DC News & Views: Are World Wars Any Place for Kid Amazos?

Well it’s another week and I’ve again done two News & Views. This pace will eventually kill me so don’t get used to it, but for now, I figure why not ride the wave, right?

Just so you DC folk don’t feel like the older sibling being ignored for the brand new baby though, I’ve got some exclusive art to bribe you with. This comes courtesy of the incomparable Ben Morse who you all might know as a Nexus alum and a great friend of mine. How great? Well, take our last communication as an example. In it, Ben writes, “Screw you, Stevens, I know you were behind this.” So, you know, pretty great.

In any case, this is a Van Sciver piece created exclusively for Ben’s equally incomparable girlfriend Megan. It is, how do you say, ah yes, quite nice looking. Enjoy!

And now, THE NEWS!

What If They Threw a World War and Tim Didn’t Show Up?

On April 18th, it’s time for war.

As the weekly series 52 hits Week 50, the DCU will explode into a war so big that it will be barely contained within the comic’s pages. Black Adam, who in his rage at the loss of his wife has already destroyed an entire country, will be turning his powers against the world in a battle that DC is calling World War III.

While the story of the war will occur within the pages of 52, the publisher is also releasing four one-shots on the same day. As DC’s Dan Didio said, when the issues were first announced, the purpose of the World War III special issues is two-fold: The first to show how other heroes around the world unite against a single threat, and the second to address the changes seen in One Year Later. Along with telling the larger story of the war, the four regular-sized issues will answer questions that have been nagging at readers since the beginning of One Year Later last March — from how Firestorm merged with Firehawk to why Jason Todd donned the Nightwing costume.

Now that 52 has passed the Week 47 mark, and the lines are pretty clearly drawn between the parties, we sat down with World War III writers Keith Champagne and John Ostrander to find out more about what readers can expect from the four special issues.

See if they fret abou my absenteeism at Newsarama. (Here’s a hint: they don’t.)

I know it seem counterintuitive to buy 52 issues of a weekly book only to balk at a 4 issue addendum to the story, but that’s what I’m doing here. I can’t even explain why exactly. It is not as though I haven’t enjoyed “52” for the most part or that 4 more issues is really that significant an expense (about 12 dollars American). I think it may be an extension of me waffling on Countdown. I’m sort of weekly series-ed out and asking me to pick up more issues feels like such an effort.

It is probably more than a little bit ridiculous and perhaps when I get to the comic book store the day these books are out I’ll find them irresistible and snap out of this funk. At this point though, I’d say there’s an 85% chance of me just not bothering with these “52” WWIII supplements.

Living in Your Dad’s Shadow is Hard to Do

Having a rebellious kid is kind of annoying when you’re trying to take over the world.

Make him the child of an android programmed to defeat the JLA, and his rebellious nature takes on a whole new level of bothersome.

In April’s JLA: Classified #37, writer Peter Milligan will be introducing Kid Amazo, the “son” of the powerful JLA villain Amazo, in a five-issue storyline featuring art by Carlos D’Anda. Equipped with the ability to mimic the powers of JLA members, Amazo was created by Professor Ivo to defeat the DCU’s premier superteam, although he’s encountered the heroes on multiple occasions and has never triumphed.

The Kid copes with whether or not he is his father’s son on Newsarama’s counseling couch.

Oooooooooooooo, so excited for this.

Beyond my excitement though, a good point gets brought up in the talkbacks. Or rather, two good points.

Point 1: Where the heck has this been for 2 plus years? Yes, the book did lose its original artist after he only did about 6 pages, but then? No way is D’Anda that slow. He, typically, has little issue with hitting a monthly book (at least, in the case of Outsiders) so what happened?

Point 2: Why JLA: Classified? Also, when did JLA: Classified become the dumping ground for stories that didn’t hit the book in time during the “Everyone has a JLA story in them” period (if you want evidence that, no, not everyone does have such a story, JLA: C is a pretty strong body of evidence), and/or miniseries/OGNs that DC decided to back off of? I don’t love every issue of JSA: Classified (and thus I don’t buy them all) but it hasn’t felt like we’re getting leftovers since the opening arc. JLA: C, on the other hand, opened with an original store by Grant Morrison and has, with rare exceptions, slipped steadily downward since then. I know a year or so ago I was complaining that JSA: C seemed unnecessary and a bit useless, but boy is the shoe on the other foot now.

Kid Amazo, of course, is the exception here. As mentioned, I can’t wait to get this into my hot little hands. The “evolution” of JLA: C remains troubling, however.

Actually, the talkback on this article as a whole is pretty interesting as people start to question the journalistic integrity of Newsarama. And here, I’ve been doing that for months! Ahh, I kid.

In all seriousness though, I’m not sure I see how this article is much different than most Newsarama pieces. Why this one sparked the outrage, I’m not really clear on. Perhaps it is simply a case of Newsarama being the easiest target (because they’re the biggest) and thus this guy is sort of venting his total frustration about online comic journalism in this forum. That I could get.

Anyway, for fun, here’s a comparison between the original art for the project (at left) and the final art (at right).


This Team-Ups Different…This Time, At First, the Two Teams Fight!

Beginning next month, two of DC’s…rougher and readier teams meet in a three-month crossover entitled “Checkout.”

Yeah – that would make it Checkmate and The Outsiders. Writing the crossover are the two regular writers from the respective series, Greg Rucka and Judd Winick, with Joe Bennett (Checkmate) and Matthew Clark (Outsiders) on art, and as for the story itself…well, it makes good on a promise both from Rucka and from Checkmate.

Ahh, I love comic clichés. And so does Newsarama

I’m not thrilled about having to dip back into the Outsiders pool so soon after getting through “Pay as You Go” (which I did not enjoy), but I have to admit that both writers paint a pretty interesting picture of what this is going to be.

The Sasha/Nightwing interaction in particular is a highlight for a fella like me.

Oh dear God! It just occurred to me how awful the title of this crossover is! Checkout? CHECKOUT?! Boooooooooooo!

A Man…A Bow…An Island

Think you already know Green Arrow’s origin? Think again. Writer Andy Diggle is re-teaming with artist Jock to create the six-issue “Green Arrow: Year One,” which the writer hopes will do for the character of Oliver Queen what “Batman: Year One” did for Bruce Wayne. Diggle took a moment to talk with CBR News about his take on Green Arrow’s origin and about why he thinks modern-day updates of super hero origins are absolutely essential to keeping said characters relevant in the 21st century.

This summer, that’s all it will take to. Break. All. The Rules. Coming soon to a Comic Book Resources near you. (Must be read in proper movie man voiceover.)

So, the thing is this. Losers…I…I didn’t really like it. I have much respect for Diggle and Jock, but the book just never interested me. I found myself scanning it rather than reading it very often when I borrowed the trades from Tim Sheridan. However, it could just be an Azzarello type situation where I don’t enjoy his signature book (100 Bullets in his case, Losers in Diggle’s) but I love a lot of the other stuff (Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, The Tales of the Unexpected backup). I’m hoping that’s how it goes with Green Arrow: Year One.

On the other hand, maybe I should sit it out and not support DC’s burst of “let’s give everyone a Year One book! WHEE!!!!!!!”

Milligan Goes Everyman

In 1983, Roy Thomas first introduced readers to the next generation of DC Comics heroes in a title called “Infinity Inc.,” comprised of the children and heirs of the Justice Society. Last seen in the pages of “52” under the tutelage of the one and only Lex Luthor, Infinity Inc. will be returning in an ongoing series by writer Peter Milligan and artist Max Fiumara. Milligan, who has worked on such mainstream team books as “X-Statix” and “X-Men,” sat down with CBR News to talk about his return to DC and about what fans can expect from the latest incarnation of Infinity Inc.

Infinity, Inc. is holding its grand reopening at Comic Book Resources

A week with two articles about upcoming Milligan projects? It must be Christmas!

It is a little far out for me to be making calls about this book since I have no art and no real indication of what the book will be like, but it’s Milligan so I am, at the least, cautiously optimistic on the matter.

TIM’S TIRADES

It should be noted that the following Tirade started in one direction and then sharply veered in another as I realized something, so be prepared for metacommentary as we go (in this color font). The original title was “The Danger of I-ism” but this piece is now called…

When Tim Takes it Personally

As you’ve probably heard, there are a large number (or several, at least) of fans who would like to see Spoiler honored with a case in the Batcave for her sacrifice during the atrocious War Games. I’ve been campaigning for a case to honor me in the cave given my sacrifice in reading that story, but I’ve been told that it really isn’t the same thing. The hell I say! But, no one listens.

In any case, as much as people want it, DC seems to not have much interest in honoring Spoiler in that way. She got something in the Robin cave in Titans, but that’s as close as they’ve come.

Why?

Well, if you believe Didio, the tune is this: There are no plans to put a memorial for Stephanie Brown in the Batcave, Didio said, noting that she became Robin out of her own resort, was never accepted into the full role and Bat-family, and died as Spoiler, not as Robin. AND “She was never really a Robin,”. Now I could argue about those two all day (mostly because they’re wrong), but what I really wanted to focus on was a quote from the most recent convention.

A female fan from Australia asked about Spoiler, and if she’d get a Batcave memorial like Jason Todd. DiDio said it was a question he got a lot, and answered that he never really thought of Spoiler as a Robin, and that she won’t get a costume in the Batcave.

Now this is the point where I realized that I couldn’t write the piece about what I was planning to. See, my original intent was to point out that there is a certain wrongness involved when an editor or writer says something like, “Well, I never really though that…” or “I preferred the version that…” To a certain extent, I am right, there is a wrongness to it. However, I realized that writers, editors, etc do this all the time. Heck, this is hardly the first time Didio’s done it (see also: Detective Chimp, Max Lord’s lack of cyborgism, his aborted attempt to get Nightwing dead, etc). The real difference here was me. I was taking it personally because I liked Spoiler and hated how she went out. This was weird though because I almost never take things in comics personally. And thus, the column banked hard and the rest is the direction I took it.

Didio’s comments bothered me. Bothered the heck out of me, in fact. I mean, what the hell right did have to say that Steph was never a Robin. If he read the damn book he’d see that she was and Batman recruited her! What’s this jerk’s problem?

Welcome, Tim, to fandom.

See, for me, I’ve always sort of thumbed my nose at what I’d be tempted to label the “obsessives.” I mean, really, who cares how Birthright does or doesn’t jive with Man of Steel? And does DC “disrespecting” your blessed JLI hurt anything? Surely you know that the “ultraviolence” of the Justice Society a.) isn’t really all that violent and b.) wouldn’t have made you blink when you were the age of all those children you are supposedly protesting on behalf? I sort of fancied myself as being rational about the whole thing.

Heck, even stuff that does bother me I don’t rake myself over the coals for. Love him though I do, I cannot begin to understand why Starman Matt would continue to subject himself to a Green Arrow book that he clearly causes him so much distress. When DC made Bart the Flash, I disagreed with the choice and I didn’t like the first issue, so I dropped the book. I’ll certainly offer an opinion on the matter if asked, but, if not, I don’t much care about it.

This Spoiler thing was different. It really, really bothered me. I’m not sure why. Well, I guess I do. Her death was dumb, it took down another character (Dr. Leslie Thompkins) for seemingly no reason at all, what led to her death was like six issues of torture, and the whole, “No, no, no! No memorial!” seems to be just contrary for the sake of being contrary. If I’m honest though, I’ve seen stupid deaths before, I’ve seen characters ruined (temporarily, at least) in bad storylines, and I’ve seen plenty of comic creators be obstinately contrary. So how is this different?

Honestly, I’m not sure. Maybe its because Spoiler has become the symbol of the unappreciated female in the DCU and it drives me insane that Didio (and probably the whole of DC) doesn’t see that and can’t see how much it would mean to a lot of people to honor her. Perhaps it is just because I own Spoiler’s first appearances and always liked the character.

What I do know is that I don’t like the way taking it personally makes me feel or makes me act. What I want to know is how do so many of my fellow comic book brethren do it. Don’t you just get exhausted by it?

COMING ATTRACTIONS

DETECTIVE COMICS #831

Dini created Harley Quinn. Dini loves Harley Quinn. Dini is writing Harley Quinn in this issue.

I don’t have to spell it out much more for you, do I?

Oh, on an unrelated note, did you see the article in Wizard on Dini’s new project (Ms. Mirage, I think). The guy is all about Zatanna is whole life and he ends up marrying a female magician? I can’t decide if that’s awesome for all parties or not.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7

I haven’t been too quiet about my disappointment in this book’s opening arc, but hope springs eternal.

Why?

Well, first, the awkward recruitment drive/picture review/eh, let’s just take the team we have period is over (although this book does open on a scene that makes the whole thing even more convoluted). So thank goodness for that.

Second, this is the start of the Justice League/Justice Society crossover and that’s exciting. I like both team (theoretically, at least) and I like the talents on both books (Benes is growing on me because I think he’s improving). There’s no reason not to get excited.

Except for the fact that, typically, with excitement comes crushing disappointment. And I mean CRUSHING! But, I think I’ll buck that trend here.

AMERICAN VIRGIN #13

A book that I initially liked, then didn’t, then really didn’t, has come into its own. Since ditching returning to the US (the story, not the book…the book has always been available in the US) it really has been delivering on every front and that early glimmer of goodness has proven not to be false.

And that’s the way it was. E-mail (parallax2@juno.com) , chat (AIM: parallaxX2), message board (see link below)!

Un Gajje is In No Way, Shape, or Form Homaging Cronkite

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