Tag Archives: DCnU

Continuing to add to diversity to the DCnU

3 Jun

ImageI have written several times on the decline of “diversity” for the sake of diversity at DC.  Well adjusted characters like Barry Allen and Billy Batson have lost their families or their happy go lucky attitude.  Married couples are vanishing completely.  And now, this week, DC added another casualty of this sort to their list.  Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, will be “updated” in the ongoing new DCU. 

For those who don’t know about the Green Lantern concept, Alan came first years ago.  He survived World War 2 and started a family.  His ring was a magic ring.  Over twenty years ago, his children Jade and Obsidian first popped up.  These characters were great characters.  Obsidian was gay.  Now, though, they will probably not exist at all.  Instead Alan will be gay and have a boyfriend.  Meanwhile, on another Earth, Hal Jordan was given a ring that belonged to a dying alien and became the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps, a group of space police.  When the original Crisis happened, and the worlds merged, Alan became an older statesman and guided other characters.  This gave him a distinct and special role of a father figure to numerous characters, not the least of which were his biological children. 

I am not really sure what purpose this serves.  Replacing one gay character with another, ruining an entire family of characters.  I find it horribly unfair to Alan’s creators and numerous other writers and artists that have worked on the character.  It doesn’t add anything to the character at all while subtracting a lot of what made Alan a special character.  And now, he will become the “gay Green Lantern,” while losing the role of the father figure. 

To make it worse, I don’t know why they did this to a character concept they are trying to make into an icon.  Hal had DC’s lost big (albeit flop) movie, toys, video games, and a cartoon series.  Now, the news is reporting that “Green Lantern” is going to be gay.  This is going to cause a great deal of confusion in the marketplace.  It was bad enough when the movie came out and I had to explain that the black Green Lantern comes later.  Now, I will have to explain to people that the gay one is not the main one.  My head is going go to explode. 

I know this is rambling and I don’t care that DC will have another gay character.  I didn’t mind that there was a gay Starman.  I liked Mikaal in the Justice League and I liked Obsidian in the Justice Society.  I don’t however approve of taking a rare family man hero and destroying that for the sake of scoring diversity points in the news. 

 

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The lack of diversity

8 Apr

It’s been a while since I updated my blog here.  So let me preface this by saying: I love DC comics.  I have since I was a little guy and now I am a happily married guy with three children who I continue indoctrinating into the DC universe. I understand the need for the DCnU, though like probably everybody else I would have done a LOT differently and a good bit very similarly.  I read a lot of the DCnU, including some titles I would never have imagined buying.  That said, I have one major issue with it (and several others).  There is a noticeable lack of diversity in the DCnU. 

Now, I don’t mean what most people mean when I suggest a lack of diversity.  There are several African-American characters, Asian characters, and Hispanic characters.  Going a step further, there is a book headlined by a lesbian character.  Diversity is all about.  What I mean, though, is there a definite lack of well adjusted characters with happy childhoods. 

Gone are most of the married characters in the DCU.  Elongated Man and Sue, my all time favorite married couple in comics, are gone and I wonder if they are dead or ever existed in the new DCU.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl, the one comic book movie I would love to write like no other, are also not married.  Whether Hawkgirl has existed or not is also up for grabs.  Hawkman seemed incredibly bitter about something before I dropped the book.  Good timing too because Rob Liefield is about to take over and that would just disappoint me to no end.  Aquaman is married and for once I am completely interested in his ongoing adventures. 

Fun characters are also missing in action. The aforementioned Ralph and Sue are missing.  Ted Kord, my second favorite character ever, has yet to show up.  Booster Gold leads a practically lifeless iteration of my all time favorite Justice League run over in Justice League International. 

Meanwhile, practically all of the heroes now has some painful moment dominating their lives.  Superman’s adopted parents are dead again.  I can deal with this because originally the Kents were dead before he became Superman.  But I was used to him having them around.  Also, Barry Allen, originally one of DC’s great “normal” heroes, is now an orphan without a wife or nephew, or pretty much anything else. 

Finally, the most recent example and in a way the most disappointing is the new Captain Marvel.  Marvel has always been a shining star at DC.  Yes, he was at times sickeningly sweet but that was part of the charm.  He was a rare orphan with a tragic past who overcame it and was very happy with his life.  Now, though, he is just another child with a foul attitude.  I don’t want to judge the final product based on one issue but currently I don’t get any real feeling of Captain Marvel from this Billy.  He needs to be a happy go lucky kid.  And while I am at it, though I like Gary Frank, his Sivana looks almost exactly like Lex Luthor.  I know two bald autocrats in one universe can be confusing, but Sivana is supposed to be a small, buck toothed little guy.  Makes a big difference. 

 

The Endof the New DCU

5 Oct

Last week wrapped up the DCnU.  For the most part, I thought it was a successful start to a new era of DC Comics.  Of course, there were some hiccups along the way, but for the most part, the books I read and the decisions made were good.  The major storylines that are no longer in effect  seems to imply someone forgot to think everything through before starting the new 52.  And several books’ creative teams are already shuffling, but I think for the most part, this is a good idea. So what about the books I got last week? 

Green Lanterns: The New Guardians

This book had potential.  Still, it didn’t live up to the potential.  The notion that one of each of the seven corps joining forces for some reason could be good.  Unfortunately, we don’t get that.  Instead, we got Kyle getting a ring from each corps and several random characters showing up to fight Kyle. Even this, could have worked.  But the entire issue builds up to the different characters showing up and then it ended.  And we have the promise of a fight next issue.  I have to admit, this was entirely underwhelming.  The art was also not worth it.  If this book doesn’t improve soon, I may drop a Green Lantern book.  This would surprise me.  That said, Kyle has always been my least favorite Earth based Green Lantern. 

 Aquaman

I never really cared for Peter David’s Aquaman, which I know is abnormal for Aquaman fans.  I have always thought the character had potential, but never quite lived up to it.  That said, since his role in Blackest Night, I have waited for this book.  I was disappointed overall with Brightest Day but issue 1 of Aquaman was a resounding success.  Yes, in the book, he is almost treated as a joke, but the entire point is to prove he is not a joke, regardless of what people think of him.  And the jokes at his expense were actually funny.  Meanwhile, like many others have said, Ivan Reis could draw the phone book, and I would want a copy.  I hope this book continues like this. 

Flash

I had not planned on liking this book because Geoff, my current favorite author, had left.  And yet, this book was just as good as if he hadn’t.  There were a couple of clunky moments, and from what I understand Manupel hasn’t written a comic before, so this is to be expected.  For example, Patty, a scientist, is originally for building more highways to decrease congestion in Central.  But when random new science guy says that it wouldn’t help, her opinion suddenly changes and argues that they should destroy all the highways and go for light rail.  If the science gal is that easily swayed in her beliefs, I have to wonder what she is doing in the first place.  Still, overall, the book was awesome.  The characters shine and Barry is coming back into his role as the Flash of today.  Like most people of my generation, I wonder what happened to Wally, but I am willing to give Barry a shot. 

Superman

I have no desire to read Grant Morrison on Action Comics, but I was looking forward to George Perez’s take on Superman.  The book was a lot more meaty than most books currently.  I felt like I actually got my twenty pages worth of this title.  Still, it seemed very eighties, which was mildly disappointing.  Yes, the tech was better and the characters outfits were modernized, but the story was standard fare for thirty years ago.  I hate to say it, but I am glad George is moving on.  Because he is being replaced by my all time favorite comics author, Keith Giffen.  The sky is the limit and I can’t wait! 

Hawkman

Hawkman is a character I love but is almost never done right.  I thought Geoff and David got him right in the JSA and I felt the first bit of his last series was good, but almost everywhere else, he is wasted potential.  This new book looks more like that mold, than what I hoped for.  The villain was one note, the supporting cast was generic cannon fodder.  I had no problems with Carter Hall wanting to give up on the suit and little problems with the nth metal absorbing in his skin.  Potentially, this could be very interesting.  But I am really disappointed Kendra wasn’t mentioned at all.  The one thing that bothers me even more is the reincarnation angle seems completely dropped.  That completely set him apart from anyone else in comics and allows history nerds like myself to feel like a superhero.  I hope it comes back soon.

Fury of Firestorm

Finally, the one book most likely to be cut soon by me was one I hoped to love the most.  I love Ethan Van Scivier and I love Gail Simone, but this was a mess.  Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond can work together great.  Just check out Batman: Brave and the Bold.  But it is never done right in the comics.  Jason is the typical angry black youth and Ronnie is the typical closet racist apparently.  Instead of becoming one superhero, which was a weird and unique part to the story, both become Firestorms and can merge into Super-Firestorm.  Why?  Unless this improves next issue, I will experience the Fury at Firestorm.  Which would be a waste. 

 

O.M.A.C. and Keith Giffen

21 Sep

My favorite comic creator of all time is Keith Giffen, who co-created classic runs on the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Justice League in the 80s.  I loved these books and still read them frequently.  Until recently, I purchased my comics from the local comic shop, and unfortunately they didn’t get his most recent book Doom Patrol, which I heard was wonderful (if you liked his work).  So when the new 52 was announced, I eagerly waited to see if there would be a book by Keith.  And then, the worst news I could imagine was anounced, Dan Didio was working with him…..on O.M.A.C. 

Dan Didio is far from my favorite creator in comics. In fact, I have use for him.  I was sure I wasn’t going to even try it.  And O.M.A.C. was a character I never cared about either.  Many characters I loved were getting pushed aside while this rare Jack Kirby creation I didn’t like was getting my favorite creator to work on a series for him.  To add insult to injury, suddenly, O.M.A.C. became a critically accaimed title. 

I had carefully chosen the titles I was going to purchase and this wasn’t one of them.  But I kept hearing about the influence Keith Giffen had on the title.  The art in the preview was a lot of fun, as Keith channeled his inner Kirby.  Finally, I decided to skip Justice League Dark at the end of the month and try it.  I have to admit, I was truly surprised.  I don’t know what Dan brought to the title, but it was really fun.  It reminded me a lot of early Marvel’s Hulk, which is a title I never cared for but it’s a fun vibe. 

In O.M.A.C., we discover that Cadmus Labs, a Kirby creation I have always loved, secretly is creating all sorts of craziness.  Meanwhile, a large, rampaging hulk like creature with a crazy blue mohark begins assaulting the building.  The beast is being led by Brother Eye, a gigantic power mad satellite, who wants to interface with Cadmus computer core.  When O.M.A.C. discovers the underground labs, a collection of odd creatures Cadmus created, like the old Dubbilex, critters that eat people, and a beatiful woman, whose head opens to a lazer cannon.  Although he makes his way through these threats, the issue ends with him mysteriously transplanted to a desert and restored to human form.  The next issue is aptly titled “Next issue things get really weird.”  I certainly recommend this title!

To make the new 52 even more interesting, Green Arrow’s writer is leaving with issue three, only to be replaced by Keith Giffen, who describes the new working relationship with Dan Jurgens and George Perez as some of the most fun he has had.  That’s another book I have to decide to drop.  Darn you Giffen!

Week 2 on the DCnU

16 Sep

This week was a fun week for my DC purchases. I am still waiting for my print books to arrive, as I have several books I order, but this week I purchased four titles digitally. Mostly, they were pretty good overall. I had a few problems with some of the books however. The biggest problem was page count. DC recently had their “Hold the line at 2.99” initiative, which dropped the number of pages in a standard book down to 20 pages. Now, I understood that to be 20 pages of story. Most of the books however had 19 pages of story plus the title, while Legion Lost seems to be 18 pages of story, a title page, and a stupid ad for Hot Wheels. Now, in a standard comic book, I expect ads, but digitally I only expect the occasional, “Buy these other digital titles” ads. And I expect 20 pages of story!

1) My favorite book of the week was a surprise, but one I was hoping would be. It was Demon Knights. Now, I am not a big fan of the Demon Etrigan in a book devoted to him, but have really enjoyed him as a guest star, and always thought he was one of Kirby’s great characters. For those who don’t know, Merlin trapped a demon in the body of a poor man, Jason Blood, on the night Camelot fell. In this new book, he is in love with Xanadu, DC’s resident fortune teller, of whom I also don’t normally care for. The two are trying to stop an evil Queen from dominating medieval Europe. As a fan of history and comics, I love this concept. There’s also the new Shining Knight, and although I prefer the original, at least Paul seems to write her fun. Vandal Savage looks to be joining the rag tag team of heroes. The final members are an Arabian Bruce Wayne, crazed Amazon, and mysterious horse lady. Most exciting to me, though, is the second villain, Modru. I LOVE this old Legion foe, and was thrilled when DC added him the JSA. This is a book that I look forward to. It might even be my favorite title of the DCnU currently.

2) Legion Lost is a book I desperately want to love and it was pretty good. Not great by far, but decidedly decent. Members of DC’s thirty-first century super-team follow an evil threat to the 21st century, where their tech suddenly stops working. The team consists of Gates, Tellus, Chameleon Girl, Dawnstar, Wilfdire, Tyroc, and Lonewolf. The book heats up quickly, as it appears the villain has some dreaded disease he affects people with. The book’s story is exciting, but ends in a way that, though previews hinted at, severely disappoints me, as two members (including my favorite of the seven) died in an attempt to stop the villain. I plan on trying the next issue or two but this really stole a great deal of my excitement.

My other problem is the art in the book. The art just doesn’t measure up in any way. It was definitely my least favorite looking book of the week.

3) Red Lanterns was a good book. The characters are typical insane Red Lanterns. Dex-star shows up, which is always fun, and is rescued from a mission gone awry by Atrocitus, the granddaddy Red Lantern. Atrocitus, though, isn’t feeling all ragey currently, as the focus of his mad on is now dead, killed by Hal Jordan, in the last issue of the last Green Lantern title. Meanwhile, it appears a human is about to go the route of Red Lantern, which could be interesting. Atrocitus figures out what he is missing, just in time to realize Bleeze may be plotting to overthrow him. All in all, I see this as an interesting addition to the Green Lantern mythos, as long as they occasionally intertwine,

4) Finally, I got Suicide Squad. I loved the original Squad and the sequel series of Secret Six. This book doesn’t appear to have any of the charm of either series. Deadshot is still Deadshot, and has a few moments. Harley is always fun, but the new costume is a disaster. King Shark looks nothing like himself though and neither does Waller, the squad’s leader. The cliffhanger could lead to an interesting mission and I will definitely try issue 2 but unless it is much better, I will be done with it.

Week 2 was fun. The mystery cloaked woman is still around which could be a great moment. I don’t plan on getting much next week but I hope someone lets me know some books are worth while. Have a great week.

My Favorite Martian and The Justice League International

8 Sep

This week, DC’s big 52 initiative hit the ground running with many titles I wanted to read.  However, I have limited funds, so I had to settle on two of the new 52 this week.  My all time favorite run in comics was Giffen and Demattias’s run on the Justice League International, so I have been waiting patiently for Justice League International since I heard it was coming.  The other book I got was Stormwatch because Martian Manhunter is one of my favorite characters of all time.  I must confess, though neither book made me love them, both were actually pretty good. 

Stormwatch 1

I only bought this book for Jonn Jonzz the Martian Manhunter.  He is one of DC’s oldest heroes, dating back to the dawn of the Silver Age, and was a founding member of the Justice League.  In the DCnU, this may or may not be the case.  Instead, he is an active member of Stormwatch, a series that DC gained when they purchased Wildstorm, a rival years ago.  Now for the first time, the Wildstorm characters are part of the DCU proper, which is kind of neat.  It’s like what they did with the Charleton and Fawcett characters after the Crisis.  I had never read the series before, though I did read a few issues of Authority, a team that this version of Stormwatch seems to meshed with.  It was a more violent and sexual version of the Justice League years ago.  So how did this book go now?

I was pleasently surprised.  Jonn seems a good deal more serious.  But that works.  He is the last survivor of an alien race, but unlike Superman, he knew his people.  He also should be considered one of the most powerful heroes out there, having Superman’s powers and then some.  Seeing him floor Apollo quickly was a treat, though then in turn seeing him beaten by Midnighter disappointed me.  Frankly, I was completely disappointed with Midnighter, who looked like an S & M actor, instead of a “superhero,” but this is a minor gripe.  The rest of the story had definite promise.  The moon is possessed, and some ninja sword guy is trying desperately to diagnose the threat?  Now, I would have sent Jonn myself to deal with this, but maybe there is a method to this potential madness?  Overall, the book had a lot of interesting characters and premise.  I look forward to the next issue. 

Justice League International 1

The old JLI was my all time favorite series and team book.  The characters and humor were perfect.  For those who thought it was always humor, though, I recommend you check out the Despero story and the Extremists story in the JLE book.  The books could be very serious when they wanted to.  I can’t recommend these books highly enough.  I have loved them always and after selling my entire collection several years ago, I can honestly say that the JLI is one of the few titles I care enough about to repurchase.  But what about the reboot?

This isn’t Dan’s first shot with the Justice League International, having written and penciled the JLA branch after Griffen and Demattias left.  His new start is a pretty solid start.  Overall, I think it might even be stronger start than last week’s Justice League.  It features classic JLI characters like Booster, Guy, Bats, Fire and Ice.  It also has recent newcomer to the JLI in Gavril, the new Rocket Red introduced in last year’s Generation Lost.  I would have much rather it had been Dimitri, the classic Rocket Red, and yes I realize he died a few years ago, but this is a reboot.  The August General in Iron, from 52, Godiva, a former member of the Global Guardians, and Vixen, former JLAer round out the team.  It’s an interesting group of characters.  Already we see Guy is a hothead, Booster is a gloryhound, Godiva seems like a new Crimson Fox. I really like that Batman has faith in Booster and shows up later as a member. 

The story features the start of a new crisis.  A group known as the Signal Men are rising around the world.  These look like classic killer robot monsters and could be a lot of fun.  The book has a few jokes, here and there.  Nothing “Bwahaha” worthy, but cute nonetheless.  I really like that this book mentions the regular Justice League is “still around” in the present day.  Based on the writing alone, I look forward to the next issue. 

The art wasn’t bad, but it could have been much better.  I would rather have had Dan pencil this instead of Green Arrow. Unfortunately, this looks like a no. 

Based on the first whole week of the DCnU, I have high hopes that this could work.  Although the books I have read have only been pretty good, that is a lot better than it could be.  I enjoyed all three books more than the last Justice League title, which I thought was decent.  Next week has many books I am interested in.  I can’t wait.

My Thoughts on Crazy, Stupid, Love

6 Sep

So today’s post is a little different.  I had a crazy, busy weekend.  School work, church stuff, and family stuff dominated this three day weekend.  My wife and I wisely planned our anniversary around a holiday weekend, and although it is always nice, it’s almost always packed with five or six thousand things to do.  This weekend, my wife and I decided to go to a movie.  We saw Crazy, Stupid, Love this weekend.  I must confess, though I like Steven Carroll, I have never really loved him in a movie.  This was fantastic though.  The storyline was funny and (I have always been a romantic sap) quite good.  I honestly don’t recall the last movie where everyone laughed so much.  Our hero, Stephen Carroll, finds that his wife cheated on him and tries to move on with life.  To do so, though, requires help from a local big shot with the ladies, Ryan Gosling, to teach him about women today.  This goes quite well, until Ryan realizes he is in love, and needs help from Stephen to get the lady.  Eventually it all blows up, like all movies must.  But it does it really well.  Meanwhile, Stephen’s middle school son has a crush on a high school kid, who has a crush on dear old dad.  This leads to the one part of the movie I was disappointed in.  From a (former) boy’s perspective, I can imagine the excitement that would come from a scene near the end, but as a parent, I was really disgusted by it.  Other than that one point, though, this movie was a resounding success.  Easily an 8 or 9. 

On a different note, the new 52 is now in high gear.  I am very excited about.  Although I use this for all sorts of random thoughts, I know I mainly use it for comic book information.  So, over the next few weeks, I will be reviewing the issues I get.  I get some via subsciption, I will be getting several day and date digitally.  When I get them, I will review each first issue.  On the other hand, I will be getting some issues in a hardcover come DC.  I will review it as a whole, not specific issues.  Let me know what you think.