Wednesday, February 27, 2013

JUSTICE LEAGUE #16


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado and Ivan Reis
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

In Boston, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman confront King Orm, with Aquaman caught in the middle.  As the Atlantean army emerges from the ocean, Cyborg rescues Dr. Shin and teleports to the Watchtower.  Using his control over the ocean and the storms, Orm overwhelms the Justice League, forcing Cyborg call for help and expand the team in this time of crisis…






Notes

Page 1:  “Ever since Darkseid, we've been worried about threats outside of our world, but the greatest ones could be from it.”  Darkseid’s invasion of Earth was told in Justice League #1-6.

“Dr. Shin studied Arthur’s Atlantean biology for years, Cyborg.  And he immersed himself in Atlantean history.”  For more on Dr. Shin, see recent issues of Aquaman

Page 3:  “He flooded Gotham.  Families were trapped in their cars.  People drowned.”  As seen in Aquaman (New 52) #15.

Page 4:  

Potassium has an exothermic reaction with water that produces hydrogen gas; the hydrogen then combines with the atmospheric oxygen to produce water which, in turn, further reacts with the potassium.

As seen in Aquaman (New 52) #15, Atlanteans are strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Superman.

Page 5:  “If it was the Amazons coming ashore to destroy this city, I’d be fighting against them --”  Easy for Diana to say, given that the Amazons were transformed to stone in Wonder Woman (New 52) #4.  Not like they’re going to be invading Boston anytime soon…

Wonder Woman proves that Aquaman isn't the only bad-ass member of the Justice League.

Page 6:  

I do enjoy the fact that the Justice Leaguers are beginning to relate to one another as "Bruce" and "Arthur," not just "Batman" and "Aquaman."  It's a silly thing, I know, but it shows that they are getting to know and trust one another just a little bit more.

Page 7:  “I had believed perhaps this counterattack against your kingdom would be a satisfactory retribution for the weapons fired upon Atlantis, but then I come here and discover you are not their leader.”  Missiles from the U.S.S. Mabus were launched and attacked Atlantis in Justice League #15.  Orm finally reached the surface in Aquaman (New 52) #15; he was under the impression that Aquaman was the king of the surface world.  Silly Orm…

“Mother would be disappointed.”  Arthur and Orm share a mother, Atlanna, who was the queen on Atlantis until Orm killed her to seize the throne, as revealed by Vulko in Aquaman (New 52) #0. 

Atlantis' long and difficult relationship with the surface world was explored in Aquaman (New 52) #14.

Pages 8-9:  

Well now...this can't be good...

Page 10:  “Go for his joints, Tula.”  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Tula was the heroine known as the first Aquagirl; she first appeared in Aquaman (first series) #33.  She dated Garth, also known as Aqualad, and aided the Teen Titans from time to time until her death in Crisis on Infinite Earths #9.  This New 52 Tula doesn't look like she’ll be joining the Teen Titans anytime soon…

Page 11:  “You are no longer our king.”  As revealed in Aquaman (New 53) #15, after Arthur returned to Atlantis, Orm, the current king, stepped down so that his older brother and rightful heir could assume the throne.  However, after several months, Arthur realized that he didn't belong in Atlantis anymore than he belonged on the surface world, and he abdicated the throne, making Orm the Atlantean king once more.

“The sea life has already fled the coast, Arthur.”  This first started happening in Justice League #15.

So does this make Orm some kind of, oh, I don't know, master of the oceans?  An ocean master, perhaps?

Page 12:  

Nothing like a pissed-off Kryptonian, now is there?

Page 13:  Notice Aquaman’s reflection in Orm’s trident?  This is why Ivan Reis kicks ass…

Notice Aquaman's reflection in Orm's trident?  And this is why Ivan Reis belongs on Justice League.

Pages 14-15:  Ouch.  That looked like it hurt.

Ouch.  That looked like it hurt.

Page 16:  

Orm, 1.  Justice League, 0.

Page 17:   “We sink this city today.”  No, not Boston, I love that city.  I went to college there…

Page 18:  The Detroit, Michigan S.T.A.R. Labs is where Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, works. 

“My weather machine would be completely under my control.”  Given that the speaker is T.O. Morrow, I can only conclude that the “weather machine” is the Red Tornado.  Interestingly enough, over on Earth-2, the World Army is constructing an android known as the Red Tornado as well (albeit one with a female form) as seen in Earth-2 #7.

“You built that android with technology recovered from the Monitor Machine, Thomas.”  The Monitor Machine first appeared in DC Comics -- The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1 and seemed to be receiving a transmission from the aforementioned Earth-2.

“Will Magnus is a misanthropic child and ‘Project: Metal Men’ is a failure.”  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Dr. Will Magnus created the Metal Men, artificially-intelligent androids that had personalities that mirrored their namesake metal, as dictated by a “responsometer” of Magnus’ own design.  Magnus and the Metal Men have yet to appear in the New 52 DCU, but they have been mentioned several times.

“Can you still add that environmental mode?”  Silas suggested this in Justice League #15, but Victor rejected the idea because it would require him to give up his one functional lung so that he can operate underwater.  He has obviously reconsidered things; desperate times and all…

Page 19:  

Since the Justice League's encounter with Graves, Cyborg has been worried that he is little more than a walking, talking machine.  Keeping his brain and heart intact will ensure that he can retain what little humanity he has left.

“We wanted to vet these guys before bringing them on board, but there’s no time.”  An expansion of the Justice League beyond the original seven members was hinted at in Justice League #12.

Page 20:  “Welcome to the Justice League.”  Yay!  It’s recruitment drive time.  Let’s talk about some of the new members, shall we?

Element Woman, real name Emily Sung.  First appeared in DC Comics -- The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1, but since this issue takes place before that, this is technically her first chronological appearance.  Historical first appearance in Flashpoint #1.  Able to transmute her body into any elemental compound and form it to her will.

I’m still wondering if Element Woman has any connection to Graves, given that he stole the Orb of Ra (which, in the pre-Flashpoint DCU, gave Rex Mason some elemental powers) in Justice League #7.

Green Arrow, real name Oliver Queen.  First appeared in Green Arrow (New 52) #1.  Historical first appearance in More Fun Comics #73.  Skilled archer and athlete armed with an arsenal of normal and trick arrows.  Currently appearing in Green Arrow, and he also has a pretty cool show on the CW called Arrow; you should check it out…

Black Lightning, real name Jefferson Pierce.  First appeared in DC Universe Presents #13.  Historical first appearance in Black Lightning (first series) #1.  Able to generate electricity, allowing him to project it in the form of blasts and create electrical force fields.  I was a big fan of Black Lightning when he joined the Justice League of America after Infinite Crisis, so it would be cool to see the character get some more exposure in this title.

Vixen, real name Mari Jiwe McCabe.  First appeared in Justice League International (New 52) #1.  Historical first appearance in Action Comics #521.  Using her Tantu Totem, can mimic the abilities of any animal that has ever lived.  Given that Vixen was injured shortly after joining the now-defunct JLI, it is nice to see her back in action. 

Shazam, real name Billy Batson.  First appeared in Justice League #7.  Historical first appearance in Whiz Comics #2.  Possesses magically-powered superhuman strength, speed, stamina, wisdom, flight and control of a mystic lightning.  Currently appearing in…well, this title.  In a page, actually…

Zatanna, real name Zatanna Zatara.  First appeared in Justice League Dark #1.  Historical first appearance in Hawkman (first series) #4.  A powerful sorceress who casts her spells by speaking her verbal commands backwards.  Currently appearing in Justice League Dark

Goldrush

Goldrush?

Hmmm….

Nope.  Drawing a blank.  I got nothing. 

Unless she’s some sort of new Metal Man…I mean, Metal Woman or whatever, the I assume that she’s a brand, spanking-new character, created specially to appear in Justice League.  You know, kinda like Vibe.  Or Gypsy.  Or Crimson Fox, the Beefeater, Maya, Bloodwynd, Triumph, Mystek, Moon Maiden, Zauriel, Faith…classic characters, all…

(I know, I know, I’m going to piss off the one die-hard Mystek fan out there…)

Hawkman, real name Katar Hol, also known as Carter Hall.  First appeared in The Savage Hawkman #1.  First historical appearance in Flash Comics #1.  Possesses enhanced strength, armor and winged flight due to Nth metal.  Currently appearing in The Savage Hawkman which, unfortunately, will be cancelled in a few, short months, but will be joining the all-new Justice League of America any day now. 

Black Canary, real name Dinah Drake Lance.  First appeared in Birds of Prey (New 52) #1.  Historical first appearance in Flash Comics #86.  (Since her maiden name is Drake and Lance is her married name, she is therefore technically based off the Golden Age Black Canary, not the Silver Age one, hence the issue for her historical first appearance.)  An exceptional martial artist and athlete who possesses a high-pitched sonic scream known as her “Canary Cry.”  Currently appearing in Birds of Prey

Firestorm, real names Ronald “Ronnie” Raymond and Jason Rusch.  First appeared in The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1.  Historical first appearance (of Raymond) in Firestorm (first series) #1, (of Rusch) in Firestorm (second series) #1, and (of Raymond and Rusch together as Firestorm) in Blackest Night #8.  Able to rearrange the atomic structure of inorganic matter, fly, render himself intangible and generate destructive blasts of fusion energy.  Currently appearing in the soon-to-be-cancelled The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men.


“Shazam!”

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

In New Jersey, Sivana and Sloth find another of the Seven Deadly Sins, Pride, and awaken her, while Black Adam finally confronts Shazam in Philadelphia.  The Wizard’s new champion has no idea about this black-garbed stranger until Adam attacks him ruthlessly, all in an effort to steal his power.  Inexperienced in the use of his abilities, Shazam finds himself outmatched, and transforms into Billy Batson in an effort to escape.  An enraged Black Adam vows to find Shazam, even as a quivering Billy flees in fear…

Notes

Page 21:  “It’s such a long walk…to the door.  I hate walking.  I hate exertion of any kind.”  And you wonder why they call you Sloth, you lazy bastard…

“Black Adam should have found the new champion by now.”  He did, at the end of Justice League #15.


Due to his new "Magic eye," Sivana can now see magic.  Unfortunately for him, this will eventually waste him away into the shriveled-up old Dr. Sivana I've been longing for...

Page 22:  

Sloth has the ability to "share" his sin with others.

A magical image of Pride was seen at the Rock of Eternity in Justice League #0.  Remember, when Billy Batson was running footloose and fancy-free through the Rock, causing a ruckus wherever that little scamp went?  Ah, those were the good old days…


Uh-oh.  Something tells me Black Adam's not going to like this...

Page 23:  

Actually, he doesn't.  The kid has absolutely no freaking idea what's going on here...

Page 24

It seems that Black Adam is very sensitive about his age...

Page 25:  Black Adam’s Christmas present to Shazam?  A thorough ass-kicking, from the looks of it.

Page 26:  “I’m…bleeding.  I thought…”  This reminds me of the scene from Superman II where a de-powered Clark Kent gets beaten-up at the diner and receives his first bloody nose.  Shazam's reaction here is pretty much the same as Clark’s.
  
Shazam's has lost control over his mystic lightning again, shorting out all of the electricity in the mall.  He's got to get control of that if he ever wants to be invited onto the Justice League Watchtower...

Page 27:  “You picked the wrong person to push around.”  Billy Batson has been depicted as a troubled kid, but one who will stand up to a bully and won’t abide by anyone being pushed around.  Which is all well and good when you’re dealing with normal, mortal beings, but there’s nothing either normal or mortal about Black Adam.

Page 28:   “Your power.  All of it.”  Black Adam feels that Shazam's power is rightfully his, and will do pretty much anything to get it. 

Page 29:  That look in Shazam's eyes?  Pure, unadulterated fear.

That look in Shazam's eyes?  Pure, unadulterated fear.
Page 30

Au contraire, he seems to be doing a pretty good job of that so far.

“I will find you!  And I will kill you!’  All the more reason Billy to hide, no?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

AQUAMAN #15


“Throne of Atlantis” Part Two

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Art Thibert with Karl Kesel
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Nick Napolitano
Editor: Brian Cunningham & Pat McCallum

Synopsis

While Batman and Aquaman deal with a flooded Gotham City, Wonder Woman and Superman meet Vulko in Metropolis.  The team converges on the Watchtower, where Aquaman asks Cyborg to get Dr. Stephen Shin to safety.  Determined to deal with the Atlanteans on his own, Aquaman confronts Orm in Boston.  Aquaman wants his brother to stand down, but Orm can’t understand what Aquaman is doing on the surface if not ruling the humans.  As the situation worsens, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman arrive to take matters into their own hands, leading Aquaman to turn on his allies in the Justice League

Notes

Page 1:  I am going to make an effort to make these annotations less…how shall I say it?  Wordy than my usual work on issues of Justice League.  I will endeavor to be a bit more expedient and only cover the most important details, if only for my own sanity…

In Justice League #15, Cyborg warned Batman and Aquaman that Gotham City was about to get hit by a tidal wave.  Looks like that happened…


That would by Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock floating in the water above the Bat-signal.

Page 3:  “Barbara’s safe, Jim.”  Barbara is Barbara Gordon, Jim’s daughter and secretly Batgirl.

“The Scarecrow’s thugs kidnapped a witness…”  Batman and Aquaman rescued that witness in Justice League #15.

“We pulled him and some of your officers from the docks.”  The witness to which they are referring is actually a young lady, who was kidnapped by the Scarecrow and later rescued by Batman as seen in recent issues of Batman: The Dark Knight

Page 4:  

The general public doesn't believe in the existence of Atlantis, despite  what Dr. Stephen Shin has told them.

Page 7:  That aircraft carrier is the U.S.S. Mabus, which was thrown into Metropolis, via tidal wave, in Justice League #15.

Being water-breathers, Atlanteans have gills, and therefore do not have lungs.

Page 8:  

We see here that Atlanteans are strong enough to at least give Superman a run for his money.

“If he were still king, they never would have done this.”  The first indication that Aquaman was, at one point, king of Atlantis.  But now, for one reason or another, he is not.

Page 9:  “I was in a different frame of mind.”  You know, angry, hot-headed, stubborn.  Nothing like Aquaman is now…

Page 10:  “That missile test that sent those Tomahawks straight to the ocean floor…they must’ve detonated on or near Atlantis.”  As seen in Justice League #15.

Whoa.  Struck a nerve there, did he?

“You’re the one that said the League has to stop keeping secrets from one another…”  In “The Villain’s Journey” story line seen in Justice League #9-12.

Page 11:  “I nearly died trying to find Atlantis.”  As seen in Aquaman (New 52) #0.

“Until Darkseid came and the Justice League was founded.  It gave me a place to go.”  The events of Justice League #1-6 took place several weeks/months after Arthur found Atlantis in Aquaman (New 52) #0.


Page 12

Only Batman would be flattered by the fact that Aquaman saw him as a threat...



Dr. Stephen Shin, first appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #3.  A marine biologist and researcher of Atlantis.

Page 13:  “I tried to contact the Flash, but he’s not answering.  Reports said he was dealing with some kind of primal attack.  Unrelated.”  Ever since The Flash (New 52) Annual #1, Central City has been under attack by Gorilla Grodd and an army of angry apes.  Flash has his hands full at the moment. 

“Vulko’s the first Atlantean I ever met.  He’s been exiled since my mother’s death.”  As seen in Aquaman (New 52) #0.


Page 14The Trench, first appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #1.  A race of vicious, cannibalistic ocean-dwelling creatures that live beneath the sea floor.  They’re a pretty hungry lot.  They were trapped by Aquaman in a cavern in Aquaman (New 52) #4, but apparently someone thought that it was a good idea to free then again.

Page 15:  

He's not a super-villain,...yet.  You left off the yet, Aquaman.  With an outfit like that, what else can he aspire to be?

It's interesting to see that, even though they have their disagreements, Batman trusts Aquaman enough and is willing to give him an opportunity to make things right.

Page 17:   

See?  That look just screams "super-villain."

“I am speaking your language correctly, am I not?”  If not, just speak louder.  That always works…

Page 18:  “I am talking about the great King Arthur.  Your ruler, human.”  What, has Arthur been telling his brother that he’s king of the surface world?  Awww, that’s cute how brothers like to outdo one another.

Page 19:  

Orm can't fathom why Arthur would be living on the surface world if not to rule them.

Page 20:  

Akin to how modern man thinks that Atlantis is just a myth.  Oh, how foolish we are...

Page 21

Well...someone's not looking too happy...

Page 22:  

This could have gone better...

JUSTICE LEAGUE #15

“Throne of Atlantis” Chapter One

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

In the middle of the Atlantis Ocean, the U.S.S. Mabus accidentally launches several nuclear warheads that target Atlantis.  Aquaman travels to Gotham City to ask for help from Batman; it seems that Aquaman suspects that the Trench have returned, and he might need the assistance of the League.  Meanwhile, Clark Kent and Diana’s date is interrupted by a tidal wave crashing into Metropolis, with the U.S.S. Mabus being swept into the city.  Superman and Wonder Woman do what they can to rescue the city, and gain some assistance from Vulko, an Atlantean who needs to speak to Aquaman .  With both Boston and Metropolis floods, Gotham City is next.  Aquaman recognizes the tactic as the Atlantean War Protocols that he came up with to one day attack the surface world…

Notes

Page 1:  

Ooooo...pretty fish.

Page 2:  Generally, an aircraft carrier losing control of their nuclear warheads is not a good thing…

Page 3:  “This has to be a malfunction.  There’s nothing down there!”  I think that the Atlanteans would argue with you on that particular point.

Damn.  That is one big honking seahorse...

Page 4:  In Justice League #14, Clark brought Diana to Smallville in an effort to show her what it is that he fights for.  Personally, I think it was just a really smooth pick-up line that happened to work, given the fact that it seems like this was an “overnight date.”

“So I came up with the idea of a dual identity.”  In the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, Clark had the help of Jonathan and Martha Kent to do this, as seen in multiple versions of his origins, such as The Man of Steel, Superman: Birthright and Superman: Secret Origin.  However, in the New 52 DCU, the Kent's’ deaths force Clark to come up with his alternate identity on his own, thus without the benefit of Martha’s sewing skills. 

“I thought about wearing a mask like Bruce does.”  Until this point, I was unsure if Batman had revealed his identity to the rest of the Justice League.  “The Villain’s Journey,” in Justice League #9-12, would indicate that he hadn’t, because the story reinforced the idea that the Leaguers were keeping too many secrets from one another.  For example, it was pointed out that no one seemed to know anything about Superman at all, with the exception of Batman.

However, Batman did unmask in front of Green Lantern back in Justice League #5, and Hal would, in my mind, be the worst person to reveal your identity to.  So Bruce must have unmasked to everyone else at some point in the League’s history.  Clark, however, has still kept his private life close to the vest.

This has long been Clark's rationale for not wearing a mask; unlike Bruce, he wants to inspire trust, and a mask will only make others think that he has something to hide.

“You have to be kidding me.”  Diana’s reaction is only natural; how can someone hide their identity from the world with a simple pair of glasses? 

Compare this to the scene at the end of Infinite Crisis #7, in which Diana tells Clark and Bruce that she longs to reconnect with her human side.  Clark, with a tip of his glasses, says, “I can suggest a way to clear your perspective.”  One year later, post-52, a glasses-wearing Diana Prince serves as Wonder Woman’s secret identity.

Page 5:  “His daughter is stationed on the U.S.S. Mabus.”  So, according to the writings of Nostradamus, the death of someone known as “Mabus” will herald some sort of cataclysmic event, involving vengeance, hunger, and maybe a comet.  No one seems to know who this “Mabus” is, but there are some wonderfully fun theories…President Barack Obama, both former Presidents Bush, and Osama bin Laden are popular ones.  Could Johns be commenting on the fact that this aircraft carrier inadvertently causes a cataclysm in the DCU?

It could have also been named after Ray Mabus, the United States Secretary of the Navy, but I think that the first theory is so much more fun, don’t you?

This scene is a perfect example of Victor’s current relationship with Silas…it’s all work, without any personal connection.  Silas, actually, is making much more of an effort to reach out than Victor is. 

“There’s nothing a parents cares more about than their child.”  Which explains why Silas transformed Victor into a cyborg in the first place; he didn't want to lose him, and would do anything in his power to save him. 

Page 6:  “You should've thought about that before you agreed to testify against Professor Crane.”  Crane is, of course, the Scarecrow, who was referenced in Justice League #10 as one of the villains that Graves attacked and interrogated about the Justice League.  Scarecrow has also appeared in recent issues of Batman: The Dark Knight

The young girl in the boat whom the Scarecrow’s goons have abducted was kidnapped by the Scarecrow.  Batman rescued her in Batman: The Dark Knight #14.

I love Gotham City criminals...they know how to accessorize.

“And I’ll call your father and tell him you’re all right.”  I like this relationship that Batman seems to have with Cyborg.  Assuming that Victor is around the same age as Dick Grayson, Bruce would have something of a big brother/paternal attitude towards Cyborg.  He also sees that Victor and Silas don’t have the best relationship right now, but Bruce is, of course, incredibly aware about how devastating it is to lose a parent.  Seeing all of this, it’s only natural for him to try to keep those lines of communication between the Stone men open. 

“You don’t need to do that.”  Yeah, like Batman’s going to listen…

Page 7:  So, lots of nice panels on this page…

Oh, yeah, time to comment on the new artist.  So, I’ve been a huge fan of Ivan Reis’ work for years, ever since his DC debut back in Action Comics, continuing through The Rann-Thanagar War, Green Lantern, Blackest Night and to his most recent work on Aquaman..  And, ever since he drew the JLA’s two-page origin in 52 Week Fifty-One, I have longed to see Reis tackle the World’s Greatest Heroes. 

Not to take anything away from Jim Lee, who is a wonderful artist, but, as of late, I have enjoyed his work more on solo characters.  His art of the “Hush” and “For Tomorrow” story lines in Batman and Superman several years back was wonderful, but I find his work on a book with a large cast like Justice League to be lacking.  Moreover, I was less than impressed with the jam-inker issues of Justice League, issues 5 & 6 for example.  Lee’s work just doesn't do much for me unless Scott Williams inks him.  So I am more than happy to welcome Reis and Prado to this title, and hope that they stay for many issues to come…

Page 8:

Oh yeah.  Aquaman's still a bad-ass.

Page 9:  One of the refreshing things about the New 52 DCU is that the public doesn't know all that much about the heroes; all they have to go on are the rumors and stories they hear.  Thus, the idea that Aquaman lives with a mermaid isn't that far-fetched, and Atlantis is still a myth…well, maybe not too much longer.

One of the hallmarks of Geoff Johns' run on Aquaman is that he is considered something of a joke by the public.  Note the he is, in actually, anything but...

“I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on how to lead the Justice League, and we need to talk about that, but first, I've got a problem.”  As pointed out in Justice League #9-12, up until this point, the members of the Justice League didn't really interact with one another all that much outside of the team.  Sure, Superman and Batman have worked together several times, and Green Lantern and Flash do their thing, but, other than that, they don’t really have much of a personal relationship.  Their solo careers and private lives are separate from the League.

That, however, is starting to change.  As we saw in Justice League #13-14, the League aided Wonder Woman in apprehending the Cheetah.  And now, even though he has differences with Batman, Aquaman does to him for help with a matter that, as of yet, doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the team.  That’s progress.

“The last time this happened, it was on an isolated beach where a group of flesh-eating creatures rose from the oceans and attacked a town.”  As seen in Aquaman (New 52) #2.

Page 10:



Mera, real name Mera.  First appeared in Aquaman (New 52)#1.  First historical appearance in Aquaman (first series) #11.  Able to increase the density of water and create structures with it. 



A simple introduction that lets the reader know that, in the New 52 DCU, Batman has, in fact, met Mera before now.

Page 11:  “You look concerned.”  When does Batman not look concerned?

So...I wonder what's up with this fishing boat...

Page 12:

The Metropolis Seafood Grill?  Kinda swanky for your second date, don't you think, Clark?

Page 13:

The explanation/justification for "how eyeglasses work as a disguise" in the DC Universe.

“It is for me.”  As you may have seen in recent issues of Wonder Woman, Diana doesn't have much of a social life.  Her “family issues’ take up most of her time. 

“Hopefully it’s the first of many.”  Who, slow down there, tiger.  How about you get through dessert first, no?

Pages 14-15:  So that’s where the Mabus went to. 

Oh, hey, look!  There's that fishing boat from Page 11.  I knew that would come back to haunt us somehow...

Page 16:  

Not just a job for Superman.  It's nice to see Clark thinking about his new lady-friend in a time of crisis.

Page 17:

What's a disaster in Metropolis without Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane being smack-dab in the middle of it?  

Pages 18-19:  “Did Wonder Woman and Superman just catch an aircraft carrier?”  Now this is an epic shot, one worthy of a two page spread.  And, honestly, this is what Justice League should be all about.  Superman, Batman and the others can have their own adventures in their own titles, but this book should be where the really big, really important stuff that affect the entire DCU happens. 

What, Lois, jealous?  No, never...

Oh, look, Lois Lane needs saving.  It must be a Wednesday...

Page 20:



Vulko, full name Nuidis Vulko.  What the hell kind of name is “Nuidis” anyway?  Probably Atlantean…  First appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #0.  First historical appearance in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #73.  Former adviser to the Atlantean throne, he lives on the surface world now. 

Page 21:  “Boston was hit by a tidal wave.  Along with Metropolis.”  Boston and Metropolis must be somewhat close if they were hit by tidal waves at somewhat the same time.  So where is Metropolis?  Rhode Island?  Somewhere in Connecticut?  Whatever happened to it being in Delaware?  (Points to you if you recall where that little tidbit of information first appeared.)  Ah, the vagueness of fictional cities and their “real-world” locations…

“The next wave’s about to hit Gotham.”  Continuing on with our exploration of the geography of the DCU, given that the wave will hit Gotham after Boston and Metropolis, Batman’s hometown must be slightly further to the south of both those two cities.  New Jersey, perhaps?

Page 22:  “Because I wrote them.”  Whoa.  Awkward.



Ocean Master, real name Orm.  First appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #14.  First historical appearance in Aquaman (first series) #29.  King of Atlantis who uses Atlantean crown and trident to control the ocean and the storms. 

Note that, in this story, Orm has yet to be referred to as “the Ocean Master.”  But, why let a cool name go to waste, you know?





 “Shazam!”

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

While trying to have a fun night on the town with his pal Freddy, Shazam finds himself drawn to multiple crimes which require him to use his powers to help others.  After learning that he can fly, Shazam decides that he’s not going to transform back into Billy Batson, which upsets Freddy.  Angry with his friend, Freddy storms off, just in time for Black Adam to locate Shazam for some one-on-one time…

Notes

Page 23:

And this is why no one in the DC ever wants to go out to dinner with Shazam...

“A case of beer’s gotta be at least five dollars.”  Ah, youth.

Page 24:  “A magic spell?  To get money from am ATM machine?”  Yeah, kinda like I do every time I go to the ATM.  “Please let me have enough money, please, please, please…”

Page 25:  “Look!  They’re robbing the place, too!”  Way to be subtle, Freddy.

Page 26

Why wear a coat when you have that stylish hood and cape combo going for you? 

“Uh…Shazam?”  Yay!  Shazam can actually say his own super-hero name and not be instantly transformed via magical lightning bolt back into Billy Batson.  Twenty-first century progress right there, I tell you…

Page 28:

Zap a pumpkin and turn it into a car?  What does he think he is, a fairy godmother?

“What are the chances of walking into a bank robbery, a liquor store holdup and a car thief in one day?”  Yeah, I mean, it’s not like they live in Gotham

“Being drawn to places of need is actually quite useful for a champion of Eternity such as yourself.”  This is a meta-textual way of explaining how and why super-heroes always seem to arrive where they are needed at just the nick of time. 

Page 29:  “My name is Francesca.  I saw you in the Rock of Eternity.”  When Billy was there in Justice League #0. 

Page 30:

There is nothing more touching than a boy who magically transforms into an adult taking his juvenile-delinquent foster brother out for their first flight together.

Page 31:  “We’ve been gone since yesterday, Billy.”  It was late at night when Billy snuck out of the Vasquez’s home in Justice League #10.  Given that it’s mid-December in Philadelphia and it is, according to Freddy, almost sundown, it’s somewhere between 4:30 and 4:40 PM

Its true.  If you were a kid who could, with one magic word, transform into a super-powered adult, why would you ever change back?  Hopefully, future chapters of Shazam's story will explore just that.

Page 32:  Billy might look like an adult as Shazam, but he’s still a kid at heart, with all the good and bad that goes along with that.

Page 33:

Watch it with the magic lightning, dude, you're zapping all the Christmas lights...

Page 34:  

That's funny, I didn't even know you were looking for me...

So…Shazam, Black Adam.  Black Adam, Shazam.  Discuss…