DC News & Views

As fans never get tired of telling me, this website has its roots in wrestling. Therefore, I would be remiss not to mention the untimely passing of Eddie “Latino Heat” Guerrero. I’m not one for wrestling myself really, (I stop paying attention sometime around the time I turned 10), but my friend Tim and I have been playing the Nintendo 64 video game No Mercy for quite sometime. Eddie was a featured character in it (we called him Senor Melty because the graphics made it look like his top lip had melted and fused with his bottom one) but what we really were into was creating characters. Some highlights include Rutherford B. Hayes (“The President”), our neighbor Manny (The Man with the Van), J.D. Salinger (“The Recluse”) and Tom Wolfe (“The Southern Gentlemen”). We also, of course, created ourselves and, in a master stroke, Tim decided that “Latino Heat” should be my theme song. Later, he also named my car “Latino Heat” after I insisted that naming your car was silly and I would never have any part of it. So, while I did not follow wrestling closely, I will miss the man who’s career provided my video game wrestler with theme music. My car, however, is not Latino Heat.

Onto more pressing matters, Infinite Crisis came out this past week and you know what that means. It is time for another…

CRISIS CORNER

Filtering Through the References

It’s that time of the month again.

If a month of anticipation, and then finally reading Infinite Crisis #2 this week have left you worn out, you’ve come to the right place. Just as we did last month, it’s time for some Crisis Recovery, and hopefully, a reminder that, in the end, it’s all just funny books.

for those easily offended, that “funny books” thing was only the first thing that is going to come out of this that will upset you, for sure.

And yes, be warned – we will try too hard to make jokes, some of the references will go right over your heads, some will go right over our heads. So – with tongue firmly planted in cheek, we’ve got your Infinite Crisis #2 page by page guide with mild annotations, some of which may even be correct.

While it may seem obvious to most, a page-by-page guide WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Let’s roll, and start at the start.

Shh…your Newsarama daddy is gonna explain it all.

Why does everyone always gotta be picking on Supergirl’s weight (“although one is apparently not pathologically afraid of food”)? There is so much about her that is awful, but the fact that she is thin? Not so much. I’m just going to put this out there for everyone: not all thin/skinny people have eating disorders (similarly, not all overweight people are lazy or eat poorly). She’s a Kryptonian superhero for goodness sake. If she’s not going to possess a hyper metabolism, who would?

Yes, the above is a sign that I do not have much to say about this article. It is good, you should read it, (especially if you are not up on your DC history), but it is not exactly the type of article that lends itself well to “views”. I will say that my favorite joke of the bunch was about Perry White living to say, “This is war.” Mostly because you just know that it is true. Also because having been an Editor-in-Chief I know it is something that we all love to say. “Connecticut College is cutting 600 dollars out of the party budget for next year. This is war, people!”


Come on Over to DiDio’s Couch

The first issue has been out for a month, and this week, Infinite Crisis #2 hits stores. Suffice to say, and judging from online reaction, DC Sr. VP and Executive Editor Dan DiDio wasn’t blowing smoke when he claimed that the last page of issue #1 would rock the socks of most readers in his first Crisis Counselnig session with Newsarama.

Of course, if you didn’t read it – be warned – there will be spoilers a’ plenty coming in this session, so you may wan to familiarize yourself with that last page’s revelation here, or the entire first issue here.
So, as promised, Dan is back this month for an online version of his “Crisis Counseling” sessions – he’s ready to answer questions, tease mercilessly, and reveal some secrets….or just pull out some red herrings. Time will tell.

It is time for your hour of counseling at Newsarama

I love the idea that Uncle Sam in the water was a political statement. Love it! It reminds me of my high school English classes where we’d battle to see who could come up with the most outlandish interpretations of symbolism but maintain a level of believability while we said it. Good times.

Wasn’t Aquaman’s water hand introduced almost three years ago? So why is there a question about whether or not Crisis will explain what it can do? Hasn’t that been pretty well covered and, if not, is Crisis really the place to take care of it? I’m not saying Johns could not devote and entire issue to Aquaman’s hand and make it interesting, I’m just saying that it might not be the best issue of an 1/8th of the Crisis story.

This is another neat resource (although less necessary than the one above) that helps fill in some of the blanks that you might not have had information on. And like the one above, I just do not have much else to say about it.


This is the Land of Confusion

If there’s one truism that runs through both the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and its thematic descendant Infinite Crisis, it’s that unexpected characters suddenly get a chance to shine. Granted, Power Girl’s not exactly a wallflower. She’d had significant roles in series ranging from All-Star Comics to Justice League Europe to Birds of Prey and JSA. She recently headlined the much-discussed debut arc of JSA: Classified. And of course, she graces the both variant covers for this week’s Infinite Crisis #2. Still, despite the fact that she’s a perennially minor character, Power Girl has a strident fanbase and certainly plays a crucial role in DC’s biggest project of the decade thus far. Where then did Power Girl originate, and what were some of the highlights on her circuitous path to crossover glory? (Writer’s Note: Notice that I said some of the highlights; this does not pretend to be a complete list of appearances)

Watch Newsarama attempt to succeed where JSA: Confidential failed.

So Power Girl’s origin up until now, post Crisis, was that she was related to Arion and while remembering her Earth-2 life, she did not really live it? I’ll admit that that origin is less than ideal, certainly, but is it really all that complicated? Was this what people were having such a hard time unraveling? Or does this article just gloss over the really rough stuff. Because, from here, that strikes me as a pretty easy to understand origin.

On another note, a wag of the finger (to steal liberally from Stephen Colbert) to the poster that takes the time to somehow link Power Girl’s breasts to Feminists (or Feminazis as he so classily proclaims them) claiming that Feminists hate Power Girl because they are jealous of her chest. First, I have never heard or read a Feminist paper concerning Power Girl, positively or negatively. Maybe this time of intellectual discussion is just rampant at this particular poster’s comic store. Second, what?! He offers this up, apropos of nothing and seemingly out of thin air. Oh, and of course he takes the time to bash Supergirl for being thin. People just make me sad sometimes.


Oh, DC is Such a Hoser

Sunday, a select group of comic retailers made their way home from the Great White North as DC’s RRP meeting wrapped up in Montreal. The weekend held a handful of presentations from DC’s various imprints and divisions, and while mostly focusing on information for retailers, many editorial announcements regarding upcoming projects were made.

While many of the announcements and talking points re-iterated news from this summer’s convention season, a few new tidbits and announcements were thrown in for spice.

Frolic with all manner of moose and goose at Newsarma

What do you mean that there will be fill-in art on Ex Machina? This better not mean Harris is walking away from the title. I can only handle so much disappointment in my life.

Almost no surprise about the cancelled titles. Gotham Central has been hanging by a thread forever and rumors of title pruning for Batman and Superman have been floating around since OYL was announced. Wonder Woman is a bit more of a surprise, but, again, not huge. This is a Crisis after all. And Flash, well, they kind of had to cancel Flash right? Otherwise DiDio would have to stop making dead Flash jokes at every Crisis Counseling session.

The real question is, What’s The Rucka supposed to do now?


A Parting of Graysons?

The other day I received an email at work. When I saw it, I smiled wide and even chuckled out loud. The email was from DGrayson@… and had the word “Nightwing” on the subject line. As someone who got into comics because of “The New Teen Titans,” it felt like the original Robin (Dick Grayson – now the character known as Nightwing) was sending me a message from his four-color world.

Yes, I am that kind of geek.

In actuality, the email was from Devin Grayson, the current writer of “Nightwing” from DC Comics. Grayson knows this character – as well as the entire Bat-universe – extremely well. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons she got into comics was due to a fascination with the Dick Grayson character from “Batman: The Animated Series.” Since that time, she has written several Batman-related titles, including “Catwoman,” “Batman: Gotham Knights,” and a number Bat-universe one-shots and miniseries. When she was given the “Nightwing” book three years ago, it was like a dream-come-true assignment due to her love for the character. As is the case with many wishes that come true though, it hasn’t quite been the “dream” she imagined.

The Devin farewell tour makes another stop at Comic Book Resources

I hate to be that guy, but I guess, in this case I have to be. This article mentions that Tarantula and Dick had started dating before she shot Blockbuster. They had not. I’m not sure if they ever did what could be described as “dating”. But they certainly were not at that time.

Okay, I’ve escorted the continuity cop part of personality out, so let’s get to the nitty gritty.

If anyone had any doubt that Grayson was not really aboard the S.S. DCU Proper, her response to Wonder Woman killing Max Lord should confirm it. She “hasn’t read it yet.” Now, I know comics are her job so she probably does not tear into them with the same delight that you or I do, but given how important “Sacrifice” has proven to the current events of the DCU, I’m thinking the choice not to read it was less of a “I’m too busy” and more of a conscious one. Not my place to make baseless speculation, but eh…what else do I have to do?

Odd/cool interpretation of “Knightfall” there by Grayson. I always thought it was about giving the fans what they want so the fans realize they really do not want it (i.e. a Batman who kills) but I kind of prefer her ideas about it.

I know people have not loved Grayson’s run on the title and I have found much to be disappointed with in recent times, but you have to feel for her. She has a full head of steam coming off #100 and is told to take the next three months off even though she is gearing up for a huge follow up arc. Then, the end of the arc is derailed by an editorial mandate that she says, “undermines the entire mission Dick’s been on for over a year now.” Even worse, she is writing the Nightwing title and she has other people using “her” character who ignore specific requests she makes of them (e.g. don’t have Dick and Kory sleep together in Outsiders yet, please). Can you imagine being a writer under those conditions? That’s just horrifying.


The JSA As You Have Never Seen Them Before (But As Your Grandparents Always Did)

When a veteran comic book writer with hundreds of stories to his credit returns after a hiatus of more than a decade, it’s newsworthy.

When that same writer is also the man responsible for creating the Huntress and for developing Power Girl into a major character in the DCU, his return merits even more attention. But when that writer is also DC Comics’ President and Publisher, returning to a group of heroes with whom he was closely associated more than two decades ago, then it’s big news indeed!

Breath deeply the sweet smell of nostalgia at Newsarama

I should start off by noting that I am not implying that Levitz wrote the comics your grandparents read. He wrote JSA 27 years ago, so it would be the comics your parents read. What my point really was is that Golden Age characters, from the look of the preview pages, will be coming back. Thus, a JSA with Batman and Superman. Thus, the JSA of your grandparents, sort of. All clear?

When I first heard this news, I figured Levitz would be writing and issue or two, maybe three at the most. Well, I was wrong. He has a full half year on the title. Five of those issues are going to be, wait for it, wait for it…a Gentleman Ghost story! That’s right, the Ghost in Victorian garb, back and out for vengeance.

So, what was excitement for me (it is always cool to have the masters return for a bit) is now a bit of disappointment. Six months of fill-in work? Sure, it is written by Levitz and drawn by two excellent pencillers (Morales and Perez) but still. I remain optimistic about the story’s quality, but I am sad to see that Johns will not have a crack at this title again until five months after the “flip” to one year later. And, if you believe some of the rumors, Johns might not even be back then.

Still, props for pulling out Gentleman Ghost. Even if the story is a disaster, I give much respect to the revival of forgotten villains.


Press Release Round Up

DC Comics has announced Shane Davis, Jock, Karen Palinko, and Howard Porter as exclusive. DC also announced All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder # 2 is sold out, released shipping information on upcoming projects, and other some other news.

Grab your lasso and mount your steed at The Pulse

Lot of news here, let’s see what is interesting.

Good for Shane Davis. If I am honest, I do not really know him from anything beyond his fill-in on Batman and that, truth be told, did not bowl me over. Was I wrong to be unimpressed? I guess we will all know soon enough. Usually, I can get where DC is coming from on who they choose for their exclusives but this one is a little puzzling to me just because I was not aware of a whole lot of Shane Davis work before this. Perhaps DC is just trying to get in on the ground floor of a future superstar.

Good for DC snapping up Howard Porter again. Now, if only they’d put him on a book I have any interest in reading, everything would be grand.


Now Leaving Loserville, but Remaining in the DCU

Writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock stopped by THE PULSE to talk about the beginning and ending of The Losers and tease about what might be next for the DC-exclusive creators.

Peek Diggle and Jock’s map at The Pulse

Huh…that was a whole lot of text amounting to nothing. Glad to see the guys were happy about their Losers experience, but beyond that…just not much doing.

I am sad to hear that Jock’s run on Batman cover is almost over because he’s been doing a fabulous job, but, hopefully, that means he’ll have time for a monthly book when Losers ends. His work is muy pretty.

A bit nervous on the Diggle end of things. From his brief comments, it does not seem like DC is finding much for him that he is interested in doing. Which is confusing because he just signed exclusive with them again and why do that unless you are getting work you want? Maybe the project who’s name he dare not speak is a long term thing. If not, it sounds like he has his eyes on other work outside of comics.


NUMBER$

The lead-up to the INFINITE CRISIS limited series was the dominant theme in DC Comics’ September output. New DC Universe launches in September included the limited series SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: FIRST THUNDER, GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RECHARGE, SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE and VIGILANTE. DC’s WildStorm label saw the debut of the limited series THE AUTHORITY: THE MAGNIFICENT KEVIN, WILDCATS: NEMESIS, WRAITHBORN and ABC: A TO Z. The Vertigo imprint’s main event in September was the re-release of all nine PREACHER collections.

Money makes the world go ’round at The Pulse


BEWARE THE FUTURE’S AWESOME MIGHT

Feel free to follow along with my thoughts with the full solicitation scorecard presented by Comic Book Resources

Batman: Year One Hundred #1Yes, there is too much Batman product in the world. However, when it is this good, can we really be that upset? This was probably one of my favorite San Diego revelations and I happy to see it is coming out so soon.

Batman #650Remember earlier when I said that Jock does excellent Batman covers? Well, here’s the proof.

Storywise, I’d be a lot more excited about this setup if we had not already seen Jason put the snot out of Joker with a crowbar like six month ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still digging this book, but you cannot do things twice within the same arc (essentially) and expect us to be shocked and excited equally both times.

Batman: War Crimes TP– How dare DC waste such an awesome James Jean cover on this awful story. FOR SHAME!

Batman: Gotham Knights #74Huh…that Joker gets around, doesn’t he?

Gotham Central #40First Bullock goes and now Monoya, (maybe)? I’m gonna miss those two.

Nightwing #117I thought Hester and Parks were out as of #115? Isn’t 117 two after 115? I’m asking, because math was never my strong suit.

Supergirl #6– So this version of Supergirl has been around a year and a half or so and made about 15 appearances, right? In that she has picked a fight with her doppelganger (Power Girl) and beaten up on her cousin twice (counting this issue). Is it wrong of me to suggest that she might want to look into some anger management techniques?

Green Lantern #9Tattooed Man with Van Sciver art? Crazy awesome.

JSA Confidential #8 and 9Sure, Wildcat can punch pretty hard. But hard enough to hurt Jay Garrick? Come on. He’s not Batman.

Justice #4It is a nice looking cover, until you look at Superman’s face. Doesn’t he look more like a kid whining about someone taking his toy than a guy in pain?

Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #3Awesome.

Planetary #25See the entry above. Repeat.


COMING ATTRACTIONS

ALL STAR SUPERMAN #1

Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely, the same team that brought you WE3, on Superman? Given, essentially, free reign to do what they want? Quitely given enough time on his art to avoid the rushed quality of his New X-Men work? A Superman title that I will actually pay and might even enjoy? You bet!

MANHUNTER #16

Kate and Chase talk about Kate’s new “side project”. Dylan might be putting together the pieces about that tabloid guy who has been following Kate around. Another issue of Manhunter. Any of these reasons are perfectly acceptable ones for getting excited for issue #16.


OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I

BREACH #11

In some ways, it is too bad we did not get to see the ultra-depressing vision of the future that opened this book. On the other hand, we are given a bittersweet ending that suggests that maybe, just maybe, we have some power to make our own futures. Good last issue of the series, but, given the teaser box, I think Breach might be shuffling off the mortal coil soon. Of course, I think everyone is going to shuffling off the mortal coil soon, DC has got me so wrapped up in guessing causalities. Thus, take any death predictions on my part with a grain of salt.

INFINITE CRISIS #2

Prepare for infodump! But it is a well done and necessary one if DC is going to have this series appeal to anyone not well versed in 20 years of continuity. I like that Kal-L (read: Old Supes) is something of an ambiguous figure. He’s all for heroics and brightness and light, but, at the same time, he is talking pretty freely about eliminating the DCU that most of us have gotten to know and love so well over the past two decades. It is good to see that he is not a straight ahead “good” or “bad” guy yet. I delight in these shades of grey.

One criticism I do have though: why is it that Kal-L does a better job of revealing Power Girl’s origins with about 4 pages than the 4 issue arc in JSA: Confidential? That’s points to Infinite Crisis but points for DC making fans shell out about 12 bucks for no answers when they could have just plunked down 3 for all of them.

NIGHTWING #114

The issue was fine, it looked great. Renegade is a lousy name (although, it is an awesome show starring Lorenzo Lamas). This storyline just holds no wait for me anymore. It is just passing time.

TEEN TITANS #29

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out a reason why Jason Todd would come to the Titans Tower and put his work in Gotham on old just to bound on Tim Drake a bit. Comic logic-wise, it makes sense, but still…why?

Does not matter though, really, because I still very much enjoyed the issue. Nice to see that Jason won, but Tim went down with dignity. Good way to maintain Jason as a credible threat to Batman without disrespecting Tim’s credibility as Robin. The tidbits with the rest of the Titans were also quite nice. It is good to have Johns back.


We are running long and, no doubt, testing your patience so, for now, I bid all of you adieu. See you next time.

Un Gajje’s Car is Not Latino Heat