Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 9/12/2012

Another week of Zero issues commences!  These titles would probably be a great jumping on point if you are really wishing you'd started reading Batman or Batgirl or something last September!  Although of course everyone IS reading Batman and Batgirl because they're both absolutely stellar, right?  Right!

Batman #0 - "I've heard crusaders in Gotham, they end up pretty damn lonely."

It's "6 years ago" and a mysterious vigilante is rumoured to have been spotted in some of the roughest areas of Gotham City, and may be waging a secret war on the Red Hood Gang.  He's been seen most frequently around Crime Alley, where, co-incidentally, the just-returned-to-town billionaire Bruce Wayne has also purchased a new home and is on a mission to turn the neighbourhood around and give it new life!  Commissioner Gordon shows up to ask Bruce if he's seen anything suspicious, but of course Bruce can't help him at all.   Oh, incidentally, although the vigilante has some truly outstanding tech and resources, he in no way resembles a bat...yet!

Oh, the Commish also wanted to ask about any doings that may be transpiring at Wayne Enterprises.  I guess Phillip Kane is running the company in the past and may be up to no good.  No one has any proof, though.

If that's not enough, the stellar back-up story occurs 5 years in the past and  has Commissioner Gordon standing atop police headquarters with his daughter, Barbara, as he's about to debut the Bat-Signal!  We also drop in on pre-Robin Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Jason Todd for snapshots of what their lives are like and of course their reactions to seeing the now iconic signal light up the night sky for the first time!!  AWESOME!

Did I also mention Batgirl?  Her comic and much much more, after the JUMP!

Batgirl #0 - "They use a lot of different words to describe me.  "Intense."  "Driven."  "Exceptional."  But I know what they really mean.  They mean I'm weird."

Barbara's Zero issue shares an excellent tale of her first taste of action, essentially giving us the origin story of Batgirl!  We get to learn of her first confrontation with mortal danger, her complex feelings for her father and little brother, and her essential inability NOT to confront danger and stand up for herself and others when the opportunity arises!  We're also exposed to Barbara's struggles with alienation, her feeling that she is different than the people around her, and her determination to view that fact as a positive rather than a negative, even if it makes it hard for others to relate to her. 
Gee, nothing at all in there that we the readers could possibly relate too!  Seriously though, Batgirl is one of the most human and well rounded of all the DCU heroes...Kudos to writer Gail Simone for really giving us a well-rounded, deep character, who just also happens to be a super hero.

There's also a really beautiful full-page drawing of Batman, Robin (Dick Grayson!) and Batgirl together in what I can only assume is their original New 52 costumes circa "4 years ago".  Very nice...would make a great poster!

Before Watchmen: Comedian #3 (of 6) - "Don't you get it Bobby?  There is no such thing as crossing the line...because there is no line."

Eddie Blake is taking a break in Hawaii after returning stateside from Vietnam straight into anti-war protests at the airport and then race riots in Los Angeles.  Of course, neither of these situations is exactly CALMED due to the presence of the Comedian...both of them, however, contribute to the further disillusionment of Eddie.  He is really developing that "sense of humour" that makes him so entertaining in the original Watchmen.  Despite the gravity of the situations that he finds himself in, the Comedian really is a funny guy!  Let's just hope Senator Bobby Kennedy feels the same...

Batman and Robin #0 - "The time has come, mother...for there to be no secrets between us."

We finally get a chance to see Damian Wayne's early life with his mother, Talia Al Ghul as portrayed in the New 52!  How he was grown in a pod, how he was dumped into a pool "Nirvana baby" style within moments of birth, some of his super early combat training, and a promise from his mother..."Today's your birthday my love, and when you best me in a duel on your special day, that is when you will be ready to meet your father."

Cool issue but two things bother me regarding Damian and I hope that DC explains them to me soon.  The first is that there were many other pods in the room that Damian was "born" in.  Are there going to be several other Damians eventually?  Yikes!

Secondly, If Batman wasn't even Batman yet 6 years ago (see my thoughts on Batman #0) how did he meet Talia and end up with an 11 year old son??  Hmmmm.  I thought they might retcon that Talia met Bruce while he was training before becoming Batman, but she has his cape and cowl and a couple of wine glasses in the trunk at the foot of her bed...seemingly as keepsakes...meaning...what?  Time travel?  Accelerated growth baby?  Something...else?  I wanna KNOW, DC!!

For now I'll be content with the excellent drawing of an about 4-year-old Damian wearing the cape and cowl he found in the trunk at the foot of his mother's bed..."Here Mama.  Look...I'm a Bat."  Adorable!

Suicide Squad #0 - "I want to use prisoners with nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I want to create a Suicide Squad."

Here we see Amanda Haller in-between gigs, as she has left Team 7 and has yet to start the Suicide Squad.  A friend of hers, someone she considers to be like a little brother to her, comes looking for her in Malaysia where she's hiding out, trying to find her way.  I guess the Team 7 stuff was pretty intense.  DC has also released Team 7 #0 this week, and are making it an ongoing title set in the past, but not being too interested in secret service type stories, I didn't buy it.  If my heroes are going to skulk around in the shadows and toe the line between right and wrong, they really ought to be brooding millionaires living in dark caves and dressing up as bats or whatnot...

Oh so yeah, Amanda and her friend Duren go off on a mission to stop Regulus and his organization, Basilisk, whom the Squad are fighting present day as well.  All I'll say is that, due to the tragic events of this mission, Amanda is inspired to use expendable soldiers from now on.  Thus is born...the Suicide Squad.

Superboy #0 - "Literally translated, Kon means Abomination.  A bringer of horror and shame.  A creature that is both immoral and revolting."

I was extremely curious what the Zero issue of Superboy would bring, as Issue #1 already showed us the exact moment that the so-called "Experiment-2" gained consciousness!  Clearly, writer Tom DeFalco also considered this, as we get a tale that takes place simultaneously with the events of Superboy #1 and also contains a flashback to "Hundreds of Years Ago" on Krypton!  The "birth" of Superboy is retold from the perspective of Harvest and Omen of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. fame, who are secretly monitoring Superboy's progress in his cloning tube (if you'll recall, N.O.W.H.E.R.E.  is the organization that created Superboy and also held "The Culling" which entangled Superboy, the Teen Titans, Legion Lost and the Ravagers a few months back). 

The latter half of the story is related BY Harvest to Omen and tells the tale of the original Kon, a clone on Krypton, and how he sparked a massive clone war that nearly wiped out Kryptonian civilization and may have, if not caused, at least contributed to, the planet's ultimate destruction.  Heavy!

Ravagers #0 - "You better dig down and find something inside yourself, or you are going to be eaten alive in here.  Maybe by me."

Finally, the Zero issue of the Ravagers gives me what I was looking for from the start!  This month we learn a lot about Beast Boy and Terra, their first meeting and why they've become so close since!  Sure, we see some of the other Ravagers, too, but really this is their book this month, and all I can say is that it's about time!  The book opens on Garf, looking like a normal, non-beast boy, strapped to a scary looking lab table deep in the Colony run by N.O.W.H.E.R.E., which, of course, is where the Ravagers got their start during the previously discussed "Culling".   By the end of the experimentation, Garf is gone and Beast Boy has taken his place!  Of course, it's not until Terra is placed in mortal danger that he finds...the beast within!!

Terra, meanwhile, is a total bad-ass with a don't-trust-anybody attitude.  Remarkably practical, considering she's living her life in a hell-on-Earth type situation.  She develops a soft spot for Beast Boy though...something about their mutually saving each other's butts a few times...

So that's that for another week in the DCU!  Stay tuned next time for Justice League, Catwoman, Nightwing and many more!  New comic day holds SO many possibilities...maybe even some new action figures!  Rumour has is that the Flash and the Parademon figures from the Justice League line are getting released...which reminds me, I gotta post my review of that Aquaman figure don't I?  Maybe tomorrow....

A funny thing happened to me as I strolled along the beach over at Stryder's Dementia.  Well, not funny ha-ha but funny weird.  I KNEW there was a reason it's called "dementia".

Love you all, you wacky humans!  Have a great week!

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