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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 4/26/14

This is the week of zero issues, apparently! All of the cool kids are starting off their new comic books with an issue #0 instead of the traditional #1. Because who needs tradition, amiright? Besides, ‘zero’ starts with a ‘Z’, so that makes it cooler already.

We’ve got both Justice League United #0, the start off the next Justice League spin-off , and Original Sin #0, a prologue to this Summer’s Big Event from Marvel. Original Sin actually makes for a nice little prologue, while this #0 issue of Justice League United actually reads like a #1 issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if Justice League United #1 just picks right up from where #0 left off.

So what was the point?

Beyond those zero books, we’ve got new issues of Aquaman, Fantastic Four and Batman Eternal, which continues its efforts to drive me insane. I also decided to jump back into Red Lanterns, which was a good choice, because Red Lanterns #30 wins Comic Book of the Week! Though, admittedly, there wasn’t much released this week.

Comic Reviews: Aquaman #30, Batman Eternal #3, Fantastic Four #3, Justice League United #0, Original Sin #0 and Red Lanterns #30.

You can also check out my review for Elektra #1 at Word of the Nerd!

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No Joke: Justice League Moving to Canada

Please forgive the fact that I’m a nerd on the Internet ranting about comic books, but I have no idea what the heck DC Comics is doing anymore. According to the Toronto Star, DC is changing the Justice League of America into the Justice League of Canada next year. There is no logic in this place. This sounds like an unclever April Fool’s Day joke.

Justice League

What the heck is going on at DC? Have they lost all sense of purpose? Have they all gone mad?

First of all, I’m not picking on Canada. By all means, Canada should have superheroes too, and I have long been a fan of Marvel’s Alpha Flight team. They’re awesome. It makes perfect sense for Canada to have superheroes. And second of all, I’m not incensed because of patriotic reasons that an American superhero team is fleeing to Canada either. That’s not my gripe.

I’m dumbfounded at how DC thinks this could ever possibly sell, and how it once again completely tarnishes the bigger picture of the DC Universe.

Alpha Flight never sells at Marvel. They try again and again to put out an ongoing Alpha Flight comic, but it doesn’t sell. So Canada is not a big drawing point for comic book readers. Beyond that, DC published a Justice League International series at the start of the New 52, and they cancelled that pretty quickly. So clearly the name ‘Justice League’ is not a big selling point either.

But my real complaint, the biggest reason why I think this is insane, is that it’s yet another piece of evidence that proves the head honchos at DC have no idea what they’re doing with the New 52, and they’re just going to throw anything they can at the wall to see if it sticks. That is no way to run a comic book company or to build a new universe of continuity.

When the New 52 launched, DC set up a new Justice League series starring all the big names, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and more. And that series is fine. They need that flagship team. I’m fairly certain the comic is selling well.

Then last year, DC launched Justice League of America as a sister title. The idea behind Justice League of America was that forces inside the US government wanted their own team of superheroes in case the Justice League ever decided to turn evil. That’s a good enough reason as any, and provides the JLA a reason to exist alongside the traditional JL. But here is where everything starts to fall apart: Justice League of America hasn’t even reached 10 issues yet! They’re only at issue 6 or 7, and most of those issues have all been part of the build up to the big Trinity War crossover that’s taking place in the Justice League titles now.

So DC took the very popular, very well-known brand name ‘Justice League of America’ and used it as a throwaway stepping stone to get to their Trinity War event.

And now, next year, they’re apparently just going to drop ‘Justice League of America’ and turn it into Justice League of Canada. How!? Why? What purpose could that serve? Why would this team of superheroes move to Canada and put that in their name? I realize they probably won’t trust the American government anymore, but why Canada? Why not just disband? Why not join the regular Justice League, which doesn’t identify itself to one specific country? What could the possible context be for this story?

And why drag that popular brand name through the mud? (I’m not calling Canada ‘mud’). From now on, for however many years or decades the New 52 universe lasts, DC will always have to face the fact that the first version of the Justice League of America was some throwaway team that didn’t matter and was only a means to an end. That is now solidified as part of the history of the New 52 universe.

There doesn’t seem to be anybody at DC Comics putting any long term thought into the growth of their rebooted universe. And that is very depressing to me. They’re just coming up with whatever works for that specific moment in time, and a year later, they’ll come up with something else that they think/hope will work, regardless of what happened before or what might happen in the future.

I fear that in five years, everything is going to be a hideous mess of overstuffed continuity and conflicting stories.

Though now I definitely want to read about the Justice League of Australia…

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