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Superman vs. The Elite Review

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A man who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound should be the most terrifying creature on Earth. He’d be unstoppable and unbeholden to our mortal morality. So, why then is Superman one of the most popular heroes on the planet? He does not kill and he never loses.

A superman does both in the new DC animated film, Superman vs. The Elite, an adaptation that both faithfully adapts its source material, while improving on its message and focus. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Book Industry Hopes to Rebound Through Digital Distribution

Thousands of fans and collectors rushed into a comic book store to witness the death of an icon. They had seen it on the news, heard it on the radio, been told by their friends. Superman was dead. The cover of Superman 75 showed Superman’s torn cape blowing in the wind like a flag, while his family and friends wept in the background.

On this day in 1992, a single store in Detriot sold nearly 200 000 copies of a comic, as consumers raced to pick up that issue. The store began to see that they were running out of issues, so they marked the prices up higher and higher. By the end of the day, the issue that had started off at a $1.50 was going for twenty times its original price. This was a common sight in comic book stores across North America.

DC Comics, publisher of Superman, and comic book retailers made around $30 million in one day. This was the third time an American comic book publisher had hit the jackpot. It was also the last.

It was clear by the end of that same year that the comic market was shrinking. Sales dropped, the collectors cashed out and sent the whole system into what Grant Morrison, a writer at DC Comics, called “a death spiral.”

However, comic book creators see a way out of this tail spin through a new distribution system: the internet. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Justice League 1

The cover of Justice League 1 invites you in bold gold text to DC Comic’s “New 52”. It’s not just the headline either. The costumes look different, the attitude looks different, and we’ve even got a brand new logo for it. It’s too bad that the actual content doesn’t feel all that different. Geoff Johns provides a serviceable first issue that works as a good opener to the New DC, without trying too hard.  It’s an enjoyable read, but nothing substantial.

Justice League 1 opens big. Batman is running across rooftops trying to catch a bad guy while Gotham helicopters fly above, chasing him as if he was another criminal. The monster is about to get away, when Green Lantern smashes the beast into the ground with a green firetruck. It does the trick, but now the police see them. Batman vulnerable and the Green Lantern in plain sight, the helicopters turn their guns and fire. It’s good stuff, it just ends far too early to mean anything. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Flashpoint 5

Flashpoint is one of the least impressive stories about the Flash. I want to get this out of the gate immediately. Flashpoint can hardly be called a story, it’s more like staring out of a car window as scenery passes you by. There was always great potential here, perhaps even the beginning of a great Flash story. It’s just so damning on writer Geoff Johns that he could not use this interesting new world to any greater extent than undeserved shock moments and window dressing. Johns has had an impressive run of comics so far, but this is easily his weakest. A reader will rarely be so underwhelmed by Barry Allen than in Flashpoint.

Let’s recap the story so far. There’s an alternate universe and the Flash is going to fix it with Thomas Wayne Batman. This is all that happens. There is no character development. You don’t learn anything new about Barry Allen or Thomas Wayne. There is semi-witty banter followed by screaming and death. It’s a slideshow almost, like the ones your grandparents show you about their trip to Milan. And like watching their grandparents’ trip, the reader will have the same reaction, boredom and disappointment. Read the rest of this entry

Quick Review: Batman Incorperated 8

This is one of the worst things Grant Morrison has ever written. Search the Internet for spoilers, avoid the actual issue like the plague if you can. The writing is mediocre, and the art burns your eyes with the heat of a thousand suns. The issue is more or less nonsensical. Despite his attempts to make the internet look like a video game, Morrison has little to no understanding as to how a video game works. A better artist might have saved this issue, but as it stands, it only contains the worst parts of Morrison’s habits and the art of a sociopath bent on the destruction of humanity.

If you want, I can give you the only reason to read this comic right here: Jezebel Jet is alive and works for Leviathan.

There, now you never need to wonder what happened.

Score: SATAN/5

Review: Batman: Gates of Gotham 1-5

Scott Snyder has proven himself with American Vampire and his run on Detective Comics to be one DC’s best writers. Gates of Gotham, however, is not quite at that level. It is by no means bad or unreadable but it doesn’t capture the same thrill and intrigue that his other comics have done.

The story of Gates of Gotham regards the destruction of Gotham’s landmarks, where the city becomes a character in a plot that spans decades of its history. Batman (Dick Grayson) and all of his allies must stop whoever is responsible and discover their motives before Gotham becomes unrecognizable. The best attributes of the story are its characters and how it elaborates on Gotham’s past. I really enjoyed seeing Damien antagonize Cassandra Cain, and  Tim Drake’s wit and Dick trying to hold all three of them together. They all make the story interesting and better realized. Read the rest of this entry

Video: DC’s “New 52” Commericial is Out, and Reminds Us of 90s

I have been telling everyone I can that in order for DC’s new 52 initiative to be a success they need average people to know. Not comic book fans, not sci-fi nerds, not software engineers. DC needs anyone who doesn’t regularly read comics, but could, given they knew it existed and was a valid medium of expression. And when I write needs, I mean needs. They have been spending far too much money for their initiative to be a flop. Whether or not they succeed is going to determine the fate of the company and whether it can take any risks in the future. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Batman: Knight of Vengeance 3

Batman: Knight of Vengeance is better than Flashpoint. I guess I should give Flashpoint the benefit of the doubt, since there is one issue left, but screw it. I’m going to be unprofessional and say right now that Batman: Knight of Vengeance is one of the best works of short fiction done for a event and a fantastic rendition of an Elseworlds Batman. Prior to this, I have never been curious what would happen if Thomas Wayne was Batman, and now I find myself curious about possible further adventures. Brian Azzarello ends his three issue arc in a way where a continuation wouldn’t really be viable, though leaves the reader mostly satisfied.

In spite of  tendency for three issue series to be over stuffed or complete fodder, Azzarello produces some amazing work that is not only engaging but ties into the main Flashpoint series. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Flashpoint 3


Despite exploding upon his attempt to recreate his Flash powers, Barry Allen lives long enough to try again. This time it doesn’t result in a hilarious self-deprecating moment and Allen’s powers return. Problem solved, the Flash and Thomas Wayne Batman decide to search for Superman with the hopes that he can shift the tides in the crumbling world of Flashpoint.

We’re more than halfway through this supposedly world shattering series, and it seems we’re only starting to get to the main plot. We can see an inkling of an army being built and a lot of character development, but this should not be happening during the third issue. Read the rest of this entry

Indirect Market #1 Goddamn Kneepads

Clearly there are not enough people talking about comics these days, so my good friend, Matthew Ishii and I decided to make our own podcast called Indirect Market. We talk about one broad topic in the comics industry every week and explore it to the best of our ability. Which, to be fair, isn’t much ability at all. The topic can range from shonen manga to costume changes in DC. This episode’s issue is Resets and Retools! Of course we’re focusing on Flashpoint for DC and the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man for Marvel. Both of these are spectacular events that require in depth commentary.

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true” url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/18061846″%5D

We talk about:

  • The History of DC Reboots
  • Flashpoint
  • Flashpoint Tie-ins
  • New Costumes
  • the 52
  • Death of Spider-Man
  • Ultimatum
  • New Ultimate Universe Comics

I will guarantee no schedule. Comment below. Download here.