…So, I don’t own this game. Just throwing this out now. Not available for any systems I own, don’t have the money to get a new one, and so here we are. That said, I really wanted to give my thoughts on the story in Injustice 2, especially since I DO own the original and have given my thoughts on it in the past. Luckily, plenty of people, like Maximilian Dood and Kwing, have posted playthroughs of the Story Mode, so I’m thus able to give it my own review. Just remember, though, that as I’m doing this review, I’m speaking strictly about the story, not the game in terms of how it plays and whatnot. Although, I will get this out of the way right now: So far, based on what I’ve seen, it looks like a really good game, haven’t heard much wrong with it from a technical perspective yet, and on a personal note, NetherRealm Studios seem to have HUGELY improved on their facial designs and animations with this game. In fact, over all, I think this is their best LOOKING game of all time. Whenever they wanna make Mortal Kombat XI, they need to take inspiration from this game when it comes to the graphics.
But yeah, the story. So, this takes place a few years after Injustice: Gods Among Us. Superman is in a red solar prison for taking over the world, and his former Regime buddies are either planning to break him out, working to make up for what they did under his rule, or joining Gorilla Grodd’s new group, the Society. However, pretty soon, it becomes clear that the Society are just pawns in a much bigger game, as Brainiac arrives to capture Superman, add a few Earth cities to his collection, and then blow the planet up. Eventually, the situation devolves so much that Batman and his allies have no choice but to release Superman and work with the Regime to try and stop Brainiac and the Society before they destroy the world.
So, right away, I have a bit of a complaint to make. If you didn’t play that game…well, there’re a few details that this game tends to completely either ignore or glance over. Specifically, the heroes of the mainstream DC Universe were brought over to the world primarily presented in these games and the comics to stop an evil Superman who had pretty much taken over with a new group made up of former heroes and villains called the Regime. And while this game takes place on that world, I think there’re maybe one or two passing references to the fact that Batman had help from good Superman and the Justice League in taking down Regime Superman (as in they did most of the work and he got all the credit), and the player is otherwise left to assume Batman was bad enough to bring down Superman all by himself. Also, no mention of the super pills they took last game, which are meant to explain how people like Batman, Harley, and other characters without superpowers can go toe-to-toe with superhumans, get tossed around in outer-fucking-space, and survive without so much as a scratch on them.
Another issue with the story is that it has a bit of a…complicated relationship with the tie-in comics. Nowhere is that more clear than in the first chapter of the story, which is actually set during an operation that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg were pulling on Arkham Asylum. Basically, some events that happened in the comics are considered canon, others aren’t, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern as to what is or isn’t, nor is it made 100% clear what all is and is not canon anymore. One thing we DO know about what’s been changed is that, while Damian did apparently still kill Nightwing by accident, it didn’t happen during the operation on Arkham. Instead, the thing that tears him and Batman apart is Damian killing Zsasz…who, in the comics, survived way longer than that, and was actually responsible for killing Alfred. So, right away, we’ve got a double retcon, and that’s not even taking into account certain details mentioned by Cyborg about the deaths of Starfire and Beast Boy.
Before I get to the two biggest things that bother me about the story, though, let’s talk about some positives. First, you know I’m a sucker for stories that involve a ton of characters, and this has a lot of different heroes and villains with a wide range of abilities, from Harley Quinn with her dynamite and mallet, to Doctor Fate, sorcerer supreme of the DC Universe. From Captain Cold, a former bank robber with a freeze gun, to Supergirl, the last hope of Krypton with almost God-like strength and powers. Even Dex-Starr, who is quite possibly the avatar of everything stupid-yet-awesome about comic books, plays a minor role in the story. Characters from all walks of life in the DC Universe have various parts to play in this crisis, and all prove their worthiness to be involved in such a tale. Sadly, the majority of them are taken down a few notches at best by the last two chapters, which I’ll get to, but it’s still awesome to see them all here. Even Joker makes a return via Scarecrow-induced hallucination, which leads to the awesome sight of Harley, in a somewhat close approximation of her classic costume, giving him a good ass kicking.
Another positive to the story is not quite something I suggested after playing through the first game’s Story Mode, but close and still appreciated. Several chapters of the game give you not one but two characters to play through with, and you choose which one to play as before each fight in that chapter. As such, you can mix and match who fights whom, or you can have your favourite of the two do all the ass kicking. It’s totally up to you. And I appreciate that. I personally suggested classic Marvel vs Capcom 2v2 style fights, but whatever. Still cool, and allows not only for different dialogue and scenes depending on who is involved in the fights, but for more characters to take center stage in each…at least until the end, but again, I’ll get to that.
So, now for something that annoys me to no end, and if you’ve played through the Story Mode and know me and the characters I like, you should be able to figure this out. Simply put, I am NOT a fan of how Superman, Wonder Woman, and Poison Ivy are written in this game’s story, especially the last two (although that could simply be that nothing Superman does could top what he did to Shazam last game, who is a CHILD). In particular, there is a scene where Poison Ivy uses her pheromones on Harley Quinn to turn her against her allies. Now, first off, I’d just like to point out that Harley is supposed to possess immunity to most poisons, toxins, etc., due to injections given to her BY Poison Ivy. But, let’s just ignore that for now, because that’s not what really aggravates me. Instead, after inhaling too much of Ivy’s pheromones, Harley starts going into shock, and Ivy’s reaction is to roll her eyes and show complete and utter apathy over her former lover lying on the ground dying five feet away from her… … …Linkara, I need you again!
Thank you!… … …Look, here’s the thing: I can see a situation where Harley and Ivy could be on opposing sides, sure, maybe even having to fight each other, but there is NO FUCKING WAY that Harley could be dying two feet away from Ivy, and Ivy would be on that level of not giving a shit. This is HARLEY we’re talking about. Regardless of if you subscribe to the idea of the two as a couple or not, the fact is that the second she saw her convulsing like that, she would have dropped EVERYTHING else and tried to help her, because be it in a romantic sense or not, Harley is one of the few people left that Ivy truly cares about. But she doesn’t. Why? Because Ivy is, in this story, irredeemably EVIL, as are Wonder Woman and Superman.
Now, I’ve brought this up in videos before, and they’ve brought up the defense that this is an alternate universe, so of course characters are gonna behave in ways we’re not used to. And yeah, as I said before, that was a thing in Injustice 1, and other than going to the extreme of Superman killing Billy Batson, I didn’t mind. So, why does it bother me here? Well, I thought about that, and I came to the following conclusion: It was easier to watch and deal with characters I knew and loved acting in such a manner in Injustice 1 because we had the versions we knew and loved going up against them. Hell, it actually made for interesting contrasts between them to see how they were so different, and yet had a starting point they could both be linked back to. Here, though, we don’t have that. We just have them acting like…well, MONSTERS. And, for that matter, why is it that we have characters who behave in a way that’s completely removed from the core of who they are, and then some who aren’t? Why are Barry and Hal able to realize the error of their ways in the previous game and try to redeem themselves, but Diana isn’t? You have to remain constant to the rules of how this alternate universe works, otherwise you’re inviting people to bring up these comments when stuff like this happens.
And then there’s my last issue: The end of the game, and if you don’t wanna know, then sorry, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. This is your only warning…Okay, so Superman and Batman go up to the Skull Ship to stop Brainiac, save Supergirl, and restore the stolen cities. Unlike in past chapters with multiple characters, the final two fights of this chapter have you fighting Brainiac twice, once with Superman and once with Batman. Personally, I would have changed it to where you choose which of them fights him the first time, and then Supergirl takes him on in the final battle. After all, not only does the Story Mode start with a flashback to her escape from Krypton after Brainiac invades, but we frequently see her side of the story as it unfolds even outside of her chapter, plus she gets a good shot in on Brainiac just before the last fight, AND she plays a big role in the ending of the game. So, clearly, the story largely centers around her, meaning it makes logical sense for her to be the one to take Brainiac down in the end. However, what’s a bigger issue is…that’s NOT the final chapter. The final chapter involves Superman and Batman, having successfully stopped Brainiac’s ship from crashing due to Superman interfacing with it, as well as managing to restore all of the Earth cities sans Metropolis and Coast City, coming to an argument over whether or not to kill Brainiac and take control of his Skull Ship, thus risking the remaining cities that haven’t been restored yet, or keep him alive long enough to restore the cities. And guess what? The story ends with them fighting AGAIN, leading to you choosing which one to play as in fighting the other and their allies. So the story ends with either Batman defeating Superman with a Kryptonite-enhanced armor and then banishing him to the Phantom Zone, then inviting Supergirl to take Clark’s place on a new Justice League, or Superman defeating Batman, bonding with Brainiac’s ship, imprisoning Supergirl in the red solar prison, and using Brainiac’s tech to turn Batman into his slave…Oh, and I’m assuming (don’t know this for a fact) that you get the special armor shown in the ending for the character you chose.
So, what’s my problem there? Well, it’s two-fold. The first reason I dislike it is because I would’ve personally ended the game with Brainiac’s defeat…then I would have had Superman DIE trying to use the ship’s systems to restore the Earth cities. Yes, I would have KILLED Superman. Barring that, I suppose he could’ve been left critically injured past the point of being able to recover quickly from solar rays, thus leaving him comatose or the like. Either way, I would have had the story end with him making that sacrifice, and then, as he lies on the floor, surrounded by friends and family, he looks back on how everything that went wrong stems from his decision to kill the Joker, and finally realizes his mistakes. It wouldn’t have magically taken away everything he did, but it would have at least let him go out saving the world and acknowledging that he did wrong. And then, from there, I guess you have Supergirl taking his place on the new League, the Regime all either surrender, go into hiding, or likewise realize their errors and join the new League, and so on. Oh, and I also would’ve added a teaser at the end for Darkseid deciding to try his hand at attacking Earth next, since…well, let’s be honest, that’s probably where they’re going.
The other reason I don’t care for the end of this game, either one, is because… … …Well, because I don’t care. I don’t care that Superman and Batman are fighting AGAIN. I’m too numb to it now. Why should I care that Superman and Batman are going to fight for the 11,311th time?…That’s one for every day since The Dark Knight Returns #4 came out, btw, and oh dear lord, I just now realized I’m two days removed from being exactly one year older than that comic. My God, I’m old. But the point still stands, I’ve just seen it too often, and I just don’t care to see it ever again. So ultimately, the ending doesn’t impress at all. It literally leaves me going “Oh yay, this again…”, and that’s not how a story should end. Like, it really says it all when, the first time they fight in the game during Chapter 1, all I can think during this scene that’s supposed to be really dramatic and sad is “Wow, I love the gold trim on Superman’s cape in this scene. Looks really good, and adds some much-needed colour balance between the red, blue, and yellow”.
So, as a result, for the ending leaving me so disappointed and for everything else that went wrong…I have to unfortunately give the story a thumbs down overall. There ARE moments I like and even love, like Harley beating down Joker, Hal Jordan fighting off the urge of the Red Lanterns’ rage, Cyborg vs Grid, the reveal that Batman kept the old round table for the Justice League, and so on. But it’s just overshadowed by a story that is infuriating at times and just unenthusing at others. Sorry, NetherRealm, but this is one story I just couldn’t give my approval to. Better luck next time, though.
Anyway, what did you think of the Story Mode? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s hope that Mr. Boon and DC listen to what we have to say next time. Ja né!
“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
Not gonna lie, kinda bummed these guys aren’t the new Birds of Prey, but whatever, should still be a good book, as should this. Here’s the preview for Batgirl #50.
- It’s the explosive conclusion of the epic that changed Barbara Gordon forever! The enemy lurking at the edges of Batgirl’s life has been revealed, as have the gang of heroes assembled to help her! From this point on, Batgirl doesn’t walk alone! It’s an extra-sized celebration of the greatest hero Burnside has ever known, from Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr!
…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!
Hoo boy, this could get very, VERY bad if even one little slip-up occurs. Anyway, here are the preview pages for Batgirl #49.
- To unravel the secret of Batgirl’s bizarre new nemesis, her friends must travel to strange and uncharted territory: the inside of Barbara Gordon’s spectacular mind!
Batgirl! Black Canary! Batwing!…Erm, criminals with a video game motif… … …Meh, I’ve seen weirder. lol Here’s the preview for Batgirl #48!
- When Batgirl is down, it’s Black Canary to the rescue! Dinah and Barbara reteam to try to discover the identity of the malevolent mastermind making their presence felt in Burnside!
… … …
…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!
Yeah, it’s been a while since I did a full review of a comic, but as I mentioned beforehand, Wednesday night is D&D night at Heroes’ Beacon, so I haven’t had much in the way of time. However, because I’m kinda down right now with what I’m assuming is a cold, and had to have my comics delivered to me (thanks, Mom), I had time today. So, let’s look at the end of Stewart and Fletcher’s first arc with Barbara Gordon in Batgirl #40 – Ghost In The Cowl (and yes, that’s most definitely a reference to Ghost In The Shell, complete with similar logo, lol).
So, as we learned last issue, and had further light shed on it in Batgirl’s part of Secret Origins #10, it seems the algorithm Babs made while she was wheelchair bound was designed to identify and predict criminal activity and alert operatives to deal with the situation as a sort of information broker. Babs also included a brain scan of herself to give the program a personality. So basically, a digital Oracle. However, it’s gotten a bit…confused. Seeing Batgirl no longer scaring criminals, being a force of fear, and instead becoming a bit more public, the program instead sees herself as the real Barbara Gordon and Babs as the corrupted version. Worse, using the hooq servers, she’s determined that pretty much everyone going to Black Canary’s concert (yeah, I still can’t get over that, but let’s move on) is a potential target, whether directly involved in criminal behaviour or not, and has decided to take them all out WITH A MILITARY SATELLITE! Of course, Babs ain’t taking that shit, and with help from Dinah and Frankie (her room-mate who just learned of Babs’ secret identity), as well as the GCPD keeping everyone calm, they manage to stop evil data twin Barbara from firing and shut her down. The next morning, Frankie reveals that she managed to save the algorithm and fix it so it won’t kill anyone. She also teases that she gave it a name, and makes it clear that she wants to join team Batgirl. Afterward, we get a quick goodbye from Dinah, who has been signed to a label and might be going on tour, and declares that she no longer has any hard feelings towards Babs, as none of this would’ve happened without her. So, all’s good with the team again………THANK GOD. lol
Now, let’s discuss a couple of things. First, there’s how the Barbara/Dinah situation resolved. Frankly, at this point, I’m just glad they managed to resolve this at all with at least some of either character’s dignity intact and their friendship rekindled. I still think that Di took it way too far at times, but she at least came back for Babs when she most needed her. Also, I’m still on the fence about the direction of the new Black Canary book coming out in June. However, I do take comfort that she actually HAS a solo book now for the first time since 2007, and that it’s at least something different that’ll take us down a new road with the character. So, I’m at least more open to the idea than I was when it was first announced.
As for Frankie becoming the new Oracle, or at least the new Oracle-like character……..I love it. lol Yeah, I’ve been a little disappointed that Alysia got pushed into the background to make room for Frankie, but I’ve come around and learned to like this character as well. And honestly, if we’re going with the idea of someone other than Babs being Oracle, maybe this is exactly who we needed: Someone who is smart, adaptive, and wants to help clean up the streets, but not out of any desire for vengeance or being motivated by a troubled life, but just because she wants to help. And I love the idea that we’re going back to someone who is physically handicapped, but with the twist that she wasn’t put in the wheelchair by a criminal. Hell, she’s not even in the chair yet, it’s just a condition she has that’ll eventually lead to that. And while I don’t really feel her race ever really impacts her character at all, it still adds to the roster of DC characters of varying skins and nationalities. Overall, it’s a good call.
So, my thoughts on this issue? Great. Not perfect, mind you. It DOES feel like a bit of a mega-happy ending, which could rub people the wrong way, but sometimes, we need those. I no longer have any kind of ill will for this book and its narrative. I know that there are still some that do, though, and that’s fine. Nothing is for everybody, but this book is definitely for me.
No, really, I don’t regularly do this, but this is kinda relevant to something I’ve been talking about for a while now. I’ve made it clear that I’m not exactly a fan of what Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher have done with Black Canary in Batgirl, and hearing that she’s apparently going to be part of a rock band in her new solo book doesn’t really do much to endear me either. However, I will say that, in just a few panels of the preview for the next issue of Batgirl, they at least got CLOSER to what I want out of the character. How much closer? Well, you be the judge.
For months, Batgirl’s been hounded by an unseen threat claiming to be the “real” Batgirl…and the truth of her enemy’s identity will shock her to her very core!
So, today was kind of a busy day, announcement wise. lol Not only did DC Comics announce their new post-Convergence line-up, which apparently drops the moniker of “The New 52” (FINALLY, lol), but Marvel made an announcement regarding a book that’ll be running through Secret Wars, and hopefully continuing afterward. So, let’s start with DC. First up, here are all 25 confirmed books returning post-Convergence:
Action Comics by Greg Pak/Aaron Kuder, Aquaman by Cullen Bunn/Trevor McCarthy, Batgirl by Cameron Stewart/Brenden Fletcher/Babs Tarr, Batman by Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo, Detective Comics by Brian Buccelato/Francis Manapul, Batman/Superman by Greg Pak/Ardian Syaf, Catwoman by Genevieve Valentine/David Messina, Deathstroke by Tony Daniel/Tony Daniel, Flash by Rob Venditti/Van Jensen/Brett Booth, Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan/Brenden Fletcher/Karl Kerschl, Gotham By Midnight by Ray Fawkes/Juan Ferreyra, Grayson by Tim King/Tim Seeley/Mikel Janin, Green Arrow by Ben Percy/Richard Zircher, Green Lantern by Robert Venditti/Billy Tan, Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner/Jimmy Palmiotti/Chad Hardin, Justice League by Geoff Johns/Jason Fabok, Justice League United, writer TBD/Travel Foreman & Paul Pelletier, Lobo by Cullen Bunn/Cliff Richards, Secret Six by Gail Simone/Dale Eaglesham, Sinestro by Cullen Bunn/Brad Walker, New Suicide Squad by Sean Ryan/Carlos D’Anda, Superman by Gene Luen Yang/John Romita Jr., Superman/Wonder Woman by Peter Tomasi/Doug Mahnke, Teen Titans by Will Pfeifer/Kenneth Rocafort, and Wonder Woman by Meredith Finch/David Finch.
…Okay, so, a couple of noteworthy things right off the bat. First off, I can’t help but notice that Jeff Lemire isn’t listed as the writer for JLU, as it’s instead labelled ‘TBA’, as in ‘To Be Announced’. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean he’s leaving the book, but if I learn any different, I’ll post such news later. Second, noticing a few absentees that I don’t recall seeing listed as ending prior to Convergence. Specifically, Batman and Robin (dammit, just started buying it again, lol), Supergirl (sure to piss off at least one person I know), and Red Hood And The Outlaws (YES, THANK FUCKING GOODNESS, IT’S FINALLY GONE!). I also see that the teams for the Wonder Woman-related books are remaining the same…dammit. Oh well, at least there’s the digital first Sensation Comics.
Now then, here are the 24 books that will be starting with #1’s following Convergence:
Robin, Son of Batman by Pat Gleason, Black Canary by Brenden Fletcher/Annie Wu, Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams/Ben Oliver/Paulo Siqueira, Earth 2: Society by Daniel H. Wilson/Jorge Jimenez, Midnighter by Steve Orlando/ACO, Bat-Mite by Dan Jurgens/Corin Howell, Batman Beyond by Dan Jurgens/Bernard Chang, Cyborg by David L. Walker/Ivan Reis/Joe Prado, Dark Universe by James Tynion IV/Ming Doyle, Doomed by Scott Lobdell/Javier Fernandez, Harley Quinn/Power Girl by Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner/Justin Gray/Stephane Roux, Red Hood/Arsenal by Scott Lobdell/Denis Medri, Starfire by Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner/Emanuela Lupacchino, We Are Robin by Lee Bermejo/Rob Haynes/Khary Randolph, Justice League of America by Brian Hitch, Bizzaro by Heath Corson/Gustavo Duarte, Prez by Mark Russell/Ben Caldwell, Omega Men by Tom King/Barnaby Bagenda, Mystic U (tentative title) by Alisa Kwitney/Mauricet, Section Eight by Garth Ennis/John McCrea, Dr. Fate by Paul Levitz/Sonny Liew, Green Lantern: Lost Army by Cullen Bunn/Jesus Saiz/Javi Pina, Justice League 3001 by Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Howard Porter, and Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle/Riley Rossmo.
Alright, first off, yeah, we’re getting a replacement book for Red Hood And The Outlaws written by the same guy. However, one thing I’m kinda happy about: You notice someone missing from that equation that is likewise getting her own book? Yup, Starfire, and in a bit less revealing outfit, and before anyone says it still puts her on display, I agree, but it’s nonetheless an improvement. Sometimes, we just gotta take what we can get. What bothers me is who is doing the book: The same people who are apparently doing a Harley Quinn/Power Girl book, after the last team-up between the two ended with birdshit in Karen’s hair and the implication that Harley Quinn took advantage of her amnesia to get in bed with her. In case you were wondering why I don’t buy Harley Quinn anymore, that plus the book’s depiction of Poison Ivy is why. The Robin solo book suggests that Damian’s new status following his resurrection could mean he IS joining the elite of DC’s superheroes, so interested to see where that goes. Not sure what We Are Robin is about, but I’ll keep my eyes and ears open. The Earth 2 related books, I could care less about, considering how that world has been presented as of late and that these same people responsible for all the BS happening there are continuing to write it. They really shoulda just used Convergence to bring back the old Earth 2, though perhaps keep some of the newer costumes and a few new characters that have appeared since (Val-Zod and Aquawoman in particular). Martian Manhunter and Cyborg both getting solo books are GREAT ideas in my book, as being the most high-profile League members without them currently. Speaking of, Justice League of America is seemingly NOT about the US Sanctioned one created for Trinity War, but rather the magnificent seven of the DCnU that form the core of the Justice League (with notable returning member Hal Jordan). And then there’s Black Canary, written by Brenden Fletcher, and continuing the angle of her in a band, potentially still at odds with Batgirl……..Okay, I was assured that there was a plan behind her recent behaviour, and now that I’m seeing the plan, I gotta say, this plan has the potential to SUCK. A LOT. I’m sorry, but this is NOT Black Canary. Black Canary is a Goddamn adult, a responsible and dedicated heroine, and is known for her compassion as well as her ability to kick 30+ flavours of ass. I don’t care how you wanna spin this, the stuff that’s been done with Black Canary in recent months is COMPLETELY AT ODDS WITH HER CHARACTER, even in the context of the post-Flashpoint universe! It’s the worst aspect of the Batgirl comic, and the idea that this aspect is spinning off into its own book baffles me. The only way it could be worse is if we got a book about the Black Canary from the All-Star Batman And Robin universe, and I should REALLY consider shutting up before I give anyone ideas.
So, yeah, the post-Convergence DC books are kinda hit and miss with me. But what about Marvel’s newly announced book? Well, here’s what it is: An all women division of the Avengers called the A-Force, which will run during Secret Wars, and hopefully stick around after, and will be written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett. And who is in it? Well, see for yourself:
…YEAH. lol I’m a little surprised that Ms. Marvel isn’t on the team, since Wilson writes that book as well, but not gonna complain too much. Again, take what you can get, and in this case, you’re freaking right I’ll take this! The only way this could get more awesome is if this was the JL+A-Force (Justice League + Avengers Force), with Wonder Woman, Jesse Quick, Zatanna, Element Woman, Black Canary, Vixen, Fire, Ice, and everyone else getting in on the fun…DC, NOW is when I want you to take ideas from me. XD
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the announced comics for today. Lemme know what you think of them, and we’ll see how things continue to take shape for DC and Marvel over the next few months. Ja né!