Thursday, April 28, 2011

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #23

“Caught”

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

Synopsis

As an army of OMACs descends upon them, the J.L.I. unite to defend Wonder Woman.  A teleportion portal opens, sending all but Batman, Power Girl and Captain Atom to Los Angeles, where Max Lord unleashes his ultimate weapon upon the team – OMAC Prime.  Booster Gold attacks the new Checkmate headquarters in search of Lord while his teammates battle the android, but they find themselves outmatched.  Blue Beetle and Rocket Red realize that OMAC Prime is replicating their own powers, using them against the J.L.I…

Notes

Page 1:  Maxwell Lord and Professor Anthony Ivo last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.

Page 2:  Whoa.  That’s a whole lotta OMACs…

Booster Gold, Batman and Wonder Woman last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.

Page 3:  “Above us is an entire army of cybernetically enhanced killing machines.”  Thanks for the recap, Batman. 

Ice, Fire, Rocket Red, Power Girl, Captain Atom and Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.

“Max has no record of Wonder Woman!  No DNA. No meta physiology, no past history to aid in his search!”  Max first realized that he is one of the few people in the world to remember Wonder Woman in Justice League: Generation Lost #15.

Page 4:  “…they are hunting us in order to find her!”  Well that’s just a kick in the pants, now isn’t it?

Page 5:  Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.

“At least Batman screwed up as much as we did this time.”  I wouldn’t get too used to that, Fire.

Can someone explain to me why Ice keeps changing her costume between issues?  Does she really have the time for that, given the circumstances? 

Page 8:  “It looks like Los Angeles.”  Is that because there’s a gaping, smoking crater right in the middle of the street?  Because, remember, this is the DC Universe, it could be anywhere going on that description…

Page 9:  I still think that the floating horsey Checkmate headquarters is goofy as all hell…

Max is bleeding profusely from his ears and nose due to the exertion of activating all of the OMACs in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.

Page 11:  Not sure if OMAC Prime is an android or, like the other OMACs, a human that has been transformed into an OMAC.

Page 12:  “I confess that I am a bit freaked out.”  And I confess that that thought of Skeets singing and flying around while doing a rendition of Chic’s Le Freak amuses the hell out of me.

Page 13:  “I’m going to kill Wonder Woman right here!!”  Probably not a good idea, considering that the incredibly-depressing, dystopian future as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #6 and 14 was the result of Max killing Wonder Woman. 

Page 16:  You sound like a proud papa, Tony.”  Ivo’s “kids” are never good, upstanding citizens.  They’re always human-hating androids that fixate on a Justice League.

“They’re not fully onlineyet.”  When the heck is this flying horsey headquarters gonna be online already?  It’s taking forever.

“Ivo, we have got to improve the security on this @#$% ship.”  Why not just turn the damn security systems on for once?

Page 17:  “No.  I was hoping I’d have to beat you like a damn dog first.”  Booster owes Max for the beating he endured in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.

Page 18:  “And it feels like he’s getting better the more we fight!!”  Hmmm, let’s see, the OIMAC was designed by Professor Ivo.  It it’s almost like it’s getting stronger the more it battles the J.L.I.  Hmm, what could that mean?

“He could be calculating weakness and strength of team!”  Not quite, Gavril, but you’re getting closer…

Page 19: So, wait, the OMAC is now using the J.L.I.’s powers against them?  Is that what it is?  Could it be?!?

Page 20:  “He is not learning from us.”  No.  No he is not.

“No.  He’s replicating us.”  Bingo.

“OMAC Prime has out powers.”  Ivo built Amazo.  Amazo can replicate powers.  Hence, there’s a pretty decent chance – like, a 100% chance – that OMAC Prime, as built by Ivo, can do the same thing.

Sucks for the J.L.I., doesn’t it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BRIGHTEST DAY #23

“Rise and Fall”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Norm Rapmund & Oclair Albert
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

As natural disasters threaten the world, the only safe place on the planet is the Star City forest, where Boston Brand attempts to procure the White Lantern from Firestorm.  When the Entity transforms Firestorm into a fire elemental, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter emerge in their elemental forms just in time to face off against the Dark Avatar – the Swamp Thing.  As the elementals battle, Hawk, Dove and Brand defend the White Lantern tree and await the arrival of the Earth’s chosen protector, Alec Holland…

Notes

Page 1:  That’s the Earth.  It first appeared a long, long, long time ago, before comic books, even. 

Looks like it’s getting a bit cloudy all over the world.  Wonder what that could be…

Pages 2-3:  Scenes of chaos all across the Earth.

In London, Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Captain Atom and Superboy help land some out-of-control planes. 

I’m assuming that this issue takes place after the events of Justice League: Generation Lost #24, or else Captain Atom would still be considered a fugitive for killing Magog and destroying Chicago in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.

Who is that helping Superboy carry that plane?  Looks kinda like the Kryptonian Flamebird, but I’m pretty sure that she’s dead.

In Rio de Janeiro, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Jade, Doctor Fate and the Flash (Barry Allen) deal with earthquakes and volcanoes.

Jade last appeared in Brightest Day #21.

Batman (Dick Grayson), Batwoman, Robin, Black Lightning, Cyborg, Black Canary and Huntress deal with the crisis in Gotham City.

Page 4:  Boston Brand and Firestorm last appeared in Brightest Day #22.

“My name is Boston Brand.  When I died, I became the spirit known as Deadman.”  Way back in Strange Adventures #205.

“But it wasn’t until I was resurrected by a White Lantern and given a white ring that I really got a second chance at life.”  Brand was restored to life in Blackest Night #8; his quest to appreciate that life has been an ongoing storyline since Brightest Day #0.

Page 5:  The Star City forest first appeared in Brightest Day #0; it sprung up from a section of Star City that was destroyed in Justice League: Cry for Justice #7.  It has been a major component of Green Arrow’s life since Green Arrow (fourth series) #1.

Green Arrow last appeared in Brightest Day #19.

Ollie, did you really think that an exploding arrow would break through that force field?

Page 6:  “First the lantern sends us off to rescue it, then it teleports us back here?”  In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason learned that they needed to prevent Deathstorm from destroying the White Lantern.   They set off in search of it in Brightest Day #11, their journey eventually taking them to the antimatter universe.  In Brightest Day #22, they retrieved the White Lantern and found themselves teleported back to Earth. 

“I required information only the Anti-Monitor possessed.”  The White Lantern retrieved this information in Brightest Day #22, but we still don’t know what it was yet.

“And, most important, I needed you to witness Professor Stein’s death for yourself.”  As seen in Brightest Day #22, Deathstorm transformed Professor Stein into salt, killing him.  It was a heart wrenching scene, really it was. 

“Soon the Dark Avatar will rise.  And he will come.”  The Entity of the White Light first mentioned the Dark Avatar in Brightest Day #19.

Page 7:  More heroes protecting the world.  Seen here are Hawk, Dove, Static, Vixen, Starfire, Mera, Aquagirl and Aqualad. 

Hawk, Dove, Mera, Aquagirl and Aqualad last appeared in Brightest Day #21.

Not sure why Starfire is back on Earth; last I looked, she was working with the R.E.B.E.L.S. in the Vega star system. 

“Bet we go there and find Deadman.”  Everyone is pretty darn suspicious of Boston Brand ever since her transformed Aquaman into water using his white ring.  He also disintegrated Hawkman and Hawkgirl into air and merged J’onn J’onzz with the Earth, but not everyone knows about that yet.

“Dawn Granger.  Your presence is required.”  Dove has a connection to the White Light that has yet to be explained.  It was first demonstrated in Blackest Night: Titans #3, when she was somehow able to destroy some Black Lanterns. 

Page 8:  Captain Boomerang last appeared in Brightest Day #18.

As indicated by the caption on Page 7, Captain Boomerang is talking to his fellow Rogue, Captain Cold. 

“A voice told me to come here.”  Not sure when this occurred; I think it took place off-panel.

“Like I told ol’ speedy…time to get busy livin’ – or get busy dyin’!”  Captain Boomerang said this to “speedy” – that would be the Flash – in Brightest Day #0.

“Digger Harkness of Earth.  Throw the boomerang at her.”  Captain Boomerang received this vision from the Entity of the White Light in Brightest Day #7 and The Flash (third series) #5.

Page 9:  “I think I killed Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Aquaman.”  Close, but not really.  He disintegrated Hawkman and Hawkgirl in Brightest Day #18, and transformed Aquaman into water in Brightest Day #20.

“I did something to the Martian Manhunter.”  He merged J’onn into the Earth in Brightest Day #21.

Pages 10-11:  Swamp Thing, a plant elemental with the memories of Alec Holland.  First appeared in House of Secrets #92.  Able to control and inhabit plant life and other natural elements.

Page 12:  “The Green has become the Black.”  The Green is a realm inhabited by all of the members of the Parliament of Trees, a group of former elementals.  It connects all forms of botanical life on Earth; plant elementals are able to commune with it.  It has seemingly been corrupted by Nekron’s dark power. 

Page 13:  “Where it once had memories of one…it now has the memories of another.”  The “one” would be Alec Holland; as originally conceived, Swamp Thing was a mutated version of Alec Holland.  He was, however, reinvented as a plant elemental that absorbed the personality and memories of Holland, becoming a plant-creature trying to live like a human.   

Whose memories the Swamp Thing now has have yet to be revealed.   

“Your boomerangs.  They’re for her.”  Since The Flash (third series) #3, Captain Boomerang has had the ability to generate black energy boomerangs that he can throw, instead of relying on his “normal” ones.

Page 14:  “Death sometimes makes you stronger.  Or simply just dead.”  Man, that Entity of the White Light has a bizarre sense of humor.

Page 15:  “That wind…Seems familiar.”  It should.  I’m sure that Hawkman and Hawkgirl have slapped you across the face with a mace more than once, Boomer. 

Pages 16-17:  Elementals assemble!

Nah, doesn’t really have the same ring to it…

Firestorm, the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are in the same poses as when they were resurrected in Blackest Night #8, in the four-page spread drawn by Ivan Reis.

Note that the elementals logos are unchanged; they seem to serve as visual links to their mortal selves.  Is this why the redesigned look for J’onn J’onzz had that circular emblem on his chest? 

Page 18:  So the tree bearing the White Lantern logo in the Star City forest is the foundation of the Parliament of Trees.  If it survives the events of Brightest Day #24, will this forest then be the new home of the Parliament?

Page 19:  This reminds me of “The Elemental War,” a four-part storyline that appeared in Firestorm (second series) #90-93, which starred Firestorm, Naiad, Red Tornado and Swamp Thing.  Anyone else recall that tale?

Page 20:  “It holds the body of the one.”  And who could this “one” possibly be?

Page 21:  So Alec Holland is the White Lantern?  Earth’s ultimate savior? 

Guess I was completely off-base about my Isis prediction, hunh?

Monday, April 25, 2011

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #22

“A Good New, Bad News Sort of Thing”

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

Synopsis

Blue Beetle reveals to the rest of the J.L.I. that his armor, in addition to saving him from death, also hacked Max Lord’s files; he knows what Lord is up to next.  Batman and Power Girl arrive to join forces with the team, and they pool their resources.  They realize that Lord used the J.L.I. to discredit Checkmate, thereby taking control of the organization.  His next step is to kill Wonder Woman.  They set out to New York to find her, but she is suspicious of the heroes and their motives.  Meanwhile, Lord has set the final stages of his plan into motion, activating OMACs all around the world using his mental powers.  High over Manhattan, an OMAC army swarms down to the ground to attack Wonder Woman and the Justice League International…

Notes

Page 1:  Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Ice, Fire and Captain Atom last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #21.

“The last thing I remember is Max Lord had kidnapped me – I escaped – and I was doing my best to put the hurt on him.”  Max Lord kidnapped Blue Beetle in Justice League: Generation Lost #16.  Blue Beetle escaped from captivity in Justice League: Generation Lost #19.

Page 2:  Rocket Red and Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #21.

“You’re alive!!”  Max Lord shot Blue Beetle in the head in Justice League: Generation Lost #19; he was pronounced dead in Justice League: Generation Lost #20.

Page 3:  “Will you all shut up!!”  Man, Jaime sure is a hell of a lot more assertive than he was when he first me the team.  Being on the J.L.I. really drives one crazy…

Page 5:  Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #20. 

Professor Anthony Ivo last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #19.

Page 6:  “There was our break-in at the Castle.”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #7-8. 

“Then, our discovering the dormant Checkmate cells that went active.”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #10.

“Then there was Chicago…”  When Captain Atom fought and seemingly killed Magog in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.

“They lost their U.N. sanctions and that gave Max his opening to seize control.”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #17.

Page 7:  “On bright side.  Beetle is still not dead.”  He’s not even “mostly-dead.”  Glad to see that Gavril isn’t dwelling on the negative in the face of hopeless opposition.

Pages 8-9:  Oooooooh yeah, I’ve been waiting for this scene for almost a year now…It’s about time the Dark Knight got involved. 

Batman, real name Bruce Wayne.  First appeared in Detective Comics #27.  Master strategist, world’s greatest detective, incomparable athlete and hand-to-hand combatant. 

Power Girl last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #19.

While I’ve been on the fence about Bruce’s new look, I think he looks totally bad-ass when drawn by Joe Bennett.

“That is so cool.”  It is so freaking cool…

Page 10:  “But I’m definitely not going to need a blood transfusion during this?”  When Max mind wiped the world in Justice League: Generation Lost #1 and Brightest Day #0, he needed to make sure that he was hooked up to a hell of a lot of blood so that he didn’t die during the process.

Page 11:  “But at every step – with every cell, he was also using those facilities for experiments.  OMACs.”  As seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #17, Lord has developed the next generation of OMAC to serve his every whim.

“Kryptonian clones.”  Power Girl faced off against her clone Devine in Power Girl #16-19.

“Tests on the Metal Men.”  The J.L.I. encountered the Metal Men in Justice League: Generation Lost #10-12. 

“Genetic trials at New Cadmus.”  Resulting in the modified Creature Commandos, as seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #15-17 and Power Girl #19-20.

Page 12:  “Who’s ‘Wonder Woman’?  She new?”  Ever since the events of Wonder Woman #600, no one in the DC Universe remembers the existence of Wonder Woman…with the exception of Max Lord and the J.L.I., that is.  This was revealed in Justice League: Generation Lost #15.

Page 13:  “Sorry to freaking you out.”  It was kinda disturbing, now that you mention it, Gavril.

“Yes.  The power of the White Lantern restored my memory.  All of it.”  In Brightest Day #14, Batman briefly worse the White Lantern power ring, thus restoring his memory of both Maxwell Lord and Wonder Woman. 

Page 14:  “Man is it ever good to have him back.”  You said it, Fire. 

Wonder Woman, real name Diana of Themyscira.  First appeared in All-Star Comics #8, although the current version first appeared in Wonder Woman #600.  Possesses superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, the ability to fly and wields the indestructible Lasso of Truth.

Page 15:  I imagine that I am in the minority here, but I kinda, sorta like Diana’s new costume, especially when Joe Bennett draws it.

“I’m Booster Gold.  We’re here to help.”  For twenty-one issues, Booster has been a competent hero and leader.  But once Batman is back in the picture, he just seems like a goofy kid playing at hero.  Which isn’t a bad thing; most heroes seem just a little less accomplished when Bats is around.

One does have to remember that Batman is the one hero who knows that Booster Gold isn’t the total ass that he pretends to be, which has formed a powerful bond between the two men. 

Page 16:  “You’re not in a battle, you’re in a sniper’s cross hairs.  You need to come with us.”  How does Batman tell this woman, who he has known for years, that she lived a previous life in which she killed an egomaniacal killer who then proceeded to come back to life, wipe away is existence of the world, and is now out to take his revenge on her?  No tactful way of having that conversation, now is there?

Page 17:  Kami, real name Kami.  First appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #22.  A mild-mannered Chinese school-girl who is secretly a meta-human hunting OMAC. 

Sorry.  Sometimes I just need to shake things up a little bit…

Pages 18-19:  This scene of the OMACs filling the skies harkens back to a similar one from Infinite Crisis #1 (which, in turn, is similar to the Shadow Demons filling the skies from Crisis on Infinite Earths).

Page 20:  Oh boy…things aren’t looking good…

BRIGHTEST DAY #22

“The End and the Beginning”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Scott Clark, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: David Beaty
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Firestorm arrives at the Anti-Monitor’s battle ship in the antimatter universe, where the universal destroyer is performing tests on the White Lantern.  The Lantern steals information in the form of energy from the Anti-Monitor, giving Firestorm the opening he needs to attack.  Although he strikes hard and fast, Firestorm is split into Ronnie and Jason by the Anti-Monitor.  Deathstorm attacks Jason, but the newly-freed Professor Stein leaps in front of the youth and is transformed into salt.  Jason and Ronnie merge into Firestorm, but can’t save Stein.  After they resolve to work together, the Entity of the White Light restores Ronnie’s life and teleports them the Star City forest.  Boston Brand arrives on the scene and demands that Firestorm give him the White Lantern…

Notes

Page 1:  Firestorm last appeared in Brightest Day #17.

“I was here before.”  Back in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12.

“Ronnie was here.”  Glad to see that, in between fighting the Anti-Monitor and trying to flee the antimatter universe, Ronnie had time to leave behind some super-powered graffiti. 

Pages 2-3:  Deathstorm last appeared in Brightest Day #18.

The Anti-Monitor last appeared in Brightest Day #3, although he did appear, as a voice only, in Brightest Day #12.

Page 5:  “Stein and I barely held our own against him alongside Superman, Captain Atom and like thirty others.”  Ronnie must be remembering things wrong, or is having pre-Crisis flashbacks.  In the Post-Crisis DC Universe, Captain Atom didn’t appear until shortly before the events of Millennium, months after the Anti-Monitor was defeated. Ronnie must be remembering the Earth-4 Captain Atom, who did accompany the heroes of the Multiverse to the antimatter universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12.

“I’ve been holding myself back.”  If, what you mean by that is that you’ve been a whiny little bitch for a while now, then, yes, you are correct, Ronnie.

“Anti-matter universe information needed.”  So what information does the Entity of the White Light need?  And is this why it resurrected the Anti-Monitor back in Blackest Night #8 in the first place?  For information?

Page 6:  Well, it’s about time Ronnie started acting something like a hero…

Page 7: “It’s Meathead and the Brain!”  Presumably a reference to the WB cartoon Pinky and the Brain.  And if I have to explain that to you, then you’re really missing out…


Page 8:  “The Hindenburg” refers to the LZ 129 Hindenburg, a German passenger airship that caught fire and was destroyed at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, NJ on May 6, 1937.

Page 10:  Ouch.  Looked like that hurt like hell…

Page 11:  “Oh, Ronnie…before I turn you into salt, let’s take a trip down memory lane…”  Deathstorm has a fascination with salt-people; he, as Black Lantern Firestorm, transformed Jason’s girlfriend Gehenna into salt in Blackest Night #3.

“Do you remember when you died?  The Shadow Thief split open your nuclear guts and triggered a countdown.”  This transpired in Identity Crisis #5.

“But you didn’t panic.  Instead you acted selflessly.  You flew far away from your friends to protect them from your inevitable explosive demise.”  He did, saving the Shining Knight, Vixen and Captain Marvel in the process.

Page 13:  “I’m starving…how about some rage, Alvin?”  Black Lanterns like Deathstorm feed off the emotions of their victims when they kill them.

“Hey, Jason!  Say hi to your girlfriend!”  The aforementioned Gehenna, whom Deathstorm killed.  He’s not a nice guy, now is he?

Page 14:  Awwww, first Rupert Giles has his neck snapped, and now Professor Martin Stein is transformed into salt.  It’s getting to be that there aren’t any cool middle-aged mentors to young heroes these days…

Page 15:  “Not everything can be fixed with a thought.”  Great.  Stein’s about to die and he starts doling out words of wisdom on how to live your life…

Page 16:  “Save him, dammit!’  The Entity of the White Light has its own plans, and only saves those that serve it in the grand scheme of things.

Page 17:  “I know Jason better than you.  And he will be a better partner than me if you both accept the shared responsibility.”  This is a shift from the old paradigm of Firestorm, with a mentor and a student.  If Ronnie and Jason act as equal partners, then they can learn from one another and, in turn, become better.

“You weren’t like a son to me, Ronald.  You were a son.”  Crap.  I think I’m gonna cry…

Page 18:  “Ronald Raymond of Earth.  Mission accomplished.  Life returned.”  In Brightest Day #7, Ronnie and Jason were told that they needed to learn from one another so that they could save the White Lantern from Deathstorm.  Having done this, Ronnie’s life has been restored.

Page 19:  “He is not our concern.  He is dead.”  What did I tell ya?  The Entity can be one cold-hearted bastard…

Page 20:  Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #21.

“Do what he says.  Earth depends on it.”  Yeah, and you need to be transformed into a fire elemental, Firestorm.  Actually, you used to be a fire elemental, so this isn’t exactly new to you…

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #21

“The Dark of Morning’s Light”

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

Synopsis

In the aftermath of their confrontation with Maxwell Lord, the members of the J.L.I. must deal with their own feelings and doubts.  Captain Atom is plagued by the deaths of those in Chicago and worries that all he has brought to the world is death.  Ice tells him that he has saved the team countless times over.  Rocket Red busies himself with making sure that his armor is in perfect working order for when they resume their hunt of Lord.  Fire, due to the fact that Gavril makes her smile in a really bad time, kisses him.  Booster struggles with Blue Beetle’s death and tells the team that it’s over.  Max has won time and time again, and he can’t keep leading them without a sign that they can actually win.  With that, Blue Beetle seemingly rises from the dead and informs the team that he knows that Max’s plan is…

Notes

Page 1:  “There’s the two police officers that Max forced to shoot one another when they found him on the streets in New York City.”  As seen in Justice League: Generation Lost #1.

“There’s Magog.  Poor Magog.  Who Max forced to turn his own weapon in himself.”  This occurred in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.

“And there’s Chicago.  When Max blew up Magog’s enhanced lance causing a nuclear explosion that instantly killed 621 people.”  Also in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.

Booster Gold last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #20.

Page 2:  Skeets and Blue Beetle last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #20.

Page 3:  “I want to bring him back to them.”  Blue Beetle, against his will, left his family to join up with the heroes formerly known as the J.L.I. in Justice League: Generation Lost#2.

Page 5:  Captain Atom and Ice last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #20.

“Where is Captain Atom?”  He’s sitting right there in that chair.  Duh.

Page 6:  “You said you were afraid of dying again.”  Ice admitted this to Captain Atom in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.

Page 7:  “Nathan…”  This is the first I’ve seen anyone call him “Nathan.”  “Nathaniel,” sure.  Even “Nate.”  But “Nathan”?  Nope.

Page 8:  “Y’know…I’m not human anymore.”  This development was first mentioned in Justice League: Generation Lost #6.

Page 9:  Rocket Red and Fire last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #20.

“Never saw him out of beetle suit.”  It’s true; Jaime hasn’t appeared without the beetle armor on at all in this entire series.

Page 11:  “Oprah Winfrey.  Woman is a genius.”  It’s lines like these that make me love Gavril.

Page 12:  Whoa, Nellie!  You go, Gavril!

Page 13:  “Things could not be much worse right now.  But you make me smile, Gavril.  I like smiling.”  Oh, Bea, please don’t string the poor boy along just to feel better.  If you like the big lunk of a Russian, just tell him that and be done with it.

Page 15:  “And the fact that you’re going to outlive us…I’m sorry, Nate, but that gives me hope.”  I half expected Saint Walker to show up and declare, “Nathaniel Adam of Earth, you have the ability to instill great hope.  Welcome to the Blue Lantern Cops!” but I think that there’s enough stuff going on in this book without Captain Atom receiving a power ring.

“Through all of this, at every turn…You are the one who’s saved us.”  Captain Atom has had several saves in this series…

He absorbed the energy from an atomic blast in Yemen (Justice League: Generation Lost #1);

Separated the team from an exploding suit of Rocket Red armor in Russian (Justice League: Generation Lost #5);

Served as emergency evac from the Checkmate Castle when things hit the fan (Justice League: Generation Lost #8);

Incapacitated a mind-controlled Fire at the J.L.I. Embassy in Germany (Justice League: Generation Lost #9);

Battled a mind-controlled Magog in Chicago (Justice League: Generation Lost #13);

And broke through Max Lord’s manipulation of Power Girl in Japan (Justice League: Generation Lost #18).

Say, what has the rest of the team been doing this whole time?

Page 17:  “And I get Jaime killed.  Blue Beetle is murdered by Max Lord.  Again.”  Max Lord killed Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, in Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1.

Page 19:  “I want one sign that we can actually beat this monster!  One!”  Who can resist a line like that?

Page 20:  Hey!  Blue Beetle’s back! 

(Not that I’m unhappy to see him alive and all, but I’d check his hand for a Black Lantern power ring, just to be on the safe side, you know what I mean?)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BRIGHTEST DAY #21

“Mars Attacks”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inkers: Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, Norm Rapmund & Christian Alamy
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

As Earth’s heroes band together to investigate the recent mysterious disappearances of Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Aquaman, including Boston Brand’s involvement in the them, they receive a multitude of emergency calls from around the world…

On Mars, J’onn J’onzz struggles with D’kay D’razz after shaking off weeks of mind control.  She swears that she will do everything in her power to make herself and Mars the center of J’onn’s universe, even if it means destroying the Earth and everyone on it.  J’onn understands, and grabs hold of her as he flies deep into the heart of the sun.  D’kay dies, but J’onn is protected by the Entity of the White Light.  His life restored, J’onn chooses Earth over Mars and races to Star City to aid in the rescue efforts there.  A hysterical Boston Brand appears, and the White Lantern power ring fires at J’onn, sending the Martian Manhunter into the Earth itself…

Notes

Page 1:  The Atom last appeared in Brightest Day #16.

“First Firestorm implodes aboard the Justice League satellite.”  Actually, Firestorm was transported to the anti-matter universe but that’s okay, Atom, it’s a common mistake.  This took place in Brightest Day #16.

“Then I find Carter and Shiera vaporized.”  The White Lantern power ring, with a little help from Boston Brand, “vaporized” Hawkman and Hawkgirl in Brightest Day #18.

Aquaman lost his left hand in a battle with Black Manta in Brightest Day #19.

Pages 2-3:  Oooh, ooh, two-page spreads of lots of characters…I love these…

Seen here, from left to right, are Metamorpho, Superboy, Cyborg, Flash (Barry Allen), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Aqualad, Aquagirl, Mera, Superman, Dove, Hawk, Jade, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Stargirl, Mister Terrific, Atom-Smasher, Congorilla and Doctor Mid-Nite.  Since he shows up later in the scene, presumably Wildcat is hanging out somewhere along the beach as well.

Mera, Aquagirl and Aqualad last appeared in Brightest Day #20.

Dove last appeared in Brightest Day #18.

Hawk last appeared in Brightest Day #8.

Jade last appeared in Brightest Day #16.

“It looked like Arthur just…dissolved into the water.”  He did.  It’s all part of the whole transformation into an elemental thing.  It happened in Brightest Day #20.

“When the white ring momentarily grabbed onto me, I could hear an intelligence within it far more alien than any I’ve ever encountered.”  Batman wore the White Lantern power ring for a brief time in Brightest Day #14.

Page 4:  J’onn J’onzz and D’kay D’razz last appeared in Brightest Day #15. 

“You invaded my mind – manipulated and exploited my inner life.”  This occurred in Brightest Day #15.

“I felt your elation – the pure bliss of acceptance – when you resurrected Mars I experienced it right along with you, J’onn.”  D’kay used her mental abilities to make J’onn think that he restored life to Mars in Brightest Day #12.

Page 5:  Damn.  J’onn looks pissed.

Page 6:  “Is the baby I’m carrying inside me a fantasy too?”  It’s like I just turned on an episode of Maury.  I can just hear it now…

Maury Povich:  J’onn J’onzz…you are NOT that father of D’kay’s child!
(Random screaming, fighting, chair-throwing and hair pulling ensues.)

Page 7:  “—There is no baby – it’s a phantom child – you are barren, D’kay!”  Man, great bedside manner you have there, Doctor J’onzz.  Way to crush the poor psycho’s hopes and dreams…

Page 10:  The shadowy figure that J’onn senses is the Dark Avatar which the Entity of the White Light spoke of in Brightest Day #19.

Page 11:  That forest on Mars in the shape of the Black Lantern symbol first appeared in Brightest Day #11.

Page 12:  Aaaaah, the sun sure is pretty…

Page 13:  Oh, wait, that’s right, Martians are vulnerable to fire, aren’t they?  So flying into the heart of the sun, a giant ball of fire, probably isn’t such a good idea, now is it?

Pages 14-15:  “J’onn J’onzz of Mars.  Mission Accomplished.  Life returned.”  In Brightest Day #7, the Entity of the White Light told J’onn that his mission was to “Burn it.  Burn it down.  Burn all of it.”  But he didn’t do any of this.  I assume that he was supposed to burn down the forest on Mars, but all he did was kill D’kay, an admirable mission, but not the one he was tasked with. 

Pages 16-17:  “Choose, J’onn J’onzz.  Choose your world.  Choose your home.”  Just like I’ve gotten tired of Hawkman and Hawkgirl worrying about Hath-Set and Aquaman being torn between the surface world and Atlantis, I’ve grown weary of stories about J’onn obsessing over how he could have saved Mars and how he doesn’t fit in anywhere.  It’s over and done with.  Go back to Earth and be a hero already…

Pages 18-19:  Man, that Star City never seems to get a break, does it?

Page 21:  Boston Brand last appeared in Brightest Day #20.

Page 22:  “J’onn J’onzz of Mars…the Earth has accepted you.”  And so another elemental is chosen…

Monday, April 18, 2011

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #20

“The Man Behind the Curtain”

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

Synopsis

Maxwell Lord IV overcame the suicide of his father to become a powerful businessman, but the death haunts him.  His mother encourages him to use his power and resources to do more than just make money and play by a different set of rules.  He manipulates events to form the Justice League International, but even developing metahuman abilities of his own can’t save his mother from the destruction of Coast City.  Max resolves to work behind the scenes and work towards his own mysterious agenda…

Max Lord just shot Blue Beetle, and the J.L.I. fights their way to get their hands on him.  He jettisons the group from the Checkmate headquarters and disappears.  Rocket Red and Skeets attempt to save Blue Beetle, but they soon give up, admitting to their teammates that the teen hero is dead…

Notes

Page 1:  “Arthur Lord was a good guy.”  I imagine that he was.  However, given that Max’s full name is Maxwell Lord IV, I always assumed that his father was Maxwell Lord III, so I have no idea who this good-guy Arthur Lord is in the first place.  Perhaps Arthur was his nickname?

This scene is the earliest chronological appearance of Maxwell Lord IV.

Page 2:  So Arthur Lord blew out the right side of his head…with a gun in his left hand?  Wouldn’t that be a really, really, really difficult and awkward shot?  I’m no suicide expert by any means, but would it not have just been easier for Arthur to shoot himself in the left side of the head?

Page 3:  That’s Rebecca Lord, Max’s mother.  She first appeared in Booster Gold (second series) #38.  In that issue, which takes place in September of 1943, it is established that Rebecca is set to marry Maxwell Lord III “in another few months.” 

By that estimation, Max would be about sixty years old.  During his tenure with the J.L.I., he would have been somewhere in his fifties.  While he doesn’t look that old nowadays, the Entity of the White Light did resurrect the twelve so that they are in their prime, so perhaps Max is now, biologically, in his forties?

Who is the young woman in the room with Max and his mother?  Does he have a heretofore as yet unmentioned sister?  Is that – dum dum dum – Maxima Lord?

Page 4:  Maxwell Lord IV, Blue Beetle, Ice, Booster Gold, Skeets, Rocket Red, Captain Atom and Fire last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #19.

“Max Lord kidnapped Blue Beetle.”  This took place in Justice League: Generation Lost #16.

“Beetle tried to escape.”  In Justice League: Generation Lost #19.

“Meu dues” is Portuguese for “My God.”

Page 6:  “It began with the creation of his own corporate empire.”  As revealed in Justice League #1, Max was the head on Innovative Concepts.  What Innovative Concepts actually did was, to my knowledge, never revealed.

Page 7:  This flashback takes place sometime after Lord has made his mark on the business world.  It occurs after Lord’s appearance in JLA: Year One #7, and before Justice League #1.

“Lexcorp Acquires Chemtech.”  Ah, remember back in the late 1980s?  When Lex Luthor was a business mogul who just bought and crushed other corporations with the wave of a hand?  And no one, not even Superman, could do anything about it?  Every so often, I miss that Luthor…

Page 8:  “Luthor…Luthor doesn’t play by the rules.”  No.  No he does not.

For one of the single greatest “Luthor doesn’t play by the rules” stories of all time, check out Superman (second series) #9.  It has a short story in it called “Metropolis 9000 Mi.”  It’s brilliant, and shows just how twisted and evil Luthor can be without lifting a hand to anyone.

Page 9:  “More than Bruce Wayne!”  Wayne, of course, is the Batman.  And he’s pretty philanthropic, if you ask me.

“More than Oliver Queen before he -- ”  Ollie, better known as the Green Arrow, was also quite generous wit his money.  He funded the Justice League of America early in its history, until he lost his fortune.  These events were touched upon in Legends of the DC Universe #7-9 and 12-13.

Max actually makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him appearance in Legends of the DC Universe #12, at a party thrown by Queen.  Given that Ollie still had some money at this point, that issue would take place before this scene. 

“Just like Thaddeus Sivana and his conglomerate that uses science to arm wars.”  Sivana is, of course, the scientific genius that opposes Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family. 

Page 10:  “He paid terrorists to take over the United Nations.”  In Justice League #1.

“He hired the Royal Flush Gang to attack the League’s headquarters.”  In Justice League #4.

“He formed his own Justice League International.”  In Justice League International #7.

Seen here is the line-up introduced in Justice League International #7 – Batman, Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Black Canary II, Blue Beetle II, Mister Miracle, Guy Gardner and the Martian Manhunter. 

Page 11:  “It’s part of the fallout from that alien Invasion.”  As seen in Invasion! #1-3.

“I’ve been affected…I can make people do things just by willing them to do it.”  Max first manifested his power in the first story in Justice League International #24.  This scene takes place after that issue. 

Page 12:  “Coast City is dead.”  Mongul and the Cyborg-Superman destroyed Coast City in Superman (second series) #80.  This scene occurs shortly thereafter.

Booster Gold is wearing his original costume in this scene, which is pretty much impossible.  It was destroyed in battle with Doomsday in Justice League America #69, thereby rendering Booster costume and power-less until Justice League America #80, when he began wearing a clunky suit of armor that Ted Kord designed.  That issue was cover dated September, 1993, a month after the aforementioned Superman #80 appeared, meaning that Booster would be on permanent monitor duty if he was doing anything at all. 

I know, I know, I’m being nitpicky again.  I can’t help myself sometimes…

Page 13:  “That battle is still ongoing, we’ve got more people on the ground putting up the fight.”  If “The Return of Superman” were published today, there would be dozens of crossovers showing how Earth’s heroes converged on Coast City to battle Mongul and the Cyborg-Superman.  As it was, the story was contained to the four Superman titles of the day, as well as a one-issue tie-in to Green Lantern.  We can infer that some heroes helped in the effort, but this was never depicted in a story. 

For the record, the story of Coast City’s destruction and Superman’s resurrection and battle with Mongul and the Cyborg-Superman appeared in Superman (second series) #80-82, The Adventures of Superman #503-504, Action Comics #690-691, Superman: The Man of Steel #25-26 and Green Lantern (third series) #46.

“Hell, when Doomsday ripped a scar across the country until Supes punched his ticket…”  Doomsday’s rampage across the United States, which ended in Metropolis, was seen in Superman: The Man of Steel #18-19, Superman (second series) #74-75, Justice League America #69, The Adventures of Superman #497 and Action Comics #684.

Page 14:  “But when Joker shot Barbara Gordon through the spine last year?”  As seen in Batman: The Killing Joke. 

“Or when John Stewart’s arrogance caused billions to die when Xanshi blew up?”  This little mishap occurred in Cosmic Odyssey #2.

“You can forget that we ever had this conversation.”  Makes you wonder how many times over the years that Max used his power in this manner to make his “friends” forget little details here and there.

Page 15:  “He had seized the OMAC Project.”  At an as-yet unrevealed point in time before Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1.

“Murdered Ted Kord to keep it a secret.”  In Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1.

“Launched an attack against the world.”  The OMACs began attacking metahumans in The OMAC Project #2.

“But he made a mistake when he went up against Wonder Woman.  And he died.”  Wonder Woman snapped Max’s neck in Wonder Woman (second series) #219.

“Only to come back as a Black Lantern monster.”  Maxwell Lord returned as a Black Lantern in Blackest Night #3.

“Then – returned whole.”  The Entity of the White Light resurrected Max in Blackest Night #8.

Page 17:  “They will all forget.”  Max mind wiped everyone on Earth in Brightest Day #0 and Justice League: Generation Lost #1.

Page 18:  Anyone else think that’s a pretty goofy-looking headquarters for Checkmate?  Or is it just me?  (Probably just me.  I mean, everyone likes a giant, flying, horse-shaped HQ…)

Page 19:  “Shut up, woman!  I doing what I can do!”  Man, I just love Gavril sometimes…

Page 20:  “He is dead.”  Whoa.  Bummer.