Saturday, August 21, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #7

“’Of Course’ They Got Caught”


Writer: Judd Winick

Penciller: Joe Bennett

Inker: Jack Jadson

Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham


Synopsis


Maxwell Lord receives a vision of the future from the Entity of the White Lantern clarifying his role in protecting the world. Meanwhile, the heroes formerly known as the JLI decide to attack the Checkmate Castle to find Maxwell Lord, and set their plan in motion. Captain Atom causes a huge distraction, while the others sneak inside, disguised as Rocket Reds. Things take a turn for the worse when they come under attack, and find themselves outnumbers by Checkmate troops even as they are about to locate Max…


Notes


Page 1: Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.


“You just keep tabs on Wolfpack and Velcoro.” Wolfpack and Velcoro are two members of the Creature Commandos, created by Project M. In Booster Gold (second series) #9, Max mentions that Project M helped to restore him to a new human body after being transformed into a Cyborg by the Kil%re.


So, who is Max speaking to anyway?


Page 2: This page corresponds to Brightest Day #7, page 19, in which Max receives a vision of his future from the Entity of the White Lantern and his role in the future.


Page 3: My guess is that “the war” is something akin to a Kingdom Come-like scenario, started by Magog, and that Max is here to avert such a future. This leads me to think that a Captain Atom-Magog throw down is coming along sometime soon, echoing their confrontation in Kingdom Come #1. We all know how well that went…


Gee, and I kinda liked Magog. Poor guy…


Page 5: Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Skeets, Captain Atom and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #6.


“No one’s talking to you.” Awfully snotty of Captain Atom, isn’t it?


Page 6: Rocket Red last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #6.


“You shut up.” Man, what wormed its way up Captain Atom’s metallic butt today?


“We can’t storm the gates or just try to bully our way in. I tried that myself 2 days ago.” Fire went to the Checkmate Castle and had a bit of a breakdown in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


Page 7: I don’t need an entire briefing on the Royal Flush Gang.” The Royal Flush Gang is a team of super-villains whose M.O. and appearance are based on playing cards. There have been various incarnations of the team over the years; one group most recently appeared in Zatanna #4.


Page 8: Col. Taleb Beni Khalid-Isr last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #4.


Page 10: While I understand the need for Fire and Ice to wear Rocket Red-style suits of armor to hide their identities, I question the fact that they had time to customize them for the female form.


Speaking of which, where did they get all of these suits of Rocket Red armor in the first place?


Page 11: “We look like you.” Kinda, sorta, not really. Remember that Gavril’s armor is based on the Rocket Red armor worn by Dmitri Pushkin, which he received after a trip to Apokolips. The rank-and-file Rocket Reds wear a modified version of the original armor designed by Kilowog.


That said, I like Skeets’ version of the Rocket Red suit. It reminds me of a 1950’s era rocket ship.


“Really? Cuz I think we look kinda stupid.” Lighten up, Jaime! Being a super-hero means that sometimes you have to look stupid so you can save the world.


Page 13: “Yeah, well…does it at least bother you that I’m trying to be the logical one and you’re getting nostalgic?” This word balloon points to Fire, but it should be attributed to Ice.


“At some point while we’ve all been running around I think Booster’s become the team leader.” Well, that’s just because he has his own title, that’s all…


Or, it could show how much Booster Gold has grown and matured over the years, dealing with the death of Ted Kord and saving the entire Multiverse from the cosmically-powered Mister Mind and becoming the protector of the time stream. Everyone has to step-up sometime…


Page 18: “What the hell are you people doing? We’re not anti-Communist! We’re an international organization!” I don’t know why, but this line struck me as particularly funny.


And as for the general lack of notes this time around…there’s not a whole lot to comment on, that’s all. Sometimes a fight scene should be savored, not critiqued.


Page 20: “What is this ‘audible’?” An “audible” is a tactic used by quarterbacks in American football to change a play at the line of scrimmage, literally at the last minute. It usually helps to let your teammates in on the change, however.


Page 22: Honestly, this is about par for the course for the JLI…



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #7

“The Secret of Life”


Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi

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

Inker: Vicente Cifuentes, Dave Beaty, Mark Irwin

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


After enjoying his cheeseburger, Boston Brand is summoned by the Entity to Silver City to assume his role as a White Lantern. Across the world, all those resurrected by the Entity learn why they have returned to life, and the Entity tells Brand that he must find the Chosen One, the one who will become the new protector of the Earth…


Notes


Page 1: Boston Brand and Dove last appeared in Brightest Day #6.


Big Belly Burger is one of the most-often frequented fast-food restaurants in the DC Universe, serving high-quality products at an affordable price. Stop on by to your local Big Belly Burger today!


Page 2: “Do you think that ring brought you to me for a reason?” The White Lantern power ring brought Boston Brand to Dawn Granger in Brightest Day #4.


“I thought maybe it was looking for Hank, but the voice from the ring is the same voice I heard when Nekron was on Earth.” During Blackest Night, Dove had a connection to a mysterious white light that could destroy the Black Lanterns; what that light’s connection was to the White Lantern and why she was connected to it remains to be seen.


“Neither does your boyfriend.” Is Boston Brand jealous? Does he have a “thing” for Dawn? That wouldn’t be good, considering that her last boyfriend, Captain “Sal” Arsala, was killed by Monarch in Armageddon 2001 #2..


You remember Monarch, right? He was a future version of Hank Hall – Hawk.


Yeah. Don’t piss off Hawk.


Page 3: “And what’s Hawk do for Dove in return?” This, of course, is the age-old question; we know that Dove is there to help temper Hawk’s anger, but why does Dove need Hawk?


Hawk last appeared in Brightest Day #6.


“I hope you enjoyed your meal.” I didn’t realize that the Entity had restaurant service experience…


Page 4: Boston Brand of Earth. You are ready.” That’s it? A few bites out of a cheeseburger and he’s ready for the “secret of life”? Jeez, I’ve been eating cheeseburgers for years and gotten nothing…


Page 5: Jerry and Russell, two of Silver City’s finest, last appeared in Brightest Day #3. Jackson Hyde and his girlfriend Maria last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“Damn thing’s stuck.” Thus far, no one has been able to lift the White Lantern.


“No. It’s not.” Well, there’s a first time for everything.


How is Jackson Hyde, the future Aqualad, connected to the White Lantern?


“All right, Lantern why did you bring us back?” I really, really, really wanted the Lantern to say something along the lines of, “it was the last issue of an event mini-series and we needed a really huge ending.” But I guess that won’t happen…


Page 6: And presenting…Lifeman!


Aliveman?


Not-so-Deadman?


I dunno, I give up…


Page 7: “But I am dying.” Is the Entity dying because Nekron attacked it at the end of Blackest Night? Or has it reached the end of its natural life cycle?


Page 8: J’onn J’onzz and Miss Martian last appeared in Brightest Day #6.


Presumably, Miss Martian was attacked by the crazy Martian that J’onn is now hunting.


And now, Mister J’onzz is getting a White Lantern makeover, courtesy of Entity Fashions…


Page 9: The next few pages are important for two reasons. First, it finally gives our cast members a hint to why they were returned to life. Secondly, and this is from a purely continuity-based standpoint, it’s unifying moment. All of the various storylines synch up for a moment, so we finally get to see how they are all tied together.


However, even though this issue answers an important question, it opens a whole new can of worms, so I’m just going to be throwing thoughts and ideas out there. Feel free to play along.


“Burn it. Burn it down. Burn all of it.” So we see J’onn burning down a forest. At first, I assumed that it was the forest that sprung up in Star City, but upon a second look I realized that there’s nothing in the scene that indicates that this is taking place there.


Does this locale that J’onn is destroying have something to do with the Martian that he is hunting? We’ve already seen that plant life has been dying when J’onn touches it; has the flora been corrupted by his touch? And what is the danger that this place poses to the world and the Entity’s replacement?


“M’gann…your wounds…They’re gone.” I assume that the Entity healed Miss Martian, but why? Is she important as well?


Page 10: Firestorm last appeared in Brightest Day #6. Professor Martin Stein last appeared in Brightest Day #3.


“Third and final stage of Firestorm? What’s that mean?” Yeah, what he said. What were the firs two stages? I’m intrigued. (And I’m sure that the Irredeemable Shag over at Firestorm Fan is curious about this as well…)


Page 11: “Ronald Raymond of Earth, you need to study. Jason Rusch of Earth, you need to get your head out of the books.” Meaning that Ronnie and Jason need to learn from one another. Did the Entity bind them together intentionally for this purpose?


“Don’t let him destroy me.” Does Black Lantern Firestorm have the power to kill the Entity?


Did the Entity force Jason and Ronnie to switch places? Does putting Ronnie in the “backseat” force him to think more? And making Jason the “driver” result in him opening up and being more proactive?


Page 12: Hawkman last appeared in Brightest Day #5.


“There’s no such thing as Hawkworld.” Why would Carter be so insistent about such a thing? It strikes me as weird. How does he know that there’s no place called Hawkworld? Hell, at one point, Thanagar was nicknamed “Hawkworld.”


So Hawkman is talking to Lionmane here. He might not be called Lionmane, and might not be the same Lionmane from previous appearances, but he sure as hell looks like him, and I need to call him something other than “albino lion guy.”


And, yes, as Lionmane confirms, those were Manhawks that Carter and Shiera were battling after they arrived on Hawkworld in Brightest Day #5.


Page 13: “Don’t let them leave this world.” They who? Why can’t they leave Hawkworld, and what will they do if they do leave?


“Stop the queen.” Who’s the queen? Is it…Hyathis?


Honestly, I don’t think so…I just can’t think of anyone else Hawkman-related that even might remotely fit, that’s all. Grasping at straws, I am.


And if you have no idea who Hyathis is, then, congratulations, you’re just not as old as me.


“Don’t you realize, it is the prophecy.” Just what Carter needs, a prophecy about him. He’s already cursed; what more does he need?


Page 14: Hawkgirl last appeared in Brightest Day #5.


“The Nth City.” Nth metal is used by the Thanagarians to negate gravity, allowing them to fly. What is Hawkworld’s connection to Thanagar?


Page 15: “If your lover dies here, there is no more resurrection. Save him from Hath-Set.” So what is it about Hawkworld that is a total game-changer for the Hawks and the curse that binds them to the cycle of resurrection? (Hey, that sounded pretty cool.)


And, if Hath-Set dies on Hawkworld, would he die forever as well? Just thinking out loud, on paper, here…

Hath-Set last appeared in Brightest Day #4.


“Your queen? Who the hell is she?” I asked that already, thanks for your help, though…


Page 16: Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #6.


Like J’onn, Arthur has been unintentionally killing life around him, in this case sea life.


Page 17: “Find him. Find him first. Before they do.” So Aquaman needs to find Jackson Hyde before “they” do. Who is “they,” Mera’s sister and her soldiers? It makes sense, especially if Jackson is actually Mera’s son.


But if, as I theorize, Jackson is the son of Mera and Black Manta, then Jackson would be sought after by several factions. Poor kid doesn’t stand much of a chance, does he?


“The water on the shore…it’s clean. The fish alive.” If Aquaman and the others were chosen by the Entity, then why have they been having these “issues” with death? Is it a constant reminder that they need to fulfill their missions…or else?


Pages 18-19: I am going to guess that, over the course of the next month or so, all of the rest of the White Lantern Twelve will be receiving their “visions” in their respective titles. Since they haven’t happened yet, I can’t definitively say when they occur.


Captain Boomerang drawn by Francis Manapul. “Throw the boomerang at her.” Why does Boomer have to throw a boomerang at Dove? What purpose does that serve?


Jade drawn by Mark Bagley. “Balance the darkness.” I’d imagine that this has something to do with the current five-part “The Dark Things” storyline running Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, involving Alan Scott and the Starheart.


“Your brother will save your friends.” Okay, no offense to Obsidian, but he’s…well, he has issues. I wouldn’t call him crazy, but unreliable might be a better word. Not sure if I’d rely on him to save my friends, to be honest…


Osiris drawn by Mike Mayhew. “Free the goddess of nature. Free your sister. Free Isis.” Note that Black Adam is not mentioned here. What purpose does Isis serve, and why is she so important to the world?


More on this in a page or so…


Maxwell Lord drawn by Aaron Lopresti. “Magog will plunge this world into war. Stop the war before it starts.” Well, as we’ve seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #6, whatever it is that Max does pretty much destroys the moon and wipes out Earth’s heroes. What sends Magog over the edge? Should we expect a Kingdom Come-like future, only without the somewhat happy ending?


Reverse-Flash drawn by Francis Manapul. “You have allowed the Flash to escape the Speed Force. Mission accomplished.” Remember that, after the Reverse-Flash was returned to life in Blackest Night #8, he traveled back home to the 25th century and then released Barry Allen from the Speed Force, as recounted in The Flash: Rebirth #1-6.


So the Reverse-Flash that is now incarcerated in Iron Heights has had much more time to complete his “mission,” compared to Aquaman, J’onn and the others.


“Life returned.” So are the others not fully “alive”? Will they only be allowed to fully live once they complete their tasks? And if they fail…will they die again?


“Catch the boomerang.” So why does Captain Boomerang have to attack Dove, only to have Hawk catch it? What does this serve, and how does it involve protecting the Entity?


Page 20: “If you want to truly live again, help me.” That Entity is pretty much blackmailing them, isn’t it? Help me or else your life won’t matter much. Real nice, Mister Entity of the White Light.


“Life is a gift, Boston Brand. The Chosen One knows that better than anyone.” I am going out on a limb right now and guessing that Isis is the Chosen One. She has a connection to the Earth, and has already been resurrected once already. Plus, the Entity really seems to want her freed from imprisonment.


I’m probably wrong, but it’s the first candidate the springs to mind.


Granted, the Chosen One could very well be someone we’ve never met before, which would be cheap, or Russell from the Silver City Police Department, which would be idiotic…but I hope not.



Monday, August 9, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY in JULY

Brightest Day: The Atom Special #1

Ray Palmer is back in action as the Atom as a hostage situation at the Ivy Town Library serves as a cover for a robbery in Palmer’s lab. He soon realizes that the theft of his research has ties to his uncle David, but before he can do anything about it, he finds his father near death…







Titans #25

The Titans battle against Façade continues, with no one able to trust anyone else. Tensions reach a crescendo when Deathstroke shoots both Cheshire and Façade in an effort to take out his target. Lex Luthor reasserts his control over LexCorp by killing those who tried to assassinate him, while Osiris prays for guidance, searching for a way to bring Isis back to life…






Birds of Prey #3

Beaten and demoralized, the Birds have their backs up against the walls. Oracle is abducted by Savant and Creote, while White Canary nearly kills Hawk. Huntress and the others make their escape, while Black Canary faces the White Canary on her own. But the true mastermind of the Birds’ downfall might be hiding in their midst without their knowledge…







Green Arrow #2

Hal Jordan pays his old friend a visit in the Star City forest, but their reunion is interrupted by soldiers hired by Queen Industries. The duo make short work of the mercenaries, and Hal tells Ollie that he should reach out to his allies in the Justice League. Ollie says that Star City needs him more than the League does. Hal departs, and Ollie returns to the forest, only to have an arrow shot into his head…






Green Lantern Corps #50

Kyle Rayner, Soranik Natu and Ganthet unite to rescue John Stewart from the clutches of Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg-Superman, who is in the process of transforming Stewart into an Alpha-Lantern. Kyle rescues John and rendezvous with Soranik, and the trio discovers that the entire population of Grenda is in hiding. Meanwhile, Henshaw has captured Ganthet, and needs him for his plans…







The Flash #4

The Flash and the newly-powered Captain Boomerang face off in Central City, with the Renegades caught in the middle. The Top from the 25th century reveals to the Flash the circumstances that will lead him to kill the Mirror Monarch in the future; a scheme by the Rogues will result in Iris Allen becoming one of his enemies, and he will mistakenly kill the Monarch to save her. Time is running short for Barry, as the Rogues scheme is about to unfold…





Justice Society of America #41

The Flash, Wildcat and Faust visit the Shae for help, but are overpowered by Obsidian and Doctor Fate and taken to the moon; secretly, Doctor Mid-Nite tags along for the ride. As members of the JLA and JSA unite to handle threats around the world, Batman leads a team to assault the Starheart Citadel and save Starman. To aid them in their mission, Batman has called in the world’s greatest escape artist, Mister Miracle…







Justice League of America #46

Things get worse across the world, as chaos and elemental energies threaten to tear the Earth apart. A hand-picked group of JLAers and JSAers, led by Batman and guided by Mister Miracle, invades the Starheart Citadel on the moon, but the find themselves under attack by Sentinel’s energy constructs. Faust, the Flash and Wildcat attempt to reason with Alan Scott, while Doctor Mid-Nite tries to rescue Starman. In the midst of battle, Obsidian appears before Jade and attempt to convert her to his cause, but she is stopped by the unexpected arrival of Kyle Rayner, who has been sent by the Guardians of t he Universe to kill Alan Scott…



Green Lantern #56

Hal Jordan tracks down Larfleeze in Minnesota, where he has been stealing form the locals to acquire everything he can. Hector Hammond interrupts their reunion in an effort to steal the Orange Lantern power battery from Larfleeze. In Nanda Parbat, Saint Walker communes with Renee Montoya and tells her that Adara, the entity of hope has come to Earth. Back in Minnesota, Hammond frees Ophidian from the orange power battery and becomes the new vessel of avarice and greed…




JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #6

“Splitting the Atom”


Script: Judd Winick

Breakdowns: Keith Giffen

Penciller: Fernando Dagnino

Inker: Raul Fernandez

Editor: Ogle, Siglain & Cunningham


Synopsis


As the former members of the J.L.I. discuss how to best attack Checkmate to apprehend Maxwell Lord, Captain Atom recalls how, after he absorbed the energy from the nuclear bomb in Yemen, he was quantum leaped through time. He assumed that the traveled into the past and pretended to be a member of a traveling freak show as to not arouse suspicions from the locals. However, he soon came to realize that he was in the future, and that something terrible had happened in the past. Captain Atom is brought to visit “Old Karrie,” who just happens to be Karen Starr, the former Power Girl. She tells him that he needs to go back and defeat Maxwell Lord, the man responsible for what happened to the world. Captain Atom returned to his own time periond, and is now dedicated to stopping Lord, no matter what it takes…


Notes


Page 1: A retelling of Captain Atom’s origin, as first seen in Captain Atom (second series) #1.


Captain Nathaniel Adam did indeed participate in a scientific trial in 1968; I do not know if it took place at Winslow Air Force Base, though. In the original version, however, he was not placed inside the alien vessel. Rather, a piece of the vessel’s alien metal “skin” was placed between himself and the bomb detonated underneath him. After the bomb exploded, the metal “skin” bonded to Adam as he catapulted through the quantum field to 1987.


Interesting that there’s absolutely no mention of Wade Eiling or Dr. Megala in his recollections; granted, neither of them play a part in this story, but a shout-out would be nice…


Page 2: That’s Nate, appearing in all his naked, silver-skin glory for the first time in the present day.


Page 3: Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Skeets, Ice, Fire and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.


“…and yesterday I just tried to force my way in.” Fire attacked Checkmate headquarters in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


“We’re better off breaking into the Hall of Justice.” The Hall, of course, is the planet-side headquarters of the Justice League of America.


Page 4: Rocket Red last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.


“They know me better than anyone.” Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that about either Blue Beetle or Rocket Red, considering that they only met you yesterday…


Captain Atom absorbed the energy of the nuclear bomb blast in Yemen as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.


Page 5: Captain Atom released the energy of the blast and got thrown through time on page 18 of Justice League: Generation Lost #1.


Page 6: This is Luke and Mary’s first appearance. I’m pretty sure that it’s also their last, which is a crying shame; I’m sure that they deserve a mini-series, or special or something like that. Maybe something written by Warren Ellis?


Page 7: So we have some tweaking of Captain Atom’s powers here. This is the first time that I can recall that he has quantum leaped, but expect to return to his own time after the energy is “metabolized.” In the past, if Captain Atom absorbed too much energy, he merely leaped into the future; it could be a day, a week, a month. But he then stayed there. There was no return trip, which meant that he had to be careful. Too much energy absorbed could mean that he’s miss out on things in the present.


Now it seems that he’ll jump into the future, and then jump back to the past after a certain amount of time. Very interesting.


Page 8: “I was…born this way.” In a way, Captain Atom was born looking like that.


Page 10: “You look like you don’t have no clothes on.” Out of the mouths of babes…


Page 11: Keith Giffen really seems to like blowing up the moon, doesn’t he? Anyone else remember how the moon was destroyed in the 30th century back in Legion of Super-Heroes (fourth series) #19?


Yeah, that was the Giffen/Bierbaum run on the Legion that myself and, like, ten other fans enjoyed so, no, you probably don’t remember it…


Page 15: “I weigh three-quarters of a ton.” That’s 1500 lbs., for those of you who aren’t math inclined. Or who don’t own a calculator.


“But…I’m changing.” Yeah, and you’re putting on a whole lot of weight, too.


Like I mentioned in my notes for last issue, Captain Atom is a character who has been horrible abused and neglected over the past twenty or so years. With the exception of the occasional mini-series or guest appearance, he really hasn’t done much, other than go crazy and become Monarch over and over. Here’s hoping that he comes out of this story a stronger character.


Page 16: “I’m going to outlive my children.” Nathaniel Adam has two kids, Margaret “Peggy” Eiling-Adam and Randall Eiling-Adam, both of whom last appeared in Captain Atom (second series) #50…way back in 1991. Maybe Nate should give those kids a call sometime soon?


Page 17: Yeeesh…Kara has so not aged well…


Page 19: “Oh Nate, what happened to you?!” Apparently, something happened in Captain Atom’s future to prevent him from saving the world.


Page 20: “Hard enough that he started to hurt the world.” What exactly does this mean? How does Clark hurt the world with his fighting? Story for another time, perhaps?


“He was right. The world is simpler now.” What exactly happened to the world? What did Max do…


Oh, wait, how do we even know that Max was responsible? Maybe I assume too much. Perhaps he’s not that bad a guy after all…


Page 21: “With Max. Max Lord.” Or, maybe Max really is responsible…


After Captain Atom returns to the present, he rendezvous with Fire and Ice at the J.L.I.’s Manhattan embassy to find Booster Gold beaten by Max.


Page 22: So, what I’m not sure about is did Captain Atom tell this story to the rest of the team…or was this issue all in his head? Are they aware of what the future might have in store for the world?