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.

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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 – 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 27: Favorite DC Comic Book series

Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come was written by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The series is part of DC comics Elsewords imprint. Featuring the photorealistics art style of Alex Ross, the series focused on a complex story of a future DC universe. Ross created new costumes for most of the characters, he also added several new characters. Set in the year 2020, the Justice League we come to know have mostly retired. They are succeeded by a new more radical generation, that lacks the concern of civilians. They often clash with each other. After a nuclear explosion in Kansas, resulting from Parasite tearing apart Captain Atom, Superman finally comes out of retirement.

Other heroes continued to fight crime, The Flash still patrols around Keystone City, Hawkman protects the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Green Lantern watches Earth from an emerald city in space, Batman (now elderly) uses robots to patrol Gotham. However, other heroes like Aquaman, the Amazons and the Legion of Super-Heroes abandon the world. The four issues results in Superman creating a “reformation center” for superheros called the “Gulag.” It becomes a re-education camp, trying to teach the prisoners how to use their powers.

Lex Luthor and Batman join forces (it doesn’t last long) to create the Mankind Liberation Front. Superman and Captain Marvel fight, a bomb is dropped on the combatants. Captain Marvel sacrifices himself, but the bomb still manages to kill many of the super-humans. Superman and Wonder Woman become pregnant and Batman becomes the godfather. The series Kingdom Come is an epic story with amazing art. It’s one of the few series that gives Superman complexity. I highly recommend this series.

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.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 23: Favorite Superhero Sidekick

Roy Harper (Speedy)

I gotta be honest I don’t really care about sidekicks. They’re generally just younger carbon copies of the main heroes and I feel that they’re often quite useless. Personally, I only know the many Robins and Speedy. He appears in one of my favorite episodes of Justice League Unlimited, Patriot Act. In that episode, Speedy along with Green Arrow, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, Vigilante, fight against General Wade Eiling who uses the “super soldier” and attacks the Justice League. He’s one of DC’s oldest characters, having been created in the 1940’s. The sidekick of Green Arrow, he’s an archer, with exceptional marksmanship. Like most of the most well known sidekicks he joins the Teen Titans.

Roy is also well known for his drug addiction. The storyline was considered to be an important moment in comic book history as it represented more mature themes in comics. Like Green Arrow he has no powers, he can use a variety of objects in combat, and is a great detective. Roy has had many romantic relationships in DC, he’s been involved with Donna Troy, Cheshire, Grace Choi, the Huntress, Hawkgirl and Starfire. Speedy is one of the few sidekicks that manage to get from under the shadow of their adopted superhero fathers, showing that he’s a more complex individual.

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 21: Favorite DC City

Metropolis

I’m a New Yorker so my natural affinity is for Metropolis, also the crime rate in Gotham seems a little too high. One of the largest cities in DC, Metropolis is the home of Superman. First appearing in Action Comics #16 on Sept. 1939, Metropolis is a massive city in the Northeastern part of the US. It’s close to Gotham City and is considered to be prosperous. Joe Shuster modeled the skyline after Toronto, but Metropolis looks and feels like NYC. In the comics Metropolis is said to have a population of 11 million.

It’s origins date back to 1542, when navigator Vincenzo Gnanatti discovered the region. Metropolis has six boroughs, eight neighborhoods, four waterways, four parks and of course is home to the Daily Planet. It’s home to heroes, Superman, Black Lightning, Booster Gold, Supergirl and Superboy. It’s also home to villains, Bizarro, Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Doomsday and Toyman. Nicknamed “The Big Apricot,” like New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple.” Unlike Gotham, that’s built on manufacturing and shipping industries, Metropolis is build on it’s tech industry.

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

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 18: Hero with the best set of Villains?


This was a contest between the villains of Batman and Superman. To choose which of the class of villains I preferred I wrote a list of the top ten (in my opinion) villains for each of them. Then I compared each villain to another on the other lists. Superman’s villains won by 6-4. My choices are in bold:

  • The Joker /Lex Luther
  • The Riddler /Darkseid
  • Two-Face /Brainiac
  • The Penguin /General Zod
  • Catwoman /Parasite
  • Bane /Bizzaro
  • Mr. Freeze /Toyman
  • Killer Croc /Lobo
  • Scarecrow /Mongul
  • Poison Ivy /Metallo

So won do you think has the best villains, Superman or Batman? Does another DC hero have better ones? Let me know.

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 16: Favorite DC Villain Team

Art by Alex Ross

Legion of Doom

The Legion of Doom is considered the premiere opposition of the Justice League. My first introduction to the Legion of Doom was in the Superfriends series. Superfriends was just a more kid friendly version of the Justice League. The team is often created by Lex Luthor. It generally features villains, Gorilla Grodd, Brainiac, Sinestro, Bizarro, Toyman, Riddler, Scarecrow, Cheetah, Black Manta, Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy and Giganta. Most of the members weren’t used in the Superfriends series, and because it was a kids show the Legion of Doom didn’t do anything too terrible. Even my favorite villain, the Joker has been part of the Legion of Doom. It didn’t end well. In Justice League #13, the Joker gases many of the Legion. He leaves them as laughing lunatics after Lex’s betrayal. He reverses the gas effects, but ends his time with the Legion.

The Legion was updated in the Justice League Unlimited series. The new Legion featured more members. It was more like a “supervillain union” that would aid other villains with criminal activities in exchange of a cut of their profits. This version of the Legion of Doom was lead by Gorilla Grodd, but Lex Luthor started a revolt. He did so because Grodd was plotting to turn humanity into apes. After Lex took over, he use the Legion to gain power for himself. This resulted in another revolt, with several members siding with Luthor and others sided with Grodd. Luthors foolish attempt to resurrect Brainiac, resulted in Darkseid being reborn instead. He repaid them by destroying the Hall of Doom. The Legion joined forces with the Justice League to defeat Darkseid and the Apokoliptain forces. Batman gave them a “five minute head start before the League attempted to capture them,” as payment for their help.

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

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 14: Favorite Animated DC Show

Justice League Unlimited

As I stated previously, most of the superheroes of DC aren’t well known. In Justice League Unlimited (JLU) the size of the league is increased at least by 50. Most of the episodes focused on a small group heroes trying to solve a situation. Heroes like Captain Atom, Green Arrow, The Question and Booster Gold were introduced to a larger audience. I chose JLU over the Batman: Animated Series largely because it expanded my understanding of the DC Universe. A direct sequel to Justice League, JLU debuted on July 31, 2004 and ended May 13, 2006. JLU is well animated, balances humor with action and is generally when written. Some of my favorite episodes:


Episode 03: Kids Stuff

Loosely based on the DC Comic event, JLA: World Without Grown Ups, Morgaine le Fey transforms Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern into children, after her son Mordred uses his magic to send adults to another dimension. Seeing these superheros as children is as fun as you might think.

Episode 07: The Greatest Story Never Told

This introduced me to Booster Gold. As the Justice League battle Mordru, the narrative focuses on Booster as he attempts to close a black hole, when he’s suppose to be doing crowd control. This episode has to be the funnies in the series.

Episode 11: Wake the Dead

Three high school kids use chaos magic to attempt to get revenge on their bullies. Instead they resurrect Solomon Grundy. Without his memories and more powerful, Grundy goes on a rampage. Doctor Fate, Amazo, Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl face-off against him.

Episode 16: The Doomsday Sanction

Superman battles Doomsday, while Batman uncovers a Cadmus conspiracy to destroy the Justice League. It’s should be obvious why this episode was good.

Episode 35: Grudge Match

Roulette uses the women of the Justice League as combatant in her all-female fight called “Glamour Slam.” This episode is one of my favorites largely because we get to see Wonder Woman fight Huntress, Black Canary, Vixen and Hawkgirl. It’s brief, but great.

Episode 39: Destroyer

This is the series finally. The Justice League and the Secret Society team up to fight against an invasion by Darkseid. Lex Luther, Batman and Superman take on Darkseid directly, with Superman finally releasing his full powers.

Source: Wikipedia

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.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 12: Favorite DC Live Action Movie

Tom Welling as Clark Kent

Smallville

Smallville was a television based on Superman. The series focused on Clark Kent (Tom Welling) as he grows up in the fiction town of Smallville, Kansas. The series was meant to explore Clark Kent before he became Superman. The first four seasons focused on Clark and his friends during high school. The series later pivoted to Clark in adulthood, his career at the Daily Planet and his transformation into Superman. Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, Smallville was pitched with a “no tights, no flights,” rule. The series was well received. The pilot episode had 8.4 million viewers, the series averaged 4.34 million viewers. When it ended it had set the record for “the longest-running North American science-fiction series by episode count.”

The first few seasons saw Clark develop his iconic powers. Smallville is said to have 3 chapters. The first chapter is considered to be seasons (1-4), focusing on his high school years. Chapter 2, seasons (5-7) sees Clark begin to master his abilities and Lex Luthor begins to turn towards evil. Characters like Brainiac and Bizarro are introduced. The final chapter is known as, ” The Final Trials of Clark Kent.” Doomsday, General Zod and Darkseid are introduced, as are the Justice League. Kryptonite was used as a common plot device. It had a negative effect on humans, resulting in the person mutating or going insane. This resulted in the series having a “freak of the week.” This was mostly used during the first season.

The series also used different colored kryptonite. Green Kryptonite causes Clark to become “physically weak” and can potentially kill him. Red Kryptonite causes him to become a moral and given into his dark impulses. Black Kryptonite splits Clark into two beings himself and a darker Kal-El. With Silver Kryptonite causes him paranoia, Blue Kryptonite removes his abilities and Gold Kryptonite can cause permanent damage or removed his powers all together. Personally, I liked the series up until the fifth one. I lost interest in the series after it started tell more familiar stories from the comics. I preferred the years before Clark Kent was an adult, seeing him become the hero was simple more interesting. Generally, I don’t think of Superman as being an interesting hero, but as a teen he was.