100 Issues Ago July 2013

It took them the best part of two years since the New 52 launch before DC headed into a big event, and this was the run up to it.

Trinity War featured Pandora in a prominent role, the woman who (at the time) was the apparent creator of the New 52, not that any of the other characters realised that, and she’s looking for someone pure of heart who can open the box she carries, which is fashioned into a three eyed skull. Figuring Superman is the purest (because she’s never read UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED) she has him open it, only to see him freak out and nearly turn evil. When Captain Marvel – sorry, Shazam – heads to Khandaq, the League head off to ensure no diplomatic issues flare up. In turn, the newly formed and run by Amanda Waller Justice League of America follow them in to get the first League to leave. Misunderstandings occur and tempers rise and before you know it, Superman is seen apparently killing Dr Light.

There’s other stuff going on with Madame Xanadu suffering an assassination attempt, and the Secret Society working in the background, but that’s the crux of it.

For me, Trinity Way works better than the forthcoming FOREVER EVIL even though some of it seems a bit forced, not least the inclusion of Pandora McGuffin.

Elsewhere, Trinity War continued this month in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA; Jonah Hex was still running around modern day Gotham in ALL-STAR WESTERN; PANDORA received her own title; and the usually pretty good DEMON KNIGHTS continued it’s run with Vandal Savage and a bunch of giants turning up.

Outside of the seventeen issues from DC, it was FATALE (still excellent) and DAWN: THE SWORDMASTER’S DAUGHTER AND OTHER STORIES from Image.

100 Issues Ago June 2013

James Robinson continues his slow build of the New 52’s Earth-2 characters, introducing new takes on old characters, and dropping in hints of what’s to come – hints that, in some cases, wouldn’t come to fruition as it would only be another couple of months before Robinson would leave the title and DC as a whole for reasons unknown (at least I don’t think there was any clear reason given.)

That said, this was another enjoyable issue with the heroes dealing with the aftermath of Darkseid’s invasion, and the firepits that had been set on Earth, one of which Commander Steel is tasked with entering only to discover someone at the heart of it.

Elsewhere, Robert Venditti took over on the main GREEN LANTERN title and started a, for the most part, enjoyable run of a couple of years. PHANTOM STRANGER and STORMWATCH were just a mess at this point, and the JUSTICE LEAGUE books were barrelling towards the Trinity War crossover which means FOREVER EVIL is just around the corner.

15 books from DC this month, with one a piece from Image (the excellent FATALE) and Marvel (FURY MAX which finished this month.)

100 Issues Ago May 2013

It’s an action packed issue of WORLDS’ FINEST this month that takes the highlight spot – hardly surprising as it’s the issue where Power Girl finally shrugs off the hideous New 52 costume and returns to the classic look, even including the boob window. Well, technically, it’s not this issue – this same month, Power Girl made an appearance in SUPERGIRL #19 and it’s there, not even in the pages of her own (shared) title, that she returns to the classic look. The events of that issue and the new costume aren’t even mentioned in this issue.

Elsewhere it was the end of Geoff Johns’s run on GREEN LANTERN which had its share of ups and downs but delivered some massive events in its time; FIRESTORM limps to an end; EARTH 2 explores the new Dr Fate while in the EARTH 2 ANNUAL, we get a better look at the new Batman which is a Thomas Wayne that, from memory, owes some small debt to the FLASHPOINT version in terms of character and appearance; and JUSTICE LEAGUE is building up to the forthcoming Trinity War and the awful FOREVER EVIL that follows that.

Outside of DC, it was a single issue of Garth Ennis’s FURY MAX and that was it.

100 Issues Ago April 2013

This month’s 100 Issues Ago post is . . .

This must have been the shortest time between DC releasing to the press the plans for an “event” and then cancelling it! Each of the main New 52 series this month was to be branded with the above logo and have a fold out cover which would reveal a guest star or shock surprise that would make you say “WTF!”

Despite the assumption of comics being just for kids having been thrown out decades before, the press and retailers still rounded on DC and non-ironically asked “WTF are you doing?” figuring that somewhere down the line a parent would have to explain what those letters meant to little Johnny or Janey. So DC ditched it as quickly as they could.

The fold out covers went ahead though and, for the titles I was getting, most of them made me go “meh” rather than the desired response.

For ALL-STAR WESTERN #19, the big reveal was that Booster Gold had time travelled and ended up hanging out with Jonah Hex:

And it worked – the series as a whole was enjoyable and having Booster appear wasn’t as jarring as it could have been.

Elsewhere, the Green Lantern titles were still running the Wrath of the First Lantern storyline which was enjoyable enough; EARTH-2 was introducing its new Dr Fate; and despite Dan Jurgens’s best efforts, FIRESTORM was limping towards its final issue.

The biggest shift, though, was with STORMWATCH where DC gave the title to Jim Starlin and allowed him to remove the current, established team, and replace them with one of his own. Some of the main characters would remain but they were different versions than the ones we’d been reading about the month before. It did not bode well for the title.

Outside of the 17 DC issues this month, it was just FURY MAX from Marvel; have to wait until 2014 before DC was challenged by independent titles in my collection.