Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Captain Atom 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Captain Atom 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Peter: The New 52 has made Captain Atom into a tragic hero; he cannot have real contact with anyone around him, but his powerset is astronomical. Originally I was worried that it would be too Dr. Manahttan. Now it has evolved into something completely different. It has become something best described as an amalgamation of Dr. Manhattan and Top Gun. Nathaniel is a man who must adjust to severe detachment from the world, and the potential loss of humanity. Unfortunately, this first/last issue has some pitfalls, but helps bring the previous twelve issues full circle.
Today, Peter and (special guest writer) Nikki Royce are discussing Legion Lost 0, originally released September 12, 2012. Legion Lost 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Peter: The Legion of Superheroes is something I never really got into. The concept is there, but it was so far removed from the DC characters that know and grew up with that it never jived. The closest I ever got was if any of those characters made appearances in the present time, such as the JLA/JSA crossover The Lightning Saga. I was confused even then. I think it probably boils down to there simply being too many heroes, or too few major members, and too many minor characters. Regardless, The New 52 provided me with a chance to try again on the Legion, and yet, here we are again, lost in the limbo of not really caring too much about them.
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern Corps 0, originally released September 12, 2012. Green Lantern Corps 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Peter: What I’ve appreciated thus far from the zero issues is they’ve avoided retelling the same old origin stories you’ve heard a dozen times before. There’s no point seeing Batman’s parents getting shot again, Superman arriving on Earth in a rocket again, the Flash cooking in lightning and chemicals again, or Green Lantern coming upon a dying alien with a ring…again. If anyone’s origins are ripe for revisiting, it would be those of the “other” Green Lanterns in the DCU; I mean, they all began their careers playing second fiddle to Hal Jordon. Tomasi takes a fresh look at Guy and his family life, and it really turns out quite well.
Today, Peter and (guest writer) The Freakin’ Animal Man are discussing Grifter 0, originally released September 12, 2012. Grifter 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Peter: Grifter is an enigma. He’s like a the less-cool version of Boba Fett in the DC Universe. He wears a mask, but I don’t know why. He’s got some powers, but I can’t tell what they are. All I know at this point is that he was a member of Team 7. Really, I was just never a Wildstorm person. I have NEVER read an issue published under that imprint. So the origin of the character is really lost on me. Hell, the overall appeal of the character is lost on me. I just don’t get it, and Rob Liefeld doesn’t do much for me in this scintillating zero issue.
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Resurrection Man 0, originally released September 12, 2012. Resurrection Man 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: Clones are a tricky business. Whenever there’s an exact double of an individual, there’s always a question of which one is “real.” The thought being that the original was there first, and therefore its survival is more morally important than that of the duplicate. But that’s bad news for Mitch Shelley, hero of the Resurrection Man series. Y’see, he’s an amnesiac clone, and the only way to keep resurrecting and cycling through superpowers is to offer up the soul of the original to pay off a debt to Heaven/Hell. No, I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Batman and Robin 0, originally released September 12, 2012. Batman and Robin 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Shelby: Damian Wayne is a new character for me, and I don’t like him. I’d call him a brat, but he would probably kill me; he’s cold, ruthless, and not even a teenager yet. He’s like no character I’ve encountered before. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason on this my third Batman zero feature. What I didn’t expect was … no Batman ’til the last page. It worked out better than I thought it would; Tomasi gave me a chance to get to know Damian a little more, and after seeing what kind of childhood he’s coming from, I’m impressed he hasn’t just killed everyone else in this title simply because he can.
Peter: I guess it’s never really occurred to me to ask who the main character of Watchmen is. Is there one? What do you think? I guess, based on the overall narration and beginning and then end, most people would probably say Rorschach. I mean he’s constantly working on his journal and is the in the background of tons of the cells. Even though he is rather absent from the majority of the main story, could you see The Comedian in that role? So far he’s appeared in almost every Before Watchmen story in some capacity. Could Edward Blake be the true glue that holds this franchise together?
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Green Arrow 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Green Arrow 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: What do you get when you tell a story about the greatest superhero archer in the world, and set it before he was either a superhero OR an archer? Let’s add another layer to riddle: what happens when that character is an entitled asshole with inconsistent morality, no sense of humor and imperceptible motivations? Why, Green Arrow 0, of course!
Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Worlds’ Finest 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Worlds’ Finest 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Peter: There is something to be said for the best-friend formula for dramas. You see it all the time with things like buddy-cop dramas and best-friend roommates. However, there are some basic formulaic elements that must be present for it to work well. Up to this point, Worlds’ Finest has been lacking. Trust me, I know. Hell, we all know. We constantly talk about what could make this book better, and what it’s specific issues are. No matter how long that list is, it must start with the basic components of friendship and duality.
Today, Drew and Peter are discussing Phantom Stranger 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Phantom Stranger 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Drew: I don’t remember when it is that I first stumbled across William Safire’s cheekily ironic Rules for Writers, but the last rule, “Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives,” has managed to nestle itself in my editing subconscious. I make a point of eliminating any cliche I see on the site (the odd exception aside), which has effectively lowered my tolerance for reading them. It rarely becomes a problem — this is one of the most well-known axioms in writing, after all — but every so often, I’ll come across a piece that indulges in cliches to excess, it’s beyond distracting. The Phantom Stranger 0 is one such example, offering sequences that are so dense with cliches, it’s hard to remember that this story was published in 2012.