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Brightest Day (Hardcover Vol. 1-3) (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This one’s not so much an “event” as a bi-weekly miniseries, but let’s count it anyway…

Balancing the internal storylines is a tough task for any anthology, especially one running over the course of an entire year. In this respect, 52 feels like the exception rather than the rule. It’s a fairly fundamental problem with Brightest Day that not all of the plotlines are interesting (and certainly not all of the time). It’s a rather strange phenomenon: the early issues try to balance the characters somewhat evenly across the issues, and feels somewhat awkward in trying to devote an equal amount of space to stories that aren’t equally compelling; on the other hand, the second and final thirds seems more comfortable devoting large stretches of single issues to certain characters (and to have other members of the ensemble go unheard from for issues at a time), which has the bizarre effect of meaning that a cliffhanger or two isn’t picked up for two or three chapters. It’s a tough balance to get right, and I’m sad to say that Brightest Day doesn’t acquit itself particularly admirably. It’s a shame, because there are some interesting ideas here.

Everything burns...

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Flash: Rebirth (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” I’ll be starting with the most recent one, Flashpoint, but – in the spirit of the character – we’re going to have a marathon run through Flash stories before we get there. Check back daily this week for more Flash-ified goodness…

From the outset, Flash: Rebirth was going to be an infinitely more complex endeavour for writer Geoff Johns than Green Lantern: Rebirth had been. Both miniseries aimed to firmly establish an older legacy character (in both cases, the iteration of the character active in the late fifties/early sixties) as the core of that particular franchise, replacing their replacements, as it were. However, Hal Jordan had been absent for about ten years, and had been hovering around the DC Universe in various guises during his absence from the role of Green Lantern. Barry Allen, on the other hand, had been gone twenty years and his appearances had been far scarcer. There had been a whole generation of fans (including the author of this miniseries) who grew up with Wally West as the Flash. Bringing Barry back was always going to be tricky, but here it becomes evident just how tricky.

A darker shade of red?

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Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” I’ll be starting with the most recent one, Flashpoint, but – in the spirit of the character – we’re going to have a marathon run through Flash stories before we get there. Check back daily this week for more Flash-ified goodness…

Rumours on the street are that Jesse James bought it. I thought you might be dead, too. Tar pit said Zoom buried you under the Flash Museum. Computron swore you were banished to some kinda war planet. And Double Down bet me a grand the Titans had you locked up in their tower.

But you’re here. You escaped!

– The Trickster just about sums up everything that happened since Geoff Johns left

It was a touch period for the Flash after Geoff Johns finished his rather tremendous run on the character. Although Mark Waid’s first run with Wally West was a celebrated comic book run, his brief tenure on the title following Johns’ departure was not nearly as well received. Wally West was shipped off to an alternate dimension, and then brought back. The teenage Bart Allen was turned into the Flash, and then unceremoniously killed. The Rogues were sent to another planet, and the supporting cast suffered the indignity of Countdown to Final Crisis. All of this happened in a few years, and transformed DC’s Flash comic books from some of the best on the market to something of a joke.

However, Geoff Johns’ Final Crisis tie-in miniseries seems intended to assure the faithful that everything is going to be okay. Even Captain Cold dismisses everything that’s happened as “one %%@#$@-up year.”Let’s just put it behind us.

Cold warriors...

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