for spacetime fabric softener.

Anyways, when I came to I was in the dense jungles of prehistory. Looking skyward, I saw a pterodactyl soaring majestically. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I looked to the ocean just in time to catch a glance of a megalodon snapping a leviathan in half before submerging once again. And on the path before me, two cavemen bros riding their steeds, a saber-toothed tiger and a mastodon, respectively.

The caveman on the saber-toothed tiger was the first to see me, and he quickly pointed me out to his buddy. “Daniel, check it out! It’s another one of those dudes from Beyond the Wheel.” He waved to me invitingly, “C’mon over, man!”

I was nervous, but I obliged.

The other caveman hopped off his mastodon and shook my hand. “Hey there! My name’s Daniel and this is my friend Hollis. Who might you be, Beyonder?”

“Pleasure to meet you, Daniel and Hollis. My name is Rendar Frankenstein and I’m from the year 2012. Well, actually, I’m originally from 1986 but I’ve caught up to 2012, and I guess that’s when I’m not shifting all over. I’ve been to a lot of points in the 20th century, and hell, I’ve even gone back Plato’s cave and the Garden of Eden and beyond that. You guys ever see 2001?”

Blank stares.

I laughed. “My bad! Anyways, what’re ya’ll up to?”

With a pat on my back, Hollis clued me in. “We’re actually about to meet back up with the tribe and raid a T-Rex nest. With those things on your feet,” he pointed to my hi-tops, “you could really help us out. You want in?”

Long story short – dinosaurs were murdered, the caveman tribe was victorious, and I got to start off today by having a prehistoric omelet.

Just don’t tell my superiors at the Time Guild. I need this job, and they’re lookin’ for a reason to can me.


Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! I’m going to list off the various ways I’ll be salvaging my (dwindling) sanity during the workweek. It’s then your duty to hit up the comments section and share your own recipe for mental-refuge. C’mon, ain’t this the whole point of an Internet community?

Let’s stab this dino in the heart with a fuckin’ bone-shard dagger!


Lovin’ the Return of/BATMAN INCORPORATED

When DC announced that there was going to be a New 52, I immediately began searching to see which of my favorite titles were on the chopping block. To my dismay, it initially appeared that Batman Incorporated was going to get the axe. From the company’s standpoint, it made sense – why keep a title about franchising the Batman legacy when the whole point of a retcon is to streamline continuity? Moreover, one of the coolest parts about the title was the fact that Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne were both donning the cowl, and with Nightwing’s return that dynamic would be out the window.

And still, I lusted for it.

Grant Morrison’s kooky-ass tales of multiple Bat-people, as illustrated by the likes of Cameron Stewart and Yanick Paquette and Frazier Irving, are just too good to give up! So when the relaunched Batman, Inc. was released last week, I was sure to snag a copy. But then it sat on my comics stack, my expectations telling me to be careful of what dwells within the paneled pages. But alas! I finally worked up the courage to give it a read.

My reaction? Thank the Maker it’s back!

Grant Morrison has brought us right back into the world he created before, with Bruce and Damien working together as the dynamic duo and an army of Batmen lurking in the wings to provide support. We’ve still got the ominous threat of Leviathan, and we’ve also got a new villain named Goatboy (which, as a nod to Bill Hicks, only gets more points from me). On top of this, we’ve also got tremendous art from Chris Burnham, who seems to pay homage to Frank Quitely’s cartoon sensibilities while still reveling in detail and grit and horror.

This comic is the most fun I’ve had with Batman in a long while.



The end of this week brings the arrival of June, a month whose comics releases I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about. See, June is when DC is going to drop the first issues of BEFORE WATCHMEN, a seven-series event that chronicles happenings occurring before the masterpiece that is WATCHMEN. The dilemma? Well, Alan Moore still doesn’t own the rights to the original series and has publicly spoken against the creation of any subsequent iterations. With that being said, you’d think I’d be absolutely opposed to these books.

After all, I’m no fan of monkeying around with masterpieces.

But I’d be liar to say that I’m not curious as hell about these prequels. I mean, look at a sample of some of the creators that’ve signed on – Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke, Lee Bermejo, JG Jones, Kuberts Andy and Joe, and so on! Hell, the mighty Paul Pope has even agreed to do a variant cover and donate all profits to the Hero Initiative.


I really need to know everyone’s thoughts on this event. Should we all protest, showing the industry that Alan Moore’s wishes and rights as a creator need to be respected? Or should we read these books, which may very well be the involved creators’ childhood dreams come true? Where do you stand on BEFORE WATCHMEN?


Checkin’ Out/Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO Movie)

Ernest Hemingway has changed my life in too many ways to list here. Riding in the ambulance of A Farewell to Arms while I was falling in love. Dodging Death in the Afternoon‘s bulls right after nearly losing my life. Getting lost with the generation in A Moveable Feast while trying to find myself.

I owe a great debt to America’s favorite misogynist-drunk.

So it is with this admiration that I am going to sit down and watch HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn. While I’m certainly interested in learning about the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, and even more intrigued by their involvement in the Spanish Civil War, I find myself focusing on what isn’t appealing about this movie.

Nicole Kidman. Lars Ulrich. Clive Owen as Papa.

Nevertheless, I’m going to check out this flick. And although I doubt it’ll touch previous depictions of Hemingway, it may just be solid enough.


So that’s my week – Batman and sacrilegious prequels and Hemingway.

What’s your week lookin’ like?