How to complicate your timeline, the Batman way!

I’d like to preface this entry with a disclaimer: Last night, I went to bed with a sore throat. This morning, I woke up with a swollen uvula, unable to talk. I’ve been in and out of consciousness all day, in varying states of medication. So…there may be more than a few slips of feelings in here. What I’m trying to say is, shit be cray. Shit be extremely cray.

It’s the second week of Zero Month! I feel compelled to inform y’all that the “first” issue of a new book, Team 7, is out today, but I won’t be reading it, personally. Y’all feel free to make your own decisions. That being said, we’ve got four books to cover, woo! A moment of silence for the final issue of The Shade. Right. Let’s go!

Are you reading Marceline and the Scream Queens yet? No? Man, what’s wrong with you? I cannot say enough good things about this book. If you are a temperamental musician or have ever had to deal with one, this third issue is right up your alley. Bad reviews suck, but they’re also a good way of figuring out exactly what went wrong, and how you can change to be awesome! Though…I’m fairly sure that magazine is owned by the guy whose lips Marceline tried to eat, so it may not be a completely fair judgement. The backup story featuring the Earl of Lemongrab was cute, though it doesn’t make me like the character. Watch for a cameo from Marcie’s ex!

Nope. Nope nope nope. All aboard the nope train to fuckthatville. I don’t know why reboot Superboy is being treated like this. I really don’t. I mean, what’s the point? It’s like, Kryptonians are no longer allowed to just be heroes, they have to be sympathetic creatures, abused by us evil Earthlings. At least, that’s what I’ve been getting from the Superboy and Supergirl books. Okay, so. This origin issue of Superboy features Harvest, of course, and it details the history of the Kryptonian clone wars, more than it talks about Superboy himself. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Harvest is actually Superboy from a thousand years into the future, physically warped and ka-pinged back through time. Y’know, like Time Trapper was Superboy-Prime in Legion of Three Worlds. DeFalco, I have no idea what you’re going for with this book. Do you want to make Superboy a villain? Are you trying to get people to associate the name Kon with negative shit? What are you trying to do here, man? Look. Superboy hasn’t really been Kon since Young Justice ended. Post-Graduation Day, he was Conner Kent. And it was like, with the name change, his entire personality shifted. There was a time where I legitimately thought Kon and Conner were different people. Kon-El was this fun kid. He’d lived in Hawaii, he’d managed an apartment building in Metropolis, he delivered witty one-liners and ogled bikini babes and watched Wendy the Werewolf Stalker. Conner Kent…liked Wonder Girl. He was distressed that he was half Luthor. He died for our sins, at one point. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Preboot Kon? Fun dude. New 52 Kon? One step away from actually being Match. Next book.

How many times can one company do the origin of fuckin’ Batman? Dead parents, swears vengeance, I am the night, boy sidekick, yatata yatata yatata. I highly doubt that even Scott Snyder could…pull off…
That’s…new. Instead of starting at the beginning, the cause and effect process that turned Bruce Wayne into Batman, Scott Snyder instead chose to show the man before he became the Bat, but not before he became a vigilante. We also get our first look at the Joker before he was the Joker, in a unique spin on his Killing Joke Red Hood origin. The madman was always scum, it would seem. But the most interesting thing, to me, was the second story, written by James Tynion and featuring the sidekicks. It’s set five years in the past, which…well. Five years ago, Batman was only just starting out. Dick Grayson’s parents were still alive, Jason was helping to rob convenience stores so he could eat, and Tim was in middle school. Babs hadn’t put on the Batgirl suit yet. Where to begin.
Okay, first off? Five years is not enough time to go through three sidekicks. That’s just bullshit. Dick stopped being Robin because he felt he’d outgrown the role. He disagreed with Batman on many points, and was tired of living in the shadow of the Bat, so he became Nightwing. Jason died. That’s how he lost his Robin panties, he died. In a universe where Steph existed, Tim first gave up the suit to appease his dad, but later came back. The second time he lost the title, it was because Dick needed to keep an eye on Damian, and making him Robin was the best way to do it. All of this happened over the course of more than a decade and a half. Dick first became Robin when he was 8; here, he’s clearly in his late teens. Jason is probably about 15. Tim is 11 or 12. Uh. No? That makes Dick, at best, 24 right now. Not to mention Damian. If this story takes place 5 years before the current New 52 timeline, and Bruce had been gone from Gotham for four years training, and he was already established as Batman when he and Talia did the horizontal hoedown, how is Damian ten?!
And then there’s Babs. In order for this timeline to work, Babs would have to have put on her Batgirl costume the night after she saw the Batsignal for the first time. That’s the only way I can imagine how she could have a legitimate career as Batgirl, a time as Oracle, and the operation that gave her her legs back in the allotted time.
Ha. Did I say most interesting? I meant most infinitely frustrating.

God bless the Shade and all who sail in him. It’s fitting that the final issue of The Shade is his origin issue. I read earlier this week that James Robinson intended this issue to be set before the first issue of the Shade miniseries from years ago (which is a fantastic read, if you should ever happen upon it), but I didn’t realize it would be so…sad. Richard Swift is an enigmatic character, under Robinson’s pen. He has his faults, his failures, his victories. He is good, evil, neutral. He has friends, loves, family. He is something that most writers can only dream of creating, a fully-faceted, rounded, interesting character. It’s funny. This series isn’t connected to the New 52 at all, and yet, aside from Animal Man, it’s my favorite thing about the reboot. Could we have had a Shade book in the old universe? Probably, but as there were quite a few quality books running at the time, it might have been overlooked. Now, however, these twelve issues have been like gold dust in a windstorm. Will we see more in the future? Well, I suppose that all depends on whether or not DC feels that an ongoing book like this could make money. Now, this is just me, but I feel like it would.

It’s entirely too late for me to still be wearing pants. I’m sorry about wordvomiting all over your screens, but…yeah. Punk Rock Jesus also came out today, by the by. It’s a good book, I like it. In other news, one of my eyes keeps falling shut. I think this might be nature’s way of telling me to go to bed. Goodnight, everybody.


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