DC News & Views

Not much by way of comic news this week so let me take a moment to congratulate my friends Joe and Pam Marino who had triplets this Sunday. That’s right…three babies! Remember that next time you complain about being tired.

Also big ups to my wonderful woman Janelle who trounced the graduate school applications and has been accepted to all of the schools she applied to (including Harvard and Princeton!). I hope you will all join me in a round of applause for her.

Alright, enough of that. Let’s get to what brought you here in the first place.


“God” Speaks to Us Once More

Alex Ross said that he promises that the upcoming Justice maxi-series “will be my best work in many, many years.”

Who are you to question Ross? You are no one. Therefore, you will take what Ross says at face value at Comics Continuum and ask for seconds!

Just in case you were wondering, the “God” above is sarcastic. I’m just funning a bit with Ross and his ego. Hopefully he will not wipe me off this plane of existence for my petulance.

There is no original artwork for the series provided here, so I guess we’ll just have to take Ross’s word that it is his best work in “many, many years”. We can only hope that it reaches the quality plateau of those X books (Earth, Paradise, etc). And yes, that is me being sarcastic again.

In any case, it is Ross (or at least it is as filtered through Krueger and Braithwaite), so it bears a look. I do find his devotion to the Silver Age to be a bit tiresome at points, there have been stories, after all, and good ones, that occurred beyond that time period and concerned different characters. It also feeds into my fears about nostalgia in the comics industry every time he opens his mouth and talks about those “good old days”. On the other hand, this does concern villains and we all know I’m a sucker for those. Plus, the man’s talent is undeniable. So, whether I like it or not, his work deserves a fair shake. Who knows, maybe this will be his return to Marvels/Kingdom Come levels of quality.


Strange Apparitions Indeed

In May, 1977, Steve Englehart began his run on “Detective Comics” with issue #469. When he completed his run with issue 476, Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers finished what many comic readers feel is the definitive take on Batman. Englehart and Rogers “Detective” arc would go on to be huge influences on the first two Batman films and “Batman: The Animated Series.” One episode of the series, “The Laughing Fish,” is a direct adaptation of the last two issues of Englehart and Rogers run. This May, Englehart and Rogers return to Gotham City with the release of “Batman: Dark Detective,” a six-issue mini-series from DC Comics.

Hop onto the time machine called Comic Book Resources and travel back to 1977.

Nostalgia in the comics world makes me nervous. It often indicates a period of time when the industry begins to “eat itself”. It can be regressive and counterproductive to both business and the creation of art. (See above for more of this)

I say and acknowledge that openly. Even considering that though, Englehart writes a great Batman and I think it will be good to see him back on the character.

Why, you ask?

Well, a big complaint for a lot of fans these days is the “@$$h0!e” Batman. That is, the Batman that has no need for anyone, who treats everyone like dirt, and generally, has no greater emotion than cruel indifference. I tend to like my Bats dark, but I do have to agree with some of that critique. I thought that Brubaker, Rucka, and Vaughan (with his short fill-in on Batman) did a great job of injecting some humanity back into the man, but the events of War Games did much to reverse that. Thankfully, Winick seems to be playing be his own scorecard in Batman, so I still have one outlet for my Bat fix. My favorite characterization of Batman in recent times is, no doubt, the Animated Series and that show owes a lot to Englehart’s version of the Dark Knight.

So yes, nostalgia or not, I am glad to see it on the shelves.


JKSA

There’s big things ahead for the Justice Society of America with a new JSA: Classified making its debut this July and their involvement in Day of Vengeance, a miniseries that crosses over with both the JSA and DC Countdown event. Artist Don Kramer has been working on the series for about two years and is excited about the direction the comic is taking. Although most people didn’t know Kramer’s work before he worked on the Dr. Fate limited series, after a few issues of JSA, it was easy to see why DC has him as penciler on their first superteam.

Sit at the great oak table of the JSA and listen to Kramer at The Pulse

So this is a pretty straightforward interview piece, not much to comment on here. However, there is one moment where Kramer comments that he and the inker Champagne have not always seen eye to eye on the way the finalized art should look in JSA. This was a bit of an attention getter for myself and several other readers including one who made a comment to the effect of “when hasn’t there been a penciler/inker disagreement on this book?” Well, that all came to news to me so I hit the net looking for info and came up completely empty. Anyone out there know what the deal is? I’m not looking for specious rumors or anything, but I am curious if anyone else has heard of this before. Shoot us a line here at the DCNV if you have and the first of you will get a prize. I’m not saying that it will only be my eternal gratitude, but then again, I’m not saying it won’t be either.


Baddies of the DCU, Mount Up!

DC Comics has provided Newsarama with a three-page preview of Dale Eaglesham’s pencils for Villains United #1, shipping in May, and written by Gail Simone.

Check out some of the mugshots in the past offenders book I call Newsarama

There’s not much here, but far be if for me to pass up an opportunity to talk about Villains United.

The art here looks great…some of the best Eaglesham pencils I’ve seen. And I say that as an Eaglesham devotee. I’m also digging the assortment of villains seen here and Simone’s continual pimping of Crazy Quilt. I can’t imagine any making him cool, but the prospect of someone trying….SWEET!


COMIXFAN GOES ALL TOP TEN ON YOU!!!

As much as a character can be judged from what they did in life, it is as important to see how they died. And while death in comic books is at best impermanent, a good death story is still something that grabs a reader. We remember how a favorite character died, or the shock when the last character you expected to die did. And a good death can move you in a way other stories will not.

From across all the branches of the comics published through DC, heroes, villains, and anti-heroes have died. While this list is only ten, there are many others that have made readers cry, scream, and lust for the blood of the creators who perpetrated it. Hopefully, we’ve hit the ones that hit you the hardest.

Dead might not be dead, but it sure is interesting at ComiXfan

What is a truly great MOMENT? Is it something that touches us? Something that shocks us? Something that changes the characters forever? Is it a milestone, a mega-event, or just one perfect panel?

We think it’s all of the above, and so much more. We think it’s famous firsts, lasting lasts, and the kinds of things nobody ever thought to do before. Time to stop beating around the bush, and give you the best of the best.

Just joining the party? Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Otherwise let’s get back to the ComiX-Fan staff’s picks for the 70 Greatest Moments in DC History, here with picks #10-1

I’ve got something momentous for ya right here! But if you prefer 10 momentous things, check out ComiXfan

Characters are everything when it comes to story. Without characters you’re left with some nice scenery that would look good as a calendar in a toilet, but makes for a lousy comic. Characters within comics are a special breed. They earn such attention and admiration that many readers will follow a character rather than a writer or story. How many times was Dickens asked to introduce Oliver Twist in the Pickwick Papers? How many times did Shakespeare receive death threats for killing off Romeo and Juliet? Comic fans know what characters they like and so do staff members on comic websites.

If you’re just joining the party, check out our earlier installments: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

But now, without any further interruption or delay, ComiX-Fan is proud to present…The Top 10 DC Characters of All Time!

The people at ComiXfan are such cards, such cutups, such…characters, if you will.

These are just fun and have been floating around the message boards for awhile. Thought I’d put them here for all your reading pleasure. I especially enjoy the Top Characters (the full list). It’s fun to see what people you wouldn’t expect still make the list.


COMING ATTRACTIONS

MANHUNTER #8

Identity Crisis fallout! Chesire vs. Manhunter! The trial of Kate’s career! Man, I can’t stop using my exclamation point!

TEEN TITANS #22

More Identity Crisis fallout! And it’s written by Geoff Johns! Goodness, that’s a promising comic. The Titans try to match the Titans of yesteryear’s accomplishments by taking down Dr. Light all by their lonesome. Sounds great, but Light isn’t the pathetic fella he once was and now he’s angry and waiting for them on top of it. It’s going to be ugly.

HUMAN TARGET #20

Another issue of my favorite book. Of course I have to highlight. Even considering that obligation, I heartily recommend this book. This is the second issue of what is sure to be a spooky, violent, crazy arc that features Chris facing off against his old (and considerably more deranged) protégé. Identity crises (not Meltzer’s, but rather the more generic meaning of the word), bullets, and insults are sure to fly fast and thick.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

I’ve already covered BREACH #3 this week and the review can be found here on the main page. Look for GOTHAM CENTRAL #29 in Thursday collection of reviews.

BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #189

I’m pleased with the resolution of this story (I won’t give it away here) but otherwise have found myself underwhelmed. I do applaud the author for not making Eddie (sorry, Edward!) out to be a joke, a C-lister, but I hardly think that this arc is going to end up on the list of premier Riddler stories. As I say this, however, I realize that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to compose such a list right now at all (and no, Hush wouldn’t count as it was not a “Riddler” story, only a story that happened to involve the Riddler). Hmm…I shall think on this.

BLOODHOUND #9

My faith has been rewarded and this penultimate issue is back up to the usual standards of excellence. Clevenger and his handler Bell continue to be two of the more interesting characters in comic pages today. It’s a shame how short our time with them is. Still, I maintain the credo “better a few issues than none at all” so, ending soon or not, I am happy to read another great issue of this great series.

JSA #71

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a time travel story done right. This is not to say that it won’t make your head hurt if you stop and think too hard, but what time travel storyline won’t do that, really?

Degaton proves what a singularly brutal individual he is this month by finally doing what you always wondered why other time traveling villains didn’t do: use time travel to kill people before they had a chance to make an impact. Thing is Degaton is a pretty sadistic fella too, so he doesn’t kill the hero but rather goes after everyone in the past who was important to the hero. Brilliant, cruel stuff from a consistently great book.

NIGHTWING #105

God…Jason really was a dick, (no pun intended), huh? Can’t say that I am glad the bugger is dead because of this, but Dixon/Beatty goes a long way to showing me why some people would feel that way.

It’s great to see Alfred in action, doing a bit for the cause with his acting talents.

Otherwise, this is another issue like the previous four. Good enough, but lacking the fire I’d come to expect from the Dixon/McDaniel collaboration.


****REVIEWS FROM THE FUTURE****

Not much by way of First Looks this week, but there is one GREAT title in the bunch.

EX MACHINA #9

This issue things pick up considerably and us fans are given much to feast on. We have a rather ingenious weapon choice brought to bear on the Mayor, a priest who knows how to throw a punch, fallout from the Mayor’s date last issue, and the murderer in the HazMat suit is still running around. Could he be Mitchell’s old NSA connection?

I don’t know what I can say about this book that I haven’t already. Top to bottom this is top notch and every issue just confirms that. The couple of twists that pop up here are smartly written and logical while still being surprising. The book’s dark, quirky sense of humor also gets a chance to show off some and that is always a good thing.

Much like trout, I am out. See you on the message board.

Justice May Be Blind, but Un Gajje Is Not

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!