Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week Bennett looks at what happens when KFC meets DC, the U.S. launch of Yo-Kai Watch, the Dynamite female character reboot, and a comic convention in Russia.

I was struggling to find something to write about this week when the universe presented me with The Colonel of Two Worlds, a promotional comic from KFC and DC Entertainment that features a team-up between Col. Sanders and The Flash and Green Lantern.  Free copies of it will be given away this weekend at New York Comic-Con, but those not in attendance will be able to download it online.

Done by Tony Bedard and Tom Derenick and for the most part it’s something a lot of modern superhero comics aren’t; a lot of fun.  I’ve got to confess I had completely blanked on the fact The Flash even had a new unnecessarily over-complicated, hyper-detailed costume until I saw it here (I thought it was supposed to be red and darker red but here it reads as being more red and black).  Happily Green Lantern is wearing his Silver Age outfit, the one with the full-length opera gloves, and not his current "Renegade" look.

I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but (*SPOILER ALERT*) at the end of the story instead of jail the defeated Captain Cold and Mirror Master are dragooned into working at a KFC under the direct supervision of Col. Sanders himself.  I’ve seen saying for years a good alternative to jail for repeat offenders would be serving a 3-5 stretch at a fast food place; having worked off and on in kitchens for ten years I can tell you it's a suitable punishment.

Last year I warned you it was coming (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Can Kindness Save the World?") but Monday we finally saw the opening salvo in the launch of the latest Japanese brand phenomenon attempting to break into the States.  That's when the first episode of Yo-Kai Watch aired on Disney XD.  Manga from VIZ Media will be released November 3rd and the video game will be exclusively available on the Nintendo 3DS on November 6th.  But any retailers hoping for an extra revenue stream this Christmas will be disappointed to discover the toy line isn’t coming out in 2016.

I can’t predict if we have another Pokemon on our hands, but I’ve seen the show and at least it doesn’t look anything like Pokemon; which is a good thing given how many kids-playing-games cartoons I’ve seen been.  It’s about a kid, here called Nate, who’s befriended by Whisper, a Yo-Kai (ghost) who gives him the titular watch which allows him to see the mischievous creatures who cause problems for people.  Together with a cat Yo-Kai named Jibanyan, they make friends with some of the creatures and battle others, which is one of the nicer aspects of the series.  Nate has the option for either (as the show puts it) "negotiation or confrontation;" he doesn’t always have to fight, and in the first episode Nate gets good results by just talking to the critters.

As previously (and frequently) established, the things that I used to believe were impossible now happen with alarming regularity.  But never would I have ever dared believe I’d live long to see two of the least dressed female characters in comics* actually get dressed (see "Dynamite Reboots Female Characters").  Putting considerably more clothes on Vampirella and Red Sonja has been justified by using terms like "new costume design" and "sprucing up their look."  But given the number of women creators working on their revamped comics it’s not hard to see this development in the context of the recent trend towards dressing female comic characters in more realistic (and appropriate) attire in hopes of attracting female readers.

Jim Salicrup
There was a comic book convention in Russia this month, though I didn’t know until I saw it mentioned in passing on Facebook.  It’s no wonder I hadn’t heard anything about it because it took quite a bit of online searching just to confirm that Comic-Con Russia had been held on October 1-4 at Moscow’s Crocus Expo.  Though it had "Comic" in its title I honestly couldn’t even tell you just how big the comic book component of the festival was; the only evidence of any comic book presence was a piece on the GameScope website titled  "Trina Robbins and Jim Salicrup Comic Con Russia 2015."

The only other piece I could find online on the Con was by Katie Davis, "Comic Con lands in Moscow as a sign of Geek Culture’s global domination."  From this it seems like the Con was more one of those "multi-media events," seeing as how there were "Autograph sessions with Misha Collins, star of the hit TV show Supernatural" (someone who I have to confess I couldn’t pick out of a police lineup) as well as "presentations and sneak peeks from Star Wars, PlayStation, and Xbox."  Elsewhere I learned actress Summer Glau had also been in attendance and during a panel had sung "All My Ex’s Live in Texas."

It also made a strong case for the argument that "Geek Culture" has become an international phenomenon, citing the cons in Delhi in 2011, Dubai in 2012 and Romania in 2014.  But it was also aware some thought the Con was "another advertisement for westernization" and there that there was some resistance to the very idea of fandom, that it somehow "isn’t Russian."  One woman, who was only there only "to supervise her 13 year-old-son," was quoted as saying "It’s not part of our culture and it’s not part of us."

* I would be neglectful of me to not mention that Dejah Thoris is also a part of this makeover relaunch, which I find more than a little ironic seeing as how she has a literary license to be 99% naked (as in, this was the state she appeared in when Edgar Rice Burroughs first introduced her in the 1917 novel A Princess of Mars).  It’s also worth mentioning her comics outfit bares a striking resemblance to what the character wears in the 2012 movie John Carter (with maybe a little fairy princess thrown in for good measure).

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.