The power couple comic is here, Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is finally on the shelves this week. I have talked (or maybe ranted is a better word) about this before. I've talked about why this relationship won't work, why it won't last, but here in DC Comics' New 52 universe, the powers that be are pushing it to see how far it will go.
The Superman/Wonder Woman ongoing is written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Tony Daniel. Soule is a newcomer from the independent side of the industry who's making a splash recently, taking over Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, and over at Marvel, Thunderbolts. Talk about a baptism by fire. He's also an attorney and musician. One imagines that he must not sleep.
The story, coincidentally called "Power Couple," pairs Daniel's stunning visuals with Soule's terrific parallel storytelling. And wait until you see who the surprise villain is! Ignore the hype of Superman and Wonder Woman in a relationship, and pick up this first issue, one of the best books on the shelves this week. Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is on sale now at All Things Fun!, check it out!
Good vs. evil, it's a timeless concept, and in mankind's storytelling history, good usually triumphs over evil. I'd say that's 99% of the time that good comes out on top, but that one percent, man, that one percent that goes the other way - that's hot. From the serpent getting Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden to this summer's Age of Ultron where Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the entire planet get blasted by the Avengers' greatest foe, it's always a juicy story when evil gets the upper hand. And that's what Forever Evil from DC Comics is all about.
This seven-issue mini-series is the first major crossover event affecting the entire New 52 line of comics, and ironically doesn't seem to star any of DC Comics' heroes. At the close of the Justice League mini-event, "The Trinity War," we find the Crime Syndicate from Earth-Three has invaded. Here in Forever Evil #1 they are releasing all the villains of our world, recruiting an army, and insisting that the Justice League is dead.
If that's not enough to get your heart pumping and worrying about the future, Forever Evil is written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by David Finch, both superstars in the industry. And don't forget about the stunning and amazing lenticular 3-D technology covers on all the tie-institution this event!
Where will Lex Luthor, the Joker, and other baddies stand with this new regime? Who are the new members of the Crime Syndicate? And is the Justice League really dead? Pick up Forever Evil #1 on shelves today at All Things Fun!.
I reviewed the first issue of this new Superman title by DC Comics superstars, writer Scott Snyder and artist Jim Lee, a couple months ago, and so far, it has not disappointed. The third issue, "Answered Prayers," part three of the Ascension storyline, delivers everything one might expect of a comic titled Superman Unchained.
There is no lack of action and slugfest this issue as Superman battles new hero/villain Wraith, whose eerily familiar origin is revealed here. Jim Lee's pencils are as dynamic as ever, and Scott Snyder's words add a realistic edge to formerly one-dimensional characters like General Lane.
Speaking of the Lane family, regular readers here know I have an affection for Lois Lane, a character who has basically gotten shorted in the New 52, and I'm not just talking about losing her part in comics' longest and greatest relationship. Snyder gives us back the smart capable woman we all loved from days gone by.
Superman Unchained #3 is on the shelves this week at All Things Fun!. If you dig old school Superman, and Lois Lane, with a modern spin, this is the book for you.
Off in its own little corner of the New 52 DC Universe is the new Earth 2, a parallel world that has been ravaged by a war with the forces of Apokalips. Had the initial battle with Darkseid that helped to form the Justice League not gone the way it did on our world, Earth 2 shows what may have happened afterward. On Earth 2, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were all slain in the battle against Darkseid. It is a tale of reconstruction, and rebirth, in this case, the rebirth of many of the Justice Society heroes and the New Gods in the New 52.
For fifteen issues and one annual, writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Bryant have presented this epic second generation of heroes and villains in a world between wars. We have seen the emergence of new versions of Golden Age heroes like the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, the Atom, Dr. Fate, as well as new takes on the Sandman, Fury, Red Arrow, Mister Terrific, Red Tornado, and even villains like Solomon Grundy. There is even a second Batman coming to the mix.
Just when you thought that that might be enough new concepts for one comic book title, Robinson and Bryant are also bringing new life to several of Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters as Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Steppenwolf, and the Hunger Dogs. Fresh takes on classic favorites, an Earth under siege from Apokalips, and some of the best concepts around - why aren't you reading Earth 2?
In issue #15, on the shelves now at All Things Fun!, has not only our 'wonders' (the as yet unnamed Justice Society) doing battle with 'terrors,' the Four Horsemen of Apokalips, the new versions of the Gambler and the Fiddler taking on Hawkgirl, and Fury vs. Mister Miracle and Big Barda.
Also available is the trade reprint of the first six issues of the series, called Earth 2: The Gathering, and also look out for concurrent titles World's Finest and Batman/Superman, which are also exploring the characters, histories, and concepts of Earth 2. Check them out!
I picked up this Vertigo comic book on the recommendation of friend and Biff Bam Pop! colleague J.P. Fallavollita. Usually if J.P. says something is good, it's good. You can read his review here. This is one of the ones that's really good.
There has been much talk the last couple of months, and even more recently with the demise of Hellblazer, that DC Comics' more sophisticated adult line, Vertigo, which once boasted work like Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Transmetropolitan, was a dying thing. I think that may have been an obit too early, because this slick blue collar new wave scifi comic right here - Collider - may in fact be Vertigo's savior.
Written by Simon Oliver and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, Collider #1 is the story of Special Agent Adam Hardy of the FBP, that's the Federal Bureau of Physics in case you didn't know. Hardy takes care of gravity failures in a world where sometimes, just sometimes, the laws of physics fail us. Weird science is the everyday in this world, and Hardy is the guy who fixes it, along with the rest of the crew in the FBP.
The writing is top notch. You will become as involved in the pseudo-science of Collider just as much as its characters, and the art matches the words, quirky, mod, and odd. If you want different, and engaging, Collider is for you, on shelves this week at All Things Fun!. To quote the advertising campaign for the new Vertigo - "Defy," and pick up Collider #1.
The hardcopy of this fantastic digital comic book drops this week, and should be on the shelves at All Things Fun!. I have to say right up front, this is one of the most fun comics I have read in years, yeah, I said it. That's right, years. And fun is the operative word, Batman '66 is fun.
I've talked about this before over at Biff Bam Pop!, when I reviewed the digital version of this comic, that Batman, specifically the 1960s "Batman" TV series on ABC, was my gateway drug into comics. Without that show, I probably wouldn’t be the comics geek I am today. I would wager there is a whole generation along with me on that one, as well as maybe one or two more who were initiated by the show in syndication. Back in the 1960s, there weren't superhero movies dominating the theaters every week, there was just this one wonderful, magnificently popular TV show.
"Batman" changed the landscape for comic books, made them pop culture for not just kids but adults as well. Adam West and Burt Ward brought our heroes to life, and moved comics into the mainstream. Even today, many folks measure their knowledge of comic books based on this show. That may well have given the show a negative perception for hardcore comics fans for whom comics were growing up and maturing since the days of camp. The love/hate relationship fans have with "Batman" is a rough one indeed.
The truth is the show was actually very good. Working on two levels, grand adventure for the kids and camp humor for the adults, it swept the nation and world in the decade of love. For most of us, when re-watching those reruns, it is still fondly remembered. It is these fond memories that writer Jeff Parker and artist Jonathan Case have mined for Batman '66.
Right out of the gate, we see things that we couldn't have seen on the TV, a Batmobile soaring through the air as it pursues the Riddler in a bi-plane, a stunt, that even if they had the budget, the actors involved never could have hoped to attempt without stuntmen. The visuals are both 1960s pop art and recognizable to the real people from the show. The story incorporates all the aspects of the show into its format, and adds touches that different levels of audience can appreciate. Parker and Case have recreated the show, and I love it.
And if there was any doubt that the cutting edge storytelling of a digital comic would be watered down by the two-dimensional format, it's not. Granted, it's better online, but on the paper page, it's still the best comic book on the shelves this week, this month, maybe all year. Batman '66 #1 rocks. Get it now! Whether you know the TV series, or are new to the phenomenon, this is the comic you must read.
Twenty-two months ago DC Comics rebooted their entire line, their entire pantheon of heroes and villains, their universe and continuity - to start over. It was, and is still, called The New 52, based in both the number of titles being released on a monthly basis, and the supposed number of parallel universes in the DC multiverse.
I know, it's complicated, but let's keep it simple. Since that start over, we have been hearing rumors of an event called The Trinity War. Some had theorized it was about Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, who have at times been called DC's Trinity.
A Free Comic Book Day sampler dropped hints that the Trinity might be Pandora (who appeared in all the original New 52 first issues), the Phantom Stranger, and The Question. And while they still might be the answer, there are those who believe the Trinity refers to three super-teams - the Justice League, the Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark, with a fourth, the Secret Society of Super-Villains waiting in the wings.
Well, this week, in Justice League #22 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, the wait is over as The Trinity War finally begins. Pandora, Madame Xanadu, Doctor Light, and Superman vs. Shazam - there's a lot happening here, folks, and it all leads to a cataclysmic throwdown between the Justice League and the Justice League of America in the Kandaq desert.
The Trinity War begins here! Part one, in Justice League #22, is on shelves right now, at All Things Fun!. Don't miss it, this is the one you've been waiting for!
Marvel Comics' big event of recent months, Age of Ultron, is now over, and it's time for the fallout and the aftermath in the rest of the Marvel line. As with most big events, new series spring up out of the end of them, case in point - Avengers A.I..
In Age of Ultron, the Avengers most dangerous enemy wins - and wins hardcore. Ultron takes over the Earth, decimates mankind, and is hunting Avengers - you got it, the end of civilization as we know it. As a last resort, the Avengers turn to time travel, specifically to go back in time to kill the man who first built the artificial intelligence Ultron before he creates him. This meant killing the Avenger Hank Pym.
When that line of action results in a present day just as catastrophic as the one they were trying to prevent, a new tact was attempted. Present day Pym and past Pym collaborate in a time release virus to destroy Ultron at the moment of his greatest victory. This time it works, but afterward, Hank Pym walks away a new man, almost as if he had been born again after finally defeating one of his greatest demons.
In the first sequel to the event, Age of Ultron #10AI (still on shelves at All Things Fun!), writer Mark Waid gives us a fresh look at the character, his origins, and his new lease on life. That transformation continues in Avengers A.I. #1.
Written by Sam Humphries (whose previous work has included X-Force, John Carter of Mars, and Ultimates) and illustrated by Andre Lima Araujo, one of the artists from the Mark Waid prequel, Avengers A.I. #1 is the big payoff, Pym in his new position as leader of a new crack squad of Avengers.
The Avengers A.I. team is comprised, at first, of Pym, the bossy new AI division chief of SHIELD, the Vision in an evolved form, the semi-human son of Ultron, and a repurposed Doombot. The dynamic reminds me of Warren Ellis' old Nextwave series, and rumor has it Machine Man from that comic may show up here.
Get in on the ground floor with this intriguing new series, out this week, and on sale at All Things Fun!.
Grab your Decoder Rings, and pour yourself some Ovaltine, because Captain Midnight is back!
Back in the day, during the Second World War, in the Golden Age of comics, ace pilots were only second to costumed superheroes as the protagonists in comic books. In those days, Captain Midnight was something special, he was both. Yeah, baby, Captain Midnight was an ace pilot and a costumed superhero.
The Captain began as a radio series on the Mutual Radio Network in 1938, sponsored by Ovaltine. Like all good pulp heroes of the era, Jim Albright was a World War I pilot for the US Army who had turned his skills toward helping people as a soldier of fortune and private aviator. As the Second World War began, Captain Midnight headed up the Secret Squadron for the War Department. He began to fight more Axis-themed villains, although the insidious Ivan Shark would always be his perennial archenemy.
In 1942 Captain Midnight moved from the radio to both the comic strips and the comic books. Fawcett Comics, who at the time published the adventures of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family among others, became Captain Midnight's home. His comic book incarnation was not only an ace pilot, but also the costumed adventurer who was an inventor to boot. Among his inventions, a glider-chute that allowed him to seem to fly, a variety of trick guns, gizmos, and super-charged planes.
As Fawcett started to fade, so did its Captain Midnight comics, but the character lived on in radio, movie serials, and the new medium, television. Two years on the air, and then a few more after in syndication, then finally Captain Midnight faded finally into fond memory. My own first memory of the charcter was as the only one I could not identify on the covers of "Steranko's History of Comics." After learning how cool Captain Midnight was, the void in my knowledge filled quickly and I became a fan for life.
Last week Dark Horse Comics released Captain Midnight #0. Written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Victor Ibanez and Pere Perez, this new series posits that the Captain disappeared during World War II, and has inexplicably reappeared in the here and now. Unlike other time-tossed superheroes you might think of, Captain Midnight doesn't see the high tech utopia he hoped the future might be, he sees a dark conspiracy that he's not sure he can trust.
Join the new adventures of Captain Midnight with Dark Horse starting with this great zero issue, on the shelves now at All Things Fun!.
Apparently, Catwoman is dead. Shot through the head, in graphic full color, Blue Beetle style, by the bad guy on the last page of a comic. If you missed it, it happened in Justice League of America (the most recent iteration) #4, and the bad guy who pulled the trigger is the pale faced man who has been organizing the new Secret Society of Super-Villains, and seemingly been robbing the Joker's wardrobe as well. He is, as yet, unnamed. Sad, we don't even know her killer's name.
The storyline has the government-created Justice League of America, as opposed to the regular and better known big guns of the Justice League, trying to infiltrate this mysterious new villain organization. Green Arrow attempted to get in, and was nearly killed for his efforts. Catwoman, a secret JLA recruit, and better known as a criminal, was accepted with open arms. Until they found out she was a double agent. Then the pale faced man, with true Women in Refrigerators flair, offed her.
I did not believe it at first. You know why? No fanfare. No front cover blurb. Nothing in the solicits. And most of all - no spoilers the week before the comic came out from USA Today and their ilk. For the last decade or so, every death of a major comic book character - from Captain America to supposedly Batman to Peter Parker to Professor X to the most recent Robin - has been spoiled by other media before the comic book in question has even come out.
The comic that the event occurred in, Justice League of America #4, was pretty much business as usual. Not fully trusting the Justice League (with no descriptive in their name), the US government formed their own team. This team almost immediately went to war with the aforementioned Secret Society of Super-Villains. All of this is of course a precursor to the upcoming event between the three Justice League titles (in case you're wondering, the third is the supernaturally themed Justice League Dark) called Trinity War, which pits all four teams (including the SSoSV) against one another.
As an old school comics reader, I was attracted to the cover of JLoA #4 because it's an homage to the original Justice League of America #45 from 1966. That issue featured the League first battle against one of their most dangerous foes, the Shaggy Man. Sadly, in the new comic, the Shaggy Man appears only briefly inside, so much for truth in advertising. What irks me most about this is that in this new League, Catwoman has been the most compelling character.
The week the comic came out, I had houseguests, including an old friend, who is completely unversed in comics. That said, his favorite character is Catwoman, and during his stay, soundly beat me every time using her in Injustice: Gods Among Us, even when I played Superman, Green Lantern, or Captain Marvel (I refuse to call him Shazam, that's the word, and the wizard, but not his name).
Anyway, my friend picked up the comic and read it during his stay, fascinated that Catwoman was now a member of the Justice League. He was left unfazed by the shock ending of the issue. "She'll be back," he said, "it's a comic book death." Such are the words of someone outside the industry. Is that what it has come to? When death means nothing, what is the next line to cross? Will they completely destroy Metropolis in the next Superman movie? Maybe an entire planet in the sequel?
As it stands, there is still a Catwoman title coming out, and it seems unaffected by her 'death,' same for her involvement in other comics. Perhaps my friend was right. Rest in peace, Catwoman, apparently it'll just be a catnap, as well as a dirtnap…