Archive for June, 2011

Emma did not find this joke funny

Posted in Film, Stuff on June 15, 2011 by thebigsmoke

Previously: Jack did not find this joke funny


DC Comics goes back to the drawing board with all new issue ones

Posted in Comics on June 12, 2011 by thebigsmoke

It has been a while since The Big Smoke contributed an honest to goodness post about comic books. The time seems ripe, as DC Comics recently announced they are going to reboot their entire line with all-new titles coming September. This means that regular readers will have to take stock of their reading and work out what to drop and what to pick up.

Despite which so many major changes will cause, The Big Smoke can’t stay mad at DC in the face of some of these interesting titles and all the new creative teams. Also, this event provides a much-needed excuse to drop some monthly dead weight and switch to something fresh.

There are a total of 52 titles to wade through, with all sorts of exciting stuff happening. At the end of Brightest Day, a number of characters previously consigned to the Vertigo universe are now being brought back into the main DC universe. This marks the biggest change to the new line-up, as a number of darker and more mystical characters are integrated with the heroes in tights.

In case anyone is interested, this post will provide a summary of changes made to The Big Smoke’s standing order, with some commentary on the rationale behind the choices. This post is based on personal opinion and should not be considered a recommendation one way or the other.

Okay, with that out of the way, here is the current list of titles currently on The Big Smoke’s pull list:

1. Batman Incorporated
2. Batman: The Dark Knight
3. Brightest Day
4. The Flash
5. Flashpoint
6. Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance
7. Green Lantern
8. Green Lantern Corps
9. Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors

Brightest Day just wrapped up with the resurrection of Swamp Thing, so that’s finished anyway. Flashpoint is only running for seven issues, so that will finish soon as well; along with tie-ins like Knight of Vengeance. So onto the new selections.

1. Justice League
By Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

This is obviously one of the biggest new titles coming out of the reboot, with a creative dream team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The first story arc is going to be a retelling of the League’s origin, so storywise they are going to be on pretty solid ground at least to begin with.

Judging from the cover of the first issue which DC is proudly displaying, the roster will feature Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. If this is correct, then, well, bleh. The roster for Justice League International seems a little more unusual, and therefore more interesting.

2. Action Comics
By Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

The Big Smoke was never really comfortable with Morrison’s recent work with Batman, but found Morrison’s All-Star Superman extremely satisfying. Perhaps the Superman legend lends itself a little more easily to Morrison’s postmodern stylings.

3. Superman
By George Pérez and Jesus Merino

More Superman, why not? This could turn out to be a mistake, but George Pérez is a legend and The Big Smoke misses reading Superman comics. It seemed to make sense to couple Superman with Action Comics.

4. Batman
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Taking a punt on new writer Scott Snyder. The Big Smoke is not a big fan of Greg Capullo’s artwork, but would rather spend money on this Batman title than Tony Daniel’s Detective Comics or David Finch’s Batman: The Dark Knight. Finch comes out of this reboot quite badly, as The Big Smoke is actually dropping The Dark Knight. It looked nice enough, but was a bit of a drag to read.

While on the subject of the Bat books, Gail Simone will be writing a new Batgirl title which has caused a fair bit of controversy. Barbara Gordon is somehow or other going to be stepping out of her wheelchair and will be taking to the rooftops of Gotham City again. She was of course confined to her chair by the Joker in a classic tale by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland called The Killing Joke. Since that time, she carved a new niche as Oracle and became one of the most important disabled characters in comics. The Big Smoke never much liked Batgirl, but thought Oracle was a great character; this revision seems a waste of great storytelling potential.

5. Batman And Robin
By Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

The only other Batman title on this list is courtesy of Tomasi and Gleason. The Big Smoke enjoyed their short stint on the current Batman and Robin enough to want more.

6. Green Lantern
By Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Geoff Johns will hopefully continue to raise the profile of Hal Jordon in this title.

It’s big news that Geoff Johns is also taking on the writing chores for Aquaman, teaming up with another Green Lantern stalwart, artist Ivan Reis. The Big Smoke has decided to pass this over based on the Aquaman sections in Brightest Day, which were not particularly impressive.

The Big Smoke is also dropping The Flash with Johns’ move away. This was not a difficult decision, as The Flash was pretty mediocre even with Johns’ involvement.

7. Green Lantern Corps
By Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna

It is great to see this team return to the Corps title. Their previous run was ultra-bloody and consistently very enjoyable.

Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham are moving over to Green Lantern: New Guardians. This is a huge relief to The Big Smoke, as he could not stand their work on Green Lantern Corps.

There’s a new Red Lanterns title coming from Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter, but The Big Smoke is also giving this one a miss for now. The Red Lanterns don’t seem to have a great deal of scope and two Lantern titles a month are enough. However, those assholes at DC no doubt have another multi-part crossover in the pipeline which will force anyone reading the main Green Lantern title to buy a million and one spin-offs in the near future.

8. Swamp Thing
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette

Snyder emerges as a big winner in this reshuffle. He will be writing two exciting characters and is definitely established as a rising star. It will be very interesting to see what he does with the Swamp Thing property and how he goes about integrating him into the new DC universe.

9. Justice League Dark
By Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin

Although The Big Smoke has passed over Peter Milligan’s work on Red Lanterns, he has chosen to get in on the ground level with Justice League Dark. The premise is that the world’s greatest supernatural heroes come together to fight mystical enemies. Seems like a great way to mix Vertigo characters like John Constantine and Shade the Changing Man with the likes of Deadman and Zatanna.

10. All-Star Western
By Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Meridat

Finally, The Big Smoke has opted for something a bit different with All-Star Western. Apparently the early issues will deal with Jonah Hex in the settlement of Gotham, where he will meet the likes of Amadeus Arkham. Sounds like it could be fun for anyone familiar with Batman’s mythos and it comes from the critically acclaimed team behind Jonah Hex, which suggests it will be of a high standard.

For a full updated list of DC’s new titles, check out Bleeding Cool. No doubt you will have your own ideas about what does and doesn’t sound cool.

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