Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Is "Forever Evil"? Geoff Johns Has The Answer

Crisis on Infinite Earths: The monumental event that essentially collapsed the multiverse of DC into a singular universe.

Infinite Crisis: The sequel to the first Crisis in 1985, Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 looks to restore the multiverse, at the cost of everyone else, as Superboy of Earth-Prime looks to control the new worlds.

Final Crisis: Darkseid aims to control the universe using the long searched for Anti-Life Equation, until a noble Batman and about 30 Supermen from various universes look to spoil his plans.

Flashpoint: The Flash is inadvertently sent to an altered Earth, and in his attempts to repair time and restore things to the way he remembers he creates the “New 52”.

The New 52: A reshaping of the multiverse, starting from square one (or close to it), aspects of all DC characters’ histories are altered and expanded upon in what is now considered the normal DC Universe.

Now, the first New 52 event since, well, the New 52 has arrived (September 4th, that is). Geoff Johns, writer of such titles as Justice League and Green Lantern (you may have heard of them) recently gave an interview, revealing details about his much anticipated crossover event, Forever Evil. “As far as the world knows, the Justice Leagues are dead. What happened to them and where they are will be revealed within the pages of Forever Evil, which is focused squarely on the greatest villains in comics,” says Johns. The events of Forever Evil will take place right after Trinity War, jumping from League-wide crossover to Universe-wide crossover.

Most of what will happen and why it will happen is a mystery, but who it will happen to was revealed. “The Crime Syndicate will be the ones leading the charge to take the world in Forever Evil.” Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Owlman and newcomer, Deathstorm (alternate version of Firestorm) will make their New 52 debut in the pages of Forever Evil, but according to Johns, fans will perceive them as both antagonists and protagonists of the story. “Evil is relative – and what I mean by that, is that our villains are as complex, as deep and as compelling as any of our heroes. Every antagonist in the DC Universe has a unique darkness, desire and drive. And the reason for being of Forever Evil is to explore that darkness,” explained Johns. “We start literally, in the first issue, when the whole world goes dark; communication and power are gone. And as our Earth is plunged into darkness, the Crime Syndicate begins their plan for conquest.”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Doomsday & Beyond Returns!

We’re back. With a new logo, a new design, and some big news: the Superman/Batman movie is happening. Set to release in 2015, it’s a dream come true.

     Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con, at the end of the Warner Bros. exhibit, surprise guest sat Zach Snyder took to the stage and revealed the release of another Superman film. He then called out friend and actor in Man of Steel Harry Lennix who read a passage from The Dark Knight Returns: “I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come and in your most private moments, I want you to remember the one man who beat you”. The lights faded and an image of the Man of Steel movie logo appeared on screen, followed by a Batman symbol, resembling The Dark Knight Returns logo, appeared behind it. Its official.
     Of course, this is the greatest thing to happen in recent memory, probably since the announcement of the Man of Steel movie. Finally after 74 years of these two iconic characters, appearing in comics and cartoons, side-by-side, we get to see them together on the big screen. Unfortunately, this poses many new questions, and many new complications. The biggest being: who will play the Dark Knight? Another is who will be the villain worthy of challenging the World’s Finest? Another: what is the potential of this film? If done correctly, it has the makings to be the greatest superhero film of all time.
        General Zod posed a big threat to Superman, and along with his Kryptonian minions, the world too. A villain capable of battling both Superman and Batman has to pose just as big a threat, but perhaps someone of Zod’s power is too threatening. Darkseid is better left for the entire Justice League, Braniac, for another Superman film down the road, and any Batman villain is out of the question as this is still a Superman film first. The front-runner, of course, is Lex Luthor. He has all the motivation, after the destruction caused in the first one, to start his campaign against the Man of Steel, and he has the money and the resources to still make a good villain. He is also on par with the characteristics of Bruce Wayne to be an adversary to both heroes. And based on the amount of LexCorp teases in Man of Steel, he appears to be the obvious choice. There’s one question pretty much answered.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Doomsday & Beyond Bids Farewell

Doomsday and Beyond has allowed me to talk about the superhero topics I've always wanted to talk about, but I've decided to move on. While Doomsday and Beyond discussed broad topics from around the comic book universe, I have shifted my focus to the "Bat-Universe".
Be sure to check out all the latest news, updates and stories on everything Batman, from comics, to videogames, to TV and film and more at Heart Of Gotham, your new source for everything Batman. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wallpaper of The Week: Farewell, Young Justice & Green Lantern

        Last weekend, two great DC animated series ended before their time, which left us with the immediate need for more. Each series left us with a fitting end, but not without providing some cliffhangers into what would have been another great season from each series, unfortunately, this will never happen. In their places, we will be given Teen Titans Go!, a wacky, Japanese-styled show, similar to the original Teen Titans TV series several years ago, but even more kid-friendly, unfortunately. On the plus side, we're given our first new Batman show since the end of The Brave and The Bold back in November of 2011, titled: Beware The Batman, which will return Batman to his darker roots and will use a similar animation style to Green Lantern. While I am somewhat excited for the new shows, I may never get over the loss of two of DC's finest series since the end Justice League Unlimited. All I can do now is honor them in my Wallpaper of The Week, but not even this will bring them back, only remind us of two shows that could have been so much more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reviews: Earth-2 Vol.1: The Gathering

     One of the hardest things to do when writing a comic book is introducing readers to a new series full of new characters, as well as establishing a good story to go along with them. James Robinson was able to accomplish both in the New 52’s Earth-2. Robinson has been given an entire world to tell stories. Its not just about one hero; not even about one team of heroes, but an entire, alternate universe full of infinitely new characters, and Volume One introduces us to the first alternate universe of the New 52.
     Volume One, titled: “The Gathering” focuses on the joining of the Justice Society of America, by introducing us to revised take on their classic members. The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and the Atom take center stage and are immediately appealing. While they have the same names as their Golden Age counterparts, they have been updated with relevant and modern characteristics that current readers can associate themselves with. Robinson has taken the, almost forgotten, JSA and updated almost everything about them from their backgrounds to their costumes and applied them to a new world.
      I think that creating this comic series was one of the best things that DC could have done. The idea of reading about stories set in an alternate universe, stories that effect alternate versions of our favorite characters is very cool, making me wonder if they may eventually release more series about more alternate Earths.
Volume One begins with the death of Earth-2’s Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman and the destruction of almost half the planet. While Darkseid attempted to invade Earth in Geoff John’s Justice League, he succeeds in Earth-2, jumping us ahead in the future to see the formation of the new “Wonders”. Solomon Grundy acts as the catalyst to force the heroes to unite, which leads to a very climatic battle between Grundy (the grey) and Green Lantern.
       Not only is the book written well, but Trevor and Nicola Scott’s artwork is one of the best I’ve seen. The color work may be the finest in the New 52, which all accumulates to the overall beauty of the book.
     I look forward to seeing future installments of this alternate Earth, as well as the next alternate characters Robinson will introduce. Overall, based on what I’ve read in Volume One, Earth-2 shows much promise and appears to only get increasingly intriguing by each issue.

I give this volume:

8.8 / 10

Be sure to check out more reviews upon more volumes’ releases.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wallpaper Of The Week: "Injustice For All!"

Trailers have been appearing left, right and center these past couple weeks for Injustice : Gods Among Us, being released on April 16th. The games premise is set around... (spoilers, kind of)... the regime that Superman has created, one that has taken over Metropolis and probably all of America. Heroes and villains must choose sides to stand by, or challenge, the most powerful man in the universe. Recent trailers have given us first game appearances of characters like Captain Marvel and even Doomsday, prompting me to release a "Wallpaper Of The Week" dedicated to some of the best images released so far. Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Reviews: Justice League Vol.2: The Villain's Journey

Innovatively written by Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Flashpoint) and beautifully illustrated by Jim Lee (Batman: Hush, Uncanny X-Men).

Spoilers follow.

    While volume one detailed the conventional gathering of DC’s heroes, the second volume jumps ahead five years, giving us our first look at the Justice League of today; a team that can, relatively, work well together. More importantly, the story arc focuses on the development of a new villain named David Graves, whose powers are indefinable as it is not quite expressed what his limits are.
     No matter how powerful Graves appeared to be, following a villain like Darkseid, whose arrival and war on Earth dominated the issues of volume one, was a challenge for Graves to surpass.
    Graves’ “journey” into becoming a villain was a difficult one and I was in a bit of distaste upon reading the first couple issues, but I will admit that the villain was developed quite well over time. I understand what Johns was trying to do by focusing on the villain and his emotional, human-side and back-story, but in today’s comics it’s hard to introduce a new, major adversary and make him as successful as the classics.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DC Comics New 52 Volume 2 Previews

A preview of DC’s collected editions of all New 52 series being released throughout 2013. Prepare yourselves, for this year, many DC fans will go broke. Enjoy!

- Animal Man Vol.2: Animal Vs. Man
Written by Jeff Lemire, Illustrated by Steve Pugh and Timothy Green
- Batgirl Vol.2: Knightfall Descends
Written by Gail Simone, Illustrated by Ed Benes and Ardian Syaf
- Batwoman Vol.2: To Down The World
Written by JH Williams, Illustrated by Amy Reeder
- Green Arrow Vol.2: Triple Threat
Written by Ann Nocenti, Illustrated by Harvey Tolibao
- Green Lantern Vol.2: The Revenge of Black Hand
Written by Geoff Johns, Illustrated by Doug Manke and Ethan Van Sciver
- Justice League Vol.2: The Villain’s Journey
Written by Geoff Johns, Illustrated by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
- Justice League International Vol.2: Breakdown
Written by Dan Jurgens, Illustrated by Aaron Lopresti
- Stormwatch Vol.2: Enemies of Earth
Written by Peter Milligan, Illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda
- Suicide Squad Vol.2: Basilsk Rising
Written by Adam Glass, Illustrated by Fernando Dagnino
- Voodoo Vol.2: The Killer In Me
Written by Josh Williamson, Illustrated by Sami Basril
- Wonderwoman Vol.2: Guts
Written by Brian Azzarello, Illustrated by Cliff Chiang

MARCH 2013
- All-Star Western Vol.2: The War of Lords and Owls
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti, Illustrated by Moritat
- Batman Vol.2: The City of Owls
Written by Scott Snyder, Illustrated by Greg Capullo
- Catwoman Vol.2: Dollhouse
Written by Judd Winnick, Illustrated by Guillem March
- Earth-2 Vol.1: The Gathering
Written by James Robinson, Illustrated by Nicola Scott
- I, Vampire Vol.2: Rise of the Vampires
Written by Hale Fialkov, Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
- Red Lanterns Vol.2: The Death of the Red Lanterns
Written by Peter Milligan, Illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda

APRIL 2013
- Batman, Detective Comics Vol.2: Scare Tactics
Written by Tony Daniel, Illustrated by Ed Benes
- Batwing Vol.2: In The Shadow of the Ancients
Written by Judd Winnick, Illustrated by Marcus To
- Birds Of Prey Vol.2: Your Kiss Might Kill
Written by Duane Swerczynski, Illustrated Travel Foreman
- Blue Beetle Vol.2: Blue Diamond
Written by Tony Bedard, Illustrated by Ig Guara
- Dial H Vol.1: Into You
Written by China Mieville, Illustrated by Mateus Santolouco
- Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E Vol.2: Secrets of the Dead
Written by Matt Kindt, Illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli
- Swamp Thing Vol.2: Family Tree
Written by Scott Snyder, Illustrated by Yanick Paquette
- World’s Finest Vol.1: The Lost Daughters of Earth-2
Written by Paul Levitz, Illustrated by George Perez

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wallpaper of the Week: "There's only one Justice League!"

Upon buying my digital copy of Geoff Johns' newest Justice League title, JLA, and after reading it, I've decided to devote this WoW to its greatest image released so far. The book has much promise and looks to be another JL thriller featuring characters we are relatively unfamiliar with. How Johns plans to bring these unlikely heroes together, explore the new Secret Society and eventually have them confront the original Justice League is beyond me, but based on his track record of titles, I have high hopes for this new Justice League of America! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wallpaper of The Week: The JLA of Yesteryear

Just a couple days ago, Geoff Johns and David Finch's Justice League of America hit the stands, debuting the second New 52 JL series, and the third JLA series of all time. Unfortunately, Johns was forced to end his 7 year run on Green Lantern to pursue this new series, ending arguably the greatest comic run in history, but i have no doubt that he will bring his natural storytelling elements to this title. I look back on the JLA series that was inevitably cancelled due to the launch of the New 52, and display, what is in my opinion, three of the best wallpapers from the JLA series that began in 2006, written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Ed Benes. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It All Comes Down To This: The Greatest Showdowns In DC Animation

Batman: The Animated Series (Batman vs. Joker)
After viewing this episode, I concluded that the whole thing represents one of those classic Batman versus Joker moments, but it isn’t until the final, climatic scene, where they square off. The episode, titled “The Laughing Fish” follows Joker on a long list of evil schemes, all involving his infamous “joker” toxins, with Batman and Gotham’s finest following up on all their leads. The final clue leads Batman to save the life of Harvey Bullock and pursue the Joker to the roof of Gotham’s aquarium. What makes this duel so epic is not just the build up from the cat and mouse theme of the episode, not just the action, but also the setting and the dark storm happening around them. The best moment is when Joker swings a crowbar at Batman as Batman grabs the crowbar. The battle ends with the Joker falling to his apparent death in the shark-filled waters below. Unfortunately, this was the fifth episode of the second season, and the Joker would be seen many more times after that, but a part of me realizes this would have made a great series finale.

Monday, February 11, 2013

DC Cancels Six Titles: Who Should Be Their Replacements?

Justice League of America (Vol.3) #1

   DC Comics recently announced the cancellations of six of their titles, three of them featuring fairly well known characters. The Savage Hawkman, Firestorm, Deathstroke, The Ravagers, Team 7 and Sword of Sorcery all got the boot, making way for new titles to take their place come spring/summer of this year. When I first saw the lineup of New 52 titles I was skeptical of the lesser known titles, worried that they wouldn’t be anywhere as successful as mainstream heroes like Batman or Superman, which would lead to their cancellation. This has happened to a lot of those ‘underdog’ series. The biggest problem with trying to make these series successful is that their popularity will never match the already established series, which still begs the question as to why Hawkman or Deathstroke were cancelled, but then again, maybe upper management wasn’t happy with their recent profits, or maybe the creative teams weren’t happy with where the stories were going, I’m not sure.

     What I am sure of is the replacement titles coming later this year, which include: Threshold, Constantine, Katana, JLA’s Vibe, Justice League of America, and Superman: Man of Steel. The two that strike the most intrigue would be Geoff Johns and David Finch’s JLA, which will focus on a new team of heroes, separate from the original Justice League, featuring Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and the return of Hawkman, right after his cancellation, and Scott Snyder and Jim Lee’s new Superman series, which will again examine his outsider role in Metropolis. As excited as I am for these new series, the same old problem still remains with half of them. Will they be able to sell as much as the “regulars” or be as popular? Maybe not, which is why I’ve compiled a short list of ‘could-be’ titles that DC could use come the next cancellations.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wallpaper Of The Week: A "Shockingly Destructive" Combo

The Amazing Spider-man sequel is well underway, with production recently starting. News has revealed we will see familiar faces along with new additions like Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn, along with two, pretty major ones. Check'em out, and enjoy!

The "Shockingly"

The "Destructive"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Future of DC Animated Films

     A total of 16 DC Animated Movies have been released, beginning in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday. Compared to some of the DC animated series currently or recently airing, I would take any one of these movies over those shows, aside from GL and Young Justice. In saying that, creating feature length animated films based on famous comic book titles was a great corporate decision. The only thing I would argue is some of the stories chosen for the films. Why Public Enemies and not Knightfall? Why Superman versus The Elite and not Batman Hush? I’d like to examine the upcoming DC movies, why their chosen stories are perfect for animated recreation and which stories DC should recreate next.

      Up until DC’s latest film release, I had two favorites from the earlier films: Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 surpassed the greatness of those earlier films, in both animation and story. The film’s creators stayed truest to the source material and ended up with a great result, which was again surpassed by its sequel, The Dark Knight Returns Part 2. Any fan of these movies has been wishing for an animated interpretation of Frank Millar’s original book since Doomsday’s release, and with the story being split into two parts, the writers and directors were able to fully capture all the details, and even exact frames, from the original books. Whether it was the dramatic scene of Batman, sitting next to the dying Joker, or the climatic battle between the world’s finest superheroes, the movie was truly a comic book come to life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Challenge 2013's Superhero Films Will Face

      2012 featured some of the greatest superhero films of all time. The Amazing Spiderman displayed Peter Parker and the rest of the Spidey universe in a unique, darker way, as well as being more realistic. The Avengers gave us our very first superhero team-up, blockbuster film earning over 1.5 billion dollars. Then there was The Dark Knight Rises, being the best of last year and the most epic, providing a fitting end to the ultimate superhero trilogy. The three films released last year are all praised in their own ways, that it will become increasingly difficult to measure up to their standards, and the films of 2013 are the first to step up to the challenge. This is an analysis of The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3 and The Man Of Steel, next in line of the new generation of superhero movies. Are they up to the challenge?

The Wolverine (July 26th)
“Logan travels to Japan where he engages a mysterious figure from his past in a fight that will have lasting consequences.”
Yet another film centered on the solo adventures of Wolverine, which surprisingly takes place far after the events of X-Men 3. Its good to see Hugh Jackman back at the helm of the character he’s spent over a decade building in 5 different films. Wolverine marks the sixth time he’ll portray the character.
By now he should have it down pat, but he has to be on the top of his game to make up for the critically reviled incarnations featured in X3 and X-Men Origins, especially due to the fact that reports say the film will feature very little guest appearances from other X-Men characters. I personally like this approach because it gives Wolverine a chance to establish himself without any side stories of the other heroes.
While I’m not expecting it to be anything we haven’t seen before, I am hoping the film will be more on par with the first two X-films and First Class. With the script adapted from Wolverine’s original stories, written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Frank Millar, I have faith that it won’t disappoint.

Thor: The Dark World (November 8th)
“A primeval race led by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intends to descend the universe into darkness as Thor fights to save all nine realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself.”
Little is known about the Thor sequel, but some fans, including myself, are already beginning to question its very existence (as well as the upcoming Captain America sequel). Was the first Thor film really good enough to deserve a sequel? Is there so many layers to the character that we need another film to explore them all? Or is this simply a way to promote the success of the character after The Avengers? I vote the latter.
Thor is very much like the Hulk in terms of their roles in movies. Both these characters work fantastically in a group movie like The Avengers, but ultimately fail, or at least do average at best, on their own. While I loved the fight sequences and special effects in the first film, I question whether Thor is well rounded enough and not just a one-dimensional hero. He’s not as relatable to the general audience, he doesn’t have a mild-mannered alter-ego (at least not in this film franchise) and he seems a little head strong; qualities that ultimately doomed any of the Hulk movies. Its thoughts and speculations like these that I hope get put to rest upon the sequel’s release, but until then, I continue to speculate.