As much as I would love to do a running blog of weekly reads and whatnot, the audience just isn't there for it, but it still doesn't mean that I won't pop in and do it every now and again!
So the last time I talked comics we had two major events going on in the respective universes. Marvel was at the end of Secret Invasion and DC was in the middle of Final Crisis. Both have since ended and both have paid huge tolls in the landscape of those universes.
Warning, spoilers follow from here on out.
First, Marvel killed off The Wasp and brought back a ton of people. Elektra, Spider-Woman, Songbird, Dum Dum Dugan... yeah, Marvel hit reset on a lot of people. But at the end of Secret Invasion we saw a big thing happen, Norman Osbourne being named director of S.H.I.E.L.D., disbanding it and creatting H.A.M.M.E.R. which as of right now has no meaning. He also got some of the big baddies of the world together to make a secret Cabal that I was not too happy about, however events have passed by that have lessened this dislike to a meer interest.
The Cabal consists of Doctor Doom, Loki (Female Loki is weird!), Namor, The Hood, Emma Frost and Norman himself. Now I had a lot of issues with Emma Frost being in there, and some reservations about Loki, but both have played out nicely. Emma is there to make sure that mutants have a place and rights in the new Osbourn run world. Loki has been playing multiple sides of course, and has pacts with Doom and an interest in playing around with the various heroes herself.
So the Marvel Universe is all messed up right now with people returning and people leaving and joining new sides... it makes for interesting drama that's for sure. But all teams are involved with "Dark Reign", that is what Marvel is calling the Osbourne era, so you really can't escape the book. All of the teams have a "Dark" counterpart, you can find "Dark Wolverine" which features his son Daken, or "Dark Avengers" which focuses on Orsbourne's team of former villian Avengers. Venom as Spider-Man, Daken as Wolverine, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Noh-Var as Captain Marvel (who hasn't really done much), Norman as Iron Patriot as well as Ares and Sentry.
Some other quick hits in the Marvel universe, Captain America (Steve Rodgers) isn't dead, just trapped in time. Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) is the new Sorcerer Supreme. Spider-Man hits issue #600 today and it is a 100 page doozy! The X-Men are fighting the Dark X-Men in San Francisco. Hank Pym is leading a band of "Avengers" around the world trying to fix things. Spider-Man is being plagued by clone syndrome again. Deadpool is the new Wolverine, read, in so many books.
Ugh... alright, so Final Crisis was not so great in my book. The story took too long (7 issues in a month longer than it took Marvel's Secret Invasion which had 8 issues) and really lame at times. You could have skipped issues 2 - 5 and it really wouldn't have mattered, all you would have missed would have been Wonder Woman being infected to be the new leader of the Female Furies, some heroes being taken over by the Anti-Life equation, the new Dessad sending out the Anti-Life equasion over all media simultaniously, and the Earth spiraling out of control due to said Anti-Life equasion. And don't get me started on the Super-Young Team and the new Mr. Miracle. Way to make a character that so many people loved (Scott Free) and make him really lame.
I think that the worst part of the entire thing is that the New Gods were reborn into human shells, and most of them ended up dead again at the end of this series! I mean, bring them back, sure, but not to kill them again, sheesh. At the end of Final Crisis there were some other deaths, again Darkseid, Kalibak, and most importantly the apparent death of Batman, though the final pages show that he didn't die, he was just sent back in time (how?) where he places his utility belt over Anthro the first man. So unlike Marvel, DC's big tie-in really didn't tie-in to much as with the exception of the new Batman (more on that in a bit) and the return of Bart Allen (Flash). The biggest happening was that Superman used the "Miracle Machine" to sing a note that disrupts Darkseid's essence (really?) and then recreated the multiverse.
However, with the exception of Batman's death and the return of Bart Allen, the DC Universe didn't change. The tie-in's were really just glorified one shots, and the best series, Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds just ended, months after the main book was completed, and really had very little to do with Final Crisis at all.
Now, that is not to say that DC isn't bringing it when it comes to stories. Blackest Night started a few weeks back and it has so much promise. Geoff Johns, my current favorite writer, created an entire spectrum of emotions and Lantern Corps. So all of the ROY G BIV has something to go with it. But it was said that when the emotional spectrum shows up that the darkness would show up. Created from the shell of the Anti-Monitor from The Sinestro Corps War the Black Lanterns were created. Long time Green Lantern foe William "Black" Hand kills his family and then himself and is revived as the first Black Lantern by former Guardian of the Universe, Scar. Since then many people have been revived as Black Lanterns like Martian Manhunter, Ralph and Sue Dinby, Aquaman, and Digger Harkness. In the first issue Ralph and Sue Dinby attack and kill Hawkman and Hawkwoman, who then get black rings themselves and are assumed to be new Black Lanterns. Bart Allen and Hal Jordan are attacked by Martian Manhunter, and the Green Lantern Corps are attacked by former Red and Yellow Lanterns that were killed and revived by the black rings. So that is just starting but I can't wait to see who is killed or revived next!
To the other big story of the DC Universe, the Battle for the Cowl as it was put. Batman was killed by Darkseid and Gotham went nuts without Batman. There were many people who could have claimed the "mantle of the bat" but really it was down to two people, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, the first two Robins. Jason created a very dark Batman, killing people instead of aprehending them and almost killing (then) current Robin Tim Drake. Long story short Dick Grayson beats Jason Todd and becomes Batman. Tim Drake (now calling himself Tim Wayne since Bruce adopted him after his father was killed) takes the mantle of Red Robin and is searching for Bruce whom he thinks is alive. Dick chooses Damien Wayne, the illegitimate son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, to be his new Robin stating that he trusts Tim but Damien needs a lot of work.
So that is a brief synopsis of what is going on in the comic book world over the past few months. Hopefully I can get some readers out there talking about comics and what they love and hate and I'll try to keep this up as best as I can!