Dark Nights: Metal 2 Learns to Stop Worrying and Love the Weird

by Michael DeLaney

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

Over the past 50 years, relaunches like The New 52 have favored comic book “realism” — whatever that may be. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve found that comic books are at their best when they embrace the silly, high-concept ideas that ran without question for the first 50 odd years of comic book history. Dark Nights: Metal 2 is the type of book that blends the modern “realism” with the whacky fearlessness of the books of old. Continue reading

Convergence Round-Up: Week Eight

convergence roundup 8

Today, Michael leads a discussion about Convergence 8, Action Comics 2, Blue Beetle 2, Booster Gold 2, Crime Syndicate 2, Detective Comics 2, Infinity Inc. 2, Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters 2 and World’s Finest 2.

convergence divMichael: When’s the last time you read a true finale from Marvel or DC? I’m talking final word, last story, completion of a hero’s journey, close-the-book-on-it ending. I could probably only count a handful of those types of finales in the past couple of years; maybe. Like any analysis of the Big Two, it can be seen in two ways: cynically or inspiringly. Cynically, there will never be a “final story.” The Coca-Cola and Pepsi of comic books always leave a door open for potential future stories because they want your money. Inspiringly, we are witnessing the sagas of modern mythology: endless heroic epics. These stories will never come to a true end because their legend continues and the heroes never say die. It can be impossibly cheesy, but the end caption “Never the end” always clutches at my heart strings. After eight weeks, 41 books and 89 issues Convergence has finally met its end. I think there is a strong argument for the inspiring read of “Never the End” present in most of these finales. Conversely, Convergence been criticized as a sales stunt, so the more cynical finale read is just as viable. Two months later what have we learned? For one, nostalgia can be expensive. Continue reading

The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures 1

multiversity thunderworld 1Today, Mark and Drew are discussing The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures 1, originally released December 17th, 2014.
Mark: The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures 1 is a story out of time. On Earth-5, Billy Batson and friends exist in a pre-New 52 (and pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths?) continuity. Shazam is the name of a wizard, not the name of our superhero. The Rock of Eternity is attacked and the wizard Shazam taken prisoner by the evil Dr. Sivana. Working in tandem with the Sivanas across the multiverse, Dr. Sivana has mined enough Suspendium to build his own Rock of Eternity and create his own day on the cosmic calendar: Sivanaday, a day where everything goes his way. Continue reading

Zero 6

zero 6Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Zero 6, originally released March 19th, 2014.

Patrick: When you read a comic book, you’re opting in to a narrative. The same is true of watching a TV show or movie (or reading some kind of non-comic book, should just a thing even exist), but following an on-going series requires a kind of continuous buy-in that just isn’t there for most other mediums. There is a cost associated with picking up your serialized entertainment this way: and not just financial — getting the most out of any one issue of Zero requires a look back at all the issues that came before it. Great example: In January, Mike and I missed that the mindblowing flashforward in issue 5 was actually foreshadowed on the first page of the first issue. So we, the audience, have to make the decision to actively participate in the story from month to month. Like good little soldiers, that’s a choice we continue to make, even when our orders don’t totally match up with what we’re experiencing.

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Earth-2 5

Today, Shelby and Courtney are discussing Earth-2 5, originally released October 3rd, 2012.

Shelby: Reintroducing old heroes to old audiences is not easy. The whole New 52 relaunch has been about juggling continuity and fresh stories to keep both new and old readers satisfied.  I’ve seen it as a great opportunity to learn more about characters new to me. I don’t feel so attached to old continuity, and instead like to discuss the differences between the old and the new, and what they mean for the story as a whole. I don’t know how I’m supposed to have a meaningful discussion, however, when I’m distracted by poor writing and cluttered art.
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Chat Cave: Relaunching the Multiverse

With the Second Wave of the New 52, DC will reintroduce the Multiverse, the mulitple-earthed solution to continuity issues, with titles like Earth 2 and World’s Finest.What do you think about the Multiverse coming back? The Retcon Punchers sound off. Welcome to the Chat Cave

Shelby: Oh, Multiverse, you confuse me so. Trying to keep track of the Multiverse is, to me, akin to herding cats in a straight line: a mildly amusing, but ultimately impossible endeavor. Honestly, I think the Multiverse is just silly; come on, have you ever read the Wikipedia list of Multiverse worlds? Originally, it was meant to enable cross-overs between Golden and Silver Age comics, and has since been compressed, smoothed out, re-shaped, forgotten, remembered, and now apparently relaunched. It is a sink-hole of continuity issues and alternate realities. Continue reading