So, pretty much the worst thing in the entire world has happened…
Who? Fuckin’ Scotsmen. That’s who.
So, pretty much the worst thing in the entire world has happened…
Who? Fuckin’ Scotsmen. That’s who.
About two years ago, Grant Morrison did the unthinkable: he killed Bruce Wayne. Okay, okay…he sent him back in time or some weird shit. It doesn’t matter. The end result was the same. With no desire to read about a Batman who was not Bruce Wayne, I packed a suitcase and left Gotham City, vowing not to return until Bruce did. Well, the day has finally arrived, Bruce Wayne is returning to his rightful place in the here and now.
Unfortunately, a lot’s been going on in Gotham City since I left. There’s a new Batgirl. Tim Drake has abandoned the Robin identity and become Red Robin. And, who’s this mysterious new vigilante calling herself Batwoman? If I’m going to start following Bruce Wayne’s adventures again, I’d have to familiarize myself with the new status quo in the Bat-Family. With that in mind, I spent a large chunk of yesterday reading Batwoman: Elegy, as well as the first trades of Batgirl and Red Robin.
by Greg Rucka (writer) and J.H. Williams, III (artist)
We first met the modern Batwoman in the pages of 52, however a lot of her backstory wasn’t revealed until she became the featured hero in Detective Comics. Elegy collects the first seven issues of Rucka/Williams run. I have to say, of the three trades I read, this one may be my least favorite. Of course, when something like this is your least favorite thing you read in a day, it’s still a pretty damn good day.
I’m just not a fan of the whole Religion of Crime thing that DC has going on these days. And, since a lot of Batwoman’s time seems to be geared towards fighting this organization, you can understand why I didn’t completely love this trade. I did enjoy the flashbacks that explored Kate Kane’s childhood, time at West Point, and eventual transformation into Batwoman. I think Kate is a great addition to the Bat-Family, the DC Universe, and the general world of comics. I love that her dad–the Colonel–is serving as Kate’s Alfred. I’d also like to think that in her new ongoing series, Batwoman will have a werewolf sidekick.
Batgirl: Batgirl Rising
by Bryan Q. Miller (writer) and Lee Garbett (artist)
That image pretty much says it all. Former Robin and Spoiler Stephanie Brown takes over the mantle of Batgirl in a new ongoing series. While I didn’t hate Cassandra Cain (the previous Batgirl), I positively love Steph. Always have. Steph’s Batgirl is a throwback to the adventures of the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon–and it’s fitting that Babs appears in this first trade to mentor the newest Bat. Between hiding her double life from her mom and trying to juggle being a college freshman and a costumed crimefighter, Steph’s Batgirl reminds me a lot of Spider-Man, and that’s a good thing. And, as much as I hate that little shit Damian Wayne, I love the antagonistic pseudo-sibling rivalry between Steph and the new Robin.
Red Robin: The Grail
by Chris Yost (writer) and Ramon Bachs (artist)
I love Tim Drake. He was “my Robin.” But, I guess no one can be a Boy Wonder forever. So, when Dick Grayson becomes Batman, he chooses Damian Wayne as the new Robin and tells Tim that Robin is “Batman’s student” and he sees Tim as “his equal.” Convinced that Bruce Wayne is still alive, Tim becomes Red Robin and goes on a globetrotting quest to prove that his former mentor isn’t actually dead. While Tim adjusts to his new identity (“What should I call these things? They look like ammo belts. Utility straps?”), he must decide whether or not to accept a deal with Batman’s greatest enemy–Ra’s al Ghul.
Red Robin: The Grail shows Tim using his strengths–his intellect and keen detection skills–but it also shows him struggling with maturity, as both a person and as a hero. With Bruce returning, I’m not sure what role Red Robin will play in the Bat-Family, but I’m excited to find out.
“IN BRIGHTEST DAY, IN COLDEST AIR,
I SEE YOU HIDING OVER THERE.
IF YOU DON’T FEAR MY STEELY GLARE,
BEWARE THE POWER OF…
GREEN LANTERN’S HAIR!”
A while back, I threw together my dream Avengers roster. Because I don’t want to play favorites–and because from what I’ve seen the current team was created by a six-year-old–I’ve decided to put together my dream roster for DC’s Justice League.
There are a few rules I operated under. First, no sidekicks. I love Bart, Cassie, and Tim. But, they’re sidekicks and will remain as such. Second, characters who are widely associated with another established group were not in the running. Therefore, no Power Girl, Hawkman, or Captain Marvel. Whether or not I like these characters is irrelevant, in my mind they belong on the Justice Society of America. (This second rule may or may not be broken when it serves my own nefarious purposes.)
The Big Three:
Just like I wouldn’t want an Avengers team without Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, I don’t want a Justice League without Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
He may lack the tactical expertise of Bruce and Diana, but you can’t deny that Clark is one inspirational bastard. All you really need to succeed is Clark believing that you can.
Wonder Woman/Princess Diana of Themyscira
Diana equals Clark in power and Bruce in tactics and hand-to-hand skill. She is, in every sense, a born warrior.
I like Aquaman. I have no problem mocking him, but I like him. I also have no problem with magic-water-hand Aquaman. As long as it’s Arthur, I’m happy.
Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz
Just like every Avengers team needs Vision, every Justice League needs J’onn. ‘Nuff said.
Green Lantern/Hal Jordan
For the longest time, I never really liked Hal–mostly because of all those lame boxing gloves from the old Super Friends show. But, I confess to having a weakness for these kinds of devil-may-care cowboy types.
The Flash/Wally West
I’m a firm believer that every team needs a speedster. Wally is, and always will be, “my” Flash.
Green Arrow/Oliver Queen
If you’re going to have Hal, you need Ollie. These guys are awesome together. (Part of me kinda wants Barry on the team to complete the second trinity, but I’m a Wally guy all the way.)
Black Canary/Dinah Lance
I like that Canary can not only hold her own next to folks like Batman and Wonder Woman, but also that she’s always ready to call Ollie on his shit.
The Atom/Ray Palmer
Ray comes from the generation of down-to-earth heroes that included Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny. On a team that includes aliens, space cops, and Amazon princesses, Ray serves as a constant reminder of the power of the human spirit.
Having Metamorpho on a team with Martian Manhunter may be redundant, but I just love this guy. Also, I know this violates Rule #2, but I don’t care.
Unpopular opinions: we all have them. Sometimes you stand alone in loving a super niche-y run of a popular comic book series. Sometimes you’re the only person on the entire planet to ’ship a certain ’ship. Sometimes you simply Do Not Get a movie the rest of your geeky brethren is falling all over themselves about. And because a lot of fandom is about sharing loves and hates and communing with your fellow geeks, this can feel awfully lonely. But perhaps if we confess our most unpopular opinions for all the internet to see…well, we’ll feel just a little bit better.
This is an interesting topic for me to write about, mostly because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures and I don’t believe in apologizing for things you like or don’t like. A lot of life seems to revolve around concealing the former and a lot of fandom seems to involve the latter.
I love the Wests.
There, I said it. When I started reading comics, Wally West was The Flash. Sure, I knew who Barry Allen was from the awesome ’90s TV series, but Wally has been (and will always be) my Flash. And what I love most about Wally is that, probably more than any other hero in the DC Universe, he embodies the down-to-earth, blue-collar American dream. Even though Wally’s been a superhero for his entire life, he’s the quintessential everyman. And, what’s more everyman than settling down with a wife and kids? And, Wally’s had to fight for his family, too, whether it’s asking Uncle Hal Jordan/Spectre to magically erase knowledge of his secret identity or whisking his wife and newborn twins off to the safety of an alternate reality.
Normally, I’m anti-relationship. I think relationships between fictional characters prevent them from doing their jobs and that’s why I read books, go to movies, watch TV shows: to see people do things. But, as one of DC’s legacy heroes, the Flash is all about family and heritage, so it makes sense that Wally would eventually get married and have kids. And, if you have to get married, why not get married to a doctor/journalist:
Of course, kids aren’t always such a hot idea for superheroes, either. The biggest problem I had with Superman Returns was Bryan Singer trying to push that little hybrid tight-stain on me. I’m pretty sure the worst possible phrase to say in front of a Spider-Man fan is “Spider-baby.” And, don’t even get me started on that test-tube freak Damian Wayne. But, I’m not gonna lie, I love Iris and Jai West.
Sure, they aren’t perfect. For starters, Jai’s hyper-speed-force muscles were pretty damn creepy–but, I’ve always assumed the decision to give him that power was an attempt by DC Comics to avoid any comparisons between Jai West and Dash from The Incredibles. Also, the hyper-aging sub-plot never really worked for me, other than as a way to get the twins from newborn to pre-teen without signing Wally and Linda up for their AARP cards. However, credit must be given for coming up with the concept of the West twins sharing a link to the Speed Force, explaining all the problems that they’ve experienced since returning to the main DCU. And, while I’m a little fuzzy on what actually happened in Flash: Rebirth*, how goddamn sweet was it when Iris became the new Impulse?
Now, I’m not entirely sure if this counts as a “True Geek Confession.” I have seen quite a bit of negative reaction to the West twins on the Internet (although, the Internet has been known to say bad things about oxygen…so, take that with a grain of salt), but I don’t know if that’s the dominant opinion or just the louder one. Either way, I don’t care. I love the West family.
*: Here thar be possible SPOIL-ARRS!
In Flash: Rebirth, we learn that the West twins share a connection to the Speed Force. And, since they’re basically both feeding off the same tether, each sibling only has a 50% connection, which explains why they’ve had issues with their powers and all that crazy hyper-aging. Anyway, to save both twins, one of them had to accept the full connection. As I read it, Iris gave up her half of the connection to take away her brother’s pain, but the Speed Force decided to give her the whole enchilada, instead. Now, others have read it as Iris making the conscious choice to take her brother’s half of the connection for herself. Guess we’ll find out what really happened when the mini-series (eventually) concludes.
One of the things I like most about the DC Universe is the concept of the Legacy Hero. With the exception of the big guns like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, many of the identities of popular DC heroes have been used by multiple individuals over the years. The Justice Society of America best reflects this idea with stories about the older generations of heroes mentoring the younger heroes. So, inspired by news of a JSA episode of Smallville, I figured I’d cast a movie version.
The Plot: In the closing days of World War II, masked heroes Green Lantern, the Flash, and Wildcat uncover a plot by immortal mastermind Vandal Savage. While the rest of the world is focused on the events unfolding in Europe and the Pacific, these three heroes face and defeat Savage. Now, decades later, Savage has returned and the elder heroes must come out of retirement and lead their successors in a battle for the fate of humankind.
The Cast: The best thing about a Justice Society of America movie is that Hollywood will be forced to acknowledge that people live past the age of thirty. Let’s have some more mature actors open a can of whoop-ass.
Jamey Sheridan as Sentinel (Green Lantern)/Alan Scott
I’ve liked Jamey Sheridan since he played Randall Flagg in The Stand, then he popped up on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Now the poor bastard is stuck on Trauma…give the guy a cape and a domino mask and let him kick some immortal ass as DC’s first Green Lantern.
John Wesley Shipp as The Flash/Jay Garrick
If you don’t understand why casting John Wesley Shipp to play the first Flash is the most awesomest idea ever, then you just haven’t been paying attention.
Jerry Doyle as Wildcat/Ted Grant
On Babylon 5, Doyle played the gruff, blue-collar security chief Michael Garibaldi. I think he’d be perfect as the gruff, blue-collar boxer/mystery man Wildcat. (As much as I love Doyle, it’s really too bad Lee Marvin isn’t still around to play Ted.)
Michael Shanks as Hawkman/Carter Hall
Yeah, I’m stealing this from Geoff Johns’ episode of Smallville. While I couldn’t give two shits about Hawkman, I love the idea of seeing Stargate SG-1‘s Shanks play an archaeologist again…with wings and a mace to boot!
Katee Sackhoff as Power Girl/Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr
With Battlestar Galactica over, I’m afraid Sackhoff may not get another chance to be a totally kick-ass action hero. Sure, she’ll be on the new season of 24, but it’s hard for anyone on that show to out-badass Bauer. Look at the hair…Katee as Kara seems like a good fit. (Okay, just realized that this would be the second Kara that Sackhoff plays. Do it, Hollywood. Do it.)
Dule Hill as Mister Terrific/Michael Holt
Mister Terrific is the third smartest person in the DC Universe. Hill has played serious-smart (Charlie on The West Wing) and goofy-smart (as Gus on Psych), so I think he can handle Terrific’s intellect. Plus, he’d just look damned awesome in that mask and jacket.
Emmy Clarke as Stargirl/Courtney Whitmore
One of the comments I heard about the actress cast to play Stargirl on Smallville was that she was a little too “CW.” Court’s got a geeky, awkward thing that I think Monk‘s Emmy Clarke could bring to the role.
Molly Quinn as Cyclone/Maxine Hunkel
The youngest member of the JSA, Max Hunkel is a bit of a motormouthed fangirl. While Quinn exudes poise as the daughter of bestselling novelist Richard Castle on Castle, she sure as hell looks the part.
Jensen Ackles as Sandman/Sanderson “Sandy” Hawkins
I can’t explain it…I just like Ackles. I think he’d have a blast playing the former sidekick-turned-hero. Plus, Ackles has shown he can convincingly solve a mystery or two on Supernatural.
Sean Bean as Vandal Savage
There’s just something about a Sean Bean villain. He’s a big dude and can be physically menacing, but there’s also a nobility about him, even as he’s threatening to shoot your wife/husband/daughter/father/best friend.
If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on in DC’s Batman titles over the last few months, then you’ve missed what’s more or less been a game of Musical Cowls. All of the new faces in the Batcave got me thinking: what would be my dream Bat-team? Luckily, I have this blog, so I can write down my ideas and force you all to experience my brilliance.
Yeah, there’s just no way around this: Bruce Wayne is Batman. I have no explanation for this, because there are certain truisms that just do not need to be explained. The Sun is hot. Water is wet. Bruce Wayne is Batman. Next!
I really haven’t read a lot of Pre-Crisis comics, so I’m not at all familiar with the original Red Robin. However, I guess you can’t be a Boy Wonder forever…and, I guess Tim Drake has earned the right to adopt a new identity. Plus, the costume is kind of cool.
Dick Grayson’s always fought to be his own man. From creating the Nightwing identity to moving to Bludhaven, Dick’s never wanted to live in his mentor’s shadow. So, while I get why he’d honor Bruce’s memory by wearing the cape and cowl, he’ll always be Nightwing to me.
Fuck Damian Wayne. Now, I’ve always been a fan of Tim Drake’s Robin, but I’m willing to accept Tim in his new role as Red Robin. Therefore, we need someone else to fill the role of Batman’s sidekick. Honestly, why was Stephanie Brown only allowed to be Robin for about a minute and a half?
I have absolutely no thoughts on Kate Kane being Batwoman one way or the other.
While I’m pleased that Steph is getting to be the new Batgirl in the actual DC Universe–despite one of the lamest costume designs I’ve seen in a while–I’d much rather see her as Robin. I’m not sure Gotham needs a Batgirl and a Batwoman…and, for my money, Barbara Gordon will always be Batgirl. But, if I need someone in that identity, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be Cassandra Cain.