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Geoff Johns Hawkman Omnibus: Volume 1 (Review/Retrospective)

I’m always glad to see a nice, big and thick DC comics omnibus. Marvel have cornered the market in putting out over-sized gigantic collections of modern and classic runs on iconic characters, and I’m disappointed that it has taken DC so long to follow suit. After all, they have any number of long runs on iconic characters by acclaimed creators deserving some nice love. Geoff Johns’ Hawkman run is perhaps the writer’s run that I was least excited about, but it’s still nice to get the majority of Geoff Johns’ character-defining and continuity-clarifying run on the character handily collected in one gigantic package.

Hawkin' his wares...

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Brad Meltzer’s Run on Justice League – The Lightning Saga (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This week I’ll be taking a look at Brad Meltzer’s impact on the DC universe. This is a crossover with Geoff Johns’ second run on Justice Society of America.

I can’t help but feel like having Brad Meltzer write this Justice League was a huge waste of what could have been a very impressive run. After all, Meltzer is a big novelist, and turning his attention to DC was a big deal at the time. More than that, though, it seemed like a move that could have pushed the Justice League very much to the fore. Imagine a team of DC’s most iconic properties, helmed by a respected and successful author, and sold outside of comic book stores. Imagine the trade paperback possibilities – I imagine there’s potential to get a Brad Meltzer Justice League book into the hands of somebody who has never read comic books before, and that’s got to be a win. Indeed, the book seems to acknowledge that by advertising a foreword by Patton Oswalt on the front page – it screams “mainstream! mainstream!” Unfortunately, though, it’s the only aspect of this crossover that does, leaving me with only a faint taste of what might have been. It’s not that it’s bad – it’s that it could have been so much better.

The whole trinity...

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Brad Meltzer’s Run on Justice League – The Tornado’s Path (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This week I’ll be taking a look at Brad Meltzer’s impact on the DC universe.

Justice League has always been a bit of a funny little book. The concept is so straight-forward that you’d imagine it would be quite difficult to muck up. After all, it’s a series about DC’s most powerful and iconic heroes teaming up to do impossibly cool stuff and to look good while doing it. DC has been doing this long enough to have an idea of what works on the title and what doesn’t. While Justice League International has its fans, it’s hard to argue that the appeal of the Justice League wasn’t encapsulated by Grant Morrison’s hugely successful nineties run. As such, putting the big characters back on the title shouldn’t seem like a big event of itself – it should be the default setting. So it always seems to me a bit strange when DC relaunch the series with a big name writer and the iconic line-up, only for editorial to inevitably screw things up down the line.

Team photo...

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Absolute Identity Crisis (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This week I’ll be taking a look at Brad Meltzer’s impact on the DC universe.

Identity Crisis is the first in the trilogy of stories that built off the original Crisis on Infinite Earths to offer a fairly significant reevaluation of the modern DC universe, examining where the characters and the fictional landscape was as compared to where it had been decades before. I’ve argued that Marvel went through a similar period of introspection from House of M through to Siege, but DC seemed to engage with the concept on a more direct level. Written by best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer, Identity Crisis is an attempt to explore the rather fundamental changes that occurred in superhero comics during the nineties, often as a direct response to The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen, giving us a more cynical depiction of the concepts and characters that we take for granted. It’s controversial – as any similar reimagining would be – and, to be frank, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

However, it’s always fascinating, even if it is grimly so.

Time to hang it up?

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