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DC Rebirth One Year Later – Batman

Welcome back to DC Rebirth One Year Later, where we look at DC books that are part of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative one year after it began. And, with this one, I’m not looking forward to it. I COULD put it off to the end, but…no. I should do this now. And I could sugarcoat how I feel about it, but the truth is, and I have to give my honest opinion on this, Tom King’s Batman, while having its good points, is probably the most disappointing book of DC Rebirth. And now, I’m not just saying that because I was a big fanboy of Scott Snyder’s run. I’ve pointed out in the past when I thought Snyder’s run with Batman disappointed or fell short in some way, so I will not pull any punches here, either. So, let’s take a look at Tom King’s run on Batman.

First off, while there was the occasional head-scratching moment, I actually did like the opening arc, I Am Gotham. Batman interacting with and having to bring up to speed essentially Gotham City’s version of Superman and Supergirl is an interesting scenario, one that we don’t see very often. And here, Batman’s seniority over Gotham…erm, the man, not the city. He calls himself Gotham. The girl is named Gotham Girl. For simplicity, though, I’m just gonna call them Henry and Claire. Anyway, Batman’s seniority over the two makes perfect sense: They’re new. They haven’t been heroes for very long, and while they’ve lived in Gotham for a while, they don’t know it as intimately as Bruce does. So him taking lead and mentoring them makes sense. It’s also interesting to see how their backstory could have been like Bruce’s, but Batman was there to save them from that fate, leading them to a different scenario. And because they come off as genuinely good people, it’s all the more tragic what ultimately happens to them, with Henry turning bad and Claire being forced to ultimately bring him down, all while going more than a little bonkers herself.

The arc also had some awesome moments…even if a couple were complete horseshit. Let’s be honest, people, Batman surfing a plane out of harm’s way and flipping Solomon Grundy one-handed were both completely improbable. But then, that’s symptomatic of a problem I’ll get into later. Other moments, however, like the confrontation with Henry after he’s been driven mad, complete with Alfred in a Batsuit (which was both cool and hilarious), and Batman actually doing the one thing no one would’ve expected and CALLING THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, were pretty damned badass.

After that…Oy. I don’t know what to say, folks. King had me, and then he lost me. I think what did it most for me was the I Am Suicide arc. First off, lemme make this clear: The suggestion that Catwoman would kill over 200 people is absolutely stupid. The thing you need to understand is that Catwoman likewise has a no kill rule. Granted, when I found out the people she supposedly killed were terrorists who took out the orphanage she once stayed in, I felt such actions would’ve at least been understandable, but I still didn’t really buy it. I knew it was one of two things: Character derailment, or a deliberate twist in the making. Turns out, surprise surprise, it was the latter…and kind of the former. See, it wasn’t Selina who killed those people, she was just covering for the person who actually killed them: Holly Robinson. So, in other words, instead of Selina’s character being turned into a Goddamn murderer, it was Holly’s. Um, yay? Am I supposed to feel happy about that?

Besides that, though, the crowning moment of stupid had to be when Bane broke Batman’s back AGAIN, but then Batman proceeded to somehow pop it back to normal and walk it off… … …I will repeat that. Bane broke Batman’s back for the second time, and then Batman managed to somehow fix it on his own, with no medical equipment whatsoever, and then went back on his mission like it was no big thing. And I remember watching a video where Tom King was very excitedly talking about this sequence of events, also fanboying over this moment that he wrote, and all I could think of was “…Tom, you DO know that Batman is human, right?”

Yeah, that’s something that’s been bothering me for a long-ass time now, and it really got highlighted in that one sequence of events. To put it bluntly, hardly anyone writes Batman nowadays to have actual human limitations. We constantly have seen him defy what should be humanly possible for going on two decades now. Granted, some of us online have guessed that Batman might be a low key metahuman, but the thing is, when you look at the founding members of the Justice League, Batman is supposed to be the ordinary man who doesn’t possess superpowers of any kind, and is equipped with human-made tech, meaning he doesn’t even have the advantages of a Green Lantern. However, the truth is that, if he tried to accomplish half the stuff he did with the actual limitations of a human being, even one at the peak of human physical conditioning and mental prowess, he’d have been dead a LONG time ago. Now, that’s not to say that his position on the Justice League is completely unjustified or anything. It’s important on a team like that to have multiple heroes of different power-sets and power-levels, so as to deal with any kind of situation that might get thrown at them. But again, if Batman isn’t going to be written as having human limitations, and is CONSTANTLY the one who has to be at the center of attention and bailing the rest of his team out, then it kinda ruins the idea. And, I’m sorry, but seeing Batman somehow fix his broken back on his own is absolutely stupid, as are him surfing a fucking jet liner away from Gotham City, flipping Solomon Grundy with one hand, surviving a beating from Professor Zoom, walking out of a fight with Darkseid with barely a scratch on him, that bullshit he pulled in Batman R.I.P. with the coffin, and probably most insane of all, surviving the mother fucking vacuum of mother fucking space for 24 mother fucking seconds! And no, I will not get over that!

…Okay, the entire sequence at Batburger was stupid as shit, but I WILL admit to laughing my ass off the whole way through. 😛

And then there’s a moment I absolutely detest as it pertains to what it does to the character of Batman: When Bane returns to get his revenge on Bruce, the latter decides that the only way to ensure victory over Bane is to force Bane to run the gauntlet of the rest of Batman’s rogues gallery. How does he do this? HE LETS THEM ALL OUT OF THEIR CELLS AT ARKHAM AND PUTS THEM BETWEEN HIMSELF AND BANE! Now, on the one hand, this is a clever subversion of how Bane first defeated Batman, by arranging to have the Arkham inmates escape, let Batman tire himself out physically and mentally by catching them all, and then attack him when he was at his weakest. It’s the thing a lot of people forget about Bane: That while he DID beat Batman in a one-on-one fight, it wasn’t exactly a fair fight. He essentially beat him in a chess match that Batman didn’t even know they were playing until his king was in check and all of his other pieces had been taken off the board. So yeah, clever subversion. On the other hand, though, HE LET HIS WORST ENEMIES GO FREE FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING THEM MEAT SHIELDS! AND HE ARMED THEM!!! This is downright villainous behaviour! Yes, he’s doing this not only to save himself but also Alfred and Claire, but my God, Batman, did you even take two seconds to think about all the ways this could’ve gone horribly wrong?! What if your other rogues had killed Bane?! You would’ve been an accomplice to murder, and then you would’ve had the much harder task of rounding them all up!

Oh, but as it turns out, small chance of that, because not only does Bane curbstomp his way through ALL of Batman’s worst nightmares (sans Joker for reasons I’ll get to in a later article), he then proceeds to beat the living hell out of Batman, and Batman just BARELY manages to win in the end! So we’re supposed to believe that Batman has the means with which to take on Superman and Wonder Woman in one-on-one fights, people with Godlike strength, and possibly even beat them in said fights, but he can’t handle one roided-out jock who just fought a bunch of other guys! What a fucking load of bullshit!

Anyway, having mentioned the thing with Zoom earlier, let’s talk about The Button, which is actually where things started to pick up a bit for me. I’mma leave the bulk of what happens in that book out for when I talk about The Flash, but for now, let’s just discuss the biggest thing to happen in that book that directly affects Batman: Meeting his father from the Flashpoint timeline. Having somehow managed to arrive there, despite there being no real reason they should have been able to that they could figure out, Flash and Batman meet up with Thomas Wayne, AKA Flashpoint’s Batman. The meeting between the two is sadly short-lived as Flashpoint is slowly erased from existence, but Bruce relays to Thomas that he has a son, making Thomas a grandfather, and while Thomas has a chance to escape death, he stays behind. As he does, though, he has the following advice for Bruce:

…Yeah, I won’t be doing the fail thing here, because holy shit, is this some powerful stuff. And while I have my doubts that Bruce will ever truly quit being Batman, as well as something else I’ll get into in a bit, this DOES have significant follow-up, as Bruce, deciding to find happiness, finally mans up and does something he should’ve done YEARS ago…

Now, I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I have been waiting for this moment for-fucking-ever! Outside of Earth 2 or otherwise Elseworlds stories, this moment has never happened. DC has teased it for decades, but they never pulled the trigger. Well, it seems like the trigger is now officially pulled. And, speaking of Earth 2, one thing of note in Bruce and Selina’s interactions in this book is that they remember two different versions of their first meeting: The Golden Age version, and the one from Frank Miller’s Batman Year One story. Hell, the diamond in the ring Bruce uses to propose is actually the same diamond she stole during their meeting in the Golden Age version, suggesting that this is the actual way they met in this timeline. This COULD be interpreted to mean that, when the ten years of history taken from the DCU are restored, Batman’s Golden Age roots will be brought back, and possibly even his marriage to Catwoman and her giving birth to Helena Wayne, AKA Huntress. These things could finally be made canon to the mainstream DC Universe. There is a great opportunity here to do this. Of course, that would also mean that, when Batman was starting out, he killed people, but I could buy the idea that the no kill rule was actually something he developed over time as a means of keeping himself more grounded. It wouldn’t be the worst thing they did with the character.

On the other hand, though, for reasons I hope I’ve made clear in this article, I don’t know that I trust Tom King with this. Characterization of these two has been passable at best and downright insultingly bad at worst in this book. Oh, and I don’t care if you think them calling each other Bat and Cat is cute or not, it got annoying REAL quick. But just beyond that, I don’t know that I trust DC to actually DO this. I’ll talk more about this later on, but in Nightwing’s book, Dick recently found out he was gonna be a father, and it was a huge deal to me and a lot of readers. Granted, some people hated it because the mother was neither Barbara Gordon nor Kory, instead being a reformed crook he’d met as Robin named Shawn, but it was still a huge deal: Dick Grayson was gonna be a father. This was major character development for him. However, sadly, it was a fake-out. Turned out Shawn got a false positive. And, if current events and future solicits for his book and Batgirl’s are to be believed, it looks like this relationship is doomed to failure. What makes that worse is that even those of us who loved the idea of Dick becoming a father and wanted it to be true…kind of knew they weren’t really gonna do this, because DC pulls this crap ALL THE TIME. I’m STILL amazed that they not only got Lois and Clark back together, but gave them a son to boot. So yeah, there’s a great opportunity here for Batman, his stories, and his legacy in the future, but I don’t trust DC to actually do it. If they do, GREAT. I honestly hope this happens and it’s done right. But I’m not necessarily holding my breath, either.

And that leads me to where the book is going. Well, right now, it’s The War of Jokes and Riddles, a flashback story narrated by Batman to Selina after he proposed to her that takes place during some sort of war between Joker and Riddler. Apparently, Batman did something terrible during this event, and is telling all of this to Selina because he wants her to know before committing herself to marrying him. Of course, there are a couple of problems with this. One, this story has Joker and Riddler being in a state of mind that makes them very morose, AKA wildly out of character and uninteresting. And two…well, if the final pages of the opening issue are to be believed, Bruce is telling Selina all of this after they had sex. Man, and I thought Zayn from One Direction made pillow talk sound unappealing.

But, then there’s one other thing I gather Tom King will get to at some point. Basically, at the end of the I Am Gotham arc, we got some narration from Claire that took place in the future, wherein she is not only married to Duke Thomas, but also apparently killed Batman… … …Okay, I’m just gonna get this out of the way right now: Can we please get a writer on the main Batman book who DOESN’T try to boost sales by teasing killing Batman off? And both Morrison and Snyder were quick to reveal that said deaths of Batman were fake-outs. Why should I have any reason to believe that isn’t the case here? Goddammit, DC, get Tom King off this book pronto and get someone who understands the character and won’t resort to trying to kill him off to write it. Sorry, King, but you’re just not the man for this book. But I do legitimately hope Mister Miracle works out great for you.

Anyway, that’s it for Tom King’s Batman. Leave your comments below on how you felt about the book, and be sure to check back in next time. And, rest assured, if there’s trouble, you’ll know who to call. Ja né!

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Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #3 Review #PoisonIvyLeague

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody! And in the spirit of green, we got a Poison Ivy comic review, and…well… … … …Pinkie Pie, you wanna field this one?

Thank you. Look, I know I’m gonna get a lot of people angry at me, but overall…I have to say that this comic left me feeling not so great. That’s not to say there aren’t good things still present with this comic, but…well, let’s just get into it. Here are my thoughts on Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #3. And please keep in mind, these are just MY thoughts, so it could very well be that the problem is simply me, I don’t argue that at all.

So, lemme just start off by saying that I personally find the babies kinda adorable. I know some people disagree, but I think they’re cute. I don’t know why, I just do. I’m kinda worried we’re gonna see them eventually die and/or turn heel, though. It feels like that’d be the most likely scenario in the end, and I’d much rather they not go down that avenue. However, I will say exactly why I feel that to be the most likely ending: Because that would otherwise be a great storyline to do for the long-term and see how it affects and changes Pam, and I’m pretty sure that, as of right now, they have no plans to do stories starring Ivy in the immediate future after the end of this mini-series.

But now we gotta talk about something I know is gonna be a hot button subject: Poison Ivy seduces and kills a man from work that was hitting on her a lot, and then feeds him to her plant monsters. And as soon as I was done reading that scene, I thought to myself “I don’t know that I wanna review this comic, because I’m pretty sure I’m gonna piss somebody off, namely a good percentage of the Poison Ivy League”. And this is a group I’ve been supporting for a long time now, advertised on my blog, spotlighted however I could, and now I’m scared that, once people read this, I may need to kiss my membership goodbye. But…at the same time, this is the life I’ve chosen for myself: Writing, blogging, giving my thoughts. And if I held back on how I really felt, you wouldn’t be able to respect me. So, I have to be honest.

I did NOT like watching Poison Ivy kill that guy. Not just that she killed him, but that she then fed him to her plant monsters. I mean, it was when Ivy fed a guy to a plant that I had to call it quits on the Harley Quinn book, and I can’t say that it’s any better here just because I like one book and its creative team better than the other. I get that she is not a superhero. At times, I wish she was, but she’s not. Regardless, this is supposed to be behaviour she’s beyond. At one point in this comic, she talks about how she’d LIKE to kill two detectives (who were freaking morons, by the way), but that she’s turning over a new leaf (pun likely intended). And then 7 pages later (ads not included, and yes, I counted), she kills this guy. There’s having seasonal affective disorder, and then there’s being just plain psychotic and murderous. And yes, this is now at least two people she’s killed, the dog abuser included. And like I said before, comeuppance is one thing, and both people deserved as much. However, this is murder of two people who, while both were utter assholes and just overall terrible people, and one was technically a criminal as animal abuse is illegal, the other one was just a jerk. Why do I make a point of that specifically? Because I can see her breaking her word and killing if she really and truly felt she HAD to, or if the person was a dangerous criminal and she knows the justice system would screw the pooch on dealing with them, because she’s not a hero. But this, as I said last issue, was unnecessary, and comes off as being done either to hammer in the point that she’s not a superhero, or to come off as some kind of power fantasy for those that wish they could do something about people like this. And keep in mind, I said PEOPLE, not MEN. The fact that they’re men and she’s a woman? Has absolutely nothing to do with this. If either side had their genders reversed, or both, wouldn’t change a damned thing. So if you disagree with my opinions, that’s fine, I fully expect people to. But don’t ANYONE come at me saying that I don’t like this because of my gender or the genders of the characters involved.

So, does this mean I officially hate this series and am not buying anymore?…No. I thought this one issue was problematic at best, I have concerns for the series overall, but things can still turn around, and I wanna have faith that it will. And frankly, if I abandoned the book at the first sign of trouble, after I and so many others yelled from the rooftops for DC to make this happen, then they’d never give us anything we demand ever again. Plus, I’m interested to see where this goes with the ending, with Catwoman showing up and knowing the two will team up next issue, as well as Darshan finding out about all of this. And hey, I’m still legit curious to know the answer to the mystery and who is responsible for what’s going on. So I’m gonna stick with it. Just letting you know, though, when issue 6 comes out, I WILL be giving my thoughts on the series overall, and if I feel generally negatively about it in the end, I’ll tell you and I’ll say exactly why that is. I just hope for the sake of myself and everyone that wanted this book and all but begged for it that I feel generally positive about the book.

Anyway, those are my thoughts in general. Again, agree, disagree, go ahead. Just remember this, though: I am not someone that went into this book expecting and wanting to hate it. I wanted this as much as anybody, and I remain optimistic about the series for now. Ja né!

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #3 Preview #PoisonIvyLeague

Aww, they’re so adorable! ❤ …50 bucks says they turn evil and/or die by the end. lol Here’s the preview for Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #3.

  • As the murder investigation at the lab deepens, a new surprise awaits Poison Ivy in the form of the growing hatched sporelings! As these new lifeforms test the limits of their power, will they soon outgrow the need for their creator?

http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/poison-ivy-cycle-of-life-and-death-3-dc-comics-2016

Early Predictions/Desires For #DCRebirth – The Justice League And Related Characters

So, I’ve talked about some things I’d like to see from DC Rebirth back before we knew really ANYTHING about it, and I gave general thoughts on the books announced to be part of DC’s new line-up during Rebirth and beyond. Now, it’s time to look at the individual books announced and/or characters involved and talk about what I either expect to see happen as part of this movement to bring back the elements of the books and their characters we and the creators love. Keep in mind, I might’ve discussed some of this already in the aforementioned articles, so I may be repeating a few points. Still, let’s start off with…well, a book I’m a little disappointed to hear something about…And by a little disappointed, I mean my first words upon hearing about it were, and I quote, “SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!!“…I might’ve overreacted slightly. lol

The Justice League

Justice League

Then again, though, when you consider the quality of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s work as of late with Justice League, can you really blame me for that reaction? Well, regardless, with Justice League and Justice League America, what I would recommend doing is having both books be about different groupings of the same team. Like, one book could focus on the original big seven of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (who I am hoping to God is returning to the League now that his book is ending), and the other can focus on some of the newer members, like Shazam, Cyborg, Jessica Cruz, Mister Miracle, and Big Barda. I’ve actually heard for a while now that there might’ve been a planned crossover between Justice League and JLA, but unless they had this planned with whoever was taking over for Johns, I don’t see that happening right away. And frankly, I’m a little sick of books doing crossovers before they hit 12 issues anyway, so holding off on that might be in order.

Batman

Batman

Assuming he retains the memory of it from the events of The Darkseid War, something tells me that a future arc of the new Batman title might revolve around him looking for the Joker now that he knows his identity. I just can’t imagine him gaining ahold of that information and not wanting to use it to maybe put an end to the Joker’s threat before anyone else gets hurt. Still, I’m a bit…leery of that idea. See, for me, the Joker works best when you DON’T know all the details of who he really is and what his past was like, and I can’t imagine DC actually going through with that. As Joker himself once put it, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice”. Then again, they’re apparently telling his back-story in the TV show Gotham, which I dislike for various reasons on top of that, so who knows? Like I’ve said before, though, I hope that they decide to make Joker a little more fun in the future. He’s more than capable of being a terrifying villain AND the occasional goofy clown. Other than that, since I don’t see any books involving Robin in the line-up thus far, one has to wonder what’s to become of Damian and the members of We Are Robin, in particular Duke Thomas. Will Damian become Bruce’s full-time partner again in one of the Batman books, or will he step aside and become his own individual while Duke takes his place? Or perhaps Duke will instead take on the identity of Lark, like in one of Bruce’s nightmare scenarios brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin? And what of Jim Gordon? Will he continue to take up the mantle of the All-New Batman? Only time will tell for sure, but we’ll talk more about Batman’s supporting cast and related characters later.

Superman

Superman

So, after the newest issue of Action Comics, it looks as though Superman is no longer dying. I could be wrong, but that appears to be the case. He’s also been fully revitalized. So, doesn’t look like the Super League is being built as a possible replacement for the Man of Steel. However, I would be willing to suggest that he’s instead putting it together due to the events where his powers were drained, his identity was leaked, and so on, and that there’d need to be someone who could stand in for him if something like that should ever happen again. Speaking of, though, I’ve got this sneaky suspicion that the public may not remember that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same post-Rebirth. Why? Well, like I mentioned before, the Spyral satellite has the ability to remove the public’s knowledge of Dick Grayson being Nightwing, which is likely how he’ll return to the role as I’ll get into when I talk about him. If I were one of the heads at DC and decided that Clark’s secret identity being exposed was not a good idea for the long-term, that seems like it’d be a good way out of it. With that said, though, if I may make a request, if that happens and they do that…?

Lois Lane

Lois Lane

Keep Lois’ memories of the ordeal intact. This isn’t even me wanting to see Lois and Clark as a couple again (although I do, a LOT), but simply because ever since she found out Clark Kent is Superman, she’s been even more actively involved in stories, for better or worse. Married or unmarried, couple or friends, ultimately, I think history has proven that there are more stories that can be told with her in the know about Clark being Superman than with her being kept out of the loop. But, with that said…yeah, I really do wanna see them together again, especially since the book about the pre-Flashpoint Lois and Clark is ending. In fact, who knows? Maybe they’ll do some kinda merger thing where the Superman and Lois Lane of both worlds blend into one, and both become a balance of their counterparts? Not sure where that leaves little Jonathan, but it could happen. But, for that to happen, obviously, something’s gotta go…

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s time to call it quits on the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship. Above all else, the reason I’m just plain sick of it is because the two are rarely, if ever, treated like equals when it comes to their relationship. Wonder Woman is pretty much just Superman’s girlfriend in a lot of stories they’re presented in as a couple. Beyond that, my standard requests are as follows: Restore the Amazons to the compassionate protectors of mankind, and for the love of God, pants or no pants, I don’t care anymore, just give us a brighter colour scheme for Diana. In fact, I’d actually be fine with the design Jason Fabok uses for her in Justice League, but with gold instead of silver. Also, I keep hearing that the movie will be rebooting to the old school Etta Candy, and if I can make a suggestion? Do the same in the comics. You don’t necessarily have to undo making her black. Hell, you don’t even need to make her as overweight as the original. Just something similar, and above all else, make Etta the ninja tackling badass sidekick I remember.

Aquaman

Aquaman

…Okay, not really much to say about Aquaman, other than it’s great to see him back to his old look and kicking ass like normal. I will say, though, that the writers really need to make up their minds as to whether he’s gonna be King of Atlantis or not for the foreseeable future, though. No, my biggest concern for the Aquaman books is something…different.

Mera

Mera

…OH, GOOD GOD, WHY?! I got into a little bit of a rant about this on Twitter when I saw this, as you can read here. Suffice to say, no. Absolutely not. Whatever the writers of Aquaman are thinking, NO! BAD writers! Don’t make her Aquawoman. You make her Aquawoman, and I will violently murder the first fish I see. Oh, and just saying this? If they DO make Arthur King of Atlantis again, can we PLEASE have these two be officially married again? Or maybe they already have been when I wasn’t looking, I don’t know, but if they aren’t, please don’t listen to Dan, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to superheroes being married, especially with these two. It makes no sense for them to not be married when all evidence points to her having served in the capacity of Queen of Atlantis at Arthur’s side at least at one point. Also, I’m sorry, but one of these days, we gotta make Mera an official member of the Justice League. How many times does she have to accompany them and their various divisions into action and show just how easily she stands among them before she’s given a seat?

The Flash

The Flash

Again, not a lot to say about The Fastest Man Alive, other than that I hope that this whole mess involving him being Central City’s most wanted and being hunted by the Rogues doesn’t last long. I AM interested to see what role he plays with Rebirth, however. As Geoff Johns himself has pointed out, nearly every time there’s been a massive change to the universe, a Flash (usually Barry) was at the center of it. Speaking of, I wonder if we’ll ever get follow-up on exactly why Pandora used Barry to reboot the universe at the end of Flashpoint. The whole thing about Pandora’s Box being the reason seems kinda minor when you consider what that turned out to be. I mean, she really needed to reboot the universe just so we can get a Boom Tube that led to Earth 3? But yeah, once again, my bigger concern is with a certain other Flash…

Wally West

Wally West

Seriously, I don’t care if he’s black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, or fuchsia, we need the FUN Wally West back. The Wally West who is cracking jokes and being the far more fun-loving Flash. And I don’t care if he’s The Flash, Kid Flash, Impulse, whatever, it’s time to pull the trigger on him suiting up and working with Barry. With that said, a lot of people were against the new costume we saw him in during the whole Future’s End tie-in, but honestly, I thought he looked good. The silver DOES stand out in a very dramatic way and makes him look very distinct from the other Flashes.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Again, I’d kinda like to see Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and maybe even the other Earth-born Lanterns rotate on the Justice League and JLA. Beyond that, though, I get the feeling that Jessica Cruz will be switching out the Ring of Volthoom from Earth 3 for a Green Lantern Ring. There WAS a silhouette of a female Green Lantern in the image for Rebirth, and Jessica seems like the logical candidate. And frankly, I would just be happy to see her conquer her fear and give Volthoom the boot. Still, kinda hope her Green Lantern costume, if I’m correct, incorporates some elements of her Power Ring costume. Oh, and can we PLEASE have a sense of stability in the Green Lantern Corps for at least a year? I don’t think I even need to point this out, but life has been hell for the Corps as of the past few years. The Guardians finally came out as evil, there’s been a shit-ton of members dying left and right, they got better Guardians who still managed to screw the pooch in the end, and now most of them have been banished to another dimension or some shit. But as for Hal himself…he’s gotta lose the jacket. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work for him. To be honest, when he and Parallax had their fight recently, Hal looked more like a villain than Parallax did…y’know, until Parallax pulled the whole fangs thing, which still looks fucking stupid. lol

Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter

What in the HELL is going on in J’onn’s comics as of late?!?! No, seriously, someone please explain this shit to me! It turned out he was a bio-engineered weapon the Martians were going to use to take over Earth, and that he was hiding that for years, and that might’ve been why he was kicked outta the League during the gap between the first two story arcs of Justice League, but he doesn’t wanna hurt anyone, but he’s not willing to stop the plan, but then he wants to die, and then he does die, but somehow he’s got different aspects of himself that converge into a new Martian Manhunter, who looks…well, I’m not gonna say BAD. In fact, as far as radical redesigns go, at least this keeps some aspects of the old look intact. But still, he tries at first to lead the martian invasion, but then he decides not to, and now he’s got some kinda giant mech, which is both awesome and stupid, I don’t even know, and oh God, my head… … … …So yeah, please DC, just put him back on the Justice League and scale this nonsense down a bit. I had to check my ear a second ago just to make sure there wasn’t blood seeping from my brain and out there from all that.

Cyborg

Cyborg

Okay, is it just me, or does the storyline of the government being untrusting of Cyborg actually make WAY more sense than when they do the same thing with Superman? Maybe it’s because we’ve seen that Vic’s control CAN be overrode, and thus it’s less about trusting that he’s a good guy, but rather concern that it could happen again, especially when he can be plugged into EVERYTHING. Plus, there’s the whole matter of Victor having cybernetic enhancements to benefit him after he lost most of his body, and yet amputees have to deal with ordinary prosthetic parts that don’t work even a tenth as good. I’m not saying everyone should be decked out with his stuff, and it was established from the beginning that the tech used to make him into Cyborg was experimental and very easily could’ve backfired. And yeah, none of this is actually Victor’s fault, he’s just as much a victim in this as anyone else. Still, I can at least understand the conflict here WAY more, and if they wanna continue with that arc post-Rebirth, I wouldn’t mind. However, I WOULD suggest maybe adding more to his rogues gallery. We need his version of the Joker or Lex Luthor, someone who is his opposite in nearly every way, but can challenge him on an equal footing despite his natural advantages.

Shazam

Shazam

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, allow me to do so: I HATE THIS VERSION OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! And a big part of why I hate him all revolves around the mass changes to Billy Batson. He was supposed to be a sweet, innocent, giving, and (for the most part) selfless individual. It was why he was chosen to gain the powers of Shazam. But when we meet him in THIS universe, he’s a little punk shithead who cons people and is mean to his adoptive family for no reason other than he wants to be! And even after all that, when he finally becomes Shazam and learns more about being a hero, he STILL acts like a little twerp who swears a lot to sound adult and cool, which is at its most jarring when he’s transformed into Shazam, has the wisdom of Solomon, and therefore should know better! But then, I KNOW why they made those changes. It’s the exact same reason they made so many changes to Superman: It was to make him SO much more identifiable and realistic. But, just like with Superman, it was done in a manner so poorly that he no longer resembles the hero he once was in any way. Hell, he doesn’t even have the same NAME! Seriously, DC, if you are serious about this, look back at what made the old Captain Marvel a beloved character and try reintroducing those elements.

Anyway, that’s all when it comes to the Justice League. Check back in next time when I look at the Bat Family and what I hope and/or expect to see become of Nightwing, Batgirl, and the returning Birds of Prey. Ja né!

Scott Snyder Moving To Detective Comics + Whose Idea Was It To Have Jim Gordon Be Batman? (WARNING – MASSIVE SPECULATION AHEAD)

So, it was reported the other day, pretty much in tandem with the whole DC Rebirth thing, that Scott Snyder was going to be leaving the main Batman title. Since then, Greg Capullo pretty much confirmed it on Twitter, and the word going ’round is that Snyder (and possibly Capullo as well, not sure) will be going to Detective Comics…Well, that pretty much changes my plans for when Poison Ivy’s miniseries is wrapped up. See, the thing is, and I was gonna make mention of this eventually, my parents and I recently had to go on welfare, which means I’m gonna have less money to spend on comics, so I’ve had to reduce my pull list to four monthly comics: Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Spider-Gwen, and Ms. Marvel. Once Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death was over, I was planning to fill the empty slot with Batman, since Bruce is taking back the cowl. However, between the news that Snyder won’t be on the book anymore, plus the fact that it’ll be a bimonthly release now (two issues a month), it looks like I’ll instead be going with Detective Comics.

But see, here’s something that kinda buzzes the back of my brain. And I wanna make it clear that, from here on out, a lot of what I’m about to say is strictly SPECULATION. I have no REAL evidence about any of this. However, the reason Scott Snyder is leaving Batman for Detective Comics has been suggested to be because he has more stories he wants to tell with Batman, and because the primary Batman title is going to remain more “event driven”, Detective Comics is probably the best place to do it. As such, it brings up a question I’ve had on my mind for quite some time now: Whose idea was it to have Jim Gordon be Batman?

Now, on the one hand, you can see how it might’ve been Snyder’s, because in the Justice League books, Batman is Bruce Wayne, and they’re the books where all the really big shit happens that effects the whole DC Universe. As such, if Snyder’s really going to Detective Comics to get away from having to adhere to the big events going on in the DC Universe, it would suggest that he came up with Jim Gordon being Batman and has now found himself in a position where plans will have to change as a result of storylines going forward requiring Bruce as the main protagonist.

However, on the flip side, in all the Bat Family books, Batman is Jim Gordon, meaning the stuff Snyder personally is writing will always have Jim as Batman for as long as that story is going on. Furthermore, looking at the storyline in hindsight where Jim has had to take over as Batman, you can see elements where it might not have been Scott’s idea. Not only does Jim openly admit that the idea of him being Batman is stupid, but the first issue of this story reveals that Bruce is alive, and then we quickly learn about how he has amnesia. Really, the focus of the story isn’t even on Jim. The focus is on Bruce. Jim is just a place-holder for Batman until Bruce gets his memories back. Also, so many events have happened in the Bat Family books, and in fact new books altogether have been written (We Are Robin, for example), all in the wake of Batman and Joker’s last battle and Batman being presumed KIA. And lastly, on top of all of this, the change involving Jim Gordon becoming Batman happened at the same time that Superman and Wonder Woman changed costumes, and Superman’s identity was made public, which could be seen as DC deciding to copy Marvel’s massive change-ups with Captain America (Falcon becoming the new Cap after Steve Rogers lost the supersoldier serum), Iron Man (turned evil in AXIS, but honestly, who could tell the difference by then?), and Thor (lost the ability to use his hammer, which instead found its way to Jane Foster).

With all of that in mind, if I had to take a guess at what happened, and I fully admit I could be wrong here, I would suggest that Scott Snyder did NOT come up with the idea of Jim Gordon becoming Batman. I’ll grant this much: The final battle with the Joker might have (and probably was) a plan of his, which would in turn lead to a story where Bruce is left without his memories and we see him living a normal life, but that it would ultimately lead to him slowly beginning to remember and making the choice to return. However, if my suggestion of DC wanting to copy Marvel’s recent changes with their big three is correct, I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that the higher-ups at DC Comics decided to capitalize on both wanting to do that, and capitalizing on Snyder’s story with Bruce losing his memory, as well as the fact that the show Gotham was on, which had Jim Gordon as the main protagonist.

In fact, in regards to that last bit about Gotham? Apparently, a big part of the reason for the upcoming DC Rebirth is to make the current line-up of comics be more reflective of the current TV shows and movies starring these characters. Is this a bad idea? Well…yes and no. See, one big part of why making Starfire the way she was in Red Hood And The Outlaws was so mind-numbingly stupid is because the reboot of The New 52 was meant to bring in new readers. As has been brought up many times before, the only reason a new reader would pick up RHATO is because of the appearance of Starfire, capitalizing on her appearance in Teen Titans, except she was nothing like that version of the character, or her previous comic book incarnation for that matter, and thus they would be turned off from this book. So, changing up the line-up of books to take better advantage of those watching the shows and movies? Yeah, I can see the appeal for that. However, the problem there is for those of us who are already reading the comics, and just had a major reboot to the entire DC Universe a little less than five years ago, and now it looks like we MIGHT be about to endure another one. Do I know this for a fact? No. But would it shock me if that’s what happened? Also no. Now, I’ve already said that a SOFT reboot would be okay, and in fact desirable for many reasons I’ve listed, but if they honestly hit the universal reboot button again? It’d be like saying that we read the past five years worth of comics for NOTHING.

Hopefully, Flash won't be responsible for this one too. lol

Hopefully, Flash won’t be responsible for this one too. lol

But anyway, like I said, a lot of this is conjecture on my part. And yeah, I could be wrong about a lot of what’s going on, what’s happened, and what’s going to occur. This is just me getting out some theories (and worries) about the current product at DC Comics, which I hope to continue reading in the future. For now, though, as I said earlier, my pull list has been decreased to four comics a month: Two from DC, two from Marvel. As such, I’ve had to drop a lot of books I was reading, and to those that worked on those books, you have my sincere apologies and hopes that your stories continue on and do well. And hey, maybe if my current money situation improves enough in the future, I might be able to buy the trades to get caught up.

For now, though, lemme know what you guys think about everything going on at DC nowadays, and we’ll see how this all pans out in June…just in time for my birthday. lol Ja né!

Poison Ivy #1 Preview #PoisonIvyLeague

Merry Christmas, Poison Ivy League! 😀 Here’s an early preview of Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1!

  • Life. Death. Poison Ivy has power over both. But can she keep her friends and hold down a regular job at the same time? As Dr. Pamela Isley, she joins the prestigious plant sciences department at Gotham Botanical Gardens, but things quickly get complicated when a fellow scientist is murdered and it looks like the work of Ivy. Don’t miss the start of this new 6-issue miniseries!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/poison-ivy-cycle-of-life-and-death-1-dc-comics-2016

My Thoughts On Batman #43 And The Massive Plot Hole I’ve Uncovered (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, as you know, I have not been buying Batman since Jim Gordon took over the role. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like the idea, and I like it even less with Powers Industries and the GCPD following his every move. There ARE stories where it KINDA works, like in the last issue of Batgirl, but otherwise, not so much. However, I HAVE been following along with what’s going on, and I know what was revealed in today’s issue regarding how Bruce can still be alive and yet not have retaken the role of Batman. If you haven’t read today’s issue and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading this article and go read the comic. Otherwise, here’s what’s happened.

Apparently, Batman DID die in that cave with the Joker. However, his body was regenerated by the chemicals that Joker had used to regrow his face, give himself temporary Wolverine-esque healing powers, and trick people into thinking he was immortal. So, all’s good, right? Well, the thing is, the chemicals may have dropped the ball on one point. See, they brought back Bruce Wayne. They did NOT, however, bring back Batman. Right now, Bruce believes what the public believes: That he FUNDED Batman for years. He’s not sure exactly what happened to him recently, but he remembers pretty much all of his assets being taken up by the government following Batman Eternal, and that he’s pretty much broke. That’s why he’s currently working at a teen centre with Julie Madison: He wants to continue to do what he can to help people, but he’s also having to rebuild his life from ground zero. He’s also told Jim Gordon that he can’t help him figure out how to stop Powers from tracking his every move, saying that’s not his life anymore.

As we find out, Alfred is well aware of what’s happened, and Superman’s figured it out too. However, there’s kinda this problem in the way of them telling him the truth: Even if they told him the truth and he put the cowl back on, his training to become Batman is gone. His body might be able to do the job, but not his mind. He’d likely get himself killed, only this time there’d be no way to bring him back. Now, as Superman brought up, Bruce always has a plan, and must’ve had something in mind in case he couldn’t continue to operate as Batman. Problem is, said contingency plan was the cloning machine from Batman: Detective Comics #27 and Future’s End: Batman #1, and he never got it to work. So, until they find a way to restore his memories, the real Batman’s dead, and he’s not coming back.

So yeah, this is a good explanation for why Bruce isn’t Batman right now, and presents a decent dilemma for how to bring him back. Mind you, Bruce having amnesia isn’t exactly a new story, but whatever, it nonetheless works here… … …Here’s where the problem is: Why the hell did they let Powers and the GCPD create a new Batman that worked for them? See, you’ve got I dunno how many different operatives in Batman Incorporated, all of whom were trained to operate using Batman’s methodology. Why couldn’t you just PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM?! What is the point of having so many characters that work with Batman, that know how he operates, that were trained by him to BE Batman in different regions of the world, if you’re not gonna use them in situations like this?! Hell, to the best of my knowledge, Superman knows that Dick Grayson is alive! Call him and tell him that Bruce has amnesia and needs someone to stand in for him! There is no reason to leave this up to Gordon to deal with the weight of all of this!

Anyway, that’s the plot hole in this story. Whether or not this is a mistake on Scott Snyder’s part is up to debate, though, since he could’ve overlooked all of this or is simply having to ignore it for the sake of the story. And frankly, I honestly don’t know if Jimbo becoming Batman is really his idea, or if it, combined with Superman’s new status quo and Wonder Woman’s new look, are part of an ill-fated attempt by DC to copy what Marvel has done with their big three. In addition, Jim Gordon becoming Batman could also be an attempt to promote the show Gotham, where he is oftentimes considered the main protagonist…which I don’t even understand why you’d wanna do that, since Gotham is a piece of shit show that doesn’t even understand its own fucking mythos. Regardless, this plot hole makes things problematic at best, and hopefully, Snyder addresses this issue in-story sooner than later.

Before I call it a day on this post, though, there’s one other thing I wanna address, concerning the new enemy, Mr. Bloom. A theory I’ve heard about the villain is that he’s actually the Joker, who was likewise brought back to life by the chemicals in the cave and is lacking parts of his personality. I REALLY hope that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, a similar story could be done to bring Joker back while also erasing his memory of Batman’s identity and possibly bringing back more…charming aspects of his personality beyond being a simple horror villain. However, I’d much rather that be done much LATER from now, and have Mr. Bloom be his own unique character that simply represents the kind of foe Joker was to Bruce in his relation to Gordon. Not to mention, bringing both Bruce and Joker back so quickly would make Endgame seem so small in the grand scheme of things. Mind you, Mr. Bloom is kind of a dumb name for a supervillain we’re supposed to take seriously, and we’ve already done the plant-based rogue for Batman, but he nonetheless has potential as his own character.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say about this. Hopefully, we get some good answers pretty soon. Ja né!

Batman #41 Preview

So, I promised I’d do this. Even though I’m not reading Batman from here on out due to my own personal dislike of the idea of Jim Gordon being Batman, I nonetheless have great respect for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and want to encourage good reading. So, here’s the preview for Batman #41.

  • The all-new Batman makes his debut! Who is he, and what happens next? Find out here as a new era begins in Gotham City!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/batman-41-dc-comics-2015

Also, here’s a link to an interview Scott Snyder did regarding the issue.

http://www.newsarama.com/24758-snyder-capullo-launch-new-classic-feeling-batman-loaded-with-cool.html

Thoughts On Batman #38 – What Is The Joker?

Well, I ended up getting my copy of Batman #38 late, due to the roads being kinda icky last night (although that didn’t stop me from reading spoilers, because dammit, after last issue, the hell if I was gonna wait any longer than I had to in order to find out what the hell is going on). Since its release yesterday, Scott Snyder has clarified a few details for the sake of those wondering.

  1. This is NOT a dream, illusion, or hallucination. What Batman is going through is 100% REAL, so theories that this is another worst case scenario brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxins are incorrect, though it’s likely that the payoff for that is that Batman goes through the horrid nightmares of his end, but is able to cheat death where it counts most.
  2. The Joker DOES know now that Batman is Bruce Wayne. There’re no more implications, suggestions, doubts, or theories, HE KNOWS. As such, all bets are off regarding what Joker can and will do to Batman now.

So, let’s get down to the question at the core of everything going on in this story: What is the Joker? Is he human, or some kind of monster? Is he mortal, or immortal? Well, before we get to that, I can clear this much up: Regardless of what he is, there IS something in his bloodstream that has a regenerative factor to it. He was shot through the chest and didn’t die. Ergo, whether or not he’s always had it, the fact is, Joker cannot be killed right now, so even if Batman was finally willing to cross that line, the end result is that he cannot kill him.

...That, right there, is where Grayson should realize just how boned they are: BATMAN does not have a plan.

…That, right there, is where Grayson should realize just how boned they are: BATMAN does not have a plan.

Regarding whether or not Joker could possibly be an immortal that’s been haunting Gotham City for at least a hundred years. Well, here was the argument that kept getting in the way of that for me: “How can Joker be immortal, have been seen in Gotham for at least a hundred years, and have that same pale face to boot throughout that time, when he only got it when he fell into the chemical bath?” And we HAVE established that this part of his history is still canon, having occurred during the Zero Year story-arc. However, here’s the counter-argument I eventually came to: “How do you know he got that face from the chemical bath? The only proof you have are flashbacks provided by Joker’s own narration, and his tales of his past have proven he’s either a liar or doesn’t remember his own past. In fact, how did he even survive the fall to begin with? Furthermore, how did he manage to survive everything he has, from falls off cliffs to escaping deadly explosions to even surviving the process of having his face cut off?” I’ll admit, at that point, I was kinda stumped to come up with a logical explanation for all of that, especially since so much of who Joker is and his past is kept a mystery. Remember, Zero Year suggested that he WASN’T the leader of the Red Hood Gang, but an impostor that had taken his place after the real one died. And then there’s the cave he had of other Harley Quinns he’d supposedly created prior to turning Harleen Quinzel to his side, all dead. Now, one could assume he was just messing with Harley, and in fact, he very well may have, but what if he wasn’t? What if they were all allies of his throughout his years of tormenting Gotham? Finally, how can someone trump Batman at his own game as often as he has, putting the opponent at a sheer disadvantage due to prior preparation, unless he’s been playing this game far longer than him?

This narration has been brought to you by Crazy Quilt, who got a MUCH appreciated revamp for this story.

 

So, here’s what I’m thinking has happened: Either Scott Snyder has finally explained how it’s possible for Joker to have survived all he has in his career as a Batman villain, OR has created a reasonable enough conclusion for people to come to before throwing the rug out from under them. Either way, though, when I realized he’d done one of these two things, I was torn between my admiration of his brilliance and my need to punch the beautiful bastard. lol And for that matter, I love what else he’s done, in involving Bruce’s uncle’s associates, having this story be a sequel to Death of the Family, and having Bruce finally decide to get his answers on whether Joker is immortal or not from, of all people, the Court of Owls. This is taking everything he and Greg Capullo have done in their time on the book and bringing it all together for one big climax. And the bizarre thing is, it’s not even the end! They’re still on-board for the book post-Convergence, which I keep hearing is supposed to get insane with how things change for Batman afterward. If THIS isn’t the part where things get crazy, then I gotta see what the hell those evil geniuses have in mind for post-Convergence.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Batman #38. Lemme know your own theories on what’s happening with Joker in the comments below, and we’ll see how things turn out as Endgame winds down to a close over the next couple of months. Ja né!

Thoughts On Batman #37 – Is The Joker Immortal?

…So, I’m sure you’ve all heard what happened in Batman #37 by now. If you didn’t, here’s the cliff-notes: The whole city is Jokerized, none of Batman’s cures for Joker venom work, investigation of a supposed haunted hospital turned up images going back a hundred years where the Joker’s face could be seen in the background, he reenacted the murder of the Waynes for Bruce to see with Duke Thomas’ family (Batman saved them, although they’ve since been Jokerized), Joker got shot through the heart by Jim Gordon and lived, and to top it all off, he then proceeded to call Batman ‘Bruce’. In other words, this was pretty much the holy shit issue.

So, aside from the fact that Joker apparently knows who Batman is now, and I’ll get to that in a bit, this issue raises one big question: Is The Joker immortal? I’ve thought about it a lot for the past 29 hours (bought it at 6 yesterday), and I’ve come to three possible explanations for what the hell is going on. They are as follows.

  1. The Joker is some kind of immortal evil that’s been haunting Gotham for at least a hundred years. Now, because we established in Zero Year that Joker falling in the vat of acid at Ace Chemicals is still canon, that must mean he’s not necessarily immortal but able to reincarnate, though is nonetheless difficult to kill. Again, he was shot through the heart.
  2. He’s somehow fucking with Batman’s head, making him THINK he’s immortal, just to make Batman feel like some insignificant figure before the almighty immortal evil that is himself. And while stuff like the photos and him surviving being shot are difficult to smoke and mirror, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE, not in the DC Universe.
  3. None of this is real. Think about it: This arc started with Batman recovering from an injection of Scarecrow’s fear toxins meant to make him see his end over and over, and that in every one, no matter how it differed, it always ended with a sort of mad, accusing laughter from Gotham, as if to say “Who did you think you were?” Well, look at what’s happened now: The Joker’s back, is fully ready to end him, and there’s seemingly nothing Bruce can do to stop him.

Now, of those three options, 2 and 3 seem to be the most likely, particularly the last one. Specifically, one thing that suggests that to be the case, on top of everything I just said, is the notion that Joker knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Now, again, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE. If he was REALLY willing to kill Batman and end their ‘relationship’, as he calls it, I could see it happening. However, here’s the problem, and kind of why no one does this: Once Joker knows who Batman is, that’s it. Game’s over. At that point, Batman has NO options left. He HAS to kill The Joker, because he is now far too dangerous to let go. He walks, and everyone close to him as both Batman and Bruce Wayne is now a target. Not to mention, Batman would officially be a liability to the Justice League, because Joker’s already proven he can get to them, but now he can get to them all the easier through Bruce. All he has to do is follow him to go meet them in their personal lives to find out who they are. And while Scott Snyder suggested there would be repercussions from the end of this story, somehow, I doubt he’d go THAT far… … …Well, okay, that DC Editorial would LET HIM go that far. lol

Anyway, lemme know what your own theories on the matter are, and we’ll see what happens in March. Ja né!