Superman at 81

It’s been an entire year since the release of both Action Comics #1000 and the end of Tomasi and Gleason’s tremendous run on the Superman title. Since then, both titles have found themselves a new writer, and started to take the character in a different direction. But has it been for the better.

In short, no.

Both Action Comics and the main Superman title have spent a year under the direction of Brian Michael Bendis. A writer who certainly has his strengths but is often failed to be rained in when his ideas go to far afield. He has had a noted history of having editors just let him write what he likes. But having full rein of a character across titles, should at least keep things feeling consistent, with plenty of back and forth for the occasional story arc. There is a big problem though. A lack of variety. Prior to the Bendis take over, Action and Superman had two different creative teams. Both staying true to the other and having the occasional cross over. But both provided something different. One focused heavily on the family and their life in the country, while the other took a more, well, action approach and keeping largely to Metropolis. Something for every fan of the Blue Boy Scout. With Bendis behind both now, each title feels like the same thing. And when one doesn’t catch your attention, it’s unlikely the other will.

In his short history with the character, Bendis has separated the family, aged Jon, introduced a new villain, and changed the origin story to fit his whim. Now, if this was handled with better pacing, i.e. stretching this out a little over time, it could work more naturally, and give Superman some real moral and personal dilemmas. Instead, the circumstances and outcomes feel forced. Superman feels as though he is going through the motions and just allowing things to happen. Superman feels like less of an active character, and more of the ragdoll just positioned in the frame. Again, this could also work if it was called out. If someone said to him that he’s being passive because he’s struggling to deal with everything that’s happened to him. This was momentarily teased in both the last issue of The Man of Steel, and the first issue of the new Superman run. But Bendis fails to pay this off. We have a scarecrow in Superman pyjamas.

In summary, Superman is not in the same state he was a year ago, or even at the beginning of the DC Rebirth. This new focus does have its fans. But I long to see the Superman I fell in love with soar through the sky once more. Who knows. Maybe this is just an off year for the Man in Blue.

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Prepare the Batmobile: The Intertextual Engine Under The Hood

Among the list of all of Batman’s gadgets, the Batmobile is high in his readers eyes. An armoured tank capable of speeding through the streets of Gotham, taking out anything in its path. Or is it really a 55’ Lincoln Futura, with plenty of accessories?

The Batmobile has taken many forms in the 80-year history of the character. While not named, it made it’s first appearance alongside Batman in Detective Comics #27 [Kane & Finger.1939]. A plain, unmodified red coupe. Far from what we would recognise as a Batmobile in the modern day. It appears in the story that this first car is used publicly by both Batman and Bruce Wayne as Wayne and Commissioner Gordan are seen using the same model car to get to the Lambert Residence. But from this first appearance, it’s taken on multiple incarnations in different forms of media. From comic renderings from different artists, to the ’66 television series [Semple & Dozier.1966-68], multiple film franchises such as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight [Nolan.2008], and video game offerings such as Batman: Arkham Knight [Rocksteady Studios:2015].

With such a rich history, spanning 80-years. Artists and writers have payed homage and referenced this history through intertextuality. Originally introduced by Julia Kristeva in her 1966 essay, Words, Dialogue and Novel [Kristeva.1980], intertextuality is the practice of one text referencing another. For example, the parody genre is built very heavily on intertextuality as it directly references outside sources to make their jokes. Intertextuality itself can be broken down even further into three main categories. Obligatory, optional and accidental [Miola.2004]. Obligatory are the reference that need to be made to get across what you want. For example, Spaceballs uses obligatory intertextuality to Star Wars. It “involves the use of deliberate referencing, the writer will invoke texts consciously, and the reader will usually require some form of knowledge towards the original texts, in order to appreciate the new material created” [Laird.2017:05] [Fritzsimmons.2013]. Optional intertextuality is just that, an optional reference the author has included that doesn’t necessarily impact the story they are telling. They are used to “pay homage to the ‘original’ writers, or to reward those who have read the [text]. However, the reading of this [text] is not necessary to the understanding of the [new text]” [Ivanic.1998]. Accidental intertextuality then, is a reference that was unintentionally included, or one the reader recognises due to their own knowledge but wasn’t intended by the creator. When we are discussing the intertextuality of the Batmobile, we are discussing specific models and their appearance in a medium that is not their original, or in a separate continuity.

The first car explicitly labelled as the “Batmobile”, was in Detective Comics #48 [Kane & Finger.1941]. However, this car still does not resemble what we think of when the idea of a Batmobile is conjured. Instead, it’s similar to the car from Detective Comics #27, with the addition of a bat shaped hood ornament. The first car that we consider to be a traditional Batmobile based on design, comes from Batman #5, designed by Jerry Robinson. As noted on the blog, Batmobile History, “the design was created nearly whole cloth, with only a passing resemblance to real cars of the time. The result was a combination of speed, style, and brute force that continues to influence Batmobile designs today” [Spencer.2017]. The most noticeable piece of iconography here is on the front of the car. An image almost resembling the cowl of Batman, complete with piercing eyes. Physically tying the design of the car to Batman’s own iconography. The car also features a fin running off the back that mimics the look of Batman’s cape in movement.

From here, the most notable models of the Batmobile are those that appear in the 1966 Television series, Batman, the 1989 film, Batman [Burton.1989], and the 2005 film, Batman Begins [Nolan.2005]. The reason for choosing these as notable models are due to the material’s place in pop culture, and the wider audience appeal.

Due to a tight budget, the Batmobile for the 66 Television show, was based on a 55 Lincoln Futura. A perfect match as it included the fins on the back, much like the comic counterpart [Spencer.2017]. The nose was then shaped into a bat motif, again, much like the comic counterpart. Noticeable, on the sides and wheels of the car are little red bats. The shape of these Bats is reminiscent of the hood ornament on the Batmobile introduced in Detective Comics #48. If this was intentional, then it is likely an optional reference. Given that the much earlier design would have been little known. However, if it is unintentional, then it is a case of accidental intertextuality, as it is up to the reader to notice that reference.

Some of the most impressive uses of intertextuality are in Batman: Hush [Loeb & Lee.2002], and Batman: White Knight [Murphy.2018]. While written and drawn 16 years apart. Both stories feature very impressively done, 2-page spreads featuring a part of the Batcave. What makes these pages so notable, is the inclusion of several incarnations of Batmobiles. If these were all strictly kept to comic incarnations, then it could be stated as just an interesting image. But the inclusion of Batmobiles from outside of the comic book media, makes this a good use of optional intertextuality. Hush noticeably including the Batmobiles from Batman: The Animated Series [Timm & Dini.1992 – 95], Batman [Burton.1989], Batman the television series [Semple & Dozier.1966 – 68], Batman Forever [Schumacher.1995], and others just out of shot. In Batman White Knight, the shot includes slightly fewer models, but is modernised by including the ‘Tumbler’ model from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins [Nolan.2005]

In the interactive landscape, such as Batman: Arkham Knight [Rocksteady Studios.2015]. The player has a level of input when it comes to the Batmobile. The final game in the Arkham series, allows the player to use the Batmobile during gameplay. This also gives the user the option to use ‘skins’ to customise the look of said Batmobile. This could be used in two ways, either as a new colour scheme for the in story Batmobile. Or, fill models of various Batmobiles in racing mode [IGN.2016]. This could be considered the ultimate version of optional intertextuality. Not only in the eyes of the developers, but in the choice of the players as well.

The Batmobile is far from the only use of intertextuality across the Batman franchise and media. Even outside of DC properties, the Batmobile has been referenced in media such as Ready Player One [Spielberg.2018]and The Simpsons [Groening, Brooks & Simon.1989 – Present].Particularly when you include interactive forms of media and allow things such as modding and bonus content. But the various incarnations of the Batmobile, and their prominence within both the fan base, and pop culture as a whole, make it a prime candidate for intertextual call outs.

Sources:

  • Batman (1966 – 68) TV.  Created by Lorenzo Semple Jr & William Dozier. [Blu-ray] 20th Century Fox Television: USA.
  • Batman (1989) Film. Directed by Tim Burton. [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros.: USA.
  • Batman Begins (2005) Film. Directed by Christopher Nolan. [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros.: USA.
  • Batman Forever (1995) Film. Directed by Joel Schumacher [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros.: USA.
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1992 – 1995) TV. Created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros. Animation: USA.
  • Fitzsimons, J. (2013) Romantic and Contemporary Poetry: Reading. Romantic and Contemporary Poetry. Chicago University Press: Illinoi.
  • IGN (2016) Batman Arkham Knight Wiki Guide – Batmobile Skins. [Online] IGN. November 3rd. Available from: https://uk.ign.com/wikis/batman-arkham-knight/Batmobile_Skins#Racing_Batmobiles [Last Accessed: 07.03.2019]
  • Ivanic, R. (1998) Writing and Identity: The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic. John Benjamins Publishing Co.: Amsterdam.
  • Kane, B & Finger, B. (1939) Detective Comics #27: The Case of the Chemical Syndicate. DC Comics: Burbank.
  • Kane, B. & Finger, B. (1941) Detective Comics #48: The Secret Cavern. DC Comics: Burbank.
  • Kane, B. & Finger, B. (1941) Batman Vol. 1 #5: The Riddle of the Missing Card. DC Comics: Burbank.
  • Kristeva, J. (1980) Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Columbia UP: New York
  • Laird, M. (2017) Laughing in the Face of the Original: Does the Intertextual Nature of the Parody Genre Effect How We see an Original Text? [Online] Academia.edu. Available from: https://www.academia.edu/33421544/Laughing_in_the_face_of_the_Original_Does_the_intertextual_nature_of_the_parody_genre_effect_how_we_see_an_original_text [Last Accessed: 07.03.2019]
  • Loeb, J. & Lee, J. (2002) Batman: Hush. DC Comics: Burbank.
  • Miola, R.S. (2004) Seven types of Intertextuality. Manchester Univeristy Press: Manchester.
  • Murphy, S (2018) Batman: White Knight. DC Comics: Burbank.
  • Ready Player One. (2018) Film. Directed by Steven Spielberg. [Blu-Ray] Amblin Entertainment: USA.
  • Rocksteady Studios (2015) Batman: Arkham Knight [DISC] PlayStation 4. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment: Burbank
  • Spencer, B (2017) The History of the Batmobile [Online] Available from: http://www.batmobilehistory.com/index.php [Last Accessed: 07.03.2019]
  • The Dark Knight (2008) Film. Directed by Christopher Nolan. [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros.: USA
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Film. Directed by Christopher Nolan. [Blu-Ray] Warner Bros.: USA.
  • The Simpsons (1989 – Present) TV. Created by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon. [DVD] 20th Century Fox Television: USA.

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1988)

God Loves, Man Kills, is essentially the source material for the second X-men movie. An anti-mutant stance led by William Stryker. One of the big differences in the character of William Stryker here, as a posed to his film counterpart, is that instead of being a military man, he is instead Reverent William Stryker. Personally, I think that him being a religious leader is a lot deadlier than having him just be a military man or scientist. Military men and scientists are powerful, especially with governments backing them. But a religious leader almost speaks for a higher power for those who listen. For the religious minded a priest or higher are supposed to have a direct connection to what ever god or lord their religion worships. I have no authority on this matter, I’m not religious, though I find religion in itself quite fascinating. But for a lot of people their reverent is an extremely high authority figure. If they say that something isn’t right in the eyes of the lord, people are very likely to listen. Mutant’s have always been a stand in for what society deems abnormal to them. For example, the prejudice against the gay community by religious leaders. This still carries on today, but it was especially prominent in the 1980s, when God Loves, Man Kills was written.

The book opens with two kids running away from an elementary school at night, as they are chased down by gun men, known as Purifiers. Because both children have exhibited signs of being mutants, mainly the manifestation of powers. Both children are shot and hung from the play ground equipment with signs reading “Mutie” across them. The plan is that the children would see them in the morning and set an example. However, Magneto comes across them, takes down their bodies and lays them to rest before they can be seen.

Cut to the headquarters for the world-wide Stryker Crusade, where Reverent William Stryker is reading from the bible and talking about how these ‘X-Men’ are against the will of god because, simply they are mutants. And that he plans to take them out. Meanwhile, Kitty Pride is at her dance class, and picks a fight with another student who starts spouting off anti-mutant thinking. When they make it back to the X-Mansion, Kitty is still furious while the rest of the X-men watch the televised debate between Charles Xavier and William Stryker, debating the ‘Mutant problem’. As the debate ends, the X-Men begin to train in the danger room, but while this is going on, Xavier, Storm and Cyclops are captured and tortured by the Stryker Crusade.

The rest of the book is an incredibly provocative look at the problem of prejudice and open mindedness. The power of swaying opinions, and actually listening to the other side. Not only Stryker, but the X-Men have to face their own way of thinking. Particularly Kitty Pride, who doesn’t realise that her own thoughts and feelings are also formed by prejudice. The young boy, Danny, in her dance class is a good example of this. Trying to understand that his opinion of mutants isn’t formed from an outright hatred, but a lack of education and understanding.

The graphic novel is short but incredibly well done. With vivid artwork by Brent Anderson. Particularly a dream sequence that evokes images of a Salem witch hunt, or the crucifixion of Christ. It’s Chris Claremont’s X-men at its finest, and something I think all comic readers, weather DC or Marvel should take a look at.

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year One

When it comes to tie in comics, there isn’t exactly a high expectation for it. Most people picking it up will already be fans of whatever it’s tying into, and its usually supplementary material. The word for this is transmedia storytelling, when a story takes place across multiple media. But it’s rare to see it truly done well. Most commonly, its short stories intended to just flesh out background events or characters. A franchise that does do this well are the Star Wars comics. Both the newer Marvel incarnation, and the older Dark Horse selection. But when it comes to Injustice, a fighting game using DC characters, I don’t think anyone expected a tie in comic this good.

The original game gave us a relatively simple story of the main universe Justice League, crossing over into an alternate universe where due to events, Superman had taken over the world and the main universe Justice League partnered up with this universes resistance in order to stop him. The expectation for a tie in comic for this, particularly in lesser hands, would be a short single issue, or possibly miniseries, running through the events that lead to this as dryly as your standard high school history text book would.

Tom Taylor, however, understood that an outcome like this does not just simply happen. A figure like Superman, the Big Blue Boy Scout, does not just turn evil and take over the world. To get to the point we saw in the game, these characters are going to suffer. They will be tested, and loyalties will be questioned.

Set five years before the events of the game, Clark Kent wakes up to find two heartbeats coming from his wife, Lois. Overcome with happiness, though feeling deeply protective, while Lois goes out to follow up on a tip for a story, Superman rushes to find Batman. Not at all surprised by the news that Lois is pregnant, the pair share a peaceful moment where Clark asks Bruce if he would be the child’s god parent. This maybe the last moment of happiness for the World’s Finest, and it comes during the opening to the story. While on a stake out with Jimmy, Lois is kidnapped by the Joker and Harley, sending both Superman and Batman into a form of panic. Through a series of events, Superman finds himself face to face with both Doomsday and Joker. Not wanting Doomsday to cause any harm to civilians, Superman flies him up and into outer space. There is one major problem however. There is no Doomsday. As he floats in space, Superman is horrified to see Lois lifeless before his eyes. Using a combination of Scarecrow’s fear toxin and Kryptonite, Superman has just been tricked into killing the woman he loves and is unborn child. As Lois’s heart stops, a series of bombs detonates throughout Metropolis. Levelling the city. In a matter of moments, Superman has lost his home, his wife, and his future child. Overcome with rage, he finds Batman holding Joker captive. Unable to calm him down, Batman watches on in horror as Superman brutally murders the Joker. The beginning of it all. With his new perspective of the world and all the heartbreak his former method of dealing with threats has brought him. Superman decides that the only way to truly save the world, is to take it over himself.

Most stories that involve an evil Superman, already show him as being different to the man we know. In Injustice, we see just how even the most morally right and just version of the character could be corrupted like any other man. Through the actions and events in the story, we see how not only the general public reacts to these events. But how the very superhero community is split down the middle. Friends and even family members turning on each other. Characters constantly questioning just where they stand. The most well done of these can be seen in three examples. The first as a chess match between Superman and the Flash as they both discuss how they feel about it all. The young Billy Batson, also known as the superhero Shazam, interviewing people on the streets about what they think, as well as seriously questioning what both parts of himself should do about it. The mortal boy, and the superhero god. As well as seeing the events through the eyes of a boy who was once helped by Superman when the wheel came off his bike. Now watching events unfold on tv and lamenting how much he misses the “city of tomorrow, and the man of yesterday”.

Tom Taylor, as well as artists Jheremy Raapack and Mike S. Miller, bring a fantastic level of detail and heart to something that could have been merely a quick cash grab. A must read for anyone, regardless of weather or not you have played the game it’s attached to. Deeply well done and with more waiting at the end of Year One.

Superman 1 – 7 (2018 – 2019): The continuing problems with Bendis’s Superman

Coming off of Man of Steel, Bendis certainly has a lot to prove. Giving him a mini series is the perfect way to allow Bendis an opportunity to play with such an important character, without upsetting too many on going fans. Allowing him to get a feel of the character and prove that he belongs in that position. However, when that mini series fails, it should be an indication that the writer isn’t a match for the character. Unfortunately, Man of Steel was a lead in to Bendis taking over the entire Superman catalogue.

Regardless of how he does, someone is not going to enjoy it, and with both books written by the same author, it leaves the reader with no current option for that character. In the case of the Bendis take over, this is completely the case. With Superman, his pacing problem has certainly improved from Man of Steel, but that doesn’t mean the book itself is any better. Over the first 6 issues, the plot still feels stretched out. It continues with the main villain of Man of Steel, but it does nothing to develop either him or Superman. Moving from Man of Steel to Superman, it feels like revisiting Rogol Zaar should have happened a few story lines down. Allowing Clark to understand what happened previously and grow from it, then come face to face with Rogol Zaar again, now grown. By bringing Zaar back so soon, it cheapens the experience, what little there is to have.

The mystery surrounding how the Earth ended up in the Phantom Zone, should have taken a bigger role in the story. The very quick resolution to the mystery makes it feel like Bendis was just looking for an excuse to get Superman and Zaar back together as soon as possible, rather than giving any consideration as to what that kind of plot thread could have led to. The possibilities he could have used that for. It could have even led to a very interesting Justice League story, with Superman in the lead. Especially when you take into account Clark’s current worry about his family being off world. When it comes to the opening stories pacing. What took 6 issues could have easily be done in 4. Issue 4 in itself could have been handled in 2 or 3 pages. Reading it in one go does negate this problem, but issue to issue it’s incredibly painful.

Issue 7 highlights a lot more problems Bendis is having with this character. Issue 7 highlights that Bendis does not care about continuity or communicating the world with his audience. For anyone not reading Action Comics, the appearance of Lois Lane is a complete blind-sided detail. There is no indication that Lois had come back, a big plot point in Action, but has an impact here in Superman. While the plot point didn’t need to be specifically in this book, it did need to be addressed in order not to take the reader out of the experience.

Jon’s return from space, now at the age of 17, does open a lot of story potential. But it also closes the door on what made Jon such a compelling and interesting character. The opportunity to see Jon grow into his abilities and become a hero in his own right. By fast tracking Jon to his late teens, we have been robbed of so many stories between Jon and Clark. So many experiences that both characters share and grow from.

Ivan Reis’s art remains strong throughout, as the saving grace to this book. However, that doesn’t make up for Bendis’s stunted storytelling and a lack of understanding of the characters.

While his Superman title is stronger than Man of Steel, it pales in comparison to the team he’s following. Here’s hoping he either improves fast, or the book gets a writer it deserves.

I was Published!

Ok, it’s a small milestone. It’s an article on Sequart’s website. But it’s a big milestone for me. I don’t have a lot of faith in my own work. I’m sat her re-reading it once it’s published, and all I can think is, “how does anyone enjoy this?”. So, when I started talking to Sequart and they asked to look at some of my stuff, I got self-conscious. I sent them three articles from this blog, including the Metropolis article, and was certain they’d tell me to contact them in a few months or year. That I needed more practice. To my surprise, they asked me to pitch something, and I pitched an idea I’d had for a little while. The relationship between time and panel borders. It’s a fascinating subject, and it spans much further than you would think. The piece I wrote for Sequart is intended to explain the relation, while giving some examples from different comics. Zero Hour, The Flash and Unbelievable Gwenpool. The more I researched this subject, the more I want to research it. I think this is what I want to study for my PhD.

Sequart Article Here: http://sequart.org/magazine/69493/breaking-panels-breaking-time-examples-of-the-connection-between-panel-construction-and-narrative-time/

Infinite Crisis (2005 – 2006) by Geoff Johns and Phil Jimenez

Event comics can be a mixed bag when it comes to enjoyment. On the one hand, they are the equivalent of big, block buster events. While on the other, they are a culmination of character arcs, plot points, and devices from various stories that the reader may or may not have read, or even heard about. Infinite Crisis is very much a block buster when it comes to the scope of the book. But for someone just picking up the book, it can be somewhat confusing.

Infinite Crisis finds the Justice League at a very low point. The Watch Tower has been destroyed, members are turning on each other left and right, and villains seem to be banding together as people are going missing. Watching on as the world feels like it’s falling apart, are four figures. Survivors of the multiverse, lamenting about how they gave up everything in order for this world to exist. And how the heroes we know have become tainted and lesser. Breaking through the barrier, it’s time for the Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2 Lois Lane, Superboy Prime and Alexander Luthor to prove themselves the better heroes. But sometimes even when you have the best intentions, that doesn’t mean the outcome will be any better. And at the end of it all, what truly makes the perfect reality?

A lot of plot points lead into the story, from as recent as The OMAC Project from the same year. Right the way back to Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. Geoff Johns does incorporate the plot points from these stories very well. He gives you enough context to understand what they are discussing, in the case of Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord, a full conversation is given over to explaining it as well as flash back panels. But in others, you have vague references to mind wiping, without giving the reader context as to who was wiped and why. This also carries over to the Brother Eye satellite, as while it plays a major role, it can be confusing as to what it is and why it was made. The story is enjoyable without supplementary material. But it can still feel lacking without research.

The theme of the book does very much seem to be failure and perceived perfection. The characters are often confronted with what they should be, and what they should have done. While trying to figure out how to overcome the major mistakes they have made. This is most apparent in the cases of Connor Kent, Batman and Wonder Woman. Conner is struggling with his own identity after learning about his connection to Lex Luthor, to the point of letting his team mates down by avoiding battles where he is needed. Superboy Prime confronts him on this most heavily when it comes to how he feels life should have gone for him, and how lucky Connor should feel in his life. However, Prime is the one looking from the outside in. It’s his perception of Connor’s life, rather than the reality. Prime possibly personifies the underlying question of the book more than anything. What makes the perfect reality?

With Wonder Woman, it’s her then recent actions that put her at odds with the rest of the League, as well as the general public. Her actions in regards to killing Maxwell Lord are questioned by both her fellow teammates, and the public, who saw her actions without context. This distrust of her makes her question not only how she views herself, but her role in the world. Even when trying to help, she finds herself in a difficult position with those around her. Actions constantly being questioned, and people now in fear of her.

In the case of Batman, it’s his failure that plays a major role. A failure to keep the peace, to keep the hope alive. His actions to try and keep the world safe, have recently turned against them in the form of the Brother Eye satellite. Batman’s paranoia about how he would help save people if his comrades went rouge, falls into the wrong hands and causes more and more damage. This causes the rest of the league to keep him at arm’s length. Just before Earth-2 Superman shows up to talk to Bruce, he suffers a panic attack while confronting Brother Eye, as his previous failures playback in his mind. His actions in Infinite Crisis heavily rely on Batman’s paranoia and PTSD, while playing into the overall theme of failure, fear and perceived perfection. The first two especially in Batman’s case.

The book does give us our first look at the current Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes. A teenager who becomes possessed by an alien scarab. The books status as an Event Comics does allow us to see a large amount of characters interacting in exciting ways. Some new, some old. Though not everyone will make it out alive. Given the nature of comics however, death is not always the end.

The art of Phil Jimenez is stunning throughout. Very detailed and cinematic in its presentation. Though the benefit of the trade collection is that some previously incomplete pages have been allowed to be retouched and finished. There are a few sequences that include other dimensions, such as Earth-2, and for a very interesting contrast, all-star Superman artist Jerry Ordway, came back to the book to give that dimension it’s very own feel. One that very much fits the Era in time they are aiming for.

The story overall is very enjoyable. It’s on a grand scale that you would expect from an event comic. Particularly one written by Geoff Johns. But if you go into it blind, be prepared to do a little bit of research just to make sure you fully understand a few of the plot points and motivations behind actions. Otherwise it may leave a bit to be desired.

Research recommendations:

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985 – 1986)
  • Identity Crisis (2004)
  • Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Insiders (2005)
  • The OMAC Project + tie ins (2005)