Blog Archives

12 Essential DC Titles That Must Be Part Of Every Line-Up/Reboot/Etc.

Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…

#1 – Action Comics

If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.

#2 – Detective Comics

Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.

#3 – Batman, #4 – Superman, and #5 – Wonder Woman

They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.

#6 – The Flash

Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.

#7 – Justice League

It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…

#8 – Birds of Prey

With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.

#9 – Teen Titans

Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.

#10 – Green Lantern

Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.

#11 – Aquaman

Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.

So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…

#12 – Earth 2/Justice Society

I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.

And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.

… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!

How To Drop The Ball In Comics – The New 52

…Well, we’re finally here, folks. It’s been five years, but at last, the New 52/DC You is dead. Granted, a few of its titles are still finishing up their runs, and the new books still take place in this universe, but it’s a changed one, and, quite frankly, a VASTLY improved one in my opinion, but I’ll be going over how when I look at DC Universe Rebirth #1 (the reason I haven’t yet is because there was still some fallout from it that continues into the other Rebirth one-shots). Before that, though, I think it’s time to look back on exactly what happened with the New 52, where it went wrong, and some of the worst titles that I personally have ever read from this era. So, welcome once again to How To Drop The Ball In Comics as I, for one last time, let it all out about the New 52.

What Is It?: The New 52 was basically a way to bring in new readers who might be intimidated by 70+ years of history, likely as a means of competing more with Marvel by upping their numbers. Sound familiar? It should. It’s something that DC has tried to do a few times now. However, they never tried anything quite like this: Following the event Flashpoint, the DC Universe was rebooted to where most of the heroes of the world had only been active for about 5 years. Most of the history of the characters were either gone or changed, thus creating a blank slate to start over from scratch with new talent to tell their tales in a modern setting. Now, DC was no stranger to reboots and retcons. But, as I said, this went a bit above and beyond anything they’d ever done before. So, the question one has to ask themselves, as has been done since the beginning of this new comic universe, is the same singular word as it’s always been: Why?

How Did It Have Potential?: Really, when you get down to why DC felt the need to reboot everything, it usually leads to a common question: Are there really that many people who want to read comics but don’t because of so much continuity to go through? And the answer is…complicated. I’ve had this talk before, and as I said then, this generation is actually the luckiest when it comes to stuff like that. We have the internet, with which we can read up on all this information. Sure, we might not get EVERYTHING, but the most important details will be waiting for us. That said, there DO exist people who either don’t know where to get this information, or don’t feel obligated, for whatever reason, to read up on it, but would STILL like to get into comics. Now, personally speaking, nowadays, I’m more of a subscriber to the theory that the best way to get new readers isn’t to sweep everything under a rug, but instead to give just enough allusions to these old stories and make them sound super exciting and interesting, thus making the reader want to know more. If you wanna know where I figured THAT out, read JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative. Or, if you can’t find it, watch Linkara’s review of it. However, I’m not blind to the views of those who would implement this strategy to get more people reading.

On top of all of that, though, there is one thing people have to consider. And I know that there are people who have forgotten this, but…there ARE some heroes who kinda got screwed over LONG before the New 52 happened, and who have since gotten a new lease on life as a result. Want an example? Okay, VIBE. Vibe was considered the worst member of the Justice League EVER. His name was practically a punch line, and he likely either would’ve remained that way or completely faded from everyone’s memory, were it not for the reboot giving Geoff Johns a chance to do something new with him. And after seeing how he worked in the New 52, I gotta say, I really like Vibe. I would gladly have him on my Justice League team. I hope he comes back again. And, likely as a result of his being brought back in the New 52, the character was also adapted into The Flash’s TV show, which has another new interpretation of him that I really like. So, yes, the reboot had potential when it came to characters like him. Also, while I’m not necessarily a fan of how Donna Troy was brought back in the New 52, I will say that I’m glad it finally gave her a definitive origin that didn’t require a road map to understand…I think, anyway. Not sure exactly how her origin works in terms of how she could’ve been a member of the Titans, but whatever. Something I’ll get into another time.

Finally, though, we have to be honest: The New 52 had good books, many of which I listed before. Also, some of the books which were of actual good quality would not or could not have worked in the old continuity. Not without their own share of heavy changes, anyway. And some of these books were so good that, when the word got out about them, they brought in new readers. You know how I know that? BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THEM! Yeah, I was one of those people who was on the fence about actually buying comics. Sure, I was a fan of many of the characters long before that, but that was mostly via their TV shows, movies, video games, stuff I learned through Atop The Fourth Wall, and just word of mouth. But when the reboot came, I saw it as an opportunity to get into comics, starting with Scott Snyder’s Batman, and I’ve been buying comics ever since. And a few characters DID eventually get put over as new stars. Harley Quinn is one of the top characters in DC right now, and has been outed as bisexual in her own book, meaning she is one of the most high-profile LGBT characters in comics. Speaking of, Batwoman got her own monthly title. Granted, she was already the star of Detective Comics for a while, but here, she had her own self-titled story. So, yes, we have to accept the fact that, in some ways, THE NEW 52 DID SEE SUCCESS… … … … …Now for the half-to-three-quarters empty.

How Did It Drop The Ball?: Well, before I get to that, I wanna show you something. Before writing this article, I went out on Twitter and asked a few people, if they could sum up exactly what went wrong with the New 52 in about 10 words or so, what those words would be. Let’s see what they had to say, shall we?

To be fair, though, one person I asked also had THIS to say…

…And yeah, that’s a legit concern to have, one that I’ll address when I get to DC Rebirth. Regardless, I can’t help but agree with the other responses, too. So, let’s start with the obvious one: What the loss of the past continuity cost us. Well, for starters, at the beginning of the New 52 (so the first 52 books printed), there was no Wally West, Donna Troy, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, the VAST majority of the JSA, Aqualad (either of them), and several other legacy heroes. Dick Grayson was back to being Nightwing. Bart Allen was the only Kid Flash. Cassandra Sandsmark was the only Wonder Girl. Barbara Gordon was the only Batgirl, was only in a wheelchair for a couple of years (give or take), and was suggested to have never been Oracle. There was no Young Justice team. The Outsiders were forced underground and were ultimately forgotten for a time. Cyborg was never a Teen Titan, instead taking Martian Manhunter’s place as a founding member of the Justice League. Martian Manhunter was more or less made into a hero everyone had trust issues with and would freely mindwipe others at a whim. Aquaman and Mera weren’t married, although no one apparently thought to tell Geoff Johns that while he was writing. Also, the Teen Titans never existed before Tim Drake’s new team, but again, apparently no one told Scott Lobdell. Roy Harper never had Lian, nor did he ever become Red Arrow, and instead became an anti-hero working with Jason Todd. Batman never revealed his identity to Catwoman, and instead the two were just having sex on rooftops. No one knew where the frak Renée Montoya was. But probably the most damning of all, Clark Kent and Lois Lane were never married, nor in a relationship.

But even beyond stuff that no longer happened due to the loss of past continuity, there were other retcons passed around throughout the New 52 that either didn’t make sense, came outta nowhere, or just served to piss people off. I’ve already gone over stuff like what happened to Wonder Woman, Starfire, and Martian Manhunter, but it didn’t end there. The Phantom Stranger was made to be Judas Iscariot. The Question was… … …I have no idea what the hell the Question was supposed to be, honestly. Tim Drake didn’t find out Batman’s identity and become Robin out of a need to help him, but instead failed to figure out who he was and instead forced his hand by messing with Penguin and almost getting his parents killed. Supergirl’s dad became the New 52 Cyborg Superman, which apparently is still canon in Rebirth for some reason. Billy Batson was turned into a little asshole who never shuts his gob. Roy Harper got a STUPID trucker hat that he refused to take off for some reason. Jason Todd’s back-story was changed to where Joker apparently set up his life to turn out exactly as it did to where he was killed and brought back. Mr. Freeze was never married to Nora, but instead was obsessed with her because of stuff relating to the cold and his mother that just makes my skin crawl. Overall, though, most of these changes and several others served for a single purpose: To make the DC Universe darker, and the stories were more often than not reflective of this, oftentimes filled with lots of sex and violence.

More than all of that, though, where I think the New 52 fails most in terms of stories is just on a sheer conceptual level. You’ll recall that I said the reboot was meant to put everything back to a clean slate. Here’s the problem: Some events in the past continuity did still happen. Several moments in DC’s history were condensed down into a much smaller time frame that made less sense the more one thought about it. Supposedly, events like Hal Jordan becoming Parallax, Blackest Night, and Batman being sent through time and believed dead still happened, but several key people involved weren’t, and the exact details of how it happened were changed. All the male Robins still exist (though Tim Drake was apparently never Robin and instead was always Red Robin), all within the span of 5 (later changed to approximately 10) years. Barbara Gordon was still shot by the Joker. Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend was still murdered and stuffed into a fridge (which, of all things to wipe away, why did THAT have to remain canon?! o.O). And, on top of all of this, some things happened, others didn’t, and not only was DC quiet about what did and didn’t happen, but they failed to give memos to the people WRITING THE STORIES about what was and wasn’t in canon. Like I said before, guys like Geoff Johns and Scott Lobdell, who were given high-profile books, weren’t informed of certain details. The first issues of Red Hood And The Outlaws and Teen Titans clearly made reference to past Titans teams, only to later learn that, supposedly, there were no previous Titans. I honestly have NO idea if Superman being killed by Doomsday is still canon or not. Heroes like Plastic Man and Miss Martian were referenced in the first issues of Justice League International and Teen Titans, only for it to be retconned that they never existed. George Pérez had to quit after six issues of Superman after repeated failures of being informed of details about Superman’s new status quo in this new universe. And I’m sure there are other instances of stuff like this that I’m not thinking of.

If you haven’t put it together by now, a major problem with the New 52 was mismanagement, and it wasn’t just a problem with the stories, either. Ask any of the talent that have left DC within the past five years, and you’ll probably get a similar story of broken promises and last-minute changes. Many left their stories unfinished as a result. In particular, Andy Diggle left the company before the first issue of his run on Action Comics ever even hit the stands. I think probably the one that still gets me is the controversy involving Batwoman, and I’ve gone over this before, but here’s as quick a summary of what happened as I can do. In September of 2013, J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman went public with the fact that they were leaving Batwoman, starting with issue 26. Why? Well, because of last-minute changes to stuff they had planned, specifically that they were told that Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer, who had just recently gotten engaged in the book, would never be allowed to get married. According to Dan DiDio, superheroes shouldn’t be married because being happy would undermine their angst and turmoil, and would compromise their commitment to being superheroes. Now, apparently, DiDio claims this is only to do specifically with the Bat-related characters, but if you’ll recall, neither Superman nor Aquaman were married, either. In fact, the only superhero seemingly still with a family was Animal Man. So while DiDio says it was only a Bat Family thing, I think it’s more likely that he doesn’t like the idea of superheroes being married, for one reason or another. This is evidenced further by notes of his going back as far as Infinite Crisis, where it’s clear he wanted to break up Clark Kent and Lois Lane for YEARS. But hey, I’m not in charge of DC Comics. I don’t have any say in what goes on. So maybe Dan DiDio DOES know better than me. But, if that’s the case, can I ask a simple question? And it’s one I’ve asked for years now and never gotten a good answer for: If Batwoman getting married was such a problem, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with? Why were they ever allowed to get engaged? You could’ve avoided all of this and the controversy that followed if you’d simply suggested against this move to begin with in a calm and rational tone, and instead worked out something different with Williams and Blackman.

Speaking of the controversy involving Batwoman, that leads me to another issue: The women of DC. And that’s not just the characters. That said, here’s a list of just SOME of the examples of violence and fridging towards women in the New 52 (though PLEASE be aware that these are horribly graphic in many cases, so read at your own discretion): Link. Beyond that, though, there was an overall lack of female creators working for DC at the beginning. I think the official figures were that the female creators at DC had dropped from 12% to 1%. And we’ve got more now, but it’s still a rather small number. And probably the most high-profile among those at the beginning was Gail Simone. Only, guess what? There’s controversy there, too, not only because Secret Six, a best seller at DC before the reboot, was cancelled, not only because the book she’d be working on, Batgirl, had Barbara Gordon taken out of the wheelchair and claimed to have never been Oracle, a move that ticked off a LOT of people, but because she was, in December of 2012, fired from Batgirl via e-mail (which was later suggested to be inaccurate or untrue, but who knows at this point), despite the fact that she’d made the book work and be a top-seller in the face of everything working against it. Granted, she was hired back 12 days later, but I honestly feel that’s only because her firing got SO public that DC was basically becoming a lightning rod of hate. But again, guess what? She eventually left the book AGAIN, and then went on to write a rebooted Secret Six, which is, again, getting cancelled. Maybe it’ll be back in Rebirth someday down the road, I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.

And lastly, I was GOING to include a list of my 5 Least Favourite Books of the New 52. However, I’ve decided not to because, at this point, you should probably have a good idea as to which books I didn’t like and which ones outright pissed me off. Maybe I’ll go back and do it later if I REALLY feel the need to, but for now, here’s just a quick rundown of the books I didn’t like, hated, or just had problems with.

Batman The Dark Knight: A horrible and nonsensical opening arc, and then later, the AWFUL killing of Batman’s love interest at the time. Even excluding those, though, it just wasn’t good.

Action Comics/Superman: The character was just not as likable or inspiring as he could be, even with the reboot, and later became crossover event after crossover event.

The Fury of Firestorm: Sorry, Gail, but every great writer’s gotta have at least one bomb, and this was just terrible.

Detective Comics: The book started off with Joker getting his face cut off just to set the stage for a story written one year later in another book…Do I even need to SAY anything else after that? Even when it was good, it always felt like it was just the other Batman book.

Teen Titans: Even if Scott WASN’T a sub-par writer, the lack of communication with editorial over what was and wasn’t canon ruined it in the beginning. The second volume started off promising, but later delved into being just bad. Overall, both volumes have kinda ruined Tim Drake as a credible leader. Still, I really like Bunker and hope he returns in Rebirth.

Wonder Woman: Massive retcons to Wonder Woman’s origins and the Amazons, and was later given to the Finches, who frankly just do not get the character.

Justice League of America: Existed solely as lead-in to Trinity War, and was later scrapped and reworked into the superior Justice League United. There’s also a JLA book going on right now that involves the seven main members of the Justice League going up against Rao, but I haven’t been following, and apparently, the book has been outright plagued with delays and cancellations.

The Movement: …I DID mention that I really like Gail Simone, right? 😀 …Okay, to be fair, I actually really liked the characters, but the overall story structure seemed problematic. Maybe it was just me, though. I’d actually be fine with this title coming back someday, or maybe the characters making comebacks, especially Vengeance Moth and Virtue.

Superman/Wonder Woman: Would’ve been fine if it was just about the two teaming up to fight bad guys, except it was far more about the two’s relationship that many were sick of already, and later existed solely to further the crossover events involving the other Superman-related books.

Birds of Prey: Started off okay, and had a new fan favourite bisexual character in Starling and put Poison Ivy on her more heroically inclined path, but it quickly fell completely apart, particularly when both aforementioned characters had heel turns and left the group.

Nightwing: While I personally enjoyed the book, it had a problem that a lot of other books frequently involved in crossover events had, in that there was rarely if ever a status quo to become invested in.

Red Hood And The Outlaws: The only reason I can fathom as to why this book is being brought back for Rebirth is as a means to keep Scott Lobdell away from anything else. That said, at least it won’t involve Starfire and Roy Harper anymore, who are returning to the Titans books.

Earth 2/World’s End/Earth 2 Society: Earth 2 started off promising, but then Dan Wilson took over, and the ship was pretty much sunk in every conceivable way. Dan Abnett’s actually trying REALLY hard to make Earth 2 Society good, and you can tell he’s a good writer, but I just don’t know how or if you can save this outside of another reboot, and that’s what got us into this mess.

Harley Quinn: If this was a book that was just about Harley, that’d be one thing, but they include Poison Ivy and just do strange and stupid things with her at times (though they DID at least make it canon that these two are bisexual), and did an amnesia arc with Power Girl where the latter was utterly humiliated and degraded in more ways than one.

Futures End: Brought Terry McGinnis into the mainstream continuity just to kill him off and replace him with an alternate future version of Tim Drake. Also, was FULL of body horror, dark twists, and ultimately proved to be pointless as the future presented never happened. Still, it DID have some good tie-ins, like the Batgirl one that I’ve brought up before.

Martian Manhunter: If anyone can tell me just what in the hell happened in this book without giving me a headache, that would be much appreciated. lol

Catwoman: I don’t even. I just don’t even. The first issue has her having sex with Batman for no reason, and has gone through multiple writers and arcs, none of which seemed to be written all that well.

Black Canary: I wouldn’t call this BAD, it’s just weird seeing Dinah in a band. But, let’s be fair, that could just be a problem with me.

There’s almost certainly more I’m either not thinking of or didn’t read, but that’s enough for now. Honestly, at this point, I’m sick of ranting about the New 52. And really, this is why I decided to do this article: Just to get this all out one last time so I can move on. Because, if you’ll look back on my blog and read my DC-related articles, it’s clear that I need to move on. I can’t live in the past, especially THIS past. I need to look to the future, and while DC Rebirth has a few things I could pick out as problematic, I will say that it still looks like a VAST improvement over the New 52. In the end, all the New 52 was was just a poorly managed era of comics history, one that even those behind it have figured out was a failure, and one that I am more than happy to leave behind for brighter horizons.

So, that’s pretty much the New 52 in a nutshell. Got any stories about this era of comics or details I might’ve left out? Lemme know in the comments below, and come back later this month when I finally take a look at DC Universe Rebirth #1, and my overall thoughts on the new era going forward. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Series From DC’s New 52/DC YOU

Well, the New 52 is just about at its end, with DC Rebirth coming up next week and the last of the New 52 books ending over the course of the next few months. And while the New 52 has become something of a punchline for many fans, let’s not forget the good times that came with it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that there WERE good books, as well as the bad. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that, before I seriously rag on the New 52 one last time, I should really take a look at some of my favourite comics from this era. Now, keep in mind, these are JUST the ones that I read. I’m well aware of the fact that there were other good comics that came out during the past five years under the DC banner that won’t be on this list. As such, if your favourites aren’t on the list, by all means, feel free to place your own in the comments. Also, keep in mind that there are books that, while good, just weren’t the overall greats of this list. So, books like Justice League, while having arcs I liked, also had a bunch of arcs I DIDN’T like, so they just missed the cut…though I DO have a bonus round for them. lol And, of course, books that are not a part of the main line, like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman don’t count. Why we couldn’t have more books like it and Legends of Wonder Woman in the main line, I dunno, but for now, let’s start with one that’s probably kinda obvious to anyone who’s read my blog for a while

#1 - Superman Unchained

#1 – Superman Unchained

Yeah, not shocking anyone with this pick, I’m sure. Most definitely my favourite of the books starring the New 52 Superman, and it’s one of the reasons I’m actually sad to learn that he’s dying. Yes, he is arguably the most inherently flawed of the mainstream Supermen, but when you have a good writer with a good story writing him, those flaws are used in good ways. We see how this Superman is still an inspirational figure in spite of these flaws by never giving up and continuously trying to do the best he can for the world. So yeah, while I’m obviously overjoyed to see the pre-Flashpoint Superman return to active duty, along with his wife and son, there will always be a little part of me that gets nostalgic for the Superman who didn’t always get it right, but nonetheless kept trying his best, for truth and justice.

#2 - Batgirl

#2 – Batgirl

I actually feel bad because I initially was unwilling to give this book a try. Why? Because they’d seemingly undone Babs’ past as Oracle as a means to make her Batgirl again, thus taking the position away from Stephanie Brown, who was nowhere to be seen for a long time. But while all that is true, I can’t deny that this book has had some great moments. Granted, I HATED the Batgirl Wanted arc, and Black Canary’s characterization in the beginning of the Stewart/Fletcher era rubbed me the wrong way, but the rest of it has been highly enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments are probably Alysia’s wedding, the end of the Simone era when Babs called in damned near EVERY superheroine on Earth, ALL of her annuals, the tie-in to Future’s End, that time she and Strix took on vampires, it’s just been a hell of a ride, and I hope that the next volume is just as fun.

#3 - Justice League United

#3 – Justice League United

For those that never read this book, I’ll keep the recap brief: Shortly after the collapse of the government sanctioned JLA, which was secretly meant as a fail-safe against the Justice League, three of its members, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, found themselves teaming with Supergirl, Adam and Alanna Strange, Animal Man, and newcomer Equinox, to form a new Justice League: the Justice League United, set up in Canada, and meant to protect the world from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Of course, right off the bat, I was excited, since…well, do you know how long I waited for my country to get their own Justice League? Was awesome. But beyond that, getting to see some of the character interactions without the dread present in the JLA book that came before it was great too (Green Arrow and Animal Man playing off each other made for some decent comedy), and there was a lot of more traditional superheroing. In the later stages of the book’s existence, the team began rotating members in and out in order to deal with different situations, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Anyone from Batgirl to Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing to Vandal Savage, and so on could be brought in depending on what the situation called for. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long before the book’s cancellation, but the JLU has since appeared during the Truth story-arc in the Superman books, giving me hope that they’ll one day return to action.

#4 - Convergence

#4 – Convergence

I should probably note that, when I say Convergence is a favourite of mine, I’m not talking about the main series. This is primarily because…well, I didn’t read it, and from what I’ve read, there’s not really much of anything that good, other than the restoration of the Multiverse. Oh, there’s some stuff involving the New 52 version of Earth 2, but unfortunately, that’s been a SERIOUSLY mixed bag. You wanna know more about that, go check out the blog Helena Wayne Huntress for more details. But no, what I’m referring to as one of my favourites of the New 52 is all the tie-in stuff. Granted, that could be seen as cheating for one simple reason: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW 52. The Convergence tie-ins are about giving resolution to stories that happened before the New 52, letting the heroes of ages past get one last hurrah, and even setting up for maybe a few of them to return later on. And they’re all awesome! Nightwing and Oracle get married and kick ass (not necessarily in that order, lol), Lian is brought back to life, Stephanie Brown suits up as Batgirl again, Lois and Clark have a child, the JSA return, it’s all amazing! Hell, even Scott freaking Lobdell turns in a good Blue Beetle book! I didn’t even think it was possible for him to put out anything of quality, but I guess mathematically speaking, it had to happen EVENTUALLY.

#5 - Batman

#5 – Batman

…Yyyeeeaaaahh, suppose this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. lol While I wasn’t a fan of the story where Jim Gordon was Batman, and I found Joker to be WAY over the top in terms of unstoppable villainy is concerned, it’s really hard to not consider this book one the best of the past five years. Snyder and Capullo have simply been on fire for this era, and it’s sad to know that, at least for a while, that team of theirs is over. Although as hard as it is for me and other readers, I gotta imagine it’s even harder for them. But yeah, you guys should all know all of my favourite moments from this book, and if you don’t, I made a list of them just before the Superheavy story-arc. Point is, if you’re a Batman fan and you’ve been avoiding this book for the New 52 branding, don’t. It’s at least worth your time to check out.

So those are my favourite books of the New 52 in terms of overall quality. And now, the bonus round for all the arcs of books that I liked.

Worlds' Finest

Worlds’ Finest

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Huntress and Power Girl fighting a giant Irradiated Man in a Japanese harbour! All it needed was for Godzilla and Dragonzord to show up to make it the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! 😄

Justice League

Justice League

…Not to self: Review Darkseid War once the entire storyline is finished. It is easily my favourite story of the New 52 Justice League. Also, I thought Origin worked as an introduction to this new timeline, and the Amazo Virus was pretty awesome, too, and marked the point in which Geoff Johns finally found his groove with writing Wonder Woman’s character.

Batman/Superman

Batman/Superman

Cross World was great, and presented one of my all-time favourite images of Wonder Woman, and the stuff with Mongol and Toymaster is admittedly dumb fun that resolved in an awesome team-up involving Supergirl, Batgirl, Steel, Red Hood, and Krypto.

Batwoman

Batwoman

Y’know, DC, right after the engagement, I was totally gonna stick with this book. Then you called it off, the creative team left as a result, and then you did the stupid vampire thing. Just saying, you had a great thing gift-wrapped for you. I sincerely hope, though, that since Rebirth is apparently nixing the whole heroes-can’t-be-married thing, with the old Superman who is married to Lois Lane being back and Aquaman and Mera being engaged, that Batwoman finally is allowed to get married in Detective Comics.

Talon

Talon

Ultimately proved to be hit and miss, but I liked it for the most part. Could’ve done without Casey being damned near torn apart, but watching her make her badass comeback with a cybernetic arm-cannon was awesome. I mean, yeah, it’s another case of extreme violence against women in a comic, but it’s hard not to watch her in the hospital bed right after losing her arm and eye and not grin ear-to-ear when she’s still being like “Aw, fuck it, just put a giant arm-cannon on me, and I’ll fuck these guys up! And Calvin, you better make sure you haven’t completely screwed things up by the time I show up, or your ass is grass!” 😄

Nightwing

Nightwing

I unfortunately can’t really justify putting Nightwing on the top 5, but that’s less to do with the quality of the stories told in it and more to do with the constantly changing status quo that was really only a thing strictly because of stuff happening in the other Bat Family books before ending due to events in Forever Evil. Oh, and as a side-note, SO glad to see that Nightwing is in blue again, but not sure where this is going with him as a member of the Court (or Parliament, I guess) of Owls.

Supergirl

Supergirl

I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.

Starfire

Starfire

I feel like I MIGHT’VE put this on the list if I’d read through the entire thing and it didn’t delve into the cheesecake quite as much as it did, soooo…Eh, call it sixth, I guess. lol

Earth 2

Earth 2

Again, DC, you had me right up until Evil Superman working for Darkseid, and Thomas Wayne as Batman. Then you completely lost me. And THEN you pissed me off with World’s End and the first arc of Earth 2: Society. Seriously, like I said before, go read Helena Wayne Huntress’ blog for more details, but suffice to say, it’s been a MESS, one that I hope gets cleaned up soon. I DO recommend the Tower of Fate arc, though.

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

Problematic for me personally at times, but still enjoying it, and glad it’s here. 🙂

And that’s all my favourite stuff of the New 52. Like I said before, if you’ve got a book that you really liked from this era that wasn’t on here, by all means, leave your own list in the comments, and be sure to check back in the future when I go over the worst of this era. Ja né!

DC Rebirth Reveal – Some Art And Quick Reactions

…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.

80 PAGES FOR $2.99! HOLY CRAP! XD

80 PAGES FOR $2.99?! That’s some insane dedication to the price drop!

...So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. :D

…So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. 😀 Kinda confused by Clayface’s presence, but whatever.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that's kinda weird is that we're keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It's just...odd.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that’s kinda weird is that we’re keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It’s just…odd.

He’s back in blue! THANK GOD! Also, the reaction to the first story arc’s title, “Better Than Batman” got just the exact reaction I was expecting. 😄

Greg Rucka is coming back to Wonder Woman. This is going to be INSANE, and I REALLY can’t wait for Wonder Woman Year One, with art by Nicola Scott. Also, thank God, Wonder Woman’s back in gold. I don’t even care that it’s blatantly copied from the movies, it looks good on her. 🙂

Lex Luthor as the new Superman of Metropolis. That’s literally all you need to know to realize that’s gonna end badly. Throw in Doomsday, and I’ll be surprised if there’s anything LEFT of Metropolis by the time we hit Action Comics #1000.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that's been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that’s been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

So Hal's going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. :)

So Hal’s going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. 🙂

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing this in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing that the sons of Batman and Superman will be teaming up in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

Bryan Hitch, Tony Daniel, and Fernando Pasarin have got some BIG shoes to fill with Justice League, but I like the team. Also, it seems details on JLA are being kept a secret for now.

Relax, people. It's not THAT All-Star Batman. lol

Relax, people. It’s not THAT All-Star Batman. lol Also, I guess now we know what Snyder’s been up to. That said, gotta admit, I’m a little disappointed to see Ivy relegated back to being simply another rogue for Batman after all the work that’s been done with her as her own character.

Y’know, everybody else is talking about how Damian is on the Titans and how Wally West is still black, and all I can think of is “Thank God, Starfire’s on the Titans and NOT the Outlaws”. 😛

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don't care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I care about. Good to know. ^_^

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don’t care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I love. Good to know. ^_^

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there's only ONE person in red??? :P

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there’s only ONE person in red??? 😛 Also, who is that in green? Can’t be a Lantern, can it?

They really might as well have just said "We're going with the same team as from the movie". I mean, honestly, I don't even really care that they're cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

They really might as well have just said “We’re going with the same team as from the movie”. I mean, honestly, I don’t even really care that they’re cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_-

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_- Tom King should prove to be a good choice, though, and I’m interested to see where this goes in the aftermath of Superheavy, especially as it pertains to Duke Thomas.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don't care that Wally is still black. I just hope he's FUN again. That's all I've EVER wanted.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don’t care that Wally is still black. I just hope he’s FUN again. That’s all I’ve EVER wanted.

I've never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that's clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

I’ve never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that’s clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

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!

DC Comics’ Convergence + Characters and Concepts I’d Like To See Make a Permanent Return

DC Comics recently announced the event that is clearly intended to be the Crisis On Infinite Earths anniversary event, and it’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I’ll nonetheless take it. The event is referred to as Convergence, and it follows up on plot hooks going back as far as Justice League International’s finale, and heavily involves recent revelations from Superman Doomed and Future’s End. Long story short, Brainiac (or rather A Brainiac) has been bottling people and cities from various worlds across different universes in the Multiverse. In fact, some of these universes don’t even exist anymore, meaning that this version of Brainiac managed to survive the Multiversal reboot of The New 52, as did the people he’s captured.

According to what I’ve read up on, the current New 52 books will be taking a two month break in April and May (so I guess I’ll be saving a bit more money than usual, lol), which explains why all the current arcs in the storylines are ending at the same time. During this break, there’ll be a weekly series for Convergence, as well as a number of two-part miniseries that’ll cover different worlds involved in Convergence. Basically, seeing what these characters have been up to since the last time we saw them, and probably tying into the greater events of Convergence. And since I’m seeing worlds based on the last year or two of the pre-Flashpoint New Earth, the pre-Flashpoint Earth 2, Superman Red Son, Kingdom Come, and several others, I would imagine there’ll at least be SOME comics in this event that’ll catch my attention.

So, a common theory among fans right now is that, following Convergence, the current reality of The New 52 will be adjusted to include a number of characters and concepts from past continuities. Others are suggesting that this is the end of The New 52, and the restoration of the previous continuity. Honestly, I’m hoping for the former, since there has actually been some great stuff in The New 52 that I would hate to see wiped away. Plus, if that happened, what the hell would’ve been the point of the past 3+ years? It would’ve just been a complete waste of our time. With that said, there’s plenty of the previous continuity that I would like to see integrated into the current one, and plenty of BAD stuff we’ve seen in The New 52 I would like to see done away with. So, with that said, here’s a list of changes I’d like to see after Convergence is over, be it returning characters and concepts, or the end of current ones…

#1 - The Return of the Classic Superman Costume

#1 – The Return of the Classic Superman Costume

This is actually something that is possibly being teased for before Convergence, if I’m correct, that is. Basically, I took notice of the fact that solicits for Superman #38 promised a new costume for the Man of Steel, and that his pelvic area was hidden or otherwise obscured on the cover of every book he was on that month. My theory is that he’s either returning to the old tights, or his current costume is being adjusted to resemble it and its colour scheme. Honestly, either one works for me.

#2 - The Return of the Justice Society

#2 – The Return of the Justice Society

Now, there ARE a ton of heroes on Earth 2, but they aren’t really so much a team. Bringing back the Justice Society would be a huge benefit to the Earth 2 books. But beyond bringing back the JSA, I would also bring back some of its members, like Jade, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite, Liberty Belle, possibly even the Kingdom Come Superman, and so on. That said, I think I would wanna keep the newer costumes for those that have been around in The New 52. No offense to the original designers, but I just think the newer costumes look a bit better.

#3 - Lois and Clark Back Together

#3 – Lois and Clark Back Together

I’m sorry, but the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman needs to end. Like, NOW. This was doomed to fail from the beginning, and I think reader response has proven that it did. It really says it all when even Man of Steel knew well enough to have Clark and Lois together. I don’t even care if they’re married or not, I just wanna see them back together. That said, wouldn’t necessarily have to cancel Superman/Wonder Woman, just make it about them teaming up to fight supervillains instead of ‘the fauxmance’. Speaking of Wonder Woman, though…

#4 - The Restoration of Wonder Woman and the Amazons

#4 – The Restoration of Wonder Woman and the Amazons

Seriously, we need the old Wonder Woman back. Badly. Beyond the obvious, having her be the compassionate diplomat once again, her back-story and the history of the Amazons needs a change from the current New 52 version. What bothers me most about the changes to her back-story isn’t so much the fact that I mind her being the daughter of Zeus. That much I can live with. Rather, it’s Hippolyta bending over backwards for Zeus (or was it forwards? I honestly can’t remember), and the HORRIBLE changes to the Amazons, making them pirates and rapists. That, above all else, needs to be undone. If you wanna keep Diana as a demigod, fine, but fixing the situation with the Amazons is a must, and the circumstances surrounding the tryst of Zeus and Hippolyta need to be changed to make her look better. Finally, just a cosmetic note, I think I’d want the silver on the Wonder Woman costume made gold again. Gold just looks better on Diana than silver, to be honest.

#5 - Bring Back Proxy (and several others)

#5 – Bring Back Proxy (and several others)

Beyond some of the more obvious heroes to bring back (Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Plastic Man, Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, Elongated Man, the Blue Lantern Corps), one that I would like to see make a comeback is Proxy, AKA Wendy Harris. Seeing as how Babs is currently Batgirl, and I actually rather like what they’re doing with her nowadays, bringing Proxy back to fill her role as Oracle would seem like the best option. The loss of Oracle, as someone who helped to coordinate the various heroes on Earth, has been significant, and is still being felt nowadays.

#6 - Reform the Birds of Prey

#6 – Reform the Birds of Prey

I cannot frakking believe I forgot to mention this before, but bringing back the Birds of Prey would be amazing after this, and here’s why: In the final issue of Gail Simone’s run on Batgirl, we learn that Babs has the means by which to get ahold of pretty much EVERY SINGLE SUPERHEROINE ON EARTH. That means she could conceivably form a team out of ANY of these women. You wanna see a team-up of Strix and Katana? Catwoman and Batwoman? Zatanna and Raven? Misfit and Vengeance Moth? Starfire and Bleez? Any and all of these are now possible. Heck, she’s also in touch with Helena Wayne, so she could conceivably call in help from Earth 2 superheroines like Power Girl, Red Tornado, and Aquawoman someday. The Birds could actually succeed the Justice League as the greatest assortment of heroes on Earth at that point. People, just TRY and tell me you would not read a book like that. 😀

Anyway, that’s all for now. Leave a comment below on stuff you’d like to see change following Convergence, and we’ll see if we get any of these wishes. Ja né!

Batman Endgame and Superman Doomed #2 News – Just When You Think You Have The Answers, The Questions All Change

Soooooo, couple of noteworthy things on the horizon that I felt like bringing to everyone’s attention. First up, there is a story arc coming up in Scott Snyder’s Batman called Endgame. He’s kept his lips as tightly sealed as possible, and the covers for the next few issues have been a complete mystery…UNTIL NOW, when we got an early look at the cover for Batman #35, which is part one of Endgame.

Basically, based on this, a few preview sketches that have appeared on occasion, and some rumours that have been floating about, Endgame will feature a confrontation between Batman and the rest of the Justice League, or at least some sort of situation that puts them at odds or creates distrust among them. And considering that Batman has collected little boxes with items meant to exploit each of the team’s weaknesses, tricked them so that he could break into the Watchtower and take his Hellbat suit to go to Apokolips to save Damian, stood up for Lex Luthor joining the team, and is generally the most paranoid and distrustful member of the group, I can’t possibly imagine how they could EVER be at odds. lol I will say this much, though: Ever since I saw that variant cover for Justice League drawn by Greg Capullo, I’ve been wanting to see him draw the Justice League in a book for YEARS. And because Scott Snyder is writing this story, I know I can trust him to write a story about the Justice League and Batman being at odds and have the proper balance in place, as opposed to making Batman look so much better than them just because he’s Batman. I HATE that shit.

But yeah, that’s the second biggest news I’ve heard today. THE biggest was made apparent at the end of Superman Doomed #2, when Brainiac, and by extension, the readers, were shown THIS…

HOLY FUCK, THEY’RE STILL AROUND! O_O …Okay, naturally this raises a few questions. Basically, here’s what I think happened: Either the pre-New 52 Multiverse never actually disappeared and has continued to exist along with the New 52 Multiverse (which shouldn’t be possible, but then again, when has that ever stopped them from doing something insane before?), OR there’s a world in the New 52 Multiverse that is a condensed version of the DCU’s history before the reboot in September of 2011. Now, either one of these explanations is, of course, a major continuity mess in the making, is almost certainly going to get worse far before it gets better, and is a weak attempt by DC to have their cake and eat it too…and I can’t even be mad! LOOK AT THEM! It’s Superman in his red trunks! It’s the Justice Society of America! It’s Harley Quinn in her old costume! It’s the New Teen Titans, with Donna Troy and the REAL Starfire before she became whatever the frak she’s supposed to be in Red Hood And The Outlaws! Okay, there’s also stuff like Nightmare Batman and the Flashpoint versions of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, but c’mon, it’s the pre-New 52 universe! There’s a good chance we could see more stories told of that universe in the future! Although, I gotta wonder what’s different with Batman and Green Lantern, since their New 52 stories started by more or less picking up where their old continuity stories left off. I mean, we’ve since gone back to show some of the stuff that’s the same and different about the two continuities, but that aside, you can see a lot of what’s happened as the natural progression of those stories.

Anyway, leave your comments below what you think about all of this, if you think this will end well or BADLY, and we’ll see what comes of this. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Couples in DC Comics + Thoughts & Prayers For Russia

I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about doing today’s Favourite 5, given what happened in the skies over Russia. For those who don’t watch the news, or don’t have friends who watch the news and send you links to the news whenever something insane like this happens (Thanks N. Harmonik), a meteor frakking EXPLODED over the Ural Mountains in Russia. Now I am not a scientist, nor do a play one on television, but I do have a theory on how a meteor could’ve blown up, given one piece of information that was reported…

And I quote…

“The meteor — estimated to be about 9 tonnes — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000 km/h and shattered about 30 to 50 kilometres above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.” So my guess is that the meteor was simply going too fast and was damaging itself so much from the resulting sonic booms created when it was breaking the sound barrier that it simply couldn’t sustain itself and shattered. I do know that the explosion blew out windows and glass in 3000 buildings, resulting in over 1000 people being injured. Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any fatalities, or at least none reported yet. People being afraid for their lives over there, thinking the world is ending, and I suppose if I were there, I might be feeling the same.

This is one of those times where I think to myself “How can I possibly go on here today and talk about comic books in the face of THIS?” The answer? My slogan for this site, “Escapist fiction, absurd reality”. So I’m hoping that if anybody reads this from Russia, or just anybody who’s affected by this, even if only emotionally, they get some escapism from that here, ‘cuz that’s pretty much all I can do at this point. Well that and, if I see any relief efforts for the people over there, I’ll post them in a later blog entry.

So with all that said, getting back to the spirit of love, let’s take a look at 5 of my favourite couples in DC Comics.

#1 – Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown

Yeah, this was kind of obvious, huh? I actually used to have the issue of Detective Comics where Stephanie debuted in, I’m not sure what I did with it over the years though. Which actually sucks, because these days, it’d likely be my treasured comic in my collection. And right from the get-go, you could tell Tim had a thing for Steph. As the years went by, they kind of became an on-again/off-again couple. Heck, at one point, Stephanie actually replaced Tim as Robin. Still, when they were together, they were always a sweet couple, and honestly, even when they weren’t together, their interactions were sweet and even legitimately funny at times. I’m glad she eventually moved past being a heroine to impress Tim and instead decided to do it because she was a good person, but if these two ever got back together again, they’d have my blessing.

#2 - Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle

#2 – Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle

Okay, this is mostly ignoring recent changes where Catwoman doesn’t know Batman’s identity and they’ve mostly just been having sex on rooftops, though I will say that sometimes, elements of their past relationship come through. The constant cat and mouse chases between them where Selina was just out to get his attention made their relationship an interesting one. Plus, despite being a cat burglar, she was still a good enough person to help Bruce and others out when her help was legitimately needed, although at times she would have other motives for helping. So what do you get when you take the world’s greatest detective and set him against a gal who walks the line between good and bad AND can match his wits and skill? Pretty much a match that was made in Heaven AND Hell.

#3 – Kori and Dick Grayson

Okay, this one’s kinda painted by the cartoon, but as I understand it, their relationship was kind of adorable in the comics too. When Starfire first arrived on Earth, Dick did all he could to help her, and ever since, they’ve been occasional lovers/good friends for years. At one point, they were almost married, but some stuff went down that kinda put an end to that. Eventually, they decided to just be good friends, but I will say that they could be very sweet together.

#4 - Aquaman and Mera

#4 – Aquaman and Mera

So get this, right? Mera was originally the princess of an extra-dimensional penal colony that was sent to assassinate Aquaman in retaliation for the people of said colony being exiled from Atlantis. So what does she do? Well, as is typical of any woman who witnesses the badass awesomeness that is Aquaman, she decided she wanted his babies…I’m not kidding, Aquababy, Google it. Anyway, the two have not only been married for quite some time, but also served as a pretty badass superhero tag team of sorts, which just makes Mera all the more awesome as she’s clearly not the stay at home kind of wife.

And if you can’t figure out what the last one on this list is, I could seriously punch you…

#5 – Superman and Lois Lane

CURSE YOU, DC COMICS! Seriously, whose idea was it to split these two up for the New 52? This is like the original couple of superhero comics! And it wasn’t enough to make them not married anymore, then you had to make it so they were never in a relationship, that Lois doesn’t know Superman is Clark Kent, and then you had to make Superman super stalk Lois and spy on her texts? And don’t even get me started on Superman Earth-1 or Injustice: Gods Among Us. And you know what? I defended your asses on this. I truly believe that Lois could work simply as a good friend/ally/supporter of Superman, but it sure as hell ain’t been, has it? I said that Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple COULD WORK, and look at how THAT got messed up. Seriously, SOMETHING has to be done to fix this. I don’t care what it is at this point, and I don’t even necessarily mean making them married again, just do something to make this feel like less of a slap in the face. That’s all I’m asking.

So that’s it for my look at my favourite couples from DC. Now I know yer probably wondering why there are no Marvel couples here, and that’s basically because I don’t really have enough favourites to make a Favourite 5. However, because I have an unnatural need to please people, I’ll make an entry later on discussing my favourite Marvel couples. Ja né!

I Don’t Believe There’s Such A Thing As A Bad Story Concept In Comics

You know, after having watched Atop The Fourth Wall for as long as I have and having read a few bad comics myself, I wanna share some insight that I’ve developed: For all the REALLY bad comics out there, I truly believe the concepts behind the stories they are trying to tell could still work if handled CORRECTLY. I really don’t think that I could ever truly say that a story concept is bad. Weird, bizarre, out there, difficult to convey, dark, grim, sad, sure I’d say those, but none of those make a concept bad, because while they can be one of or even several of those things, if the concept still has the potential to WORK, if isn’t BAD.

Amazons Attack

I’ll avoid going into too much detail about this, since the worst comics in the world have already been touched on by Linkara, and he has already gone into detail about how most of the concepts could have been done right and in much better fashion than I probably would be capable of doing. However, I will say that the reason they fail almost always has to do with one thing: the execution. The means by which the concept was conveyed. And the reason the execution fails is usually different. Sometimes the writer’s a hack, sometimes the editors get too involved and mess it all up, and sometimes the concept is simply misinterpreted and shit happens. But I don’t think that’s the fault of the concept.

Red Hood and the Outlaws

I will give one example: The one comic I tend to bitch and moan the most about is Red Hood and the Outlaws. I’ve already said this before, but having Starfire lose her memories of her time on Earth and of her time with the Titans and then teaming up with Jason Todd and Roy Harper does make for an intriguing story. Also, having Jason trying to put his past with Batman and Joker behind him and move on with his new life could potentially work. Having Roy Harper, AKA Speedy, AKA Red Arrow, AKA Arsenal, joining a new group and finding himself genuinely caring for his new comrades and accepting them as his friends and having some happiness after the crap he’s endured makes for a good concept. Where it got screwed up is that Kori was made an uninterested-in-humanity whore, Jason was made part of a super secret organization (which is really only bad because there’s like a dozen of them in the New 52) and most of Roy’s history (the loss of his arm and the existence of his daughter Lian) were wiped away. If they had just stuck with those first three concepts, we would’ve had a much better comic. Maybe not one everyone would love, but still way better than what we got.

Countdown

But anyway, that’s my take on comic book concepts. Comment as you like, and feel free to disagree with me if you want. Just don’t make it an argument, and please give facts to your case. That’s all I ask. Ja ne!

90th Blog Post! More Roster Contemplations for JLA Fanfic + Red Hood and the Outlaws Rant

So yeah, a few more superheroes I’m contemplating using. Even though I’ve already kinda got a storyline thought out, there are still spots on the team I haven’t decided on, so for my 90th blog post, let’s take a look at some more potential members.

Before I do though, there’s something I gotta address. A common thing you’ve likely heard me say is “I haven’t read any of the comics that _____ was in”. Well the thing is, I never really started collecting comics until a year ago, and the only ones I’ve been collecting are Scott Snyder‘s Batman (since the very first issue), Batman: Detective Comics (though I stopped collecting that recently), Red Hood and the Outlaws (again, dropped that because it stopped being a guilty pleasure and instead just became painful to read, but we’ll get to that later), Nightwing (starting with the Night of Owls tie-in, though I do plan to get the trade of the previous issues), Batman & Robin (again, starting with the Night of Owls tie-in), Earth-2, World’s Finest, and Batman Incorporated…Yeah, not hard to tell that Batman’s my favourite character, huh?

So yeah, prior to that, my knowledge of the heroes of the DC universe was limited to the DCAU which I still love to death, articles that I’d read online, wikis, and of course the greatest comic book review show EVER, Atop The Fourth Wall. After a while, I decided to start collecting comics myself, but since the reboot was on the way, I opted to wait until it started first since I felt it would be a good jumping-on point, and that’s the reason I haven’t read the comics involving a lot of these characters. Luckily for me, however, I have discovered the DC Comics Database wiki…or possibly unluckily, since I can’t seem to tear myself away from it for very long these days since the back-stories of a lot of these characters is so engaging.

So now that we got that out of the way, let’s go through some more potential members of the Justice League for my fic right now.

The Martian Manhunter

Reasoning: In almost every version of the Justice League’s origin story, Martian Manhunter played a role. I think the only major retelling that doesn’t is the current one for the New 52, and that’s only because he’s serving with StormWatch, and even then it’s suggested that he joined the League at some point but was kicked out due to some sort of fight between himself and the other members. I am actually contemplating involving StormWatch at some point if I don’t add him to the League in my fic.

Interpretation: Wise and knowledgeable (yes, there’s a difference between the two), though often times plagued with the loneliness that comes from being (one of) the last member(s) of his race. He’ll come with the basic run-down of his better-known powers without making him too similar to Superman (a practise I believe the DCAU did as well). He can fly, he can read minds, and can alter his body to make increase/decrease his mass, make himself invisible, shape-shift, phase through solid objects, and even regenerate from the smallest pieces of himself possible.

Aquaman

Reasoning: Okay, maybe instead of giving reasons why he should be on the team, I should address the reason people likely wouldn’t: That his ability to control aquatic life is “useless” in certain situations, like if they fight in a place with no water. Point made, but yer missing out on something else if you thought about it logically: Since he operates at the bottom of the sea, obviously a lack of oxygen isn’t a problem for him. He’d have to be much stronger, faster, and more reflexive than the average human to withstand the constant pressure. And finally, his natural senses would be enhanced as well. In particular, he’d need enhanced vision to combat the lack of light down there. Add in a badass nature to his character and his skills as a leader that come from being King of Atlantis, and I have to ask: Why WOULDN’T you want him on your side in a jam?

Interpretation: Pretty much everything I just said. And no, I’m not giving him the beard and the hook hand. I’m with MarkMadness on this one, I think that was an unnecessary attempt to amp him up and overdose him with badassness (not a real word, I know), and he doesn’t really need it.

Cyborg

Reasoning: Member of the Justice League on many an occasion, and in the New 52, he becomes one of the founding members…which is a good thing and a bad thing. Why bad? Well, because it means that the New Teen Titans never really happened at all, which is kind of irritating. Still, Cyborg is both an athletic powerhouse and possesses a high intelligence inherited from his father, thus proving to be a good choice.

Interpretation: Strong, athletic, intelligent, and comes complete with all sorts of high-tech gadgets in his body. I know a lot of writers tend to do a sort of conflict between the machine and the man with him, and while I may reference that he DID have that conflict, I think I want him to be pretty much over it and be just glad to be alive and saving lives. And don’t worry, I don’t plan to have him say “Booyah!” every five seconds, though I imagine it will be hard to keep him from saying it at least once if I do include him.

Starfire

Reasoning: Oh boy…Okay, it’s because I like the character and that she has served as a member of the JLA before, but there’s more to it than that. If you’ll allow me to go off on a rant, there’s something I’ve been meaning to get off my chest about this character.

Starfire in the Teen Titans cartoon

Again, I got into the Titans through their animated series, and while Starfire wasn’t my favourite character (that honour goes to Raven), she was kind, sisterly, forgiving, and possessed a naivety that made her endearing. Now, I understand that in the comics Kori wasn’t exactly like that, and also had a liberated sexuality, and you can make your arguments on whether that’s a good thing for the character or not. The thing is, though, that while she made love with whomsoever she wanted, it was about making LOVE, not bonking for the sake of bonking.

Starfire and Nightwing: Lovers

And then Red Hood and the Outlaws happened, and she became someone who was generally uninterested with human beings, had her happiest thought being snapping the neck of someone who showed kindness to her while she was a slave, had her memories of BETTER stories wiped from her mind, the size of her breasts had the ability to change from panel to panel (okay, really it was the artists not knowing her breast size, but that would be a little funny in an admittedly sick way if they said that) and generally had sex with whoever she wanted all the while claiming that “love had nothing to do with it”.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Now, I’m not gonna claim to be sitting on some higher moral whatever and that the idea of a character acting in such a manner offends me to my very core. If they just had a whole new character acting in such a manner, I probably wouldn’t have even taken much notice to it. What bothers me is that they did this with Kori! And the saddest part is, having her be amnesiac and hanging with Red Hood actually does make for an intriguing storyline. Hell, even knowing she slept with him one time is alright and at least makes for a plot point that you know will eventually hit the wall when Dick Grayson eventually finds out about all of this, and you just KNOW he will. That’s actually why I stuck with it for as long as I did, because it looked like the team was gelling together as friends more and they were heading somewhere with it, but when I opened issue 10 and saw that they were planning to keep up with this bullshit AND that it was a change to her whole species, I had to drop it because of how insulted I was. FU, Scott Lobdell. FU!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3

…Okay, rant over. But yeah, let’s move on to interpretation.

Interpretation: I am very sorely tempted to make her exactly like her Teen Titans cartoon counterpart, but then again, she would be an adult in this, so…I’m thinking have her dialogue resemble how she spoke in that show, but have her more adult nature as well. Also, I’m thinking her powers should be more based off of her comic book version, and that she gets them by absorbing ultra-violent radiation.

So yeah, those are a few more of the heroes I’m contemplating. Now again, I have a general story idea thought out, so expect the fic to come out sooner or later. Til then, ja ne!

15 Characters I’d Like to See in Injustice: Gods Among Us

Okay, so as you’ve likely heard if you’re a fan of either DC Comics or Mortal Kombat, NeatherRealm Studios is doing another fighting game with DC characters entitled Injustice: Gods Among Us. I’ve seen trailers and early gameplay footage, it looks great, and while the current roster of characters revealed so far is awesome, obviously people are gonna be making lists of characters they’d love to see included, so here’s me pretty much throwing my opinions out there, as these are 15 Characters I’d Like To See In Injustice.

Images are obviously from DC Comics (Anybody else find that name horribly redundant?) and the music is from Justice League: Doom. And now, here are my reasons for each character.

This one’s pretty much a no brainer. There is no conceivable way that I can think of that they could do a game like this and not include a Green Lantern, and while he’s not my personal favourite, as arguably the most well-known Green Lantern, I would imagine Hal Jordan will be in. Expect some crazy moves from Green Lantern if he’s in, given what that ring can do.

Okay, first off, put the pitchforks down. I’m well aware that his connection to Cry For Justice (or as I prefer to call it, Gay For Vengeance) might make this guy a bit unpopular, but understand, I’m not picking this guy out of any kind of popularity or lack thereof. Rather, I think he would be an interesting choice for a fighting game with his various tools and the ability to adapt to different opponents, though not quite in the ludicrous way he could in Gay For Vengeance.

For three reasons. One, founding member of the Justice League and a badass character, two he’d have some unique and awesome moves for a fighting game, and three because an Atlantis stage would be AWESOME! Next!

I thought I’d cover all three of these at once because they all share a major reason for being picked: I LOVE the Teen Titans cartoon. I know, that’s not the same thing, but I can’t help it, just by watching that cartoon, I would love to see these three in the game (by the way, Dick Grayson and Cyborg are already in). That said, I think each one of them would present some interesting styles of combat, in particular Beast Boy’s transformations and Raven’s ability to project her soul self.

Because I wanted a Batgirl, and I think Barbara should be a character you see and hear in the game but as Oracle. So why Stephanie? Because Cassandra is already Black Bat, and I LOVE Stephanie as Batgirl. Though speaking of which, where the hell are Cass and Steph in The New 52? ANSWER ME, DARN IT!

Because Robin, while similar to Batman and Nightwing, is just different enough to warrant an inclusion. As for why Tim Drake, well I can’t see Damian being in the game and being taken seriously since he’s frigging 10, and Jason Todd…well, because…

Jason Todd as the Red Hood works as an antagonist and the occasional begrudging ally for Batman and his whole group, and I can see him as being the sort of Kurtis Stryker-like character (I don’t get why do people hate that character, btw). And speaking of antagonists for Batman…

Because honestly, I can’t see how they will be able to possibly resist doing this, unless it somehow turned out this game is canon with Arkham City, which I can’t see happening. Next!

…Do I honestly need to explain this pick? I know why this guy is a great pick, and I haven’t even read any of the comics he’s in. This is the force of evil that almost destroyed the entire universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths. This should be THE final boss in this game, period. Joker, the next guy on this list, Lex Luthor if it turns out he is playable, they should all be leading up to the Anti-Monitor.

One of the ultimate villains of the DC Universe, the guy that could drive even Superman to going homicidal just by being around, and would be one of the most powerful fighters in the game if included, I can’t see him not being in for any reason. Next!

Catwoman always brings uniqueness to her style of gameplay no matter what game she’s in, and I doubt this would be any different. Next!

Well, since I picked the Titans, why not their arch-nemesis? Plus, Deathstroke would be interesting as a character since he’s got the size and strength to be a Strength type character but clearly favours gadgets and technology over pure force, so I think he would make for a nice balanced character.

And finally, the man that broke the bat. Again, can’t see how they can avoid putting this guy in, especially given that he’s the villain in the new Batman movie coming out this year and, as a tie-in, has had his main story-arc where he was introduced reprinted. Would make for an excellent character.

So there ya go, my 15 picks. Feel free to comment on them, why you agree or disagree with any of them, and hey, feel free to list your own Wanted List in the comments as well.