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DC Rebirth One Year Later – Detective Comics

Well, it’s June, so it’s finally time for me to take a more in-depth look at DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative. However, the reason this is only starting now in the middle of June is because…well, there’s a lot to talk about, both good and bad, and I can’t really imagine me going over ALL of my thoughts on DC Rebirth in one article. As such, I’m gonna be talking about several specific books in their own articles, what I liked and disliked about them, and then give overall thoughts on where I think the book might be headed. And obviously, considering I’m going over the events of these books, there will be SPOILERS, so if you aren’t caught up on them and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. So, with that said, let’s talk about Detective Comics.

Now, first and foremost, when I heard about this book initially, I was PUMPED. Not only was it going back to the old numbering, meaning we’d be hitting #1000 relatively quickly, but just look at the cover. It’s a TEAM book, featuring some of my favourite Bat Family characters: Batman, Batwoman, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain… … …erm, Clayface…Yeah, I’mma get to Clayface, but suffice to say, he’s one of the elements of the book that’s both good and bad. Regardless, though, this was gonna be great… … …Then some shit happened that made me a lot less excited. But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about Tim Drake, AKA Red Robin.

So one of the first things the book did was re-establish everything great about Tim Drake. He’s the brains of the Robins, the one most on par with Bruce when it comes to detective skills, and is the one who builds a lot of the tech they use in their new base of operations. Bruce also gives him a new costume that’s more closely associated with the other Robins (remember, in the New 52, Tim was never Robin, and was always Red Robin), and makes it clear to him that he ALWAYS considered him a Robin, whether Tim did or not. Even Tim’s relationship with Stephanie Brown is re-established, much to my joy. And it goes a long way in explaining why these things were re-established here when you consider that, apparently, James Tynion IV is a big fan of the character and his original solo-series. So, for fans of Tim Drake, like myself, this was a great thing to do… … …Then Tim died.

Well, okay, anyone who has read the book where Tim Drake makes his final stand knows that Tim didn’t actually die. Before he could be killed, he was basically removed from the area by Mr. Oz, a character who has been cropping up in Superman’s stories for a while now, and was made Oz’s prisoner, effectively taking Tim off the board because he was an important link to a lot of different people in the DC Universe. What Oz’s motivations for doing this are is still a mystery, and I’ll get more into that when I talk about the Superman books, but that’s the situation as is. And frankly, while that DOES annoy me, that we finally got Tim back as he should be only to lose him, the fact is, this DOES play into a bigger story that even goes outside of this one book. Oz’s plans are one of the big mysteries of DC Rebirth, and Tim is now a part of that, as we see him trying to escape, make contact with Batman, taunt Oz over the loss of other prisoners, etc. He’s not just being benched permanently, it’s part of a storyline that’s actually going somewhere. But, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that fallout from his apparent death has led to things that DO legit bother me.

Now let’s talk about Clayface. First, let me explain that I actually do like his motivations for joining Batman. For those that don’t recall, it was established in the New 52 that Karlo’s abilities had evolved to the point where he could not only assume the forms of other people, his DNA would also change to whoever he made physical contact with. However, this came at a price: He could assume the form and DNA of anyone…except Basil Karlo. So, when we first encounter him in this book, he’s basically hit rock bottom, just sitting alone at a theater showing one of his old movies and not caring for crime or if he gets sent back to Arkham or not. It’s a position that I think a lot of us can understand and would probably find ourselves in if we were in his shoes. Thus, when Batman offers him a chance to become Basil Karlo if he joins Batman’s team to help Gotham, he accepts. And as a result of that, we see him start to change. He’s regaining his humanity and is legitimately wanting to help people again as opposed to feeling forced to. It’s a well-written redemption storyline that, hopefully, won’t be undone.

Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Clayface being the one to receive this redemption arc, one that I was not privy to because, while I know a lot about No Man’s Land, I have not read it in its entirety. However, since his introduction as a member of this team, a friend of mine let me in on the fact that it was made pretty clear (if not outright stated) that Clayface raped Poison Ivy during the events of No Man’s Land. This was part of the story that led to Ivy being put in charge of Robinson Park and looking after orphaned children. And I know, I KNOW, someone’s gonna point out that this might not be in continuity anymore. And granted, that’s a legit argument. However, here’s my counter-argument: DC, while getting better at it as of late, has never made it fully clear what all is and is not canon from the pre-Flashpoint stories. So, until it’s made clear one way or the other, we don’t really know whether the events of No Man’s Land are or are not still a part of these characters’ histories. Furthermore, even if No Man’s Land and the rape are no longer canon due to it being among the ten years of history taken from the DC Universe, it still doesn’t completely erase what happened, especially since events in recent comics suggest those ten years are going to be reintegrated into main storylines. And you just can’t have it both ways by saying that all of the previous history is canon again, but that the rape never happened. Other than situations where characters couldn’t have been physically present due to not being introduced in the new continuity until much later, re-establishing the past history means it ALL happened. Now, if this was an alternate universe with its own history and incarnations of the characters, then I would say “Okay, I can overlook that”. But this ISN’T. Rebirth has made it clear that this is the same universe that existed pre-Flashpoint, just with ten years worth of history removed and elements of the WildStorm and Vertigo Universes blended in. And I’m not even saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do a story wherein Clayface redeems himself for those actions, it’s just that, be it because Tynion isn’t aware or forgot about that story, or either he himself or higher-ups at DC don’t care, there does not exist a story wherein Clayface at least attempts to rectify what he did to Ivy. Now, if they do so later, fine, but for now, it’s an issue that will always stick out to me. And if you think I’m wrong to feel that way, lemme ask longtime DC fans something: What was your initial reaction to seeing Doctor Light appear in the New 52 as a good guy who joined the JLA? My guess is probably revulsion, because you remembered that image of Doctor Light raping Sue Dibny, and then later being made into a serial rapist who was killed by other bad guys because even they couldn’t stomach him. You can’t simply pretend that didn’t happen when these are all still supposed to be the same characters. This is what the publisher did with the character, and you can’t simply brush it off because it’s inconvenient.

…*sighs* And, speaking of which, that leads me to probably my biggest disappointment with the book: Stephanie Brown. I have made it no secret that Steph is one of my all-time favourite superheroes, held the #1 spot for me for many years, and was the star of my favourite Batgirl title. Now, initially, I didn’t really have a problem with Stephanie in this book. It wasn’t until she left the team that I had a problem, and that wasn’t even really with her leaving the team. The thing is, Stephanie Brown finding fault and taking issue with Batman’s methods? That’s totally in character for her. They DO have differing philosophies and methodology as it pertains to helping people and dealing with crime. It’s not even that she leaves over Bruce’s tendency to inadvertently get others caught in the crossfire of his fight with villains, since it works as motivation for him to be more careful and do more to help those caught in his path. The problem is just how fucking hypocritical she acts, talking about how Gotham doesn’t need heroes when she goes out and specifically does superhero acts, all the while sabotaging Batman and saying how he shouldn’t be out in the open taking the credit. THAT is NOT in character for her. And she talks about how Batman should stick to the shadows and not let the general public in on his existence, when guess what? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE USED TO DO!!! He DID stick to the shadows! He DIDN’T let people know he really existed! He was an urban legend, and the confirmed existence of him was known only to a select few. He only came out into the light when things in Gotham got SO bad that he HAD to, that his presence would’ve actually been a positive to Gotham. Then there’re hints that, in future issues, she’s gonna be teaming with Anarky. Now, Steph teaming with anti-heroes like Catwoman or the like, that makes sense. ANARKY IS A STRAIGHT-UP VILLAIN WHO KILLS PEOPLE. Her working with him makes no sense for her character. And the most insulting part of all of this is that the event that triggers it all is Tim’s supposed death, meaning it’s entirely possible none of this would’ve happened if not for the fact that her boyfriend bit the dust. Give me a fucking break!

In terms of the other characters, I like that the book makes use of people like Batwing, Azrael, and Bluebird, heroes who don’t have their own books and are able to get some stories told about them here. I also like that the book was able to tell a story that directly led into Batwoman getting her own solo title again, which is always a good thing. Batwoman is a popular and important enough character to deserve her own book, and I’m glad they’ve done so. I also like that it’s made clear that she and Bruce are equals on this team, as they should be. Not sure why they completely shaved her head at the beginning, but whatever, minor nitpick, and at least it’s growing back out again as of late.

One problem I have with the book that’s actually a bit smaller than the ones I’ve mentioned thus far is the fact that Kate’s dad was made a villain. I mean, I GUESS when you look at the story as a whole and how it unfolded, it kinda makes sense. Still, I kinda find it problematic if, for no other reason, it pushes Kate to be more like Bruce, since she now no longer has a father to go to. And frankly, the story of him going after a super-secret organization that Batman doesn’t believe exists, but then it turns out they do and that they’re a far bigger threat just makes Batman look like an idiot, especially since this isn’t even the first evil group he thought never existed and then was proven wrong about.

So, now for where I think/hope this book is going. Well, first off, it’s pretty clear that Tim being alive will come out at some point, especially with Superman apparently having to deal with Mr. Oz more directly in upcoming events. What they’ll do with him at that point is anyone’s guess, but I’d imagine him being confirmed alive will probably be what leads to Steph and Bruce resolving their issues. I honestly hope they DO actually work what happened in No Man’s Land into a story, with Clayface feeling the need to make right what he did in some way, shape, or form. CAN he be redeemed is a question everyone needs to ask themselves, but personally, I’d at least be fine with them giving it a legitimate attempt. At least acknowledge that he feels guilt over what happened. And hopefully, Kate and her father can resolve their issues as well, and WITHOUT him dying in some way. Honestly, what I think would be a good move after Tim is brought back into the fold is for Bruce to maybe take a step back and let the team do their own thing. Let us see how the group can function without Batman taking direct control of it.

One thing I’m legitimately worried about is that, with the recent reveal that the Outsiders are still canon, the team in this book will be disbanded and replaced with the Outsiders. I’m not against the Outsiders getting back together, and I would be in favour of them getting their own book or integrating this team into their ranks. However, I hope this team is not completely broken down for the sake of bringing them back. I feel like that would be a disservice to these characters.

Most importantly, though, I want Detective Comics to remain a team book. Detective Comics basically just being another Batman book in the New 52 seemed like a waste, whereas now we have actual stories we can tell with it. And, to be honest, despite everything bad I’ve said that’s happened in this book…it’s still a lot better than another Bat book I could name, which I’ll be getting to eventually. For now, lemme know what your own thoughts on Detective Comics in DC Rebirth are, and join me next time for something a bit more…wonderful. Ja né!

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Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite LGBT DC Characters

…So, I mentioned this on my Facebook, but I figured I should bring this up on my blog. Yes, I know about the horrible shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Florida. I don’t know all the details. What I do know is this: Around 50 people were killed in this shooting, and about 50 more were injured. I’ve heard that, in the wake of this, some people have chosen to put their own projects on indefinite hold. However, I’ve instead opted not to. On the contrary, I feel it necessary to continue my work as a form of entertainment and escapism for anyone affected by this tragedy. In fact, because the LGBT community has been the target of a lot of hate as of late, culminating in this attack, I’ve decided to do some LGBT related articles, starting with this one. It’s no secret that I love lots of diversity in comics, and while DC has kinda failed from time to time to get it right, there ARE a number of gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, and even asexual characters among their vast line-up. But who are my personal favourites? Well, let’s find out. Here are my 5 Favourite LGBT DC Characters.

#1 - Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad

#1 – Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad

I’ve actually heard that the staff of the Young Justice cartoon claimed that Jackson was “not straight”, and that’s where he made his first appearances, so no, DC Rebirth’s outing him isn’t necessarily a retcon…I think. I’m gonna get into this when I review DC Universe Rebirth #1, but the thing is, the implication some people are taking from his scene in the book is that he’s gay. However, I’m pretty sure the intent with him prior was that he was bi, not gay, so I’m hoping they stick with that. Regardless, I really like Aqualad. His position in the Aquaman stories is complex, but in a good way, he’s got a kickass power-set and a usually level-headed demeanor (at least in the show, I haven’t read much of his appearances in the comics), and I’m glad to see him making his return. I seem to recall hearing once that he was originally supposed to join the Teen Titans in the New 52, but it never came to be, and considering how the team did in that era, might be for the better that he didn’t. Still, this DOES make me wonder if he’ll either join the Titans in the Rebirth era, or perhaps be part of a new Young Justice team. And considering how many people would like to see a return of the Young Justice TV series, honestly, I’d go with the latter as a means to either push that idea or give the fans clamoring for it a consolation prize.

#2 - Pamela Isley, AKA Poison Ivy

#2 – Pamela Isley, AKA Poison Ivy

Honestly, is anyone REALLY shocked? And yes, for the record, Pamela’s bisexuality has been made canon. Granted, it’s in a book I don’t much care for, and the writers don’t always seem to get her all that well, but I appreciate the fact that they made clear what many of us assumed for a while now. I remember for years thinking it already WAS established canon, actually. But anyway, Poison Ivy is a character who has a lot of layers to her. She suffers from seasonal affective disorder, which can sometimes undermine her better judgment and brilliant mind, and she’s been known to…well, let’s call a spade a spade, she kills people. However, she really DOES care for the planet, as most of her criminal endeavors over the years have been to stop people from polluting or otherwise mistreating it, and to those who think she doesn’t care about human beings, she once protected a park full of orphaned children. No one told her to, she just did it because she identified with their trauma and because it was the right thing to do. She once gave up her powers because she was afraid it might be killing them. So yeah, she IS a good person deep down. Just…don’t ever piss her off, and in the words of Captain Planet, protect the environment, or she’ll fucking kill you. 😛

#3 – Katherine Kane, AKA Batwoman

History’s a funny thing, isn’t it? The original Batwoman was created specifically to be Batman’s love interest as a means of disproving concerns that he was gay for Robin. 50 years later, the character was reintroduced as a lesbian, and is actually Bruce’s cousin. And frankly, all the better in my opinion, as she’s arguably the single most high-profile LGBT superhero in DC’s entire roster, and is currently Batman’s equal in his new boot camp in Detective Comics. Also, her existence provides more of something Batman is lacking: Family. While he’s brought in wards and made plenty of allies, we don’t see a lot of his surviving blood relatives. I think right now, off the top of my head, there’s Kate, her dad, her sister, and Bruce’s son, Damian, and alternate Earth daughter, Helena. That’s it. And while there’s more than a lot different about Bruce and Kate in their personalities and approaches to crime fighting, there’s also a lot that’s the same, which may be the real reason they haven’t always gotten along together that great as superheroes. Oh, and in Batman: Bad Blood, she used guns, and I’m not a big fan of that, but it at least makes sense with her military training, and she DID switch her live rounds for rubber bullets by the end, so I can tolerate it and still like her in that movie, unlike some other things in it, but let’s not go there…

#4 - Miguel Barragan, AKA Bunker

#4 – Miguel Barragan, AKA Bunker

…Okay, I’m gonna admit to something that people might find a bit strange to hear come out of my mouth, and I understand that. Frankly, it baffles me a bit, too. But, having thought about it for a while, and looking back over the character’s history, I’ve come to a conclusion: Scott Lobdell wrote Bunker best so far. He was optimistic, entertaining, and just outright FUN. I don’t know what they were trying to do with him in the new book, but he wasn’t what I’d necessarily call “fun”. In fact, he kinda had an attitude that rubbed me the wrong way, at least in comparison to how I knew him to be prior. I hope if he comes back in Rebirth, he more resembles his previous personality. Also, I gotta wonder about something: As I said before, Aqualad was originally rumoured to be joining the Teen Titans in the New 52. Now, we’ve met Bunker’s boyfriend, and he’s not Jackson, but I can’t help but wonder if the original intent was for Jackson to be Bunker’s boyfriend and be on the team? Food for thought is all I’m saying.

#5 - Harleen Quinzel, AKA Harley Quinn

#5 – Harleen Quinzel, AKA Harley Quinn

Again, like Ivy, Harley Quinn has been confirmed to be bisexual by the writers of her book, so she counts. And, like I said before, I honestly thought she already WAS confirmed to be a while ago, and I have no idea why it took anyone from DC so long to finally let that particular cat (or hyena, as it were) out of the bag. Now, maybe it was a concern that such might be controversial, but lemme ask you something: Which is the more controversial thing to do with a character? To have Harley be bisexual, or to have her be in a long-term abusive relationship with a killer clown, and have her get the shit kicked outta her multiple times, once or twice even in a cartoon show? And I’m not saying they shouldn’t have done that, as it was an intriguing look into abusive relationships and twisted psyches, while also serving as a cautionary tale. I’m just saying, once you’ve crossed that line, how is this any worse? Regardless, it’s out in the open now, with no going back, though I have my doubts they’ll reference that in DC Super Hero Girls. lol

Hmm, y’know, while I like this list, I feel like there are others I should at least mention… … …Ah, screw it, here’s a collage of some of my other favourite confirmed LGBT characters in DC Comics, so no Wonder Woman since DC’s never made it 100% clear about her. lol

Anyway, be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments, OR let me know if there’s anyone else you’d like to see officially come out at DC these days. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Series From DC’s New 52/DC YOU

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

#1 - Superman Unchained

#1 – Superman Unchained

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.

#2 - Batgirl

#2 – Batgirl

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.

#3 - Justice League United

#3 – Justice League United

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.

#4 - Convergence

#4 – Convergence

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.

#5 - Batman

#5 – Batman

…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.

Worlds' Finest

Worlds’ Finest

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

Justice League

Justice League

…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.

Batman/Superman

Batman/Superman

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.

Batwoman

Batwoman

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.

Talon

Talon

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

Nightwing

Nightwing

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.

Supergirl

Supergirl

I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.

Starfire

Starfire

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

Earth 2

Earth 2

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.

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

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!

Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Part 4.1 (SPECIAL GRINDING EDITION!!!!)

I love these previously on's that the journal provides. ^_^

I love these “previously on”‘s that the journal provides. ^_^

Last time in the Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Challenge, I made my way up through Nugget Bridge and Routes 24 and 25, battling Tim Oak and the various Trainers along the way, caught some new Pokémon, met up with Bill, got a ticket to go to the party on the S.S. Anne, fought some Rockets up to no good, and managed to score the Cascade Badge from Misty. This time, I decided to head south to Vermilion City. Unfortunately, while I could’ve otherwise cut through Saffron City…

Danged dehydrated guards. -_-

Danged dehydrated guards. -_-

…yeah, that was a thing. lol So, instead, I took the underground path and came out in Route 6, on the other side of Saffron, and battled my way through some Trainers.

Yeah, as a matter of fact, there are NO Bug-types on this Route.

Yeah, as a matter of fact, there are NO Bug-types on this Route.

Funny story: In Yellow version, these two are replaced by Joe and Giselle from the anime. :P

Funny story: In Yellow version, these two are replaced by Joe and Giselle from the anime. 😛

… …Screw it, play the damn clip. XD

HEY, someone's actually got an evolved Pokémon! :D

HEY, someone’s actually got an evolved Pokémon! 😀

...Okay, YOU are just cheating. lol

…Okay, YOU are just cheating. Also, Jeff meets Camper Jeff. 😛

Anyway, to make a REALLY long story short, I made it to Vermilion City, healed up, went to the Pokémon Fan Club, listened to the chairman talk for God knows how long about his Rapidash in ways that STILL haunt me to this day, got the Bike Voucher, and traded it for a bike back in Cerulean. Afterward, I noticed that my overall Pokédex count was low (in terms of captures), and I realized why: Because I can only catch one Pokémon per Route, and the only other Pokédex pages are provided by gift Pokémon and evolving them and the Pokémon I catch. Unfortunately, battling wild Pokémon and once-off Trainers for experience meant filling up my Pokédex enough to get the items that Professor Oak’s aides have would take FOREVER. On top of that, I also wasn’t feeling great about my levels going into S.S. Anne and battling Surge. Luckily…

…YEAH. So, after catching the Pokémon found in the surrounding area…

Milo and Otis reference, AND I used to sort-of have a cat named Milo. Really, it was a neighbour's cat, but he liked us more. lol

Milo and Otis reference, AND I used to sort-of have a cat named Milo. Really, it was a neighbour’s cat, but he liked us more. lol

Get it? Edge? It's a SPEARow?

Get it? Edge? He’s a SPEARow?

THIS bitch almost killed Buttery. It was SO close, I thought for sure she was about to be killed. O_O

THIS bitch almost killed Buttery. It was SO close, I thought for sure she was about to be killed. O_O

…I decided to go about training by battling Trainers and then having rematches via the VS Seeker. However, what ended up happening was that I took SOOOOOO many photos of me grinding levels. So, with that said, here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights. ^_^

My boy! :D

My boy! 😀

Why can't you be like that other Bug Catcher and have an evolved Pokémon?

Why can’t you be like that other Bug Catcher and have an evolved Pokémon?

Came prepared for you this time, asshole! :D

Came prepared for you this time, asshole!

NOT how I meant!

NOT how I meant!

Okay, Santanico doesn't have Intimidate, thank goodness, because there's NO WAY it should've worked here had she.

Okay, Santanico doesn’t have Intimidate, thank goodness, because there’s NO WAY it should’ve worked here had she.

Butterfree's actually REALLY good at the Para-fusion combo, and the only reason Buttery doesn't use it is because...I'm going for something else. :)

Butterfree’s actually REALLY good at the Para-fusion combo, and the only reason Buttery doesn’t use it is because…I’m going for something else. 🙂

I was expecting this battle to be a little closer, to be honest.

I was expecting this battle to be a little closer, to be honest.

Not sure, but I think this might be the first case of seeing a Fire-type so far.

Not sure, but I think this might be the first case of seeing a Fire-type so far.

Anyway, after a while of that, I was rewarded with the following:

Also, since he's not a mandrake anymore, pretty sure I'll be renaming him when I reach Lavender Town.

Also, since he’s not a mandrake anymore, I think I’ll be renaming him when I reach Lavender Town.

Pretty sure Edge just replaced Damian on my team, but of course, I'll keep Damian as my back-up Flying-type and an HM Slave for when I get HM 02.

Pretty sure Edge just replaced Damian on my team, but of course, I’ll keep Damian as a back-up Flying-type and an HM Slave for when I get HM 02.

With all that done, I finally decided to return to Vermilion and head to the S.S. Anne. So, sorry this article turned out to basically be one big grind session, but I figured I’d include it just for funsies, and so that you know just how much time was put into preparing. Anyway, be sure to check in next time for Part 4.2 as I take on the S.S. Anne. Ja né!

The results of my training.

The results of my training. A shame Milo won’t get Limber until evolving, because he’d otherwise be great for the Vermilion City Gym.

Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Part 3

My team at the beginning of this phase of my journey.

My team at the beginning of this phase of my journey.

Last time in the Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Challenge, I headed into Mt. Moon, battled several tough Trainers, added new members to my team, evolved a couple of pre-existing ones, took down several members of Team Rocket, and obtained both the Dome Fossil and Moon Stones. This time, starting off in Cerulean City, I decided to prep my team for taking on Misty by battling the Trainers on my way to meeting up with Bill the Pokémaniac, creator of the PC Storage System. Before that, though, I decided to swoop back to Route 4 (the eastern half of it, anyway) and do some training. And, while I was there, I caught a new Pokémon.

No, I've never watched From Dusk till Dawn, but I was trying to come up with a nickname for this, and that was the best I could think of. lol

No, I’ve never watched From Dusk till Dawn, but I was trying to come up with a nickname for this, and that was the best I could think of. lol

…I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I’m gonna do with this one. Not because I have any kind of issue with Ekans, just that my team has already become a little Poison heavy, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Still, might be a good idea to have it as a back-up. In the meantime, though, I had…slightly different snakes to concern myself with.

"Which is why I only have a team of 4!" XP

“Which is why I only have a team of 4!” XP

I swear, it's almost like this Abra is here specifically for the purpose of getting the newbie on your team some experience.

I swear, it’s almost like this Abra is here specifically for the purpose of getting the newbie on your team some experience. That said, probably the best use of Leech Life and Astonish I’ve ever gotten.

...Okay, I'm with Petty on this one: You fucking hack evolved your Level 17 Pidgey into a Pidgeotto, but you didn't evolve your Level 18 Starter? WTF? o.O

…Okay, I’m with Petty Artist on this one: You fucking hack evolved your Level 17 Pidgey into a Pidgeotto, but you didn’t evolve your Level 18 Starter? I honestly can’t think of anyway this guy could insult me as a Trainer any more than thinking I couldn’t handle his Ivysaur at this point.

...I stand corrected. I'm gonna kill one of your Pokémon the next time we meet.

… …Okay, well, I stand corrected. Tim, I’m gonna kill one of your Pokémon the next time we meet.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I decided to make my way to-

...Hel-loooooo. :D

…Hel-loooooo. 😀

Honestly, at this point, Oswald's kinda become my primary battler for dealing with other Poison-types, unless I'm confident that Buttery can get a quick Confusion in without getting hit.

Honestly, at this point, Oswald’s kinda become my primary battler for dealing with other Poison-types, unless I’m confident that Buttery can get a quick Confusion in without getting hit.

...SERIOUSLY! What IS it with these people not evolving their Pokémon?! Although it was HILARIOUS when I had Oswald use Focus Energy, and then immediately after, the Nidoran did it, like he was trying to copy his big brother or something. :P

…SERIOUSLY! What IS it with these people not evolving their Pokémon?! Although it was hilariously adorable when I had Oswald use Focus Energy, and then immediately after, the Nidoran did it, like he was trying to copy his big brother or something. 😛

... ... ...Why, hello, Pork Laser. It's been a while. WELCOME TO DIE.

… … …Why, hello, Pork Laser. It’s been a while. WELCOME TO DIE.

YES! :D

YES! 😀

... ... ...OH...Wait, does that mean the others were all members of Team Rocket, too? Some of them were kinda young to be grunts, is all.

… … …OH…Wait, does that mean the others were all members of Team Rocket, too? Some of them were kinda young to be grunts, is all.

Seriously, what was your plan? That you were somehow going to beat a guy who had taken down five other Trainers with your two Pokémon? It's not like you were even higher leveled than the rest of them, either. The girl with the twin Nidoran was tougher than you.

Seriously, what was your plan? That you were somehow going to beat a guy who had taken down five other Trainers with your two Pokémon? It’s not like you were even higher leveled than the rest of them, either. The girl with the twin Nidoran was tougher than you.

Anyway, now that I’d gotten past Nugget Bridge, I found myself with…a grassy patch on Routes 24. This is where I got a little nervous. Not because there was anything in the grass that could kill anyone on my team, but because it is known for being home to ABRA. And…well, I’ve gotten to know my luck as it pertains to rare Pokémon at this point. If I ran into Abra, there was no way I was gonna catch one before it could teleport away, and that’d be TWO ROUTES locked off on my journey at that point. So, with fingers crossed, I entered the patch of grass, and…

Fuck, I'll take it! I don't even care that I named it after Hank Pym, I'll take it! XD

Fuck, I’ll take it! I don’t even care that I named it after Hank Pym, I’ll take it! XD

So, with that done, I let out a sigh of relief…and then recalled that Abra was on Route 25 as well. Because why not at this point? I also knew there were Kakuna on Route 25, too, so I decided that, so I wouldn’t end up wasting that Route on the evolved form of a Pokémon I already had, that I should first evolve Hank.

And since I'd gone to the trouble of getting a Kakuna, I thought "What the hell?". lol

And since I’d gone to the trouble of getting a Kakuna, I thought “What the hell, let’s go all the way to Beedrill.” So…

I wonder if I should tell him I'm planning to use him as my Cut slave? :P

Aww, he looks so happy to be fully evolved… … …I wonder if I should tell him I’m planning to use him as my Cut HM Slave? 😛

And thus, with a Beedrill in my box, I headed for Route 25 and waited to see what I’d find…

...Well, I think I know who is gonna be fighting Misty's Staryu. :)

…Well, I think I know who is gonna be fighting Misty’s Staryu. 🙂

Now that I’d caught a couple of new Pokémon, I decided it was time to make my way to Bill’s, while training my team up for Misty by battling the Trainers and wild Pokémon in the area. And thus, TRAINING MONTAGE TIME!

Hmm, not quite as epic as Mr. Satan's, but good nonetheless.

Hmm, not quite as epic as Mr. Satan’s, but good nonetheless. lol

"Sempai noticed me! And then he blew me the fuck away!" XD

“Sempai noticed me! And then he blew me the fuck away!” XD

It's always strange to find someone with the same Pokémon as a Gym Leader one city away, only higher leveled. It's like "Why wasn't THIS person the Gym Leader?"

It’s always strange to find someone with the same Pokémon as a Gym Leader one city away, only higher leveled. It’s like “Why wasn’t THIS person the Gym Leader?”

As you can see, Katherine's kinda stopped being as helpless as she was when I caught her. :)

As you can see, Katherine’s kinda stopped being as helpless as she was when I caught her. 🙂

Okay, THIS asshole scared the shit outta me, and here’s why: I totally forgot that Slowpoke learn Confusion at Level 17 in FireRed and LeafGreen. I guess I must’ve had the other Generation III games on the mind, wherein Slowpoke doesn’t learn Confusion until Level 20. As such, I sent Drakeman in to deal with him, thinking the best he could do was Water Gun. When Confusion hit, I thought for sure I was about to see my first casualty. And how I didn’t, I’ll NEVER know. O_O

...Sure enough, I ran into three of these things, and before I could hit them and try to beat them for Exp, they each Teleported away.

…Sure enough, I ran into three of these things, and before I could hit them and try to beat them for Exp, they each Teleported away.

With all the Trainers on the way to Bill’s place defeated, I made my way inside. Problem was, Bill didn’t seem to be home. Instead, there was a Clefairy sitting around…with a human face… … …At this point, I was ready to piss myself in terror. Then it started talking. And thus, a thousand Creepy Pastas were written. 😛

Yeah, I know it's really Bill. I've never understood this line of dialogue, though. Why would he say that?

Yeah, I’m kidding, I know it’s really Bill. I’ve never understood this line of dialogue, though. Why would he say that?

The technology of the Pokémon world will never cease to astound me. Why can't humanity be inspired to make stuff based on this like we are with Star Trek?

The technology of the Pokémon world will never cease to astound me. Why can’t humanity be inspired to make Poké Balls and PC Storage Systems like we are with stuff from Star Trek?

Yeah, not gonna lie, I'm kinda with Bill on this one. Maybe it's just because I prefer to dress like a dirtbag hipster, but whatevs. lol

Yeah, not gonna lie, I’m kinda with Bill on this one. Maybe it’s just because I prefer to dress like a dirtbag hipster, but whatevs. I’ll take the free tickets to a cruise liner party.

So these must be the "lots of pages to my Pokédex" that Tim was talking about. Don't get me wrong, I love Eevee and the Eeveelutions (that sounds like a band), but it's FOUR pages. I had that many when I first got the freaking 'dex.

So these must be the “lots of pages to my Pokédex” that Tim was talking about. Don’t get me wrong, I love Eevee and the Eeveelutions (that sounds like a band), but it’s FOUR pages. I had that many when I first got the freaking ‘dex.

Anyway, with that done, I decided to head back to Cerulean City, just in time to notice a house had been broken into. The officer outside said it was Team Rocket…well, no shit. I could see the Goddamn Rocket Grunt standing in the back yard from right there. How do you not see that? Apparently, the police in Kanto are completely inept, OR they’re on the take. It’s one or the other. Either way, I decided I’d need to go all vigilante and take the law into my own hands by dealing with the grunt myself.

...No. The Team Rocket uniform kinda gives you away. In fact, why aren't you wearing a disguise like your buddy on Nugget Bridge? o.O

…No. The Team Rocket uniform kinda gives you away. In fact, why aren’t you wearing a disguise like your buddy on Nugget Bridge? o.O

One rather embarrasing asskicking later. lol

One rather embarrassing ass-kicking later. lol

Man, could you imagine if EVERYBODY was able to deal with loss of property that well?

Man, could you imagine if EVERYBODY was able to deal with loss of property that well?

Yeah, we never really did find out what that was about, huh?

Yeah, we never really did find out what that was about, huh?

And thus, with Team Rocket beaten down again, the Nugget Bridge conquered, a few more pages added to my Pokédex, and some much-needed training done, it was finally time to deal with Misty. As always, I went into battle using the same number of Pokémon as the Gym Leader’s, meaning I needed to decide which two would take on her Staryu and Starmie. I’d already decided that, based on type and overall performance (and luck) thus far that Drakeman would lead against her Staryu, but there was still the matter of her Starmie. Katherine now knew Bite, but I wasn’t sure if she could one hit KO her opponent, nor was I confident in her ability to tank a Water Pulse from a Starmie. I could’ve worked to evolve her into a Golbat, as I had thought about before, but that felt like I’d be committing to making her a full member of my team, and with Oswald and Drakeman in the party already, I was clearly a bit too Poison heavy. As such, I ultimately decided to go with Mikey, matching his bulk against Starmie’s Special Attack. With my two party members chosen, I headed for the Gym…

Not kidding, first time using Bullet Seed, and it hit 5 times. Seriously, Drakeman, you are the luckiest Goddamn Oddish EVER, not to mention one hell of a trooper. Speaking of, btw? I was originally gonna name him Steve. I’m not kidding, if he survives to Lavender Town and that kind of crap keeps happening to him, I’m changing his name. lol

Honestly? Not as bad a policy as some would suggest.

Honestly? Not as bad a policy as some would suggest.

Not gonna lie: I had to use a LOT of Potions in this battle. Also, I wanted to punch myself for not raising Mikey ONE LEVEL so that he'd learn Bite. Once again, my lack of memory of the movepools in this game nearly gets one of my team members killed. Clearly, something I'm going to have to be a LOT more careful of.

Not gonna lie: I had to use a LOT of Potions in this battle. Also, I wanted to punch myself for not raising Mikey ONE LEVEL so that he’d learn Bite. Once again, my lack of memory of the movepools in this game nearly gets one of my team members killed. Clearly, something I’m going to have to be a LOT more careful of.

Two badges down, six to go. :)

Two badges down, six to go. 🙂

With the Cascade Badge in hand, my business in Cerulean City was finally complete… … …BUT, before I called it a day, there was still one last thing I had to do. After healing up and withdrawing my team, I called out Oswald and gave him one of the Moon Stones I’d found in Mt. Moon, and watched as he evolved to his final stage.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the most powerful member currently on my team, and the Pokémon who will lead said team to victory against Lt. Surge.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the most powerful member currently on my team, and the Pokémon who will lead said team to victory against Lt. Surge.

So, once again, I managed to get through a phase of my journey with no fatalities. Still, I can tell that what luck I’ve had thus far is gonna run out soon, so I’m gonna have to play it smarter next time, as I make my way south to Vermilion City in order to attend the S.S. Anne party and battle Lt. Surge for the Thunder Badge. Ja né!

We're gonna need a LOT more training to deal with Surge...

We’re gonna need a lot more training and a lot less weaknesses to Electric attacks to deal with Surge. But where can I find a really strong and swift Ground-type?

Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Part 2

My team at the beginning of this phase of my journey.

My team at the beginning of this phase of my journey.

Last time in the Pokémon FireRed Text-And-Screencap-Only Nuzlocke Challenge, I started my journey with Mikey, my Squirtle, battled my rival twice, caught some new members to my team, journeyed through the Viridian Forest, and defeated the Pewter City Gym Leader for the Boulder Badge. This time, decided to head for Mt. Moon, where Clefairy supposedly came to the planet from outer space. Before I could get to Mt. Moon, though, I had a few Trainers waiting for me on Route 3, which meant it was once again training montage time!

I'm not denying that, but that's STILL a really weird thing to open a battle with. lol

I’m not denying that, but that’s STILL a really weird thing to open a battle with. lol

...There is no freaking reason why this Caterpie should not be evolved TWICE by now. C'mon, developers.

…There is no freaking reason why this Caterpie should not be evolved TWICE by now. C’mon, developers.

I almost felt bad for the poor bastard... ... ...almost. :P

I almost felt bad for the poor bastard… … …almost. 😛

And, as always, the training proved VERY fruitful. Specifically, I caught new members for the team…

This nickname's specifically for N. Harmonik. :P

This nickname’s specifically for N. Harmonik. You’re welcome, Aibo.

I thought about Stephanie or Barbara, but they seemed a bit too obvious in my head. And really, more people should know about the awesomeness that is Batwoman.

I thought about Stephanie or Barbara, but they seemed a bit too obvious in my head. And really, more people should know about the awesomeness that is Batwoman.

…and Mikey reached Level 16, which meant it was time to ascend to new plateaus. 🙂

I've never understood why Wartortle gets frilly-looking ears and tail, only to drop them when it evolves into Blastoise. lol

I’ve never understood why Wartortle gets frilly-looking ears and tail, only to drop them when it evolves into Blastoise. lol

Luckily, this time around, I knew well enough to keep Mikey away from Pidgey. I don’t know what it is, but it’s almost like the pigeons have been abducted and replaces with vultures who are out to murder my Starter. lol Regardless, with a full team of six Pokémon, I ventured into Mt. Moon, continuing to battle my way through anything that got in my way. I battled every Trainer in the caves of the mountain, saw every single Pokémon that took up residence there, and even encountered everybody’s favourite group of Pokémon thieves: Team Rocket. They were there to steal Pokémon from unsuspecting Trainers and find the rumoured fossils that were buried in the mountain somewhere, probably to sell them and net some cash. Suffice to say, not a picnic getting through this place.

Okay, this is technically outside, but I decided to get some training in for Oswald, ran into a Jigglypuff, and...well, how could I NOT get a screencap of Jigglypuff using Sing? :P

Okay, this is technically outside, but I decided to get some training in for Oswald, ran into a Jigglypuff, and…well, how could I NOT get a screencap of Jigglypuff using Sing? 😛

Why do all the Pokémon I REALLY want to score lucky encounters with never show up until long after I've made my capture for their area? -_-

Why do all the Pokémon I REALLY want to score lucky encounters with never show up until long after I’ve made my capture for their area? The best one I’ve managed so far is Oswald. No way I’m catching Abra this LP.

Yeah, but at the low levels they're at here, they kinda suck at it. lol

Yeah, but at the low levels they’re at here, they kinda suck at it. lol

And thus, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit learned karate. :P

And thus, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit learned karate. 😛

...Good for you?

…Good for you?

Is that just how you guys introduce yourselves? I mean, it's not bad, but I can think of a lot better. lol

Is “We, TEAM ROCKET” just how you guys introduce yourselves? I mean, it’s not necessarily BAD, but I can think of a lot better. lol

Anyway, during my battles, my team naturally grew, both in evolutions…

Probably gonna wait until after the Cerulean City Gym to evolve Oswald again.

I also managed to find the Moon Stones. Probably gonna wait until after the Cerulean City Gym to use one and evolve Oswald again.

Not gonna lie, but it occurred to me that perhaps naming one of my Pokémon after one of the ROBINS wasn't a good way to avoid deaths. Still, this evolution DOES make me optimistic.

Not gonna lie, but it occurred to me (a bit late after doing so) that perhaps naming one of my Pokémon after one of the ROBINS wasn’t a good way to avoid deaths. Still, this evolution DOES make me optimistic.

…and in learning new techniques.

So Mikey's been studying under Mr. Satan to learn the Megaton Punch?

So Mikey’s been studying under Mr. Satan to learn the Megaton Punch?

Not everybody did so great, though. Minnie only got up to Level 13 by the time I was out, managing to learn Hyper Fang, and poor Katherine unfortunately didn’t get any use at all. I honestly think I’m just gonna put her in the Daycare (when I get there) and have the guy there raise her up as a back-up Flying-type should the worst ever happen to Damian. But then, I really shouldn’t be surprised. There just weren’t that many opponents in Mt. Moon that would’ve been good match-ups for them. Plus, I may have subconsciously favoured the others in their training since I figured they’d likely stand a better chance against Misty. Still haven’t decided which two I’ll go with, though. That said, Katherine might have one or two moves in her pool that might serve me well in that Gym Battle…

Could this silhouette be a sign of my future…?

Anyway, after fighting my way through the caves, I eventually met up with a guy who had the fossils, and apparently thought I was trying to steal them, so he attacked me. Naturally, I whooped him, and in an attempt to appease me, he offered to share one with me. Again, he thought I was a thief, which I wasn’t, but he was offering me a fossil, so…yeah, not necessarily gonna tell him otherwise in THAT case. 😛

YES, I chose the Dome Fossil, and NO, I'm not making that joke. lol

YES, I chose the Dome Fossil, and NO, I’m not making that joke. lol

So, after all that, I made it to Cerulean City on the other side and rested up, once again managing to come through a situation with zero fatalities. However, we’ll see if I can keep that lucky streak going next time, as I challenge the Nugget Bridge and the Cerulean City Gym. Ja né!

Which of these six will battle Misty and her Water-type Pokémon? You'll have to check in next time to find out!

Which of these six will battle Misty and her Water-type Pokémon? You’ll have to check in next time to find out!

DC Rebirth Reveal – Some Art And Quick Reactions

…SO, today was kinda nuts. Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.

80 PAGES FOR $2.99! HOLY CRAP! XD

80 PAGES FOR $2.99?! That’s some insane dedication to the price drop!

...So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. :D

…So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. 😀 Kinda confused by Clayface’s presence, but whatever.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that's kinda weird is that we're keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It's just...odd.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that’s kinda weird is that we’re keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It’s just…odd.

He’s back in blue! THANK GOD! Also, the reaction to the first story arc’s title, “Better Than Batman” got just the exact reaction I was expecting. XD

Greg Rucka is coming back to Wonder Woman. This is going to be INSANE, and I REALLY can’t wait for Wonder Woman Year One, with art by Nicola Scott. Also, thank God, Wonder Woman’s back in gold. I don’t even care that it’s blatantly copied from the movies, it looks good on her. 🙂

Lex Luthor as the new Superman of Metropolis. That’s literally all you need to know to realize that’s gonna end badly. Throw in Doomsday, and I’ll be surprised if there’s anything LEFT of Metropolis by the time we hit Action Comics #1000.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that's been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that’s been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

So Hal's going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. :)

So Hal’s going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. 🙂

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing this in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing that the sons of Batman and Superman will be teaming up in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

Bryan Hitch, Tony Daniel, and Fernando Pasarin have got some BIG shoes to fill with Justice League, but I like the team. Also, it seems details on JLA are being kept a secret for now.

Relax, people. It's not THAT All-Star Batman. lol

Relax, people. It’s not THAT All-Star Batman. lol Also, I guess now we know what Snyder’s been up to. That said, gotta admit, I’m a little disappointed to see Ivy relegated back to being simply another rogue for Batman after all the work that’s been done with her as her own character.

Y’know, everybody else is talking about how Damian is on the Titans and how Wally West is still black, and all I can think of is “Thank God, Starfire’s on the Titans and NOT the Outlaws”. 😛

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don't care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I care about. Good to know. ^_^

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don’t care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I love. Good to know. ^_^

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there's only ONE person in red??? :P

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there’s only ONE person in red??? 😛 Also, who is that in green? Can’t be a Lantern, can it?

They really might as well have just said "We're going with the same team as from the movie". I mean, honestly, I don't even really care that they're cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

They really might as well have just said “We’re going with the same team as from the movie”. I mean, honestly, I don’t even really care that they’re cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_-

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_- Tom King should prove to be a good choice, though, and I’m interested to see where this goes in the aftermath of Superheavy, especially as it pertains to Duke Thomas.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don't care that Wally is still black. I just hope he's FUN again. That's all I've EVER wanted.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don’t care that Wally is still black. I just hope he’s FUN again. That’s all I’ve EVER wanted.

I've never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that's clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

I’ve never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that’s clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja né!

Batgirl #42 and Batgirl Annual #3 Previews

Double the Batgirl, double the fun! Here are the previews for Batgirl #42 and Batgirl Annual #3!

  • Batgirl can barely hold her own in combat against the new Batman… so what happens when Livewire joins the fight with the intention of taking them both out?

http://www.craveonline.ca/comics/previews/881999-exclusive-preview-batgirl-42

  • On her latest mission, Batgirl finds herself mixing it up with Helena Bertinelli of Spyral…but who is the mysterious Spyral agent who seems to be one step ahead of her at every turn without ever showing his face? She’s determined to crack this mystery – but Grayson is just as determined not to get caught! Plus: Batgirl visits Gotham Academy – and there are plenty of surprises in store for her!

http://www.avclub.com/article/exclusive-dc-preview-batgirl-annual-3-brings-grays-222906

My Thoughts On Batwoman #34

So, for anyone that follows comics, and for anyone who has read my thoughts on Batwoman, you all should know the situation involving her book by now. If you don’t, I’ve discussed what happened before, but if you don’t feel like reading all that, here’s the jist of it: At the end of Batwoman #17, released on February 20th, 2013, Batwoman revealed her identity to her girlfriend and police officer, Maggie Sawyer, and the two became engaged. However, on September 5th, almost a year ago, a statement was released by JH Williams III and Haden Blackman that they had walked off the book following creative differences with DC, specifically that they were, and I quote, “prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married.” For historical documentation, I should note that I personally squeed at the news they were getting married, so of course, I took this personally. I was sad, angry, confused, and to this day, I still don’t have a clear, concrete answer as to why, if the marriage was such a problem with DC Editorial and higher-ups, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with, if they were only going to say no later. I mean, it’s been made clear that Dan DiDio believes that superheroes shouldn’t be married, that they should always be fucking miserable in their lives, but again, why was this green lighted if they knew it’d never happen?

*sighs* So, almost a year after we learned that the wedding would never happen, and knowing that DC would likely split Kate and Maggie up, the moment of truth is upon us in this week’s Batwoman #34. So, how does it end? Well, it ends badly, but let’s be honest, we knew it would. However, what’s actually so much more heartbreaking is the fact that this reminds me of One More Day, but in the sense that it almost feels like the antithesis of that story. There’s no deal with the devil, no changes to history, and the hero is ultimately making a personal sacrifice of her own happiness to help the woman she loves. Basically, Maggie is involved in a custody battle with her homophobic ex-husband over their daughter. In the end, the husband drops the case, but Kate leaves Maggie a note saying they need to take a break. It’s revealed that Kate made a deal with the ex (okay, so a deal was made, but there’s a big difference between some homophobic and frigging Mephisto) that she would stay away from Maggie and her daughter if he dropped the case, and she can’t ever tell Maggie what she did. It’s a heartbreaking, tragic end to their relationship…so basically, everything One More Day wasn’t. And the fact is, both of these stories were editorially mandated, so it really shows the difference between JMS and Marc Andreyko in how they handle editorially mandated breakups. Am I happy with it? No, but I wouldn’t be happy with anything Andreyko came up with for how to end this. He was in a no win scenario, people. There was just NO WAY TO WIN in this.

Now, as for the other half of what happened, and I dunno if this was mandated too or if Andreyko just really wanted to tell this story. Basically, while the drama of the custody battle was going on, Kate as Batwoman was dealing with the vampire criminal known as Nocturna. Well, in this issue, she gets a glimpse of Kate’s face under the mask, sees a tabloid with her face on it, and after the Kate and Maggie split, she sneaks into Kate’s house and…

…So yeah, Batwoman’s apparently a vampire now. And frankly, the part of my mind that constantly seeks a joke to break the ice is just thinking of this little gem from Justice League War.

Okay, I need to speak honestly with you right now, because I feel like it would show a lack of respect to my audience if I didn’t. And hell, you wouldn’t respect me if I didn’t. I have an admitted ‘thing’ for vampires. And before you ask, no, I do not read Twilight. lol But yeah, do I find lesbian vampire Batwoman hot?…Yeah. Yeah, I-I find it VERY hot. However, that said, I should also make it clear that just because something is sexy does NOT mean that you should do it in comics, especially when it causes a massive change to the narrative like THIS does. And while it is kinda sexy, it’s also kinda clichéd, almost like I’m reading Batwoman fanfiction. In fact, I’m almost certain this situation HAS occurred in Batwoman fanfiction. That’s why that scene in JLW was so funny to me, because so many fanfic writers have made Batman and the various Bat Family members into vampires.

So, again, I don’t know if this is Andreyko’s idea or not, I don’t know how long this is gonna last for, and frankly, I don’t know whether or not this means Batwoman will continue to be a heroine or if she’s now moving into anti-hero territory. However, I will reiterate what I said before: No matter what Andreyko came up with, we weren’t gonna be satisfied, so I’m not holding any of this against him. But I DO hold this against DC Editorial, in particular my favourite person in the entire Multiverse, Dan DiDio, and his idiotic, insulting, out-of-touch-with-reality viewpoints on superheroes that constantly makes me wonder how the hell he ever got to the position he’s in! And frankly, there’s been a rumour going around that part of Warner Bros. could be up for sale, and that various groups like Disney might be looking to purchase DC Comics. If it’s true, whoever it is, I’m gonna give you a little piece of advice: FIRE DAN DIDIO! He is the source of the worst of the drama and controversy in DC for nearly the past decade, and needs to be removed, IMMEDIATELY. Would it magically fix everything? Maybe not, but it’d be a HUGE step to help things out.

…Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the situation. Leave your comments below what you think about Batwoman #34, DC Editorial, Dan DiDio, Marc Andreyko, JH Williams III, whatever, and hopefully, someone with the power to do something about this will do so. Ja né!

Infinite DC – A Look At The Costume Ensembles (WARNING – SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTING AND SPOILERS AHEAD)

Real quick, before I start, I haven’t forgotten to do What I Got For Christmas. It’s just that, among the gift cards I got, two of them are for Heroes’ Beacon, so I decided to just wait until I get my week’s comics and include them, instead of doing a separate What I Bought Today. With that outta the way, let’s engage in some shameless self-promoting, shall we? For those who have been following along with my Infinite DC fanfiction line, you know that I’ve been making a number of ensembles for the characters. Basically, I’ve been taking bits and pieces of costumes worn by the characters in various medias (comics, cartoons, movies, etc.), and putting them together to form their Infinite DC costumes. This is because Infinite DC takes place in my own alternate universe, separate from the 52 universes shown in DC Comics, but is influenced by many of them (and others) in terms of characters, stories, historical events, and so on. So, with that said, let’s take a look at some of the costumes I’ve put together thus far, starting with…

Infinite Superman

First shown in the fanfic ‘The Man of Tomorrow’, Superman’s costume is largely based on his more traditional tights. However, while they are the same design in terms of colour-scheme and where everything goes and fits together, the costume is actually made out of the more armour-like material seen in most of Superman’s more recent appearances. Reasoning is simple: Superman’s body is protected by his bio-electrical field, and he himself is mostly invulnerable, but there are ways around both. If he takes too much of a beating in a fight against opponents with strength comparable to his own, his solar energy reserves can deplete and the field can fail to protect him. Also, Superman has been shown to be vulnerable to some forms of attack in the past, namely from Kryptonite and magic. Considering the number of enemies he faces that have used this to their advantage, it makes sense that he’d want something that would protect him a bit more. But, I also understand why many still miss the classic design, so I decided to go ahead and please both.

Infinite Huntress

Originally, I just gave Huntress her Year One costume, but as of late, I decided to go with the costume she more commonly wore as a member of the Birds of Prey, since she’s, y’know, a member of the Birds of Prey in my fic. Also, as pointed out in said comics, she’s actually able to stretch herself out a bit more and is nimbler in said costume, and I kind of needed her to have that edge. I actually was almost breaking the fourth wall in the chapter where she makes it, as I really felt that, with the team in its current shape, Huntress needed that something extra to work with. The colour-scheme and mask, however, remain the same, as it creates a blend of the two, and honestly, I kinda found that, as time went on, Huntress’ BoP mask was drawn to be bigger and bigger until it just got ridiculous. lol Also, in a rare case of being inspired by a non-DC character, her crossbow and quiver actually use the same tech as shown with Hawkeye in the Avengers movie.

Infinite Batman

So, initially I had Batman wear his New 52 costume tinted dark blue instead of black. Since then, I’ve decided to give a slight retcon punch to that idea, instead giving him the Batman Noel costume, recoloured and given lens to resemble the Batman: TAS costume, his Bat symbol swapped out for the one in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and and wearing the utility belt seen on Injustice: Gods Among Us‘ Insurgency Batman. So, why the dark blue colouring? Well, originally, it was to show that Batman was lightening up from his lone wolf crusade, but I’ve since come up with a bit more functional-toned reason: Batman’s a ninja. Ninjas do NOT wear black, they were dark blue. Yeah, that threw me off too, but apparently, dark blue actually blends into the darkness even better than black. In other words, and I know this is gonna piss off a lot of people, but of the costumes that appeared in the Batman movies of the past 20+ years, the one that’s actually best suited for the darkness is George Clooney’s…Yeah. Scary.

Infinite Robin

Not much to say here. It’s the Young Justice Robin costume, except with Damian’s hood and Tim Drake‘s Robin symbol. Decided it was probably best to keep it simple with him. With that in mind, I have a question: Why is it that, in modern day, Dick Grayson is always shown to be wearing green leggings? ‘Cuz originally, that was not his thing. That was a Tim Drake thing. Instead, Tim Drake is now shown dressed in the red and black costume he wore after Superboy was killed…who is apparently dead again now…Comics can be weird sometimes. o.O

Infinite Batwoman

Again, not a lot to say about Batwoman’s costume. It’s mostly the same as the one seen in the comics, with one distinct difference: She’s now wearing a Batgirl-esque cowl (though it keeps the lens from the mask), with her wig poking out the back. This is done for a few reasons, though mainly it was due to my belief that someone like Katherine Kane would likely go for a cowl instead of a mask, since a face mask probably comes off a lot easier. Also, as I mentioned before, I made it so that her wig is rigged to a device in her cowl that sends a minor shock to anyone foolish enough to try and tug on her ‘hair’.

Infinite Wonder Woman

Finally, the pièce de résistance, Infinite Wonder Woman. This was actually the first real case of me mixing and matching various pieces of costumes together. As you can see, she has her hair in a ponytail (which she can crack like a whip), like in Justice League: War, she has the tiara with nose-guard from All-Star Batman and Robin (which has a psychic connection to her invisible jet and the replica tiara worn by Queen Hippolyta), she has a Gladiator-style skirt, and she has her Injustice boots, top, chest-plate, and bullet-proof bracers (which can be removed to allow her to use the full extent of her strength and speed). Of course, she also has the indestructible golden lasso that she uses to tie people up and/or make speak the truth, and she also occasionally wields a broadsword for when things get a bit too out of hand. And, in two chapters, she wore an enchanted helm over her tiara that covered the rest of her exposed skin (save for her face) with red leather armour, bronze shoulder and knee-guards, and a red cape. Y’know, just in case she needs a little something extra for when she’s going to war with the masses of the undead.

Anyway, there’s a few more, and at least a couple I have planned for the future, but let’s save them for another time. Leave your comments below on what you think of these costumes, and ideas for new ones. In the meanwhile, next up is my 400th blog post, and boy, do I have something special planned fo-

…And he never suspected a thing. Kawoom!

Next Time: N. Harmonik’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Oggy and the Cockroaches Episodes