Comics are Awesome III

A general discussion forum, plus hauls and silly games.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Post by Sparky Prime »

andersonh1 wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:39 amThis was an enormously successful event for DC, as I understand it. So it's ironic that just a year or two later, all of this would not have been possible, because Blackest Night was published in 2009 and 2010, and 2011 gave us the New 52 reboot, jettisoning so much of the character history that makes Blackest Night work so well. It's just interesting timing when I look at it that way. The basic story of Nekron and the Black Lanterns could still have been told in the New 52, but a lot of the depth that made it what it was would not have been present.
For sure. Exactly as you said, part of what made Blackest Night so effective is the continuity, the shared emotional connections the characters had with one another. I can't imagine what a post-new 52 version of the story would have been like with all of that gone. But then, they had so many contradictory things they were trying to do with the New 52 which just made the whole thing a mess...
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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 - Alpha War - John Stewart's decision to kill his fellow Lantern to keep him from spilling Oa's defense secrets comes back to bite him, thanks to the Guardians secretly plotting the demise of the Corps. This involves allowing the Alpha Lanterns to arrest John and for him to be tried and sentenced to death. In the meantime, the Guardians plan to destroy Guy's influence and leadership within the Corps, so they set him up by offering him a new, higher rank than he already has, which he jumps at. I thought this was a far stronger storyline than the first volume, despite the fact that I still don't like the decision to turn the Guardians into maniacs who want to eliminate free will throughout the Universe with their Third Army. I have to admit that the way they create dissension in the ranks using the actions that John and Guy freely took shows the Guardians understand the nature of these prominent members of the GLC pretty well. The Alpha Lanterns still had more of their pre-alteration personality than I expected, my impression from Rage of the Red Lanterns is that they had essentially been stripped of a lot of their personality in favor of emotional detachment. But here they still have emotion and debate and disagreement among themselves. I was a little disturbed that Varix ultimately killed them, rather than try to imprison his former fellow Green Lanterns, or find a way to recover their personalities. As he showed, they still had the ability to think independently and exercise moral judgment. At least at their memorial the other Green Lanterns remember them as fellow Lanterns, and give them respect, however badly their service ended. And I like the way Salaak is starting to realize what the Guardians are doing. For their most loyal, long-time supporter to turn against them is a big deal, and it shows that despite his many clashes with Guy and Hal and the others over the years, his heart is in the right place.

In the last few issues in the book, Guy is promoted to the rank of Sentinel. But the Guardians are setting him up to fail. They assign him to escort a diplomatic contingent to Oa while at the same time secretly releasing a criminal with a personal grudge against Guy, knowing that Guy will leave the escort to go protect his family once he learns this. They send the criminal to slaughter the delegation, and between that loss of life and the transformation of the rest of Guy's Lantern escort into Third Army creatures, the Guardians have enough ammo to demand Guy's resignation, after which they send him back to Earth in disgrace. End of volume.

I never read any of this at the time of publication, and I don't really remember why I wasn't reading GLC along with the main GL book all along, but I wasn't. I dropped Green Lantern once the Rise of the Third Army storyline started and didn't pick it up again until issue 21, so even if I had been reading I might well have dropped this book as well. But years after the fact, it's nice to read some pretty good Green Lantern stories that I have not read before, even if it's part of a story arc that I didn't care for at all. John and Guy are good co-leads. I'm glad to finally read the Alpha Lantern plotline resolution, I had wondered where that ended up.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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World's Finest #6 - Robin/Dick Grayson was lost in time after Supergirl lost her grip on him while returning to the present during the Devil Nezha storyline. So what does he do? He carves "come and find me" on a rock and leaves it for Batman and Superman to find. It's so wonderfully simple, and it works. In the meantime, trapped in the 1890s, Robin does what he knows and joins a circus as an acrobat, and along the way he solves a murder mystery in a small-stakes plot that feels like a Golden Age throwback. Superman and Batman get in on the circus act briefly when they travel back in time (and I love the old school "he can fly fast enough to time travel" method that Superman uses here), helping Robin wrap things up. But really this is a solo Dick Grayson/Robin story for the most part, and he's still very much the lead character driving the action even when his co-stars appear. This whole thing feels inspired by those early World's Finest covers that always had Batman, Superman and Robin on them. I like giving him equal page time.
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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Grant Morrison has been writing annotations on Season 2 of The Green Lantern over on his Substack that make more sense of some of the harder to figure out parts of season 2. We might have dodged a bullet with Dan Didio's firing and the scrapping of 5G as well, because the intention was to retire Hal as GL and replace him with "a more diverse" Green Lantern, although I honestly think we're seeing that anyway with how John Stewart and Jo Mullein are being pushed front and center, with Kyle and Guy barely seen for the last year, and Hal often relegated to supporting status rather than lead.

There are five pages of notes about TGL season 2. I'll say one thing for him, he certainly has a tendency to place characters that no one else probably remembers from Silver Age books into the series. I caught his references to stuff that I have read, but a lot of the things he mentions I have never read. At least he enjoyed making the connections!

part 1 https://grantmorrison.substack.com/p/25 ... nnotations
part 2 https://grantmorrison.substack.com/p/31 ... nnotations
part 3 https://grantmorrison.substack.com/p/20 ... nnotations
part 4 https://grantmorrison.substack.com/p/30 ... nnotations
part 5 https://grantmorrison.substack.com/p/65 ... nnotations
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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Dark Crisis #4 - Barry rescues Hal from John Stewart's world, and explains what's been happening to the other Justice League members. The Titans and the JSA compare notes, and Alan Scott tries to get Nightwing to step up and keep leading. The centerpiece plotline of the issue is Black Adam discussing the situation with the Legion of Doom when they're attacked by Deathstroke and his army, and everyone (except Black Adam) are possessed by the Great Darkness. Pariah is using all of this conflict somehow to recreate the original Multiverse, the one lost after Crisis on Infinite Earths, and at the end of the issue it looks like he's succeeded as we get a variant on the old "hand holding creation" image we see, often associated with Krona's attempt to view the moment of creation. Here it's an open hand, releasing a bunch of Earths.

Despite all the characters and despite the links to the original Crisis, this event still feels small to me, like it's just a standard JLA crossover. Yeah, it's nice to see so many different characters, though the downside is that each group only gets a few pages per issue. This story will definitely read better in collected form. All that being said, it's enjoyable, if not as epic as it would like to be, and not much is happening that isn't pretty boilerplate "DC event". I think the writers have gone to the multiverse well too many times, and rewritten reality too many times at this point, the whole idea has lost its impact. One of the things that gave the original Crisis impact was the real world impact that mirrored the story as these many different characters and companies that DC Comics had bought were all made part of the same shared continuity. I don't see how that ever gets repeated.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Flash 786 - So I'm picking this book up regularly, at least for the time being. Nice to see Wally as the Flash, with his wife and kids making this a "superhero family" book. Jai gets lessons in "shockwave clapping" from Power Girl, which is fun. It's a Dark Crisis tie-in, but that seems to involve the various members of the Flash extended family going places and fighting villains, including Klarion the Witch-boy. Jay Garrick is in the book, Jesse Quick is in the book, and I think I saw Max Mercury. And Linda has picked up super speed somewhere. This is a book that is the opposite of dark and dreary, and I'm on board with it.

Dark Crisis #5 - I like the story, but while every issue is well drawn and has some fun scenes, it continues to feel like 5 pages worth of plot dragged out to 5 issues. Maybe that's my problem with this series, that it just shouldn't take as long as it has to tell this story. The Justice League are back, mostly, thanks to Barry and Hal, and taking on Pariah, who is happy to see the infinite Earths return though there's something wrong with them. Meanwhile Nightwing leads all of Earth's remaining heroes against Deathstroke's corrupted villain army. I like it, but it feels like it's over before it began and it feels like all of this will be reset or mean very little when it's done. It's hard to explain exactly... I like it but it feels insubstantial.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Flash 787 - In attempting to stop what looks like aliens fighting and damaging parts of the city, Wally ends up having a great time participating in an interdimensional wrestling league who try to steer clear of the Green Lantern corps. They come in, they wrestle, they do some damage, they have a great time, and the clean up crew repairs everything after they're done. It's a fun spoof of pro-wrestling and gives Wally a break from drama to just have a good time. The book is as light hearted and fun as it sounds, I expected to not be all that thrilled, but it really is a fun issue and I enjoyed it.

Marvel Family #1 facsimile edition - A Golden Age Captain Marvel comic gets a replica edition, and no surprise, it features Black Adam's one and only Golden Age appearance right before the movie comes out. Since this is the first issue of "Marvel Family", everyone gets an origin recap, so the actual story with Black Adam is fairly short, and familiar these days. He was the wizard Shazam's original champion, but the power went to his head. Shazam couldn't take the power away, so he banished him to "the farthest star" and Black Adam has spent the past 5,000 years flying back to Earth to get revenge. He can't hurt the Marvels, they can't hurt him, but in the end Uncle Dudley tricks him into saying Shazam, he reverts to his mortal form, and ages 5,000 years in a few seconds to his death. The book also includes ads, a text story, and a backup story where someone leaves a baby on Billy Batson's doorstep, and hijinks ensue as the entire Marvel family can't take care of an infant. It's all light-hearted and not meant to be taken too seriously. Nice to see any of this era reprinted.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Fantastic Four #1 (694) - New writer, new artist, Alex Ross covers, and a new logo. This issue only has the Thing and Alicia in it, on a road trip, where they stop in a small town that it turns out has been stuck in a time loop since 1947. It's sort of a combination of Groundhog Day and a Twilight Zone episode that requires Ben and Alicia to figure out what's causing it and put a stop to it. They're not trapped, they can leave any time, they just want to help the people here. The ending teases some catastrophe caused by Reed, of course, so we'll get to that down the line no doubt. Great issue, and nice to open with a small story and just two of the cast. I enjoyed it.

World's Finest #9 - We continue to get the story behind Superman's "sidekick", the super powered boy from another dimension, as he works with the Teen Titans, with Batman, and with Superman. He's a teen with a ton of power and not a lot of emotional control, and in the end falls victim to Joker venom as the Joker and the Key team up to use him to go after Batman and Superman. A lot of the appeal of this book comes from the art and Mark Waid's retro tone and setting.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Upcoming DC titles after Dark Crisis ends:

https://www.cbr.com/dawn-of-dc-yearlong ... n-lantern/
  • Superboy, Man of Tomorrow - Kenny Porter & Jahnoy Lindsay
    Unstoppable Doom Patrol - by Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham
    Green Lantern: Hal Jordan - Mariko Tamaki, Artist TBA
    Green Lantern: John Stewart - Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist TBA
    Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Guillem March, Gabriel Hardman, Dan Mora, Rob Williams and more.
    Green Arrow - Joshua Williamson Sean Izaakse
    Shazam! - Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora
    The Penguin - Tom King and artist Stefano Gaudiano

Anything with Tom King is a pass for me. I'm in for both GL books, and possibly Shazam, since Waid and Mora have done so well on World's Finest.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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If you do not like King, you ain't gonna like Tamaki.

I liked "the Visions". But, I am not specifically a fan of King.


I dropped the "Son of Kal El" when it got pulled in to a cross-over that required me to buy other stuff not written by Tom Taylor. Sticking with "Nightwing" for now. I have to first two issues of "Batman Inc", as I am a fan of Brisson.
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