Blog Archives

An Idea On How To Shake Things Up In DC Comics

So, I’ve been thinking lately about ways DC could keep things interesting in their comics. More often than not, their ideas include reboots or big epic crossover events or stuff like that. And not to say that plan doesn’t work, but I don’t really think it’s necessary all the time. Instead, I had another idea on how to shake things up: Rotate villain rosters a little. Add variety to the different antagonists that show up in the books. Give us some new dream matches of heroes vs villains we either haven’t seen before or don’t see often.

For example, let’s say that some of the villains in Gotham City actually wised up and realized “Hey, this city sucks and Batman is always kicking our asses! Let’s leave this shit-hole!” Like, what if Poison Ivy decided to find her own home away from everyone to continue her research and whatnot, only to accidentally end up on Themyscira and become a recurring character in the Wonder Woman books? Or if Penguin realized he had an opportunity to become the kingpin of crime in Star City and thus became a villain in the Green Arrow books? Or Bane could go to Detroit to test the power of muscle (with illegal strength enhancement, lol) against metal by fighting Cyborg in his book? And none of these would HAVE to be permanent, so those worried that Batman would lose some of his precious and continuously expanding villains roster wouldn’t need to panic.

But hey, Batman’s not the only hero with villains to go around. And maybe everyone could just kinda swap one or two with another. Maybe Parasite could go try to absorb Flash’s connection to the Speed Force or Shazam’s incredible strength. Perhaps the Injustice Gang could try their luck at their enemies’ teenage counterparts, the Titans? Conversely, what if the Justice League had to engage in a battle of wits and strategy against arguably the devil himself, Trigon, to keep him from rising? What if Nightwing was forced into a situation where he’d have to occupy space with the man who killed him, Lex Luthor? Or hell, why not have Deathstroke, a guy with a healing factor, fight Cyborg, an old enemy from pre-Flashpoint and a guy whose body was saved by technology?

 

Lastly, there’re a few villains that haven’t appeared in a really long time that could be brought back under the right circumstances to fight new heroes. What if Composite Superman returned to fight the Super Sons, Jon and Damian? Perhaps Roxy Rocket could decide to try her luck at becoming a Green Lantern and become a rogue for Jessica Cruz? Or hey, Wally West is back now; how about bringing back Inertia as a rival for him?

 

Anyway, that’s all I got for now. If you think of any other good ones, lemme know in the comments. Ja né!

Advertisements

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

The Justice League

Justice League

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.

Batman

Batman

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.

Superman

Superman

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…?

Lois Lane

Lois Lane

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…

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

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.

Aquaman

Aquaman

…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.

Mera

Mera

…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?

The Flash

The Flash

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…

Wally West

Wally West

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.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern

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

Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter

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.

Cyborg

Cyborg

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.

Shazam

Shazam

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!

‘Infinite DC – Birds of Prey: Dark’ Fanfic Update – Closer Look At The Team (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, one of my fanfics, Infinite DCBirds of Prey: Dark has recently hit 13 chapters with 38,360 words, making it currently the longest story I have written on Fanfiction.net. Also, what started off as a group of four superheroines has now expanded into a team of seven, with several characters appearing in supporting roles from time to time, and with a somewhat steady rogues gallery. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give a brief glimpse at the cast of characters that form the team in my story, in the chronological order they appeared in. Keep in mind, the bios on the characters are strictly based on how they are in the fic itself, though they do take large inspiration from various comic book, cartoon, video game, and movie counterparts they may have. So, let’s begin with…

Black Canary

Bio: Dinah Laurel Lance, a second generation superheroine, as well as the second individual to take up the codename Black Canary after her mother. Originally Green Arrow‘s fiancée, they broke up before the wedding due to Green Arrow’s overall lack of commitment to their relationship, though she does still care for him as a friend. She has a long friendly rivalry with Huntress, as the two have apparently had to save one another on numerous occasions. She also was room-mates with Barbara Gordon when they went to college. After meeting Raven and letting her stay at her apartment, Dinah become something of a big sister to the half-demon, though this can sometimes lead to her becoming overprotective of her. She’s generally very confident in her team-mates, giving Madame Shazam an almost immediate vote of confidence, and is often seen as the glue that holds the team together, giving support and encouragement wherever possible.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Black Canary is strong martial artist, having been trained by Wildcat in the art of self-defence and possesses above average strength for a woman of her size and age. She generally wields a sansetsukon, a three-piece staff, which has been modified to conceal a pair of sickles in its opposite ends, which she can use for slashing monsters, weapons, structures, or for stabbing into walls to slow her decent. She owns a motorcycle that she uses on her nightly patrols, and is generally very protective of. In fact, one thing you do NOT want to do to Dinah is in any way, shape, or form bring harm to her bike. When all else fails, Black Canary can let loose the Canary Cry, a powerful sonic screech that can shatter glass, knock back opponents, tear up concrete, and enhance explosives set off by her team-mates.

Weaknesses: The Canary Cry can sometimes be difficult to control, which has led to property damage on her part. Also, she cannot achieve it if she has any sort of lung or throat ailments. However, Black Canary’s biggest problem is that she can at times be a bit too impulsive, preferring to use her natural instincts in combat over advanced planning, and becoming too protective of her bike, her equipment, and her friends. She’s been shown to be highly susceptible to the Sons of Trigon’s sin amplification powers, particularly Jared’s ability to induce and encourage feelings of anger and aggression.

Raven

Raven

Bio: Rachel Roth is a half human, half demon child of Trigon the Terrible. At some point, her general distaste and guilt over her father’s tyrannical rule over the Under-Realms and his attempt to take over Earth led Raven to betray him and her brothers, the Sons of Trigon, in an effort to stop their plans to rule the world of her people. As a girl in her very late teens, Raven can at times be sarcastic and moody, and often-times finds herself lacking confidence and can even at times become depressed and self-loathing. However, this was later revealed to also be because of an imbalance in her human and demon DNA resulting in her being born a hermaphrodite, as well as a massive amount of guilt she felt over watching silently as her father took over the Under-Realms. She has begun to feel a bit better about herself, though, thanks to a recent meeting with the heroine Virtue.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Raven possesses powerful telekinesis with which she can levitate herself around as she likes, or lift heavy objects or throw enemies around, as she prefers not to become physically violent. She also can project energy fields of black light in the form of force fields and a raven familiar. Her familiar is used to keep her costume in a pocket dimension, as well as carry herself and groups of people across long distances, able to phase through solid matter to get to where she’s headed. Raven also has the ability to heal some wounds, and can tap into her more demonic side to gain access to pyrokinesis and the ability to harness and warp the element of pride within a person.

Weaknesses: All of Raven’s powers have the same drawback: Raven must be able to keep a clear head and focus on the task at hand. To overcome this obstacle, she can use the chant developed by the monks of Azarath, “Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos”, to help her concentrate, thus improving the potency of her powers. Her more demonic powers, however, have added drawbacks, as they can put a harsh drain on her stamina, as well as temporarily change her skin and eyes to reflect those of her father’s.

Huntress

Bio: Helena Bertinelli is a member of what was once of the wealthiest Mafia families in Gotham City‘s history. After watching her parents murdered before her eyes when she was 8 years old by Omerta the Silencer, Helena dedicated her life to obtaining vengeance on those responsible. Upon reaching adulthood and gaining her family’s fortune, she became the Huntress, a masked vigilante, and set out looking for Omerta. This crusade eventually got the attention of Batman, who tried to help her channel her rage, but when Omerta appeared again in Gotham, she nearly lost control and would’ve put an arrow between his eyes if Batman wasn’t there. Realising her mistake, she’s tried to make amends and become a better crime fighter as a result. She has a friendly rivalry with Black Canary, as the two have had to rescue each other on several occasions, and she also has a love/hate relationship with Batwoman, starting off as resentment for the Dark Knightess, but eventually becoming more friendly teasing, at times even flirtatiously so.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Huntress is highly acrobatic and adaptable, able to befuddle opponents with her flips, tricks, and improvisation. Even large groups of enemies have trouble dealing with her. Her main weapon is a crossbow, which comes complete with a number of trick arrows with interchangeable arrowheads, each granting said arrow a different function. The number and versatility of these has been boosted exponentially since teaming with Batwoman, who, much to her chagrin, has an even larger inheritance to work with and a natural knack for building gadgets. She also likes to ride in the side-car of Batwoman’s motorcycle, which comes complete with a mount for her crossbow, and an ejection seat for getting the drop on criminals.

Weaknesses: While Huntress values the help of her team-mates, she often forgets that she’s part of a team and works on her own, which can get her into trouble. As a result, she’s had to be saved by her friends several times. Also, while her crossbow and trick arrows are a huge help in the field, if she loses her crossbow or runs out of ammo, her overall level of help in the field drops, as she doesn’t carry much else and her martial arts skills, while impressive, pale in comparison to those of Black Canary’s.

Batwoman

Bio: Katherine Kane is the daughter of Colonel Jacob Kane, and as such grew up an army brat. However, her childhood and adolescence was an often-times tragic one. When she was 12 years old, her mother was murdered by a group of gunmen. When she joined the military academy herself, despite being the top of her class, she was forced to leave when she refused to break the academy’s own code and lie after being found to be involved in a lesbian affair with her room-mate. Moving back to Gotham City, she found her father engaged to a wealthy socialite and that her home-town was brimming with corruption and mayhem. Inspired by the actions of Batman, Kate decided to put her inheritance to good use, becoming the Dark Knightess, Batwoman. Despite their similarities, she often-times butts heads with Batman, which was why they were both all too eager for her to take on a mission that took her far away from Gotham. Upon meeting Barbara Gordon, Batwoman was initially envious and resentful of her skills as Oracle, but upon learning of her past as Batgirl and getting a stern talking-to, she instead began a close partnership with her predecessor. While initially annoyed by the antics of her team-mates, Batwoman has since mellowed out, even occasionally joining in the fun when it suits her. She also possesses something of a love/hate relationship with Huntress, which started off as resentment from the Violet Marksman, but eventually became more akin to friendly, even flirtatious, teasing between the two.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Batwoman carries a large number of Batarangs, which come in several types, like standard throwing star, explosive, and concussion. She also possesses throwing discs that enlarge into protective domes, bolas, a comm link in her cowl to her base, ‘The Attic’, a remote connection to her computer, and the trademark Batclaw grapple gun. She even wears a wig rigged to a device in her cowl that sends a minor shock to anyone that tries to pull on it, thinking it’s her real hair. Her preferred tool in the field, however, it the Remote Claw, a claw that grapples onto a target, then fires a second claw on a line to a second target before the line retracts. She also has a red motorcycle based off of Batman’s, which has a side-car for Huntress. Beyond all of this, Batwoman is also a skilled martial artist, is well versed with military protocol and terminology, has impressive detective skills second only to Batman, and is easily the most strategic of the team, often-times making her the de facto field leader.

Weaknesses: Although Batwoman’s gadgets are impressive, they are rarely able to inflict much lasting damage to the Sons of Trigon. Also, much like Huntress, as impressive as her martial arts skills are, they simply don’t compare to those of Black Canary’s. She’s also somewhat obsessed with proving the existence of a group called the Secret Society, which has sadly led to many a dead-end. Beyond these, however, her only other weaknesses are her limitations as a human being with no superpowers, but her drive and determination are usually enough to overcome these.

Oracle

Bio: Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. Initially seeing the system in Gotham as being broken, with police officers and politicians corrupt and turning a blind eye to illegal activity, Barbara became inspired by Batman’s crusade against crime. Using her already impressive deductive reasoning, athleticism, and computer hacking skills, she took up the mantle of Batgirl for a time, until she decided to focus on her college life, where she met and roomed with Dinah Laurel Lance. However, her plans to eventually go back to crime fighting were ended when she was shot in the spine by The Joker as a message to her father. Now left in a wheelchair, presumably for the rest of her life, Babs was left thinking she would never enter a crime-fighting career again, until she refocused on her hacking skills to become Oracle, assisting superheroes from behind the scenes. She eventually opted to join Dinah and her team, the Birds of Prey, as their tech support, information gatherer, and an extra set of eyes and ears for them all, keeping them connected at all times. She naturally gets along best with Dinah, as the two are best friends, though they can occasionally bicker like an old married couple. Initially, Batwoman was envious and resentful of Barbara, but after learning her whole story, she instead decided to become Babs’ legs in the field, leading to a close partnership between the two.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Oracle is quite possibly the greatest computer hacker on Earth. Anonymous phone calls, hacking security cameras, gaining private information, and erasing all evidence of herself that she leaves behind is mere child’s play for her. She’s also quite possibly the only person to know every single known superhero’s secret identity, though has no problem keeping such information to herself. Despite losing the use of her legs, Barbara is still a skilled marksman with a Batarang, has trained with an array of mêlée weapons, and while she can’t kick a person’s ass, she has no problems punching their teeth in.

Weaknesses: Sadly, Oracle’s most obvious weakness is the inability to use her legs, having been restricted to a wheelchair. This means that, while she could handle run-of-the-mill goons, the chances of her surviving a direct encounter with some of the more dangerous criminals and supervillains are slim. However, considering that she rarely if ever is physically anywhere near danger, has a team of superheroines at her beck and call, and even knows how to get ahold of Batman for help, this is rarely an issue.

Madame Shazam (not actually Mary Batson, though she does wear the same costume)

Bio: Marie Hikari is the 13-year-old Asian-French-Canadian daughter of a Quebec man and a Japanese woman. Sadly, her mother died in a plane crash when Marie was only 11, and her father soon turned to a life of bank heists to support his daughter. Upon his arrest, Marie found herself homeless. All of that changed, however, when she was summoned to the Rock of Eternity by Billy Batson, also known as Shazam. Billy, having been a member of the JSA, had gone into hiding following the passing of a Superhero Registration Act. However, seeing that the act was over, but needing to stay with the Rock of Eternity, he instead underwent the same process as he was put through years ago, and selected a child who was innocent, pure of heart, and had a natural desire to help people. He thus chose Marie, who became Madame Shazam. Lacking any kind of direction in how best to use her powers, though, Marie was pointed in the direction of the Birds of Prey, joining the team as both a trainee and as the sheer muscle of their group, being the World’s Mightiest Mortal. Despite her lack of experience, she was given a vote of confidence by Black Canary, and the rest of the team quickly accepted her.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Marie can call out the word “Shazam!” to summon a lightning bolt from the sky, which will transform her into her Madame Shazam or back into Marie. When she becomes Madame Shazam, she becomes a grown woman, is immediately granted her costume, and gains the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles, and the Speed of Mercury. Beyond the obvious points of all of these gifts, she can fly, turn into electricity that can phase through solid objects, and can call down thunderbolts to blast enemies.

Weaknesses: As Marie is still new to being a superheroine, she lacks control over her powers, specifically holding back the full extent of her strength and speed. This makes her fighting mobsters a frightful idea, as she could inadvertently kill one if she’s not careful. Also, despite having access to the Wisdom of Solomon, she can at times still act like childish, and can be caught off-guard do to her naïvety and inexperience. Lastly, if for any reason she’s unable to speak the word “Shazam!”, she’s left helpless in the body of a 13-year-old girl with no formal training in self-defence.

Lady Blackhawk

Bio: Zinda Blake was the first woman to join becoming an honorary member of the Blackhawks, a team of ace pilots,  in World War II. Despite their rule of not allowing women in combat, she was able to earn the moniker of Lady Blackhawk, and was believed to only be a poster girl for the team, while actually being one of the finest fighter pilots on the team. The Blackhawks often-times went into combat alongside members of the JSA during the war, and for several years after. However, after an accident in the 50’s where the team battled a time-travelling criminal named Warp, destroying the device he used to open temporal rifts, Zinda was pulled through time, winding up approximately 60 years in the future to find herself as the last Blackhawk, and one of their former training facilities now occupied by the Birds of Prey. After a rocky first meeting with the group, she decided to join the team, adding her piloting skills, quick wit, impressive marksmanship, and other talents to the team. She does have her issues fitting in at times, though, given how much society has changed in 60 years, but her team-mates know she always means well and is just having trouble adapting. Otherwise, she’s a good friend to them all, and likes to trade jokes with Black Canary and Huntress.

Powers/Abilities/Tools: Lady Blackhawk can pilot just about anything that flies, having studied how every single aircraft built up until the 50’s worked, even those forgotten or specifically neglected by history. Anything she can’t pilot, she will figure out in remarkable time. She’s also an impressive marksman, carrying a pair of pistols as her side-arms, but she knows how to use them as non-lethal weapons, seeing as she knows how superheroes generally detest killing, herself only every having had to do so when there were no other options. Aside from that, she’s an expert negotiator and interrogator, and is not above using some of her feminine qualities to distract men.

Weaknesses: Since Zinda doesn’t generally carry much into battle, aside from her pistols, she lacks versatility in the field. While she does basic hand-to-hand combat training, it wasn’t really mandatory learning for a team of pilots, so her fighting skills aren’t the greatest. Finally, the most obvious problem for her is adapting to modern technology. While she can fly just about anything with wings, things like the internet, certain gadgets and tools, and other such devices will more often than not blow her mind.

The Birds of Prey: Dark

And there you go, the seven members of the Birds of Prey: Dark. Lemme know in the comments what you think of the team, if there are any other characters you would like to see appear as supporting characters, antagonists, etc., and next time we’ll take a look at some of those that have appeared up until now. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant – Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths

Recently, DC Comics decided to bring back the Crime Syndicate of Amerika for a huge crossover event, Forever Evil. If you aren’t familiar with them, the jist of them is that the Crime Syndicate are evil versions of the Justice League from a parallel world. While their ranks have changed from time to time, they usually consist of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick. Well, this got me feeling nostalgic for an animated movie made a while back that also featured the Crime Syndicate, simply entitled Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths.

Justice League Crisis On Two Earths

Based off Gardner Fox‘s story, “Crisis on Earth-Three!”, and Grant Morrison‘s “JLA: Earth 2“, this movie was originally conceived to act as a bridge between season two of the Justice League animated series and the start of Justice League Unlimited. However, for reasons I’m not sure I completely understand, that plan was scrapped and it was instead reworked into its own story in its own continuity. So, how does it fare? Pretty awesome, albeit not perfect. As usual, let’s do a summary of the plot before I talk about what I really liked and didn’t like.

ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!

So the movie starts off with Lex Luthor and an alternate version of The Joker called The Jester breaking into a maximum security vault to steal something called the Quantum Trigger, but it becomes clear right away that this isn’t the Justice League’s Earth (which, for simplicity’s sake, we’re just gonna call their world Earth 1 and the Syndicate’s world Earth 3) when evil versions of its members corner Jester and try to kill him, only for him to go out with a bang to buy Luthor time to escape. While Luthor is briefly cornered by the Crime Syndicate’s five leaders, he manages to get away by escaping to Earth 1. Once there, he contacts the Justice League and, since Superman can tell he’s from a parallel Earth right away with his x-ray vision, they hear him out. Apparently, Luthor’s Justice League has been taken out one by one, with him as its last member. The Syndicate have almost complete control of the world, and only the threat of a nuclear response is keeping them from achieving that much. As such, the Justice League votes on the matter, with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Wally West, THANK GOD, lol), Hal Jordan, and Martian Manhunter vote to go help, with only Batman opting to stay behind, as their new Watchtower isn’t even complete yet.

The evil Vibe, “Breakdance”

Arriving on Earth 3, the Justice League find Lex’s base of operations being ransacked by the Syndicate, who are looking for the Quantum Trigger. The Quantum Trigger is the last component to a bomb capable of destroying the world, which they plan to use as leverage on the government of the world to make them bow to them. A huge brawl breaks out between the League and a large number of villainous counterparts to various heroes of the DCU, including Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, and the Shazam family. Barely escaping with Owlman’s jet, the League go to Jester’s hideout, where Luthor explains the command structure of the Crime Syndicate, and Superman decides they need to move out in teams of two to stop their various operations. Meanwhile, Owlman has learned of Luthor’s device that allows him to travel to alternate worlds, and it becomes clear to Superwoman, who is his mistress, that he’s growing increasingly nihilistic. After all, even if they were to detonate the bomb on Earth 3, all it would do is cause the world to branch into two: One where they made the choice to detonate the bomb, and another where they didn’t. In essence, he feels that nothing he does will ever matter because there’ll always be another world where he did the exact opposite, or worse, where he never existed at all. As such, he commits himself to finding the original Earth, the one from which every Earth in the multiverse spun from, and destroy it with the bomb, as it’s the only decision he could ever make that would have lasting consequence, and since Superwoman is a murdering psychopath, she goes along with it.

Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Ultraman, Superwoman, and Owlman

Superman’s operation turns out to be a complete success, even to the point where he and Luthor manage to get Ultraman arrested. However, President Slade Wilson (seriously) orders his release, on account of the fact that there’d be no way to protect anyone willing to prosecute. This enrages his daughter, Rose, who thinks her father a coward, but Martian Manhunter suggests that isn’t the case, having accidentally read her thoughts since they appear to be attuned for some reason. Superman simply tells the President that they’re not leaving until the Syndicate is defeated, and they show themselves out. Afterwards, Slade is visited by Ultraman, who tells him to tell his daughter to stop speaking against the Syndicate in public, or he’ll do to her what he did to the First Lady. Slade is rightfully pissed off and threatens to nuke Ultraman if he comes anywhere near Rose, but Ultraman laughs him off, informing him that the Syndicate are creating a bomb of their own.

The Justice League have a ‘talk’ with President Wilson

Sure enough, during a public speech, Rose is nearly assassinated by an evil version of Green Arrow called Archer, but Martian Manhunter had been posing as one of her guards and easily stops him. It seems that, being attuned to Rose, J’onn can’t get her out of his head, and the two are quickly falling in love due to how well their minds compliment each other. Meanwhile, Owlman sends Superwoman and the evil Shazams to Earth 1, as it seems that Lex hid the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower when he was there. Batman puts of as good a fight as one can expect, but it’s clear that he’s out-numbered and out-gunned, so he calls in the Calvary, teleporting Black Lightning, Aquaman, Red Tornado, Black Canary, and Firestorm in to tilt the odds in his favour. While this works for the most part, Superwoman still gets away with the Quantum Trigger, and while Batman gives chase, he finds himself captured instead. Despite being completely outmatched by Superwoman, however, even to the point of being toyed with, Batman outsmarts her by tricking her into breathing in enough anaesthesia to kill an elephant, knocking her out. After calling the Justice League, Lex admits to hiding the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower, but only because it was impossible to destroy it, and the Watchtower was the safest place to hide it, or so he thought. A quick off-screen interrogation of Superwoman reveals Owlman’s plans, and, with Rose granting knowledge of the Syndicate’s base on the moon, they go to face them, with J’onn remaining behind for the time being.

The Justice League Reserves

Once on the moon, Superwoman manages to get free and knock Lex out, making it a 5-on-5 fight with the League each squaring off against their evil counterparts. While the League gets the advantage, Owlman’s computer locates Earth Prime (no, not Superboy Prime’s world), and he teleports himself there with the bomb. Once the rest of the Crime Syndicate figure out what’s happening, they all come up with a plan to stop him: Johnny Quick will vibrate his body as just the right speed to piggyback on Owlman’s signal and open a portal, but they can only send one person, so naturally, Batman decides to go, squaring off with Owlman 1-on-1. It becomes clear in the fight that Owlman has the advantage in nearly every way, but Batman manages to trick him, tying him to the bomb as he teleports it to another Earth in the computer’s memory banks: A frozen, uninhabited world. Owlman has enough time to abort the detonation, but opts not to, claiming “It doesn’t matter”, dying in the explosion. Batman returns, but despite desperately yelling at Johnny to stop vibrating, he dies, having gone so fast that his body aged to the point of death. Ultraman quickly decides to end their truce, but J’onn arrives, accompanied by the President, who was not to thrilled with the attempt on Rose’s life, and the Marines. They’ve also come packing nuclear warheads, and in the face of that, the Syndicate surrenders. In the end, while Rose asks J’onn to stay, he made a promise to protect his new home, so sadly, they say goodbye, the League returning home as Superman suggests they could use a few extra hands in the future. Batman agrees, opting to start a membership drive, as Black Canary and the others greet them on the Watchtower.

“There IS a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss. But when it looked back at us, you blinked.”

So, like I said, this movie is pretty awesome, but it does have its flaws. And, since I wanna end this review on a high note, let’s look at those flaws first. Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I have not read the source material this was based on (yet), so I will not be making comparisons, with a single exception, and you’ll understand why when we get to it.

  1. While I don’t have a problem with Hal Jordan or the casting of his voice actor in this movie, it’s pretty clear he was not intended to be here. I’ll get to why in a second, but there just isn’t enough of Hal being the snarky, flirtatious, and possessing-the-greatest-of-wills kind of guy that he is in this movie. In fact, a lot of the time, it doesn’t really feel like he nor Power Ring are really doing much of anything. Of all the main characters involved, they seem like the ones with the least going on…though I DO love the Rock Beats Scissors moment Hal has in the Earth 3 JLA headquarters. lol However, as I said, it’s clear he wasn’t meant to be here, which brings me to the second major problem I have with this movie…
  2. Why the hell did they abandon the plan for this to be a Justice League animated series movie?!?! Think about it, all of the pieces are in place: The Justice League in this movie consists only of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter, which were the same team at the end of Starcrossed when Hawkgirl quit. The Watchtower had been destroyed, which would explain the new one being built here. Black Canary, Aquaman, and the others all become supporting members of the JLU. The only thing off is that, in the movie, this world’s Lex Luthor is in prison, Aquaman doesn’t have his hook hand, and, as I mentioned before, John Stewart is swapped out for Hal Jordan. And speaking of which, because they did that, they left out a great opportunity for a story with John here: He could’ve encountered evil Hawkgirl, which would in turn dig up his issues of having broken up with her recently and put him in a situation where he needs to deal with it.
  3. Okay, this isn’t so much a complaint, just a sorta WTF moment when I sit back and think to myself “How the hell did they get away with Superwoman in this movie?” This is a PG-13, and in case it got past anybody’s brilliant senses, Superwoman’s character is pretty much that of an evil dominatrix…No, really. Watch the scene where she takes on Batman again and tell me you don’t see it. Also, while I said I wouldn’t be comparing to the source material, I do have to admit that I find it a little jarring that they changed Superwoman from being an Amazon Lois Lane to being Mary Marvel (hence the evil Shazams), which is kinda icky because now I have no idea how old Superwoman ACTUALLY is…o.O
  4. This is actually something that even the movie points out as making little sense: Why is Batman the one to save the universe? Think about it: The bomb’s gonna blow the whole multiverse up. Wouldn’t you wanna send your best guy in to stop it? Y’know, SUPERMAN?! Really, the only reason Batman is there is because it’s his evil counterpart, which I don’t think is enough to justify his presence, and because he’s DC’s biggest meal ticket, which I swear to God is making it harder to be a Batman fan EVERY DAY.

And that’s all the stuff I didn’t like. So, what stuff did I like the most?

  1. Pretty much every time Wally opens his mouth. lol Seriously, I miss the crap outta Wally in the comics these days. There’s also a running plot (pun intended) of Flash thinking Batman REALLY doesn’t like him, until the end when Johnny Quick is dying and correctly deduces that Flash could’ve opened the portal, but Batman told him he wasn’t fast enough because he knew there was a chance it could’ve killed him. I thought that went pretty well.
  2. Wonder Woman gets her Invisible Jet in this movie, but it’s actually Owlman’s jet. Thing is, it has a cloaking device, but when the Shazams blast it with lightning, it fries the circuitry and keeps it invisible. I thought that was a really good explanation, plus I loved Owlman’s little Air Force One moment when he told Diana to “Get off my plane”. Cute, Warner Bros.
  3. While the romance sub-plot with Rose and J’onn seems kinda rushed, the explanation allows me to forgive that, and really…J’onn doesn’t get enough romantic interests! I honestly feel bad for him sometimes. When you watch Justice League, where is he most of the time? Cooped up in the Watchtower. It wasn’t until the last season he finally met someone, and that was off-screen! And these two actually do give the feeling that they would work well as a couple…although I dunno if that justifies people making AMVs of them to the song, I swear to God I’m not kidding here, “Kiss From A Rose”. Also, I admit to getting a small giggle out of him saying that, knowing his luck, the Earth 1 version of Rose is evil, to which I always say “…Erm, kinda…ish…Depends on who’s writing her.”
  4. EVERYBODY is in this movie! Freaking EVERYBODY, whether it’s the real them or their Earth 3 counterparts, are in this movie. On top of the ones I already mentioned, there are CSA versions of Looker, Gypsy, Halo, Katana, Hawkman, Mister Terrific, Man-Bat, Wildcat, Power Girl, Swamp Thing, Lobo, and TONS more! And while a few of them do stand in the background, a lot more are shown using their unique powers and abilities so that they aren’t wasted. Heck, Vibe’s evil counterpart actually gets a good shot in on Superman…before being promptly punched out like a jobber, but still, a good shot. And, of course, seeing the Justice League Reserves show up for an awesome fight scene is really cool too, though it would’ve meant more if they had, again, gone ahead with the original idea for this movie.
  5. All in all, with a possible exception for Hal Jordan, I find the characters are all well-represented. Aside from the ones I already touched base on, Superman is distrustful of Lex Luthor, but would still risk his own life to save Lex’s world. Wonder Woman is a kickass fighter that’ll punch out Superwoman when she gets outta line, but is compassionate to her team-mates and even suggests that if J’onn wants to stay with Rose that he should. Ultraman works as a great cautionary example of what someone like Superman could’ve been if he hadn’t been raised by the kindly couple that he was. Batman and Owlman work as great opposites, as one is occasionally paranoid of others but would still lay down his life for his team, while the other is sleeping with one of his team-mates but would still kill her to get what he wants. I should note, though, that while the voices aren’t what I’d call bad, in fact some are really good, the voice actor for Batman had clearly been watching The Dark Knight Trilogy. He doesn’t quite go too far with it, but he’s got this growl in the back of his throat that makes me think that, at any moment, THIS was gonna happen…

So, overall, how does this movie stack up? Awesome. Yes, it has a few flaws, and I REALLY wish they’d stuck with the original idea for this movie (especially since we woulda gotten the DCAU voice actors), but if I were to do my best to ignore that and not fault the movie for it, I’d say this movie is one of the better DC Animated Movies out. So, if you’re looking to start a collection of DC movies, this should DEFINITELY be on your To-Buy list.

So, what do you guys think of Crisis On Two Earths? Love it, hate it, indifferent towards it, never seen it before? And hey, how do you think it compares to the current story in DC, Forever Evil? Leave your comments below, and will see you next time. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant – What I Liked and Didn’t Like About Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So I just got finished watching Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which is an animated movie based off the event comic Flashpoint. If you’ve never read the book or seen the movie, then I’m sorry, spoilers ahead. However,I’d wager to bet that everyone reading DC nowadays at least has heard of Flashpoint and knows that it’s the event that closed out the previous continuity in DC Comics, established with Crisis on Infinite Earths and shaping the modern DC universe, and began the DCnU, also known as The New 52 (even though it’s two years old and does not currently consist of 52 books like it originally had). Either way, here’s a brief summary of the events for those who don’t wanna read it, or who have and need a refresher on what happened. This is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.

The Flash (Barry Allen) is consumed with grief over the loss of his mother, so he decides to use his speed to travel back in time and save her. However, when he wakes up the next day, the world isn’t like he remembers. Kal-El was never found by the Kents, instead held in a government compound. Bruce Wayne was shot by Joe Chill and his father, Thomas Wayne, becomes a gun-totting Batman while his wife, Martha Wayne, goes insane and becomes The Joker. Aquaman has an affair with Wonder Woman, which Mera discovers, and is killed in self-defense when she attacks Diana, leading Themyscira and Atlantis to all-out war. And lastly, Cyborg is working for the government, trying to bring together a group of heroes (and a villain or two) to stop Diana and Arthur from causing World War III. There’s a ton of other characters involved, like Grifter, Hal Jordan, Lois Lane, Shazam, and Captain Atom, but it mostly centers around Flash, Batman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Professor Zoom.

Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, Barry travels to Gotham City and meets Batman, telling him what happened. He finds Professor Zoom’s suit in his ring instead of his own, and Batman theorizes that Zoom planted it there to let him know he’s still around, leading Barry to believe Zoom is the cause of the change to history. However, after the final battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman begins and the heroes try to stop the war, Zoom arrives to tell Barry that he didn’t do anything: Barry is the cause. When Barry broke through the time barrier to save his mother, he created a time boom (comparative to a sonic-boom created when someone breaks the sound barrier) that altered history. Batman kills Zoom, since he was siphoning off the Speed Force and keeping Flash from going through time again, so that Barry can go back and stop himself from altering history, thus averting the crisis that almost destroyed the world. However, while that succeeds, we see in the end that he and Batman’s costumes have changed, though neither notices the difference, as the universe has still been changed into that of the DCnU.

There’re a lot more details to go over, but because I’m honestly left liking a lot of moments in this movie and hating others, I’m gonna give my thoughts based on lists of what I liked and hated. Also, I don’t wanna compare this to the book, since the only part of Flashpoint I ever read was the ending, but there IS something that happens there that didn’t happen in the movie, so I’ll leave that for after my lists. So first, here’s what I liked about this movie.

  1. Pretty much the entirety of the Flash Museum battle, in particular how Professor Zoom’s bombs are dealt with. The Justice League show up to help Barry with the situation, as Zoom has planted bombs on The Rogues, and we see them all using their unique powers, skills, and quick thinking to deal with each one: Aquaman has millions of microbes eat one bomb for dinner, Batman and GL disable one in space, Atom fries one in the atmosphere, Wonder Woman uses Captain Cold’s freeze gun on one, Flash uses his speed to gather a ball of wind to knock out one he can’t reach, and Superman…Well, Superman just clutches the last one in his hands and lets it blow up rather harmlessly. lol
  2. Lois Lane is not shown to die…I KNOW, RIGHT?! I mean, we can infer that when Aquaman blows up Captain Atom to destroy the surface world that she would’ve died, but since we never see her die and Flash goes back in time before the blast is completed, we can’t really add her to the kill-count in this movie (which sadly, there IS a rather lengthy kill-count, but I’ll get to that later). In fact, not only does she not die, but she joins Grifter’s team and starts kicking all kinds of ass in the final battle.
  3. I love just how many characters are involved in this. The Batsons, General Lane, Harley Quinn (now called YoYo for some odd reason), Flash’s Rogues Gallery, BOTH AQUALADS! I’m just a sucker for stories that involve LOTS of characters, because it makes me wanna brush up on what I know about them all.
  4. This is a great movie for fans of Barry Allen. Actually, I would daresay it’s a good movie for people who don’t like him too, because we pretty much get the best of him in this movie. He goes through the process of recreating the accident that gave him powers, TWICE, even after the first time fails and leaves him covered in third degree burns. He rallies the heroes together to try and stop the war. He’s CONSTANTLY pushing the boundaries of what should be possible even for him, just to give this insane world a chance. And when he finally realizes exactly what’s happened, what he did to cause all this, he undoes it, because he knows what his mother would WANT him to do, and that the cost of letting himself do what he did was too high. No second guesses, no easy way out. Be a hero.
  5. There’s just something about the ending where Barry gives the letter from his father to him that gets me emotional. It even lets me ignore the simple questions of how he should even be in possession of it if the timeline it comes from was erased.

…So that’s what I liked about the movie, but what did I hate about it?

  1. As I mentioned before, the kill-count in this movie gets kinda crazy, and the violence gets pushed pretty high for a PG-13. Steve Trevor is hanged, Mera is beheaded, Cyborg is torn apart until his heart is exposed, Kal-El accidentally fries some soldiers when he gains his heat vision for the first time, Billy Batson (who I must remind is a kid when he’s not Shazam) is stabbed, and Professor Zoom has a hole shot through his head. Look, I’m generally the first to stick up for kids and what they can and can’t handle, but this woulda traumatized me as a child. And frankly, just the fact that we see these characters killing each other in such graphic detail when a lot of them are the otherwise good guys is so hard to watch sometimes.
  2. Kind of a minor one, but Batman referring to Cyborg as a ‘boy-scout’ and Cyborg working for the government just makes me think of Frank Miller’s writing…in a bad way.
  3. I’m not sure why this is called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, when the members are only seen as being the Justice League in one scene. Other than that, it focuses primarily on The Flash and Batman (because he’s DC’s meal ticket, and as much as I love the crap outta Batman, it can get EXTREMELY annoying how much they push him, even in other people’s stories). Flash being the central protagonist is kind of the reason the comic was originally called Flashpoint.
  4. Why is Wonder Woman a mass-murderer who assists Aquaman in cheating on his wife? Come to think of it, why is Aquaman an adulterer who then goes to war when his wife that he cheated on went to go kill Diana and was killed in self-defense? I get it, it’s a different version of the characters, but the changes in personalities and perspectives for the characters are usually explained, except for these two. The problem with that is that their conflict is the major conflict of the movie, since Flash has to stop their war from destroying the world.
  5. Not that big a deal, but…WOW, Cyborg is tall in this! I know it shouldn’t bug me all that much, but in every scene that he’s in, I just can’t stop thinking “Holy shit, Cyborg’s tall!” He’s bigger than Superman, for crying out loud! And he’s got that big honking blaster on his right arm. Dude, I don’t think you need to compensate for anything! You’re freaking Cyborg! lol

…So now that we’ve gone over what I liked and hated, let’s talk about what big thing was missing from the movie: Pandora. Again, for those who don’t know, in the original comic, after stopping himself from changing history, Flash heads back to the present, but encounters Pandora. Pandora explains that the universe was split into three (DC, WildStorm, Vertigo) to weaken it for some coming threat, and that she’s using Flash’s travelling through time to recombine the universes, thus creating the realm we know as the DCnU. So, if she’s absent from this movie, what’s the implication? That Flash still managed to botch up history somehow? Now, it’s not as big a deal here as it was in the comics, since the movies jump around wherever they like and most exist in their own universes (although I’m pretty sure Justice League: War is a sequel of sorts to this), but it still makes me question it… … …Also, where the hell was Element Woman? o.O

Overall, what are my thoughts? Well, my biggest problem with the Flashpoint comic, at least what I read of it and about it, is that it seems relatively small when you consider it’s the last story of the former DCU. But again, that’s not a problem for the movie. Heck, I understand another movie they’re gonna do in the future is an adaptation of the story where Bruce meets Damian. The violence DOES bother me a lot, though, as do the Flashpoint-verse Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I DO see the heart of this story on its own, however: It’s about a man who fell to the temptation to do what he thought would be the right thing for someone he cared about, he made a terrible mistake, and when he realized it, he did what was necessary to set everything right, making the sacrifice needed to save the world. So, there IS a good story beyond all the blood and death…which, I think I may have heard was actually made worse for the movie, I’m not sure.

But anyway, those’re my thoughts on The Flashpoint Paradox. Have you got a different take on it? Comment below what you thought of the movie, the comic, the DCnU, whatever, and I will see you guys next time. Ja né!

What I Bought Yesterday – Justice League #13 & 14, DC Universe Online (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Well, I bought some stuff while I was out for Free Comic Book Day, so let’s go ahead and go over…

What I Bought Yesterday

So let’s begin with the comics I bought, Justice League #13 & 14, AKA The Secret of the Cheetah.

Okay, let’s start off with what I didn’t like, so we can end my look at these two issues on a high note. While Superman being eager to help Wonder Woman with her problems involving Cheetah would usually appear noble, the problem is this comes a few days after they kissed, and based on his characterization in the New 52, he’s clearly only doing it because he’s crushing hard on her, whereas back in the old days, he’d do it regardless because he’s that good a guy. The ending where Batman is spying on them and looking displeased came off as more flavours of wrong than Baskin-Robbins has flavours of ice cream, but we later got clarification that he’s just concerned for them, so that’s alright. The Shazam back-up in #14 continues to annoy the crap out of me, since Shazam comes off as a badly written idiot/con man. Oh, and I’m sorry, but I have to deduct points simply for the mere appearance of the TMZ logo. lol

So with all that said, what did I like about this? Pretty much EVERYTHING else. I love the visuals, as the jungle they explore is well detailed, and of course when they’re up in the Watchtower in outer-frakking-space. I like the scene with Flash and Cyborg, where Barry is trying to help Victor out and reassure him that he IS human, not just a machine. I like how Batman and Aquaman, while still trying to work out who is the leader, are able to work well together, showing they can put whatever issues they have on hold. I like the back-up in #13 that acts as a lead-in for Justice League of America. But most of all, I love what they do with Cheetah. She’s made into a credible threat to the League, and not by being overpowered (though I think her speed and strength is a little higher), but by being SMART. First she goes for Batman, because he’s likely the easiest to take down at the start of the fight while letting him stick around for later on would be a disaster. Then she goes for Flash, slashing him at the heels so that his speed is cut in half. Then, to really mess with them, Cheetah bites Superman to turn him into a Cheetah monster. Now before you call shenanigans, remember that Cheetah’s transformed by magic, which is something Superman is vulnerable to, so it stands to reason that her fangs COULD puncture his skin. How they beat Cheetah is smart too, in that Wonder Woman manages to get her into the lake where Aquaman can bring her down. There’s a twist regarding her back-story that I don’t want to give away, but it pays tribute to the various characters who have been Cheetah in previous continuities, and I really like that. So overall, not a great two-parter, but what works well in it is worth buying it.

Oh yeah, and I also got DC Universe Online for like 5 bucks. ^_^ I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but when I do, I’ll let’cha know what I think. I’m hoping to be able to create one of the characters from my Superhero Tales, like Green Defender, The Bard, or Strix.

Anyway, that’s all for today…erm, yesterday, I guess. lol Check in Wednesday when I FINALLY get JLA #3, along with Batman #20 and Batman and Robin #20. Ja né!

What I Didn’t Buy Today (And Why I Should Have/Shouldn’t Have) – Justice League #18 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So I thought, as a little something special, I’d talk about one comic that I was kind of on the fence about buying, but ultimately decided not to. There were a few reasons that I could have bought it, though, and that’s what I’d like to cover here. So with that said, let’s look at Justice League #18.

So why should I have bought it? Well, for starters, there wasn’t much in the way of Superman/Wonder Woman romance, so detractors of that relationship would be happy. But I think the big attraction here is the LARGE cast of characters. Basically, after the last issue where the Justice League put the kibosh on the Atlantis invasion, Batman realised that it was likely that their enemies would start joining up against them, and that the government would lose faith in them. Thus, Batman and Cyborg explain that Cyborg has a network in his mind keeping mental track of lots of the known superheroes in the world called The Grid, hence why he was able to call for help when the others were in trouble. They then explain that they should consider recruiting some new members, and Flash suggests it might be a fun idea to have them come up to the Justice League Watchtower for a little meet and greet. As such, we are treated to seeing them meeting and conversing with Nightwing, Black Canary, Firestorm, Goldrush, Vixen, Element Woman, Black Lightning, Platinum, and more.

Anyway, for some weird reason, Platinum goes haywire, attacking everyone. They need to try and shut her down, but no one can get close, so Element Woman and Firestorm try to hold her off, Firestorm using his powers to try to force her back into her liquidy state and thus revealing…I think it’s her central processor, I’m not sure. Anyway, once it’s revealed, it gets taken care of with the emergence of The Atom. However, if you’ve been following along with news as of late, you’ll know that this is a new Atom, and…and…

Rhonda Pineda, AKA The Atom

Rhonda Pineda, AKA The Atom

…A-And, um…I, uh…

*slaps myself HARD* ANYWAY! So yeah, Firestorm, Element Woman, and The Atom are recruited into the League, mainly because they’re available full-time (what with Firestorm’s book getting cancelled, lol) and because they pretty much saved everyone’s asses. However, all is not well as someone sends an anonymous threatening message to their computer, thus setting up for the next arc which is promised to be lead-up for The Trinity War, the next big crossover event for DC.

So, why didn’t I get this? Well, admittedly this is kind of biased on my part, but I can sum it up in one word: Shazam. I hate the crap out of the Shazam mini-series that’s been included in Justice League ever since the beginning of the second arc of the book. It really centres around the fact that I don’t like what they’ve done with Billy Batson‘s character, changing him from a sweet, innocent boy who wanted to do the right thing and be a hero into a little punk who cons people out of their money. However, as I understand it, that story will be coming to a head in Justice League #21, thank goodness. If you like it, fine, I won’t argue with you over it, but me personally, I’m counting down the days until that subplot is over.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this comic. Feel free to leave your own, and hey, maybe I’ll do this more often in the future. Ja né!

Update on Injustice Roster and My Picks + Thoughts on Injustice Battle Arena

So it’s been a while since I made that video talking about my personal picks for the roster of Injustice: Gods Among Us. Since then, the roster has only managed to increase by A LOT, including some of the people I picked, so let’s look at the fighters that are confirmed to be playable in the game right now, as well as discuss their achievements in the Injustice Battle Arena tournament currently going on.

Man, am I glad this guy got in. As I predicted, Aquaman has some awesometastic and unique moves centring around his trident and control of the sea and all that exist within it, and in the first round, he knocked off Cyborg. Granted, he’s since been defeated by Hal Jordan, but he put up an excellent fight. I suspect him to be one of the more interesting fighters to play as in the game.

Like I said before, there was no way they could possibly NOT include Bane in this game, given that Knightfall was reprinted and he was in The Dark Knight Rises. Of course, he’s also the man who broke that Bat, a move he tried to replicate in the first round of the Battle Arena…only to later find himself getting rammed across the hood of the Batmobile…again. But regardless, I suspect Bane to be one of the biggest powerhouse characters. In fact, there’s only one other I can think of that does brute force better, and we’ll get to him later…

Batman

Because he’s BATMAN! XD No, seriously, I’m stuck for a single DC video game since Arkham Asylum, the game famous for breaking the Bad Bat Game Jinx, came out that didn’t include, reference, or in any other way include Batman. Naturally, he’s armed to the teeth with gadgets, he can summon bats to help him in combat, and he can even call his Batmobile to run people down like I mentioned he did to Bane. Also, he uses his grapple gun on airborne opponents while yelling “Get down here!”…Nice, Ed. How’d I KNOW you’d find some way to get Scorpion in there? lol Anyway, I suspect Batman to make it to the finals at least.

Catwoman

Frigging knew she’d make it in. Catwoman seems dedicated to fast, relentless attacks that just cut away at the enemy’s health, as I suspected she’d be. She’s a ravager, no doubt. She’s also highly acrobatic and can keep stronger opponents away with that whip of hers. For some reason, she’s not in the Battle Arena. Not really sure why. However, we have since gotten to see a great fight from her outside the tournament, and I’ll get to that later…

Cyborg

I just got one word for this guy being in, and I know I deserve to get smacked for it, but I’m gonna say it anyway: BOOYAH! Cyborg is packing some serious heat in this game, as I guessed he would be. Unfortunately, he got beat rather soundly by Aquaman, but we got to see some awesome action out of him before losing. And again, SO glad his Teen Titans voice actor is voicing him here. I can’t help it, it’s just the voice I hear when I read stuff with Cyborg in it nowadays.

Injustice Deathstroke 01

Again, so glad I predicted this guy getting in. Deathstroke is just one of those DC characters you want to see in a fighting game like this, which is likely why he was in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Anyway, Slade comes packing with his massive sword, plenty of useful gadgets, and lots and lots of guns. Also, like Catwoman, he wasn’t in the tournament, which is disappointing. He likely would’ve kicked all kinds of ass.

Doomsday

Here’s one that people kind of knew about being in the game for a while, but it’s still an awesome addition. As I alluded to before, Doomsday is probably the only character with more brute power than Bane, and his place in DC history was cemented in The Death of Superman, where he and Superman both struck each other so hard they both died from the blows. As it turns out, however, even death isn’t enough to put either one of them down forever. Since he was just recently confirmed, he wasn’t involved in the tournament, but he was shown off in a battle against Shazam, who he literally pummelled through the Earth itself.

Flash

Red streak speeds by, too fast for the naked eye…Oh, sorry, wrong speedster. 😛 The Flash is another of those fighters you completely expect to be in a game like this. Naturally, his incredible speed has made him a force to be reckoned with, blowing past both Shazam and The Joker to make it to the semi-finals, though something tells me he isn’t getting past Batman. Still, I suspect it to be a great fight, though not as great as the OTHER semi-final match…

Green Arrow

Tally ho, mother frakkers! XD Okay, I’m not exactly a big Green Arrow fan, but I’d be an idiot if I didn’t acknowledge his place in this game. His swiftness, trickery, and wide arsenal allowed him to beat Hawkgirl in the first round, but then he lost to Superman in the quarter finals, and I’ll get to THAT later. Still, Arrow proves why he deserves to be here, and I would imagine he’s likely a character a lot of people will be playing as.

Green Lantern

Well, I said this would be a no brainer, and I was right: Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. His attacks seem to be based largely around the constructs he creates with his ring, and if his bouts in the tournament are any indication, he seems to be able to take TERRIBLE beatings and keep going. Thus far, he’s managed to beat both Solomon Grundy and Aquaman, but on both occasions (in particular against Grundy), he took severe amounts of damage before finally managing to come out on top, though his next opponent in the semi-finals could be the most dangerous in the entire tournament…

Harley Quinn

Well, this should make Linkara happy. lol Harley Quinn seems to be going it alone in this game with the Joker’s apparent death…although considering Joker is also playable, I somehow doubt he’s really dead. She lost in the first round to Wonder Woman, but she did manage to hold her own against the Amazonian warrior princess for quite some time. I suspect her wacky arsenal will give her an edge over opponents who foolishly choose to underestimate her.

Hawkgirl

Dammit, I wish I’d thought to predict this one. Hawkgirl is admittedly really only one of my favourites due to her presence in the Justice League cartoon, but her Earth 2 counterpart is pretty cool too. Her strategy is pretty simple: Fly fast and hit hard with that frakking mace of hers. Seems simple, anyway, but it works more often than not. Unfortunately, Shiera lost in the first round against Arrow, but she showed off enough of herself to demonstrate why she deserves to be here.

Joker

Yeah, dead my ass. Joker either used some kind of duplicate or got put in a Lazarus Pit. Either way, I knew damned well Superman didn’t finish him off in the comics. Joker is so hard to predict that he managed to get past Lex Luthor in the first round, though he unsurprisingly got beat by Flash in the second. I suspect the truth of his continued existence to be a plot point in the story mode.

Lex Luthor

Speaking of Lex Luthor, the runner up for Colin Mochrie’s title as Captain Hair has shown up with another of his mech suits, and I swear these things just keep getting more and more insane with every one he débuts. He also recently had his own trailer, hinting at his role in the story, though it remains ambiguous as to which side he’s taking this time around. Normally I’d say “the bad guys”, but perhaps not now since the villain for this story appears to be Superman.

Nightwing

Thank God, they remembered to put Nightwing in BLUE (except for the alternate costume which I’m not counting since it’s just that, an alternate costume). Again, not sure why Dick wasn’t in the tournament. I get the feeling like they just didn’t have enough slots for everyone and simply HAD to cut some people, but still, Nightwing would’ve been great. I would’ve LOVED to see him go head to head with Batman. He seems to be able to switch between his escrima sticks and his staff as his primary weapons, both of which he can send electrical currents through. He can also use electrified blades on his gauntlets while riding past on his motorcycle…Huh. So he uses electricity…he has a bird-like emblem on his chest…*imagines him green instead of blue, with red hair and a green cape*… … …Aww, dammit…lol

Raven

Once again, Azarath Metrion ZINTHO-WTF is up with her voice?! o.O Okay, voice aside, VERY glad Raven is in. Not really sure why she’s blue skinned, but hey, her skin turned lots of different colours in the comics, so no biggie. Her telekinesis and teleportation are both key components to her fighting style, but she also has the ability to go dark and pound the shiitake mushrooms out of opponents, like she did with Catwoman as I alluded to earlier, even able to summon FRAKKING TRIGON! She’s probably gonna be one of the more awesome fighters to play as… … …Seriously though, NetherRealm Studios, why that voice? You HAD Tara Strong IN THE STUDIO to voice Harley Quinn, why couldn’t you get her to voice Raven too?

Shazam

SHAZAM!!! Yep, they decided to include Mr. Don’t-Call-Me-Captain-Marvel in the roster. He seems to be the game’s answer to Raiden, blasting opponents with magical lightning, though sadly without the random screaming. Unfortunately, Shazam got his arse beat by Flash in the first round of the tournament, and then Doomsday made an example of his strength by pummelling him straight down to the core of the planet and then back up to the surface again. Still, Shazam showed why he’s not exactly a pushover, and should be a good fighter to play as in the game.

Sinestro

There’s only one man in the DC universe who can claim he is the lord of fear above Scarecrow, and that man is Sinestro. He can use his Yellow Lantern Ring to create sharp claws, bindings, and power cannons. His super move is that he grabs hold of two meteors and sandwiches the opponent in between them, something no ordinary man can survive. Unfortunately for him, his first opponent in the tournament was no ordinary man, he was Superman, who crushed Sinestro afterwards. Nonetheless, Sinestro showed serious power and intimidation in that fight. My only question is, why the hell wasn’t he scheduled to fight Hal Jordan instead? o.O

Solomon Grundy

Born on a Monday. Christened on Tuesday. Married on Wednesday. Sexual harassment charges on Thursday. Divorced on Friday. Restraining order broken on Saturday. Alimony on Sunday…Wait, that’s not right…Ah, whatever. One of the first fighters shown in action after the game’s announcement, Solomon Grundy was considered to be the powerhouse of the game…Then Bane showed up…and then Doomsday…and while I don’t think he’s playable, it wouldn’t surprise me if Darkseid’s in…Well, whatever. Grundy is interesting in that he’s not JUST blunt force used excessively. He uses the various cutlery stuck in his back to slash at opponents, proving that if you’ve got it, you should flaunt it…This is a WEIRD frakking paragraph. lol

Superman

Okay, I’m just gonna say this right now: I’m not bringing up the comics here. The game’s story wisely seems to be downplaying the certain stupid move involving Superman that makes me wish the comic would rot in hell, so I’m not going there. Anyway, most of Superman’s more famous powers are intact here, giving him enough power to first defeat Sinestro in the first round, then defeat Arrow in the quarter-finals in 52 SECONDS! Why do I get the feeling that’s revenge for the cheap shot in The Dark Knight Returns? lol Anyway, a lot of people have predicted that Superman will probably meet Batman in the finals, though for that to happen, Supes has gotta beat Green Lantern, and the Dark Knight has to get past Flash.

Wonder Woman

Because again, how can you have a DC fighting game without Wonder Woman? Her fighting style centres around her incredible strength, her sword and shield, and the Lasso of Truth. All of these things made her more than a match for Harley Quinn, but sadly couldn’t get her past Batman, which a lot of people are calling foul on since they’ve made it clear in various comics that Batman is no match for Wonder Woman. Still, I suspect her to be one of the best fighters in the game, and wouldn’t be surprised if she shows up a lot in tournaments.

So yeah, of the fifteen characters on my wanted list for the game, seven have made it in. Not bad, considering. I’m kinda hoping there’ll be a sequel and we can get some of the other characters I suggested in, plus some others I didn’t think of. There probably won’t be one any time soon, if at all, since obviously the priority for NetherRealm Studios HAS to be Mortal Kombat. Still, something to think about.

As for the Battle Arena, my prediction is that Batman will face Superman in the finals. Naturally, if this were a real fight, Superman would win (unless Batman used Kryptonite or the like), but since the battles are determined by votes from the fans and we all know how Bat crazy fans are, for better or for worse, whether it makes any sense or not, I suspect that Batman will win the tournament. Either way, be sure to keep checking out the new battles as they come out, and I will let’cha know what the game’s like when I manage to get ahold of a copy. Ja né!