Pull Box: February 27

This entire time, this arc that has been an insane roller coaster of recollection and remembrance for Bruce’s upbringing and road to Batman… was a simulation. Created by Bruce to kill himself, every year on his birthday, he uses it to hone his skills and evolve. Getting better each and every year. That’s a level of dedication that I didn’t think Batman was capable of, but yet again he has shown why he’s the baddest dude in the DC Universe. The ending, with Batman’s goal of Absolute Zero becoming known gave me goosebumps, and the Epilogue was charming. Fantastic end to a fantastic arc.

This was such an incredibly masterful setup for the future of the DC Universe. So many of DC’s biggest stories have centered around the relationship between the Batman and The Flash, because the chemistry there is so real that they just make a great team. With the events of Heroes in Crisis becoming a focal point, as that mystery deepens and the big event for the year starts to unfold, The Year of the Villain, expect things to start to ramp up with mysteries and twists all over the place.

So, first off, all this time Amanda Waller has known the identity of Superman. That’s quite a crazy thing to think of, but she does understand his importance, as well as just how powerful he is. Not to mention calling down the wrath of the Justice League isn’t sometime she would like to do. But the threat of Leviathan, which seems to grow each and every week has forced her hand. Now, Sam Lam is possibly dead, just days after learning the truth about Superman and possibly re-thinking his stance. Attack after attack is happening, and things are getting pretty crazy, now.

Sneaky sneaky Honor Guest, manipulating Talia and playing along with her charade. It’s a clever plan, but she needs to make sure she plays it just right. Talia is wildly intelligent, and twice as dangerous. Add on the tech that her family discovered in the backyard, what looks like a laser shield of sorts and you have quite a predicament on her hands. The closer they get to the truth, the more danger they’ll be in with Leviathan as they become more and more of a threat across the DC Universe proper.

The pace of this issue seemed incredibly slow, but it was still yet another fun throwback to the days of comic books old. Mr. Terrific discovering his wife alive on another Earth, with the exact same circumstances as himself was quite the lucky break. I just hope that this ends up being a bit of a happy ending for the team. With that being said, I’m ready for the team to move on from Doc Dread and his Dreadfuls. That villain seems to have made his mark, and I would love for the team to take on some new threats.

This book really pulls no punches. Bringing out the darkest and dirtiest the world has to offer to show how truly terrible that future could have been. Thankfully, the Freedom Fighters seem like a competent team, prepared for many contingencies when it comes to their enemy. The evil German Plastic Man is still the most horrifying thing ever, and he just seems to get more and more creepy. I can only imagine how creepy he’ll be when he starts fighting again.

It was pretty obvious that King Kid had some tricks up his sleeve, but I wasn’t exactly exepcting it all to rush to the surface as soon as he saw them as Champions, turning into adults. The Seven Lands are of course still mysterious, but it seems we’re going to learn more about them pretty quickly given the next issue. I honestly wish we would have seen more on Mr. Mind and Doctor Sivana in this issue, though, as that cliffhanger last month was fantastic.

Doom’s trick was finally revealed… at least part of it. He plans to harness the power of Galactus as an endless energy source. That’s a bit old school of an idea for a villain like Doom to concoct, leading me to believe there’s a little more at play here. The confusion that Reed had on his face when Victor revealed the “Good Galactus” and Johnny and Ben backed him up was pretty priceless. I would certainly like more moments like that in upcoming issues of this Fantastic Four revival.

A slow-paced, emotional issue based around the caveman Gnarkk and Harley Quinn, finally give us a better idea of what happened here. Harley broke into Sanctuary to help Poison Ivy, and get help from Ivy. They’re friends, and lovers, that’s what they do. Meanwhile, Booster Gold, who has been on a considerable decline in the last two years, has finally snapped, and laid waste to everyone there. But, there’s still the mystery as to why this Wally was older than he should have been. Still, there are questions unanswered.

I’m starting to get fairly bored with this story, as it’s pretty convoluted and a bit ridiculous. Even for comic books. But, seeing them address the events of Justice League, with the Source Wall being torn down, and all of the New Gods being killed was certainly worth it. Darkseid was protected in the Ghost Sector, but how much longer can he keep the danger away?

That lawsuit business sure seemed to last a long time, didn’t it? That strangeness aside, it makes perfect sense and reassures the character of Veronica Cale that through all of this, all she wants is her daughter back. She spent years attempting to save her daughter, and when she finally does, she has to leave her behind in Themyscira. Now, with Themyscira destroyed through the paradox of Ares’ death, she’s lost, alongside the other inhabitants of the Amazon homeland. With the help of Aphrodite, Diana starts a new quest, and a fascinating new arc that could have some big repercussions in the future.

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Pull Box: January 16

A new villain! Or is she a hero? Victorious and her purpose is still up in the air, but she is most certainly a tool for one of Doctor Doom’s many schemes. This one saw her act as a lure for Galactus, most likely as some sort of display of power for Latveria, though he doesn’t exactly need it. It’s nice to see the team back in action together, though. It’s also much appreciated that they didn’t forget the history between Franklin Richards and Galactus, one of my favorite pairings from Marvel in many years.

This lead-up to Detective Comics #1000 is so fascinating. It’s such a strange mystery, with all of Batman’s past on display. His origin, being picked apart by a ruthless creature that knows his story as well as he, himself, knows it. It’s still unclear, but if I had to wager a guess, this is most likely a returning Clayface, who vanished to keep Cassandra safe after he was manipulated and turned into a weapon against Gotham City. Perhaps he blames Batman for all that’s happened to him? We’ll find out soon enough.

The Deathbringers have returned. But that’s the least important thing that happened this issue. Carter Hall slipped through time to a Krypton on the brink of destruction, meeting his past self, Catar-Ol, as he witnesses the death of his world. The realizations about Kal-El and Kara, and their past interactions with each other were beautiful in a way, connecting those characters in a way that feels fresh and new. One of the best things this book has done from the start is manipulate the past of the DC Universe in such effortless ways, and it’s fantastic.

That slight detour that Wonder Woman’s arc took us on has diverted back to the Otherkind, and it immediately picked up. The Otherkind are invading Earth and its realms at an alarming rate, taking root in the tales and whispered stories of the Magical World. Unknowingly, Man-Bat is helping spread the word, as he’s the odd man out in all of this. The rookie to the world of demons and evil… naive to its many nuances. The addition of S.H.A.D.E. and the numerous magical heroes and villains across the DC Universe is adding so much flavor to these books, and I love it.

As per usual, no one listened to Superman when the time was right, and now they’re all just realizing that, yes, Jor-El is a crazy person who has manipulated things for years in his own favor. I’m honestly a little sad about the Jonathan Kent time-skip thing because he was actually an endearing kid-hero, who was fun to read and actually believable in his wonder and amazement at everything. Hopefully the new Jonathan, albeit older and more serious is still a good read.

This was considerably better than the first issue, but only slightly. It took forever to get moving, and something about the story just doesn’t sit right with me. It feels off, and uninteresting for a Batman story. Even with The Batman Who Laughs, and The Grim Knight, two interesting parallel versions of Batman at its disposal, it uses them sparingly, going for spectacle and attempts at mystery. I’ll give it one more issue to wow me, and we’ll see what happens.

Gemini finally makes their move, manipulating Psych, who was manipulating Flash for Gemini. It sounds way more confusing than it really was. It’s interesting how these new Force Users are so adept at using their powers. They’re skilled in the way that Flash is skilled with the Speed Force, as if they’re meant to have these powers, and they’ve finally found their proper host. Now, in the next issue, it looks like we’ll get a full breakdown of the history of speed force, and these new forces themselves. That could change Flash comics forever, if it’s done well enough.

A bit of an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise fantastic arc, this did exactly what it needed to do. It put Ares down, while also putting him on a quest to find Athena and the other Gods, who seem to be scattered to the winds. Aphrodite is now with Diana, who seems lost in all the confusion of the Greek Pantheon ascending to the Earthly plain once again. I think that soon enough we’ll be heading back to Themyscira. With the Gods in the winds, perhaps the whole world will be heading to Themyscira soon enough?

Several Notable Projects at Fox Cancelled

While not much of a surprise, it’s been reported by Daniel Richtman that the much-talked-about Disney and Fox deal will close in less than two months. With that timetable, several long-time and notable projects on the Fox Studios schedule has been cancelled. This includes Gambit, Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Kitty Pryde, Multiple Man, and X-Force.

This will officially make the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants the last Marvel property films to release from the studio. Let’s hope they go out on a high note.

Pull Box: June 13

NEWCOMICS

THOR
This was a great way to get back to basics with The God of Thunder. Now that Jane Foster is no longer Thor, the Odinson must prove himself worthy once again, and he must do this all the while trying to rebuild a destroyed Asgardia. The moment where Juggernaut revealed himself as a the avatar of a God to fight the God of Thunder was fantastic. Cain Marko seems to have really supplanted himself in the face of pop culture lately, and it’s pretty great.
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The Council of Reeds has returned with a more personal task to complete: No More Dooms. Victor is given yet another task to redeem himself in the face of his rival, and once more he fails the test. I want to hope that this quest with Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm would help show him the his virtue even more, but it looks like it may end up with the opposite effect. The big thing here? His memory revealed that Reed and Sue are still alive, with their children, traversing the cosmos.
BG
This one had less repercussions than the other Prelude to the Wedding books, but it was still a fun read. Batgirl has proven herself time and time again in the face of adversity, being easily the best of the Bat-Family. But, the big takeaway is the reveal that Harley Quinn is looking for the Joker during his pre-wedding rampage. Probably in an effort to stop him from ruining her friend, Catwoman’s big day. But, who knows?
GL
There were some great revelations and unity happening in this book. Just like Wonder Woman wearing Element X in Dark Knights: Metal created the New Gods, Hal Jordan wearing it created the Darkstars. Both wishes made on a darkened universe that were twisted and warped. It’s a fantastic way of pulling things together and unifying the universe, Post-Metal. Also, the personal story of Guy and his Father, being saved by Arkillo in a show of friendship was great. Those two have real chemistry, and it elevates the book even more when they’re together.
MM
As this series has gone on, it’s gotten less confusing, and more charming. Showing more of the mundane work that goes into Wars between planets full of Gods. Like peace summits, and small moments. It was amazing to see Kalibak pull out a pair of glasses because he needs to see the terms. It was a bit predictable in the end, with Jacob Free, the son of Big Barda and Mister Miracle, being the biggest bargaining chip, though not one that they put on the table.
HM
Hawkman has always been one of the richer characters as far as lore is concerned. His past allows him to work in more mythical things, like the introduction of Gorilla City into the history of the Earth, trade-routes and such. Not to mention the reveal of a Kryptonian Hawkman, as well as a Hawkman from the planet Rann, and the confirmation that the Thanagarian Hawkman was one and the same. All through reincarnation. With the history of DC Comics at its feet, this should be a fun read.
PM
Yes! Oh man, it’s so nice to have Eel O’Brian back in his own solo story. Plastic Man is one of the best heroes in all of comic books, and I missed his plucky humor so much. He’s so nonsensical. It was smart to re-tell his origin story for newer fans as he’s a bit older of a character who hasn’t been explored much in the last 20 years. But, now he’s back! And I could not be happier about it. On top of that, Gail Simone was a perfect choice to write the character.
FL
And the race is on! I can’t help but side with Wally West on this one. Barry Allen has lost things, but he always still remembers those pains, and exactly how they were taken from him. Wally’s children, his entire past, was taken from him and he never even knew it. That was Barry’s fault. It’s tragic that this is happening, but things are building to quite the head in the world of The Flash.
MOS
This was some seriously heartbreaking writing. Kandor has been a mainstay in Superman lore for years, and its destruction – the murder of millions of Kryptonians trapped in a bottle for centuries is simply tragic. And it showed. The loss that Superman and Supergirl felt was real, and their anger and panic showed on the page. That was the masterful writing we’ve been looking out for with Bendis and he finally broke it out here.
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First off, Jason seemed to fit in pretty well with the rest of the Justice League. I could very well see him filling in for Diana on a Justice League International team, or something along those lines. Next, King Best is one of the most throwback villains I have seen in quite some time. He’s massive, styled like the 60’s villains of old, and honestly already quite the delight of a villain. This is a great new rogue for Wonder Woman if he manages to stick around.

Is Mads Mikkelsen Interested in Doctor Doom?

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Mads Mikkelsen has been an actor on the rise for quite some time, now. The last few years have been a boon for him with prominent roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Doctor Strange, the cult-hit television show, Hannibal, and the much anticipated video game Death Stranding from director Hideo Kojima.

Now, an interview with Screen Geek shows he’s circling the newly announced role of Victor Von Doom in Noah Hawley’s (Legion, Fargo) upcoming solo adaptation. Mikkelsen famously auditioned for the role of Reed Richards in Josh Trank’s disastrous Fantastic Four reboot, with no lines and ridiculous movements expected, he walked out on the audition in frustration.

Yeah, it’s always interesting. They are experimenting with doing some of the villain’s stories as well. Let’s see if they do that. I’m not familiar that they’ve done it with anyone yet. They haven’t done it with The Joker [and] they haven’t done it with The Penguin. So we’ll see when that day comes. Well, I hope that all characters have a little more rounded shape in the sense that they have two sides of the coin. Yes, they are villains. Hannibal is a baddie – but at the same time, we kind of like him. I think all characters – goodies or baddies, should have a little of both and I think that every actor looks for that in a character.

Noah Hawley Working on a Doctor Doom Film for Fox

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While closing out the panel for FX and Marvel’s Legion last night, showrunner Noah Hawley spoiled a bit of unexpected news.

“Because I’m at Comic-Con,” the Fargo creator said. “I wanted to let you know about a movie I’m developing for Fox. The first word is ‘Doctor.’ And the second is ‘Doom.’”

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Hawley is developing the film, as well as looking to direct. Hawley has no feature directing credits on his resume but previously directed an episode of Legion, and two episodes of Fargo.

Rumor: New Fantastic Four Movie in the Works

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It’s still just a rumor, but it’s a pretty obvious rumor to come to pass. Fox is purportedly in the process of rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise once again. The plan this time, though, takes things in a completely different direction, as it’s expected to be more kid-friendly, with the film seen through the eyes of Franklin and Valeria Richards, the children of Reed Richards, and Susan Storm.

After Josh Trank’s catastrophic failure of a film, the studio has now tapped Seth Grahame-Smith to write a treatment for the reboot. Seth Grahame-Smith also wrote the initial screenplay of the 2015 reboot, however Trank decided to go with his own screenplay, leaving Smith uncredited. While the family friendly direction, a la The Incredibles, could be immense fun, I’m going to stay cautious with this one.