Monthly Archives: August 2014
So, this October marks a HUGE turning point in a lot of the Bat related books, as a few new ones are getting started, and pre-existing ones are getting big changes in relation to what’s going on in Batman Eternal. What’s interesting about the new books is that some of them don’t even necessarily star Batman, or even involve him directly, rather simply taking place in Gotham City and starring different characters. Now, because they take place in Gotham, I would assume he’ll make appearances, but otherwise, they aren’t about him. It honestly reminds me of an often brought up theory that DC doesn’t know how to market products that don’t involve Batman anymore. And before anyone brings up that it could be in relation to the upcoming Gotham TV series, let me remind everyone that Green Arrow has had a TV show for a couple of years, but has advertising for his comics improved much? Granted, they’ve done more with him, but the actual marketing for his books don’t seem to have changed at all. Flash is getting a new TV show, but I don’t see much in the way of marketing improvements for his series, despite the fact that Wally West is coming back as Kid Flash. Last year was Superman’s 75th Anniversary, and yes, he got a new book that I’ve come to love, but compare what they did for him to what they’ve done for Batman’s 75th. You start to see the problem, yes? And sure, a lot of people love Batman, but what about people that are sick of Batman and want to see the other heroes get some attention? They’re pretty much outta luck.
But anyway, enough about me ranting about that, let’s instead focus on these changes, in no particular order, and what my thoughts on each of them are before giving a final overall opinion. Keep in mind, these are my thoughts going into these changes, and I could end up flip-flopping on some of them when they actually occur. Let’s start off with…
Barbara Gordon loses everything she owns in a fire, and so, as part of her attempts to start her life over following the end of Gail Simone’s run, she decides to do the same with Batgirl, creating a whole new costume. The book promises to be a bit more lighthearted and fun, with Babs going to grad school, and will feature quite a few LGBT characters in addition to fan favourite, Alysia. Again, I wish this was Stephanie Brown in this role, in fact the costume immediately makes me think of Steph’s (just picture her in blonde hair and you’ll see immediately), but I am NOT gonna say no to a book that promotes itself as being fun and lighthearted while also starring one of my favourite characters, so I’m going into this with a good attitude.
Something happens at Arkham Asylum that causes them to have to move a bunch of their inmates to a new location. As such, Wayne Manor becomes a new home for Gotham’s criminally insane, because that’s the most logical place to put them, right? Now, based on Batman #34, which takes place at the same time as the new Arkham Manor book, Batman is still operating out of the Batcave. But is it THE Batcave, or simply A Batcave? Sure, all the usual stuff is there, but they could’ve been moved. After all, having your base of operations underneath some of your worst enemies, with an access route in place to it, isn’t exactly a very tactically sound idea, and we know Batman isn’t stupid. He either moved to a new cave, or has found a way to block off the cave from the inmates. Either way, while I don’t think I’ll be buying this book, I will say I’m interested to see where this is going. Also, I’m curious as to Bruce’s stance on all of this. Is he against the idea, or could it actually have been his to begin with?
Apparently, another book that will look at the youth of Gotham City is the new book Gotham Academy. Don’t really know much about it beyond that, other than the art looks fantastic. Can’t say as I’m familiar at all with the cast, which is unfortunate as they could’ve easily had Stephanie and/or Harper Row be part of it just to give them more exposure, but whatever. Not terribly interested myself, but looks promising for people wanting to know more about Gotham and the people living there, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of the characters cross over into Batgirl.
Okay, this is where the whole “DC not knowing how to market anything unrelated to Batman and Gotham” thing can actually seem kinda devious. Why? Because the star of Gotham By Midnight is Jim Corrigan, AKA The Spectre. Granted, in the book Gotham Central, which I believe is getting a reprint soon (which proves Dan DiDio a blatant liar about the book’s popularity…AGAIN), there was a corrupt cop named Jim Corrigan on the squad, but he was VERY different from the previous version of the character. However, in the pages of Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger, the two versions were more or less merged into one, making The Spectre a Gotham based hero of sorts. Anyway, this is slated to be a more horror-style book, with Corrigan being part of a division of the GCPD that investigates supernatural cases. Haven’t decided if I’ll be getting it yet or not, but fans of The Spectre should be pleased nonetheless.
As revealed in Batman #28, and will be made official this October, Catwoman will at some point become the kingpin of crime in Gotham City and take direct control of all organized crime in the city. This is an especially welcome change to many who have read her solo book, like my colleague FHIZ of Gotham Spoilers, who have voiced their EXTREME displeasure of the title for the past 2-3 years. And frankly, having read some of what goes on in that book, I can’t say as I blame them. It also makes her relationship with Batman all the more complex. Yes, she’s running a major source of his biggest griefs, but she’s also shown that if Gotham is in big enough danger, she will help him in her own unique way. Again, not sure if I’ll be getting her book, but it’s at least a change I can get behind.
This is a change I’m NOT so fond of. As far as I can tell, Batwoman becoming a vampire is a change they’re actually rolling with, and will see her teaming with a group called The Unknowns, which are made up of Ragman, Etrigan the Demon, Red Alice, and Clayface. So in other words, she’s a brooding anti-hero at best, and a straight-up villain at worst. Wonderful, DC, just fucking wonderful. PASS.
While the major change here isn’t occurring in October, we will nonetheless see the next chapter of the Batman and Robin story, Robin Rises, which concludes in December. Long story short, Damian’s body is on Apokolips, as it has accidentally absorbed energy from something called the Chaos Shard, which we saw back in Batman/Superman’s first arc, and as they were unable to regain the crystal itself, they took Damian’s body instead. This crystal has the power to bring the dead back to life, though quite possibly at a cost. As such, Batman has declared that he’s going to Apokolips to get Robin, and he’s bringing him back, ALIVE. Peter J Tomasi has gone on record as saying that this story WILL resolve with Batman having a Robin again, though whether that Robin is Damian or not remains to be seen. It could be that the quest to bring Damian back could instead result in someone else taking up the mantle. Frankly, I’m hoping it’s either Damian back from the grave to reclaim his role at his father’s side, or that he becomes Redbird again and Carrie, Stephanie, or Tim take up the role of Robin. Either way, I think we all know that Batman NEEDS a Robin, so I’m just glad for that much. Will I buy the book again? Not right away. I’m waiting until Robin is active again to start buying. But once that’s done, most likely.
Don’t know, don’t care. NEXT!
So we already knew that Harper Row would be becoming the heroine Bluebird, but it seems that another character possibly coming to Batman’s side is someone named Lark. Who are they? Heck if I know. Maybe it’s Harper’s brother, Cullen, deciding to join his sister in her fight against crime. If so, I demand a book for them. No, seriously, make it happen. I wanna see a book about Bluebird and Lark fighting C and D list criminals. Maybe even add Steph, Calvin Rose, and the recently returned Misfit to the mix for funsies. Heck, they could form a whole new Birds of Prey group with Black Canary and/or Batgirl.
Anyway, that’s most of the changes to the Bat Family books (because I don’t wanna spoil EVERYTHING). How do I feel about them overall? Honestly, I think that, in the end, change can be a positive thing, as long as it’s handled well. Even the stuff I’m not exactly on-board with, like Batwoman And The Unknowns, can be done well if given the right amount of thought and direction. So, overall, I think this is a good thing. Ultimately, though, it feels like Batman Eternal’s actual story is taking a backseat to setting up this new status quo and showing how we get to this point, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In the end, I remain hopeful that these changes will lead to a better, more fleshed out Gotham.
So, those are my thoughts. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section below, and we’ll see what happens in October. Ja né!
So a long while ago, it was unveiled that Nintendo trademarked something called Pokkén Fighters, and an image was making the rounds of Lucario and Blaziken about to throw down in the middle of some city. Naturally, the rumour mill being what it is, EVERYONE was speculating as to what this was, though most of us guessed it was some type of fighting game. Well, it turns out we were right, as The Pokémon Company president, Tsunekazu Ishihara, officially revealed Pokkén Tournament, an arcade game that may see release outside the arcade later on, which is actually being developed by Bandai Namco, complete with producers from both the Tekken and Soul Calibur series, though it appears the Tekken side of things is the one with the most focus, as Pokkén is clearly (and I can’t believe I didn’t notice this sooner) a combination of the words Tekken and Pokémon. And oh yes, there was a trailer.
…Well, been a while since I tossed out this little gem, but guess what?! *inhales deeply*
So, let’s take a look! First off, the only playable fighters confirmed thus far are Lucario and Machamp, though I would imagine Blaziken may be playable as well due to that image we saw a while back. The graphics and animation look great, and while the action seems to incorporate a lot of each Pokémon’s signature moves, they don’t necessarily seem limited to them either. That’s probably for the best, since this is a completely different genre of game, and it would neither shock nor bother me if types didn’t play a part in this either. Also, we manage to catch a glimpse of Mega Lucario near the end. Is this a completely different fighter, a transformation, or perhaps part of some kind of finishing move? Only time will tell, but I do hope that if it’s a transformation that the Pokémon who can’t Mega Evolve will have a means by which to close the gap with those who can.
The game is scheduled for release in arcades in 2015. Again, though, it was implied that there MIGHT be non-arcade release later on. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Until then, leave your thoughts and comments below, and we’ll see what happens in 2015. Ja né!
So, remember a while back, I decided to make my own superhero stories on deviantArt? I eventually left it because I was dissatisfied with how it turned out, but didn’t wanna get rid of the original stories as I knew I could always look back on them as ways of improving on what went wrong as well as reusing what went right. Well, after a while, I decided to bring the stories back as the rebooted All-New Superhero Tales (and yes, I will admit that’s kind of a friendly nudge at Marvel’s All-New Marvel NOW! label) on FictionPress. There are several stories up already, one of which is in progress. Also, I decided to go with a system similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the movies came out in phases, with each one ending with an Avengers movie. The same will be true of this, where to start off, there’s a series of stories that will highlight each of the individual heroes of this new universe that’ll culminate with The Hexagon. So, with that said, let’s talk about the rebooted heroes of All-New Superhero Tales. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep spoilers for their stories as low as possible, but if you’d rather read their stories instead, click here. Also, if you wanna see more art made by the one who drew these, check out Emmybomber’s deviantArt page here. Otherwise, let’s start with…
Yeah, remember when she was just Green Defender’s sidekick in the original stories? Not anymore! In the new ‘verse, Cassandra Linda Doyle discovered she could turn hard as steel while being bullied for her love of detective novels and her sexual orientation. Learning that she could change her mass to alter her body’s solidness, Cassie decided to use these powers to help the police combat the mob, taking up the name and costume of The Intangible Starslip, all while being aided by her superhero-loving girlfriend and tech support Olette, her retired detective father Kenneth, and an enthusiastic costume designer named Scotty. Starslip’s powers allow her and anything she’s in contact with to phase through solid matter, turn as hard as the strongest kinds of steel, and fly gracefully through the air. She also possesses adhesive gel throwing stars, made by her father and Scotty, for stopping her opponents in their tracks. Despite all this, she does have some weaknesses. She can’t turn intangible when her body is exposed to extreme cold, and the hotter it is, the harder it is for her to over-solidify. Also, certain tricks she can pull off with these abilities can cause her body to exhaust itself or cramp up in pain. Finally, while this power makes her able to avoid getting hurt in combat, it’s up to Starslip to recognize and respond to threats accordingly, so she can be caught off guard. Still, despite only being a superhero for a short time thus far and having to balance this life with her high school life, she’s already managed to break up mob riots and stop supervillains of varying degrees of power. In the end, Cassie’s greatest attributes are her never-say-die attitude, her developing detective skills, and her close bonds with her friends and family.
Originally conceived by David Scanlan, AKA @.
In the original stories on deviantArt, Outrun was a close friend to several other superheroes, until an accident where he was exposed to a supervillain’s superspeed caused him to also become a speedster. In the new rebooted universe, Australian-American scientist Stanley Davidson was trying to unlock the secrets to allowing a human being to travel at the speed of sound. Creating a suit powered by an experimental energy source called Velocitrom, Stanley opted to test the suit himself, and after a series of events, he eventually decided to use the suit to become Outrun, a supersonic superhero with a genius’ IQ level. The suit projects a bio-electric field that protects him and anyone in contact with him from the stresses of superspeed, allowing him to safely travel at speeds of up to Mach 3, though his actual full potential is currently unknown, and if he were to push himself too hard, the field could collapse and his body might literally shatter from the stresses. Also, while the field protects anything inside of it, Outrun must keep constant attention of what’s ahead of him, as he could collide with large objects or run down innocent bystanders. To help assist him in the field, he’s equipped the suit with a headset that comes with a GPS tracking system, can make video and audio calls, can hack and piggyback on radio signals, and has a number of different vision and scanning modes. However, Stanley’s greatest weakness may be his own naivety. While he does possess a genius level IQ, he can at times be seen as too trusting of other people, and sometimes just makes simple mistakes and oversights in judgement. And despite being faster than nearly all of his opponents, if they can predict his moves, it is possible for him to be tripped up. Despite this, Outrun keeps up an optimistic attitude, choosing to believe that humanity’s better side will always win out in the end, and will never stop running as long as he believes in that future.
The first superhero I ever created, Green Defender has gone through a number of changes as I tried to get him just right. In this current version of events, Geoffrey Hicks was a young man living in St. Jean, arguably the worst city in America, working with a scientist, Professor Randal, who was experimenting on an advanced form of electricity known as green voltage. However, tragedy struck when members of the mob came to the scientist’s lab, and an explosion left him dead. Geoff somehow survived the explosion, the green voltage instead having bonded to his nervous system. Finding himself the inheritor of Randal’s second lab, a secret underground bunker for testing the green voltage, Geoffrey took his survivor’s guilt and new powers and channeled them into a life of crime fighting, becoming the Green Defender. GD can use the green voltage focused through his gloves to power various gadgets and equipment kept in his belt, including a cutting laser, explosive throwing discs, a taser, and more. The voltage also increases his stamina, vitality, and reflexes to peak human capability. He also carries an extending steel staff, and a number of tranquilizing feather darts. His mask can also come with various customizable lens, which can grant him night vision, allow him to scan and track energy signatures, and more. The fabric of his cape also comes with shape-memory polymers, which when exposed to the green voltage, reshape the cape to resemble the wings of a bird and allow him to glide. Finally, he has the Emeraptor, a remodeled Honda Fireblade with a green voltage engine, able to reach speeds just about 200 mph. For all of his abilities and equipment, though, the Jade Thunderbird has more than his fair share of vulnerabilities. While he can will his electricity through his gloves, without them, a single touch of his hands could conceivably kill a person. Also, his ability to control the green voltage can waver when he’s angry or under duress, which is a problem due to Geoff’s ever-increasing laundry list of issues. Finally, attempting to use the green voltage when exposed to water can cause it to backfire on him with varying degrees of pain. However, even with these vulnerabilities in place, Green Defender has sworn to protect the innocent of St. Jean, and while he will kill if absolutely necessary, he would just as soon exhaust every other possible solution beforehand. To put it short, Geoffrey Hicks values ALL life, and will not take a life unless it is to protect and there are no other options to do so.
Originally conceived by Teagan Eschborn, AKA @.
Much like in her previous stories, Strix is actually billionaire bisexual bachelorette Téa Rodden, who in turn is the reincarnation of the Glaucus, Athena’s pet owl. As she possesses a link to the goddess’ near-infinite wisdom and mastery of strategy, she was murdered by a god seeking to take those gifts for themselves. Instead, the Glaucus was brought back to life as a human being, keeping Athena’s gifts out of his reach. Growing up, Téa’s advanced mind landed her family a fortune, but also drew the attention of would-be terrorists looking to hold her ransom. Upon learning the truth of her origins and being granted the full of extent of the abilities given to her by Athena, Téa opted to use her family’s fortune to become Strix, the Athene Avenger, along with the help of her maid/agent/confidant, Marlene Wilson, and tech support and occasional superheroine in her own right, Stella Masters, AKA Cybertaur. In addition to her intelligence and wisdom, Strix gains enhanced strength and agility when exposed to light reflecting off the moon, though these gifts can run out over time, especially during the day. She also has God Vision, allowing her telescopic, microscopic, and x-ray vision, as well as the ability to tell if someone is telling the truth or lies just by keeping eye contact with them. Despite all of these abilities, though, at the end of the day, Strix is only human, and possesses the same weaknesses as one, meaning she is by no stretch of the imagination invulnerable. As such, she had Stella build a powerful suit of armour for her to help combat these weaknesses. It comes equipped with owl bombs, smoke pellets, cutting lasers, a fire and bulletproof cape, and a link to her base of operations, The Nest. On top of all of that, her suit also has jets hidden in the shoulder pads. In short, Strix might potentially be the greatest hero in the world of All-New Superhero Tales, with only one other possible contender.
I’ve actually been told that Cybertaur is, and I quote, “the hypest shit ever”. 😄 Anyway, in the rebooted universe, Stella Masters is an African-American ex-marine, who in addition to serving in combat for her country has also gained a wealth of knowledge in cybernetics and computer hacking. Following the loss of her lower legs, she was tasked with constructing and testing a personal walker of soldiers without the use of their legs. The project was eventually cancelled, but Stella got to keep the prototype, which she managed to finish while working for Téa Rodden. As such, she would eventually decide to become Cybertaur, acting both as Strix’s tech support and occasional ally in the field. Cybertaur’s mechanized walking apparatus is linked to Stella’s mind, giving her complete control over it. It can gallop at speeds up to 75 mph, and contains a number of different weapons and gadgets inside it, including a blunt mace used for smacking opponents and breaking walls down. If necessary, though, she is a skilled marksman with a pistol, and is fully prepared to kill. As Cybertaur, she also wears a steel breastplate for protection, and the walker comes with a solid black visor that grants her a better view of the surrounding area. That said, she still has one major weakness: If anything ever goes wrong with her walker, she’ll be all but helpless, though she has more than enough skills to be just as helpful behind the front lines as she is on them. However, what’s worse is that she’s VERY aware of her handicap, and can at times be overly sensitive of it, or worse, will even charge into battle just to prove a point.
The Immigrant from the Outer Rim’s story has been slightly adjusted for All-New Superhero Tales. Once again, Zenith Woman is an Oondtryxian, a race of warrior women from a sector of space called the Outer Rim, who use a form of psychokinetic power to enhance their strength and speed to become a peacekeeping force. Born Vyxwyndul, which roughly translates as ‘she who can reach any zenith’, she was separated from her people following an evacuation of a planet that had fallen to the Rizlagon, lizard-like conquerors who have committed murders and other atrocities on a galactic scale. Winding up on Earth through unknown means, well over 200 years away from home, Vyx and her robotic companion, ZUUTS, decide to protect the world from interstellar threats, Vyx disguising herself both as a human named Vicky Wendel, and as the superheroine Zenith Woman. ZW can use her psychokinetic field to amplify her strength to where she can use an 18-wheeler as a flail, endure harsh blows and collisions that would ordinarily critically wound a person of her size and stature, increase her speed to where she can outrun nearly every sort of man-made land vehicle, fly at speeds reaching past Mach 5, and even survive the vacuum of space for up to 10 minutes. When lifting heavy objects, the field will surround them as well, keeping them from crumbling apart in her hands. While she is unable to forcefully read minds, she is able to send telepathic messages to people, usually in the form of telepathy or short images, and can sense thoughts and emotions that are dwelled on with enough force. Vyx also has heightened senses, particularly in that her sight and hearing have a much farther radius than humans. However, Zenith Woman’s most unique, and potentially most powerful, ability is her Vortex Breath, the ability to inhale a vast amount of air before releasing it with enough force to shatter the sound barrier. This does, unfortunately, come complete with a major flaw: After using her Vortex Breath, Vyx is left unable to use her other abilities for a certain period of time, depending on how much she took in. At maximum capacity, she will be left with the physical parameters of an average young woman for approximately one hour, meaning she has to be careful about when she uses it. Also, while her psychokinetic energy field is powerful, it is not invincible. It has limits, and certain enemies with high enough levels of super-strength can plough through it. Finally, just using her psychokinetic field requires concentration, and because the gravity on Earth is much greater than that of most planets on the Outer Rim, she can overtax herself much quicker than she’s used to. To combat this, her costume is weaved with kevlar to protect her, and her cape and gloves are made from titanium/flame-retardant polymers.
Anyway, there will be more than that, but these six will form the upcoming Hexagon. For those worried, don’t, the other two members that originally formed it will be introduced soon enough. Anyway, hope you all give it a read, and feel free to comment what you think of these heroes in the comment section below. Ja né!
So, for anyone that follows comics, and for anyone who has read my thoughts on Batwoman, you all should know the situation involving her book by now. If you don’t, I’ve discussed what happened before, but if you don’t feel like reading all that, here’s the jist of it: At the end of Batwoman #17, released on February 20th, 2013, Batwoman revealed her identity to her girlfriend and police officer, Maggie Sawyer, and the two became engaged. However, on September 5th, almost a year ago, a statement was released by JH Williams III and Haden Blackman that they had walked off the book following creative differences with DC, specifically that they were, and I quote, “prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married.” For historical documentation, I should note that I personally squeed at the news they were getting married, so of course, I took this personally. I was sad, angry, confused, and to this day, I still don’t have a clear, concrete answer as to why, if the marriage was such a problem with DC Editorial and higher-ups, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with, if they were only going to say no later. I mean, it’s been made clear that Dan DiDio believes that superheroes shouldn’t be married, that they should always be fucking miserable in their lives, but again, why was this green lighted if they knew it’d never happen?
*sighs* So, almost a year after we learned that the wedding would never happen, and knowing that DC would likely split Kate and Maggie up, the moment of truth is upon us in this week’s Batwoman #34. So, how does it end? Well, it ends badly, but let’s be honest, we knew it would. However, what’s actually so much more heartbreaking is the fact that this reminds me of One More Day, but in the sense that it almost feels like the antithesis of that story. There’s no deal with the devil, no changes to history, and the hero is ultimately making a personal sacrifice of her own happiness to help the woman she loves. Basically, Maggie is involved in a custody battle with her homophobic ex-husband over their daughter. In the end, the husband drops the case, but Kate leaves Maggie a note saying they need to take a break. It’s revealed that Kate made a deal with the ex (okay, so a deal was made, but there’s a big difference between some homophobic and frigging Mephisto) that she would stay away from Maggie and her daughter if he dropped the case, and she can’t ever tell Maggie what she did. It’s a heartbreaking, tragic end to their relationship…so basically, everything One More Day wasn’t. And the fact is, both of these stories were editorially mandated, so it really shows the difference between JMS and Marc Andreyko in how they handle editorially mandated breakups. Am I happy with it? No, but I wouldn’t be happy with anything Andreyko came up with for how to end this. He was in a no win scenario, people. There was just NO WAY TO WIN in this.
Now, as for the other half of what happened, and I dunno if this was mandated too or if Andreyko just really wanted to tell this story. Basically, while the drama of the custody battle was going on, Kate as Batwoman was dealing with the vampire criminal known as Nocturna. Well, in this issue, she gets a glimpse of Kate’s face under the mask, sees a tabloid with her face on it, and after the Kate and Maggie split, she sneaks into Kate’s house and…
…So yeah, Batwoman’s apparently a vampire now. And frankly, the part of my mind that constantly seeks a joke to break the ice is just thinking of this little gem from Justice League War.
Okay, I need to speak honestly with you right now, because I feel like it would show a lack of respect to my audience if I didn’t. And hell, you wouldn’t respect me if I didn’t. I have an admitted ‘thing’ for vampires. And before you ask, no, I do not read Twilight. lol But yeah, do I find lesbian vampire Batwoman hot?…Yeah. Yeah, I-I find it VERY hot. However, that said, I should also make it clear that just because something is sexy does NOT mean that you should do it in comics, especially when it causes a massive change to the narrative like THIS does. And while it is kinda sexy, it’s also kinda clichéd, almost like I’m reading Batwoman fanfiction. In fact, I’m almost certain this situation HAS occurred in Batwoman fanfiction. That’s why that scene in JLW was so funny to me, because so many fanfic writers have made Batman and the various Bat Family members into vampires.
So, again, I don’t know if this is Andreyko’s idea or not, I don’t know how long this is gonna last for, and frankly, I don’t know whether or not this means Batwoman will continue to be a heroine or if she’s now moving into anti-hero territory. However, I will reiterate what I said before: No matter what Andreyko came up with, we weren’t gonna be satisfied, so I’m not holding any of this against him. But I DO hold this against DC Editorial, in particular my favourite person in the entire Multiverse, Dan DiDio, and his idiotic, insulting, out-of-touch-with-reality viewpoints on superheroes that constantly makes me wonder how the hell he ever got to the position he’s in! And frankly, there’s been a rumour going around that part of Warner Bros. could be up for sale, and that various groups like Disney might be looking to purchase DC Comics. If it’s true, whoever it is, I’m gonna give you a little piece of advice: FIRE DAN DIDIO! He is the source of the worst of the drama and controversy in DC for nearly the past decade, and needs to be removed, IMMEDIATELY. Would it magically fix everything? Maybe not, but it’d be a HUGE step to help things out.
…Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the situation. Leave your comments below what you think about Batwoman #34, DC Editorial, Dan DiDio, Marc Andreyko, JH Williams III, whatever, and hopefully, someone with the power to do something about this will do so. Ja né!
So, in the upcoming Marvel event, AXIS, there’s going to be what’s being referred to as an Inversion. Basically, several good guys will become bad guys and vice versa. Now, the idea is actually not a bad one. In fact, it’s actually a rather neat idea, provided it’s executed well. One of these changes is the teased Superior Iron Man (don’t worry, no Doc Ock possession this time), wherein Tony Stark is reverted to his pre-Iron Man persona, but has all of the tech and resources of the present day one, thus making him a far more ethically darkened individual, if not just plain evil. On the flip side, I’ve heard rumours of villains like Hobgoblin and even Carnage of all people being turned to good, which would be an interesting scenario, or at least it is in theory. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, and if these changes will last for very long. Personally, I’m not necessarily against them turning Iron Man evil, but I kinda hope that they either make it temporary or split his good side from his bad side, which would also leave us with a Tony Stark that would NOT make clones of Thor or have Captain America mind-wiped.
Regardless of how Marvel pulls this off, though, I can’t help but wonder something: What if DC ever did something similar? An event, series of events, or just an Elseworlds story where several key players on the good and bad sides changed alignments, some temporarily, others permanently. Now, this isn’t me saying that DC SHOULD do this. As I’ve alluded to before, both DC and Marvel have been caught copying off each other’s notes in class a few too many times, if you get my drift. I’m just saying that if they DID ever choose to do this, these would be the people I would be most interested in seeing them do an Inversion with. You are, of course, free to disagree, and open to leave your own suggestions as to who you’d like to see get changed, or if anyone should be.
Admittedly, this one probably works best as an Elseworlds story, but it’s still an intriguing idea: What if Bruce Wayne just snapped and turned evil? And I don’t mean that he was always evil, I mean Bruce Wayne as we know him now just turning. It’s an idea for a story that, to the best of my knowledge, DC hasn’t really done. Hell, a lot of times, it’s Superman who turns to evil and Batman who has to stop him. Can I simply ask why that is? You’d think that someone as paranoid, living on the edge, and constantly in the darkness as Batman would be the MOST likely member of the Justice League to turn evil. And, let’s be honest, he’s probably the one you should be the most thankful doesn’t. He knows the weaknesses of every member of the Justice League, and while they would likely pull punches against him in a fight because of their history, if he actually wanted to kill them, they would be in serious trouble. Add onto that his wealth, influence, skills, and equipment, and an evil Bruce Wayne could very well turn out to be the greatest villain of all. Plus, with him as a villain, it would add all kinds of additional scenarios, like what his enemies would think, would they side with him or against him, would his allies stand up to him or fall in line, and would he still be Batman or would that title get passed on to Dick Grayson or the like?
Poison Ivy has been more or less tip-toeing across the line between good and evil for a while now, but what if she actually went all the way good? What if she was cured of her mental ailments, granted the full control of her body without being a harm to herself or anyone around her, and was able to use her powers as a force for good without any forms of misguidance? Honestly, I think she would make Justice League in no time flat. And frankly, just the mere idea of Pam being on friendly terms with Diana and the kinds of conversations they could have are just AMAZING to the feminist in me. ^_^
Before anyone mentions it, I will say that we kinda have an idea of what this would be like from Forever Evil, wherein Cyborg’s robotic parts were infected and split apart from him to become Grid, who possessed all the same access to technology as Cyborg does. Also, in JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative, we see Cyborg becoming Cyberion and more or less inadvertently almost causing the end of the world. However, what if it wasn’t just the machine that turned evil, but the man as well? What if Vic decided to use his tech for selfish gain, and tried to take over the world through hacking everything with a computer chip in it, all for his own benefit? As we’ve seen various times in various medias, it’s a lot easier to overcome the human or the machine half of Cyborg on their own. Both at the same time, though? Near impossible.
This one would pretty much have to go alongside #1 to be at its most effective. Basically, Batman turns evil, and Joker, upon learning that this has happened, that Bruce Wayne is Batman, that the moment he’s worked so hard for, to make Batman finally snap and become a criminal like him, has the following reaction: “I need to fix this, NOW!” He wouldn’t necessarily be all the way good right away, but as he fought to try to put things as they should be, he starts to take notice of all the things he’s done through the actions of Bruce Wayne, and finally feels regret for them. Now of course, a story like this could only conclude with either the two reverting back to how they’ve always been, or one or both of them tragically dying. Still, it’s everything in between the two, how it gets from point A to point B, that matters most. Would he call upon allies like Harley to assist him, or would he actually try to seek the Justice League’s assistance to stop Bruce? What does a mind like The Joker’s do when his intent isn’t madness, death, and chaos, but to try to put things right again?
Y’know, other than temporary brainwashing, Flashpoint, or her turning into an anti-hero in the New 52 (which actually isn’t all that different from brainwashing, now that I think about it), I don’t know that we’ve ever seen Starfire turn evil. We’ve seen her do morally ambiguous things, but to the best of my knowledge, never outright evil. And let’s be honest: Her power levels, while not necessarily at the level of, say, Superman, are high enough that she’d do some SEVERE damage if she turned heel. However, more-so than any other reason I could come up with, I have another reason for wanting to see what would happen if she turned evil: Science…………..Hear me out. There’s a theory that Linkara came up with a while ago, and I’m almost certain he was joking when he came up with it, but it stands to reason that when superheroines turn to evil, their body temperature rises, hence why when most heroines turn evil, they wear less clothes. Now, if you’re a male superhero, the reverse happens, and you wind up wearing more, darker clothes. However, this brings me to Starfire, who barely wears what I would consider clothes to begin with. Would her turning evil have an opposite effect on her, to where she would wear ACTUAL clothes, or would she just run around naked? Comic writers, artists, and deviantArtists, YOU DECIDE! LOL
…Oh, yeah, and if her body temperature increased, and she gets her powers from the sun, would that actually make her even stronger?…Yeah, that’s a much less insulting reason to wanna see this. XP
Don’t look at me like that! I’m serious! What if Darkseid, one of the biggest bads of the DC Universe, was suddenly and legitimately turned to good? If some otherworldly force suddenly changed his alignment to good? Would he still rule Apokolips? Would they even accept him as their leader, or continue with their ways? Would he try to return to New Genesis? What would he do with his ability to enter any of the alternate realities of the Multiverse in a quest for good? How would relations with the Justice League change? Now, of course, a change like this could only ever really be temporary, be in an Elseworlds story, or end with him either becoming depowered, killed, or replaced by some other, more evil force, perhaps the Anti-Monitor. Why? Because while I prefer to see stories where the heroes emerge triumphant, evil should probably still have a chance to win at least. And let’s be honest, could any force of evil truly continue to be an imposing force in the face of such power when used for good?…Well, perhaps there is one…
If you don’t get why this is absolutely horrifying, you clearly didn’t read Birds of Prey. To be blunt, Barbara Gordon is the world’s most talented computer hacker bar none, with the multitasking ability to coördinate all of the world’s greatest heroes, a keen detective’s deduction skills, is one of Batman’s most trusted allies, and has the ability to be a physical threat even when she was confined to a wheelchair. Now imagine those skills being used for evil. Basically, someone able to coördinate the worst villains in the world, hack Batman and the Justice League’s databanks, and has access to their names and weaknesses. Starting to get it now? Yeah. Now be glad she never does turn to evil, or the world of DC heroes would crumble and fall.
Before I start, I’d just like to note how hard it was to decide what the most decent photo of Bleez prior to her becoming a Red Lantern was. Was crazy. Anyway, back to point, what if Bleez was healed of all the physical, mental, and emotional scars that the Sinestro Corps inflicted on her, and could finally move on from her anger? What would she do with her life then? Would she try to be a heroine? And if so, would she join one of the other Lantern Corps, or just act on her own with her own abilities? Perhaps she would join the Birds of Prey, utilizing her gift of flight to help cover them from the sky. Hell, either way, it would just be nice to see her in a position where she can finally live her life free of rage.
Finally, let’s tackle a long-standing argument in comics: Is Booster Gold really a hero, or is he just in it for the money? In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of anyone who has really paid attention to the character, while he DOES like the attention, he still legitimately means well and wants to be a hero. But what if he wasn’t? What if, instead of trying to be a hero in the past, he was using knowledge of the future to pull off the perfect crimes, and possibly even using future tech to try and take over the planet? And, more importantly, could anyone stop him with such advantages?
Anyway, that’s all for now. What do you all think? Let me know in the comments section below who you’d like to see have their alignment inverted, either as a short-term, long-term, or Elseworlds story.
So, since it’s been a really long time since I was blogging regularly, there’s been some obvious changes to my comic book pull list. New books came out, old books got cancelled or changed in ways I didn’t like, and so on. So, with that in mind, here’s my entire pull list as it is now. Keep in mind, this is always subject to change, and is going to pretty soon…but I’ll get to that when I talk about it. For now, let’s talk about…
Yeah, what a shocker, huh? Scott Snyder’s Batman has remained solidly good since the beginning of the New 52 to now. Granted, there have been dipping points at times. On reflection, Death of the Family could’ve been a lot better, and Zero Year lost a little bit of steam by the end. However, the title is nonetheless a great one, and Court of Owls remains one of the best stories of the New 52 even to this day. There’s just not much else I can say about it, other than that, in terms of writing consistency, it might just be the best of the New 52’s First Wave books still going today. What other book would I put in contention? Well…
Since day one of this book, it’s been an interesting ride, full of fun and controversy. First, Steph’s existence in the New 52 is retconned and Babs is made Batgirl again, immediately earning my anger. However, Gail Simone nonetheless wrote a great title, to the point where I just couldn’t turn away from how good it was. Then Gail Simone was fired, thus earning the anger of EVERYBODY. Then she was rehired in the wake of the massive fan-rage, though there were some changes made to the overall gameplan of what was in mind for the book’s future, which may or may not have resulted in Batgirl: Wanted. Either way, I opted to skip that arc because I hated it, even while written by Gail, but upon returning to the book when it was over, I found myself enjoying it again just fine. Then Deadline happened, and it immediately felt odd, at first seeming too dire, then seeming like a departure arc. Sure enough, right after I was done reviewing Batgirl #33, it was announced that Gail was leaving the book…and yet, this time, I don’t mind, because she’s giving resolution to Babs’ journey for the past three years, and the next phase of the Batgirl title actually looks like it’ll be fun and interesting. I honestly can’t think of another title that could go through that much shit and still be as good as it is, with the exception of Nightwing, although that book has since been cancelled. But yeah, happy to report that I’m still buying and enjoying Batgirl. And I’m not TOO bummed about the loss of Gail Simone, as this is not the only title of hers on my list…
Yeah, there’s one other Bat related book, but I thought I’d space it out a bit so as not to create the illusion that I only like Bat related books. Granted, this book DOES have a member of Batman Incorporated on it, but it nonetheless isn’t really a Bat book. So, why am I buying this book? For starters, because it’s a shit-ton better than Scott Lobdell’s Teen Titans, and I apologize if you like his work and get offended by my constantly calling him out, but I can’t lie: I REALLY don’t like his work. If you do, that’s fine. The team feels a bit more solid, the colour scheme works a lot better, and the fact that the pre-Flashpoint characters feel a bit more akin to those characters. Really, the only complaints I have is how much more edgy Bunker is, Raven’s costume not being as good as her old one, Wonder Girl’s features being given a bit too much attention for a teenager, and Beast Boy is green again for no reason other than to stop the bitching. And granted, I appreciate him being green again, but I would’ve liked an actual reason for it. Otherwise, though, not much to complain about, and it’s still early in the new book’s life, so they may make up for some of these things as time goes by. And on the subject of team books…
Call them the Justice League Canada or Justice League United. Either way, they’re still awesome. Why? Well, because of what Martian Manhunter says in the most recent issue: They’re a group meant to be a superhero team, PERIOD. No hidden motives or agendas, and all kinds of heroes from all walks of life and possessing different skills or powers, all willing to make the ultimate sacrifice play if necessary to protect the innocent. And what a team it is, with Martian Manhunter, Stargirl, Green Arrow, Adam and Alanna Strange, newcomer Equinox, Animal Man, Supergirl, and possibly Hawkman (who is supposedly dead, but they’re all but writing out in a message in the sky that he’s either not dead or gonna be brought back to life right away). Are they the most powerful team in the DC Universe? No, but I don’t think they’re supposed to be. They just FEEL like heroes that I’d be safe around. That said, one thing I’ve found bizarre is how the colour scheme of the team is simultaneously varied and yet repeated. There’s lots of colour to the team, like red, green, yellow, blue, and white. The thing is, each member has 2-3 of these colours on their person. The only other problems I have are that if you didn’t read Justice League of America, primarily the stuff involving Trinity War and Forever Evil (and I don’t blame you one bit if you didn’t read that stuff), you might be slightly lost as to what’s going on in the first arc of this story, and they’re only now going to do serious build-up and explanation on Equinox…after the first arc has already wrapped up with out her for the most part. Otherwise, still enjoying the book, which is more than I could say for the other Justice League books.
This book…is a bit of a mixed bag at times. Granted, I enjoy it for the most part, but it feels odd at times, and there’s whole issues I’ve skipped. The first arc was a prequel of sorts to most of the New 52, with Superman and Batman in their early days meeting up for a mission they’re ultimate destined to forget, and yet it’s still well written and hints at events that have occurred since and will occur later on from now. Then we got a story about the two fighting Mongul in this weird horizontal framing where you had to read the issues on their side…and again, it was still a fairly enjoyable read, as was the follow-up Annual. From there, it had a crossover with Worlds’ Finest, basically as lead-up to Huntress and Power Girl finally leaving Prime Earth for Earth 2, and Superman and Batman remembering what happened in the first arc…only to forget it all again a few issues later, which I ultimately skipped since I wasn’t buying Worlds’ Finest, but I hear it’s…okay? And as of late, there’s been a few stand-alone issues, crossover issues with other stories, and several issues that have had their dates pushed back. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if EVERY issue that’s been solicited to this point will be pushed back. So, why do I keep coming back? Well, basically, Greg Pak’s writing. I really like his stuff. Granted, I’m not reading Action Comics right now, but that’s mostly because I REALLY dislike the Superman Doomed storyline. We’ll get back to Pak later, but for now, let’s talk about the last DC book I’m currently reading…
Yeah, another one of those books I never shut up about. lol I’m sorry, I just love this book, and I’m so upset that it’s only 9 issues long…which hasn’t ended its run in over a year. Yeah, another of those books that have suffered set-backs, which is especially distracting considering current events in other Superman related books and Justice League. Nonetheless, this remains a good book, and easily my favourite of the Superman books. Superman actually FEELS like the character, as do his supporting cast. And it’s nice to see a book that Superman stars in that has Wonder Woman cameo and NOT get hung up on their relationship. Yeah, that STILL bugs me. But yeah, the final issue is in October, so won’t be on my pull list for long. But with that, let’s take a look at the Marvel books I’m reading, starting with…
Despite some problems I’ve had with elements of the plot progressing a bit too slowly, I’m finding myself liking this book a lot. But more importantly, I like Miles Morales. As I said in my review of #3, the awkward teen geek angle works for Miles in a way that’s both similar to and unique from Peter Parker (both mainstream and Ultimate) and therefore feels appropriate for someone taking on the identity of Spider-Man. And frankly, while he’s still prone to screwing up and making poor decisions, I’m FAR more forgiving of him than, say, 616 Peter Parker, the man-child who traded a life with his wife and future daughter for life with his constantly dying aunt to the devil. Why? Because unlike Peter, who is an adult who acts like a teenager, Miles actually IS a teenager. Hell, he was actually younger than Peter was when he first became Spidey, AND he’s still learning the ropes, ergo being more sympathetic with more room to grow. Otherwise, while the story is a bit slow developing, I’m still a bit intrigued by what’s going on. While the most obvious resolution to the story seems to be the one that’ll wind up happening, it’s told pretty well, with some pretty awesome moments thrown in (most specifically in #4). Good book, easily the best of the Ultimate Universe.
Oh my God, this is so awesome! And much like Ultimate Spider-Man, the reason why mostly centres around the main character. Kamala, as I’ve gone on record of saying, is both unique in her heritage and incredibly relatable in who she is. We’ve ALL been Kamala at some point in our lives. We all were a huge fan of something, or felt like an outsider, or felt disconnected to our parents, or wished to the stars for something amazing to come along and shake us out of our mundane lives. Also, she writes Avengers/MLP fanfiction. You don’t even need another reason as an online comic book fan to love this girl. And the story can be downright hilarious, in particular the last two issues where she teamed up with Wolverine. Just think about that for a second: A hyperactive fangirl and rookie superhero with odd shapeshifting powers teamed with the veteran, grouchy, and currently in the middle of a story arc that’s going to resolve in his death Wolverine. I nearly died laughing several times during reading the past couple of issues. G. Willow Wilson, just keep doing what you’re doing. You have easily the best new comic of 2014.
Why does Black Widow not have her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet? Even ignoring how she stole the show in Iron Man 2, Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just READ THIS BOOK. It reads like a really good James Bond movie, only with Natasha instead of 007. The plot’s dragging a tiny bit as of late to have other characters cameo and crossover with Black Widow, but otherwise, it’s doing pretty damned good. Also, the art is GORGEOUS. Can’t really say much else other than, if you love a good superhero and/or spy story, go check it out.
Yeah, I think it’s safe to say I’m becoming a big fan of Greg Pak’s work. I rated Storm #1 five stars on the very simple grounds that, after re-reading it a couple of times with the intent to nitpick, just to see if I could find anything to pick on, I came up with NOTHING wrong with the book. It was PERFECT. Didn’t like #2 as much, but that’s only because it revolved around the Morlocks, and I’m not exactly a big fan of them, and I was a little surprised by the stuff with Wolverine (seriously, how long have those two been a thing???). Otherwise, this is a great book with a lot of potential, and actually managed to sell me on the mohawk (up until now, I was more a fan of the longer, flowing hair). If you love X-Men, and Storm in particular, you owe it to yourself to at least check out #1.
This is another character that had better be getting a solo movie someday. And I don’t care if she’s Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Binary, Warbird, whatever the frak you wanna call her, the fact remains: Carol Danvers is AWESOME! And now she’s in space with her flerken cat (just read the book if you want the reference, it’s hilarious, lol), hanging with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and kicking all kinds of intergalactic bad guy ass. So yeah, if you wanna read space-based superhero stories, this is the one for you. But yeah, that wraps up my Marvel books, with leads to the final title on my pull list…
This is another must-read. Red Sonja is just awesome in every issue, kicking ass and upholding her own style of justice and honour, all while taking time out to enjoy a pint and get some tender loving care…whenever possible, that is. Let’s just say, a running side-plot in the book as of late is just how irritable she’s been getting without sex. Right there with ya, sister. lol But yeah, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja has been a huge delight, and hopefully it lasts for a long time to come. ^_^
So yeah, that’s my pull list. Feel free to let me know what your own comic book pull lists are, and what you think of the books on mine. Ja né!
I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! :D Teen Titans #2 Review – What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and Light-Hearted Heroes?
…So, yeah, it’s been a while since I posted something new, huh? I mean, I’ve been reblogging stories I’ve found online, but I haven’t written anything new on here for a while. Suffice to say, this year hasn’t exactly been the greatest, and on top of that, there’s some stuff that I’m afraid I’d talk a bit too much about with an open mic to say whatever I wanted that I’m not really ready to talk about yet. But looking back recently, I realized how much I missed this, so here I am. Won’t be doing much right away, but for now, I will be posting my comic reviews that I’ve been posting on Comic Vine as of late, starting with the newest one I’ve posted for Teen Titans #2. So, while it’s been a while since I did this, I DO believe it is Wednesday, and I did go to a comic book shop, so let’s take a look at…
I won’t be talking about EVERY comic I bought this week, just the one(s) that I have something to say about and feel like giving a review of. With that said, let’s take a look at Teen Titans #2.
Okay, so yer probably wondering about the title? Well, it’s for a couple of things. First off, something I failed to mention with the review of Teen Titans #1, Manchester Black is in this book as an antagonist. If you don’t know who that is, either watch Superman vs The Elite, or read the book it’s based on, What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?. The other is in regards to the two Titans featured most prominently in this issue: Bunker and Beast Boy, or Plan B as I’m calling their duo from now on. And right away, I gotta address something kinda controversial: The change in Bunker’s attitude. As much as I HATE to give Scott Lobdell a positive, one of the things I really liked about his run on Teen Titans was the character Bunker and how he was written, being a gay Latino teen who was the light-hearted optimist of the group in spite of some issues in his life and some of the insane shit they went through. Here, he’s written with a bit more of an edge…though I THINK I get the reason why.
In the original run of the Teen Titans in the New 52, Beast Boy was neither on the team nor a very light-hearted character. In fact, his usually green fur was changed to red. Basically, he had almost zero resemblance to the original. So, to compensate for that, the character of Bunker was made the optimist who cracked jokes on occasion and kept things from getting too frosty…with varying levels of success, mind you, but he tried. However, with Beast Boy getting put back on the team (and turned green again at some point that I still have yet to learn when it happened), I think Will Pfeifer wanted to make him the optimistic goof off and have Bunker’s character changed to confront certain homophobic viewpoints that still exist in society today. At least, that’s what I think is going on. And if so, I DO understand it. Still, it kinda bugs me to see Bunker acting this way.
One thing that hasn’t changed about Bunker, though, is his sense of heroism. As soon as he and Beast Boy find out there’s a fire at STAR Labs, all it takes is a look and they jump into action. Even the danger of the fire setting off a blast that could destroy Manhattan doesn’t stop Bunker, nor does the appearance of Ladytron. Once again, Titans save the day, and I could never complain much about a book where the good guys save the day and everybody lives. Well, with the exception of a survivor from the bus incident from last issue that gets killed off by mysterious circumstances while Red Robin was trying to get info from him. My guess? Black.
As for the other Titans, as I mentioned, Red Robin was trying to learn more about who was behind the little Speed recreation from Teen Titans #1. Raven decided to go to a concert by some band named Dark Mistress, which’ll apparently be important next issue. And just as a side note, even as someone who hates the new Teen Titans Go! show, if Rachel is the owner of the pony poster back at the Titans’ pad, that’s frigging hilarious. As for Wonder Girl…she may or may not be encouraging teenage girls to dress up as Wonder Girl copycats and beat up thugs with baseball bats. It’s a little unclear.
So yeah, other than changes to Bunker, not really anything to pick on with this comic. Not really much else to say that’s good about it, but again, heroes jump into action and save the day, everybody lives. Nothing too remarkable, but nothing that I consider all that terrible either. And considering a certain other comic that came out this week that I am NOT talking about, at least not on here, it could be a lot worse…Oh, and I love the selfie cover for this issue. There’s just something about Raven photo-bombing that I find too cute for words (have I mentioned she’s my favourite Titan? lol).
So yeah, that’s my review for today. If you wanna see my other reviews on Comic Vine, click here, and I will see you next week. Ja né!