Conner Kent of Earth… DIE!

I’ve been raving about “Blackest Night” a fair bit on this site, so it’s not a surprise that I am a big fan. What’s not to like? Zombie meta humans smacking each other around.

I particularly like the bit where Hal Jordan’s New Guardians faced off against Black Lantern-ed version of heroes who have died and “cheated death” before. Seeing as how characters are moving through the revolving door of comic book death so fast these days, that is A LOT of Black Lantern powerhouses, including Superman, Wonder woman, Impulse, Green Arrow and one of my personal favorites – Superboy.

Conner Kent started out as a bit of a joke after the (*irony alert*) “Death of Superman” event.

What we initially know was that he was created by Project Cadmus to replace Superman. He was artificially aged to mid-teens and implanted with the necessary knowledge of someone his biological age (in regards to general studies, such as math, reading, etc). When Superboy arrived in Metropolis, he went by “Superman” and had no real name. While glibly asserting he was the original Superman, he quickly rebuked any insinuation he was the original Superman. In fact, he told anyone who’d listen that he was a clone of Superman.

This clone thing went on for quite a while in an age where “cloning” was a considerably dirty word, thanks to the whole Spider Man “Clone Saga”.

It was later on in his life that it was revealed that Conner Kent was a part of Project 13. Project Cadmus did a total of twelve failed experiments. They grafted what they could of Superman’s DNA onto human DNA and that process stabilized the extraterrestrial genes-thus Superboy was born, fifty percent Kryptonian and fifty percent human.

It got more interesting when the fifty percent human DNA was found to belong to one Lex Luthor.

This evolved Conner Kent into an interesting figurehead for storylines about  “Nature vs Nurture” dichotomy.

Anyway, I was quite disappointed that Conner didn’t get to lay the smackdown on anyone in the Rainbow Brigade. So here’s my latest render – Black Lantern Superboy!


Dancing Between Raindrops

Most of the releases from the Big 2 this week revolves around their respective mega crossovers/events/whatchamightcallits  (Siege for Marvel, and Blackest Night for DC, for those of you living under a rock).

And like all major cross overs that came before, this means that a majority of their other titles will be considered “tie ins”. And these “tie-ins” SHOULD flesh out the ongoing soap opera in the main books for the Event.

There is an inherent Problem with this approach for Siege and Blackest Night.

Siege is essentially one Giant Brawl for Captain America’s goodie-two-shoes vs Norman Osbourn’s baddies-bad-boots-posing-as-goodie-two-shoes.

Blackest Night, while intriguing and shocking thus far, is at its heart a giant brawl between the Black Lanterns and the Rainbow Brigade.

Below are Marvel’s releases with the “Siege” Banner this week.

Just a sidenote: I love the way the “Siege ” banner sits on the cover.

Anyway. what’s inside these covers are essentially the Director’s Cut for Siege#2. They let the fan boys know where all the other major combatants not showcased in the main series are fighting their fights. I admit, it can be pretty awesome if it is your kind of thing, but somehow, it just did not work for me.

Next, we have the biggest disappointment of the week.

Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corp have been the cornerstones of the Blackest Night Series. We saw events develop in these books that that were not seen in the main Blackest Night Series, events that were essential to the development of the whole saga and gave the series an unexpected dept.

I expected more of the same from Green Lantern #52.

We all knew that Sinestro became the first (only?) White Lantern from the events of Blackest Night #7. I was excited to find out more about how Hal Jordan and the rest will react to this new development. Instead, we have a weakass story of how Ion, Parallax and the rest of the mascots for the various rainbow corps came about, and a rather lame buildup to the Final Showdown that is sure to come down in Blackest Night #8.

I’m not asking for these tie-ins to advance the ongoing saga. I think it is hard to toe the company line, and at the same time try to tell a reasonable story between the heavy hitters.  I just think it is pretty f-up to make fans pay 4 x $2.99(at least) for essentially the same story. Hell, they even share the same dialogues between the different books!

I guess, it is not that surprising that my book for the moment is this:

Besides the pretty awesome cover, the story tells the evergreen tale of love lost and the descent into the abyss that follows. The twist in the tale is pretty frickin fine as well.

For your consideration, when you have $2.99 to spare, you can do worse than to invest it in an Amazing Spider-Man book.

By worse, I mean any of the Siege tie-ins, of course.

A Conspiracy Theory

I think I might’ve made a passing mention on how strangely similar the offerings from the Big 2 (DC and Marvel, duh…) were.

We’ve known for some time now that DC will be following up on the year long “Blackest Night” Saga with another year long Saga entitled “Brightest Day”.

This would be a reference to the Green Lantern Oath of “In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night…”

The funny thing is that now, Marvel are announcing their next big event after Dark Reign. It’s entitled “The Heroic Age”

Hmmm… Just some food for thought, but…

BLACKEST Night – DARK Reign

BRIGHTEST Day – HEROIC Age

Is it me, or does someone else see a strange similarity here?

Return of the Panaromic Covers

Remember the comic buying craze in the 80s/90s where fanboys buy comics in bulk to collect the ultra rare variant covers? Those were the days of gimmicks such as holographic covers, die cut covers, fold out covers, pencil sketches covers, and my favorite the “combine our 1000000000 difference covers to form a hug-eass awesome poster” covers.

Marvel has done it again with Siege… Apparently the variants of Siege combine to form this little treasure… The look on Norman Osbourne’s face is priceless!

And now that they just announced the offshoots for Siege  (namely Siege: Captain America, Siege, Spider Man, Siege: Loki, Siege: Young Avengers and Siege: Secret Warriors), they decided to follow up with the announcement of the 5 variant covers by the super talented Marko Djurdjevic. The covers for the issues will form the panorama below.. Simply awesome…

While we are on the subject of variant covers, I decided this to be one of the best I’ve seen in recent times… For Blackest Night #3

Speaking of the ongoing feud between Siege and Blackest Night, Marvel just issued this little press release to comic book retailers…

In an effort to provide assistance to comic retailers in 2010, Marvel is offering retailers an opportunity to turn unsold comics into an extremely rare Siege #3 Deadpool Variant!

Retailers – for every 50 stripped covers of the following comics sent to Marvel, you will qualify to receive one FREE Siege #3 Deadpool Variant.

Is it any wonder most of the listed titles are Blackest Night Tie ins? Apparently, retailers had to order large quantities of these Blackest Nights Tie Ins in order to get super rare limited editions of Green Lantern power rings.

And said Deadpool Variant?

The Siege Continues..

Not much activity on the Blackest Night front this week, so I just swinged (swung?) in on the other company’s major event – Siege… again. With issue 2, we are officially halfway through this event… *celebratory cheers for short events*

Being such a short event, things have to move fast.In this issue, we see the fall out of the Take Down of Thor. Captain A.. I mean Steve Rogers rallied the troops (All versions of Avengers, except “Dark”, for obvious reasons, along with Nick Fury’s Secret Warriors) and they prepare to deliver the Mother of all Ass Whoppings on Norman Osbourne.

With all the space in this issue used up for the rallying and the ass kicking, who has space for pansy stuff such as character development? Siege #2 is just a candyfloss issue of big fight scenes, violent explosions, bone crunching takedowns and Mortal Kombat worthy fatalities (ok.. fatality). Yup.. “Fatality”. Marvel wasn’t kidding when the publicity material of this issue reads “An Avenger dies”.

While the “Branded”-ness of said Avenger is debatable, it does pave the way for something big later on in this event. I know Marvel is trying to establish this death as “significant” but I think someone in the bullpen probably missed the irony when they effectively *spoiler alert* reinstated Steve Rogers as Captain America in this issue.

The death of Steve Rogers and the establishment of the Winter Soldier as Captain America was THE Significant fallout from their “Civil War” only 2 years back. They’ve easily wipe away any impact of THAT event with this move… (along with the re-masking of Peter Parker, of course)

Dubious though the death was, it was definitely one of the bloodiest death scene I’ve seen in comics. Pretty damn awesome. Say what you will about “Siege”, the art work is really something you’ll want to write home about.

What I am more personally invested in, for this issue is the involvement of the New Warriors… I’ve been a big fan for the longest time and it was really quite a trip to watch these “Warriors” grow… The last few pages of Siege were dedicated to a “conversation” between Nick Fury and his New Warriors just prior to Cap’s rally. It is just text but the dialogue is sharp and, along with the Death of The Avenger, and a plot development in Siege #2, Bendis seemed to be setting things up for a major plot line for at least one of the New Warriors…

I am suddenly reminded of this scene waaaaay back in New Warriors #2.

I am excited to see if any of these comes to pass in the pages of Siege.

And the final word that I have for this entry?

“Incoming”

Let’s talk Mega Events

I am sensing a conspiracy…. or very brilliant marketing people.

Marvel kickstarted their new mega event on the rare week when there is not much activity from DC’s Blackest Night.

Siege, like all Mega events promised to have far and long reaching consequences in the Marvel Universe, much like the Skrull (I mean Secret) Invasion last year, World War Hulk the year before that, Civil War the year before and the House of M nonsense the year before that. The list goes on…

The series will (presumably) chart Norman Osborne’s descent into madness (again) and possible fall from grace. Much as I want to see the series crash (I am very fatigued by these Mega Events, especially when this seems to be an extension of Secret Invasion), it is actually off to a good start. The main books for Siege is promised to be limited to only 4 books, so the actions come fast and furious.

Just check out them apples.

All this within the first issue!! Good break from the trend of Mega Events building up for 2 to 3 issues before the action starts flying. Naysayers might say that the whole Dark Reign of last year was ALREADY the buildup to this event, but I say Nay. I mean you’ve got to love Brian Michael Bendis. He seems to write action sequences as well as he does Tarentino-esque dialogue sequences.

The sad fact is, good though Siege might be, I sense that it would continue to live in the shadows of Blackest Night. Pun fully intended, baby.

I have to admit, the spin off series from Blackest Night are starting to… lose their novelty and charm. It reached a point where they are mainly issues in and issues out of  DC heroes getting shocked at their closest friends and family members coming back from the dead, they get mocked, they get taunted, they get into a fight, DC heroes win. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The main series and the 2 core Green Lantern titles however, are going VERY strong, and… I didn’t think this was possible, picking up the pace and growing deeper than I could possibly fathom at the start of the event. I am genuinely excited to see what comes next after each and every issue. Geoff Johns has this ability to sweep the rug from under my feet with every twist that he introduce.

Case in point… *SPOILER ALERT*…

That has got to be one of the biggest “HOLY CRAP” moment I’ve had in a long time. Simply awesome.

Couple that with the fact that the mainstream media is piling on the coverage and upping the profile of Green Lantern (prob as a build up to the movie) (Did I mention they seemed to have very good marketing people?), GL seems poised to be the next Dark Knight.

For one thing, I want to have a limited edition Green Lantern lantern (LEGLL), like Sheldon does.

While Big Bang Theory has always been full of comic references, they went all out this week. Sheldon actually managed to SCORE a not bad looking girl with this LEGLL.

Awesome.