Sunday, February 27, 2011

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655

It's been a long and winding road to get here, but Amazing Spider-Man is finally amazing again these days.

Okay, yes, I was one of those people who absolutely loathed the events of the "One More Day" storyline that blew up Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane Watson for the apparent sole storytelling purpose of just letting Peter sleep around.  And yes, I found the rotating creative teams in the recent "Brand New Day" era to be very uneven in terms of quality and the devolution of Peter back into a mooching, pathetic loser/slacker to be insulting to both the character and many of his fans.

But now we're several issues into "Big Time," with Dan Slott designated as the series' regular writer, bringing much-needed consistency to the table.  This latest issue, following directly on the unexpected death of supporting character Marla Jameson, is one of the most powerful Spider-Man stories in recent memory.

With some absolutely stunning visuals by Marcos Martin, perhaps the heir apparent to Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, "In Memory of Marla Jameson" begins with a silent, graphically told story of frequent pain-in-the-ass J. Jonah Jameson waking up to a lonely bed and getting ready for his wife's funeral.  From there, we check in on Peter, the Robertsons, and various Spider-Man supporting characters as they assemble for the funeral service, which ultimately ends with Peter finally returning home and drifting off to sleep.

That would normally be a strong enough story on its own, but then we spiral right into Peter's nightmarish dreams and see how much his conscience is eating away at him following Marla's death.  Spider-Man has always felt guilty and responsible for just about everything that happens to him and this latest death gives Slott the forum to revisit the long, long list of dead Spider-Man characters.  Yep, that means the old favorites like Gwen and Captain Stacy, but also more obscure ones you haven't thought about in years, such as Lance Bannon or The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man.  There's even one really obscure character named Charlie (or Charlemagne), who is described as "the only life (Peter) has ever taken" and I had to actually look her up in Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine #1.  Needless to say, Slott did his homework here.

Ultimately, Peter wakes himself from his nightmare with a new vow (Spidey's also about vowing something, in addition to all the guilt and responsibility) that whenever he's around, no one else will ever die.  Now, we all know there's absolutely no way, especially since he's Spider-Man, that he's going to be able to keep that vow, but the fun, schadenfreude part for the reader is to see at what point he ultimately fails and what happens next.  Now that's Spider-Man.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Face it, America...Doctor Who is slowly creeping into our popular culture...and as the Sixth Doctor would say, whether you like it or not.

On Wednesday night's episode of CBS' police procedural series Criminal Minds, titled "Coda," the show's obligatory geek character Dr. Spencer Reid (portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler) is engaged in a conversation with Ashley Seaver (portrayed by Rachel Nichols from Alias and the recent Star Trek film) about Doctor Who and the 1989 time-traveling comedy film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

"Is that the one where they fly around in the phone booth?" Seaver asks as the scene begins, apparently in response to some unseen previous comment.  Reid replies, "First of all, it's a police box, not a phone booth.  Second of all, Doctor Who started a quarter of a century before Bill and Ted even went on their bodacious adventure, so really they should have called it Bill & Ted's Excellent Ripoff.Of course, since Seaver is an attractive, professional woman, she can't be bothered with such triviality from geeks and has to quickly bail from the conversation, saying she's sorry for even asking.

If you'd like to see the brief scene in its entirety, you can view it here...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Doctor Who: Memories of the Brigadier

Nicholas Courtney, the actor who played the legendary Doctor Who character Brigadier Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, passed away two days ago at the age of 81 following a long battle with cancer.  Although the Brigadier wasn't an official companion who chose to travel in time and space with the Doctor, he was about as close as you could get, often acting as a version of Dr. John Watson to the Doctor's Sherlock Holmes.

Unlike most fans who were introduced to the Brigadier during the Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker eras, my first experience watching the character was in the Peter Davison episode "Mawdryn Undead."  Having retired from the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT), Lethbridge-Stewart took a position as a A-Levels mathematics teacher at Brendon Public School.  He suffered, we soon learned, from a state of partial amnesia, caused by the Blinovitch Limitation Effect when two Brigadiers, one from 1977, another from 1983, touched and created an energy discharge. 

My own Doctor Who experience had been a whole twelve weeks old by this point, but I recall being very taken with the character and after seeing the brief flashback where the Brigadier regains his memories, I gathered there were earlier appearances with previous Doctors that I wanted -- no, needed -- to learn more about.  This curiosity about the Brigadier was sealed when I next saw him in "The Five Doctors," finding his scenes with the Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton, to be very entertaining and showcasing his relationship as a the Doctor's longtime friend and ally.

The local PBS station airing weekly Doctor Who stories, WVIZ out of Cleveland, Ohio, then went back and cycled through the Tom Baker era again, which allowed me to catch up on some earlier Brigadier appearances.  (Remember, back in the Stone Age of 1985, there was nothing so convenient as the internets and YouTube or iTunes to feed a specific Doctor Who fix at will using a few clicks of a mouse.)  I watched "Robot," the first Tom Baker story, and saw the Brig's reaction to the Doctor regenerating, revealing that he knew about, but hadn't seen, another previous regeneration.  I gathered this was the regeneration from Troughton to Pertwee, but again with such limited resources of the time, all I could do was wonder, wait and hope that I would eventually find out the circumstances behind the comment.

After cycling through the Davison stories again and then Colin Baker's, where I was dismayed that there was no appearance by the Brigadier, WVIZ finally aired the Jon Pertwee era.  Although the Pertwee era isn't one of my top favorites, it still has a number of must-watch stories, starting off with the classic "Spearhead from Space."  At long last, I was able to see the newly-regenerated Third Doctor be exiled to Earth by the Time Lords and hook up with the Brigadier and UNIT out of a mutually beneficial arrangement.  It was here and in several episodes that followed, where the core of the Doctor's friendship with the Brig was formed, even when the Doctor was being written as the liberal Dove-like ideological opponent to the Brigadier's conservative, Hawkish viewpoint.  Despite their occasional arguments, the Doctor knew he could rely on the Brigadier to order "Five rounds rapid" whenever some alien menace needed to be shot at, regardless of how futile the gesture ultimately was.  The Brigadier was the perfect solider, something the Doctor seems to need at times, as we eventually learn with future companion Martha Jones.

WVIZ cycled through the rest of Pertwee's episodes, then went back to the very beginning with WIlliam Hartnell and "An Unearthly Child" and cycled all the way through the entire series, understandably skipping past the incomplete or entirely missing Hartnell and Troughton stories.  Ultimately, though, I was finally able to watch the Brigadier in the Sylvester McCoy era story "Battlefield," his final official appearance on Doctor Who.

Although I had become used to the notion of the Brigadier getting older after seeing "Mawdryn Undead," it now seems strangely fitting that "Battlefield" was his final Doctor Who story.  He had retired and settled down with his second wife, Doris, but came back for one last adventure to help the Seventh Doctor and his UNIT successor, Brigadier Winifred Bambera.  The story was a great showcase for Nicholas Courtney, who got a proper sendoff for his beloved character even if we didn't know it at the time.  I later learned that there was talk about killing the Brigadier off in this story, but that was thankfully changed, if only so we had the potential to see him again somewhere, somewhen, down the road.

Even with Doctor Who's cancellation in 1989, there were several more appearances by the Brigadier in various novels, comic strips in Doctor Who Magazine, Big Finish audio adventures (where he met the Eighth Doctor in "Minuet in Hell"), and even the non-canonical adventure "Dimensions in Time" for the Children In Need charity telethon.  If nothing else, this poorly-executed story was good for keeping Courtney's streak of meeting the First through Eighth Doctors alive, however brief the actual meeting turned out to be.  These were some wonderful nods to fandom, to be certain, but they obviously paled in comparison to another full-fledged TV appearance by the Brigadier.

In 2008, we saw the last televised appearance of Brigadier -- now Sir -- Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures entitled "Enemy of the Bane."  Despite the occasional mention on the current series of Doctor Who that started in 2005, Courtney never returned to the series, much to many fans' disappointment.  He did, however, get a reunion with former Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen in her Sarah Jane Smith spinoff series, which revealed that the Brigadier was now considered a "Special Envoy" for UNIT, serving on diplomatic missions.  At his advanced age, the Brigadier is merely a plot device to advance the story, but he does provide the necessary charm of nostalgia to make the story more special, especially in his scenes with Sarah Jane.

Sadly, unless the role is recast at some point, this will probably be it for the Brigadier as a Doctor Who character.  Thankfully, Nicholas Courtney left behind a large number of very entertaining episodes for his fans to enjoy over and over again.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Brigadier, I heartily recommend checking out the episodes listed above and learning for yourselves what a vital part he was in Doctor Who's history.

Splendid fellow...all of him.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peter Davison Takes the TARDIS to Gallifrey 22

I'm sorry, but I don't need anyone telling me that Peter Davison, the former Fifth Doctor on Doctor Who, is "the greatest man who ever lived."  I've known that since 1984 when I was 15 years old.

In a video production created for the opening ceremonies to the Doctor Who convention Gallifrey 22, held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, Davison arrives by nothing less than the TARDIS.  Starting off at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End, where Davison is starring in the production of Legally Blonde, he learns that he has confused the dates of his appearance at Gallifrey 22 and hurriedly races to Heathrow Airport in the hopes of making a last-ditch flight.

On the way, though, Davison is momentarily stopped by Freema (Martha Jones) Agyeman, who wants his autograph.  After missing his flight, he receives visions of Janet (Tegan Jovanka) Fielding chiding him and Sarah (Nyssa) Sutton wondering if he can be replaced by his Doctor Who successor, Colin Baker.  Trying to reassure himself about disappointing his fans in California, Davison is ordered out of his cab by his future son-in-law David (The Tenth Doctor) Tennant.

Davison gets dropped off at the Olympia exhibition hall, currently hosting the Doctor Who Experience, and after walking past a series of Doctor costumes (focusing for a moment on the Fifth's), he turns and sees the TARDIS.  Throwing his coat to the floor, he activates the TARDIS controls, smiling as the console's central column lights up and begins to rise and fall.  The lights at the convention come up and Davison, now live and in person, emerges from a TARDIS on the Gallifrey 22 stage to cheering fans.

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.  Thankfully, a kind convention attendee going by the name of Nerdchik recorded the video and Davison's appearance and posted it on YouTube, which you can see here...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your Move, Detroit...RoboCop Statue Reaches Funding Goal

I'll buy that for...$50,000.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the non-profit group Imagination Station Detroit has surpassed their fundraising goal of $50,000 on the site Kickstarter in the hopes of erecting a statue of the Detroit-based science-fiction cyborg hero RoboCop.  With a current listing of 1,880 backers offering up $55,909 and counting until the March 29th deadline, the group is continuing to raise money to make the statue "as big and good as possible."

These efforts followed after Detroit Mayor Dave Bing responded to a joke suggestion made on Twitter on February 7th, posting the reply "There are not any plans to erect a statue of Robocop. Thank you for the suggestion."  This resulted in the creation of a Facebook group called Build a statue of RoboCop in Detroit and later the site detroitneedsrobocop.com.

Imagination Station Detroit is working with the Mayor's office to consider public spots for the statue, such as areas near Comerica Park or another downtown park.  If that doesn't work out, the group is offering up a a piece of its property on Roosevelt Park facing Michigan Central Station.

So, Cleveland...How about finally getting around to building a Superman statue?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adrianne Palicki Cast as the New Wonder Woman

Wonder no more...According to ComingSoon.net, 27-year-old Friday Night Lights star Adrianne Palicki has been cast as Wonder Woman in a pilot episode for a potential NBC series from David E. Kelley.

Palicki is no stranger to the superhero genre, having appeared as the siren Nadia in the Aquaman pilot starring Justin Hartley and as Lindsey Harrison in the Smallville episode "Covenant."

This news follows on the recently revealed casting list of the pilot's central characters:

[WONDER WOMAN / DIANA THEMYSCIRA / DIANA PRINCE] Female, late 20s to 30s. A kick-ass Superhero / Powerful C.E.O. / A vulnerable woman. Long flowing black hair, blue eyes. Amazon-like, muscular, an Olympian. The charismatic stage presence of a rock star. A crime fighter. Also, a real woman who yearns to live a normal life. She is accessible and appealing to all people, men and women alike…SERIES LEAD. ASP.

[MYNDI MAYER] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Publicist, Press Secretary and Wonder Woman’s confidant and nurturing best friend. Worldy and edgy. Sexy and persuasive, her appearance is part of her strength. She is beautiful and put together – dressed expensively in the latest fashions, plus she’s got a bit of bite, clever wit and sass. She’s the prodder of Diana’s social life…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[ETTA] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Diana Themyscira’s always cheerful personal assistant. A bit charactery , but real, pretty and effervescent. She is blindly devoted to Diana. She’s her unrelenting cheerleader, with unwavering, unabated support. On the vulnerable side, she sees the humble and sympathetic sides in everyone, including Diana…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[CEO HENRY DEMETER] Male, open ethnicity, 40s. Acting CEO of Themyscira Industries. Grounded, intelligent and deeply devoted to Diana. He runs the day to day operations of the company and acts like an Uncle to Diana although he could be a possible love interest down the line…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[STEVE TREVOR] Male, open ethnicity, 30s. A leading man Diana can’t look past. Good looking but a real man. An Army vet, he now works in the Justice dept…SERIES REGULAR, ASP.

[ED INDELICATO] Male, late 30s to early 40s. Stoic and tough, he is a liaison to the police department. Devoted and loyal to Diana, he’s blue collar, a no nonsense kind of guy. A chiseled man who subscribes to the old fashion rules of relationships – men don’t talk much. His job comes first and he wouldn’t make room for the possibility that there is potential romantic relationship with Diana…SERIES REGULAR, 10/13.

Unfortunately, the script for the pilot has been not been getting very positive reviews, as shown here, so here's hoping that the glaring flaws in this adaptation are revised or thrown out by the time filming begins.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

FRINGE Goes Back to TWIN PEAKS in "Immortality"

It is happening again.  It is happening again...

FOX's science-fiction series Fringe once again referenced the classic series Twin Peaks, less than a month after directly referencing Peaks character Dr. Lawrence Jacoby.  Last night's episode, "Immortality," featured none other than actress Joan Chen, who played Josie Packard on Twin Peaks, as a character named Reiko who is apparently the mistress of the alternate universe version of Walter Bishop, a.k.a. "The Walternate."

In a bedroom scene, Reiko consoles Walternate, who is having doubts about being able to do anything to save his alternate Earth.  "But in fact, there are lines I simply cannot cross," he tells her.  "Does that make me weak?"  Reiko replies, "No, it's what makes you the most brilliant man I've ever known."  Walternate also expresses concern about getting his son Peter back to his Earth because of his emotional attachment to Olivia Dunham, but Reiko reassures him that he will eventually find a way.  He then remarks that he trusts Reiko "more than anyone" and as the scene ends, the camera pulls back to reveal a spinning ceiling fan, an item focused on in camera shots from several Twin Peaks episodes.

Another Twin Peaks reference was made earlier in the episode, when a soon-to-be victim of the episode's villain, Dr. Anton Silva, orders a cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie at a diner, something Peaks character Dale Cooper was very fond of doing.  The name Silva could also be a reference to the late actor Frank Silva, who played the murderous spirit Killer BOB on Twin Peaks.

It seems the Fringe writing and production staff must have some serious Peaks Freaks on board, so here's hoping this isn't the last we'll see of these fun connections between the two series.  Maybe it's time for FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole to pay a visit...?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Humans Will Become Cybermen and Borg by 2045?

Well, to be fair, Doctor Who, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The X-Files did try and warn us about this sort of thing.

The featured article in the February 24, 2011 edition of Time magazine is "2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal" by Lev Grossman, which examines the evolution of technology to the point where it merges with humanity and becomes impossible to predict, an event commonly dubbed the Singularity.  Grossman focuses the article on inventor and futurist Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil, author of such books as The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, who sees all kinds of potential implications from such exponential growth.

"In Kurzweil's future," writes Grossman, "biotechnology and nanotechnology give us the power to manipulate our bodies and the world around us at will, at the molecular level. Progress hyperaccelerates, and every hour brings a century's worth of scientific breakthroughs. We ditch Darwin and take charge of our own evolution. The human genome becomes just so much code to be bug-tested and optimized and, if necessary, rewritten. Indefinite life extension becomes a reality; people die only if they choose to. Death loses its sting once and for all. Kurzweil hopes to bring his dead father back to life."

Definitely some intriguing and disturbing stuff that you could easily shrug off as wishful science-fiction, whose fans are already used to such concepts.  The world's longest-running science-fiction series, Doctor Who, introduced the villainous Cybermen in 1966, cyborgs from the planet Mondas who gradually replaced their humanoid forms with artificial parts as a means of self-preservation and became emotionless and devoid of morality in the process.  They add to their numbers by forcing others to undergo a conversion process that replaces their bodies with Cybermen parts, claiming "You will become like us."

Star Trek: The Next Generation took the Cybermen and gave them an upgrade in 1989 with the creation of the Borg.  Another group of cyborgs, the Borg are made up of multiple species augmented with cybernetic enhancements and organized into a collective hive mind.  Their sole purpose is to travel from world to world, assimilating others in order to "add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to (their) own" in the pursuit of perfection.

Another classic science-fiction series, The X-Files, explored the idea in 1998 in an episode titled "Kill Switch," written by science-fiction authors William Gibson and Tom Maddox.  Involving a murderous artificial intelligence, the episode focused on such themes as the evolution of artifical intelligence, virtual reality and transferring one's consciousness into cyberspace.

So there it is, Humanity.  You've got about 34 years left, so you'd better enjoy your remaining Fleshtime while you still can.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doctor Who: Job Criteria for Prospective Companions

TRAVELLER IN TIME AND SPACE seeks male or female companion with good sense of humour for adventures in the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions.

No experience necessary.

No time wasters, no space wasters please.
-- Solicitation for Doctor Who: Situation Vacant from Big Finish Productions

So you want to travel the furthest reaches of time and space with the Doctor as one of his companions.  Well, as you might imagine, he's a bit particular about who (or what) he brings along on his various adventures and saves from certain peril on a fairly regular basis while looking rather amazing in the process.  Here are several criteria trends to keep in mind before trying to take that first step into the TARDIS...
  1. The Doctor likes the ladies -- Male companions are perfectly acceptable, of course, so no need to file a sexual discrimination lawsuit with the Shadow Proclamation.  However, depending on your count of the television companions, only 12 of the 43 total were male (27.9%), with just 2 being of the android/robot persuasion (4.65%).  Therefore, two out of every three of his companions are female (67.4%).
  2. The dumber, the better -- The Doctor rarely brings along companions of exceptionally high intellect that rivals his own.  Of those 43 counted above, only 7 could be considered to have genius-level I.Q.s (16.3%).  Interestingly, most of them traveled with the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, although several have shown higher than average intelligence since then.
  3. Irish, German, French, Russian, Canadian, Asian, African, Hispanic, Native American, Indian and Arabic companions need not apply -- At least, not yet.  Just putting that out there.
  4. If you're from a period before the 20th Century, you have two chances, slim and none -- Only 5 companions (11.6%) were from a period prior to the year 1963, the year that Doctor Who debuted on television.  Most tend to be either from the time that their first story aired or in the case of Grace Holloway and Adam Mitchell, just a few extra years down the road.
  5. The odds are slim that you'll die...and stay dead -- So far, only 6 companions have died during their time with the Doctor (13.95%), just 5 if you don't count Kamelion, who was an android.   Others like Grace, Jack Harkness and Rory Williams have also died but were brought back to life through some form of convenient storytelling.
  6. The odds are really slim that you'll be fired -- Just one companion, Adam, failed to make the grade and was sacked (2.3%).  So even if you have absolutely nothing to offer the Doctor as a valued companion, you at least have that going for you.
  7. Learn to scream -- (99.999999%)

Monday, February 7, 2011

CAPTAIN AMERICA Super Bowl Trailer Reveals the Red Skull

The long-awaited first teaser trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger finally debuted during last night's Super Bowl XLV.  One of the biggest highlights was the first look at the true crimson face of the film's villain, the Red Skull, as played by The Matrix and V for Vendetta actor Hugo Weaving.

Other items of note in the teaser included Chris Evans as Steve Rogers transforming from his scrawny 4-F form into his muscular super-soldier build, a shot of the Howling Commandos and Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, and a brief scene with Captain America's shield prior to being painted red, white and blue. 

Captain America: The First Avenger is scheduled for release in the United States on July 22, 2011.  The Super Bowl teaser can be seen below thanks to YouTube user Hollywoodstreams...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- SECRET SIX #30

You know, you really have to appreciate a comic that inspires slackers to finally get a life by waiting for their dead grandfather to leave them a particle cannon, four mistresess and three billion dollars so they can go out into the world and become "Rat Pack"-themed criminals in search of a secret volcano lair.

Say what now?  That doesn't make sense?  Well, in the world of Secret SIx it certainly does.  Over the past thirty issues, writer Gail Simone has crafted a series where just about anything is possible and this issue is definitely no exception.  In Part One of "Suicide Roulette," crossing over with Doom Patrol, there are strippers dressed like the Huntress and Harley Quinn, Bane (the villain who once broke Batman's back) wishing to negotiate a mating ritual, Ambush Bug dressed like a pirate and showing off his "booty," Robotman fishing for a man mutated into a fish using a porno mag as bait, and King Shark beating on Negative Man with Elasti-Woman's severed leg.

So...Secret SIx isn't exactly your average comic book, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.  It takes eight distinct characters (Yes, there are now eight members of the Secret Six, roll with it) from various overlooked corners of the DC Universe, slaps them together and then unleashes them in a particular storyline just to see what sort of train wreck will happen.  As it turns out, it makes for one of the most consistently funny, disturbing and generally entertaining series out there with hopefully no end in sight.

Artist Jim Calafiore does a nice job keeping up with Simone's unsupervised id.  There was initial concern after he took over from previous artist Nicola Scott, but Calafiore has stepped up and made his own mark on the series.  His style is considerably more cartoonish than Scott's, but it gives the panels some needed kinetic energy to keep things lively and visually interesting.  I've been a fan of Calafiore's work since his run on Aquaman with Peter David and I'm glad he's been given a place to shine regularly once again.

And now it's Keith Giffen and Matthew Clark's turn in Doom Patrol #19.  Let's see if Giffen can write Ragdoll as well as Simone writes Ambush Bug.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

THE COLBERT REPORT Wags Finger at British Superman

I know Stephen Colbert is pretty much Team Marvel when it comes to comic books, so it's no surprise to see this kind of rant on a DC character.

In his latest "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger" segment featured on last night's episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert wagged said finger at Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming Superman film from Warner Bros., for casting British actor Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent.  "Superman is American," remarked Colbert.  "His name is Super Man, not Smashing Gent."

From there, the commentary quickly resembled something found recently on message board postings against the idea of a British Superman.  "And let's remember," said Colbert, "his spaceship crash-landed in Smallville, Kansas, not Uppington-Upon-Tweed-Wee-Chestershire.  For God's sake, the man gets his power from the sun.  How can he be British?  They don't have a sun."

Other remarks included comments about Superman flying up to rooftops to inspect chimneys, using his X-Ray Vision to examine what's in a Shepherd's Pie, and flying on the the right side of the road.  Colbert's most cutting remarks came at the end when he advised British people to claim Batman supporting character Alfred Pennyworth if they wanted a superhero of their own.  Said Colbert, "He's got a British accent and he does everything the rich American tells him to.  That's something you can relate to."  This was accompanied by a picture of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair with former President George W. Bush.

The full commentary can be found at the Colbert Nation site here.