Powers of X #6: Recap and Review

I have often pointed out that I found Powers of X to be inferior series to the House of X. A large reason for this the future timeline that I find to be uninteresting. Set a thousand years into the future, this timeline mostly depicts how “humanity” or the current inhabitants of Earth end. I think this issue makes a case for why this timeline matters or at least made the timeline more interesting. It turns out that mutants still exists, but in a zoo, the Preserve, for “near extinct species.” The Librarian encounters Wolverine and Moira that have been trapped in the Preserve. The Librarian informs them that they will be absorbed by the Phalanx, which will then merge with the god intellect, a Dominion. He will have Moira and Wolverine sent “off-world.” He believes that if Moira dies that timeline reset, resulting in the intellect of the Librarian not getting carried on.

However, if he is absorbed before Moira dies he will be absorbed into the Dominion, which exists “beyond space and time.” This would allow his knowledge to exists even if Moira does reset the timeline. He is uncertain of his decision to ascend. Would it be better to “existence as a portion of a divine intelligence or to continuing to exist as he does.” The Librarian notes that “mutants are an evolutionary response to their environment,” but humanity “stopped being beholden to the environment.” With “man” freeing itself, using the “building blocks of biology and technology,” a new “superhuman race” was born, Homo novissima. We were given the impression that the machines took over humanity, betraying them. According to the Librarian it was the opposite. Using machines to “stall for time,” humanity was finally able to transcend mutant kind.

Despite his assumption that humanity has won and he will be “immortal,” Wolverine kills him. I found this moment funny even if it was intended to be. Regardless, Moira sixth life finally ends as Wolverine kills her again. Armed with the knowledge of how humanity evolves, Moira meets Charles Xavier once again. She tells him that this time she plans to ” break him of his hope and idealism,” and “unite all mutants.” In the present, Magneto and Xavier discuss the first meeting of the Quiet Council. Moira makes it clear that they cannot resurrect Destiny, at Mystique’s request as ” they (precogs) will see the truth Moira has endeavored to keep secret; that mutant kind always loses.” This is a potentially interesting conflict that could arise. Mystique isn’t stupid so it’s only a matter of time before she realizes that they don’t intend to give her what she wants.

To that point, it seems implausible that there isn’t another precog mutant in existence or that there won’t be in the future. How would Xavier and Magneto stop those mutants, how far would they go? Anyway, that’s a question for another day I guess. Despite my criticism of the future timeline, I loved this series. I assumed the Librarian was a future mutant, but it turns out he was a future human. This and the House of X series make it clear that humanity is inferior to mutants on an evolutionary level. This issue showed us what happens when humans simply ignore evolution. House of X and Powers of X have set a new bar for storytelling in comics (or at least recent X-Men series) creating a new status quo. Unfortunately, I’m certain this quality of art and story will not be the standard. Hopefully, Hickman will continue to write new stories and I’m hoping other writers can keep up.

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Batman/Superman #1: Recap and Review

Batman/Superman #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: David Marquez

Letters: John J. Hill

Colors: Alejandro Sanchez


Batman and Superman join forces again

Batman and Superman are the two most iconic superheroes in comics. So putting them together in one comic series seems to make sense. I’m personally not familiar with the work of Joshua Williamson and David Marquez, but from what I’ve read they’re both great creators. The familiarity with Superman and Batman allows Williamson to jump right in. Batman/Superman #1, starts off with Clark Kent working on a story at the Daily Planet. Batman calls Clark in a panic. It’s quickly apparent that somethings wrong with Batman. His “voice sounds different,” as Superman notes. He seems petty, as he compares the tragic events that costed them their parents. He believes that “there is nothing that should make them allies.” Confusing Superman.

Batman and Superman in Gotham. Who are the secret six?
Superman arrives to meet Batman

Enter the Batman Who Laughs

When Superman arrives at the Justice League satellite, he witnesses the carnage that the Batman who laughs created. He poisons the air with “kryptonite-infused gas,” as Superman asks why? We return to current time on Earth-O, in Gotham City. Batman is explaining the Batman who laughs to Superman, while Commissioner Gordon waits. He explains that a thirteen year old boy named Danny Mills was kidnapped. According to the boys brother a “laughing Superman” kidnapped him. Batman and Superman leave to search for the boy. Batman asks Superman, “how would he stop an out of control Batman.” Superman crashes through the ground in Crime Alley (where Batman’s parent died) to enter a secret passage below.

Superman being choked by the Shazam who laughs.
Who will win?

Enter the Shazam Who Laughs

Batman and Superman encounter Batdrones in the Batcave of the Batman Who Laughs. They investigate the cave, learning that he has infected his batarangs with the serum that created him. As they question the motives of the other Batman, they notice a “message” on the chess board. When Superman moves a piece, they see an image of the Justice League, the Titans and Teen Titans with x’s on their eyes and lipstick on their mouths. Batman deduces that this is all part of his plan. They can’t know who’s infected, so they would suspect everyone. Suddenly, Batman is attacked by one of the Batman who laughs, Robins. He begins to talk about being “taken from his family and hit with a batarang.” This boy isn’t Danny. It’s Billy Batson. He says Shazam, transforming into the Shazam who laughs.


Conclusion

Batman/Superman #1 was spectacular. There can be a sense of inevitability to the outcome when both Batman and Superman are working together. Who can best them. If they encounter several members of the Justice League that have been infected with the laughing serum, they may not have a easy time. The Batman Who Laughs is a villain that can contend with these to. The writing from Joshua Williamson is magnificent. We get some insight into the relationship between Superman and Batman, while the mystery of what the Batman Who Laughs is up to is intriguing. The art of Marquez is perfect. His detailed art style matches well with the tone of this series. These two together have created a series that is worth reading. I highly recommend it.

Powers of X #5: Recap and Review

Power of X #5, begins with an explanation of who created the new Cerebro. Professor X and Forge discuss improving Cerebro so that it can copy and store minds of mutants. We discovered that Forge is successful in the last issue of House of X. The biggest hurdle is the power source. Xavier states that the storage space and energy supply limits can be solved with Shi’ar technology. Magneto and Xavier contact Emma Frost, hoping for her aid. She dismisses the idea of putting mutants in one place, so they can be easy targets. They manage to convince her that Krakoa is a good idea, but they need her help with the distributing of the miracle drugs. Using her Hellfire Corporation, she will be given an exclusive 50 year contract and two seats on the twelve person council.

Finally, they ask her to recruit Sebastian Shaw. While Emma conducts official trade and negotiations with Krakoa allies, Shaw will work with the countries that reject Krakoa. Sneaking in drugs and sneaking mutants out. Emma agrees with the terms except that she wants three seats not two. Xavier telepathically sends messages to all the Earth’s mutants offering a home on Krakoa. When Namor is offered a place he rejects it. He doesn’t trust that Xavier truly believes that mutants are superior to humans. He tells him to return when he does.

In my least favorite part of this series the future, the Phalanx agree with Man-Machine Ascendancy. They kill the Elder. Nimrod the Greater, says that the Phalanx serve “even greater masters.” These masters are a collective of machine-minds that are “so massive and dense that they have collapsed into black holes, and whose collective intellect and power is indistinguishable from that of what human stories describe as God.” Having been accepted, the Phalanx will absorb the collective intellect on Earth and consume the entire planet.

Powers of X has always been a satisfying as it fills all the holes left by House of X. That seems to have always been the purpose of the series. The best part of this issue has to be Emma Frost and Namor. They both have an arrogance about them that I find fun. I have a hard time believing that Namor would actually leave for Krakoa though. Unless, they can move his entire Kingdom to Krakoa it’s unlikely he would want to leave to become just another mutant, rather than a mutant King. Like Wakanda, I think Atlantis will remain on Earth, but will be an ally of Krakoa. While I find the future section of the story uninteresting, I’m guessing that Hickman is telling us how life on Earth eventually ends. Everything becomes part of the Phalanx hive mind. I’m think that’s a good end.


House of X #5: Recap and Review

The X-Men are resurrected

In House of X #5, Hickman once again changes the status quo for X-Men. There are three major shifts this issue introduces. In the first issue of House of X, we see the X-Men being “born” from orange pods, being welcomed by Charles Xavier. Magneto explains to his daughter, Polaris, how the mutants are resurrected. First, Goldballs uses his power to create biological eggs. Then they’re made “viable” by Proteus’ ability to warp reality. Elixir then uses his abilities to “kick-start cellular replication.” With a fully viable egg, Tempus uses her time-acceleration abilities to mature the mutants inside. Hope Summers uses her powers to boost the other four and create unison. Finally, to restore the minds of the mutants, Xavier, is able to transfer a copy of the mutant mind.

Krakoa becomes a nation

At the United Nations, the vote recognizing Krakoa as an independent nation was held. Emma Frost telepathically manipulates the voters and Krakoa is granted it’s nation status. Charles Xavier telepathically acknowledges that he knows that Emma did this. She plays the fool, having no idea of what he’s referring to. Regardless, he tells her that he’s “grateful for her sacrifice.” We get another explainer informing us of how mutant diplomacy is working. 100 nations have accepted a trade deal with Krakoa, with several rejecting it. These nations consisting of Iran, North Korea, Brazil and Wakanda are automatically considered “adversarial.”

Apocalypse and the other mutant villains arrive

Wolverine is preparing to meet the villains that Xavier has invited to Krakoa. Logan isn’t happy, believing that some are “beyond saving.” Magneto suggest that if that were true, neither one of them would be in Krakoa. The villains finally arrive, with Mister Sinister, Lady Mastermind, Selene Gallio, Callisto, Daken and finally Apocalypse being present. Krakoa greets Apocalypse (referring to the fact that Krakoa was saved by him, shown in Powers of X #4). Wolverine asks is there “gonna be a problem,” Apocalypse responds “why would it be.” Apocalypse is actually proud of them, as this is his dream. Prompted by Magneto, Apocalypse states that he and the incoming villains will submit to the laws of Krakoa, and serve it’s higher purpose.


Conclusion

I’ve said this before, but it bare repeating this series is amazing. House of X #5, continues to change X-Men for the better. Some may find that the resurrection of mutants, particularity the team that died in issue four, cheapens their death. That’s not an unreasonable feeling, but we all probably figured that they would come back we just didn’t know how. The process is more complicated than the process describe above. If you read those explainers the resurrection process does come with cost and effort. I think that’s appropriate considering how convenient resurrection is. That said I feel that it won’t remain so easy. If you think about there’s a lot to be concerned with. First, Xavier is back to acting strangely.

He was never as moral as he claimed but now he’s openly supporting Emma Frost undermining democracy. Now that Krakoa is a nation state it feels like there will be some issues with nationalism, although that may not be a bad thing. The scene were Storm is basically acting like a religious zealot and of course the arrival of villains who may not hate mutants but surely still hate humans. I predict that this will end badly. As I’ve stated before mutants like Magneto and Apocalypse, have largely come into conflict with the X-Men not because they wanted mutants to prosper, but because of how they went about reaching that goal. If they’re on the same page, conflict shouldn’t arise. However, we know that humanity will not let Krakoa stand.

Spider-Man #1 Recap and Review: Ben Parker becomes Spider-Man

I feel like Spider-man has been over exposed recently. Maybe it’s the Marvel, Fox deal falling apart and the conversations that followed. Regardless, I’m a little fatigued with Spider-man. This miniseries (5 issues) focuses on the father-son relationship between Peter and Ben, while being written by father-son duo J.J. Abrams and Henry Abrams. The art is by Sara Pichelli and Dave Stewart, with lettering by Joe Caramagna. We join Spider-man in the middle of a disaster area. It’s unclear what happened but Peter is injured. Mary Jane runs up to him (with his severely injured arm) and hey laugh at his corny jokes. An unfamiliar villain (to me at least) arrives and attacks with an group of xenomorph looking machines. The leader asks for Spider-man’s help.

MJ runs, as Peter is overtaken by machines. The villain called Cadaverous, kills Mary Jane. At her funeral we see that Peter lost that arm and his son, Ben Parker is present as well. The issue moves forward 12 years, Ben has become a troubled teen, getting in fights at school. According to his Principal (Orleen), Ben is a consistent presence in his office. Peter, now with a hook for an arm, arrives to pick his son up. They argue in the car, but it’s clear that Peter has given up on being a good father. He spends most of his time traveling the world as a photojournalist, leaving the parenting to Aunt May. She brings him to her attic, where he sees his father’s old Spider-man costume. Meanwhile, Cadaverous is still a threat. He’s searching for a cure for a mysterious woman.

So far this series is just okay. Considered the fact that this is a miniseries with only 5 issues, this one feels wasted. If you only have 5 issues to tell your story it needs to start with a bag. MJ dying in the beginning was surprising because of expectation, but not because of history. Mary Jane has died a lot in comics, so it doesn’t feel revolutionary. I feel like I know how Ben’s story is going to end. He becomes Spider-man and then takes over the mantle from his father. I love the art of Sara Pichelli but I don’t feel like this is her best work. I think it’s not her penciling but maybe the muted colors from Dave Stewart. I don’t care who the mystery woman is or have much interest in Cadaverous. Still with only four issues left, I see this miniseries to the end.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 29: Most Powerful Character in DC

The Spectre

The Spectre is a divine Spirit of Vengeance. He’s considered the “right hand of his God.” The Spectre is an “aspect” of the Presence (the One Above All), joining His Wrath (Eclipso), and His Mercy (Radiant). A former angel named Aztar, he needs a mortal host. In 1940, Jim Corrigan became the latest host of the Spectre. Corrigan was murdered, he was tied up and thrown in a barrel of cement that was then thrown into a river. After his death he went to Limbo. He was bonded with the Spectre Force and given the mission to “confront evil wherever he found it.” When he returned he exacted his revenge on the mobsters that murdered him.

As a servant of God, The Spectre is granted limitless power. He is a being that’s capable of almost anything. He’s second only to the “one.” He can warp and control reality. This allows him to simulate any form of superpower or ability. As a divine agent The Spectre has access to all knowledge. The Spectre is also immortal. His powers can be reduced by the Voice. He also cannot take any action that is “not dictated by the laws that he’s bound to.” He can also be killed by a weapon of sufficient magical force. Each Spectre host manifest a unique Spectre form, some people can recognized the host if they new them in life. After Jim Corrigan, Hal Jordan becomes the next Spectre host, followed by Crispus Allen. In the New 52, the Spectre is once again Jim Corrigan.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 28: Favorite DC Graphic Novel

Watchmen Graphic Novel cover issue #1, At Midnight, All The Agents by Dave Gibbons. The purpose of the image is to show the smiley face motif

Watchmen

The Watchmen was the first graphic novel/comic book series I read that didn’t have mainstream superheroes like Superman or Batman. Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the 12 issue series was published in 1986 and 1987. It has since spawned a movie adaptation, a prequel mini series titled Before Watchmen and a HBO tv series. Moore originally wanted to write a story that ” featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp.” His hope was to “shock and surprise” readers by using characters that were familiar to them. However, DC while receptive to his pitch, though using original characters was a better idea. He said that ” if I wrote the substitute characters well enough, . . . then it might work.” Dave Gibbons asked to be involved in the project and sent him the outline.

Watchmen is set in an alternate universe that is similar to the world during the 1980’s. The main difference is the existence of superheroes. These heroes alter real life events like the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon presidency. None of the superheroes have any super powers except, Doctor Manhattan. Superheroes become unpopular among the public resulting in the passage of the Keene Act. As a result many heroes retire, except the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan, while Rorschach continues to work illegally. The story is complex, as the antihero Rorschach investigates the death of the Comedian and uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the world.

The Watchmen series features structures that deviate from the comics of the time using a “nine panel grid system,” the cover of each issue was the first panel of the story and each cover “were designed as close-ups that focused on a single detail with no human elements present.” It also had a story within a story, Tales of the Black Freighter. Moore used several different images and symbols like, a stained smiley face (considered the symbol of the series), doomsday clock and craters, all cleverly woven into the series. Watchmen tackled adult themes, with a sophisticated plot. Watchmen is one of the best works I’ve ever read. It has been described as “one of the greatest literary works ever created.” Watchmen was honored in Time Magazine’s best 100 English Language novels from 1923 to present, it was the only comic present. I couldn’t recommend this graphic novel enough, if you get a chance read it.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 26: Which Character’s Powers would you want?

Doctor Fate

I always loved magic. I don’t know why. I always thought it was cool. Maybe it’s the sense that with magic has no real limits or it doesn’t always have limits. In the world of superheroes, magicians aren’t prominent. They’re powers often seem just like the other heroes, but the source is different. Also, while many heroes have to learn their powers, there’s an intellectual aspect to learn magic that I respect. Dr. Fate is considered to be the DC counterpoint to Marvel’s Dr. Strange. Like Strange, Dr. Fate is a “magician.” His powers are considered “occultism” that is described as the ability to use magic. Much like Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate (Dr. Kent Nelson) was a physician.

Dr. Fate was a child of archaeologist Sven Nelson. While on an expedition with his father, Kent opens the tomb of Nabu the Wise. He revives Nabu from his suspended animation but accidentally kills his father by unintentionally releasing poisonous gas. Nabu, teaches him sorcery over the next twenty years. Nabu gives him a mystical helmet, amulet and cloak. The Helmet of Fate transforms it wearer into a “master of magic.” He is granted several powers like “spellcasting, flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, and the ability to manipulate lightning. His powers have been described as ” the true conversion of energy into matter, and matter into energy.” Regardless, he’s one of the most powerful DC heroes.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 25: DC character has the worst powers

Wonder Twins

Growing up I loved watching the Superfriends, a more kid friendly Justice League. One duo that were members was the Wonder Twins. The twins were mutants born on planet Exxor. They were each gifted with a specific form of shape-shifting. Their powers were activated when they touch rings. This is part of why their powers are the worst, however, Zan gets the worst of it. Jayna can turn into any animal, whereas, Zan can turn into any form of water (solid, liquid and gas). This ability is limiting in that he can’t really do much. He often turns into a puddle of water and needs to be carried in a bucket.

They were often played for laughs at least during commercial breaks or after credits on the Cartoon Network. The need to for them to announce the form they intended to transformed into stating, “Shape of . . .”, “Form of . . .” seemed impractical, but also was part of the humor. In one episode Jayna turns into a seagull, while Zan turns into a “Ice Gondola (Chair of Ice).” I’m sure that they have gotta retconned in some way or have been given power upgrades, but I choose to remember them as they were on one of my favorite childhood television shows the Superfriends, useless.


30 Day DC Challenge – Day 24: Worst Superhero Costume

Superhero costumes are obviously difficult to come up with. You could be as simple as possible, but that feel like laziness. Some costumes are impractical. Many heroes (mostly women) have costumes that seem to work against them more than for them. Hawkman’s chest harness does little to protect said chest. Sometimes the costume has a feature that does nothing for the hero. Power Girl’s infamous “chest window” is on of the most popular example of this. Most of the worst costumes seem to have been created in the 1970’s. I don’t think that is an accident. The general fashion sense of those times weren’t too subtle. There are so many bad costumes, but this one is the worst.


Batman’s Zebras Suit

Batman has one of the best superhero costume’s in comics. However, he once wore on of the worst ones. In Detective Comics #275, Batman wears a Zebra Batman costume. In the issue, Batman and Robin battle Zebra Man. A small time criminal and a scientists, Zebra Man discovered that “all energy has lines of force.” After charging his body with this energy these “lines of force,” go through his costume. Batman becomes exposed to this energy, he becomes a Zebra-Batman. In this form Batman begins to repel everything with great force. Batman couldn’t get near anyone or eat without repelling it. While the Zebra suit wasn’t an intentionally made costume, it still wasn’t a good look.

House of X #4: Recap and Review

The last issue of House of X left us on a cliffhanger. I assumed that all the X-Men would be fine, with either Jean Grey protecting them or Nightcrawler teleporting them to safety. Boy was I wrong. Archangel and Husk are killed. Nightcrawler sustained some internal injuries and Wolverine arm is blown to the bone (although we know he’s fine.) Cyclops and Wolverine agree that the only course is to continue the mission. Nightcrawler transports Cyclops, Mystique and Wolverine to Mother Molds control collars. Wolverine and Nightcrawler successfully destroy two of the collars. The ship with Monet and Jean on it is breached by Orchis forces.

Monet puts Jean in an escape pod and sends her away. She then transforms into her Penance form and fights off the Orchis forces. Cyclops manages to find and release the third collar. Mystique having gotten lost, is intercepted by Dr. Gregor, who opens a hatch sending Mystique into space. In an act of desperation, Dr. Gregor activates Mother Mold. With Mystique dead, there remains one collar. Out of reach for Cyclops, Wolverine and Nightcrawler volunteer to destroy the final collar in space. Nightcrawler teleports them to the collar, instantly dying from the Sun’s heat. Wolverine manages to survive due to his healing factor, he successfully destroy’s the final collar with his claws.

Both Wolverine and Mother Mold fall into the Sun, as Mother Mold rants regarding the fact that “humans and mutants are lacking.” Mother Mold promises to destroy both humans and mutants, before being destroyed itself. With the mission complete, Cyclops tries to find a way to space. Dr. Gregor stops and kills Cyclops with a shotgun. The remaining Sentinels fail to reach the station in time but are able to intercept Jean in the pod, appearing to kill her. After witnessing his X-Men dying at the hands off humans, Xavier crying says “no more.” I was originally excited to see many of my favorite X-Men going on this mission. I didn’t expect that I would regret that. Don’t get me wrong, the sacrifice of the X-Men was impactful and I think necessary. I just glad Storm wasn’t with them. This sets up a interesting problem.

If most of the most popular X-Men are killed in House of X, how are they going to resurrect them later. I assume that Moira will prevent this in another life, but I’m not certain. I feel like Jean’s death was to easy. Mystique seemed to be acting strangely. Maybe it’s my bias because I’m use to her being up to something, but I feel like she must have done something. Seeing the X-Men get slaughtered one by one, despite succeeding in their mission was incredible emotional. Nightcrawler’s and Wolverine’s sacrifice was both epic and touching. I like Hickman’s version of Cyclops, we didn’t get to see much but I didn’t hate him at all. Finally, Xavier seemed to be more like himself finally showing emotion. I don’t know were House of X goes from here, but I can’t wait.


30 Day DC Challenge – Day 22: Favorite Superhero Hideout

Batcave

This one was obvious. I think that the Batcave is the coolest hideout in all of comic books. Built under his mansion, the Batcave is a series of subterranean caves. It was a way for slaves to travel when escaping during the civil war era. It’s home to American Brown Bats, which are feed by Alfred. Bruce uses the caves as a sanctum, that he also uses to fight war on crime. Batman is able to monitor Gotham and the world. It’s most important equipment is the supercomputer that is on par with national security agencies. It connects to major information networks, stores massive amounts of data, and can connect to satellites. The “Bat-computer” is considered to be one of the most supercomputer systems.

Batman keeps his collection of ancient armor worn by Knights, nomads and Samurai in the Batcave. It also has facilities such as “crime lab, various specialized laboratories, mechanized workshops, personal gymnasium, a vast library, parking, docking and hangar space for his various vehicles as well as separate exits for the various types, trophies of past cases, a large bat colony, and a Justice League teleporter.” The Batcave has a “subway rocket” that allows him to travel via the Gotham Rail System, allowing him to get to Gotham City quickly. The cave is often powered by a nuclear reactor or a hydro-electric generator. The Batcave is safeguarded against earthquakes and a nuclear catastrophe. It’s rumored that there’s a “Lazarus Pit” in the Batcave but that claim hasn’t been proven.

Finally, the Batcave is home of memorabilia from villains. It features a full-sized T-Rex, a large U.S. penny and a Joker playing card. Batman has kept “Two-Face’s original coin, Deathstroke’s sword, the shroud of the Mad Monk, a collection of the Penguin’s deadly umbrellas, a Joker laughing fish, one of Harley Quinn’s popguns, a Scarface dummy, Bane’s mask and Venom tank, Mad Hatter’s top hat, the Red Hood’s domed helmet and original costume, Maxie Zeus’s lightning weapon, and an over-sized collection of bowling ten-pins.”

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 20: Favorite alternate version of a DC superhero

The Batman Who Laughs

Two words “Jokerized Batman.” You really can’t go wrong with that. If you been following this challenge then you know Batman is my favorite DC superhero and the Joker is my favorite villain, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love the “Batman Who Laughs.” Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the Batman Who Laughs hopes to assist Barbatos (a Dark God), in “plunging the entire Multiverse into darkness.” He also wants to kill the Justice League, infect Gotham City with Dark Matter and end all life. He has managed to end life on Earth-22. Before becoming the Batman Who Laugh, he was the Batman of Earth-22. He was kidnapped and drugged by the Joker. The Joker went on to destroy Gotham, kill Jim Gordon (by dissolving him in acid), blew up several Gotham City buildings all while Batman watched.

Enraged, Batman broke free. He brutally beat the Joker and snapped his neck. A “nano-toxin” began to seep out of his mouth, resulting in Batman breathing it in. Even though the Joker managed to get Batman to “break his one rule,” Batman refused to become like him. In the Batcave, Superman tells Batman that one of the Jokerized children tore on of the doctors throats out, Batman laughs. The toxin slowly changes Bruce’s mind, becoming more and more Joker like. He eventually snaps killing the Bat Family with machine guns, then killing the Justice League (except Superman). After destroying most of the world, Batman meets Barbatos. He informs Batman about the “nature of the Dark Multiverse,” and asked him find his counterparts to form the Dark Knights.

When they arrive on Prime Earth, the Batman Who Laughs take over Gotham. He gives several of Batman’s enemies cards made of “Cosmic Metallurgy.” Theses cards allowed the supervillain to alter reality. They use these cards to take over parts of different areas of Gotham. The Batman Who Laughs thinks more like the Joker but with the logical aspects that made Batman so great. Basically Batman with the morals of the Joker. He’s brilliant, sadistic and arrogant. He believes he always can win against his enemies. He has all the training of the Batman from Earth Prime, knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of all the villains and superheros in DC. The Batman Who Laughs combines the two most influential characters in DC, Batman and the Joker, creating one of the most deadly villains in DC comics.

Source: villains.fandom.com

House of X #3: Recap and Review

Cyclops assembles a team of Wolverine, Husk, Archangel, M, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler and Mystique to infiltrate Orchis and destroy Mother Mold. Magneto and Xavier tell Cyclops that despite his fear and doubts, they will not let him die. That the “righteous” can’t die and will be transformed into “something immortal.” While I agree that mortal beings can earn some kind of “immortal,” through being remembered, it feels like Magneto and Xavier are being manipulative. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like Cyclops are likely to survive. Marvel Girl is concerned with the “human crew.” Despite not being soldiers, neither Wolverine or Cyclops consider them “innocent.”

Due to Power of X, we know that this team fail at their goal, stopping the creation of Nimrod. However, this doesn’t ruin anything as we still want to see how they fail or at least it doesn’t for me. In Hickman’s trademarked explainers, we learn how Sentinel’s progress from “Alphas” to becoming a Nimrod. Moira and Apocalypse believed that Nimrod is the “primal threat to the long-term survival of mutants.” From the stolen information they learn that a “Nimrod almost always occurs in conjunction with a Mother Mold.” Moira uses this information in her tenth life, which is why the X-Men aim to destroy Mother Mold now.

We’re given details on “Project Achilles.” A superhuman super-max prison, it houses on thirty criminals. Sabertooth is being processed with a new law called the “twelve strike rule,” which “supersedes intent.” While this fleshes out the world, it doesn’t seem that any of these new laws matter. I think it’s a waste of time, despite the epic display by the White Queen, Emma Frost. Meanwhile, at the Orchis Forge, Omega and Dr. Gregor prepare for Mother Mold to go online. However, the problem is that if Mother Mold could create “cold emotionless machines.” Dr. Gregor explains that they built the Forge with “control collars,” that will sent Mother Mold into the sun.

Another waste in my opinion is the attempt to humanize the human members of Orchis. They particularly focus on the married couple, Dr. Alia Gregor and Captain Erasmus Mendel. There’s not enough characterization to make you care about them and the sacrifice of Captain Erasmus. Anyway, the X-Men have managed to catch Orchis unprepared, will this advantage be enough. House of x #3 focuses on a smaller narrative than previous. The X-Men team formed to attack Orchis reminded me of the animated series from childhood (only without my faves Storm and Rogue). Professor X still comes across as cold and calculating to me, I still don’t trust him. The only thing missing from this issue is action, but the next issue promises to remedy that.


30 Day DC Challenge – Day 19: Favorite Canon DC Pairing

Black Canary & Green Arrow

Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance) was a founding member of the Justice League of America, where she meet Green Arrow (Oliver “Ollie” Queen). Their friendship became romantic and when Arrow quit the League to work in Star City, she joined him. Together the engaged in heroics, defeating Sinestro and helping Speedy with his withdrawal from drug addiction. When Green Arrow accidentally killed a civilian, he abandoned his Green Arrow persona and left Star City. When Black Canary was badly injured and in dire need of a blood transfusion, Ollie was located at an isolated monastery. He was willing to return home only after being told of that Canary’s life was in danger. Later, they setup a flower shop called Sherwood Florist, while continuing to fight crime. About to turn 43, Oliver wanted to marry Black Canary and have children.

However, Dinah decided against it, citing their dangerous life. Black Canary was kidnapped by a drug dealer, tortured and rendered unable to use her “Canary Cry,” and have children. In response, Green Arrow killed the man. They would eventually break up after she caught him kissing their assistant Marianne. However, they would eventually marry. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, as their marriage ended after the end of “Fall of Green Arrow.” Black Canary and Green Arrow personalities are polar opposites. Arrow can be ill-tempered and Black Canary is more reasonable. They even share the same rare blood type. Like many comic book characters they have been subjected to the whims of various writers. Due to rectons, altering their relationship many times. Regardless, their relationship feels real, especially because their both superheroes.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 17: Favorite quote from a DC character

There are far too many different quotes from DC characters to limit to just one, so I’m going to list my favorites. Searching around the internet I stumbled upon an article on the MIT Technology Review. Titled, The Secret Science of Memorable Quotes, several researchers, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil from Cornell University, studied what made lines memorable. They studied around “1,000 movies and compared them against other lines of a similar length spoken by the same character at about the same point in the film.” Memorable phrases are shown to “made up of combinations of words that are unlikely to appear in the corpus.” They also tend to use “pronouns, indefinite article a instead of the, and verbs in the past rather present tense. This results in making the phrases “general rather than specific.” It’s a good read, check it out.


So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.

The Joker

I can speak 17,897 galactic languages an’ I got no idea what yer talkin’ about!

Lobo

I was going to say… that a great many interesting and powerful people have stood exactly where you are right now… and they made the same mistake of taking my empathy for weakness. 

Kal-El (Prime Earth)

Take a good look Bruce. What do you see? You’ve never fought someone with all your training. Your discipline. See it yet? I’m not him in a batsuit. I’m you. You. How you are supposed to be without the codes. Without the rules. Except one. BATMAN. ALWAYS. WINS.

The Batman Who Laughs

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 15: Which character would you Love to see get Their Own Movie or Show

The Question

Like most of the non-mainstream DC superheroes, I was exposed to The Question in the Justice League Unlimited series. He was created by Steve Ditko and first appeared in 1985. He was later revamped by Dennis O’Neil and Denys Cowan in 1987. He was once again changed by Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts. In the Justice League, he first makes an appearance in the episode “Fearful Symmetry.” In that episode, the Question, along with Supergirl and Green Arrow, investigates the odd dreams of Supergirl. The Question doesn’t have any superhuman powers, but he’s highly intelligent.

He wore a Pseudoderm mask, that was bonded to his skin and could change the color of his hair and clothing. He’s characterized in Justice League as a self aware, conspiracy theorist with a sense of humor. In the episode, “Question Authority,” he shows that he’s willing to kill Lex Luther in order to protect Superman’s legacy. In the same episode, he’s proves highly resistant to torture. He’s the inspiration for the more famous Rorschach from the Watchmen series. The Question is an odd character but one that I think worthy of his own series.

Source: Comicvine

Powers of X #2: Recap and Review

I found Powers of X #1, to be underwhelming relative to House of X. It still is. However, this issue was better than the first. Powers of X #2, like the previous issue splits the X-Men timeline into for eras, Year 1, Year 10, Year 100 and Year 1000. In Year 1, Moira MacTaggert and Charles Xavier meet with Magneto. The dynamic between Magneto and Xavier is always tense, either their enemies, friends or temporary allies. Regardless, when Xavier reveals to Magneto the history Moira has experience, Magneto decides to join Xavier. Only he will continue to “check him (Xavier) at every moment of weakness.”

We then move to Year 10. Xavier informs Cyclops of the new type of Master Mold, Mother Mold. This version makes other Master Molds while orbiting the sun. Mother has been completed, but lie dormant. Xavier believes that they’re waiting for the “right catalyst.” Magneto explains what was found on the information that Mystique stole, which is all the information on Orchis. Xavier tells Cyclops that they must prevent Mother Mold from “coming online.” The fear is that NIMROD will become operational. Cyclops promises that he will “get it done.” Despite the fact that I don’t like Cyclops, I think he makes a good soldier.

We fast forward to Year 100, on Asteroid K. Wolverine is being a downer. With Cylobel and Percival gone they can no longer hide from the machines. Apocalypse is given the information, and plans on sacrificing mutants for the greater good. Just the idea of Wolverine and Apocalypse working together makes this series more interesting. The dynamics of the mutants are different now that machine and human have teamed up. Many of the mutant supremacist like Apocalypse, Cyclops and Magneto are now important and their views have been validated, if for no other reason than humans are trying to exterminate all mutants now.

Meanwhile, Nimrod is “disturbed” by the theft of the indexing machine. Nimrod is so odd in this series. He rambles. Nimrod is a juvenile and often funny. I’m not sure if that is how Hickman intends for Nimrod to be portrayed but it’s working for me. In the Year 1000, we are introduced to a Nimbus. I’ll admit that didn’t completely comprehend what Nimbus was, other than a Worldmind. Hickman has his explainers for the types of societies based on the measured species intelligence. I found it to be interesting, but its purpose is to explain the way the Phalanx function. Now my only history with the Phalanx was an episode of from the X-Men animated series that I hated.

Regardless they’re back. The Phalanx is an “interstellar society that operates on a galactic scale.” The Phalanx consume lesser societies, if they view the society a worth consuming then “Ascension” occurs. During the Year 1000, the Librarian when asked by the Phalanx “what do you seek,” her answer was Ascension. Even though I think Power of X is inferior to House of X, I think it’s important to read both together and in the order intended. They time jumps isn’t nearly as daunting as it could be. Seeing the villains and heroes from X-Men together against a greater threat is what makes this series the most interesting.


30 Day DC Challenge -Day 13: Favorite Animated DC Movie

All Star Superman

I’ve stated that I find Superman to be a dull hero. Early seasons of Smallville focused on when Superman was a teen which I think was when he was (in my opinion) the most interesting. Regardless, some writers have manage to tell interesting Superman stories. Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman is one such story. I didn’t read the comic, but did watch the animated version. Generally, I watch animated DC movies out of habit. Some are good other aren’t. I didn’t have too much expectation from this movie, but I enjoy it. Released in 2011, All-Star Superman follows Superman after he becomes even more powerful after an encounter with the sun. However, he starts dying due to radiation poisoning. This is suppose to be the final adventure before Superman dies.

Superman engages in a series of challenges similar to the 12 Labors of Hercules. He reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane. At the Fortress of Solitude, a series of robots concoct a serum that give Lois superpowers for a day. He arm wrestles Atlas and Samson, saves Lois from the Ultra-Sphinx. The animated version isn’t exactly like it’s source material, but it’s a pretty good adaptation. When choosing what to adapt, it’s important to choose carefully. What do you put in, what do you leave out and will you change anything. All Star Superman makes many good choices. One of the most memorable parts of the movie was a scene where Superman as Clark Kent, has to save Lex Luther from the Parasite while maintaining his identity.

Despite the fact that I generally find Superman stories uninteresting, this was one time in which I was proving wrong. While accepting his death, Superman became more human. All Star Superman undermined my expectations. It was funny, clever, and generally entertaining. If Superman stories were more often like this one, I think I would like him more. Finally, the animation was well done, it’s not terrible detailed but that’s fine. If you haven’t seen All Star Superman, I highly recommend it.

House of X #2: Recap and Review

To say I’m loving this is an understatement. I’ve never been a comic book enthusiasts, but I think House of X is going to mark the moment I became one. This issues centers on Moira MacTaggart. When I was a child she was featured in the X-Men animated series, but she was the non-mutant scientist ex girlfriend of Charles Xavier. Hickman has retcon her backstory. If past history is any indication, many fans will hate this. Comic book fans tend to hate it when writers retcon anything that was well established in the past. However, I think Hickman has what it takes to make it work. Besides he’s is trying to restart the X-Men.

Moira joins Apocalypse

If you read Powers of X #1, you know that MacTaggart meets Xavier but he’s doesn’t seem to know her. However, she knows him. When Xavier reads her mind he understands. This moment is confusing, but House of X #2 clarifies it. Hickman makes Moira into a mutant with the ability of reincarnation. After dying she retains all her memories from her previous life. She isn’t reincarnated into a new body and she’s not born into the present moment when she died. Meaning every time she’s dies, she returns to the day her life started the first time. This allows her to change the future, as she is aware of her past and can make different choices.

Each resurrection results in Moira becomes more and more radical. In her third life she decides to “cure” mutants, thinking that she has a disease like cancer. However, she doesn’t get a chance to as Mystique and Destiny intervene. Her beliefs regarding mutants are changed by this encounter with Destiny, who can see the future. She tells Moira that “she not immortal” and only has 10 or 11 lives to live. Destiny makes it clear that she will hunt down and kill Moira, if she doesn’t change. Moira views shift to protecting her fellow mutants. Moira is negatively influence by her experiences, eventually become evil, teaming up with Magneto and then Apocalypse.


House of X #1 Review


In her tenth and maybe final life, she plans on doing something. After allowing Xavier to read her mind, he becomes radicalize as well. This leans to the change in him that we have been witnessing. House of X focuses on her tenth life. By giving Charles the knowledge she had collected over the years give him the advantage of knowing what went wrong. Of course in Powers of X #1, we know that they fail again. Regardless, Hickman’s House of X, is exciting and new X-Men story that I can’t wait to finish.