Inside Pulse » Legion Lost http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:00:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Legion Lost http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com Demythify: The Top 10 DC Comics New 52 Time Anomalies For The New 52: Futures End 2014 Weekly Series http://insidepulse.com/2013/12/23/demythify-the-top-10-dc-comics-new-52-time-anomalies-for-the-new-52-futures-end-2014-weekly-series/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/12/23/demythify-the-top-10-dc-comics-new-52-time-anomalies-for-the-new-52-futures-end-2014-weekly-series/#comments Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:30:52 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=345498

As you may know by now, DC Comics has announced a new weekly series for 2014 called The New 52: Futures End that explores that past, present and future of the current DC Universe (DCU). It will kick off with a Free Comic Book Day 2014 issue. This series will bring Batman Beyond into continuity, create new characters and concepts and presumably tackle the several anomalies currently present in the DC New 52 (the series is called “Futures End” after all as in plural futures).

Below are the Top 10 timestream anomalies that are present, and in one case that “should be” present (cue fans rejoicing), in the DC Comics New 52.

(10) Justice League 3000

The Justice League 3000 just debuted as a team and as New 52 ongoing series occupying the 31rst Century playground previously enjoyed by DC’s storied Legion of Super-Heroes. There were some interesting revelations in the Justice League 3000 debut issue about who the team’s benefactors are and who the JL3K are really.

In an interview about the series, co-writer Keith Giffen shut the door to the Legion of Super-Heroes being used in any capacity in Justice League 3000 by saying:

    “If I need a guy who can throw fireballs around, you can guarantee it’s not going to be Sun Boy. Let’s think of somebody new. I’m tired of treading old ground. I have as much affection for the Legion of Super-Heroes as anybody — maybe more than most, since I kept returning to the book like a mental patient. But this isn’t the Legion. And it shouldn’t be judged on Legion of Super-Heroes terms. Sorry Legion fans, but you’re going to have to wait until somebody comes up with a take on the Legion. This is not a Legion of Super-Heroes book. They’re not going to be going to Braal.

Alrighty then onto the…

(9) Legion of Super-Heroes

Well, after the climactic end to the LOSH series with teases that they may not have been in Prime Earth’s future, but perhaps another Earth’s, where does the team fit into the DCU?

The Legion of Super-Heroes is still important and relevant for the DCU as seen in the cliffhanger to the recent Superboy #26 issue.

(8) Teen Titans’ Kid Flash

Bart Allen is from a/the future of the DC Comics New 52. He is a boy out-of-time and member of the modern-day Teen Titans.

He’s recently ventured into his future where he has had to take responsibility for his… crimes… as seen in Teen Titans #25?

(7) Captain Atom

You may wonder why Captain Atom is on this list. Well, at the end of Fury of Firestorm #15, sadly another book you weren’t reading alongside the cancelled Captain Atom, he absorbed the powers of Firestorm and exploded into three shards that spread across the timestream. One of those shards landed in the future and became Nathaniel Adym a character that tangled with the Legion Lost. The other two time-lost Captain Atoms have yet to be revealed.

The New 52: Futures End takes place over the past, present and future of the DC New 52. Well, Nathaniel Adym seems to be a “future” Captain Atom. Will past era and present era versions be next to debut?

(6) Legion Lost

The premise for Legion Lost was that members of the Legion of Super-Heroes travelled back to the modern-day DCU to capture an infectious fugitive. That threat was neutralized, but the team is still “stuck” in the modern-day New 52… with Superboy?

(5) All Star Western’s Jonah Hex

Another character-out-of-time is late 1800s / early 1900s bounty hunter Jonah Hex stuck in the modern-day New 52 because of the time-lost hero Booster Gold. Despite Hex’s efforts, a mysterious force is keeping him from returning to his own time in the past of the DCU.

Co-Writer Jimmy Palmiotti did say they were building to something big after all. New 52: Futures End me thinks. Will that be the vehicle to get Hex home?

(4) Booster Gold(s) / Justice League International (tie)

We’ve seen Booster Gold pop into All Star Western for a spell and then travel through the timestream with Jonah Hex, trapping the latter in 2013. However, Booster hasn’t been seen since.

Prior to his Hex encounter, Booster Gold’s older future self – a member of ARGUS – popped up at the Justice League International Annual #1 to try to avoid “something” on a mission and then saw Superman and Wonder Woman getting together. Was that his mission; to foil the budding romance that may just spell doom for the DC New 52? That older Booster simply vanished in that same Annual.

How many Booster Golds will show up in Futures End? Will the Justice League International be far behind?

(3) Superboy(s) / H’el(s) (tie)

A future son of Lois Lane and Superman, the evil Jon Kent whose origin is revealed in the WTF Certified Superboy #19 and Teen Titans Annual #2, has taken over the DC Comics New 52′s Superboy series while Kon-el is elsewhen. Is Jon Kent’s future assured?

We’ve also seen H’el, a new villain for the Superman Family, make life hell – pun intended – for Superman, Superboy and Supergirl. In trying to re-write Krypton’s past he created new timestreams stemming from events he changed. More than one timestream and seemingly different H’el(s). However, the Superman Family was able to travel to three different time periods in Krypton’s past to avert incursions by H’el. While they succeeded in stopping him, the price for victory was too high.

Could Jon Kent and/or H’el be primed for bigger things in Futures End?

(2) Batman’s Robins

Perhaps Futures End can explain how Batman can have had some many young Robins in under five years? ;)

This was thrown on the list for fun because if you’re tinkering / exploring time, why not finally explain the most glaring head scratcher of the DC New 52.

(1) Wally West, (A) Flash

Wally West fans have been waiting patiently since the DC New 52 began to see their era’s Flash make his New 52 debut. One of things DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has said in the past that made Wally compelling was his family man status; a husband and father. And DiDio teased last Christmas that we may see him this past year; and then nada this year. Well, with his pre-Flashpoint mentor Barry Allen as a younger solo Flash, is this the time to bring in Wally and his family? He could be explained as having been Barry’s first partner who through some quirk of fate, traveled into the past and was stuck there and aged to the point where is older than Barry.

This would be similar in concept, but not execution, to the Supergirl / Superman dynamic; she is technically Superman’s older cousin, but due to quirks of science and space travel came to Earth years after Superman. She did not age, but her younger cousin did and now is chronologically older. I’m suggesting something similar for Wally akin to Superman being the younger-yet-older hero.

Well, unless of course Wally West is actually the Justice League 3000′s Flash. Fun times ahead!

(BONUS) Art Teaser for Futures End

On the cover to The New 52: Futures End teaser art, we see OMAC’s Brother Eye – the red symbol everywhere – seemingly having taken over all of the core DC New 52 heroes in the 5-year forward future.

CBR talks with artist Ryan Sook about his concept art including the first one on the left captioned as “Cyborg Superman”. Is that Superman who has been mechanized or is it actually the villain Cyborg Superman?

A freakishly mechanized Hawkman follows to the right, then Wonder Woman, and finally a mock-up for a cover to New 52: Futures End.

Interesting.

I would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays. For those of you dealing with ice storm, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Stay safe and be warm. Happy ho ho!

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. :)


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Has DC Comics Seeded The New 52: Futures End 2014 Weekly Series Earlier Than We Thought? (Legion of Super-Heroes #23, Legion Lost #10 & 16 Spoilers) http://insidepulse.com/2013/12/22/has-dc-comics-seeded-the-new-52-futures-end-2014-weekly-series-earlier-than-we-thought-legion-of-super-heroes-23-legion-lost-10-16-spoilers/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/12/22/has-dc-comics-seeded-the-new-52-futures-end-2014-weekly-series-earlier-than-we-thought-legion-of-super-heroes-23-legion-lost-10-16-spoilers/#comments Sun, 22 Dec 2013 05:00:25 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=344974 When I was writing up last week’s Justice League 3000 #1 spoilers and conveying the news of DC newest 2014 weekly series The New 52: Futures End, I had hoped to share with you my piece on the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 finale. However, it turns out that uploaded the relevant pics a few months ago, but never published the piece. Ooops.

In light of those items from this week, the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 finales seems a bit important for things to come in the DC Comics New 52.

Below are SPOILERS from August 2013′s LOSH #23 and year one and year two issues of Legion Lost, #10 and its finale in #16.

You probably already know the Legion of Super-Heroes was cancelled and the speculation about what some panels from its conclusion could signify or even undo.

The book sees the Legion of Super-Heroes asked (ordered?) to disband.

The below two panels from Legion of Super-Heroes in particular caused many to wonder of the LOSH “place” in the DC New 52 multiverse. Some speculated that the LOSH was part of Earth 2 and not the Prime Earth’s future which Justice League 3000 occupies.

Certainly when coupled with the companion Legion series that was cancelled months earlier, Legion Lost, we see the possibility that a devastated Legion of Super-Heroes and decimated Earth exists somewhen in the DC New 52. Below is what was revealed in the preview of post-Culling mini-event Legion Lost #10 preview:

With the end of the series in Legion Lost #16, we saw characters come back and this band of Legionnaires still stuck in the modern-day DC Universe (DCU). Please we see Nathaniel Adym still active. Adym is one of three personalities that Captain Atom (a.k.a. Nathaniel Adam) split into across the timestream after the hero exploded in the pages of Fury of Firestorm #15.

Interestingly, this piece covered for cancelled DC Comics New 52 series that may be important to DC’s futures… end: Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion Lost, Captain Atom and Fury of Firestorm.

With The New 52: Futures End set to tackle DC Comics’ several time anomalies, the LOSH and Legion Lost seem good bets for profile particularly since we also now have a Justice League 3000 series occupying space – pun intended – in DC’s 31rst Century with no LOSH about.

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. :)


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Wednesday Comments – Legion of Super-Heroes R.I.P. http://insidepulse.com/2013/08/28/wednesday-comments-legion-of-super-heroes-r-i-p/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/08/28/wednesday-comments-legion-of-super-heroes-r-i-p/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:00:18 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=338232 Spoiler alert: I will be discussing the finale of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Granted it came out last week, but still, there’s your fair warning.

I can’t really say why I’m so surprised by the subtle reveal at the end of LSH #23. I mean, DC has a history of retcons. Crisis on Infinite Earths hit the resent button for the entire DC Universe and Superman’s origin has been retconned more in the past two decades than in the five decades prior to that.

Hell, even “Batman: Year One”, the much revered tale that served as the basis of two films is currently being retconned out of existence.

So the idea that DC’s 55 year old franchise, the Legion of Super-Heroes, would be immune to retconning is a foolish one. The Legion was been on the receiving end of retcons at least four times before (two major and two minor.) But the extent of the current retcon is what’s so jarring.

The big reveal in the final issue of LSH is that their adventures had been taking place in Earth 2’s future, which is essentially like saying it’s occurring in an alternate future or timeline. And “alternate” is comic code for “never happened.” Or in the Legion’s case “never going to happen.”

Yes Earth-2 is currently the setting or plays a role in two separate DC monthly comics; World’s Finest and Earth 2. So those two books means that the Legion series hasn’t totally been written off. At least not yet. With James Robinson leaving, Earth 2’s future doesn’t look terribly stable.

But setting the Legion on Earth 2, after the fact, does sort of undermine the entire series. And it really does seem to be an afterthought meant to set up whatever the Justice League inspired book set in the DC’s 30th Century is coming out before the year is out. When you factor in the Legion Lost involved Legionnaires traveling to the 21st Century and ending up in the New 52 Universe, it certainly looks like an afterthought.

As if that weren’t enough, you’ve got Earthman and Mon-El, two characters whose origins are tied to Superman and the Green Lantern Corps being major players in those early issues. The Earth 2 surprise obviously isn’t so much a reveal as it is a retcon.

It’s really sad that DC has chosen to abandon one of its most enduring concepts. The Legion of Superheroes is easily one of its most optimistic concepts. It’s set in a future that’s pretty bright and happy. The Legion is an organization with a membership that’s about merit and all alien races are invited to try out. Plus they had actual elections for Legion leader, with the readership actually voting. How awesome is that; a book that actually listened to their readers.

And even while the 5YL Legion was set in a dark world, the underlying theme was hope and reuniting the Legion to be a spark of hope. I’m really going to miss the Legion.

I can’t fault DC for trying to milk the “Justice League” franchise for all it’s worth. It’s worked well with Marvel and Avengers, so why shouldn’t DC give it a try? Justice League Dark is tenuous, but it appears to working. And if DC can work that magic in the 30th Century, more power to them.

Plus, we can always hope that the Legion will return. After all, we did see them turn up in Grant Morrison’s most recent revamp of Superman’s early years. So, somewhere out there, the Legion still exists.

Love live the Legion.

Well, it’s Wednesday, you should go out and pick up some fresh new comic books. See you next week.
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Demythify: Justice League & Avengers Save DC New 52 & Marvel Now Final Frontiers, But At What Creative Cost? (LOSH, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek Into Darkness) http://insidepulse.com/2013/04/15/demythify-justice-league-avengers-save-dc-new-52-marvel-now-final-frontiers-but-at-what-cost-losh-guardians-of-the-galaxy-star-trek-into-darkness/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/04/15/demythify-justice-league-avengers-save-dc-new-52-marvel-now-final-frontiers-but-at-what-cost-losh-guardians-of-the-galaxy-star-trek-into-darkness/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 04:00:11 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=330025

Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

I also have some news for you. This past weekend saw the debut of my new weekly weekend column for Bleeding Cool called Comics Realism. Check it out!

Now your weekend AND Monday comics appetite can be satiated.

In this week’s Demythify, I talk about sci-fi plus the current DC Comics New 52 and Marvel Now’s space heroes… masquerade.


SCI-FI Rocks

Pop Culture

I am huge fan of select science fiction properties. I do still read select Star Trek novels at Simon and Schuster and Star Wars prose from Del Rey.

I also read Philip K. Dick back in the day; a little book called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” that inspired the Harrison Ford 1980′s cult classic film Blade Runner.

The recent Battlestar Galactica TV series was also a sci-fi fave of mine; not surprising perhaps since that future grittiness came in part from the creative mind of a DS9 creator.

There’s also my 40 year love affair with the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman; although not exactly sure that counts as sci-fi.

Anyhow, as you can see, I don’t just embrace capes and cowls comics; the sci-fi genre is also close to my heart…. as are mystery and gumshoe prose, but perhaps that topic is for another column.

Prose

Staying with prose, I’m particularly a fan of Deep Space Nine and am intrigued by this summer’s multi-part Star Trek novel series that will see it cross-over with Star Trek The Next Generation in a series called “The Fall“.

I’m also eager to read the novel that bridges Obi Wan Kenobi’s life story between Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope; Star Wars: Kenobi comes out this summer.

So, prose can fill in important moments between films and extend the life of TV shows after they wrap up on the air. The final frontiers of Star Wars and Star Trek are vast.

Comic Books

I’m also jazzed about the new Star Trek Into Darkness film and have thought that IDW has done a great job with Trek comics in the last few years. Their previous movie prequels have added a layer of depth to the previous film and the current Star Trek Countdown to Darkness movie prequel mini-series was intriguing.

Dark Horse also does some interesting Star Wars comics; I was particularly fan of the recent Star Wars Darth Maul: Death Sentence mini that featured, naturally, Darth Maul alongside his brother Savage Opress during the Clone Wars; yes AFTER Maul’s supposed death in the first prequel movie. Ah, you haven’t been watching the Star Wars The Clone Wars TV series, have you?

Dynamite Comics has also done some interesting Bionic Man and Bionic Woman comics although, to be fair, the art didn’t and doesn’t live up to the script.

In terms of fresh new sci-fi comics, Image Comics brings us Non-Humans; a post apocalyptic future where a virus brings us a world were creepy doll-human and actual humans live side-by-side, but not in harmony; did I say creepy yet?

So, as you can see some sci-fi comics are entertaining and even profitable for the publishers involved.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case at the Big Two comics publishers. Pure sci-fi doesn’t seem to sell, despite efforts by the publishers.


DC & Marvel SCI-FI Past

The success of sci-fi at the Big Two publishers have been mixed over the years.

DC Comics

When Jack “The King” Kirby moved from Marvel to DC Comics in the 1970′s, he created one of the most beloved sci-fi pockets of the DC Universe: the Fourth World. However, despite covering four series (The Forever People, Mister Miracle, New Gods, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) the sci-fi experiment lasted 59 issues between 1970 and 1973. The material was a bit headier than readers expected. However, its influence was not forgotten as it was a major part of the DC’s mid-1980′s Super Powers toy-line tie-in comics and their characters loomed largers in the 1986 Legends event series by John Ostrander and John Byrne.

In the 1980′s DC did well with its “Invasion!” mini-series that spun off classics like L.E.G.I.O.N.; through the 1980′s and in his own 1990′s books, Lobo rode roughshod over the DC Universe.

The Legion of Super-Heroes, DC’s teen heroes of the 30th and now 31rst centuries have had mixed success since the Silver Age. After a 20′ish issue run, Supergirl took over their title in the late 1960′s, they toiled as back-ups and in the mid-1970′s became co-stars of Superboy’s book; the 1980′s and 1990′s saw so many reboots and new interpretations of the characters DC may have actually damaged the property long-term despite the clean-up attempt of 2008′s Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds by Geoff Johns and George Perez.

There have been great creators working on the LOSH since the Silver Age, but the book today is not in the Top 10 of DC New 52 comic book sales.

Now, before you lambaste me and tell of the success of the Green Lantern family of books, ask yourself how sci-fi those titles really are? Do they really tell sci-fi stories or cape and cowl tales in spaces? I would argue the latter.

Marvel Comics

The early-mid 1990′s also saw tremendous sales success of their Infinity trilogy (Gauntlet, War and Crusade) plus the spin-off series like Warlock and the Infinity Watch.

During the same timeframe, we also had an interesting adventure in 1991 that saw the X-Men venture into space and having a pretty cool adventure that also covered the milestone issue of Uncanny X-Men #275 (remember that gorgeous Jim Lee drawn gatefold cover?).

Plus Marvel UK had a pretty cool Death’s Head II series, but UK didn’t last long.

Even with that Infinity, X, and early UK success, sci-fi comics weren’t sustained at Marvel.

More recently, despite really enjoying Marvel Comics playing with Cyclops surprise villain third brother Vulcan from 2006′s Deadly Genesis to 2006/07′s X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire to 2009′s War of Kings and everything in between, there is no lasting legacy of those really entertaining years on shelves today.

When DC and Marvel over the years have tried to give us sci-fi, we’ve visited those properties, but haven’t made any longer-time commitments. Do we really ONLY want capes and cowls from the Big Two?


DC New 52 & Marvel Now SCI-FI Future

The genesis for this column was interestingly Marvel Comics’ July 2013 solicitations.

Marvel Now Comics

Clearly, Marvel is doing what it can to lay the groundwork in its comics to make its sci-fi hero team, the Guardians of the Galaxy, recognizable in advance of their feature film. That includes rumored big bad Thanos whose 1990′s Infinity influence returns in several mini series in 2013.

However, I was intrigued by the Marvel Now / Comics July 2013 solicitations as the Brian Bendis first collected edition of his Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing series is called “Cosmic Avengers”. In addition there is a one-shot in July 2013 called Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow’s Avengers.

So, Marvel’s plan to make the Guardians of the Galaxy profitable is to brand them as another Avengers team even employing their top Avengers writer to the book. In fairness, 2013′s Guardians of the Galaxy are in-name-only the team as they certainly do not reflect any real way the classic version of the team (see left). Plus, the new team has Iron Man on it. Is Tony Stark 2013′s Wolverine-Spider-Man oversaturation poster child?

To make Guardians of the Galaxy sci-fi sellable, Marvel are making them Cosmic Avengers. Really? Are all super-teams either Avengers or X-something? I certainly hope the Thunderbolts aren’t rebranded as Dark X-Men to more directly align with their sister book Dark Avengers.

DC New 52 Comics

DC New 52 doesn’t get a pass here either. Their Justice League Dark isn’t really a Justice League team, but an A-Team of their top fantasy characters.

Legion Lost, a sci-fi stranger-in-a-strange-land series is cancelled and Legion of the Super-Heroes is struggling sales despite the love and passion writer Paul Levitz is putting into it. Interestingly, Bleeding Cool has reported that DC’s plans to fix the LOSH is make them Tomorrow’s Justice League:

    “But just as the Justice League Of America have modelled and matched themselves to the Justice League, a counterpart for each, so the 31st Century Legion Of Superheroes will also begin to model themselves on the 21st century Justice League. A counterpart for each. A League Of Superheroes.”

Despite my many years of reading comics, I am a recent convert to LOSH. I think the stories are great. They have high drama and action in equal measure and the stories under Levitz’s pen are entertaining. If branding the book differently will make it sellable, I’m all for it. However, will the book lose its soul as a League of Superheroes; I’m curious if the League will be the concept or whether the book will be renamed or gain a subhead like “Tomorrow’s Justice League”. Time will tell.

I do also want to point readers to DC New 52′s Threshold. This is anthology type book like All-Star Western and Sword of Sorcery. It features several of DC’s space-faring heroes, but it doesn’t include the Justice League or any icons. Will you read a sci-fi DC Comics with no Justice League to be found?

If we aren’t getting pure sci-fi from the Big Two, it is because readers just don’t support them with their wallets. Our buying habits suggest all we buy from DC and Marvel is iconic spandex nostalgia. That’s on us. 100%.

Me? I’d love me some more of the DC-Marvel amalgam of Thanoseid! ;)

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.


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Demythify: 2013′s Top 3 With Post Young Justice Cartoon Network, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, DC New 52 Trinity War & Neil Gaiman (G.I. Joe 2 Retaliation, Star Wars 7) http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/25/demythify-2013s-top-3-with-post-young-justice-cartoon-network-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-dc-new-52-trinity-war-neil-gaiman-g-i-joe-2-retaliation-star-wars-7/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/25/demythify-2013s-top-3-with-post-young-justice-cartoon-network-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-dc-new-52-trinity-war-neil-gaiman-g-i-joe-2-retaliation-star-wars-7/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:10:36 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=328245

Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

I have spent most of the last five months mourning my fandom due to the ending of the “all-ages” cartoon era at Cartoon Network. The network has cancelled or not-renewed (same outcome either way) several shows that had cross-family, multi-generational appeal with shows like Young Justice Invasion, Green Lantern The Animated Series (GLTAS), and Star Wars The Clone Wars tossed from CN’s 2013 line-up. (If you would like to see more Young Justice, let DC Entertainment know HERE and filling out a related Change.Org petition here can’t hurt.)

This is on top of CN’s cancellation of ThunderCats last year and HUB’s similar dismissal of G.I. Joe Renegades.

In the case of G.I. Joe Renegades and Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Hub and Cartoon Network may have been dealing with the wishes of the properties’ respective owners choosing to go in new directions: Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Renegades cartoon appears to have directly inspired the live-action silver screen G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation film (out March 28, 2013) and Lucasfilm / Disney appearing to move in a new direction cartoon property-wise.

In the end, I have lost 5 TV cartoons I enjoyed watching in less than a year. That is on top of cancellations of comics I have enjoyed from DC Comics New 52 effort including: Deathstroke, Team 7, Justice League International, Legion Lost and others. Luckily there are some DC titles doing well that I can still read monthly from DC like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Suicide Squad and others. Plus Marvel is back on my radar with books like All-New X-Men and Cable and X-Force, so the future doesn’t look too dim for the future especially if you factor in the fact that every book Valiant Comics publishes is AMAZING.

So, this week, instead of mourning the past, we look to the future with my 2013 Top 3 pop culture offerings in film, TV and comics.

Beware, some SPOILERS may follow. You have been warned. ;)


TV: Scooby Doo Mystery Inc., Good & Going Too

While we await a new G.I. Joe cartoon on HUB or elsewhere to follow the G.I. Joe Retaliation film, assuming it is succesful and not Battleship-like, and a new Star Wars animated series to follow Clone Wars likely on Disney XD, the only cartoon on Cartoon Network that I see for 2013 that remains all-ages is Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated (or simply Mystery Inc.). However, it too is ending with its second season in April 2013! Wow, that’s six (6) cartoons I enjoyed being cancelled in 12-month span.

The series has an ongoing mystery in the treasure hunt guided by the Planispheric Disk, simmering character based subplots like Fred and Daphne’s romantic tension, comedy relief with Shaggy and Scooby, with Velma the odd brilliant person out. The added history of several other mystery solving teens over past generations is a cool twist as is the current Mystery Inc. competing with the preceding original Mystery Inc. The series has kept true to the original “mystery of the week no-such-thing-as-real-ghosts” formula that made the first season in 1969 so compelling and successful, but also brought it into the modern age.

However, Season 2 seems to have the team questioning whether a real terror can exist with the mystery of “Niburu” being foretold. It is unclear what Niburu stands for in the Scooby Doo series, but it could refer to the Niburu Cataclysm or doomsday scenario that is said to happen in the 21rst century with a large planetary object colliding with the Earth. Or in Scooby Doo fashion it could be a (faux) Demon. We’ll have to wait and see.

While I remain very disappointed in Cartoon Network’s Fall 2013 offerings, I will sample the new DC Nation Block of Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go. However, they do seem more kiddie in nature than the Young Justice Invasion and Green Lantern the Animated series they replace.

I’m also curious what will happen with Scooby Doo next with no Season 3 on the horizon. Another reboot maybe? There seem to have been a Scooby Doo series on television in some fashion for the last 40 years: 24 seasons and over 420 episodes.


Film: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Conquers Hollywood

Dwayne Johnson is not only the current WWE Champion headlining Wrestlemania 29 against John Cena on April 7, 2013, he is also set to have his biggest career movie year with at least 5 films being released in 2013 PLUS his active lobbying to get a role in a returning film franchise.

2013 already saw the release of Snitch in February 2013, a film about “A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal.”

Then we have March 28, 2013′s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a film that sees G.I. Joe “not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.”

On April 26, 2013 we get Pain and Gain that sees Mark Wahlberg team with Dwayne Johnson and others that see “A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.”

Sometime in 2013 we will get Empire State, a film “drama centered on two childhood friends who plan to rob an armored car depository, and the NYPD officer who stands in their way.”

Lastly, for now, May 24, 2013 brings fandom Fast and Furious 6 where Dwayne’s Johnson’s “Agent Hobbs enlists the aid of Dom and team to help bring a rival gang, led by Owen Shaw, to justice. In exchange for clear records, they must put an end to their schemes, no matter how personal the cost.” The film apparently ends on a cliffhanger that sets up Fast and Furious 7 so there seem to be a few franchises that the Rock will be a part of going forward: Fast & Furious, G.I. Joe, Journey and maybe… Star Wars?

Dwayne Johnson has announced that he is keen on joining the cast of Star Wars Episode VII (Star Wars 7) under the stewardship of J.J. Abrams. It has been reported that at the March 13, 2013 Sydney Australia premiere of G.I. Joe Retaliation that the Rock let it be known of his interest in a Star Wars role.

    “I played with two lines of action figures when I was a kid: G.I. Joe and Star Wars.”

    “By the way, because we didn’t have a lot of money, I used to steal them. I’d just rip open the packages and shove ‘em in my pockets … like a lot of kids. I got caught a couple of times, got my ass kicked by my parents.”

    “So when I got the call saying, ‘How do you feel about becoming the leader of the G.I. Joes?’, it was like if I got a call from George Lucas saying, ‘I want you to be in Star Wars‘.”

    “I’m gonna call J.J. (JJ Abrams is directing the next Star Wars film) and you’re gonna help by printing it and I’m gonna be in Star Wars!”

Add with constant fan demand for Dwayne Johnson to play villain Black Adam in any upcoming Shazam or Justice League feature film from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, it seems that The Rock’s geek credentials are well established.

Certainly looks like its Dwayne Johnson’s world, and we’re just living in it.

Also on the movie front, I remain also excited for other non-Rock 2013 films: Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013), Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17, 2013), Man of Steel featuring Superman (June 14, 2013), The Wolverine (July 26, 2013) and Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013).


Comics: DC’s Trinity War, Valiant’s Harbinger Wars & GAIMAN!!

Since 2012′s Summer of Valiant, the company has been putting out quality book after quality book, month in and month out. In April 2013 we see the beginning of a 4 month long “family” cross-over event that pits Bloodshot against the Harbingers. Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong are my top 2 fave Valiant titles, but X-0 Manowar and Shadowman are solid, with Harbinger not appealing to me conceptually despite solid art and writing.

That said, I am intrigued by Harbinger Wars as it seemingly will bring Bloodshot face-to-face with his past actions as a Harbinger Hunter. I’m not sure where this cross-over event will go, but am pleased it will feature the debut of another Valiant property with the H.A.R.D. Corps in June. The Harbinger Wars 12-issue checklist is available here. 2013 just got a whole lot more interesting.

This year will also likely see the debut of the DC Comics New 52′s much teased Trinity War. I’ve un-puzzled the various Trinities in DC’s pantheon, but it is still anyone’s guess who or what is going on with Trinity War.

In 2013 we will also get to read more of Neil Gaiman in comicdom. Not just with his Sandman Zero Vertigo prequel series, but also at least one issue of Marvel Now’s Guardians of the Galaxy featuring a guest-star in the Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman created Angela (for Image Comics’ Spawn). The Associated Press reported the following last week:

    Neil Gaiman, Angela character are Marvel-bound

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Writer Neil Gaiman is returning to Marvel Comics this summer, and he’s bringing the red-haired heavenly bounty hunter Angela with him.

    The publisher announced Thursday that Gaiman’s angel will return first in the pages of “Age of Ultron” No. 10 in June. She’ll appear again in Marvel Entertainment’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” No. 5 in July that Gaiman will co-write with Brian Michael Bendis.

    Gaiman’s previous comic outings include revered runs on “The Sandman” and “Marvel 1602.”

    He created Angela in “Spawn” No. 9, and she was one of three characters who formed a long copyright dispute between Gaiman and Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane.

    The pair reached a confidential settlement in early 2012.

What Gaiman’s ownership stake in Angela is unknown, but Marvel Comics has pitched Angela as a “guest” in the Marvel Universe. Take that as you wish.

Rumors are also surfacing that Marvelman or Miracleman, whose rights were tied up in part by the McFarlane / Gaiman legal dispute, may actually make his Marvel Comics debut soon. If Age of Ultron is Marvel’s answer to DC Comics’ Flashpoint, perhaps Micky Moran and his alter ego will become a founding Marvel 616 Universe character if time is bent and remade at the end of AU?

Well, that’s my 2013 watch list.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. :)


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Demythify: Top 5 Endings & Beginnings: J.J. Abrams Star Trek 2 Into Darkness & Star Wars Episode VII, Young Justice Invasion Finale, Robin RIP & More http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/11/demythify-top-5-endings-beginnings-j-j-abrams-star-trek-2-into-darkness-star-wars-episode-vii-young-justice-invasion-finale-robin-rip-more/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/11/demythify-top-5-endings-beginnings-j-j-abrams-star-trek-2-into-darkness-star-wars-episode-vii-young-justice-invasion-finale-robin-rip-more/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 04:00:13 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=327154

Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

I’m back after a month vacation, but fear not as I’ve kept up with my fandom. I have been surprised with news, solicitations and other media about how many endings and beginnings there are in store for pop culture in 2013.

Here are my top 5 so far.

Beware, some SPOILERS may follow. You have been warned. ;)


5. Endings: Cartoon Network All-Ages No More

Cartoon Network announced its 2013 Fall Schedule and there were some notable absences. The DC Nation Block lost fan favorite Young Justice in its second “Invasion” season and Green Lantern the Animated Series in its first season.

Both were shows that had cross-generational all-ages appeals and are being replaced by seemingly more kid-friendly less-sophisticated shows in Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go.

As an older viewer, particularly a devotee of Young Justice Invasion, I found the show not totally adult, but it had a youthful charm with rich storytelling that today’s youth can relate to. The simple cookie-cutter morality tales like the 1980′s G.I. Joe or ThunderCats are a thing of the past in an era of complex and visually dynamic video games.

Next weekend marks the end of Young Justice Invasion with its Season 2 Episode 20 series finale titled Endgame. Green Lantern The Animated Series, lovingly referred to as GLTAS by its fans, also ends on March 16th with its Season 2 Episode 26 series finale called Dark Matter.

In addition to these DC Comics / DC Entertaiment endings at Cartoon Network, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – taking place between the Star Wars Episode II and III movies – seemingly ended its Cartoon Network run with its Season 5 Episode 20 finale called The Wrong Jedi on March 2, 2013. STCW did not make it onto Cartoon Network’s Fall Schedule either. While it has been reported that director / writer / animator Dave Filoni confirmed in the Fall of 2012 that the team behind the series had started worked on Season 6, no official announcement has been made to date.

Speculation persists, which I think is credible, that despite the seeming finality of Ahsoka Tano arc in The Wrong Jedi episode – which shouldn’t be a huge surprise since the character does not appear in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith – that the Clone Wars will continue on Disney XD since Disney purchased LucasFilms and Star Wars last year. I also expect Star Wars comics moving from Dark Horse to Marvel Comics since Disney also owns Marvel.

Anyhow, TPTB at Cartoon Network and The Hub have broken my heart in recent years with these cancellations compounded by the unceremonious ends to the latest ThunderCats incarnation and G.I. Joe: Renegades.


4. Beginnings: J.J. Abrams Helms Star Wars AND Star Trek… Confusing President Obama

While no official word has come forth that J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot team will continue with the rebooted Star Trek Movie franchise after this year’s Into Darkness film, it would be interesting if he alternates between his new job spearheading the next Star Wars movie trilogy and his Trek work.

I don’t think Star Trek and Star Wars fans are that adversarial and I hope a proven quantity like J.J. Abrams continues to work on both properties. I count myself a fan of both franchises.

In addition to this new movie trilogy starting with Star Wars Episode VII taking place years after Darth Vader’s seeming end and redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi, other standalone movies have been rumored: from a Boba Fett centric film and even a movie set in the Old Republic video game era set well before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. There are many possibilities.

Many fans may not be aware, but LucasFilm has done a lot to expand the Star Wars Universe in literature. In fact, several stories have been set well after Return of the Jedi including the marriage of Han Solo and Princess Leia, having children themselves who become Jedi and one who turns to the dark side himself and dies as an adult. Equally rich has been the world expounded in the pre-Phantom Menace Old Republic and other eras.

Fans worry that these stories will now be for not since the next movie trilogy takes place at the same time presumably with the stories told in the literature of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (SWEU). However, while the next Star Wars movie trilogy starting with episode VII has yet to be fully fleshed out for fans, reports are that actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher return as older versions of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Time will tell what happens to the SWEU. There is an interesting hardcover book coming up this summer called Kenobi that seems to bridge Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Count me in!

Star Trek fans have an equally rich literary adventures. With J.J. Abrams’ original Star Trek film rebooting the Star Trek movie universe, it did so using a staple of Trek lore: an alternate universe. The William Shatner era Trek and Sir. Patrick Stewart The Next Generation era still happened, but in the Prime Universe. The new movie adventures take place in a different universe. Both fans – young an old – can be happy and Prime Universe tales continue from Simon and Schuster. This summer and fall we get a new multi-part novel series set in the Next Generation era under the Star Trek: The Fall banner.

However, both Star Wars and Star Trek fans did agree on one thing recently: President Obama’s nerd credentials were challenged when he conflated the two universes by indicating he can’t change Congress’ mind because he is unable to use the “Jedi Mind Meld” on them. Well, as fans know, the Jedi of Star Wars do use the force to do mind tricks on the weaker willed, while in Star Trek the Vulcans use a mind meld technique on anyone to gain understanding and get in their heads so to speak. If Star Wars and Star Trek can agree that President Obama may not be the Geek-In-Chief, maybe Democrats and Republicans can agree on a balanced plan to fix the United States’ fiscal disaster.

In any event, a bright future exists for Star Wars and Star Trek fans of all ages.


3. Endings & Beginnings: Damian Wayne Requiem & Robin R.I.P.

Batman Incorporated #8 came out a few weeks ago and featured the death of Batman / Bruce Wayne’s son Damian Wayne / Robin. Writer Grant Morrison brought mainstream life to the character in 2006 inspired by writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jerry Bingham’s 1987 Son of the Demon comic book take. That book was considered a non-canon Elseworlds tale until Morrison got his hands on the implied son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, the daughter of arch Batman foe Ra’s al Ghul. As Morrison wraps up his involvement with Batman in a few months, DC seemingly allowed him to axe a character he brought to life in modern times.

Now, since Damian is also an al Ghul, there is a pretty big out with the Lazarus Pit that his grandfather Ra’s uses to stay long-lived. Damian could bathe in it and be reborn. It did happen with another formerly dead Robin in DC’s current Red Hood, Jason Todd.

I do think death in comics is an easy out for writers. It also denies fans of the character of experiencing him and future writers from using the character; well presumably until the right pitch since characters never stay dead comics. Also, Robin R.I.P. is brought to you by the same writer who wrote Batman R.I.P., Final Crisis and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne between 2008 and 2010. Batman is alive 2013 afterall. So, is Damian Wayne’s story over? I never say never, but DC is making a big deal of its March 2013 Requiem issues of the Bat-Family mourning Damian.

One of my fave DC New 52 series is Batman and Robin by writer Peter Tomasi with artist Patrick Gleason. It will renamed as “Batman and…” becoming a team-up book of rotating Bat-family characters so far. While I remain a fan of the creative team, I’m not a fan of the new format and will sadly depart this series. However, I will always sample any new project by Tomasi and Gleason, as a duo or separately, find themselves on. They are that good.


2. Endings: The Great DC New 52 2013 Purge

DC has announced several cancellations of books I seemingly was one of only a few readers. Of the announced axed titles, I read the following:

    * DC Universe Presents
    * Deathstroke
    * Fury of Firestorm
    * Legion Lost
    * Savage Hawkman
    * Team 7

When looking back at DC’s original 52 titles, we see 63% remain standing today with 19 or 37% having been cancelled and replaced in future waves.

I have had other reads cancelled before in the New 52 experience, but this the first wave of cancellations where I will not be picking up an almost equivalent number of new DC titles. Of the new titles DC has announced only Justice League of America and Vibe are added to my pull list leaving a 4 issue deficit monthly as these 2 titles replace the 6 of mine that DC cancelled.

That said, while much of DC Comics New 52 offerings for June 2013 has made its ways onto the internet, the Batman Family solicitations have yet to be revealed. If the long-rumored Red Robin series debuts and/or the Robins series (featuring DC’s remaining ex-Robins in one book) they would be on pull list which means that of the 6 titles cancelled from under me, I will have 3 or 4 titles to replace them.

However, while those may not seem like favorable replacement numbers, of DC’s May 2013 ongoing titles – excluding final issues of faves of mine – I am reading 23 or 44% of DC’s New 52 continuing titles which is more than this long-time DC fan read pre-relaunch.

I am also reading Valiant Comics, IDW, Dynamite, Image Comics and even a two Marvel titles.

I’m curious as to what DC New 52 titles of my current DC reads will be left standing a year from now.


1. Beginnings: The Wonderful World of Lego

With many of my married friends having kids and because I have few single older male friends of mine who share some traits with Peter Pan, I have found myself in several toy stores where Lego products are 20% off or better. As a kid, I loved Lego, but today’s kids have so many more Lego options than I did. While DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Star Wars Lego caught my eye, fans of the Hobbit and Harry Potter have Lego for them too. There is also some cool City building sets with improved staples from my youth including Police and Fire Fighter sets.

And, Lego aren’t just for boys anymore. There are many girl friendly Lego sets under the Friends banner which I assume is the equivalent of the boys’ City building sets.

Since many of the Lego sets are for kids at least 5 years old and above or for more complex sets starting at older ages, there are sets for toddlers too under the Duplo brand. So even kids a few months old to ages 3 and 4 have sets for them too; both toddler boys and girls.

Lego has come a long way since my youth.

Plus, since Lego didn’t seem to be able to patent their building blocks, Hasbro has got in on the action with their Kre-O brick building brand. Lego has Star Wars and Kre-O has Star Trek. I understand that the blocks from Lego and Kre-O can be used interchangeably, so fans are the winners here with these toy manufacturers competing against one another.

My last Lego surprise? Well, Lego actually has Lego stores to directly sell product to customers including individual replacement lego bricks and minifigure pieces. There aren’t many stores, but this seems to be a growing and winning sales strategy for the company. When I popped by my local Lego store they were running what appeared to be workshop for kids with lines of people – parents with kids – waiting to participate outside the store. Plus, it seems Lego is branching into the mini-theme park market with their Lego Discovery Centers.

Wow. Lego is quite the juggernaut in 2013.

Ok, with that, what other endings and beginnings have caught your eye for 2013?

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. :)


Staying Connected

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Demythify: Top 5 January 2013 Solicit with DC Comics New 52, Valiant Entertainment, IDW and Dynamite (Star Trek 2 Movie Into Darkness, Cartoon Network, DC Nation, Young Justice Invasion) Updated http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/29/demythify-top-5-january-2013-solicits-with-dc-comics-new-52-valiant-entertainment-idw-and-dynamite-star-trek-2-movie-into-darkness-cartoon-network-dc-nation-young-justice-invasion/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/29/demythify-top-5-january-2013-solicits-with-dc-comics-new-52-valiant-entertainment-idw-and-dynamite-star-trek-2-movie-into-darkness-cartoon-network-dc-nation-young-justice-invasion/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:00:43 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=316085 Thanks for popping by and checking out my weekly Monday Demythify column.

Most comic book publishers have released their January 2012 solicitations. Many teased their January offerings during New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2012 earlier this month. I covered the Top 10 NYCC 2012 news bits including some really cool January 2013 shipping books. I won’t regurgitate that list here. So, this month, our Top 5 January 2013 comic book solicitation covers those solicitations that surprised and intrigued me after NYCC 2012.

Also, following that Top 5 (which becomes a Top 15 is read with my NYCC coverage), is the latest Cartoon Network / DC Nation postponement news covering Young Justice Invasion and more.

Ok, let’s have at this week’s column: The Top 5 non-NYCC 2012 January 2013 comic book solicitations!


5. A Beginning And An End for Bionic Woman (Dynamite)

Well, the good news that I reported from NYCC 2012 was that we’d be getting a Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman mini-series starting in January. The bad news? Well, the Bionic Woman solicitation shows that she will no longer have her own series after January 2013. Fear not, the Bionic Man series continues and we don’t what will be the pay-off from the mini-series. So, January is one step backwards and one step forward for Dynamite’s bionic franchise.

THE BIONIC WOMAN #10


Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Juan Antonio Ramirez / Cover by Erik Jones
32 pages FC • $3.99 • Teen +

THE FINAL ISSUE!

The conclusion of the Fembot War in Russia, with the Bionic Woman caught in the middle! And when all hell is breaking loose in Mother Russia, will Jaime be forced to be Mother Fembot? It’s the hardest decision of Jaime’s life when her mind is the key to fembot salvation, but her finger is on the trigger of fembot annihilation!


4. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is Back! (DC Comics)

After causing havok for the Teen Titans, Superboy, the Legion Lost and the Ravages during the teen-teams cross-over “The Culling”, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. resurfaces to tangle another teen hero: Firestorm! I think the character fits better with the teen side of the DC Comics than the Justice League, so hopefully this is a shift in that direction. So, let’s start the “Have Firestorm join the Teen Titans” movement / petition now! :) In Dan Jurgens I trust.

FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MAN #16

Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by DAN JURGENS and RAY McCARTHY

On sale JANUARY 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Firestorm is Public Enemy #1!

• Ronnie and Jason weren’t exactly getting along before their super-powered alias became a fugitive, so this won’t help matters at all!

• And to make things much worse, Firestorm has been targeted by N.O.W.H.E.R.E.!


3. Another Court of Owls’ Talon Gets A Series (DC Comics)

Certainly, the Talon ongoing series that was part of DC Comics New’s Third Wave, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with Guillem March on art, has gotten most of the buzz, but Birds of Prey welcomes their own Talon in January. Strix, last seen tangling with Batgirl in that series penned by Gail Simone, leaps to BOP. I’m curious how that happens and how she becomes a team player. Should be fun.

BIRDS OF PREY #16

Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art and cover by ROMANO MOLENAAR and VICENTE CIFUENTES

On sale JANUARY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• The team gets a deadly new member in the form of Strix, a former Talon from the Court of Owls!

• Who is she and what does her appearance mean for the rest of the Birds?

• Plus: Something goes terribly wrong for Black Canary…


2. Bloodshot’s Secret Origin Revealed… Or is it? (Valiant)

In my NYCC coverage, I indicated I was excited for Archer and Armstrong #6 because it would include the Eternal Warrior and a new Geomancer. I heard about Bloodshot “Harbinger Hunter”, and I wasn’t sure what it was or whether I’d like it. Even in the old says Harbinger was not one my fave properties, but when I read the solicit my fears were alayed as Blooshot #7 will seemingly focus on Bloodshot’s origins hunting Harbingers. I doesn’t appeat that it will be a forced cross-over and that pleases me. :)

Kudos to writer Duane Swierczynski who makes this list twice! First with DC Comics’ Birds of Prey and now with Valiant’s Bloodshot. He’s also doing Judge Dredd for IDW if you’re interested.

BLOODSHOT #7

Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by MATTHEW CLARK / Cover by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY / Variant Cover by TREVOR HAIRSINE

In the beginning… Bloodshot: Harbinger Hunter!

At last – a special origin issue revealing Bloodshot’s hidden history in the Valiant Universe! Recently, the unstoppable, nanite-infused weapon known as Bloodshot was set free by the mysterious Dr. Kureitch, who implied that the two of them shared a past…and many, many secrets. Now, we will finally see how far back their twisted, symbiotic relationship goes. Bloodshot and Dr. K used to be extremely skilled at tracking and slaughtering [REDACTED], and the results of one botched mission in particular now threatens to rock the Valiant Universe to its core…

Questions will be answered. Alliances will be betrayed. And body counts will tallied.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – and it’s one that will leave you reeling.

$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs. ON SALE JANUARY 16th!


1. Star Trek 2 Movie Into Darkness Gets a Prequel (IDW)

If you haven’t checked it out yet, Star Trek: Countdown was a great prequel to the first Star Trek movie in the reboot led by J.J. Abrams. It is available in trade paperback form at finer book stores and comic shoppes. I highly recommend it.

Carrying on that tradition, IDW brings us a new mini-series starting in January 2013. It leads into the Star Trek 2 movie, titled Star Trek Into Darkness, and is set to hit the silver screen in May 2013. I imagine the mini-series will reveal what role BBC Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch will play in the movie.

STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS #1

Mike Johnson (w) • David Messina, photo (a & c)

The countdown to the motion picture event of 2013 begins here, in this blockbuster 4-issue prequel mini-series that sets the stage for the upcoming STAR TREK film! Like the best-selling STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN in 2009, this all-new series leads directly into the next movie, with a story by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson (STAR TREK ongoing series), and drawn by the original STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN artist, David Messina! STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS is the can’t-miss lead-in to the new adventures of the Enterprise crew!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

*Variant cover: Unique variant cover, graded by the CGC! Ask your retailer about the totally unique CGC-Graded variant cover! Limited to 100 copies only, each issue of the prequel will have one! The only copies of this unique variant will be graded!

Any thoughts on the Benedict Cumberbatch role in Star Trek Into Darkness?

With all that, what books are you looking forward to in January 2013?


DC Nation News

As has been the case for the last few weeks, we still have not heard back from Cartoon Network or DC Entertainment regarding their reasons for the postponement of new episodes of the DC Nation block to 2013. To get caught up on all the developments on this story, including its impact on Young Justice Invasion, Green Lantern The Animated Series, and more, please check out our e-library here.

However, our friends at the Superman Homepage have indicated that the postponent may have a lot to do with some kind of breakdown with Milestone Media who DC Entertainment licenses properties like Rocket, Static and Icon from for their comics, TV, etc. They compare two comic book covers for the Young Justice Invasion tie-in comic book to make their point: the previous solicited version with Icon on it on the left and the one that hits stands without him on the right. In Young Justice Invasion continuity, Icon is a member of the Justice League. That would impact the whole DC Nation block since Young Justice Invasion accounts for around half of the programming along with Green Lantern The Animated Series plus the DC Nation shorts peppered in the cracks. An interesting theory.

In other news, the DC Nation Hiatus petition has surpassed 15,000 in only 2 weeks! You can still sign it here. In addition, the Facebook group that started to push for the return of the DC Nation earlier than 2013 has gotten close to 1,200 members in that same two weeks . To join you can visit here.

Lastly, if you’re interested to see what’s coming during the rest of Season 2, check out the Young Justice Season 2 teaser reel and our breakdown of its Top 3 reveals.

Sigh. January can’t come soon enough.

Till next week, thanks for reading. As always, all feedback welcome.


Staying Connected

For my contact information, please see my profile below “related articles”.

Please follow me on twitter and kindly friend me at Facebook too.

BabosScribe is the handle. :)


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DC’s New 52 Sees Four More Cancellations In January http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/15/dcs-new-52-sees-four-more-cancellations-in-january/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/15/dcs-new-52-sees-four-more-cancellations-in-january/#comments Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:30:35 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=314906 DC released their solicitations for January today, giving us a complete list of previews for the month and in a few cases announced final issues. This isn’t some new method of surprise, really, DC has done this with both the second and wave of New 52 books. They bring a few books to an end to replace them; Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, Static Shock, Men of War, Mr. Terrific, and O.M.A.C. all ended to make way for Ravagers, Earth 2, Worlds Finest, Batman Inc, Dial H, and GI Combat. Come the next wave we saw the ends of JLI, Captain Atom, Resurrection Man, and Voodoo to make way for Talon, Swords of Sorcery, Phantom Stranger, and Team 7.

In other words, DC has a method that has been working for them. End some books that are either not working in terms of sales, or that have reached a conclusion, and then you pump in new ideas and creators to fill the created gap.

In January we’ll be seeing the final issues of Blue Beetle, Legion Lost, Frankenstein, and Grifter.

Justice League of America is set to start in February, which makes one of the replacement titles announced. The other is the recently announced Keith Giffen title, Threshold, which is going to be all cosmicy and include a new Green Lantern as a lead character. I wouldn’t be surprised to see DC stay mum for another several weeks about the other two. Pacing things out to time the reveals up with the release of the February solicits.

My guesses? A new Edge title and a new Dark title. Captialize on Wildstorm and find somewhere to keep pushing the Daemonite plot forward with Grifter and Voodoo gone, and maybe find some new Dark title to spin out of Rotworld. The timing is right.

Now, the Snyder/Lee Man of Steel book I’m imagine we won’t see until next summer, and my gut is telling me WildC.A.T.S. next fall or winter, but DC has been doing a great job of not telegraphing new books in advance.

I mean, I wouldn’t have expected a Talon ongoing, or Phantom Stranger, hell, don’t get me started on Sword of Sorcery.
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Superman #0, Superboy #0 and Supergirl #0 Puzzle Pieces – Interesting Tidbits by Lobdell, Rocafort, DeFalco, Silva, Green, Johnson and Asrar – Spoilers http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/03/superman-0-superboy-0-and-supergirl-0-spoilers-interesting-puzzle-pieces-by-lobdell-rocafort-defalco-silva-green-johnson-and-asrar/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/03/superman-0-superboy-0-and-supergirl-0-spoilers-interesting-puzzle-pieces-by-lobdell-rocafort-defalco-silva-green-johnson-and-asrar/#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 02:00:28 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=313318 After a controversial take on the new DC Comics New 52 Superman era, pursuing the Superman Family books revealed some interesting tidbits about the next few months of stories and the upcoming H’el crossover.

SPOILERS follow.

You have been warned. ;)


Superman #0 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort

Superman #o ushers in a new era for Superman with Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans and former Superboy Scott Lobdell scribe at the helm with his Red Hood partner Kenneth Rocafort on art chores.

The issue is a nice romp through Krypton prior to its destruction with Superman’s father Jor-El and mother Lara taking the spotlight. Interestingly, the issue ends with two interesting developments.

The first (on the left), we have Superman, Kal-el / Clark Kent, on Krypton with long hair and a black costume. Looks like the time travel moratorium is over in the New 52. Although, with DC saying the whole Death of Superman arc actually happened in the New 52, this Superman looks a lot like the Superman that comes back to life at the end of that arc.

The second (on the right), is the New 52 introduction of DC Comics new… Oracle.


Supergirl #0 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar

Not only was Superman time traveling during Zero Month, so was Kon-el, DC New 52′s Superboy (see left).

He popped up to speak to Kara Zor-El’s mom Alura to tell her it’s not too late to say good-bye to her daughter. At the same time Zor-El is planning to send Kara away from a doomed planet. After that discussion, Alura goes off and does something unthinkable (see right), but is still unable to prevent Kara rocketing away from Argo City.

So, did Superboy’s intervention preserve history or re-write it? And, how’d Superboy get back into the past? Hmmm.

Very, very cool art in the issue in addition some touching moments and smatterings of action.


Superboy #0 by Tom DeFalco and R.B. Silva

Superboy also, understandably, is featured in his own series’ zero issue. :) While much of the buzz has been about the retcon of Superboy’s recently revealed 52 origins, we do in this issue get a glimpse of what is believed be Kryptonian history and the “clone war” on Krypton that has been mentioned in previous issues. That dark history is the reason Supergirl initially was repulsed by the sight of Superboy – a clone who in the New 52 is part Superman, likely part Lex Luthor, and a third part that is TBD.

The first three images from the left are the flashback Kryptonian history. The last page on the right is the tease of events to come for Superboy, narrated by The Culling villain Harvest, that implies a few things about a confrontation with another DC teen team, the Superman Family, and… a Kryptonian clone?

H’El on Earth takes place in November across the Superman Family books, Superman #14, Supergirl #14 and Superboy #14. So, do you H’El might be DC New 52′s Bizarro? Hmmm.

The Superman Family books like they’re getting a healthy dose of fantasy and fun! Looks like page-turners are on the horizon.

Thanks for reading. As always, all feedback welcome. :)


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DC Comics Relaunch: 52 Weeks Later Part Two http://insidepulse.com/2012/06/22/dc-comics-relaunch-52-weeks-later-part-two/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/06/22/dc-comics-relaunch-52-weeks-later-part-two/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:00:54 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=303169 And we’re into week two of the reviewing all of the new DCnU titles. This week we’re focusing on four titles that were released last week: Superboy, Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, and Legion Lost.

Superboy

Initial Creative Team: Scott Lobdell and R. B. Silva
Current Creative Team: Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva 1

One of the biggest problems with the DCnU is that in a single month, everything went away with a poof. When Crisis on Infinite Earths was complete, there was one big change, the loss of many Earth-2 characters, but no active titles or characters were rebooted.2 But, last August we had one version of Superboy, and in September we had another.

The real shame of it is that I liked Connor Kent, and I appreciated how he had grown over the years. When he sacrificed his life in Final Crisis, I was actually moved and saddened at his passing. And I can’t say that the death of too many comic book characters would do that to me in the modern age.

Main Changes

  • Superboy was not created by the Cadmus Institute, but instead by an organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
  • Superboy did not appear in Metropolis following the death of Superman, nor has he been a member of Young Justice or the Teen Titans.

Opinion

Superboy is one of the few titles that I had not tried before this past month. Mostly because I didn’t like him being rebooted.3 So my opinion of him mostly comes from this single issue. If there are Superboy readers out there who would like to speak more about Superboy, then I’d be glad to listen.

Let’s first talk about the costume. If you presume that Superboy needed a costume instead of the black Superman t-shirt and jeans look4, then I think the outfit is pretty good. It’s a little Star Trek/superhero team like for my tastes, but if he’s coming from an organization (N.O.W.H.E.R.E.) that was brainwashing him into removing his individuality, then it kindof works. I like it, and it gives a decent sense as to who he is. I would expect that his current path towards rebellion may lead him down a direction where he looks for a new costume, unless it has some function associated with his powers.

The other thing I agree with is setting Connor back to being a teenager again. I miss him having the 18+ years of experience and memories to draw from, but he hadn’t acted like a ‘boy’ in quite some time.

I dislike his origin being specifically tied to a new organization that was created at the beginning of the DCnU. To me, that limits the actions of the character for a few years. Superboy’s exploits are going to be tied to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. for the conceivable future, and doesn’t allow him to have many new adventures and experiences outside of that plot point.

I don’t like how Cassie and Connor are being pushed together in this book or the Teen Titans book. Yes, that romance made them one of the more endearing couples in the DCU.5 But the reason they were endearing was because of the time that it took for the romance to develop, not because somehow those characters “fit”.

And Cassie is written horribly in the issue that I read. I mean the first rule of telling stories in a visual medium is to show and not tell. So, that’s the first choice. The second choice is to tell and not show. But to me the dumbest thing you can do is do both. There’s nothing like having a character say “I’m really angry” and flying off angry at the same time.

Verdict

I must admit that I liked the book more than I thought I would have. The character of Superboy and the plotting of the book are pretty decent. Unfortunately it’s Lobdell’s writing that really drags the title down, allowing for no subtlety whatsoever.6 It’s a decent enough mindless teenage superhero book, and the unfolding mystery of who Superboy is and will be is interesting. However, I would need a stronger writer of character building to get me to read this book on a consistent basis. However, I liked it enough that I’ll pick it up when the story compels me to do so.

Overall Ranking: 24 out of 52

Batman and Robin

Initial Creative Team: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Current Creative Team: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

This is one of the more popular titles out there right now, and I’m guessing it’s all the huge Batman push right now. Amazing that Batman can support five books (twelve if you count his allies), and that Superman can barely support two. This book is supposed to focus on the relationship between Batman and his new young protégé, the new Robin, Damain Wayne. Damian Wayne was created by Grant Morrison, and following the events of Batman R.I.P., a new title emerged with Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as Batman and Robin. After the return of Bruce Wayne, the title features the father and son team of Bruce and Damien Wayne. This title was one of the titles that was to continue into the DCnU.

Main Changes

None that I have seen.

Opinion

I’ve read about three issues of this comic, and I’ve come to the same basic conclusion: I don’t much like Damian Wayne. I know there are plenty of people who appreciate his job as a contrast and an agitator for all of the characters in the Bat Universe, and I guess I can certainly understand that as a plot device. However, I have no interest in reading a title where he is the featured character. His arrogance and defiance is not interesting to me, at all.

Yes, I guess putting Bruce Wayne into the role of real father rather than surrogate father is interesting enough. And perhaps, some readers enjoy the switch of a Robin who acts like he doesn’t need The Batman rather than The Batman who acts like he doesn’t need a Robin. I am not one of them. To me, Damian is an annoying pre-teen/teenage genius character along the lines of Wesley Crusher, or Anakin Skywalker.7

Additionally, the last two issues seem like they should have dropped the name “Batman” from the title, as they have focused completely on Robin as a character. What’s worse, is they are bringing in the character of Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, as a foil to Damian. Now, while I personally don’t know much about the DCnU version of Tim Drake, I know that I like Tim much better than Damian.

The issue for me, is that I don’t see a path of redemption for Damien. We’ve already had him have to deal with the abandonment by his mother, the death of his father, forced to team with the prodigal son (Nightwing), and experienced the joy of his father’s return. And yet, there is little to no change in the character. He’s a little less blood thirsty, but just as arrogant, deceitful, resentful, and braggadocios as he was originally.

And the really galling part, is that Grant Morrison is writing him better in Batman Incorporated.

Verdict

I think there’s a definite reason for this book, but it certainly doesn’t do it for me. I’ve read several accounts of people who enjoy the character and the book. Although, I’m a Batman fan, I think there is too much attention on Batman and the surrounding characters. That somehow some people feel like they are forced to read all the Batman titles, and treat Damien as something they have to deal with rather than experiencing a character whom they enjoy reading about. I think there is a chance to make Damien an interesting character, but I’m not sure that it’s going to happen with the current team.

Overall Ranking: 18 out of 52

Green Lantern

Initial Creative Team: Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
Current Creative Team: Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

Green Lantern is the title I was looking forward to reviewing the least in this column. Why? Is it because I think it’s written poorly? Is it because I don’t like the character of Green Lantern? Or don’t like the direction that Green Lantern is currently taking?

No, none of the above.

This column is about the changes that titles and characters have made since the relaunch of the DC Universe. And of all 52 books, the least happened in the Green Lantern book. The Green Lantern story didn’t reboot. The writer didn’t change. Hal Jordan’s origin didn’t change. The current storyline didn’t even seem affected by the Flashpoint reboot. The only major change seemed to be that Hal Jordan was now younger.

In the story, however, a lot has been happening. So, I guess we can focus more on that.

Main Changes

  • Hal Jordan is younger and has only been Green Lantern for about five years.

Opinion

I’m one of the few people who have not been reading the Green Lantern book. So, I’m pretty unfamiliar with the title outside of the big events, such as the Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, and Brightest Day.

But, it seems to me like there are a lot of changes going on in the Green Lantern book, and my impression is that few of them had specifically to do with the Flashpoint reboot. But for all I know the Flashpoint reboot is what made the Guardians of the Universe turn evil.

Anyway, the current story is focused on the redemption of Hal Jordan. Not redeeming his actions as a Green Lantern or even that of Parallax, but of his redemption as a human being. There’s definitely a focus on Hal relearning what it is like to be a man, specifically a friend, a lover, and an employee. It is redemption of Hal Jordan’s arrogance, which is a very interesting take.

On the flip side, there is potential redemption in the cards for Hal’s counterpart, Sinestro. To a degree, Sinestro’s redemption is already complete for the comic book reader, as he is being presented as being sympathetic even if unlikeable. Sinestro is on an Odyssean journey where he has to witness the effect that his actions have had throughout the years. We are starting to see a humbled Sinestro, who already has had to turn to Hal Jordan for support, even providing Hal with a power ring that is connected to his own.

This seems to be the quiet year for the Green Lantern series of books, which is usually followed by a multi-series cross-over the following year, and we get hints of that being put into place. Hal is following the path of his predecessor, Abin Sur, seeking answers to a prophecy/destiny, and he is dealing with the subterfuge of the Guardians of the Universe.

It’s a very compelling story, just no need to single it out from the other DCnU titles, as it is chugging along much as before.

Guest Opinion – Grey Scherl

Man, what can I say about Green Lantern? It’s one of the books to have seen the smallest amount of change coming out of the DC relaunch, and that includes retaining its all-star creative team. The end result is one of DC’s most consistent titles on a monthly basis that is truly a top tier gem in their line. Green Lantern is one of the best superhero comics on the market, and it really does just keep getting better.

Verdict

Green Lantern is a title well-worth following, and is doing quite well in the new DCnU. The entire Green Lantern family now consists of four titles, which is pretty impressive. Keeping the team of Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke has only helped to further the momentum.

Overall Ranking: 3 out of 52

Legion Lost

Initial Creative Team: Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods
Current Creative Team: Tom DeFalco and Pete Woods

When the list of the new 52 DC Comics came out last summer, you could divide the titles into the following categories: expected titles, surprising revivals, interesting ideas, and what the hell were they thinking.8 Legion Lost definitely fit into the latter category.

Now, truth be told, I’m not a Legion of Superheroes fan. Nothing against it, but the concept does not draw me in. I’ll read it from time to time, to see if I’m missing something. But that’s pretty much it.

And I’m certainly not suggesting that just because I’m not a fan, that the Legion should not have a second title. But realistically, the Legion of Superheroes has a niche fan base, and maybe that fan base has enough readers to support two titles in the current economy. But to me, if you’re going to have a second Legion book, it should flow out of a storyline. This is just grab a group of Legionnaires and have fun with time travel, sending them back to modern times.

I mean there is an appeal for Legion stories. But as a casual reader, I’m more apt to read the main Legion series, than this book. This book sounded like Exiles but in reverse.

Main Changes

  • None that I’m aware of.

Opinion

I read Legion Lost issue #1, and I had high hopes for it and the series, despite my lack of Legion knowledge. There was one simple reason for that, Fabian Nicieza. There are very few writers who can write team books better than him. In the past, he has made me care about characters who normally I would not be interested in. New Warriors, X-Force, and Thunderbolts are all titles that I have enjoyed due to his writing.

However, I read the first issue and frankly, it was a mess. The creative team assumed I knew all of the characters in the story, or wrongfully assumed I would be able to immediately pick up on their powers and personalities. And then to top it off, they decided to kill off two of these characters9 who I didn’t care about in the first end of issue cliffhanger. I didn’t pick up issue #2 after that.

Then I learned that Tom DeFalco has taken over the title from Fabian Nicieza. Not necessarily a decision that would make me read the title again.

After reading issue #10, I must admit that the title is better than what I saw in the initial issue. But it was still a bit of a jumbled mess, filled with clichéd stereotypes instead of real characters. The plot didn’t really draw me in, but I can see where it’s going, and perhaps this is more of a positive direction.

But I’m not sure that grouping Legion Lost with the Teen Titans books for The Culling crossover was really a smart move. If Legion Lost hopes to exist and thrive, then it needs to establish the characters on its own.

Guest Opinion – Grey Scherl

Legion Lost wasn’t sold to me because of my nostalgia for the DNA classic, because really, you can’t do that. The name is awesome, but there’s no real way to do a follow up, just the same basic concept. Fabian Nicieza is what sold me on following the book, but it was just a wash of nothing happening. Then, sooner than he arrived, Fabian was gone and this book was just sucked into the mess that was the Culling. Tom DeFalco is on it now, and I want to like it, and it is slowly getting better, but it’s going to be a while before the stench of the Culling gets washed away. I hope it does, I do like this grouping of characters, and I do like the premise of them being stuck in the present. Plus, I’d like at least one Legion book that’s readable.

Verdict

This is a title that isn’t pulling me in, and I don’t think it would pull in too many new readers. Maybe there are people who like Legion of Superheroes, who find the backstory and history of the Legion too complicated to become long time readers. But, I think this book is far from finding its place in the DCnU

Overall Ranking: 47 out of 52

Footnotes

1 – In August, Tom DeFalco takes over writing duties for this title.

2 – Lots of major reconning, a few retirements of semi-active characters, but no reboots.

3 – Also because I had enough of Scott Lobdell’s writing style in the 90s.

4 – I don’t, but I do understand that Connor doesn’t have enough of a signature look for marketing purposes.

5 – Providing one of the few sex scenes in comics that was actually romantic and meant something outside of the act itself.

6 – And adding Tom DeFalco as writer doesn’t make that better for me.

7 – Who I actually like much more than Damian.

8 – Although, Hawk and Dove was both a surprising revival AND the what the hell were they thinking, especially when adding Rob Liefield to the mix

9 – I think they revived both characters already.

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