Posts tagged Earth-2

The Rot spreads everywhere unseen…

Welcome, one and all, to the month of five Wednesdays! Yes, this means shorter posts, comparatively, but five Wednesdays means five new entries in the ToG Blog, and this is week one! Boy, my pull list is tiny today. And yet, I’m still rather pleased, as one of my favorite books is on the plate for today. Let’s jump right in!

This is goodbye for Earth-2. I’d been expecting so much from this book, and it turned out to be a grim and gritty version of the Golden Age. At this point, Robinson is just name-dropping to name drop. Oh, and Terry Sloan is apparently evil. I think that was the final straw for me, personally. Farewell, Earth-2. You were just disappointing.

So, uh. Who else was cringing through Green Lantern? Like I’ve said before, Muslim-Americans are an incredibly touchy subject within comics. I’ve seen the phrase ‘terrorist Green Lantern’ thrown around too many times on forums and various comic websites since Simon Baz’s reveal. But you know what it is that bugs me most? No one thinks he’s innocent in the bombing. His own sister doesn’t really believe him to be innocent. She was willing to sell him out to the Justice League. And I guess that’s why I can’t really take this title seriously. I mean, you know Hal and Sinestro are going to come back. You know they are. So, where’s that going to leave Simon? Out in the cold, or dead. Sorry, but that’s what happens in DC now.

Rotworld begins! When we last left Buddy and Alec, they were in the Rot…meanwhile, back on Earth, the Rot was in everything. The last stand of the Green included Poison Ivy, Jason Woodrue, Deadman, and, uh. Yeah. That’s it. And then the Rot got to Woodrue, so a ghost and an eco-terrorist were all that was left to fight for the non-meat living things of the world. This issue is…pretty bleak. It shows how the Rot overtook everything. Killed billions of people. Turned metahumans into rotling warriors. I…kind of want to know why this isn’t playing out in the other books. I mean, Earth was basically destroyed by this mini-event, and it’s being contained to two books. The Court of Owls story spanned over what, ten? Amazing. Anyway, it seems as though Alec and Buddy have parted ways for the time being, as Swamp Thing is going to tell the story of The Green Kingdom, and Animal Man will be telling the story of The Red Kingdom. Speaking of which…

SPOILER ALERT

Didn’t the Baker family already die once? Seriously, even the Earth’s Dragon Balls wouldn’t bring them back again. It’s a solid story, though. Technically speaking, Cliff is the weakest member of the Baker family. He has no powers of his own, nor the strength of a grown person. Of course he’d be the first infected. Next would be Ellen, who is too good of a mom to have any real self-preservation instincts, when her kids are involved. But, poor Maxine. God, she wouldn’t be able to fight her mom and brother, she’d try to make a run for it, if the idea came to mind. So, the last stand of the Red are Beast Boy, Steel’s consciousness in an armored shell, and Black Orchid. Eh, they’re doing better than the Green, at least. And of course fucking Constantine is still alive. You couldn’t off that guy with the gun that could kill any man. Once again, though, how have traces of the Rot not shown up in other books?! This is sincerely distressing me. Are the Swamp Thing and Animal Man books not part of the main DCnU? Is this a universe-next-door Vertigo thing? I. Don’t. Understand. And now, with the end of the world, and also the Flash Annual having dashed my hopes of Mirror Master being Evan McCulloch, I’m fairly certain our favorite gap-toothed Rogue won’t be showing up to lend a family-restoring hand this time. Ohh, it’s going to be a long month.

That was this week in comics! I’m pleased with what I picked up, personally. I mean, between you, me, and the wallpaper, I bought Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Fairest. Which, by the way, if you’re not reading Fairest, read Fairest! It’s a pretty cool side-series to the long running Fables book, and I like it quite a bit more than the other side-series, Jack of Fables. In any case, I’m ToG, I’m hungry, and I’m fairly sure I’m not out of eggs. See you next week, when we wade though Suicide Squad, Superboy, the Ame-Comi Wonder Woman one-shot, and Batman. Goodnight!

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The Rotworld cometh!

Welcome to August, readers! For a first week, it could be worse. We’ve got the last issue of Justice League International, the first two parts of the Rotworld event, and more. Shall we?

Hey, who remembers Twilight Lady? If you read Watchmen…you probably still don’t remember her. She sent a picture to Nite Owl, and he had a dream about her turning into Laurie as they blow up. And…that was it. Now, however, she gets a backstory! Kind of! Turns out, she’s a house madam with a thing for S and M. Okay? Well, Rorschach has a thing about prostitutes, so he freaks out. I wasn’t too into this issue. People tend to forget that everyone in Watchmen is actually pretty awful. Nite Owl has gone to seed and was pretty impotent, Silk Spectre was generally useless, Ozymandias has a god complex, Dr. Manhattan was god, if god didn’t actually give a shit about anything, Comedian was a rapist and an overall awful human being, and Rorschach was a misogynist. I don’t know. Maybe my enthusiasm for this Before Watchmen thing stems directly from my joy at seeing creators I like getting work again. I honestly think I may just stick to the two books whose art I like. Sorry, Nite Owl.

And so the Justice League International ongoing ends not with a bang, but an awkward cough. This wasn’t the best way to end this book, and not because it was a glorifed fight scene issue. Gavril Ivanovich died. That’s awful. But do we get any real closure on his death with a cemetary fight scene between the remaining members of the JLI and Lightweaver’s twin brother? Do we ever get to find out if Bea’s going to be okay? Do Tora and Mari get out of the hospital? This isn’t the end, not the real end, what with the Annual coming out next month, but it barely feels like a legitimate last issue. It feels like a stopping point, but not an end. Sorry, Dan Jurgens. Try again in a few weeks.

I’m not that into Earth-2. There, I said it. There are so many good characters to work with, so many new ideas to explore, and such a great creative team…but nothing is meshing for me. For one thing, I’m still torqued that the Rot/Red/Green concept is basically the first big storyline. We’ve already got a Rotwold going on in Swamp Thing and Animal Man, do we really need that here, too? Sigh. Then there’s Hawkgirl. It’s now obvious that the woman behind the wings is Kendra Saunders, not Shayera Hall, which should make for interesting storytelling. I liked Kendra in Dwayne McDuffie’s Justice League, but then she sort of…fell off the map until Blackest Night, when she died and came back as Shayera Hall. And then she died again during Brightest Day. Still, I’d like to know what Kendra’s connection to the government is. Is she, like Al Pratt, a wonder created from the fallout of the Apokalips war? Or is she just an experiment? Oh, speaking of Al Pratt…the Atom grows. This is some real Ant Man/Giant Man shit we’re getting into, Robinson. The Atom’s whole thing is that he shrinks. It’s why he’s called the Atom. Hell, in the post-Zero Hour Legion reboot, after Shrinking Violet gained Colossal Boy’s powers, she had the decency to change her name to Leviathian. I don’t know why I’m taking so much time to dissect this issue. Nothing of extreme importance happened, nothing interesting happened, and it was just an overall boring read. Sigh. Next book?

This week marks the beginning of the event I’ve actually been looking forward to, the prologue to Rotworld! From now on, Swamp Thing and Animal Man will be crossing over, with Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire sharing writing duties on both books. I’ll be honest, I’ve not read any Swamp Thing from the New 52, mainly because I wasn’t terribly interested in Swamp Thing from the old universe. But I’ve heard good things about it, so I’m going to have to rectify that at some point. Anyway, I’ll be reviewing Animal Man and Swamp Thing together, as they are essentially one story. 
It’s hard to believe that after all these weeks of running and looking, finding Alec Holland was as simple as walking into the Louisiana swamp. No, really, that’s all they did. Buddy and Alec talked, recapping everything that had happened in Buddy’s book so far, and then…they dove down into the Rot together, leaving Maxine, Ellen, and Abby behind. Okay, nothing odd there. Except, is that Cliff, who is supposed to be deathly ill, walking down the road barefoot into the loving tentacles of Slenderman? Read that panel and tell me I’m wrong. Over in Swamp Thing, the Rot attacks! Luckily, Abby is connected to the Rot itself by blood, so she can shut off the portal through which the Rotlings are coming from, saving the day. Sort of. Because after she shuts the portal, the Rot King, Arcane, comes and rips off Alec’s tether to Earth, severing him from his powers as Buddy has been since they jumped into the muck. Bummer? Also, I’m going to assume that Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and to a lesser extent, Justice League Dark take place in a different universe than the rest of the DCnU, because there is no way the other superheroes wouldn’t notice the entire world going to rot over the course of a year. That’s right, a year. They spent a year in the Rot, though it only felt like a few hours. And we’re not going to get to see what went down in this year they were away until October because of fucking origins month. In conclusion, I really liked my first look into Swamp Thing, definitely going to have to buy the first eleven issues.

And that was this week in comics! Huh, feels…short. I don’t know, I was only really excited for two of these books, and they both left me on this giant damn cliffhanger that won’t be picked up again for ages…hm. I guess I’m just unfulfilled. I think this is a good night for Batwoman: Elegy. See you next week, folks!

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Better late than never!

Welcome back to the ToG Blog for, uh, let’s call it hangover Thursday. Not that I actually had a hangover this morning, mind you…ah well. All excuses aside, it’s time to get to those comics!

I’ve got issues with Earth-2 that have nothing to do with Alan Scott. James Robinson, we need to have a chat. While I find it fantastic that you’re apparently enjoying Animal Man as much as I am, having Alan be the representative of the Green on Earth-2 instead of controlling the power of the Star Heart is…a little offputting. Especially considering the third storyline this issue deals with…I’ll get to that in a sec. To address the thing that pretty much everyone reading this book has been bitching about on the internet since the previews came out, Sam is dead. He had one issue of existence, and now it’s gone. I’m very disappointed in you, DC. You had this whole “We’ve got a new gay guy! Very iconic! You’re gonna love him!” thing going on, you give Alan a cute partner that people wanted to know more about, and then you kill him. Way to go, you. So yeah. The first story is focusing on Alan being chosen to protect the Earth as a representative of the Green. The second story involves Jay ‘fighting’ Hawkgirl. I’m actually sort of excited to see which Doctor Fate James Robinson plans to put on this Earth. I hope it’s Hector Hall, if only for the chance that his wife Lyta might be around too. Now onto the third story. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that JR was inspired by the current run of Animal Man for this but…the Rot is on Earth-2, and its champion is Grundy. Last we saw Grundy, in the old DCU, Bizarro was flinging him into the sun during Blackest Night. I’ve always like the character of Grundy. From the infamous ‘Solomon Grundy want pants too!’ commercial from my childhood, to his friendship with Hawkgirl in the Justice League animated show, to ‘smart Grundy’ in The Tornado’s Path, to the Grundymen in Morrison’s Limbo Town, to his various appearances throughout the DCU as a whole, Solomon Grundy has just been entertaining to me, as well as the right amount of creepy. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what his presence on Earth-2 means for everyone living there. He seems to have the same life-sucking powers as everything we’ve seen from the Rot over in Animal Man, but who knows? Anyway, next month? Al Pratt! Woo!

You don’t want to know how long it took me to get an issue of The Shade. It came out three weeks ago, and my LCS finally got their copies from Diamond yesterday. In the defense of the shipping company, my shop probably orders less than 20 copies a month, because not that many people pick it up. Personally, compared to all the Grimm Fairie Tales issues they order, I find it a travesty, but that’s a complaint for another day. I’m not as familiar with Frazer Irving as I have been with most of the other artists on this book. I know he worked with Grant Morrison on the Klarion mini for Seven Soldiers of Victory, and he did a few pre-boot issues of Batman and Robin (specifically, the issue where Damian beats the shit out of the Joker with a crowbar), and I’m fairly sure I’ve seen his art connected to the John Constantine books once or twice, but it’d take a bit of Google-fu I don’t quite feel like doing to confirm that. It’s funny, I just realized that I spend more time talking about the creators on Shade than I do the actual story. Maybe it’s because, as entertaining and interesting as the content is, the main appeal behind this book, for me, is getting to see different artists at work on a single storyline. Still, the Shade story is coming to a head. Richard is back in London to confront his errant descendant about his cultist activities as of late. It’s really a funny issue, as Shade’s almost condescendingly bored quips at Dudley really showcase his specific brand of humor. As always, I highly recommend this book to anyone who was a fan of Starman in the past, or anyone who wishes to be a fan of James Robinson now.

Goddamnit, Dan Jurgens. I just…what happened between last month and this month that suddenly turned on Booster’s hidden heterosexuality? He’s taunting me, I’m telling you. Anyway, this month was the epic fight scene, as opposed to next month, which will involve burying the dead. Godiva got a chance to be awesome, Guy finally got his internal monologue on, August General kicked some ass, and it was just generally fun. Best part, though, was just after the fight, when OMAC (the team’s giant whiny baby. My god, I hate that guy) is still pissing about on his little half-rampage, and Booster steps up to calm him down, sans-forcefield. It was pretty rad. But then he went and kissed Godiva and I just…why? No really, why? Last issue, he was going on about it being ‘awkward’ that she wanted him, and he didn’t want her, now he’s getting her hopes up with a smooch. Okay, Booster. You do that. Oh, and then we have the new villain set-up. Remember Lightweaver’s brother, who was all, “No, don’t be a dick! Don’t use your powers like that!”? Well, Lightweaver died. So now the brother is going to use his own powers to fight the JLI, probably at Gavril’s funeral. Classy.

So you know how I keep saying that Animal Man is the best thing to come out of the New 52? I finally pegged why. Buddy Baker will do anything for his family, up to and including finding a way to get himself a new body after he dies and his old one is taken by the Rot. This is the one marriage editorial didn’t touch. The one family they didn’t retcon or destroy. No matter how hard the Rot tries, Buddy will never abandon Maxine. Will never allow their enemies to hurt Cliff. He would die for any one of them, Ellen, Cliff, Maxine, even Ellen’s mother. Because they are his family and the place from which he draws his greatest strength. It’s been shown that things will happen to Cliff in the future, that Buddy will eventually die and leave Maxine alone to fend for herself, but for now, he fights on. Also, a good question was raised this issue. Who is the avatar of the Rot? If it’s Grundy again, I’m going to be both pleased and a bit miffed. Who is borrowing from who, in this respect? I suppose it could be an entirely new character, or maybe someone like Garbageman. Oh! Or it could be Black Hand, who was the embodiment of death on Earth for a while, and has recently become a Black Lantern again over in the main Green Lantern book. Before he passed out, Cliff mentioned the name ‘Arcane’. I’m not reading Swamp Thing right now, but could he mean Abby Holland’s uncle, Anton Arcane, a practitioner of dark magic? Actually, a quick search has revealed that yes, that’s exactly who he means…but he also means Abby’s brother, William, who is a new character within the 52. Oh, and apparently he is the avatar of the Rot. Well, then. I guess that answers that! Okay, you’ve got me, I’m more than a little pumped to read Swamp Thing next month. I’ve been hearing good things about it, I may go and pick up the past ten issues early.

Well, that was this week in comics. Sorry it was late but I, heh, I’m only human. As far as you know. See you next week when we take on Batman, the next installment of the Minuteman mini, Superboy, and this month’s issue of the Shade. Here’s hoping I actually get a copy this time!

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Before Watchmen begins!

So, if you’ve been reading other sites like Comicvine and Newsarama, you’d probably have heard of this thing called Before Watchmen. The first issue of the first series, Minutemen, came out today, along with the second issue of Earth-2, and a few other old favorites. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Though I dropped Justice League International off of my buy list last month, that isn’t stopping me from enjoying it now. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, JLI is a character interaction book for me. August General in Iron is the narrator this month, and the kindred spirit he hoped to find in OMAC is…lacking, to say the least. Then we get a better idea of just how Guy and Tora’s relationship ended. Long-distance relationships, am I right? Finally, Godiva finally realizes that Booster is just not that into her. Actually, can I take a second? This is me putting on my shipper hat and saying that Booster should have been the ‘iconic gay hero’ DC was flashing at us. I mean, we’d have some build up. Godiva’s been throwing herself at him for ten months now, he’s clearly not interested even though she’s a total babe. I mean, how hard would it be for Booster to just casually mention that he’s already seeing a nice guy named Ted? Ugh. I just. I’m sorry. I’ll stop. Next book.

Wow, this was well thought out on my end. Rant about why Alan Scott shouldn’t have been the outed one, then fall in love with him and his adorable boyfriend. Surprisingly, I enjoy way more things about Earth-2 than I dislike. The Terry Sloane/Michael Holt confrontation was bullshit, but Jay saving that couple from the mutated rats was awesome! Not to mention the scenes with him trying out his powers. The way he got them was a little…lemme put it this way. I like science more than I like magic. I love how the Flash’s powers have always come from lab accidents, because comic book science is hilarious. Having Mercury give him his powers was definitely interesting enough, though it’ll never be my favorite origin. Another thing, look at that uniform. From the neck down, it’s fantastic. But that helmet! It’s like the Ant Man helmet and Jay’s hat had a baby. Nicola Scott, for shame. I’m not going to dive too much into Alan Scott’s story, just because it ended on a cliffhanger that would be considered a spoiler. Though I will mention that I’m dying to know what happened to Al Pratt. Ah well, next month.

I’ve been alternately looking forward to and dreading the entire Before Watchmen line since it was announced. I know for a fact that I’m only going to be buying the Minutemen and Silk Spectre books if they’re good, because they’re the only ones done by creators I like. But are they good? The first issue of the Minutemen book came out today, and you know what? It’s not bad. It’s a short history of the Minutemen, how they came together, and what eventually lead to their end. Basically, it’s everything that was promised to us. Minutemen also has the advantage of being done by the master of retro art in comic books, Darwyn Cooke. His work on Justice League: New Frontier, Catwoman, and The Spirit was amazing, and made me proud to say I was a DC fan. Not to say that his work on Spider-Man over at Marvel wasn’t excellent, too. I think I got most of my Cooke-gushing out of the way a couple of months ago, when I reviewed his issue of The Shade, but expect to see it from time to time. The man is a marvel.

You know how I keep saying that Animal Man is the best ongoing of the New 52? I’m just going to keep on saying that until some other title proves me different, because hot damn. On Earth, Ellen has a chat with three of the Justice League Dark, while Cliff goes and gets himself kidnapped by a Hunter in his dad’s form. Meanwhile, in the Red, the Goat Man explains to Buddy all the things Socks explained to Maxine in the annual last week as they fight Rotlings. It’s a fun issue, if your version of ‘fun’ is as twisted as mine is. 

That was this week in comics. I’m feel I should inform you, World’s Finest also came out this week, as did the infinitely superior Vertigo series, Fairest. Oh, and for those of you in South Florida!

Do you have a lot of comics, trades, action figures, and other assorted comic, sci fi, and anime paraphernalia? And you want to make some space for new nerd junk? Come on down to Tate’s Comics this Sunday for their second annual Swap and Sale! I’ve got a booth again, and enough comics and manga to satisfy the choosiest customer. Hope to see y’all there!

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