The Green Lantern Corps Podcast

James Robinson Justice League

Posted in News by mrread7 on August 30, 2008

Greetings everyone, today I thought I would talk about the upcoming Justice League with James Robinson. About two years ago when Brad Meltzer relaunched Justice League of America following the end of Infinite Crisis. The book was on fire. The roster included the Trinity, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman with Hal Jordan, Vixen, Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Roy Harper becoming Red Arrow, Hawk Girl and Black Canary as chair person. The first 12 issues by Meltzer were probably some of the best issues I had read Grant Morrison wrote the book back in the 90s. While, everyone knew that Brad would be leaving the title with issue 12, Dwayne McDuffie took over as writer. His first story arc dealing with the newly established Injustice League (a personal favorite of mine). Came at the Justice League in high fashion and started taking them apart one by one. Of course they didn’t count on John Stewert and later Firestorm turning the tide of battle. Firestorm was then forced on the team by Batman and John decided to play a rotating position with Hal on the League. Now, you would think with all of this that the book would be great… but it proved to start having a downward spiral.

I don’t fault McDuffie for this though, it was an editorial decision to have the book spend almost 7 months to deal with cross overs of other events in the DC Universe while everything lead to the Final Crisis. However, the Queen Bee story with Wonder Woman and the Flash was some solid stuff (nothing to do with her being my favorite Justice League villains). His recent story arc tying up everything with Amazo was also well done but… the story also dragged out and I felt that Vixen was so poorly handled. Plus, and please don’t everyone start sending me hate mail but I have noticed that when Dwayne writes books on a longer basis, he has to include as many African-american characters as possible. I have no problem with the characters at all but… there is a limited to how you add characters to a book before you realize it’s an ethnical thing. I was happy that finally a writer outside of Gail Simon was writing Vixen the way she should be and having Black Lightning take center stage was long over due. Plus, we had Firestorm, a personal favorite of mine but the more you read the more it was like: “We had Hal, and John is in the main Green Lantern book and is playing a lot in Blackest Night. Why is John in the book more than Hal?” If you read McDuffie’s Fantastic Four, the same was happening when the Black Panther and Storm took Reed and Sue’s positions on the team after Civil War. I want good stories and variety of characters in Justice League of America, not adding more characters of a certain background.

So, now I’ve put Justice League down for the next few months and moving towards James Robinson’s upcoming run or new title or whatever this is all about. In an interview a couple of months back, Robinson talked about the new book. “You can’t imitate [writing comics]. It’s completely unique but I needed some time away from it,” Robinson continued. “And just as I was beginning to get my engines revving again, in terms of doing something in comics, [“Action Comics” writer] Geoff [Johns] called me up and invited me up to be a part of ‘Superman.’
“At the same time, I had come up with a concept of my own for the new ‘Justice League’ book. And everything from there just fell into place. As much as I am grateful to DC for their support — especially [DCU Executive Editor] Dan DiDio, who has really gone out of his way to welcome me back into the fold — I am equally grateful to Geoff. ” “I met Geoff at Motor City Con many years ago when he was a fan. And he impressed me then. And he proved me right. He is one of the great comic book writers and I owe everything to him in terms of coming back to comics.”

Johns is, of course, the mastermind behind “Justice Society of America,” “Action Comics,” “Green Lantern” and “Booster Gold,” as well as two upcoming “Final Crisis” tie-in series “Legion of Three Worlds” and “Rogues‘ Revenge.”

In fact, Johns has become such a good friend to Robinson that when he writes the two headliners of ‘Justice League’ ” Green Lantern and Green Arrow ” he simply taps into his and Johns’ real-life relationship for inspiration and, more importantly, dialogue. “When I write Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen, I just write me and Geoff talking to each other,” mused Robinson.

Robinson’s concept for “Justice League” is fuelled by the notion that while some of the world’s greatest heroes react in perhaps a more methodical and pensive way to the murder of a DCU character in “Final Crisis,” others, namely Hal and Ollie, are ready to strike down with great vengeance and furious anger as if Samuel L. Jackson was calling the shots.

“I didn’t know who was going to live or who was going to die in ‘Final Crisis,” so I came up with a concept for a new ‘Justice League’ book, where the team had a purpose that was different from the Justice League of America,” explained Robinson. “And it’s a purpose that literally, you can keep going with it. The reason for the team is always there. It’s not just the like the Keith Giffen ‘Justice League’ was funny, ‘so let’s do another funny one in Europe.’ This team has a purpose that I pitched to Dan. Dan said yes immediately, ‘let’s do it.’”

So, setting up the roster we have Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and Oliver Queen as Green Arrow setting up the new Justice League in the aftermath of the Final Crisis. Robinson said the rest of the team is formed through events as opposed to ‘people sorting through photographs,’ referring to Brad Meltzer’s bestselling relaunch of “Justice League of America.”

“This is completely different, that worked in the book at the time but the idea of three people picking the team, I think is preposterous,” said Robinson. “In this book, it is driven by the situation. It is two guys, who break away. The other thing you have to remember, and Hal sort of reminds Justice League of America of this, is he does sort of play second fiddle to the Trinity.

“And he has to remind himself of the fact that when he is on Earth, he is the law in this space sector. He’s Marshall Matt Dillon from ‘Gunsmoke.’ He needs to uphold that law. And that is one of the things that will ultimately drive Hal to break away and form his own team. “But it’s typical to him and Oliver, they’re like, ‘Geez. We have broken away but what do we do now?’ They don’t really have a concrete plan. Obviously, events and fate bring other characters into play and slowly the team comes together.”

Now, with those two in charge you need a Superman and Batman family member in the mix and that’s where Supergirl and Batwoman coming into play. Now, with Kara you have her basically moving up from the small leagues to the big leagues with no pun intended. From the Teen Titans and the Amazons to one of the power roles in this Justice League. However, the biggest surprise comes with Batwoman. Greg Rucka confirmed at Emerald City ComiCon that his long-rumored “Batwoman” series was a go. As such, Robinson admits some trepidation concerning Katherine Kane. “To be honest with you, I am a little hands off with that character. She’s Greg Rucka’s character. She’s in the book to give the book a ‘Bat’ emblem. I don’t really have the greatest handle on her. She’s going to be more off to the side. I don’t want to offend Greg Rucka! Truly, I think he’s a great writer that I respect immensely but Batwoman is his baby to run with. She isn’t going to be as big a personality on the team as Ollie, Hal and Kara.” With them on the team you add in Ray Palmer who will return not as the Atom but as the scientist of the group. I’m looking forward to having Ray back in the spot light but not in the full super hero mode. There is nothing wrong with the current Atom, Ryan Choi. Having Ray in this role will be a wonderful role as he deals more with his ex-wife’s role as the killer of Sue Dibny and as the former host of Eclipso.

A real favorite I’m looking forward to is Freddy Freeman, the former Captain Marvel Jr. as the new Shazam on the team. “Freddy Freeman, to me, is a little bit lost. So we are going to find Freddy Freeman in the course of this book,” said Robinson.
“Do you know the whole thing with Captain Marvel Jr. and Elvis Presley? Well, let me tell you. For Freddy Freeman, ‘Captain Marvel Jr.,’ the art was always done by Mac Raboy, or a lot of it was. It was a much more serious book than ‘Captain Marvel.’ It felt more serious. It was darker. It was more real than C.C. Beck’s ‘Captain Marvel’ and definitely more serious than ‘Mary Marvel.’ And also he was a scruffy, cripple news guy, who when he said, ‘Captain Marvel,’ became Captain Marvel Jr.

“So Elvis Presley wanted a unique haircut. And at the time, in the fifties, especially in Memphis, he couldn’t get it because everything was short, back and sides. So he would go into ladies hair salons with copies of ‘Captain Marvel Jr.,’ show them Captain Marvel’s haircut and that’s the original look of Elvis. And when you think about Elvis later, Vegas Elvis, with the cape, think about it in your head, turn into red and gold or blue and gold and it’s a Captain Marvel costume.

“Anyways, it’s not for me to criticize what people are doing but I think in ‘Justice League,’ we are going to find who Freddy Freeman is. We are going to make sense of it all. I can’t talk about it now but Geoff and I have discussed this and we have some big plans, some big, big plans for Freddy and that whole aspect of the book, the Shazam aspect of the book.”

Now rounding out the cast are the two characters that I’m a bit worried about but at the same time, very interested in. Congo Bill and the Mikaal Tomas (Starman). “Congorilla’s basically a magical, seven-foot tall, golden gorilla. But he has the intelligence and the sophistication of a big game hunter, who has lived for 90 years,” explained Robinson. “He’s not necessarily the smartest guy on the team but he’s the wisest guy on the team.

“At the same time, because he is in a gorilla’s body, the golden gorilla’s physical demands mean when he is challenged, he’s this savage, exciting jungle predator. So that’s why I stress that he’s magical, and I am probably ripping off a million characters here, but it’s occurred to me if he takes on Deadshot, all Deadshot needs to do, it doesn’t matter if he’s a seven-foot tall gorilla or not, is shoot Congorilla and he’s dead.

“So the whole concept of this big game hunter, who became this big gorilla and could originally go back and forth, doesn’t work. So now he is basically stuck as Congorilla and he’s magical, I am giving him sort of a healing factor, which will allow him to survive against that type of foe. That makes him just that much more formidable if you can’t eliminate quickly.

“There is not a single person, who is not doubtful about this character when they see that he is going to be in ‘Justice League.’ But if you remember, and I say this proudly, if you remember The Shade originally, he just had Shade powers, he had a top hat, he had a goofy costume with pixie boots and he looked ridiculous. And I turned the Shade into a character that people liked [in ‘Starman’]; people cared about, and now think he is cool. I made The Shade cool. I will do the same with Congorilla, you, all of you will love him!”

Indeed, people like The Shade so much, Robinson and DC are ready to bring him back. Confirmed Robinson, “I am going to go back and do a Shade special within the year for DC, or a miniseries. It will be one or another but it will be his origin and it will be touching on him in various points of his life.”

James Robinson said that: When I pitched the idea to Dan, he said, ‘If you want to include Starman, I wouldn’t be unhappy,’” Robinson revealed. “But Jack Knight is in San Francisco with his wife, with his kids, he’s painting, he’s retired. He’s done. And the thing is, if I bring him back. He becomes part of the DC tapestry and then other people get to have a go at him. I just don’t want to do it. It was an elegant ending. It was an ending I planned for Jack Knight from #4 of ‘Starman.’ I don’t want to open it up again.

“But when Dan said Starman, I thought about it. And I thought about Mikaal Tomas.”

A blue alien stranded on Earth, Mikaal Tomas has a gem embedded in his chest that grants him the ability to fly as well as other special powers. Very popular with readers, Mikaal appeared throughout Robinson’s “Starman” series and has scarecely been seen since.

“I thought about how I left him in the air a little bit,” Robinson continued. “And he had so much potential. Again, he’s an elegant guy but how we left him in ‘Starman,’ he was beginning to reconnect with the war-like aspects of his race. So you get a guy who sometimes can do Cary Grant and other times he is Wolverine or whatever savage hero you want to throw at me. So we have that juxtaposition.”

Robinson said one of his favorite things about “Justice League,” so far, is that the heroes throw away the honorifics and keep the title worship to a minimum. “It occurred to me with Freddy Freeman. That’s’ a name that you brought up. Well, Hal and Ollie call themselves Hal and Ollie. You are never going to hear ‘Congorilla’ used in the book. He’s just Bill. Mikaal is Mikaal. Kara is Kara. Ray Palmer is Ray. So it’s a book where everybody is known by their first names, which I like.

“I don’t mean to be facetious. I really want to make this different than any other book out there. And so far, based on the editorial comments, I have succeeded. And I hope to continue to do so.”

With that kind of a roster and with artwork by Mauro Cascioli (“The Trials of Shazam”) on the book, I can’t wait to see this book in action in January. Could this Justice League be a classic in the making? Or will the hype around it just be all the book has for it besides a great writer and artist on the book. I’m hoping it’s the former but I can say this, I am so excited for this book when the New Year roles around. Peace everyone and have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.


The Rise of Magog

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on August 28, 2008

Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of delays, sadly it isn’t because of work. Sad to report, one of my family dogs, Kira passed away this morning. She has been suffering from several health problems for a while now. She went this afternoon. Kira was a member of the family for almost 16 years and was probably one of the most sweetest toy poodles we have ever known. We will miss you Kira. Despite this sad news and since writing helps me through times like this. I thought I would take a look at Magog, who recently was born into the DC Universe proper this week. Magog first debuted in the Elseworlds comic book Kingdom Come #1 (May 1996). Within this possible future, he represents the violent, modern-style heroes who come into conflict with the classic, moralistic heroes of the past.

In Kingdom Come, Magog, “The New Man of Tomorrow,” is a hero with a rising career in the last days of Superman’s declining popularity. His true origins are never revealed in the story. His most controversial act at the time was killing the Joker, who was already in custody. Further compounding the situation, the Joker’s final rampage had resulted in the death of Lois Lane and others close to Superman. Magog avenges the Man of Steel’s friends but in a way that goes completely against the elder hero’s beliefs. He then surrenders to Superman and the authorities. When put on trial for murder, Magog is acquitted.
Superman, disgusted with this injustice, goes into self-imposed exile for ten years. In that time, a new generation of heroes following Magog’s violent approach begin to arise. Magog himself begins operating with a team of heroes known as the Justice Batallion (a group composed of characters based on the heroes of Charlton Comics). During a battle with the villainous Parasite, Magog’s teammate Captain Atom is critically injured, the result of which is his eventual explosion like an atomic bomb. This disaster leaves Kansas completely destroyed, and much of America’s heartland covered in deadly radiation.
Magog and Alloy are the only survivors of the Kansas blast. This cataclysm is the event which finally draws Superman and many of the heroes of his generation out of retirement, thus leading to the story’s inevitable conflict. Initially, Magog is considered the most wanted and dangerous criminal in the world and is hunted by Superman’s new Justice League. When they at last confront him in the ruins of Kansas, Magog lashes out, though it soon becomes apparent that he was traumatized by his experience and seeks forgiveness.
He is taken into custody by the League and in the battle that follows, a remorseful and changed Magog attempts to save as many lives as he can. At the end of Kingdom Come, Magog retires to Paradise Island, where he is seen caring for the crippled Japanese superheroine Tokyo Rose. In the Elliot S! Maggin novelization, it is revealed Magog becomes mature enough to be a Dean of Students at Themyscira.

Following the Kingdom Come Superman from Earth-22, the events that would lead to Magog being born on New Earth began to flow following the return of Gog of the Third World. That world’s version of Superman arrived on New Earth following the destruction of Earth-22. A villain calling himself Gog appears soon after the other Superman’s arrival. This version of Gog gruesomely slaughters metahuman criminals who claim to be gods by blasting holes through their chests and disintegrating their hearts. His powers increased with each deity he slew. He briefly faces off against the Infinity-Man before taking on the Justice Society.
This version of Gog is a priest named William Matthews who received his powers from an underground citadel in Africa and took the name Gog, which was the name of the last surviving god of the Third World. He also claims that the Superman of Earth-22 let Kansas die. When the JSA lead him back to the citadel, his body is absorbed by a stone face on a wall. The stone face rises, becoming a massive stone man adorned in gold who claims to be the one, true, Gog.
This fourth Gog, chronologically the first one, is an exile of the Third World who was unwilling to take sides in the final battle of the Old Gods and was cast off as a result. He then plunged into the Bleed and traveled through various alternate universes until he landed on New Earth. Inert, his consciousness lingered in the stone and lava. A local tribe built a staff out of his remnants, enabling a user to channel Gog’s powers. The staff was later found by William Matthews, who claimed the name Gog.

Upon being revived, Gog claims that Matthews wasn’t his servant and that Matthews had been driven mad from visions of the Multiverse, including having visions of events on Earth-22.
This version of Gog displays a cheerful, child-like, peaceful personality. He claims he is “happy to be alive” and compelled to “make things good again”. He saves an African village near his citadel from the effects of toxic contamination from lava that contained his essence and heals Damage’s disfigured face in response to his skepticism. Gog then sends Sandman to a blissful, dream-filled sleep for twenty-four hours, cures Starman of his schizophrenia, gives Doctor Mid-Nite his sight back, and sends Power Girl “home”. Gog then hears the noises of a war going on near by and vows to stop it.Lance Corporal David Reid, great-grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt, was with the Marine platoon assigned to halt the looting of the National Museum of Iraq during the Iraq War. Reid tracked one of the looters and found an artifact; upon touching it, Reid blacked out, waking up three weeks later to find that he was now filled with plasma energy and that a mark shaped like the Eye of Providence had opened up on his left arm. With the aid of a pointed hand-held device (which got him the nickname “Lance”), Reid was able to project focused blasts of energy. Because the modern Justice Society tries to keep the legacies of former heroes alive, and because Franklin Roosevelt was credited with bringing the JSA together in the first place, the Society asked Reid to join them. Following the battle with “fake” Gog, the real Gog rose to take care of famine and war in the Congo. When Reid was shot in his lance by a soldier, it over loaded and killed him on the spot. Gog quickly revived him and had him reborn as Magog.

I’m looking forward to the conclusion to the story line in December and if this version of Magog will have the same effect on the heroes of the world the way the Earth-22 version did.

My Final Crisis tie ins list

Posted in Final Crisis by mrread7 on August 23, 2008

I was thinking last night, I do all this talk about the Final Crisis tie ins that I like but I never really talk about why I want to get one book over another. So, I decided to make up my own hit list of Final Crisis books I can’t wait for and will be adding to the list. First off all though, I will talk about the ones I won’t be getting. The first being Superman: Beyond, I get this is supposed to tie in to Lois’s condition and even tie into Legion of 3 Worlds but I really don’t want to be reading about a two part story that deals with a guy trying to save his wife no matter what. I’ve read this before and I’ve even written stuff like this before. Will it probably be a good story? Sure, but will I be putting out $7 for it? No. I’m also not following Trinity at all, I love Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley’s work but I can’t put out $2.99 a pop for a weekly series. I know that Trinity really doesn’t deal directly with Final Crisis but it touches upon it at times. Just not a cup of tea at the moment.

Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns

Probably the biggest of the books I’m looking forward to in the middle of October. Rage of the Red Lanterns pretty much kicks off not only The Blackest Night but also the first in the War of Light chapter in the main Green Lantern title. While the Star Sapphire Corps plagues the rest of the corps over in the Green Lantern Corps book. This book is not only going to deal with who the Red Lanterns are but also set up Sinestro for 2009. As the Green Lantern Corps pass judgment on their former Green Lantern. Will Sinestro finally be executed or will the Red Lanterns have their justice. It’s these questions that I’m looking forward to and just what the origin of the Red Lantern power really is.

Final Crisis: Resist

Taking place just after the Anti-life equation was unleashed on Earth. This deals with the resistance against the power of Darkseid and his forces. As Snapper Carr, Mr. Terrific and what is left of Checkmate have to team up with one of the main members of the Injustice League and constant foe of Wonder Woman, Cheetah. There is a lot of history with Cheetah and Snapper Carr back when he was the JLA mascot and considering what happened during Salvation Run. It will be interesting to see where Cheetah stands now with the villain community. However, the biggest news is Snapper Carr returning. He hasn’t been seen since the last Hourman series wrapped up a few years ago. I am hoping we find out what happened to Snapper following the end of the series, not just with Young Justice but also his ex, Bethany Lee and their friends and family.

Final Crisis: Submit

On the other side of Resist deals with submitting to the Anti-life equation. Pretty much the line between hero and villain becomes hugely blurred and the current Tattoo Man has to team up with Black Lightning through all of this. The characters actually share a history and since Black Lightning had problems with the second Tattoo Man over the years. It’s going to be interesting to see what the two do. I’m very interested in how the Tattoo Man is going to react with all the countless sins going on in the world following the release of the Anti-life equation and how Black Lighting is going to pull through everything. His two daughters are super heroes and his wife has her own problems. This should be some great drama to watch.

One World, under Gog

The conclusion to the major story line that has been going on in Justice Society finally reaches it’s high climax. As the Kingdom Come Superman, the new Magog, and the entire Justice Society must find out where they stand against Gog. Do they support him, when the world needs peace the most. Or do they stand against some one who might have the best intentions but will ultimately bring about a greater disaster for everyone. This story has really been about being given your greatest desires and watching them come apart around you. How the large Justice Society has become split over Gog’s dealings and the heroes that have completely fallen to his influence. It’s more of a story of morality and despite three tie ins to bring the story to an end come December. It’s worth my extra $7 and my time. I can’t wait to see how this all comes to a mind shatter end.

The Time Trapper

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on August 21, 2008

Hello everyone, if any read Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, then you are probably wondering a bit more on the villain from the piece, the Time Trapper. This long time villain has a strange and complicated history and has a lot of bent up anger in both Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes, in any form. So, check out his guys history.

The Time Trapper was originally a strange robed warlord from the extremely distant future, well past the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In his early appearances, the Time Trapper created a strange “Iron Curtain of Time” that prevented the Legion from going into their future. He also commanded a vast number of slaves and had a female henchwoman named Glorith, whom he eventually murdered.
For an unknown reason, The Time Trapper appeared in 1958 to challenge Wonder Woman and Colonel Steve Trevor by creating a diabolical ‘fun house’. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor were transported to various disasters throughout time before defeating the Time Trapper. Time Trapper admitted defeat and disappeared, possibly returning to the unusual “Iron Curtain of Time”.
In 1978, Time Trapper appeared again to defeat the Super Friends. During the investigation Wonder Woman suggested that The Time Master and the Time Trapper were the same person. Superman deduced that the Time Trapper wanted to get rid of all super heroes throughout time, particularly The Legion of Super Heroes. Time Trapper kidnapped and transported the Wonder Twins in the past by trapping Jayna on Krypton and Zan on a water planet near the star-sun Neryla. With the help of Queen Hippolyta, The Super Friends separated into small teams to locate and rescue the Wonder Twins. Returning to the present, the Super Friends defeated The Time Trapper who then disappeared. Superman believed he was imprisoned by the Controllers from his world.
Later, it was revealed that the Time Trapper was a member of the fascist but well intentioned race of Controllers. The Time Trapper was defeated by the Legion and it was believed that his menace ended when the villain Darkseid removed almost all of his power during the Great Darkness Saga.
Later retcons made the Time Trapper not a Controller at all, but of a wildly changing series of origins that some comic fans have speculated is the result of time being fluid. These origins include him being the Legionnaire Cosmic Boy, Glorith, Lori Morning, and the living embodiment of Entropy in the Universe.

One of the more noteworthy stories involving the Time Trapper came after the reality-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths and the 1986 revamp of Superman’s origin, which removed Superboy from Superman and Legion continuities. Given the problems this posed for Legion continuity, it was revealed in Action Comics #591 (August 1987) that the Time Trapper created a pocket universe from a slice of time in the distant past, and altered events in this reality so that an Earth resembling the pre-Crisis one was formed, complete with its own Superboy. The Time Trapper then further manipulated the timestream so that whenever the Legion would travel into the past to visit the 20th century (or Superboy visited the Legion’s future), the two would be directed into each other’s worlds. Ironically, this “pocket universe” lacked a Kryptonian Supergirl, and thus wasn’t a perfect answer to patching Legion continuity. (This “pocket universe” was later revisited and made the point of origin for a non-Kryptonian Supergirl, also known as Matrix.)
Four Legionnaires, Duo Damsel, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Mon-El were involved in a conspiracy to destroy the Time Trapper, against the Legion’s regulations. They managed to reach his citadel at the end of time and seemingly destroyed him by using the Infinite Man against him. During this attack, Duo Damsel’s second body was killed and Mon-El was put into a coma.
Following the five-year gap in Legion history, Brainiac 5 learned that the Trapper’s essence had survived in Mon-El’s mind. Mon-El effectively murders the Trapper in the Pocket Universe. This caused a chain reaction throughout time and results in the sorcerer Mordru dominating the universe for a time. His former sidekick Glorith, through a magical spell, managed to take the Trapper’s place in history and it was revealed that the Time Trapper had originally engineered the creation of the Legion in order to halt the inevitable rise of Mordru. This event led to many continuity conflicts and derided stories as the writers continually tried to correct their mistakes.

The Time Trapper seemed to have been killed by Parallax during the 1994 storyline Zero Hour, but was apparently reconstructed with the universe at the climax of that story. Keeping a promise he had made to the pre-Zero Hour version of Cosmic Boy, he did not intervene to ensure the post-Zero Hour origin of the Legion, but after this origin occurred, he briefly bedeviled the new universe’s version of the Legion, with memories of all his prior incarnations intact. The identity of this incarnation of the Time Trapper remains unconfirmed; some evidence suggests that this incarnation may be a future version of Lori Morning.
In his narration to Action Comics #864 (June 2008), the Time Trapper states that he has made countless attempts to separate Superman from the Legion and erase him from the timeline, but that these attempts never last. The Trapper claims to have “confused” the Legion with “pocket dimensions and alternate history”, implying that he is responsible for the existence of at least three incarnations of the Legion: the “original” pre-Crisis team reintroduced in The Lightning Saga, the post-Zero Hour team of Earth-247, and the rebellious “threeboot” team introduced in the Teen Titans/Legion Special. He also reveals that he is the one who created the crystal tablet that stated Superman to be of Earth origin (As seen in the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes storyline in Action Comics). He then uses Superman-Prime which he views as a corrupted Superman as a tool to destroy the link between Superman and the Legion.

A special thanks to Wiki for helping with this great villain’s history. See everyone later.

DC Comics for October 2008

Posted in News by mrread7 on August 19, 2008

Newsarama has released their solicitations for October 2008. The true villain behind Final Crisis is revealed, Trinity reaches it’s half way mark. The Rage of the Red Lanterns and War of Light kicks off in Green Lantern. New Krypton hits its next chapter and the aftermath of Batman R.I.P begins.

The Spectre’s Hit list

Posted in News by mrread7 on August 17, 2008

So, Final Crisis: Revelations has recently hit the shelves and I have to say this is probably one of the best tie ins so far I have read. If you can imagine, the Spectre finally delivered the long over due justice/revenge on Dr. Light. The Spectre judges Dr Light (who is in the middle of a mock superhero rape orgy with various women dressed as Teen Titans), and burns him to death by turning him into a candle and using his head for the wick. The Spectre, in his characteristically ironic fashion, chose this punishment because of Light’s abuse of his ability to manipulate light. It didn’t stop there, long time Kyle Rayner villain, and an old favorite of mine, Effigy also suffered the Spectre’s wrath. Effigy is killed by The Spectre, who melts him down and traps him in a lantern resembling a Green Lantern ring’s power battery. The problem is, we don’t know if Effigy is truly dead or the fact he could return. Oh well, remember The Blackest Night is coming. I can see Martin getting a Black Lantern Ring. However, Libra is apparently more powerful then the Spectre and threatens to destroy them, but the Spectre uses its powers to escape. Although Allan swears that he will no longer do as god says and attempts to revoke his status as the Spectre, he finds himself called by god to enact vengeance on his former partner Renee Montoya for her sins. So, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Question can escape the Spectre or if Crispus will finally give Libra what he deserves.

Saarak, he hears dead people

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on August 16, 2008

With the return of our favorite ghost whisperer, I decided to take a brief look on Saarak. Now few know that originally this character in Green Lantern was based off the Star Trek character. No, it’s true. He looked very much like a Vulcan and even did his usual: “Live long and prosper” symbol with his hand. Now, since the return of the Green Lantern Corps and Infinite Crisis, the character has changed vastly, except for his original abilities. To hear the dead speak to him. Here’s a quick history lesson on the character thanks to the Green Lantern Corps webpage.

Very little is known of Saarek. He was present on Oa when the Guardians of the Universe distributed improved power rings. The rings were now more powerful, apparantly with enhanced interaction with a Green Lantern’s willpower. Also added was an emergency beacon and tracking system which could interact with other power rings. As the Green Lanterns were departing from Oa, Green Lantern Saarek speculated on other improvements the Guardians had made over the years. Hal Jordan replied that while the Corps was quite different in the past, it was nothing he concerned himself with. The Vulcan gave his fellow Corpsman the “Live Long and Prosper” hand sign, and flew off. A short time later, Jordan would discover the error of ignoring the past.
Saarek was seen once more, defending Oa from a hostile alien race. The attackers had slipped past Oa’s defenses through the actions of Ffa’rzz, the Mocker. Most recently, with the coming of the Blackest Night, Saarak has been noticing that the dead are: “going cold” and are frighten.

There you have it, our favorite Green Lantern ghost whisperer.

Green Lantern Corps #27 Review

Posted in green lantern corps by mrread7 on August 14, 2008

Eye of the Beholder part 1

It’s opening day at Guy Gardner’s new Big W. Guy and Kyle Rayner both check over with the cooking staff and the wait staff. However, when they double check the final cooks, they still wonder: “what’s a hamburger again?” Despite all this, Guy opens up the Big W and let’s in the crowd. Meanwhile, in the Green Lantern Crypt, the body of Bzzd is given to Green Lantern Moro and his dragons. Moro takes Bzzd’s body saying that he will now live forever, as the hero he truly was. Bzzd’s body is then encased in green emerald and placed over Moror’s green flame. As he talks about those who have fallen and are remembered, he starts to shape the crystal cocoon. He tempers it even more and then finally draws his hammer and cracks it open. A green memorial of Bzzd is revealed and is then placed with the other Green Lantern statues that honor the dead. However, as Moro is about to return to his normal duties, he hears a sound. It’s one of his dragons they have found someone in the crypt by the statues. Moro goes to investigates and finds a mysterious Green Lantern metatating by the statues. Moro wants him to identify himself but the Green Lantern doesn’t answer. Moro gets ready to strike the Green Lantern with his hammer and just as he comes down with his weapon, the Green Lantern takes his index finger and stops the hammer in the tracks and says: “Sssh.” Moro is confused but the Green Lantern soon tells him, his name is Saarek and he was invited there. Moro questions who invited him. Saarek points to the statues. The dead have been talking to him, a lot of late. Moro still finds this very confusing but Saarek tells Moro that he talks to the dead.

Moro asks: “you are talking to them right now?” Saarak replies: “Of course not. That would be rude.” He instead hears the whispers of the death. They are conversing with him right now and he not only hears dead Green Lanterns but all the dead. Moro notices that Saarak’s ears are starting to bleed. He tells Moro that it’s one of the draw backs of his power. He then asks Moro why he does what he does. Moro asks why he can’t read him mind and Saarak tells him he can only read the dead. Moro tells Saarak he does what he does because it’s what he does. Saarak tells him it’s a noble pursuit and others will follow the path the dead have laid but he most now go. He tells Moro that the dead are cold and that with each passing day they grow colder. And even worse, all dead honor Lanterns are afraid. Afraid of what is to come. Moro tries to stop Saarak before he leaves but Saarak leaves saying that Moro’s brother, Marrg says: “Hello.” Hours later back at the Big W, it’s closing time and Kyle is exhausted. Guy soon joins him and tells him despite getting off to a bumpy start, it went very well. Kyle replies that Earth based food went over very well when it was “cooked right.” Guy tells Kyle that they just have to make sure it looks and tastes like the real stuff. Kyle then asks Guy if he thinks that Mongul has been digested by Mother Mercy by now. Guy figures that by now, he’s all finished. However back on the planet Clementia, deep within Mother Mercy, Mongul quickly springs to life and painfully frees himself from her grasps before grabbing his severed arm and flying off with his power rings. Back at the Big W, Guy talks about what was wrong with the Black Mercies and now with Mother Mercy on their side, things will go better. Kyle says it wasn’t anything new after he was possessed by Parallax. Soon Guy’s ring reminds him of his date with Ice in a few days. Kyle comments about it before deciding to leave for the night. They have one final drink to a helluva first night and then Kyle turns in. As Guy cleans up he finds a piece of paper that was drawn on by Kyle. He sees a Green Lantern broken in half, that shocks Guy.

Later, on the planet Citcratana in Sector 3590, a family of Citcratana are attacked by someone who wants to see if they “die proudly.” Even later on a satellite moon near Oa, Kilowog is training the newest bunch of rookies. Kyle Rayner soon joins them and distracts the rookies causing Kilowog’s men to break through their defenses. Kilowog boasts that they need to focus and over come their greatest fears. Other wise they are going to fall as soon as they enter battle. Soranik Natu soon joins the two and Kyle asks what Natu is doing there. Natu says she is seeing off some of her patients and joining in for some training while Kyle talks about his first night at Warriors. The rookies watch all of this and figure out that the two Green Lanterns are flirting but Kilowog tells them to stop gawking. They are soon interrupted by a rain of eye balls. They have their rings scan the eyes and learn they belong to several species, most notably, the eyes of family members of the current batch of Green Lantern rookies. They all start grieving for their lost families, something that Kilowog says they are more than welcome to do and then turns to Kyle and Soranik and tells them that someone has to pay. Soon, Saarek joins them and tells them about his abilities. He can also use his ring to show the last person all the victims saw before they died to identify the killer. They tell him too, and he soon lights it up and a strange bug like creature, possibly a Sinestro or Red Lantern Corps member is shown. Kyle replies: “Someone just got our full and undivided attention.”

After Ring Quest this was a nice follow up with the characters but I will tip my hat to Peter J. Tomasi on a very engaging issue. He not only reintroduces Saarak to the Green Lantern mythos very well but he really have Moro shine during the issue. We know who this guy is and what he does. However, this has been some of the best focus on Moro since his debut back in Green Lantern #10 and Secret Files and Origins. Having Luke Ross be the artist on this story arc is just fantastic, I have loved his work since Spectacular Spider-man and seeing him draw the Green Lantern Universe was just a treat. He also shows the horror in the faces of the victims of the “eye killer”. Not to mention the creepy scenes with Guy seeing Kyle’s drawing and Saarak in the Green Lantern Crypt. Followed by the great moments between Kyle and Soranik. I think we see a romance building. About damn time.

Aces high! The Royal Flush Gang

Posted in Profiles by mrread7 on August 10, 2008

Ah, the Royal Flush gang, a group of villains that has been around for pretty much 30 years. I remember back during the old Super Friends show, back when they called it: the Super Powers team. The Royal Flush Gang quickly became a favorite of mine. However, they seemed to stay out of the comics a lot during most of the late 80s to 90s. Thank God, Geoff Johns and the creators of Batman Beyond came around. They showed why the Royal Flush Gang was just a bunch of bad asses and why you should be scared of them. The current group that is running around in Gail Simone’s books are a cool set of gang bangers that bring a new attitude to the Royal Flush Gang. Let’s look over their history in both the current DC Universe and Earth-12.

They are a group of playing card-themed supervillains who are usually thwarted by the superheroes they encounter. They have code names based on a royal flush in poker i.e. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten. The original Royal Flush Gang was Professor Amos Fortune’s childhood gang. With Fortune himself as Ace, they fought the Justice League on two occasions, using Fortune’s luck-altering “stellaration” technology to realize the fortune-telling significance of playing cards. After Fortune abandoned the Gang, they attempted to steal paintings containing clues to a hidden treasure but were thwarted by the Joker’s manipulations (Joker #6). Most of them then abandoned their criminal careers, although Jack briefly joined the Secret Society of Super Villains as “Hi-Jack”. Fortune’s gang wore costumes based on the suit of clubs. In the pages of JLA Classified, it was revealed the original Royal Flush Gang (sans Amos Fortune) reunited to fight the “Detroit Era” Justice League and their successors in the second gang. In this battle, the original members were killed.

The second Royal Flush Gang was set up by Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond in Justice League of America #203. Hammond led the group as “Wildcard”. This version wore costumes based on the suit of spades. The gang split up and went on to have separate criminal careers before re-establishing themselves, without Hammond. They were twice hired by Maxwell Lord as part of his manipulation of Justice League International. Later, they were reorganized and reoutfitted by a successor to the Golden Age Green Lantern villain the Gambler, who was masquerading as the Joker.

King (Joe Carny) — The so-called “King of the Hoboes,” Carny also suffered from lung cancer. As Hammond’s agent, he wore a costume that technologically enhanced his natural charisma to the point of mind control. Following the metagene bomb in Invasion! King became immortal. Although King is the highest ranking member of the gang, in poker the Ace ranks as the highest card in a royal flush.

Queen (Mona Taylor) – Taylor was originally a Broadway star whose career was destroyed by her ongoing alcoholism. As Hammond’s agent, she wielded a sceptre that cast realistic illusions. After the Gambler reoutiftted the team, she began employing a wrist shooter that fires razor sharp spades.

Jack (name unknown) – Originally a gigolo, he became a fugitive after inadvertently killing a client while attempting to steal her jewelry. As Hammond’s agent, he wielded an energy-charged sword. The Gambler replaced his left eye with a cybernetically-activated laser weapon, making him a literal “one-eyed Jack.” The removal of his eye to implant the laser initially impacted his sanity.

Ten (Wanda Wayland) – Wayland was a test pilot fired for refusing her employer’s sexual advances. As Hammond’s agent, she wore a costume with energy blasters in its gloves. She has enhanced reflexes, and carries explosive playing cards.

Ace (“Derek Reston”) – The Ace was a superstrong android in the form of an African-American man. A later Ace, Ernie Clay, was recruited by King and used a strength-enhancing exoskeleton provided by the Gambler. In more recent appearances in Starman and Infinite Crisis, however, the team was once again employing the robot Ace.
King, Queen, and Ten also have blaster-pistols. The Gang fly on hovering playing cards. In the Gang’s appearances in Teen Titans, Ten had organized runaways as “Ten’s Little Indians,” a gang of thieves dressed as the two through nine of spades and armed with bows and trick arrows.

In Superman: The Man of Steel #121 revealed that the Royal Flush Gang had expanded. The Royal Flush Gang is now an organization that reaches across America, with cells in every major city. Instead of five members, each “cell” has fifty-two, split into four suits run by the “court cards”. Each member has a playing card value, and those who rise or fall in the Gang’s esteem gain or lose a “pip”. Notably, Stargirl’s father was a “Two”; upon defeating him, she transitioned from the Star-Spangled Kid identity to Stargirl in JSA: All-Stars. Recently, in Infinite Crisis #2, the Joker tortures and kills the leadership of a local cell of the Royal Flush Gang from an unspecified city, after being rejected by the Society for his “instability”. The King is the last one left alive and he mocks the Joker for being rejected. He kills the King with an electrical blast to the face. The dead gang is left in the ruins of a casino.
Another cell of the expanded version, this one stylized as a street gang, appear as members of the Society in Villains United and several of its tie-ins in other comics. Most recently members of the diamond set were defeated by Booster Gold and Skeets… twice.

Amos Fortune

As a child, he was the leader of a gang of juvenile delinquents. Later, as an adult, he became obsessed with luck, both good and bad, and discovered the existence of “luck glands” in human beings that dictate how a person’s luck will run. Upon learning how to control these “luck glands” to manipulate his luck, he gathered his old gang and created the original Royal Flush Gang who battled the Justice League of America on two occasions. Professor Fortune first met the Justice League trying to remove their “good luck” but was defeated.
Fortune continued to battle the Justice League of America several times. At first, he acted as the leader of the Royal Flush Gang, though he abandoned them soon after. In their place, he created the short-lived Luck League, a group who could mimick the powers of the JLA. Still later, Fortune battled Justice League Europe, but was again defeated when his luck ran out.
When Parademon blew up the House of Secrets in Villains United #6 (2005), Fortune suffered injuries, but survived. However, when he joined Scarecrow from escaping Enclave M in Villains United Infinite Crisis Special, he was thrown from the Secret Six’s helicopter by Knockout, after calling her lover, Scandal, a “moronic slut.”
As of JSA Classified #14-16, it seems that Fortune survived the helicopter fall (his is the power of luck, after all) and is now masterminding a plot against the JSA using The Wizard as a focusing point for the ‘luck magicks’ – a.k.a. stellaration energy – in order to destroy the JSA, using Wildcat as his mind-controlled pawn (who is growing stronger with each victory over a JSA member via the stellaration energy). Vixen and Gypsy helped Stargirl against this plot, given they had faced him before many years ago while on a training mission as then-new recruits on the JLA, alongside Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Vibe, and Steel (Vibe and Steel also new recruits at the time), as they fought both the previous and then-new incarnations of the Royal Flush Gang, as seen in flashback in JLA Classified #22-25.

A warm thank you for Wiki for helping me with all of that history on the main DC group of high card villains. Now, to move towards the Batman Beyond group, which is now into continuity with the 52 multiverse on Earth-12. The Royal Flush showed up in the first season episode, Dead Man’s Hand. The Royal Flush Gang was led by the former Jack, who was now the King of the group along with the rest of his family. Melanie Walker, who would be the Catwoman to this world’s Batman. They Royal Flush Gang showed up in three total episodes between the three seasons and showed a very human drama as the group slowly fell apart. In the Batman Beyond series, the new Batman repeatedly faces a future version of the gang, who appear to be a family. They all mostly used various high-tech weapons, with the Walker parents as King and Queen, their son as Jack and daughter Melanie as Ten. It should be noted that this version of the gang resembles the group created by Hector Hammond, down to their riding hovering playing cards and Ace being an android. Its suggested that crime runs in the family: in the episode King’s Ransom we learn that the former King was the father of the current Queen, with each new generation forming a new version or branch of the gang.

The Royal Flush Gang still remains a favorite of mine and I hope to be seeing them again soon, since there is hints that members of the gang will show up in The Blackest Night that were killed by the Joker during Infinite Crisis. Should be a great time, in the mean time. I have to get ready for a poker game of my own with some friends, I’ll let you know if I pull my own Royal Flush.

Final Crisis #3 review

Posted in Final Crisis by mrread7 on August 6, 2008

Know Evil

In Gotham City, members of SHADE break into a local building where Frankenstein tells someone to freeze. It turns out to be the Question who finds Danny Turpin mummified. She then asks who would do such a think and then disappears. Soon above the city a large object falls out of the sky while Frankenstein finds a message on the wall. It says: “Know Evil.” Frankenstein contacts Father Time if he can see it but the object that fell from the sky soon hits the ground as Taleb tells Father Time to order the crate and to pick up the Question. We soon see that the object that fell from the sky is the Nazi version of Wonder Woman from another Earth and as the Question, now back at Renee Montoya looks at her, she is soon picked up by SHADE. At big Belly Burger, Nxo is still going on about what he knew from his time as a Monitor and his boss has had it with him. He is soon fired but Nxo sees on TV that things are starting to fall apart.

Back in Central City at the West House, Jay Garrick tells Iris West that he saw Barry Allen and they ran trying to avoid the Black Racer and stop the bullet that killed Orion. However, they were unable to stop Orion from being killed. Jay goes on how they disappeared in the speed force and that he alone found his way back. He saw Barry Allen alive and he was coming home. Elsewhere, in the swamps at the old Legion of Doom headquarters, The Human Flame is given his new task by Libra. A helmet is given to the Human Flame who soon sees that Libra has other motivations. Libra places the helmet on the Human Flame and tells him to listen to the voice. That it’s the Anti-life equation and now he will no longer be a failure and just after that Lex Luthor and other members of the Secret Society walk in. Libra tells them that the Human Flame is fine now. Luthor is happy that Superman is now out of the picture but asks about the price that must be paid. Libra soon shows that the Human Flame is now a slave to his “god”. Soon, other members of the Dark Side Club show up holding weapons at the Secret Society members. Libra tells Luthor and the others to: “reject science and swear an old to the bible of crime. The day of Apokolips is at hand.” Now is the time to choose.

At Metropolis Memorial Hospital a gravely injured Lois Lane has her husband, Clark Kent at her side while Jimmy Olson tells him that Lois was lucky. Perry White is still on life support, Dirk Armstrong lost a leg and Adele from human resources is dead but at least Superman got the shrapnel out of Lois’s heart. He wonders where Superman is and Clark just says that he has more important things to do. Jimmy soon leaves and as Clark tells his wife he will do anything to save her. A mysterious woman shows up telling Clark she knows who he is and if want to save Lois and everything else. He must come with her now before it’s too late. Back at the Hall of Justice the Alpha-Lanterns escort Hal Jordan back to Oa to stand trial for the possible murder of Orion and the attack on John Stewert. Wonder Woman protests but Kraken tells her that Hal will be brought before the Guardians and they will decide. Hal tells his friends to let them and leaves. Wonder Woman believes that Darkseid is somehow behind this but they must act now. Alan Scott tells Wonder Woman now is the time for Article X, which is a draft for super heroes. Alan tells Oracle to round up the troops and soon, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Supergirl, Tiger, Black Canary, Green Lantern and others assemble. Alan tells them that with them all together, no enemy can stand against them.

Back in Japan, Mister Miracle escorts Super-Sumo to his plane and talks about how he escaped death and that something really wrong is now happening. Their plane is soon destroyed by members of the Darkside Club and as the two run they are saved by the rest of the Japanese Justice League. They all make a quick exit in a flying car from the soldiers while Wonder Woman lands in Blüdehaven to find Darkseid. She is soon joined by the Atomic Knights as they go through ground zero. They soon find bodies turned inside out and Mary Marvel who has now been twisted into an evil Female Fury. She soon attacks them and kills members of the knights. Leading to an all out battle with Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman gets the upper hand but then finds out from Mary that the New Gods were hiding in the bodies of others and that’s why no one could find them. She is soon hit with an omega compound by Mary Marvel. Who tells her she will be the disease carrier. Wonder Woman starts sputtering in pain.

Later, Mokkari activates the Anti-life Equation over the internet and soon Mr. Terrific and Oracle find an email has been sent to everyone possible and is opening by itself. They soon realize what it is but can’t stop it. Weeks pass and soon both Barry Allen and Wally West exit the Speed Force and find themselves a month later from when they left. Barry goes on why he was brought back and find a world now change. They both look up to see the “new” Female Furies, Batwoman, Cat Woman, Giganta and lead by Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman responds: “Super heroes. Kill.” Where do I start? First, the opening of this issue was a bit confusing but then it just took off from the Flashes showing up. The talk about how Orion was killed and the Black Racer coming for them and the rebirth of the New Gods. This issue just keeps building and building to the unleashing of the Anti-life Equation and then… the world literally goes to hell in a hand basket. The heroes have fallen, the villains have won and now two generations of Flashes must put the world right. Grant Morrison really out does himself and the art by J.G. Jones is just astonishing. Too bad we have to wait until September for the next issue. Time to look up the minis and one shots now.

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