Monday, December 8, 2014

Marvel Two in One Annual 7 in 5 panels.

I am Champion, the supreme fighter of all existence, and I seek foes who can match my incredible power.
Then I, Thor, shall be you opponent!
No, because you are disqualified for using your hammer.
Then Hulk smash smash Blue Man, because Hulk is the strongest there is! Hulk...
Is disqualified for being a mindless brute. Also, Namor is disqualified, too.
... WHAT?! What for?
... Eh... For being... arrogant. Now, all there is left is the heroes I know I can defea... I MEAN, the opponents who are honorable fighters!
You, Ben Grimm, are the greatest warrior I have met. I can break your bones, but never your spirit, which makes you the one man I could not defeat... Until I'm turned into a joke in She-Hulk, which makes your triumph undone... 
...

Wonder Woman; Down To Earth in 5 panels.


...
Sorry people, no 5-panel. This comic is just not worth it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Black Adam And Isis.

Black Adam is NOT evil.
I just want to be sure that you all understand that. Black Adam is, in fact, not evil.
He is brutal, has little to no tolerance for evil, and has no problem with killing. Does that make him a bad guy? No, it makes him a very angry man out of time. Think about it this way: in ancient Egypt, he was a great hero. Back then, the view of killing was different. The laws and culture was harsh, and you could be punished with loosing a hand, if you were caught pickpocketing. So the way Adam was raised, and the world he lived in 3000 years ago was WAY different from today's modern society.
There is so much you can do with a character like Black Adam. But instead, DC turned him into a evil meanie beanie. And the prime example of this is the JSA story-line; "Black Adam And Isis."
Atom Smasher(former JSA member) tells the JSA, that Black Adam is back, and offer them his assistance in bringing him to authorities for crimes during World War 3(the only thing wrong with pretty awesome series; "52").
And Black Adam IS back, and he has resurrected his dead wife Isis. Isis is a human with the power of her namesake, the Egyptian goddess. You see, she had suffered a horrible dead, right after seeing her brother being ripped apart, and her country being destroyed. So naturally, she is pretty pissed. And by pissed, I mean destroy-the-world pissed!
Yeah, the loving woman that we all liked from the great series 52 is now a crazy killer instead of a life-giving goddess. She even kills the people from her beloved kingdom. Yay...
And the worst part of it all; it's all blamed on Black Adam. Everyone has this bogus theory, that it is because Isis is corrupted by Adam that she went psycho-killer. This is bullcrap, since she is doesn't share her power with Adam like like Captain Marvel Junior share his power with Captain Marvel. Isis is a freaking god! And she is WAY more powerful than Adam, who only has been bestowed powers by the gods. AND, just to make maters worse, the same explanation is being used in order to explain why Mary Marvel became evil in "Final Crisis." This is not only bullcrap, it's also unnecessary, since it was already explained, that it was Deaad, evil torture of Apokolips. So it was, in fact, NOT Black Adam's fault. But hey, that's what we have retcon for.
In fact, retcon is one of the biggest problems with this story. And that's REALLY weird, since Johns has a reputation for writing stories that are pretty loyal to the history of the DCU. But here, he retcons the hell out of it! He even makes Adam the murderer of Billy Battson's parents!
THAT'S how it ends? That's... depressing!
The story ends when Adam realizes that his wife is out of control, and gives up his powers, so that the wizard Shazam can be reviewed(I don't know that that works) and take away his crazy wife's powers. But Shazam is still peeved, so he also turn Adam and Isis into statues, and tells Billy that he is a stupid brat and that he wont let him be Captain Marvel again.
A lot of people believes that internet critics are dorks who has nothing better to do than complain about meaningless stuff, because they don't have a girlfriend. That is not true. The reason we write blogs(or make videos) about how pissed off we are about a video-game, movie or, in this case, a comic-book, is because of passion. I love comic-books, Geoff Johns is one of my favorite writers, and I'm a fan of the DCU. These are the reasons to why I hate this story! Black Adam's character is ill-treated, the retcons was unnecessary, and the fact that we have to be reminded at least ones every page that all of this is Black Adam's fault is just irritating. I think of this as Johns' "Cry For Justice." And I think that it was here the quality of his stories started to drop a bit, and that he also started to use retcon more.
Man, this sucked. Next time, let's talk about a GOOD JSA comic.
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Thy Kingdom Come.

Before we talk about this story, I better explain what "Kingdom Come" is.
"Kingdom Come" is a story about an alternative DCU, where Superman gave up the good fight, realizing that the people he swore to protect preferred brutal 90s heroes, who weren't afraid to kill. After Wonder Woman tells him to grow a pair, Superman get's out of his Fortress Of Solitude for the first time in 10 years, and realizes that the superheroes has gone out of control. He then reunites the Justice League in order to set things straight... AAAAAND then kinda screws it more up, by being TOO hard on the out-of-control heroes.
"Kingdom Come" is a glorious tale, and still my favorite comic-book of all time. If you haven't read it yet, you ought to. I would also like to recommend "The Kingdom", the sequel that sadly has a pretty bad reputation.
"JSA; Thy Kingdom Come" is a spin-off of a sort. The story takes place in the mainstream DCU, where Superman from the Kingdom Come universe by accident ends up there. And he is amazed to see a world that have not been ruined like his, and he praise all the heroes for not making the mistakes he and the other heroes in his world made He is pretty much the exact opposite of Superboy Prime! But he is also afraid, that what had happened in his world could happen is this one, and he ask the JSA for aid in order to find out if this world also has a Magog, the man who started the chaos in his world, and make sure that he wont do to this world what he did to Superman's.
Even though it's an awesome 14 issue(and three special issues) story it has a HUGE problem; it came too soon.
The series had just started, and had a lot of new characters(like Wildcat's son Tom, the new Amazing-Man and Lightning) and we didn't have a chance to get to know them properly before this huge story-arc started. It doesn't hurt the story, but it's not good for the team-book that we know so little about them, that they end up being fill-up characters. "Thy Kingdome Come" shouldn't have started at issue 9 of JSA, and we should have been given more time to let the new team-members grow on us. Also, this story(and the series) is much easier for you to read, if you have read the prior JSA series, since their is a lot of references to past events.
But it's still a pretty damn good story. Johns wrote the story with Alex Ross(artist supreme, as well as one of the two writers of "Kingdom Come") so the "Kingdom Come" magic is there. If "Kingdom Come" is about the abuse of authority, "Thy Kingdom Come" is about whatever you should accept authority. The JSA is divided, as they can't agree whatever they should accept the presence of a god-like being, and if he is to be trusted. The ending kinda feels like a cop-out, as there is only one solution, but it's still a good story about whatever one should leave his fate entirely in a god's hands.
And it has plenty of awesomeness, such as KC Superman punching freaking lightning!!!
That's all for now. Next time, we will take a look at the absolute WORST story Johns has ever written.
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Next Age.

I actually wanted to talk about Johns' Green Lantern series, but I have to wait for it to be available in the library. So instead, let's talk about the second Justice Society series he wrote, starting with the opening story-arc; Next Age.
After "Infinite Crisis," the remaining founding members of the JSA(Wildcat, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Flash) has decided to make their mission to recruit as many heroes who take up legacies, in order to make sure that they truly know the name that they carry. But someone else is doing the exact same thing. Only, THEY are killing the heroes and their families, in order to end the legacy...
"Justice Society Of America; Next Age" is a well done start of a series, and a lot better than the JLA series that was published at the same time. In fact, I think I will point out the differences that makes "Next Age" superior to JLA's opening arc; "Tornado's Path."
First of all, "Next Age" actually has a better way to get the team together. The old JSA members discuss which heroes to recruit, and who they can help the most, and prioritize the ones with legacies they are the most familiar with(like the Atom, Red Tornado and Starman).
In "Tornado's Path" they might as well have picked their nose than picking candidates. With a team like the League, you would think that well-thought decisions would be of mayor importance, right? But nope, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman decides to pick the first bunch of guys they just so happens to fight Amazo with. Which means, that the hours of discussion they had spend on arguing about who they should get is worth the amount of:
(... I got to start making video reviews, so that I can use that clip...)
Another thing "Next Age" does better, is the plot. "Tornado's Path" is a mess, it's way more complicated than it needs to be. But "Next Age" is simple, straightforward, and yet; brilliant. The JSA fights Nazis, simple as that! And it's suiting that they should, since the JSA was founded in order to fight Nazis.
And finally, what "Next Age" does better than "Tornado's Path" is introducing us to the leader of the team.
You see, Power Girl was made the new leader of the JSA for two important reasons; A) Mr. Terrific can't, since he also has to worry about his responsibilities for the government agency Checkmate(even thought it apparently doesn't stop him from being on the team all the time), and B) Since the team is going to focus on the heroes of tomorrow, who better to led them than the JSA's very first rookie?
And who became the JLA's new leader? Black Cannery. Why? No idea!
It's wasn't explained, she just became the leader. But I have an idea to why, and it's probably going to make me sound like an ass for saying it. You see, my theory is, that she was made the leader because she was DC's most popular female character.
And normally, I wouldn't have a problem with a woman being in charge. But... there have to be a good reason. But there isn't, she just became leader. Issue six of Justice League Of America shows a hammer with her name on it, and that's it. No explanation, no buildup, no nothing. I'm not saying that the idea was bad, only that the execution was. And unlike Pee Gee, who takes charge of the JSA, we would never have guessed that Black Canary was the leader, if it wasn't because we had been told.
But I'm getting on a sidetrack. Bottom-line is: "Justice Society Of America; Next Age" is a pretty good opening for a team book. Next time, we shall take a look at the JSA storyline that came afterwards; Thy Kingdom Come!
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Infinite Crisis.

I don't like Infinite Crisis. I really don't.
I'm not saying it's a bad comic, but I really dislike it.
Infinite Crisis was one of the mayor events in the DC Universe. A lot of stuff was going on, such as a satellite Batman had made had gone crazy, and now killed as many super-humans as possible by turning civilians into OMACs(Omni Mind And Community), Wonder Woman had killed a man on live television(even though that could have been evaded, but that is one dead horse beaten enough already), Superman becoming ineffective, Spectre went bongos and killed everything magical(apparently, god was on a holiday), and all the super-villains had decided to join forces as a way to get back at the heroes for brainwashing them(don't even ask).
In other words; and seemingly infinite crisis.
The idea was was good enough, the build-up was amazing and it was a pretty epic tale... BUT... there is a lot of stuff that annoys me.
And I could talk about the poorly written WW, but that has already been done. But I could talk a little about the bloodbath.
Not about the overuse of gorryness(even though that IS a problem), but the characters who died.
For example:
OH MY GOD!!! Superboy Prime just killed... killed... um... a... kat... lady?
...
I had to Google a lot after reading this the first time I read it. Because Infinite Crisis snuffed out dozen of not-so-known characters in order to show how violent and brutal Superboy prime was.
And that's my main problem. Johns, who has a reputation for his uncanny ability to revive forgotten characters and give them a role in today's comics, pretty much SLAUGHTER all of these heroes.
I'm not saying that Johns is the first one to do this. But considered that he is pretty much a genius, who became a fan-favorite comic-book writer after less than three years in the business, I expected more.
If a superhero must die for a story, it should mean something. Who was she? What did she do? Who were she important for? I may not like Civil War, but when Black Goliath died, it at least meant something.
But in Infinite Crisis, we instead have a lot of THIS:
Again, WHO THE HECK IS THIS GUY?!?!? Is he a member of the Teen Titans? Maybe part of the JSA? Or is he just a C-stringer who wanted to help, even though no one knew he existed? If it wasn't for Google, we would never know!
Another thing that bothers me, is the lack of consequence for Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, who are partly to blame for this whole mess. They just leave for a year, comes back, and it's all good. They even becomes part of the JLA again! DUDE!!! It doesn't work like that! You can't just kick Superboy Prime's butt and then pretend that all the mistakes you made are gone!
But maybe Infinite Crisis is not really Johns' fault. Maybe it's just a product of it's time, where Identity Crisis required that the heroes should have faults and do unethical things, no mater how out of character it was. Maybe Johns was the wrong writer for the series, and he just tried his best to write an world-changing event, even. Personally, I think he should stay away from the crossovers(I did like Blackest Night, though) and stick to writing enjoyable stories and reinvent and revive old elements forgotten in comics.
That's all for now. I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Johns Month(and a half): Flash part 3.

Alright, let's finish the review of Johns' Flash run(issue 201-225).
Oh, and if you should ask: No, I'm not going to review Johns' series with Barry Allen as the Flash. That would require that I bought it, and since I'm not made out of money, I only buy comics I believe I will enjoy. And after reading "Flash: Rebirth," I highly doubt that I would.
Anyway, back to the review...
The opening story takes place two months after Wally's identity as the Flash is now secret. Hal Jordan, who was at the moment the Spectre(long story), had erased the real identity of the Flash(both Barry and Wally) from the mind of everyone on the planet. Even Wally! The story is about Wally rediscovering who he really is, and it's surprisingly... dark...
It takes place at night, the city is pretty much taken over by the Rogues, and the cops can barely do ANYTHING to stop them. If I didn't know better, I would have thought the plot took place in Gotham or Bludhaven! Hell, Mr Element(the bad guy of the story) is a very dark character too, and seems like one of Batman's enemies. Even the art looks like something from Hell Boy!
Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just... weird.
But the story is pretty good, actually. The mood is perfect for how Wally is feeling at the moment, with losing his twins, having trouble connecting with his wife, getting used to his night-job as a mechanic for the police, and having a feeling that something is missing. My favorite part of it, is the short-lived friendship between Wally and Captain Cold, as they meet each other at a diner, not knowing who the other is. They are just two guys, no costumes, no super-speed, no cold guns. It's nice and bittersweet.
After that, it gets back to classic Flash style in issue 207.
As I said, the stories are not as good. This is partly because Scott Kollins being replaced with Howard Porter as the series penciler. Not that Porter is a bad artist, but I just really liked Kollins style and I see him as the unofficial Flash artist(kinda like Amanda Conner is the unofficial Power Girl artist).
But it still had great elements, such as the Rogues becoming a actual super-villain team again. And actual teams of super-villains was something that haven't been used in comics for a long time. And if bad guys decided to join forces, it was short-lived. But the Rogues were an actual team. They have rules(such as; no drugs, and never kill children), a sense of honor, and they are loyal to each other. They even have their own graveyard, where they bury their fallen comrades in crime.
But... the story-line "Rogue War" was pretty disappointing. Mostly because of the lack of, you know: WAR!
"Rogue War" is about the reformed Rogues(Pied Piper, the original Trickster, Heatwave and Magenta) who has decided to take down their former allies in crime. There was a lot of buildup for this final Flash story-ark, and that's why it's so sad, that the war didn't last more than two issues. Sure, the story-line is a six-parter, but only two issues was about the Rogues fighting each other. One and a half, to be honest.
Another thing that's wrong with the final part of Johns' Flash is how his writing is affected by the event "Identity Crisis". It could be argued, that Johns had to accept that Barry had agreed to brainwash Doctor Light was now continuity, and just write as well as he could. But he actually makes it worse by making Barry brainwash one of his enemies, The Top, so that he would become his partner. And then tell us, that the reason to why some of the Rogues turned away from crime was because Top brainwashed them! It's... ANNOYING!
So, there are some problems, but it's still good. Not perfect, but good. I could have lived without the brainwash thing and the Rogue War, but I'm still glad that I owe the whole series in omnibus form. I highly recommend the series as Johns' best written work to date.
Next time, I'm going to tell you about my least favorite Johns comic of them all: Infinite Crisis.
I'm Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.