Fear the Flashpoint Itself

WARNING: Images contained in this post contain MAJOR spoilers for Flashpoint and Fear Itself!!

The last comic week saw the release of the latest issues in the Big 2’s tent-pole summer events.

Flashpoint #2 for DC – which sees Barry Allen making sense of Thomas Wayne Batman (AKA Red Eyed Casino Bats), and trying to kickstart his Flash powers by means of… ermm… electric chair suicide?

and

Fear Itself #3 for Marvel – which sees Bucky Cap and the Avengers FINALLY confronting Sin and Blitzkreig USA after THREE months of hemming, emoting and hawing…

The result of all these events?

Is it me? Or is there something oddly similar about the two images above?

And… how misleading would these pictures be?

My take:

Barry Allen – Being one of only two people aware of the “original” DC universe, it’s unlikely that DC will kill him off… Unless Booster Gold suddenly acquire Flash like super speed and becomes the surprise Protagonist of Flashpoint, Barry will probably have a “rebirth” with speed powers returned at the start of Flashpoint #3

Bucky Cap: Here’s the dootzy. We’ve seen Steve Cap getting ready to leave the command post and take his place “as a soldier in the battlefield” in Fear Itself #3. It seems the perfect opportunity for Marvel to reinstate him as the ONE Captain America in the Marvelverse after trying Bucky out for a year. It would also be just in time for the movie release of Captain America: The First Avenger. Newcomers to the Marvelverse via the movie would not be confused by a different Cap than the one featured in the movie. Also, the crossover is not called Fear BUCKY itself…

There is one small problem though… People LOVE Bucky Cap.

Ok, I LOVE Bucky Cap. Guns, metal suit with American Flag pointing towards his crotch and all… He’s conflicted and flawed, with a hazy and mysterious past that had not fully been explored yet. He’s not the perfect, blond, all-American Blue eyed Captain America that Steve Rogers was. In other words.. he is more INTERESTING.

So, if you are listening to me, Marvel… PLEASE DON’T KILL OFF BUCKY CAP!!

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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.

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”