Saturday, May 25, 2013

Geoff Johns' Epic Green Lantern Concludes!

“I’m obviously ending my run with a little sadness because I love these characters, every single one of them. But I’m walking away feeling very proud of what we’ve done and very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many fellow creators. It’s that collaboration, and every reader out there, who have made this a truly special experience… Thank you again for reading- whether you started with REBIRTH or started with this issue- I sincerely appreciate your time and imagination.”
-       Geoff Johns,
reflecting back on his epic run,
in his final issue

Green Lantern #20. Wrath of the First Lantern, The Epic Finale came on sale this week, effectively ending Geoff Johns nearly decade-long run on the series. Along with Doug Manke the book’s art is divided among those who worked with Johns over the course of the decade. Notable names include: Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Gleason and Ivan Reis, currently working with Johns on Aquaman. The book concludes the New 52’s latest story arc “Wrath of the First Lantern” while tying up any loose ends created over the past nine years, all within the story’s 78 pages. The story and the art come together to create one of the single greatest comic books I’ve ever read. 
      Everything comes full circle for Johns’ time on the book. References to REBIRTH are made and worthy conclusions are set for every character, giving each of them a deserving finale. ComicVine gave the issue 5/5 stars, while IGN gave it a 9.4/10 rating, along with dozens of other sites praising the book. Who wouldn’t?
       Looking back on all the greatest writers in comics and their most distinguished runs (Stan Lee on Spiderman, Brad Meltzer on Justice League of America, or more recently, Matt Fraction on The Invincible Ironman) Johns’ take on the series will go down as the most extraordinary of them all. From reviving a fallen character to making him more successful then Batman or Superman, to creating some of the most epic stories in comics, to creating literally a whole universe of characters and stories that we “cared” about and wanted to read more of each week.
      Johns’ run began with the mini-series titled: “Green Lantern: REBIRTH”, which explained the Corps’ greatest tragedy, and the truth behind Parallax, redeeming Hal Jordan of ever being considered purely evil. It was around this time that I was a kid, watching the Justice League cartoon every day. I always wondered why the role of Green Lantern went to John Stewart and not Hal Jordan. Of course at the age of ten the only comics I was reading were my brothers’ old, slightly ripped ones lying around the house. I was more of a cartoon/DVD guy, but I distinctly remember reading about REBIRTH and all the success it was receiving. I also discovered the details of Parallax and Hal Jordan’s unpopularity among fans at that time. I immediately realized the reason for his absence in the TV series. 
     For a while I kept up with the GL stories, reading about the wildly successful Sinestro Corps War, followed by Rage of the Red Lanterns, then Blackest Night. I bought a few issues of Blackest Night and instantly fell in love with the work. The art, the colors, the story, it was all intriguing and got me hooked on comics. I’d always loved superheroes, but now I was really into comics. I knew that the overall series was good, but I didn’t know just how good until about two years ago when I decided to buy all 67 issues in collected editions.
Upon reading stories like Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night and Revenge of the Green Lanterns, something occurred to me: I’d always said that Batman or Spiderman were my favorite characters because of they’re the “coolest” or the most relatable, but there’s a bit of inaccuracy when declaring your favorite superhero. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ARKHAM ORIGINS: Trailer and Details Revealed

The first official trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins has arrived. It was only days ago that we were given a teaser with quick flashes of the duel between Batman and Deathstroke. In this new, elongated version, we discover that mobster Black Mask is the man behind the 8 assassins coming to kill the Dark Knight. Confirmed among those eight are: Deathstroke and Deadshot (he was also featured in a side mission in Arkham City, remember?). Following the trailer is an advertisement featuring Deathstroke as a playable character through pre-order through Amazon. It is assumed that he will be playable in the same capacity as Catwoman was in City; with his own mini-missions and story. Or, at the very least, he is available to use in the challenge maps, similar to Robin and Nightwing.
     Overall, not a whole lot of new details are revealed, aside from a few little hints and unexpected objects like a bomb hidden inside a toolbox with a Queen Industries logo painted along the top. Of course this sparks any questions surrounding the involvement of Green Arrow in the game. Will he be a playable DLC character? Will he just appear in a cameo role much like Azrael in City? Or are they using Queen Industries because Wayne Industries would have been too conventional? Too many questions, too few answers. One thing is for sure: fans will welcome his inclusion in Origins considering his huge success in Injustice, which may be the creators’ logic for possibly including him in the game. Another reason could be because of Queen’s similarities to Batman. If the creators were looking for another DC superhero to include in the game, Green Arrow is the most logical, realistic choice, and would be on par with the playable capacities of the game (as cool as it would be, having Superman zipping around New Gotham doesn’t exactly stay true to what the two previous games created).
       Did anyone notice the way Batman took down the second thug? Yeah, obviously. Pulling someone through the floor isn’t something you regularly do, even if you’re Batman. If you recall, Arkham City’s first trailer showed Batman bursting through a wall to grab his opponent, which ended up being a usable takedown in the game, so I wouldn’t be surprised if, instead of busting open grates, we’ll be busting through wood floors to takedown our enemies.