Comic Chat: November 2021 Comics, George Perez News, and Previews Spotlights

Direct Download (45:17)

I talk about the George Pérez news, spotlight some comic books from the December 2021 Previews, and then I talk briefly about the 20 books I read in November 2021.

Photo from https://www.amazingcomicconaloha.com/

George Pérez’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheGeorgePerez/

Pérez interview excerpts from SyFy Wire:

Comic books I chatted about:

  • Once & Future v2: Old English & v3: The Parliament of Magpies
  • DC Pride: Celebrating a Parade of LGBTQIA+ Characters
  • Serial #5-6
  • Batman/Catwoman #6
  • Lazarus Risen #6
  • The Marvels #4-5
  • Strange Adventures #11-12
  • Truth & Justice #6
  • God of Tremors one-shot
  • Birthright (Image First) #1
  • All Star Batman #7
  • Batman/Captain America one-shot
  • That Texas Blood v1
  • Rat Queens v4: High Fantasies
  • Justice League: The Last Stand #1
  • Money Shot v2

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Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com.

Thanks for listening!

52! Week Fifty

By Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Waid, Giffen, Justiniano, Wong, Sinclair, Lopez, Richards, Schaeffer, and Siglain. Cover by Jones and Sinclair.

52 was a weekly series published by DC Comics starting in May, 2006. Because I had my 52nd birthday in late 2020, I thought it might be interesting (fun?) to examine this series for its 15th anniversary. I plan to post once a week about each issue. To read previous posts, click the link (52!).

Synopsis

“World War III”

Week 50, Day 2

The Marvel family battles Black Adam in Egypt.

Week 50, Day 3-5

The JSA search the world for Black Adam, and discover he’s in China.

Week 50, Day 6

Members of the Great Ten discuss what to do about Black Adam, because “he knows the part our leaders played in his betrayal”. August General-in-Iron orders the Great Ten to stop Black Adam.

Week 50, Day 7

The JSA, JLA, and other superheroes gather at the Chinese border. They have been warned by the Chinese government to not enter the country or the “missiles start flying”. Alan Scott tells them to be ready, “I’m betting they’ll need the Justice Society soon enough”.

Black Adam defeats the Great Ten one by one by, and August General-in-Iron reluctantly allows the assembled superheroes in to help.

Captain Marvel crashes into the Rock of Eternity after being expelled from the Egyptian gods’ presence: they refused Marvel’s plea to take away Black Adam’s powers. He’s asked, “And there’s no way to force the change?”

Steel is about to launch a nanite-filled missile at Black Adam when Booster Gold appears and takes it. He tells Steel, “it wasn’t gonna work anyway, trust me…”.

One by one, the American superheroes fall to Black Adam. Green Lantern declares that they need help and see members of Infinity, Inc. He implores them join him, but they flee in fear.

Zatanna contacts Flash with a plan, who then tells Green Lantern to haul Adam up in the air. Captain Marvel flies to intercept, calling the lightning, which he grabs and hurls it at Adam. There’s a massive explosion of light and Black Adam transforms into Teth-Adam and, as he falls, he yells “Shazam!” multiple times. He is caught by Atom Smasher.

The JSA search for Black Adam. The Flash yells, “Tell me we didn’t lose him after all that!”, and Atom Smasher says, “The light … the shockwave … no one saw exactly what happened”. Captain Marvel tells them that Adam is no longer a threat. He reveals that as the guardian of the magic, he was able to change Adam’s magic word and that Adam will never guess it. We see Adam walking the streets, saying one word after another.

T. O. Morrow arrives at a base in the Rocky Mountains and begins to examine Red Tornado’s head. He sees what Red Tornado saw “in the great beyond” and exclaims, “Oh God”. Then Booster Gold and Rip Hunter arrive, with the latter telling him, “Get your ass in gear, Prof. ‘Cause we’re already way outta time”.

Thoughts

Minor note: this cover is the only one of the series that does not have the “news ticker” at the bottom.

For much of this series, I have been on Black Adam’s side: he’s a reformed “bad guy” who fell in love, built a family, and tried to accomplish some good in the world. Then one bad day changes all of that and he slaughters a country (later, he’s referred to by one of the Great Ten as a “suffering, dying bull destroying everything in his path”).

While most of the superhero community would like nothing more than to lock Adam up forever, some are still trying to help him. On page one, Captain Marvel implores with Adam, “Stop this. Let me help you.” Marvel doesn’t yell or command, he is sympathetic despite Adam’s sins. Atom Smasher continues to defend Adam believing that Adam wouldn’t kill innocent children when we know he did. There’s also a two-page spread showing all of the superheroes charging Black Adam in the forefront — I tip my hat to the creators on this image because I have been conditioned to root for the underdog and this shows a defiant Adam waiting to confront his adversaries.

How are we as readers supposed to judge Black Adam based on all that has happened? While I think the creators and DC failed to adequately show the destruction and pain Black Adam caused on a human level (we see lots of structures being destroyed), I enjoy the narrative dichotomy of this character’s path, and god help me, I’m still rooting for the guy at the end! In fact, there’s a panel of him saying “Eternity” before he disappears into the crowd and that just elicited pangs of sympathy within me (good job creators!). It’s not that I want him to guess/discover the magic word and continue with his rage-filled vengeance but eventually find some peace. I’m very curious what happens next to this Black Marvel.

Pull List Review (October 2021 Comics)

Direct Download (37:22)

I talk about some comic books I read in October 2021.

Spotlighted comic books:

  • Batman/Superman #16
  • House of M #1-8
  • A Man Among Ye v1
  • Infinite Frontier #1

I also read:

  • The Marvels #3
  • Flash #768
  • Rat Queens v3: Demons
  • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold #4
  • Manifest Destiny v4: Sasquatch
  • Wayne Family Adventures ep 1
  • Starman #1-2
  • Deadly Class v5: Carousel
  • Justice League #60

BUY MY COMICS (please!)

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com.

Thanks for listening!

52! Week Forty-Nine

By Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Waid, Giffen, Barrows, Green, Ramos, Baron, Leigh, Richards, Schaeffer, and Siglain. Cover by Jones and Sinclair.

52 was a weekly series published by DC Comics starting in May, 2006. Because I had my 52nd birthday in late 2020, I thought it might be interesting (fun?) to examine this series for its 15th anniversary. I plan to post once a week about each issue. To read previous posts, click the link (52!).

Synopsis

“Eve of Destruction”

Week 49, Day 1

The JSA arrive on Oolong Island demanding that Chang Tzu let Black Adam go. Then, members of the Great Ten arrive to tell the JSA if they continue, there will be war.

Chang Tzu asks Will Magnus if the Plutonium Man is complete and how Magnus endows the “metals with life”? Magnus tells him

… it’s really the responsometer that does all the work. Once a metal is animated, it takes a form that perfectly expresses its own nature. … Metal Men pretty much build themselves.

Then the Metal attack Chang Tzu.

Green Lantern tells the Great Ten they can’t declare war on the JSA — they’re free agents — but the Great Ten call this “nonsense”.

With the help of Thundermind, Green Lantern now knows that the Great Ten are there to protect the secret that Chang Tzu is a member of the Great Ten.

Dr. Morrow attempts to stop Magnus from lowering the island’s defenses, but Magnus gives him the control to teleport to Dr. Sivana’s Omnibot. Morrow tells him, “I don’t deserve your loyalty”. To which Magnus replies, “You were the best teacher I ever knew. I try overlook the whole psychopathic super-villain thing”.

In the Omnibot, Sivana gathers some equipment, thanking Black Adam for allowing him to develop “torture toys” that will work on the Marvel Family.

Dr. Magnus defends himself by firing Lead at Chang Tzu, piercing his shell. Magnus threatens the other scientists with the particle wave ray gun and his bipolar disorder. The scientists run away, and Magnus shoots Chang Tzu a few more times, telling him, “You shouldn’t have taken away my meds!”

With the defense systems down, the JSA enter the compound and begin rounding up the scientists. Atom Smasher locates and frees Black Adam. About Bialya, he implores Adam, “Tell me it wasn’t you”. Adam uses his magic to heal himself and repair his costume. He tells Atom Smasher before leaving the island, “They wanted a war, Albert. I’m going to give it to them”.

IN Metropolis, Nuklon tells the remaining Infinity, Inc. members,

We can still be the future. … We can still prove to the world that we can do it better than those stupid old men in the JSA. We only need the chance.

Thoughts

I love that James Bond homage cover! The ticker at the bottom even pokes a little fun: “The Diabolical Egg-Fu: Shaken, Stirred and Cracked?” Hah!

There are only a few notable items in this issue. One is that Thundermind is helping the JSA by revealing (though it’s only heavily implied) the Great Ten’s motivation for protecting Oolong Island. I’d love to see more between those two groups.

Another is the return of the Metal Men, minus Platinum (and will Magnus do anything with that Plutonium Man?). That scene of the mini Metals attacking Chang Tzu was a nice bit of comedy.

Atom Smasher’s reaction when he realizes that what he thought about Black Adam wasn’t true: the Black Marvel did decimate Bialya. The way the artists drew Atom Smasher’s reaction was very done, considering the full face mask and only white eyes. I wonder if the penciler thought they couldn’t adequately express Al’s emotions if the mask was off? That seems like a wasted dramatic moment.

Then there’s Magnus’ relationship with T. O. Morrow. I loved that exchange between them. Morrow brought Magnus into this situation, revealed Magnus’ bipolar disorder and the need for medication (which they took away), he shoots Mercury and threatens to shoot Magnus, but Magnus still feels a sense of loyalty (or is it compassion?) to the guy.

Finally, Magnus kills Chang Tzu?! Magnus’ quip that “you shouldn’t have taken away my meds!” was very much a 1980s Shwartzenegger action movie moment. But will Magnus answer for this crime (although I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of Chang Tzu …)?

The Origin of the JSA

By Waid, Kramer, Bair, Sinclair, Leigh, Richards, Schaefer, and Siglain

Nothing really of note here, but I love how this entry reinforces DC’ history of legacy that started with the JSA.

Center Seat: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2

Direct Download (58:13)

Stardate 2021.342. On this episode of Center Seat, my Star Trek podcast, I talk about the second season of Star Trek: Discovery.

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com.

Thanks for listening!

Theme music: “Saving the World” by Aaron Kenny (https://www.youtube.com/user/contactkennya/)