Showing posts with label new 52. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new 52. Show all posts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

And before that, he sold gourmet hamburgers

Yeah, I always dressed this way.
Unless I didn't.
Taking The Robin Out Of Red Robin | Bleeding Cool
As of the upcoming Teen Titans #0, Tim Drake, the kid who was Robin from 1989 to 2009, in the second half of the Batman animated series, and in the currently running "Young Justice" television series... was never Robin at all. Which isn't to say that all of his history just vanished, but that his adventures as Batman's partner now all occurred under the name "Red Robin".

And actually, that's not the part that confuses me. Even though I guess now all the Stephanie Brown fans can sarcastically reply, "We feel your pain." Now all the Stephanie-was-never-really-Robin talk makes sense, since she was replacing a guy who was never really Robin either. Yeah, that solves everyone's problems.

The part that bothers me is that as of his first appearance post-New 52, less than a year ago, when every DC title was restarted in an is-it-or-ain't-it soft reboot, he was still a former Robin.

Note to DC Comics: It's not multiple earths and heroic legacies that confuses readers, it's crap like this.

(Just in case you don't get the gourmet hamburger thing.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New DC Gay Character Is An Iconic Male… | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors

New DC Gay Character Is An Iconic Male… | Bleeding Cools “One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June”
Well, if DC was trying to upstage Marvel's upcoming Northstar nuptials, they did it. Now everyone's wondering who it will be.

Some are sniping at Fox News for having used the phrase "a gay Superman", replying "Of course, it's not going to be Superman." I'm not able to think of any reason why Superman would be off the table. Since the New 52 reboot, his relationship with Lois Lane has been deleted, and with it any sexual identity at all. I do recall a semi-official statement from Grant Morrison that the New 52 Superman is not able to breed with human women--but the exact reason why this might be true is open to interpretation. It's a valid alternative reason for his steadfast refusal to marry Lois all those years.

The initial interpretation of Didio's comment is that a familiar character not yet reintroduced in the New 52 will be gay. But Courtney Simmons' phrasing implies that the victim test subject character may already have been seen, just not specifically identified as gay.

I find myself longing for the good old days when comic book characters didn't have sex. That meant if it was important to you that your favorite character be gay, well, he might have been: There was no evidence to the contrary.

If we're going to play the guessing game, I don't think we can attach too much importance to Simmons' description of the character as "iconic". This is DC Marketing talking here: As far as they're concerned, they're all iconic. It could be Alfred, Zatara, or Charley "Golden Eagle" Parker. Or pretty much anybody or everybody on Earth 2.

If they are playing fair with "iconic", though, I vote for Barry Allen. The new original Silver Age Flash is badly in need of some defining characteristics, and gayness might just be the shot in the arm he needs to become an icon for the twenty-tens.

OOPS:  Apparently Scott Snyder has confirmed that it's a character we have not yet seen in the New 52. Which narrows the field quite a bit, if they are playing fair with "iconic". The most likely bet, then, is someone in Earth 2 (Flash or Green Lantern).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"This is an Imaginary Story... Aren't they all?"


Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!: Obviously, Too Much Alfredo Before Bedtime...
It's too bad that DC doesn't do Elsewhere stories anymore (unless, of course, you consider the whole nu52 an Elseworlds story...)
That would be wonderful news.

I've been thinking of it as Heroes Reborn Part II. You know, because it worked so well the first time. The same Usual Gang of Idiots were largely responsible for both.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nu52: Now with 90% less context

No, Princess, he wasn't just touching your lasso.
He was grabbing your ass. And you let him.
C'mon, how did he get his hand between your lasso and your hip?
Ladies and gentlemen, Hal Jordan!

I'm really loving Comics Alliance's Point/Counterpoint on the new Justice League, even if I'm not sure which is which.
Point/Counterpoint: 'Justice League' Is Everything Wrong With Comics: "[Darkseid] does nothing but show up, say his name, and then trade punches until this stupid story runs out of pages."
Yep, that's about it.
Point/Counterpoint: 'Justice League' Shines with Strong Characters: "In the first arc of the comic, Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg join together to fight an invasion from Apokolips, during which Darkseid shows up personally. Batman finds out from Steppenwolf and Desaad that Darkseid is looking for his daughter, who is apparently on Earth. And in terms of the overall plot of the arc... that's about everything that happens."
And that's your defense? That we're hip-deep in Character Revelation that has nothing to do with the story? Six issues of arc get a 50-word synopsis, and you're OK with that?

Although, actually, he got more out of it than I did. I totally missed the Darkseid's daughter thing (a thrown-away line of dialog dismissing a macguffin who's never seen or named).

Where's my copy of New Frontier? At least that takes more than five minutes to read.

Friday, March 02, 2012

"We're not a team, and we're not friends either."

Justice League #6
That was a conclusion? (Spoilers ahoy.)

They don't know who or what Darkseid actually is. They don't know why he's interested in earth. They don't know what he or his Parademons were trying to do. Except for Superman (who somehow learns it while being tortured), they don't even know his name -- until he says it himself, for no apparent reason.

They think they've destroyed all the local Mother Boxes, and that Darkseid therefore can't come back to earth for a long time. This makes about as much sense as Mr Mxyzptlk being tricked into saying his name backwards.

It reminds me of Jean-Luc Picard's first encounter with the Borg, which ends when Q decides he's bored and takes the Enterprise back out of Borg space -- where he put it in the first place.

The Justice League isn't calling itself the Justice League. They clearly don't want to travel together, until Batman points out that if they play nice with others, maybe it'll confuse the police enough that they will stop trying to arrest them.

And I haven't mentioned the art yet, which is so cluttered and detailed that I can't figure out what I'm looking at, or supposed to be looking at.

And Pandora is... oh, never mind. When she was a mystery, she was interesting. Now we've seen every seam on her costume, and we've seen her tattoos, and we know that she's Nu52's Uatu the Watcher, observing us but forbidden to act... Bored now.

Unsatisfying. We'll see if it grows on me. In the meantime, I'll wait hopefully for the real Justice League to come back from multiversal purgatory and kick these pretenders' asses.

Heck, these guys will do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just thinking

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #9
It’s the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL against O.M.A.C in a fight to the finish!
Now I'm getting the idea that O.M.A.C. was always meant to be an eight-issue mini. The alternative is that DC is disorganized enough to have coincidentally cancelled a title written by their editor-in-chief one month before a scheduled crossover with JLI. I mean, if they thought the crossover would do O.M.A.C.'s sales numbers any good, wouldn't they have made sure that the title would continue long enough after to reap the benefit?

So where are all the
characters who are
supposed to be on
Earth-2?
The same reasoning applies to Mister Terrific being cancelled the month before the appearance of Earth 2 and Worlds' Finest, all the more so since Karen Starr has been seen (briefly). So far, I haven't seen anything going on there to indicate that Mister Terrific has to inhabit the same earth as the Justice League. He did mention Superman once, but now that we know to expect a Superman on Earth-2... perhaps it has been an Earth-2 title all along.

Now, if O.M.A.C. and Mister Terrific really were meant to only run eight issues, I don't have any problem with that. In fact, I think it's a great use of the flexibility of storytelling 22 pages at a time.

But if it really is just a coincidence, and these titles aren't building on each other to create a larger cohesive story, I'm going to be really disappointed.

But then, we're already getting an indication that the New DC really isn't that organized, since the "New 52" is actually 55 or 56 titles.

On another subject, if I wanted to buy a Batman story but am unable to work up any interest in the Court of Owls, I'm pretty much out of luck, aren't I? I mean, is this storyline really worth ten comics each month? And if it is, why not publish it as a monthly $30 trade? If DC really wants to expand the niche that comics occupy, that would be a heck of a statement.

Hm. I wonder if Pandora (the new 52 mystery woman) will appear in the second wave #1s?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That's what was missing...!

Yeah, the powers that be looked at the DC lineup with eleven bat-titles, and said to themselves, "You know what we need, is another Batman monthly."

Okay, I'm trying to be realistic. I knew all of these new titles wouldn't last. I won't claim to have correctly predicted the ones they just cancelled (I was sure "I, Vampire" and "Frankenstein" would be the first to go), but you just had to know that some of the New 52 titles were never intended to be long-term ongoing features.

And I'm not going to go neener-neener because "Justice League" is shipping late. Cue Iago: "Oh there's a big surprise! That's an incredible - I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise!" By my reckoning, this makes twice: #2 was eight or nine weeks later than #1, after all.

So, DC, are you still publishing Showcases?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grandpa Geek

Exclusive Preview: Retelling Superman's Origin Story in Action Comics No. 5 | GeekDad | Wired.com: I have been reading comics for a couple of decades, starting with The Death of Superman. Since then, I’ve gone back and read older stories from the ’80s and before.
Oh, dear. When you talk to me about the Death of Superman, my first thought is the one from 1961. I actually have to search my memory to find another one, and even then I mentally stumble across his near-death from Virus X (the one where he revealed his secret identity by writing it on the surface of the moon) before I remember so-called Doomsday.

I forget my classics aren't everyone's classics, you know?

Then I hit this breathless praise:
This is the first time the DC new universe version has been told, and who better to tell this not-so-secret origin than superstar writer Grant Morrison and his equally super (see the pattern?) art team of Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang? Morrison has been steadily fleshing out the character’s beginnings since he first came on board with the Action Comics relaunch debut.
Yeah, I see what you did there. Sigh.

Superman's been around since 1938. In 1948 he finally learned the details of his own origin, that he is the last (or so he thought) survivor of another planet, known as Krypton. (We readers knew, but he didn't.) Between and since, there's been plenty of "fleshing out the character's beginnings", and just because Didio and Lee write pretty press releases doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Even Alan Moore remembered Lyla Lerrol when Superman Annual #11 ("For The Man Who Has Everything", 1985) came around, but I guess that's before your time too, isn't it?

Okay, I'm being unfair. I shouldn't dismiss a retelling of the origin story before I've actually read it: Goodness knows I've read several retellings of it already, and some of them I really liked. But the hyperbolic "nobody but Grant Morrison could have done this" really grates on my nerves. I can't think even Morrison would agree with such praise.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Living on borrowed ideas

Newsarama.com : DIDIO: CHALLENGERS Return Reinforces New DC Approach"It's actually very grounded in reality because it starts off as a reality TV show," DiDio said.
He said this with a straight face? He thinks "reality TV" actually reflects reality? Sometimes it's easy to see DiDio started in television writing and showrunning.

I really want to like the new Challengers. If Jerry Ordway is involved, it won't completely suck. And Ordway says this:
Without the luxury of an open ended run, our focus is narrowed, and there has to be some resolution as well.
Well, now, there's a new and different idea. A story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Imagine that.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Youthification

The suddenly-svelte Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad gets all the attention, but she's not alone. Commissioner Gordon in Detective is looking distinctly Year One-ish, with vivid red hair: How long has this been going on?

And how about that bat-family portrait in Batman? See how much shorter and slimmer Dick Grayson is? How could he possibly have passed for Batman for the last year-plus?

What about Perry White in Superman? Heck, what about Morgan Edge, who's been not only youthified, but apparently Samuel-L-Jacksonified?

They told us up front they were going for a younger, less experienced DCU: I don't know why anyone should be surprised by what we're seeing in the books.

On the other hand, I'm not sure who they thought would see it as necessarily an improvement, either.

Let's just call it what it is. The DCU hasn't absorbed the Wildstorm universe: It's the other way around.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Compare and Contrast

Remington Steele: NBC television, 1982-1987. After four years of romantic tension between the male and female leads, the producers have the characters get married. The show dies after six more episodes, partly due to failing ratings (and partly, it must be noted, because NBC programming preferred Hunter and scheduled it in Steele's time slot).

Moonlighting: ABC television, 1985-1989. After two and a half years of romantic tension between the male and female leads, the producers (and the characters) yielded to temptation. The show's ratings took an immediate nosedive (aggravated by the stars' lengthy absences, Cybill Shepherd to have a baby, Bruce Willis to make Die Hard) and never recovered.

Catwoman: DC comics, 2011. After seventy-one years of romantic tension (off and on, mostly off through the height of the "seduction of the innocent" scare and the Comics Code) and endless did-they didn't-they hints and parallel-world cheats, Batman and Catwoman have undeniable on-panel sex in the rebooted issue #1.

In a similar vein: If you loved Starfire on Cartoon Network's Teen Titans, you'll hate her in Red Hood and the Outlaws.
Shortpacked! by David Willis - Math

Monday, September 12, 2011

So far, so good

DC's New 52 is a decent collection of comics. Not everything is award material, but then only DC editorial may have thought it might be. But mostly it doesn't suck. I've already spoken about Justice League and the fundamentally wrong-headed idea of issuing it first. (Team-ups are something you build up to, not something you lead with.)

Week two gives us thirteen more titles. These are not detailed reviews, just hit 'em fast and move on first impressions.

Action Comics: Since I haven't drunk DC's kool-aid, I'm not predisposed to nominate Grant Morrison for sainthood for deigning to write Superman. Philosophically, though, I do like the approach. It is actually fun, as a comic named Action should be.

Animal Man: You can tell they like Morrison around here.

Batgirl: I'd almost rather The Killing Joke be written out of continuity than see Barbara freeze in a crisis because of flashbacks to it.

Batwing: Even in-story, marketing is the reason this character is wearing a bat. Have you no shame? (At least he isn't being called the Black Bat, which must have been tempting.)

Detective Comics: Ew. Thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading Batman. Is there supposed to be any detecting going on around here?

Green Arrow: When Green Arrow is a better Batman book than Detective, you're in trouble.

Hawk and Dove: Why does this look like an unused (with good reason) inventory story from 24 years ago?

Justice League International: Why does the Hall of Justice even exist? Why are we getting Justice League spinoff titles before the actual Justice League title begins telling contemporary stories? The book is counting on us already knowing and liking these characters: I thought this was supposed to be an All New DC Universe?

Men of War: Wow, real continuity. This isn't Frank Rock, who still served in WWII.

OMAC: Finally someone remembers OMAC is a Kirby concept. Surprisingly good.

Static Shock: Skimmed it. Found nothing that demanded a closer look.

Stormwatch: Week two of The New 52, and already we're getting footnoted flash-forwards to books that haven't been published yet. DC Editorial, this is a Calendar; Calendar, DC Editorial. Get to know each other, will you? Characters I don't know are introducing themselves clumsily and giving me no reason to like them. J'onn J'onzz' presence just looks intended to manipulate me into buying the damn book. Interesting how they mention his Justice League roots here, but not in Justice League or Justice League International. If they don't think he can carry his own book, why do they think he's going to lead me into Wildstorm? I think I'll start calling him "the Martian Moses."

Swamp Thing: Alec Holland and Superman stand around and talk. *Yawn*.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

All-Star Justice League?

Those of you who follow these spasmodic emissions (both of you) have doubtless long since given up expecting anything like reviews from me. That's one reason I wasn't inclined to write a review of Justice League #1. The other reason is that I think I already read this book when it was All-Star Batman and Robin.

There is no way the book could possibly have lived up to the hype that preceded it, and I think we all knew that going in, so I'll resist the temptation to throw stones on that basis. Although given that it is being written and drawn by people with publisher-level authority within the company, it's hard to place the blame for that anywhere else.

I could hop on my traditional soapbox of overly-decompressed storytelling: There's about 4 pages of actual story in this issue, at best. This flaw isn't unique to the New 52, so I guess I should let it slide. Perhaps, with seven lead characters to service, Justice League should be a 48-page or 64-page book. But then I don't know anyone who thinks Jim Lee can meet the long-term deadlines of a 32-page comic, so maybe not.

I could also gripe about overly-rendered artwork. I don't need to see stitches and seams, boot treads and beard stubble. (And lots of green lens flares.) Superheroes are inherently unrealistic: Photographically-exact renderings of same is obsessive to the point of mental illness (is "anal-retentive" spelled with or without a hyphen?), and undoubtedly a contributing factor to missed publication deadlines (see above). But All The Big Kids Are Doing It Now.

I think I can complain in fairness that in this issue of Justice League the second member -- well, the second person who will, some day, be a member -- shows up on page 6, the third on 17 (in a pre-origin appearance in which he doesn't interact with the others), and the fourth in a final-panel reveal on page 23. And the villain--

Wait. Is there a villain in this book at all? I mean, from the point of view of the police, there are two, but they are supposed to be the heroes (not that they act like it). Ah, there's a glimpse, briefly, on page 5, and another on page 10, and again on page 15. Those of us who've been reading comics for decades know it's an Apocalyptian Parademon, but certainly nobody in story knows what it is. And since we're doing a soft reboot and everything is new except when it isn't, nobody's going to tell us, either. Batman and Green Lantern must not be too worried about it, though, since they expend far more effort sniping at each other than worrying about whether Gotham Power and Light has subcontracted meter-reading to Granny Goodness. But it's extra-terrestrial, and Superman is reported to be extra-terrestrial, so it must be his fault, let's go beat him up. That's Some Mighty Fine Police Work There, Gree-- Oops. Well, that didn't work. The end.

The World's Greatest Heroes aren't off to a great start. It's pretty, but ultimately empty. Next issue was solicited as Batman vs Superman, which doesn't fill me with optimism, only deja vu. Bad enough that Everything Old is New Again, but when Everything Old is Always New Again For The First Time Ever, I feel like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. 

Hm. 50 First Dates vs the New 52. Now I get it.