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Comic Books

Future State: Wonder Woman Vol 1

Future State: Wonder Woman Vol 1 #1

Writer, Penciler, Inker: Joelle Jones

Letterers: Clayton Cowles

Hell to Pay, Part One

Future State: Wonder Woman (Volume 1) is a limited series published by DC Comics. DC Future State is a two-month event. It’s considered a direct sequel to Dark Nights: Death MetalFuture State is a future where younger heroes take the mantle from DC’s famous heroes. The event will have 24 titles published in January and February. Yara Flor is the new Wonder Woman. Unlike Diana, Yara originates from the Amazon Rainforest in South America. Like the original Wonder Woman, Yara is an Amazon. Future State: Wonder Woman opens with Yara hunting for the Hydra. She quickly decapitates it. However, the mythological creature’s ability to regenerate its head proves difficult. As Yara struggles with the Hydra, she calls for her pegasus, Jerry.

After she finally kills the beast, Yara takes its horn. She tells her “friend,” Caipora, that she intends to take the horn to the Underworld to “demand Hades return her sister warrior.” Caipora tells her she will not allow her to take the horn. Yara is defiant. Telling Caipora to “watch her.” Caipora offers a deal. If Yara leaves the horn, she will take her to the Underworld personally. In the New 52 Multiverse, we find the Underworld in the “metaphysical reality known as the Sphere of the Gods.” It includes all “lands of the dead”, and “prison dimensions.” In Future State: Wonder Woman, the Underworld resembles an airport, guarded by Cerberus. Once past the turnstile, they arrive at the river Styx. True to the myth, Charon, the ferryman demands a coin for payment or Charon’s obol.

Make way for Yara Flor, the new Wonder Woman

Yara has no such coin and steals one from the soul in front of her. When the soul realizes that they have robbed him, he attacks Yara. Preferring combat, Yara causes a ruckus, waking the Cerberus. Future State: Wonder Woman is a captivating comic. Wonder Woman is visually striking. I quickly fixated on the color pallet by Jordie Bellaire. The greens, yellows, and blue-greens contrast well with the red. On one page, Yara appears to exist in a 3D world. She’s centered, with the decapitated Hydra head in the foreground and a wall of plants in the background. The panels are dynamically placed, breathing life into the action. The storytelling is excellent. You get a sense of Yara’s and Caipora’s personalities quickly. They both have humor to them that plays off each other well.

The silhouette of Beyonce

Joelle Jones designed Yara well. According to Polygon, Jones based the hero on Beyonce. “Her performance costumes, to me, have such power behind the silhouettes,” Jones says of Beyonce. She arms Yara with a sword based on a shape of a spear tip found in Brazil. Yara uses boleadoras, a bola with three weights at the end of a rope. Used to entangle the legs of cattle, Jones claims that “Her bola acts more than a weapon of control.

She could control somebody to speak the truth, or control them in the way they think, or control their actions. It takes the Lasso of Truth and amps it up more.” Yara Flor is already resonating with audiences. A CW series is in the works and Yara will get an ongoing comic, Wonder Girl. Yara is an interesting character, that has an impressive design and Joelle Jones is an amazing artist that can craft a great story. Future State: Wonder Woman is just the beginning. I want to see what comes next.

Comic Books

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.

30 Day DC Challenge · Challenges

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 30: Favorite DC Event

Final Crisis

Final Crisis is a crossover story that ran from May 2008 to January 2009. Written by Grant Morrison, the limited series spanned 7 issues. Marketed as “the day evil won,” Final Crisis deals with Darkseid as he plots to “overthrow reality.” After the final battle of the New Gods, the spirit of Darkseid travels through time and manifests inside the body of a human being. After finding the dying Orion, detective Dan Turpin, The Justice League of America and the Green Lantern Corps investigate. The learn that he was killed by a Radion bullet that was “fired backwards through time from the future.” Realizing the upcoming threat, Alan Scott enacts “Article X,” preparing the metahuman forces for the war that is coming.

The New Gods manage to remove the greatest obstacles to Darkseid’s master plan. Batman is captured, Hal Jordan framed for murder, Wonder Woman infected by bacteria called Morticoccous, Superman in the future and Flash in the past. Turpin is possessed by the essence of Darkseid, who then subjects Turpin’s body to “bio-genetic restructuring” to recreate Darkseid’s original form. Darkseid’s agents spread the Anti-Life Equation through communication networks, spreading it around the world. As a result, Darkseid gains control over the majority of Earth’s population.

A small group of superheroes manage to resists. A battle between the mind controlled heroes and the resistance. Wonder Woman infects the other heroes with Morticoccous that strips them of their powers. Batman mortally wounds Darkseid with a radion bullet, however, Darkseid kills him with his Omega Beams. Enraged Superman retrieves Batman’s corpse, the Flashes still being chased, lead Black Racer and the Omega Beams that follow them directly to Darkseid. Like most crossovers, Final Crisis is convoluted and not for everyone. The art style shifts from JG Jones to Doug Mahnke, the death of Batman turns out not to matter. Despite all this I still enjoyed Final Crisis, it’s overall entertaining and I did wonder if Darkseid would win.

Well this marks the last day of this challenge. Did you enjoy it? Have another challenge I should consider? Regardless, I appreciated all the comments. Thank you.

30 Day DC Challenge · Challenges

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 · Challenges

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.