Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Post-Pointal Depression: Cyborg is the new Usurper

For those not in the know, the news/rumor blog Bleeding Cool has been reporting for about two years now that we would eventually see a JLA relaunch by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. This helped explain the shambolic previous Justice League of America series. That started out as Brad Meltzer's fan fictional "What If... the Satellite League had been restored instead of the JLI forming," followed by Dwayne McDuffie's Integration League and James Robinson's Estrogen League, each with its own charms and demerits. It's now been announced that in September, all the DC Comics published set within the DC Universe will be renumbered with new issue ones, which means that grandpa can actually finish his complete Action Comics set before he and the industry dies. DC has confirmed 52 #1 issues in September (har-de-har-har,) and that the first would be Justice League #1 by Johns & Lee. Finally, the Magnificent Seven would be back, by the most commercially bankable team in the industry.

Wait, what? Victor Stone? The Thing with batteries? Awww, maaan! Gentlemen, please plant your faces against the palms of my hands, swiftly and repeatedly, backhand optional. Between Red Tornado and Cyborg, technological abominations will have kept the Martian Manhunter off the team he founded for another decade. I'm a liberal, so I'm all about inclusion up to the applicable force of law, but there are few black super-heroes I find less interesting than Cyborg. The dude was disfigured through an accident by his scientist father, rebuilt as part robot by same, and whined about it for years. He's no dummy, but he's still basically a jock who routinely busts up his gear and has to have far bigger brains repair him every few years. His human parts have held up way better than they should have (excepting the few years he spent in a vegetative state while his armor acted independently,) and he doesn't actively get on my nerves, but we're still talking Red Tornado Lite™ here. Actually, Red Tornado at least has two solo mini-series under his belt to Cyborg's one, which makes him twice as eligible, right?

If we're going to go with a person of color, he should be green. That could mean giving the Martian Manhunter an African-American human guise ("John Jones" would still work) and his alien form more ethnic features (he looks much better with a broad flat nose than a pointy one anyway.) Alternately, it would mean getting the best and most recognizable Green Lantern on Earth into the team, John Stewart. I've never liked Hal Jordan, and I have yet to hear any "normal people" talking excitedly about his upcoming movie the way I did (God help us) Hancock, much less Batman or Iron Man. I smell a bomb, or maybe it'll surprise me and do Thor numbers, but there is such an excess of whiteness on that League that it's not funny. It's also become quite the sausage factory again, so why not accommodate dual disenfranchised minorities with one slot by bringing back the Vixen, a personal favorite? If this is the quasi-ground zero relaunch they're claiming, how about a version of Steel that is less dependent on Superman and closer to the John Henry legend? I mean Steel got a movie, TV appearances, and a four year long solo series. All Cyborg brings to the table is some Super Powers: Galactic Guardians appearances and being one of the least popular Teen Titans. Remember that dude with the awesome Cyborg shirt at that convention? Me neither.

Anyway, whatever, I was already jumping off the DC Universe bandwagon with no firm exceptions yet. The good news is that without a Martian Manhunter on the Justice League to be badly drawn by Jim Lee (yeah, I said that,) there's an increased likelihood of a new Martian Manhunter #1 in September. Let's play Detective Marciano, with those 52 titles, shall we? I'll do occasional updates for a few days, as well.

1) Action Comics #1, involving hideous accessories, but at least he finally ditched the tightie redies.

2) Superman #1 by Grant Morrison.

3) Batman #1, because duh. Say, I wonder if Batman: Earth One is getting rejiggered into a new launch by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank? Or maybe Duane Swierczynski and Greg Capullo?

4) Detective Comics #1, because of course there is, still by Scott Snyder & Jock

5) Wonder Woman #1, an ever more frightening prospect. She's in a slightly worse version of the current costume (sans jacket) and may smooch on Superman. Blech.

6) The Flash #1, not by Johns or Manapul, with stupid looking out of date Ultimates piping added to the costume.

7) Green Lantern #1, which will be for Geoff Johns as The New Teen Titans was for Marv Wolfman Post-Crisis, a sacred cow staying the course. With Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.

8) Green Lantern Corps #1 with Guy Gardner, John Stewart and more by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.

9) The New Guardians #1 with Tony Bedard & Tyler Kirkham, led by Kyle Rayner.

10) Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.

11) The Savage Hawkman #1 by James Robinson Tony Daniel And Philip Tan.

12) Adventure Comics #1 DC Universe Presents initially starring Deadman, by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang with Ryan Sook covers.

13) Firestorm #1

14) Legion of Super-Heroes #1

15) Justice Society of America #1.

16) OMAC #1, maybe, by Scott Kolins. that'll be by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen. By an amazing coincidence, I just finished writing three months worth of weekly "Thank God It's OMAC" posts for DC Bloodlines starting this Friday.

17) Teen Titans #1 by Fabian Nicieza, a choice so obvious I'm amazed it took this long.

18) Birds of Prey #1 by an entirely new creative team, because ditching Gail Simone worked out so well last time.

19) Green Arrow #1, because he needs another mulligan. JT Krul continues with Dan Jurgens.

20) Green Lantern: Guy Gardner #1. It's a top seller as "Emerald Warriors." Red Lanterns by Peter Milligan & Ed Benes.

Those are the reported titles at present. Now for some speculation:

21) Martian Manhunter #1. Hopefully not written by Peter Tomasi again.

22) Robin #1, because there's been a solid selling Robin title of some sort for twenty years.

23) Batman and Robin #1, because it's still moving units.

24) Superman/Batman: World's Finest #1.

25) Justice League International #1 by Judd Winick. I fear this is an alternate location for Martian Manhunter, and if so, pray for a change in writer.

26) Batgirl #1 by Gail Simone starring Barbara Gordon. That's why you do universal reboots.

27) Supergirl #1. In shorts, as skirts and thongs have been banned by editorial edict.

28) Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams.

29) Secret Six #1, or maybe they'll try the Suicide Squad again?

30) Deathstroke the Terminator #1.

31) Nighwing #1. Where else to put Dick?

32) Swamp Thing #1.

33) Superboy #1, which seems a might soon, but what the heck?

34) T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1, since Spencer isn't around anymore. How were the sales again?

35) Xombie #1, since it got a lot of critical buzz, and a six issue volume 2 would fit nicely in a trade.

36) Shazam #1, because DC hasn't had a major Marvel Family failure yet this decade.

37) Booster Gold & Blue Beetle #1. Still no Ted Kord. Hah!

38) The Creature Commandos #1. Dead by #8.

39) The Outsiders #1, probably with a line-up resembling The Titans, but better.

40) Jonah Hex #1. So long as the trades keep selling, right?

41) Zatanna #1, although her sales make that seem like a longshot.

42) Power Girl #1, since there's fondness and some longevity here, but still seems optimistic.

43) Cyborg #1. Got to start somewhere with legitimizing this. If only Tony Isabella didn't have some sort of participation on Black Lightning.

44) Animal Man #1.

45) Catwoman #1.

46) The Atom #1

47) Plastic Man #1 by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver

48) The Question #1

49) My Greatest Adventure #1 starring Kevin Maguire's Tanga and Aaron Lopresti’s Garbageman

50) DC-Integrated Wildstorm Revivals

Okay, I tap out. Your thoughts?


mathematicscore said...

First thought "MM not in the League? EFF THAT."

Second thought "Going to be getting even choosier with my comic dollars."


Supes under Grant Morrison's pen is OK by me. We'll see though.

Geoff Johns has burned up a lot of faith between Sinestro Corps and Flashpoint. There has been much I've enjoyed, but much that hasn't sat right. Gary Frank probably means I'm in on Batman though.

Wonder Woman will have to have a boffo creative team to get my attention. I'll go on pretending Gail's run was the last for a while.

Good call on GL. So much of it being space centered lately might keep it unaffected. Then again, Young Hal with out the history leaves a lot of holes.

BoP with out Simone is probably not getting my dollars.

Depending on how hard a reboot it is, I'll wager Guy gets thrown under a bus even though he's way cooler than Hal.

I would follow Tomasi a ways farther if it was him. Otherwise, I'll just be glad if there is an MM #1.

Another hatred with the reboots, I was really digging the history of Robin's, and Tim Drake, (like Kyle Rayner and Wally West) are too good a characters to let die.

JLI with Winick; At least it's not Jeph Loeb or JMS, right?

Batgirl/Babs by Gail would be a winning move I do believe.

I've grown to really love Supergirl lately, so I hope they can keep some of the character momentum going.

Batwoman probably benefits the most out of this. She had my dollars regardless.

Seriously though, if Morrison's Batman Inc idea is thrown out with the bathwater, I'm gonna be peeved. Nightwing schmightwing.

Re: Shazam #1; Ha!

Poor Ted. Can't catch a break. I think he's way cooler than Spider-man.

Like Supergirl, Power Girl has my vote. Loves my superpowered women.

Cyborg #1; I'm actually ok with him being pushed. After all, he was a big part of Teen Titans Go!'s crossover appeal, and I like the athlete turned hero angle. That said, Usurping ain't cool, and Jim Lee's "updated" version of him (for when, 1993?) blows goats for quarters.

Plastic Man by Gail Simone and EVS is probably one of your better ideas. Props.

More trials and tribulations for the Manhunter from Mars I guess. Story of my life.

Anj said...

I thought of you as soon as I saw Cyborg. Isn't there room for J'Onn here?

I don't know if I want Babs as Batgirl. I really like her character as Oracle.

And what of Supergirl??

My mind is reeling.

Diabolu Frank said...

Anj, sometimes you give the readers what they don't know they want ("The Anatomy Lesson,") or you bring enthusiasm to what you want that becomes infectious (The New Teen Titans,) but didn't Morrison and Porter already prove that every so often, just give the fans exactly what they want?

I strongly suspect Babs will remain Oracle, just like she did after Zero Hour. Babs still has the iconic visual, though. I just hope the Stephanie Brown camp has had its day so we can go back to Cassandra Cain, the most successful solo Batgirl. Otherwise, I want an entirely new one.

I worry about Supergirl. I'm absolutely certain she has a place at the CW-DC, but she's also one of those characters most in danger of being radically altered for the sake of a soundbite.

Diabolu Frank said...

M.C., I'll probably catch a break on the first issue of Justice League, which will determine whether I read the trade. I don't care much about Superdude, Batjerk, Hal Boredan, Cyborg, or the entire Flash franchise. That leaves another version of Wonder Woman I'll probably hate, and a respectable Aquaman I'll probably follow in his solo title instead. Without J'Onn or some favored b-listers to sweeten the deal, the League is nothing to me.

I have to agree on Johns. I liked his first Flash run well enough, dug The Avengers, and various other bits over the years. I didn't hate Infinite Crisis as much as everyone else. However, from the domestication of Wally West and Green Lantern: Rebirth on, it's been one groan after another. His name is not a draw for me anymore.

While I dislike the new costume, I'm sure I'll give Wonder Woman another try, unless the creative team/premise is especially offensive.

I stopped buying BoP after Simone left the first time, but only because Bedard didn't manage to hook me. I'd love to buy a Huntress comic with the right writer, but even Simone seemed burnt out by her last year or so on BoP vol. I.

I'll buy Martian Manhunter because it's my job, and so long as there's a title, there's hope it'll be good. Part of the reason I hated Ostrander was because he never got out of the way after the book was demonstrably not working. Hopefully, Tomasi would step aside if he didn't have tales to tell.

I don't think Batman Inc. or The Dark Knight are going anywhere. I just figure they're too young and popular to get new #1s. They probably just won't ship that month.

To butcher the English language, I don't want to not like Cyborg. I just have never had a reason to feel otherwise. If he's going to get pushed as standing with the Mag-7, he'll need a solo to sing his praises. Otherwise, he's Geo-Force. That redesign sits like a steaming turd in the corner of the preview art, though. All the other bad design elements are just the flies circling that chassis. With the exception of that time he spent as fully robot, this is easily his worst look ever.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Frank - You're comments on the speculated titles seriously cracked me up! After hearing about Firestorm's ongoing hitting the possible chopping block with the loss of the writer, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps (and no Firestorm in the JLA either).

Green Arrow's mulligan is dead-on! I love the character. I truly do, but can't stand any of his ongoing series (with the exception of Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer's issues).

I'd completely support a Robin solo comic if it's Tim Drake.

JLI - Completely agree about Winick.

Shazam - LOL!

Your feelings on Cyborg are interesting. For whatever reason, Starfire is a real hot button for me (not in a good way). Any appearance by her in a book I like just infuriates me. She's a complete waste! I like some cheesecake as much as the next perv, but she's a waste of four-color ink! I'll stop my rant now, I could write a book on this item.

Anyway, thanks for the laugh! You rock, sir!

The Irredeemable Shag

SallyP said...

I thought about J'onn not being in the Justice League, but I would be perfectly happy to have him in the new JLI.

They had BETTER keep Guy Gardner in Emerald Warriors! Or I shall be wroth.

I'm worried about Birds of Prey never works without Gail Simone. And they really should NOT put Winick on the new JLI either. In fact, let's just trade Winick to Marvel for Roger Landridge and Chris Samnee.

rob! said...

That list of JLAers with varying point size made me laugh.

James said...

If/when they make a new MM series i wonder what they will do for the main villain. Im tired of new writers trying to make there own bad guy (Cay'an or D'kay D'razz) instead of just reinventing older bad guys and giving them a new story such as The Marshal, Commander Blanx or my favorite Malefic.

Diabolu Frank said...

James, I'm totally with you, and de/reboots totally open the door for more surviving Martians, including a not-dead Malefic.

Sally, any deal involving less Winick at DC gets my stamp of approval, and your proposed trade would be swell. Samnee especially feels more DC to me. Besides, they owe us for getting Mark Bagley back. As for BoP, maybe Simone finally gets Black Canary solo out of the deal?

Rob, Shag, I'm happy to get any chuckles I can wring out.

Honestly, the most widely embraced Green Arrow in recent memory was a return to the character's origins: the Batman proxy on Smallville. Maybe it's time to cut off the flavor saver and hang around a penthouse apartment again? Just make Ollie a slightly more obnoxiously liberal Bronze Age Bruce Wayne.

I hated Starfire for years, because she struck me as an bimbo who held Nightwing back from being cool. After R.E.B.E.L.S. though, I'm beginning to accept her as an empowered Latin-flavored Barbarella. Maybe I just needed to see her operate in her natural setting?

LissBirds said...

I guess Cyborg has a big part in Flashpoint. That's all I'm getting out of this.

I thought I heard mentioned somewhere that it would be the original seven...or magnificent seven or something. (Maybe I just imagined that...) So...why is J'onn not on the team?

I am so confused. Just go back to the original seven. We haven't seen them together in a while.

That, and 52 #1 issues? My head is spinning. Reboots should make things SIMPLER, not more complicated. Complicated = me no buy comics.

LissBirds said...

Also, I'm somewhat dubious about Babs back as Batgirl. Didn't Gail Simone fight tooth and nail to keep Babs as Oracle. Compared to other controversy-sparking moments, like killing off Ryan Choi, putting Babs back in the Batgirl suit is much more offensive in my humble opinion. (Though considering all the technology in the makes logical sense. Didn't Robin get a new spine or something?)

And, ironically, Stephanie Brown was the ONE replacement character I actually liked, and the only Bat-family title I currently buy.

It's like Dan DiDio can read my thoughts and it deliberatly sabotaging me.