"Gotham's" Cory Michael Smith Savors the Arrival of the Riddler
The end of August also marks three full months worth of DC Comics’ line-wide relaunches. Naturally, the highest-profile of these are in the Superman titles, featuring a depowered and spiritually depantsed Man of Steel; and in the Bat-books, where a buff, mohawked James Gordon is the new Dark Knight. The two main Green Lantern books are also going through status quo upheavals, as Hal Jordan has gone off the reservation with a stolen power-ring prototype, while John Stewart, Guy Gardner and a handful of their colleagues have been hurled into parts unknown. (I’d say more, but it’d spoil the latest issue of Green Lantern: Lost Army.)
While I’m not exactly getting tired of these various plots, I am starting to wonder how long they can each be sustained. That, in turn, reminded me of similarly dramatic storylines that played out over much longer periods of time. I’ll be discussing a lot of storylines today, from the Silver Age to the present, and I’m sure I haven’t listed every possible one. (Spoilers: I won’t have time to get to a “dead and revived” list.) Some of these arcs were planned with endpoints, and some reverted to “normal” thanks to external factors. However, each tested the limits of readers’ tolerance for change.
As the fall premieres of DC’s various superhero television series tick closer, the updates dive deeper into comics lore. I certainly wasn’t expecting a “Flash of Two Worlds” homage (eee!) to be part of the marketing, nor did I think Matt Ryan’s John Constantine would himself cross over to Arrow. Otherwise, Arrow is teasing Oliver’s mayoral run; The Flash has cast Wally West; Supergirl promises Red Tornado and General Zod; and Legends of Tomorrow may take its tone from Justice League International.
However, for me the most intriguing news is the impending arrival of Hawkman. I’m curious about how Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, et al., will try to make him appealing (or at least watchable) for the broader TV audience. I say that a bit skeptically, because Hawkman has never really done much for me.
When an annoying, if confused, Dark Knight challenged a baffled, yet patient, Man of Steel last fall in the stop-motion animated short “LEGO Batman vs. Superman,” the confrontation didn’t end well for the Caped Crusader. Not well at all.
Now, nine long months later, Tommy Williamson and BrickNerd Studios have returned with the sequel “LEGO Batman vs. Superman 2: Dawn of Justice Desserts,” which finds the World’s Greatest Detective just as we left him: stuck beneath the overturned Batmobile.
Cover-billed as “The Final Fate of The Flash,” Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 — which appeared in comics stores 30 years ago this month, during the first week of July 1985 — takes a while to get to the point. When last we saw the Anti-Monitor, in Issue 7, his citadel had been destroyed and he’d been forced to flee in some sort of rough-hewn spaceship. Thus, Issue 8 opens with a two-page sequence aboard Anti-M’s vessel and features Psycho-Pirate, Anti-Monitor, and the Flash; but after that they don’t appear again until Page 14.
Indeed, much of that gap is filled with six pages of digressions involving (among others) Firehawk, Blue Devil, Green Lantern and the apparently final fate of the android Red Tornado. As overstuffed as Issue 7 felt, with the origins of the Multiverse and various cosmic players, and the big battle culminating in Supergirl’s sacrifice, this issue seems rather thin. Still, the main event remains powerful, even knowing how it plays out, and even taking into account Barry Allen’s eventual return.
While those Catwoman sunglasses we showcased earlier this month are undeniably awesome, maybe they’re not quite your style. Perhaps while you’re lounging on the beach you prefer to imagine yourself in Themyscira or, I don’t know, Central City. No matter, now Sun-Staches has you covered.
The company that makes the sunglasses/mask combos has expanded its line of comic book-themed novelty eye wear to include Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Robin and Poison Ivy. (There are also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I’m not sure anyone over the age of 10 can get away with that.)
Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, knows a good planetary buffet when he sees one, and he’s apparently willing to cross universes — and publishers — to get to it.
Among the covers debuted this afternoon by DC Comics to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Green Lantern is Wes Craig’s fun variant for The Flash #44, which depicts Barry Allen and John Stewart racing through space, just ahead of a battalion of Parademons. (Is that what you call them, a battalion? A sleuth? A murder?) Scattered throughout the background are tiny cameos by the likes of Ambush Bug, Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman,
Starman Mister Miracle, Orion and even Mister Mxyzptlk. But that’s not all …
Long known as “Superman,” NBA star Dwight Howard is hanging up his cape and adopting a new superhero moniker: The Flash.
This is a complete reboot, too, with the Houston Rockets center going so far as to get a Flash-inspired makeover for his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It has a custom paint job, logos on the hood, gas tank and seats, and special gold and red rims, at a cost of about $65,000.
Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has nothing on this Hyundai commercial, which brings together the Man of Steel, the Dark Knight and the Fastest Man Alive to sell the new Grandeur. Oh, and save lives. Probably.
Debuting earlier this week in South Korea, the TV spot depicts a city under attack and a woman running through a parking garage as the structure crumbles around her. She’s met by Batman, Superman and The Flash — an “unexpected lineup,” the voiceover says — whose primary concern may be what they can do to get her into this Grandeur today (or Azera, depending on the market).
Fast on the heels of Superman and Spider-Man, there are now Grand Theft Auto V mods for both The Flash and the Reverse-Flash. At this rate, players will soon be able to assemble their own Justice League.
Based on the Super Heroes series of mods, The Flash mod enables the red-clad character to run faster and fly higher, while the Reverse-Flash version introduces the yellow suit. There’s a super-speed feature that comes complete with rocket blast, fired from the butt, naturally.
Gerry Conway has written more comics than I care to count, including career-defining runs on The Amazing Spider-Man and Justice League of America. During his tenure at DC Comics in the 1970s and ‘80s, he co-created Firestorm, Steel the Indestructible Man, Vixen and Vibe (among many others). He wrote the first relaunch of New Gods and helped craft the Robin-to-Nightwing transition. Recently, he’s been calling attention to the use of “derivative” comics characters in other media — for example, the Flash TV show’s Caitlin Snow, who shares a name, a scientific background, and a Firestorm connection with the most recent version of Killer Frost’s alter ego.
DC responded to Conway’s concerns with assurances of fair compensation, but the matter also goes to the heart of the publisher’s shared universe.
In times of financial crisis, the world turns to colorful comic-book heroes and villains in this series by Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti.
For “Facebank,” Rabatti reworked graphic elements of banknotes from U.S., British and Chinese currency to merge George Washington and Mao Zedong to create Spider-Man, Queen Elizabeth II and Zedong to make Wolverine and Catwoman, and Abraham Lincoln and Zedong come together to form Batman, and so on. Clearly the takeaway here is that Mao Zedong is incredibly versatile.
Welcome to Store Tour, ROBOT 6’s new weekly exploration of comics shops, and the people who run them. Think of it as the retailer version of Shelf Porn. Each Sunday we’ll feature a different store, and also get to know the person behind the register.
This week’s store is The Comic Room, located at 659 McCowan Road in Toronto, Ontario, at the intersection of McCowan and Lawrence Avenue East. We spoke with manager Sean Clement.
The time travel, multiple speedsters and alternate timelines on The CW drama The Flash may be enough to confuse even some longtime comics readers. If you’re square with Harrison Wells and Eddie Thawne but can’t quite figure out Eobard Thawne (just play along, please), I suggest you consult Google Translate.
What? Where else would you turn for superhero comics minutiae?
Arrow, Black Canary, the Dark Archer, Deathstroke, Flash, Reverse Flash and Captain Cold are among several characters from the shows that can be found in this ReAction figure lineup, which models its look on the popular action figure format from the ’80s and ’90s.
The promotional push for Free Comic Book Day 2015 kicked off this morning with a video from legendary Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, who not only endorses the event but also brick-and-mortar stores.
“Don’t buy them [comics] over the Internet,” he says. “Where’s the fun in that? You gotta get out, experience the community that is the fan world, maybe see some titles you never dreamed that you wanted.”