In this issue: Stephen’s on a zombie kick (again), plus there appears to be some controversy surrounding DC Comics and sex in comics.


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  1. Great great show – and as we all know “Sex sells”.
    No way you guys would have used half an episode on these two book if not for the sex. Some editor is cheering in triumph!

    I think that zombies smelling out its victim is most plausible. The receptors for smell is so closely assosiated with the brain that they wouldn’t go before the rest of the brain is gone. Sound and “tremorsence” is my close second and third.

  2. I always felt zombies still had all of their senses, they were simply . . . um, deaden. In comparison, we the living, would become supermen. Super sight. Super hearing. Super touch.

    The late great Douglas Adams wrote in his “Last Chance to See” (highly recommend it, especially as an audiobook since it is read by the author) about how white rhinos’ primary sense is smell, but have poor eyesight. Seeing something is a clue for them to sniff it out. Adams compares the rhinos’ primary sense to our primary sense of sight. If we smell smoke, it is a clue we use to go look for the cause.

    Zombies no longer have any primary senses, ANY smell, sight, touch, etc. is a clue for them to investigate.

  3. I was on the bbc’s iplayer website and found a cool new show about a rising dead appoccalypse (yeah i bet i spelt that wrong) it really hooked me you should check it out its called “the fades”. ghosts linger and become bitter, but now they’re evolving to be able to come after the living. really well made for a small british tv show!

    • the BBC also made a great Zombie MiniSeries based on the set of the Big Brother house (I know), Imagine a safe compound, wired for with cameras and with semi-famous people inside (this concept was also explored in a chapter of World War Z, to great effect.)

  4. Keep in mind that in the High School of the Dead universe, the president of the USA got infected aboard Air Force 1, so when the Curtis Wilbur gets overrun by zombies I didn’t have a hard time believing it. Incubation time is around an hour or 30 minutes.

    On the sound thing, in the manga it’s explained that it’s their footsteps they follow, the zombies shuffle around the humans walk/run and make a different sound.

    Also do not forget this, the author of this is better known for his adult mangas, do not expect high quality plotlines here…

  5. Have to take issue with the idea that the original Starfire was portrayed as a “hoochie mama” or something. The characterization was that she came from a culture where sex with someone you love was considered de rigueur. She called Nightwing, “lover” (something that was considered somewhat salacious at the time).

    But she never shown as jumping the bones of any random person whenever the urge struck her. I could be wrong on this, because it’s been some time, but I believe the only person she’s ever been intimate with in comics before this was Richard Grayson. When the world exploded over the image of Nightwing and Starfire French-kissing in a hot tub, I never had a problem. Sure, it was intended to sell books, and had no real need to be there, but it fit the characters. Whatever.

    The issue isn’t the sex. The issue is that, whoever this character is (because it’s a new universe, and she sure as hell doesn’t act like any version of Starfire I’ve seen before), she seems to exist solely to act as the two-dimensional stand-in for a woman from an adolescent sex dream. She says nothing to brook argument, she shows no dissension or personality of her own and will “get it on” at the drop of a hat…or any other item of clothing.

    As a character, she’s uninteresting unless she’s being used in some way that’s not going to be apparent until a few issues from now. But the thing is that I don’t care enough to stick around and find out.

  6. I never want to hear another comic book fan complain about the inability to get women and younger readers interested in comics.

    Set the scene:

    A comic book shop, with Teen Titans cartoon Starfire signing comics. The fans are all teenage girls, median age 13 or 14. They’re happy and cheerful and chattering with Starfire about how much they love her show and how excited they are for her new comic. She’s smiling, they’re smiling, everyone’s having a good time and becoming close friends.

    Entrance: COMIC BOOK GUY! “What’s this?” he cries! “That’s not MY Starfire! I’ll fix her with my trusty Adulterator!” So saying, he hefts a ray gun attached to a backpack covered in dials and tubes filled with bubbling liquids.

    “What, No!” the children yell as Starfire is engulfed in green radiation. “She’s been Adulterated!”

    As the glow fades, Starfire is transformed. She’s aged about 7 years, grown to an enormous bra size, shed her sporty superhero outfit and replaced it with something latex purchased at a store with three X’s in its name.

    She loops one leg around Comic Book Guy as she rubs herself against him. “Do me now, stud. My crazy alien ways involve lots of commitment free sex!”

    Comic Book Guy walks out of the store, his arm around Starfire’s waist, groping her a little lower than is strictly appropriate in front of children. Looking back at the girls as they stand with their mouths agape, he sneers: “Comic books aren’t FOR little GIRLS.”

    Scene closes, the comic book store now empty. The camera pans back. A single copy of Teen Titans #1 lies dropped on the pavement outside the door, pages open, turning as dead leaves dance by in the wind. The comic book store has once again been defended from the scourge of new customers.

    I literally feel like they walked up to my friend’s kid, slapped her in the face, and stole her superhero from her. I don’t really care if Starfire was a sex fantasy first, I don’t care if she was just on loan to the children. We’re grown men, we could have let the kids have this one. Not only do they outnumber us (check viewership levels for the Teen Titans cartoon, then see how many comic book fans actually care about Starfire…), but… its not like we haven’t got enough sex symbols. We could afford to be grown ups.

    • You could buy the kids some Power Pack, comic characters that were always (or almost always) intended for a younger audience. Batman’s been aimed at a younger audience in the past, but Batman as a character in most incarnations isn’t really a kid’s comic book. There can be a Go Teen Titans! book for the younger crowd and a more true to form Starfire that’s allowed to be an adult in other books, especially in most instances that I’ve read her, I’ve always read her as an alien who’s home culture must not have been very prude or bogged down by strict guidelines on propriety. That never came off trampy to me, just that she seemed like nudity/sex/relationships/whatever were natural and weren’t that big of a deal.

      • Agreed. Looked at her the same way, pretty much.

        As far as Power Pack, they’re okay for now. Some others are Mary Marvel…um… Raven, also from the Teen Titans was good…but she did get that “tramp stamp”… Rose Wilson was a fun, if slightly dark introduction…until she stabbed herself in the eye… Jesse Quick–but not the one that slept with her mother’s boyfriend. Harley Quinn is a fun, trickster of a…um…nevermind… Sue Storm? Unless she’s drawn by John Byrne… No…wait… Supergirl? I guess that could work…as long as she’s not written by Jeph Loeb…

  7. Stephen, if you were talking about High School of the Dead about how those people on the boat and/or island had gotten infected if it took a bite to pass the zombie plague, in episode 5 (Streets of the Dead) the sniper lady kind of lays it out that someone out of either the important dignitaries, their families or the support crew there to keep it running must have been bitten when they arrived. That and later they mention that the President’s position had traveled between a lot of different people by that point, that the First Lady must’ve been bitten and on and on.

    Also, for Rodrigo, he mentioned that he read a script about a Zombie movie where the rain was the catalyst for the Zombie outbreak, and it wasn’t made. And maybe it wasn’t, but that very thing happened in Return of the Living Dead. Two guys at a medical supply warehouse accidentally open a big oil drum with a decomposed body in it and it releases a toxic gas out and into the atmosphere and as it reacts with the upper atmosphere it causes it to start downpouring some acid rain which seeps into the ground at the next door cemetery and the dead start to rise, also the two guys who got blasted with the gas start gradually changing into the undead, even going through rigor mortis while feeling everything. It’s such a phenomenal campy Zombie film. It really was great. That’s the one where the paramedics were called to the mortuary and they were eaten and a zombie gets on the radio of the Ambulance and says, “Send more cops.” Also, the old dessicated woman corpse who’s only half a body was cool, and the little person zombie was great. Campy but awesome!

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