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Tag Archive: New 52


Detective Comics 30 cover

With so many on-going monthly series in the DC Comics New 52 universe, it’s sometimes difficult to find an entry point into the DC Comics titles because of continuing story arcs.  If you’ve dumped one or more titles and want to get back in, where do you start?

One entry point for you may be Detective Comics, Issue #30, the beginning of a new story arc titled “Icarus.”  In this first chapter we don’t learn what Icarus is, but we do meet up with an interesting Batman, moving on past the death of son Damian.  We also meet Elena Aguila and her daughter Annie, a motorbike daredevil who looks like she’s cut out to be the next Robin.  Similar to one of the main story threads in the Arrow TV series, Elena and Bruce Wayne are forging an alliance to restore the welfare of the citizens in the community of Gotham’s East End Waterfront District.

Detective Comics 30 Manipul

Replacing Wayne’s plans to commercially develop that area of town, and the likely deals with businessmen in Gotham City that he is going to need to cancel to do it, will no doubt create some enemies for Wayne in the process.

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Sorrentino Green Arrow

Oliver Queen is dying, out in the desert, left for dead and we don’t know why.  Jeff Lemire takes us back three weeks to Seattle to understand what led to this moment.  From Lemire’s first issue writing for Green Arrow to today, he has given us an entirely new Green Arrow, and although he chose to keep the trick arrows, not a lot of characteristics would make the new angry young man familiar to long-time fans.  Over the last ten issues, 2013 has seen what the New 52 sees as Oliver Queen.

In the five-issue story arc titled “The Kill Machine,” a mysterious hunter, also an archer, called Komodo has destroyed Queen’s life, causing his business and friends to be taken away.  Komodo brings along his psychopath of a daughter, too—think Hit Girl and Big Daddy or Boba and Jango and you’ll get the idea. Komodo even has the image projected to him of an even badder bad guy a la the Emperor called Golgotha.  Queen has been set up—Oliver Queen is a wanted man for the murder of the leader of the old Queen Industries.  Lemire then pulls us back into the history of Queen’s father, his friend, and that island where Queen was stranded for years.  Like the ghost of Obi-Wan, a spirit guide of sorts called Magus is trying to steer Oliver on the path away from destruction, to the truth. And going along with the Star Wars metaphors, Oliver confronts Komodo to learn the truth about his father.

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Green Arrow Hunters Moon

Review by C.J. Bunce

Sexual assault, child abuse, gay-bashing, drugs, prostitution, armed robbery, biogenic weapons, and street gangs–what dealt with all of these subjects in its opening chapters?  A comic book series?  DC Comics is finally compiling Mike Grell’s definitive Green Arrow comic book series that began in February 1988 and ran for more than a decade to November 1998.  Gritty and real, it’s the Oliver Queen fans cheered for as he cleaned up the streets of not Star City or Starling City, but the dark alleys of Seattle, Washington.

Except for Morton Weisinger and George Papp who created Green Arrow in 1941, and Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams who re-imagined the character nearly thirty years later, Mike Grell did more than anyone to define the urban archer for the ages.  Grell actually took over after O’Neill and Adams created their landmark Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in the early 1970s.  But he made Green Arrow his own with 1987’s Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, a three-issue mini-series that finally awakened DC Comics to the potential of Green Arrow and his long-time girlfriend Black Canary.  In 1988 Grell made Oliver Queen throw away his trick arrows and use penetrating broadheads that actually killed the bad guys.  And in none of the storylines was Queen ever referred to as Green Arrow, a component maintained in CW’s Arrow series.

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Green Lantern 20 banner

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight.

For the past nine years Geoff Johns has been writing DC Comics’ Green Lantern monthly series, including tales interweaving the stories of Earth’s five Green Lanterns: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and the New 52 creation Simon Baz.  In the first DC Comics prestige format comic book in a long time, Johns says farewell to writing for Green Lantern this week in Green Lantern, Issue #20.  Although it’s not a good entry point for readers not familiar with the Green Lantern Corps, it is a must read for fans both of Geoff Johns’s writing and his many Green Lantern stories now available in various trade editions.  Johns is probably the single most important contributor to Lantern lore since O’Neil and Adams’ run in the 1970s and it’s his Hal Jordan, like it or not, that ended up in the big screen adaptation back in 2011.

Green Lantern 20 page 21

As last stories go, Johns manages to do something unprecedented with his last issue–the book seems like a memorial not only to Green Lantern Hal Jordan but oddly a memorial of sorts for Johns himself.  You might ask yourself:  Is Johns seriously ill?  Did I not get the memo?  The format begs these questions because a full nine pages are offered as mini-notes from friends and admirers of Johns congratulating him for his long run on the series.  It’s strangely self-indulgent, but if you can skip over these tombstone-like epitaph pages, the ads for the continuing Green Lantern (featuring Hal Jordan), Green Lantern Corps (featuring John Stewart), Green Lantern: New Guardians (featuring Kyle Rayner), and Red Lanterns (featuring Guy Gardner) monthly series, Johns’ sign-off note to fans and four pages documenting his past works in trade editions, there is still a complete story here, including panel art, splash pages and a fold out poster contributed by the likes of Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Cully Hamner, Aaron Kuder, Jerry Ordway, Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, and Marc Deering.  I think even diehard fans of Johns would probably rather see the nine pages of commentary replaced with all of the commentary on one page in a smaller font and more story and art.

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Green Arrow alternate MAD cover April 2013

Beginning this week you might have a double take at your local comic book stores as several incentive alternate covers grace DC Comics’ New 52 line issues numbered 19.  They feature the 58-year-old perpetual 12-year-old Alfred E. Neuman getting his own cosplay on as one of 13 superheroes.  This week check out Alfred as Green Arrow and Green Lantern.  As the online harbinger of all things Green Arrow that’s the one we picked up, but we think that Green Lantern cover pretty much exemplifies all things MAD the best.

Green Lantern alternate MAD cover April 2013

Other great covers include this nice run-in with Supergirl:

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Movement fists

Fresh off their writing and art projects from New 52’s Batgirl and Green Arrow, DC Comics creators Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II are bringing real-world politics “Occupy Wall Street” style this May in their new monthly series The Movement.

The advance industry catalog Previews.com provided the following teaser this week:

We are faceless. We are limitless. We see all. And we do not forgive.
Who defends the powerless against the GREEDY and the CORRUPT? Who protects the homeless and poverty-stricken from those who would PREY upon them in the DARK OF NIGHT?
When those who are sworn to protect us abuse their power, when toxic government calls down super-human lackeys to force order upon the populace... finally, there is a force, a citizen's army, to push order BACK.
Let those who abuse the system know this as well: We have our OWN super humans now. They are not afraid of your badges or Leagues. And they will not be SILENCED.
We are your neighbors. We are your workers. And we are your children.

Win.  Count us in.  Where do we buy the RISE bracelets?

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Batman Night of the Owls hardcover cover

As someone who bailed a few issues into Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman: The Court of Owls story arc in the monthly Batman comic book which spanned the bulk of the first year of the New 52, I found that I really enjoyed the crossover follow-on story as compiled in the late February hardcover release, Batman: Night of the Owls.  While you are either left scratching your head or enjoying the ride as the Batman “Death of the Family” story arc wrapped last week with Batman Issue #17, this new trade edition is one way to check out some other New 52 titles you might not otherwise try.  And it’s fun watching how several writers can make a crossover take place in one night over 14 issues.

It’s the first crossover of the New 52.  Batman: Night of the Owls collects 360 pages, including Batman Issues #8-9, plus the tie-ins from Batman Annual #1, Nightwing Issues #8-9, and Issue #9 of All-Star Western, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batwing, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Detective Comics and Red Hood and the Outlaws.

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Katana 1 cover

First appearing in DC Comics in 1983, the character of Katana, formerly a member of Batman’s Outsiders, was rejuvenated as a member of the Birds of Prey in the New 52 last year, replacing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl as the third team member.  If you haven’t seen her before, what you need to know is that Katana’s real name is Tatsu and she has been busy seeking vengeance against the Yakuza for killing her husband.  With her trusty Soultaker sword by her side she’s a force to be reckoned with, and she will be featured as a newer breed of superhero in the new Justice League of America beginning next week with Justice League of America Issue #1 (not to be confused with the Justice League series).  But if you want to get an early look at Katana, you can pick up Issue #1 today of her own new monthly series.  We at borg.com previewed Issue #1 this week and think this series will be an interesting and unique addition to the New 52 line-up.

Katana original art A

Written by Ann Nocenti with art by Alex Sanchez, the story is packed with the spirit of ancient Eastern influences, swordplay and mysticism.  Nocenti counts herself a fan of Akira Kurasawa and Katana’s story will be familiar to fans of his films.  Artist Alex Sanchez has created a modern yet ancient-inspired fictional setting in his Japantown, part of San Francisco.  DC Comics has shared with borg.com some original art pages from Katana, Issue #1 reprinted here.

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Justice League Volume 2 cover

With DC Comics having wrapped it first year with the New 52, it is now releasing the second hardcover volume of its flagship title, Justice League.  If you don’t read the monthly series, now is the time to catch up on the full first year with Volumes 1 and 2 now on the shelves.  Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin reprinted Issues 1-6, and now Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey reprints Issues 7-12, both volumes including variant covers and cover sketch art by the popular artist Jim Lee.

Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin, now available in both hardcover and trade paperback, began the entire New 52, a new DC Universe unveiled first 5 years ago, a reality which may or may not have been manipulated from the universe we’ve known all along by the red-hooded Pandora, who has managed to flit in and out of nearly every DC Comics series since the reboot in September 2011.  In Volume 1 we met the new original seven members of the League–first a comical run-in of Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who then have their own run-in with Superman (run-in meaning lots of bruises and destruction of property).  Then Barry Allen’s Flash entered the picture as probably the most interesting character in the new League.  He formed a relationship with buddy Hal Jordan which provided many of the most entertaining scenes of the series so far.  Then we met Wonder Woman, who in this incarnation of the DCU is far more Valkyrie than Amazon, and this plays nicely off of Aquaman’s entrance, whose Atlantis origins are here very much influenced by the world of Thor.  This is all tied together by a new League entrant, the young Vic Stone, transformed by happenstance into a cyborg, now known as the League member Cyborg.  And they all must come together to protect the world from being devastated by none other than classic villain Darkseid.  We reviewed the monthly series at borg.com least year here.

Justice League Volume 2

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DC Comics announced at the DC Entertainment-All Access panel at Fan Expo Toronto this weekend that DC will be adding a new Justice League to the New 52 coming in 2013.  Not merely another mini-series, DC will be publishing a new ongoing comic book series titled Justice League of America. 

“Wait a second!” you say.  “But we already have a Justice League–it’s DC’s main title that ties the New 52 together, as well as a Justice League Dark, and a Justice League International already being phased out.”

But the Justice League is just the Justice League, and apparently the DC Powers That be figured out we all needed to see a Justice League with its original JLA moniker, stress on the “America”.

New 52 writer Geoff Johns (who has writing credits on the current Justice League, Aquaman and Green Lantern series) will be writing the new series, with David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight) serving as series artist.

“This is a very different kind of team book,” said Johns in a DC news release. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the Justice League of America stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League, but Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, the new Green Lantern, Stargirl, Vibe, Hawkman and Catwoman thrive in the shadows.  They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose.  They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe.  Though getting there won’t be easy.  Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013.  David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

“Wait a second, again,” you say.  “Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman… unlikely heroes?  Underdogs?”  Umm… right.

If Johns is talking about the third-string positioning of these former, long-time–as in decades long–early JLA members as now seen in the New 52, well, then we agree with what Johns is saying.  But these guys were only B-List because the current DC editors relegated these superheroes to that status.  Ultimately it is not a big deal–superhero titles needs shaken up from time to time in the DCU and the new line is no different from shake-ups in the past.  What would be nice is a Justice League of America book that out-performs the Justice League series.

Other interesting bits–Catwoman? In the JLA?  Another Green Lantern?

We can also look forward to Johns revisiting his creation Star Girl, Courtney Whitmore, a character named for Johns’ sister who died in an airplane crash in 1996, whose costume is based on Yankee Poodle, a member of Captain Carrot’s Amazing Zoo Crew.

We will check out the new series when it launches next year, particularly because stories pairing Hawkman with Green Arrow are always fun, and it’s not really the League without the Martian Manhunter.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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