Archive for August, 2011

Beware, rage and tears lurk within

So this is it. The reboot. I don’t feel very different. I’m still Touch of Grey, still a huge Flash fan, still a DC rather than a Marvel. And yet, everything has changed, supposedly. I’ve only got two books this week, let’s see just how different this new universe is.

What that fuck.
No, seriously. What the fuck? The Flash series ended just before Flashpoint began, and none of these events that supposedly took place actually happened. Are you just making it up as you go along, Geoff? “Well, I’m basically the god of DC now, so I’m allowed to say events that were never shown, referenced, or even suggested happened exactly as I say they did.” I can’t. I just can’t even. And what the hell was with the ending? Barry wakes up in his own timeline, goes to see Bruce, and gives him the letter from his father that magically survived the condensing time lines. The only thing that made this issue even vaguely salvageable was the conversation between Barry and his mom. It referenced the Flash’s need to have a ‘lightning rod’ loved one to ground them to their own reality, and it showed that his mother actually has some common goddamn sense. She also seems to be a fairly selfless human being, willing to trade her life for the lives of millions. I guess we know where Barry got it from, then. At least, the Barry that died back in Crisis on Infinite Earths. As it is, Flashpoint was a terrible event. It had too many minis, wasn’t very well thought out, and as endings go, this one was pretty weak. I’ll rate it a two of five, if only because Andy Kubert’s art is ridiculously gorgeous.

And now onto the new Justice League book. It’s the first issue featuring the new DCU. This should set the tone of the reboot for me.

Oh god it’s so bad.

No, this is terrible. I can’t even. I’m crying a little. This is so bad. The writing, the setting, the tone, the pacing, the character interaction oh god please tell me this is a joke. So the issue starts out in Gotham, with Batman chasing someone who looks like Killer Croc outfitted with a million dollars worth of tech. The government is shooting at him. Then Hal swoops down from the heavens to be a condescending dick, and frankly, I have never wanted to see One-Punch so much in my life. We then cut to Victor Stone, who is still a football player whose dad ignores him in favor of science, the bastard. The setting is now Metropolis, where Hal dicks it up, and then Superman punches him through a building.

You know what this reminds me of? All-Star Batman. Where Batman is gruff and scary, Hal is an idiot, and Clark is apparently unable to be trusted. The reboot is taking place int the ASB universe. The mystery has been cleared up. Everyone can go home.

To say that I’m disappointed with the comics that came out this week is an understatement. For all of the advertising, the hype, what I’ve seen so far of the reboot is embarrassing. And until I see something that isn’t poorly written, well, have fun without my money, DC. ToG out. See y’all next week.


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The future’s so dark, I’m gonna need a Flashlight. See what I did there?

This is it. The last full week. I, I don’t have anything else to say.

As always, the Flashpoint titles will be lumped together.

Maybe it’s because I never got into Wildstorm, aside from Gen 13 and Authority, but I just don’t like Lois Lane and the Resistance as much as I could. It’s full of pointless backstory I don’t care about, and without the various Furies that I recognize (that have no lines, for the most part), I doubt I would be reading it at all. Lois Lane has never really been one of my favorite female characters and while a book about her could, theoretically, be interesting, this one just…wasn’t. Sorry, Lois.
I. I can’t I just.
Hoo. Okay. I am so angry right now. I feel like right now, there is no doubt in my mind that Bart isn’t going to be Kid Flash in the new universe. This one I’m dissecting, so prepare for maximum spoilers. Bart is the reason there isn’t any Speed Force in the Flashpoint universe. He took the speed from Max, and Jay, and maybe even Johnny and Jesse Quick. Because there was never any Flash back in the 40’s, Barry Allen never spent his life being a fan. He never got in the accident that gave him his powers, and never gave the same powers to Wally. Barry Allen never married Iris West. Bart was never born. He existed outside of time, then went back in time as the Black Flash to steal the speed from, and kill, the man who would eventually become Max Mercury. As the Black Flash, Bart bounces around the timestream collecting Speed Force to give to Barry, then performs an exact copy of Barry’s death on Crisis on Infinite Earths in order to also become one with the Speed Force. But the worst part of all this?
Barry doesn’t really care.
I mean, he basically says so. He says that he doesn’t really know Bart all that well, but did he ever try to take the time to get to know him? No, he did not. Even Wally, with all his problems and issues, took a break every now and then from saving the world and banging Linda to hang out with his cousin. Barry is Bart’s grandfather. Bart is the son of a child that Barry never knew. Barry and Bart are so removed from each other, I don’t even know what to say. Other than Kid Flash Lost #3 was probably the most disappointing ending to a series since the final issue of Wally’s series a few years ago. I’m not happy.
We now return you to your scheduled programming.

It’s pretty obvious that Geoff Johns doesn’t want the Green Lantern movie to be anything like the comics. Why do I say this? Well, the final Green Lantern movie prequel came out today, starring Sinestro. And it, as with the others, told his origins. Apparently, movie!Sinestro was a freedom fighter on his planet. In the comics, he was an archaeologist. Umm. The two aren’t really similar, but okay. This being said, it was a nice one-shot, and I actually enjoyed it. Kinda cements the Abin/Sinestro bromance for me.

The final issue of Gates of Gotham can be summed up in one sentence: “Given enough time, I’m sure you’d make an even better Batman than me.” Dick Grayson made a great Batman. Thank you, Scott Snyder, for voicing this opinion through the mouthpiece that is Bruce Wayne. Take that, ‘Bruce is the only Batman’ fanboys.

You know, I like to think that, despite all of their differences, Guy and Bruce actually get along really well. They’re both quite intelligent, though Guy likes to mask his smarts with bravado. They’re both very guarded when it comes to personal relationships. But above all, they both know how to save the day, albeit in different ways. I like this team-up issue, and yeah, it was kind of a fitting end to Guy’s series. Well played, Tomasi.

There comes a time in every reviewers life when they read the end of a series and think, wow. That was seriously pulled directly out of the writer’s ass last second, wasn’t it? “The Batman made me do it” is honestly the worst, and lamest, excuse I’ve ever heard. Bruce wasn’t Batman when this series began, Dick was. Dick wasn’t up for manipulating anyone at that stage in his career as Batman. He was dragging people down streets hanging off of his motorcycle. Still, good save, Selina. This issue earns a 3 of 5. Could have been a lot worse. Imagine if they’d actually killed her? Reboot or no, a cheap death is still a cheap death. Hear that, Sterling Gates?

So hey, who remembers Kick-Ass 2? Not me, the last issue came out in like, January. Anyway, issue #3 is out and…I’m going to be honest here. Is this supposed to be a serious real-world superhero book? Because it’s hilarious. There’s a heroine whose main objective is getting drunk girls home safely, and another guy who is cutting down on public transit violence. Frankly, I prefer those two to pretty much everyone else who just wants to beat people up. These guys are doing an actual civic duty that is often overlooked by regular law enforcement, especially in a big city. But this is the funny part. Remember Red Mist? He’s a full-time bad guy now, and his villain name is, wait for it, the Motherfucker. No, I’m not joking. This is the quality of the second half of this issue. Just, keep that in mind when the next issue of Kick-Ass comes out two years from now.

The final issue of Teen Titans wasn’t as half-assed as I thought it was going to be. Unlike the final issue of Superboy, which had been given two chances to not suck but failed, it was well thought out and well-paced. Sssssorta. Not going to lie, I facepalmed my way through the post-battle Kon/Rose moment. The art was very good, as was the writing, but so many questions were left unanswered for me. Who was under the Inertia costume? How did Prime clone three Kon’s? What if they were mind-controlled versions of Kon brought to the future? Who decided it would be a good idea to give Damian the Kryptonite phallic object? Why won’t Gar stop creepin’ on Raven? Are we seriously supposed to believe that the Source Wall is the permanent solution to Superboy-Prime? I’d voice some more questions, but I think I’ll just let y’all speculate on those for now.

Well. That’s it, then. Next week I’ve only got two books, the final issue of Flashpoint and, because I refuse to make a post about one book, the first issue of Justice League. Will they suck? Will the reboot sap my will to live? Will this blog still exist come October? Only time will tell. Until next time, readers. I’m Touch of Grey, and I have a chicken sandwich in my purse. And I’m going to eat it. Peace out.

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As I walk into the valley of the shadow of Reboot…

Every book I’m looking at this week is a final issue. Every single one. The end of the second to last wave of Flashpoint minis, the end of the Super books, the space titles, the end of Zatanna. I feel very sad, so I may as well get on with it.

As always, the Flashpoint titles will be reviewed as one.
Wonder Woman and the Furies sucked. For one thing, this issue should have been put out before the last issue of the Emperor Aquaman mini, for better continuity flow. For another thing, it just sucked. The Orm/Penthesilea thing came out of fucking nowhere. Well, that’s not true. Penny has been a traitor to the Amazons since issue #1 of WW&tF, but the fact that they’ve apparently been working together to topple the leadership of their respective family members so that they could…what? Also have a political marriage? This is the pot calling the kettle a bad queen, Penny.
What’s with the Flashpoint minis ending horribly? I mean, really now. Legion of Doom had a strong first issue, a pretty good second issue…and now this ending is ridiculous. Puns? Beating Cyborg with his own arm? Mick, why are you doing this to me? At least the last two pages are pretty badass.
Maybe I spoke too soon. Abin Sur the Green Lantern kicked ass! Seriously this mini rocked. The art was fantastic, the storyline was just amazing, and the twist at the end, while sort of predictable, was still really cool how it was pulled off. I give this mini a 5/5 for its trouble.
We now return you to your scheduled programming.

The end of, yet another, Legion series. I should be used to this by now. Hm, according to the cover, someone is going to die. My guess, Earth Man. Seriously, redeem ’em, then off ’em, that’s the Legion way. Let’s see. Exposition, exposition, your powers combined I am Captain Planet annnnnd…I was right! I love being right. But I didn’t like this series. I love the Legion of Superheroes, but I loved my Legion, the first Reboot Legion, the best. Sorry, Paul Levitz.

The final issue of Green Lantern Corps was sort of anticlimactic, yet fitting. Only thing I’m asking, why the hell was Scott Kolins the writer for the final issue? Was Tony Bedard on holiday? Anyway, this issue focused on the other thousand or so members of the Corps that no one ever pays attention to because of those damn attention-whoring Earthmen. It wasn’t a bad issue, tell the truth, but it also wasn’t that great. Maybe I’m just biased because I love Tony Bedard so much and prefer Scott Kolins on pencils, I dunno. Ah well. Goodbye, Green Lantern Corps v.2. You were pretty kickass.

Wow, way to leave a giant gaping hole in a story, Superboy. So, we’re never going to find out what the hell was up with Psion? Fantastic. You know what, I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t really pay attention to the exposition against the background of terrible art.

The end of Supergirl was actually pretty cute. Professor Ivo is always a good villain to put against a Super, and this time was no exception. I’m glad to see that the whole ‘secret identity’ thing is still a foreign concept to Kara. Seriously, she sucks at this. I wonder how that conversation went after she put him back on the ground. “Magic my ass! You’re Supergirl!” “Whoops…” I’m going to miss this version of Supergirl, I was really starting to like her.

Why, why why will you not exist in the reboot, Peeg? This issue, the final issue, shows all the reasons she should still be around. Power Girl managed to save the day three times in under a minute, why is she being erased?! Augh, I’m getting angry. Power Girl, you had a fantastic run. I’ll probably miss you most of all.

Why did the final issue of Zatanna have to be written by Adam Beechen? It’s just not right. That being said, it wasn’t a bad issue. It was basically a bunch of filler that made me feel like I should be reading it to the tune of the Benny Hill theme. Here, DC, just take my heart and rip it to pieces. Saves me the trouble of doing it myself.

That was this week in comics, you guys. I just…I’m entering full-on depression mode. I’m going to get something to go home now and roll around on my issues of Impulse and Young Justice until I feel better.

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Oh the times they are…ending.

Week two of the final month of the DCU as we know it. Ten books, nine of which are final issues. Okay, I’m going to take a moment to brace myself, and we can begin.

As always, Flashpoint stuff is done in one fell swoop.

Final issue of Emperor Aquaman…thank you god. I’m sorry, but as much as I love Tony Bedard, I just can’t stand Aquaman. A well-written, well-drawn story about vengeance featuring a sub-par character is still bad in the end. My opinion: If you haven’t picked up this book, you’re not missing anything. If you must read it, wait for your library to order the eventual trade of minis.
Damn, Kory. Just, damn. This is probably the most useless costume she’s ever worn, but by god is it a work of art. Possibly painted on, which adds to my statement. This has turned out to be a pretty decent mini- oh what the fuck?! That’s not fair, Flashpoint! It’s not right! For those of you who hate spoilers, well, I’m sorry, but Eddie Bloomberg and Vic Sage showed up on the last page of Deadman and the Flying Graysons as part of the Resistance. So, fuck you Flashpoint. Thanks a lot for that.
I have mixed feelings about the end of the Citizen Cold mini. On one hand, it was fun to see how the man who, in our universe, was once the leader of the Rogues and is also arguably one of the toughest villains that the Flash has ever faced take down all the people he used to call friend. The little twist about how Axel was actually working with Cold was neat, too. But on the other hand, He killed Wally. He tried to get with Iris. And in the end, he just wasn’t a compelling character as a ‘hero’. Sorry, Scott Kolins, but you just can’t make a hero out of a Rogue. Not every villain is as mentally sound as Hartley Rathaway, and able to reform.
Wow that was…anti-climactic. Seriously, this may have actually been the flattest issue of Booster Gold ever. He doesn’t fight with Doomsday, his Random Love Interest kills Doomsday, they run off to Europe to find Barry Allen, and then she dies. Did he not realize that taking a Random Love Interest into a war-zone essentially guarantees her death? Ugh. At least a completely random plot point from an earlier issue is cleared up! I’ll miss Booster Gold, I really will, but shoddy tie-in issues like this make me wonder why.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Okay, so does this issue take place before or after the last issue of Green Lantern Corps? Because I’m confused. In any case, there is a lot of green on green fighting in this second issue of two. Promises are kept, orders are disobeyed, Mogo gets a proper burial, and we get a really hot splash page of Sinestro being tortured. Though I do worry about the fate of Ganthet, it looked like the other Guardians were preparing to rip him to pieces.

So, Red Robin’s last issue was utter crap. The big question was, will Tim kill Captain Boomerang or not? The answer was obviously going to be no, because Tim is teenaged hero Jesus, according to Fabian Nicieza. He always makes the right choices, even when they feel like the wrong ones. Way to be utterly predictable, Red Robin. Your art will be the only thing missed.

Okay, so, no one tell the DC executives, but the last issue of Batman and Robin was written while David Hine was on LSD. My only real thought the entire time I was reading it was, what the hell is going on here? And guess what? That question is never answered.

The last issue of Batgirl was…ooh, my heart. I swear, you can never go wrong with Stephanie Brown. Even when put in a Black Mercy haze by her supposedly-dead father couldn’t keep her down. And then, acceptance from her mom? And seeing what was keeping her in the dream? The Lantern Corps team Batgirl was amazing enough, but future!Steph as Nightwing…with Cass as Batwoman?! And that was the thing that ‘almost’ kept her in the dream? Ohhh my heart! I can’t even, you guys. This was my second favorite ongoing, and now it’s over. Steph, I will never forget you. You will always be my Batgirl.

Gail Simone, why did you skip out on the last issues of Birds of Prey? Because they were very prettily drawn, but hilariously bad, writing-wise. I mean, come on. Lady Blackhawk and Sandy Knight each had a third of an evil Nazi scientist’s psyche in their heads? Whelp. And ending the issue, the series, on a round of laughter? Laaame. Sorry, BoP, but you seem to have ended just in time.

Teen Titans isn’t ending this week. It’s ending in two weeks, with issue #100. And my final verdict? I am confused and angry. Why did you clone Match three times and dress him in outfits? Where did you find another blonde teenaged speedster? Why is Indigo alive again? And on the final splash page, how is Prysm there? Why are Mirage and Flamebird there? How did you manage to get Zatara there? Weren’t Lorena and Amy lost at sea? What the fuck. I just…I can’t figure any of this out right now. Maybe after a few drinks, this will make sense.

That was this week in comics, I think I’m going to go find a JT Krul to sense translator for this week’s issue of Teen Titans. See y’all next week, same place, same time.

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A moment of silence for the fallen: Adventure Comics and Secret Six say goodnight.

Well, we’re at the beginning of the end here, folks. This is the fist week of the last month of DC’s history. Starting in September, everything will change. We’ve got seven books this week, two of which are final issues. Shall we begin?

As always, Flashpoint and its minis will be reviewed as one.
Oh, Flashpoint, you fantastic pile of shit. We get a more in-depth look at ‘Captain Thunder’ and his hosts in the next to last issue of Flashpoint. Oh, and apparently Barry Allen in this world is comparable to Layla Miller in House of M. Seriously, when Billy touched him, he regained some of his old memories. Huh. Whatever you say, Geoff Johns. Well, I guess all I can say is that I understand why there isn’t going to be a Shazam in the new DCU. RIP, Billy Batson, you were fucked over royally. The last few pages of this issue are just fighting, fighting, exposition, and oh look! It’s Eobard Thawne! About damn time he showed up. I give this issue a 2 of 5. Could have been better, but frankly, the only really interesting things in this issue were the sketch pages in the back.

Okay, what?! First he goes from being all “Durr, I don’t know anything about this chick who saved my ass, not even how old she is derr” while watching her shower, then there are makeouts between Deathstroke and Jenny Blitz? Comic, I’m turning the page now. This better be gone when I turn the page. Ugh, thankyou. What is it with Slade and his fucked up pedo thing for teenage girls? What the hell, DC? His things with Terra, Batgirl, and his own damn daughter were implied at best, so you decided to beat the questions and just announce that they’re banging during this scene change? Thanks for that. Someone get my brain bleach. Anyway, after a few pages of exposition and fight scenes, Rose is saved and Deathstroke apparently has a harem of ladies now. And thus was the tale of Deathstroke the pirate. Yarr.

World of Flashpoint had a bit of a disappointing ending. I mean, it was interesting, but it wasn’t really all that great. Traci’s father has been using dark magic, she teleports herself into the middle of a battlefield, they reconcile, she gets hit by a killing blow but the Earth itself heals her, then her dad stops the satellite he himself built and Traci loses all her magic? The simple fact that I could describe the whole issue in a sentence is just a tribute to how…dull this issue was. Sorry, Traci 13, but you were very boring this month.
We now return you to your scheduled programming.

Gates of Gotham got weird this month. So, one of the original architects of Gotham City built a steamgear suit in order to become Gotham’s first supervillian and get revenge on the city’s royalty? Okay, if you say so. At least Cass gets a few good lines this issue.

And so ends Adventure Comics, not with a whimper, but with a NOOOO face. Seriously, this issue had an overabundance of noooooo moments. At least five. Like World of Flashpoint, it wasn’t a bad issue, it just had the capacity to be better. It was a series of fight pages followed by two deaths and a character quitting the Legion Academy to follow his…boyfriend? This is how little I remember of the last issue, I can’t recall who this Jedidiah Tel is talking about is supposed to be. The Legion Academy issues of Adventure Comics mostly went over my head, as they were a concept of something that wasn’t in the Legion I grew up reading, which was the first Reboot. I’ve only managed to find Legion issues that predate the Giffen series recently and while I’ve enjoyed those, I’ve also found them sort of silly, and out of date, which is sort of the point. Anyway, what I’m trying, and failing, to convey is this: I will not miss Adventure Comics as much as I’ll miss other parts of this DCU. Sorry.

Okay, 18 pages of exposition, 9 pages of ads, and 2 pages of Kon actually being in the panels. And it ends on a cliffhanger. Is there going to be a second issue of Superboy this month that no one told me about?

Ow. No, seriously. Ow. You just hit me right in the emotions, Gail. And it hurt like hell. This is the last issue of Secret Six, the comic that, for the last three years, has been my self-confessed favorite current book. They’ve gone to hell and back together, fallen in love, beaten the shit out of each other, but most of all, they’ve been a family. A fucked up, mildly incestuous family. And this last book had it all. Bane getting laid. Catman and Deadshot admitting that they’re bros. Scandal getting married- to both Kay and Liana. Jeanette being generally awesome. And then you let Lawton aim for my heart. Fully surrounded by heroes. No way out. Huntress letting herself be taken hostage to try and dissuade them. Bane offering his team, his family, a chance to go down fighting. And they took the venom. And, and they went down fighting. God, I can’t emotions right now, guys. I can’t. Kay reaching for Scandal’s hand as she died, calling her ‘wife’…I just can’t. I loved this book, this team. Not counting the two six-issue minis that started it all, and the few appearances in the first Birds of Prey series, the Secret Six had 36 issues of pure awesome, topped with love, war, and ultimately, death. It’s a book I’ll miss like crazy. Well done Gail. Well done, everyone.

That was this week in comics, I think I’ve earned a little mourning period. So until next week, this is Touch of Grey, signing off. Peace be with you.

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