Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…
If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.
Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.
They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.
Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.
It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…
With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.
Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.
Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.
Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.
So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…
I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.
And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.
… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!
“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
…So, I mentioned this on my Facebook, but I figured I should bring this up on my blog. Yes, I know about the horrible shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Florida. I don’t know all the details. What I do know is this: Around 50 people were killed in this shooting, and about 50 more were injured. I’ve heard that, in the wake of this, some people have chosen to put their own projects on indefinite hold. However, I’ve instead opted not to. On the contrary, I feel it necessary to continue my work as a form of entertainment and escapism for anyone affected by this tragedy. In fact, because the LGBT community has been the target of a lot of hate as of late, culminating in this attack, I’ve decided to do some LGBT related articles, starting with this one. It’s no secret that I love lots of diversity in comics, and while DC has kinda failed from time to time to get it right, there ARE a number of gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, and even asexual characters among their vast line-up. But who are my personal favourites? Well, let’s find out. Here are my 5 Favourite LGBT DC Characters.
I’ve actually heard that the staff of the Young Justice cartoon claimed that Jackson was “not straight”, and that’s where he made his first appearances, so no, DC Rebirth’s outing him isn’t necessarily a retcon…I think. I’m gonna get into this when I review DC Universe Rebirth #1, but the thing is, the implication some people are taking from his scene in the book is that he’s gay. However, I’m pretty sure the intent with him prior was that he was bi, not gay, so I’m hoping they stick with that. Regardless, I really like Aqualad. His position in the Aquaman stories is complex, but in a good way, he’s got a kickass power-set and a usually level-headed demeanor (at least in the show, I haven’t read much of his appearances in the comics), and I’m glad to see him making his return. I seem to recall hearing once that he was originally supposed to join the Teen Titans in the New 52, but it never came to be, and considering how the team did in that era, might be for the better that he didn’t. Still, this DOES make me wonder if he’ll either join the Titans in the Rebirth era, or perhaps be part of a new Young Justice team. And considering how many people would like to see a return of the Young Justice TV series, honestly, I’d go with the latter as a means to either push that idea or give the fans clamoring for it a consolation prize.
Honestly, is anyone REALLY shocked? And yes, for the record, Pamela’s bisexuality has been made canon. Granted, it’s in a book I don’t much care for, and the writers don’t always seem to get her all that well, but I appreciate the fact that they made clear what many of us assumed for a while now. I remember for years thinking it already WAS established canon, actually. But anyway, Poison Ivy is a character who has a lot of layers to her. She suffers from seasonal affective disorder, which can sometimes undermine her better judgment and brilliant mind, and she’s been known to…well, let’s call a spade a spade, she kills people. However, she really DOES care for the planet, as most of her criminal endeavors over the years have been to stop people from polluting or otherwise mistreating it, and to those who think she doesn’t care about human beings, she once protected a park full of orphaned children. No one told her to, she just did it because she identified with their trauma and because it was the right thing to do. She once gave up her powers because she was afraid it might be killing them. So yeah, she IS a good person deep down. Just…don’t ever piss her off, and in the words of Captain Planet, protect the environment, or she’ll fucking kill you. 😛
History’s a funny thing, isn’t it? The original Batwoman was created specifically to be Batman’s love interest as a means of disproving concerns that he was gay for Robin. 50 years later, the character was reintroduced as a lesbian, and is actually Bruce’s cousin. And frankly, all the better in my opinion, as she’s arguably the single most high-profile LGBT superhero in DC’s entire roster, and is currently Batman’s equal in his new boot camp in Detective Comics. Also, her existence provides more of something Batman is lacking: Family. While he’s brought in wards and made plenty of allies, we don’t see a lot of his surviving blood relatives. I think right now, off the top of my head, there’s Kate, her dad, her sister, and Bruce’s son, Damian, and alternate Earth daughter, Helena. That’s it. And while there’s more than a lot different about Bruce and Kate in their personalities and approaches to crime fighting, there’s also a lot that’s the same, which may be the real reason they haven’t always gotten along together that great as superheroes. Oh, and in Batman: Bad Blood, she used guns, and I’m not a big fan of that, but it at least makes sense with her military training, and she DID switch her live rounds for rubber bullets by the end, so I can tolerate it and still like her in that movie, unlike some other things in it, but let’s not go there…
…Okay, I’m gonna admit to something that people might find a bit strange to hear come out of my mouth, and I understand that. Frankly, it baffles me a bit, too. But, having thought about it for a while, and looking back over the character’s history, I’ve come to a conclusion: Scott Lobdell wrote Bunker best so far. He was optimistic, entertaining, and just outright FUN. I don’t know what they were trying to do with him in the new book, but he wasn’t what I’d necessarily call “fun”. In fact, he kinda had an attitude that rubbed me the wrong way, at least in comparison to how I knew him to be prior. I hope if he comes back in Rebirth, he more resembles his previous personality. Also, I gotta wonder about something: As I said before, Aqualad was originally rumoured to be joining the Teen Titans in the New 52. Now, we’ve met Bunker’s boyfriend, and he’s not Jackson, but I can’t help but wonder if the original intent was for Jackson to be Bunker’s boyfriend and be on the team? Food for thought is all I’m saying.
Again, like Ivy, Harley Quinn has been confirmed to be bisexual by the writers of her book, so she counts. And, like I said before, I honestly thought she already WAS confirmed to be a while ago, and I have no idea why it took anyone from DC so long to finally let that particular cat (or hyena, as it were) out of the bag. Now, maybe it was a concern that such might be controversial, but lemme ask you something: Which is the more controversial thing to do with a character? To have Harley be bisexual, or to have her be in a long-term abusive relationship with a killer clown, and have her get the shit kicked outta her multiple times, once or twice even in a cartoon show? And I’m not saying they shouldn’t have done that, as it was an intriguing look into abusive relationships and twisted psyches, while also serving as a cautionary tale. I’m just saying, once you’ve crossed that line, how is this any worse? Regardless, it’s out in the open now, with no going back, though I have my doubts they’ll reference that in DC Super Hero Girls. lol
Hmm, y’know, while I like this list, I feel like there are others I should at least mention… … …Ah, screw it, here’s a collage of some of my other favourite confirmed LGBT characters in DC Comics, so no Wonder Woman since DC’s never made it 100% clear about her. lol
Anyway, be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments, OR let me know if there’s anyone else you’d like to see officially come out at DC these days. Ja né!
When there’s trouble, do you know who to call? Yep, once Justice League Infinite is finished (which recently had its fourth chapter uploaded), I plan to do a fan fic for Teen Titans set in the DC Infinite Universe that I created. Each member of the Titans will also function as sidekicks/partners to the members of the Justice League, much like how the original team was, and will also be getting training from the League, kind of like in the Young Justice cartoon. So, who are the members? Let’s take a look.
As I’ve already mentioned, Supergirl’s design was created by Magnacide from DeviantArt. As such, I’ve decided to get permission to use designs from Deviant Artists for two more, which I’ll get to in a bit. Regarding Supergirl, though, she is roughly based on Cir-El, but with more than a few differences to both simplify her back-story and make her different in this universe. Specifically, her name is just Mia, and the terms by which she became a Human/Kryptonian hybrid will be explained soon enough. Her power levels are more akin to Superboy’s, as she’s clearly a level below Superman, but still incredibly powerful and a quick learner with her powers.
Garfield’s back-story will be slightly adjusted in that, instead of being found by the Doom Patrol, he was found by Poison Ivy on her travels. This is both so that he can act as a positive influence on her mission that always seems to be at odds with governments that fear and hate her, but also to make a sort of flora/fauna green team. lol Anyway, his design is based on his current appearance in Teen Titans, as drawn by Kenneth Rocafort, although I’m contemplating whether or not to give him the monkey tail he has in Young Justice. I dunno, lemme know if I should do that or not in the comments. As for his personality, he’s a bit less jokey than, say, his more well-known animated counterparts can be, and instead just a very warm, optimistic, caring individual, who has a knack for knowing people’s favourite animals and helping them cheer up when they’re down. Also, HEAVILY considering having him be a romantic interest for a certain little bird to be mentioned later, because I think that’d be ADORABLE.
I decided to go with a teenaged Blue Lantern version of Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern’s sidekick. Also, as you can see, his design is also done by a Deviant Artist, this time Jarein. And much like Jarein, my reasoning is simple for why a Blue Lantern: Similar powers as Green Lantern, only not to the same degree, and possessing plenty of side benefits that could assist him. With Kyle, of course, he’s the more artistic and technically sound of the team, able to overcome his power limitations on his own through more creative uses of his constructs.
Roughly based on the Bart Allen version of Kid Flash, with just a touch of Wally West for flavour, Bartholomew Wallace Garrick is Jesse Garrick’s little brother, having taken up the mantle of Kid Flash without her permission when she became The Flash. Jokey, impulsive, and a bit of a show off, he’s nonetheless a good person, and isn’t willing to sit idly by while injustice is being performed. As for his costume, I decided to go with the pre-Flashpoint Kid Flash costume he wore, though I may add red tinted see-through lenses to his mask, like the yellow ones he had as Impulse.
In this universe, Robin is Carrie Kelley, though she carries over several traits from the Ame-Comi universe in that she’s also Jim Gordon’s niece. Once again, I sought out permission from a Deviant Artist for this design, this time Bobkitty23, who gave her a look that combines the Ame-Comi uniform with Dick Grayson’s look in the Young Justice cartoon, which, despite the lack of green, I REALLY like. Plus, y’know, she’s got pants now, so there’s that. lol Anyway, this version of Carrie is a bit more openly resentful of her neglectful, apathetic stoner parents, and while she still talks in slang from time to time, it’s a bit more updated. She also possesses the trademark telescopic staff used by Tim Drake (and later Dick Grayson in several different animated shows), as well as the Stephanie Brown mix-and-matchable Batarangs.
Jackson Hyde in this story is already aware of his true heritage, that of being Black Manta’s estranged son, and while he was initially Aquaman’s partner, he’s recently been studying various mystical arts under Doctor Fate. He’s usually level-headed and confident, able to keep his cool even under the most dire of circumstances, but possesses a terrible grudge against Ocean Master and Circe for the murder of Aquaman. As usual, he wields the Water Bearers, which allow him to focus his hydrokinesis into various forms and weapons, and can channel electricity through his fingers like an eel. For his design, I pretty much just went with the version from the comics, but with the twist that his top has a more orange shade to it, and his leggings have a more teal shade, basically to make him look more like Aquaman.
Finally, for Wonder Girl, I decided to create my own design, which you can imagine in your head through the step-by-step guide above. And hey, if anyone wants to take a stab at sketching it, they’re more than welcome to do so. lol Donna will still have a sisterly, almost motherly vibe to her, but at the same time, she’s interested in the outside world away from Themyscira in a way that’s a bit different from Diana, as is reflected in her costume. She’s proud to be Diana’s sister, but, at the same time, wants to create an image for herself outside of just being Wonder Woman’s mirror duplicate as a teenager.
Anyway, that’s it for the sneak peek of Teen Titans. Be sure to check it out when it comes out, and comment below on what you think of the team. Ja né!
Well, I announced earlier this week that I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’m going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, etc. So far, we’ve looked at Batman, The Flash, Poison Ivy, and Superman. So, for today, let’s go ahead and take a look at this world’s version of the Spirit of Truth, Wonder Woman.
Origin wise, this version of Diana of Themyscira is pretty much the classic sculpted-from-clay story. Not that I have a problem with Wonder Woman being a demigod, just that it taints her back-story in a bad way. She also has her sister, Donna, who is a mirror duplicate of herself as a child and a possible inheritor to the Wonder Woman title, AND THAT’S ALL. lol What’s different is that, not only was her mother Hippolyta the first Wonder Woman on the Justice Society (an idea that’s been tossed around on occasion), but recently, Hippolyta and Aquaman were tricked into entering a fight to the death, which was witnessed by Diana and Mera. As a result of that, and as a means of keeping their respective peoples from declaring war on each other, Diana and Mera married, becoming co-Queens of each other’s lands, and thus uniting the people of Themyscira and Atlantis (meaning Themyscira is no longer a land bereft of men). Of course, the two were already close friends, thus making their relationship a bit interesting now that they’re wives. In terms of personality, Diana is a compassionate, loving soul, but while she will try to negotiate her way out of a confrontation, she will fight with the ferocity of a lioness if necessary to protect the weak and defenseless. Likewise, while she will not bring death to humans, she has no such compunctions for demons, monsters, undead, and some aliens.
Regarding Wonder Woman’s costume and appearance, take her Earth 2 costume in the New 52 (only with gold replacing all the silver and red boots instead of blue), give her chest coverage that her Justice League War costume had and the ponytail (because I LOVE it, lol), and a red cape like she’s sometimes seen in on some of her more diplomatic missions. As far as her skill set goes, she has her usual package of super strength, speed, reflexes, durability, and stamina, tracking skills, and is a master of both unarmed combat and wielding a shield and sword. She’s also a highly skilled diplomat and negotiator, meaning that she can oftentimes avoid ever having to use such gifts in combat by putting an end to conflict before it ever even begins. She can also fly fast enough to keep up with Superman, but as a means of reserving energy, she mostly prefers to fly on the back of a pegasus. As always, Diana wields the unbreakable Lasso of Truth, which forces one to reveal their true nature, tell the truth, and even free them from brainwashing or other types of control. Finally, she has the Bracelets of Victory, which guard against all forms of attacks. When the bracelets are removed, however, most of her natural abilities increase to ludicrous levels, the likes of which even Superman cannot contend with. For all of these abilities, though, Wonder Woman isn’t invincible. Her stamina, while incredible, does have limits, meaning she will eventually tire out if a battle runs for too long. Also, while removing her bracelets doesn’t cause her to go into a berserker mode like in the comics, it DOES put a huge strain on her body. Just a couple of minutes is long enough for her to be ready to pass out in this state. Finally, while her compassion is a great gift, it also comes coupled with a sense of self-sacrifice, constantly causing her to put herself in harm’s way to protect others. Granted, she more often than not walks away without being too harmed, but when you consider the possibility of her leaving Themyscira without its Queen…well, hindsight is 20/20.
…So, that’s all there is to know about Infinite Wonder Woman, but what about her new wife? Granted, she won’t be joining the Justice League, but she will be making an appearance or two, so let’s look at Mera.
Again, Mera is very similar to the mainstream version seen in the comics: A princess/assassin from another dimension sent to kill Aquaman, but instead fell in love with the King of Atlantis and married him. She’s also become somewhat of a surrogate mother to Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad, due to his estrangement from his father, Black Manta. In this universe, she’s also a close friend to Diana, and accepted her proposal to get married for the sake of their friendship and their peoples (which is quite the twist from Flashpoint). While kind and loving, she is also known to fly into fits of rage when wronged. You know the old saying “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d”? If William Congreve had lived in today’s society, he likely would’ve been talking about Mera. And yeah, I know, it can be something of a sexist comment, but it’s most certainly true of Queen Mera ‘Don’t You DARE Call Me Aquawoman’. While she understands that she SHOULDN’T kill, she at times has difficulty keeping the desire to in check.
Mera is more or less exactly like the mainstream version of her in both appearance and powers. Like Aquaman, the Queen of Atlantis is perfectly capable of surviving in a kingdom at the bottom of the sea, meaning she has the strength, durability, and enhanced sight of someone who lived in a place so dark and having such constant pressure put on her. She’s also an extremely fast swimmer, and possesses a leap out of the ocean measuring at approximately 1000 feet. Mera also possesses telepathy, able to send messages to someone’s mind and receive replies, though she lacks skill in terms of digging deeper into a person’s thoughts. Her trademark ability, however, is her skill in manipulating water. She can shift water around to her will, form hard water weapons, and launch concussive blasts. Also, get her REALLY mad, and she could conceivably warp the water molecules inside of someone to hurt them from the inside. Ultimately, her greatest weakness is her anger, as it can blind her in combat and cause her to make mistakes. Also, while she’s durable enough that bullets would only scratch her skin, she is by no means invulnerable.
Anyway, that’s it for Wonder Woman and Mera. Next time, we wrap up our look at the Justice League Infinite with Green Lantern and Doctor Fate. Ja né!
How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch? – Teen Titans (Robin, Wonder Girl, Bunker, And More)
Well, welcome back to my own personal Put Up Or Shut Up moment for comics, How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch. Granted, I may not be the best person to make such judgements, since apparently DC Comics is meant for 45 year olds, but this is just my own personal take on it. This time around, I thought I’d take a closer look at the members of one of my favourite superhero teams of all time, who I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up writing a fic about in the future…
Now, because a lot of these are known primarily for being Teen Titans, and/or for being sidekicks to other superheroes, not all of ’em have logos, so I’ll be using pictures. With that said, let’s start with who is usually considered the leader…
As I mentioned before, I’d naturally start with Dick Grayson as Robin. However, following his eventual transformation to Nightwing, I’d probably do as the Young Justice cartoon apparently did and skip over Jason Todd in favour of probably my favourite Robin of all time, Tim Drake. Now, that’s not to say that I would never involve Jason Todd, just not as Robin. Why? Well, for starters, I’m not exactly a huge fan of Jason Todd and what DC continues to try to do with him. Second, like I said, I prefer Tim Drake as Robin (and yes, he WAS Robin, I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t even mind calling him Red Robin, I just hate that DC insists he was never Robin). Now, would I put the mantle on others like Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne later on? I dunno yet. Either way, though, Dick would be the leader of the team, though would often-times confer to this next individual…
I already covered most of what I’d do with Cyborg, but at the same time, I think I’d want him to act as a sort of mentor to the Titans. He’d be in charge of training them, putting together their base and equipment, etc. He might occasionally butt heads with Robin over leadership decisions, but otherwise would be friends.
Yes, I know that’s Donna Troy. Sorry to Cassie fans, and I MIGHT eventually show her some love too, but frankly, I just prefer Donna. As for her origin (hoo boy, Donna Troy’s origin), I’d probably just go with the story where she’s a mirror duplicate of Wonder Woman as a teenager, though I’d put her in the black costume with the blue stars. It’s just my personal favourite look for her. Otherwise, her role would be something similar to what Superboy’s was in the Young Justice cartoon, though with a better relationship with her counterpart. Finally, I think I’d want her to have a silver lasso as opposed to Wonder Woman’s golden lasso.
Y’know, much as I like to rag on Scott Lobdell from time to time, one thing I can thank him for is for intentionally making Bunker and his back-story completely angst free. And trust me, you have no idea how much I appreciate that, given the status quo of DC Superhero angst these days. So yeah, Miguel’s personality? Perfect. His powers? Pretty awesome. The only thing I’d change about him is his costume’s colour-scheme. I’d change it to violet and some other colour, like green or black. I just don’t like that sort of reddish-purple that goes down the middle of his mask and across the right side of his costume. Maybe it just bugs me because, in the comics, he’s on a team brought to you by the colours red, yellow, and brown, but it’s always bugged me.
Yeah, with enough characters in other colours, I can let Jesse Quick keep her normal red and yellow. 🙂 Also, as far as why I picked Jesse Quick over Bart Allen, it’s two-fold. One is that I already picked Wally West over Barry Allen to be The Flash, and two is that I’d want a more diverse team. After all, Jesse can not only tap into the Speed Force, but she also inherits her mother’s enhanced strength and stamina. As for her back-story, pretty much the same, minus the affair with her mother’s younger fiancée, because oh dear GOD that was stupid. Speaking of which, she’d also have the costume she wore in the earlier issues of The Titans, AKA Lewis Lovhaug‘s favourite comic book series ever. I just like it a lot, and find her other costumes to be kinda…eh.
No offence to Garth (in fact, far from it, I think I’d rather have Garth as Tempest), but Kaldur’ahm would be the Aqualad of this team, likely in his Young Justice TV show appearance (although I’d change the shade of red to a more orange tone) and power-set. However, to keep things from getting overly repetitive, I think I would kinda want him to be the sort-of Sixth Ranger member of the group (look it up on TV Tropes). Still, Kaldur would be the serious one, and would pretty much play designated driver to some of the antics the rest of the team might occasionally get up to.
Anyway, that’s it for the Teen Titans. Next time, I talk more about the villains, specifically who faces whom. Ja né!
- DC To Launch New Teen Titans Go! Digital Comic (goodereader.com)
- Week 31 2013 | Part 1 | Comic Reviews (cynsworkshop.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive: DC’s Villains Month Continues in TEEN TITANS #23.1 – Trigon (nerdist.com)
- ‘Teen Titans Go!’ digital comic, ‘Smallville’ shakeup announced by DC (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Batcow Joins DC Nation, New Clips from “Beware the Batman, Teen Titans Go!” (comicbookresources.com)
- Why Am I Still Reading More DC Then Marvel? (redblooms.wordpress.com)
- Why I Divorced the DC Universe (rtgomer.com)
- The Straight & Narrow (modernmythologies.com)
- Graphic Novels (#SFWApro) (frasersherman.wordpress.com)
- Franchises Collide When “Scribblenauts Unmasked” Invades the DC Universe (comicbookresources.com)
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!