“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
…SO, today was kinda nuts. Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja né!
As you’ll recall, at the start of the week, I announced that I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’ve been going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, and so on. So far, we’ve looked at Batman, The Flash, Poison Ivy, Superman, and Wonder Woman, as well as Mera, who plays a role in this universe’s back-story, especially as it pertains to Wonder Woman. So, for today, let’s wrap this up by taking a look at the final two members of the Justice League Infinite, starting with this world’s version of Green Lantern, Simon Baz.
So, major change to the Green Lanterns in this universe is that there are no Guardians of the Universe and no Green Lantern Corps, meaning there is only one Green Lantern at a time…with one exception, which I’ll get into some other time. Basically, Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, with the ring operating similarly to the current mainstream versions in that it seeks out those with the strongest will to wield it. Today, the ring is in the hands of Simon Baz. Unlike in his mainstream origins, in this universe, Baz was on a subway train that was demolished by a bomb. Simon managed to survive, but circumstantial evidence not only led the government to believe he was the one who planted the bomb, but that he was in fact a terrorist. From there, his origins play out the same, with the Green Power Ring reaching him just before hardcore agents could kill him. Now, unable to see his wife again, Simon is having to take up the guise of the Green Lantern as a means of hiding from the law, as well as using his new powers to protect the innocent. Baz possesses incredible will and selflessness, able to gladly take up the role of a hero in spite of how he’s been wronged. He seeks to one day prove his innocence so that he can be with the woman he loves, and despite the lack of evidence left behind on the train, he will not give up on that dream. He’s since met up with a teenaged Kyle Rayner, who possesses the Blue Power Ring, the two using the combined power of will and hope to defend and serve.
Simon’s costume is a bit different in this universe, as it is a full body costume covering him completely to keep his identity a secret. It has pretty much the same colour-scheme and design, it just covers his entire body, leaving no skin exposed, his mouth covered, and even his eyes hidden behind lime green lenses. Power wise, he’s exactly as you’d expect of a Green Lantern. While wearing the ring, Simon is able to form green light constructs of anything his mind wills him to create. He can fly, he’s semi-invulnerable, and he can survive in the vacuum of space. He can even summon the Green Power Ring to him no matter where he is. However, the ring only has a 24 hour charge to it, even shorter depending on how much is used at once. To recharge the ring, it must be touched to the matching Green Power Battery by the wielder, who must also speak the Green Lantern oath…I consider myself more a Blue Lantern kinda guy, but whatever, I’ll say it…
In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!
And that’s it for Green Lantern, which leaves the final member of the Justice League: Doctor Fate.
Now, like Green Lantern, there are two Doctor Fates in the history of this story: The original Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, and his successor of Egyptian decent, Khalid Ben-Hassin, PhD. Khalid was searching ancient tombs in Egypt when he came across the Helm of Nabu, which he felt a connection to due to the original Doctor Fate being his childhood hero. As such, he has become Doctor Fate both out of a desire to protect the world from supernatural threats, as well as to try and locate Kent Nelson, who quite literally disappeared off the face of the Earth years ago. Khalid can occasionally have moments of self-doubt and hesitation, due to being uncertain if he’s the rightful owner of the Helm of Nabu, and because he oftentimes finds himself mentally drained and unfocused after using it. As an archaeologist, he’s fascinated by various ancient tombs, pyramids, and the like, which can at times override Nabu’s influence and personality. He’s also been helping Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad, in his studies of the mystic arts.
Since this is Khalid Ben-Hassin, his costume is virtually the same from the pages of Earth 2, as are his powers upon putting on the Helm of Nabu and merging with the ancient spirit. He can fly, grant himself super-strength, generate protective energy shields, bend fire and lightning to his will, move objects with his mind, teleport across large distances, read minds, is immune to disease and infection of any kind, will never age, and even more powers that he’s discovering all the time. However, for all of this power at the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth’s disposal, it comes at a great cost: The more Khalid uses, the weaker he’ll become over time, meaning he has to balance out how much power he makes use of. Also, while he keeps a small amount for himself even when not wearing the helmet, he’s far more vulnerable in this state. Likewise, the spirit of Nabu is trapped within the helmet, and is incapable of doing much without a host, though he can generate a temporary form if necessary, though at great risk to himself should something happen to him while in this state.
Anyway, that’s the last of the members. I’ll be sure to post on here when the first chapter is uploaded to Fanfiction.net. In the meantime, lemme know what you think of these choices, and be sure to enjoy the following collages I did to advertise the story. Ja né!
So yer probably wondering where What I Bought Today is, and I’ll get it typed up as soon as I’m done with this. However, I wanted to get this outta the way first, because it’s an issue brought up online a lot as of late. Good news: Nightwing is alive, and they’re not going to kill him off. YAY! Bad news: The Crime Syndicate captured him, beat the snot out of him, then unmasked him on television, and followed that up by broadcasting information on his identity to the whole world, all the while promising to hunt down every last person he cared for and doing the same to anyone else who opposed them… … … …Okay, I have a few questions. lol
- I’m obviously happy that Dick Grayson is alive and is still gonna be around, ‘cuz I like Nightwing a lot. However, from the standpoint of the villains…these ARE the same people that orchestrated the apparent fall of the Justice League, right? So why are they being so frigging stupid here? Look, I get it, it’s the be cruel, because letting Dick live while the world knows he’s Nightwing pretty much jeopardises any attempts he could ever make to be a hero again, and I’ll get to the problems with that in a sec, but isn’t it kinda dangerous to let arguably Batman’s greatest protégé live? And based on a cover for an upcoming issue of Justice League…Yeah, he gets away from them. Look kinda stupid now, don’cha Syndicate? That said, this one doesn’t bother me too much, since at least it would show the heroes outsmarting the villains, and so far with this story arc, they could use a victory here and there.
- Is it really a good idea to mess with the new status quo in the Nightwing book…when it was JUST RECENTLY ESTABLISHED??? He’s only been in Chicago for a little while. Experiment with that more before you throw THIS monkey-wrench in too.
- As I mentioned before, having his identity be public knowledge kinda messes with him being a superhero. The way I figure it, they’re gonna do one of a few things here: 1) Reverse it somehow (if they involve the devil, I quit), 2) They’re gonna have him pass the mantle to someone else and mentor that individual (I vote Tim Drake, Harper Row, or Stephanie Brown), 3) He’ll turn heel (please don’t), or 4) He’ll just have to deal with it and the people of Chi-town will either deal with it or they won’t.
- Why do this to Nightwing? I mean, if they felt the need to do a moment where the Crime Syndicate unmasked a beaten-up superhero to show how dominant and dangerous they are, wouldn’t it make more sense if they took one of a members of the Justice League, who they apparently got the better of, and unmask them? Now, for obvious reasons, doing that to Superman or Batman would be a HUGE no-no, and Wonder Woman doesn’t really HAVE a secret identity (I think), but what about The Flash? Green Lantern? Hawkman? Katana? ANY of them? Heck, Simon Baz is actually going to be mentoring a new Green Lantern in Forever Evil anyway, why not have him be forcibly unmasked, then the new girl rescues him, then he trains her to become a Green Lantern to help him stop the Syndicate?
And I’m sorry if this seems like I’m lecturing on 2 and 4, but these are things that came pretty easy to me, and I get the feeling like DC either didn’t consider that or didn’t care. That said, do I think this is a completely stupid move that cannot be redeemed in any way? NO. A completely stupid move that couldn’t be redeemed in any way would be killing him. THIS actually has potential to work, as long as they remember to THINK. If they stay smart about what they’re doing and craft this carefully, it CAN work. However, I think I can be justified in being slightly concerned, as this IS a major change.
Oh, and real quick, before I wrap this up, people online have suggested that Nightwing getting captured and having the snot kicked outta him by Superwoman and Owlman seemed too easy…Really? These are two villains that would probably beat the snot outta Batman, and HAVE in previous continuities, but doing that to Nightwing is too easy? And as FHIZ pointed out on Twitter, if Batman can get surprise attacked by a giant swinging wooden hammer, I think it’s possible for the Crime Syndicate to get the jump on Nightwing. Just sayin’.
Anyway, lemme know what you guys think about all of this, and hopefully, everything turns out alright. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go write about…
- DC Promises “Huge Ramifications” From Villain-Focused “Forever Evil” (comicbookresources.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Brett Booth Joins “Batman/Superman” in November (comicbookresources.com)
- Five Batman Characters We Want To See In The Batman vs. Superman Movie (focusthoughts.wordpress.com)
- The end of Trinity War (comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com)
- Forever Evil #1 (comicvine.com)
- If Nightwing doesn’t die, will he turn ‘Forever Evil’? (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- ‘Forever Evil’: Geoff Johns, David Finch conspire on Crime Syndicate (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Lex Luthor To Be The Unlikely Hero (americanlivewire.com)
- A Brief Chat with Writer Kyle Higgins on NIGHTWING (nerdist.com)
- DC Comics’ Forever Evil 7-Part Event Begins Today! (sleeplessthought.wordpress.com)
Well, I’m back with more of How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch. Basically, me talking about what I’d do for a fanfic, a novel, a tv/web series, or an alternate universe series of comics, should I ever be given the chance to do any of those things. I’ve already said what I’d do with the Big 3 of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman (and Robin), but what about some of the other fan favourites?
Okay, here’s where I’d probably be stepping on some toes and ticking people off, but since this is alternate reality, I think I’d wanna combine the characters of Victor Stone and Henry Irons as Cyborg, the Man of Steel. Basically, Victor Irons (or Henry Stone, whichever) would be the son of a scientist who works at S.T.A.R. Labs and is inspired by Superman to be a hero, but when he’s badly hurt by a foe using stolen tech of his father’s, his body is rebuilt into that of a Cyborg. He would have most of the gadgets and abilities you’d expect of both Cyborg and Steel, in particular the white noise cannon and the high-powered sledge-hammer. Costume would probably be something akin to a fusion of Cyborg’s Teen Titans appearance and Steel’s Justice League Unlimited appearance, and possibly operating like the Omegadrome, wherein he’d be able to appear human when he wanted.
For Batgirl, I’d go with Barbara, BUT I would also have Stephanie Brown be her partner as Spoiler, essentially the Robin to her Batman. Basically, they’d be operating as a team without the complete consent of Batman, trying to earn his respect while also refusing to let him tell them what they can and cannot do. For Babs, I’d go with something akin to her costume in The New Batman Adventures, while Steph would wear the usual Spoiler outfit, but with a black version of the Robin mask instead of the Spoiler costume’s head-covering mask.
Sorry Barry fans, I gotta go with Wally West here, although I would wanna go with the Wally from the Justice League cartoon who, like Barry, worked with CSI. Also, because I REALLY liked this idea when they did it for Blackest Night, I’d have The Flash simultaneously be a Blue Lantern, and that the accident that gives him his powers would be the result of the Blue Lantern Ring seeking a suitable wielder when it collides with a lightning bolt and nails Wally and the chemicals. As such, his ability to tap into the Speed Force would be dependent on his hope, his suit would be generated from the ring and would look akin to Barry’s Blue Lantern Flash costume, and he would simultaneously be giving power boosts whenever he was accompanying this next individual…
Now here’s what I can’t decide on: Which one? Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and even Simon Baz all work for what I have in mind: Namely, that the other members of the Green Lantern Corps are called away to fight an epic war, and thus one Green Lantern, who is the newest member to the Corps, has to stay behind as the sole guardian of Sector 2814. Of course, the other members would all appear from time to time, it would just focus primarily on that one individual fighting intergalactic threats to Earth…In fact, here: Which of the following Earth-born Green Lanterns is your favourite?
Oh, and the reason Jessica Cruz isn’t on there is because she hasn’t debuted as of this writing…Anyway, moving on…
For Power Girl, I’d probably take out the part where she’s from Earth 2. She’d just be Supergirl grown up and running her own business while also being Power Girl. As such, much like with Superman, I might wanna do stories for her both as being Power Girl AND Supergirl, or maybe doing the teenage copy thing with her too. Costume would be the one she recently got in Supergirl, since it’s both similar to the original while clearly being made of something sturdy enough to take a severe pounding. I’d also wanna alter her power-set a bit so that she’s physically faster and stronger than Superman, but her other abilities aren’t as potent. Basically, she’d be the hard-hitter for situations even Superman can’t handle, while she wouldn’t be as versatile.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Check in next time as I tell what I’d do with some of DC’s groups, including their flagship teams: The Justice League, and the Teen Titans. Ja né!
- Review: “Identity Crisis” (comicsauthority.com)
- DA Reads The New 52: Justice League, Volume 1: Origin (henshincast.wordpress.com)
- The DCU Scoop #2: Man of Steel Part 2 – The Justice League (gascp19.wordpress.com)
- Possible Description Of George Miller’s JUSTICE LEAGUE & Wonder Woman Pitch Art (comicbookmovie.com)
- Villain Month Guide: Part 3 – Justice Leagues and Teen Titans (retcon-punch.com)
- ‘Justice League’: 5 Heroes That Need A Solo Film (splashpage.mtv.com)
- The Black Perspective: DC’s New 52 (worldofblackheroes.com)
- Establishing the Justice League (inerded.wordpress.com)
- 2002 “Batman Vs. Superman” Script Surfaces Online (comicbookresources.com)
- Five Batman Characters We Want To See In The Batman vs. Superman Movie (focusthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Movie Review: The Flashpoint Paradox (otterlimits.wordpress.com)
The Future of the Justice Leagues? What I’d Do With The Teams Following Forever Evil (WARNING – SPOILERS FOR TRINITY WAR)
So it’s been a while since I talked about what I’d do with the New 52 given certain situations, but this one just kinda hit me now. As most of us know, following Trinity War, there’ll be a massive event called Forever Evil. According to solicits for DC Comics in September and October, the Trinity War will end with the “deaths” of the Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark, along with nearly all of their members, with the Secret Society of Evil going on a rampage and taking over the world in the absence of the world’s greatest heroes. Now of course, we can kinda gather that this’ll likely turn out to be a ruse of some sort by the Justice Leagues to take down the villains all at once, or that they’re simply put out of commission temporarily and find a way to return to action. Still, it makes one wonder what exactly will be the shape of these three teams following the event.
My personal vote, if it had any meaning whatsoever? I’d say have the Leagues come together to be three distinct teams of a single Justice League. They would continue working as they have been, with the Justice League operating as the #1 response team to the biggest threats to the world, the JLA as the government controlled team, and the JLD as the response team to supernatural threats, but they would also be actively assisting each other wherever possible. Heck, they could even change-up certain members, even add a couple to their ranks, then form a sort of counsel of one or two members from each team to form a leadership role for the group on a whole.
So who would I move where? Well, for starters, I think I’d move Zatanna back to the JLD for the purpose of being its team leader (because I can’t frakking stand Constantine), possibly bring Element Woman with her, bring Amethyst back to the team, and if it turns out that Doctor Light is still alive, I’d move him there too. Also, if he isn’t already, I’d make Swamp Thing a full member. I’d probably swap Cyborg and Martian Manhunter between the teams, as well as Firestorm and The Atom (remember, The Atom is a spy from the JLA right now). Finally, provided she can get away from the DOA, I’d put Batwoman on the JLA, maybe bringing along Goldrush, and I’d finally bring back Hal Jordan to the Justice League, have Shazam stay on the team, and possibly bring Vixen to the team.
So, with all that said, the teams would look like this…
Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Hal Jordan, The Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Shazam, and Vixen
Justice League of America
Steve Trevor, Green Arrow, Katana, Hawkman, Catwoman, Vibe, Simon Baz, Cyborg, Stargirl, Firestorm, and Goldrush
Justice League Dark
Zatanna, Constantine, Frankenstein, Deadman, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, Doctor Light, Element Woman, and Amethyst
…Anyway, that’s just my thoughts. Lemme know what you think below, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!
- Justice League of America Issue 6 (nerdsynq.wordpress.com)
- It Was All Building To This: “Justice League #22” (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Sdcc ’13: Dc Wages Comic-con’s “Trinity War” (drhiphop85.com)
- SDCC: DC Wages Comic-Con’s “Trinity War” (comicbookresources.com)
- Review: Justice League of America #6 (erathonreviews.wordpress.com)
- Does “Justice League 3000” have a future? (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- SDCC ’13: Stephanie Brown Almost Made New 52 Introduction In ‘FOREVER EVIL’ (comicbookmovie.com)
- SDCC 2013: DC Comics – The New 52 Panel (comicvine.com)
- ‘Justice League of America’s Geoff Johns: ‘Catwoman is unstoppable’ (digitalspy.co.uk)
- DC Comics: Villain Month (Spoilers) (nerditis.com)
Well, here I am again, talking about what I’d do with the New 52. I’ve already gone through the first half of the books I’d have made, though I would like to make the additional note with Catwoman to restore her knowledge of Batman’s identity as Bruce Wayne. Also, I feel the need to remind that while I obviously don’t buy every book in the New 52, I have done my homework on a lot of the books and the back-stories for the characters featured in them, mostly out of curiosity. That outta the way, let’s go over the second half, and here is probably where things get interesting…
Seriously, why in the hell isn’t there a Blue Lantern Corps book? Oh sure, we do get plenty of moments of Saint Walker being a badass, but I don’t really consider that a big enough presence. Also, something that’s been bugging me about the Corps for some time now: Why is it that the Corps with the ring that can negate the effects of the Red, Yellow, and Orange rings only has like a handful of members, not one of which are from Earth (unless you count Kyle Rayner)? I’m just saying, there are plenty of characters they could introduce as members of the Corps, or pre-existing characters who could become Blue Lanterns. Heck, I was actually thinking the other day that if Simon Baz feels repetitive to fans as a Green Lantern (possessing a lot of the same traits as the other Earth-born Lanterns), why not change it up and have him join the Blue Lantern Corps after Wrath of the First Lantern is over? As for what I’d bump out for it, probably I, Vampire. Sorry to fans of that book, but I had to pick something.
And speaking of blue, Blue Beetle…Ugh, where do I start with this thing? I don’t like what they did with Jaime’s not knowing his identity in the relaunch. I don’t like that the Scarab is constantly trying to control him instead of them being equal partners, and is constantly trying to kill people. And frankly, I HATE that scene where Jaime hits Brenda and then aims his cannon at her as a way to trick the enemy. It’s no frigging wonder this book was cancelled with all that said. Also, since he’s a teen, I’d probably occasionally have him cross paths with the Titans, and possibly this next guy…or guys, rather…
First off for Fury of Firestorm (dammit, I love alliteration, lol), I’d take out the obvious racial overtones that appeared in the early issues between Ronnie and Jay, instead going the route of comedic hi-jinx for their lack of getting along. Also, I’d probably go the route of them needing to merge into the singular Firestorm from the get-go…I get the feeling these choices are influenced by my love of Kamen Rider W. lol Oh, and I’d also make the villains a bit less Die Hard rejects in how unnecessarily violent they make the book.
Yep, I’d bring back New Gods. Who would I have star in it? Why, Mister Miracle and Big fucking Barda, fighting the forces of Darkseid from behind enemy lines while keeping contact with the Justice League. I’d probably get Orion involved on occasion, too, though obviously better written than he’s gotten as of late in Wonder Woman, and would later have a crossover with Earth 2 for when they show up there. I’d probably cancel Men of War, since it kinda got lost in the shuffle of things, and I just think a Mister Miracle/Big Barda book would be too awesome to leave out is all.
Not much I would change with Green Lantern: New Guardians, except putting even more emphasis on the varying characters who appear. Also, since the book is called New Guardians, I likely would not be able to resist putting Snowflame in an issue. Likely the very first one, where it would show him in battle with Kyle Rayner on Earth or instead of the scene with the crane.
Same thing with Green Lantern Corps, can’t say as I’d change anything.
Hawk and Dove, how many different ways can I say “NO ROB LIEFELD!!!”? Also, I’d probably make Hawk a little less of a psycho, and eventually added as agents of the Birds of Prey.
Even IF I wanted to change something with Demon Knights, I still wouldn’t. Why? Well, it’s very simple: It’s because Linkara would hunt me down and put a magic gun bolt in my skull. lol
One thing I’ve realised is a major contributor to the problems with Batman Incorporated was that the new volume for the New 52 started in May of 2012, a full 8 months after the relaunch occurred. If the book had those 8 months, they could’ve done so much more. They could’ve shown more of Knight and Squire, so that Cyril’s eventual death has more impact than just a shock death to show the Fatherless was ‘fo serious, yo’, and to elevate Beryl. We could’ve seen some of the changes occurring within the group, like Dick Grayson’s decision to become Nightwing again, or David Zavimbe’s changing role in the group (since I elected to have the stuff with Luke Fox in Batwing from the beginning), and what he did otherwise. We could’ve seen stuff with Black Bat, the Outsiders, Renée Montoya, and so many others. Hell, they could’ve shown more of Ra’s al Ghul, since he initially disappeared in #2 and didn’t show up again until recently. And yes, I know that apparently Chris Burnham and a few others are going to be doing up a special for Batman Incorporated after it’s done to show more of what the characters were doing and will be doing, but it still feels like we could’ve had more. Oh, and above all else, I’d want to make sure there was more FRAKKING CONSISTENCY between this book and the other books featuring the characters in it. As for what I’d knock off to make room, I’m gonna go with Grifter and instead have that character appear in Secret Six.
Meh, can’t say as I’d change much with Red Lanterns, except that I’d probably call the book Red Lantern Corps. And now for the last three of this group of books…
…I hate the Phantom Stranger’s book so much in its current state. And frankly, I don’t understand why it started a full year after the relaunch, and why Pandora’s book is only starting next month. And frankly, there’s a lot that could be done with a trinity of books for the Trinity of Sin (as opposed to two and leaving The Question out in the cold) being released at the beginning. What specifically? Well, here’s an idea: TELL US HOW THE ALTERATION TO HISTORY WORKED! How did Pandora do it, what was changed as a result, what stayed the same, how did some things stay the same when other things changed, all these questions that people have asked since the reboot was first announced that we’re still waiting on answers for. And who better to help us discover these things than The Question? Plus, we could see and learn more about the Trinity of Sin, what they did to deserve their punishments, how they’re coping, what they’re doing to try and atone for their misdeeds. And hell, it would’ve served as much better build up toward the eventual Trinity War than we’ve gotten so far. As for what I’d cancel, I’d have to go with O.M.A.C., Captain Atom, and Static Shock, instead moving the first two to Justice League International and Static Shock to Teen Titans.
…So yeah, 39 books down, 13 to go. Check out next time when I FINALLY put the lid on this sucker. Ja né!
Yep, ’tis Wednesday once again, and despite the snow storm (this IS the first day of Spring, right?), I went to the comic book store, so let’s check out…
Yep, not only did I get the comics I had intended to, but I bought a little something extra too. So with that said, let’s look at the extra comic I bought, Batwoman #18.
Before I get into the comic, I suppose I should cover some of Batwoman’s background for people who don’t know much about her and think of her as older Batgirl or female Batman. Katherine “Kate” Rebecca Kane’s parents have both had extensive military backgrounds, and Kate herself joined a military academy, but despite being the top of her class, she’s forced to leave when she refuses to lie about her lesbian relationship with another student. One night months later, Kate is attacked by a mugger that she manages to defeat with her military training, just as Batman arrives. After helping her off the ground, Batman leaves the scene and Kate finds herself fixated by the Bat-Signal. This eventually puts her on the path to becoming Batwoman. She’s since been a leading character in 52, she took over as the main character on Detective Comics for a time, and now has her own solo title in the New 52. She’s battled the likes of the Religion of Crime, her insane sister Beth (also known as Alice), the Weeping Woman, and even Medusa. Kate has also been romantically involved with quite a few women in the DC universe, including Renee Montoya and Mallory Kimball, she’s worked alongside Wonder Woman on occasion (suggesting she has a small crush on Diana), is close allies with Nightwing (who is attracted to her, unaware of her orientation), and is currently engaged to Maggie Sawyer. And at this time, Batwoman is being forced to work for the Department of Extranormal Operations, also teaming with Betty Kane, once Flamebird, now going under the alias of Hawkfire.
Anyway, regarding Batwoman #18, it’s okay. I know that sounds like an insult nowadays, but really, what can I say? Not much happens, or at least not as much as I was hoping for. We get a fight scene with Batwoman and Hawkfire battling Mister Freeze, but the two are held back due to Agent Chase and Batwoman’s father giving what I honestly believe to be unhelpful advice to Batwoman and Hawkfire respectively. They eventually manage to take him down, but an accident injures Freeze’s leg, possibly critically. Batman shows up after the fight, and there’s some tension between him and Batwoman, not helped by Chase wanting to keep Batman out of their affairs. Luckily, they manage to leave the situation without a fight, but it’s clear that the DEO plans to try to gain further control over Batwoman by any means necessary. Also, we see a little of Maggie, and have it confirmed that yes, she and Kate ARE engaged, but I’m honestly a bit bothered that we don’t see more of what her reaction was to finding out Kate was Batwoman RIGHT BEFORE Kate proposed. Oh well, I’m just glad that it DOES look as though we will be getting a wedding from those two. There just aren’t enough DC superheroes with families these days.
Nightwing #18 continues the Requiem month for most of the Bat titles, and thankfully, this one actually ties in a bit to what’s going on with Dick Grayson in this story. He’s now dealing with the loss of Haly’s Circus, the circus folk leaving him, his complicated relationship with Sonia, and the deaths of two of his friends from the circus AND his former partner and brother in arms. It’s a horrible situation he’s in right now, and we see how it affects him and how, in the end, it looks as though he’s all too eager to leave Gotham, as Sonia drops a bombshell on him: Tony Zucco, her father and the man who murdered Dick’s parents, is alive and operating out of Chicago.
JLA #2 was kind of odd, but in the way that I wanna see what happens next. We see that the Secret Society is looking to recruit Scarecrow (this was also alluded to at the end of Justice League #17 last month, btw), and that they have seemingly created duplicates of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The wide array of emotions and personalities is put on display as the members of the League interact. Catwoman seems to have a small attraction to Steve Trevor, which is expanded upon when she learns of his relationship with Wonder Woman and it makes her feel connected to him, due to her own history with Batman. Katana drops a sorta funny line when J’onn is trying to make small talk and she replies that she’s not here to make friends, but that she will not hesitate to cut the first person who tries to harm her team-mates. Stargirl seems the most excited to be there, and she honestly seems like the most fun character of the group (meaning she’ll probably be my favourite, lol), while Vibe seems a bit uncertain as to why he deserves to be there. Hawkman comes off as rather insane, honestly, walking in with someone else’s blood all over him. We see that there’s some frayed issues with Trevor and Green Arrow (told you he was alive), since Steve doesn’t want Ollie on the team, feeling he isn’t ready for that. We find out that J’onn used his mental powers to allow an agent of the Secret Society to get into the White House and almost kill President Obama before J’onn stepped in, thus ensuring the President would allow the JLA to exist, and am I the only person bothered by the fact that they’re using real people in this comic? But yeah, all things considered, this book still works despite some hiccups.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Next week, we watch the fallout of Robin’s death kick into overdrive in Batman Incorporated, catch up with Calvin Rose in Talon, and hopefully I manage to get the books I missed last week, Batman #18 and Batman and Robin #18. Ja né!
So, as every comic book fan nowadays should know by now, the New 52‘s version of the Justice League of America is starting up this month. Once again, I’m still confused by the fact that there’s a Justice League AND a Justice League of America, but whatever, I’m gonna try and ignore that. Instead, I thought I’d give my thoughts on each individual member of this new team, whether I like their presence here, and how I think the team should do overall. With that said, let’s start off with one member who, as I understand it, was considered by many to be the WORST member of ANY incarnation of the Justice League…
I’ll admit right now, I know very little about Vibe other than what I’ve heard. I will say that one thing I’ve heard quite often was that a lot of people REALLY hated this guy when he was in the League. Something about his bad Mexican accent, that he was created to cash in on the appeal of break-dancing at the time, and also because he was formerly the leader of a street gang called Los Lobos. Personally, I’m just glad it wasn’t Los Locos.
…Never play that again. Anyway, his power is that he can create shock waves strong enough to destroy concrete. I seem to recall him cameoing a few times in Justice League Unlimited, where he also had the ability to fly, but hey, that was a tv show. Oh, and apparently he’s noteworthy of having been the first member of the Justice League to actually be killed in the line of duty, which I’m willing to bet is because people didn’t like him.
Maybe it’s just because I never read the stories involving him, but no major concerns from me. Heck, if anything, this is one of the advantages of the New 52: Characters like Vibe that weren’t well-received can be reworked (his new costume already looks a lot better than his old one). They might be rolling the dice a bit much with the solo title that’ll be starting soon too, but hey, I guess it helps develop this new version.
Again, haven’t read anything that had Stargirl in it, minus her appearance in Bryan Q. Miller‘s Batgirl. I have seen her in several episodes of Justice League Unlimited though, where she started off kinda jealous of Supergirl but eventually mellowed out. Apparently she was in Smallville too, which I didn’t really watch. I have heard that in the comics she comes off as a sweet and positive person and a strong heroine. I also hear that she’s notable as being one of few superheroes in DC that wears braces. Her powers come from her equipment, the Cosmic Converter Belt enhancing her strength, speed, stamina, durability, and agility, and her Cosmic Staff giving her the power of flight and energy projection.
As I understand it, she’s “the only one really excited to be there” in this new JLA. Something tells me that she will serve as the heart of the team, the one that keeps them on the good side. And let’s face it, given that she’s covered in stars, definitely makes for a good person to have on the Justice League of AMERICA.
This is one of the weird picks for me. Catwoman has never once served as a member of any form of the Justice League, though she has aided them. She’s always represented the grey area between hero and villain, meaning putting her on the Justice League is problematic. In fact, as I understand it, her reasons for joining are either a means to an end on some matter or possibly blackmail. Also, while I’ve always liked the character, I will say that her solo title in the New 52 has been weird at best. Just in case someone reads that isn’t too familiar with her or needs a refresher, Catwoman has no powers, and instead is a gifted acrobat, was trained in Dragon Style Kung Fu, is a master of stealth and disguise, and usually comes equipped with sharp retractable claws, a bitchin’ motorcycle, and a 12 foot long bullwhip that you do NOT want to be on the opposite side of.
My guess is that she’s there to be their stealth fighter to help round out the team. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if she often-times acts as the long-range aide for the next of the roster…
If you haven’t been reading Birds of Prey lately, Katana recently left the team. Now it seems she’s to join the Justice League of America. Not really sure why, honestly. I like the idea that she too has her own solo title, but honestly, I would’ve just stuck with that instead of doing that AND putting her in another team book. Like Catwoman, Katana has no powers, instead being a master martial artist/swordsman, wielding a sword that she claims contains her husband’s soul inside, though no one knows whether this is true or if she’s just crazy…and honestly? I think it might be better if they kept that ambiguous for a while. It works better as a mystery.
Again, not completely sure why she’s on this team, but my guess is that her and Catwoman will act as the normies that’ll save the super-powered heroes’ asses where necessary…though I suppose that’s a roll for this next member…
Okay, here’s the part where I gotta confess to something: I don’t like Green Arrow. Admittedly, most of this is Cry For Justice and the books related to it colouring my judgement, and that story has been retconned in the New 52. Problem is, I found him to be a dick even before ‘Gay for Vengeance’, and I haven’t really seen much reason to check him out since. However, I would be an idiot if I didn’t note that he IS one of DC’s best heroes, and would function well on this new team. One odd thing about Green Arrow is that his classification of having powers or not has been left ambiguous on occasion, as he does have the strength to lift twice his body weight and has skill in archery that some would claim to be inhuman. It’s never really been proven one way or the other though, and much like with Katana, I think it works best if that question is never answered for certain.
It appears as though Green Arrow might actually serve as one of the higher ranked members of the team, as he is actually one of the two possibly behind its formation (as suggested in the backstory of an issue of Justice League), along with this man…
Okay, I gotta ask: Why so many non-powered members of this team? Is it just to make Vibe more useful by comparison? I dunno, but Steve Trevor is another odd pick. Other than being a liaison for the Justice League until recently, I don’t think he’s ever been an official member of a superhero team. Then again, I don’t really know for a fact that he IS a member, he could just be their back-up. Whatever the case, Steve is a skilled hand-to-hand fighter and an advanced marksman. This is my only real concern with him being on the team, though, as I don’t believe in superheroes using guns. Just my own personal preference on the matter.
Like I said, it was hinted that Steve and Green Arrow are actually going to be the ones putting together this team, and I would imagine they’ll be high-ranking members within it. However, if I had to pick out who I believe to be the leader, that’d be…
NOW we’re getting into some awesome heroes. The Martian Manhunter has had a kinda weird time in the New 52, what with his position as a founding member of the Justice League being given to Cyborg, having apparently been a member (or close to one) before a massive fight broke out between him and the other members (yes, all seven members were required to bring him down), and he joined a covert group called Stormwatch before he had to leave and erase his presence on the team from its other members. So yeah, glad to see him on this team. I’d list his powers, but they are SO numerous, I’m gonna do the lazy thing and instead opt to let you read his Wikipedia entry.
So yeah, expect him to either be the leader of the team or simply the most powerful of the group. Heck, there’s really only one other member that could touch him, if not for his weakness to fire…
Admittedly, I’m not sure how this is gonna connect to the Green Lantern comics, but I do like Simon Baz being on this team. For those that don’t know, Simon Baz is a Lebanese-American who suffered prejudice due to the events of September 11th and recently was put through a major misunderstanding where people thought he was a terrorist and was only saved from being killed by corrupt government agents when Hal Jordan and Sinestro’s malfunctioning Green Lantern Ring went to him, the ring believing that Hal and Sinestro were dead. Since then, he’s been training to master the ring’s powers while trying to clear his name. I’m guessing he does so since he joins the JLA. Anyway, his powers are typical of a Green Lantern: Indomitable will, flight, and able to create constructs of whatever he can imagine, which he’s actually picked up on pretty quick.
I expect Simon to be another of the heaviest hitters along with Martian Manhunter, and may also be one of the more interesting characters to read about. And that just leaves the final member…
This is kind of embarrassing, but I actually know more about HawkGIRL than HawkMAN. It’s made no better by the fact that there have apparently been several heroes that answered to the name Hawkman and that, following the reboot, Hawkman now answers to the name of TWO of those individuals. All I know is that he uses Thanagarian technology and armaments to fight crime with. I also know that he’s served with various incarnations of the Justice League before, so I’m sure he’ll be a welcome member here.
However, this brings me to something that I’ve been meaning to talk about. As I’ve mentioned before, it was originally slated that at some point, the Justice League would be expanded with the addition of The Atom, Deadman, Element Woman, Mera, Hawkman, Firestorm, Lady Luck, and Green Arrow. I had said at the end of my review of Justice League Origins that it hadn’t happened yet. I WAS going to suggest that DC had simply changed their minds, and it’s fortunate I didn’t because guess what happened at the end of Justice League #16?
So here’s where things get even MORE confusing, folks. Now, Shazam (AKA Mr. Don’t Call Me Captain Marvel) doesn’t surprise me. They’ve been building toward him joining at some point for a while now in the back stories for Justice League (that I absolutely HATE, btw). Also, Firestorm doesn’t surprise me either, Vixen and Black Lightning aren’t really doing anything right now, so it makes sense to add them, and Element Woman was already slated to join. But, AGAIN, Zatanna is already a member of Justice League Dark, Black Canary is with the Birds of Prey, Hawkman and Green Arrow are joining this new team, I still don’t see the others that were originally planned to join, and who in the hell is Goldrush? I think it’s hinted she’s a New 52 version of the Metal Men, but that’s all I have to go on. So how is this gonna work? Are they unofficial affiliates that join in when the main team is in over their heads? Is this a one-time thing? Is Geoff Johns even thinking about all this at all? I’m sorry if these questions are too numerous, but I only ask because I’m naturally curious and nitpicky and I have no idea what’s going on!
…Anyway, rant over. Bottom line, I think this team, while a bit odd and perhaps a little too stacked up on members, should work well enough to get a following from buyers. My nitpicking aside, I actually kinda like that a lot of these members aren’t necessarily A-Leaguers. Gives more of the smaller names a chance to get over. Will I buy it?…Well, I’ve been kinda flip-floppy on this, but considering it comes out on a week where there’s only one other comic I buy (Nightwing), I’m thinking I might just pick it up, so I’ll let’cha know how it goes in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, tomorrow is Wednesday, and you know what that means!
…See ya then. Ja ne!