Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Justice League of America 1, originally released February 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Michael: Sometimes I’m a tough customer to please. When it comes to storytelling, I like to get my bearings on the landscape and characters, but I don’t want to be spoon-fed all of the important details. With regards to Justice League of America 1 it nails some subtle world-building but is less successful when handling the stars of the book. Continue reading →
Today, Ryan D. and Michael are discussing Superman: American Alien 7, originally released May 18th, 2016.
Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the face.
Ryan D: Superman is known for having epic, city-leveling battles. That’s just status quo. But imagine one of these super-superpowered brawls with a Clark Kent who can bleed, one who still feels emotionally and physically vulnerable despite his abilities? Even better: while we’ve seen this Superman deal with mindless monsters and scheming billionaire magnates, imagine his first encounter with a being of deep moral apathy, with whom the Man of Steel may have more in common with than he does with the people of Earth. Max Landis and Jock tell an ambitious story in the ultimate issue of American Alien, concluding my favorite run with the character since Morrison’s All-Star Superman. Continue reading →
Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, Michael, Spencer and Patrick discuss Batgirl 42, Gotham By Midnight Annual 1, Lobo Annual 1 and The Flash Annual 4.
Michael: Have you ever noticed how the fifth Wednesday of a month always brings an odd grab bag of titles from DC? It’s typically full of books that are behind schedule and trying to catch up and the occasional Annual issue. So I guess it’s no surprise that this week’s DC offering is full of five Annuals in total. Let’s cover a few of them, shall we?
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Justice League United 1, originally released May 14th, 2014.
Patrick: My gateway to regularly reading comics was Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern from Rebirth to Blackest Night. That’s a lot of outer space nonsense, to be sure, but the series was so caught up with the spirit of invention and exploration that every new revelation was imbued with so much energy that I was never really overwhelmed with how silly it all was. I’m sensing some of that same untethered enthusiasm in Justice League Unlimted 1, but the connection I’m going to draw is far more literal — both feature the background conflict between the planets Rann and Thanagar. The Rann-Thanagar War is one of those dense hives of modern DC mythology, mired in conflicting histories and muddy storytelling. Hell, I’m not even sure Rann and Thanagar are two separate planets since the New 52 started. In this issue, Jeff Lemire tries to give identity to the characters and concepts that are notoriously bad at sticking to any one.
Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing Justice League United 0, originally released April 23rd, 2014.
Shelby: We’ve seen a few different ways to handle zero issues. Not, “I have no issues, and I don’t know how to handle it,” or “I have issues with the mathematical concept of null value,” but with comic book issues numbered 0. I’m a big fan of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s execution of the zero with Harley Quinn 0, which established the character and setting, but more importantly established the tone of the title. Heck, if you really want to explore the gamut of what a zero issue can do, check out our insanely full coverage of DC’s Zero Month two and a half years ago. A zero issue can be whatever the creative team wants to make of it, and Jeff Lemire and artist Mike McKone seem so eager to start this story they just want to dive right in.
Spencer: For better or for worse, the New 52 created the perfect opportunity for DC to update and reboot its characters. The changes that really worked were the changes that solved a major problem with the character or provided them with a fun new direction; the rest just seemed pointless at best. The changes to Lobo’s character made in Justice League 23.2: Lobo definitely fall into that “pointless” category, but that isn’t all that’s wrong with it; its biggest issue is that the changes are made in a manner that seem to punish Lobo’s fans for having ever been invested in the character in the first place.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Deathstroke 10, originally released June 13th, 2012.
Patrick: Writer and artist Rob Liefeld is an interesting dude. He’s been a huge figure in american comic books since the 1990s, was one of the founding members of Image Comics, and currently writes and/or draws more comic series than the average person is reading. He’s a prodigious talent, and even when he’s mired by controversies about misogyny, late work or even plagiarism, the man sells a ton of comic books. There’s a legion of critics that absolutely loathe his contributions to the medium, but the legion of fans that support his efforts far outweigh the nay-sayers. For all the content the guy produces, he somehow manages to keep up a very active, incredibly aggressive public persona (the man’s twitter appetite is insatiable). He’s boastful, and likes to remind critics that no matter what they say, he’s always going to be successful. Besides, Liefeld frequently asserts, he’s not writing for the critics he’s writing for the fans. So if the artist is so interesting, why is his art so boring?
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Deathstroke 9, originally released May 9th, 2012.
Peter: With the release of issue 9, Deathstroke gets both a new writer and artist, who turns out, is the same person. Rob Liefeld takes the reins of the Terminator and sends him on a new adventure. However, I feel that DC should have gone ahead and called this issue #1, since, well, that’s pretty much exactly what it is.