Archive for May, 2016
I’ve been on a pretty big DC kick lately and am really excited to complete the couple of New 52 stories I’m reading and move on to the upcoming Rebirth titles. There is so much coming out of the Rebirth movement and it’s a fresh start on all of DC’s comics, which means there is going to be a lot of juicy content to read through.
Batman is last on my list because I never have any doubts about the Dark Knight. You basically are guaranteed to get a good story out of Batman and the bat family. Batman is one of the very few New 52 titles that I actually really enjoy and I’m only about halfway through the run. Scott Snyder has a good grasp on the character and I can’t see myself not enjoying a Batman story. The new triple Joker idea is super interesting and it adds a fresh idea to the biggest rivalry DC has, so I’m really excited to see how that alters Batman going forward.
I love stories focused on villains or anti-heroes and adding depth to their stories and characters. I don’t know a whole lot about Deathstroke, and that’s exciting to me because I’m hoping that this story can make me love the character and really get in touch with his personality. I like that the description for the book talks about the character having the chance to re-invent himself, because, while I don’t need to see Deathstroke have some change of heart of personality change, I like the idea that he is going to possibly be confronting his past.
To me, the pitch they’ve given us for Deathstroke seems really well-rounded and like it’s going to be a really good solo story. While I haven’t read anything by Christopher Priest, I definitely know who he is. I’m excited to have these two come together because it only increases my interest. Deathstroke is just a cool character, and adding some more complexity to him is a great opportunity.
3. New Super-Man
This is a super interesting concept to me, but I think it’s a fantastic one. “A young man living in Shanghai receives the powers of Superman,” is really cool and sort of offers a neat new spin on a YA Super-Man character. I’m all for diversity, but I prefer there to be originality behind it, so while this isn’t anything unique in that it just gives pre-existing powers to a new character, it’s completely separated (at least for now) from all of the DC titles in America.
I’m just curious to see something new here. I love the idea that this kid is going to have his whole life changed and how he will use his powers in China. This is the most intriguing title to me and something I’m hoping is super awesome.
2. The Flash
The Flash family is coming back!! It would be naive to not have this on here but it seems like the culmination of everything that makes the Flash such a rich character is being restored. I love the Flash, everyone loves the Flash and I really wanna see awesome adventures with Barry and all of his disciples just like we get with Batman.
I think everyone who is a previously established DC Comics fan in any form is going to be the most excited for the new Titans series. WALLY WEST…. Wally is back and on top of that he’s back in a series with Dick, Donna, Garth, and the gang. I’m just thrilled to see these characters back together and know it’s going to be amazing. Not only are these great characters reuniting but the phenomenal Dan Abnett. My favorite comic run ever is Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2008. He is one of my favorite writers and I’m super thrilled to see him on such a main series for Rebirth. His deal with DC also has him writing Aquaman, which is why I’ll probably read that as well.
CW’s The Flash just finished up its second season along with the other DC TV shows including Arrow and Legends of Tomrrow. Out of all these shows, The Flash is by far the most fun to watch because, in my opinion, it properly balances the lighthearted nature of the character with the drama that superheroes face. I immediately find myself thinking about how The Flash is my favorite of the DCTV shows, but then I stop and wonder if my being a fan of the character and comics gets in the way, because I always get caught up in the fan service the include and ignore the flaws until the next day. The Flash has had two really great seasons, they have been fun and exciting, but that doesn’t take away from the flaws or weak writing, which is why I hope to see some things change going into the third season.
Spoilers about comics and the show, so if you don’t want to know the possible fate of certain characters, don’t read on
This second season brought a lot of new elements to the show that will hopefully have some great long-term impact. Wally, despite starting out pretty stale and poorly written, has grown on me and become a decent character who I’m hoping continues to get better. The Velocity formulas were introduced and it seems like Jesse Quick will eventually turn into the speedster that she is in the comics which is exciting because we are seeing some elements of the Flash family being built up into the show. We also got to see a significantly sized down version of the Infinite Crisis story during his battle with Zoom, which was pretty cool visually. On top of this, the death of Zoom by the Speedforce creates the Black Flash, who looked phenomenal and presumably will make a return at some point in the future. There are a lot of great things to come that should be the basis of more rich plot lines depending on where the writers decide to take things and these are also elements that make the Flash such a great character with great stories, the balance of sci-fi and reality.
The second season ends in a similar fashion to the first season with Barry running back in time to the moment of his mother’s death, but, this time he saves her. When I was watching the first season finale live I was shaking my girlfriend while repetitively saying FLASHPOINT, FLASHPOINT, FLASHPOINT. Yet, we actually ended up watching Barry go against his emotions and let everything happen how it should be. While I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting the television show’s take on one of the greatest stories, I was actually super impressed that the character was able to be so mature and wise about things. I actually was really happy with the decision they made. During the finale of season two, we see how shaken Barry truly is and how big of a tole the hero role is taking on him. He continues to watch the people closest to him die or be hurt, he keeps getting betrayed by those closest to him, and, to him, it feels like despite everything he accomplishes, it comes at too great a cost to feel like he’s actually having an impact.
They chose to end season two with the set up for Flashpoint. Once again we watch the same scene play out again; however, this time Barry isn’t thinking rationally and he is operating off of complete emotion. He saves his mother leaving us with the question, what type of a butterfly effect will this have on the present day? All of these things are a Flash fan and comic lover’s dreams come true. With the DCMU being a complete mystery right now it’s unbelievable to see all of these great classic DC elements get the recognition they deserve, and I love The Flash for giving us that, but eventually I stop and wonder, does all of this outweigh the flawed continuity and repetitive plot points?
It’s the second season in a row where the show’s villain has been an enemy speedster who takes on a false identity to dupe team Flash into thinking they have a friend, but are really a foe. Jay wasn’t that great of a character and I honestly couldn’t stand Teddy Sears until he started getting to play a villain, which he pulled off much more convincingly. Zoom was built up to be this big threat but there were just so many times that either him or Flash could have ended things. My biggest problem was when they had Cisco vibe a trapped Zoom on Earth 2; by this point they knew that Jay was dying from the failed Velocity formulas and they had sealed up all of the breaches leaving him left for dead. He wasn’t shown doing anything to really force Barry to come after him or re-open the connection between Earth’s. At the end of the season Zoom also wouldn’t necessarily have to race Barry, but only charge up the machine by running around it twice the amount. It’s plot points like those that become too hard to ignore after a while and also just seem like lazy writing.
Despite stumbles along the way, it doesn’t mean The Flash lacks any good or extremely well done ideas either. The moments Barry shares with his three father figures always feel extremely meaningful and I love his connection with all of those characters. Barry’s interactions with those characters are usually when we see how human and level headed he is as a person. This is sort of why the end of the season bugged me, because it seems like Barry has just thrown everything he’s learned on his journey out the window and let himself become consumed by his emotions. He decides to save his mother without taking into consideration the repercussions that it could cause. I understand that Barry is tired of losing people, but I think his actions are pretty selfish, especially considering what he has gained this season. Barry gets a non-evil Wells figure back into his life, he actually develops a relationship with Wally by season’s end and Iris even wants to start a relationship with him, which should be icing on the cake. The naive and impulsive decision seems so out of character and is another recycled plot idea.
The Flash had a strong second season and I have no doubts that I will love the third season just as much. Flashpoint is an amazing story and idea that will be another amazing thing to watch on live television. I am really hoping they stretch out the new reality for the entire first half of the season and think that would be interesting to watch. All I would hope to see from The Flash is more originality going forward. They do so well by bringing important classic comic elements to life that are vital to the character, but I just want it to be different. I would love to see them do a full on Gorilla Grodd Planet of the Apes attempt or a focus on the Rogues working together, just something that will change things up. I hope that Berlanti and co. aren’t getting stretched too thin having to focus on four shows at once, but we’ll find out the truth behind that this Fall.
How did you feel about The Flash season 2 overall? Let me know, I’d love to discuss it!
Five years ago DC Comics decided that they thought it would be a good time to finally reboot their entire universe and start fresh for the new generations of comic readers. We all know how the story goes at this point; Flashpoint happens, it reboots the universe, the New 52 begins. Now, there was a bunch of good and bad within the New 52, and it was a brave and bold move by DC to decide to wipe away decades of history and start anew, but in the long-term things just didn’t hold up. It has only been five years since the inception of the New 52, so when Rebirth was announced, it rightfully freaked everyone out. Was this another universe reboot? Had DC acknowledged their mistakes but decided to scrap the new universe? It was an interesting announcement, but, in Geoff Johns we trust.
Despite not being a DC Comics expert and trying to catch up with A LOT, I absolutely loved this book. I have enough knowledge to know the deal with Wally, and he was the perfect story to focus on because of the emotional wrapped up in his character. For me, seeing Wally try to find his way back to reality by having a single person remember him was really sad, and I wasn’t sure if he would make it back. When he decides to visit Barry, when Wally thinks all hope is lost, I was pretty sad and thought that it might actually be the end; yet, when Barry remembers and they both begin to break down from the flood of memories that come rushing back, it hits you in the feels really hard.
The use of Wally trying to get back is also a great way to re-introduce us to what all of the characters are up to. Something that the story does really well is transition us into this new era of storytelling for DC by acknowledging the changes of the New 52 and that we can expect changes going forward. Wally talks about how Green Arrow and Black Canary are meant to be but currently don’t even know each other, he watches with familiarity as Aquaman proposes to Mera, and it’s things like this that help blend the past and the present of DC Comics for the readers.
Throughout the story, Wally keeps discussing the idea that it wasn’t actually Flashpoint that launched the New 52 and changed things, but an outside force who was attacking them. In the end, we learn that it was the Watchmen, or, at least, Dr. Manhattan. It’s a really interesting concept to move forward with and something that I’m excited to read through. This story positions the Watchmen as enemies and that should be a really fun confrontation.
Overall, DC Rebirth was an amazing comic. People keep commenting on the fact that it was the best DC Comic to be released in the past 10-15 years, which I can’t claim, but I can at least believe. The story presented carried a ton of emotional weight and is an extremely unique idea that feels like it’s going to work. Geoff Johns knows what he is doing and shows us that time and time again. I’ve only recently started getting back into DC comics on a hardcore level; I know I have a lot to catch up with, but I can already see the difference between some New 52 stories and Rebirth. What it comes down to is Rebirth had he emotion and heart that goes missing in the New 52. I probably won’t be caught up or following the Rebirth titles right away, but I can’t wait until I get there.