Thursday, April 28, 2011

Geoff Johns' "Brightest Failure" Deadman Edition WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER ALERT

So I picked up the final three issues of the 24-issue maxi-series Brightest Day today and I was really happy with Firestorm's issue (#22) but then when #23 hit...well... I'll get to that later.

It started wayyy back in June of 2010 with Brightest Day #0...actually, it started in Blackest Night #8 with the resurrection of 12 heroes and villains; Jade, Maxwell Lord, Deadman, Hawk (of Hawk & Dove-the original, male, version), Hawkman, Hawkgirl (brought back as Shiera Hall instead of Kendra Saunders like last time), Martian Manhunter, Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond & Jason Rusch), Aquaman, Reverse-Flash, Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness-the original), and Osiris.

Wait--before the summary...DID YOU SEE THAT GODDAMN IMAGE UP THERE!? It's a freakin' knock-off of Brightest Day #1's first printing cover! The original one was a skull with a bunch of Black Lantern rings shooting out...WHY THE HELL DO THEY HAVE TO RUIN EVERYTHING EVEN REMOTELY TIED WITH THIS SERIES!?!?

Boston Brand (Deadman or, as I, X-Man, and JT prefer, Aliveman)

The series' #0 issue was great. It showed the only resurrectee with a White Ring left on his finger, Deadman (AKA Boston Brand), being told that he was supposed to "help [the ring], help them." "Them" being the resurrectee's. Then when #1 hit stores, the story really kicked off. Boston was being forced to jump around from resurrectee-to-resurrectee by the White Ring. He does this for about four issues, then somehow appears in Dove's (Dawn Granger) dorm room. Uhhh...Can I say pervert, much? How old is Boston? Like 80-something? And Dawn is maybe 24 or 25? Well anyway, the good old White Ring decides to make Boston's presence known to Dawn and she turns into her Dove-form.

Out of nowhere, Hawk comes bursting through the wall and pins Aliveman against it. Then Dawn and Boston start talking and his stomach rumbles. APPARENTLY, being whipped around the Universe by a talking ring that is connected to all life, means you can't stop for a hamburger every once-in-a-while. Well that's exactly what the ring tells him to do..."eat a cheeseburger." So insightful, Mr. Ring.

We next see Boston, Hank (Hawk), and Dawn sitting in a diner with a few cheeseburgers sitting on the table. Boston takes one bite (because that's gonna fill anybody up) and the Ring zaps them away to the White Lantern (for some reason it's...) in New Mexico.

Just because the little runt taking Garth's place as Aqualad lives in New Mexico, doesn't mean the Lantern should go there.

Anyway, there the Lantern tells all 12 resurrectee's their "missions" which Boston's is to find the New Champion of Earth. (DUH! WHY ELSE WOULD THE RING STILL BE ON HIM?)

So Boston and Dawn go to like…the Gotham Library or something and they start interviewing people to see which one would be the Champion of Earth. They happen to be talking to Resurrection Man or whatever. This guy dies and then comes back with new powers every time. Whatever. Boston then looks outside and see’s the Batman signal-thing out in the sky and thinks “Hey, it must be Batman because I’ve been eating wayyyy too many cheeseburgers!” and runs off towards the Batman signal.
After he gets to wherever Batman was needed he manages to somehow fight off a few of Mr. Freeze’s henchmen until Batman shows up to take down freeze. Boston then tells Mr. Ring to get off of him and take over Bruce because Bruce totally belongs in white. Bruce then gives Boston some really long lecture about how he needs to embrace life instead of take it for granted like he is now. One of Freeze’s henchmen shoots Boston when he doesn’t have Mr. Ring. He begins to die (again) and Mr. Ring shows him what his life what like way, way, way back before he died the first time. He was a complete asshole and it sets up Boston begging for his life back and Mr. Ring decides to be nice to Boston (HOLY SHIT, MR. RING’S GONE SOFT!) and lets him come back.

So then we see Boston and Dawn in her dorm house thing in which they imply that they slept together. Boston is making cheeseburgers for breakfast (I'm a vegetarian, so the thought of meat is just outrageous to me but a cheeseburger for BREAKFAST?) So at this point Aliveman is making his time by sleeping with girls that are about 55 years younger than him and not doing what the all-powerful Mr. Ring told him to.

So after finding out that his bazillion-year-old grandfather is still alive. Seriously, though. That guy must be really, really old. Considering that assumedly his grandfather was in his 60’s when Boston was killed? And Boston’s stories started in the 40’s or 50’s? Hmmm… The guy must be just about 66-years-older. Oi vey, Geoff. Do some math. Maybe…MAYBE…his parents would still be around. But his grandfather? Ugh!

Sorry. I love to ramble about stuff that doesn’t make sense. Anyway, so he and his grandpa go riding motorcycles because of a random backstory and Mr. Ring begins charging. When Mr. Ring completely charges, he makes Boston bolt into the air and to the Aviary. So then the Hawks end up completing their quest from Mr. Ring and my second favorite quote of the entire series happens.

Carter: “I love you more than life.” (To Shiera)
Mr. Ring: “What an odd thing to say.” (To Carter)

Then the Hawks get really confused as to why Aliveman is there peeping in on the mating gallery at the Aviary. He explains that Mr. Ring is controlling his entire body and that nothing he could do would be able to get away from his good old pal, Mr. Ring.

So then Mr. Ring turns the Hawks into some ash or air or something like that. Then Boston goes a couple issues without doing anything important until SpongeBob—I mean Aquaman finishes Mr. Ring’s mission for him and then he makes him dissolve into the water…or something. Then Martian Manhunter finishes his mission, though unlike the other 6 main characters, he understands what Aliveman is doing and allows him to shrink him into the ground. Then when Ronnie and Jason get the Mr. Ring’s Lantern back from the Anti-Monitor he burns them alive. Literally, alive. Because some crazy magic allows fire to not effect fire! Who would’ve known!?

Then good old Mr. Ring brings Dawn to Star City’s forest (where Boston and the rest of the “Elementals” are along with Mr. Ring’s tree) and Hank tags along for a ride. Mr. Ring tells Boston, Dawn, and Hank (who isn’t supposed to be there) to protect his tree while the Elementals fight off the Black Lantern menace guy who I will reveal at the end of the post. But then Mr. Ring tells them that Alec Holland (aka Swamp Thing’s host person-thingy) is the Champion of Earth.

So we’ve finally made it to issue 24 of Aliveman/Deadman/Boston Brand’s Brightest Day run. I’ve decided since this post is so long that I’m going to break up the Brightest Day breakdowns into five separate posts all posted throughout my birthday weekend (this weekend).
Let’s get this post over with so I can work on Ronnie Raymond’s!

So then Mr. Ring tells the origin story of Alec Holland/Swamp Thing which is the following:
“He was a scientist, Dove. A biologist or botanist…or both. I’m not really sure. He had a lab in the Louisiana swamps. There was an explosion…” “An attack, Boston Brand. Many men who would exploit this world wanted Alec Holland’s work for themselves. Alec Holland was engulfed in an explosion that ignited his lab. Alec Holland died in the swamp. And his memory was absorbed into the life web of the Earth called The Green.” “I know. And a…creature made of vegetation rose out of the swamp thinking it was Alec Holland.” “But Alec Holland was dad. It was not Alec Holland. It was Swamp Thing.” –Aliveman and Mr. Ring-Brightest Day #24
Anyway, so Digger Harkness (who was supposed to throw a goddamn Boomerang at Dove) it peeping around a tree looking at Boston, Dove, Mr. Ring, and Hawk. Then it’s revealed that Swamp Thing thinks he is Nekron for some reason. For those of you noobs who don’t know, Nekron was the villain in Blackest Night. So Boston, Hawk, Dove, and Mr. Ring talk for a while until Black Lantern Swamp Thing starts stomping around. Mr. Ring peer pressures Boomerang into throwing the Boomerang at Dove (like a good little suck-up to Mr. Ring) and he does so. Hawk, realizing his chance to catch the Boomerang (which was his mission), tries to catch it but the boomerang goes straight through his hand. Uhhh? Mr. Ring, you son-of-a-bitch, why did you not allow Hawk to catch the boomerang so what happens next didn’t have to?

So Boston, realizing his girlfriend was about to get pierced with a boomerang, jumps in front of the boomerang and it goes straight into his heart causing a big explosion that was unneeded. Dove and Boston start crying and saying how much they mean to one another until Boston ends up dying (for the third time ever) and the ring shoots into Holland’s mouth. Now Holland, returned as a human rather than Swamp Thing, walks around confused. I also noticed that Mr. Ring is not on any of his fingers.

Then Holland randomly turns into Swamp Thing (not to mention a giant Swamp Thing) and has a really lame fight scene with Black Lantern Swamp Thing using the different Elemental’s powers against the Black Lantern.
Back to Boston’s body. Hawk and Dove are really sad standing over his body when White Lantern Swamp Thing (who is entirely green still, might I add) says the Earth will take care of him and Boston’s body shrinks into a bed of flowers and disappears.

Sadly enough for Boston, Mr. Ring won’t let him move on from limbo. Though Boston is now able to talk to living people when he’s in his ghost form, not even taking over a body.

The rest of #24 will be revealed in a later post but not after I say the only awesome thing Swamp Thing has done as a Mr. Ring’s new host so far… killed a bunch of oil company board members (obviously focused on BP). Oh and to finish of the series finale, John Constantine’s return to the DC Universe appears on the last page of the series with one word, and I quote… “Bollocks.”\
Thanks guys for reading my long and rambly Boston Brand Brightest Day post. Join me next Friday when I post my Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch Brightest Day post. Next Saturday I’ll post my J’onn J’onzz Brightest Day post. And finally next Sunday with my Hawks Brig

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Upcoming Ongoings: Aquaman

A Little Bit of Ranting about Brightest Day
A few weeks back, DC announced that Geoff Johns would be writing an ongoing Aquaman series after Flashpoint ends. Now after Brightest Day #23 premiered a fellow comic book fan said he was done with Geoff Johns' writing until he does something iconic again. Well, I think that Geoff Johns kinda had an off-moment in Brightest Day and that Peter J. Tomasi also wrote for the series, too.
Geoff Johns is my favorite writer, even with the...terrible-ness...that #23 was and I'm assuming #24 will be. But I still agree that the fact that Alec Holland (A.K.A. Swamp Thing) was named the Champion of Earth, is COMPLETELY STUPID!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS DC THINKING!?!?!?!?!?

Aquaman series
But anyway, I'm done ranting. So like I said: An Aquaman ongoing series has been announced to be coming out after Flashpoint is completed! SO EXCITED!!! I've never really liked Aquaman, I often compare him to SpongeBob SquarePants since they can both "speak to fish" and "breathe underwater." Sadly enough, I think the image above is merely fan-fiction, but wouldn't that be amazing if Geoff and Ethan returned for yet another Rebirth story?

Geoff has announced the series is going to be "bursting out of the pages of Brightest Day" (which I'm not entirely sure how to take that, now) and that Mera, Aquagirl, Aqualad, and Black Manta will be important characters in the series...which makes me really excited. I loved the Aquaman story all the way through Brightest Day and I really want to see Jackson Hyde (Aqualad) deal with the fact that his father is Black Manta. I think my favorite character from Brightest Day is Jackson, even though he wasn't one of the resurectees. It has been revealed (in Teen Titans #88) that Jackson will be joining the team.

Anyway, if anyone can make me love Arthur Curry, it's Geoff Johns. But my only requests the Aquaman series is that there are no delays, and that this is a series that Geoff continuously writes...not like most of his series (Teen Titans, Justice Society of America-which I'm pretty certain he wrote, etc.) where he starts it and then leaves it after a story-arc or two. That would make me really disappointed and I would probably stop reading it after he left the book.

So the new Aquaman series that will likely premiere in time for Christmas 2011, is a definite recommendation. (So far at least)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flashpoint part one...the Mini's

Lead-Up to Flashpoint
Starting with Flash #9, Barry Allen & the Flash crew (Wally West, Jay Garrick, and Bart Allen) meet a new character named Hot Pursuit who is trying to stop Flashpoint from occurring.

Cancellation of the Flash Series
DC has announced recently on their blog, The Source, that the only ongoing series crossing-over with Flashpoint is Booster Gold. When someone asked what will be happening with the Flash ongoing series will be ending after issue #13. This has made me very disappointed and sad. I think that they might as well be canceling Superman or Batman because Flash is someone who deserves their own series.

There have been many Flashpoint crossover mini-series announced. Credits for mini-series:

<--- Batman: Knight of Vengeance
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso

Citizen Cold --->
Writing & Art: Scott Kolins

<--- Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Joe Bennett & John Dell

Deadman & the Flying Graysons --->
Writer: JT Krul
Art: Mikel Janin

<--- Hal Jordan
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Art: Ben Oliver

World of Flashpoint --->
Writer: Rex Ogle
Art: Paulo Siqueira

<--- Emperor Aquaman
Writer: Tony Bedard
Art: Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes

Legion of Doom --->
Writer: Adam Glass
Art: Rodney Buchemi & Jose Marzan

<--- Project Superman
Plot by: Scott Snyder
Script: Lowell Francis
Art: Gene Ha

Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown --->
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ibraim Roberson

<--- Kid Flash Lost Starring Bart Allen
Writer: Sterling Gates
Art: Oliver Nome

Wonder Woman and the Furies --->
Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art: Scott Clark and David Beaty

<--- Lois Lane and the Resistance
Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art: Eddie Nuñez

Abin Sur-The Green Lantern --->
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Art: Felipe Massafera

<--- The Outsider
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Javi Fernandez

Secret Seven --->
Writer Peter Milligan
Art: George Perez and Scott Koblish

>Phew< Finally done with all of that amazing art and intriguing titles? Well 1) I will have more next week. 2) I'm not done yet! So of all of those series, there are a few that I will be picking up no matter what; World of Flashpoint, Abin Sur-The Green Lantern, Project Superman, and Secret Seven.

There are several reasons for picking these series...World of Flashpoint because of the fact that it seems to be the mini that will be tied in most with the main Flashpoint series, Abin Sur-The Green Lantern because I'm very curious as to what is going to happen to Abin and why it is called "Abin Sur the Green Lantern", Project Superman because I know this series will be tying into the Flashpoint series and it looks rather interesting, and Secret Seven solely because it's George Perez on the art! How could I ever pass up George Perez art?

If I happen to have enough money, I'll buy them all because they all look great! But if I had to choose a few, it'd be them.

In a Q&A Geoff Johns had with Newsarama, he stated this is probably the most accessible event he has ever done...meaning that he is saying this series really doesn't need any prior knowledge! It's a perfect jump-on point for any new comic fans!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Is Coming: Action Comics #900

On April 27, 2011, the Action Comics ongoing series will reach issue #900. For the past ten issues, Lex Luthor (of all people) has been the star of this series. Issue #900 will feature the finale of that story, a crossover with the "Reign of Doomsday" storyline, and several other stories throughout the whole issue.

Not only is this issue #900, which I am very happily surprised that a series has made it that far, but it's a whopping 96 pages! Even though it's cost is $5.99+tax, I'm still going to pick it up.

It all started with Superman and it will continue as Superman returns to Action Comics for issue #900! Glad you could make it back, Supes. There will be many stories in this issue; Paul Cornell and Pete Woods finish off the Lex Luthor storyline with a showdown between Luthor and Supes.

Also, according to DC, it will "lay the grounds for an insanely epic story coming out this summer in the pages of ACTION!"-I assume this is probably where "Reign of Doomsday" will be staying all summer.

And like a spokesman on a commercial would say... "But, that's not all!" When you pick up #900 not only will you be getting those two stories, you'll be getting stories from Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer, Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner, co-creator of Lost Damon Lindelof, plus the creative team behind the new game DC Universe Online.

Heh...maybe I should go into the PR business for DC, eh?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reign of Doomsday pt. 1

Even though we're a few months into the Reign of Doomsday storyline, I figured I'd post something about it.
So far this series has been featured in a Steel one-shot from January, Outsiders #37 (feat. the Eradicator), and Justice League of America #55 (feat. Supergirl & Cyborg Superman) with upcoming crossovers in Superman/Batman Annual #5 (feat. Supergirl and Cyborg Superman, Superboy #6 (feat. Superboy), Action Comics #900-902 (feat. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Cyborg Superman, the Eradicator, & Steel). Doomsday has been fighting his way through the DC Universe for the past three months and this month he is hitting three more stops.
The new-and-improved Doomsday has been hitting the Superman Family hard, taking them down easily. On the DC Universe blog, The Source, someone expressed the concern of Doomsday becoming a DCU character, rather than a Superman character. This is an equal concern I had, but after seeing how Reign of Doomsday has been going, I'm excited.

COMING ON SATURDAY: What Is Coming: Action Comics #900
COMING ON TUESDAY: Flashpoint previews part 1...the Mini's
Thanks for reading!