The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Cyborg #1 Review)

I got busy last night and didn’t get anything together for today. Check out this awesome piece on Cyborg #1 from our friends at The Speech Bubble. Comments are disabled here to encourage discussion on the original post.

The Speech Bubble

The Vanier Report: Week 26

Cyborg 1 largeCyborg #1
Written by: David F. Walker
Pencils by: Ivan Reis
Inks by: Joe Prado
Colours by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Rob Leigh

It’s hard to believe that a character as popular as Cyborg, who has been a member of two major superhero teams (the Teen Titans and now the Justice League) for the better part of 30 years, is only now getting his first-ever ongoing solo series. He has been featured before in a six-issue limited series, but otherwise, this week’s Cyborg #1 is a first for the character.

Written by David F. Walker and drawn by Ivan Reis, the debut issue of the new series finds Victor Stone returning to S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit where he seeks the help of his father in understanding the latest unexplained changes in his technology. As Vic replays footage from a recent battle, it is revealed that he…

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Blogging A to Z Day 7: Flash

As someone who had not read too many comics I only was tangentially connected to the comic book world and therefore did not know much about the Flash, besides being the fastest man alive. When the show Flash started on the CW I got excited mostly because it was by the same people who brought us Arrow, which I love. The only thing being that I really did not know much about Barry Allen or the Flash in general.

The more I find out the more I really love the Flash as a character! A lot of what I know comes from watching the show, but I have also looked at what others have posted and watching some of the cartoon movies. The Flash really has a heart that is different from some of the other characters in the universe.

One thing I love about Barry Allen is his optimism and his passion. Now maybe this is just the show, but other things I have seen and found seem to confirm this as well. Recently we watched the animated movie Justice League: Doom, that points out the weaknesses of various DC superheroes including the Flash. The Flash’s weakness is his need to protect others; this is demonstrated in that movie and in the show. At the same time of all of the weaknesses it is the most endearing. He just wants to protect people and for those that need help he wants to help.

From a full gif-set on Tumblr.

From a full gif-set on Tumblr.

There is a great Tumblr post that I saw recently that looked at an episode of Justice League Unlimited where Batman and Orion try and help the Flash out because they disagree with how he handles his enemies. At the same time they just want to come and beat everyone up. The Flash on the other hand can take some time and is able to talk to one of the enemies. This in turn leads him to the rest of the enemies that are trying to kill him. Even getting the one enemy that he talked to to turn himself in. It really is a great moment and contrasts so much with the other superheroes.

The great part about Barry Allen is that his optimism and passion is infectious. He is too smart for his own good, but his strength is not in overpowering an enemy, but outsmarting them. Also, at times his power is the fact that he legitimately cares what happens. It is so different from other superheroes, particularly those in the DC universe. It is kind of a refreshing change of pace, especially when it is contrasted with Arrow which does get incredibly dark and serious. Flash presents a world where so many things are possible.

This post is by @CompGeeksHolly of the Comparative Geeks, where you can find other posts about Flash, like this one. For more A to Z posts, check out Comparative Geeks!

Blogging A to Z Day 1: Avengers

When it comes to movies, the Avengers are the talk of the town. Their first movie being the third highest grossing movie of all time leaves everyone with high hopes for the sequel. It’s the combination of a bunch of individual characters’ movies, which have also been both good and successful – but they made a combined movie that was greater than the sum of its parts.

There’s been talk as well about the fact that Marvel Studios has made a lot of what they had left, in terms of movie rights. That the big names, the popular characters, all belonged to other studios – the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Spider-Man. You look at the history of the Avengers in the comics, and maybe it’s true. The Avengers have never been one team dealing with the world’s threats. Instead, they’ve been a conglomeration of heroes, between who was popular and who needed a comic to belong to at the time.

Can you name all of these Avengers? From Avengers (vol. 5) #24 by Jonathan Hickman

Can you name all of these Avengers?
From Avengers (vol. 5) #24 by Jonathan Hickman

The best comparison would be DC’s Justice League, who, while having added people at times, also have a solid core team of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Green Lantern. By and large this iconic group is the Justice League and when they announced the Justice League movies and the associated solo movies, we pretty much could have filled in the blanks for them.

When it comes to the Avengers, I could just keep throwing out names – not only the characters who have been in the movies, but characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Beast. And a whole host of characters who are coming soon: Black Panther, Ant-Man and (hopefully) Wasp, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange. And even characters so iconically part of the Avengers that Marvel Studios got the rights to them even though they are also X-Men: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. So we’ll have them in two movie franchises, though last year’s Quicksilver is going to be a hard act to follow!

There are advantages to the Avengers as a team, and I think they are going to capitalize on this in coming years. Because the Avengers are an open group, constantly growing and changing and with a new roster, they will be able to add and subtract characters as needed by their storytelling, movie rights, and actor contracts. Rather than being a hindrance, all of those things can work in the larger narrative of the Avengers.

In other words, what do I think is going to happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Anything could happen!

This post was by @CompGeeksDavid of the Comparative Geeks and regular Sourcerer contributor. For more A to Z shenanigans, check out Comparative Geeks!

Villains Make the Best Heroes: Batman vs Lex Luthor

Happy new book day, everyone! I hope you are all doing well this week. I am quickly closing in on the six month mark on this column, and for this entry I decided to look forward instead of backward. The first true big event of DC’s New 52, Forever Evil by Geoff Johns and David Finch, recently wrapped up, and I believe it has been out long enough to talk a bit about it here. Be forewarned, though, that this post contains spoilers if you haven’t read Forever Evil #7.

Forever Evil has been quite a treat for me to read. Its tagline, “Evil is Relative,” plays well with my growing belief that villains make the best heroes, and that small evil actions can be committed for the sake of larger good ones. Criminality and disposition aside, you cannot argue with the effectiveness of the methodologies of such characters as Lex Luthor and Sinestro, two of the characters featured as defenders of the earth in Forever Evil.

Why, then, is Batman featured as the sole active hero in this team of villains? Though he is initially hesitant to work with Lex Luthor’s team, it can be argued that Batman functions better with them than he does with the Justice League. I can write entire posts (and have, and will again) about the things that differentiate Batman from his fellow heroes, from his lack of superpowers to his personality.

I have previously raised the question of whether or not Batman may even be in the right fictional universe, and I now pose a new question: is Batman a villain who decided to fight for justice rather than personal gain? As I’ve pointed out before, Frank Miller wrote Batman from the perspective that the darkness in Batman is greater than the light, but he makes this darkness work for the benefit of everyone around him. I believe this thought is worth meditating upon for awhile.

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