Posts tagged Superboy

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…
Huh.
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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Short, late…I’m two for two on this one.

Before we begin, I’d like to offer an official apology. My best friend is off to Puerto Rico with her boyfriend for two weeks, and neither of them can pack a suitcase to save their lives, so I was away from the internet all day. My secondary apology concerns the subject matter of this review. There are two books. Two. Neither of which I’m feeling very enthusiastic towards. Your mileage may vary this week, and for that, I am very sorry.

Well, the writing is slightly better. That’s all I can think to say, regarding Superboy this month. Scott Lobdell has been replaced on the title by Tom DeFalco, which is sort of like replacing horse crap with dog crap. It’s still crap, but there’s less of it. They’ve also switched artists, taking away the stomachable R. B. Silva and putting on the nostril-obsessed Robson Rocha and Eduardo Pansica. I think this issue is supposed to be setting up the next storyline, by introducing the mindwarping villain, Kiva, but it also would work well as a standalone issue. Also, and I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot, what the hell is up with mysterious future detective Jocelyn Lure? She’s the same lady that clued us in to Bart’s villainous nature in Teen Titans a few issues back, and now she’s over in Superboy. Who are you, detective? Can I call you Josie? These are my two top questions, DC. Please try and answer them before the new year.

I lied! Marceline and the Scream Queens is amazing, and everyone should read it! Okay, I know this isn’t the kind of book I usually cover, but darn it. Marceline’s comic is so entertaining for all the right reasons. In this issue, the vampire queen herself discusses where she wants her band to go…with a Mick Jagger lookalike record producer! In the backup, we see how the power of song can change the hearts and minds of even those programmed for one function. How sweet! Yeah, if you want a comic that doesn’t want anything from you except for you to be entertained, pick up Marceline and the Scream Queens. You won’t regret it.

I’m in love. I am. Harper Row needs to be a reoccurring character, Becky Cloonan needs to be a regular artist, and the main Batman book needs to be less Batman and more people he saves. This is a revolutionary idea, and I personally support it. But seriously. The idea of showing the daily lives of people in Gotham other than those belonging to the Batfamily isn’t new. In fact, that was the premise of the series Gotham Central. But Gotham Central was an amazing book with a diverse, interesting cast of characters, and the main Batman book is proving that it can be, too. I mentioned earlier this week to someone that my enthusiasm for this book was waning, but this issue perked it right back up again. DC, you’re doing right by me for once. Give Ms. Cloonan some more work. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, ever since I saw her work in Jen Van Meter’s Hopeless Savages. When it comes to female creators…let me put it this way. In recent years, DC has thrown over some excellent ladies in order to employ some sub-par men. Don’t give this treatment to Becky Cloonan. Her style pops, and is quite unlike anything else on the page today. I sincerely hope that DC has more work for her in the near future.

And, well, that was this week in comics. For those who were unaware, the amazing mini from Vertigo, Punk Rock Jesus, had it’s second issue come out this week. It’s a great book, and I highly suggest it. Oh, and for observant Rogue fans who don’t really feel like wading through Suicide Squad, yes, Digger Harkness is alive. Will he stay that way? Well, judging from the name of the book…I’m Touch of Grey, and  holy god am I tired. It’s 3 am. I’m going to bed.

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Night of the (yawn)…no, let’s focus on Minutemen instead

Once again, my comic shop was shorted copies of The Shade. Sigh, I just can’t catch a break with that title. So instead, I’ve decided to review the first issue of Marceline and the Scream Queens, a spin-off from the popular animated series-slash-comic book, Adventure Time. Shall we begin?

Read this new Adventure Time book and tell me that Marceline and Bubblegum aren’t girlfriends. You tell that to me, and I shall say to thee, nay. All shipping aside, it’s actually a decent comic. The main plot is that Marceline and her band, the Scream Queens, are going on tour, with Bubblegum coming along as tour manager. No hijinks have been had yet, except that the normally-uptight Princess has fallen hard for rock and roll, which is amusing in itself. Altogether, a good read. I’d even recommend it to people who aren’t already fans of the show.

I’m constantly blown away by the quality of the work of Darwyn Cooke. I’m forever the first to jump up and applaud his amazing art, but I always seem to forget just what a prolific writer he is as well. Which is stupid, really. Cooke gave us new Spirit stories, and the incredible DC: New Frontier series, plus he’s the writer on the other Before Watchmen series I’ve become invested in, Silk Spectre. So, how did I jump into Minutemen completely unprepared for the amount of awesome that would be presented to me? For starters, hats off to Larry the manager for being a complete douchebag in everything he does. I mean, wow. “We’re not going to go after child trafficking rings because they’re not ‘happy’ crimes.” What. Still, that gives me an excuse to talk about how impressed I am with the portrayal of the Silhouette. In the original Watchmen, she’s ‘the lesbian’. That’s her role. She’s the member of the Minutemen that was murdered because of her sexuality. Here, she’s one of the true heroes. She’s not in it for publicity, but to do what’s right. She wants to save children from horrors inflicted upon them by adults, and I find that admirable. Oh! Speaking of characters and themes barely touched upon in the original Watchmen series, how about that Hooded Justice/Captain Metropolis sequence? While I found it sort of awkward to have it spliced between the sequence with Silhouette, Nite Owl, and Mothman going after a child kidnapper and a sequence about kidnapping featuring the creepiest damn nursery rhyme I’ve ever heard, their story itself was still…wow. Hopefully, Cooke will fully capture, not simply hint at, the perils of an unhealthy relationship that one partner finds himself unwilling to leave. Because Captain M? He doesn’t seem like he digs bondage very much. Not to mention a prior panel where it’s made pretty clear that Hooded Justice talks down to him. Though the sequence before that, where Larry basically tells HJ that he’s going to have Sally as a beard whether he likes it or not, was pretty powerful. It really shows that this book takes place in a time where you couldn’t be out and have authority, that you had to choose one or the other. I’m surprised I had this much in me to say about Minutemen #2, because after I first read it, I kept turning to my boyfriend and just going, “It’s so good. I didn’t think it was going to be this good. It’s so good.” Minutemen #2, everybody. It’s good.

Okay. Hold up. Backpedal. When last we left Superboy, he was on an island with Wonder Girl and the rest of the Teen Titans. How’d he get back to a city, and into a swanky new apartment? It’s called continuity, Lobdell. Please, try using it sometime. Anyway, back to the present. While I’m glad to see Miguel hanging out with Kon, I have a feeling it’s all going to end with a plot about him having a crush on Superboy over in Teen Titans. Just call it a gut feeling. I can sense terrible romantic choices a mile away. God, I hate this book so much. Superboy’s casual detachment from humanity is played for laughs, for fuck’s sake! Silly clone, he doesn’t know better than to not rob a bank. I can’t. I can’t, book. Oh, then there’s the tattooing sequence which, okay, at least it gives us an origin for Superboy’s tattoo that was on all of the promotional stuff for Teen Titans, but Bunker’s tattoo, which is supposed to be one of his psionic bricks, looks like a Pez. No, really. It looks like a piece of candy. Get a better tattoo artist, lads. One that actually gives you some proper tattoo covering before you leave, and doesn’t just let you walk out with the damn thing unwrapped. But onto the fight scene! This issue’s big bad is the robotic consciousness known as Detritus. Remember him from Teen Titans a while back? Well, he’s dead! No, seriously. After establishing that they had a similar backstory and could probably bond about it, Superboy punched their enemy so hard he shattered into a million pieces and fell in the river. Nice. I don’t know about all of you, but the writer change-up can’t come soon enough for me. I’m so sick of Superboy right now, I could vomit.

Here it is, folks. The finale to the Court of Owls mini-event. After last month’s reveal, I’m kind of stoked. Though, upon reading issue 10 of Batman, I find myself not knowing what to say. There’s a lot of exposition, mainly by the main claiming to be Thomas Wayne Junior, about how the Court found him, took him in, trained him up, and planned to set him on the world as the other Wayne heir. There’s a lot of hate in Thomas, and it’s all directed at his brother. But then…Thomas Wayne Jr died as a baby from the traumas of a premature birth and other defects caused by a car accident? So…who is the Owl man? See, this is the kind of thing I don’t like about Batman comics. Maybe I’m not smart enough to understand. But it seems to me that Bruce Wayne has certain…let’s call them personality quirks, that cause him to push away everyone and alienate himself until he needs the help. Then there’s his near-obsessive compulsive need to solve every mystery presented to him. Is Lincoln March actually his brother? Was Jarvis Pennyworth killed by the Court of Owls? Will any of this matter a year from now? I, I just don’t know. And worse, I don’t know if I care.

That was this week in comics! Apologies for this update technically being posted on Thursday, that pesky blossoming social life refuses to leave me be.

Hey, South Floridians! Are you going to Comic-Con? You are?! …asshole. You aren’t?! Me neither! You should go to Tate’s Comics this Saturday for Not At Comic-Con, a five hour event with free stuff, fun, frivolity, and a trivia contest! Hope to see you there!

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DC’s necro fandom…rise!

I’d like to share a story with you before I begin. Earlier today, I got to meet Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor. If you’ve been reading the ToG Blog for a long time, you’ll probably remember how passionately positive I was about their run on Power Girl’s solo title. I love Amanda Connor’s art. She’s the undeniable queen of cheesecake; in an industry full of traced porn stars, orbital tits, barely there costumes, and spine-snapping fighting positions, Amanda can take a female character and draw her sexy without drawing her sexually. It’s a talent that others could really learn from. I didn’t get to tell her that today. I barely spoke to her, actually. I complimented the way she drew Owen Mercer in her one issue of Supergirl, and told her husband how much I enjoyed one of his Jonah Hex books. I also shared a story about how I wasn’t able to read their mini-series, Terra, until it came out in trade, because it was sold out everywhere the first time around. I didn’t get to tell her how much I appreciated her, as a creator. How much I enjoyed what she’d done with Power Girl and Huntress in the few issues of JSA: Classified she drew. I didn’t even get to tell her about how I had the one page she drew in 1998 of Superheroes at the Rental Store for Mad magazine, because a friend of mine was throwing out her copy of Mad About Superheroes, because she spilled a bowl of cereal on it, and I rescued the single page from the trash bin. You’re my idol, Amanda. You saw images of women in superhero comics and said, “Nah, I can do it better than that.” And then you did.

All that build-up, so of course I have to lead with the first issue of Silk Spectre. Laurie was not my favorite character in Watchmen. Actually, I kind of hated her. She and her mom were both so incredibly “the girls”, it just rubbed me the wrong way. But I can understand the story. An overbearing mother pushes her daughter into a career path she’s not exactly comfortable with. That was their relationship. Antagonistic and strained. And that’s how it’s shown in this first issue. After her father leaves, her mother clings to Laurie, dedicating herself to training her daughter up into the baddest girl superhero you ever saw. But Laurie is 16. She wants to have a social life. She wants to have a life that isn’t defined by what her mother wants. I think it’s safe to say that this mini is going to be our failed ‘coming of age’ tale of the bunch because remember, in the end? Laurie goes back to her mother, who pushes her into joining the Watchmen.

Hey, you know what I wasn’t looking forward to? Someone trying to resurrect the Superboy/Wonder Girl relationship. I mean, god bless Cassie for refusing to fall for it, but damnit, Kon! Oh, that’s another thing. Even if the meaning of his name has been completely fucked up, I still like that Superboy is Kon-El again. I never liked his Conner Kent identity, everything about it was just…off. Honestly, I was convinced that Kon in the ’03 Teen Titans book was just Match pulling a fast one. His personality was skewed to the point of no return and…we’re gonna stop talking about the past and focus on the now. Like I’ve said before. Superboy is the only Lobdell-written book that I’m not embarrassed to say I read. It’s like, he focused all his energy on making this one passable, then phoned it in on Red Hood and Teen Titans. In any case, it’s the classic we’re-on-an-island scenario. Cassie and Kon spend a little time arguing, then decide to just get along tentatively, until they can figure out if the rest of their team is on the island, too. Oh course, there’s the underlying plot of Kon attempting to figure out his blossoming romantic feelings for Cassie, but I’m trying to ignore that. Silly boy, you never try to seduce the girl you beat up at first sight, that’s not how a healthy relationship works.

Holy shit. I need to. I just. Give me a minute.

SPOILER ALERT
Okay. So. A short history of Owlman. Traditionally, the character has been connected to Earth-3, home of the Crime Syndicate. There was another Owlman who served on Earth-1’s Outsiders recently, but I never actually read that particular book. Part of me knows that I should have been expecting Owlman. The Court of Owls. Their kill-men, the Talons. Everything about this is coming together now. Then there’s the big reveal. Bruce Wayne’s mentally twisted brother, Thomas Jr. Younger, from the sounds of it. How did Bruce’s parents cover up his existence? If you look to the second story within this issue, the tale of Jarvis Pennyworth, you’ll find that…they didn’t. Not really. Bruce was a very young boy when his mother was pregnant, and the Court was already gunning for her back then. There’s a chance that, as both stories progress, we’ll learn from the first story how Lincoln March came to be, and from the second, how Thomas Jr. ceased. And for the first time in my life, I can’t wait.

I had two separate outbursts while reading Green Lantern. The first one was, of course, “These spacehusbands! I can’t!” and the other was a short, sharp, “REALLY?!” Give me a moment to explain. We get it, Geoff. Hal and Thaal are married. Your ship sails proudly. And frankly, I love it. I love it that you so blatantly ship these two, to the point where you can write fanfic, get it published, and call it canon. I also love how you made it so that at least one member of the Indigo Tribe has sort of managed to redeem herself, so that it’s shown that Abin Sur is infallible and all of his methods work every time. But bringing back the existence of Black Lanterns? Really? I thought we left that shit behind in the old universe. I have one problem with Black Hand going back to being a BL and one problem only: All suicides are now ready for liftoff. He jumped off that cliff on his own, to avoid getting brainwashed again. He offed himself. Does that mean that all suicides are prime candidates for resurrection via black ring? Or is William Hand special? The carrier bag, if you will. Is that it? Because if that’s it…that’s stupid. Really, really stupid. I’m sorry, but it is.

And that was this week in comics. I hear the next issues of Ravagers and Suicide Squad came out but, heh, no. I’m Touch of Grey, and I have a bit of a ride ahead of me before I get to go home.

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Canon? Not canon? Who knows!

For reasons y’all have probably deduced, I’ve decided to drop Batman and Robin. And, because it did not hold my interest, I will not be reviewing Batgirl this month. So, let’s jump right in!

I’m dropping Suicide Squad. It’s stopped being my guilty pleasure, and moved into the territory of oh-god-why-am-I-still-reading-this. Frankly, I can only stand having two books like that on my pull list, and both slots belong to Scott Lobdell.

Somehow, while the other Batfamily books get worse and less interesting, the flagship Batman title just keeps getting better. The Court of Owls storyline, which has been building to this since the first issue, is coming to a head. The Talons have infiltrated the Batcave, but were soundly defeated by a combination of subzero temperatures and…bats. Scott Snyder is excellent with exposition, but that was kind of ridiculous. I’m going to make a prediction. Once this Night of the Owls storyline is wrapped up, Bruce is going to pull a Green Arrow and run for mayor of Gotham. It would be an interesting turn for the book to take, as I don’t think anyone in the Batfamily (aside from Babs, pre-Crisis) has ever really had big political aspirations. However, my hat really goes off to the Snyder/Albuquerque team for their secondary story, involving Alfred’s father, Jarvis Pennyworth. To take a minor character like Jarvis and bring him into prominence is something Snyder is very good at, and the distinctive art style of Rafael Albuquerque fits the narrative perfectly. This is a story I really, really would like to hear.

I have mixed feelings regarding the latest issue of Green Lantern. On one hand, the secret of the Indigo Tribe that has long been theorized was made canon. Indigos are forcefully reformed murderers, this is now fact. But, on the other hand…how the hell can DC justify calling this a reboot when so much shit was left in?! Blackest Night happened. The dead rose. And yet, a very big part of the Blackest Night were the people who came back to life. Osiris, Jade, and Professor Zoom have no place in the new 52, at all. Osiris was connected to the Black Marvel family, which doesn’t exist. Jade was Alan Scott’s daughter, and he’s still a young man…in another universe. And Eobard Thawne died in Flashpoint. That means, if Blackest Night happened, then Brightest Day happened. That’s sort of obvious, if you’d been reading the Hawk and Dove book, as well as Justice League Dark. But how is this stuff connecting? I’m going to have to give that more thought. Let’s move on to something about this issue I liked. I like Sinestro, and I really like his girlfriend/wife, Arin Sur. Being able to see bits of his life with her was nice, though bittersweet, as we finally saw how she died. What we didn’t see, however, was a very important piece of their life together, namely, their daughter Soranik Natu. Where is she? What’s she up to? Does she even exist in this universe? Which all comes back to the big question: In the New 52, what is still canon? I hope we find out soon, because this is driving me up the wall.

Because they’re both connected to the Culling event, I’m going to be reviewing Superboy and Legion Lost together. Ugh, I shouldn’t have had to say that.
Why does Dawnstar’s Culling suit need a boob window? No, seriously. She’s not so incredibly stacked that she’d be in pain without one. No one else has a boob window. Why is it there? Not to mention that her costume design seems to change with every cover and interior Ugh, damnit. I’m getting mad over useless things, this doesn’t bode well.
Harvest, you are the worst villain, but I’m going to go ahead and blame that on Scott Lobdell. This plot was done before, and recently, too. The Dark Side Club kidnapped teenaged metahumans to be used as part of Clock Kings’s army, with the ‘best’ being used as his Terror Titans. The only part of Superboy that will even probably matter in the coming months was the tiny bit of information revealed about Bart Allen. In the future, he…was not a good kid. And this makes me sad.
Legion Lost is so bad. It’s written horribly, the dialogue is ridiculous, and I’m sure it’s only still running because Lobdell needed the team for his Culling event. I think my main issue with this, uh, issue, is that Tom DeFalco has turned Bunker into one of ‘those’ guys. The parody gay. No, don’t do that. This is a bad thing you have done. Though, every issue has a silver lining, and mine is the little bit of shipping we get regarding Caitlin and Rose. Hooray, a queer Rose Wilson narrative at last! Rose, I’d like to introduce you to a young lady named Cassie. In another universe, everything she touched turned to lesbians. Be friends.

I’ve got the mother of all headaches, and the crushing disappointment only a Bart Allen fan could experience. I need a bit of downtime to absorb all of this new information. Hope to see y’all back next week!

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Prelude to the Culling? Yeah, I’m going to go with prelude to the Snoring.

A Bat-heavy second week for me as I’ve, shamefully, decided to peruse a book I thought I’d long-since dropped. Pray for me.

I love James Gordon Jr. I always have. He’s a fascinating character; The son of the paragon of noncaped virtue in the DCU, James Jr is a sociopathic serial killer. Everyone in my LCS who knows my feelings on the Bat-villains knows my preferences, and when it comes to Gotham crazies, James Jr is in my top five. So when someone said to me, “Hey Grey, did you know that James Jr is in Batgirl this month?”, I not-so-gracefully flipped my shit. I loved James under Scott Snyder’s pen, but how much would I like him under Gail Simone’s? Luckily, it looks like I’m not going to have to worry about that for another month. James only shows up on the last page, the rest of his appearances take the form of flashbacks from his mother. And as I read this issue, I remembered why I dropped Batgirl in the first place. Babs is…borderline boring. The writer is entirely too fixated on Babs’ time in the chair being traumatic, rather than the acceptance pre-52 Babs had in regards to her disability. And the villain? Grotesque was bit too Larfleeze-esque for my tastes, so I mostly ignored him in favor of the…what do I even call it? Revenge martyring of one of the Joker’s former henchmen? I can see what Gail was attempting to do, but the execution was beyond poor. James Jr, you better be damn worth it for me to continue reading Batgirl.

I’m so done with Batman and Robin. No. I mean it. I can’t do this anymore. Bruce looking over at The Case while worrying about Damian clinched it for me. To read his little speeches about the nature of who Damian is, and how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…come the fuck on, Bruce. Writers have been condemning Talia as the ‘evil’ parent since day one. Conveniently leaving out all the actual romantic history between her and Bruce. Not to mention his little bit about he holds himself to a higher moral standard…just stop talking. We’re done here. You should’ve got your son a damn cat.

Okay, Suicide Squad. Take a step back and let me in on what the fuck just happened. This issue flashed back and forth so often, I felt like I was watching a Stephen King movie. So, who is the mole within the Suicide Squad? Do I have to go read Resurrection Man to understand next month’s issue? Is Savant going home to Creote now? Why were they able to wipe off the black paint stuff from around Harley’s eyes, but not clear up the grey skin, which is obviously some kind of paint as well, if the normal skintone around her eyes is any indicator? This was supposed to be a cooldown issue, but I’m more confused than anything.

And so ends the adventure in Barcelona. I liked this mini-arc within the Shade’s story, even if it was all for nothing. Richard’s great-grandson is dead, the Inquisitor has been vanquished, and the Shade is off to London. For all that happened this issue, I have very few words with which to explain. I guess I can just call it a fight scene issue, with religious subtext intermixed and be done. And look, I did!

Okay. Scott Lobdell. We need to have a serious chat. This ‘Culling’ event you’re preparing us for has a very…Battle Royale/Hunger Games feel to it, which obviously isn’t so. In fact, we already know who is going to survive to be on this new team of Ravagers, as it was announced months ago as one of the new books replacing the first wave of cancelled series’. So. Aside from Caitlin Fairchild and the new Terra and Beast Boy, our next official Ravager was introduced in Legion Lost (which I actually skimmed through for you people, uchh) this week, the creature called Ridge.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is Scott, you’ve kind of struck out. The Culling is obviously going to be DC’s way of trimming away teenage heroes they’ve got no use for anymore. Fans really, really dislike you as it is, both from the awful comments you make regarding the characters you write, and the actual things you write. You’ve also proven to be fantastic at writing stories that go nowhere and utterly raping well-built traits on characters that you think no one cares about anymore. Well. I care. I care about Percival Edmund Chang. He’s probably dead now, but I care about him, and the rest of Gen 13. Prepare yourself now, because I have little doubt that you’re going to spend quite a bit of time acting as the fandom’s punching bag.

Well, shit. Okay, it’s time for a short lesson in the origins of the different Lantern Corps’. Everyone knows how the Greens came to be, so let’s just start with the ones that have been popping up since 07 or so. The Yellow Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps, were created by Sinestro, who mastered control of the GL’s yellow impurity while he was imprisoned withing the Central Power Battery on Oa. Next came the Red Lanterns, whose rings and batteries were created by Atrocitus from the blood of his fellow prisoners. The Blue Lantern Corps was created by Ganthet and Sayd as a way to help the Green Lanterns during the upcoming Blackest Night. If you don’t know Larfleeze’s story by now, then DC has failed you. And then there are the Star Sapphires. Love warriors who have been shown as able to convert Lanterns of other Corps’ to their cause. Well, guess who has been recycling shocking twists?! Geoff, you’ve done this already, when Fatality went from yellow to pink. Revealing that the Indigo Tribe successfully brainwashed Sinestro and changed the color of his suit is nothing new. However, finally getting some actual info on where the Indigos come from is going to be fantastic. We’ve been getting hints for nearly four years, our time is coming. That being said, this was a pretty great issue, if you like watching Hal Jordan act like an idiot. “Oh, I shouldn’t make constructs because this borrowed energy is unstable? Guess I’m gonna make me some constructs!” This moron, I can’t.

A moment of silence for the art of Amy Reeder, which will be leaving us after this issue.
I really, really don’t like Cameron Chase. Maybe it’s just personal taste, but the ‘driven to the point where sadism masquerades itself as professionalism’ type of character has always resonated with me in a bad way. It’s the main reason I’ve never been a huge fan on Amanda Waller, though I do think she’s pretty badass. You know what? I can’t talk about this issue right now. Not when I’m so upset about Amy Reeder leaving the book before the To Drown the World arc is even finished. I just can’t get over that. Her designs for Killer Croc, this new version of Bloody Mary, not to mention the distinct parallels in body language when she draws Kate Kane as opposed to Batwoman…it’s criminal. Though I understand that she left over undisclosed creative differences, it’s still a really hard blow to an already sore body that is the Batman Family fandom.

That was this week in comics. I’m hungry, I’m sad, and while I certainly didn’t fly off into as blind a rage as I could have, I’m still coming down off my Red Ring high. Hopefully, I’ll see you back here next week. Until then, I’m Touch of Grey.

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Legends and torture and fridging, oh my!

Six titles this week, all DC, all ones I actually enjoy. Maybe this won’t be such a rage-filled week, after all.

I spent most of the five minutes it took me to read Superboy making happy noises. I love Rose Wilson. I love Caitlin Fairchild. I love it when awesome ladies are friends with other awesome ladies. So, the acknowledgement that the two of them cared about each other kind of made me lose my shit a little bit. Also, I just need to say that I don’t read this book to listen to the mental ramblings of Mr. How-Do-I-Emotions. To me, this is Rose’s book. And you know what? I think she’s the first clone. She’s a female clone of Deathstroke. I’m calling it right now, and if it actually happens, you all owe me a soda. Oh, and before I forget, next month…more Gen 13! Yesss! Ahem, I mean, this pleases me. Verily.

Nope. I can’t. I can’t do this. Will someone please go up to Geoff Johns, slap him, and tell him to put his fanfic on his LiveJournal like the rest of us? Because, frankly, if this was good fanfic, I wouldn’t really care. But it has all the standard slashfic cliches: Guy is interested in guy, but said guy is already taken, usually by a woman. Guy makes it so that other guy has no choice other than to work with him. Bondage? Can we just cut to the ending where they make out? And have Marcus To or someone draw it. No offense to Doug Mahnke, but his Sinestro is kind of creepy looking. But enough about the blatant UST which seems to be a central theme in this book. Let’s talk about the Indigo Tribe. Personally, I love this particular Corps, especially because of what they seem to mean to the universe. Their rings, not unlike the rings of the Star Sapphires, completely wipe, and then warp, the personality of the wearer. I mean, they took Black Hand and turned him into a…I want to say militant hippie, because that’s what the Tribe seems to be made up of. And then there’s their manner of speech. I bet Geoff doesn’t actually have a translation guide, he just makes it up as he goes along. I’m a bit worried, though. As they were abducting Hal and Sinestro, Indigo-1 mentioned Natu, as in Soranik Natu, Sinestro’s daughter. Does that mean she’s still around? Do the Indigo have her somewhere? Ooh, I hope we find out soon, I do love my Green Lantern ladies alive, after all.

“Some of my best friends are sodomites.” I love you, James Robinson. I’m really loving the Barcelona stop on the Shade’s world tour. As a character, La Sangre is interesting, charming, and even cute. This Inquisitor fellow on the other hand, is just as interesting, but not as charming. Religious fanatics have always stuck a negative chord with me, especially ones who use their faith as a way to prove they’re better than others. There isn’t much I can say about the actual issue that anyone else won’t be saying. It’s well-written, and the art really suits the arc. To see Shade interacting with country-specific heroes like La Sangre and Montpellier is really a treat, and I hope that trend continues in whichever place he goes next.

Oh, wow. Really now. Hello, fridge! This is going to be a spoilery review, so if you don’t want to know all the happenings of the Suicide Squad, skip to the paragraph after next.
Harley Quinn, we hardly knew ye. No, really, we barely get your updated origin before kaboom, gone. While I find it interesting that Harley wasn’t brought into the life so much as forcibly pushed into it, it really leads me to wonder. What that toxin she was dunked in a last straw that revealed the real madness behind the mind, or did it drastically alter her personality? Also, what the hell is in that juice to make it dye your hair like that? That’s so stupid, it borders on nonsensical. Then again, this is Harley Quinn we’re talking about. Nonsensical is sort of her thing.

What the fuck is wrong with this book. What the fuck is going on in Peter Tomasi’s head. The opening sequence, of Morgan torturing Damian while Bruce rushes to his rescue, is just gross. And then we get into the actual meat of the book, which is a fight scene. Bruce and Morgan throwing each other all over the boat, while Damian just kind of…crawls around aimlessly. And then that ending…what the everloving fuck. Bruce backs down from killing Morgan because he doesn’t want to set a bad example for his son, and then Damian just sort of goes, “Screw this.” and punches him so hard that his fingers go into Morgan’s head. What the fuck, Peter Tomasi. No. I can’t. I really can’t with this book. I want to stop reading it, but it’s the only place where Damian even shows up. Why does this precious hellspawn have to be in the worst Bat-title on my list? Why?

Thank god for Batwoman. While I was sorry to hear that Amy Reeder will soon be leaving the book as artist, she’s certainly bringing her A-game now. Such expressive faces, such beautiful movements, sigh. She will be missed. As for the story, while the Medusa-focused segments did little to forward the plot (mainly because they were flashbacks), they were still very interesting. Sune seems to have more compassion than her brother, Maro. Scratch that. Sune definitely has more compassion than Maro, who sacrificed three women to obtain Bloody Mary. That’s another thing. The horrors that Maro magics up are all based on local legends. The man with the hook for a hand. The Weeping Woman. Bloody Mary. Even Killer Croc represents the pet alligator that someone flushed down the toilet. I like how Falchion wonders what kind of living legend he’ll make Kate into. Don’t you know, B-list supervillain? Batwoman is a local legend, she doesn’t need to change at all, silly.

And that was this week in comics! Also of note, though I chose not to review it, the second issue of Adventure Time came out. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d recommend giving it a read. Anyway, I’ve got to get going now. See y’all next week!

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