Monday, December 27, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #13

“Under a Blood Red Sky”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencillers: Ardian Syaf, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: Vicente Cifuentes
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Hawkman leads the tribes of Hawkworld against the Nth City even as Queen Shrike orders Hath-Set to use Hawkgirl as a key to activate the inter-dimensional gate.  Shrike explains to Hawkgirl how she engineered Khufu and Chay-Ara’s deaths, and tells her daughter that she came to the uncivilized Hawkworld and took control of the planet.  A bloody and battered Hawkman comes to Hawkgirl’s rescue, but even as Shiera kills Hath-Set, Shrike uses her control over Nth metal to take control of Hawkman and secure him to the gate.  With the gate activated, Queen Shrike leads her Manhawks away from Hawkworld to conquer Zamaron…

On Earth, Dove and Boston Brand attempt to locate the as yet-unknown White Lantern.  Brand scratches Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection man, off his list, but then gets the notion that, perhaps, the ring has been waiting for none other than the recently-returned Batman…

Notes

Page 1:  Hawkman last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Pages 2-3:  Hawkman has teamed up with the Lionmane pride and some of the other Hawkworld clans to battle the Manhawks in an effort to save Hawkgirl.  Note that the members of the Lionmane tribe are tied to pieces of Nth metal ore so that they may rise into the air like their foes. 

Page 5:  “Do whatever you need to do, Tonarr.”  I guess, in the heat of battle, Hawkman forget that the head of the Lionmane pride’s name is “Tonrarr.” 

Damn, those Manhawks are pretty ugly…

Page 6:  Hawkgirl and Hath-Set last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Hath-Set’s “legacy of death” is composed of the bones of Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s past, er…corpses?  Lives?  Whatever.  Hath-Set built it in Brightest Day #3 and used it as an inter-dimensional doorway to escape to Hawkworld. 

Page 7:  “You got what you want – it brought you here to Hawkworld so you could join my traitorous mother!”  Shiera’s mother is Queen Shrike, about who little is known so far.

“I just realized when the Black Lanterns killed you it was the first time in over two thousand years that both of you didn’t actually die at my hands.”  Hawkman and Hawkgirl were killed by the Black Lanterns in Blackest Night #1.

And that statement isn’t totally true.  Hath-Set had nothing to do with Carter and Shiera’s deaths in Zero Hour #3 and Hawkman (third series) #13, in which they were both absorbed by the Hawkgod. 

Page 9:  Queen Shrike last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Pages 10-11:  Man, Carter’s looking mighty pissed-off, isn’t he?

Pages 12-13:  Ouch.  Getting crucified on that doorway of bones must hurt like a bitch. 

In case you were wondering, “Khufu” and “:Chay-Ara” were the original names of Carter and Shiera. 

Pages 14-15:  Ah., yes, the obligatory plot synopsis for those of us who came to the party late…

I won’t bore you with the long-winded explanation, but it seems that Khufu’s father was the Pharaoh of Egypt.  The Pharaoh’s wife died, ad did his brother.  So he married his brother’s wife, the lady who would be known as Shrike.  And Shrike was Chay-Ara’s mom.  Which means that Khufu and Chay-Ara were…cousins. 

While marriage between cousins might seem more than a bit strange by most of us, some countries do not prohibit it.  At the very least, incestuous marriages were widespread at least through the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian history; Cleopatra was married to her brother Ptolemy XIII.  Marriage through cousins was actually encouraged for a time, as it ensures purity of the line of descent, provides knowledge of the spouses, and ensures that property and power will not fall into the hands of outsiders.

Am I endorsing cousin marriages?  Nah, it’s creepy.  But I just don’t have any hot cousins, that’s all…

(I am joking.  Chill.)

The tale about how the Thanagarian ship was discovered by the Egyptians and how it connects to Hawkman and Hawkgirl was first told in JSA #22-25.

Previously, Hath-Set acted alone in killing Khufu and Chay-Ara.  It is now revealed that the lady to later be known as Queen Shrike directed Hath-Set in his actions. 

As revealed in Brightest Day #8, Queen Shrike left Earth centuries ago and came to Hawkworld to conquer it. 

Page 16:  “Looking at your wings and face, I’d have to agree.”  Queen Shrike is looking a bit…Manhawkish, if I do say so myself. 

Page 17:  Yep.  Carter’s definitely pissed-off now.  Seeing your wife crucified to a magical gateway made up of the bones of your past lives will certainly do that to a guy.

Page 18:  Ah ha!  Hawkman reveals that Queen Shrike’s original name was…Khea.

Nope, doesn’t mean anything to me, either…

Page 19:  Damn, Hawkgirl’s all hardcore, snapping Hath-Set’s neck like that.  Does this mean that the curse is over?  Or is it in effect because Queen Shrike is still alive?

Page 21:  As they travel through the gate, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are experiencing their deaths all over again like they did when they first come to Hawkworld in Brightest Day #4.

Page 22:  Queen Shrike has opened a gateway to Zamaron, home of the Star Sapphires and the Predator, the violet entity of love.  Remember that the Zamarons procured the first of their star sapphires from the crystallized bodies of Khufu and Chay-Ara, and that Miri Riam gave Shiera a piece of her original body after the events of Blackest Night #8.

Carol Ferris last appeared in Brightest Day #1.

Page 23:  Dove and Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #12.

Resurrection Man, real name Mitchell “Mitch” Shelley.  First appeared in Resurrection Man #1.  Due to the presence of tektites in his body, is able to resurrect each time he is killed, with new metahuman abilities with each “life.”

Interesting that Resurrection Man played no part in Blackest Night.  Given that he has technically “died” man times, it would have been cool to see the Black Lantern power rings attempt to “raise” him. 

Page 24:  Batman, real name Bruce Wayne.  First appeared in Detective Comics #27.  Skilled hand-to-hand combatant, athlete and acrobat, master strategist and regarded as the world’s greatest detective.  

Okay, let’s talk continuity for a few minutes here…

Way back in Green Lantern (fourth series) #43, the Blackest Night prologue issue, Black Hand walks into the Hand Mortuary and slaughters his entire family.  As Hand enters, we can see a sign that reads “Happy Easter,” implying that the events of that issue take place sometime around the Easter holiday which, in 2010, was on April 4.  Within a matter of days, the black rings falls to Earth, the Black Lanterns rise, and the Blackest Night begins.

Now, the events of Blackest Night #1-8 and all of its tie-ins and crossovers take place over the course of a day or two, no longer.  I don’t work for DC, nor has anyone from DC ever verified this, but, if you read the story, you can see that it’s not occurring over an extended period of time.  It’s a very short, compact story. 

Brightest Day #0 seems to take place the day after the heroes rise in Blackest Night #8.  It’s a day of celebration and remembrance for those who lost their lives in the Blackest Night.  During that story, Boston Brand bounces all across the universe and looks in on the White Lantern Twelve, those restored to life by the Entity of the White Light. 

In reviewing the events of Brightest Day so far, it would seem that these thirteen issues span no more than a week to a week and a half.  That goes for the events of Justice League: Generation Lost as well. 

So, for arguments sake, we’ll say that at this point, in Brightest Day #13, we should be somewhere in the realm of seven to ten days after Easter.  Sound okay?

Let’s backtrack for a moment.  In Batman and Robin #7-9, “Blackest Night,” Dick Grayson attempted to use a Lazarus Pit to restore Bruce Wayne to life.  As it turns out, the corpse wasn’t actually Bruce’s; it was a mindless corpse created by Darkseid and substituted for the real Bruce after Batman was sent into the past by the Omega Sanction (phew). 

By necessity, this story must take place after Blackest Night #8; shortly after, I would imagine.  But, according to Batman and Robin #7, this story occurs on midwinter, the longest night of the year, which would be December 21, 2010, and a full eight months after the events of Blackest Night.  And it can’t happen before Blackest Night, so the midwinter reference must be apocryphal. 

This is where continuity gets a little fuzzy and rushed.  In Batman and Robin #10-12, the Dynamic Duo are attacked by Slade Wilson and Talia in Wayne Manor, and then meets up with Oberon Sexton, who turns out to be the Joker.  Meanwhile, Superman, Green Lantern and Booster Gold travel into the past to find Bruce Wayne, who is, in turn, traveling forward through time to return to the present.  Dick and Damian then apprehend the Joker, and then confront Dr. Simon Hurt, only to have Bruce Wayne return at the last minute.  We then have the establishment of Batman, Incorporated, and now Bruce is appearing in Brightest Day #13.  Ta-da!  (Yeah, I skipped over a few things.  Sue me.)

Not that it can’t happen…it just feels like a whole lot is happening in an extremely short period of time right now.  And this is just the events in Batman and Robin I am talking about here.  I haven’t even touched upon the events featured in Batman, the Bruce Wayne: The Road Home one-shots, or Justice League of America, which is closely tied into the events of Brightest Day. 

I’m not complaining…simply attempting to get a handle on DC’s current continuity, that’s all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #12

“The Cold Truth”          

Writer: Judd Winick
Penciller: Fernando Dagnino
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

After fighting back against Alloy, Ice’s powers have gone into overdrive and she has lost control of herself.  While Rocket Red evacuates the Metal Men, Fire attempts to subdue her longtime friend.  However, Ice’s power overwhelms Fire, and it is only when Ice remembers her true past and origin that she comes back to herself and halts her rampage.  She breaks down in tears as she recalls that she killed her father with her powers.  Meanwhile,. Booster Gold, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle prepare to leave Chicago to aid their friends, but are stopped when confronted by Magog.  His mission?  To kill Captain Atom…

Notes

Page 1:  Lillehammer is a town in Oppland county, Norway, chiefly known for being the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. 

Nikolina is Tora’s younger sister.

Page 2:  “When something bad happens, or something hurts, it’s very important that you be calm.  Be quiet.  Be small.”  We’ll come back to this later.

Page 3:  These are Marius and Else Olafsdotter, Tora’s parents. 

“She is a little girl who has abilities.  Our little girl.  Not the return of an ice goddess.”  And what’s wrong with being an ice goddess, hmmmm?  Tora was okay with it before now.

Oh, yeah, that’s right; I forgot to mention that this little trip down memory lane is a complete retcon of Ice’s previously established origin.  Again, we’ll come back to it later.

“All they will do is use her to steal.”  The Is Bygd are a sect of the Romanifolket; presumably, they are thieves and con artists who profit off the misfortune of others.  Marius fears that they will use Tora’s abilities to furthers their goals. 

Page 4:  Ice last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #11.

“The world knows her as a royal member of a magical tribe from Norway.  An ice goddess.”  There’s that talk of being an ice goddess again…

Page 5:  Fire and Rocket Red last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #11.

“You got quite the beat-down from the Metal Men combo giant until you snapped into winter overdrive here…”  Ice was battling Alloy, the giant battle-form of the Metal Men, when she went all wild and blizzardy, as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #11.

Page 6:  “Borscht” is a soup of Ukranian origin that is made with beetroot as the main ingredient.  Sounds yummy.  Not. 

“Just try and be…calm.”  Fire, telling someone to be calm?  That’s a joke, don’t you think?

Page 8:  Mr. Olafsdotter is Marius’ father.  He is the head of the Is Bygd clan, and not a very nice guy, from the sound of it. 

Page 9:  Uh-oh, looks like Tora’s not heeding that advice about staying calm…

Page 10:  People tend to notice it when you shoot ice out of your hands at them. 

Page 11:  “It’s Max.  It’s gotta be Max.  Max Lord is controlling you.”  Sorry, but no dice.  It is understandable that Fire thinks this, considering that Max took control of her and forced her to attack her allies in Justice League: Generation Lost #9.

Page 12:  “Because you seem to have tapped into some kind of amount of power you never had before.”  Ice’s power level has fluctuated over the years.  At times she is quite adept at using her abilities, while at others she simply shoots ice at others. 

Page 13:  “And I can’t let you just kill me.”  But in Justice League: Generation Lost #9, she told Captain Atom to kill her is he had to; she has definitely learned the value of her life in the past day or so. 

Page 14: “It has to be Max.”  No, really, it doesn’t.  But thanks for playing. 

Page 16:  “We’ve waited 700 hundred years for her to return.  Her people need her.”   Secret Origins #33 explained that Tora Olafsdotter was from a hidden tribe of magic-wielding Norsemen.   This story effectively erases that one from continuity.  But what if the Is Bygd is this same tribe, only they came to the outside world centuries ago to wait until their princess returns to them so that she might lead her clan?

Sorry, just thinking a little outside the box here…

Page 18:  Tora finally remembers her past and what she did the last time she lost control of her powers.

Page 19:  “Just…be careful.  Always be careful.  Be quiet.  Be…be…calm.”  So…is this whole story, this origin retcon, a way to explain why Ice is quiet and reserved?  Is there a legitimate reason why she can’t just be introverted; quiet and respectful without having a tragic event in her life forcing her to act this way?  I don’t mind the change, I just question the need for it is all. 

Page 20:  “I’m not an ice goddess!  I never was!”  And this is where the origin change affects other stories.  Now, I can accept that Tora’s mind invented the tale of the lost tribe and her status as an ice goddess to cope with accidentally killing her father; that I’m cool with. 

And, yes, the War of the Gods story in Justice League Europe #31 in which the JLI battles the Norse gods and meets (albeit briefly” Tora’s tribe probably never happened, but, really, who but me even remembers War of the Gods?

What becomes problematic is that there was a story back in Justice League America #84-85 in which Tora returned home, battled her brother Ewald and got a power upgrade. 

Don’t get me wrong; those issues weren’t brilliant or anything.  I’m not bemoaning that they are no longer in continuity or anything like that.  But the thing is that they led into a little Justice League-crossover called “Judgment Day,” that climaxed with Ice’s death in Justice League Task Force #14.

The reason she was killed was because she rebelled against the Overmaster’s mental influence.  And the reason why she was under his thrall was because she was linked to the Overmaster’s power, which caused her power increase.  And she was linked to the Overmaster’s power because she absorbed some of her brother’s power after his death.

Obviously she died, but the details of her death have yet to be revealed.  Not sure if Judd Winick plans on doing this, or if he’s just going to sidestep the issue.  I really don’t mind all that much, and I don’t feel the need for an 80-page Ice special that explains her entire life story…I’m just here to nitpick, that’s all.  

Page 21:  Booster Gold, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #11.

I assume that Skeets is with Booster and company here, but is off on his own somewhere.  Maybe trying to steal some cable, or use the lab’s wi-fi service.

“Even if they still think Luthor was behind the OMAC invasion, they’ll have a few ‘questions,’ that’s for sure.”  In The OMAC Project and Infinite Crisis, Maxwell Lord activated the OMACs and sent them after Earth’s metahumans.  Ever since Lord mind wiped the world to forget his existence, everyone is convinced that Lex Luthor was in control of the OMACs, as revealed in Justice League: Generation Lost #2.

Page 22:  Magog last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #10.  Lord sent him to attack and kill Captain Atom, by any means necessary.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #12

“All This Useless Beauty”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencillers: Patrick Gleason, Scott Clark, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: Mark Irwin, David Beaty, Tom Nguyen, Rebecca Buchman, Mick Graym Christian Alamy, Patrick Gleason
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

J’onn J’onzz returns to Mars, only to find D’kay D’razz, the female green Martian, waiting for him.  She wants to join with J’onn so that they might restore Mars to its original splendor.  J’onn rejects her, and the two battle one another both physically and psychically…

Deathstorm and his Black Lantern Corps leave Silver City, NM with the White Lantern.  Firestorm races off after them, but the situation is made more difficult by the fact that Ronnie and Jason can’t get on the same page.  Deathstorm’s mysterious master orders his minion to bring him the White Lantern, prompting the Black Lanterns’ hasty exit.  Ronnie and Jason agree that they need the help of the Justice League…

Boston Brand and Dove use Oracle’s resources to try to figure out the identity of the White Lantern, even as Brand, sensing the recent resurrection of Black Lantern Deadman, realizes that something is very wrong in the world…

J’onn defeats D’kay, and then uses a newfound ability to restore the long-dead Martians to life.  He is reunited with his lost wife and daughter, and weeps as he hugs them.  Little does he realize that it is nothing more that a mental illusion created by D’kay and designed to trick J’onn into loving her…

Notes

Page 1:  J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #11.

That pyramid on Mars is J’onn’s home.  We last saw it in Brightest Day #1.

Page 2:  D’kay D’razz, or, as I prefer to call her, crazy Martian lady, last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

“You’re no longer destroying the Green, you’re cultivating it.”  It seems that although J’onn’s had an adverse affect on plant life on Earth, killing it, the opposite appears true on Mars; a veritable forest, similar to the one that grew in Star City, has blossomed on the formerly dead planet.  Unfortunately, unlike the Star City forest, which has a connection to the White Lantern, the Martian fauna seems to have some link to the Black Lantern. 

Notice that D’kay is using J’onn’s old sarcophagus as a dining room table.  Kinda tacky, if you ask me. 

Page 3:  “Do you recognize these scars?”  I am assuming that she is referring to the black marks on her chest and stomach.

“The Martian symbols of love and hate.”  Don’t prisoners get “love” and “hate” tattooed on their knuckles while they’re in prison?  Is this J’onn story going to degrade into a bad prison-film tale?

“If you wish, I can carve them into your skin too…”  No, really, I’m fine, thanks for the offer, though…

Page 5:  “I saw the White Lantern symbol – I felt its immense power through your mind – you can’t turn your back on why you were resurrected!”  J’onn was given a vision of his purpose by the White Lantern in Brightest Day #7.  According to the voice, J’onn must burn a forest down; for a time, he assumed that it was the Star City forest, but soon realized he was wrong.

Pages 6-7:   Ewww…Martian mind-melds are freaking gross.

“…and I was brought to Earth by Erdel’s transporter beam.”   Melissa Erdel, Dr. Saul Erdel’s elderly daughter, told J’onn about this event in Brightest Day #2.

“I was lost in the experience of being human.”  Given how long D’kay has been on Earth – Melissa was quite young when D’kay arrived and is on in years in the present day -- she must have assumed several different lives over the course of the years.  If she wiped her body and mind clear of Martian memories, then how is it that she assumed other identities?  Why would she not just grow old and die in her first and only human guise?

“…that is until I was suddenly hit by the massive telepathic burst you fired when you were killed…”  As seen in Final Crisis #1 and Final Crisis: Requiem #1.

“That finally occurred when I saw the images on television of your resurrection.  J’onn was resurrected, along with the rest of the White Lantern Twelve, in Blackest Night #8.  D’kay, in her human form, saw it on TV in Brightest Day #2.

Page 8:  “It was you – you sent that psychic flash to me on Mars – showed me I wasn’t the only Martian that Erdel brought to Earth – that you were the first --”  This happened in Brightest Day #1.

Page 9:  Nope, the JLA isn’t really there; they’re just figments of J’onn’s imagination.  But wouldn’t it be really cool if they did just show up like that?  Depicted here are the Flash, Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Wonder Woman (wearing her “old” costume), Green Lantern Guy Gardner and Batman (I assume that it’s Bruce, but you can’t really tell).

Pages 10-11:  “Did you really think we wouldn’t notice you were terraforming Mars by sucking the life from every blade of grass, flower and tree on Earth?”  Oh, so that’s why all the plant life that J’onn touched died, hunh?  Well, at least it was for a good reason…

Hey!  There’s Firestorm!  Nice of you to show up in J’onn’s imagination!

Page 12:  Firestorm, Deathstorm and the Black Lanterns last appeared in Brightest Day #11.

“Up, up and awayyyy!”  What, does Deathstorm think he’s Superman all of the sudden?

Page 13:  “That thing has trapped my dad inside him – and your dad -- ” Deathstorm absorbed both Martin Stein and Alvin Rusch into his matrix in Brightest Day #11, in an effort to get back at both Ronnie and Jason.

“Next to Batman and the Flash, you had more super-villains targeting you than anyone else.”  It’s true.  Ronnie had quite the gallery of foes when he first started out as Firestorm – Multiplex, Killer Frost, the Hyena, Typhoon, Bug & Byte, Plastique, Black Bison, the Enforcer, Henry Hewitt, the 2000 Committee, Tokamak, Silver Deer, Slipknot, Mindboggler…man, they all had it out for the poor kid.

“You were the youngest member to ever join the Justice League.”  Firestorm joined the JLA in Justice League of America (first series) #179.

“You stopped nuclear wars, Ronnie.”  After Professor Stein was diagnosed with brain cancer, he and Ronnie attempted to force the United States and the Soviet Union to destroy all of their nuclear weapons.  This story began in The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man #62.

Obviously, given that the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991, almost twenty years ago, the events of that story would have to be tweaked a bit to fit into modern DC continuity.  However, it’s good to see that it is still fondly remembered by someone other than me.

Page 14:  “Maybe we’re upsetting the matrix.  I don’t think we’re supposed to be arguing.”  Martin Stein warned Ronnie and Jason against arguing, lest they ignite another Big Bang, as revealed in Brightest Day #10. 

“That voice.  I’ve heard it somewhere before.”  Who is it, Martin?  Who wants the White Lantern?  Oh, tell me please please please…

Page 15:  “I think it’s time we go find the Justice League.”  Uh, which Justice League do you want?  The heroes formerly known as the JLI who are busy hunting down Maxwell Lord?  The new JLA, which counts among its members a bunch of former Titans, a few Infinitors and a talking gorilla?  Or the big guns, all of whom have their hands full with loads of other things right now?

Boston Brand and Dove last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

They are hanging out at the Watchtower, which is Oracle’s base of operations in Gotham City.

“I haven’t felt that since…the white ring brought me back to life.”  Again, that occurred in Blackest Night #8.

In the pile of photos are pictures of Doctor Light III, the Ray II, Resurrection Man, the Flash II, Green Arrow, Halo and someone who kinda-sorta-not really looks like Firestorm. 

Page 16:  “Who do we think is going to be the White Lantern?”  Isis.

Isis.

Isis Isis Isis Isis Isis.

Man, I’ll feel really freaking stupid if I’m wrong…

Pages 18-19:  So all of the sudden J’onn can just punch a planet back to life, hunh?  Interesting development…

Those Martians are taking the news of their resurrections pretty calmly, if you ask me…

Page 20:  M’yri’ah and K’hym are J’onn’s wife and daughter. 

Martian names are such a pain in the neck to type...and my spell check is just crying out to correct them. 

Page 21:  “I have been blessed with new powers – I healed Mars and I healed you!”  Man, I never realized that J’onn had such a god complex.  Must suck to hang out with him…

Page 22:  Ooooh, that D’kay is one sneaky bitch, isn’t she?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #11

“Heavy Metal Poisoning”

Writer: Judd Winick
Penciller: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Matt Ryan
Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

One week ago, Maxwell Lord works with Professor Ivo to use a virtual reality program to transform the Metal Men into sociopathic robotic minions for his own use…

Today, the Metal Men attack Rocket Red, Fire and Ice at the Checkmate lab in China, thinking the heroes to be otherworldly invaders.  The heroes of the JLI are overwhelmed and, not wishing to harm the Metal Men, decide to retreat.  Ivo orders the robots to combine and form Alloy…

Booster Gold, Skeets, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle investigate a second Checkmate lab and find it filled with an army of half-built OMACs.  They realize that Ivo is in league with Max…

Back in China, Alloy knocks out Rocket Red and Fire, leaving Ice the last hero standing.  She pushes herself like never before, using her ice powers to incapacitate Alloy, but she is left transformed, her skin a light blue and her hair and body covered in ice.  Fire notes that this is something new…

Notes

Page 1:  As revealed on Page 5, these are the virtual reality versions of the Metal Men…

            Gold:  Caucasian man with blonde hair
            Tin:  the “little man”
            Platinum:  Asian woman
            Lead:  big, goofy guy in the hoodie
            Mercury:  androgynous redhead
            Iron:  African-American man

Pages 2-3:  Presumably, those huge cybernetic centaurs are the Romnitaurs that VR-Gold referred to on Page 1. 

Page 4:  As indicated by the caption, this scene on Pages 4 & 5 takes place “one week ago.”  By my estimation, that would be sometime between the events of Justice League: Generation Lost #1 & 2. 

Professor Anthony Ivo, first appeared in Brave and the Bold (first series) #30.  A criminal mastermind and scientific genius responsible for the creation of Amazo and the Tomorrow Woman. 

Page 5:  “Narnia” refers to the fictional realm featured in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.  It is populated by talking animals and epic battles of good versus evil. 

“I’ll double check on Doc Magnus…”  Doctor William “Doc” Magnus is the creator of the Metal Men.  Presumably, Max is holding him against his will. 

Page 6:  The Metal Men, Rocket Red, Fire and Ice last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #10. 

Page 7:  “Mercury, right?  Liquid metal, but only at room temperature.”  When he is in his right mind, Mercury is fond of telling any and all who will listen that mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.

Page 10:  Man, the JLI ertainly is getting their butts handed to them by the Metal Men, aren’t they?

Page 11:  “We can’t have the entire Justice League joining us in here.”  I am sure that the last thing Ivo wants is yet another confrontation with the JLA; he’s had his plans foiled by them countless times over the years.  Can’t blame him for being a little bit JLA-shy, now can you?

Page 12:  “Alloy.”  Hmm…I wonder what that could mean…

Page 13:  Oh, Alloy…

Alloy is a “battle-form” of sorts for the Metal Men, in which they combine to form a really big honking robot.  Alloy first appeared in Kingdom Come #1, and later appeared in modern continuity in Superman: The Man of Steel #1,000,000, part of the DC One Million event.

And Alloy last appeared in a flash-forward (oh, how I miss Lost) in Justice League: Generation Lost #10.

Page 14  Skeets, Booster Gold, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #10. 

“They’re checking out one active Checkmate cell.  We’re checking out the other.”  This line implies that there are only two Checkmate cells that they need to worry about, but in Justice League: Generation Lost #10, Skeets informed the team that four previously dormant cells went active after Max Lord returned. 

“This solves the mystery of where the 500 OMACs who attacked my house came from.”  As seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #2. 

“Lately I…I can’t really feel exterior temperatures.  Not much, at least.”  Captain Atom’s recent physiological changes were first mentioned in Justice League: Generation Lost #6.

Page 15  “No one’s looking for him but us.”  As a result of Max Lord mind wiping the world in Justice League: Generation Lost #1 and Brightest Day #0, no one but heroes formerly known as the JLI remember that Max ever existed. 

“He built Amazo.”  Amazo, nicknamed “the one-man JLA,” is an android created by Ivo that could duplicate the powers of the entire Justice League.

Page 20:  Whoa.  Ice went a little overboard with that last blast of hers…

Page 21:  Well now.  That’s an…interesting look there, Tora.  New stylist?  It’s very becoming…

Page 22:  “This is something new.”  And as they always say, new is better.  Always. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #11

“Father’s Day”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencillers: Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, Patrick Gleason & Joe Prado
Inkers: David Beaty, Oclair Albert, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Deathstorm has returned, and he plans on using Martin Stein’s mind and memories to destroy Ronnie Raymond.  Jason and Ronnie form Firestorm, but Deathstorm absorbs Alvin Rusch as well and flies off towards Silver City.  There, he infect the White Lantern, and Firestorm can only watch helplessly as Deathstorm revives the Black Lanterns of those who were restored to life by the White Lantern…

Aquaman battles Black Manta, giving Jackson Hyde and his father time to escape.  Manta is determined to get to his son at all costs.  Manta taunts his old foe, but Aquaman overwhelms him, tossing him in front of an oncoming truck, incapacitating him briefly.  Aquaman, Jackson and Mr. Hyde escape, and Aquaman uses Jackson to open the chest which is the boy’s by birthright.  Inside is a map telling them where to go next…

J’onn J’onzz returns to Mars, only to find that a forest has sprung up around his home in the shape of a Black Lantern symbol…

Notes

Page 1:  Deathstorm, Martin Stein, Ronald Raymond and Jason Rusch last appeared in Brightest Day #10.

Deathstorm is, of course, the recently returned and renamed Black Lantern Firestorm.

“You already know what that’ll do.”  In Brightest Day #10, Stein told Ronnie and Jason that their arguing could result in another Big Bang, of which they would be the only survivors.

Page 2:  Man, that Deathstorm is such a show-off…

“There’s no good or evil.  There’s only dead or alive.”  It’s easy to call Nekron and the Black Lanterns evil but, in reality, they are only an expression of death, whereas the Entity of the White Light is not necessarily good, but it does represent life.

Page 3:  “You know Ronnie better than me, don’t you?”  He had better, considering that he spent years inside his head, every time he merged with him to create Firestorm.

Pages 4-5:  Aquaman, Jackson Hyde, Mr., Hyde, Black Manta, Hila and her soldiers last appeared in Brightest Day #10.

I have to say, this is the most bad-ass that I have seen Aquaman looking in years…

“Where is she?  Where is Mera?”  No clue.  She hasn’t been seen since Brightest Day #9.

Hila is Mera’s sister, in case you arrived to the party late.  All these new faces, we really need to start handing out nametags or something…

Page 6:  “…you know how important sons can be to their fathers.”  An especially hurtful statement from Black Manta, given that he murdered Aquaman’s son Arthur years ago.  Then again, no one ever said that Black Manta was a very nice man…

Page 7Saved by the Bell was a television series about high school students that, for some inexplicable reason, ran for five seasons and spawned two spin-offs.  It was arguably the career high-points for stars Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez.

“If you’re going to live life hiding from it in the bottom of a bottle, why live life at all?”  Since his return from the dead, Ronnie has been drinking and partying to an excess.  Interestingly enough, after he and Stein first became Firestorm, Stein would have no memory of his super-hero life after he and Ronnie separated.  Despondent over his blackouts and missing time, he began to drink until Ronnie told him about their time as a hero.  Stein knows a thing or two about drowning your sorrows in a bottle.

“How could he not after what we did to his girlfriend?”  Black Lantern Firestorm transformed Gehenna Hewitt into a pillar of salt in Blackest Night #3.

Page 8:  Ok, I was fairly critical of it in the beginning, but I am starting to dig Scott Clark’s artwork on this series.  Still not my favorite of the artists working on this title, but it’s growing on me.

The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Man was the title of Firestorm’s first ongoing series, which debuted in 1982.  The book was re-titled Firestorm the Nuclear Man with issue #65, and ran until issue #100.

Page 9:  "I still remember the sound your son made when I gut him like a fish."  Actually, Black Manta suffocated Arthur, Jr.years ago; Perhaps he just has dreams of gutting children and all of the sudden finds himself talking about them out loud. 

“If you’re here, that means she finally told you the truth I’ve always known.”  And what truth is that?

“About what her people did to me.”  What did they do to you?

“About what they wanted to do to you.”  In Brightest Day #6, Mera admitted that she was originally sent to Earth to kill Aquaman.  Whether or not this is the whole truth, and the true connection Black Manta has to Mera’s people, remains to be seen. 

Page 10:  “You were the last to know.”  Wait, hold on a second, he still doesn’t know.  And neither do I, so maybe I’ll be the last to know…

Page 11:  Alvin Rusch last appeared in Brightest Day #3. 

“How’d you get so damn smart?”  Unlike Ronnie Raymond, who was a jock, Jason Rusch was a good student in high school, and didn’t necessarily need to rely on a smarter co-pilot like Martin Stein to aid him as Firestorm.

Page 12:  I am still unsure about how Deathstorm teleported Alvin from Detroit to Pittsburgh; this has never been one of Firestorm’s powers before.

Page 13:  Where are Hila and her troops during this fight?  They just vanished as if they were never there.

Page 14:  Okay, check out Panel One, specifically between Black Manta’s left arm and leg.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Dum da da da da dee dum de dum…

Doesn’t there look like there is a hell of a lot of blood there?  Like, akin to Manta being gutted and profusely bleeding out?

But in Panel Four he just gets right up with nothing more than a small gash on his shoulder.  His right shoulder, no less. 

Weird.

“We need a lift.”  So the king of the seven seas and one of the founding members of the Justice League of America flees from a battle…in a big rig? 

Oh, good, Hila and her men finally show up to the fight.  They must have stopped off at a White Castle along the way…

Page 15:  I did a little experiment here.  I went onto Yahoo Local Maps and got the driving directions from Pittsburgh, PA to Silver City, NM.  And, according to that, the distance is about 1,881 miles, give or take a few feet. 

So even if Firestorm and Deathstorm are traveling at 1,000 miles per hour (which seems extremely y fast, but bear with me)m it would take them almost two hours to make that trip.  Has Firestorm just followed behind him the whole time?  Or did he decide to try to lasso Deathstorm just as their flight was over? 

I know it’s just comics…but for some reason this REALLY irked me…

Hey, it’s Russell and Jerry!  We haven’t seen them since Brightest Day #7.

 “Jason…do you remember the vision we saw?”  In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason saw a vision of Deathstorm holding and corrupting the White Lantern.  The Entity of the White Light told them, “Don’t let him destroy me.”  It seems that they need to get working on that particular mission…

Page 16:  “Man, it’s heavy.”  It seems that the White Lantern can only be lifted by the one who was chosen to wield its power.  Deathstorm needs to corrupt its power in order to lift it.

“No.  You will not destroy the White Lantern.  You will bring the White Lantern to me.”  So who could this new Big Bad be?  I think that it’s too soon for a return by Nekron, but maybe the Anti-Monitor?  A new incarnation of Darkseid?  The Rainbow Raider?

Page 17:  “The power of life will belong to me.”  Well, whoever he is, he has some lofty goals, I’ll say that much for him.  “Power of life,” what ya gonna do with that, hmmm?

Pages 18-19:  “Rise.”  This two-page spread is, of course, an homage to Blackest Night #8, pages 24-27, in which the White Lantern Twelve returned to life.  Now, their Black Lantern counterparts have returned, which is never a good thing…

By the way, from left to right are Black Lanterns of the Reverse-Flash, Maxwell Lord IV, Hawk, Jade, Captain Boomerang, Firestorm (er, sorry, “Deathstorm”), J’onn J’onzz, Aquaman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman and Osiris.

Page 20:  In Brightest Day #10, Mr. Hyde revealed that Jackson was not his son; a woman from the sea gave the boy to him and his wife to protect him.  She also left behind this chest which only Jackson could open; when he placed his hand near the clasp, it glowed in conjunction with the tattoo on his arm, as it does here.

And inside there’s a…

A map. 

A map?

Abandoned by his parents, attacked by Black Manta, and all Jackson gets is a map? 

Man, some kids have no luck…

Page 21:  J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #9, which took place concurrent with Green Arrow (third series) #4.

Pages 22-23:  You know, it’s never a good sign when you leave your arid, dead world and then come back a few days later to find that the vegetation has miraculously re-grown but into the shape of a Black Lantern symbol…

Friday, October 22, 2010

And now a word from the writer of this blog...

Due to some personal issues, including, but not exclusively, having to up and move apartments quite suddenly, I just have had neither the time nor the financial resources to either buy or annotate comics lately.  It's a temporary setback to be sure, and I should be back to my regularly-scheduled notes and reviews come November.  Thanks to everyone who drops by here, and I hope to be back to posting soon...

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #10

“The More You See, The Less You Know”

Writer: Judd Winick
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson & Ruy José
Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

Spurred on by his vision of an apocalyptic future, Maxwell Lord recruits the aid of Magog to attack and terminate Captain Atom.  Meanwhile, Skeets informs the J.L.I. that he has the locations of four formerly-dormant Checkmate cells that Lord has been in contact with.  Later, Ice and Fire have a heart-to-heart and mend the bridge between them.  Power Girl visits Batman at the Bat-Bunker and the two nearly remember who Max is until Lord’s mental whammy causes them to forget him once more.  In China, Fire, Ice and Rocket Red break into one of Lord’s robotics labs, only to find themselves under attack by the Metal Men…

Notes

Page 1:  Pages one through four expand upon a scene originally depicted in Kingdom Come #1 page 27.  This is the vision that Maxwell Lord received from the Entity of the White Light in Justice League: Generation Lost #7.

Technically, the events of Kingdom Come occurred on Earth-22, but those same events could come to pass on New Earth, and this is what Lord must prevent from happening.

The Parasite, presumably Rudolph C. “Rudy” Jones.  First appeared in The Fury of Firestorm #58.  Able to absorb energy, superhuman abilities and intelligence from others through physical contact.

Page 2:  Seen here is the Justice Battalion, a more violent, uncompromising version of the Justice League, led by Magog.  The team and its members first appeared in Kingdom Come #1.

Here the team is called the Justice Brigade.  I am not sure if this is an error, or, because this is technically New Earth’s future, the team goes by a different name than the group on Earth-22.

Depicted here are Alloy (composed of all of the Metal Men fused into a single being), Nightshade, Captain Atom, Peacemaker, Thunderbolt and Judomaster.  Besides Captain Atom, the identities of these heroes have never been definitively revealed. 

Page 3:  After touching Magog, Parasite turns the anti-hero’s own energies against him. 

Page 4:  Parasite absorbs Captain Atom’s abilities, allowing him to pierce the hero’s skin and cause nuclear devastation in the middle of Kansas. 

Page 5:  The battle between Superman and Captain Marvel, with the rest of Earth’s heroes thrown in for good measure, was originally seen in Kingdom Come #4.  Needless to say, it didn’t end well.

“Stop the war.”  However…if you recall, in the aftermath of the battle, things got better, and Earth’s heroes realized that they had a responsibility to the world and to one another to make life better.  But this all happened on Earth-22; perhaps, here on New Earth, it doesn’t have such a happy ending?

Page 6:  Maxwell Lord and Magog last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #9.

“But it’s been my understanding that my lance is a tool of magic.”  Magog isn’t too sure about all that much about himself; his true origins and nature are still a bit vague, but hints have been dropped in the pages of the recently-canceled Magog series. 

Page 7:  Since Magog is pretty hardcore to begin with, I am pretty sure that Max didn’t need to use his mind control abilities to convince him to go after Captain Atom. 

Page 8: Rocket Red, Ice, Captain Atom, Fire, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #9.

 “On the day of Max Lord’s resurrection, and his mind-wipe of the world…”  I was under the impression that at least a day went by before the JLA and Earth’s heroes began their manhunt of Lord, but it seems like they began searching for him immediately after the events of Blackest Night #8.

“Yes sir.  During our illegal break-in to Checkmate.”  The J.L.I. attempted to sneak into the Checkmate Castle in Justice League: Generation Lost #7 & 8.  Needless to say, it didn’t go as planned.

Page 9:  “Most are still encrypted, but in the moments before Max Lord’s attack, I had just completed decoding the whereabouts and transmission of these activated cells.”  The ever-reliable Skeets did this in Justice League: Generation Lost #9.

Page 10:  For a J.L.I. embassy that was never used and was presumably decommissioned years ago, the German embassy has quite the souvenir room, don’t you think?

“He said Skeets found you a safe house in Portugal.”  Who runs this safe house?  Given that the J.L.I. are on the run from Checkmate and are persona non gratis with the rest of the world’s super-heroes, who exactly is going to take them in at this point?

Page 11:  “Max marched into a J.L.I. embassy, took control of you, and had you attack us…you begged Atom to kill you before you had a chance to hurt any of us.”  This transpired in Justice League: Generation Lost #8 & 9.

Just as a side note, as someone who grew up on Keith Giffen’s nine-panel grid page layouts in Legion of Super-Heroes, it’s nice to see artists use more than three panels per page. 

Page 13:  Batman last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #4.

Alfred, full name Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth, originally named Alfred Beagle.  First appeared in Batman #16.  If you need me to explain who Alfred is, then you need so much more help than I can provide. 

The images of Maxwell Lord on the computer screens are taken from various sources…

            Wonder Woman snapping Lord’s neck, from Wonder Woman (second series) #219;

            After Lord shot Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) in the head in Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1;

            And, from happier times, Max with the newly-assembled Justice League International, from a poster designed by Kevin Maguire.

Page 14:  Power Girl last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #2.  Her future self made an appearance in Justice League: Generation Lost #6.

Power Girl’s appearance here occurs between pages 14 and 15 of Power Girl #16.

Page 15:  “Max Lord.  That’s the name Booster kept saying.  A Master criminal.”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #2, Power Girl asks, “Is this a joke?  Did Booster put you up to this?”  Apparently, Booster Gold tried to convince Power Girl of Max’s existence, with no success.

“I fought an android called C.R.A.S.H.  He was huge.  Really cleaned my clock.”  This took place in Power Girl #14-15.

“But then, a man came to claim him.  To teleport him out.”  Max Lord helped C.R.A.S.H. escape at the end of Power Girl #15.

Page 16:  I assume that this is supposed to be the new, current, Dick Grayson Batman.  If so, his belt and gloves are drawn incorrectly here. 

Page 17:  “I lost my train of thought.  What were we just talking about?”  As soon as someone gets close to the truth about Maxwell Lord, they seem to automatically forget what they were doing.  Even the Dark Knight is affected.

Which leads to an interesting idea…Since Bruce Wayne was trapped in the past when Max’s mental whammy hit, will he remember Lord when he returns to this time period?

“I was…um…I wanted help locating one of my former employees.”  One of Power Girl’s employees embezzled funds from her company, prompting her to seek out Batman’s help, as seen in Power Girl #16.

Page 19:  “My own design.  Rocket Red Battalion not have.”  If the mecha empathy was a part of the original design of the Rocket Red armors, why do the updated suits not have this ability? 

Page 21:  Wild theory – Max is using this lab to create duplicates of world leaders that he can use to replace them.  Then, with these robotic duplicates in power, Max can force world peace, just like Metron’s computer wanted to do years ago, as originally explained in Justice League International #12.

Page 22:  The Metal Men – Platinum, Iron, Tin, Mercury, Gold and Lead.  First appeared in Showcase #37.  They are artificially-intelligent robots created by Doctor William “Doc” Magnus that have characteristics commonly associated with their namesake metals.

They don’t seem to be too happy to see the J.L.I. right now, do they?

Friday, October 1, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #10

“A Change in Gonna Come”

Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, Joe Prado
Inker: Oclair Albert, David Beaty
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Professor Martin Stein explains to Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond that they are undergoing an unstable metamorphosis as Firestorm.  He has since learned that the matrix which powers them is derived from the Big Bang itself, making them potentially the most dangerous being in the universe…

Aquaman goes off in search of Black Manta’s son on his own, telling Mera that she needs to find help in holding back her people and their attack.  Meanwhile, Jackson Hyde’s father reveals that he is not his son and that a mysterious woman from the sea gave him to the Hydes to protect him.  My. Hyde shows Jackson a locked chest; when Jackson attempts to open it, Black Manta attacks.  Jackson and his father flee, but they drive off the road into the Rio Grande.  Jackson lashes out at Black Manta, but isn’t used to using his powers, and is overwhelmed by Manta and Siren.  Manta is about to kill Mr. Hyde when Aquaman intervenes, telling his longtime foe that he has been waiting for this…

Stein warns Jason and Ronnie that their arguing and bickering could inadvertently lead to the triggering of another Big Bang, leaving them as the only survivors.  On cue, the voice which both Jason and Ronnie have been hearing for days manifests and emerges from Firestorm, splitting the hero into his component parts and incapacitating him.  As Stein looks on, Deathstorm emerges…

Notes

Page 1:  Firestorm and Professor Martin Stein last appeared in Brightest Day #7.

In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason swapped roles – Jason is now in charge, while Ronnie becomes the disembodied, invisible head – after receiving a vision from the Entity of the White Light. 

Page 2:  “The Firestorm matrix bonded with Ronald much more than it ever did myself, In a way, it even rejected me, transforming me briefly into a fire elemental.”  Way back when Stein become Firestorm on his own, it was revealed that he was originally intended to be the sole recipient of the fire elemental’s power, but Ronnie’s presence fouled things up.  Now it seems that the shoe is on the other foot, and that this Firestorm matrix, whatever it truly is, was meant for Ronnie and Ronnie alone. 

“And now that the matrix is fully bonded to you both, Firestorm is going through yet another metamorphosis.  A final stage, I mentioned.”  So, is this going to be the one, true, ultimate Firestorm?  No more revamps or reboots five years down the road?

Page 3:  Nothing like finding out that your whole body is an unstable sun, is there?

Page 4:  “When Ronald and I first met, I was attempting to validate my theories on the existence of the Big Bang.”  A bit of a retcon here…when we first met him, Martin Stein was the designer of a new nuclear power plant outside of New York City.  Ronnie was part of a group protesting its construction; if I recall correctly, he was only there to impress a girl.  Anyway, a terrorist set off a bomb and Stein and Ronnie were caught in the blast, fusing them together as Firestorm. 

So Stein goes from being power plant designer to the guy who “captured” the spark that preceded the Big Bang?  Man, he’s a hell of a lot smarter than anyone ever gives him credit for…

Question time…how is it that Stein can hear what Ronnie is saying?  I thought that only Jason would be able to hear him.

Page 5:  “According to countless scientists, including the Atom, this universe’s expiration date is long overdue.”  This was an idea that was first hypothesized way back during the “Our Worlds at War” storyline that ran through the Superman titles back in 2001.

Page 6:  Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

Page 7:  Jackson Hyde and Mr. Hyde (no relation to Dr. Jekyll) last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

“The cottage?  I didn’t know we had a cottage.”  Dude, it’s a shack in the middle of nowhere, not a palatial mansion overlooking the French Riviera.  Deal. 

Page 8:  “Because I change when I hit water.”  So does Jackson get all glowy and stuff whenever he takes a shower? Or washes hands?  Or drinks a glass of water?  Or does it only happen at dramatic moments, like in the middle of a rainstorm?

That is one creepy looking chest, if you ask me…

Page 9:  So…anyone else notice a resemblance between the women that rose up from the sea and Mera?  Anyone?  Anyone?

“Is Jackson even my real name?”  Considering that you’re from another dimension, and that representatives from said dimensions have names like “Mera,” “Hila” and “Quana”…probably not.

Why does Aquaman’s “A” symbol appear on the chest as Jackson touches it?  Does Arthur have more of a connection to this kid than he knows about?

Page 10:  Black Manta last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

A brief aside for a moment here…Is anyone else reciting Black Manta’s lines in the voice he used to have on the Super Friends series?  You know, when he sounded all creepy and cool? 

Or am I the only one doing that?

Okay…moving on…

Page 11:  “You can drive.  Just get in!”  Drive, you future teen sidekick you!

Page 12:  “I knew something was happening – the ponds drying up around town – the rainfall and lightning ten times what’s normal.”  I’m no meteorologist, but how are the ponds drying up if the rainfall is ten times what is normal?

Page 14:  Jackson just opened up a can of whoop-ass on his absentee father, now didn’t he?

Page 15:  “What did they do to you?”  So are Jackson’s power’s an anomaly?  I have been assuming that they were the result of his birth, but was he somehow altered, and even Black Manta didn’t know about it? 

Page 17:  Siren last appeared in Brightest Day #9.

“No.  He’s different from us.”  True.  Mera and Siren can create structures out of water.  Jackson, on the other hand, actually manipulates water, and also has funky webbed fingers. 

“He is not your father.”  Go ahead.  Speak this line out loud with your best “Black Manta” voice.

Go on.

Do it.

You know you want to…



Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Page 18:  Oh, yeah…I’ve been waiting for this moment.  Aquaman gets to let loose and kick some Manta-ass…

Page 19:  The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator, lying beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. 

Page 20:  It’s never a good thing when the voice inside your head takes physical form and tears you apart.  Really, I know this from personal experience, it so ruins your day…

Page 22:  This fine-looking gentleman, who bears a striking resemblance to Black Lantern Firestorm, is known as Deathstorm.

“Deathstorm.”  And who said all the cool super-villain names were taken?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #9

“Just Stopping By”

Writer: Judd Winick
Penciller: Fernando Dagnino
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

Maxwell Lord incapacitates Fire with his mental powers as the rest of the J.L.I. remains unaware of his presence at the Germany embassy.  After Skeets learns that Lord is hiding right under their noses, Max sends Fire after her teammates.  White Captain Atom restrains and shuts down Fire, Booster Gold confronts Max, asking his former friend what this is all about.  Max briefly takes control of Booster and escapes.  Later, Lord enlists the aid of Magog to track down and kill Captain Atom for Checkmate…

Notes

Page 1:  Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Ice last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #8.

This page is a brief recap of the events that have transpired in Justice League: Generation Lost #1-8.

Page 2:  Maxwell Lord and Fire last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #8.

Page 4:  One of the last times we saw Max use his mind control power, back in Justice League: Generation Lost #4, he killed the man.  The guy was left looking like a Black Lantern.  Has Max since rectified this little problem?  And, if so, when?

Page 5:  “This isn’t you just screwing with my head this time.”  When Fire was at the Checkmate Castle in Justice League: Generation Lost #3, she attacked someone whom she thought was Max.  It turned out that Max was just messing with her mind, and she inadvertently injured a Checkmate agent. 

“Daddy’s working.”  Max got a whole lot creepier just now…

Page 6:  “You think this is what I want for my life?  Looking like this?”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #6, Captain Atom alludes to the fact that he is becoming something not quite human.  Can he no longer assume human form and is stuck as Captain Atom all of the time?

Page 7:  “You guys always fight this much?”  Actually, it’s been pretty mellow without Guy Gardner around…

Page 8:  Rocket Red and Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #8.

Page 11:  “Chyort!”  I am going to assume that this is some sort of Russian expletive, but I can’t be certain, given that I don’t even remotely speak Russian.

Page 13:  “Fire’s with me!”  That’s right; Captain Atom knows where it’s at.  If you were a super-hero, who do you want to protect?  The goofy Russian guy?  The sarcastic flying robot?  Or the hot Brazilian chick who’s on fire?  Yeah, I thought so…

Page 14:  “It’s not your home turf!  I used to hang my hat here too!”  Really?  How often did the J.L.I. use the Germany embassy?  I don’t recall them EVER using the Germany embassy, to be honest.  In fact, I think the team only went to Germany once; at the end of Justice League International #8, Oberon informs them that a band of super-powered lunatics was attacking Bonn.  The team’s mission was briefly seen and mentioned in Millennium #1, and then never talked about again.

“Home turf”?  Scoff.  I don’t think so…

Page 16:  “No one’s going to die.”  Captain Atom has obviously been influenced by his trip to the future as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #6, in which he learns that most of Earth’s heroes are dead. 

Page 17:  “What is it, Max?!  What is this all about?!”  Please tell, us, Mr. Lord.  Inquiring minds want to know.

“Go find some idiotic moustache-twirling black hat tying a chick to rail road tracks for crap like that!  Or, y’know, the Ultra-Humanite!”  The Ultra-Humanite is a criminal genius who has survived over the decades by having his brain transplanted into a succession of bides, the latest being that of a mutant albino ape.  Cool stuff. 

Page 18:  “Leave her alone, you bastard!”  Enough with the name-calling Ice.

“Nobody dies.”  Captain Atom’s goal is to prevent the apocalyptic future he witnessed from coming true by any means necessary. Does this mean that he’ll sacrifice himself, if push comes to shove?

Page 19:  Was Max injured when Captain Atom incapacitated Fire?  Is that why he staggered on page 17, and looks a little shaky here?

Page 20:  So why wouldn’t Booster and the others just use the teleport tube to follow Max?  Is he masking the signal in such a way that they can’t track him down?

Page 22:  Magog last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #2. 

“Do you want to go kill Captain Atom for us?”  In Brightest Day #7 and Justice League: Generation Lost #7, Max learned that Magog will plunge the world into war, and that he has been returned to life to stop the war before it starts.

Sounds a lot like “save the cheerleader, save the world.”  You remember that show, don’t you?

Anyway, is Max fulfilling this mission by sending Magog after Captain Atom?  Or is he just ensuring that the war will come to pass?  Has Max gone off the reservation and is opening going against the White Entity?