12 Essential DC Titles That Must Be Part Of Every Line-Up/Reboot/Etc.
Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…
If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.
Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.
They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.
Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.
It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…
With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.
Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.
Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.
Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.
So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…
I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.
And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.
… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!
Still Making Expies On Deviant Art! Who’s Next?! Previews + Polls!
Yup, I’m still doing this. lol That said, compared to what I had up, I’ve made quite a few new Captain Ersatzes on Deviant Art, and I owe a lot of that to my readers who voted on who they’d like to see me make expies of. I’m still going through the list, but here’s a look at what I’ve posted since I started taking requests…
…BUT, as anyone who has been to my Twitter knows, I’ve still got maybe one or two left to go. Specifically, I decided to go ahead and make counterparts for the Justice League. And, because you guys went ahead and helped me out with this, here’s an early preview…with appropriate music. lol
Anyway, with that outta way, there’s another poll I’d like to present. Basically, now that I’ve done a few counterparts of Batman’s rogues gallery, I was wondering which group of villains I should do next. So, by all means, vote below on which rogues gallery you’d like to see expies of next, and we’ll see what happens in a week’s time. Ja né!
How To Drop The Ball In Comics – The New 52
…Well, we’re finally here, folks. It’s been five years, but at last, the New 52/DC You is dead. Granted, a few of its titles are still finishing up their runs, and the new books still take place in this universe, but it’s a changed one, and, quite frankly, a VASTLY improved one in my opinion, but I’ll be going over how when I look at DC Universe Rebirth #1 (the reason I haven’t yet is because there was still some fallout from it that continues into the other Rebirth one-shots). Before that, though, I think it’s time to look back on exactly what happened with the New 52, where it went wrong, and some of the worst titles that I personally have ever read from this era. So, welcome once again to How To Drop The Ball In Comics as I, for one last time, let it all out about the New 52.
What Is It?: The New 52 was basically a way to bring in new readers who might be intimidated by 70+ years of history, likely as a means of competing more with Marvel by upping their numbers. Sound familiar? It should. It’s something that DC has tried to do a few times now. However, they never tried anything quite like this: Following the event Flashpoint, the DC Universe was rebooted to where most of the heroes of the world had only been active for about 5 years. Most of the history of the characters were either gone or changed, thus creating a blank slate to start over from scratch with new talent to tell their tales in a modern setting. Now, DC was no stranger to reboots and retcons. But, as I said, this went a bit above and beyond anything they’d ever done before. So, the question one has to ask themselves, as has been done since the beginning of this new comic universe, is the same singular word as it’s always been: Why?
How Did It Have Potential?: Really, when you get down to why DC felt the need to reboot everything, it usually leads to a common question: Are there really that many people who want to read comics but don’t because of so much continuity to go through? And the answer is…complicated. I’ve had this talk before, and as I said then, this generation is actually the luckiest when it comes to stuff like that. We have the internet, with which we can read up on all this information. Sure, we might not get EVERYTHING, but the most important details will be waiting for us. That said, there DO exist people who either don’t know where to get this information, or don’t feel obligated, for whatever reason, to read up on it, but would STILL like to get into comics. Now, personally speaking, nowadays, I’m more of a subscriber to the theory that the best way to get new readers isn’t to sweep everything under a rug, but instead to give just enough allusions to these old stories and make them sound super exciting and interesting, thus making the reader want to know more. If you wanna know where I figured THAT out, read JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative. Or, if you can’t find it, watch Linkara’s review of it. However, I’m not blind to the views of those who would implement this strategy to get more people reading.
On top of all of that, though, there is one thing people have to consider. And I know that there are people who have forgotten this, but…there ARE some heroes who kinda got screwed over LONG before the New 52 happened, and who have since gotten a new lease on life as a result. Want an example? Okay, VIBE. Vibe was considered the worst member of the Justice League EVER. His name was practically a punch line, and he likely either would’ve remained that way or completely faded from everyone’s memory, were it not for the reboot giving Geoff Johns a chance to do something new with him. And after seeing how he worked in the New 52, I gotta say, I really like Vibe. I would gladly have him on my Justice League team. I hope he comes back again. And, likely as a result of his being brought back in the New 52, the character was also adapted into The Flash’s TV show, which has another new interpretation of him that I really like. So, yes, the reboot had potential when it came to characters like him. Also, while I’m not necessarily a fan of how Donna Troy was brought back in the New 52, I will say that I’m glad it finally gave her a definitive origin that didn’t require a road map to understand…I think, anyway. Not sure exactly how her origin works in terms of how she could’ve been a member of the Titans, but whatever. Something I’ll get into another time.
Finally, though, we have to be honest: The New 52 had good books, many of which I listed before. Also, some of the books which were of actual good quality would not or could not have worked in the old continuity. Not without their own share of heavy changes, anyway. And some of these books were so good that, when the word got out about them, they brought in new readers. You know how I know that? BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THEM! Yeah, I was one of those people who was on the fence about actually buying comics. Sure, I was a fan of many of the characters long before that, but that was mostly via their TV shows, movies, video games, stuff I learned through Atop The Fourth Wall, and just word of mouth. But when the reboot came, I saw it as an opportunity to get into comics, starting with Scott Snyder’s Batman, and I’ve been buying comics ever since. And a few characters DID eventually get put over as new stars. Harley Quinn is one of the top characters in DC right now, and has been outed as bisexual in her own book, meaning she is one of the most high-profile LGBT characters in comics. Speaking of, Batwoman got her own monthly title. Granted, she was already the star of Detective Comics for a while, but here, she had her own self-titled story. So, yes, we have to accept the fact that, in some ways, THE NEW 52 DID SEE SUCCESS… … … … …Now for the half-to-three-quarters empty.
How Did It Drop The Ball?: Well, before I get to that, I wanna show you something. Before writing this article, I went out on Twitter and asked a few people, if they could sum up exactly what went wrong with the New 52 in about 10 words or so, what those words would be. Let’s see what they had to say, shall we?
To be fair, though, one person I asked also had THIS to say…
…And yeah, that’s a legit concern to have, one that I’ll address when I get to DC Rebirth. Regardless, I can’t help but agree with the other responses, too. So, let’s start with the obvious one: What the loss of the past continuity cost us. Well, for starters, at the beginning of the New 52 (so the first 52 books printed), there was no Wally West, Donna Troy, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, the VAST majority of the JSA, Aqualad (either of them), and several other legacy heroes. Dick Grayson was back to being Nightwing. Bart Allen was the only Kid Flash. Cassandra Sandsmark was the only Wonder Girl. Barbara Gordon was the only Batgirl, was only in a wheelchair for a couple of years (give or take), and was suggested to have never been Oracle. There was no Young Justice team. The Outsiders were forced underground and were ultimately forgotten for a time. Cyborg was never a Teen Titan, instead taking Martian Manhunter’s place as a founding member of the Justice League. Martian Manhunter was more or less made into a hero everyone had trust issues with and would freely mindwipe others at a whim. Aquaman and Mera weren’t married, although no one apparently thought to tell Geoff Johns that while he was writing. Also, the Teen Titans never existed before Tim Drake’s new team, but again, apparently no one told Scott Lobdell. Roy Harper never had Lian, nor did he ever become Red Arrow, and instead became an anti-hero working with Jason Todd. Batman never revealed his identity to Catwoman, and instead the two were just having sex on rooftops. No one knew where the frak Renée Montoya was. But probably the most damning of all, Clark Kent and Lois Lane were never married, nor in a relationship.
But even beyond stuff that no longer happened due to the loss of past continuity, there were other retcons passed around throughout the New 52 that either didn’t make sense, came outta nowhere, or just served to piss people off. I’ve already gone over stuff like what happened to Wonder Woman, Starfire, and Martian Manhunter, but it didn’t end there. The Phantom Stranger was made to be Judas Iscariot. The Question was… … …I have no idea what the hell the Question was supposed to be, honestly. Tim Drake didn’t find out Batman’s identity and become Robin out of a need to help him, but instead failed to figure out who he was and instead forced his hand by messing with Penguin and almost getting his parents killed. Supergirl’s dad became the New 52 Cyborg Superman, which apparently is still canon in Rebirth for some reason. Billy Batson was turned into a little asshole who never shuts his gob. Roy Harper got a STUPID trucker hat that he refused to take off for some reason. Jason Todd’s back-story was changed to where Joker apparently set up his life to turn out exactly as it did to where he was killed and brought back. Mr. Freeze was never married to Nora, but instead was obsessed with her because of stuff relating to the cold and his mother that just makes my skin crawl. Overall, though, most of these changes and several others served for a single purpose: To make the DC Universe darker, and the stories were more often than not reflective of this, oftentimes filled with lots of sex and violence.
More than all of that, though, where I think the New 52 fails most in terms of stories is just on a sheer conceptual level. You’ll recall that I said the reboot was meant to put everything back to a clean slate. Here’s the problem: Some events in the past continuity did still happen. Several moments in DC’s history were condensed down into a much smaller time frame that made less sense the more one thought about it. Supposedly, events like Hal Jordan becoming Parallax, Blackest Night, and Batman being sent through time and believed dead still happened, but several key people involved weren’t, and the exact details of how it happened were changed. All the male Robins still exist (though Tim Drake was apparently never Robin and instead was always Red Robin), all within the span of 5 (later changed to approximately 10) years. Barbara Gordon was still shot by the Joker. Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend was still murdered and stuffed into a fridge (which, of all things to wipe away, why did THAT have to remain canon?! o.O). And, on top of all of this, some things happened, others didn’t, and not only was DC quiet about what did and didn’t happen, but they failed to give memos to the people WRITING THE STORIES about what was and wasn’t in canon. Like I said before, guys like Geoff Johns and Scott Lobdell, who were given high-profile books, weren’t informed of certain details. The first issues of Red Hood And The Outlaws and Teen Titans clearly made reference to past Titans teams, only to later learn that, supposedly, there were no previous Titans. I honestly have NO idea if Superman being killed by Doomsday is still canon or not. Heroes like Plastic Man and Miss Martian were referenced in the first issues of Justice League International and Teen Titans, only for it to be retconned that they never existed. George Pérez had to quit after six issues of Superman after repeated failures of being informed of details about Superman’s new status quo in this new universe. And I’m sure there are other instances of stuff like this that I’m not thinking of.
If you haven’t put it together by now, a major problem with the New 52 was mismanagement, and it wasn’t just a problem with the stories, either. Ask any of the talent that have left DC within the past five years, and you’ll probably get a similar story of broken promises and last-minute changes. Many left their stories unfinished as a result. In particular, Andy Diggle left the company before the first issue of his run on Action Comics ever even hit the stands. I think probably the one that still gets me is the controversy involving Batwoman, and I’ve gone over this before, but here’s as quick a summary of what happened as I can do. In September of 2013, J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman went public with the fact that they were leaving Batwoman, starting with issue 26. Why? Well, because of last-minute changes to stuff they had planned, specifically that they were told that Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer, who had just recently gotten engaged in the book, would never be allowed to get married. According to Dan DiDio, superheroes shouldn’t be married because being happy would undermine their angst and turmoil, and would compromise their commitment to being superheroes. Now, apparently, DiDio claims this is only to do specifically with the Bat-related characters, but if you’ll recall, neither Superman nor Aquaman were married, either. In fact, the only superhero seemingly still with a family was Animal Man. So while DiDio says it was only a Bat Family thing, I think it’s more likely that he doesn’t like the idea of superheroes being married, for one reason or another. This is evidenced further by notes of his going back as far as Infinite Crisis, where it’s clear he wanted to break up Clark Kent and Lois Lane for YEARS. But hey, I’m not in charge of DC Comics. I don’t have any say in what goes on. So maybe Dan DiDio DOES know better than me. But, if that’s the case, can I ask a simple question? And it’s one I’ve asked for years now and never gotten a good answer for: If Batwoman getting married was such a problem, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with? Why were they ever allowed to get engaged? You could’ve avoided all of this and the controversy that followed if you’d simply suggested against this move to begin with in a calm and rational tone, and instead worked out something different with Williams and Blackman.
Speaking of the controversy involving Batwoman, that leads me to another issue: The women of DC. And that’s not just the characters. That said, here’s a list of just SOME of the examples of violence and fridging towards women in the New 52 (though PLEASE be aware that these are horribly graphic in many cases, so read at your own discretion): Link. Beyond that, though, there was an overall lack of female creators working for DC at the beginning. I think the official figures were that the female creators at DC had dropped from 12% to 1%. And we’ve got more now, but it’s still a rather small number. And probably the most high-profile among those at the beginning was Gail Simone. Only, guess what? There’s controversy there, too, not only because Secret Six, a best seller at DC before the reboot, was cancelled, not only because the book she’d be working on, Batgirl, had Barbara Gordon taken out of the wheelchair and claimed to have never been Oracle, a move that ticked off a LOT of people, but because she was, in December of 2012, fired from Batgirl via e-mail (which was later suggested to be inaccurate or untrue, but who knows at this point), despite the fact that she’d made the book work and be a top-seller in the face of everything working against it. Granted, she was hired back 12 days later, but I honestly feel that’s only because her firing got SO public that DC was basically becoming a lightning rod of hate. But again, guess what? She eventually left the book AGAIN, and then went on to write a rebooted Secret Six, which is, again, getting cancelled. Maybe it’ll be back in Rebirth someday down the road, I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.
And lastly, I was GOING to include a list of my 5 Least Favourite Books of the New 52. However, I’ve decided not to because, at this point, you should probably have a good idea as to which books I didn’t like and which ones outright pissed me off. Maybe I’ll go back and do it later if I REALLY feel the need to, but for now, here’s just a quick rundown of the books I didn’t like, hated, or just had problems with.
Batman The Dark Knight: A horrible and nonsensical opening arc, and then later, the AWFUL killing of Batman’s love interest at the time. Even excluding those, though, it just wasn’t good.
Action Comics/Superman: The character was just not as likable or inspiring as he could be, even with the reboot, and later became crossover event after crossover event.
The Fury of Firestorm: Sorry, Gail, but every great writer’s gotta have at least one bomb, and this was just terrible.
Detective Comics: The book started off with Joker getting his face cut off just to set the stage for a story written one year later in another book…Do I even need to SAY anything else after that? Even when it was good, it always felt like it was just the other Batman book.
Teen Titans: Even if Scott WASN’T a sub-par writer, the lack of communication with editorial over what was and wasn’t canon ruined it in the beginning. The second volume started off promising, but later delved into being just bad. Overall, both volumes have kinda ruined Tim Drake as a credible leader. Still, I really like Bunker and hope he returns in Rebirth.
Wonder Woman: Massive retcons to Wonder Woman’s origins and the Amazons, and was later given to the Finches, who frankly just do not get the character.
Justice League of America: Existed solely as lead-in to Trinity War, and was later scrapped and reworked into the superior Justice League United. There’s also a JLA book going on right now that involves the seven main members of the Justice League going up against Rao, but I haven’t been following, and apparently, the book has been outright plagued with delays and cancellations.
The Movement: …I DID mention that I really like Gail Simone, right? 😀 …Okay, to be fair, I actually really liked the characters, but the overall story structure seemed problematic. Maybe it was just me, though. I’d actually be fine with this title coming back someday, or maybe the characters making comebacks, especially Vengeance Moth and Virtue.
Superman/Wonder Woman: Would’ve been fine if it was just about the two teaming up to fight bad guys, except it was far more about the two’s relationship that many were sick of already, and later existed solely to further the crossover events involving the other Superman-related books.
Birds of Prey: Started off okay, and had a new fan favourite bisexual character in Starling and put Poison Ivy on her more heroically inclined path, but it quickly fell completely apart, particularly when both aforementioned characters had heel turns and left the group.
Nightwing: While I personally enjoyed the book, it had a problem that a lot of other books frequently involved in crossover events had, in that there was rarely if ever a status quo to become invested in.
Red Hood And The Outlaws: The only reason I can fathom as to why this book is being brought back for Rebirth is as a means to keep Scott Lobdell away from anything else. That said, at least it won’t involve Starfire and Roy Harper anymore, who are returning to the Titans books.
Earth 2/World’s End/Earth 2 Society: Earth 2 started off promising, but then Dan Wilson took over, and the ship was pretty much sunk in every conceivable way. Dan Abnett’s actually trying REALLY hard to make Earth 2 Society good, and you can tell he’s a good writer, but I just don’t know how or if you can save this outside of another reboot, and that’s what got us into this mess.
Harley Quinn: If this was a book that was just about Harley, that’d be one thing, but they include Poison Ivy and just do strange and stupid things with her at times (though they DID at least make it canon that these two are bisexual), and did an amnesia arc with Power Girl where the latter was utterly humiliated and degraded in more ways than one.
Futures End: Brought Terry McGinnis into the mainstream continuity just to kill him off and replace him with an alternate future version of Tim Drake. Also, was FULL of body horror, dark twists, and ultimately proved to be pointless as the future presented never happened. Still, it DID have some good tie-ins, like the Batgirl one that I’ve brought up before.
Martian Manhunter: If anyone can tell me just what in the hell happened in this book without giving me a headache, that would be much appreciated. lol
Catwoman: I don’t even. I just don’t even. The first issue has her having sex with Batman for no reason, and has gone through multiple writers and arcs, none of which seemed to be written all that well.
Black Canary: I wouldn’t call this BAD, it’s just weird seeing Dinah in a band. But, let’s be fair, that could just be a problem with me.
There’s almost certainly more I’m either not thinking of or didn’t read, but that’s enough for now. Honestly, at this point, I’m sick of ranting about the New 52. And really, this is why I decided to do this article: Just to get this all out one last time so I can move on. Because, if you’ll look back on my blog and read my DC-related articles, it’s clear that I need to move on. I can’t live in the past, especially THIS past. I need to look to the future, and while DC Rebirth has a few things I could pick out as problematic, I will say that it still looks like a VAST improvement over the New 52. In the end, all the New 52 was was just a poorly managed era of comics history, one that even those behind it have figured out was a failure, and one that I am more than happy to leave behind for brighter horizons.
So, that’s pretty much the New 52 in a nutshell. Got any stories about this era of comics or details I might’ve left out? Lemme know in the comments below, and come back later this month when I finally take a look at DC Universe Rebirth #1, and my overall thoughts on the new era going forward. Ja né!
Who Should Be On The JLA Rebirth Team?
So, of the books that were revealed for Rebirth, one of them hasn’t had anything in the way of details revealed, and that’s JLA. I’m pretty sure it’s because they haven’t chosen a creative team yet, or it could be because of major game-changing events that’ll happen in the book that they don’t want put out there yet. Regardless of why, though, there’s no info, not even if it will continue to be a book about the primary seven members set in a non-specific point in time during their existence, or a brand new team altogether. If it’s the latter, though, I’m sure there are several at DC who are adding their two cents as to who could be on the team. With that said, because I am an opinionated blogger with a big mouth, here’s a list of heroes that I think would make for good members of the Justice League of America, should it prove to be a completely separate team. Please note that these suggestions are based around the individuals, not how they would operate as a team, and they don’t ALL have to be part of it (duh).
Honestly, though, any of the Earth-born Green Lanterns that don’t have their own books could work here. I just picked John because he’s my favourite. The thing is, though, that I could always justify his non-presence on a Justice League team nowadays because he was one of the main characters of the Green Lantern Corps books. However, now that book is being taken over by Hal Jordan, while Hal’s position on Earth is being given to Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. As such, it really doesn’t feel like there’s a heck of a lot for John to do, which is a real shame. So, I would personally advise putting him on the JLA, possibly even as the leader.
Well, you’re not doing anything else with him once the Legends of Tomorrow book ends, so why not? Especially now that casual viewers of the Flash TV show have been exposed to the character. It’d be a nice way to get more people to read. That said, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with Jason in the LoT book, but I hope he isn’t being tossed aside completely.
I would imagine Steel will likely be part of Superman’s Super League, but no reason he can’t pull double duty, especially since that team isn’t getting its own book, at least not yet. Plus, since Superman is gonna be busy elsewhere, and Supergirl already has her own book, it’d be good to give the inheritor to the title of Man of Steel some more exposure by having him be the member of the Superman Family to represent them on this team.
Again, I suppose either Ted or Jaime could work in this situation. Really, the reason I went with Ted is because I figured, since we’re getting him back anyway, might as well make the most of him, right? Plus, since I think this team could stand to NOT have Batman on it, you need someone who is smart, adaptable, strategic, and tenacious, and Ted fills that role well while also being more light-hearted than the Dark Knight. That said, much as I like the two working together, might be a good idea to not pair him with Booster Gold and have him slacking off and making get-rich-quick plans.
Can someone please tell me why Mera is not an official member of the Justice League? How many times does she have to stand beside them and bail them out of trouble before she gets her own official membership? And that’s just in the New 52 alone. And to anyone who thinks her powers are lame, lemme spell this out for you: How much of the world is made up of water? Better yet, how much of the HUMAN BODY is made up of water? If you don’t know why that’s terrifying, watch the episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender that deals with Bloodbending. lol
Like Ronnie, this would be a good character to add to the book for the sake of getting the attention of those who were introduced to him via the Flash show. And frankly, I don’t understand why this character was benched after Forever Evil. I really liked the New 52 interpretation of Vibe. I actually held it up as an example of the reboot changing a hero up and doing it right. Vibe went from arguably the worst member of the Justice League to someone I would honestly want on my team at all times.
Seriously, after this whole thing with Mars invading Earth is over and J’onn can be free of whatever nonsense was keeping him away from the other heroes of the DCU, he needs to rejoin the League. He needs to reconnect with his fellow heroes. I’m honestly a little worried about him from a psychological standpoint of being away from them for so long. Also, what is up with DC wanting to give people arm blades nowadays? It’s just so odd an aesthetic alteration to make for both J’onn and Wonder Woman.
…Let’s be honest, there’ll be a Bat on this team. And do we REALLY want Batman on EVERY team? Meanwhile, we’ve got Luke Cage, who isn’t doing anything outside of being an ally/love interest of Batgirl’s, and I don’t even know that he’ll be keeping that position in Rebirth. So why not include him here? Plus, he was one of the best parts of the newest Batman animated movie, so it would make for a nice cross-promotional move to add him to the team. Lastly, though, if he gets on the team, we totally gotta see him working with Steel. Just sayin’. 😛
Anyway, those are a few suggestions DC could go with. Got any I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens with the book in the future. Ja né!
Early Predictions/Desires For #DCRebirth – The Justice League And Related Characters
So, I’ve talked about some things I’d like to see from DC Rebirth back before we knew really ANYTHING about it, and I gave general thoughts on the books announced to be part of DC’s new line-up during Rebirth and beyond. Now, it’s time to look at the individual books announced and/or characters involved and talk about what I either expect to see happen as part of this movement to bring back the elements of the books and their characters we and the creators love. Keep in mind, I might’ve discussed some of this already in the aforementioned articles, so I may be repeating a few points. Still, let’s start off with…well, a book I’m a little disappointed to hear something about…And by a little disappointed, I mean my first words upon hearing about it were, and I quote, “SONOFABITCHMOTHERFUCKINGSHITMASSAGINGCOCKGRINDINGMONKEYFACEDCLOWNFART!!!“…I might’ve overreacted slightly. lol
Then again, though, when you consider the quality of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s work as of late with Justice League, can you really blame me for that reaction? Well, regardless, with Justice League and Justice League America, what I would recommend doing is having both books be about different groupings of the same team. Like, one book could focus on the original big seven of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (who I am hoping to God is returning to the League now that his book is ending), and the other can focus on some of the newer members, like Shazam, Cyborg, Jessica Cruz, Mister Miracle, and Big Barda. I’ve actually heard for a while now that there might’ve been a planned crossover between Justice League and JLA, but unless they had this planned with whoever was taking over for Johns, I don’t see that happening right away. And frankly, I’m a little sick of books doing crossovers before they hit 12 issues anyway, so holding off on that might be in order.
Assuming he retains the memory of it from the events of The Darkseid War, something tells me that a future arc of the new Batman title might revolve around him looking for the Joker now that he knows his identity. I just can’t imagine him gaining ahold of that information and not wanting to use it to maybe put an end to the Joker’s threat before anyone else gets hurt. Still, I’m a bit…leery of that idea. See, for me, the Joker works best when you DON’T know all the details of who he really is and what his past was like, and I can’t imagine DC actually going through with that. As Joker himself once put it, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice”. Then again, they’re apparently telling his back-story in the TV show Gotham, which I dislike for various reasons on top of that, so who knows? Like I’ve said before, though, I hope that they decide to make Joker a little more fun in the future. He’s more than capable of being a terrifying villain AND the occasional goofy clown. Other than that, since I don’t see any books involving Robin in the line-up thus far, one has to wonder what’s to become of Damian and the members of We Are Robin, in particular Duke Thomas. Will Damian become Bruce’s full-time partner again in one of the Batman books, or will he step aside and become his own individual while Duke takes his place? Or perhaps Duke will instead take on the identity of Lark, like in one of Bruce’s nightmare scenarios brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin? And what of Jim Gordon? Will he continue to take up the mantle of the All-New Batman? Only time will tell for sure, but we’ll talk more about Batman’s supporting cast and related characters later.
So, after the newest issue of Action Comics, it looks as though Superman is no longer dying. I could be wrong, but that appears to be the case. He’s also been fully revitalized. So, doesn’t look like the Super League is being built as a possible replacement for the Man of Steel. However, I would be willing to suggest that he’s instead putting it together due to the events where his powers were drained, his identity was leaked, and so on, and that there’d need to be someone who could stand in for him if something like that should ever happen again. Speaking of, though, I’ve got this sneaky suspicion that the public may not remember that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same post-Rebirth. Why? Well, like I mentioned before, the Spyral satellite has the ability to remove the public’s knowledge of Dick Grayson being Nightwing, which is likely how he’ll return to the role as I’ll get into when I talk about him. If I were one of the heads at DC and decided that Clark’s secret identity being exposed was not a good idea for the long-term, that seems like it’d be a good way out of it. With that said, though, if I may make a request, if that happens and they do that…?
Keep Lois’ memories of the ordeal intact. This isn’t even me wanting to see Lois and Clark as a couple again (although I do, a LOT), but simply because ever since she found out Clark Kent is Superman, she’s been even more actively involved in stories, for better or worse. Married or unmarried, couple or friends, ultimately, I think history has proven that there are more stories that can be told with her in the know about Clark being Superman than with her being kept out of the loop. But, with that said…yeah, I really do wanna see them together again, especially since the book about the pre-Flashpoint Lois and Clark is ending. In fact, who knows? Maybe they’ll do some kinda merger thing where the Superman and Lois Lane of both worlds blend into one, and both become a balance of their counterparts? Not sure where that leaves little Jonathan, but it could happen. But, for that to happen, obviously, something’s gotta go…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s time to call it quits on the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship. Above all else, the reason I’m just plain sick of it is because the two are rarely, if ever, treated like equals when it comes to their relationship. Wonder Woman is pretty much just Superman’s girlfriend in a lot of stories they’re presented in as a couple. Beyond that, my standard requests are as follows: Restore the Amazons to the compassionate protectors of mankind, and for the love of God, pants or no pants, I don’t care anymore, just give us a brighter colour scheme for Diana. In fact, I’d actually be fine with the design Jason Fabok uses for her in Justice League, but with gold instead of silver. Also, I keep hearing that the movie will be rebooting to the old school Etta Candy, and if I can make a suggestion? Do the same in the comics. You don’t necessarily have to undo making her black. Hell, you don’t even need to make her as overweight as the original. Just something similar, and above all else, make Etta the ninja tackling badass sidekick I remember.
…Okay, not really much to say about Aquaman, other than it’s great to see him back to his old look and kicking ass like normal. I will say, though, that the writers really need to make up their minds as to whether he’s gonna be King of Atlantis or not for the foreseeable future, though. No, my biggest concern for the Aquaman books is something…different.
…OH, GOOD GOD, WHY?! I got into a little bit of a rant about this on Twitter when I saw this, as you can read here. Suffice to say, no. Absolutely not. Whatever the writers of Aquaman are thinking, NO! BAD writers! Don’t make her Aquawoman. You make her Aquawoman, and I will violently murder the first fish I see. Oh, and just saying this? If they DO make Arthur King of Atlantis again, can we PLEASE have these two be officially married again? Or maybe they already have been when I wasn’t looking, I don’t know, but if they aren’t, please don’t listen to Dan, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to superheroes being married, especially with these two. It makes no sense for them to not be married when all evidence points to her having served in the capacity of Queen of Atlantis at Arthur’s side at least at one point. Also, I’m sorry, but one of these days, we gotta make Mera an official member of the Justice League. How many times does she have to accompany them and their various divisions into action and show just how easily she stands among them before she’s given a seat?
Again, not a lot to say about The Fastest Man Alive, other than that I hope that this whole mess involving him being Central City’s most wanted and being hunted by the Rogues doesn’t last long. I AM interested to see what role he plays with Rebirth, however. As Geoff Johns himself has pointed out, nearly every time there’s been a massive change to the universe, a Flash (usually Barry) was at the center of it. Speaking of, I wonder if we’ll ever get follow-up on exactly why Pandora used Barry to reboot the universe at the end of Flashpoint. The whole thing about Pandora’s Box being the reason seems kinda minor when you consider what that turned out to be. I mean, she really needed to reboot the universe just so we can get a Boom Tube that led to Earth 3? But yeah, once again, my bigger concern is with a certain other Flash…
Seriously, I don’t care if he’s black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, or fuchsia, we need the FUN Wally West back. The Wally West who is cracking jokes and being the far more fun-loving Flash. And I don’t care if he’s The Flash, Kid Flash, Impulse, whatever, it’s time to pull the trigger on him suiting up and working with Barry. With that said, a lot of people were against the new costume we saw him in during the whole Future’s End tie-in, but honestly, I thought he looked good. The silver DOES stand out in a very dramatic way and makes him look very distinct from the other Flashes.
Again, I’d kinda like to see Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and maybe even the other Earth-born Lanterns rotate on the Justice League and JLA. Beyond that, though, I get the feeling that Jessica Cruz will be switching out the Ring of Volthoom from Earth 3 for a Green Lantern Ring. There WAS a silhouette of a female Green Lantern in the image for Rebirth, and Jessica seems like the logical candidate. And frankly, I would just be happy to see her conquer her fear and give Volthoom the boot. Still, kinda hope her Green Lantern costume, if I’m correct, incorporates some elements of her Power Ring costume. Oh, and can we PLEASE have a sense of stability in the Green Lantern Corps for at least a year? I don’t think I even need to point this out, but life has been hell for the Corps as of the past few years. The Guardians finally came out as evil, there’s been a shit-ton of members dying left and right, they got better Guardians who still managed to screw the pooch in the end, and now most of them have been banished to another dimension or some shit. But as for Hal himself…he’s gotta lose the jacket. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work for him. To be honest, when he and Parallax had their fight recently, Hal looked more like a villain than Parallax did…y’know, until Parallax pulled the whole fangs thing, which still looks fucking stupid. lol
What in the HELL is going on in J’onn’s comics as of late?!?! No, seriously, someone please explain this shit to me! It turned out he was a bio-engineered weapon the Martians were going to use to take over Earth, and that he was hiding that for years, and that might’ve been why he was kicked outta the League during the gap between the first two story arcs of Justice League, but he doesn’t wanna hurt anyone, but he’s not willing to stop the plan, but then he wants to die, and then he does die, but somehow he’s got different aspects of himself that converge into a new Martian Manhunter, who looks…well, I’m not gonna say BAD. In fact, as far as radical redesigns go, at least this keeps some aspects of the old look intact. But still, he tries at first to lead the martian invasion, but then he decides not to, and now he’s got some kinda giant mech, which is both awesome and stupid, I don’t even know, and oh God, my head… … … …So yeah, please DC, just put him back on the Justice League and scale this nonsense down a bit. I had to check my ear a second ago just to make sure there wasn’t blood seeping from my brain and out there from all that.
Okay, is it just me, or does the storyline of the government being untrusting of Cyborg actually make WAY more sense than when they do the same thing with Superman? Maybe it’s because we’ve seen that Vic’s control CAN be overrode, and thus it’s less about trusting that he’s a good guy, but rather concern that it could happen again, especially when he can be plugged into EVERYTHING. Plus, there’s the whole matter of Victor having cybernetic enhancements to benefit him after he lost most of his body, and yet amputees have to deal with ordinary prosthetic parts that don’t work even a tenth as good. I’m not saying everyone should be decked out with his stuff, and it was established from the beginning that the tech used to make him into Cyborg was experimental and very easily could’ve backfired. And yeah, none of this is actually Victor’s fault, he’s just as much a victim in this as anyone else. Still, I can at least understand the conflict here WAY more, and if they wanna continue with that arc post-Rebirth, I wouldn’t mind. However, I WOULD suggest maybe adding more to his rogues gallery. We need his version of the Joker or Lex Luthor, someone who is his opposite in nearly every way, but can challenge him on an equal footing despite his natural advantages.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, allow me to do so: I HATE THIS VERSION OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! And a big part of why I hate him all revolves around the mass changes to Billy Batson. He was supposed to be a sweet, innocent, giving, and (for the most part) selfless individual. It was why he was chosen to gain the powers of Shazam. But when we meet him in THIS universe, he’s a little punk shithead who cons people and is mean to his adoptive family for no reason other than he wants to be! And even after all that, when he finally becomes Shazam and learns more about being a hero, he STILL acts like a little twerp who swears a lot to sound adult and cool, which is at its most jarring when he’s transformed into Shazam, has the wisdom of Solomon, and therefore should know better! But then, I KNOW why they made those changes. It’s the exact same reason they made so many changes to Superman: It was to make him SO much more identifiable and realistic. But, just like with Superman, it was done in a manner so poorly that he no longer resembles the hero he once was in any way. Hell, he doesn’t even have the same NAME! Seriously, DC, if you are serious about this, look back at what made the old Captain Marvel a beloved character and try reintroducing those elements.
Anyway, that’s all when it comes to the Justice League. Check back in next time when I look at the Bat Family and what I hope and/or expect to see become of Nightwing, Batgirl, and the returning Birds of Prey. Ja né!
Things I Want From #DCRebirth
… … …
…Please dear God, don’t be another universal reboot. It feels like we’ve just cleaned up a lot of the most damning and damaging parts of the last one by re-establishing the Multiverse, leaving the doors open for writers to do any story involving the characters of those past worlds that they want, and reintroducing characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. On top of that, we’ve actually got a fairly decent writer on Earth 2: Society, and we’ve had neat stuff like the Court of Owls and the new Power Ring around that I’d hate to see tossed aside…Although, with all of that said, there’s still a LOT of crap in the current universe that needs to be cleaned up, like the overall attitude of the Amazons, the fauxmance between Diana and Clark, and certain books being a little less fun than they could be. Thus, I’m hoping that, instead of being a complete reboot, DC Rebirth is instead a SOFT reboot, in that it doesn’t necessarily say that everything we’ve read for the past four years didn’t matter, but that we’re moving on to a place where we can improve upon everything and fix what went wrong. With that said, here’s a list of things I’d like to have kept around, as well as some stuff I’d like changed up/fixed/improved. First off, let’s talk about something I want to see stick around…
OMG, I love this team… … …erm, the creative team, that is. lol Geoff Johns has finally figured out how Wonder Woman should work as a character, and between his stories as of late and Jason Fabok’s glorious artwork, Justice League has been AMAZING. Also, Fabok, for the love of God, keep making the covers for the book look like movie posters. They’ve been so freaking awesome, I almost wanna have them blown up to cover each of the walls of my room.
Seriously, it’s time to pull the trigger on this. I mean, assuming it hasn’t happened already. I’ve heard that Wally MIGHT have gotten speed powers recently, but nothing solid yet. With that said, though, whether he becomes Kid Flash or not, one thing that DOES need to happen? Let Wally be WALLY. Let him be FUN. I don’t care what colour his skin is or anything else, I just want Wally to be fun again. That never needed to change.
Okay, DC, you had your fun with Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple, but I think it’s time to move on to what fans really want: Lois and Clark together. And hey, you can still do the Superman/Wonder Woman book and just have it be about the two teaming up to kick 31 flavours of ass, just let us have DC’s OTP back. They don’t even HAVE to be married, either, just have them be in a relationship again.
Words cannot express how much Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy book NEEDS to be an ongoing. However, one thing that might be a good idea is for Ivy to look at some of her past decisions and make re-evaluations. Perhaps she could feel grief over some of her more unethical activities in the past and wanting to go forward in a more positive attitude, possibly even moving beyond the antagonistic relationship she has with many heroes and instead joining them. Really look at Ivy as a character and her history and have her decide what the best course of action for the future is.
I’ve heard part of this rebranding will take greater strides to advertise the characters with their own shows. In that case, there is no excuse for not having a Vixen solo book. Or, if nothing else, having her be part of a high-profile team, like the Justice League or perhaps a team-up book for her, Flash, and Green Arrow, would be a great idea.
So, word is that Scott Snyder is leaving the main Batman book and instead going over to Detective Comics… … …Well, that should improve things over on THAT book, at least. lol However, if I can make a suggestion to whoever takes over for Batman? MAKE JOKER FUN AGAIN. I’m not saying you can’t do big, epic, horrifying stories with him, but you also gotta remember that this is the same guy who once tried to show the world he could pull off the greatest boner… …erm, not what it sounds like. lol Just saying, with someone as off-the-walls crazy as Joker, you can do both and still have it make sense.
I’ve been hearing that Dan Abnett, the new writer for Earth 2: Society, is actually doing a fairly decent job of cleaning up the mess Daniel H. Wilson left of that world, but that it still seems like a lot to cram into a single book. My personal recommendation? More or less make Earth 2 its own pseudo-imprint, with its own line of books. Have one dedicated to a new Justice Society forming, one dedicated to Huntress and Batman cleaning up the streets of Gotham, one dedicated to Fury and the new Amazons, and so on. Just make sure that the people writing have been briefed on Earth 2 history, both old and new, and know who the heck they’re writing about. In fact, while we’re on the subject…
Y’know what my favourite part of Convergence was? The fact that a lot of the stories felt like they were written by people who legitimately got the characters and understood how they’d respond to the situation presented. I am sick of stories written by people who don’t get the characters. Why would you ever assign someone a book in that case? That needs to stop, PRONTO.
Okay, I’m not gonna say that Dick Grayson as a secret agent doesn’t have potential, because we’ve seen that it does. However, I think it’s time he went back to what he did best, and that’s being a hero. Seriously, be it as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, whatever you wanna call him, Dick Grayson is clearly meant to be a superhero, one who bridges trust and friendship among various members of the superhero community.
Admittedly, this is one I’m actually a little on the fence about, and here’s why: While I prefer John Stewart overall as a character to Hal Jordan, Hal DOES have great lines and chemistry with Batman. So…I dunno, maybe you could have them both serving on the Justice League and rotating in and out for different stories? Or, I suppose another answer is to have a new secondary team for the JLA created and put him on that. Speaking of, I’ve heard that Justice League of America will be sticking around even after the storyline involving Rao finally wraps up. Perhaps there’s a place for him over there? Speaking of heroes that need to return to the League, though…
Honest to God, I have no idea what is even going on with Martian Manhunter anymore, but I think it’s time he came back to the Justice League…Not much else to say, really. It just doesn’t feel the same without him.
She’s been on the sidelines long enough, guys. It’s time to bring Batwoman back into the fold. I don’t really care how it’s done, be it in her own book or as a supporting character for another book, but it’s time Kate started getting her hands dirty. Oh, and for God’s sake, can we PLEASE have her be married finally? I think the point’s been made clearly enough that stopping the marriage was a terrible idea. Besides, with Maggie as the current GCPD Commissioner, that would put her in a VERY interesting situation that can be played around with.
I’m not saying it has to be a permanent change, just something quick and fun. Mainly because, as I’ve brought up before, we’ve seen that Scott Snyder can write stories for both Superman and Batman really well, so it’d be neat to see if he can go three for three with DC’s Trinity.
It recently hit me that the group Babs has been putting together in her book of herself, Frankie, Spoiler, Bluebird, and Black Canary could work great as a new Birds of Prey team. With that said, I might also wanna include Cassandra Cain as Black Bat since…well, I’m not really sure what else to do with her once Batman and Robin Eternal is over. Also, BRING BACK STARLING. Her heel turn and disappearance left a LOT of fans upset and confused, and there’s been zero follow up on that.
Apparently, there’s a storyline coming up where Superman FINALLY notices that Supergirl’s been kinda MIA as of late. As such, I hope that means we can finally get a new solo book for her, especially since she DOES, in fact, have a pretty successful TV series running right now. I know, some people aren’t as big of fans of it as others, but there is no denying success.
I get that, because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, that DC might feel the need to continue pushing the crap outta the comic. However, I hope they remember that there’s another team of villains and anti-heroes that a lot of fans love and don’t toss it aside like they did at the start of the New 52.
…Nope, I’m not gonna stop saying it until it happens. For an entire generation of fans, Tim Drake was Robin. He had his own solo book. He made Robin cool for the 90’s without doing too many of the stereotypical 90’s comics things. And he’s always been the detective of the Robins. As such, I would love to see him get a book. If nothing else, I kinda hope that Scott Snyder makes him a supporting character in Detective Comics. But, speaking of Tim and books he’s a part of…
Yeah, I’m sorry, but as much fun as I was having with the new Teen Titans books for the first few issues, the fun kinda dried up pretty quick. Is it too much to ask to have a FUN Titans team? One that, while knowing when to be serious, can also be an enjoyable and even funny read at times? Something a little closer to the tone of the animated series?…The good one, that is, not that piece of shit Teen Titans GO!. You don’t even need to change the cast (although, if Wally DOES become Kid Flash again, maybe adding him would be a good idea).
And that’s all I got for now. Have an idea I didn’t post? Leave it in the comments, and we’ll see what happens in June. Ja né!
Jyger’s Favourite 5: My Favourite Things To Watch/Read/Etc. During The Holiday Season
So, everyone has their own traditions for the holiday season. However, from the geek front, it’s always interesting to see what some people will read or watch during said season, like Christmas specials, certain December internet reviews, holiday-themed comics and fanfics, and so on. So, with that in mind, here are some of mine in no particular order, starting with what I’m sure many will probably consider a bit more of an unusual pick…
…Yeah, see what I mean? 😛 Here’s the basic plot: Locke, the main character, lost her backpack in an earlier chapter of the story, so her team decides to take up various jobs to pay for a new one. Throw in every single hilarious and heartwarming moment you can think of that fits said story, as well as the personalities of the Pokémon involved, and you’ve got yourself an enjoyable romp. And don’t worry, even though it’s a Nuzlocke comic, this is strictly holiday fun, so no horrible deaths or the like.
Again, a little weird, but awesome. Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne, still serving as Gotham’s Batman and Robin while Bruce is believed dead, celebrate Christmas. Only problem? Damian doesn’t believe Christmas has any kind of significance. The resulting actions by Dick are freaking HILARIOUS. I won’t spoil what he does, but I’m just gonna say that I crack up laughing EVERY TIME I read it. And since we’re on superheroes for the moment, that leads me to the next one on my list…
Thankfully, NOT a story where Batman has to find the Christmas spirit. lol No, in this episode, there’s three stories going on: One where Superman brings Martian Manhunter to his folks’ for Christmas, one where The Flash is trying to get a gift for some kids at an orphanage, and one where Green Lantern and Hawkgirl spend Christmas together at an alien bar. It’s a nice, quick, heartwarming Christmas episode starring some of my favourite superheroes. Could I ask for more?…Well, yes, but I like it nonetheless. lol
I couldn’t decide for sure which one of these two to put on here, so I opted to just do them both. Now, for the most part, I of course lean toward Atop The Fourth Wall. If you don’t know why, well, it’s because of the feels. Seriously, if you’ve never watched this episode, or any of the episodes in this particular story segment, do so NOW. Just be prepared for possible tears. As for the Nostalgia Critic episode, though, it’s mostly for Doug’s speech at the end…That, and the fact that A Christmas Tree really IS the worst holiday special I’ve ever seen, at least animated anyway. And, while we’re on the subject of the content being reviewed, I really DO need to get a copy of Batman Noël one day.
…Yeah, you knew SOME version of this story was gonna make it on here. lol And while there are plenty of versions I really like, I gotta go with the Muppet one. Not only are the performances great, but I love the songs. In fact, even if you don’t necessarily like the Muppets, the soundtrack is still worth listening to. Otherwise, it’s the frigging Christmas Carol. It’s like THE Christmas story. Sure, a lot of people think it’s done too much, but hey, there’s a reason for that.
And those are five of my favourite things to watch/read/listen to around Christmas time. There are a few more, of course, but I think I’ll save them for another list someday down the road. Until then, lemme know some of your own in the comments. Ja né!
Will The Real Martian Manhunter PLEASE Stand Up??? A ‘DC YOU’ Rant
… … …So, it’s been an interesting start of the DC YOU movement. I haven’t read the new Robin book, but it’s supposed to be alright. Starfire looks promising, although I’m a little leery considering the creative team on it are the same people that think that Poison Ivy still nonchalantly feeds people to plants, has her very blatantly engage in double entendres with Harley, and is pretty obviously meant to be her sidekick…although, at least they’ve confirmed that Harleen and Pam are LGBT, and you know how much I love seeing more comic book characters that are. Dunno how I feel about the Cyborg book, but at least he’s got one, and is getting a slightly more…traditional look. I’m looking forward to the new direction for Justice League United, so long as they continue to be stationed in Canada, because you know how long I waited for my country to have its own Justice League? lol Earth 2: Society, while having an interesting premise, is held down by bad writing, specifically focusing too much on Batman and the apparent intent to turn Helena Wayne heel in a way that makes no sense. I still have no desire to read the current Batman book, even with the confirmation that Bruce Wayne is alive, at least until Jim Gordon is no longer having to stand-in as Batman. While I’m not reading Justice League, I feel deeply encouraged to do so for just how frigging epic it is. And I continue to find myself HEAVILY irritated by the Superman books, although at least now, my anger is less about Lois being the one who revealed his identity (as it seems she may have been coerced somehow) and is more-so directed at the notion that, upon learning that Clark Kent is the Man of Steel, the government has COMPLETELY turned on him and are going after him and his loved ones. Ahem…
However, what’s actually managed to baffle me even more is what was recently revealed to be true about Martian Manhunter in this universe. It’s not a worse thing, mind you, just more baffling in my mind. Because, as much as all of that infuriates me regarding Superman, I can honestly say that it’s not the first time they’ve done something so epically stupid with him, and have actually explored the possibility of him being an enemy of the government before. And even the current Batman story isn’t completely new ground, as Bruce Wayne has had to stand aside for other people to take over for him as the Dark Knight. However, while I admit to not reading many of Martian Manhunter’s solo books in the past, I honestly can’t recall a time where it was revealed that he was a WEAPON designed to, you guessed it, take over the world.
Now, while I didn’t read the Justice League United tie-in to Future’s End, I did read ABOUT it, and know that, in that timeline, Martian Manhunter eventually led a Martian invasion of Earth. However, you’ll forgive me if I go on record as saying that 99.9% of what happened in Future’s End ended up meaning precisely DICK. The only real ramifications it had was the introduction of Telos for Convergence, and to set up the new Batman Beyond book. Other than that, none of what we saw meant ANYTHING, other than to give DC an excuse to tell a dark and grim story about a future where humanity gets epically screwed and show a lot of body horror scenes. So, naturally, I assumed that Martian Manhunter’s heel turn was never going to happen… … …and, oddly enough, from what I can tell, it still might not, depending on where they’re going with this in his solo book.
Okay, so long story short, we find out that Martian Manhunter has basically been lying to people for the past how many years he’s been on Earth in this continuity, and that, while he IS a Martian, he’s also a weapon designed to eventually bring about the enslavement of humanity. More-so, he’s NOT the last Martian, and they are planning to continue on with their plan. However, it also appears as though he wants to die, suggesting that he’s not actually all that okay with what he’s been made to do. In fact, it seems to suggest he’s being forced into this role by powers that are beyond him. What kinda higher power could make J’onn fucking J’onzz do as they say is kinda head tilting, but regardless, that’s how it seems to me. Now, I will be fair to this twist: The seeds of this revelation can be traced back quite a ways. If you look at this all in hindsight, the clues were all there. The fact that he was ejected from the Justice League for reasons never explained, the flashbacks we got when him and Catwoman had their little mind meld, the fact that he gets uneasy letting Stargirl get so close to him. When you look at it all together as a single picture, it DOES suggest there was something dark and devious about him behind the scenes. So yes, I will admit that this isn’t a twist that comes out of nowhere and makes no sense.
With that out of the way, though, I have to ask a question: Was it REALLY necessary to make another of the big name superheroes’ lives as we originally knew them a lie in this continuity? Was it necessary to paint the Martians as evil conquerors, just like how the Amazons were painted as vile rapists and the traders of children for weapons? Was it necessary to take yet another of DC’s top heroes, a character with a great following and fanbase, and totally change everything they thought they knew about him for the sake of being edgy? For me, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no.
Now, some might say, “Well, that’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one who has to make these calls”. To which I respond…well, yeah, it IS easy for me to say. Everything’s easy for me to say, since I’m just a blogger on the internet. But regarding the latter, you’re correct. I’m not the one making these calls. If it were up to me, Superman would be wearing a costume more akin to his old tights, Batman and his supporting characters wouldn’t be the only people DC markets anymore, Wonder Woman would lose those wrist blades on her new costume (seriously, I actually kinda like the new costume, but those are so 90’s, and not in the good way), Huntress would have her own book written by someone who actually gets the character, we wouldn’t NEED a Poison Ivy League because Poison Ivy would have her own title where she’s not killing people willy nilly and engaging in sexual innuendo 24/7 with Harley Quinn, and more importantly, we’d have more of heroes being HEROES. But that’s just me… … …Well, actually, it’s a LOT of people I talk to online, and a lot of bloggers, forum followers, and so on, but regardless, none of us run the company, have any say in what goes on, or have any clue as to what the direction they want to go in is.
Having said that, may I again ask what may seem like an obvious question to some, but clearly went over the heads of others, that being “Will somebody please explain to me what possible reason did DC Comics have for naming their new line-up ‘DC YOU’, implying we have ANY influence in this?“. Do you think the average comic book fan would suggest the idea of Superman having his powers in flux, the world knowing who he is, and the military openly showing resentment and hostility toward him, even going so far as to leave him to fight a battle on his own while they go to torch a street full of Superman supporters? A guy on Twitter by the name of Anthony Dean had some things to say about such a direction, and I love this so much that I’m going to transcribe it for you…
But he’s relatable now! No glasses, dudebro haircut/clothes, a stupid destructive new power, no secret identity or dorky reporter job, *and* a hot super-babe! Way more relatable now! And all they had to do was, um, get rid of everything vaguely recognizable to the general public? (Showed someone at work this Supes; they said: “not *my* Superman/arms looked like the Hulk’s”)
…DC, do you see the problem? Now, the obvious counter to all of this is “Well, that’s just aging hipster comic fans wanting THEIR heroes back”. Here’s my counter to that argument: What makes these new versions of the characters superior to the old ones in any way, shape, or form? Why do you think Convergence did so well, and why digital-first comics like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman are doing so well? You wanna know what was the moment when I knew, unquestionably, that the Convergence Superman book was superior in every way to the FOUR Superman titles you have going right now is? It’s right here.
THAT is Superman. He finds out that the various cities that have been plucked from their worlds are going to be forced to fight, and his immediate is response is “No. I will not let this happen. I am not going to stand by and let this person get away with this. I am going to save as many people as I possibly can, and I don’t care who they are or where they come from.” And the people that are distrusting of him in this book have valid reasons to be, instead of “He’s an alien!” He even opts to name his son Jonathan as opposed to Jor, seeing Earth as his true home, not Krypton. That’s the difference: My Superman is a man of Earth who encompasses everything we could hope to be and what our values are or should be and saves everyone he can, even when the universe tells him it’s impossible. Now, does that make the current Superman a bad character in concept? No. I’ve already gone to great length talking about a story that features that character and how great it was: Superman Unchained, where we see this flawed Superman doing everything he can to try and save us. But when that is one book out of five to star the character, not counting the Justice League books, and it’s the only one I know of that tells a story I want to read about Superman, and it was only 9 issues long…well, you see where the problem is.
But back to Martian Manhunter. Like I said, stories like Superman being hunted down, exposed, and whatnot have been experimented with before. I imagine that’s likely because he’s such an iconic character that it gets people’s attention when they do. Mind you, I don’t know of many stories when they’ve done this with Batman, and in fact have had him be antagonistic towards Superman when they’ve done such stories before. But why do this to J’onn? Some people say that Superman’s story is that of an immigrant from outer space having to live among us and accept both sides of his life, while at the same time helping to show humanity how we can be better. While I wouldn’t necessarily argue that point, I daresay that if there’s a DC character who represents the immigrant part of that story better, it’s Martian Manhunter. J’onn wasn’t raised on this planet. He wasn’t taught our value system from a young age. He wasn’t brought up to be like us. But, in spending time here, in learning how we are, both the good and the bad, we become a world he genuinely wants to spend his life protecting. Now, there ARE still aspects of that left in him. Like I said, his apparent willingness to die in spite of what he’s been sent here to do suggests he doesn’t want to do us harm. But the darkening of his character, his back-story, and making him someone who apparently got into a fight with the Justice League over all of this, as well as his apparent willingness to casually mind wipe people when he used to be against that sort of action take away a lot of what used to make him a heroic figure to fans, and therefore makes me want to read the old Martian Manhunter FAR more. And frankly, putting this back-story next to what they’ve done with Superman and Wonder Woman paints a somewhat xenophobic picture of modern DC, which is a TERRIBLE stance to have, especially if they’re supposedly trying to branch out and get more readers in the same way Marvel’s done as of late. The last thing you want ANYONE to even suggest you could be in such a situation is afraid of stuff and/or people that are different.
In the aftermath of Convergence, DC seems to suggest that the door is now open for creative teams to tell stories about previous incarnations of the characters seen from the timelines presented in that story, and presumably others. If I may be so bold as to call them out on that, though, can I ask why all four of the Superman titles they currently have going right now focus on the current version of Superman and this new, darker phase of his career? And, on top of that, for those that have long suggested that DC is basically trying to make Clark Kent into Peter Parker, I think the fact that we now have four Superman books running and all telling the same story pretty much proves your point beyond any doubt, they’re openly making Superman into Spider-Man. If you’re a modern fan of comics, I’ll explain: Marvel used to do this thing where they had a different Spider-Man book running practically every week by different writers and artists, and all telling the same continuous story…which could get very confusing, monotonous, and downright AWFUL at times (see the Clone Wars for hardcore proof of that). But even if they wanna do that, why can’t we have just ONE of those books be about the pre-Flashpoint Superman? Hell, before the renumbering of all the books that came with the New 52, Action Comics was only about, what, less than ten years away from hitting a legitimate #1000? Go back to the old numbering and tell stories about THAT book’s Superman. And hey, for all I know, maybe that IS in the works for after the Truth story arc is over. And if not, feel free to take this idea and ride off into the sunset with it. I will gladly give it up and take zero credit for it. The same goes for a lot of characters, like Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and Batman (if they can finally figure out what all did and didn’t happen with him in this new continuity). And you can do all of this and still have your darker continuity, too. Obviously, there’s an audience for it, or else you wouldn’t still be doing it.
So, that’s my take on the DC YOU product thus far. It’s not God awful, there are some things about it that show promise, but it could stand to have a TON of improvement, specifically distancing from what made the New 52 as bad as it was, and bringing back what made the classic continuities what they were. Have your own thoughts? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and we’ll see how things develop over time. Ja né!
What Other Superheroes Should Be Getting TV Shows?
So, with the news breaking that Melissa Benoist has been cast in the lead for CBS’ upcoming Supergirl TV series, as well as news that Vixen is apparently getting an animated web mini-series with ties to Arrow and Flash that could result in a full television series (or Vixen being cast on either show), both of those series being renewed for another season, Agents of SHIELD still doing good, the Marvel Netflix exclusive series coming up, and with Agent Carter apparently doing well right off the bat, it’s becoming clear that more heroes of various walks of life in the DC and Marvel universes are hitting it off well with television audiences. We’re seeing a much greater variety than just Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man for the umpteenth time. People want more and the various networks and companies are giving them what they want.
Having said that, and it brings me joy to be able to say this, there’s STILL a bunch of untapped characters and settings that could be adapted into their own TV shows. Granted, some of these characters have appeared in previous series before, but not on their own. And I’m not gonna get into casting and whatnot either, since everyone’s opinion on that is different. I’m just going to make my cases for each character or characters and let people decide if they agree or disagree with the idea of them getting their own show. So, let’s start off with probably the most logical choice after Supergirl…
Okay, I’m aware of the fact that there IS apparently a Titans live action series in the works, which would probably involve some incarnation of Dick Grayson, but since I haven’t heard anything about it in a while, I’m just gonna put this here for the heck of it. Like what I hope they do with Supergirl, they should keep Batman out of Nightwing’s story, save for his obvious existence in his back-story. In fact, with that in mind, one thing I would love to see is for CBS to do Nightwing as well and have him cross-over with Supergirl from time to time. As for setting, the obvious choice is Blüdhaven, though in the absence of that, Chicago would also work, as Nightwing has operated out of there as well.
I still can’t believe that when selecting the various heroes to be in Marvel’s Netflix series, they didn’t go with She-Hulk. Look at it this way: She’s the Hulk’s cousin, which means more potential use of that character since he apparently doesn’t have his own movie coming up, and she’s also a lawyer, meaning the show would effectively be a superhero show meets a Law & Order-esque series, and you know how well shows like that do. Plus, there’s just the nature of Jennifer and the She-Hulk’s duality and how it works in a way that’s very different from the Hulk’s. Plenty of potential exploration and analysis that can be made there.
Seeing as how Captain America did so well, how about a show about a whole team of superheroes that operated during World War II? I think I’d want the emphasis placed on the lesser known heroes, excluding the trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in favour of the likes of Mister Terrific, Wildcat, Black Canary, Sandman, The Atom, Doctor Fate, The Spectre, and Hawkgirl. Also, I’d probably include Alan Scott, but under his Sentinel alias (as to avoid confusing fans more familiar with the Green Lantern Corps), and one of the other speedsters in favour of Jay Garrick (again, to avoid confusing fans of the modern Flashes). And lastly, while she didn’t exist in the comics back then, I’m sure Aquawoman from the New 52 Earth 2 comics would be a welcome addition.
Yeah, this would get confusing while Supergirl is on the air, so perhaps an idea best kept on the back-burner until Supergirl’s run was over. Rather than involve the existence of Earth 2, I would just play it straight, with the daughter of Batman and the cousin of Superman having to carve out their own legacies while working as a team. And much like with She-Hulk, I would introduce plenty of court show drama elements with Helena Wayne being a lawyer.
This one would be tricky, since I’m not sure who owns the rights to Spider-Woman. If she’s owned by Marvel Studios, Jessica Drew would be a welcome series set in the MCU as a former HYDRA agent turned SHIELD. If she’s owned by Sony, it’s Gwen Stacy or bust. Either one would be welcome, honestly. Also, while I said I wouldn’t talk casting, with Spider-Gwen, she’d HAVE to be played by Emma Stone. She IS Gwen Stacy, in my opinion.
Probably the biggest name in DC Comics right now to NOT be involved in the DC Cinematic Universe, likely because DC and WB are basing that Justice League off of the New 52 version…which is a bad sign right off the bat. It’s not even that I have a problem with Cyborg, either. I love Cyborg. But they’ve kinda been amping him up a bit, whereas Martian Manhunter’s been kinda put down a few pegs. And J’onn could hold a show on his own, as the alien brought to Earth by accident and becoming a private investigator/superhero. And again, I know I said I wouldn’t talk casting, but here, I have to. I’m just gonna say five words and walk away: Morgan Freeman as Martian Manhunter. Goodbye. lol
Anyway, that’s it for the shows I can think of, but what about you? Leave me a comment letting me know which comic book heroes you’d like to see get their own shows, and we’ll see if any of them ever materialize. Ja né!
Infinite DC – Who Is On The Justice League? (FEEDBACK REQUESTED)
So, as I’ve mentioned in the past, several of my Infinite DC fanfics are eventually leading up to a Justice League story, in particular the ending to Man of Tomorrow. Now, while the main plot of this story is pretty much decided in my head, one thing that keeps changing bit by bit is who I want on the Justice League. Five members I know for a fact will be on the team are Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Batman, and Green Lantern. The sixth slot will go to either Martian Manhunter or Cyborg, the seventh slot is still completely up in the air, and now I’m beginning to wonder if I really wanna do the standard Magnificent Seven with the group, or include an eighth slot for whoever didn’t get the sixth.
As you can see, I’m in need of feedback. Before you give it, though, let’s talk about the seventh member. The criteria for the hero that fills seventh slot is as follows:
- They have to be a woman. I don’t want Wonder Woman to be the ONLY superheroine on a team full of dudes.
- She cannot be a member of the Birds of Prey: Dark. Ergo, she can’t be Black Canary, Huntress, Raven, or Batwoman. There will EVENTUALLY be mingling between the two teams, just not yet.
- She cannot be part of the extended hero teams of the other members, so not Power Girl, Batgirl, Wonder Girl, Jesse Quick, or Miss Martian.
- She has to have some sort of power or ability that is unique to the team. So, no one who is just a strong woman who can fly.
Anyway, with that said, here are some of my most considered options for the seventh hero, as well as reasons why I might not choose each one. Keep in mind, I’m aware I could change the stuff that gives me pause to add them, but some of these things lend to possible stories I can tell later, so I don’t know that I’d want to change them.
Fire was one of my first choices, in fact the one I’d initially decided on, for a number of reasons: Her ability to turn into and control fire, her characterization being in stark contrast to Wonder Woman’s, her Brazilian heritage giving further international flavour to the team, and the fact that, while she’s served with extended versions of the Justice League and the JLI, she’s never really been on THE team of 7 or so heroes. This would give her a unique presence to the team. Reasons why I wouldn’t want to add her is generally due to the fact that she’s known nowadays for being a tag team of sorts with Ice, so having one on the team without the other might feel odd, and her name is sadly HORRIBLY generic, not to mention can be confusing when there are other heroes with ‘Fire’ in their name, like Starfire or Firestorm.
Hawkgirl was again another obvious choice, given her repeated presence on the Justice League (in particular being part of the Big 7 in the DCAU League), and her incredible strength in both armed and unarmed combat. Like with many things in Infinite DC, I’d want to make her a mixture of the more commonly known Hawkgirl and the Hawkgirl from the New 52‘s Earth 2. She’d probably wear the Earth 2 costume, but rather than wield a Nth metal mace or her crossbow blaster, I’d giver her an Nth metal crossbow blaster that turns into a mace. Why? Because mêlée weapons that turn into guns are awesome. Reasons why I might not add her is just how typical it would be, and an admitted temptation to have her be on the Birds of Prey: Dark instead.
Okay, I’m kinda breaking my own rules here, but I feel that Katana isn’t necessarily part of the Bat Family team, or is at least independent enough now that she could be a member. Heck, she IS a member of the Justice League of America in the comics these days, and she would bring international flavour to the team, along with that frigging badass sword. Reason why I would be hesitant to having her on the team is because she’s one of the DC characters who is probably a bit more prone to slashing people, which could conflict BAD with some of the others on the team.
Zatanna, because hey, the Justice League could use a little magic, right? Not to mention fishnet stockings. lol But yeah, Zatanna would be the magical expert of the team, wearing her usual stage-magician attire, and minus her relationship with assface, I-I mean Constantine. Reasons why I might be hesitant to let her into the Justice League are because, like Hawkgirl, I’m tempted to make her a member of the BoP (especially since she was a member of the Justice League Dark in the New 52, which is where Birds of Prey: Dark gets its name), and because having to write her spells backwards, while not the worst thing in the world, could be a bitch to spellcheck. XD
*GASP!* Mera and not Aquaman?! Can this be?! Well, I kind of have plans for Aquaman later on that require him to be off the team, but that doesn’t mean Mera absolutely cannot be on it. Her ability to control water, no matter where it is, would make her a major player in the Justice League, a team that I don’t think she’s ever formally joined, despite having worked with them several times. Oh, and to be clear, she would just be Mera. Not Aquawoman, not Water Woman, and the one I find most insulting, not Aquawife. Reasons why I might not include her is due to her trademark anger issues and shaky history with Wonder Woman.
So yeah, vote which of these women you’d like to see in my Justice League below. Or, if there’s one not listed who fits the criteria and who you’d like to suggest, feel free in the comments. Also, lemme know if you think Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, or BOTH should be members, and we’ll see what happens. Ja né!
- Will ‘Arrow’ Crossover With the DC ‘Justice League’ Movie Universe? (screenrant.com)
- ‘Justice League: War’ Trailer: Epic Action, Questionable Characters (screenrant.com)
- ‘Justice League Canada’ to introduce young Cree superheroine (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- Better Late Than Never! (trinitycomicbooks.wordpress.com)
- Wonder Woman, Inc. (comicsauthority.com)
- Forever Evil Event: Justice League of America 8 (comicbooked.com)
- First “Justice League War” Trailer Debuts (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Movie Future Breakdown (thesuperheroblog.wordpress.com)
- Howard Porter Rejoins the “Justice League,” 1,000 Years Later (comicbookresources.com)
- Review: Forever Evil #3 (comiczen.wordpress.com)