"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Bruce Wayne is serious about a lot of things, not the least of which is branding. There’s the Batmobile, the Batcave, the Batarang, the Batcopter, the Batcycle and, yes, even Bat Sprays. Now add to that list Bat-underwear.
I’ve found the new Justice League United to be a rather surreal reading experience, until this point, for all sorts of reasons: It’s hard to believe DC launched this series to replace the much-ballyhooed — 52 variant covers! — Geoff Johns/David Finch Justice League of America after a mere 14 issues; it’s weird to see DC quietly reversing its “holding the line at $2.99″ policy with a Marvel-ous price point of 22 pages for $3.99; it launched with a zero issue that was actually a must-read first issue so that the story chapters and the issue numbers are now forever out of sequence; it featured Hawkman having an arm lopped up only to grow it back the next issue because Nth Metal; it featured an attempt to give the old grim-and-gritty treatment to Ultra the Multi-Alien; and so on.
However, the single most surreal aspect of the book may be one that’s suffused so much of the New 52, but is particularly present in the team books that rely on shared history (despite the fact that there isn’t really any shared history). In Justice League United, writer Jeff Lemire and penciler Mike McKone have assembled a rag-tag group of superheroes — Animal Man, Green Arrow, Star Girl, Hawkman and Supergirl — led by Martian Manhunter, whose place in the new DCU and relationships with the other Justice Leaguers is still ambiguous.
Timed to coincide with the lunar eclipse, DC Comics last night released a teaser image for its new weekly series that promises, “When Futures End … the Blood Moon Shall Rise!”
Launching with a zero issue on May 3 as part of Free Comic Book Day, Futures End propels the New 52 storylines ahead five years for an exploration of the nature of heroism as well the past, present and, yes, future of the DC Universe. The series is written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire, with a roster of artists that includes Ryan Sook, Ethan Van Sciver, Jesus Merino, Aaron Lopresti, Jurgens and Giffen.
If the DC Comics New 52 reboot hadn’t happened, Detective Comics would have reached its 900th issue this month. That wasn’t lost on DC, which celebrated the milestone this week with the release of an 80-page, $7.99 anniversary issue. The issue sports the New 52 debut of an old favorite, and a tribute to the number 900 in a story that ties into the larger ‘Emperor Penguin’ arc running through the comic. It also features back-up tales starring Bane, Man-Bat and the Gotham City Police Department, as well as a gallery of art by various artists.
So does this oversized issue do justice to its 900-issue legacy? Here are a few opinions from around the web …
Happy Memorial Day, Americans, and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Mark Andrew Smith, writer of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, Amazing Joy Buzzards, The New Brighton Archeological Society and Sullivan’s Sluggers, which is currently available to order via Kickstarter.
To see what Mark and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
Ahead of the comic’s debut today, Diego Villalba has put together a solid trailer for DC Comics’ Justice League Dark #9, which sees new writer Jeff Lemire joining artist Mikel Janin for a run on the series. On his blog, Lemire (Animal Man, Sweet Tooth) assures fans that the issue is a perfect jumping-on point, and then offers a recommended reading list to learn more about such key characters John Constantine, Black Orchid, Zatanna and Deadman.
And if the trailer isn’t enough for you, Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview of Justice League Dark #9.
Comics | Dismayed by the portrayal of Catwoman in DC Comics’ relaunched series, Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress asks whether feminists are wasting their time in hoping and lobbying for better portrayals of women in mainstream superhero comics. While she understands the desire to walk away, the decides in the end “it’s worth it to keep nudging”: “… Even if the industry doesn’t change, there should be voices in the background when folks read these books pointing out their problems. The key is getting folks who really just want to see, say, Catwoman bang Batman and nothing else to hear those critiques and to find a way to engage with them constructively, which is really, profoundly difficult. But I’d rather live in a world where people who don’t want to hear the works they like criticized have to work to shut them out, rather than leaving them to relax into the blissful sounds of silence.”
At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky points out that not all comics are like Catwoman or Red Hood and the Outlaws, and recommends some alternatives. Meanwhile, Tom Foss jokingly suggests that the “new” Starfire is merely replacing longtime New Teen Titans creeper Terry Long. [ThinkProgress, The Atlantic]
On the heels of Brett Booth’s teaser for Teen Titans #1 arrives this slick and creepy trailer for Justice League Dark #1 from series artist Mikel Janin. Written by Peter Milligan, the title brings together Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine to battle face the dark forces unleashed by The Enchantress.
Justice League Dark #1, which features a cover by Ryan Sook, arrives on Sept. 28.
(via DC Women Kicking Ass)