EDITOR'S NOTE - ALL COMMENTARY WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THE DCNu was announced.
Jim: It has been a long time since Lee and I have had a round on a preview review. Gwen is still taking time off from the blog as she was dealing with work and her wedding. She should be back next month. I’m continuing to try and make this more about using the solicitations as tea leaves and trying to read and comment on the publisher overall plans in general instead of a book by book thing. Still when appropriate we can still talk about a title or collection.
Lee: AAUUUGGGHHHH gah, I thought I had escaped this pain. There is only one way to handle this, one big glass of wine, some very fine cheese, and start rambling incessantly. Ya know, maybe I have missed this.
WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH #2
Written by TONY BEDARD
Art by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
Cover by TOM FLEMING
1:10 Variant cover by MIGUEL SEPULVEDA
The blockbuster “War of the Green Lanterns” event has rocked the entire Green Lantern Corps to its core. Who is the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814? The answer will fuel the next year’s worth of GL tales!
On sale AUGUST 10 • 2 of 2, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Jim: As I’m typing this the last chapter of the War of Green Lanterns has not hit the stands. Still it certainly is lining up with the end of Flashpoint and lends itself to a re-launch of the GL books in September if the rumored plans of a massive DCU re-launch are true. Of course regardless of Flashpoint I refuse to believe that all the effort and work that has gone into creating the Rainbow Corps and the new status quo for Green Lantern is being overhauled. I just hope this signals a real change for who is the main Green Lantern as I’m so done with Hal Jordan. Plus I hope we get to see a private life for a character in this book as there hasn’t been any character development in the main GL series for at least three years or more.
Lee: Full disclosure, I haven’t been reading this so my response is hear-say at best. One thing that has impressed me about this event is the speed with which it occurred and was resolved. DC really got this one right in terms of storytelling. I think it is what it is, and it achieved its goals. A good, action packed story was told in a short amount of time. But, as for the future, I don’t think this really changes anything. GL will continue fighting baddies and there will be another event tying all the green titles together in 6 or 8 months. In response to your suggestion, does changing the wearer of the ring make any difference? Maybe, maybe not. It’s been over 15 years since Kyle Rayner first appeared so maybe the storylines about learning about the power, and building a new rogues gallery will ring true but I am not sure they will. I think you hint at the bigger issue when you talk about a lack of personal life. Without any non spandex interaction, these books devolve into 22 pages of fighting. That’s exciting for a month or two, but it gets old after awhile. It’s gotten to the point where the characters are no longer grounded in reality in the least. I realize I am talking about superheroes but it has always been the little, soap operay moments that made the big fights all the more meaningful.
Jim: Exactly. That was the great strength of Marvel in the early years. You came back for more, not to see the next battle between the FF and Dr. Doom or Spider-Man versus Dr. Octopus (why are most villains so well educated?), you came back because of the characters. Peter was growing up. Reed and Sue got married and had a child. That’s why the super hero stuff has become so stagnant to many of us, no real change has occurred for 40 years. We need to see the private lives more of the people, but by making it a new person under the mask at least the potential for change or growth exists.
Where comics are different from their soap opera counterparts is that the soaps on TV are forced to deal with the stars getting older, comics get to cheat and because of that become lazy. Now with Peter no longer married we are just doing the same dance with his new girl friend that we have done 10 times before with other girl friend (Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane).
Lee: I understand your point but I am not sure that a new face under the mask solves the problem. I believe the issues are far deeper than just a change of person. The issue is that today’s writers don’t know how to write a quiet moment. Case in point, there were 5 issues in Franken-Castle that were nothing other than a battle between Daken and the Punisher. 5 issues! Nothing more than dudes in tights running over each other with cars, breaking each other’s bones, and destroying buildings. It was cool and I enjoyed it for escapism, but that is the general state of comics and it becomes boring after a few months.
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
Covers by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
1:25 Black and white variant covers A by ANDY KUBERT Issue #4 Variant cover B by IVAN REIS and GEORGE PEREZ
Issue #5 Variant cover B by RAGS MORALES
FLASH FACT: The war between the Amazons and the Atlantians has arrived. The battle between Diana of Themyscira and Emperor Aquaman will tear this world apart – unless The Flash can fix it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of its impact on the DC Universe, FLASHPOINT #5 is the only title that DC Comics is soliciting in this catalogue to arrive in stores on August 31.
Issue #4 on sale AUGUST 3
Issue #5 on sale AUGUST 31
4 and 5 of 5, 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
FLASHPOINT: BATMAN – KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #3
FLASHPOINT: SECRET SEVEN #3
FLASHPOINT: ABIN SUR – THE GREEN LANTERN #3
FLASHPOINT: WORLD OF FLASHPOINT #3
FLASHPOINT: EMPEROR AQUAMAN #3
FLASHPOINT: DEATHSTROKE AND THE CURSE OF THE RAVAGER #3
FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN #3
FLASHPOINT: CITIZEN COLD #3
FLASHPOINT: WONDER WOMAN AND THE FURIES #3
FLASHPOINT: DEADMAN AND THE FLYING GRAYSONS #3
FLASHPOINT: LEGION OF DOOM #3
FLASHPOINT: LOIS LANE AND THE RESISTANCE #3
FLASHPOINT: THE OUTSIDER #3
FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST #3
FLASHPOINT: PROJECT SUPERMAN #3
FLASHPOINT: HAL JORDAN #3
Jim: I love the Fight Club reference DC is using that rule #1 of Flashpoint, no one talks about what comes after Flashpoint. The rumors are hot and heavy that DC is planning a massive re-launch of all of their titles. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are set to make a major announcement on June 11. JLA the Dark has been rumored. I hope if they are planning to have Jim Lee draw anything it is already in the can as he can no longer hit deadlines. Given all of Lee’s executive responsibilities that makes sense, but still I worry they will have Geoff and him announced as the team for the Dark and then the book will miss its deadlines. A major re-launch loses all the hype and pizzazz put against it when it never ships.
Still this is interesting as I see DC is putting all its eggs in one basket here. I have to assume that the Bat franchise and the GL franchise should remain relatively untouched. If they mess with Batman, they are making a big mistake as Grant and company have been doing a great job with everything in that corner of the DCU. If they revamp GL all the Blackest Night, Brightest Day and War of the Green Lanterns could be invalidated and you get a bunch of pissed off fans.
As for the rest of the DCU it has been in disarray and in need of a major overhaul for a long time, so bring it on. Right now DC has my curiosity aroused and I will be checking out the first issue of the Flashpoint books, but they need to deliver.
All of this could explain why Bob Harras gets announced as the EIC of DC and then we never heard from him.
Lee: In this day and age of constant hype and no mystery about any title at all, this has been a masterstroke by DC. Everything is buzzing about what happens next and no one knows. There hasn’t been this much buzz about an upcoming storyline in I don’t know how long. I think this is similar to the original Crisis back in the 80’s. Things are changing. They can’t be any worse so they can only be better.
I am not sure that DC has all its eggs in one basket any more than Marvel does. I think it’s a reset of the main universe. It’s no different than what Marvel has been doing with the Avengers serving as the spine of the Marvel U. I am far more curious about the new creative teams than anything else.
Jim: I think all their eggs are being put in one basket. If they start every series over they are creating the jump on point for new readers. They are also creating jump off point for older readers. Plus that new readership base is the same fans that are in the store every week. Where is the attempt to really garner a new readership?
Lee: In an attempt to address all the points in your response. (1) DC fans are DC fans. If there is a new series then it’s highly likely you will try it. As you have stated, the DCU is a complete mess, the only fans left are the die hards. Y’all aren’t going anywhere no matter how much you protest. Which leads to (2): DC has already bled all the casual fans. They can do nothing but gain new fans. So, (3) finally not knowing something is creating so much interest that the sales of the first issues of whatever is coming will be off the charts.
DC RETROACTIVE: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA – THE ‘80S #1
Written by GERRY CONWAY
Art and cover by RON RANDALL
DC RETROACTIVE: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA – THE ‘90S #1
Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DEMATTEIS
Art and cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
DC RETROACTIVE: BATMAN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by MIKE W. BARR
Art and cover by JERRY BINGHAM
DC RETROACTIVE: BATMAN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by ALAN GRANT
Art and cover by NORM BREYFOGLE
DC RETROACTIVE: SUPERMAN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by MARV WOLFMAN
Art by SERGIO CARIELLO
Cover by DAN JURGENS and LIVEAY
DC RETROACTIVE: SUPERMAN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by LOUISE SIMONSON
Art and cover by JON BOGDANOVE
DC RETROACTIVE: WONDER WOMAN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by ROY THOMAS
Art and cover by RICH BUCKLER
DC RETROACTIVE: WONDER WOMAN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS
Art and cover by PARIS CULLINS
DC RETROACTIVE: GREEN LANTERN – THE ‘80S #1
Written by LEN WEIN
Art and cover by JOE STATON
DC RETROACTIVE: GREEN LANTERN – THE ‘90S #1
Written by RON MARZ
Art and cover by DARRYL BANKS
DC RETROACTIVE: THE FLASH – THE ‘80S #1
Written by WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS
Art and cover by GREG LAROCQUE
DC RETROACTIVE: THE FLASH – THE ‘90S #1
Written by BRIAN AUGUSTYN
Art and cover by MIKE BOWDEN
Jim: When I first read about this stuff I thought it was a horrible idea. It still is, but now I see a method to their madness as DC need to have some other books on their schedule besides Flashpoint stuff. In addition they are using creators who are not in their normal stable of creators (for the most part) and this should free up some time for creators to be working on post Flashpoint material. At least that is how I see it.
As for the actual books it will be hit or miss for me as I will probably try some out and skip others. It is funny because I have gotten to the point that when I read a floppy I want it to be forwarding a storyline. This all are one and done stories which have no bearing on any continuity so I have less interest in them.
Lee: It’s funny that you think this is a mess because I think this is a really, really good idea. I have more or less stopped reading heroes these days because of the continuity. You want the story to move forward but there is never any good time, or place, to get back into the story. This is perfect for lapsed readers such as me. I am far more interested in reading some of these books than the latest JLA title. This is loaded with the authors, and artists, that I grew up with. How can I say no to Barr & Grant Batman, or Messner-Loebs Wonder Woman? If these are any good then there is a chance that I will try the regular title.
Jim: I understand the appeal and as I spoke to Greg recently he has nostalgia for the books from the nineties when he became a fan. Personally I’d rather re-read the old stuff when I get nostalgic as opposed to grinning and baring it when an old creator tries to recapture the glory days of their career. As much as I love that the Orioles had the best winning percentage in baseball from 1966 to 1983 (or longer), I’d rather follow the current team and hope they become a winning franchise then live in the past forever.
Lee: What is it with you and ideas all over the place? You have a certain amount of pessimism towards the older creators, and as such, aren’t giving them a far shake. The comics industry is notorious for pushing out older, established creators. Who says that they can’t write, or draw, good stories anymore? Neal Adams art in his current series is spectacular. Granted, he can’t write but he can still draw. With writers, it just a matter if they can admit to some of the newer story telling styles. Can Denny O’Neil and Roy Thomas do it? I have my doubts. But I bet Alan Grant and Messner-Loebs can. I think these guys still have good stories in them if you would just listen.
PART 2 coming soon...........