Thoughts on All-Star Batman #1

all-star-batman-1-coverWay back in ye olden times, DC launched the “All-Star” line of comics.  The thought behind this is that you would take your all-star creators, match them up with your most recognizable characters, and just let them create.  It was a wonderful idea.  The All-Star line gave us Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly doing one of the greatest Superman stories ever.  However, it also gave us a Batman “series” by Frank Miller and Jim Lee that is remembered more for its delays and incomplete status, and Batman referring to himself as the “god damn” Batman, than any actual story lines in the book.  Of course, it was essentially a Robin origin, but there was a beautiful 4-page spread of the batcave.

After All-Star Batman and Robin’s fade into the same incomplete obscurity that also claimed Image United, the All-Star line never continued.  But now, it’s a new day, yes it is.  All-Star Batman is back with Scott Snyder and John Romita, Jr.  And I must say, I have a good feeling about this.  We know Scott Snyder isn’t going to just stop writing.  The man has been doing phenomenal Batman stories since before Flashpoint.  And I don’t think John Romita, Jr. is going to stop drawing anytime soon.  So, odds are in our favor that this All-Star Batman will actually see a resolution.

But also, it seems like this book may actually exist in mainline continuity.  It’s definitely reflecting the events shortly after Rebirth.  Duke Thomas is by Batman’s side as his sidekick/trainee.  (I’m behind on Rebirth, so I don’t know what they’re calling Duke’s hero.)   (more…)

Blue Beetle Rebirth

I don’t really get how DC is doing things nowadays.  I’m not sure what big event went where and whatnot to get us to where we are now, but I do know that some kind of reset button has been hit and now we have a Blue Beetle book with both Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes in it.  And that’s my bag, baby.

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I am a Blue Beetle fan.  THE Blue Beetle fan, you might say.  He is my #1 go-to awesome superhero.  I truly love him.  Unfortunately, my Blue Beetle was shot in the head a decade ago and replaced by a completely different character that I could not connect with.  There was teenage angst and crazy super powers that could do pretty much everything and none of the stuff that I had loved for so long.  And so Jaime Reyes became my most hated character, simply because he wasn’t Ted Kord.  Sorry, kid.

But now after all the teasing, DC finally brings back a Blue Beetle book that puts both the Ted Kord and the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle into play.  I get my Ted Kord back, flying the Bug and doing the no-powers tech hero gimmick while Jaime Reyes still gets to fly around being the magic whatever.  BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.

Thank you, DC.  I will take this compromise.

Suicide Squad review

Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterI’ll be honest.  My first draft of this opening was far more combative than what you’re going to read now.  And had I published this article shortly after seeing the movie last Sunday, you would have seen that first draft.  I was prepared to come out, guns blazing, shooting down decently reviewed movies that I didn’t believe were all that better than Suicide Squad.  But as the days passed, I decided that that wasn’t the type of article that I wanted to publish.  So, you’ll see none of it.  Instead, I’ll stick with my thoughts on Suicide Squad.

In short, I enjoyed the movie.  Yes, I do believe it has some pacing issues.  And there are some rough transitions cutting between present day scenes and flashbacks, and also going from action to exposition.  But the characters really make this movie. So, let’s jump right into it.  Spoilers after the break.

Suicide Squad is the story of several villains being coerced into doing the government’s dirty work.  And I think with that first detail is where some misplaced expectations began.  Suicide Squad isn’t immensely known outside of comic readers, but that’s not that big of deal.  There have been unknown properties succeed fairly recently.  Unfortunately, I feel people tried to lump Suicide Squad in with those other movies, that I’ll leave nameless.  I have faith that you can figure out which two movies I’m talking about.  But there’s a major difference.  Those characters, deep down, are actually good guys.  Sure, they may be a band of lovable losers or make nothing but crude jokes, but they are in fact good guys trying to take down bad guys.  Here we have a group of undeniably bad guys trying to take out other bad guys.  There isn’t really anything current that you can compare it to.  Maybe The Expendables, if all of them were horrible people.

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New Doctor Strange trailer

Apparently, this came out a couple weeks ago, but I just saw it while watching the Olympics last night.  I’m going to be honest, I’m still having some trouble getting hyped for this movie.  I don’t think I have superhero fatigue, but rather origin story fatigue.  They all really end up being the same basic movie, just with different characters.  I’d much rather see the established hero take care of business, so I’m not asking at the end how a character that just started training is able to take out this major threat.  Or asking, don’t these heroes have any villains that are really different from them? But I may just be grumpy right now.