Comics are Awesome III

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Dominic
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Post by Dominic »

The thing to keep in mind about "Convergence" is that it is going to be a fight book. Odds are that the winners will be characters from settings that will be sticking around after "Convergence". (Keep in mind, the real reason for "Convergence" is to be a place-holder while DC moves their offices to CA and sheds a significant number of staff.)

My hope with the Robin/Huntress book is that "Batman" is a big enough thing to warrant continuing a few alternate titles after the event winds up. (I have long wanted a bat-book where Bruce Wayne was long dead and replaced with successors.)

ut I've read the 70s All-Star revival where the death of Batman took place,
Like many comics of the 70s and 80s, the concept was better than the execution. Even 20+ years ago, I found myself thinking that it read like something a kid would play. ("Oh no, big bad guy shows up and only Batman can fight him!" "Oh no, the big bad guy killed Batman!") Predictable writing and stiff art do not a good comic make. But, the 70s and 80s were more about concept than execution (as so few concepts had been done in comics at that point).


My hope for both DC and Marvel this fall.

-mainline books: Let these be "like the movie" and otherwise bound to corporate mandates. Have these be at least half of a company's output. Earth 0. Earth 616, Who cares? Just put these out.

-editorial necessity: This would be a category for quality or high-selling books ("Spider-Gwen" comes to mind) that could/should not be marketed as connected to a mainline series. Similarly, regardless of how tight editorial controls are, there is going to be a need to explain away mistakes with alternate timelines. DC made a noble effort to avoid this sort of thing in the 80s. But, they had to make allowances within a few years of "Crisis". (This category is probably what would set precedent for a multiverse, if only as a concession to fans who need stuff to fit.)

The real interesting stuff should be the alternative books.

-clean/modern start books: DC's "Earth One" line is a good alternative for people who want capes and tights with a limited scope. One or two books a year covering a linear story. This should not be revolutionary.

-legacy/retro books: There should be a few titles that pick up where old plots left off and/or go in logical directions that old runs could not. (Why should Bruce Wayne's back have healed?) Maybe mix and match to create a better starting point. (Example: Bruce Wayne is crippled or killed by a bad guy. After a failed replacement is dealt, Dick Grayson and/or Helena Wayne work to perpetuate the bat-legacy.) There is some speculation that DC might be doing this with the Bat-books and that Marvel might be doing this with the Spider-books. (Of course, with Marvel, speculation is especially dodgy at the moment.)

-creator focused books: DC's "Earth One" line arguably covers this. But, there should be isolated books where established creative teams can do their own thing with minimal interference. Think "Vertigo", but with corporate ownership and superheroes.

-kid stuff: This is a necessary component. The key will be not just pitching to little kids (crap like "Tiny Titans"), but to older kids. Marvel has tried to bridge the gap between "Archie" and mainline books. But, the bridge is still narrow and looking more like a diving board. I have no interest in reading the books that would end up here. But, they are a necessary part of the market.

-dumb gimmicks: This is more a DC thing. But, Marvel has toyed with it in recent years. Dumb stuff like the Crime Syndicate, "Marvel Zombies" or "Red Rain" would go here. Ironically, these books would probably be used for more cross-overs than others. But, that would not necessarily be all bad.

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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Dominic wrote:The thing to keep in mind about "Convergence" is that it is going to be a fight book.
Yep, it's an excuse for a huge continuity mash-up between different versions of characters. I'm still going to enjoy it, unless the writing is poor.

Jeff King answers some Twitter questions about Convergence. It's mostly hype of course, but there are a few useful tidbits. http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2015/04/02 ... to-twitter
can all beloved worlds/times continue in a Convergence all-continuities anthology ongoing series pls?
.@tetsu_girl They can and they will.
Makes me wonder if the undefined Earths from Multiversity will end up with the survivors of Convergence. An anthology with older characters is something I'd put on my monthly list.

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Dominic
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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"Re-Generation One" proved that a formerly moribund series can be relaunched to good effect.

If that happens post-"Convergence", I will be happy.

I am less interested in which timelines "survive" than in what is done with them. For example, Morrison's Earth 10 (as seen in "Master Men") is a solid foundation for an ongoing. But, if Earth 10 is never used, or never used in any meaningful way, how much reason is there to be interested in it?

Similarly, there is potential for a series that focuses on Gotham City after Batman has been removed. But, does that potential matter if that Gotham City is "out there in the multiverse", never being used or if every issue of a series features the Huntress musing at length about how "things have been difficult since dad died, but I have to keep going because....."? (And, given the generation of the guy who is writing the one-shot that said book would launch out of, the latter is a real possibility.)

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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All of that is certainly true, and I hope so many past iterations of DC's characters aren't revived just for them to go unused. At least this way they're available. And honestly, I like the premise of the series, that Brainiac collects from all of these timelines that are about to go extinct. It's an extension of his usual M.O. of collecting cities from doomed worlds, so it's entirely in character. It's a good way to revive these characters without yet another reboot or rewriting of continuity, and it ties in with the way Grant Morrison depicted the cycle of change for the DC universe in the Multiversity guidebook.

I caught up today on about four weeks of comics. I had expected to go a lot longer since I had expected to be out of work longer, but thankfully it didn't take long to find a job. Got Transformers #39, Multiversity Ultra Comics #1, Batman 66 #21 and four Convergence books: Superman #1, Speed Force #1, the Atom #1 and Justice League #1. Reviews to follow when I've had a chance to finish reading them all but I will say that each of the four Convergence titles handles the similar sequence of the dome around Gotham coming down in a different way, so it doesn't feel as repetitious as it could. I hope we don't get a repeat of that same sequence for all the April books though.

I do appreciate that this series is "contemporary" as far as the characters themselves are concerned. DC could have just told out of continuity stories set in the past, but instead they've linked everything with the current universe and given the story a sense that it has consequences for the characters. That makes up for a lot of it just being an excuse for mix and match fighting, at least to me.

Speed Force #1
I've missed reading about Wally and his family. That applies to just about all of these issues, so I'll try not to make a similar statement for every review. Just getting it out of the way now. :) Like everyone else in Convergence, Wally has been trapped and powerless in Gotham City for about a year. Linda Park isn't with him, which is obviously a source of distress to him, but his kids Jai and Iris are there. While they're there, the dome is brought down and it's made clear that each of the timelines has to fight for survival. Wally isn't having any of that, and heads out to try and gather allies. He witnesses the destruction of the town where the Justice Riders lived, and then makes his way through various realities with Jai and Iris in tow, since the Speed Force links them all together. They're joined by Fastback, the "Flash" of the Zoo Crew apparently. I've read absolutely zero issues of the Zoo Crew, and my only experience with Captain Carrot comes from Multiversity #1. I liked him there, so I'm inclined to like one of his fellow characters as well, especially when Fastback seems puzzled as to why two superheroes would fight. They're confronted by Flashpoint Wonder Woman for the cliffhanger. And as with all these books, there's a two page spread with an ecapsulated history of Wally West's time as the Flash.

Superman #1
I'm just going to say it: this is the real Superman. If you like the New 52 version, that's fine, but that version has never seemed quite right to me. I get the feeling that Dan Jurgens thinks so as well, with the issue titled "Superman Again" and Superman telling Lois "I'm back", not to mention various other comments from characters throughout the issue. The art in this issue is very good, and this Superman is instantly recognizable as the classic post-Crisis version, diving into a fight against some drug dealers while powerless, because he's not going to stop looking out for the weak and oppressed just because his powers are gone. They come back just in time to save him from death by flamethrower, and he easily disarms and captures the men while saving Jimmy Olsen from them at the same time. And as many previews have spoiled, this is the version that's married to Lois Lane and they're expecting a child any time now. They don't know whether it's a boy or girl.

The antagonists of this story are the Flashpoint Justice League characters, led by Batman, and featuring Captain Thunder (Captain Marvel), Abin Sur, Cyborg, and Kal-El from Flashpoint, who goes to find Lois at the end of the issue, convinced that she's "his" Lois Lane. My one gripe is that Superman starts to refer to Thunder as "Shazam", when as a pre-Flashpoint version of the character, he should know him as Captain Marvel. The Flashpoint characters attack Superman, convinced that he can't be trusted, and while he almost talks them down, Jimmy Olsen's arrival in the whiz wagon, supplied by Emil Hamilton, convinces them that Superman can't be trusted and the issue ends with Lois in danger from Flashpoint Kal-El, while the others are doing their best to kill Superman.

This was easily my favorite of the four issues I read. As much as I enjoyed seeing Wally West again, nothing beats seeing the genuine Superman in action.

The Atom #1
Same premise: Ray Palmer's been trapped in Gotham for a year, though he's still running around in costume. He can't change his size, except for his hand, oddly. This is a pretty bizarre issue, with Ray apparently losing his mind and talking to the voice in his head, which (if the cliffhanger can be believed, and it's hard to tell) is Ryan Choi, the second Atom who was killed by Deathstroke. This isn't at all what I expected from a book about the Atom. I have to admit, beyond the mechanics of the plot like who goes where and who fights who, I don't know if everything is actually happening, or if it's all a delusion of Ray Palmer.

Justice League #1
With the exception of Congorilla, we get an all-female Justice League in this issue, and it works fairly well. The story features Mera, Supergirl, Jesse Quick, Vixen, Zatanna and Jade. They were having a baby shower for Jesse Quick when she went into labor. The baby was born literally as the dome went up around the city. For those who don't remember, Jesse Quick is the daughter of Golden Age flash knock-off Johnny Quick, and she was married to Hourman's son Rick Tyler, the second Hourman. Legacy character married to legacy character. Again, we get Flashpoint characters as villains, and this time it's Aquaman, who wants to claim Mera as his own. I believe Wonder Woman beheaded Mera in the Flashpoint storyline, so Aquaman rightly believed she was dead. I like this particular lineup of characters, and wouldn't mind a book with just the girls. I love that Jesse names her son after her father. There's that whole legacy aspect that DC has abandoned in the last four years.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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More catch-up comic reading.

Batman '66 #21
This was an interesting isssue, or rather, Parker took a different approach than he usually does. We get the usual ridculous lines played straight, some jokes, and costumed villains in the form of the Penguin and the awesomely named "Lord Death Man". And of course, I can't leave out the lemon-yellow Japanese Batmobile. But after the opening sequence, we get what is possibly one of the more subdued attempts at an Adam West Batman storyline as the whole plot is an attempt by Lord Death Man to push Batman into killing him, complete with having him fake Batgirl's death and taunt Batman with it. There's all sorts of bones and skeletal imagery which is not at all in keeping with the usual tone of this series and this version of Batman. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, honestly. I expect a lighter approach with this series, and I'm not quite sure this storyline works. I'd be interested in JT's impression of it. It's not a bad story, but it would fit other iterations of the character better than the Adam West version.

Nightwing/Oracle #1
I picked up one more Convergence issue, because I've always thought that if any two DC characters would work well together as a couple, it would be Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. And as a non-powered hero, I figured Nightwing would still be active even under the dome, and of course he is. The storyline takes the approach of exploring how some people react to being trapped. Nightwing remains active in fighting crime, while Oracle is close to giving up. Interestingly, so does Mr. Freeze, who barely resists when Nightwing corners him and his thugs, deciding that there's no point to it. As seen in the previews, Grayson proposes to Barbara, but she turns him down because of the downward turn she's taken emotionally. The lifting of the dome and the arrival of Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkgirl changes that, and the two take them on, though Barbara's approach is more subtle and isn't revealed until the final page. Nightwing is outclassed by Hawkman, as one would expect. And again, the two page spread in the back of the book that details the history of the two characters is welcome.

Multiversity Ultra Comics #1
I've read this one a couple of times, and I'm still digesting it. It's very meta of course, more than most of the other issues in the series. The comic book itself is the super hero, sort of, constructed from swirling inks and referring to the staples of his spine. And then of course he's programmed with Golden to modern age behavior, which is a nice bit of commentary about the changing face of comics. And then there's the thought balloon joke. The book is a treatise on super-hero comics, essentially, and how we interact with them as readers. "Turn the page. Do it, slave!" Fun. :) Morrison explored this ground back when he was writing Animal Man, so it's an old topic for him, but he has 20 years more experience writing comics and thinking about them. I'm not sure I get everything he's saying in this issue, but there are plenty of jabs at the comic book industry and the readers who consume them. All this and Gary Concord the Ultra-Man as well. Talk about an obscure character.

Not sure how much I enjoyed this issue. I had fun with the reader manipulation and Morrison's commentary, but I'd probably enjoy it more if it was a little more straightforward and a little easier to figure out. Morrison would insist that it's not as complicated as people make it out to be, but then he knows what he's going for. He could stand to communicate his ideas a little more clearly.
Dominic wrote:Multiversity (Ultra Comics):
This is the most directly self-referencing issue of "Multiversity", even more than the guidebook. "Ultra Comics" is the name of both the book and the main character. Ultra Comics is an artificially created, thought powered, being designed to counter the influence of "bad ideas" (the Gentry). The high concept is how people influence ideas and vice versa. Morrison inverts the idea of readers/creators leeching off of fiction (as seen in "Final Crisis") and presents the idea of fiction leeching off of readers. Essential if one is reading "Multiversity", but not as good over-all as the "Master Men" issue.

Grade; A
I think I really need to have read Final Crisis to get a lot of what Morrison is going for in Multiversity.

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Dominic
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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It might the case that it is not as complicated as anybody makes it out to be. Relating "Multiiversity" to "Animal Man" or "Final Crisis" makes if much easier to understand. (Reading "Zenith" also helps, assuming your local shop gets copies. Picked up volume 3 this past week. Working through it.) Of course, the paradox with Morrison is that he purports to have a Silver Age fetish and claims to want a return to that time. But, he himself writes comics that could not have existed in the Silver Age and that demand more consideration than Silver Age comics.

When reading Morrison though, "Final Crisis" and "Animal Man" (which I have only read some of) are essential. If you can find a copy of "Super Gods", read that as well. (That includes Morrison shoot-talking about those jabs at readers that you noticed.)

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Post by Onslaught Six »

Both DC and Marvel for the rest of this year:

"We're going to shit up what few good books we have left for absolutely no goddamn reason!"
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.
People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Marvel tweets a response to DC's goodbye to New York:
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/20 ... perfectly/
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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Dominic
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Both DC and Marvel for the rest of this year:

"We're going to shit up what few good books we have left for absolutely no goddamn reason!"
Lolololol, whiny fan memes.


Seriously though, what the hell are you talking about? Marvel has been doing amazing stuff for the last 5 years or so. (And, the latter part of the previous decade was also pretty solid.) Marvel has the deepest talent pool in the industry at the moment. They gave plenty of notice about "Secret Wars". Any books with rushed endings are the fault of the writers, not Marvel Editorial.

And, DC traditionally launches new books after resets. At least a few of the new books are likely to be good. (Post-"Flashpoint" "Batman" also did pretty well.)

But, it is more fun to complain about the big two than actually read their books...or something.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Post by BWprowl »

Dominic wrote:But, it is more fun to complain about the big two than actually read their books...or something.
Why can't they do both, like you?
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