Well, the New 52 is just about at its end, with DC Rebirth coming up next week and the last of the New 52 books ending over the course of the next few months. And while the New 52 has become something of a punchline for many fans, let’s not forget the good times that came with it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that there WERE good books, as well as the bad. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that, before I seriously rag on the New 52 one last time, I should really take a look at some of my favourite comics from this era. Now, keep in mind, these are JUST the ones that I read. I’m well aware of the fact that there were other good comics that came out during the past five years under the DC banner that won’t be on this list. As such, if your favourites aren’t on the list, by all means, feel free to place your own in the comments. Also, keep in mind that there are books that, while good, just weren’t the overall greats of this list. So, books like Justice League, while having arcs I liked, also had a bunch of arcs I DIDN’T like, so they just missed the cut…though I DO have a bonus round for them. lol And, of course, books that are not a part of the main line, like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman don’t count. Why we couldn’t have more books like it and Legends of Wonder Woman in the main line, I dunno, but for now, let’s start with one that’s probably kinda obvious to anyone who’s read my blog for a while…
Yeah, not shocking anyone with this pick, I’m sure. Most definitely my favourite of the books starring the New 52 Superman, and it’s one of the reasons I’m actually sad to learn that he’s dying. Yes, he is arguably the most inherently flawed of the mainstream Supermen, but when you have a good writer with a good story writing him, those flaws are used in good ways. We see how this Superman is still an inspirational figure in spite of these flaws by never giving up and continuously trying to do the best he can for the world. So yeah, while I’m obviously overjoyed to see the pre-Flashpoint Superman return to active duty, along with his wife and son, there will always be a little part of me that gets nostalgic for the Superman who didn’t always get it right, but nonetheless kept trying his best, for truth and justice.
I actually feel bad because I initially was unwilling to give this book a try. Why? Because they’d seemingly undone Babs’ past as Oracle as a means to make her Batgirl again, thus taking the position away from Stephanie Brown, who was nowhere to be seen for a long time. But while all that is true, I can’t deny that this book has had some great moments. Granted, I HATED the Batgirl Wanted arc, and Black Canary’s characterization in the beginning of the Stewart/Fletcher era rubbed me the wrong way, but the rest of it has been highly enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments are probably Alysia’s wedding, the end of the Simone era when Babs called in damned near EVERY superheroine on Earth, ALL of her annuals, the tie-in to Future’s End, that time she and Strix took on vampires, it’s just been a hell of a ride, and I hope that the next volume is just as fun.
For those that never read this book, I’ll keep the recap brief: Shortly after the collapse of the government sanctioned JLA, which was secretly meant as a fail-safe against the Justice League, three of its members, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, found themselves teaming with Supergirl, Adam and Alanna Strange, Animal Man, and newcomer Equinox, to form a new Justice League: the Justice League United, set up in Canada, and meant to protect the world from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Of course, right off the bat, I was excited, since…well, do you know how long I waited for my country to get their own Justice League? Was awesome. But beyond that, getting to see some of the character interactions without the dread present in the JLA book that came before it was great too (Green Arrow and Animal Man playing off each other made for some decent comedy), and there was a lot of more traditional superheroing. In the later stages of the book’s existence, the team began rotating members in and out in order to deal with different situations, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Anyone from Batgirl to Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing to Vandal Savage, and so on could be brought in depending on what the situation called for. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long before the book’s cancellation, but the JLU has since appeared during the Truth story-arc in the Superman books, giving me hope that they’ll one day return to action.
I should probably note that, when I say Convergence is a favourite of mine, I’m not talking about the main series. This is primarily because…well, I didn’t read it, and from what I’ve read, there’s not really much of anything that good, other than the restoration of the Multiverse. Oh, there’s some stuff involving the New 52 version of Earth 2, but unfortunately, that’s been a SERIOUSLY mixed bag. You wanna know more about that, go check out the blog Helena Wayne Huntress for more details. But no, what I’m referring to as one of my favourites of the New 52 is all the tie-in stuff. Granted, that could be seen as cheating for one simple reason: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW 52. The Convergence tie-ins are about giving resolution to stories that happened before the New 52, letting the heroes of ages past get one last hurrah, and even setting up for maybe a few of them to return later on. And they’re all awesome! Nightwing and Oracle get married and kick ass (not necessarily in that order, lol), Lian is brought back to life, Stephanie Brown suits up as Batgirl again, Lois and Clark have a child, the JSA return, it’s all amazing! Hell, even Scott freaking Lobdell turns in a good Blue Beetle book! I didn’t even think it was possible for him to put out anything of quality, but I guess mathematically speaking, it had to happen EVENTUALLY.
…Yyyeeeaaaahh, suppose this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. lol While I wasn’t a fan of the story where Jim Gordon was Batman, and I found Joker to be WAY over the top in terms of unstoppable villainy is concerned, it’s really hard to not consider this book one the best of the past five years. Snyder and Capullo have simply been on fire for this era, and it’s sad to know that, at least for a while, that team of theirs is over. Although as hard as it is for me and other readers, I gotta imagine it’s even harder for them. But yeah, you guys should all know all of my favourite moments from this book, and if you don’t, I made a list of them just before the Superheavy story-arc. Point is, if you’re a Batman fan and you’ve been avoiding this book for the New 52 branding, don’t. It’s at least worth your time to check out.
So those are my favourite books of the New 52 in terms of overall quality. And now, the bonus round for all the arcs of books that I liked.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Huntress and Power Girl fighting a giant Irradiated Man in a Japanese harbour! All it needed was for Godzilla and Dragonzord to show up to make it the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! XD
…Not to self: Review Darkseid War once the entire storyline is finished. It is easily my favourite story of the New 52 Justice League. Also, I thought Origin worked as an introduction to this new timeline, and the Amazo Virus was pretty awesome, too, and marked the point in which Geoff Johns finally found his groove with writing Wonder Woman’s character.
Cross World was great, and presented one of my all-time favourite images of Wonder Woman, and the stuff with Mongol and Toymaster is admittedly dumb fun that resolved in an awesome team-up involving Supergirl, Batgirl, Steel, Red Hood, and Krypto.
Y’know, DC, right after the engagement, I was totally gonna stick with this book. Then you called it off, the creative team left as a result, and then you did the stupid vampire thing. Just saying, you had a great thing gift-wrapped for you. I sincerely hope, though, that since Rebirth is apparently nixing the whole heroes-can’t-be-married thing, with the old Superman who is married to Lois Lane being back and Aquaman and Mera being engaged, that Batwoman finally is allowed to get married in Detective Comics.
Ultimately proved to be hit and miss, but I liked it for the most part. Could’ve done without Casey being damned near torn apart, but watching her make her badass comeback with a cybernetic arm-cannon was awesome. I mean, yeah, it’s another case of extreme violence against women in a comic, but it’s hard not to watch her in the hospital bed right after losing her arm and eye and not grin ear-to-ear when she’s still being like “Aw, fuck it, just put a giant arm-cannon on me, and I’ll fuck these guys up! And Calvin, you better make sure you haven’t completely screwed things up by the time I show up, or your ass is grass!” XD
I unfortunately can’t really justify putting Nightwing on the top 5, but that’s less to do with the quality of the stories told in it and more to do with the constantly changing status quo that was really only a thing strictly because of stuff happening in the other Bat Family books before ending due to events in Forever Evil. Oh, and as a side-note, SO glad to see that Nightwing is in blue again, but not sure where this is going with him as a member of the Court (or Parliament, I guess) of Owls.
I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.
I feel like I MIGHT’VE put this on the list if I’d read through the entire thing and it didn’t delve into the cheesecake quite as much as it did, soooo…Eh, call it sixth, I guess. lol
Again, DC, you had me right up until Evil Superman working for Darkseid, and Thomas Wayne as Batman. Then you completely lost me. And THEN you pissed me off with World’s End and the first arc of Earth 2: Society. Seriously, like I said before, go read Helena Wayne Huntress’ blog for more details, but suffice to say, it’s been a MESS, one that I hope gets cleaned up soon. I DO recommend the Tower of Fate arc, though.
Problematic for me personally at times, but still enjoying it, and glad it’s here. 🙂
And that’s all my favourite stuff of the New 52. Like I said before, if you’ve got a book that you really liked from this era that wasn’t on here, by all means, leave your own list in the comments, and be sure to check back in the future when I go over the worst of this era. Ja né!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! And, in honour of that, let’s look back to the days when a bat and a cat as a couple was the most romantic thing EVER. ❤
Hello, and welcome to a new spot on the blog I like to call ‘How To Drop The Ball In Comics’. This is where I take a look at what I thought was a legitimately GOOD idea in comics, why I felt that way, and how it eventually kinda fell on its ass. With that said, let’s take a look at Worlds’ Finest.
No, not that one. THIS ONE:
What Is It?: Created for The New 52 as part of a branching-out to tell stories involving characters from Earth 2, Worlds’ Finest specifically looked at Huntress (Helena Wayne), daughter of Batman and Catwoman, and Power Girl (Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr), cousin of Superman. However, the twist was that, after surviving the final battle of a war that claimed the lives of their respective families, the two found themselves accidentally exiled to Earth 0, the primary Earth of the DC Multiverse since the Multiverse’s rebirth in Infinite Crisis. As such, we had cases where, in this and other books, they’d encounter other-dimensional relatives, like Robin, Batman, and Superman, and even Power Girl’s alternate universe self, Kara Zor-El, many of which were pretty awesome. As another twist, it was revealed that, in this continuity, Power Girl and Huntress started their crime fighting careers as their world’s Supergirl and Robin (bringing the female Robin count up by one). So, let’s take a look at what I liked about it.
How Did It Have Potential?: Well, for starters, it was a book about two badass superheroines. Second, Power Girl and Huntress’ history, given certain reboots and retoolings to the DC Universe and its history, can be…confusing. For example, most people that started reading comics after Crisis On Infinite Earths, or have watched Justice League Unlimited, are probably more familiar with the Earth 0 version of Huntress, Helena Bertinelli. This was a good way to bring in Helena Wayne and distinguish her from her counterpart. Mind you, this led to some confusion as well, given that Hel apparently passed herself off as Bertinelli for five years, except that in the New 52, Helena Bertinelli is black, but whatever. This helped explain a few things about the characters for people that weren’t in the know about them. Also, as I’ve established before, the initial arc ended with them and the military fighting a giant villain in a Japanese harbour. If Godzilla and Megazord had shown up at that moment, I would’ve squeed so hard, you could’ve probably heard it IN JAPAN! lol And as much as some people got ticked about Karen’s new costume, I actually kinda liked it…until it proceeded to get torn and burnt up over and over, to where Power Girl was actually more decent in the old boob window costume, which is part of the reason why I was glad she switched back to it.
How Did It Drop The Ball?: There’s a few reasons. First…I don’t know if it was an issue with editorial, or if Paul Levitz, the man who frigging CREATED Huntress, forgot how her character worked, but the characterization for Hel and Karen feels off in this book. Hel’s a bit too much of a buzzkill, and at one point called someone a “little bitch”, and Karen is WAY too flirty, and once witnessed a bunch of kids being sucked into a Boom Tube and was pretty much like “…Huh. That was a thing”. Also, in my opinion, they spent WAY too long on Earth 0, only managing to get back to Earth 2 when things were at their darkest, lowest point, and when their place as the rightful heirs to Superman and Batman’s positions had been usurped in their absence by two men: Val-Zod (who I actually don’t mind, save for when he’s Karen’s blatant love interest), and Earth 2 Thomas Wayne (who was revealed to be alive, a frigging bum, a drug addict, and an overall horrible character altogether). And once they made it back to Earth 2, did the story become about how the two worked together as last-minute surprise reinforcements to turn the tide against Apokolips? NOPE, the book instead completely shifted gears to tell a prequel story about Earth 2 Superman and Batman, will apparently be cancelled along with the other Earth 2 books (not counting the one that’ll start post-Convergence), and Huntress and Power Girl were instead treated to World’s End, where Karen flirted with Val, lost Kal-El AGAIN, and got a Superman logo on her suit (completely missing the point of the boob window), while Huntress was subjected to body horror, torture porn, and drugs. If you are a fan of either of these characters, by all means, send your grievances about such decisions to the head-writer of Earth 2: World’s End, Daniel H. Wilson…Seriously, here’s an example of his very lame attempts to justify his decisions regarding Helena.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the matter. If you’d like MORE on the subject, as well as the overall mistreatment of Earth 2, women, LGBT characters… … …Really, anyone that’s not a straight white male in The New 52, be sure to check out http://helenawaynehuntress.tumblr.com/ and http://helenawayne.blogspot.ca/. Ja né!
So, I took a look back at my favourite DC and Marvel superheroes from my birthday last month. While I still agree with those lists, I do feel as though there were a number of characters that deserved to be honourable mentions for DC. So, that’s what I’m gonna do now. Here are 10 heroes I think deserve to be mentioned with honours. lol
I believe I already covered what it is I like most about this character (no not THOSE…though they ARE nice, lol). For those who didn’t see, I particularly like how Power Girl not only has the abilities of Superman, she also is the head of her own business. Combine that with a never-say-die attitude and…well, THOSE, and you’ve got yourself a winning formula in Power Girl, who I DEFINITELY wouldn’t mind seeing in the Man of Steel movies someday. Kara’s also one-half of the Worlds’ Finest with Huntress, though sadly that book doesn’t present the best depiction of the character. Still, we do occasionally see them as a powerful duo.
I mentioned these two before as being tied as the unofficial #11 in my 10 Favourite DC Superheroes, and I still stand behind that. Though personalities and the manner in which they gained their powers couldn’t be more different, both bring honour to the name Green Lantern, and they are my personal favourites to hold that title. Also, VERY glad to see that John Stewart is now a DLC skin/voice swap for Hal Jordan, though I’d kind of like an Alan Scott one too.
The original Robin all grown up. Be he in blue or red, be he in Blüdhaven or Chicago, Dick Grayson will always be a special kind of hero to people. He’s been through having his parents killed before his eyes, leaving his mentor to become leader of his own team, having his wedding broken up, having the love of his life leave him (and the planet for that matter), having to become Batman after Bruce was thought dead for a time, having his old circus troop destroyed, and now having helplessly watched his partner murdered. And yet, in all of this and more, he continues to try to have a positive attitude on the job…Still though, he REALLY needs to go back to blue. lol
Okay, while I don’t read a lot of the books she appears in, Mera gets on this list for a few reasons. First off, that she neither has nor requires an alias. Second, she’s Queen of Atlantis, which takes up most of the known ocean. Third, much like her husband Aquaman, she has the same natural advantages that he does having operated out of the bottom of the ocean (advanced strength, speed, durability, and sight). Fourth, as I’ve mentioned before, while the power to control water might not seem threatening at first, considering how much water makes up the average human body, that actually conjures up some rather frightening visuals of what she could do if she lost her cool. Speaking of which, while she’s usually a kind-hearted woman, the kind that you could easily get along with, she DOES have an on-again off-again struggle with her sanity. In other words, be as nice as humanly possible to Mera when you see her.
The latest Robin to appear, Damian brought something new to the role. Having the genetics of Bruce Wayne, the skills passed down through the League of Assassins, and many skills and personality traits seen in Dick, Jason, Tim, and Stephanie, Damian could be considered the perfect Robin in a lot of respects…except that he kept killing people. I mean, he meant well, you could tell he cared, but he kept killing bad guys. That just bothered me to no end, though it almost became a running gag wherein if he said “I will kill no more”, he was usually five minutes away from killing someone. Alternately, if he said he WAS going to kill someone, they usually had a good chance of escaping with their lives for some reason. Apparently, he’ll be returning soon for a mini-series that looks at the alternate future where he becomes Batman, and it’ll be awesome to see him again…but dammit Damian, stop killing people. lol
BOOYAH!…Yeah, I know. lol Anyway, as of the New 52, Cyborg is now a founding member of the Justice League. While this robs him of his history with the Titans, it IS nice to see Vic standing among the big seven that make up Earth’s greatest heroes. Cyborg’s only real flaw is his personal issues, trying to find the balancing point between the machine and the man. Otherwise, you better be packing some serious power when going up against him, or he will flatten you.
This one’s mostly based on his DCAU appearances, though I have checked him out elsewhere and been left confused by something: Martian Manhunter has heat vision in the comics, they’re missing from the cartoon. I’m not really sure why, other than so that two members of the Justice League didn’t have heat vision. However, this brings up something even more confusing: J’onn is vulnerable to fire. Shouldn’t using heat vision hurt him? Well, whatever, he’s still an awesome hero, though he REALLY needs to chill out in the New 52.
Okay, other than a couple of cool moments in Justice League Unlimited, I wasn’t really all that sold on Doctor Fate. Then Earth 2 happened. Now I know better. lol The second most badass individual to have the word “Doctor” in their name, Doctor Fate has a mastery over magic beyond that of any of the other magic-based heroes of the DC Universe. In other words, if he really wanted to, he could kill Superman just by wiggling his toes. His only real weakness, at least for Khalid in Earth 2, is that wearing the Helmet of Nabu can have some negative psychological effects. Otherwise, he might just be the greatest of Earth 2’s heroes, and is all too deserving to be a founding member of the JSA when it eventually forms.
There have actually been two women to predominantly go by the name Huntress. Prior to the reboot, Huntress was a woman named Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mafia boss who became Huntress to fight the very same kind of crime her family once created, eventually becoming a member of the Birds of Prey and getting this weird belly window for her costume that carried over into Justice League Unlimited. In the New 52, much like the original pre-Crisis interpretation of the character, Huntress is one half of the Worlds’ Finest with Power Girl, and is Batman’s daughter from Earth 2, though thus far, he has yet to show that he has any knowledge of this. Personally, I think she should just talk to him, especially given recent events. It might get him to cool down a little to know he still has family. Both are hardcore asskickers armed with crossbows, and both are deserving to be on this list.
So there ya go, 10 (sort of 11) honourable mentions. Along with Batman, Superman, Stephanie Brown, Wonder Woman, Wally West, Raven, Red Robin, Supergirl, Barbara Gordon, and Hawkgirl, they are my favourite DC Superheroes. Who do YOU think should’ve made it to this list? Lemme know in the comments, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!
- What Your Favorite Superhero Says About You (businessinsider.com)
- ‘Justice League’: 5 Heroes That Need A Solo Film (splashpage.mtv.com)
- The Justice League Movie Needs Some Serious Justice (liamphughes.co.uk)
- Batman Reboot Could Be ‘Batman Beyond’ Movie? (screenrant.com)
- ‘The Flash’: Casting Call! (splashpage.mtv.com)
- Superhero Week: Who is the most famous black superhero? (geeknative.com)
- What Your Favorite Superhero Says About You (theatlanticwire.com)
- Why can’t a film fronted by a superheroine be as popular as Batman and Superman? (metro.co.uk)
- Superman and Batman Unite for DC’s Next Superhero Movie (vamers.com)
- The 12 Most Ludicrous Superhero Armors (io9.com)