Wednesday, March 09, 2016

And in the Third Act, he rose from the dead...

In this interview with Newsarama, Superman writer Greg Pak explains how Superman just got his super-groove back in Action #50:

Nrama: It's interesting that Superman has to hurt himself with Kryptonite before he can heal.
Pak: Yeah, it's this sacrifice that Superman made. He basically let himself be killed off in order to try to save the day.


In this article from just last month, its writer explains that Bruce Wayne has to let himself be killed off in Batman #49 in order to become Batman again to try to save the day.

Initially, Bruce says that by regaining the memories, he could be a Batman without the trauma. Yet when they learn that Bruce would have to go brain dead before being able to receive the memories, the truth comes out. He could never be both. He could never be the happy, well adjusted man that he was during his amnesia and the same watchful protector of Gotham that the city needs him to be. And so he willingly traded his happiness for obsession to once again save his city.  


What's next? Sacrificing the entire DCU so that it can have rebirth as new hero...?!


Monday, March 07, 2016

At Sixes and Sevens

As we approach our landing in the strange new (?) country of the DCU's Rebirth, the contours of its coast are acquiring finest details.  Every week brings more news of who's going to be doing what on which titles.

But on thing remains tantalizing unclear, at least to me:

Who will be in the Justice League.

This has always been a problem in the Justice League. Iconically, the JLA has seven member (or "core members" when it's larger).  The problem is: DC only has six iconic characters.

That's really a misnomer;  DC has LOTS of iconic characters.  Sure, Cave Carson and Oddman don't have a lot of ancillary merchandise.  But Plastic Man, Shazam, Batgirl, heck, Krypto; DC is tripping over iconic characters.  But they are overshadowed by the fact that DC has six, well...'super-iconic' characters.  Ugh, there's really no other way to say that, is there? You win again, Kal.

You know who they are; DC knows who they are; heck, everyone knows who they are: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.  

Those were the characters DC chose to include in its modern update of the Justice Society, the new "Justice League", at the start of the Silver Age and its 'rebirth' of DC's superhero lines of comics.  Truth be told, the Justice League, as I have pointed out before, isn't a mere 'update' of the Justice Society. It's exactly the opposite of the Justice Society.  As a publishing concept, the purpose of Justice Society was as a proving ground for superhero characters that didn't have yet enough popularity to carry their own titles.  This is why Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were members of the JSA in name only and appear only in passing.  This is why when the (Jay Garrick) Flash become popular enough to get his own title, he left the JSA.  Active membership in the JSA meant you weren't enough of an icon to have your own comic.


"Of course, in my case 'raised' means 'wrote a cashier's check'.  It's in my utility belt."


Membership in the JLA, however, mean the opposite.  Only those heroes who were strong enough to have survived the 1950s' "lean years" for superheroes, who still had their own titles (or had found shelter in back-up stories, as did Aquaman), or the revamped ones meant to usher in the new era of superheroes   Only Icons Need Apply.

Oh...and the Martian Manhunter, of course.  The poor Martian Manhunter, who , as previously discussed, never got to do anything but suck or blow in JLA stories, because that wasn't something the others generally did. They could, of course; Superman can do anything.  But they were polite enough not to.  "Oh, thank goodness YOU were here, J'onn; I don't know WHAT we would have done without you! <insert patented Batman Eyeroll> "

Well, it's pretty clear Martian Manhunter's not on deck or even in the bullpen for JLA this time.  His title is cancelled and there's no sign of him lurking in any of the 'new 32' titles that are part of DC's streamlined offerings.  

Rebirth Specials:
• AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1
• BATMAN REBIRTH #1
• THE FLASH REBIRTH #1
• GREEN ARROW REBIRTH #1
• GREEN LANTERNS REBIRTH #1
• SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1
• TITANS REBIRTH #1
• WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1 


New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• AQUAMAN #1 (with J'onn Jonzz as Topo!)
• BATMAN #1 (with J'onn Jonzz as Detective Jones!)
• THE FLASH #1  (with J'onn Jonzz as Harrison Wells!)
• GREEN ARROW #1 (with J'onn Jonzz as Diggle!)
• GREEN LANTERNS #1 (with J'onn Jonzz as All the Stewardesses!)
• SUPERMAN #1 (with J'onn Jonzz as Joan Jonas the WGBS Weathergirl!)
• WONDER WOMAN #1 
(with J'onn Jonzz as Mars!)


Cyborg -- the new 52 replacement for MM  and a character DC has been trying to force feed us for decades -- fares a little better.  He at least is in there somewhere, and with his own title:

Rebirth Specials:
• BATMAN BEYOND REBIRTH #1
• BLUE BEETLE REBIRTH #1
• CYBORG REBIRTH #1
• DEATHSTROKE REBIRTH #1
• EARTH 2 REBIRTH #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD REBIRTH #1
• SUPERGIRL REBIRTH #1 (with J'onn J'onzz as DEO Director Hank Henshaw! Nah; that would never work...)
• TEEN TITANS REBIRTH #1
• TRINITY REBIRTH #1

New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
• CYBORG #1
• DEATHSTROKE #1
• HARLEY QUINN #1
• JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #1
• SUICIDE SQUAD #1


He's being relaunched AFTER "Red Hood & the Outlaws", by the way.  It's pretty clear where that places him in the hierarchy of things.  Higher than MM, but nowhere near the Super-Icons.  Unless Harley Quinn's going to be in the JLA, too. Which, frankly, wouldn't surprise me at this point, given how addicted to her DC has become.


Sigh.  I KNEW the internet would have a picture like this.


So, I'm thinking neither Cyborg nor MM will be in the 'core' of the JLA.  But then who...

oh, no.

No, no, no.

GREEN ARROW REBIRTH #1

GREEN ARROW #1

And he even has his own TV show. And was the FIRST hero after the original seven to join the Justice League in the Silver Age.




Oh, this is going to be FUN.