I probably should’ve started this thing with the whole Spider-Man’s a black kid media whirlwind but we’ll hit that story when Ultimate Spider-Man #1 comes out in October. Plus, Marvel gets press all the time. They put their big stories in USA Today the day before fans can get a hold of the actual comics. It bites. But enough about them. What have they done this huge lately?
Anyway, you may or may not have heard about this thing that DC is doing called RESTARTING THEIR ENTIRE UNIVERSE/COMICS LINE!!! If you follow DC or comics at all, you know they’ve been touting the recent Flashpoint mini-series as something that will change everything you know about DC. They sure weren’t kidding. What does this mean, oh casual fan? It means 52 all-new #1’s in September with more to follow. Clark Kent and Lois Lane no longer an item. Sinestro is a Green Lantern (You know, that pink guy that trained Ryan Reynolds in that movie?). Batwoman is actually coming out! Batgirl is Barbara Gordon again! Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Batman are being restarted!
Fans got their first taste when DC released Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 on August 31st. This is monumental also because these were the ONLY DC comics released this week when typically, with a major company like DC or Marvel, 12-15 titles are put on the shelves.
So, the books:
A great finale to a really solid mini-series. Flashpoint delivered throughout with some truly unique takes on classic DC characters. I mean, who saw it coming that Thomas Wayne would be the Batman of this alternate timeline (The Batman: Knights of Vengeance mini that ran concurrently was one of the best of the Flashpoint-related tie-ins.) and Bruce had died? Or Hal Jordan not a Green Lantern? Superman a lab project? Issue number five gave us the big reveal of the big bad (Which was kind of surprising, actually), killed off someone major in Flashverse, and laid the foundation for the new 52. Plus, it set up a character and plot which I’m sure is going to tie all the new 52 together in some huge event down the line. This is your warning: The lady in the purple cloak is important! She’s already popped up in JL #1 and she’ll be making appearances in more of the new #1’s (Action Comics, Voodoo, and Batgirl all have confirmed sitings apparently) so keep your eyes peeled. Speaking of JL #1…
Justice League #1:
There’s no denying that visually, this is beautiful. I remember picking up Jim Lee‘s stuff off the shelves when he was still doing Uncanny X-Men and later with WildC.A.T.S. and even later during Batman’s epic “Hush” storyline and then again on Superman’s “For Tomorrow” arc. Regardless of the story (I hated “For Tomorrow”), Lee delivered. Luckily the story hits on all fronts , too. For those of you looking for a full on team-up right away should wait a few months. What you need to know is it takes place 5 years in the past (After the first arc is done, it will be in present-day DC), the super-heroes we know and love are not adored by the public (yet), and Batman still kicks ass. So does Geoff Johns, who writes this and pretty much every great DC comic (Have you read his Green Lantern stories???) in the past 10 years or so. It starts slow with a Batman/Green Lantern team up in Gotham City but you still get some groundwork laid for Vic Stone’s origin (He, who will become Cyborg eventually in these pages) and the promise of a Superman/Batman throwdown in #2. Johns does a great job here at creating the birth of the Justice League in a way that will be easily accessible to new fans but interesting enough for those of us who know the characters well already.
A little bit about me: I’ve been collecting comics for over 30 years now. I consider myself a Marvel guy but tend to bash them a lot. The Hulk is my favorite. Grew up with the Bixby/Ferrigno TV show. Loved both movies and is most excited about next summer’s The Avengers simply because Hulk will be on the big screen again.
Image credit: DC Universe: “The Source” & David Finch