Justice League, Vol. 7: The Darkseid War, Part 1 by Geoff Johns

Justice League, Vol. 7: The Darkseid War, Part 1Justice League, Vol. 7: The Darkseid War, Part 1 by Geoff Johns

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What in the world is this story?

On paper, I agree it seems like a great idea…Darkseid vs another evil titan and this conflict taking place on Earth.

But the reality was more like…
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Review: Justice League, Vol. 6: Injustice League by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis (Illustrations), Joe Prado (Illustrations)

Justice League, Vol. 6: Injustice LeagueJustice League, Vol. 6: Injustice League by Geoff Johns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

Fuck it.
Not everyone is going to agree with me, but I just loved this!
I’m sure I’m going to look back and find plot holes, or inconsistencies in the ways characters acted during the story. But my initial impression is that I had a great time reading this sucker. I can tell, because I have a giant grin plastered on my face right now. And to me, the most important thing in a comic book is that it makes me smile.

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Ok. So, let me just hit a few of the plot points for Injustice League. I’m going to try my best not to give major spoilers, but I’ve seen people bitch about the weirdest stuff. So if you are one of those weird people? Now is a good time to turn back.
You will be missed. Goodbye!

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You wanna know what I really loved the most?
Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.
A lot of the complaints about DC center around their lack of levity. It’s like everything seems to be set in Gotham these days. Or at least, that’s the feel of a lot of DC’s stuff these past few years.
No jokes, people! Comics are not a laughing matter!
Except, they are. Especially superhero comics. It’s what turned me on to them to start with. You know what making fun of yourself, when you realize you’re more than a little ridiculous, is called?
A sense of humor.
And Justice League has one this time around!
I’m not saying that volume 6 is a laugh-a-minute, but Johns managed to squeeze in some pretty decent one-liners throughout the story.

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Shazam…well, Captain Marvel, but who the hell knows he’s called Captain Marvel, amirite? You say Captain Marvel to anyone, and their mind immediately goes to this:

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Where was I?
Oh, yes. Shazam!
So Billy Batson gets to play a role in this one, thanks to Lex Luthor giving him an invite to the New Watchtower. He’s a kid in a grown-up body, but instead of making him angsty, Johns played it up for comedic effect. Were they all winners? No. But I give him an A for effort.

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By the way, I take back everything I said about Johns hating Wonder Woman in Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin .
She. Is. Badass!

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My only complaint is that I didn’t feel like this one had very much of my favorite guy, Aquaman, in it. He was there, but I don’t think he even spoke. Or if he did, I certainly can’t remember what he said.
Come on, he’s so cool! Give the guy some lines!

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Flash got to play more of a role than usual, and I thought he was showcased pretty well. Sure, his connection to the Speed Force is a big plus, but that isn’t what makes him such a great character.
It’s his humor & heart that make him great.
And, in this title at least, he’s done right.
He uses his super speed to go get ice cream cones for little kids who were in the middle of the Justice League’s battle zone. He makes fun of Batman when he’s too serious. And he’s the guy who’s entrusted with the care of an emotionally damaged woman, who was taken over by the Crime Syndicate’s Power Ring. Cuz he’s sweet. And good with the loonies.

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If the writers of the Flash title would stop fucking with the Speed Force & tossing him through time, they could come up with a pretty incredible comic book for this guy. He’s like Superman in that way. Once you forget the core of what makes him awesome, and just focus on the powers?
It turns into the shittiest reading experience ever.

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WhereTheFuck do you find an awesome cat like that?!
Mine just poops in the box, then hisses at me till I clean her shit up. Whoever said rescue animals were grateful, hasn’t met Selina.
Look at her…plotting against me. Waiting to dirty up her litter box.
Bitch.

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Off track again…
Oh! Ok. I was wrong, the lack of Aquaman wasn’t my only complaint.
Cyborg. Poor, poor Cyborg!
Does anyone else notice that every fucking time he uses his super-special computer brain to hack into something, he ends up getting totally fried?!
EVERY TIME.
They need to stop him the next time he says he’s going to hijack an evil entity’s circuits, intervention style!
Look, Victor, we know you want to help. But, apparently, your programming isn’t All That, buddy. We love you, and just want the best for you. Now…go back to the Watchtower and monitor the shit out of that place.
Or.
He could come through a story without having to go get completely rebuilt & rewired by his dad. Just a suggestion, DC. Just a suggestion…

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You already know from the cover that Lex Luthor becomes a member of the Justice League in this. Unless you’re stupid. And if you are, then you should have heeded my warning at the beginning of this review. So, shut your freak mouth, and sit back down.

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Now how he manages to blackmail worm his way on to the team is a whole different mess of spoilers. And I’m not going into it. However, I will say that I thought it was pretty cool. I mean, why would they ever let him on the team? Well, I thought this gave a convincing reason.
Plus, none of them trust him, so it made for some fun reading.

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Guess who makes an appearance?!
The Doom Patrol!
Yeah, I didn’t really know who they were, either.
But that’s ok! I’m willing to learn. And it looks like they may play a bigger role in some future stories. I’m kind of intrigued to see what’s in store for this team. I’m also hoping they get more mileage out of these guys than they did when they tried to revive the Metal Men.

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Anyway, this was total movie popcorn. If you’re looking for a comic with all of the Meaning Of Life shit, go somewhere else. Justice League is just good fun with capes and tights. Those of you who have loved the previous volumes, will probably enjoy this one as much as I did.

Thank you to NetGalley & DC for a digital copy to review.

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Review: Justice League, vol 1; Origin by Geoff Johns

Justice League, Vol. 1: OriginJustice League, Vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ahhhhhh, it was soooo good!
Well, except.
But I’ll get to that later. For right now, let’s just focus on the good. And there was plenty of good.
Most of the characters seem like an improved-on version of themselves.
Superman was probably the best in that regard. Finally you see what he should have been like all along. Very cool.

Batman was super-cool. Then again, he always was. I think you have to actively try in order to turn him into a douche.
Example: All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, Vol. 1
*It can be done, folks. It just takes a special person to do it.*

Aquaman was the biggest surprise for me. Wow! I wanna read more about that guy! He popped outta the water and just stole the show from there on out. Seriously. Couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

Hal Jordan was not what I was expecting, but his interactions with Bruce provided quite a bit of comic relief.

The Flash. He was…The Flash.
He’s never been my favorite, and I doubt that’s going to change any time soon. Still, he wasn’t annoying. I can live with it.

Cyborg? How awesome is it that they stuck Cyborg in there?
Let me tell you.
Very
. I wouldn’t have thought it would have worked, but it did.

Ok. So you put all these guys together, add some great dialogue by Johns, and some incredible artwork by Lee…
Ta-da! Perfection! 5 stars!

Oh. Wait. I’m forgetting someone, aren’t I?
Ah, yes. Wonder Woman.
And here comes the above mentioned Except.

She was so stupid that I wanted to cry. Cry! As in, big fat tears rolling down my face. What the hell were they thinking?! Not only is she still clad in The World’s Most Recognizable One-Piece, but she also evidently has the mental capacity of a child!

Hm. Ice cream is wonderful.
Steve! Have you ever had ice cream? You must try it. This cook is truly blessed.
Steve, this place, you home is filled with so many wonderful things. Ice cream and rock and roll and…many wonderful things.

And…

Greetings warriors. I followed these things from your capital city. I saw you and saw you needed help.

Ok. Maybe that last one wouldn’t have sounded so bad, but everyone else was so…not using stilted dialogue.

Sooooo. Yeah. Wonder Woman is retarded.
I don’t get it. Maybe Geoff Johns had his heart broken by a chick who liked to dress up like the Amazon princess?
Sure, I’m reaching here, but why else would he hate her so much? And he must. There is no way he accidentally made her sound so…Gah!

Jim Lee did a great job making her look incredible (while she spouted nonsense), but in the end…
sigh
I knocked a star off for making the only girl look like an idiot.
Boo! Shame on you, Johns!

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Review: Justice League Vol. 5 – Forever Heroes by Papa Johns.

Justice League, Vol. 5: Forever HeroesJustice League, Vol. 5: Forever Heroes by Geoff Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

MUCH better than Trinity War…which is like saying a stomachache is better than diarrhea…they both stink.

So apparently Vol 5 does NOT follow Vol 4…I have to read Forever Evil first I suppose? To see how the Crime Syndicate defeated the JL.

Fun parts: Black Adam’s throwdown with Ultraman (too bad it only got a few pages, the art was stunning.) I would have liked to continue that.

Owlman’s backstory

The Doom Patrol’s cameo in New 52

The Metal Men

Cyborg becoming more of a stealth fighter jet than a B52 Bomber

Bad parts: Most of the good parts were stolen from Grant Morrison (C.S. to some degree, and Doom Patrol as well.)

Every Crime Syndicater other than Owl’s backstory.

Bad-Alfred looking like the Joker (pale skin and purple-y suit)

It’s called Justice League, yet it only features Cyborg. I’m surprised this didn’t run off into a Cyborg Title…has he ever had one?

So you gets your ups and your downs. I think I put it right on 3…it’s better than 2.5, so it’s just above average. That and it was a marked improvement from Trinity bullshit.


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Review: Green Lantern Vol. 3 – The End. by Geoff Johns

Green Lantern, Vol. 3: The EndGreen Lantern, Vol. 3: The End by Geoff Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m pleased to say, this is a bounce back for Papa Johns after the turd dumping that was Trinity War.

He’s had a hard-on for GL forever; and here, he’s able to close the chapter on a very respectable run for the Emerald Knights.

When last we left our hero, he (and on again GL/Nemesis Sinestro) were killed by Black Hand. We know that Black Hand killing doesn’t quite work, and Hal’s been dead before, so would they go back that way? Who knows, but we do see Hal and Sinestro stuck in the Black/Afterworld with a GL from the past.

Meanwhile, Sinestro’s Construct/Shared ring with Hal, goes for Simon Baz, a Muslim-American living in Deerborn, Michigan (my Great Uncle lived there too, lovely little place lol). There’s some well-meaning but heavy handed “we’re all good people” bit, a sort of Johns apologism for American foreign policy, torture, racism etc…OK moving on.

Simon gets guided by Squirrel/Chipmunk Lantern, who’s very entertaining, and is his Yoda. He ends up going on a quest (shockingly) with very little backup and training. It also turns out that he’s more powerful with his emotional lack of fear than some of the great ones!

This being the end of it, of course John and Guy show up, and I don’t mind them at all, but they don’t have a huge part to play (That would be the GL Corps books). Also, Kyle shows up with his rainbow brigade…ugh.

But this is Hal’s book. Hal’s the hero, he makes some gigantic sacrifices and leaps of faith to save the universe. The best part? Sinestro ends up making different sacrifices for different reasons, but when we see the end result, Sinestro is about as close to heroic as he will ever be.

So it’s a nice finish up, and everyone lives happily ever after…except the bad guys…and the people that die.

The Coda/Epilogue follows what happens to each of the lanterns, looking back many years later, and we see Guy, John, Kyle, and Hal, and what they ended up moving on to, all doing well.

However, for me, the best part of the whole thing was the relationship between Hal and Sinestro. They got to a point where they understand each other, won’t ever agree about the means, but agree to the same ends, and each makes a personal sacrifice to try and reach those ends. Hal is a hero, the greatest GL of them all, but Sinestro, I feel like his actions were even more heroic given the context, and the aftermath.

So, a very enjoyable, sentimental journery. Johns is forgiven here, because you know it’s his baby. It’s a good enough job, it stands out, the universe mumbo-jumbo cosmic shit is minimized, and the fact that it focuses on relationships and people instead of that helps a lot.

Well done.

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Review: Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, by Paul Dini

Black Canary/Zatanna: BloodspellBlack Canary/Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I agree with both Anne and Sam on this one.

Pros: they both look like ’em. Streetwalkers I mean…Hookers, Super-skanks. Prostitutes, ladies of the night, escorts, Lono? Help me out here with more slutty synonyms…

Fishnets abound. That’s usually lovely, but a bit tiresome here.
The artwork is cartoon-y, like Anne said. I feel like this is perfectly suited to 9-12 yr olds looking to get into comics, maybe even girls? It’s definitely a silly one, but it provides a doorway for kids who have no imagination and this helps. (Sadly, this is imaginative to someone under 15).

Too bad, as Sam and I agree, Paul Dini is a great Batman writer, and usually more dependable than this. Also, he did the Zatanna mini-series’ which are the most attention she ever gets…(Anne go read these, and let us both hope she gets a bigger role post-Trinity War).

All in all, it’s Okay…I guess…but nothing memorable, just not utter shite like other 2 star books.

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Review: Justice League – Trinity War – by Geoff Johns and some other morons.

Justice League: Trinity WarJustice League: Trinity War by Geoff Johns
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ugh.

You know when you go to Denny’s, and you feel guilty when you walk in, but you go sit down anyhow? Even though the last few times you’ve eaten there, it wasn’t all that good? Then you say, I’m just going to get a Coke…but you look at the menu, and end up ordering something that looks good on the menu picture?
However, when it shows up, you’re thinking uh-oh…this is a bad idea; but your brain tells you “You’ve already come this far, you idiot; might as well eat”.
Then you eat it, and there’s a few tasty bites, but mostly not? Then you finish, just because, your mom told you kids are starving in Africa, so you don’t want to feel guilty.
You pay the bill, and before you’re even out the door, your stomach hurts and you feel bloated and nauseous, and you’re thinking “Why the fuck did I ever come back here?”

That’s this book.

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The worst part is? I know I’m going to fuckin’ eat at Geoff Johns’ Denny’s again. I honestly don’t want to discuss this colossal negative meh anymore.

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Review: Aquaman Vol. 3 Throne of Atlantis – by Geoff Johns

Aquaman, Vol. 3: Throne of AtlantisAquaman, Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK, so this is unprecedented…Geoff Johns has been involved in a storyline I’ve enjoyed for 3 volumes in a row…oh, and it’s AQUAMAN.

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The only drawback is that this volume includes some Justice League issues that I’ve already read and apparently didn’t enjoy. So Ya, somehow that Origin issue of Aquaman was much more enjoyable, Arthur accepts who he is, meets Vulko (who’s OBVIOUSLY drawn in a way that gives away plenty…..) and returns to Atlantis.

The JL stuff was still kinda dumb, the reserves being called in was cool, but seriously, ELEMENT WOMAN??? VIXEN??? Hawkman and Firestorm, sure, Black Canary and Lightning, OK, even Zatana, but those 2???

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Issue #14 of Aquaman is missing from Vol. 3 of Justice League, and it’s actually a pretty crucial piece of the puzzle, and probably the other reason I like this version of the story than the JL version. Here Arthur and Orm have an actual conversation like adults, and Orm comes across as perfectly reasonable and actually having some love/respect for his half-brother. When you put it into the context of the whole story of Atlantis attacking Earth, it adds more to the story and the shades of grey that everyone lives in.

Here’s a strength; everyone IS a shade of Grey. There’s no absolutes. As much as Arthur shouldn’t be attacking JL members, the JL members seem pretty dense about things (other than Batman, who’s just his usual self, but actually gives Arthur more leeway than I’ve seen him give anyone).

#14 also has a great section with Black Manta in Belle Reve Prison and his interactions with Amanda Waller. His actions here do more to build him up as a pretty badass mofo. When he tells Waller what he does (view spoiler) it only makes him a much stronger character in my mind.

When you add the events of 14 to the whole story, it makes it flow much better, gives a depth of understanding to characters, and adds borderline levels of Greek Tragedy to the relationship between Orm and Arthur. The JL Vol. 3 collection omits this issue, so we lose out on that whole part, which I actually feel is crucial to the feel/emotion/shades of grey.

Oh and to echo Anne’s thoughts…Mera IS a badass. She for sure deserves her own miniseries or at least a spot on Birds of Prey (they could call it Fighting Fish and crosspromote with Namor!).

So even though the difference between Vol. 3 of Aquaman and Vol. 3 of JL is but 2-3 issues change, it makes a WORLD of difference…I’d up my review to 3.5 stars.

Looking forward to Vol. 4 (I’ve already read it, so I’ll put my thoughts up now.)

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