Who is DC’s Queen Bee Zazzala?

There are several Queen Bee’s in the DC Universe but there’s only one Zazzala of Korll. Queen Bee was a mostly forgotten Silver Age Justice League villain until Grant Morrison brought her back in the pages of his run on JLA.

Queen Bee Zazzala
Queen Bee Justice League of America #23 | Words: Gardner Fox | Art: Mike Sekowsky

Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, her first appearance was in Justice League of America #23.  Queen Zazzala hides a machine in the core of the Earth and threatens to blow up the planet unless the League helps her acquire an elixir of immortality (blackmailing the JLA into helping was a fairly common trope in those early days of comics). They don’t have a choice, so they agree to become “drone-workers” and help the villain. The team locates the vial but before handing it over Green Lantern secretly uses his power ring so she’ll never be able to open it (this is a questionable plan).

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Why You Should Start a Comic Pull List

A comic pull list is a customer subscription system offered by most comic book retailers. The system provides readers with the assurance that a title will be available even if it sells out on the stands. Additionally, it provides the retailer with a helpful ordering gauge so they don’t end up shorthanded or get stuck with copies that might not sell. The first step to becoming a reliable regular customer at a local comic shop is to establish a pull list.

Why start a comic pull list?

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Endgame Plus Dark Phoenix Equals A Secret Wars Film

We can preserve the X-Men and Avengers Universes while still bringing all of the heroes together. The stingers for Avengers: Endgame and X-Men: Dark Phoenix should start setting up a Secret Wars film. Here’s how…

Avengers Endgame plus Dark Phoenix equals Secret Wars film

Disney has acquired Fox and with it comes the Marvel’s X-Men and all of the related properties. We don’t know when we’ll start seeing mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we do know it’s coming. This fact is cause to celebrate for fans who believe the MCU should reflect the comics. For others, (*raises hand*) there’s some hand-wringing as to what Disnification might mean for what’s become one of the more cinematically adventurous Universes under the superhero film genre. We’d be happy if the X-Men stayed in their own Universe (also, I’ll admit I’m one of the few people who would be totally fine with the Spideyverse staying with Sony).

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Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 2 (2018)

The Green Lantern issue 2 was released on December 5 and, much like the first issue, has been met with wide critical acclaim. The story is packed with nods to DC history and little nuggets suggesting a larger mystery is unfolding in the background. Once again, I’ve attempted to dive deep into the ink to puzzle out and annotate the many references Liam Sharp and Grant Morrison have packed into the issue. If something previously appeared in the deep dive for The Green Lantern #1 I’ll refer you to that post for the meat, but will add any second issue specific comments below. If something is new it’ll receive the full annotated The Green Lantern treatment.

The Green lantern issue 2 cover art

Liam Sharp’s cover The Green Lantern #2

Here are all of my Deep Dives so far:

Let’s get to it…

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Deep Dive: Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern Issue 1

Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern issue 1 hit shelves this month. The highly anticipated comic, with beautiful art and design by Liam Sharp and stunning colors by Steve Oliff, is Morisson’s first time writing Hal Jordan and diving into the rich history of the Green Lantern Corps. The writer, who’s previously tackled Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the JLA, is notorious for his encyclopedic knowledge of DC canon and how he uses that knowledge to pack obscure references into his stories. This monthly feature (over)analyzes each issue and seeks to provide context and history to the characters, places, and things. So make yourself a Hal Jordan cocktail and enjoy this annotated break down of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern issue 1.

the green lantern

Seeing as this is issue one, we first need to catch everyone up on how Hal Jordan ended up where he is at the start of The Green Lantern issue 1.

How we ended up here.

Hal Jordan’s been having a rough few years. A sacrifice was required after a series of incidents that basically turned the Universe against the Green Lantern Corps. That sacrifice was the leader of the Corps, Jordan, who made himself a fall guy to save the reputation of the Lanterns. Working under secret orders from the Guardians he stole Krona’s power gauntlet from the Corps and went on the lam. During this time, the Corps disappeared from this Universe for an assortment of complicated reasons. Jordan’s continued use of the gauntlet slowly starts to transform him into the living embodiment of Will.

green lantern krona's gauntlet

Hal Jordan becomes living Will. Green Lantern Vol. 5 Issue 52 Art: Billy Tan | Color: Alex Sinclair

In an effort to save himself, he uses the last bit of his true self to become the first non-Guardian to craft a power ring. It was a badass moment in Jordan history (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth).

He manages to find the Corps and bring them back. Their numbers are significantly reduced, so they need to rebuild. This effort is documented in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps which ends with an epic battle against the Darkstars. In order to beat the Darkstars, the Corps teams-up with unlikely allies including General Zod, Hector Hammond, and Orion of the New Gods. Phew.

After all of this Jordan is understandably exhausted and decides to head back to Earth for some “unfinished business.” Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps concludes with Jordan darkening the doorstep of Carol Ferris. They make-out. End scene….

but wait! It doesn’t end there. His story continues in Green Lanterns. After what seems to be a rather short time reuniting with his longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jordan decides to go on a trip to Space Sector 066 to unwind some more. His vacation is short-lived when the Corps finds itself against the wall thanks to a brilliant bit of subterfuge by Hank Henshaw, a.k.a Cyborg Superman, and the Ravagers. 

The story, by Dan Jurgens, is a long overdue full circle redemption moment for Jordan. For the last *squints and cries* 25 years, the destruction of Coast City and the resulting fallout has sort of been a weight around Jordan’s neck. In Green Lanterns, Henshaw is hell-bent on once again reducing Coast City to rubble. This time, Jordan, with the help of a cadre of Lanterns, is strong enough to defend his home city. Henshaw finds himself on the verge of losing to the Lanterns and is forced to flee with the Phantom Ring.

Here’s the status of the Corps right before Morrison picks up the storyline:

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Establishing the DC Shared Universe: Zatanna’s Search

In this modern age of comic-influenced pop culture we’re neck deep in shared universes and, increasingly, shared multiverses. It can be hard to imagine a time when that wasn’t the case. It can be even more difficult to believe we didn’t see the first true comic book shared universe until the mid-1960s. That’s when the daughter of the third most important character to debut in Action Comics #1 arrived on the scene in a quest to find her father. Zatanna’s search would take her on a winding path through six DC titles. As a result, it impacted several heroes and had repercussions on the DC Universe as a whole.

Zatanna's Search Justice League issue 51

Justice League of America Vol. 1 #51

Characters with their own titles crossing over with other characters is a common occurrence going all the way back to the birth of superhero titles. It’s difficult to pinpoint who can lay claim to the first ever superhero crossover.

The honor could possibly go to Lev Gleason Publications in 1940. That publisher teamed up the characters Silver Streak and Daredevil (not that Daredevil). It just barely preceded the first known team up of Marvel characters.  Marvel Mystery Comics #8 featured Namor and Human Torch going head-to-head for the first time. For DC characters, the first crossover medal goes to All-Star Comics #3 which saw the first appearance of the Justice Society of America. At the time, it was likely the biggest crossover in terms of number of characters featuring Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Hourman (Rex Tyler), Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Doctor Fate, and Atom (Al Pratt).

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Liam Sharp Signing “The Green Lantern” at Cape and Cowl’s 3rd Anniversary Party

Liam Sharp, fresh off his critically acclaimed runs on both Wonder Woman alongside Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott and his dual writer/artist gig on The Brave and The Bold, is turning his artist pen skyward. He’s joining forces with comics maestro Grant Morrison to tell new stories about Space Sector 2814’s first Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. As part of the kick-off for the new title, Sharp will be helping celebrate the third anniversary of Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics on November 18.

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Whitechapel bartender goes global with a Hal Jordan cocktail

If you’re creating a Hal Jordan cocktail you can’t get much more on the nose than making it an Aviation variation using Aviation American Gin. Whitechapel‘s Megan Daniel did exactly that for Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse pop-up bar at London Cocktail Week.

The San Francisco bartender took top prize at Virgin Atlantic’s cocktail competition. The fierce but friendly competition asked 13 bartenders to create an original cocktail using Aviation Gin as the base spirit. Daniel’s Hal Jordan cocktail, a riff on the classic pre-Prohibition era Aviation cocktail, is described by Virgin Atlantic as “a beautiful riff on the classic Aviation. Simple and elegant in presentation.”

Hal Jordan Cocktail

Whitechapel’s Megan Daniel builds a Hal Jordan cocktail. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic’s Ruby blog.

She stirred together a combination of Aviation American Gin, Pomp and Whimsy gin liqueur, Maraschino Luxardo, and lemon bitters. The cocktail bearing the alias of the first Green Lantern Space Sector 2814 will be served in Virgin Atlantic clubhouses around the globe.

As mentioned above, when it comes to designing a cocktail after Hal Jordan using Aviation American Gin in a Aviation variation is an inspired concept. In the comics, prior to becoming a member of the Green Lantern Corps and for a time while concealing his identity on Earth, Jordan is a fearless aviator. The base spirit of the cocktail, Aviation American Gin, is partially owned by Ryan Reynolds. The actor famously portrayed Hal Jordan in the 2011 Green Lantern film.

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Signing: Ed Brubaker at Isotope, Oct. 13

Ed Brubaker is heading to San Francisco on October 13. The writer of so many very good things, including Kill or Be Killed, Criminal, and The Fade Out, will stop by Isotope – The Comic Book Lounge in San Francisco to sign copies of his new original graphic novel My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (and other things).

Brubaker My heroes Have Always Been JunkieThe new graphic novel sees Brubaker and his longtime creative partner, artist Sean Phillips, return to the world of Criminal. From Image:

“Teenage Ellie has always had romantic ideas about drug addicts. The tragic, artistic souls drawn to needles and pills have been an obsession since the death of her junkie mother ten years ago. But when Ellie lands in an upscale rehab clinic where nothing is what it appears to be, she’ll find another, more dangerous romance… and find out how easily drugs and murder go hand-in-hand.

“MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES is a seductive coming-of-age story, a pop and drug culture-fueled tale of a young girl seeking darkness—and what she finds there.”

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Essential Guide to Northern California Haunted Houses

Halloween is right around the corner and that means all of the Northern California Haunted Houses are putting dust on the furniture, hanging the cobwebs, and resurrecting monsters. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys having the living daylights scared out of you (or watching your friends scream in terror) we’re here to help.

Below you’ll find all of the haunted houses, creepy corn mazes, and petrifying paintball experiences within 150 miles of downtown San Francisco (in Southern California? Cool, check out our essential guide to Los Angeles Haunted Houses). This list is organized by earliest opening date so you can fit in as many scary weekends as possible.

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