Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It Occurs To Me I Haven't Really Talked About "Secret Wars" or this "All New, All Different" Marvel Universe

Just Not That Interested

I realized something as June ended and we entered the first day of July: I really haven't talked about "Secret Wars" much at all. The main reason for that is basically I'm not reading it. To make matters more troubling, I'm honestly not overly excited at the, "All New, All Different," Marvel Universe either.

I mean, yes, I was getting the Marvel comics I enjoyed and some of them tied-in with "Secret Wars" (I'll miss you, "Captain America: And the Mighty Avengers," although this "Ultimates" comic sounds like it will have a similar cast and the same writer in Al Ewing). Seriously though, it is just far too big and too expensive a thing for me to feel I can successfully follow it. I was reading some comics that led into it, enjoying "New Avengers" and the like, but as I've been more careful with budgeting I really am just reading less Marvel, and now just a little DC occasionally (although some of their new stuff is snazzy and maybe worth following).

Why Is it Hard to Summon Excitement?
Perhaps it is my eventitis that makes me feel it is okay to miss-out on "Secret Wars", although I'm not positive that is it. One concern that makes me less interested might be how it seems "Secret Wars" is becoming a delayed mess approaching, "Civil War"-levels of extended waiting for comics, although some argue a delay shouldn't hurt too much.

As for the, "All New All Different," Marvel Universe we're getting (don't call it a reboot, lest Marvel get angry), some things do sound interesting--such as Warren Ellis writing a comic about the Inhuman Karnak--but I just feel that when I'm looking over the full list not too much grabs me in the way titles would in the past. I just see the solicits and go, "Oh, another Avengers team of various heroes we don't always see working together? Okay," or I state, "Venom is in space now? Hm." There is some solid stuff (more "Howard the Duck" is welcome, as well as Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo on "Doctor Strange") but a lot of things just have me shrugging. Other than Ellis writing Karnak the only other title I see myself super-excited to try out is a "Squadron Supreme" comic that sounds kind of like the classic series, "Exiles," but with members of (what else?) the famous super-hero crew originally from various Universes. Perhaps that is because I've always found the ol' Squadron to be neat when written well by various talents. Plus, I loved "Exiles" when it was going well.

This one actually has piqued my interest.
Still, why is it hard to summon excitement? I don't know, honestly. It could be the eventitis, it could be the delays, or perhaps I'm just annoyed with continuity often bogging things down as well as changing in my tastes as an individual to wanting to read more titles from other publishers in addition to the stuff from the, "Big Two," of Marvel and DC. I'm not sure what makes it more difficult for me to be as interested in Marvel's going-ons (as well as DC's) because when they put out something I like, I still really adore it. It just seems things are more hit-or-miss for if they'll get my attention these days.

In the end there is still plenty of good stuff coming out from Marvel before this re-launch (again, they decry it being called a reboot) and there will undoubtedly be some great stuff after...just maybe not as much that intrigues me as in previous years.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rant-Reviews--Let's Talk About Our Feelings

All Those Emotions

Comics make us feel emotions, at least when they are doing their job they should. Whether we relate to the emotions of the characters or have our own sentiments after reading a story, if you don't feel something after reading a comic, I would argue it didn't fully do its job. After all, any comic--nay, any piece of entertainment--should garner some sort of sensation, as opposed to being the mental equivalent of eating a rice cake--e.g. dry, dull, and boring (although I do like rice cakes with a hint of salt, work in a comic metaphor however you can from that). I'll be rating comics not just with my usual stars, but with to what degree of, "The feels," they cause with that term referring to a wave of emotions a person experiences while enjoying a piece of entertainment.

Comics That Result In, "The Feels."
Starve #1
Brian Wood is of course a writer that I now feel slightly icky about when I consider things that came to light not long ago. Still, he can be quite the solid writer, and "Starve" is an interesting comic that reminds of other things--possibly to a fault.

Take a dash of a comic about unfair division of classes (so something like Greg Rucka's "Lazarus"), thoughts on a future full of privatization and weird technology (shades of Warren Ellis' "Transmetropolitan"), our cultural obsession with cooking competitions (most of what is on the Food Network these days) and add just a dash of dark humor about how human beings love being awful to each other (a forte of Garth Ennis). These are all solid ingredients, but while reminding of so many other things, "Starve" struggles a bit to carve out its own identity.

The thing that keeps it from feeling like an utter mish-mash of concepts loosely congealing together is that the protagonist, Gavin Cruikshank, is just the right mixture of unpleasant and empathetic that readers should care about him. Someone who has been at the top, fallen to the bottom, and sees the injustice in the world but actually has a chance to do something about it, Gavin is a neat fellow. Were it not for Gavin this comic wouldn't have too much of a pulse, but Wood has a great character in him and that results in a comic I am interested in enough to want to keep following, for now at least.
3.5 out of 5 stars/"feels".

Material #2
The first issue of this Ales Kot written comic really grabbed me. It was fascinating with how it had these various unlinked (for now) stories, mentions of other media we could consume that related to what was going on the in comic, deep talk about the meaning of life, the (lack of) liberty, and our world's obsession with technology. This issue has the same, but feels like a little less of a shocking punch-to-the-gut as that debut.

It is still amazingly good, and I bet as we build to a conclusion I will love this series even more. For now though, it is a fascinating read not quite as wild as the first issue, but still capable of making readers feel a lot of emotions, many of them sad and hopeful as we witness these people suffering difficulties and dream that everything will work out for them...although it most likely may not.
4.5 out of 5 stars/"feels".

Annihilator #6
Grant Morrison's "The Filth" is arguably my favorite comic, ever. "The Multiversity" is probably my favorite thing he has finished this year. So, what is "Annihilator"? Well, its a good comic that riffs on the concepts of how we as people tell stories, without being as meta as "The Multiversity" got, as the main idea is our protagonist has to write a story before he dies in order to survive. This somewhat-delayed final issue wraps everything up in a nice and clean manner while at the same time mocking stories that wrap everything up nicely. It is a solid series, made that extra bit enjoyable by the superb art of Frazier Irving. Morrison makes readers think with this story, but Irving's stark and creepy artwork makes you feel.

Irving can make even a moment of seeming calm seem unpleasant and eerie--and I mean that as a compliment. The surreal space-monsters that Irving drew throughout this series and the new beings we meet within this issue took this comic from potentially being a good science fiction story straight into the realm of a really good sci-fi-horror yarn. I'm not sure who brought out the best in whom of the creative team, but the combination of Morrison and Irving takes something that would be good, and makes it great--in addition to full of the feels.
4 out of 5 stars/"feels".

The Wicked and the Divine #11
This came out some time ago, with the release of the next issue not far off (i.e. this week), but I just wanted to share some brief thoughts on the end of this particular installment of "Wic+Divine." Namely how upon reading the issue I wanted to shout, "Oh my God, that ending was insane!" Oh, and also how felt the urge to exclaim how, "I honestly have no clue what happens next!"

Seriously though, Gillen utterly shocked me with the events of this comic and has me hooked more than ever on this amazing title. The sheer shock, surprise, and confusion I felt reading this defines what it means to have, "The feels."
5 out of 5 stars/"feels".

Now I'm Just Exhausted

Some comics inspire more "feels" than others. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, considering how something like "Annihilator" is enjoyably scary and fun, but "The Wicked and the Divine" just leaves you emotionally drained (that ends up being a good thing, however). At the end of the day, I would rather read a comic that makes me feel ways I'm not always comfortable with (sad, angry, etc.) than a comic that leaves me feeling, "blah." I imagine most readers would too.

Forgot to Mention One Other Whatculture Post

I'll have a "normal" article here shortly, but it occurs to me I forgot to mention I had yet another Whatculture post go up, this one video-game related. It's about the 10 Most Controversial Video-Games that were rated, "Adults Only," here in good ol' America. It's a post full of crowd-pleasing stuff such as discussion of raunchy content and extreme violence. It also got more views than my less-saucy  posts for the website in one-tenth the time, so clearly sex sells. Go inspect it if you feel the urge, and I apologize for all the promotion of me on other websites, I do have some good things brewing to be posted-up here so don't worry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tales From The Dollar Bin: Storm Dogs #6

There are comics which are worth incredible sums of money, but so many of the most interesting, tragic, or just downright weird can be found for a simple dollar or less in a  store's "dollar bin". There, comics that never gained much popularity can be found alongside those that sold so much as for a copy to be worthless. "Tales From the Dollar Bin" aims to explore these comics, be they a single issue or an entire run of a series. From the great to the miserable, some of the best treasures and worst nightmares can be found in those infamous boxes. Let's have a "tale" now...

Science Fiction Fun

I would say I'm a fan of David Hine. From his highly enjoyable work for Marvel on titles such as "District X" and "Silent War" to fascinatingly bizarre stuff such as, "The Bulletproof Coffin." I was rooting through a dollar bin on Free Comic Book Day this year and stumbled across "Storm Dogs" #6, at which point I realized that I didn't think I ever actually read it. I recalled reviewing the fifth issue back in 2013, but said to myself, "Can I recall how this ended?" It occurred to me that I could not, and that perhaps I had missed the final issue those couple years ago. Therefore, I picked up "Storm Dogs" #6 for a hundred pennies (and a bit of tax). The problem is, I enjoyed it.

Yes, I did just say my enjoyment of the comic was a problem. Why? Well, it ends with a huge cliffhanger about a native alien race becoming hostile to humans, a bunch of corporate intrigue kicking in (some business-folk would like to take-over the planet), and some very key characters seeming to die. It's wild, exciting...and to this day I have heard nary a peep about a Volume 2 since this Bleeding Cool Article in May...of 2014.
You can buy your own digital copies of "Storm Dogs" from Image, go buy the trade of volume 1, or could have the good luck to stumble upon it in single issues as I did with this final one. I would recommend you do so as it really is a fascinating exploration of what it means to be a human. It touches on the idea of having less control of our body in a future where technology easily connects us with the senses of others, and it covers how the so-called march of progress and industrialization can at times hurt people native to certain areas.

It of course needs to be discussed how amazing Doug Braithwaite's artwork is. Extremely moody and dark, the flashes of brightness in scenes of action or sudden violence both alarms a reader while delighting their eyes. I would say more, but it is hard to keep finding synonyms for, "excellent."

The final page says we can expect a "Storm Dogs: Volume 2" but as far as I can tell that isn't coming anytime soon. I tweeted David Hine while writing this article and if I hear back will be sure to share what he tells me. As it stands now, however, "Storm Dogs" is a really good series, one that I'm glad to have been able to finish reading the first (and possibly final) volume of in this....tale from the dollar bin!

UPDATE:
David Hine got back to me and told me that Volume 2 should hopefully be announced soon!

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Post on Whatculture about Strange Comic Promotions.

Because Those Comics Won't Sell Themselves...
This "tasteful" Marvel promotion is addressed.
For those who enjoy my articles full of rants, I would now direct your attention to this link on Whatculture. The link features me talking about the, "5 Strangest DC and Marvel Comics Sale Tactics," and is full of my usual musings, but in list-form. Give it a gander, why don't you?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Observations on "The Best American Comics 2014"

Shall We Talk About 2014 Now That We Are Half-Way Into 2015?

Awhile ago I was able to acquire a copy of "The Best American Comics 2014" for the purpose of review. Considering how the books come out before the year of 2014 has yet ended and actually cover the previous year's comics, I've taken my time getting around to writing about it. The reason for that is how the thing is, I don't think I want to actually engage in a "true" review, as obviously most of the stuff contained within the book is delightful, and even if the, "Best," of something is subjective, a lot of people would agree it's hard to go wrong when a book contains so much talent (look at this list of names and be awed). Don't get me wrong, I'll still assign some stars at the end, but this ain't an actual review. Plus, others have written thoughtful pieces about what the book contains. No, what I'm going to to do is talk about why I am pleased that a book such as "The Best American Comics 2014" is around.

As the article I just linked to mentions, a lot of folk do admittedly still sometimes think of comics as something just for kids--quite recently a college student was mad that she was assigned to read, "Pornography," as opposed to, "Batman and Robin," in her college course on comics (that, "Pornography," was such seminal works as "Sandman" and "Fun Home"). While super-heroes are admittedly still a large part of comics, they are by no means any longer just for kids, evident to any one who picks up some of the more-edgy works out there. Still, despite much of society being more accepting of comics as a true art-form all ages can enjoy, sometimes a perception persists of it all being, "Kids stuff." A book such as "The Best American Comics 2014" helps fight that view.
"Saga"is some awesome stuff.
Apparently guest-editor for the 2014 edition, Scott McCloud, did want the first issue of Marvel's "Hawkeye" to appear in the book but it was for some reason unable to. Interestingly I recall a similar problem happened with an earlier edition when it couldn't be worked-out to get some of "Batman: Year 100" in one of the entries, but in some ways this is perfectly alright. By having things like "Saga", "Hip-Hop Family Tree", and "Building Stories," as opposed to heroes, people get to see how such a variety of comic-works exist, and can be enjoyed. Plus, the list in every book of other recommended works provides encouragement for people to seek out even more material that they could enjoy.

It's 2015 and we shouldn't have to defend comics. Sometimes we still do, however, and having a book like "The Best American Comics 2014" can help with that. There are of many quality works that get overlooked by the series, but regardless of how open to interpretation, "Best," can be, this definitely is some of the, "Better," stuff that you can show to people who ever question the veracity of comics as anything more than childish reading material or simply the first-step in something becoming a T.V. show or movie. Although that's a whole separate thing to talk about sometime.
5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Film Friday: Jurassic World

I Don't Care What They Say, I Love You Anyway
First off, this review is full of spoilers. You have been warned.

"Jurassic World" is a movie I love, regardless of its many flaws. I don't mind the various plot-issues like how it makes almost no sense for a Dinosaur that has always been in captivity (the popular Indominus Rex) to be able to just magically "talk" with raptors, or how the owner of the park who barely knows the methods to fly a helicopter is entrusted with the one big gun the park has when the time comes to try to kill Indominus--to name just a couple issues.

A bigger attraction than the Dinosaurs for some fans.
I love this movie because it has some quality humor, contains the beloved Chris Pratt (who makes a character that might have otherwise been unpleasant bearable), and of course has some just plain gorgeous dinosaurs. Plus, this is loaded with fan-service for people who loved the first film (the events of the 2nd and 3rd are basically totally ignored). We get to see the Visitor's Center from the old Jurassic park with nature growing all over it, the T-Rex from the first film pops-up to help fight Indominus Rex (with help from a Velociraptor!)in a bit that had my inner-child squealing with joy, and it really is a lot of nostalgia, but in a good way.

There is that piece of me that just loves Dinosaurs and the idea of a park with them so much that seeing it come to life on the screen--even if it shortly all falls into mayhem--is a sheer delight. The movie may have its flaws that have resulted in some critics out-and-out bashing it, but there really is too much good stuff to let the poorer aspects leave a bad taste in my mouth. Even though this isn't as great as the original "Jurassic Park" it still is exciting to watch Chris Pratt training raptors, see people riding cool glass spheres alongside dinosaurs, and otherwise just be impressed by the sheer majesty of the flick.

There Is Admittedly An Issue, or Two
"Until you pop-out a baby you're worthless,"
is basically the message Dallas-Howard's character receives.
My only true peeves with the movie are two things. First, it would probably be how it does leave some plot threads hanging for future flicks--B.D. Wong's character jetting off with a bunch of Dino-DNA is ominous--although it can be understandable that with how much money they knew this would make that the  studios try and get people wondering what a future flick could hold. My other issue is that it really is kind of a sexist film, with Bryce Dallas-Howard being a stereotypical "ice queen" who falls in love with Pratt and realizes the most important thing of all in life is letting a man get her pregnant (so just forget about your career and stuff, you need to pay attention to those ovaries!) as opposed to being proud of her intelligence and success.

Oh, and I don't really have an issue with the kids so much as I found them kind of useless to the plot as anything other than a macguffin to get Pratt and Dallas-Howard's character out into the jungle. You could cut them from a lot of the film and it'd be fine.
There is a Dino petting-zoo, how can you not love that?
Those two problems covered, I absolutely loved this film and would see it again and/or own it without question. It may not be as good as the original "Jurassic Park" but it still is a grand time. The assortment of special effects, jokes, and the simple sense of wonder seeing Dinosaurs evoke results in a great movie. I would eagerly recommend this flick, and should you be a big fan of Dinos, Chris Pratt, or fun in general I think you'd agree it is some quality stuff.
5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Thoughts on the Microsoft and Sony E3 Press Conferences

Because You Gotta Hype Your Games

Over the past number of days we have seen a wide variety of announcements coming from big game publishers, and the companies behind the consoles we know and love. Having read about and witnessed parts (thanks internet videos!) of both conferences for Microsoft and Sony, I had some thoughts about the companies I thought I would share. Oh, and "Fallout 4" was detailed but as that was announced before E3 and is on both consoles it is kind of an outlier in an event that otherwise was more console-specific.

Before you ask, Nintendo did have a conference too, but at this point in the console wars does anybody care about the WiiU (well, anybody besides those intrigued by the fun-sounding "Splatoon")? That's what I thought, so let's talk about the two big boys/girls and what they had to say recently.
After witnessing some of the announcements to come from Microsoft I really was ready to give them credit where credit is due. Backwards compatibility with the 360 (well, some games), an exciting collection of classic games by Rare, the ability to play mods for games, and try out stuff via Early Access (although Microsoft has a different name for it), that all sounded really cool, and honestly very impressive. Then not too long later Sony walked up to the E3 crowd and simply was like...

"'The Last Guardian' isn't dead, 'Shenmue 3' is happening if you fund it on Kickstarter, and we're actually going to release a remake of 'Final Fantasy VII' like everyone keeps begging us to do."

Mic drop.
Little did attendees suspect how crazy things would get.
The sheer improbability--nay-impossibility of all three of those things actually being announced, within the span of a single day, is arguably enough to make the head of a video-gamer explode in shock as if it were that famous scene from "Scanners".

It is funny to think about how the tide can turn. Microsoft's previous mocking of Sony for not letting the PS4 play PS3 games has now vanished into a cloud of mist--that mist probably being tears of joy from all the "Final Fantasy VII" fans who truly thought that game ever happening was literally less likely than getting struck by lightning whilst simultaneously winning the lottery. That's how it goes though.
It's real? It's real!
I mean, Sony announced plenty of other interesting things (for example, "Uncharted 4"), but to just casually take three pieces of what were arguably vaporware and pipe dreams, and then make them real, that's just...just...wow. Now, should you be a big Xbox One fan you could easily argue that the great number of interesting things outweighs some of Sony's surprise announcements. You would have a point, but seriously man, "Shenmue III" was actually announced, that's just wild.

In the end, we--the gamers--win, because a schmaltzy saying like that always sounds good when you don't want to commit to declaring any particular company the "champ" of E3. Okay fine, Bethesda won, because "Fallout 4".
It really doesn't matter if they officially talked about it before E3 and it is going to be on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It's "Fallout" and it will almost certainly be awesome whereas the resurrected games Sony announced could very well be bad and Microsoft having its Early Access could turn out as a failure. "Fallout 4" shall  quite likely be the second coming of everyone's respective Messiah however.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tupac Was Born in 1971 Today

Tupac would have been 44 today. I've mentioned him at various points on the blog, considering him probably the best rapper ever (for those wondering, the best rapper currently alive is Andre 3000 of OutKast, even if he has chosen not to rap as much lately). I can almost picture an alternate reality where Tupac kept living and making quality music; in this world he had a wonderful birthday full of joy and happiness. It would have been nice.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bizarro, Midnighter, and Section Eight AKA Throughts on the 1st Issue of Some New DC Comics

Does New = Good?
I talked some months ago about how for the first time in awhile DC appeared to have some newer titles on the horizon that looked intriguing to me. I've mentioned too many times to link-to (although I'll provide some links) how DC's publishing behavior has often irritated me--like when they were running 3 weekly series simultaneously, engaging in bizarre PR campaigns (anyone  else recall when they asked folk to draw Harely Quinn killing herself?), and so forth. That said, their "Batgirling" of the comic-line (also called "DC You") has brought with it the idea that perhaps they just maybe can have fun and energetic series alongside the morbidly depressing ones, and having to worry all the time about continuity should perhaps come second to telling a good story (crazy, I know). 

I keep to a pretty strict budget, but had a wee little bit of wiggle room (e.g. I had some extra scratch thanks to selling stuff on eBay) and have been able to purchase and sample some of DC's new offerings; plus, I dropped "Batman" because I felt 40 issues of the creative team varying between decent and mediocre wasn't worth following anymore, so that freed up some bucks. I picked up the first issues of the ongoing series and mini-series titled "Bizarro", "Midnighter", and "Section Eight", so I figured it would be fun to share my thoughts on them, and if I think they indicate DC moving in a different and fun direction.

The Comics...
Bizarro #1
This is cute. An in-continuity-but-not-requiring-of-any-continuity-knowledge story that is basically a road trip between two sorta-buddies who happen to be Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro. The impetus for the story is basically that Jimmy wants to prove to Clark Kent (before he was outed as Superman in another comic, I presume) he can have a successful trip with the warped-version of Superman and maybe write a book about it so he can get rich and famous. It's a paper-thin excuse for a plot, but everything is just so humorous and fun I bet most readers will let that slide--I know I did. 

Jimmy and Bizarro keep running into problems (some the fault of circumstance but many issues can be blamed on Bizaaro) but thanks to their friendship are able to suffer through the various ordeals. The end of the issue makes it clear that Bizarro may have to step-up as a hero, however, when an evil used-car salesman who uses Egyptian-themes gains a magic staff and he tries to mind-control everyone with it so they buy his cars. Yes, that is what actually happens, and clearly that illustrates better than anything just how enjoyably wacky this title is.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Does this comic indicate a new direction for DC? This strongly gives off the appearance that DC is interested in making more fun and exciting books, with a comic like this seeming like it would have been impossible for it come from DC as recently as a year ago when most titles were morbidly depressed.

Midnighter #1
A DC comic featuring an openly-gay lead that doesn't shy away from the fact that he's gay, yet also avoids coming off as a one big PR effort? Excellent! Within this comic we see Midnighter as the tough fighter he is, along with getting to see how he spends his personal time--with that including having romance with other men, a nice thing to see when comics often will have gay characters,but avoid illustrating them actually doing anything sexual. 

Not too much happens this issue in terms of advancing an overall plot, with only the comic's opening and ending touching upon some extremely dangerous objects getting stolen and taken out into the world. Instead, much of the comic is spent simply enjoying watching Midnighter kicking ass, taking names, and getting in some romance. I feel like the 2nd issue might focus more on the overall plot, as for now we've spent more time getting to know Midnighter than viewing an actual story. That's perfectly alright though, and results in a great read.
4 out of 5 stars.
Does this comic indicate a new direction for DC? While there are dashes of humor, this is more of a general super-hero comic that does have the encouragingly progressive angle of our hero being a happily "out" gay man. Something like this could have been done by DC previously, but probably wouldn't have been as good as it is now.

Section Eight #1
Technically this is humorously titled, "All-Star Section Eight" in a cute way of being able to possibly be in its own continuity like the other "All-Star" books and probably also so Garth Ennis can have a joke at DC's expense about the failure of the actual "All-Star" line. I have to be honest, I've only read some of the original "Hitman" by Garth Ennis (well before "Section Eight" gets introduced in the series) and just as this review by the ever-talented Caleb Mozzocco suggests, that means I'm a little more lost than some folk who fondly remember Tommy Monaghan and this team of super-heroes who are arguably the worst heroes ever. Still, the writing by Ennis and artwork by John McCrea (who illustrated the original past stories with the characters) creates an enjoyable read regardless of how well I actually know the background of everyone within the book.

One thing that did legitimately bug me however, was that this first-issue makes a call-back to how some of the characters in this new Section Eight were introduced in a separate "Harley Quinn" comic. Seriously, this is the first issue and technically we need to track down a completely different comic in order to fully understand what is going on? This just furthers an argument for the practice of, "Waiting for the Trade," in order to get the main issues and the probable inclusion of the, "extra," stories in a TPB. That qualm aside, this was a fun comic, if a potentially intimidating one for those not as familiar with this particular team of "heroes".
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Does this comic indicate a new direction for DC? This comic interestingly is both simultaneously a throwback to past DC works, and a good indicator of the kind of future DC is shooting for. It is sort-of a way for DC to draw in past fans of this creative team and their characters, while also saying, "Hey, we have your old favorites and some great new stuff!" It also is a clever way to get new fans to go and buy all the old "Hitman" trades.

Things Actually Look Encouraging.

It is crazy to think this new "DC You" seems like more a of a reboot than when they re-launched everything back in 2011. True, this time some comics are keeping their original numbering and the DC Universe as we know it hasn't been reset, but the variety of titles, new plot-lines in familiar books (Clark Kent being outed as Superman, and--even if I think it is silly--making Jim Gordon Batman), as well as the appearance of actual humor in titles indicates what is arguably a seismic shift in DC's publishing strategy. 

Whereas back in 2011 mostly everything that was rebooted found itself being grim and a lot like the old DC with just some slightly interesting changes (Superman and Lois Lane weren't married, Oliver Queen got quite altered, and Wonder Woman was given her new origin), now we have honest-to-goodness comics that are funny ("Bizarro", and I heard "Bat-Mite" was cute), portray heroes folk may not know as well but whom are interesting ("Midnighter", "Starfire" the upcoming "Martian Manhunter"), and stuff that references past enjoyable works but can stand alone with new creative changes ("Section Eight", the shifts in the Superman and Batman comics). I'm actually quite impressed by the variety of things DC is doing with their titles now, and am interested to see if things will pan-out well. I hope everything works out, because then maybe DC and their other big competitor (Marvel) will see that taking leaps of creative faith can pay-off. I mean, look how well being open to experimental ideas has worked for Image. They basically have a license to print money now anytime they start-up a new series.