About Me

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I started reading comics regularly after 'Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns'. Since then, I've become a co-host on 'The LanternCast' (a podcast dedicated to Green Lantern that's been on the air since 2008), started a new podcast covering the late 1980's DC series Action Comics Weekly (appropriately titled The Action Comics Weekly Podcast), and have been the curator of THE blog on the internet dedicated to the character of Ragman, created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert published by DC Comics starting in 1976 and currently appearing on The CW show 'Arrow' as portrayed by actor Joe Dinicol. I'm an avid fan of comics, classic rock, and speaking my mind. Welcome!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DC TV VS the DC Cinematic Universe: Why DC Entertainment is ALREADY Getting It Wrong

Upon waking up this morning, I browsed the usual news sites of interest to me in an effort to ascertain what is REAL news in the comic community and what is just leftover April Fools Day pranks. I stumbled upon something that upset me. Yup, it's not even 8:30am over here and I'm ALREADY upset with the world. Either I got up on the wrong side of the bed (I didn't, I actually jammed out to some Pink Floyd on the way in to work today) or it's just something THAT ridiculous.

HINT: It's the latter.

I woke up to the news that, for the time being, Deadshot is "off the table" for the Arrow/Flash-Universe.

Ok, before I rant and rave, a few factoids for proper context. First, let me credit the source of the article I read. You can find it over at SCREENRANT by clicking HERE.

In response to viewers inquiring about the fate of Deadshot on 'Arrow' (played by Michael Rowe) executive producer Marc Guggenheim said, "Unfortunately, Deadshot is off the table for the nonce."

Yup that IS, in fact, ALL that was said. So, in fairness, the man didn't say "forever" or any such equivalent. But this comes on the heels, as SCREENRANT writers mention, of Green Lantern ACTUALLY being John Diggle being a debunked rumor because, "DC has other plans for that character."

Ok, so one more thing before I fly slightly off the handle into my rant...

Cheif Creative Officer of DC Comics, Geoff Johns in the past had THIS to say regarding the potential connection between the DC Cinematic Universe and the DC TV Universe, "You’ll see a lot of DC universe characters [on 'The Flash' and 'Arrow']. You won’t see Batman or Superman. We’re on production on ‘Batman v Superman’ now. So you’ll see characters like The Atom or Firestorm, but no not Batman or Superman right now [on TV]. It’s a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that’s best for film, while we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe."

Now I love Geoff. I do. MOST things he writes are gold (I said MOST, 'Day of Judgment' Geoff? Whew) and the man is singlehandedly responsible for a re-newed golden age for Green Lantern, a character I hold above most all others. But when it comes to things such as this, I have to divide my adoration of Geoff into two factions, Geoff the WRITER and Geoff the CCO of DC Comics.

The following is a comment on the Geoff as a represenative of DC Comics. (in addition to just being a general blanket comment towards DC as a whole)

What in the ever loving F&*KING hell are you trying to pull?!

If you don't want your movie and TV universes to crossover, then FINE. But you CANNOT have it both ways DC. I'm being serious. If you want them separate, it's because you don't want them to AFFECT each other. Maybe you don't want Grant Gustin to play the Flash on the silver screen because you think he's a great TV actor but not a feature actor. Or maybe you don't want him to play the Flash in the movies because it'd mean that, chronologically Flash showed up before some other character which doesn't work in your cinematic plans and you don't want to be boxed in. WHATEVER YOUR REASONING you FLAT OUT SAID they are separate universes.


Another added wrinkle to this clusterf&*k? You're going to be launching 'Supergirl' soon, which is (at this point) RUMORED to be a part of the DC TV universe. It's got alot of the same people behind it, so let's say, for the sake of argument, that it IS.

You sent out a casting call request for 'Supergirl' for the following:

We are looking for BODY DOUBLE for a DC Comic Superhero –
You must be available for an interview this Thursday and if selected will work several day during March.
This is for a CBS pilot. You can be SAG or Non-Union.
You should be 5’11 or taller and be Square Jawed
and have a ripped physique.
You must send a bodyshot, shirtless, sizes, current contact info and your first five – in the subject line write SUPERMAN.

Is there ANY doubt who we're looking for here? Nope. So what's my problem with it? Well, my PROBLEM is that you're looking for a body double. Meaning you're HOPING to keep Supes in the shadows or in profile or in the distant background. So we don't SEE details of someone else and get that confused with another Superman. Why? Because Henry Cavil is Superman.

But not in the TV universe. Again, you can't have it both ways. Either Cavil is Superman in your TV universe, meaning they're the SAME universe...or CAST SOMEONE ELSE TO PLAY HIM FOR TV.

Do you see how your story is full of holes?

Stop picking and choosing what TV can and cannot do based on what you do or do not plan for your as yet unproven DC Cinematic Universe. It's ridiculous.

If you keep this up the distinction between the DC Cinematic Universe and the DC TV Universe is going to become so CONVOLUTED nobody is going to be capable of making sense of it. And do you remember what happened the last time you thought your own internal continuity was over-complicated?

Ohhhhh right! THAT.

But then again, maybe that's just what you want to happen! I mean, after all....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

'The Flash' & 'Arrow': Which Lantern Should Be on Which Show?

Good day folks!

As you can probably tell, this time around there's a bit of departure from the usual going on's here on Corps Conjecture (actually, that would imply that I've posted regularly for awhile...just go with it.) Anywho, we're talking the two hit TV shows 'The Flash' and 'Arrow'.

Worry not, I don't plan on evolving this into a running commentary on the EPICNESS of these two shows. Nor do I plan on spoiling anything from the shows (ok, well maybe not HEAVILY). What we're talking is more germane to the topics usually discussed in this corner of the internet.

Green Lantern.

To get things rolling, let's give credit where credit is due.

The Flash Podcast (one guess which of the two shows they cover) tweeted out the above earlier today. As co-host of The LanternCast, I responded. But rather than give you the play by play (you can click the twitter link and find out) I figured I'd just elaborate beyond the 140 character limit imposed on me by the Twitter regime. But here...we're going OUT of order.

First up...ARROW!

Now recently it was WIDELY speculated that the character of John Diggle would be revealed to be John Stewart. He is, after all, a member of the US military, friend of Oliver, and a black guy (actually those were really the only similarity's...who came up with this again?) Despite the internet buzz, this was recently debunked, much to the chagrin of those clamoring for a redemption of Green Lantern in live action form.

So the question on our fellow podcasters lips remains. 

My answer? Hal Jordan.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Slow your roll. I know you're all butthurt over the Ryan Reynolds debacle (let's be fair though, the things wrong with that movie WEREN'T all his fault) and you're just anxious to distance yourself from that flop. Me too. 


Hal Jordan would WORK within the Arrow-verse. Why? Because he wouldn't be INTRODUCED as Green Lantern. He'd MOSTLY be Hal. And that is perfect. Let's make him a test pilot for Ferris Air, a subsidiary of Queen Consolidated/Palmer Technology. And he's in town to help pitch the latest tech from Ferris for government contracts. But Hal is Hal. He's a flirt, he's seemingly irresponsible, he's rash. He hits on Felicity/Thea/Laurel and comes into Ollie's orbit. His rashness rubs Ollie the wrong way. But through ________ that happens in the course of the episode, him and Ollie become fast friends. Hal gets a little more structure and responsibility, Ollie learns to let loose. (Yeah I know I put a blank in there. I'm not a screenwriter. lol) But you get my point right? Hal's "aloofness" is PERFECT for 'Arrow'. I'm not saying the show can't be dark anymore, but it's getting almost TOO dark. And Ollie is TOO serious. I miss the Hal/Ollie serious-about-the-job-but-cracking-wise-while-taking-out-the-bad-guys-and-arguing-with-each-other dynamic. As we all know was made FAMOUS in....?

Now for some Flash all up in your grill!

So if Hal is introduced in 'Arrow' that means, in keeping with chronological continuity, John Stewart should be on 'The Flash' right?! RIGHT?! (actually, TECHNICALLY, Guy came before John. Sorry kiddos. Go read some more FANTASTIC Silver Age comics. Totes worth it.)


Just because it "needs to happen like the comics" or "we need more diversity" doesn't mean it makes a good STORY. I'm sorry. But that's just the fact. (And I haven't left John or Guy [or...sigh...Simon] out. Keep reading)

Kyle Rayner BELONGS on 'The Flash'. Oh sure, personality wise, Kyle is already alot like Barry. But I see Kyle as more of a social justice guy. A guy who tries to spread awareness and free thinking to the masses via...HIS ART! That's right. I actually envision Kyle Rayner as the Banksy of the DC TV Universe. No joke.

I see Kyle Rayner as a cartoonist/graphic designer for Central City Picture News...the same paper that Iris West works at. By day he does what he can for the public of Central City in the most legitimate way he can. But in his free time, he does graffiti, participates and perhaps organizes well meaning protests, etc. Barry catches him, initially mistaking him for being violent or a suspect in ______ but Kyle turns out to be a good guy. Well meaning, well intentioned but letting his passion for what's right affect him a little TOO much.

But THE scene I see in my head is this: someone (maybe Iris) is in trouble from the current threat on the show. Kyle is there, Flash is not. Kyle is protecting Iris (not because he likes her but because he's there and it's what is right). He's facing down CERTAIN death. But we see him set his jaw and stand to face the (whatever the threat is). He's going to die. He knows it. We know it. But he's facing it down anyways. But before he can, Flash shows up and saves the day. 

Now that entire episode, we've seen who Kyle Rayner really is. Episode ends and our "post credits scene" is Kyle at a bar/coffee shop (Ooooo! Jitters?! Or Jitters rival shop Radu's?!) and steps out after close into the alley and....well, you know the rest....


Calm down. They show up (or some of them do) as the shows progress. Or even on that spin-off they're talking about making/are making.

So? What do you think?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to check out The Flash Podcast, The LanternCast (the show about GL I co-host) and be SURE to watch 'The Flash' and 'Arrow' over on the CW Tuesday and Wednesday nights (respectively)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

More then Zero: Zero Month - 20 Years Later

In 1994 DC Comics published Zero Hour, a five issue mini-series designed to not only serve as a major summer crossover but also fix some of the continuity problems that had plagued their universe after the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Some have suggested that Zero Hour caused more problems than it fixed but at the time it was the dawn of an exciting new era for DC.  To kick off this new age DC followed Zero Hour with Zero Month.  As the name suggests all of the main DC books were rolled back to zero though each one had a different approach to the idea  Some books featured a new origin.  Some contained tweaks to the existing origin.  Some contained brand new versions of old characters.  All of them served as a jumping on point for new and old readers alike.

To celebrate this new era (or perhaps to bury it) some of us in the comic book blogging community have banded together from remote galaxies to discuss how the characters we cover were rebooted/revamped by looking at the solicitations of our character's zero issues as well as delving into the Wizard Magazine Zero Hour Special, which was a magazine published around the time of Zero Hour to promote the series, what was coming next and the history of DC in general.

As this is a blog crossover be sure to check out the links below to find out how other characters were treated during Zero Month.

MY COMMENTARY: Now, before I post MY assigned images that adhere to the nature of this crossover, I'd be remiss if I didn't include my own thoughts somewhere in here on the event we're covering. Because, despite the sheer caliber of those participating (and ZERO disrespect intended), my section, my characters LEGACY in this event has far more weight than any of the juggernauts listed above. To do merely the bare minimum in an effort to include myself would do a disservice to my self prescribed expertise on all things related to the Emerald Knight. (Although we DID cover Zero Hour WAYYYY back in Episode #94 of The LanternCast if you'd care to take a listen!)

Why? Because MY character, Hal Jordan, was the villain behind it all. And the zero issue that followed wasn't an origin reset, a new character or anything that the others were. It was an epic conclusion to the story of Zero Hour itself. So to focus on Green Lantern in Zero Hour is to focus on Zero Hour itself.

Racked with sorrow (and guilt) for being unable to protect the city he called home (Coast City) as it was obliterated by Cyborg Superman and Mongul following Superman's death, Hal Jordan, the GREATEST of the Green Lanterns, sped towards Oa, the planet from which his power had it's origin. Along the way, he slaughtered friends, students and foes alike, stealing their rings in a mad quest for more power. The power to FIX everything. To make it RIGHT again. To restore Coast City. Finally he enters the Central Power Battery and absorbs the entirety of its power and the power from all but one of the immortal Guardians themselves, becoming Parallax.

Students of the modern era of DC will know that, according to retcons by Geoff Johns, what TRULY happened was that an ancient entity living within the battery reached out across the Corps and found Hal beaten and distraught. A man with the capability, bravery and heroism of a Legend, deep in the moment of his greatest weakness and seized control. Manipulated by a being made of PURE FEAR, Hal Jordan betrayed all that he held dear of what remained to him and, upon entering the Battery (a true point of no return) Hal allowed himself to become the vessel for this entity...Parallax. But that's not today's point.

When Zero Hour hit, we knew only what we had read at the time. That a hero had been broken. A former hero, possessing the power of an entire ancient Corps, with one of the most indomitable wills in that Corps history...in search of a goal, to remake all of REALITY.

But, when last we saw Hal, he had stepped from the Central Power Battery. Remade and reborn into a dark reflection of his former self. Devoid of hope. Enveloped in his despair. And CONVINCED of his destiny to restore all to its former balance. But we didn't know what POWER he possessed. Oh sure, we knew the power of the Corps resided within ONE man. And a small sliver of that power siphoned to the ring of an individual bearer was classified as one of the most powerful tools in existence. But we couldn't fathom what it meant for ALL of this power to be at the behest of ONE man. Unfortunately for Hal, and those who called him friend and hero, Lord Acton was correct.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Zero Hour saw a threat realized. A background question answered. "What happened to Hal Jordan?" What had happened, the power he possessed, and the intentions for that power...had finally been revealed. A man with the powers of a God (with help from leftover energies from Crisis). Bending, twisting, warping and collapsing time itself in an effort to restart EVERYTHING that ever WAS. But whose aims had broadened because, as he himself put it, "Fixing one city doesn't help when the whole world...the whole universe...is messed up." A SINGLE man possessed the power to turn back the clock and restart reality. A power that had previously been harnessed by one (or two) others. The Monitor and Anti-Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Beings that had been around since the LITERAL dawn of time itself. The greatest Green Lantern became one of the DC Universe's GREATEST threats.

But he was defeated. Not by brute force or magical intervention (though the likes of Wave Rider, Superman and more including the Spectre himself played a role) but at the sharp end of a single arrow from the bow of a former friend. A man who couldn't let himself believe that his friend had done so much evil. That wasn't the person he knew. But faced with the reality, Oliver Queen unleashed an arrow straight for the center of Hal Jordan's chest. And the Big Bang began anew, unhindered by Hals interference. Time set in motion to proceed as it was intended (with a helpful nudge from the all powerful DC editors to enact a few alterations).

So why the bravado recap? Surely you knew all of this. Well, because Zero Hour was executed poorly in my opinion. It was a wonderful story, a remnant of a bygone age of DC for sensationalist storytelling. But it was compressed in a hurried format. Too few issues to tell too big of a story. But despite it's flaws, there needs to be an UNDERSTANDING as to what Zero Hour was.

Sure, Zero Hours ultimate goal was to fix the errors still left in the continuity of the DC Universe following Crisis. But Zero Hour was something MORE to a Green Lantern fan. You may have HATED that Hal was made a villain. Or you might have loved it (I mean, hey, he WAS getting stale prior to Emerald Twilight). But Zero Hour took the fall from grace of a beloved marquis character and made him a POWERFUL force in the DC Universe. A threat that took everyone from everywhen to face. Because Hal DESERVED that.

Oh I'm not romanticizing Zero Hour. Or maybe I am. But this is an important story nonetheless. And it needed to be told. 

Hal Jordan: a hero worthy of being REMEMBERED turned into a villain, a force of NATURE to be FEARED.

You just don't get that kind of depth anymore do you?

NOW, onto the images you came to see! (CLICK TO ENLARGE!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Open Letter to DC Comics...

Dear DC Entertainment/DC Comics,

In late 2008 I picked up 'Rage of the Red Lanterns, Prologue: Blood Feud' a "tie-in" special to Final Crisis. That was the beginning of my complete immersion into the comics world. I bought Green Lantern (and related titles) regularly and began soaking up every bit of history on the character I could find. Once I was steeped in GL mythos, I moved on to the rest of the DCU. Characters like Firestorm, Phantom Stranger, Starfire, Deadman, Ragman, Firebrand, Aquaman and more seized a relentless grip on my attention. Then I moved on to the industry as a whole: Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, and more. Finally I became obsessed with the forbidden knowledge. The origin of all things. At least, for comics that is. And I began soaking up a history of comics that you yourself (as a company) played a pivotal founding role in.

As time moved on I made comics my one and only hobby. Your characters, my introduction to their world, served as the cornerstone for all of my passion for the industry as a whole. Things like 'Green Lantern/Green Arrow' from the 1970's became my bible for groundbreaking and innovative comics that changed the public perception of "biff, bam, pow" comics to that of a more serious and thought provoking ilk.

From late 2008 to mid 2011 I went from knowing barely a thing about comics, to co-hosting a podcast dedicated to 'Green Lantern' and reading non-fiction books about the history of the comic medium. After awhile though, it seemed that things were beginning to get stale (to both the fans and you) and the decision was made to "reboot/relaunch" your entire universe. On August 31st, 2011 you launched a new universe for your iconic characters. It was ballsy, it was gutsy and you had the entire comics world talking for awhile. Sales skyrocketed and you went into multiple printings of everything. You even made the leap nobody else would and went 100% all in with day and date digital comics releases.

It was a move that shook the industry and left every other comics publisher gasping for air like someone caught in an undertow. You owned the comics world. In one fell swoop you sparked the curiosity of loyal fans, captivated new ones and leapt forward into a digital age.

And then...

You started cancelling books. It was a smart move. Give a few titles a chance to find some ground and if they don't sell then replace them with books that will. It makes good business sense (even IF I'm still pissed at you for cancelling O.M.A.C.). You made comic fans everywhere upset here and there about stuff but hey, what are you going to do? We get upset about EVERYTHING here and there.

And then...

DC, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just say it: You started to let everyone down.

I may not have been a comics fan long, but I can tell you right now that the things I've grown to appreciate from comics is creative freedom and amazing storytelling. Let's take my favorite comic series 'Green Lantern/Green Arrow'. From what I understand, GL was floundering and Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams were asked to step up to the plate and "fix this". So, Denny did what Denny did. The result was one of the most famous comic series of the 1970's (if not all time) that not only changed the perceptions of an entire medium, but taught the Comics Code Authority a lesson. All because DC let Denny and Neal do what Denny and Neal did best.

But DC, you've started to take your talent for granted. You've become so hyper obsessed with your characters depictions in TV, film and video games that you've forgotten the hallowed pages that served as the birth place for each and every character you own a copyright on (and even some you don't). Superman's shield may be the second most recognizable symbol on the planet, but Kal-El's true home isn't Krypton, it's within the pages of Action Comics.

One of my favorite things about comics is taking characters that have existed for decades and "letting someone else have a turn" to tell the story in their way. To add a new wrinkle to the mythos. People will either love it or hate it, but it's new and the creator is doing what they can to tell the story. Why? Because it's THEIR time to shine and they LOVE this character. They're going to give their all.

But DC, you're not giving them that freedom anymore. That much is clear. And you can come out with press releases and promotional gimmicks and carefully planned politically correct events and "things will never be the same again" solicitations, but nothing will change what you're doing right now.

I wanted to keep this 'letter' brief, but I still have a bit more to say. Let me just skip straight to some examples of how you're treating your talent.

Kevin Maguire Kicked Off Of 'Justice League 3000'

"This is very humiliating. Obviously, I was looking forward to working on a fairly high profile book. I haven't had a top ten book since the '80s and I thought this would finally be my shot at doing one. But it's DC's book, it's their property, they can do whatever they want with it. They don't owe me anything. I've been told they wanted a book that was "dark and gritty", so I'm perplexed as to why they chose us for that. We did exactly the kind of book you would expect from us. Lots of action and humor...I think that'll be it for me and DC for a while."

James Robinson Leaves DC Comics

Blackman & Williams Leaving 'Batwoman'

"We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26."

Rob Liefelds Public DC Departure

"Massive indecision, last minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thanks."

Andy Diggle Quits Action Comics

Fialkov Ditches 'Green Lantern Corps' and 'Red Lanterns'

"...editorial decisions about the direction of the book that conflicted with the story I was hired to tell.

Gail Simone Off Batgirl

Gail Simone Leaves Fury of Firestorm

Ron Marz Off Voodoo

"I have to admit, I was pretty surprised, since I'd been making the revisions and changes that had been requested by editorial as the book evolved. But it seems like they want something other than what I was giving them."

and the BIG one that SHOULD have made you sit up straight...

George Perez Goes EXCLUSIVE to BOOM! Studios

"While I have enjoyed considerable professional and personal success with both Marvel and DC, it was becoming all too evident that many of the books being produced by both companies seem to be getting more and more corporate driven. Many of the characters I grew up with were turning into strangers whose adventures were determined by factors that had less and less to do with what made a good comic story and more to do with how these properties can be exploited for other purposes. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, but not something that I felt was particularly satisfying for me as a storyteller.

(NOTE: Some of those can be contested as creator decision and not DC decision. I understand that. However, there are more examples for you to choose from HERE. For every ONE you "discount" four more that ring true will take it's place.)

Take a moment and look through that DC. Forget your executive chair. Forget your paycheck. Forget whatever it is that makes you OK with making these decisions. Forget it all and read those again as a FAN. Let's face it, the vast majority of you in power at DC wouldn't be there unless you started as a FAN FIRST. What does that tell you about the state of your business? How much PR does it take to clean up messes like that? Wouldn't the best bet be to handle things better, recognize that the money you make RELIES on the creative talent and NOT just a fancy new cover?

Before the New 52, when a book was in trouble, what did you do? (heck, even now) You brought in a big name writer or artist or both to save your title? Why? Because those names had FOLLOWINGS. Fans TRUSTED them. So you clearly recognize the talent and power your creators have. So why alienate them?

And, before I go too long, let me make my last point. Have you seen what your competitor Marvel is doing? With each bridge you burn, Marvel attempts to build one. Do you know why? Because Marvel sees the value of their creators. They might not be doing the best when it comes to retaining them and treating them well, but they're doing better than you. And WHY are you burning these bridges? Rumor has it (and the facts seem to support it) that you DESPERATELY want to make your characters more marketable to the general audience. Much like Marvel Studios has done with their movie franchises. Marvel gave you a wake up call and now you (and your bosses at Warner) want a piece of the pie. And yet, the rival you're trying to match/outrun....is STILL snatching up the remnants of your hasty decision making in your mad rush to make millions. Why? If they're making ALL that money, why is Marvel still focused on their comics?

Because they KNOW where they come from. They remember what happens when they treat their creators like crap. And in case you've forgotten, so do we.

(no names "reprinted" here)

"DC has a huge problem right now and it would seem that Harras is a huge part of it. There's no denying it.The pattern would seem to indicate that they are mistreating their creatives, and if that is the case then Geoff Johns and Jim Lee need to step up and fight that. I hate to see this with DC. I love Marvel but I am a DC guy, and this stuff kills me."

 "I’ll soon be down to just one DCU title."

"Disgusting. Those of you that support the arts or are artists themselves, how can you in good conscience support DC comics at this point? They're treating talent like garbage... Vote with your dollar, do not support DC Comics until changes have been made."

"It just seems like a complete mess over there now, something really needs to be sorted out soon. I'm down to reading just 2 DC books and they are digital ones not set in the DCnU."

"While I get that DC is well within their rights to dismiss creators from a book, the way they've been going about it seems very unprofessional to me. When that many creators take to the internet and openly discuss behind the scenes goings on, then at some point DC management isn't handling things well."

"It really feels like the management there is staggeringly incompetent."

"At some point, DC will have pissed off every comic book creator out there and have all of their comics written by headless chickens."

"And if there's ONE THING DC has taught me in the last few years, it's "Fuck creators in the ear holes, who the fuck needs those guys? We have fucking EDITORS, man!"

"DC really doesn't see this as their problem. They see it as our problem. We, the fans, the internet, the non-publicity-department-controlled comics media, are only upset because we *know* about this stuff. If we would just stop knowing about it, they would stop looking so stupid for doing it. And that, in a nutshell, is why DC keeps finding themselves in these PR clusterfucks. Because they just have no clue what they are doing wrong. As far as they're concerned, they're doing a great job."

"Why the heck do I even bother with DC Comics anymore. I think my excitement just dropped down to nothing."

Should I keep going...?

A Former Rabid Fan on the Verge of Buying All His DC Comics from now on Pre-DCNU from Back Issue Bins

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nostalgia: Weighing in on the Great Fire & Water Debate

This week, the Episode 59 of the Fire and Water podcast went up. During the episode co-host Robert Kelly relayed a story in which a reader of his blog, the Aquaman Shrine, left a comment on one of his posts stating that Rob was actively ignoring current story-lines to the detriment of the shrine blog as a whole, specifically Aquamans involvement in the DC event currently being billed as the 'Trinity War'.

This sparked a conversation between the co-hosts Rob and Shag in which Rob revealed that, when it comes to new things, he just doesn't care (for the most part). This prompted Shag to launch into a "nostalgia is awesome" speech and the conversation ended with the two requesting feedback from fans on this concern, particularly given the amount of listeners with comics blogs of their own (such as myself). Is it OK to not cover everything? What would you cover? How do you choose? Etc.

This discussion brought to the forefront of my mind a topic that has been dancing on the periphery for some time now.

DC just ain't doing it anymore.

Ironically, hours before the episode in question went live, I was in my living room organizing comics. I started by sorting into publishing piles (Dark Horse, Image, Marvel, DC, etc.) then from there splitting them by title. At the end of it all I had one pile of nothing but "New 52" issues. Every one I owned. And I immediately decided that I didn't care about any of them. Not a single one.

When it comes to currently ongoing DC titles, I don't care to rush out on Wednesday and pick up the latest issue to see what's going on (not even the AMAZING Scott Snyder 'Batman'). I'm happy to wait for the trade or just read it when I read it.

I suppose my lack of enthusiasm could be related to my increasing love of the trade format, but I sincerely doubt it.

In the episode, the guys asked about covering nostalgia and if it's OK. I not only think it's OK, I think it's basically the only option we have left if we want to cover thrilling and exciting material and not bore our readers by forcing ourselves to pretend to care about material that we just don't.

Let me tell you why. In the episode Shag mentioned "event fatigue" as what Rob was experiencing but told him that, in reality, Trinity War is the first "event" in two years from DC. Not so. And let me tell you why.

Since the launch of the New 52, DC Comics has been putting out strings of multi-book cross over story-lines. The Batman family had "Court of Owls" and "Death of the Family". The Superman books had the "H'El on Earth" storyline. Green Lantern had both "Rise of the Third Army" and "Wrath of the First Lantern" go through all FOUR of their related titles. Animal Man and Swamp Thing had "Rotworld" for a long while...and many more (such as the Hawkman and Green Arrow cross over, the Justice League and Aquaman "Throne of Atlantis", etc.)

And that's just what I can remember off the top of my head.

Now that might not be much. But let's consider the individual title's themselves.

Aquaman had "the Trench" then "the Others" then "Throne of Atlantis" and now whatever is going on. Batman had "Court of Owls" then "Death of the Family" then "Zero Year". Justice League had that "Secret Origin" type thing then that story with Graves and so on. And this goes on through out every other title.

If these books aren't crossing over, they're a part of some 6 or 8 or 10 issue storyline. Let's be honest, that many issues to tell ONE story can ABSOLUTELY feel like an event.

Now let's take what's been bugging me for nearly a year now.

DC is treating their creators like crap. Because of the LanternCast podcast, I know some people in the industry. Off mic, I've been told some stories that verify that DC Comics is FAR more concerned with what their grand goal and plan is than creative freedom. Which, honestly, makes sense for one of the biggest publishers in the entirety of this genre. But they're going about it HORRIBLY.

Never before has every event, every gimmick, come across to fans as such an OBVIOUS ploy.

Flashpoint beget the New 52, the New 52 has been teasing Trinity War since day one. The launch of the New 52 gave us an anniversary ploy of "zero month". Now they're going to give us whatever the hell that villains thing is coming up.

DC is more machine than EVER. George freaking Perez has now gone EXCLUSIVE to Indy publisher BOOM! Studios. George's work is ICONIC. The NAME alone brings up sales. He gets paid WELL. And you know what? He basically said, "I'm done with all this crap." and went to BOOM!.

Here's the DIRECT quote: "While I have enjoyed considerable professional and personal success with both Marvel and DC, it was becoming all too evident that many of the books being produced by both companies seem to be getting more and more corporate driven. Many of the characters I grew up with were turning into strangers whose adventures were determined by factors that had less and less to do with what made a good comic story and more to do with how these properties can be exploited for other purposes. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, but not something that I felt was particularly satisfying for me as a storyteller." (read the FULL CBR article HERE)


Let that sink in.

The industry isn't creator driven anymore. Sure, there are some things that we LOVE. Some unique take here or there. But overall? The off the wall comics, the new stuff, the weird stuff? It's long gone from the big two. They don't want to take a chance on it anymore. Because that COULD hurt the bottom line. And they're taking more steps now than EVER to make SURE what is being published matches what THEY want for their universe and their bottom line. And that's pushing creators (and potential) away from them.

I'm sorry. It's true. That's why I love Indy comics now more than ever. Because the potential and the creators I love get to do nearly anything they want and just let LOOSE.

And THAT'S why Rob feels such strong event fatigue. THAT'S why we're all longing for "nostalgia". Because honestly? That old stuff isn't JUST good comics. It signifies the SPIRIT of comics. And which of us comics bloggers, so devoted to our characters, would chose the new corporate vision of our beloved character...over an iteration of them where we were just pleasantly surprised with each new issue?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fact or Fail? Taking a Look at the Theories Thus Far...Round One...

Welcome loyal Corps Conjecture readers! As you well know, the entire point of this blog is for me to attempt to predict the things coming down the pike in the Lantern titles from DC Comics. The first year was hard to get through because all I had to do was come up with NEW theories. Well, now that we’re a year in, I can finally add more content to the blog! This comes in the form of what I’m calling “Fact or Fail” posts. What I’ll do is take a group of theories from the previous year and analyze them to determine if I was right or wrong. This first round of theories will be from January of 2012, the second from February and so on and so forth. So not only will I be coming up with NEW theories throughout the year, I’ll also be revisiting old theories as they reach their one year ‘birthday’. Hence the uptick in content going forward. This was always the plan but, unfortunately, it took a year to get here (out of necessity).

I WAS going to begin this process in January but exciting things started happening! I’m now proud to say that I’m the sole individual on a one year lease at an apartment. That’s right; I finally got my own place! No living with a girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend), no crashing with friends, no staying at my parents. I have my OWN place for the first time. Only problem is that the process of moving and situating myself has pulled me from my blogging duties, but I hope to return soon! There will be the occasional delay for the next few weeks (I still haven’t found a good wi-fi plan) but I’ll attempt to work around this in the meantime.

Anyways, on to the theories!

“It's my theory that the Red Lanterns will rebel under Bleez's leadership and will be made self aware as Atrocitus and Bleez before them. Atrocitus will be faced with a dilemma. He will either have to leave his own Corps...or awaken to a CLEAR ideal and purpose...and take back control of his Corps in a ball of blood vomit fury...”

I highly doubt I’ll ever have a new theory regarding the ‘Red Lanterns’ title. If you’ve been listening to the LanternCast, you know all too well what my opinion of this series is. It’s disjointed, it doesn’t follow continuity (let alone its own) and it’s essentially one long and boring monologue from Atrocitus about things that don’t even matter.

That being said, I’m going to go ahead and call this one a victory on my part.

Bleez DID take off with a pack of Red Lanterns and Atrocitus DID make some Corps members self aware. Apparently though, the writer (and frankly editor) of this series neglected to mention anything about the continuation of the process to making a Red Lantern self aware because, every now and then, a Red Lantern will fly onto the scene and just start talking completely coherently. It makes no sense.

Atrocitus never left the Corps so, in order to call this one a victory, the other side of this coin has to be true. “…Or awaken to a CLEAR ideal and purpose...and take back control of his Corps in a ball of blood vomit fury...” Now, when dealing with the ‘Red Lanterns’ title, the idea that ANYTHING is “clear” is ludicrous. But if you sort through the confusion of this series, lately it seems that Atrocitus by and large has everything back under control. (or at least as much control as you can have with a Corps full of aliens whose sole superpower is extreme rage)

“It’s my theory that the Blue Lanterns will experience a fissure following a “crisis of faith” moment. Perhaps different factions will drop up, each with initial good intentions, and small sects will appear wielding the blue light. With no clear intention stated from a figurehead, no careful selection process to go through…It’s very possible that the wrong person could be recruited and start an inner conflict within the Corps.”

Now, as with everything in serialized fiction of any kind, most potential story lines or plots could happen in a few months or a few years. With that in mind, there will be multiple times that my theories “could still be proven correct”. But simply just waiting for it to happen to declare myself right seems unfair and a year is long enough to wait for anyone eager to see certain things.

Therefore I’m calling the first sentence of this one absolutely correct and the rest of it totally wrong. Keep in mind the rest of it is still POSSIBLE but, as of right now, hasn’t happened. “It’s my theory that the Blue Lanterns will experience a fissure following a “crisis of faith” moment.” If you’ll recall, back in ‘Green Lantern: New Guardians’, the characters were called to Odym to assist the Blue Lanterns in fighting the Reach off of their world. As the Reach slowly consumed and overtook Odym, one of their Lanterns (I believe his name was Shorm) lost all hope and his ring abandoned him. (a ‘crisis of faith’ moment) The Reach did, in fact, overtake Odym causing the Blue Lanterns to flee their planet of paradise.

What I neglected to take into consideration was the leadership prowess of Saint Walker. It seems the entire Corps looks to him for guidance. Because of that reverence, there has been no ‘fissure’ in the Blue Lantern Corps, but I still believe that it IS coming…eventually.

“The Sinestro Corps is on the precipice of major change at this very moment and it's my theory that is it ABSOLUTELY because of the NATURE of fear and the speed with which Sinestro initiated his vendetta against the Guardians of the Universe.”

Now, even though this one is listed as both, I sort of believe this one is more “Fail” than “Fact”. True, the Sinestro Corps underwent a MASSIVE change when the Green Lantern Corps took control of the Yellow Central Power Battery and ‘disposed’ of it. True, Arkillo’s ring failed and the Weaponer constructed a new ring and battery for Arkillo to rely on.

However, other than Sinestro saying that every one of his Corpsmen has given into their “sadistic urges”, there has been no clear statement that leads me to believe, “that is it ABSOLUTELY because of the NATURE of fear and the speed with which Sinestro initiated his vendetta against the Guardians of the Universe.” Therefore I have to call it at least a partial “fail” for that reason.

So there you have it folks. My three earliest theories revisited and declared “Fact” or “Fail” for your amusement. Future “Fact or Fail” posts will not be so long and will offer more breakdowns of current(er) issues to back up my decision to declare them right or wrong. But for this one I felt you guys deserved a healthy portion considering my absence.

So what do you guys think? Am I crediting myself with too much? Am I being too hard on myself? What are YOUR theories? Subscribe, share and (most of all) comment on the blog! Looking forward to hearing from you! Till next time!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kickstarting: Off the Record DVD Interview with Gerry Conway!

While he may not have a whole heckuvalot to do with Green Lantern, Gerry Conway is a legend in the comics’ genre. Most notably for fans such as myself, Gerry created the character of Firestorm.

Firestorm, as you may or may not be aware, is Ronnie Raymond and Professor Martin Stein. Involved in a nuclear accident, the two joined together in one body to form Firestorm: The Nuclear Man. With the power to transmute inorganic material to other elements and items, Firestorm was piloted (so to speak) by Ronnie Raymond, a high school sports jock, and the brains of the operation was Professor Martin Stein, a nuclear physicist.

Gerry intentionally made Firestorm the Peter Parker of the DC Universe, but with a twist. Instead of the nerdy bookish kid getting the powers while the mean jock picked on him, Ronnie Raymond was the jock getting picked on by the mean geek (Cliff Carmichael). So, essentially, Firestorm was Flash Thompson with superpowers.

And folks, that's just ONE of the great many contributions Gerry Conway made to the comics medium.

Want to find out more? It's SIMPLE! Swing by Kickstarter and pledge to back the "Off the Record Interview with Gerry Conway"!

As of this posting, the $2,000 goal has already been MET! So congratulations to Roger Priebe on making his goal and making this fantastic DVD interview a reality!

But there's still always more that can be done so make sure you visit the projects Kickstarter page (CLICK HERE!!!!!) and pledge anywhere from $1 and more!

Apologies on the lateness of the post, I recently moved and have yet to set up wi-fi in my new apartment. So I haven't been able to check emails and such outside of work (or craft more awesome and in-depth content for this blog!!!) But, as of this posting, the chance to back this project doesn't end for another four days. But a chance to back it doesn't expire until Feb 4th so get on it!!!!