Friday, July 30, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #6

“Dead Zone”


Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi

Penciller: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Scott Clark, Joe Prado

Inker: Vicente Cifuentes, Dave Beaty, Mark Irwin, Christian Alamy

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


J’onn J’onzz visits Professor Erdel’s long-abandoned lab in search of clues about the killer alien’s identity, while said menace hunts her latest prey in a California state park…


Accompanied by Hawk and Dove, Boston Brand attempts to resurrect Holly Granger, but the White Ring warns the three heroes that such a thing would not be a good idea. The ring reminds Brand to live, and the former Deadman suddenly feels the long-forgotten pangs of hunger…


At Pittsburgh University, Jason Rusch witnesses a construction accident, and merges with Ronnie Raymond to form Firestorm. The two save a construction worker but, due to Ronnie’s drinking the night before, Firestorm is clumsy and throws up on the man they rescued. The two them realize that someone else is present with them within Firestorm…


Mera explains herself to Aquaman, telling him that her home dimension was originally an Atlantean penal colony, and that she was sent to Earth so that she could kill the king of Atlantis. However, she fell in love with him, and her sister Siren has now taken up her mission and is hunting them both…


After J’onn confirms that the White Martians are still trapped in the Still Zone, Oracle aids him in locating Miss Martian. Superboy of the Teen Titans informs J’onn that M’gann M’orzz is in Australia on walkabout, but when he arrives he finds that she has been brutally attacked and left for dead…


Notes


Page 1: Big Hendy Park” is actually known as Hendy Woods State Park, located in Mendocino County, California. The park has two groves of old-growth Redwoods, known as Big Hendy and Little Hendy.


That crazy, deranged Martian who seems to like to pretend that she’s human last appeared in Brightest Day #2. She did, however, appear in a flashback in Brightest Day #3.


She’s got some serious issues…


Page 2: “Because I’ll pay her a visit.” Another Martian? And a female? Hmmm, I wonder who that could be…


Page 3: J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #3.


J’onn has come to Professor Erdel’s laboratory because of his conversation with Melissa Erdel in Brightest Day #2. She gave J’onn new insight as to the nature and history of Erdel’s research and the circumstances that led to J’onn’s arrival on Earth.


Page 4: Plant life is dying at J’onn’s touch. Compare this to the experiences of other former Black Lanterns -- Aquaman is controlling dead sea life, the use of Maxwell Lord’s power kills others, and Hawkman and Hawkgirl feel that the Black Lantern is still inside them them.


Page 5: Hawk, Dove and Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #5.


“I’m trying to concentrate. Like a Green Lantern.” A Green Lantern power ring is fueled by its wearer’s will; therefore, as they concentrate, they power the ring. Since the other Lantern Corps are powered by other emotions, they operate differently. For example, a Red Lantern’s ring is powered by their rage, while a Blue Lantern feels hope to power theirs.


So what does White Lantern Boston Brand have to do? Feel life? Or embrace life?


“And when it took me on a tour of Qward…” Boston Brand teleported to Qward and faced off against the Anti-Monitor in Brightest Day #3.


“Or the point is you need to embrace life again.” Ok, I read this the first time, but totally didn’t remember it, so the line I wrote above? About how Brand needs to “embrace life”? I came up with the on my own. Really.


Okay, fine, don’t believe me…


“It’s been so long…I don’t remember.” Boston Brand has been dead for a while. It really depends on how long you figure that we’ve been in the “Modern Era” of the DC Universe, since Deadman appeared pretty soon after Superman, Batman and company debuted, if not earlier. Factoring in stuff like universal crises, JLA incarnations, and Dick Grayson’s age (he’s my benchmark), I figure it’s been at least fifteen years since Clark Kent first appeared as Superman.


I say “at least.” Don’t tear my head off, here.


So Boston’s got a lot of living to catch up on.


“He loved cheeseburgers.” I’m pretty sure that this never came up as a topic of conversation in a “Deadman” story before. I may be wrong, but, somehow, I doubt it.


Page 6: That’s Black Lantern Hawk, a.k.a. Holly Granger. She was Dove’s sister, killed in Blackest Night: Titans #2.


Page 7: “Despite what others have said. Dead isn’t dead.” And what the hell does that mean? Are we reneging on our promise that, after Blackest Night, dead means dead? That we’ll be seeing more mysterious resurrections of characters? Oh, please, say it ain’t so…


“Tell us something, dammit!” Yes, please, throw us a bone here.


Page 8: “What’s wrong with me now?” Okay, Brand isn’t a total idiot. It may have been a while since he’s had to eat, but that’s an instinct that I wouldn’t think would ever go away.


Page 9: Jason Rusch last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“Thanks. But I study better alone.” Jeez, you’re a real charmer there, Jason. Why not just wear a huge sign that says, “Hot girls don’t bother me!” It will be easier in the long run.


I know, I know, the kid’s grieving for Gehenna. I get it. He’s just absolutely tactless, that’s all.


“If you change your mind, I’m on Facebook, okay?” Wow, I feel old. Back when I was in college, you had to track a girl down if you wanted to talk to her. Find out what dorm she lived in, what major she was, where she ate dinner. Now it’s just, look for me on Facebook. You kids have it so fricking easy these days…


“Hey Jason.” Who’s there?


Page 10: Ronnie Raymond last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“Ronnie.” Hunh? Wha..? Who are you?


Page 11: And, here’s Firestorm!


Jason and Ronnie learned in Brightest Day #3 that they can’t form Firestorm anymore. Obviously, they are both extremely good listeners.


Page 12: On a note completely unrelated to any story point, out of all the resurrected White Lantern Twelve who have had their costumes redesigned, I like Firestorm’s new costume the most. Note sure why, I just do.


“You mean those two guys.” Nope. There’s only one guys; Ronnie’s seeing double.


Page 13: “What’s the atomic structure of ice cream?” Ronnie isn’t the smartest bulb in the room, which is why he always had Professor Stein to advise him. Jason now serves that role, having a much more academic and scientific background than Ronnie.


Nice, Ronnie. Save the guy and then vomit up all over him. Real classy.


Page 15: “All I think about it h-her. What I did to Gehenna.” Black Lantern Firestorm transformed Gehenna Hewitt into table salt and skilled her in Blackest Night #3. Up until now, Ronnie has told Jason that he has had no memory of the event. This, however, is seemingly not true and he has been plagued by it ever since he returned to life.


“…I think someone else is in here.” Could it be…Black Lantern Firestorm?!?!


Page 16: Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #5.


Notice all of the dead fish on the shore around where Aquaman is standing. Coincidence?


I think not!!!


Moving on…


Page 17: Depicted here is a revised origin for Mera, as well as a new explanation for her world of Xebel, as well as its connection to Atlantis.


Pages 18-19: A montage of Aquaman and Mera’s greatest hits. Seen here, starting at the twelve o’clock position and working clockwise around we have…


Atlanna of Atlantis meeting lighthouse keeper Tom Curry…


A young Arthur Curry, staring at the sea…


Mera battling her sister Siren, using her hard-water powers…


Mera meeting Aquaman and Aqualad for, presumably, the first time…


Aquaman and Mera battling Ocean Master…


Aquaman and Mera sucking face…


And Aquaman and Mera holding Arthur Curry, Jr., the poor, doomed Aquababy.


Page 20: Another visit to the past…Black Manta killing Arthur, Jr.


“Black Manta knew of my people, Arthur. He met them before he ever met Aquaman.” So does Black Manta hate Mera more than he hates Aquaman?


And, I am assuming that Jackson Hyde, the new Aqualad, is the son of Mera and Black Manta. Was he born before Mera ever met Aquaman?


So Siren, the leader of the Xebel soldiers, is in deed Mera’s sister. In the Silver Age, Mera had a twin sister named Hila; whether or not she still exists remains to be seen.


Page 21: So why is J’onn dangerous to plant life, but not animal life? Is he now known as the Martian Florahunter?


Page 22: The Still Zone is a continuum that exists outside of the parameters of conventional space-time. Similar to the Kryptonian Phantom Zone, the Still Zone was used by the Hyperclan to stage a massive sneak attack on Earth. It is now used to imprison the White Martians in stasis.


Page 23: Oracle, real name Barbara Gordon. First appeared in Detective Comics #359. Possesses a genius-level intellect and superior computer skills.


Gotham City. The Batcave.” Since Dick Grayson has been using the Bat-Bunker located beneath the Wayne Tower as his base of operations, Barbara has been operating out of the Batcave. Whether or not she’ll be hanging around there once Bruce Wayne returns remains to be seen.


Now this is where I am getting a little bit confused. Here, Barbara talks about the confrontation that she and her father had with the Black Lanterns at Gotham City Police Headquarters and how it happened “a few months back,” as seen in Blackest Night: Batman #1-3.


But the events of Blackest Night #1-8 seem to take place over an extremely short period of time, a day or two at the most.


And Brightest Day #0 would seem to take place a day or two after Blackest Night #8.


It was recently mentioned in Justice League: Generation Lost #5 that Booster Gold and company have been looking for Maxwell Lord for about a week.


So, even if Aquaman, J’onn and company were resurrected two weeks ago, and that seems like that’s stretching it, that’s not “a few months back” that Barbara and Jim faced off against the Black Lanterns. “A few days ago,” sure. But months? Nope.


Continuity rant over for now…


Page 25: Superboy, real name Connor Kent, also known as Kon-El. First appeared in Adventures of Superman #500. Possesses standard Kryptonian powers of superhuman strength, speed, senses, flight and invulnerability as well as tactile telekinesis.


“The Tanami Desert. Australia.” The Tanami Desert is located in northern Australia, situated in the Northern Territory, and is one of the most isolated and arid places on Earth.


Page 26: Miss Martian, real name M’gann M’orzz, also known as Megan Morse. First appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #37. Possesses superhuman strength, flight, invisibility, intangibility, telepathy and the ability to shape-change.


It looks like Miss Martian has seen better days…



Monday, July 26, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #5

“The Gang’s All Here”


Script: Judd Winick

Breakdowns: Keith Giffen

Penciller: Aaron Lopresti

Inker: Matt Ryan

Editor: Michael Siglain


Synopsis


The newly-reformed J.L.I. learns that Maxwell Lord brought them all together so that they could protect the world, but he warns them against looking for him. Booster Gold declares that they will find him, prompting Max to scoff at the motion. He leaves them a parting gift – a booby-trapped Rocket Red whose armor is set to explode. Frozen with fear, the Leaguers don’t know what to do until Captain Atom flies the Russian soldier high into the sky to contain the explosion. Later, the team regroups at the old J.L.I. Embassy in New York City, where Blue Beetle reveals that Max’s transmission originated from the Checkmate Castle in the Swiss Alps


Notes


Page 1: The flashback on pages 1 & 2 are a re-telling of Booster Gold’s fall from grace as an acclaimed college football star. He began betting on his own games to make money to pay for his mother’s medical bills; he was eventually caught, which led to his disgrace.


Page 3: Ice, Fire, Rocket Red, Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #4.


“And he’s been yanking my chain for a week now.” The first indication of how much time has transpired in this series; thus, the events in Justice League Generation Lost #1 occurred about a week ago.


Page 4: “We thought we were on your tail, running after a random signal, then following that battalion of OMACs that came to kill Blue Beetle.” This occurred in Justice League: Generation Lost #2.


“No Green Lanterns on the squad…” Guy Gardner was the Green Lantern who was a member of the Justice League International.


Page 5: “I was right the first time, and I’m right now.” Max Lord took control of and manipulated the Justice League, positioning them to receive international status from the United Nations. He originally did this because he was under the influence of a computerized entity that wanted to take control of the world to bring about peace, and deduced that having a group of super-humans that he could command would make this easier.


Max has a skewed view on how to save the world. He took control of the Brother I satellite and developed the OMACs in an effort to protect the world from super-humans, but that didn’t go too well either.


“Even the Pinko Rocket.” “Pinko” is a term used to describe one who has communist sympathies, but is not a member of the Communist Party.


“When you said that you were beating me to death with a lead pipe.” As seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.


Page 6: “Tora…I can literally control people, I wiped my existence from the memories of everyone on Earth, and, oh yeah, I came back from the dead.” Max’s big mind wipe was seen in Brightest Day #0 and Justice League: Generation Lost #1. Max returned from the dead in Blackest Night #8.


Page 7: This Rocket Red in the booby-trapped armor is part of the squadron that was defeated by the recently reformed J.L.I. and the new Rocket Red, Gavril Ivanovich, in Justice League: Generation Lost #4.


Page 8: “We need to get out of here.” Ice has been acting uncharacteristically… unheroic lately. Obviously, her death and resurrection has left her with some emotional baggage.


Page 9: “I got him.” Captain Atom is a soldier. As such, he won’t let his friends die, but he won’t turn his back on another soldier and allow him to die alone.


Captain Atom has been used pretty poorly in the DC Universe for the past, oh, nineteen years or so, ever since Armageddon 2001 all but ruined him as a hero. Subsequent appearances never really restored him to being the powerful and important character he was when he was introduced to the DCU in 1987. Here’s hoping that this mini-series goes a long way to restoring him to the prominence he deserves.


Page 11: Captain Atom can absorb energy, even from explosions. However, if he attempts to absorb too much energy, he can be propelled forward in time via a “quantum leap.”


Page 13: So here’s my question…why is the J.L.I.’s New York City embassy still active? Or, even if it’s not active, why is it still outfitted wit the latest in computer equipment? Also, as seen in Justice League America #60, the embassy was destroyed; was it rebuilt shortly thereafter?


I am so damn nitpicky, I disgust myself sometimes…


Page 14: Ah, yes…the Blue and the Gold, back together again for the first time.


“You saved us. Again.” Captain Atom rescued Ice from an explosion in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.


Page 15: “I died.” Ice was killed in Justice League Task Force #14.


“Then…I came back.” Ice came back to life in Birds of Prey (first series) #104.


Page 16: “I don’t want to die again. I want to live.” This seems like one of the overriding themes of Brightest Day; trying to move on with your life and not repeat the mistakes of the past. We shall see if Ice is successful in doing this.


Page 17: “Bah. That was just the flame of battle.” Good, more of the slandering of the English language by the Russian…


Page 18: “Gavril Ivanovich is a man who can look past our differences and see what we want most. To help those who need it.” Wait a second…is Rocket Red describing what it means to be a – gasp! – a hero? To put aside your own thoughts and needs to aid others? What’s the big idea here?


“And, it is too damn cool to be on the Justice League!” You know, I totally agree with this guy. It should be absolutely, one-hundred percent cool to be a member of the Justice League.


Page 19: “Maxwell Lord is in Checkmate.” Fire thought that she saw Lord at Checkmate’s Castle in Justice League: Generation Lost #3, but wasn’t sure if he was real or not.


Page 20: “The offices of Maxwell Lord. Some years ago…” This scene takes place during the events of Justice League #2, in which Lord recruits Booster Gold to be a member of the newly-formed Justice League.


Page 22: I am such a sucker for posed team shots, especially with this group…



Saturday, July 24, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #5

“Under Pressure”


Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi

Pencillers: Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Joe Prado

Inker: Vicente Cifuentes

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


Aquaman and Mera arrive near the Bermuda Triangle to stop a leak at an undersea oil well, but are confronted by a group of extra-dimensional warriors…


In Georgetown, Hawk and Dove watch as Boston Brand attempts to revive Don Hall using the power of the White Lantern power ring…


Though they fight back against their attackers, Aquaman and Mera are outnumbered. Mera and the warriors’ leader seem to know one another, prompting Mera to suggest that she and Aquaman retreat…


Hawkman and Hawkgirl get their bearings after materializing on the other side of the dimensional gate. Both feel uneasy after their trip, and wonder if the Black Lantern is still controlling them. Suddenly, they find themselves under attack by a group of were-creatures. Hawkgirl is abducted and imprisoned, while Hawkman crashes to the ground below…


Boston Brand is unable to revive Don Hall, because the former Dove is at peace. Brand then attempts to revive Dove’s sister Holly, but the ring warns him against such an action…


Hawkman wakes up, only to find a feline creature feasting on his attackers. The creature tells Hawkman that he has arrived on Hawkworld, and warns him to survive longer than “his mate”…


Aquaman stops Mera and demands answers. He wants to know why their attackers had powers like hers. She informs him that she knew that this day would one day come, and reveals that she was originally sent to Earth to kill him…


Notes


Page 1: “Off the Bermuda Triangle.” Remember that we’ve had some weird occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle as of late, as seen in Brightest Day #3 & 4.


A little bit of commentary about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico here?


Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


Page 2: “They don’t like us shutting them down, they can take it up with me.” Ah, that’s the pissed-off and self-righteous Aquaman I remember…


Page 3: Ouch. That looked like it hurt.


“King of Atlantis.” Who is the king of Atlantis right now? In Titans #15, Tempest agreed to lead the undersea city, but he was killed in Blackest Night #2. Since Aquaman is alive once more, is he automatically the king, even if he wants nothing to do with the Atlanteans?


Page 4: I have a funny feeling that this leggy redhead who is generating hard-water constructs is Hila, Mera’s sister, but this has yet to be confirmed. They do have a connection in some way, however. Nevertheless, she and her minions/followers/soldiers last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


Page 5: Boston Brand, Hawk and Dove last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“The black rings couldn’t resurrect and use his body.” As seen in Blackest Night #2 and Blackest Night: Titans #1, the Black Lantern power rings could not resurrect and use Don Hall, the first Dove; he was “at peace” and would not rise.


Page 7: “We weren’t sent here by surface dwellers, half-breed.” Aquaman’s origins are a little bit nebulous right now. Up until recently, he was the son of Queen Atlanna of Atlantis and the wizard Atlan. However, as hinted at in Blackest Night #2, it seems that Aquaman’s origins are similar to his Silver Age incarnation: he is the son of Queen Atlanna and Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper, hence the half-breed moniker.


Page 8: “Hold his neck out, Quana.” Quana?


Quana?


What the hell kind of name is “Quana?”


“Siren!” So, is that this woman’s name? Or is Mera just calling her a “Siren” in a derogatory way?


Page 9: “Mera.” These lovely ladies seem to have some personal issues to work through…


“You haven’t told him, have you?” That doesn’t sound good, whatever it means…


Page 10: Hawkman and Hawkgirl last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“What we saw back there – when we went through the gate…” When Hawkman and Hawkgirl traveled through an inter-dimensional gate to this world in Brightest Day #4, they experienced all of their past lives and deaths.


Page 11: Carter and Shiera should really see someone about that skin condition of theirs. And spitting up black blood can’t be a sign of anything good…


As I mentioned in my notes for Justice League: Generation Lost #4, it seems that those members of the “White Lantern Twelve” who haven’t changed their lives or their ways of thinking post-resurrection are still somehow connected to the power of the Black Lantern. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are still consumed with Hath-Set and the curse that connects them, and are thus in danger of being consumed by the power of the Black Lantern.


This is still a sketchy hypothesis, and I’m working out all of the details, but so far, I think that I am on to something…


“Felt something similar back inside the museum when we kissed…” This was in Brightest Day #0.


Ah, the Hawks finally have a tender moment alone….


Page 12: …Only to be interrupted by a horde of wild and crazed were-beasts. How nice.


So we have some fighting…


Page 13: More fighting.


Pages 14-15: The humanoid bird-creatures that just joined the fight… Are those Manhawks? Because, if so, that would be cool.


For those not in the know, Manhawks were hawk-like alien beings that flew through space and plundered valuables from inhabited worlds. They worse masks over their heads to resemble the dominant life-form of the planet they were robbing. They first appeared in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #43.


Page 16: That’s the problem with long hair…you never known when a Manhawk passing overhead is going to get its claws stuck in your lovely tresses.


“Get your damn dirty claws off me!” A variation of the famous line, “Get your paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” from the 1968 classic, Planet of the Apes.


Page 18: “He said he’s at peace.” I guess those Black Lantern power rings don’t lie.


“Maybe he can’t bring back people who are at peace.” I think that this is part of the secret why the White Lantern Twelve have been returned: they weren’t at peace, they left unfinished business here on Earth, and have a job to do. Would this mean that those who didn’t come back, like Ralph and Sue Dibny, are, like Don Hall, at peace?


Page 19: Holly Granger, a.k.a. Hawk III, was killed by Black Lantern Hawk in Blackest Night: Titans #2.


Boston…you shouldn’t be doing this.” I totally agree…


Page 20: “Who are you --?” That big feline guy looks like Lionmane, another classic Hawkman foe. Not sure if it’s him, or just supposed to resemble him.


“Welcome to Hawkworld, human.” Those of you who have been reading comics for as long as I have will remember that the Tim Truman-John Ostrander 1989 reboot of Hawkman was titled Hawkworld, as was the ongoing series that followed. “Hawkworld” was a nickname for the planet Thanagar and referred to the predatory nature of its civilization.


Page 22: “…I was sent here to kill you.” Well, that’s a good way to put a dampener of your relationship…



Thursday, July 8, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY in JUNE

Yay! One-hundredth post!

Okay, moving on…


Titans #24

As the Titans adjust to their new lives, Deathstroke leads the team on their second mission – to kill Lex Luthor. But all is not as it seems when it’s revealed that the assassin Fa├žade has been posing as a member of Luthor’s inner circle to kill him, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal…








Birds of Prey #2

The Birds of Prey are outfought by the mysterious White Canary, and things take a turn for the worse when Black Canary’s identity is revealed to the world. On the run from the law and exposed, the Birds ally themselves with the Penguin, while Oracle, her back up against a wall, vows to fight back at her unknown adversary…







Green Arrow #1

Weeks after the devastation in Star City, Oliver Queen has become an urban legend in his hometown, living in the forest that has manifested and inspiring others to fight back against the corruption which is dragging the city down. After police commissioner Nudocerda is killed in broad daylight, the Green Arrow make plans to take advantage of the panic. Meanwhile, a new player has taken control of Queen Industries, and Hal Jordan pays Ollie a visit, only to realize that there’s something strange about the Star City forest…





Green Lantern Corps #49

John Stewart accompanies Boodikka to Grenda in search of Stel, but is soon betrayed and ambushed by her and the rest of the Alpha Lanterns. Kyle Rayner, Soranik Natu and Ganthet go in search of him and are attacked as well. They split up in search of their ally, unaware that the Cyborg-Superman is preparing to transform John into the next Alpha-Lantern…





The Flash #3

Captain Boomerang discovers that he can generate Black Lantern-energy boomerangs, and use his newfound power to escape from Iron Heights. Meanwhile, after Barry Allen clears his name of killing the Mirror Monarch, he finds himself under attack by the Renegades. The Flash confronts and battles the group, but they overwhelm him and prepare to take him back to the 25th century. They victory is short-lived, when Captain Boomerang incapacitates the Renegades and prepares to confront the Flash himself…





Justice League of America #46

The JLA and JSA unite to protect the world from the elemental and supernatural menaces that have manifested due to the manipulations of the Starheart. Jade thinks that she can use her father’s Green Lantern power battery to connect to her father, allowing her to break the Starheart’s control over him, and she instantly realizes where he is. Starman travels to the dark side of the moon and discovers a massive citadel created by Alan Scott. Unfortunately for Starman, an army of energy constructs attack him, distracting him long enough so that the Starheart-possessed Alan can rip the energy crystal from his chest…



Green Lantern #55

While the Spectre hunts down the rage entity in Montana, Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris, Thaal Sinestro and Atrocitus battle Lobo in New York City. The battle is soon joined by Red Lantern Dex-Starr, who unleashes his rage on Lobo’s dog. The Lanterns eventually drive Lobo from Earth, but it’s later revealed that the battle was a ruse; Atrocitus hired Lobo to attack him in an effort to get the Lanterns to side with him. Lobo agrees to “go away,” but is content with his payment – a Red Lantern power ring…




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #4

“The Rocket’s Red Glare”


Script: Judd Winick

Breakdowns: Keith Giffen

Penciller: Joe Bennett

Inker: Jack Jadson

Editor: Michael Siglain


Synopsis


Maxwell Lord attempts top use his mind control powers on a scientist to gain access to nanobyte genetic research, but he inadvertently kills the man instead. In Russia, the group formerly known as the JLI is caught in the middle of a battle between the Rocket Red Brigade and a communist revolutionary who thinks of himself as the one, true Rocket Red. At first Booster Gold and company refuse to get involved – this isn’t their fight – but they soon realize that the Russians’ battle threatens innocent lives. The JLI, joined by Fire, dispatches the Rocket Red Brigade. Rocket Red joins the heroes, but Booster Gold soon realizes that they have been played. Maxwell Lord has manipulated them to this point, where they have come together as a team. Booster calls Max out; Max, over a fallen Rocket Red’s communicator, answers, saying that he’ll tell the JLI anything they want to know. Max, however, sits amidst the corpses of those killed through the use of his power; he’s not having a good day…


Notes


Page 1: Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #1. While he did appear in Justice League: Generation Lost #2 & 3, it was as illusions to Captain Atom and Fire.


So, what does Max want with nanobyte genetic enhancement research anyway?


Page 2: So, it seems that, when Max uses his powers now, his “subject” dies and is transformed into a Black Lantern-esque corpse. Gross.


Now then, here are my current thoughts on what is going on with those who returned in Blackest Night #8. They’re not exactly coherent or totally logical, so bear with me…


It seems that those who were revived by the White Lantern power rings were brought back for a purpose. Whatever that purpose is has yet to be revealed. But, in my mind, for them to have been brought back, they need to do things differently in life the second time around.


Thus far, most of the “White Lantern Twelve” (kind of like the Oceanic Six from Lost, only different) are picking up their lives right where they left off. They haven’t changed. They haven’t learned anything. Hawkman is still obsessed with Hath-Set and the curse that binds them. Ronnie Raymond is wasting his life. And Maxwell Lord thinks he can just control others and get away with it.


The Black Lanterns” that are haunting the Twelve are reminders that they need to change their lives...or else. They were brought back for a bigger reason than to just continue as if nothing happened to them. They are warnings, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is heeding them yet.


Or…maybe not. I dunno. It’s not like I’m writing this series…


Moving on…


Page 3: The Rocket Red Brigade, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Ice and Captain Atom last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost: #3.


“The team FORMERLY known as the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL.” Funny enough, Formerly Known as the Justice League was a six-part mini-series by Keith Gifen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire from 2003. Brilliant stuff, actually, go out and find it.


Pages 4-5: Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


This is the first appearance of Gavril Ivanovich, the “true” Rocket Red. Note that his armor is a variation of Dmitri Pushkin’s Apokoliptian armor, which was introduced in Justice League International #20.


Interestingly enough, he is wearing a number “7” on his armor. The first Rocket Red #7, Vladimir Mikoyan, revealed to the JLI that he was a Manhunter in Justice League International #9. He was destroyed shortly thereafter.


Page 6: “Y’ever fight the Ultra-Humanite? Always over the stupidest crap.” The Ultra-Humanite is a scientific genius who transfers his brain to various bodies, including that of an albino ape. He’s got some serious issues.


Page 7: “It’s a brave new world.” No, Brave New World came out in 2006, Booster. This is Brightest Day. Keep your DC events straight, would you?


“Stalin” refers to, of course, Joseph Stalin, the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee and, later, the head of the Soviet Union.


“A giant steaming pile of ‘international incident.’” The JLI has had its fair share of “international incidents” in its own time. I don’t think they need to relive any of those…


Page 9: “And here we go.” Poor Ice. She really doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of this, but the more she tries to get out, the more they pull her back in…


Page 10: The first panel on this page is weird. It doesn’t really flow from Page 9. Just an observation.


“I haven’t fought Russians in a while, but I’m going to guess that it’s just like riding a bike.” This is when I start to feel old. Way back when there actually was a JLI to read about on a monthly basis, there was also still a Soviet Union. In the late 1980s, a great many DC books – Justice League International, Batman, Captain Atom, Firestorm, Suicide Squad – dealt heavily with political storylines and Soviet adversaries. We haven’t seen too much of that since the Cold War ended.


And if you don’t know what the “Cold War” is, then head on over to Wikipedia and learn something, you good-fer-nuthin kids…


Page 13: “The fight vill be at won!!!” Ah, yes, grammatically-incorrect English as spoken by a Russian. It’s been along time since I’ve seen you, my friend…


Page 14: Fire last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


“Vell done, small floating plane!!” I love the fact that Rocket Red calls Skeets a “small floating plane.” I dunno why, I just do.


Page 15: Okay, I have to admit, I like this page. It’s pretty darn cool.


And, honestly, I can accept this group as the “Justice League” more easily than I can the team that’s currently appearing in Justice League of America, sorry as I am to say that. Add Power Girl and Batman to the group and I am in…


Page 16: “What happened at Checkmate?” Fire went to the Castle, Checkmate’s headquarters in the Alps, in Justice League: Generation Lost #3. Once there, she learned that she was dismissed from the organization because she failed her psych exam. Things got worse from there…


Page 17: Col. Taleb Beni Khalid-Isr last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3. Batman last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #2.


Obviously, Batman has appeared elsewhere, but for the purposes of this story, I’m just referencing when he last appeared in this series. Trying to keep Batman’s continuity straight is tantamount to insanity…


Batman is beginning to realize that something is amiss here. Will he eventually join up with this rag-tag team of heroes as well?


Page 18: “Ve defeat these whores of decadence!” I’m really digging this new Rocket Red. Not often someone can use the phrase “whores of decadence” and get away with it…


“Chairman Mao” refers to Mao Zedong, the first communist leader of the People’s Republic of China.


Page 19: “All ve need is Green Lantern to fall from sky and ve vill complete!” That would be Guy Gardner, the Green Lantern who was a part of the JLI, but I’m pretty sure he has some other stuff going on right now.


“This is taking an odd turn.” It’s okay, Jaime, a few issues from now and this will be just a normal day for you.


Page 20: “Someone’ put the band back together again!! And who’s done that before?! Maxwell Lord!!”


Maxwell Lord outfitted and funded a terrorist group that attacked the United Nations in Justice League #1, giving the new Justice League a chance to introduce itself to the world.


He then hired the Royal Flush Gang to attack the new Justice League in Justice League #4; Booster Gold took the gang out and got himself added to the team.


Later, Lord manipulated events so that the United Nations would grant the Justice League international status in Justice League International #7.


And still later, after the JLI disbanded following the events of “Breakdowns,” Lord again hired the Royal Flush Gang, prompting a new JLI to form in Justice League Spectacular #1.


And, long after all that, Max got the whole gang back together in Formerly Known as the Justice League #1, this time as the “Super-Buddies.”


Max has a bad habit with this; here’s hoping that the Royal Flush Gang doesn’t show up anytime soon…


Page 21: “Yes. You’re embarrassing us in front of the new people.” Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s too late to be worrying about that, Fire.


Page 22: Wow. Looks like Max better lay off trying to control people for a little while…