Thursday, January 31, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: WildC.A.T.s

What Happened: This replaces Phantom Stranger.

What I'd Change: Hit the ground running.  The Grifter and Voodoo comics made it fairly obvious the Daemonites were invading.   The WildC.A.T.s would be the only superhero team on Earth who knew about them, and the only ones capable of fighting them without being taken over in some way, shape or form.  Start with the full team and have them kicking ass out the gate, and doing their best not to alert Earth that MORE aliens have come to Earth.

Why:  Because some characters are team characters, and Grifter and Voodoo are some of those kind of characters.  You've got Helspont fighting Superman?  Who was asking for that?   Nobody.  Stop that.  Let's get the Kherubim and half-Kherubim soldiers out there on the field, WildStorm's premiere superteam (to me at least) should have been one of the first to get a comic, not freaking Stormwatch.

The New 52, Corrected: Blue Beetle

What Happened: Believe it or not, DCs currently publishing 51 comics.  Here's your 52nd, even though I don't have to do it.

What I'd Change: This time I'd probably start out with Jaime having to find his way back from space after the Reach is defeated in an interplanetary battle he was teleported out to, but had no part in.

Why: Because Jaime usually spends his time on Earth, trying to deal with his beetle and the fact that he can't control his powers, while also living a normal life with his family and friends.  Problem is, we've been there and done that.  Jaime's only seven or eight years old as a character, and he's already on like Volume 2?  3?  And the last volume went over a lot of the same material the first one had.   Cut that out.  

The New 52, Corrected: Checkmate

What Happened: Replacing Deathstroke here.

What I'd Change:There's nowhere near enough intrigue in the DC Universe.  Under my TN52C series, things have changed a bit, but there's still not enough.  What's the inter-organization politics look like when they have to deal with the D.E.O. or other organizations we don't know about?  How would they deal with N.O.W.H.E.R.E.?   These guys need to be on the board, and five years into DC's timeline makes as much sense as any other time. 

Why: No, seriously, Checkmate was an absolutely BRILLIANT idea that had no business being shelved, ever.  Get Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann back, and offer them as much freedom as they need to tell the stories they want.   Superhero spy stories was a brilliant idea and I loved reading Checkmate every month.  

The New 52, Corrected: Shadowpact

What Happened: This title replaces Justice League Dark.

What I'd Change: I'd be lying if I said I knew what JLD was truly about.  And that's the problem.  I don't know what's going on, and I don't much care. DC hasn't made a huge attempt to make the book matter yet.  And instead of shoving characters people barely know into a book and labeling it Justice League, I'd rather go with a more established team name for DC's magic users and use both some of the most well-known DC magic heroes like Doctor Fate, Zatanna, Phantom Stranger and Shazam, team veterans like Raggedy Man, Blue Devil, Black Alice and Enchantress, and maybe even some new characters you can build up over time.  I'd also pit them against higher-level threats, maybe even have them go after Pandora because someone noticed the universe changing.

Why: Because DC is not Marvel, and the Justice League is not Avengers.  Don't just label things "Justice League" because you think it will sell an extra two issues before it gets canceled.  Let's build a brand here: the Guardians isn't called "Space Avengers", is it?  Plus, for all the in-series jokes about Shadowpact being a stupid name, Justice League Dark is worse.

The New 52, Corrected: Catwoman

What Happened: A lot of women (and some guys) got pissed off, Selina slept with Batman and they kept the masks on.

What I'd Change: I liked Judd's idea.  I did.  Make Selina a lady addicted to bad behavior.  It's why she steals.  It's why she gets involved with an emotionally unavailable freak who's never going to love her properly.  It's how she gets into so many dangerous situations.   She loves the adrenaline rush.  

....Unfortunately, I like the idea for someone ELSE.  For Selina, it doesn't fit to me.  She can do better than that.  As for what I'd do?  Ever seen the show Hustle?  It's about a group of grifters who play long cons, involved operations that take longer than your typical, simplistic con, but results in a much bigger haul from the deal.   I like the idea of Catwoman being the leader of a grifting group, performing cons on all sorts of people in the DC Universe, using her...unique talents to get them places no one else could.   It's classy, and perfect for her skills.  It's also a blatant rip-off of another idea, but since Hustle's been over for almost a year and no one ELSE is using the idea, why not?

Why: Because I like the idea of a classy Selina, mainly. 

The New 52 Corrected: Protectors

What Happened: Replacing Red Hood and the Outlaws.

What I'd Change: There's no Protectors book, that I know of.  And frankly, the name is garbage so I'd probably get someone to change that.  But I think it'd be neat to have a Guardians of the Galaxy-type team in the DCU composed of some of their well-known superheroes in space (Adam Strange, Captain Comet, Starman) along with some less well-known people (Ultraa the Multi-Alien, Jemm the Son of Saturn) and maybe even an unexpected guest, newly introduced to the DC Universe (Spaaaaace Ghooooost).   They come together to battle against all the intergalactic conquerors that seem to plague the DCU.

Why: Because DC has more than just superhero characters, and they should use them.  Plus Red Hood and the Outlaws was not terribly well-received anyway. 

The New 52, Corrected: Secret Six

What Happened: This is replacing Suicide Squad.

What I'd Change: Let's be serious, for a second.  Secret Six sold decently and was a critical darling with an immense, hugely devoted fanbase.   I'm not one of them, but I do know you don't let go of something awesome to put out something that sells about the same but is "just another comic".   Bring Gail back, give her another artist (Nicola Scott's on Earth 2, which I like more so sorry Six fans.) and let her work her magic.

Why: DC needs the goodwill, to be honest.

The New 52, Corrected: Batwoman

What Happened: The same story that Batwoman's been dealing with for like, 16 issues and counting.  She's in Gotham fighting, quite literally, monsters.  

What I'd Change: I hated that Batwoman was discovered by Agent Chase of the D.E.O., as that plot point is tired and one of the things that makes superheroes unique are their secret identities.  But what's done is done.  That said?  Why on Earth is she still in Gotham?  If she's going to be a member of the D.E.O., let's get her out of Gotham (since Batman, Nightwing, the Birds, and so many other characters are there) and have her going around the world battling threats of the D.E.O.   You could even do a shadowy organization versus shadowy organization thing here, and revive H.I.V.E. and some of DC's other bad guy groups to pit her against.

Why: Because 16 issues for the same arc can never be justified.  Grant Morrison's Justice League took down the antithesis of HOPE in like, five fucking issues.  You need 16?   JH Williams has gorgeous art, but if we're going to do it that way, he can just release a Batwoman picture book every month.  It'd sell more.

The New 52, Corrected: Superman

What Happened:  In sharp contrast to the brilliant and well-received Action Comics story of a Superman who had weakened abilities and worked to be a champion of the people, Superman was a story about...Superman's shiny new costume.   Also there was a weird sort of semi-cuckold deal where Superman went to his no-longer-wife's apartment only to learn some new guy was banging her:

Yeah, I'm gonna pretend this never happened in my personal fanboy canon.  DC can do whatever the fuck it wants.

What I'd Change:  ...The idea of a New 52?   Ah, fuck it.  I'm getting tired of doing these, I guess.  Anyway, what I'd change is probably the idea of Clark being a typical reporter.   Clark's worked at the Daily Planet since 1938, and it's getting old.  Superhero comics have a habit of doing a certain something because it worked really well when it first happened, or when someone tries something new that's a hit...even if "when it first happened" or "when it was a hit" was a decade (or multiple decades) ago.  If you can't tell me why Clark works at the Daily Planet then there's no reason for him to be there--Dan Slott had Peter Parker leave the Daily Planet and start working as a scientist for a bleeding-edge technology company and it was the BEST THING EVER for that character.

So, let's try this: Clark's still at the Daily Planet (wait), but he's no longer a newspaper reporter there.  He works for the planet's new media division, doing investigative journalism that takes him all across the globe, shedding light on harsh regimes, illegal slavery rings, drug lords and the like.  You can still have him run into a ton of supervillains doing this, but he also returns to being socially relevant again, particularly when he runs into situations where he can't just laser eye his way out of things.  Oh, and because if I'm not mistaken Lois is now the head of the Daily Planet's web division, Lois is his boss.   If you're not laughing at how awesome that is, superhero comics aren't from you.

Why:  Because Superman needs to matter again.  And having him fuck around with how his costume works isn't going to make that happen.  Yes, there's a risk of having Superman just...Superman his way through all the social issues I mentioned, but let's look at the truth: If you could ACTUALLY beat these problems with brute force, wouldn't we have done it already?

What I'd Keep: Wonder Woman being Superman's girlfriend.  The New 52 has yet to change much of anything.  And don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against Lois/Clark, but...I've got nothing against Clark/Diana either.   And I'd love to see what happens when the more militant Diana clashes with her boyfriend over certain social issues.   Though I think I'd also let Lois know who Clark is so he can have a platonic friend share his troubles with. 

The New 52, Corrected: Zatanna

What Happened: This replaces that new Constantine book that’s coming out.

What I’d Change: Zatanna, aside from Captain Marvel and maybe Dr. Fate, is the key connecting tie between the DC’s superhero world and their mystical world.  I’d make Zatanna a book that was just as likely to see Flash and Superman show up as it would be Swamp Thing or John Constantine.  Zatanna should be a vital defender for Earth against all the nasty threats of the magical world, and occasionally helping out some superheroes against the mystic threats that are out of their element.

Why: Because NO ONE CARES.  DC thinks its cute to cancel Hellblazer and do Constantine, and the excuse is that Constantine will be no less dark or more censored than Hellblazer was.  Well, first off, I highly doubt it.  And second off, it doesn’t matter.  Because nobody cares.  Very, very few people that would read Hellblazer wants to see John Constantine do anything, at all, ever with a DC superhero, unless that superhero is being killed in some comically violent way.

I’m not a Hellblazer fan, or even that big of a Vertigo fan, but I know that Hellblazer has been a hallmark, almost a foundation stone for Vertigo for as long as I’ve been alive.  And this initiative is no excuse to get rid of that.  You won’t have the same fanbase reading Constantine that you do Hellblazer--not all of them, at least.  You’re losing fans with the hope of gaining new ones, but those new ones aren’t promised.  I get the idea, but it would be better to simply put a bigger publishing push on Hellblazer instead of pissing off the mostly steady fans you’ve had for years.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Battle Rap Wednesday: Pat Stay vs HeadICE

I'm late with this particular video so my bad on that, but that still doesn't stop this from being an amazing battle.  Pat Stay is pretty funny; his round two is worth watching at least twice, its that hilarious.  I hear he's facing Math Hoffa for King of the Dot's Blackout 3.  I won't say anything...yet, but I'm guessing that'll be...interesting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Darkstars

What Happened: Replacing Red Lanterns.

What I’d Change:
  Back in the early 90’s a group of intergalactic policemen were introduced to the DC Universe called the Darkstars.  They were meant to replace the Green Lanterns as the peace-keeping force for the universe.  This was one of those early 90’s ideas like Supergirl being a clone created by Lex Luthor and the Teen Titans having Green Lantern on it that just gradually faded away.

You might ask, why with the Green Lantern Corps back would you need these guys.  Well, to readers so long as its a good book what’s it matter?  And in universe, let’s be honest: The Green Lanterns spend so much time fighting all the other Lanterns and now even fighting their own bosses, that when was the last time they kept their own lives, never mind the peace.   Plus the GLC is answerable to a group of bosses that are basically a bunch of demigods who ignore the actual needs and desires of every other species in the universe, employing beings who basically do whatever they want in the name of “order”.  The Darkstars (at least, the new ones) could be an intergalactic peace-keeping group created by a consortium of planets designed to be answerable not only to a council, but the people they protect.   The potential for political intrigue alongside huge space battles is too great to ignore.

Why: Is Red Lanterns really something you want to read month in and month out?  Plus, DC has a LOT of really cool space characters that don’t wear a ring and generate brightly-colored constructs.  It’d be nice to have a book about them.  Even the new comic Threshold prominently features a Green Lantern in its pages. 

The New 52, Corrected: Hawkman/Hawkgirl

What Happened: Some poorly received story where Nth Metal is now a symbiote and Earth-1 Hawkman is now Earth-2 Hawkman again.   It got to the point where they put Rob Liefeld on the book, which...I don’t know why DC thought they needed another go-around with the 90’s again, but it has made me very sad.

What I’d Change: From what I understand, the 0 issue gets done what I think is the real necessity.  Lead off with the story of how Carter got to Earth.  It’s not like he has a history with the Justice League anymore, so screw it.  Start from Thanagar and tell us how he got to Earth.  I understand the Daemonites had something to do with screwing up Thanagar--so roll with that, but make sure to make it a main plot point and not something that’s just going to sit there brewing forever.  Also,  I heard Shayera was trying to hunt down Hawkman and I’d DEFINITELY toss that.  “Relationship reset” has been the default for these two for too long.   Let’s cut that noise and just make them a couple together again: the two of them crash-land on Earth and become a part of the new wave of superheroes that have appeared out of nowhere.

Why: Because yet again, this was an opportunity wasted.  These stories are everyone’s re-introduction to these characters.  You don’t put that off for 12 issues so you can have an easy sales boost when things start flagging.  You start with it so you catch everyone’s interest.

Two days behind, I know.  My apologies and I'll have another one up today and hopefully two up tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Secret Files and Origins

What Happened: This is replacing DC Universe Presents

What I’d Change:
Rather than have a book that focuses on lesser-known DC characters for 3-5 months, I’d just get to the point.  Remember in the 90‘s, not long after Zero Hour, DC had these Secret Files and Origins books that would come out and tell you everything about a given character?   You’d get a profile on the Hero, their rogues gallery, their supporting cast and any other heroes known for hanging out with them.  Plus you’d get a few cool little stories that would illuminate his or her origin without necessarily retelling it, AND a little timeline that would cover the then “10 year time line” of that character.  Every month you could do something like this with a different hero, alternating between well-known and not as well-known characters to keep sales up.   They could even double as launch-pads for new series, like for instance the new Vibe ongoing coming out next month.

Why: Because people aren’t that interested in anthology series.  DC Universe Presents has held on for awhile, but in reality it’s only a matter of time before it hits a threshold where even they can’t keep it going. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Teen Titans

What Happened: Red Robin haphazardly assembles a team of heroes to battle the rebooted Superboy and the forces of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. targeting teenaged superheroes.

What I’d Change: Remove the haphazard part.  Instead I think it’d be a better idea to have Red Robin get ahead of the game, and assemble a team long before N.O.W.H.E.R.E. can become aware of him.  A team composed of both expected Teen Titans members and some of the Gen13 crew.  (How cool would it be, for instance, if Caitlin Fairchild had been an operative of the team and in charge of looking over the Superboy project for Robin with hopes of bringing him in if he showed potential?)  

Why: Prior to Flashpoint the Teen Titans were just barely starting to get on their feet in terms of being a respectable superhero team, instead of just spare torture porn when the big events came around.  While there haven’t been any casualties since the start of the book, why make the team a bunch of rookies again?  What’s the point?  As for why the Gen 13 members: You’ve got the WildStorm characters now.  Use Them. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Sensational Comics

What Happened: Another replacement.  Batman: The Dark Knight for this.

What I’d Change: Again, this is a replacement so there’s nothing to change except giving Wonder Woman another title.  The difference between this one and her normal one is this one would probably have a lot more to do with Wonder Woman’s life as a superhero rather than her time as a part of an ongoing Greek myth.  In this book she would throw down with Cheetah, Circe, and other supervillains.  I would also put in a lot of her personal life, making this more of a traditional superhero title.  Where does she live, does she have a boyfriend (I’m fully in support of Superman/Wonder least it’s SOMETHING new), how does she adapt to “Patriarch’s World”, etc. etc.

Why: They keep telling us Wonder Woman is part of DC’s Trinity, but Batman has 30 books, Superman has two, and Wonder Woman has one.  It’s illogical.  Batman: The Dark Knight has been average in terms of critical acclaim and reader reception, and sells because of the artists backing it.   Cut it, give Wonder Woman another title. 

Suggested Creative Team: Greg Rucka, if he doesn’t hate DC too much at this point. 

My apologies for missing a day, I thought I had a little more cushion than I actually did.  I'll make up for it with a second post later today, I think.

Battle Rap Wednesdays: Arcane vs. Cheddah Cheese

Kinda mad I didn't post this one last week but I found it like, a few hours after I posted the Yung Ill vs. JC battle.  Oh well, bringing the heat to you anyway.

Looking forward to seeing Arcane vs Dizaster in Blackout 3.  Arcane is something sick. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Justice Legion A

What Happened: It’s another replacement book.  This time we’re getting rid of Legion Lost. 

What I’d Change: Enjoy the adventures of the Justice League of the 853rd century. 

Why: Put simply?  Legion Lost didn’t have enough legs to function as an ongoing series.  A group of the Legion’s best members go to the past to combat an alien virus...and then what.  They get stuck?  Meh.  The appeal of the Legion is they’re from the future.  This could have been a great MINI-series; something with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  As an ongoing I got bored, really fast.  So instead let’s replace them with a book about the Justice League of the far future. DC's got a terrible habit of making up awesome concepts and then leaving them by the wayside, this is one of DC’s greatest and its only been revisited like, twice.  (Once by Geoff Johns with Booster Gold 1,000,000 and once with Chris Roberson with some Superman/Batman comic.)   It helps lighten the hit that came with Flashpoint since this would be another book that continuity most likely wouldn’t effect.

Suggested Creative Team: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with Paul Pelletier on art.  Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most beautiful and well-written books to come out of the last decade.  I have no doubt they could bring the exact same energy and talent to this title.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern

What Happened: This would be the new name for Green Lantern: New Guardians.  Initially, it was about DC deciding they needed someone to collect the rings like they were Pokemon, and they chose Kyle Rayner since he wasn't doing anything.

What I'd Change: We know that Hal Jordan is DC's main Green Lantern, and that's cool.  But here's the thing: The guy pretty much exists in space.  Same with Guy Gardner and John Stewart.  Sure, Hal hangs out with the JLA from time to time, but that's about it.   Earth needs a Green Lantern, and I think Kyle could be it.   I'd try to make this a pretty traditional, old-school kind of superhero comic in that Kyle would be one of the few superheroes with an actual secret identity, and a cast of people who WEREN'T involved in his superhero life at all.  There was a time when both DC and Marvel were filled with these, and now its pretty much just Spider-Man.  At this point a superhero with a dual life would be unique, so why not go for that?

Why: Because Green Lantern: New Guardians is boring as shit.  And typically has bad art on top of that.  But also because Kyle feels kind of aimless right now.  Sure, he's collecting all the rings' powers but is he really going to do anything with them?   Kyle could use a return to form and hopefully in that find a brand-new fan base. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Superboy

What Happened: Superboy is now the creation of Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E., an organization which inexplicably has a number of teen superheroes and Wildstorm characters working for it.  After he escapes he spends his time trying to find out his purpose in life.

What I’d Change: I’d probably borderline copy the original way he was introduced--just have Project Cadmus introduce him to the world and see how he makes his way around this new DCU as the world’s first teenage hero.  (Robin notwithstanding because the world at large isn’t supposed to know about him.)  The 90‘s haircut might be a bit much, but at the least he could have the cool jacket and sunglasses back.  No high school drama, no existential crises--just pure fun, maybe this time set in LA as opposed to Hawaii.

Why:  Nostalgia is totally influencing me here, but I don’t care.  Remember when Superboy had a sense of humor?   At a time where comics about brightly-garbed nice people beating the crap out of brightly-garbed less nice people have inexplicably become very dark and depressing, it’d be nice to have a character who made you laugh when you read their comic.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Wonder Woman

What Happened: Diana has been helping the latest of Zeus’ baby mamas, a woman named Zola, dodge all sorts of insanity coming from the rest of the Mount Olympus family now that Zeus has gone missing.

What I’d Change: Lots.  For one, I’d probably toss the idea that Amazons aren’t immortal.  I would also most likely have a story that involved Diana’s relationship with all of the gods, perhaps through a story that involved the Greek gods suddenly taking a more active role in the lives of humanity and Diana putting a stop to it all.  Something with a lot of action and shit blowing up, but the potential for decent characterization throughout.  You know, the basis of most exceptional superhero books.  (And mediocre ones too, but you can’t create awesome-ness without seeing a failure or three.)  Oh, and I’d also put her back in a pair of pants. 

Because I tried reading Azzarello’s Wonder Woman and it didn’t click with me.  Critically its a fine book, and it gets tons of respect, but at the end of the day, I feel like Diana is much too passive in that book.  It doesn’t appear to be about her so much as the people around her.  This suggests (though it certainly may not be the case) that Brian doesn’t find her terribly interesting on her own.  Understand that the idea itself wasn’t bad per se, but this was the way he chose to reintroduce Wonder Woman to the world, and like most New 52 writers, personally I didn’t feel that opportunity was taken seriously enough.  

Suggested Creative Team: Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti (These two did such a fantastic job during their run on Wonder Woman in evoking a really cool epic fantasy feel, and I think that could continue.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Booster Gold

What Happened:
Nothing.  Replacing The Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man with this.

What I’d Change:
This is the second book that got lost in the Flashpoint truffle-shuffle that happened in September 2011.  And like Red Robin, we should have kept it.  Firestorm started out a mess from day one, but you know DC, they can’t ever be wrong so they just kept it around.

I’d much prefer Booster Gold’s comic to be around and have him exploring the post-Flashpoint landscape.  You could have even made it the place to be if you wanted to know what changed after Flashpoint.   That would have instantly made EVERYONE interested.  A good hook can make or break a story, and while I’m no Alan Moore, I know that’s a *great* hook.

Why: Because nobody knows what’s what with Flashpoint over.  Sometimes it seems like even DC doesn’t know, and its embarrassing.  At least this way we could get some idea of their thought processes and learn to what extent this was actually planned out.

Suggested Creative Team:
...Why was Dan Jurgens ever taken off this title to begin with.  He was perfect on it and this was one of my favorite pre-New 52 comic books.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Battle Rap Wednesdays - JC vs Yung Ill

Had to take a break with this for a bit, but we're back with a brand-new (and I mean brand-new) battle.  Check it.

Unfortunate Choice 1: Aquaman

Trying out something new.  Unfortunate Choice is a new column dedicated to comics that have unintentionally made a serious situation silly, or a comedic reference that sounds sexual in nature, or just in general a different meaning came through than what was intended.  For the first one, a very recent Aquaman splash page.

Its supposed to be a super dramatic ending to the second part of Throne of Atlantis, somewhat of a cliffhanger to keep us excited until the next two issues come out at the end of January.  ...But I just keep snickering at how on the nose it is.  "You've FORCED MY HAND" and suddenly he's got Aqua-Tourette's and can't keep himself from strangling Bruce.  

The New 52, Corrected: Red Robin

Red Robin

What Happened: Nothing.  This title is replacing the Batman line’s Batman and Robin title.

What I’d Change: If I truly had my way, then this book would be called Robin and be about Dick Grayson because all the other Robins hadn't been brought in and this was just Bruce's second year on the job.  (That, or I'd find a way to work it so that Bruce had an army of Robins.) But, I'm working with the concept they gave us, so in this case, there’s nothing TO change.  It just comes down to this: before Flashpoint, Tim Drake had his own comic book and was a prominent member of the Teen Titans. (If not the leader, then at least a veteran member of the team.)  He was also a member of the Bat-family that spent a lot of time in Gotham.  Post-Flashpoint, he’s got no comic book, has just formed the Teen Titans but its a crashing failure so far (fifteen issues in and they STILL aren’t a team yet!), and they didn’t bother to make him apart of the Bat-Family until the 0 issue where they downgraded his detective abilities and the Death of the Family storyline in which he appears to be a rescue doll. 

Here, I would focus on Red Robin striking out on his own, maybe away from Gotham (since Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, AND Batman are all there) and setting up in a brand-new city.  In light of his new origin he wouldn’t be in Gotham anyway.  We would lose a lot, but he’s a teenager again so he could start out in a high school and maybe bring back some of the superhero action tinged with teen drama of the early days of the original Robin comic book.   But then, if I did that, I bet I could figure out a way to sneak Stephanie Brown into the book, and Dan Didio would probably try to assassinate me for that. 

Why: I’m getting rid of Batman and Robin because, while it might be a good comic book, I’m operating off the principle that no superhero needs more than two monthly comic books.  NONE.  Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine--come on.  All of them have their own books and join teams but somehow they need THREE comic books.  Get that out of here. 

Suggested Creative Team: Christoper Yost/Marcus To (They did a great job on Red Robin in its latter issues, so why not?)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The New 52, Corrected: Justice League/Stormwatch

What Happened:

With Justice League: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and...Cyborg (apparently) team up to stop Darkseid from invading and taking over the planet.

With Stormwatch: Some shit.  I read the first issue, wasn’t especially impressed as it appeared to be some "early days" type deal.  The reviews haven’t been too hot from fans OR comic news sites either.  Nothing against Paul Cornell, who is a talented writer, he just didn’t hit a home run this time. 

What I’d Change: Completely different arc.  I’d skip what formed the Justice League and jump right into things with a battle between the newly formed, first public superhero team the Justice League, and the secretive, almost shadow-ops Stormwatch.  Stormwatch is irritated at the unwelcome attention these arrogant new showboaters have brought to super-powered people, and are taking them down before their unnecessary antics bring attention to their team. 

Why: One of the biggest changes that we ignored from Flashpoint is that the DC, Wildstorm, and Vertigo universes were all merged into one.  Swamp Thing and Animal Man are great comics, but why aren’t we getting any more mileage out of that outside of mediocre books like Teen Titans?  Stormwatch and the Justice League are two very, very different teams.  They have NO business getting along AND it would only be a matter of time before they came into contact with each other.   There’s no reason NOT to play this up instead of pretending like they’re going to stay far, far away from each other. 

A contained, three month crossover between both titles might have pissed off some fans, but if there’s one thing fans have shown time and again, its that if there’s a good story behind it, they’re willing to shell out the money.

Okay, so this is two books for the price of one.  I'm ahead right now, so don't get pissed at me if I miss a day, alright?  See you guys tomorrow. 

Winter Anime 2013 Picks

Woo!  New year, new anime season.  Unfortunately, its not as ridiculously awesome as Fall’s, but I’ve still managed to find a few decent ones amongst the pile.  So, without further ado, here’s your chart:

And, here are the picks:

AKB0048 Next Stage

What It’s About: In the beginning of the 21st century, a world war breaks out over interplanetary travel tech. The environment is pretty much destroyed so mankind leaves Earth, settling on other planets, and starts Star Calendar 00.

Entertainment and songs become heavily regulated and eventually banned on several planets due to their power to move people, but a brave idol group puts on guerrilla performances in these systems in the name of a famous act from earlier times that sang to Earth's bitter end, AKB48. Famous throughout the galaxy, the group's name is AKB0048.

This story centers around a group of girls from various planets, some where entertainment is banned and some, where it is not, striving to become great idols and join AKB0048.
Therefore, they participate in the entrance exam and eventually become undergraduates, aiming to someday succeed the current members of the group. (Crunchyroll)

Why It’s Interesting: See, this could’ve easily been an iDOLM@STERclone.  But enter Kawamori Shouji, who refused to give us just another moeblob anime with a few songs thrown in to sell some CDs.  Instead we got AKB0048, a series set in the far future where mankind has colonized space and the girls are apart of a guerilla fighting/singing group to bring hope to the galaxy.   WTF ISN’T cool about this?!  I watched the first episode of the previous season last year, and I was blown away by the art style and overall quality of the show--as expected, Kawamori didn’t half-ass it.  It had the proper gravitas for the setting it chose, but didn’t feel completely hopeless.  Its a world that’s definitely not perfect but its one worth fighting for and one in which you truly want to see the girls succeed in.   I’ve got to finish the first season of this but I’m definitely looking forward to this one as well.

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun

What It’s About: Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past...

Why It’s Interesting: Every season I pick a 12-13 episode anime that seems somewhat action-oriented and all dark/mysterious and full of “meaning”.  Sometimes they turn out decent (Amatsuki), sometimes they turn out crap (Brave 10).   The bottom line is I like to give any action series that sounds like it will let the main character live to finish it out a shot, so I’ll give it a watch.

Love Live! School Idol Project

What It’s About: Otonokizaka High School stands on the border of three cities: Akihabara – a pop culture mecca that's evolving by the minute; Kanda – a conservative, cultured city where history and tradition reign supreme; and Jinbo – a quiet area reserved for a more mature, sophisticated population. Amidst this culture clash, the school now faces closure due to the enrollment of fewer and fewer students.

With the school planning to close within three years, nine female students come together with one thing in mind—form a pop idol group to revive the school's popularity and keep it from shutting down. "In order to protect our beloved school, there's only one thing we can do...become pop stars!"

Their goal is simple: Become an overnight sensation and use their nationwide media exposure to promote their school and bring in a wave of new students to the ailing area. A simple but solid plan, they figure. Naturally, they're nervous and wonder if this plan can really succeed, but for better or worse their new journey has begun...

"All we can ask for is just a tiny bit of support from you. We truly believe that with your help, we can change the world around us. We will make our dreams come true!" (Source: NIS America)

Why It’s Interesting:
This is my "WTH why not" pick.  This anime has been in the works since like, sometime in 2010 when they first did the music video I linked above.   It’s a joint project between animation studio Sunrise and recording company Lantis, which is the same company Queen Masami Okui is signed to.  On some level that’s probably the only reason I’m giving it a shot, but who knows?  It might be good.

Zettai Karen Children Unlimited: Hyobu Kyousuke

What It’s About: A spin-off series based on the popular anime/manga Zettai Karen Children.

Why It’s Interesting: This is basically an attempt on my part to branch out beyond what I normally watch.  This series is a prequel based on the primary villain on ZKC, and if you’ve been following JiH for any amount of time, you know I HATE the villain.  And I have no attachment to the Zettai Karen Children universe to want to watch this.  But it looks interesting, and I can give it at least 24 minutes, if not its full season.

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

What It’s About: The story takes place in Kyoto in the late 19th century. Manjiro has two faces. During the day, he works as a helper for people in Kyoto, but he also acts in secret to get back people's properties from the men in power. As the get-backer "Roman," Manjiro is getting involved in a nationwide conspiracy.

Why It’s Interesting: So, if you saw the PV, I’ll just go ahead and say what you’re thinking: “This is just Lupin in the past!”   And if you had any doubts about that, at the beginning it tells you the lead designer is Monkey Punch, the creator of Lupin.  The only difference between “Roman” and “Lupin” (their names even sound similar) is that Roman gets things back that were stolen and Lupin steals.   Oh, and Roman’s got a beard.  Still, the music is pretty cool and it looks like it could be a fairly good comedy.  I liked the Fujiko series they did last year, and its not like the Lupin series isn’t apart of my “childhood” so I kind of enjoy seeing it get updated for a modern audience like this.  I’ll give it a shot.


What It’s About: Satan Rechimedes returns to the earth after being sealed for one thousand years by a hero. The King tries to seal Satan once again by dispatching descendants of the hero. However, it's troublesome to find the genuine descendants, the king chooses 75 hero-like people. This is an adventure of Alba, the hero No.45, and an his monitoring fighter Ross.  (Source: MAL)

Why It’s Interesting: Everyone, can you say “Parody Anime”?  I knew you could.  If Ixion Saga was a parody of MMO fantasy worlds, then Senyuu. looks to be a parody of fantasy anime, straight up.  So, let’s see if it’s funny.

Vivid Red Operation

What It’s About: An original sci-fi action anime featuring a 14-year-old girl. The story takes place in a peaceful island filled with nature and technology. (MAL)

Why It’s Interesting: First off, allow me to apologize for that terrible synopsis.  It came from my usual source, MyAnimeList.  I’m sure it’ll be overhauled after the first or second episode airs and this series has tons of fans. 

I’d like to say the whole thing will make more sense if you watch the PV, but it doesn’t.  What I know is this is a new series animated by Aniplex and A-1 Pictures.  The director is Kazuhiro Takamura (from Strike Witches, which I already have no love for) and the script is by Hiroyuki Yoshino who’s got far too many credits to name but I’ll just point out that he’s done Guilty Crown AND Macross Frontier.  Make of that what you will.  Right now I’m just thinking Rinne no Lagrange, except with more butt shots.  Except these characters are all 14 so that makes me uncomfortable.    This is one of those “prove yourself in 3 episodes or I drop you” choices.

Beast Saga

What It’s About: Beast Saga takes place on a distant planet in our galaxy called Beast where three beast tribes, the Sea Tribe, the Land Tribe, and the Sky Tribe, fight for their honor. Each of the tribes protect an infinite elemental power source called Godlot. (Source: ANN)

Why It’s Interesting: Most likely this will be some kid’s show type deal.  Think the equivalent of Digimon or Bayblades.  But I don’t know, something about the art and the idea really appeals to me.  I want to give it a chance.  Who knows? It might be good.   It’s got the director from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s (Katsumi Ono) though, so that gives me hope.

Alright, that’s it.  Whew!  That’s a lot of series considering a month or two ago I was basically thinking there wouldn’t BE a Picks list.   Now, coming up shortly is your New 52, Corrected update.  Happy New Year everyone!


So, it's 2013.  We're still here, I hope.  I'm writing this as a sort of time capsule thing so forgive me if this is inaccurate.  Don't troll me on this God.

Anyway, it's a New Year.  And with a new year, there has to come new things.  I'm not entirely sure what I want those new things to be yet, but I'll be figuring them out as the new year draws near.  Who knows, by the time this posts I'll have an answer.  ^^

But I do know this: every week I talk to friends that I don't necessarily see as often as I do my fellow college-going pals, and every week I ask them the same question: "What's new?"   And I get the same answer: "Nothing."   That in itself is bad enough, but what's worse is that when they say that, I give this answer: "Same here."

And I'm tired of that.  I realize this small town isn't the best place on Earth, and certainly not the most interesting.  But I'm going to make my own life better, and more interesting.  This is my personal New Year's Vow.  So remember it, Future Me!

Thanks to all the awesome people that actually read this super-saccharine entry.  By the time school starts I'll have up some other stuff that's up to normal JiH standards.   (Unless this IS the new standard.  Who knows?  I'm weird.)