Remember how Scott Snyder (emerging into the height of his popularity) and Jim Lee (in his final longform comics project) launched a new Superman ongoing for the character’s 75th anniversary? Remember how it was unceremoniously demoted to a nine issue miniseries (over the course of eighteen months) because by the end no one much cared, and now it’s almost entirely forgotten? Have you ever really let that set of facts sit in your head in all its plain absurdity? [Read more…] about The Old 52: Superman Unchained – Lost In The Darkness
They say that the 60s ended when the Manson family killed a couple of celebrities. They say a lot of things that aren’t true. Certainly, the moment in history was one of horror and brutality that would come to define a lot of what was to follow. But the 60s were long dead by the time the Manson family entered 10500 Cielo Drive. One could more sensibly argue that the 60’s ended in May of 1968, when the youth movement of France was brutally slaughtered by the police, ending the young generation. You could also argue that it ended in 1969, but not with Manson’s family killing Sharon Tate, but with Ronald Regan ordering troops to open fire upon hippies at a public park. Or perhaps it died with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
The New Gods experiment was, in many ways, an attempt by Jack Kirby to keep the dream of the 60s alive and well into the 70s. That the core of this dream came in the form of The Forever People, the first of Kirby’s series to get canceled, speaks to how many people had faith in the dream. OMAC, in many regards, is Kirby reckoning with the 70s. And it’s a bleak picture.
But it’s not bleak enough. [Read more…] about The World That’s Coming: OMAC by Jack Kirby
I’d never thought of Aquaman as anything less than cool.
Hell, I remember the first time I encountered the idea that he was boring and uncool (it was in high school) and being baffled.
How was this guy anything except the most slick superhero?! I was truly, properly, confused by the notion. [Read more…] about The Old 52: On Jeff Parker/Paul Pelletier’s Aquaman
Grayson is a comic that, by all rights, should not have worked. It’s a follow up to a Grant Morrison concept done by people who aren’t Grant Morrison. A spin-off of a Geoff Johns comic. The first comic by a co-writer whose sole writing credits prior to this are a short story and a middling novel (who only got the gig because he’s ex-CIA), another co-writer whose superhero work has (largely) been more supportive of other visions than expressing his own, and an artist whose work has mostly been on covers rather than interiors. Worst of all, it has a central premise that is, to be quite blunt, a bit trite and obvious, especially in the context of the New 52. Yet another spy comic released by DC about some nebulous organization out to do dirty deeds while the superheroes look clean. SHADE, Blackhawks, ARGUS, and now Spyral. These are not the elements of a successful comic. And yet, Grayson surprisingly works. It’s a fun, action packed adventure full of intrigue, espionage, and shirtless men. [Read more…] about The Old 52: “You Don’t Know Dick” – Grayson by Tom King, Tim Seely, & Mikel Janin
With Infinite Frontier in full swing, there is a new era at DC Comics, and no group of comics has seen its benefits more than the Batman line of stories. Each book has taken characters we’ve always loved in bold directions and put them in new places. From Nightwing’s new sister in Nightwing #81 to Jim Gordan’s “solo” comic in Joker, the Bat-Family is creating a bright, distinct new era of Batman.
Infinite Frontier has challenged the way Bat-Family stories work together. New 52 and Rebirth were periods that captured how Batman used to be. Both eras tried out variations on what had been done before. Characters maintained (or slowly returned to) the status quo without much character growth to show for it. For example, the most significant thing to happen to Bruce in his last story was that he still didn’t marry Catwoman. Fundamentally, the Gotham at the beginning of New 52 is the same Gotham that exists throughout Rebirth. Similarly, the Bat-Family failed to expand or change in any noticeable way, with the only major additions being Duke Thomas and Harper Row, two characters who only appear once in a blue moon. Compare that lack of expansion to Infinite Frontier, where the Bat-Family has already added Ghostmaker, Clownhunter, and the Gardener to the list of “heroic” characters. [Read more…] about Batman’s Infinite Frontier: The Bold New World of Gotham