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What I Read Recently

Blackest Night #0 – Nice lead off chapter. It’s actually a pretty solid teaser, what with the talk of death and the profiles of the Corps. And I love Johns’ pledge that everything will ship on time.

The Flash: Rebirth #1 – Eh, the art was pretty. The story was interesting. But I don’t that Barry made an appearance.

Green Lantern #39 – I dig Agent Orange. I love the art. This book is truly enjoyable again.

Battle for the Cowl #2 – Really? That’s Jason? I’m so disappointed. I’m so, so disappointed. I really wish this had been written better.

Ex Machina #41 – Good business. This book seems like it’s back on track, for the first time in quite some time. I really hope that the storyline keeps this momentum up.

Scalped #28 – Nice to have Guera back. Nice to know who killed Gina and what actually went down with those FBI agents. Still, I wish that Dash’s cliffhanger had been returned to.

Detective Comics #853 – This was a really good story. I really enjoyed it. It a finale as well as a beginning. Everyone was on top of their form.

G.I. Joe: Cobra #2 – I’m loving this book. Chuckles is such an awesome character and the book is so dynamic. I’m really glad that I picked this up.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #3 – Dude, you’ve got to love Dox. He’s so awesome. And Bedard deserves props for the swerve. Nice to see Strata again. Seriously, this book is nothing but goodness. You need to buy it!

Green Lantern Corps #35 – Tomasi and Gleason are unstoppable. The stuff with Arkillo and his batch of Sinestro Corps members was great. That whole dynamic was fun to witness. And I like Tomasi has done with Sodam Yat, he’s quite the interesting character.

100 Bullets #100 – Wow. It’s the end of an era. I almost just want to retire from reading comics, because I don’t know if anything will ever come close to how perfect this book was. This finale had everything it was conclusive, yet there was enough left up to the reader. The entire creative team deserves to take bow for this masterpiece. Comics shouldn’t be allowed to be this great.

Jag’s not very fond of Barry.

Barry Allen’s return really bugs me. Granted, I haven’t read much about the Flash with the exception of Final Crisis and JLA but I just don’t see the point of bringing him back. Wally West was probably the most successful replacement hero in comic book history as he made the role his own and I don’t see how bringing Barry back really revitalizes the character at all. It just seems like a worthless move, especially since Barry’ sacrifice was so powerful in the 80s Crisis. What do you think?

I wish that I could say that I wasn’t biased, but I’m totally biased. I’ve been following Wally’s adventures since he decided to pick up the mantle of The Flash. He’s the character that I’ve been following continuously the longest. So yeah, I’m not that keen on the notion of Barry’s return.

And since I’ve read The Flash: Rebirth #1 I’m even less than excited about this return.

I mean I can remember reading The Flash: Iron Heights and I didn’t really care for how Geoff Johns wrote Barry then. He seemed out of character even in that brief courtroom scene. That was clearly a sign of times to come.

Apparently Johns isn’t that fond of the Silver Age characterization of Barry Allen. How else can you explain the transformation from a lab geek to a guy who obsesses about “guilty” and “not guilty.” That’s not Barry Allen, that was never Barry Allen.

Barry’s return clearly undermines Wally’s growth as a character. When I read the issue I swore it looked like both Wally and Bart were resentful of Barry’s return.

I will say that I don’t really have that much of a beef about Barry’s return tarnishing CoIE. I mean at this point you’ve got thousands of Kryptonians around including Kara Zor-El, the Multiverse has returned and Pariah, Lady Quark, Harbinger and Alexander Luthor are all dead. CoIE had been dug up and desecrated long before this. You want to see the legacy of CoIE; Dr. Light is still around and Clayface II, Mirror Master I and Bug-Eyed Bandit are still dead.

Oh and the Legion of Super-Heroes is still mucked up beyond repair.

Glen wants some pure speculation.

Who do you think is the Mystery Villain in Flash: Rebirth?

I’ve honestly got no idea. We can rule out Grodd, Abra Kadabra, Dr. Alchemy and the Rogues since they appear in the book. Going on that theory I’ve got a few suggestions.

Zoom – At first I was going to say “Reverse Flash” but I’ve decided that I’m going with Zoom. Zoom recently lost his powers, so he’d want to get them back, by recreating Barry’s accident. Plus he’d be familiar enough with a police station and he’d know who Barry Allen was.

Cobalt Blue – This guy’s got a beef with Barry, a blood feud. He might also want to gain some speed powers. Plus, Johns might want to redeem a sort of tarnished character.

CicadaI’m pretty sure that Cicada was one of the first villains that Johns introduced into the Flash mythos. You’ve got the whole “lightning” symbolism and the stabby motions, it really seems to fit Cicada’s M.O. to a “T.”

The Griffin – Yup, the character from Bart’s tenure as The Flash. Griffin was all about the Speed Force so maybe he brought Barry back for a closer connection to the Speed Force. Griffin died, supposedly. But making Griffin the villain could also be an attempt to salvage that dreadful era of the Flash.

Rival – Rival’s in Max Mercury’s body. Max knows enough about the Speed Force to maybe draw Barry back. And Rival did recreate Jay Garrick’s chemical accident, so recreating Barry’s wouldn’t be a stretch.

But I really don’t know who the mystery villain is. Those are just my best guesses. I’m hoping that the reveal isn’t one of them so that I’m slayed by it.

Doc Booty is interested in the thoughts someone who watched the Watchmen.

What did you think of Watchmen? I thought it was pretty goshdamn amazing. I have also heard a lot of bitching from “fanboys” about the changes, the run time, the fact it was made etc. I have also found that a lot of these same “fans” fold like origami when called on whether or not they have read the book, they’re answer is usually no. Watchmen is a title that has become so iconic that some people name drop it to sound like they are experts on the subject. I’m rambling…

Honestly I think that everyone is right about The Watchmen.

The fanboys (like me) who loved it because it was like seeing the great story come to life on a huge screen. I was totally fanboy when I went to see the flick

But I also agree with the critics who say that it was slavishly faithful to the book, so much so that it couldn’t breathe. That’s completely true, it also happens to be just what I was looking for in the movie.

And I agree with the fanboys who hated the changes. I wish Manhattan would have told when he was going to drop the photo into the Mars sand. I didn’t like that it wasn’t Janey’s watch he went fetch. I didn’t like what Rorschach did with the meat cleaver, it wasn’t ambiguous enough.

I agree with the critics who felt that the Comedian’s dialogue was too “on the head”, it was. I agree with the critics who thought the ending was telegraphed; it was. Every time Veidt was on the screen he was clearly plotting something.

I agree with the people who loved the movie and I agree with those who felt it should have been a pay cable miniseries.

It was a flawed film, but it was also the best case scenario of someone who was trying to remain faithful to the source material. It wasn’t a “masterpiece” it was a graphic masterpiece come to life on the big screen, warts and all.

I loved it, but I can be objective enough to see the validity of other points of view.

Nalydpsycho wants to dig up the past.

How exactly was Krypton destroyed. Such a famous origin story, and I don’t know that key detail.

Oh, it’s the usual story. Krypton was working late one night the police lab, while a thunderstorm raged on. An errant bolt of lightning crashed though the window and hit a shelf full of chemicals, dousing Krypton in the electrified cocktail. The electrified chemicals seeped down to Krypton’s core causing it to become unstable and it exploded shortly thereafter.

Wait, that’s not right. Maybe I’ll get it right next edition.

Toast wants some reading for grown folks.

I finished reading The Killing Joke and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, and I was hoping that maybe I could get some info about a Super Villain series out there? I’d love to read something where I can root for the bad guy.

First off, if you enjoyed Lex Luthor: Man of Steel you should definitely read two other stories. The first of last years Joker hardcover by the same team. But the second book you should check out is The Unauthorized Biography of Lex Luthor. It’s a prestige one-shot that details Lex’s early years. You should be able to find it for relatively cheap because it’s old and because it’s about to be retconned out of existence with Superman: Secret Origin.

You might also want to try to find Batman: Son of the Demon Batman: Bride of the Demon and Batman: Birth of the Demon. They’re all graphic novels that deal with Ra’s al Ghul. They also happen to be some of my favorites.

Villains United was a good mini from a few years back. It details how the current Secret Six first joined forces. It spawned a sequel that I didn’t really care for, so I’m not going to recommend it, but the current Secret Six monthly is a fun read and full of villains.

The recent Joker’s Asylum event produced the brilliant Penguin one-shot. You should track that one down ASAP. And since we’re in Gotham you might as well pick up Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, which is a nice little peek behind those hallowed walls.

And finally you can’t go wrong with Suicide Squad or Eclipso. Actually you can. Only get the version of the Squad that began in the 1980’s or the recent mini. Avoid the Giffen version of the team.

But yeah, that’s pretty much all of the villain-centric stuff that I can think off.

Neil has a question about a new Teen Titan, positively shocking.

how about a rundown on Static? I really only know about Virgil from the cartoon and a few issues I was recently able to dig out of my LCS’ quarter bin.

Specifically, what are his powers? I know he has electricity-based powers, but, at least in the cartoon, those powers seemed to be able to do anything from power electric devices to act as a magnetic force. Virgil also claims to be a master of electricity in the recent Teen Titans annual.

I don’t want to get too deep into physics, because I’m not that well versed in them, but suffice it to say that magnetism and electricity are linked. Virgil’s powers are electromagnetic in nature.

Virgil produces his own electromagnetic field as well as storing electromagnetic energy. We can see the electricity side of his powers when he sends bolts down on someone, but the magnetic aspect is what allows him to manipulate the manhole or trashcan lid as something he can hover on.

Furthermore he’s attuned to sources of electricity or magnetism in his vicinity, which he can manipulate to suit his means. He can “hear” transmissions or commandeer speakers in his area to project his voice.

So basically Static can use any source of electricity or magnetism any way he sees fit, in addition to generating his own electromagnetic energy. And because he’s so intelligent he’s very adept at using his abilities. He’s a force to be dealt with.

Doc Booty wasn’t that pleased with Final Crisis’ finale;

Did you find the ending to Final Crisis a bit…goofy? What I mean is, the Miracle Machine was kind of a cop out story wise. I am a big Morrison fan and this may very well be a story that will grow on me as time passes but I just felt like he kinda phoned that one in.

I might consider the Miracle Machine a cop out too, if Morrison had invented it. But he didn’t. It’s a Silver Age invention and it’s a pretty integral part of the Legion of Super-Heroes mythos.

To someone unfamiliar with the Miracle Machine it probably seemed like Deus Ex Machina, but for me I was like “oh wow, Grant is really pulling out all of the stops.”

For me the Miracle Machine was a nod to when a simpler time in the DCU. Like Sonny Sumo, Element X, Lump and the Atomic Knights, the Miracle Machine was pulled from DC’s past. Again, I’m looking though the eyes of someone who’s a big fan of the DCU.

I really enjoyed Final Crisis. I liked how dense it was in terms of characters and nods to the past. I thought it accomplished the goal of making the DCU exciting again. Under the Final Crisis banner Superman had some of the coolest moments this side of, well, All-Star Superman.

I’m excited about the Aftermath books, there’s good stuff on the horizon. So for me Final Crisis reinvigorated me a bit.

Glen is asking and wants me to tell;

I heard in the comic shop that Cavalier and Captain Stingaree are a gay couple? Is this true? When did this happen?

Yup, it’s true. Brad Meltzer introduced the notion of the gay coupling in Justice League of America #2. In the issue it comes out because Black Lightning is getting his blackmail on.

Wow, remember when Black Lightning had some degree of depth? Man, that seems like so long ago.

It wasn’t as though Cavalier and Captain Stingaree starred in mini devoted to full on man on man action, it was just a concept that wasn’t truly explored. And honestly, in some part of the country that part of their personal lives made them much more heinous villains, which is just sad.

Sadly that draws this edition to a close. But next time we’ll embrace Dakota, Aquaman and possibly DC’s new co-features.

Here’s my question to you;what’s your favorite book at this very moment?

“See look, that’s yours, stacked on top with your brother’s. See how they resemble on another’s”

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