Supervillain Spotlight – Maxwell Lord

The upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 is set to feature two villains, and I am writing up a spotlight on each. First up is a character who has been both a hero and a villain, and it wasn’t until 2006 that they were even associated with Wonder Woman so directly.

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Comic Book Review – Young Justice Book Two

Young Justice Book Two (2018)
Reprints Young Justice #8-17, Young Justice 80-Page Giant #1, Young Justice in No Man’s Land #1, Supergirl #36-37, and Young Justice Secret Files #1
Written by Peter David, Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Beau Smith, Jay Faerber, Lary Stucker, and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Todd Nauck, Leonard Kirk, Angel Unzueta, Coy Turnbull, Andy Kuhn, Justiniano, Sergio Cariello, Tommy Lee Edwards, Ryan Sook, Keron Grant, and Dietrich Smith

Woo boy! Young Justice has not turned out to be what I expected it would be. And this is not a good thing. I have always bristled at most superhero books with comedy, save the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League run. It takes a deft touch to balance humor and superheroics so that the stakes of the conflict don’t devolve into silliness. This is why Deadpool and Harley Quinn have just never appealed to me despite multiple attempts to read runs by different creative teams. Peter David chose to lean into the humor of a teen superhero book for better or worse.

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Comic Book Review – The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Volume 1

The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Volume 1 (2019)
Reprints The Flash #164-191, The Flash: Our Worlds at War, The Flash: Iron Heights, The Flash Secret Files & Origins #3, DC First: Flash and Superman
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Angel Unzueta, Scott Kolins, and Ethan van Sciver

Sometimes you need to be reminded of how damn good an old album, film, or comic book is by returning to them for a re-read. That’s how I felt cracking open this massive tome, taking me back to my college days and reading these issues in fragments thanks to my roommate Keith who was always filling the room with fantastic comics of the day. Where Mark Waid established Wally West as a unique, fully fleshed-out character, Geoff Johns builds the world out around Wally to make a place that feels alive.

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Comic Book Review – Young Justice Book One

Young Justice Book One (2017)
Reprints Young Justice: The Secret, JLA: A World Without Grown-Ups #1-2, Young Justice #1-7, Young Justice Secret Files and Origins #1
Written by Todd Dezago, Peter David, and D. Curtis Johnson
Art by Todd Nauck, Mike McKone, Humberto Ramos, and Ale Garza

You are likely familiar with Young Justice as the animated series, which aired on Cartoon Network from 2010-2012 and then revived on the DC Universe platform in 2019. That title and most of its characters had their start in this comic book series from the late-1990s. Young Justice in response to the Teen Titans being aged into early adulthood and thus leaving a vacuum for a youth-oriented super-team. A new name was chosen based on the popularity of Grant Morrison’s JLA run, and so we had Young Justice starting as a trio of characters and growing its roster from there.

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Comic Book Review: Joker: Killer Smile

Joker: Killer Smile #1-3 & Batman: The Smile Killer one-shot
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

I have enjoyed Gideon Falls, the independent comic by the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. I started reading and review the series in March of 2019 and followed up a year later with a look at the second and third volumes. Be on the lookout in December for another update as I am reading through the current issues. This led me to become interested in the duos Joker mini-series and subsequent Batman one-off for DC Comics. Lemire is no stranger to DC Comics having penned Superboy, Animal Man, Green Arrow, and other work. Sorrentino has also dabbled at DC, illustrating Lemire’s Green Arrow run as well as the New 52 I, Vampire series.

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Comic Book Review – New Teen Titans Omnibus Volume 4

New Teen Titans Omnibus Volume 4 (2019)
Reprints New Teen Titans V2 #10-31, Annuals #1,2, Omega Men #34
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Eduardo Barretto, Romeo Tanghal, and John Byrne

In the same way, I want to speed up my read-through of Wonder Woman, I am doing the same with Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans. The first half of this omnibus was already reviewed when I read New Teen Titans Volume 10, so I will be skipping over talking about those issues and getting to the new stuff. Like Wonder Woman and Mark Waid’s The Flash, I started reading this run in 2017 and don’t want to wait too long to get through the issues. The sad thing about Wolfman’s Titans compared to Perez’s Wonder Woman, or Waid’s Flash is that Wolfman’s Titans have entered a woeful period.

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Superhero Spotlight – Captain Atom

In the summer of 2019, I read through almost every major DC Comics crossover event of the 1980s, 1990s, and up to Infinite Crisis/52 in the mid-2000s. A pattern I picked up on was that in almost every occasion, the character Captain Atom was present and often played a critical role. In particular, he was at the center of Invasion! in command of Earth’s forces against the alien alliance and Armageddon 2001, where he was intended to be the face behind the villainous Monarch until editorial changes. But who is Captain Atom? He’s hardly a household name to people outside of comics fandom.

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Comic Book Review – The Flash by Mark Waid Finale

The Flash by Mark Waid Finale
Includes The Flash #142-159, 162, 1 Million, Speed Force #1, The Flash 80-Page Giant #1
Written by Mark Waid & Brian Augustyn, Michael Jan Friedman
Art by Pop Mhan, Josh Hood, Paul Pelletier, and Jim Aparo

Two years ago, I started reading through and reviewing Mark Waid’s run on The Flash. When I decided to wrap up my George Perez/Wonder Woman run, I also chose to do the same with this series. Because there isn’t an omnibus out, I used the DC Universe app’s comics library to find the remaining couple years of issues that brought Waid’s landmark run to an end. I found myself enjoying these last three arcs a lot more than some of the previous storylines; however, Waid signs off in such an anti-climactic fashion. The story just sort of ends, he jumps on four months later for a last go, and then it’s over.

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Comic Book Review – Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Volume 3

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Volume 3 (2018)
Reprints Wonder Woman #46-62, 168-169, 600, and War of the Gods #1-4
Written by George Perez
Art by George Perez, Jill Thompson, Romeo Tanghal, Mindy Newell, and Cynthia Martin

I reviewed volume 1 of the Wonder Woman by George Perez collection three years ago this month, and instead of waiting for the standard sized books to finish coming out I would pick up the already published omnibus and bring the reviews to a finale. Perez started rebuilding the Wonder Woman mythos in 1987, restarting her history from scratch. Because DC Comics didn’t do a full line-wide reboot in the wake of the continuity shuffling Crisis on Infinite Earths, there were lots of unresolved questions lingering. One of these was who is Wonder Girl if Wonder Woman just debuted to the public? Wonder Girl, aka Donna Troy, was a prominent member of the New Teen Titans whose origins were wholly tied to the older heroine. Perez finally has the former sidekick meet Wonder Woman, but don’t wait for any answers because there are none, just hints at a mystery surrounding them.

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Comic Book Review – The Return of Superman

The Return of Superman (2016)
Reprints Action Comics #689-692, Action Comics Annual #5, Adventures of Superman #503-505, Adventures of Superman Annual #5, Green Lantern #46, Superman #80-83, and Superman: The Man of Steel #24-26
Written by Gerard Jones, Dan Jurgens, Jeph Loeb, Karl Kesel, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern
Art by Jon Bogdanove, M.D. Bright, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice, Ed Hannigan, Dan Jurgens, Lee Moder, Terry Beatty, Brett Breeding, Doug Hazlewood, Dennis Janke, Jose Marzan Jr., Andrew Pepoy, Josef Rubenstein, Denis Rodier, and Romeo Tanghal

So we reach the big finale, and I can tell you that this was epic stuff when I was a kid. The moment when the real Superman, clad in shocking black and silver suit emerges from the Kryptonian mech he’s walked from Antarctica, across the bottom of the ocean, and into Metropolis in. Reading that original story is a was a triumphant moment that signaled the mid-point of an epic tale. The ramifications of Superman’s return and his battle with a couple of old enemies would send ripples through the DCU that would forever change his own title as well as Green Lantern’s.

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