Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Global Guardians #2 - Moving On

For the next few weeks, I'm going to be running through the DCU appearances of the Global Guardians post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint (or at least all the appearances I have) and wonder why they never had a title of their own and where they are now.

Following the events of Legends, the Justice League was revitalised (to say the least) and from its beginnings as simply a new version of the JLA, was transformed into a United Nations sponsored world-wide group of superheroes with embassies in most major countries.

Thing is, there was already a group with the same mandate, one which had a more international membership than the fledgling JLA/I. Sure, the League had a more interplanetary membership (with J'onn J'onzz and Mr Miracle) but the Global Guardians were already in place and as we saw last week, represented more of the globe than the League.

Still, politics being what they are, with the UN sanctioning the League, there was no need for the Guardians.

Justice League International #9 featured the first of several back-up appearances of the Guardians as they dealt with the closure of the Dome and while some, such as Belphegor and Dr Mist were quite philosophical about the affair, the Irish hero Jack O'Lantern was definitely not.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Who Was Who Is Who #5

So for want of anything better to write about on a Monday, and with DC's New 52 well under way (how long are they keeping that title do you think?) I'm going to go through all my copies of Who's Who and see who's made it over to the new DCU, who might make it and who hasn't got a Bolt's chance.

BLACK LIGHTNING - he got some love during Final Crisis and kicked around with the Justice League for a time but we haven't seen much of him lately. Will he be back before the end of 2012? Possibly, though it's sort of difficult to say where he'll turn up.

BLACK MANTA - when Aquaman surprised everybody by being the breakout character of Brightest Day, an ongoing series was sure to follow. In Brightest Day, his long time enemy Black Manta showed up and caused him some trouble along with being revealed as the father of the new Aqualad before being defeated by Aquaman and Mera. At the time of writing (early December 2011) there's been no hint that the storylines from Brightest Day will be carried over into the New 52 but I'd be really surprised if we don't see a version of Black Manta before the end of the year.

BLACK ORCHID - here's one where I find myself wondering if I've actually read something on the net or have just imagined it. Is Black Orchid appearing in Justice League Dark? The internet would make me believe not, but I'm sure I read something. Oh well, I'll put her down as a possible.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

DC + Aardman Animation = Genius

Over here in the UK, Aardman Animation has been a mainstay of quirky British humour for years and to find that they've teamed with DC and produced a short film featuring Superman, Batman and others in the style of Creature Comforts just made me smile so much.


DC Nation - Aardman by redruger

Can we have a full half hour episode, please?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Global Guardians #1 - Who's Who?

Back last year, I had some great fun - okay, some of it wasn't that great - looking back over two incarnations of the Justice League, specifically the much derided Justice League Detroit and the mostly forgotten but should be remembered and derided a bit more Jurgens League.

While I was wondering where to go next, commenter Jeremy Patterson wrote:

"How about instead of looking at another League, let's try to focus on some of the 'lesser light' superteams of the DCU, either:

*  A look at one of DC's two attempts at revamping the MLJ heroes: The early 1990s Impact Comics or the 2009-2010 attempt to integrate them into the DCU. (With 'New Crusaders' coming in 2012, it is time to take a look at the subject!).

*  Or at the many attempts to give focus to the Global Guardians, as the Global Guardians seemed to have never existed at all in the DCnU, so it is intriguing to see what went wrong with the G.G.!"

Having never read any of the Impact / Red Circle comics, I decided to go with Jeremy's second suggestion and take a look at the Global Guardians.

Please . . . try to contain your excitement.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Who Was Who Is Who #4

So for want of anything better to write about on a Monday, and with DC's New 52 well under way (how long are they keeping that title do you think?) I'm going to go through all my copies of Who's Who and see who's made it over to the new DCU, who might make it and who hasn't got a Big Bear's chance.

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER - oh, Jack Kirby you old hippy. Beautiful Dreamer, along with the rest of the Forever People, are great examples of how embedding characters' looks, behaviour and speech patters in a particular time frame utterly date them. I can't see any of them coming back any time soon.

BEN BOXER - another Kirby character, this one's tied in with Kamandi and the Great Disaster so unless he turns up on Earth-51 as part of Mutiversity, I don't think we'll be seeing him, either.

BIG BARDA - with the first villain of the relaunched Justice League's title being Darkseid, there's a good possibility that the New Gods may be viable characters once more. That is unless some version of Final Crisis took place between the start of the League and the current Year 5 or so which is when most DC titles are taking place. If Final Crisis didn't happen (and I hope that's true) then the New Gods aren't dead - and yes, that includes Beautiful Dreamer - and so could be brought back, which means Mr Miracle and Big Barda could be back in business. I'm going for a possible on this one.

BIG BEAR - same applies here as with Beautiful Dreamer above: the Forever People really are just too dated a concept to be brought back, I think.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Don't Ask... Just Buy It! Justice League International #8

From the solicitation:
"The plan was for the JLI was to be installed as Earth’s official protective team. But once Breakdown attacked, that all came to a swift and sudden end. Now, as the pall of death and injury hang over the team, all that matters is survival. Featuring the introduction of a surprise new team member!"
A "surprise new team member"? Would that be Batwing on the cover? If so, it's not much of a surprise. Unless they're referring to the JLI's mystery woman?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Was Brad Meltzer Right?

With Earth-2's announcement the other day (and yes, I'm really excited about it) the possibility of a crossover between it and Justice League of America started to occur which, in turn, made me remember this page from Brad Meltzer's run on JLA:

The Earth-2 that's shown there features characters from both the classic Justice Society and what appears to be the satellite-era League (am I the only one who prefers that blue and white costume on Zatanna?)

Will we see anything like it over the next year or two? Difficult to call when, but it would be just like Geoff Johns and James Robinson to do a crossover between the two titles when JLA gets to issue #21 in eighteen months or so . . .

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Guys On The Block?

Most, if not all, of DC's latest issues (certainly the ones I saw last week) featured a double page spread of "sneak peeks" at the back, showcasing "some concept sketches of characters you may be seeing in upcoming months" and invited us to guess where they'd appear.

I'm not going to go through all of them, but there were a few that caught my eye:

That sure as heck looks like Nighthawk to me and I figure he's going to be turning up in the pages of the wonderful All-Star Western sometime soon.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Sensible 'Aircut

Godiva's made something of an impression in the pages of the new Justice League International book, turning into an interesting character with a nice sense of humour.

Strange, then, to see how she was originally, particularly her wonderful or-fentik Bri'ish di-a-log:

That's right - she's using her hair as a pair of wings.

I'd love to say where that's from, but I'm afraid I pilfered it from this apparently long-dead site which I stumbled across while researching my look back at one of the DCU's lesser-known teams . . .

Tune in every Tuesday for the next few weeks as I re-discover twenty year old comics once more, just because a reader suggested I do so.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Who Was Who Is Who #3

So for want of anything better to write about on a Monday, and with DC's New 52 well under way (how long are they keeping that title do you think?) I'm going to go through all my copies of Who's Who and see who's made it over to the new DCU, who might make it and who hasn't got a Barren Earth's chance.

AUTOMAN - yeah, this robot isn't going to make any sort of come-back.

AZRAEL - no, not the Jean-Paul Valley ex-Batman one but the original one from the Teen Titans. The one no-one remembers. Or cares about. So no, I don't think he'll be turning up.

BABE - not the pig, the big purple alien from Atari Force. Just those two words mean we'll never see him again.

BALLOON BUSTER - unless Men of War starts doing World War I stories, I think it's unlikely Balloon Buster will be taking to the skies any time soon.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Liefeld On Hawkman? I'm Out

A couple of Cocktails ago, I wrote about The Savage Hawkman:
"Of all the New 52 titles that I've picked up, this one is closest to being ditched. A few more issues and we'll see what happens."
In the announcement of the Second Wave of New 52 titles, Hawk and Dove, originally pencilled then written by Rob Liefeld, was one of the series to be cancelled with #8 in a couple of months. It seems, however, that whatever incriminating evidence Liefeld has on DiDio, Johns and Lee has proved useful for the guy as DC announced on its Source blog:
"This May, writer/artist Rob Liefeld will take on an expanded role in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. He will be joining three titles – DEATHSTROKE, GRIFTER and THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN – beginning with their ninth issues."
Hawkman wasn't really working for me this time round which is a shame as I like the character. I've said before, in many cases I've stuck with a character regardless of my feelings on the writer/artist - Green Arrow under Winick or Kreisberg and Sienkiewicz, Teen Titans under Henderson - but this time round, I shan't be bothering.

I've never liked Liefeld's art, his writing or his "edgy" reputation and will take this opportunity to bid farewell to The Savage Hawkman.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote a post about the possibility of some DC titles being cancelled fairly soon and ended with this:
"if I had to put my money on one book I'm getting that won't make it to a number 12 . . . I guess I'd have to offer up Mr Terrific."
And what do I read over at the DCU Source blog just a day or so later but this:
"In May of 2012, DC Comics will release a “Second Wave” of titles as part of its historic DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 initiative. Six new, ongoing series will build on the shared universe and bold concepts introduced in September 2011 with the renumbering of DC Comics’ entire line of comic books . . . The six new series will replace BLACKHAWKS, HAWK AND DOVE, MEN OF WAR, MISTER TERRIFIC, O.M.A.C. and STATIC SHOCK, all of which will conclude with their eighth issues in April."
So, farewell Michael Holt, it was a nice experiment, just a shame it didn't work.

Still, there's some good news as the six series replacing these include the following:
"EARTH 2 – Writer: James Robinson. Artist: Nicola Scott. The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds. 
WORLDS’ FINEST – Writer: Paul Levitz. Artists: George Perez and Kevin Maguire. Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2. Perez and Maguire will be the artists on alternating story arcs."
Earth-2 we sort of knew about as the Justice Society title that's been spoken of for a while, but check out Worlds' Finest - Huntress and Power Girl in an ongoing with art by George Perez and Kevin Maguire!

It's official - today is a good news day.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Have A Little Faith

Seriously, guys? The first appearance of four giant robots that begin to strip mine the Earth and that's it, the end of the world, pray for us, amen?

Come on, how often have the superheroes saved your world? You'd think people would have a bit more faith in the Justice League by now, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Come In Number 8, Your Time Is Up?

I tend not to worry about where the comics I'm reading place on the top sellers lists that Diamond produce - after all, other people have a greater interest in where their comics are placing, not least the creators and publishers. Me, I'm happy to read what I enjoy each month.

Having said that (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) this article over at Newsarama where two of DC's sales execs talk about December's figures got me thinking.

In it, they talk about DC not leading the market share for the first time since the New 52 launch which, to be fair to them, they knew was coming at some point and they've never been interested in getting it. At least that's what they've been saying.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

JLI's Mystery Woman Is Back

Sometimes, I miss the obvious and have to have things pointed out to me like the following.

Last week's Justice League International #5 cover by David Finch:

Notice anything different there? Nope, nor me until I read this interview with Dan Jurgens over at The International Exchange.

Take a closer look about Guy Gardner on the right of the cover and you'll see this lady:

Monday, 9 January 2012

Who Was Who Is Who #2

So for want of anything better to write about on a Monday, and with DC's New 52 well under way (how long are they keeping that title do you think?) I'm going to go through all my copies of Who's Who and see who's made it over to the new DCU, who might make it and who hasn't got an Atari Force's chance.

AQUALAD and AQUAGIRL - if the whole of Who's Who is set out alphabetically, as you'd expect for any good reference book, why then, either reading from top to bottom or left to right, does Aqualad come before Aquagirl? Just makes no sense. Anyway, despite Geoff Johns launching a new and successful (at least in terms of fan acceptance) Aqualad in the pages of Brightest Day, it would appear that unless he re-introduces the character in Aquaman, neither the new kid or poor old Garth won't be back any time soon. Tula's been long gone and it looks like her replacement, Lorena Marquez, won't be around any time soon, either.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Summer Can't Come Quick Enough

Dark Knight Rises and Lego Batman 2 due in a few months.

Can someone hit the fast-forward button to summer, please?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Green Arrow To Be Fun, Apparently

Green Arrow gets his third creative team since the relaunch with original writer J.T. Krul being replaced by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens from issue #3 and now with new writer Ann Nocenti taking the reins from issue #7 onwards.

I've not read anything by her so was interested to read the interview with her over at Newsarama where she talks about Ollie and what she wants to do with the series and there's one thing she keeps mentioning that gives me hope for the series.

Sure, she mentions that Ollie will start to develop his left leaning politics, that he'll be doing a bit more travelling and that his Achilles heel - the ladies - are going to be an important part in his adventures. Oh, and she's planning to beef up his rogues gallery as well which is something that never really been done successfully. Seriously, how many recurring villains for Green Arrow can you name? Merlyn the archer? Brick and Drakon from Winick's run? Any others that aren't already established villains for other heroes like Dr Light or Solomon Grundy?

But anyway, the main thing that cropped up in Nocenti's interview that caught my eye was the following:
"The main thing you'll see with Green Arrow is fun. I want Green Arrow to have fun. I don't want him to be a tortured hero . . . I am not going into Green Arrow's past to find something that will torture him. He's a happy guy. He's going to have fun."
I've said it time and again, it's the entertaining, fun comics that keep me reading and if Ann Nocenti can make me really look forward to reading Green Arrow each month, I'll be more than happy with that.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I Do Have A Name, You Know

And apparently, it's Pandora.

They couldn't have chosen Brenda or Ethel or Agnes, then? Oh no, had to be something portentous, something doom-laden and dark, something that foreshadows death and despair.

I'm assuming all this, of course - old Pandy there could turn out to be a great laugh who makes the new DCU a place of light and laughter, with only fun and exciting comics being published every week.

Would anyone care to take a bet on that happening? Anyone?

This Makes Perfect Sense

I like cats and am not advocating trying this at home. Though if you do and it works, please send me a picture.

Taken from Tomorrow Stories Book 1 by Alan Moore and Kevin Nolan.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Look Not So Much Alikes

One of the books I had for Christmas was Volume Two of Showcase Presents: The Phantom Stranger collecting a whole bunch of stuff from the adventures of DC's mysterious man. The Showcase volumes are great value, reprinting old and hard to find issues in relatively cheap formats, the costs kept down in part by eschewing colour, showing everything in black and white.

One of the issues that was reprinted in Volume Two was Justice League of America #103, where the Stranger meets up with the Justice League at the Rutland Halloween festival. Having read the issue before (and blogged about it ages ago) I really only skimmed through it, eager to get to stories that I didn't know.

As I flipped through it, though, something about a handful of the panels caught my eye. In the story, the League battle Rutlandites under the control of Felix Faust. They come up against people in fancy dress some of whom wear costumes of heroes that were published by DC's marvellous rivals, making it the first (if unofficial) crossover between DC and Marvel.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Who Was Who Is Who #1

So for want of anything better to write about on a Monday, and with DC's New 52 well under way (how long are they keeping that title do you think?) I'm going to go through all my copies of Who's Who and see who's made it over to the new DCU, who might make it and who hasn't got an Aegeus's chance.

ABEL - portly keeper of the House of Secrets and late of the Dreaming, I've no idea whether Abel made it through. The number of Vertigo titles I pick up has dropped over the years to approximately none. Not a single one. Anyone seen him around lately?

ABNEGAZAR, RATH & GHAST - really, these should have been listed under Demons Three, don't you think? Can't see these guys coming back any time soon.

ABRA KADABRA - long time (pun intended!) Flash villain it wouldn't surprise me if he came back in some new, updated fashion.

ADAM STRANGE - now here's one I'm pretty certain is going to find his way back to us, either in the pages of DC Universe Presents or Justice League and my bet would be on the latter title. Geoff Johns is an unashamed fan of the silver age and Adam Strange was always popping in to the satellite headquarters before dragging the League off for some adventure or another so it wouldn't surprise me at all to have the bloke turn up before the end of 2012. There you go: my first solid prediction.

AEGEUS - seriously? A Greek terrorist riding Pegasus, flinging thunderbolts at Wonder Woman? Hands up who thinks this guy will ever be seen again.


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