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Nightwing Cancelled – What’s Next For Dick Grayson?

Okay, I know I’m kinda late to the party, but I thought I’d give my thoughts on a controversial announcement coming outta DC: Nightwing is cancelled. Given what’s been going on in Forever Evil, with Nightwing’s unmasking by the Crime Syndicate, his identity being made public knowledge, Chicago apparently being attacked by the Secret Society, and constant hints and teases that he’s going to be killed by the end of the series, that doesn’t exactly bode well for Dick Grayson. In addition, the fact remains that Dan Didio, arch nemesis of comic fans ’round the world, has wanted to kill the character at least once before. And since then, Dick has become Batman for a short time, and we know how Mr. Didio feels about characters that replace other characters in their aliases. So, with all of that said, there’s two possibilities as far as what’s going to happen.

  1. Dick Grayson is going to die. In my opinion, the wrong choice to make. Even ignoring the simple fact that his book is getting cancelled (and for the record, I really liked the current arc where he was stationed in Chicago), there’s still more that can be done with the character. Also, it would mean that the only canon Robin of this Earth to never die is Tim Drake, and you KNOW someone would see that and go “Whoops! Gotta kill Timmy now!”.
  2. Dick Grayson will live, and this will turn out to be a massive swerve. It’s even possible he’ll fake his death or die and be brought back to life right away. For me, the better option of the two. Evidence suggesting this is that, while Didio has wanted to kill him before, he’s apparently been “proven wrong” on that call. Also, while it isn’t exactly concrete, the blond fellow in the Thanksgiving pic is wearing a mask that greatly resemble’s Dick’s, meaning he could be assuming a new identity to keep villains off his back.

Also, girl in the purple hoodie is most likely Steph.

Regardless, I get the feeling Nightwing won’t remained cancelled for very long. A year, tops. For, even if Dick Grayson dies, there’s been some artwork making the rounds as of late…

Not too keen on the gun, although I suppose it might not fire bullets. Love that she’s bringing the blue back, though.

What does it mean? Well, the most popular rumour is that this is Harper Row, assuming the mantle of Nightwing due to the character’s death/faked death/retirement/whatever. Either way, the next issue of Batman is apparently a preview of what’s to come in the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly series (which also features the return of Stephanie Brown), and in a preview for said issue, Harper is shown prominently. If it IS her, we’ll probably get a hint of that then. My theory is that, either during Batman Eternal or following it, Nightwing will be given a new Issue #1 and will star this new Nightwing, presumably Harper.

Nightwing #30’s cover DEFINITELY doesn’t help quell the belief that he’s gonna die.

Either way, I hope this turns out to be a massive swerve, and it would actually be a pretty good one when you consider just how much evidence suggests that Dick will die. I will keep everyone posted if anything new comes up, though, so leave your comments below, and we’ll see what happens. Ja né!

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What I Bought Today – Talon #12 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, I went to Heroes’ Beacon today, and you know what that means. It’s time to look at…

What I Bought Today

Only one comic this week, so let’s get right to it. Here is Talon #12.

…Yeah, cover’s kind of a lie. Batman and Talon don’t come to blows in this issue…and thank God for that. Getting sick of heroes fighting heroes lately.

So, remember how last issue ended with both Casey Washington and Sebastian Clark seemingly dead? Well, guess what? Both alive and…well, not quite well, but doing alright. Following the assault from Felix Harmon, Casey has lost an eye and had to have her right arm amputated. However, she’s good friends with Morgan Freeman, I-I mean Lucius Fox, who vouches for her to Bruce Wayne and Batman (remember, in the comics, he doesn’t know they’re one and the same…even though he REALLY should) and lets her hide out in the lab for as long as she needs. And while I feel like I should be giving James Tynion a hard time for doing this to the female lead in this comic, I really can’t since, as we see in this issue, she’s still being awesome and witty despite her losses, talking about having to practise being a lefty and trading snarky comments with Fox as they get to work designing a prosthetic for her. Her only concern is the well-being of her daughter, and possibly getting some punches in on Harmon when they find him. Seriously, Casey NEEDS to become either the new Oracle, or a new heroine version of Cyborgirl. She’s just too damned awesome.

In the meantime, however, there’s a bit of a problem, which Calvin Rose and Batman learn upon investigating the Court’s hideout and sending Robats to Bane’s island: The Court of Owls has gone back into hiding, Harmon has officially gone rogue, and Bane and his entire island have disappeared, though readers of Forever Evil: Arkham War can learn what he’s up to. However, Batman and the currently beating himself up Calvin Rose have to get their priorities straight: They need to find Sarah and rescue her from the Court of Owls. Batman hands over what information he has on the Court to Calvin, to fill in any blanks he might have and give him some clues on where to find them, since his experience with them probably trumps his own. However, Batman isn’t completely sold on a good Talon, and makes it clear he has a cryo-tube in Blackgate ready for after Calvin has located Felix Harmon. Granted, kinda untrusting and paranoid of Batman, but to be fair, look at what happened to him a year ago at the hands of the Court of Owls and their Talons. Plus, while I love Calvin, he hasn’t done much to prove himself a good ally to Batman to keep loose.

Throughout the comic, we learn more about where Felix Harmon comes from, how he was brought into the Court of Owls, and how he earned the name ‘The Gotham Butcher’. By the end of the comic, we see that his great atrocity was that he murdered 17 people in one night and set an orphanage on fire. In the present, he returns there to hide out while planning his next move, only to find someone there waiting for him: Sebastian Clark. I kinda have to tilt my head at this, since we last saw him on the boat with Bane getting the frak punched outta his face, but regardless, he’s done some reading from The Secret History of the Court of Owls on Harmon. It seems that Clark, having had all of his plans torn apart and any sense left in his brain punched out by Bane, has come up with a much more simple plan of revenge against the Court, Calvin Rose, Casey Washington, Batman, and everyone else that’s crossed both him and Harmon: They’re going to kill Gotham City!

This issue was pretty good, setting the stage for the next couple of issues as Clark and Harmon get ready for the killing spree to end all killing sprees. If I have a complaint against it, it’s that it feels like it skipped a few details. Why is Batman instantly willing to work with Calvin Rose, even for the short-term? How did Clark get back to Gotham, seemingly so fast? How did the Court of Owls relocate so quickly? How did Casey go from being in danger of dying to just losing an arm and an eye? I feel like there’s an entire issue worth of stuff that was glossed over to get us to this point. Still, I guess we can attribute Casey’s survival to the money and resources available to Batman and Lucius Fox, and the Court disappearing because…well, because they’re the Court. The only remaining thing I feel the need to point out is that, even IF Calvin is put in cryo-stasis, it won’t be permanent, since we clearly see him on the cover of Batman: Detective Comics #27. Still, a good issue nonetheless, and I suspect the next couple to bring conclusion to the current arc in a powerful way.

So, that’s it for this week. Next week, we get an in-depth look at Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson‘s history as a duo in Nightwing Annual #1. Ja né!

 

Jyger’s Rant – Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths

Recently, DC Comics decided to bring back the Crime Syndicate of Amerika for a huge crossover event, Forever Evil. If you aren’t familiar with them, the jist of them is that the Crime Syndicate are evil versions of the Justice League from a parallel world. While their ranks have changed from time to time, they usually consist of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick. Well, this got me feeling nostalgic for an animated movie made a while back that also featured the Crime Syndicate, simply entitled Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths.

Justice League Crisis On Two Earths

Based off Gardner Fox‘s story, “Crisis on Earth-Three!”, and Grant Morrison‘s “JLA: Earth 2“, this movie was originally conceived to act as a bridge between season two of the Justice League animated series and the start of Justice League Unlimited. However, for reasons I’m not sure I completely understand, that plan was scrapped and it was instead reworked into its own story in its own continuity. So, how does it fare? Pretty awesome, albeit not perfect. As usual, let’s do a summary of the plot before I talk about what I really liked and didn’t like.

ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!

So the movie starts off with Lex Luthor and an alternate version of The Joker called The Jester breaking into a maximum security vault to steal something called the Quantum Trigger, but it becomes clear right away that this isn’t the Justice League’s Earth (which, for simplicity’s sake, we’re just gonna call their world Earth 1 and the Syndicate’s world Earth 3) when evil versions of its members corner Jester and try to kill him, only for him to go out with a bang to buy Luthor time to escape. While Luthor is briefly cornered by the Crime Syndicate’s five leaders, he manages to get away by escaping to Earth 1. Once there, he contacts the Justice League and, since Superman can tell he’s from a parallel Earth right away with his x-ray vision, they hear him out. Apparently, Luthor’s Justice League has been taken out one by one, with him as its last member. The Syndicate have almost complete control of the world, and only the threat of a nuclear response is keeping them from achieving that much. As such, the Justice League votes on the matter, with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Wally West, THANK GOD, lol), Hal Jordan, and Martian Manhunter vote to go help, with only Batman opting to stay behind, as their new Watchtower isn’t even complete yet.

The evil Vibe, “Breakdance”

Arriving on Earth 3, the Justice League find Lex’s base of operations being ransacked by the Syndicate, who are looking for the Quantum Trigger. The Quantum Trigger is the last component to a bomb capable of destroying the world, which they plan to use as leverage on the government of the world to make them bow to them. A huge brawl breaks out between the League and a large number of villainous counterparts to various heroes of the DCU, including Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, and the Shazam family. Barely escaping with Owlman’s jet, the League go to Jester’s hideout, where Luthor explains the command structure of the Crime Syndicate, and Superman decides they need to move out in teams of two to stop their various operations. Meanwhile, Owlman has learned of Luthor’s device that allows him to travel to alternate worlds, and it becomes clear to Superwoman, who is his mistress, that he’s growing increasingly nihilistic. After all, even if they were to detonate the bomb on Earth 3, all it would do is cause the world to branch into two: One where they made the choice to detonate the bomb, and another where they didn’t. In essence, he feels that nothing he does will ever matter because there’ll always be another world where he did the exact opposite, or worse, where he never existed at all. As such, he commits himself to finding the original Earth, the one from which every Earth in the multiverse spun from, and destroy it with the bomb, as it’s the only decision he could ever make that would have lasting consequence, and since Superwoman is a murdering psychopath, she goes along with it.

Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Ultraman, Superwoman, and Owlman

Superman’s operation turns out to be a complete success, even to the point where he and Luthor manage to get Ultraman arrested. However, President Slade Wilson (seriously) orders his release, on account of the fact that there’d be no way to protect anyone willing to prosecute. This enrages his daughter, Rose, who thinks her father a coward, but Martian Manhunter suggests that isn’t the case, having accidentally read her thoughts since they appear to be attuned for some reason. Superman simply tells the President that they’re not leaving until the Syndicate is defeated, and they show themselves out. Afterwards, Slade is visited by Ultraman, who tells him to tell his daughter to stop speaking against the Syndicate in public, or he’ll do to her what he did to the First Lady. Slade is rightfully pissed off and threatens to nuke Ultraman if he comes anywhere near Rose, but Ultraman laughs him off, informing him that the Syndicate are creating a bomb of their own.

The Justice League have a ‘talk’ with President Wilson

Sure enough, during a public speech, Rose is nearly assassinated by an evil version of Green Arrow called Archer, but Martian Manhunter had been posing as one of her guards and easily stops him. It seems that, being attuned to Rose, J’onn can’t get her out of his head, and the two are quickly falling in love due to how well their minds compliment each other. Meanwhile, Owlman sends Superwoman and the evil Shazams to Earth 1, as it seems that Lex hid the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower when he was there. Batman puts of as good a fight as one can expect, but it’s clear that he’s out-numbered and out-gunned, so he calls in the Calvary, teleporting Black Lightning, Aquaman, Red Tornado, Black Canary, and Firestorm in to tilt the odds in his favour. While this works for the most part, Superwoman still gets away with the Quantum Trigger, and while Batman gives chase, he finds himself captured instead. Despite being completely outmatched by Superwoman, however, even to the point of being toyed with, Batman outsmarts her by tricking her into breathing in enough anaesthesia to kill an elephant, knocking her out. After calling the Justice League, Lex admits to hiding the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower, but only because it was impossible to destroy it, and the Watchtower was the safest place to hide it, or so he thought. A quick off-screen interrogation of Superwoman reveals Owlman’s plans, and, with Rose granting knowledge of the Syndicate’s base on the moon, they go to face them, with J’onn remaining behind for the time being.

The Justice League Reserves

Once on the moon, Superwoman manages to get free and knock Lex out, making it a 5-on-5 fight with the League each squaring off against their evil counterparts. While the League gets the advantage, Owlman’s computer locates Earth Prime (no, not Superboy Prime’s world), and he teleports himself there with the bomb. Once the rest of the Crime Syndicate figure out what’s happening, they all come up with a plan to stop him: Johnny Quick will vibrate his body as just the right speed to piggyback on Owlman’s signal and open a portal, but they can only send one person, so naturally, Batman decides to go, squaring off with Owlman 1-on-1. It becomes clear in the fight that Owlman has the advantage in nearly every way, but Batman manages to trick him, tying him to the bomb as he teleports it to another Earth in the computer’s memory banks: A frozen, uninhabited world. Owlman has enough time to abort the detonation, but opts not to, claiming “It doesn’t matter”, dying in the explosion. Batman returns, but despite desperately yelling at Johnny to stop vibrating, he dies, having gone so fast that his body aged to the point of death. Ultraman quickly decides to end their truce, but J’onn arrives, accompanied by the President, who was not to thrilled with the attempt on Rose’s life, and the Marines. They’ve also come packing nuclear warheads, and in the face of that, the Syndicate surrenders. In the end, while Rose asks J’onn to stay, he made a promise to protect his new home, so sadly, they say goodbye, the League returning home as Superman suggests they could use a few extra hands in the future. Batman agrees, opting to start a membership drive, as Black Canary and the others greet them on the Watchtower.

“There IS a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss. But when it looked back at us, you blinked.”

So, like I said, this movie is pretty awesome, but it does have its flaws. And, since I wanna end this review on a high note, let’s look at those flaws first. Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I have not read the source material this was based on (yet), so I will not be making comparisons, with a single exception, and you’ll understand why when we get to it.

  1. While I don’t have a problem with Hal Jordan or the casting of his voice actor in this movie, it’s pretty clear he was not intended to be here. I’ll get to why in a second, but there just isn’t enough of Hal being the snarky, flirtatious, and possessing-the-greatest-of-wills kind of guy that he is in this movie. In fact, a lot of the time, it doesn’t really feel like he nor Power Ring are really doing much of anything. Of all the main characters involved, they seem like the ones with the least going on…though I DO love the Rock Beats Scissors moment Hal has in the Earth 3 JLA headquarters. lol However, as I said, it’s clear he wasn’t meant to be here, which brings me to the second major problem I have with this movie…
  2. Why the hell did they abandon the plan for this to be a Justice League animated series movie?!?! Think about it, all of the pieces are in place: The Justice League in this movie consists only of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter, which were the same team at the end of Starcrossed when Hawkgirl quit. The Watchtower had been destroyed, which would explain the new one being built here. Black Canary, Aquaman, and the others all become supporting members of the JLU. The only thing off is that, in the movie, this world’s Lex Luthor is in prison, Aquaman doesn’t have his hook hand, and, as I mentioned before, John Stewart is swapped out for Hal Jordan. And speaking of which, because they did that, they left out a great opportunity for a story with John here: He could’ve encountered evil Hawkgirl, which would in turn dig up his issues of having broken up with her recently and put him in a situation where he needs to deal with it.
  3. Okay, this isn’t so much a complaint, just a sorta WTF moment when I sit back and think to myself “How the hell did they get away with Superwoman in this movie?” This is a PG-13, and in case it got past anybody’s brilliant senses, Superwoman’s character is pretty much that of an evil dominatrix…No, really. Watch the scene where she takes on Batman again and tell me you don’t see it. Also, while I said I wouldn’t be comparing to the source material, I do have to admit that I find it a little jarring that they changed Superwoman from being an Amazon Lois Lane to being Mary Marvel (hence the evil Shazams), which is kinda icky because now I have no idea how old Superwoman ACTUALLY is…o.O
  4. This is actually something that even the movie points out as making little sense: Why is Batman the one to save the universe? Think about it: The bomb’s gonna blow the whole multiverse up. Wouldn’t you wanna send your best guy in to stop it? Y’know, SUPERMAN?! Really, the only reason Batman is there is because it’s his evil counterpart, which I don’t think is enough to justify his presence, and because he’s DC’s biggest meal ticket, which I swear to God is making it harder to be a Batman fan EVERY DAY.

And that’s all the stuff I didn’t like. So, what stuff did I like the most?

  1. Pretty much every time Wally opens his mouth. lol Seriously, I miss the crap outta Wally in the comics these days. There’s also a running plot (pun intended) of Flash thinking Batman REALLY doesn’t like him, until the end when Johnny Quick is dying and correctly deduces that Flash could’ve opened the portal, but Batman told him he wasn’t fast enough because he knew there was a chance it could’ve killed him. I thought that went pretty well.
  2. Wonder Woman gets her Invisible Jet in this movie, but it’s actually Owlman’s jet. Thing is, it has a cloaking device, but when the Shazams blast it with lightning, it fries the circuitry and keeps it invisible. I thought that was a really good explanation, plus I loved Owlman’s little Air Force One moment when he told Diana to “Get off my plane”. Cute, Warner Bros.
  3. While the romance sub-plot with Rose and J’onn seems kinda rushed, the explanation allows me to forgive that, and really…J’onn doesn’t get enough romantic interests! I honestly feel bad for him sometimes. When you watch Justice League, where is he most of the time? Cooped up in the Watchtower. It wasn’t until the last season he finally met someone, and that was off-screen! And these two actually do give the feeling that they would work well as a couple…although I dunno if that justifies people making AMVs of them to the song, I swear to God I’m not kidding here, “Kiss From A Rose”. Also, I admit to getting a small giggle out of him saying that, knowing his luck, the Earth 1 version of Rose is evil, to which I always say “…Erm, kinda…ish…Depends on who’s writing her.”
  4. EVERYBODY is in this movie! Freaking EVERYBODY, whether it’s the real them or their Earth 3 counterparts, are in this movie. On top of the ones I already mentioned, there are CSA versions of Looker, Gypsy, Halo, Katana, Hawkman, Mister Terrific, Man-Bat, Wildcat, Power Girl, Swamp Thing, Lobo, and TONS more! And while a few of them do stand in the background, a lot more are shown using their unique powers and abilities so that they aren’t wasted. Heck, Vibe’s evil counterpart actually gets a good shot in on Superman…before being promptly punched out like a jobber, but still, a good shot. And, of course, seeing the Justice League Reserves show up for an awesome fight scene is really cool too, though it would’ve meant more if they had, again, gone ahead with the original idea for this movie.
  5. All in all, with a possible exception for Hal Jordan, I find the characters are all well-represented. Aside from the ones I already touched base on, Superman is distrustful of Lex Luthor, but would still risk his own life to save Lex’s world. Wonder Woman is a kickass fighter that’ll punch out Superwoman when she gets outta line, but is compassionate to her team-mates and even suggests that if J’onn wants to stay with Rose that he should. Ultraman works as a great cautionary example of what someone like Superman could’ve been if he hadn’t been raised by the kindly couple that he was. Batman and Owlman work as great opposites, as one is occasionally paranoid of others but would still lay down his life for his team, while the other is sleeping with one of his team-mates but would still kill her to get what he wants. I should note, though, that while the voices aren’t what I’d call bad, in fact some are really good, the voice actor for Batman had clearly been watching The Dark Knight Trilogy. He doesn’t quite go too far with it, but he’s got this growl in the back of his throat that makes me think that, at any moment, THIS was gonna happen…

So, overall, how does this movie stack up? Awesome. Yes, it has a few flaws, and I REALLY wish they’d stuck with the original idea for this movie (especially since we woulda gotten the DCAU voice actors), but if I were to do my best to ignore that and not fault the movie for it, I’d say this movie is one of the better DC Animated Movies out. So, if you’re looking to start a collection of DC movies, this should DEFINITELY be on your To-Buy list.

So, what do you guys think of Crisis On Two Earths? Love it, hate it, indifferent towards it, never seen it before? And hey, how do you think it compares to the current story in DC, Forever Evil? Leave your comments below, and will see you next time. Ja né!

What I Bought Today – Action Comics #23.1, Batman and Robin #23.1 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Yep, ’tis Wednesday, and it’s time to talk about…

What I Bought Today

Unfortunately, they kinda under-sent issues of Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1, so I couldn’t see the book detailing the origins of the new Ventriloquist. I’ve heard it’s apparently not all THAT great, but that fans of the character and Gail Simone‘s creepy ass writing will still like it, so I’m picking it up next week. In the meantime, let’s talk Cyborg Superman with Action Comics #23.1!

So I kinda left something important out about Supergirl last month, mainly because I thought it was a red herring. At the very end, Cyborg Superman has the genetic material he got from Supergirl imprinted onto himself, and we see that he’s Zor-El, Kara’s father. Now, I naturally assumed that between her genetic material, the fact that they were messing with her memories, and the tech that could create anything in her mind simply meant that Cyborg Superman had been turned into a duplicate of Zor-El. NOT SO. In fact, as it turns out, Brainiac transformed Zor-El into Cyborg Superman, replacing much of his organic components with cybernetics, then making him look like Jor-El, the superior sibling in the eyes of Brainiac…So, Zor-El has been made a villain who has murdered his own daughter (albeit it’s not entirely his fault, and I expect him to find a way to bring her back), and in this issue, we see that he’s a jerk that refused to listen to his brother, and an idiot who decided to experiment with Brainiac tech, the result of which got a bunch of survivors of Krypton killed…Michael Alan Nelson, I like you. I like you a lot. You made Power Girl AWESOME again. But between this and Supergirl getting brutally vaporised last issue, I REALLY hope you’ve got something amazing planned. Then again, next up is supposed to be Cyborg Superman and Brainiac beating the crap outta each other, and I guess that’s kinda awesome. The only other thing I can really point out is that, like Ventriloquist’s story being in Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1, I’m a little confused why Cyborg Superman’s story is in Action Comics #23.1.

Batman and Robin #23.1 was pretty good. Anyone that didn’t like it…well, it was Two-Face being Two-Face. If you didn’t want that, you shouldn’t have bought it. And it made sense that it was in this book, since Two-Face is gonna be the villain for the next arc. Now, it’s Two-Face taking a bunch of criminals, cops, and civilians whatnot into a court and administering his own brand of ‘justice’, which I KNOW I’ve seen him do at least a couple of times before, but it works alright. We also see that the Secret Society wanted him to join, which he did, but on the condition that the results of his coin flips are final. They decide to screw with that, so the deal’s off in a rather violent manner. Again, for Two-Face, this worked just fine, and I actually really liked Guillem March’s work in this issue. Kudos.

So that’s it for this week. Next week’s gonna be an expensive one, although the good news is that I won’t have much to buy this month after that. It’s like they know or something. lol Ja né!

Good News/Bad News For Nightwing Fans (WARNING: SPOILERS FOR FOREVER EVIL)

So yer probably wondering where What I Bought Today is, and I’ll get it typed up as soon as I’m done with this. However, I wanted to get this outta the way first, because it’s an issue brought up online a lot as of late. Good news: Nightwing is alive, and they’re not going to kill him off. YAY! Bad news: The Crime Syndicate captured him, beat the snot out of him, then unmasked him on television, and followed that up by broadcasting information on his identity to the whole world, all the while promising to hunt down every last person he cared for and doing the same to anyone else who opposed them… … … …Okay, I have a few questions. lol

  1. I’m obviously happy that Dick Grayson is alive and is still gonna be around, ‘cuz I like Nightwing a lot. However, from the standpoint of the villains…these ARE the same people that orchestrated the apparent fall of the Justice League, right? So why are they being so frigging stupid here? Look, I get it, it’s the be cruel, because letting Dick live while the world knows he’s Nightwing pretty much jeopardises any attempts he could ever make to be a hero again, and I’ll get to the problems with that in a sec, but isn’t it kinda dangerous to let arguably Batman’s greatest protégé live? And based on a cover for an upcoming issue of Justice League…Yeah, he gets away from them. Look kinda stupid now, don’cha Syndicate? That said, this one doesn’t bother me too much, since at least it would show the heroes outsmarting the villains, and so far with this story arc, they could use a victory here and there.
  2. Is it really a good idea to mess with the new status quo in the Nightwing book…when it was JUST RECENTLY ESTABLISHED??? He’s only been in Chicago for a little while. Experiment with that more before you throw THIS monkey-wrench in too.
  3. As I mentioned before, having his identity be public knowledge kinda messes with him being a superhero. The way I figure it, they’re gonna do one of a few things here: 1) Reverse it somehow (if they involve the devil, I quit), 2) They’re gonna have him pass the mantle to someone else and mentor that individual (I vote Tim Drake, Harper Row, or Stephanie Brown), 3) He’ll turn heel (please don’t), or 4) He’ll just have to deal with it and the people of Chi-town will either deal with it or they won’t.
  4. Why do this to Nightwing? I mean, if they felt the need to do a moment where the Crime Syndicate unmasked a beaten-up superhero to show how dominant and dangerous they are, wouldn’t it make more sense if they took one of a members of the Justice League, who they apparently got the better of, and unmask them? Now, for obvious reasons, doing that to Superman or Batman would be a HUGE no-no, and Wonder Woman doesn’t really HAVE a secret identity (I think), but what about The Flash? Green Lantern? Hawkman? Katana? ANY of them? Heck, Simon Baz is actually going to be mentoring a new Green Lantern in Forever Evil anyway, why not have him be forcibly unmasked, then the new girl rescues him, then he trains her to become a Green Lantern to help him stop the Syndicate?

And I’m sorry if this seems like I’m lecturing on 2 and 4, but these are things that came pretty easy to me, and I get the feeling like DC either didn’t consider that or didn’t care. That said, do I think this is a completely stupid move that cannot be redeemed in any way? NO. A completely stupid move that couldn’t be redeemed in any way would be killing him. THIS actually has potential to work, as long as they remember to THINK. If they stay smart about what they’re doing and craft this carefully, it CAN work. However, I think I can be justified in being slightly concerned, as this IS a major change.

Oh, and real quick, before I wrap this up, people online have suggested that Nightwing getting captured and having the snot kicked outta him by Superwoman and Owlman seemed too easy…Really? These are two villains that would probably beat the snot outta Batman, and HAVE in previous continuities, but doing that to Nightwing is too easy? And as FHIZ pointed out on Twitter, if Batman can get surprise attacked by a giant swinging wooden hammer, I think it’s possible for the Crime Syndicate to get the jump on Nightwing. Just sayin’.

Anyway, lemme know what you guys think about all of this, and hopefully, everything turns out alright. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go write about…

What I Bought Today

Ja né!

How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch – The Joker, Lex Luthor, Poison Ivy, And More

Welcome back to more of How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch, and honestly, the more I do this, the more I actually feel like doing a fanfic for a DC character. Actually, I have an idea in mind for a short one that I’ll probably do on FanFiction.net (and yes, I DO have a profile on there), but again, it’ll be a short one. Regardless, let’s move on to some of the villains of the DC Universe, and who better to start with than…

The Joker

I’d wanna take him back to being the Clown Prince of Crime, the guy who, while he was still a murdering psychopath, usually did his crimes in a sophomoric fashion. So really, something closer to his Batman: The Animated Series interpretation. That said, I would also wanna include some elements of the more horrifying Joker, in that he doesn’t want to kill Batman (because he’s too damned fun), and he tells different versions of how he got to be who he is, leaving the reader to guess if he’s a liar or if he honestly can’t remember. Is he a psychotic lunatic, or is he a parody of a psychotic lunatic?

Lex Luthor

Honestly, for all the crap I give some of the Superman books nowadays, I rather like the idea of Lex Luthor being under lock and key, but still having ways of interacting with the outside world and making life miserable for Superman. Plus, it raises a few interesting questions about him. Is he really unable to escape his cell, or does he stay there for his own protection? Think about it: While he’s under arrest, it’s not as if Superman can do anything to him. That said, I would also want to reintroduce Nasthalthia ‘Nasty’ Luthor, but as someone who might have her own plans for LexCorp with Lex behind bars.

Cheetah

Again, I actually rather like what The New 52 did with Cheetah. She’s fast, powerful, and most dangerous of all, smart enough to know how, when, and where to hit the Justice League. And that’s exactly what I’d wanna continue to do with her, since we just don’t get enough solo villains who can do harm to the Justice League without seeming absurdly powerful. Also, she tests the levels of Wonder Woman‘s compassion, which lets us see just how deep it goes…and as it turns out, it goes REALLY deep, and I’m awesome with that. 🙂

Catwoman

Did anybody read the Batman and Catwoman issue of Batman and Robin recently? They did? Okay: DO MORE OF THAT! Seriously, I love the idea that she’s simultaneously a jewel thief/government agent/thorn in Batman’s side/Batman’s main love interest! Maybe it’s just because it reminds me of Rouge the Bat (which is ironic, if you think about it long enough), but it just works for me, and I think it fits Miss Kyle VERY well. She’s the very blatant cat burglar, won’t make any excuses for that, and will find herself on the wrong side of the law frequently. And yet, if someone is threatening a kid, or about to kill Batman, or blow up a city, she will whip their ass clean off.

The Red Lantern Corps

Given what I suggested for The Flash before, having the Blue Lantern Ring, it makes sense to me that, in addition to his usual cast of enemies, that members of the Red Lantern Corps would be his enemies. After all, a Blue Lantern Ring can negate a Red Lantern Ring’s corruptive effects on someone, and as a group trying to spread murderous rage across the galaxy, they would of course see The Flash as a massive threat to them. As for which one would be the primary thorn in Flash’s side, probably Bleez, to give her something to do. Of course, members would also cause trouble for whoever the main Green Lantern on Earth is…which reminds me…

…By the way, is my constant whoring out of these polls getting annoying? Yes? Good! XD

Starro the Conqueror (who apparently has no logo other than himself, lol)

For Starro the Conqueror, I’d bring him back as the first opponent the Justice League had to face. And really, can you blame me? He’s a very legit threat, able to bend anyone to his will, no matter how powerful. And frankly, there’s only a handful of ways to stop him, specifically Wonder Woman’s lasso and a Blue Lantern ring, which would give these characters major reason to band together, since they’d fall to Starro’s sway separately. It just seems like the best set-up for a Justice League story, which is probably why they did it in the first place.

Poison Ivy

For my favourite villainess of all time, I think I’d want Poison Ivy to be a Justice League/Birds of Prey villain, not just a Batman villain. Why? Think about her abilities for a moment: She can manipulate and control any and all plant life and even create plant-like monsters. Now think about how much of the world is plants of some kind or another. She’s also a master manipulator and seductress, able to bend anyone to her will, even Superman if she has her hands on Kryptonite. Suddenly, kinda makes you wonder how one man dressed like a bat can handle her all on his own. Granted, given the right circumstances, I can see him one-upping her, but for the most part, she seems like she should be way out of his league.

Anyway, that’s enough villains for now, though expect me to come back with more later. In the meantime, there’re still a few more heroes I need to talk about, aren’t there…?

…Ja né!

My 10 Favourite DC Villains

So, Villain’s Month is coming up in September, which will lead into Forever Evil, and that’s got me thinking about who some of my favourite DC villains are. And while I’m on the subject, while the idea of a month-long event followed by a multi-month event dedicated to villains over heroes is VERY strange, I will say that for Villain’s Month at least, several of my favourite villains are getting spotlighted. Now, of course, since Batman and Stephanie Brown are my favourite superheroes, naturally, a ton of their villains would be among my favourites of all time, especially since Batman’s rogues are among the most interesting and tragic of all DC villains. However, I’m gonna try to keep it from being a COMPLETE Bat-fest in here by instead limiting it to two Bat villains that I like the most and then later doing a 10 Favourite Bat Villains list later. So for now, let’s get the list underway, and just so I get them out of the way, here’s the two Bat villains first, starting with…

#1 – Pamela Isley, AKA Poison Ivy

Yeah, you knew she was gonna be on here. To be fair, though, even my girlfriend finds this woman impossible to resist. lol Anyway, Pamela Isley was one a young and ingenious botanist, until her mentor betrayed her and used her in his experiments. Left for dead, her sanity was forever shattered, and she since has been a dangerous eco-terrorist named Poison Ivy. She’s able to animate and manipulate all plant-based lifeforms though a connection to The Green, and is immune to all forms of toxins, bacteria, and fungi. She can also use specialized pheromones to become completely irresistible to helpless victims, and can make them do whatever she wants. By utilizing Kryptonite, even Superman is unable to resist her mind control. Her most dangerous form of attack, however, is her kiss, which she can make lethal. One lip lock, and you can kiss your life goodbye…but hey, I suppose there’re worse ways to go. ^_^

#2 – The Joker

Y’know how I said I was glad to see a lot of my favourite villains getting books dedicated to them in Villain’s Month? The Joker…is not one of them. Now, he IS one of my favourite villains, but I don’t wanna see a book dedicated to his origins because I DON’T WANT TO KNOW HIS ORIGINS! The Joker works better as a character when you don’t know who he is, what he wants, or what he’s going to do to get it. His speeches in The Dark Knight about how he got his scars are basically him making a joke out of how something so simple could drive him to do the things he does. Telling his origins kind of ruins the character.

…Anyway, getting back to the character, Joker is generally is armed with a lethal laughing gas called Joker venom, which he himself is immune to. He also wields nitroglycerin cigars, cyanide pies, bladed playing cards, BANG!flag harpoon guns, and even joy buzzers that shoot lethal amounts of electricity through a person. That said, he sometimes prefers to stick to simpler weapons, particularly knives he keeps hidden up his sleeves. The Joker is also a master manipulator and chess master, and he is capable of doing ANYTHING to achieve his goals. He even allowed his own face to be cut off as a way of sending a message to Batman. What’s bizarre, though, is that for a seemingly crazy person, his plans are usually so well thought out that even Batman has trouble keeping up at times, thus leaving it up to the reader to decide if the Joker is really an insane lunatic, or if he’s simply a parody of an insane lunatic.

#3 – Lex Luthor

Okay, this could technically be considered cheating, since Lex Luthor has fought Batman a number of times. However, while he’s not the original Superman villain, he has established himself as his arch-nemesis over the years. And it’s not hard to tell why: Superman, who is not human, yet represents the best of us, would naturally find himself at odds with a man like Lex Luthor, who IS human, yet represents the WORST of us, at least from a moral and ethical standpoint. Otherwise, he’s at the peak of human physical conditioning, and is the most brilliant human being in the world. In fact, one could say that aside from being morally bankrupt, he really only has a single weakness. The only problem is that it’s so glaringly obvious that it has cost him dearly on several occasions. This weakness: His obsession with Superman. He is bound and determined to prove himself Superman’s superior, even to the point where he believes himself to be good and Superman to be Earth’s greatest evil. It has cost him his freedom, his billions of dollars, even his once-held presidency over the United States. Yet, like any good villain, Luthor continues to come back as a more dangerous threat to his enemies every single time. Though nothing could compare to the greatest crime he’s ever committed… … …those forty cakes he stole. I mean, that’s as many as four tens. And that’s TERRIBLE.

#4 – Sinestro

It’s always bad when you’re a superhero and the man who oversaw your training turns to evil. Case in point: Sinestro. One of the most powerful Lanterns in the universe, Sinestro was the mentor to many Green Lanterns, the last of which being Hal Jordan. However, Sinestro eventually turned to evil, and with that turn, he became one of the most terrible forces of evil in the universe. Now wielding a Yellow Power Ring to counter the Green Power Ring, he’s committed many crimes, not the least of which being that he manipulated events to result in Hal’s own fall to darkness. While he recently had a chance for redemption, he threw it away in a last-ditch effort to stop the First Lantern, merging with Parallax to gain even more power. He then took the Sinestro Corps. far away, out of the reach of the Green Lantern Corps, but if he should ever return, it could spell a whole new crisis.

#5 – Darkseid

Y’know, while Darkseid’s motivations can at times be a bit more simple than I like in a villain, Goddamn it if I don’t like to see him show up sometimes. He is one of the New Gods, but unlike the peaceful New Gods living on New Genesis, Darkseid rules over the Hell-like world of Apokolips with an iron grip. He seeks the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical formula that can apparently prove the futility of life and bend anyone to his will, and has crushed whole planets across this and other universes to find it. In the New 52, however, he has added motivation for his rampage across the stars: He has a daughter who has disappeared, and he will destroy all that gets in his way of finding her, seemingly unaware that she’s actually being held by A.R.G.U.S. on Earth. He has raw power rivaling that of Superman, and possesses a genius-level intellect, but most dangerous of all in his arsenal is the Omega Effect. The Omega Effect allows him to pass effortlessly through time and space, and fire Omega Beams out his eyes that bend and warp to hit their determined target, either teleporting or destroying whatever they hit. His only vulnerability is a toxic substance called Radion, which ultimately led to his demise when Batman broke his no-guns vow in order to shoot Darkseid with a Radion bullet. Normally not something I’m okay with at all, but since he saved the universe, I’ll let it slide…this time. lol

#6 – Cheetah

I don’t care what anyone says, I like what the New 52 did with Cheetah. Suddenly, this solo villain of Wonder Woman‘s has become a force to be reckoned with among the entire Justice League. Her speed, durability, strength, and senses are beyond most mortal men, and her claws and fangs are enchanted, meaning she can wound even Superman. But above all that, what made her so hard to bring down was that she was SMART with her abilities, hitting Batman first, then cutting Flash at the legs, and then infecting Superman with her curse. Of course, she’s not invincible, as Wonder Woman was able to exploit her far more vulnerable state in the water by throwing her into the lake where Aquaman could finally take her down, but just the fact that it took so much to finally stop her pretty much cements her presence as one of their most dangerous foes.

#7 – Prankster

Giving Prankster a MASSIVE revamping and then making him a Nightwing villain was actually an excellent choice in my opinion. Dick Grayson, who has just left Gotham City for Chicago, needed a major intellectual villain to prove his mettle against in this new setting. In much the same way that Joker or Riddler tests Batman on a psychological level, Prankster has been doing the same since his initial appearance in Nightwing. Sick and demented, he gets his name from pulling horribly sadistic pranks on his foes, oftentimes testing their desire to live and what they’ll do to do so. He’s also a master hacker, even able to hack the systems in Nightwing’s suit. However, his overall confidence in himself and his traps may be his ultimate downfall, as anyone with the skill to overcome them will find Prankster dumbfounded and vulnerable.

#8 – John Corben, AKA Metallo

A villain so powerful that even the World’s Finest, Superman and Batman, can find themselves struggling to take him on as a team. And with good reason: Metallo’s sheer power, surprising agility for his size, and the ability to morph his metal body can make him an easy match for Batman, and his Kryptonite heart is one of Superman’s greatest weaknesses, powering the Man of Tomorrow down to the point where he can take him. His only real weakness is that his Kryptonite heart not only powers his body, but it keeps him alive. If it’s removed, he’ll die. Otherwise, the only other way to beat him is to just power through with enough sheer force that even he can’t counter. It’s not easy, but Superman HAS done it before with enough willpower.

How do you stop a man who cannot die and has endless years to hone his skills, train his body, and craft his plans for the world? That’s the problem that heroes (and on some occasions, other villains) face when they find themselves confronted by Vandal Savage. Now, as I understand it, the majority of his appearances in the New 52 have been in Demon Knights, where he’s actually a somewhat heroic barbarian. However, seeing as how he’s led many lives throughout his immortal existence, it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned to good for a short time before becoming a villain again at some point. He does have one weakness, however, that I only recently found out about and am kinda surprised wasn’t brought up in Hereafter: When Savage was made immortal, he had already contracted cancer. Now, the cancer won’t kill him, but it will cause him irregular intervals of pain, and there’s no way to remove the cancerous cells from his body. As such, he’s cursed with an immortal body that will NEVER completely stop screaming in pain…which probably goes a ways to explain the whole evil thing, and is kinda disturbing to think about…o.O

#10 – The Anti-Monitor

This is THE villain of the DC Universe, at least as far as the DC Universe as it was before Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was THE foe that destroyed entire universes, leaving death everywhere he went, and I daresay that no single villain, be it Darkseid, Superboy Prime, Brainiac, the First Lantern, or Trigon, has possessed the sheer destructive power that the Anti-Monitor possesses. He can also fire antimatter waves that can utterly destroy matter itself, something that shouldn’t normally be possible. He could also absorb whole universes into his being, but in his appearances since his rebirth, he has yet to use this power. Ultimately, he only has a single exploitable weakness: His overconfidence. He was so sure that he couldn’t be stopped that he was caught off-guard by Supergirl, who damaged him so badly that by the time he finally hit her with a lucky shot powerful enough to kill her, he was forced to retreat. It happened again when he was ultimately defeated by, oddly enough, some assistance by Darkseid, finally reaching his end when Earth-Two Superman shattered him into mere molecules of disjointed energy. While he has been brought back since, it would seem his once near-unstoppable power is at a small fraction of what it once was.

And that’s it for my 10 Favourite Villains of the DC Universe. Check in next time as I instead focus solely on Batman’s rogues gallery and list my 10 Favourite Batman Villains. 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!