Tag Archive: swamp thing


Another tremendous week for comics and it seems that each one I read was better than the last in terms of established titles! There was some disappointing showings from Marvel’s newest numbers ones  though in Hawkeye and The First X-Men, and you got exactly what you’d expect from Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. For the full breakdown though, check out the Pullbox below!

Marvel – Avengers vs X-Men Round #9 – Hope’s training is still moving far too slowly and Avengers are dropping like flies. With a little help from the rest of the X-Men who are starting to realize that the Phoenix Four are going mad with power, the remaining Avengers attempt a mad prison break to free their fallen allies and one hero prepares for the ultimate sacrifice.

Originally, I was going to do one of the other Marvel #1s in this spot so I could bash them up a bit because they were pretty bad, but between Round 8 and now Round 9 in this AvX event, I needed to mention that this is the first time in literally five years that I’ve rooted for Spider-Man in a comic book. His selflessness and wisdom beyond his years, his ability to overcome all the odds and take tragedy in stride, are traits that made Spidey one of my favorites growing up. He had lost this a few years ago and he still doesn’t have it in his own monthly, but in the various Avengers books Spidey is starting to reclaim what made him great and this book really solidified that. A great read as this event looks like its finally about to come to a head.

Marvel – The First X-Men #1 – Mutants are starting to pop up everywhere and Wolverine and Sabretooth aren’t thrilled with the idea that there are folks who are looking to bring them harm. Not really known for being heroes though, this odd couple does what they do best in busting heads in the hopes of protecting some folks who still don’t know how to protect themselves.

This book infuriated me more than any other #1 Marvel put out this week so although Hawkeye escaped my wrath, this book will not. It blatantly changes what we’ve come to know as the origin stories of Wolverine, Sabretooth, Professor X, and several others just to try to have another book with Wolverine blatantly in the spotlight since he is clearly Marvel’s powerhouse character in terms of sales right now. The dialogue between the characters is not entertaining in the least and the course of action just seems like another blatantly needless origin re-launch that does nothing but confuse people and turn off long-time comic book readers. Even with it being a number one, this book just isn’t worth it.

DC – Batman Detective Comics #12 – Batman finally unravels the mystery behind Mr. Toxic and although he may have a new villain on his hands, he know things could be much worse as Mr. Toxic is about to go atomic. And Batman needs to remedy this situation quickly as an old foe’s return looms on the horizon.

Not the best wrap up of what has mostly been a confusing storyline, it at least had a few intense action sequences and Batman’s new jetpack armor looked pretty badass. Really all this did was delay what fans have really been waiting for and that is the return of the Joker and what he plans to do in the New 52 and what made this comic was the tease of his return next month in the final few pages of the story. I for one cannot wait for next month as all this did was whet my appetite for a real Batman story already.

DC – Animal Man #12 – The epic Rotworld crossover between Animal Man and Swamp Thing starts here in this first chapter. Animal Man’s son has been tainted by the rot and is barely clinging to life and all Buddy Baker knows is that he must enter a Louisiana swamp and put an end to all this at its core. Lucky for him, Swamp Thing has the same idea after dealing with Anton Arcane for the first time since his resurrection.

I’m not a huge fan of Animal Man typically, but this first issue was really well written and made me think I might have been missing something all this time as I picked it up sporadically over its first dozen issues. Of course, it could also be the crossover with Swamp Thing, which also came out this week so make sure you got both chapters one and two of this event folks, which just happens to start in this issue. The build up for this event has been brilliant by DC and I really hope they can follow through now on this amazing foundation they’ve set up.

Image – Spawn #222 – Jim Downing, the newest Spawn on Earth has been using his powers unlike any other Spawn before him, to heal. At least in the public eye. Behind the scenes he is still a Spawn and as he struggles to piece his life together by terrifying every hood who might be connected a lab initiative called ‘The Program’ that took away Downing’s memory and might have given him some of his power, he awakens some old Spawn enemies. In this case, Tremor. But Downing unusually turned his healing powers on Tremor and seemingly cured him of the experimentation that turned him into that monster who now will help Downing track down more members of the ‘The Program’.

I walked away from Spawn for a long time due to the fact that Al Simmons lost all interest to me as a character. But curious as to how they were able to keep the book going for about 60 issues after I lost interest, this new Spawn and the fact he never died, yet has all the powers and then some of Al, has intrigued me. I’m a bit sad though that classic villain Tremor now seems to be no more, but at the very least we still have The Clown! The art is great, the story is very realistic conspiracy theory driven instead of the whole heaven vs. hell aspect that drove Al for so long, and Jim Downing’s desire to do good all the time is refreshing. If you haven’t been reading Spawn for many of the same reasons as me, you might be interested in checking it back out again as it’s definitely piqued my curiosity like it did in the old days.

A lot of comics came out this week, but not too much really stood out as special for me and I’m even tempted to start removing some titles from my pullbox. Action Comics and Red Lantern continue to be mediocre for different reasons…Action has too much going on and Red Lantern doesn’t have enough. Marvel also saw some new monthlies start like The Defenders, but it really just concentrated on forming the team more than anything. So it actually ended up being a good week comparably for the Indies. Spawn, Mega Man, and Last of the Greats were all very solid. But only the most spectacular of all these made it into this week’s Pullbox.

1) Marvel – X-Men #22: A team of Cyclops’ X-Men continue to work with War Machine to track down several dozen Sentinels and hopefully prevent the start of World War III erupting in Eastern Europe.

I love this story arc featuring the return of the Sentinels and seeing the X-Men trying to take down the giant tin cans again. This issue in particular sees the action and the consequences of that action really amp up as the X-Men know that if they don’t disarm the small fleet of giant robots, that the entire world could fall apart. We also see Domino work her way back into the fold and surprisingly see Jubilee really start to contribute with her new vampiric powers showing off some increased agility, strength, and speed. If you’re an X-Men fan, especially an old-school one, the ending only hints at more great action coming up and now is a great time to get on board if you aren’t already.

2) Marvel – Venom #10: Now that the events of Spider-Island are behind everyone, Flash Thompson, the current Venom, has to get back to work as a covert ops agent. Unfortunately for him, the Crime-Master has other ideas and with Betty and the rest of Flash’s family in Crime-Master’s number one henchman, Jack-O-Lantern’s sights, Flash has no choice, but to listen, even if that means going through Captain America to do it.

Going back to the early themes of this monthly, pitting Venom against Captain America in this issue really helps re-establish Venom as the anti-hero he is meant to be. This issue gets everything right back on track after being derailed by the mediocre Spider-Island story line and if you missed the first nine issues, now is the perfect time to get on board as you can pick everything up pretty much from here and expect things to trend upward drastically.

3) DC – Animal Man #4: Animal Man’s family has been split up and he is just starting to become aware of what he and his family mean to the Red and what they have to do to hold back the Rot. The question though is can Animal Man and his daughter come to grips with their lofty responsibility before the Rot gets to the rest of the family?          

I wasn’t very high on Animal Man to start with, but now as things are starting to come together for a cross over between Swamp Thing and Animal Man as Swamp Thing, representing the Green and plant life, and Animal Man, representing the Red and wildlife, will have to combine their forces to put down the Rot. It is a move that makes sense and helps bolster characters that might not be strong enough to really sustain monthlies as originally suspected as they don’t really have the enemies that define them like so many other great DC characters. It’ll be more interesting to see where both characters go from here, but for now this is the perfect place to get on board for both comics as they build towards what could be an entertaining event between the two monthlies.

4) DC – Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #3 (of 5): After the passing of his mother, The Penguin is lost, but finds a kindred spirit one faithful day while visiting the penguins at the Gotham Zoo. Now Penguin has a new person to obsess over and to use his criminal enterprise to gather pretty little baubles for.     
      
This mini-series has been a great look at the psychology of the Penguin the whole way through and to see him find an unlikely love was an interesting twist. But it is only a matter of time I’m sure before the Penguin’s true nature reveals itself and he will end up alone again as the Dark Knight is always lurking in the shadows. With two issues left though it is going to be very interesting to see how everything unfolds as the Penguin isn’t one to go quietly when everything of his is threatened, as we’ve seen time and again in this series as he destroys the life of all those who choose to look down on him in the most creative of ways.

5) IDW – Raphael: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (One-Shot): Even after being re-united with his brothers, Raphael doesn’t feel completely comfortable with the family yet. So when the Turtles go on their nightly patrols, Raphael uses Wednesdays to go out with Casey Jones still as he feels closer to Casey in some instances. Just what kind of trouble can these two get into? A lot more than should possible in a on-shot.                    

This issue is massive for old-school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans in terms of the new monthly as it introduces Bebop and Rocksteady (pre-mutated) as well introduces a brand new character into the fold, which makes me suspect we can start to see an all-out mutant vs. mutant war at some point with new and interesting animals being mutated and although he has been hinted at, we still haven’t even seen Shredder. I can only imagine what a revamped 2012 version of Shredder could look like as whether a bumbling 80s cartoon villain or the cold-blooded master of the Foot Ninja, he is still one of the most iconic villains out there. This one-shot is a must have and be sure to look for the alternate covers if you’re a true collector!

This was a surprisingly tough Pullbox to put together this week as there just wasn’t a lot of titles that stood out to me as most issues, especially with all these re-launches going on from both Marvel and DC, are just building up to the bigger action with these issues serving more as a lot of plot development right now. Still, I was able to pull a few out that I think are worthy of your attention so without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) DC – Red Lanterns #3: Atrocitus has picked Bleez as his lieutenant and restored her intelligence, but he may be learning that there is a reason that the red makes many of its followers blind with rage as Bleez immediately begins showing her lack of loyalty to the Red Lantern leader now that she is thinking for herself again. Great artwork obviously punctuated with a lot vibrant reds throughout this book, the story is a clear example of what I was talking about above. We get Bleez’s bio and why she was chosen to part of the red, as well as why she has skeletal wings in this issue. We also see what could become a lot of drama for the Red Lanterns later on as without a Lantern war going on to focus their rage, the infighting may begin sooner rather later and Red Lantern vs Red Lantern spells one thing: bloodbath. At least Atrocitus still has his kitty.

2) DC – Swamp Thing #3: I make it a point to try to give you some variety whenever I do the Pullbox each week, but one comic that has been consistently awesome and surprisingly so is Swamp Thing as I’ve featured all three issues now. Alec Holland realizes that he may not have a choice in becoming the defender of the green once again as he learns that while he may be the jolly green knight for the environment, that the rot, the blackness, has a champion as well and with the help of Abigail Arcane, Swamp Thing must prevent the two from merging or be thrust into an all out war for life on earth to continue! Again, a lot more story than anything setting up what can be an awesome confrontation, to see the champion of the black’s powers begin to emerge where he controls rotting and dead flesh and to see what he does in a cancer hospital…all I can say is wow. Gruesome, grotesque, and with more to come, Swamp Thing was one of my few easy choices this week.

3) Marvel – Avengers Academy #21: The original members of the Avengers Academy are forced to accept new members into the old West Coast Avengers mansion as tensions run high as they feel like they are being replaced and new enemies begin to reveal their plans against the Academy. The highlight of this issue is clearly when the lack of communication between Hank Pym and the students reaches a boiling point and erupts into a giant brawl between Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Captain America, and Hank Pym against the original Academy members (minus Veil who left last issue). This massive positive is what propelled this issue into the Pullbox this week because the reveal at the end of the comic where the Acadmey kids from the future have indeed turned evil reminds me too much of a Teen Titans story from a few years ago where the Titans had to take on their future selves. If this is the route this comic is going then as much as I’ve enjoyed this book for the past almost two years, it may be going into the territory of having itself removed if that is indeed the story Marvel is setting up.

4) Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #1: As we continue to see the fallout from Schism with the X-Men, we see just what lengths Scott Summers is willing to go in order to try to save what is left of mutantkind. Unfortunately, an old nemesis from the past, Mr. Sinister, has the same idea, but is going to about things in a very different way and the sleeping Celestial sticking out of San Francisco looks to be a key part of his plans. Although the issue is paced a bit too quickly for my liking, to see Marvel finally work the Celestial back into a story after several years of it just hanging in the background of battles taking place in San Francisco is great. Not to mention Sinister’s new hipster look makes everyone know right from the get-go that his intentions are…well…sinister. Lots of action including Colossus still struggling with the power of the Juggernaut, which I can’t wait for that fallout sooner or later, and this is a very solid re-launch to one of Marvel’s standbys from all the way back in the 1960s.

5) Archie – Sonic The Hedgehog #230: I admit that I was very tempted to pick Last of the Greats #2 as my indie pick, but when you stick a 20th anniversary label on something, I have to pick it up. Basically, Sonic, set in the cartoon universe of the early 90s where Eggman is still Robotnik and Sonic has a whole slew of friends called the freedom fighters have stopped Robotnik’s latest plan to robotize the planet Mobius. But it comes at a cost that Sonic might not be able to bear. Honestly, the fact that Sonic has had an ongoing comic for this long in and of itself is mind boggling, but if you’re like me and actually remember watching the short lived Saturday morning cartoon starring Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel did this voice of Sonic the Hedgehog), then you’ll probably enjoy reliving a small slice of childhood with this 20th anniversary issue commemorating the release of Sonic Generations celebrating Sonic’s grand run in gaming to date.

With the first month of DC’s universal re-launch behind us, Marvel has decided to start re-launching some more characters of their own in response. Along with Hulk coming out later this month, we see this week the conclusion of the Schism story line in the X-Men to pave way for several new X-Men monthlies featuring two different teams. So, what series are worth continuing in the DC re-launch and what can Marvel do to draw your attention away from it? And there’s a surprisingly good indie that came out this week as well that deserves you attention so without further ado, check out the Pullbox below!

1) Marvel – X-Men: Schism #5 (of 5): As a giant Sentinel came bearing down onto Utopia, Wolverine and Cyclops’ 30-year rivalry has finally come to a head with the two of them duking it out like never before. Meanwhile, while they try to work out their differences with Wolverine stabbing Cyclops several times and Cyclops blasting off Wolverine’s face, it is the young X-Men and Hope’s new recruits who come in and save the day. With a clear moral divide now present on the island, Wolverine decides to leave for good and several various members of the X-Men decide to join him. You need to see this just to see who breaks rank with Cyclops and to set up what looks to be an awesome foreseeable future for the two new X-Men teams. The best part about this mini-series is that it shows everyone how a re-launch should really take place. Marvel has been infamous in the past for screwing them up, but this coupled with the Hulk’s re-launch, both look promising depending on how they come out of the gate with their new respective series. DC has been pretty awful as well including this new universal re-launch. Some characters stayed the same while others were completely re-written or retconned and just had me scratching my head in many cases. It should be interesting to see where the X-Men go from here, but if I were you, start here and get ready for one wild ride.

2) Marvel – Deadpool #44: Moving away from the almost somber tone that the dividing of the X-Men brings, we look to the greatest comic relief character in comics, Deadpool. Still in England, Deadpool is hot on the trail of his would be psychiatrist/stalker when he goes into her apartment and finds a frozen version of…himself. Leaving it for the time being, Deadpool , having grown a small conscience and realizing that it is his fault that his shrink is about to commit murder, for once actually saves someone he dislikes. But in the end, the doc bites the big one and that frozen version of Deadpool? It looks like it’s going to be EVIL DOPPELGANGER time next issue! Yee-haw! Sorry. I, too, begin developing extra voices in my head after reading too much Deadpool. Anyway, Deadpool is always hysterical to read and sees him in the most over-the-top, off-the-wall situations in comics. With everyone else saving the world, Deadpool can barely even save himself most of the time, relying on his healing factor even more than Wolverine does, and it is always entertaining. Again, this issue wraps up a story arc and sets up the next nicely so it would be a solid point to jump in at and the laughs you’ll get from it makes this an easy choice this week.

3) Image – Last of the Greats #1: Earth is under attack and after not heeding the warnings from beings of tremendous power, they must now go to the last one and beg for his help against an invading alien force. Simple in it’s description, but so deep in its writing and art, that this is the most pleasant shock I’ve had in a while from an indie comic. I actually had a chance to speak to the author of this book, Joshua Hale Fialkov and we both agreed that the thing that should first draw people in is the cover, especially this alternate version you see to the left. Beautiful in its simplicity while harking back to a classic in the Watchmen with the smiley face with a drop of blood on it, Last of the Greats could become something that could rival Spawn for Image’s top monthly comic in my opinion because this first issue was just that damn good. It was dark in a way you rarely see in comics and in just the first issue had enough twists and turns that it made your jaw drop and that’s saying something considering these are characters we have no history with. I’m thrilled to hear this is a monthly and that the next three issues are ready for print (again via Fialkov) because I think this is going to be something really special and cannot wait to pick up issue #2.

4) DC – Swamp Thing #2: I admit that my first experiences with Swamp Thing growing up was the movies and later a short-lived cartoon. I never read the comics and so I had a very limited knowledge of the character until later in life and thought that its return at the end of the Brightest Day was one of the worst things DC had done in recent history. But maybe it is that poor rebirth penned by Geoff Johns and my cheesy childhood memories that had limited my expectations for this comic and led to my pleasant surprise that it has been pretty good. We learn more of the history of the Swamp Thing and it almost sounded a bit like the history of Spawn to be honest, but revolving around plant life. Still, Alec Holland having to face this global threat, unknown forces working against him, and the tremendous pressure for him to take back up the mantle of Swamp Thing, makes him a surprisingly deep character only two issues in to this new series. Whether you’re like me and don’t have the history with Swamp Thing or read everything Len Wein and Alan Moore wrote for the character, I think you’d be pleased with how this is going and should definitely pick this up.

5) DC – Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 (of 5): With Batman: Arkham City right around the corner and since The Penguin is a main villain in the game, I particularly enjoyed this comic because it gives rare insight into the character of the Penguin himself if you are unfamiliar with Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot’s rough upbringing. The ruthlessness the Penguin portrays as we see his psychological profile through the brilliant art of the book is really something Batman fans old and new will enjoy and it is nice to see this classic villain is another character mainly untouched by DC’s universal re-launch. It’s also a good comic because it is clearly a set-up for a much larger story as no Penguin story would be complete without interference from the Dark Knight. What new scheme is the Penguin working on or what is he covering up that will draw the Caped Crusader’s interest? I think this is an easy pick-up for all the Batman fans out there as true Batman fans know how underrated the Penguin can be at times as a villain and this arc looks like it might help put the Penguin back into the spotlight for a time. Proof positive to never underestimate even the runts in a litter as rotten as that of the Cobblepots.

Originally Published: September 6, 2011, on EGMNOW.Com

Summer may be almost over, but things are still hot in the comics world as DC’s New 52 is really coming out in full swing starting this week and so we’ll see a lot of “Number One’s” from them for the foreseeable future. Not to be outdone though, Marvel has some big issues of their own that came out and even the Indies are not standing idly by as there were a handful of really solid issues from Image, Dynamite, and IDW to be released as well, so there were some hard decisions that went into this week’s Top 5, which you can see below!

1) Marvel – New Avengers Annual #1: Some time ago, after the conclusion of the Civil War, former Avengers powerhouse Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, warned the current Avengers roster that they needed to stop banding together as their actions were just as threatening to the universe as the threats they quelled. Feeling Simon was simply having an episode of sorts, they went about their business as usual as Simon fled to parts unknown to see if his warning would be heeded. It was not. Now in a story arc across annuals that is kicking off here, Simon has formed his own team of super-heroes and reformed villains and looks to bring it to the Avengers like never before. Honestly, the first thing that really gripped me about this comic was the art, especially the five double-spreads that start everything off since you just don’t see that in comics anymore. Very powerful stuff. And then when you hear Simon’s arguments, he sounds mad and delusion, much like a super-villain would, but at the same time makes awesome points, like the rational, prominent Marvel universe hero that he once was. Throw in amazing action sequences and this story arc is going to be something to look forward to in the coming weeks.

2) Marvel – Wolverine #15: We begin to see the aftermath of the Red Right Hand story arc that just concluded as Wolverine, unbeknownst to him, has just slaughtered several bastard children he never knew he sired after they were sent to kill him in the delicious irony that all of Wolverine’s children are out to kill him and he had to kill them instead. And he never even knew until it was too late so it was all in cold blood. Now, Wolverine is punishing himself by constantly climbing up a mountain, throwing himself off of it, healing, and repeating. A tremendous comic as you see Wolverine’s psyche truly break down at several moments and leaves us on this awesome cliffhanger that we just don’t know what Wolverine will do next or if he’ll be able to recover from this anytime soon as this series has amazingly continued to mentally dissect one of Marvel’s most popular heroes for the first time really all the way since issue one. A must pick up for all Wolverine fans.

3) DC – Swamp Thing #1: So far the DC New 52 has surprised me because a lot of comics I was expecting to disappoint me, wowed me, and others I thought that would impress me have been bleh at best. Swamp Thing #1 falls into the former as cameos by some of DC’s biggest superheroes highlight the internal struggle between the newly reborn Dr. Alec Holland and how he must try to cope with the actions he did while he was in the form of the Swamp Thing, all the while trying to avoid becoming a creature of the green once more. Much like the sprouting of a seed, the comic is defined by a lot of brown, bland tones in its first few pages, but as the comic progresses and more plantlife begins to be prominently featured, brilliants shades of green, purple, blue, and other bright colors pepper the pages telling a story as much through the subtly of the art as the word bubbles in each panel. With some interesting super-natural threats looming on the horizon, it should be interesting to see how nature’s greatest defender will evolve in future issues.

4) DC – Batman: Detective Comics #1: A comic book powerhouse for over 70 years, seeing Detective Comics reset to number one may have been the hardest for me to take as it typically featured many of my favorite Batman stories. Needing to pick it up, I was not surprised to see Bruce Wayne don the cowl once more as it was alluded to in the closing issues of what will likely be known as the first volume of Batman related comics. Batman is back to his old tricks of skipping dates, having Commissioner Gordon as his only friend in the police force, and chasing down the Joker, Detective Comics #1 does a great job of both giving you everything that makes a Batman comic great, which in and of itself is almost like paying homage to what came before it, and setting up a new villain to work with Joker (at least in this particular arc), continuing a theme started in the last run of expanding Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Dark, twisted, and seemingly going back to its roots, Detective Comics #1 is a solid way for Batman to kick-off the new 52.

5) Dynamite – Kato #12: If you’ve been following the new string of Green Hornet comics then you know that basically this is a new generation of Green Hornet with the original Kato’s daughter taking over and helping out the original Green Hornet’s son live up to the mantle of their crime fighting dads. This title though centers more around Kato and the enemies that she and the Green Hornet have quickly acquired. Although this is the middle issue of an arc, I chose it as my Indie pick of the week because a lot of the comic has Kato fighting for her life in a video game. Meant to tax her brain to the point where she becomes brain dead in the classic, the villain taunts way too much kind of way, Kato is able to overcome the machine’s programming and break out of the spell. Kato even admits to being an avid gamer and when you throw that in with the very provocative cover (those are buttons by the way) and well, what can I say? Hot Asian girl that likes to play video games. Me likey. And you’ll probably be surprised by how solidly written this comic is, too, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’ve got a few extra bucks.

Originally Published: May 2, 2011, on Comicvine.com

A lot happened in the final issue of Brightest Day. Characters died, characters came back, and the DC Universe has been shaken up in a lot of ways. So, this got me thinking as to what we can expect in the immediate future from some of these characters and specifically what we might be looking at in the three issue mini-series, Brightest Day: Aftermath, that will chronicle just how big the fallout is from this DC event.

I’m going to start with characters from Brightest Day that I think will play little to no part in Aftermath and then move up in importance of who will influence what I believe will be the DC Universe’s future as a whole. And be forewarned that if you have not ready Brightest Day #24 then, well, what’s wrong with you. Go! Now! Read it! What are you waiting for?! And then immediately come back here because there will be spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Professor Zoom, Captain Boomerang, Osiris, Maxwell Lord, and Jade were part of the group that was resurrected by the White Lantern. Over the final 31 pages of the extra-sized final issue of Brightest Day, these characters were featured in a single panel (except for Zoom who wasn’t even featured at all after he freed Barry Allen from the Speed Force). One. That’s it. They’re jobs were done in other comics or in the case of Captain Boomerang; he threw his one boomerang in Brightest Day #24 and supposedly slinked back off to the Rogues.

It is safe to assume that because of this, it would be unlikely for these characters to have a major impact of any sort in Aftermath as they go back to their lives that will have their own respective ripples in the DCU. Jade is now a part of the JLA and dealing with Eclipso, Professor Zoom promised to cause trouble for Captain Boomerang in the future who will of course go back to the Rogues, Maxwell Lord will likely have his hands full being hunted by the former members of the JLI after killing Blue Beetle, and Osiris brought back Isis who will likely have more of an impact than her brother in the Aftermath if she is fated to help Swamp Thing as insinuated by the White Lantern.

The next characters that I doubt will have much influence in Aftermath will be Aquaman and Hawkman. Already confirmed to be having their own monthly comics to come out of Brightest Day, they’ll have their own problems to deal with. There is a traitor in Aquaman’s midst as revealed in the Brightest Day prologue pages as well as he’ll have the responsibility of having to train the new Aqualad. Hawkman also seems like he’ll need some time alone, as he’s not too thrilled over the fact that Hawkgirl was dust when Swamp Thing released him and the other element avatars. With these more pressing issues for these characters, I doubt they’ll be too worried about the rest of the DCU and Swamp Thing in particular for the time being.

Now there is no word of a monthly for Firestorm or Martian Manhunter, but I think these other two element avatars are characters who might have tougher times pulling off a monthly and could go right back to business as normal in the JLA. And considering the partial reveal we’ve seen of the first Aftermath cover featuring Batman and Superman, you can figure the heavy hitters of the JLA will be involved with this and they’ll need these two powerhouses who have also had experience with Swamp Thing and the White Lantern to help quell whatever conflict may be the spark for Aftermath. Not to mention Martian Manhunter had no problems in his prologue page of Brightest Day so it makes sense for him to go straight back to the JLA, who are also the most likely people to help Firestorm fix his matrix problems.

This leaves Deadman and Hawk of the 12 resurrected. I don’t see Hawk being of much use, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Dove and Deadman considering their relationship and so Hank Hall will have to tag along just for fun. Deadman though will likely be critical in the Aftermath because of his previous working relationship with Swamp Thing and he was also the most crucial of the resurrected over the course of Brightest Day. Deadman is not happy being a ghost again, but he knows he might have to hold Swamp Thing’s hand for a while in Aftermath.

And this brings us to characters that weren’t really featured in Brightest Day but look to have a major role in Aftermath. Aftermath has been described on DC’s The Source blog as “the new protector of Earth has been chosen – but one reluctant hero makes a return to try and convince Batman, Superman, and the rest of the DC Universe’s heroes that this may not be a good thing at all.”

The obvious choice for someone having a problem with this is John Constantine since he was revealed on the last page of Brightest Day after Swamp Thing causes some carnage in a big business meeting room and says “Bollocks.” Either he’s not happy or he doesn’t believe it. Constantine and Swamp Thing have a long and storied history with one another, and this could also serve as a gateway to work in Tefe, Swamp Thing’s daughter, who was created when Swamp Thing possessed Constantine briefly. Of course, Deadman could also logically have the biggest problem with this because he was forced to sacrifice his life in order to bring back Swamp Thing and wants some kind of retribution.

So those are my thoughts on what we can immediately expect in Brightest Day: Aftermath. Aquaman is going to be busy with a war beneath the waves. Hawkman has to deal with his girlfriend being dust. And the rest of the DCU is going to have to deal with Swamp Thing trying to re-acclimate himself to the world. What will Batman, Superman, and the rest of the JLA think of this? What kind of damage can Swamp Thing do and how will our heroes find him considering he can be anywhere in the world there is plant life? Let us know what you think with comments below!

Brightest Day #24 Review

Originally Published: April 27, 2011, on Comicvine.com

The White Lantern has resurrected Alec Holland in an attempt to quell the Black Lantern animated husk of Swamp Thing and save the Earth as the White Lantern has finally revealed the mystery it has been weaving over the course of Brightest Day.

The Good

Most things fit together nicely in this extra-sized final issue of Brightest Day as it ties everything neatly into a pretty little bow with just enough loose ends to allow the DC Universe to continue to change and grow, while leaving many of its characters changed forever, in this event’s aftermath.

This event has also successfully re-imagined and then thrust a lot fan favorite DC Vertigo characters like Swamp Thing, and others with its final reveal, into the limelight and give them a chance to flourish in the mainstream DC Universe now. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens to these characters and see how they are developed by DC and how or if they’ll interact with other mainstream heroes and villains.

The Bad

Even with this final issue being an extra-sized one, the pace seemed frantic, like too much needed to be explained and tied up before Johns and Tomasi ran out of pages to do it in. This made the final confrontation between Alec Holland and the Dark Avatar feel much too short and simple for deciding the fate of the planet. Plus, this left only a few panels to explain what happens to each resurrected character now and you could clearly see that the extra pages were simply a prologue without actually calling it one.

On top of this, I really wasn’t happy with what happened to a lot of the characters in the end. I understand that Deadman had to return to his ghostly form otherwise he’d really have no place amongst the super-powered beings of the DC Universe, but I think it would have been better if the visions of Captain Boomerang slaying Dove came true instead. Or Hawk, who was scolded by the White Lantern for being the only resurrected member of the 12 to have failed in his mission, was sacrificed anyway instead of either Deadman or Dove for not finding his purpose like the others had. The fact that some characters did not come back upon Swamp Thing’s victory in order to allow other characters to grow left a bad taste in my mouth.

The Verdict

A brilliant way to re-introduce and redefine a classic DC Vertigo character and find a way for him to fit into the mainstream universe, Brightest Day will pave the way for characters like Swamp Thing, Aquaman, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, and Firestorm to maybe see a bit of a renaissance within the DCU and helps to reset the universe back to simpler and maybe better times. Unfortunately, this all came at the cost of several other characters that I personally preferred over some that were brought back and felt that this final issue felt like it was trying to hammer home themes of personal growth and overcoming loss way too much for my liking.

Overall, this issue is something you need to pick up, whether you like what happens in it or not, as it will reshape many characters in the DCU from here on out and serves as a perfect place to get back into the DCU if you haven’t been following it for a while as many characters have had the chance to have their reset button pressed for new fans to become acclimated to them.

Originally Published: April 12, 2011, on Youtube.com/RCars4885

I come to you once again with your weekly geek fix. This week’s episode sees me review Brightest Day #23 from DC Comics, my new Nintendo 3DS, and Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition for the 3DS. My hot chick pick of the week is Jessica Burciaga and this week’s theme is Ryu’s Theme from Street Fighter IV.