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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
…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.
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! XD
…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.
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.
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.
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!” XD
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.
I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.
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
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.
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 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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
All-New Superhero Tales – Meet The Rebooted Heroes of Superhero Tales
So, remember a while back, I decided to make my own superhero stories on deviantArt? I eventually left it because I was dissatisfied with how it turned out, but didn’t wanna get rid of the original stories as I knew I could always look back on them as ways of improving on what went wrong as well as reusing what went right. Well, after a while, I decided to bring the stories back as the rebooted All-New Superhero Tales (and yes, I will admit that’s kind of a friendly nudge at Marvel’s All-New Marvel NOW! label) on FictionPress. There are several stories up already, one of which is in progress. Also, I decided to go with a system similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the movies came out in phases, with each one ending with an Avengers movie. The same will be true of this, where to start off, there’s a series of stories that will highlight each of the individual heroes of this new universe that’ll culminate with The Hexagon. So, with that said, let’s talk about the rebooted heroes of All-New Superhero Tales. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep spoilers for their stories as low as possible, but if you’d rather read their stories instead, click here. Also, if you wanna see more art made by the one who drew these, check out Emmybomber’s deviantArt page here. Otherwise, let’s start with…
Yeah, remember when she was just Green Defender’s sidekick in the original stories? Not anymore! In the new ‘verse, Cassandra Linda Doyle discovered she could turn hard as steel while being bullied for her love of detective novels and her sexual orientation. Learning that she could change her mass to alter her body’s solidness, Cassie decided to use these powers to help the police combat the mob, taking up the name and costume of The Intangible Starslip, all while being aided by her superhero-loving girlfriend and tech support Olette, her retired detective father Kenneth, and an enthusiastic costume designer named Scotty. Starslip’s powers allow her and anything she’s in contact with to phase through solid matter, turn as hard as the strongest kinds of steel, and fly gracefully through the air. She also possesses adhesive gel throwing stars, made by her father and Scotty, for stopping her opponents in their tracks. Despite all this, she does have some weaknesses. She can’t turn intangible when her body is exposed to extreme cold, and the hotter it is, the harder it is for her to over-solidify. Also, certain tricks she can pull off with these abilities can cause her body to exhaust itself or cramp up in pain. Finally, while this power makes her able to avoid getting hurt in combat, it’s up to Starslip to recognize and respond to threats accordingly, so she can be caught off guard. Still, despite only being a superhero for a short time thus far and having to balance this life with her high school life, she’s already managed to break up mob riots and stop supervillains of varying degrees of power. In the end, Cassie’s greatest attributes are her never-say-die attitude, her developing detective skills, and her close bonds with her friends and family.
Originally conceived by David Scanlan, AKA @MerryLandOfAus.
In the original stories on deviantArt, Outrun was a close friend to several other superheroes, until an accident where he was exposed to a supervillain’s superspeed caused him to also become a speedster. In the new rebooted universe, Australian-American scientist Stanley Davidson was trying to unlock the secrets to allowing a human being to travel at the speed of sound. Creating a suit powered by an experimental energy source called Velocitrom, Stanley opted to test the suit himself, and after a series of events, he eventually decided to use the suit to become Outrun, a supersonic superhero with a genius’ IQ level. The suit projects a bio-electric field that protects him and anyone in contact with him from the stresses of superspeed, allowing him to safely travel at speeds of up to Mach 3, though his actual full potential is currently unknown, and if he were to push himself too hard, the field could collapse and his body might literally shatter from the stresses. Also, while the field protects anything inside of it, Outrun must keep constant attention of what’s ahead of him, as he could collide with large objects or run down innocent bystanders. To help assist him in the field, he’s equipped the suit with a headset that comes with a GPS tracking system, can make video and audio calls, can hack and piggyback on radio signals, and has a number of different vision and scanning modes. However, Stanley’s greatest weakness may be his own naivety. While he does possess a genius level IQ, he can at times be seen as too trusting of other people, and sometimes just makes simple mistakes and oversights in judgement. And despite being faster than nearly all of his opponents, if they can predict his moves, it is possible for him to be tripped up. Despite this, Outrun keeps up an optimistic attitude, choosing to believe that humanity’s better side will always win out in the end, and will never stop running as long as he believes in that future.
The first superhero I ever created, Green Defender has gone through a number of changes as I tried to get him just right. In this current version of events, Geoffrey Hicks was a young man living in St. Jean, arguably the worst city in America, working with a scientist, Professor Randal, who was experimenting on an advanced form of electricity known as green voltage. However, tragedy struck when members of the mob came to the scientist’s lab, and an explosion left him dead. Geoff somehow survived the explosion, the green voltage instead having bonded to his nervous system. Finding himself the inheritor of Randal’s second lab, a secret underground bunker for testing the green voltage, Geoffrey took his survivor’s guilt and new powers and channeled them into a life of crime fighting, becoming the Green Defender. GD can use the green voltage focused through his gloves to power various gadgets and equipment kept in his belt, including a cutting laser, explosive throwing discs, a taser, and more. The voltage also increases his stamina, vitality, and reflexes to peak human capability. He also carries an extending steel staff, and a number of tranquilizing feather darts. His mask can also come with various customizable lens, which can grant him night vision, allow him to scan and track energy signatures, and more. The fabric of his cape also comes with shape-memory polymers, which when exposed to the green voltage, reshape the cape to resemble the wings of a bird and allow him to glide. Finally, he has the Emeraptor, a remodeled Honda Fireblade with a green voltage engine, able to reach speeds just about 200 mph. For all of his abilities and equipment, though, the Jade Thunderbird has more than his fair share of vulnerabilities. While he can will his electricity through his gloves, without them, a single touch of his hands could conceivably kill a person. Also, his ability to control the green voltage can waver when he’s angry or under duress, which is a problem due to Geoff’s ever-increasing laundry list of issues. Finally, attempting to use the green voltage when exposed to water can cause it to backfire on him with varying degrees of pain. However, even with these vulnerabilities in place, Green Defender has sworn to protect the innocent of St. Jean, and while he will kill if absolutely necessary, he would just as soon exhaust every other possible solution beforehand. To put it short, Geoffrey Hicks values ALL life, and will not take a life unless it is to protect and there are no other options to do so.
Originally conceived by Teagan Eschborn, AKA @DorkynProudofIt.
Much like in her previous stories, Strix is actually billionaire bisexual bachelorette Téa Rodden, who in turn is the reincarnation of the Glaucus, Athena’s pet owl. As she possesses a link to the goddess’ near-infinite wisdom and mastery of strategy, she was murdered by a god seeking to take those gifts for themselves. Instead, the Glaucus was brought back to life as a human being, keeping Athena’s gifts out of his reach. Growing up, Téa’s advanced mind landed her family a fortune, but also drew the attention of would-be terrorists looking to hold her ransom. Upon learning the truth of her origins and being granted the full of extent of the abilities given to her by Athena, Téa opted to use her family’s fortune to become Strix, the Athene Avenger, along with the help of her maid/agent/confidant, Marlene Wilson, and tech support and occasional superheroine in her own right, Stella Masters, AKA Cybertaur. In addition to her intelligence and wisdom, Strix gains enhanced strength and agility when exposed to light reflecting off the moon, though these gifts can run out over time, especially during the day. She also has God Vision, allowing her telescopic, microscopic, and x-ray vision, as well as the ability to tell if someone is telling the truth or lies just by keeping eye contact with them. Despite all of these abilities, though, at the end of the day, Strix is only human, and possesses the same weaknesses as one, meaning she is by no stretch of the imagination invulnerable. As such, she had Stella build a powerful suit of armour for her to help combat these weaknesses. It comes equipped with owl bombs, smoke pellets, cutting lasers, a fire and bulletproof cape, and a link to her base of operations, The Nest. On top of all of that, her suit also has jets hidden in the shoulder pads. In short, Strix might potentially be the greatest hero in the world of All-New Superhero Tales, with only one other possible contender.
I’ve actually been told that Cybertaur is, and I quote, “the hypest shit ever”. XD Anyway, in the rebooted universe, Stella Masters is an African-American ex-marine, who in addition to serving in combat for her country has also gained a wealth of knowledge in cybernetics and computer hacking. Following the loss of her lower legs, she was tasked with constructing and testing a personal walker of soldiers without the use of their legs. The project was eventually cancelled, but Stella got to keep the prototype, which she managed to finish while working for Téa Rodden. As such, she would eventually decide to become Cybertaur, acting both as Strix’s tech support and occasional ally in the field. Cybertaur’s mechanized walking apparatus is linked to Stella’s mind, giving her complete control over it. It can gallop at speeds up to 75 mph, and contains a number of different weapons and gadgets inside it, including a blunt mace used for smacking opponents and breaking walls down. If necessary, though, she is a skilled marksman with a pistol, and is fully prepared to kill. As Cybertaur, she also wears a steel breastplate for protection, and the walker comes with a solid black visor that grants her a better view of the surrounding area. That said, she still has one major weakness: If anything ever goes wrong with her walker, she’ll be all but helpless, though she has more than enough skills to be just as helpful behind the front lines as she is on them. However, what’s worse is that she’s VERY aware of her handicap, and can at times be overly sensitive of it, or worse, will even charge into battle just to prove a point.
The Immigrant from the Outer Rim’s story has been slightly adjusted for All-New Superhero Tales. Once again, Zenith Woman is an Oondtryxian, a race of warrior women from a sector of space called the Outer Rim, who use a form of psychokinetic power to enhance their strength and speed to become a peacekeeping force. Born Vyxwyndul, which roughly translates as ‘she who can reach any zenith’, she was separated from her people following an evacuation of a planet that had fallen to the Rizlagon, lizard-like conquerors who have committed murders and other atrocities on a galactic scale. Winding up on Earth through unknown means, well over 200 years away from home, Vyx and her robotic companion, ZUUTS, decide to protect the world from interstellar threats, Vyx disguising herself both as a human named Vicky Wendel, and as the superheroine Zenith Woman. ZW can use her psychokinetic field to amplify her strength to where she can use an 18-wheeler as a flail, endure harsh blows and collisions that would ordinarily critically wound a person of her size and stature, increase her speed to where she can outrun nearly every sort of man-made land vehicle, fly at speeds reaching past Mach 5, and even survive the vacuum of space for up to 10 minutes. When lifting heavy objects, the field will surround them as well, keeping them from crumbling apart in her hands. While she is unable to forcefully read minds, she is able to send telepathic messages to people, usually in the form of telepathy or short images, and can sense thoughts and emotions that are dwelled on with enough force. Vyx also has heightened senses, particularly in that her sight and hearing have a much farther radius than humans. However, Zenith Woman’s most unique, and potentially most powerful, ability is her Vortex Breath, the ability to inhale a vast amount of air before releasing it with enough force to shatter the sound barrier. This does, unfortunately, come complete with a major flaw: After using her Vortex Breath, Vyx is left unable to use her other abilities for a certain period of time, depending on how much she took in. At maximum capacity, she will be left with the physical parameters of an average young woman for approximately one hour, meaning she has to be careful about when she uses it. Also, while her psychokinetic energy field is powerful, it is not invincible. It has limits, and certain enemies with high enough levels of super-strength can plough through it. Finally, just using her psychokinetic field requires concentration, and because the gravity on Earth is much greater than that of most planets on the Outer Rim, she can overtax herself much quicker than she’s used to. To combat this, her costume is weaved with kevlar to protect her, and her cape and gloves are made from titanium/flame-retardant polymers.
Anyway, there will be more than that, but these six will form the upcoming Hexagon. For those worried, don’t, the other two members that originally formed it will be introduced soon enough. Anyway, hope you all give it a read, and feel free to comment what you think of these heroes in the comment section below. Ja né!
New Year + New Comics – Money = Having To Drop Current Titles
So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m planning to pick up the new Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk books when they come out. In addition, I’m honestly kind of enticed into at least checking out an arc of Iron Man‘s coming up soon where Malekith, the main villain from Thor: The Dark World, plans to find the Mandarin’s rings to gain even more power. However, since money’s gonna be a little on the tight side for reasons I don’t wanna get into, that means dropping some titles to make room for the new ones. So, let’s go through the books I regularly buy these days to get a better idea as to which stays and which goes.
Hell no, I ain’t dropping this book! This is the best frigging book DC puts out every month! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been putting out one of the best runs of Batman in years, and I’ve been loving the crap outta this book since day one that I’ve been buying it, and I honestly don’t see that changing any time soon. Batman STAYS.
Again, the best Superman book of the New 52, though largely because it still feels like the pre-Flashpoint Superman. Y’know, the far better one. lol Not planning to drop this one, but depending on how long it winds up lasting, I may not have a choice. For now, however, Superman Unchained STAYS.
Nightwing has been great, especially since the move to Chicago (although I still don’t understand why there and not a New 52 Blüdhaven, but whatever). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nightwing has kinda been reminding me of Spider-man before Marvel ruined Spider-man. Now, depending on the ending and fall-out of Forever Evil, I MIGHT be dropping this book, or it might even be getting cancelled. We’ll just have to see what happens.
As great as Supergirl’s been, I’m thinking I might have to drop it, on account of a change coming up where Supergirl is going to be joining the Red Lanterns. Mind you, that all depends on whether or not this decision turns out to be permanent. If so, dropping. If not, we’ll see. Either way, though, I think I’m gonna skip the next arc involving Lobo, just because it doesn’t look terribly interesting and it’ll free up some cash.
Yep, I am coming back to Gail Simone‘s Batgirl, as was always my intent once Batgirl: Wanted was over. I won’t be picking up the next issue, since it’s a tie-in to an event I’m not gonna be following, but after that, apparently Batgirl’s gonna be teaming up with Strix, so that should prove interesting. So yeah, gonna say with some confidence that Batgirl STAYS.
Batman/Superman has been a lot of fun, albeit pretty different, and I do plan to get the trade for issues 1-4 when it comes out, perhaps for my birthday, but I don’t really plan to follow the crossover with Worlds’ Finest, so I guess whether I continue to pick it up after that will depend on what comes afterwards. Still, I give props where props is due to Greg Pak for making this a fun series, which is what a team-up book for Superman and Batman should be. Now if you could talk DC into bringing back the old Superman/Batman logo for it, that’d be great. I don’t care which hero gets top billing, just bring back the logo. lol
James Tynion’s Talon’s been AMAZING, but it’s also changing writers and gonna be going in a new direction, so I gotta wait to see how that goes before making a decision. If it remains as great as it’s been, and we get to see Calvin Rose and Casey Washington continue to be awesome, definitely gonna continue to pick Talon up.
Brian Wood’s X-Men continues to be fun and engaging, which is good since it’s the only mainstream all-women team right now with Fearless Defenders being cancelled and Birds of Prey having Condor, AKA That Guy No One Cares About. And I know, the Birds have had a dude on the team before in the form of Hawk, but that was only ‘cuz Dove was on the team and it’s always best to keep Hawk and Dove together. Sadly, it had a little bit of a shake-up with its roster due to Remender deciding to kill off Rogue in Uncanny Avengers and Kitty deciding to go hang out with Cyclops of all people, but the current line-up works too, so I’m probably gonna keep with it.
The Movement…Yeah, I’m sadly done with this one. Not Gail Simone’s best work, as I feel the overall storytelling and character arcs are kinda messed up, but the characters themselves are alright, and I hope that the book improves and gets new readers. Maybe I’ll pick it back up someday if that happens.
On the other hand, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja is definitely sticking around on my pull list. This is Gail at her best, when the people above her basically just let her do whatever she wants, and it’s FANTASTIC. XD So yeah, Red Sonja STAYS.
And finally, Batman and Robin, or rather, Batman and Whoever these days. Look, I’m gonna be honest, I like Peter Tomasi‘s writing a lot, but at this point, if we don’t get a new Robin soon, this book is going to suffer a LOT. Why? Three words: Lack of direction. It feels like Tomasi is having to stall for the moment that either Damian comes back or someone takes his place. Batman and Two-Face has been alright, but if this continues for much longer, I may need to seriously consider dropping this book.
So, of the books I just listed, four are staying for certain and one is getting dropped. That leaves Nightwing, Batman/Superman, Supergirl, X-Men, Batman and _____, and Talon. Which of these books do you think deserve to stick around, and which do you think should be banished from What I Bought Today? Lemme know in the comments, and/or vote below which of the six you think is the best, and we’ll see what happens in the new year. Ja né!
- Bullet Reviews #137 (comicbooked.com)
- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Jae Lee Returns to “Batman/Superman” for “First Contact” (comicbookresources.com)
- Time For A Little (More) Gail Simone Appreciation (venusfrommars.wordpress.com)
- Lobo, Fear, and the God of Death: Marguerite Bennett on Comics and Writing (hopeburnsbright.wordpress.com)
- Batgirl #26 Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Bedard Returns To The Lantern Corps With “Supergirl” (comicbookresources.com)
- Revealed: DC Comics Was to Have Featured Rape and Torture of Batgirl (breitbart.com)
- Batman/Superman #6 (comicvine.com)
- Willow Writes the New Ms. Marvel, a Teenage Muslim Shape-Shifter (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Comics Jumps Forrward 5 Years With Weekly “The New 52: Futures End” (comicbookresources.com)
- Malekith Seeks the “Rings of the Mandarin” in Gillen’s “Iron Man” (comicbookresources.com)
The Hexagon – Vote Who Gets In!
So people following me on deviantART might know I have this little series of stories I call Superhero Tales. It started with Green Defender, the tale of a superhuman trained to become a hero who now returns to his corrupted home-town in the wake of tragedy to try to overcome crime and his inner demons. From that spun the story of Starslip, a teenage super-heroine being trained by Green Defender who has to fight the escalating crime in their town while also trying to deal with high school drama at its finest. And now we have The Hexagon, wherein Green Defender’s former mentor, a super-heroine named Strix is organizing a group of superheroes who will provide aid and information to each other in their individual efforts to fight crime and the various forces of evil. In other words, my fictional world‘s Justice League or Avengers type of deal.
Now for the past few months in my stories, I’ve been slowly building up to the point where the team will be assembled. However, at some point, I ran into a problem: I had created so many superheroes with their own unique powers and characteristics that I couldn’t decide on a finalised team for The Hexagon. So I thought I would introduce the characters throughout Green Defender, Starslip, and the first few chapters of The Hexagon, give some insight on their abilities and personalities, then ultimately leave it up to a vote. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
Now, before I list the characters to vote for, allow me to give very brief descriptions of the cast already in The Hexagon, as well as show the character concepts I created for each on Hero Machine 3.0…
Created for my girlfriend Teagan, who also came up with the name, Téa Rodden is a billionaire bachelorette. However, don’t think her just a female Batman. While Strix DOES carry a vast array of owl-themed gadgets on her, she also has the power to fly at supersonic speeds and, when exposed to moonlight, gains superhuman strength. She also has enhanced senses, has studied many forms of martial arts, and possesses a vast wisdom and high intelligence. The origins of her powers are a secret she keeps from everyone, including her team-mates. Only her butler, Myron, and her agent, Maylene, know the truth of her origins.
Again, Outrun was created for a friend, in this case my good buddy David. Stanley Davidson was originally a classmate and friend of the League of High School Superheroes, but one day a group of criminals able to combine into a burst of light moving at hyperspeed came looking for the teenaged superheroes and came crashing through Stan as he was helping them hide. Instead of killing him, though, this incident gave him their powers, thus creating Outrun, the speedster of the group. Since becoming an adult, he is now one of the founding members of The Hexagon. Stan usually keeps a number of helpful gadgets in his belt, such as a GPS tracker, tracers, plastique, and a multi-part collapsible rifle for firing his plastique and tracers from a long distance. I should note for the record that Outrun will be getting a redesign very soon, with will replace a lot of the grey with yellow, and include a visor over his eyes.
After a lab experiment that claimed the life of his high school science teacher, Geoffrey Hicks was infused with green voltage, a powerful self-replenishing electrical force that is channelled through the hands. Taken in by the League of High School Superheroes, he was taught how to use this power to defend the innocent, and thus the Green Defender was born. Wearing specialized gloves that keeps him from zapping anything he touches, he can also manipulate the green voltage in the form of electrical bursts and, most recently, energy shields. He also keeps a number of gadgets in his belt, like tranquillizer darts, explosive throwing discs, green voltage-powered stun batons, and a grappling gun. He rides his personalised ‘Emeraptor’ motorcycle, and while his cape was originally bullet-proof, the energy shields have made this function pointless, and he’s since upgraded to a para-cape for gliding, which will début soon in his solo stories.
Like something that leaped from a Tim Burton movie, Jack’d, once known simply as Jack, was chosen to be his town’s guardian during an incident where alternate reality zombie versions of the town’s populace started to leak through one by one. As such, he was infused with chaos magic that allows him to harness the power of the elements, at the cost of permanently scorching his entire body. This incident, as well as his constant struggle against the undead, has had a detrimental effect on his mind, but he still remains a good person who fights to protect the innocent. Jack’d has the power to manipulate the forces of fire, electricity, and wind, and can teleport to any location with a shadow over it. His personal weapon is a flail with three spiked balls chained to it, and he also has a bag of tricks that he uses in conjunction with his chaos magic.
There’s also another character that will début last as the sixth member of The Hexagon. Without giving too much away, her name is Zenith Woman (not the watches, leave me alone, lol), and she’ll be the true powerhouse of the team. In the meantime, here are the three I’ve lined up to become the fifth member of The Hexagon. I should note that I have plans for all three in case any of them don’t make it into the team, so don’t feel like you won’t be seeing any of the ones you don’t vote for ever again.
Created for N. Harmonik, Robina Huang was once just an innocent and kind girl of mixed heritage until she encountered a hero called The Bard, who wielded a magic music case that gave him the power to create any musical instrument he wanted, each armed with its own unique power. After The Bard was gunned down by the mob while protecting her, the case was mystically passed down to Robina as she became the new Bard. She is currently a member of the League of High School Superheroes, though she’s in her last year of high school and will be going on her own afterwards.
Trained at a young age to be a ninja, Nicole Steele decided to use her craft as a super-heroine. Donning a costume representative of her Canadian heritage, she has become Maple, a ninja so skilled in making herself unseen that even her red and white outfit doesn’t give her away much. Like Bard, she is a member of the League of High School Superheroes about to graduate. Unlike Bard, she is suspicious of the group’s leader and founder, though it seems these concerns are justified. In combat, Maple makes efficient use of her four-foot katana, smoke bombs, and shurikens.
A good friend and ally of Strix’s, Stella Masters was once known as Brickwall, a super-heroine born with inhuman physical strength and, over the years, acquired an advanced knowledge of cybernetics. However, after an accident cost her the use of her legs, Stella created a horse-like walking apparatus linked to her mind, thus rebranding herself as Cybertaur. Stella generally wields a mace as her weapon of choice, and as Cybertaur, she can gallop at the speed of a cheetah.
So yeah, regardless of who is voted in, the team will have 3 men and 3 women. And yes, I did plan that specifically. I just prefer teams with an even number of members to have a good balance as far as gender goes, as well as a variety of colours (Zenith Woman’s colour scheme will be predominantly red, white, and blue). You can vote below in the comments, in the comments section for The Hexagon #4, or in a poll that I’ll be posting in my fan page on Facebook. Either way, PLEASE vote and/or comment on my work, and we’ll see who gets on the team soon. Ja né!