The end of the weeklies, the beginning of Convergence, and one step closer to Secret Wars (with even more titles announced)! Plus the world of television and movies grow in both universes. All this and more in this week’s edition of Spandex and Capes.
April 5th, 2015
“I get you’re the best at what you do – but seriously what do you do?” – K. Pryde
Secret Wars Update – More Secret Wars titles announced this week with Siege, a story Marvel is comparing to Game of Throne’s Night Watch, featuring a band of soldiers against the horrors of the Deadlands. They have also announced a return to the House of M, as Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Magneto live as British royalty.
Casting – Well, that grew quickly didn’t it? Joining Brandon Routh’s Atom , Dominic Purcell’s Heatwave, Victor Garber’s Martin Stein, Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold, and Caity Lotz in an undefined role will be Ciara Renee Hawkgirl and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter. While not the time traveller I was hoping for I’ll take that. Meanwhile, the DC movies won’t be outdone as the Suicide Squad apparently adds Killer Shark, Steve Trevor and Killer Croc. Meanwhile, Marvel announces that Roy Donovan will be show runner for Luke Cage. And finally, Stephen Amell drops a few notches in my estimation as he regrettably joins the cast of the next TMNT movie as Casey Jones. Come on, man – why?
Deadpool – The Deadpool movie adds a Grant Morrison character to its cast Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. It also will be the first superhero to take on a “R” Rating – so that’s a step in the right direction.
Also, Roger Slifer, co-creator of Lobo, past away this week. He was a victim of a hit-and-run in 2012 and was in an medically induced coma until he died. While I have never been a fan of Lobo, his other work was excellent and I watched many of the cartoons he producer as a kid. If you don’t know him, take a few minutes to read his wikipedia entry.
April 2014 – April 2015
Earth 2: Worlds’ End
October 2014 – April 2015
New 52: Futures’ End
May 2014 – April 2015
Avengers #43 (Marvel)
By Jonathan Hickman with art by Mike Mayhew
We get our second look at Tony Stark since this whole thing started. Now this is issue is all about Tony and his ideas. Though, honestly it’s still hard to tell if we’re dealing with regular douchebag Tony or superior douchebag Tony. And Marvel? THAT’S NOT A GOOD THING. So Tony apparently went to Steve and that’s how everything fell apart. He then faced the Cabal by himself and lost. Everyone hates him… but that doesn’t stop him from saving the planet. It seems the futurist has seen that their alien allies will come for them and has made plans to stop them. Everything is beginning to pay off that Hickman’s been setting up through the years. While I haven’t enjoyed the portrayal of Tony in recent years, I enjoyed watching the world use his defense to try and save it. With only one month left, things are getting exciting.
Batman/Superman Annual #2 (DC)
By Greg Pak with art by Tom Derenick, Tyler Kirkham, Ian Churchill, Ardian Syaf, and Emanuela Lupacchino
Ok. Didn’t see that coming. Greg Pak steps up as the director of Superman in this issue – showing that even without powers, Clark Kent is a hero. The Phantom King continues to prove himself one of Superman’s deadliest enemies as influences some of the more dangerous elements of the DCU to hunt down Clark Kent. It looks like Mr. Pak will be examining the trust that Superman has in the people of Earth in the upcoming TRUTH arc – I wonder if the Phantom King will do something that makes Superman distrustful of the people of Earth. Maybe show him something they’ve plan as a countermeasure? It’s a story that I don’t think has been done before and with this issue setting it up, I’m kind of looking forward to it. Oh, and the last page? That will be interesting when the book comes back in June.
Batman Eternal (DC)
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley with art by Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Robson Rocha, Guillermo Ortego, David Lafuente, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, Allen Passalaqua, Gabe Eltaeb, John Kalisz, and John Rauch
So about ten issues in the weeklies, I decided instead of reviewing each issue, I would review them when the story was done. And Batman Eternal ended the best. Having the Cluemaster be the man with the plan was a masterstroke. And having the plan be nothing but invitations and the frame of James Gordon. And the best part is no one saw it coming. I was very glad when the last issue left Cluemaster with his masterstroke and made Lincoln March nothing but an opportunist. Overall, I think the series was good and told an interesting story. It also could have been about 15 to 20 issues shorter without ruining anything. It seemed that some issues were just there to fill the series up to 52. Overall though, this was a very successful series.
Amazing Spider #17 (Marvel); Arkham Manor: Endgame #1 (DC); Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 (Marvel); Batman ‘66 #57 (DC); Batman and Robin Annual #2 (DC); Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #3 (IDW); Harley Quinn #16 (DC); Mortal Kombat X #13 (DC); Operation S.I.N. #4 (Marvel); The Punisher #17 (Marvel); Rocket Raccoon #10 (Marvel); Sinestro Annual #1 (Marvel); Spider-Gwen #3 (Marvel); Superman/Wonder Woman #17 (DC); Teen Titans Annual #1 (DC); Uncanny Human #0 (Marvel); Wonder Woman #10 (DC); Wonder Woman ‘77 #4 (DC)
Convergence #0 (DC)
By Dan Jurgens and Jeff King with art by Ethan Van Sciver
Ok, so I’m going to start with this – this isn’t a bad comic. It’s not. It’s well scripted, well written, the characters act like they’re supposed to, and the art is good… but it’s… underwhelming. For the kickoff of their highly advertised story, you think they would have pulled out all the stops, but it’s really just set-up. And not ever a complete set-up. Futures’ End sets up why Brainiac isn’t around and Doomed sets up what Superman is doing here. Like I said, it’s serviceable, but I wanted more than what they’ve given me. Also, if you haven’t figured figured it out, Injustice is up first.
Avengers: Rage of Ultron (Marvel)
By Rick Remender with art by Jerome Opena and Pepe Larraz
Mr. Remender shows that he can write a decent Avengers story – so I guess he’s just choosing not to in Uncanny Avengers? This book is good, but there are too many problems with it. It ignores every other Ultron story ever – including the good ones. It sets up an argument over the nature of A.I., but then uses the wrong man to start it given events with Hank Pym (you know, like Avengers A.I.).. Also, I guess Spider-Man, Hank Pym, and Thor are joining Uncanny while Rogue is leaving. As for the ending? Well, that’s one way to make Scott Lang your only Ant-Man. But now, there’s a weird choice Marvel has to make. Do you go the route of making Hank Pym Ultron a full on villain, losing a good hero in the process? Do you make Ultron Pym a hero, losing a great villain? Or do you separate them as quickly as possible, more or less rejecting the story as a whole? If the ending had separate Hank and Ultron, then this probably would have been a better story. As it stands, it just shows that Mr. Remender doesn’t understand the characters he’s writing or the world he’s writing in.
New 52: Futures’ End (DC)
By Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen with art by Allan Goldman, Freddie Williams II, Andy MacDonald, and Stephen Thompson
So… This the longest set-up for a new comic in history. Issue #47 undid the entire series by undoing the catalyst – the people from Earth 2 never came to Earth 0 and so never set up the series of events that lead to “5 Five Years Later”. And none of the dangling plot threads will ever resolve. We never find out what Superman did to make him hate Batman (at least I don’t think we did). The new Firestorm they established is gone (so I guess we’ll never know if they separated). And in the end, none of it even matters. Heck, Brother Eye even still controls the world in thirty years, so the original reason for being sent back in time failed. Though, unless you were an idiot, you knew the rewrite of history was coming. Of course they were going to go back and stop the Earth 2 people from coming – it had to happen. They couldn’t set the future of the DCU like that. If they had ended the series with Tim being time lost or lost in the multiverse, this book would have ended as a Sidekick. Not really good, but not bad either. It would have gone into history occupying the same place as Trinity, a weekly that insulted no one. But the main plot that the book set up from the beginning – Stop Brother Eye – didn’t resolve. And won’t be resolved until Batman Beyond (starring Tim Drake) starts in June. This does two things: One, it shifts the book to a complete waste of time and money; and two, it kills my interest in Batman Beyond. Still it wasn’t the worst of the weeklies and it did tell some interesting stories in ways that hadn’t been told before. If you ignore the last issue, it was ok.
Earth 2: World’s End (DC)
By Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Mike Johnson, and Cullen Bunn with art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, R.B. Silva, Marc Deering, Tyler Kirkham, Jorge Jimenez, Scott Cohn, Walden Wong, Pascal Alixe, Juan Jose RyP, Paulo Siqueira
So Earth 2 ends (but not really) and it was all sound and fury with no substance. At all. Not only that, the fear of Earth 2 dying is kind of negated by the June solicitations. And what did the series accomplish? No, seriously, what did it accomplish? Cause I have no idea. Nobody big died, no body got maimed, no one switched personas, or anything like that. The art throughout the entire series was inconsistent and, in some cases, downright bad. Overall, I think this is probably the worst weekly since Countdown – at least it didn’t last 52 issues.