Mikyzptlk: Event comics are…strange. As Drew mentioned in his previous coverage of Trinity War, event comics like these can be hard to pin down. There’s usually a ton of damage and more colorfully clad heroes than you can shake a superpowered stick at. At the same time though, with so much going on, it can be hard to get to any meaningful characterization. It’s not impossible, but there’s just usually not that much of it. Another thing that event comics like Trinity War are known for is the idea that “Things Will Never Be The Same” after the events of said comics. In the end, what we normally get in event comics are shallow, action packed adventures that drastically change the playing field for our heroes. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, in fact, I think it’s kind of necessary. The ever-changing playing field helps to keep these decades old characters fresh, and help to prime our heroes for those character-rich solo stories we all love so much. While Trinity War has given us some interesting moments, I can’t help but feel impatient for the drastic changes it will bring. The penultimate chapter of the tale helps to reinforce that feeling. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Constantine 6, originally released August 14th, 2013.
Patrick: As comic book fans, we’ve grown used to the idea that death is but a temporary obstacle. You can kill anyone you want really – DC’s five biggest (Clark, Bruce, Hal, Barry and Diana) have all been dead atleast once. So we can be forgiven for speculating just how a hero could come back from the dead within minutes of their passing. We totally do that too – don’t believe me? Check out our 90+ comments on Batman Incorporated 9: many of which address the permanence of Damian’s death. We’re jaded assholes, and we know that at the end of the day, this magical storytelling aparratus is a business. I’m happy to report that DC’s resident asshole — Mr. John Constantine — takes much the same attitude, even when it comes to his own untimely end.
Taylor: Superheroes are, by nature, egotistical creatures. Think about what it requires to be a superhero. Not only do you need some sort of amazing ability or power, but more importantly, you need to have a belief in yourself and that you can help the world. For some, such as Spider-Man and Superman, this egotism can be a burden, while for others, like Batman, it can be a tool to fulfill unspoken desires. Regardless of the why, superheroes must believe they are doing the right thing, otherwise they lapse into inaction or perhaps outright villainy. But this raises a question: what happens when superheroes team up and they have to make a decision, but everyone has a different opinion on how to solve that problem? Being egotists, it’s not in their nature to give in to another’s will, so what happens when they come to an impasse with their superhero peers? Justice League Dark 22, the third installment in the Trinity War tackles this question and the results are explosive, to say the least.
Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Constantine 4, originally released June 12th, 2013.
Patrick: For all it’s crude early-90s wordplay and carefully constructed explorations of popular culture, the greatest strength of the movie Clerks is Dante’s refrain “I’m not even supposed to be here today.” The indignity of living his life is made all the worse when we realize there’s no escape for the poor guy, even on his day off. It’s like the universe is only happy when Dante’s stuck behind the register at the Quick Stop. Just as the DC Universe is only happy when John Constantine is up to his neck in charms, angry wizards and grifter-assassins. It turns out magic doesn’t take a holiday, even when Johnny needs it so badly. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Constantine 3, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Taylor: We all have that friend or know that guy. You know the one, the one who for whatever reason is lucky as all hell. Fate, in its ever fickle nature, has determined that fortune always favors this person whether they are deserving of it or not. While we don’t hate this person necessarily, we do begrudge them. Why should they get all the luck while we seemingly get none? Things become more frustrating when the fortunate person in question seems to do relatively little to achieve their luck. Whether they’re stupid, lazy, mean or any other disparaging adjective you can think of, it just seems like they don’t deserve the fortune that has fallen in their laps. Is John Constantine one of these people? Is he unreasonably lucky or is he actually deserving of his laurels? Is he actually the cause of his success or is something else? In the third issue of Constantine we ponder this question as well as experiencing London in ways few would expect.
Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Constantine 2, originally released April 10th, 2013.
Taylor: John Constantine is an addict. If you look at anything that chronicles the life of an addict, you’ll find a chapter or two that speaks of the magnificent high times — even though stark reality later sets in. These high times suggest that addiction is more worthwhile than any reasonable person would believe. With the exception of movies like Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream or shows like A&E’s Intervention, there have been relatively few realistic portrayals of addiction and the effect it has on both its users and those who love them.So it’s odd that a story about magic and the occult would have much insight to offer when it comes to the subject of addiction. Constantine 2 does exactly that while deepening our understanding of what drives the titular hero. Continue reading →