You know, after the whole Convergence splash, we really haven’t seen very many reverberations in the universe. DC pretty much just returned the multi-dimensional continuity back to the regular operation of things – which makes me happy, to be honest, but I have to say that it seems like folks don’t really care.
Or … if they do, I’m not hearing too much about it. Is it too soon?
But nobody can deny that the delivery seems rushed and not handled adroitly enough. I mean, let’s face it: it looked clear that this was the direction they were heading in, so why the changeover in villains? Why didn’t we learn anything about Telos other than he could change his mind? Furthermore, the pre-New 52 universe had a distinct multiversal structure; I don’t see anything like that in this incarnation of the new DC continuum. That’s why I was expecting some more reaction.
Even the DC titles this month don’t seem post-Convergence enough. Where’s the follow up?
Oh well – there’s always Secret Wars, right?
I was waiting for this one with baited breath. I have been dying to know how a Batman comic could do without Batman. Snyder is a wizard but there are limits to even what he can summon.
Well, maybe I’m wrong.
I have to say though: his solution is absolutely stunning in conception and execution. I’m going to spoil a little bit of this book here right now for you, so excuse my bullishness. The Gotham Police recognize that they need their missing vigilante and create their own: an armoured Batsuit that receives tactical and informational updates from a central command post. It’s pretty cool.
I can’t buy Snyder’s choice to play the role though. Jim Gordon is not a frontline character, but there has been a movement to push Gordon into more of a forefront combat role, I guess. But it’s the last panel that has me wondering more … and will have you wondering as well.
Constantine the Hellblazer #1
Okay … naked and covered in blood declaring that “it’s not what it looks like” is exactly how a book on John Constantine should begin.
Just not with Riley Rossmo’s art as the medium. Constantine looks like a skinny variation of a character from one of the 1950’s “Dick and Jane” readers. It was very hard to digest.
Ming Doyle’s story had the right Constantine tone but it turned out to be fairly predictable. Of course, it had to be a short introductory book to set us up for what appears to be a longer arc, but as a first offering this was pretty sub-standard faire.
Hate the new costume … looks like a variation on an exercise outfit. And why does Starfire have pupils?
This was an easy one to dislike. First of all, Starfire read like the kiddy cartoon version of the Teen Titans (Teen Titans Go! I believe it’s called) with an overwhelming amount of naiveté so thick it could choke a Tamaraneaen wildebeest … or whatever passes for a big creature on that planet.
I like Amanda Connor’s art – it’s fresh, clear and the lines are so defined that it’s really enjoyable to behold; so I want to know why she didn’t pencil the book. That would have been this book’s saving grace.
It wasn’t that the story was bad though – just the new perception of Starfire. Is this a ramification of the new post Convergence DC universe? The book read like it could have been the preamble to some new pilot comedy on NBC: Starfire: the Heroine Next Door. It was trite and really didn’t possess a sense of mystery whatsoever.
You know, it’s not a positive sign if your comic is written by a guy named Hopeless.
Sigh … cheap shot. I’m sure that Dennis has had variations of that joke before.
I wasn’t too keen on the first Inferno, but this actually redeemed it somewhat. Now that we are in the thick of the story, it got a bit better. Of course, the “under-boob” controversy about Madeline Pryor’s costume still lags at the back of my mind – and every time I see the Goblin-Queen I giggle over the seeming contradiction that she can’t have a revealing top, but her ragged ring-looped bikini shreds still get the pass for some reason.
Marvel Zombies #1
I’m literally grimacing as I’m opening the pages of this one. Don’t get me wrong: I loved the Marvel Zombies in the regular 616 universe. However, I think it was a fad that went on too far. It got to a point when I could only handle so much undead super-heroing.
This is a bit of a different take – thank God.
Or should I say thank Doom?
You see, in the Secret Wars universe, it’s Doom who manages to keep a facsimile of what we remember of the Marvel 616 universe together by sheer will. He is egocentric and maniacal, so of course, the universe is crafted in his image. The Marvel Zombies fit into this mould as a threat to his universe and criminals are sentenced to defend the Shield wall that separates the living from the undead.
Elsa Bloodstone is the commander of the Shield and is a thorough hard-ass with an odd sense of British palaver that I don’t remember in her earlier incarnations. Rather than give away the whole story, while I can accept her part in it, I had a hard time trying to figure out the purpose of her companion.
So, I’m not sure how to judge this one. I think it might work out, but I’m going to need further convincing. I’ll continue to check it out and keep it on my list for next month.
A thoroughly unexpected sense of enjoyment in reading this Secret Wars offering from Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo. I’m not a fan of Del Mundo’s art – I find it a little too abstract for my tastes but there’s no doubting the excellent story of Arkon the Imperion making his way to find his lost home of Polemachus. Through all sorts of swords and sorcery adventures, Arkon’s character borders on the edge of insanity in his drive to find home.
The surprising villain is certainly a bonus to this fantasy tale – almost as surprising as Aaron’s demonstrated flexibility in writing in another genre. This is definitely a Secret Wars title that I will be keeping on my list.
Marvel can’t go wrong with their Star Wars titles. Even though the prequels are popularly established as flawed, Disney still has to claim them as canon. But stories like this go far to plastering as much lipstick on that pig as possible.
Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz have done an incredible job of chronicling the lost saga of Star Wars: Rebels’ Kanan’s history. It’s a new character and emphasizes the positive aspects of Episodes I, II, and III while making them relevant leading up to Episode IV. I loved it and if you’re s Star Wars fan, you’ll love this too.
Why do good things have to end so fast? I wasn’t aware that this was originally slated to be a mini-series, but here we are: issue #4 of four. What a shame.
“Dude, there’s a gang of samurai riding a tank. We can’t leave the time-stream looking like this.”
That’s a dialogue sampling of the time-travelling brutality in this book. Millar’s characters are the first time-travelers I’ve read about in comic fiction who simply don’t care about the chronal and causal damage in their chosen vocation. It’s a flagrant demonstration of the principle of those who can, simply shouldn’t. That’s what makes this story so entertaining and fresh. Everything is fast, frenzied and fun; it’s a literal romp through time that makes simple sense … with no-one shouting “Geronimo”.
And that leads me to my pick of the crop for this week: I’m going with
I liked the sense of continuity that was present in this book. Batman has emerged into a hero that is greater than himself. The death of the Joker has more than just seen the end of one of the greatest villain figures of all time, but it has also ended the Batman in a way. Both hero and villain are gone and Gotham needs something to fill in that void.
It’s a symbolic act for the GCPD to adopt the mantle of a vigilante and you can’t help but appreciate the irony in this story. That’s why I liked it. It’s a story that forces you to think about more than just Commissioner Gordon getting into physical shape and putting on a robotic Iron Man version of Batman. It makes you wonder why it’s happening.
Of course, there’s also the final panel I was alluding to earlier. It’s a doozy.
Anyway, not seeing much of any obvious Convergence after-effects so far, like I said earlier. If there are, then they’re being pretty understated. But maybe that’s a good thing. After all, it just goes to prove that whatever comic-creators can come up with, the universe will happily just keep chuggin’ along with or without them.