GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — October 2nd, 2013

Aquaman
Move over Batman. My heart belongs to Aquman now. Image: DC Comics

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. Today features Aquaman, Superman, the Justice League, past and present, and many, many Batmen.

Dakster Sullivan — Aquaman Vol. 1 The Trench by Geoff Johns (writer) and Ivan Reis (Illustrator) , Joe Prado (Illustrator)

Aquaman is one of those heroes I’ve never really understood. Prior to my exposure to Aquaman in New 52 Justice League, my only knowledge of him was in  Justice League The Animated Series when he tried to kill the entire Justice League team. 

After reading Aquaman Vol. 1 The Trench, by Geoff Johns, I have a new found respect for the character and his history as half-man, half-Atlantean.

I found several things about Aquaman Vol. 1 interesting. The first being Mera, his wife, who makes a strong appearance from the start. I’m not accustomed to seeing strong women–and especially not strong women who are fully clothed–in a comic book. I could see her in her own series, if DC Comics would ever allow it. [Editor Corrina’s note: DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio said last month that Aquaman and Mera may be together but they’re not actually married because there is an editorial policy against any marriage. An odd statement indeed because this entire story line indicates the two are husband and wife. One wonders if the statement was made as part of damage control for the uproar created when DC wouldn’t allow Batwoman, a lesbian, to be married]

The second thing I found interesting were the jokes some of the characters were making at Aquaman’s expense. What was it about him that made everyone think he was a D-list hero? One of his powers is the ability to control water. With at least 70% of the Earth’s surface and more than 60% of the adult body being made up of water, that means he can bring the world to its knees. As Mera proved in her spotlight issue, water is not their weakness, it’s their strength.

While the action is high in this volume, my favorite scene has no action in it—just a little boy who tells Aquaman he’s his favorite superhero. You could tell it really touched Aquaman and Mera to hear it.

After reading Aquaman Vol. 1 The Trench, it’s no wonder the series has such good word of mouth. It’s amazing! If you haven’t tried it yet, and you’re at least 12 years old, I highly recommend it. If you’re a Batman fan beware, because you might walk away from this liking Aquaman more…I know I did.

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Corrina:

Batman Beyond Universe #2: Writers: Kyle Higgins and Christos Gage, artists Thony Silas and Iban Coello.

Forever Evil #2: Writer: Geoff Johns, Artist: David Finch

JLA: Earth 2: Writer, Grant Morrison. Artist: Frank Quitely.

Superman as firefighter
Superman as a non-powered firefighter in Batman Beyond Universe #2 copyright DC Comics.

Batman Beyond Universe #2: You all probably know by now how much I hate DC’s tendency to kill off Lois Lane. And, she’s currently dead in the Batman Beyond universe, the victim of what seems to be cancer in her elderly years. So I should hate this comic.

Nope. Loved it.

This is one of the sweetest stories I’ve read featuring Superman in a long time. Superman, as Kal Kent, is currently a fireman trying to start a new life, made more difficult because he’s had to give up his powers, which were running haywire and endangering the planet. Part of this new start involves dating a fellow firefighter, who is a smart, competent character in her own right.

This leads to a terrific, warm, very funny sequence where Superman goes to his fellow members of Justice League Beyond for advice on a first date. (Note to self: never ask Batman Beyond-era Bruce Wayne for dating advice.) This is the competent, courageous, warm, human guy who Superman should always be. The date goes well enough for the object of Superman’s affection to ask for a second but before that can happen, Superman has to investigate a mysterious foe who seems determined to destroy him. This means a trip to the Phantom Zone and an encounter with an old enemy.

The second story focuses on Terry McGuinness, Batman Beyond himself. In the tradition of Batmen, Terry is working too hard and losing touch with a normal life, a fact that Terry’s new handler, an older Dick Grayson (complete with Nick Fury-style eyepatch) is quick to point out. There’s a mystery involving the murder of Gotham’s Mayor, Commissioner Barbara Gordon is dealing not-so successfully with the mayor’s successor. Then all hell breaks loose when it seems as if Terry’s being menaced by the classic Batman crew of the Bruce Wayne Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl, all in their prime. That ends on a cliffhanger but I admit, I’m more interested in seeing how Superman’s second date goes.

Forever Evil #2

Back to the current DC universe which seems to be much grimmer than the Beyond universe right now. The Crime Syndicate, an alternate universe Justice League, has taken over the Earth, wreaked mass havoc and destruction, and apparently killed the Justice League.

All of this leads Lex Luthor to conclude if he wants something done right, like protecting the world, he has to do it himself. Naturally, he goes about it in a non-heroic way, including creating a new version of an old  Superman foe. It’s a spoiler to say who that foe is but it made me more than a little sad that a comically off-kilter villain immediately turned murderous. In the meantime, the evil Johnny Quick and Atomica make fast work of the Teen Titans, Superwoman and Owlman of the Syndicate plot against their leader, Ultraman. The last page proves that some Justice League members still exist.

The biggest mystery of the issue is going to be the identity of the mysterious prisoner from the Syndicate’s Earth that followed them to our Earth. My guesses: Alexander Luthor (the hero of the Syndicate’s homeworld) or Thomas Wayne, the Police Commissioner of Gotham on that Earth.

If you like Luthor stories, this might be for you, but I found the story somewhat disjointed and there are a few too many T&A shots of random ladies scattered about the comic for me to really enjoy it. But if you’re in the mood for the Justice League versus the Crime Syndicate, there’s another choice….

That’s JLA: Earth 2, originally published in 2000, and re-released last month to coincide with the Forever Evil event. This is a fast-moving, terrific story that sends the Justice League to the Syndicate’s world in order to give the forces of good a win. The League does their best but the differences between worlds may prove too difficult to overcome.

The story is worth the price alone for the scenes between Commissioner Thomas Wayne (a version of Bruce Wayne’s father) and Batman/Bruce Wayne from our Earth.

Melody Mooney– Ella’s Pull Pile: Superman The Man of Steel Vol. #37 BATS! by, Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove

Superman Man of Steel #37  Image: Copyright DC Comics
Superman Man of Steel #37 Image: Copyright DC Comics

Living with a toddler one tends to spend a great deal of the day in the bathroom. Potty learning is a full-time job that exhausts even the strongest moms-of-steel. Our space is also shared with super-reader, daddy.

In a rather small space it does happen often that their book titles get mixed. The snapshot is a funny one; a pink big girl potty book and a fifth edition Dungeon and Dragons manual. Both adventures requiring courage, patience and a bit of magic. Even with this being our norm, it was truly a strange and serendipitous moment when Ella pulled a Superman / Batman crossover comic from the mixed pile. It was on the very day that Ben Affleck was announced as the next Dark Knight.

Curious and bemused we sat down next to the bathtub to look at Superman The Man of Steel Vol 1 #37 BATS! Dropping right into the Countdown to Zero Hour crossover event where Superman rocks a ponytail and three different era Batmen show up to fight a vampire rock star named Babe.The story centers on a cosmic time crisis that brings together DC Universe characters from all stages of the past, present and future. For some reason, they meet up to do battle at a Children of the Night concert hosted to help the Indigent of Metropolis.

Spoiler alert: Jor -el & Lara show up at stories end to the Kent farm, mistakenly thinking that Pa Kent is their son. I still haven’t wrapped my brain around this wacky ride.

A broken back Batman in action? Vampire killing zealots in a tank? Jimmy and his concert-going friends hooking up with their Professor Hamilton? Wow. It is often fun to pick up books where you have no frame of reference. Even funner still when they are serious for that timeline but just silly fun now. Also enjoyable is to look at the old ads. Like a page for the Damon Wayne’s movie Blankman. There was even information and dates for the 1994 San Diego Comic-Con. Ella liked the cover and even forgave Supes for that mullet.

I am sure the new Chris Nolan movie will be much darker, but I am glad we had this crossover happy accident. It made our own potty time crisis seem a lot lighter

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Action Comics #24
Batman Black And White #2 (Of 6)
Batman Odyssey TP
Batman The Court Of Owls Book And Mask Set HC
Batwing #24
DC Comics Essentials Batman #1
Detective Comics #24
Earth 2 #16
Earth 2 Vol. 1 The Gathering TP
Earth 2 Vol. 2 The Tower of Fate HC
Fables Werewolves Of The Heartland TP
Fairest #20
Forever Evil #2 (Of 7)
Green Arrow #24
Green Lantern #24
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe #6 GM
Hinterkind #1
JLA Earth 2 Deluxe Edition HC
Looney Tunes #215 KF
Movement #5
Scooby-Doo Where Are You #38 KF
Stormwatch #24 GM
Swamp Thing #24 GM
Trillium #3 (Of 8)
Trinity Of Sin The Phantom Stranger #12 GM
Unexpected TP
Witching Hour #1 (OS)
All-New X-Men #17 GM
All-New X-Men Special #1
Avengers Endless Wartime HC
Captain America Living Legend #1 (Of 4)
Daredevil Dark Nights #5 (Of 8)
Dark Tower The Gunslinger Last Shots TP
Fantastic Four By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
Fantomex MAX #1 (Of 4)
Halo Oversized Collection HC
Hunger #3 (Of 4)
Infinity The Hunt #2 (Of 4)
Iron Man #16
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1 (Of 5)
Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble #1
Mighty Avengers #2
New Avengers Breakout Prose Novel MMPB
Savage Wolverine #9
Supercrooks TP (resolicited)
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #4
Thor And The Mighty Avengers
Thor By Walter Simonson Vol. 2 TP
Thor Season One HC PE
Thunderbolts #16
What If AvX TP GM
Wolverine Blood Wedding TP
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Chilling Archives Of Horror Vol. 4 Jack Cole’s Deadly Horror HC
Doctor Who Classics #5
Doctor Who Prisoners Of Time #9 (Of 12)
Doctor Who Series I Winter’s Dawn Season’s End HC
G.I. JOE A Real American Hero #194
G.I. JOE The Cobra Files #7
G.I. JOE The Complete Collection Vol. 3 HC
Jinnrise #7
Judge Dredd Classics #4
Judge Dredd The Complete Carlos Ezquerra Vol. 2 HC
KISS Kids #2 (Of 4)
Miss Fury Sensational Sundays 1941-1944 HC
Mystery Society HC
V-Wars A Chronicle Of The Vampire Wars MMPB
Catalyst Comix #4 (Of 9)
Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight #1 (Of 8)
Occultist #1 (Of 5)
Star Wars #2 (Of 8)(Lucas Draft) GM

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading / KF10 = Kid-Friendly for 10-years old and younger

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.