Tag Archives: Batman

DC Comics October 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Last month, for some reason, they sentme the first issues for Power Girl and Green Lantern. I thought maybe I added them to my pull list or cart to check them out because of the non-reboot reboot “Dawn of DC”. Maybe the latter, but not the former because I’m back to my usual 7 books for DC Comics October 2023.

Overall, the books entertained me this month. None of them were especially bad or annoying. That’s all I ask from my comics books right now. I’m older and softer when it comes to my criticisms. Since there are so few books, I’ll just give my thoughts on each of them in order.

Action Comics 1058

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Rafa Sandoval. We got pay off after the evil Superman reveal. Supes keeps his doppleganger busy and away from the public. He pays for it, but defeats the other Supes. Someone talks about turning a Kryptonian and then Clark goes to Steel to have him craft a suit while he heals. I feel like I forgot something because of the Knight Terrors gap. Need to go back and read previous issues again. My verdict: Decent.

Batman 138 (Legacy: 903)/Catwoman 58

Writers: Chip Zdarsky (Batman), Tini Howard (Catwoman), Artists: Jorge Jimenez (Batman), Nico Leon (Catwoman). I put these two together, because they complement one another in the Gotham War storyline. Speaking of, the gild appears to be solidly off the lily on this one. I liked Catwoman better than Batman this month. I have no use for the Zur storyline. But, I like that Catwoman took it upon herself to keep Bruce busy and try to keep Gotham together in the face of overwhelming odds. My verdict: Decent.

Detective Comics 1076

Writer: Ram V, Artist: Francesco Francavilla. A fun conclustion to a two part scarecrow story. It expores the myth of Batman through a conversation between Batman and young Bruce. An old and overused technique. At least Ram V does it well. My verdict: Good.

Flash 2 (Legacy: 802)

Writer: Si Spurrier, Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr. You all know I liked Williamson’s Flash. Like, really liked it. I thought when they shuffled things around books might suffer. Some have a little bit (like Batman), but not this one. This story is weird, but I dig it. My verdict: Great.

Superman 7 (Legacy: 850)

Writer: Josh Williamson, Artist: Gleb Melnikov, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Edwin Galmon. Unlike recent big number issues, they simply continue the current storyline in this one. That’s fine with me. Chris mentioned in the latest podcast that I keep making him rethink taking Supes off his pull list. What can I say? Williamson writes a fun Superman and this story has just enough to keep me interested right now. My verdict: Good.

Wonder Woman 2 (Legacy: 802)

Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere. I like Tom King. I wasn’t sure about his take on Wonder Woman after the prologue and first issue. I’m still not 100% sold on it. But, this one gives me just enough of the Tom King magic that I think he might eventually pull it off. My verdict: Good.

The Verdict

Like I said, DC Comics October 2023 has some fun books in it. I like what they’ve done with this latest not a reboot reboot and the creative teams work pretty well together. I do find it interesting that my two favorite books of all time, Batman and Spider-Man are both suffering right now, but they’ll get it figured out.

Visit DC Comics for these books and more.

DC Comics September 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Catching up has proven more difficult that anticipated. I mean, I know from being a teacher that it’s often easier to just go into work sick and fake it as best you can instead of having to write sub plans and get back into the groove after being out. Also, I probably took this page lighter than normal. After all, I only maintain it as a labor of love. So, I put off the YouTube and updated it in chunks. I still haven’t finished writing my notes for the next episode of Noob’s Book Club. And, I meant to release this DC Comics September 2023 article yesterday or Thursday.

I skipped DC for a couple of months. That’s because I ordered all of the first issues of Knight Terrors. I forgot to update my DCBS order the next month and only ordered my main titles. I meant to go to That’s Entertainment to fill in the books I missed. At this point, I might need to go the Midtown route. They would have made a great Spooktober article. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Decent

Power Girl 1

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For some reason, even though I don’t remember ordering them, they sent 3 number 1 issues for the Dawn of DC non-reboot of a reboot. Why they couldn’t anticipate last month and send my Knight Terrors, I’ll never know. In any case, they sent Blue Beetle, Green Lantern, and Power Girl. Of the three, I liked Blue Beetle the best and I might keep collecting that one for a bit longer to see if it continues. I’ve never cared anything about Green Lantern and I just said to Christine, “Good to see horny dudes are still drawing comics.” Power Girl’s costume makes no sense.

Good

Wonder Woman 1

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Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere

Long time readers of the page know that I have little use for Superman. I always thought his character was simplistic and I prefer my heroes to have flaws. The Brian Michael Bendis experiment started off great and then, as he often does, he wore out his welcome. They sucked me back in by putting Williamson on the main title. I also like Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s take on Action so far. I enjoyed Williamson on Flash and that’s what got me to read Supes. The Si Spurrier era starts off decent and I’m willing to give him a chance. The same thing can be said for King’s Wonder Woman. Everything he writes ends up great, but he needs some time to figure out WW’s character.

Great

Batman and Robin 1

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Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: Simone Di Meo

I rolled my eyes so hard they may have stuck there (Mom was right after all) when I read “Gotham War”. We had Joker War. Now we have Gotham War. Well, I should have known that they’d not let us down with this one. What is surprising is that all of the supporting titles I read in the series supports the story in a logical and strong manner. Hell, it even convinced me to buy the Batman/Catwoman title that ties in.

The Verdict

DC Comics September 2023 takes a page from Marvel’s book. They go back to basics on a lot of their titles. Okay, it makes sense now. They kept saying this wasn’t a reboot. With every new announcement, Chris and I rolled our eyes via text and said, “Yeah, right. looks like a reboot to us.” But, by the gods, they actually pulled it off. Can’t wait to see next month.

DC Comics June 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

In my previous article, I talked a little about how I kept the page going during our trip to Germany. I unintentionally left out the part about how I kept the podcast alive and neglected the YouTube page. But, even so, this represents a watershed in the history of the page. Previously, I ignored the page for extended periods of time and found it difficult to get back into the swing of thing. No such lull this year. So, even though I must update three days in a row, I bring you DC Comics June 2023.

This month, they celebrate two milestone issues, Wonder Woman 800 and The Flash 800. I review those in another article so that I can give them the proper attention that they deserve. Unfortunately, that only leaves five books for this article. Oh well, at least they are good books. Join me to see what books they are.

Regular readers of the page know exactly what books they are.

Good

Detective Comics 1073

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Batman 136: Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artist: BelĂ©n Ortega. I bumped this one up from “Decent” last month. I made no secret of not enjoying the multiverse storyline and infinity Jokers. Well, this ended that and put Batman at war with himself, sort of. I appreciated that return to some good old fashioned disassociative identity disorder.

Catwoman 56: Writer: Tini Howard, Artist: Marcus To, Marco Santucci, M.L Sanapo. Again, I judged Catwoman harshly last month. This one might have even jumped into “Great” territory this month, but the set up felt lacking. You guys know me and my preference for the literal cat burglar stories in this book and that’s what this ends up being in the end.

Detective Comics 1072/1073: Writer: Ram V, Artist: Ivan Reis with Stefano Raffaele and Goran Sudzuka. I normally love everything that Ram V does. But, I only liked this particular storyline. He makes it as compelling as possible, but it just didn’t hit with me.

Great

Action Comics 1056

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Action Comics 1056: Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Rafa Sandoval and Max Raynor. Yes, my world continues to be turned upside down. However, as you read, see that this month rights the ship a bit compared to the previous DC article. What can I say? I enjoy this storyline right now. Lex Luthor as an ally is exactly what I need in my comics life right now.

Superman 5: Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: Jamal Campbell. This one almost fell to the “Good” section this time. Part of it dragged a little bit for me. However, Williamson redeemed himself at the end and I look forward to the next installment after Knight Terrors the nexst couple of months. Speaking of, I forgot to order them in August, so I need to visit That’s Entertainment to pick up the missing books.

The Verdict

Yes, you read correctly. There are no decent books in DC Comics June 2023. Just some (very) “Good” bordering on “Great” and the two consistent Superman titles in the “Great” section again. Next month brings “Knight Terrors”, so expect a companion article for those titles.

DC Comics May 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

After half assing my way through last month’s return to comic book reviews, I performed my due diligence this time around. In between school ending and decorating and watching my son in his seniorparade I read the DC Comics May 2023 and made my great, good, and decent list. We returned from the parade. While they clean off my father in law’s truck, I sat down to write the article.

The list may surprise you. I know it surprised me. But, I come by it honestly. The surprises start early and continue through to the end. This article with shock you. You won’t believe your eyes. In case you can’t tell, I’m trying to trick the algorithm into boosting this articleinthe search results. Controversy sells, right?

Decent

Batman #135 (Legacy 900): Writer – Chip Zdarsky, Artist – Mike Janin. Okay, this one will cause some waves, if anyone reads it. Hey, I told you. I don’t know what it was about this story. It just didn’t hit with me. Maybe I have to go back and read the first couple of issues. I don’t know. The one thing I found cool about it was all of the universe hopping and different styles of Batman we got. Other than that, pretty forgettable as far as a “landmark issue”.

Catwoman 55: Writer – Tini Howard, Artist – Nico Leon. Again, a bit of a surprise. I loved when Joelle Jones rebooted the series. Then, it fell off a bit. But, it ramped back up with Ram V. I might just be missing major plot points because I jumped back in towards the end of stories. I just prefer the cat burgler or tenuous alliance with Batman Catwoman stories. Ones like this just don’t keep me interested or entertainted.

Good

Flash 798/799: Writer – Jeremy Adams, Artist – Tom Derenick. Unlike the multiverse and time hopping in Batman, I welcomed it in The Flash for these two issues. I can’t explain why. I only started picking up Flash comics for Aiden, who was a huge fan of the hero. Then, I read and enjoyed it during Williamson’s run. Since then, it just keeps showing up in my pull list. But, I pulled the trigger this time and I’m glad I did. Fun story. Can’t wait for 800.

Wonder Woman #799: Writer – Becky Cloonan and Mike Conrad, Artist – Alitha Martinez. I picked this one up after just reading another social media post about someone intentionally trying to pick fights with neckbeards about equal rights for all. I admit to being a sucker lately for that kind of thing, especially in light of my soul searching as a result of reading Ready Player One. Yeah, seriously. Anyway, the book (even with such a bold cover) downplays the relationships. But, I liked the seamless travel between dream worlds as the set up for something really cool, I hope. Next month looks big with a couple of 800s.

Great

Action Comics 1055: Writer – Philip Kennedy Johnson, Artist – Rafa Sandoval. Yes, dear readers, we truly live in the upside down. Both Bats and Cats reside in the dumpster this month and Action Comics (plus, I imagine you can deduce, Supes) in the great. What can I say. I enjoyed the heck out of this story. I didn’t know what to think going in, but they made everyone, including cyborg Superman, into a compelling character with a great narrative.

Superman 4: Writer – Joshua Williamson, Artist – Nick Dragotta. What can I say? All it took for me to finally get on board with the Man of Steel was a little bit of Joshua Williamson. Granted, it means that I don’t have to put Superman and Brian Michael Bendis into the same sentence, so that helps. But, it’s Lex and Supes teaming up. What more can you ask for? As far as I’m concerned, no more.

The Verdict

I told you. DC Comics May 2023 turned our whole world upside down here at 2 Generations Gaming. I imagine things returning to normal next month, but who knows. If Williamson keeps writing Superman, I don’t see that one budging. Maybe we just get the elusive month of only great books. Come back at the end of June to see.

DC Comics April 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

With some of the kid activities calming down over the next few weeks, I decided to try to get back to updating the page on a regular basis. This week, I eased into it with some comic reviews. Instead of just Spawn, I reviewed two other independent comics on Monday. Today, I return with DC Comics April 2023.

Before we continue, I need to come clean. I skimmed most of the books this month. Almost all of them are in the middle or close to the end of an arc. Therefore, I need to go back and do a little research before reading next month to get a better idea of the quality of the books. Therefore, and I know you all probably do anyway, take this month’s reviews with a grain of salt.

Decent

Wonder Woman 798

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I came clean a few years ago as not a fan of Superman. I know that probably pains my brother Tim, but the character just never interested me all that much. I like my heroes with flaws and Superman traditionally has none. Let me tell you something else, though. I absolutely hate Superman when they try to humanize him. But, if anyone can make me care about ole Supes, it’s Williamson. Watch these reviews to see if it comes true.

As far as Wonder Woman and Flash this month. Overall, I enjoyed reading through them. As mentioned above, I only flipped through Wonder Woman because I need context before passing final judgement. The only reason I started collecting Flash was for Aiden, but he seems to be out of his comics phase, so at this point I’m just collecting for collection’s sake. I will say, though, that the concept of the “One Minute War” looked interesting and I want to read that story.

Good

Action Comics 1054

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Well, apparently I lied when I said that only Williamson can make me care about Superman. Because, I thoroughly enjoyed the story presented in Action Comics this month. It revolves around Metallo and offered one heck of a cliffhanger at the end of 1054. Can’t wait until next month.

I flipped through both Bats and Cats this month. Both wrap up their current stories soon and I actually wrote under Batman in my notes that I needed more context because maybe it will be great. Zdarsky is writing it and Chris said he liked the story. I promise to update you next month. Plus, I pine for older writers on these books, so I need to get over that first.

Great

Remember those old writers I pined for earlier? Ram V is absolutely one of them. I love everything he does. He just writes such amazing stories and it doesn’t matter what character he writes for. Similar to James Gunn and super hero movies, every book that Ram V touches is gold.

The Verdict

For me, DC Comics April 2023 was a mixed bag. Part of that, admittedly, is my fault. I need to go back and read the previous books for some context in the stories. Who knew that coming back to review comics would give me homework? Oh well, I promise to be more well versed in the stories by next month. Until then….

DC Future State: The Great

Introduction

Chris clued me into DC Future State. I knew nothing of their plans for…whatever it is. Immediately, we though reboot. DC assured us this wasn’t the case. Okay, must be an event, then. Upon reading the books, I confirmed that with a text to Chris. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of, “This isn’t a reboot. It’s not an event, either. The Batman and Aquaman books are just like regular books. I’m so confused.”

Me to Future State: Who-What are you?!

Yes, I just dated myself with yet another reference. This movie is so old and there have been so many movie jokers since that I had to use an oddly specific search term. Plus, as you see, I wrote the text under the meme like some sort of plebian. Living in the future isn’t always the utopia they make it out to be in the movies.

And so, faced with my own mortality and bitter that I spent over 100 dollars on what feels ultimately like a failed reboot that they tried to repackage as an event, I read only the writers I like. Okay, that’s not entire true. I eventually finished the other books for the first round, but I haven’t made it there on the second round of books. And, now, before they move on and act like nothing happened, let’s look at the great from DC Future State.

Catwoman (Ram V and Otto Schmidt)

Joelle Jones and Tom King got me to start collecting Catwoman. I almost bailed after Joelle left and they cycled through writers. Then, Ram V came onto the title and I started collecting and reading voraciously again to support one of my favorite comic writers.

He took up the mantel of Future State Catwoman writer, as well. Ram loves him a heist story. Sure, it fits the character, but the same storyline over and over gets old. Well, guess what? Cats and friends board a train with heist intentions. I admit to liking this story very much. I mention that only because very few of the main title Catwoman titles kept my interest like this one. Hopefully Ram V can keep the inspiration and momentum going and bring back Cats in the main.

Dark Detective (Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora)

I’ve made no secret of my fan boy love for Mariko Tamaki’s writing. I don’t remember where I discovered her, but her work on X-23 was top notch. Come to think of it, that might have been the first book of hers I read. I watched Logan, loved the portrayal of our favorite Wolverine clone in that and picked up the book based only on that. Hey, cross promotion works! She brought her talents to DC as writer on Wonder Woman and now Dark Detective in Future State. Surprise! Bruce Wayne is dead. Now, from here, I can go one of two ways with an inside joke. I can either use an overused line that one of the Simpsons Facebook groups I frequent and say, “That’s right! Dead serious about going to Itchy and Scratchy Land!” But, I think I’ll go with family favorite, Voldemort.

Spoiler Alert: Bruce Wayne isn’t really dead. Nevertheless, a sinister and possibly evil (aren’t they always!) police force took over Gotham and rule with an iron fist. Tired storyline to be sure, but Ms. Tamaki gives us a compelling storyline in spite of the limited environment. If DC went ahead with Future State instead of making it a tepid collection of one shots, I’d definitely like to see where this book went.

Justice League (Joshua Williamson and Robson Rocha)

Justice League Dark (Ram V and Marcio Takara)

If I’m being honest, I only got this title because of Justice League Dark. You already knew that, though. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw Joshua Williamson wrote it. I enjoyed his Flash very much and have kept an eye out for his name ever since. This book follows the pattern of the others. We introduce the new Justice League. Some familiar faces in the group, but ultimately it goes nowhere because both DC and Marvel are afraid to take a leap and try something new.

As I wrote to Chris, I get that the market is different, but this whole Future State thing now just feels like the latest 2099 trip, which were simply half assed as a series of one shots. As with that “experiment”, some failed spectacularly. This is supposed to be about the ones that succeeded. This one mostly succeeded. And, Justice League Dark made it worth the price of admission.

Legion of Super Heroes (BMB and Riley Rossmo)

At this point, I only include this one because of BMB’s legacy. After his, let’s say “inconsistent”, runs on Superman and Action comics, I need a break from Bendis. I knew almost nothing about the Legion before this book. I still know very little. I definitely need a break from Bendis.

Swamp Thing (Ram V and Mike Perkins)

I saved this read for last. Chris and I both love the character of Swamp Thing. Honestly, his guest spot in Batman at the beginning of Rebirth cemented my decision to keep collecting DC Comics. You all know that I’m not much of a DC fan, but I always try to give them a chance and the benefit of the doubt.

This title represents all the potential of Future State. It features a lesser utilized character in a bigger role. It gives us a glimpse into a possible future that is both a hopeless post-apocalypse and a hopeful pre-rebirth (pun sort of intended). This is the best title of the lot and it isn’t even close. I can’t wait for the main title.

Wonder Woman (Joelle Jones)

I already said above that the Catwoman ongoing after Rebirth introduced me to Joelle Jones. She wrote the character in such a unique way that it kept me coming back in spite of the fact that I’ve never been a fan of Cats other than maybe Michelle Pfieffer’s portrayal in Batman Returns.

She brings that unique voice and storytelling to a new Wonder Woman. Having little history with the character other than the movie and collecting since Rebirth, I don’t know if this particular Wonder Woman has any history in the series. However, I like the character and wish we got more of her. Oh well, Future State, we barely knew ye.

The Verdict

Overall, DC Future State: The Great delivered. Each writer gave us a compelling story that I wish would be followed up in some form or fashion. You might ask why I only reviewed these books. If you remember, I ordered all of the books. However, other than these and one or two surprises, the books were underwhelming.

I think once I realized that Future State fell into this weird limbo it took some of the luster off of the books. As we all know, don’t count anything as ever completely over in the world of comic books. If DC ever grows a set and decides to follow this thread at some point in the future, it can be great.

DC Comics January 2021: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

We finally finish out comics week and a half for this month with DC Comics January 2021. I planned on posting this article last week on Friday. I had a busy weekend of playing Minecraft, Lego, and board games with my family. Plus the NFL unveiled their Super Duper Mega Wild Card Weekend. Finally, college football played their national championship game. There’s only so much I can be expected to do in a weekend.

Sure, I should have already had the article written before the weekend, but what is time if not for procrastinating?

And so, it is how I have arrived at nearly a half a week past my self imposed deadline to review DC Comics January 2021. I know you won’t believe me, but I swear it’s not because DC has been a let down these last couple of months. I always go into a new month of comics with an open mind and hope for the best. More often than not, that faith is rewarded. Let’s see if that’s true this time.

The Great

Batman 104 and 105 (James Tynion IV et al): I always feel bad when there are numerous artists on a book because I use the et al tag for them all. They all work hard on these books and they should get credit. By the same token, I mostly read comic books for the writing. However, I don’t want my byline to be two or three text lines, either. None of that is relevant to this review. I just want to be as open and honest as possible.

Now, for the review. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, James Tynion IV on Batman excited me when I first heard the news. Either high expectations or the reality of the situation or both brought me crashing back to earth. Slowly, but surely, the book got better until Joker War. Since then, the book lived up to that promise. Now, comes Future State. I, again, hope that the book survives the hiatus.

Wonder Woman 768 and 769 (Mariko Tamaki, Rafa Sandoval, and Steve Pugh): Similar to Tynion on Batman, Tamaki on Wonder Woman excited me. Honestly, I enjoyed Wonder Woman for most of the last 2 or 3 years since Rebirth. They hooked me with Rucka and then it stayed just above water enough that I don’t think it ever dipped into “Decent” territory for more than a month or two. Now that Tamaki is on the book, she makes even secondary storylines fun to read.

The Good

Aquaman 66 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, and Miguel Mendonca): Like Wonder Woman (is the theme of this article going to be call backs to the previous books?), I started collecting Aquaman because of the movie. Also, I wanted to get in on the ground floor of Rebirth with as many titles as possible. This book hasn’t been as consistently good as Wonder Woman and I considered dropping it a few times. My favorite writer is Deconnick, but Lanning is a good stop gap on these titles, too.

Action Comics 1028 (BMB and JRJR): I make no secret of my distaste for the unholy union of Brian Michael Bendis and the Superman titles. At least this book shows promise every so often. I saw the news recently that he’s moving to Justice League after Future State. So, I will spare you the same old story going forward. Maybe, for old time’s sake, we can resurrect it when he writes Justice League.

Catwoman 28 (Ram V and Fernando Blanco): I texted Chris about this title last week. I saw that Ram V will be writing for Swamp Thing after Future State. We both agreed that his work on JLD has been solid. I then surmised that perhaps Catwoman isn’t a strong enough character for a solo title because his work on the book is solid, but I just don’t like the stories. How many different “heist” issues can you do? I liked this one, though. More of these types of stories, please.

Justice League 58 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, and Xermanico): I suppose that Lanning was not a stop gap on Aquaman. He and Marz are cowriting the Endless Winter story. I admit to being skeptical when I saw yet another event in DC Comics with Future State so close. However, I enjoyed this story even if it is just a rip off of Frozen. Which, of course, is a ripoff itself. Aiden even liked it. He asked where the missing issues were. So, maybe I’ll have to find them at the LCS.

Justice League Dark 29 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, Amancay Nahuelpan): I will be honest. It wasn’t until I saw that Ram V wasn’t the writer on this title that I realized that Lanning and Marz were cowriting all of the titles in Endless Winter. Not sure why they included this title in the event other than as a send off. Which, by the way, I do not approve. The JLD will still be with us, but only as a bonus story on the main title. What are you doing to me, DC?

The Decent

Detective Comics 1032 and 1033 (Peter J. Tomasi and Brad Walker): When Tynion wrote this title, I loved it. As soon as Tomasi took over, it dropped to the “Good” category. More and more, my enjoyment of the title eroded over time. Some people might like Tomasi. I just don’t Other than the Joker War issues, this book has been forgettable during his tenure. Williamson is taking over after Future State, though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Superman 28 (BMB and Ivan Reis): Action may have had some redeeming stories during it’s run. I did not enjoy this title after the rebrand from Man of Steel. I simply kept collecting for collecting’s sake. Now I can say I have the entire BMB run of Superman. For whatever that’s worth.

The Verdict

As we head into Future State, I’m tentatively optimistic about DC Comics. They are mixing up creative teams, dropping some books, and folding others into bonus stories on more popular titles. The only decision I’m currently angry about is their decision to make JLD a bonus title. I feel like it has been the only consistently good book for them over the last year and a half. As always, thanks for reading my DC Comics January 2021 review and we’ll see you next week for Future State.

MOBILE LOOK AHEAD: A Year of Gaming

Introduction

I started this month of reminiscing about my year of gaming with a mobile look back. (Note: I’m so far ahead of my schedule right now that I can’t link that phrase yet. I’m writing this on Thursday and Friday December 3rd and 4th.) In this article (and for the next three Wednesdays), I’m going to take a look forward in each genre of gaming. Honestly, though, I’m not sure how this mobile look ahead will go.

My phone isn’t quite this bad, but give it time

Seeing as how I’ve finally paid (yet another) price for my Hearthstone tantrums with a broken phone, I haven’t played a single mobile game in at least two months. I think I mentioned in the previous article that I also just ordered a new laptop and I’m eyeing a PS4 bundle for after Christmas. I don’t think a new phone is in my future any time soon. We will see if I end up getting a check for my stipend work. In any case, let’s start this mobile look ahead with the possibilities I’m considering if I can ever afford one.

New Phone Possibilities

Samsung Galaxy S8 – Funny story about my current phone. While it is true that several pieces of electronics have ended because I didn’t properly take care of them (including my current S10), my previous phone was not one of them. I was at a friends house and I left my S8 in my car because I was visiting with a friend.

Well, it was summer and the phone got very hot. As I drove home, I took the phone out of the case and held it out of the window so that the breeze would help cool it. As I was doing so, the phone fell out of my hand and skittered along the ground. I drove back to look for it with no success. I immediately ordered an S10 to replace it. Because, we all need phones these days, right? Right?!

Perhaps before Covid, you could make that argument. Now, maybe not so much. Long story short, I got an email from someone who found my S8 lying on the side of the road. I went to get it from the local police department. Here’s the ridiculous part. Other than some cracking on the back, the phone was fine and worked perfect. So, I could downgrade for a few months. If only I could find the dang gone phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10 – I could just buy another version of the phone I already have. Not very exciting, but money efficient at least. Plus, I really like the phone and have been playing Hearthstone exclusively on my PC, so no danger of it being thrown into my bedpost this time.

Google Pixel 4a – When I was looking at phones before I got a crazy deal on a new laptop, this one was on the list. We’ve already all sold our souls to Google for convenient search results, so why not give them back the cash that they didn’t pay me for that soul. It is about a third of what the Samsung phones cost and seems to have the same game functionality. This will probably be the phone I get when I finally relent.

BlueStacks – This is the most likely interim solution. Aiden discovered this little trick a couple of months ago when his phone started doing funny things due to cracked screen. I used it a bit a few years ago. I’m sure there have been improvements since then.

Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Might Play

Plants vs Zombies 3 – I mentioned the first one in the previous article. I also said that I never played the second one or any of the console versions. I just got bored with the same set up each time basically beating every single level. According to the preview I found, the 3rd game is supposed to offer more “complex strategy and game play”. Okay.

Batman: Arkham Underworld: When I first saw that it was a Batman Arkham game, I put it in the definitely play category. Then I saw it was basically a mafia game with a Batman wrapping. So, I might give it a chance. But, it’s not likely to last very long.

League of Legends: Wild Rift – I have a short and checkered history with League of Legends. I tried playing the game for 5 matches. In one of them I got a player on a smurf account who was willing to work with us noobs and help us win the match. The other four were the entire team fighting among themselves while the other team steamrolled us. It was a similar experience in Blizzards Heroes of the Storm. At least in that game, you can queue bots.

I do like Teamfight Tactics and will probably download it on my new laptop. So, I’m not sure if I will play this game very much. I’m sure to try it and see if simplifying the game for mobile makes it more user (and specific to me, noob) friendly. If so, it might make it into the rotation.

Marvel Super War – If I’m going to play a mobile MOBA (that’s silly to say), then it will be this one. The likelihood of that even happening is quite low actually. Granted, I’ve never played a MOBA on mobile, but I don’t understand how the mechanics are supposed to work. Besides, there are just too many other games out there that I definitely want to play.

Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Probably Play

Pokemon Unite: Another MOBA game? I know I said I would most likely play the Marvel MOBA just mentioned. This one is Pokemon, though. I feel like they will provide more variety in their play styles than the Marvel Heroes. At least, that’s what I’ve found in Pokemon games vs. games based on Marvel. They’re both fun, but Pokemon are more interesting in my opinion.

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! – I have to be honest. I’m surprised it took so long for this game to happen. The old third person “behind” levels are identical to many of these run style games. I do enjoy these types of games as quick diversion. So, if this one is any good at all, I will probably end up playing it.

Warhammer Odyssey and Total War Battles: I already own a few Warhammer games through my Steam account that I’ve only played a little bit. I like the idea of Warhammer and would love to play the miniature game. I don’t have the time or money for that, so the next logical step is playing the video games. Maybe some day.

Fallout Shelter Online – Well, I guess I got an answer to why support for Fallout Shelter fell off at the end there. They’re developing an online version of the game. I enjoyed the gameplay of the original. If they make the online capabilities decent and support it for longer than a year, it will be worth it to try.

Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Definitely Play

Lego Star Wars Battles: Tower defense game set in Lego Star Wars. I’m not sure about it being a tower defense games. I mean, they can be fun on mobile. But, Lego Star Wars is a fun setting, so I will definitely find time to play this game and convince myself that I enjoy it.

Diablo Immortal – As they do, fans crapped all over this game as soon as it was announced. What was the whole issue that people had? I remember that there was an issue. Started playing Diablo 3 on the XBox One again this year. I will be sure to play the hell (no pun intended) out of this one, I’m sure.

Minecraft Earth – This one has been in Beta for at least a year and probably longer. Some of my students last year were playing it during free time in class. I think Aiden might have downloaded it, too. I loved (and rediscovered that love this summer) Pokemon Go as an augmented reality game. This one offers so much more variety than Pokemon. I will lose months of my life to this game.

The Verdict

The games announced so far for mobile next year look great. There are a ton of games that I will at least try. Whether I buy a new phone or simply use an emulator, I will be busy with these games plus catching up on what I’ve missed over the last month in my already established games. Minecraft Earth will definitely push me to get a phone, though. Also, think of all the Pokecoins I’ve missed.

DC Comics December 2020: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Unfortunately, DC Comics December 2020 is not as good as Marvel Comics this month. I put 4 Marvel books in the great column and I think for the first time ever, not a single book in the decent column. Sure, there are 3 titles in the great column for DC this month. However, there are just as many in the decent and I might have been being generous with a couple of the good books this month.

It’s just that Christmas spirit I kept talking about in the previous article.

Granted, I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan. Chris got me into DC when he kept telling me how great Batman was with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Then, I started collecting Aquaman and Wonder Woman because they starred in the first DC movies that weren’t absolute train wrecks. I mean, you have to collect Superman, right? Right?! Please tell me no. That way I can stop the charade that I believe the Bendis experiment will finally pay dividends.

I feel bad. There are things that I genuinely like about DC Comics. But, I tired quickly of the source wall nonsense. I started reading Metal and then stopped. I haven’t collected any of the Death Metal series. I saw an advertisement in several books for “Endless Winter”. There’s another limited series coming in January and February. I just feel like their core books have been ignored in favor of big, splashy events that never pan out. But, it is almost Christmas, so let’s focus on the positive. What’s “Great, Good, and Decent” about DC Comics December 2020?

The Great

Justice League 56 and 57 (Josh Williamson, Robson Rocha, and Xermanico): I’ve already established that I don’t care all that much about Death Metal. It might be (and possibly is) a fine event. So, this isn’t like Detective during Joker War. They just got Josh Williamson writing this book and that’s all I need.

Justice League Dark 28 (Ram V and Amancy Nahuelpan): I will spare you my man crush on Ram V. Actually, no I won’t. He is a superb craftsman at the height of his game with this book. Zatanna is probably my favorite character in the book, so it doesn’t hurt that she’s been featured in many of the stories.

Wonder Woman 766 and 767 (Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh, and Rafa Sandoval): I fawned all over Mariko last month, so I will spare you my girl crush on her. Nope, I won’t do that, either. I’m a bit slow on the uptake, so I didn’t discover Ms. Tamaki until her run on X-23, which was funny and heartwarming. She brings those same qualities to everyone’s favorite Amazon. This is the most the book has felt like the movie probably since Greg Rucka wrote at the beginning of Rebirth.

The Good

Action Comics 1027 (BMB and JRJR): You’d think that comic written and drawn by men known only by their initials would be better than this. House of Kent had such promise at the beginning. I wonder if Future State has messed with the mojo some. Now that I see it written, it’s as likely as anything. I really hope it’s worth it.

Aquaman 65 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Miguel Mendonca): I think I might have mentioned in my article last month that no book had suffered from the Covid hiatus than Aquaman. Kelly Sue Deconnick was building up quite a bit of momentum with the War of Atlantis story and then they had some stop gaps fill in that killed the momentum. Well, she’s back to finish the story with a bang.

Batman 102 and 103 (James Tynion IV, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, and Guillem March): 103 was better than 102. With that being said, neither of these issues blew me away. I feel like Tynion is falling into the Bendis trap of trying to introduce too many new or different characters instead of sticking with the old faithfuls. Especially after the masterpiece that was Joker War, I’m disappointed with the direction of Bats.

The Decent

Catwoman 27 (Ram V and Fernando Blanco): Looking at it again, I might have been a bit harsh on this book. It very well could be in the good category. It’s just that I have such high hopes for a Ram V book at this point and this one doesn’t live up. I get that Catwoman is a thief, but it feels like they’re going to this heist storyline a bit too much in this title. Mix it up a bit!

Detective Comics 1030 and 1031 (Peter J. Tomasi and Bilquis Evely): Broken record time again. I just don’t like Tomasi’s take on this book. I will say that I liked these books more than before Joker War. Isn’t it weird how expectations are a large percentage of the outcome of these reviews? Oops, maybe I just gave away a trade secret.

Superman 27 (BMB and Ivan Reis): I will admit that I didn’t even read this book. I just can’t do it anymore. As I’ve said more than once, I’m not a fan of Superman to begin with. I’ve given the Brian Michael Bendis experiment a year and a half. I’ve threatened it before, but I think this book goes after Future State.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics delivered this month. DC Comics December 2020 provided just more of the same. Under normal circumstances, that would be fine. However, with it being Christmas, DC pausing everything for Future State, and the awesome month that Marvel gave us, I’m disappointed. I mentioned above that Future State might be the reason for the lackluster effort this month. I’ll never know, but like I say, it’s as likely as anything. I just hope it’s worth it at this point. I also hope it’s worth my investment in every title. Guess we will see soon enough.

Great, Good, Decent: Dc november 2020

Introduction

I finally got around to DC November 2020 review. Though, to be fair, this is actually a quicker turnaround that I’ve been accomplishing recently. I’m not quite back to the point where I can write before multiple deadlines. However, the articles are being written within a week of the deadline at least.

Gotta walk before you can run.

Speaking of running (Actually, this doesn’t have anything to do with running, but I wanted a smooth transition. Nailed it.), Chris and I were texting earlier in the week. He texted to warn me that it looked as if DC Comics might be on the precipice of another reboot. Granted, it’s been about 4 or 5 years since the last one.

But, still, I felt that familiar old irritation. Why do they keep doing this to us? Why can’t they just let the comics evolve for a decade and then maybe decide that it’s time to sell to a new audience? I have to say that I love what both Marvel and DC are doing right now for the most part and don’t think there needs to be a massive overhaul. Thankfully, Future State appears to be simply and “event” right now. Our conversation ended with us both in agreement that it was most likely to test the waters for an eventual reboot. *sigh* Well, while we can, let’s enjoy DC November 2020.

The Great

Batman 100 and 101 (James Tynion, Jorge Jimenez, and Guillem March): This issue has been hyped for months. Ever since Tom King was on the title and he promised something completely unexpected. Many assumed that meant that Batman might finally kill the Joker. That’s the ending I hoped for, but it wasn’t quite that. Nevertheless, this encounter has forced Bruce to rethink the way he’s doing things. I’m excited to see what that means. 101 promised to be a letdown after the excitement of 100, but that ending was magnificent.

Justice League Dark 27 (Ram V and Amancy Nahuelpan): Like Hulk, I’m running out of superlatives to use for this title. It stumbled slightly when Tynion left, but as I’ve said numerous times, Ram V has proven to be a worthy successor. Also, like Hulk, this is the title that I’d miss the most if they rebooted and it isn’t in the lineup like it looked like might happen.

Wonder Woman #763-765 (Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh): I started collecting WW for a few reasons. One, when it started after Rebirth, Greg Rucka wrote it. Two, I loved the movie version. Three, and not insignificant, it is a core title. For a bit there, it wavered. But, Mariko Tamaki has firmly taken the reigns and made it hers. Good choice, DC.

The Good

Aquaman 64 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Miguel Mendonca): I started collecting Aquaman for one of the same reasons as Wonder Woman. I enjoyed the movie. The first story arc was interesting. Ever since Arthur returned and there’s only been hinting at a showdown with Manta, the book has bounced between Good and Decent with a few issues close to great. Those issues have been written by Ms. Deconnick who is back after a (covid related?) hiatus. So, the future looks good.

Action Comics 1026 (Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr.): Either Bendis or Romita or both of them together figured out how to make a BMB patented “talkie” more interesting. The panel configuration in this book is all over the place. Backwards, upside down, sideways, sometimes all three at the same time. Overall, I’ve enjoyed this title more than Superman, but neither is giving me reason to believe that the BMB hire was anything more than a PR stunt.

Catwoman 26 (Ram V and Fernando Blanco): This had the “Joker War Collateral Damage” and it involved fallout from the last issue with the Joker. However, it served as little more than a set up for the next arc. I had to look up Father Valley. I thought he was a new character, but he’s not. I’m interested to see where V goes with this.

Justice League 54 and 55 (Joshua Williamson and Xermanico): Maybe Death Metal focused the title similar to how Joker War did with Batman and Detective. Perhaps it is Josh Williamson’s touch. Whatever the reason, this title is starting to recapture some of the fun at the beginning of Venditti’s run as writer. They probably just took my advice and read Avengers to see how to write a team title.

The Decent

Detective Comics 1028 and 1029 (Peter J. Tomasi et al): These issues are better than the title was before Joker War. It’s not as good as it was during the tie in issues. I realized that I think I just don’t like Tomasi’s writing style. Here’s hoping that he and I can find a compromise soon.

Superman 26 (Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis): At this point, I’m only collecting the book for the artwork. This title might not survive on my pull list after Future State.

The Verdict

Other than Detective–and I’m realizing that probably won’t change unless I come to terms with Tomasi or they replace him–and Superman–which is subject matter and not even BMB has been able to make Superman interesting to me, the DC November 2020 books are very good. I’m still upset that they’re choosing now to take a hiatus and push Future State, but who knows. Maybe that will end up being awesome and I won’t even miss the regular titles. It remains to be seen in a couple of months.