Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blackest Night #8, Post-Game

Well, it's over. Blackest Night, at least. Be forewarned: here there be spoilers.

With that out of the way let's hit a few of the main points: it's not surprise that characters were brought back from the dead. We all knew that was coming. And like I gathered it was only a select few who actually made it back to life.

As to those who did return, some of them were pretty obviously. Aquaman and Martian Manhunter were both pretty obvious. Osiris and Captain Boomerang? Those were a little more surprising.

The biggest surprise, of course, was Deadman. For a character who was created to be dead, being brought back to life is a bit of a shock. Here, I think, we see the seeds of a very important future story. I think it's very clear that characters coming back from the dead is not all smiles and sunshine. As Nekron said, everyone dies sometime.

Boston Brand said the following: "This isn't right. I'm not supposed to be here." And he's right. Deadman is supposed to be dead. His being a live is in many ways a corruption of the natural order. It's not the way things are supposed to be.

In this, I suspect that Brightest Day won't be quite as bright as some people are thinking. We've already seen the seeds of other terrible evils planted in books over the past couple of years. Blackest Night is merely another chapter in the ongoing story of the DC Universe.

What of the Indigo Tribe and Black Hand? What of Maxwell Lord? What of the newly risen Anti-Monitor?

And who know that the white light of life could also deliver fantastic fashion?

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blackest Night #8, Pre-Game

Tomorrow comes the final issue of Blackest Night. Tomorrow the new status quo for the DC Universe will be revealed. It all happens tomorrow.

So what is going to happen? Some clues have leaked out. The Rainbow Corps will be headquartered on Earth. Nekron will certainly be defeated. Some characters will undoubtedly be reborn.

Other than that, though? There isn't a whole lot we can be sure of. Really, the doors have been left wide open. Everyone could come back to life or -- just a few. The Corps could expand with more Earth people -- or they could shrink back to just the core.

Anything could happen. While you still have the chance... Give me your predictions.

What will happen in the aftermath of Blackest Night #8?

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

It Pours

I'm annoyed at DC these days. Not because they're putting out bad stuff, mind you. I'm annoyed because there is too much good stuff. At least stuff that's good for me.

Normally such a thing wouldn't be a problem. But right now it is because I'm desperately trying to pare down my pull list because I'm not making the kind of money I used to. When it comes down to food or comics, well, I'll take comics. But I still can't get everything.

As such I look at all the new books coming out and get very annoyed. Will I purchase the new Birds of Prey? Likely. How about Zatanna? All signs point to "yes." Batman Beyond? I already said I would.

So I think you can all see my predicament. There is too much goodness out there these days. But then, I can't be too annoyed. After all, itis the fool who curses the sky for the rain...


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #140

Even in the midst of my vacation I can find time for... Thursday Night Thinking!

Hey, apes on covers sell comics.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Historical Revelations

Whew! What a week!

Sorry about the lack of posting, friends. This week was the start of my Spring Break. And as you all no doubt know, I have a tendency to fail at blogging precisely when I have the most time to do it. A curious paradox, that.

Anyway, have you read any of this week's comics? They are distinctly interesting. I was most intrigued by Green Lantern, flush as it was with delightful revelations.

Mostly I'm talking about the reveal of all the emotional spectrum entities and their origins. I don't know if Geoff Johns is a relgious man, but he does seem to have poured some religious connections into the Blackest Night saga.

Oh, and did you notice what caused the birth of the rage entity? Vandal Savage makes history again...

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Batman Beyond

I don't need to tell you DC is finally releasing a Batman Beyond comic series. This is a very good thing.

Batman Beyond was one of my favorite of the DCAU series. I loved it because it was different. It broke the rules. It changed things. It played with stuff that was usually sacrosanct. And it did it all in a stylish, incredibly fresh way.

I really loved that series. I'm glad to see that, in a way, it's coming back. Some people are complaining about the fact that Adam Beechen is going to be writing it. I'm not upset about that. I've forgiven Adam Beechen for the whole Cassandra Cain thing; it wasn't his fault. And outside of that, he's a pretty good writer.

The most important thing in my mind is that everything that came before is not being thrown out. Everything that happened in the animated series happens here (though I do hope that they ignore "Epilogue").

If you haven't seen any Batman Beyond I recommend checking it out. The uncut version of Return of the Joker is especially good. We get to see exactly why the Joker is the Batman villain. And why Terry McGinnis is worthy to be the Batman.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #139

Welcome again to... Thursday Night Thinking! Tonight we have a thought... And a kind of thought. What does it all mean?

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Return of the Red Hood

Judd Winick is going to be writing Jason Todd again. I can only describe this as a good thing.

Now, opinions vary on the whole "Return of Jason Todd" thing. Some people didn't like it. I can respect that. But when Under the Hood was released I thought it was one of the best Batman stories in years. It's still one of my favorite Batman stories of all time. The writing was fantastic and the artwork was even better.

Jason Todd went from being Batman's Batman's greatest failure to being Batman's greatest nightmare. The horror of his dead sidekick coming back as a villain (or at best a twisted anti-hero) made the New Red hood one of the most intriguing additions to the Batman mythos in years.

Then Grant Morrison got hold of him.

I like a lot of what Grant Morrison does. In fact, I've liked most of his Batman stuff better than most of his other stuff. But I did not like his Red Hood arc. He took Jason Todd, arbitrarily changed his hair color, stuck him in an awful costume, and turned him into a pathetic loser of a villain.

I was really disappointed. Which is why I'm so happy that Judd Winick is coming back to Jason Todd. My hope is he can do some fixing. If the cover image is any sort of indication, things are on the right track. Gone is the silly faceless mask, the red hair, and the skull on the chest. This Jason Todd is the Red Hood I remember. I hope everybody else remembers as well...

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Last Stand of New Krypton

I think it's safe to say that I really enjoyed the first issue of Last Stand of New Krypton. Though I've more or less been interested in the whole "New Krypton" thing, I was starting to get tired of "Commander El" and all that. What I wanted was Superman.

Well, I got Superman. In a big way. One of the through lines of the entire "New Krypton" saga seems to have been that there may be many Kryptonians... But there is only one Superman. Last Stand of New Krypton reinforces that. We see the how super-powers do not a superman make.

This whole saga has been flailing, but I think that Last Stand on New Krypton has given it the shot in the arm it needed. Not only have we gotten the real Superman... But we're getting real villains again. The last page of the issue could not have made me happier.

The strangest thing about this all is that I do not know how it's going to end. At the beginning I thought they were going to stick the Kandorians back in the bottle and be done with it. They still might. But I'm not entirely sure. Something big is going to happen here, and even though Superman's status quo may go back to normal... It won't be the same.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Did You Know...

That Jay Garrick owes his super-speed to a a nicotine addiction?

Now you know!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #138

Tonight... Thursday Night Thinking! Completely devoid of the necessary context. See if you can figure out what's going on here...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Superman Movie

Apparently some word has started to spill about the possible Christopher Nolan produced Superman movie. The most interesting news to me is the clear demarcation between the Superman and Batman universes.

Personally, I don't know if that's all that good of an idea. Though I agree that they should definitely have their own universes, I'm not convinced that they should totally rule out a possible crossover.

One of the strengths of the recent spate of Marvel films has been the interconnectedness of them. It's not overt, but it is there. They may never get around to making that rumored Avengers film. But they've left to the door open for it to be possible.

By the same token they need to leave that door open for a possible Justice League film. Though it may never see the light of day, we need the hope that it could. Super-heroes are about hope after all...

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Quick One

Hey, at least somebody remembers she exists.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Some Stories of My Own

It's funny how events in my real life and news in the comic world sometimes come together so well. To explain what I mean, let me relay a few things that happened to me recently.

Last week I was walking to the building where my Japanese class is held. On the sidewalk in front of the door I noticed one of your University IDs sitting on the ground. Of course I picked it up. Then I immediately called the number for the ID center on the back. They told me they'd check to see if it was an active card -- and it was. They asked me if I could bring it the the ID center. Well, the ID center was on the other side of campus. But of course I took it there anyway.

Flash forward to today. I was walking to campus in the morning when I spied a wallet just sitting on the ground. The cash card and ID where right out there in the open for anyone to see. I scooped it up in my hands and quickly took a look at the picture on the ID. If my guess was correct, the girl walking with her boyfriend a considerable distance ahead of me looked a lot like the girl on the ID. I started running to catch up with them. I detoured around the front of them to make sure it was really her -- it was -- and returned the wallet.

Now, the common thread in these stories is this: in both cases the person I returned the lost item to seemed absolutely astonished that I would do such a thing. The woman at the ID kept thanking me and going on about what a nice thing I'd done -- as though no one had every done anything nice before. The girl was -- I kid you not -- speechless. Her boyfriend managed to stammer out his thanks and insisted on shaking my hand.

So my question is this: has our discourse degraded so much that these simple acts of kindness and courtesy would seem so monumental? Is the thought that a person wouldn't leave an ID on the ground because they couldn't be bothered to pick it up so surprising? Is the idea that a person might return a wallet rather than stripping it of cash and cards so unbelievable? After all, I was only did what I always try to do: whatever Superman would do.

And I'm not the only one who asks himself "what would Superman do?" Imagine my surprise in reading today's news about the new writer on Superman and Wonder Woman and finding that J. Michael Straczynski asks himself that question too. I've heard his story about tackling the guy at the con before, but it resonates with me every time. And so does carrying around the "S" shield.

I don't like flying. Which is hard to deal with when you study Japan and need to go back and forth across the ocean on a semi-regular basis. Flying makes me uncomfortable, so whenever I have to get back on the plane I have the "S" somewhere on me. It may be on my shirt or on a card in my wallet. I feel better for having it there. I know it's silly and maybe a little childish, but like Mr. Straczynski says, it works.

What I'm getting at is what I've said before: J. Michael Straczynski gets Superman. Every time I hear Mr. Straczynski talk about the Man of Steel I feel that he has a passion for Superman. The same passion that I feel. It's good to know that when I think things like "what would Superman do?" I don't have to feel silly. After all, I'm not alone. Even if he's the only one, other people are thinking it too.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Batman vs. History

Tonight, I love Grant Morrison.

Now, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Grant Morrison's work. But I've been very excited for The Return of Bruce Wayne since I heard about it. The idea of Batman existing in the past of the DCU and putting his stamp on things from the earliest times is a brilliant concept.

Even better is Batman moving through different time periods and taking on roles in all of them. From the start we knew he was in prehistoric times. And so I declared that Batman had to fight Vandal Savage.

Ask, and ye shall receive:

"Grant Morrison: Setting the events in primal times allowed me to tell a very straightforward story about Bruce Wayne's basic survival skills, his fighting prowess and his power to inspire myth. Vandal Savage is involved in a big way. We also meet the son of DC's Anthro character and the great-grandfather of Kong the Untamed, as well as learning the origins of the Miagani Tribe –the 'Bat People' who were revealed to have inhabited the Gotham City area in 'Legends of the Dark Knight', back in the '90s."

It's all coming together, people. This is going to be awesome.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday Night Thinking #137

When I saw this image posted on Robot 6 I knew I had to have it for Thursday Night Thinking! So here it is.

Who to think but the Thinker?


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

First Wave #1

So yeah, First Wave was really good. Azzarello's plotting is tight; I am hooked on the mystery he's creating. All the voices for the characters seem just right. I really feel like I'm being immersed in this new world.

And the art... Holy smokes Rags Morales is on fire. I've enjoyed his work since Hawkman, but this is on an entirely different level. I can't remember the last time I was this impressed by the art on a comic book.

All in all, DC's new pulp universe seems to be shaping up quite nicely. I've never been exposed to Doc Savage before this... But now I'm hooked.

(And yeah, I refuse to talk about Cry For Justice #7. So don't even ask.)

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Green Hornet

It may or may not surprise you to find that I'm actually quite the fan of the Green Hornet. Everything about the character has always seemed cool to me. A pulpy super-hero in a green fedora? Sign me up. That awesome car? Yes please. Kato? Hell yeah!

That said, I don't think I'll be buying Kevin Smith's Green Hornet. You see, I don't really like Kevin Smith all that much. I've never seen one of his movies that I thought was better than average. His Green Arrow was only fair to middlin'. And as far as I'm concerned his Batman kind of sucks.

Now, Matt Wagner's Green Hornet: Year One? I am all over that. You see, Matt Wagner may not have made any movies. Or written Green Arrow. But I know for a fact that his Batman is some of the best Batman ever.

Besides, it's going to be set in the time period of the original radio serials. And I'm a sucker for period pieces. I eat them up. Sure, Dynamite is putting out something like five Green Hornet books. But I think Year One will probably be the one worth my time.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

That Darn Dog

I learned something interesting over the weekend. My dad hates Krypto. I mean he really hates Krypto.

My father is an old school Superman fan. Not quite "haul Hitler and Stalin to the Hague" old school, but old school enough. My dad started reading Superman comics in the 50's. Which is part of the reason why I was so surprised that he hates Krypto. I mean, that's when they started adding all that stuff. My dad made it through most of the Silver Age.

But when he heard that Krypto was still around he was visibly annoyed. It's funny because I've never really been a big fan of Krypto either. Sure, I tolerate the dog because we don't see him around that much. But I don't like him.

My father feels differently, and in deference to him I feel I should go with his judgment on this matter. He's usually right about such things. So Krypto? You just made my list.

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