Monday, November 30, 2009

JSA All-Stars

Y'know, I'm starting to dig where the whole JSA All-Stars. I don't know exactly why. I should be mortified by any team that includes Magog. But there really are things about the previews (and the concept) that I really like. Here they are:

Cadre of mystery villains: I like superhero comics. I like mysteries. Ergo, I like superhero comics with mysteries. So far the mystery of who is out the kill the JSA is intriguing me. It's made even more intriguing by the fact that for some reason they want Stargirl to stay alive. I must read to find out why.

Communists androids: "Fourth Reich" has been done (and is being done again over in the main Justice Society of America book). But when was the last time you saw Neo-Soviets? They've got crazy high technology but they still use AK-47s! That's so adorable!

King Chimera: I guess I'm supposed to hate King Chimera, right? He's got that whole "I'm a cocky bastard so go ahead and hate me" thing going on. But I don't hate him for some reason. In fact, I think there's more to him that we see...

Matthew Sturges and artist Freddie E. Williams II: I've loved pretty much everything Matt Sturges has written. So that's a selling point there. As for Freddie Williams, his stuff has been hit or miss. JSA All-Stars? Big hit. I don't know what it is, but he's either really improved or he's doing something else. That art is fantastic.

Here's a few of the things I'm not so keen on:

Characters I don't care for: There are a number of characters on this team that I don't really like. Such as Wildcat II and Cyclone's damn monkey. But mostly Magog.

General confusion: When is this set? If you've been reading Blackest Night you know that one of those characters should have a smoking hole in his/her chest.

Magog: Look, I don't care what you do. I'm not going to like the guy.

Let's see if the good outweighs the bad when the book comes out. Is anybody else planning on picking it up?


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #125

Ladies and Gentlement, Happy Thanksgiving. Also: Thursday Night Thinking!

They say Mon-El is a man out of time. That may be true, and the clearest sign is that he's the only one around doing any thinking.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week in Review

I think I can say that this was one of the finest weeks of comics in recent memory. Consider: this week I got to read Blackest Night, JSA, Superman, and Detective Comics. What god have I pleased to deserve such a bounty? Here's some quick thoughts on each of those:

Blackest Night #5: I think it's safe to say that the $#&% has officially hit the fan. There is really bad stuff going down. And that last bit? I totally didn't expect it.

I think the reason why the rings didn't work is that they were all being employed separately. The colors weren't united. As we all have been expecting, one person is going to have to wear all the rings to get it to work.

Justice Society of America #33: Not only was this a rollicking good superhero action story arc, it's set things up nicely for the future. I think I'm actually going to have to buy All-Stars now.

My favorite bits? Doctor F'ing Fate taking out everybody and Mister Terrific taking out Karnevil like the punk that kid is. Good stuff.

Superman #694: Have I mentioned how much I love Mon-El and what James Robinson is doing with him? I read an interview where Robinson talked about how sad he was going to be when they had to put Mon-El back in the Phantom Zone. I'm right there with him.

Mon-El's gone from being a character I really didn't know much about to being one of my absolute favorites. Still hate the new costume, though...

Detective Comics #859: Rucka and Williams continue to tear things up with this story. It made me mad as hell to see the reason why Kate got kicked out of West Point. And that stuff happens all the damn time. There's no good reason to we should be doing that.

On the other side of things, I loved seeing Kate's initial meeting with Batman. That guy sure does leave an impression. I can't wait until he comes back.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Kid is Evil

We're getting to the end of Willingham and Sturges' inaugural arc on Justice Society of America. And I think I've got a good idea of who the villain behind all the mayhem might be.

Now, I'm probably not the first person to come up with this theory. And really; it's a theory I should have come up with earlier. I mean, it's not a very good guess if I don't make it until I see the preview pages for the final issue of the arc. Still, this is the panel that got the rusty gears in my head moving:

Now, it should come as no surprise that I've suspected the All-American Kid all along. After all, he's not on any of the covers for future issues -- and everybody else is. But it wasn't until I saw the above panel of him engaging in mayhem -- with a smile on his face -- that the pieces fell together and I realized he wasn't just a pawn of a mastermind. In fact, I think he is the mastermind behind it all.

If you read enough of Bill Willingham's DC Universe stuff you start to realize that as a writer he has a definite modus operandi. One of Willingham's favorite tricks is to create new characters for stories and then use them again and again in later tales in different books. You can see it in the villains that have been thrown out in this story arc so far: a number of them (like Tapeworm and Blue Moon) are characters that Willingham created for his Robin run.

Now when I put that fact together with an image of a blond-haired kid in a mask with a sadistic grin on his face hitting somebody with a chair it clicked. I'd seen that sadistic grin before:

That, my friends, is Kid Karnevil. Created by Bill Willingham for his first story arc on Shadowpact, Karnevil is a boy so evil that rumors say he died, was sent to hell, and then got kicked out because he was too evil for hell.

Now, if you're not familiar with the character you may be asking how and why he would orchestrate a series of attacks designed to destroy the JSA. If you are familiar with the character then you probably don't feel the need for a "how" and also wouldn't be surprised if the why turned out to be "just because he can."

Oh, and as for why Karnevil (if really is the mystery villain) has decided to spare Stargirl... Scary version? He's got a crush on her.


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Guardian

This cover for World's Finest #2 reminded me of how much I am loving what James Robinson is doing with the Guardian.

The Guardian, as you know, hasn't done much since his the whole Death of Superman thing when he would occasionally show up in the Superman titles. But now he's not just a recurring guest star; he's turning into a real fixture in Metropolis. And I think that's a really good thing.

I know (or at least suspect) that the Guardian is a take off of Captain America. I mean, he's got the shield and the hat that cover his eyes but not his ears and all that. And you know what? The DCU should have its own version of Captain America. As a Golden Age character, Captain America would fit right in with all the other classics that populate the DCU.

James Robinson seems to be making it work, too. After all, the Guardian is going to be joining the Justice League of America. It'll be interesting to see if Robinson can make that work... And if he can make the Guardian a fixture in the DC Universe as well.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

It's About Damn Time

Y'know, it's days like this that I wish Scipio was still blogging (but then, that's really every day). I feel that I -- or at least one of my co-bloggers -- can do a Black Lantern Doctor Polaris or Black Lantern Azrael justice. But a Black Lantern Vibe?

Only Scipio would've had the right words for this momentous occasion.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #124

Sometimes it sneaks up on you... Thursday Night Thinking!

How's about some good gorilla thinking? Everything's always better with gorillas.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

February Solicitations

Okay, let's do this, folks. They came out on Monday but I'm talking about them now. February 2010 solicits. Hit it.
On Sale February 10 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by Tony Bedard • Art by Travis Moore • Covers by Francis Manapul
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul and renumbered ADVENTURE COMICS #510). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
There are a lot of Blackest Night tie-ins this month. But this one is the one I want to talk about. What do you think they mean when they "Black Lantern Superboy"? Consider: during Legion of Three Worlds Superboy was resurrected a thousand years in the future from a body that had been rejuvenating under the Fortress of Solitude for that long. In the present that corpse is still there. How creepy is that?
Issue #8 on sale February 10 • Issue #9 on sale February 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by Grant Morrison • Art and Variant covers by Cameron Stewart • Covers by Frank Quitely
BATMAN AND ROBIN double-ships in February with part 2 and 3 of “Blackest Knight” guest-starring Batwoman, Knight and Squire! Only months into his new role as Batman, Dick Grayson faces perhaps the biggest threat of his life. In hopes of attaining his heart’s desire, has Dick instead unleashed a terror the likes of which the world has never seen?
Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, Alfred and a recuperating Robin are at the mercy of someone both fearsome and familiar...
Retailers please note: Both of these issues will ship with two covers each. For every 25 copies of the Standard Editions (with covers by Frank Quitely), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Editions (with covers by Cameron Stewart). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. Issue #8 on sale February 10; issue #9 on sale February 24 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Look, I know I'm supposed to like Dick Grayson as "Batman." Everybody else does. But I don't. I want the real Batman back. I want Bruce Wayne. I want the Batman I've known for my whole life and then some.

Good God, is this what the Hal Jordan fans felt like?
On Sale February 24 • 7 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by James Robinson • Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
This is the big one! After the catastrophes seen in issues #5 and #6, a hero loses control, leading to an unexpected ending that will fundamentally change the lives of the World’s Greatest Heroes forever. This issue launches a major storyline in the DC Universe and is not to be missed!
The guy has a quiver on his back. Between this and "Black Lantern Green Arrow #30" what the hell is going on with Green Arrow?

We keep hearing that he's a character to watch next year. But I don't have any idea what is supposed to happen. And what's the deal with him being a Black Lantern? Did a black ring somehow regenerate a body from the bits that Parallax didn't use to reconstruct Ollie's body? Or does Green Arrow die in Cry for Justice #7?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coming Attraction

Well, tomorrow we finally get to read The Flash: Rebirth #5. Once again, the Fastest Man Alive has proved to be the slowest.

Here's my question: what big surprises are there going to be? We already know that all the Flashes are getting out alive; we've seen that in Blackest Night among other things.

I just don't feel like this Rebirth is shattering the status quo like Green Lantern: Rebirth did. Don't get me wrong, though. I really have liked this story. It's a good story even if it isn't an event the way the first Rebirth was.

The problem is that a even a good story gets less good when you have to wait three to four months between chapters. It starts to lose the impact. It starts to be less fun. I'm hoping that Johns and Van Sciver can still pull out a show stopping finish -- and that the sixth issue will come out on time.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Best for Last

Greetings, fools. It is I, Black Lantern Doctor Polaris.

Yes, yes. I know I said I'd never wear one of these pieces of gaudy jewelery. But sometimes and opportunity arises and a man must make the most of it. Mostly I made the most of the opportunity to slaughter my inept replacement. Which I did. Joyfully.

Set aside the idea that Black Lanterns are "emotionless." I certainly was riding high when I ripped out the M. B. A.'s heart. What color is "joy" on the emotional spectrum? Because I'm pretty sure I was glowing.

The stage, of course, is not set for my glorious return to the world of the living. After all, Geoff Johns does not make mentions lightly. He would not have noted the fact that replacement Green Lantern villain was slaughtered if he wasn't planning a glorious return.

After all, I am the last Green Lantern adversary who has not yet been revamped. Johns has done everyone from the Shark to Hector Hammond to Evil-Star. There's only one villain left. And you know they always save the best for last.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #123

Oh yeah. It's time for Thursday Night Thinking. What do you think of that?

My thoughts exactly.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GLC #42

I'm going to say this right up front: I did not expect what happened in Green Lantern Corps 42.

It's been a long time since I was genuinely shocked by the ending of a comic. Most things get telegraphed or revealed or are just predictable. And I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who did predict this ending. But I wasn't one of them.

I'll probably come back to this topic later. I don't really want to say much else right now as I don't want to let out much in the way of spoilers.

Plus, I'm mourning. I can't tell you the last time that happened for a comic character either...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In The Days Ahead

There's been a lot of speculation as to how Blackest Night is going to end. A popular theory is that -- because of the massive casualties -- there must be a mass resurrection of characters when Blackest Night comes to a close.

I think that this theory is correct. But I'm not just speculating here. I think I have proof -- or at least very strong evidence -- that Geoff Johns left in plain sight for us to see.

It was tricky to find, I'll admit. But it shouldn't have been. That little tidbit of information shows up on the second page of a very high profile Geoff Johns project. Here's the rub, though: it has nothing to to with Green Lantern. The clue (or the proof) is found in The Flash: Rebirth #4.

It hit me like a bolt of lightning one night. On the second page of the issue Professor Zoom says the following to Barry Allen:

"I have a resurrection of my own in the days ahead, Barry. Thanks to a good friend of yours."

Initially I puzzled over the meaning of that phrase. Then I put it behind me. After all, it could be anyone. Zoom hadn't necessarily meant "a good friend" literally. It could just as easily be a reference to someone who simply knows Barry well.

But I think in this case it is a literal statement. I think that Professor Zoom literally will be resurrected by one of Barry's good friend. It should be obvious by now that that friend is Hal Jordan.

One of the main concepts of the Blackest Night "mass resurrection" theory is that Hal Jordan will be the catalyst. In order to save the universe from Nekron Hal Jordan will become a White Lantern and resurrect a lot of characters in the process. Most theories say that it will be the characters that have become Black Lanterns who will be resurrected.

As we can see in the solicitation for Blackest Night: The Flash #1, the Reverse Flash will be featured as a Black Lantern. Presumably the resurrection that Professor Zoom mentioned will take place post-Blackest Night.

Summing up, here's the timeline: we know that Rebirth takes place before Blackest Night. At the end of Blackest Night Hal Jordan resurrects a large number of characters hero and villain alike (this is likely only a side effect of Nekron's defeat). Now alive again, Professor Zoom travels back in time to menace Barry Allen in the pages of Rebirth.

Seems plausible to me...

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Monday, November 09, 2009



Are you scared yet? You should be. This is Black Lantern Azrael coming to you from the remains of Gotham City. Yeah, that's right. I've been tearing this place up. Sure, I tried to protect this hell hole for years. But you know what? Nobody appreciated me! They didn't deserve me.

I sacrificed and gave my all to save this wretched city and eventually I got killed for it. Did I get a monument? Did anyone remember me? No. Nobody remembered Azrael. I shouldn't have wasted my time. You didn't deserve a savior like me. You didn't deserve Azrael.


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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Night Thinking #122

I'm still so sick that I can barely move. Luckily I can still think! This is Thursday Night Thinking!

Will Magnus is always good for a clever thought...

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The World That's Coming

I normally don't give the DC Nation thing in the back of my comics much of a look. But this week something intriguing caught my eye. Take a look and see if you can find it:

Give up? How about this then:

Could it be? Is it true? Is this...

The Return of Wild Dog?

* * *

Loyal reader Jake asks a sensible question: "Wild Dog, what do you think of this pitch?"

That answer your question, Jake?

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Give Me Time

Apologies for the lack of posting over the end/beginning of the week. I came down with a real nasty cold over the weekend. Still, I'm fine with that because at least it's not the H1N1 Flu (which is going around the campus like mad). I'm hoping (fearing?) that Black Lantern Azrael and Black Lantern Doctor Polaris may pick up the slack for the rest of the week.

In other news, I saw that guy again. He was wearing the same damn Avengers sweatshirt. I don't know what to make of that...