DC Universe Presents: The Titans

The first day of San Diego Comic-Con and DC Comics has hit the ground running with the first trailer for the new live-action Titans series. This is just the first of a slate of brand new programming for the DC Universe streaming service which it was announced will cost approximately $75 a year.

I thought they did I good job. Raven seeking out Dick Grayson is a nice callback to Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s run on the New Teen Titans in the 80s. That run is still considered one of the all time greats (not just for Titans but for comics period).

Brenton Thwaites makes a believable Dick Grayson-his anger at Batman may have been a little over the top. Raven as portrayed by Teagan Croft seems to have combined several of her previous versions into one. It works for me.

You only see glimpses of the other main characters but at the least they look the part.

It was just enough of a tease to leave me wanting more.

Broken Bat

The Bat and the Cat.

Batman number 50 has come and gone. By now most everyone has probably seen the issue but regardless…

Spoilers, spoilers and more spoilers

Yes the wedding did not go off as planned but then again that was spoiled ahead of time(thanks to the New York Times) and some fans lost their bloody minds.

The issue itself was wonderful. From King’s writing to Mikel Janin’s wonderful art to the pin ups from nearly every artist to ever draw the bat that fit so nicely into this issue. This was everything that you want from a 50th issue, ok except that no one said I do but we all knew that. The fact that it  was spoiled ahead of time did not  take away one moment of enjoyment. The story played out just as it should have been. The huge storybook wedding with a thousand guests was never going to happen. The Bat and the Cat would have had a spur of the moment private intimate  affair, just the two of them with the witnesses. And can I say Alfred was absolutely the right choice. Alfred has been there every step of the way in Bruce’s life to witness all the ups and all the horrific downs. He should absolutely have been there for the happiest day of his life.

Showing the dance that Bruce and Selina have always done was wonderful way to frame the story. This is not just the dance they’ve been doing for the last 50 issues but the dance they have done since Catwoman was first introduced(in Batman #1 in 1940) and I don’t believe for a second the dance is over. King has said this is a hundred issue story and I for one believe at some point we will get that wedding.

But by and large I am a journalist for all the spoiling that they did, they buried the lede.

Yes they spoiled that Selena leave Bruce at the altar so to speak but they did not spoil the best part of the issue

The best part of the issue the last two pages. The best part was seeing that not only has Bruce had his chance at happiness taken away but that it was done to him. The best part was that it did not just happen but that someone did this.

I love love love that they had Bane be the one to bring him down. They had Bane once again break Batman.

Too often they focus on Bane’s physicality. Far too often we forget that Bane is brilliant. He has a great strategic mind that is how he broke Batman in the first place it wasn’t just Venom coursing through his veins, it was setting loose Arkham Asylum to wear Bruce down.

This time it’s not breaking him with his fists but breaking the man emotionally and the imagery in the last panel of all the different pieces of the last 50 issues culminating and being seeming victory that was perfect.

The last panel that’s the turn, the penny dropping. It was that moment that changes everything that came before.

And after.

I know everyone is diving back into their comics and just looking for the little hints spread throughout this run.

Here’s too another fifty.

 

It’s Booster(Gold) Time

It is time. Time for DC comics to give us a Booster Gold ongoing once again.

Actually it is well past time. Michael Jon Carter, that’s Booster, has been on the sidelines for far too long.

I firmly believe a title is on it’s way. Whether a solo book for Booster or every fans dream of a Blue and Gold team-up book(Ted Kord and Booster…is it really that hard). Moves by DC Comics seem to suggest it will happen.

First there was the recent team up with Superman in Action Comics written by Dan Jurgens. Jurgens is the man who created Booster in 1986. Then we have this week’s Batman #45. More a Booster Gold comic than a Batman comic it was weirdly fun. Which is a prerequisite for Mr Gold. Tom King who does excellent work everywhere seems to have Booster’s voice down perfectly.

Booster always tries to do what is right but tends to trip over his own feet getting there. This is the man responsible for making sure history happens the way it should (in between fart jokes and bantering with his robotic pal Skeets). Think of the WB show Legends of Tomorrow if it was one guy and much funnier.

He is the greatest hero the world never knew. It is time that we reminded them of that fact.

Lex Luthor leads to Doom.

injustice league

Some ideas seem like no-brainers to me. After the events of Forever Evil, it only made sense that Lex Luthor would see himself as a hero. After all with the Justice League out of commission it was Lex, along with other villains, who saved the world from the invasion of the Crime Syndicate. The very basic question is what is next for one Lex Luthor?

Why the Justice League of course. Seeing himself as the worlds greatest hero of course he would feel he deserved a place among the greatest hero team around. The ideas is ripe with possibilities.

How long can Lex play the hero?

How will Batman, Superman and the other heroes react to his prescence?

Is this all part of some long game, some new nefarious plot to unleash his villainy on the world?

The key to however this story plays out is Lex himself. He is one of the most brilliant men in the entire DC universe, even smarter than Batman or Mr. Terrific. The problem is he knows it. His overwhelming ego is often his own downfall. Lex finds it hard to believe that anyone could possibly be his peer, his equal.

In my eyes that is the source of his disdain for Superman. Lex believes that he should have been the hero, everyone should have been looking up to him. Instead they applaud this alien with fantastic powers. How much of his desire to be a member of the Justice League comes from a desire to show that he is better than Superman? How better to prove that than to take his place?

Lex is his own worst enemy, always has been. In time his true nature always reveals itself. It will not be good enough to be a hero among the Justice League, in time he will need them to do things his way. After all his way is surely the best way. That is when things begin to unravel.

That is when things should get good.

In Forever Evil he created his own team to fight the Crime Syndicate. I would expect him to do the same as things with the Justice League deteriorate. Lex would of course want to surround himself with those he feels most comfortable. He understand villains motivations, I believe the heroes motivations are slightly foreign to him.

In the past we have seen Luthor lead the Secret Society of Super-Villains, the Injustice League and other villain teams with the names often used interchangeably. In my world I would see this teams as there own unique entities. The Secret Society and the Injustice League should have there own defined rosters. With the Secret Society composed of villains more on the edges of the world, while the Injustice League would be decidedly more mainstream.

For my purposes Lex would create the most important villain organization. The Legion of Doom. Pulling from the old Super Friends show. Give them that Darth Vader-like skull base and a small roster of powerful villains. I easily see Lex surrounding himself with Grodd, Black Manta, Felix Faust, Cheetah, the Riddler (the Joker would be to hard to control)and his own creation Bizarro to round out the group. More brains than power but plenty of power.

Hero groups do need great villain groups and the Legion of Doom does fit the bill nicely. It also returns Lex Luthor to where he belongs: at the top of the villain hierarchy.

Finding Superman

Clark Kent. Superman. They are American icons, two sides if the same coin. The All-American son and the Man of Steel. Where are you Superman?
I know what you are thinking…Superman is everwhere. From the Man of Steel movie to his appearances in Action Comics, Superman, Justice League and more recently in Superman Unchained and Batman/Superman it seems like he is ever present. But is that really the Superman we all remember or is it just a shade of the hero we knew?

Writers Greg Pak (Batman/Superman) and Scott Snyder (Superman Unchained) seem to have a handle on the whole character of Superman/Clark but that is not always the case. In other books, with other writers this heroic icon is largely hit or miss. Why is it so hard to write a character that has been around for 70-plus years?

Some will blame the New52, DC comics recreating-rebooting of their comics universe, it does get the blame for so many things. Others will say the death of Ma and Pa Kent has changed things. Of course there are those who feel we need to bring back the red-underpants and everything will be right with the world. (Really??!!) While we are at it we could just lay it at the feet of Grant Morrison’s new Irvine for the Man of Steel. I do not think that is where the problem lies, it is much simpler.

Too much Superman, Not enough Clark Kent.

I think it comes down to the issue of Masks. It’s all about secret identities: Batman is the true identity, Bruce Wayne is the mask he hides behind. I’m Superman’s case Clark Kent is the true identity. Superman is not simply a man with incredible powers, he is Clark with those powers. An all-American boy wanting nothing more than to help those in need. We cheers seeing Superman save lives, but even without powers Clark Kent would run into fires to help others. That is simply who he is.

So perhaps we have discovered the problem…How do we fix it? Well DC has set up the perfect set of circumstances to fix this very problem. Forever Evil. Coming out of Forever Evil Superman might easily be feeling guilt for what has happened, that is understandable. So take a lead from the ‘Exile in Space’ storyline along with the crosscountry adventures of Green Arrow and Green Lantern from the 70s…roadtrip baby!! Send Superman on a journey of self-discovery, preferably with Bruce, a trip to rediscover what it means to be a hero. Batman and Superman in a beat up pickup-almost writes itself, while allowing creators to bring Clark/Superman back where he belongs…

The Hero

We seek out heroes. Search for them.

In movies, books, comics. In life.

Someone to come in and save the day.

The Duke, Indiana Jones, John McClane, Captain Kirk, Iron Man, Batman, Superman.

In all shapes and sizes. From the pure, noble hero to the avenging anti-hero.

But what makes them heroic? What separates them from us?

Is it trying to make a difference? Is it doing what is right? And if so, who decides what is right and what is wrong?

Superman is not simply a hero because of his powers, Iron Man because of his suit. There has to be something more.
Risk and sacrifice matter. If a hero has nothing to lose does that make him less of a hero?

Heroes risk because someone has to and they cannot accept sitting on the sidelines.

Perhaps we need more heroes.