Posts Tagged ‘blackest night’

Even victors are by victories undone

DC Comics recently announced their plans to reboot the entire DC Universe and start everything from scratch. You know, like they do every frickin’ summer.  I have grown tired of summer events and DC execs thinking they have to constantly shake things up.  “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE FOREVER (UNTIL NEXT SUMMER).” This year it’s Flashpoint, where the Flash wakes up in an alternate universe, last year it was Blackest Night, before that Final Crisis.  I’m burned out, guys!  I’d normally just skip this event and wait for the trade paperback, but there are parts to this announcement that have me thinking.

Mainly: DC isn’t just cleaning up character origins and mythologies like they normally do (“Oh, they had lots of asparagus on Krypton! That’s why Kryptonite is green or something!”), but they’re also trashing every ongoing comic series and starting with new number 1 issues.  That’s pretty drastic, although renumbering comics isn’t unheard of.  What is unheard of is same-day digital releases for all comics, starting with these new number 1 issues.  That doesn’t seem like a summer event reboot.  That seems like a paradigm shift.  As if DC is adjusting their entire brand to tailor to the people who are reading comics right now.  Which is wise, because sustainability trumps legacy.

I believe one of two things will happen as a result of this:

  1. DC will work towards setting the standard for mass-market digital comics.  It’ll be a renaissance of superhero stories, all available cheaply on the device of your choice. They’ll do for digital comics what Amazon’s Kindle did for ebooks. From there, the doors will open for independent artists to sell their own comics digitally… and actually make money doing it.  DC will have singlehandedly saved comics.
  2. DC will reneg on this in six months when it comes time to plan next summer’s big event.  They’ll always treat digital second to physical, even though no one is buying physical comics.  This is the more likely of the two.

It’s sort of amazing that it’s 2011 and no one has done digital comics correctly yet.  There have been attempts from all the major publishers, but there has yet to be an “iTunes of Comics.”  Maybe DC will get it right, but I doubt it. Whatever. I’m just happy that there’s going to be a new Animal Man series (the cover art of which is up at the top of this post).

 

Spoiler: Everything Revolves Around White Folks

Blackest Night was a straight up excited event. I know this because I felt remarkably betrayed after reading the final issue. Good comics have a tendency to do that. Imagine: you are a fanboy, become dangerously invested in these characters and their mythology. Then an event comes along and changes things. I won’t spoil anything, but Blackest Night essentially serves as a reset button for many previous “incidents” in the DC Comics universe. Which, FYI, is fucking lame. But,really, how else are events like this supposed to end? With a song?

The next big event, Brightest Day, starts next month, in which DC will most likely retcon some retcons of retcons. The final issue will most likely fold out into a mobius strip.

 

the skies above fair Greece yawn wide

blackestnightwonderwoman

It is no secret that I’m a huge Wonder Woman fan. I adore her character and everything she stands for. She has been a huge influence on me my entire life. I think she’s swell!

Whenever there is a huge DC Comics event, I find myself asking: Where is Wonder Woman? She’s always ignored, leaving stupid Superman to resolve the story. Final Crisis ended with Superman singing a song to save the world while Wonder Woman had been transformed into a pig faced mutant. Totally weak.

I’m thrilled that the latest DC event, Blackest Night, has a Wonder Woman tie-in. Not just any tie-in… a good one! See, once upon a time Wonder Woman committed straight-up murder on a dude named Maxwell Lord. It was terrible! She snapped his neck after being slightly provoked. She’s been haunted by this ever since. So, what happens when DC is doing a mega-event like Blackest Night where villians rise from the grave?

OH SHIT WONDER WOMAN WHAT YOU GONNA DO.

I’ll admit that a lot of other interesting things are going on with this story arc — like, say, Bruce Wayne rising from the dead to kill Superman — but Wonder Woman’s personal demons are way more thrilling to me. It’s a trinity of superheroes, god dammit, but writer’s normally treat it like a boy’s club. Wonder Woman is amazing, and you should learn to love her.

 

Spoiler: It’s weak against yellow

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I got to watch the new Green Lantern: First Flight animated movie the other night. Perfect timing, since I’ve recently been hit with a bad case of Blackest Night fever. I love the Green Lantern mythology… there are lanterns, and rings that make shit, and little blue guys that are older than the universe…. what’s not to like? Here’s a point-by-point Stessnalaysis™ (I really should have chosen a better domain name).

This movie is a very loose interpretation. That’s both good and bad. Good because Bruce Timm can be Bruce Timm and make everything as awesome as he wants it to be. Bad because it feels very removed from the DC Universe mythology. Rings don’t talk, Lanterns can use lethal force, and there’s no mention of willpower or fear. What’s worse, Carol Ferris is in the movie for about ten seconds at the beginning. That’s a huge part of the story left out. That’s like trying to adapt The Flash without Iris. Oh, wait… they already did that.

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Sinestro is totally badass. Even if they didn’t follow canon on this one (there’s no mention of Korugar at all), they made Sinestro’s descent completely sadistic. There’s a scene where he’s interrogating this poor woman and forcing her to overdose… it’s pretty intense. I especially like how the film makes a point of showing that every Green Lantern hates people from Earth, while Sinestro admires them. I always thought he was one of the better comic book villains.

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Kilowog sounds like a douche. Maybe it’s just because I watched Justice League Unlimited religiously, but choosing Michael Madsen to do the voice of the jovial drill instructor was a huge mistake. I kept expecting him to turn to Hal Jordan and say “You ever listen to K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies weekend?”

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The Guardians look really stupid. Again, maybe this is the sublime art featured in Blackest Night swaying my opinion, but are the most powerful beings in the universe supposed to look like they’re rejected stunt doubles from Leprechaun 4?

That’s the one where the Leprechaun is in space, FYI.

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What the hell is this? At some point Hal Jordan touches the core of the power battery and becomes Giga Mac. Is this supposed to be Ion? I have no idea, because it wasn’t explained at all.

Super Stress Party Verdict: Wonder Woman is still the best DC Universe animated movie, followed closely by The New Frontier. And nothing will ever top Bruce Timm’s television adaptions.

 
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