One thing everyone keep saying about the old continuity being (mostly) discarded is that it’s ruining their characters. Another interesting internet entitlement issue, and not true. If you like the old continuity Superman, that’s cool, you can read many, many years of that. I don’t like mullet Superman, but I like All Star, I like Roberson’s tactful save of Straczynski’s smug, irritating Superman, I like For All Seasons. These are good stories, and they’re not even in continuity of the OLD DC Universe.
Talking with Webmaster Steve about the compression and removal of the old continuity he said, “Killing Joke‘s still in, right? I need to read that?”
Having only read a copy at my old comic shop I remarked, “Yeah. I should get it at some point. That’s in, we’ve seen it in Batgirl issue one previews.”
Admittedly I only got part way through that last sentence as the more pressing issue was, “Long Halloween. Who did that?”
“Jeph Loeb before he went crazy.”
“It was great. That’s still in continuity, right?”
“It never was.”
Yes. Some of the best DC tales aren’t in continuity. Some of the best DC tales were. What’s IN the main DC Universe doesn’t stop Long Halloween, All Star Superman, Final Crisis, 52, DC One Million or any other gems from having been published. Some will be in continuity, some won’t, but they were great stories and that can’t change. Unless we found out that DC One Million used baby blood as the red ink, then that might sully it a bit.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
That’s enough of that. I’ve explained that I was irrationally protective of the old regime and that it both did & didn’t deserve it all at the same time. So what’s the New DCU like?
I’m going to try and look at it with fresh eyes. In fact something I’d love to see is someone completely alien to all DC Comics continuity experiencing this and their thoughts.
The issue starts with a demon creature being chased by Batman being chased by police. He meets Green Lantern, who is able to build things made out of green energy with his mind. They’ve never met, and Green Lantern thought Batman was an urban legend. Their ideologies instantly clash, Batman wants people to not see him, but fear him. Green Lantern is fine with being visible and frustrated with Batman’s dark, patronising personality. This is a welcome clash, and shows them as different characters. They fight the police and lost the injured demon thing briefly.
When they enter the sewers, Batman de-rings Green Lantern pretty quickly, saying that it runs off concentration and GL wasn’t good enough with that. Green Lantern snatches it back and now we know how Green Lantern’s power works, also that he protects this bit of space. Oh, and there are extra-terrestrials. Batman didn’t know any of this, why should he? He’s a lurking street-level guy. They find the demon, more spider-like than he was before, planting a cubic device into the sewers. He then yells a praise for Darkseid and blows up. Green Lantern shields himself and Batman in a green safe and asks, “What’s a Dark Side?” which answers how that should be pronounced.
They keep the mysterious box and decide that it might be something to do with that guy in Metropolis. Then they fly there.
We get a scene of a football game with a kid called Vic Stone. Football, meh, but he’s a star who’s troubled. His dad didn’t turn up. Everyone sees Green Lantern flying overhead with Batman and look in awe at it. Someone asks Vic as his dad apparently looks into super heroes (studies? Is a journalist on? I don’t know). Interesting.
The pair use GL’s ring to detect where this Metropolis guy is, bicker, then a red/blue blur bowls them over. It’s Superman.
The caption at the bottom proclaims, “NEXT ISSUE, SUPERMAN VS BATMAN”
Okay, so that’s what’s physically there. As an avid DC fan, here are some thoughts:
* Green Lantern’s powers look wonderful. Jim Lee lends a great imagination to something which people haven’t taken full advantage of in the past.
* I don’t want everyone to hate each other, but I do like the bickering. It shows the very different perspectives of Green Lantern and Batman. I hope the other Leaguers add more friends and rivalries instead of them all hating each other.
* I have genuinely no knowledge of Cyborg. I’m pleased I’m getting an origin for him because of that reason, and I’m curious about his dad doing something with super-heroes. Again, no idea if that was new to this or always the way, but I’m intrigued.
* It’s a shame we don’t see more Leaguers, but I don’t mind, a drip-feed is better than all at once.
* The beast, as it worships Darkseid, is probably a Parademon. The box looks like a Mother Box. These are more observations than anything else. I don’t know what it means as I don’t know the role Darkseid plays now.
* Speaking of Darkseid, does this mean Final Crisis didn’t happen? In fact, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis could easily be written out of the continuity. They’re good stories, but add way too much confusion. It’d probably be best to avoid them.
* As a storyteller, it’s easily missed for people who know about how Green Lantern’s ring works, who he is and so on, but they drip knowledge just enough to keep new readers aware and not hit us with the exposition hammer.
I’m looking forward to the other titles now. Next we’ll look at the other New 52 titles.