Monthly Archives: April 2013
Interesting News on the Trinity War
So BuzzFeed apparently got to have a little talk with Geoff Johns (writer of Justice League and Justice League of America) and Jeff Lemire (writer of Justice League Dark) over the phone. The topic? The summer crossover event Trinity War.
For those that don’t know, be it you were hiding in a cave or have amnesia, Trinity War is a massive event where the three Justice Leagues are fighting each other. So basically, nearly every annual Marvel event for the past several years, wherein the good guys fight each other. But hey, this is just three books a month for two months, not including the tie-ins that’ll occur in Trinity of Sin: Pandora, Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger, and Constantine, so not complaining too much. Also, apparently Zatanna joins the Justice League, so clearly it’s not all bad.
Anyway, the name ‘Trinity War’ has a few different meaning. It relates to the three Justice Leagues, it relates to the Trinity of Sin (Pandora, The Phantom Stranger, and The Question), and it relates to DC’s Trinity (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman). The plot will revolve around the plans and schemes of the three members of the Trinity of Sin, it will revolve around a murder that occurs near the beginning (which I think is the person who dies in Justice League of America, not sure), it will revolve around the JLA learning of their existence as a fail-safe against the Justice League, and it will revolve around the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman.
Speaking of that last bit, Geoff Johns had something interesting to say after being asked Wonder Woman and Superman would make it through this story with their relationship intact…
“I think the bigger question is will you see any of these characters make it through. The thing about Wonder Woman and Superman is when their relationship ends, it’s going to end badly. There is no good way for this one to end. And then there’s other concerns. When those two start acting out together, people get nervous. Not because they don’t think they’re heroes, but because they have such incredible power, and who could stop those two?”
Now, I’m aware I’m not the first to take note and make mention of something in that paragraph, but I felt like adding my two-cents. You’ll notice he said “when their relationship ends”. Not if, WHEN. I have a question: Was the plan always to split them up here, or were the complaints just getting to be too much? Also, please dear God tell me that this means Diana is gonna stay single for a while. Don’t pair her up with Orion, because since the reboot, Orion’s kinda bugged me, especially given what happened recently in her book. You remember…
Yeah. That. Funny story, in the most recent issue of Wonder Woman, she decided to get back at him, BY ALMOST CRUSHING HIS BALLS IN HER FIST. Now, a lot of people were just as offended by this as they were THAT. Me personally, I choose to take it as a sign not to mess with Wonder Woman like that, as if we needed one.
So that’s all for now, and here’s hoping that Trinity War will at least be decent. Ja né!
What I’d Do With The New 52 – Part 04: My First 52 Titles (1 – 13)
So I’ve talked big on what I would do with the New 52 for some time now, so I think now’s a good enough time to talk about what I would do with the New 52 if I was in charge from the beginning. Now keep in mind, this is not me saying that my line-up is so superior to the current or anything like that. If you prefer the current line-up, that’s awesome. I’m simply voicing what I personally would have set-up for the initial 52 titles of DC’s relaunch. And if I feel that something worked better as it originally was, I’ll just say so and leave it as is. So, let’s start off with titles 1-13 (in no real solid order), and seeing as how it’s how I started this long-winded rant, let’s start off with…
You remember how I said that I didn’t take issue with Barry Allen? Yeah, that was a while ago, and since then, he has pretty much bored me to tears. In short, I’d either bring back Wally West as the one and only Flash, or have him and Barry work together as a team. Otherwise, as far as the actual plot is concerned, while I understand the need to build everything up for new readers, I think the story could’ve stood to be sped up.
Oh boy, where do I start? First off, I think I’d have the Daily Planet instead becoming an online newsletter type of company, instead of going out of business and being bought out because newspapers are dying. Second, if editorial mandate was responsible for Clark Kent and Lois Lane not being married or even in a relationship anymore, what I would’ve done is at least have her be his closest friend, know the truth of his identity, and be his supporter while he’s Superman. Also, I would try to have a few stories be less about smacking you about the face with the fact that Superman is an alien, and frankly just have Superman be a little more…nice, I guess? lol
Pretty much leave it as is. Really, the only thing I’d change is elements that were carried over from other books, so I’ll just address them there…which I might as well cover now.
PUT HIM BACK IN BLUE! No, I refuse to let this go! I am sick of all the frakking red these days. There was no reason to put Nightwing in red other than to make him seem edgy or some bullcrap like that. But other than that, I don’t really have much issue with the story, other than that the filler stuff we got in between Night of the Owls and Death of the Family seemed somewhat lacklustre, and while I like the character a lot, I still don’t think it’s a good idea to have Sonia Branch be his love interest.
I would’ve done more to make Batman and Robin feature equally in this book, and it would’ve been nice to see Dick Grayson and Damian have a sit-down talk before Damian teams with his father full-time, but otherwise, I’d leave Batman and Robin as is.
First off, not a fan that the canon of Teen Titans prior to this was completely and utterly erased. Alterations would of course need to be made, but otherwise the existence of the team did not need to be wiped away. Also, I would change the colour-scheme of this team. Maybe make Bunker purple and green instead of purple and red, put Wonder Girl back in her blue jeans, and I’d bring Jackson Hyde as Aqualad in, though maybe have him take on a more sea-green colour-scheme simply because THE TEAM NEEDS MORE COLOUR. Finally, The Culling? *makes throat-slit motion*
Oh, hell no, I ain’t changin’ nothin’. This was actually a situation where DC did the smart thing by not resetting Green Lantern, ‘cuz my goodness, could you imagine if they did after the last thing to happen before the relaunch? Fans would have risen up and slain them.
Again, I don’t really mind the story that was being told with Aquaman at all, but there is one thing that got kind of vexing. You know how people have made jokes for YEARS that Aquaman was useless and whatnot, leading to this book basically being the idiot’s guide to why that opinion was stupid? While I’m in favour of that, the joke kinda played itself out for WAY too long. Like, first issue of the Throne of Atlantis story arc in Justice League, and the people in the story are still making Aquaman jokes. But otherwise, the stories are just fine and work great for the character.
I’m sorry, I know I don’t shut up about this, but dammit, there is no reason Cyborg should be the only member of the Justice League who can’t get his own book. There’s plenty of ways to make it interesting, plenty of villains who could work as antagonists to him. Heck, they could even do build up toward Throne of Atlantis where we see Cyborg meeting with the heroes who form The Grid. As for what I’d replace, probably Deathstroke. Sorry guys, but there’s a reason Deathstroke is getting cancelled. Still, I suppose he could work as a great villain in this book.
Two words: Gail Simone. Even if the story of turning Wonder Woman into the daughter of Zeus and the horrific changes to the Amazons were forced and HAD to be done, Gail could make it work. I think the only bomb on her record is Fury of Firestorm, and she was only co-writing that book. Otherwise, while I don’t mind turning Wonder Woman into Zeus’ daughter all THAT much, the changes to the Amazons were too much and I would fight that to the death if I had to in order to keep it from changing.
Not much I’d change about the first arc, it’s okay. My main gripes with Justice League that I’d change are the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing, the Shazam back-up, and maybe some dialogue choices during The Villain’s Journey. In particular, one thing that annoys me to no end is how in Justice League #7, Batman tells Steve Trevor to shut down the Justice League International, that it was an embarrassment…even though he was one of the founding members of it, and respected the hell out of what Booster Gold was trying to do with his rag-tag team. Consistent continuity, please?
Okay, I get why the first arc focused on Superman’s early days, but after that, they didn’t really HAVE to have it continue to be a Superman solo book. Not that Superman couldn’t be in it or have stories in it, but I think from that point, they could’ve done stories with other characters in rotation. For example, since the first arc, has anyone seen Steel? Or heck, has Livewire even appeared since the reboot? You could do a whole arc focusing on the Supermen of America, and I would.
Pretty much the same thing here, though I’d replace the Batman part with whoever was highlighting the book at any given time. For example, there’s plenty they could do with Red Robin in a solo book. Or perhaps they could do a story where various members of Batman Incorporated have to work together WITHOUT Bruce to lead them because he’s otherwise occupied. Gates of Gotham did that, and it was pretty damned good.
So yeah, as you can see, I didn’t really change all that much with the first 13 books, though I did introduce a new one and axe an old one. Trust me, though, there’s plenty more I plan to change as time goes by, so I will see you all here next time when I look at the next 13 books I’d do for the New 52. Ja né!
What I Bought Today – Talon #7, Batman Incorporated #10 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Yep, ’tis Wednesday once again, which means it’s time for me to kick back and talk about…
These two books I got are pretty damned good, and I can’t wait to talk about ’em, so let’s not and just jump into Talon #7!
And heel turn complete. Guess I was right the first time. Either that or Sebastian Clark is EXTREMELY bipolar. But yeah, Sebastian has been working to take back what he feels is his after he left the Court, and apparently he’s got a very LARGE, powerful, and pissed off accomplice: Bane. Casey and Sarah manage to escape him, all the while Calvin manages to escape Securitis Island. Calvin Rose gets a partial message from Casey, learning what’s happened but left to believe something’s happened to her. On his way back to base though, then runs into Batman, who tells him that his recklessness is risking innocent lives. He puts Calvin in a pair of WayneTech‘s new Ultraclasp Bonds. Apparently Batman tested them himself and found them completely inescapable. So naturally, all it takes is for Batman to turn around for ONE PANEL before Calvin is GONE. Attempts to find him using the imaging systems in his cowl fails as well when Calvin sends out infradark spheres that throw Batman off his trail. I’m trying to think of when the last time a non-powered good guy got the best of Batman on the first try, and honestly, I got NOTHIN’. O.O Unfortunately, Bane apparently breaks Calvin’s body and leaves him for dead, but something tells me it won’t be quite that easy. Overall, great issue once again, James Tynion IV continues to deliver.
Batman Incorporated #10…Okay, I have a problem. I know I will not shut up about this, but I can’t keep this held back. We’re supposed to believe that the Batman books all occur at roughly the same time. Problem is, they constantly contradict one another. For example, in Red Hood and the Outlaws #17, they reference Jason and Damian‘s time as Wingman and Redbird, but right after their team-up in Batman Inc, Jason got kidnapped. Also, in all of the other Batman books, Alfred is around, but in Batman Inc, he’s being forced to go on vacation by an angry Bruce. In fact, how Batman is dealing after the loss of Damian is different in every book, too. And here, we see Kirk Thorton in human form, Nightwing is still in town, Jason is still held captive, AND we see Azrael is back after he was seemingly wiped from existence in the reboot. It never ceases to amaze me that the editors get so much power and yet don’t do their actual jobs.
Anyway, Batman goes to see Azrael, who tells him he’s been studying up, and it’s clear that Leviathan is trudging the Earth toward Armageddon, whether Talia is aware of it or not. Speaking of whom, Talia goes to see Ra’s al Ghul, who she locked up a while back to take over his empire, who commends her for her complete turn to frakking evil as shit. However, he thinks she’s overlooked a small detail and will ultimately fail. Talia calls the Mayor and threatens that Batman must turn himself in at 11:00 that night. And sure enough, Batman does in fact arrive at 10:55…wearing Azrael’s armour under a partial Batsuit under a new exoskeleton Lucius Fox built. But more than that, after going over his thoughts from when he first became Batman, Bruce has finally been taken too far and used something to further tip the scales in his fight against his son’s clone and murderer: The Man-Bat serum. And with only 3 more issues of Grant Morrison’s tale left, something tells me things are only going to continue to get frakking insane in this book.
So that’s all for today. Next week, I THINK JLA #3 is supposed to come out (not sure why the delay occurred), we see Batman face Emperor Penguin in Detective Comics, we venture back to Earth 2, and we bare witness to the rise of the 99% in Gail Simone‘s The Movement. And if I don’t get any of them on Wednesday, hopefully I’ll be able to pick ’em up on Free Comic Book Day (and yes, I WILL be recording a Vlog for that). Ja né!
Scott Snyder’s Batman Retrospect – Batman #1 & 2
For many years, I had followed the tales of some of my favourite superheroes (in particular, Batman and Superman) through their movies and cartoon shows, but I had very rarely read the comics. I had some knowledge of what was going on through wikis, and then later on through an internet review show called Atop The Fourth Wall. Well, after watching AT4W for a few years, I decided in 2011 that I was finally going to start buying comics, but I wasn’t sure where to get started. That’s when AT4W host Linkara, AKA Lewis Lovhaug, started a little series called That’s All I’m Saying, where he was looking over the comics that he bought every week, mostly DC stuff. The main reason for it is because DC had just relaunched their titles in September of that year with the New 52, essentially a massive reboot of the DC Universe, and he wanted to share his thoughts on each comic for people who were new to comics or wanted some thoughts on these new books. From that, I got a good idea of what comics I wanted to buy…or so I thought, as two of the three comics I bought and collected originally, I now despise. LOL But there was one comic I bought back in the beginning of the New 52 that I’ve stuck with ever since.
Hello, and welcome to a short series here on Jyger’s Rant. I’m going to discuss what is, in my opinion, one of the best damned books in the New 52: Scott Snyder‘s Batman.
So, let’s start off by laying out a few ground rules for this: I’m not discussing Scott Snyder’s work on Batman prior to the launch of the DCnU. This is mainly because I unfortunately haven’t read it all yet, and I don’t wanna leave anything out. I will say that The Black Mirror is supposed to be really good, though, and I have read Gates of Gotham and it really helps build the bridge to the current Batman book (People who have read the book will get that joke, others will just nod their heads and go along with it). Also, I’m not discussing Death of the Family and anything beyond it, since I’ve already covered it in What I Bought Today. No, this series will focus primarily on the Court of Owls/Night of the Owls story arcs, and specifically on the books in this one series to take place in them, though I will try to make small references to what was happening in the tie-in books. So with that in mind, let’s kick off with Batman #1.
We open to…some REALLY bad designs for some of Batman’s rogues gallery. Seriously, this is what they look like in this issue.
I mean, I love Greg Capullo‘s artwork, but I have no idea what he was thinking with some of these. Like, see that guy with the green question mark mohawk? That’s Riddler…SERIOUSLY. lol Anyway, Batman fights them as they try to break out of Arkham Asylum, but there’s simply too many of them. Then, all of a sudden, Joker shows up…and starts helping him beat the snot out of the Arkham inmates. Major WTF moment, but I’ll spoil it for you now: It’s Dick Grayson. He’s wearing some kind of mask that allows him to imitate ANYONE, that I believe he actually makes use of later on in his own book. Apparently, Bruce sent him to hide out in Arkham Asylum for a little while because he needed someone on the inside to monitor things, and apparently there was a guard there who was going crooked, and he had opened the gates to let the villains out when Batman came for him.
Later, Bruce arrives at the manor for a gala, which Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne are all attending. Apparently he’s going to be investing heavily in Gotham City‘s future, fixing up the city’s architecture and improving the public transit system. He also meets up with Vicki Vale (AKA Lois Lane in Gotham) and Lincoln March, who is running for Mayor and is VERY interested in Bruce’s plans for the future. However, Bruce is a little distracted by his new contact lens’ lip-reader showing Comissioner Gordon having a talk on the phone about a horrific stabbing incident, and decides he needs to go out to get some air.
Arriving at the scene of the crime, Batman meets with Harvey Bullock to discuss what happened. The John Doe is pinned to the wall by multiple throwing knives and was left to bleed to death. Looking over the crime scene, Batman finds skin tissue under the victim’s fingernails and a message written in paint thinner. Using Bullock’s cigar, Batman lights the message up to reveal it says “Bruce Wayne will DIE tomorrow”. The two realise that the victim knew he was going to be murdered and left the message ahead of time, Bullock feeling that only someone deep in Bruce Wayne’s inner circle would be able to get to him. As if on cue, Batman gets a call from Alfred, who has finished analysing the DNA from the skin tissue and found a single, perfect match: Dick Grayson.
Batman #2 picks up with Bruce Wayne plummeting to his apparent death after being thrown out the window of the top floor of Wayne Tower…And then cut back to twenty-four hours earlier, where Batman’s chasing a group of helicopter-borne statue thieves on the Batpod. Batman races ahead and gets the Batpod on top of a train, and, in a move that just proves how badass Batman is, he races the bike off the train and crashes into the chopper’s wind-shield…and all while managing to get back to the Batcave in time with Gordon’s arrival at the Gotham City Morgue.
Using a scanner he rigged to the morgue’s security camera, Batman’s able to create a holographic projection in the Batcave to investigate the John Doe from before. He and the Comissioner deduce that this man was some sort of trainer, and they also discover the mark of an Athenian Owl on his right wisdom tooth. Between this and the knives baring owl emblems, Gordon is reminded of a nursery rhyme about the Court of Owls, an underground organization said to be running Gotham from behind the shadows. Batman IMMEDIATELY rules this out as a possibility, saying they’re just a legend but not being too open with why he believes that so vehemently.
Batman decides to cut the conversation short when Nightwing arrives, who makes a snarky comment about how Bruce will likely miss the old vent leading into the morgue. Dick recognises the man and tells Bruce that he’d been at the West Side Promenade’s groundbreaking. He’d been accosting Dick and gripped his arm, actually scratching him a bit while ranting that “They’re real” and that “They’re sending him for you…all of you”. Nightwing offers to show Batman the scratches, but as it turns out Bruce had already viewed the surveillance footage from the groundbreaking and just wanted to hear it from Dick, as well as get him caught up on what was going on.
That night, Bruce has an appointment at Wayne Tower with Lincoln March. During it, Lincoln admits that he sees an ally and friend in Bruce, as they both lost their parents to tragedies in their youth, and that Gotham saved them. However, it seems that something dark has returned to Gotham, but before Lincoln can elaborate further, a man in a black owl costume attacks them with knives. Lincoln is taken out of the fight quickly, leaving Bruce to himself as he tries to save himself while also holding back, as he can’t give hints that he’s Batman. However, even after applying over a hundred pounds of pressure to his assailant’s windpipe, he can’t seem to knock him out. Instead, the assailant tosses him around like a rag-doll before telling Bruce that “The Court of Owls has sentenced you to die”.
Bruce is then kicked out the window, realising that by the time he reaches the gargoyles below, he will have fallen so fast that his arms would simply rip off if he grabbed for them. His attacker leaps out after him to make sure he finishes him off, but he’s made a terrible error: There was a hidden, thirteenth gargoyle installed by Henry Wayne to greet visitors to Gotham by air, far above the lower ones. Bruce manages to grab ahold of it while his would-be assassin falls to his apparent death below. Bruce feels confident this assassin was just someone looking to use Gotham’s legends against him and is sure that there is no Court of Owls, but little does he know that after the body is placed in an EMT to be taken to the morgue, the Talon of the Court of Owls awakens and kills the driver.
These comics are AWESOME. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo set the foundations of the story and the mystery of the Court brilliantly, and the horror tone is done so not to scare you away, but rather to scare you into wanting to know more. I hadn’t known that Scott Snyder was more well known for his work with horror-themed comics, but I learned pretty quick just how expertly he could mix that tone into a superhero/detective story like this. But trust me, much like myself back when I started collecting these, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Check in next time when I look at Batman #3 & 4, as Batman begins to uncover the horrible truths about the Talon, as well as Gotham’s past. Ja né!
How Would I Do A Sequel To Injustice: Gods Among Us?
So as you all know, Injustice: Gods Among Us actually turned out to be a great game, even including a story mode that helps me forgive some of the decisions made regarding some of the characters. So then I thought to myself, how would I do a sequel after that story, that honestly seems to resolve itself pretty well. And that’s when it hit me, the answer is two words: Blackest Night. So, THIS is what I would do…
So for the story, here’s what I have in mind: It turns out that Scarecrow was working with the Sinestro Corps when Joker murdered him and took his fear toxins (remember that Scarecrow has been a member in the past). As a result, when Superman was under the effects of his fear toxin, he was also infected by Parallax, thus explaining his radical change in personality. It would later be revealed that Parallax was actually making long-term plans to deal with Nekron, should the Black Lanterns ever emerge. Flash forward a couple of years after Injustice, where Black Hand returns to Earth and the people who were killed in the past events are resurrected as Black Lanterns. Now it’s up to a united front of heroes and villains to try to stop Black Hand. This would also serve to analyse the events of Injustice and the choices the characters made, to see if some of them can ever come back from what they did.
Obviously, as a sequel to a fighting game, the game would likely require new characters. As you can see above, one of the unlockable concept arts you can get in the game for Green Lantern suggests that John Stewart was to be playable, and I think he would be a good addition, especially given what happens to Hal Jordan in Injustice. Also, given what I have in mind for the story, I think I’d wanna include Red Arrow, Batgirl, Black Hand, Saint Walker, Atroticus, Starfire, Beast Boy, Donna Troy, Black Canary, and Scarecrow. Naturally, bringing back the characters who died in the first game (Shazam, Joker, and Lex Luthor) and in its back-story (Green Arrow and the Titans who were killed when Metropolis was destroyed) as Black Lanterns would work.
This didn’t actually occur to me until I’d seen Angry Joe‘s review of Injustice, but it did leave me asking the same question: Where the heck WAS Tag Team Mode? Especially considering what happened in the Story Mode. We constantly had characters taking each other on in pairs, but we could only control one character. It got kinda repetitive, y’know? Teaming some characters up to brawl in pairs would be awesome. Or heck, how about teams of 3? Like, who wouldn’t wanna play this game with the holy Trinity themselves, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman? Or heck, how about putting the Teen Titans together?
Speaking of repetitive, while this didn’t bother me personally, I hear that some were a little annoyed that characters only had one special move and one intro and outro, except for rare occasions where they received new ones due to different costumes. It would be nice to mix it up a bit by adding new special moves. Maybe ones that further show off their various powers and skills. Like Superman using his freeze breath to encase an opponent in ice before giving them his best “I AM A MAN!” punch?…By the way, not kidding here, there was a point near the end of the final battle of Injustice’s story mode where I was playing as Superman taking on Evil Superman, and we had a Wager battle, and when we swung our fists at each other I just stood up and yelled out “I AM A MAN!!!” XD
Anyway, that’s all for now. If I ever think of anything more, I’ll post it later on. Feel free to add your own thoughts on what you’d do for a sequel, and I will see you guys next time. Ja né!
- ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ to launch franchise? (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Injustice Blackest Night DLC Trailer from Germany (blogofoa.com)
Tales of AWESOMETASTICNESS – The One True Power Girl Has Returned! :D (SPOILERS FOR SUPERGIRL #19)
So a lot of people know how I’ve been complaining A LOT about Power Girl‘s representation in World’s Finest. Specifically, how her character is an overzealous and shameless flirt (think Brock from Pokémon), she isn’t all that nice a person, and her new costume continuously gets burned, blasted, or ripped to shreds in damned near every issue. It pretty much made it near impossible to enjoy the book the further it went on, not helped by the fact that nothing in the story seemed to be getting resolved, and frankly I feel as though there is a much better potential for stories with her and Huntress (Helena Wayne) if they were on Earth 2 instead of Prime Earth.
And then Supergirl #19 happened!
THIS is the Power Girl a lot of people have waited for since World’s Finest began. Now granted, she was in last month’s issue as well, where we saw a bit more of her life with her corporation, but this issue is where we get the one true Power Girl back. After rescuing her alternate reality younger counterpart, Power Girl and Supergirl began to sync, experiencing each other’s memories and curing each other (temporarily) of their recent Kryptonite poisoning. After the two take out a brute of a flunky who’s working for Lex Luthor, and Power Girl gets her costume torn for the billionth time, Supergirl collapses from the poisoning taking affect again. Karen takes Kara down to Sanctuary at the bottom of the sea (does Aquaman know about this?), and Karen remarks how she’s become under-dressed AGAIN, leading to the computer offering her new clothes that she immediately gravitates to: Her pre-reboot costume.
But it’s not just the costume that is back for this: Her personality is far more reminiscent of her pre-New 52 character in this comic. She’s compassionate, protective, confident, and legitimately witty for the first frakking time that I have seen in the New 52. And I couldn’t be happier for it. In fact, I will make a promise right here to DC: Clearly, Paul Levitz has failed to properly represent this character in World’s Finest. If Power Girl’s better personality is more accurately represented (and by the way, her old costume does return to that book next month), more specifically, if Supergirl writer Mike Johnson takes over the book, I will buy the book again. HAPPILY.
So that’s my two cents on the matter. Leave your comments below, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!
- Exclusive: ‘Supergirl’ #19 Full Cover Reveal (geek-news.mtv.com)
- Supergirl #19 Review (helenawayne.blogspot.ca)
What I Bought Today – Detective Comics #900 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Tis Wednesday, and it finally came in, so let’s look at…
Balls to the wall, people. It’s the 80 page spectacular known only as Detective Comics #900.
And first, I just wanna say that I know it’s technically considered Detective Comics #19. Well technically, I don’t give a shit what the New 52 numbering refers to this comic as, it’s Detective Comics #900. This comic is 80 pages long BECAUSE it’s the 900th issue, and I’m not gonna let anybody take that away from this comic. So, what do we get? Five stories all in one book, with a few splash pages in between drawn by various artists. Considering the stories mostly revolve around the same situation, I’m perfectly okay with that. So, let’s cover each one separate as to avoid any getting left out, starting with The 900, drawn by Detective Comics regular Jason Fabok.
Acting as a reboot of the Man-Bat backstory, we learn that the Man-Bat formula was actually stolen by Talia from Kirk Langstrom, who was the original Man-Bat before the relaunch. Now Emperor Penguin has it, and has used it to infect the 900 block of Gotham, even creating a Man-Bat Zsasz, because he wasn’t dangerous enough I guess. Batman tells Alfred he’s not calling in the others, but the truth is he already contacted Batgirl and Nightwing. Batgirl is already busy with her own Man-Bats, understandable, and Nightwing is on his way to Chicago…on his motorcycle…and he hasn’t even left the city limits yet. And this is the one problem I have with this story: Nightwing might be angry with Bruce over what happened in Death of the Family, but he would not abandon Gotham when it was being torn a new one by Man-Bats. That’s the kind of thing that people do when they’re about to turn heel. Anyway, with the Family apparently not able to give help, Batwoman shows up with Kirk and his wife to tell Batman about the serum and how to counter it. Unfortunately, it requires him to over-write the virus with another that will only cause transformations in people with a specific DNA: his. So with no other option, as creating an antidote would take too long and the Man-Bats could spread beyond Gotham, Kirk makes the sacrifice and becomes the Man-Bat to cure everyone. With Zsasz cured, he decides to rat out Emperor Penguin, who apparently is in the middle of calling in a favour from Poison Ivy.
Birth of a Family is the aftermath of The 900, drawn by Andy Clarke. Here, we see Kirk’s wife, Francine Langstrom, recount the events of his work as a scientist, how he wanted to help the blind and deaf children with the serum, how the two were married, and how everything went down the tube from there. The serum was mutating the children into Man-Bats, and before Kirk could fix it, the serum was stolen by the League of Assassins. Flash forward to today, where Francine believes she knows a way to bring Kirk back, but to do it, she has to make the same sacrifice he did and become a Man-Bat herself.
War Council is kind of the odd one out, honestly. Not because it’s bad, ‘cuz it isn’t. Just that it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on. It’s also the only one not written by John Layman, and instead is written by James Tynion IV. We check in on Bane and his crew, who had come to Gotham a year ago with the intent to bring it to its knees. It didn’t work out so well, as they were first attacked by Talons on the way in, and then Bane got his ass thrown off a cliff back in Batman: The Dark Knight #7…which I bought back then…for reasons that elude me. However, after that defeat, it seems that our old buddy Sebastian Clark showed up and encouraged him to take on the Court of Owls, which apparently will lead into the next issue of Talon.
Birdwatching, drawn by Henrik Jonsson, is told from the perspective of Mr. Combustible, who was from Detective Comics #6 and 7, which I didn’t read. Not much really happens, except that we learn a little more about Emperor Penguin’s operations during The 900, and we get some major hinting that Penguin’s probably gonna get away with everything that happened last month after the judge at his trial has his family threatened.
And finally, we have Through A Blue Lens, as drawn by Jason Masters. This one also takes place following The 900, where a group of cops are looking over one of their own in a hospital bed and telling them about how, when he was a Man-Bat, he took on Batman, and three of them admit they wished their colleague had taken Batman out, because they’re a bunch of those ungrateful bastards who think Batman is responsible for frakking everything. However, the one in the hospital bed tells the one who believes in Batman that he sides with her and that, when he gets out of the bed, he’ll be more than happy to be her partner out on the streets.
So, awesome issue. Could it have been better? Sure. But as of late, I’m trying to take the approach of being more thankful for what I have than cursing for what I don’t have. I have this, and it’s pretty damned good, and that’s all that matters. Next week, we check in with Calvin Rose as he meets up with Bane, we see what the JLA is up to, and see how far Batman Incorporated is willing to go to get vengeance on Leviathan for the death of Robin. Ja né!
What I Bought Today – Batman and Robin #18, Nightwing #19, Batwoman #19 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Alright, so it’s Wednesday, and I am officially broke. XD Let’s take a look at…
So why am I broke? Because Injustice: Gods Among Us came out yesterday, and today I got four comics, two of which I’d been expecting for a while, and one of those two was a big one. So I’m gonna get the other three out of the way first and then cover Detective Comics #900 separate. So, let’s kick things off with the comic that gave everyone “the feels” last month, Batman and Robin #18.
OH MY GOD. If there was ever the emotional equivalent to getting punched in the soul, this is it. This is where Bruce starts to LOSE HIS SHIT. He is seeing Damian everywhere he goes, while driving the Batmobile, swinging across the city, going down the poles…and yeah, I did have to take a moment to giggle at the idea of them using the 1960’s Batman poles to get down to the Batcave. Then he finds the letter, which apparently Damian wrote before leaving to help him fight Leviathan. I will now read to you what he wrote, in excruciating detail, so you too will experience “the feels”.
I’m sure you’ll be angry with me for disobeying you again but I don’t care, I will not let you fight Leviathan alone. You need me and I will always be at your side.
Because it will be hard for me to say these words face to face, I want you to know that Mother may have given me life, but you taught me how to live.
Love and respect
Naturally, that’s the breaking point for Bruce, who decides to pretty much break the cave, and…well, we already know what became of that. Speaking of which, I feel bad for missing this, but apparently the next few issues will revolve around the five stages of grief. With Red Robin, it was denial, Red Hood will be anger, Batgirl bargaining, Catwoman depression, and Nightwing acceptance. So I guess that covers why it’s just those five.
Nightwing #19 does a good job of setting up the new scenario for Dick Grayson, having left Gotham to go to Chicago. Why Chicago? I DON’T KNOW. The situation feels a LOT like Blüdhaven, with the mayor being clearly corrupt and crime seeming to work its way down from there to the streets, very much a reversal of Gotham City and, in many ways, worse. So why isn’t it Blüdhaven instead of Chicago? Well, technically it was blown up…actually, I think it was blown up a couple of times, not sure. But considering everything else they changed with the New 52, I’m not really sure why they didn’t do this. Also, Prankster is a psycho. I’ll admit to not knowing much about the character going into this, and this guy caught me off guard with just how crazy he is. Like, Joker would probably really like this guy.
Batwoman #19 didn’t have much in the way of superheroing, it was more of a character study…which is kind of a trend I’ve noticed from last issue. There’s a lot of analysis on the characters, showing us their motivations, what makes them tick, what they’re willing to do in the field, how they relate to each other, all great. Guess what, though? Not a lot of actual superhero work done. And that’s fine for one issue, but this is two in a row we’ve gotten a lack of superhero work. I’m hoping that this is just a slow build to something big, though, and perhaps it is, as we discover that what the D.E.O. REALLY wants from Batwoman is to obtain Batman’s secret identity. Also, her sister’s been found, and is apparently going to be used as leverage to make sure she co-operates, but I get the feeling that Hawkfire might be looking to help her out of her situation.
So, three comics down, one to go. Check out my look at Detective Comics #900 coming up in a few. Ja né!
What I Bought Today – Injustice: Gods Among Us…The Game, Not The Comic (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Well, a certain game that I promised everyone I’d take a look at is out, which means it’s time to check out…
So, even though I don’t have an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii U, I got the game for the Wii U anyway since N. Harmonik DOES have one, and we generally try to hang out at least once a week. This means I have plenty of time to play the game regardless. So, with that said, let’s take a look at Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Now you’ve heard me rant and rave about this game, in particular how Lois Lane is murdered, how Superman kills Joker and becomes a tyrant, and how Damian Wayne murders Dick Grayson, takes his place as Nightwing, and joins Superman’s side. Also, one thing I forgot to mention, in addition to all of that, how Wonder Woman is completely for his actions and decides to try and get into a relationship with him (WHY do we keep seeing these two as a couple?!). However, here’s where NetherRealm Studios has thrown the mother of all curve balls at us. This is actually an alternate-realities-colliding story, where the heroes of a more traditional modern DC world are pulled between dimensions to help save this world where all this badness has happened. In other words, the mischaracterization was intentional. Now granted, this does have a level of lameness to it, since this plot has been done a number of times in comics and in the Justice League animated series, but my opinion is that if you feel you have something new to add, then go ahead and try it. Really, at this point, I’m more amazed they kept this a secret, although admittedly the clues have been there for a while now.
So how are the characters handled otherwise? Pretty well. Certain elements of both the pre and post-Flashpoint universes are utilized to the point where it almost feels like a hybrid of the two. For example, Wonder Woman is still a demigod, but the Amazons’ back-stories seem unaltered. Her and Superman are just close friends as Superman is married to Lois. Also, Superman wears what appears to be a modified version of his New 52 Kryptonian Armour that’s had its belt changed to yellow, like his old tights had. Personality wise, everyone acts as you would expect: Aquaman is the badass king of Atlantis, Superman is the gentle giant who will alter plans to keep as many people out of harm’s way as possible, Wonder Woman is compassionate and strong of mind and body, Green Arrow is snarky and full of himself, and Flash…well, Barry Allen continues to make me wish Wally West was here instead. lol Also, for anybody bothered by the fact that Superman is the main villain, I should also note that it’s good Superman who takes him down.
As far as the actual gameplay goes? Well, I never doubted it would be a good fighting game, considering the people who made it, and I was right not to. This game is as solid a fighter as you can expect nowadays. All the characters feel unique, each having their own superpowers, abilities, special moves, and whatnot. The playable characters are Aquaman, Ares, Bane, Batman, Black Adam, Catwoman, Cyborg, Deathstroke, Doomsday, The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Harley Quinn, Hawkgirl, The Joker, Killer Frost, Lex Luthor, Nightwing, Raven, Shazam (formerly Captain Marvel), Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, Superman, and Wonder Woman. While I mostly played story mode and a couple of single battles (since we only had one controller and had to alternate between us), I will say that, thus far, my favourite characters to play as are Aquaman, Batman, and Nightwing.
Can’t complain about the sound at all. The music and sound effects are all great, and having a lot of my favourite voice actors for various characters makes this all to easy to feel comfortable with. The graphics are fine, except in the very first cutscene with some VERY derpy looking police officers. One admittedly small thing I kinda have to bring up, though: We had captions turned on, basically out of habit since we never wanna miss important details in the dialogue and like to keep our bases covered, and for some reason, the captions never seemed in sync with what was going on in the cutscenes. Lines would appear several seconds after people started talking, and some lines of dialogue would be left out entirely. Not sure what that was all about.
So, with all this said, I’m sure this brings up a question: Does this change my opinion on the comics?……..No, not even a little. In fact, this actually opens up whole new issues. For example, if this was an alternate universe story and the characters’ alternate costumes were to differentiate them, then why are the characters of the universe where everything turns to crap wearing the costumes from the universe where everything turns out okay? Why does Superman say nothing to Joker when he kills him and Batman is seen doing nothing to stop him in the comics, when in the game, Superman yells at Joker for a long while and Batman has to be thrown away to keep him from stopping Clark? I get the feeling there was a lack of communication somewhere, or it was done to keep people in the dark. Either way, though, I am not a fan of the comics at all, aside from the one where Harley Quinn and Green Arrow hang out. THAT was adorably hilarious.
So that’s my thoughts on the game. Does it have problems? Yes. Are elements of the story clichéd? Sure. But overall, I still liked it. It’s still a good game that I think a lot of people, be they comic book fans or fans of fighting games, would enjoy. Though here’s hoping that the next DC game is a little less dark and dire. That’s all from me for today, and I will see y’all tomorrow with my haul of comics…I am gonna be so broke by the end of the week. Ja né!
Tales of Dumbassery – What Some IDIOTS Will Do On Google Maps’ Street View
Yes, it is now time, once again, to prepare yourself with a bottle of ibuprofen as we venture into the realm of…
Now, for this one, I am NOT linking pictures. Why? Because I’m not sick…Well okay, I’m not THAT sick. lol
It was recently made news on The Telegraph that a couple was apparently caught having public sex on the side of Dukes Highway in southern Australia, bent over the back of a car. And of all ways they could be caught doing this, they were caught on Google Maps. Oh, but wait, it gets DUMBER. They appeared quite relaxed while in the midst of this act, as she was waving to the camera while he was chugging a can of beer in the middle of sex. In response to this, Google Maps has blurred the image (I would’ve just had another shot taken without two people having sex, but that’s just me), though you can find the original image on the article.
Now, as I understand it, it’s not all that rare for people to do outrageous things when they find themselves caught on the Street View of Google Maps. Still, you gotta be pretty frigging stupid to pull this, not to mention VERY open with your sex life to just display it for all to see. After all, unless they’re living in a place that allows public sex, I’m pretty sure they should be facing criminal charges of some sort.
And you wanna know what the worst part of all this is? I just KNOW somewhere in the back of my mind that this isn’t the worst thing to ever pop up on Google Maps. That’s how dumb people can be, folks. And it wouldn’t even have to be intentional. Back in 2010, a girl in Worcester playing with her friends lying down on the pavement got caught on Street View, and that led to the community thinking there’d been a murder.
So yeah, that’s my two cents on that little issue. Leave your thoughts below, and I will see you guys in a couple of days with a two-part What I Bought Today, starting on Tuesday with Injustice: Gods Among Us, and then ending on Wednesday with the new comics out. Ja né!