Today, Drew and guest writer Zach Kastner are discussing Justice League 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013, This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover event. Click here for complete ToA coverage.
Drew: “What if there was a problem so big, Superman couldn’t solve it?” is the question the Justice League was designed to answer. This was something Johns managed quite well in this series’ first arc, justifying the League’s formation with a truly global threat. This issue effectively voids that answer by asking “yeah, but what if there was a problem so big even the Justice League couldn’t solve it?” Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Justice League 15, originally released December 26th, 2012, This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover event. Click here for complete ToA coverage.
Drew: Sitcoms and comics are notorious for featuring one- and two-dimensional characters. This isn’t the result of laziness on the writers’ parts — actually, it’s their desire to work indefinitely. Narratives that don’t go on indefinitely are free to give their characters actual character-defining arcs — that’s kind of the point — but those that have no defined endpoint must more or less tread water to avoid ending. This is why we know the status quo will always be restored. Sure, Bruce might stop brooding for a bit, or Hal might lose his ring, or Superman might die, but as long as people are willing to see their further adventures (and pay for them), they’re bound to return to their resting state. Individual titles focusing on those characters are free to bend the rules a bit, but cameos in other titles kind of rely on the platonic form of the heroes. Because Justice League essentially acts as a series of cameos, it is particularly invested in not giving these characters any sense of emotional arcs. Of course, that doesn’t stop Johns from trying to shoehorn those in from time to time, too.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 0, originally released September 26th, 2012. Aquaman 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Shelby: Geoff Johns is a big picture kind of guy. When he gets an idea, it’s a big idea. This plays out well in trade paperback collections of his story arcs, when you can read them in great big chunks. It doesn’t always work so well in the monthly issues; when a huge story is dragged out over months, the pace slows and it’s hard to keep that big picture in your mind. I think Johns found a solution to the problem: just write an issue with a story so big it spans all the oceans, treat it like the opening scenes of a movie, and give your artists plenty of elbow room.
Today, Patrick, Drew, Peter and Shelby are discussing The New 52 1, originally released on Free Comic Book Day, May 5th, 2012.
Patrick: Now that the dust has settled and we’re all able to calm down after a thrilling Free Comic Book Day, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. The issue that DC released was anything but an easy entry-point, packing in more characters and mythology than we’ve seen in any single issue since the relaunch. This book makes a lot of intriguing promises for long-time fans, but I doubt new readers were all that excited to spend 11 pages following a character they’ve never heard of.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 8, originally released April 25th, 2012.
Shelby: Geoff Johns first impressed me with Rebirth, the retold origin arc of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. His narratives combine epic, sweeping action with a much closer, personal look at the characters. He has a knack for writing emotion that doesn’t diminish the super-humanness of these characters. Lately, I haven’t been quite as impressed; both Justice League and Aquaman have felt a little….pedantic. It’s true, I have fallen away from Johns somewhat with the relaunch, but I feel like this Aquaman arc is beginning to get back to what it is I first liked so very much about his writing. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Justice League 8, originally released April 18th, 2012.
Shelby: I love a good mystery. As a wee lass, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys; though my tastes have strayed somewhat since then, I still believe there is nothing better than mystery (big or small) to hook someone into a plot. Apparently, Geoff Johns agrees with me, because this month’s Justice League is loaded with mysteries of varying height and weight. Even though I’m not crazy about the actual events that took place in this issue, the mysteries Johns is beginning to uncover are tantalizing to a curious cat like me. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 7, originally released March 28th, 2012.
Shelby:I felt hugely relieved after reading this month’s Aquaman. After the less-than-exciting conclusion to the Trench arc, followed up with a TERRIBLE issue about Mera’s trip to town, I was beginning to regret picking up Aquaman. “Maybe I was wrong,” I thought to myself. “Maybe Aquaman can only be the butt of jokes! Maybe the awesomeness he exuded in Blackest Night and Brightest Day was all an elaborate ruse by Geoff Johns to sucker people into reading Aquaman, like a huge practical joke!” Happily, this issue has assuaged my doubts with an exciting introduction to what I’m hoping will be a really fun arc about the mystery of Atlantis. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 6, originally released February 22nd, 2012.
Shelby: You may not know this about me, but every weekend I put together the headers for the Alternating Currents for the following week. Doing so means I take a little sneak peak at the cover art for upcoming issues. Last weekend, as I was working my way through these, I got really, really excited for Aquaman 6. I mean, just look at it! We’ve got fire and water constructs and cars flying around and, front and center, we’ve got Mera herself, looking like all kinds of badass. “This is it!” I thought to myself. “This is that moment I’ve been waiting for since the relaunch! Time for Mera to shine!” Ultimately, I was let down. Continue reading →