Jyger’s Rant – Injustice 2 Story Mode Review (WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD)
…So, I don’t own this game. Just throwing this out now. Not available for any systems I own, don’t have the money to get a new one, and so here we are. That said, I really wanted to give my thoughts on the story in Injustice 2, especially since I DO own the original and have given my thoughts on it in the past. Luckily, plenty of people, like Maximilian Dood and Kwing, have posted playthroughs of the Story Mode, so I’m thus able to give it my own review. Just remember, though, that as I’m doing this review, I’m speaking strictly about the story, not the game in terms of how it plays and whatnot. Although, I will get this out of the way right now: So far, based on what I’ve seen, it looks like a really good game, haven’t heard much wrong with it from a technical perspective yet, and on a personal note, NetherRealm Studios seem to have HUGELY improved on their facial designs and animations with this game. In fact, over all, I think this is their best LOOKING game of all time. Whenever they wanna make Mortal Kombat XI, they need to take inspiration from this game when it comes to the graphics.
But yeah, the story. So, this takes place a few years after Injustice: Gods Among Us. Superman is in a red solar prison for taking over the world, and his former Regime buddies are either planning to break him out, working to make up for what they did under his rule, or joining Gorilla Grodd’s new group, the Society. However, pretty soon, it becomes clear that the Society are just pawns in a much bigger game, as Brainiac arrives to capture Superman, add a few Earth cities to his collection, and then blow the planet up. Eventually, the situation devolves so much that Batman and his allies have no choice but to release Superman and work with the Regime to try and stop Brainiac and the Society before they destroy the world.
So, right away, I have a bit of a complaint to make. If you didn’t play that game…well, there’re a few details that this game tends to completely either ignore or glance over. Specifically, the heroes of the mainstream DC Universe were brought over to the world primarily presented in these games and the comics to stop an evil Superman who had pretty much taken over with a new group made up of former heroes and villains called the Regime. And while this game takes place on that world, I think there’re maybe one or two passing references to the fact that Batman had help from good Superman and the Justice League in taking down Regime Superman (as in they did most of the work and he got all the credit), and the player is otherwise left to assume Batman was bad enough to bring down Superman all by himself. Also, no mention of the super pills they took last game, which are meant to explain how people like Batman, Harley, and other characters without superpowers can go toe-to-toe with superhumans, get tossed around in outer-fucking-space, and survive without so much as a scratch on them.
Another issue with the story is that it has a bit of a…complicated relationship with the tie-in comics. Nowhere is that more clear than in the first chapter of the story, which is actually set during an operation that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg were pulling on Arkham Asylum. Basically, some events that happened in the comics are considered canon, others aren’t, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern as to what is or isn’t, nor is it made 100% clear what all is and is not canon anymore. One thing we DO know about what’s been changed is that, while Damian did apparently still kill Nightwing by accident, it didn’t happen during the operation on Arkham. Instead, the thing that tears him and Batman apart is Damian killing Zsasz…who, in the comics, survived way longer than that, and was actually responsible for killing Alfred. So, right away, we’ve got a double retcon, and that’s not even taking into account certain details mentioned by Cyborg about the deaths of Starfire and Beast Boy.
Before I get to the two biggest things that bother me about the story, though, let’s talk about some positives. First, you know I’m a sucker for stories that involve a ton of characters, and this has a lot of different heroes and villains with a wide range of abilities, from Harley Quinn with her dynamite and mallet, to Doctor Fate, sorcerer supreme of the DC Universe. From Captain Cold, a former bank robber with a freeze gun, to Supergirl, the last hope of Krypton with almost God-like strength and powers. Even Dex-Starr, who is quite possibly the avatar of everything stupid-yet-awesome about comic books, plays a minor role in the story. Characters from all walks of life in the DC Universe have various parts to play in this crisis, and all prove their worthiness to be involved in such a tale. Sadly, the majority of them are taken down a few notches at best by the last two chapters, which I’ll get to, but it’s still awesome to see them all here. Even Joker makes a return via Scarecrow-induced hallucination, which leads to the awesome sight of Harley, in a somewhat close approximation of her classic costume, giving him a good ass kicking.
Another positive to the story is not quite something I suggested after playing through the first game’s Story Mode, but close and still appreciated. Several chapters of the game give you not one but two characters to play through with, and you choose which one to play as before each fight in that chapter. As such, you can mix and match who fights whom, or you can have your favourite of the two do all the ass kicking. It’s totally up to you. And I appreciate that. I personally suggested classic Marvel vs Capcom 2v2 style fights, but whatever. Still cool, and allows not only for different dialogue and scenes depending on who is involved in the fights, but for more characters to take center stage in each…at least until the end, but again, I’ll get to that.
So, now for something that annoys me to no end, and if you’ve played through the Story Mode and know me and the characters I like, you should be able to figure this out. Simply put, I am NOT a fan of how Superman, Wonder Woman, and Poison Ivy are written in this game’s story, especially the last two (although that could simply be that nothing Superman does could top what he did to Shazam last game, who is a CHILD). In particular, there is a scene where Poison Ivy uses her pheromones on Harley Quinn to turn her against her allies. Now, first off, I’d just like to point out that Harley is supposed to possess immunity to most poisons, toxins, etc., due to injections given to her BY Poison Ivy. But, let’s just ignore that for now, because that’s not what really aggravates me. Instead, after inhaling too much of Ivy’s pheromones, Harley starts going into shock, and Ivy’s reaction is to roll her eyes and show complete and utter apathy over her former lover lying on the ground dying five feet away from her… … …Linkara, I need you again!
Thank you!… … …Look, here’s the thing: I can see a situation where Harley and Ivy could be on opposing sides, sure, maybe even having to fight each other, but there is NO FUCKING WAY that Harley could be dying two feet away from Ivy, and Ivy would be on that level of not giving a shit. This is HARLEY we’re talking about. Regardless of if you subscribe to the idea of the two as a couple or not, the fact is that the second she saw her convulsing like that, she would have dropped EVERYTHING else and tried to help her, because be it in a romantic sense or not, Harley is one of the few people left that Ivy truly cares about. But she doesn’t. Why? Because Ivy is, in this story, irredeemably EVIL, as are Wonder Woman and Superman.
Now, I’ve brought this up in videos before, and they’ve brought up the defense that this is an alternate universe, so of course characters are gonna behave in ways we’re not used to. And yeah, as I said before, that was a thing in Injustice 1, and other than going to the extreme of Superman killing Billy Batson, I didn’t mind. So, why does it bother me here? Well, I thought about that, and I came to the following conclusion: It was easier to watch and deal with characters I knew and loved acting in such a manner in Injustice 1 because we had the versions we knew and loved going up against them. Hell, it actually made for interesting contrasts between them to see how they were so different, and yet had a starting point they could both be linked back to. Here, though, we don’t have that. We just have them acting like…well, MONSTERS. And, for that matter, why is it that we have characters who behave in a way that’s completely removed from the core of who they are, and then some who aren’t? Why are Barry and Hal able to realize the error of their ways in the previous game and try to redeem themselves, but Diana isn’t? You have to remain constant to the rules of how this alternate universe works, otherwise you’re inviting people to bring up these comments when stuff like this happens.
And then there’s my last issue: The end of the game, and if you don’t wanna know, then sorry, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. This is your only warning…Okay, so Superman and Batman go up to the Skull Ship to stop Brainiac, save Supergirl, and restore the stolen cities. Unlike in past chapters with multiple characters, the final two fights of this chapter have you fighting Brainiac twice, once with Superman and once with Batman. Personally, I would have changed it to where you choose which of them fights him the first time, and then Supergirl takes him on in the final battle. After all, not only does the Story Mode start with a flashback to her escape from Krypton after Brainiac invades, but we frequently see her side of the story as it unfolds even outside of her chapter, plus she gets a good shot in on Brainiac just before the last fight, AND she plays a big role in the ending of the game. So, clearly, the story largely centers around her, meaning it makes logical sense for her to be the one to take Brainiac down in the end. However, what’s a bigger issue is…that’s NOT the final chapter. The final chapter involves Superman and Batman, having successfully stopped Brainiac’s ship from crashing due to Superman interfacing with it, as well as managing to restore all of the Earth cities sans Metropolis and Coast City, coming to an argument over whether or not to kill Brainiac and take control of his Skull Ship, thus risking the remaining cities that haven’t been restored yet, or keep him alive long enough to restore the cities. And guess what? The story ends with them fighting AGAIN, leading to you choosing which one to play as in fighting the other and their allies. So the story ends with either Batman defeating Superman with a Kryptonite-enhanced armor and then banishing him to the Phantom Zone, then inviting Supergirl to take Clark’s place on a new Justice League, or Superman defeating Batman, bonding with Brainiac’s ship, imprisoning Supergirl in the red solar prison, and using Brainiac’s tech to turn Batman into his slave…Oh, and I’m assuming (don’t know this for a fact) that you get the special armor shown in the ending for the character you chose.
So, what’s my problem there? Well, it’s two-fold. The first reason I dislike it is because I would’ve personally ended the game with Brainiac’s defeat…then I would have had Superman DIE trying to use the ship’s systems to restore the Earth cities. Yes, I would have KILLED Superman. Barring that, I suppose he could’ve been left critically injured past the point of being able to recover quickly from solar rays, thus leaving him comatose or the like. Either way, I would have had the story end with him making that sacrifice, and then, as he lies on the floor, surrounded by friends and family, he looks back on how everything that went wrong stems from his decision to kill the Joker, and finally realizes his mistakes. It wouldn’t have magically taken away everything he did, but it would have at least let him go out saving the world and acknowledging that he did wrong. And then, from there, I guess you have Supergirl taking his place on the new League, the Regime all either surrender, go into hiding, or likewise realize their errors and join the new League, and so on. Oh, and I also would’ve added a teaser at the end for Darkseid deciding to try his hand at attacking Earth next, since…well, let’s be honest, that’s probably where they’re going.
The other reason I don’t care for the end of this game, either one, is because… … …Well, because I don’t care. I don’t care that Superman and Batman are fighting AGAIN. I’m too numb to it now. Why should I care that Superman and Batman are going to fight for the 11,311th time?…That’s one for every day since The Dark Knight Returns #4 came out, btw, and oh dear lord, I just now realized I’m two days removed from being exactly one year older than that comic. My God, I’m old. But the point still stands, I’ve just seen it too often, and I just don’t care to see it ever again. So ultimately, the ending doesn’t impress at all. It literally leaves me going “Oh yay, this again…”, and that’s not how a story should end. Like, it really says it all when, the first time they fight in the game during Chapter 1, all I can think during this scene that’s supposed to be really dramatic and sad is “Wow, I love the gold trim on Superman’s cape in this scene. Looks really good, and adds some much-needed colour balance between the red, blue, and yellow”.
So, as a result, for the ending leaving me so disappointed and for everything else that went wrong…I have to unfortunately give the story a thumbs down overall. There ARE moments I like and even love, like Harley beating down Joker, Hal Jordan fighting off the urge of the Red Lanterns’ rage, Cyborg vs Grid, the reveal that Batman kept the old round table for the Justice League, and so on. But it’s just overshadowed by a story that is infuriating at times and just unenthusing at others. Sorry, NetherRealm, but this is one story I just couldn’t give my approval to. Better luck next time, though.
Anyway, what did you think of the Story Mode? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s hope that Mr. Boon and DC listen to what we have to say next time. Ja né!
Injustice 2 – The Lines Are Redrawn Trailer
Welp, Injustice 2 is four months away, and we’ve got a new story-based trailer up, so let’s take a look, shall we?
So, with this trailer, we have confirmation of Robin, Poison Ivy, Brainiac, Bane, and Darkseid all either being playable or playing a role in the story. If they are all playable, then they join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Atrocitus, Aquaman, Deadshot, The Flash, Gorilla Grodd, and Harley Quinn. Also, as I understand it, at least A Green Lantern (probably Hal Jordan) will be in the game, there’ll be skin/voice patches to include Reverse-Flash, John Stewart, and Power Girl, and we’ve had hints that Doctor Fate and Captain Cold will be in the game. All in all, a rather impressive roster so far.
As for the trailer, I could do without the call back to Lois and little Jon’s murders, since, as you all should know, that’s kind of a hot button issue with me. Wasn’t fond of it when it was first revealed, still don’t like it now. But, I understand that it was the event that kicked Injustice off in the first place, so it would be impossible to continue this story without it. It sucks, but what can you do?
Anyway, still plenty of spots open on the roster, and more to come via DLC, so who would you like to see announced? Lemme know in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens between now and May 16th. 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!
Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Most Badass Wonder Woman Moments
So, it’s been a while since I last did a Favourite 5. What inspired this one? Well, basically, a friend of mine on Twitter, @HowBatmanIAm, talking about a tweet she received by some guy saying how, and I quote, “Wonder Woman sucks at everything”…There is NO WAY that a sane person could ever make that kind of claim and even think for a moment that they could get away with it. But I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, he’s probably just some guy that just loves manly heroes that punch shit, and therefore would be detracted from superheroines”. Well, it’s true that Wonder Woman IS a feminist icon (although not so much as of late), and is the symbol of compassion and love in the DC Universe (again, not so much lately). That being said, the guy is still an idiot. Why? Because, while Wonder Woman is all of these things, she’s also a frakking badass Amazon that you NEVER, EVER WANT TO PISS OFF! So, just going solely based on the male demographic’s view of superheroes punching the crap outta stuff, here are my 5 Favourite Badass Wonder Woman Moments, be they in comics, cartoons, or movies.
Okay, despite the image I’m using, I’m actually basing this pick off of the episode of Justice League Unlimited that was based on the original comic, as I haven’t actually read the book yet (I REALLY should someday, just to write up a comparison). Also, granted, in this fight, Wonder Woman spends most of it on the defensive, since it’s clear Mongul is far more powerful than her. However, give her some credit, even when Superman comes at Mongul in a rage afterwards, the Man of Steel’s only barely got an advantage. And even then, Superman relents for a moment and gets caught off-guard, which leads to Wonder Woman having to save him and put an end to the fight. So yeah, I’m counting this as a badass moment for Wonder Woman. Oh, and while I’m generally against the idea of DC heroes using guns, I CAN be okay with it in some circumstances, and the moment where she starts blasting Mongul is just too frigging awesome, and admittedly kinda hot. lol
Kinda cheating, but let’s be fair, The Circle really DOES feature Wonder Woman going full-blown badass for the majority of it. She fights gorilla soldiers, wrestles Captain Nazi, and defeats a group of rogue Amazons that tried to kill her as a baby. Don’t know who Captain Nazi is? Well, he was Shazam’s arch nemesis for a long time, and is basically a genetically altered super soldier. And yeah, I know, sounds more than just a LITTLE familiar, let’s just move on. Point is, you don’t fuck around with this guy, and Wonder Woman beat him in a straight-up fight. AWESOME. And, for those that love the more compassionate Wonder Woman, we get plenty of that too, as we see her deciding to spare Captain Nazi, as she has empathy for him and what he was turned into.
Basic premise: Roulette of the Legion of Doom decides to open a new fighting spectacular, where mind controlled Justice League superheroines are fighting each other. As the Justice Ladies start to free themselves, however, they find themselves face-to-face with the last one still under Roulette’s control: Wonder Woman. At this point, even Hawkgirl is afraid that they’re going to die, and I’ll explain why that is a little later, but suffice to say, the ensuing fight gets outta control pretty quick. Really, the entire episode is frigging awesome, but that moment when Wonder Woman is revealed as the last opponent is where you just go…well…someone wanna help me out here?
Thank you. ^_^
Y’know, at first I was gonna suggest that maybe the guy that sent the tweet was going based on the New 52, since Wonder Woman is admittedly a lot different here. But that theory is kinda blown away by THIS. Darkseid is levelling the Justice League, and they realise they need to take his Omega Beams out of the equation, so Wonder Woman decides they need to blind him. So, what does she do? She shoves her sword INTO HIS EYE SOCKET! And then, to follow that up, Aquaman, the other hero that’s supposed to be ‘useless’, stabs his trident into the other eye! How can you possibly argue against that being badass?! SWORD! DARKSEID! EYE!!! Oh, and for anyone that didn’t read Justice League: Origin, either go do so now or check out the animated movie Justice League: War when it comes out.
Okay, this technically isn’t really a badass moment, but it further validates my point. If you haven’t read JLA: Tower of Babel, Justice League #20 of the New 52, or watched Justice League: Doom (I’ve done all three, actually), I will explain this: In many cases and continuities, Batman has created contingency plans to neutralise other members of the Justice League, in the case that one should turn evil, be brainwashed, or replaced with a duplicate. Kinda paranoid behaviour, but considering that all three have occurred at one point or another, not irredeemable actions. In Justice League #20, he has each of these in a little box locked up in a vault in the Batcave. However, when he shows Superman Wonder Woman’s box (stop giggling, you know what I mean), it’s empty. The reason: Wonder Woman has no specific weakness. In Tower of Babel and Justice League: Doom, the contingency plans stolen from Batman and adjusted to kill the Justice League include nanomachines that make Wonder Woman think she’s in a fight she cannot win, but because she’d never surrender, she’ll just keep fighting until her heart gives out. In the New 52, the contingency plan is for Superman to disable her if necessary, and even then, you gotta wonder if that would work, considering Wonder Woman is a demi-goddess in the New 52. What does all that mean? Well, that people should be glad Wonder Woman is as good and compassionate as she is, because if you thought people were terrified of Superman when he pretended to go bad in ‘What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?’, that’s NOTHING compared to what Wonder Woman could do if she wasn’t the paragon of kindness that she is.
…Hmm, still feel like that’s kinda cheating, though…Oh, I know. Here’s an unofficial #6 to balance it out…
Okay, the reason this is unofficial is because I haven’t read the issue this picture is featured in, a crime I plan to rectify next year, and I’m going solely based on the image itself. With that said, LOOK AT THIS! This is AWESOME! I wanna take this picture, blow it up, and put it on my fucking ceiling, so that every day can start off EPIC! XD
Anyway, if I’ve reached anyone who isn’t a big fan of Wonder Woman, and I’ve shown you how awesome she can be, I hope you’ll also give her a look based on her more compassionate side as well. I know, she can be a great fight in contrasts, but speaking as someone who is still writing a Wonder Woman fanfic, I can honestly say that it’s the contrast that makes her so much fun to write. She’s a sisterly, motherly, compassionate, and loving individual, but may God have mercy on those that anger her. As for people who DO love Wonder Woman, be it for the depths of her compassion or how badass she can be, lemme know in the comments what some of your favourite Wonder Woman moments are. Ja né!
- What the Justice League Movie Needs (pastimeviewpoints.wordpress.com)
- 10 Superman Villains to Showcase Instead of Batman (wasduk.com)
- Justice League 3000 #1 Review (goodkindofgeek.com)
- Wonder Woman Cast in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN! (geektyrant.com)
- Wonder Woman Vs A Parademon In New JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR Image (comicbookmovie.com)
- Wonder Woman to be played by Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot (theguardian.com)
- LittleBigPlanet Will Combine Sackboy and Justice League via Premium Level Pack (news.softpedia.com)
- Disney Ladies Turned Into Badass Jedi, Sith, & Other Star Wars Variations (themarysue.com)
- DC’s Justice League Movie Must Get These 3 Things Right (dailyfinance.com)
- Book Review: FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING (unclenecro.wordpress.com)
- How to get Wonder Woman and just do the damn Justice League movie! (halftangible.wordpress.com)
Why I Won’t Be Buying Earth 2 Anymore (WARNING – SPOILERS)
So, tomorrow is Wednesday, and I plan to go to Heroes’ Beacon to buy some comics and talk about what I bought then and last Wednesday. However, before I get to that, there’s something I need to address, concerning a book I used to buy monthly that I am now dropping: Earth 2. This might come as a surprise, since Earth 2 was one of my favourite books, and while there are a lot of things I like about the initial run by James Robinson, there were problems as well, and those are only made worse by new problems. This is not a slam on Tom Taylor, who is taking over the book. This is just me saying why I am not buying the book. And for the record, as always, I’m not judging anybody for buying it. If you like it, great. Me, I cannot like this book as it is.
So, let’s start with one of the biggest things I do not like about where this plot is going: Red Tornado is actually Lois Lane. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that this means DC once again killed Lois Lane. Although, I suppose if she’s had her mind placed in an android’s body, at least she’s still active, and I’m actually not TOO against the idea of her as a superheroine. At least as a temporary thing. My hope is that they’ll eventually find a way to clone a new body for her and bring her back to normal. However, not only does that not seem likely, but it doesn’t matter much, as before that can happen, we get the clash I DO NOT WANT. AT ALL.
You might recall me mentioning at the end of my look at the last issue of Earth 2 that I bought that Brutaal, one of Darkseid‘s most powerful soldiers, was revealed to be Superman. Again, Superman being indoctrinated into working for Darkseid wouldn’t be as big a deal (at least to me, anyway), if not for the fact that this is now the fourth time, possibly more, we’ve seen Superman, be it in comics, video games, or movies, either turn evil or do something morally ambiguous or downright WRONG. And all of this in his 75th Anniversary. But, again, if not for that, I would’ve been fine with this…until the reveal of Lois Lane as Red Tornado. Now, it’s painfully clear that, at some point, Lois and Clark are going to fight, quite possibly to the death. And that is wrong, dammit. Clark Kent and Lois Lane should NEVER fight like this.
Then there’s the new Earth 2 Batman. The warning alarm was already going off in my head upon seeing that he killed people. But, I let it slide because it’s supposed to be Earth 2, the world of the Golden Age comics, and in the Golden Age, Batman killed people. So, I let it go. And then the leak happened. If you don’t know what I mean, basically, DC failed at social media and showed off an advertisement for the new Earth 2 figures on Twitter. And, for the figure for the new Earth 2 Batman, it listed him as Thomas Wayne. Now, I don’t know if it’s Thomas Wayne Sr. or Jr., but considering how a lot of the character who appear in the present of Earth 2 have no counterpart on the main DC Earth, it’s probably Thomas Wayne Sr.
…Okay, I’m aware this next sentence is gonna sound really hypocritical at first, considering my own works of fiction regarding Batman, but I will try my best to explain it. Thomas Wayne as Batman is a BAD idea here. Flashpoint was alright, as it was telling what might have been, and The First Batman was also okay, as it told a story of Thomas Wayne as Batman BEFORE Bruce while dressed in a costume for a charity ball. However, the idea of him REPLACING Bruce is just…no. Also, I would just like to point out that, following the leak, I contacted James Robinson on Twitter and asked if this was his idea or DC’s, and he took responsibility for it. So, make of that what you will.
And lastly, it’s been made clear in interviews that things won’t always end well for the good guys in Earth 2. In fact, things will often-times end VERY badly. Hell, it’s been suggested that Alan Scott MAY have been killed, not sure. This is HIGHLY problematic for me. I don’t like reading stories that leave little in the way of an optimistic future. Just my own little pet peeve. And before anyone says Batman, I will simply reply that you’d be surprised sometimes how much more optimistic Batman stories can be than others in the New 52. Things have gotten THAT BAD.
But yeah, those are my thoughts. I will say, though, that this probably works out for the best. Marvel has three new books, all with female leads, starting next year, and I’m gonna need to make some space for ’em. So, dropping Earth 2 will probably help a lot, as well as Fearless Defenders getting cancelled, and one other book I MIGHT be dropping (we’ll see). For now, leave a comment below about what you think of this direction with Earth 2, and I will see you tomorrow when I talk about…
- Top 10 Characters Needed For A Batman Versus Superman Movie (toptenz.net)
- 5 Batsuits We Might See in ‘Batman vs. Superman’ (screenrant.com)
- The 10 most insane alternate reality versions of popular superheroes (io9.com)
- Tom Taylor – An Exclusive House of Geekery Interview (houseofgeekery.com)
- Comic Review 11-06-2013 (goodkindofgeek.com)
- Too much of a good thing? (2andahalfnerds.com)
- 10 Relevant Hero & Villain Deaths (wasduk.com)
- Earth 2 #17 Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive: EARTH 2 #18 Variant Cover Reveal (comicvine.com)
- A Comic Fan Searches For A New Hero: Part 15, Superman (politicaljesus.com)
What I Bought Today – The Movement #5, Earth 2 #16 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Well, been awhile since I talked about new comics, but why don’t we sit back and discuss…
OYYY, as much as I get the reason they do theme months, you’d think the books that weren’t involved could’ve been published along the way. With that said, let’s take a look at one such a series, Gail Simone‘s The Movement.
…Yeah, um…I’m not really sure what to say with this one. Lemme give you the short version of the plot: James Cannon calls in a specialized team to deal with The Movement after last issue. Captain Meers finds out and tries to cut a deal with Virtue, and while she can tell the Captain is sincere in trying to find a peaceful solution that would benefit everyone, she refuses to call off the trial of officers Whitt and Pena, the ones who sexually harassed a teenager in issue 1. Pena pleads guilty and just wants to take his punishment and go home, but Whitt is overly aggressive and morally corrupt, knocking Vengeance Moth out of her wheelchair while in recess. This doesn’t go over well, as Vengeance Moth produces emerald-coloured moth-like wings of light and creates ultrasonic waves that disable him. Katharsis sees this and gets ready to execute Whitt, but Tremor disables her, creating an escape route for the two officers and telling Kulap that she quits…kinda under-minding her conclusions in issue 4. Speaking of Tremor, Mouse is actually writing her a love letter (which kinda comes right the fuck outta nowhere), when he stumbles upon the Cornea Killer in the middle of an attempted murder. Mouse manages to save the victim, but the Cornea Killer has a surprise waiting for him in the form of Cannon’s team: The Graveyard Faction. So, not really a bad issue, but I feel like we missed some developments somewhere, and unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve felt The Movement did so.
Earth 2 #16 is James Robinson‘s last issue, and holy shit, does he go out with a bang! O.O Again, long story short: The World Army pretty much get their asses handed to them at the hands of Steppenwolf and the Hunger Dogs, so Amar gives the order for everyone to fall back and evac as many civilians as they possibly can. As such, once Doctor Fate is finished healing them after their last battle went so poorly, Green Lantern, The Flash, Red Arrow, The Atom, Mister Terrific, and Sandman go about saving as many people as possible. However, Alan Scott catches sight of Steppenwolf and decides to let his fist meet the dictator’s face. However, one of the Hunger Dogs, Brutaal, blasts him down with what look to be Omega Beams. Atom tries to save him, but is punched down hard, leaving Alan alone to be beaten badly by the two, and…I’m not 100% sure, but…I-I think they may have murdered him. Either way, as Steppenwolf turns to face a camera and declare his victory, he gets literally torn apart by Brutaal, who blasts apart his own armour to reveal his true identity: Earth 2 Superman, completely under Darkseid‘s control. Sandman and the others fall back, but Superman seemingly destroys Dherain, all the while hailing Darkseid. Again, HOLY SHIT. I have no idea what’s gonna happen next, except that Batman will be trying to unite what forces Earth has that can stand against Darkseid. Guess I’ll just hafta keep buying to find out just what in the hell is happening, and hope that Alan Scott somehow managed to survive.
Well, that’s it for this week. And, if my guess is right, next week is gonna be EXPENSIVE for me…Yeah, I think I’m gonna need to go through a screening process to decide if there are any books I might wish to stop picking up soon. Ja né!
- Forever Evil Event: Justice League 23.1 (Darkseid) (comicbooked.com)
- Villains of Steel (Part 2) (dietelcomics.com)
- Superman / Batman – APOCALYPSE Movie Review (detectivemaxxzeqsterscreepycrawlyamazingadventures.wordpress.com)
- Review: “Justice League Vol. 01, Origin” (comicsauthority.com)
- The Movement #4 (timewantsaskeleton.wordpress.com)
- Gail Simone Comic Recommendations (siriuspotter7.wordpress.com)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Welcome back Agent Coulson *SPOILERS* (thehousebrokengeek.wordpress.com)
- Catching Up with Infinity (biffbampop.com)
- Spoiler Alert – Jokers Daughter – Spoiler Alert (misssouthernkitten.wordpress.com)
- Diametrically Opposed: Golden Age Green Lantern / Solomon Grundy (modernmythologies.com)
How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch? – The Legion of Doom, Darkseid, The Secret Society, And More
Welcome back to How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch. Nowadays, this is more me venting ideas for fanfics. Though, to be perfectly honest, with some of the crap I keep hearing about the insane decision-making by the heads of DC, Dan Didio in particular, rebuilding it from scratch might someday be necessary…Anyway, thought this time, I’d talk more villains and villainous groups. So, let’s start with…
No, not THAT Legion of Doom! lol
For these guys, they’d be the group of villains that are meant to be the answer for the Justice League, the villains meant to take them all down. Lex Luthor would be the founder of the group, although operating from out of prison just to be all the more awesome and show that he can. Parasite would be the counter for Superman, Giganta would be Wonder Woman‘s opposite, and Joker would act parallel to Batman. As for the others, they’d be dependant on who was on the League at the time (Professor Zoom for Flash, Sinestro for Green Lantern, Amazo for Cyborg, Despero for Martian Manhunter, Lady Shiva for Black Canary, and so on).
The Crime Syndicate of Amerika would pretty much function as it always has: The alternate reality versions of the Justice League of America and the Justice League International. Again, its roster would depend on the members of the JLA at the time. So in other words…
Ultraman – Superman
Superwoman – Wonder Woman
Owlman – Batman
Johnny Quick – The Flash
Power Ring – Green Lantern
Grid – Cyborg
White Martian – Martian Manhunter
Scream Queen – Black Canary
Sea King – Aquaman
Angelique – Hawkgirl
Blue Bowman – Green Arrow
Breakdance – Vibe
Vamp – Vixen
Fiero – Fire
Frostbite – Ice
…and so on. lol Heck, I might even throw in a few extras as henchmen, just for the sake of having a wide array of characters, which is actually why Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is N. Harmonik’s favourite DC Animated Movie, as well as one of my favourites…In fact, note to self: Review Crisis on Two Earths one of these days.
The ruler of Apokolips, I’d wanna bring Darkseid back to what he does best: Tear down everyone and everything in his way to find the Anti-Life Equation. Yeah, I know, it kinda makes him one-note, but to be perfectly honest, with all the secret organizations with their complex plans and bull-crap reasons for the things they do, it’s actually refreshing to have someone like Darkseid around. Now, I’m sure with that reasoning, people would want the classic Darkseid look back, but I dunno, I actually kinda like his new look…That is, his look in Justice League Origins, not his recent issue of Villains Month where his revised origins are that he was just a farmer who hated the Gods, which is so fucking stupid I could scream…but I digress. Also, to further his schemes, he’d be running THIS little group…
For the Secret Society, I’d wanna go back to the original idea behind them, that they were put together by Darkseid. Its inner circle of members, would probably be some of the most powerful, influential, and dangerous villains on Earth, who would likewise not care much if humanity fell. Gorilla Grodd, Cheetah, Black Hand, Poison Ivy, and Black Manta would make good choices. Naturally, they’d come up against the Justice Leagues on occasion, while Batwoman would personally be investigating them and trying to find the ties between them.
Sinestro would go back to being the instrument of fear in the universe, a former Green Lantern now seeking to kill every Green Lantern he comes across. He’d be coming to Earth to take on the Green Lantern stationed there, while the Sinestro Corps would only make occasional appearances, most of them involved in war with the Green Lantern Corps in the deep reaches of space. As for his costume, I think I’d wanna use the one he wore recently after merging with Parallax at the end of Wrath of the First Lantern.
For Amazo, I think I’d want to go back to basics and have him be an android that can copy the super-powers of his foes. He’d primarily be a foe of the whole Justice League, but he’d also come into conflict with Cyborg specifically from time to time, trying to prove the superiority of androids to cyborgs. As for his appearance, I think I’d wanna go with the modern look in the comics. Tempted as I am to use the look he has in Justice League Unlimited, this one just barely edges it out.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Lemme know what you think about these choices, and I’ll see y’all next time when I take a look at certain stories that I might wanna loosely adapt for fanfics sometime, what I’d change, what I’d keep the same, etc. Ja né!
- Justice League # 23.1 Darkseid Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- DC Promises “Huge Ramifications” From Villain-Focused “Forever Evil” (comicbookresources.com)
- Franchises Collide When “Scribblenauts Unmasked” Invades the DC Universe (comicbookresources.com)
- Tales of the Caped Crusader – My New Fanfic (WARNING – SELF-PROMOTION AHEAD, LOL) (jygersrant.wordpress.com)
- 10 Superheroes who really don’t need their own movie Which characters probably won’t ever make it to the big screen? (focusthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Aquaman Getting No Love In Justice League: War (thelazygeeks.com)
- Aquaman Swims to Animated Feature (animationfascination.wordpress.com)
- DiDio Attempts to Explain DC’s Marriage Ban; Will Scrap Last Williams/Blackman Batwoman Issues? (themarysue.com)
- Want to Be A DC Artist? Just Draw Harley Quinn Naked, Committing Suicide (tor.com)
- Why Am I Still Reading More DC Then Marvel? (redblooms.wordpress.com)
- Save Harley Quinn! …and, Love Loses Once AGAIN. (savingwonderwoman.wordpress.com)
What I Got For Christmas – Justice League: Origin + Justice League #5 & #6 Review (SPOILERS AHEAD)
So yeah, got some money and gift cards for Christmas, which means I’ll likely be getting what can be considered more stuff for Christmas. I’ll cover that later on, obviously. Also, I got The Dark Knight Rises for Christmas, but since I already gave my thoughts on that movie a long time ago, I’m not gonna bother here, so if you wanna know what I think, go read it. In the meantime, let’s dig into Justice League #5 & #6.
We open to Darkseid blasting the shit outta military aircraft. Flash gets up from Darkseid’s previous attack at the end of Issue #4 and yells at him to stop. However, he realises he was the first one up and is pretty much royally boned. Superman gets up next, but Darkseid fires his Omega Beams, Barry deciding to grab Superman and run for cover. They split up, but unfortunately the Omega Beams do too, and while Flash is able to vibrate through a Parademon to get it to take the blow, Superman isn’t so lucky. While Superman lives through the ordeal (because he’s Superman), the Parademons take him away while GL tries to take on Darkseid. It doesn’t go so well, Darkseid pummelling Hal and actually knocking him through the others before breaking Hal’s arm and walking off like a boss.
Batman finally tells it like it is to Hal Jordan: If he continues like this, and that if he doesn’t get out of his own way, he’s going to die. Batman unmasks, revealing himself to be Bruce Wayne (which results in what I personally find to be a hilarious panel where Hal has to ask who in the hell Bruce Wayne is), and Bruce tells him his story, of how his parents were murdered in front of his eyes when he was 10, and how he’s spent every day since training to fight the same criminals as those that took his parents’ lives. But Bruce notes, while removing his cape, the blades on his gloves, and even the Bat insignia on his chest (I guess it’s taped on? Maybe Velcro?), that this is bigger than him, bigger than any one of them. He tells Hal to rally the others while he goes to save Superman, letting the Parademons take him away while Hal admits that Bruce might just be crazier than himself.
Hal manages to get the others up and tells them what Batman said, that they need to start working like a team. He’ll turn the light up to get Darkseid’s attention so that the others can blind him, thus robbing him of his most powerful weapon and giving them a chance to take him down. Meanwhile, Bruce lets the Parademon lead him to where they were gathering before taking it down. However, what he finds is another Boom Tube, leading to their true gathering place, Darkseid’s homeworld, and if Hell was its own planet it would be this: Apokolips.
Issue #6 opens with a family taking cover from the Parademons before Darkseid himself arrives to slaughter them, the father narrating that he thought they were going to die until he saw THEM: Green Lantern and the others assaulting Darkseid. Diana wraps him in the Lasso of Truth and demands that he tell them why he’s there, but Darkseid cryptically replies that he’s there “For her” before punching Diana away. Meanwhile Cyborg continues to intercept transmissions between Darkseid and the boxes, called Mother Boxes (actually they were originally called Father Boxes, whereas New Genesis had similar boxes called Mother Boxes, take a shot). Through them, Cyborg can see many worlds, all burning under attack like theirs, but finally manages to get his sights on Batman.
On Apokolips, Bruce has found Superman being tortured by Steppenwolf and DeSaad…who have never been revealed in the New 52 prior to this and new readers have no idea what their deal is. Take two shots! Apparently they plan to use Supes to assist in the search for Darkseid’s daughter…and now I’m confused. His daughter? Do they mean Bekka? Possibly Big Barda? What’s going on? So yeah, since this point confuses ALL readers, I present the final rule of the New 52 Drinking Game: When everyone, be they new or old readers, are confused by a plot point, take 3 shots! Btw, I would just like to note that while anyone else reading is likely drunk off their asses right now, I get away with not taking any shots because I’m a Straightedge. XD But yeah, apparently that’s who “she” is, Darkseid’s daughter, and he’s wrecking his way through planet after planet trying to find her.
Back on Earth, Diana and Aquaman manage to put a sword and a trident through Darkseid’s eyes, but the big mo-fo is still coming, so Cyborg decides the only way they can stop him is to send him back where he came from. Tapping into the Mother Boxes, he opens Boom Tubes all around them, which also opens the door for Superman and Batman to make it back to Earth, Superman messed up and talking about seeing the Multiverse and another version of himself (see Earth-2). As soon as he’s back on Earth and sees Darkseid though, he hits him with a flying double punch so hard it causes it to become a two-page spread.
Y’know, as awesome as this is, and it IS awesome, I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen a far more epic beatdown to Darkseid before…
God, I love JLU. 😀 Anyway, Cyborg’s systems start overloading, but Batman tells him it’s him that’ll be doing this and not the computer, mind over the machine, heart of the cards, yada yada, and Cyborg finally manages to suck Darkseid through the Boom Tubes and shuts them, the Mother Boxes getting fried in the process. They notice that the civilians have gathered around them and Flash thinks they should leave before they get out the burning pitch forks. However, it seems that the people have finally figured out that the seven are the heroes who just saved the world and cheer for them.
We cut to a while later at Washington D.C., where President Not-Bush is giving a speech about the recent crisis while the heroes stand by, chatting to each other. Aquaman resents the suggestion that his armour is a costume, saying he’d never choose orange for it while Hal tells him he doesn’t mind the orange but that the necklace has to go. Cyborg isn’t sure he should be with them, but Barry says he should and should be proud, motioning to the crowd where Dr. Stone is watching, proud of his son. Steve Trevor is shown too, I guess just to show that he survived the battle, and the father from the beginning of this issue is shown typing a story while narrating what’s happening. Hal can’t believe the people think of them as a team of friends, but Batman tells him that they need to make the world believe they are. Plus, they need to be working together in case something like this happens again. Hal wonders what the chances of that are, but suddenly the President gets word there’s trouble and they need the seven again, Barry saying they can refer to them as the Super Seven. Hal is unamused by the name (for once, we are of like minds), and Flash says they’ll think of something, ending with the father, David Graves, finishing writing his book, “Justice League: Gods Among Us”.
Meanwhile in London, two creepy guys meet, talking about how new heroes are popping up every day, mentioning Green Arrow, Zatanna, and Hawkman. It’s at this point I should mention the fact that apparently at some point in the future, there were supposed to be new members to the League in the form of Deadman (Boston Brand), The Atom (Ryan Choi), Element Woman (Emily Sung), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Mera, Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), and a new revamp of the Golden Age character Lady Luck. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t happened yet, instead having Deadman (and Zatanna for that matter) being part of Justice League Dark, Mera mostly just sticking with her husband Aquaman (though she DOES appear in the crossover event Throne of Atlantis), Lady Luck apparently going to be appearing in The Phantom Stranger soon, Element Woman and Ryan Choi not having shown up at all, Ronnie becoming a new version of Firestorm that sees him bonding with Jason Rusch, and images of the upcoming Justice League of America shows Hawkman and Green Arrow being members of THAT team. This leads me to a few different conclusions as to what has happened, but I’ll get to that later. Instead, let’s just wrap up this page by explaining that these two men are members of the Religion of Crime from 52, thus hinting that they’ll eventually become important villains later on, but again, that hasn’t happened either.
Now, technically this isn’t the end of the comic, as we have a back-up story called “Pandora”. We see a man has been murdered in the streets, and among those in the crowd is Pandora. For those unaware, Pandora has actually been cameoing in the first issue of nearly every book in the New 52, the only exception to this that I’m aware of being Earth-2 (which actually makes sense, since it’s an alternate Earth). She takes a closer look at the body when she’s confronted by The Phantom Stranger, who says that “they” sent him to speak with her, “they” likely consisting of Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett, and Jeff Hardy… … …God, TNA storylines are stupid.
Pandora doesn’t seem all that amused by this, and The Phantom Stranger simply remarks that she should feel glad they didn’t send The Spectre, but Pandora claims she doesn’t fear The Spectre, having been judged by forces far above him: The Circle of Eternity. All of this is explained in a book that was made available on Free Comic Book Day, but just in case you don’t have it, I will simplify what’s happening here: Pandora and The Phantom Stranger make two of three individuals that were judged by The Circle of Eternity and punished eternally for their sins, the third apparently being The Question. TAKE A SHOT.
Anyway, it seems that the Phantom Stranger is aware of the changes that Pandora made to reality, Pandora claiming she realigned and strengthened it while the Phantom Stranger feels that she’s dangerous and has been in possession of ‘the box’ for too long. However, Pandora screams at him to not touch her and that she won’t just be an observer anymore. They get into a short fight before Pandora shoots him in the head with what I can assume to be a magic gun (seriously, where are people purchasing these? XD), but anyone who knows the Phantom Stranger knows that trying to kill him is like trying to fold a newspaper over 1,000,000,000 times, it just can’t be done. However, Pandora says that while she can’t kill him, she can HURT him, and knows the ultimate means of doing so: Telling the world who he is. Yeah, y’know how The Phantom Stranger’s identity and origins were always a mystery that, let’s face it, should have stayed a mystery since it makes his character all the more intriguing? Well, while it’s hinted who he is in that Free Comic Book Day comic, it’s pretty much been confirmed exactly who he is after The Phantom Stranger #0. Would you like to know? He’s actually JUDAS…Yeah, THAT Judas. As in the man who betrayed Jesus……………Dan Didio is a sick man! And so our comic ends with Pandora saying that she’ll be released from her curse, but only after she finds ‘The Strange’ and imprisons it, and that the Justice League will be the ones to help her, “Whether they like it or not”.
Yeah, the back story kinda sucks, but the rest of the book is awesome. The biggest issues that this book has is in the way it can confuse, baffle, and on occasions anger readers that have been reading prior to the relaunch, or even just fans who have been reading info on the various wikis and watched the cartoons or movies. However, when you consider that this book is supposed to be an introduction to the New 52, it’s kinda hard to judge it for that. Besides, the story is solid enough that it’s easy to enjoy. One problem I have is that while the story does manage to establish who everyone is, what their powers are, and what their motivations are, the one who is kind of left out is Superman, as we really only know that he’s an alien with speed and strength that rivals and often outright towers over every other member of the Justice League. However, it’s worth noting that the first arc of Action Comics in the New 52 was also a prequel story that explains Superman’s origins in the new universe…too bad it apparently wasn’t all that great. It’s also worth noting that Cyborg is the only member without a solo title of his own, but considering his story is pretty much told within Justice League, it’s not THAT big a deal. Would still be nice, though.
Overall, I have to give this book props and recommend it, especially for new readers looking to get into DC Comics. Although, it’s not the BEST book of the New 52, at least not in my own humble opinion. What do I consider the best book? Oh, my friends, be sure to check in again in a few months, when I begin a retrospective of Scott Snyder’s Batman.