Weekly Comic Book Discussion 6/23/2005

Here 'tis. Still waiting on my Birds of Prey #83… sigh. I got Freedom Force #6; Ultimate FF #20; LiveWires #5; New Avengers #6; Teen Titans #25; Legion #7 - Book of the Week; Supreme Power #17; Conan #17.

Teen Titans: So apparently Donna Troy is going to play a big part in the upcoming “Crisis.” What the hell? I only know her as Kyle Rayner’s least attractive girlfriend (behind the red-headed version of Alex as seen in Circle of Fire and Jade). Was she ever a major player? Also has Cassie always been able to do the lightening lasso thing or is that new?

Legion of Super-Heroes: Brainy with emotions. He’s my second favorite legionaire now, after Karate Kid. I loved his Lewis Blackesque critique of Light Lass and Star Boy.

Donna Troy was… Uh… Let’s just say she’s a longtime Titan and leave it at that. It’s complicated. Never exactly a big player, but she has her fans.

Cassie got the lightning Lasso from Ares early in this Titans run.

Vimanarama #3: Fun with weird Eastern religions! Loved the ending.

Teen Titans #25: I love Lex Luthor. “I could stop famine. Cure cancer. My mind is capable of anything. But none of that can happen as long as Superman takes up my time. None of it.” Love it. Besides the Lexy goodness, I was underwhelmed. Too much Cassie, and I still don’t really care for her. I was also bigged taht everyone else turned on Robin. What the hell, guys, it wasn’t his secret to share, and Superboy didn’t have to tell you. Not something like that.

Legion of Super-Heroes #7: Strange that they reversed Lemnos’ mind-wipe right after they introduced it. The rest is pure gold.

Also picked up** The Walking Dead vol I**: Classic zombie story. Classic, to the point of cliche. Hell, they even used the same opening as 28 Days Later. But cliches are cliches because they work. I’ll pick out vol II when I have a few bucks to spare.

Donna Troy used to be Wonder Girl. The fact is, everyone knows she used to be wonder girl. Problem is, they can’t since she was the teen hero in multiple diffrent realities, none of which exist anymore. :frowning:

House of M #2: We’re introduced to the new world. There are some cute bits, but it’s still too early to really tell how it’s going to be. I think I’m going to like it, though… but I usually like alternate realities. I’m not sure why Kitty’s a teacher, but everything else more or less made sense to me.

I think the entirety of Legion was pure gold this week. Makes me want to re-read it right now. I hope they repeat the letter column gag in the future, but I wouldn’t have traded a page of what we got.

Brainy’s portrayal was wonderful, as was Cham’s. Colu was depicted wonderfully.

Over in Titans - I liked it okay, but Brainiac 8’s dialogue in the days of future perfect past tense was hard to follow, and I’m usually good at that sort of thing.

As a long time Legion fan, I’m loving this new incarnation. Particularly Cham (his portrayal of other members was hilarious), and Brainy. His assessment of Star Boy and Light Lass’s powers was great.

“No, I said Earth was a nine.”

Did anyone read Captain America #7? I haven’t been following it, but I love Ed Brubaker’s other work, and he posted this on one of the message boards I go to:

That’s quite a pitch, from the man who wrote Sleeper and Point Blank and Scene of the Crime, and made freakin’ Catwoman cool.

DIdn’t make it out yesterday, but here’s a few more from last week I finally got around to reading:

Mnemovore #3 – It’s been a very, very long time since I was actually scared by a comic book; not since some early issue of Sandman, really, and I read more than my share of horror comics. This book is wonderful at setting and furthering a mood of dread. The art is lovely and the story continues to engross even beyond its ability to engulf. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series.

The Stardust Kid #1 – By DeMatteis and Ploog, the replacement to their defunct Abadazad at CrossGen. Very talky and exposition-heavy, but for a first issue this was quite enjoyable. It sets out the characters and begins the show the main conflict that’s coming, and it also answers the mystery of Paul Brightfield instead of dragging it out for issue after issue like most writers might. Very promising.

Death Jr. #2 – As funny as the first issue, but by the second half the book gains some real intensity. Ted Naifeh can do little wrong in my book, and his art is wonderful here. I believe #3 is the last issue.


Ultimate Fantastic Four: I personally like this story. Looks like you were right, Gamera, although I think it would have been cool for the Android to have bee a stowaway on the shuttle Awesome. Then they could have used his proper name with impugnity. I’m wary yet eager to see how the next arc, Crossover, goes.

Ultimate X-Men: Storm is not my favorite character, thus yawn. And what’s with Deathstryke’s prehensile adamantium?

House of M: I too like alternate universes (I really ought to start reading Exiles on a regular basis), so I’m enjoying this. Not sure why Carol Danvers is the most popular hero in the world, but whatever. Doesn’t seem to be too bad being a human in M World. Just get picked on by security. I’d have figured concentration camps for humans, but I guess not.

Spider-Man: House of M: I really feel sorry for MJ. Pete will never get over his Gwen Stacy fetish. I’m surprised he hasn’t had MJ dye her hair in the real MU. Other than that, enjoyable so far. Looks like Pete is only pretending to be a mutant and hasn’t been found out yet. What the? Cerebro didn’t notice that? I’m sure Waid won’t let me down and will explain it soon enough.

Supreme Power: I’m starting to consider dropping the book. I like dialog as much as the next guy but I’m starting to think to myself the same thing I thought when I saw Matrix Reloaded…“HIT SOMEBODY ALREADY!!” Not enough action in a book about numerous powered beings.

New Avengers: I love this book, but I still don’t think Cap would agree to have Wolverine on the team any more than I think Wolvie would want to be on a team of goodie-goods in booties. (booties?) So who was it then that released Sauron? Was it an escaped mutate that wanted him to come free the rest? I must have missed that part.

Legion 7:

Antenae! Antenae!


Cham aside…The plot’s moving along nicely. The different factions within the Legion are proving interesting.

I love Lemnos’ power.


House of M 2:

Not much going on, but interesting, nonetheless. Apparently poptarts in this strange new world look like toast.

This wasn’t a particularly talky issue, though…Moved very quickly, advanced the Zarda, Doc/Amphi, and Hype plots along nicely.

And any book that gives us a full page of Amphi jumping from the water gets full marks from me. I’m with Doc…she is beautiful.

Was a little disturbed by Hype looking through the stripper’s skin, though.

I am hoping to get a wee bit of clarification. I haven’t read comic books regularly since Joker took a tire iron up-side Jason Todds head, but as some of you know I am a regular watcher of JLU.

When I was young I got a bunch of comics from my brother (all since long gone) that covered most but not all of the Crisis on Multiple Earths. I understand that in the 80’s there was a DCU reboot that was known as the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now I have just read somebody mentioning an Infinite Crisis.

Is Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis two names for the same thing, or are they different? Also, I wanted to buy the trade books and I made the mistake of getting Crisis on Infinite Earths (just vol.1) and Crisis on Multiple Earths (vol.2) How many volumes are there to each and where is the best place to buy them? Sorry for the hijack, but this seemed like the place.

Yes. I don’t know what Infinite, the newer one is about, though, since I simply go the shop when I feel like it, which maybe months apart.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” was an attempt, about 20 years ago, to simplify the DC universe and make everything consistent. It didn’t work.

We don’t know exactly what the upcoming Infinite Crisis will entail yet, except that it will involve everything jumping ahead one year, and apparently the superheroes will be divided into factions–or so I’ve heard.

Remember the conversation with Beast in House of M #2. I don’t think a Cerebro-like machine could work without knowledge of the mutant X-factor being available.

It’s all different. DC uses the word “Crisis” a lot in these big events for historical reasons. OK, this may be more information than you need, but what else do I have to do today?

What is now DC was sort of two sister (or half-sister) companies during the '30’s and early '40’s. They published a lot of superheroes through the mid-'40’s, including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Wildcat, Starman, etc. After the War, tastes changed and most of the superhero strips died out to be replaced with other genres, although a handful remained.

In the late '50’s, DC revived its superheroes. Superman, Batman, and a few others had been published straight though, so they kept going. Other hero concepts were revamped with new characters. So there was a new Green Lantern, but he wasn’t the same guy as the GL of the '40’s. There was a new Atom, but he wasn’t the same guy as the Atom of the '40’s. Etc., etc. In the story creating the new Flash (Barry Allen), it was shown that he read the adventures of the 1940’s Flash (Jay Garrick) in old comic books. So the 1940’s versions of the heroes had been relegated to comics-within-comics read by the 1960’s versions.

You can guess what happened next – team-up! In Flash #123, the new Flash (Barry) crossed over and met up with the original Flash (Jay) in Jay’s universe, which was dubbed Earth-2; Barry lived in Earth-1. This issue was a huge seller, so they decided to expand.

At this time, most of DC’s new heroes were members of the Justice League of America. In JLofA #21, the JLA made contact with their counterparts in the Justice Society of America, the Earth-Two version of the group. (Of course, in real life the JSA existed 20 years before the JLA was created.) The title of this issue – Crisis on Earth-1! It was a two-issue story, and the continuation was Crisis on Earth-2!

This was a huge success, so they did a JLA/JSA team-up every year. Many of these were titled “Crisis on somethingorother.” For instance, the next one was “Crisis on Earth-3,” featuring a new dimension where the JLA’s counterparts were evil. Then there was The Negative Crisis on Earth-2, Crisis on Earth-X, Crisis in Eternity, Crisis on Earth-Prime, yadda yadda yadda.

Now, in the 1970’s and '80’s, DC had bought out several of its former competitors such as Fawcett Comics (Captain Marvel aka Shazam!, Ibis the Invincible, etc.), Quality Comics (Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Plastic Man), and later Charlton Comics (Blue Beetle, Captain Atom). (Of course, this is an oversimplification.) Whenever C got the rights to a new group of characters, they ended up on a new Earth and were integrated into the JLA/JSA crossover. So you had the Fawcett characters appear in Crisis on Earth-S, for instance. DC would also create other earths as desired – Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew lived on Earth-C, for instance, while the characters from the Zoo Crew’s favorite comics – The Justa Lotta Animals – lived on Earth-C-minus.

Well, by the 1986 this had gotten quite complex – at least the powers that were at DC thought so. DC decided to simplify their continuity and get rid of all the multiple earths. They did a massive 12-issue series with repercussions throughout the DC universes, having the heroes from all different worlds team up to save them whole multiverse. Of course, it was called “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”

Actually the title was a misnomer – in “Crisis” (which is what this mega series has been colloquially known as to this day) most of the earths were wiped out (coincidentally, including the established ones that DC was no longer interested in). The heroes managed to save, I think, six of the earths. However, they could only do so by merging the six into a single dimension.

After Crisis, there was only the one Earth. The characters from the JSA (the Jay Garrick Flash, Starman, etc.) existed on this Earth in the 40’s and are mostly still around. The characters from the JLA exist “now” – along with the characters originally published by Charlton, Fawcett and Quality. And as far as the characters know, that’s the way it’s always been.

So know you know why every damn thing is called Crisis. So what are all these Crisis TPB’s you’ve got?

Well, there’s the Crisis on Infinite Earths TPB. There’s only one volume, although it’s been issued in multiple versions over the years. It contains the whole 12-issue maxi-series from the mid-80’s where all the many Earths got put into one Earth. There are separately several volumes of “Crisis on Multiple Earths.” Crappy-ass name, but these reprint the various JLA/JSA team-up stories that started the whole she-bang back in 1963. The early team-ups are all the JLA and JSA, but later volumes will include those appearances of characters originally published by other companies.

OK, Crisis was 20 years ago. So last year there was a big DC event about the JLA getting its hands dirty called – wait for it – Identity Crisis. Some of the fallout from that and other things going on in the DCU is currently building up to another big event for 2005 called “Infinite Crisis.” (Dorkiest name ever!)

As noted upthread, DC is keeping tight-lipped on exactly what Infinite Crisis will entail. But there are already several books that are part of the official lead-up, like “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” which came out a few months ago. One thing we know is that after I-Crisis, things are gonna be different. But we don’t know a lot about how.

OK, so one more point of confusion is that people are referring to the upcomming Infinite Crisis as just “Crisis.” I don’t think that’s a great idea; it causes more confusion than necessary, because for 20 years when we talk about “Crisis” without further qualification, we mean “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” (And believe me, Crisis gets talked about a lot.) So I have taken to calling Infinite Crisis “I-Cri.” "Cause I think it’s cool that it rhymes, and also because crying is what you’ll do when you look at how much money you’d have to spend to get the whole story.

That help any, adam?


Five. Earths 1, 2, S, 4, and X. S being the world of the Fawcett characters (plus, inexplicably, Kid Eternity), 4 being the Charlton characters, and X being the Quality characters DC had bought (save, still inexplicably, Kid Eternity).