What Did The Dream Sequence In Dawn Of Justice Mean? (NOTE – SPOILERS AND SPECULATION AHEAD) + Thoughts On Post-Rebirth Costumes
Before you ask, no, I haven’t seen the full movie of Batman v Superman. I do not intend to go see it, at least not in theaters. Now, if I see it on Netflix in a few months, I might very well decide to check it out. But, for now, I’m not going to go see it. That said, I DO know all the details of what happened in the movie, and given the overall tone of it that’s been relayed, I can safely say I was right to skip it. That said, I WILL admit to liking what I’ve seen and heard of Wonder Woman in the movie, and am actually a little interested to see how her own movie turns out. In fact, most people I’ve talked to about the movie claim that she’s the best part of it, although that could simply be because she doesn’t have top billing, and therefore Zack Snyder was less focused on draining the joy and fun from her character along with Superman and Batman…but that’s a story for another day.
Instead, there’s something else I wanna speculate about from the movie: The dream sequence. Even if you’ve only seen the trailers, you probably know what I’m talking about. Basically, Batman has a dream of a dystopian future where the world’s gone to hell and Superman is evil. Now, when images relating to the scene came out, particularly one revealing a giant omega symbol in the ground and Parademons flying about, what I figured was going on was that Batman was getting visions of a future where Darkseid had invaded and taken over, but that his mind was getting the message mixed up, his paranoia instead painting Superman as the alien menace that will unleash this terror. However, it’s instead revealed in the movie that Batman is getting these visions from a time travelling Flash, who tells him that he was “right about him” and that “Lois is the key”, which indicates that Superman really WILL turn evil at some point…which might confuse some due to the ending, but trust me, it shouldn’t, at least if you know anything about Superman’s comic book history.
So, what does it all mean? Well, remember this is all purely speculation on my part, based on my own theories, as well as those proposed by others who have seen the movie. Basically, they’re doing an odd hybrid of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Earth 2. What that means is that, at some point in the future, Lois Lane dies and it drives Superman to turn evil, but instead of being the evil dictator he is in Injustice, he’s instead an instrument of destruction under the control of Darkseid, albeit with his own lackey soldiers working for him. Clark’s continued remarks about how Lois is his world during DoJ seem to reinforce this theory. If I’m right, then what’ll happen is that Batman will realize that he needs to keep Lois from getting killed at some point in order to prevent Superman’s heel turn.
So yeah, that’s where I think this is going. Now, is this a good idea or not? Honestly, I’m a little sick of stories where Superman turns heel, but what about all of you? Lemme know what you think about this and the movie in general in the comments below, and we’ll see if I’m right in where this goes. Ja né!
Happy Birthday, Superman! + Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Superman Stories
Hey guys, it’s February 29th! Guess who is celebrating their birthday today? 😀
… … … …Okay, let’s try THAT again…
I swear to God, YouTube!!!
There we go! 😀 And yeah, go figure that, in official DC canon, Superman is a leap year baby. Personally, I would prefer to celebrate his birthday as being the date when Action Comics #1 came out, but since there is an actual birth date given for him in the comics, here we are. And for a man who has had stories told about him for nearly 80 years, who has saved the world more times than I could dare count, and has been rebooted and given multiple continuities devoted to telling various tales about him, naturally, everybody’s gonna have their favourites. As such, here are five of my personal favourite stories, both from the comics, the various animated series he’s been involved in, and the movies he’s been a part of. So, I suppose we should start off with the most obvious one that anyone who reads my blog knows is gonna be on here, simply because I’ve gone on and on about it already, meaning I won’t have as much new to say about it here…
In looking back on this book, it’s all the more clear to me just how much potential the New 52 Superman has as a character that is ultimately squandered. He is probably among the more imperfect versions of Superman to be shown off in the mainstream, and yet is shown to nonetheless be an inspiring and heroic individual primarily due to one thing: He never, ever gives up. He keeps trying, no matter how bleak things get, even when his own life is on the line, and even if the entire world pleaded for his sake not to. And sometimes, that means failing and eating dirt. But what’s always been most important to him is to never stop trying. Like all past versions of Superman have done when they are at their best, he inspires others to be better through his actions and his kindness. In addition to all that, though, there’re also great cameos by Batman and Wonder Woman that actually make sense within the context of the story and aren’t just shoved in to make a buck, there’s plenty of Lois Lane being awesome, Lex Luthor remains the great and evil puppeteer, and even Jimmy Olsen gets some nice moments in here and there. There are some clichés of modern Superman stories involved, like the military being leery and untrusting of him, and the reveal of another alien who has appeared on Earth to contest him, but there’s just something about the context in which it’s presented here that works a lot better. If you want a good Superman read set in the New 52, this is probably the one for you.
Probably my favourite modern reinterpretation of Superman’s origins. Granted, it could’ve been stretched out to a four or five parter so that the stuff involving Clark as Superman could’ve been expanded on more, but hey, he’s technically still getting started in the next few episodes anyway, so it works fine for what it is. It even addresses my biggest gripe involving Superman’s origins, which, if you’ve read my blog for a while now, you already know: HOW THE FUCK DID NOBODY ELSE ON KRYPTON KNOW THE END WAS COMING AND DIDN’T HAVE A MEANS OF GETTING OFF THE PLANET?!?! Here, though, the explanation given actually makes a lot of sense. Making Lois more of a rival to Clark kinda works well, too, and lets us see her really working her ass off and taking some serious risks, to where it’s obvious and forgivable that she needs saving so much. Any of us would under those circumstances, it just happens to be her. Granted, I don’t quite get why her skirt is so short that, when Superman carries her around, everyone beneath her is getting a shot of her underwear, but whatever. Point is, it’s a great first outing for the hero and look at his origins for a new generation.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how this is pretty much the archetype of the classic Superman story: Mad scientist creates a device that’ll severely fuck up the world, Lois gets into trouble trying to do her job, Superman has to get involved, and through his quick thinking and incredible powers, he saves the day. And honestly, even after nearly 75 years, it still holds up really well. Yeah, there’s some stuff involving his origins that are talked about that I don’t agree with, like the idea of him being naturally super without the need for the sun, or the fact that he was raised in an orphanage, but, all things considered, not the worst version of his origins I’ve ever seen, either. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s in public domain right now, so there’s very little in the way of stopping you from doing so.
What DO you get for the man who has everything? Well, if you wanna stay on his good side, probably not what Mongul got him. This story’s actually been retold and reimagined from its original comic form at least a couple of times. The ones I’m thinking of are in the fantastic Justice League Unlimited series, and as an episode of Supergirl, entitled For The Girl Who Has Everything. Admittedly, I lean more towards the JLU version, but that could simply be because it’s the first one I saw. However, all three tend to show that the most painful and heartbreaking thing you can do to a person is to make them live out their perfect scenario and then force them to abandon it for the greater good. Also, the comic has probably one of Jason Todd’s best moments EVER. It’s emotional, it’s action packed, it’s For The Man Who Has Everything.
Oftentimes considered by many to be one of the all-time greatest stories of the Man of Tomorrow. Once again, the animated version is the one I first saw, but having read the comics since then, I can tell you there are things about it that they change from the original that I both like and dislike. In terms of the like category, I think I prefer the ending of the movie, where we see Luthor, in what could be his final days, finally understanding Superman and what he stood for, what he himself could’ve been all along if it’d really mattered to him, and while he doesn’t necessarily redeem himself, he does make a gesture that perhaps will let his life have some positive meaning. In terms of the dislike, though, the pacing is a bit off, but that’s kinda obvious, due to trying to crunch down a 12 issue comic mini-series into a 76 minute movie. However, while there are of course some things that had to be cut, the one thing that I wish to God could’ve been kept in wasn’t. I don’t why, if maybe there was concern about showing this for whatever reason, but it is quite possibly the greatest scene involving Superman that you will ever see in your life. Here’s the context: Superman is dying. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, he is going to die. As such, in his last days, he is spending his time doing as much as he can for the world as possible, saving more lives and accomplishing greater wonders than he ever has before. And right as he’s in the middle of all that, his super hearing intercepts a call made by a single child…and this is what happens.
THAT is Superman. THAT is the Man of Tomorrow. How great is this scene, you might still ask yourself? Mark Waid called it the most moving scene in a Superman book ever, and he has read EVERY SINGLE COMIC ABOUT SUPERMAN. As I once shared on my blog, POW once awarded it as the greatest moment in comic book history. As TV Tropes put it, “If you took all eighty years of the character’s history and distilled it into a single pure moment containing all his best qualities, that one page would be it. He inspires strength, wisdom, kindness, freedom, value and hope in just a few words. And he saves a life.” And in terms of how it impacted the people who read it…well, let’s let this person tell you.
… … …I’d put down my fedora for this, but let’s be honest, I don’t really wear it much anymore. It’s gotten kinda old. Regardless, this is where we get into real talk, so just bear with me. A lot of people ask me from time to time how I can care so much about superheroes, when they’re just fictional characters drawn on paper. And, even I’ve asked myself on occasion why it feels like all I know how to write about are superheroes, or people and characters that are heroic in their own ways. This is the reason why: Through their stories, superheroes inspire people. They inspire us to be better, to be stronger, to be truer to ourselves, and to be kind and noble. I think that’s also why I watch Atop The Fourth Wall and find myself in the same corner as Lewis Lovhaug when he talks about comics. He once said that “Superheroes are basically the equivalent of modern-day knights-errant, they go out and help people and fight injustices. But a lot of the best superhero comics are the ones not actually about superheroes hitting supervillains or each other, anything like that. It’s the ones that show that superheroes are about kindness and decency and something far more noble than the adolescent power fantasies that people often critique them as”. I tend to agree. Sure, it’s always great to see superheroes give evil people their comeuppance, and of course I still love a good superhero brawl as much as anyone, but THIS is what they should always be about. They are kind, they are compassionate, and in their fictional tales, they show us what we can be in real life.
…Oh yeah, and one other problem one can have with the animated version of All-Star Superman is that he apparently kills Solaris. I don’t know enough about Solaris to know if he really qualifies as a living creature, so if he does, then yeah, that’s a strike against the movie. Really, the only reason I’m okay with it in Superman Unbound is because, by then, Brainiac was more…well…Um, Obi-Wan, you wanna help me out here?
Thank you. lol
And those are my favourite Superman stories. Got one that wasn’t on here? Leave it in the comments section, and don’t worry, I’ll likely be sharing more of my favourite stories and moments in a couple of years when The Man of Tomorrow hits 80 years old. And hey, be sure to leave any words you’d like to share with Superman on his birthday on your own, as well. Ja né!
Did Goku Get The Last Laugh Against Superman After All, And Does That Even Matter?
So, I was doing research on Superman in the DC Comics Database, when I found some rather interesting information that somewhat contradicts something that was said during the analysis of Superman and Goku during DEATH BATTLE. As many fans know, Superman and Goku have fought not once but twice in DEATH BATTLE, with Superman coming out the victor. However, based on this information I’ve found, and applying it to information and logic I already have, I’ve come to the following discovery: Even though Superman won both fights, he’s still going to DIE!
According to an issue of The Question Vol. 2, Lex Luthor discovered that, despite what Ben and Chad said, Superman IS vulnerable to ki (or chi as it was called there, but based on what I’ve found online, they’re exactly the same thing). As such, Luthor tried to weaponise ki against Superman to kill him. Now, the weapon ultimately failed, but considering said weapon was built by the guy Superman beats every Tuesday, it’s easy to assume that a man-made construct would fail to do the job, whereas a person who uses ki on a level similar to how Superman uses solar energy could succeed in killing him. As such, you really have to ask yourself the question: How did Superman walk through a blast of enough ki to blow up a planet like it was a strong breeze?
At first, I couldn’t come up with an answer, and it looked like the analysis for DEATH BATTLE had made a severe oversight. However, then I remembered their first encounter, wherein towards the end, Superman was knocked into the sun by Goku, who failed to understand Superman’s connection to it, and thus only managed to make him stronger. That’s when the answer came to me: All-Star Superman. In it, Superman had absorbed enough solar energy that, when he was blasted with a Kryptonite laser, its usual effect on him did absolutely nothing. Now, I know we’re already dealing in fictional minerals and men that can absorb and weaponise solar radiation, but try to bear with me as we apply that logic to his weakness to ki. That means that Superman’s little break in the sun could’ve conceivably granted him enough energy to plough straight through all of Goku’s ki. Plus, considering that energy he absorbed in All-Star Superman never left him by the time the story was over, it’s easy to assume he still had it in the rematch at SGC 2015. So, all’s well and good, right?
As was also established in All-Star Superman, high enough levels of solar radiation can be deadly even to Superman. As such, if we assume that my theory is correct in how Superman defeated Goku, it therefore stands to reason that his cells are now in a state of overload and he is going to die. So, yeah, DBZ fanboys can let themselves feel at least a little good that, in the end, Goku may have gotten the last laugh…y’know, except for the part where Goku’s character would never take pleasure in that sort of thing, so doing so kinda misses the whole point.
And while we’re on the subject, there’s one other thing I’ve been meaning to get off my chest: Even if a future transformation of Goku’s made him as strong as Superman, he still wouldn’t be able to beat him in a fight. How do I know this? It’s called MATH. As we’ve established, DEATH BATTLE takes their opponents not from a random point in their history, but at their maximum potential, and Superman’s maximum is INFINITY. As such, if Goku reached that same level, he still couldn’t win, because then they would both equal infinity. Infinity does not beat infinity. Infinity equals infinity, it cancels infinity, and infinity subtracted by infinity is zero. The best Goku can ever hope for is a draw. And let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Goku eventually gained a transformation powered by magic or Kryptonite (the latter of which will never happen for obvious reasons). The likelihood of Goku defeating Superman with such a form isn’t that great, because of the following:
- Superman could still overcharge his cells like I suggested earlier to defeat Goku at the cost of his own life.
- Goku generally prefers to beat opponents with his own abilities, admitting once to disliking using Super Saiyan God’s powers because he needed outside help to get it (though he kinda came to peace with it when his body was able to naturally re-absorb the energy when the transformation wore off). That’s probably the reason he doesn’t use the Power Pole anymore, and why he never uses the Spirit Bomb except against enemies capable of and/or planning to destroy the planet.
So, yes, within the context of the universe in which the Superman vs Goku battles took place, Superman is likely going to die from his battles with Goku, and some fans can choose to take that as a victory. I personally do not, and for the record I’m a fan of both characters, but I won’t judge any of you if you choose to do so, provided you do one other thing: QUIT YER BITCHIN’!!! It’s a frigging internet show made by fans for fans that is doing the best it can with over seven decades of fictional information to comb through, which seemingly continues to get more and more absurd every time something is added. It would be EASY to make a mistake somewhere. And, even if they’re right, I agree that, if I had a Goku who could reach the same kind of power as Superman, I probably wouldn’t want him. If the movie Man of Steel has taught me anything with how they tried to take the dark tones of the Batman movies and transplant them into Superman, it’s that one element of a character that works really well for them does not equal the same level of success when given to another. Goku’s character and what he stands for would completely fall the fuck apart if he were as powerful as Superman, because he’s all about aspiring to be better and breaking new limitations, and then he would have NOTHING LEFT. His story would be OVER. And, what it comes down to is, I don’t really want his story to be over. I think that’s part of the reason why I actually find myself liking this new series coming out, because it lets me continue to see what happens to these characters, their stories, and their histories…Although hopefully, this time around, a few less characters in Dragon Ball will find themselves getting screwed over. lol
But hey, that’s just my own thoughts on the matter. Leave your own in the comments section below, call me a nerd for looking all of this up, whatever, and hopefully we can all put this frigging argument to rest for a while. Ja né!
A Look At Green Lantern & Doctor Fate From The Justice League Infinite Fanfic
As you’ll recall, at the start of the week, I announced that I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’ve been going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, and so on. So far, we’ve looked at Batman, The Flash, Poison Ivy, Superman, and Wonder Woman, as well as Mera, who plays a role in this universe’s back-story, especially as it pertains to Wonder Woman. So, for today, let’s wrap this up by taking a look at the final two members of the Justice League Infinite, starting with this world’s version of Green Lantern, Simon Baz.
So, major change to the Green Lanterns in this universe is that there are no Guardians of the Universe and no Green Lantern Corps, meaning there is only one Green Lantern at a time…with one exception, which I’ll get into some other time. Basically, Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, with the ring operating similarly to the current mainstream versions in that it seeks out those with the strongest will to wield it. Today, the ring is in the hands of Simon Baz. Unlike in his mainstream origins, in this universe, Baz was on a subway train that was demolished by a bomb. Simon managed to survive, but circumstantial evidence not only led the government to believe he was the one who planted the bomb, but that he was in fact a terrorist. From there, his origins play out the same, with the Green Power Ring reaching him just before hardcore agents could kill him. Now, unable to see his wife again, Simon is having to take up the guise of the Green Lantern as a means of hiding from the law, as well as using his new powers to protect the innocent. Baz possesses incredible will and selflessness, able to gladly take up the role of a hero in spite of how he’s been wronged. He seeks to one day prove his innocence so that he can be with the woman he loves, and despite the lack of evidence left behind on the train, he will not give up on that dream. He’s since met up with a teenaged Kyle Rayner, who possesses the Blue Power Ring, the two using the combined power of will and hope to defend and serve.
Simon’s costume is a bit different in this universe, as it is a full body costume covering him completely to keep his identity a secret. It has pretty much the same colour-scheme and design, it just covers his entire body, leaving no skin exposed, his mouth covered, and even his eyes hidden behind lime green lenses. Power wise, he’s exactly as you’d expect of a Green Lantern. While wearing the ring, Simon is able to form green light constructs of anything his mind wills him to create. He can fly, he’s semi-invulnerable, and he can survive in the vacuum of space. He can even summon the Green Power Ring to him no matter where he is. However, the ring only has a 24 hour charge to it, even shorter depending on how much is used at once. To recharge the ring, it must be touched to the matching Green Power Battery by the wielder, who must also speak the Green Lantern oath…I consider myself more a Blue Lantern kinda guy, but whatever, I’ll say it…
In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!
And that’s it for Green Lantern, which leaves the final member of the Justice League: Doctor Fate.
Now, like Green Lantern, there are two Doctor Fates in the history of this story: The original Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, and his successor of Egyptian decent, Khalid Ben-Hassin, PhD. Khalid was searching ancient tombs in Egypt when he came across the Helm of Nabu, which he felt a connection to due to the original Doctor Fate being his childhood hero. As such, he has become Doctor Fate both out of a desire to protect the world from supernatural threats, as well as to try and locate Kent Nelson, who quite literally disappeared off the face of the Earth years ago. Khalid can occasionally have moments of self-doubt and hesitation, due to being uncertain if he’s the rightful owner of the Helm of Nabu, and because he oftentimes finds himself mentally drained and unfocused after using it. As an archaeologist, he’s fascinated by various ancient tombs, pyramids, and the like, which can at times override Nabu’s influence and personality. He’s also been helping Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad, in his studies of the mystic arts.
Since this is Khalid Ben-Hassin, his costume is virtually the same from the pages of Earth 2, as are his powers upon putting on the Helm of Nabu and merging with the ancient spirit. He can fly, grant himself super-strength, generate protective energy shields, bend fire and lightning to his will, move objects with his mind, teleport across large distances, read minds, is immune to disease and infection of any kind, will never age, and even more powers that he’s discovering all the time. However, for all of this power at the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth’s disposal, it comes at a great cost: The more Khalid uses, the weaker he’ll become over time, meaning he has to balance out how much power he makes use of. Also, while he keeps a small amount for himself even when not wearing the helmet, he’s far more vulnerable in this state. Likewise, the spirit of Nabu is trapped within the helmet, and is incapable of doing much without a host, though he can generate a temporary form if necessary, though at great risk to himself should something happen to him while in this state.
Anyway, that’s the last of the members. I’ll be sure to post on here when the first chapter is uploaded to Fanfiction.net. In the meantime, lemme know what you think of these choices, and be sure to enjoy the following collages I did to advertise the story. Ja né!
A Look At Superman From The Justice League Infinite Fanfic
So, as announced earlier this week, I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’m going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, etc. We’ve already looked at Batman, The Flash, and Poison Ivy, so let’s go ahead and take a look at this world’s version of arguably the greatest superhero of all time: The Man of Steel, Superman.
So yeah, you’ve probably noticed one or two things different about this Superman. He’s based off of and borrows elements from a few different characters in addition to the mainstream Superman. In this universe, he’s Calvin Henry Kent, born Cal-El on Krypton. His home world was destroyed due to damage done to the planet’s core by Brainiac, who had miscalculated when he tore the capital city of Kandor free (because in every other continuity, the people of Krypton come off as very stupid for not seeing the end coming). Calvin works for the Daily Planet, as the lead columnist for the company’s online blog, though he actually lives in Smallville with his adoptive parents, and his childhood sweetheart and colleague at the Daily Planet, Loana Lane (basically, an African-American hybrid of Lois Lane and Lana Lang), who learned of his secret growing up. As Superman, he’s looked up to and admired by the people of Metropolis, though his efforts are oftentimes marginalized and hampered by President Lex Luthor. Like Calvin Ellis of Earth 23, he fights for truth, justice, and equality, and while he isn’t strictly a pacifist like Val-Zod of Earth 2, he will try to avoid a direct, physical conflict whenever possible. And of course, as anyone who bears the name Superman should be, Cal is kind, noble, and courageous. He inspires others through his actions to be better than they are, and while he’s not immune to making mistakes, he will always strive to do what he believes is right.
Let’s talk for a second about the costume. It’s pretty much the costume Earth 2 Superman of The New 52 wore, only the House of El emblem more resembles the one on Calvin Ellis’ costume. The cape also has a yellow Superman logo on the back as well, and the blue of the costume has a bit of a silver tinge to it (in reference to Steel). And, as is traditional for Superman, it’s almost always worn under his usual clothes so that he can quick-change into the Man of Tomorrow whenever necessary.
Now for his powers, which is always an interesting topic when it comes to new takes on Superman. Cal possesses a pretty good portion of the typical Superman’s physical strength, durability, stamina, and speed, but he has yet to tap into the full extent of what he can do while powered by Earth’s sun. He also has his x-ray vision, but he hasn’t figured out heat vision yet, and while he has his super breath, he can’t use it to freeze whatever it touches at the moment. Otherwise, he is perfectly capable of flight, has his other super senses, can process information at speeds impossible for an ordinary human, has mastered voice mimicry and ventriloquism, can breathe in space, is highly adept at using pressure points in combat, and is currently studying two Kryptonian martial arts: Torquasm-Rao, which allows him to enter the real-life Theta state, and Torquasm-Vo, which grants him the ability to protect himself from illusions and mind control. His weaknesses include the well-known Kryptonite, which severely weakens his body and cancels out the solar energy stored in him, and most magic-based attacks and enchanted weapons. Otherwise, the only way to beat him is to outlast his supply of yellow sun energy, something that only the most powerful of opponents can do.
And that’s about it for Superman. Next time, we take a look at Diana of Themyscira, as well as a certain character related to her in the fanfic who, while not a member of the Justice League, will nonetheless make an appearance. Ja né!
Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Moments of Superman Unchained
So, Superman Unchained sadly ended last week with its 9th issue…which was actually WAY past the original release date. And unfortunately, it kinda shows, what with stuff like Lex Luthor still being a villain in this, whereas nowadays he’s a member of the Justice League (no, seriously, Lex Luthor in the Justice League, that’s a thing now). Really, though, since Superman Unchained was telling its own self-contained story, it’s best read in a single sitting. Heck, I could easily see it made into an animated movie someday. So I DO get why it was only 9 issues in that case. It’s just, I would’ve loved to see Scott Snyder continue to write Superman, since he clearly gets the character and his supporting cast, and this book legitimately feels like a Superman story, which is sadly something that’s kinda rare nowadays.
With that said, one of the perks of the story being over is that I can re-read it and pick out some of my favourite moments and aspects of it. The ones that stuck out, the ones I missed for whatever reason and am catching on the second run-through, and so on. And, because some of these are from the newest issue, obviously, spoilers ahead. If you want to read Superman Unchained for yourself without prior knowledge of what happens, stop here, there’s no turning back. Otherwise, let’s go through my 5 Favourite Moments of Superman Unchained, starting with the one that made me realize just how much I frigging loved this book…
So a terrorist group called Ascension have taken control of a construction robot called Apollodorus, and used it to try and knock over the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. For those that don’t know, here’s a little trivia: The Burj Khalifa is the current record-holder for the world’s tallest free-standing structure, standing at 829.8 metres tall (2,722 ft), possessing 163 floors (plus 46 maintenance levels in the spire and two underground parking levels), and can easily house people in the tens of thousands at any given time. If this was the Golden Age and Superman could still only leap tall buildings, this would be one he’d likely crotch himself on trying to get over. 😛 Regardless, Superman arrives with only 19 seconds until the megatall skyscraper hits the ground, and even with his vast array of powers, his options are extremely limited. He can’t simply push it back into place, since it’d just break apart from the stress. Can’t reinforce the steel with heat vision and freeze breath, it’d kill everyone even remotely close to the glass. And the Apollodorus is still in the area, trying to keep his attention by beating down on him and knocking him into the water. So, with only four seconds left, he instead uses his superspeed on the water to create a huge water-spout, and then freezes it to keep the tower from hitting the ground. Scenes like this prove that Superman is more than just a flying brick, as we see him going through the various options and methods by which he could stop the tower from crashing and save everyone inside, and in the end, it’s only the most precise usage of just the right powers in his arsenal that manages to achieve his goal. I personally would’ve had each panel have a ticking clock instead of Clark’s narration telling us how many seconds were left, but that’s just me, and the sequence is awesome nonetheless.
One of the things that’s always important to remember about Superman is that he’s still first and foremost Clark Kent. A lot of people to this day, in writing Superman, tend to ignore his status as Clark Kent, and how he actually has his own ways of changing the world and inspiring people as himself, as Clark. Now, we see some good moments of Clark doing that in his new role outside of the Daily Planet, as a news blogger, but for me, the thing that stands out most is the flashback to his childhood we see in issues 5 and 9. Clark, after tapping into his ability to fly for the first time by catching a falling Lana Lang, returns home one day to find his mother held at gunpoint by a deranged neighbour who saw what happened. The man, Mr. Colder, proceeds to shoot Clark repeatedly with his shotgun, which of course does nothing to him except knock him to the ground, tear his shirt, and scare the crap outta him. But, when Mr. Colder believes that Clark’s mother would kill him to keep Clark’s secret safe and then plans to kill her first, Clark sends out a shockwave that knocks him across the barn, causing his already weakened heart to flat-line. However, even after what Colder had just done and tried to do, Clark can’t let him die, and manages to resuscitate him. We don’t see what happened next with Mr. Colder, but his expression suggests that he chose to keep Clark’s secret. And keep in mind, this is LONG before Clark ever considered donning the red, blue, and yellow (though mostly blue nowadays, since DC decided to do away with the perfect colour balance of his tights). This is Clark being a noble, heroic individual all on his own, choosing to save the life of a man who would’ve otherwise killed him if he had the ability, and in doing so changes Colder for the better.
Because this book shows Superman interacting with his allies a lot, we see Batman and Wonder Woman play supporting roles in this book. What’s great about their presence is that they both add their own awesome moments, but at the same time, they don’t detract too much from Superman, keeping the story centred around him and his conflicts with Ascension, General Lane, and Wraith. However, at one point in the book, they DO end up facing off with Wraith in the Batcave. Now, this moment is split into two parts, as to keep this at five moments, and because they take place with one more or less directly following the other. The first part is when Batman, doing all he can to slow Wraith down, first drops one of the Batplanes on them (and yes, I insist on calling them Batplanes for as long as there remains a character named Batwing), and when that doesn’t work, he remote activates ALL of the Batmobiles to crash into Wraith (which are thankfully insured…because Batman, lol). And as you can see from the photo above, he’s got plenty. But how can you possibly follow up something that awesome?
…Like that! XD In all seriousness, though, can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Wonder Woman is in a New 52 Superman comic, is kept in character, and the fauxmance is not referenced AT ALL? In fact, looking at this makes me realize, Scott Snyder has now written amazing stories for both Superman and Batman… … …Anyone else curious to see if he can make it 3 for 3? 😀
Okay, this one might seem like cheating, but after I failed to mention this in the last review, I really need to talk for a moment about how awesome Lois Lane is in this comic. Throughout this story, Lois is constantly involved in the conflict with the villains. She reports on the objects falling from space. She goes to meet with someone claiming to be from Ascension (and not too far from my neck of the woods, neither, right here in Maritime territory). She’s constantly put into danger and manages to get out alive. She stands up to her father at every turn. She SAVES Superman at one point. She manages to obtain an object that allows Superman to stop NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON, and not in the stupid way like in Superman 4! There’s even points of the story where we see hints of their mutual attraction again. It’s just so refreshing to see her play a big part in a Superman story again, and how she’s able to be her own kind of heroic and inspiring figure in her own way.
Finally, as I already mentioned in my previous review, throughout this story, we see the conflict between Superman and the character Wraith. We see how they’re similar, how they’re different, how they can be powerful allies, how they’re natural antagonists, and one hell of a final knock-down, drag-out brawl between the two…that somehow STILL manages to have less property damage and death than Superman vs. Zod in Man of Steel (I know, I won’t shut up about it, but it’s true). And yet, by the end, when the only way that Superman has to save the world from Wraith’s people is a move that would ultimately be a suicide run, Wraith ultimately takes his place, seemingly with no regrets. Why? Because for all his talk of how he believed Superman did things the wrong way, he was so moved by his determination and commitment to doing the right thing that it changed him, that he couldn’t stand to watch Superman die. And as I said before, that is the TRUE superpower of Superman: The ability to inspire others to make the absolute best of themselves that they can.
So, those are my 5 Favourite Moments from Superman Unchained. Got one that wasn’t listed? Lemme know in the comments below, and hopefully, someday, we can see another great Scott Snyder-written Superman story… … …Oh, and I also demand Scott Snyder’s Wonder Woman someday, possibly in the pages of Sensation Comics. lol Ja né!
Superman Unchained #9 Review + My Thoughts On Superman Unchained Overall
“Years ago, back when the world was on the brink of war, we sent a message into space. An equation that was more emotional than mathematical. An equation that added up to more than the sum of its parts–nonsensical, but aspirational. An equation that called out, and said ‘Help us be better’. We should never have turned to the stars for guidance. If there is an answer, it’s here on Earth with us. For years, I thought Superman was trying to be the answer to that infernal equation. And I hated him for it. But I see now what his actions say–There is no answer. Figure it out yourself. How to be better. As he is trying to do…And perhaps, now, at the end, I can admit that in being the farthest thing from an answer to that equation…he might have been the closest we’ll come to one.”
Superman Unchained, particularly this last issue, tells a story of Superman that shows that, even in being imperfect, even in not always knowing how best to do a thing, he is nonetheless an inspirational figure. He inspires by trying and doing what he believes to be the right thing, and while that might sometimes end in disaster, he nonetheless presses on and continues to inspire others to do the right thing, and to make themselves better for it. And, as we learn, he does so both as Superman and as Clark Kent, always fighting for what he believes in, even if the world begged him not to, because it was the right thing to do. As we see in this issue, he is given the means by which to save the world, at the cost of his own life, and is willing to make that sacrifice, to put the lives of many over his own. Yet, he’s still saved in the end, and not by a friend, but by an enemy. The story of Superman Unchained has not only been about Superman’s own struggles against Ascension, General Lane, and Wraith, but of Wraith himself. We see by the end of this issue that Wraith was so changed by his encounter with Superman, his enemy, that he gladly took his place at the last moment, sacrificing his own life in the Man of Tomorrow’s stead while showing no regrets upon doing so. And that is Superman’s greatest asset: Not his astonishing superpowers, nor his brain that processes information thousands of times faster than the average person, but his ability to inspire others to be the best person that they can be.
Scott Snyder once again has told an epic of a tale with Superman Unchained. I don’t think it’s his greatest work, but it’s still pretty damned awesome. I will say that part of what makes it so easy to enjoy this book is how much it feels like a legitimate Superman story, something that I feel has been missing from The New 52. Also, I don’t know exactly what went wrong with the publication dates and why the last few issues were set back as much as they were, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that Snyder, and Jim Lee for that matter, were simply so busy with other projects that things had to be pushed back, though I could be mistaken, and I apologize if I am. Still, even with that in play, I loved this book, and am going to miss it now that it’s over. Here’s hoping that Scott Snyder gets another crack at Superman someday.
…Oh right, Superman’s in Batman Endgame, isn’t he?! I suppose that should count for a great Superman re-
……………Or not. lol
Jyger’s Rant – What I Liked and Didn’t Like About Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (WARNING – SPOILERS)
So I just got finished watching Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which is an animated movie based off the event comic Flashpoint. If you’ve never read the book or seen the movie, then I’m sorry, spoilers ahead. However,I’d wager to bet that everyone reading DC nowadays at least has heard of Flashpoint and knows that it’s the event that closed out the previous continuity in DC Comics, established with Crisis on Infinite Earths and shaping the modern DC universe, and began the DCnU, also known as The New 52 (even though it’s two years old and does not currently consist of 52 books like it originally had). Either way, here’s a brief summary of the events for those who don’t wanna read it, or who have and need a refresher on what happened. This is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
The Flash (Barry Allen) is consumed with grief over the loss of his mother, so he decides to use his speed to travel back in time and save her. However, when he wakes up the next day, the world isn’t like he remembers. Kal-El was never found by the Kents, instead held in a government compound. Bruce Wayne was shot by Joe Chill and his father, Thomas Wayne, becomes a gun-totting Batman while his wife, Martha Wayne, goes insane and becomes The Joker. Aquaman has an affair with Wonder Woman, which Mera discovers, and is killed in self-defense when she attacks Diana, leading Themyscira and Atlantis to all-out war. And lastly, Cyborg is working for the government, trying to bring together a group of heroes (and a villain or two) to stop Diana and Arthur from causing World War III. There’s a ton of other characters involved, like Grifter, Hal Jordan, Lois Lane, Shazam, and Captain Atom, but it mostly centers around Flash, Batman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Professor Zoom.
Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, Barry travels to Gotham City and meets Batman, telling him what happened. He finds Professor Zoom’s suit in his ring instead of his own, and Batman theorizes that Zoom planted it there to let him know he’s still around, leading Barry to believe Zoom is the cause of the change to history. However, after the final battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman begins and the heroes try to stop the war, Zoom arrives to tell Barry that he didn’t do anything: Barry is the cause. When Barry broke through the time barrier to save his mother, he created a time boom (comparative to a sonic-boom created when someone breaks the sound barrier) that altered history. Batman kills Zoom, since he was siphoning off the Speed Force and keeping Flash from going through time again, so that Barry can go back and stop himself from altering history, thus averting the crisis that almost destroyed the world. However, while that succeeds, we see in the end that he and Batman’s costumes have changed, though neither notices the difference, as the universe has still been changed into that of the DCnU.
There’re a lot more details to go over, but because I’m honestly left liking a lot of moments in this movie and hating others, I’m gonna give my thoughts based on lists of what I liked and hated. Also, I don’t wanna compare this to the book, since the only part of Flashpoint I ever read was the ending, but there IS something that happens there that didn’t happen in the movie, so I’ll leave that for after my lists. So first, here’s what I liked about this movie.
- Pretty much the entirety of the Flash Museum battle, in particular how Professor Zoom’s bombs are dealt with. The Justice League show up to help Barry with the situation, as Zoom has planted bombs on The Rogues, and we see them all using their unique powers, skills, and quick thinking to deal with each one: Aquaman has millions of microbes eat one bomb for dinner, Batman and GL disable one in space, Atom fries one in the atmosphere, Wonder Woman uses Captain Cold’s freeze gun on one, Flash uses his speed to gather a ball of wind to knock out one he can’t reach, and Superman…Well, Superman just clutches the last one in his hands and lets it blow up rather harmlessly. lol
- Lois Lane is not shown to die…I KNOW, RIGHT?! I mean, we can infer that when Aquaman blows up Captain Atom to destroy the surface world that she would’ve died, but since we never see her die and Flash goes back in time before the blast is completed, we can’t really add her to the kill-count in this movie (which sadly, there IS a rather lengthy kill-count, but I’ll get to that later). In fact, not only does she not die, but she joins Grifter’s team and starts kicking all kinds of ass in the final battle.
- I love just how many characters are involved in this. The Batsons, General Lane, Harley Quinn (now called YoYo for some odd reason), Flash’s Rogues Gallery, BOTH AQUALADS! I’m just a sucker for stories that involve LOTS of characters, because it makes me wanna brush up on what I know about them all.
- This is a great movie for fans of Barry Allen. Actually, I would daresay it’s a good movie for people who don’t like him too, because we pretty much get the best of him in this movie. He goes through the process of recreating the accident that gave him powers, TWICE, even after the first time fails and leaves him covered in third degree burns. He rallies the heroes together to try and stop the war. He’s CONSTANTLY pushing the boundaries of what should be possible even for him, just to give this insane world a chance. And when he finally realizes exactly what’s happened, what he did to cause all this, he undoes it, because he knows what his mother would WANT him to do, and that the cost of letting himself do what he did was too high. No second guesses, no easy way out. Be a hero.
- There’s just something about the ending where Barry gives the letter from his father to him that gets me emotional. It even lets me ignore the simple questions of how he should even be in possession of it if the timeline it comes from was erased.
…So that’s what I liked about the movie, but what did I hate about it?
- As I mentioned before, the kill-count in this movie gets kinda crazy, and the violence gets pushed pretty high for a PG-13. Steve Trevor is hanged, Mera is beheaded, Cyborg is torn apart until his heart is exposed, Kal-El accidentally fries some soldiers when he gains his heat vision for the first time, Billy Batson (who I must remind is a kid when he’s not Shazam) is stabbed, and Professor Zoom has a hole shot through his head. Look, I’m generally the first to stick up for kids and what they can and can’t handle, but this woulda traumatized me as a child. And frankly, just the fact that we see these characters killing each other in such graphic detail when a lot of them are the otherwise good guys is so hard to watch sometimes.
- Kind of a minor one, but Batman referring to Cyborg as a ‘boy-scout’ and Cyborg working for the government just makes me think of Frank Miller’s writing…in a bad way.
- I’m not sure why this is called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, when the members are only seen as being the Justice League in one scene. Other than that, it focuses primarily on The Flash and Batman (because he’s DC’s meal ticket, and as much as I love the crap outta Batman, it can get EXTREMELY annoying how much they push him, even in other people’s stories). Flash being the central protagonist is kind of the reason the comic was originally called Flashpoint.
- Why is Wonder Woman a mass-murderer who assists Aquaman in cheating on his wife? Come to think of it, why is Aquaman an adulterer who then goes to war when his wife that he cheated on went to go kill Diana and was killed in self-defense? I get it, it’s a different version of the characters, but the changes in personalities and perspectives for the characters are usually explained, except for these two. The problem with that is that their conflict is the major conflict of the movie, since Flash has to stop their war from destroying the world.
- Not that big a deal, but…WOW, Cyborg is tall in this! I know it shouldn’t bug me all that much, but in every scene that he’s in, I just can’t stop thinking “Holy shit, Cyborg’s tall!” He’s bigger than Superman, for crying out loud! And he’s got that big honking blaster on his right arm. Dude, I don’t think you need to compensate for anything! You’re freaking Cyborg! lol
…So now that we’ve gone over what I liked and hated, let’s talk about what big thing was missing from the movie: Pandora. Again, for those who don’t know, in the original comic, after stopping himself from changing history, Flash heads back to the present, but encounters Pandora. Pandora explains that the universe was split into three (DC, WildStorm, Vertigo) to weaken it for some coming threat, and that she’s using Flash’s travelling through time to recombine the universes, thus creating the realm we know as the DCnU. So, if she’s absent from this movie, what’s the implication? That Flash still managed to botch up history somehow? Now, it’s not as big a deal here as it was in the comics, since the movies jump around wherever they like and most exist in their own universes (although I’m pretty sure Justice League: War is a sequel of sorts to this), but it still makes me question it… … …Also, where the hell was Element Woman? o.O
Overall, what are my thoughts? Well, my biggest problem with the Flashpoint comic, at least what I read of it and about it, is that it seems relatively small when you consider it’s the last story of the former DCU. But again, that’s not a problem for the movie. Heck, I understand another movie they’re gonna do in the future is an adaptation of the story where Bruce meets Damian. The violence DOES bother me a lot, though, as do the Flashpoint-verse Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I DO see the heart of this story on its own, however: It’s about a man who fell to the temptation to do what he thought would be the right thing for someone he cared about, he made a terrible mistake, and when he realized it, he did what was necessary to set everything right, making the sacrifice needed to save the world. So, there IS a good story beyond all the blood and death…which, I think I may have heard was actually made worse for the movie, I’m not sure.
But anyway, those’re my thoughts on The Flashpoint Paradox. Have you got a different take on it? Comment below what you thought of the movie, the comic, the DCnU, whatever, and I will see you guys next time. Ja né!
- PaulRom Reviews: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX (comicbookmovie.com)
- Movie Review: “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” (comicsauthority.com)
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (todaysmoviereviews.com)
- DVD Review – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (chyrondave.wordpress.com)
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (hwb239.wordpress.com)
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (backpocketentertainment.com)
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (comicvine.com)
- Movie Review: ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ (ifanboy.com)
- Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (ihogeek.com)
- JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX – First Clip and Images (geektyrant.com)