Comic Rack: Marvel’s Relaunch, The Joker Returns, & The Flash’s New Origin Connects to Flashpoint?


Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order.

Marvel Pulling A New 52?

A post-AvX Marvel world is beginning to be planned out, and with any major plans the Big 2 make, they inevitably will find ways to copy each others successes, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so much. Marvel has been shaking things up in it’s Universe with a now confirmed “relaunch”, rather than a hardcore reboot, ala DC. Over at CBR, they detail some of the title’s changes as such:

Uncanny Avengers: (Oct 2012) written by [Rick ]Remender. It is going to be the new flagship marvel title and will have among others Cap, Thor, Wolvy, Rogue and Havok in it and both sides will still have some AVX tension.

Avengers (Dec 2012): Bi weekly with more then 18 avengers on the team. Written by [Jonathan] Hickman with one shot stories and longer galaxy spanning multi-issue arcs

X-Men: (Nov 2012) hold on to your hats…… Bendis!!! about the original five x-men time-travel two the present in a Pleasantville style story and who are not going to like what they see once they are in the present and will find it unacceptable. Bendis says the time travel aspect of the story is not as important as the character based drama.

This teaser pic was recently leaked from Entertainment Weekly‘s Comic-Con issue, which supposedly features a mixture of characters from the new line-up. Newsarama reports:

Further details from Entertainment Weekly’s promised article on the post-Avengers vs. X-MenMarvel Universe may have leaked online late Monday night, including a reputed scan of the full version of the Joe Quesada piece featuring Jean Grey in her original costume.

The image, which appears to have originated on Tumblr, surfaced Monday on message boards including CBR’s Marvel Comics forum, and shows what appears to be new costumes for characters including Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Cyclops, along with a prominent place for Guardians of the Galaxy team member Rocket Raccoon and what appears to be a floating helmet.

It’s still early to get any information on his this will affect other flagship Marvel titles like Spider-Man,Thor, Captain America or Iron Man, but I’m imagining their intent is to have the relaunch be more similar to their past habit of re-numbering certain titles and releasing them as their own run. This time it will be on a much bigger scale, and we’ll have to wait and see if it’ll be a numbers only change, or a reconfiguration of the Marvel Universe status quo. Personally, I haven’t read Marvel comics in years, but I’m sure many a Marvel fan is eager to see what will happen to their beloved characters in the future months.

GL Corps Event Showcases the Rise Of The Third Army

Being a Green Lantern fan has always been tough. With the myriad of colors and powers,  plus the effects, meaning and differentiations between them all has been difficult to explain to non-comic book readers as to why all of it is so cool and interesting, and not nearly as dumb as it sounds on first impression. Add to that it’s complicated story line that has been brought through in a kinda-sorta way to the New 52, and it can get daunting. But despite all that, to Green Lantern fans, it’s still a great book that spans a wide selection of titles that can be hard on the wallet. Soon it will only get harder, with another event on the horizon.

Over at The Source, Geoff Johns himself speaks about the “Third Army” and what that will mean for our favorite ring slingers. You can read an excerpt here and check the link for more from the other GL series writers:

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely–and the Guardians time is finally here. The Lantern titles spent the first year of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 re-establishing themselves, but it all comes back together with year 2 starting with GREEN LANTERN #0 and leading into October’s #13’s – which share an amazing cover by Ivan Reis. In October, the Guardians’ Third Army rises to replace the Green Lantern Corps – but how is horrifying and why will change the Guardians and their ancient mission forever. As we discover what the Third Army actually means, our strongest Lanterns are targeted for absolute destruction. From Atrocitus to Guy Gardner to our newest Green Lantern from Earth – who may have been wrongly chosen – all their darkest secrets and failures will come to light. What is Sinestro’s ultimate fate? Who is this new Green Lantern and why was he chosen? What is the Third Army? What with Atrocitus sacrifice to take on the Guardians? What will Larfleeze give up to find the one thing he wants? What happens to Guy Gardner when he’s targeted after Hal Jordan? And, most importantly, who is the First Lantern?”

I think the entire concept of Green Lantern is one that works best in its medium, and the concepts of Will and Fear being actual sources of power, are hard to grasp for general audiences. In my opinion, this makes it the perfect litmus test for how much a comic nerd you are, because if you can get into and follow Green Lantern, you’ve broken the threshold and can officially call yourself a comic book fan. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some Green Lantern, but I do recognize it is pretty intimidating for new readers to jump into. For the rest of us though, this event sounds like another slam dunk in the Green Lantern oeuvre.

The Joker Returns

Back when the New 52 started, one of the most immediately arresting images in the entire lineup was the final page of Detective Comics #1. It featured the Joker’s face, freshly flayed and pinned to a wall. Even more disturbing was that he seemingly let this happen willingly. The new Batman titles certainly started strong, and really only gained steam as they continued, especially with Scott Snyder’s “Batman” title carrying some really great stories, utilizing Batman in creative, fairly new ways. But the question remained, what happened to the Joker?

Well it seems the questions from Detective Comics will be picked up by Snyder starting with BATMAN #13.

“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told The Source. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ARKHAM ASYLUM or THE KILLING JOKE, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”

Holy crap does that sound awesome! I had to stop reading the Batman books from DC because my wallet was threatening suicide on a daily basis, but this may have to make me add Batman back to my pull list. Check out the promo art below, how great is that? I can’t wait to read this thing.

Morning Glories Shows Us Their “Truants”

Morning Glories is hands down the best book Image is putting out right now. I know, even better than Walking Dead. There is no other book that each week I cannot wait to immediately grab, sit down and read, curse loudly when I get to its last page, and then read again. I can get why people may not like it, because it’s dense, ambiguous, very weird and chock full of symbolism and mysticism. It’s also juxtaposed pretty brilliantly with an average HIgh School Drama, and that can be jarring for some. For me, the mixture of the fantastical and the mundane is something I always rabidly enjoy, and seeing any new information about the series and its many mysteries is always welcome.

CBR had an interview with the book’s writer, Nick Spencer, where he had this to say about the new additions to the comic’s cast, currently referred to as “The Truants”:

 “These characters that you see on this page are key parts of the fourth arc. We’re a long way from having seen all of the cast of the book, but these are some big, important additions. Beyond that, it’s exciting because some of these are characters I’ve had in mind since the series started. So to get to finally bring them into the open is a big deal for me. We’ve laid some groundwork for them in past issues that I think will make it even more exciting.”

Morning Glories is a comic you’ll probably either love or hate. I love it, since it fills the wanton lust for mystery and bizarre WTF-ness I became addicted to from Lost, that I now  crave like a struggling heroin addict. Who are the Truants? Man I cannot wait to find out.

New Flash Origin, Speculation on Flashpoint and an Upcoming War Event?

As most DC fans know, The Flash is one of the more pivotal characters in the spectrum of the New 52’s creation, and his connection from the Old Continuity’s Flashpoint Event, to The New 52’s current lineup, is one that has yet to be explicitly touched on again. However, the current writer/artist team of Manapul/Buccellato had a lot of very interesting hints to give in this interview with Newsarama. In the interview, they touch on developing a new origin for The Flash, but more interestingly, they hint towards a connection with Old DC Continuity:

Nrama:  In issue #8, Barry actually said out loud that you can’t go back in time and mess things up, and you told Newsarama that you were giving a nod toward Flashpoint in that line. Now that you’re reinforcing this “forward-moving” idea in his origin story in issue #0, is that also a nod toward Flashpoint?

Buccellato: Somewhat, at least for those readers who might understand it on a deeper level.

Manapul: But it’s more from a meta-standpoint.

Nrama: By “meta,” you mean that this is from you as writers, instead of the character himself referring to learning a lesson from Flashpoint?

Manapul: Right. Brian and I had specific emotional goals for Barry that we needed him to go through in order to explain who he is and the things that he does, including the fact that he’s forward-moving”

Perhaps in the future, we’ll get further hints as to the direct nature of The Flash’s connection to the “timeline” of the DC continuity, and while I may be reaching, maybe even the relationship he could have with the mysterious “Pandora” character we all saw in the background of every Issue #1 so long ago. Towards the end of the interview, they also mention a new Flash related event that ties in the Rogues gallery, and will introduce a “War” that is coming to Central City. Which sounds great if you ask me, but mostly, I just wanna know who the hell Pandora is!

Well, that wraps up this edition of Comic Rack!

Read more here!

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