New Justice League Titles

In recent news, Scott Snyder will be taking over Justice League and starting up a whole bunch of different titles. From the article:

Justice League: No Justice will be written by Scott Snyder, Josh Williamson, and James Tynion IV with art from Frances Manapul, and will run weekly in May. In No Justice, Brainiac arrives on Earth with a warning for DC’s heroes about an impending threat that can only be stopped if the Justice League joins forces with some of DC’s worst villains.

Who’s teaming with whom? Here’s some concept art from Frances Manapul to answer that very question:

I’m calling this team JLAliens (which is completely a call back to the Justice Leagues mini event from 2001) and while it’s nice to see Martian Manhunter back with the League . . . Starro? Really?!

JLMagic (or maybe JLDark again?) with what looks to be Raven on the left, though I may be mistaken.

JLMoney (because they’re all wealthy – wasn’t Changeling/Beast Boy the adopted son of Steve Dayton at some point?). As I don’t keep up with the Superman titles, I hadn’t realised Luthor was still wearing the S-shield.

JLScience? JLNerds? And I guess they had to shoehorn Harley Quinn in there somewhere.

First impression – 5 women out of team of 20? That’s not a brilliant score, is it? Why not Batgirl instead of Robin? Scandal Savage instead of Deathstroke? Soranik Natu instead of Sinestro? Literally any female character instead of Starro?

Second impression – no Green Lantern or Aquaman? Are they not in the League any longer?

Third impression – the uniforms. Because that worked out so well the last time the League went in for that look:

Just saying . . .

Reservations aside, I will, of course, be buying these, as I’m a sucker for the Justice League.

Which is why I own a complete run of Justice League Task Force.


Comixology Sale

I’ve never been a big fan of this whole Black Friday thing – I’m sorry to my American readers, but it’s another example of the UK hanging on to the coat-tails of our friends across the pond and making otherwise sensible people rush to stores at ungodly hours in order to pick up things that they may not actually want just because the price has been reduced.

That said, Comixology have a Black Friday sale where a whole bunch of graphic novels have been massively reduced. So I put on my Hat of Hypocrisy to drown out my own conscience and bought . . .

Batman/The Flash: The Button – with Doomsday Clock #1 landing this week, I thought it was the perfect time to pick up (and read – man, it’s a fast read) this almost prequel where Reverse Flash meets his end (again) and it became as clear as possible that Dr Manhattan was meddling with the DCU.

Harley’s Little Black Book – I’ve been picking up the trades of Harley’s main series and if this is anywhere near as much fun, I’ll look forward to reading it.

Trinity of Sin – damn you, spur of the moment! For reasons that escape me, I actually bought the Pandora series that promised (and failed) to explain why she was so important to the creation of the New 52, but didn’t bother with this series that only lasted for six issues.

Watchmen Noir – and bringing it full circle, I picked up another version of Watchmen, this one the black and white version which, having read the first half dozen or so pages, looks absolutely gorgeous.

Each of the above was a mere £2.99; there’s plenty of other stuff in there that I might be tempted to as well.

You know, if I were one of those people who liked to pick up things that they may not actually want just because the price has been reduced . . .

Blood? Yes. Boobs? No.

I’ve enjoyed Jimmy Palmiotti’s work for many years now – his stories, whether with Justin Gray or Amanda Conner – usually embrace the one element I really look for in comics: fun. Sure, he can do dark and serious as well, but in amongst all that, someone’s more often than not having a good time and not taking things too seriously.

Over the last few years, he and Conner have really hit the jackpot with the work they’ve done on the Harley Quinn series, pretty much taking her out of the mainstream DCU and just having a blast with her, barely paying any attention to what’s going on in the wider DC world – just witness the team up between her and Power Girl. Apart from a few cosmetic costume changes to PG, she was clearly the version Palmiotti was writing and Conner illustrating before Flashpoint and the New 52, even though she’d been replaced by the Earth 2 version.

While I don’t get the Harley series as a monthly, I have picked up the trades because of Palmiotti and Conner’s work, and I’ve really enjoyed them.

I’ve just read volume 5, The Joker’s Last Laugh and while it was a blast, there was a scene in there that made me groan not just at DC’s publishing policy but what I perceive to be an American issue.

Quick bit of setting the scene: Harley’s friends run burlesque show; she’s ticked off some powerful people who are about to storm the building and slaughter not just her but anyone else in the way. Just getting ready for the show are Queenie and a new girl:

Note the cat and dog on the right hand side.

Straight after this, two bad guys arrive and are about to shoot the girls before Goatboy – another of Harley’s friends – charges them, breaking the nose of one of them. Being bad guys, they plan to shoot Goatboy for standing up to them before the girls distract them:

And what are two burlesque performers going to use to distract the bad guys?

Yep, by flashing their boobs. This being an American comic aimed at teens, though, you’re not allowed to see those boobs, hence the cat and dog flying in front of them, obscuring them from the reader’s view.

With the bad guys distracted, the next panel is this:

The bad guys’ heads exploding as Big Tony arrives with a shotgun to save the day:

But thankfully the girls have now replaced their bras. Sure, we can still see the bloodied headless corpse of one bad guy, but at least we’re not seeing boobs.

This weird double standard is everywhere in American TV, films, video games and comic books – blood and guts are fine to view and (in the case of games) to allow the player to create, but the merest hint of nudity? Nope, we’re not having any of that, thank you very much.

I’ve no doubt there are scholarly papers written about this strange worldview and whether it stems from some anti-sex Puritan holdover mixed with some Second Amendment fuelled love of guns, but I just find it baffling that two consecutive comic books panels censor boobs in one then show heads being blown up in the next.

You sure are weird, America.