Author Archives: JR19759

What Were They Thinking?: Where’s Wally

There are some bits of comic book history that we come back to a lot on What Were They Thinking. After all, this is the place where we look at the stupidest and most ill-advised things in comic book history and these are the places that are the stupidest and have the most ill-advised things happen. And this week, we are mining that well once again. We're going back to the New 52, unanimously agreed to be "a thing that DC did that they probably shouldn't have" and that is the most positive review you are going to find for the whole 5 year debacle. We've covered the problems with the New 52 on numerous occassions before, talking about issues both specific (representation of women, specifically Starfire) and broad (the behind the scenes confusion over storylines, sales failures and poor treatment of creative staff by DC during the New 52 period). However, none of these problems were so hated, so reviled, that DC were forced to reboot their continuity again just to fix the problem. And I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. It is of course, this guy:

No, sorry, this guy:

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Caption Contest #105

Ok guys, time for another caption contest, where you have to come with the funniest replacement dialogue for a random comic panel of my choosing. This week you have to come up with the best replacement dialogue you possibly can for this panel:

Everyone can have a maximum of 3 entries, entries must be in by next Wednesday (Oct 25th) and All Entries Must Be PG-13.

What Were They Thinking?: Going At It A-Clone

When comics started out, and pretty much throughout the entire golden and silver ages of comics, each individual issue of a comic would contain self-contained stories. These storylines would always begin and conclude within the same issue, mostly because of the audience's reading habits of the time. Comics were seen as disposable, and would often be either thrown out after reading or traded between friends. You didn't need to keep hold of previous issues to understand what was happening in the latest. However, that changed in the mid 60's, with the publication of what would become known as the Galactus Triology. Whilst it wasn't the first comic to end an issue on a cliffhanger, by introducing the main villain on the last page of the first issue of the story, Marvel changed the way comics would be structured. Storytelling would expand, taking multiple issues to resolve desputes and leading to the rise of mini-series, graphic novels and, of course, crossovers. Now, there is a debate to be had over the merits of short-form vs. long-form storytelling in comics. a very good one as both have their merits and disadvantages, but today we are not here to do that. No, we are here because this is What Were They Thinking?, the place where we look at all of the stupidest and most ill-advised things in the history of comic books and our subject today is probably the best example of taking long-form storytelling in comics too far. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you The Clone Saga

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Caption Contest #104 Results

Last week I asked you guys to come up with the best possible replacement for the dialogue in this here panel:

And our Top 5 are...

William A. Peterson: Soon, this warehouse will be impregnable!

The Atomic Punk: Make breakfast for the Hulk... "It'll be fun"

Rekulhs Nathe: Behold, Mount Flapjack!

RobM: Scrooge McDuck will be so pissed

KJR1998: Hey writer, insert pancake joke here. And it better not fall flat...

It was very difficult to pick a top 5 this week, let alone find a winner, but we must have one, so I have chosen.... (dramitic pause for emphasis)....

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What Were They Thinking?: How not to do Anti-Racism

Bit of a short WWTT today, I'm a bit tight on time. But anyway, racial tension is a big thing at the moment and has been basically since Europeans started to colonise Africa. Many comics have dealt with the subject in many different ways, some good, some bad. But then you have this response from Kitty Pryde in the 80's:

FYI, I had to censor out this page myself. Marvel actually decided it was alright to use the N word in a comic. Hard R and all. Hand-claps for Marvel guys. Now, they make a decent enough point by saying that even if you don't intend to be racist you still can be, and that you shouldn't hold yourself to a double standard, getting offended by racism when you are acting racist yourself, but look at what they're actually saying here. You've got a made up insult against a made up section of society (in this case "mutie" for mutants) put on the same level as a word that has very rightfully been completely removed from polite conversation because of how racist it is. X-Men is a great platform to fight against prejudice (which is why I think it's so strange that the movies are made by the same company that makes Fox News), but come on guys, really? You chose to equate actual racism with prejudice that only exists in your fictional world. And you used a Jewish character to do it as well, that's the amazing thing. You could have made the point actually mean something, because both racism and anti-Semitism were and still are disturbingly prevelant. Those are two things that are equatable. But racism against anti-mutantism? And, let's not forget, you actually published a full on racial slur in a comic. It doesn't really even matter what the context is for the story, that's the sort of stupid thing that shouldn't even get past the planning stage without a firing taking place.

Idiots.

Caption Contest #104

Ok guys, time for another caption contest, where you have to come with the funniest replacement dialogue for a random comic panel of my choosing. This week you have to come up with the best replacement dialogue you possibly can for this panel:

Everyone can have a maximum of 3 entries, entries must be in by next Wednesday (Oct 11th) and All Entries Must Be PG-13.

Character Design Contest #339 Result

Ok, I have a bit to say about this weeks contest, specifically, our two finalists.

Now, the winner of each Inspired By Music challenge has always been the person who I felt captured the song they chose the best. Now in this contest we had a lot of entries that stuck to interpreting the lyrics of the chosen song (and in one case the music video), however only two entries, in my opinion, managed to really caputre the feeling, being Tango and Trekkie's entries. And that's not to say that neither included interpretations of the lyrics on the surface level either, Trekkie chose a song about a guy who lives off his horse, hence that's what the picture depicted and Tango's sees a ship on the horizon when the song is called sail away. However, the reason I feel these two entries captured the songs better than any other entry is the way they incorperated aspects of the musicality of their songs as well. Trekkie's song has very echoey vocals with very sparse, twangy and treble filled instrumentation underneath which fits perfectly with the open and sparse background filled with earthen colours. It captures the feeling of the song perfectly. And then in contrast, Tango's song is very heavily instrumented, with numerous layers that flow together and interweave. Starting off with just a piano and vocals, it builds each element atop the last, ebbing and flowing like a tide. This we can compare with Tango's use, or lack there of, of lines. By not using outlines on the items in his picture, he envokes the flow of the song, as their is no boarder between each element that makes up the composition. He also has an aspect of the picture for each aspect of the song. The soft beginning of the song is represented by the sky, with its soft colours and smooth colour fades between the yellow clouds and the blue sky. The more involved verse is represented by the tree, which brings a noticable change with the pink colour palette, but still retaining aspects of the softness of the sky palette with the pink of the branches and the light blue of the rock upon which the tree sits, whilst also increasing the boldness with the magenta leaves. And then the epic chorus is represented by the sea and the boat, which a much darker and deeper in colour than the rest of the picture, mirroring the role the chorus plays in the song and it builds to its crescendo. Whether or not this was all intentional, I don't know, but that is what I felt by looking at the picture and listening to the song. And that made choosing the winner for this weeks contest fairly easy. So this weeks winner is Tango for their picture based on the song "Come Sail Away" by J2 & Seth Bowser. Congratulations Tango.

What Were They Thinking?: A New (52) Origin

We've talked at length many times about DC's propensity towards rebooting their universe here on What Were They Thinking. This is because they invariably end up being terrible, misguided messes and that fits right in with our M.O of looking at the stupidest and most ill-advised things in comic book history. However, sometimes a DC reboot will throw up a nugget of gold and these tend to be new origin stories for classic characters. The first DC reboot saw new versions of classic heroes like The Flash and Green Lantern introduced and these were so successful they form the basis for DC's business to this day. The second DC reboot, the one that started the Post-Crisis era of DC continuity, saw Batman and Wonder Woman get revamped origins, giving us one of the greatest comics of all time in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One and saw the start George Perez's seminal run on the amazing Amazon. Even the New 52 had, if not a nugget of gold then at least a nice chunk of pyrite, in the form of the Justice League Origins storyline, which gave us a new take on the formation of DC's premier superteam and a new origin for Cyborg which wasn't all that bad. However, that's not to say all revamped origin stories have worked. We mentioned Hawkman when we talked about how DC keep screwing up with their reboots, but their are other examples. And today we're going to talk about one of them. This one to be exact:

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Caption Contest #103 Results

Ok guys, last week I asked you to give me the funniest replacement dialogue for this random comics panel:

And here are your top 5:

Treasure Hunter:

Whoa, look at the melons on her?
On who?
The unconscious lady under a barrel of melons.

Rekulhs Nathe:

Hipster Deadpool: Man these X-ray goggles are great.
Deadpool: You see the bad guys?
Hipster Deadpool: No, but I see Spider-Man

HerrD:

(StockingCap): He’s researching narcissistic megalomanic obsession on his laptop.
(NoStockingCap): Doesn’t he have anything more interesting to do?
(StockingCap): There’s a mention of us right next to the prez.

The Atomic Punk:

Bob: It’s Martin Campbell!
Deadpool: Who?
Bob: He directed Green Lantern…

Madison:

Oh good lord…
What now?
Furries.

But, in time honoured tradition, there can be only one. And so, our winner is....

....

........

..............................

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Character Design Challenge #339: Inspired By Music

Ok guys, for this weeks contest I'm bringing back an old favourite theme of mine. The idea is that you create a piece of art using heromachine that is inspired by a piece of music of your choosing. It can be any piece of music and any style of art but you must post both a link to your entry (as per CDC rules) and a link to the song that inspired it on either youtube or soundcloud so I can judge how well the image fits the music you have chosen. This theme has given us some of the best CDC entries in the past, so I have high hopes of you guys.

Rules for posts, contests, and challenges: Original characters only, no copyrighted characters, no characters based on copyrighted characters, no characters based on RPG’s or other games. The characters must be your own design and not based on any character that might be copyrighted in any way. Please keep all submissions PG13: full or partial nudity is prohibited. I have the right to delete any post that I believe crosses this line without warning. Only post characters that have been created solely using Hero Machine, and that you know for certain have never been entered in a contest before. If you aren’t certain, don’t enter it, because I’m not going to go back through all of the contests and check.

All entries must be in JPG or PNG form (BMPs are too big), posted to a publicly accessible website (like the HeroMachine :,ImageShackDeviantArt, or whatever - Please do not use Photobucket);

  • Entries must be made as a comment or comments to this post, containing a link directly to the image and the character name;
  • Please name your filesas [your name]-[character name].[file extension] before you upload it. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his “Bayou Belle” character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.

Please make the link go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). *

This contest will close on Sunday, October 1st at 9:00am Eastern.