Sometimes, an assignment just ‘gets me’. And this week’s single issue comic review has me kicking back in my mind to those days at Cape Cod in the dead of summer with nothing but a walk to the beach or into the center of town for some good spinner rack perusal.
The trinity of DC’s most exalted heroes are in a great place right now with creative teams. Superman has Bendis, Tom King and Peter Tomasi are exploring the titular Batman titles and now Wonder Woman, more than a full story arc in, is hitting a nice stride as G. Willow Wilson puts her stamp on Diana’s legend.
In a world without Mr. J, Harley Quinn has teamed up with Batman and Nightwing in the latest animated DC movie. Confirmed by writer and producer Bruce Timm as part of the DC Animated Universe aka Timmverse,Batman and Harley Quinn is the first PG-13 installment in the universe.
Cussin’, fartin’, raunchy boudoir humor and a bizarre Batusi musical segment complete with a 70s rarity “Don’t Pull Your Love” followed by Harley Quinn blasting out Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone” puts a little spike in the punch of your typical Batman: The Animated Series adventure. Batman & Harley face off against Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue a.k.a. The Floronic Man. Batman Kevin Conroy and Nightwing Loren Lester reprise their roles from the original series with Melissa Rauch voicing Harley. Even Mr. Timm gets in an off-camera cameo as Booster Gold!
Those familiar with recent New 52 lore will recognize the force of The Green as the supernatural swamp energy running the world. Poison Ivy and Plant Master are going all in to combat the destruction of the Earth and The Green by putting a plan in to place that will turn all living creatures into plants. An Inconvenient Truthindeed! In order to sway Pam from making this green-thumbed gaffe, Nightwing and Batman track down Harley who has gone off the grid for a bit. Not only that, but also in line with current DC continuity, she has gone straight. I mean, Joker’s dead, right?
With CW’s Arrow going into it’s fifth season and 100 episodes (how did that happen?) spawning a superhero revolution on TV with the Arrowverse, a new spike has been given to the Emerald Archer’s popularity.
DC’s Comics recent Rebirth initiative made comic stores great again and writer Benjamin Percy was able to give Ollie back his goatee and reunites castaway with Black Canary along with selling a ton of Green Arrow Rebirth #1s.
We talked pre-Rebirth and post-Rebirth with Ben and Rebirth #1 cover artist and co-writer Juan Ferreyra at the DC Comics booth at New York Comic Con last week as Mr. Queen and Black Canary face the Island Of Scars.
FOG!: Hey guys, it’s an honor to talk with you, I’m a big Green Arrow fan, and I’ve been reading what you’ve been doing since before Rebirth. My first question is, did you feel like Rebirth was a good opportunity to revisit some things, or did you feel like you weren’t done telling part of your (New 52) story?
Ben Percy: When I jumped into the New 52, and first pitched Green Arrow, I wanted to write Black Canary into it, I was told, “You can’t do that”. I said, “He’s gotta have a goatee,” and I couldn’t do that.
I was also trying to do the novelist thing, which is playing the long game, which you should never do in comics! Because, I could have been kicked out after a few issues. But early on, I was keeping Ollie away from his costume, away from his bow and arrow in an effort to really get to know him as a person. It felt kid of schizophrenic prior to that in the New 52.
I really wanted to build up the character, and I had in my mind a Rebirth revitalization of the character, anyway. I was going to move towards that moment when he truly became Green Arrow. It just got sped up a bit for me.
I did have another storyline involving The Outsiders that I was working towards. There were a lot of hints in there, about that, but its fine. We got rid of that, we just jumped right into the new era.
For answers to the many questions Rebirth leaves the fans with, we headed to “Meet The Publishers” panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday afternoon.
The packed room full of Damian Waynes, Reys and our favorite, an older gentleman dressed as Wonder Woman, munching on some Kettle Korn.
DC Entertainment’s co-publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee opened with the usual jokes and self-congratulation for the Rebirth line. Among the tidbits mentioned during the presentation:
- Dan admitted that last year’s lukewarm NYCC panel reaction was partly the catalyst for the line wideRebirth change.
- Respect for legacy and character relationships were two of the other main reasons for the change.
- 14 million Rebirth books have shipped, and the numbers were strong for Wave 1.
Super-genius super-computer and compulsive Collector of Worlds aka Brainiac 1.1 has his sights set on our Earth but the Justice League is there to stop him! LEGO Justice League - Cosmic Clash is the fifth film in the LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes direct-to-video series.
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Hal Jordan Green Lantern protect the Earth from being shrunken to Kandor size but not without some help and a bit of timey-wimey adventures.
Digging into the lore of DC Comics Silver Age and recent history, this Lego movie is one for Superman and Batman fans of any age.
The movie opens at the Hall of Justice where everyone except Batman is playing a trust game of hide and seek.
Batman (Troy Baker) refuses to play because he’s sort of a wet blanket and refused to think of his Justice League co-workers as anything other than associates.
Younger teammates The Flash (James Arnold Taylor) and Cyborg (Khary Payton) take the opposite view and embrace friendship!
Led by Blue Boy Scout Superman (Nolan North) and the ultra confident Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin) and Green Lantern (Josh Keaton), the League takes to the sky when the Klaxon alarm warns of a threat to Earth!
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I’m a Bat-family loyalist, reading weekly Bat-titles, even when they fall off the rails a bit (Detective Comics) or even reach into my pockets weekly for some drawn out something or other (Batman Eternal).
I’m also a Batgirl fan and am giving the new ‘’Burnside’ creative team a shot.
One book I personally passed on the New 52 shelves was Nightwing.
Perhaps I didn’t like his new costume — but was it really that offensive to my sensibilities?
At any rate, I visited Kyle Higgin’s Nightwing Vol. 1 eventually, snaking a deal on the trade. Not bad…but then another break.
With a ‘Villain’s month’, Forever Evil and Zero Year, the New 52 has an inherent problem with it’s regularly programmed books this year.
How does one randomly pick up Nightwing Vol. 5: Setting Son without wanting to pack up and move far away from The New 52 like Grayson himself?
I attempted to do this, and like an acrobat there were highs and lows from this book.
Thankfully, more tricks were landed than fell into the net.
NIGHTWING VOL. 5: SETTING SON
Writers: Kyle Higgins, Tim Seeley, Tom King
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: 12/10/14
Nightwing Vol. 5: Setting Son collects the final issues of Nightwing #25-30 plus Nightwing Annual #1.
My main criticism as a volume overall are the aforementioned inconsistencies and obvious problems with injecting crossover events into a planned out story arc.
In my opinion, most of the Zero Year stories could have been contained to the main Batman book but this Nightwing story fits in to continuity well.
I’m reminded of Batman: Year Three in which the Robin story is told revealing secrets of the circus and The Flying Graysons.
In this flashback, the superstar teenager defies his parents and ditching his parents to catch a movie in Gotham solo. Our proto-Robin saves the day and there is even a costume origin — tidbits I devour when flashback stories are told. Will Conrad nails the art, Higgins tells a great story.
It should be stated that while this might appear to be collected edition — and it is, this is more a collection of single issues, much like nearly every volume of The New 52 Superman (see the wildly erratic Vol. 4 Psi-War for example). Other top selling titles maintain a great level of integrity —even if artists change for an issue or two — like Batman, The Flash and Batman/Superman.
Next up — Batgirl in Nightwing Annual #1. The on-again/off-again relationship tension is addressed as the two team up to take on a Scooby mystery of Hollywood proportions. The cute Robin/Batgirl selfie flashback is the backbone to the Dick/Babs vignette.
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OK, have you watched ARROW tonight? Holeeeeeee … As promised, here’s CAITY LOTZ with her take on everything that happened!
Yesterday, Lotz spoke to our Clay N. Ferno (I spoke to Stephen Amell last week) about her thoughts ahead of tonight’s “Heir to the Demon.” Now, here’s her take on the aftermath … and Sara’s big smooch with Ollie!
Uh, oh Olicity ‘shippers … Team Sara is in the lead!
Clay N. Ferno: This season, fans have been debating who Ollie should be with: Sara, Laurel or Felicity. Now we see Sara and Ollie in a passionate embrace. What effect will that have on all of these relationships going into the second half of the season. How will Felicity and Laurel take this?
Caity Lotz: There’s some fun stuff planned with Felicity’s character. I think it is a bit of a transition for Felicity to have Sara being in Ollie’s life and Ollie having “this girl.” It changes the dynamic between Oliver and Sara because they finally have someone that really understands what they’ve been through together. But there is still a lot of external things that make that difficult.
With Laurel, it is a little messed up — you can only imagine how difficult that would be to see that happen. And I understand how she would be not so happy about it.
At the same time, for Oliver and Sara, they have been denied so much happiness in their life and have given up so much for everyone else. They’ve never really been able to have love. I think for them to get this kind of chance, both characters really do deserve it. Even with all the drama it might bring.
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Marathoning shows, or binging, has become part of the parlance, and my most recent binge for television was the CW’s popular Arrow.
The story is written by Andy Diggle (Daredevil, The Losers) with art by Jock (Detective Comics) and serves as a great companion to the show—and great holiday gift for your Arrow fan.
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Courtesy of - Alexander Nagorski, DC Entertainment
This Christmas Eve, see the Dark Knight like you’ve never seen him before.
In FOREVER EVIL #4, Batman must deal with the guilt of Nightwing’s identity being revealed. And even if Dick Grayson returns from the Crime Syndicate alive, will his life be forever ruined now that his deepest secret is out?
Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman come face-to-face with Lex Luthor and his growing army in the halls of Wayne Enterprises. But what are these two teams doing there? And how does Bruce Wayne have a yellow ring?! Are Batman and Luthor fighting for the same thing or against one another?
“If the Crime Syndicate attacks — how would the villains react if they actually won? If the villains won, and they won in this way, would everyone go along with it? I don’t think they would, because everyone wants something different,” writer Geoff Johns recently said. “At first glance, Lex wants to be as beloved and respected as Superman, though there is a far greater secret in his life that pushes him to strive for success in everything he does, which we’ll learn more about as the series progresses. Lex Luthor is the main character of the whole thing, and that becomes more and more clear as we move forward. In particular with issue #4. So, like Lex, we’re exploring these villains and contrasting them against one another and asking — what would it take to put them in the role of good guy?”
“There’s a lot of fun to be had between Lex and Bizarro. There’s fun to be had between Batman and Catwoman, and when those characters collide,” Johns continued. “Some of the Syndicate members, as twisted as they are, they’ve been fun to write. Power Ring — trying to conceive a character that was everything that Green Lantern usually wasn’t, and amplifying that. There’s a mythology with his ring that we’re going to dive into that explores a very different look at what a Green Lantern could be — if it’s somebody that’s based on a weak will, and a weak sense of self. We see that with Power Ring and how he’s behaving, and we’ll see more of that as we reveal more about him, and the source of the ring.”
Attached for inclusion in your coverage, please find a sneak peek at some of David Finch’s interior art for FOREVER EVIL #4, which shows Batman revealing the Bat Cave to Catwoman for the first time, as well as Ethan Van Sciver’s variant cover for the issue, which depicts Batman using the powers of his yellow ring against the Crime Syndicate’s Power Ring. Please credit these images as courtesy of DC Entertainment in your coverage. For more information, please visit DC Comics’ official press blog.
Pamela Mullin Horvath, DC Entertainment
Today, Vertigo announced THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR, a new 6 issue limited comic book series written by Brit Rob Williams (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, Low Life, Judge Dredd: Trifecta) and illustrated by Simon Colby (The Authority, Judge Dredd: Year One and Trifecta).
The year is 1940. As the War heats up and the Blitz destroys London and kills thousands, the Royal Family looks on. But in this reality, the Royalty of the day have special abilities and the purer the bloodline, the greater those abilities are—and history is about to be transformed when England’s Prince Henry decides to intervene.
“Imagine Downton Abbey crossed with the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan and you’re getting somewhere close to what THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR offers,” says Williams. While Colby describes it as “an everyday tale of everyday squabbles, amongst everyday folk. Except the everyday folk are super-powered royalty, and their squabbles take place against the backdrop of the biggest conflict the world has ever seen.”
THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR arrives in February 2014.
For those not in attendance or watching the live stream, yesterday’s Batpanel was chock full of Spoilers (see what we did there?), updates, praise for fan enthusiasm and announcements.
John Cunningham (VP Marketing, DC Comics) introduced an all star family of writers including Batman: Eternal showrunner Scott Snyder and the artist Greg Capullo to a room full of eager fans and classic Jokers at the Javitz Center. Introduced were James Tynion IV, Marc Andreyko, Ann Nocenti, John Layman and Peter Tomasi.
Cunningham started off by thanking all for supporting the books but also for supporting the We Can Be Heroes fundraising campaign, raising more that $2 million last year. He also announced a new video podcast from DC, DC All Access, which will show an insider’s view into the DC offices and announce upcoming projects.
First up, Bat-wise was the introduction of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to talk about current Zero Year issues and what we can expect in the days to come. The 64 page introduction of the New 52 origin hit shelves earlier this week, and Capullo’s redesigned Batman costume debut is an outstanding reference to Detective Comics #27.
Snyder admits that initially he wanted to keep all aspects of Batman: Year One as the origin story for Batman, but later fretted that with the changes of the New 52, Year One doesn’t exactly fit. Both Scott and Greg have had high anxiety about delivering and changing the right Batman origin and are expressed gratitude for the fan’s enthusiasm for what they have done with the book.
Batman: Zero Year deliberately references all things Batman, including the aforementioned Detective Comics cover, Batman: The Animated Series and beats from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.
Issue #25 pages were revealed exclusively at the Con as well as the three part over arching chapters of Year Zero, to be spread in total over 11 issues. The three parts of the story are Secret City, Dark City and Wild City.
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