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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!

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Who Should Be On The JLA Rebirth Team?

So, of the books that were revealed for Rebirth, one of them hasn’t had anything in the way of details revealed, and that’s JLA. I’m pretty sure it’s because they haven’t chosen a creative team yet, or it could be because of major game-changing events that’ll happen in the book that they don’t want put out there yet. Regardless of why, though, there’s no info, not even if it will continue to be a book about the primary seven members set in a non-specific point in time during their existence, or a brand new team altogether. If it’s the latter, though, I’m sure there are several at DC who are adding their two cents as to who could be on the team. With that said, because I am an opinionated blogger with a big mouth, here’s a list of heroes that I think would make for good members of the Justice League of America, should it prove to be a completely separate team. Please note that these suggestions are based around the individuals, not how they would operate as a team, and they don’t ALL have to be part of it (duh).

John Stewart, AKA Green Lantern

John Stewart, AKA Green Lantern

Honestly, though, any of the Earth-born Green Lanterns that don’t have their own books could work here. I just picked John because he’s my favourite. The thing is, though, that I could always justify his non-presence on a Justice League team nowadays because he was one of the main characters of the Green Lantern Corps books. However, now that book is being taken over by Hal Jordan, while Hal’s position on Earth is being given to Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. As such, it really doesn’t feel like there’s a heck of a lot for John to do, which is a real shame. So, I would personally advise putting him on the JLA, possibly even as the leader.

Ronnie Raymond, AKA Firestorm

Ronnie Raymond, AKA Firestorm

Well, you’re not doing anything else with him once the Legends of Tomorrow book ends, so why not? Especially now that casual viewers of the Flash TV show have been exposed to the character. It’d be a nice way to get more people to read. That said, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with Jason in the LoT book, but I hope he isn’t being tossed aside completely.

John Henry Irons, AKA Steel

John Henry Irons, AKA Steel

I would imagine Steel will likely be part of Superman’s Super League, but no reason he can’t pull double duty, especially since that team isn’t getting its own book, at least not yet. Plus, since Superman is gonna be busy elsewhere, and Supergirl already has her own book, it’d be good to give the inheritor to the title of Man of Steel some more exposure by having him be the member of the Superman Family to represent them on this team.

Ted Kord, AKA Blue Beetle

Ted Kord, AKA Blue Beetle

Again, I suppose either Ted or Jaime could work in this situation. Really, the reason I went with Ted is because I figured, since we’re getting him back anyway, might as well make the most of him, right? Plus, since I think this team could stand to NOT have Batman on it, you need someone who is smart, adaptable, strategic, and tenacious, and Ted fills that role well while also being more light-hearted than the Dark Knight. That said, much as I like the two working together, might be a good idea to not pair him with Booster Gold and have him slacking off and making get-rich-quick plans.

Mera, AKA DO NOT CALL HER AQUAWOMAN, YOU MOTHER FUCKERS! lol

Mera, AKA DO NOT CALL HER AQUAWOMAN, YOU MOTHER FUCKERS

Can someone please tell me why Mera is not an official member of the Justice League? How many times does she have to stand beside them and bail them out of trouble before she gets her own official membership? And that’s just in the New 52 alone. And to anyone who thinks her powers are lame, lemme spell this out for you: How much of the world is made up of water? Better yet, how much of the HUMAN BODY is made up of water? If you don’t know why that’s terrifying, watch the episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender that deals with Bloodbending. lol

Cisco Ramon, AKA Vibe

Cisco Ramon, AKA Vibe

Like Ronnie, this would be a good character to add to the book for the sake of getting the attention of those who were introduced to him via the Flash show. And frankly, I don’t understand why this character was benched after Forever Evil. I really liked the New 52 interpretation of Vibe. I actually held it up as an example of the reboot changing a hero up and doing it right. Vibe went from arguably the worst member of the Justice League to someone I would honestly want on my team at all times.

J'onn J'onzz, AKA Martian Manhunter

J’onn J’onzz, AKA Martian Manhunter

Seriously, after this whole thing with Mars invading Earth is over and J’onn can be free of whatever nonsense was keeping him away from the other heroes of the DCU, he needs to rejoin the League. He needs to reconnect with his fellow heroes. I’m honestly a little worried about him from a psychological standpoint of being away from them for so long. Also, what is up with DC wanting to give people arm blades nowadays? It’s just so odd an aesthetic alteration to make for both J’onn and Wonder Woman.

Luke Fox, AKA Batwing

Luke Fox, AKA Batwing

…Let’s be honest, there’ll be a Bat on this team. And do we REALLY want Batman on EVERY team? Meanwhile, we’ve got Luke Cage, who isn’t doing anything outside of being an ally/love interest of Batgirl’s, and I don’t even know that he’ll be keeping that position in Rebirth. So why not include him here? Plus, he was one of the best parts of the newest Batman animated movie, so it would make for a nice cross-promotional move to add him to the team. Lastly, though, if he gets on the team, we totally gotta see him working with Steel. Just sayin’. 😛

Anyway, those are a few suggestions DC could go with. Got any I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens with the book in the future. Ja né!

New Books DC Could Do In The Context Of The New 52 RIGHT NOW

So, you know how yesterday, I talked about how many different female characters DC could have starring in books right now? Well, in hindsight, there’s a lot of characters, male and female, that could use their own books, and just a whole whack of books that DC COULD be doing right now, without changing much about the current direction of The New 52 (I WOULD change it to at least be less bleak and grim, but whatever). And hell, they really SHOULD do this, since, as has been well established by now, The New 52 is no longer new, nor does it have 52 books, hence they could use some brand new books to get it back up to 52 and freshen things up at the same time. And before anyone says that the name refers to the new state of the Multiverse, I call bullshit, since they only started putting out books involving more worlds than just the primary one eight months into said relaunch, and only began showing the full changes to the Multiverse this past year. But yeah, new books. Here’s just a few that come to mind.

Red Robin

Believe it or not, but I really DO hate to sound like a broken record. With that said, I still don’t get why Red Robin doesn’t have his own book, when Tim Drake was the first Robin to get his own solo series, which lasted for quite some time. Now, as an alternative to giving him his own book, you could otherwise give him Detective Comics (because Batman has enough books that he’s currently starring in, and Detective Comics could use a new protagonist to be honest), or even just a back-up in Detective Comics.

Justice League of Amazons

Does anybody else remember the story where the JLA was split up by alien invaders erasing all knowledge of the group, leading to the individual members creating eight or so different Justice Leagues? Well, one of the teams was called the Justice League of Amazons. How would I do that? Basically, I’d have all the female ex-Justice Leaguers from the various League teams in The New 52 banding together. So, characters like Vixen, Fire and Ice (assuming Fire came out of her coma, I have no idea), Katana, and Black Orchid, while also adding Batgirl (because of course we gotta have a Bat on the team, lol), and taking the time to finally bring back Troia, since apparently that woman in Future’s End is NOT Donna Troy.

Spoiler

Spoiler

This one actually has interesting timing, since apparently the Smallville books are coming to an end, meaning Bryan Q. Miller could write. I’m just gonna say this right now, and I sincerely hope that someone in charge of DC is listening: You do a Stephanie Brown book with Bryan Q. Miller as the writer, and just let him do a good book without much in the way of interference, I will HAPPILY buy that book. Just let him do his thing, which is showing Steph do her thing.

Cyborg

Cyborg

I still maintain that having Cyborg be the only member of The New 52’s magnificent seven (or the Super Seven, as Barry Allen claims) who doesn’t have his own book is just dumb. Granted, it’s made for some great Cyborg-centric stories in Justice League (yeah, believe it or not, I really like some of the stuff they do with Cyborg in that book), but I just feel that he could have his own book. Hell, maybe even follow up on his arc in Forever Evil and call it ‘Cyborg and the Metal Men’.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

…No, really, I DO hate to be a broken record. With Poison Ivy, I would follow up on Batgirl Annual #2, with Ivy trying to get through her issues. Maybe they could do something neat where she’s staying in Arkham for help, but she also sneaks out at night to help people. Also, while I would hesitate to say I wanna see a crossover with Batgirl but would still understand it and probably enjoy it nonetheless, NO CROSSOVERS with Harley. Seriously, the Harley Quinn book has made Ivy look SO bad. Now, I know that when this book first came out, I was praising the crap outta it, but honestly, after about a year, while I don’t necessarily mind Harley’s solo antics, the stuff they do with Ivy is just plain WRONG, and this whole thing with the drug-scented book is a BAD idea, and I heard rumours of some comments made by the creators that were somewhat controversial, but I don’t really wanna go there.

More Young Justice Titles

More Young Justice Titles

I don’t know if anyone even remembers this point anymore, but the books in The New 52 are divided into ‘families’: Justice League, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Young Justice, The Edge, and The Dark. Now, I could go on a long-winded rant about how Wonder Woman and Aquaman don’t have their own family books, but I won’t just yet. Instead, let’s look at the fact that there is only ONE book in the Young Justice family, and that’s Teen Titans. Let’s look at some of the younger heroes that are established right now in The New 52 alone (admittedly some of whom have appeared in Future’s End): Skitter, Vibe, Kid Flash (both of them), Solstice, Blue Beetle, Static Shock, Bluebird, Emiko, Thunder and Lightning, Hawk and Dove, Jesse Chambers, Cassandra Cain, Mary Marvel, Lagoon Boy, Firestorm, and Tanya Spears, AKA the new Power Girl (which, with her being a thing, means that Kara Zor-L should really be Power Woman now). Now, granted, some of these characters were given their own books that got cancelled, some of which kinda deserved it (looking at you, Hawk and Dove), but there’s also more than enough there that could get their own teams, or at least join up with the Titans. Actually, I keep hearing the new Power Girl might be joining up with the Titans in the future, which honestly, I would LOVE if it happened. 🙂 But yeah, needs to be new Young Justice books.

President Superman

President Superman

I’m very glad that this character is highlighted rather prominently in The Multiversity, but I would LOVE to see a solo book about President Superman, and maybe even the whole world. I just love the concept…also, I would love to see the book just because I would love to see the explanation for how NO ONE knows that President Calvin Ellis is Superman. Seriously, how can NO ONE figure that out?! It’s not even a Clark Kent thing, where he wears glasses, slouches, or acts differently from how he does as Superman! Hell, his personality as both is rather similar, in that he is a compassionate yet authoritative figure! And I can understand why no one would think that Clark Kent is Superman, but who WOULDN’T suspect that the Man of Steel is someone big and important?! I dunno, it just bugs me. But otherwise, I love the concept of the character, and would love to see him get an ongoing.

Anyway, I think that’s enough to prove my point. Lemme know what books you would like to see added to The New 52, or just new books DC could do in general. Ja né!

The Future of the Justice Leagues? What I’d Do With The Teams Following Forever Evil (WARNING – SPOILERS FOR TRINITY WAR)

So it’s been a while since I talked about what I’d do with the New 52 given certain situations, but this one just kinda hit me now. As most of us know, following Trinity War, there’ll be a massive event called Forever Evil. According to solicits for DC Comics in September and October, the Trinity War will end with the “deaths” of the Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark, along with nearly all of their members, with the Secret Society of Evil going on a rampage and taking over the world in the absence of the world’s greatest heroes. Now of course, we can kinda gather that this’ll likely turn out to be a ruse of some sort by the Justice Leagues to take down the villains all at once, or that they’re simply put out of commission temporarily and find a way to return to action. Still, it makes one wonder what exactly will be the shape of these three teams following the event.

My personal vote, if it had any meaning whatsoever? I’d say have the Leagues come together to be three distinct teams of a single Justice League. They would continue working as they have been, with the Justice League operating as the #1 response team to the biggest threats to the world, the JLA as the government controlled team, and the JLD as the response team to supernatural threats, but they would also be actively assisting each other wherever possible. Heck, they could even change-up certain members, even add a couple to their ranks, then form a sort of counsel of one or two members from each team to form a leadership role for the group on a whole.

So who would I move where? Well, for starters, I think I’d move Zatanna back to the JLD for the purpose of being its team leader (because I can’t frakking stand Constantine), possibly bring Element Woman with her, bring Amethyst back to the team, and if it turns out that Doctor Light is still alive, I’d move him there too. Also, if he isn’t already, I’d make Swamp Thing a full member. I’d probably swap Cyborg and Martian Manhunter between the teams, as well as Firestorm and The Atom (remember, The Atom is a spy from the JLA right now). Finally, provided she can get away from the DOA, I’d put Batwoman on the JLA, maybe bringing along Goldrush, and I’d finally bring back Hal Jordan to the Justice League, have Shazam stay on the team, and possibly bring Vixen to the team.

I swear to God, DC, if you kill Dick Grayson…

So, with all that said, the teams would look like this…

Justice League

Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Hal Jordan, The Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Shazam, and Vixen

Justice League of America

Steve Trevor, Green Arrow, Katana, Hawkman, Catwoman, Vibe, Simon Baz, Cyborg, Stargirl, Firestorm, and Goldrush

Justice League Dark

Zatanna, Constantine, Frankenstein, Deadman, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, Doctor Light, Element Woman, and Amethyst

…Anyway, that’s just my thoughts. Lemme know what you think below, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!

What I Didn’t Buy Yesterday (And Why I Should Have/Shouldn’t Have) – Justice League #20, Batman: The Dark Knight #20, Batman: Li’l Gotham #2 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So let’s talk about some books that I didn’t buy yesterday, why I should have/shouldn’t have, and ultimately why I didn’t. Let’s start off with Justice League #20.

First off, I only briefly skimmed through this book, and while I’m usually good on picking up details, I may have missed a couple here or there, so if you wanna know the full deal, read the book yourself. Anyway, we get to see the three newbies (FirestormElement Woman, and The Atom) take on DESPERO, of all people, who has the Kryptonite ring stolen from the Batcave last month, although he himself didn’t steal it, and it’s been altered to fit his giant fingers. However, while Despero is able to plough through them easily enough, he has less than stellar results when Martian Manhunter makes a surprise arrival at the Watchtower, telling Atom not to reveal that he was there after dispatching Despero, so she has to tell the other Leaguers that she managed to fluke her way into taking him down. After recovering the ring, we learn that, yes, in this continuity, Superman is still the one that gave the Kryptonite ring to Batman, just in case something happened where he was mind controlled or turned to evil or for whatever reason he might be forced to power Supes down. However, he’s less than thrilled when he finds out that there’s a box in the Batcave for each member of the League, each containing a fail-safe for each one. It’s at this point that Batman tells him other reason he doesn’t like the idea of him and Wonder Woman dating, as he shows Clark Diana’s box to reveal there’s nothing inside (shut up, don’t make that joke). Instead, should the need arise, Batman chose Superman to be his fail-safe against Wonder Woman, should the need arise. However, to keep things even, Batman hands him another box: The one containing the fail-safe against Batman, and insists that if Clark is truly his friend, he’ll use it on him if he’s ever turned rogue. We don’t see the contents, but whatever it was, it shocked Superman pretty bad.

So getting back to Rhonda Pineda, the new Atom, I’ve REALLY been enjoying her as a character. She’s smart, witty, and kind of a geek, as she apparently spends her free time shrinking down to enter and play MMORPGs. And yeah, as I made no attempt to conceal, I find her kind of hot, too… … …She’s the mole. She’s the one that hacked the Watchtower database and downloaded the entire history of the Justice League. It’s not entirely her fault, though. She doesn’t want to continue doing this, but she’s being made to. Turns out, she’s a member of the JLA, picked out to be the counter for Element Woman, and forced to do Amanda Waller‘s work.

So yeah, why didn’t I buy this issue? Mostly that, plus money, plus the Shazam mini-story that is, as per the norm, terrible. And I’m just gonna say this now: I’m dropping Justice League of America. Why? Well, remember how I said this book was headed to a not-very-fun place? I’m sorry, but it’s clear to me that the plot of this is essentially Suicide Squad with superheroes, except that some of the heroes on the team aren’t being written to be all that heroic. Just some free advice: When the most heroic members of the team are Vibe, Stargirl, and Steve Trevor, that’s a problem. Why? Because Steve isn’t even a superhero, Stargirl isn’t even an active member of the team and instead being made to work as their public face, and Vibe, while his reintroduction in the reboot has been pretty awesome, is still kinda young and feels out of place at times, like he should’ve been on Titans or something. Oh, and it gets better, because they’ve decided to BRING BACK DOCTOR LIGHT! No no, not the good one, the fucking rapist!…DOCTOR COX, I NEED YOU AGAIN!

THANK YOU, DOCTOR COX! Just…Geoff Johns, NO! Just, NO! I respect the hell outta you, and of course am sad to hear that yer leaving Green Lantern, but NO! There are characters that should be brought back and given a second chance, and there are freaks like this that need to remain dead and buried! NO!

SYMBOLISM!!!11!! OMFGWTFGENIUS!

Batman: The Dark Knight #20. First off, I wanna apologise to someone who shall remain nameless due to a pretty bad argument/discussion that broke out last night over this issue. But I digress, for all of the bad this series has had, this issue is the worst of all, and makes me so glad I dropped it a year ago. The story is pretty much crap, with Bruce continuing to grade to the point where he as a character is only motivated to make his life better by flashbacks of his parents, and Alfred actually starts talking him into considering hanging it up as Batman. But what makes me despise this issue more than any other? Well, remember that time I brought up the stupidity of Batman revealing his true identity to Natalya, the love interest no one cares about?

She’s dead. Oh, and not just dead, but she got the crap kicked out of her by Mad Hatter’s goons and then dropped out of a helicopter straight down onto the Bat Signal (see what I meant about symbolism?)…Y’know, I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t an active reader before the relaunch, but I’ve heard some pretty sick tales of characters treated like this in comics, particularly women. And frankly, I am sick to death of seeing this shit!

And finally, that leads to Batman: Li’l Gotham #2.

So what are my thoughts on it?…None. Kinda the reason why I didn’t buy it: It was sold out by the time I got to the store. But I’m hoping to get an issue of it soon enough, and then I’ll share my thoughts with y’all…I will say that, even without reading it, it automatically gets points for having Damian in it, alive and well.

So that’s what I did not buy yesterday, though hopefully I buy one of them sooner than later. Leave your comments below, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!

What I’d Do With The New 52 – Part 06: My First 52 Titles (27 – 39)

Well, here I am again, talking about what I’d do with the New 52. I’ve already gone through the first half of the books I’d have made, though I would like to make the additional note with Catwoman to restore her knowledge of Batman’s identity as Bruce Wayne. Also, I feel the need to remind that while I obviously don’t buy every book in the New 52, I have done my homework on a lot of the books and the back-stories for the characters featured in them, mostly out of curiosity. That outta the way, let’s go over the second half, and here is probably where things get interesting…

Seriously, why in the hell isn’t there a Blue Lantern Corps book? Oh sure, we do get plenty of moments of Saint Walker being a badass, but I don’t really consider that a big enough presence. Also, something that’s been bugging me about the Corps for some time now: Why is it that the Corps with the ring that can negate the effects of the Red, Yellow, and Orange rings only has like a handful of members, not one of which are from Earth (unless you count Kyle Rayner)? I’m just saying, there are plenty of characters they could introduce as members of the Corps, or pre-existing characters who could become Blue Lanterns. Heck, I was actually thinking the other day that if Simon Baz feels repetitive to fans as a Green Lantern (possessing a lot of the same traits as the other Earth-born Lanterns), why not change it up and have him join the Blue Lantern Corps after Wrath of the First Lantern is over? As for what I’d bump out for it, probably I, Vampire. Sorry to fans of that book, but I had to pick something.

And speaking of blue, Blue Beetle…Ugh, where do I start with this thing? I don’t like what they did with Jaime’s not knowing his identity in the relaunch. I don’t like that the Scarab is constantly trying to control him instead of them being equal partners, and is constantly trying to kill people. And frankly, I HATE that scene where Jaime hits Brenda and then aims his cannon at her as a way to trick the enemy. It’s no frigging wonder this book was cancelled with all that said. Also, since he’s a teen, I’d probably occasionally have him cross paths with the Titans, and possibly this next guy…or guys, rather…

First off for Fury of Firestorm (dammit, I love alliteration, lol), I’d take out the obvious racial overtones that appeared in the early issues between Ronnie and Jay, instead going the route of comedic hi-jinx for their lack of getting along. Also, I’d probably go the route of them needing to merge into the singular Firestorm from the get-go…I get the feeling these choices are influenced by my love of Kamen Rider W. lol Oh, and I’d also make the villains a bit less Die Hard rejects in how unnecessarily violent they make the book.

Yep, I’d bring back New Gods. Who would I have star in it? Why, Mister Miracle and Big fucking Barda, fighting the forces of Darkseid from behind enemy lines while keeping contact with the Justice League. I’d probably get Orion involved on occasion, too, though obviously better written than he’s gotten as of late in Wonder Woman, and would later have a crossover with Earth 2 for when they show up there. I’d probably cancel Men of War, since it kinda got lost in the shuffle of things, and I just think a Mister Miracle/Big Barda book would be too awesome to leave out is all.

Not much I would change with Green Lantern: New Guardians, except putting even more emphasis on the varying characters who appear. Also, since the book is called New Guardians, I likely would not be able to resist putting Snowflame in an issue. Likely the very first one, where it would show him in battle with Kyle Rayner on Earth or instead of the scene with the crane.

Same thing with Green Lantern Corps, can’t say as I’d change anything.

Hawk and Dove, how many different ways can I say “NO ROB LIEFELD!!!”? Also, I’d probably make Hawk a little less of a psycho, and eventually added as agents of the Birds of Prey.

Even IF I wanted to change something with Demon Knights, I still wouldn’t. Why? Well, it’s very simple: It’s because Linkara would hunt me down and put a magic gun bolt in my skull. lol

One thing I’ve realised is a major contributor to the problems with Batman Incorporated was that the new volume for the New 52 started in May of 2012, a full 8 months after the relaunch occurred. If the book had those 8 months, they could’ve done so much more. They could’ve shown more of Knight and Squire, so that Cyril’s eventual death has more impact than just a shock death to show the Fatherless was ‘fo serious, yo’, and to elevate Beryl. We could’ve seen some of the changes occurring within the group, like Dick Grayson’s decision to become Nightwing again, or David Zavimbe’s changing role in the group (since I elected to have the stuff with Luke Fox in Batwing from the beginning), and what he did otherwise. We could’ve seen stuff with Black Bat, the Outsiders, Renée Montoya, and so many others. Hell, they could’ve shown more of Ra’s al Ghul, since he initially disappeared in #2 and didn’t show up again until recently. And yes, I know that apparently Chris Burnham and a few others are going to be doing up a special for Batman Incorporated after it’s done to show more of what the characters were doing and will be doing, but it still feels like we could’ve had more. Oh, and above all else, I’d want to make sure there was more FRAKKING CONSISTENCY between this book and the other books featuring the characters in it. As for what I’d knock off to make room, I’m gonna go with Grifter and instead have that character appear in Secret Six.

Meh, can’t say as I’d change much with Red Lanterns, except that I’d probably call the book Red Lantern Corps. And now for the last three of this group of books…

…I hate the Phantom Stranger’s book so much in its current state. And frankly, I don’t understand why it started a full year after the relaunch, and why Pandora’s book is only starting next month. And frankly, there’s a lot that could be done with a trinity of books for the Trinity of Sin (as opposed to two and leaving The Question out in the cold) being released at the beginning. What specifically? Well, here’s an idea: TELL US HOW THE ALTERATION TO HISTORY WORKED! How did Pandora do it, what was changed as a result, what stayed the same, how did some things stay the same when other things changed, all these questions that people have asked since the reboot was first announced that we’re still waiting on answers for. And who better to help us discover these things than The Question? Plus, we could see and learn more about the Trinity of Sin, what they did to deserve their punishments, how they’re coping, what they’re doing to try and atone for their misdeeds. And hell, it would’ve served as much better build up toward the eventual Trinity War than we’ve gotten so far. As for what I’d cancel, I’d have to go with O.M.A.C., Captain Atom, and Static Shock, instead moving the first two to Justice League International and Static Shock to Teen Titans.

…So yeah, 39 books down, 13 to go. Check out next time when I FINALLY put the lid on this sucker. Ja né!

What I Didn’t Buy Today (And Why I Should Have/Shouldn’t Have) – Justice League #18 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So I thought, as a little something special, I’d talk about one comic that I was kind of on the fence about buying, but ultimately decided not to. There were a few reasons that I could have bought it, though, and that’s what I’d like to cover here. So with that said, let’s look at Justice League #18.

So why should I have bought it? Well, for starters, there wasn’t much in the way of Superman/Wonder Woman romance, so detractors of that relationship would be happy. But I think the big attraction here is the LARGE cast of characters. Basically, after the last issue where the Justice League put the kibosh on the Atlantis invasion, Batman realised that it was likely that their enemies would start joining up against them, and that the government would lose faith in them. Thus, Batman and Cyborg explain that Cyborg has a network in his mind keeping mental track of lots of the known superheroes in the world called The Grid, hence why he was able to call for help when the others were in trouble. They then explain that they should consider recruiting some new members, and Flash suggests it might be a fun idea to have them come up to the Justice League Watchtower for a little meet and greet. As such, we are treated to seeing them meeting and conversing with Nightwing, Black Canary, Firestorm, Goldrush, Vixen, Element Woman, Black Lightning, Platinum, and more.

Anyway, for some weird reason, Platinum goes haywire, attacking everyone. They need to try and shut her down, but no one can get close, so Element Woman and Firestorm try to hold her off, Firestorm using his powers to try to force her back into her liquidy state and thus revealing…I think it’s her central processor, I’m not sure. Anyway, once it’s revealed, it gets taken care of with the emergence of The Atom. However, if you’ve been following along with news as of late, you’ll know that this is a new Atom, and…and…

Rhonda Pineda, AKA The Atom

Rhonda Pineda, AKA The Atom

…A-And, um…I, uh…

*slaps myself HARD* ANYWAY! So yeah, Firestorm, Element Woman, and The Atom are recruited into the League, mainly because they’re available full-time (what with Firestorm’s book getting cancelled, lol) and because they pretty much saved everyone’s asses. However, all is not well as someone sends an anonymous threatening message to their computer, thus setting up for the next arc which is promised to be lead-up for The Trinity War, the next big crossover event for DC.

So, why didn’t I get this? Well, admittedly this is kind of biased on my part, but I can sum it up in one word: Shazam. I hate the crap out of the Shazam mini-series that’s been included in Justice League ever since the beginning of the second arc of the book. It really centres around the fact that I don’t like what they’ve done with Billy Batson‘s character, changing him from a sweet, innocent boy who wanted to do the right thing and be a hero into a little punk who cons people out of their money. However, as I understand it, that story will be coming to a head in Justice League #21, thank goodness. If you like it, fine, I won’t argue with you over it, but me personally, I’m counting down the days until that subplot is over.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this comic. Feel free to leave your own, and hey, maybe I’ll do this more often in the future. Ja né!