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DC Comics Review: Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: Magog

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Magog

This issue was written by Peter Tomasi with the art provided by Fernando Pasarin.  It’s a very good issue featuring Lance Corporal David Reid who was resurrected as Magog in the current “One World Under Gog” storyline. I liked the introduction of David Reid to the team by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross. The character is the great-grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt who was a part of the formation of the Justice Society of America (JSA). I love American history and I always love comic stories that weave real history into their storylines.

This issue has some JSA members following Gog on his “mission” to help the people of the world. The group comes across a river with dead bodies floating in it.  They discover that it has been poisoned by militants and it will kill everyone in the immediate area who use it for water if they don’t block it’s path.  The river is blocked by Gog and he and the JSA members make their way to locate the militants.

Read More | DC Comics

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JLA/Avengers

JLA and Avengers 

This week Diamond Comics shipped the paperback version of the classic JLA/AVENGERS saga. These came out in comic book form in 2003, but was only compiled in hardcover format for $75. Now we have a softcover at $19.99 and it is time to revisit this story.

I believed at the time that the entire concept was flawed. Kurt Busiek wrote a story in which every Avenger and every Justice Leaguer that ever existed made at least a token appearance. He succeeded in his mind, but not mine. By putting too many characters in a story, you lose the ability to focus deeply on any of them. Recall the series of Marvel/DC Crossover books. These stories usually had one hero and one villain from each universe and you had a real interaction among the heroes and villains. Remember Crossover One with a full Superman/Spider-Man story, Hulk/Superman, etc. You really got into how the characters reacted to each other. In Crossover 2 we had Batman/Punisher, Silver Surfer/Superman and Batman/Captain America. The other two books weren’t as good, but it is always fun to match heroes from different universes. In my opinion, confining the epic to 7 or so stars from each universe would have made things much less cluttered and a better read. Characters kept coming and going so quickly it is difficult to keep track.

The story itself starts as one of the generic contest of champions ideas we have seen a million times before. Mystic artifacts being sought by both sides being manipulated by cosmic beings. Ho-hum.

No real detail in the battles to get an artifact and the 12 items are quickly divided up. They we get a mish-mash of heroes from diferrent universes interacting in a confusing way and then A Crisis on Infinte Earths climax against the super-duper villian with everyone throwing in a few shots. Been to the Source, done that.

It was, I suppose, a noble effort and it is certainly a better buy at $20 rather than $75. But as the pundit said about Dicken’s Great Expectations, I hoped for more.


A Possible Return to Common Sense?

Catwoman and Batman

Most of the current media bemoans the fact that an increasing amount of movies and TV are based on the comic universe. We geeks and fanboys, of course, love this trend. But most of us are not mindless drones and still have the ability to separate quality from garbage. Spider-Man 1 - good. Spider-Man 2 - not so good. Spider-Man 3 - a waste of good sand. Batman Michael Keaton - good. Batman Val Kilmer - not so good. Batman George Clooney - a waste of good nipples. Heroes season one - good. Heroes season 2 - not so good. Heroes season 3 - a waste of good comic writers.

Recently, DC announced a prospective series entitled “The Flying Graysons”. Folks speculated that with an uncertain future for “Smallville”, we would need something for our superhero fix. But was Dick Grayson, before he became Robin, solving crimes traveling with the circus the best they could come up with?

So, I printed out the article from Variety and posted it at Phoenix Comics, your favorite neighborhood comic store. Now, remember, these are the same customers who wanted to lynch Marvel for the whole Brand New Day fiasco or put up a statue to Marvel for ending the Peter-Mary Jane marriage. And does anyone remember Birds of Prey? How could anyone mess up a TV show featuring three awesomely good looking girls in spandex. Couldn’t be done, could it?

Well, the polling is over and if the U.S. ran like this, we could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Nobody liked this idea. Not one customer. Nobody. And somehow DC must have gotten the message because they have canned the idea. Obviously I am only one store but still… maybe once in awhile they do listen to us.

Read More | Variety

Are Comics Over?

Death of Captain Marvel

I wonder if there will be comics in our future. The reason for this is that it seems that no one wants to write comics anymore. No, what they want to write is the Great American Comic Novel.

As the proud owner of Phoenix Comics in beautiful Eastchester, New York (shameless plug), I have the great fortune, or misfortune, of reading just about everything that DC and Marvel publish. Back in the day, going back as far as 10 cent comics, a huge percentage of books were what we would call today, stand alone stories. Batman caught the bank robber, jewelry store heister, or murderer in one issue. Superman battled the evil monster and/or fooled Lois about his secret identity in one book. A two-issue story was a major event. Even as a youngster, I realized Superman was fighting a never ending battle against evil and we all moved on to the next story.

Starting with “The Death of Captain Marvel,” the first mainstream graphic novel, everyone seems to be writing 120-page comic novels and slicing them into six parts. Before the ink is dry on part six, the whole thing is published in a trade paperback. At least you had a good read on an airplane. But even that doesn’t seem to be enough.

Now we have continuing sagas that seem to go on forever: Crisis on Infinite Earths to Infinite Crisis to Identity Crisis to 52 to Countdown to Final Crisis to….? And don’t even start with all the tie-ins. When they hit Final Bar Mitzvah I quit.  Of course the X-Men books have been doing this for years. They even put numbers on the spine so you can keep reading, and reading, and reading and the story line goes on forever. At my age I have to keep reading the books because I would hate to miss a possible ending. Some of my customers have given up and just read the trades as they come out.

Is this progress?


Batman dead?!  So says DC Comics February Solicitations

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, DC Comics

Batman

The advance February solicitations for the final issue of “Nightwing” goes as follows: “As Robin, Dick Grayson fought alongside Batman as part of the Dynamic Duo, the greatest crime-fighting team in history. As Nightwing, he teamed up with his peers to combat injustice in the Teen Titans and the Outsiders. Now, Dick Grayson faces the most important battle of his life. Batman is dead. The Mantle of the Bat must be passed, but it will require all of Dick’s training and skills to carry out the last wishes of Bruce Wayne and protect Gotham City.” 

Over at the solicitations for the last issue of “Robin” which also comes out in February, we have the following stated: “Gotham City has found a new hero and his name is Robin – but with a battle for Batman’s cowl looming, is Tim Drake ready to become something more?”  Now, if Bruce Wayne was dying, I seriously doubt DC would have that written in their advance solicitations two weeks before the end of Batman: R.I.P.

As previously stated in my blog in regards to DC’s plans for the Post-R.I.P. world of Batman, Grant Morrison has stated that Batman will not be dying and that he has plans for something better than just killing off Batman.  I believe him.  I think for whatever reason, everyone will think Batman is dead, but in reality he will be in hiding.  I’ve read on message boards that Batman will become a New God during Final Crisis - which is also written by Grant Morrison.  I don’t think that will happen. To be honest as of right now, I have NO IDEA what Grant Morrison has in store for Batman in “Batman” #681 the final issue of R.I.P.  I do think it will be shocking and it will probably anger a lot of fans - but isn’t that what happens all the time? 

Read More | Comic Book Resources

DC Comics Review: Batman Confidential #23

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Joker

The “Batman: Confidential” series has not been great. The first story arc of Batman vs Lex Luthor was okay. The new Joker origin storyline by Michael Green started off good, but by the end it became kind of blah for me. I read the advance solicitations of the current storyline “Do You Understand These Rights?” a few months ago and thought it sounded interesting. So far, I’m really enjoying it.

The story began in last month’s issue with Batman bringing in the Joker for booking at the Gotham City Police Department for the first time ever. The first issue ended with the Joker stealing the home phone number of one of the detectives who were booking him. He used his one phone call to call the detective’s wife and pretend to be a doctor with the news that she was dying of a disease and that it would be slow and painful death; he said it would be best if she ended her life. One of the cruelest things the Joker has ever done in comics. This issue is part two and is even better than the previous one. With an ending you won’t believe.  It involves the Joker and a peanut. 

Read More | DC Comics

Review of Cartoon Network’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Television, DC Comics

Brave

I watched the premiere episode of the newest Batman television series with my four-year old son, James - he loved it. However, he also likes Caillou and The Backyardigans. If you are a parent with a young child, you know what I’m talking about.

The latest Batman cartoon takes its name and format from the classic original run of the “Brave and the Bold” comic series that featured Batman teaming up with a different super-hero from the DC Universe each month. The premiere episode was entertaining. It’s a decent story that saw Batman teaming up with Jamie Reyes the Blue Beetle. It’s cool that DC and its parent company, Warner Brothers, are sticking with Jamie and introducing him to an audience outside of the comic book world.  I wasn’t crazy about the death of the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, especially with the new Blue Beetle’s outfit.  I hated the outfit when I first saw it, but it’s grown on me.  I also like the character of Jaime himself in the various appearances he’s made in comics over the past two years.  That said, what about tonight’s episode?

Read More | Cartoon Network

DC Comics Review: Batman: Cacophony #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

BAT

I wasn’t planning on getting “Batman: Cacophony” (not crazy about the title).  As regular comic readers, we know that the writer of this series Kevin Smith as of late has not been good at meeting deadlines.  His last work over at Marvel was a six-issue mini-series called “Spider-man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do”.  A mini-series which began in 2002 and did not finish until sometime in 2006.  Four years for six issues.  Then there is “Daredevil: The Target”.  Issue one was released and the series was never finished.  So why should I even bother investing money and time to this man?  If I wasn’t writing for this blog, and if I didn’t get 20% off of new books, I wouldn’t have bothered.  I can’t say, “it was worth every penny, thank God I bought this book.”  But I will say, Kevin Smith does a very good job of writing a Batman story.

Read More | DC Comics

DC Comics Review: Detective Comics #850

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Detective

I’ve enjoyed Paul Dini‘s run on “Detective Comics” so far. I’ve also enjoyed this story arc of his: Heart of Hush which ends with this issue #850. Hush has returned to exact revenge on Bruce Wayne. Thomas Elliot aka Hush hates Bruce Wayne because his abusive mother thought more highly of Bruce than her own son Tommy. Hush decides to attack Bruce by attacking the woman he loves most in the world: Catwoman. He attacks at Bruce’s heart figuratively and attacks Catwoman literally by taking out her heart.

This was a good issue.  A good ending to this story.  Batman retrieves Catwoman’s heart and has it put back in her body thanks to the surgical skills of Dr. Mid-nite and Mister Terrific of the Justice Society.  The issue had a lot of action, good drama, and some fine moments that will give fan boys something to squeal about like Alfred kicking Hush’s butt.


Grant Morrison Says R.I.P. Doesn’t Stand For Anything

Posted by David Torres Categories:

Batman

There has been some talk on message boards that “R.I.P.” of the “Batman: R.I.P” storyline does not stand for the traditional “rest in peace.”  Grant Morrison, the writer of “Batman: R.I.P.,” is now saying that it can mean anything you want it to mean.  Also, Morrison teased that there will be a NEW Batman and Robin.  At the beginning of “Batman: R.I.P.,” we saw an image of a Batman and Robin and this Batman stated that there will always be a Batman and Robin.  Will it be Tim and Damian?  Dick and Damian?  Or are Bruce and Tim different people at the end of the story and they are the “new” Batman and Robin.  We’ll see come November 19th in “Batman” 681.

 

Read More | io9.com

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