I’m afraid someday soon — too soon — you will have to pick it up and embrace the “S” for yourself. It’s not about our powers, or strength, or heat vision. It’s about character. It means doing the right thing when no one else will, even when you’re scared… even when you think no one is looking.
Welcome back to DC Rebirth One Year Later, where we look at DC books that are part of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative one year after it began. This time, however, I’ve opted to look at two books. Why? Well, because of a certain major event that occurred as part of a crossover between the two. Plus, it saves time. So, let’s look at Action Comics AND Superman. And, as always, SPOILERS AHEAD.
So, to start off, a little background is probably required. During the events of Convergence, we saw the pre-Flashpoint Superman and his wife, Lois, bring their son, Jon, into the world. At the end of that story, the three went back to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths to try and stop it. As a result of that, they somehow wound up on the Earth 0 of the New 52, AKA Prime Earth, AKA the mainstream world where the vast majority of DC books takes place on nowadays. Because there already was a Clark Kent and Lois Lane in this world, and said Clark Kent was this world’s Superman, they decided to lay low and take on new lives as the Smith Family in Hamilton. It was also eventually revealed that, due to his nature as a human/Kryptonian hybrid, Jon had superpowers like his dad. However, eventually, pre-Flashpoint Superman made his presence known during the event wherein the New 52 Superman was dying, ultimately promising him before he died that he’d look after the world in his absence, which is pretty much where we pick up in Superman: Rebirth #1 and Action Comics #957.
Let’s begin with something that is both a positive and a negative: Jon, AKA the new Superboy. Remember what I said about Wonder Woman’s brother Jason apparently going to be the central character of an upcoming arc in her book and how, and I quote, “what the hell kind of sense does it make to have a book where the title character is not the MAIN character”? Yeah, well, that’s kind of a thing in the main Superman solo book: A LOT of the story is built around Superboy and his emergence as a young superhero. Now, on the one hand, I actually rather like Jon. I think he’s a sweet kid and a fine addition to the Super Family. And his presence is one of the areas where Peter Tomasi as the writer actually is a huge benefit: The guy knows how to structure a father/son story. But, at the same time, I’d be lying if I said he didn’t hog some of the spotlight. There is SO much time devoted to building up this character in a book that is supposed to be about Superman. Now, on the one hand, you can argue that it IS still about Superman, since a lot of it also directly relates to how Clark deals with having a super-powered son. But at the same time, there’s even an arc that’s about Jon’s first meeting with Damian Wayne, AKA Robin, and building a partnership with him, even though we knew ahead of time that there were already plans for a book starring those two as a team. Honestly, what I think would’ve worked better was if THIS book was Action Comics, and Action Comics was Superman, since Action Comics focuses more directly on Superman. Plus, it would fit a sort of theme, with Action Comics and Detective Comics being used to not only star Superman and Batman, but also be devoted to building up their supporting casts.
One element of Action Comics that’s a bit on the odd side in terms of whether it’s a positive or a negative is Lex Luthor. As established during the New 52’s Justice League book, Lex is trying his hand at being a superhero nowadays. And unlike past endeavors, wherein it was ultimately all about some evil scheme, here, he actually means it. Granted, he fully admits (while being tied in the Lasso of Truth) that a big part of it is his ego, which is likely why he ultimately attempts to take on the mantle of Superman after the New 52 Clark dies, but the rest of it is also about doing right by his sister. He wants to be a better man than he was. But, with all of that said, given his past track record, plus the fact that the people of Apokolips chose him to be their new leader in the wake of Darkseid’s death and rebirth as a baby, plus the fact that he’s still kind of a dick, the audience is ultimately left just waiting for that moment when he turns evil again. And I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t awaiting it myself. I believe Lex Luthor WANTS to be a better person for the sake of his sister, but I also know that this is Lex frigging Luthor, and that pull is ultimately going to catch up to him at some point or another. Plus, this IS DC Rebirth, where a lot of the emphasis seems to be getting characters back to what makes them who they are, so Lex’s eventual downfall seems pretty much inevitable at this point.
And now we should probably talk about Superman Reborn, the crossover event told in Action Comics and Superman. First off, again, DC could not resist doing a big crossover event before they were at least a year into these new books. Granted, the current Action Comics book takes up the old numbering and adds in the issues from the New 52 Action Comics to that final sum, so it’s not really a “new” book, but still, it’s a little absurd. But regardless, this is the story where we got resolution on the apparent new Clark Kent who appeared in Action Comics #957, and Lois and Clark’s investigation into him. There were a LOT of theories as to who it could be, from the New 52 Superman being depowered, to Superboy Prime taking over his life. However, it ultimately turned out to be Mr. Mxyzptlk, having escaped imprisonment by Mr. Oz at some point and assumed Clark’s life as revenge for the fact that he never came to save him. This also gave resolution to what was going on in the Superwoman book, but I’ll get to that at another point. The end result of the story is that it was revealed that, by nature of the New 52 Earth 0 being the same as the pre-Flashpoint one, just minus 10 years of history and with elements of the WildStorm and Vertigo Universes imprinted onto it, both the New 52 and pre-Flashpoint Supermen were actually one and the same, just split apart a la Red and Blue Superman…somehow. I think we’re supposed to assume that Convergence allowing for a pre-Flashpoint Superman to exist with his memories of the past timeline is responsible for the split, but it’s still weird and will make your head explode if you give it too much thought. Anyway, the point is, this finally validates once and for all that the New 52 Superman WAS Superman, just different due to how events in his life played out. In the end, Jon is somehow able to unite the red and blue energies of the two versions of Superman and Lois Lane to bring them back and restore the history that had been taken from them at the birth of the New 52.
The end result of Superman Reborn was a soft reboot, reintroducing elements of the pre-Flashpoint timeline, and drastically changing certain events from both timelines (and outright retconning others). Again, I think the implication is that merging the two versions of the characters basically returned the 10 years stolen from them, and that how their lives are now is more or less what would’ve been had Doctor Manhattan not taken their history away from them during Flashpoint. The resolution also gave Superman a new costume…which I thank GOD for. I HATED the original Rebirth costume. I think it was the lack of red boots that did it, which was especially dumb since some artists occasionally either forgot they weren’t there anymore or just outright ignored their absence. Seeing this one, with the red boots back and a yellow pentagon added to the belt, was very refreshing, and I think is a step in the right direction for how a modern Superman should look. And speaking of costumes, the new timeline also makes it clear that Superman DID wear the old school tights for a while, which is good. As for how and in which ways this new timeline was different and the same, that was all gone over in the ensuing issues of Action Comics, with Superman going over the records of his life at the Fortress of Solitude. Which, I totally get. If I found out my entire history was somehow dramatically altered, I’d want a refresher course on it too, just to make sure there’re no holes in my memory or anything like that. Fortunately, DC’s actually gotten a little better at establishing which events in its past are and are not canon, and this is a good example of that. It doesn’t cover EVERYTHING, though, particularly how this new timeline affects characters outside of the Super Family, and I hope they go over all of that in full soon.
Believe it or not, one thing I actually have mixed feelings about in the wake of Superman Reborn is the fact that, apparently, Superman and Wonder Woman never got together in this timeline. Now, I know what you’re gonna say: “Jyger, didn’t you spend like 4 years bitching about the fact that Superman and Wonder Woman were in a relationship?” Well, the thing is, yes, I DID bitch about that, and I DO prefer Lois and Clark together. However, I could still see there being a brief attraction between the two when they were younger and before they got into relationships with Lois Lane and Steve Trevor which would eventually evolve into a close friendship. If that happened, fine, but as far as I know, they were NEVER together. So why does that bother me? Well, it’s like I said when I was talking about Wonder Woman: The events of the New 52 should not be out and out retconned, but rather used in a way that develops her in a more positive manner into a better person. Instead, they went with the easy way out and erased the relationship from existence. I’m not in favour of that, especially because it was completely erasing past relationships and history that got us into the mess that was the New 52 to begin with.
Speaking of, like I said before, the two issues of Action Comics that better explain Superman’s new timeline don’t really go fully into how these changes affect the people outside of his immediate supporting cast. For example, how do these changes affect his relationship with Batman? How does it affect certain Justice League stories he was directly involved in, both pre- and post-Flashpoint? Now, I have a theory on why we haven’t gotten that explanation yet, and it’s actually pretty simple: As far as I can tell, what’s happened with Superman will eventually happen to the other characters in the DCU as well, merging their pre- and post-Flashpoint selves and restoring their histories. As such, how these changes affect them directly is probably going to be saved for when that happens. Hopefully, though, we won’t have to wait TOO long for that to happen, since otherwise, we’re just left with so many questions that it’s mind-boggling.
And, what the hell, since it just finished, let’s talk about the most recent story arc of the main Superman book, Black Dawn… … …It blew. HARD. First off, I don’t know if it was always the plan to reveal that Lois and Clark’s neighbours were aliens or not, but it was kinda dumb. Second, the way it ends, with Manchester Black’s consciousness winding up in a cow that gets tipped over by some idiots. I am NEVER going to be able to read What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way, nor watch the animated adaptation of that story, Superman vs The Elite, with a straight face ever again because of that stupid ending. But aside from all that, let’s talk about the part of the story that really, REALLY pissed me and a lot of fans off. And, for the squeamish people who might be reading this, I’m just gonna warn you now, this is where we get a little gruesome, and at the same time, really Goddamn stupid…
… … …So, first off, before I rip this to shreds, let me get one thing out of the way: Lois thinks she just lost her leg. She didn’t, of course, it’s actually some kind of mental illusion created by Manchester Black. However, the point still stands that she thinks she just lost her leg, and what is her immediate reaction? “Clark, cauterize this Goddamn stump and go save our son!” Lois Lane = Possessor of the biggest balls of anyone in the DCU. Now, that said, allow me to go over everything wrong with this in the following bulleted list:
- WHAT THE FUCK is with DC constantly wanting to dismember or even outright murder Lois Lane?! Seriously, I have seen Lois Lane in some kind of mortal peril that can only be described as torture porn 9 Goddamn billion times. At this point, I am honestly of the belief that there is someone in DC with a serious snuff fetish for Lois. If so, I have the following advice to whoever he or she is: GET HELP! IMMEDIATELY!
- Despite the fact that we didn’t have it revealed that this was some sort of illusion until two issues later, most of us kind of gathered that this would result in either a fake-out or a reversal with her coming out of it with her leg intact. That means that the only reason they did it was for the sake of a shock moment for the readers, and ultimately, all it did was piss us off and/or generate mockery of DC for pulling such a stunt.
- Even for those of us that considered for a moment that this wasn’t going to be undone or revealed to not happen at all, we knew this would not result in a story centered around Lois having to deal with phantom pain, or the overall effects such would have on her body, or adapting to a prosthetic, or anything like that. And no, it wasn’t just because we have solicits telling us what future stories will be, it’s because we knew DC had no interest in telling that story. Why? Because they NEVER do. They NEVER want to tell stories about people dealing with massive changes to their bodies. Yes, Barbara Gordon lost the ability to walk for a long time, but other than not being able to walk, where did they ever discuss the other tolls the damage to her spine caused to her body? Paraplegics have to deal with more than just paralysis, you know. It also often causes sexual dysfunction, issues revolving around bladder control, and a bunch of other stuff that is no fun whatsoever. To the best of my knowledge, none of that is ever acknowledged with Babs, nor with anyone else who has dealt with paralysis in DC.
- Even if they did eventually tell the above story, the problem is, stories that involve someone losing vital parts of their body have never been told specifically to tell how that affects THAT individual. It’s always about how that event affects EVERYBODY ELSE. The only exception I can think of is Cyborg, with him losing the vast majority of his body and having it replaced with cybernetics, leading to him having to deal with that and whether or not he truly feels human anymore. But still, that’s ONE case I can think of. And more often than not, these events happen specifically to women, and the book in which they occur is never actually ABOUT the incident in question. Superman #23 was not about Lois losing her leg, it was just a thing that happened to motivate Superman and the story. The Killing Joke was not about Joker shooting Babs in the spine, it was just something he did to mess with Jim Gordon. Hell, even though it was revealed that Lois never actually lost her leg, there’s no follow-up with her and her mental state after being put through a scenario where she thought she lost it…Although, that leads to the next point…
- The nature of the illusion is a little…confusing to me. I’m not sure if the idea is that Lois was never actually there and was just a mental projection created by Black, or if she was and she was made to think that’s what happened along with everyone else. And if that WAS Lois, and she never actually lost her leg, then what the hell is actually happening when Superman uses his heat vision to cauterize a wound that does not exist? The implications of that are HORRIFYING, and yet when we see her in Superman #25, she’s fine. So was that really Lois standing there or not?
So yeah, haven’t had to pull this bit out in a while, but in nearly every conceivable way, these two pages absolutely FAIL.
Anyway, that leads to where the book is headed. Specifically, not only is an upcoming story going to have Mr. Oz’s identity and plans laid out, but in the aftermath of Superman Reborn and the Batman/Flash crossover, The Button, we’re now headed toward an event called Doomsday Clock, wherein we’re apparently going to get a full-on confrontation between Superman and Doctor Manhattan. And, I’ll admit, this is the first time in a long time I’ve ever really thought to myself “…Does Superman even stand a chance in this fight?” And, given that Doomsday is among the prisoners currently being held by Mr. Oz, it’s likely that he’ll have some sort of involvement as well. How this will all play out is anyone’s guess, but I’m assuming this will likely lead into a much bigger event that involves the full scope of the DCU that will result in the ten years taken from them being restored. Either way, though, it is nice to see Superman finally taking center stage again as it pertains to the more major events in DC Comics. Let’s just make sure that future events involve less of Jon hogging the spotlight, and a LOT less of Lois possibly losing body parts.
But anyway, those are my thoughts. Lemme know what you think in the comments below, and next time…Oy. It’s time. I’ve been dreading this moment since I started this project, but next time, we take a look at Tom King’s Batman. Prepare yourselves for utter disappointment. Ja né!
Thank goodness Mom and Dad decided to go out tonight, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you all about…
‘Cuz it was a freaking snow storm out today, the second one we’ve gotten in the past few days. Nonetheless, let’s talk about the three books I got this week (X-Men wasn’t there due to a mail order error of some sort), starting with Red Sonja #6.
The finale to Gail Simone‘s first arc on the book, this issue managed to wrap up all the plot points of the previous five issues pretty well. I don’t wanna spoil too much, since there’s one or two major twists. Suffice to say, Annisia won’t be a threat anymore, and I think the kingdom is left in decent hands. And when all was said and done, when the comic ended, and one of Red Sonja’s bodyguards asked if there was anything they could do to repay her, all that Sonja could say in response was “Re-open your taverns, dear one, because I’m going to get drunk in legendary fashion.”
Seriously, if you haven’t read this book yet, go and find it. If you can’t find all six issues of the initial run, it’s going to be collected in trade paperback in February as “Queen of Plagues”. Gail Simone and Walter Geovani more than earn your money with this one.
Harley Quinn #1 sadly did not have any fourth wall breaking, but it DID have a ton of dark humour and insanity from Harley, over-the-top violence and mayhem, roller derby (thus explaining the costume), a little stuffed beaver buddy that talks to Harley in her own mind (I’m so not kidding), and tons more. It’s still not quite Harley Quinn as I remember her, and it does go a bit too over-the-top at times, but it’s still a ton of fun. I will say this, though: If yer not a fan of dark comedy, this probably isn’t for you. Fortunately, I DO have a sick sense of humour, so I’m able to enjoy it thoroughly. ^_^ I will say that, for those complaining about the lack of plot in #0, you can relax. The plot here mostly revolves around Harley getting a new place in Coney Island, but learning that, to keep it, she needs to collect pay from the tenants in all of the other apartments, and get a job. To further complicate matters, it seems that someone has put a bounty on her head, meaning there’s gonna be assassins looking to take her out. And yet, for all her psychotic faults, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin manage to capture Harley’s more vulnerable and loveable side, so you kinda want her to make it through all of this. A good read, and I think will probably stay on my pull list from here on out.
Batman and Two-Face (really Batman and Robin #26) was great, and I love how they’re telling the tale of Erin McKillen, her sister, and their history with Harvey Dent in reverse order, where they tell what happened, and then discuss WHY it happened. My one complaint, however, is that, as great as this arc has been, this entire book has suffered a lot from changes occurring in other books, tie-ins, crossovers, etc. Here, it’s clear that the book was originally gonna lead into a story where Carrie Kelley was gonna become Robin while also telling a story about Two-Face and Erin. I’m fairly certain of that, especially considering that, since the hints started popping up that Damian was coming back, Carrie just kinda faded into the background and hasn’t been seen since. Maybe she still will become Robin and the hints are just a fake-out, but even if that is the case, it’s clear this was supposed to happen earlier and it got forced back. Still, this IS a good story that Peter Tomasi is writing. However, I really hope this book gets back to being about Batman and Robin, fast.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Next week, I get to tell you all about What I Got For Christmas, though I may wait until I can use whatever gift cards I obtain first. Ja né!
- Village Comics in Bedford, NH Reviews Harley Quinn #1 (villagecomics.net)
- Red Sonja #6 Brings the Queen of Plagues to a Close (whatchareading.com)
- New Comics Day: Our December 18 Pull List (theimprobablechuck.wordpress.com)
- 15/12/13 Batman (toddalevel3media.wordpress.com)
- Batman, Harley Quinn top November comics chart (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Controversial ‘suicide’ scene doesn’t appear in ‘Harley Quinn’ #0 (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- Harley Quinn #1 (comicvine.com)
- Gail Simone Continues Red Sonja’s Rollicking Rampage [Interview] (comicsbeat.com)
- Preview: Red Sonja #6 (graphicpolicy.com)
- THE BAT SIGNAL: Palmiotti Talks “Harley Quinn,” Gothopia & Jonah Hex in the Modern DCU (comicbookresources.com)
So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m planning to pick up the new Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk books when they come out. In addition, I’m honestly kind of enticed into at least checking out an arc of Iron Man‘s coming up soon where Malekith, the main villain from Thor: The Dark World, plans to find the Mandarin’s rings to gain even more power. However, since money’s gonna be a little on the tight side for reasons I don’t wanna get into, that means dropping some titles to make room for the new ones. So, let’s go through the books I regularly buy these days to get a better idea as to which stays and which goes.
Hell no, I ain’t dropping this book! This is the best frigging book DC puts out every month! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been putting out one of the best runs of Batman in years, and I’ve been loving the crap outta this book since day one that I’ve been buying it, and I honestly don’t see that changing any time soon. Batman STAYS.
Again, the best Superman book of the New 52, though largely because it still feels like the pre-Flashpoint Superman. Y’know, the far better one. lol Not planning to drop this one, but depending on how long it winds up lasting, I may not have a choice. For now, however, Superman Unchained STAYS.
Nightwing has been great, especially since the move to Chicago (although I still don’t understand why there and not a New 52 Blüdhaven, but whatever). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nightwing has kinda been reminding me of Spider-man before Marvel ruined Spider-man. Now, depending on the ending and fall-out of Forever Evil, I MIGHT be dropping this book, or it might even be getting cancelled. We’ll just have to see what happens.
As great as Supergirl’s been, I’m thinking I might have to drop it, on account of a change coming up where Supergirl is going to be joining the Red Lanterns. Mind you, that all depends on whether or not this decision turns out to be permanent. If so, dropping. If not, we’ll see. Either way, though, I think I’m gonna skip the next arc involving Lobo, just because it doesn’t look terribly interesting and it’ll free up some cash.
Yep, I am coming back to Gail Simone‘s Batgirl, as was always my intent once Batgirl: Wanted was over. I won’t be picking up the next issue, since it’s a tie-in to an event I’m not gonna be following, but after that, apparently Batgirl’s gonna be teaming up with Strix, so that should prove interesting. So yeah, gonna say with some confidence that Batgirl STAYS.
Batman/Superman has been a lot of fun, albeit pretty different, and I do plan to get the trade for issues 1-4 when it comes out, perhaps for my birthday, but I don’t really plan to follow the crossover with Worlds’ Finest, so I guess whether I continue to pick it up after that will depend on what comes afterwards. Still, I give props where props is due to Greg Pak for making this a fun series, which is what a team-up book for Superman and Batman should be. Now if you could talk DC into bringing back the old Superman/Batman logo for it, that’d be great. I don’t care which hero gets top billing, just bring back the logo. lol
James Tynion’s Talon’s been AMAZING, but it’s also changing writers and gonna be going in a new direction, so I gotta wait to see how that goes before making a decision. If it remains as great as it’s been, and we get to see Calvin Rose and Casey Washington continue to be awesome, definitely gonna continue to pick Talon up.
Brian Wood’s X-Men continues to be fun and engaging, which is good since it’s the only mainstream all-women team right now with Fearless Defenders being cancelled and Birds of Prey having Condor, AKA That Guy No One Cares About. And I know, the Birds have had a dude on the team before in the form of Hawk, but that was only ‘cuz Dove was on the team and it’s always best to keep Hawk and Dove together. Sadly, it had a little bit of a shake-up with its roster due to Remender deciding to kill off Rogue in Uncanny Avengers and Kitty deciding to go hang out with Cyclops of all people, but the current line-up works too, so I’m probably gonna keep with it.
The Movement…Yeah, I’m sadly done with this one. Not Gail Simone’s best work, as I feel the overall storytelling and character arcs are kinda messed up, but the characters themselves are alright, and I hope that the book improves and gets new readers. Maybe I’ll pick it back up someday if that happens.
On the other hand, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja is definitely sticking around on my pull list. This is Gail at her best, when the people above her basically just let her do whatever she wants, and it’s FANTASTIC. XD So yeah, Red Sonja STAYS.
And finally, Batman and Robin, or rather, Batman and Whoever these days. Look, I’m gonna be honest, I like Peter Tomasi‘s writing a lot, but at this point, if we don’t get a new Robin soon, this book is going to suffer a LOT. Why? Three words: Lack of direction. It feels like Tomasi is having to stall for the moment that either Damian comes back or someone takes his place. Batman and Two-Face has been alright, but if this continues for much longer, I may need to seriously consider dropping this book.
So, of the books I just listed, four are staying for certain and one is getting dropped. That leaves Nightwing, Batman/Superman, Supergirl, X-Men, Batman and _____, and Talon. Which of these books do you think deserve to stick around, and which do you think should be banished from What I Bought Today? Lemme know in the comments, and/or vote below which of the six you think is the best, and we’ll see what happens in the new year. Ja né!
- Bullet Reviews #137 (comicbooked.com)
- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Jae Lee Returns to “Batman/Superman” for “First Contact” (comicbookresources.com)
- Time For A Little (More) Gail Simone Appreciation (venusfrommars.wordpress.com)
- Lobo, Fear, and the God of Death: Marguerite Bennett on Comics and Writing (hopeburnsbright.wordpress.com)
- Batgirl #26 Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Bedard Returns To The Lantern Corps With “Supergirl” (comicbookresources.com)
- Revealed: DC Comics Was to Have Featured Rape and Torture of Batgirl (breitbart.com)
- Batman/Superman #6 (comicvine.com)
- Willow Writes the New Ms. Marvel, a Teenage Muslim Shape-Shifter (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Comics Jumps Forrward 5 Years With Weekly “The New 52: Futures End” (comicbookresources.com)
- Malekith Seeks the “Rings of the Mandarin” in Gillen’s “Iron Man” (comicbookresources.com)
Well, I’ve chilled out a bit. Think I’m hitting burn-out with my stories. Plus, bothered by their lack of success, trying too hard to make them be successful instead of having fun with them, and I’m just baffled by my posters doing better when I put less effort into them…Also, kinda confused as to why I seem to get the most responses from people when I’m having my freak-out moments. lol But regardless, I calmed a bit, hung out with N. Harmonik, and went to the nearby comic book store, which I’m guessing is why you’re REALLY reading, to find out all about…
…That was a really shitty segway. lol Anyway, let’s start with Batman and Robin #22, AKA Batman and Catwoman.
Okay, I know this is going to shock people to their cores, but believe it or not, Catwoman is actually accurately presented here, this book references JLA, AND it makes up for a really dumb moment that occurred recently in Catwoman. But best of all, Bruce isn’t a COMPLETE asshole in this book. Now, he’s kind of a dick to Carrie Kelley, but you can kinda understand it a bit, and he at least is willing to deal with her. Hell, him and Catwoman save a little girl from some baddies and Batman comes off as kinda nice to both of them. If I had to pick on anything, it’s that the teaser to the upcoming Two Face arc seems EXTREMELY tacked on, and…well, you know how this arc in Batman and Robin is supposed to reference the five stages of grief? This one is supposed to be depression, and…honestly, while I get a little bit of depression from Bruce, he already feels like he’s closing in on the acceptance stage. It’s like we skipped some stuff or something. Otherwise, though, WAY better than the past couple of issues, and if you wanna see Catwoman done right in the New 52, this is one comic to look to, so kudos to Peter Tomasi for bringing back the one true Catwoman in this book, and without pulling her zipper down too.
So I may have been making a mistake the past few issues of Supergirl, as Mike Johnson actually tagged out for Michael Alan Nelson. My bad, though I will admit to being amazed at how I didn’t notice AT ALL. Clearly Mike #3 was watching what Mikes 1 & 2 were doing with Supergirl prior…Yes, every person to write Supergirl in the reboot was named Mike or Michael. I’m not kidding. But anyway, Supergirl #22 was good, but I have two sort-of complaints about it. The first is that Cyborg Superman‘s actual plans for Supergirl are revealed pretty quick, but considering we already knew he was evil and he only lets it slip because someone’s threatening to mess with said plans (spoilers, it’s Brainiac), it’s not too big a deal. The other complaint is that…well, Supergirl pwns Cyborg Superman pretty easily here. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see Supergirl kick serious ass, but I was under the impression that Cyborg Superman was kinda supposed to be a big deal in the Superman books, and he gets pretty convincingly beaten by Supergirl, who I must remind is currently dying from Kryptonite poisoning. Unless he gets some kind of upgrade in the near future, his threat level is pretty low after this. But otherwise, still a good comic.
Red Sonja #1 was definitely a different experience. It was fun, no doubt, but I was lost at times concerning the cast of characters. Still, enough back-story is given that you have at least a general idea of who these people are, specifically that Red Sonja is the female barbarian badass to end all female barbarian badasses. ^_^ Also, clearly Dynamite is letting Gail Simone do whatever she wants, which actually works REALLY well here. Best line in the book, one of the two women sent to summon her to a castle refers to her as “She of the Excellent Cleavage”. XD Great read. Also, love the various covers for the book. I personally got the Stephanie Buscema cover, although I’m not sure how that happened since the back page suggests it was supposed to be a subscription exclusive cover.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Next week, we see if Talon can possibly succeed in his mission to assassinate Bane and Sebastian Clark. Ja né!
- At long last: Gail Simone’s Red Sonja, Issue 1 (whatchareading.com)
- Gail Simone Wastes No Time Making Red Sonja the Best Book EVER. (whatchareading.com)
- Red Sonja #1 sells out before release (comicsheatingup.wordpress.com)
- Comic Preview: Batman and Catwoman #22 (thelazygeeks.com)
- The Mary Sue Exclusive Preview: Supergirl #22 (themarysue.com)
- Red Sonja #1 First Printing by Gail Simone Sells Out (graphicpolicy.com)
- Gail Simone. Red Sonja #1 Review: The She-Devil Rises Anew (comichype.com)
- SDCC 2013: Dynamite Taps Top Female Talent for Legends of Red Sonja (graphicpolicy.com)
- Comic book picks of the week for 7/17/13 (comicsheatingup.wordpress.com)
- Who’s Getting What This Week? 2013 San Diego Comic Con Edition! (inveteratemediajunkies.com)
So even though I’m feeling ill today, I decided to talk about some news going around that apparently, Batman and Red Robin will have a special guest character. Remember that note in Batman in Robin #18 that was addressed to come from someone named C.K.? And yes, I know about that even though I didn’t read it. We all thought that C.K. meant Clark Kent. But nope, turns out Damian had a friend by the name of Carrie Kelley.
Dunno who that is? Slap yourself…Okay, I’ll tell you. Carrie Kelley was Robin in Frank Miller’s Elseworlds title, The Dark Knight Returns, and of course the recent direct-to-DVD animated movie adaptation. I should this book was written before he went nuts, so while stuff happens in it that I don’t necessarily agree with, overall it’s a good helping. So where does Carrie Kelley fit in? Well, she’s kind of like Tim Drake in that she sees Batman going out without a Robin and getting hurt and decides he needs help. Also like Tim, she doesn’t do this out of any kind of desire for vengeance or to overcome some great tragedy in her life, she’s doing it because Batman needs help. And sure enough, she arrives just in the nick of time to save Batman’s life, thus earning her position as Robin.
So, where does she fit into this world if The Dark Knight Returns isn’t in canon? Well, it’s not completely clear. In the two images revealed of her in the comic thus far, she’s in the Robin costume, but Peter Tomasi has informed people she won’t exactly be “the new Robin”. What does this mean? I don’t have a frigging clue. Is he hinting that she WAS Robin at some point and gave the title up? Was she an understudy of Damian’s? How did they even know each other? Well, I’m assuming we’ll find out soon enough.
And I know, everybody’s expecting me to be all “Why can’t it be Stephanie Brown? She could fit this role just as well, and plus she already knew Damian in continuity before Flashpoint happened!” Look, am I upset that Stephanie Brown isn’t around? You’re damned right I am. But at some point, I just gotta say to myself “Jeff, for whatever reason, Dan Didio refuses to let her be in a story, and the writers are doing their damnedest to give us good stories however they can and introduce characters that are still awesome in their own way, so why don’t you just get over yourself and give them a chance?” And that’s what I’m gonna do here. And frankly, so long as they don’t put her in that idiotic Catgirl outfit from The Dark Knight Strikes Again (which was written AFTER Frank Miller went completely bonkers), I’m fine with her being around.
Anyway, I’ll for sure be reading next week’s Batman and Red Robin, so you can be sure I’ll let you guys know what the deal with her is in the New 52…Or rather, the New 49 since we’re already two titles short as of June, and in July, Batman Incorporated is getting cancelled…Umm…Ja né!
- DC Comics Teases Carrie Kelley Appearance in ‘Batman and Robin’ #19 (comicsalliance.com)
- DC Names the New ROBIN… Maybe (newsarama.com)
- Carrie Kelley Joins DCU In “Batman And Red Robin” #19 (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Reveals First “Girl Robin” of the New 52 and She’s Not that New (dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/)
- Carrie Kelley Returns To Batman, Is She The New Robin? (geek-news.mtv.com)
- WTF Batman and Robin #19 (thedynamicbuzz.com)
- Carrie Kelley Returns? DC Tease a New Robin (comicsbeat.com)
So apparently for the next few months, Peter Tomasi‘s Batman and Robin book is going be undergoing a bit of a new direction. First up, as I reported before, Batman and Robin #18 will be a silent comic. No text balloons, no sound effects, nothing. Just Bruce silently contemplating what he’s lost. Afterwards, for the next few months, Batman’s gonna be teaming with various members of the Bat Family, one per issue. It’ll start with #19 being Batman and Red Robin (YAY!), then Batman and Red Hood, Batman and Batgirl, Batman and Catwoman, and then Batman and Nightwing…which is odd, since I’d last heard he was headed for Chicago, but oh well.
Now, I like this idea, but I do wish others were getting in on this. Now granted, probably the reason they aren’t is because that would stretch this a bit longer than they’re planning to, but it still would be neat to see, so let’s take a look at some of the other characters I’d have team up with Batman for this angle. Also, I apologise as a few of these pics actually have Dick Grayson as Batman and not Bruce Wayne.
Because gosh darnit, I’m horrified that DC otherwise plans to just shove her aside now that her partner Knight passed away. And it’s easy enough to make it work, like he goes to the UK to help her with a case, or she spends a few days at the mansion because she needs the confidence booster before going it alone. And they would have common ground, since they both just lost their partners.
Other than a couple of cameos that Batman has made in Batwoman and the one time she cameo’d in Batman: The Dark Knight, these two really haven’t had much interaction as of late. I’m not really sure why that is, either. She’s like the only member of the Bat Family who doesn’t work underneath him (shut up, don’t make that joke) in any sort of sense, and yet she’s the only one who doesn’t team with him. What’s that all about?
Ugh, I get it, okay? The chances of ever seeing Stephanie Brown again are paper-thin. I’m just saying, it’d make for a good team-up. Leave me and the characters I love alone, Dan Didio. I hate you.
This one’s a little different, but basically it’s born out of one thing: Cyborg is the only member of the Justice League who does not have his own book. Therefore, the only time he appears outside it is when he cameos in other people’s books, and even then, he doesn’t do that very often. Give Vic some love, writers.
Suddenly noticing a lot of these are women. lol Anyway, I know I said that Helena Wayne was among the possible candidates to be the next Robin, but considering she’s like 23…yeah, kinda old for that. But I would like to see a story involving the two. Maybe not even being a full team-up, just Huntress working from the shadows to help her sort-of father, only for it to turn out in the end that he knows everything and that she was there and so on.
So yeah, that’s my two cents on the matter. I still suspect this to be cool, though. Ja né!
I feel odd posting that there are spoilers for Batman Incorporated #8 here, seeing as how this news was delivered by DC themselves, but yes, it has been confirmed: Damian Wayne, AKA Robin, is going to die.
Like with Alfred in Death of the Family, this was guessed at for a while now. However, it seems that this time, we were right…and boy, do I wish we were wrong. For all his ups and downs, the little punk was actually growing on me a lot. But yeah, it seems as though in two days, I have another eulogy to write. I’m thinking I’ll probably do that separate from Wednesday’s edition of What I Bought Today.
Now, I’m not surprised that this was Grant Morrison‘s call, not DC Editorial. After all, since his run with Batman is coming to an end, this kinda helps bookend it a bit. The thing that surprises me most about all this is that apparently Peter J. Tomasi, the writer of Batman & Robin, has known since day one of writing that book that Damian was going to die. I’m gonna have to look back on his run with the book to see if there were any hints early on that he was writing toward that eventuality, though he has noted that he was hoping Morrison would change his mind.
Speaking of which, word is that Batman & Robin #18 is gonna be a silent comic. What that means is no word balloons, no sound effects, no text period…well, except for the title likely, and words on books or something, but you get what I mean: No one and nothing making a sound throughout the entire issue. Colour me interested, Tomasi. Also, following this, Red Robin and Red Hood are gonna be hanging with Batman for a bit, though I should stress that neither one are for certain going to be Batman’s new partner. Personally, my bet is on either Helena Wayne or Harper Row becoming Robin, which would be great because we’d get to see another female Robin.
Anyway, I suppose I’ll see everyone in a couple of days. Ja né!
- DC killing off Batman’s ‘Boy Wonder’ Damian Wayne in new comic book (nypost.com)
- BAT SIGNAL EXCLUSIVE: Tomasi Reveals “Batman & Robin’s” Future (comicbookresources.com)
- BREAKING: Something Big Happens in Batman Inc. #8 (Spoilers) [UPDATE] (ifanboy.com)
- DC would like you to know Robin is gonna die this week in Batman, Inc. (io9.com)
- BATMAN INC’s Huge Plot Point SPOILED in NY Post (newsarama.com)
- Robin the Boy Wonder Killed Off in Latest Batman Comic (theepochtimes.com)
Yep, that’s right, I’m once again taking a look at…
Thought I’d give this particular comic by Peter J. Tomasi a look all on its own. Here is Batman & Robin Annual #1.
First off, I’m gonna go ahead and answer the immediate question raised by the cover: Why is Damian wearing Batman 666’s costume? It’s especially odd since, in Batman Incorporated, we’ve established that Batman 666 isn’t Damian, but rather his clone The Heretic. So why does he wear that costume in this comic? I………….don’t know. 😛 I have no clue, folks. I know he’s supposed to be Batman, but why this costume, I have no idea. Either there’s a lack of communication between Tomasi and Grant Morrison, or it’s supposed to be an irony type thing that’s just over my head. I suppose either one is equally possible, considering.
The book opens up with Batman kicking the snot outta some guy in an armoured suit that spews flames, who turns out to be a major pussy and starts crying and begging that Batman not tell his Dad about this. We then cut to-Oh hai Alfred! You’re looking quite lively today! This tells me that either Alfred does in fact survive the ordeals of Death of the Family, or this story takes place before his kidnapping. Either way, he’s one of the best parts of this comic, with the dialogue between him and Bruce being HILARIOUS. And there’s plenty of these two together, since it seems that Damian’s in London and has set his father up on a scavenger hunt of sorts to reconnect with his family roots, something that Damian has recently been learning the importance of. But it turns out to be a trick of sorts, as while he does have this plan set up, he also has never truly left Gotham and is using this time while Bruce and Alfred are away to patrol solo as Batman, though I personally prefer to refer to him as Batman Jr. in this costume, named after one half of the Super-Sons.
Meanwhile, a member of the GCPD by the name of Detective Pierce is feeling pissy because people keep referring to her as part of the “Bat Backup Brigade”. Batman Jr. doesn’t exactly help matters by pulling a double yoink on some evidence taken from a crime scene. Seems something chewed through the gas lines so that gasoline could be syphoned away with ease. As Bruce and Alfred continue on their scavenger hunt, Damian sending them clues while appearing on a green screen to make them think he’s overseas, Batman Jr. heads out the next night in the Batmobile…and it’s at this point I gotta ask a question that has bugged me for some time regarding Damian: How the fuck can he drive?! Now, I don’t mean how does he know how to drive, I can buy that. What I mean is, how the fuck is he physically able to drive? He’s kinda small. Unless he’s pulling a Short Round from Temple of Doom where he’s got boxes stacked on the pedals, this doesn’t seem physically possible.
Anyway, Batman Jr. delivers a purse snatcher to Commissioner Gordon, who is able to tell from his voice that it’s Robin (he’s kinda obscured by the light of the Bat Signal, otherwise it’d be a bit more obvious), but this backs up my theory that there’s not much communication between Tomasi and Morrison since in Batman Incorporated #7, we see that Damian is able to imitate his father’s voice perfectly to trick the Batcave’s voice recognition security. Whatever, small nitpicking aside, we see more of Bruce going on his scavenger hunt as it becomes clear he’s revisiting some of the locations travelled to that would have sentimental value to them and, by extension, to him. It really is touching to consider how much time and effort Damian had to put in to make all this work.
The next night, Batman Jr. saves some people from a burning building and finds the fanged culprit responsible for biting into the gas lines, as well as his partner. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s pansy man from earlier’s daddy, who also has a giant fire spewing robot. Luckily, he turns out to be as big a pushover as his kid, and Batman Jr. brings him down. The next day, Damian meets his father, who tells him he’s well aware that Damian was patrolling solo and using green screen, but he’s not angry. Rather, he’s proud of his son for what he did for him, and has learned at last that he can trust him. I like this, it kind of reminds me of a situation that came up with Tim a few years ago.
This comic is awesomely entertaining. If I HAD to nitpick one other thing besides what I mentioned, it’s that this again is very clearly a Damian story that is also starring Bruce Wayne, not a story starring Batman and Robin equally. I’m hoping it’s something they work on, otherwise the title becomes too misleading. Otherwise, the story is great, artwork is great, and it had a number of ROFL moments for me while reading, so yeah, definitely a recommended comic, especially for those who aren’t too keen on Damian and want to see the better parts of his personality shine through.
Anyhow, next week we return to Earth-2 to see the début of Dr. Fate, we watch Batman fight the League of Smiles in Detective Comics, and because I’m honestly curious as to what the hell they’re gonna do with this, we’re gonna take a look at Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special #1…Why do I get the feeling this is gonna be one of those hard to forget comics that are either really good or REALLY bad? Ja né!