Tag Archives: Superman

Rebirth Round 1

11 Nov

We are now in the fifth month of DC’s Rebirth initiative.  The New 52, which had opened to financial success, had alienated many longtime DC readers.  Though I was extremely disappointed in the line overall, I stuck with the New 52 and enjoyed many individual titles, from each launch period.  After five years, though, DC decided the best way to reconnect with their fans was to begin to bring back much of the classic DCU, while not destroying the foundation of the reboot.  Sales have been stellar, pushing DC into the number 1 spot for the last several months.  But is this a better foundation of titles than the New 52 or are we setting up for another big fall a few months down the line?

Personally, I have enjoyed almost all of the titles and have tried the vast majority of the titles that have been published.  Batman, DC’s regular benchmark title, has lost Scott Snyder who dominated the New 52, month in and month out.  And yet, in spite of this, the new Rebirth Batman title has also been a huge success for DC.  The story of the Gothams was high octane, superhero melodrama.  And though I didn’t enjoy the Night of the Monsters crossover as much, the Suicide Squad story seems to have returned the title to its rightful spot in the DC pantheon.  Detective Comics, a title that floundered from writer to writer in the previous series, has similarly experienced great success.  The initial storyline, based around a secret military unit based off of Batman’s tech and training, was exciting and created a new status quo for the Bat-Family.  And its second solo storyline looks to continue this excitement.  And for those of us who loved Scott Snyder’s Batman can take heart as his All Star Batman title has been his typical, crazy but fun ride.  The only complaint I have about it is that it is a rare title that only ships once a month.

The Superman titles are similarly experiencing some of the most fun stories they have seen in a while.  Specifically, the Superman title might be the best it has been years.  Having “my Superman” back and experiencing the trials of father-hood have been fantastic.  And though Kon-El, by Karl Kesel, will always be my Superboy, Jonathon has been a joy to read about.  I especially loved the two part love letter to the New Frontier, which just wrapped up.  Dan Jurgens has been writing Superman over in Action Comics.  Hopefully, everyone is familiar with Jurgens’s Superman work.  And though I don’t think it has been as exciting, it has been reestablishing Superman’s role in Metropolis.  He has placed the “real Lois” back at the Daily Planet, and he is now playing with Geoff Johns’s idea of Lex Luthor being the replacement of Darkseid. It boggles the mind.

I hope to have more to say about the relaunch over the next few days.  Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern titles, and more have similar successes to look at.  Meanwhile, DC Entertainment has diversified their publishing line with a renewed focus on the Hannah Barbara characters and new line called Young Animal which reminds me of the classic Vertigo concept.  But the bottom line is, even though DC upset many fans over the last few years, Rebirth really seems to be living up to its name.  The price drop for almost all of DC’s titles to $2.99 and the 2x monthly shipping seems to be working.  The company seems to be sitting at the best spot it has been in years.  Keep it up!    

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My Review of Countdown to Final Crisis

18 Jun

I have been a fan of DC Comics now for twenty-five years.  In that time, I have seen some great “event” comics, like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Blackest Night.  I have seen some decent ones too, like Armaggedon 2001 and Underworld Unleashed.  And then there were the terrible ones, like Genesis and Final Crisis.  Now, Final Crisis is one of those books people either seem to love or hate and since day one, I have always fallen in the latter category.  Because of this, a year and a half ago, I decided to buy The Death of the New Gods.  It was a book many talked down but this usually revolved around the differences between it and Final Crisis. When I finished The Death of the New Gods, I was shocked.  I loved it!  It was a satisfying conclusion to Kirby’s masterpiece for me.  And if it was better than people said, what of that other event that was supposed to feed into Final Crisis but didn’t mesh right?  What of Countdown to Final Crisis? 

This had plagued me since it came out.  When it came out, I had not read 52 and the thought of a weekly comic did not appeal to me because I could only get to a comic shop about once a month.  Eventually, I bought and fell in love with 52 through trades.  I thought of buying Countdown the same way, but the fourth trade has stayed consistently expensive on Amazon.  But then came Hero’s Con, in Charlotte and I had the chance to buy all 51 issues, Countdown to Adventure, the Lord Havok and the Extremists tie-in, and three of the Search for Ray Palmer tie-ins all for the low price of $17.  For those who don’t read comics, that is cheap, believe me.  At original cover price costs, the main series alone would have been around $150.  So it was a steal and I had to know if Countdown was better than everyone said, like The Death of the New Gods was. 

The short answer is YES, Countdown is much better than its reputation would lead you to believe.  Is it a great story, like 52 was?  Definitely not.  But it is a decent story.  After reading it for a week, I can honestly say, the entirety of the event rates around a 6 on a 10 point scale. 

There are definite problems that have been mentioned by others.  If you did not read all of the tie-ins (or at least all of the ones I read), I could see where the story would be very haphazard.  Events start to happen in Countdown but then pick up in Death of the New Gods, only to reflow back into Countdown later.  And in reading Lord Havok based on its Countdown week number on the bottom of the comic was a waste of time, as most of its story occurred during a time around issue 26 of the main series. 

Another major problem (depending on your point of view) was the resolution of some of the stories.  For example, Mary Marvel ends up bad at the end of the series, having exorcised her demons midway through.  I can deal with this though because sometimes the allure of power is too great.  Likewise, some complain of the death of Una and having read her death this morning before work, I could agree it definitely was not great.  Having risked her all for thirty plus issues, she gets eaten by evolved rats and ignored by her fellow heroes.  Even the man she died saving just sort of watched her be devoured.  But in story, there were a couple of reasons for these events.  She left her fellow heroes to try and help the other man find his family.  Meanwhile, he gave up on her, in an attempt to keep his grandson safe.  So I can accept it, even though it wasn’t a great conclusion to her story arc.  And the less said about how Pied Piper exists solely for comments about him being homosexual (both pro and con comments), the better.

Meanwhile, there was much that was entertaining.  The search for Ray Palmer did allow a window into several worlds on the new multiverse created during 52.  The stakes were high throughout the story and it was interesting seeing the birth of Kamandi, a classic Kirby concept.  The idea of a group to “monitor the Monitors” had a great deal of potential.  Bart’s funeral was one of the better funerals in comics.  The ongoing chess game between Darkseid and Solomon was an interesting visual and storytelling motif.  And though it was a tie-in, Countdown to Adventure’s main storyline was great.  Parts of its Forerunner story was ok. 

After a week of reading little other than it, I can honestly say I am glad to have finished it.  I cannot say that Countdown was a great story.   It really had little lasting impact, as most of the story was retconned by Final Crisis or as I like to call it “the real Great Disaster.”  Some of the characters were not handled with the respect they probably deserved.  But it is a fun story for the most part with several interesting parts.  If you can find it cheap, I recommend you give it a shot.  If nothing else, seeing Darkseid killed by his son Orion is much more satisfying to me than seeing Superman whistle a song to save the world.  Several years later and I am still trying to make peace with that one. 

 

My Thoughts on Man of Steel (Spoilers!)

17 Jun

Superman and Batman are arguably the two most famous superheroes in the world.  I have always had an unusual history with the two.  I have blogged previously about my thoughts on Batman.  I have almost always loved his movies and TV shows but rarely think the comic book writers “get” Batman.  Jeph Loeb did several times.  Scott Snyder does now.  But otherwise, the comics have been “off” to me, while the movies have showed what Batman could and should be, especially when done by Nolan.  Or on the opposite end of the Bat-Spectrum, The Brave and the Bold.  At the same time, I have always hated Superman movies but loved the comic books (until the new 52).  The movies just seemed overly simplistic in the threat levels.  Yes, Superman fought rogue Kryptonians, but it wasn’t a long fight and not a lot of damage is seen onscreen.  Yes, Superman fought the Nuclear Man.  But that was Superman 4: The Quest for Peace, and let’s be honest.  The less said about that movie, the better!  Meanwhile, the comics have allowed Superman the opportunity to fight huge, epic battles on a sweeping scale.  He has fought gods, demons, and Sun-Eaters (one guess what that one does!).  And if you get bored with those types of fights, he fights Lex Luthor, who in the comics is the most dangerous criminal alive, unlike his movie counterpart, thus far who…..doesn’t do much.  I say all of this, to say, I now live in a world with awesome Batman movies and a good Superman movie!  No one was more surprised than me. 

I wasn’t looking forward to the movie when I heard Zack Snyder was directing.  I was not a fan of 300 or of the Watchmen movie, even though like many, I believe it to be one of the greatest comics ever.  And having not been a fan of previous Superman movies, I wasn’t expecting much when I heard Zod was going to be the bad guy.  Once again, like many, I did believe Superman 2 was the best of the old Superman movies, but to me, that wasn’t saying much.  But when I heard Chris Nolan and David Goyer were involved, the duo who had rescued Batman after the Batman and Robin debacle, I decided to give the movie a shot. 

Now, I will be honest, the movie is DIFFERENT.  And from this point on, there will be spoilers, so don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen them movie and don’t want the movie spoiled. 

 

 

 

 

 

I will confess I was shocked by the notion that Lois figured out Clark’s identity before he even became Superman.  But as my mind processed the concept, it made sense.  Lois is supposed to be an excellent investigative reporter.  In fact, throughout much of the characters’ histories, she has spent a great deal of time believing and trying to prove that Clark is Superman.  For once, she actually uses her brains and figures it out.  I don’t really mind that.  It is done in a believable manner.  She doesn’t automatically know that Superman is Clark.  She tracks evidence of stories of man of amazing abilities all the way to the conclusion of the story. 

The other major issue that I know many will have a problem with is the resolution of the Zod story.  Toward the end of the movie, using information received from Jor-El’s message, Superman, Lois, and the army send the majority of the Kryptonian criminals back into the Phantom Zone, but Zod is too far away to captured.  The two begin a furious fight before Superman grabs Zod in a hold.  At that moment, Zod tells Superman that he will never stop trying to destroy Clark’s adopted homeworld.  To prove his point, he begins using his heat vision to attempt to fry a family in the building the two are fighting in.  With no other clear alternative, Clark does the unthinkable and kills his enemy.  He is then shown to be very upset over this development.  I know many will say that Superman does not kill.  And normally, this is the case.  But exceptions have always been made to this rule.  In the Golden Age comics, he killed several people.  In the last Silver Age story, he kills the villain and retires.  In the modern age, he killed three criminals (Zod included) before deciding he would never kill again.   But even then, later, he kills Doomsday (who promptly gets better, but you can’t blame Clark for that).  The point is Superman does not want to kill but sometimes realizes he has to if he wants to save people. Another point could also be made that with this being his first outing as Superman, he acted rashly, and will think of ways out of similar situations in the future (like flying the villain into outer space to a prison planetJ). 

Other than those two possible problems though the movie is a fantastic movie showing what the world would be like with real super-powered individuals in it.  Clark’s adopted father struggles to rise a boy into a man and the relationship between the characters was handled wonderfully, just in time for Father’s Day.  Likewise, Jor-El gets a much bigger role than in previous movies.  Clark’s moms also do a good deal more than previous showcases. 

Clark’s other relationships, like with the military, were handled much better than in previous movies too.  I hardly believe the US government would be thrilled to have someone with Clark’s abilities flying around.  But a respect was developed slowly and naturally between the two.  Another interesting relationship dealt with Clark’s faith.  Clark kept his faith even in the difficult situation he found himself thrust in, and sought advice from a minister to know he was making the right choice. 

This movie offered a brilliant examination of what super-powered individuals would bring to the world.  It also had a great deal of sci-fi fun in it, which works well because Superman was created by a pair of guys who fell in love with science fiction at an early age.  It has a nice message about faith and the value of family.  And it made a ton of money in its first week, insuring a sequel and hopefully a potential Justice League spin-off.  Way to go DC!  

2013 Comic Book Preview

30 Dec

k'rotYesterday, I wrote about some of the things that have happened in comics this year that I thought were most interesting.  Many were good and many were disappointing.  Honestly, I believe the comic book news sites have led to almost an information overload and it has ruined a lot of my passion for this field sadly.  But, there were bits of good news and this especially relates to the coming year.

1)      One of my biggest complaints of 2012 was the sorry state of the Superman title.  Some of my favorite creators were involved but it was a revolving door which allowed none of them any latitude to tell the stories they had planned.  And now, one of my least favorite authors is on the book.  But there’s hope!  DC’s newest rising star, Scott Snyder, is launching a new title for Superman early in the new year.  Scott has made Batman one of the best books on the market.  I hope he brings some of that energy to DC’s other big gun.  And Jim Lee is on art!  Granted, he will probably only do three or four issues at a time, but this should be good.

2)      Geoff Johns’s Justice League title has been disappointing.  Not bad by any means, but as my favorite current writer in comics, I expected SO much more.  Especially when you consider the amazing run he had on JSA, combined with the work he had done on many of the characters in the League.  One of my biggest complaints though had been that the Martian Manhunter was sidelined.  Now, it has been announced that he is headlining a new Justice League America.  I have two big worries though.  First, several of the other characters on the team, like Vibe, don’t scream Justice League to me still.  And this is from a guy who still says Ted Kord is one of the best things that ever happened to the League years ago.  Secondly, the horrible 53 covers idea to promote the book.  This has to be one of the worst “special editions” ideas I have ever had.

3)      It looks like a great year for comic book/sci-fi movies.  Star Trek 2 is a movie I have been awaiting eagerly.  I used to be a huge Trek fan, but felt the series had jumped the shark years before during the Enterprise years or the Next Generation movie era.  But then the last movie came along and impressed me.  So I am optimistic about this one.  Man of Steel is a movie I was to care about.  Superman is my second or third favorite hero ever.  Nolan is producing. And Costner is playing Mr. Kent.  What could be a problem?  The costume looks bad and Zac Snyder is directing.  I have yet to get over the horrible Watchmen movie he made.  But the movie I am most anticipating this year?  Thor 2, a Marvel flick.  No one is more surprised than I am!

4)      But the one thing I am anticipating the most is Threshold, a new book DC is publishing by Keith Giffen, my favorite comic creator ever.  Years ago, I read a blog he wrote about how we overuse the term “creator” in comics.  That unless someone truly added to the field they didn’t deserve the term.  There are few people living I believe have earned it more than him.  Around the time of 52, I read someone else point out how he had the most ideas of anyone in the industry.  I believe it!  He’s bringing all kinds of characters to a giant space opera like book.  DC don’t kill this one!  I know it probably won’t sell the best in a world populated by 14 Bat books and ten Wolverine books, but please give it a chance!

In closing, an honorable mention goes out to Giffen’s long time co-writer J.M. Dematteis’s work coming up on the Phantom Stranger, a character Dematteis was born to write.  I have no desire to read another book with Dan Didio attached but I fell for O.M.A.C. and hope Dematteis can return that joy in the Stranger’s title.  I only wish it was Classic Stranger, not weird new Stranger.  Que sura sura.

2012 comic book retrospective

29 Dec

Image 

2012 has been an interesting year for comics and 2013 looks to be very interesting also.  As a fan of DC Comics, I feel that a lot of ground has been made but a lot needs to change.  As a fan of comic book movies in general, I was thrilled with this year and I am nervously excited for what the future holds for comic book movies.  What follows are some of my thoughts on 2012’s successes and failures. Hopefully, tomorrow I will follow up with a look at the future.  As I only read DC Comics, the list will be heavily weighted there but two big things happened at Marvel and I feel I just have to comment. 

1)      Geoff Johns, my favorite writer currently in comics, has taken a big drop in quality I believe.  Now, I have LOVED his Aquaman, but the two titles I was most looking forward to have really disappointed me of late.  Green Lantern has lost its star, Hal, and been replaced with a completely new character, and I suppose that could be ok temporarily (and I know it is), but come on?  We didn’t need another human Lantern.  And even if we did, did we really need another American Lantern?  Couldn’t the new Lantern have come from China or Japan?  Or if they wanted an Arabian Lantern, couldn’t the new one have been from ARABIA?  Instead, we get another American Lantern and another story on how not all terrorists are Muslims.  His Justice League title has also been flailing since day one basically.  I wasn’t one who hated the first storyline like many, but I could understand the feelings of those who did.  Meanwhile, the storyline about Graves was weak and the Cheetah two part was too much too quick.  I don’t want every storyline to be five or six issues but it seems like we missed half of the story.  Superman goes bad at the end of part one and then by part two’s beginning almost, he is dealt with?  Ugh….

2)      Before Watchmen happened.  Now, I didn’t read any of it.  I must confess, I loved Watchmen and had no problem with Before Watchmen being done.  Actually would like to read parts of it.  But the drama about the whole thing turned me off before day one.  Everyone in the history of the industry seemed to have an opinion on the topic and felt like it should be shared.  Meanwhile, all of the comic blogs I read focused on it forever.  It was a little much.  My hat is off to DC for doing it and maybe one day I will pick up a trade of one or two of the titles.  But come on.  Did Moloch really need a book?

3)      A major success has been from titles I never thought I would read.  I regretted the loss of O.M.A.C. which I never thought I would care to read.  But then, lo and behold, I fell hard for I, Vampire after finally giving it a shot with a crossover with Justice League Dark.  It’s crazy fun and a rare title I can genuinely admit surprises me month in and month out.  Demon Knights continues to impress me also, but I read it from day one.  I must say, the fact that it is losing its author saddens me but I will say the line-up change intrigues me. 

4)      And I know I fussed about Geoff in my first thought, but I have to say Aquaman continues to blow me away each month.  Both in sales figures and in character development, Aquaman has finally been getting some respect.  Now, I have just a while to wait and see if Geoff can work his tarnished magic on my favorite Martian.  But more on that next time. 

5)      The sorry state of Superman’s books though is just not right.  Before the reboot, Geoff had just done a great job of modernizing Superman’s origins and family issues.  Paul Cornell was doing a fantastic job with Luther.  And then bam!  The new 52 pushed that all away and look at the mess we have.  Now, I have no hope for Grant Morrison and am glad to see him leave.  So I stuck with the Superman title which went through four writer shake-ups in a year?  Perez was doing decent (not great) but serviceable work.  Then he’s out.  Giffen and Jurgens are brought on and within two or three months, Keith bowed out.  And then a month or two later, so did Dan.  Now, we have Scott Lobdell who made Superboy unreadable in charge.  Ugh….But next year!

6)      Digital comics continue to explode.  I can now say, although I will always want print books, digital books are a boon!  I love waking up each Wednesday and seeing “new” books available. 

7)      On the other side of the aisle, so to speak, Marvel has begun its “reboot.”  Now, the guys in charge at Marvel declare far and wide that it is not in fact a reboot and that if fine, but it is definitely a reaction to DC’s successes.  And I wish they would just admit it and get it over with.  DC needed to try something new and it looks like, for the most part, that it succeeded. 

8)      Finally, Spider-man!  Wow!  Didn’t he just die last year and get replaced?  Literally?  And before anyone tells me, yes, I know it was Earth-2’s….um, the Ultimate….. Spider-man but wow!  I am sure this could go very well for Marvel but, and this goes for both companies, I wish all the creators would stop pretending like they came up with some totally new idea or brilliant new twist on a storyline. It’s been done.  Many times before and will be done many times again.  It’s the nature of monthly (or semi-monthly or weekly) books.  Just tell your tale and let the work stand on its own.  We don’t need a month’s worth of interviews leading up to a story and another month’s afterwards.  See my point about Before Watchmen!

Comic book political statements

19 Sep

This morning I read the news.  Captain America is getting elected president in the Ultimate Marvel Universe (read: Marvel’s Earth 2, true believers.).  Now, I must confess, as a comic book nerd, my first thought was: this reminds me of when Lex was elected president in DC!  I loved it! Parts of the story didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to but parts did.  Cap as president could be fun.  But then I read a line by the author, talking about how Captain America wouldn’t be supporting Democrat or Republican ideas.  That he transcends them.  In theory, I suppose I could agree with that idea, but it got me thinking about how other comic book characters might vote.  Mostly, I base my opinions on how the real world works and who votes for which party.  Occasionally, specific authors’ works on characters may influence my thoughts.  But what follows is who I think specific characters would vote for.

1)      Superman is the easiest to choose I think.  Now, several years ago, DC published an embarrassing story about the election in 2008.  Each issue of the miniseries explored how different heroes voted.  Superman, however, didn’t vote apparently.  I personally don’t buy this.  Much like Cap, I assume the authors were trying to show that he was above the party idea.  But when you understand he was raised by kindly elderly farmers, from the American Midwest, it only makes sense that he would be a republican.  Look at the election maps from the last forty years.  Kansas is a steady red state.  Now, I am sure that in the big cities, the issue may be questionable, but Smallville is the classic small town.  Superman has to be republican.  Lois, on the other hand, is definitely the typical democrat reporter.  Not that there’s anything with that!

2)      Batman is a WASP.  Raised (to the age of 8) as a blue blood, he also would be most likely a Rockefeller republican.  Now, admittedly, Thomas Wayne definitely seems to be a bleeding heart, when you look at Bruce, he seems to be the “old money republican.”  To go a step further, with his rather harsh view on crime, he would lean more to a republican view on justice.

3)      Wonder Woman and Aquaman are monarchists.  They don’t care at all.

4)      Hal Jordan is a little more difficult.  And honestly, he is a rare character that I really feel like you need to look at who is writing him to guess.  When written as the typical fun in the sun Californian, I wholeheartedly believe he would be a democrat.  As the down on his luck, changing from job to job guy, I would buy him as a democrat.  But Geoff’s rebooted Hal is so tied to his sense of duty, and his military background, that I have to say he too would probably vote republican.  Look at the issue where his plane crashed in Russia and you see him as almost a modern McCain.  And with the Sinestro Corps War, he was quick to come out and support the notion of Green Lanterns being able to kill their enemies in combat, an unlikely characteristic for a democrat leaning character.

5)      Quick note on the other Earth born Green Lanterns: Guy is obviously a Rambo republican and I love it! Kyle would probably be a democrat.  Read any of his 90s stories to see his struggling with his own “personal fears.”  John, too, would probably be a democrat.  Created by Denny during the height of the transitioning Americas, he probably bleeds blue!  And yes, I am ignoring walking PC lantern Baz.  Pre 52 Alan would be a republican.  Post: Democrat.

6)      Barry Allen would be even more of a republican than Clark.  Not only is he a typical, salt of the earth Midwesterner, he is also a cop.  He has no choice but to have an “r” beside his name.

7)      Wally is a more interesting choice I believe.  He too would be a republican but more out of respect to Barry than for any serious political leanings of his own.  I am pretty sure a writer said that once, but whether it was Waid, Johns, or the author of the aforementioned DCU Decisions, I can’t recall.

8)      One of my favorite, new 52 mistreated characters Amanda Waller.   She is a great, classic character.  She is a natural democrat too.  Read her early appearances.  An aid to an African American congressman in the 80s, she loved to fight with Reagan, all the while calling for harsh treatment of criminals, which made her too much fun.

9)      Jonn Jonzz, another all-time favorite characters, is a rare man who truly transcends American politics.  In the 90s, they continually pointed out he was one of the only characters who truly saw the Earth as a whole.  With that being said, I don’t see him getting involved in the political process.

On the Marvel side, I only feel the need to comment on three characters.

10)  Captain America, I believe, would be a republican.  Now, I understand where the writer currently would try and claim he would transcend politics.  I really do.  But as a character so steeped in the military culture, I believe he would certainly vote for the party that promotes a stronger national defense.  Also, he would buy into that classic American ideal that hard work leads to prosperity.  This is not to say democrats don’t accept this notion but I don’t believe he would support all of the social programs to help get people a leg up.  I believe he would support private charity more than government hand-outs.

11)  Spiderman though would definitely be a democrat.  As a life-long New Yorker, he is almost a card carrying democrat by birth.  Also, younger people tend to vote democrat, and I have always thought Spidey works best as a younger guy.

12)  Finally, Professor X would almost certainly be a democrat.  As a proponent for minority rights (mutants count!), he would fit very well into the base of the democrat party.

That’s my thoughts on the political leanings on some of the most famous characters in comics.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Continuing Thoughts On Lego Batman 2

3 Jul

I know I have written about this game twice already but I have to admit this is a crazy fun game.  It offers a great deal of surprises and if you use a little bit of sense, some of the puzzles make a beautiful sort of sense.  So what follows are a few more thoughts on Lego Batman 2. 

1) One thing that is different from the first Lego Batman game is the nature of the red bricks.  I must confess, I preferred the first game’s handling of these elusive and important bricks.  In the first game, you had to find special, secret rooms using a variety of characters to get these items.  In this game, the red bricks are out in the open, but you need special characters to open boxes.  For example, the Riddler opens several, including one right by him when you find him.  The Joker also opens these boxes.  Whether other people can or not, I do not know yet. 

2) I currently have found Killer Croc but have yet to buy him.  I am looking for Aquaman, but don’t have the money or gold bricks to get him yet.  This morning I was free playing a level early in the game and came upon a puzzle that required someone to walk across the floor of a pool.  I was kicking myself for not having already bought Killer Croc.  Then my seven year old suggested using Black Manta (my pre-order character) because he is an Aquaman villian. I hadn’t thought about that because in the game he is a heat vision character.  It worked and a few seconds later, I found not one but two mini-kits using Black Manta’s swimming powers. 

3) My all time favorite super-hero is Green Lantern.  I was horribly disappointed to see that he only uses his ring (basically) when green glowing bricks are found.  He then follows a pre-scripted routine to solve a puzzle.  I didn’t see any of these elusive bricks in missions, but now that I have Lex unlocked, I am finding several different areas with green glowing bricks which has given me new opportunities to use him.  Also, in a related point, I see Sinestro doesn’t seem to work with green bricks, which makes me wonder if there are yellow bricks out there to utilize.  Does anyone know?

4) I was happy to see I can use any character during free play missions by holding y like during the free roaming areas.  Unfortunately, you do lose the suits for Batman and Robin you may have found in mission.  This drives me insane because sometimes they don’t seem to reappear in the suit locations, if I can go back. 

5) If you are looking for easy gold bricks and don’t know where to look, I recommend you start at Gotham Funpark.  Many of the park games and rides can be played for gold bricks.  Another great place to find them is the Schumacher statues spread across the city.  Most of them have a gold covering on their heads or in their trumpets.  Heat vision them away and suddenly you get a gold brick. 

6) One disappointing character issue I have noticed, and this may only bother me, is found with Black Adam (and thus I am assuming Captain Marvel).  Black Adam, who sparkles electricity everywhere he goes and gets his powers via magical lightening, doesn’t count as an electric suit character.  Black Canary gets to count as a sonic character, as does Manbat, so it can’t be argued that they don’t want Batman’s suits to be important.  Instead, the Marvel family’s electricity doubles as heat vision.  Sigh……

I can’t recommend the game highly enough.  It occasionally has a screwy frame rate, and characters freeze randomly, and sometimes characters aren’t as useful as I would like.  But if you love DC heroes, or Legos, or just plain clean fun, this is a game for you.  My kids (7-12) love the game.  My “adopted” 15 year old had a ball playing it.  And I am 31 and can’t get enough.  Let me know if you know any brilliant parts of the game I haven’t noticed yet.  Enjoy!