DC Extreme: Extreme Justice #2: Yay Character Development!

Extreme Justice #2 Cover DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Back to the DC Extreme Universe with Extreme Justice #2! After the events of Extreme Justice #1, life is tense for our new team. First of all, Captain Atom is out of the picture. For a team to be successful it needs some kind of leader. Any other team would have called it a day after that. Of course, this team is made of sterner stuff and they have a job to do. The mystery of Mount Thunder intensifies in #2. Our Beta Team pals are only the beginning of the craziness lying within this hostile new headquarters. Our story is starting to heat up now. What will Extreme Justice do now without Captain Atom? Will the team survive his loss? Let the mystery be revealed as I venture forth into Extreme Justice #2.

I feel my desire for Crystal Pepsi rising as I return to Extreme Justice once more.

In adventures of Extreme Justice, this issue is the toughest to get a handle on. General Synge has one big evil villain moment but that’s about it for him in this issue. In all honesty, I was this close to combining this one with #3 and calling it a day. As per anything in this crazy universe of ours, something within this issue struck me. One special aspect that I’d been clamoring for since #0, character development. What’s frustrating for me as a reader of Extreme Justice so far is characters, namely Maxima and Amazing-Man, getting little to no development. Oh sure Maxima and Amazing-Man have things to do but even Booster Gold was lost in the shuffle too. Extreme Justice is the Blue Beetle and Captain Atom show at this stage of the game. Dan Vado knocking Captain Atom out of commission gives the team the development they need.

Extreme Justice #2 Aftermath

Copyright: DC Comics

A lesson for Extreme Justice: Character Development is Beautiful.

In any good team book, the key is to make every member of the group feel necessary. While Vado has each of the characters showing off a skill or two, they never seem to gel as a team. By the end of this issue, Extreme Justice begins to become a true team comic. Character development, it’s a magical thing. Even the bad guys get a moment of character development. The Beta Team robots that General Synge controls start to show personality. Synapse is the head robot over the robots in Beta Team called Kill-Units, but they don’t really want to kill. A nice twist on the formula of robot killers of the period, of course, Synapse is a jerk and zaps a Kill-Unit showing doubt in the mission. Heroes and Villains getting character development, I love it.

Extreme Justice: Giving me a dose of wonderful robot fights, so many robot fights.

Extreme Justice #2 Blue Beetle vs. Robots

Copyright: DC Comics

As we dive into the rest of the issue, our team gels together personality wise and now they can become a fighting force. Of course, even as they get over the hump of Amazing-Man doubts and more issues, they are dealing with a tough foe. One thing about Captain Atom, he’s tough as nails to kill if anything he’s nigh impossible to kill. Since he is also the official leader of the team as you know and I know, Captain Atom returns at the end. How does he return? The mystery will have to be revealed at a later date as that’s how Extreme Justice #2 ends.

This is a shorter recap of Extreme Justice than I’d like but that’s because there’s not a lot of big moments here. Marc Campos and Ken Branch were given many chances to show off at least. In between the short but needed character development Vado put in, this was a heavy action issue. I get the feeling Vado knew this could have been a slow issue so he piled on the action and it worked. The simple bits work in a comic at points, just enough character and a ridiculous amount of robot fighting. I am but a simple man and Extreme Justice plays to it in this issue.

As always thank you all for your support in my Extreme Justice adventures. Until next time, make sure to tune to this GWL Station and as I return with Extreme Justice #3!

 

If this is your first DC Extreme Justice adventure, never fear! Look below to catch up with the rest of the adventure!

DC Extreme: Exploring Extreme Justice #0: Hello 90’s!

DC Extreme: Extreme Justice #1: It Makes Sense!

 

DC Extreme: Extreme Justice #1: It Makes Sense!

Extreme Justice #1 Cover DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome back to the ongoing mission to read the entire series of Extreme Justice. Here we are at #1 of the somewhat remembered Justice League series. Extreme Justice had a rocky start with #0 notably making me wonder about this comic in the first place. Moments of cool are one thing, but there has to be a reason to care about a series. The cast is likable enough. Captain Atom is a good team leader. You even have a version of the classic Blue and Gold/Blue Beetle and Booster Gold duo here too. With Maxima and Amazing Man having trouble finding their place in Extreme Justice at this stage. So what will happen from here? Only one way to find out. Time to see what is in store for our Extreme Team as we head into Extreme Justice #1.

Time to get our Extreme 90’s Caps on!

Last issue in Extreme Justice Mount Thunder was introduced into the series. This from what I’m seeing will be the headquarters of our series. As this issue starts to give more background into how big the place is. There’s more details on the villain of the piece, Mister or should I say, General Synch revealed too. Synch is in charge of Mount Thunder and isn’t happy that our team is there. Turns out Mount Thunder is a massive complex; one place in particular called The Neighborhood is revealed in this issue. Synch is now trying to get the team out of there, one way or another. Which gives us a fun few pages as we start off the issue the first team gets more than they bargained for. Let’s just say, Captain Atom knows how to avoid a useless fight.

Sometimes in comics avoiding the ridiculous fight is a good thing.

This is the issue where Captain Atom gets some strong development as the leader of the team. Vado establishes why Captain Atom is the leader of Extreme Justice. One of Atom’s old friend’s is in charge of the group sent into Mount Thunder, a man by the name of Crater. Crater doesn’t want to really have this fight but he’s just following orders. Of course another person tries to go after Atom as Crater talks to his friend and Maxima comes into play and is awesome. Vado gives Maxima something to do this issue, bless you comic, bless you. Atom gets Crater to realize that if Maxima is there, there’s likely more where that came from. Crater gets his team out of there and Captain Atom shows why he is the best leader for Extreme Justice.

From here on, I am going to be spoiling bits of a 20+ year old comic so here’s your warning.

Captain Atom and Maxima Extreme Justice DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Even better with how Captain Atom handles the battle at their doorstep, he explains the reason behind Extreme Justice. That conversation should have happened with #0 but better now rather than later. Ted Kord as Blue Beetle is the speaker for the audience, he’s saying what we’re thinking about this team. A needed discussion that explains why Extreme Justice is even a thing. While #0 had many exciting moments, this is where I started to feel that Extreme Justice could start to truly connect with me. Dan Vado adding a few pages to illuminate the concept, that’s all it took.

So much makes sense now about Extreme Justice within the span of a few pages. Thank you Ted Kord.

Captain Atom and Blue Beetle Extreme Justice #1

Copyright: DC Comic

As a first time reader of Extreme Justice, I knew little to nothing about this. 90’s art was the only major thing I knew of this series. Never even knew who was on the team until I read #0. Now knowing why the team exists, this makes sense now. Take note of this, these pages I post here are why Ted Kord is one of the best DC characters no matter who writes him. Hence in the first recap why I said Dan Vado writes a good Ted Kord and he succeeds triumphantly with his characterization of him.

Take note, Dan Vado writes a good Captain Atom too.

Captain Atom and Ted Kord Extreme Justice #1 DC Comics

Firestorm/Ronnie Raymond’s story picks up a little more steam as he goes back to the Justice League Headquarters. Only he sees that the place is now gone and I was desperately wishing for an editorial note to tell me what happened. I was happy to see Oberon and Skeets though, Oberon being a classic of this period of Justice League and Skeets being Booster Gold’s Robot Pal. This was during the odd Booster Gold full armor period and editorial notes would be so nice to have right now. I digress a little though as this sets up Ronnie Raymond’s purpose in this series, to find a cure for his Leukemia with Skeets helping him to find the Extreme Justice team. Take note, I have no idea how the story ends so this will be fun for all of us.

The rest of the issue is Mount Thunder exploration time! Now we’re dealing with the rest of the people who are inside Mount Thunder with our oddball Justice League team. Early on I mentioned the Neighborhood and even the title page notes it, the place looks like Leave it to Beaver. Of course the massive battle that finishes off our comic is far from the peace this Neighborhood gives off. There’s only so much to dive into with the battle, it’s bonkers, it’s fun, and that’s the battle. Amazing-Man gets a few cool moments with his power and Maxima gets a little more to do. By the end though there is a classic what in the world moment in comics, Captain Atom is gone. Imagining the reactions of fans of this period sounds priceless right now.

The most horrible things happen to characters in classic sitcom settings.

Amazing-Man and Maxima Extreme Justice #1 DC Comics

Nearing the end of this article, you all are wanting me to comment on the art. Marc Campos is an artist of that period, but better than a lot of the Extreme artists of the time. Not saying the work is perfect but there are some great designs in the book, especially with the Beta Team near the end of the issue. The Neighborhood has a nice, classic feel to it that I personally enjoy. Yet poor Maxima, her body gets contorted in so many strange ways. Even the guys have issues but Maxima is where the issues are glaring. Ken Branch helps on the inking here, giving it a stronger look and Campos does improve with his panel work here too. Everything is much improved here. Want to know my favorite part of the art team? Lee Loughridge’s coloring is sensational. Great work with light and shadows and a lot of classic pop and sizzle within the action of the comic.

In this crazy life of ours at times seeing cool robot designs makes the universe brighter.

Extreme Justice #1 Marc Campos Robots

Time to close the book on Extreme Justice #1 and prepare myself for #2 in the meantime. Thank you all for reading my DC Extreme adventure, I appreciate the response so far. Trying to not go for the obvious snark and humor with this series is tough but fun. It’s nice to dive into a series that’s never been looked at with a semi-serious tone before but that’s what I’m attempting here. Stick with me on this ride as trust me, it’s only going to get more entertaining from here. Till next time, stay Extreme!

Same Extreme Time, Same Extreme Blog, Stay tuned to the geekwholanded.com for more Extreme Justice!

If you missed part of the DC Extreme, here’s what has been covered so far below!

DC Extreme: Extreme Justice #0

 

DC Extreme: Exploring Extreme Justice #0: Hello 90’s!

Extreme Justice #0 Cover

Extreme Justice is the oddest duck of the Justice League franchise. Starting in 1995, Captain Atom led a new Justice League made up of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold,  Amazing Man, and Maxima. In my research online on Extreme Justice they’re dedicated to being a more proactive team than the other Justice League teams at the time. Now if you’re wondering why the team is called Extreme Justice, it’s partially for the premise but also for the art style. Now many people with this comic take the route of snark with the 90’s art style. Growing up in this period of extreme 90’s art I find I have an odd appreciation for the art of the period. I’ve never read this before and it’s been in my curiosity pile for years. Since I’ve never read this, this should be a lot of fun. Surprises me that this somehow slipped by me back in the day. Prepare yourselves for a trip to a different time as we journey to the realm of the mid 90’s with Extreme Justice #0.

Welcome to DC Extreme with Extreme Justice #0!

Extreme Justice #0 Splash Page

Copyright: DC Comics, Writer: Dan Vado, Pencils: Marc Campos, Inker: Ken Branch, Colored by: Lee Loughridge, Letterer: Kevin Cunningham

Here’s the deal with Extreme Justice #0, you get no explanation as to how the team comes together. If you’re also wondering why this is #0, it came out during the Zero Hour event, which is a story for another day. Dan Vado doesn’t fill you in on anything involving how the team came together in the first place which threw me off initially. Now you understand why I did some research in understanding this team more. Extreme Justice came out of the Judgement Day crossover that happened in the Justice League titles. You don’t get to know why Captain Atom brought them together or what happened in Judgement day at all. You are thrown right into this and off to the races.

The lack of any explanation for the team makes the issue jarring at first. There’s a nuclear missile strike about to launch from the Rocky Mountains targeting Russia. As this is building you get a massive splash page introducing our heroes to the world. No explanation about the Extreme Justice team but I can’t deny that the splash page is wicked. The gritted teeth poses are on overdrive here outside of whatever pose Maxima is doing. The flying things that Blue Beetle and Amazing Man have are cool too and that can’t be denied.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for cool flying devices.

A lot of Dan Vado’s writing is actually not too bad here, it’s a little spastic and all over the place but readable. There’s fun banter with Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle being who he is and Vado has a good grasp on his character. Amazing-Man is someone I’m not as familiar with but his power to absorb energy is handy in a battle and used to good effect. Booster Gold gets a small moment, Maxima gets a moment, and then Captain Atom is power personified. Marc Campos goes mental with his art on Captain Atom, Vado wanted the audience to know he was powerful and Campos does that well art wise. The opening fight shows the power level of the team, outside of Blue Beetle who is the intelligence and fun of the team. It shows that Vado enjoys writing Ted Kord.

Dan Vado writes a strong Ted Kord and is one of the best parts of Extreme Justice thus far.

Extreme Justice #0 Captain Atom

Copyright: DC Comics

There’s a couple stories brewing already here, one with a mysterious figure and one with Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm) dealing with Leukemia. I know the Ronnie Raymond story sorts itself out down the way but I will be interested to see what this builds into. The same way with this mysterious figure that’s hanging out in the background. Marc Campos does good work in the Raymond bit as Campos dials it down and I like it. The headquarters of Mount Thunder that’s being built up is a fun idea and the story that’s happening in the next issue has my attention. The character of Mister Synge that was introduced as my attention and sounds like an entertaining villain.

Now for the rest of the art here, Ken Branch is a good inker for Marc Campos as the strong lines here helped the art immensely. It’s got some issues with spastic layouts here and there but Vado did craft a good story and Lee Loughridge’s coloring was nice, weird at points within Mount Thunder but nice. The art in the 90’s books is something people like to rip into but this has issues but it’s overall decent, not perfect but decent. Always remember, the 90’s were a strange and fascinating time for comic books.

If you have any feedback you’d like to give me as I go through Extreme Justice please do fire me a line! Either on my @GeekWhoLanded twitter or leave a comment below. Still working through the kinks how I will cover Extreme Justice as this goes forward. I’m planning on covering the entire series from start to finish. In any case thanks for reading and till next time, stay Extreme.

Same DC Extreme Time, Same DC Extreme Channel.

 

Wes Reads Supergirl: Rebirth #1: Welcome Back Kara!

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 Cover

Copyright DC Comics and Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh

Let’s start this out by saying this, I’m a huge fan of the Supergirl TV series that starts its second season on the CW this Fall. With that admission out of the way I have to say, in the New 52 I felt Supergirl was a character that suffered a lot during that period. Deathstroke had a rough time of it too in the New 52 with Supergirl in the same boat. With DC Rebirth we get Supergirl: Rebirth #1 setting up the new status quo pushing Supergirl forward for her new ongoing. Steve Orlando has high praise as a writer from me with his work on Midnighter from DC in particular. With him in charge of Supergirl, my hopes were high for this series. Being a fan of the TV series and knowing the quirky history of Supergirl, this could have gone either way for me. With the comic now here and in my hands, now I start my thought process. How did it go? Did it live up to my expectations? What does the future hold for me and did I end up liking this comic? All this and more to be revealed as I dive into Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Supergirl DC Rebirth Title Panel

Copyright: DC Comics

In the art of playing my hand too early here I have to admit, I liked this book a lot. Any series that gives me Cameron Chase on a regular basis is off to a good start. Of course I am getting ahead of myself as the new series does establish Kara working for the D.E.O. as Supergirl like the TV show. The series starts her off in a different direction, she’s powerless to start out with and she’s having to rebuild from that. If any series sets the tone for DC Rebirth, Supergirl: Rebirth is one such series. This feels like a reboot of the character and that’s not a bad thing either. You get a look at her old home of Argo City as a framing point for the story proper. Even better her origin story is told in a fluid way that feels natural and organic to the story.

What does this journey hold for Supergirl?

Supergirl DC Rebirth Spaceship

Copyright: DC Comics, Writer: Steve Orlando, Penciller: Emanuela Lupacchino, Inker: Ray McCarthy, Colorist: Michael Atiyeh, Letterer: Steve Wands

The supporting cast gets a nice setup too, my early mention of Cameron Chase as director of the D.E.O and Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers as her foster parents on Earth. That’s how you use the material of the TV series and use it to make your comic that much better. Even better that Cameron Chase gets to be the awesome character I’ve loved ever since her ongoing series. I like that Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers get established as strong characters too, the supporting cast is well fleshed out by the end of the issue. The Argo City framing device I mention sets up many things to come in this series, at least for this story arc. The personality of Kara Danvers shines through as she’s a 16 year old girl learning how to adapt to Earth and looking forward to what happens from here. She works for the D.E.O. and is game to see where this goes and you can’t help but like her by the end of the issue. This is a great example of the best of DC Rebirth as to how to make a character better.

An excellent supporting cast with a strong lead will get you everywhere.

Supergirl: Rebirth already has strong character work with a great story and how does the art fare? The art team is up to the task and fit this comic brilliantly. Steve Orlando gave his art team plenty to work with here. Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, and Michael Atiyeh are a phenomenal team to have on this. Lupacchino’s pencils are dynamic, energetic, and expressive as anything I’ve seen before. There’s one scene in particular that’s a standout for me, the double spread of Supergirl coming out from the Sun and back at full power. That perfect expression, the bold lines of McCarthy’s inks, and the blazing hot colors from Michael Atiyeh, make Supergirl come to life here.  The Kryptonian Werewolf fight is a blast to watch too but Orlando’s way of expressing Supergirl’s soul shines with Lupacchino’s pencils. It’s a beautifully colored book too, Atiyeh makes use of bright and bold eye popping colors to show that above all, this book will be one about optimism. It’s an exciting time indeed to have a book like this shine art wise along with brilliant writing.

If you’re hesitant about buying Supergirl: Rebirth, don’t be. This comic is a great way for new readers to get to know Supergirl. It merges aspects of the TV and Comic worlds together to make a great comic book series in the process. I am looking forward to the upcoming Supergirl #1 even more than before. If this is any indication of what we’re in for with the series itself, we’re in for a great adventure.

Wes Reads Deathstroke: Rebirth #1: Christopher Priest Returns to DC!

Deathstroke Rebirth #1 Cover

Copyright: DC Comics with Cover by ACO and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

In the New 52, DC had a tough time with an ongoing for one character in particular, Deathstroke. At his core Deathstroke is a tough character to build an ongoing around as by nature, he’s not easy to connect with. Yet with the right set up, Slade Wilson as Deathstroke can be a compelling read. I remember when the DC Rebirth announcements hit and Christopher Priest on Deathstroke surprised me. Deathstroke became a comic for me personally to get excited about because if this character is where Priest returns to an ongoing series, this has got to be good. Quietly I’ve been awaiting this comic and I’ve been waiting to see what Priest has in store for us as readers. I am surprised that they’re doing a Rebirth rather than going into a #1 but from reading this issue, I can see why a Rebirth issue was needed here. So does Priest have the magic touch once more to get readers hooked into Deathstroke? Well there’s only one way to find out, let’s dive into Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 and go back into the brutal world of Slade Wilson once more.

Deathstroke Rebirth Title Deathstroke the Professional

Copyright: DC Comics, Letterer: Willie Schubert

First off with Deathstroke: Rebirth #1, you can tell that this is a Christopher Priest comic from the get go. The black box with white text giving you the slightest hint of what you’re in for is that instant sign that this is a Priest book. You see Slade Wilson being a Dad, an awful Dad at points, but a Dad nonetheless. On the other hand you see Slade as Deathstroke and what mission he’s on right now. You get many sides of the character, Mercenary, Dad, and altogether a complete character study of sorts. Best part about Deathstroke: Rebirth is you don’t need to know that much about Deathstroke going into this. Priest is making a point to show all the sides of Slade Wilson and how he operates. For every moment that Slade has that second where he might not be so terrible, he immediately becomes terrible again. Slade Wilson is not a good person and Priest doesn’t shy away from that. Priest is starting off his run on Deathstroke by doing some amazing character work with him from the start. There’s a lot of action and intensity here but the character work here is top notch.

deathstroke-rebirth-dc-comics-priest-pagulayan-battle

Copyright: DC Comics Art Team: Pencils: Carlo Pagulayan, Inks: Jason Paz, Colorist: Jeromy Cox

You get a slow intro to Slade Wilson’s supporting cast in the book too, mostly Hosun his tech support, eventually Slade’s Kids, and another character I won’t mention because of spoilers. This isn’t a slow burn book by any means, yet Priest is making it clear, Deathstroke is the major focus and everything else is forming around him. This isn’t a light book either, some humorous moments yet but this book is dark without a doubt. Which shows in the art of the series, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox, make for a powerhouse art team here. It’s realistic, and tough as nails art and I like it. Pagulayan has a style fit for Slade’s world, it’s tough and suited for the fluid action scenes here. Paz’s inks add a tight line to the work, giving extra emphasis to Pagulayan’s art making it that much stronger. Jeromy Cox’s colors are muted for this, this is not a bright and shiny world that we’re in here and the colors show it. I would say the brightest coloring in the comic is the desert as Slade Wilson is talking to his current employer in the bright desert but the horrors around him are shaded in hushed and dark tones. The art for this series fits the character and sets the mood for darker things to come.

Deathstroke: Rebirth sets up Slade Wilson as a genuine bad guy and that’s amazing. No gimmicks, nothing fancy, just Slade Wilson being Slade Wilson. This is a back to basics for Slade Wilson and it’s been sorely needed. Now this may not be a series everyone will end up digging, this isn’t a light read by any means but it is good reading for sure if you’re into it. It adds more than a couple cool ideas into Slade’s world and I can’t help but like that. If you’re a big Deathstroke fan or just want a good tough action series, look no further than Deathstroke: Rebirth.

The DC Rebirth Journey: Wes Reads Week Two of DC Rebirth

Detective Comics #934 DC Rebirth Cover

DC Rebirth marks one of the biggest surprises I have had as a comic fan in a long time. Week One of DC Rebirth was overall successful, at least for me. Now we are onto week two and what an adventure it is. I’m going to be keeping with this format covering DC Rebirth as since I am reading them all; at least for now. Until then enjoy these massive posts detailing my thoughts on the whole DC Rebirth adventure week to week. For Week Two we have Action Comics, Detective Comics, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. All of these worked in their own way to set the scene for DC Rebirth. I’m here to sort it out in my own head as well as tell you all if they’re worth reading. There’s a lot happening here and I’m happy to take you along for the ride. If you’re coming from Week One, thanks for returning, and if you’re on board for the first time with Week Two, welcome and I am happy to have you here!  Welcome to Week Two of The DC Rebirth Journey, come along as I explore this second week of DC Rebirth.

(Small Warning there may be mild spoilers for the books in these reviews, the Wonder Woman is the one that has some mild spoiler material.)

Aquaman: Rebirth #1 Cover DC RebirthAquaman: Rebirth #1

The one book out of this entire week that made me scratch my head a lot was Aquaman: Rebirth. Dan Abnett was doing what I call Geoff Johns lite. Making a point to show how great Aquaman is and this time around having Mera as part of the story. It’s a decent read, not perfect but decent enough of a read. It is showing that Aquaman is in a better place with Mera by his side for starters. With The Deluge as a new threat in his life as King of Atlantis, it’s a cool idea yet doesn’t quite work as well as I thought it would. Yet the coolest part of this was the ending as there is a constant narration by a classic character that works wonders in increasing interest for this series. I’m not one hundred percent sold on Aquaman at least yet. This is one where I’m not sure if I’ll get the first issue of the ongoing series. I must say though, I did enjoy the art of Scot Eaton and Oscar Jimenez, it looked good with some rocking inks by Mark Morales and Jimenez himself doing inks as well. I do say that Gabe Eltaeb’s coloring set this book off on the right foot, beautiful coloring throughout this comic. While the story isn’t working fully for me yet, the art helped this along for sure.

The Flash: Rebirth #1 CoverThe Flash: Rebirth #1

The Flash was a tough book to judge, probably the toughest of week two. For starters this felt like an epilogue for DC Universe: Rebirth. It’s a good continuation of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth but you only get a loose idea of where The Flash is heading. Josh Williamson does excellent work with Barry Allen and setting Wally West up on his adventures in the upcoming Titans series. As a proper story for The Flash on his own, this is an odd one. It’s not bad by any means and if you want to see more of where the DC Universe and DC Rebirth is going, The Flash: Rebirth does that in spades. If you’re looking for a stand alone Flash story though, this is not it. I do find myself liking this though as overall it is a good read. Williamson gave me just enough to get me to want to try the first issue of The Flash series. I will say though Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art is a show stopper here showing that this series is going to look phenomenal as the action here is amazing, with spot on emotional touches to the work. Ivan Plascencia’s color work here is impressive too, bright, colorful, and at points moody in the right places. I’m willing to stick it out with this book, there is just enough here to keep me interested.

 

DC Rebirth Wonder Woman Punch

 

Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 DC Comics CoverWonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Out of all the series in DC Rebirth thus far, Wonder Woman: Rebirth was the big one. Greg Rucka returning to Wonder Woman is a major event in itself and if it didn’t work there would have been a major letdown. Luckily in this case Wonder Woman: Rebirth was not a letdown and turned out to be a successful return. Rucka is doing serious deep diving into the history of Wonder Woman. Her continuity has always been a mess and that’s being polite. Hence why Greg Rucka is now using every single bit of Wonder Woman and putting it into this story. I now have a new term called Wonder Woman Punch as with one punch you see every bit of her quirky continuity appear before you. It makes for a cool effect and shows that Greg Rucka means business with this new run. This is one that I’m glad I’ve taken a few days with and I find myself excited for where he is going to take her character. It’s also a great looking book, Matthew Clark and Sean Parsons make for a great art team handling most of the issue, that double page spread with Wonder Woman Punch alone seals the deal. Then you see Liam Sharp handling the art for the last few pages and we are in for a treat to say the least as these pages were amazing. Then you get the strong colors of Jeremy Colwell on the Clark and Parsons pages and Laura Martin’s coloring on Liam Sharp and hands down this book is breathtaking.  At the end of the day, this comic is all about finding The Truth about Wonder Woman and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Action Comics #957 DC Rebirth CoverAction Comics #957

Now we have Action Comics returning back to its original numbering as the push to Action Comics #1000 begins! I have to say with Action Comics that this lived up to the name for sure. It was action packed and Dan Jurgens made a point to shove in as much as he could into this issue. You get the official return of Pre-52 Superman into his costume and his meeting with Lex Luthor as his own version of Superman. We get some good character moments with Pre-52 Superman and Lex Luthor, as Luthor in this Earth hasn’t met this Superman yet. A good and definitely smash and bash filled dynamic is starting already with Pre-52 Superman and Lex. I did enjoy the family dynamic happening here, Pre-52 Superman, Lois, and his son Jon are a blast to see together. I also enjoyed how Lex set his appearance as the new Superman up, it was enjoyable. It’s a little rocky though as so far we’re only given so much to go on. As I said, there is a lot shoved into this issue and you don’t get a chance to really dive into anything. The ending was a nice touch though so I’m willing to give this more time to gel together. I will say though that Patrick Zircher’s art is on a new level, excellent work especially with the Lex vs. Superman fight, so much high intensity action that was a joy to see on the page. I liked the coloring here too, Tomeu Morey does excellent with capturing the energy lying within Action Comics as the colors look amazing and pop off of these pages. Good if not slightly rocky start so far. Giving it a couple issues to see where it goes.

Detective Comics #934 DC Rebirth CoverDetective Comics #934

The other book that begins the run to #1000 is Detective Comics #934. Not even going to hide it, this was my favorite book of all the DC Rebirth releases for Week Two. James Tynion IV is going full speed ahead with this story and I love it to pieces. Batman and Batwoman are starting a boot camp of sorts for the vigilantes of Gotham with Clayface along for the ride. The way this all comes together is smooth and without a single hitch. This is one book that clicked from the get go and got even better as the issue neared the end, I wanted more and that is a good sign. The new threat that is rising that sets up Batman and Batwoman doing this is compelling, I am so excited by this series. Clayface is going to steal the show I get the feeling as he is such an unlikely but lovable new member to the Bat-family. It doesn’t hurt that also Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira are doing some of the best work I have seen out of them, especially in the Clayface sequence, if the writing didn’t break your heart, the art will make you want to hug Clayface.  Adriano Lucas does brilliant work on the colors here too, I love the mood set with them. Clayface having this almost watercolor feel at point, and you can’t help but get lost in this world. Detective Comics #934 is excellent and I recommend grabbing that as soon as you can.

 

Week Two of DC Rebirth was a rousing success overall, some parts didn’t work as well but for the most part a lot of great reads. It is weird to admit but I really did miss collecting DC Comics on a regular basis and love being back in the DC Universe again. Keep an eye out for Week Three of DC Rebirth later this week and until then thanks for joining me on my DC Rebirth Journey.

The DC Rebirth Journey: Wes Reads Week One of DC Rebirth

DC Rebirth Week One

Initially my plan for DC Rebirth for week one was to cover all of the books in detail for detailed reviews and so forth. Then the week and weekend got away from me. Going forward there will be more detailed thoughts on DC Rebirth and I’ve said my piece on them on my twitter here and there for week one. Yet I wanted to put something for DC Rebirth, hence the DC Rebirth Journey of week one of DC Rebirth. As there is a lot to say on the books, heck there is a surprising amount to say on these books so far.  Consider this my somewhat truncated, short burst, magical week one thoughts on DC Rebirth. DC Rebirth is something I’ve been wanting to dive into in detail as at one point, I was a huge DC Comics buyer. Then the New 52 happened and over time my DC Comics pile lessened and while later I found books I liked buying in trade, month to month I didn’t have that fire to buy DC Comics. Hence I am trying my hand at the DC Rebirth Journey. Join me won’t you as I dive into the first week of DC Rebirth, a quick burst adventure into DC’s first week of books.

The first week of books was a good mix you had Green Arrow: Rebirth, Superman: Rebirth, Green Lanterns: Rebirth, and Batman: Rebirth. Out of them all the one I was planning on skipping was Green Arrow. I had only decided at the last minute to grab Green Arrow and that turned out to be my favorite book of the first week. This comic was happiness personified in a comic book. Gave a great overview of Oliver Queen and how he operates as Green Arrow. It’s new reader friendly while still giving a lot to the older readers, establishing Black Canary back into his life for starters. Setting up a potential new villain in the future too and of course giving him his rocking goatee back. Benjamin Percy is phenomenal on this comic and art wise, Otto Schmidt was amazing on this. This was the book that made me realize that DC Rebirth was well on the right path. The book I was going to skip turned out to be my favorite, a pleasant surprise indeed.

Green Lanterns: Rebirth set up a cool new idea for the Green Lantern Corps going forward. A dynamic duo of Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz not getting along, yet being forced to work together because they have to share the same lantern to charge their rings. It’s a cool idea and Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries connect you to both Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, making them both cool characters in their own right. It’s new reader friendly and sets up a connection right off the bat. Even sets up more than a few new threats to compel you to want to check out the new series. It has a lot of excellent potential, the Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes art team worked well together on this issue too. It wasn’t my favorite but I have to admit it was a lot of fun, I may not be entirely sold on the new series yet but I am game to give the first issue a shot.

Green Arrow and Black Canary DC Rebirth

Now for the Batman: Rebirth and Superman: Rebirth, both serve as ways to ease out of the New 52 and into the realm of DC Rebirth. Batman: Rebirth was Scott Snyder and Tom King working together to set up the new run with Snyder handing over the keys to Tom King going forward. It sets up an amazing revamp of Calendar Man for one, suitably creepy and will be cool to see how that plays out going forward. Duke Thomas from Zero Year is being set up not as Robin but something different, a new sort of sidekick for Batman. Not sure how this will play out but this could be a blast to see. Mikel Janin nails this book art wise, it’s a cool looking book and I don’t want to forget to mention here that June Chung’s colors are gorgeous on this comic. It’s a good setup for Batman going forward and gives you a loose idea that Tom King is going to be playing with a lot of fun toys.

Superman: Rebirth as I mentioned is a way to ease into DC Rebirth. Superman: Rebirth is an epilogue to the aftermath of the death of the New 52 Superman. Superman: Rebirth serves as a way to reacquaint fans to the pre-52 Superman and introduce new readers to him if they need it. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason talk about the death and return of the pre-52 Superman using Lana Lang as a way for the readers to learn about his history. Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza handle the art duties here superbly, showing the power and joyous optimism of the pre-52 Superman. It doesn’t set up any new threats as much as it is a way to show the readers that yes, pre-52 Superman is here and ready to return to being Superman once more. It’s a cool book and a joy to read, getting me excited for Superman and also Action Comics as well.

The first week of DC Rebirth was a rousing success and if this is any kind of indication of what the rest of the books are going to be like, this is going to be amazing. I can already feel my optimism for DC Comics rising as I think about the books to come. A great start to this relaunch and I await the rest of the journey. Keep tabs here as I continue my journey into DC Rebirth in the months to come. The good, bad, and the ugly, I shall discover it all as I venture forward. So far though it looks like smooth sailing ahead and that makes me smile.

 

Wes Reads DC Universe: Rebirth #1: A Universe Reborn

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Cover

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 has arrived after months of anticipation as to what DC Rebirth would entail. This was already going to be a special book as it launched DC Rebirth but even more so as this book is kind of event is what Geoff Johns thrives on. Johns is a rare breed of writer that excels on stories that tend to put things back in place and still managing to make it a good read. In my own case I’ve been excited for this book since it was announced and overall the entire DC Rebirth line. Now I have read DC Universe: Rebirth and mostly processed all of the events within the book. There is going to be much discussion in the months to come about this book and in turn throughout the entire DC Rebirth line itself. DC Universe: Rebirth #1 is a book that is huge on many accounts as there is a few surprises that I didn’t expect to see as somehow I managed to dodge a few spoilers as this book was about to launch. As I have been someone who has enjoyed a lot of DC Comics over the years, this one was special to me as well as I have always wanted to embrace the DCU the way I have in the past. It was a hit or miss affair with me and the New 52 and I had to wonder what DC Universe: Rebirth would have in store for me as well as other comic fans, apparently more than anyone imagined.

(Take note, from here on I am going to spoil the living nightmare out of DC Universe: Rebirth, this is your spoiler warning so if you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading now. You have been warned.)

Not sure how much reviewing there will be here for DC Universe: Rebirth as to put it bluntly I liked it, yet I will say it shows no mercy for new readers. That is probably the only criticism I have, it is a good read but if you are new to the DCU then you are going to have an adventure on your hands as a new reader. There are parts where it is easy to dive into in the aspects of the intros to the Blue Beetle series, Green Lantern, and so forth, but the Superman stuff is going to fly the heck over some heads, pun not intended. The fascinating aspect of DC Universe: Rebirth is how insane Geoff Johns went with it, this is some high level DC deep cutting in the best ways possible. We got Legion of Super Heroes getting set back up with Saturn Girl making an appearance and then Johnny Thunder appearing again in a rest home and getting the Justice Society of America seed in place. Destroying Pandora from the New 52 and restoring Wally West back to the DC Universe as a Flash once more. DC Rebirth has only started to play the game though as there is one bit that will likely be discussed heavily in the months to come, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen is a major force in DC Universe.

There is a simple statement to be gotten out of DC Universe: Rebirth as it explores everything within the DCU and uses Dr. Manhattan and  Ozymandias as Manhattan is talking to Adrian Veidt at the end. The Dr. Manhattan bit explains why Pandora, who created the New 52, was killed the way she was. I actually didn’t think about that part until later when I put the Dr. Manhattan pieces together. Geoff Johns went heavy into DC Continuity here and adding Watchmen characters to the mix is huge as no one could have seen this coming. Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias working together on some massive DC Universe style attack or is there more to it? We’ll learn more over the coming years as it seems this is a slow burn sort of situation with the Watchmen being involved in this. I never thought we would be in a world where the Watchmen would be used in this way but here we are.

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 Splash Page

DC Universe: Rebirth does one major thing right though, it unites the DC Universe once more. Everything is connected and legacy is fully restored to the DCU. There is much to dissect in the coming months and years as to where this will all go. That Johns managed to make this into a good story is an impressive feat in itself. This is why I’ve been saying this comic is insane but in a good way. Yes, the New 52 is for all intents and purposes dead. This is a DC Universe built on the foundation of the old universe and taking aspects of the New 52, while killing the bits that everyone hated. This is DC Comics welcoming back its old fans and saying come back to us. While welcoming new ones to a point, this isn’t the most new reader friendly book but it tries, by golly it tries. As it tries, there are many factors that still welcome in new readers in the introductions to new and exciting concepts within the story.

Take note of this too, the entire art team involved in this series worked wonder in making Geoff Johns vision for DC Universe: Rebirth come to life. Ivan Reis, Gary Grank, Ethan Van Sciver, Phil Jimenez, and more all did such great work here. It’s easy to let all the tremendous work of the art team get lost in the monumental achievement this comic is. I would feel terrible in letting their contributions go unnoticed here as there is some great art in the mix of the powerful amount of story lying within these 80 pages.

DC Universe: Rebirth is a comic that by all intents and purposes shouldn’t work as well as it does. Geoff Johns has done Green Lantern and The Flash smoothly but this was the entire DC Universe, this was on paper a herculean effort. Somehow though, Johns made the whole comic book work. It’s not perfect but for what it does it is impressive. Got me excited about DC Rebirth and happy to see what else DC Comics has in store over the coming years. An amazing experience and one that will be talked about for years to come.

 

The Bloggity Session for 4/23/16: Bless You Libraries

A later into the night edition of The Bloggity Session than I would like but sometimes you can’t help it. I spent most of the day reading Superman and The Justice League of America Vol. 1 I got from one of the libraries here in Ohio. It was pretty nice as I’d wanted to read it but not sure I wanted to really own it, hence me taking advantage of the Ohio Libraries and the lovely system we have here in Ohio connecting them. I love libraries and this saves me a good chunk of change. Yet I also put a ridiculous amount of books on hold thanks to a massive order spree my own local system got in. Soon I shall be reading Wonder Woman: Earth One for starters as it got ordered so I put that sucker on hold. My hold list at my library right now is out of control but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides this Goodreads challenge isn’t going to finish itself and it’ll just encourage me to keep up with my reading. I fell behind on my Goodreads challenge anyway so I am determined to keep up with my reading and I got so many book worlds I want to explore. I can easily say this is a win win situation for me, I save money and get to read cool books along the way, that is fine by me my friends.

Justice League Spectacular #1 Cover

Outside of reading though today, I was saddened that I didn’t get in my order for my massive back issue haul from mycomicshop.com. Looking at the tracking number it was so close to my house, alas it was not meant to be as I now have to wait till Monday for it. Oh well, one more day or so won’t hurt and I still have plenty to read either way. I’ve been enjoying these Bloggity Sessions too, they keep me writing on the day to day and not locked into a given subject per day. Besides it gives me a way to keep you all updated on me. I was always surprised by how many people enjoyed my off the cuff blogs so I’m going to keep doing them. They’re not going to be featured post blogs or anything of that nature, just me rambling along as I plot out my next round of more detailed pieces. I am liking how things are going with this blog anyway and I want to keep progress going so even if I’m just doing these quick blogs day to day in between other posts, it is a good way to let people know I’m around. Outside of random tweet blasts on my twitter or whatever other social media network I’m hanging out on.

The Medusa Chain Cover DC Comics

I did find one cool thing today, a DC Graphic Novel called The Medusa Chain by Ernie Colon. I’d never heard of this before until I found it in my local Half Price Books. If anyone has anything to say on it, feel free to fire me a line. Otherwise this is just a nifty piece and is #3 in the series of DC Graphic Novels as it follows the Warlords and Star Raiders graphic novels I already have. You can’t help but love the random finds and those things that are so cool you can’t help but smile. Looking above at the cover too it looks like a good read, I also the Jack Kirby Graphic Novel The Hunger Dogs is part of this series but I know it is hyper expensive so I doubt I will ever find that out in the wild. Still one can dream as I would love to own a copy of The Hunger Dogs one day as it is part of the Super Powers series that Kirby did for DC so The Hunger Dogs would be neat to have.

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough for one night so I shall catch up to you all later. Much appreciated for you all reading this and till the next Bloggity Session, be awesome to one another. Take care everyone.

Exploring The Obscure DC Comics #1: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s iCandy

iCandy #1 Cover DC Comics

This starts a new series for me here and one that will be expanded into Marvel and any other obscure series that got lost to time.  The first part of this is going to be talking about iCandy, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning or DnA’s seemingly lost series. It was done between 2003 and 2004 for six issues with co-creator and artist Kalman Andrasofszky with help from Eric Vedder and Rob Ross from UDON in the latter half of the run. iCandy was done when Abnett and Lanning were working on The Legion of Superheroes, simply called The Legion, for DC Comics at the time. For Andrasofszky in my research this was his first big gig for a major comic company. This makes this comic series a unique one as this is a series that was supposed to be ongoing but sales weren’t in the favor of the team. Yet why did it not catch the eyes of the audience and why was it canceled so soon before it even had a shot? That’s what I aim to figure out there. I’ve read the entire series as initially I was going to do this issue by issue, yet the series itself is so short that it is pretty digestible for one article. Sit back, relax, and let’s see what the journey into iCandy #1-6 has to offer us and in turn how the series is as a whole now.

Getting to know iCandy as a story is a strange case, it starts off simple as a boy named Matthew Spencer is dealing with the aftermath of his parents divorce. Even worse is in the aftermath of the divorce his sister Candace has also gone missing, a double whammy of pain that would be tough for any kid to handle. He’s gone mostly silent it seems and gotten lost in the world of the video games and a justified case of being a broken kid at this point. His school life is a mess, his home life is a mess, and yet the one thing that keeps him together is video games. He lives on the East Coast, likely New York as the story doesn’t really make that clear where he is. His Dad lives on the West Coast working for a video game company called I.F.X. Games and he sends his son new stuff they’ve been working on. In the aftermath of a bad day during a storm, Matthew sits down and plays with a new game his Dad sends him and sets it up seeing a character that looks like his sister. He selects her and in the midst of the storm, the character known as Candy comes to life. Which begins our adventure. (Also an amazing piece of art by Kalman Andrasofszky too, isn’t it gorgeous?)

iCandy Kalman Andrasofszky Candy Revealed

Now here’s the thing you know all the information I give you about the story? That’s from #1 and yet the full story about his Mom and Dad’s divorce isn’t mentioned until issue #2. The brutal part is Matthew is so silent in the issue and we don’t get a full sense of our cast of characters. His Mom doesn’t get that much to do outside of be angry with Matthew, and his Dad pops up via a phone and letter to set up Candy in the story.  The best part about #1 and #2 is the fact that Andrasofszky’s art is beautiful. It’s beautiful work, Candy’s design is impressive and her initial appearance #1 and the top notch fights #2 are worth seeing. The way that her move structure is set up like a fighting game showing how you’d do the move on a controller is a nice touch. ItEven showing how Candy sees the world as a video game and pocketing a shotgun for her inventory is pretty slick. It captures a game character in the real world well for the most part. Yet any actual character work in this story doesn’t begin until late into #2. I can see why this story was a tough sell as when you don’t get anything to grasp onto until #2 and the story itself doesn’t really begin until #3, I can understand why it didn’t go over well then.

iCandy #2 Fight Scene Moves

Yet when #3-6 start into the true iCandy story, that’s when it starts to become an interesting yet messy read. Before I start into things remember, this was supposed to be an ongoing and even I could barely process how the story points were flying at me as a reader. You get the intro into the villain of the piece Mr. Childes and his henchman of sorts Korben. You get a loose intro in #2 and then start getting more of an idea of the true nature of I.F.X. throughout #3 and right up into #6. During all of this, part of the focus is on Matt and Candy’s road trip to meet up with Matt’s Dad, Mike. #4 is where we start learning that Candy can be hurt but she recovers quickly and was likely used as a new reader issue, which explains all the stuff we should have known more in #1. By the way, you’re wondering where is Matt’s Mom? Matt’s Mom is at home and doesn’t have much to do at this stage of the story which makes me scratch my head a lot. Mike learns more about the company I.F.X. Games that he works for in the process. You learn that I.F.X. is in a video game battleground. There’s these creatures that Candy and Matt fight on their trip that are called Bit-Maps who are called EDS or Extra Dimensional Sentients. It gets weird to say the least as this is getting explained in #5. Reality and Gaming blurring together, which is such a cool concept but again, explained late in the game so to speak. I can only imagine what this was like for anyone following this monthly.

Yet what is frustrating is the fact that the art is so consistently good in the story. The UDON crew of Eric Vedder and Rob Ross on this mesh well with Andrasofszky. The bright aesthetics of Candy mixing anime flash with a killer structure of storytelling are excellent for the team. It looks so good and has great visuals that it drove me nuts that the story was so messy. Childes verges between supervillain and someone trying to help and then earlier Korben straight up kills someone only by the end gets to show a decent side. Good art with strange characterization, my word iCandy is a pretty mess. Yet the final issue is a massive battle in I.F.X. straight up the climatic battle of the Video Game characters taking life in a battle against Candy. It’s an amazing fight scene, by this point it is Vedder, Ross, and Andrasofszky with Jamie Noguchi on colors, and it looks good. Is it strange I could end up recommending reading this just for the fight scenes?

iCandy #3 Fight Scene DC Comics

There are moments of greatness though, Matt and Candy’s road trip and their relationship, Matt and his Dad’s relationship, and all of their friendships make it a good read. What makes me sad a bit is outside of Matt’s Mom being sad that Matt is gone, we don’t really get a glimpse into their relationship. When I say his Mom gets sent to the sidelines quick, she gets sent to the sidelines and never to return. If you’re wondering if Candy from the game is Matt’s sister Candace, well it is explained and it is probably the most coherent plot point in the comic. The art is solid throughout, from good to amazing, and that is one of the best parts of the comic throughout the run. It’s a shame that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning couldn’t have gotten more time and fleshed out the story more early on, iCandy could have been a great series. If only the main story could have been as strong as the art.

If you’re wondering if you should hunt down iCandy for yourself, yes and no. If you’re a huge Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning fan it is worth seeking out and especially if you like rocking artwork. The story does have a solid ending despite the messiness in the story. It is hard to be too mean on this comic series considering that it barely got a chance to develop. Yet this is what we are left with, a six issue story that has great fight scenes with hit or miss character development due to the time Abnett and Lanning had with the series. As a series, iCandy is easy to find in any back issue bin, online comic store, and you can likely find a full series set for cheap on eBay right now. It isn’t available on ComiXology for anyone curious in grabbing this instantly. A strange but fascinating start through my journey into the Obscure DC Comics, thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments below.