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DC Rebirth One Year Later – Batman

Welcome back to DC Rebirth One Year Later, where we look at DC books that are part of DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative one year after it began. And, with this one, I’m not looking forward to it. I COULD put it off to the end, but…no. I should do this now. And I could sugarcoat how I feel about it, but the truth is, and I have to give my honest opinion on this, Tom King’s Batman, while having its good points, is probably the most disappointing book of DC Rebirth. And now, I’m not just saying that because I was a big fanboy of Scott Snyder’s run. I’ve pointed out in the past when I thought Snyder’s run with Batman disappointed or fell short in some way, so I will not pull any punches here, either. So, let’s take a look at Tom King’s run on Batman.

First off, while there was the occasional head-scratching moment, I actually did like the opening arc, I Am Gotham. Batman interacting with and having to bring up to speed essentially Gotham City’s version of Superman and Supergirl is an interesting scenario, one that we don’t see very often. And here, Batman’s seniority over Gotham…erm, the man, not the city. He calls himself Gotham. The girl is named Gotham Girl. For simplicity, though, I’m just gonna call them Henry and Claire. Anyway, Batman’s seniority over the two makes perfect sense: They’re new. They haven’t been heroes for very long, and while they’ve lived in Gotham for a while, they don’t know it as intimately as Bruce does. So him taking lead and mentoring them makes sense. It’s also interesting to see how their backstory could have been like Bruce’s, but Batman was there to save them from that fate, leading them to a different scenario. And because they come off as genuinely good people, it’s all the more tragic what ultimately happens to them, with Henry turning bad and Claire being forced to ultimately bring him down, all while going more than a little bonkers herself.

The arc also had some awesome moments…even if a couple were complete horseshit. Let’s be honest, people, Batman surfing a plane out of harm’s way and flipping Solomon Grundy one-handed were both completely improbable. But then, that’s symptomatic of a problem I’ll get into later. Other moments, however, like the confrontation with Henry after he’s been driven mad, complete with Alfred in a Batsuit (which was both cool and hilarious), and Batman actually doing the one thing no one would’ve expected and CALLING THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, were pretty damned badass.

After that…Oy. I don’t know what to say, folks. King had me, and then he lost me. I think what did it most for me was the I Am Suicide arc. First off, lemme make this clear: The suggestion that Catwoman would kill over 200 people is absolutely stupid. The thing you need to understand is that Catwoman likewise has a no kill rule. Granted, when I found out the people she supposedly killed were terrorists who took out the orphanage she once stayed in, I felt such actions would’ve at least been understandable, but I still didn’t really buy it. I knew it was one of two things: Character derailment, or a deliberate twist in the making. Turns out, surprise surprise, it was the latter…and kind of the former. See, it wasn’t Selina who killed those people, she was just covering for the person who actually killed them: Holly Robinson. So, in other words, instead of Selina’s character being turned into a Goddamn murderer, it was Holly’s. Um, yay? Am I supposed to feel happy about that?

Besides that, though, the crowning moment of stupid had to be when Bane broke Batman’s back AGAIN, but then Batman proceeded to somehow pop it back to normal and walk it off… … …I will repeat that. Bane broke Batman’s back for the second time, and then Batman managed to somehow fix it on his own, with no medical equipment whatsoever, and then went back on his mission like it was no big thing. And I remember watching a video where Tom King was very excitedly talking about this sequence of events, also fanboying over this moment that he wrote, and all I could think of was “…Tom, you DO know that Batman is human, right?”

Yeah, that’s something that’s been bothering me for a long-ass time now, and it really got highlighted in that one sequence of events. To put it bluntly, hardly anyone writes Batman nowadays to have actual human limitations. We constantly have seen him defy what should be humanly possible for going on two decades now. Granted, some of us online have guessed that Batman might be a low key metahuman, but the thing is, when you look at the founding members of the Justice League, Batman is supposed to be the ordinary man who doesn’t possess superpowers of any kind, and is equipped with human-made tech, meaning he doesn’t even have the advantages of a Green Lantern. However, the truth is that, if he tried to accomplish half the stuff he did with the actual limitations of a human being, even one at the peak of human physical conditioning and mental prowess, he’d have been dead a LONG time ago. Now, that’s not to say that his position on the Justice League is completely unjustified or anything. It’s important on a team like that to have multiple heroes of different power-sets and power-levels, so as to deal with any kind of situation that might get thrown at them. But again, if Batman isn’t going to be written as having human limitations, and is CONSTANTLY the one who has to be at the center of attention and bailing the rest of his team out, then it kinda ruins the idea. And, I’m sorry, but seeing Batman somehow fix his broken back on his own is absolutely stupid, as are him surfing a fucking jet liner away from Gotham City, flipping Solomon Grundy with one hand, surviving a beating from Professor Zoom, walking out of a fight with Darkseid with barely a scratch on him, that bullshit he pulled in Batman R.I.P. with the coffin, and probably most insane of all, surviving the mother fucking vacuum of mother fucking space for 24 mother fucking seconds! And no, I will not get over that!

…Okay, the entire sequence at Batburger was stupid as shit, but I WILL admit to laughing my ass off the whole way through. 😛

And then there’s a moment I absolutely detest as it pertains to what it does to the character of Batman: When Bane returns to get his revenge on Bruce, the latter decides that the only way to ensure victory over Bane is to force Bane to run the gauntlet of the rest of Batman’s rogues gallery. How does he do this? HE LETS THEM ALL OUT OF THEIR CELLS AT ARKHAM AND PUTS THEM BETWEEN HIMSELF AND BANE! Now, on the one hand, this is a clever subversion of how Bane first defeated Batman, by arranging to have the Arkham inmates escape, let Batman tire himself out physically and mentally by catching them all, and then attack him when he was at his weakest. It’s the thing a lot of people forget about Bane: That while he DID beat Batman in a one-on-one fight, it wasn’t exactly a fair fight. He essentially beat him in a chess match that Batman didn’t even know they were playing until his king was in check and all of his other pieces had been taken off the board. So yeah, clever subversion. On the other hand, though, HE LET HIS WORST ENEMIES GO FREE FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING THEM MEAT SHIELDS! AND HE ARMED THEM!!! This is downright villainous behaviour! Yes, he’s doing this not only to save himself but also Alfred and Claire, but my God, Batman, did you even take two seconds to think about all the ways this could’ve gone horribly wrong?! What if your other rogues had killed Bane?! You would’ve been an accomplice to murder, and then you would’ve had the much harder task of rounding them all up!

Oh, but as it turns out, small chance of that, because not only does Bane curbstomp his way through ALL of Batman’s worst nightmares (sans Joker for reasons I’ll get to in a later article), he then proceeds to beat the living hell out of Batman, and Batman just BARELY manages to win in the end! So we’re supposed to believe that Batman has the means with which to take on Superman and Wonder Woman in one-on-one fights, people with Godlike strength, and possibly even beat them in said fights, but he can’t handle one roided-out jock who just fought a bunch of other guys! What a fucking load of bullshit!

Anyway, having mentioned the thing with Zoom earlier, let’s talk about The Button, which is actually where things started to pick up a bit for me. I’mma leave the bulk of what happens in that book out for when I talk about The Flash, but for now, let’s just discuss the biggest thing to happen in that book that directly affects Batman: Meeting his father from the Flashpoint timeline. Having somehow managed to arrive there, despite there being no real reason they should have been able to that they could figure out, Flash and Batman meet up with Thomas Wayne, AKA Flashpoint’s Batman. The meeting between the two is sadly short-lived as Flashpoint is slowly erased from existence, but Bruce relays to Thomas that he has a son, making Thomas a grandfather, and while Thomas has a chance to escape death, he stays behind. As he does, though, he has the following advice for Bruce:

…Yeah, I won’t be doing the fail thing here, because holy shit, is this some powerful stuff. And while I have my doubts that Bruce will ever truly quit being Batman, as well as something else I’ll get into in a bit, this DOES have significant follow-up, as Bruce, deciding to find happiness, finally mans up and does something he should’ve done YEARS ago…

Now, I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I have been waiting for this moment for-fucking-ever! Outside of Earth 2 or otherwise Elseworlds stories, this moment has never happened. DC has teased it for decades, but they never pulled the trigger. Well, it seems like the trigger is now officially pulled. And, speaking of Earth 2, one thing of note in Bruce and Selina’s interactions in this book is that they remember two different versions of their first meeting: The Golden Age version, and the one from Frank Miller’s Batman Year One story. Hell, the diamond in the ring Bruce uses to propose is actually the same diamond she stole during their meeting in the Golden Age version, suggesting that this is the actual way they met in this timeline. This COULD be interpreted to mean that, when the ten years of history taken from the DCU are restored, Batman’s Golden Age roots will be brought back, and possibly even his marriage to Catwoman and her giving birth to Helena Wayne, AKA Huntress. These things could finally be made canon to the mainstream DC Universe. There is a great opportunity here to do this. Of course, that would also mean that, when Batman was starting out, he killed people, but I could buy the idea that the no kill rule was actually something he developed over time as a means of keeping himself more grounded. It wouldn’t be the worst thing they did with the character.

On the other hand, though, for reasons I hope I’ve made clear in this article, I don’t know that I trust Tom King with this. Characterization of these two has been passable at best and downright insultingly bad at worst in this book. Oh, and I don’t care if you think them calling each other Bat and Cat is cute or not, it got annoying REAL quick. But just beyond that, I don’t know that I trust DC to actually DO this. I’ll talk more about this later on, but in Nightwing’s book, Dick recently found out he was gonna be a father, and it was a huge deal to me and a lot of readers. Granted, some people hated it because the mother was neither Barbara Gordon nor Kory, instead being a reformed crook he’d met as Robin named Shawn, but it was still a huge deal: Dick Grayson was gonna be a father. This was major character development for him. However, sadly, it was a fake-out. Turned out Shawn got a false positive. And, if current events and future solicits for his book and Batgirl’s are to be believed, it looks like this relationship is doomed to failure. What makes that worse is that even those of us who loved the idea of Dick becoming a father and wanted it to be true…kind of knew they weren’t really gonna do this, because DC pulls this crap ALL THE TIME. I’m STILL amazed that they not only got Lois and Clark back together, but gave them a son to boot. So yeah, there’s a great opportunity here for Batman, his stories, and his legacy in the future, but I don’t trust DC to actually do it. If they do, GREAT. I honestly hope this happens and it’s done right. But I’m not necessarily holding my breath, either.

And that leads me to where the book is going. Well, right now, it’s The War of Jokes and Riddles, a flashback story narrated by Batman to Selina after he proposed to her that takes place during some sort of war between Joker and Riddler. Apparently, Batman did something terrible during this event, and is telling all of this to Selina because he wants her to know before committing herself to marrying him. Of course, there are a couple of problems with this. One, this story has Joker and Riddler being in a state of mind that makes them very morose, AKA wildly out of character and uninteresting. And two…well, if the final pages of the opening issue are to be believed, Bruce is telling Selina all of this after they had sex. Man, and I thought Zayn from One Direction made pillow talk sound unappealing.

But, then there’s one other thing I gather Tom King will get to at some point. Basically, at the end of the I Am Gotham arc, we got some narration from Claire that took place in the future, wherein she is not only married to Duke Thomas, but also apparently killed Batman… … …Okay, I’m just gonna get this out of the way right now: Can we please get a writer on the main Batman book who DOESN’T try to boost sales by teasing killing Batman off? And both Morrison and Snyder were quick to reveal that said deaths of Batman were fake-outs. Why should I have any reason to believe that isn’t the case here? Goddammit, DC, get Tom King off this book pronto and get someone who understands the character and won’t resort to trying to kill him off to write it. Sorry, King, but you’re just not the man for this book. But I do legitimately hope Mister Miracle works out great for you.

Anyway, that’s it for Tom King’s Batman. Leave your comments below on how you felt about the book, and be sure to check back in next time. And, rest assured, if there’s trouble, you’ll know who to call. Ja né!

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How To Drop The Ball In Comics: Worlds’ Finest

Hello, and welcome to a new spot on the blog I like to call ‘How To Drop The Ball In Comics’. This is where I take a look at what I thought was a legitimately GOOD idea in comics, why I felt that way, and how it eventually kinda fell on its ass. With that said, let’s take a look at Worlds’ Finest.

No, not that one. THIS ONE:

What Is It?: Created for The New 52 as part of a branching-out to tell stories involving characters from Earth 2, Worlds’ Finest specifically looked at Huntress (Helena Wayne), daughter of Batman and Catwoman, and Power Girl (Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr), cousin of Superman. However, the twist was that, after surviving the final battle of a war that claimed the lives of their respective families, the two found themselves accidentally exiled to Earth 0, the primary Earth of the DC Multiverse since the Multiverse’s rebirth in Infinite Crisis. As such, we had cases where, in this and other books, they’d encounter other-dimensional relatives, like Robin, Batman, and Superman, and even Power Girl’s alternate universe self, Kara Zor-El, many of which were pretty awesome. As another twist, it was revealed that, in this continuity, Power Girl and Huntress started their crime fighting careers as their world’s Supergirl and Robin (bringing the female Robin count up by one). So, let’s take a look at what I liked about it.

How Did It Have Potential?: Well, for starters, it was a book about two badass superheroines. Second, Power Girl and Huntress’ history, given certain reboots and retoolings to the DC Universe and its history, can be…confusing. For example, most people that started reading comics after Crisis On Infinite Earths, or have watched Justice League Unlimited, are probably more familiar with the Earth 0 version of Huntress, Helena Bertinelli. This was a good way to bring in Helena Wayne and distinguish her from her counterpart. Mind you, this led to some confusion as well, given that Hel apparently passed herself off as Bertinelli for five years, except that in the New 52, Helena Bertinelli is black, but whatever. This helped explain a few things about the characters for people that weren’t in the know about them. Also, as I’ve established before, the initial arc ended with them and the military fighting a giant villain in a Japanese harbour. If Godzilla and Megazord had shown up at that moment, I would’ve squeed so hard, you could’ve probably heard it IN JAPAN! lol And as much as some people got ticked about Karen’s new costume, I actually kinda liked it…until it proceeded to get torn and burnt up over and over, to where Power Girl was actually more decent in the old boob window costume, which is part of the reason why I was glad she switched back to it.

How Did It Drop The Ball?: There’s a few reasons. First…I don’t know if it was an issue with editorial, or if Paul Levitz, the man who frigging CREATED Huntress, forgot how her character worked, but the characterization for Hel and Karen feels off in this book. Hel’s a bit too much of a buzzkill, and at one point called someone a “little bitch”, and Karen is WAY too flirty, and once witnessed a bunch of kids being sucked into a Boom Tube and was pretty much like “…Huh. That was a thing”. Also, in my opinion, they spent WAY too long on Earth 0, only managing to get back to Earth 2 when things were at their darkest, lowest point, and when their place as the rightful heirs to Superman and Batman’s positions had been usurped in their absence by two men: Val-Zod (who I actually don’t mind, save for when he’s Karen’s blatant love interest), and Earth 2 Thomas Wayne (who was revealed to be alive, a frigging bum, a drug addict, and an overall horrible character altogether). And once they made it back to Earth 2, did the story become about how the two worked together as last-minute surprise reinforcements to turn the tide against Apokolips? NOPE, the book instead completely shifted gears to tell a prequel story about Earth 2 Superman and Batman, will apparently be cancelled along with the other Earth 2 books (not counting the one that’ll start post-Convergence), and Huntress and Power Girl were instead treated to World’s End, where Karen flirted with Val, lost Kal-El AGAIN, and got a Superman logo on her suit (completely missing the point of the boob window), while Huntress was subjected to body horror, torture porn, and drugs. If you are a fan of either of these characters, by all means, send your grievances about such decisions to the head-writer of Earth 2: World’s End, Daniel H. Wilson…Seriously, here’s an example of his very lame attempts to justify his decisions regarding Helena.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the matter. If you’d like MORE on the subject, as well as the overall mistreatment of Earth 2, women, LGBT characters… … …Really, anyone that’s not a straight white male in The New 52, be sure to check out http://helenawaynehuntress.tumblr.com/ and http://helenawayne.blogspot.ca/. Ja né!

Why I Won’t Be Buying Earth 2 Anymore (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, tomorrow is Wednesday, and I plan to go to Heroes’ Beacon to buy some comics and talk about what I bought then and last Wednesday. However, before I get to that, there’s something I need to address, concerning a book I used to buy monthly that I am now dropping: Earth 2. This might come as a surprise, since Earth 2 was one of my favourite books, and while there are a lot of things I like about the initial run by James Robinson, there were problems as well, and those are only made worse by new problems. This is not a slam on Tom Taylor, who is taking over the book. This is just me saying why I am not buying the book. And for the record, as always, I’m not judging anybody for buying it. If you like it, great. Me, I cannot like this book as it is.

Earth 2 Red Tornado

So, let’s start with one of the biggest things I do not like about where this plot is going: Red Tornado is actually Lois Lane. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that this means DC once again killed Lois Lane. Although, I suppose if she’s had her mind placed in an android’s body, at least she’s still active, and I’m actually not TOO against the idea of her as a superheroine. At least as a temporary thing. My hope is that they’ll eventually find a way to clone a new body for her and bring her back to normal. However, not only does that not seem likely, but it doesn’t matter much, as before that can happen, we get the clash I DO NOT WANT. AT ALL.

Earth 2 Superman Indoctrinated

You might recall me mentioning at the end of my look at the last issue of Earth 2 that I bought that Brutaal, one of Darkseid‘s most powerful soldiers, was revealed to be Superman. Again, Superman being indoctrinated into working for Darkseid wouldn’t be as big a deal (at least to me, anyway), if not for the fact that this is now the fourth time, possibly more, we’ve seen Superman, be it in comics, video games, or movies, either turn evil or do something morally ambiguous or downright WRONG. And all of this in his 75th Anniversary. But, again, if not for that, I would’ve been fine with this…until the reveal of Lois Lane as Red Tornado. Now, it’s painfully clear that, at some point, Lois and Clark are going to fight, quite possibly to the death. And that is wrong, dammit. Clark Kent and Lois Lane should NEVER fight like this.

The New Earth 2 Batman
(Noticing a serious red trend here?)

Then there’s the new Earth 2 Batman. The warning alarm was already going off in my head upon seeing that he killed people. But, I let it slide because it’s supposed to be Earth 2, the world of the Golden Age comics, and in the Golden Age, Batman killed people. So, I let it go. And then the leak happened. If you don’t know what I mean, basically, DC failed at social media and showed off an advertisement for the new Earth 2 figures on Twitter. And, for the figure for the new Earth 2 Batman, it listed him as Thomas Wayne. Now, I don’t know if it’s Thomas Wayne Sr. or Jr., but considering how a lot of the character who appear in the present of Earth 2 have no counterpart on the main DC Earth, it’s probably Thomas Wayne Sr.

…Okay, I’m aware this next sentence is gonna sound really hypocritical at first, considering my own works of fiction regarding Batman, but I will try my best to explain it. Thomas Wayne as Batman is a BAD idea here. Flashpoint was alright, as it was telling what might have been, and The First Batman was also okay, as it told a story of Thomas Wayne as Batman BEFORE Bruce while dressed in a costume for a charity ball. However, the idea of him REPLACING Bruce is just…no. Also, I would just like to point out that, following the leak, I contacted James Robinson on Twitter and asked if this was his idea or DC’s, and he took responsibility for it. So, make of that what you will.

And lastly, it’s been made clear in interviews that things won’t always end well for the good guys in Earth 2. In fact, things will often-times end VERY badly. Hell, it’s been suggested that Alan Scott MAY have been killed, not sure. This is HIGHLY problematic for me. I don’t like reading stories that leave little in the way of an optimistic future. Just my own little pet peeve. And before anyone says Batman, I will simply reply that you’d be surprised sometimes how much more optimistic Batman stories can be than others in the New 52. Things have gotten THAT BAD.

But yeah, those are my thoughts. I will say, though, that this probably works out for the best. Marvel has three new books, all with female leads, starting next year, and I’m gonna need to make some space for ’em. So, dropping Earth 2 will probably help a lot, as well as Fearless Defenders getting cancelled, and one other book I MIGHT be dropping (we’ll see). For now, leave a comment below about what you think of this direction with Earth 2, and I will see you tomorrow when I talk about…

What I Bought This Past Week

…Ja né!

Taking Requests For DC Team-Up Fics + Last Chance To Vote on Fanfic Universe Name (FEEDBACK REQUESTED)

So, remember a while back when I talked about What I’d Do Instead of Superman/Wonder Woman? Y’know, the random crossover book? Well, having FINALLY written Will & Hope, I’ve decided that I’m going to start taking requests from people to do crossover team-up fics of various DC superheroes. Basically, you post a request on here or in the comments for my fanfics, listing 2-3 heroes and 2-3 of their villains, and provided I like the idea of the team-up and it works within the canon of my fics, I will give it an honest shot.

Just as examples, you could ask for something like Wonder Woman and Batman taking on Cheetah and Bane, Robin and Raven battling Harley Quinn and one of the Sons of Trigon, Superman and John Stewart fighting Atomic Skull and Atrocitus, whatever. You don’t HAVE to post a plot idea if you don’t want to, but I suppose it could help. One thing I do ask, or rather recommend if you want better odds of me agreeing to do it, is that you list characters that have appeared in my fics thus far, the heroes at least. I’ll probably post a list of characters that have appeared thus far in my Fanfiction.net profile, (which is J.A.Phillips, btw), but for now, here’s a list of heroes and villains that have appeared or been referenced to thus far, more or less in order of appearance.

Heroes: Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin, Martian Manhunter, Batman (Thomas Wayne), Superman, Supergirl/Power Girl, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Raven, Huntress, Batwoman, Batgirl/Oracle, Green Arrow, Black Canary (Dinah Drake-Lance), The Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Villains: Tony Zucco, Copperhead (female version from Arkham Origins), Rupert Thorne, Lew Moxon, Carmine Falcone, Gillian Loeb, Victor Zsasz, Manchester Black, Lex Luthor, Plasmus, Atomic Skull, Magpie, Baud, Dyna-mind, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, Toyman, The Joker, Firebug, The Riddler, The Jokerz, John Corben/Metallo, Nasthalthia Luthor, Bizarro, Jared, Trigon, Omerta the Silencer, Aquarius, Bleez, Atrocitus, Sinestro, Weather Wizard, Volcana, Dex-Starr

All of that aside, I’ve decided that, starting with my upcoming Justice League fanfic, I will be listing all of my fanfiction under a name for my fan-made universe. So, with that said, this is the last opportunity to vote on the name: Either Earth 52, so named for being the reality that doesn’t exist in the comics, or Infinite DC, named after Ultimate Marvel and for being influenced by the events of an infinite number of other comics, TV shows, movies, and so on.

Anyway, if you have a request for a team-up, post it below, and I shall see what I can do for you in the future. Ja né!

What Should I Call My DC Fanfic Universe? (FEEDBACK REQUESTED)

So, as one can tell, I’ve written a number of DC Comics-related stories on FanFiction.net, all existing in the same alternate universe (AU) I’ve been crafting. They are as follows thus far (and you can click on the images to view them)…

“As Bruce Wayne contemplates if his father would be proud of the decisions he’s making, he learns that, for one night, Thomas Wayne was The Batman. But why, and how did Bruce never learn of this until now? Only one man can tell him the truth.”

“Superman must contend with a threat that is clearly out to get him, creating a liquidized Kryptonite meant to kill him. Can he learn who is responsible and stop them? Meanwhile, a young man who idolizes The Last Son of Krypton finds himself thrown into the mix and pays a terrible price. Is he a victim, or a hero?”

“Only four women can protect Platinum Flats from mobsters, supervillains, secret organizations, and paranormal/supernatural threats. They are Black Canary, Huntress, Batwoman, and Raven: the Birds of Prey!”

There’s also a one-shot quickly approaching release, even though I’ve been saying that for like a month now, called Will & Hope. It’ll focus on John Stewart, who is the only Green Lantern on Earth, Wally West, the new Flash who is armed with the blue light of hope, and Bleez, a Red Lantern coming to try to kill them both. Finally, after all that, I plan to eventually do a Justice League fanfic, which will involve heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg, and Martian Manhunter, as well as a classic JLA villain as the main antagonist.

Justice League of America

So, as you can see, I’ve created quite the little universe out of these tales, and I haven’t finished yet. However, this has brought a dilemma to my attention: What do I call it? I mean, if it’s all gonna be part of the same AU, shouldn’t I give that universe a name or title of some sort? That way, when you see the title of the story, you know it’s part of this same storyline?

One idea I had was to call it Earth 52. The reasoning behind it was that, if my understanding of the current DC Multiverse is correct, there are only supposed to be 52 realities in the comics: Prime Earth (as of the New 52) being the central reality, and Earths 1 – 51 being showcased in other works, such as the Earth 2 series, the Earth One stories for Batman and Superman, and Earth 3 playing a huge role in Forever Evil. Hence, Earth 52 is the reality that doesn’t exist in the comics, and is therefore something I can use for myself.

Another idea I had for a name was Infinite DC. Basically, it takes its name both from Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Ultimate Marvel. Also, it exists as a reality that is, in many respects, influenced by the events of an infinite number of other realities, what with it being a fanfiction inspired by the comics, the tv shows, the movies, and so on. Thus, in that sense, it’s a clustering of all the various interpretations of the stories, which can further motivate and inspire events within it, kinda like Hypertime when it was still around.

What do you guys think? Vote below which of the two I came up with sounds better, and/or add your own suggestion in the comments section below. And hey, feel free to let me know what you think of my fanfics, be it good, bad, or indifferent. Ja né!

Tales of the Caped Crusader – My New Fanfic (WARNING – SELF-PROMOTION AHEAD, LOL)

So, after talking a lot about How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch, as well as rewatching some DC movies and Batman: The Animated Series, I got the idea for a fanfic that I’m actually writing right now on FanFiction.net: Tales of the Caped Crusader.

So here’s the basic premise: Bruce Wayne is in the 4th year of his tenure as Batman, and he’s begun to feel the effects on his mind and his body. He’s out later every night, he’s getting into nastier fights, and he’s doing it all alone. Dick Grayson has been in his care for about a year and is nearing the end of his training, but now Bruce is beginning to have second thoughts about letting a child (Dick is 13 in this fic) get involved in what he sees as a war of sorts against crime in Gotham City. At this point, Bruce has met Superman and Wonder Woman and knows who they are, but there is no Justice League, primarily because there has been no need for a large team of superheroes, since the three of them have been doing alright on their own.

 

Anyway, the story picks up as Bruce is beginning to have doubts as to whether or not his father would approve of some of his decisions, namely his training of Dick to become Robin. However, during a night’s brawl against some goons, Batman meets a detective claiming to know who he is. More-so, he suggests that Bruce was not the first person to become Batman. In reality, Thomas Wayne had taken up the cape and cowl for a single night. Of course, the obvious questions come to mind immediately: Why was Thomas Wayne Batman? How does this detective know this? Why is Bruce only just now learning about it? All those questions have answers, some of which will shock Bruce, and others will give resolution to his doubts, as he is forced to learn the hidden truth about The Batman.

As you can tell, the plot takes elements from a lot of different stories and continuities. For example, Thomas Wayne has been Batman before, and he’ll be wearing the costume from Flashpoint, minus the guns or anything else lethal since he’s not a killer here. Also, a lot of characters from various Batman and Bat-related stories are involved. For example, the new version of Copperhead fights Batman at one point, Rupert Thorne is mentioned here and there, there’ll probably be more that appear as time goes by, and even the detective relaying all of this to Bruce is someone you should all know, but I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself.

Now, will I do anything beyond this? I dunno yet. I have something in mind, but I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. In fact, I’m not gonna make that decision yet. I’m just gonna write this fic, and then whatever happens after that will be then, not now. Until then, click on the pic below and go check out Tales of the Caped Crusader, and lemme know what you think of it so far. Ja né!

Tales of the Caped Crusader

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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