…SO, today was kinda nuts. Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja né!
So, I’ve talked about some things I’d like to see from DC Rebirth back before we knew really ANYTHING about it, and I gave general thoughts on the books announced to be part of DC’s new line-up during Rebirth and beyond. Now, it’s time to look at the individual books announced and/or characters involved and talk about what I either expect to see happen as part of this movement to bring back the elements of the books and their characters we and the creators love. Keep in mind, I might’ve discussed some of this already in the aforementioned articles, so I may be repeating a few points. Still, let’s start off with…well, a book I’m a little disappointed to hear something about…And by a little disappointed, I mean my first words upon hearing about it were, and I quote, “SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!!“…I might’ve overreacted slightly. lol
Then again, though, when you consider the quality of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s work as of late with Justice League, can you really blame me for that reaction? Well, regardless, with Justice League and Justice League America, what I would recommend doing is having both books be about different groupings of the same team. Like, one book could focus on the original big seven of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (who I am hoping to God is returning to the League now that his book is ending), and the other can focus on some of the newer members, like Shazam, Cyborg, Jessica Cruz, Mister Miracle, and Big Barda. I’ve actually heard for a while now that there might’ve been a planned crossover between Justice League and JLA, but unless they had this planned with whoever was taking over for Johns, I don’t see that happening right away. And frankly, I’m a little sick of books doing crossovers before they hit 12 issues anyway, so holding off on that might be in order.
Assuming he retains the memory of it from the events of The Darkseid War, something tells me that a future arc of the new Batman title might revolve around him looking for the Joker now that he knows his identity. I just can’t imagine him gaining ahold of that information and not wanting to use it to maybe put an end to the Joker’s threat before anyone else gets hurt. Still, I’m a bit…leery of that idea. See, for me, the Joker works best when you DON’T know all the details of who he really is and what his past was like, and I can’t imagine DC actually going through with that. As Joker himself once put it, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice”. Then again, they’re apparently telling his back-story in the TV show Gotham, which I dislike for various reasons on top of that, so who knows? Like I’ve said before, though, I hope that they decide to make Joker a little more fun in the future. He’s more than capable of being a terrifying villain AND the occasional goofy clown. Other than that, since I don’t see any books involving Robin in the line-up thus far, one has to wonder what’s to become of Damian and the members of We Are Robin, in particular Duke Thomas. Will Damian become Bruce’s full-time partner again in one of the Batman books, or will he step aside and become his own individual while Duke takes his place? Or perhaps Duke will instead take on the identity of Lark, like in one of Bruce’s nightmare scenarios brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin? And what of Jim Gordon? Will he continue to take up the mantle of the All-New Batman? Only time will tell for sure, but we’ll talk more about Batman’s supporting cast and related characters later.
So, after the newest issue of Action Comics, it looks as though Superman is no longer dying. I could be wrong, but that appears to be the case. He’s also been fully revitalized. So, doesn’t look like the Super League is being built as a possible replacement for the Man of Steel. However, I would be willing to suggest that he’s instead putting it together due to the events where his powers were drained, his identity was leaked, and so on, and that there’d need to be someone who could stand in for him if something like that should ever happen again. Speaking of, though, I’ve got this sneaky suspicion that the public may not remember that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same post-Rebirth. Why? Well, like I mentioned before, the Spyral satellite has the ability to remove the public’s knowledge of Dick Grayson being Nightwing, which is likely how he’ll return to the role as I’ll get into when I talk about him. If I were one of the heads at DC and decided that Clark’s secret identity being exposed was not a good idea for the long-term, that seems like it’d be a good way out of it. With that said, though, if I may make a request, if that happens and they do that…?
Keep Lois’ memories of the ordeal intact. This isn’t even me wanting to see Lois and Clark as a couple again (although I do, a LOT), but simply because ever since she found out Clark Kent is Superman, she’s been even more actively involved in stories, for better or worse. Married or unmarried, couple or friends, ultimately, I think history has proven that there are more stories that can be told with her in the know about Clark being Superman than with her being kept out of the loop. But, with that said…yeah, I really do wanna see them together again, especially since the book about the pre-Flashpoint Lois and Clark is ending. In fact, who knows? Maybe they’ll do some kinda merger thing where the Superman and Lois Lane of both worlds blend into one, and both become a balance of their counterparts? Not sure where that leaves little Jonathan, but it could happen. But, for that to happen, obviously, something’s gotta go…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s time to call it quits on the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship. Above all else, the reason I’m just plain sick of it is because the two are rarely, if ever, treated like equals when it comes to their relationship. Wonder Woman is pretty much just Superman’s girlfriend in a lot of stories they’re presented in as a couple. Beyond that, my standard requests are as follows: Restore the Amazons to the compassionate protectors of mankind, and for the love of God, pants or no pants, I don’t care anymore, just give us a brighter colour scheme for Diana. In fact, I’d actually be fine with the design Jason Fabok uses for her in Justice League, but with gold instead of silver. Also, I keep hearing that the movie will be rebooting to the old school Etta Candy, and if I can make a suggestion? Do the same in the comics. You don’t necessarily have to undo making her black. Hell, you don’t even need to make her as overweight as the original. Just something similar, and above all else, make Etta the ninja tackling badass sidekick I remember.
…Okay, not really much to say about Aquaman, other than it’s great to see him back to his old look and kicking ass like normal. I will say, though, that the writers really need to make up their minds as to whether he’s gonna be King of Atlantis or not for the foreseeable future, though. No, my biggest concern for the Aquaman books is something…different.
…OH, GOOD GOD, WHY?! I got into a little bit of a rant about this on Twitter when I saw this, as you can read here. Suffice to say, no. Absolutely not. Whatever the writers of Aquaman are thinking, NO! BAD writers! Don’t make her Aquawoman. You make her Aquawoman, and I will violently murder the first fish I see. Oh, and just saying this? If they DO make Arthur King of Atlantis again, can we PLEASE have these two be officially married again? Or maybe they already have been when I wasn’t looking, I don’t know, but if they aren’t, please don’t listen to Dan, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to superheroes being married, especially with these two. It makes no sense for them to not be married when all evidence points to her having served in the capacity of Queen of Atlantis at Arthur’s side at least at one point. Also, I’m sorry, but one of these days, we gotta make Mera an official member of the Justice League. How many times does she have to accompany them and their various divisions into action and show just how easily she stands among them before she’s given a seat?
Again, not a lot to say about The Fastest Man Alive, other than that I hope that this whole mess involving him being Central City’s most wanted and being hunted by the Rogues doesn’t last long. I AM interested to see what role he plays with Rebirth, however. As Geoff Johns himself has pointed out, nearly every time there’s been a massive change to the universe, a Flash (usually Barry) was at the center of it. Speaking of, I wonder if we’ll ever get follow-up on exactly why Pandora used Barry to reboot the universe at the end of Flashpoint. The whole thing about Pandora’s Box being the reason seems kinda minor when you consider what that turned out to be. I mean, she really needed to reboot the universe just so we can get a Boom Tube that led to Earth 3? But yeah, once again, my bigger concern is with a certain other Flash…
Seriously, I don’t care if he’s black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, or fuchsia, we need the FUN Wally West back. The Wally West who is cracking jokes and being the far more fun-loving Flash. And I don’t care if he’s The Flash, Kid Flash, Impulse, whatever, it’s time to pull the trigger on him suiting up and working with Barry. With that said, a lot of people were against the new costume we saw him in during the whole Future’s End tie-in, but honestly, I thought he looked good. The silver DOES stand out in a very dramatic way and makes him look very distinct from the other Flashes.
Again, I’d kinda like to see Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and maybe even the other Earth-born Lanterns rotate on the Justice League and JLA. Beyond that, though, I get the feeling that Jessica Cruz will be switching out the Ring of Volthoom from Earth 3 for a Green Lantern Ring. There WAS a silhouette of a female Green Lantern in the image for Rebirth, and Jessica seems like the logical candidate. And frankly, I would just be happy to see her conquer her fear and give Volthoom the boot. Still, kinda hope her Green Lantern costume, if I’m correct, incorporates some elements of her Power Ring costume. Oh, and can we PLEASE have a sense of stability in the Green Lantern Corps for at least a year? I don’t think I even need to point this out, but life has been hell for the Corps as of the past few years. The Guardians finally came out as evil, there’s been a shit-ton of members dying left and right, they got better Guardians who still managed to screw the pooch in the end, and now most of them have been banished to another dimension or some shit. But as for Hal himself…he’s gotta lose the jacket. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work for him. To be honest, when he and Parallax had their fight recently, Hal looked more like a villain than Parallax did…y’know, until Parallax pulled the whole fangs thing, which still looks fucking stupid. lol
What in the HELL is going on in J’onn’s comics as of late?!?! No, seriously, someone please explain this shit to me! It turned out he was a bio-engineered weapon the Martians were going to use to take over Earth, and that he was hiding that for years, and that might’ve been why he was kicked outta the League during the gap between the first two story arcs of Justice League, but he doesn’t wanna hurt anyone, but he’s not willing to stop the plan, but then he wants to die, and then he does die, but somehow he’s got different aspects of himself that converge into a new Martian Manhunter, who looks…well, I’m not gonna say BAD. In fact, as far as radical redesigns go, at least this keeps some aspects of the old look intact. But still, he tries at first to lead the martian invasion, but then he decides not to, and now he’s got some kinda giant mech, which is both awesome and stupid, I don’t even know, and oh God, my head… … … …So yeah, please DC, just put him back on the Justice League and scale this nonsense down a bit. I had to check my ear a second ago just to make sure there wasn’t blood seeping from my brain and out there from all that.
Okay, is it just me, or does the storyline of the government being untrusting of Cyborg actually make WAY more sense than when they do the same thing with Superman? Maybe it’s because we’ve seen that Vic’s control CAN be overrode, and thus it’s less about trusting that he’s a good guy, but rather concern that it could happen again, especially when he can be plugged into EVERYTHING. Plus, there’s the whole matter of Victor having cybernetic enhancements to benefit him after he lost most of his body, and yet amputees have to deal with ordinary prosthetic parts that don’t work even a tenth as good. I’m not saying everyone should be decked out with his stuff, and it was established from the beginning that the tech used to make him into Cyborg was experimental and very easily could’ve backfired. And yeah, none of this is actually Victor’s fault, he’s just as much a victim in this as anyone else. Still, I can at least understand the conflict here WAY more, and if they wanna continue with that arc post-Rebirth, I wouldn’t mind. However, I WOULD suggest maybe adding more to his rogues gallery. We need his version of the Joker or Lex Luthor, someone who is his opposite in nearly every way, but can challenge him on an equal footing despite his natural advantages.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, allow me to do so: I HATE THIS VERSION OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! And a big part of why I hate him all revolves around the mass changes to Billy Batson. He was supposed to be a sweet, innocent, giving, and (for the most part) selfless individual. It was why he was chosen to gain the powers of Shazam. But when we meet him in THIS universe, he’s a little punk shithead who cons people and is mean to his adoptive family for no reason other than he wants to be! And even after all that, when he finally becomes Shazam and learns more about being a hero, he STILL acts like a little twerp who swears a lot to sound adult and cool, which is at its most jarring when he’s transformed into Shazam, has the wisdom of Solomon, and therefore should know better! But then, I KNOW why they made those changes. It’s the exact same reason they made so many changes to Superman: It was to make him SO much more identifiable and realistic. But, just like with Superman, it was done in a manner so poorly that he no longer resembles the hero he once was in any way. Hell, he doesn’t even have the same NAME! Seriously, DC, if you are serious about this, look back at what made the old Captain Marvel a beloved character and try reintroducing those elements.
Anyway, that’s all when it comes to the Justice League. Check back in next time when I look at the Bat Family and what I hope and/or expect to see become of Nightwing, Batgirl, and the returning Birds of Prey. Ja né!
Yeah, this is kinda late, but I thought I’d wait at least a little bit to see what news emerged before giving my thoughts on the current line-up. There were a lot of rumours going into Rebirth, namely what exactly it was. Another complete universal reboot, a soft reboot, a changed line-up to better reflect the shows and movies going right now, etc. In the end, though, what it appears to be is basically taking the concept of books like Green Lantern Rebirth and The Flash Rebirth and applying it to the DC Universe as a whole, as Geoff Johns explains here:
So, it doesn’t seem to be a universal reboot, but rather a soft reboot to reintroduce certain aspects of the characters that we love, as well as re-establish certain other heroes. We can go more in-depth about what that might entail, as well as the cryptic words of the mysterious narrator, later, though. For now, let’s just look at the actual line-up of books that have been confirmed thus far, which looks like this:
• AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1
• BATMAN REBIRTH #1
• THE FLASH REBIRTH #1
• GREEN ARROW REBIRTH #1
• GREEN LANTERNS REBIRTH #1
• SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1
• TITANS REBIRTH #1
• WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• AQUAMAN #1
• BATMAN #1
• THE FLASH #1
• GREEN ARROW #1
• GREEN LANTERNS #1
• SUPERMAN #1
• WONDER WOMAN #1
New Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• ACTION COMICS #957
• DETECTIVE COMICS #934
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY REBIRTH #1
• HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS REBIRTH #1
• THE HELLBLAZER REBIRTH #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE REBIRTH #1
• NIGHTWING REBIRTH #1
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
• NIGHTWING #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
• BATGIRL #1
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY #1
• THE HELLBLAZER #1
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS #1
• THE SUPER-MAN #1
• TITANS #1
• BATMAN BEYOND REBIRTH #1
• BLUE BEETLE REBIRTH #1
• CYBORG REBIRTH #1
• DEATHSTROKE REBIRTH #1
• EARTH 2 REBIRTH #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD REBIRTH #1
• SUPERGIRL REBIRTH #1
• TEEN TITANS REBIRTH #1
• TRINITY REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• CYBORG #1
• DEATHSTROKE #1
• HARLEY QUINN #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
• BATMAN BEYOND #1
• BLUE BEETLE #1
• EARTH 2 #1
• GOTHAM ACADEMY: NEXT SEMESTER #1
• SUPERGIRL #1
• SUPERWOMAN #1
• SUPER SONS #1
• TEEN TITANS #1
• TRINITY #1
…So, let’s go over my thoughts for now about some of the announced books, starting with…
Looks like the Superman titles are undergoing a major revamp. While Action Comics is going back to its old numbering, Supergirl is returning with her own title (about time), and we’re also getting the new books Superwoman, Super Sons, and The Super-Man. If I had to take a guess, and I suppose at this point that’s all I can do, I’d wager that this all has to do with the upcoming Super League storyline that’ll wrap up the current Superman titles, with Superman enlisting several other superheroes as a team of Supermen (and Superwomen, it seems). Why is he doing this? Well, recently, Superman was able to regain his powers, but at a price, and he’s potentially dying, so he might be trying to pull a Batman and have the Super League act as a contingency should something happen to him and the world still needs Superman. Also, Batman/Superman and Superman/Wonder Woman seem to be getting dropped in favour of a Trinity book, which I am 100% okay with, especially since both books have been telling the same story as the other Super titles anyway. Might as well just put all three in a single title where they all get top billing. Also, I can’t help but notice that Superman: Lois And Clark is disappearing, but I’ve heard that the pre-Flashpoint Superman who appears in that book will both be involved in the Super League story as well as Rebirth, so not crossing them out just yet. Lastly, the one book that got me to raise an eyebrow most in this whole line-up was “The Super-Man”. However, I’ve since been directed to a cover for Justice League #51, where Lex Luthor is shown to be in a Superman-esque costume. Perhaps an attempt to cast Lex Luthor as the evil Superman that was originally conceived before Action Comics #1? We’ll see. Oh, and just saying, PLEASE DC, put Superman in a costume that at least balances out the three colours better. There’s just too much blue and not enough yellow in this equation.
I’m a bit interested to see where Batman goes now that he’s been back from the dead…again. lol I mean, the last time he came back, he created Batman Incorporated. Right now, it feels like a similar idea isn’t far off, with Jim Gordon apparently keeping his Batsuit, Batgirl starting a new Birds of Prey team, and Dick Grayson evidently going back to being Nightwing. And, if you’re confused about that, well…Batman And Robin Eternal #20 kinda revealed that Helena Bertinelli set it up to where Spyral’s orbital little satellite has the ability to make everyone forget about his unmasking and ‘death’ in Forever Evil, thus allowing him to go back to his old life if he so chose. And, I gotta admit, when I first heard about that, it actually sounded like an intriguing moral and ethical dilemma: Should Dick use this technology, essentially mind wiping the entire planet’s population, so he can go back to being Nightwing? Or should he continue to work for a group of secret agents who are CONSTANTLY bending the rules of what is and isn’t ethically sound or legal in order to get the job done? It’s not an easy situation to figure out… … …Too bad I know for a fact that they’re not gonna explore it much and instead it looks like he’s just gonna flip the switch and damn the consequences. I’m not saying that’s necessarily WRONG, just…kinda feels like the easy way out. Frankly, at this point, I just hope they put him back in blue this time around. I’m also interested to see what Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey will be like, and I kinda hope that Gail Simone ends up writing it eventually. Ask nearly anyone, and they’ll tell you that Birds of Prey was at its best when Gail was writing it. No sign of a Robin book yet, which is a little concerning, and it looks as though Gotham Academy is continuing on. And lastly, yeah, I remember what my initial reaction was to Red Hood And The Outlaws coming back, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that, as long as that book is around, it keeps Scott Lobdell away from anything I actually CARE about. 😛
SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!! Just when Justice League had become AMAZING, Johns and Fabok are both off the book! Didn’t I specifically say I wanted them to stay on the book going into Rebirth?!…Well, hopefully, Fabok can find work on one of the other titles. I’m personally hoping for Wonder Woman, because I fucking love how he draws her. Speaking of, I’ve been hearing rumours (so take this with a grain of salt) that Marguerite Bennett could be the new writer for Wonder Woman, which is actually funny because she’s Scott Snyder’s old pupil, and I was requesting Scott Snyder’s Wonder Woman a while ago, so…Yeah. lol Anyway, Justice League of America is apparently just gonna be Justice League America…’kay. Why we can’t just call it JLA, I dunno.
So, I’m guessing that since there are two Titans books right now, Teen Titans and Titans Hunt, and there are two Titans books post-Rebirth, Teen Titans and just plain Titans, that plain Titans is probably gonna be about Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Roy Harper, and the other older Titans. With any luck, we’ll see Starfire join that team, since her book is ending (not cancelled, though, as it was apparently always planned for 12 issues), and otherwise, I fear she might end up going back to RHATO, which I would LOATHE. Other than that, not much else to discuss.
Like I said earlier, the team of Marguerite Bennett and Jason Fabok on Wonder Woman would be awesome if it comes to be. The silhouettes for the official image for Rebirth suggest the return of Wally West as Kid Flash, which could prove interesting for The Flash, and there looks to be a female Green Lantern, which could be Jessica Cruz, and after recent events with the Green Lantern Corps, they could use the new recruits who are already a little experienced with Power Rings. It’s looking like Earth 2 might be reverting back to a more traditional look and feel, especially if I’m right about who that is second from the left behind the curtain of the Rebirth image. And I couldn’t help but notice both Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes appeared in the video, so seeing that there’s a Blue Beetle comic involved raises some questions, like are they going to be working as a duo of sorts. And Hellblazer…Look, I don’t really care about Constantine. I find him to be a major horse’s ass, personally speaking. But, I know a lot of people DO care, and were pissed when his show got cancelled rather quickly, so I will say that I’m glad those people are getting their fill of Constantine, both with this comic and with his appearances in Arrow. Oh, and lastly, I’ve heard that Rebirth will apparently include what Dan Didio calls his most controversial moment ever…Dear God, save me. -_-
Anyway, those are my thoughts so far. If anything else comes up that I’m personally invested in, I’ll go ahead and give my thoughts on it. Be sure to leave your own thoughts below, and we’ll see what goes on from now ’til June. Ja né!
…Oh yeah, and expect a How To Drop The Ball In Comics: The New 52 in June. ^_^
So yeah, got some money and gift cards for Christmas, which means I’ll likely be getting what can be considered more stuff for Christmas. I’ll cover that later on, obviously. Also, I got The Dark Knight Rises for Christmas, but since I already gave my thoughts on that movie a long time ago, I’m not gonna bother here, so if you wanna know what I think, go read it. In the meantime, let’s dig into Justice League #5 & #6.
We open to Darkseid blasting the shit outta military aircraft. Flash gets up from Darkseid’s previous attack at the end of Issue #4 and yells at him to stop. However, he realises he was the first one up and is pretty much royally boned. Superman gets up next, but Darkseid fires his Omega Beams, Barry deciding to grab Superman and run for cover. They split up, but unfortunately the Omega Beams do too, and while Flash is able to vibrate through a Parademon to get it to take the blow, Superman isn’t so lucky. While Superman lives through the ordeal (because he’s Superman), the Parademons take him away while GL tries to take on Darkseid. It doesn’t go so well, Darkseid pummelling Hal and actually knocking him through the others before breaking Hal’s arm and walking off like a boss.
Batman finally tells it like it is to Hal Jordan: If he continues like this, and that if he doesn’t get out of his own way, he’s going to die. Batman unmasks, revealing himself to be Bruce Wayne (which results in what I personally find to be a hilarious panel where Hal has to ask who in the hell Bruce Wayne is), and Bruce tells him his story, of how his parents were murdered in front of his eyes when he was 10, and how he’s spent every day since training to fight the same criminals as those that took his parents’ lives. But Bruce notes, while removing his cape, the blades on his gloves, and even the Bat insignia on his chest (I guess it’s taped on? Maybe Velcro?), that this is bigger than him, bigger than any one of them. He tells Hal to rally the others while he goes to save Superman, letting the Parademons take him away while Hal admits that Bruce might just be crazier than himself.
Hal manages to get the others up and tells them what Batman said, that they need to start working like a team. He’ll turn the light up to get Darkseid’s attention so that the others can blind him, thus robbing him of his most powerful weapon and giving them a chance to take him down. Meanwhile, Bruce lets the Parademon lead him to where they were gathering before taking it down. However, what he finds is another Boom Tube, leading to their true gathering place, Darkseid’s homeworld, and if Hell was its own planet it would be this: Apokolips.
Issue #6 opens with a family taking cover from the Parademons before Darkseid himself arrives to slaughter them, the father narrating that he thought they were going to die until he saw THEM: Green Lantern and the others assaulting Darkseid. Diana wraps him in the Lasso of Truth and demands that he tell them why he’s there, but Darkseid cryptically replies that he’s there “For her” before punching Diana away. Meanwhile Cyborg continues to intercept transmissions between Darkseid and the boxes, called Mother Boxes (actually they were originally called Father Boxes, whereas New Genesis had similar boxes called Mother Boxes, take a shot). Through them, Cyborg can see many worlds, all burning under attack like theirs, but finally manages to get his sights on Batman.
On Apokolips, Bruce has found Superman being tortured by Steppenwolf and DeSaad…who have never been revealed in the New 52 prior to this and new readers have no idea what their deal is. Take two shots! Apparently they plan to use Supes to assist in the search for Darkseid’s daughter…and now I’m confused. His daughter? Do they mean Bekka? Possibly Big Barda? What’s going on? So yeah, since this point confuses ALL readers, I present the final rule of the New 52 Drinking Game: When everyone, be they new or old readers, are confused by a plot point, take 3 shots! Btw, I would just like to note that while anyone else reading is likely drunk off their asses right now, I get away with not taking any shots because I’m a Straightedge. XD But yeah, apparently that’s who “she” is, Darkseid’s daughter, and he’s wrecking his way through planet after planet trying to find her.
Back on Earth, Diana and Aquaman manage to put a sword and a trident through Darkseid’s eyes, but the big mo-fo is still coming, so Cyborg decides the only way they can stop him is to send him back where he came from. Tapping into the Mother Boxes, he opens Boom Tubes all around them, which also opens the door for Superman and Batman to make it back to Earth, Superman messed up and talking about seeing the Multiverse and another version of himself (see Earth-2). As soon as he’s back on Earth and sees Darkseid though, he hits him with a flying double punch so hard it causes it to become a two-page spread.
Y’know, as awesome as this is, and it IS awesome, I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen a far more epic beatdown to Darkseid before…
God, I love JLU. 😀 Anyway, Cyborg’s systems start overloading, but Batman tells him it’s him that’ll be doing this and not the computer, mind over the machine, heart of the cards, yada yada, and Cyborg finally manages to suck Darkseid through the Boom Tubes and shuts them, the Mother Boxes getting fried in the process. They notice that the civilians have gathered around them and Flash thinks they should leave before they get out the burning pitch forks. However, it seems that the people have finally figured out that the seven are the heroes who just saved the world and cheer for them.
We cut to a while later at Washington D.C., where President Not-Bush is giving a speech about the recent crisis while the heroes stand by, chatting to each other. Aquaman resents the suggestion that his armour is a costume, saying he’d never choose orange for it while Hal tells him he doesn’t mind the orange but that the necklace has to go. Cyborg isn’t sure he should be with them, but Barry says he should and should be proud, motioning to the crowd where Dr. Stone is watching, proud of his son. Steve Trevor is shown too, I guess just to show that he survived the battle, and the father from the beginning of this issue is shown typing a story while narrating what’s happening. Hal can’t believe the people think of them as a team of friends, but Batman tells him that they need to make the world believe they are. Plus, they need to be working together in case something like this happens again. Hal wonders what the chances of that are, but suddenly the President gets word there’s trouble and they need the seven again, Barry saying they can refer to them as the Super Seven. Hal is unamused by the name (for once, we are of like minds), and Flash says they’ll think of something, ending with the father, David Graves, finishing writing his book, “Justice League: Gods Among Us”.
Meanwhile in London, two creepy guys meet, talking about how new heroes are popping up every day, mentioning Green Arrow, Zatanna, and Hawkman. It’s at this point I should mention the fact that apparently at some point in the future, there were supposed to be new members to the League in the form of Deadman (Boston Brand), The Atom (Ryan Choi), Element Woman (Emily Sung), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Mera, Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), and a new revamp of the Golden Age character Lady Luck. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t happened yet, instead having Deadman (and Zatanna for that matter) being part of Justice League Dark, Mera mostly just sticking with her husband Aquaman (though she DOES appear in the crossover event Throne of Atlantis), Lady Luck apparently going to be appearing in The Phantom Stranger soon, Element Woman and Ryan Choi not having shown up at all, Ronnie becoming a new version of Firestorm that sees him bonding with Jason Rusch, and images of the upcoming Justice League of America shows Hawkman and Green Arrow being members of THAT team. This leads me to a few different conclusions as to what has happened, but I’ll get to that later. Instead, let’s just wrap up this page by explaining that these two men are members of the Religion of Crime from 52, thus hinting that they’ll eventually become important villains later on, but again, that hasn’t happened either.
Now, technically this isn’t the end of the comic, as we have a back-up story called “Pandora”. We see a man has been murdered in the streets, and among those in the crowd is Pandora. For those unaware, Pandora has actually been cameoing in the first issue of nearly every book in the New 52, the only exception to this that I’m aware of being Earth-2 (which actually makes sense, since it’s an alternate Earth). She takes a closer look at the body when she’s confronted by The Phantom Stranger, who says that “they” sent him to speak with her, “they” likely consisting of Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett, and Jeff Hardy… … …God, TNA storylines are stupid.
Pandora doesn’t seem all that amused by this, and The Phantom Stranger simply remarks that she should feel glad they didn’t send The Spectre, but Pandora claims she doesn’t fear The Spectre, having been judged by forces far above him: The Circle of Eternity. All of this is explained in a book that was made available on Free Comic Book Day, but just in case you don’t have it, I will simplify what’s happening here: Pandora and The Phantom Stranger make two of three individuals that were judged by The Circle of Eternity and punished eternally for their sins, the third apparently being The Question. TAKE A SHOT.
Anyway, it seems that the Phantom Stranger is aware of the changes that Pandora made to reality, Pandora claiming she realigned and strengthened it while the Phantom Stranger feels that she’s dangerous and has been in possession of ‘the box’ for too long. However, Pandora screams at him to not touch her and that she won’t just be an observer anymore. They get into a short fight before Pandora shoots him in the head with what I can assume to be a magic gun (seriously, where are people purchasing these? XD), but anyone who knows the Phantom Stranger knows that trying to kill him is like trying to fold a newspaper over 1,000,000,000 times, it just can’t be done. However, Pandora says that while she can’t kill him, she can HURT him, and knows the ultimate means of doing so: Telling the world who he is. Yeah, y’know how The Phantom Stranger’s identity and origins were always a mystery that, let’s face it, should have stayed a mystery since it makes his character all the more intriguing? Well, while it’s hinted who he is in that Free Comic Book Day comic, it’s pretty much been confirmed exactly who he is after The Phantom Stranger #0. Would you like to know? He’s actually JUDAS…Yeah, THAT Judas. As in the man who betrayed Jesus……………Dan Didio is a sick man! And so our comic ends with Pandora saying that she’ll be released from her curse, but only after she finds ‘The Strange’ and imprisons it, and that the Justice League will be the ones to help her, “Whether they like it or not”.
Yeah, the back story kinda sucks, but the rest of the book is awesome. The biggest issues that this book has is in the way it can confuse, baffle, and on occasions anger readers that have been reading prior to the relaunch, or even just fans who have been reading info on the various wikis and watched the cartoons or movies. However, when you consider that this book is supposed to be an introduction to the New 52, it’s kinda hard to judge it for that. Besides, the story is solid enough that it’s easy to enjoy. One problem I have is that while the story does manage to establish who everyone is, what their powers are, and what their motivations are, the one who is kind of left out is Superman, as we really only know that he’s an alien with speed and strength that rivals and often outright towers over every other member of the Justice League. However, it’s worth noting that the first arc of Action Comics in the New 52 was also a prequel story that explains Superman’s origins in the new universe…too bad it apparently wasn’t all that great. It’s also worth noting that Cyborg is the only member without a solo title of his own, but considering his story is pretty much told within Justice League, it’s not THAT big a deal. Would still be nice, though.
Overall, I have to give this book props and recommend it, especially for new readers looking to get into DC Comics. Although, it’s not the BEST book of the New 52, at least not in my own humble opinion. What do I consider the best book? Oh, my friends, be sure to check in again in a few months, when I begin a retrospective of Scott Snyder’s Batman.
I’ve decided on the roster!
- In my fanfic, there is no Justice League YET. Groups such as the Teen Titans, StormWatch, and the Birds of Prey exist, but there is no global organizing of superheroes. However, many events in the comics did happen in the backstory of this fic, albeit altered.
- The Flash in this fic is Wally West, formerly Kid Flash of the Teen Titans. Shortly after becoming an adult, he became the Flash following the disappearance of Barry Allen.
- Superman and Lois Lane are married in this fic and she is aware of his secret identity.
- Every Robin from the mainstream comics (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne) are canon in this fic.
- Wonder Woman’s origin of being sculpted from clay by her mother Hippolyta and granted life and her powers from the Greek Gods is still canon. In other words, ZEUS IS NOT HER FATHER.
- Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are all aware of each other’s identities and have worked together on occasion, even having monthly meetings to exchange information.
- The Green Lantern in this fic is Alan Scott, though his story will be more based on his DCnU Earth-2 counterpart. As such, there are no other Lanterns nor Guardians of the Universe AT THIS TIME.
- Aquaman is currently going back and forth on whether he wants to be King of Atlantis or a hero on land with Mera at his side.
- Black Canary is not married to Green Arrow and is serving as a member of the Birds of Prey.
- A few miscellaneous heroes I want to confirm are canon: Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), Cyborg (Victor Stone), Booster Gold (Michael Jon Carter), Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), Batwoman (Katherine Kane), Raven (Rachel Roth), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Kid Flash (Bart Allen), Black Bat (Cassandra Cain), Starfire (Koriand’r), Robin (Damian Wayne), Beast Boy (Garfield Logan).
Well, that’s all for now. Keep an eye out for the fanfic coming soon to deviantArt, as well as some new info I’ll release (because I like to spoil y’all. Ja ne!