Tuesday, February 28, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE #5


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Mark Irwin & Joe Weems
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

Darkseid is here, and no one, not even Earth’s greatest heroes, can stand up to him.  After Parademons abduct a fallen Superman, Green Lantern attacks Darkseid, only to have his arm broken.  In a last ditch effort, Batman reveals his identity to Green Lantern and instructs him to rally the rest of the heroes while he tries to save the Man of Steel.  But after traveling through a Boom Tube, Batman finds himself overlooking the fire pits of Apokolips…

Notes

Just an overall note – the art on this issue was far inferior to that of the four previous issues, presumably because there were four separate inkers as opposed to one.  The first few pages looked great, but most of the issue looked rushed, with the artwork appearing sketchy.  Please, Scott Williams, come back…

Page 1:  

An example of Darkseid's Omega Effect.
Page 2:  I just want to point out that Darkseid looks a whole lot more imposing without the loincloth he sported for thirty years.

“I’m not that good at making chitchat.”  Don’t sell yourself short, Flash.  You might not be as good a chitchatter as Green Lantern, but you’re ten times better than Batman.

Page 3:  


And thus begins the first, unofficial Superman-Flash race of the New 52 DCU.  
































Past races took place in...

Superman (first series) #199
The Flash (first series) #175




World's Finest Comics #198-199
The Adventures of Superman #463
DC Comics Presents #1-2




















All covers from comicbookdb.com.


Page 4:  “His beams are locked on us, Flash!”  Darkseid’s Omega Effect beams track and follow a target wherever they might go until they hit.

“You’re moving fast, Barry.  Think fast.”  Barry has begun “thinking fast” in recent issues of The Flash, exploring different aspects of his Speed Force-derived abilities. 

Page 5:  “Who are you?”  At first, I thought that it was strange that the Metropolis Police Department didn’t know who the Flash was.  I mean, aren’t superhumans a recent phenomenon in the DCU, individuals that garner both fascination and fear, kind of like the Kardashians?  Wouldn’t everyone, police included, try to find out everything they would about these new and exciting individuals?

And then I remembered – duh – the Flash moves at super-speed.  Odds are there aren’t all that many clear pictures of him, if any pictures have been taken at all, so most people probably don’t have any idea what he looks like at all.

Page 6:

Looks like those Omega Beams sting a little.

Page 7:

As seen last issue, the Parademons harvest "organic materials" -- in this case, people -- so that they may be transformed into more Parademons.  Cyborg learned this after interfacing with a Mother Box, but the rest of the heroes don't know any of this yet.  


Page 8:  “Green Lantern’s got this!”  Joy.  Green Lantern’s going off half-cocked again. 

Note that the demolished taxicab is number “5252,” a reference to the New 52 DCU.  Also, the advertisement on the roof reads “Panic Room,” which was apparently the secret codename given by DC Comics to the upcoming Before Watchmen titles. 

Is Darkseid manifesting the Omega Effect from his hands?  When did he learn that trick?

Page 10:  Darkseid’s no pushover.  Note now he’s strong enough to overcome Green Lantern’s not-inconsiderable willpower. 

Page 11:

Well now, that just totally sucks...

Page 12:  “Don’t need you.  Don’t need…anyone.  I can handle this.”  Green Lantern is still trying to prove his worthiness.  Think he has some issues with that?

Batman has such a warm bedside manner, doesn't he?


Page 13:  “Then who are you trying to live up to?”  As seen in Green Lantern: Secret Origin, a young Hal Jordan watched helplessly as his father crashed his plane and died in front of him.  He is constantly trying to live up to his father’s legacy, with mixed results. 

“We’re just somewhat…alike.”  Batman has some familiarity with parental issues. 






This echoes some of what I talked about in Justice League #1, about how both Batman and Green Lantern are two humans, neither with superhuman abilities, living in a world of superhumans.  Despite the fact that they come at life from different directions, they are far more alike than they are different.

Page 14:  “Who the hell’s Bruce Wayne?”  Like the issue about the Metropolis Police Department not knowing who the Flash was, my initial reaction was, “how does Green Lantern not know who Bruce Wayne is?”  I mean, he’s a multi-billionaire playboy.

But then I thought about it.  Bruce is a multi-billionaire playboy…in Gotham City.  On the other side of the country from Coast City.  While Bruce would be a celebrity to those in Gotham City, most people probably wouldn’t recognize him outside of his hometown.  I know, in my personal experience, that I read about so-called “celebrities” all of the time and I have no idea who they are, especially if they live nowhere near New York City.  So I think that Green Lantern’s reaction is quite natural, the more I think about it. 

And this is just proof that I rationalize comics too much…

Page 15:

To paraphrase Linus van Pelt, this is what the Justice League is all about, Charlie Brown.

So here’s what I don’t get – why did Batman feel the need to take off his cape, cowl and Bat-insignia?  What purpose does this serve?

Page 16:  So did Batman think that the Parademons wouldn’t take him if he had his full costume on?  I’d say that he’s totally blown his secret identity, but, if Green Lantern’s reaction is any indication, no one has a damn clue who Bruce Wayne is in the first place…

Page 17:

You ever hear that patience is a virtue, Flash?

“My…eye…”  Cyborg is still learning the extent of his new abilities. 

“It’s settled then!  We blind him!”  It makes me happy that Wonder Woman is so enthusiastic about cutting out Darkseid’s eyes.

“And once we get in striking distance, Aquafresh, I’ll be the lure you want me to be.”  As Aquaman suggested last issue.

Page 18:  “We got this!”  It’s no “Avengers Assemble!”  Or even “Titans Together!”  In fact, as far as battle cries go, it’s incredibly lame.  Perhaps it’s to underscore the fact that the Justice League doesn’t need any stinking battle cry?

“Stay focused, Barry.  This is the end of the world, remember?  This isn’t about me.”  It’s funny -- last issue, after the Flash said that they were facing the end of the world, Green Lantern told him not to overreact.  Looks like Batman’s little pep talk instilled a bit of common sense and maturity in Green Lantern. 

Page 20:  Welcome to Apokolips, Batman.  Enjoy your stay.

Oh, I see.  Now I understand why Batman stripped off his cape and cowl.  Apokolips has a strict “no cape or cowl” policy.  It helps to wee out the bad element and keep crime down. 

 Pages 21-22:  Sketchbook of Wonder Woman’s new costume.  Concept art by Cliff Chiang, design by Jim Lee.

I do like Wonder Woman’s new costume, although I think that I liked the originally-solicited version more, the one with long pants.  Not that I’m offended by a woman’s bare legs or anything like that, but the long pants were one of the things that I did like about the Wonder Woman costume that appeared during the year-long “Odyssey” storyline that began in Wonder Woman #600. 

I do want to point out that Wonder Woman’s tiara and chest emblem are drawn differently in Justice League as compared to Wonder Woman.  I assume that this is because she altered her costume between “then” and “now.”

The one thing that I did like about the first few sketchbook pages was that fact that Cully Hamner’s concept art looked more like model sheets.  With both Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the “art” is from covers or panels of their respective titles, as opposed to a sketch designed to highlight and point out design elements as well as being a reference for other artists.  Just an observation. 

Pages 23-24:  Sketchbook of Aquaman’s new costume.  Concept art by Ivan Reis, designed by Jim Lee.

A back-to-basics approach to Aquaman, that is similar to his Brightest Day costume.  Nothing much to note here, except for the fact that, despite the color orange having nothing to do with “water” or “the ocean,” I think that Aquaman pulls it off well.  And the trident makes him all the more badass.

Pages 25-26:  Sketchbook of Cyborg’s new costume/armor.  Concept art and design un-credited, but I assume they are by Jim Lee. 

We’ve seen this new design the least, but it does it’s job, in my opinion.  With the exception of an upgrade or two here and there, Cyborg’s technology really hasn’t changed all that much in the past thirty years, so it’s nice to see him brought into the 21st century.  He looks even more “robotic” than before, with less visible flesh than in earlier incarnations, without sacrificing his humanity. 

Any comments?  Thoughts?  Links to a good chili recipe?  Let me know!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE #4


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau
Assistant Editor:  Darren Shan
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

As Victor Stone adjusts to his new life as a Cyborg, Aquaman joins forces with the rest of the future Justice League against the invading Parademons.  The Unites States military enters the battle, complicating matters, forcing Superman and the Flash to take a stand against them.  After Cyborg teleports to Metropolis, a massive Boom Tube opens, sounding the arrival of Darkseid on Earth.  The dark lord of Apokolips easily dispatches the heroes as things go from bad to worse…

Notes

Page 1:  “His ultimate transformation is unforeseeable.”  Well, how’s that for an ominous statement, hmmm?

Page 2:  “Tech Files:  Responsometer/Doctor Magnus, William.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Doctor William Magnus was the creator of the responsometer, a micro-computer that could animate pure metals, giving them life, which allowed him to create the Metal Men. 

And, not that this has anything to do with this issue of Justice League, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the Metal Men trade paperback, which reprints the eight-issue mini-series, with story and art by Duncan Rouleau.  It’s a great read, and Rouleau is a fantastic storyteller.  Plug over. 

“A-Maze Operating System/Professor Ivo, Anthony.”  In the Pre-Flashpoint DCU, Professor Ivo created Amazo, the android that could absorb the powers of the Justice League of America.  In the New 52 DCU, Ivo has created the A-Maze O.S., presumably the precursor for such an android. 

“B-Maze Operating System/Classified.”  In the Pre-Flashpoint DCU, the B-Maze O.S. was the basis for predicting societal changes within a superhuman community.  It was first introduced in Sugar and Spike #46, a pivotal issue that introduced the titular characters to the Red Bee, cementing their inclusion in the still-forming DC Universe…

Wait, sorry, that’s wrong.  As in, I totally made it up.  What I should have typed was, “I have no idea what the B-Maze O.S. refers to, and why it’s classified remains to be seen,” but I really had a compulsion to write about Sugar and Spike, and I was weak, and gave in to my silly impulses.  Sorry, sorry, it won’t happen again…

“White Dwarf Stabilizer/Graduate Student Choi, Ryan.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Ryan Choi took up the identity of the Atom when Ray Palmer went missing after the events of Identity Crisis.   Both Palmer and Choi used white dwarf star matter that allows them to shrink to subatomic size.  In the New 52 DCU, Ray Palmer is currently seen in Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., while Choi has yet to appear; however, rumor has it that he will be appearing as the Atom in Justice League.

Page 3:  As seen over the past few issues, the Parademons are able to transform when necessary.  Sometimes they have wings and fly, other times they are more insect-like.  The Parademons shown here act more like dogs. 

It seems that Victor Stone -- I mean, Cyborg -- is able to transform his limbs into weapons.  Is his body now made of liquid metal, as the pre-Flashpoint Cyborg's body was at one point in time (during Devin Grayson's The Titans series).

Page 4:  “White Noise Cannon Enabled.”  The new, upgraded version of Cyborg’s “white sound blaster.”

Page 5:  “You did this to me!”  Ungrateful kid…

Page 6:  “They call him Aquaman.”  Batman’s such a know-it-all…

“I thought Aquaman was a sketch on Conan O’Brien.”  Green Lantern is a bit confused here; “Dear Aquaman” is a gag on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, in which the Scottish host dresses up as Aquaman and reads letters sent to him. 

And you all should watch The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, if only because it’s the only late night talk show with a homosexual, robot skeleton sidekick, cussing puppets, and a midget that dresses up like a leprechaun.  And guests.  Lots of celebrity guests.

“First Batman’s real, now this?”  Both Batman and Aquaman have been, up until this point, urban legends.  Why someone whose been chosen by an alien race to be a member of an intergalactic police force finds a man who dresses up like a bat and another man who talks to fish so unbelievable is beyond me…

“I found this creature in the ocean.  It set off some kind of device that tore open a hole in the water.”  That “device” would be a Mother Box, which opened a Boom Tube in the ocean, through which a bunch of Parademons flew out. 

“You’ve obviously gathered together to fight them.”  Though this was not their intention, this is what ended up happening.  Their individual motives and intentions have given way to the greater good and, although they all might not get along, they have to set aside their differences for the good of the world.

This scene reminds me of a conversation between Batman and Superman in Justice League of America (second series) #7 by Brad Meltzer.  Superman is worried about the newly-formed JLA, and wonders if they should not have left the roster to chance and happenstance.  Batman counters…

“Happenstance?  Is that really what you think this is?  Look at our lives.  There is no happenstance.”

Translation – these heroes were fated to be drawn together, whether they like it or not. 

And now, for my favorite panel of the issue...



Let the pissing contest begin…

Page 7:  “I’ve got some experience with leadership.”  This hints at some as yet untold adventures of Aquaman before the events of this issue. 

“I’m the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis.  I’m their king.”  Aquaman hasn’t learned yet that being a king to loyal subjects and leading a group of equals are two completely different things.

“And I’m the mayor of Emerald City.”  The “Emerald City” is a reference to the capital city of the Land of OZ in L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. 

“You’re supposed to be on my side, Flash.”  Green Lantern feels that his friendship with the Flash is being threatened by the presence of the other heroes. 

“We’ve already got one wannabe superhuman trying to boss us around, we don’t need another.”  The “wannabe superhuman” Green Lantern refers to is Batman, who is actually being pretty mellow, all things considered.

Page 8:  

Can someone please slap Green Lantern upside the face?  He's becoming so insufferable that I half expect Aquaman to take him out like he did on the cover...



This is the sound effect for Aquaman’s mental telepathy that he uses to control sea life.  Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis first introduced this depiction of the effect in Blackest Night #2.








Pages 9-10:  The lesson here is, don’t mess with Aquaman, or else he’ll send a shark to eat you and shove a trident through your skull.

Page 11:  

Green Lantern's off to sulk in the corner for a while.

Note how, even though these heroes just met a short time ago, they’ve already begun working well together, almost acting like a – dare I say it? - a team.

This, of course, is the essence of the Justice League, in whatever incarnation – a group of the world’s greatest heroes, working together, despite their differences, to save the world.  It’s unique among other comic book teams in a way; many other groups are put together to be effective as a team, with members balancing one another in both powers and personalities.  There is usually a clear leader, a rebel, a love interest, the young, inexperienced hero.  Examples of this include The New Teen Titans, The X-Men, the Outsiders.  Or, in the case of the Avengers, there are one or two A-listers and most of the rest of the team are B-listers who basically call the Avengers their home. 

But the Justice League – especially this roster – is all the big guns (ok, ok, Cyborg throws a wrench into this equation, but work with me).  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash and Aquaman all have full lives and careers outside of this group.  And none of them are exactly subservient to anyone else.  Any single one of them could conceivably be team leader.  But this isn’t the Avengers; the Justice League doesn’t need Captain America to rally the troops.  They all know what needs to be done and what they have to do, even if they only met each other five minutes ago…

Page 12:  

This is the first time we have gotten to see Wonder Woman play a little bit of "bullets and bracelets."

I am assuming that the gunner accompanying Trevor on this helicopter is a Checkmate agent, given the logo on her shoulder. 

Page 13:  Note the “Made in America” sign behind Cyborg, another reminder that he lives in Detroit, MI, the home of three of the biggest automotive companies in America

Cyborg interfaces with the Mother Box to download information and data, just as he did with the S.T.A.R. Labs computers.

Page 14:  In a nutshell it seems like these towers transport to various worlds to collect and harvest “organic materials” that are transformed into Parademons.  So, last issue, when Batman and Superman wondered what the Parademons wanted with us?  There’s your answer.

Page 15:  “You seem like someone who wants to do the right thing, but the same can’t always be said for everyone in positions of authority.”  The New 52 Superman has a different way of looking at things than his pre-Flashpoint counterpart.  He’s more willing to go against the system if the system isn’t working.  He’s looking out for the little guy, and will challenge authority when he sees fit.  Right now, he’s trying to get the Flash to look at things just a little bit differently. 

It's not often I laugh out loud while reading a comic.  This scene made me do just that:


I don’t even need to see Batman laughing hysterically at Green Lantern; just knowing that it's happening is enough. 

Page 16:  “I got this one!”  Poor Green Lantern, he so wants to impress the others that he goes completely overboard and tries to crush a fellow hero.  He tries; you gotta give him that…

Page 17:  BOOOOOOOOOOOMMM”  That is one big honking Boom Tube…

Pages 18-19:  First appearance of Darkseid.  Historical first appearance in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134.  A New God from Apokolips with superhuman strength, invulnerability and control of the Omega Effect, which can manifest as a concussive force or a disintegrating energy. 

Way to state the obvious, Green Lantern.  Seriously, why hasn't Batman housed him yet?  You know he wants to...

Pages 20-21:  What exactly is going on here?  Does the force of Darkseid’ footsteps cause earthquakes?  Does lifting his arms in prayer release shock waves?  Is he passing gas?  Someone tell me.

Page 22:  “I am DARKSEID.”  Well, nice to meet you, I think…

Pages 23-27:  This issue’s text pages features S.T.A.R. Laboratories Employee Dossiers.  Some interesting notes include…

Page 24:  Dr. Silas Stone was recruited by S.T.A.R. Labs to participate in the recovery of…something.  He also reverse engineered…something else.  And he replicated…well, a third something.  All of these “somethings” have been redacted, but he’s quite prolific in doing stuff, it seems.  He also created promethium, the metal bonded to Victor in order to save his life last issue. 

The S.T.A.R. Labs Red Room was designed to “collect and analyze foreign, extraterrestrial and sentient technology deemed too dangerous to share with the world.”

As I mentioned in the notes for last issue, the circumstance of Dr. Elinore Stone’s death have yet to be revealed.

Page 25:  As in the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Dr. Thomas Morrow has a fascination with the future and its technology.  He attempted to time travel but abandoned that field of study after he and Dr. Will Magnus nearly died.  Magnus now works for the U.S. military on Project: Metal Men.

Morrow seems to be working on some projects that he won’t share with his colleagues at S.T.A.R. Labs, and is also under investigation by the F.B.I. for reasons unknown.

Page 26:  Sarah Charles in only 17 years old, the same as Victor, but is apparently brilliant, as she is currently working on her master’s degrees while working as an intern at S.T.A.R. Labs. 

Marian High School (note that “Marian” is misspelled, perhaps for legal reasons) in Bloomfield, Michigan is a private, Roman Catholic high school for girls.  I like the fact that she did her thesis on cyberware and here she is, only a few years later, witnessing the creation of an actual cyborg. 

It seems that S.T.A.R. Labs is in the center of controversies about its purpose and future, presumably influenced by the introduction and existence of superhumans on Earth. 

Page 27:  Professor Anthony Ivo is a pioneer in the process of “creating technology to mimic organic life down to the cellular level”…sound like any classic Justice League villains we know and love?  Presumably, Ivo’s A-Maze O.S. will lead to the creation of some bathing-cap wearing android sometime in the near future. 

As I mentioned before, I have no idea what the B-Maze O.S. does, but I’m sure it can’t be good. 

In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Ivo long sought immortality because he a terrified on dying.  This eventually led him to transform himself into a grotesque mutant simply so he would never die. 

I like the fact that these classic “mad scientists” like Morrow and Ivo aren’t just holed up in the woods somewhere, building their devices and androids in secret.  It makes sense that they would be working for a place like S.T.A.R. Labs, where they pretty much have unrestricted access to resources and technology to do their wonderfully insane work.

Pages 28-29:  Sketchbook of the Flash’s new costume.  Concept art by Francis Manapul, design by Jim Lee. 

The only thing that irks me about this costume is the lines on the boots.  I like the electric seams on the bodysuit that light up and pulse with electricity when he runs, but I find the “intricately etched details suggesting electricity and movement” on his boots to be a distracting design detail.  Just my opinion. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

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

I just want to take this moment to thank everyone for dropping by here and taking the time to check out my little corner of the Internet.  It isn't much, but it's something, and if you happen to enjoy what you read here, then please take a moment to leave a comment or two.  I like to hear back from you all and know what you think.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks I will be a bit more consistent about posting on here, and I plan on doing annotations for a few upcoming titles (keeping my fingers crossed on that).

Please resume your daily activities now...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE #3


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

While Silas Stone attempts to save his son Victor’s life by performing an experimental Promethium skin graft process, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash fend off a horde of Parademons in Metropolis.  They are soon joined by Wonder Woman, who aids the heroes in their battle, but they quickly realize that the Parademons are collecting humans and transporting them out to see.  An alien tower rises up from the ocean, prompting the arrival of Aquaman, who wants answers…

Notes

Page 1:  First appearance of Steve Trevor.  Historical first appearance in All-Star Comics #8.  A transcript of his debriefing with Amanda Waller appeared last issue.  Currently acting as Wonder Woman’s liaison to the United States government. 

It seems that, when Diana first left Paradise Island, she made Washington, D.C. here base of operations.  In the present day, she lives in London, England, as seen in the pages of her own title. 

First appearance of Mr. Orr.  Historical first appearance in Superman (second series) #205.  He’s a pretty mysterious guy, usually involved with government black ops organizations. 

Page 2:  First appearance of Wonder Woman.  Historical first appearance in All-Star Comics #8.  Real name Princess Diana of Paradise Island.  Possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, superior hand-to-hand combat skills, flight and armed with the Lasso of Truth. 

Note that Wonder Woman's tiara differs from its appearance in Wonder Woman.  

I really want to call Wonder Woman’s island home “Themyscira,” because that’s what it’s been called for the past twenty years or so but, thus far, I can only find reference to it was “Paradise Island” in the New 52 DCU.  Does anyone know if this is an official change or not?

“Has anyone seen a harpy?”  A harpy is a winged spirit from Greek mythology that was known for stealing food from Phineas, the Phoenician King of Thrace

Page 3:  

I like the conversation Diana has with Raquel.  It shows that, even though the world believes that Wonder Woman is a threat and menace, she is just a young woman learning to adjust to this new world in which she has found herself.  

Page 4:  “You sound like my mother.”  Diana’s a bit rebellious, and always has been.  When Hippolyta called for a contest on Paradise Island to decide who would travel to “Man’s World,” she forbade her daughter from entering.  Diana, however, entered the contest anyway, and bested all of her sisters, giving her the right to don the name and mantle of Wonder Woman.

“I’m your appointed liaison.”  Trevor was apparently made Wonder Woman’s liaison after his debrief by Waller. 

PING PING PING”  I wonder what that sound could mean…

Page 5:  Oh, more Parademons.  Got it. 

"My name is Wonder Woman, you can call me Diana.  My interests include talking walks through your nation's capital, eating ice cream, and fighting winged monsters.  And you?

Page 6:  First appearance of Professor Anthony Ivo.  Historical first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #30.  Pre-Flashpoint, Ivo was responsible for the creation of Amazo, the android that could absorb the powers of the Justice League of America.  It remains to be seen whether or not his life in the New 52 DCU will take a similar course. 

First appearance of Dr. Thomas Morrow.  Historical first appearance in The Flash (first series) #143.  Pre-Flashpoint, T.O. Morrow created the Red Tornado as well as the robotic hero’s “siblings” – the Rd Torpedo, the Red Volcano and the Red Inferno.  As with Ivo, whether or not his life repeats itself in the New 52 DCU has yet to be seen. 

Victor Stone was injured by Parademons last issue. 

Page 7:  “I already saw his mother die.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Victor’s mother Elinore was killed in the same accident that injured Victor and forced Silas to transform his son into a Cyborg.  The circumstances of Mrs. Stone’s death in the New 52 DCU have yet to be seen. 

The abandoned printing press that Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash gathered in last issue is revealed here to have belonged to the Daily Planet.  I was unsure if it was the property of the Planet, the Daily Star, or some other Metropolis newspaper.

Pages 8-9:  “This is judgment day!”  I think that news reporter is going a little overboard, don’t you?  I mean, just because winged demons are appearing all over the world and an evil god from another reality is about to subjugate everyone doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world…

Hmm, on second thought, carry on…

In the annotations for Justice League (New 52) #1, I mentioned that Superman’s first chronological appearance was in Action Comics (New 52) #1.  However, I must amend that to Action Comics (New 52) #3, which contains a flashback to an infant Kal-El on Krypton before the planet was destroyed. 

Batman has a pretty good idea about how
Green Lanterns' power ring works.

“Batman doesn’t have powers?”  Once again, most people seem to believe all of the “urban legend” stories about Batman, and don’t realize that he’s just a man in a costume. 

Pages 10-11:  Superman is off on his own, reinforcing the idea that the New 52 Superman is more of a loner than his pre-Flashpoint counterpart. 


He is also very physical and always moving.  As Grant Morrison says in the behind the scenes text pages in Action Comics (New 52) #2, “I constantly put Superman up against very physical objects:  a wrecking ball, a tank, a train, solid stone.  It was designed for the motion of that muscular, 1938 Superman – to really tie him into physical things, to big, heavy objects.  Using a truck to swat away a wall of Parademons definitely applies. 

Page 12:

This is the first tender moment we have seen between Silas and Victor.

Page 13:  “I can do that too.  See?”  Green Lantern is incredibly competitive with everyone else, especially Superman. 

Pages 14-15:  Wonder Woman definitely knows how to make a first impression. 

“Back to Hades!”  Hades is the ancient Greek god of the underworld.  It can also be used to describe the actual abode of the dead, as Wonder Woman does here. 

Page 16:  The Flash, Green Lantern and Superman are impressed by Wonder Woman’s appearance.  Strange that there’s no reaction from Batman; he’s probably off scowling somewhere…

“You’re Strong.”  “I know.”  I read this as an affirmation that not only is Wonder Woman physically strong, but she can stand on here own apart from the other heroes.  She’s not just a female version of a male hero, but an individual character in her own right.  Am I reading too much into this?

Page 17:  So what’s the deal with this Red Room anyway, you say?  And why the heck is it so important and special?

Well, I’m glad you asked…



Page 18:  “The Promethium skin graft.”  Promethium is a near-indestructible metal.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, it was created by Steve Dayton, the former hero known as Mento, and used to create the Hybrid.  Cyborg’s cybernetic and bionic components were also made of the metal. 

So, where exactly were these nanites that Silas injected into Victor recovered from, hmm?

Page 19:  Hmmm, I wonder who that big, hulking, stone-skinned guy standing atop a flaming mountain and surrounded by a horde of swooping Parademons could possibly be?

Page 20:  “BOOOM”  That would be the sound of a Boom Tube opening up in the ocean.  Probably not a good sign, if you ask me…

The gang's (almost) all back together...

This panel makes me happy.  It’s been a long time since this group was together as a team like this.  In fact, if I am correct, the last time Hal Jordan, Clark Kent, Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne and Princess Diana were together, as the Justice League of America, was in Batman and the Outsiders (first series) #1, way back in 1983, when Batman quit the JLA because they would not enter Markovia to save Lucius Fox.  Shortly thereafter, Barry Allen died in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, there were reboots and revamps, Hal Jordan went crazy, and even though Grant Morrison’s JLA brought back together The Big Seven, it was Wally West and Kyle Rayner filling out the group.  So this is a panel a long time coming…

Page 21:  That looming citadel seems to have traveled to Earth via that Boom Tube.  I knew that thing was up to no good. 

Page 22:  First appearance of Aquaman.  Historical first appearance in More Fun Comics #73.  Real name Arthur Curry.  Possesses superhuman strength, dexterity, durability, the ability to survive underwater, mental telepathy and control of sea life.  He also carries a big honking trident. 

“Who’s in charge here? I vote me.”  Great, like we don’t have enough egomaniacs in costume already…

Pages 23-27:  This issue’s text pages feature an excerpt from David Graves’ The Secret History of Atlantis, published by Historic Publications.  Some interesting notes include…

Page 23:  David Graves was mentioned in Amanda Waller’s debrief of Steve Trevor last issue.  She mentioned that David Graves has written dozens of books on the mysteries of the world.

Page 24:  This book seems to be quite popular at the South Orange Public Library, especially in 2007, which would have been shortly after the new age of superhumans began. 

Presumably, the South Orange Public Library is located in South Orange, NJ.  According to the Township of South Orange Village’s website, Melissa Kopecky is the librarian there.  Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sundays.  They are closed on Saturdays during the winter. 

Page 25:  “David Graves is the best selling world-renowned writer of some of the most popular books on the paranormal, supernatural and mythical, but he became the most important author of our time when he wrote his first-hand account of the formation of the Justice League and their role of saving him and his family.”  I wonder if this event will be seen before this story is over?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind reading The Justice League: Gods Among Us.  Any takers?

Page 27:  “I’ve spoken to Dr. Stephen Shin, the famed oceanographer and marine biologist who spent his life searching the seas for signs of the lost empire and even claims there’s an Atlantean now living among us.”  Dr. Stephen Shin first appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #3; apparently he and Aquaman had met at some point in the past and had some sort of conflict that has yet to be revealed. 

“I’ve traveled across the world myself to take part in Dane Dorrance’s expeditions to the deep, uncovering what I believe are the remains of a path to the central city of Atlantis on the ocean floor.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Dane Dorrance was a member of the Sea Devils, a team of undersea adventurers.   Whether or not the Sea Devils exist in the New 52 DCU remains to be seen. 

Pages 28-29:  Sketchbook of Green Lantern’s new costume.  Concept art by Cully Hamner, design by Jim Lee. 

Overall, Green Lantern’s costume has changed less that any other hero’s; with the exception of a few new lines and the boots being changed, it’s pretty much the same as before.  Not a big fan of the boot change, but I guess they had to alter something.