Looking Forward by Looking Back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 30

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Green Lantern is a mythological big bang, constantly expanding outward into space at an alarming rate. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps writer Robert Venditti usually participates in these kind of elliptical expansions that loop back around on information or concepts that readers are already familiar with and then venturing out further into the undefined depths of space. That’s how Hal’s relationship to the New Gods of New Genesis was fleshed out, that’s how Soranik Natu temporarily re-joined the corps before betraying them and defecting with her father’s evil army. But those are whirling galaxies of mythology, and in issue 30, Venditti and artist Patrick Zircher bring that same cyclonic energy planetside.  Continue reading

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Dark Nights: Metal 3 is an Epic Rock Opera of Fun

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When it was first announced, the concept of Dark Nights: Metal left me perplexed. But if you’ve been following along with DC’s multiversal exploits of the last ten years — specifically Final Crisis and The Multiversity — then a heavy-metal rock opera isn’t out of place in the musical vibrations of the Multiverse. Now that the stage has been set, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo can play in the crazy world that they have constructed. Continue reading

New Super-Man 16 Drags Historic Racism into the Present

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

Recently on my morning commute, I’ve been catching up on the Washington Post‘s new(ish) podcast, Constitutional. The podcast’s third episode, “Nationality,” traces the story of Wong Kim Ark, a man born in San Francisco to Chinese parents whose Supreme Court case determined that being born in America made you an American citizen. And while that brief summary makes it sound like his story is a victory for the foundational ideals of America, the details paint a much less satisfying picture. It’s no secret that America is historically a deeply racist country, and that efforts to make forward progress are continually contested making victories hard-won. New Super-Man 16 reminds us how casually pervasive racism used to be, but also provides a measure for some of the progress that has been made. Continue reading

Batman: White Knight 1

by Ryan Desaulniers and Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

 He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Jim Gordon, The Dark Knight

Ryan: Since that line was uttered in lamentation of Gotham’s corruption, I feel as if it’s almost become a canonical outlook on the Caped Crusader. The thing about that line, though, is that it’s purely subjective on Gordon’s part, and particular unto the circumstances of that Batman story in that film. And almost every statement can be used against the point for which it was originally made, right? Even scientists with objective data sets can use the same numbers to support the opposite side of an argument, or the same verse of scripture used to prove opposing points. In Batman: White Knight 1, Sean Murphy takes Jim Gordon’s iconic statement and uses it to sow the seeds of a Gotham wherein the Joker justifies his action with that logic, both as a villain and a hero. Continue reading

Artwork is Metal in Green Arrow 32

by Michael DeLaney 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Green Arrow 32 is the conclusion to the Dark Nights: Metal tie-in “Gotham Resistance,” so you could be forgiven for your confusion if you haven’t been following the previous chapters in Teen Titans, Nightwing and Suicide Squad. As much as “Gotham Resistance” is one story, each individual title manages to maintain a piece of its own unique identity. A large part of Green Arrow‘s Rebirth identity has been artist Juan E. Ferreyra, who is far and away the most memorable thing about this issue. Continue reading

A Quiet, Touching Pay-Off in All-Star Batman 14

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

All-Star Batman has been an interesting coda to Scott Snyder’s prolific run on Batman. While never reaching the sustained highs of Batman in its best years, All-Star has allowed Snyder to experiment with the type of Batman stories he tells. Not every arc has been a knockout — I don’t know how into Alfred-Pennyworth-as-ninja I am, really — but there is something inherently interesting in watching an artist stretch himself. Continue reading

Deathstroke’s Murky Morality in Superman 32

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Superman’s moral code is not complex, and that’s a great thing about him as far as I’m concerned. Superman does good simply because it’s the right thing to do, and he never kills — Man of Steel nonwithstanding, he always finds a way to win without sacrificing his morals, because that’s just who Superman is. Deathstroke’s morality is far more murky, and that leads to some interesting juxtaposition in Superman 32. Continue reading

Batman 32: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner and Michael DeLaney

Batman 32

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I don’t know.

Teenager, Traditional

Drew: I used to work as an Assistant Dean for an academic enrichment program — basically, high-school students would come to a college campus for a few weeks over the summer to take some classes and get a feel for dorm living. The Dean’s office was there to keep kids out of trouble, or, more accurately, to address the trouble that the kids inevitably got into. Most of the time, the motives for their infractions were clear enough — they skipped class because it was boring or they tried to sneak into the girl’s dorm to see their girlfriend — but every so often, a kid would do something so inexplicable, the first question had to be “why?” And the answer, invariably, was “I don’t know.” Sometimes, our better judgement eludes us, allowing weird impulses or emotions to lead us to actions we can neither explain nor defend. It’s a phenomenon that teens are particularly prone to, with their hormonally-charged emotions and only-partially-developed impulse control, but it happens to adults, too (even sober ones). It is one of these moments that turns out to be Bruce Wayne’s “greatest sin,” as the climax of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” leads him to a rare flash of moral weakness. Continue reading

Jessica and Simon Regroup in Green Lanterns 32

by Drew Baumgartner

Green Lanterns 32

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When talking about serialized narratives, we’ll often talk about how certain installments “put the pieces in place” — that is, it was saddled with setting up the next installment (often to its own detriment). But superhero comics represent a peculiar type of serialized narrative, one where “putting the pieces in place” often means putting things back where they belong. However far afield you may take Bruce Wayne, he’s always going to return to Gotham, return to his allies, return to fighting crime as Batman. These kinds of periodic resets are partially a vestige of a time when superhero stories were much more episodic than today but they also offer a straightforward way to keep the characters going into perpetuity. Often, that kind of reset is reserved for the very end of an arc, giving us just enough of the hero’s old status quo to restore some sense of normalcy. Occasionally, though, we’ll get a story like Green Lanterns 32, which takes time to remind us who our heroes are when they’re not busy dealing with a crisis. Continue reading

A Missed Opportunity in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 29

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval have been weaving a story about fathers and sons during the “Fall of the Gods” arc, and while they still deliver an issue with the interesting character moments, deft balancing of Lantern personalities, and exciting action they have become known for, the narrative threads fail to fully come together in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 29. Continue reading