We're three issues into this weekly DC megaseries. It started with chaos and violence in the Free Comic Book Day issue 0. There was a lot of action -- and one gloriously creepy moment -- but with the dystopic 35-year future didn't have a lot of emotional weight. And the OMAC cyborgs of various superheroes were creepy, but the possibility of a reset button was far too apparent in the opening scenes -- in fact, that's what the entire series is about.
Issue 1, set merely 5 years into our future, wasn't much of an improvement. Setting four plot threads in motion, the book didn't have much cohesion. Grifter kills some Daemonites masquerading as humans; Brother Eye trounces Stormwatch; Batman Beyond fights one last OMAC-borg, and Ron Raymond and Jason Rusch argue about their responsibilities as Firestorm, leading them to be too late to save Green Arrow's life. But remember, this is a possible future, so a shocking death still doesn't have much weight.
So why, then, did issue 2 suddenly start to click for me? Part of it was the superhero funeral, an event big enough to feel like the issue was about something. We see some heroes inexplicably changed, in the sort of intriguing ways that brought to mind the giant Hawkgirl in 52 (a development that went nowhere, alas). Mr. Terrific is for some reason a Twitter-trending douche. Superman (or Superboy or -girl) is seen in the background in a Wildfire-style containment suit. Animal Man was apparently best friends with Ollie -- he delivers his eulogy. There was an invasion on Earth 2 a while back, and refugees came to Earth 1. Possible futures are at their best when they try to intrigue rather than shock, and that's what's going on here.
Meanwhile, King Farraday is investigating the Grifter killings, Lois Lane gets a mysterious package relating to Oliver Queen, and there's a bartender who seems really disillusioned with superheroes as a whole. Given his hairstyle and the fact that his bar is named The Wounded Duck, I'm guessing he's Tim Drake.
I very nearly didn't pick up issue 2, and if it hadn't been such a light week, I wouldn't have. But suddenly, there are puzzles to solve.Suddenly, I'm invested.
The "Band Aid" thing is 40 books that DC will do in advance for their move to the West Coast. There will, supposedly, be some Old 52 sprinkled in there. Nothing firm yet.
I like Bill, but he has been bashing the New 52 pretty hard for a while now.
He's not the only one. It's a severely unpopular, divisive line of comics in many quarters.
DC obviously think the Nu52 style/tone is just great, judging how stylistically homogenous all their books are, so that only leaves the content to tamper with, in their view. Of course they are going to try to bring back readers who drifted off after the old 52 was abandoned in mid-flow, by reintroducing those old concepts. Before, this would only have been done after 10 or twenty years, but everything is speeded up now, so a few years in would be about right.
I regret that I said anything.
I edited my first comment and deleted my second one. I apologize; I didn't mean to rankle any feathers. I have been posting that I've been coming around on DC over the past month or two, and I wasn't trying to add my voice to any bashing, I was just trying to participate in the conversation.
As I said above, I now regret it.
I didn't think you were bashing DC. You're a fair person; I was just curious that you had seen something I hadn't yet (I trade wait some titles, and I'm behind on others). I don't put much stock in Bleeding Cool generally, but that's neither here nor there. If I came across as offended, I'm sorry, not my intention.
I read your original comment, Jeff, and I didn't think you were bashing DC at all -- as Figs says, it's still a controversial reboot -- it could hardly be controversial if we all agreed about it. And the speculation isn't just at Bleeding Cool -- Newsarama posted an article today about clues that there could be some sort of new crisis coming in 2015. I'm not convinced that the New 52 will go away, by any means, but I do think *something's* coming. That something could be just a big storyline, but it could be more -- maybe the establishment of the old continuity on another earth. Which is how the multiple earths started in the first place, of course.
Meanwhile, in Futures End, Black Adam tries the Kingdom Come lightning trick in a battle... but he chooses the wrong victim for it in Frankenstein, a man reborn in lightning. It's a moment I think could have been drawn a little cooler, but I have to admit it's a pretty great idea!
I haven't had much chance to post lately -- insanely busy in "real life" -- but in Futures End 8, Ray Palmer picks up a sword again! And as for what he does with it... well, that just cracked me up.
Plus, it looks like Lois is on her way to finding the secret island of OMACs, and Superman gives half of Firestorm a dressing down. And Fifty Sue seems like no one to be trifled with.
That's what I thought! Please extrapolate on this, Rob!
Captain Comics said:
We don't know much about her yet. She's a preteen/tween girl with immense power on Cadmus Island. She considers herself Slade Wilson's sidekick, but she might have been being facetious about that. My suspicion is that she can call upon 50 different superpowers -- we've seen her teleport, IIRC, and blast Grifter to the other side of the island. She's a tough customer, and also, I think, a good example of how the creative team here are trying to do more than coast on the same old glum archetypes of dystopic (and in this case, pre-dystopic) futures.
Finally got my copy of last week's issue, and it's largely a move-the-pieces-around issue, with one big reveal (implied earlier): There are a bunch of Earth-2 metahumans (including at least one New God, Scott Free) imprisoned on Cadmus Island. It's an odd scene. I can't imagine even Cadmus could keep Mister Miracle where he didn't want to be, and Power Girl and Dr. Fate are also unlikely prisoners -- and their presence pushes the capabilities of Cadmus beyond belief, I think.
Also, Rampage shows up (as Madison talks in prison to her dad, war criminal Max Payne), and breaks a guy out of jail. His name's Ethan Boyer, and is described as a "sicko" -- but is seemingly another new character in the series. Books like this, set in the future of the universe, usually play like puzzle pieces, putting familiar figures in unfamiliar settings. There's a lot of that here (Mr. Terrific, for instance), but there's also a considerable effort to introduce new characters (see also Madison & May Payne, I believe, and Fifty Sue). It's unusual for a series like this, and I appreciate it. It makes it feel more like its own story, and less like professionals playing with Colorforms.
Plus, Hawkman wants his arm back, waking from the dead soon after it's been grafted on to Frankenstein! I *love* Frankenstein. He puts the fun back into dismemberment, in much the same way Robotman did in the 60s Doom Patrol.
Been away for a while, but I've been reading this book all along. Last week's issue had another sighting of the Ipso Facto band name... I'm still curious what's going on with that detail, since it keeps popping up. (There actually was a band called Ipso Facto that existed from 2007-2009, but I'm pretty sure this isn't related.)
Here's wikipedia's write-up on the term. In a world inundated with masked vigilantes and refuge duplicates from Earth 2, what could this apply to?
Ipso facto is a Latin phrase, directly translated as "by the fact itself," which means that a certain phenomenon is a direct consequence, a resultant effect, of the action in question, instead of being brought about by a previous action. It is a term of art used in philosophy, law, andscience. An example in law is money laundering: the act is not ipso facto illegal because it is an exchange but is done as a cover for something else, so the act puts the actions of an individual in question. A common English idiom with a similar meaning is "in and of itself".
Also, last week we got our first glimpse of 35 years in the future since issue 0. It seems a captive Joker is being called up for surgical assimilation into the dying body of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Creeepy!