Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DC Comics New 52 - Stryder's Weekly Top 5

Hey everybody happy 11-12-13!  It feel like just yesterday it was only time flies!

So anyone reading current issues of Batman (or just reading about me reading them) knows that they've been retelling his origin for the New 52 in a big and surprisingly awesome event known as "Zero Year".  This month several other titles are getting the "Zero Year" treatment, with one-shot issues focusing on what so-and-so hero were up to during the same time period.  Try not to get confused as "Forever Evil", set (just barely) in the future of the DCU, is also still rolling along....

Sooo...that being said, you can imagine what we'll be discussing this week!  All of these titles were released on November 6th, 2013:

Action Comics #25 - "I admit's not the best quip ever...but it sets them up for a heck of a punch line."

"Zero Year" comes to Metropolis along with a brand new creative team for the Man of Steel!  Writer Greg Pak and artist Aaron Kuder take over Action Comics starting this month and are out to impress right away!  The major unifying event of "Zero Year" is a massive super storm on the East Coast threatening Gotham City, which is also in the midst of a complete blackout (Riddle me this: What clever Batman villain could shut down power to the city just moments before a catastrophe? - Stay tuned for this month's Batman!) Clark Kent, young and inexperienced and mysteriously CAPELESS, decides that maybe...just maybe...he's actually strong enough to FIGHT the STORM!  Can the Man of Steel tame the elements?  Maybe with the help of a young lady from his distant past...

I was super (no pun intended) impressed with both the writing and the artwork this issue!  The characters look good and sound like themselves...the storytelling is solid...everything works together very well!  This is easily my favourite issue since Grant Morrison left the if you've been looking for a good "jumping on" point for Action ya go!

More "Zero Year" and some other stuff, too...after the JUMP!

Green Arrow #25 - "I never liked that guy.  Always stealing my headlines."

Oliver Queen has just returned home from being marooned on an island (The Island!), only to discover that his mother is one of thousands of people missing in Gotham City as the "Zero Year" storm arrives!  He may have been marooned for years, but there's no rest for Ollie (or even time to shave!) as he's off to Gotham City to rescue Moira Queen!

Of course, Oliver's mom has some protection of her own...she's got her head-of-security John Diggle by her side...and there just might be a Bat sighting, too!

As always with the current creative team, Green Arrow is astounding!  How many times do I have to tell you to go buy it right now?  Go buy it!  Right now!

Batman/Superman #5 - "We're on the job.  Don't call me Bruce."

Speaking of writer Greg Pak, he also brings us this neat "widescreen" issue of Batman/Superman with new artist Brett Booth!  My understanding is that former artist Jae Lee and new artist Brett Booth will be trading art duties back and forth for this title, while Greg Pak will be writing indefinitely.  Which will nicely help him tie the book into Action Comics...

Anyway, this issue focuses on the intricacies of both the friendship and the working relationship between Batman and Superman...two heroes with similar goals but VERY different methods.  There's also some mysteries to solve...where did Metallo come from?  Why would Nightwing attack Batman (I can think of several reasons)?  What does Jimmy Olsen have to do with it?  And WHO is the Toymaker??  Lot of questions for the Man of Steel and the World's Greatest Detective...but can they learn the answers in time??

Oh, incidentally, the sideways "widescreen" thing carries on through the whole's a neat idea, making every page almost like a two-page spread.  I wouldn't want it to last forever, but it's a cool experiment.  Kudos!

Detective Comics #25 - "Take him for a drive, Henshaw.  A short drive...followed by a long fall."

Lieutenant James Gordon feels particularly alone in Gotham City...he's just one man, attempting to deal with the Black Mask gang, a police force seemingly full of nothing but corrupt cops, a strange new vigilante whom witnesses describe as "a 7-foot Bat"...and that's all BEFORE the blackout and massive super storm bearing down on Gotham!   

"Zero Year" comes down on Gordon with all the force of a hurricane and tries to sweep him out to sea!  How can the man destined to become the next police commissioner of Gotham deal with all of this?  He'll need all his guts, all his brains and maybe just a little help from his friends...

Forever Evil #3 (of 7) - "...and then they were gone..."

The Crime Syndicate continues to dominate the World!  With the Justice League gone and the villains mostly falling in-line with the Syndicate, it's a rough time for the forces of good!  Luckily, there does seem to be some resistance forming...our planet isn't falling to inter-dimensional domination all that easily!  Of course, the "heroes" that are stepping up....Black Manta, Captain Cold and the Rogues, Black Adam, Bizzaro and, yes...Lex Luthor (?!?)  leave a little something to be desired!  When the Justice League is gone, can the villains work together to protect the Earth?

Well...maybe with a little help from the few heroes that have managed to evade the Syndicate...heroes like, oh, I don't know...BATMAN!

Yeah, of COURSE Batman escaped!  He's the Batman!  He managed to get away from the Syndicate with Catwoman and about 1/8th of (the rapidly dying) Cyborg in tow!  He makes it to the A.R.G.U.S. Red Room and Cyborg's father in an attempt to save his teammate...only to discover even worse news...Nightwing has been captured by the Crime Syndicate and his Secret Identity has been revealed to the World!  Everyone now knows that Nightwing is Dick Grayson!  Oh no!

AND that's it for the week!  Some great work as usual!  Maybe it's just me, but I think that now that it's been a couple of years, the New 52 DC Universe is really starting to gel and feel...I dunno...more "real" than it has.  Hey, a universe created accidentally by the Flash and Pandora is gonna have some inconsistencies and er..."wrinkles" in it, right?

Don't forget that TODAY is NEW COMIC BOOK DAY!  New issues of Batman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Batgirl, Nightwing and more are available NOW!  As a matter of fact, as soon as I finish this article guess where I'm headed??

Oh, right...This week's Stryder's Dementia consists mainly of rambling with a bit of encouraging girls to eat more thrown in for fun...take a look!

Have a great week everyone!  Peace!

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