Repercussions from the Crime Syndicate are finally working themselves out. Meanwhile, Catwoman is keeping busy on the side.
Catwoman has been involved in the Forever Evil, and has been working on the team that essentially saves the world. However, in her own book, she's being kept busy by an entirely different enemy.
Dick was outed as Nightwing during one of the Crime Syndicate's first acts of anti-heroic terrorism. This issue marks the last of the Nightwing book (for now) and finds him venturing off on a new adventure. While most of the world thinks he was executed by Ultraman and the rest of the Crime Syndicate (see Forever Evil 1-7,) he's very much alive with only a handful of people knowing his fate. This turns out to be a very handy factor for his new adventures, which will continue in July's Grayson #1.
Suicide Squad #30
Here's another book that is finding an end thanks to the events of Forever Evil. The Suicide Squad has been operating under the control of Amanda Waller, but she's pretty much a lone wolf now, so the current incarnation of the team is coming to an end. It will be relaunching soon (much like Teen Titans) but this is the end of the road -- for now. Now that Harley Quinn has her own book, I think I'll just stick with her and skip the next SS incarnation.Follow @harveywalkerFollow @ClosetCaseRoman
One story finds an end (with plenty of loose ties) and another starts heating up.
Forever Evil #7 of 7
DC's latest biggest arc comes to a close with the finale of Forever Evil. If you think that good wins over evil, boy are you ... right. But, the thing is, while it was always an inevitability that everyone's favorite heroes would ultimately win, there are some pretty serious butterfly effects all across the DC world. Dick Grayson was exposed as Nightwing, so clearly things can't go back to normal for him. The government sanctioned Justice League of America is disbanded, and Lex Luthor figures out more identities.
Justice League #30
Directly tying into Forever Evil #7, this is the story of how the Metal Men and Cyborg bridge the gap between technology and humanity, and manage to knock out a big arm of the Crime Syndicate's reach.
Wonder Woman #31
Diana is the god of war, and she's still protecting her youngest sibling from her most evil sibling. Family... AMIRIGHT?
Hold on to your hats, folks! With artwork from Haemi Jang and written by the Master of Horror himself and his Seraphim Films VP, Mark Miller, we have the first 6 issues from Clive Barker's Next Testament (Vol. 1) out on trade paperback today!
In the series, Barker, Miller, and Jang bring us a close encounter with God that won't soon be forgotten!
From the April 2013 Nerdist interview with Mark Miller:
Nerdist: Well, it sounds like you’re up to the task. Tell us a bit about Next Testament and what we can expect.
Mark Miller: It’s about a man who unearths God – The God – and soon discovers he’s made a terrible mistake. This is the God of the Old Testament we’re talking about here. He’s not exactly known for being rational or compassionate. As for what to expect from the series, I’m going to go with sex, violence, and sacrilege. Y’know, all the important stuff.
The series has been well received among Barker fans and the artwork alone is bonkers, crazy props to Haemi Jang! Go out and get your copy today or buy it online now!
Since 2002, comic book nerds have swarmed to their local comic book stores every first Saturday in May for Free Comic Book Day! The name is pretty self explanatory, but for those who would like a little more explaining...
From the FreeComicBookDay.com FAQ:
What is "Free Comic Book Day?"
As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.
Is every comic book store in the world doing this?
If you're asking about convenience stores with a spinner rack of comics in a corner somewhere - the answer is no. This event celebrates the independent comic book specialty shops, thousands of which exist in North America alone. Each one is unique in its community, with a style and personality all its own, and each one carries a full line of comics, graphic novels, toys and related products.
While we hope every one of these shops will take part, each shop determines on its own whether or not to participate. You can check our shop locator for a comic shop near you.
Then how do I know where to go to get my free comics?
As the first Saturday in May approaches, FreeComicBookDay.com will launch a shop locator service that will show you participating retailers in your area. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to be alerted when the database is ready, or check back in early April.
Some of the titles available this Saturday include:
The New 52: Futures End
Jump on board DC Comics' epic weekly series beginning with this all-new FCBD issue that features tomorrow's Dark Knight, Batman Beyond (making his first appearance in The New 52), battling an army of cyborgs to avert an Apocalypse in the future which could destroy the DC Universe of the present! But that's not all; there are still more surprises to come. Stay tuned for more details!
Guardians of the GalaxyIn an all-new story by award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis and acclaimed artist Nick Bradshaw, the Guardians of the Galaxy welcome Venom and Captain Marvel to the team for the launch of a not-to-be-missed death-defying epic! PLUS: Writer Dan Slott lays the foundation for 2014's top secret Spider-Man event that will rock the Wall Crawler's world forever!
Teen Titans Go! #1This FCBD issue is the perfect place to start reading the sensational series based on Warner Bros. Animation's hit animated show featured on Cartoon Network's DC Nation Saturday morning programming block! Join Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven as they display their unique brand of hi-jinks, mayhem and justice! But giant pizza monsters aren't the only dastardly and delicious villains on the menu... so dig in, Titans! Includes two exciting, action-packed stories that readers of all ages will enjoy!
All Rocket RaccoonSpotlighting Marvel's BIGGEST star! No, we're not talking about Iron Man! Not Captain America! Not Thor! It's Rocket Raccoon! The madcap mammal takes on the cosmos in an all-new FREE COMIC BOOK DAY adventure!
The Cat, The Explorer and the War.
The Walking Dead - 126
To repeat an oft-used phrase, "it all ends here." Kirkman has been doing a pretty solid job of keeping this epic war between Negan's Saviors and Rick's survivors compelling without tiring out too many cliffhanger tropes. There have been casualties which have had real ramifications for the group. If you want to know what happens, click your cursor and highlight the following VERY SPOILERY text:
Rick stays alive, of course. Negan is not in fact dead, but he will be Rick's prisoner for the rest of his natural life. Glen was killed back in issue 100, which isn't a surprise to longtime readers, but it might be for fans of the show.
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Catwoman - #30
Selina has been through a lot. She had to fight her way back to the surface after being stuck in the Gotham Underground (the literal, deep-down, world-beneath-the-city underground) and then she was hypno-poisoned by the Scarecrow along with the rest of Gotham, having hallucinations of a peaceful, unattainable Gotham life. She wants to hangup the catsuit and focus her energies on just being Selina, and not being Catwoman. But naturally that can't happen. After being coerced to attend a who's-who of world class thieves, she finds herself in trouble.
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Tomb Raider - #3
I'm assuming that the direction of the Tomb Raider sequel is having an effect on the pacing of the comic series. Officially, both Square Enix & Dark Horse have said that the comic series will serve as a narrative canon bridge between games. It might explain the odd pacing we've seen thus far. Gail Simone is one of my favorite writers, and I do like what she's attempting, but there is an air outside influence to Gail's version of Lara's post-Yamati life. I do like the pairing of Lara and Reyes, though. Begrudged partnerships are just fun to watch.
It was just a month ago that I was writing about Batgirl & Batman & Walking Dead in a single post, and I'm at it again. I did pick up a few more books today during my outing, but these are the stories that have really kept me captivated lately.
This issue wraps up Barbara's tangle with the villain known as Silver. I mean, I know he doesn't see himself as a villain, but rather as some righteous crusader against creatures of the night, but let's be real, he's a psychotic villain. Batgirl has been having some pretty awesome story lines lately and not just in her self-titled book. The Gail Simone-created Movement saw a two issue appearance of the crime fighter, Birds Of Prey has been pretty interesting as of late (and luckily its involvement in Gothtopia was minimal) and coming up in issue #30, Babs will be going up against a New 52-revised member of Secret Six, Simone's fan-favorite book from years past. The ending to this one is particularly good. It's the perfect combination of shock & awe + a wee bit of Gail having fun.
Batman #29 - Zero Year Conclusion
Well, Zero Year (and the actual year it took to tell the story) has come to a close. Initially set to wrap up in issue #28, as I mentioned last week, #28 became a preview for a new weekly series launching next month. Now we're back on target. Revisiting & reinventing scenes from Bruce's past for the New 52 universe has been a way for Scott Snyder to fully invest himself & artist Greg Caparullo into the character of Bruce Wayne. I can only guess that the DC Editorial board plans to keep Scott on the book for the foreseeable future, because this entire year truly has been an exercise in "creating" a Bruce Wayne with a very specific narrative. At this point, it would just be cruel and unusual to take him off the book (like they oh-so-unceremoniously did with Gail Simone & Batgirl just shy of the 20th issue -- before listening to fans and reinstating her.) By the end, we discover what the major disaster was that essentially set Batman, Gordon and the whole Bat-family-in-waiting on course to be the heroes Gotham needs.
Walking Dead #123
The war with Negan is not relenting in the least. There have already been casualties, displacement, hostage situations, walkers-as-weapons attacks and more since Rick decided to stand up to the latest dictator in the post-apocalyptic world. Clearly Rick & his team are the underdog here, but since he's the hero it seems like things are looking up for a victory for his side... but this is Robert Kirkman writing the narrative. Things could just veer to a hard left and you'd never have seen it coming. Even right up to the last page of this one, you have no idea what's going to happen next. And that last panel of the book... oh boy it's a doozy. Issue #124 is going to be CRAY.Follow @harveywalkerFollow @ClosetCaseRoman
Lexington Comic & Toy Con just celebrated its second year during St. Patty's day weekend. To be such a young con, they definitely snapped up some decent talent this year. The original Green, Blue and Black Power Rangers were all in attendance, as well as the actor who played Lurch in the 90's Addam's Family movies, and perhaps most notable was Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams! To be honest, I didn't bother getting photos of those folks because a) I'm not the type to get easily starstruck anymore, and b) second-hand photos of them signing autographs aren't exactly the most interesting OR original photos to take. So here are a few of the things I thought were interesting. The St. Patty's Day Storm Trooper was my favorite mashup costume of the weekend. And staying true to theme, I've even included a great VPL shot from a Power Ranger.
As many fans of DC Comics and Saturday morning animation are keenly aware, one of the better animated series of late just aired its last-ever episode this past Saturday. Young Justice never quite caught the stride it should have with viewers, and to be fair that was of no fault to the series itself.
When it premiered in 2010, Cartoon Network was doing something kind of amazing: airing a primetime bloc of animation on a Friday night. It felt very much like "okay, kids, you can watch these cartoons, but we want you to bring your big brothers & sisters and your moms & pops into the room to watch them with you." At the time they were airing (if I'm not mistaken) an iteration of Ben-10 that was very much a young adult version of the popular kids' series; as well as the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series that was in its prime of presenting some heavier subject matter for new fans and old fans alike. The network hyped the upcoming Young Justice series pretty heavily, with adverts hailing the hour-long movie that would kick it all off. As an evening series, it seemed to have held a little more gravitas than it later would as a Saturday morning cartoon, even if the subject matter would indeed grow more mature.
Taking place on Earth-16 (a fact that isn't exactly alluded to in the series, but that most DC fans would understand), Young Justice presented three core members starting the team, joined quickly by two more, and eventually many others. Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West) and Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm) were the trio strike team initially tasked by the Justice League to take care of business and infiltrate a Cadmus base. There, they rescued Superboy (Kon-el) who had a chip on his shoulder for being a clone of Superman and began thereafter struggling with his own identity. Rounding out the "first five" was Miss Martian (M'gann M'orzz, aka Megan Morse.)
In many ways, Young Justice evoked the same types of emotions that typically was left to properties like the original X-Men cartoon from the early 90's, and really, utilized the same themes that have been unique to X-Men since its inception. Young Justice capitalized on that same "outsider" mentality that made the X-Men so universally relatable. Identity was a huge issue for many of the characters in the first season. Superboy wanted to prove himself as his own person, often trying to be more than Superman himself. Miss Martian was not in fact the niece of J'onn J'onzz as she was initially introduced, but in fact a White Martian posing a Green Martian, stealing her backstory and personality from an early Earth adolescent TV show. Robin was handpicked by his elders as the leader of the team, but decided he wasn't ready to fulfill that destiny. Artemis, who joined a few episodes in, claimed ties to Green Arrow (and he obliged the cover story) when in fact she came from a line of criminals and was trying to prove something to herself about her own nature. The typical isolating journeys of self discovery that most teenagers experience in their later teens – and in college especially – these teammates were experiencing during puberty, and at the same time saving the world. No pressure.
Personally, I think it was that universal appeal of struggling with ones identity that resonated so deeply with the viewership. Cartoons have long been playgrounds for writers to infuse adult themes and humor into a medium aimed at a young demographic, but it just so happened that the topic of identity, which teenagers can identify so easily with, is a topic that sticks with a person throughout his or her entire life. No matter how adjusted you become, questions of identity never fully go away.
A slew of DC Animation series (good ones, too) will be making their way to Netflix Instant streaming at month's end, so that will hopefully ease some of the pain viewers have from losing this young team too soon. Artist Christopher Jones who worked on the Young Justice series has been asked via Twitter and his personal Tumblr page if he forsees a possible return of the series, but due to licensing the DC characters and having the Warner Brothers studio loosen their grip, not to mention the difficulty of relaunching any series after cancellation, he seems to think it won't be possible. However, Veronica Mars was a Warner Brothers property, and they just found success with Kickstarter in launching a movie project. It is not an impossible feat, but it is most definitely improbable.
In the meantime, I do hope that Warner Brothers will bundle the series at a much less expensive bundle for sale on digital storefronts like iTunes. I'd certainly like to digitally own both seasons, but papa's gotta eat too.
On a quasi-related note, I want to jump into the "BluePulse" shippers that became a staple of season two especially on Tumblr, but that is an entirely different article. So for now, just take a look at the #bluepulse tag on Tumblr.Follow @harveywalkerFollow @ClosetCaseRoman