Tag Archives: DC Comics

Media Blitz! Manapul and Buccellato Talk Barry & Iris, Gem Cities, Detective

As their three-year artistic, two years everything, Flash run comes to a close, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have begun the transition into their new Gotham digs over in Detective Comics.  Yesterday, as part of an interview with Newsarama and a post over at DC HQ, details continued to emerge on the team’s final act.

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First, here is a plot summary and preview page (above) from Flash #25 via DC Comics:

In THE FLASH #25, you’ll meet a young Barry Allen before he’s realized his full potential as the Scarlet Speedster. A recent graduate from the Police Academy, Barry finds himself partnered with Harvey Bullock in Gotham City when he volunteers to go help the city deal with the chaos brought on by the events of “Zero Year.” But Harvey is not thrilled with working with someone so young and inexperienced, leaving Barry to team up with Gotham Gazette intern Iris West to help solve the case of a mysterious drug appearing on the streets of the city that is causing people to spontaneously burst into flames. And it’s in this first meeting between Barry and Iris that the “will they or won’t they” tension is introduced to their relationship.
For more on Barry-in-Gotham, the Gem Cities and run reflections from the creative team, follow the jump!

Titans Together Again…For Now…(review of Teen Titans #23)

TT Cov 23As we left the Titans last issue, Kid Flash was being pulled into a portal against his will.   Can Bart be saved or must he face a past that he doesn’t even recall?  And, now that the big battle against Trigon is out of the way for now, can the Titans heal the strained relationships in their own ranks?  That’s where we pick up in issue #23 of Teen Titans.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

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Trinity War Ends (?) With Justice League #23 (Review)

IMG_0925Trinity War comes to a high point in this issue of Justice League…but to say that the war “ends” is a bit inaccurate as this leads directly into the upcoming Forever Evil storyline (and all those Villains Month issues coming up).  By now, there have been enough interviews with huge spoilers that most fans know how this ends, and who shows up at the end…but in this case it’s “all about the journey”, so let’s pick back up in the midst of that huge battle over Pandora’s Box.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

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Trinity War Starts NOW! (Review of Justice League #22)

Justice League #22Every universe-spanning event has to have a trigger event, and the first major spark of “Trinity War” is found right here in Justice League #22.  This is a credible start – not as awe-inspiring as Crisis on Infinite Earths but certainly better than watching Libra kill Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis.  Whether this will be a great series or something a little more forgettable has yet to be decided…but there are a few highlights…and low lights…to be found in this initial chapter:

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

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Heroes Rush In…No, Wait! (Review of Earth 2 #14)

IMG_0639This issue of Earth 2 is action packed with plenty of drama on many levels, and we have the opportunity to learn a lot of lessons here.  Enthusiasm and early success can lead to just a bit of impulsive decision-making…and even great intentions can lead you into trouble.  The new Wonders of Earth 2 are taking the battle straight to Steppenwolf…but is that the best plan?  We get the first part of that answer here, in issue #14.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Jay Garrick Loses a Good Friend – Robinson Departs Earth 2 and DC

20130520-063633.jpg As most fans are aware by now, James Robinson has announced in a series of Tweets that he is leaving Earth 2 and DC Comics. This marks the beginning of some uncertain times for Jay, Alan, Kendra, Khalid, Al and company. This has been a consistently excellent series, one near the top of my pull list for some time. The fact that it has done so well is testament to Robinson’s talent as a creator, and he will be sorely missed. There is certainly time for DC to try to make this right, as they previously have done wih Gail Simone on Batgirl…but just in case this is a good time to say a few words about James Robinson’s excellent run on Earth 2.

Earth 2 has been both a critical and sales success, with Robinson taking on one of the most difficult and controversial changes in the New 52 – the complete redesign of the Justice Society.  Robinson took the Golden Age Heroes who for years had literally been the elder statespersons of the DC Universe and made them young again, placing them on a parallel Earth for the first time since before the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths in the 1980s.  In doing so, he revamped both the look and origin stories for characters long cherished by DC fans, with many fans (including myself) waiting for the results with skeptical eyes.  What we got was something truly special, and something that has been one of the great success stories of DC’s lineup.

Jay Garrick in particular had caused some early concern.  The initial drawings released to the public didn’t cast the new uniform in the best light, and while the first issue allayed that concern with a very interesting new look it also cast Jay as a bit of a slacker who couldn’t keep his life together.  Yet, over the issues so far we have seen Jay grow as both a person and as a hero.  Jay Garrick didn’t ask for his powers, but he didn’t shirk the responsibility that came with them.  And, he is still growing and becoming both a true hero and a leader.  Jay as the everyman hero has become a great character in this series.

Even the change that generated the most news in the mainstream media, revamping Alan Scott as gay, was handled expertly by Robinson.  We find an Alan Scott who is noble, brave, truly heroic, and a strong leader who happens to be gay.  It is one part of who he is, not merely a stunt to generate controversy or sales.  In remaking these characters, Robinson has taken the best of their Golden Age and Silver Age qualities and reshaped them to fit the sensibilities and realities of today.

I could go on and on about the characters created for this series, from the great Hawkgirl to the wonderful new Doctor Fate, to the new Al Pratt and the new Mr. Terrific (who doesn’t seem so interested in “fair play” at the moment, if you are following the storyline).  This is a series that I didn’t want to like, didn’t want to believe in…yet James Robinson won me (and a lot of other fans) over with his excellent storylines and characterization.  He has proven that writing matters, that good writing can make most any character compelling, and that a good story is always worth reading.

I’m still holding out hope that something can be resolved a la Gail Simone and her return to Batgirl.  If not, DC will have the very difficult task of finding someone who can effectively continue James Robinson’s excellent vision for this team and this series.  Jay Garrick and company have lost an excellent friend…and so has the DC Universe.  Wherever you go, Mr. Robinson, we will anxiously await your next work.  Thanks for a great ride with Earth 2!