“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
So, I think a lot of people probably know by now my general thoughts on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Namely that I didn’t like it. However, it wasn’t until a video was posted online that the gears in my head started to REALLY turn as to one thing they could’ve done differently with relative ease to make the movie flow just a tiny bit better. That video was the following:
Now, when I first saw this video, I left the following comment: “Sounds epic as fuck, and would’ve guaranteed given boners to the crowd, but it doesn’t work for one reason: Bale Batman doesn’t kill, Affleck Batman does. Whatever your stance on whether Batman should or shouldn’t kill, that’s the major difference between the two”. However, the more I’ve sat and thought about it, the more I realized just how easily it would’ve been to have Affleck Batman be Bale Batman, only years after the events of The Dark Knight Rises. Let’s go through how the two film series line up, shall we?
So first off, let’s talk about how The Dark Knight Rises ends. Bruce faked his death so he could retire to a normal life with Selina Kyle, and Robin John Blake is given the coördinates to the Batcave, presumably so he could take over Bruce’s place as Gotham’s protector. Now, you may ask how that could transition to Batman V Superman, but let’s look at a few other details. Specifically, let’s look at the one major villain from The Dark Knight Trilogy who didn’t die and is now an important character in the new DC Cinematic Universe: The Joker. Now, granted, the Joker from the Dark Knight movies IS very different from the new one. Specifically, Ledger Joker was clearly wearing make-up and had a permanent smile due to the scars on his face, whereas Leto Joker is hinted at having the more traditional backstory of having fallen into a vat of chemicals. However, let’s say they didn’t go that route for a second and then look at what else we know about Leto’s Joker from details given to us strictly in Batman V Superman: He killed Robin.
Now, lets look at Bale Batman vs Affleck Batman. Obviously, the biggest difference between the two (besides their age) is their methodology and the limits they’re willing to go to in the line of duty. As I said before, Affleck Batman has no problems killing criminals, while specifically not killing was a big thing for Bale Batman. Yes, the Batman of the Nolanverse movies did find loopholes he could exploit to get around that fact, but for the most part, that was Bale Batman’s biggest rule, so something pretty drastic would’ve had to have happened for him to go back on that to such a degree that he’d resemble Affleck Batman’s style of doing things. So, what would make him do such a thing? The answer again falls on one point: The dead Robin.
Anyone who knows anything about Batman in the comics likely knows that the dead Robin in the DC Cinematic Universe is more than likely Jason Todd. However, let’s instead think of Batman V Superman occurring in the same canonical universe as The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Robin is, in fact, John Blake, having used his first name that he mostly opted not to use as his codename while working as Batman’s replacement. Now, imagine if The Joker brutally killed Robin, then publicly taunted Batman (regardless of if he knows Batman is really alive or not) with this fact. Again, Jason Todd dying in the comics was a big deal for a long time, and still sort of is even after his return to the land of the living. It’s often regarded as Batman’s greatest failure. But now imagine this happening under these circumstances, with Bruce realizing that Robin would have never died if he hadn’t faked his death and enlisted him as his successor. Suddenly, not only do you have a great reason for Bruce to return to Gotham and continue his work as Batman, as well as coming up with a convincing excuse for how he, as Bruce Wayne, likewise was still alive (preferably not at the exact same time as to avoid arousing suspicion), but he would also have reason to go more than a little nuts. Remember, the only reason he didn’t in the comics after the death of Jason Todd was because Tim Drake stepped in and helped to keep him grounded. But in a world where that never happened, can we say with 100% certainty that he wouldn’t have lost it, even if we’d LIKE to think Bruce would never do that? It’s certainly a believable scenario to have presented. And all of the aesthetical changes to Batman (his suit, his equipment, his vehicles, etc.) could easily be explained by him changing with the times, especially since the vast majority of his tech was destroyed at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, specifically The Bat and his spare Tumblers. Hell, you can even explain away the voice modifier as him deciding he didn’t need to do the Bat voice himself anymore.
So, with all of that said, why didn’t DC and Warner Bros. decide to do this? Well, there’re a few reasons. For starters, there are characters who appeared and died during The Dark Knight Trilogy that they might be considering making use of later on. Second, all of the characters who would be returning would either have to be recast, or they’d have to convince the previous actors to return. In particular, The Joker would NEED to be recast due to the death of Heath Ledger, and honestly, I don’t know who I would have chosen to portray Ledger’s Joker. And, not to be too disrespectful, but suffice to say, Jared Leto is NOT Heath Ledger. Just saying. Third, while the details DO line up, there likely would still be plot holes created. One that comes to mind is the fact that we know Clark was wandering around and helping in (relative) secret wherever he could for several years before becoming Superman, and odds are good he would not have just sat around and did nothing about what was going on in Gotham during The Dark Knight Rises. And no, there’s NO way he couldn’t have known. And lastly, another big reason why they may have opted not to connect the new DC movies to the earlier ones in any way was so that they could build this whole new movie universe from the ground up. Don’t have to worry about past continuity, doing research to make sure everything lines up, or rehiring anyone that worked on the previous movies, they can just do everything over again. And, admittedly, while they COULD have found ways to iron out all those issues, I can’t really say as I blame them for not doing it. Plus, with the Arrowverse CW shows having established the existence of an infinitely-spanning Multiverse, it’s entirely possible that ALL of the live action interpretations of DC’s heroes are canonically part of it. Still, for what it’s worth, everything I’ve presented can still stand as a neat little idea of how things might have been. But hey, that’s just a theory…A FILM THEOR-Wait, what do you mean MatPat does theories for movies too???
…Anyway, let me know in the comments (or in the poll below) whether you think DC should or shouldn’t have connected the new Batman related movies to the previous ones, and I will see you guys the next time I decide to show my geekness…which’ll probably not be very long from now. lol 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! 😄
…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!” 😄
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!
What Did The Dream Sequence In Dawn Of Justice Mean? (NOTE – SPOILERS AND SPECULATION AHEAD) + Thoughts On Post-Rebirth Costumes
Before you ask, no, I haven’t seen the full movie of Batman v Superman. I do not intend to go see it, at least not in theaters. Now, if I see it on Netflix in a few months, I might very well decide to check it out. But, for now, I’m not going to go see it. That said, I DO know all the details of what happened in the movie, and given the overall tone of it that’s been relayed, I can safely say I was right to skip it. That said, I WILL admit to liking what I’ve seen and heard of Wonder Woman in the movie, and am actually a little interested to see how her own movie turns out. In fact, most people I’ve talked to about the movie claim that she’s the best part of it, although that could simply be because she doesn’t have top billing, and therefore Zack Snyder was less focused on draining the joy and fun from her character along with Superman and Batman…but that’s a story for another day.
Instead, there’s something else I wanna speculate about from the movie: The dream sequence. Even if you’ve only seen the trailers, you probably know what I’m talking about. Basically, Batman has a dream of a dystopian future where the world’s gone to hell and Superman is evil. Now, when images relating to the scene came out, particularly one revealing a giant omega symbol in the ground and Parademons flying about, what I figured was going on was that Batman was getting visions of a future where Darkseid had invaded and taken over, but that his mind was getting the message mixed up, his paranoia instead painting Superman as the alien menace that will unleash this terror. However, it’s instead revealed in the movie that Batman is getting these visions from a time travelling Flash, who tells him that he was “right about him” and that “Lois is the key”, which indicates that Superman really WILL turn evil at some point…which might confuse some due to the ending, but trust me, it shouldn’t, at least if you know anything about Superman’s comic book history.
So, what does it all mean? Well, remember this is all purely speculation on my part, based on my own theories, as well as those proposed by others who have seen the movie. Basically, they’re doing an odd hybrid of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Earth 2. What that means is that, at some point in the future, Lois Lane dies and it drives Superman to turn evil, but instead of being the evil dictator he is in Injustice, he’s instead an instrument of destruction under the control of Darkseid, albeit with his own lackey soldiers working for him. Clark’s continued remarks about how Lois is his world during DoJ seem to reinforce this theory. If I’m right, then what’ll happen is that Batman will realize that he needs to keep Lois from getting killed at some point in order to prevent Superman’s heel turn.
So yeah, that’s where I think this is going. Now, is this a good idea or not? Honestly, I’m a little sick of stories where Superman turns heel, but what about all of you? Lemme know what you think about this and the movie in general in the comments below, and we’ll see if I’m right in where this goes. Ja né!
So, I’ve talked about some things I’d like to see from DC Rebirth back before we knew really ANYTHING about it, and I gave general thoughts on the books announced to be part of DC’s new line-up during Rebirth and beyond. Now, it’s time to look at the individual books announced and/or characters involved and talk about what I either expect to see happen as part of this movement to bring back the elements of the books and their characters we and the creators love. Keep in mind, I might’ve discussed some of this already in the aforementioned articles, so I may be repeating a few points. Still, let’s start off with…well, a book I’m a little disappointed to hear something about…And by a little disappointed, I mean my first words upon hearing about it were, and I quote, “SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!!“…I might’ve overreacted slightly. lol
Then again, though, when you consider the quality of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s work as of late with Justice League, can you really blame me for that reaction? Well, regardless, with Justice League and Justice League America, what I would recommend doing is having both books be about different groupings of the same team. Like, one book could focus on the original big seven of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (who I am hoping to God is returning to the League now that his book is ending), and the other can focus on some of the newer members, like Shazam, Cyborg, Jessica Cruz, Mister Miracle, and Big Barda. I’ve actually heard for a while now that there might’ve been a planned crossover between Justice League and JLA, but unless they had this planned with whoever was taking over for Johns, I don’t see that happening right away. And frankly, I’m a little sick of books doing crossovers before they hit 12 issues anyway, so holding off on that might be in order.
Assuming he retains the memory of it from the events of The Darkseid War, something tells me that a future arc of the new Batman title might revolve around him looking for the Joker now that he knows his identity. I just can’t imagine him gaining ahold of that information and not wanting to use it to maybe put an end to the Joker’s threat before anyone else gets hurt. Still, I’m a bit…leery of that idea. See, for me, the Joker works best when you DON’T know all the details of who he really is and what his past was like, and I can’t imagine DC actually going through with that. As Joker himself once put it, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice”. Then again, they’re apparently telling his back-story in the TV show Gotham, which I dislike for various reasons on top of that, so who knows? Like I’ve said before, though, I hope that they decide to make Joker a little more fun in the future. He’s more than capable of being a terrifying villain AND the occasional goofy clown. Other than that, since I don’t see any books involving Robin in the line-up thus far, one has to wonder what’s to become of Damian and the members of We Are Robin, in particular Duke Thomas. Will Damian become Bruce’s full-time partner again in one of the Batman books, or will he step aside and become his own individual while Duke takes his place? Or perhaps Duke will instead take on the identity of Lark, like in one of Bruce’s nightmare scenarios brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin? And what of Jim Gordon? Will he continue to take up the mantle of the All-New Batman? Only time will tell for sure, but we’ll talk more about Batman’s supporting cast and related characters later.
So, after the newest issue of Action Comics, it looks as though Superman is no longer dying. I could be wrong, but that appears to be the case. He’s also been fully revitalized. So, doesn’t look like the Super League is being built as a possible replacement for the Man of Steel. However, I would be willing to suggest that he’s instead putting it together due to the events where his powers were drained, his identity was leaked, and so on, and that there’d need to be someone who could stand in for him if something like that should ever happen again. Speaking of, though, I’ve got this sneaky suspicion that the public may not remember that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same post-Rebirth. Why? Well, like I mentioned before, the Spyral satellite has the ability to remove the public’s knowledge of Dick Grayson being Nightwing, which is likely how he’ll return to the role as I’ll get into when I talk about him. If I were one of the heads at DC and decided that Clark’s secret identity being exposed was not a good idea for the long-term, that seems like it’d be a good way out of it. With that said, though, if I may make a request, if that happens and they do that…?
Keep Lois’ memories of the ordeal intact. This isn’t even me wanting to see Lois and Clark as a couple again (although I do, a LOT), but simply because ever since she found out Clark Kent is Superman, she’s been even more actively involved in stories, for better or worse. Married or unmarried, couple or friends, ultimately, I think history has proven that there are more stories that can be told with her in the know about Clark being Superman than with her being kept out of the loop. But, with that said…yeah, I really do wanna see them together again, especially since the book about the pre-Flashpoint Lois and Clark is ending. In fact, who knows? Maybe they’ll do some kinda merger thing where the Superman and Lois Lane of both worlds blend into one, and both become a balance of their counterparts? Not sure where that leaves little Jonathan, but it could happen. But, for that to happen, obviously, something’s gotta go…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s time to call it quits on the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship. Above all else, the reason I’m just plain sick of it is because the two are rarely, if ever, treated like equals when it comes to their relationship. Wonder Woman is pretty much just Superman’s girlfriend in a lot of stories they’re presented in as a couple. Beyond that, my standard requests are as follows: Restore the Amazons to the compassionate protectors of mankind, and for the love of God, pants or no pants, I don’t care anymore, just give us a brighter colour scheme for Diana. In fact, I’d actually be fine with the design Jason Fabok uses for her in Justice League, but with gold instead of silver. Also, I keep hearing that the movie will be rebooting to the old school Etta Candy, and if I can make a suggestion? Do the same in the comics. You don’t necessarily have to undo making her black. Hell, you don’t even need to make her as overweight as the original. Just something similar, and above all else, make Etta the ninja tackling badass sidekick I remember.
…Okay, not really much to say about Aquaman, other than it’s great to see him back to his old look and kicking ass like normal. I will say, though, that the writers really need to make up their minds as to whether he’s gonna be King of Atlantis or not for the foreseeable future, though. No, my biggest concern for the Aquaman books is something…different.
…OH, GOOD GOD, WHY?! I got into a little bit of a rant about this on Twitter when I saw this, as you can read here. Suffice to say, no. Absolutely not. Whatever the writers of Aquaman are thinking, NO! BAD writers! Don’t make her Aquawoman. You make her Aquawoman, and I will violently murder the first fish I see. Oh, and just saying this? If they DO make Arthur King of Atlantis again, can we PLEASE have these two be officially married again? Or maybe they already have been when I wasn’t looking, I don’t know, but if they aren’t, please don’t listen to Dan, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to superheroes being married, especially with these two. It makes no sense for them to not be married when all evidence points to her having served in the capacity of Queen of Atlantis at Arthur’s side at least at one point. Also, I’m sorry, but one of these days, we gotta make Mera an official member of the Justice League. How many times does she have to accompany them and their various divisions into action and show just how easily she stands among them before she’s given a seat?
Again, not a lot to say about The Fastest Man Alive, other than that I hope that this whole mess involving him being Central City’s most wanted and being hunted by the Rogues doesn’t last long. I AM interested to see what role he plays with Rebirth, however. As Geoff Johns himself has pointed out, nearly every time there’s been a massive change to the universe, a Flash (usually Barry) was at the center of it. Speaking of, I wonder if we’ll ever get follow-up on exactly why Pandora used Barry to reboot the universe at the end of Flashpoint. The whole thing about Pandora’s Box being the reason seems kinda minor when you consider what that turned out to be. I mean, she really needed to reboot the universe just so we can get a Boom Tube that led to Earth 3? But yeah, once again, my bigger concern is with a certain other Flash…
Seriously, I don’t care if he’s black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, or fuchsia, we need the FUN Wally West back. The Wally West who is cracking jokes and being the far more fun-loving Flash. And I don’t care if he’s The Flash, Kid Flash, Impulse, whatever, it’s time to pull the trigger on him suiting up and working with Barry. With that said, a lot of people were against the new costume we saw him in during the whole Future’s End tie-in, but honestly, I thought he looked good. The silver DOES stand out in a very dramatic way and makes him look very distinct from the other Flashes.
Again, I’d kinda like to see Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and maybe even the other Earth-born Lanterns rotate on the Justice League and JLA. Beyond that, though, I get the feeling that Jessica Cruz will be switching out the Ring of Volthoom from Earth 3 for a Green Lantern Ring. There WAS a silhouette of a female Green Lantern in the image for Rebirth, and Jessica seems like the logical candidate. And frankly, I would just be happy to see her conquer her fear and give Volthoom the boot. Still, kinda hope her Green Lantern costume, if I’m correct, incorporates some elements of her Power Ring costume. Oh, and can we PLEASE have a sense of stability in the Green Lantern Corps for at least a year? I don’t think I even need to point this out, but life has been hell for the Corps as of the past few years. The Guardians finally came out as evil, there’s been a shit-ton of members dying left and right, they got better Guardians who still managed to screw the pooch in the end, and now most of them have been banished to another dimension or some shit. But as for Hal himself…he’s gotta lose the jacket. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work for him. To be honest, when he and Parallax had their fight recently, Hal looked more like a villain than Parallax did…y’know, until Parallax pulled the whole fangs thing, which still looks fucking stupid. lol
What in the HELL is going on in J’onn’s comics as of late?!?! No, seriously, someone please explain this shit to me! It turned out he was a bio-engineered weapon the Martians were going to use to take over Earth, and that he was hiding that for years, and that might’ve been why he was kicked outta the League during the gap between the first two story arcs of Justice League, but he doesn’t wanna hurt anyone, but he’s not willing to stop the plan, but then he wants to die, and then he does die, but somehow he’s got different aspects of himself that converge into a new Martian Manhunter, who looks…well, I’m not gonna say BAD. In fact, as far as radical redesigns go, at least this keeps some aspects of the old look intact. But still, he tries at first to lead the martian invasion, but then he decides not to, and now he’s got some kinda giant mech, which is both awesome and stupid, I don’t even know, and oh God, my head… … … …So yeah, please DC, just put him back on the Justice League and scale this nonsense down a bit. I had to check my ear a second ago just to make sure there wasn’t blood seeping from my brain and out there from all that.
Okay, is it just me, or does the storyline of the government being untrusting of Cyborg actually make WAY more sense than when they do the same thing with Superman? Maybe it’s because we’ve seen that Vic’s control CAN be overrode, and thus it’s less about trusting that he’s a good guy, but rather concern that it could happen again, especially when he can be plugged into EVERYTHING. Plus, there’s the whole matter of Victor having cybernetic enhancements to benefit him after he lost most of his body, and yet amputees have to deal with ordinary prosthetic parts that don’t work even a tenth as good. I’m not saying everyone should be decked out with his stuff, and it was established from the beginning that the tech used to make him into Cyborg was experimental and very easily could’ve backfired. And yeah, none of this is actually Victor’s fault, he’s just as much a victim in this as anyone else. Still, I can at least understand the conflict here WAY more, and if they wanna continue with that arc post-Rebirth, I wouldn’t mind. However, I WOULD suggest maybe adding more to his rogues gallery. We need his version of the Joker or Lex Luthor, someone who is his opposite in nearly every way, but can challenge him on an equal footing despite his natural advantages.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, allow me to do so: I HATE THIS VERSION OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! And a big part of why I hate him all revolves around the mass changes to Billy Batson. He was supposed to be a sweet, innocent, giving, and (for the most part) selfless individual. It was why he was chosen to gain the powers of Shazam. But when we meet him in THIS universe, he’s a little punk shithead who cons people and is mean to his adoptive family for no reason other than he wants to be! And even after all that, when he finally becomes Shazam and learns more about being a hero, he STILL acts like a little twerp who swears a lot to sound adult and cool, which is at its most jarring when he’s transformed into Shazam, has the wisdom of Solomon, and therefore should know better! But then, I KNOW why they made those changes. It’s the exact same reason they made so many changes to Superman: It was to make him SO much more identifiable and realistic. But, just like with Superman, it was done in a manner so poorly that he no longer resembles the hero he once was in any way. Hell, he doesn’t even have the same NAME! Seriously, DC, if you are serious about this, look back at what made the old Captain Marvel a beloved character and try reintroducing those elements.
Anyway, that’s all when it comes to the Justice League. Check back in next time when I look at the Bat Family and what I hope and/or expect to see become of Nightwing, Batgirl, and the returning Birds of Prey. Ja né!
Hey guys, it’s February 29th! Guess who is celebrating their birthday today? 😀
… … … …Okay, let’s try THAT again…
I swear to God, YouTube!!!
There we go! 😀 And yeah, go figure that, in official DC canon, Superman is a leap year baby. Personally, I would prefer to celebrate his birthday as being the date when Action Comics #1 came out, but since there is an actual birth date given for him in the comics, here we are. And for a man who has had stories told about him for nearly 80 years, who has saved the world more times than I could dare count, and has been rebooted and given multiple continuities devoted to telling various tales about him, naturally, everybody’s gonna have their favourites. As such, here are five of my personal favourite stories, both from the comics, the various animated series he’s been involved in, and the movies he’s been a part of. So, I suppose we should start off with the most obvious one that anyone who reads my blog knows is gonna be on here, simply because I’ve gone on and on about it already, meaning I won’t have as much new to say about it here…
In looking back on this book, it’s all the more clear to me just how much potential the New 52 Superman has as a character that is ultimately squandered. He is probably among the more imperfect versions of Superman to be shown off in the mainstream, and yet is shown to nonetheless be an inspiring and heroic individual primarily due to one thing: He never, ever gives up. He keeps trying, no matter how bleak things get, even when his own life is on the line, and even if the entire world pleaded for his sake not to. And sometimes, that means failing and eating dirt. But what’s always been most important to him is to never stop trying. Like all past versions of Superman have done when they are at their best, he inspires others to be better through his actions and his kindness. In addition to all that, though, there’re also great cameos by Batman and Wonder Woman that actually make sense within the context of the story and aren’t just shoved in to make a buck, there’s plenty of Lois Lane being awesome, Lex Luthor remains the great and evil puppeteer, and even Jimmy Olsen gets some nice moments in here and there. There are some clichés of modern Superman stories involved, like the military being leery and untrusting of him, and the reveal of another alien who has appeared on Earth to contest him, but there’s just something about the context in which it’s presented here that works a lot better. If you want a good Superman read set in the New 52, this is probably the one for you.
Probably my favourite modern reinterpretation of Superman’s origins. Granted, it could’ve been stretched out to a four or five parter so that the stuff involving Clark as Superman could’ve been expanded on more, but hey, he’s technically still getting started in the next few episodes anyway, so it works fine for what it is. It even addresses my biggest gripe involving Superman’s origins, which, if you’ve read my blog for a while now, you already know: HOW THE FUCK DID NOBODY ELSE ON KRYPTON KNOW THE END WAS COMING AND DIDN’T HAVE A MEANS OF GETTING OFF THE PLANET?!?! Here, though, the explanation given actually makes a lot of sense. Making Lois more of a rival to Clark kinda works well, too, and lets us see her really working her ass off and taking some serious risks, to where it’s obvious and forgivable that she needs saving so much. Any of us would under those circumstances, it just happens to be her. Granted, I don’t quite get why her skirt is so short that, when Superman carries her around, everyone beneath her is getting a shot of her underwear, but whatever. Point is, it’s a great first outing for the hero and look at his origins for a new generation.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how this is pretty much the archetype of the classic Superman story: Mad scientist creates a device that’ll severely fuck up the world, Lois gets into trouble trying to do her job, Superman has to get involved, and through his quick thinking and incredible powers, he saves the day. And honestly, even after nearly 75 years, it still holds up really well. Yeah, there’s some stuff involving his origins that are talked about that I don’t agree with, like the idea of him being naturally super without the need for the sun, or the fact that he was raised in an orphanage, but, all things considered, not the worst version of his origins I’ve ever seen, either. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s in public domain right now, so there’s very little in the way of stopping you from doing so.
What DO you get for the man who has everything? Well, if you wanna stay on his good side, probably not what Mongul got him. This story’s actually been retold and reimagined from its original comic form at least a couple of times. The ones I’m thinking of are in the fantastic Justice League Unlimited series, and as an episode of Supergirl, entitled For The Girl Who Has Everything. Admittedly, I lean more towards the JLU version, but that could simply be because it’s the first one I saw. However, all three tend to show that the most painful and heartbreaking thing you can do to a person is to make them live out their perfect scenario and then force them to abandon it for the greater good. Also, the comic has probably one of Jason Todd’s best moments EVER. It’s emotional, it’s action packed, it’s For The Man Who Has Everything.
Oftentimes considered by many to be one of the all-time greatest stories of the Man of Tomorrow. Once again, the animated version is the one I first saw, but having read the comics since then, I can tell you there are things about it that they change from the original that I both like and dislike. In terms of the like category, I think I prefer the ending of the movie, where we see Luthor, in what could be his final days, finally understanding Superman and what he stood for, what he himself could’ve been all along if it’d really mattered to him, and while he doesn’t necessarily redeem himself, he does make a gesture that perhaps will let his life have some positive meaning. In terms of the dislike, though, the pacing is a bit off, but that’s kinda obvious, due to trying to crunch down a 12 issue comic mini-series into a 76 minute movie. However, while there are of course some things that had to be cut, the one thing that I wish to God could’ve been kept in wasn’t. I don’t why, if maybe there was concern about showing this for whatever reason, but it is quite possibly the greatest scene involving Superman that you will ever see in your life. Here’s the context: Superman is dying. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, he is going to die. As such, in his last days, he is spending his time doing as much as he can for the world as possible, saving more lives and accomplishing greater wonders than he ever has before. And right as he’s in the middle of all that, his super hearing intercepts a call made by a single child…and this is what happens.
THAT is Superman. THAT is the Man of Tomorrow. How great is this scene, you might still ask yourself? Mark Waid called it the most moving scene in a Superman book ever, and he has read EVERY SINGLE COMIC ABOUT SUPERMAN. As I once shared on my blog, POW once awarded it as the greatest moment in comic book history. As TV Tropes put it, “If you took all eighty years of the character’s history and distilled it into a single pure moment containing all his best qualities, that one page would be it. He inspires strength, wisdom, kindness, freedom, value and hope in just a few words. And he saves a life.” And in terms of how it impacted the people who read it…well, let’s let this person tell you.
… … …I’d put down my fedora for this, but let’s be honest, I don’t really wear it much anymore. It’s gotten kinda old. Regardless, this is where we get into real talk, so just bear with me. A lot of people ask me from time to time how I can care so much about superheroes, when they’re just fictional characters drawn on paper. And, even I’ve asked myself on occasion why it feels like all I know how to write about are superheroes, or people and characters that are heroic in their own ways. This is the reason why: Through their stories, superheroes inspire people. They inspire us to be better, to be stronger, to be truer to ourselves, and to be kind and noble. I think that’s also why I watch Atop The Fourth Wall and find myself in the same corner as Lewis Lovhaug when he talks about comics. He once said that “Superheroes are basically the equivalent of modern-day knights-errant, they go out and help people and fight injustices. But a lot of the best superhero comics are the ones not actually about superheroes hitting supervillains or each other, anything like that. It’s the ones that show that superheroes are about kindness and decency and something far more noble than the adolescent power fantasies that people often critique them as”. I tend to agree. Sure, it’s always great to see superheroes give evil people their comeuppance, and of course I still love a good superhero brawl as much as anyone, but THIS is what they should always be about. They are kind, they are compassionate, and in their fictional tales, they show us what we can be in real life.
…Oh yeah, and one other problem one can have with the animated version of All-Star Superman is that he apparently kills Solaris. I don’t know enough about Solaris to know if he really qualifies as a living creature, so if he does, then yeah, that’s a strike against the movie. Really, the only reason I’m okay with it in Superman Unbound is because, by then, Brainiac was more…well…Um, Obi-Wan, you wanna help me out here?
Thank you. lol
And those are my favourite Superman stories. Got one that wasn’t on here? Leave it in the comments section, and don’t worry, I’ll likely be sharing more of my favourite stories and moments in a couple of years when The Man of Tomorrow hits 80 years old. And hey, be sure to leave any words you’d like to share with Superman on his birthday on your own, as well. Ja né!
Yeah, this is kinda late, but I thought I’d wait at least a little bit to see what news emerged before giving my thoughts on the current line-up. There were a lot of rumours going into Rebirth, namely what exactly it was. Another complete universal reboot, a soft reboot, a changed line-up to better reflect the shows and movies going right now, etc. In the end, though, what it appears to be is basically taking the concept of books like Green Lantern Rebirth and The Flash Rebirth and applying it to the DC Universe as a whole, as Geoff Johns explains here:
So, it doesn’t seem to be a universal reboot, but rather a soft reboot to reintroduce certain aspects of the characters that we love, as well as re-establish certain other heroes. We can go more in-depth about what that might entail, as well as the cryptic words of the mysterious narrator, later, though. For now, let’s just look at the actual line-up of books that have been confirmed thus far, which looks like this:
• AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1
• BATMAN REBIRTH #1
• THE FLASH REBIRTH #1
• GREEN ARROW REBIRTH #1
• GREEN LANTERNS REBIRTH #1
• SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1
• TITANS REBIRTH #1
• WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• AQUAMAN #1
• BATMAN #1
• THE FLASH #1
• GREEN ARROW #1
• GREEN LANTERNS #1
• SUPERMAN #1
• WONDER WOMAN #1
New Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• ACTION COMICS #957
• DETECTIVE COMICS #934
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY REBIRTH #1
• HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS REBIRTH #1
• THE HELLBLAZER REBIRTH #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE REBIRTH #1
• NIGHTWING REBIRTH #1
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
• NIGHTWING #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
• BATGIRL #1
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY #1
• THE HELLBLAZER #1
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS #1
• THE SUPER-MAN #1
• TITANS #1
• BATMAN BEYOND REBIRTH #1
• BLUE BEETLE REBIRTH #1
• CYBORG REBIRTH #1
• DEATHSTROKE REBIRTH #1
• EARTH 2 REBIRTH #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD REBIRTH #1
• SUPERGIRL REBIRTH #1
• TEEN TITANS REBIRTH #1
• TRINITY REBIRTH #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• CYBORG #1
• DEATHSTROKE #1
• HARLEY QUINN #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD #1
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
• BATMAN BEYOND #1
• BLUE BEETLE #1
• EARTH 2 #1
• GOTHAM ACADEMY: NEXT SEMESTER #1
• SUPERGIRL #1
• SUPERWOMAN #1
• SUPER SONS #1
• TEEN TITANS #1
• TRINITY #1
…So, let’s go over my thoughts for now about some of the announced books, starting with…
Looks like the Superman titles are undergoing a major revamp. While Action Comics is going back to its old numbering, Supergirl is returning with her own title (about time), and we’re also getting the new books Superwoman, Super Sons, and The Super-Man. If I had to take a guess, and I suppose at this point that’s all I can do, I’d wager that this all has to do with the upcoming Super League storyline that’ll wrap up the current Superman titles, with Superman enlisting several other superheroes as a team of Supermen (and Superwomen, it seems). Why is he doing this? Well, recently, Superman was able to regain his powers, but at a price, and he’s potentially dying, so he might be trying to pull a Batman and have the Super League act as a contingency should something happen to him and the world still needs Superman. Also, Batman/Superman and Superman/Wonder Woman seem to be getting dropped in favour of a Trinity book, which I am 100% okay with, especially since both books have been telling the same story as the other Super titles anyway. Might as well just put all three in a single title where they all get top billing. Also, I can’t help but notice that Superman: Lois And Clark is disappearing, but I’ve heard that the pre-Flashpoint Superman who appears in that book will both be involved in the Super League story as well as Rebirth, so not crossing them out just yet. Lastly, the one book that got me to raise an eyebrow most in this whole line-up was “The Super-Man”. However, I’ve since been directed to a cover for Justice League #51, where Lex Luthor is shown to be in a Superman-esque costume. Perhaps an attempt to cast Lex Luthor as the evil Superman that was originally conceived before Action Comics #1? We’ll see. Oh, and just saying, PLEASE DC, put Superman in a costume that at least balances out the three colours better. There’s just too much blue and not enough yellow in this equation.
I’m a bit interested to see where Batman goes now that he’s been back from the dead…again. lol I mean, the last time he came back, he created Batman Incorporated. Right now, it feels like a similar idea isn’t far off, with Jim Gordon apparently keeping his Batsuit, Batgirl starting a new Birds of Prey team, and Dick Grayson evidently going back to being Nightwing. And, if you’re confused about that, well…Batman And Robin Eternal #20 kinda revealed that Helena Bertinelli set it up to where Spyral’s orbital little satellite has the ability to make everyone forget about his unmasking and ‘death’ in Forever Evil, thus allowing him to go back to his old life if he so chose. And, I gotta admit, when I first heard about that, it actually sounded like an intriguing moral and ethical dilemma: Should Dick use this technology, essentially mind wiping the entire planet’s population, so he can go back to being Nightwing? Or should he continue to work for a group of secret agents who are CONSTANTLY bending the rules of what is and isn’t ethically sound or legal in order to get the job done? It’s not an easy situation to figure out… … …Too bad I know for a fact that they’re not gonna explore it much and instead it looks like he’s just gonna flip the switch and damn the consequences. I’m not saying that’s necessarily WRONG, just…kinda feels like the easy way out. Frankly, at this point, I just hope they put him back in blue this time around. I’m also interested to see what Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey will be like, and I kinda hope that Gail Simone ends up writing it eventually. Ask nearly anyone, and they’ll tell you that Birds of Prey was at its best when Gail was writing it. No sign of a Robin book yet, which is a little concerning, and it looks as though Gotham Academy is continuing on. And lastly, yeah, I remember what my initial reaction was to Red Hood And The Outlaws coming back, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that, as long as that book is around, it keeps Scott Lobdell away from anything I actually CARE about. 😛
SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!! Just when Justice League had become AMAZING, Johns and Fabok are both off the book! Didn’t I specifically say I wanted them to stay on the book going into Rebirth?!…Well, hopefully, Fabok can find work on one of the other titles. I’m personally hoping for Wonder Woman, because I fucking love how he draws her. Speaking of, I’ve been hearing rumours (so take this with a grain of salt) that Marguerite Bennett could be the new writer for Wonder Woman, which is actually funny because she’s Scott Snyder’s old pupil, and I was requesting Scott Snyder’s Wonder Woman a while ago, so…Yeah. lol Anyway, Justice League of America is apparently just gonna be Justice League America…’kay. Why we can’t just call it JLA, I dunno.
So, I’m guessing that since there are two Titans books right now, Teen Titans and Titans Hunt, and there are two Titans books post-Rebirth, Teen Titans and just plain Titans, that plain Titans is probably gonna be about Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Roy Harper, and the other older Titans. With any luck, we’ll see Starfire join that team, since her book is ending (not cancelled, though, as it was apparently always planned for 12 issues), and otherwise, I fear she might end up going back to RHATO, which I would LOATHE. Other than that, not much else to discuss.
Like I said earlier, the team of Marguerite Bennett and Jason Fabok on Wonder Woman would be awesome if it comes to be. The silhouettes for the official image for Rebirth suggest the return of Wally West as Kid Flash, which could prove interesting for The Flash, and there looks to be a female Green Lantern, which could be Jessica Cruz, and after recent events with the Green Lantern Corps, they could use the new recruits who are already a little experienced with Power Rings. It’s looking like Earth 2 might be reverting back to a more traditional look and feel, especially if I’m right about who that is second from the left behind the curtain of the Rebirth image. And I couldn’t help but notice both Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes appeared in the video, so seeing that there’s a Blue Beetle comic involved raises some questions, like are they going to be working as a duo of sorts. And Hellblazer…Look, I don’t really care about Constantine. I find him to be a major horse’s ass, personally speaking. But, I know a lot of people DO care, and were pissed when his show got cancelled rather quickly, so I will say that I’m glad those people are getting their fill of Constantine, both with this comic and with his appearances in Arrow. Oh, and lastly, I’ve heard that Rebirth will apparently include what Dan Didio calls his most controversial moment ever…Dear God, save me. -_-
Anyway, those are my thoughts so far. If anything else comes up that I’m personally invested in, I’ll go ahead and give my thoughts on it. Be sure to leave your own thoughts below, and we’ll see what goes on from now ’til June. Ja né!
…Oh yeah, and expect a How To Drop The Ball In Comics: The New 52 in June. ^_^
So, I asked a little while ago what everyone reading my blog would do if it were left up to them to create the DC Universe and its characters… … …Then I had someone ask me what I’d do if I were tasked with creating Squirrel Girl. However, rather than poke fun, I’ll just say this: Squirrel Girl? Best kept exactly as she is. I would never want to tweak or rework Squirrel Girl in the slightest from what she is right now. She’s AWESOME. lol
Anyway, but I figured, if I’m gonna do these, I might as well start from the beginning. So, with that said, I want you all to read along and Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Superman. Oh, and just so you know, I’m gonna type this up more or less like it’s one of those database wikis for DC and Marvel (which you should go check out, btw).
Born on the planet Krypton mere days before its destruction, Kal-L and his family found themselves fleeing the planet before it exploded. However, their ship soon entered a hidden wormhole that led to the Sol System, during which the ship was rocked and slammed horribly by the energy ripples throughout the wormhole. While the ship managed to make it through to the other side, even surviving the crash landing to Earth in Nova Scotia, and the force field projected around Kal’s bed stayed up the whole way, his parents were less lucky. They survived just long enough for farmers John and Martha Kent to find the ship, requesting in their dying breaths to watch over young Kal.
As Kal, now adopted under the name of Clark Kent, grew older, he developed a love of mysteries and a desire to uncover the truths hidden in the world, leading him to wanting to become a journalist. However, nothing could prepare him for what he discovered in his teenage years, as he found himself facing his greatest mystery of all: “What am I?” He found himself growing faster and stronger everyday, as well as his sight and hearing reaching further and his mind processing information faster. Finally, this led to him uncovering the truth of his alien heritage, and of his ability to become superhuman by absorbing solar rays.
From that point on, Clark chose to operate in secret as a protector of the innocent, keeping out of the public eye all the way until he turned 27. By then, though, the world had changed. A brilliant man named Gerard Shugel, whose mind had been warped through years of isolation in the cold north and dealing with paralysis, learned of the existence of someone with superhuman abilities and sought to draw him out with massive disturbances to take his body for himself. Deciding he could no longer keep himself hidden, Clark made himself known to mankind as Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, defeating Shugel and putting an end to his plot, though he would now find himself the target of many others who mistrusted him or wanted his powers for themselves.
Kryptonian Physiology/Solar Absorption: While appearing human, Superman’s cellular structure is actually far denser, more resilient, and more biologically effective than standard human tissue. It can also absorb solar radiation to grant him powers far beyond that of ordinary humans. The exact levels and limits of Superman’s powers differ depending on how much energy he’s absorbed and if he’s in direct sunlight, but according to Shugel’s personal analysis, he can at any given time pull in 140 gigawatts of solar energy while on Earth.
Bioluminescence: Superman’s body emits a golden glow of energy when drawing on his solar energy. The more power power he uses, the brighter the illumination becomes, essentially making him a miniature sun in terms of how bright he is.
Superhuman Strength: While his exact limits are unknown even to him, depending on how much solar energy he has stored in his body, Superman can lift anything from a car to a cargo plane. He can also crush steel with his bare hands, and has enough throwing power to toss an object roughly his own size and weight clear out of Earth’s atmosphere.
Invulnerability: Superman’s durable enough to take gunfire and walk it off without so much as a scratch no matter where it hits him. Ordinary knives cannot cut him, and while bigger and deadlier weapons can knock him around, he’ll ultimately be able to shake off the impact.
Superhuman Leap: Using his strength, Superman can leap extremely far heights and distances. At best, he’s been able to leap 800 metres, just short of the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.
Superhuman Speed: While not the fastest runner on Earth, the Man of Tomorrow is nonetheless faster than any non-empowered human being when staying on the ground, and can even outpace some land vehicles. His reflexes are also well-tuned enough to allow him to dodge gunfire.
Flight: While at first only able to leap over tall buildings, Superman soon found himself able to propel himself even further by channeling the planet’s electromagnetic field with his own to defy gravity. Without being hindered by gravity, he’s able to fly at hypersonic speeds, clocking in at over 3300 km/s.
Superhuman Senses: Superman has the ability to see and hear across vast distances, and while this gave him trouble as a child, he eventually overcame it to the point of being able to pinpoint specific sounds while blocking out others and seeing down to microscopic levels and across the entire EM spectrum.
Healing Factor/Longevity: Superman can regenerate damage done to him near-instantly when he’s in direct exposure to sunlight. As such, it’s believed that, no matter how horrendous the wound, if his body is kept intact and exposed to the sun’s rays, he is essentially immortal. The only way to permanently kill him is to keep him out of the sun and/or completely destroy his body at the cellular level.
Super Flare: Superman’s most powerful ability. It allows him to expel mass amounts of solar energy at once, either as blinding flashes of light or destructive blasts of energy. However, the more energy he uses, the more the Super Flare will drain him, leaving him weak and vulnerable until he’s able to recover his strength.
Solar Energy Dependency: While Superman gains his powers from the infinite light of the sun, the amount of energy he takes in at any given time on Earth has limits, and many of his powers (the Super Flare in particular) drains the amount he has stored inside of his cells. As such, if he’s kept out of sunlight and doesn’t have a constant supply of solar energy, his powers will eventually fade, leaving him with the same base weaknesses as an ordinary human. Also, anyone with powers comparable to his own, however few they may be, have the potential to outlast his solar reserves, provided they keep him from obtaining any more.
Vulnerability to Magic: Because magic can override solar radiation and electromagnetic fields, Superman lacks any sort of protection against magical attacks or enchanted weapons.
What’s Different About Him?
Basically, I decided to keep a lot of his back-story the same, with a few tweaks here and there. I decided to go with the original variation of his Kryptonian name, Kal-L, while also making it so that his parents were along for the ride to Earth but died when they arrived, as to avoid the plot hole of why they chose not to go with him. I also made him Canadian growing up because he was created by a Canadian artist, and had him grow up in Nova Scotia to reference the supposed Shag Harbour UFO sighting, and because there’s over 600 farms in King’s County alone. Also, Clark figuring out the truth of his alien heritage on his own helps set up his later deductive and investigative reasoning.
As for his powers, I wanted to put a bigger emphasis on his powers coming from the sun, and having him be a solar-based hero. I thought the idea of him being able to glow like a small sun was a cool idea, plus it restores that idea of him being this shining figure to inspire others. The Super Flare is no longer just a massive solar bomb going off, but a power he can use in a variety of ways. And as for his base abilities, I decided to scale back a bit, having him start off much like he did originally: Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
I decided to change up the suit a bit, with the original concept being Electric Red Superman with a cape. I went from there to coming up with a look a bit closer to his usual attire, but with a red and white colour-scheme to reflect his Canadian heritage. Reason being, Superman’s character and personality should always be seen first and foremost as the product of his upbringing, not of where he was born. His powers are the result of his alien heritage, but he is who he is because of how he was raised on Earth.
So, I suppose overall, my version of Superman is more or less the same hero, just with a few tweaks. Really, though, I think that does a lot to show why the character works so well and doesn’t require a darker revamp. But hey, leave a comment below letting me know if you disagree, what you’d do with the character, and so on. I’ll probably do Batman the next time we talk about how I’d create the DC Universe. Next time, though, it’s time for the 600th blog post here on Jyger’s Rant, and I think I’ll take that opportunity to talk about something I don’t usually talk abou-
…Looks like somebody is soooooooooo nasty. Kawoom!
So, I was doing research on Superman in the DC Comics Database, when I found some rather interesting information that somewhat contradicts something that was said during the analysis of Superman and Goku during DEATH BATTLE. As many fans know, Superman and Goku have fought not once but twice in DEATH BATTLE, with Superman coming out the victor. However, based on this information I’ve found, and applying it to information and logic I already have, I’ve come to the following discovery: Even though Superman won both fights, he’s still going to DIE!
According to an issue of The Question Vol. 2, Lex Luthor discovered that, despite what Ben and Chad said, Superman IS vulnerable to ki (or chi as it was called there, but based on what I’ve found online, they’re exactly the same thing). As such, Luthor tried to weaponise ki against Superman to kill him. Now, the weapon ultimately failed, but considering said weapon was built by the guy Superman beats every Tuesday, it’s easy to assume that a man-made construct would fail to do the job, whereas a person who uses ki on a level similar to how Superman uses solar energy could succeed in killing him. As such, you really have to ask yourself the question: How did Superman walk through a blast of enough ki to blow up a planet like it was a strong breeze?
At first, I couldn’t come up with an answer, and it looked like the analysis for DEATH BATTLE had made a severe oversight. However, then I remembered their first encounter, wherein towards the end, Superman was knocked into the sun by Goku, who failed to understand Superman’s connection to it, and thus only managed to make him stronger. That’s when the answer came to me: All-Star Superman. In it, Superman had absorbed enough solar energy that, when he was blasted with a Kryptonite laser, its usual effect on him did absolutely nothing. Now, I know we’re already dealing in fictional minerals and men that can absorb and weaponise solar radiation, but try to bear with me as we apply that logic to his weakness to ki. That means that Superman’s little break in the sun could’ve conceivably granted him enough energy to plough straight through all of Goku’s ki. Plus, considering that energy he absorbed in All-Star Superman never left him by the time the story was over, it’s easy to assume he still had it in the rematch at SGC 2015. So, all’s well and good, right?
As was also established in All-Star Superman, high enough levels of solar radiation can be deadly even to Superman. As such, if we assume that my theory is correct in how Superman defeated Goku, it therefore stands to reason that his cells are now in a state of overload and he is going to die. So, yeah, DBZ fanboys can let themselves feel at least a little good that, in the end, Goku may have gotten the last laugh…y’know, except for the part where Goku’s character would never take pleasure in that sort of thing, so doing so kinda misses the whole point.
And while we’re on the subject, there’s one other thing I’ve been meaning to get off my chest: Even if a future transformation of Goku’s made him as strong as Superman, he still wouldn’t be able to beat him in a fight. How do I know this? It’s called MATH. As we’ve established, DEATH BATTLE takes their opponents not from a random point in their history, but at their maximum potential, and Superman’s maximum is INFINITY. As such, if Goku reached that same level, he still couldn’t win, because then they would both equal infinity. Infinity does not beat infinity. Infinity equals infinity, it cancels infinity, and infinity subtracted by infinity is zero. The best Goku can ever hope for is a draw. And let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Goku eventually gained a transformation powered by magic or Kryptonite (the latter of which will never happen for obvious reasons). The likelihood of Goku defeating Superman with such a form isn’t that great, because of the following:
- Superman could still overcharge his cells like I suggested earlier to defeat Goku at the cost of his own life.
- Goku generally prefers to beat opponents with his own abilities, admitting once to disliking using Super Saiyan God’s powers because he needed outside help to get it (though he kinda came to peace with it when his body was able to naturally re-absorb the energy when the transformation wore off). That’s probably the reason he doesn’t use the Power Pole anymore, and why he never uses the Spirit Bomb except against enemies capable of and/or planning to destroy the planet.
So, yes, within the context of the universe in which the Superman vs Goku battles took place, Superman is likely going to die from his battles with Goku, and some fans can choose to take that as a victory. I personally do not, and for the record I’m a fan of both characters, but I won’t judge any of you if you choose to do so, provided you do one other thing: QUIT YER BITCHIN’!!! It’s a frigging internet show made by fans for fans that is doing the best it can with over seven decades of fictional information to comb through, which seemingly continues to get more and more absurd every time something is added. It would be EASY to make a mistake somewhere. And, even if they’re right, I agree that, if I had a Goku who could reach the same kind of power as Superman, I probably wouldn’t want him. If the movie Man of Steel has taught me anything with how they tried to take the dark tones of the Batman movies and transplant them into Superman, it’s that one element of a character that works really well for them does not equal the same level of success when given to another. Goku’s character and what he stands for would completely fall the fuck apart if he were as powerful as Superman, because he’s all about aspiring to be better and breaking new limitations, and then he would have NOTHING LEFT. His story would be OVER. And, what it comes down to is, I don’t really want his story to be over. I think that’s part of the reason why I actually find myself liking this new series coming out, because it lets me continue to see what happens to these characters, their stories, and their histories…Although hopefully, this time around, a few less characters in Dragon Ball will find themselves getting screwed over. lol
But hey, that’s just my own thoughts on the matter. Leave your own in the comments section below, call me a nerd for looking all of this up, whatever, and hopefully we can all put this frigging argument to rest for a while. Ja né!
… … …So, it’s been an interesting start of the DC YOU movement. I haven’t read the new Robin book, but it’s supposed to be alright. Starfire looks promising, although I’m a little leery considering the creative team on it are the same people that think that Poison Ivy still nonchalantly feeds people to plants, has her very blatantly engage in double entendres with Harley, and is pretty obviously meant to be her sidekick…although, at least they’ve confirmed that Harleen and Pam are LGBT, and you know how much I love seeing more comic book characters that are. Dunno how I feel about the Cyborg book, but at least he’s got one, and is getting a slightly more…traditional look. I’m looking forward to the new direction for Justice League United, so long as they continue to be stationed in Canada, because you know how long I waited for my country to have its own Justice League? lol Earth 2: Society, while having an interesting premise, is held down by bad writing, specifically focusing too much on Batman and the apparent intent to turn Helena Wayne heel in a way that makes no sense. I still have no desire to read the current Batman book, even with the confirmation that Bruce Wayne is alive, at least until Jim Gordon is no longer having to stand-in as Batman. While I’m not reading Justice League, I feel deeply encouraged to do so for just how frigging epic it is. And I continue to find myself HEAVILY irritated by the Superman books, although at least now, my anger is less about Lois being the one who revealed his identity (as it seems she may have been coerced somehow) and is more-so directed at the notion that, upon learning that Clark Kent is the Man of Steel, the government has COMPLETELY turned on him and are going after him and his loved ones. Ahem…
However, what’s actually managed to baffle me even more is what was recently revealed to be true about Martian Manhunter in this universe. It’s not a worse thing, mind you, just more baffling in my mind. Because, as much as all of that infuriates me regarding Superman, I can honestly say that it’s not the first time they’ve done something so epically stupid with him, and have actually explored the possibility of him being an enemy of the government before. And even the current Batman story isn’t completely new ground, as Bruce Wayne has had to stand aside for other people to take over for him as the Dark Knight. However, while I admit to not reading many of Martian Manhunter’s solo books in the past, I honestly can’t recall a time where it was revealed that he was a WEAPON designed to, you guessed it, take over the world.
Now, while I didn’t read the Justice League United tie-in to Future’s End, I did read ABOUT it, and know that, in that timeline, Martian Manhunter eventually led a Martian invasion of Earth. However, you’ll forgive me if I go on record as saying that 99.9% of what happened in Future’s End ended up meaning precisely DICK. The only real ramifications it had was the introduction of Telos for Convergence, and to set up the new Batman Beyond book. Other than that, none of what we saw meant ANYTHING, other than to give DC an excuse to tell a dark and grim story about a future where humanity gets epically screwed and show a lot of body horror scenes. So, naturally, I assumed that Martian Manhunter’s heel turn was never going to happen… … …and, oddly enough, from what I can tell, it still might not, depending on where they’re going with this in his solo book.
Okay, so long story short, we find out that Martian Manhunter has basically been lying to people for the past how many years he’s been on Earth in this continuity, and that, while he IS a Martian, he’s also a weapon designed to eventually bring about the enslavement of humanity. More-so, he’s NOT the last Martian, and they are planning to continue on with their plan. However, it also appears as though he wants to die, suggesting that he’s not actually all that okay with what he’s been made to do. In fact, it seems to suggest he’s being forced into this role by powers that are beyond him. What kinda higher power could make J’onn fucking J’onzz do as they say is kinda head tilting, but regardless, that’s how it seems to me. Now, I will be fair to this twist: The seeds of this revelation can be traced back quite a ways. If you look at this all in hindsight, the clues were all there. The fact that he was ejected from the Justice League for reasons never explained, the flashbacks we got when him and Catwoman had their little mind meld, the fact that he gets uneasy letting Stargirl get so close to him. When you look at it all together as a single picture, it DOES suggest there was something dark and devious about him behind the scenes. So yes, I will admit that this isn’t a twist that comes out of nowhere and makes no sense.
With that out of the way, though, I have to ask a question: Was it REALLY necessary to make another of the big name superheroes’ lives as we originally knew them a lie in this continuity? Was it necessary to paint the Martians as evil conquerors, just like how the Amazons were painted as vile rapists and the traders of children for weapons? Was it necessary to take yet another of DC’s top heroes, a character with a great following and fanbase, and totally change everything they thought they knew about him for the sake of being edgy? For me, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no.
Now, some might say, “Well, that’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one who has to make these calls”. To which I respond…well, yeah, it IS easy for me to say. Everything’s easy for me to say, since I’m just a blogger on the internet. But regarding the latter, you’re correct. I’m not the one making these calls. If it were up to me, Superman would be wearing a costume more akin to his old tights, Batman and his supporting characters wouldn’t be the only people DC markets anymore, Wonder Woman would lose those wrist blades on her new costume (seriously, I actually kinda like the new costume, but those are so 90’s, and not in the good way), Huntress would have her own book written by someone who actually gets the character, we wouldn’t NEED a Poison Ivy League because Poison Ivy would have her own title where she’s not killing people willy nilly and engaging in sexual innuendo 24/7 with Harley Quinn, and more importantly, we’d have more of heroes being HEROES. But that’s just me… … …Well, actually, it’s a LOT of people I talk to online, and a lot of bloggers, forum followers, and so on, but regardless, none of us run the company, have any say in what goes on, or have any clue as to what the direction they want to go in is.
Having said that, may I again ask what may seem like an obvious question to some, but clearly went over the heads of others, that being “Will somebody please explain to me what possible reason did DC Comics have for naming their new line-up ‘DC YOU’, implying we have ANY influence in this?“. Do you think the average comic book fan would suggest the idea of Superman having his powers in flux, the world knowing who he is, and the military openly showing resentment and hostility toward him, even going so far as to leave him to fight a battle on his own while they go to torch a street full of Superman supporters? A guy on Twitter by the name of Anthony Dean had some things to say about such a direction, and I love this so much that I’m going to transcribe it for you…
But he’s relatable now! No glasses, dudebro haircut/clothes, a stupid destructive new power, no secret identity or dorky reporter job, *and* a hot super-babe! Way more relatable now! And all they had to do was, um, get rid of everything vaguely recognizable to the general public? (Showed someone at work this Supes; they said: “not *my* Superman/arms looked like the Hulk’s”)
…DC, do you see the problem? Now, the obvious counter to all of this is “Well, that’s just aging hipster comic fans wanting THEIR heroes back”. Here’s my counter to that argument: What makes these new versions of the characters superior to the old ones in any way, shape, or form? Why do you think Convergence did so well, and why digital-first comics like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman are doing so well? You wanna know what was the moment when I knew, unquestionably, that the Convergence Superman book was superior in every way to the FOUR Superman titles you have going right now is? It’s right here.
THAT is Superman. He finds out that the various cities that have been plucked from their worlds are going to be forced to fight, and his immediate is response is “No. I will not let this happen. I am not going to stand by and let this person get away with this. I am going to save as many people as I possibly can, and I don’t care who they are or where they come from.” And the people that are distrusting of him in this book have valid reasons to be, instead of “He’s an alien!” He even opts to name his son Jonathan as opposed to Jor, seeing Earth as his true home, not Krypton. That’s the difference: My Superman is a man of Earth who encompasses everything we could hope to be and what our values are or should be and saves everyone he can, even when the universe tells him it’s impossible. Now, does that make the current Superman a bad character in concept? No. I’ve already gone to great length talking about a story that features that character and how great it was: Superman Unchained, where we see this flawed Superman doing everything he can to try and save us. But when that is one book out of five to star the character, not counting the Justice League books, and it’s the only one I know of that tells a story I want to read about Superman, and it was only 9 issues long…well, you see where the problem is.
But back to Martian Manhunter. Like I said, stories like Superman being hunted down, exposed, and whatnot have been experimented with before. I imagine that’s likely because he’s such an iconic character that it gets people’s attention when they do. Mind you, I don’t know of many stories when they’ve done this with Batman, and in fact have had him be antagonistic towards Superman when they’ve done such stories before. But why do this to J’onn? Some people say that Superman’s story is that of an immigrant from outer space having to live among us and accept both sides of his life, while at the same time helping to show humanity how we can be better. While I wouldn’t necessarily argue that point, I daresay that if there’s a DC character who represents the immigrant part of that story better, it’s Martian Manhunter. J’onn wasn’t raised on this planet. He wasn’t taught our value system from a young age. He wasn’t brought up to be like us. But, in spending time here, in learning how we are, both the good and the bad, we become a world he genuinely wants to spend his life protecting. Now, there ARE still aspects of that left in him. Like I said, his apparent willingness to die in spite of what he’s been sent here to do suggests he doesn’t want to do us harm. But the darkening of his character, his back-story, and making him someone who apparently got into a fight with the Justice League over all of this, as well as his apparent willingness to casually mind wipe people when he used to be against that sort of action take away a lot of what used to make him a heroic figure to fans, and therefore makes me want to read the old Martian Manhunter FAR more. And frankly, putting this back-story next to what they’ve done with Superman and Wonder Woman paints a somewhat xenophobic picture of modern DC, which is a TERRIBLE stance to have, especially if they’re supposedly trying to branch out and get more readers in the same way Marvel’s done as of late. The last thing you want ANYONE to even suggest you could be in such a situation is afraid of stuff and/or people that are different.
In the aftermath of Convergence, DC seems to suggest that the door is now open for creative teams to tell stories about previous incarnations of the characters seen from the timelines presented in that story, and presumably others. If I may be so bold as to call them out on that, though, can I ask why all four of the Superman titles they currently have going right now focus on the current version of Superman and this new, darker phase of his career? And, on top of that, for those that have long suggested that DC is basically trying to make Clark Kent into Peter Parker, I think the fact that we now have four Superman books running and all telling the same story pretty much proves your point beyond any doubt, they’re openly making Superman into Spider-Man. If you’re a modern fan of comics, I’ll explain: Marvel used to do this thing where they had a different Spider-Man book running practically every week by different writers and artists, and all telling the same continuous story…which could get very confusing, monotonous, and downright AWFUL at times (see the Clone Wars for hardcore proof of that). But even if they wanna do that, why can’t we have just ONE of those books be about the pre-Flashpoint Superman? Hell, before the renumbering of all the books that came with the New 52, Action Comics was only about, what, less than ten years away from hitting a legitimate #1000? Go back to the old numbering and tell stories about THAT book’s Superman. And hey, for all I know, maybe that IS in the works for after the Truth story arc is over. And if not, feel free to take this idea and ride off into the sunset with it. I will gladly give it up and take zero credit for it. The same goes for a lot of characters, like Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and Batman (if they can finally figure out what all did and didn’t happen with him in this new continuity). And you can do all of this and still have your darker continuity, too. Obviously, there’s an audience for it, or else you wouldn’t still be doing it.
So, that’s my take on the DC YOU product thus far. It’s not God awful, there are some things about it that show promise, but it could stand to have a TON of improvement, specifically distancing from what made the New 52 as bad as it was, and bringing back what made the classic continuities what they were. Have your own thoughts? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and we’ll see how things develop over time. Ja né!