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What I Bought Today – Nightwing #24, Red Sonja #4, Fearless Defenders #10 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, other than Batman #24, I did get some other comics, so let’s once again check out…

What I Bought Today

So, to start with, let’s talk about The Fearless Defenders #10!

Before I start, I should note that this is technically a tie-in to an event going on in Marvel¬†entitled Infinity. And I’m just gonna say this right now: I know precisely jack squat about what’s going on in Infinity. I know it has to do with an invasion by Thanos, and that the Avengers are otherwise occupied, and that tons of characters are involved so we see the various perspectives as the invasion occurs, but I honestly don’t know much else. In fact, this is the second time this has happened recently, as Adjectiveless X-Men is currently involved in a crossover with the other X-Men books. Maybe I’ll pick up the trade if it turns out to be any good, but for now, I have no idea. Otherwise, I just wanna say, DC and Marvel really need to hold back on major crossover events until a comic has at least hit 12 issues. Seriously, this keeps happening. You need to actually have a status quo BEFORE you can shake it up. lol

Thankfully, you don’t really need to know too many details of Infinity, as the opening narration gives just enough that you get the jist of what’s going on in this issue at least: During Thanos’ invasion, Attilan, home of the Inhumans, has blown up in the skies over Manhattan, and now people are turning into cocoons. One such individual is a girl named Ren Kimura, a young girl who has issues with her parents over her love of dance and lesbian lifestyle. Hatching from the cocoon, however, she finds her hands being covered in razor-sharp ribbons that are as strong as steel. Long story short, she gets attacked by one of the Wardogs of Thanos while his buddies are Caroline LeFay’s Doom Maidens, but is saved by the Defenders. LeFay wants the people in the cocoons for herself and tries to take Ren by force, but apparently she can launch out more ribbons at long-range, and using her various dance techniques, she’s able to defeat Scorpia and Shriek, while the Defenders send the rest packing too. Thus, the comic ends with Valkyrie becoming Annabelle, who convinces Ren to join the team, and it seems the two may be somewhat smitten with each other. Overall, fun comic as always, and Ren is a very welcome addition to the team.

Nightwing #24 picks up where the last one ended, with Tony Zucco offering to help. Apparently, Prankster‘s father, Harold Loomis, was the electrical engineer of a train line project the now-Mayor and his brother convinced City Hall to go through with, but Loomis died on Halloween in an accident, and Cole’s brother, William, took the fall for it. Wallace Cole never actually stole any money, and Prankster killing criminals was to make it so that when he told the people of Chicago that Mayor Cole stole $52,000,000.00, they believed him. All he’s really after is revenge for the death of his father. Prankster’s also planted enough explosives in Pilsen Station to cause Chicago’s entire south end to collapse in on itself. Luckily, with a little help from Zucco, Nightwing is able to save the Mayor, send the bombs into the lake to explode harmlessly, and bring Prankster in, Zucco deciding to let himself be apprehended as well. He doesn’t want to run anymore, and wants his son to know he took responsibility for his actions, but it seems it’s too little, too late: Zucco’s wife and son have left him, leaving him with the choice of beating the charges against him and going back to his old life, or going to jail and being a martyr for a life that doesn’t exist anymore…Also, that guy Maxwell is a super-villain.

Red Sonja #4…Seriously, if you love Gail Simone‘s writing but are not getting this book, there’s something wrong with you. We see that Annisia is kinda completely butt-fucking INSANE, as a farmer who tries to break quarantine insists that no one has died of the plague since the king was killed and Sonja was sent away, but Annisia talks to her invisible friends, I-I mean the souls of the dead, if she should offer him mercy, and then proceeds to cut his head off. Ayla and Nias, the twins assigned by King Dimath to be Sonja’s bodyguards, give her some of the elixer created by the king’s son, Timath, and tell her that if they can get her home, Timath can cure her…and Sonja, being Sonja, is more concerned with whether or not they brought alcohol. XD

Anyway, they begin their trek back to the quarantined kingdom as Sonja has flashbacks to her time with Annisia in the colosseum, where the two fought as sisters for their survival. However, along the way, Ayla and Nias are attacked by men of the deep (basically fishmen), led by Toda the Tormentor, a slave-driver. Toda’s men are about to kill Ayla, but Sonja recovers enough of her strength to take them all down, despite having to be blindfolded earlier to keep her eyes from being harmed by the sun. And so, the comic ends with Sonja removing the blindfold and declaring that she’s coming for Annisia. Again, GREAT issue. ūüôā

So, that’s it for this week’s comics. Now, as you all know, I have a certain purchase to make this weekend. However, instead of a What I Bought Today, I will instead be giving updates on my Twitter, as well as talking about information officially unveiled upon the game’s release, and giving an overview after I’ve defeated the Elite Four. I might do day-end updates on my progress in the game on here, too, haven’t decided yet. In the meantime, though, check in next week when I look at Batman and Robin #24 and Supergirl #24. Ja n√©!

My 10 Favourite DC Villains

So, Villain’s Month is coming up in September, which will lead into Forever Evil, and that’s got me thinking about who some of my favourite DC villains are. And while I’m on the subject, while the idea of a month-long event followed by a multi-month event dedicated to villains over heroes is VERY strange, I will say that for Villain’s Month at least, several of my favourite villains are getting spotlighted. Now, of course, since Batman and Stephanie Brown are my favourite superheroes, naturally, a ton of their villains would be among my favourites of all time, especially since Batman’s rogues are among the most interesting and tragic of all DC villains. However, I’m gonna try to keep it from being a COMPLETE Bat-fest in here by instead limiting it to two Bat villains that I like the most and then later doing a 10 Favourite Bat Villains list later. So for now, let’s get the list underway, and just so I get them out of the way, here’s the two Bat villains first, starting with…

#1 – Pamela Isley, AKA Poison Ivy

Yeah, you knew she was gonna be on here. To be fair, though, even my girlfriend finds this woman impossible to resist. lol Anyway, Pamela Isley was one a young and ingenious botanist, until her mentor betrayed her and used her in his experiments. Left for dead, her sanity was forever shattered, and she since has been a dangerous eco-terrorist named Poison Ivy. She’s able to animate and manipulate all plant-based lifeforms though a connection to The Green, and is immune to all forms of toxins, bacteria, and fungi. She can also use specialized pheromones to become completely irresistible to helpless victims, and can make them do whatever she wants. By utilizing Kryptonite, even Superman is unable to resist her mind control. Her most dangerous form of attack, however, is her kiss, which she can make lethal. One lip lock, and you can kiss your life goodbye…but hey, I suppose there’re worse ways to go. ^_^

#2 – The Joker

Y’know how I said I was glad to see a lot of my favourite villains getting books dedicated to them in Villain’s Month? The Joker…is not one of them. Now, he IS one of my favourite villains, but I don’t wanna see a book dedicated to his origins because I DON’T WANT TO KNOW HIS ORIGINS! The Joker works better as a character when you don’t know who he is, what he wants, or what he’s going to do to get it. His speeches in The Dark Knight about how he got his scars are basically him making a joke out of how something so simple could drive him to do the things he does. Telling his origins kind of ruins the character.

…Anyway, getting back to the character, Joker is generally is armed with a lethal laughing gas called Joker venom, which he himself is immune to. He also wields nitroglycerin cigars, cyanide pies, bladed playing cards, BANG!flag harpoon guns, and even joy buzzers that shoot lethal amounts of electricity through a person. That said, he sometimes prefers to stick to simpler weapons, particularly knives he keeps hidden up his sleeves. The Joker is also a master manipulator and chess master, and he is capable of doing ANYTHING to achieve his goals. He even allowed his own face to be cut off as a way of sending a message to Batman. What’s bizarre, though, is that for a seemingly crazy person, his plans are usually so well thought out that even Batman has trouble keeping up at times, thus leaving it up to the reader to decide if the Joker is really an insane lunatic, or if he’s simply a parody of an insane lunatic.

#3 – Lex Luthor

Okay, this could technically be considered cheating, since Lex Luthor has fought Batman a number of times. However, while he’s not the original Superman villain, he has established himself as his arch-nemesis over the years. And it’s not hard to tell why: Superman, who is not human, yet represents the best of us, would naturally find himself at odds with a man like Lex Luthor, who IS human, yet represents the WORST of us, at least from a moral and ethical standpoint. Otherwise, he’s at the peak of human physical conditioning, and is the most brilliant human being in the world. In fact, one could say that aside from being morally bankrupt, he really only has a single weakness. The only problem is that it’s so glaringly obvious that it has cost him dearly on several occasions. This weakness: His obsession with Superman. He is bound and determined to prove himself Superman’s superior, even to the point where he believes himself to be good and Superman to be Earth’s greatest evil. It has cost him his freedom, his billions of dollars, even his once-held presidency over the United States. Yet, like any good villain, Luthor continues to come back as a more dangerous threat to his enemies every single time. Though nothing could compare to the greatest crime he’s ever committed… … …those forty cakes he stole. I mean, that’s as many as four tens. And that’s TERRIBLE.

#4 – Sinestro

It’s always bad when you’re a superhero and the man who oversaw your training turns to evil. Case in point: Sinestro. One of the most powerful Lanterns in the universe, Sinestro was the mentor to many Green Lanterns, the last of which being Hal Jordan. However, Sinestro eventually turned to evil, and with that turn, he became one of the most terrible forces of evil in the universe. Now wielding a Yellow Power Ring to counter the Green Power Ring, he’s committed many crimes, not the least of which being that he manipulated events to result in Hal’s own fall to darkness. While he recently had a chance for redemption, he threw it away in a last-ditch effort to stop the First Lantern, merging with Parallax to gain even more power. He then took the Sinestro Corps. far away, out of the reach of the Green Lantern Corps, but if he should ever return, it could spell a whole new crisis.

#5 – Darkseid

Y’know, while Darkseid’s motivations can at times be a bit more simple than I like in a villain, Goddamn it if I don’t like to see him show up sometimes. He is one of the New Gods, but unlike the peaceful New Gods living on New Genesis, Darkseid rules over the Hell-like world of Apokolips with an iron grip. He seeks the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical formula that can apparently prove the futility of life and bend anyone to his will, and has crushed whole planets across this and other universes to find it. In the New 52, however, he has added motivation for his rampage across the stars: He has a daughter who has disappeared, and he will destroy all that gets in his way of finding her, seemingly unaware that she’s actually being held by A.R.G.U.S. on Earth. He has raw power rivaling that of Superman, and possesses a genius-level intellect, but most dangerous of all in his arsenal is the Omega Effect. The Omega Effect¬†allows him to pass effortlessly through time and space, and fire Omega Beams out his eyes that bend and warp to hit their determined target, either teleporting or destroying whatever they hit. His only vulnerability is a toxic substance called Radion, which ultimately led to his demise when Batman broke his no-guns vow in order to shoot Darkseid with a Radion bullet. Normally not something I’m okay with at all, but since he saved the universe, I’ll let it slide…this time. lol

#6 – Cheetah

I don’t care what anyone says, I like what the New 52 did with Cheetah. Suddenly, this solo villain of Wonder Woman‘s has become a force to be reckoned with among the entire Justice League. Her speed, durability, strength, and senses are beyond most mortal men, and her claws and fangs are enchanted, meaning she can wound even Superman. But above all that, what made her so hard to bring down was that she was SMART with her abilities, hitting Batman first, then cutting Flash at the legs, and then infecting Superman with her curse. Of course, she’s not invincible, as Wonder Woman was able to exploit her far more vulnerable state in the water by throwing her into the lake where Aquaman could finally take her down, but just the fact that it took so much to finally stop her pretty much cements her presence as one of their most dangerous foes.

#7 – Prankster

Giving Prankster a MASSIVE revamping and then making him a Nightwing villain was actually an excellent choice in my opinion. Dick Grayson, who has just left Gotham City for Chicago, needed a major intellectual villain to prove his mettle against in this new setting. In much the same way that Joker or Riddler tests Batman on a psychological level, Prankster has been doing the same since his initial appearance in Nightwing. Sick and demented, he gets his name from pulling horribly sadistic pranks on his foes, oftentimes testing their desire to live and what they’ll do to do so. He’s also a master hacker, even able to hack the systems in Nightwing’s suit. However, his overall confidence in himself and his traps may be his ultimate downfall, as anyone with the skill to overcome them will find Prankster dumbfounded and vulnerable.

#8 – John Corben, AKA Metallo

A villain so powerful that even the World’s Finest, Superman and Batman, can find themselves struggling to take him on as a team. And with good reason: Metallo’s sheer power, surprising agility for his size, and the ability to morph his metal body can make him an easy match for Batman, and his Kryptonite heart is one of Superman’s greatest weaknesses, powering the Man of Tomorrow down to the point where he can take him. His only real weakness is that his Kryptonite heart not only powers his body, but it keeps him alive. If it’s removed, he’ll die. Otherwise, the only other way to beat him is to just power through with enough sheer force that even he can’t counter. It’s not easy, but Superman HAS done it before with enough willpower.

How do you stop a man who cannot die and has endless years to hone his skills, train his body, and craft his plans for the world? That’s the problem that heroes (and on some occasions, other villains) face when they find themselves confronted by Vandal Savage. Now, as I understand it, the majority of his appearances in the New 52 have been in Demon Knights, where he’s actually a somewhat heroic barbarian. However, seeing as how he’s led many lives throughout his immortal existence, it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned to good for a short time before becoming a villain again at some point. He does have one weakness, however, that I only recently found out about and am kinda surprised wasn’t brought up in Hereafter: When Savage was made immortal, he had already contracted cancer. Now, the cancer won’t kill him, but it will cause him irregular intervals of pain, and there’s no way to remove the cancerous cells from his body. As such, he’s cursed with an immortal body that will NEVER completely stop screaming in pain…which probably goes a ways to explain the whole evil thing, and is kinda disturbing to think about…o.O

#10 – The Anti-Monitor

This is THE villain of the DC Universe, at least as far as the DC Universe as it was before Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was THE foe that destroyed entire universes, leaving death everywhere he went, and I daresay that no single villain, be it Darkseid, Superboy Prime, Brainiac, the First Lantern, or Trigon, has possessed the sheer destructive power that the Anti-Monitor possesses. He can also fire antimatter waves that can utterly destroy matter itself, something that shouldn’t normally be possible. He could also absorb whole universes into his being, but in his appearances since his rebirth, he has yet to use this power. Ultimately, he only has a single exploitable weakness: His overconfidence. He was so sure that he couldn’t be stopped that he was caught off-guard by Supergirl, who damaged him so badly that by the time he finally hit her with a lucky shot powerful enough to kill her, he was forced to retreat. It happened again when he was ultimately defeated by, oddly enough, some assistance by Darkseid, finally reaching his end when Earth-Two Superman shattered him into mere molecules of disjointed energy. While he has been brought back since, it would seem his once near-unstoppable power is at a small fraction of what it once was.

And that’s it for my 10 Favourite Villains of the DC Universe. Check in next time as I instead focus solely on Batman’s rogues gallery and list my 10 Favourite Batman Villains. Ja n√©!

What I Bought Today – Batgirl #20, Nightwing #20, Supergirl #20 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Hey guys! Say, I do believe it’s Wednesday! I think that means it’s time’s to look at…

What I Bought Today

I got three books to look at this week, so let’s not waste any time and check out Batgirl #20!

And if the cover wasn’t a big enough clue, the new Ventriloquist is FUCKING CRAZY!

So Barbara is in a seriously bad place following her accidental murder of her brother and her father deciding to try and hunt her down, so much so that she removes the Bat symbol from her costume, seeing herself as no longer deserving of the honour…Yeah, kinda on the fence as to whether or not someone should tell them that James is alive again and working for Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. But either way, Batgirl doesn’t have much time to worry, as a new, female, and far creepier Ventriloquist holds a judge at a talent show hostage. Oh, and apparently this Ventriloquist has the ability to reflect Batarangs. Not sure how that works, but I guess we’ll find out next month, as Barbara’s personal Hell continues.

Nightwing #20…Okay, I REALLY like this comic, but I gotta bring something up. You know how a lot of women in superhero comics are drawn in a way that’s done very clearly to¬†titillate¬†the male audience? Y’know, the tight fitting costumes, the provocative poses, the ass shots, etc? Well, I can’t help but feel like Nightwing is being drawn to titillate the female audience. What do I mean? Well, pretty much because of shots like this…

And trust me, they get worse. lol

Look, I know Nightwing has always been kind of the pretty boy of the Bat Family, but this is pushing it a bit, isn’t it? Anyway, other than that, the story continues to explore the situation in Chicago, as well as just how freaking insane Prankster is. Also, we get introduced to Nightwing’s room-mate’s possible girlfriend or bff who I’m sure will likely end up being Dick Grayson Potential Girlfriend number 5 million and something. Seriously, Dick’s love life is messed up.

Supergirl #20 was a ton of fun, and it’s awesome to see Supergirl and Power Girl not only working together, but playing off each other for comedy. Sadly, no sign of Lex Luthor, as the villain for this issue is Supergirl’s Sanctuary itself, who seems to think that Supergirl is a clone and Power Girl is the original, then proceeds to try to murder “Not-Kara” as she calls her. However, PG ain’t having any of that, and the two manage to stop Sanctuary, though it is seemingly destroyed…until the aftermath of the story when one of its robots rises from the rubble in Terminator fashion. Yeah, definitely not regretting switching from Batwoman to Supergirl, this book is just snappy as all hell. Don’t get me wrong, Batwoman remains the most interesting of the Bat cast, it’s just the actual stories and her villains roster that aren’t all that interesting.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Next week, we check in on Batman of Japan in Batman Incorporated, and see how Talon is doing now that he’s apparently kind of dead and stuff…as if that would stop him. Ja n√©!