DC News & Views

So here it is. The Nexus. Is your mind blown yet? Because it will be. It can’t be helped. It can’t be stopped. Blowing minds is like The Nexus’s hobby. But like a hobby it is really good at. It’s job is kicking ass. Are you prepared? Could you ever really be?

Boy, I do love me so hyperbole.

Anyways, dig it.

And I would be remiss (and screamed at) not to mention the lovely Janelle’s birthday is today August 10th. She’ll be all of 23 years old, just like me. But I am still older by a few months so she gets to have that whole “dating an older, dangerous man” angle that so many women dig. Anyway, send any birthday greetings to me at parallax2@juno.com and I’ll be share to forward them to her. But try not to hit on her. For me. Cause you know I can’t compete with you. Well, you, the sneezy guy in the front row, yeah, you. You I can compete with. The rest of you though, not so much.

Anyway, enjoy the first DC News and Views on The Nexus. And beware of the mind blowing.


Two Moores for the Price of One!

As announced at San Diego’s Wildstorm panel, DC Comics, through Wildstorm, has acquired the rights to the IPC library of characters, with Alan and Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shane Oakley and Dave Gibbons already teamed to create the first miniseries, Albion.

You cannot still consider yourself a comic book fan if you do not check out Newsarama. Alan Moore’s beard will not tolerate any less.

Someone makes the off hand comment on the boards that, although he or she knows nothing about the IPC characters, Moore could be writing a McDonald’s comic featuring the likes of Ronald, Mayor McCheese, Hamburglar, Grimace, the Fry Guys, etc and he or she would still buy it. Let me just say, right now, for the record, I would buy that comic, even if Moore was not writing it. The stories waiting to be told about them (except Ronald”¦sick, scary clown) are near limitless.

That copyright violating musing aside, I cannot decide if where my head is on this. Obviously, it bears checking out as it is Moore and he is”¦well, who is. Plus, it will be cool to see if the gifts for comic writing is a genetic thing in the Moore household.

That being said, a lot of what Moore does in the Silver Age vein falls flat to me. I appreciate things like Tom Strong and Supreme, but they rarely held my interest. I fear we might be headed down a similar road here. Still, plenty of people more than loved those stories I mentioned, so maybe traversing that road isn’t so bad.

My favorite of the IPC characters, judging only by their bios, is”¦well, I couldn’t possibly be made to choose.


When the Debris of WarSettles, Batgirl Will Be in Gabryc’s Custody

Joining artist Ale Garza as the writing part of the new Batgirl team debuting in November is Andersen Gabrych. The writer’s been making his way through most of the Batman Family and admitted that as a writer, Batgirl is his favorite character. Although most of his plans rely on the upcoming Batman: War Games event, the writer was able to reveal a few details about his plans for Cassandra Cain.

To celebrate the return of mainstream comic characters use names utilize alliteration (Matt Murdock, Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Lex Luthor, Lori Lemaris, Lana Lang, Lois Lane”¦Wow, I could do that all day) head on over to The Pulse. I understand there might be something about a..umm”¦ahh, here it is”¦ a Batgirl there as well.

Arrgh, I am tired of War Games already, if for no other reason than it is interfering with my job. I mean, could this interview have been less informative about future issues of Batgirl. Sure, vagueness is part of the game, in order to avoid giving away cool surprises and such, but we don’t even get plots here. Oh well, I guess I am just whining a bit.

What we do get is the feeling of a genuine appreciation for the character from Gabrych. He obviously digs Cassandra and it will be nice to see if that diggage (yes, yes I did just make up a word”¦so?) translates into his scripts.

As is often the case with vague interviews, the really enjoyable part of reading the article was the talkback section that followed. In it, a poster (glennsim) questions whether or not Batgirl even needs her own rogues gallery and if, in fact, Gotham can handle another hero bring her (or his) own villains to the table.

I see his point. Gotham already practically crawls with villains. I mean, I could throw a stone in Gotham and hit a Lockup or Cornelius Stirk. You know”¦if Gotham was real.

But the two villains I mention illustrate my feeling on the matter. A lot of the villains are obscure ones who have not shown up since No Man’s Land (Lockup) or in some cases, even prior to that (the last Stirk story I can remember was in Knightfall”¦maybe on in Shadow after that?). I don’t see why Batgirl cannot develop her own gallery from people like that. Who are around in the continuity sense, but not in the recent back issue sense.

They are still Bat villains, of course, but the next time you see Stirk eating a heart or impersonating Lincoln (Seriously, he does that. And you are telling me no one can do anything interesting with him?) it’ll just be in Batgirl, not Gotham Knights.

It should be stressed that I am not advocating those specific villains be used in Batgirl, just using them as examples of villains with potential who have had very few storylines or appearances under their belts.

And, of course, there is never a shortage of almost anonymous gangsters or the occasional dishonored ninja to battle.


New Series to Hit the Bullse”¦Er…the Mark With a Bullet

Deadshot returns in December.

No, not Deathstroke. And certainly not Deathlok. Deadshot.

Expert marksman and top mercenary Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot returns in a five-issue limited series from DC Comics entitled Deadshot: Urban Renewal, written by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit writer Chris Gage with covers by Mike Zeck, art by artist Steven (Gene Pool) Cummings and inker Jimmy Palmiotti.

Take aim and fire on Newsarama

Man, do I love villains. I especially love villains who seeming only real ability is that they can’t help but hit their targets. You know the types, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Bullseye, etc. Supernatural marksmen if you will. Don’t know why, probably does not say much for my personality, but whatever. I just dig them.

So to me, this sounds cool from the get go. The idea of a death wish loving master assassin is a neat hook and was used for great effect in Brubake’s Batman run. I missed the boat on Suicide Squad. I was like 8 when that series was in its heyday, so I have yet to read it. I know, and I call myself a comic fan. However, I will remind you again, I was 8. Anyway, thus I missed Deadshot at perhaps his peak, but I loved his appearances in Batman so my interest does run deeper than, “cool, he shots stuff.”

Other reasons why I am excited for this series include: a man named Gage is writing it. Like my oft mocked and maligned middle name. The name that gave rise to the nickname Un Gajje. So, in some ways, it is like he and I are brothers. You know, in that not at all sort of way. You also have Mike Zeck on covers. Mike “Kraven’s Last Hunt, Secret Wars, I Draw the Sweetest Punisher this Side of JRJr” Zeck. BOOYAH! That man is good and I can’t believe that I have not seen more of him in the past 8 years or so. Talent like that”¦the more you see of it the better. On the interior art side, Gage is not kidding about Cummings art. It looked okay on Flash, great for the non-costume stuff, a little bit”¦rubbery on the costume action. However, the penciled preview pages here look just great.

Finally, Deadshot’s real first name is Floyd. And being a Master Killer (yes, with an upper case M and K) and having a silly name like Floyd? Well, that just makes you all the cooler.


A Wildcats Autopsy

Let’s just get right to it.

This past Wednesday, Wildcats: Version 3.0 #24 hit comic stores, and prematurely ended Joe Casey’s critically-acclaimed run on the title. The writer stops by Ambidextrous this week to give the long running series a proper send-off. Enjoy.

Sign the guest book, take a prayer card, and sit in a pew at Silver Bullet Comics. It is time to get your mourning on.

See, that was not so bad.

After reading Basement Tapes, I cringed when I saw that there was an interview with Casey about the death of Wildcats. Certainly, if the man was so bleak about the industry in general, then when talking about the premature end of one of Wildstorm’s most ambitious titles that shipped regularly (along with Sleeper at the time and Ex Machina now), in a lot of ways his pet project, was bound to get really ugly.

And yet, no. He’s honest, but not cynical at all about Wildcats or how everything went or what he means for his future in comics. He was entitled to anger and bitterness, but Casey didn’t go to that well again. Makes me wonder if I misread the first Basement Tapes somehow. Not enough to go back and re-read it (because what if I didn’t misread it at all), but enough to make me think that Casey is fine with being a comic writer and in fact enjoys it.

To the future (and the possibility of a Volume 4), I raise a glass.


Sales Numbers: Because If It Is Not Popular, It is Not Good

DC’s overall sales in June, according to Diamond, are down on their May performance, with 28.02% vs. 30.74% in the dollar share, and 26.21% vs. 33.56% in the unit share. Not surprising, considering that both of the company’s best-selling titles in May — SUPERMAN #205 and SUPERMAN/ BATMAN #10 — outsold its best performer in June, IDENTITY CRISIS #1.

If you have your abacus then take your seat at The Pulse for a little math learnin’.

So many of the titles I enjoy just aren’t looking very healthy. I have to stop reading these sales analyses”¦they are just depressing.


A Geoff Johns Interview? Puh-leeze

It’s been just over a year since Geoff Johns took the reins of the new”¦or latest Teen Titans series, with Mike McKone along as regular artist. Latest not meant”¦entirely”¦as a negative in this instance, as the series, and franchise had seen a couple of ups and more than a few downs at DC in the last ten years or so.

The final issues of the series originally begun by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 (though now with a lineup that barely resembled the original team) wheezed out their last in 1995, Dan Jurgens gave the concept a go with new characters in 1996, which landed with a thud; and the franchise’s third go-round in the ‘90s (launched by Devin Grayson and Mark Buckingham in 1999 as The Titans, and starring the young adult versions of the Wolfman/Perez team, for the most part. While it started well, by the time issue #43 came out in 2002, readers were ready for something new.

Enter Johns and McKone. Johns, by that time, had earned a reputation as being a DC wunderkind in the Mark Waid mold, that is, something akin to a walking continuity encyclopedia with a respect for the past who could tell a very solid story. While Johns’ assignment to the title alone stirred embers in the hearts of Teen Titans fans they thought might never rekindle, the lineup of the new team sent them into heaven. For all intents and purposes, the “new” Teen Titans would be pretty much that – a new millennium version of the Wolfman/Perez team. McKone’s pre-launch artwork, showing a cover splash that was an homage to the cover of The New Teen Titans #1 sealed the deal.

I (along with Ben) have already interviewed this fella and I hear that it was the definitive Johns piece, but hey, you can read the other guys here at Newsarama if you’d like. Not like I’ll take it personal or anything.

Johns is a great creator and a very classy gent. This is a good interview and he hangs around afterwards to answer questions from the posters on the boards. That’s very cool of him.

In all honesty, I have written so much on Johns in the past two weeks, I’ve giving him a break this week. I’ll let the interview speak for itself.


World’s Most Intense Creator Re-Ups with DC

Brian Azzarello, the award-winning writer of SUPERMAN, 100 BULLETS and BATMAN, has renewed his exclusive agreement with DC Comics, extending it for an additional three years.

Tell Marvel to suck it by going to Silver Bullet Comics

Let us take a moment to mourn the loss of a Banner or Cage sequel for at least another 3 years, (this could be serious, could be sarcastic”¦it really just depends on your opinion of those minis).

There”¦that was long enough.

As I was reading this article, it occurred to me that Mr. Azzarello might have hit on a bit of brilliance with 100 Bullets. Think of it, he pitches the series and the idea that it will run for 100 issues. Cool, right? Nice name/issue number synergy happening there, right. Once it gets over that initial hump (first storyline or so) is he just set? I mean, think about it. If sales drop severely in the future, does DC can it? They know it is ending at 100, everyone else does too. It is kind of silly to end of it ahead of time, isn’t it?

So, if I pitch a series tomorrow called The 250 Soldier of West Philadelphia to last 250 issues, besides having a really bitchin’ sounding title to I now, in essence, have 250 issues guaranteed? Because, if so, I should have done this like”¦yesterday.

Thank you Mr. Azzarello. For inspiring me.

Oh and congrats on that whole exclusive thing. Neatness.


Chabon’s Eisner Speech

Just like the headline says, Chabon’s speech is available at the link below. Go to it. Don’t ask why, just do it. It is a great speech and looking at it is pretty much the least you can do.

Comixtreme


Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Do Superhero Comics and “Adult” Themes Mix?

So here is the deal before we begin. The two links below are two of the links that inspired this column. The rest of the inspiration came from a few columns on this site, but unfortunately, in the transition from 411 to The Nexus, I do not have those links. When the archive is up and running fully and you get ambitious feel free to hunt them up for themselves.

Oh, and The Fourth Rail is hands down the best comic book review site on the web. I just happen to disagree with this review. Seriously, if you don’t read the site yet, you should. No excuses, no judgment, just do it. Anyway, check out the links so you get an idea of my mindset. (On the first link, you are looking for the Flash reviews, so you know).

Silver Bullet Comics

The Fourth Rail

Back you are and away we go.

There is obviously middle ground on this issue but for simplicity’s sake, let me generally outline the two sides. Side A argues that certain things don’t belong in comics that feature colorful well-known characters like the JLA or The Flash. Side B disagrees.

Just take a guess where I fall on the spectrum. Have you guessed? Well, those that said I was a Why not?-er, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re entirely correct.

But wait, I just linked to the Chabon speech, didn’t I? The one where he urges creators to start making at least some comics for kids again? Yes, I did, but some is the key word there. Not all comics need to be geared toward the lads and lasses. Some definitely should be. Arguably more. And certainly done better than most are today. All of this Chabon said and all of it I agree with.

I just don’t see why Flash or Identity Crisis have to be two of those books.

First off, let me take exception with the Flash reviewer that discusses his discomfort about Mirror Master taking drugs at the end of the issue. By this point, we have already seen him kill his father, imprison federal agents in a mirror world, and the aftermath of his mothe’s suicide. But what is truly objectionable is the idea of him taking cocaine? Color me a bit confused. Violence, murder, fist fights equal acceptable for children, drugs equals uh-oh bad? Anyway, his criteria is his own, that particular bit of oddness just leapt out at me.

In any case, why shouldn’t Geoff Johns tell a story where a villain takes drugs? We’ve seen story where a hero or supporting character does and more often than not those stories were praised for the risks the writer took and how it revealed the dangers of drug use. A man in an orange and green costume doing lines in a dirty bathroom is not glamorous any way you cut it (ugh, sorry about that pun) and anyone who goes on the net knows that MM will be getting his comeuppance next issue in the form of another Rogue who does not take so kindly to illegal substances.

And is this really all that out of whack with what I saw in comics growing up. Between the ages of 12 and 14, my first true years of comic interest I saw: Superman beaten to death, Batman snapped in two, a new Batman let a man die, Green Lantern’s city destroyed, killing every man, woman, and child there, that same Green Lantern losing his mind and killing several of his colleagues along the way, a new GL take over only to see his girlfriend murdered and stuffed in a fridge, and Green Arrow blown up in an airplane. And that was only on the DC side.

No one objected to me seeing that then. Is MM taking drugs really so much a step beyond that?

Now to the real meat of the thing and that is this: Sue Dibny’s rape. It is a thorny topic to say the least. I think everyone who has spoken on it is entitled to their opinion and most have defended well without being over the top or unnecessarily personal. I will try to do the same in my response.

Randy Lande’s objection to the rape is similar to many and it amounts to, “These characters are Silver Age icons and rape is not something that meshes well or should be attempted to mesh with Silver Age icons.” To which I can only say, why?

Batman is arguably a Silver Age icon as well and his traversed the paths of rape and murder on more than one occasion. He is arguably more recognizable to your average child than Flash or Green Lantern and certainly more so than Zantana and Elongated Man. Nothing in the marketing suggests that DC are going for the kids on this, they certainly did not put Johnny DC on the cover. So why can a creative team not depict rape in a comic.

Especially when it is done this well. With all due respect to my distinguished colleague John Babos, who is an excellent writer and a fine man, the rape was not “on panel.” You do not see the rape at all. You see moments that are occurring during the rape, but the actual rape? No. As pointed out by another fine fella here at The Nexus, Jamie Hatton, you can figure it out as rape, but what is depicted is not explicit.

Not to pick on John, (I really am sorry on this, I just read your post is all John), but he also mentions that he was fine with the murder in the first issue, but could not stomach the rape in the second. In his case, his argument seems to be more along the lines of “the rape scenes were poorly constructed and delivered.” However, several have echoed the statement, but with reasons more in line with the Flash reviewer mentioned above. That is, in essence, “murder I can handle, rape I cannot.” I have no interest in getting into a debate about what is worse, so can we all agree that both a pretty awful. A woman being burned to death is a hideous thing as is a rape. Can we really split hairs about what are and are not acceptable hideous things to portray in comics, within reason? Do we really want to place a “one murder is acceptable, one rape is not” rule on works of the four colored fiction variety? I expect not.

As I am writing this, I realize that I am actually debating two issues at once. The first, raised by the Flash review, is what can or should kids see and handle in comics. The second, raised by Identity Crisis, is what can and should we accept in comics.

To the first question, there is no one answer, which is why comics should not be written to appease everyone. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide what they are comfortable with their kids seeing and when and buy their children comics accordingly. The specter of “some parents might disapprove” cannot govern creativity. A better system of making parents aware of what a comic is about might be necessary but that is a different debate entirely.

To the second, well, certainly, I would include Identity Crisis on my list of comics not to give kids before the age of 13. That does not make it bad or wrong, however. Yes, it is one of DC’s comic tent poles this summer, but it is not the company wide massive crossovers of old and therefore I don’t think it needs to be written for anyone under the age of 13. It is a well written story about secrets and how they have a tendency to come back on us. The rape was handled well, it was not glamorized and it was not anesthetized. There should always be room in comics for well written stories even if the stories take characters to places you are not used to seeing them. Although I hate the buzz phrase “working outside the box,” it fits here. We do ourselves and the medium a disservice when we demand that only certain stories can be told with certain characters. If the stories are well thought, well reasoned, and well written, the only limit should be the creative teams’ imagination. We don’t have to like or buy them all, but it is only fair that we allow them to tell their stories.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

Alright, the deal is this. I haven’t done reviews in a few weeks and there has been some great stuff and some not so great stuff that is still worth talking about. So, with this being our big debut, I figured I would break my usual format (only reviews from the past week) and just go whole hog on this. There’s going to be a ton, but don’t be scared. I’m here to hold your hand and lead you through the minefield of my mind. Stay close.

Oh yeah, the reviews go chronologically, from most recent (last week) on to previous weeks.

BATMAN 12 CENT ADVENTURE

So here’s the thing. I could not be less excited about this crossover. Don’t know why, it just didn’t do anything for me, story wise. Still, I’m a professional, so I figure I’ve got to pick up the first issue. Plus, at 12 cents, it is not exactly going to break the bank.

So I read it and, maybe it is the law of diminished expectations here, but I really enjoyed it. A lot actually. Stephie’s narration is great, the random appearance of Kobra folk worked for me, the gangland firefight resulting from too many frayed nerves made sense. A great issue from Devon Grayson.

The downside is is that now I am interested. This means that one 12 cent issue has morphed itself into at least two more 2.50 to 3.00 dollar issues. Damn these Bat crossovers.

DETECTIVE COMICS #797

And here is where I start paying for it. Through the nose as they say.

Not a bad issue, really. It is overly chaotic at points, but it is great to see Orpheus getting some work and I like him as the man inside. The amusing aside between Onyx and Deadshot where they talk as if they are union members who run into one another on occasion, not professional killers, is well placed and utilized.

The problem is it is ultimately utterly disposable. I am writing this review literally 15 minutes after reading the issue and it is still dissolving from my memory like so much cotton candy. For a story about a city falling into an all out gang war bloodbath, it feels very lightweight right now. Still, in for a penny, in for a pound, so we’ll see what Legends and Nightwing do this week to sway my opinion.

GREEN LANTERN #179

Oh Mr. Marz, why? I was digging the story so far. Even the Major Force thing didn’t get me all that down. Sure, it was predictable, but there was a sort of symmetry to it, at least.

But this issue? It made me kind of ill.

The problem isn’t the requisite superhero fight. I am fine with those. They are an inherent part of the genre and I accept that. Plus, it makes sense in light of poor Kyle basically been ridden hard and rung out dry every moment he has been back on earth (Jade: “Oh yeah, I’ve got a new guy. What did you expect, it has been like 5 months?” JLA: “Yeah, nice to see you. But John’s replaced you. Sorry.” Apartment: “I like Jade better, thanks.” Job: “Do you even have one of me?” etc). So yeah, a touch of anger toward the world and even John in particular seems logical. Especially with the return on the man that killed his first love.

What kills me here is John. What the hell is with him? I liked John’s appearances in the series, as a Darkstar, as a crippled architect, as a non-crippled architect, as a man with irregular superpowers, etc. I was even okay with him getting the ring when Kyle kicked it space style. But now”¦I don’t know. He’s bugging me. If they want to make him a superhero again, fine with me. But 2 GLs on the same planet? It is a bit redundant and it flies in the face of why I like Marz’s run so much. Green Lantern is one of a kind. Here, he’s not. And it kind of stinks to me.

I offer those facts in the interest of full disclosure because I am about to tell you that I thought John deserved every bruise Kyle gave him and more. Look at the issue again. John is the guy that begins at escalates the fight every step of the way. Besides which, what kind of response is saying, “Hey, this is a federal building,” when a friend tells you that he is on the trail of the man that killed his girlfriend and just tried to kill him. How about a little support?

All of this might have been fine if John had gotten beat around sufficiently. Instead it ends up with Kyle apologizing and them having a heart to heart. Why is Kyle apologizing?! It just bugged me and since I was bugged, the issue didn’t go down so smooth for me.

RICHARD DRAGON #3

Alright, things are starting to look up now. Richard Dragon still hasn’t reached Dixon and McDaniel’s previous levels of greatness alone or collaborating, but it is getting to be a stronger read now. The sluggishness and lack of story in the first issue has given way to some characterization and nicely done action sequences and there is a feeling of pacing beginning to form. At this point, the plot still exists, seemingly, to have Dragon and Bronze Tiger encounter the group of highly trained martial arts badasses and fight over and over again, but the introduction of two Bludhaven cops on Richard’s trail is an indication of story layers to come.

Still on iffy ground with me, but showing signs that make me want to hang around a bit longer.

PLANETARY #20

The issues are so spaced out that I really do not feel comfortable reviewing them issue to issue. The sense of amazement and awe that I felt during the first 14 or so issues has sadly faded away amongst the delays and thus each new issue does not hit me nearly as hard or as cool as it did. However, when I go back and read the first few issues prior to the current one and then read the current one again, that old feeling returns.

#20 is no exception to this phenomenon. This issue we get to see the Thing’s equivalent in the Four and he looks and has the attitude about what you’d expect. Cassady’s art is, of course, amazing and Snow (if you forgive this awful unintended pun) could not be cooler. Planetary is excellent. I just wish it came out more. In other words, pretty much the usual here.

SLEEPER SEASON TWO

Holden, under Tao’s insistence, decides to meet Lynch. Except, Lynch does not come in person”¦

Holden is a brutal, brutal man. And Brubaker is even more so for putting his lead through all of this.

The best thing about this issue is how clear it makes it that Holden is not just undercover here. He has truly become the man who was pretending to me. That is not to say he is beyond redemption, just that the changes he has undergone in Season 1 are not hast dissolving.

It would have been so easy to have Holden melt upon meeting his former fiancée Veronica and to re-embrace the “good” path. It also would have been a bit bankrupt artistically and would definitely kill the dramatic tension of the book. Thankfully, Brubaker instead decides to demonstrate how removed Carver has become from that path. To him, Tao or Lynch, they are all the same. He’d just assume stick with Tao than switch sides again because, really, what’s the difference? It’s chilling and effective. Just like the series itself.

BIRDS OF PREY #70-71

Huh”¦things just got weird. Good weird, but still weird.

The past two issues have featured two face offs between Huntress and Vixen (and Huntress has definitely earned her place as a Bird, by the way), some allusions to brainwashing or group mind control or something, an organic computer god, Oracle going into a seizure, an appearance by Superman, a brief mention of having dirty thoughts about Superman, Oracle seeing things on a laptop screen when it is not even turned on, Oracle drawing a picture of”¦something and freaking Canary out. And so on.

I’m enjoying the ride most certainly, but it has gotten weird. Not like Twin Peeks weird, but not like, “My god, the story has gone completely off the rails,” weird either. I remain very intrigued for the final issue.

FLASH #212

Sometimes certain lines just make a book for me. This is one of those cases.

The issue itself is strong, being one of Johns villain profile pieces that may take a slight detour from the main story, but are every bit as good.

However, the whole package did not come together for me until Mirror Master begins his final monologue with, “There’s a lot of things I can do with a mirror,” and caps it with how he chooses to utilize it. A good issue become a home run for me at that moment. Great stuff

ROBIN #128

Wait”¦that’s it? Steph is done? Well”¦jeez.

I am figuring it was an editorial mandate to wrap this up now with War Games on the horizon, but it still feels rushed. Both Step’s end as Robin and the (temporary, I assume) resolution of the Scarab storyline.

Too bad. It was a good idea and I thought Willingham could have gotten a lot of mileage out of Steph before Tim returned triumphant. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Tim back, I just wanted the stories that occurred in the in-between to pay off on the potential of having Steph take the job. Given the time, it seemed they would. There just wasn’t enough time.

HUMAN TARGET #13

A rare misstep for the title. It is not bad, it just does ring as true as the rest of the issues have to this point. It is nice to have Mary White back in the picture though.

SEAGUY #3 (OF 3)

Oh, I get it! Corporations are bad! Huh, who knew?

Morrison is better than this. Much, much better. The satire here is obvious, like a sledgehammer, and not particularly humorous. Even an homage to 1984 does not save it. After a strong start, this one just did not go anywhere.

But hey, no one is perfect.

EX MACHINA #2

Who knew the issue of art and who pays for it could make for interesting comic reading?

Well apparently Brian K. Vaughan did. Which is why he rules, and I suck.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #21

Batman in this issue. And he’s all dark and broody. And he beats people up. And saves the day.

Okay, not really. What does happen is way cooler and more interesting than that. But, right now, I’ll try anything to get you to take a look at this book.

GREEN ARROW #40

This is unacceptable! Where are the demons? Sure, Brick is a big dude with red skin, but he’s no demon. I cannot accept a book that takes Green Arrow away from his demon fighting roots.

Ahh, but I kid the very cool Judd Winick.

In the wake of last storyline there is a power vacuum in Star City. As in any good city, when there is a power vacuum, it is gang warfare time (and thus, gang warfare is the new black of the DCU) and Brick is looking to seize control right quick, even if it means taking out some dirty cops.

On the more personal front, Ollie’s guilt over cheating on Dinah finally catches up with him as she does them both a favor and ends the relationship, tattooing his jaw on the way out the door.

Judd Winick writes Ollie right and this storyline is making me plenty pleased. If the demons put you off, give the title another shot starting here.

IDENTITY CRISIS #2 (OF 7)

I liked this issue a lot, but since it is the topic of the above essay, I won’t bother you with yet another review. All my feelings on it are in the essay anyway.

NIGHTWING #95

Poor Dick. This issue he continues to prove that he is at a very bad place in his life right now. Sure, there is the requisite beating of super villainy (in the form of Copperhead this time around), which tends to be something Nightwing excels at. However, there is also some boozing (wha?), an incident that includes being called a cheap date by Tarantula (as in, “easy” after a few drinks). If that isn’t enough, he caps the evening off with attempting to become the Ross of the DCU universe by making his third ill fated trip toward Matrimony Way (Starfire and that woman he married to see if she was a murderer preceded this incident). Thankfully, a call from Bat central derails that train. Not thankfully, (unthankfully?), that means it must be massive crossover time.

The issue’s highlight is definitely Tarantula’s narration as she analyzes, quite accurately actually, the current state of her life with Nightwing. However, any sympathy that could have been gained from this is quickly erased when she drags the drunken NW to sign a marriage license. If she really only wants to see him smile is suckering him into marriage the way to go about it?

SUPERMAN BATMAN #11

So I have given up on my high hopes for this book. Not to say it is bad or anything. This storyline is head and shoulders above the first arc which I, admittedly, was quite sick of when it limped to a close. What I have given up on is the hope that this book will ever be what I was hoping it was going to be. Oh well, some day such a book will be made, I can’t grudge Loeb for telling the stories he wants to tell.

He does a fine job with them. The art is beautiful, the action tight, the occasional insights smart. But, true to his “summer movie” goals, it is all so airy and disposable. Disposable entertainment is not a bad thing, necessarily, and it is done well here. I just was looking for something different. Too bad for me, but, apparently, good for a lot of others.

This issue continues the Supergirl story with the triumvirate of Wonder Woman, Bats, and Supes heading up to visit Darkseid, with Big Barda along as a guide. What greets them, a Batman swallowing Hellhound, The Furies, and a radically different Kara, may prove to be more than the equal of the heroes.

On another note, why’s everybody hate Michael Turne’s art so much? He does some beautiful work.

TEEN TITANS #13

When I read about this storyline in the solicitations all those months ago I shrugged and said an inward, “eh.” The idea just didn’t interest me that much.

Silly me. This is some fun stuff with a few nice bits of characterization (what’s the deal with Raven?) and a spotlight on Gar that made me appreciate him. A respectable start to a story that I was heretofore expecting to be wildly indifferent to.

And there you have it. Your double sized giant DCNV to welcome you to the brand new site. The rules are still the same. You can find my thread on the message boards in the DC Comics portion of the comics threads and post your reactions there or e-mail me. Either way, please give me some feedback. Cause I crave attention.

Ooh, did you feel that? Un Gajje and The Nexus Just Blew Your Mind