Feeling the Crossover Blues in Superman 38

by Mark Mitchell

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

I consider a Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason credit on a comic book to be a mark of quality, almost a guarantee that the book I’m picking up will deliver a good time. Such a strong track record makes an issue like Superman 38, an issue that pretty much misses every mark across the board, a bit mystifying. How to account for such a discrepancy?
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Star Wars Rebel Heist 1

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Star Wars Rebel Heist 1, originally released April 30th, 2014.

Taylor: Recently the cast for Star Wars Episode VII was announced. As long rumored, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, and Harrison Ford will be reprising their roles as Luke, Leia, and Han in this installment, which is cause for mixed bag of emotions. I appreciate that the new Star Wars movies will attempt to link themselves to the original trilogy, but I also want the thing I loved preserved. George Lucas has given us ample reason to fear further Star Wars movies, and I worry that casting original actors in the new movie will somehow taint what came before it. At the same time, I’m also aware that my beloved characters have been taken out for a spin by multiple writers in the past. This hasn’t ruined my love of the original trilogy in the slightest, so maybe I just need to relax. With these ideas fresh in my mind, it’s interesting to pick up Star Wars Rebel Heist 1. Can it assert that use of beloved characters in new stories is okay? Or will it show they are best left to our memory? Continue reading

Red Lanterns 26

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 26, Drew and MikyzptlkToday, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Red Lanterns 26, originally released December 31st, 2013.

Drew: I’m a pretty logical person, which means I tend to be suspicious of emotional reactions — especially in high-stakes situations. That is, until I learned about an array of studies that suggests that our “gut” — our emotional responses to options laid before us — may be more reliable than conscious, logic-based decisions. Turns out, our emotions might be useful, after all. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the various Lantern Corps, which draw their powers from their own emotions. I’ve always thought it was strange that those characters were defined by one emotion — is Hal Jordan even allowed to feel love, rage, or compassion? — which goes double for the Red Lanterns. How can you constantly be feeling rage? With Red Lanterns 26, Charles Soule sets out to examine exactly what happens when you take the rage out of a Red Lantern. Continue reading

Green Lantern Corps 19

green lantern corps 19 wrath

Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern 19, originally released April 10th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage. 

Patrick: It’s hard not to see Volthoom as an author surrogate. This is a creature who feasts off the emotional turmoil of the Green Lantern characters and can alter their pasts with a snap of his glowing, iridescent fingers. So why is he the bad guy? Comic book fans are very quick to turn on creative or editorial teams when it seems like the choices they’re making threatens what the fans hold dear. Scott Lobdell mentions that Tim Drake was never Robin? “Oh fuck that guy.” Dan DiDio says the Crises never happened? “Well, he’s an idiot anyway.” Fans harbor such ire for creative missteps that it (unfortunately) makes sense to make the character who re-writes history the bad guy. But what about the writers we love – where are they represented? There are writers that live and die with these characters, why should they be solely represented by a universe-stomping big-bad? Green Lantern Corps 19 provides the antidote for just that.

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Birds of Prey 11

Alternating Currents: Birds of Prey 11, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing Birds of Prey 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.

Drew: I’ve often said that I prefer questions to answers. Questions stimulate the imagination, where answers play in the realm of cut-and-dried facts; questions keep us guessing, while answers end the guessing. This leads me to seek out narratives steeped in mystery, like LOST. As that series drew to its conclusion, I was often frustrated as we received answers, partially because they weren’t always that interesting, and partially because I didn’t care. Answers to questions I’m not interested in — however well conceived — aren’t as interesting as more guesses about the questions I am interested in. I found myself thinking about this quite a bit as I read Birds of Prey 11, an issue that sets out to give us answers about Ivy’s past I hadn’t even realized were questions. Continue reading

Birds of Prey 10

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Birds of Prey 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.

Patrick: In a lot of ways, the New 52 incarnation of Birds of Prey acts as as one of only a few blank canvasses in DC’s library. The two founding members of the group are a brand new character — as in Starling — and one reformed in such a way as to be unrecognizable as the Black Canary of old. The rest of the team is rounded out by characters either not normally associated with the Birds of Prey or (in Barbara’s case) aggressively altered by the new continuity. My first dip into this world was so fresh and new and exciting, that I started to feel a little let down as writer Duane Swierczynski wrapped up one story arc, vamped for time, and then paid lip-service to Snyder’s Night of the Owls crossover event. I’m not going so far as to claim that those three issues (7, 8 and 9) were wasted, but now that Birds of Prey seems firmly set its own two feet again, it’s apparent that this series is at its strongest when its free to develop on its own terms. Continue reading