DC Rebirth #1 : Wally West returns

Something has gone horribly wrong in the DC universe. Time has been lost. Love has been lost. And no one seems to remember Wally West. DC Comics may be backtracking by claiming the New 52 was never meant to be a reboot and they’re doing it in the best way they can.

The issue itself follows Wally West stuck in the speed force trying to make a connection with someone in the physical world.

He tries Batman.Which comes off as a nice homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths when Barry Allen does the same to Bruce.

He tries the love of his life, Linda Park. She doesn’t remember him.

He tries the new Wally West. It’s revealed that the new Wally and the original Wally are cousins who share the same name due to being named after their grandfather.

In a last moment attempt, he tries Barry Allen. Barry grabs hold of Wally as he begins to disintegrate into the speed force. Wally is saved, pulled into the physical realm, and most importantly he’s remembered.

Who stole time and love away from the DC Universe after Flashpoint? Could Doctor Manhattan be behind it all? The ending heavily suggests so.

Rebirth isn’t meant for people who don’t read comics. Don’t pick it up as your first foray into the DC comics universe. It does give a backstory of who Wally West is, but it may leave you confused with the multitude of other characters involved.

If you’re someone who gave up on DC comics following the New 52, this is for you:

Ted Kord is acting more like Ted Kord. Even if he was only on two pages.

Green Arrow and Black Canary may be returning as a couple.

Atoms, Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi, are active.

Johnny Thunder and Doctor Fate make an appearance. Will the JSA return?

 

 

What’s in a hero?

Citizens of South Jersey give their opinions on their favorite superheroes, what makes a good hero, and why Batman is popular.

Superheroes are around us all the time, whether it is through music, TV, films, or comics themselves.

“What makes a hero?” is a question that could be answered in multiple ways.

Doug Knudsen, 21, said that his favorite superhero is Iron Man.

“He is really smart and even though he doesn’t technically have super powers, he gets to blow things up and hang out with the other ones that do have super powers,” said Knudsen about why he likes the Armored Avenger.

Doug Knudsen

“A good hero is one that exemplifies any number of positive attributes which make them an important part of their society. That is, a hero could be somebody that has super-compassion rather than superpowers,” said Knudsen about what makes someone a hero.

Colin Langford, 11 years old, said that Captain America is his favorite superhero.

“Cause he’s not super. He’s just a regular person,” said Colin Langford about why he likes the Star Spangled Avenger.

“They put themselves on the line and they could die,” said Colin Langford about what makes a good hero along with a uniform and their superpowers.

Jay Langford, Colin’s father, said that Superman is his favorite superhero.

“Superman had the best of everything, the man of steel, catching bullets with his teeth, can outrun anything,” said Jay Langford.

Jay and Colin Langford

The popularity of Batman cannot be denied even if you aren’t a fan of the caped crusader. The Dark Knight made over one billion dollars worldwide.

So why is Batman so popular? These citizens of Gotham gave their opinion on why the Bat flies so strong.

Knudsen said that he isn’t really sure why Batman is popular or why he should be any more popular than any other superhero, but he gave an interesting theory.

“I think one reason that Batman is so popular is that his parents are dead which makes him very marketable to orphans,” said Knudsen.

Stacey Mullins, 21, said that her favorite superhero is Batman.

“I think people like Batman so much because he always does what’s right. Or maybe they like him because of his cool gadgets or outfit. I like Batman because I think he’s unique. He trained himself to be a hero,” said Mullins about the Dark Knight’s fame.

Mullins also provided what she thinks makes for a good hero.

“A hero, to me, is someone who will protect you and look out for you. Someone who can change the world. A genuinely good person,” said Mullins.

Stacey Mullins

Colin Langford said he likes Batman, but doesn’t know why he’s popular.

“All he has is a boomerang,” said Colin Langford.

Jay Langford said that Batman’s real power is money and that he just throws cash at whatever he wants.

“All Batman has is a wallet that never ends and he can buy anything in the world, that’s what Batman does,” said Jay Langford.

Below Colin and Jay Langford discuss what super powers they’d like to have and why Batman is considered a hero for just having money.

Musician Will Foley shares comic influences

Will Foley, 21, is a drummer and guitarist who attends Rowan University. He’s been apart of multiple bands, but lately has been working alone to become a better guitarist. Below he shares why he thinks comics are popular and how they have influenced him. He also shares a song he’s been working on about the man who dresses up as a bat.

Trust the Stranger

Most superhero comics feature the titular hero and his secret identity, but the Phantom Stranger is a character that has none.

Batman is Bruce Wayne, a vengeful billionaire who witnessed his parents’ death as a child, Superman is Clark Kent, the last son of an alien world, The Flash is Barry Allen, a police detective who was struck by lightning, but no one knows who the Phantom Stranger is. This is abnormal in comics. Even if other characters don’t know the hero’s identity, usually it is known to the reader, but the Phantom Stranger is just an unknown entity to both reader and characters in story alike.

The Phantom Stranger is a being that works for God. Usually he works in tandem with the Spectre to make sure that judgment of other is correctly delivered.

Secret Origins Vol. 2 #10 is an issue that readers who are interested in the Phantom Stranger or oddities or good storytelling should read. It is an issue that features four origin theories for the Phantom Stranger written and illustrated by multiple people.

The first story written by Mike W. Barr and illustrated by Jim Aparo is a take on the Wandering Jew myth. The Stranger in this story is a man whose family was slaughtered by Romans who were looking for Jesus as a babe. The Stranger writhes with anger until he finds Jesus thirty years later. He trades places with a Roman who was meant to torture Jesus and as the Phantom Stranger gets his revenge. Jesus then condemns him to walk the Earth until his return. The Phantom Stranger finds that he can no longer enjoy any human activity and has to wander forever. He earns his powers in this version by studying magic.  At the end of the story, he is granted forgiveness by God, but declines the offer to heaven.

The second story done by Paul Levitz and Jose Lopez explains that the Phantom Stranger was a man in biblical times that lived in what can be assumed to be Sodom or Gomorrah. As the city is being destroyed around him, he is offered salvation by an angel for being a decent man in an indecent world. The man however declines the angel’s offer and stabs himself out of anger for God not saving his people. The angel does not allow the man’s spirit to enter the afterlife and damns him to walk the Earth for eternity with powers to help humanity.

The third story done by Dan Mishkin is about a group of humans who are trying to keep their universe from being destroyed. The Phantom Stranger, as the Phantom Stranger, attempts to stop them from unknowingly destroying all of reality. As he succeeds, he touches one of the scientists who is plunged into space into a new universe and becomes that universe’s Phantom Stranger.  This could mean that the Phantom Stranger is either a force that travels from universe to universe or that the Phantom Stranger is stuck in a time loop and must relive the same universe over and over.

The fourth story done by Alan Moore and Joe Orlando gives theory that the Phantom Stranger was originally an angel who didn’t pick a side when Lucifer confronted Yahweh. As a result of not siding with God or Satan, the angel is kicked out of heaven. He then goes down to Hell to see if Lucifer will take pity on him and allow him to stay, but he is denied that comfort. Instead Lucifer and his followers tear off the wings of the angel and force him to walk Earth alone for eternity.

Readers may never know who the Phantom Stranger is, but he’s one of the few heroes out there where no one knows who he truly is or where he came from which makes him one of the last mysterious heroes out there.

The Five DC New 52 Titles you should be reading

The New 52 titles launched last August and if you’re still wondering which ones to check out or just new to comics then start with these.

The Flash

A younger Barry Allen is the current Flash. He’s still getting used to his powers and still meeting his classic foes.

Why you should read it: If you are interested in seeing how a man who runs really fast balance his career, romantic life, and superhero antics then read Flash. Also the art is incredible.

The Flash #2

Batman                                                    

Batman in this new series has been facing off against a new villain society known as the Court of Owls. The Court of Owls is as old as Gotham and wants to get rid of the Bat. So far they’ve thrown him in a maze where he hallucinated his dead parents, stuck him with a bunch of knives, and have managed to make Batman fear something, the owl.

Why you should read it: Most Batman titles up to this point don’t have a lot of Batman losing. This new series shows how human Batman really is. It shows him being beat up, getting scared, and not being sure of himself. That’s something not seen too often.

Batman #6

Batman and Robin

Bruce has returned from the dead and has taken his son under his wing to be the new Robin. Meanwhile an old companion of Bruce’s during his training years has come back to seek revenge on him. The old companion is known as Nobody and he’s attempting to get Damian to betray his own father. At the same time, Damian has recently killed someone and it will be interesting to see how Bruce reacts to such behavior.

Why you should read it: Most of the Robins that Batman has had in the past weren’t as capable as Damian is. Damian is Bruce’s biological son and was trained his entire life to be an assassin. Previous Robins served as a contrast to Bruce’s dark streak by being a lighter, brighter character, but Damian is just as dark as Bruce, perhaps even more so. Reading Batman and Robin is reading Batman and Batman Jr.

Batman and Robin #7

The Shade          

The Shade miniseries is about a reformed villain trying to find out who put a hit out on him. The story features a lot of magic elements and demons looking to destroy the Shade. It also features a few cameos from other DC characters that haven’t appeared up to this point, in the rebooted universe, as allies and enemies for the Shade to encounter.

Why you should read it: The Shade is the most obscure title that is being recommended here. That’s because it features great art, a solid story, and good humor. It also features battle scenes that rival classic mysticism books such as Doctor Fate and Doctor Strange. It is a story of redemption that isn’t often seen in comics.

The Shade #4

Justice League

This series starts right from the birth of the Justice League. It shows how the team got together, the origin of Cyborg, and their first encounter with Darkseid. The team members; Batman, Superman, Green Lantern(Hal Jordan), the Flash(Barry Allen), Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman have a hard time getting along with each other. They don’t even want to be a team, but are doing so in order to get the United States government off their backs for being superpowered vigilantes.

Why you should read it: The book features a lot of great humor through conversations between superheroes. In the first few issues, everyone thinks Batman is either pure legend or that he has superpowers. They don’t believe he’s just a guy in a bat costume. There is also an interesting struggle for who should lead the team. Each member thinks that they are the best suited for role of leader.

Justice League #2

Evan Carroll, poet and comic enthusiast

Evan Carroll is a New Jersey poet who performs his poetry with a slow cadence that he compares to Jim Morrison.

In some of his works, he subtly references DC heroes in his works.

From his poem “Flecked with glass,”

“Your jaw and features are ragged, cut like a goblin sword, jagged

Retinas dull and reflective, scanning like the Detective’s”

This is a reference to Batman being known as the world’s greatest detective or just “detective” by most notably Ra’s Al Ghul.

A big fan of the Dark Knight, that is to say the character, not the film, Carroll considers the Bat as a big influence for himself.

Below he shares an early Batman memory.

Some DC Webcomics based on DC Comic characters.

Comic book characters are popular. Sometimes people want to make their own stories or jokes using them. With the internet, you can share these comics and here are some of my favorites.

These aren’t official DC Comics, but are still are entertaining reads. Continue reading

The Immortal Dr. Fate

The world of Dr. Fate is full of gods, demons, magic, and hardships of being married to someone who’s involved with such things.

The Immortal Dr. Fate is a reprint of three Dr. Fate comics and this collection was published in 1985.

Dr. Fate is the personality taken on when someone wears the helmet of the god of Order, Nabu. Nabu is an ancient force who takes on human hosts to work his magic.

There have been multiple people who have worn the Dr. Fate helmet and carried on the mantle. Dr. Fate in this series is Kent Nelson.

Continue reading

Top Five DC Comics Related Songs

There a lot of songs out there about Superman, but what about character you have never heard of? Well those exist too and here are some of the fun ones. You could even play some of these in your car without your friends knowing they are about comics.

Jonah Hex, right, and the time traveling Booster Gold, left, sharing a drink on the cover of a Booster Gold issue. Copyright DC Comics

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