Well, it’s June, so it’s finally time for me to take a more in-depth look at DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative. However, the reason this is only starting now in the middle of June is because…well, there’s a lot to talk about, both good and bad, and I can’t really imagine me going over ALL of my thoughts on DC Rebirth in one article. As such, I’m gonna be talking about several specific books in their own articles, what I liked and disliked about them, and then give overall thoughts on where I think the book might be headed. And obviously, considering I’m going over the events of these books, there will be SPOILERS, so if you aren’t caught up on them and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. So, with that said, let’s talk about Detective Comics.
Now, first and foremost, when I heard about this book initially, I was PUMPED. Not only was it going back to the old numbering, meaning we’d be hitting #1000 relatively quickly, but just look at the cover. It’s a TEAM book, featuring some of my favourite Bat Family characters: Batman, Batwoman, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain… … …erm, Clayface…Yeah, I’mma get to Clayface, but suffice to say, he’s one of the elements of the book that’s both good and bad. Regardless, though, this was gonna be great… … …Then some shit happened that made me a lot less excited. But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about Tim Drake, AKA Red Robin.
So one of the first things the book did was re-establish everything great about Tim Drake. He’s the brains of the Robins, the one most on par with Bruce when it comes to detective skills, and is the one who builds a lot of the tech they use in their new base of operations. Bruce also gives him a new costume that’s more closely associated with the other Robins (remember, in the New 52, Tim was never Robin, and was always Red Robin), and makes it clear to him that he ALWAYS considered him a Robin, whether Tim did or not. Even Tim’s relationship with Stephanie Brown is re-established, much to my joy. And it goes a long way in explaining why these things were re-established here when you consider that, apparently, James Tynion IV is a big fan of the character and his original solo-series. So, for fans of Tim Drake, like myself, this was a great thing to do… … …Then Tim died.
Well, okay, anyone who has read the book where Tim Drake makes his final stand knows that Tim didn’t actually die. Before he could be killed, he was basically removed from the area by Mr. Oz, a character who has been cropping up in Superman’s stories for a while now, and was made Oz’s prisoner, effectively taking Tim off the board because he was an important link to a lot of different people in the DC Universe. What Oz’s motivations for doing this are is still a mystery, and I’ll get more into that when I talk about the Superman books, but that’s the situation as is. And frankly, while that DOES annoy me, that we finally got Tim back as he should be only to lose him, the fact is, this DOES play into a bigger story that even goes outside of this one book. Oz’s plans are one of the big mysteries of DC Rebirth, and Tim is now a part of that, as we see him trying to escape, make contact with Batman, taunt Oz over the loss of other prisoners, etc. He’s not just being benched permanently, it’s part of a storyline that’s actually going somewhere. But, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that fallout from his apparent death has led to things that DO legit bother me.
Now let’s talk about Clayface. First, let me explain that I actually do like his motivations for joining Batman. For those that don’t recall, it was established in the New 52 that Karlo’s abilities had evolved to the point where he could not only assume the forms of other people, his DNA would also change to whoever he made physical contact with. However, this came at a price: He could assume the form and DNA of anyone…except Basil Karlo. So, when we first encounter him in this book, he’s basically hit rock bottom, just sitting alone at a theater showing one of his old movies and not caring for crime or if he gets sent back to Arkham or not. It’s a position that I think a lot of us can understand and would probably find ourselves in if we were in his shoes. Thus, when Batman offers him a chance to become Basil Karlo if he joins Batman’s team to help Gotham, he accepts. And as a result of that, we see him start to change. He’s regaining his humanity and is legitimately wanting to help people again as opposed to feeling forced to. It’s a well-written redemption storyline that, hopefully, won’t be undone.
Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Clayface being the one to receive this redemption arc, one that I was not privy to because, while I know a lot about No Man’s Land, I have not read it in its entirety. However, since his introduction as a member of this team, a friend of mine let me in on the fact that it was made pretty clear (if not outright stated) that Clayface raped Poison Ivy during the events of No Man’s Land. This was part of the story that led to Ivy being put in charge of Robinson Park and looking after orphaned children. And I know, I KNOW, someone’s gonna point out that this might not be in continuity anymore. And granted, that’s a legit argument. However, here’s my counter-argument: DC, while getting better at it as of late, has never made it fully clear what all is and is not canon from the pre-Flashpoint stories. So, until it’s made clear one way or the other, we don’t really know whether the events of No Man’s Land are or are not still a part of these characters’ histories. Furthermore, even if No Man’s Land and the rape are no longer canon due to it being among the ten years of history taken from the DC Universe, it still doesn’t completely erase what happened, especially since events in recent comics suggest those ten years are going to be reintegrated into main storylines. And you just can’t have it both ways by saying that all of the previous history is canon again, but that the rape never happened. Other than situations where characters couldn’t have been physically present due to not being introduced in the new continuity until much later, re-establishing the past history means it ALL happened. Now, if this was an alternate universe with its own history and incarnations of the characters, then I would say “Okay, I can overlook that”. But this ISN’T. Rebirth has made it clear that this is the same universe that existed pre-Flashpoint, just with ten years worth of history removed and elements of the WildStorm and Vertigo Universes blended in. And I’m not even saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do a story wherein Clayface redeems himself for those actions, it’s just that, be it because Tynion isn’t aware or forgot about that story, or either he himself or higher-ups at DC don’t care, there does not exist a story wherein Clayface at least attempts to rectify what he did to Ivy. Now, if they do so later, fine, but for now, it’s an issue that will always stick out to me. And if you think I’m wrong to feel that way, lemme ask longtime DC fans something: What was your initial reaction to seeing Doctor Light appear in the New 52 as a good guy who joined the JLA? My guess is probably revulsion, because you remembered that image of Doctor Light raping Sue Dibny, and then later being made into a serial rapist who was killed by other bad guys because even they couldn’t stomach him. You can’t simply pretend that didn’t happen when these are all still supposed to be the same characters. This is what the publisher did with the character, and you can’t simply brush it off because it’s inconvenient.
…*sighs* And, speaking of which, that leads me to probably my biggest disappointment with the book: Stephanie Brown. I have made it no secret that Steph is one of my all-time favourite superheroes, held the #1 spot for me for many years, and was the star of my favourite Batgirl title. Now, initially, I didn’t really have a problem with Stephanie in this book. It wasn’t until she left the team that I had a problem, and that wasn’t even really with her leaving the team. The thing is, Stephanie Brown finding fault and taking issue with Batman’s methods? That’s totally in character for her. They DO have differing philosophies and methodology as it pertains to helping people and dealing with crime. It’s not even that she leaves over Bruce’s tendency to inadvertently get others caught in the crossfire of his fight with villains, since it works as motivation for him to be more careful and do more to help those caught in his path. The problem is just how fucking hypocritical she acts, talking about how Gotham doesn’t need heroes when she goes out and specifically does superhero acts, all the while sabotaging Batman and saying how he shouldn’t be out in the open taking the credit. THAT is NOT in character for her. And she talks about how Batman should stick to the shadows and not let the general public in on his existence, when guess what? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE USED TO DO!!! He DID stick to the shadows! He DIDN’T let people know he really existed! He was an urban legend, and the confirmed existence of him was known only to a select few. He only came out into the light when things in Gotham got SO bad that he HAD to, that his presence would’ve actually been a positive to Gotham. Then there’re hints that, in future issues, she’s gonna be teaming with Anarky. Now, Steph teaming with anti-heroes like Catwoman or the like, that makes sense. ANARKY IS A STRAIGHT-UP VILLAIN WHO KILLS PEOPLE. Her working with him makes no sense for her character. And the most insulting part of all of this is that the event that triggers it all is Tim’s supposed death, meaning it’s entirely possible none of this would’ve happened if not for the fact that her boyfriend bit the dust. Give me a fucking break!
In terms of the other characters, I like that the book makes use of people like Batwing, Azrael, and Bluebird, heroes who don’t have their own books and are able to get some stories told about them here. I also like that the book was able to tell a story that directly led into Batwoman getting her own solo title again, which is always a good thing. Batwoman is a popular and important enough character to deserve her own book, and I’m glad they’ve done so. I also like that it’s made clear that she and Bruce are equals on this team, as they should be. Not sure why they completely shaved her head at the beginning, but whatever, minor nitpick, and at least it’s growing back out again as of late.
One problem I have with the book that’s actually a bit smaller than the ones I’ve mentioned thus far is the fact that Kate’s dad was made a villain. I mean, I GUESS when you look at the story as a whole and how it unfolded, it kinda makes sense. Still, I kinda find it problematic if, for no other reason, it pushes Kate to be more like Bruce, since she now no longer has a father to go to. And frankly, the story of him going after a super-secret organization that Batman doesn’t believe exists, but then it turns out they do and that they’re a far bigger threat just makes Batman look like an idiot, especially since this isn’t even the first evil group he thought never existed and then was proven wrong about.
So, now for where I think/hope this book is going. Well, first off, it’s pretty clear that Tim being alive will come out at some point, especially with Superman apparently having to deal with Mr. Oz more directly in upcoming events. What they’ll do with him at that point is anyone’s guess, but I’d imagine him being confirmed alive will probably be what leads to Steph and Bruce resolving their issues. I honestly hope they DO actually work what happened in No Man’s Land into a story, with Clayface feeling the need to make right what he did in some way, shape, or form. CAN he be redeemed is a question everyone needs to ask themselves, but personally, I’d at least be fine with them giving it a legitimate attempt. At least acknowledge that he feels guilt over what happened. And hopefully, Kate and her father can resolve their issues as well, and WITHOUT him dying in some way. Honestly, what I think would be a good move after Tim is brought back into the fold is for Bruce to maybe take a step back and let the team do their own thing. Let us see how the group can function without Batman taking direct control of it.
One thing I’m legitimately worried about is that, with the recent reveal that the Outsiders are still canon, the team in this book will be disbanded and replaced with the Outsiders. I’m not against the Outsiders getting back together, and I would be in favour of them getting their own book or integrating this team into their ranks. However, I hope this team is not completely broken down for the sake of bringing them back. I feel like that would be a disservice to these characters.
Most importantly, though, I want Detective Comics to remain a team book. Detective Comics basically just being another Batman book in the New 52 seemed like a waste, whereas now we have actual stories we can tell with it. And, to be honest, despite everything bad I’ve said that’s happened in this book…it’s still a lot better than another Bat book I could name, which I’ll be getting to eventually. For now, lemme know what your own thoughts on Detective Comics in DC Rebirth are, and join me next time for something a bit more…wonderful. Ja né!
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!
…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!
…Well, we’re finally here, folks. It’s been five years, but at last, the New 52/DC You is dead. Granted, a few of its titles are still finishing up their runs, and the new books still take place in this universe, but it’s a changed one, and, quite frankly, a VASTLY improved one in my opinion, but I’ll be going over how when I look at DC Universe Rebirth #1 (the reason I haven’t yet is because there was still some fallout from it that continues into the other Rebirth one-shots). Before that, though, I think it’s time to look back on exactly what happened with the New 52, where it went wrong, and some of the worst titles that I personally have ever read from this era. So, welcome once again to How To Drop The Ball In Comics as I, for one last time, let it all out about the New 52.
What Is It?: The New 52 was basically a way to bring in new readers who might be intimidated by 70+ years of history, likely as a means of competing more with Marvel by upping their numbers. Sound familiar? It should. It’s something that DC has tried to do a few times now. However, they never tried anything quite like this: Following the event Flashpoint, the DC Universe was rebooted to where most of the heroes of the world had only been active for about 5 years. Most of the history of the characters were either gone or changed, thus creating a blank slate to start over from scratch with new talent to tell their tales in a modern setting. Now, DC was no stranger to reboots and retcons. But, as I said, this went a bit above and beyond anything they’d ever done before. So, the question one has to ask themselves, as has been done since the beginning of this new comic universe, is the same singular word as it’s always been: Why?
How Did It Have Potential?: Really, when you get down to why DC felt the need to reboot everything, it usually leads to a common question: Are there really that many people who want to read comics but don’t because of so much continuity to go through? And the answer is…complicated. I’ve had this talk before, and as I said then, this generation is actually the luckiest when it comes to stuff like that. We have the internet, with which we can read up on all this information. Sure, we might not get EVERYTHING, but the most important details will be waiting for us. That said, there DO exist people who either don’t know where to get this information, or don’t feel obligated, for whatever reason, to read up on it, but would STILL like to get into comics. Now, personally speaking, nowadays, I’m more of a subscriber to the theory that the best way to get new readers isn’t to sweep everything under a rug, but instead to give just enough allusions to these old stories and make them sound super exciting and interesting, thus making the reader want to know more. If you wanna know where I figured THAT out, read JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative. Or, if you can’t find it, watch Linkara’s review of it. However, I’m not blind to the views of those who would implement this strategy to get more people reading.
On top of all of that, though, there is one thing people have to consider. And I know that there are people who have forgotten this, but…there ARE some heroes who kinda got screwed over LONG before the New 52 happened, and who have since gotten a new lease on life as a result. Want an example? Okay, VIBE. Vibe was considered the worst member of the Justice League EVER. His name was practically a punch line, and he likely either would’ve remained that way or completely faded from everyone’s memory, were it not for the reboot giving Geoff Johns a chance to do something new with him. And after seeing how he worked in the New 52, I gotta say, I really like Vibe. I would gladly have him on my Justice League team. I hope he comes back again. And, likely as a result of his being brought back in the New 52, the character was also adapted into The Flash’s TV show, which has another new interpretation of him that I really like. So, yes, the reboot had potential when it came to characters like him. Also, while I’m not necessarily a fan of how Donna Troy was brought back in the New 52, I will say that I’m glad it finally gave her a definitive origin that didn’t require a road map to understand…I think, anyway. Not sure exactly how her origin works in terms of how she could’ve been a member of the Titans, but whatever. Something I’ll get into another time.
Finally, though, we have to be honest: The New 52 had good books, many of which I listed before. Also, some of the books which were of actual good quality would not or could not have worked in the old continuity. Not without their own share of heavy changes, anyway. And some of these books were so good that, when the word got out about them, they brought in new readers. You know how I know that? BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THEM! Yeah, I was one of those people who was on the fence about actually buying comics. Sure, I was a fan of many of the characters long before that, but that was mostly via their TV shows, movies, video games, stuff I learned through Atop The Fourth Wall, and just word of mouth. But when the reboot came, I saw it as an opportunity to get into comics, starting with Scott Snyder’s Batman, and I’ve been buying comics ever since. And a few characters DID eventually get put over as new stars. Harley Quinn is one of the top characters in DC right now, and has been outed as bisexual in her own book, meaning she is one of the most high-profile LGBT characters in comics. Speaking of, Batwoman got her own monthly title. Granted, she was already the star of Detective Comics for a while, but here, she had her own self-titled story. So, yes, we have to accept the fact that, in some ways, THE NEW 52 DID SEE SUCCESS… … … … …Now for the half-to-three-quarters empty.
How Did It Drop The Ball?: Well, before I get to that, I wanna show you something. Before writing this article, I went out on Twitter and asked a few people, if they could sum up exactly what went wrong with the New 52 in about 10 words or so, what those words would be. Let’s see what they had to say, shall we?
To be fair, though, one person I asked also had THIS to say…
…And yeah, that’s a legit concern to have, one that I’ll address when I get to DC Rebirth. Regardless, I can’t help but agree with the other responses, too. So, let’s start with the obvious one: What the loss of the past continuity cost us. Well, for starters, at the beginning of the New 52 (so the first 52 books printed), there was no Wally West, Donna Troy, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, the VAST majority of the JSA, Aqualad (either of them), and several other legacy heroes. Dick Grayson was back to being Nightwing. Bart Allen was the only Kid Flash. Cassandra Sandsmark was the only Wonder Girl. Barbara Gordon was the only Batgirl, was only in a wheelchair for a couple of years (give or take), and was suggested to have never been Oracle. There was no Young Justice team. The Outsiders were forced underground and were ultimately forgotten for a time. Cyborg was never a Teen Titan, instead taking Martian Manhunter’s place as a founding member of the Justice League. Martian Manhunter was more or less made into a hero everyone had trust issues with and would freely mindwipe others at a whim. Aquaman and Mera weren’t married, although no one apparently thought to tell Geoff Johns that while he was writing. Also, the Teen Titans never existed before Tim Drake’s new team, but again, apparently no one told Scott Lobdell. Roy Harper never had Lian, nor did he ever become Red Arrow, and instead became an anti-hero working with Jason Todd. Batman never revealed his identity to Catwoman, and instead the two were just having sex on rooftops. No one knew where the frak Renée Montoya was. But probably the most damning of all, Clark Kent and Lois Lane were never married, nor in a relationship.
But even beyond stuff that no longer happened due to the loss of past continuity, there were other retcons passed around throughout the New 52 that either didn’t make sense, came outta nowhere, or just served to piss people off. I’ve already gone over stuff like what happened to Wonder Woman, Starfire, and Martian Manhunter, but it didn’t end there. The Phantom Stranger was made to be Judas Iscariot. The Question was… … …I have no idea what the hell the Question was supposed to be, honestly. Tim Drake didn’t find out Batman’s identity and become Robin out of a need to help him, but instead failed to figure out who he was and instead forced his hand by messing with Penguin and almost getting his parents killed. Supergirl’s dad became the New 52 Cyborg Superman, which apparently is still canon in Rebirth for some reason. Billy Batson was turned into a little asshole who never shuts his gob. Roy Harper got a STUPID trucker hat that he refused to take off for some reason. Jason Todd’s back-story was changed to where Joker apparently set up his life to turn out exactly as it did to where he was killed and brought back. Mr. Freeze was never married to Nora, but instead was obsessed with her because of stuff relating to the cold and his mother that just makes my skin crawl. Overall, though, most of these changes and several others served for a single purpose: To make the DC Universe darker, and the stories were more often than not reflective of this, oftentimes filled with lots of sex and violence.
More than all of that, though, where I think the New 52 fails most in terms of stories is just on a sheer conceptual level. You’ll recall that I said the reboot was meant to put everything back to a clean slate. Here’s the problem: Some events in the past continuity did still happen. Several moments in DC’s history were condensed down into a much smaller time frame that made less sense the more one thought about it. Supposedly, events like Hal Jordan becoming Parallax, Blackest Night, and Batman being sent through time and believed dead still happened, but several key people involved weren’t, and the exact details of how it happened were changed. All the male Robins still exist (though Tim Drake was apparently never Robin and instead was always Red Robin), all within the span of 5 (later changed to approximately 10) years. Barbara Gordon was still shot by the Joker. Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend was still murdered and stuffed into a fridge (which, of all things to wipe away, why did THAT have to remain canon?! o.O). And, on top of all of this, some things happened, others didn’t, and not only was DC quiet about what did and didn’t happen, but they failed to give memos to the people WRITING THE STORIES about what was and wasn’t in canon. Like I said before, guys like Geoff Johns and Scott Lobdell, who were given high-profile books, weren’t informed of certain details. The first issues of Red Hood And The Outlaws and Teen Titans clearly made reference to past Titans teams, only to later learn that, supposedly, there were no previous Titans. I honestly have NO idea if Superman being killed by Doomsday is still canon or not. Heroes like Plastic Man and Miss Martian were referenced in the first issues of Justice League International and Teen Titans, only for it to be retconned that they never existed. George Pérez had to quit after six issues of Superman after repeated failures of being informed of details about Superman’s new status quo in this new universe. And I’m sure there are other instances of stuff like this that I’m not thinking of.
If you haven’t put it together by now, a major problem with the New 52 was mismanagement, and it wasn’t just a problem with the stories, either. Ask any of the talent that have left DC within the past five years, and you’ll probably get a similar story of broken promises and last-minute changes. Many left their stories unfinished as a result. In particular, Andy Diggle left the company before the first issue of his run on Action Comics ever even hit the stands. I think probably the one that still gets me is the controversy involving Batwoman, and I’ve gone over this before, but here’s as quick a summary of what happened as I can do. In September of 2013, J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman went public with the fact that they were leaving Batwoman, starting with issue 26. Why? Well, because of last-minute changes to stuff they had planned, specifically that they were told that Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer, who had just recently gotten engaged in the book, would never be allowed to get married. According to Dan DiDio, superheroes shouldn’t be married because being happy would undermine their angst and turmoil, and would compromise their commitment to being superheroes. Now, apparently, DiDio claims this is only to do specifically with the Bat-related characters, but if you’ll recall, neither Superman nor Aquaman were married, either. In fact, the only superhero seemingly still with a family was Animal Man. So while DiDio says it was only a Bat Family thing, I think it’s more likely that he doesn’t like the idea of superheroes being married, for one reason or another. This is evidenced further by notes of his going back as far as Infinite Crisis, where it’s clear he wanted to break up Clark Kent and Lois Lane for YEARS. But hey, I’m not in charge of DC Comics. I don’t have any say in what goes on. So maybe Dan DiDio DOES know better than me. But, if that’s the case, can I ask a simple question? And it’s one I’ve asked for years now and never gotten a good answer for: If Batwoman getting married was such a problem, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with? Why were they ever allowed to get engaged? You could’ve avoided all of this and the controversy that followed if you’d simply suggested against this move to begin with in a calm and rational tone, and instead worked out something different with Williams and Blackman.
Speaking of the controversy involving Batwoman, that leads me to another issue: The women of DC. And that’s not just the characters. That said, here’s a list of just SOME of the examples of violence and fridging towards women in the New 52 (though PLEASE be aware that these are horribly graphic in many cases, so read at your own discretion): Link. Beyond that, though, there was an overall lack of female creators working for DC at the beginning. I think the official figures were that the female creators at DC had dropped from 12% to 1%. And we’ve got more now, but it’s still a rather small number. And probably the most high-profile among those at the beginning was Gail Simone. Only, guess what? There’s controversy there, too, not only because Secret Six, a best seller at DC before the reboot, was cancelled, not only because the book she’d be working on, Batgirl, had Barbara Gordon taken out of the wheelchair and claimed to have never been Oracle, a move that ticked off a LOT of people, but because she was, in December of 2012, fired from Batgirl via e-mail (which was later suggested to be inaccurate or untrue, but who knows at this point), despite the fact that she’d made the book work and be a top-seller in the face of everything working against it. Granted, she was hired back 12 days later, but I honestly feel that’s only because her firing got SO public that DC was basically becoming a lightning rod of hate. But again, guess what? She eventually left the book AGAIN, and then went on to write a rebooted Secret Six, which is, again, getting cancelled. Maybe it’ll be back in Rebirth someday down the road, I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.
And lastly, I was GOING to include a list of my 5 Least Favourite Books of the New 52. However, I’ve decided not to because, at this point, you should probably have a good idea as to which books I didn’t like and which ones outright pissed me off. Maybe I’ll go back and do it later if I REALLY feel the need to, but for now, here’s just a quick rundown of the books I didn’t like, hated, or just had problems with.
Batman The Dark Knight: A horrible and nonsensical opening arc, and then later, the AWFUL killing of Batman’s love interest at the time. Even excluding those, though, it just wasn’t good.
Action Comics/Superman: The character was just not as likable or inspiring as he could be, even with the reboot, and later became crossover event after crossover event.
The Fury of Firestorm: Sorry, Gail, but every great writer’s gotta have at least one bomb, and this was just terrible.
Detective Comics: The book started off with Joker getting his face cut off just to set the stage for a story written one year later in another book…Do I even need to SAY anything else after that? Even when it was good, it always felt like it was just the other Batman book.
Teen Titans: Even if Scott WASN’T a sub-par writer, the lack of communication with editorial over what was and wasn’t canon ruined it in the beginning. The second volume started off promising, but later delved into being just bad. Overall, both volumes have kinda ruined Tim Drake as a credible leader. Still, I really like Bunker and hope he returns in Rebirth.
Wonder Woman: Massive retcons to Wonder Woman’s origins and the Amazons, and was later given to the Finches, who frankly just do not get the character.
Justice League of America: Existed solely as lead-in to Trinity War, and was later scrapped and reworked into the superior Justice League United. There’s also a JLA book going on right now that involves the seven main members of the Justice League going up against Rao, but I haven’t been following, and apparently, the book has been outright plagued with delays and cancellations.
The Movement: …I DID mention that I really like Gail Simone, right? 😀 …Okay, to be fair, I actually really liked the characters, but the overall story structure seemed problematic. Maybe it was just me, though. I’d actually be fine with this title coming back someday, or maybe the characters making comebacks, especially Vengeance Moth and Virtue.
Superman/Wonder Woman: Would’ve been fine if it was just about the two teaming up to fight bad guys, except it was far more about the two’s relationship that many were sick of already, and later existed solely to further the crossover events involving the other Superman-related books.
Birds of Prey: Started off okay, and had a new fan favourite bisexual character in Starling and put Poison Ivy on her more heroically inclined path, but it quickly fell completely apart, particularly when both aforementioned characters had heel turns and left the group.
Nightwing: While I personally enjoyed the book, it had a problem that a lot of other books frequently involved in crossover events had, in that there was rarely if ever a status quo to become invested in.
Red Hood And The Outlaws: The only reason I can fathom as to why this book is being brought back for Rebirth is as a means to keep Scott Lobdell away from anything else. That said, at least it won’t involve Starfire and Roy Harper anymore, who are returning to the Titans books.
Earth 2/World’s End/Earth 2 Society: Earth 2 started off promising, but then Dan Wilson took over, and the ship was pretty much sunk in every conceivable way. Dan Abnett’s actually trying REALLY hard to make Earth 2 Society good, and you can tell he’s a good writer, but I just don’t know how or if you can save this outside of another reboot, and that’s what got us into this mess.
Harley Quinn: If this was a book that was just about Harley, that’d be one thing, but they include Poison Ivy and just do strange and stupid things with her at times (though they DID at least make it canon that these two are bisexual), and did an amnesia arc with Power Girl where the latter was utterly humiliated and degraded in more ways than one.
Futures End: Brought Terry McGinnis into the mainstream continuity just to kill him off and replace him with an alternate future version of Tim Drake. Also, was FULL of body horror, dark twists, and ultimately proved to be pointless as the future presented never happened. Still, it DID have some good tie-ins, like the Batgirl one that I’ve brought up before.
Martian Manhunter: If anyone can tell me just what in the hell happened in this book without giving me a headache, that would be much appreciated. lol
Catwoman: I don’t even. I just don’t even. The first issue has her having sex with Batman for no reason, and has gone through multiple writers and arcs, none of which seemed to be written all that well.
Black Canary: I wouldn’t call this BAD, it’s just weird seeing Dinah in a band. But, let’s be fair, that could just be a problem with me.
There’s almost certainly more I’m either not thinking of or didn’t read, but that’s enough for now. Honestly, at this point, I’m sick of ranting about the New 52. And really, this is why I decided to do this article: Just to get this all out one last time so I can move on. Because, if you’ll look back on my blog and read my DC-related articles, it’s clear that I need to move on. I can’t live in the past, especially THIS past. I need to look to the future, and while DC Rebirth has a few things I could pick out as problematic, I will say that it still looks like a VAST improvement over the New 52. In the end, all the New 52 was was just a poorly managed era of comics history, one that even those behind it have figured out was a failure, and one that I am more than happy to leave behind for brighter horizons.
So, that’s pretty much the New 52 in a nutshell. Got any stories about this era of comics or details I might’ve left out? Lemme know in the comments below, and come back later this month when I finally take a look at DC Universe Rebirth #1, and my overall thoughts on the new era going forward. Ja né!
Well, the New 52 is just about at its end, with DC Rebirth coming up next week and the last of the New 52 books ending over the course of the next few months. And while the New 52 has become something of a punchline for many fans, let’s not forget the good times that came with it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that there WERE good books, as well as the bad. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that, before I seriously rag on the New 52 one last time, I should really take a look at some of my favourite comics from this era. Now, keep in mind, these are JUST the ones that I read. I’m well aware of the fact that there were other good comics that came out during the past five years under the DC banner that won’t be on this list. As such, if your favourites aren’t on the list, by all means, feel free to place your own in the comments. Also, keep in mind that there are books that, while good, just weren’t the overall greats of this list. So, books like Justice League, while having arcs I liked, also had a bunch of arcs I DIDN’T like, so they just missed the cut…though I DO have a bonus round for them. lol And, of course, books that are not a part of the main line, like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman don’t count. Why we couldn’t have more books like it and Legends of Wonder Woman in the main line, I dunno, but for now, let’s start with one that’s probably kinda obvious to anyone who’s read my blog for a while…
Yeah, not shocking anyone with this pick, I’m sure. Most definitely my favourite of the books starring the New 52 Superman, and it’s one of the reasons I’m actually sad to learn that he’s dying. Yes, he is arguably the most inherently flawed of the mainstream Supermen, but when you have a good writer with a good story writing him, those flaws are used in good ways. We see how this Superman is still an inspirational figure in spite of these flaws by never giving up and continuously trying to do the best he can for the world. So yeah, while I’m obviously overjoyed to see the pre-Flashpoint Superman return to active duty, along with his wife and son, there will always be a little part of me that gets nostalgic for the Superman who didn’t always get it right, but nonetheless kept trying his best, for truth and justice.
I actually feel bad because I initially was unwilling to give this book a try. Why? Because they’d seemingly undone Babs’ past as Oracle as a means to make her Batgirl again, thus taking the position away from Stephanie Brown, who was nowhere to be seen for a long time. But while all that is true, I can’t deny that this book has had some great moments. Granted, I HATED the Batgirl Wanted arc, and Black Canary’s characterization in the beginning of the Stewart/Fletcher era rubbed me the wrong way, but the rest of it has been highly enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments are probably Alysia’s wedding, the end of the Simone era when Babs called in damned near EVERY superheroine on Earth, ALL of her annuals, the tie-in to Future’s End, that time she and Strix took on vampires, it’s just been a hell of a ride, and I hope that the next volume is just as fun.
For those that never read this book, I’ll keep the recap brief: Shortly after the collapse of the government sanctioned JLA, which was secretly meant as a fail-safe against the Justice League, three of its members, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, found themselves teaming with Supergirl, Adam and Alanna Strange, Animal Man, and newcomer Equinox, to form a new Justice League: the Justice League United, set up in Canada, and meant to protect the world from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Of course, right off the bat, I was excited, since…well, do you know how long I waited for my country to get their own Justice League? Was awesome. But beyond that, getting to see some of the character interactions without the dread present in the JLA book that came before it was great too (Green Arrow and Animal Man playing off each other made for some decent comedy), and there was a lot of more traditional superheroing. In the later stages of the book’s existence, the team began rotating members in and out in order to deal with different situations, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Anyone from Batgirl to Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing to Vandal Savage, and so on could be brought in depending on what the situation called for. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long before the book’s cancellation, but the JLU has since appeared during the Truth story-arc in the Superman books, giving me hope that they’ll one day return to action.
I should probably note that, when I say Convergence is a favourite of mine, I’m not talking about the main series. This is primarily because…well, I didn’t read it, and from what I’ve read, there’s not really much of anything that good, other than the restoration of the Multiverse. Oh, there’s some stuff involving the New 52 version of Earth 2, but unfortunately, that’s been a SERIOUSLY mixed bag. You wanna know more about that, go check out the blog Helena Wayne Huntress for more details. But no, what I’m referring to as one of my favourites of the New 52 is all the tie-in stuff. Granted, that could be seen as cheating for one simple reason: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW 52. The Convergence tie-ins are about giving resolution to stories that happened before the New 52, letting the heroes of ages past get one last hurrah, and even setting up for maybe a few of them to return later on. And they’re all awesome! Nightwing and Oracle get married and kick ass (not necessarily in that order, lol), Lian is brought back to life, Stephanie Brown suits up as Batgirl again, Lois and Clark have a child, the JSA return, it’s all amazing! Hell, even Scott freaking Lobdell turns in a good Blue Beetle book! I didn’t even think it was possible for him to put out anything of quality, but I guess mathematically speaking, it had to happen EVENTUALLY.
…Yyyeeeaaaahh, suppose this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. lol While I wasn’t a fan of the story where Jim Gordon was Batman, and I found Joker to be WAY over the top in terms of unstoppable villainy is concerned, it’s really hard to not consider this book one the best of the past five years. Snyder and Capullo have simply been on fire for this era, and it’s sad to know that, at least for a while, that team of theirs is over. Although as hard as it is for me and other readers, I gotta imagine it’s even harder for them. But yeah, you guys should all know all of my favourite moments from this book, and if you don’t, I made a list of them just before the Superheavy story-arc. Point is, if you’re a Batman fan and you’ve been avoiding this book for the New 52 branding, don’t. It’s at least worth your time to check out.
So those are my favourite books of the New 52 in terms of overall quality. And now, the bonus round for all the arcs of books that I liked.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Huntress and Power Girl fighting a giant Irradiated Man in a Japanese harbour! All it needed was for Godzilla and Dragonzord to show up to make it the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! XD
…Not to self: Review Darkseid War once the entire storyline is finished. It is easily my favourite story of the New 52 Justice League. Also, I thought Origin worked as an introduction to this new timeline, and the Amazo Virus was pretty awesome, too, and marked the point in which Geoff Johns finally found his groove with writing Wonder Woman’s character.
Cross World was great, and presented one of my all-time favourite images of Wonder Woman, and the stuff with Mongol and Toymaster is admittedly dumb fun that resolved in an awesome team-up involving Supergirl, Batgirl, Steel, Red Hood, and Krypto.
Y’know, DC, right after the engagement, I was totally gonna stick with this book. Then you called it off, the creative team left as a result, and then you did the stupid vampire thing. Just saying, you had a great thing gift-wrapped for you. I sincerely hope, though, that since Rebirth is apparently nixing the whole heroes-can’t-be-married thing, with the old Superman who is married to Lois Lane being back and Aquaman and Mera being engaged, that Batwoman finally is allowed to get married in Detective Comics.
Ultimately proved to be hit and miss, but I liked it for the most part. Could’ve done without Casey being damned near torn apart, but watching her make her badass comeback with a cybernetic arm-cannon was awesome. I mean, yeah, it’s another case of extreme violence against women in a comic, but it’s hard not to watch her in the hospital bed right after losing her arm and eye and not grin ear-to-ear when she’s still being like “Aw, fuck it, just put a giant arm-cannon on me, and I’ll fuck these guys up! And Calvin, you better make sure you haven’t completely screwed things up by the time I show up, or your ass is grass!” XD
I unfortunately can’t really justify putting Nightwing on the top 5, but that’s less to do with the quality of the stories told in it and more to do with the constantly changing status quo that was really only a thing strictly because of stuff happening in the other Bat Family books before ending due to events in Forever Evil. Oh, and as a side-note, SO glad to see that Nightwing is in blue again, but not sure where this is going with him as a member of the Court (or Parliament, I guess) of Owls.
I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.
I feel like I MIGHT’VE put this on the list if I’d read through the entire thing and it didn’t delve into the cheesecake quite as much as it did, soooo…Eh, call it sixth, I guess. lol
Again, DC, you had me right up until Evil Superman working for Darkseid, and Thomas Wayne as Batman. Then you completely lost me. And THEN you pissed me off with World’s End and the first arc of Earth 2: Society. Seriously, like I said before, go read Helena Wayne Huntress’ blog for more details, but suffice to say, it’s been a MESS, one that I hope gets cleaned up soon. I DO recommend the Tower of Fate arc, though.
Problematic for me personally at times, but still enjoying it, and glad it’s here. 🙂
And that’s all my favourite stuff of the New 52. Like I said before, if you’ve got a book that you really liked from this era that wasn’t on here, by all means, leave your own list in the comments, and be sure to check back in the future when I go over the worst of this era. Ja né!
Last time in the Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Challenge, I made my way up through Nugget Bridge and Routes 24 and 25, battling Tim Oak and the various Trainers along the way, caught some new Pokémon, met up with Bill, got a ticket to go to the party on the S.S. Anne, fought some Rockets up to no good, and managed to score the Cascade Badge from Misty. This time, I decided to head south to Vermilion City. Unfortunately, while I could’ve otherwise cut through Saffron City…
…yeah, that was a thing. lol So, instead, I took the underground path and came out in Route 6, on the other side of Saffron, and battled my way through some Trainers.
Anyway, to make a REALLY long story short, I made it to Vermilion City, healed up, went to the Pokémon Fan Club, listened to the chairman talk for God knows how long about his Rapidash in ways that STILL haunt me to this day, got the Bike Voucher, and traded it for a bike back in Cerulean. Afterward, I noticed that my overall Pokédex count was low (in terms of captures), and I realized why: Because I can only catch one Pokémon per Route, and the only other Pokédex pages are provided by gift Pokémon and evolving them and the Pokémon I catch. Unfortunately, battling wild Pokémon and once-off Trainers for experience meant filling up my Pokédex enough to get the items that Professor Oak’s aides have would take FOREVER. On top of that, I also wasn’t feeling great about my levels going into S.S. Anne and battling Surge. Luckily…
…YEAH. So, after catching the Pokémon found in the surrounding area…
…I decided to go about training by battling Trainers and then having rematches via the VS Seeker. However, what ended up happening was that I took SOOOOOO many photos of me grinding levels. So, with that said, here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights. ^_^
Anyway, after a while of that, I was rewarded with the following:
With all that done, I finally decided to return to Vermilion and head to the S.S. Anne. So, sorry this article turned out to basically be one big grind session, but I figured I’d include it just for funsies, and so that you know just how much time was put into preparing. Anyway, be sure to check in next time for Part 4.2 as I take on the S.S. Anne. Ja né!
Last time in the Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Challenge, I headed into Mt. Moon, battled several tough Trainers, added new members to my team, evolved a couple of pre-existing ones, took down several members of Team Rocket, and obtained both the Dome Fossil and Moon Stones. This time, starting off in Cerulean City, I decided to prep my team for taking on Misty by battling the Trainers on my way to meeting up with Bill the Pokémaniac, creator of the PC Storage System. Before that, though, I decided to swoop back to Route 4 (the eastern half of it, anyway) and do some training. And, while I was there, I caught a new Pokémon.
…I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I’m gonna do with this one. Not because I have any kind of issue with Ekans, just that my team has already become a little Poison heavy, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Still, might be a good idea to have it as a back-up. In the meantime, though, I had…slightly different snakes to concern myself with.
Anyway, with that out of the way, I decided to make my way to-
Anyway, now that I’d gotten past Nugget Bridge, I found myself with…a grassy patch on Routes 24. This is where I got a little nervous. Not because there was anything in the grass that could kill anyone on my team, but because it is known for being home to ABRA. And…well, I’ve gotten to know my luck as it pertains to rare Pokémon at this point. If I ran into Abra, there was no way I was gonna catch one before it could teleport away, and that’d be TWO ROUTES locked off on my journey at that point. So, with fingers crossed, I entered the patch of grass, and…
So, with that done, I let out a sigh of relief…and then recalled that Abra was on Route 25 as well. Because why not at this point? I also knew there were Kakuna on Route 25, too, so I decided that, so I wouldn’t end up wasting that Route on the evolved form of a Pokémon I already had, that I should first evolve Hank.
And thus, with a Beedrill in my box, I headed for Route 25 and waited to see what I’d find…
Now that I’d caught a couple of new Pokémon, I decided it was time to make my way to Bill’s, while training my team up for Misty by battling the Trainers and wild Pokémon in the area. And thus, TRAINING MONTAGE TIME!
With all the Trainers on the way to Bill’s place defeated, I made my way inside. Problem was, Bill didn’t seem to be home. Instead, there was a Clefairy sitting around…with a human face… … …At this point, I was ready to piss myself in terror. Then it started talking. And thus, a thousand Creepy Pastas were written. 😛
Anyway, with that done, I decided to head back to Cerulean City, just in time to notice a house had been broken into. The officer outside said it was Team Rocket…well, no shit. I could see the Goddamn Rocket Grunt standing in the back yard from right there. How do you not see that? Apparently, the police in Kanto are completely inept, OR they’re on the take. It’s one or the other. Either way, I decided I’d need to go all vigilante and take the law into my own hands by dealing with the grunt myself.
And thus, with Team Rocket beaten down again, the Nugget Bridge conquered, a few more pages added to my Pokédex, and some much-needed training done, it was finally time to deal with Misty. As always, I went into battle using the same number of Pokémon as the Gym Leader’s, meaning I needed to decide which two would take on her Staryu and Starmie. I’d already decided that, based on type and overall performance (and luck) thus far that Drakeman would lead against her Staryu, but there was still the matter of her Starmie. Katherine now knew Bite, but I wasn’t sure if she could one hit KO her opponent, nor was I confident in her ability to tank a Water Pulse from a Starmie. I could’ve worked to evolve her into a Golbat, as I had thought about before, but that felt like I’d be committing to making her a full member of my team, and with Oswald and Drakeman in the party already, I was clearly a bit too Poison heavy. As such, I ultimately decided to go with Mikey, matching his bulk against Starmie’s Special Attack. With my two party members chosen, I headed for the Gym…
With the Cascade Badge in hand, my business in Cerulean City was finally complete… … …BUT, before I called it a day, there was still one last thing I had to do. After healing up and withdrawing my team, I called out Oswald and gave him one of the Moon Stones I’d found in Mt. Moon, and watched as he evolved to his final stage.
So, once again, I managed to get through a phase of my journey with no fatalities. Still, I can tell that what luck I’ve had thus far is gonna run out soon, so I’m gonna have to play it smarter next time, as I make my way south to Vermilion City in order to attend the S.S. Anne party and battle Lt. Surge for the Thunder Badge. Ja né!
…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!
… … …
…Please dear God, don’t be another universal reboot. It feels like we’ve just cleaned up a lot of the most damning and damaging parts of the last one by re-establishing the Multiverse, leaving the doors open for writers to do any story involving the characters of those past worlds that they want, and reintroducing characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. On top of that, we’ve actually got a fairly decent writer on Earth 2: Society, and we’ve had neat stuff like the Court of Owls and the new Power Ring around that I’d hate to see tossed aside…Although, with all of that said, there’s still a LOT of crap in the current universe that needs to be cleaned up, like the overall attitude of the Amazons, the fauxmance between Diana and Clark, and certain books being a little less fun than they could be. Thus, I’m hoping that, instead of being a complete reboot, DC Rebirth is instead a SOFT reboot, in that it doesn’t necessarily say that everything we’ve read for the past four years didn’t matter, but that we’re moving on to a place where we can improve upon everything and fix what went wrong. With that said, here’s a list of things I’d like to have kept around, as well as some stuff I’d like changed up/fixed/improved. First off, let’s talk about something I want to see stick around…
OMG, I love this team… … …erm, the creative team, that is. lol Geoff Johns has finally figured out how Wonder Woman should work as a character, and between his stories as of late and Jason Fabok’s glorious artwork, Justice League has been AMAZING. Also, Fabok, for the love of God, keep making the covers for the book look like movie posters. They’ve been so freaking awesome, I almost wanna have them blown up to cover each of the walls of my room.
Seriously, it’s time to pull the trigger on this. I mean, assuming it hasn’t happened already. I’ve heard that Wally MIGHT have gotten speed powers recently, but nothing solid yet. With that said, though, whether he becomes Kid Flash or not, one thing that DOES need to happen? Let Wally be WALLY. Let him be FUN. I don’t care what colour his skin is or anything else, I just want Wally to be fun again. That never needed to change.
Okay, DC, you had your fun with Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple, but I think it’s time to move on to what fans really want: Lois and Clark together. And hey, you can still do the Superman/Wonder Woman book and just have it be about the two teaming up to kick 31 flavours of ass, just let us have DC’s OTP back. They don’t even HAVE to be married, either, just have them be in a relationship again.
Words cannot express how much Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy book NEEDS to be an ongoing. However, one thing that might be a good idea is for Ivy to look at some of her past decisions and make re-evaluations. Perhaps she could feel grief over some of her more unethical activities in the past and wanting to go forward in a more positive attitude, possibly even moving beyond the antagonistic relationship she has with many heroes and instead joining them. Really look at Ivy as a character and her history and have her decide what the best course of action for the future is.
I’ve heard part of this rebranding will take greater strides to advertise the characters with their own shows. In that case, there is no excuse for not having a Vixen solo book. Or, if nothing else, having her be part of a high-profile team, like the Justice League or perhaps a team-up book for her, Flash, and Green Arrow, would be a great idea.
So, word is that Scott Snyder is leaving the main Batman book and instead going over to Detective Comics… … …Well, that should improve things over on THAT book, at least. lol However, if I can make a suggestion to whoever takes over for Batman? MAKE JOKER FUN AGAIN. I’m not saying you can’t do big, epic, horrifying stories with him, but you also gotta remember that this is the same guy who once tried to show the world he could pull off the greatest boner… …erm, not what it sounds like. lol Just saying, with someone as off-the-walls crazy as Joker, you can do both and still have it make sense.
I’ve been hearing that Dan Abnett, the new writer for Earth 2: Society, is actually doing a fairly decent job of cleaning up the mess Daniel H. Wilson left of that world, but that it still seems like a lot to cram into a single book. My personal recommendation? More or less make Earth 2 its own pseudo-imprint, with its own line of books. Have one dedicated to a new Justice Society forming, one dedicated to Huntress and Batman cleaning up the streets of Gotham, one dedicated to Fury and the new Amazons, and so on. Just make sure that the people writing have been briefed on Earth 2 history, both old and new, and know who the heck they’re writing about. In fact, while we’re on the subject…
Y’know what my favourite part of Convergence was? The fact that a lot of the stories felt like they were written by people who legitimately got the characters and understood how they’d respond to the situation presented. I am sick of stories written by people who don’t get the characters. Why would you ever assign someone a book in that case? That needs to stop, PRONTO.
Okay, I’m not gonna say that Dick Grayson as a secret agent doesn’t have potential, because we’ve seen that it does. However, I think it’s time he went back to what he did best, and that’s being a hero. Seriously, be it as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, whatever you wanna call him, Dick Grayson is clearly meant to be a superhero, one who bridges trust and friendship among various members of the superhero community.
Admittedly, this is one I’m actually a little on the fence about, and here’s why: While I prefer John Stewart overall as a character to Hal Jordan, Hal DOES have great lines and chemistry with Batman. So…I dunno, maybe you could have them both serving on the Justice League and rotating in and out for different stories? Or, I suppose another answer is to have a new secondary team for the JLA created and put him on that. Speaking of, I’ve heard that Justice League of America will be sticking around even after the storyline involving Rao finally wraps up. Perhaps there’s a place for him over there? Speaking of heroes that need to return to the League, though…
Honest to God, I have no idea what is even going on with Martian Manhunter anymore, but I think it’s time he came back to the Justice League…Not much else to say, really. It just doesn’t feel the same without him.
She’s been on the sidelines long enough, guys. It’s time to bring Batwoman back into the fold. I don’t really care how it’s done, be it in her own book or as a supporting character for another book, but it’s time Kate started getting her hands dirty. Oh, and for God’s sake, can we PLEASE have her be married finally? I think the point’s been made clearly enough that stopping the marriage was a terrible idea. Besides, with Maggie as the current GCPD Commissioner, that would put her in a VERY interesting situation that can be played around with.
I’m not saying it has to be a permanent change, just something quick and fun. Mainly because, as I’ve brought up before, we’ve seen that Scott Snyder can write stories for both Superman and Batman really well, so it’d be neat to see if he can go three for three with DC’s Trinity.
It recently hit me that the group Babs has been putting together in her book of herself, Frankie, Spoiler, Bluebird, and Black Canary could work great as a new Birds of Prey team. With that said, I might also wanna include Cassandra Cain as Black Bat since…well, I’m not really sure what else to do with her once Batman and Robin Eternal is over. Also, BRING BACK STARLING. Her heel turn and disappearance left a LOT of fans upset and confused, and there’s been zero follow up on that.
Apparently, there’s a storyline coming up where Superman FINALLY notices that Supergirl’s been kinda MIA as of late. As such, I hope that means we can finally get a new solo book for her, especially since she DOES, in fact, have a pretty successful TV series running right now. I know, some people aren’t as big of fans of it as others, but there is no denying success.
I get that, because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, that DC might feel the need to continue pushing the crap outta the comic. However, I hope they remember that there’s another team of villains and anti-heroes that a lot of fans love and don’t toss it aside like they did at the start of the New 52.
…Nope, I’m not gonna stop saying it until it happens. For an entire generation of fans, Tim Drake was Robin. He had his own solo book. He made Robin cool for the 90’s without doing too many of the stereotypical 90’s comics things. And he’s always been the detective of the Robins. As such, I would love to see him get a book. If nothing else, I kinda hope that Scott Snyder makes him a supporting character in Detective Comics. But, speaking of Tim and books he’s a part of…
Yeah, I’m sorry, but as much fun as I was having with the new Teen Titans books for the first few issues, the fun kinda dried up pretty quick. Is it too much to ask to have a FUN Titans team? One that, while knowing when to be serious, can also be an enjoyable and even funny read at times? Something a little closer to the tone of the animated series?…The good one, that is, not that piece of shit Teen Titans GO!. You don’t even need to change the cast (although, if Wally DOES become Kid Flash again, maybe adding him would be a good idea).
And that’s all I got for now. Have an idea I didn’t post? Leave it in the comments, and we’ll see what happens in June. Ja né!