As I recently re-read my collection of Planetary, also known as One of the Best Damned Comic Books Ever!, I saved for last the great Planetary/Batman crossover: Night on Earth. Actually, I didn’t really save it for last. I read it first and then read it again after I’d read the others.
Because it’s awesome, that’s why.
Because Jakita Wagner meets Batman (finally!) and she says (not word for word, but kind of paraphrase-y): “Sometimes beating a man dressed in a bat fetish costume is the only thing keeping me sane.”
God bless you, Jakita Wagner, the world would be a better place if more people would just admit that.
Also, because it’s a multiverse tale, you get to enjoy not just one, not just two, but several (shut up, math is hard) Batmans! Batmen? From the classic Bob Kane vision to Adam West as Batman to Frank Miller to a whole bunch of Batmen (Batmans?) I don’t even recognize, you’ve got a Batman for every discerning taste.
Also, Elijah Snow is there, and Elijah Snow makes everything awesome.
So, you should read Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth.
Especially if you’re everyone.
What with all the mutants out there, it’s hard to tell which one you’re dating. It could be anyone, really. But it’s probably Wolverine, because, man, does that guy get around.
But how can you be certain to a passably certain extent?
By checking out this handy-dandy guide, that’s how.
1. Is your boyfriend short and hairy?
But not too short and hairy.
2. Does he sometimes look like Hugh Jackman?
Who doesn’t want to date the Hugh Jackman Wolverine?
3. Does he still carry a torch for his old girlfriend?
Except she wasn’t really his girlfriend because she was engaged to this other guy, and then she died, and then she came back and … it’s complicated, okay?
4. Does he suffer from amnesia?
Not anterograde amnesia though. Just regular old retrograde amnesia?
5. Sometimes, when he’s alone in the bathroom, do you hear a sound like “Snikt”?
“What’s that, honey?” “Nothing! Leave me alone!”
6. Does he have a mutant healing power?
Also, he doesn’t age, like Elijah Snow, except less awesome?
7. How ’bout an adamantium skeleton? Has he got one of those?
“Dammit, I told the airport security already that I’ve emptied everything out of my pockets.”
8. Does he sometimes talk about his old girlfriend, the weather goddess chick?
Wolverine dated Storm, right?
9. When he goes places, like other comic book titles, does it automatically make them sell better?
Everybody loves Wolverine.
10. Last but not least, does he suffer a fatal weakness in battles against Magneto?
Unless it’s one of those times when adamantium is a magical metal that Magneto can’t affect?
Ever since I mentioned it in my last Holmes face-off, I’ve been wondering how the genius detective would fare against the genius mystery archeologist. So I’ve decided to go ahead and have two of my favorite fictional characters ever in the whole world meet in battle. And by battle, I mean, you know, a list of things that I like about them.
At any rate: Sherlock Holmes! Versus! Elijah Snow!
Oh, God, how can I ever choose?
Physicality. Sherlock Holmes is a tall, gangly and somewhat homely fellow, except when he’s played by the dashing Robert Downing Jr. and the exceedingly beautiful Benedict Cumberbatch. Elijah Snow is a white fox who looks hella good in a white suit. Winner? *sob* I just … I just can’t … They’re both so … it’s a tie.
Has superpowers? Elijah Snow has the superpower of heat subtraction, which is basically the ability to make things colder than a witch’s tit after she’s been sunbathing nude in February. Sherlock Holmes has the superpower of being smarter than you. I’m not sure that’s a real superpower. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Was trained by a genius detective? Hey, you know who was trained by a genius detective? Elijah Snow. Elijah Snow was trained by a genius detective. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Is the genius detective who did said training? Hey, you know who was the genius detective who trained Elijah Snow? Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is that genius detective. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Thus it is implied that someone perhaps didn’t need any training to become a genius detective? That’s not actually a question. Shut up. You shut up. Maybe we should all shut up. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Is more than a century old? Elijah Snow is more than a century old, and he looks really good for his age too.
Stars in stories that transcend the ages? Sherlock Holmes the character is more than a century old too! Also, he will never die. Like Santa Claus! (What? It’s almost Christmas.) Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Looks good in a white suit? Right now, I would like to put it out into the world that someone should dress Benedict Cumberbatch in a white suit for an episode of Sherlock. Until then, our winner is the always-stylish Elijah Snow.
Can work a deerstalker cap like no one’s business? I don’t care if the deerstalker cap wasn’t originally canon, people can’t think of Holmes without thinking of deerstalker caps, even if they don’t know that they’re called deerstalker caps. Kind of like I didn’t know Trilby hats were called Trilby hats until this fall. I know! I went so much of my life without knowing that! Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a better sidekick? Elijah Snow actually has two sidekicks: the beautiful and deadly Jakita Wagner and The Drummer, who is crazy and can communicate with electronics and stuff. I love those guys! But Sherlock Holmes has Watson. Watson is Watson! It’s just … I can’t … don’t make me! Winner? A tie.
Has traversed the multiverse? I said it that way so it rhymed. Elijah Snow has gone to a couple of alternate earths, which is way more traversing of the multiverse than the rest of us have gotten around to, so it counts. Sherlock Holmes lives in fictional 1800s London, which, yeah, doesn’t have magic spaceships or whatever yet. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Oh, yeah, but who’s done more traveling by hansom cab? When I was but a wee little lass reading Sherlock Holmes stories, I always thought he and Watson were traveling in attractive cabs. Ha, ha, I was really stupid. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
So it’s totally a tie. So it is.
Are you planning to do anything about that? Well, I … GAH! Why am I putting myself through this? I love these guys sooooo much! How could I choose? How could I possibly ever???
Sooooo, no tiebreaker then? *sniff*
Are you just going to keep crying? Maybe.
*Sigh*. No. No, I’m fine. Let’s go on, then. Let’s do this.
Let’s. The tie-breaking, heartbreaking final absolutely last question: Who currently stars on a show airing on the BBC? Wow, that seems really biased. Kind of like, maybe deep down, I always wanted Sherlock Holmes to take this thing. Winner? Sherlock “The Undefeatable” Holmes.
Overall winner? Sherlock Holmes, mostly because he is my all-time favorite fictional character in the whole world ever, and partially because it’s winter now so things that make me colder are pissing me off.
At the request of the lovely jennibennyfan, I now present this fictional character battle between Sherlock Holmes, the best fictional detective EVAH and Sheldon Cooper, a guy on a show I have never watched.
Prepare for the lopsidedness!
Physicality. Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper are both tall and thin. However, Benedict Cumberbatch is ever so attractive. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Is on a sitcom? Sheldon Cooper is a character on the Big Bang Theory, which is a sitcom! Sherlock Holmes is not currently on a sitcom, although who knows what the future may hold. Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Has a girlfriend? You know who doesn’t have a girlfriend, Guy Ritchie? Sherlock Holmes doesn’t, hasn’t and NEVER WILL. Sheldon Cooper is, I guess, kind of dating Blossom maybe, but I don’t know. Still, that’s closer than never dating Irene Adler, you stupidheads. Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Suffers from a mental illness? Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper both display slightly autistic/OCD/sociopathic traits. So, yeah, they probably both mad as hatters. Winners? It’s a tie.
Is the best fictional detective of our, or any, generation? As I previously mentioned, Sherlock Holmes is the best fictional detective EVAH! Sheldon Cooper is some kind of genius scientist. Even if he turned to solving crimes, Sherlock Holmes is my favorite forever. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a undying bond of loyalty with one special person? Sheldon Cooper’s best friend is Darlene’s boyfriend from Roseanne. (As an aside, I was so relieved when I figured that out, because I kept seeing ads for Big Bang Theory and being all I know I recognize the curly-haired guy, but who is he? Oh, right, it’s whatsisname! Yeah, good ol’ whatsisname.) They are roommates who share a (decidedly small) circle of friends. You know who else is roommates? Sherlock Holmes and his bestie John Watson is roommates. They don’t share a circle of friends, because Sherlock Holmes only needs one friend and that is Watson. If he would ever like a second friend, I would like to put in a nomination for it to be me. I wouldn’t bring much to the table, except for food. Which two struggling bachelors would need. Call me, guys! Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Fights evil on a regular basis? If Sherlock Holmes wasn’t busy fighting evil, he would probably be evil. So I guess fictional London can be grateful for that. Sheldon Cooper is a genius scientist, who maybe fights evil electrons, but I’m not sure there really is such a thing. Also, he stalked Stan Lee. That’s just awful. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a weakness for his mum? I say mum to make it sound more British, but really, Sherlock Holmes hardly ever mentions his family, except for Mycroft, and only when he absolutely has to. So if he’s close with his mother, nobody knows it. On the other hand, Sheldon’s mother has been described as his Kryptonite. Which makes it sound like she is totally his weakness, don’t you think? Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Has a deadly adversary? Sheldon Cooper has a long list of enemies, much like myself, but no one’s actively tried to murderize him yet, so … he’s cool, I guess. Sherlock Holmes has made enemies of most of fictional London’s fictional evildoers, including Moriarty and that guy with great aim, whose name escapes me right now. Anyway, people are always trying to kill the hell out of Sherlock Holmes. But never succeeding because he is the best. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Better fashion sense? Sheldon Cooper dresses like a wanker. There. I said it. Sherlock Holmes, on the BBC’s Sherlock, dresses quite snazzily and I wish he would come give clothing lessons to all the men I know. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
This has gone on longer than I expected. I hope you’re happy, jennibennyfan.
Overall winner? In a completely unsurprising non-upset, Sherlock Holmes takes yet another fictional character battle.
Dear future boyfriend,
First off, I just want to say that you are such a catch! I mean, here you are: a guy who puts up with me! I am so lucky to have you, future boyfriend, and I just want you to know that. I love your (insert adjective here) and the way you (verb). (Note to self: add descriptors once you actually meet future boyfriend.)
But there’s a few things you need to know, and I have incorporated them here into this handy list. It’s a list of things that I will always love more than you.
1. Elijah Snow. No matter how awesome you are, future boyfriend, unless you were trained in the art of detecting at the knee of the best fictional detective ever (Sherlock Holmes), you cannot compare to Elijah Snow.
Ooooh, and also, you would have to never, ever age, and have the power to freeze stuff and then shatter the hell out of it.
2. Speaking of the best fictional detective ever: Sherlock Holmes. It’s true, future boyfriend, that there are not many things in this world that I love more than Sherlock Holmes, and I would have to include you on the list (of things that I do not).
3. Chuck. That show is so cute and I love it (more than you). I hope, if there is a fifth season, it doesn’t suck as bad as the fifth seasons of other shows I used to love, House, I’m looking at you.
4. Eric Elbogen. Unless future boyfriend and Eric Elbogen are one in the same (pardon me while I laugh at my audacity!), there is just no measuring up to a guy who has written a song about playing Ms. Pac-man.
5. Lone Wolf and Cub. No, future boyfriend, you will never be as awesome as one of the best manga series ever, and I hope you don’t mind if I ask to be alone while I read my copies.
6. Spike Spiegel. I shouldn’t have to explain why Spike Spiegel is more awesome than you, should I? Fine: he’s tall, thin, tragic yet always has a snappy comeback, and practices jeet kune do. Also, he has a spaceship and is a bounty hunter. In space. He’s a bounty hunter in space.
7. Cowboy Bebop. Spike Spiegel is a character in the best anime ever, and I will always, always love that anime more than you.
8. “Roslin and Adama.” Bear McCreary wrote one of the world’s most beautiful pieces of music for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and I just can’t imagine that you could possibly make me feel the way it does.
9. Bulkogi. Man, bulkogi is good. I wish we had a decent Korean joint around here.
10. Japan. Japan is crazy and awesome. You, future boyfriend, might be crazy and awesome too, but are you the birthplace of the ninja? No. No, you are not.
Today, I launch a new category on this site, wherein I propose to fictional characters. Yes, I know they’re just make-believe. I love them anyway. No, mom, it’s not my love of fictional characters that keeps me from meaningful relationships, it’s my crippling commitment issues.
Moving right along, let’s start off with a fictional character I’ve already proposed marriage to a couple of times on Hollywood Hates Me: Planetary’s Elijah Snow.
Dear Elijah Snow,
Let’s get married.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think I would be perfect for you. Sure, you’re a character in a comic book who is over 100 years old and has superpowers and I’m a real person who is not that old and my only superpower is being snarky, but just hear me out.
We would be perfect together.
Your power is to make things cold? I’m always cold!
You’re a two-dimensional figure? Coincidentally enough, I am also very two-dimensional! (It’s kind of a joke. Work with me here, Elijah Snow.)
You’re 110 years old, but you look quite a bit younger? I totally have a thing for older men! (I also have a thing for younger men, but that’s got naught to do with you, Elijah Snow!)
In addition, you’re fighting to save the world from evil and you also keep archives of your doings! Hey! I love to write. I could totally come along with you on your adventures and write things down. Please protect me from the crossfire, Elijah Snow. You wouldn’t want your lovely bride to die tragically. Or, ooooh! Maybe you do. Maybe I could die tragically as you hold me in your arms and cry, “NOOOOOOOOO!” Except I don’t think you would actually do that, unless Warren Ellis gives the rights to Planetary to a lesser writer.
Also, I think me and Jakita Wagner would get along like a house on fire. That’s a thing old people say, right? “Get along like a house on fire”? Should I stop emphasizing your age here? Is that kind of ruining my argument for our future bliss?
Because I think we could be very happy together. Even if you’re one of the evil incarnations from an alternate universe where you’ve killed Superman. ‘Cause you know what, Elijah Snow? I’ve never really liked Superman. So it’s okay! Let’s get married!
I forgot to mention I enjoy baking. And since I would be married to one of the richest men in the world, I wouldn’t have to work (except for when I follow you on your adventures and write stuff down about it, stuff like, OMG, my sexy silver fox husband was soooo awesome when he saved the world today, and Jakita Wagner’s hair was totally cute!) and I would bake all the time.
I assume, since you’re a superhero and drawn on paper to boot, that dieting isn’t an issue.
And we could have a white wedding! Your hair, my gown, snow! It would be perfect.
Please marry me, Elijah Snow. We would be perfect together.
As a child, I played a game called “Superheroes” a lot. Basically, it involved my brother and I running around and hitting each other and saying, “No, I have lightning powers” or “No, I can phase through walls.”
The basic rule was: we weren’t supposed to have the same superpower as anybody else playing. This became problematic when our friends came over, because all the good powers got used up pretty fast. (Another rule was: you can’t be Superman, because that’s major unfair.)
Here’s some lame powers that if Stan Lee came up and was like, “Hey! Superpowers! You want some?”, I would have to be all: “No thank you, Mr. Stan Lee, a god among men, sir.”
1. Mind-reading. Sure, every X-man who can read your mind also has some telekinetic abilities as well, but before Jean Grey went all Dark Phoenix on our asses, she could do what? Bend spoons? And, if you’re the unfortunate X-man who can do naught but mind-read, you’re going to know the rest of your more ass-kicking teammates are thinking about how incredibly lame you are, and possibly how those pants emphasize your fat ass.
2. Time travel. There’s nothing wrong with traveling in time. In theory. But you put it into practice and what have you got? Hiro from Heroes, that’s what you’ve got! Always traveling to the past to try to fix things and making them lamer. Also traveling to the future to try to fix things and making them lamer. He might as well just stay in the present and be satisfied making it lame. Or start using his samurai sword! Jeez! Wait, what was my point here? Oh, yeah, my point was this: What good does it do you to be able to travel in time if you can’t do anything useful once you get to where you’re going, like fire laser beams from your eyes or something?
3. Invulnerability. Now, everybody wants to be Wolverine when they grow up. I mean, how cool is that? You’re a short Canadian with some supra-nasty hair, but the hot chicks still dig you, am I right, Storm and Jean Grey? Plus you’ve got the whole snikt! factor going. What could be better??! Errr, can you ever, you know, die? Wolverine’s been beat up pretty good and probably laying there with his legs in one pile and his torso in another and wishing for death, but he knows eventually, he’s going to have to drag his tattered remains back over to those legs and try to hook together. Plus, he’s lost everyone he ever loved because he is an unaging, undying freak. Thank god for that amnesia, or he’d be the mopiest X-man ever.
4. Whatever that power is that Dazzler has. Look, I don’t care how pretty the sparkly lights are that you make with your synth-crap music, if your superpower requires your supermoniker to be “Dazzler,” you have been saddled with the lamest power of all.
5. Having giant wings. Sure, you can fly like the birds and all, but where the hell do you store those things? Also, are you any good in a fight now that you have ginormous wings? No, you are not. In fact, you’re a big, fat, winged target for the other supers with far, far superior superpowers. Frak you, giant wings.
6. Turning your body into ice. I’ve already given Iceman a hard time for this, and, really, kid should take a lesson from the far superior Elijah Snow on how to use his powers, but why, why, WHY would you want to turn your body into ice? It’s like, hey! What’s more breakable than the human body? Ooooh, ice! I know, I’ll turn into that!
7. X-ray vision. This power would be all right when combined with several other powers, such as super-strength to punch the hell out of the wall you just x-ray visioned through or the power of super-thievery, but on its own? Ooooh, I can see through stuff. Ooooh. (The “Oooohs” are sarcastic.)
8. Shrinking. Batman never said, “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, so I shall shrink down to actual bat-size to fight them.” You know why he never said that? ‘Cause that’s stupid. Ant-man, Atom-man and the rest of you, sure you can get into places that the rest of your super-powered friends can’t, but those places aren’t very awesome anyway, plus, now a rat can kick your ass. So lame.
9. Invisibility. First off, you’ve got the whole “scientifically speaking, you’d actually be blind while you’re invisible,” but what does science have to do with superpowers? Nothing. So, anyway, you’re invisible. Now what? Are you stronger? Faster? Shooting laser beams from your eyes?? No? In fact, you’re more likely to get hit by friendly fire now that your teammates can’t see you? How useful! I mean, c’mon, they didn’t give Sue Storm the ability to make force fields somehow because being invisible is so awesome.
10. Being Aqua-man. Hey! Guys! Wanna fight me?! Come get me! Yeah! Come in the water! Where the sea creatures do my bidding! Come on! What are you, chicken? You’re chicken, aren’t you? You know, we call dolphins the “chicken of the sea”! Or is that tuna? Anyway, c’mon! Let’s go! Just hop in the water! We’ll fight! I’ll whomp you good! Just hop in the water! Hey! No! Stop walking away! Stop! Walking! Away!
Which I was, in that last post, because — squee! — issue 27!
In honor of my favorite Waren Ellis work (it’s tied with Global Frequency, but I’m not a fan of Transmetropolitan, and I await my hate-mail … now), we (and I mean I) shall now have a character-off between the two greatest icemen of our time. (Hint: One of them is Iceman.)
Thus begins the epic battle between Elijah Snow and that kid from the X-Men.
Name memorability: Clearly, this one goes to Elijah Snow, because what the hell is that kid’s name anyway?
Immortality? Once again, Elijah is the clear winner, as he is a “Century Baby,” one of a variety of folks born on Jan. 1, 1900, who show no signs of dying any time soon (ignore Jenny Sparks‘ fate, please). Iceman’s a mutant, but X-Men are as mortal as the rest of us. Except for some of them, because immortality is probably their mutant ability. Not Iceman, though. Mortal.
General bad-assedness: Elijah, Elijah, he’s our man! If he can’t do it, he’ll probably just freeze your urine stream and threaten to snap your penis off! (What? You think all these categories are just gimmes for Elijah Snow? Fine. We’ll give a kid a break.)
Dated Rogue? At least in the movies and Ultimate X-Men, Iceman has dated Rogue. Elijah lives in an alternate DC-style universe, so there’s no such person. The winner? Iceman.
World-saving abilities? Look, they’re both superheroes, but at the end of the day, only Elijah Snow has been saving the world since the 1900s. Iceman is an X-Man and, thus, whines a lot. Winner? Our boy Elijah Snow.
Physicality? Here my weakness for young boys goes up against my weakness for white (dammit Google, stop giving me links to actual Artic foxes, you jerk!) foxes (stupid Urban Dictionary, it can be men too!). Well, since I’ve already demonstrated a clear bias for Elijah Snow, we’ll give the win to him here as well. Brains are sexy.
Overall winner? Elijah Snow, obviously, because he is a godlike being of supreme power and possibly the best superhero ever, and Iceman is a whiny X-Man who whines and doesn’t utilize his powers to his full potential. I love you, Elijah Snow.
In related news, the 27th issue of Planetary is coming out in October. I. Am. So. Bleeding. Happy.