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?   

Monday, September 20, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #9

“Lost and Found”

Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Joe Prado
Inker: Rebecca Buchman, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Ivan Reis
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Boston Brand and Dove appear before Aquaman and Mera, and they discuss their recent visions from the Entity of the White Light. Aquaman tells Brand to go in search of the others who were returned to life, while he and Mera seek out the boy from his vision…

Meanwhile, the boy, Jackson Hyde, lets loose with his powers, but his father cautions him against it. Mr. Hyde informs his son that it is time to tell him the truth…

J’onn J’onzz arrives at the forest in Star City, but quickly looses control of himself, burning down everything in his path. Green Arrow, not knowing that this is his old friend, attempts to stop him, to no avail. J’onn communes with the White Lantern Entity and learns that this is not the forest that he is supposed to raze. He gains some insight as to what his true purpose is, and he and Ollie flee the forest before it collapses on them. From afar, they watch as the forest regenerates, and J’onn decides to return to Mars…

Black Manta surfaces at Amnesty Bay, looking for Aquaman. He finds himself under attack by Siren’s soldiers, but he fends them off. Siren stops the fighting, and tells Manta that they need to join forces to find his son, Jackson Hyde…

Notes

Page 1: Aquaman and Mera last appeared in Brightest Day #7.

Boston Brand and Dove last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Page 2: “The oil spill seems like something a protector of Earth would be drawn to.” Aquaman and Mera were attempting to stop an oil spill in the Bermuda Triangle in Brightest Day #5.

“What did you see, Deadman?” Did Boston have his own vision, one that we readers are not privy to?

“Not until the twelve do what they’ve been asked to do.” So this new champion of Earth will not appear until the twelve have done their tasks? Well, Jade has already done her part, as seen in Justice League of America (second series) #48. As for the rest of you eleven…come on, let’s get going!

Now, what about Black Hand and the Anti-Monitor? What part do they play in all of this? They aren’t a part of the White Lantern Twelve, but the Entity still brought them back to life, for reasons yet to be revealed.

Page 3: Jackson Hyde last appeared in Brightest Day #7.

Notice that Jackson’s eel tattoo begin to glow as he uses his powers.

Page 4: Ooooh, glowing eyes too!

Page 5: Whoa! He has creepy webbed fingers! And gills!

How weird is that?

Page 6: Man, Jackson’s dad is such a killjoy…

Ah, symbolism…Notice the ship in the bottle, sailing away? It’s like Jackson, sailing away from his adoptive parents. See? You get it?

Bah. Hulk hate symbolism…

Page 7: J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

“But if the vision I was given by the White Lantern is correct I will have to burn down this place of miraculous growth to destroy the only other green Martian left in the universe.” Great. Start calling him the Martian Arsonist from now on…

Ew. You might want to see someone about that new skin condition, J’onn…

Page 8: And heat beams blasting uncontrollably from your eyes can’t be a good thing either…

Page 9: The crazy female green Martian who likes to skin people last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Let me tell you, $1.99 for a half gallon of Nicky’s vanilla fudge twirls is a hell of a bargain! If I were the crazy Martian lady, I’d stockpile on that!

I think that she’s more concerned with killing and maiming, though.

Hey, is that Kyle Rayner’s ex-girlfriend shoved into one of those refrigerators? (Sorry, bad joke…)

Page 10: “The green must die.” Are we talking about “the Green” that had a connection to a certain Alec Holland?

Poor J’onn. His rash acts up, heat vision goes crazy, telepathy doesn’t turn off, and he turns into a rampaging monster. Some days it just doesn’t pay to take a walk in the woods…

“You must burn it away.” Are we sure that it’s this forest that J’onn needs to burn? And, if so, why?

Page 11: Green Arrow, real name Oliver Queen. First appeared in More Fun Comics #73. Superb archer and athlete, highly-skilled martial artist and swordsman.

Since his identity was revealed to the world and he was branded an outlaw, Green Arrow has been making the forest his home, as seen in recent issues of Green Arrow.

Page 12: That tree with the White Lantern symbol carved into it seems important, but how and why has yet to be revealed.

“This is not the green you will burn. This is not the forest you will raze.” Ummm….whoops?

Note to self…in the future, if you are ordered to “burn the green,” make sure you have the right green before you commence the burning.

As seen in Brightest Day #0, J’onn hopes to restore life on Mars. Do this tree and the Entity of the White Light have a role in that plan?

Page 13: So if J’onn does successfully restore Mars, is that good or bad?

Judging by this scene, I’d have to go with “bad”…

Page 14: “And don’t forget our sale on new Double-Stuf Chocos.” Chocos were the cookie that J’onn became addicted to while a member of the Justice League International.

“Why are you doing this?” Jeez, Ollie, you are such a whiner…

Page 15: “I am John Jones!” That is J’onn’s most commonly-used Earth alias.

“I am Josh Johnstone!” In this identity, J’onn posed as a farmhand in Smallville to keep tabs on a young Kal-El.

“I am a Black Lantern!” Man, I thought we had seen the last of these guys…

“Sorry to go all ‘Return of the Jedi,’ J’onn -- ” Do I have to explain this? Okay, good, thanks…

Page 16: “To run out of here as fast as we can.” And this is why J’onn is known for his keen, strategic mind…

Page 17: “Not much – except that it may have something to do with screwing up the powers of anyone who enters this forest.” As seen in Green Arrow (fourth series) #2 when Hal Jordan paid Ollie a visit and found that his power ring was on the fritz.

Page 18: “Since my return it seems I bring a certain level of toxicity to all plant life in my immediate vicinity.” As seen most recently in Brightest Day #6.

Page 20: Black Manta last appeared in Brightest Day #1.

Tom Curry was Arthur’s father, the keeper of the lighthouse at Amnesty Bay.

Page 23: “It’s been a long time, David.” David?

David?

All these years, Black Manta’s true identity has been a secret…and his first name is “David”?

A bit of a letdown, really…

Page 24: Siren and her minions last appeared in Brightest Day #6.

So this is the confirmation that Jackson Hyde is David’s – I mean, Black Manta’s – son. But who is the mom?

Mera Mera Mera Mera Mera….

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #8

“‘Would it be okay with the management if we checked out early?’”


Writer: Judd Winick

Penciller: Aaron Lopresti

Inker: Matt Ryan

Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham


Synopsis


The team of heroes formerly known as the Justice League International is trapped in Checkmate Castle and, even worse, Maxwell Lord isn’t there. The team makes a break for it in a vain attempt to escape with injuring any Checkmate agents. A last-second assist by Captain Atom ensures that they escape, but their cover has been blown. They regroup at a decommissioned J.L.I. embassy in Germany, where they discuss their next move. Alone in the computer lab, Fire is shocked to see that Maxwell Lord is waiting for her…


Notes


Page 1: Booster Gold, Skeets, Rocket Red, Fire, Ice, Blue Beetle and Col. Taleb Beni Khalid-Isr last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7.


In case you missed it, the team formerly known as the J.L.I. has infiltrated Checkmate castle by disguising themselves as Rocket Reds. Skeets too.


Page 3: I’m digging Gavril, the new Rocket Red, especially his nonsensical rant about Communism. It makes me laugh.


Page 4: “So we just stand here while he goes on about Mao’s Little Red Book?” The Little Red Book is the more commonly recognized name of Quotations from Chairman Mao, a collection of quotes excerpted from Mao Zedong’s speeches and publications. During the Cultural Revolution in China, studying the book was not only required in schools but standard practice in the workplace as well.


The fact that Jaime Reyes can casually joke about the book warms my heart, but I’m pretty sure that most teens in the “real world” wouldn’t be able to do the same. However, most teens in the “real world” don’t have an artificially-intelligent scarab bonded to their spine, so he’s got some advantages there.


Page 7: “For free people everywhere!!” Ah, Gavril, you make me laugh.


Gavril is a hell of a lot more “Communist” than Dmitri Pushkin ever was. It could be that the writers back in the late 1980s didn’t want to seem like they were endorsing a Communist agenda, even though they were writing about a Russian soldier. Or, perhaps Judd Winick is just a little more in tune with the Communist sensibilities than Keith Giffen ever was.


Or Winick’s just playing it up because it’s pretty freaking funny. Who knows?


Page 12: Ooops. Good job, Fire. You really blew your cover now.


Page 13: “DaCosta.” Fire’s full name is Beatriz Bonilla DaCosta. She was a Checkmate agent until Justice League: Generation Lost #2.


“Screw it! The cat’s out of the bag and ripping up the furniture!!” That’s a very…interesting way of putting things.


“Hey Rube!” This is a slang phrase commonly used by traveling circus and carnival workers, also known as “carnies.” It’s a rallying cry used by carnies when they are in a fight with outsiders.


“Fat Man” was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945. It’s an appropriate nickname for Captain Atom, to whom Skeets is speaking.


Page 15: Captain Atom last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7.


Page 16: “How could things get any worse?” Do you really want anyone to answer that, Fire?”


This is Alton Janus’ first appearance. Judging by his last name, I assume that he isn’t all that he appears to be. Not sure if he’s working with Maxwell Lord or not, but I don’t think that he’s up to any good, that’s all.


The other former members of Checkmate that Janus mentions are:


Sasha Bordeaux, former Black Queen. Was infected with Anti-Life in Final Crisis: Resist and fell into a coma. She was brought out of her coma in JSA Vs. Kobra #6, and has not been seen since.


Mr. Terrific, former White King, current member of the Justice Society of America. Not sure when he resigned, although it was presumably after the events of Final Crisis.


Valentina Vostok, former White Queen, also known as Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol. Apparently killed while attacking Bl├╝dhaven in Final Crisis #4.


Page 17: “Questions about our efficiency. Questions about our methods. Questions about our future.” Hmm, are we looking at a new status quo for Checkmate? And, if so, what role will the heroes formerly known as the J.L.I. play in this future?


I’d like to say that the decommissioned J.L.I. embassy in Potsdam, Germany has seen better days…but look at it! It’s a warehouse! It was a warehouse that they converted into an embassy! It never looked nice!


Page 18: Great. Ice is whining again. Big surprise.


I think we need to set up a meet between Ice and Dr. Phil so that he can help her work through her issues. It might be just what she needs.


Page 19: Damn. Gavril’s all messed up. Hope the big lug gets better soon. Pleas send all your warm thoughts and well-wishes to Rocket Red #7, c/o Justice League International, Warehouse 5, Potsdam, Germany 14401.


“Right as rain.” This simile apparently first appeared in Yet Again by Max Beerbohm in 1909. It seems to be just a play on words, and rain is used because, like Fire says, it’s alliterative, but there is the notion that rain is “right” because it comes straight down, in a right line.


Page 20: “Yes? An asset to team?” Aw, that’s sweet. All Gavril wants is to be accepted by the others.


Page 22: Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7. Unfortunately, every time he meets up with his former friends, he threatens them with bodily harm. Almost makes you not want to trust the guy…



Monday, September 6, 2010

BRIGHTEST DAY #8

Defiance


Writer: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi

Penciller: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf

Inker: Vicente Cifuentes, Rebecca Buchman, Mark Irwin, Ivan Reis

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


After receiving visions of all those who were returned from the dead by the White Lantern, Boston Brand sets out to find the one who is destined to wield the power of the White Light. He tells his ring to take him to Hal Jordan; Dove travels with him, leaving Hawk alone in New Mexico


J’onn J’onzz questions Miss Martian about who attacked her; she tells him that it was another Green Martian. He doesn’t believe her, so she opens her mind to him so that he might see all that transpired. J’onn is amazed, and admits that there is another Green Martian on Earth besides him…


On Hawkworld, Tonrarr of the Lionmane Tribe relates his world’s history to Hawkman, explaining that it is a bridge between Earth and Thanagar. The races of Hawkworld, having witnessed Hawkman’s transformation into a White Lantern, believe that he is the healer who will lead them out of oppression. He sees them as the beginnings of an army…


High above Hawkworld, in the Nth City, Hawkgirl fends off an attack by other prisoners. She tears through the cage trapping her and attacks Hath-Set. His consort, Queen Shrike, knocks Hawkgirl to the ground and reveals herself as Shiera’s mother…


J’onn and Miss Martian search the world for a telepathic anomaly that will direct them towards this mystery Green Martian. They locate a telepathic black hole right in the heart of Star City


Notes


Page 1: Hawk, Dove and Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #7.


“That’s because I told you, Boston Brand.” Whoever thought that the Entity of the White Light would have such a snippy attitude?


“Who’s Maxwell Lord --?” Maxwell Lord used his mental powers to cause everyone in the world to forget that he ever existed in Brightest Day #0. Only Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Skeets and Captain Atom recall who he is.


“Maxwell Lord must stop the war before it starts.” This is Lord’s “mission,” as revealed in Brightest Day #7. In Justice League: Generation Lost #6, Captain Atom quantum leaped into a future in which the world was devastated by a conflict, presumably this war that he must prevent.


Page 2: “It said I was brought back to protect you.” As seen in Brightest Day #7, Hawk has been brought back to save Dove from Captain Boomerang.


Page 3: The Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian last appeared in Brightest Day #7.


“It seems I became a White Lantern.” In – yep – Brightest Day #7. Looks like a lot happened in that issue, hunh?


“You are the only White Martian left on the planet.” Despite her outward appearance, Miss Martian is a White Martian, not a green one.


However, whatever became of Till’all, the White Martian who survived the events of the recent Martian Manhunter mini-series? Or have we just decided to forget the events of that story because it really wasn’t all that good?


“The only answer is that another White Martian must have eluded the JLA and assimilated itself into the population.” In JLA #4, the JLA defeated the White Martians and placed them in stasis in the Still Zone. Later, in JLA #55, the White Martians escaped, but they were once again defeated and imprisoned in JLA #58.


Why is J’onn so convinced that Miss Martian’s attacker must be a White Martian? He knows that something came from Mars to Earth courtesy of Dr. Erdel before he did; why couldn’t it be a Green Martian? Granted, it’s a deranged, psychotic Green Martian, but still…


Page 4: The events of this flashback take place before J’onn arrived at Miss Martian’s refuge in the Tanami Desert in Brightest Day #6.


Crazy, deranged Martian lady last appeared in Brightest Day #6.


Page 5: “Ah, sent from Mars by rocket to the Vega system to escape the civil war between the greens and the whites, were you?” Miss Martian’s “secret origin,” apparently. I’m not sure that this has been revealed prior to this.


The crazy, deranged female Martian seems to have it out for the White Martians, doesn’t she?


Page 6: “You will never give him what a true Green Martian can!” Is the crazy, deranged female Martian out to woo J’onn and win his affections? Doesn’t she realize that random slaughter and chaos isn’t the way to the Martian Manhunter’s heart?


Page 7: Hawkman last appeared in Brightest Day #7.


“I saw something – a cit of green, a forest, being ripped into the air – “ Yeah, yeah, yeah, Brightest Day #7, again. Really, you should have read it. Visions, premonitions, blah blah blah…


“It’s not every day we get a visitor here who suddenly erupts with bright white light and heals everyone around him.” Well, you just live in a boring place, now don’t you Mister Lionmane guy?


Speaking of which…


“I am Tonrarr, leader of this Lionmane tribe.” Boo-ya! If you call, I mentioned that this fellow looked a hell of a lot like Lionmane after he first appeared in Brightest Day #5.


“‘Lionmane.’ I’ve met your kind before.” Lionmane was a classic Hawkman foe who first appeared in Hawkman (first series) #20. Archaeologist Edward Dawson came into possession of the Mithra meteorite that transformed him into a were-lion creature. Given that this was pre-Crisis and Hawkman’s continuity is a total mess, I have no idea when Lionmane actually first appeared in continuity, but he does exist, and isn’t that all that really matters?


“Someone has. Or someone like you.” What connection does Lionmane have to this tribe, and to Hawkworld in general?


Page 8: “SKKRAK” I hate it when were-lions fall from the sky and explode into a bloody, pulpy mess right at my feet.


According to Tonrarr, Nth metal ore comes from Hawkworld. So are many other elements of Hawkman’s life and continuity derived from Hawkworld as well? Is this place the “source” of all things Hawkman?


Page 9: Anyone else think that the statue of a human looks something like Kalmoran? He was a legendary hero on Thanagar that Katar Hol admired, first seen in the Hawkworld mini-series. This is back when Katar was a drug-addict and killed his own father. Good times.


Anyone else remember this? Anyone at all besides me?


Pages 10-11: The history of Hawkworld, and its connection to both Earth and Thanagar…


According to Tonrarr, humans came to Hawkworld hundred of thousand of years ago, long before the Thanagarians ever came to Earth. They then discovered the Nth metal and harvested it for their own purposes. The humans and the new Manhawks, who are also native to Hawkworld, then traveled to Thanagar. Did these humans then colonize Thanagar? Does this explain why humans and Thanagarians are so similar?


So when the Thanagarians first came to Earth during the days of ancient Egypt and gave the secret of Nth metal to Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara, they were actually descendents of humans who had left Earth thousands of year before, correct?


Tonrarr goes on, explaining that another woman left Earth and arrived on Hawkworld to take control of the Manhawks. She created a city out of Nth metal and raised it into the clouds. Queen Shrike has now ruled for over two thousand years.


Khufu supposedly reigned during the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt, approximately 1200 BC, which would be a little over two thousand years ago. So did the arrival of the Thanagarians on Earth cause this Shrike to travel from Earth to Hawkworld?


Pages 12-13: “…I see an army.” Ah, Carter, always the peaceful one, aren’t you?


Pages 14-15: Hawkgirl last appeared in Brightest Day #7.


Pages 16-17: Hath-Set last appeared in – wait for it – Brightest Day #7.


Nitpick note here…in the first panel, it looks like Hath-Set and Queen Shrike are inside the cage, as opposed to on the outside looking in, as they appear to be in panel 5.


Page 18: This is the first appearance of Queen Shrike.


Remember my original thoughts about Hath-Set’s queen? That she was really Hawkman’s old foe Hyathis? Totally, one-hundred percent wrong. I admit it.


I still think that I’m right about Isis being the Chosen One, though…


“And she has ruled the pathway between Earth and Thanagar for centuries.” Millennia, really, but who’s counting?


Page 19: Ouch. That Queen Shrike is bad-ass, isn’t she?


Page 20: So Queen Shrike is Hawkgirl’s mother, hmmm? Since Shrike has ruled Hawkworld for over two thousand years, and judging by her skin tone, I assume that Shrike was born in ancient Egypt and was Princess Chay-Ara’s mother.


So, why – and I ask this in all seriousness – does Shrike refer to her daughter as “Shiera”? Wouldn’t she call her “Chay-Ara,” no matter how many times she has been reincarnated?


So did Shrike travel to Hawkworld before or after Hath-Set killed Khufu and Chay-Ara? Does it matter? And was Shrike allied with Hath-Set in ancient Egypt? Did he kill the future Hawks at her command?


“I noticed that even the ancient scar on my body has completely disappeared.” How did she get this car? Inquiring minds want to know.


Oh boy, Hawkman does not look happy…


Page 22: That forest sprouted up in Star City in Brightest Day #0. It has since become the home of Oliver Queen, as seen in the pages of Green Arrow. To say that the forest is a bit mysterious is an understatement.