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Comics

World of Krypton #1 is a Fresh Take on a Doomed World

While Krypton is an important part of Superman’s origin, in practice it’s been explored in-depth fairly rarely. Once or twice per reboot, however, DC will gather some of its major Superman talent to reimagine the Man of Steel’s home planet.

One of these attempts was the World of Krypton miniseries from 1979. This was actually the first miniseries ever published by DC, and they’re reviving the title for another crack at reinventing Krypton, in World of Krypton #1 by Robert Venditti, Michael Avon Oeming, Nick Filardi, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Venditti’s been working in the Superman office for almost two years now. His work on Superman: Man of Tomorrow was generally well-received by Superman fans, and he’s taken on a more classic version of the character in the current Superman ‘78 miniseries. On paper, World of Krypton would seem like the perfect series for him to take on next, combining this recent success in the world of Superman with the cosmic storytelling Venditti first became known for on titles such as X-O Manowar and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

And it works pretty well as a finished issue. Venditti takes a narrow focus, spending all but a few pages centering Jor-El, Superman’s father, and the rest of the El clan as they celebrate the naming ceremony of Kara, the future Supergirl. While this narrow focus may seem a bit paradoxical for a book entitled World of Krypton, it introduces a clear point of view for the series and allows for the setup of a personal conflict with real stakes. The issue also includes a few elements of classic Krypton lore that haven’t been used in decades, reintroducing them to a new generation of readers and helping the story feel fresh despite the number of times Superman’s family has been revisited in the past few decades.

The small moments that take place away from the El family are engaging, too. They make it feel like Krypton is dying; not just the geologic processes of the planet, but the biological ones too. It makes sense that Krypton’s ecosystem would suffer before its inevitable destruction, and it really helps add a sense of foreboding to build anticipation for the later issues of the series.

While I mostly know Oeming from his work on Powers, he does a great job with a book that is decidedly more high-concept here. His layouts are appealing, and his version of the skyline of Kryptonopolis is beautiful, especially with Filardi’s coloring to complement it, and it’s Filardi who really steals the show here. The colors are key in making sure Krypton feels distinct from Earth visually, and in this issue Filardi nails the balance, creating a world that feels familiar but different, advanced but not distant. It helps to give this book its own visual style, looking quite unlike any other comic releasing at DC currently.

Otsmane-Elhaou outdoes himself with the lettering. There’s a clever trick used here where many of the speech balloons are rounded rectangles with a fairly large buffer between the text and the edge of the balloon. It makes the text feel clean and orderly, which fits well with a society and a family that tend to be characterized as such. The sound effects are also exemplary, with clean borders and rounded lines that complement Oeming’s thick-lined style, and the captions are stunning.

Where the book struggles is its pacing. It feels like the issue is a bit too compressed, with not enough time for events to breathe. I really think World of Krypton would have benefited from being in the Prestige Plus format like many of DC’s other books, including the somewhat similar Wonder Woman Historia, or by being given a few more issues to tell its story.

Despite that, I would say World of Krypton is a comic that’s open to both long-term Superman fans and newcomers alike. It does a great job introducing its characters and world while setting up the next few issues of the miniseries, and it tells its story in a way that’s novel despite it being a story that’s been covered before.

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Comics

GC52 News: DC Comics Released 11/30/2021

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/30/2021)

(Words in italics signify actions)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.


The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices at its normally scheduled time. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk after weeks of being on the scene in Gotham City. Instead of the battle armor of the big event, he’s traded it in for a large knit green sweater that’s outlined by the large window behind him looking out over Metropolis. The Daily Planet globe is visible behind him as the setting sun sparkles off the crown jewel of the City of Tomorrow. The GC52 theme music begins to dim as the actual program begins.

Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to bring you up to the minute updates on the worlds you live in!

It’s a joy to be back in the studio and not fighting the Magistrate’s fascist regime on the streets of Gotham. It’s been some time since the bat symbol lit up the skies again and with it, we have some updates. Miracle Molly testified against Simon Saint and his careful attacks on the media and using his tools to enforce his Magistrate project. Scarecrow was hand-delivered to the new Arkham Tower by Batman himself while Simon Saint is locked away in Blackgate Prison. For the moment, Gotham is quiet. Let’s check in with Ethan for other updates from the city.

The camera cuts to what appears to be a slightly dilapidated DEO safehouse. The reason for this is revealed as the camera pans past a window looking out over the Gotham skyline. In the distance a new addition to said skyline can be seen, Arkham Tower. Ethan walks into frame, he’s wearing the black suit and tie common for DEO agents of his caliber.

Ethan: Hey folks, after the Fear State and just how close to the edge Gotham came, I’m going to be staying in the city to keep track and make sure she doesn’t fall to that level again. With that, I’ve been looking into the newly opened Arkham Tower, Mayor Nakano’s idea a fresh start for Gotham’s most vulnerable. I’m not sure I’m convinced, Arkham is a name with a dark past, one that doesn’t give itself to cutting-edge advancements in medical and psychological practices.

And I’m not the only one it seems. I’ve had reports of Batman and Nightwing in intense disagreement over this new tower while they were apprehending a young man named Faust who was attacking the people of Gotham while wearing the bones of fowl. It seems when Mr. Faust was brought to Gotham General. While there, Nightwing met Dr. Chase Meridian, one of the heads of research at Arkham Tower. Based on the fact that Arkham Tower has now opened and wasn’t brought crashing to the ground by Batman, it seems not only did Dr. Meridian put Nightwing at ease regarding this whole situation, but he managed to bring the Bat somewhat on-side as well.

While I’m still trepidatious of all this, knowing Nightwing is accepting of what’s going on does help put my mind at ease. But, I will still remain in Gotham and continue to investigate. Back to you Dan.

The camera cuts back to Dan in the studio.

Dan: While I’ve had plenty of disagreements with Mayor Nakano over these past months, I genuinely do hope the Fear State has put him on the right track. Now, it seems there has been an attack on the Museum of Art and History in Washington DC. Reports of a strange person following some patrons have spread across social media surrounding the attack. Others say they overheard the name Altuum and them saying they’re from something called the Enki which they said will “rise again”. Very mysterious but luckily Wonder Woman was on the scene to scrap with them and save folks after the explosion went off. We will keep following this story but let’s check in with Jake.

The camera cuts to the coast of Lazarus Island, Lady Shiva towers over a beaten and broken GC52 reporter and ferret owner, Jake. She helps him to his feet only to toss him to the floor of her houseboat.

Jake: Owwww… I appreciate the martial arts training, but is this really the right way to do it?

Shiva: Yes.

Jake: I don’t think I’ve been in this much pain since an investigation took me to the doors of Lord Death Man…

Shiva: What?

Jake: Yeah, I was looking into a string of murders of serial killers and trained killers. Then I traced it from Russia to his doorstep, and it turns out it was a young girl absorbing the memories of those that die around her. Lord Death Man took her under his wing and well we know how that goes cause she’s here on the island. But I got my ass kicked 

Shiva: Yes I know Flatline’s origins. What I actually want to know is how you can compare him and his goons to me. 

At that moment Jake knew he fucked up and is knocked unconscious and the feed from the GC52 drone cuts out before resolving back on Dan in the studio.

Dan: Another day, another unconscious GC52 reporter… 

Dan raises his right hand and touches the earpiece in his right ear as a quizzical look appears on his face. He arches his eyebrows as though he’s not sure if what he’s hearing is good or bad news.

Dan: I have just received word that we have a special report from Jimmy digging into the background of the relationship between Jim Gordon and The Joker. Now it’s been a few weeks since we received any news on Jimmy’s whereabouts after Lady Bane aka Vengeance smacked through a window with him in Majorca, but truthfully, I wasn’t that concerned. Jimmy’s like the proverbial bad penny or a really persistent cold sore. I’d ask him where he’s been, but…

Dan looks into the camera and shrugs. 

Dan: Jimmy.

The camera cuts to Jimmy standing in the middle of an intersection in what appears to be Gotham City. It is daylight after a recent rain. Gotham glistens in the light of a new day.

Jimmy: Good morning, Dan. I’m standing here in Gotham City at the intersection of 5th and River, the site, years ago, of one of The Joker’s deadly pranks. I’ve been delving more into the history of the relationship between Jim Gordon and The Joker and my investigation has led me here. 

Jimmy has stopped speaking and is looking all around him. He’s taking his time, not looking at anything in particular, but it’s as though he’s forgotten this is a live report. In the midst of this, the camera cuts back to Dan.

Dan: Jimmy? Is everything alright? Jimmy, we’re still live. Jimmy? JIMMY?

The camera cuts back to Jimmy as Dan yells his name. Jimmy blinks a few times as though just waking up.

Jimmy: Sorry, Dan. It’s just that…I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Gotham bathed in this much daylight. It’s like…I don’t know….It’s always nighttime. Almost everything I learned for this report is an event that takes place at night. Well, there was a robbery at First Gotham Federal Bank, oh, but that was during the day. Jim Gordon had gone in alone and stopped the robber holding hostages who was Falcone’s Capo, Tony Rigatoni. 

It was night though, I think, when Gordon got Rigatoni to tell him the names of some crooked cops and Gordon fired them, but then they all went to work for The Joker who, at that time, was just pulling off silly pranks, like using Catman to rob a Mexican Candy Factory, oh, but then The Joker recruited Penguin, Killer Croc, and Black Mask to take over Gotham after Gordon got rid of all the organized crime guys, like Falcone, and it was here at this location that The Joker used giant pinatas that were stolen from the Mexican Candy Factory to taunt Jim Gordon by putting bodies in them and one was the body of Rigatoni. 

The camera cuts back to Dan. He narrows his eyes at the camera. He’s waiting for more.

Dan: That’s quite the report, Jimmy. Did you learn anything else about what The Joker had planned next?

The camera is back at the intersection but Jimmy is gone. The camera cuts back to Dan. As he is about to speak a giant piñata is lowered down from the ceiling into view. Dan looks around and sees a replica of Harley Quinn’s mallet that he would have sworn was not there previously. Dan picks up the mallet, takes a deep breath, and swings. CRACK! The piñata splits open and Jimmy falls out with a loud thud as his limp body hits the floor having been knocked unconscious by the strength of Dan’s mighty blow. Dan looks down at Jimmy and sets the mallet down. He looks around to see if anyone is available to help him.

Dan: I knew it was a mistake hiring Scrapper’s son. Now it looks like we have another “report” from the ferret…

The camera cuts to an interior camera of Mr. Tubes’ mech suit as hr flies through the skies of Gotham on his way to Blüdhaven. Zeb, the ghost boy, can be seen floating alongside as they are having a conversation.

Zeb: You know I saw Nightwing and Robin on their first team-up? 

Tubes begins typing on his keyboard.

Mr. Tubes: Which Robin?

Zeb: The angry one! So this was the coolest thing ever. I watched Nightwing drop kick a dude and then he said something funny or something but like Robin was standing over a guy going grrrrrr.

Mr. Tubes: That is truly fascinating! Wait what is that down there? 

Below the pair is Gotham Airport, a plane is on fire with the Batmobile a few feet away and Red Hood beating up a guy with Nightwing standing off to the side. 

Zeb: Just superheroes. Wait, are you broadcasting!?! Uh… Cut back to the studio.

The camera cuts back to Dan.

Dan: It looks like our Comms team has made contact with Jerry on Warworld! Let’s play his video to see how Superman and the Authority are wiping the floor with Mongul and his champions!

A video of Jerry begins as he sits in the Warworld coliseum watching in complete awe.

Jerry: No one believed me. No one believed the future state I lived but I’m here. The Authority are on the ropes. One of those warriors just stabbed Apollo! Holy %#^*! This is bad! This is so bad. We are losing. Our team is losing… wait hold on. I think I see Manchester Black.

The camera lingers on Jerry’s face as it begins to horror for a brief moment before shifting to that of triumph as he jumps out of his seat. 

Jerry: BASH HIS %#*^ing HEAD IN BRIT! AUTHORITY! AUTHORITY! AUTHORITY! 

Jerry looks to the camera with a face of embarrassment. 

Jerry: Oh… sorry. Something about Warworld makes you a little bloodthirsty, ya know? Mongul and Superman are squaring off. I think I heard… oh no. The planet is run by something called Star forges. I’m not a scientist but I heard red sun. Oh no. Oh no. This can’t be…

Jerry turns the camera just as Mongul stabs Superman through the chest with a kryptonite spear before lifting him into the air to proudly proclaim his victory. 

Jerry: He was ready for them… he knew it was coming… Mongul stands victorious. Spectre protect us.

The video ends as we return to Dan with his hand over his mouth in the studio, his flesh as white as a ghost. His friend Clark killed in front of his eyes. 

Dan: Cut to commercial. Cut to a commercial NOW!

The camera cuts to black as GC52 ends for another week.


Books Covered this Week:

  • Batman: Fear State Omega #1 by James Tynion IV, Riccardo Federici, Christian Duce, Ryan Benjamin, Guillem March, Trevor Hairsine, Chris Sotomayor, and Clayton Cowles.
  • Action Comics #1037 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Miguel Mendonḉa, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
  • Wonder Woman Annual #1 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Andy MacDonald, Nick Filardi, and Pat Brosseau.
  • Detective Comics Annual #1 by Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg, David Lapham, Trish Mulvihill, Lee Loughridge, and Ariana Maher.
  • Robin Annual #1 by Joshua Williamson, Roger Cruz, Victor Olazaba, Luis Guerrero, and ALW’s Troy Peteri.
  • Nightwing Annual #1 by Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey, Daniel HDR, Raul Fernandez, Rain Beredo, John Kalisz, and Wes Abbott.
  • The Joker Annual #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, James Tynion IV, Francesco Francavilla, and Tom Napolitano.
Categories
Comics

GC52 News: DC Comics Released 11/09/2021

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/09/2021)

(Words in italics signal actions)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.


GC52 News begins at the old faithful time even if the program has been a bit different for the last few weeks. The report opens abruptly as Lead Anchor Dan McMahon presses his back hard against the brick corner of a wall. His bean bag rifle is pressed close to his chest as he reloads.

Dan: Viewers, I am transmitting from what I think is a few blocks from O’Neil Boulevard in Alleytown. A heavy concentration of Magistrate drones have descended upon a group of citizens who have decided to fight back. The siege of Alleytown rages on, but no matter what we are going to push them back. Things are blowing up across the city… it’s the darkest hour. Stick with us tonight as GC52 is the ONLY news team coming to you LIVE from Gotham City. Let’s check in with… hold on.

The camera pans away from Dan and to the vines covering the city as they begin to blossom. A pheromone starts to seep out and into the air. Dan’s dirt-covered hand presses against his ear. 

Dan: Harley and Ivy… they’re back together. Good for them. Ivy is helping Gotham… those plants are restoring the peace. The tides are changing… I hope Batman is having the same luck. Let’s check in with one of our other correspondents.

The camera cuts to Mr. Tubes and his ghostly sidekick Zeb crashing into Magistrate Troops. Walls come crashing down as the duo comes upon an alley and sees the cheerful reunion of Nightwing, Robin, and the Batgirls across the street! Zeb grabs the GC52 camera drone and points it in the direction of the heroes.

Zeb: Look Mr. Tubes it’s the Batfamily! 

Tubes begins to type furiously, using his ferret paws tapping the buttons of his mech’s console to speak.

Tubes: They appear to be setting a trap! 

And they were indeed setting a trap to get some Magistrate suits to reach and infiltrate Skybase-01 to stop Seer. The heroes proceed to lure and take the spoils of the mugging for justice and fly upwards but there was a few extra troops on the ground when Tubes and Zeb show up! 

Zeb: Look, they took the armor for the jet packs! Do you have a jetpack? 

Tubes: No I do not think so. I have tapped all the buttons.

Tubes, as a ferret, does not know what a jetpack is. In his curiosity, Tubes leans down to touch an unconscious trooper’s armor and on the monitor, the words OVERRIDE and INTEGRATE popped on the screen. Tubes, still a ferret, doesn’t know those words, but having used the OVERRIDE function before clicks INTEGRATE. Upon doing so the armor is pulled apart by nanomachines and implemented into the mech. Now there are new buttons on the console, so he presses it. Mr. Tubes now has and knows what a jetpack is. 

Zeb: AWESOME!

The pair flies into the air only to reach Skybase 01 as Oracle announces that they have taken the base and will be crashing it into the ground. As they’re trying to jump back out the hole they made and entered, a bruised Simon Saint tries running past them until Zeb solidifies his body to trip the jerk rendering him unconscious. The two glide back to the ground. 

Tubes: It looks like this battle will soon be at its end. I need to get back to Blüdhaven in case my owner returns. But what will you do? Do you plan on haunting your family forever? 

Zeb: I…don’t know…

Tubes: It may be best you don’t. 

Zeb: Adventure? 

Tubes: Adventure!

The pair fly off in the direction of Blüdhaven! The camera feed cuts to Adam, fast asleep at his small GC52 desk in the corner of the cave.

Ethan: Um…Adam, you’re up now. Adam? WAKE UP!

Adam: …huh? What? I wasn’t sleeping, I was just…resting. Sorry folks, those Magistrate chumps blew up my house so I’ve had to stay in this awful hotel. I won’t name it but let’s just say it would go well with Watson.

The room was bad enough when these two teenage girls moved into the room beside me and didn’t seem to ever leave their room. I don’t know what the heck they were doing but I haven’t slept a wink in weeks because they were blasting their TV that damn loud. 

They started watching some creepy horror movie when frankly we’ve had enough fear in Gotham recently, and just when this spooky voice starts a weird nursery rhyme about killing Batgirls and things were getting interesting they threw their damn TV out the window. That was the final straw, I gave that place a one-star review and have been staying…not in the office. That’s for sure. Definitely no pillow under this desk!

Ethan: Do you have any actual news that isn’t about your housing crisis?

Adam: Oh yeah sure, the Batgirls have been about. But another thing! I rented this fancy new place in the Hill and am just about to move in when I see some guy is running around graffiting everything and the sign says “Welcome to Hell” now? What’s all that about?

Ethan: Yeah ok, we’re moving on now.

Adam: AND ANOTHER THING-

The camera quickly pans away from Adam as his housing rant continues in the background. When the feed cuts back to Dan, he’s firing his weapon towards a group of drones who seem to be on their last legs. 

Dan: Take that you bucket of fascist bolts! Check-in with Ethan. I have some robo-brains to bash in.

For the first time during the darkest moments of the Fear State, a smile paints Dan’s face and the camera cuts to Ethan in the Batcave. In the background, Adam can still be heard ranting about his housing problems.

Ethan: Evening folks, as you can probably tell we’re wrapping up business in Gotham tonight, one way or another. I’ve been doing some digging into this Gardener that’s been helping out with the Poison Ivy business going on lately. It seems she knew Ivy before her transformation, to what extent, that’s for them and only them to know. 

You may remember a couple years ago Ivy took control of everything, not just plants, but every single person around the world. Even the Justice League were taken over. This ended up being averted thanks to Batman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. But what my digging has found is that it was the Gardener who warned Batman about the approaching attack. It seems we owe our current free will to this person. 

Now we wait to find out what role she will play in concluding this Magistrate business. In the meantime, looks like we’ve got an update from Belle Reve. But first, let’s go to Rook, live from Metropolis.

The camera cuts to Rook standing on a street corner in Metropolis.

Rook: Another day, another disaster defused by Superman. At least, that would be the case if today was like any other; however, we might just be looking at a new record.

After being supercharged by one of Gamorran president Henry Bendix’s (likely off-the-books) technologies for some (likely nefarious) reason, Jon Kent had a lot of power. Almost too much, even, particularly for someone who can hear everyone calling out for help across the world.

So what did he do? Well, everything. For everyone. From saving the inhabitants of a small Luxembourg town from a flood, to helping a lost little girl in Costa Rica, to carrying a bridge full of patients to a hospital with room to treat them, to rescuing three journalists from kidnapping, to dozens of other daring feats.  

In fact, those might have been a few too many feats. The strain began to pile up, as did mistakes. Luckily, a…new friend intervened and insisted on Superman getting a chance to rest. After all, when you’ve got everyone, who’s got you? So a pair of noise-canceling headphones and nine hours of shuteye later, Superman was right as rain and ready to…well, save some other people, but with his head on his shoulders. Whatever Henry Bendix had planned will have to wait, but with Superman on the job, it won’t be waiting for long.

The camera cuts to Jordan sitting in a cramped little room rustling through old VHS tapes

Jordan: Greetings. Welcome once again to GC52’s Belle Reve branch. As always I’m here to give you top-secret updates on the current happenings of Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s own personal Suicide Squad. You’d think after the Squad’s last mission to literal Hell, they’d get a little time off. But no rest for the wicked I guess, because now Waller has sent them all to space. 

The Squad today consisted of Match (our former Superboy), Nocturna, Culebra, Talon, Black Siren, Ambush Bug, and the new field leader, Major Force. The Squad ventured to the remains of Green Lantern headquarters Oa. They were given the mission objective of finding and locating a certain prisoner deep underwater. 

In venturing down into the darkness the Squad encountered some massive squid monster and a Green Lantern, Jo Mullein. Ambush Bug and Major Force managed to sneak by and retrieve the prisoner though. A charming fellow with a name we can’t quite decipher, Ambush Bug seems to have named him Yorick. Unfortunately, the Squad’s victory seems to have been short-lived. Last contact mentioned an attack by the Thanagarians, so that can’t be good. I’ll be sure to update you when more word comes in. 

Back here at Belle Reve though there have been some interesting developments. I’m getting the feeling that Dr. Rodrieguez isn’t exactly following Waller to the letter. I’ve been intercepting pieces of strange transmissions outside the base. Perhaps to a certain Colonel Flag? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. 

Dan stands with his boot on the crushed head of one of the Magistrate’s drones as he checks in on the show.

Dan: That brings us to Thomas, our Oa correspondent, with an update on the still fractured Green Lantern Corps. Is it snowing in space? 

The feed cuts to Thomas sitting in front of a small writer’s desk, in a space smaller than a college dorm room. He is sloppily dressed and looks sleepless.

Thomas: Nothing of the sort, Dan. I was just about to catch up to Lantern Stewart a few days ago to ask about the latest developments with his New God friends when they disappeared through a portal to stop some sort of interdimensional brainwashing. 

Dan: How will we know if the anti-brainwashing mission is successful?

Thomas: That’s what has kept me awake for three straight days. How will any of us know? These are gods and meta-gods tussling over our heads! What about our simple biology even approaches the feats they accomplish before breakfast? Did you know some of these “gods” refer to themselves by mega-generations of “old” and “new?” We are less complex to them than building blocks. Our most advanced mathematics mean as much to them as a flea’s taxes do to us.

Dan: Heady stuff. Are there no more leads, then?

Thomas: Oh, I’ve been keeping tabs on Stewart via his LinkedIn profile. He recently changed his job title to ‘Ascended,’ whatever that means, and recently updated his banner image to some glowing hellscape or another. Or maybe it’s what heaven looks like to the latest generation of gods and blue-skinned patriarchs. However, nothing escapes the vanity of social media, not even Lantern Mullein laying down the law on Oa. 

Dan: Good old social media. Straight up replaced our Blue and Gold coverage. Makes me fret for the future of traditional media, like multiversal cable news.

Thomas: Television is still doing okay! I just saw Blue Beetle and Booster Gold on a talk show reminiscing about the good old days with their former teammate Guy Gar–

Thomas’s feed cuts to static. When it cuts back to Dan, he’s standing looking out over Morrison Harbor as the fires from the remains of the Magistrate ship rage from the waters as it sinks to the fathoms below.

Dan: It’s over… we won. The Bat-family did it. They beat Simon Stagg and his fascist regime. They beat Scarecrow. The city is saved once again by those vigilantes that the spineless Mayor refused to call off his witch hunt for. Those other news channels… the ones who lied and spread false information are now singing a different tune. But us… GC52… we were here. We were in the city doing what’s right.

Dan sits, letting his feet dangle over the water as he removes his bulletproof vest and Bat symbol headband, letting them fall behind him as he watches as the Bat symbol lights up the skies once again. A beacon of hope, a beacon of a brighter future for Gotham. The light that reminded him growing up that there was something better out there. The camera watches as he is unaware tears are stinging his battle-worn cheeks as the nightmare ends while a familiar face sits beside him. As he sits, he cracks two Miller High Lifes before handing one to Dan.

Ethan: Well, I’ve reported everything to Chase and closed up the Batcave as if we were never there. You gonna be alright? You’ve been on the streets for days…

Dan: They won’t know we were here. Hell, Batman himself may not even know we were here. But we will know. We did the best good we could with the tools we have. I hope it was enough.

Ethan: Being good is good enough.

Dan almost instinctively reaches for his neck scar but stops. 

Ethan: I know you don’t like talking about it but I saw the files that Bones has on you. We ever going to talk about your time on the Suicide Squad or no?

Dan: Another day, today I want to look forward. I’m glad you made it back super spy. Cheers, to GC52 brother.

The broadcast draws to a close as Dan and Ethan klick their cans together and the camera pans up to the Bat-Signal shining across the Gotham skyline.


Books Covered this Week:

  • Batman #117 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
  • Nightwing #86 by Tom Taylor, Robbi Rodriguez, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott.
  • Batgirls: Fear State #3 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.
  • Batman: Secret Files – The Gardener #1 by James Tynion IV, Christian Ward, and Tom Napolitano.
  • Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 by Tom Taylor, John Timms, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe.
  • Suicide Squad #9 by Robbie Thompson, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Dexter Soy, Marcelo Maiolo, and Wes Abbott.
  • Green Lantern #8 by Geoffrey Thorne, ChrisCross, Marco Santucci, Juan Castro, Michael Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh.
Categories
Comics

GC52 News: DC Comics Released 11/09/2021

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/09/2021)

(Words in italics signal actions)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.


GC52 News begins at the old faithful time even if the program has been a bit different for the last few weeks. The report opens with Dan sitting at the Batcave computer as he wraps a bandage around his arm.

Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to keep you updated on what is happening up to the minute in Gotham City as the Fear State continues.

Taking some time off the street to catch up on the news. I saw a talk show with Dr Psycho on it to promote his new book. Listen, I’m all about people turning over a new leaf but I’m pretty sure he’s a meninist now. Like men’s rights activist. What an asshole… I hope Wonder Woman steps on his head.

The camera cuts from Dan over to another corner of the Batcave where Ethan is sat, trawling through data on a massive monitor screen. He begins speaking with a rapid urgency, not even breaking his sight to look at the audience.

Ethan: Got a few updates for you this week folks, and with us preparing for the final push against Scarecrow and the Magistrate, it’s gonna be a quick one from me. First up, there was a siege at Gotham Juvie when a group of anarchists attempted to break one of their own out of there. Luckily, the new Batman was on sight and brought a swift end to the attack. It looks as though these anarchists were part of Seer’s network of operatives, so here’s hoping this new Batman, or one of the beloved vigilantes in Gotham can take them down.

Next, reports of another Seer attack came in not 5 minutes ago. They’d corralled Batwoman and, from what the reports say, a returned Red Alice into a trap whereupon they were attacked by numerous Magistrate officers. Now luckily, it’s Batwoman and Red Alice, two of the most devastating fighters in the city, so they handled the situation. But this again proves what I was saying, this Seer is a danger and it won’t be long until they stop going after our city’s heroes and instead after the good folk of Gotham.

I’ve also been following up on reports of Azrael’s whereabouts before he began investigating the escaped Arkham patients. From what I’ve gathered there was a sighting at one of Gotham’s churches, not too surprising when you remember Azrael’s connection to faith. But I did send a drone over there earlier today in the hopes of finding some clue as to what went down there. It looked like this church had been converted into a laboratory. I’m waiting on samples back from my team at the DEO to tell me what exactly went down there.

And lastly from me tonight folks, there’s been a small but vital victory on the streets of Gotham as the Outsiders, along with the help of Robin and Clownhunter, have taken down Scarecrow’s testing laboratories. We can only hope they got all of them before any unchecked strains of Fear Toxin got out into the city. That’s all from me, back to you, Dan!

The camera cuts back over to Dan.

Dan: And now- *cough cough* sorry one second folks.

Dan stops to take a drink of water from a glass on the table and stops as he notices a tiny bottle in the glass with a piece of paper inside it.

Dan: Oh not again! Get an email! Well I guess let’s see what’s happening on the Seven Seas this week!

Dan unfurls the note and begins to read.

Dear Diary,

I miss Mike. My best friend, and fellow Manta Man. Gone. Apparently there’s this new guy called “Devil Ray” and he did something to the water and blew a bunch of stuff up, including our Manta base with Mike inside. Bossman seems to think it’s part of the “Orichalcum” stones he’s investigating, obviously, so he’s just diving deeper into that with the Gentleman Ghost fellow. Apparently he travelled in time for a minute? Then the Manta plane got attacked and Black Manta and Gallous had to fight off a lady from Themyscira riding a demon dragon…thing. Still waiting for a paycheck because last time I checked, fighting demons isn’t our job. Atlantis is blaming us for the whole thing of course, as if we’d blow up our own house. At least they learned their lesson pretty quickly, from what the boss is saying this “Devil Ray” fellow attacked Atlantis and all it’s fancy boss people.

Love,

Mark the Manta Man

P.S. I hope no one finds these after I throw them in the ocean, Black Manta wouldn’t like me sharing all this info

Dan: Don’t worry Mark, we’re only…broadcasting them live on air.

The camera pushes in on Dan as his angelic face takes on a somber appearance. He clears his throat and begins.

Dan: It is never easy to say goodbye to a member of the GC52 family. As I look around the newsroom tonight, I’m reminded of the words of a close friend that would say, “The most important thing in life will always be the people in this room…my family.” That’s how I feel about every single person here, from political talk show host Jack Ryder to gossip columnist Wally Tortolini. Jimmy has not been heard from since being swallowed by the Creature born from Killer Croc terrorizing Gotham City. So Tonight we go to his cameraman Bobby with a special retrospective report about Jimmy’s time here at GC52 News.

As the image of Dan wiping a tear from his cheek slowly fades, “Believe It or Not” by Joey Scarbury begins to play. A shaky image appears on the screen and the music abruptly stops. A man comes into view running down the hall of a bullet-riddled mansion. He lithely jumps over a body lying in a pool of its own blood and continues running. He turns to speak and looks directly into the camera. Wearing a brightly colored t-shirt and sweating profusely is Jimmy.

Jimmy: Hey Dan, how’s it going? Everything ok with you?

The camera cuts back to Dan. His somber appearance is gone, replaced with a look of annoyance bordering on intense rage.

Dan: I’m fine, Jimmy. We hadn’t heard from you since the Creature in Gotham swallowed you. This was supposed to be a video eulogy.

Jimmy cuts in, breathing heavily.

Jimmy: Whose eulogy?

Dan: Yours! Didn’t Bobby explain any of this? How do you keep managing to escape?

The camera cuts back to Jimmy, still running, occasionally glancing over his shoulder.

Jimmy: You sound like a bit of a supervillain there, Dan. I thought you’d be happy to see m-

Dan: Yes, of course. Everyone here is happy to know you’re okay. I’m sure the viewers would like to know your secret.

Jimmy: I am Legion.

The camera cuts back to Dan staring intently into the camera.

Dan: What did you say, Jimmy? I didn’t quite get that.

The camera cuts back to Jimmy. He is still running.

Jimmy: Nothing, Dan. Let me get to my report.

Jimmy quickly turns left and opens a door to reveal a spacious bedroom. He waves Bobby in and closes the door behind them.

Jimmy: Here’s everything I have learned so far. Lady Bane and Gordon are still here in Majorca. I’m in the home of Dr. Friedrich Baum, a member of The Network and pseudo mad-scientist. He was essential in creating Lady Bane, as well as creating clones of Supervillains and anyone else that could pay. Not only that, but he ran a successful human meat farm of brain dead bodies that he would ship to several DOZEN fancy schmancy Michelin star restaurants.

The camera cuts back to Dan, clearly disgusted as he processes what Jimmy is telling him. His eyes narrow as the thought crosses his mind, would he eat a Reuben made, not by, but from a man named Reuben? He wonders…

Dan: Jimmy, why were you running? Are you safe?

The camera cuts back to Jimmy as crashing sounds are heard in the background.

Jimmy: As I was exploring the mansion, I found several tanks of deformed Joker clones. I also found Lady Bane in a bit of a rampage. There was no sign of Gordon or The Joker, just plenty of blood. As I was hiding, I believe I saw one of the Sampsons, the cannibal family from Texas, leaving the mansion. I’m not sure if they were picking up or dropping off. Oh, and Dr. Baum is dead.

A loud bang is heard and as Bobby swings the camera toward the sound the door to the bedroom smashes into the room. Lady Bane stands there, a massive mountain of menace and murder.

Lady Bane: WHERE IS THE JOKER?!?!?!

The camera swings back to Jimmy. He has grabbed a chair and thrown it at the large bedroom window. The chair bangs against the glass without the glass breaking. Lady Bane charges toward Jimmy. She grabs him and her momentum sends them both through the glass of the window, plummeting to the ground below, as Bobby holds the camera and watches helplessly. The screen distorts for a moment before the camera opens on Jerry the intern’s face. He’s wearing strange alien garments and chains on his wrists.

Jerry: Hey… so things are bad for intern Jerry. I know it’s been a few weeks since you’ve seen me. There is a reason for that. I haven’t been able to contact anyone from home since I got here but I finally got this thing to broadcast to the GC52 feed.

Jerry is sitting in what looks to be the stands of a coliseum surrounded by countless aliens in a similar situation to him. The skies above them are a crimson red with only stars unfamiliar to any viewer.

Jerry: So I was rummaging around through Dan’s desk as one does and I found this cool little red box. After poking it to see what it could do, it made this big portal that appeared with a boom and sucked me in. Well, it turns out it was a Mother box. It brought me to Warworld. Yeah. I’m in a real bad situation, viewers. I know how this goes. I’ve seen the Future State… Superman does get all Conan the barbarian which is cool but lots of people die up here. I don’t know how to swing a sword! I barely know how to swing a bat. See my dad wasn-

As Jerry is about to trauma dump on the audience, the booming voice of Superman himself takes over the arena as the viewers listen and watch as Superman and the Authority talk to the people of Warworld.

Superman: You’ve been taught that your chains mean Strength. Pride. Honor. This is a lie. Your chains mean slavery, and Mongul is your slaver.

Jerry turns the camera to himself.

Jerry: Wow, he’s a really good speaker! We are all saved…. Oh… nevermind. So a bunch of really scary Mongul people showed up with really sweet costumes but they made Superman old I think. He has grey hair now.

A very large thud can be heard from the arena.

Jerry: Oh. Mongul is here on like a big alien Godzilla looking thing. We are fu-

The feed cuts and the credits roll.


Books Covered this Week:

  • Wonder Woman #781 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Marcio Takara, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau.
  • Batwoman: Disinformation Campaign #2 by Alyssa Wong, Vasco Georgiev, Rain Beredo, and Becca Carey.
  • Azrael: Dark Knight of the Soul #2 by Dan Watters, Nikola Čižmeṥija, Ivan Plascencia, and Ariana Maher.
  • The Outsiders: The Fearful #2 by Brandon Thomas, Cian Tormey, Raul Fernandez, Alejandro Sánchez, and Steve Wands.
  • I Am Batman #3 by John Ridley, Stephen Segovia, Christian Duce, Rex Lokus, and ALW’s Troy Peteri.
  • Black Manta #3 by Chuck Brown, Matthew Dow Smith, Marissa Louise, and Clayton Cowles.
  • The Joker #9 by James Tynion IV, Stefano Raffaele, Romulo Fajardo Jr, and Tom Napolitano.
  • Action Comics #1036 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
Categories
Comics

GC52 News: DC Comics Released 11/02/2021

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 11/02/2021)

(Words in italics signal actions)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.


GC52 News begins at the old faithful time even if the program has been a bit different for the last few weeks. The drone camera opens to lead anchor Dan as he lifts a large piece of rubble to clear a doorway. He wipes the sweat and dirt from his face as he smiles at the camera. From the look in his eyes, it’s clear that things have gotten dire. 

Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to keep you updated on what is happening up to the minute in Gotham City as the Fear State continues. 

I’m not going to sugarcoat this, things are bad. Maybe at their worst. Queen Ivy’s vines have burst from the city streets and have begun to cause collapses through the city. I’m here doing my best to clear the way for the already terrified citizens to get out of the area. Things are dark right now.

I was thinking about Superman this morning, about his departure to Warworld with his Authority team. I couldn’t help but wonder what Batman thought of that. Superman, Clark Kent, his dearest friend taking a team of killers and outsiders to face the deadliest threat out there. But at some point, we have to learn to trust. To put our trust in the people we care about. We know that they have the best intentions even if sometimes we test them on that. Knowing Batman, he must have put the Authority through the wringer to make them prove themselves as heroes. 

While it’s a bit high and mighty… Batman has to trust that they’ll put his friend Superman’s life in their own hands with care. Plenty of ways to test that loyalty too. There’s a whole dark multiverse of worlds with evil Batmen and pretty much only evil Batmen… anyway it just made me think about all of those heroes through the city that are doing their best to get us out of this Fear State. Just doing something to make the world a better place can show a whole lot of people that you are good at heart. Speaking of friends, let’s check in on Ethan. 

Ethan sits in the Batcave, shotgun pointed to the door in case of Magistrate break-ins as usual when a voice can be heard outside.

Adam: Batgirls! Batgirls! Batgirls!

Adam busts through the Batcave door wearing a black mask with a stitched mouth that was clearly stolen from the cave and sits down at his hastily thrown-together GC52 desk in the corner.

Ethan: One day you’ll get shot doing that!

Adam: People of Gotham… 

Realizing his voice is muffled, Adam rips off the mask to reveal a face covered in ash.

Adam: People of Gotham! You’ve probably heard all about how the Batgirls blew up Gotham’s old clock tower. From the same news sources that have been telling us all this time that Batman is dead and all the rest of the Magistrate lies. So it won’t surprise you to hear that this “Batgirls are terrorists” stuff? Just more Magistrate nonsense. Simon Saint’s goons were the real culprits here of course, under the manipulations of the mysterious “Anti-Oracle” who we’re now learning is really operating under the name “Seer”.

Don’t worry though, eyewitnesses reported a purple girl and a goblin dressed in black escaping Gotham’s once-great monument before the Magistrate could destroy it, and although they haven’t been spotted since I have no doubt the Batgirls are on their way to free Gotham from the Magistrate’s evil clutches.

The camera cuts to a disgruntled Ethan still unhappy about the intrusion to the Batcave putting his shotgun away under his desk. Once he’s done, he turns to camera.

Ethan: Hey folks, not much from me today, I’ve been busy prepping for the final push against the Magistrate, but I do have an update about Azrael and his attempts to locate the missing Arkham patients. A brawl broke out on the streets when he tried to apprehend Double X. It did not go well. Double X is dead and in the commotion of it all Detective Stone, who had been investigating the missing patients, was shot.

This is starting to form a web of intrigue that’s going to take a lot of unraveling. There’s more going on here than I can see right now. I’ll keep you updated. Dan?

When the camera cuts to Dan, he looks a bit different. Between segments, he took down another Magistrate drone and added its chest over his bulletproof vest. This is in addition to last week’s arm armor.

Dan: The Peacekeepers have fully infiltrated Ivy’s lair. I hope Ghost-Maker can keep them at bay. I’m going to head into the sewers to try to find a way in… switch to Bree.

The reporter in the white sundress returns to the screen but seems incredibly…off. Her dress is wrinkled and stained with mud in a few places, her eyes stare blankly ahead and appear to be pupilless. 

Bree: Glory to Master Grodd….Glory to Master Gro-….

She appears to abruptly cut herself off and blinks steadily for a moment. The pupils of her eyes have returned and her gaze darts around, perhaps as a sign of confusion, before returning to the center of the camera.

Bree: Uh….Am I…in Manhattan again? Did I…walk…from upstate?! I guess that cult meeting didn’t go so well. Wait a minute… I hear fighting, of the super-powered variety. It’s coming from that way… Titans Tower, of course. Frank, switch to the drone! 

The screen cuts to black for a moment before the feed is replaced with drone footage. As the drone gets closer- but not too close- to the roof of Titans Tower, a few figures emerge on-screen, and muffled voices can be heard.

Bree: Hmmm…I seem to have arrived at the very end of all of the action. I see…a large Gorilla arguing with…a smaller Gorilla. The Titans Academy faculty are standing around with a handful of students. 

The reporter is no longer seen, but her vocal narration is played over the drone footage.

Bree: It’s too windy for our mics, so I have a lip-reading expert in my earpiece to pick up on what they’re saying. I’m being told…big Gorilla goes by Grodd and is little Gorilla’s uncle. I’m not an expert on Gorilla identification but I am fairly confident the nephew, Gregg, is a student. Now they’re talking about…a failed plan at world domination?! Via mind control…well, that’s one mystery solved at least. You wouldn’t catch me carpooling let alone walking back to-anyways, Gregg seems to have succeeded in stopping this with the help of some other students. Maybe the kids aren’t so bad. 

I hear the sirens so Grodd will likely be spending the last day of summer vacation- and many more days to come- in Belle Reve. Oh! There seems to be… Our lip reader can’t tell exactly but this Gregg seems to be talking to and about another student, Summer, quite a bit! 

Her tone becomes less serious and almost playful, regular viewers may recognize this transition as a personality she typically takes on when interpersonal drama becomes the key component of her story.

Bree: These very special youths are always full of very special surprises, and mayhaps some very special ties are forming. All’s well that ends well, right Dan?

When the camera cuts to Dan, he’s sitting on the sidewalk ringing sewage out of his hair. 

Dan: Some days it doesn’t feel that way. I got through the tunnels but stumbled upon a showdown with Batman, Miracle Molly, and Scarecrow… he’s built a fear bomb. Using Peacekeeper-01 and that Mad Hatter tech… if he sets it off… Gotham is going to change forever. I’ve got to help stop this. I have to do more.

The camera cuts from Dan to a tired Raleigh with deep baggy eyes.

Raleigh: WE’RE BACK! We’re getting the signal again! Viewers, we’re covering Mister Miracle’s adventures, and it seems like the end of the road!

The screen shows a battlefield in a destroyed city in the future, as Mister Miracle sits in the Mobius chair and faces N’vir.

Raleigh: Miracle’s been beaten to a pulp by N’vir already, but he seems determined to finish the fight right here and now. He’s greatly outnumbered against N’vir and her army, but the Mobius chair looks like it’s powering him…

N’vir flies above and ignites a multidirectional light in the sky.

Raleigh: HOLY $#!%, she set off a machine called War-Killer, and it’s wiping out the rebellion like they’re nothing! Can Mister Miracle actually fight against THAT? He’s just trying to survive now, while Oberon goes to solve a signal that’s preventing them to go back to their timeline.

Wait, he’s taken off his mask? He’s not trying to fight her…He’s not even using the mother box! I think his plan is to just reach out somehow. Miracle’s asking her not to repeat the mistakes of her parents, and decide for herself who she is. But it’s useless, she’s still trying to kill him. The fight is unbalanced, there’s blood everywhere, it doesn’t look good for…Woah! Someone just saved him with a ray gun! It’s…Miracle’s parents? God, this is getting confusing. 

Raleigh gets closer to the screen.

Raleigh: N’vir is taking the power out of the World-Killers and injecting it onto herself, but Mister Miracle just realized something she clearly hasn’t. When she traveled through time, she damaged the timeline, and it is actively healing itself and erasing her from it. The timeline recognizes the power that caused the initial breach, so the more power she gets, the more it tries to eliminate her. He’s approaching, not fighting her but…Containing her! He’s draining her power to save her!

Miracle lowers to the ground holding N’vir.

Raleigh: What the…! Some members of the rebellion wanted to confront her, but someone teleported her to an unknown location. Dammit! Before Mister Miracle could even properly talk with his parents, an emergency boom tube set by Oberon got him back to the present too. But at least he knows they’re safe. He’s at peace. And he knows himself now.

Apparently, he’s going to contact his agent to make an important announcement to the public about his identity, and he’s gonna try to mend his mistakes with the girl he dated. He might’ve suffered a lot, but this feels like a happy ending to L.A’s most famous superhero. It seems like my work here is done, at least for now. 

The camera cuts back to Dan.

Dan: We’re now going to check in on Jimmy who was last seen trapped on a boat and hiding from Lady Bane.

The camera cuts to Jimmy. He is wearing the same clothing he was seen in last time. He looks beat up and filthy with a bandage over his right eye. His location is unclear. He delivers his report in a loud whisper.

Jimmy: Good Evening, GC52 viewers. I apologize, but I am currently hiding. 

Dan: Jimmy, are you still on the boat?

Jimmy: No, Dan. That was ages ago. I am back in Gotham where the creature has been terrorizing the Batman’s rogue’s gallery. I was able to make it past the GCPD guarding the area to where I last had a run-in with the creature and, Dan, I saw him. I. Saw. The. Batman. It was incredible! I overheard the Batman and Killer Croc discussing the creature. Apparently, the Batman thinks the creature wants to either suckle from Killer Croc or mate with him and is becoming increasingly angry and unpredictable that neither is occurring. 

Batman’s theory is that the original species that first led to Waylon Jones’ transformation may be a hermaphrodite. Batman was talking about a plan to use Konstantin Volkov as bait before I actually witnessed the Batman hit the creature with some type of powder that seemed to burn the creature before running off. Oh, and, Dan, I think I heard the Batman laugh? 

The camera cuts back to Dan. He looks bewildered as though he isn’t sure if Jimmy’s reports are real or delusions that are some sort of after-effect from the Joker toxin and creature pheromones that led to the creation of DIckkory Shippers. He trudges on regardless.

Dan: What was Batman’s laugh like?

The camera cuts back to Jimmy. He has shifted position somewhat into a runner’s stance at the start of a race and is talking to his cameraman Bobby.

Jimmy: Are you ready? Yeah, get ready.

Dan: Jimmy! Batman’s laugh?

Jimmy: Oh, it was horrible. Like a door that had never been used creaking open. Dan, we haven’t seen or heard from the creature or the Batman in some time. We are going to make a run for it and head for the cave entrance. Let’s go. Now!

Jimmy is running toward the cave entrance with his cameraman Bobby still holding the camera on Jimmy and running behind him. The light from the camera is bobbing all over the cave walls. Jimmy delivers the next part of his report through panting breaths.

Jimmy: We had been hiding there for a few minutes after Batman and Croc disappeared with the creature chasing them. The creature was huge. Massive. Easily one of the scariest things I have ever seen. I wasn’t able to discern the Batman’s plan with Volkov but it may have involved the Batmobile. Here’s the entrance up ahead.

As Jimmy emerges from the cave there are a few people standing around looking up at the sky. It’s a normal scene until it becomes obvious that one of the people is Killer Croc and one is the Batman. It’s impossible to hear them from this distance. Jimmy follows their gaze and the camera follows his. It’s the creature. It’s massive and flying towards them with its giant wings expanded.

Suddenly the sound of a car engine and squealing tires. Batman rushes toward the creature. The creature screams. It’s a bloodcurdling noise. As everyone around, including Jimmy, is frozen with fear, the Batman runs toward the creature and jumps into its open maw.

Jimmy: Holy Mary, Mother o-

Jimmy is cut off as the creature continues straight towards him and swallows him too. The camera cuts back to Dan in the studio.

Dan: -of God! I think we lost him. 

Dan pauses for a moment and presses his finger to his ear as a communication comes through from Ghost-Maker.

Dan: They’ve got her… the other Ivy. The pure Ivy. She’s with them in Queen Ivy’s lair. The city may be saved by the one and only fantabulous Harley f#%*ing Quinn! 

With those last words of hope, the broadcast feed ends and the screen turns black.


Books Covered this Week:

  • Batman #116 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.
  • Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Trevor Hairsine, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, Rain Beredo, Ben Templesmith, and Tom Napolitano.
  • Batgirls by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern, and Becca Carey.
  • Arkham City: The Order of the World #2 by Dan Watters, Dani, Dave Stewart, and Aditya Bidikar.
  • Teen Titans Academy #7 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Alex Sinclair, and Rob Leigh.
  • Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #6 by Brandon Easton, Fico Ossio, Rico Renzi, and Rob Leigh, 
  • Batman: Reptilian #5 by Garth Ennis, Liam Sharp, and Rob Steen.
Categories
Comics

GC52 News: DC Comics Released 10/12/2021

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 10/12/2021)

(Words in italics signal actions)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.

GC52 News begins at the old faithful time even if the program has been a bit different for the last few weeks. Once again, the news report starts in Gotham City. This time the footage the audience sees is from the BatComputer in the micro Batcave the GC52 team is operating out of for the Fear State. Lead anchor Dan is wrapping his hand preparing to head out into the city.

Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to keep you updated on what is happening up to the minute in Gotham City as the Fear State continues.

We have gotten reports over the past few days of Wonder Woman, Diana herself, saving people all over the Earth. We reached out to the Justice League who didn’t give exact details but their response only leads us to believe that the rumors are true. The trinity is complete again, just as the world needs. Now Ethan, I believe you have a few updates from across Gotham for us. It’d be useful to know before I head out.

The camera cuts to a view of another corner of the Batcave where Ethan is crouched over a monitor, compiling data streaming in from the barely functioning Bat Computer in its currently compromised state.

Ethan: Yup, first up, looks like Batwoman’s been getting involved in the Fear State. After footage of Batgirl attacking civilians was leaked, which has since been proven to be an imposter, Batwoman set out to investigate. She helped out the actual Batgirl in getting away from Magistrate forces, and let me tell you, the footage of that beat down was a joy to watch.

We’ve also had reports that Azrael is back in the city. According to DEO records he’s been in outer space but is back now operating out of Gotham. Seems he took out Bullet-Tooth’s operation. One of the reports state he’s investigating the escaped Arkham patients I mentioned last broadcast but I’m not sure on that just yet.

Seems the Outsiders have been chasing their own leads during the current situation as well. The reports are unclear but there may be two Black Lightning’s working on the team currently. They’ve been tracking down an old student of Jonathan Crane’s, maybe for some info on how to stop him…

It also seems like this new Batman is continuing to hit the streets of Gotham. Delivering justice in his own unique way. Also looks like Commissioner Montoya is still actively resisting becoming a pawn of the Magistrate, she’s one of the good ones I tell you. Now, these are all developing stories so I’ll make sure to keep the updates coming as more reports come in. Dan?

Dan: Thanks Ethan! We now join Thomas in New York City, where he has an update on the ol’ Blue & Gold.

The feed cuts to an overhead shot of Thomas standing among a crowd of people outside the UN building shouting, gesturing, and pointing their phones at something happening out of frame.

Thomas: Hello? Dan? Can anyone hear me? Our regular camera got knocked over, so I’m coming to you live from my phone. I hope I’m holding this high enough… Oh! There it is! An Omnizon has come to Earth to beat up Blue & Gold!

The camera turns to reveal an alien being with forehead wrinkles, dreadlocks, and a giant sword successfully keeps Booster Gold and Blue Beetle apart in a two-against-one fight.

Dan: Thomas, this looks like any day in the life of our scrappy ex-Justice Leaguers. Is there any news about Kord Industries or Booster’s rumored millions pouring in from social media?

Thomas: The Beetle and Goldenrod are broke, Dan! Fighting for clout is all they’ve got left now!

The crowd starts chanting, “Bash the Beetle!” Thomas joins in.

Dan: Thomas, am I hearing that crowd correctly? Are New Yorkers cheering against Blue Beetle in an interplanetary fight? What’s happened to the world these days?

Thomas: Cool your jets Dan, this is New York we’re talking about. Blue Beetle is the Mets of superheroes, it only makes sense that people get riled up for his opposition from time to time.

Dan: I don’t know if that was the best sports analogy…

Brandon’s face briefly takes over the feed.

Brandon: Mariners forever!

Dan: Okay that’s enough cutting away, can we please focus on the story?

Someone takes Thomas’s phone out of his hands.

Random New Yorker #1: No this guy’s right, no one’s cheering the Mets but Chris Christie and that Seinfeld yutz.

Dan: Excuse me, random person, would you please hand the camera back to our correspondent? We don’t take just anybody for the job.

Random New Yorker #2: Yeah, we ain’t the Red Sox!

Thomas, Dan, Brandon, Random New Yorker #1: Heyooo!

Thomas: Haha, this is a fun assignment… What did I come here for, again?

Booster Gold crashes through the roof of a nearby taxi.

Thomas: Oh, right. I’ll keep you posted as this story develops, Dan!

Dan: At least someone is having fun with their job! Let’s pop over to Katie to see how things are going.

The camera cuts to Katie standing in front of an abandoned storage facility. She is wearing a t-shirt reading “CATS RULE, DOGS DROOL” as her pet cat Felicia plays inside a random cardboard box.

Katie: Hello Gotham City! You may not recognize this abandoned area on the outskirts of Gotham City, but you’re sure to remember its name after today’s report! Here at the MacGuffin Warehouse and Storage facility, a St. Bernard-sized dognapping took place. I’m here with Daphne Blake from Mystery Incorporated, who became caught up in this mysterious crime. Daphne, thank you for being here.

Daphne waves excitedly to the camera.

Daphne: It’s my pleasure! You know, I’ve dabbled in news reporting once myself. Maybe you saw my show? Well, it was more of a web show. It was a while ago!

Katie: Yes, we’re all big fans of you, Ms. Blake. But let’s talk about last night! I heard Scooby and billionaire Bruce Wayne’s dog were both dog-napped. How did you manage to track down the dogs to MacGuffin Warehouse here? Also, I didn’t know you were friends with Bruce Wayne!

Daphne: Well, my butler Jenkins went to Butler School with Bruce’s butler, Alfred! What a coincidence, right? So, we were all chatting away when a creepy monster appeared outside the window. Spooky! The three of us went to investigate, and when we turned around, Scooby and Ace were missing!

Katie: What a dognapping! It’s lucky you had two brave butlers by your side. Most people’s butlers would probably run away!

Daphne: Jenkins has been a gem of a butler, even when I was a kid! And Alfred seemed to know a lot about sleuthing from this book he had on hand, “How to Be a Detective.” We had two detectives on the case — Alred and I! 

Katie: Lucky, indeed! Now, I have to ask. Did you lead the butlers into any danger? 

Daphne: No, not this time! It was actually Alfred! He saw the newspaper headline; 32 dogs were taken in the past two weeks! Alred also had the hookup with a large pet food supplier, since he works for the richest man in Gotham. Crime doesn’t pay — but billionaires do!

Katie: I bet you were shocked to find a whole dognapping ring inside this shoddy-looking storage facility when you arrived!

Daphne: We certainly weren’t prepared to find ourselves tied up in the hunt for clues! Although, I guess I should have expected it by now…

Katie: But you managed to free your captors! And you don’t smell like all those dogs! What’s your secret? 

Daphne: My secret? About the escaping or the smell? I use a vegan shampoo–

Katie: Oh, I’ll get your hair product recommendations later! How did you escape yet another dangerous villain? 

Daphne: It turned out, an…odd man named Catman was kidnapping all the dogs in Gotham City in order to make their owners all pay a ransom! I don’t know how he was going to manage to kidnap millions of dogs and pay to feed them all…and clean up their disgusting poop! Anyway, we were actually rescued by Batman and Catwoman! Can you believe it? 

Katie: I heard Batman was fighting off a giant cat on a Gotham City tower along with the rest of your friends too! 

Daphne: Ha, that’s right! When Daphne’s away, Mystery Inc. will play…with more mysteries! 

Katie: I’m delighted to hear that you’re okay and that Scooby and Ace were rescued too — even if I’m more of a cat person myself. Thanks, Daphne. Back to you in the studio, Dan!

The camera cuts back to Dan.

Dan: Next we head back to France to check in with Jimmy who was last seen in that version of Gotham being stalked by a dangerous creature. Jimmy?

The camera cuts to Jimmy who is crouched down in a small enclosure extremely close to the camera. He is sweating profusely and whispering.

Jimmy: Dan, I hope you can hear me. Bobby and I are currently hiding in a boat. We’ve been tracking Jim Gordon who was kidnapped by Lady Bane after she attacked Gordon and Chief Detective Isabella Hallows from Interpol. Lady Bane quickly disarmed Isabella Hallows and be disarmed, Lady Bane ripped off her arm.

Bobby and I managed to follow Lady Bane and Gordon to the port of Marseilles where Lady Bane killed several police officers, downed a helicopter, and stole the boat that Bobby and I were able to sneak onto.

The camera cuts back to Dan who has decided to match Jimmy’s whispering.

Dan: Can you hear what is happening with Gordon? Is Gordon alive? Where is Lady Bane headed? Why are you sweating so much? 

The camera cuts back to Jimmy. He is drenched with sweat. He is continuing to whisper. There are loud thuds being heard from above Jimmy. 

Jimmy: Gordon is alive. I can’t hear where they are headed over the boat engine but it has something to do with Lady Bane being created addicted to venom and designed specifically to kill The Joker. I heard bits and pieces about what Lady Bane has planned for The Joker. She wants to rip out his tongue, bury him for a week, and then burn his body.

Lady Bane seems to want to kill The Joker but not because she was created to kill The Joker. I heard her say she wants to be Jim Gordon’s Venice.

Dan: I think you mean Jim Gordon’s Vengeance.

Jimmy: Yeah, that makes more sense.

A small door quickly swings open and the light from the interior of the boat shines on Jimmy.

Jimmy: Oh shi-

The camera cuts back to Dan.

Dan: It amazes me how he keeps getting into and out of these crazy situations. We got word that Professor Pyg has been apprehended across town in the old Gotham Slaughterhouse. Pyg scares me more than the rest of these Gotham weirdos.

The reason why is that he thinks what he does is art. There doesn’t seem to be a hatred of Batman or anything like that driving him. What drives him is the need to create. To reshape the world in his idea of beauty. Anger is a powerful tool but art is so much stronger. Its effects can be felt for generations. 

Pyg harnesses that into changing people’s entire faces and minds to side with him with his dollotrons… it’s sick. Not even the Penguin crosses the line into hurting children. But… Pyg doesn’t see it as hurting. He sees it as expression… absolutely sick. Let’s check in with Cass…

The feed cuts to footage of a handheld camera. We see Cass on a really beat-up couch, it looks like they recently took a shower and are now in their PJs. 

Cass: Hello There! I’m Cass, your favorite reporter from the future and I’m… exhausted. As some of you may know, I was kidnaped by the Ultra-Humanite (who apparently only kidnaped me because he thought I was Lois Lane’s second cousin, not because of all I know about Kryptonite…) That is just my luck.

But yes, the Ultra-Humanite is back and he is not alone, he has been working with none other than Brainiac. One wanted to take over Superman’s body (again) while the other wanted to eliminate humanity to save planet Earth and keep it in a miniature state. Guess which one is which. 

Of course, Superman stopped them, with the help of amazing reporter (and my all-time hero) Lois Lane. While this was happening Manchester Black, Iron, and Midnighter stopped the attack of a ragtag group of mercenaries that were paid off by Brainiac and the Ultra-Humanite. The rest of the team (the enchantress and Apollo) were off reusing Lightray from the supervillain Eclipso, with the help of Lightray’s bodyguard O.M.A.C. 

This was all just the first mission of “The Authority” (I still think that name is kind of ridiculous), but apparently, they have a bigger mission at hand, the liberation of Warworld. 

Also, don´t tell this to anyone, but I think we all should keep an eye on Lightray. Trust me, I still have access to the cameras of Fortress Superman.

Cass winks to the camera and they turn it off. 

Dan: Well another week here in the multiverse of life… we will see you next week. Remember, be strong in all your convictions.


Books covered this week:

  • Wonder Woman #780 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Travis Moore, Steve Pugh, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau.
  • Professor Pyg: Little Pyg. Little Pyg. by Christian Ward and Steve Wands.
  • Batwoman: Disinformation Campaign #1 by Alyssa Wong, Vasco Georgiev, Rain Beredo, and Becca Carey.
  • Azrael: Dark Knight of the Soul #1 by Dan Watters, Nikola Cizmesija, Ivan Plascencia, and Ariana Maher.
  • The Outsiders: The Fearful #1 by Brandon Thomas, Cian Tormey, Raul Fernandez, Alejandro Sanchez, and Steve Wands.
  • Blue & Gold #3 by Dan Jurgens, Cully Hamner, Chris Sotomayor and Rob Leigh.
  • The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7 by Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, Franco Riesco, and Wes Abbott.
  • The Joker #8 by James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano.
  • Superman and the Authority #4 by Grant Morrison, Mikel Janín, Jordie Bellaire, and Tom Napolitano.
Categories
Comics Uncategorized

The Action Reaction | August Superman Reviews

Superman: Son of Kal-El #2

Reviewed by Rook Geary

After Jon Kent took flight in Son of Kal-El #1, there was a huge grin on my face but a question on my mind. Could issue #2 stick the landing?

Yes, but with a bit of a stumble. I’m gonna preface this by saying the good definitely outweighs the bad, but the mercifully-brief fumbles are notable enough they need to be talked about. 

The book opens with Jon sacrificing his alter ego to save his college class from a school shooter, which is a worthwhile idea with a dodgy execution. While the majority of issue #2 is very successful, etching “thoughts & prayers” onto the bullets feels like trying to tack a semi-clever twitter slam dunk onto a scene that got tangibly close to tragedy. It’s the kind of writing that would work with a supervillain attack, but falls flat next to the daily dread students and teachers have to go through in this country.

I feel it’s important to note that despite these missteps, I thought about the highs much more often than the lows. Tom Taylor has done an excellent job defining Jon’s voice as a young man, which is a goddamn feat considering he had to believably evolve him while staying true to the childhood version of the character and Bendis’s take in the Legion of Superheroes. The additions to Jon’s supporting cast are promising, and the dilemmas he faces are thoughtful and feel worthy of a new chapter. Imperfections aside, this still shows every sign of becoming an all-time classic. 

And my god, how have I gone this long without mentioning the art team? Because they are nailing a dynamic and thoroughly modern streamlining of eighty years of legacy, and making it look effortless. Jon Timms continues to impress, nailing subtle character expressions, instantly classic new designs, and bold layouts that perfectly frame each moment. 

Colorist Gabe Eltaeb had his work cut out for him: the stature of this series demands something that executes the platonic ideal of classic superhero comics, while pushing forward. That’s a tall order, but he’s handling it with grace and style. And while the aesthetic of the series doesn’t give letterer Dave Sharpe frequent opportunities to flex, his attention to detail anchors the book and keeps everything gliding along smoothly.

The verdict: it definitely is far from perfect, but it’s trying so damn hard and succeeding at 90% of its goals. Son of Kal-El remains absolutely worth a read. 

Action Comics #1034  – “Warworld Rising: Part 5”

Reviewed by Rook Geary

On the very first page, we’re greeted with incredibly vibrant and well-chosen colors courtesy of Adriano Lucas as Lois Lane and Thao-La face down a trio of warworlder in the heart of the Fortress of Solitude. I wish the coolness of the standoff wasn’t undermined a little by “this bit-villain is evil and old school, so we’re going to establish that quickly with medieval sexism.” It’s a minor point in an otherwise excellent issue, but I mention it because it was a little more jarring every time I read the book. 

One of the most interesting ideas this arc has put forward is the Kryptonian-adjacent Thao-La: someone with a good heart who has survived in the very worst circumstances, without the fortune Clark had to land near the Kents. Superman has faced difficult decisions for a long time, but he always had a place of safety in his memories to anchor him. Thao-La doesn’t, and even though I feel like I’ve got her character arc more-or-less figured out by now, that contrast is a crucial ingredient in making her an interesting and well-rounded addition to the thematic tapestry Phillip Kennedy Johnson is weaving. 

And goddamn, it’s a hell of a tapestry. Everything from the truth of the Phantom Zone to war between Atlantis and the US is on the table here, and Johnson plays them all off of each other in a way that keeps the audience constantly engaged with the plot, characters, and the broad ideas he’s exploring.

That’s so effective thanks to an immediate sense of immersion, which would be impossible without Christian Duce. While he’s been put in the extremely unforgiving position of having to follow Daniel Sampere (in the middle of an arc!) Duce is excellent at adapting to the visual storytelling language Sampere was using, and keeping it consistent, while putting his own spin on the material. 

It’d be easy to focus on Sampere’s departure, because he did incredible work. That would overlook the fact that Duce just pulled off the equivalent of stepping onto someone else’s skateboard mid-jump, finishing their trick while juggling, and landed it. That’s astounding, and I look forward to reading much more of his work. 

This is just a good damn comic. Go read it.

Superman and The Authority #2

Reviewed by Rook Geary

The first issue of this miniseries had a sense of elegance and restraint in its storytelling. It was about setting up the status quo with Superman, contrasting the stark and washed-out present with the four-color punch-ups of the past, and giving Manchester Black a compelling reason to change his tune and work with a sworn enemy for a finer world. That approach worked damn well.

The second issue, however, has to introduce the majority of the ensemble team, pulling from several very distinct corners of the DCU. That has fundamentally different storytelling needs, and Morrison smartly leans into this. The problems each superhero faces inform the audience’s understanding of where the characters come from, both in terms of backstory and their emotional point of view on The Authority’s mission. Some of the naturalism of the dialogue is lost in certain segments, such as basically every line from the scene Steel faces down matter-hacking nanites. In exchange, we get some classic Morrison back-and-forths that feel like improvisational jazz, with sci-fi high concepts instead of saxophone or piano. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s extremely well executed nonetheless. 

Midnighter and Apollo have a new but fun take on their dynamic that goes a long way towards integrating them with the larger DCU. Their section of the issue functions like a scene from a non-existent run of The Authority. That makes it an excellent buffer between Steel’s more freeform DC sci-fi, and the following journey into the depths of the Enchantress’s personal hell. 

Her segment delves into how June Moone blames herself for her alter-ego’s actions while, at the same time, holding her at arm’s length as a completely separate person. Meanwhile, her magic pulls the rest of the cast into desperate, dangerous, unfamiliar territory, though you never lose faith that these people (and particularly this Superman) are up to the task. 

All in all, I expect this issue will lose a few people unfamiliar with its particular brand of crazy, but if you accept and welcome the variety of places and stories in the DCU, it’s one hell of a sampler platter. And it keeps up a compelling ongoing narrative, on top of that. 

Superman Red & Blue #6

Reviewed by Sean Dillon

As with any anthology (especially one with a theme as vague as “Ain’t Superman Great?”), it is perhaps best to judge the issue not in terms of the package as a whole, but as individual parts. As such, what follows are some brief thoughts regarding each of the five stories.

Hissy Fit: A silent narrative about the difficulties of getting a cat into a box. Quite charming, though not as playful with the format as Sophie Campbell’s contribution to Batman Black & White. There are some neat tricks done with color to highlight emotion, but it feels like it could have used another page or two to truly let the story sing.

The Scoop: Matt Wagner does a Golden Age Superman story about how much people prefer the aesthetics of the Silver Age. About the bitterness Clark feels about the spectacle of Superman being preferred to the hard hitting reporting he does. It never gets to the point of obnoxiousness of Peter Milligan and Agustin Padilla’s Adventures of Superman story, but it doesn’t really make Clark’s bitterness sing.

The Special: Tom King and Paolo Rivera do a comic about a woman working at a diner in Smallville. It’s very much a story told through the subtext that utilizes the conceit of “this is a comic in Red and Blue” to a striking degree. It highlights the small moments of mundanity that were always the best parts of King’s work and Rivera’s pencils are truly gorgeous. There could have been just a twinge of clarity regarding the final page, but not much.

Son of Farmers: In this short by Darcie Little Badger and Steve Pugh, Superman reflects on how growing up on a farm helped him become the man he is today. The metaphor is touching and Pugh’s art is gorgeous, with an air of watercolor added by his colors. In many ways, it encapsulates the feel of the Superman: Red & Blue series as a whole. A series that focuses on aspects of the character through color, emotion, and implication.

Ally: Rex Ogle and Mike Norton use the character of Superman to explore the anxieties of a closeted gay kid. Where previous stories in the series (and, indeed, this issue) used the color restrictions to highlight mood or tone, here they are used as restrictions of a closeted world that preclude a full color one. Out of all the stories within this collection, this one feels like it would most benefit from a graphic novel utilizing this format. It’s still good, but I’d be curious to see what an extended take on the narrative would be like.

Rankings:

5) The Scoop

4) Ally

3) Son of Farmers

2) Hissy Fit

1) The Special

Project Patron

Reviewed by David Mann
Breaking with the nominal conceit in our very second review round-up! Worth it though for a comic this closely related to our usual topics: Orlando, Piazzalunga, Lopez, and Mauer’s Aftershock book Project Patron ended its (first?) run this month, a Superman-meets-mecha title where a United Nations team operates the superpowered ‘reploid’ that secretly replaced Earth’s greatest hero Patron after he fell in his ultimate battle. Trading their health to pilot the world’s savior, the story quickly reveals itself as a sci-fi murder mystery before morphing into a battle royale, and while it’s arguably overstuffed with concept in seeming confidence of a follow-up giving it room to breathe the results are still satisfying as hell. A shockingly workable in-between of Orlando’s skill at big-idea, big-action superheroics and the quieter, sharper tendencies on display in the likes of Nameless and Kill A Man – a balance critically maintained by Piazzalunga, Lopez, and Mauer – it ends up in its own distinct way tapping into the same vein as Son of Superman of small, uncertain humanity forced to step into the shoes of a savior and not only stand tall but succeed where their predecessor couldn’t. Certainly one of Orlando’s best of the past few years and hopefully with time, especially if it gets the sequels it seems to be banking on, this will find itself in the same category of hidden-gem riffs on the Superman archetype such as Age of the Sentry or Love and Capes for devotees.

Categories
Comics

Is Superman: Son of Kal-El New Reader Friendly?

By Adam Henderson

Despite only first appearing in 2015 during the “Convergence” event Jonathan Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, has been pulling a speed-run to steal Cable’s title of “most ridiculously complicated backstory in comics”.  From being delivered by Thomas Wayne as Batman from the Flashpoint timeline to his lost years held captive on Earth 3, it’s A LOT. 

Tom Taylor has taken the best possible approach to this backstory you possibly could with Superman: Son of Kal-El #1, and just slapped a big “Don’t worry about it” on it.  Taylor takes advantage of DC’s latest of many reality changing reboots during Death Metal and retells the story of Jon’s birth, focusing not on sentient planet but instead centering the story on Clark, Lois, and Jon.  Now it’s still far from a normal birth as Batman and Wonder Woman watch over Lois as she gives birth in the Fortress of Solitude while an (attempted) alien invasion rages above, but it’s straightforward.  Understanding the backstory of Jon Kent no longer takes a trip to his wikipedia page. 


Whether this is your introduction to Jon Kent or you’ve been there from his beginning, understanding this book is as simple as reading it.  There are still some friendly faces to reward those longtime Jon fans but nothing is buried in continuity.  This is a perfect jumping on point for Superman fans old and new.

Whilst the issue itself isn’t too plot heavy, it has a clear focus on defining Jon and who he is.  Instead of falling into the easy trap of making Jon a clone of his father (not literally, that’s Conner), it sets a clear distinction on what makes Jon different from Clark and how he will function differently as Superman.  By placing the focus as much on Jon’s human heritage as his Kryptonian. By showing the influence that having Lois Lane as a mother just as much as having Superman as a father, Taylor is able to instantly set Jon apart from Clark. 

That’s not to say his Super-influences aren’t present.  Taylor shows how Jon embodies the kindness that really defines Superman perfectly, and makes it abundantly clear he’s a worthy successor to the Superman role.  Jon’s mission statement reminds me a lot of Grant Morrison’s take on Superman, especially in All-Star Superman and Action Comics.  Both in what drives Superman to be a hero and having him deal with issues proactively instead of reactively, their Superman has always been my favorite and I look forward to Taylor taking a similar approach to the character.

Superman #1 frames Jon’s role in the DC universe in the way I’ve always wanted to see Dick Grayson framed.  He’s the son of one of the universe’s biggest heroes and is so connected to the universe as a whole, and that should be celebrated not shied away from.  Jon is destined for greatness from the beginning, and I will always love seeing him thrust into bigger and bigger roles.  With the Super Sons we saw the beginning of that, and I hope that Taylor continues to focus on Jon’s place in the wider universe as Superman as the series progresses.

The success of this issue is as much a work of John Timms and Gabe Eltaeb as it is of Taylor.  Timms work is dynamic as ever, and Eltaeb enhances that in every way.  There are some great layouts throughout the issue and some stunning splash pages which show how suited this creative team is to showing the full extent of a character like Superman’s abilities.  Dave Sharpe’s letters add a lot of personality to the book too and perfectly compliment the rest of the creative team’s work in every way.  His sound effects are used brilliantly and without spoiling it, some were genuinely hilarious.

Overall, Superman: Son of Kal-El feels like the beginning of a bold new era for Superman that aims to use Jon to bring something new, yet familiar, to the character and his history.  It’s a perfect place for fans of the character to jump back in with, and it’s set up for characters who know nothing about either Jon or even Clark Kent to start here.  With what has been set up in this debut issue, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Categories
Comics Television

The Surprising Awesomeness of Superman and Lois

Superman and Lois is great. I’m going to lead with that, no well-thought-out poetic discussion on how Superman is my favourite character (he is). No long drawn-out rambling on my relationship as a fan to Superman, or rants about how certain writers or directors don’t understand the character. I just want people to give this surprisingly great show a chance. 

As someone who generally has very mixed feelings towards the CW, I entered Superman and Lois with very low expectations, however, they were blown away by what I saw. Superman and Lois follows Clark Kent and Lois Lane as they try to balance raising two sons (Jonathan and Jordan), both unique with their own struggles and needs, as well as the couple’s responsibilities to the world, all the while dealing with emerging threats. The show is connected to the ArrowVerse, however, it seems quite separated in its own way, first and foremost there’s been a lot of money spent on it to look good, like HBO-level good. The action is great and the CGI is solid. 

Then there’s the drama; as the family makes big changes to their lives, the boys navigating their adolescence and growing pains, Clark being Superman, and Lois exploring big stories within and without the community they’re now a part of. Everything about the drama works extremely well, carried by compelling performances from the two leads, Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch. The kids are kids but they’re not unnecessarily annoying and angsty, their struggles with being the son of the most important and powerful hero is very understandable, as well as just trying to fit in at school. 

The family has good chemistry and play-off each other well. Lois has a lot of agency and her skills at juggling being a reporter and mother are fleshed out. Then there’s the heart of the show, Superman, my personal favourite hero. I was not a fan of how he was portrayed in Supergirl, but in this show, there’s much more respect for him and his honesty in his struggles, and figuring out what is best for himself, his family, and the world. It’s a blast to watch. Clark is great at being superman but interestingly, he’s struggling at being a great father though he’s giving it his all. Just four episodes in and I can say with confidence that the show so far is a great one, and I hope others join in on the fun.

By Bolu Ayeye.

Categories
Episodes

Talkin’ Superman with Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Phillip Kennedy Johnson joins Dan and Jake on GateCrashers to talk about the Man of Steel. We get into who Clark is, fatherhood, and what Superman means in the modern world. Be on the look out for his upcoming Superman and Action Comic runs.

Subscribe now or listen below!

The Lord of the Rings GateCrashers

20 years ago this month, the first film in an epic trilogy premiered. Join us this week as Ashley, Ethan, and Scarlett celebrate Bilbo’s 111th Birthday Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings! In this episode we reveal embarrassing childhood obsessions, sexual awakenings, freak out about the most beautiful film score ever composed, and argue whether Dan is the best or worst person to take to Mordor. All jokes aside, give this one a listen and venture to Middle Earth with us to celebrate 20 years of love for the greatest fantasy series ever filmed.
  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Interview with Mike McMahan (Solar Opposites & Star Trek: Lower Decks)
  3. Justice League International
  4. WIFWULF
  5. Interview with Mark Tremonti