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Post(s) tagged with "new 52"
Review by Alexander Moser
While the Crime Syndicate is loose in the regular world, Justice League of America gives us a glimpse of what happened to the Justice League. Through the eyes of the Martian Manhunter, we see that the only thing that can stop the planet’s best heroes is their own faults.
Martian Manhunter, Stargirl and one half of Firestorm wake up in a grassy field with no knowledge of how they got there. Manhunter and Firestorm believe they are in a prison, so they descend to see where their teammates rest. We find Wonder Woman, Flash, Superman and others all trapped in prisons of psychological torture that leave them helpless to escape. Manhunter tries to coerce his team to resist the prison, but he fails. We later learn Stargirl was able to exit the prison, finding the outside world even more frightening.
If you haven’t learned by now, Matt Kindt is an awesome writer. Seriously, he’s the next Jeff Lemire or Matt Fraction. His take on the JLA is not only accurate; it is executed in a way that shows the characters strengths and weaknesses all at once. Kindt exploits his heroes by showing us how wish fulfillment could be bad. For example, Shazam’s prison is a world where he could fight evil and never grows tired, nor worries about hurting the people he loves. The Flash is a man who spends his speed force on his brain, imagining that he could use all the time in the world to do anything: save everyone, learn Russian, drink exotic coffees, etc.
Doug Mahnke’s artwork is exciting and fun; it’s precisely what you’d want to see in your JLA. Probably the biggest highlight of his work is the precise detail given to the faces and bodies of his characters and their costumes. I’d certainly prefer Mahnke over Finch for the Forever Evil series. The artwork even gets quirky, where we see Flash’s vision in a lightning-styled pattern over the course of a page.
The biggest fault of the comic is that while Kindt did a good job telling the story and Mahnke showing us, the bits and pieces are too far and in between to really bring the reader in. The issue was more like a slideshow, showing us how the Justice League has been tortured. Overall it’s good, but far from excellent.
-Story shows us good and bad happenings to the JL
-Art is consistent and detailed
-Story is a slideshow of superhero imprisonment and torture
Review by Alexander Moser
When “Zero Year” was first announced, I was incredibly skeptical. Not only did I have little doubt that readers would hold a year’s interest in a Batman story set in the past, I also didn’t think Zero Year would be an origin story that rivals the likes of Frank Miller and Alan Moore. Batman 24 is the major turning point in Zero Year that shows us who Batman is and why he is out to protect Gotham City.
The Red Hood gang is using sinister chemicals and nefarious schemes in order to poison the entire city. But Bruce knows what they are up to and he finally dons the Batman costume to take them out and protect Gotham.
Bruce Wayne, who was presumed dead, comes out and reveals that he is in fact alive. He makes a bold, prophetic statement that Gotham City is a place where people are transformed, becoming something greater than they are. So he becomes the Dark Knight, defeating the Red Hood Gang.
At the end, we see the leader defeated, hinting at a transformation into one of Batman’s greatest foes. In the epilogue, the Riddler finally makes his move, shutting the lights off in Gotham until Batman can pass his twisted “games.”
Scott Snyder makes his origin of Batman one to be remembered. In #24 alone we have the birth of the hero, the birth of the villain as well as plenty of moments where Bruce declares what Gotham is made of. The story is spot on, the action is fun and the dialogue is something you’d expect to see in the Nolan movies. Snyder’s Zero Year is different from any other origin we’ve seen before, such as Year One, but still gives us the same feeling of who Batman is and why he protects Gotham City.
I’m normally not a fan of Greg Capullo, but I know he provides outstanding artwork for Batman. His pencils are strikingly human, portraying stiff characters such as Bruce Wayne or Alfred with steady emotion. Capullo alternates between big and small panels, keeping the reader full of action and surprises. When we finally do see Batman, we know that his panels are just as iconic as Frank Miller’s Dark Knight.
Batman 24 is very good. If there was one DC book to pick out of the pile, pick this one. The $6.99 price tag is more than worth your money—Zero Year is going to be the book we will talk about years from now.
-Story is just as definitive as The Killing Joke or Year One.
-Nothing, this is what a Batman story should be like.
Review by Alexander Moser
After a lengthy “villains” month, the second installment of DC’s big event is finally here. Johns and Finch ease up on the action in the issue, providing some breathing room for future mayhem to come.
As we’ve already seen, the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the Justice League from an alternate reality has arrived to take control of our Earth. Sitting in the remains of the Watchtower, the Syndicate figures out the next step of their evil plan. But there seems to be something that they are hiding…something that they are running away from.
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor walks through the catacombs of Metropolis, where he dons his green battle suit and awakens one of the only things that can stop Ultraman—Lex unleashes Bizarro.
Meanwhile…one of the members of the Justice League returns from the battle with the Crime Syndicate with good news and bad news.
Forever Evil has been good so far and Johns’ second issue is far from disappointing. Since this is a seven-issue series, the book definitely needs a couple of slower moments before the pace quickens again. Johns writes snappy hooks to keep the reader interested. Certainly the Crime Syndicate is also well done. However, the comic seems a little too predictable. For example, I knew that Lex was going to awaken Bizarro and that there’s an underlying plot twist that there’s something going after the Crime Syndicate. Johns is trying to hide it, but by doing so he makes it far more obvious.
David Finch’s art is nice and detailed. The faces on many of his characters, such as Luthor and Johnny Quick look crisp and unique. Others, such as Ultraman are sketchier and more basic. His art is best shown when put on double-spreads and splash pages, where the big reveals of the issue come at the reader with a bang. Richard Friend inks the book, providing depth and shadow to many of the book’s ark scenes. The colors by Sonia Oback fit the tone of the book—dark but with plenty of areas that could shine. Man of Steel’s color palate would have worked well for these comics.
Forever Evil is hitting the mark where it should be. I’m still waiting for something exceptional, but until then I will enjoy reading a comic by DC’s big creative visionaries.
-Story has the right tone
-Art feels dark
-Still nothing special so far
It seems inevitable that when Justice League eventually comes out, critics will call it a mock-off of The Avengers. While that is not the case and Justice League was published three years prior to Avengers in 1963, that does not justify why these two movies shouldn’t be completely different. One of the many ways these two franchises can differ is simple: bring in Cyborg — a black teenager who doesn’t take the danger that comes with being a superhero too seriously. This would be good in contrast to the solemn tone that Man of Steel had at times.
I’m not the biggest fan of the character. Incorporating him into the New 52 Justice League series was a nice change up but I grew up watching Cyborg voiced by Khary Payton on Teen Titans. Being that the version in Titans was the definitive take on the character for me, bringing his personality down a notch wasn’t the best idea to keep me as a reader.
However, this is not about how to make a good Justice League movie. This article is about how to make a different type of team-up movie; different from Watchmen, Fantastic 4, Avengers, and X-Men. If it were up to me, I would bring in Static, also a black teenage character who could lighten up the film. That character doesn’t get enough attention. Or John Stewart as Green Lantern. He would work well, too.
If DC were to go with this approach and add Cyborg to their cinematic universe, Shemar Moore (Birds of Prey, Criminal Minds) is up to the task. In a recent interview about voicing the character for the upcoming animated DTV Justice League: War, a sequel to The Flashpoint Paradox, Moore admitted, “I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I have a fantasy or wish that I should be able to play Cyborg in a feature film.”
Geoff Johns’ Flashpoint turned Victor Stone into a walking tank working for the government. Is that the “down to earth” version we might end up seeing if Cyborg were to be put on the big screen?
"I wasn’t a big comic book guy. What I like about Cyborg is I got to do this about a year ago for the first time, really a fish out of water. I had no idea, the offer came to me to be the voice of Cyborg. He’s this half black, half white human, but he’s half machine, half human because of an accident that happened to him. But he’s a black superhero. But I like that he’s a bi-racial superhero because I’m bi-racial. The president of the United States is bi-racial."
"An informal name for the period in the history of mainstream American comic books generally considered to last from the mid-1980s until present day."
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Founder/Producer- Kyle W. Faucher
Co-Founder- Dmitri Turnbull
Affiliate- Eric Grella
Lead Reviewer- Alex Moser
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