Comic Book Review – The OMAC Project

The OMAC Project
Reprints The OMAC Project #1-6, Special, Wonder Woman #219
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Jesus Saiz

Continuing immediately from the conclusion of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, we find Max Lord, now the head of Checkmate, cleaning up his murder of Blue Beetle. It’s revealed that Lord has control over Brother Eye, a spy satellite built in secret by Batman after he learned about the Justice League’s mindwiping of villains. At some point, off-panel, Lord has turned Brother Eye into a catalyst for OMACs, nanobots that have infected hundreds of thousands of humans and turned them into sleeper agents. The over-arching plan is to use Checkmate and Brother Eye to “take back” power from the growing number of metahumans on Earth. Booster Gold is concerned about his old teammate, Blue Beetle’s disappearance. He works alongside Batman, Fire, and other heroes to get to the bottom of what happened.

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Comic Book Review – The Rann-Thanagar War

The Rann-Thanagar War
Reprints The Rann-Thanagar War #1-6, Special
Written by Dave Gibbons
Art by Ivan Reis

This probably the least related to the core Infinite Crisis than any of the four Countdown mini-series. It’s a continuation of storylines from the Green Lantern reboot that had just rolled out and an Adam Strange mini-series. As a result, it only has one strong connection that happens in the third act and sort of scuttles the main story, sidetracking into the Infinite Crisis event. This is also one of the least new reader friendly books in the Countdown with plot threads that go back into Geoff Johns’ JSA run involving Hawkman and even further back into Tim Truman’s Hawkworld series of the 1980s. DC Comics can be notoriously dense with its long histories, but here it becomes almost impenetrable.

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Comic Book Review – Villains United

Villains United
Reprints Villains United #1-6, Special
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Dale Eaglesham and Val Semekis

The march towards Infinite Crisis continues with more fallout from the events of Identity Crisis. Once it was revealed that a contingent of Justice League members was actively using their powers to mindwipe villains, this became a rallying point for those baddies seeking to amass power. The Society was formed, led by Lex Luthor, Talia al Ghul, The Calculator, Deathstroke, Doctor Psycho, and Black Adam. The group is splitting up to hit all corners of the planet in a recruitment drive. If you don’t submit to their campaign to pull off a massive attack on the superheroes, then you’re left for dead as a message to any future dissenters. Writer Gail Simone cleverly makes these mini-series not about the top tier villains in power, but in a small group who aren’t willing to go along with the ultimatum.

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Comic Book Review – Countdown to Infinite Crisis/Day of Vengeance

Countdown to Infinite Crisis
Written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Judd Winick
Art by Rags Morales, Ivan Reis, Jesus Saiz, Phil Jimenez, and Ed Benes

In the wake of Identity Crisis, the DC Universe had taken a darker turn, and it was decided that this would be the lead up to a massive line-wide event. Instead of repeating the format of 1985’s 12 issue Crisis on Infinite Earths, this event would have a one-shot prelude with four mini-series spinning out that which in turn would lead to the main title Infinite Crisis. It all starts here in Countdown, a single issue that frames those four mini-series: Day of Vengeance, Villains United, The Rann-Thanagar War, and The OMAC Project. The cover to the comic portends a bad turn of events, Batman holding a lifeless figure in his arms while other heroes look on in horror.

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Comic Book Review – Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis
Reprints Identity Crisis #1-7
Written by Brad Meltzer
Art by Rags Morales

The recently concluded Heroes in Crisis mini-series, written by Tom King, has been the focus of massive negative attention online. The series is so fresh that I still am not sure what my take on the overall piece is and it’ll warrant a re-read soon. The intent of Heroes in Crisis was to talk about the PTSD superheroes would experience as part of their line of work. Thirteen years ago, novelist Brad Meltzer was tasked with composing a similar event comic centered around a dark revelation from the Justice League’s past, an opportunity to tell a very adult story in the DC Comics universe. There is an emphasis on the long-term emotional toll that comes with being a superhero, and Identity Crisis seems to have garnered even more considerable enmity in the decade-plus since it was released. This summer we’ll be looking at the series of events books that started with this one and redefined DC Comics for the mid-to-late 2000s.

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Hypothetical Movie Marathon – Haunted Places

It’s October, so that means audiences seek out stories of horror both old and new. One common trope is the haunted place, typically a house but it can be any location where someone has died in an extremely violent or tragic manner. Here is a selection of films (and one tv series) that I think present hauntings in an exciting and sometimes very different way.

The Innocents (1961)
Written by William Archibald, Truman Capote, and John Mortimer
Directed by Jack Clayton

the innocents

Based on the novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, this adaptation tells the story of Miss Giddens, a governess who has just arrived at a remote estate in the countryside to care for a wealthy bachelor’s orphaned niece and nephew. The children’s behavior is extremely questionable, and Giddens finds herself attempting to uncover what is driving them to such bizarre extremes. Eventually, she learns of dark events that took place before her arrival between members of the staff and the specters that remain as a result. There are some deep psychological levels to this story beyond the ghosts and this masterfully written, and directed film will linger with you for a long time after viewing it.

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Comic Book Review – Justice

Justice (2012)
Written by Jim Kreuger & Alex Ross
Art by Doug Braithwaite & Alex Ross

justice main cover

The Justice League of America is the greatest team of heroes on Earth. Their roster includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and many more. And up until now, they have been the defenders of the weak. Suddenly, across the globe villains like Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, and Poison Ivy offer up help the downtrodden, particularly those with disabilities and people living in the third world. They do more for these people than the League has ever been able to and public opinion begins to turn on the heroes. Batman learns The Riddler has ransacked the databases of Wayne Enterprises and is armed with dossiers on every Leaguer. A psychic assault comes from Gorilla Grodd who incapacitates Aquaman. Meanwhile, Brainiac is constructing a plan that will destroy the heroes for good.

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