Justice League of America 7.4: Black Adam

Alternating Currents: Justice League of America 7.4: Black Adam, Drew and Mikyzptlk

Today, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Justice League of America 7.4: Black Adam, originally released September 25th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

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Oh, you mean…Black Debbie

Whoa whoa whoa whoa, why is she “Black” Debbie?

No, not in a BAAAD way. It’s just to tell them apart because she’s…black!

Stormy and Sparks, “No Names (Black Debbie)”

Drew: A child, orphaned by crime, vows to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. The last survivor of a race of superpowered aliens is raised in small town Kansas. A regular guy is given super-speed when he is struck by lightening and doused with chemicals. Our favorite superheroes have simple, iconic origins, which make them easy to introduce in film or television, and easy to reintroduce when relaunching an entire comics line. That simplicity is a big selling point for a lot of these characters, but what of those whose history is a bit more complicated? Black Adam has always been a dark reflection of Shazam, but exactly how dark has varied widely over the years, and has offered a great deal more interest than its simple villain-turned-antihero scaffold might suggest. Unfortunately, the New 52 steamrolled all of that history, turning Black Adam back into a straightforward villain. With Justice League of America 7.4: Black Adam, writers Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates work to re-complicate Adam’s story — making him more than just “Black Shazam” — but may go for too much, too soon. Continue reading

Justice League 23.4: Secret Society

secret society 23.4

Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Justice League 23.4: Secret Society, originally released September 25th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

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Mikyzptlk: Villain’s Month has been letting the creators of DC Comics “unleash” its many baddies across the many corners of the DC Universe. Now, “unleash” can mean many things, and it’s clear that the storytellers at DC are having fun with the format. For the most part, the one-shots have been straight-up origin stories. Kind of like the “Zero Month” for the villains. Other one-shots, while still mainly origins, have tried to give us a peek into the current status of the featured villain now that Earth has been taken over. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get from Secret Society, other than a story about the Secret Society, but what I got wasn’t quite that. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but in the end, this issue leaves me feeling just a tad misdirected.  Continue reading

Vibe 4

vibe 4

Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Vibe 4, originally released May 15th, 2013.

Mikyzptlk: As the old proverb goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I’m the kind of guy that tries to do the right thing in any given situation. I may not always succeed in that, but I usually have the best of intentions. However, no matter how hard I try, that old proverb rears it’s ugly head from time to time. Unfortunately for superheroes, they are no more immune to that proverb than I, and Vibe is quickly discovering that. Even though he just wants to do good, he may be figuring out that he’s being ordered to do just the opposite. This issue explores what Vibe does with that realization, as well as how he might be able to stay on his intended path. Continue reading

Justice League of America’s Vibe 1-3

vibe 1-3

Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Justice League of America’s Vibe 1-3, originally released February 20th, March 20th, and April 17th, 2013 respectively. 

Patrick: Superheroes are legendary. The greats — like Batman and Superman — are name brands both in their own universes and in our own. One of the recurring themes in the New 52 has been heroes grappling with their own relevance in a world so densely populated by superheroes. Aquaman is a great example of this – the character is the subject of near-constant ridicule, all in an effort to make his struggle to be “cool” explicit. Geoff Johns has turned that character around in the last couple years, and even when the storytelling hasn’t been at its best, the idea of Aquaman as a impotent fish-enthusiast has basically disappeared. Johns lends a little bit of that credibility to the first couple issues of the series devoted to DC’s ultimate underdog: Vibe. Continue reading