The news hit this week that Mad Magazine will cease publishing new content outside of annuals. It will also remove its circulation form newsstands, making it only available through comic shops and existing subscriptions. Instantly, when the news broke, celebrities, artists and fans started expressing their remorse online. There are no expressed plans for DC Comics to cancel the publication. What does this mean?
I was at HeroesCon last weekend and got to sit in on a great panel discussion about the Legion of Super-Heroes with three artists that worked on the Legion, Joe Staton, Greg LaRocque and Keith Giffen. I got the opportunity to pose a brief question to the three of them. So, I asked, "Other than your own work, what's your favorite Legion story?" LaRocque and Staton both answered with classic Silver Age Legion stories. Staton liked The Moby Dick of Space and LaRocque loved the story where Star Boy was expelled for killing. Giffen responded with the time they made Element Lad crazy and into a villain. I'm paraphrasing, but he was referencing the Legion Lost twist where the all-powerful Progenitor was revealed to be their lost teammate Element Lad. I can agree with the first two, but the mention of the Legion Lost story really impressed me. It was a great time when the writers did something uniquely different with the Legion. It shouldn't have surprised me to come from Keith Giffen, who was one of the architects of one of those times.
It was just yesterday that we highlighted the DC Millennium teases put out by Brian Michael Bendis. Today word came down that DC Millennium will be a two-issue prelude to put various well-known DC futures into a cohesive, continuous timeline. It will all culminate with a new, ongoing Legion of Super-Heroes.
All week on Instagram, Brian Michael Bendis has been teasing something called DC Millennium. Early in the week, it started with some teasing images for Legion of Super-Heroes and OMAC.
I've been reading Doomsday Clock primarily because I feel like I have to, for this web site. With Before Watchmen, I felt like it was an unnecessary cash grab from DC Comics. There were some fine creators that tried to the best that they can with it. However, I'm unclear on the reasons for Doomsday Clock except to fix problems from DC's biggest marketing scheme of the past decade, the New 52. Watchmen is being rolled into it for some indiscernible reason.
I was at my local library when I spotted the Essentials collection of The Trial Of The Flash. I remember picking up a few issues of this story when it first came out, but never read the entire run from beginning to end. The whole thing goes on for quite a long period of time, over two years, culminating in The Flash #350. It's almost legendary how it ends, using a method that only work in comic books, with the Flash killing his arch-enemy, responsible for the murder of his first wife, on the day the hero is to marry his second wife, Fiona Webb. Unfortunately for Fiona, the Flash had to abandon his Barry Allen identity and ended up going to live in the thirtieth century with his first wife, who'd come back to get him acquitted of murdering the Reverse Flash. Like I said, only in comics. I was curious about whatever happened to Fiona Webb, and she simply never appeared again after the Trial of the Flash. She only showed up again in flashbacks. Where she went after this day is unknown, but I would like to think that she had an absolutely normal life unaffected by super-heroes. Of course, that would be silly.
It's time to get back to covering the Legion of Super-Heroes stories that hooked me in the 1980's. When last we left the Legion of this Era, Tales of the Legion was focusing on Shadow Lass and Mon-El returning to Talok VIII. There, they ran afoul of Lady Memory, the inheritor of a legacy of hatred of the Mallor family. As I recall, this came out when I was in eighth grade. The cover made an impact on me, and when it came time to decorate a field trip journal for school, I did the Legion, copying this cover and adding the rest of the Legion. My classmates were impressed, but my teachers really hated that I didn't illustrate the theme of the field trip, Washington, DC. They expected me to draw something really nice on my journal cover, but super-heroes wasn't it. It was beautifully colored, though, a rarity for the journals my class had. Enough of that , though, let's get onto the comic.
In 1983, Ray Palmer was a hero without direction. If it hadn't been for his role in the JLA, he wouldn't even have been published. This was a time for change, though. The industry was seeing a rise in creativity, although the great British invasion had not yet occurred. The reasons for this rise in creativity need to be explored on their own, so we'll stick a pin in it.
I've been ignoring Heroes In Crisis. I've read the occasional review, but the gist I gathered was a bunch of D-List heroes and a few b-listers like Arsenal, Wally West and Poison Ivy were killed. The whole concept was that the heroes had created a place where they could talk through their problems and deal with them. To be honest, it didn't appeal to me. However, the latest issue begged for my attention, and worked me up a little. That's right, it's one of those reviews. Also, there's spoilers ahead.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn't going to pick up Batman #69. The entire Knightmares story really seemed a little contrived to me, and I wasn't sure if I really cared to read another case of a Batman foe messing with his mind. I opened it up and saw the artwork of Yahick Paquette. I loved his work on Wonder Woman: Earth One, so I gave it a try.
It seems like forever since I reviewed a new comic, much less read a new batman comic. It seems like I only show up in Gotham when something big is happening. However, this issue caught my eye because it's an Amanda Conner one. The preview pages had the feeling that Tom King was giving her a script that suited her talents and were much like the work that she and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti have come to be known for. While I like the creators behind this issue, I really dislike the way Batman has been treated in recent years.
At WonderCon on Friday, there were some major announcements coming from DC's streaming service, DC Universe. In addition to release dates announced for new series, the digital comic feature of the service is getting a major expansion in April.